For several weeks Harry thought about his conversation with Ginny. He had admitted to her that he was in love with Draco. Eventually, one night when he couldn't sleep due to the fact that his thoughts often diverted towards Draco, Harry came up with yet another plan. This was called 'Operation: Win Draco Malfoy's Love.' Harry wrote down each step and carefully considered it. He sent an owl to Ron asking him to meet him at the shop the next day as soon as he could. He needed to tell him something.
Harry lay in bed awake until late that night. Every time he'd closed his eyes, he would see Draco's piercing eyes staring at him. He was trying to fall asleep, he had a long day the next day but since the moment he'd realised that he was in love with Draco, Harry couldn't sleep, his mind wouldn't rest. Everything had come rushing back to him: the few times their arms had brushed against each other's, the numerous times Draco had touched Harry's shoulder while they talked and laughed. He hadn't noticed it before but Draco always spent a longer time in Harry's company when Hermione wasn't around. The few times they had gone to dinner with Hermione, he'd asked Harry to meet up with him later at a pub so their conversations weren't always 'all business.'
Harry had thought that he was doing all of this because he wanted to keep Draco away from Ginny, but now he knew, now he admitted, it was because he wished to keep Draco to himself.
The next morning Harry arrived at the shop and told Hermione everything about how he felt. She seemed a bit winded by the news but as his best friend and business partner she said Harry had her "full support." She also added that she thought, "Draco would make a better life-partner than Ginny." Along with, "though Draco can be a bit overwhelming and opinionated, at least he has valid arguments to support his beliefs." Hermione had always respected passionate intellect over quarrelsomeness.
Ron stopped by the shop a short while after Harry's conversation with Hermione. Harry invited Ron in his office and had him take a seat.
"Ron, I've got something to tell you and I don't want you to overreact."
"Okay," Ron answered with scepticism.
"I've decided to no longer pursue a relationship with Ginny," Harry started.
"Oh. Okay, I think that's a smart idea."
"You do?" Harry asked, absolutely mystified by Ron's reaction.
"Yeah, she's mental. And that bit Malfoy told you about stress in your life, she definitely adds to it. I mean, I know she's my sister but why doesn't she go and make someone else's life miserable now. I think you could use a break."
"Oh, okay, thanks, mate. But, there's more," Harry added. Ron nodded and waited for him to continue. "It's Malfoy. I mean, Draco."
"I have decided to pursue a relationship with Draco."
"You have decided?" Ron repeated after Harry.
"Yes, I am sure he wants me too, but I don't know how he'll react. Especially since he was so upset when he discovered our plan and he hasn't spoken to me in weeks and I was going to go to St. Mungo's today and get him to listen to me."
"How are you going to get him to listen to you today?" Ron asked.
"I have a few ideas." Harry smirked. "Wait, you're okay with this?"
"Don't get me wrong, I hate the ferret, and as long as he's not the one snogging my sister..."
"But you're okay with the fact that he might be snogging your best friend?"
"Well, I see the way you two had been when you were 'devising' your 'evil plan' to keep him away from Ginny. I thought it was odd the way he looked at you but I guess it makes sense now. You were a bit too attached to him for your own good. I should have thought that you would... I just didn't think you'd fall in love with a bloke!"
"How did he look at me?" Harry asked, astonished as he hadn't realised that Draco looked at him any different.
"Like you were holding his heart in a glass jar and you were juggling with it. His eyes were always covered with apprehension," Ron answered, shocking Harry further into a stupor.
"Did you even know he was gay?" Harry asked Ron.
"No, but it's not surprising. I always thought he was a bit too methodical to be a regular, straight bloke."
"Is that you talking or your sharp Auror skills?"
"I suppose both. I always thought he was a bit different, perhaps my Auror training has tuned me more into human behaviour and social graces, and taught me a few things on verbalisation." Ron smiled and added, "It also helps when your girlfriend is famous for being the smartest woman around."
Harry thought over what his best mate had just told him. He wondered if shagging Hermione had made Ron smart, did that mean that shagging Ginny had made Harry insecure? Your partner is supposed to bring out the best in you and if anything, Ginny had only brought out the worst in Harry.
"So what's your new plan, mate?" Ron asked interrupting Harry's thoughts.
"I can't say just yet, but, just keep your eyes and ears open. You might have to come to my rescue again..." Harry answered.
