Chapter 1: Chapter One
“I do beg your pardon,” said Harry. He leant forward to rest his elbows on the table, steepled his fingers, and tried unsuccessfully to keep the incredulity from seeping into his voice. “But, do you possibly think you could run that by me again?”
Minerva McGonagall didn’t look impressed. But then, he found she very rarely ever did. Her office in which they were sat was overwhelmingly iron grey – even the oil painting of her beloved cat looming above them was bloody grey. The clock ticked oppressively on the wall in the pause that followed.
Even without the years of familiarity insulating him from the room’s intimidation tactics, Harry Potter was not the sort of man to quake under an authoritative glare. He was, however, not accustomed to the level of ridiculousness with which his ears had just been assaulted.
“H.O.G.W.A.R.T.S.,” she repeated in her clipped, Scottish tones. She sat with her hands crossed loosely on the desk in front of her, her back straight as a rod, and her gaze unflinching. “Home Office Governed,” she elaborated. “Word Agency Regulations Team and Support Services.”
“H.O.G.W.A.R.T.S.,” Harry repeated faintly. “And this was the best acronym the chaps down in Operations could come up with?” He waved his hand around airily. “Why not P.O.P.P.Y.C.O.C.K., or N.I.N.C.O.M.P.O.O.P.? I’m sure there’s a delightful string of words you could fit to make that work. Let’s see – National Institute for Naughty Children…Otherwise Mothered Preposterously…Over Ordinary Protocol.” He flashed a grin at her, rather pleased with himself.
His superior was, once again, unmoved. “Are you quite finished Agent Potter?”
“Well,” he said, sitting upright again and frowning in consideration. “I could try one for P.O.P.P.Y.C.O.C.K?”
“I think we’ll leave the creative decisions to Operations from now on, hmm?” She plucked a beige file from the metal tray to her right, and placed it in the empty desk space between them. It was stamped with a bright red ‘Top Secret’. “This is a matter of international importance, and a new agency was required to deal with the threat swiftly and discretely. You will be reassigned immediately.”
Harry schooled his reactions carefully, an easy task after so many years of training. He had only just returned from an extended assignment in the South Americas, and had been looking forward to at least a week’s respite before being hurtled back into the field. However, it would not do to whine like a child, so instead he slid the file towards him, and flicked the first page open.
Even with his high level of clearance, there were still a number of words redacted. He was still able to make out the gist of the document quick enough though. “So,” he surmised, turning to the next page. “This fellow intends on starting World War Three?”
“It certainly seems that way,” McGonagall agreed.
Harry tutted, assimilating the information rapidly as he sifted through the next several sheets of paper. “Voldemort,” he scoffed. He restrained himself from rolling his eyes, but he certainly twitched an eyebrow. “Flight of death. Will the ingenuity never cease?”
McGonagall leant forwards and flipped several pages ahead, and Harry found himself faced with a number of grizzly photographs. “The name may be twee, but I assure you his intentions are not. All our sources indicate he is determined to ignite the tensions between West and East Germany, and set the rest of the world at each other’s throats again.”
Harry readjusted his glasses and nodded. “Well, we can’t have that now, can we?”
“Not on my watch,” she agreed. A hint of a smile threatened the corner of her lips, but Harry would swear if questioned that it had never been there at all.
“So many abductions,” he commented. There were at least a dozen missing person reports. “Is there any way to know who might be next?”
“That is what we are trying to establish,” McGonagall told him. “They certainly are a mixed bag; their only common denominator is that they are experts in their field, so we have a watch list, but it is vast. Although we doubt it is Voldemort himself carrying out the abductions. Whatever the case; high profile scientists, code-breakers, engineers – you name it – are being targeted. There has been no trace of the abductees since.”
Harry lifted the file to rest on his lap, crossing one leg over the other to prop the documents up as he hastily flicked back and forth to piece the different components together. “The first abduction was eleven weeks ago?”
“We believe the victims to still be alive,” McGonagall said, and Harry had to agree.
“They are being recruited. Against their will,” he added. “But their combined skill set and intelligence would no doubt aid any megalomaniac in launching the next global catastrophe. If properly motivated.”
“I have no doubt Voldemort has ways of being…persuasive,” she said dryly.
There was no photo available of the man in question, although the intelligence seemed sound. “How has a man such as this not been on our radar before?” Harry asked. There seemed to be no mention of him prior to 1964, and it would take more than three years to establish the needed reputation to run an operation as large as the one he now appeared to be commanding.
McGonagall inclined her head. “We believe him to have undergone a drastic physical transformation, as well as changing his name, and are still attempting to discern his previous identity. That, however, is not your mission.”
“You intend for me to locate the whereabouts of the abductees?” he guessed.
McGonagall arched an eyebrow. “Not ‘me’. ‘Us.’ This threatens the stability of the entire world, and – ah-” A knock at the door interrupted her. “Perfect timing. It requires representation from more than just the British government. Come in,” she added, raising her voice.
Harry turned as the door swung inwards. He wasn’t sure what he had been expecting, but by the time his mind fully registered who was entering the room, he had already leapt to his feet with his pistol snapped in the direction of the intruder’s face.
The other man’s reaction was just as swift. Harry also found himself staring down the barrel of a gun, and was not impressed.
“Minnie,” Harry said lightly, despite the twitch in his jaw. “It appears you have a Rusky in your office.”
He heard her sigh behind him. “Yes, Potter. Because I invited him here. Would you please both stop embarrassing yourselves, and put the guns down.”
Harry’s eyes bore into his opponent’s grey ones. “Draco Malfoy,” he said in a cheery tone, ignoring the command to lower his weapon. “It’s been a while. Belgrade, wasn’t it? ’66?”
“June,” the Russian agreed in his low timbre. “You shot me.”
“Well,” said Harry sombrely. “You were being an awfully bad boy.”
Draco Malfoy – or The Dragon to use yet another absurd pseudonym – was taller than Harry by a number of inches, with white blond hair, pale skin and a permanent scowl. As a prolific K.G.B. spy, Harry had danced with him several times. And although he had to admit he’d had rather a lot of fun on those occasions, he was still nonetheless more than a little put out to see him waltz into London’s M.I.6 headquarters in the middle of the day as if he owned the place. Honestly, did no one have manners anymore?
“Agents,” McGonagall snapped. “Guns down. Now.”
There was a pause, then both men lowered their arms to their sides.
“Excellent. Now, may I suggest something outrageous?” McGonagall asked. “Like taking a seat?”
Harry had received numerous raised eyebrows when it had become widely know he was going to be working for a woman. He himself had been rather dubious as to how that might pan out. But after a mere few weeks he had learnt just how uncomplicated it was; orders were given, and they were followed. That was all. He pitied anyone who assumed it could be otherwise.
So, he took his seat once again on the left, and Malfoy moved cautiously around him to occupy the chair on the right. Neither man took their eyes off each other, and placed their firearms on the desk simultaneously.
“You were invited?” Harry challenged.
“By Director McGonagall,” Malfoy confirmed. “With offer of truce. I am finding this a little hard to believe in this moment.”
His accent was strong but the words clearly enunciated and delivered without hesitation. Harry didn’t blink as he held his gaze.
McGonagall rapped her knuckles on the table. “If you can’t behave yourselves, I am more than willing to spray both of you with a water bottle,” she said tartly. “Honestly, you are supposed to be international agents.”
Harry smiled, and leant back in his seat. He crossed one leg over the other and placed both hands on the top knee. “My apologies Director,” he said sincerely, finally turning to face her. “At least you know my reflexes are not rusty.”
“Quite.” She didn’t sound convinced.
Malfoy also turned towards her. “My director told me this was of great importance,” he said coldly. “That I had no choice but to take mission. Am I merely to be shot instead?”
“Of course not,” McGonagall assured him.
“It depends on how you behave,” Harry said.
Before Malfoy could reply, McGonagall interceded. “Agent Malfoy, am I to assume you have read the briefing?”
“Yes, Director.” He was sat as stiffly as she was; like they both had iron curtain poles inserted in a most intimate fashion. Harry made sure to lean back in his chair and affect an air of calm disinterest. “And I bring news of potential lead.”
He fished an envelope from the breast pocket of his tan jacket and handed it to her. He wore a turtle neck jumper underneath; his signature look when he was not undercover, as Harry knew all too well. However, Harry was of the opinion that an agent not wearing a three-piece suit at any time during active duty was practically committing treason against his country, therefore deplored the ensemble.
It had nothing to do with the fact he doubted he could ever convincingly pull off such a look. Nothing at all.
His attention was soon drawn back to the matter at hand as McGonagall slid her letter opener along the top of the envelope and extracted its contents. A lead on the whereabouts of the abductees would be most welcome. But Harry wasn’t entirely convinced they could trust anything from the U.S.S.R., so waited to see the information first before getting his hopes up.
“Rodolphus Lestrange?” she asked, reading through the couple of sheets of paper speedily.
Malfoy nodded. “And his wife, Bellatrix. Two of Voldemort’s most loyal followers. They were spotted in Vienna, headed to West Berlin.”
McGonagall scanned a few more lines, then handed the documents over to Harry. “I’m sure individuals like that would have little difficulty slipping through Checkpoint Charlie, and once they are in East Germany they will be much harder to track. Your sources believe them to be worth following though?”
Malfoy nodded. He had cheekbones like cut glass Harry noted as he kept half an eye on him whilst he absorbed the facts he held in his hands. “They have list apparently – if it is intended targets it could save many lives. But it could also hold list of locations for those already abducted.”
“You don’t believe them to all be in one place?” Harry asked. He refolded the papers and slipped them back into the envelope, then dropped it on top of the file on the desk.
Malfoy shook his head. “At least four bases of operation are suspected. If we get list, chances are we find out how many in total.”
“Either finding those already taken, or stopping any more from being abducted would be a decided victory.” McGonagall pulled the file and envelope back towards her. “Ideally, we do both. It seems from this information we only have a short window. You gentlemen are to travel directly to West Berlin. A car will be ready to take you to the airport within the hour. Once there you are to intercept the Lestranges, and acquire this list. Any questions?”
The petulant side of Harry wanted to double check she was quite sure that Malfoy was the best partner he could really be matched with, given the likelihood that they would kill one another before the plane even touched down in Germany. However, the other agent was already nodding and rising to his feet, and Harry did not wish to be upstaged by lodging a protest. “We’ll handle it from here,” he said. He too got to his feet, fastened the single button on his jacket, and walked swiftly from the room without giving Malfoy another glance.
Chapter 2: Chapter Two
As it transpired, the journey to Germany was exceedingly dull, largely because Malfoy deigned only to speak three words to Harry the entire time. His ‘Good afternoon’ as he joined Malfoy in their car was merely repeated, and his offer to help place his case in the overhead locker on the plane was met with a ‘No.’ That was it.
Harry, however, was not to be dissuaded. He kept up a steady stream of chatter, the more benign and arbitrary the better, offering his opinions on anything from the quality of the leather upholstery of the seats, to Prime Minister Wilson’s latest economic policies, to Arsenal’s chances in the league, to how one should mix the perfect gin and tonic, of which he indulged in three on the flight. Unsurprisingly, he was unable to tempt Malfoy, but his irritation at Harry’s drivel combined with the obvious disapproving of him drinking were the only amusement he could drum up. Besides, it took a lot more than some watered-down gin to affect Harry’s senses in any meaningful way.
The hotel they had been booked into was opposite the last confirmed location the Lestranges had been seen at, on a street not far from the wall that divided the city between East and West. After another silent car journey, Harry followed Malfoy into their establishment, which he was pleased to say was not entirely uncomfortable, and stood beside him as they waited to speak to the young woman at the check-in desk.
“Good evening,” Malfoy spoke in perfect German before Harry could even open his mouth. “We have a reservation for two rooms, under the names Richter and Klein. I believe my secretary requested a south facing apartment, if possible?”
