Title: Moment of Clarity
Word Count: 7,500
Warnings (Highlight to view): *None*
Disclaimer: The characters depicted herein belong JK Rowling and associated publishers. I make no profit from this endeavour.
Author's Notes: Written for hd_holidays 2012.
Summary: He didn't want to talk about it to anyone, not even his two best friends. He didn't want them to know the truth. So he said, with a casual shrug, "Well, if you must know it was just a sex thing, okay? I didn't like him in the way that you are implying."
"I thought you and Malfoy had come to a truce," Hermione said in a hissed whisper, leaning into Harry, her breath tickling his earlobe causing Harry to glance up, immediately meeting the narrowed grey eyes of Draco Malfoy standing in the cafeteria entrance as though frozen. His face even seemed paler than usual as Pansy stood beside him glaring at him completely unnoticed as all of his attention seemed to be focussed on Harry.
Harry felt his stomach twist unpleasantly and dragged his gaze away, his appetite abruptly vanishing. "Um—did I say that?" he replied, distracted, pushing his unfinished lunch to one side and reaching for his glass of water, his mouth suddenly very dry. He probably had said that at some point over the summer in one of his letters to Hermione in Australia—words slipped onto parchment that were true at the time which had become lies many weeks later.
"You know you did," Hermione said, her attention fixed on Malfoy as he seemed to collect himself and wind his way through the maze of tables behind Pansy to join Blaise Zabini at his corner table on the opposite side of the room. Not that Harry was watching with any sort of deliberation, he just couldn't help but notice from the corner of his eye. Colouring like Malfoy's was difficult to miss, that was all. "Alright, Harry—what happened?"
It was on the tip of Harry's tongue to say, 'Nothing,' or, 'I don't know what you mean,' but he'd never been very good at lying, and certainly not to Hermione who could see right through him. He closed his eyes and drew a deep breath before saying, "We had a thing." He watched Hermione's expression as he confessed, her eyes widening and her gaze flicking briefly over to Malfoy again before returning to Harry.
"Define 'thing'," she said, her hand snaking out to take a swig of her drink as though she was hoping it was full to the brim with firewhiskey rather than pumpkin juice and would fortify her for the conversation ahead.
Harry's subconscious supplied an answer…I fell in love. "We met up a couple of weeks after the final battle, not long after you and Ron went to Australia—but you knew that part." Harry had written that in the letter he recalled now, he'd written to Hermione that very night, his thoughts full of his meeting with Malfoy, how weird it had felt that there had been no animosity between them, just an odd kind of peace borne from the knowledge that each had saved the other at some stage, that Malfoy's mother was probably the only reason Harry still breathed today. It had been awkward at first, but Malfoy had suggested they get a drink and they'd spent a couple of hours in a Muggle coffee shop near Covent Garden, both of them wanting to stay out of sight of prying Wizarding eyes. Harry had still been feeling battle weary and exhausted from the months on the run, Malfoy had been full of shame for his part in the war, worried about the upcoming trials and what might happen to his mother now whilst accepting the almost inevitable truth that his father wasn't going to escape Azkaban and was currently enjoying house arrest at the Manor whilst Narcissa was with Andromeda and Teddy—Draco wasn't allowed to see either of them and was staying in the Leaky Cauldron until he found somewhere else to go, which wasn't proving terribly easy with the Malfoy vaults frozen pending the trials.
Harry found himself offering him room at Grimmauld Place before he'd had chance to think himself out of it. 'It's your mother's old family home anyway,' he'd said once he'd made the offer and was wondering what on earth had possessed him, as just because they'd managed to tolerate a couple of hours in each other's company without hexes flying didn't mean that they could live together. Yet—he knew without a doubt that he couldn't see Malfoy homeless.
Malfoy had accepted and they'd agreed that he would move in the following day. That night Harry had lain in bed staring blankly at the ceiling for hours, unable to shut his mind down as it spun off in twenty-seven different directions, all Malfoy related and when he'd finally drifted into sleep Malfoy had followed him there as well and Harry had woken in a sweat with an aching erection and a feeling of dawning horror.
"Harry?" Hermione prompted at Harry's immersion into his thoughts. "You met up and—?"
