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-Come on, Harry! This will be fun!

Fun. That's not exactly how Harry would describe an afternoon with Ron and Hermione nowadays. It's not that he didn't like to spend time with them. It's just that lately, Harry felt like the third wheel of a particularly cute and annoying car. They were always cuddling, calling each other names, caressing each other... Harry loved his two best friends but really, he could have done without the caressing.

If he was honest with himself, which lately he tended to be, he was fairly jealous. He had never imagined what his life would be like after the war, mainly because he didn't think there would be any life after the war. Not for him.

Nobody knew what had really happened that day, the day he had confronted Voldemort. Nobody knew he had died. He didn't like to talk about it and nobody liked to hear about it. Hermione had tried to gently push him to tell her and he had not so gently pushed her away. Ron didn't ask. He knew better than to pry. The only thing he had asked was why Harry and Ginny had broken up. He had told him what he wanted to hear: that they didn't fit together anymore, that they wanted time to themselves, time to recover, to heal from the war.

The truth was, Ginny had left him. Not because she didn't love him anymore. In a way, he knew she would always love him, just like he would always love her. No, simply because the boy she had fallen in love with wasn't there anymore. He had died that day with Voldemort. All that was left was the memory of him, of that foolish, arrogant child who thought he could take on the entire world by himself. And although some would say he had succeeded, others (such as himself) would say the opposite. Because he had discovered that you couldn't just kill darkness. Once you were acquainted, it became a part of you.

For Harry, that was a rather large part of him now.

-Salath seth tith... (Fucking hell)

Hermione gave him a stern look. She wasn't a fan of Harry using parseltongue more often lately. But Harry found he enjoyed it immensely. After all, he was bitter and alone. It had never felt more appropriate.

After two or three minutes of disapproving stare, Harry rolled his eyes and finally gave in.

-All right, all right. I'll come along.

Hermione's face broke into a big grin and Harry felt his chest warm up. She began to gather her stuff while explaining in various, too precise details what they were going to do. Harry just watched her with a fond, exasperated smirk.

-Sorry, mate, Ron apologized quietly so Hermione wouldn't hear him.

-It's okay. I guess it will do me some good to get out of the house.

To this, Ron just laughed.

-Dude, you're never in the house. I have to call every time I want to come over to make sure you're not half way across London.

Harry smiled in apology. It was true. He didn't like staying in Grimmauld place too long. It reminded him too much of Sirius and the Order. All those people were dead, including his godfather, and being in that house reminded him every day. Plus, the place was shabby and old and creepy. His only company was Kreacher when he wasn't bringing someone over. Which he rarely did.

So, yes. He was definitely running away from that place.

-Earth to Harry.

-Sorry. I zoned out again, didn't I? You were saying?

Ron shook his head and a tiny smile came to tease his lips.

-I said you should bring Sebastien at this weekend's diner. I think Seamus and Dean will be there. It would be nice.

The monthly diners were something Hermione organized to keep herself updated on everything that went on in her friends’ lives. Harry liked them, but he also tended to run away from them as fast as he could. Everyone always had their lives sorted out or at the very least a plan. He didn’t. He just enjoyed life as it came when he could. He already had many responsibilities with the Ministry of Magic and war testimonies and trials and blah blah blah.

However, he knew he couldn’t run from this diner. It was Hermione’s special Valentine’s Day.

That meant he had to come with someone. But he could not bring Sebastien.

Sebastien was Harry's... well, sex friend. There weren't exactly, most definitely, not a couple. Harry did not want to introduce him to his friends and he was pretty sure Sebastien did not want to introduce him to his either.

-I'll ask him. I doubt he'll be available though.

Ron tilted his head and his eyes came to rest on Hermione.

-That's too bad. You know how that would really make Mione happy.

Harry felt bad as he watched his friend talk to Kreacher about whatever it was those two talked about.

-All right... I'll try to bring someone.

Ron nodded but his face didn't light up. He already knew Harry would come alone. He always did.

Hermione finally finished her gran talk and motioned for them to follow her outside. Ron elbowed Harry who was lost in thought again and the two of them grabbed their coat before apparating.

 

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They arrived in the middle of Piccadilly Circus. Hermione began to explain Muggles decorations for Valentine's Day and their significance. Harry thought that it really didn't take a genius to deduce their meaning. He kept his bitter remarks to himself.

He thought about their last Valentine's Day. The first they had celebrated after the end of the war, three years from then. He thought about coming out to his friends, about their mild surprise, far from what he'd imagined. He thought about the way it hadn't bothered anyone. He thought it would. He thought he would at least get one rejection. But no. They didn't seem to care. He should have known. You tend not to care too much for things as futile as sexuality when you have known the amount of death and destruction they had.

Wednesday was always a busy day on Piccadilly Circus. They had trouble crowding into the shops, buying useless things. Harry quickly gave up after the third. He bought himself smokes and waited for them outside, his thoughts focused on who he would bring to that god forsaken diner.

They came out of the sixth shop with another girl. They talked for a few minutes before she left them with a big smile. She stared at Harry on her way out and she blinked playfully at him. That tended to happen a lot lately. He didn’t know if he had changed much since Hogwarts but he never got this kind of attention there. Sure, he had begun to hit the gym regularly to keep in shape, although he still indulged in prolonged broomstick flights, which did nothing for his hair (a lot longer than how he used to wear it). He had changed his style, or rather he had finally gotten one. At Hogwarts, he had just been wearing sorcerer’s robes, and before that, Dudley’s clothes. There hadn’t been much picking. Now he wore fitted jeans, soft t-shirts and Sirius’ old leather jacket with the Black on black inscription on the sleeve, just above the drawing of a rose. He had found it upstairs in one of Grimmauld place’s old cupboards. The jacket had clearly lived and the leather suffered through enough, but Harry loved it. He now wore it every day. He also wore Hermione’s Christmas present: a black cashmere scarf, the softest thing.

