Author LJ Name: 0idontknow0
Prompt Number: 46
Title: A Happy Accident Courtesy of Alice Longbottom
Pairing(s): Harry/Draco
Summary: It took Alice Longbottom's misfired sticking charm to make Harry and Draco sort of get along. Everything after that was all them.
Rating: NC17 (barely)
Disclaimer: All Harry Potter characters herein are the property of J.K. Rowling and Bloomsbury/Scholastic. No copyright infringement is intended.
Warning(s): Nothing that I can think of.
Epilogue compliant? Haha, not at all.
Word Count: ~16k
Author's Notes: Thanks to my lovely beta A for the lovely work. To the mystery prompter for the prompt. And to the mods for being SO nice about extensions, so so nice. Someone needs to give them cookies or something.

q...p

Day 1 - Wednesday

q...p

There was a flash of light that flew from mini-Longbottom's wand. It zipped and zagged and bounced and reflected through the Great Hall at an alarming speed. Draco knew he would have managed to evade the blasted spell if he and Potter had not veered in the same bloody direction and gone tumbling to the floor.

"Bloody fu- Ow," Potter groaned, as they both began to rise. "Malfoy, watch where you're-"

"What did you cast?" he asked mini-Longbottom, ignoring Potter because the man's priorities were clearly in need of some sorting.

"It- it was a sticking charm, P-professor Malfoy," she stammered, her eyes wide. "I was trying to bind my book and it wasn't working and I got frustrated and-"

"A sticking-" he stopped when he felt it. There was a tug in his navel that seemed to get more uncomfortable the further he got from Potter. "Merlin."

"What was that?" Potter asked.

Draco took a few steps forwards and the tug persisted as Potter stumbled along with him.

"This isn't happening," he whispered, as he thought about being attached to Potter and having to be accompanied by the man everywhere he went. There was only about 4ft between them, which really was not much, so what privacy he had was ruined and he would have to factor Potter into every aspect of his life.

Draco, relax. Think. Cast the counter spell and it'll be sorted.

He made an attempt at casting the counter spell but that infuriating tug remained by his navel. Draco gave it another try but to no avail. Potter cast as well but the result was the same. They even attempted casting together and nothing happened.

"Right, well, Filius can-" Potter began, but Draco ignored him. He tried casting the counter spell on them individually and together. He tried variations.

Nothing.

"Miss Longbottom, cast the counter spell," he demanded.

He liked to think that he had actually heard her swallowing in fear just then. If she understood the extent of his anger, and maybe some of his fear, then perhaps she would try to be more careful with her spell casting in the future, and hopefully more diligent in her potions making, because she was a disaster.

"Please, Alice," Potter added, sending a quick glare in Draco's direction. The man did not wear glasses anymore, some Muggle surgery rubbish basically repaired his eyesight, so the glare was unhindered by those ridiculous round frames.

"I-I don't know if I can," the second year said.

"The counter spell, Miss Longbottom," he said, enunciating his words.

"Malfoy, you're frightening her," Potter said, walking up to the little girl that was nervously pulling at her plait.

"It isn't my fault she's a Longbottom through and through," he muttered under his breath. Potter did not seem to hear him but that was fine. Draco was trying not to publicise just how much this was bothering him and an argument with Potter would definitely do that.

"It's all right, Alice," Potter said consolingly. "We both know it was an accident."

"Are you sure, Uncle Harry?" mini-Longbottom asked, her eyes wide with worry. Draco could not say he was entirely comfortable with the fact that she had to wave a wand at them either. "What if I-"

"Just give it a try," Potter said calmly. "It's fine if it doesn't work."

No, it's not fine, Draco thought.

"Okay," the girl nodded, gripping her wand and lifting it towards them.

"Do try to stop trembling, Miss Longbottom," he said, in as calm a voice as he could manage. It would not do to have her cast with the wrong spell pattern.

"What Professor Malfoy means is to cast when you think you're ready," Potter said, shooting Draco a glare.

After a few deep breaths and mutters at herself, the girl cast. She looked at them hopefully and Draco slowly moved away from Potter. He closed his eyes carefully and let out a breath so that he would not start at the girl because the damned tug was still there.

"I'm sorry!" mini-Longbottom exclaimed.

After her failed attempt the other students, who had been watching the goings-on with rapt attention and tangible anxiety, had begun to mutter at one another excitedly. If only they paid such close attention in their classes.

"Alice, it's all right. Calm down," Potter hushed. "There's no need to get flustered. I'm sure we'll find a way to-"

"We're going to Flitwick's, Potter," Draco announced, heading for the doors.

The Charms professor could surely break this ridiculous charm. He lurched and staggered backwards, the tug a bit harsher than previously. Draco spun around and glowered at Potter.

"Do you not want to get unattached?" he asked. "Because I, for one, would appreciate being able to walk around without a tail."

"We can't just leave an upset student-"

"Miss Longbottom will be perfectly fine," he said. They were the ones who had to deal with a possible catastrophe, because there was no way the two of them could function properly while joined as they were and Draco, for one, did not approve of the many variables that Potter would add to his life. "She isn't injured, she has her companions with her and if she really needed help, Potter, her father is on the grounds. We, however, have a problem."

Draco took another step towards the door for emphasis and ignored the bloody tugging. It seemed that the intensity of it was directly proportional to the force that they moved with.

Potter shot him another glare before turning to the girl, again. "Don't fret too much, yeah?" he said.

The girl nodded and Potter finally turned towards him so they could remedy their situation.

"You've got no bloody patience, Malfoy," Potter muttered at him.

"If I did not know any better, Potter, I'd think you didn't mind having to stay within 4 feet of me," he said.

q...p

Day 2 - Thursday

q...p

At breakfast Harry and Malfoy were barely looking at each other. Filius had been unable to break the charm and needed an undecided period of time to work on it, which meant Harry and Malfoy now had to share rooms and attend one another's classes. He was not looking forwards to having to drag Malfoy everywhere with him. Apart from this being a complete intrusion on his life, when the bloody hell would he be able to have a wank? Malfoy would be around him all the time, and it was not as if he would be able to go and pull anyone during this time either.

In all honesty, he had not been too bothered by the situation at first because he reckoned that Filius would have been able to counter Alice's spell, but now... Now he had to wait Merlin knew how long until someone figured this out, which meant that he had to stay around Malfoy- good looking, holds his head up high despite society's maltreatment of him but still a git and one of Harry's wank fantasies Malfoy.

Things were already proving difficult and it had not even been 24 hours as yet. Malfoy had demanded that they plan a schedule the previous evening and it had been... an experience. One that had had the two of them muttering and swearing at one another and exposing far too much of their lives for Harry's liking.

Needless to say, it had been a tiresome evening and by the end of it they had managed to agree on a very basic schedule and had had quite enough of even having to look at one another. Harry doubted he could ever get enough of staring at Malfoy's arse though, which happened to look even better in silk pyjama bottoms. Not that he was going to let the git know it.

Sometimes he really wished his cock and brain would communicate so that he would not have to suffer through conflicting situations, like despising Malfoy while wanting those ridiculously rosy lips stretched around his cock.

It would bloody well shut him up though.

"Harry," Neville called, sitting in the chair beside him and effectively cutting off the young Defence professor, Melanie Milita. She did not look too pleased at Neville's rudeness and gave a huff before walking off.

"Neville," he nodded.

"Harry, I'm so sorry," Neville said, looking a bit worried. "I heard what happened and Alice is absolutely devastated that she couldn't perform the counter spell and I heard that Filius-"

"Neville, calm down," he said, setting down his goblet. "It's not that terrible." That was lie, of course, but he did not want Neville fretting over it.

"It is that terrible," Malfoy butt in. Of course he would. "Potter, you snore like a dragon, you're messy, you refuse to wake up on time-"

"Malfoy, who wakes up that early?" he asked. "And while we're on the topic, you take forever to shower. Do you know how long I had to sit and wait for you to finish?"

"Oh shut it, Potter," Malfoy glowered. "At least you got to sleep."

"Oh, well let's not forget that you make a fuss over the stupidest things. You've got serious control issues," he said.

"And you just have issues in general," Malfoy countered. "You're a grown man and you have to sleep with some sort of light on. You aren't five anymore, Potter. Get over it. The boggarts won't get you."

"Godric, you're infuriating-"

"I feel worse about this than the time I thought I killed you," Neville muttered.

"When you what?" Harry frowned.

"Nothing," Neville said, shaking his head. "I just hope to Godric that Filius figures this out soon. You two might end up murdering one another otherwise."

"Perhaps I'll slip him a potion, Longbottom," Malfoy drawled, sipping whatever he had in his goblet. "The students are brewing Draught of Living Death this- For Merlin's sake I'm not serious you dolts. Do I look as if I want to be thrown in Azkaban?"

"I don't think people consider Azkaban while committing crimes of passion, Malfoy," Longbottom said.

"Poison is methodical, Longbottom," Malfoy corrected. "It takes forethought. It is no crime of passion."

"Comforting to know you've thought that out," Harry muttered.

"Gentlemen," came Minerva's displeased, voice.

Harry winced and Neville froze.

"You're causing quite the scene," she said. Harry could just imagine her pursed lips.

"We were just concluding our conversation, Headmistress," Malfoy lied. "In fact, I have class in ten minutes and I should fetch my things from now since my rooms are no longer in the dungeons."

"You're going to what?" Harry asked. He was not finished eating.