"He had nowhere to live so I offered him a room at number twelve," Harry said, fighting the urge to look over the corner of the room. "He'd only been there a couple of days when the inevitable happened and we had a huge argument." It had been Harry's fault—Malfoy had come down to breakfast wearing nothing but a towel and Harry had snapped at him to put some clothes on and from there it had escalated into a shouting match. "It—um—we ended up kissing," he confessed. And wasn't that the understatement of the year? After the raised voices there had been kissing, rather a lot of groping, and Harry falling to his knees and giving Malfoy a very clumsy and inexperienced blow job as Malfoy had tightened a hand in Harry's hair and hit his head on the wall as it fell back, swearing in pain before gasping, 'no, don't stop,' when Harry had tried to pull back in concern. Malfoy had tasted like nothing Harry had ever experienced before, intoxicating and heady—Harry had been lost in that moment and the realisation that this could be the reason it had never really felt right with Ginny, why it had been just nice but never amazing, why the two of them had parted ways just a few days after the final battle. With Draco—it wasn't just amazing, it was explosive.
"Okay, wow. So you and Malfoy kissed." Hermione leaned closer. "Is that why he just glared a hole in your forehead? Did he reject you? Did you reject him? Did he move out?"
"That's a lot of questions, Hermione," Harry said, unable to resist a snort of laughter at her enthusiasm. Her eyes had brightened and her cheeks were flushed. "There was no rejection if you must know and no moving out. Well, not then anyway. All of that happened a couple of weeks ago. He's moved in with Zabini."
"He lived at Grimmauld Place all summer?"
Harry nodded. "Nine weeks."
"So you both—" Hermione's flush intensified. "For nine weeks?"
Nine weeks, three days and about eleven hours. "Yep," Harry said, giving in a shooting a sneaky glance over at Malfoy, not sure how to feel when he found him laughing at something one of his friends were saying and not looking at him at all.
"So why'd he move out?"
"I asked him to," Harry admitted. 'Ron and Hermione come back in a couple of weeks,' he'd said as calmly as he could manage when Draco came home from an afternoon with Pansy and Blaise. The trials had been and gone, Draco's mother was in France with family, Lucius in Azkaban and Draco had become the official head of the Malfoy family and despite some financial reparations was soon to have the family accounts restored to him. 'I think it's best if you're not here when they arrive.'
He tried not to think about Draco's response, or the black eye he'd sported for nearly a week after Draco's departure. It was for the best, for both of them. Even if he longed to search him out and pull him into his arms, even if he missed him more than he'd ever thought it possible to miss another person—this wasn't like when Ron left him and Hermione alone for all those months or even like how he missed Sirius or Remus when they'd died—this was something else. Like a part of him was missing.
Harry knew that the next few months would be awkward, but attending lessons at the Ministry Academy in London was a far better alternative than returning to Hogwarts to complete another year. They only had to do six months before sitting their NEWTs and they didn't have to live in—the Ministry had made a big deal about treating Harry's year like adults now, making them responsible for themselves and as a result several of Harry's year had signed up to the programme. Harry was glad that return to Hogwarts wasn't an option. Once it had felt like home, but right now he didn't care if he never saw it again.
"Hey, what's with the long faces?" Ron appeared beside them and threw himself into an empty chair with his usual lack of grace. "We've only been here three hours; it can't be that bad already surely?"
Hermione shot a look at Harry that read 'do I tell him or not?' and Harry nodded back with a shrug. If Hermione knew then Ron had to know as well, end of. They'd long since moved past having secrets. "I'm cooking dinner tonight," he said. "Let's talk about it then."
Ron looked from to the other and seemed to sense there was more at stake than a bad morning and nodded. "Pasta and meatballs?"
Harry grinned. "Your wish is my command." Hermione and Ron exchanged a few words that Harry didn't pay attention to before Ron stood to go to the counter to select his lunch. The back of Harry's neck prickled and he lifted his eyes again and this time Draco was staring at him. Harry swallowed and found he couldn't look away.
Draco broke the connection first.
It was going to be a long six months.
: : o : :
Ron's reaction to finding out about Harry's thing with Draco was unexpected. He'd laughed so hard he'd had to wipe the tears from the corner of his eyes before saying, "Nev owes me ten galleons," and rubbing his hands together. "I can tell Nev can't I?"
"Ronald Weasley! You had a bet on Harry and Draco…you know?" Hermione looked incredulous.
"Since sixth year—I mean I know Harry turned out to be right and Malfoy was up to something, but until then, well, it didn't look good." Ron shifted uncomfortably, suddenly sheepish. "Sorry mate. Why'd you guys break up anyway? I can't pretend to be surprised and I won't say I exactlyapprove but—you never do anything by halves, Harry—you wouldn't have got it on with Malfoy if you didn't like him."