-Harry! Emily (which he assumed was the girl) was just telling me about the photo booth they have put up for Valentine’s Day. Let’s go take a picture.

Harry was tired. He hadn’t done much sleeping last night. In fact, he never did much sleeping. The nightmares were always there, lurking, waiting for him to close his eyes. So many people were dead, so many his own fault. All of this because they had chosen to protect him. What a stupid choice to make.

He smiled softly at Hermione.

-You go ahead. I am going to head back.

She pouted and Ron silently apologized in advance.

-Come on! Just one! She pleaded.

Harry shook his head and his smile broadened.

-All right. Just one.

 

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Turned out they did ten. Yeah. Ten.

He was pacing on Ginny’s floor, her apartment far too small for his large frame. She was seated on the sofa, watching the photo booth strips. Harry had gotten three, three strips of four pictures with his best friends. Twelve pictures where he looked happy.

This had been two days ago.

-Stop freaking out, she muttered.

-I am not freaking out.

She drank a sip of her tea and raised an eyebrow.

-Then stop ruining my goddam floor.

He sighed and dropped next to her, making the whole couch shake. She spilled a little bit of her tea and hit him on the shoulder. He ignored her and ran a hand through his hair, messing it up completely.

-What am I going to do, Gin! I have to find a date for tomorrow or else Mione’s going to kill me.

-Why don’t you go alone like you usually do?

-Because it’s Valentine’s Day! Also, because I want to make an effort.

-Well, that’s new.

It was his turn to nudge her.

-Shut up.

She smirked.

-So why don’t you ask Sebastien?

He rolled his eyes and got back up to poor himself a cup of coffee.

-You know why…

-Okay, so go out there. I bet you’ll find a date in about two seconds.

-Sure, why don’t I just go and meet someone? “Hi, my name is Harry, would you like to go on a first date with my very best friends where we talk magic and Hogwarts and griffins and all of those things you don’t know exist?”

-Yeah, I hadn’t thought about that.

There was a short pause before she quietly asked.

-What about a sorcerer?

To this, Harry just stared. Ginny nodded. He didn’t date sorcerers, mainly because half of them were more interested in Harry being The Boy Who Lived than being Harry.

-I know a guy.

They both turned to face Blaise Zabini, Ginny’s boyfriend.

-You do? Harry asked, hopeful.

He hadn’t liked Zabini very much at Hogwarts, mostly because he had never really tried to know him. He’d assumed that Zabini was a little shit, like he’d assumed other Slytherins to be. Turned out he had been wrong. They hadn’t hit it on at first, but Harry was always hanging with Ginny and eventually, Blaise had let the cold bastard façade down. Well, not all of it, but enough for Harry to see through the crack.

Zabini shrugged and he strode comfortably towards the couch where he took a seat beside Ginny. She popped her feet on his lap and he began to massage them while peering at the pictures. Ginny just watched him thoughtfully. Harry brought him a cup of tea and took a sit in the armchair facing them.

-Who is he? he asked.

-Someone from our school. Someone who doesn’t give a shit if you’re The Boy Who Lived or some guy I just know.

-Do I know him? Harry asked, waiting hopefully.

-No. He’s a Slytherin. You didn’t exactly hang out with that crowd back in Hogwarts…

Harry watched Zabini with a little relief.

-Can he make it for tomorrow night?

Zabini shrugged.

-Sure. He owes me a favor anyway.

Harry smiled his 3000 watts special Colgate white smile, the one that lit up an entire room. The one that gave you wings, hope and love. The one you were sure would serve you the entire world on a silver platter if you asked.

-You’re the best! Come here!

Harry jumped on Zabini and Ginny quickly withdrew her legs.

-Potter! Get the fuck off!

Harry kissed Blaise’s shaved head and gave it a good shove. He laughed like the weight of the world had just been lifted off his shoulders. Ginny watched him with a fond smile.

-I am off then. Thanks again, Blaise. Goodnight to both of you. Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do.

He winked and they both answered a ritual, slightly exasperated “yeah, yeah” before he disappeared through the door.

-Was that wise? Ginny asked once he was gone.

-I don’t know about wise, but it sure will be fun.

Blaise leaned in to kiss Ginny lightly. She answered by a much stronger, much more passionate kiss.

-At least he won’t get bored, Blaise whispered.

To that, Ginny just laughed.

-No. No, he won’t.

 

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Harry was on his way to his house when he received a text from Sebastien.

My place, one hour? ;) ;)

Harry answered a quick affirmative and turned around. He was feeling hopeful for his date. Perhaps, this time it would be different. Perhaps, this time it would work.

 

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Turned out Sebastien was happy to see him. Like, really, really happy.

As they both lay in bed after the umpteenth round of hot, rough sex, Harry finally found sleep, completely exhausted.

He was woken up by a gentle hand on his bicep and a quick nudge.

-Harry. Harry, wake up. It’s three pm.

He wanted to sleep again. He had had nightmares last night (like all nights before) and had woken up quickly after falling asleep.

-Slythara sin say… (Let me sleep)

-What’d you say? Never mind. Come on, Harry. I have to get going.

-Fine, fine, I’m up, I’m up.

He grabbed his clothes and put them on. Sebastien made him a cup of coffee and practically pushed him out of his apartment. Harry didn’t mind. He retrieved his motorcycle and headed back home. He had a date to prepare for.

 

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Harry had never been good at these kinds of things. He didn’t know how to handle dates. He hadn’t had many at Hogwarts and the few he had had since hadn’t turned out so well. He always screwed up at some point. The Boy Who Lived wasn’t meant to live a normal life. Harry Potter just didn’t know how to do it.

So, of course, he came home tired and collapsed on the sofa. Of course, he fell asleep, now out of all times. Of course, Kreacher didn’t wake him up like he usually did. And of course, he ended up being already late.