"It's not my fault you don't use your watch, Potter," Malfoy drawled, as he set his cutlery down. "And it was on the schedule."

"I bloody well know it was on the schedule. I just d-"

"If we're going to have a disagreement, Potter, I'd appreciate it if it was mobile. I do have a class to teach after all," Malfoy said, rising from his seat and walking off.

Harry swore and nicked his goblet and some fruits from the table before he was dragged along. He would need to check the damned schedule regularly he reckoned.

q...p

Dragging Potter along during his classes was not at all easy for Draco to tolerate. The pair of them were incapable of having any idea of what the other was about do and had wound up stopping or pulling each other along more times than he could count. It seemed to put the students on edge, not surprising with the way the man would object to Draco's strictness and thus spark a disagreement. He had to remind Potter that it was his classroom and that the method of teaching was up to him.

By the time the two of them had finished that 'discussion' the students were staring, ignoring them, or trying to disappear behind their cauldrons. They had been particularly timid when handing Draco their phials at the end of the class, which was rather smart on their part because he was absolutely livid, and apparently Potter was as well, because he tried to leave the dungeons so swiftly that Draco had to complain about the discomfort from the charm's damned tugging.

Following Potter to his Flying classes were even less pleasant. Since there was no way in Circe that Draco would have been able to stay within four feet of the man while flying around, he had had to share a broom with Potter when one student proved to be inept and needed rescuing.

Draco had practically thrown himself off the broom when they landed and had kept as much distance as he could between them because all he could think of was the bloody heat. Flying with Potter had reminded him of the fiendfyre and that was something he consciously made an effort to forget. There were a few things Draco chose to omit from memory when it came to the war and getting his arse saved while Vincent burned was one of them.

He waited impatiently for the flying class to end and the moment Potter dismissed the students he turned to leave.

"Oi, I've got to put the brooms away," Potter said, as if Draco should have known that, "Other way."

"Can't you have the elves do it?" he asked. Draco wanted to get to his- their quarters so he could grab a calming draught.

"No, and it'll only take a second anyway," Potter said, barely looking at him.

"Just hurry up," he said.

"Lunch isn't going anywhere, Malfoy," Potter said.

q...p

Day 3 - Friday

q...p

As usual, Draco woke up before his Tempus alarm went off. He disabled it and stretched before getting up. With a yawn, he opened the bedside table that he and Potter had to share and pulled out his morning draught before downing it and vanishing the phial into his empty pile. He had made sure to charm his drawer so that he was the only one able to open it. He then summoned his toothbrush and related toiletries, as well as a mug that he then filled using a quick Aguamenti. Draco brushed his teeth and gargled his mouthwash before waking Potter.

The rooms they were using were on the ground floor, neutral territory since they were both heads of houses, and the house elves had thankfully given them separate beds. They were a bit closer together than Draco would have liked but he doubted that could be helped. They were also smaller than he would have liked and reminded him of the ones in the student dorms.

"Mmmm," Potter complained, as he twitched and jerked away from Draco.

If the tug was not there, Draco would have lurched away from Potter with enough force to drag him off of the bed and send him tumbling to the floor. As it was though, the tug was there. He also did not want to aggravate Potter's hip injury and then have to drag him to the Hospital Wing.

"Wake up," he said, dragging the covers off the other man. Instead of waking up, Potter curled in on himself and grumbled.

He gave the man a flat stare and cast an Aguamenti at him. There was only so much time he was willing to spend on this. Potter jolted awake as he coughed, sputtered and attempted to get away from the stream of water that Draco had already stopped.

"Good morning. Time to wake up," he said, casting a drying charm. No need to have Potter wet the floor that they both had to walk on. "I suspect it's nearly 7:15 and we both need to get ready for breakfast."

"Bloody hell, Malfoy!" Potter yelled at him. "Out of bed, Potter," he said, motioning for the man to rise. "I'm going to shower."

"I don't know why we can't just sleep in a bit more. Classes don't start until 9," the man grumbled, clambering out the bed. "We bloody live in the castle too. It doesn't take long to get to-"

"We're both getting ready and I like to ensure that my things are in order so that when I come for them I'm able to simply grab them and go. There are too many fluids at the Head Table for me to risk bringing them," he explained, again.

"Let me grab one of the chairs from the table so I can sit while I'm waiting outside the shower."

q...p

Day 4 - Saturday

q...p

Four days and three nights, that was how long Harry had been bound to Malfoy.

Four days and three nights also happened to be how long Harry had gone without a wank, and he desperately needed one since sex on a stick waltzed around with him every second of the day.

Now, while Malfoy was wonderful eye candy, with his lustrous hair that was always neatly combed, his slender yet lean frame, his dexterous hands, long leg-

Getting back on track, Malfoy was annoying, despite his good looks, and Harry was growing tired of the snide remarks and the man's compulsion to always know what was going on, or what would be going on so that he could 'plan accordingly'.

"Potter, we've got an appointment with Flitwick," Malfoy said, fussing over his robes. "Make haste."

"We're not going to be late you know, Malfoy," he pointed out.

How could they be with the way Malfoy always prepared his things insanely early and began to get dressed so far ahead of time that they almost always, and this only fluctuated because of Harry, arrived at their destination 15 minutes early?

He reckoned it would have been more if Malfoy did not have to nag at him.

"It's rather frustrating that while I'm striving to be punctual you are simply striving to avoid lateness," Malfoy said, apparently satisfied with his robes. Harry wondered vaguely about what would happen if he wrinkled the man's clothes but reckoned that finding out was too much trouble.

"They both translate to being there on time," he kindly pointed out. "Loo."

They walked in the direction of the loo and Malfoy stood outside the door while Harry went about his business. The toilet was thankfully close enough to the door for that.

"Privacy charms, Potter," Malfoy said.

"Cast it yourself if you're so bloody uncomfortable," he muttered. When Harry was done, they headed over to Filius' office.

"Filius," Malfoy said, upon entering. "Tell me you've lived up to the praise and found us a solution."

"Unfortunately, no, Draco," Filius said, looking at them both apologetically. "I wanted to run a few tests though."

"Fire away," Harry sighed, and with that Filius began casting and note-taking before dismissing them. Harry was not too fond of the knit of his brows. It seemed that they would be stuck together for a while.

"I don't know what Minerva was worried about," came Dumbledore's voice. "The young lads are getting on swimmingly, Severus."

"I question your definition of the word swimmingly, Albus," Severus said. "They are being tolerant, to an extent. There are murmurs of them frightening the students with their squabbles."

"Yes, but they've always done that, haven't they?" Dumbledore said.

"Have the two of you been following us?" Harry asked, spotting them walking through nearby portraits.

"No, but that would prove most interesting," Dumbledore chuckled. "I simply enjoy taking Severus out of his frame some afternoons, exercise his pigments. He doesn't get out very much unless I coax him."

"That is my preference, Albus," Snape drawled. "And if you did not insist on going on about every Bertie Bots jelly bean you had managed to try whilst alive, then I would still be in my frame."

"Yes, yes," Dumbledore nodded. "Now, I don't imagine Filius has made any progress with that counter spell. Has he?"

"The old man knows how to free us and he isn't going to be forthcoming about the information," Malfoy said flatly, glaring at Dumbledore. "Am I right?"

"What do you mean, dear boy?" Dumbledore asked, his eyes twinkling.

"Albus," Snape said, with a put-upon sigh. "You've been a portrait for too long if you've decided to use them as entertainment."

"Entertainment?" Malfoy scowled.

"Severus, I do recall you taking a certain amount of joy in watching a few disastrous events."

"I hope you aren't expecting what I think you are by withholding information," Snape muttered.

"Expecting what?" Harry frowned, but the two had walked off, Snape with a smirk and Dumbledore with a knowing smile.

q...p

Potter was a dead man.

It was a Hogsmeade weekend and Draco and Potter had pulled the later shift of that day. They made sure that all the students had gotten onto the carriages and then patrolled the village to ensure that no one was left behind. They were supposed to leave after that but, as it stood, Draco was in the Three Broomsticks with Potter, his two lackeys and Longbottom. First, they had stayed so Potter and Longbottom could socialise with each other and then Weasley and Granger-Weasley had arrived half an hour later.

Draco was not pleased. This was not what he and Potter had agreed to and he had already planned his evening.

"Does he have to sit with us? This is a little awkward," Weasley muttered, frowning at Draco.

"I can assure you that I've no interest in your business, Weasley," he said. "I would much rather be marking the essays I had planned to grade tonight."

"You can do it tomorrow, Malfoy," Potter said, rolling his eyes. "There's not much on the schedule, is there?"

"Schedule?" Weasley asked. His wife looked oddly impressed at the mention of it.

"Be that as it may, I had set aside time specifically for that purpose so I could have some moments to relax tomorrow," he said. "Wherein I would ignore you and pretend this entire thing was not happening and you could do the same if you so wished."

"This must be such an inconvenience," Granger-Weasley said.

"I think they know that," Weasley said, receiving affirmation from the other men.

Potter's companions seemed far less amused than Draco's had been. Blaise and Theo had gotten the news from Pansy and the two of them had seemed amused in their owls. All three of them had agreed that it would probably do him some good to live out of his routine for a while though. The traitors.

"How does taking a shower and using the loo work?" Granger-Weasley asked. "I can't exactly imagine that being anything but awkward."