He gave her such a charming smile the girl couldn’t help but wilt, and Harry felt a surge of irritation. He resisted the urge to shout at the girl that her fancy was completely wasted, as the man was nothing other than a dreary stick-in-the-mud of the direst sort. But of course he did not, and feigned polite interest as Malfoy fed her a line about them being architects interested in the development of the area, keen to sketch a variety of the buildings currently standing across the street. No trace of his Russian inflections ever surfaced.
“I see you studied German with far greater dedication than English,” Harry couldn’t help but gripe as they made their way over to the elevators. Why did it bother him that Malfoy spoke to the girl with far more skill and enthusiasm than he ever had to Harry in all their years of acquaintance? They were from opposing sides for God’s sake, what did he want?
Malfoy didn’t look at him as he leant across his body and jabbed the lift’s call button. “I have no trouble at all with the Queen’s English,” he said with perfect received pronunciation that startled Harry enough to get him to turn and regard his companion’s profile. “I find it tiresome,” he added, slipping back into his thick Russian drawl. “Besides, I do not hear you attempting my language.”
Harry smirked as the elevator pinged open. “I’ll speak Russian when we’re in Russia,” he informed him.
Malfoy surprised him by sweeping his arm forwards. “After you, Your Highness,” he said. He didn’t have a trace of humour about his voice, but it wasn’t hostile either, and Harry had to conclude as he stepped inside and eyed him up warily, that he had to have been making a joke. The thought was more than a little disturbing, but also, strangely comforting.
They had two rooms side by side, south facing as the girl had promised, affording them an excellent view of the Gasthaus Berlin. It looked to be an even nicer hotel than their own judging by the gilded trim façade, and the fact it had a finely dressed doorman greeting every guest as they walked in. Over the next several hours, Harry was able to observe him interacting with dozens upon dozens of guests as they entered and exited the hotel, and thought it would be good to question the fellow if at all possible. None of them were the Lestranges, but Harry knew they would probably have to wait days to determine whether or not the couple had moved elsewhere. For now, they would just have to be patient.
To ensure they had eyes on the hotel at all times, they had to stay together no matter the time of day. They moved between the two rooms so as not to arouse housekeeping’s suspicion, but, other than breaks for one or the other to freshen up in the bathroom, that meant he was forced to spent the next few days in the frosty, silent company of Draco Malfoy. The only time Harry was able to snatch a couple of words with someone else was when they had their meals delivered, but even then he had to be brief so as not to risk the staff glimpsing anything they shouldn’t.
He was bored, but he was also focused. On the fifth day they were finally rewarded with a sighting. Both Mr and Mrs Lestrange had altered their appearance since the photos MI6 had on file had been taken; he had shaved his beard and dyed his hair darker, and she had grown her curls out impressively, making Harry think she was perhaps wearing some kind of wig. But there was no doubting it was them as they stepped into the waiting taxi to whisk them off to wherever they were headed. Harry’s sprits lifted significantly after that.
He remained just as dedicated over the next few days as they began to slowly log patterns in the couple’s behaviour, but his reserve thawed back to its natural eager state. In that he began rabbiting at Malfoy again, regardless of whether or not he got any response.
Most of what he told him was utter nonsense, inventing friends and spinning half-truths mixed with pure fiction just to have stories to tell. He talked of old school adventures, and his ‘brother’ and his ‘sister-in-law’, and old news reports he’d heard, and even a vaguely honest account of the Oxford-Cambridge boat race he’d been fortunate enough to addend last year. Being an Oxford gent he couldn’t help but enthuse at their win, and he could have sworn he caught the barest hint of a smile as he glanced at his companion as he finished that particular tale.
He and Malfoy were not supposed to be comrades, but Harry longed to get any kind of reaction out of such a stone-faced man. He’d seen him damn well smile at that receptionist girl, and he knew there was more lurking under the surface than the KGB agent let on.
After encountering him for the third time on a mission several years ago, Harry had done his research on Draco Malfoy. His father had been a Nazi sympathiser, colluding with them during the war, and Malfoy Junior and his mother had suffered prejudice for it even after Malfoy Senior had taken his own life. Agent Malfoy was dedicated to his country’s prosperity though, and had applied for a government position as soon as his conscription to the army had ended at age twenty one. He was swift and efficient, but unlike other agents of his ilk, Harry had observed he was not cruel.
Which probably explained why Harry had let him go once or twice when he really should have brought him home for interrogation. Malfoy had known the suffering of poverty and starvation as a youth, and he had made it through numerous Baltic winters through sheer stubbornness alone before being able to provide stability for him and his mother. He did what was necessary and had pride in his country, but there was no denying there was something that set him apart from other Soviets.
Was that why he had been selected for this mission? This ridiculous H.O.G.W.A.R.T.S. nonsense? Did his less-than-completely-ruthless mentality make him a soft option for the Brits, or was it compassion that would strengthen an international experiment?
Harry guessed only time would tell on that.
After their initial confirmation that the Lestranges were indeed still at the Gasthaus Berlin, both Harry and Malfoy had left the hotel briefly, one after the other, to make contact with their own agencies and convey the news securely. Now, twice a day every day, they would take turns to meet their handlers; Malfoy would go before they first switched over the rooms at 10am, then Harry would go once they were settled back in Malfoy’s room. They would repeat this again at 5pm before they moved back to Harry’s room. Harry’s morning meeting was at a café down the street, his afternoon rendezvous in the middle of the Jannowitz Bridge. He had half a dozen agents that rotated who would see him, and slowly the information started to trickle through.
By the seventh day there were other teams put in place from both M.I.6. and the K.G.B. to tail the couple wherever they went, but Harry and Malfoy remained the only crossover unit. They were the only ones to have all the information at hand. So, when the Russians observed Rodolph Lestrange visiting a locker in Jannowitzbrucke train station, and then the Brits saw Bellatrix visit the same locker two days later, Harry and Malfoy knew they had something.
It took several more days to work out it must be some sort of drop point, and Harry became increasingly convinced this was where they were likely to discover something useful, maybe even the list they had been sent to the country to find. Therefore, they prepared to switch the nature of the mission from observation to action.
On the Wednesday morning of the third week of February, a team from M.I.6. set up camp in the room Harry had been using, and another K.G.B. team settled in Malfoy’s. Housekeeping were distressed by all the extra bodies milling about, and Harry had to tip them extremely generously to not worry about the upheaval. One of the women wouldn’t stop fussing, bleating in her native Polish which Harry couldn’t speak as well as German, and she kept picking up clothes from the floor and trying to put them in the wardrobe, getting in the way of the six or seven men that were doing their best to set up equipment. Harry cursed, trying to explain that they were just surveyors, aiding him and Malfoy in their architectural report. She appeared a little mollified by the time he ushered her out of the door with an extra couple of Deutsche marks for her trouble, and the rest of the team were able to set up without further interference.
That finally left him time to shower and dress, troubled by the bad timing. Normally they had until at least 11am until they had to concern themselves with cleaners, and this had put him behind schedule. Finally though, he and Malfoy were allowed to leave the confines of the hotel for more than just half an hour, and actually engage in some field work.
Harry couldn’t help but relish the stretch in his legs as he and Malfoy marked out every possible inch of Jannowitzbrucke train station, situated uniquely on the bank of the river Spree. Their colleagues had determined that the locker was positioned in a corridor near the ticket booths, and marked as number seven; the second row from the left, the second door from the top. They did not want to obviously approach the drop point though without first checking they were not being watched, or without marking every exit route.
Ideally, Harry would have preferred to have found a way to remain in the station after it had closed, when the members of the public had gone home so they could attempt to retrieve whatever was inside without being disturbed or risking anyone else getting in the way if it came to a confrontation. But as it often went with these things, that wasn’t the way the chips fell.
Neither Lestrange was due to appear at the station at least until the next day based on their schedule so far. But as Harry was doing another sweep of the concourse to check the number of paces between platforms, he saw the distinctive mass of Bellatrix’s curls as she swept imperiously into the station.
He didn’t pause in his stride one second as he turned and headed to where he had last made eye contact with Malfoy. Fortunately, his partner was as unflinchingly aware of him as he was Malfoy, so he too changed his course, both of them taking the obvious path towards the locker.
They had two choices as Harry saw it; allow Lestrange to remove whatever was behind the door and risk trying to take it from her afterwards, or attempt to spring the lock and recover the contents before she had the time to reach it. The second option was preferable, as if they were swift she would not see their faces and it would allow them extra time to make their escape. However, they only had a minute and a half maximum head start on her, and he wasn’t sure that was enough of a window to pick the lock without any passers-by noticing.
His heart rate naturally picked up as he and Malfoy approached one another in front of the lockers. It was just gone 6pm, which meant rush hour and the station was heaving with commuters. That gave them a little bit of cover to work he supposed, but if any one of the German civilians looked over and saw they were without a key, it could spell disaster very quickly. Also, Bellatrix may have been of the fairer sex, but her portfolio was far bloodier than that of her husband’s. Harry did not want to put any innocents between her and them if at all possible.
Malfoy reached the locker first, and was evidently on the same wavelength as Harry as he already had two pins out, sliding them into the lock before he had even stopped walking. Harry came and stood next to him, hopefully shielding him from any curious commuters from seeing what he was up to, and within seconds the he heard the lock tumble. “Impressive,” Harry couldn’t help but murmur as Malfoy yanked the door open.
Inside sat a single, small circular canister which Harry assumed from years of experience to be a reel of microfilm, and his heart leapt. The information on those slides could be absolutely invaluable.
Once the Lestranges knew their rendezvous point had been compromised they would obviously flee, but the other agents could keep tabs on them for that. It was now Harry and Malfoy’s duty to get that microfilm out of the country.
Harry snatched it and placed it in his pocket as Malfoy shut the door. He glanced up to check they had enough time before Bellatrix was upon them, then hastily began to relock it using his picks. But Harry looked behind them, from the opposite direction that Bellatrix was heading, and made eye contact with a stranger. He had no idea who he was, but as soon as the man spotted them beside the locker, he reached inside his jacket, his face alight with surprise and anger.
“Time to go,” Harry cried. He grabbed Malfoy’s arm, dragging him away from the locker, his pins clattering to the ground as they broke into a run.
Luckily, there were plenty of people rushing around trying to catch their trains, and some were even hurrying beside Malfoy and him. But Harry knew that blending in would be essential if they were to make a getaway, and the man would be looking for two men sprinting away, so he slowed them down to a hurried walk. He hoped the other man hadn’t got a good enough look at them to identify them in a crowd, but Harry had no way of knowing what kind of training he might have had. He really didn’t want to risk pulling his gun amongst so many civilians, but he touched his hand to the handle just in case.
“You have it?” Malfoy double checked, presumably referring to the microfilm case. Harry let go of his arm, as he was perfectly capable of keeping up by himself, and that sort of contact would only draw attention. But a part of him was tempted to keep hold of him anyway, for a kind of reassurance, which was absurd.
“Yes, but we can’t risk being caught now.” They pushed through the crowds, and Harry looked around for the best route to take. They had been forced towards the trains and away from the major exits. They could take one of the emergency routes, but that would lead them to the railings out by the river, which gave them little cover once they were out in the open. They just needed a place to turn themselves around without being spotted…
“Quick,” he said, grabbing Malfoy’s arm and steering him once again. There was a photo booth to their left, the kind where one could print out passport i.d.’s, and it was currently not in use.
Malfoy didn’t seem to understand what was going on until Harry shoved him inside, yanking the curtain shut behind him as the small space forced him to drop down…on top of Malfoy’s lap.
Malfoy stared at him in utter incredulity. “Potter,” he said slowly. “What are we doing?”
“Hiding,” Harry said as if it was perfectly normal for him to be strewn across his lap. To be fair through, this would probably be the last place a lot of people would think to look for two men, and Harry congratulated himself on his ingenuity. “If you’re legs weren’t so long, I’d be able to fit on the seat.”
