Coming back for an 8th year at Hogwarts had its advantages. One of those advantages was getting to share a dorm room with Harry Potter. It didn't seem advantageous at first. Draco was sure Harry would hex him as soon as they were behind closed doors, speaking for him and his mother during the trials or not, he was sure Harry hated his guts. Turns out Harry Potter was as noble as Draco always thought he was and suggested a truce. This was where the advantage started making its self-apparent. Having a truce with Harry meant that everyone who wanted to hex him, scream at him, or beat him to a bloody pulp, couldn't and wouldn't. They all followed Harry's word to leave Draco alone, like the proper little sycophants they were.
Another advantage was getting to see Harry in all of his bronzed half naked glory every morning. His hair a bigger disaster than usual, only making Draco want to run his fingers through it more. His eyes glassy, not fully adjusted to the light of the morning streaming in through their window, and his wonderfully fit and tanned chest fully on display. Thinking more about it Draco wonders if maybe those facts aren't an advantage. Because nothing good will come of his crush on Harry being brought back to life in full force.
The truce with Harry- which led to a sort of acquaintance with Harry, had led to a genuine friendship with Harry. Which was great for Draco when it came to picking partners in the newly mandatory Muggle Studies class. Draco had no idea about anything muggle and having Harry gladly partner with him for class projects helped greatly. Harry helping him with muggle lectronicks was fascinating. The things muggles came up with to make life without magic easier for them was simply amazing. Telly fones and telly visions were genius, Draco was quickly becoming obsessed with movies, and it was a bonus that whenever he said muggle words it made Harry smile.
Now they were covering kitchen appliances and cooking. Harry told him it would probably be a lot like potions to him, so he should be a natural at it. Draco wasn't so sure. The mixers and the loud box with all the buttons were much different than a cauldron over a flame.
"You'll do fine Draco, none of this stuff is any different from the other things we learned about. It's mostly just chopping up and mixing ingredients then cooking them." Harry said. He had a faraway look on his face and he didn't seem as excited about cooking as he did during other lessons. He was normally buzzing, ready to show Draco how everything worked and then smiling his bright beautiful smile when Draco would try to do it himself.
Getting their assignments and going to their cooking station it was apparent that Harry really didn't want to do the lesson. He set about showing Draco how to follow a simple recipe and turning on the oven. There were more loud buttons. Really couldn't muggles make things quieter? When Draco said this out loud trying to get Harry to laugh all he got in return was barely a glance and shrug of the shoulders. Weird.
Draco watched Harry cook and it looked like he knew what he was doing. "Harry, I thought you said this was like potions, you are really good at this and pants at potions." Draco said as he watched Harry chop fruit and fold it into their pastry. Harry's face darkened more than it already was, and he aggressively started to roll the dough. Draco decided to leave him alone after that, he wasn't a fan of making Harry angry anymore.
Meal finished and cooling on a side table the two cleaned up their work station before the end of class. Harry had been giving Draco the silent treatment during the entire lesson almost. He barely said anything once they started cooking besides the random commands. "Hand me that whisk, Malfoy. No, the metal one. No, the oval shaped one. Merlin I'll get it." Or "Malfoy cut up these herbs, the size isn't important, just chop them finely and add them in."
"You're good at cooking, did your muggles teach you?" Draco asked trying to get more than a grunt or shrug of the shoulders out of Harry.
He sighed and looked over a Draco and grunted. Draco narrowed his eyes at him. Honestly, what was shoved up Harry's arse today?
"Did the muggles who raised you teach you how to cook, or did you watch those cooking shows on the telly vision?" Draco tried again feeling pleased when he saw the small smile Harry gave him after mentioning telly visions.
"My aunt taught me, if you can call it that." Harry answered. "But I much prefer cooking the wizarding way. Mrs. Weasley taught me how to make treacle tart with simple charm work." Harry looked away from Draco and smiled before continuing, "I really don't see the importance of cooking the muggle way. It's not like the other stuff where you would need to have a basic understanding about it to blend into the muggle word. Unless you want to run off and be a muggle chef. Do you want to go join the muggle world and be a muggle chef, Malfoy?" Harry asked ending in more of a growl than words, he only called Draco “Malfoy” when he was particularly tetchy. Draco looked at Harry with wide eyes and his mouth gaping open. When Harry looked back at Draco he looked angry, he had a sort of fire in his eyes Draco hadn't seen since he was fighting in the war. It was terrifying and yet intriguing. "Yeah I didn’t think so. I'll never cook the muggle way again, honestly."
"I didn't know you felt so strongly about muggle cooking, no need to get so angry with me about it, I was simply just asking how you learned since you seem to know what you're doing. Even more so than Granger over there does." Draco said pointing towards where Hermione and Pansy were still working on their assignment. Pansy looked bored out of her mind and Hermione was looking from the directions in her muggle cook book to the pan in the oven.
"Yeah well Hermione didn't grow up being forced to cook every meal and being scolded or hit with frying pans if something was done wrong or got burnt." Harry grit out every word through clenched teeth. Then it seemed like he realized what he just told Draco and wanted to run out of the room. "Can we just drop it Draco? I don't like cooking the muggle way is all, I did enough of it growing up."
