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Draco crouches down beside a bookshelf, his ears ringing and his heart pounding in his chest. He can feel the adrenaline pounding through his body, tension coiling in his muscles as he gives himself five seconds to assess the situation.

There’s a Dark wizard in the centre of the Creatures room in the Wizarding Library. It’s a single wizard now, his cronies had been taken out and if the world were fair Draco would be able to wrap this up in a few minutes and still make his dinner reservation with Pansy. However, because the world isn’t fair, the wizard is standing atop a table with his wand to a hostage’s neck.

Draco doesn’t listen to whatever the wizard is yelling, he knows it’s meaningless prejudiced drivel that’s irrelevant. Draco’s been an Unspeakable long enough to know the score, he’s dealt with wizards and witches like this very man long enough to mentally paraphrase them — if you come at me, the hostage dies. It’s plain and simple, which is why Draco is ducked behind a bookshelf trying to figure out what to do next.

He’s not utterly sure why the Unspeakables are even wrapped up in this case, because it seems to him to be much more of the Aurors’ paygrade if he’s being perfectly honest. He’s only here because Theo requested him, and Draco hadn’t been willing to turn down an opportunity to let off some energy. He’s been on edge since he got back from America a couple of days ago.

Then again, perhaps it’s who the hostage is that has the Unspeakables involved. Draco hasn’t been able to get close enough to know for sure, but from the glances he’s caught he’s pretty sure that the hostage is Hermione Granger. Draco would recognise her face anywhere, even if she is currently unconscious and bleeding. The reminder that Granger is currently bleeding out on his watch spurs him back into action; he’s pretty sure the death of Granger would be the death of his career. Also, there’d certainly be some bastard somewhere that would argue that Draco had let her die on purpose.

Draco closes his eyes, clears his mind and starts to seek out the nearest backup. They’d split up over the vast library with the aim to divide and conquer, but Draco needs help and he needs it now. The perp — Draco thinks he’s an Avery relative — is still yelling about exactly what he’s going to do to Granger if any of them get too close, and it’s giving Draco a migraine.

A year or two spent with Riddle lurking in his living room meant that Draco had been an adept Occulumens before he’d even joined the Unspeakables, and since Legilimency turned out to be a Black family talent he’d taken to it like a fish to water. He narrows in on the nearest mind he feels and sends a blasting thought of ‘ Creatures Room, Suspect and Hostage ’. He feels the moment the person latches onto Draco’s blast, and an echo of stumbling fear stabs through Draco. He winces and increases his Occlumency shields, he’s no interest in picking up his co-agents’ squeamishness. Draco doesn’t ask who is coming to help him as he sends out another mind blast.

He regrets this when he finds himself jolted only moments later by Harry Potter’s hand clasping over his mouth and those familiar green eyes boring into his. Draco doesn’t breathe as he stares back at Potter, Potter’s wand digging into his neck.

I’m an Unspeakable , Draco thinks, penetrating Potter’s complete and utter lack of Occlumency shields with ease. He refrains from adding you stupid prat to his thought.

Potter recoils at the feeling of Draco in his head, and drops his wand and hand. Draco works his jaw, and tightens his grip on his wand. Potter knew he was an Unspeakable, they’ve been brought together for a mission or two in the past. Granger’s capture is probably throwing Potter off his game. If Draco was Potter’s superior, he wouldn’t let Potter work this case. It’s only then that Draco realises Potter’s in a pair of baggy grey joggers and a ratty band tshirt — not his Auror uniform.

Are you even on duty?

Potter’s face twists into a mulish expression. Yes.

Don’t lie to—

Shut the fuck up and help me save Hermione or I swear to Merlin I’ll stun you right here and now, protocol be damned .

Draco withdraws from Potter’s head fast enough to give himself whiplash at the sudden wave of magic that crashes over him. Potter’s a powerful bastard, and Draco can feel his magic thrumming through the air, crackling with his righteous anger.

It’s a wonder Avery hasn’t been alerted to their presence by the sheer force of Potter alone. Draco doesn’t give himself time to think about how intoxicating that power is; they’re on a mission.

He raises his wand and Potter mimics his action. Potter’s mouth is set in a thin line, his eyes burning and Draco is reminded that this is the man who killed the Darkest wizard of all time at the mere age of seventeen, and had defeated him countless times before that. Draco’s not so bad himself, and it’s the realisation that Avery doesn’t stand a chance that has the smallest of smirks curling at Draco’s mouth.

A mirror smile ghosts across Potter’s mouth as if he’s thinking the same thing. And then, before Draco can tell Potter the plan he’s come up with, Potter’s up and running, leaving Draco no choice but to follow him.

Draco doesn’t have time to curse Potter, because his mind has cleared and he’s on auto-pilot casting a Shield Charm that wraps around Granger before Avery can cast. Not that Avery (?) has a chance to focus on killing Granger, he’s too busy dealing with the onslaught Potter’s sending his way, Potter’s magic blasting against his own Shield Charms. There’s no time for Avery to work an offensive as he’s too busy dodging Draco’s and Potter’s spells.

Draco sends out a Legilimens blast for more backup and preferably someone who can remove an injured hostage from the room. They’ve set up anti-Apparition wards and Draco’s not willing to have them broken in case Avery manages to make a break for it. Draco would focus on Granger himself, but he knows that Averys are slippery bastards and so he wants Avery’s focus entirely on him and Potter.

It’s a dance, and the crack of casting and the burning smell of smoke makes up the music. It’s a dance that Draco lives for, a dance that he’s pretty bloody good at, and this time it turns out his partner is a natural.

It doesn’t take long for Avery to be laid out, and Draco’s arresting him, wand weaving the inescapable Bond spell to keep Avery in place.

The library room is nearly destroyed, books singed across the floor and one of the walls with a hole in it, but it’s worth it because they’ve managed to capture a leader of the self-dubbed Order of Chaos group — Draco had overheard Theo announcing the charges.

Draco feels on top of the world and welcomes the exhaustion. He’s going to fill in the reports for Theo and then head home, owl Pansy asking if she fancies a take away instead of their planned restaurant, and then run himself a bath. He deserves it.

“Fuck me, are you in trouble, mate.”

Draco turns to see Theo shaking his head at him, a rueful smile on his face.

Draco’s shocked into saying, “I’m sorry?”

Theo raises his eyebrows. “Like, I know you’re dumb for Potter, but allowing him into combat is really a step too far.”

“Potter may not have been in uniform, but he’s still a highly trained Auror. Last I knew he was pegged to reach Head Auror in the next few years.” Draco frowns, switching his weight onto his left leg. His right one aches from where one of Avery’s hexes skimmed his thigh.

Theo stops looking so amused, and lets out a low whistle. “Fuck me, you’re out of it, aren’t you?”

“What do you mean?”

“Didn’t you read the news while you were gone?”

“I’ve been undercover in America for the last three months. No, I have not been keeping tabs on The Prophet, which is a piece of shit anyway.”

“Don’t tell Pans you think that.”

“I tell her all the time,” Draco said, waving his hand dismissively. “Now will you tell me what’s going on.”

“Potter quit the Aurors two months back.” Draco swallows a groan as Theo keeps talking. “You brought a civilian into combat.”

Draco’s so fucked.


Draco’s in an absolutely foul mood, he’s spent the last forty-eight hours in meetings and having his knuckles rapped until his pride is bruised and bleeding. He knows he should be grateful that he’s not been put on leave or fucking fired, he did, after all, enlist a civilian for backup in combat and let said civilian take lead against the perp. Draco’s surprised he’s not even been put on probation. He attributes a small part of this to the fact that he’s damn good at his job and Croaker knows this; however, he knows the real reason he’s been let off so lightly is because the civilian he let into combat was Potter, and Auror or not, Potter is still Harry Potter, The Chosen One, The Boy Who Lived Twice, The Saviour or whatever ridiculous epithet The Prophet is appointing him on each given day.

Draco has snapped at six trainees and given Theo’s secretary such a dressing down for interrupting them that Theo had thrown a folder at his head and kicked him out his office, leaving Draco to sulk back along the Department of Mysteries to his own office.

“Hey Draco,” Bertie — Draco’s own secretary — chirps merrily from where he’s sat at his desk sorting through a pile of letters. Draco wonders if he can fire Bertie for sounding too upbeat, but decides against it because he doesn’t want to have to deal with the paperwork. Also, Draco won’t admit it, but he’s fond of the kid. Bertie’s fresh out of Hogwarts, a Hufflepuff and everything that Draco once thought he hated, but there’s something endearing about him anyway. Not that Draco will ever admit this out loud to anyone.

“Anything to report?”

“Oh not much,” Berties says, “they’re serving meatloaf for lunch again.”

Draco wrinkles his nose and decides to owl Blaise asking if he wants to grab lunch outside the Ministry today.

Draco twists the handle on his door and starts to push it open. “That all?”

“Pretty much,” Bertie says. “Oh, and Harry Potter’s inside for his twelve o’clock meeting with you.”

Draco stills. “What meeting?”

