Thank you all again for the reviews! This is the last part of this story. I'm sorry it's later than usual, but it's a busy time of year! I hope you enjoy it. A very Merry Christmas to you all. Phoenixstrike xx

Part Seven

Harry spent the rest of the day between feeling determined with his new plan, mourning the loss of the cat, and being terrified at the possibility of losing Draco fully from his life, should he reject Harry's advances, and make it impossible for them to work together. So it was something of a relief when Ron and Hermione paid him a visit just after dinner, as it gave him a reason for the first time since mid-morning to think about something other than his current situation. Or so he thought it would be, anyway; a thought that was very quickly dispelled.

"We wanted to make sure you were OK," Hermione said, as soon as she stepped through the fireplace and before she'd even removed her gloves and scarf. "Godric went back today, didn't he?"

"Er, yeah," Harry said, somewhat evasively. It was a dangerous topic that Harry really didn't want to go into, in too much depth. However, his mood must have come across as upset, rather than simply offhanded as he was going for, as both his friends looked on at him in sympathy. Harry knew that his 'decision' to get rid of the cat had baffled his friends, and he was also aware that they hadn't bought the 'it's just not working out' excuse for a second.

"When did he leave?" Hermione pressed. Harry wished she wouldn't.

"Um, he went mid-morning," he answered truthfully, glad that not everything he told his best friends had to be a lie.

"Don't worry, mate," Ron said. "It's not all doom and gloom. I've got some news that will cheer you up. You will be back out in the field next week, at least- I saw Malfoy leaving Robard's office at lunchtime, and he looked back to normal- not a single scar from the Spattergroit anywhere on him. Reckon he'll be at work in the morning."

Harry heard Hermione give a small squeak, and closed his eyes and sighed deeply. There it is, cat well and truly out of the bag, he thought wryly. He'd have given anything- anything- for Ron to have not uttered those words. Harry could practically hear Hermione's brain working, fitting the pieces together like a jigsaw puzzle. The fact that the cat had conveniently arrived as soon as Malfoy took sick leave from work. And that it left the day Malfoy had made his reappearance. Those damn captivating grey eyes that Hermione had commented on in both the human and feline Malfoy. It was all just too much of a coincidence.

"Harry, why don't I help you make coffee?" Hermione said, standing and all but dragging Harry out of the room. Ron, oblivious, kicked off his shoes, grabbed the TV remote and began to channel hop, as he loved to do. He wouldn't notice a thing was amiss between his fiancée and his best friend. Harry winced; Hermione had him by the metaphorical balls here.

She frogmarched him to the kitchen, then threw up an Imperturbable Charm on the kitchen door.

"Malfoy?!" she yelled. "That- that animal was Draco Malfoy?!"

There was no point denying it. Harry nodded slowly. Hermione's lips went extremely thin.

"I think you need to explain this from the beginning, Harry," she said, and her tone had that slightly scary edge to it which always seemed to make Harry obey.

"Malfoy is an unregistered Animagus," he said, and Hermione's eyebrows almost disappeared into her bushy hair. "No! Not like that. He's not breaking the law. Kingsley knows. And so do I. We have done for ages. And now so does Robards. And, um, Ginny. And you. His own parents don't even know. And you can't tell Ron. I'm really sorry about that."

"Ginny knows?" Hermione said. Harry opened his mouth, but she cut him off with an impatient wave of her hand. "No, explain that in a minute. Tell me more."

"Being unregistered means that he's been able to gather vital information in his Animagus form, without anyone becoming suspicious. It's led to some extremely important arrests. Remember that case last year, where that Muggle had to be admitted to St Mungo's with those strange runes burnt all over their body? It was Malfoy's evidence that secured the conviction," Harry said, filled suddenly with pride for his Auror partner and current star of his fantasises. No, he told himself, this is not the time for those sort of thoughts.

"OK, so he's an unregistered Animagus, working with you," Hermione said. "That doesn't explain what he was doing living in your house as a cat for a month."

"It was the Brockway and Peterson case," Harry continued, putting a kettle on the stove to actually make coffee, thinking that, as unobservant as Ron could be, even he would notice if they came back without any. "We had somewhat of a monumental cockup with that one." He explained about the old lady and the RSPCA, how Kingsley was getting more and more frustrated with the pair of them, and how this had led to them taking risks to make headway. He told her about getting cornered in the greenhouse, Malfoy's attempts to get out, Brockway realising he was an Animagus and the subsequent spell cast by Peterson, which hit Malfoy and trapped him in feline form for a month.