They'd enjoyed pasta meatballs and garlic bread for dinner and Harry had managed to forget about the look on Draco's face when he'd first seen Harry in the cafeteria earlier that day for just a short while—the look of hurt before Draco had covered it up with an old and familiar sneer. Now it came flooding back to him and the dinner he had enjoyed turned to lead in his stomach.
He didn't want to talk about it to anyone, not even his two best friends. He didn't want them to know the truth. So he said, with a casual shrug, "Well, if you must know it was just a sex thing, okay? I didn't like him in the way that you are implying."
Ron's eyes widened and he said, "Bullshit."
Hermione laid a gentle hand over Harry's. "Whilst I don't exactly approve of Ron's phrasing—he's right. You are lying." Harry felt compelled to meet her concerned brown eyes. "What I don't understand is why. Did he do something to you, hurt you in some way?"
"No!" Yes. "Can we just not talk about this?"
Hermione squeezed his hand and said, "If that's what you want." She pulled back and stood, clearing away the dirty dishes. "So what else did you get up to over the summer? You know in minute detail what Ron and I did because I wrote nearly every day." Hermione's parents had returned home to England with her and Ron after several weeks with a mind healer in Australia who had helped to restore their memories to them and they were now settling back into their old lives as best they could considering all the time that had passed.
"Yeah, mate, how is the Animagus training coming along—have you mastered it yet?"
Harry couldn't help the smile that split his face at Ron's question. The first thing he'd done after things calmed down after the final battle—when the cameras stopped flashing in his face for longer than five minutes the moment he left the house—was contact Professor McGonagall to find out how to go about becoming an Animagus and how to register. She had put him in touch with a woman named Henrietta Masters and he'd spent three mornings a week with her for the duration of the summer. He closed his eyes and pictured his Animagus form, feeling his body change shape until he felt whole again. "Woof!" he greeted his surprised friends, wagging his tail happily before jumping down from the chair and going to stand by the door and barking again.
"I think he wants to go for a walk, Ron," Hermione said with laughter in her voice. "Harry, you make a cute dog—I should have known you wouldn't be a pedigree."
Harry's animagus was a mongrel dog, medium length black fur, about the size of a border collie. Like Hermione, Harry hadn't been surprised when this had turned out to be his alter ego; in fact he loved that he could blend in wherever he went. When he was like this he felt free, something that he hadn't felt since the day Hagrid burst in and swept him away from the Dursleys when he was eleven, a feeling that had only lasted as long as it took for him to learn about Voldemort and what had really happened to his parents when the weight of his life had crashed down around him once more.
The war was over and Voldemort was dead, but Harry didn't feel free, he felt hunted. The press, the public—he couldn't go anywhere in Wizarding society as Harry Potter without attracting attention. He hated it. When he changed it was different. He could go where he wanted and no one blinked. It was an amazing feeling.
He barked again and Ron grinned. "Alright then, let's go out," he said, unable to hide the pride in his eyes when he looked at Harry. "Where's your lead?"
Harry ran over and nipped Ron's ankle in protest.
"Alright mate, just joking," Ron laughed. He ruffled Harry's head. "I never thought I'd be saying this about you, but Hermione's right, you are cute."
: : o : :
Harry ran rings around Ron and Hermione as they walked the streets around Grimmauld Place, meandering through the open squares typical of that part of London. He wanted to tire himself out so that he'd fall into a coma like slumber later and not be haunted by Draco.
It worked and he fell asleep as soon as his head hit the pillow, back in his human form, but that didn't stop Draco's spectre appearing in his dreams. Draco in wedding robes, gliding ethereally down the aisle towards a faceless woman draped in white lace, Draco smiling as he reached her, taking her hand and lifting the veil from her face to reveal—Voldemort.
Harry jerked awake in a cold sweat.
"Fuck," he muttered, pushing himself up onto an elbow and fumbling around for his wand and casting a Tempus. Not yet 5am. Still, there was no way he was going to sleep again now so he might as well get up.
He made his way downstairs to the kitchen and made a pot of coffee, sitting at the table with a steaming mug and his head in his hands. He didn't hear Hermione's approach until she sat down opposite him with a scrape of the chair causing him to reach for his wand on instinct. "Sorry, Hermione," he apologised, putting his wand back on the table and rubbing the back of his neck tiredly.