Draco was shocked, he had heard Harry didn't like his muggle relatives and that they weren't particularly kind people, but he didn't think it was that bad. Draco started to think back to the too thin boy he met in Madam Malkin's, Harry was so small and skinny and was swimming in muggle clothes that were much too big for him. Watching him across the Great Hall as he shoveled in food like a starving dog, how every year when they all returned to Hogwarts Harry always looked too thin. Did those filthy muggles not let him eat the food they were forcing him to cook? Draco suddenly realized he was shaking and shoved his hands in his pockets. Harry was looking at him curiously, what was he expecting. Draco was speechless what was he supposed to say, he couldn't think of anything other than how he wanted to find those muggles and toss them in a cell in Azkaban with Greyback. He didn't think Harry would appreciate that, no matter how horrible his muggles were.
Thankfully the horribly heavy silence was broken by the lesson ending and Draco grabbed his bag and left the room without looking back. His eyes started to sting, and he knew he needed to get out of there before he did something he would regret. Like vow to protect and take care of Harry for the rest of his life by making sure he never wants for anything and never had to do anything he didn't want to ever again.
Draco avoided Harry for the rest of the day. He felt quite proud of himself, he could feel those green eyes looking at him but never glanced back. It was all in vain though since they shared a dorm room, Draco couldn't avoid him forever. The problem was he still didn't know what to say to him. "I'm sorry your muggles were horrible monsters. Let me feed them to Greyback."? There were plenty of things he wanted to say but he was sure Harry wouldn't appreciate them. “I love you and want to hire a tribe of house elves to make your every meal, so you never have to cook or go hungry again.”? Probably not.
Draco was expecting it, for Harry come bursting into their room, but it still made him jump near a foot off his bed when he finally did.
"We need to talk." Harry said as he threw his bag down on his side of the room. Draco could tell he was nervous, he never tossed his things around carelessly unless he was feeling out of sorts. Harry kept his side of the room much neater than Draco kept his own. He knew what Harry wanted to talk about, his accidental admittance during Muggle Studies, but Draco wasn’t ready for that. He was sure Harry could see his emotions written across his face clear as day. Since rooming with Harry, it was becoming harder and harder to hide his feelings, but it seemed like he didn’t have much of a choice.
“About what exactly do we need to talk about?” Draco asked, trying to sound calm and not terrified beyond reason.
“About what I said in Muggle Studies. That’s not something anyone really knows about me, besides Ron and Hermione. I don’t want it getting out that I was forced to cook or anything while I lived with my relatives. It will get all around the school and the Prophet will want to write about it and I just don’t want any of that. I moved past it I want to move on with my life, move forward. I don’t want to have to have a constant reminder of how shitty my childhood was, because you know people will obsess over this. I just don’t need you telling people or making fun of me with your friends and one of them telling someone else and I just…” Harry stopped he was pacing the room with his eyes anywhere and everywhere but Draco.
Draco wanted to shake him, he was rambling, another thing he did when he was nervous. Over the months being friends with Harry he had learned that its best to not interrupt him and just let him naturally run out of steam. Draco was trying to stay calm, Harry honestly thought Draco was going to tell someone about this, he would never- okay so his past is against him in this and his 14-year-old self would be skipping to the Prophet to give them this story, but now? He would rather lock himself in the toilets with Moaning Myrtle than to hurt Harry like that.
“I haven’t told anyone, Harry.” Draco said quietly, slowly moving towards him, “and I wasn’t going to tell anyone, you really think I would do that to you? That I would do that to the person that I-“ Draco stopped almost swallowing his tongue when he realized what he almost said. He felt so out of control with emotion. He was hurting for Harry and he was angry for Harry and he was angry with himself for once being the person who would have done what Harry was fearing now.
Harry’s eyes stopped scanning the room avoiding Draco and looked at him searchingly. All his anger and nerves seemed to seep out of him at once and he looked not a little hopeful. “The person that you… what were you going to say?” Harry asked.
Draco could feel himself blushing and there was no way Harry wasn’t going to notice with his complexion. He had no idea what to say, he was really hoping Harry didn’t catch his slip up.
“I was going to say the person that I am friends with.” He said, a feeling of relief rushing through him, he wasn’t a Slytherin for nothing. It wasn’t a lie, he wouldn’t do that to a friend. While Draco felt relieved Harry looked crestfallen. That was odd, why would that make Harry upset, they were friends, Draco thought to himself.
Harry moved took a few steps away from Draco and let out a self-depreciating laugh, “Right. That makes sense, of course you wouldn’t. I shouldn’t have assumed that- “
“Assumed what, Potter? That I would run out and tell everyone about your horrible past with your horrible muggles?” Draco seethed. He hasn’t called Harry “Potter” in months but he was livid, and now he was pacing their room. He couldn’t believe Harry would think that about him now. He thought they understood each other better now, that Harry knew him better than that. His eyes were mysteriously stinging again, he wanted to run from the room, but it was past curfew and he didn’t want to be stuck in their common room.