"Kingsley asked me to look after him," Harry said. "So I have been. I always knew it was only temporary." He realised as he said it that he'd sounded sad, and Hermione had clearly picked up on it too, for she was giving Harry a very odd look.

"Oh, Harry," Hermione said, her eyes full of sympathy. "You'll fallen for him, haven't you?" She took the kettle off the stove and poured boiling water into the three mugs she'd gathered.

"Why do women keep asking me that?" Harry said. "Yes, alright? I have. I know it's not ideal, but the month away from him- human him anyway- has made me really, really miss him, and appreciate what I'd lost, then Ginny pointed out I fancied him, and it was like she's flicked on a light switch in my brain and woken me up to something, as everything suddenly made sense." He sighed deeply. "And now I can't get him out of my bloody mind."

He explained quickly about Ginny, and how she'd found out about Malfoy. To her credit, Hermione didn't laugh.

"Are you going to do anything about it?" Hermione asked gently, as she rummaged through Harry's cupboards, looking for biscuits. She found a packet of Pink Panther wafers, held them out to him with a grin on her face, and said, "Harry, why on earth do you have these?"

"They're Teddy's, for when he comes over," Harry lied. Hermione's lips thinned again. "Fine. They taste nice and I like them," he said defensively. "And, er, yeah, I thought I might. You know, go for it." He didn't know how Hermione- or Ron, when he found out- would feel about that. Malfoy had not exactly been friendly towards them over the years, after all, and there was that rather nasty business that took place during their sixth year at Hogwarts. But it was years since school, Ron and Draco worked reasonably well together in the Auror Office, and Draco had even been polite, if somewhat formal and stiff, with Hermione on the few occasions they'd interacted at work. "Is that OK with you?"

Hermione did laugh then.

"Harry, you're twenty-four years old. You don't need my- or anybody else's- permission on whom to date," she said.

"I know. But Draco has said some vile things to you over the years," Harry replied.

"We're not thirteen any more. He's grown up. We all have," Hermione said. "Besides, you could never have fallen for him if he still was how he was at school. And I meant what I said the other week- we, Ron and I, we just want you to be happy, Harry. If Malfoy is that person to make you happy, then OK. We don't have to like him. We're not the ones who want to date him. And I trust your judgement, Harry."

"Thank you," Harry said, and before he knew what was happening, Hermione had pulled him into a hug. "But, what about Ron-"

"You leave Ronald to me," Hermione said, with a wicked glint in her eye that made Harry think of bets involving female oral sex as winnings and felt the last dismal, pathetic flicker of any lingering heterosexuality shrivel up and die. "It will be fine. I promise."

For the first time in months, Harry awoke the following morning feeling actually excited to go to work. He took a much longer than usual shower, spent extra time on his hair (not that it looked in the slightest bit tidier), and even bothered to iron a shirt to wear under his Auror robes. He threw down some breakfast, followed by about half a carton of orange juice, then jumped into the fireplace and travelled to the Ministry.

The disappointment he felt when he arrived and saw Malfoy's desk was empty was crushing, and almost felt like a physical blow to his gut. It was only once he'd made himself a coffee and had sat himself down at his desk, scowling, that he realised no one else was in the office yet, except three house-elves who were cleaning the building and an extremely tired-looking Auror who had been on the night shift, because he was an hour early for work.

"Bugger," he said to himself, as he felt his cheeks heat in embarrassment. Merlin, he had it bad, if he was arriving at work before eight in the morning in his excitement to see the object of his affections. He passed the hour, which actually felt like a week, before the other Aurors (those not nursing ridiculous crushes that compelled them to arrive at work at stupid o'clock, that was) arrived by catching up on the paperwork he should have completed before now, but had somehow got shoved to the bottom of his never-ending pile.

He actually managed to get a lot completed, and indeed had submerged himself so fully that he almost jumped out of his skin when a cool hand touched him lightly on the shoulder and said, "No bunting? No balloons? No quartet of goblins waiting around my desk to sing me a welcome back sonnet?"

Harry bit back his smile, knowing his blond former Slytherin was only half-joking. He looked up then, and somehow managed to school his features into one of indifference. No one should look that good in standard issue work robes.

"Sorry, Malfoy," he said. "But I don't think anyone even noticed you weren't here, to tell you the truth."