Hermione blinked at him, concern stamped all over her face. "We should never have left you alone here over the summer," she said apologetically. "It was too soon."
"I wasn't alone, I had Draco," Harry responded automatically, grimacing at the iron band the clenched around his heart at the memory. "I was fine," he said firmly.
"What happened, Harry?"
"I told you, I asked him to leave," Harry said, suddenly wishing he was anywhere but there, trapped in Hermione's gaze, the one that always made him spill the truth like she radiated Veritaserum.
"Yes, but you haven't told me why, not the real reason."
Harry took a deep breath. "You're not going to leave this alone are you?"
"Not when you're upset like this, Harry—I can't help if I don't know the full story."
"No one can help with this," Harry shook his head, remembering back to the day two weeks ago when he'd had his last lesson with Henrietta, when he'd managed to change with a practiced ease that led her to say that he was ready, that no further training was required and that they could put in for his licence. He'd gone home, the smile on his face so broad that he'd thought nothing could dampen it. He'd been so excited to show Draco—until that point he hadn't confided in him where he went on those mornings and Draco hadn't asked, but the realisation that Draco was the first person he wanted to know about it…sometime over the last few weeks Draco had become the person he wanted to confide in, the one he wanted to go home to every night—permanently. Only they hadn't ever talked about their relationship. It had just sort of happened—exploding into being and taking over Harry's life and his heart before he'd had chance to realise what was going on.
He'd arrived home to an empty house and had changed into his Animagus form straight away and settled down to wait for Draco's return. He'd fallen asleep on the armchair by the fireplace in the drawing room, curled into himself in a way that was impossible in his human form and he didn't hear Draco return with Pansy in tow, only waking to hear them talking in the next room, his canine hearing being far superior to his human equivalent.
'What are you doing, you fool?' he'd heard Pansy ask, her voice a theatrical hiss. 'This…fling—it can't go on, you know that. You're an engaged man. As soon as you sit your NEWTs next year that's it, you'll be married.'
The blood in Harry's ears had been roaring too loudly for him to hear Draco's reply. Married?
Thirty seconds later the Floo had roared to life and Harry heard Draco sigh heavily and move towards the door to the drawing room. Without thinking he jumped down from the chair and slid underneath it. Draco couldn't know he had overheard. Harry didn't know what he was supposed to say to that, how he was supposed to respond. He'd fallen in love with Draco but apparently his feelings weren't returned—what had become so much more than sex to him apparently wasn't for Draco. Draco was to be married. No doubt it was something engineered by his father, something that Draco planned to honour regardless that he was now head of the Malfoy family and could make his own decisions.
Harry looked at Hermione now and said, "He's marrying Astoria Greengrass in six months' time. He was just using me. I thought he was more than I'd assumed him to be all these years but I suppose I was wrong about that." He'd been wrong about a lot of things it would seem. Like starting to believe that he could be more than 'the boy who lived', here to save everyone else, that he might have some worth to someone who had never really cared about that label. The years of rejection by his family that he'd managed to suppress once he no longer had to return to their unwilling care came flooding back. Unwanted again.
"Oh, Harry," Hermione consoled, placing her hand over his. "And he left it nine weeks before he told you?"
Harry shook his head, "No, that's just it, he never did tell me—I overheard him talking to Pansy when he didn't realise that I was there."
Hermione's eyes widened briefly before she took a deep breath, squeezed his hand, and said, "So how can you be sure that you heard right?"
"I know what I heard," Harry said, trying not to think about how he'd missed the second part of the conversation because his head had been spinning from the revelation.
"I think you need to talk to him." Hermione let go of his hand and reached for her coffee mug to take a sip. "Have it out with him, find out for sure that what you heard is the truth."
Confront Draco with what he'd heard? Have Draco know that he'd broken up with him out of hurt rather than something else—give Draco power over him? Never. "I'll think about it," he lied, forcing a smile. It was only a few months of having to see Draco every week day at the Ministry Academy—he'd endured much worse. This was only Malfoy.
: : o : :
Of course, nothing was every simple in the life of Harry Potter, it never had been. Someone somewhere really had it in for him, they had to have, otherwise why would he turn up at the Academy on Tuesday morning for the first Potions class to find that he had been partnered with Draco? It was as though he was the subject of a very cruel joke.