"You don't mean..." Ron said, wide-eyed.
"Well, that's part of the plan but only the desperate part. I will be at St. Mungo's, so I'll be taken care of. I hope." Harry gave a nervous smile.
"Alright, just be careful. If Hermione finds out, she'll kill you this time herself."
"I know, that's why I haven't told you the plan, have I? It's not my fault, you speculated whatever you have." Harry grinned.
"Either way, I'll be a dead man," Ron answered. "As an Auror, I can't say I condone this type of behaviour and manipulation, however, if I had to win Hermione back there wasn't anything I wouldn't try. So I understand."
Harry nodded and shortly after Ron left. At about half past three, Harry decided to execute his plan. He headed to St. Mungo's.
Harry arrived at St. Mungo's and checked in at the front desk.
"Is Healer Malfoy available please?"
"Let me check," A young man seated at the reception desk responded; he looked over a parchment that seemed like a schedule for all the Healers and turned back to look at Harry. "It seems that all the Healers are currently in the conference room for their monthly meeting. They should be done shortly. Why don't you take a seat there and wait. I will go and let Healer Malfoy know he's got a visitor. Whom may I ask is visiting?"
Harry snorted but felt a bit refreshed at the same time. "Harry Potter," he replied with a smile.
"Of course, how ignorant of me." The young man who couldn't have been older than nineteen, turned red with embarrassment and spoke again, "If you will," he pointed at the waiting area by the front entrance.
"Thank you." Harry turned to the empty waiting area and sat down on one of the chairs.
The young receptionist returned a few moments later with a look of fear all over his face. "My apologies, Mr. Potter, Healer Malfoy has quite a busy schedule today and I am afraid he isn't available for guests at the moment. If you'd like I could schedule an appointment."
"He said that, he wants me to schedule an appointment?" Harry asked, standing up from his seat, his height intimidating the young man even further.
"Well, no. Not exactly. He said that I need to get rid of you and not to return until I have disposed of you, ensuring that you do not return again."
"What else did he say?" Harry asked.
"He said...not to waste his time unless it was a medical emergency."
"What's your name?" Harry asked the young man gently.
"Nathaniel, sir, Nathaniel Parker."
"Okay, Nathaniel, tell me does Healer Malfoy have any appointments for the rest of his shift?"
Nathaniel shook his head.
"So, I apologise for getting you in any sort of trouble." Harry paused for a moment and Nathaniel shook his head and was about to respond when Harry continued, "However, I am afraid you may get in just a bit of more trouble." He inserted his hand in his jeans' pocket and pulled out a small leaf. Nathaniel looked at Harry in complete puzzlement as Harry took a bite of the small leaf and chewed on it. "Now, I require you to give me a rubbish bin so I can spit this leaf out and I'd like you to get Healer Malfoy because I am currently suffering from plant poisoning."
Nathaniel stared at Harry as he chewed the leaf, his throat turning a bright colour maroon and a rash seemed to be growing on his cheek.
"Now!" Harry shouted.
Nathaniel ran grabbed a bin and handed it to Harry, then he ran into the hallway and yelled, "Poisonous emergency, I need some help!" He shortly returned with two men carrying a stretcher and as Harry lay down on the stretcher Nathaniel yelled again, "Take him to Healer Malfoy immediately!"
As the stretcher began to float away, Harry touched Nathaniel's hand and whispered, "Thank you."
Nathaniel returned to his desk and watched Harry Potter float away in complete confusion.
Forty five minutes later Harry woke up in familiar surroundings. He was in the hospital bed at St. Mungo's in the Potions and Plant Poisoning department. He was again undressed with a cotton sheet on him. Although, this time he was alone. Where was Draco? Harry thought.
He searched the left hand side table of his hospital bed looking for his glasses. He soon found them and as he placed them on he saw a figure in a white coat approaching him. His vision although not as bad as last time, was still blurry.
"Draco?" Harry asked as though he was in void.
"You don't learn, do you, Potter?"
Harry grinned at the blurry vision of a tall, white-blond man standing next to him. "You refused to see me," he answered.
"So you decided to poison yourself again?" The voice was stern yet compassionate.
"I took half of what I did the time before, and I didn't swallow." Harry felt his face burn with humiliation at the unintentional innuendo he just stated.