"Bollocks they didn't," Draco said with a raised eyebrow. "I'm extremely noticeable."

You're telling me, Harry thought wryly. Instead he forced himself to look back down at his paperwork.

"Whatever you say, Draco."

He noticed Ron walk in then, who shot him a look that couldn't have said, 'Hermione has talked to me and I have to be nice' any clearer if it was printed across his forehead in fluorescent ink. It didn't stop Harry receiving an intradepartmental memo just before morning break with the words Are you fucking MENTAL? written on it in violently purple ink, with the word mental underlined four times. Harry simply grinned over at Ron, mouthed, 'Probably' back at him, and returned to his report. It was all good; Ron didn't hate him, even if he did think his choice in men was diabolical.

After lunch Robards called Harry and Draco into his office and commanded- not asked- them to sit.

"I have an assignment for you, boys," he said, brushing a speck of invisible dirt off the breast of his robes. Harry ignored the slur at being addressed as 'boy', something which always reminded him of Vernon Dursley and made him feel about nine years old, not the man of nearly twenty-five that he actually was, and allowed the ripple of excitement at receiving his first mission in weeks to overtake instead. "I'm dispatching you to Stratford-Upon-Avon. Some joker thought it was hilarious to charm a bust of Shakespeare in the Birthplace Museum to yell expletives at people as they walked past. I'm sending Amelia Kent from Misuse of Muggle Artefacts with you, I and expect you to wrap up the case by this afternoon." Which, Harry translated, meant, 'I don't give a flying fuck about this, and it's a waste of my time'. Harry sighed. For once, he could empathise with Robards. It was a rookie assignment, the type of assignment he undertook as a first year trainee Auror, not an established senior-ish Auror in line for a promotion in the coming months. Harry knew Robards had given it to him and Draco as some sort of punishment, and one look at Draco's face said he wasn't fooled for a second, either. Still, it meant they would at least get out of the Ministry for a few hours. With Malfoy. Which had to be good.

He and Draco spent a grand total of two hours on the assignment- forty minutes to establish there were no Dark spells involved and was therefore not a case for the Aurors, a further forty on low-level Memory Charms on the Muggles who had heard the bust shouting, and the remainder of the time writing up the report- slowly- whilst drinking cappuccino and eating carrot cake in the museum tea room. They then found a quiet place from which to Apparate, and returned to the Ministry.

It had been great, Harry thought, as he returned to his desk for the remainder of his shift. OK, so the case was hardly Batman or Superman worthy, but it had got him out of the office and London and into the English countryside for a couple of hours, and he was back working in the field with Malfoy again. Not that it was Malfoy's Auror skills that had impressed him this afternoon, mind. No, Harry mused, it had been the way his Muggle black Levi's- which he had adopted for their visit into the Muggle world- had clung to his arse and showed off his long legs fully. Malfoy wasn't much taller than Harry, and certainly not what someone would call a tall man, but the clothes made him look long and lean and altogether rather shaggable.

"So, did you tell your parents you're an Animagus?" Harry asked casually, simply to say something because they had been far too quiet for too long and it was driving him insane. Draco snorted.

"Father already thinks I'm a distasteful abomination. I decided long ago not to share any details about my private life with them in future, so, no, I didn't."

"Your dad thinks you're an abomination because you're gay?" Harry said, shocked. Draco began to laugh, and it was a dry, humourless laugh which carried some self- depreciation to it; something Harry had never heard in Draco's voice before.

"Oh, Potter, you idiotic fool. Father couldn't care less who I take to my bed. No, I'm an abomination because I joined the Aurors."

Harry felt his mouth fell open. He forced it closed before Draco could start making jokes about him catching flies.

"'An Auror is not a fitting career for a Malfoy, Draco'," Draco said, in an uncannily accurate impression of his father. "'I didn't raise you to be a puppet for the Ministry and to put yourself in danger in order to save Muggles, Mudbloods, and blood traitors'. Honestly, Potter, sometimes I swear he forgets we were actually on the losing side of the war, and fucking lucky to escape with our freedom. If he found out I'm an Animagus, and change into an ordinary, common domestic cat rather than something regal like a snow leopard, or an eagle or something, I'd never hear the end of it."

"I liked you as a cat," Harry said, before he could stop himself, then gave himself a mental slap. Draco, however, simply smiled at him: a warm, genuine smile that carried no hint of a sneer. It was warm, and friendly, and Harry couldn't look away even if he'd wanted to.

