Harry was nervous to Hell and back and then some more. He had been since he’d woken up that morning, no longer in the familiar Gryffindor tower but now in the eight year quarters. Though after spending a year down there that place too, felt like a home to him.
Especially because it held so many memories of sleepless nights spent by the fire with Malfoy, when neither one of them could sleep. And later of many sleep filled nights in Draco’s arms as they danced around each other, refusing to call what they had anything other than friendship.
The last two months they’d entered a new phase, which lacked sleep again because the bed suddenly offered so many more possibilities than just resting.
Harry’s mind couldn’t be further away from such activities now though, as he quickly began to freak out about the upcoming night. It was the night of their graduation gala. Exams had finished, results were still blissfully unknown to everyone, and only two days after the gala all seventh and eight years would go their separate ways.
That last thought was not so scary anymore now that Draco had agreed to move in with Harry in Grimmauld place. Technically speaking the house belonged partially to his family anyway. But the thing that did freak Harry out, was the gala itself. There was a clear black tie dress code, but he owned neither a black tie nor a dress or a code. How on earth he was supposed to dress up fancy that night was the only code he knew, and it was undecipherable.
His robes from the yule ball didn’t fit anymore by a long shot, and he didn’t have anything else. He’d tried to go shopping, both with Hermione and with Mrs. Weasley, but neither one of those trips had been a success. Hermione had insisted they’d stop by a bookshop first and he’d completely lost her after that.
All Mrs Weasley could do was look at him with teary eyes and whisper you really get to live your own life now. That was, until the press had found out about his shopping aspirations and had basically stormed the shop. In his attempts to ban that memory from his mind, he had also ignored the fact that he still had no fancy clothing to wear.
And now it was the day of the gala, and he had nothing at all. He was sure Draco had had his outfit ready for weeks, that he’d look immaculate and sexy as Hell and after seeing Harry show up in his bloody pyjamas or something they’d surely break up. Draco would see there was nothing to him when his heroic actions were stripped away. Just a too skinny and short boy with knobbly knees, terrible hair, bad eyesight and no idea how life worked.
A useless waste of space, that’s what you are. Can’t even cook bacon right. Uncle Vernon’s voice boomed through his head. Maybe the man had been right.
“You look like shit, Harry.” He startled when the door of his private dorm opened and Draco walked in. The words didn’t exactly make him feel better.
“Knock next time, will you?” He snapped. He knew that it wasn’t fair to take his fear and nervousness out on his boyfriend, but he was still unable to stop himself. “You scared me half to bloody death.”
“It takes quite a lot more than that to actually kill you. You’re more difficult to get rid off than a fungus infestation in a tropical greenhouse.” Draco joked, but Harry didn’t see the humour. When Draco noticed that, he dropped the smile and stepped closer to him. “You’re thinking too much again, I can see it. What’s the matter?”
“Nothing important.” He lied, not wanting to air out his dirty secret. How he hadn’t even managed to buy an outfit. How he didn’t know what to do to make himself look nice. How shit he felt about himself, and how guilty he felt for thinking about himself at all.
“Harry, it’s alright if you don’t want to tell me about it, but it’s pretty obvious that whatever you’re thinking about isn’t nothing important.” Draco took him into his arms and held him close.
It had confused Harry a great deal the first time the Slytherin had done that, because he’d had no idea what was happening. Now he knew though; Draco was trying to calm his thoughts down. And as usual, the technique worked pretty well. After a few seconds Harry breathed easier and he leaned into the touch.
“I haven’t bought an outfit for tonight.” He muttered quietly, hoping the words would get lost in the sound of Draco’s breathing. “I don’t know how to make my hair look nice. Or my anything else, actually. I’m sorry.”
Draco didn’t immediately reply. Instead he buried his nose in Harry’s hair and inhaled deeply. Only then did he speak. “Harry, I know you. You never cared about your looks at all, it’s part of your charm. I don’t expect that to change just because you’re supposed to look fancy tonight.” Draco tightened his arms around him and kissed the top of his head. “And I know your shopping trips were a disaster. I was there when you got back, remember?”
Harry did remember. Mrs Weasley had never seen him have a panic attack before. She’d been half convinced he was dying by the time they got back to Hogwarts. Of course once there Draco had managed to calm him down in just under ten minutes, earning him his first bit of love and respect from Molly.
It only went to show what a bloody disaster he could be.
“I remember, but… I still don’t have anything. I can’t really show up in my pyjamas now, can I?”
Draco chuckled. “Probably not. But just for the record, I think you look very handsome in your pyjamas. Some of them anyway. Particularly one set.”
Harry knew what he was getting at. Draco had sent him Slytherin green silk pyjamas as a Christmas present. He thought they accentuated a lot of his worst features because they were so fitted instead of oversized like his normal attire, but Draco clearly loved them. “I’d look like an idiot wearing that. Especially next to you.”
