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I Don't Want This to Be a Mistake

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Harry startled when his office door slammed open. Draco Malfoy stood in the doorway, his wand drawn. Harry blinked.

“Do you know what it’s like to be thirteen and a Malfoy?”

“Err—”

Malfoy stormed inside and slammed the door shut with a flick of his wand. “Do you just hate him, Potter? Do you hate him because he’s my son?”

Again, Harry blinked. It took him a moment to understand what Draco was talking about. “I like Scorpius just fine, but I know he can do better in my class.”

Malfoy snorted. “Likely excuse. If you want to hurt me, then hurt me. Not him. Not a child.”

Harry rubbed hard at his face. “Pardon me—but what the hell are you talking about?”

Malfoy’s chest beat up and down. “We’re talking about my son’s marks! We’re talking about how you hate me and take it out on Scorpius.”

“I don’t hate you.”

“No? Then why can’t Scorpius get a top mark in your class? He tries so hard, and you—”

“He can do better.” Harry stood and came around his desk. “If you care so much, then I suggest you get Scorpius a tutor. I can suggest a few students.”

“He doesn’t need a tutor!” Malfoy’s face was red. His eyes bulged a little. “My son is brilliant. He’s . . . he’s perfect!”

“Perfect?” Harry rubbed at his mouth to hide his smile. “I agree that Scorpius is quite intelligent, but he can do better.”

“You keep saying that! Better. What does that even mean?”

“There’s no imagination in his work. I read his homework and I can tell he’s not really trying.”

“Bollocks!” Malfoy pressed forward. He pointed a finger in Harry’s face. “You just want him to fail!”

Harry stared at Malfoy. With him standing this close, Harry felt the heat of him and saw how a flush trailed down his neck. Malfoy sensed a change between them. He straightened his back and stared down his nose at Harry.

“What is it?” Malfoy said.

“Oh, nothing,” Harry said, now smiling openly. “I was just remembering the last time I saw you.”

Malfoy looked away, his jaw pulsing. “This has nothing to do with that.”

“No?” Harry moved a little closer. “How long has it been? Six months?”

“A year,” Malfoy murmured.

“It’ been a whole year since we last seen each other but you decided to come all the way to Scotland to speak to me when a letter would’ve done the job.”

“Scorpius’ education is important to me.” Malfoy still wouldn’t look at Harry.

“Right.” Harry moved even closer. The tip of their shoes almost touched. He leaned in to whisper against Malfoy’s ear: “I remember how eager you were.”

“No!” Malfoy stumbled back. “I won’t be . . . coerced by you! I’m not giving this up!”

Harry blinked. “Coerced?”

“You want to distract me! You want to discredit me!” Malfoy smiled grimly and smoothed out the front of his cobalt robes. “Your conduct with Scorpius better change or else.”

Harry crossed his arms and leaned back against his desk. “That sounds a lot like a threat.”

Malfoy went to the door. He glanced darkly at Harry. “It is.” He left, his robes trailing after him.

Harry groaned and rubbed at his temples. Bloody Slytherins.

He sat down at his desk, thinking. He didn’t have anything against Scorpius Malfoy. If anything, Malfoy was one of his favorite students. But Malfoy could do better. Much, much better. He could be Harry’s star pupil; he could be a role model for his classmates.

Groaning again, Harry leaned back in his chair and threaded his hands behind his neck. Perhaps he was wrong. Perhaps he expected too much from Malfoy.

Merlin. Draco Malfoy had looked good. Really, really good. Merlin.

*

Harry loved working at Hogwarts. The castle had always felt like home, and even though it was where he’d finally defeated Voldemort, he still associated the Great Hall with warmth and adventure, the corridors with mischief and laughter.

Being in the classroom was a thrill. He always felt like he was in a Dumbledore’s Army meeting, except better because he was older, more knowledgeable, and he didn’t have to sneak around.