"I know."

Those two words made Harry feel tingly all over. It was time. He was going to do it. He was going to ask out Draco Malfoy.

"Draco, I-" he began, but that was as far as he got, because Robards had just bellowed, "Malfoy! In here, now!" and the moment was lost. Paling slightly but standing immediately, Draco schooled his face into the cool indifference Harry recognised from years ago and disappeared into Robard's office. He emerged twenty minutes later with a large stack of parchment, which he dumped unceremoniously onto his desk.

"Bastard wants me to work late," Draco said. "Apparently, I owe him, and he wants this-" Draco indicated the stack "-all completed before I can leave. Arsehole. He just wants to go home and can't be bothered to do it himself, the lazy prick." He scowled and sat down with a 'humph', then pulled the stack of paperwork towards him, grabbed a quill and ink pot, and began to write furiously. Harry sighed. He'd have to try again tomorrow.

"Night, Draco," he said, standing himself now and grabbing his winter cloak. "Don't work too hard."

He felt slightly aggrieved as he made his way to the Floo.

Harry didn't, as it turned out, manage to ask Draco out at any other point that week, and by the time the weekend arrived he was feeling mad at himself. He'd chickened out once, and hadn't had the opportunity for the rest of the time, as he was finally back out in the field properly. Harry didn't think a quick, "Hey, Draco, fancy dinner with me sometime?" was appropriate when attending the scene of a crime.

On Saturday morning, Harry collected Teddy from Andromeda's and took him to London Zoo. He gave the boy lunch at Grimmauld Place (making a point to give him some of the pink wafer biscuits Hermione had laughed at), then dropped him home before grabbing a few hours' sleep before his night shift began. The Saturday Night Shift was infamous amongst the Aurors for being the most loathed of all shifts, and was a full twelve hours from seven till seven. Luckily they only each had to do it once every three months, as they worked on a rota, but that didn't stop Harry dreading it. They had to stay within the Ministry, answering emergency owls from the public where necessary, complete outstanding paperwork and, if that was all up to date, they were expected to use the rest of their time 'in a manner productive to the overall department' which, Harry thought, meant 'tidy up everyone else's shit'. The shift always dragged, and Harry wouldn't even have Draco for company as they didn't work with their partners on this shift. He'd worked with Ron once, and that had been an OK night, but they'd not drawn the same shift again in over two years, and tonight, Harry remembered with a groan, he was working with Alexandra Fairweather, the Auror he'd been partnered with when he'd been injured and ended up in St Mungo's. Oh, wonderful.

Harry spent an awkward and rather silent night with Alexandra, and received only one call-out, to a very old and slightly senile witch who had owled the Aurors when she couldn't find her keys. Harry gave her the standard Ministry lecture about wasting Auror time but did Summon the keys for her, before helping her place them in a safe drawer. He spent long, tedious hours doodling on scrap sheets of parchment and making origami birds which he charmed to fly around the office, before the large clock in the Atrium finally chimed seven and he breathed a huge sigh of relief. It was a full three months before he'd have to suffer this again. He and Fairweather handed over to the day team, said a stiff and very uncomfortable goodbye to one another, then Harry stepped into the fireplace, exited the Floo from his fireplace in his bedroom, threw on a tatty pair of tracksuit bottoms and all but fell into bed. He was snoring softly within seconds.

A loud knocking at the door roused him from a deep sleep, in which he was dreaming he was playing Quidditch on the back of Buckbeak. He tried to ignore it, but the knocking was insistent so he grabbed his glasses, hauled himself out of bed, slung on his dressing gown and padded down the stairs. He threw the door open.

"What the fu-" he began, then stopped in his tracks. Draco was at the door, dressed impeccably in a full length leather coat in a rich shade of charcoal, teamed with black woollen trousers and dragon hide boots. Around his neck was a black cashmere scarf, and not a hair was out of place on his head, despite the harsh February wind and the fact it was snowing. He looked absolutely stunning, and for a few seconds, Harry thought he forgot how to breathe. Draco looked Harry up and down once, and gave him a crooked smile, eyebrow raised. Harry was suddenly incredibly aware he was wearing a pair of tracksuit bottoms with holes in them, there was Weetabix dried onto his dressing gown, and that he was wearing a pair of socks from which his big toe protruded through the material. He was also unshaven, and his hair was in an even greater mess than usual. Compared to Draco, Harry thought he looked like a tramp.