“The meeting you’ve scheduled with him? It wasn’t in my calendar either, but I figured Harry Potter’s got to be a busy man and he wouldn’t just turn up here for a chat if it wasn’t pre-planned.”

Draco closes his eyes, his hand still wrapped around the knob of his ajar door. If Potter is in fact inside, it means that he can hear everything Draco says.

“Bertie,” Draco says wearily, “it’s time for a life lesson.” He pushes the door open to find himself staring at the back of Potter’s stupidly messy hair. Potter whirls around in his seat and Draco prays to whatever gods might be out there to give him strength not to murder the wizarding world’s Golden Boy in his office. “Harry Potter is a fucking liar,” Draco finishes, slamming the door behind him. He ignores Bertie’s terrified squeak in favour of glaring at Potter.

Potter gives Draco a sheepish smile that is the opposite of endearing and rubs the back of his neck. “Hullo Malfoy.”

“Unspeakable Malfoy,” Draco corrects, “no thanks to you, of course.”

“I’m sorry you got in trouble,” Potter says and he sounds genuine, which only serves to irritate Draco more.

“But not that you did it?”

“Don’t ask me to apologise for saving one of my best friends, because I won’t.”

“Will you apologise for putting the entire operation at risk?”

Potter shrugs. “I’m a trained Auror.”

“Irrelevant, you’ve quit.”

“It’s hardly irrelevant,” Potter grumbles. “I’m not a wide-eyed innocent.”

“Doesn’t matter, you’re a civilian now.”

“I was a civilian back in the war too; didn’t stop me then and it won’t stop me now,” Potter says.

Draco walks past Potter; he’s tired and he still hasn’t been able to have the bubble bath he’s been craving. He doesn’t sit down though, he just stands in front of Potter, leaning against his desk and splaying his hands out behind him to take the rest of his weight. Perhaps he’ll see about booking himself a massage.

Potter, of course, doesn’t look even vaguely intimidated as he stares up at Draco.

He’s a good-looking bastard, Draco notes, which irritates him more. Potter’s eyes are bright behind his glasses, but now Draco actually has time to look, he lets himself take in the dusting of freckles across Potter’s high cheekbones. Potter’s no longer in those awful joggers and is instead in fitted jeans and a top that hugs his broad shoulders. There’s a hint of stubble across Potter’s strong jaw and Draco wants to know how it would feel against his skin. He’s long past hating himself for wanting to shag Potter.

The whole wizarding world — gay, straight or bi — wants a night with Potter, and Draco’s never been a saint.

“Why’d you quit the Aurors, then?”

Potter’s lips purse before quirking into a smile, revealing a small dimple in the right corner of his mouth. Draco realises this is the closest thing to a genuine smile he’s ever had from Potter. Tragically, it’s probably also their most civil conversation.

“Too much paperwork.”

Draco surprises himself by laughing. “Fair enough, and you Aurors don’t have half the paperwork as the Unspeakables.”

“Part of me feels I ought to argue on principle, but I’m not an Auror anymore.”

The rivalry between the Unspeakables and the Aurors was legendary in the Ministry. The Aurors thought the Unspeakables were over-paid, over-hyped wankers, and the Unspeakables thought the Aurors were fame-hungry, idiotic twats.

Draco smiles. “No, you’re not an Auror, which is why we’re having this conversation.”

Potter winces. “Did you get in much shit?”

“Enough that I am not your number one fan.”

“You’ve never been my number one fan.”

Draco laughs and shakes his head. “Fair enough. How’d you even know Granger was one of the hostages?”

“I swung by the Auror offices to talk to Ron, but got my timings mixed up so he wasn’t there, luckily for you,” Potter adds wryly.

Draco grimaces at the thought of both Weasley and Potter hijacking the Unspeakables’ mission with Gryffindor foolhardiness. “Weasley’s at least still an official Auror,” Draco says, to be pedantic. He can’t believe he’s defending Weasley.

Potter shrugs. “Anyway, Seamus had just received a report to be on call in case the Unspeakables needed back up, and I overheard him telling Barker that Hermione was one of the hostages…” Potter chews on his lip. “And when I heard that, I couldn’t just do nothing.”

“Of course not,” Draco says, but there’s no heat to his words. He understands how Potter couldn’t just leave his friends. Draco likes to think he’d do the same for his friends now, probably not as recklessly as Potter, but he still wouldn’t let anyone harm them. He’s come a long way from the coward he used to be.

“I am sorry you got in trouble though,” Potter continues. “I got a bloody bollocking from Robards and Kingsley, but there’s not much they could really do. I mean Robards actually offered me my job back…”

“Of course he did,” Draco says, rolling his eyes.

“That’s not my…” Potter starts defensively before trailing off and running a hand through his hair. “I didn’t come here to argue.”

“Yes, you came to apologise, which you’ve now done.”

“Actually I came to ask if you wanted to have dinner with me.”

Even though Draco’s only twenty-six, he’s been through a lot of shit. He was branded with the Dark Mark, spent about a year living with a maniacal Dark Lord in his house along with said-Dark-Lord’s terrifying followers and fuck-off big snake, and then fought a war — all before he was seventeen. Since then, he’s worked as an Unspeakable and has seen a lot of stuff that ordinary people don’t see. He’s faced down more Dark Wizards than he can count, and nearly died so many times that he doesn’t even bat an eyelid at Unforgivables being thrown his way.

Draco’s pretty hard to shock nowadays, but once again Harry Potter has utterly thrown him. Then again, Potter’s always been able to surprise him.

“What?” is all Draco can think to say.

“Dinner,” Potter repeats as if they’re discussing the weather, “thought it would be a good way to say sorry.”


“‘Cause Hermione told me my verbal apology meant shit if I wasn’t actually sorry I’d done it.”

“She always was a bright one,” Draco mutters, staring at Potter as if he’s grown a second head. Potter’s staring evenly back at Draco looking smug at how shocked Draco looks. “But why are you taking me for dinner? We’re not friends.”

“We could become friends,” Potter shrugs, “or you know.”

Draco most certainly does not know and it’s pissing him off because he prides himself on knowing things. He doesn’t want to admit to Potter that he doesn’t have the foggiest what he’s on about, and then it hits Draco all at once as Potter’s eyes rake over his body.

Harry Potter thinks he’s fit. Harry Potter is possibly suggesting that he take Draco — Draco Malfoy — out on a date. Draco debates pinching himself to see if it’s real, to see if he’s accidentally fallen asleep at his desk.

However, there’s no mistaking the way that Potter’s eyes linger on Draco’s long legs and then snap back up to Draco’s eyes, a playful spark in them that Draco recognises well. He’d just never expected to see the look in Potter’s eyes because that look is flirtatious.

Draco is no stranger to flirting, in fact he considers flirting one of his strong points. A job like his leaves absolutely no time for relationships and emotional attachments, so Draco is more than happy to leave a string of one-night stands and fuck buddies behind him in his need to work off a bit of tension now and again. Draco’s good at flirting, fucking, and then walking away as fast as he can. He’s also good at telling when someone wants him, and he can see it in the curve of Potter’s smile. Potter, somehow, is interested in him.

Draco still thinks he might be dreaming.

“You want to have dinner with me?” Draco asks, raising an eyebrow and letting his legs fall open.

Potter watches the movement, a pink stain on his cheeks when he finally meets Draco’s eyes again. “That would be what I said.”

“Like a date?”

Potter shrugs again. “Whatever you want to call it.”

“Let’s call it dinner,” Draco says firmly. He has no interest in a date, even with someone like Potter. Perhaps especially someone like Potter. However, Draco is not going to turn down an opportunity to see Potter’s dick. He’s many things and an idiot isn’t one. “Does Friday work for you?”

“Well, you’re the one with a job so it’s kind of up to you.”

“I’m in the shit due to you, so I’ve lost my weekend to do paperwork, so yeah Friday night will have to do.”

“I can cook for us if that’s easier?”

Draco smiles a predator’s smile and Potter grins back at him, his front teeth slightly crooked and the dimple on full display. Potter’s always given back as good as he gets, and Draco is almost vibrating with excitement for what the weekend will hold.


When Draco steps through Harry’s Floo on Friday evening it’s with a bottle of red in his hand and a bubbling sense of anticipation in his stomach that he hasn’t felt in a long time. Potter’s always been a challenge and Draco can’t quite believe this is actually happening.

He knew they’d both felt that twisting fire burning through them in Draco’s office as Potter gave Draco his address and told him to owl with confirmation of timings. Draco told Potter he can’t be there till eight thirty, and that he’ll probably have to leave first thing in the morning to allow for as little date time as possible. It’s a trick that works wonders every time — especially when one’s already in the intimate setting of someone’s home. Draco never has people back to his because he works best in the homes of others. It would feel permanent if they were at his. It’s easier to slip out of someone else's home than it is kick someone out of his.

Draco remembers to rib Potter a bit more about the paperwork he’s claiming to have, perhaps Potter will give him an apology blow job out of it. Draco presumes this isn’t what Granger meant when she told Potter to apologise properly.