He didn’t like the parents. Sometimes it felt like they hid in the cupboards and dark alcoves, waiting, watching for the moment Harry did something wrong. They were so insistent and prying, and when they found their way to his office, usually with their hand carding through their student’s hair, Harry wanted to shake his head and ask, “Who exactly are you married to?”

Draco Malfoy was different. After his abrupt visit, Harry looked forward to his return. Thankfully he didn’t have to wait long.

A few weeks after Malfoy burst into his office, Harry was doing some marking at his desk when he looked up and discovered Malfoy again in doorway. Harry shivered. Malfoy had been watching him.

Malfoy seemed to know he’d been caught. His eyes skidded away and his hands pulled nervously at the front of his robes.

“Please have a seat,” Harry said, and he was glad he sounded casual, pleasant.

Malfoy shut the door softly and took up the chair in front of Harry. He spent some time rearranging himself, and his long hair looked luscious and soft. Harry wanted to run his hands through it.

“So . . . you’ve made a habit of popping in.” Harry smiled.

Malfoy’s eyes flashed. He opened his mouth, then closed it. After a moment, he said, “Scorpius’ marks didn’t improve.”

“Neither did the quality of his work.”

“You hate us. You want us to fail.”

Harry blinked. “You need to be more specific.”

Slytherins.”

He snorted. Sure Slytherins could be annoying and a little hostile, but he didn’t hate them. Not all of them. Some of them he really enjoyed. He looked Malfoy up and down. God, the man had legs for days.

“I’m not joking,” Malfoy said.

“I’m not laughing.” Harry stared into his eyes and tongued at his bottom lip. Malfoy flushed a little. “Do you still drink flaming whiskey?”

“What?”

“That’s what you had at the pub. It was whiskey but flames popped and sizzled in the tumbler. I was surprised you didn’t burn your mouth.”

Malfoy looked down at his lap. “You remember that?”

“Yes.” Harry took a deep breath. “I also remember you wore black robes with lots of silver threading.”

“I really like those.” Malfoy worried his hands. “You wore Muggle clothes. A green jumper and trousers that were definitely made by a machine.”

Harry hesitated. “I wanted to, you know. That night.”

“I know.” Malfoy’s voice was very soft. “I wanted it as well.”

“What happened? Did I do something wrong?”

“No, I—” Malfoy laughed shakily. “I’m not very brave.”

“You’re brave enough.”

“No, I’m not.” Malfoy frowned. He still wouldn’t look at Harry. “I—my emotions. They can be very insistent. I’ve learned it’s best to just ignore them.”

“Impossible.” Harry wanted to go to him. He wanted to sink to his knees and kiss his hands. He wanted to unbutton his robes slowly, methodically, revealing the flushed, pale skin underneath.

Malfoy coughed and sat up straighter. He became all chin. “I didn’t come here to talk about that. I came here for Scorpius.”

“Does Scorpius even care about his marks in my class? His performance is above average. He seems happy enough.”

I care. These things don’t matter to him now, but he’s thirteen. He’ll learn soon enough.”

Harry frowned. “Learn what? It’s not like he’s failing my class. He’s years away from any major tests.”

“You don’t understand,” Malfoy muttered. “Things are different for you. They’ve always been different for you.”

“Then educate me. Tell me what I’m missing.”

Malfoy raised his chin again. “My son will have to be perfect, utterly perfect, to succeed in this world.”

“Your son isn’t you.”

“No? Tell that to the Ministry. Tell that to any employer out there.”

“Aren’t you jumping to conclusions?”

“No, I’m not!” Malfoy gritted his teeth. He picked at some invisible lint violently. “Please, don’t lecture me. You don’t understand.”

Harry raised his hands. “Fine, I’ll drop it. But I wouldn’t be doing Scorpius any favors if I went easy on him. The other children would sense it. It would tarnish his hard work.”

There was silence. Malfoy looked down at the floor, his expression almost sad. “Yes, I know,” he said softly.