"Er, come in," he said, unsteadily. Draco stepped into the hallway and removed his scarf and coat, hanging them on the coat stand. He was just as stylishly tailored underneath the coat; Harry may not know a great deal about fashion, but he knew enough to know that the jumper and shirt Draco was wearing would cost more than the entire contents of his wardrobe combined. Draco was still looking at his clothes, amusement flittering across his face.

"Nice outfit, Potter," he drawled. "You do realise, don't you, that it's eleven in the morning, and at this time of day, civilised people are out of their sleepwear and ready to go about their business? You look like you've just crawled out of bed."

"I have just crawled out of bed," Harry said, feeling annoyed. "You woke me up. I was on the night shift last night, remember?"

At this, Harry was satisfied to see a faint pink grace Draco's cheeks, and a slightly abashed look touch his eyes. Obviously he had forgotten. "Coffee?" Harry offered, his anger with Draco disappearing as quickly as it had come.

He went into the kitchen and made coffee, then brought two mugs out. Draco was still standing in the hallway, staring at the painting of Walburga Black.

"Why do you have this hideous painting in your home?" he asked, staring at the currently silent portrait. Harry was suddenly reminded of Draco in his cat form, hissing at it in fear. He grinned.

"You know this house used to belong to the Blacks," he said, "well, this portrait has been stuck to the wall with a Permanent Sticking Charm."

"Yes, I know that, Potter but my question is why is she still up here?" Draco replied.

"Because," Harry repeated slowly, as if talking to a child, "it's stuck to the bloody wall."

"The frame is," Draco said. "But she isn't. And I'm here to save you from this insane old bat once and for all."

Harry was sure he was missing something here. He'd tried everything: every charm, counter-charm and curse he could think of, and short of knocking down the wall (which would probably lead to the entire house collapsing if he tried) he didn't know what else to do.

"I'm not trying anything illegal," he said uncertainly. Draco began to laugh out loud.

"Prat," he said. "Look, if you repeat what I'm about to say, I will have you killed, mark my words. But on occasion, and it is rare, Muggles outsmart wizards. Pure-bloods like the Blacks would not have been aware of Muggle methods, and there is in fact a very simple solution to this." He reached into the black bag he'd brought in with him and pulled out an old cloth… and a can of paint stripper. A feral smile crossed his lips. "I'm quite certain that when my dear great-aunt had her portrait stuck to the wall that she had never envisioned something like this."

Harry watched, fascinated, as Draco unscrewed the can, decanted some of the paint stripper onto the cloth, and began to wipe at the portrait. The paint from the frame instantly disappeared where the paint stripper touched it. Walburga had noticed what was happening; she began her usual shrieking, but it had a panicked edge to it that Harry had never heard before. He wondered if paintings could feel pain.

"Oh do shut up, you fucking old hag," Draco said, and wiped the rag across Walburga's mouth, erasing it from existence and instantly, and permanently, silencing her. Draco's face shone with triumph, and Harry found he couldn't look away from this strong, clever, sarcastic, beautiful man, who was currently standing in his hallway, and removing the last remnant of the House of Black from his home.

It took Draco thirty minutes to remove the entire portrait from its frame. The coffee Harry had made lay long-forgotten on the table.

"What do you think?" Draco said, re-capping the paint stripper and replacing it back in his bag, gesturing to the now empty frame. Harry stared at him, his mind whirring with about fifty questions.

"Why are you here, Draco?" he said eventually.

"That painting gave me the creeps," Draco said. "It needed to go."

"No. That's not it. You're not here on a Sunday morning just to remove a painting that you never had to see again. Try again. Why are you here, right now?"

They simply stared at each other for a long moment. Harry's mouth was dry. Eventually, Draco said softly, "Was Ginny Weasley right?"

Harry didn't need Draco to elaborate. It was plainly obvious what he was referring to. You fancy the pants off him. He took a deep breath. This was it. He forced himself to look Draco fully in the eye, and hold his gaze as he uttered one short, but possibly life-altering word.


Draco's hard stare instantly softened, stealing the breath from Harry's lungs with it.

"Then that is why I came," Draco said, his voice barely louder than a whisper now.

Harry felt his eyes widen in shock, and then he wasn't feeling anything except an exquisite jolt of searing pleasure as Draco stepped forwards, cupped Harry's face in his hands, and pressed their mouths together.