“I promise you that’s not the case, but I get that you don’t actually want to show up wearing pyjamas.” A somewhat hesitant warmth spread through him as Draco pulled him just a tiny bit closer. It was like the Slytherin always knew exactly what to do and say to make him feel better, which sometimes just made him feel worse because he couldn’t do the same in return. Not that he didn’t try, but reading emotions wasn’t his strong suit. The only thing he could recognize pretty well due to uncle Vernon was anger. “I’m sure my mother can make something work for you though, she’d be delighted by the opportunity.”
Draco kissed the top of his head again, and it only doomed on Harry then that the Slytherin didn’t have to tiptoe in order to do that. He cast his eyes down and-, “Draco, why are you wearing high heels?”
“Oh, that. I still had to break them in a bit for tonight.” Draco shrugged as if it were the most normal thing in the world. And maybe for him it was. Dumbledore had often walked around in high heeled boots. It could be a normal thing for men in the magical world, Harry had no idea. “But would it be okay for you if I ask my mother to arrange something for you? She did my outfit too, it’s a hobby of hers.”
“That would be great.” Harry replied after a moment, tearing his eyes away from the high heels with difficulty. He loved the idea of Narcissa helping him with his outfit. They’d become friends of some sorts after that night in the forest, first through letters and later through the occasional cup of tea. “Your mother is nice.”
“My mother is amazing.” Harry loved the way those words instantly left Darco’s lips. Each time they talked about Narcissa Draco got like that; proud and protective. The love between mother and son was beautiful to watch, even though it sometimes made Harry quite envious. “It’s why I’m wearing her old graduation outfit tonight. Well, altered of course, I’m taller than my mother.”
“You’re wearing Narcissa’s dress robes?” Harry pulled away a bit to look at his man, and had to smile when he met a proud and somewhat defensive set of grey eyes. “I love that. I’m sure you’ll look amazing.”
Draco let out a tiny sigh of relief and kissed him. Harry sighed too and kissed him back. “As long as your mother doesn’t make me wear you father’s old gala outfit.”
“Oh Merlin no, that would be awful.” Draco shuddered and pulled a face. “I am very happy that you are nothing like him, and I’d like to keep things that way. That would be… No. Just no. Gross. I mean you’re handsome but I don’t think anyone can pull off such an old fashioned stiff pureblood atrocity anyway.”
Harry had to agree, and he perked up a bit because for the second time, Draco had called him handsome. That was never a bad thing to hear from his lips.
“If you don’t want to be hurried, you’ll have to go meet my mom now though. Alteration charms are always tricky, and we do need the robes to accentuate your best features of course.”
“What are my best features then?” Harry asked playfully, even though he cared about the answer more than he dared to admit.
“All of them.” Draco didn’t even need to think about his response. “Though I must say I enjoy some parts more than others.”
Harry chuckled, and kissed Draco. “I’m afraid we can’t discuss those unless I want to be late for your mother, which I don’t, to be honest.”
“Pity.” Draco pecked him on the lips one more time before stepping away with ease despite the height of his heels. Harry’s eye caught on them again and he suddenly found it to be a much bigger pity that he really did need to leave soon. Draco rolled his eyes when he saw him look. “Off with you, Potter. I need ample time to prepare for tonight.” Draco stepped closer one last time to whisper into his ear, “I can assure you you’ll drop more than just your jaw when you see my whole outfit.”
And with that promise, Draco kissed his forehead and walked away.
Harry fidgeted with the hem of his sleeve as he waited for the all clear signal from McGonagall's floo. Narcissa had insisted he’d use it after charming his new robes to repel soot. She was worried he wouldn’t get all the details of his attire right if he changed into it without her supervision, and she was probably right.
“I know for a fact my son will find you more than dashing, Harry.” Narcissa wrapped her hands around his own and smiled at him. “There’s really no need to worry about that.”
“I know.” Harry replied, immediately cursing himself after because it sounded almost narcissistic. “It’s just…” He swallowed, unsure if he should continue. But after the frankly quite amazing afternoon he’d had with the woman in front of him, it was like he couldn’t not say it. That would feel like lying, and she deserved better than that. “Draco arranged for this to happen. He made sure I have my act together for tonight because I couldn’t manage it on my own. And it’s just… I don’t want him to feel like he has to take care of me, like I’m a burden.”
“Harry, you are not a burden. Not for him or me or anyone else, and if someone does feel like that then you don’t need them in your life.” The same protective look Draco got sometimes shone in her blue eyes as she looked at him and squeezed his hands. “Yes, maybe sometimes Draco or I or someone else will take care of you or help you because you can’t manage things on your own, but that’s because no one can manage everything on their own. It’s why you have lovers and friends and mothers and family and kind strangers.” Narcissa pulled him into a rare, brief hug before she spoke again, a tiny smile on her lips. “I can assure you, if there’s anything my son loves then it’s taking care of those he loves, and you’ve belonged in that category for months now.”
“Oh.” Harry blinked while his brain took its sweet time to let those words sink in. It wasn’t every day that he heard the first I love you from his lover through the words of his mother. But it fitted, in some way. Draco and Narcissa were very close, Harry doubted that there was anything she didn’t know about her son. “That’s nice.”