"I am sure you didn't." Draco responded as though he couldn't resist. Harry cursed himself at the fact that he couldn't see the expression in Draco's eyes. That would have been an indication of whether or not he was forgiven, or if he even had a chance of being forgiven one day.
"I see you couldn't wait to get me out of my clothes again."
"That wasn't me this time, actually. I had my assistant disrobe you and check you for any rashes or hives. I was certain that you wouldn't have any since you barely had any last time but I had her double check." Harry felt Draco turn away for a moment as he said, "Here take this."
Draco handed Harry a potion to take and as soon as he did, his vision improved.
Harry could see Draco's face clearly now.
"Why didn't you do it this time?" Harry asked, surprising Draco with the question and a look of uncertainty crept into Draco's eyes.
"My staff needs more experience in treating patients for emergencies, in case I'm unavailable," he replied, turning away from Harry as he grabbed the patient chart to write notes.
"They might have missed a few spots, maybe you should double check," Harry answered, attempting to hide his grin to seem resolute.
"I don't have time. I trust my staff to do a thorough job." Draco placed the chart back at its place and turned to leave the room.
"I know that's not true. Nathaniel told me your schedule was quite unoccupied today after the monthly meeting. Unless there's another poisonous emergency, I think you're rather free to tend to your current patient's needs." Harry grinned, however he could see Draco's anger towards Nathaniel was going to take the best of him. "Please promise me you won't reprimand him!"
Draco sighed. "Why are you here, Potter?"
"I wanted to explain myself. If that were possible."
"Explain what?" Draco asked, his eyes deceiving his baffled tone of voice. Harry's vision was near-perfect now; he could see the abhorrence in Draco's eyes. He simply hoped that the hate wasn't directed towards him.
"Why did you stop being my friend?" Harry's tone was unintentionally dejected.
"Our project was near completion. I helped you with your new wing at the shop and the new library in the basement was also finished. I finished my book and submitted it for publication. There was no need for us to continue our business meetings," Draco answered. "I thought I had explained all of this to Granger, didn't she tell you?"
"No," Harry answered simply, "and, now I know why."
"Because then I would have stopped pursuing you, if I had known that you were done with me. I thought you were hurt, I thought you wanted me to chase after you."
"I don't need anyone to chase after me, Potter."
"What about all the coffee breaks we took and the dinners we had where we didn't discuss work? What about the part where we were actually friends, Draco?"
"What about them?" Draco responded with a cool tone. "They were a sham. You were 'distracting' me so you could make Ginny want you, so you could have Ginny back. It wasn't about me, it wasn't about us... all the jokes you laughed at, and all the times you called upon me to accompany you. All the...times you touched my shoulder or my arm indicating friendship, intimacy, I was foolish, I thought it meant something. It didn't. It was all part of your plan, your steps of win Ginny back from the ferret operation."
Draco stepped back from Harry's bed. His eyes were now a mix of red and grey, and Harry was afraid that Draco was about to cry or punch him, he wasn't sure which. He raised his arm towards Draco, as though he was inviting him in towards himself. Draco backed off a bit more. Harry needed to touch Draco; he wished to pull him in a hug. He didn't stop. He stood up from his bed and attempted to approach him. Having forgotten that he was not dressed, Harry stood naked in front of Draco, as Draco stared at him. Draco's wide grey eyes vanished of any redness as he shot a hint of lust towards Harry. For the first few seconds Harry was confused as though he didn't understand Draco's expression then a cold breeze made him aware of his state. He looked down at his uncovered self, the cotton sheet on the floor, "Merlin!" he yelled as he stooped down to grab the sheet and wrap it around himself. By the time he looked up, Draco was gone.
Harry chased after him out of the hospital room into the hallway. "Draco!" he yelled as he couldn't see him anywhere.
Parvati Patil spotted him and scolded him immediately. "Harry! You cannot run around the hallways like that, you're in a hospital! The least you can do is wear a hospital robe if you insist on parading around!"
"Sorry, Parvati, I was simply looking for Healer Malfoy."
"I'll fetch him for you, why don't you go and lie down." Parvati took Harry back to his bed. "Now, no more shenanigans. Here drink this, Malfoy said you should take this and rest."
"You talked to him?"
"Yes, a few moments before you came out looking for him, I'd seen him and he handed me this potion and said you need this and you need to rest."
"Where is he now?"
"I am not sure, probably in his lab. I told you I will fetch him for you, just rest, Harry."