The potions professor was a sweet faced young witch, much younger than the average Hogwarts professor had ever been anyway, named Alicia Downton. She told them that she had taught at Beauxbatons for five years before setting up her own Apothecary in Paris—and was covering this post as a favour to Professor McGonagall who had been her favourite teacher in her own Hogwarts days—as classes were only three sessions a week she was still able to keep up with her business.
"Great," Harry heard Draco mumble from the other side of the room before it had been announced that they would be paired together. "A Gryffindor." He'd looked up then and found Harry staring at him and his eyes had narrowed before he'd looked away again, down at his hands that Harry noticed were folded together in that way Draco had when he was anxious.
How was it he had learnt so much about him in such a short length of time that had been their relationship? How could he know that about him and not have noticed that Draco was hiding a secret as important as his impending marriage?
It was with a resigned acceptance that Harry picked up his things and moved to take Blaise's seat beside Draco, hating the way his heart thumped in his chest at this nearness. He pulled out his stool and slid onto it without as much as a glance at Draco, throwing his bag under the desk and wishing he was anywhere else but there. Except…his magic rejoiced at Draco's presence, thrumming through his blood as it recognised Draco's own magic. Harry pulled his hands under his armpits and curled his fingers into his palms in order to resist the temptation to reach out and touch Draco—just a hand on a leg or a palm over the back of his hand would suffice, just a simple touch…
"The least you could do is look at me," Draco said quietly after the professor had finished explaining what she wanted them to do—none of which Harry had paid any attention to as he'd fought with himself and his magic to keep his hands off Draco. Harry turned his head and lifted his eyes to meet stormy grey. Cold stormy grey. "Any thoughts on the potion?" Right, so it was straight back to business then was it? That suited Harry just fine.
"You know potions isn't my strong subject." Plus he had no idea what the assignment was anyway. "I'm happy to follow your lead."
Draco sighed. "Of course you are, Potter." He ran a pale hand through his hair, unimpeded by hair product as it once would have been. It was just how Harry had always told him he liked it. His magic sang in response to what he was seeing. He wanted to touch Draco so badly. "In that case, I think we should start with a basic Pepper Up potion as a base and… Potter, are you listening to me?"
"Um—what?" Harry was jerked back into reality. "Er, no, sorry."
"Whatever. Look, why don't you just sit there and look pretty and leave all the hard work to me." Draco pushed back from the desk and stalked over towards what Harry assumed to be the supply cupboard as that is where other class members had been disappearing into since the professor stopped talking.
Wait—had Draco just called him pretty? What was the matter with him? He'd broken it off with Draco, told him that it had just been a fling, great sex and all that but that was all. He'd been saving his own neck, desperate that Draco not know that he'd fallen for him, not when it seemed that Draco didn't feel the same…
Draco came back with an armful of ingredients that he began to unload onto the desk, his lower lip caught between his teeth in concentration. He'd always done that when he got lost in a book. It used to drive Harry wild with want.
Apparently…it still did. His cock stirred in his trousers as he was unable to take his eyes off Draco's soft pink lips. Hermione's words from the other day echoed around between his ears, 'find out for sure that what you heard is the truth' and he closed his eyes and squeezed them firmly. He'd heard it with his own—his doggy own but his nevertheless—ears. Married. To—someone—else.
He had to get out of there. He couldn't—he had to go.
Without even picking up his bag he stepped down from his stool and almost blindly headed for the door, ignoring Hermione's concerned expression and Ron's gobsmacked one, not even knowing what Draco must think of him. He just—he couldn't stay there next to Draco, getting fucking aroused in the middle of a classroom, in front of everyone.
Once he made it out of the door and around the corner he stalled in the corridor. The Academy wasn't a huge building and actually belonged to the Auror Division and was one of the facilities it used for its training programme, but the building was still a few hundred years old and had apparently once been a Muggle royal house and Harry hadn't yet worked out where everything was. He didn't much fancy wondering the corridors in his current state. He checked behind him once to make sure no one was there before morphing into his animagus form. Once transformed he instantly relaxed. He felt safer like this.
That feeling only lasted a moment before a banging door and hasty footsteps approached. "Potter!" Draco's tone was pure fury. "Potter, where are you, you coward?"
Draco rounded the corner, his usually pale skin flushed. Harry sat, frozen in the middle of the corridor, watching Draco approach, his stupid magic's longing for Draco somehow refusing to let him move.