“Have lunch with me,” Harry said. “I can show you how to get to Hogsmeade the secret way.”

Malfoy jerked. “No—I can’t—it’s too risky.”

“Risky?” Harry’s stomach dropped; he hadn’t realized Malfoy was involved with someone else.

“What will people think if I’m seen with you and then Scorpius’ marks suddenly improve?”

“I doubt people would care.”

“People want any excuse to tear my son down!”

Blimey. Thank God you’re fit, Harry thought. He shook his head. Malfoy was acting mad.

Harry took a deep breath. “Malfoy, listen to me. Scorpius is a charming child. He’s talented. All the professors love him. He will do just fine in this world.”

Malfoy stood. “Lovely chat. Thanks so much for being an imbecile.” He headed for the door.

“No threat this time?”

Malfoy paused with his hand on the doorknob. “Merlin, I hate you,” he snarled, then left. Harry blew out his cheeks and ignored the little whirl of arousal in his gut. Christ.

*

That night Harry left the warmth of the Great Hall to stroll the icy castle grounds. He cast a warming charm on his hands and face, but it soon wore off and he couldn’t be bothered to reach for his wand.

The frozen grass crunched under him; up ahead loomed the Dark Forest, a mass of trees corralled together, waiting, hiding. Behind him, the castle pierced the sky like it was eager to discover the other side of the clouds.

He couldn’t stop thinking about Malfoy. It was a bit ridiculous, and he didn’t really know if Malfoy was worth it, but he was transfixed. It’d been like this since the night at the pub. He headed for the Quidditch pitch. Light seeped from the entryways; students were on the pitch and he wouldn’t mind watching them for a while.

The night at the pub. He didn’t even know why or how it happened; he’d been nursing a drink, practically the only one at the bar, when Malfoy walked in. He was startled to see Harry; but he smoothed out his hair and took up a seat next to him. They weren’t friends. They barely knew each other. Malfoy ordered that burning whiskey and smiled at Harry. Harry stared. He thought: Oh. He’s into blokes like me.

As they struggled through conversation, Harry wanted to laugh; he wanted to put his hand on Malfoy’s thigh and suggest they start over. Nothing from childhood mattered. They were old school rivals, facing thirty, divorced, who wanted to shag each other. Harry saw it in Malfoy’s eyes: the hunger, the fear.

On the Quidditch pitch Harry found a lonely seat and turned his face skyward to watch two figures zooming in circles. Maybe they were racing each other. Maybe they were practicing their high-speed flying.

Malfoy was probably drinking right now. He probably sat in front of a roaring fire, robes discarded, sleeves rolled up, his hair falling in a gold wave over his shoulder. Harry shivered.

At the pub Malfoy’s mouth had been soft. He’d tasted sweet, his breath so very warm. Harry had pressed him against the loo wall and devoured him; and Malfoy had whimpered; he’d twisted his hands in Harry’s jumper, pulling, trembling, so very needy. God. God. Malfoy. Malfoy.

The figures in the sky began to descend. Harry considered sneaking away before they landed, but he didn’t want to go back to his rooms just yet. He squinted across the dark pitch; there was something about the figures that seemed very familiar. He laughed: Malfoy and Scorpius.

They walked in his direction. Scorpius spotted him first. “Professor Potter!” he yelled and ran toward Harry.

Scorpius came to a halt in front of him, Malfoy not far behind. Their cheeks were pink from the cold, their eyes very bright. Malfoy looked ten years younger.

“Hello,” Harry said.

“Did you see me fly?” Scorpius grinned.

“A little.” He pretended to squint hard at the sky. “It’s pretty dark out here.”

“Why didn’t you cast one of your fancy spells?”

Harry shrugged. “Too lazy, I guess.” Scorpius threw his head back and laughed.

Malfoy grabbed Scorpius’ shoulders. “What are you doing out here, Potter?”