He showered and washed his hair in a hurry, quickly decided on black pants instead of his jeans. He rolled the pants on his ankles and traded his usual combat boots for a pair of black sneakers, impeccable and by far his favorites. He threw on a navy-blue shirt and a matching blue sweater. He grabbed his leather jacket and his leather gloves, giving up on styling his hair. It never worked anyway.

He left with a quick goodbye to Kreacher, already half an hour late.

 

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He pulled up in front of the house twenty minutes later, thanking Merlin he knew alternative routes to go to Ron and Hermione’s. The roads were absolutely packed and he wouldn’t have made it at all if he hadn’t known any other way.

He could have apparated there but, frankly, Harry just loved to ride the motorcycle. It felt relatively similar to a broomstick, only without the flying part.

He could only make a faint silhouette in the dimly lit porch. He had switched his glasses for contact lenses under the helmet but the figure still remained indistinct.

He dismounted the bike and put down the stand. He took off the helmet and pulled a hand threw his hair in a vain attempt to tame his wild locks. He opened his jacket and rolled his shoulders, stretching at the same time. The door slammed violently behind him and he jumped around, wand in hand. But nobody was there. The mysterious figure was gone.

Harry tucked the wand back in and shook his head. He needed to get a hold on himself. Now.

He took a deep breath and finally, he knocked.

Hermione was the one to answer. She looked good, her red hair all puffy, a light touch of make up on her face, a simple black dress on. If he wasn’t so very very gay, he would have stolen her right there and then.

-Harry, she scowled fondly. You’re late.

-I know, I know. But look what I brought.

He pulled the hidden bottle from behind his back, a French bottle of red wine (thank Merlin Grimmauld place had quite a few of those). She smiled with awe and examined it.

-I’ll let you bribe me this once.

He nodded and she walked away with the bottle. Ron poked his head out of the kitchen and grinned at him. Harry grinned back.

He made his way inside, careful to leave his helmet, gloves and jacket in the hall (or else Hermione would kill him). He was surprised at how happy he felt to see everyone. It had been a while. He was glad to see all were doing great. He quickly scanned the ranks: Seamus and Dean, Neville and Luna, Pansy and Parvati, Padma and George. He spotted Ginny in the kitchen with her brother and made his way to say hi. She was opening the wine and talking to Ron at the same time.

-…don’t know if it was a good idea, she was saying.

Ron shrugged.

-He would have found out eventually.

-What would I have found out? Harry asked as he stepped inside.

Ginny turned around and arched an eyebrow.

-Who your date is.

-And who is he?

It was Ron’s turn to face him. He took one of his cooking gloves off and began to massage his neck. He only did that when he was embarrassed.

-Look mate, don’t take this the wrong way….

But Ron was interrupted by a familiar voice.

-Granger, I am not drinking that thing, darling.

Harry’s entire body froze and his eyes grew so wide he thought they might just burst out.

-Yes, yes, I know, the voice continued. I will. Zabini get your ass back here, I’m not done with you.

Harry looked at Ron’s flushed face and he blinked several times before looking at his sister. She was laughing at her glass, not even attempting to hide.

Harry couldn’t take it anymore.

He turned around.

DRACO fucking MALFOY was standing in the doorway. In Ron and Hermione’s fucking kitchen. Draco FUCKING Malfoy.

But wait a minute. No. That couldn’t be. Ron and Hermione hated Malfoy. Malfoy hated Ron and Hermione. Plus, Harry remembered Draco Malfoy. He really did. Draco Malfoy had never been this… hot.

He wore light grey pants, with trendy white shoes and a charcoal sweater that brought out his steel grey eyes. His white hair was tucked neatly behind his ears, except for one lose strand on his forehead. He looked casually smart and imperiously debauched.

It took Harry’s breath away.

-Surprise, Ginny whispered in his ear. Here is your date.

Harry switched from awe to anger in a millisecond. His green eyes flashed dangerously and he turned them back towards Malfoy. He had finally seen Harry and was detailing him with his usual contempt. He didn’t seem surprised.

-Potter.

-Malfoy.

Malfoy’s voice was the same as the one he remembered: a clear chant with a delicate roll of posh accent. Harry’s voice, however…. Malfoy made a face, indicating his surprise. It was lower and much more similar to a growl at that precise moment.

They stared at each other. The last time they had seen each other had been in a court house of the Ministry of Magic, three years ago. Harry had watched the trial unfold. He didn’t want to but he had to. His testimony was required. He had testified, everyone knew that, but no one knew what he had actually said. It was better they didn’t.

Why? Because he could have drowned Malfoy, sent him to Azkaban. Instead he told them about the night Malfoy couldn’t kill Dumbledore, he told them about the manor and Malfoy saving him, he told them about the battle of Hogwarts and the Malfoys helping him. He told them about the Malfoy he had seen and the one he thought he had.

Standing there, facing him in his friends’ kitchen seemed unrealistic. Like a particularly fucked up dream, or a particularly fucked up setup.

Zabini came in and interrupted The StarringTM.

-Zabini, Harry growled again, what is this?

Blaise rolled his eyes and accepted the glass of wine Ginny had poured him.

-This is a Malfoy. A very good specimen dare I say.

Malfoy threw him an angry look and rolled his eyes. He took a step towards Ginny and tucked a hand in his pants’ pocket.

-Give me one of those, please.

Ginny chuckled.

-You’re going to need it, she answered.

He nodded and was rewarded with a glass of red wine. Harry barely registered the action, his mind too preoccupied with what had just happened: had Malfoy just said please? Had Ginny just laughed at something he had said?

-Okay, somebody explain. Now.

Ron began to speak but Ginny interrupted him.

-Draco has been to a few of Hermione and Ron’s dinner. To all the ones you skipped, actually.