“Potter?” he calls out. Potter lives in the old Black house and Draco casts an appreciative eye around at the vast ceiling of the sitting room. There’s a second fireplace crackling away in the corner and cream walls covered in beautiful paintings that upon closer inspection are signed by Dean Thomas. The brown sofas are plump and worn, covered in cushions that are adorned with strange patterns. There’s a small LL threaded onto each cushion and Draco wouldn’t be surprised to learn that Potter lets his friends make his cushions.

“In the kitchen!” Potter shouts back, and Draco starts to follow the sound of Potter’s voice, sending a longing look back at the obnoxiously huge TV in Potter’s living room. It’s the latest Magi-Tech model and Draco’s been debating getting one for the last couple of months; he’ll have to ask Potter if he thinks it’s worth it.

“This place is a lot nicer than I remember.” Draco whistles, stepping into the kitchen, which like the rest of the house is bright, light, and homely. Potter’s laying the table, another pair of those awful joggers on. Who wears joggers on a date?

Draco will perhaps admit that the joggers aren’t actually that awful as they’re clinging to Potter’s arse and his muscular thighs, and Draco debates how rude it would be to suggest skipping dinner entirely. He’d make it up to Potter, of course.

“Yeah, took me a while to remove all the elf heads but I managed to make it my own eventually,” Potter says, grinning at the sight of Draco. Draco smiles back, he knows he looks good.

“Forgot my mad old great aunt had a tendency to do that.”

“Malfoy Manor not adorned with elf heads?”

“No,” Draco says wincing, “we actually had a cemetery for all the elves, the place creeped the fuck out of me as a kid.”

Potter’s laugh is weak and he stares at Draco a moment too long, his mouth a thin line and his brows furrowed. Draco shifts awkwardly, unsure why the house-elf conversation has pressed such a sore spot with Potter.

“I brought wine, I don’t know if it’ll go with whatever you’ve prepared, but it’s a nice bottle anyway.”

Potter’s gaze lingers before it’s replaced with a small smile and he’s striding over and taking the bottle from Draco’s hand, their fingers brushing.

“I’ve made lasagna,” Potter says, taking the wine and moving over toward the cupboard and pulling down a couple of glasses.

“It smells great,” Draco says, and he’s not even lying. “I’ll admit I was dubious when you first said you were cooking.”



Potter laughs. “You can’t hold me responsible for that, and I was top of the class in sixth year.”

“You cheated.”

“Technicalities,” Potter says, passing Draco a glass. Draco accepts it, smiling at Potter as he raises his glass in cheers before taking a sip. The wine slips down his throat, and it’s as nice as Draco had hoped. It should be, he’d nicked it from his father’s cellar the last time he was at the Manor, after all.

“You need to start paying attention to the technicalities,” Draco says, leaning against the table with his legs open. He smirks at the way Potter’s eyes flicker down and then back up.

Potter laughs. “We back on this one?”

“It’s why I’m here isn’t it, so you can properly apologise for nearly getting me fired.”

“That’s why I’m serving you lasagna.”

“Is there pudding?”

This time it’s Potter with the wolfish smile. “Of course there is.”

Draco takes another sip of his wine. “That sounds like a line.”

“What, and you asking about pudding didn’t?”

“Mine was semi-subtle.”

Potter laughs, a deep throaty sound that vibrates through Draco’s body and makes his breath catch. There’s something so irresistible about Potter from his messy yet charming looks, to his powerful personality.

“There’s nothing subtle about you, Malfoy.”

Draco really wants to press Potter against the table, or the kitchen counter, or the wall or floor. He’s not fussy, he just wants Potter. However, he was raised with manners and he knows that he’s getting laid tonight. He’s known it since they arranged the evening.

He wonders what Potter thinks it is. Draco can’t imagine Potter’s in it for anything more than a fuck; they don’t know each other well enough for Potter to actually care about Draco. He comforts himself with that realisation that they’re both here simply for good sex. After all, with their history, it should be explosive.

Despite Draco’s initial impatience to get to the cock-sucking part he finds that he actually enjoys dinner. Potter is a good cook, and the conversation never falters. Their back-and-forth is fast paced, with just enough sharpness that Draco’s always on his toes. He shouldn’t be surprised, but he is.

Potter was always quick-witted at school, and now they’ve moved past trading petty insults they’re both able to show their true humour. For Draco’s blatant sarcasm, Potter replies with slow, dry remarks that have Draco’s head spinning as he fights to keep up. Potter’s eyes light up every time Draco laughs, and as Draco continues to sip at his wine, the laughs fall more and more easily.

Potter clears their plates, placing them in the sink and casting a quick Cleaning Spell.

“What happened to that old house-elf? The miserable one?” Draco asks.

“He works at Hogwarts,” Potter replies, “and he’s not so miserable any more.”

“I’m surprised you managed to get him out the house.”

“Once he realised I wasn’t going to let him wait on me hand and foot, he decided he’d be happier serving at Hogwarts… or, as happy as Kreacher gets.”

Draco laughs, turning his chair so he’s facing Potter, who’s leaning against the sink now, his hands clutching the porcelain as he stares back at Draco. Draco lets his eyes travel from Potter’s face down his body, tracing every line and curve.

“Are you just going to picture me naked or actually do something about it?”

Draco nearly drops his wine glass.

Potter’s staring at him, chin tilted defiantly, his grip on the sink so tight his knuckles are gleaming white. Draco takes a breath, burying his nerves and slowly getting to his feet, watching as Potter’s face grows pink. Either Potter is a blusher or he doesn’t normally do this. Draco isn’t sure what’s more endearing.

“Now who’s being unsubtle,” Draco remarks, placing his glass on the table and staring at Potter. He’s fascinated by the prospect of getting those ugly joggers off Potter and onto the floor.

“Malfoy,” Potter says, his tone almost desperate, and Draco decides to put them both out of their misery. He closes the gap between them, one hand cradling Potter’s jaw — he can feel Potter’s pulse fluttering against his fingers and wonders if his own heart is beating as fast — and then he kisses him. It’s sweet and chaste, and Potter’s lips don’t move to start with and Draco starts to pull back — because he’s always wanted Potter, but Potter has to want him back.

Draco doesn’t get more than a few centimeters away from Potter’s mouth before Potter’s hand shoots out, twists in Draco’s expensive shirt and yanks him back, crashing their mouths together.

There is nothing sweet or chaste about this kiss. Potter’s lips are not soft or yielding, and his other hand grips hard on Draco’s hip. There’s nothing elegant about it, no finesse or tricks as Draco finds himself struggling to keep up, lost in the ferocity of Potter’s mouth. The sharp nip of his teeth and the wet glide of his tongue. It’s everything that Draco imagined kissing Potter would be. Potter kisses like he lives, with a burning, unparalleled passion, and Draco is fighting to stay afloat in the punishing current.

Potter may have blushed at Draco’s innuendos, but he knows what he’s doing here. He knows what he wants.

Draco finds that extraordinarily sexy, and knots his own hands in Potter’s hair. Potter moans, bucking his hips against Draco’s. Draco can feel Potter’s growing erection against his thigh, the thin joggers Potter’s wearing doing absolutely nothing to hide the sensation. Draco wants to encourage it, he wants it to grow. He wants Potter hard for him, hard and desperate because Draco plans on giving him the ride of his life.

Draco’s been gifted with one night with Harry Potter and he’s going to make the most of it.

He pulls back, smirking as Potter chases his mouth. Potter’s lips are pink and slick, his eyes wide and pupils dark. The thin wire frames have dug into Potter’s nose.

“Why?” Potter demands, leaning back in, but Draco stops him, placing a hand on Potter’s chest and pressing him back against the sink. He can feel the heat radiating through Potter’s thin white top, and his chest heaving against his hand. Potter opens his mouth to question Draco again, but before he can Draco slides onto his knees.

The look on Potter’s face is worth wrinkling his trousers for.

“Jesus Christ,” Potter groans, hands resting on Draco’s shoulders, then coming up to cradle his face before sliding through his hair as if Potter’s unsure what to do with himself. As if he needs empirical proof that Draco’s there, on his knees for him.

“Draco Malfoy,” Draco corrects, pressing his mouth to the soft skin between Potter’s joggers and his top.

“Prat,” Potter laughs, his breath catching as Draco hooks his thumbs into Potter’s joggers and starts to pull them down, continually pressing kisses to the coarse curls that trail from Potter’s belly button down.

“Insulting the guy who’s about to suck you off isn’t the brightest move,” Draco says, dragging the joggers past Potter’s boxers.

“Yeah well,” Potter starts, but Draco doesn’t give him a chance to finish, pressing his face into the decently sized bulge in Potter’s tight boxers.

“What was that?”

“Doesn’t matter,” Potter says, and Draco grins up at him before yanking down Potter’s boxers. Draco often likes to draw this out, tease the person he’s with until they’re begging for it. Only spending one night with someone means he likes to make the most of it. However, with Potter he’s too desperate to taste him, touch him, experience it all.