Malfoy didn’t seem to know where to put his hands, so he had them held up defensively. He swallowed, making his Adam’s apple bob, and his eyes widened even further. Unfortunately, those small actions made Harry forget all about the neo-Nazis currently chasing them outside, as his goal of shaking Malfoy’s unshakable resolve finally came to fruition.
He could have made a joke about finding oneself it tight spots being all part of the job, but then he remembered what the day’s date was, and decided to have some fun. “Happy Valentine’s Day old chap,” he said with no small amount of devilment. He reached into his pocket for some coins, purposefully wriggling over Malfoy’s groin, and feeling rather pleased with the outraged gasp that earned him. “What’s say we celebrate?”
“W-what?” Malfoy managed to stammer.
Harry found several pfennigs and dropped them into the machine’s slot. “Oh come on, homosexuality’s all the rage now back in Britain, or hadn’t you heard? I think we should mark this date of ours with a photo, don’t you?”
He was barely holding back his mirth, but he could feel Malfoy’s eyes on him. He was probably disgusted by him, but Harry had been looking for a chink in his armour for weeks, years really, and he would take any sort of reaction he could get.
The light blinked at them to indicate it was almost ready. “Now say cheese!”
Harry amused himself greatly by pulling different poses. First, he looked seriously into the camera over his glasses, then he pushed them back up and pretended to rearrange his tie, then he smoothed down his wayward hair, which tended to do whatever it wanted no matter how much wax he combed through it. Finally, he turned to Malfoy to see what he was doing.
He found him staring at Harry, his pale lips slightly parted. It was then Harry realised his slender hands had come to rest around his hips. In the blink of an eye, the atmosphere in the booth went from playful, to highly charged with…something.
Harry would admit, if pressed, that he found little disparity in the appealing nature of the male and female forms. They held diverse attractions for him of course, but he thought it strange that most people would only prefer one or the other. Obviously, things had been different before; when if caught in a sticky situation, two gents could find themselves looking at a stint behind Her Majesty’s bars. But, like he had just told Malfoy, the law had changed in the last year. It probably wasn’t an activity one wanted to be flaunting in front of Joe public, but nonetheless Harry had been extremely pleased to see the act of intimacy between two men decriminalised.
He’d had his fair share of flings with young lads before, so perhaps he wasn’t being as discreet as he should have been with the uptight Russian agent. But he hadn’t walloped him yet, so there was every chance Harry could still pass this off as a jest. However, he couldn’t deny that sitting there in that tight space, arms around one another and chests practically pressed together, his body wasn’t being affected. The air seemed to fizz.
The machine whirred and clicked next to them, having taken the last photo a good few minutes previously. It stirred Harry back to reality. “I suppose we should see if the coast is clear?” he asked.
Malfoy’s face remained slightly slack, but he nodded. So Harry detangled himself as carefully as he could, and exited the booth to take a look around. There appeared to be no sign of the Lestranges or their accomplice, but Harry took another thirty seconds just to be sure.
“Alright,” he said.
Malfoy clambered out beside him, smoothing down his trousers as he stood. The photo booth made another grinding noise, then spat out the strip of pictures into the dispenser. Harry picked them up, not willing to leave any evidence behind of their being there. Once they were pocketed alongside the can of microfilm, they turned to walk towards the exit.
His heart was certainly thumping now, harder than it had when Bellatrix had been about to uncover them. He was being an imbecilic though; he couldn’t have Malfoy, he was an enemy spy. It didn’t matter that they were on a temporary truce. He was quite sure that once this H.O.G.W.A.R.T.S. business was all taken care of they would go back to aiming pot shots at one another from opposite sides of the Iron Curtain. There was no way he should be considering just what had been stirring under his legs back in that booth. Except, something had stirred. He was sure of it. Perhaps Malfoy wasn’t as disgusted by his flirting as he might have presumed?
He didn’t get all that long to dwell on his rebellious libido though, as bad luck struck yet again as they exited the station into the street beyond. Harry checked left and right before going to cross the road – then checked left again as he realised Rodolphus Lestrange was stood less than ten feet away.
Harry spun and pulled Malfoy with him, but Rodolphus had obviously got their descriptions from his associate, as he let out a cry, and Harry didn’t have to look back to know he’d broken out into a run.
“Go!” he urged Malfoy, but he was already ahead of him, and with his long legs he stayed that way as they careened through the night-time streets of West Berlin.
They zipped around scores of people, many of which were couples on a romantic stroll towards candle-lit dinners, or so Harry imagined. He couldn’t remember if he had ever taken a girl out on Valentine’s – he was normally too busy concerning himself with this sort of nonsense to even realise what the date was. Last year he was pretty certain he had spent it in a drug den playing cards with cartel flunkies in an attempt to gain the whereabouts of a bomb that was due to go off. So, this year was an improvement if he considered he’d already got to cop a feel of a very handsome, if not rather obstinate fellow.
They hurtled through a plaza, causing many people to gasp and shout out, but Harry wasn’t concerned about them. They just needed to shake Rodolphus, then get to a safe house. There was no question of going back to the hotel, but that didn’t matter as their colleagues would clear the rooms for them. They just needed to be lucky and take the right turn.
They hadn’t had much luck though so far, Harry surmised as he dashed around a flower stall. There hadn’t been anyone scheduled to come to the station for at least another day, and to have Bellatrix arrive accompanied by another of Voldemort’s men rang alarm bells. Rodolphus could very well have been summoned there by his wife, but what if he had already been lurking too? What were the chances they had all been present, on the day Harry and Malfoy had made their move on the locker?
He hated himself for it, but his training made him glance at Malfoy as they sped down a flight of stone steps and around a fountain packed with locals and tourists alike. As much as he wanted to, he really couldn’t trust a Rusky.
He jumped over a man that was honest-to-God down on one knee, ring box in hand. “Dreadfully sorry!” Harry cried as the girl in front of the man shrieked and covered her mouth with her hands. Harry didn’t stop running though. He continued following Malfoy, despite his mounting reservations, deeper and deeper into the darkened streets of West Berlin to who knew where.
Chapter 3: Chapter Three
They didn’t stop moving for a good half an hour. The need to be inconspicuous meant they slowed to a brisk walk once they were confident they weren’t being followed. But even then they led any would-be-pursuers on a wild goose chase through the streets, doubling back on themselves frequently and dashing down secluded alleyways and underpasses wherever possible.
Harry’s mind didn’t stop, just like his feet pounding on the pavement. The more he considered it, the firmer his conviction became that there had to have been some dirty play involved. There was no way all three of Voldemort’s men could have shown up to intercept them by coincidence. It just wasn’t possible. They had to have been tipped off.
The thought sullied his mood. He had, despite the odds, become rather fond of Malfoy, and thought he’d enamoured himself to the Russian in return. He’d managed to make a crack in his icy exterior, just in time for him to question Malfoy’s loyalty to him. To H.O.G.W.A.R.T.S. rather – that’s what he meant. His loyalty to the program.
He scowled as they entered a less than savoury district, the kind all cities held in their corners. A couple of women dressed garishly and insufficiently for the cold February air called to him and Malfoy as they hurried past, but Harry paid them no mind. Malfoy had been purposeful in his movements for the past several minutes, and it seemed he had a destination in mind.
Sure enough, within the next few minutes they came upon a dingy hotel that Harry had little doubt rented rooms by the hour, and they swerved in through the cracked door and into the shadowy entrance hall. A young woman with black hair cropped into a severe bob and fringe looked up from behind the reception desk as they walked inside the otherwise deserted lobby, and her eyes automatically went to Malfoy. Harry couldn’t tell if it was in recognition or because (Harry could no longer deny the truth of it to himself) of his striking handsomeness.
He couldn’t determine if she knew him or not, therefore he could not immediately guess why they had come into this establishment. As they stopped at the end of the narrow corridor in front of the desk, he opened his mouth to ask where they were. But before he could utter a single sound, Malfoy’s hand came up. He didn’t even look away from the receptionist. He just pressed a single finger against Harry’s lips.
Harry was so stunned he wasn’t sure what to do for a moment. But then Malfoy began to speak, finger still pushed against his mouth, and he forgot about everything else.
It wasn’t like any language he had ever heard before. It was a sort of hissing noise, like a snake, rasping from the back of his throat and vibrating over his tongue and teeth. There was a small part of Harry’s brain that flared to life with intrigue, trying to decipher the noises. But he couldn’t liken them to any other speech he had ever encountered, not even when studying ancient languages at Oxford. And besides, the rest of his brain was too busy trying to ensure his body didn’t shudder head to toe at the exotic, commanding-sounding words.
The receptionist appeared to have no such crisis, and paid rapt attention to every utterance, nodding along. She then replied back in the same tongue, and Harry then had to deduce she did indeed know Malfoy, or was at least K.G.B. herself. How else would she too know the strange language? He gave a muffled sort of squeak, and attempted to interject. Whatever was going on, he deserved to know.
That got Malfoy’s attention, and he turned to glare at him, pressing his finger down harder. Harry could easily have stepped back and away from the intrusive gesture against his face, but for a reason he couldn’t really fathom, his feet remained routed to the spot, willingly allowing himself to be muted.
The receptionist smirked, glancing at him with her dark eyes, and said something further to Malfoy in their secret language. Draco replied something which made her laugh, and she held up a hand to placate him as she moved into a back room.
When she came back she held a half-full bottle of vodka, two chipped glass tumblers, something wrapped in a scrap of newspaper, and a room key. The mysterious item fit comfortably in Draco’s palm before he slipped it into the pocket of his tan leather jacket. He then took the bottle and pinched the glasses between his long fingers, nodding at the young woman as he did.
He removed his hand from Harry’s face with a pointed stare, then picked up the room key with his free hand and turned and headed towards a door to their right. Harry glowered at his back, then realised the receptionist was smiling at him, her eyes narrowed as she licked her lower lip and winked.
He cleared his throat and straightened his tie before following his partner. For now, at least, they were still theoretically on the same side.
The door led to a narrow staircase that wound its way up around an old wrought iron banister in the gloom. Malfoy took them to the third floor, where he exited into the corridor. After checking the key fob he began to examine the numbers on doors, looking for the correct one. The carpet was threadbare and the one naked bulb hanging from the ceiling was flickering. Malfoy didn’t pause in his stride though until he found a match, then jammed the key into the lock to open the room he had apparently rented.
All sorts of inappropriate thoughts flew through Harry’s brain as he watched him swing the door inwards, but he shook them off. He needed to find out what was going on, and fast. He knew he could probably survive a fall from this height if he had to make his escape out of a window, but he would rather not find himself compromised with the K.G.B. if at all possible. Was there still a chance that Malfoy had a plan of some sorts that wasn’t nefarious?
Sensing his hesitation, Malfoy looked back and gestured impatiently for Harry to follow. Harry scowled but did so anyway, curling his fists as he walked up the corridor and entered the dingy room.
Malfoy flicked on a table lamp as Harry crossed the threshold and closed the door. The small amount of light meant he was able to see the double bed occupying most of the room was at least made, and might even have had clean sheets. The carpets were as patchy as the ones in the hallway, and there was a single door that looked like it led to a bathroom, although what lay beyond was mostly in darkness from where Harry stood. The walls were a sickly sort of yellow in the lamp’s meagre glow, and there was a faint odour of garlic in the air.
Harry went to open his mouth again, to demand just what the hell Malfoy thought he was doing, when he jabbed another warning finger at him, right between the eyes. Then he wagged it back and forth. Don’t speak. Were they not secure here? What kind of a safe house was this? Harry didn’t get a chance to ask, as Malfoy pointed next to his pocket where he’d stashed the microfilm. He crooked his finger. Give it to me.
Harry clenched his jaw. He didn’t know what was going on, and yet Malfoy wanted him to get out their prized salvage, the thing that could hold all the answers to their mission. Malfoy didn’t have a malicious look about him though, his face was as carefully neutral as ever. Harry huffed and ground his teeth. He shouldn’t do this, but he decided to take a chance and trust him.