Harry did not waver. His eyes just scanned the room looking at Ron, Ginny, Blaise and Malfoy. Malfoy who was purposefully avoiding his gaze, staring at the wall. Harry should have also avoided looking at him because now he couldn’t stop. It was messing with his head, his stomach, his legs. His heart was beating faster than normal and everything felt… like he had just stepped into an alternate universe.

-Pansy and Blaise brought him once, Ron tried. We talked and, I don’t know, we kind of became…

-…friends, Hermione finished for him. Draco is welcomed here, Harry.

Draco?! Since when had Malfoy become Draco?

Since he’s attended all the diners you missed, you git.

Hermione was still watching him, a clear warning in her eyes. This was her decision. He shouldn’t interfere.

A veil of calm took him over and the dangerous glim in his eyes disappeared. He nodded comprehensively and everybody seemed to relax instantly, letting out a breath they didn’t know they were holding.

-Excuse me, he managed.

Hermione let him come through. He grabbed his jacket and opened the door. Merlin, he needed a smoke.

 

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-If it makes you feel any better, I didn’t know you were coming either.

Malfoy was outside without a jacket, the cool air gently ruffling his hair. Harry was smoking, leaning against his bike, his hair completely messy after running his hand through it multiple times. He didn’t know what to do. He didn’t know how to react. This was an unusual situation, to say the least.

He didn’t hate Malfoy, not anymore. He knew they were kids when everything that had happened had happened. He knew he was under the influence of his family at the time. He had chosen to protect them, had done things doing so, just like Harry had had to.

But the thing that confused him the most was that he knew now, sitting on a bike outside his best friends’ house, starring at his former nemesis shivering slightly under the moonlight, he knew he had missed him. Missed the challenge he’d always provided, in fucked up ways yes, but still. Blaise was right. Malfoy couldn’t give two shits if he was The Boy Who Lived or just Harry.

He hummed in response to Malfoy’s statement. The figure in the moonlight (that had to be him) was staring at him.

-How long? Harry asked.

How long have you been friends with my friends? How long since you’ve been in this house and I haven’t had the faintest idea? How long have you been within my reach?

-I don’t know. Maybe a year and a half.

Harry watched Malfoy come over without fear. He leaned against the portal and watched Harry, his arms folded over his chest.

A year and a half. Merlin, that was a long time.

-I am glad you found them, Harry said.

This was half true. He was glad he had found good friends, that he had changed (he must have if he was here). He was not glad, however, he had not played Harry like they used to, attempted to come at the same diners he did, picked a fight with him, left him clues of his presence here. He didn’t know why, but in his mind, Malfoy had always been more interested in him rather than his friends, picking on them to get to him.

It appeared now that he had been wrong.

-Even so, I’m not saying I’m happy about this situation, Harry completed.

To this, Malfoy just snorted.

-You mean me being your date?

When Harry didn’t answer, Malfoy rolled his eyes.

-And you think I am? Merlin Potter, get over yourself.

Harry threw his smoke angrily.

-Oh yeah?! Then why do you look so good about this?

Malfoy just starred and Harry realized too late what he’d said.

-Cool. I meant, cool about this.

Malfoy smirked.

-Well, I saw you when you arrived so I kind of had time to bash Zabini’s face in. Metaphorically speaking.

Harry just starred again, his green eyes blazing.

-What’s the matter, Potter? Scared I’m going to steal your friends?

-More like scared you’re going to steal their souls.

This was ridiculous. They sounded like four-year olds. That didn’t seem to stop them though.

Malfoy’s eyes were now shinning with the same anger Harry felt, steel going darker.

-I see you still have that good old Dementor kink, he mocked.

Harry closed in on him, invading his personal space. His body was so close to Malfoy’s he could practically feel him shiver through his clothes.

-Why don’t you shut the hell up?! Harry menaced.

Malfoy just smirked again.

-Why don’t you make me?

And Harry didn’t think. He just wanted to shut his smart mouth. So, he kissed him.

It was hard and rough and completely unexpected and he realized that dear god, he didn’t mind.

He pulled out quickly enough and angrily (-ish) growled in Malfoy’s face.

-There. All shut up.

And for the first time he was. All completely shut up. His lips were swollen, his grey eyes wide and his ears red. He had stopped shivering.

Harry quickly turned around before he did something stupid (like kiss him again) and strode back inside. He avoided the curious looks and the raised eyebrows, dropping his jacket in the hall and coming to seat in the living room next to Seamus. He smiled at him knowingly.

-You okay, mate? Seamus asked.

-I hate all of you.

Seamus laughed and a glass of whiskey suddenly appeared in front of Harry. He crossed the eyes of Ginny on the other side of the room and she raised her own glass. Peace treaty. Fine. He took his and nodded before downing it all at once. The glass immediately refilled. Harry stared at the golden content.

-I am going to get drunk, he whispered when he finished the other refill.

-I think that’s the idea, Seamus said, sipping on his whiskey.

Finally, there was the noise of the door and Harry’s body tensed just a little. Draco appeared in the doorway of the living room and Harry’s eyes instantly shot up to him. Then at his lips.

No. NoNoNoNoNoNo. Not good. Not good at all.

There were still red and now, oh god, now he was licking them. His eyes were flashing grey lightning bolts and Harry’s heart was beating just a little too fast.

He kept his scowl on. He couldn’t have the whole room know he’d kissed Draco Malfoy and wanted to do it again.

The stare lasted way, way, way too long, even for a nemesis one and Harry was the first to look away when he felt his phone vibrate.

Thank Merlin for that.

He quickly checked his messages: Sebastien.

I think you left something at my place… Come and get it tonight?

What? Harry thought hard. He hadn’t left anything at Sebastien’s, he was quite sure of it. But why was he…. Oh. Oh. Subtle Sebastien, he thought sarcastically.