“I needed a walk. Had a lot on my mind.”

Malfoy flinched and tightened his hold on Scorpius. He sucked in a loud breath, which made Scorpius blink and step away.

“I’ve got homework,” Scorpius said. “I should get to the library before all the good seats are taken.”

Malfoy looked hurt. “Do you want to have another go? I might not be back for another month.”

“No, that’s all right.” Scorpius glanced at Harry, then back at his father. “Like I said, I got homework.”

“I’ll walk you back to the castle.”

Scorpius sidestepped his father. “No, it’s fine. I’m not a kid anymore.”

Harry laughed. Malfoy frowned.

Scorpius smiled and rolled his eyes. He touched Malfoy on the arm. “Thanks, Dad. I’ll see you around.”

“Yes,” Malfoy said, his face strained. After Scorpius left, he nudged at the brooms on the ground. “Figures.”

“I’ll show you where you can put them,” Harry said.

Malfoy hesitated but then followed. They left the pitch and stumbled down an old path. They came to a lopsided garden shed.

“Do you always sneak up on children or is it just my kid?”

“Just with your kid.” Harry held open the door for Malfoy.

Inside was dusty equipment and spilled polish. Harry cleared a corner for Malfoy’s brooms. With his wand raised above their heads, he peered into Malfoy’s face. Malfoy crossed his arms; they were standing very close.

“You’ll get spiders in your hair,” Harry muttered, and stepped closer.

Malfoy didn’t move away. “Nonsense.”

Harry brushed some of Malfoy’s hair from his forehead. “It’s true.”

“Spiders don’t scare me.”

“I want to kiss you,” Harry said. He felt the heat of Malfoy, how solid and real he was standing so near. Harry touched his cheek. “Is that all right?”

“Yes,” Malfoy whispered. He was breathing hard.

Harry brushed his lips against Malfoy’s; Malfoy shuddered. God, Harry thought. He wrapped his arms around Malfoy and deepened the kiss. God. God. Malfoy tasted amazing. His breath was still a bit harsh from dinner, but his mouth was very eager. Their tongues brushed, and Malfoy moaned loudly.

“Want you,” Harry said, and slid his hands down Malfoy’s back.

“Yes.” Malfoy kissed him again, his lips now wet from a bit of spit. Harry melted against him. He was taller than Harry. Minutes passed as they memorized each other’s mouths; Malfoy bit at Harry’s chin playfully.

Harry was hard. He was so fucking hard, and he wanted Malfoy to know. He shifted and thought he felt Malfoy’s own stiffy. Sometimes he really hated robes.

“Let me suck you off,” Harry murmured.

“Merlin.”

“Please—I’m desperate.”

Malfoy trembled and clutched at him. “Potter.”

Harry dropped to his knees. He fumbled with Malfoy’s thick robes. Malfoy tried to help him but his hands were shaking too much. Harry got his robes parted, and underneath his cock strained against his trousers.

“Fuck,” Harry said, and opened his mouth against the bulge. Malfoy jerked forward. “Want to see you. Bet you’re gorgeous.”

“Potter.”

Harry undid his flies, revealing dark blond pubic hair. He pressed his mouth against the hair, tasting him a little. Malfoy’s cock jerked. He tried to pull down Malfoy’s pants but Malfoy stopped him.

“No.”

Harry glanced up at him. His illuminated wand laid at their feet, casting Malfoy’s face in shadows. “No?”

Malfoy shook his head. “I don’t want this. Not yet.”

“Not yet?” Harry was having a hard time understanding. Malfoy was desperate and hard, but he was also saying no.

Malfoy stepped away. He buttoned himself up again and smoothed down his hair with a trembling hand. “I’m sorry. I just don’t want this to be a mistake.”

“A mistake?” Harry stood. “Do you . . . not want me?” His voice was very quiet.

Malfoy looked away. “Of course I want you.”