He works Potter over with his tongue, before taking him wholly in his mouth, listening to the string of expletives that fall from Potter’s mouth. The Aurors have always been known for being able to swear like their lives depend on it, and Draco’s glad to see Potter doesn’t disappoint.

There’s something ridiculously hot about someone like Potter swearing. There’s an almost musical quality to the words that Draco drinks in, would willingly drown in.

“Wait, stop,” Potter pants a bit later, pushing Draco back abruptly enough that Draco only manages to cover his teeth in time. He stares up at Potter, his jaw aching and his throat battered, but with irritation lacing his features.


“Don’t want to come yet,” Potter says, blushing again.

The irritation vanishes and Draco smiles sweetly. “Potter,” he says slowly, his voice rough, “do you have the recovery time of an eighty-year-old man?”


“If you come down my throat because I finishing sucking you off, does that mean you’ll not be able to get hard again?” Draco asks casually as if debating the weather. He begins working his hand lazily up and down; Potter bucks his hips into his hand. “Because I was hoping for a few more rounds.”

He leans forward, mouth tantalisingly close and glances up to meet Potter’s eyes. Potter shakes his head, hand tracing Draco’s cheek as if he’s something marvellous that Potter can’t quite believe he has.

“So what’s your answer?”

“Open your fucking mouth,” Potter laughs. Draco grins. He can’t remember the last time he had this much fun during a one-night stand, not just sexual fun, but actual fun. Banter included.

It’s not long until Potter’s coming down Draco’s throat with a husky moan that Draco’s willing to admit he’ll probably be getting off to for the foreseeable future. He’s also well aware that the blissed out expression on Potter’s face is going to be making it into a fair few of his fantasties.

Potter pulls Draco back to his feet and kisses him, hard and filthy before saying, “Your turn.”

When Draco wakes up the next morning, he’s still sticky from the three am round, when Potter had woken him up by pressing kisses against his neck and drawing patterns across Draco’s hip. They’d fucked agonisingly slowly with Potter’s legs wrapped around Draco’s waist, moaning into each other’s mouths. They’d both fallen asleep again, legs entwined and Potter’s face smushed into the crook of Draco’s neck, before they’d remembered to cast a cleaning spell. Draco regrets that now, as it means he’ll have to go home and shower — or perhaps convince Potter to let him use his shower.

Potter shuffles against him as if reading Draco’s thoughts, his half-hard erection against Draco’s thigh. Potter had successfully proved that he was a long way off having a recovery time like an eighty-year-old. Draco wonders if they can slip in another round before he leaves, claiming to work.

A part of him debates foregoing the work lie and staying in Potter’s bed all day, but the rational part of him knows that’s a bad idea.

Potter’s too addicting to let himself give into. Draco doesn’t date and he doesn’t get emotionally involved, he doesn’t stay in the morning for this exact reason. He’ll maybe sleep with Potter again, decline his invitation for breakfast and then he’ll leave. It’s the best idea for everyone.

“Morning,” Potter grumbles, startling Draco out of his thoughts. He raises his head, hair sticking all over the place from Draco’s hands — Draco likes the way it looks — and smiles sleepily.

“Morning,” Draco replies, pressing a kiss to the underside of Potter’s jaw.

Potter hums, arching his neck to allow Draco more access. Draco continues kissing along Potter’s jaw, nipping at a place where a bruise has appeared overnight. “Worse ways to wake up.”

“Indeed,” Draco murmurs against Potter’s skin. “I have to go soon, though.”

Potter groans, pulling Draco flush against him and then rolling them over so that Potter’s staring down at him, his eyes warm in the morning light and the ends of his hair tickling Draco’s face. “Do you have to?”

“Grown attached to me, have you?”

“You just look so good in my bed.” Potter shrugs, pushing himself up and rolling his hips against Draco’s. Draco feels himself start to harden at the sensation. “Honestly, the image belongs in an art museum.”

“And what do you know about the arts?”

Potter grins, rolling his hips again and kissing Draco when he moans. “I happen to have fantastic taste.”

“Suppose I can’t disagree now that you’ve fucked me.”

“What, is your dick the pinnacle of taste now?”

Draco reaches around and squeezes Potter’s arse so they’re pressed fully together, rolling their hips in tandem. It’s strangely more intimate than the literal sex was. “You’re the one who said it belonged in a museum.”

Potter grins, a silly smile that Draco kisses away before he can dwell too long on it. “So I did.”

Once they’ve both finished, and Potter’s cast wandless Cleaning charms over them both, Draco slides from the sheets and begins to gather up his clothes. He thinks the best plan of action is just to shower at home.

“You off to work?” Potter asks as Draco pulls his boxers on.

“Yeah, got to head home, get dressed and grab some breakfast first though. I’m in desperate need of a coffee.”

“Oh,” Potter says, and Draco doesn’t look over his shoulder at the dejected tone of Potter’s voice. “I can cook if you fancy it.”

“It’s alright,” Draco says, picking his wand off the nightstand and summoning his shirt and trousers from the heap he left them on the kitchen floor. “It’s probably best I just go.”


Draco catches his clothes and begins buttoning his shirt. “Yes, best.” He turns around to face Potter as he dresses; Potter deserves the decency of Draco looking him in the eye as he speaks. “You know what my career demands, I’ve just returned from three months undercover.”

“I’m not asking for a proposal, I was asking if you wanted breakfast.” Potter’s face flickers between mullish and amused.

“Yes, but it’s best that I just leave now with no strings attached. You’re a brilliant shag, Potter, but I’m not looking for anything more.”

Potter scoffs and rolls his eyes. “Please tell me no-one actually accepts this shit.”

“It’s not shit,” Draco says, crossing his arms. He’s now fully dressed, and Potter’s still naked, resting back on his elbows, legs sprawled open and the sheet just about covering him. It’s quite a sight, and Potter doesn’t look vulnerable at all. “It’s true, I don’t want a relationship.”

“I don’t remember asking for one?”

“Fine… What are you asking for then?”

Potter stares at Draco a moment too long and Draco debates speaking to shatter the silence, however his curiosity for what Potter’s going to say wins out and he keeps silent. “I’m not asking for anything. I just think you’re a bloody good lay and I wouldn’t mind doing this again sometime.”

“No strings attached?”

Potter looks at him like he’s an idiot. “It’s me and you, Draco, there’s always going to be strings attached.”

“Malfoy,” Draco corrects, not wanting to dwell on the probable truth in Potter’s words. Potter had been a fantastic lay, one of the best Draco’s ever had and he wouldn’t mind doing it again. He just doesn’t want a relationship. Feelings don’t have to mean a relationship. They can keep things separate.

“Malfoy,” Potter echoes; he sounds amused now and his grin confirms this. “Anyway, I’ll owl you.”

“Or maybe I’ll owl you,” Draco mutters before regretting it. He gives Potter a curt nod, says goodbye and walks out the door toward Potter’s Floo. For the first time in a long time, Draco Malfoy feels thoroughly out of control.


Draco doesn’t have much time to dwell on Potter, as on Sunday evening he’s called in for a debrief and shipped up to Scotland for the next three weeks. The job is gruelling, and involves more paperwork than anything else and Draco suspects that this is his penance for risking the life of Harry Potter while on duty. However, he’s willing to take three weeks of boredom in Scotland over getting fired, also over having to deal with the whole Potter situation.

It’s not really a situation, he tells himself. They’d had fun, they’d been compatible in bed, and somehow despite their past they’d gotten on rather well. Sure, Draco can’t remember the last time he slept with someone more than once but that doesn’t have to mean this is a thing . Potter had said simply that he wanted to see Draco again because he’d been good in bed, which is fair enough, because Draco is good in bed.

Potter had said there were always going to be strings with them, but Draco’s choosing to ignore that.

He’s fantastic at only remembering information that suits him.

“Hey Draco,” Bertie chirps from his desk, seemingly undeterred by the mountainous stack of paperwork Draco had dropped there this morning — the Scotland reports need sorting.

“Hullo Bertie,” Draco says, “how’s the paperwork going?”

“Could be worse, could be better, I’ve devised a nifty little system that has me flying through it. I’m the Han Solo of paperwork, you might say.”

Draco doesn’t understand the reference but manages a weak smile, which has Bertie beaming back at him.

“How’s your day going?” Bertie asks, sucking on his quill.

“Okay, I’ve just had a briefing with Croaker and he’s planning on keeping me in the country for a while now. It was the original plan before the civilian incident,” Draco says, massaging his temples. He just wants to get into his office and have a nice strong cup of coffee from his extremely expensive machine. Meetings with Croaker always leave him exhausted. “Post-undercover protocol and all that.”

“Sounds great,” Bertie says. “Oh, and speaking of civilians, Harry Potter’s back in your office. I don’t know how I managed to mess up his appointment again!”

“Bertie,” Draco sighs, “remember what I told you last time Potter was in my office unannounced?”

Bertie frowns. “No, I must have forgotten to write it down. What was it?”