His eyes shot up when he heard Ron shout something resembling the lines of “get the bloody hell out of my kitchen” and he caught Malfoy staring at him completely unashamed. He was seated on the armchair opposite him, a glass of red wine in his left hand. His impossibly long legs were crossed, revealing the barest inches of skin on his ankles. Harry’s eyes were caught there for a moment, then retraced the path back up to Malfoy’s face. He was watching him, his eyes narrowed. Harry blushed a tiny bit and he quickly typed his reply.

Sorry but can’t right now. I’m on a date.

He tucked his phone away and grabbed his whisky. He took a few greedy gulps before he dared to watch Malfoy again. He was talking to Pansy now, his eyes focused on her. Harry starred at them with all the heat he could manage. Both of them turned briefly to watch back and Malfoy raised a brow at him. See, asshole, I can do it too. They resumed conversation.

Soon, Ron was calling everyone to come join the table and Hermione was arranging their seats. All couples were to be seated separately. Harry ended up between Luna and Pansy while Malfoy, on the other side of the table, sat between Blaise and Hermione. Ron took a seat directly across Harry’s and sent him one of his looks, the ones they had learned to communicate with.

Still mad? It said. Harry shook his head negatively. He raised his chin and silently asked You’re okay with this? and by this he meant Malfoy in their home. Ron nodded and he nodded in return, reassured. He felt someone boring holes into his skull and he turned to see Malfoy watching him. He frowned What do you want? Malfoy just rolled his eyes. Idiot, it clearly said.

The whole dinner went well, although for Harry it felt a little foggy. He kept losing the thread of conversation with Luna (already difficult to follow when you were paying attention). Except he wasn’t at all. Malfoy and he kept sending each other glares and dark looks and stares, to the point where, at dessert, Pansy leaned towards him and whispered in an annoyed tone.

-Would you please stop eye-fucking each other? I am trying to eat, here.

Harry blushed furiously and he coughed in his hand. He tried to avoid eyeing Malfoy after this but it was damn near impossible when the man kept burning holes in his scalp half the time, and focusing on his chocolate mousse half the other, licking the spoon S.I.N.F.U.L.L.Y.

Harry stared (not). He stared and his trousers suddenly felt tight.

Well, shit.

His phone buzzed again.

He didn’t know if he was glad to be distracted from Malfoy’s tantalizing tease, the bastard, or if he was just annoyed to miss the show.

Sebastien again.

Are you really? Well, you could always bring him along ;) ;)

An image passed through his mind: Sebastien pulling on Malfoy’s clothes and enjoying that soft, perfect skin. Definitely not.

Can’t. Talk to you later.

He put his phone away and looked up. Malfoy was starring again. Harry just winked.

Oh no. Why didn’t he think before he acted? He watched Malfoy’s face slowly decompose and he swallowed visibly. Harry just preferred to ignore the whole vicinity of that pale, long neck and resumed his one-sided talk with Luna.

The dinner ended shortly after, all eager to get back home for Valentine’s Day. People exchanged goodbyes, thanked Ron and Hermione, hugged each other. Except for Zabini. Harry just tackled him to the floor. He seemed to think that was fair game.

Harry watched as each couple retrieved their car or apparated out. He watched Malfoy talk to Ron and Hermione, calling her darling, making her smile when he did. It felt odd, but it also felt… good. Right.

Finally, they parted ways and Malfoy pulled out his wand. He probably intended on apparating somewhere but Harry interrupted him.

-Hey, Malfoy!

That felt odd too. They hadn’t talked since the kiss.

Malfoy turned towards him, an eyebrow raised.

-Catch.

He threw him a tiny ball, half expecting him to let it drop, but Malfoy just caught it elegantly. Of course. Sometimes Harry forgot he had been a seeker, just like him.

Malfoy magnified the object and it took the size of a full on helmet. His eyebrow rose again and he watched Harry from afar.

-What is this, Potter?

Harry smiled.

-Just get your lazy ass here. You’re coming with me.

 

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What Harry had planned during dinner, turned over and over in his head (how to get Malfoy to go home with him 2.0), that had turned out fine. It’s the next step he hadn’t planned. And by next step, he meant the entire fucking journey from Ron and Hermione’s to Grimmauld. He meant a twenty-minute ride with Malfoy’s body pressed flush against his.

He tried not to think about it. It was pretty damn difficult when he could feel his arms tight around his waist, his chest warm and steady behind him, his legs on either side of his… Merlin, this was torture.

They arrived at Grimmauld place and Harry pulled the motorcycle into the garden. Malfoy gave him back his helmet and Harry shrieked it again. Malfoy’s face was flustered and his hair all messy on his forehead. He tucked it back behind his ears and Harry wished he’d left it like that. He wished he could run a hand through it and arrange it himself.

-You live here? Malfoy asked with awe.

Ah, yes. Malfoy didn’t know. He nodded and opened the door.

-Come in, he said.

His voice was different. Now that he was alone with Malfoy, he was somehow calmer and more nervous at the same time.

Malfoy stepped inside, hanged his woolen grey coat and entered the foyer. He did not seem impressed like people usually were. After all, he had lived at Malfoy’s Manor all his life (well, not lately, the Manor being confiscated after the war). He was used to luxury. He was used to this.

Harry muttered a fire spell and told Malfoy to make himself comfortable while he was getting them something to drink.

He came back with a good bottle of red wine and two glasses.

He set them on the table, watching Malfoy stare at the fireplace.

-This is impressive, he said. I have never seen one as well-crafted before. When was it made?

Harry poured the wine, sitting on the green velvet sofa in front of the impressive piece of architecture. When he did not answer, Malfoy turned around and raised his infamous brow.

-Well?

-Do I look like someone who knows anything about Art?

Malfoy rolled his eyes.

-Such a waste.

-Shut up and come here.

Malfoy scolded.

-What Potter, you think I am your pet?

-Stop acting like a child and come here.

-Oh, so I am a child now? You may want to re…

-Malfoy! Harry interrupted him.