"Potter! I know you can't have got far!" Draco's gaze dropped as he caught sight of Harry and his features softened. "Hello there. I didn't mean to scare you. What's your name?" Draco dropped down to his haunches in front of Harry.
When Draco reached out to stroke him, fingers sliding behind Harry's ears to rub him there, Harry all but arched into him like a cat might have. Instead he felt that all that was missing was a purr. His magic, deprived of Draco's touch for far too long and obviously wanting more, seemed to play the violin inside Harry's head, satisfied to be back with Draco, not seeming to care that Harry's brain was screaming to get away before he did something stupid like lick Draco's face.
Merlin, he wanted to lick Draco's face!
"I don't suppose you've seen an idiot Gryffindor run past you have you, boy?" Draco's palm slid along the length of Harry's back, soothing, much missed—loved. "Damned wanker," Draco continued, retrieving his hand and returning to scratching Harry's ear. The anger had fallen from his face now though and all that was left was a deep sadness. "I must really be a horrible person, eh, boy, if he can't even bear to be near me for one lesson?"
No—that wasn't it at all! Harry let out a short bark of protest.
Draco sighed. "You're a cutie aren't you? I bet you wouldn't make someone fall in love with you and then dump them when you'd had enough would you? Or maybe you would. How do I know? You're a dog! You probably have a girlfriend in every street." He chuckled to himself, a brief smile forming before falling again as he seemed to remember why he was in the hallway in the first place.
Harry barked again. With sudden clarity he knew it was true. Draco was in love with him. Again, Hermione's words returned to him and he realised that he had no choice now; he had to confront Draco about what he'd said. Not there though, not now—not in the middle of a public building where anyone could walk past at any time. He needed to get Draco back to number twelve, but how could he do that without changing back into his human self and revealing more than he wanted to before he was ready? He backed away from Draco's touch, wagging his tail, and turned to run in the opposite direction. Hopefully Draco would follow, but not so fast that he wouldn't have time to change back into his natural form first.
He rounded the corner in the direction of the cafeteria, ducked into an alcove with a statue of Sir Perceval the Brave, and quickly changed back into Harry Potter. He then turned back on himself and stepped out of the shadows just in time for Draco to appear and stop dead upon seeing Harry. Their eyes met and Draco's face clouded over.
"What are you doing—" Draco began, just as Harry said, "Draco, can we talk?"
"I—I don't think there's anything left to say," Draco answered, but he didn't back away or tear his gaze from Harry's. He was waiting, Harry realised, for him to tell him that yes, there was something to say—and despite the misery on his face, Harry hoped he wasn't mistaken that he saw hope there too.
"I think there is," Harry said, watching Draco carefully. "We can't talk here though…come home with me?"
Draco seemed to hesitate. "Anywhere but there," he said eventually.
"Blaise's…your place then."
Draco swallowed and nodded. He reached out and put a hand on Harry's shoulder and they Apparated.
: : o : :
Blaise lived in a horribly minimalist Muggle style penthouse apartment somewhere in the centre of London. The place suited Blaise perfectly, what little Harry knew of him that was, but was an ill fit for Draco who seemed out of place in such an environment.
"This is a nice flat," Harry said for want of something to say, not sure how to start now that he had Draco alone.
"It's a bed and I needed somewhere to go in a hurry," Draco said, walking over to the wall of glass on the far side of the vast sitting room to look out at the panorama of the city of London laid out below. He folded his arms and without looking at Harry he said, "You wanted to talk?" He bounced back on his heels nervously.
Harry took a deep breath and decided to cut to the chase. He stepped up to stand beside Draco at the window. It was a gloomy day and there were streams of rainwater pouring down the window, blurring the view beneath and turning any lights into prisms. Harry couldn't deny it was an impressive vista, even through all the rain, but he hadn't come here to enjoy London from above. He'd come here for Draco.
"Are you engaged to Astoria Greengrass?" he choked out, far less smoothly than it had sounded in his head when he'd been rehearsing it a minute ago. He didn't turn to watch Draco's reaction, knowing that seeing that truth there might finish him off at the moment, but he did hear Draco's gasp.
"What—?" Draco turned then and Harry could feel his gaze boring into the side of his head. "Where on earth did you get that idea?"
In for a Knut… "I heard you and Pansy talking. She said this couldn't go on, that we were just a fling, and that you were getting married!" He wanted to turn to face Draco but he was frozen to the spot. Just saying the words made the anger and the hurt boil up inside him. The all-consuming jealousy.