It was nothing like their brief kiss in Harry's bed, the morning Draco returned to his human form. Draco's lips were soft and pliant as they pushed against his own, and Harry began to return the kiss in earnest, opening his mouth to Draco as he threaded his fingers into Draco's hair and pulled him close against him, unable to stop the sigh of pure, unadulterated happiness that escaped from his chest. This felt right, perhaps more right than anything had ever felt in the universe, ever.

Draco nipped at Harry's bottom lip lightly with his teeth, then soothed the slight sting with a lick from his tongue, and Harry melted. Aware that Draco was controlling the kiss, he fought back for control, pushing Draco against the hallway wall and pressing himself fully against Draco's body. He was only wearing thin tracksuit bottoms, and Draco would undoubtedly be able to feel just exactly how much Harry was enjoying this, but he simply didn't care. His skin was fire and ice; goose bumps had erupted all over his skin, feeling both overheated and far too cool at the same time, as he let his tongue slip into Draco's mouth. He'd thought he'd enjoyed kissing Ginny. He now realised that he'd been an idiot. This kiss was so far off the scale from that, that anything he'd ever shared with another person simply ceased to exist in Harry's mind.

"Oh Merlin," he heard Draco mutter against his lips. His voice sounded strained and throaty, and when he shifted against Harry, a jolt of electric desire shot down Harry's spine as he realised that Draco was just as turned on as he was. He seized his courage and pressed his thigh between Draco's legs suggestively, and was rewarded with a groan, which was the most wonderful sound Harry had ever heard.

"Do you have any idea what you do to me, Potter?" Draco rasped. "Twelve bloody months I've thought about this, never thought you'd want me back, and… oh, don't fucking stop."

The confession that sprung from Draco's lips caused the last of Harry's restraint to snap. With a growl, he began to kiss along Draco's jawline and neck, fastening his mouth over the pulse point in Draco's throat, and sucked a deep bruise into the flesh. He felt two hands snake into his hair and grip firmly, possessing him, and the shallow, uneven breathing Harry's actions were producing from Draco was doing things to Harry's body that only physical contact had ever done in the past. He didn't think he'd ever felt like he could come without being touched before. With a final burst of courage, he reached down with one hand and began to massage Draco's erection through his trousers.

Draco sucked in his breath sharply, and the hands in Harry's hair tightened considerably. "Shit." Encouraged by this reaction, Harry doubled his efforts, pushing his own erection against Draco's thigh, and stroking Draco through his woollen trousers with enthusiasm now.

"Potter," Draco groaned, "if you keep doing that, I'm going to come."

Harry stopped what he was doing then, and looked into Draco's face. His pupils were dilated and had taken on an unfocused, drunk look, his mouth red and swollen, and a slight rash caused by Harry's day- old stubble was ringing his lips. His cheeks were flushed and his hair was nowhere near impeccably neat any longer. Harry could feel Draco's heartbeat racing against his own chest, could feel warm, panted breath against his cheek, and knew, undoubtedly, this was what he wanted. Draco Malfoy was beautiful. There were no other words Harry could think to describe him.

"Fuck, I want you," he said. Draco's eyes darted down towards Harry's groin, where the evidence of just how much he wanted Draco was making itself obvious through the tracksuit bottoms, then trailed back up Harry's body to meet his gaze once more.

"Then have me," he replied. Harry didn't need any further invitation. Wordlessly, he took Draco's hand and led him up the stairs to his bedroom.

Harry closed the door as soon as he and Draco entered, and pushed Draco against it, kissing him furiously. Their kisses downstairs had been new, exploratory; now they were urgent, desperate. Harry felt his knees threaten to give way. He needed to lie down. He pulled Draco towards his bed, sank down onto the mattress, and pulled Draco on top of him.

Oh, this was much better. Draco's weight was pushing into him in all the right ways and Harry arched off the bed at the sensation of Draco's erection pressing against his. Merlin, when they finally got going, Harry wasn't going to last long at all, he thought, if a simple touch brought him this close.

"Draco, you know I've never- with another bloke, I mean," Harry said breathlessly, both from the weight of Draco pressing into him and his level of arousal.

"I do," Draco murmured into his ear, then nibbled on his earlobe. "It's pretty fucking sexy, that I get to be the first person to make the great Harry Potter fall apart."