He shut up and sighed. Slowly, he came around the table and took a seat next to him. Harry handed him a glass and he took it reluctantly.

-It’s not poisoned, Malfoy. Honestly, if I wanted to kill you, I would have done it ages ago.

-As if you would ever succeed.

They toasted to silence and the sound of glass echoed through the house. It sounded a hell of a lot like a truce.

They drank in silence, watching each other. Harry got lost in the details of Malfoy’s face. He wanted to ask him what he had been up to, these last three years. He wanted to know how he was. He wanted to know if his life was better now that he’d opened up to people.

Those things were so new to him: wanting to know what Malfoy, of all people, thought and wanted. He didn’t understand how he’d gone from hate to interest in one night. Perhaps, it hadn’t really been done in one night. Perhaps it had always been there, somewhere between the fighting and the scolding.

His eyes registered the little things: the cut on his left temple, the hollow of his cheeks, the exact shade of red of his lips. And now that he’d looked at them, he couldn’t look anywhere else. The memory of their earlier kiss came back and he thought for the hundredth time this evening that he wanted to do it again.

Suddenly, the sight was blocked by Malfoy’s glass of wine. Harry’s eyes met his and he discovered that Malfoy looked different. He looked… wanting.

Malfoy grabbed both their glasses. He set them on the table and turned back towards Harry. Then he let the mask fall and threw himself at him.

-Oh, what the hell…, was the last thing he said before his lips met Harry’s.

This time, the kiss wasn’t rough. It wasn’t teeth. It was plush lips against plush lips, bites and gasping mouths. Tongues rolling with each other and heart beating in chests. Harry moved them so that Malfoy was straddling his lap. This kiss was passionate and heated and Harry was done, done with everything else, everyone in this world that wasn’t Draco Malfoy.

They kissed until they couldn’t breathe. They parted, panting, breaths hot on each other’s skin. Harry watched Malfoy lick his lips and he closed his eyes. He rested his forehead against Malfoy’s in what felt like an incredibly intimate gesture. He let his foggy brain get the best of him and the words were out before he could retain them.

-Thalay sinar phis

He did not tense. He did not feel Malfoy tense. He straightened and the reassuring pressure of his forehead was gone. He felt his eyes on his face.

-What does that mean? He asked.

Harry finally opened his eyes and he watched Malfoy watch him. The image was so far from the Malfoy he knew. There was no anger, no hatred, no hurt in his eyes. Just attention, beauty, lust, curiosity, perhaps a little caution. Harry raised his hand very slowly, like a human would do with a cat. He gave Malfoy the chance to pull away, to leave. But he didn’t. Instead, he waited, his eyes still on Harry’s face.

Harry reached Malfoy’s hair, and he ever so carefully tangled his fingers in his soft locks. It felt inhuman, like what Harry imagined to be the finest of silks. He stroked gently and a sad smile came to pull on his lips.

-What’s wrong?

There was a hint of worry in Malfoy’s voice. Harry answered with sadness, his voice longing.

-I am not sure you’re quite ready to hear it.

Malfoy’s eyes flashed and he slapped his arm. He got up and grabbed his glass of wine. He paced a few moments before coming to a halt in front of the fireplace. His eyes scanned the fire.

-What are we even doing? He asked, voice rough. We hate each other.

Harry didn’t know what to say, mainly because he didn’t really know what they were doing either. He simply did a quick check up on his own feelings. No hate. Definitely not.

-Do we? He simply asked.

Malfoy whirled around. They stared at each other for what felt like centuries before he spoke again.

-You hate me.

Harry was quicker, surer to answer this time.

-No, I don’t.

Malfoy stared at his wine glass and slowly set it down on the mantelpiece. He didn’t turn around. His body was still facing Harry, but his eyes were averted to the side. Harry was afraid to ask the obvious question.

-Do you?

-Do I what?

-Do you hate me?

Malfoy rolled his eyes in exasperation.

-I wish, he said and caught his glass to drink.

Harry felt like a million stars had exploded in his chest and a million explanations given to his memories. Malfoy didn’t hate him. Draco Malfoy didn’t hate Harry Potter.

But wait, now he was confused.

-What’s the problem, then?

Malfoy shook his head and his hand came to pinch the bridge of his nose in frustration and what looked a lot like self-depreciation.

-How do I know you’re not playing me?

Harry felt his chest tighten. Play him? If there was one person in the world he could never play, it was Malfoy. He opened his mouth to answer the question but Malfoy held out his hand for him to stop.

-Don’t answer that. Just… just start by telling me what you said earlier. In parseltongue.

Incontrollable situations often brought parseltongue out. He didn’t mean to speak it. He just did.

Malfoy still wasn’t looking at him and Harry felt that if they were going to do whatever it was they were doing, he needed to prove to him that he could trust him.

He took a deep breath and closed his eyes briefly. This felt very much like jumping without anything to catch him. But like Malfoy had said earlier, what the hell?

-Thalay sinar phis, he said. It means “God, how I’ve missed you.”

Grey eyes shot up and he met them head on. No hiding anymore. This was it.

Malfoy was back on him in a flash of light. And now he was kissing Harry without restraint. His hands were in his hair and his lips were on his and his tongue was mapping, exploring. Harry’s hands were mirroring their action on Malfoy’s back. They rummaged until they found the hem of his sweater and tucked it out. Off, off, off.

Their lips parted for the second it took Harry to remove the piece of clothing and were back moving together the next. Harry’s hands continued to explore until finally his hot skin touched cool skin and Oh. Harry was screwed, he was so screwed.

He stopped to kiss and he stopped to be kissed. They didn’t move anymore. Harry opened his eyes and watched Malfoy’s beautiful, beautiful face. He still had his eyes closed and his breath uneven. But he wasn’t moving.

Harry felt bold. So, he moved his palm against Malfoy’s skin.