Draco sends his secretary a long-suffering look and sighs again. “Don’t worry,” he says, pushing open the door to his office and walking inside. “I don’t remember receiving an owl.”

Potter’s leaning against Draco’s desk, dressed in a red hoodie and a slim-fitting pair of black joggers, his dark hair tied up in a scraggly top-knot. “I was in the duelling room with Ron and overheard Nott saying you’d got back from Scotland a couple of days ago. Thought I’d swing by and say hi.”

“How very presumptuous of you,” Draco remarks. He’s not at all chuffed that Potter’s come to see him. He’s not. “Anyway I thought the duelling room was for Ministry officials only.” Potter grins, and Draco rolls his eyes. “Harry Potter perks, I’m guessing?”

Potter rubs the back of his neck, smile turning rueful. “Something like that. I hate the special treatment, but the duelling helps me work off the extra magic. I think I need a job.”

“Unemployment not all it’s cracked up to be?”

“Something like that,” Potter repeats. “Hermione thinks I should consider teaching.”

“So, why are you here?” Draco asks, changing the subject before they start debating Potter’s future. He can imagine Potter being a teacher. He’d heard rumours that the duelling society Potter had run in fifth year had been bloody brilliant, and the whole lot of idiots that had partaken in it had done a lot better in their Defence OWL than expected.

Potter slips his hands into the pockets of his joggers and shrugs. “Still had some tension to work off, thought you’d be able to help.”

“Oh,” Draco’s eyebrows shoot up, “you are presumptuous.” However, he’s smiling and walking towards Potter, who’s smiling back at him, looking extremely proud of himself.

Draco plans to wipe that smug look off Potter’s face.

“Turn around,” Draco commands. Potter’s eyebrows shoot up, but he does so without too much protest, gazing at Draco over his shoulder, a challenge in the curve of his smile. Draco casts a Silencing charm, a Locking spell, and then a Cleaning spell at Potter all in quick succession. He can’t quite believe he’s about to sleep with Harry Potter in his office.

Potter leans forward, resting on his arms, and wiggles his arse at Draco. Draco rolls his eyes at Potter’s ridiculousness..

“Don’t make this a habit,” Draco warns, running his hands over Potter’s arse — it’s sinfully good.

“Wouldn’t dream of it,” Potter drawls as Draco works down Potter’s joggers and boxers. He’s got a meeting in thirty minutes, so they’re going to have to make this quick. “Are you going to do something or just stare at me?”

Draco smacks Potter’s arse lightly, smirking at the noise Potter lets out, and then gets to it.


Draco accepts the gin and tonic that Greg passes him with pure adoration in his eyes. He’s been fantasising about this drink ever since Pansy owled them all announcing they were meeting for drinks that coming Friday. It had been an effective way of getting all of them together, as no-one was willing to risk Pansy’s wrath.

Blaise claps Draco on the shoulder as he arrives, because he knows it irritates Draco and not because it’s a gesture that Blaise is fond of.

“How was the US?”

“Full of weirdos,” Draco replies, taking a sip of his gin. “Their portion sizes are obscene.”

“Presuming you got the job done, though?”

“I’m here, aren’t I?” Draco says. He’s supposed to keep all the details of his job very quiet, which is why it’s so nice that Theo’s an Unspeakable too. There’s always someone to unload to, someone who really understands how intense the job can get at times.

“Yes,” Pansy says, sliding into the seat beside him with a huge pink cocktail in her hand, “even though it did take you far too long to respond to my owl. I didn’t write RSVP for it to be taken as decorative.”

“I was busy.”

“Doing what?” Theo laughs. “You’ve been mooching around the Ministry since you got home from Scotland.”

“Is this because of the Harry Potter incident?” Pansy pries. Draco and Theo’s heads both swing round to gape at her. “What? We’ve caught wind of the fact someone let Harry Potter into a hostage situation to save Granger.”

“Have I told you I hate The Prophet ?” Draco sighs.

“How the fuck did you hear that?” Theo demands.

Pansy just smiles. “I have my sources.”

Draco and Theo share a look which means they’ll need to alert Croaker to the breach before the article drops tomorrow. Draco pulls a Galleon out of his pocket, and smiles smugly when Theo calls heads and it lands on tails.

Theo groans, downs his own gin and tonic, and stands up. “Guess duty calls.”

“Sorry babe,” Pansy says.

Theo wrinkles his nose. “It’s alright, thanks for the tip.” He bends down to kiss Pansy’s cheek and says his goodbyes before walking out of the pub.

Draco knows Theo’s right, as irritating as Pansy’s truth bomb is, they’re lucky to have her as an insider. The fallout of the article dropping tomorrow would have been a lot worse without Croaker being able to work damage control from the get go. Draco imagines most of the public focus will be on Potter playing the hero, but they need to have all angles covered just in case.

He’s surprised it’s only just come out, it’s been nearly two months since the incident and it should be old news at this point. Draco presumes it will blow over quickly due to that fact.

“Speak of the hero and he shall appear,” Millicent says, and Draco’s head shoots around before he can control it, just in time to watch Potter, flanked by Weasley, Granger, and a few others of their crew, saunter into the pub. At this point, Draco’s beginning to accept it’s just his luck.

Potter catches his eye instantly, quirking his eyebrows in amusement. Draco debates the pros and cons of facing Potter’s magical wrath by appearing in his head to say ‘stay the fuck away’, but before he can, Potter’s marching over to speak to them with Granger following behind him. Weasley stares at the floor for a moment, appearing to wish it would swallow him whole, before squaring his shoulders and following his friends, encouraging the rest of their pack to follow.

“Hey everyone,” Potter says, smiling at them all.

The Slytherins glance between themselves to figure out why the fuck Harry Potter is standing at their table with his cohorts behind him. Draco’s deliberately staring at his drink and not meeting Potter’s eyes. Mixing their friendship groups doesn’t count as no strings.

“Hello?” Blaise says slowly.

“Hello Millicent,” Granger says, sounding earnest.

Everyone’s eyes swing over to Millicent who ignores them all. “Hello Hermione.”

“Hello Draco, nice to see you again,” Granger says.

Draco gives her a polite nod. “You too.”

Now everyone’s eyes are on him, and Draco is questioning the social acceptability of downing his drink.

“Mind if we join you?” Granger continues. Draco’s eyes narrow, glancing between her and Potter, but he can hardly accuse her of meddling in their non-existent relationship without publicly outing it.

He’s not sure what his friends would be more delighted by, the fact Draco’s slept with someone more than once (and he and Potter have hooked up quite a few times now, and somehow ended up exchanging owls that are non-sex-related and merely conversational) or the fact that said person is Potter. The Slytherins would rip him to shreds for both facts.

“Please,” Millicent says when no-one else speaks, “draw up some seats.”

“I think we’re going to need some more drinks,” Pansy mutters.

Draco takes a long sip of his gin in response.

In defence of Potter’s lot, the night ends up being even more fun than Draco had anticipated, mainly because, in order to overcome the initial awkwardness, they all decide to get absolutely smashed.

Theo owls to say he won’t be making it back, and they all have a shot in his name. And then later on Weasley pushes a drink in front of Draco with a meaningful look that Draco interprets as ‘thanks for saving the woman I love’. He smiles back at Weasley, and tips the drink to him to mean ‘all in a day's work ’. He presumes that’s the end of it, but somehow not too much later he finds himself debating the latest episode of Made in Diagon with him.

“Whatcha talkin’ about?” Potter asks, dropping down on the seat beside Draco and leaning across him. Draco catches a whiff of Potter’s aftershave, and tries to hold his breath rather than breathe in Potter’s familiar scent.

He’d ended up staying at Potter’s last weekend for the full couple of days and when he’d got home, every item of clothing had smelt like Potter.

“Did you know Malfoy has great taste in TV, mate?” Weasley asks (or slurs).

Potter raises his eyebrows at Draco.

“We’re discussing MiD ,” Draco says.

Potter laughs. “No, I had no idea he had decent taste.”

Draco rolls his eyes because he knows Potter’s referencing the fact Draco refused to watch his awful Muggle romcom at the weekend.

“Well he does,” Weasley says, climbing to his feet and clapping Draco on the shoulder. “Going to buy him another drink for his brilliant taste.”

Draco watches him go before turning back to Potter, who’s watching his friend in amusement. “Is he always like this?”

“A lightweight? Yeah,” Potter says. They watch as Weasley gets side-tracked by Granger on his way to the bar and laugh.

Draco turns back to Potter and nudges him. “No joggers tonight?”

Potter grins. “Nah, Hermione wouldn’t let me.”

“And does Granger set your bedtime too?”

“Nope,” Potter says, still watching Weasley, “but she does set Ron’s. She’ll be dragging him home soon.”

“And you?”

Potter catches Draco’s gaze. “Me?”

“Yeah,” Draco says. Potter’s side is pressed flush against his and Draco’s trying to keep his body from reacting to the warmth. It’s difficult when his body is so trained recently to think SEX whenever Potter is around. He wonders if they ought to start doing non-sexual things together to get himself out of the habit.