"This is not a valid topic for discussion," Potter said, which was probably the only thing Draco would agree with the man about. "How about you tell us about the progress you've made in the MLE instead?"

The Gryffindors chatted about things that Draco held absolutely no interest in, mostly, and he sat there and attempted to ignore them. On a few occasions he would mutter some sort of remark because it was impossible not to when certain things were said. Otherwise, all he did was check the time, sneer at Weasley every time he glared at Draco's finger tapping on the table and sip at his butterbeer –he did not like to drink anything strong when he was not home and hard liquor would interfere with his draughts anyway.

Thinking of his draughts, it was early evening and Draco wanted to get back to the castle at a sensible time. It would not be plausible to take it after a certain time and he did not want to end up waiting until morning to take his next dose. If he could avoid that, he would.

At 7:40pm he decided to speak to Potter about leaving. He knew the stubborn idiot would ask questions he would rather not answer, least of all in front of these people, so he got up.

"Loo," he said.

Potter sighed and followed him after muttering at his friends to excuse him. Draco did not feel that he owed them any more than a nod, seeing as he was not actually part of the gathering.

"I need to get back to the castle, Potter," he said, the moment he had ascertained that the loo was empty.

"It's not even 8," Potter said, after checking his rather battered watch. "Come on Malfoy, a couple hours won't kill you."

"Be that as it may," he said, opting to use the urinal since he was already there. "I need to leave."

"Need is a strong word, don't you think?" Potter said.

"I know you veered from the Auror path in favour of Quidditch but even you must have noticed that I have potions to take every night," he said.

"One dose isn't going to do anything," Potter said. "I was perfectly fine when I missed a draught or two after my accident. I know you're really anal about the schedule thing, but relax a little."

Draco zipped up and went to the sink. "It's not as if I'm treating a simple injury the way you were," he said. "I need to go."

"That injury was in no way simple, Malfoy," Potter bristled. "That injury ended my career and had me bedridden for two weeks. Considering how easily we can mend bones and heal non-magical wounds I'd say it was serious."

"Yes, well I'd be risking muscular control so I'd appreciate it if you stopped being a selfish arse so we could head back to the castle," he said, drying his hands.

"You're what?" Potter blinked. "How'd-"

"One too many Cruciatus curses," he said, not wanting to relay the specifics of his nervous damage. "Now, we're leaving, yes?"

"... Yeah," Potter nodded.

q...p

Day 5 – Sunday

q...p

It was evening and Malfoy was marking papers after having Harry follow him on a walk by the lake. Apparently the bloke did it every Sunday, much like Harry had a run every Saturday.

The blonde had surprisingly donned a pair of glasses that gave him a different sort of attractiveness than Harry was used to seeing on him and that was not the only thing that was different. Malfoy's hair looked a bit wavy at the ends, now that Harry took a good look at it, and whenever it fell into his face he would run his fingers through it and push it back. It had wound up looking a bit messy after the blonde had changed into more comfortable clothes and ruffled it a bit, but it was the sexy sort of messy.

Harry rolled his eyes at himself and opened a Defense text to read. He liked to keep up his knowledge of spells in the event that anything happened and because he would ogle Malfoy otherwise. After a fair amount of chapters Harry got a bit bored of reading though. It was only a few minutes after that before Malfoy summoned a phial of the same teal coloured draught as the previous night. Harry had kept his questions about it to himself but now he was curious once again.

"So uh, what happens if you miss a dose?" he asked, barely glancing up from his book. He was trying for a casual roommate sort of approach. "And when do you normally take it anyway?"

Malfoy turned slowly and gave him a speculative look, as if he could not understand why Harry would be interested in the details. "7 am and 8 pm. The rest isn't your concern, Potter," he said, as he carried on grading papers.

"Look, we don't know how long we'll be stuck like this so, what if something happens?" he asked, the thought just occurring to him. "I reckon I should know what I'm dealing with if something happens."

"Potter, I've been doing just fine without you. I don't need you to start looking out for me now that we have no choice but to be around one another," Malfoy drawled, not even looking at him.

"But what if something happens?" he asked again.

"And what if your hip acts up and I have no clue what potions to give you or what you react to? From what you've said, I know that your injury would require potent pain and inflammation potions that might react badly if you've taken anything else," Malfoy countered, turning to him properly now. "Poppy knows what to do if anything happens. She has the training and the pertinent information so what I would do is contact her, which is the same course of action that you should take in the event that something happens to me."

"All right. Just- Let's not talk about my injury," he grimaced, not wanting to go back to his unfortunate collision with a bludger and another player. All his injuries had healed well, save for his hip.

"Well then let's stop discussing mine," Malfoy said, with a wry smile.

"Fine," Harry conceded, going back to his book as Malfoy went back to marking.

At precisely 9:00pm, Winky popped into the room to deliver the blonde his supper, which also happened the previous night. She set the food down on the small dining table in the room and Malfoy nodded his thanks before getting up. Harry just blinked at him before he realized that he should move.

"You don't just eat at your desk?" he asked, following the blonde to the table and noting his smooth movements. It made him wonder what exactly would happen if Malfoy was not taking his potions. He had said something about his muscles.

"I've got assignments on my desk, Potter," Malfoy said, as if that was a reason.

"People eat while they mark papers," he shrugged.

"Well, I don't," Malfoy said.

"It's easier," he pointed out.

"As much as I'd love the possibility of spilling food on a student's work, I think I'll continue with the way I'm doing things," Malfoy muttered.

Harry knew it was silly, but he had not exactly expected Malfoy to care much for respecting student work. It was not as if he had expected the man to purposefully ruin it though.

He sat and watched Malfoy eat. It was incredibly boring, regardless of how fascinating the blonde's lips were. It was slow and deliberate and Harry decided to have his own dinner sent up to him, just to have something to do aside from staring at the other man lick his lips, eat and swallow. He might as well since he had not eaten yet.

By the time he finished his food Malfoy had as well but then Winky popped in again with dessert, a bowl of strawberries and cream, and Harry sighed out loud.

"What?" Malfoy asked.

"Nothing, you just eat so slowly you might as well be a sloth," he said.

"I savour my food, Potter," Malfoy said, narrowing his eyes at him. "I don't inhale it like some sort of depraved savage."

"No, but now I have to sit and wait for you to finish eating," he muttered, attempting to ignore the way Malfoy ate the dessert. "Do you always eat at this time on weekends?"

"I do," Malfoy said, seeming confused about the question. "I have set times for my meals."

Harry nodded. Malfoy probably had what Muggles called OCD. He had the feeling that Malfoy's obsession with routine and control had something to do with whatever it was that he was taking potions for. It was the only thing that made sense since he did not think the man had been like that before the war. If the man could not control himself then he might want to control everything else, or as much as he was capable of controlling.

He sat there and tried not to stare while Malfoy ate. The cream that coated the man's lips was making him think of other things.

q...p

Day 6 – Monday

q...p

Ever since dinner the previous night, Potter had been looking at Draco strangely and it was becoming disconcerting. He had even caught Potter eyeing him surreptitiously when he went in and out of the shower. The attention was making Draco's skin itch and his stomach flutter.

He could not decide if it was a particularly good feeling or not.

After an awkward breakfast, they left to head to the pitch. Potter had a class of Ravenclaws and Hufflepuffs to teach. They had barely made it out of the Great Hall when Longbottom's spawn ran up to them.

"Uncle Harry, Professor Malfoy," she said timidly. "Hasn't Professor Flitwick found a way to break the charm yet?"

"Alice, morning," Potter greeted.

"He has not," Draco said, not wanting to have an extended conversation since they were pressed for time. "Now, Professor Potter has a class to get to on time."

"You don't need to apologize again, Alice," Potter said, rubbing her head. The girl did not look too pleased and she tried to smooth her hair out, rather unsuccessfully as well.

"But I-"

"It's fine. Malfoy and I know how to handle each other," Potter said, before they continued on their way.

They had an overly eventful day in regards to flying and the usual amount of cauldrons exploded in Draco's potions classes. One even melted and he had to make quick work of cleaning it and stopping the concoction from going through Potter's robes. The man was lucky Draco was actually more than qualified enough for his job, otherwise the Saviour might have left without a few of his body parts. He made sure to check Potter after the class had ended to ensure that he had been thorough.

He had to wonder if the students were a bit on edge since he and Potter had some pretty terrible history between them, and a few public arguments since the accident with the Sticking charm.

At dinner, Little Longbottom would glance at them or look guiltily at her food. He was not the only one who was noticing though. Potter and Longbottom had eyes as well and they were voicing their worry about the girl. It was getting to him, having to listen to them. Little Longbottom would eventually get over it once she realized that he and Potter were not going to kill each other. They would argue and they would get right upset but Dumbledore and Severus were right. They would not kill each other.

"Can you two stop fussing over the girl for two seconds?" he asked, after finishing his meal. "She'll get over it. It's not as if she injured either of us. If she has any sense at all, she'll eventually realize that. And, odd as she is, I think she will. Once you stop staring her down and likely adding to her guilt."

"I can't tell if Malfoy's being nice or not..." Longbottom said with undue surprise.

"Dunno," Potter said, looking at Draco contemplatively.

He could have sworn the man's eyes flickered to his lips for a moment but he was not certain so he dismissed it.