So, he slowly reached inside his suit jacket pocket, fishing out the circular canister that he assumed contained a reel of microfilm. They wouldn’t be able to see much with the naked eye, they needed a reader to magnify it, but it still felt risky getting it out.
As he pulled his hand back out though, he also accidently extracted the strip of photos from the booth at the station. Malfoy plucked the canister from his fingers, but Harry only kept half an eye on him as he opened it up to examine it. The rest of his attention went to looking at the four images of them that the camera had captured, and he soon found that that was where all of his attention was directed.
Harry remembered how he’d pulled his silly poses, enjoying the brief moment of frivolity as he’d teased his standoffish partner, but now the images he held in front of him told an entirely different story. From top to bottom, Harry peered over his spectacles, fussed with his Windsor knot, and tried fruitlessly to push his curls away from his face. And then, in the last one, he looked at his stunned face as his past self finally realised that Draco Malfoy had been staring at him in wonder the entire time.
Malfoy’s expression never changed, not once in all four pictures. He merely gazed at Harry, somehow conveying the impression with his soft eyes that Harry had hung the moon. In that final small square of black and white imagery, Harry looked down at himself staring back at Malfoy, the last traces of humour leaving his face as he realised the gravity of the situation. Or so it seemed. How much could you really trust a photograph anyhow?
The strip was snatched suddenly from his grasp. Harry jerked his head up, and was presented instead with two fingers of vodka. Malfoy held the tumbler up to him with his eyebrows raised, an identical glass poised in front of his own lips, the photos now on the cabinet. Harry took the proffered drink slowly. “Na zdorovie,” Malfoy whispered. His toast was barely audible, and then he tipped the shot back.
Harry knew he shouldn’t imbibe anything he didn’t trust, there could have been all manner of poisons slipped into the clear liquid. He was fucking trained for these kinds of situations. Except he did it all the same, because he was a fool and Malfoy’s eyes were the most enticing, captivating shade of silver, and they urged him on. “Na zdorovie,” he murmured back.
The vodka was cold from refrigeration but it warmed Harry’s throat all the same, burned it even. He knew enough though to appreciate this wasn’t a cheap bottle the receptionist had plied them with, and it sent an instant zing to his head. Not enough to distract him though.
For the final time, as he carefully placed his glass down on the cabinet beside the photos, he prepared himself to shout at Malfoy, to insist he explain what was going on. But Malfoy snapped his arm forward and covered Harry’s whole mouth with his large hand. His eyes widened towards Harry, then narrowed, before he curled his lip. He brought his other hand up to his own face, a single finger pointed in front of his lips as he mimed a ‘shhhh!’
Right, then, Harry thought. Definitely not secure.
Malfoy poured another glass, just the one this time, and quite a hefty measure. Harry, though, was about done with this absurdity. Why come to a safe house if it wasn’t safe? He went to reach and grab at the neck of that damnable tan jacket and shake some sense out of his partner, when Malfoy’s hand dropped from covering Harry’s mouth, to slide down the inlay of his jacket’s lapel.
Harry watched as he ran his fingers up and down the edges of the blazer. His breathing had come to a halt and his body tingled, unable to resist reacting to the intimate move. Malfoy was concentrating on his hands, and didn’t seem to sense that Harry was staring at his lips. He was only a foot or so away, and if he just leant a bit closer…
Harry had never kissed a man before. That was something you did with women, when it was love-making and not fucking. Most of his experiences with men had simply been about having a good time, and getting to the climax. But Malfoy’s lips were glistening in the faint light, and Harry was being drawn to them like a moth to a flame, as the old saying went.
He got lost in the sensation of Malfoy running his hands over his chest, so much so he almost did lean in. But that was before he felt Malfoy snick something from the lining towards the bottom of the jacket, and then held it up for Harry to see.
He held the innocuous-looking listening device by its wired tail, the small circle of metal that made up the head glinting in the weak light.
Fury boiled through Harry’s blood. His eyes darted back up to Malfoy, seeing a matching look of anger flash across his face, his jaw set in a grim but resigned line. They had been bugged. No wonder there had been an ambush at the train station.
Realisation flooded Harry all of a sudden as a memory from that morning resurfaced: the Polish maid who was fussing over his clothes, despite being told she could leave. Had she been one of Voldemort’s agents, or had they simply paid her off?
Malfoy dropped the bug into the tumbler of vodka with a ‘plunk!’, before turning back to Harry. But Harry wanted his turn first.
With determination, he lifted his hands and began feeling the lining of Malfoy’s tan jacket, hoping he wasn’t the only one to have missed a bloody bug on his person. He would have to put the incident in his mission report, but hopefully the rest of his team would never find out. He would be hard pressed to ever live down the mortification.
Sure enough, loosely stitched behind the clothing label by the bottom of the zip, was another matching bug. Harry held it up triumphantly for Malfoy to see that he hadn’t been the only one to fuck up, and then added it to the vodka, short-circuiting it efficiently.
Malfoy yanked at Harry’s blazer, pushing it off his shoulders and dropping it to the floor. Harry scowled and clicked a noise of protest as he reached for it; couture should never simply be dumped on the floor. But Malfoy seized him by the shoulders and began inspecting his waistcoat, checking every inch for more bugs. Well, two could play that game.
As Malfoy extracted another bug from the waistcoat’s small pocket, Harry shoved his tan jacket down, then began rubbing Malfoy’s torso. It was unlikely there would be a bug in the middle of his jumper, but Harry wasn’t going to take any chances. Neither was he going to miss an opportunity to get his hands on Malfoy’s muscular body.
The main bulk of the turtleneck may have yielded no results, but under the rolled up collar was home to yet another bug, which Harry chucked into the vodka beside the one Malfoy had got off of his waistcoat. He was fuming that they’d been duped so easily. Without pausing to think, he let out a growl as he hiked the jumper over Malfoy’s head, revealing the skin-tight vest underneath, clinging to his sculpted form. He might have had a chance to admire it, if he wasn’t distracted by Malfoy’s hands violently popping his waistcoat buttons, then attacking his tie.
There was just no place to hide a bug within the white vest, so Harry fought to unbuckle Malfoy’s belt instead; he was rewarded with a bug in the folded over leather by the clasp, as Malfoy uncovered another one in the tip of his tie.
There was really no need to remove Malfoy’s vest – there was nothing underneath for Harry to check. Not that might be hiding a listening device anyway. But Harry was caught in a kind of frenzy, and was yanking the vest from where it was tucked into the trousers and hauling it over Malfoy’s head before he could stop and think. His hands then snapped back to his own shirt, starting from the bottom as he and Malfoy worked to unbutton it and get it off, along with his gun holster. He pulled his own vest over his head without needing prompting, running it through his hands to definitely rule out any devices then screwing it into a ball.
Whilst he was busy doing that, Malfoy had pulled his shoes off and began prying at the bottom of the heels with his fingernails. Sure enough, there was bug rattling around in the left one, and Harry found one in his right.
He chucked the brogues to the floor in disgust before crossing back over the small room to deposit the listening device into the glass. He was glad Malfoy had poured a large measure of vodka now, as the pile of bugs was almost reaching the top of the liquid. They weren’t quite finished yet though.
He turned to find Malfoy right in front of him. He didn’t pause as he reached out and mechanically undid Harry’s belt buckle, whipping it from around his hips. He inspected it for anything untoward, but unlike Malfoy’s design, there wasn’t anywhere to hide a device. So he dropped the strip of leather to the carpet and set to work on Harry’s trouser button and zip.
Harry watched, his heart in his throat. Malfoy was looking at his hands as he worked, so he didn’t see Harry staring at him. He might not even have been aware of Harry’s chest rising and falling heavily, or the deep swallow he needed to take after he started salivating. But that wasn’t purely a result of his arousal.
Malfoy had a long scar that ran across his torso, from his left shoulder to the tip of his right hip. Harry remember how carefully he had taken that shot a year and a half ago, ensuring that the bullet had only grazed Malfoy’s chest and not mortally wounded him. He had only intended to slow him down, not kill him after all. But he had never stopped to think that his enemy would still be carrying the scar with him; a permanent reminder of Harry, wherever he went.
The thought that Harry was now a small part of him made his skin tingle as he processed the rush of thoughts in the time it took for Malfoy to undo his trousers. Not one to be out done though, Harry lifted his hands, forcing them not to tremble as he slid the zip down on Malfoy’s own fly. Almost as one, they both shoved downwards, then kicked their legs free, pulling their socks with them.
Harry picked his trousers up and meticulously inspected every pocket, down the seams, and then along the turn-ups at the bottom, his eyes flicking up at regular intervals to watch Malfoy doing the same. Sure enough, they both retracted one last bug each, and with no small amount of satisfaction, dropped them into the remaining inch of vodka.
Which just left the two men stood facing one another in their smalls, panting softly after their exertion. Malfoy may have been slender, but now Harry could see just how sculpted his body was. There wasn’t an ounce of fat to be had on him, the clean lines of his muscles well defined, the rose-pink scar slightly raised as it intersected between his pectorals. He had dusky pink nipples that were budded into pert nubs, a long, likable neck, and it was easy to see the swell of his manhood under the tightly fitted underwear. He wasn’t fully erect, but, like Harry, he wasn’t completely disinterested either.
Harry watched his eyes trail over Harry’s own slightly fuller form, his expression not giving anything away, but there was obvious interest from the way his gaze lingered over his abdomen and his chest. Well, Harry thought. You only live once, don’t you?
He stepped forward, and cupped the bulge between Malfoy’s legs. “Don’t you think we should be thorough old chap?” he asked. He rubbed his palm against the cotton of the briefs he was suggesting be removed, his gaze locked unflinchingly with Malfoy’s.
It happened so fast Harry wasn’t fully aware he’d been picked up until his legs were wrapped around Malfoy’s waist, his large hands supporting Harry’s arse as he walked him backwards, slamming Harry’s back into the wall as his mouth crashed into Harry’s
Harry’s hands flew up and tangled into his thick blond hair, his tongue thrusting forwards to meet Malfoy’s. He kissed like he fought; hard and dirty, claiming not just Harry’s lips but his breath as well. Harry moaned and squeezed his thighs tightly around Malfoy’s middle, pulling at his hair as he tilted his head to get a better angle for their passionate embrace.
As it transpired, kissing a man wasn’t an entirely different experience to kissing a woman. The principles were all the same. Except, Harry couldn’t say he’d ever kissed someone who appeared hell bent on devouring his whole lower jaw. Malfoy was still propping him up under his backside with one hand, but with the other he cupped the side of his face with his strong, long fingers, holding Harry still as his lips and tongue lapped and sucked at his mouth with ferocious intent.
This was a different kind of fucking, he supposed. But its masculine nature wasn’t off-putting like he had imagined it would be. It was invigorating and immediately addicting.
Malfoy stepped back, turned, and deposited Harry on top of the bed. Harry let out something that might have been a squeak as he bounced on the mattress, but he was soon too busy looking up at Malfoy crawling over him to be embarrassed.
“Is this thorough enough?” he asked. His darkened and swollen lips quirked into a lopsided smile. Harry could only stare as he hooked his fingers under the waistband of his briefs, and yanked them down in one fluid motion. Harry’s hands were flopped by his head as he watched Malfoy drink him in, completely naked.
He was hard now, there was no denying his obvious want. And from the looks of it, Malfoy approved, running one finger up his length as if testing it.
Harry sucked in a breath between his teeth. “Not,” he croaked. He fumbled with his hand for the band of Malfoy’s underwear, spurred into action with his determination to even the footing. “Not quite.”
Malfoy smirked and rolled over to stand up. Without a hint of awkwardness, he slipped his last shred of clothing over his hips and discarded it onto the floor with the rest of their garments. His cock was like the rest of him – long and lean – and now it was stood fully to attention.
Harry gulped, the sound seeming unnaturally loud in the small hotel room.
Malfoy strolled over where they had discarded their many layers of clothing. He picked up his jacket, removing the mysterious item the receptionist had given him. He crumpled the newspaper that had been wrapped around it into a ball, and dropped it to the floor. In his hand was a glass jar of petroleum jelly. Harry’s heart skipped a beat.