"Thanks, Parvati." Harry smiled and drank the potion at hand. He didn't know until the next day that it was a sleeping draught that would have knocked him out for the rest of the night. When Harry woke up in the morning, Ron and Hermione were there to take him home and he was informed that Healer Malfoy would not be coming in that day.
As Harry left St. Mungo's the next day with his friends, he noticed Nathaniel was at his desk. He walked up to the young man and nodded. "I hope you didn't get in a lot of trouble yesterday."
Nathaniel smiled and shook his head. "It's was alright, actually. Everyone thought I was great because I apparently came to your rescue so fast. I didn't correct them."
"And with Healer Malfoy?"
"Well, I was used to being ignored by him in the first place; last night as he left he ignored me on purpose. I'd say that's a step in the right direction."
Harry laughed, then he grabbed his side, his bones were weak from the poison. "You'll do alright, Nathaniel. See you soon."
"Take care, Mr. Potter, and let me know if I could ever help. Hopefully, not in an urgent medical scenario."
"I'll keep you posted, mate." Harry smiled at his young friend who grinned back with delight.
"Making friends everywhere I see," Hermione commented as the three friends left the hospital and Disapparated.
At Harry's home, he asked Hermione why she didn't tell him that Draco had stopped by.
"I wasn't sure what he was on about, I didn't know the full details of why he was upset with you. I only realised later when you told me everything. I kept it to myself because I thought the two of you had a tiff and that you would resolve it. I had noticed that you were becoming fast friends. I didn't want to do anything to jeopardize that and I liked how he took your mind off Ginny."
Harry simply nodded. He felt defeated. His plan hadn't worked and this time he didn't even get enough rest in the hospital and was discharged early. He was about to feel more sorry for himself until Hermione interrupted his thoughts.
"Oh, I have something for you." She exclaimed, "Actually it's for Draco, but I thought you might gift it to him. As your peace offering."
"What is it?"
Hermione removed a magazine from her handbag and handed it to Harry.
"It is the next issue of 'Wizarding Medicine'. The main article was written by Draco and it discusses his new book that's going to be on the stands next month. It's got a few excerpts from his book, and our publishing company's name is all over it. I've already received an early copy of the book and I sent one to the Prophet. Their medical journalist wrote a glorious review!" Hermione stopped for a breath. "I was going to frame the article and the Prophet review and display it on our window. So, I thought..."
"That I could give Draco a framed copy as well!" Harry shouted, "Hermione, that's brilliant."
"Why don't you rest up," Hermione said. "And I'll owl you everything by tonight. So you can go deliver your little peace offering to Draco tomorrow."
"You don't waste any time." Harry smiled looking at his friends.
"Her? Of course not. Have you met her?" Ron added.
As Hermione had promised, later that night Harry received an owl from her with a small package that contained three things. A copy of Draco's book, the magazine article she mentioned along with the Prophet review framed.
The next morning Harry felt better. He thought he was well enough to Apparate to St. Mungo's by himself and talk with Draco. He wouldn't be poisoning himself again, instead he would simply make an excuse stating that he felt sick and wanted to follow up with his Healer.
When he arrived he glanced over at the front desk again. Nathaniel was there. He smiled at Nathaniel who grinned back noticing that Harry was carrying a small package and a bouquet of flowers. As Harry approached Nathaniel, his grin had faded.
"Mr. Potter, I am sorry to inform you that Healer Malfoy isn't in today."
"Oh," a disappointed Harry responded.
"He's gone to visit his family at the Manor. I believe it is his birthday, he has taken a holiday for a handful of days."
Harry stood at the desk looking defeated.
"If you wish, I can provide you with the address..."
"No, that's quite alright, Nathaniel. I know where the Malfoy Manor is," Harry responded. He hadn't been to the Manor in eight years. He had never had a reason to go back and he avoided all conversations about it with his friends who had suffered the same torment as him.
"Oh, of course," Nathaniel responded.
"Thank you for everything, Nathaniel. I am quite grateful for your help."
"So are you going to go to the Manor?"
"I am not sure," Harry answered.
"Oh, why not?"
"There's too much of a dark past there. I am not sure if I am ready to go down that memory lane."
"Not even for love?" Nathaniel asked with the pure innocence of a first year at Hogwarts.
"What good is the gesture if he doesn't even love me back?"