“But . . .”

“But my son comes first. I’m not going to shag his professor and ruin his reputation.”

“What?” Harry blinked.

“I want people to know that he earned his good marks. I don’t want people to think my son is succeeding because I’m shagging his professor.”

Harry cursed. He was angry, overwhelmed. His chest was tight with despair. “So . . . this will never happen? Not until Scorpius leaves school?”

“I don’t know.” Malfoy headed for the door. Harry wanted to grab him. “Perhaps I’ll see you around.”

“Yeah . . . perhaps.” Harry tried not to grimace. When Malfoy left, he pressed a hand against his erection. He ached. He wanted to throw something, maybe yell. Instead he sighed and picked up his wand. He went back to his empty rooms, defeated.

*

In the coming weeks Harry struggled not to think about Malfoy. He had to get over Malfoy. He was an attractive bloke; it wouldn’t be that hard to get involved with someone else. At night in bed he shut his eyes against the images; he turned his face away from the memory of Malfoy’s scent. He’d get over Malfoy. He would.

In class he tried not to act differently with Scorpius. He wasn’t going to suddenly give Scorpius better marks because he wanted to shag Malfoy; he refused to be manipulated by any Slytherin.

He was still charmed by Scorpius. He believed in him. If Scorpius wanted to do better in his class, then Harry wanted to help him reach his goals, but how? He didn’t want to make the young Slytherin suspicious.

The day he taught his third years Expecto Patronum he was cheerful. It was one of his favorite lessons because it reminded him of Lupin. He always remembered to have chocolate on hand for his students, and he had a hard time hiding his smile when they produced their first Patronus. Surprisingly, Scorpius excelled at the spell. He didn’t look like Malfoy, not really. His face was heart-shaped, his eyes more hazel than grey. He gritted his teeth and jabbed his wand in the air: “Expecto Patronum!” He produced a brilliant white hawk that circled their heads and opened its beak in a silent scream. Scorpius gaped and whispered, “I can’t believe it.”

At the end of class Harry asked Scorpius to hang back for a moment. Scorpius nearly bounced from foot to foot, his eyes big in excitement.

“Did you see my hawk?”

“Yes, it was very good.”

“It was cool. It was brilliant!”

“Yes.” Harry paused. He had to be careful. “So, Scorpius. Do you want to do better in my class?”

Scorpius rolled his eyes. “My dad talked to you, didn’t he?”

Harry blinked. “Err—”

“You should just ignore him. Sometimes he can be a huge lunatic.”

Harry cleared his throat. “You don’t want to get better marks then?”

Shrugging, Scorpius said, “Yeah, I do. I don’t know. I do, but then there’s all my other classes I have to consider. Quidditch is important, too.”

“Yes, it is.” Harry tried not to smile too much. He wanted to chuckle. “I thought perhaps you’d want a tutor . . . I know Margaret Dimbleton wouldn’t mind helping you.”

Scorpius’ eyes widened. “You’d help me talk to Dimbleton?”

“Well . . . talking is usually necessary in tutoring.”

“Wow.” Scorpius turned away, thinking. “She’s a fifth year.”

“Correct. She told me tutoring younger students help her study for her OWLs.”

Scorpius shook himself. “Yeah . . . that would be brilliant.”

“You want me to tell her you’re interested?”

“Yes! Definitely!” Scorpius was bouncing on his feet again.

Harry frowned a little. “If I’m going to do this, you must take it seriously. Margaret is very talented, and I wouldn’t want her to be wasting her time.”

“She won’t be wasting her time!” Scorpius darted to the door; Harry called out to stop him.

“Can you meet after dinner tomorrow night?”

“Yes, yes!” Scorpius charged from the room. Harry shook his head and wondered if he’d made a mistake.

The next night Margaret met them in Harry’s classroom. Scorpius stuttered and flushed, but they quickly got to work practicing beginner defensive spells. Harry took up his marking in the back of the room, and only looked up every now and then to see if they were still on task.