He then waited idly as Potter chatted with some of their colleagues. He questioned Flitwick briefly on his progress with the counter spell. The man said he was making progress but Draco felt as though there was something being left unsaid. He would have pressed the matter if he did not need to leave to take his potions and mark a few more assignments. Not to mention that he and Potter had patrol that night so he needed to stick to his schedule if he wanted things to progress at their intended rate.

"Potter, time to go," he said, rising.

"Already?" the man frowned, as he checked his watch. "Time flies, yeah?"

"Yeah, it does," Longbottom nodded. "Don't let Malfoy kill you, all right mate?"

"He wouldn't dare," Potter said, as they left the table.

"Why so confident?" Draco asked.

"Because you aren't stupid," Potter said. "Let's make a quick stop by Poppy before we head back. Having to wrestle Higgins off of his broom was more taxing than I thought."

"As was calming down that Dryden fellow when the boggart came out the shed," Draco said. The boy had gone into a panic as a nundu had formed before him and, after Draco banished the boggart, he and Potter had to engage in a brief pursuit before he stunned the boy. Potter had not exactly been pleased about his hexing a student. "Is your hip bothering you?"

"A bit but not really," Potter shrugged. "I just don't want to wait until it flares up in the middle of the night."

Draco briefly considered asking the man if that did not cause him problems during sex but it really was not any of his business so he decided to forgo it.

"How severe does it get?" he asked instead. "And how easily is the injury irritated?"

"Er, it can be anywhere from mild to crippling," Potter said, looking a bit confused at the possibility of concern. "And not too easily, so long as I'm not straining myself. You done being weirdly curious now?"

Draco nodded and they continued about their business. "You should keep potions for yourself just in case."

q...p

Day 7 - Tuesday

q...p

"How long will you be marking papers for?" Harry asked, sitting at his desk and rifling through his owls.

The Falcons were offering him a position as coach, once again. He tossed the letter aside. He did not want to coach. He preferred teaching flying lessons over coaching professional players.

"Close to a half hour before our night patrol," Malfoy said, his eyes still travelling over parchment.

Harry reckoned Malfoy was marking some of those test papers they collected from 7th years earlier. From the looks on their faces it had been a difficult one.

"We've got the 12 to 2 shift," he said, noting that he would not have time for a nap since Malfoy refused mark papers in bed.

"I'm aware," Malfoy nodded, raising his brow at the paper and snorting in amusement. "Ridiculous," he murmured.

"Are you actually enjoying that?" he asked, opening a letter from an old teammate.

"As little choice as I had in my career, I do enjoy it," Malfoy muttered. He looked up at Harry then. "I'd have killed myself and half the school by now if I didn't."

"Children aren't that bad," he frowned.

His eyes skimmed over the man's face briefly before he looked back at the letter. It seemed Harry would have someone to teach flying to over the summer since the bloke would be on tour and his niece was interested in learning.

"You only get the first years, Potter," Malfoy said, moving on to another test paper. "The others aren't quite as timid. Now, can I grade these papers in peace? You're breaking my concentration."

"Mhm," he hummed, as Malfoy went back to work.

The blonde really did look dashing in his glasses and his lips looked really bloody tempting. Harry had not been able to stop thinking about the strawberries and cream Malfoy ate Sunday, and the way the dessert coated his lips with white that Harry would have preferred to be something that tasted a bit bitterer.

He pulled his eyes away and tacked the letter to the board above his desk then went through his remaining letters, writing up responses as necessary. Before Harry knew what was happening he was woken up by something hitting his head. Apparently he had fallen asleep.

"Wake up. We've got patrol," Malfoy said, a smirk on his face. "And wipe the drool off of your chin."

"I fell asleep..." he said slowly.

"Wonderful observation, Potter," Malfoy nodded. The man had already put aside the paper he had been marking. "Perhaps you should wash your face before we leave."

"I know that," he grumbled. "No need to father me."

"I wouldn't dream of it," Malfoy said.

They went on patrol once Harry had freshened up and only encountered two pairs of fraternizing students that went scurrying back to their dorms after being handed detentions and losing house points. After the two couples, they had not come across anyone else. They spent the time discussing neutral topics, which had expanded over the days, and even getting along. On occasion, the conversation drifted into touchy territories, which prompted a few sleeping portraits to scold them for the late night bickering.

Harry spent a fair amount of time observing not only the corridors but Malfoy's arse. If only the man did not wear robes, so Harry could look at more than just the way the fabric swished and swayed over Malfoy's bum. By the time they got back to their rooms Harry was randy, half hard and well aware that his cock would not take no for an answer tonight.

He summoned a change of clothes and announced his intent to bathe. He needed to soak his bones in the warmth of the water. Malfoy made a complaint but followed anyway and Harry waited until the bath was filled with both water and suds before he stripped down.

No need to let Malfoy notice he was randy.

q...p

Draco sat and waited as the man settled into the bath. He heard the water slosh and trickle and he rolled his eyes at Potter's inability to remember to cast privacy charms. He was past reminding the man by now. He was more or less able to ignore the sounds of Potter's bathing anyway, until he heard it.

Potter had moaned.

He froze and his head snapped in the direction of the shower. He shifted in his seat and opened his mouth to tell Potter to shut it but a gasp interrupted him and a hum followed soon after. Draco felt his stomach flutter, his skin tingle with heat and his cock stir in interest. Salazaar, Potter was wanking and it was getting him randy.

He ran a hand through his hair and sighed quietly. He nearly managed to cast that privacy charm for the man when he heard Potter swear under his breath, the sound strangled and breathy and stopping Draco's hand before he could get his wand to cast.

On Potter's next moan, Draco found the hand shooting to his trousers, moving, pressing, stroking and squeezing. He closed his eyes and listened to the water as Potter's movements displaced it, the gasps, the grunts, the groans. Honestly, Draco had thought the man opted for a bath since his hip had acted up earlier in the day, not to rub one out.

He shook his head at himself and squirmed in his seat as his hand slipped into his trousers. He mentally asked himself what he was thinking and realized that he was not; he was letting his body do what it wanted to.

"Oh, Merlin," Potter groaned, setting Draco's core on fire as he imagined just what Potter was doing to himself.

His fingers tightened as he envisioned the man touching, teasing and tugging himself. Maybe Potter was fondling his balls, or prodding at the sensitive knot of flesh further down, or even plying himself with his fingers as he wanked, imagining the feel of Draco's cock pumping inside of him or the way Draco would feel clenched around him.

Draco squeezed and stroked the head of his cock and stifled his moans. He reached his hand down to his testicles and he massaged them, arching his hips up when Potter mewled behind the curtain so that he rubbed against his forearm –he appreciated that there was not exactly a lot of room in his trousers for both his hand and his cock.

"Oh fuck, Malfoy," Potter breathed.

Draco bit the knuckles of his free hand and applied pressure to his perineum. He swallowed back a moan when Potter gasped his name once more and his lids fluttered, his balls tightened, he shuddered and saw white behind his eyelids.

Potter let out a long groan from the bath as Draco came in his pants.

By the time he had cleaned himself up, his hands were trembling and his mind was racing. At least he knew the trembling was not due to the Cruciatus' side effects. It had been a while since he had done anything out of sheer desire and it was more than a bit frightening to lose himself so fully. He had forgotten how that felt. He almost missed it. He was a bit less shaken by that than the fact that Potter had been fantasizing about him though.

He liked to think he had gotten himself together by the time Potter got out.

q...p

Day 8 - Wednesday

q...p

Since that morning Harry noticed Malfoy acting strangely. The blonde was casting surreptitious glances at him and seemed to be making an effort to catch Harry staring at him, and then promptly narrowing his eyes at him when he did. It was strange, but preferable to their bickering –which had calmed down now that he thought about it.

He did have to wonder at Malfoy's change in attitude though. He was not sure what could have prompted it. Maybe he had said something strange in his sleep.

"Potter, you look like you've got something on that bloody mental mind of yours," Melanie said, as they waited for a staff meeting to begin.

"Hmm?" he hummed, taken out of his thoughts.

"Now I definitely know you've been thinking about something," she said with a short laugh. "You and Malfoy finally getting to each other? He seems a bit off too."

"I can hear you, Professor Milita," drawled Malfoy.

"I reckon you can," she nodded.

Malfoy looked at her flatly before turning away.

"Well Potter, what's got your noggin flummoxed?" she asked. "Some new problem in your life? Apart from living with Blondie over there."

"Er, not really. I'm just trying to figure something out I reckon," he said with a shrug.

He glanced to his other side and caught Malfoy looking at him. Something was definitely different, but what? The only thing that Harry had done differently recently was take a bath instead of a shower.

And have a wank. I did have a wank.

"Oh my Godric, I forgot," he whispered, sitting upright and turning to Melanie with wide eyes. "I forgot."

"Uh huh," she nodded. "Well, you know, I think I'm going to need a little more than that to understand. I'm not a very good Legilimens you see."

"You don't need to," he murmured, still in shock. "Holy shit…"

How could he have forgotten the privacy charms the one time he actually needed them?

He groaned and let his head fall into his hands. He could feel when Malfoy froze in his seat beside him.

Harry was absolutely mortified.

When the meeting finally started all he could think about was the fact that Malfoy had heard him. He shot a few glances at the man and each time he did, he looked away with the inkling that his cheeks were flushed. Of all the people to hear him wanking, it had to be the object of his fantasies. Brilliant.

He was so distracted by his embarrassment that he had nearly missed the moment that Filius announced he had found a way to most likely break Alice's charm.