"So, you won't even try. I thought you were 'the saviour?' The boy who wasn't afraid to die?" Nathaniel asked.
"Dying seems a lot simpler right now than confessing feelings of love to Draco Malfoy."
Nathaniel laughed, "Yeah, Healer Malfoy is a little scary. I won't deny that. But what is living if you're not really living? You're hibernating." Harry raised an eyebrow with confusion. Nathaniel continued, "When you're not with the one that gives you passion and a drive to be better and disables your anxieties, isn't that a sort of death?"
"Would you rather get back together with your ex?"
"How do you know?"
"I am the eyes and the ears of this hospital. Most don't notice me, but I notice everyone," Nathaniel answered. "I have seen you when you've come here to speak to Healer Weasley and how you were when you've stopped by to speak with Healer Malfoy. Your actions are different; the yearning in your eyes is different. You'd really be doing everyone a favour if you confessed to him; it's not that hard to see that he feels the same way."
"How do you know?" Harry asked again. He was surprised at Nathaniel's knowledge and insight.
"I noticed that he was polite yet short with everyone. Then, he became friends with you and you'd stop by a few times to see him or greet him when you came to meet him for coffee. He was happy; he even presented many people with a smile along with his casual politeness. Then, I suppose the two of you must have had a tiff, when he became worse than he was. The only people he was polite to were the patients and he almost never smiled."
"But why is he avoiding me so much?" Harry asked.
"You must have done something pretty awful then."
"I sort of did. But, I didn't think he'd completely dissolve our friendship."
"Perhaps a bit of grovelling is in order. Maybe you need to take the extra step and show up where he expects you least."
"Like the Manor."
"And from what I see, you've already got the birthday gifts in your hands," Nathaniel smiled.
"But I didn't even know it was his birthday."
"Then it'll be our little secret." The young man gave Harry a sly wink.
Harry walked around the Muggle streets outside St. Mungo's for a while. He couldn't decide if he should actually do what Nathaniel had suggested. He wondered if he should contact Ron or Hermione and ask for their opinion.
But before he could conclude his decision, he saw Ginny. She hadn't seen him. That moment became a moment of clarity for Harry. He remembered Nathaniel's words. Ginny didn't provide passion in his life anymore, and if there was anything he needed to tackle in his life, it was going to be through Draco. Ever since he had begun spending more time with Draco, at he had woken up. He had been hibernating, the business took care of itself and Hermione was there for everything else. He'd really had a boring routine in his life before Ginny had broken up with him again and she had done him a favour because he had finally kindled a friendship with Draco that had lost its chance so many years before. They were different people now; Draco was different now. He was a compassionate, kind, and a funny man. He was a man. Harry realised that the only thing that kept stopping him from pursuing Draco as much as he would have if it were Ginny or some other girl was that he was a man.
Maybe it was time to chase after someone who makes you feel alive, regardless of the fact that he is a bloke.
And with that thought, Harry decided to find the closest Apparition point and go to the Malfoy Manor.
He arrived at the gates of the Malfoy Manor and waited for a few moments, expecting a house-elf to appear. Shortly after, Harry was lead to the front door. Narcissa Malfoy stood in the hallway awaiting Harry Potter's arrival.
"Harry Potter, this is a surprise."
"Mrs. Malfoy, it's nice to see you. Is Draco here?"
"Yes, he's here. He went upstairs to his old room to wait for a few moments when he heard that you were here. He was quite shocked, I must say."
"Yes, as shocked as I am to be here, I am sure," Harry answered. He looked around the familiar hallway, and walked with Narcissa to the common room where the flashback of Hermione being tortured by Bellatrix came rushing to him. He closed his eyes for a few seconds.
"I can imagine that it must be hard to be back here after all this time. Draco barely comes to visit himself." Narcissa attempted to ease Harry's worries and he simply nodded to her. "I must take my leave. I was about to leave to meet a friend for tea. I am sure Nini here can show you the way to Draco's room."
"Okay, thank you. Have a good evening, Mrs. Malfoy." Harry nodded respectfully to Narcissa and followed Nini up the stairs.
Harry trailed behind Nini for a few moments down a long hallway passing several doors. She finally stopped in front of a door with the initials 'DM' engraved on them. She gestured towards the door and bowed to Harry.
"Thank you," Harry whispered and she Disapparated.
Harry knocked on the door and waited for a response. Draco opened his former bedroom door swiftly and looked surprised to see Harry.