A few days later he asked Margaret to tutor another third year student. Nobody could think Scorpius was receiving special treatment.

Scorpius seemed to learn a lot from Margaret. In the coming weeks Harry ran into them in the library several times, with Scorpius furiously copying down notes and Margaret looking contemplative but in control. It made Harry proud to see Scorpius learning from his older tutor, and he became even more proud when Scorpius turned in his next essay.

His essay was on werewolves, not in caution but in celebration. Scorpius tracked the evolution of the Wolfsbane Potion, and how it necessitated the implementation of stronger werewolf rights. The essay was so good that Harry cast an anti-plagiarism charm just to make sure it was Scorpius’ own words. He was relieved when the charm came up negative. He then compared Scorpius’ essay to Margaret’s previous work, and the syntax was not similar. Harry was elated. With a clear conscience, he gave Scorpius his highest marks ever.

*

Malfoy appeared in Harry’s office a few weeks after Scorpius’ outstanding essay. Harry’s stomach fluttered but he controlled his face; he didn’t want to scare Malfoy again. Malfoy smirked and strode into the office with his chin held high.

“He did it,” Malfoy said.

Harry shifted in his seat. Malfoy’s smirk was sexy as hell.

“I knew he could do it! I knew it!”

“He’s a bright boy,” Harry said.

“Smart, very smart.” Malfoy paced in front of Harry’s desk, his brilliant robes catching the firelight. “I’d say he’s your best student.”

Harry laughed. He stood and came around his desk. “Why don’t you have a seat?”

“No, I can’t sit. I’m too happy.” Malfoy seemed full of confidence; he halted in front of Harry and stared into his eyes; their feet almost touched.

Harry smelled Malfoy’s cologne. He balled up his hands. God, he wanted to touch Malfoy. He wanted to see his gorgeous cock. He wanted to drop to his knees and choke himself. His desire must’ve shown on his face, because Malfoy flinched a little.

“I don’t mean to make you uncomfortable,” Harry said.

“You don’t make me uncomfortable.” Malfoy stared at his mouth. “The issue is that you distract me.”

“Distract you from what?”

Malfoy shook his head. He sucked in a breath. “I need to remain focused.”

“Okay.” Harry tried to turn away, but Malfoy touched his arm. Malfoy surged forward and kissed him, his mouth urgent, trembling, his hands claws on Harry’s back.

Christ, Harry thought, and tipped his head back to let Malfoy control the kiss.

Malfoy drew away. “I don’t mean to tease,” he murmured. Harry blinked. His head was spinning.

“I don’t think that,” Harry managed to say.

“Good.” Malfoy kissed him again, pressing him against his desk, his hands skimming under Harry’s jumper. “I want you.”

“Yes.” Harry nipped at his lips. He wanted Malfoy to just stop strategizing; he wanted Malfoy to stop being such a Slytherin.

“Merlin. Why does this have to be your job?”

Harry laughed a little. “I ask myself the same thing.”

“I just don’t want to harm my son.” Malfoy pecked Harry on the lips, then fully stepped away.

Harry rubbed at his forehead. “What will it take then? What will make it all right?”

“You need to speak to McGonagall. Ask her to take over Scorpius’ marks.”

“Okay,” he said slowly. It wouldn’t hurt just to ask; he could be an adult about this. “Yes, I will propose the idea to her.”

“Thank you.” Malfoy paused, and he suddenly looked unsure. “Also, thank you for introducing Scorpius to the Dimbleton girl. He seems to be very happy about it.”

“I’m glad he’s learning from her.”

Malfoy nodded. He went to the door like he always did, but this time his expression was soft. “Owl me when you find out her answer.”

“I will,” Harry said, smiling.

*

Harry was nervous to speak to McGonagall. He didn’t want her to think he didn’t take his job seriously; he did put his students first, but he also couldn’t ignore his feelings for Malfoy.