It felt electrifying, like a current moving through his body. He had never felt more alive. And suddenly he needed to say it. Just say the word.

But it didn’t come out as a word. It came out as a prayer.

-Draco

And the man in his arms let a cry escape his lips, as if he was in physical pain.

Harry didn’t dare to move his hand. He had never seen Draco look so fragile.

Slowly, very, very slowly, he moved his fingertips. He caressed Draco’s back gently along his spine, his ribs, until his hand came to rest on his chest. The flat of his stomach was only interrupted by a single, distraught line. Like a scar. Harry wondered where he could have ever gotten such a thing.

Until he remembered.

Sectumsempra.

He felt sick, ashamed, disgusted with himself. Look what you did. Look what you did to this man. You destroyed, just like you always do. It’s all you’re ever capable of doing. Destroying.

Harry was lost in his memories, in his head, in the faces he’d never see again, in the bodies lined up against Hogwarts’ great hall floor.

-Harry.

It was a whisper, a hushed prayer, just like the one he’d made moments ago.

He opened his eyes to find only steel grey.

-Why don’t you hate me? Harry asked, his voice a murmur.

-Why don’t you hate me? Draco answered.

And then he whispered.

-I don’t want to live in the past. I want the present, I want this, whatever this is.

Harry watched and he waited and when he finally tried to talk, the shame and disgust were still present in his voice. He knew they would never go away. He cleared his thoughts and focused on the man in front of him, on the steel grey eyes.

-I want this too, he said. I want you.

Draco leaned in and, softly this time, he kissed him. Harry closed his eyes and he started to breathe again. He kissed Draco back as slowly.

-Harry, Draco begged against his lips.

And Harry complied. His hands started moving again, slowly touching, sometimes stopping, forever reviling. He knew now. He knew there would be no one other than Draco Malfoy.

The kiss got heated again and Draco began to play with Harry’s hair, his shirt (the sweater quickly left) and soon his skin, leaving bites and other markings. He seemed to enjoy himself because Harry had to drag him back up so he could taste that sinful mouth of his again.

-You havin’ fun? he managed to ask.

Draco just smirked.

-You have no idea how long I’ve wanted to do that for.

And Harry’s brain stopped again.

-Thrathara sleth tireth.

Draco watched him, partially amused.

-What’s that? He asked.

-You’re so beautiful.

Draco retreated. His eyes grew wide and the grey turned stormy. This was too much. He had said too much.

But the astonishment was gone as quickly as it had come. Draco smirked.

-But, of course, I am.

Harry just laughed, a genuine relieved laugh and Draco watched him with a smile. And damn if Draco smiling wasn’t the most powerful weapon he’d ever come across.

-You’re not bad yourself, Potter.

Harry’s eyes just gleamed with delight and mischief.

In one smooth motion, he flipped them over, he on top of Draco.

And Merlin, Draco laughed.

Harry watched him, letting the vulnerability show in his eyes. He would never get enough of that sound.

Draco stopped laughing and he grabbed Harry to kiss him with a smile. It was messy and hot and when Harry pulled one of Draco’s thigh to get him closer, his leg folded, trapping Harry closer until their groins brushed. They both gasped. Harry did it again, and again, making Draco pant. He kissed his neck greedily, that gorgeous throat, and Draco asked again in that praying voice.

-Harry….

That was all he needed. He was soon getting Draco ready, making sure he would not hurt him. He worked him open to the point where Draco had to ask again. He kissed him when he finally buried himself in his heat. He kissed him to ease the pain, he kissed him to make him feel what he was feeling, to make him see that he was here, that he wasn’t letting go. I got you, is what it said.

When he began to move, he realized how different this was, how different Draco felt from Harry’s other lovers. This feeling he experienced, it was out of time, absolute, beyond pleasure. This was what Heaven must feel like. All he could think was Draco, Draco, Draco. And when they came together, he saw stars and planets and the universe. Time slipped away and they slipped away with it.

After that, they laid for a while, Harry’s head on Draco’s chest, his panting breath caressing the milky white skin. Harry huffed a breath.

-That was…, he began

-Overdue, Draco completed.

Harry turned his head to smile at him, his chin resting on Draco’s flat stomach. He felt like now he would never stop, like he would always smile.

Of course, the universe did not agree.

His phone rang.

Harry shot a look at his pants. He straightened without moving his legs and fumbled to get his mobile. It was a message from none other than Sebastien, again.

Ditch the date. Come now (I bought toyssss).

Harry felt instantly annoyed. He typed a quick response and threw the phone on the table. Draco was watching him closely and Harry pulled himself up to kiss him.

-You hungry? I’m starving.

He got up and put his pants back on.

-How on earth can you still be hungry after that diner?! Draco asked, incredulous

-Well, I didn’t eat much. Someone kept distracting me.

Harry turned to smile at Draco to find him smirking.

-It was a fun diner, he said.

Harry felt inspired so he left his shirt on the floor. He went to the kitchen to find all that was left in the fridge was cake. It would have to do.

He came back to find Draco still sprawled on the sofa, his pants and t-shirt back on. Harry couldn’t help but feel a little disappointed. He watched him stretch and his brain immediately supplemented feline. Yes, yes indeed.

Draco’s voice caught him by surprise.

- “Ditch the date. Come now. I bought toys”?!

Oh no.

Harry rushed around the sofa and his eyes met Draco’s. He had his special eyebrow raised.

-Draco, give me back that phone. Please.

Draco did no such thing. In fact, he read Harry’s response out loud.

- “Look Seb, I think it’s best if we don’t see each other anymore.”

There was a silence during which they just stared at each other, Harry clearly blushing.

The phone buzzed again.

Draco took what Harry knew to be an exasperated look at it (he’d been at the receiving end of it enough for him to know) and read out loud in a sarcastic voice.

- “That’s not what you said last night. Wink”.