He was not sure when last he had felt such relief washing over him. It was a bit of a competition between the first night he woke up after a nightmare to remember that Voldemort was dead, and hearing that his hip was healed so he would be able to walk again.

Well, right now it felt like that sort of relief, especially since he would not have to attempt sleeping in the same room as Malfoy while pretending everything was normal. Normal being relative considering they had even been living together for the past week.

Admittedly, the rest of the meeting was a bit of a blur after Filius' announcement. All Harry could think about was getting away from Malfoy for a while so he could sort through his thoughts and get some space. He could then decide whether or not he wanted to address what had happened.

q...p

Day 9 - Thursday

q...p

By some terrible fate, Filius had to run off and deal with Salazaar knew what before he could free Draco from Potter. Ever since Tuesday he had not been able to stop thinking about what happened in the bathroom, what Potter had done and how he had reacted.

Draco had been spending a fair amount of time watching Potter's behavior towards him and practically glaring at the man when he caught him eyeing him and now the man was acting jittery and nervous and trying to avoid looking at him altogether.

He tried to figure out what the bloody hell was going on as they went to lunch because it was driving him spare to not know, and thus having no idea how to handle it.

"You two look a bit troubled," came Dumbledore's voice. Draco barely glanced at the former headmaster as he followed beside them through various frames. "Something the matter?"

"Dumbledore," Potter greeted. "I reckon being stuck together is just getting to us."

Draco nearly snorted.

"Are you sure that's all?" the old man asked. "You seem unsynchronized."

"As if we were ever," he muttered.

"I don't know about that, Draco," Dumbledore said. "You boys had some of the most fluid arguments I'd ever had the luck to hear."

"You call that synchronicity?" he asked disbelievingly.

"Not the usual sort, but synchronicity all the same," Dumbledore said.

"Albus," called Severus, from a few portraits ahead. "You aren't harassing them, are you?"

"It's only idle chatter, Severus," Dumbledore said.

"He is harassing us," Draco said.

"He's not," Potter disagreed.

"Albus, if you wish to meddle then do it less passively," Severus said. He turned to Draco and Potter as they neared the portrait he was in. "I would suggest that the pair of you discuss what's… troubling you."

"Nothing's troubling us," Potter said too quickly.

"Indeed," Severus said, before turning to the old man. "Now, Albus, Minerva would like to see you."

q...p

That night, while Malfoy tested the potions students had brewed, Harry had a realization. Honestly, how did he not realize that it was completely out of character for Malfoy not to have said anything to him about the Wanking Mishap when it happened? The blonde was not one to keep his lovely gob shut.

"Why didn't you say anything?" he asked. Malfoy glanced at him unknowingly. "I was thinking about how differently you've been acting and I was wondering why you didn't saying anything to me. You know, give some snide remark, or make some sort of objection to having to listen to me wanking in the ba-"

"Shhh, Potter," Malfoy hissed, spelling the door shut and casting a privacy bubble in quick succession. "Bloody hell, you can't just say whatever you please in the middle of the classroom."

"You didn't answer my question," he said, frowning at the bubble.

"Potter, if it's passed your notice, the potions classroom is monitored," Malfoy said, glancing briefly at the two portrait frames that had never been there during Snape's time.

"The bloody hell do they monitor it f-"

"Former Death Eater teaching at Hogwarts, did you think they wouldn't supervise me around the pupils?" Malfoy asked, clearly displeased.

"You've been here for nearly ten years, teaching almost just as long," he said. "I'm sure they trust you by now."

"They barely allowed me to acquire my Potions Mastery because of who I am," Malfoy said. "I doubt they've gotten past it."

"You still haven't answered my question," he said, getting back on track. "Why didn't you say something?"

"I don't see why you need an answer," Malfoy deflected.

"I don't need one," Harry said, shifting so he could look at Malfoy more easily. "I just want to know why you didn't say anything while I was moaning my lungs out right beside you."

Malfoy ignored him and checked another phial. Harry waited until he had corked it and documented the grade.

"What did you do that entire time?" he asked. He was thinking Malfoy could have either been interested or utterly disgusted and he wanted to know which one.

"Did I have to do something?" Malfoy asked. It did not pass his notice that the blonde blushed at that.

"You enjoyed it," he grinned.

"I did no such thing," Malfoy denied.

"You did, didn't you?" he asked smugly, leaning forwards.

"You're getting ahead of yourself, Potter," said Malfoy, his eyes flickering over Harry.

He grinned even wider.

"Did you have a wank too?" he asked, licking his lips as he pictured Malfoy rubbing one out while on the other side of the curtain.

"Again, you're getting ahead of yourself," Malfoy said, after taking a breath.

"Good Godric, you did," Harry said, swallowing. "Malfoy, you're a kinky git, you know that?"

"I did not-"

"Didn't you?" he challenged, as the man grabbed another phial. "What? Afraid to admit that you're attracted to me too?"

"And why in Salazaar's name would I be attracted to you, Potter?" Malfoy asked, snapping towards him as he stood in a rage.

"Beats me," he breathed, eyes level with the man's crotch now. "But I do hope that isn't your wand in your trousers."

Malfoy blushed something fierce but managed to keep a straight face. "That's a dreadful line, Potter. I don't suggest you try it on anyone else," he said, as he took his seat.

q...p

"What makes you think I'm going to say it to someone else?" Potter asked, eyeing him. "Look, I know this isn't a conventional start off point, but since we know we both fancy each-"

"Lusting after someone is different from fancying them," he pointed out, finally judging the colour of the potion. It was completely wrong. "And I'm not very interested in one-offs, especially with co-workers."

"Well, what if I say that I do fancy you?" Potter asked, after clearing his throat and glancing at Draco. He nearly dropped the phial.

"I beg your pardon?" he asked, caught off guard. Had Potter really just said that he fancied him? He had not expected the man's wank to be anything more than a physical attraction.

Bloody hell, what's going on? This isn't- This wasn't supposed to- I didn't want this to happen.

"I'm... Well, you're not half bad when you aren't being a git," Potter said. "And I've thought you were fit for a long while now. Plus, you didn't shy away from all the criticisms everyone threw at you, the way most of us expected you to."

"Is that all there is to it?" he asked, leaning back in the chair and setting the phial down. He tried to look as if he was calm, instead of going into a bit of panic at the way Potter was making it difficult to control his emotions and his reactions.

"For now, yes," Potter nodded.

"For now?" he repeated.

"Well, I reckon there's a lot I don't know about you that I might like," Potter said. "I just haven't discovered it all yet."

"I'm sorry, are you asking me to... date you?" Draco asked.

"Um, well I honestly hadn't thought that far ahead," Potter admitted. "I sort of just started speaking when I realized-"

"Still running into the fray before you think things through, Potter?" he asked, glad for that bit of normalcy. "How is it that you never grew out of that?"

"It happens when I'm enthusiastic about something... or someone," Potter said, looking at him.

"That was a better attempt," he admitted, going back to the phial so that he had something to do.

"Thanks," Potter nodded, watching him. "So, about the dating thing, it doesn't have to be a- I mean we could just talk."

He examined the phial once more and then jot down the students' grade before sighing quietly and glancing at Potter. "I'll give it a go, but I get to choose the time," he said.

"For the date?" Potter asked hopefully.

"For the talk," he said, pinning Potter with a stare to emphasize that it was not going to be a date.

q...p

Day 10 - Friday

q...p

Before dinner Draco and Potter went to the Charms classroom to meet with Filius. Draco was eagerly awaiting the moment the man stopped waving his wand around and the tugging from standing at the maximum distance he and Potter could have between them disappeared.

"Done," Filius said, as the tension from the tugging subsided.

Draco stepped further away and his lips quirked as his heart leapt at the newfound freedom. Potter moved freely around the room grinning so hard that his cheeks must have been hurting.

"No more restrictions," the man said. He glanced at Draco briefly and hopped back, apparently delighting in the ability to move anywhere he wanted to.

"No one to drag about or rush because they've no sense of time," he said.

"No more awkward bathroom situa-" Potter stopped and cleared his throat before glancing about, his cheeks reddening.

Draco went still for a second and mentally scolded himself at his body's reaction.

"Well, we've all got dinner to get to," he said, as he unnecessarily fixed his robes. "Thank you, Filius."

"It was a delightful little puzzle," Filius nodded, looking at them with a bit of suspicion that made Draco hope they were not acting too differently towards one another.

They all went to dinner in the Great Hall and it was a bit automatic for Draco and Potter to sit together considering the last week. They had even stayed within four feet of one another until they parted ways to go to their individual rooms.

It was almost strange not to have to wake Potter in the morning, and sure enough the man was past late for breakfast.

q...p

Day 11 - Saturday

q...p

It was Saturday night and Harry could hardly focus on what Ron was saying. He was a bit busy fretting over his talk with Malfoy. The bloke had invited him on his regular Sunday walks at 5pm and Harry was wondering what to wear and what time would be the best to set a Tempus alarm for, because he was going to be punctual for this. He had to be.

He also could not quite focus because it felt strange not to have Malfoy with him. They had only spent a little over a week together but it was a week that they had spent every waking moment around one another.

"Mate, you all right?" Ron asked, waving a hand in front of him. "You haven't been listening to a word I've said."

"Yes, I have," he lied.

"Harry, I just told you that Percy married a unicorn and they had crup babies," Ron deadpanned, Hermione and Neville snickering beside him. "You weren't hearing anything."