He sent her a note via a portrait of a drunk Merlin-type in his sitting area. An hour later she responded with a time and place.

When he arrived at her office, she had tea set out and a bit of crumpet on her front. She hastily wiped her mouth and waved him inside.

“Please sit down. I hope you brought an appetite.”

“Thank you. I haven’t had my tea yet.” He perched in the chair opposite her, nervous. He poured himself some tea and stared into his cup, trying to be strategic about the whole thing.

“Well, end the suspense,” she said with a small smile. “Why have you asked for this meeting?”

Harry took a deep breath; his fingertips tingled. He could do this. He could.

“Err—well—” Shite. He was already fucking it up. He coughed and tried to steady himself. The question was: Where to start? “You see, for the past couple of months, I’ve been interested in Draco Malfoy. Not as like a suspect in a crime but like . . . romantically.”

McGonagall didn’t react. “I’m not surprised.”

“What?” He blinked.

“Mr Malfoy has visited your office many times. The portraits do talk.”

“Oh.” The portraits . . . tattled on him? Shaking his head, he brushed this new titbit aside. “Okay, so you understand then. I want to be romantically involved with Draco but . . . that wouldn’t be very appropriate since I’m teaching his son.”

“No, it wouldn’t.” McGonagall sipped her tea.

“So . . . um . . . I was hoping you would take up his marking for the rest of the year. Then, if I’m still involved with Draco come September, we can come up with a more permanent solution.”

She didn’t respond for a moment. She whirled her tea in her cup. “You are a great asset to this school. I would never want to change that.”

He nodded, wanting her to just get to her point.

“Of course, I’m very busy but I could take over Scorpius’ marking for the time being.” She narrowed her eyes a little. “It might cause an uproar if students and their parents found out, so please be discreet.”

“What if it makes it into the papers?”

“Then we’ll deal with it.”

He let out a breath and slumped back in his chair, relieved. “Thank you very much, Headmistress.”

She smiled. “You deserve happiness, Harry.” He didn’t know how to respond.

Later, he left McGonagall’s office and went to the Owlery to send Malfoy a message: She agreed. Have dinner with me? The enormous black owl flew away; he rested against the window, careful to avoid any droppings. His stomach was in knots.

*

They met at a posh magical restaurant. Harry had heard about it but never had been. He was dressed in a jumper and some trousers, and immediately felt out of place. He should’ve worn robes.

Malfoy waited for him at a table in the back. He stood when Harry approached. Harry couldn’t hide his dismay: Malfoy wore brilliant black and white robes. He’d fit right in at a Ministry gala.

“I’m overdressed,” Malfoy said.

Harry grinned. “I’m underdressed.”

They sat. They stared at their parchment menus. There were three options for dinner, and only one sounded good to Harry. The waiter came and they ordered booze.

Malfoy gulped his wine. “So, what exactly did she say?”

“She wasn’t surprised. Nothing about me surprises her.”

“What? She already knew?” Malfoy was startled.

“I don’t know if she knew; I said she wasn’t surprised.”

“Right,” Malfoy muttered. He played with his wine glass and didn’t look at Harry. Candlelight licked at his face; his skin looked smooth and pink. Harry wanted to leave. He wanted them to be alone.

“What is it like to have a child?” Harry asked.

Malfoy blinked. “It’s . . . weird.”

“Weird?”

“Magical.” Malfoy sat back in his chair. He smiled. “Sometimes it frightens me how much I love him.”

Harry sipped at his ale. Something painful twisted in his chest. “Gin and I . . . things went sour before we could have children.”

“It was for the best.” Malfoy’s voice was soft.

“Yes.” Harry exhaled and shook his head. He laughed a little. “It’s why I love my job. I mean, it’s not the only reason, but it’s . . . a big part.”

“I hate every child except for Scorpius.”