Harry held out the bouquet of flowers he was carrying and presented them to Draco, "Happy birthday, Draco."
"How did you know?" Draco didn't accept the flowers. He simply stood in front of Harry with a questioning look in his eyes.
"Your eyes make the most intense gestures," Harry responded.
"That's not answering my question."
"I would answer if you accept them."
Draco grabbed the bouquet presented in front of him and turned around to walk back into his room. Harry followed.
"What do you expect to gain from these flowers?" Draco asked, secretly smelling the flowers before Transfiguring a small wooden box into a vase to place the flowers in them.
"I've told you already there's nothing to forgive. The fault was my own."
"No, it wasn't!" Harry raised his voice then paused to calm down. "Okay, forget that. I've got something else for you." He placed the small box he was carrying onto a table and opened it.
"What do you have?" Draco asked curiously. Harry had learned enough about Draco to know that he was always interested in receiving gifts. Draco blushed when he realised that his inquisitiveness had gotten the best of him, regardless of how upset he might have seemed.
Harry opened the box and revealed the three gifts to Draco. Draco's eyes widened when he saw his published book.
"I thought Hermione said that the editing would take longer than she anticipated?" Draco asked.
"I think she was underestimating herself. She's quite determined when she sets her mind to something. She wanted to make sure that it's the #1 Medical Bestseller before autumn so the healer training programs would require their students to get the book. That would quadruple our sales or something." Harry grinned as Draco hesitantly smiled in return. Harry hadn't noticed it before, but he had become quite proficient in reading Draco's responses. He could tell when Draco was genuinely excited and when he was faking it, similarly, he could tell when Draco was attempting to hide his excitement. He may have missed the signs in Draco's eyes that displayed his desire for Harry, but Harry never missed the way Draco reacted to something. The Draco he now knew, the kind man he was so madly in love with, had little tells about him that made him even more adorable at his bashful moments.
"What else do you have?" Draco asked, his prying eyes attempting to look in the box placed on the bedroom table.
Harry removed the last two pieces at the same time. Draco took both of the frames from Harry's hands and held onto them as though he was reading both the articles at the same time. "This... this is incredible," Draco muttered. "You managed to do all of this for my birthday?" He looked up at Harry, grey eyes slightly moistened, exacting gratitude.
"Well, not exactly. We... Hermione and I did this to surprise you, and conveniently, it happens to be your birthday."
"How did you know it was my birthday?"
"So... I may have stopped by the hospital before, when I found out that you were here instead."
"The bloke at the front desk told you," Draco stated and Harry nodded.
"So what was all of this, the flowers, the gifts, if not a birthday present?"
"They were..." Harry paused for a few moments then rushed through the rest of the words, "Draco, I love you, please go out with me presents."
"What? What did you just say?"
"Go out with me?" Harry squinted as he shrugged.
"Oh, Draco, I love you." Harry answered whilst he stared at his shoes, too afraid to meet Draco's eyes and read what was indicated in them.
When Harry finally looked up he noticed that Draco had diminished the distance between the two of them significantly. He looked up to meet Draco's eyes that were first met by his own, then glanced at Harry's lips as he licked his lower lip. The action immediately caused Harry to bite his lower lip in apprehension.
"Don't do that. I hate it when you do that," Draco whispered.
"Bite your lower lip, when you're nervous. It's the most... enticing invitation for a kiss."
"It is?" Harry asked.
Draco nodded a yes.
"Do I do it a lot?"
Draco nodded a yes again.
"And that," Draco said as he pulled Harry in towards himself. Harry reached up to meet Draco's lips, his hands tying themselves around Draco's waist and as their lips were about to connect Draco pulled back and spoke again. "I am not someone you can simply toy with, Potter."
"What part of any of this states that I am interested in simply toying with you?"
Draco didn't respond.
"Okay, so I am going to kiss you now, and you are going to let it happen. If you pull back one more time..."
"Then what? Then you'll leave?" Draco asked.
"No, then I am going to push you on this bed, pin you down and make it happen."
Harry pulled Draco towards him and brushed his cheek with the back of his hand. Draco shuddered at Harry's touch and closed his eyes. Harry leaned in and gently placed his lips on Draco's. Draco took a deep breath in and slightly opened his mouth welcoming Harry's tongue.