"Er... Well... No, I wasn't," he admitted, lifting his pint to his lips.

"What's bothering you?" Hermione asked.

"Bet you two sickles, it's Malfoy," Neville said. "The two of them have been a bit off this week, not even arguing with each other that much."

"It's not Malfoy," he said. "Not exactly. I just… I sort of miss him. It's eerily quiet without him around."

"Don't tell me you got used to the bickering," Ron said.

"I might've," he nodded.

"Are you sure it wasn't the eye candy?" Hermione asked, causing Ron to sputter and choke on his firewhiskey.

"…"

"The what?" Ron asked.

Neville just watched in amusement and nursed his drink.

"I know I'm your wife, Ron," Hermione said. "But it's not as if I won't notice a fit bloke if I see one, and Malfoy is fit. He's also very much Harry's type."

"He's… what?" Harry muttered, blinking. "Wait, how'd you even notice what my type was? I haven't dated anyone in years."

"But I've seen you pull a great deal of blokes in those years," Hermione smiled. "Mostly those of fairer hair."

"That was amusing but I don't think-" Neville began.

"We're going for a walk tomorrow," he confessed, since Hermione was still too observant for his liking. "That's what I'm worrying over."

"Well, good luck, Harry," she nodded, raising her drink.

"Seriously?" Ron and Neville gaped.

"Seriously," he confirmed.

q...p

Day 12 - Sunday

q...p

It was a bit of a shock for Draco to see Potter walking to the castle entrance on time. More than on time actually, early. He crossed his arms and raised his brows at the man.

"Impressed?" Potter asked smugly. "I know how to cast a Tempus alarm."

"You're a quick study," he said.

"My only problem was remembering to cast them," Potter said, finally reaching the entrance. "I had proper motivation to remember though."

"Flattery won't get you in my bed, Potter," he said, as he began walking.

"Doesn't matter," the man shrugged.

They stuck mostly to small talk on the way to the lake. About three quarters of the way there, the conversation took a more personal turn when Draco mentioned that he did not too care for the media and their gossip columns always spouting baseless rubbish and hearsay. Apparently Potter had noticed that a long time ago and had an appreciation for Draco's dislike of propaganda and his inclination to blatantly ignore them.

"You do realize you don't quite care for them either, right?" he asked, since Potter seemed to have forgotten his own celebrity.

"Well, yeah," the man nodded, shrugging his shoulders. "But I'm no good at ignoring them. Have you read the interviews I give? Listened to them on the wireless? I always say something that they can take and twist and then just keep on twisting until its turned into some sort of fucked up rumour."

"And you couldn't avoid them, what with being the Saviour and the seeker for the Falcons," he said. "While I could avoid them, what with being a social pariah."

"It's not so bad now," Potter said, kicking at a rock. "You've been working at Hogwarts nearly a decade, teaching for almost the same amount of time and teaching well at that. The grades are up to par and closer to Snape's averages than Slughorn's were."

"What was it I said about flattery?" he asked, attempting to suppress a small smile.

"What was it I said in reply?" Potter asked.

Draco cast a sidelong glance at Potter and then brought his eyes back to the lake that they happened to be nearing. "So you're of the opinion that since I've taught a number of well off graduates people think of me differently?" he asked.

"Well, yeah," Potter shrugged. "Otherwise people would be pulling their kids out of the school or looking at Durmstrang and Beauxbatons instead of Hogwarts. We'd hear about a flurry of complaints against you-"

"There are complaints," he cut in. "Not as many as originally, but they're still coming in."

"I haven't heard-"

"It's between me, the headmistress and the families involved. Why would anyone tell you?" he asked, going down the path he usually took now that they were by the lake.

"I always thought Minerva would alert all the staff if something was happening," Potter frowned, following him gazing at the water.

"Only if it concerned us all," he said, picking a nearby leaf from its branch. It was still spring and some plants were just coming into bloom now.

"What would you have done if you weren't teaching?" Potter asked, turning to face him and stupidly walking backwards. "You don't have to think about answering me. It's a normal enough question."

"Potions and draught development, as it pertains to healing purposes," he answered. He might as well. "I've always enjoyed potions and problem solving. It blends them both in a way that's satisfying. Not that I'll ever be certified for it."

"Why's that?" Potter frowned.

"I'm trusted enough to teach but not to develop or recommend healing potions," he explained, fiddling with the leaf. "I'm apparently less likely to do something when I'm in a classroom full of students as opposed to a consultation room or private lab."

"That doesn't make any sense," Potter said, glancing behind himself to ensure nothing was in his path. "Do they recall Quirrell, Umbridge and Moody? Well, that was technically Barty Crouch Jr."

"I told you about the portraits in the dungeons, right?" he asked. "Like I said, I'm never really alone with the students. The Ministry had Minerva install them."

"I think they should have realized by now that you don't need the surveillance though," Potter said, stumbling back a bit.

"The Ministry is never one to be particularly logical," he laughed. "I assume they'll eventually get bored of reports about me doing exactly what I'm supposed to be doing."

"I suppose," Potter said, casting him a quick glare. "Did you ever apply?"

"On numerous occasions," he nodded. "No need to ask the result of that, and yes I've inquired and complained."

"Ouch," Potter muttered, turning around and walking like a normal human being. "Sorry."

"So, teaching flying lessons at Hogwarts," Draco said. "I'm sure you had more lucrative offers. Why this one?"

"I taught private lessons for a while after my accident but I mostly got adults or quidditch players looking to finesse their skills. It was less satisfying than when I taught Teddy. Children are more blatant with the joy they feel when they finally get it," Potter said. "And anyway I like Hogwarts, so why not? Hogwarts was my first home and I loved the idea of being able to give back to her."

"Your first home?" he frowned.

"Unfortunately some of the Prophet's reports on my Muggle childhood were accurate," the man said, glancing at his feet. Draco had seen a few of those articles and they were not exactly pleasant. "But only some. Most of them were severely exaggerated."

"Well, I must say, Potter, you've had quite the dramatic life," he said, stopping to sit in his usual spot. It had a brilliant view that overlooked the lake with Hogsmeade in the distance.

"I've enjoyed a fair amount of it. And I've done what I can to sort out my issues," Potter said, as he looked around for somewhere to sit. Draco looked at him disbelievingly before casting a Cushioning charm on a sizeable stone nearby. "Thanks."

He nodded and picked up a flat stone before tossing it so that it skipped over the water. Another stone went skipping soon after and Draco turned to look at Potter.

"So, Potter," he said, deciding he might as well reciprocate in terms of inquiries. "Tell me some things I don't know about you."

"Are you actually interested or is this for the sake of conversation?" the man asked.

"I wouldn't ask if I wasn't interested. Trust me."

"Well, you probably won't believe it, but I like to clean when I'm nervous," Potter said. "Don't look at me like that. It's true! And I tend not to use magic because it helps to keep me from over-thinking things. Funny though, because I used to hate it."

q...p

Day 13 - Monday

q...p

He joined Malfoy at lunch, because he had gone to bed a bit too late due to his excitement and had needed to rush in the morning. There was still the usual snarky banter between them and since the whole attraction and wanking thing had been addressed, he doubted they would act quite as oddly towards one another as they were recently, though others might consider them getting along somewhat to be odd as well.

The walk with Malfoy had gone surprisingly well as far as Harry was concerned. They had been relatively open with one another, or at least he hoped so, and he reckoned that having to be around one another for every second of the day had sort of gotten them used to sharing things. That semi-date would never have worked out as well as it had if they did not.

Once, Harry caught Neville gaping at them before rolling his eyes as a small smile quirked his lips. The first thing he had said to Harry after that was, "Of course you weren't joking."

"Did you think that I was?" he asked.

"Yeah, yeah, I did," Neville nodded. "I'm not objecting though. Merlin knows what happened after Alice stuck you two to- Oh my Godric, is this Alice's fault?"

"Haha," he laughed, shaking his head. "I would say it was her, but not exactly. I've found Malfoy fit for a long time now. She just provided an opportunity for something to happen."

"I think I'll refrain from telling her that," Neville said. "Unless this actually works, in which case I'll take her for ice cream since I'll be a galleon richer and Ron will be one poorer."

"You didn't," Harry said.

"I did."

q...p

Days 14, 15 and 16 – Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday

q...p

Eating with Potter at meal times had become routine for Draco. So when the man was late for breakfast it bothered him, and it was the same if he was late to lunch or dinner, and it was absolutely absurd. Potter was not one to live a routine life in any way and Draco knew that but inconsistency bothered him to no end. He knew he had to get used to it because Potter would not be the only person he knew that turned out to be this way.

Thus, Draco set a goal for himself. He would force himself to stop tapping his left middle finger on the table when Potter arrived at the head table late. He would not let it frazzle him in any sort of way and he would not glare so hard that he received that infuriating, apologetic look that Potter had begun to give him. There were three meals that were had in the Great Hall, all of which the professors had to attend during the week, so he had three chances per day to get this done.

On his first try Potter was late to breakfast. No surprise there. Draco lasted all of five minutes before his finger was tapping away softly.

On his second, it was dinner of the same day and while clenching his fist had worked, it only resulted in him tapping his heel instead.

On his third it was, once again, breakfast wherein he managed to refrain from fidgeting only to find himself glancing at the entrance far too often as he ate.

On his fourth, he managed not to fidget or keep watch on the entrance during lunch, but instead he focused on his breath and kept his eyes on his food with such determination that Potter asked him if something was wrong with it.