“Don’t worry, Your Highness,” Malfoy purred, crawling back onto the bed to loom over Harry. “I promise to take care of you.”
Harry’s attention was dragged away from the innocuous pot by Malfoy gently taking hold of his chin and forcing him to look back up at him. He smiled, his face alight with mischief, then kissed Harry tenderly. It was still commanding, all-consuming, but Harry didn’t feel trapped by it. He felt elevated.
His mind wasn’t completely distracted from thinking about the jelly though. Did Malfoy mean to fuck him? That was certainly the aura he was giving off as he rolled his body over Harry’s, their hot, stiff members rubbing up against one another. He gasped.
Harry had partaken in his share of buggery, especially at Eton, surrounded by other schoolboys with far too many hormones and not enough opportunities to satisfy them. But there was a way these things were done. The smaller, more feminine boys were the ones that were on the receiving end; Harry may never have been the tallest, as was evident as he lay below Malfoy, but he had been brawny. He had always been the one doing the fucking, the one in control. He liked to think he always took care of his partners, and they had certainly always come and been pretty delighted with Harry’s enthusiasm. But he himself would never had thought he would consent to be the one on the bottom.
Malfoy though had scooped him up in his arms, kissing him with a fierce determination, their bodies pressed together and already slick with sweat. Harry had been desperate to trust him when he thought he might have betrayed him. Now he was desperate to trust him with so much more. Could he really take that risk?
He dug his fingers into his back and moaned. The concern was probably mute at this point, because he doubted he could have halted the night’s proceedings even if he had wanted to. His body was too far gone and needed release. He needed Malfoy to give it to him.
As if feeling his urgency, Malfoy pulled back, studying Harry’s face as their chests rose and fell in shuddery gasps. Carefully, he reached forward, and removed Harry’s glasses from his face, placing them on the bedside table. Harry could still see the man in front of him, but much of the rest of the room became a bit of a blur.
As Malfoy’s hand moved back, he plucked up the jar of greasy jelly, and straddled Harry, looking down at him as he unscrewed the cap. He didn’t ask, but Harry got the feeling he was looking for a sign that this was alright, that this was want Harry wanted. He couldn’t deny he was apprehensive, but he was also willing to try something new. If he could jump out of airplanes and infiltrate terrorist strongholds, he could certainly see what it felt like to have another man’s cock up his arse.
He gave a small, but unmissable nod.
“Good,” said Malfoy softly.
He discarded the cap, and placed the opened jar by them on the bed. He bent down to once again kiss Harry, dragging his lower lip between his teeth and making Harry hiss, which in turn brought something to mind, even in his aroused state. “What was that language you used earlier?” he asked between shaky breaths. He swallowed, and tried to calm himself, but it was a little difficult as he watched Malfoy take two fingers to scoop out a dollop of jelly.
“Parseltongue,” Malfoy said. He shifted so he could snake his arm between them, using his slippery fingers to begin stroking Harry’s puckered entrance. He jerked at the foreign sensation, but he didn’t move his eyes away from Malfoy’s. “You have not heard it before, no?”
“No,” Harry stuttered in agreement. It was hard to keep his eyes open when he was being touched in such an intimate fashion. “Some in – invention of the K.G.B.’s?”
Malfoy smirked, pressing his middle finger against his hole, making Harry gasp at the intrusion. Malfoy proceeded slowly, but there was no denying it felt strange being penetrated. Harry took several breaths and forced himself to relax. He brought his hands up and placed them on Malfoy’s chest, rubbing them over his pecs and clavicles. His damp skin felt so good under his palms.
Malfoy tutted at him. “Surely Mr MI6 is not trying to extract state secrets from Kremlin?” He pushed his finger further inside, and Harry squirmed as he began to adjust.
“No,” he uttered truthfully. “I just…” He gritted his teeth, determined not to blush, especially when he thought about the fact Malfoy had asked that receptionist for the petroleum jelly whilst using their special language, and she had probably guessed exactly what he’d intended to use it for. “I just wondered…if you might speak it again?”
The tip of Malfoy’s nose brushed Harry’s as he stared into his eyes. He began pulsing his finger back and forth. “You like this language?” he asked, amusement sparkling in his grey eyes.
Harry huffed, trying and failing not to push himself against Malfoy’s finger like something wanton. “I just thought it was interesting,” he lied. Well, he supposed it was interesting how the exotic sounds had felt like they had set his entire body alight with desire. Is was like being licked by a naked flame, but without the burn. “I’ve never heard anything like it, if I could understand the verb structures-”
Malfoy forced another finger in.
Harry bucked in shock, like a startled horse, his back arching as he cried out. Malfoy laughed at him. “Verb structures?” he repeated. And then he started hissing and rasping.
Harry had no idea what he was saying, but he couldn’t imagine it was anything other than filthy. He rubbed his two fingers back and forth, stretching out Harry’s entrance, and whispered his mysterious language between sucking open mouth kisses against Harry’s throat. Harry snatched breath after breath, screwing his eyes shut as he lost himself to the various sensations Malfoy was inflicting most deliciously on him. “Fuck,” he moaned rutting his cock shamelessly against Malfoy’s thigh. The friction from two fingers was like a warm burn. It had been a shock to start with, but his body was becoming used to it, feeling more like pleasure than pain.
Malfoy’s kisses trailed up to his jaw, the steady stream of ethereal hisses only pausing as he pressed his lips to Harry’s skin. “I want you,” he said, back to his Russian-laced English. His pupils were so wide, so blown with lust, that only a sliver of silver was left around the blackness. “This is your first time, yes?”
That made Harry sound like an inexperienced teenager, but Malfoy didn’t ask with any pity or mocking in his tones. He sounded like he was stating a fact, like it was important for him to know.
Harry nodded, deciding not to be abashed. “Like this – this way around – yes.”
Malfoy nodded. He removed his fingers from inside Harry and reached for the jar of lubricant again. “Then we will go slowly,” he said.
He coated his leaking cock with firm strokes of his hand, and it had Harry’s blood pulsing with want. He looked so erotic pleasuring himself, Harry couldn’t tear his eyes away. He gripped tightly onto his shoulders, unable to respond to his assurance of going slowly with much more than a nod.
Using his dry hand, Malfoy snagged one of the pillows from the other side of the bed, where Harry’s head was not lying, and dragged it down. “Lift hips,” he instructed. Harry did as he was told, allowing Malfoy to slip the pillow under his back. “Legs up.” Like when they had been pressed against the wall, Harry obediently picked up his feet and wrapped them around Malfoy’s waist, prostrating his most intimate area for Malfoy.
With one hand, Malfoy braced himself above Harry; with his other, he took his glistening member and angled it to line up with Harry’s entrance, rubbing the tip against the puckered skin. Harry groaned and tried not to push too obviously against it. He still had some dignity to cling onto, and seeming completely desperate to get fucked by his long-time rival was probably not the best way to go about it. Even if it was the truth.
Malfoy nodded at him. Are you ready? Harry nodded back.
So he began to push.
Harry grunted, but he was looking into Malfoy’s eyes, and they slowly breathed in an out together. Relax, Harry told himself. This was fine.
He couldn’t deny it did kind of burn, and the stretching was unpleasant – far more than his fingers had been. But Malfoy began to kiss him again. Soft little flutters against his lips as he murmured in Russian, telling Harry how well he was doing, how good he felt.
Harry had to once coach a skittish Italian girl through their time together, and by the end of it she had been an absolute ally cat under the sheets. But he had quite enjoyed caring for her during their initial first few moves together, seeing her become more confident in her own skin, recognising the moment when she had started to truly trust Harry. Now, Malfoy cradled him to his chest and whispered sweet nothings, and far from feeling emasculated, Harry felt like he could let go and transcend the pain. They were both in control, he could stop this at any time, but Malfoy wanted him to enjoy this.
“I’ve got you, little prince,” he growled in his mother tongue.
Harry gasped as he felt Malfoy bottom out, buried in him as far as he could go. He hugged him to his body with both his arms and legs, panting as he slowly experimented with giving a tentative roll of his hips, shifting Malfoy’s length inside him. It didn’t feel so bad now. “I’m alright,” he said, hoping he sounded a little less flustered than he felt. He was a grown man for crying out loud, in employment of Her Majesty’s government. He shouldn’t be reduced to a wreck by a spot of shagging.
Malfoy tutted and scowled. “I said we take it slow,” he admonished. “I decide when you are ready.”
Harry frowned and opened his mouth to argue, but he soon found it too full of Malfoy’s tongue to speak. His kisses were urgent again and soon had him moaning hungrily. And as much as he hated to admit it, the longer he just rested with Malfoy’s hard cock jammed inside him, the more pleasant the sensation got. He began to undulate, encouraging movement between them.
Malfoy pulled back and raised an eyebrow at him. “Now who is naughty boy?”
Harry grinned at him. “Would you shut up and just fuck me already?”
Malfoy’s fingers dug into his back, and his expression turned molten. His blond hair, normally so carefully combed back, was hanging down around his face, dripping with sweat, and his pale skin had a tinge of pink at the cheeks. “Of course, Your Highness.”
Harry wasn’t sure he liked the silly nickname his Russian compatriot has bestowed on him, but he was pretty certain whenever he heard it again in the future, he would always associate it with what happened next. And that meant he became rather fond of it, extremely quickly.
Malfoy slid slowly out of him, almost to the tip, then thrust smoothly back in. The motion was easier that time, but it wasn’t what caused Harry to wail like a wolf at the moon. It was as if Malfoy had found a secret sweet spot within him, some sensitive little area that, when touched, sent electricity through the entire length of Harry’s body and back again.
“Dear God,” he spluttered, his voice coming out in an almost sob. “Do that again.”
Malfoy smiled at him. There looked to be genuine affection in his eyes, but Harry really couldn’t say. He was too far gone to make sense of such things.
Malfoy set a steady rhythm, pounding into him relentlessly, making Harry moan and mutter incoherently in several different languages. It was almost too much, the sensation overwhelming, but he hung on as his climax built. He hoped they didn’t have any neighbours trying to sleep, because he was surely going to bring down the house.
Malfoy looked to be getting close too, judging by the way his face was screwed up. Without faltering in his rhythm, he reached one hand between them and wrapped his fingers around Harry’s cock. A few strokes were all it took to shatter Harry’s world, and he came with a howl, ejaculating hot, white mess between them.
Fireworks exploded in the darkness behind his closed eyes as Malfoy rode down on him hard, chasing his orgasm with his own. It didn’t take long for him to arch his back, grunting and clenching his teeth as he spilled his seed inside Harry.
Exhausted, he fell boneless on top of Harry, hugging him sloppily. Harry’s vision swirled as he blinked and tried to focus on the ceiling above. Without his glasses, it was impossible to see much more than a foot or so in front of his face with any clarity, but at least that meant he could see Malfoy’s profile as he turned to look at him.
For a moment, he just stared. He thought he knew his rival, and yet, after all these years, he’d had no idea at all.
Malfoy sighed, then turned his head to face him. “Hello,” Harry said softly.
“Zdravstvuy,” Malfoy murmured back. He eased his way out of Harry with a groan and rolled over. Harry felt the loss of full body contact immediately and keenly. But he bit his lip and tried not to show it, instead removing the pillow from under his hips, and watching Malfoy walk into the bathroom. He was probably going to shower; they had made quite a mess of themselves after all. He closed his eyes and mentally told himself, very sternly, that that was fine. What did he expect? Malfoy wasn’t a woman, he didn’t require a post-coital cuddle, that would be absurd.
Harry was sore and covered in sweat and cum. He started to shiver, and thought maybe he should sit up and try and clean himself off.
He startled as he felt the bed dip, and whipped his head around to find Malfoy was back with a damp towel in his hand. “Hold still,” he said gruffly, pushing Harry back down onto the bed. Using gentle sweeping motions, he wiped the stickiness away from his chest, mopping up every last drop, then dipped the towel between his legs to catch what was leaking from their intimate encounter. Harry stared dumbly as he worked, allowing himself to be cared for like an infant. “Up.” Malfoy shooed him off the bed with a flick of his hand.