“Guess I’ll be heading home too,” Potter says.

“Or,” Draco says, reaching over and squeezing Potter’s thigh, liking the way Potter’s breath hitches, “or you could not.”

“What are you suggesting?”

Draco watches their friends stumbling around the pub, stupidly happy smiles on their faces. They are all happy. Pansy is chatting to Ginny Weasley — Draco corrects himself — Pansy is flirting with Ginny Weasley (he’d know her flirting tricks anywhere); Lovegood is chatting to Greg who looks utterly enamoured by her; Blaise and Millicent are doing shots at the bar; and Weasley has dragged Granger off to dance alongside Finnegan and Thomas. Everyone is coupled up and happy, and then there’s him and Potter. Draco supposes they’re coupled up and happy, too, with their arrangement.

Just sex , he reminds himself. Not that he needs reminding, he’s only in it for sex.

The fact that he likes the moments where they’re just talking, or that he could bottle the sound of Potter laughing, and frame the soft edge of Potter’s smile, all of that is just a bonus. It’s just sex.

“Bathroom, yours, mine,” Draco says, hand drifting higher up Potter’s thigh. “Not a crowded pub with all our friends?”

Potter’s eyes go wide and Draco’s not sure if he’s said something wrong, his alcohol-soaked brain finding it hard to keep track of what he’s saying, but before he can ask what’s happened, Potter’s nodding eagerly.

“Yeah, yours sounds great.”

“Great, now if you leave fir…” Draco trails off, realising what Potter’s just said. Yours as in His as in Draco’s . Draco’s invited Potter round to his place, and yes it’s just so they can fuck tonight but still.


“I’ll go first as it’s my place, make up some shit about work tomorrow as no-one can question it due to me being an Unspeakable.” He’s not entirely sure if this the worst idea he’s ever had, but for some reason he’s not backing down. Draco blames mixing Potter and alcohol.

“Do you use that line a lot then?” Potter asks. Draco bites his lip and shrugs, and Potter lets out a humourless laugh. “Fucking hell, you’ve used it on me, haven’t you?”

“I’ll make it up to you,” Draco promises, squeezing Potter’s thigh one more time. He pulls a pen from his pocket and scrawls his Floo address onto a napkin for Potter before sliding out of his seat to make excuses to his friends. He doesn’t have to lie much, Pansy knows exactly what kind of shit the Unspeakable department is going to be in when The Prophet drops their article, and so it’s not long until Draco’s waiting in his apartment, regretting every decision that has led him to this moment.

He’s letting this thing with Potter draw out too long, he’s letting their lives become too entangled. Draco doesn’t date. He doesn’t do relationships, and yet he can’t seem to walk away from Potter. Ever since the day they’d met their roots had started to entwine, growing over each other, seeking each other out. Draco and Potter always end up drawn back together in the end and Draco knows this. He’s terrified of this.

He knows he needs to cut Potter lose. Potter had told him from the get go that he’d come with strings, strings that had wound their way around Draco until he was so caught up in them that he couldn’t see a way out. What scared him the most was the fact he didn’t want to see a way out.

He shouldn’t let Potter into his home. He should stop Potter at the Floo, send him home and stop this thing once and for all.

However, when Potter stumbles through the Floo, grinning from ear to ear, his crooked teeth and dimple on full display, and says, “I want you in your bed,” Draco finds himself unable to do little but be drawn in by Potter’s searing kiss, and lead Potter into his room.


Draco runs his fingers down Potter’s back, across the sharp jut of his shoulder blades, down to rest on the dimple at the bottom of Potter’s spine. Draco loves Potter's back, the broad planes and sloping lines. He particularly likes the small splotchy birthmark just below Potter's neck that the end of his hair just about covers. Draco brushes Potter’s hair aside and kisses the mark, smiling against Potter’s skin as Potter shifts and lets out a content sigh.

It’s a strange thing, having Potter in his bed, and what’s even stranger is how much Draco likes the sight of it. He likes Potter sprawled out naked on his expensive sheets, a blissed out smile on his face from their latest round. Potter’s been here since Friday night and it’s now nine am on Sunday and Draco’s loath to kick him out just yet.

They’d spent yesterday on Draco’s sofa ordering pizza for a late breakfast and then Chinese for supper. They’d only ended up having sex twice, and spent most of the day in easy silence or chatting away about their lives, slowly stripping back the walls around them and baring the intimacy underneath.

Draco thinks he should be terrified, but he’s not.

He wonders if it’s The Harry Potter effect , a foolhardy bravery that comes with spending too much time with Potter. Draco likes blaming Potter for things.

Another perk to staying inside is they haven’t heard a word about The Prophet’s article, and since Draco hasn’t heard from Croaker or Theo, he presumes it’s all been handled. Draco wouldn’t be surprised if Croaker had forced The Prophet’s hand and pulled the article. Or maybe edited it so that it was simply another heroic feat by Harry Potter, rather than a cock up by the Unspeakables.

“Hungry,” Potter declares, turning his face so he’s looking at Draco, his face lined with pillow creases.

Draco smiles at the sight, and says, “And?”

“Feed me.”

“Sorry, did that orgasm take away your ability to speak in anything but monosyllabic words?” Draco asks sweetly.

“You're not that good,” Potter says.

“Not what you said earlier,” Draco says, “What was it again? Something about how I’m the best you’ve ever had?”

“Cocky shit,” Potter mutters, but he doesn’t dispute it. Draco doesn’t tell Potter that he’s the best Draco’s ever had too. Continual one-night stands meant that no-one's ever had the chance to learn Draco’s body in the way Potter has the last couple of months. Potter knows how to turn Draco on with the smallest of touches, how to reduce him to a babbling mess with his mouth and how to make him come undone.

Draco had been naive to think it was only Potter’s magic that was powerful. Everything about him is.

“So what do you fancy to eat?” Draco asks.

“What do you have?”

“Some leftover duck pancakes?”

Potter wrinkles his nose. “How about just actual pancakes?”

“I don’t have the mix.”

Potter pauses, rolling over so he’s fully facing Draco. “We could go out to get them, I know a place that does the best pancakes in London.”

“You’re thinking too small.”

Potter raises his eyebrows. “How?”

Draco smiles, propping himself up on one elbow so he’s gazing down at Potter. “I know a place that does the best crepes in Paris.”

Potter laughs. “You’re joking?”

Draco shakes his head. “Nope, you’ll love them.”

“You want to go to Paris?” Potter asks slowly as if waiting for Draco to spook.

Draco nods. “Of course, if we’re having pancakes we ought to do it properly.”

Potter leans in and brushes his lips against Draco’s before pulling back and staring at him. He’s smiling a tiny smile that seems more intimate than anything else Draco’s seen from him.

“I’ve got to go home and get dressed first.”

“I’ve got to inform Croaker that I’m leaving the country for the day so I’ll pop over to the Ministry and sort our Portkey through the Unspeakable channel,” Draco says.

“You’re so important,” Potter deadpans. Draco swats his arse as he climbs out of bed, rolling his eyes as Potter grins at him. “Sexy Unspeakable Malfoy.”

“Oh fuck off,” Draco sighs, but he’s smiling too as he climbs out of bed. “Meet me in my office when you’re ready.”

“I think this is the first time you’ve ever invited me to your office.”

“And yet, how many times have you turned up?”

Potter just laughs and kisses Draco goodbye before Apparating home. Draco takes a moment to appreciate the lingering feel of Potter’s magic that remains before getting dressed and Flooing into work to speak to Croaker.

When Draco walks into his office, Potter’s already there, leaning against his desk. He’s dressed in a nice pair of fitted jeans and a leather jacket thrown over his white tee. All Potter’s clothes are starting to hug more now that it’s been five months since he was an Auror in action, but Draco likes the way the leather hugs Potter’s build like it was meant for him. 

“All sorted?” Potter asks. He’s smiling as if he can’t quite believe they’re doing this.

Draco waves the paperweight at him. “Yep, we’ll be coming back at nine, so we get a solid day there.”

“Will we be able to see the Eiffel Tower?” Potter asks, a childlike gleam of hope in his eyes. “I’ve never been travelling.”

“We can see the Eiffel Tower,” Draco says, “and when we’ve got more free time we could always go back… if that would interest you,” he adds, panicking he’s overstepped the line.

“That sounds a lot like a plan for the future,” Potter says, failing to sound innocent.

Draco rolls the paperweight in his hand, the sharp edges digging into his palm. “The sex is too good for me to walk away from right now.”

From the way Potter smiles at him, Draco knows that Potter knows exactly what he’s confessing.

The day passes in a blur of crisp colours, tasty food, and easy smiles. Draco doesn’t know who he’s trying to fool anymore as he walks around Paris, Potter’s hand clasped in his as Potter gazes around, his face alight. There’s such unbridled joy as Potter takes in just a sample of Parisian sights that Draco can’t help but pull him close and kiss him until they’re both breathless in the middle of the street and receiving judgmental looks from the passing French locals. Draco doesn’t care what they think of him as he kisses Potter again and again, until Potter catches sight of another bakery and drags Draco over to check it out.