It was too much. Harry needed him, now. He didn't particularly care what they did, or who put what where, as long as something happened before he exploded and came into his pyjamas like some nervous teenager. He fumbled for his wand on the bedside table, fully intending to remove both their clothes, but a firm hand grasped his wrist.

"Don't you dare Vanish this jumper," Draco said. "It's a Brunello Cucinelli and cost over five hundred Galleons." He climbed off Harry and sat back on his heels. "You need to start treating luxury with respect." He slowly, and very deliberately, pulled the jumper off his head, placing it carefully on the back of a chair. Then he began unbuttoning his shirt, all the time aware that Harry hadn't taken his eyes off him once.

It was a sight Harry had seen before, and had always appreciated, but now it was as if it was the first time he'd ever seen Draco's bare torso. Smooth, pale skin, toned muscles visible but not protruding too much, and the merest hint of a long since faded Mark on his left forearm. There was no evidence of the Sectumsempra incident of their sixth year, for which Harry was grateful. He reached up and ran his hands down Draco's arms from shoulders to hands, resting on Draco's fingers, which had moved to the fly of his trousers. Together they worked to release the button and pull down the zip, then Harry reached round and yanked the trousers and, for good measure, Draco's underwear, down in one impatient pull.

"Uncouth as ever, Potter," Draco drawled, but Harry was barely listening, for Draco was now hard and naked in his bed, making no attempt to hide any part of himself from Harry's view, and- dear God- Harry could die a happy man now. He didn't notice Draco pick up Harry's wand from the bed, until it was pointed at him.

"My clothes demanded reverence. Yours, however, barely qualify as rags, and won't be missed," Draco said. He waved Harry's wand and Harry was suddenly just as completely naked as Draco, the February air lashing his overheated skin. He shivered, but didn't think it was entirely due to the cold. He suddenly felt nervous. This was the first time in over three years he'd been naked with another person, and the first time he'd ever seen another man naked, in this context at least. He swallowed hard.

Draco must have noticed, for a flicker of uncertainty crossed features, and Harry could have kicked himself. That look was not at all welcome right now. He threw his arms around Draco's neck and fell back onto the pillows, pulling Draco back on top of him and kissing him hard, trying to make sure all his feelings and desires went into the kiss.

Draco, apparently appeased, began touching Harry all over with his fingers and tongue. His mouth explored his jaw, his throat and his collarbone, his hand caressed Harry's arms and hips, stroking the inside of this thighs. Harry was a panting wreck now as his own hands explored, his own tongue tasting Draco's skin. He was aware he was probably making noises that, was he watching this rather than participating, he would be cringing about, but he just didn't care. And then, miraculously, the hand stroking his inner thighs trailed upwards, inch by inch, until…

"Holy mother of Merlin," Harry gasped, as cool, firm fingers wrapped around him and began to move. "Ngh."

Draco chuckled softly into the crook of Harry's neck, which did nothing to slow down the pleasure that was surging through him. What was he, fifteen? It had only been about forty seconds. With every drop of willpower he had, Harry grabbed Draco's hand and pulled it away from him, mourning the loss of the contact, but giving himself a much-needed few seconds to recover. He rolled them over so he was now straddling Draco and, relying on instinct, bent his head and began to lap at Draco's nipple. Fingers clutched suddenly on Harry's hips, tight enough to leave marks, and then a noise came from Draco; a noise that sounded just like-

"Draco, are you purring?" Harry said, feeling a huge grin spreading across his face.

"No," Draco said, but he didn't meet Harry's eyes.

"Yes you are. You are so fucking purring!" Draco flushed now.

"I may have retained one or two feline characteristics in my human form. Does it bother you?"

"That depends. Will you be purring for anyone else?"

Draco finally met his gaze again, and gave him a look of pure sincerity.

"No. Only for you, Harry."

Hearing his given name from Draco's lips was all it took for Harry to fully lose control. He surged forwards, not really knowing what he was doing but not caring much either, and took Draco into his own hand.

"Good. Keep it that way," he murmured as he began to move, then captured Draco's mouth once more in a searing kiss, which was far from perfect with the banging of teeth, and saliva on each other's chins, but that just made it all the more brilliant. Harry gasped and bore down on Draco's hand when he felt it curl around him once more and there was no way he was going to find the willpower to stop this for a second time: they were going to finish this right here, like this, in Harry's bed.