Harry was too tired and disorientated to do much more than what he was told. He was starting to suspect he was a damn poor secret agent, but in that moment, he couldn’t muster the energy to berate himself further.
He guessed Malfoy was getting them ready to move on. However, he was surprised when instead he yanked back the bed covers. He was so comfortable moving around without any clothes on, it gave Harry the confidence to stand and watch him without covering himself up.
Malfoy pointed at the stripped back bed. “In,” he said simply.
Harry blinked a couple of times. He should insist they keep going. Who knew if Voldemort’s men had followed them or managed to track them, despite Malfoy’s use of the secretive Parseltongue language? But his traitorous heart liked the idea of their surreal moment not being over just yet. If he got in the bed, would Malfoy join him?
He slipped between the sheets and watched as Malfoy moved over to the cabinet, picking his way through their clothes that were littered all over the carpet. He reached the lamp and clicked it off, plunging the room into mostly darkness, although there was a glow of streetlight coming through the thin curtains. Which meant Harry was able make him out as he walked confidently back the way he came, not faltering in his step as he rounded the bed and climbed in beside Harry.
“Sleep now,” he grunted. He wrapped his arm around Harry, hauling him over so his back was pressed up to Malfoy’s chest, and nuzzling his nose into Harry’s hair.
Harry thought maybe he should protest at being manhandled. However, he didn’t really feel like it, not when it turned out that a post-coital cuddle was actually really lovely. He sighed, snuggling against the cheap, scratchy sheets, and the warm body pressed up behind him. Yes, he thought. This wasn’t too bad at all.
Chapter 4: Chapter Four
He was blissfully asleep one moment. And the next, the covers were mercilessly torn away, exposing his skin to the cool air of the dingy hotel room.
Harry scrambled awake with a yelp, grabbing at the sheets and pillows, unable to recall where he had left his gun. Then the details of the circumstances in which he had fallen asleep came rushing back to him.
He snapped his head around to see Malfoy turn the lamp back on against of the darkness of the night outside the window. He grinned. “Good morning, Your Highness,” he said. “Time to get presentable again, I am afraid.”
Harry rubbed his eyes, unable to see clearly thanks to his lack of spectacles. “What?” he croaked.
Malfoy walked back over to the bed, still naked, and smacked a hand on Harry’s backside where it was exposed. Harry yelped even louder than before, then glared indignantly as he rubbed the stinging flesh. “Ow,” he said pointedly.
“This is mine now,” Malfoy replied, patting Harry’s sore bum. “So, time to shower. Come now, chop chop, as you English say.”
He seemed to be enjoying himself.
“It’s still night,” Harry said. Said, not whined. He was sure of it.
Malfoy chuckled. “We sleep for hour and half – one R.E.M. cycle. Now we are fresh as daisies, yes?”
Harry scowled. He definitely did not feel as fresh as a daisy. But Malfoy reached his hand down to him and beckoned him up with his curled fingers, a small smile tugging at his lips, his eyes alight and imploring. “Shower?” Harry asked.
“Shower,” Malfoy repeated.
That didn’t sound like the worst idea Harry had ever heard. Despite Malfoy’s ministrations to him earlier, he still felt a little grotty; his hair was almost certainly stuck up at all angles thanks to the sweat that had dried in it. If they were to head back into West Berlin, they would need to look as inconspicuous as possible, just in case they were to run into any further trouble.
Harry slipped his hand into Malfoy’s, and allowed himself to be pulled upward. He mused to himself as he was led into the small bathroom, watching as Malfoy pulled the cord to switch on the light bulb under the cracked glass shade. After such a good rodgering – and really, it had been quite spectacular – should Harry think of Malfoy as Draco now? Were they on such intimate terms?
It didn’t feel right somehow, he concluded as he watched Malfoy reach around the greying shower curtain and turn on the taps. Draco Malfoy was the Drakon, a known international threat to queen and country. Malfoy was a mildly infuriating co-worker, who had just unravelled Harry in the most stupendous fashion. He had cared for him, as a lover.
Harry would have assumed that after taking on the submissive role in their tryst he would feel meek, or even humiliated. But he simply felt calm, and warm despite the cold tiles under his bare feet.
Malfoy was standing with his hand under the stream of water, staring at nothing as he waited for the temperature to heat up. However, when he realised Harry was watching him, he met his eye and smiled with one corner on his pale, pink lips. “Come,” he said, beckoning Harry to him.
Harry was surprised by Malfoy following him into the bath tub. He turned and raised his eyebrows, but found he didn’t know what to say. He had never showered with a lover before; he had assumed Malfoy was setting the water temperature as a thoughtful gesture, as Harry had drawn baths for his women in the past. But it seemed the Russian had other ideas as he pulled the curtain shut.
There was a cracked bar of yellow soap on the side, which Malfoy leaned around Harry to fetch. He didn’t say anything, he just crowded Harry into moving backwards, until they were both under the stream. The water was on the verge of being too hot, just the way Harry preferred it. Probably because it was the middle of the night and everyone else was sleeping or fucking, rather than washing away the long day. Whatever the reason, Harry was grateful.
The water was falling over Harry’s shoulder, hitting both their stomachs with half-decent power, and the steam was filing up the space behind the curtain nicely. Harry inhaled deeply, tasting the moisture on his tongue and feeling it at the back of his throat.
Malfoy rubbed the bar of soap vigorously between his hands, slowly building up a good amount of lather under the water’s spray. Harry watched his long hands at work as he ran his own fingers through his hair, massaging the water through it pleasantly.
He looked over Malfoy’s body. It was littered with scars, as was his own. But they had nothing between them like the slash across his chest where Harry’s bullet had grazed him. The rest were small, indistinguishable from one another. The long line of raised tissue told a story. Their story.
“I did that to you.” Harry reached out and touched where the mark crossed his sternum.
Surprisingly, Malfoy looked up from the soap at him with a fond smile. “Yes,” he said.
Harry frowned, the sound of the water splashing hanging between them. “You don’t mind it?”
Malfoy shrugged. “It is part of life,” was all he said.
Harry expected Malfoy to start washing himself, then hand the softened bar over for Harry to use. But he clearly still didn’t know as much about his partner as he thought.
“Turn,” Malfoy instructed, giving Harry’s hip a gentle poke. Harry arched an eyebrow at him, but did as he was told. Malfoy hadn’t steered him wrong yet, after all.
He moved so his chest and left shoulder were under most of the stream. After Malfoy’s hands-on behaviour thus-far, he anticipated it as he came and stood behind him, and wasn’t disappointed. Malfoy took the soap and began to lather the suds across his back with both hands, pressing his fingers firmly against his skin. Harry groaned and leaned in closer, loving the way the pressure felt on his taught muscles. Malfoy stroked down his arms and spine, washing away the lingering traces of their time together, but leaving Harry with something more than skin deep. The hard brushes of his hands seeped down into his bones, settling there and warming them better than the hot water.
He only flinched slightly when Malfoy dipped his fingers between his cheeks, lightly stroking the hole he had penetrated mere hours before. It was tender, but having him gently touch it again reminded Harry of what they had shared together in the best possible way. Malfoy didn’t ask if he felt okay, he simply washed him thoroughly, and kissed his neck from behind.
Harry let out a guttural sigh. His eyes drifted closed and he let his back lean against Malfoy’s chest as his hands worked all over him. Between his legs, his cock was perking up again, and he moved to touch himself.
A stinging slap to the back of his hand made him jerk away, and Malfoy grinned down at him as he looked accusingly over his shoulder. “I would like to do this,” he murmured, nudging Harry’s nose with his own, until he was at a better angle for a kiss. Harry hummed, hoping that singled his consent.
It did, apparently. Malfoy was unhurried in his kissing, lapping Harry up like a cat enjoying a saucer of cream. He curled his long fingers around Harry’s member and stroked slowly, luxuriously, as if they had all the time in the world.
“You are very pretty like this,” he muttered into Harry’s mouth.
He felt his cheeks redden. “Do shut up,” he grumbled. He wasn’t pretty, he was a bloody man.
Malfoy smiled into their kiss. “Of course,” he told him in Russian.
His orgasm crept up on him this time. Rather than the spectacular explosion of last time, his pleasure grew inside him, like a kettle coming to the boil, until he was ejaculating against the tiled wall. The water washed away the evidence immediately, but Harry anticipated the thrum of happiness in his veins would most likely last for hours.
Because he was a gentleman, he ignored the weakness in his knees, and turned to offer a hand to Malfoy in return. But it worked out that Malfoy had his knees in mind anyway.
As Harry faced him, he captured either side of his jaw to pull him in for another kiss, leaving Harry free to palm his burgeoning erection. But before he could get any kind of serious rhythm going, Malfoy broke their kiss, and looked down at him with his steely grey eyes.
He bit his lip, studying Harry’s face. Then he dropped his hands to Harry’s shoulders, applying subtle pressure, and raised his eyebrows just slightly. Asking a question. Did Harry want to drop to his knees for him?
Much like buggering, Harry had experienced that there was generally a certain protocol involved with sucking another man’s cock. Those most likely to find one up their arse, were also those more likely to be enticed to take one in their mouth. Harry had always considered himself an Alpha Male as the animal kingdom called it, and had never questioned the fact that it would be he, not the other man standing when it came to oral pleasure.
But Malfoy was asking this of him. His right hand was still pressing almost imperceptibly down on his shoulder, but the other came back to rub the side of his neck. His eyes flicked back and forth, no doubt trying to read what Harry held behind his, and the water poured down them both, still blissfully hot and soothing.
Harry knew the immeasurable joy one experienced when their cock was being tended to by soft lips and strong tongue, but not everyone was willing to lower themselves to such a base act. Is that what he wanted? Would Malfoy look at him with derision if he did this, or would he cherish it?
Harry decided to take a chance. If the worse happened, they could go back to hating each other, like they had before. Except, Harry thought to himself as he carefully dropped into the bath, the water spraying on top of his head, plastering his hair down. They had never really hated each other, had they?
Back at school, he had been forced to tutor his eager but not-at-first-skilled roommate in the best way to give head, after an unfortunate incident involving his teeth after a door banged too loudly down the corridor. The key, he and Harry discovered, was to sheath one’s teeth with the lips. So, keeping that in mind, he angled himself towards Malfoy’s head, slipping his lips around the hot, velvety skin, and running his tongue along the slit.
The moan Malfoy released let him know he was on the right track.
Malfoy threaded the fingers of his right hand through Harry’s hair, helping to guide him as he bobbed up and down, and used his left to attempt to grip the slippery wall. Harry watched him for a moment, but it was too hard with the water falling down on him. So he closed his eyes and concentrated on making Malfoy feel wonderful, the way he had done for him.
His mind wandered just a fraction around the task at hand, as he considered whether or not he would have believed this was how their day was destined to end up. Would Malfoy have guessed, if he’d had it suggested to him? Were their paths meant to entwine in this manner, had it just been a matter of time?
There was a miniscule part of him that hoped that was the case, even if he did force himself to ignore it. This was almost certainly a one-night affair, and he was going to enjoy himself as long as it lasted.
Malfoy’s orgasm caught him by surprise, and he choked as the seaman hit the back of his throat. But it was good manners to swallow, even if one was conveniently in a shower, and he did his best to gulp down all of his lover’s spend.
Gasping, he rocked back on his heels and rubbed his aching jaw, but Malfoy was already pulling him up to embrace him against his chest. “Spasibo,” he murmured. Thank you.
They retrieved the soap from where it had slipped out of Malfoy’s hand at some point, and managed to successfully wash themselves without further distraction. Harry turned the tap off, and Malfoy hooked the two towels off the rail, handing one over so they both might dry off.