They spend most of the day eating, starting with the crepes Draco had promised Potter, ending in a market overflowing with cheese and fresh bread. Potter buys a box of macaroons for Granger and a box of éclairs for Weasley. Draco tries to talk him out of buying one of the paintings from the artists along the Seine, to no avail — he also fails to talk Potter out of buying a fridge magnet, an I Heart Paris top, an Eiffel Tower paperweight, and a baguette-shaped bottle opener.

“I want to remember today,” Potter tells him firmly, and who is Draco to argue with that? And if he ends up buying a small silver Eiffel Tower paperweight of his own to remember the day, well that’s nobody's business but his own.

Draco had pulled a couple of strings when speaking to Croaker, because here in Paris, Potter can’t just smile and get them into the elusive and exclusive Wizarding restaurant at the top of the Eiffel Tower. Draco, however, with his status as an International Unspeakable Operative can get them in, and so they arrive at the top, their guide leading them through what looks like an abandoned back door, but emerges into a beautiful restaurant.

It’s a feat of Wizarding engineering that this restaurant exists, seeing as it occupies the same space as the Muggle restaurant, however, this place is better. Draco should know, he’s dined in both.

The windows stretch from floor to ceiling leaving an unparalleled view of Paris at night that has Potter gasping beside him. The ceiling is charmed to look like glass as well so they’re staring up at the antenna of the Eiffel tower and the stars above them — there’s a spell to bypass Muggle light pollution. Floating candles flicker, never too bright and never too dark, but casting a beautiful golden glow around the room that catches on the white tablecloths and silver cutlery. In the corner, string instruments are is charmed to play themselves while a witch sings, her voice alluring and lovely.

“Draco,” Potter breathes, his face exquisite. The gold lighting illuminates his skin, and makes his eyes burn. The shadows slope off his high cheek bones, and he’s utterly marvellous. He’s utterly Draco’s. “How?”

Draco shrugs. “You’re not the only big shot here.”

Potter laughs, and a stern-looking house-elf guides them to their table by the window. Potter’s gazing outside, taking in the view, so Draco appoints himself to order a bottle of champagne for them.

“This is too much,” Potter says.

Draco panics that he’s overdone it, but Potter turns back to him, a warm smile on his face. “I wanted to show you a good time,” Draco says.

“You just wanted to show off your connections,” Potter teases. Draco knows he means thank you for today.

“What’s the point of risking my arse if I can’t get a nice dinner out of it?” Draco means anything for you and wonders if Potter knows it.

When they finally get back to Draco’s they collapse into Draco’s bed, and Potter shows Draco just how grateful he is. When they're done Draco's senses are on overdrive for Potter, his heart pounding in his chest because he’s falling for him and there’s nothing he can do to stop it.

Draco lies there with Potter in his arms and knows that if he were braver, this would be the point where he tells Potter that he was right, and that they were never casual. Potter had put his heart on the line from the beginning with that confession, but Draco had kept his wrapped up behind layers of protection.

Draco has no qualms risking his life in the field, but the thought of risking his heart paralyses him.


They’re in Potter’s sitting room, the TV on in the background when the call comes for Draco.

Potter’s sat reading over another letter from McGonagall discussing the possibility of him teaching Defence at Hogwarts the next coming school year. His hair is damp from a shower, curling at the ends and his glasses are balanced precariously on the end of his nose. Draco’s sprawled out in the sofa, his head in Potter’s lap, wearing a pair of Potter’s stupid joggers reading a delightful, non-work related novel.

Potter starts at the crow patronus that materialises in front of them, and Draco wants to bury his head into Potter’s lap and cry because not now, he’s finally building something. It’s too tentative and fragile for Draco to leave, but he’s going to have to because he’d know the patronus of the Head Unspeakable of International Relationships anywhere.

“Unspeakable Malfoy,” the crow says, Unspeakable Lance’s voice even and firm. Potter’s hand wraps around Draco’s arm as if to stop him leaving. Draco doesn’t have a choice. “You’re required to report to the Department of Mysteries within the next hour, a classified owl is waiting at your residence to give you the details you require before this meeting.”

All hope Draco had been clinging to sinks away. He’s leaving. He’d known this day would be coming, but he’d been hoping it would take longer. He’s only been back in England for three months, three precious months with Potter, and now Draco’s got to leave again.

“What does this mean?” Potter presses. Potter was an Auror, he knows what this means.

“I’m unsure yet,” Draco says slowly, pulling himself up from the sofa. He doesn’t want to leave Potter’s touch, but he has to. He remembers why he doesn’t do relationships.


“I can’t answer your questions,” Draco says, his voice monotone. He sounds like the rulebook. “I won’t be able to tell you where I’m going or for how long.”

“Will you be able to write to me while you’re gone?”

Draco chews on his lip. He knows some Operatives do write to their significant others or family while they’re away. Draco’s never had someone to write to before. His father’s in Azkaban and his mother’s dead. There’s never been anyone to really worry about him. His friends just accept it’s his job, and that he’ll let them know when he’s home safely.

He’s never had someone look at him the way Potter is now.

“I don’t know, it depends on the security level.”

“Will you try?” Potter presses, his mouth twisting into a firm line as if he knows exactly what’s going on through Draco’s head.

Draco shrugs. He needs to leave. He’ll have to pack up the few belongings he’ll feel he needs after reading the briefing and then report to Croaker. He’ll be out of the country before midnight tonight.

He’s been gone a year before with just as little notice. He can’t just expect Potter to sit around waiting for him.

He’s been a fool to think he could let this work. Potter’s always made him stupid.

“Will you try?” Potter repeats.

“I need to go,” Draco says. They both know it’s a cowards answer.

“Don’t you fucking dare just walk away from me,” Potter snaps. His face is burning with righteous indignation and Draco wants to apologise, but the words are stagnant on his tongue, so he stays silent. “Do you know how fucking unfair it would be on me if you just leave now?”

“I have to leave.”

“You don’t have to leave like this,” Potter says.


“I fucking like you, Draco,” Potter says, stepping closer to Draco. Draco wonders if there’s something fucked in his head with how gorgeous he thinks Potter looks when he’s angry. “And don’t tell me to call you Malfoy, because I stopped thinking of you as Malfoy so long ago. I have to remind myself not to slip up and call you Draco because otherwise I’m worried you’ll panic and run for the hills.”


“Harry,” Potter says, “my name is Harry.”

“Harry,” Draco says, hating how good Potter’s name feels in his mouth. “I really do have to go.”

“Is this what you do every time?” Potter demands. “Do you just run away when your feelings get too much? Because you can’t lie to me Draco, you like me. I like you. This stopped being a fuck so long ago.”

I know that! Draco wants to yell, instead he sighs. “What do you want me to say?”

“I want you to admit that there are strings attached, that there were always strings attached,” Potter says. He’s not looking away from Draco and so Draco doesn’t look away from him. “Because if you can’t say that, I’m going to need you to let me go.”


“Tell me there are strings attached or when you come home, don’t come find me.”

Draco can’t think straight because there’s a ringing in his ears as he doesn’t date. He doesn’t get attached to people. However, there’s no denying he’s head over heels for Harry Potter and the thought of coming home to an empty room makes Draco want to collapse onto the floor. The thought of never seeing Potter in those stupid joggers, of never hearing Potter singing as he wanders around the kitchen, of not kissing that stupid smile after Potter makes a dumb joke… all of it makes Draco realise that not telling Potter that he held Draco’s heart had done nothing to protect it. He’s stripped raw anyway.

“Just go,” Potter sighs, sitting back down on the sofa. “Good luck with your mission.”

Draco’s a highly trained Unspeakable who thrives under pressure in the field, but that doesn’t stop him from Apparating home on the spot.

He hates himself as he reads Croaker’s owl. Predicted time away is two months. In Norway, dealing with a liege of witches who are working with natural magic and twisting it for their own benefit. Draco packs up his bag of stuff and Floos over to his office, forcing himself to keep focused on work. He has to do his job.

His job has been his life ever since he was accepted into the programme and Draco loves it. However, as he stares around his office, he starts to realise that he’s been happier in these three months with Potter than he’s been for a long time. Potter hadn’t been a missing piece in his life, but he’d brought something extra to it. Something extra that Draco doesn’t want to lose.

He’s late arriving in Croaker’s office in the end, but he can’t bring himself to regret his detour to the Department owlery. Especially as he thinks about the small grey owl currently flying over London to Potter’s house, carrying an envelope with a simple note inside.

There were always strings attached.



Draco’s exhausted by the time he finally steps out of the Floo and back into his flat. He’s been running on fumes for the last two days with the arrests of the witches’ coven and the paperwork that’s followed it. He’d hoped to escape the Ministry as soon as his Portkey had arrived, but he’d instead been dragged into Croaker’s office for a full report. More coffee than he can count and eight painful hours later, Draco had bid them all farewell, stopping by his office to inform Bertie that he’d be taking the next two days off to sleep. Bertie had just smiled at him and hurried him home.