Harry laughed again. Their eyes met. God, Malfoy was attractive when he softened up. “I’m sure I’d feel similar if I had my own kids.”

Malfoy nodded. He glanced away. “I want more, just not with Astoria.”

“I want them too.”

“That’s good.” Malfoy was almost shy.

When their food came they had relaxed in their chairs. They could look at each other. Harry wolfed down his while Malfoy carefully made sections and rows on his plate. Harry was fascinated.

The restaurant was not very big, and word spread that Harry Potter was there. Malfoy sensed Harry’s unease.

“Let’s go,” Malfoy said.

Outside the night was warmer than usual. Was it possible spring was near? Harry didn’t allow himself to think about it. They walked briskly down the Muggle street. Harry kept pace with Malfoy, even if he didn’t know where they were headed.

“Do you have a flat around here?”

“Yes,” Malfoy said. He touched Harry’s back. “Is that all right?”

“It’s brilliant.”

They turned down another street, then came to a stop in front of a very posh building with glittery black windows.

“Is it magical?” Harry asked.

“Muggle.” Malfoy took his hand and led him inside to the lift. The flooring sparkled, the ceiling vaulted. They shot up many levels, and when they finally made it to Malfoy’s flat, Harry’s stomach squirmed.

“Why do you live around Muggles?” he asked.

Malfoy shrugged. “Privacy. They don’t know anything about me.”

This made Harry ache. Malfoy ushered him inside; he turned, wanting to kiss Malfoy, but Malfoy crowded him against the wall.

“Is this all right?” Malfoy breathed.

“Of course.” Harry captured his lips in a kiss. Malfoy buried his hands in his hair, moaning.

They stumbled to Malfoy’s bedroom, which was dark and cool. Malfoy was very warm, and he pressed Harry against the door, his mouth and hands desperate.

“Draco,” Harry whispered, fisting his soft robes.

“Fuck me.” Malfoy kissed down to his neck, then back up. “Please.”

“Yes.” Harry was panting. He guided Malfoy on the bed, their hands frantic as they removed each other’s clothes.

“Hurry, I need you.” Malfoy arched against him.

God, yes, Harry thought, and sucked Malfoy’s cock into his mouth. Malfoy cried out. He sucked and bobbed his head, his movements quick, desperate. He knew he should slow down, savor the moment, but he couldn’t. He wanted Malfoy too much.

Malfoy clawed at his shoulders. “Come on, I’m ready. I want to feel you inside me.”

“Yes,” he said again. He probed Malfoy’s entrance, and gasped a little. Malfoy wasn’t lying: He was ready. He was stretched and wet, and Harry couldn’t believe he’d spent all of dinner like this. God.

When Harry entered him, they both groaned loudly. Malfoy trembled, his hands frantic on Harry’s back, urging him to move.

“Merlin,” Malfoy said. “I want you.”

Harry was having a hard time breathing. He thrust slowly, watching Malfoy’s face. Malfoy’s eyes were twisted closed, his mouth hanging open. He was lost.

Encouraged, Harry sped up his thrusting. Their flesh smacked together. A hot flash filled his mind; he tingled all over. Everything was too much. Malfoy felt so fucking good.

“Harry,” Malfoy said, and pressed his mouth to his sweaty neck. His knuckles worked against Harry’s belly as he stroked himself. He was close.

“Come for me.” Harry kissed him sloppily, breathing in his exhale. He wanted to make Malfoy lose control. Malfoy cried into his neck, his released shooting between them. Harry couldn’t hang on; he was coming too, the world narrowed down to his cock pulsing inside Malfoy.

Malfoy clung to him as they came down. Harry buried his nose in his hair, breathing him in. God, finally. Harry felt grateful, a bit honored, that Malfoy had opened up to him.

“Wanted that for so long,” Malfoy murmured, barely awake.

Harry pulled out and relaxed beside him. He kissed Malfoy’s warm temple. “Me too,” he said.