Tongue tussling and lip biting continued for a few moments until Harry pushed Draco on the bed, nonetheless. Draco ran his hands through Harry's hair as Harry did the same, tugging on Draco's hair pulling Draco towards himself. Their lips parted for a few moments to gasp for air and they were attached to each other again. The intense desire Harry felt for Draco in the past did not compare to how he felt by actually being with Draco. He loved the way Draco smelled, the way he tasted and he wanted more. He began unbuttoning Draco's robes as he moaned when Draco's tongue won the tussling match he sucked on it with a powerful need.
"Maybe we shouldn't do this here," Draco said, panting for air as he detached from Harry's mouth.
"But I need you," Harry pleaded.
"What do you need?"
"Everything, I want to touch you, taste you, feel you," Harry responded.
"Have you ever done this before?" Draco asked.
"No, not with..."
"Not with a man. You've never touched, tasted, or felt a man before," Draco said, as though he made more of a statement rather than ask a question.
"Then how do you know you want this for real? How do you know it's genuine? What if one touch of my cock and you'll change your mind?"
"Draco, why are you being so..." Harry was lost at words.
"Cautious? Because Harry, I am gay. I fuck men, I suck cock. It isn't a fling for me, it's not an experimentation; it's my lifestyle. It's who I am. I am not going to fuck you if I think you're going to regret it. I don't want you to break my heart again."
"How do I know that you won't hate fucking me? How do I know that I won't be a terrible shag and you'll never want to speak to me again? How do I know you won't break my heart?" Harry asked in response.
Draco didn't respond. Harry noted his eyes looked disoriented as though Harry had said something completely unbelievable.
"What is it? What are you thinking?" Harry asked.
"I highly doubt that you'll be a terrible shag," Draco responded.
"Why do you say that?"
"Name a few," Harry commanded.
"There's the way you kiss, the way your hands know exactly the right spot to squeeze, the way your tongue massaged my neck and then..." Draco paused.
"My desire for you. The first time you came to the hospital, I examined your body, your naked body as a professional, but the second time, I knew I wanted you. I had missed you, your company, your touch. I knew that being alone with you would be difficult, so I asked one of my assistants to check and I stood and observed. It was horrible, the thoughts I had, the things I wished I could do to you, with you..." Draco dropped his gaze on the floor with humiliation.
"You wanted to touch me when you saw my naked body on the hospital bed?" Harry smiled. "That sounds kinky."
"Shut up, it was utterly unprofessional, not to mention criminal."
"Draco, I know you wouldn't have done that. I trust you completely."
Draco nodded but didn't remove his gaze from the floor.
"Why don't we start fresh?" Harry asked. "Let's get out of here. Why don't you pop by your flat and you can drop these gifts off there if you wish, then you can come by my house and I can make you dinner for your birthday and we can have a proper date, and conversation and all that sort of thing regular people do."
"You'll make me dinner?" Draco asked.
"Well, I'll probably pick up some Thai food and arrange it really well in my kitchen." Harry laughed.
Draco smiled but his eyes seemed to betray him again. Harry noted a hint of sadness in them.
"Please say you'll come," Harry pleaded.
Draco smiled and nodded. "I promise," he replied as he kissed Harry's cheek. Harry stood up shortly after and Draco pulled on his hand. "You're hard," he stated.
"Yes. We were engaged in quite the intimate moment," Harry responded.
"Yeah, I just didn't think..."
"Well, there was the snogging, then your tongue was on my neck, you talked about sucking cock, along with your comment about your desire to do things to my naked body." Harry laughed. "Believe it or not but those are all very enticing proposals for stimulation," Harry added as he pointed towards his groin.
"What time did you want me to stop by?" Draco asked immediately.
Harry laughed. Draco was finally getting accustomed to the fact that Harry wanted him. "Within the hour. I'll be home...waiting." Harry pulled Draco up on his feet and pulled him in for one last kiss. He sucked on Draco's lower lip as Draco wrapped his arms around Harry enclosing him tightly towards his body. Harry began to rock his body against Draco's as he felt Draco's erection push into his thigh. The two men broke the kiss, yet again gasping for air, when Harry spoke again, "I best leave before the mature decision we made fades and you take me on this bed."
"A tempting offer."
"I'll see you soon."
Just as he had promised, Draco arrived at number 12, Grimmauld Place within the hour. He knocked on Harry's door and Harry opened it right away.