"Is this why you kicked me out that day? You didn't feel like just asking me if it was true?"
"I… I couldn't. All I could think of was you marrying someone else." He had to completely honest here. Draco had told him, in his dog form, that he loved him—he had to hold onto that and believe that this might work out. "I'm stupidly in love with you, Draco—I was so bloody jealous—I couldn't even think straight let alone look at you and ask you if it was true, because I don't know what I would have done if you had said 'yes'."
Draco's hand was on his arm then, spinning him around to face him. "I should hex your balls off!" he said coldly, but then his face broke out into one of those rare smiles that always set Harry's pulse racing—not that it wasn't already, he was horribly aroused just by Draco's presence, again. "But why would I do that when I'm so fond of your balls?"
Harry's short bark of laughter was completely involuntary. Draco had smiled, was smiling, and looking at him the way he'd taken to doing all the time before it ended, but he hadn't answered the question. Was he marrying someone else, yes or no?
"I'm not marrying Astoria, you idiot. You're obviously the worst eavesdropper in the world, which honestly doesn't surprise me." Draco reached out and ran the back of his knuckles along Harry's cheek, his eyes soft. "There used to be an agreement between our families but the Greengrasses broke it off when Father became too closely associated with the Dark Lord. They were never supporters of that cause, Slytherin or not. You can't imagine how pleased I was to be released from that promise. Astoria too. Only, we never told our friends because, well—Pansy had made it clear that she had an interest in me that I didn't return, and Astoria had her reasons as well so— After the war and everything that happened, maintaining that lie wasn't exactly the top of my list and I forgot that some people still thought the betrothal stood. Same reason why I never mentioned it—it's water under the bridge."
Harry felt as though a lead weight had dissolved inside him. "Oh," he managed. He was a bloody idiot!
"Pansy's still angry with me for not telling her—it's going to take a lot of expensive lunches to smooth that over."
"Right," Harry said, desperately trying to think of something else to say but not having much luck as all his brain would supply was, "I'm sorry."
"So," Draco said, his hand moving down to run a thumb over Harry's lower lip. "You're in love with me?"
Harry nodded. "I'm not sure I realised it until that last day, Harry Potter and Draco Malfoy were never supposed to live under the same roof never mind fall in love, but when have we ever done what we were supposed to?"
"We never have," Draco agreed. "I suppose now we're supposed to sit down and talk things through and you would grovel and I would let you and then maybe later when we've resolved that we might share a kiss and let that lead to more…but fuck that—" He leant forwards and pressed his lips to Harry's, cupping the back of his neck with one hand and gripping his arse with the other.
"Merlin, Draco…" Harry responded when Draco pulled back slightly, his head spinning.
"I've had this fantasy since coming to stay here," he whispered against Harry's lips. "Of fucking you against that window, with the whole of London laid out beneath you, where anyone could look up and see your arse against the glass as I take you. What do you say, Harry?"
Harry's arousal, which had been a nagging presence since back in the classroom, had now graduated into a rock solid erection that seemed to defy gravity and wanted to force its way out of the waistband of his trousers. "I say…what are you waiting for?" He'd missed this so much. This passion between them, the passion that had helped him deny that what he felt for Draco was more than just sex, the way Draco only had to look at him and he would be hard. How had he not known?
Harry's words seemed to be all Draco needed, and Harry wasn't even sure if it had been magic or Draco's eager hands that rid him of his clothes, or if he'd done the same with Draco's attire, but he was naked and pressed back against the window, the glass cold against his skin, before he even had time to blink, or at least that is how it felt. He was so aroused that time altered around him.
Sharp teeth nipped his skin as Draco explored a path down his body, a skilled tongue swept across the head of his cock as a gentle finger found its way to his hole, and Harry didn't miss the magic then as his arse began to tingle before Draco slid a finger in. It was all he could do to stay standing as his head crashed back against the glass and he threaded his fingers into Draco's silken hair. When Draco pulled back and smirked before engulfing his cock Harry groaned, completely unable to stay silent. It was too much, it wouldn't take him long to come like this, not if Draco kept up the assault and then it would all be over far too soon. "Draco," he managed. "Stop, I want you—"
Draco released Harry's cock, their eyes meeting in silent assent. "Anything you want," he said, inserting a second finger into Harry and licking his lips. "You want more of this?" He curled his fingers inside Harry and grazed over his goal, winking at Harry before adding a third at Harry's over loud keening. Not that Harry cared at that point what noise he was making, he just wanted Draco to fuck him.