“What?! Draco no! Of course not, I was just- I mean I thought maybe you would let it slip to Pansy or something but not intentionally!” Harry said moving toward Draco stepping into the path he was wearing into the carpet.
“I wouldn’t even do that. We’re friends now, I wouldn’t share something like that with anyone.” Draco said as he stopped walking and stood in front of Harry.
“Right, friends.” Harry said quietly.
“Is there something wrong with that? Being friends?” Draco asked.
Harry’s eyes were dancing around the room once again, he opened his mouth to talk but closed it and swallowed. Draco watched him become more and more nervous wondering what could make him so uneasy.
“There’s nothing wrong with being friends, it’s great actually I just thought that…” Harry stopped finally looking at Draco with a crease in his brow.
Without thinking Draco reached out and ran his thumb between his eyebrows smoothing it out. Harry gasped and licked his lips.
“What are you doing?” He whispered.
Draco pulled his hand away as though he was burnt, he hadn’t meant to reach out and touch him like that, it just happened, just like when he couldn’t keep his stupid mouth shut, he couldn’t control himself.
“I don’t know, I’m sorry.” Draco said taking a step back.
Harry grabbed his wrist to stop him from moving away. “Wait, s’okay. I- I don’t mind. Um- is that really what you were going to say earlier? That you wouldn’t do that to someone who you were friends with?” Harry asked. His thumb was rubbing small circles on Draco’s wrist and he could feel his pulse speeding up.
What was he supposed to say to that? He could lie again, but it almost seemed like Harry knew what he was going to say, and he wanted him to say it, that maybe he felt the same way. It felt like a million snitches were just let loose in his stomach and he felt a great amount of hope bloom inside of his chest.
“Not exactly.” Draco said, looking from the wrist in Harry’s hand up to his face. His eyes were bright, and he was smiling while biting at his bottom lip.
“Then, you wouldn’t do that to the person who you… what?” Harry asked.
“I wouldn’t do that to the person that I- um,” Draco started. This was harder than he thought it would be. It was just spilling out earlier, he should have let it, because he wasn’t sure if he would be able to say it now. Draco took a deep breath and started again, vowing to just get it over with. “I wouldn’t do that to the person that I love.”
He said it, it was done, and he wanted the floor to open up and swallow him whole. Did he have to be so extreme and say love he could have said like, or fancy, but oh no Draco Malfoy had to take it to the extreme and say love, it was the truth though, he bloody well loved Harry Potter. Harry Potter who was standing across from him, holding onto his wrist and not saying anything back to him. Harry Potter who had tears sitting on his cheeks and the biggest smile he had ever seen on his face.
“You love me?” He asked in disbelief.
“I- yes.” Draco answered.
“I think I- I think I love you too.” Harry laughed, wiping his eyes with his free hand.
“Since when?!” Draco almost yelled. This whole time, and Harry returned his feelings. Better late than never the muggles said, but Draco still felt a bit cheated. For how long? How long could he have had Harry how long has he been hiding his attraction and feelings for him for no reason?
“Um- well, I think since the war, when the snatchers brought us to the Manor, and you lied to protect me.” Harry said.
Draco couldn’t believe it. This whole year he could have openly been drooling all over Harry’s naked chest. He also couldn’t believe Harry thought Draco lied to protect him. It wasn’t entirely untrue, Draco couldn’t stomach handing Harry over to the Dark Lord. Still, he wasn’t supposed to know that!
“How- how long have you, um how long has it been for you?” Asked Harry. He was holding Draco’s hand now and they were almost chest to chest, Draco could feel the heat coming off him and almost feel his heart beat.
“Since, fourth year, I think. I mean one doesn’t spend hours making embarrassing buttons for just anyone.” Draco answered.
“Or climbing trees just to get their attention?” Harry teased, grabbing his other hand and moving that much closer.
“Yes, that too, I guess. Now that we have confessed our undying love to each other, can I feed your muggles to Greyback?” Draco asked. His nose was touching Harry’s, they were sharing each other’s breath, Draco wanted to kiss him so badly. Then Harry laughed and almost knocked their heads together nearly ruining the moment.
“I really appreciate the offer, but I like having you here with me and I wouldn’t want you getting thrown into Azkaban. Plus, you might have to beat Ron to my muggles he wants a piece of them too.” Harry nudged his nose against Draco’s, “I don’t want to talk about that though, we have a lot of time to make up for.
Kissing Harry was like catching the snitch for the first time multiplied by a million. There was nothing to compare it to. It was something Draco had wanted for so long but thought he could never have and now it was in his arms, snogging him as though his life depended on it. Draco felt like he was drowning in Harry and it was the best feeling in the world. His muggles could wait, maybe Draco would talk with the Weasel and they could come up with some great Slytherin and Gryffindor way to get them back. But for now, he had Harry’s mouth to think about, and as it lowered to bite and suck on Draco’s neck all other thoughts left his mind.