A part of Draco wants to give Harry a call — he’s spent the last two months in Norway getting used to thinking of him as Harry — but he’s too tired to face the possibility that his letter was too little too late.

Draco had written to Harry over the two months, short letters filled with droll nonsense and a few confessions of the heart — he’d never realised how hard it is to write to someone when you can't talk about what you’re doing and they can’t reply. He doesn’t know if Harry’s even been reading his letters, he could have been throwing them in the bin for all Draco knows. However, Harry had asked Draco to write and so write Draco had.

He hopes Harry has read them.

It’s at about that moment he realises that his flat doesn’t smell stale in the same way it usually does after he returns from a mission. There’s a lingering smell of cooked food and Draco realises in his tired stupor he’d originally failed to note that the lights were on — what an Unspeakable he makes… He pulls his wand from his holster, placing his bag onto the floor.

Someone is in his flat.

The cheerful hum of the wireless drifts from the kitchen along with the sound of a husky voice singing along. Draco can’t quite believe it.

Stalking across his sitting room to the kitchen, Draco freezes in the doorway at the sight of messy dark hair tied up in a top knot — Harry seems to have trimmed it since Draco’s been gone — and a familiar pair of joggers hanging low enough to reveal the top band of black boxers.

“Harry?” Draco says because he feels that if he doesn’t ground the image it will vanish somehow.

Harry drops the dish he’s holding into the soapy water. Draco doesn’t even have it in him to care.

“What are you doing here?” Draco asks, but Harry doesn’t answer him, he just strides across the room and pulls Draco into a kiss so deep that Draco feels he may never surface from it. He’d happily drown in Harry’s kiss if he could.

Draco clings to Harry’s shoulders because he’s home and he’s safe and somehow Harry fucking Potter is here waiting for him because Draco didn’t screw it all up. Harry still wants him, still wants whatever it is that they have. Strings and all.

“How?” Draco asks when Harry pulls back briefly. He can’t quite get his mind wrapped around it.

“Been hounding your secretary Bertie ever since I got your fucking note to let me know when you returned — I got all your letters by the way — and then I was up at Hogwarts today speaking to McGonagall about maybe running a few classes in practice for next year — I got the job by the way — and this bunny patronus appeared announcing your return, and well I Flooed straight here, and luckily you’d forgotten to block my Floo access while you were away. And so I was waiting and waiting, and then decided to cook — been on a cooking course with Gin the last couple months, and I’m fucking brilliant now if I do say so myself, but who cares about that because you’re here.” Harry decides he’s done babbling and kisses Draco again, just as desperately as before.

Draco kisses back, Harry’s words washing over him. Harry’s been waiting for him to get home. Harry got his note and his letters. Harry came straight to Draco’s flat to see him.

“I didn’t forget,” Draco whispers into the kiss.

Harry pulls back and Draco tightens his grip on Harry’s shoulders so that Harry can’t go anywhere. Harry gives him a soft peck before asking, “What?”

“I didn’t forget,” Draco repeats. “I didn’t forget to change your Floo access.”

Harry gapes at him for a second and then they’re kissing again, and Draco’s not sure who is dragging who to the bedroom but he thinks if they’re not naked in a minute that he’ll combust.

“I made us burgers and chips,” Harry pants, kicking open Draco’s bedroom door and pushing Draco onto the bed. “We can have them when we’re done.”

“Sounds fantastic,” Draco agrees, reaching out and gripping Harry’s hips pulling him between his legs. “However, right now all I want to talk about is you fucking me.”

“Yeah?” Harry asks, pulling his shirt over his head.

Draco leans forward and presses a kiss to Harry’s soft stomach. “Yes,” he says, “because I’m exhausted and have just saved the world again, meaning I’m going to need you to do all the work.”

Harry grins and Draco kisses his stomach again, his hands on Harry’s hips. “My hero.”

“That’s right.” Draco laughs, “and unlike you I don’t feel the need to brag about it.”

Harry rolls his eyes, carding his hands through Draco’s hair. “‘Course not.”

Draco smiles up at Harry, tugging on his joggers and pulling Harry’s body down on top of his. They’re impatient in kicking their clothes off, desperate for the sensation of skin against skin after two months apart.

“No time for teasing,” Draco groans.

Harry takes Draco’s words to heart, kissing down his neck like a man on a mission.

“I want you." Harry's words are warm against his skin.

Draco lays back, his hair fanning around his head — he’s in desperate need of a haircut — and stares up at Harry, his chest heaving. Harry stares back at him like Draco is something special, like Harry’s lucky to be the one to see Draco in this state. Draco can’t believe that he ever for a second considered walking away from the man in front of him.

“Harry,” is all he can say, and thankfully it’s all he needs to say as Harry’s lining himself up, casting a Protection spell and pushing in.

Neither of them move, the only sound in Draco’s flat is their breathing, although Draco feels he can hear his heart beating as well.

Draco reaches up, one hand trailing up Harry’s chest, feeling the pounding sensation of Harry’s heart for a moment before continuing it’s journey until he’s cradling Harry’s face. Draco wants everything Harry will give him, and wants to give Harry everything he can.

Draco moves his legs, wrapping them around Harry’s waist and clenching. Harry grins, shaking his head and it’s the only warning Draco gets before Harry starts to fuck him in earnest, his earlier patience evaporating.

Harry sets a hard and unforgiving rhythem that Draco welcomes. After three months of fucking Harry non-stop, Draco had been frustrated as hell being locked up in a shitty flat with Unspeakable Barnes. There had been a time when Draco might have convinced Barnes to go a round or two with no strings attached, but he hadn’t been able to think of anything but Harry.

He’s been exclusively about Harry ever since Harry ran into his life that day in the library. Foolish, reckless, powerful, and filled to the brim with loyalty for his loved ones.

Draco’s nails drag down Harry’s back and it’s not long before Harry’s thrusts are becoming erratic and Draco’s rambling words that he’s not even sure belong to the English dictionary, but it doesn’t matter because Harry’s hitting his prostate and one of his calloused hands is wrapped around Draco’s dick, and then Draco’s coming — coming hard and seeing stars as he moans Harry’s name, and only moments later Harry’s coming too.

They collapse in a sticky heap on the bed, and Draco feels another Cleaning Spell wash over him before he’s falling asleep, face pressed into the crook of Harry’s neck.

He wakes up, however many hours later, an arm flung across Harry’s crotch. Harry is sat up picking at a plate of burger and chips that smells incredible. Draco can’t remember the last time he ate.

“Your plate is next to you,” Harry says as if reading Draco’s mind. “It’s under a Stasis Spell.”

Draco lets out a content sigh, and rolls over to grab at a chip, dipping it in the sauce and popping it in his mouth. “Fucking brilliant,” he moans around the chip.

Harry smiles. “Told ya. Gin was bored of me moping around so decided we both ought to join up for a cooking course. Homemade burgers and chips just for you.”

Draco sits up and places the plate on his lap. “You moped?”

“Apparently.” Harry shrugs. “I mean what else was I supposed to do? The guy I’m seeing vanishes for however many months to Merlin-knows-where on a job after we have a huge fight, and the only proof I have that the relationship isn’t over is a bloody note.”

“I sent you letters,” Draco says, eating another chip.

Harry’s face softens. “Yeah, you did. Wish I could have written back, though.”

“Me too,” Draco says. They eat in silence for a bit before Draco says, “That’s always going to be my job though, you know that, right.”

Harry takes a bite of his burger and chews. “I know.” Draco waits for him to continue speaking. “I know you love your job, and I wouldn’t ask you to change anything about it.”

Draco lets out a breath he didn’t know he was holding.

“I like you enough to work around it,” Harry says, meeting Draco’s eyes and daring him to disagree.

“What happens if I’m taken off for a year? It’s happened in the past,” Draco says, because he feels he has to let Harry know what they’re getting in for.

Harry just shrugs. “Then that happens and we figure out how to work through it.”

Draco can’t figure out if Harry’s faith in them is naive or empowering. He feels himself beginning to believe it could work, despite it all.

This, he thinks, is how Harry Potter inspired a world in the war, with unflinching faith and steadfast belief that things were worth fighting for.

“I’ve never been in a relationship before,” Draco warns.

Harry scoffs. “You don’t say.” Draco opens his mouth but Harry keeps speaking. “I’m still not asking for a wedding ring.”

Draco rolls his eyes at the repetition of their earlier conversation. He knows just like he did last time that he’s going to end up staying with Harry. He couldn’t walk away if he tried anymore — Norway cemented that for him.

“Then what are you asking?”

Harry smiles, and Draco finds himself grinning stupidly back at him. “I’m asking that we give us a proper go.”

“Strings attached?” Draco teases. Harry laughs in response, and leans over to kiss Draco. Harry tastes like hamburger and ketchup and Draco’s sure he’s the same, but he finds he doesn’t care at all as Harry whispers against his lips:

“Strings attached.”