Draco’s eyes turned a deep shade of stormy grey and he buried them deep into Harry’s soul. That finally woke him up. He grabbed the phone and whispered a spell. The piece of electronic turned into wood and he threw it into the fire. He dropped the cake on the table and quickly took a seat on the couch next to Draco. His heart was beating hard with the fear Draco would leave.

-I don’t care about that guy. He’s just… I mean, we just… see each other for sex. That’s all. On both parts. We’re not… I’m not…

Draco interrupted his pathetic monologue with a dark voice.

-You told him I was your date.

Harry leaned back against the sofa and pushed a hand through his hair.

-Yeah.

-And you just threw your phone into the fire.

-Yeah.

-Why? Draco asked.

Harry closed his eyes. He considered: he could tell him the truth. He might not run away. He might not freak out. He might just understand.

Or not. He might do all of those things. There was just no way to know with him.

Oh well…

-Do you remember when Voldemort said I was dead? He finally asked. When Hagrid carried me back?

He felt Draco stir next to him.

-Yes. But Potter, what has this got to do with…?

-Have you never wondered how he could have mistaken me for dead?

There was a pause.

-Of course. I never understood how you tricked him.

Harry took a deep breath and opened his eyes. He fixed the green emeralds on steel grey and, for the first time, he told the truth.

-That is because I didn’t.

Draco frowned in confusion. Harry simply went on.

-I died that day. Voldemort killed me.

There was absolute silence in the room. Draco was watching him with solemn eyes. Harry had to look away. Draco had probably always known something had happened that day. He was smart, after all. Very smart.

-Why are you telling me this?

Harry fixed his eyes on the fire.

-Because I want you to understand. A part of me died that day. It had to be done. I knew that. But still, you have no idea how it feels to…

He closed his eyes briefly.

-Since then, I’ve felt… empty. Absent. But tonight... tonight I felt alive for the first time in three years.

The rest was self-explanatory. That is why I don’t care about Sebastien. That is why I want you to stay.

Harry suddenly felt Draco shift closer. Fingertips landed on his scar and traded carefully, caressing the skin to his scalp where fingers began to course through his hair. Harry turned his head to watch Draco watch him. He didn’t say anything but didn’t need to. Draco’s fingers spoke for him. I got you, is what they said.

They stayed like that for a while, Harry leaning in Draco’s touch, Draco trading fingers through his hair. When he spoke, his voice was quiet.

-I know what you did for me. During the trial.

Harry lowered his eyes and he caught the sight of the dark mark. It did not move anymore. Without its master it became a simple tattoo. Harry hadn’t been paying attention to this detail. Now that he was, he saw the tattoos Draco had added to make it fade in the background: words on skull and smoke. Words drowning in words. Black drowning in words.

-You speak it differently, you know?

Harry carefully ran a finger over the tattoo, the tip tracing the many words. Draco pulled on an indifferent front but Harry felt him tense up. He let his finger trail from the elbow to the wrist, his touch light and soothing. Draco relaxed progressively.

-What do you mean? Harry asked.

-Parseltongue. You speak it differently than he did.

Of course. Voldemort spoke parseltongue, which was why he himself did. He had never really thought about using it until now.

-Does it bother you? he asked.

He had not thought about how uncomfortable it must have made Draco feel.

-I see you thinking, Potter. Don’t. It doesn’t bother me. Like I said, you speak it differently. He relented in it, ordered and threatened. You somehow use it with softness and respect. As if you were actually borrowing a language that was not your own.

Harry let his hand come up to rest on Draco’s cheek.

-Southess outh say sayn.

Draco stopped his fingers in the nape of Harry’s neck.

-What does that mean?

-It means stay with me.

Draco smiled and he leaned in to kiss him. His lips were a drug and Harry thought he might never get enough.

-Yes, Harry. I think I will.

 

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Hermione came out of the kitchen with the freshly opened bottle of wine. Harry was late again, so he’d brought bribery, and she’d accepted it. Again.

Only this time he wasn’t alone, so it had taken two bottles to soothe her wrath.

Draco was leaning in the doorway, his eyes fixed on Harry on the couch. He was talking to one of Hermione’s friends from the Ministry of Magic. The man was clearly trying to flirt with Harry who was, as usual, completely oblivious to his attempts. Draco watched them from the side, his eyes narrowed and his arms folded. He would never admit it, but Draco was incredibly jealous of literally anything when it came to Harry.

-Darling, did you set up this meeting to have this Richard steal my man? He asked.

-Why? Do you feel threatened?

He rolled his eyes.

-Please.

Hermione smirked. She watched as Richard excused himself, probably sensing Draco’s piercing eyes on his back. Harry nodded. He didn’t show any particular interest other than a friendly one in their conversation, but any interest at all meant danger to Draco. As soon as Richard exited the room, Draco strolled in. Harry watched him from the couch, drinking his wine. Draco dropped in front of him and captured his lips between his. Hermione got uncomfortable watching them. They were always so… intense. Thankfully, the kiss ended moments later.

-What was that about? Harry asked.

Draco’s eyes searched Harry’s face.

-I am not a fan of people wooing my love.

Harry flashed him that 3 000-watt smile of his.

-Are you saying you’re marking your territory?

Draco took the glass from Harry.

-Maybe.

-Maybe? Harry asked.

He leaned back against the couch.

Draco’s eyes quickly took in every detail.

-Definitely.

There was a mischievous smile on Harry’s lips, one that was reserved to Draco and Draco only.

-I’d say you’ve marked it enough already.

He tipped his neck, just inches, and a colorful line of love bites appeared. Draco practically spit his wine and Harry turned his head back again. Then he winked.

By the time Draco gripped Harry’s shirt to crash his wine stained lips against his, Hermione was already out of the living room and back into the kitchen to see Ron. Had she stayed a little longer she would have been able to catch the hushed murmur whispered against each other’s lips. Sala Yath Se He, it said.

I love you.

°°°