“Love is nice, when it’s the healthy kind you two share.” Narcissa squeezed his hand one more time before letting go. Behind her the flames briefly flared green, indicating that McGonagall had opened her floo for him. “Now go on, have a fun night with him. Be young and careless and in love. You both deserve it.”
“Thank you, ma’am.” Harry blushed when his ma’am almost sounded like mom, but Narcissa was pushing him towards the floo with a smile before he could retract his words. “Thank you.” He repeated one more time, and then green flames engulfed him as Draco’s mother waved him goodbye.
“You look amazing.” It was the first thing Draco said after laying eyes on him, and he probably meant it as a blush coloured his cheeks as soon as the words left his lips. Draco was very loving and supportive, but usually only in private, and right now they were amongst all the Hogwarts graduates waiting for the Great Hall to open.
So do you. Harry wanted to reply, but it was like suddenly he had no voice anymore. Because Draco didn’t just look sexy as Hell, he looked drop dead gorgeous. So much so Harry didn’t even know he was openly gaping at his own boyfriend.
Draco’s robes were deep blue and tailored to perfection, leaving no doubt about what the body underneath looked like even though the accents on the garment gave it a flowy, distinctive Narcissa Black look. The tip of Draco’s black heels were just visible under the hem of the outfit, but that wasn’t what caught Harry’s eye this time. That was his hair.
Draco had done something to his hair that made it look like… Not like a cloud, because it wasn’t fluffy, but it looked softer than what should be physically possible. And it wasn’t in the usual braid either, but done up at the back with some locks felt loose to accentuate his face and high cheekbones. Locks that were curled and glowing from either glitter or magic or possibly both.
“Please stop looking at me like that.” Draco’s blush had deepened considerably while Harry and now most of the other students too, gaped at him. Being the centre of attention wasn’t something he enjoyed anymore after the war. That only made it more difficult for Harry to stop being a staring statue, because it made him realise Draco looked like that for him. The Slytherin had worn something simple and black during the Christmas gala, something Harry had skipped all together, and the only thing that had changed since was... Their relationship.
“I love you.” It was a whisper, probably heard by no one but himself because he was still several paces away from Draco. He soon went and change that though, as he strode forward and pressed a desperate kiss to his boyfriend’s lips. And then he said it again. “I love you.”
Draco huffed, a bit overwhelmed by his reaction. “Love me? Or the outfit?”
“Love you. Love that you put so much thought into this, love that you always make me feel better about myself, love that you’re gorgeous and funny and you.” He cupped the back of Draco’s neck, careful not to mess up his hair, and kissed him again. “And I love your hair.”
Now Draco properly huffed. “You better bloody love my hair. I spent hours in the bathroom to get it like this.”
“Well I love it. And you.” Now that he’d said it once, it was like he couldn’t stop saying it again. It didn’t even matter that Draco hadn’t said it back, he didn’t expect him to. But just looking at his boyfriend made him feel like his chest would explode if he didn’t say it. “And don’t get me wrong, I love the whole outfit, but I’d love you in anything.”
Draco shook his head a little, as if he didn’t believe what he was hearing. “Even pyjamas?”
“Especially in pyjamas.” Harry chuckled and kissed Draco again, glad that a lot of other students had moved on to different things now. They’d gotten used to this new type of attention Draco and Harry had for each other, and now it was almost old news. “Makes you look like you’re trusting enough to relax around me.”
“I am trusting enough around you to relax.” Draco put his arms loosely around Harry’s waist and held him as he kissed is neck. “You’re the only one here who makes me feel like that, because I know I’m safe with you. And loved, as you keep saying.”
Harry made a sound that could be a giggle, but he felt too much love for the man in his arms to have any room left for embarrassment. “I was afraid this whole gala thing was going to be awful but… It hasn’t even started yet, and it’s already amazing.”
“You’re a sap.” Draco chuckled, but he locked arms with him anyway as the doors of the Great Hall began to open. “And I love you too.”
Harry feared his smile would break his face, until another realisation hit him when the music began to play. “I can’t dance for shit.”
Draco laughed, bright and loud and open, which was rare these days. “I know Harry. I can’t either, not on these heels. That’s why I wear them. I get the perk of having longer legs and a better looking arse, and you don’t have to feel bad for not dancing. Never let it be said that Slytherins aren’t cunning.”
“Never let it be said that Slytherins aren’t perfect lovers and secret big saps.” Harry grinned and pecked Darco on the cheek just before they began to make their way into the Great Hall.
“Oh shut up.” Draco grumbled, a blush colouring his cheeks. Harry thought he looked adorable. And hot, and lovable and cute and a whole bunch of other things.
“Only if you make me.”
“Sure.” Draco smirked. And with an elegant hand covering Harry’s mouth, they entered the Great Hall. Neither one of them could have been happier in that moment, because they were having fun while being young and careless and in love.
Life simply could not get better than that.