"Perfect timing!" he commented. "I just got the food delivered."
"Couldn't even go to pick it up, I see. Lazy, Potter." Draco smirked in response.
Harry grabbed Draco's arm and pulled him into the house. "House tour later, the kitchen's this way." Harry grabbed Draco's coat and placed it on the sofa of his sitting room. Draco still held onto the small bag he was carrying with him.
When they arrived in the kitchen Harry let go of Draco's arm and began preparing the meal on the kitchen table. He gestured for Draco to sit as he went to the cupboard to grab a few plates and silverware to set the table up. Harry had his back towards Draco as he was grabbing the dishes, he felt two arms wrap around his waist and lock in front of his stomach.
Harry leaned back into Draco's chest and dropped whatever he was doing. Draco nuzzled into Harry's neck and dropped a small kiss. Harry moaned as he felt Draco's wet lips on his neck, he instantly pushed back into Draco's groin and Draco's grasp against his waist became tighter.
"I am not really that hungry, at the moment," Draco whispered in Harry's ear.
"It is your birthday so you'll be calling the shots," Harry answered.
"That's a good boy," Draco whispered in return and Harry whimpered at the comment, he turned to grab onto Draco's lips as furiously as he could.
Draco grabbed Harry by the waist and pulled him up to sit on the counter as Harry wrapped his legs around Draco pulling him in. "I want you so much, Draco," Harry said right before he welcomed Draco's tongue in his mouth for the fifth time that day.
Draco slowly unbuttoned Harry's shirt and kissed him in a straight line starting from his neck down to his stomach. His mouth reached Harry's trousers and his hands immediately began to unbuckle the belt. He paused for a brief moment to look into Harry's eyes; grey eyes spoke of lust as they met the eager green emerald ones. "Are you okay with this... here?"
Harry nodded as he grabbed Draco's white blond locks and pushed his head back to where it was dropping his own head back moaning with pleasure.
Draco unzipped Harry's trousers and began to pull on them. Harry placed the palms of his hands on the kitchen counter and pushed himself up in the air so Draco could easily remove his trousers. Draco succeeded, beautifully freeing Harry's erect cock. Draco's eyes shot another lustful look into Harry's, aching with desire to taste him, to spend as much time as he could licking and sucking and everything else of that sort. It wasn't long until the silence in the kitchen had been replaced by Harry's moans that came in between the sound of Draco's sucking. A few short moments later Harry filled Draco's mouth with pleasure causing Draco to gag and moan in unison.
"Take me," Draco panted, "to your bedroom. Please," Draco pleaded as Harry grinned.
Harry jumped off the counter and pulled up his trousers, as Draco grabbed the bag he had brought with him. Within seconds Harry had Apparated them to his bedroom.
The moment they arrived in Harry's bedroom, Harry twisted his ankle and fell against the bed bellowing a painful scream.
"Harry! Are you alright?"
"Yeah I just landed at a funny angle, I think. My ankle hurts."
"Here let me see!" Draco knelt down as to take a closer look at Harry's ankle, as Harry sat on his bed. "It doesn't look bruised, if you really hurt it, it might get swollen shortly."
"I think I need a Healer." Harry grinned as he spoke.
Draco was still concentrating on Harry's feet removing his shoes and socks. "It's a good thing I am here," he responded seriously.
"Yeah, I might need a full body exam." Harry attempted to not grin as he shook his head in solemnity.
Draco's look darted up from Harry's ankle to meet his eyes, the anxiety that had captured Draco's grey eyes had disappeared, instead his eyes were full of amusement. His expression changed from grim to playfulness in mere seconds. He shook his head for a moment then responded, "I'll be sure to be very thorough."
"I insist that you would be," Harry replied, unable to hide his excitement.
Author's Notes: The title is inspired from: "You live like this, sheltered, in a delicate world, and you believe you are living. Then you read a book… or you take a trip… and you discover that you are not living, that you are hibernating. The symptoms of hibernating are easily detectable: first, restlessness. The second symptom (when hibernating becomes dangerous and might degenerate into death): absence of pleasure. That is all. It appears like an innocuous illness. Monotony, boredom, death. Millions live like this (or die like this) without knowing it. They work in offices. They drive a car. They picnic with their families. They raise children. And then some shock treatment takes place, a person, a book, a song, and it awakens them and saves them from death. Some never awaken." ~ Anais Nin
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