"Just do it," he said, voice hoarse, eyes closing. "Please."
Draco removed his fingers and stood. He cupped Harry's arse and tugged him close and on instinct Harry used Draco's shoulders as leverage and pulled himself up, wrapping his legs around Draco's waist. Draco kissed him, wet and messy, and somehow managed to manoeuvre Harry back against the cool of the window, pushing up into him slowly until he was completely seated. He pulled his head back and said, "Don't ever make assumptions like that again, Potter." He kissed him again and began to move, fucking up into Harry like it had been years since they'd last done it, not days. "The whole world can see us," Draco said as he thrust upwards, burying his face in Harry's neck and sucking hard.
Harry didn't care if the whole universe could see his arse at that point, so much was the pleasure and sensation of having Draco inside him again. He was so close, he knew he wouldn't last long, his cock hard and leaking between his and Draco's stomachs enjoying the friction of their movements, he'd been in a state of arousal for far too long. He tightened his legs around Draco and squeezed himself tight around Draco's cock, knowing that would drive Draco wild. He wanted Draco to come with him. He couldn't hold out though, his fingernails marking crescents in Draco's shoulders as the explosion hit him and he came, painting his come between them, calling out for God and Merlin and Draco in one stream of nonsense as he lost control. Draco followed him two thrusts later, releasing his seed into Harry with a shout of his name.
Slowly Harry came back down to earth and Draco set him back down again. "We made a mess," Harry laughed, only now aware of the sweat that slicked the otherwise pristine window and the scattering of clothing that surrounded them.
"Sometimes I think you forget about magic," Draco said, bending down and picking up his wand. With a muttered word the window was sparking again and another word, the clothes all vanished.
"Hey! Those are my good trousers!" Harry protested.
"Don't worry, I've only sent them to my room." Draco wrapped his long fingers around Harry's wrist and Harry felt the tug of Apparition, the two of them appearing a second later in an unfamiliar bedroom.
"You lazy git," he teased, casting his gaze around at the room. It was just like the rest of the flat, impersonal and cold. "This place is so—"
"Where else was I supposed to go when you kicked me out? My vaults are still locked and the Ministry are taking their time releasing them to me." Draco, uncaring of his nakedness, sat on the bed and scooted back to sit against the headboard.
Harry sighed. "I'm sorry—"
Draco held up a hand and Harry stalled. He patted the bed beside him. "I'd have felt the same if I'd heard that conversation about you and the she-Weasel, so leave it, hmm? Believe it or not I understand. You wouldn't be you if you weren't as hot-headed. "
Harry curled up next to Draco, wrapping and arm across his middle. "I've got one more thing to confess before I ask you to move back in with me."
He felt Draco tense beside him. "I'm not moving in with Weasley and Granger!"
"Then we'll rent somewhere else together, I don't care where." He looked up at Draco. "Though I feel obliged to point out that they both took the news of our relationship very well, even Ron."
"Still not living with them," Draco replied. "Now what's this confession?"
Harry took a deep breath and morphed into his dog form. He barked once, wagged his tail, and changed back. Draco was staring at him, eyes wide.
"You sneaky— When did this happen?"
"Those three mornings a week over the summer. I just got approved for my licence the day I heard you and Pansy talking about weddings. I was waiting for you, I wanted to surprise you but it didn't quite go to plan when I heard you talking."
Draco rolled his eyes. "Why am I not surprised that your animagus form is a mongrel?"
"I suppose you think that yours would be a pedigree do you? I hate to break it to you, but with those knobbly knees it's not looking in your favour."
Draco pulled his knees up to his chest and hugged them. "I don't have knobbly knees!"
"Whatever makes you feel better, Draco," Harry teased, rearranging himself to fit Draco's new position. He sobered. "I don't know why I didn't tell you sooner—about the animagus thing that is. I think everything happened so quickly. One minute we were just meeting up so I could give you your wand back, the next this happened and I don't think I let myself trust you properly, so when I overheard you and Pansy—"
"Harry." Draco reached out and placed his palm over Harry's mouth. "Shut up and save your energy for round two."
Harry snapped his mouth shut and snuggled closer. It was still early days for them, everything was still new, they had the media and their friends to deal with, but he'd made the mistake of losing Draco once—he promised himself there and then that he wouldn't make that mistake again. "Give me five minutes," he said, "And you're on."