Harry mourned the fact that his suit had spent the last few hours crumpled on the floor, and shivered as he slipped the cold, slightly damp clothes over his body. One of the buttons of his waistcoat looked to be coming loose, and it took him an age to find his second sock of the pair. But eventually he found himself fussing over his tie in front of the age-spotted mirror hanging by the bathroom door. It was almost four in the morning, however Harry could hear a few tell-tale signs that the city was coming to life on the streets below.
He was feeling fractious, and he tried not to analyse his thoughts too closely. It was hard though when he angrily started on his third attempt to get the blasted tie straight, only to find himself spun around to face Malfoy. His partner was dressed already, back in his navy turtleneck, and without saying a word he calmly undid the mess Harry had made. He looped the tie over and around to create a tidy knot, then simply nodded at Harry when he was done.
Harry gave himself a mental slap. He wasn’t a forlorn romance heroine in a cheap novel, he was a British man who absolutely needed to stop pining over his colleague. It was simply a bit of fun that they’d had together, and now it was over. He did this sort of thing all the time, he had never particularly missed any of his previous lovers.
So why did the thought of going back to cool civility with Malfoy fill him with such dread?
He had little time to ponder it. Once they had re-holstered their guns, they smashed up the listening bugs before depositing them down the lavatory. With their jackets back on, they set out once more, heading down the stairs of the little hotel.
Malfoy dropped the key at the front desk. The dark-haired receptionist peered over the top of her book at them, looking surprisingly awake considering it was the middle of the night. She glanced at Harry, then hissed something towards Malfoy in Parseltongue, a glint in her eye that Harry did not appreciate.
“Yes, yes,” he groused, tugging at Malfoy’s sleeve to lead him away. “Do come on, we haven’t got all night.”
Malfoy smirked at him. “I do not know what you mean,” he said with a flick of an eyebrow. “Pansy was merely enquiring after your good health.”
“I’m fit as a fiddle,” Harry grumbled, pushing through the front door and into the night.
The case of microfilm sat heavily in his pocket, once again resting next to the strip of photos from the station. Harry kept telling himself he was holding on to them because he didn’t want to leave any evidence behind. But if that really was the case, he could probably have flushed them down the toilet along with the bugs.
They walked swiftly down the mostly deserted street. Harry nodded to the women still working the corners, and decided he wasn’t going to dwell on why he had held onto the pictures.
He and Malfoy had agreed, in so many words, that they needed to get out of East Germany. There were only so many ways to move from the Allied pocket of West Berlin, out of the Soviet controlled eastern side of the country, and back into West Germany. Although Harry was with Malfoy, they couldn’t rely on his Russian comrades to support them. H.O.G.W.A.R.T.S. was a British initiative; their orders had come from London and that was where they needed to return in order to complete their mission.
Their plan was to make their way back to Jannowitzbrucke, as it was one of the only stations still open thanks to the Berlin Wall. If they could make the first train though at 06:08, they would be able to ride down to the safety of Potsdam Griebnitzsee, a stone’s throw outside the Berlin boarder, but that was all they would need to deliver them to safety.
Boarding the train would require money and passports though, so that involved both agents navigating the city to collect emergency currency and documentation from safe stashes that would enable them to leave. Their teams would have been long scattered now after the debacle at Jannowitzbrucke station; they were on their own.
It would have probably been quicker to split up, but they’d have been fools to allow the microfilm out of either of their sights. There was little to be lost in divulging their drop points to each other though, as once used they would never be used again. So first they went to pick up Malfoy’s stash from behind a lose brick on a street near Charlottenburg, then swung around to look under a park dustbin in Wilmersdorf for Harry’s.
It was quite the journey, despite the fact that once they had funds again they were able to get an early running bus a part of the way back to Jannowitzbrucke. By the time they reached the station, it was already approaching six o’clock.
Harry felt nervous as they surveyed the building from a safe distance. Logically, he would assume that the Lestranges and their cohorts would be long gone. But the fact remained that this was one of the best ways out of the city, and if they were desperate enough to get their microfilm back, they might have risked staying behind to watch for Harry and Malfoy.
Harry frowned. If they had been foolish enough to do that, then he was certain his colleagues from M.I.6. would have picked them up. He and Malfoy were more than likely safe to make their approach.
“Come on,” he muttered to Malfoy, slinking out from the shadows in the pre-dawn light.
They drew little attention as they walked purposefully into the station. There were enough people milling about that they weren’t immediately obvious as they crossed the concourse. Harry didn’t think he could see anyone watching him as he left Malfoy making a show of studying a timetable, and he went to purchase their tickets. It was 06:03.
The cashier gave him a pleasant but tired smile as she handed over their one-way tickets to Potsdam Griebnitzsee, and wished him a good day. He very much hoped that was the case.
He didn’t allow himself to rush as he walked back over to his partner. He was, however, reminded with every step of their tryst by a dull soreness around his entrance. It was an ache, not entirely unpleasant, but most definitely present in a way that meant he could not completely forgot what had transpired. He would carry the evidence of their intimacy around with him for most of the day, he was sure, and the thought caused another flare of irritation. If the event was to be forgotten, he would rather just forget now and be done with it. The humiliation he had expected in the immediate moments after sex burned in his chest now, so fiercely he felt that Malfoy could surely sense it.
He showed no signs of gloating or triumph though as Harry approached him, holding out his ticket for him to take. Harry tried to push down his personal feelings; it was a gross lapse in professionalism and they were not out of the woods yet.
“We should wait,” Malfoy said with a nod towards their platform, and Harry murmured in agreement. In the very unlikely event they were being pursued, they should not give away their destination until the absolute last moment. The clock read 06:05.
Harry refused to look at Malfoy as they waited, instead cataloguing the magazines on display on a nearby newsstand. He also busied himself studying anyone in the station who paused in their stride, assessing for any possible threats. As far as he could tell, there were none.
At 06:07 they began to walk. They couldn’t risk rushing, but Harry had a small, anxious flutter to his heartbeat. The next train wasn’t for another half an hour, and if they missed this one, they risked being discovered waiting around for the next.
The guard blew his whistle.
Malfoy didn’t increase his stride, but his eyes were fixed on the nearest carriage door, and with his long legs he naturally reached it first, extending his hand out for the door handle just as the train jerked its first few inches forward.
That was when the shot rang out.
Harry snapped backwards on instinct. Screams flew through the air and people began to run in panic, but Harry didn’t pause as he snatched his gun from its holster and scanned the fleeing bodies for the shooter.
“Potter!” Malfoy barked. He had already stepped up onto the train, and it was chugging along the platform, picking up speed.
Harry gave one last look for their attacker, then turned to dash back over to the carriage door. Their enemy couldn’t be close enough to board as well, so if he could get onto the train they would be safe.
Another bullet whizzed through the air, striking the side of the train, causing both agents to flinch and preventing Harry from reaching the door. “Shit!” He stumbled away, managing not to trip over his feet, but the train was pulling out of his reach. The shrill sounds of people’s screams and pounding feet echoed across the station, the bodies blurring into one as they sought shelter. Harry still could not identify his assailant though as he got his footing back and sprinted towards the train.
Could it be a sniper? If so, why hadn’t they made the shot? He couldn’t believe they would be that incompetent – Voldemort didn’t stand for incompetence. So, was their goal to simply stop him boarding? To take him in for interrogation? He couldn’t allow that.
But the next shot came so close to his ear he actually felt the air move, and it ricocheted dangerously off the caboose. Another shot followed, and another, all whilst the train continued to accelerate.
“Potter, come on!” Malfoy shouted. He was reaching out as far as he could for Harry’s hand, but it wasn’t close enough.
A sudden explosion of pain in Harry’s upper left arm blinded him momentarily, and he knew that the shooter must have hit true. He stumbled to the floor, knocked off balance by the impact, and he bellowed in anger and horror.
He would never make the train now.
A large seized his good arm. Harry made to yank away on instinct, until he looked up into a pair of wide, grey eyes.
“Move!” Malfoy shouted, hoisting him bodily to his feet and breaking into a sprint. Blood was spilling down Harry’s arm; as his feet woke up and began to move, he surmised that it was only a superficial flesh wound. But its distraction might still have been enough to stop him from boarding the train, trapping him and Malfoy in the station with their attacker.
Malfoy had other plans though. They were both running flat out, chasing the train as it gained momentum, but his grip on Harry’s arm was like iron, forcing him to match the distance his long legs were carrying.
He closed his hand around the edge of the open door without a millimetre to spare, tugging both him and Harry towards the opening. Another shot fired overhead, but Harry didn’t allow himself to flinch. It was now or never.
Malfoy heaved himself up onto the carriage, and Harry jumped with him, trusting that Malfoy would help him. His hand refused to let go of Harry’s arm, and together they tumbled into the belly of the caboose, falling down amidst the crates stored within.
Harry cried out in pain. But they had made it. They were on board.
Malfoy sat up first, panting and shifting beside Harry so he could then help him upright as well. The blood had soaked through the sleeve of his jacket, but as Harry caught his breath and gently probed the wound, he knew he had been right. The bullet had just skimmed the edge of his skin, he would be fine with a few stitches. A bit like another bullet wound he could think of.
That wasn’t what concerned him the most at that particular moment though.
He looked up from the bloody hole in his jacket to find Malfoy staring at him, his pale lips in a thin line. They regarded one another as they swayed with the momentum of the train. “You came back for me,” Harry said. His voice trembled a bit too much for his liking, but he figured he had just been shot, so it was alright.
Malfoy swallowed, his eyes unblinking. “You have microfilm,” he rasped.
There was a pause, where Harry just stared. Then he discovered a grin was trying to make itself known on his face. He attempted to fight it, but he really didn’t have the energy. “I have the microfilm,” he repeated slowly, the laughter bubbling up inside him despite the pain he was in.
Malfoy continued to stare at him. Only the smallest twitch at the corner of his mouth betrayed him, before he lunged forward, grabbing the back of Harry’s head with his hand, crushing their lips together in a fierce and hungry kiss.
Harry may not have any absolute assurance still as to how Malfoy felt, or whether or not there would be a repeat of last night’s interlude, but he certainly felt the passion in that embrace. He couldn’t help but bask in the tender way Malfoy carefully treated his wound, or sigh as his lover held him close in the storage caboose for the rest of the journey down to Potsdam, grumbling in Russian about idiotic, useless Englishmen.
Harry used his good hand to touch the microfilm case in his pocket, thankful it wasn’t on the side where his blood had leaked. He told himself he couldn’t help but also feel the strip of four photos against his fingertips, nestled safely next to the precious microfilm. But as Malfoy whispered into his ear, hissing that strange language of his, Harry thought maybe it was time to stop fighting himself.
There was a real danger he might very well have been falling in love with his infuriating partner, and he may not know what the future held for them, but, just for now, he was going to enjoy it.
Chapter 5: Chapter Five
Harry shifted in his seat. Again.
McGonagall glanced up from her desk, but only for a moment, and did not say anything out loud. He could guess what she might have been thinking, but decided he’d rather not.
He watched her study the microfilm through the magnifying lens for the next several minutes, only squirming when he absolutely had to. Malfoy threw him more than one quelling look, which he did his best to head. But really, he was quite uncomfortable.
“This is excellent work gentlemen,” McGonagall announced eventually. She placed the reader down and carefully wound the film back up, securing it back in its case. “No doubt the hostages will have been moved to another location by now, but we have more than enough information to go on here, including the means to prevent any more abductions.”
“Is that so?” Harry asked. He eagerly sat forward in his seat. His arm was no longer in a sling, but his injury still smarted when he moved it suddenly. However, he was too keen to know their mission had truly been a success to care all that much. “Is there a list of targets?”
“Not exactly,” she said, her eyebrow quirking. “Let’s just say we will be detaining and interrogating Mr Pettigrew as soon as possible, and that should solve the issue.”
Harry couldn’t help the coldness that ran through him. Did she mean Peter Pettigrew? He wasn’t particularly close to the man, but he knew he had been an old acquaintance of his father’s. He couldn’t be a traitor could he? A double agent?