On the fifth try, breakfast once more, Draco managed not to glare at Potter and keep his mind relatively calm. The fidgeting was still there though. He was not quite sure if he could call it progress but it had only been a few days and he reckoned he was doing better than would have been expected of him.

It would probably be a while before he chose a day other than Sunday for him and Potter to spend time together though.

q...p

Day 17 – Friday

q...p

"Draco," greeted Severus, currently occupying one of the frames in the potions lab.

"Severus," he responded, as he took inventory of the supplies. "What brings you to the dungeons?"

"No one wanted to watch you take inventory," the man drawled.

"And you did?" he scoffed. "That doesn't quite sound like you."

"No, it does not," Severus said. "But it was brought up that I had never had to sit through what others feel is a painstaking process. There wasn't much choice."

"I am a bit nitpicky about it," he admitted, climbing up a step on the ladder.

"Indeed," Severus agreed. "Have you been working on your compulsions?"

"Why so curious, Severus?" he asked. "Are you concerned? I suppose it's that time of the year when you spend your time brooding."

"Do refrain from insinuating that I'm in any way brooding," Severus said.

"I've just given you a look and I'm sure you must know which one it is, even if you can't see it properly," he said. It was May and around this time of the year Severus tended to think about the war a bit too often, especially since he really only socialized with Dumbledore, who also tended to brood now and again. It went without saying that they only added to one another's moods. "I have been working on it though, if you must know. But it hasn't been very long so I can't say much for progress."

"So long as you're working on it," Severus said. "It's doesn't do well to let things so strongly affect the way you live."

"You make it sound worse than it is," he muttered, turning his attention to the other side of the shelf.

"Are you pleased with your life?" Severus asked.

"Severus, I know you've always been a bit protective of me but you don't need to worry about-"

"I lived a great deal of my life dwelling on my past and allowing it to dictate my life, Draco. I cannot say that I enjoyed it very much," said Severus. "I'm aware that it's not your past you've let hinder you. That's a handicap that society has dealt you. We both know what it is and I'd rather not watch you simply walk through your days instead of living them, as I had."

Draco was not quite sure what to say after that except, "I won't, Severus."

q...p

Day 18 – Saturday

q...p

On Saturday Harry spotted Draco on the quidditch pitch in the middle of his run. By the time he got to the man he was panting and sweaty and likely looked a mess, but Malfoy had followed him on a run before so it was nothing new for the man to see.

"Well, this is a surprise," he panted, hunched over and bracing his hands on his knees.

"It's easier to breath when you stand upright, Potter," Malfoy said.

"Right, tell that to my body," he said, looking around for his water bottle. It was a ways away. "You couldn't at least stand by my water bottle?"

Malfoy rolled his eyes at Harry and summoned it. "Magic," he said.

"Thanks," he said, taking the bottle and practically drowning himself in it.

"That's not very appealing," Malfoy commented.

"No, but it works," he said. "So, what brings you to the pitch? Couldn't wait until Sunday to see me?"

"I'm trying to be more flexible with my routine," Malfoy said.

"Yeah?" Harry asked, surprised Malfoy would even think to veer from his fairly strict schedule.

"Yes," Malfoy nodded.

"Well, I don't think the quidditch pitch makes much of a difference," he smirked. "How about lunch at the Three Broomsticks?"

"Excuse me?" Malfoy asked, blinking. "That's-"

"Perfectly normal," Harry cut in. "It's not far from the school but it's not something you would normally do. It's just lunch, Malfoy. I'll pay."

"This is sounding suspiciously like a date," Malfoy said, narrowing his eyes at Harry.

"Maybe," Harry shrugged, not at all minding if it was. "If you want it to be."

"I- Fine," Malfoy nodded. "Do you have a change of clothes on you?"

"Yeah," Harry said slowly. "Why?"

"Use the quidditch showers. If I go back inside the castle I'll have second thoughts," Malfoy explained. "Be quick about it."

"So, is this a date then?" he asked hopefully.

"Yes," Malfoy admitted. "Now hurry up."

"Spontaneous lunch date," Harry grinned, as he turned for the showers. "Brilliant."

He would summon one of the house elves to get his money pouch once he was in the changing room.

q...p

"You'll get used to it," Potter said gently.

"To what?" he asked.

"To doing things you didn't schedule," Potter said, going back to his Shepherd's pie. "It's fine to not know what you'll do every second of the day."

"I know that," he said. "I just sort of fell into the habit of it." And by some strange chance, you made me remember how much I can enjoy losing control.

"Bad habit," Potter muttered.

"I noticed," he said dryly.

"You can break out of it though. Might take a while and it mightn't go away completely, but it can happen," Potter said. "I used to hate going down into the dungeons. It's got no windows, not even charmed ones. I don't like a room not to have windows, too stifling I find."

"You followed me into the dungeons everyday for a week," he pointed out.

"I know and I was bloody grouchy the first few days, wasn't I?" Potter asked. "You were a fairly good distraction though and I may have picked some of those fights on purpose."

"You insufferable prat," he said. "I was teaching."

"I know, I know," Potter said, raising his hands in surrender. "The point is I find the dungeons less intimidating now. Throw me in the supply closet and I'll likely freak out though."

"I'll keep it in mind when you next upset me," he drawled. "That, and your aversion to darkness."

"The two go hand in hand actually," Potter grimaced.

"By the way, how's the Shepherd's pie?" he asked, before Potter got to thinking about whatever he was likely to be remembering. "I've never tried it before."

q...p

Day 19 – Sunday

q...p

Despite the spontaneous date on Saturday, Harry and Malfoy still went on their walk the next day. They sat in the same spot they stopped at the previous week and spoke about whatever came up. They sat in both comfortable and uncomfortable silences in between topics and occasionally cast glances at one another.

Harry reckoned it would not be completely unexpected if he attempted some sort of contact with the blonde, and given how often he liked to look at Malfoy's lips, he suspected the man knew how much he would like to kiss him.

Hell, he heard me wanking. He bloody well knows.

"Potter," Malfoy called.

"Yeah?" he answered.

"Are you looking to have us enter a relationship together?" Malfoy asked, looking at him now. "Or do you just want a shag out of this?"

"I... It's been a while since I've been in a relationship but I'd like to give it a go," he said. "Shagging is a plus though."

Malfoy gave him a scrutinizing look before speaking. "You should start referring to me as Draco then," he said, as he got up. "It's getting dark. We should head back."

Harry blinked in surprise and nodded. "Okay... Draco," he said, smiling. "But you'll have to call me Harry."

"Fair enough," Mal- Draco agreed.

Harry nodded and looked at him expectantly.

"Harry," Draco said, after a bit of dithering.

"Brilliant," he grinned. "Now, how about we wait out the sunset and then go inside? We're already here so we might as well. It'll only be about 5 more minutes. Relax, the papers won't run away."

Draco looked in the direction of the castle and then checked his watch. The man narrowed his eyes at Harry, his fisting clenching and unclenching, before he let out a breath and took his seat.

"I think these walks just turned into dates," he pointed out, watching Draco attempt relaxing.

The man elbowed him lightly but did not object to it.

As the sun set and the sky filled with pinks and purples Harry brushed their shoulders together. Draco was bathed in warm colours and he was about to comment on it when the man turned to look at him and smiled. It was small, subtle really, but it was genuine, or at least Harry thought it was. The best part though, was that Draco had managed to stop fidgeting by the end of it.

q...p

Day 20 – Monday

q...p

After dinner Draco went to visit Pot- Harry in the infirmary. It seemed the man's Monday class was always overly exciting. That particular group of students clearly needed a more controlled space to learn in.

When he arrived he saw P-Harry desperately begging Poppy to release him.

"I want to go to my room, Poppy," Harry pleaded. "Please?"

"There's no point in begging me, Harry," Poppy said sternly. Harry looked as if he would be better off trying to sway the woman's apprentice. "You're staying here and that's that. You've been trying to get out of bed early ever since you were a student here. You've got nothing to say that will change my mind. I've heard it all from you already."

"Poppy," Harry complained.

"Tut tut," she said, walking off. "Bed rest for you. Come along Miss Jones, a student's been injured and I want you to tend to them."

When the two bustled off to a bed on the other end of the room Draco approached the bed.

"You've got a penchant for trouble, Harry," he said. "Can't stay away from it, can you? Or does it follow you around?"

"Draco, hi," Harry said, unduly surprised. The man moved to sit up then winced and reclined in his bed instead. "Came to watch me harass Poppy?"

"I came to see what sort of trouble you found yourself in this time," he said. "Well?"

"Remember when Neville's broom went mad in first year?" Harry asked. Draco nodded. "Something like that, except I had to intervene since the student didn't get caught on a wall fixture but just kept going higher in every bloody direction. Had to fly up to get close enough to stabilize him but he fell off the broom before I got to him and I had to catch him."

"Good catch for him, bad catch for you," he said. None of the scenarios he imagined looked in any way pleasant for Harry.

"Yeah, you could say that," Harry grimaced, looking down his body. "Hip was killing me after. Still sort of is. But Poppy gave me the strong stuff so it only hurts when I move, as opposed to all the time. Wouldn't mind being in my room instead here though."

"Harry," Draco said seriously.

"Yes?"