It was unlike anything Harry had ever felt before. Two men, hot and sweaty, gasping, and grunting, and pushing together, sighing and kissing and nipping. Harry knew Draco was getting close, which was a good thing as he was tottering on the edge himself, and he knew it would take only the smallest touch to send him spiralling past the point of no return.

"Potter, going to, oh fuck," Draco panted, but Harry's hearing had been replaced by a thick buzzing; he tried to keep his eyes open but couldn't, and his head dropped onto Draco's shoulder. The flames that had begun to flicker in the pit of his stomach were building and spreading, combusting everything in its path until Harry was quite convinced he was an inferno. He was vaguely aware of Draco shuddering then stiffening below him and letting out a hoarse cry, then he fell off the edge, plummeting towards the unknown as an overwhelming jolt of pleasure slammed into him, robbing him of his breath and his senses. All he was aware of for those few seconds was delightful sensation, reaching a peak he'd never managed to reach before; the buzzing in his ears became louder and he cried out, emptying everything he had into Draco's fist.

It took Harry a good few minutes to recover and get his breathing under control. Once he finally did, he realised Draco was staring at him.

"If I had known it would have been like that," Draco said, and Harry was pleased to hear that he, too, was still breathless, "I'd have insisted we did it months ago." Harry could only not in agreement.

Was it always that spectacular, Harry wondered? Was it because it was finally with another man, or specifically because it was Draco, that he had just had the single most outstanding orgasm of his life? He strongly suspected that it was the latter.

"Sleepy," he muttered. Only now, fully satiated and lying in bed, did he remember how exhausted he was. It had been a rather busy twenty-four hours. He could also hardly believe what had happened in the last hour, and was wondering if he hadn't actually dreamt it all.

"Sleep, Potter," Draco said softly. "I'll be here when you wake."

"Harry," Harry murmured. "You called me Harry earlier."

"Harry, then." Draco kissed him softly on the lips. "I did forget you were on nights last night, but I make no apologies for coming."

Harry fell asleep with a smile on his face at Draco's double entendre.

"What did Ginny say to you? That time she whispered in your ear when you were still a cat?"

It was now evening. Harry had slept for a few hours, woken in Draco's arms (which had been wonderful, if he was being honest) and showered quickly (all the while marvelling that this was real, it had actually happened, and the large love bite on his neck was proof of that), throwing on clean, respectable, Draco-approved clothes afterwards. They were now in the kitchen, where Harry had made them both a simple dinner of pasta. For once Draco hadn't passed judgement on the food. He put down the forkful he had brought to his lips and smirked his Malfoy smirk.

"She told me to look after you, or she'd neuter me herself, regardless of whether or not I was actually a cat or human," he said. "I don't think she's too fond of me. She is, however, intensely scary, so I think I had better heed her warning."

Harry's heart leapt.

"Does that mean we're, you know, together now then?"

"Was that not obvious, Potter?"

"So, that's a yes then?"

"Yes, Scarhead."


They ate the rest of the meal without talking, but kept shooting each other little smiles, brushing their fingers against one another, or playing footsie. He wondered if this is how Ron and Hermione, or even Ginny and her boyfriend, Nathan, felt: complete, like the object of their affections was the missing piece of a jigsaw puzzle. There were no guarantees it would work out, of course- that was life, and there were no guarantees about anything. But, Harry decided, as he watched Draco lick pasta sauce from his fingers in a deliberately seductive manner, he was going to give it everything he had. Because right now, he thought (rather sappily, he chastised himself), if the Mirror of Erised was placed in front of him, he really would just see the image of his own reflection as he stood bounced back at him. He reached over and took hold of Draco's hand.

"What?" Draco said.

"You're driving me mad with the finger sucking," Harry replied honestly, noticing as he said so that a definite stir of arousal in his groin.

"Well, a theoretical observation of my oral skills is fun to watch. But I always find a practical demonstration to be far more satisfying, don't you?" Draco said. Harry gulped.

"Bedroom," he rasped, fully hard once more.

"Concurred," Draco replied. "I really have missed sleeping in your bed. Oh, and, Harry, it's your turn to wear the collar tonight." He swished his wand and conjured a green and silver collar, which he placed around Harry's neck. "Perfect. Now, be a good pet and come with me."

Harry didn't consider not obeying. Without a thought to the mess he was leaving in the kitchen he instantly stood up and followed Draco into the hallway.

"You look fetching in those colours," Draco purred. "Come along, my Kitty Kitty."

Harry smiled. Something told him he was going to enjoy this. Very much.