Harry sat back in his seat and chewed his lip sombrely. He supposed he would just have to wait and see.
“We are delighted to be of help,” Malfoy told the director. His fingers were laced and his hands resting on his knee, his legs crossed, and back ram-rod straight. He didn’t even remotely look tired, whereas Harry was so shattered he was sure he could have fallen asleep right there and then, even with the director looking on. The only thing that had been keeping him awake was discovering what exactly they had retrieved on the microfilm. It appeared they had done a good job.
“You were,” McGonagall confirmed. “I trust your journey back wasn’t too hard?”
It had been hard alright.
It had been hard for the last twenty minutes into Potsdam Griebnitzsee in the train’s cramped bathroom. It had been hard in the hotel in Hanover, several times. It had been hard in the backseat of the car they had hired in Apeldoorn, and in the narrow cabin on the ferry across the Markermeer lake, and even in one of the cupboards that held cleaning supplies downstairs in the very building they were currently sat in. One could say, it had been an extremely hard week since Berlin.
Harry gave her a tight smile, subtly moving on his seat again. “It passed without any further incident,” he answered, which was truthful as far as Voldemort’s people were concerned.
“Well,” McGonagall said, and nodded once. “That’s that then, I guess. As you gentlemen are aware, the H.O.G.W.A.R.T.S. initiative was only an experiment.”
Harry didn’t say anything. This was it; the experiment was over, and all he could probably do now was hope that he and Malfoy weren’t sent to kill each other any time soon. He supposed it had been a fun week whilst it had lasted.
He was resolved to this. His consolation had been in witnessing for himself how fervently his partner cared for him, and how deep his affections apparently ran. Harry had not declared his feelings out loud, but he had aspired to convey his contentment through his actions. When alone with Malfoy, he hoped he had illustrated the importance he placed on their intimate moments, with every kiss and caress he could.
If this was to be it, he felt confident Malfoy knew he had won his heart, if only for a short while.
“And the results of this experiment?” Malfoy asked. Harry was too busy pondering, and trying to unsuccessfully once again relieve the pressure on his tender arse.
McGonagall raised both eyebrows and leant backwards in her chair. “A resounding success,” she said. “I assumed you might have guessed as much. The agency is extremely keen to maintain operations, in fact, there’s even talk of expansion.”
Harry blinked once, then twice. What had she just said? He carefully cleared his throat, and picked at an imaginary bit of lint on his trouser leg. “So, we are to remain as partners?”
McGonagall fished a single sheet of paper from the multitude littering her desk, and handed it to Malfoy. “If you don’t have any strong objections?” she asked him. “Your director has granted permission for you to be relocated indefinitely to the London office. Agent Potter can help you with any adjustments, I’m sure.”
Agent Potter’s mouth went dry. He and Malfoy were to continue being partners? He was to be based out of London? Would that mean he might want to consider carrying on with their affair, or had part of its appeal been its limited timescale?
Only one way to find out.
He sighed, conveying how great this burden was to him. “If we are to be shackled to one another still,” he said heavily. “Then it is probably best if we stick close together. I can accommodate Agent Malfoy until he is settled; we can learn each other’s ins and outs much quicker if we continue to co-habit.”
McGonagall didn’t react, other than to hold Harry’s gaze for a moment longer than was comfortable. “You would be amenable to sharing your home?”
Harry shrugged. “It’s more like a hotel room, he’s not going to find out any secrets from me there, other than perhaps my inside seam measurement, or perhaps which brand of toothpaste I prefer. Although, I dare say he knows all that already. This won’t be all that different to the mission – so long as Agent Malfoy has no issues with it?”
He turned his eyes to his partner, both in work and in bed, and gave him a smirk. Malfoy returned the look coolly. “No wife or children waiting at home? Agent Potter, you surprise me.”
Harry glared, whilst his heart secretly swelled. He wondered if that had been on Malfoy’s mind? If he had maybe assumed the worse and expected to be dropped like yesterday’s newspaper once Harry was back in England. The opposite was so painfully true, Harry could have tap danced.
“I’m a surprising man,” he drawled. He turned back to McGonagall. “Is that all? We are rather travel-worn is all,” he explained. “A hot bath would go a long way at this point.”
McGonagall rose to her feet, and the men followed suit. “For now,” she confirmed, shaking each of their hands. “You are to report to my office tomorrow at 08:00 for debriefing.”
Harry nodded. “Understood.” And with that, he led Malfoy out.
They walked down the hallway in cautious silence. Harry’s heart was hammering in his chest, but he didn’t want to be the first to speak. He desperately wanted to know Malfoy was as happy as he was though with this new, more permanent arrangement, however he didn’t want to appear weak by even hinting he was asking.
“You better have a decent bed for me to sleep in, Your Highness,” Malfoy said eventually. His chin was held haughtily high, and he slipped his large hands into the pockets of his tan leather jacket. Harry’s were hidden away likewise, and he ran his thumb over the smooth surface of the photographs. “You English have strange aversion to proper back support.”
Harry scowled back at him. “We can’t help that all you Ruskies are barbarians made of stone.”
Malfoy tutted as they approached the elevator. “Such insolence,” he chided, reaching out across Harry to press the call button. “I think perhaps when we get home, I shall fuck you on your knees. Teach you some manners, no?”
Harry spluttered, frantically looking around to check no one had heard. They were alone, but he was still indignant. He turned back to face Malfoy, fists curled up as he feigned fury. “Have you ever thought that you could do with a good fucking once in a while?” he hissed. He enjoyed playing up his outrage, but the truth was his heartbeat had sped up even faster than before, his veins thrumming with eager anticipation.
Malfoy’s lip curled, and his eyes blazed into Harry’s as the lift rattled upwards to greet them. “And a gag too, perhaps? You talk too much.”
Harry would have carried on arguing, except the elevator doors pinged open, and they stepped inside with another couple of people already riding down. Harry would make a show of fighting back; he would call Malfoy a Godless brute the entire way home.
But once they were there, he knew he would melt under his lover’s hands. Because the thing was, he had called it ‘home’ as well. They were going to share the space together; the bed was going to become their bed.
And he honestly couldn’t think of anything else that would make him happier.
Several years later…
Agent Pansy Parkinson sat on the edge of the padded chair that Director McGonagall had indicated for her to wait in. She causally drummed her crimson nails against the armrests, and ignored the Scottish woman’s occasional glares up from the report she was reading. She wondered how long this was going to take. She had things to do.
McGonagall sighed and rubbed her eyes, then rested her chin in her hand. “And you’re sure there was no trace of them to be found after the explosion?”
Pansy considered the other woman. She was in her late sixties, but had a steeliness that lurked behind those wire-rim spectacles. She would not easily be fooled, but Draco had always spoken of her with the same respect he reserved for his mother. He and Potter had hoped her obvious affection for the pair would work in their favour.
She realised she was dangerously close to a grin, and quickly dropped her expression. “Yes, yes, very sad. Terrible tragedy.” She cleared her throat and nodded. “No trace left of bodies.” English was a strange language, so different to her own mother tongue. But it did have a sort of eloquence to it she supposed.
McGonagall glanced down at the file, tracing her finger along several words. “And yet, somehow you were able to escape the building without a scratch, whilst also retrieving the blueprints?” Her tone was light, but Pansy didn’t miss the accusation there.
She despised silly games like this, but she reminded herself what was at stake. No more tagging along on missions with two bickering old nannies. No more listening to rampant sex through thin motel walls. No more pretending she had no idea that two grown men were hopelessly in love and practically married, because it was much simpler to just fuck and argue than to care and cherish.
Urgh. Men. Who needed them?
“We got separated,” she said, shaking her head ruefully. She dabbed at her eyes to with the back of her hand for good measure. “I would never have escaped if not for them. I do not know how I can live with myself, knowing this. It is too cruel, they were best agents, best of men.”
Draco had paid her extra to say that bit.
McGonagall regarded her for a minute, then went back to studying the finer details of the report.
Pansy glanced at her watch. Mauritius was only four hours ahead. She imagined the two of them were probably arguing over the counter in the bar that Potter had spent the past year slowly putting together whenever he could get down to that little shack on the beach. Draco would no doubt be saying very little back, listening as his lover prattled on about the weather and politics and any one of Draco’s many annoying domestic habits. Maybe he would be polishing his boat, the one he intended to take tourists fishing on.
As much as she had abhorred their incessant, juvenile company, she couldn’t help but picture both idiots smiling when they thought they were alone, when no one else was watching. She had teased Draco mercilessly about the way she’d spied him caressing his lover’s cheek, or the way he would yank him bodily from a fire-fight, like he wasn’t a fully trained and capable agent. They never had to say they were in love. They showed it every day.
McGonagall sighed, bringing Pansy’s attention back to London and the overwhelmingly grey office that she had become accustomed to during her time with H.O.G.W.A.R.T.S. She hadn’t decided if she wanted to stay with the operation yet. Maybe she too would fake her death and go travel the world?
“They shall be missed,” McGonagall said, closing the file. “They were indeed unparalleled in what they did. Britain, and in fact the world, owe them a great debt. Neither of them had much in the way of family, but I will arrange for them to be informed.”
Pansy nodded solemnly, hiding her delight as she pictured the letter that would make its long journey across the Baltic states to Draco’s mother Narcissa, a wonderful woman whom Pansy had long adored. That letter would slip through the door of that cold apartment, where it would sit on the mat with all the other correspondence.
That was, until it would be picked up once a week by a discreet neighbour for a good price, and shipped all the way down to another hut on the Mauritian coast. Draco had told her that his mother had relocated to the village along from theirs, and was almost overcome with joy at the glorious heat and bountiful food.
Pansy wished them all well. She truly did.
“Thank you,” she said to the director. “From my country to yours, we appreciate this, and share our grief together.”
She bid her farewells, and took her leave from M.I.6. It was important she not appear hurried, but she also knew she had a small timeframe with which to work in.
Potter’s apartment was in Hammersmith, meaning she would have to cross the river. A cab would get her there in half an hour, depending on traffic, but if she took the tube she would be less at risk from being spotted. She didn’t know who might want to know where he and Draco were, now they were retired. Even their own governments couldn’t be trusted to leave them alone.
Within the hour, she was letting herself in with the key Potter had entrusted her with, quietly slipping into the West London flat. So, this was where Draco had been living? Her eyes trailed over the carefully neutral décor. There wasn’t much sign a couple had been living here; no photos on the walls or souvenirs of holidays spent together. Their life was carefully hidden away.
Pansy had been sent for one item only. Upon their ‘deaths’ the two men had been indifferent to almost all of their possessions the had left behind in London. Save one. Potter had tried to press the importance of this item upon her without seeming desperate; Draco had told her he would track her down and break her legs if she didn’t retrieve it immediately, then hand deliver it herself at the soonest opportunity.
He was endearing when he got protective. Really, it was very sweet.
The book was exactly where Potter had promised it would be. An exceedingly boring volume on bird migration habits, tucked between a biography on Winston Churchill and a review of Parisian architecture. It was the sort of literary collection designed to allow your gaze to sweep over, and not hold your interest for a moment. Ideal if you wanted to hide something.
Pansy eased the avian hardback free, and let it fall open naturally where it had been bookmarked. Except, it wasn’t a bookmark at all.
It was a strip of photos.
Potter had always been a hopeless fool it seemed judging by his ludicrous poses, even before he fell in love. But Draco’s expression warmed her heart. He still looked at the ridiculous Englishman as if he was the only person alive that truly mattered.
Pansy carefully slipped the photos back into place, mindful not to smudge the images with her fingers. She liked her legs as they were; unbroken. The strip would not see the light of day until she reached that beach, off the east coast of Madagascar, where she would hand the book over to the happy couple.
Perhaps in their new life, they could frame the four simple images, or at least attach them to the fridge with a magnet like normal people. Pansy may feel relief at not having to see the love Draco and Harry shared every day. But she felt it was about time they saw it indisputably for themselves.