"Quit being an idiot, and listen to Poppy," he said. "I'll visit you in the morning."

q...p

Day 21 – Tuesday

q...p

On his way to the infirmary, Draco happened upon a rather loud portrait. Bursts of outrage and cheer seemed to come from it every now and then. He paused to see what was causing the commotion. From the looks of it, Dumbledore was slaughtering someone in a game of chess.

"Draco, aren't you off schedule?" Severus asked.

"Not by much, but yes," he nodded, hearing another outburst. "You lot are being rather loud by the way, especially for portraits found in a school. Classes are in session."

There were a few muttered apologies before an exceptionally loud outburst erupted and the other player sagged in disbelief. They quickly began shushing one another and Severus smirked and walked over to a quieter frame.

"I see you've made progress," Severus said.

"Somewhat," he nodded. "I've had a bit of help though."

"It wouldn't happen to be from Potter, would it?" Severus asked, in a tone of voice that gave nothing away. Draco could not be sure if the man was pleased at the prospect or not.

"It would," he said.

Severus nodded and Draco thought he might have seen a slight twitch of the man's lip, the slightest hint of a smirk. "Albus had hoped you two would... get along," he said. "Carry on."

q...p

Days 22, 23, 24 and 25 – Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday

q...p

Harry was finally allowed out of the infirmary and transferred to his room in the evening. His hip was calming down and he was able to make it to the loo and back to bed with minimal to moderate pain but was advised to stay in bed otherwise, Poppy had even asked one of the house elves to "monitor" him. Harry reckoned she might as well have said babysit.

Most days Draco would stop by during lunch and relieve the house elves of their babysitting duties for nearly a half hour before leaving to go about his business. Draco would waltz in and Harry would smile at him and get a smirk from the man, though not one of those smug ones. It was almost a half smile.

Twice Draco had even come by after dinner and they would either speak or sit in relative silence as they minded their own business, with Draco reading the latest Potions theories or grading student work and Harry responding to requests for lessons in the summer or an evaluation of fairly new quidditch players if he was familiar with their games.

By Friday Harry was walking about with minimal pain but stuck to his room. The only difference was that he sat at his desk instead of working from his bed.

When Saturday rolled around Harry was more or less fine and only had a few tinges of pain every now and then. Ron and Hermione were not available that weekend for drinks and Harry's potions were not alcohol friendly anyway so they had forgone the Three Broomsticks that night. He had still wanted to go out though. It was getting stuffy being in the castle for so long.

"It's your hip, Harry. Antagonize it if you want to," Draco said.

"See, even if you say that, you're still going to glower at me for not using the cane," he said, jerking his chin and the thing.

He hated using them. It was not for style in his case and really he only wanted to use a cane when he was old. Using one for his hip always made him feel like an invalid somehow. He was only in his early 30's after all. He should not need a cane.

"I'm not your mother, I can't force you to use it," Draco said. "And I've already voiced my disagreement, multiple times. Everyone knows about your injury so, contrary to your belief, no one will think anything of it. You're making it into more than it is. Your head's inflated."

"My head is not inflated," he denied.

"We're staying on Hogwarts grounds anyway so no one is going to see you, except the students who know you've been unwell," Draco said

"I can go without-"

"Use the cane, Harry," Draco said, and it sounded non-negotiable at this point.

"I can't believe you're making me do this," he muttered, and cast a glare in Draco's direction as he grabbed the cane.

"I'm not making you do anything, Harry," Draco said, smirking at him as they headed for the door. "You had to fetch it for yourself."

"Smug bastard," he muttered.

"Indeed," Draco nodded. He stopped and rested his hand over the one Harry had on the cane, leaning in close. "Don't vanish the cane once you've left the room or gone outside."

"Okay," Harry nodded, his hand suddenly hot under Malfoy's and his thoughts scattering away at Draco's proximity.

"Excellent to know that your health matters more than your pride," Draco said, before kissing him so softly he thought he might have imagined it. "It should stay that way." The blonde was at the door before he had even finished speaking.

All Harry could do was grin and follow. He was not going to tease Draco about kissing him even though he was sorely tempted. The man might not do it again anytime soon if he did.

q...p

Day 26 – Sunday

q...p

After having to skip their Sunday walk Harry and Draco went to the Astronomy Tower so that they could look outside and avoid the night air. It took a while since Draco was adamant about keeping a slow pace due to Harry's hip, which was practically back to as close to normal as it could get. He was even using the cane without much actual need to.

"So, what was all the fuss about with your Slytherins?" he asked.

"Romantic drama, some rot like that," Draco said, scooping a strawberry. They had gotten Winky to bring food up for them. "I'm the Head of House. I'm not here to help settle ridiculous squabbles over who's dating who. And honestly I don't know why they didn't just realize the person was using them both. It was a waste of my time and parents had to be called and unnecessarily long conversations were had."

"More than I expected to have happened," he admitted.

"Less dire of a situation that I had anticipated," Draco said.

"That's a good thing though," he said, playing with the empty phial of potion. "You know, you haven't actually told me what happens if you don't take these."

"... I occasionally lose control of some of my muscles," Draco said quietly, keeping his eyes on the dessert. "The muscle might release or repeatedly contract on its own and I'll just have to wait it out. It might not sound that bad until you nearly choke on a spoon when your arm starts twitching while you're eating... or you can't breathe because your diaphragm isn't responding."

"I want to kiss you right now, but I don't want you to mistake what I'm feeling for pity," Harry said, wondering how the bloody hell Draco even managed to convince himself to pursue something as delicate as Potions.

"Then what is it?" Draco asked, looking at him disbelievingly.

"Hard to explain," he murmured, leaning in slowly and cupping the man's face. He had half expected Draco to stop him but the man looked more like he was trying to keep himself in check.

He kissed Draco slowly and then deeply. His hands threaded through soft, platinum hair. A hot tongue tentatively reacted to his own and soon moved more strongly and eagerly. He heard Draco set the bowl on the ground and he let out a surprised grunt when Draco sidled closer to him.

And then the man stopped and pulled away from him, licking his lips and pushing his hair back.

"Not here," Draco said, sounding a bit flustered.

"Yeah," Harry nodded, his heart racing.

"I'm going to do something I've wanted to for a while now," Draco said.

"Okay," he nodded. He hated how awkward this was for him when he was not just trying to pull someone.

"Winky," Draco called, grabbing his bowl.

"Yes, Master Draco?" Winky asked, when she apparated in.

"Apparate us to my rooms, would you," the man said.

And before Harry knew it, he was down in Draco's room and he was being guided to the bed.

"Draco-"

"If you don't shut up, I'm going to change my mind," the man warned, ridding them of their clothes with a flick of his wand.

"Fuck yes," he whispered, eyeing Draco unashamedly.

Draco might just be a Potions Master but all those stairs around the school and the routine walks kept him in shape. He was not particularly muscular but he looked, well, fit. It was the first time Harry had gotten a good look at the man. Surreptitious glances had nothing on this.

He was pushed back onto the bed and before he could say anything the cream from Draco's dessert was making its way onto his stomach and over his cock. His eyes widened and he swallowed hard. He looked up and, Merlin, did his mouth go dry at the amount of want in Draco's eyes.

"It's been too bloody long since I've let go," Draco muttered to himself, putting the bowl on the floor and then climbing over Harry before dipping his head down and dragging his tongue through the cream on Harry's abdomen, dipping into his navel.

Harry was so distracted that he barely managed to recall the fact that Draco's rooms had no windows.

q...p

Skip to Day 32 – Saturday

q...p

It was free a period on Draco's schedule and Harry had managed to convince him to have tea with Weasley and Weasley-Granger. He might have refused going until Harry had agree to accompany him to Theo's birthday the following week. He might have neglected to tell Harry that it would a fairly large group of people but that did not quite matter now that Draco was sitting in Weasley's living room.

"So, I don't actually know what happened during your time together to trigger this," Weasley-Granger said, glancing at them both as she poured some tea.

"We were stuck with each other for a week," Harry said. "There was enough time there for an epiphany."

"It wasn't an epiphany," Draco drawled.

"I didn't think it was," Weasley-Granger said. "Do you fancy some cream, Malfoy?"

"I'm rather keen on it," he nodded, ignoring the way Harry looked at him.

"Shit," the man muttered, as his tea spilled over his fingers.

"You all right, mate?" Weasley asked.

"Uh, yeah. Fine," Harry nodded. "Just a bit clumsy is all."

After Granger-Weasley returned with the cream, she resumed questioning them on their relationship. In the middle of Harry insisting that nothing really triggered a change between them, Draco prepared his tea. A bit of cream clung to the rim of the cup and he swiped it with his finger before sucking it into his mouth.

He suppressed a smirk at the pause in Harry's words.

"Something must have happened though," Weasley finally said.

"Harry forgot to cast a privacy charm when he was wanking in the bath," he offered, revelling in the groan that came from beside him and the shocked expressions before him. "Imagine my shock when I heard him moaning my-"

"Maybe we should go back to Hogwarts now," Harry said abruptly. "You had those potions to grade, right? You get miserable when you fall back on grading."

"Uh, yeah," Weasley frowned. "Erm... see you next week then or something."

"You were always bad with those," Granger-Weasley said, having recovered the fastest.

"So sorry we couldn't finish our tea," Draco smirked.

"There's always next time," Granger-Weasley said, her husband frowning beside her.

"I am so going to kill you," Harry whispered, as they went for the door.

"None of that would have happened if Miss Longbottom had not stuck us together," Draco smiled. "I daresay you should blame her."