“So?” Pansy asks excitedly as she sits across from Draco. They’re in the library, two weeks into their ‘eighth year’, and Draco’s honestly surprised it’s taken her this long to ask. “What is it?”
“A snake.” It’s a well practiced lie by now. It’s what he’s told everyone except for Blaise, and even that took several deadpan looks from his best friend.
“A snake?” Pansy’s eyebrows draw together. “Do you’ve any idea who it might be?”
“A fellow Slytherin, obviously.” Blaise says smoothly. Draco shoots him a thankful look, and Blaise nods almost imperceptibly.
“What’s yours?” He asks Pansy.
“A magpie.” She wrinkles her nose, showing them the inside of her wrist. The magpie flutters happily for a few seconds. “I’ve no idea who it could be. Blaise?”
“A magpie, as well.” Blaise says. “Do you think we have the same soulmate?”
“Could be just similar people. Twins, maybe.” Draco says. “Triplets? Try finding someone else with a magpie, maybe you’ll be dating octuplets.”
Pansy hums thoughtfully.
“Have you read this?” Theodore Nott slaps down a copy of the Prophet, and the other three Slytherins raise their eyebrows.
Draco freezes at the headline.
“Why do we care what Harry Potter’s soul mark is?” Blaise drawls boredly, grabbing the paper and rolling it up.
“Hey! I was reading that!” Pansy complains.
“He’s nothing to do with any of us.” Blaise rolls his eyes.
“Knowledge is power.” Pansy shrugs.
“Power is power.” Draco says.
“Everything can be power.” Theo says. There’s a twinkling in his eyes Draco doesn’t like, and he continues. “If you know how to use it, and who to use it against. Right, Draco?”
Draco stares him down, but Theo’s smirking, and he’s always been a clever bastard, so Draco looks away first, wanting to avoid Theo learning something that Draco doesn’t want him to. Theo’s smile is pure triumph, and Draco figures looking away just gave Theo as much of an answer as saying it out loud would’ve.
“Is there something you want to ask me, Theo?” He asks, narrowing his eyes.
“Might be. Is there something you’ve to tell us?” Theo asks.
“Merlin, you two.” Blaise rolls his eyes. He hits Theo with the rolled up newspaper, and then Draco. They both glare.
“Can we just drop it?” Draco drawls. “We all said we were going to forget Potter this year, remember?”
“Yeah, yeah, whatever.” Pansy rolls her eyes. “Are you going to the party tonight?”
“No,” Draco says.
“Potter invited you,” Theo says, smirking.
“Potter invited everyone.” Draco rolls his eyes. It’s true, too. It’s in the name of ‘house unity’, if that’s even a thing, but Draco meant it when he said he was going to stay away from Potter this year. Soulmate or not, Potter and him have never managed to get along smoothly, and Draco can’t afford to get into any trouble right now.
“No, the Gryffindors invited everyone, but Potter invited you.” Theo says.
“Sod off.” Draco says. “I’m not special to Potter. He invited a bunch of people. And we barely even know each other.”
True, they hated each other for six years straight, but Draco doesn’t really know him, not anymore than Potter knows him.
Theo just smiles one of his knowing smiles and Draco nearly hexes him right then and there.
“And anyway, we’ve a ‘friendly’ Quidditch game tomorrow.” He says. “I’m supposed to be playing Seeker. Wouldn’t want to stay out too late.”
Pansy rolls her eyes and informs him that she is going and that he should put in some effort to get to know their classmates, but she doesn’t pester him about it any further.
He goes to sleep early that night, and manages not to think about the Quidditch game until he wakes up. He doesn’t want to go, but he thinks that he’s not in any position to turn down an olive branch, so he gets dressed and grabs his broom.
When he gets there, the only person there is Potter. Draco frowns.
“Are we the only ones coming?” he asks, because if they are, he’s leaving. He doesn’t want to be alone with Potter right now. He doesn’t want to be with Potter at all, because it just makes the fact that he can’t have him hurt more.
“Everyone was drinking, so we changed the time,” Potter says apologetically. “They won’t be here for a few hours. Nott was supposed to tell you. Must’ve forgotten.”
Draco knows better than to think anything Theo does is accidental.
“I’ll… come back, then.” He says.
“No, don’t.” Potter says quickly. His cheeks turn the slightest bit darker, and he clears his throat. “I mean, you can stay if you want. I was just going to fly around, warm up, but we can make it into a Seeker’s game.”
Draco hesitates, and Potter gives him a crooked grin.
“I won’t bite.”
When he sees that Draco’s still hesitating, he continues softly.
“I’m tired of fighting, yeah? You don’t have to be in love with me or anything, but I want us to get along.”
Merlin, why did he have to phrase it like that? The problem isn’t that Draco doesn’t want to be friends, it’s that he is in love with Potter, and Potter very clearly isn’t in love with
“I want us to get along, too.” He says softly, and isn’t that the understatement of the year?
Potter’s smile is blinding.
“Okay.” he says.
They fly for an hour and a half before either of them catches the snitch - Draco does, and Potter keeps grumbling that he let him win - and then Potter lands softly in the ground and gets off his broom.
“Getting tired, old man?” He taunts as he continues flying around.
“Shove off.” Potter laughs, actually laughs because of something Draco said. Draco might never be over this. “I’m just getting some water. And then we’re playing again, and this time I’m not letting you win.”
“You didn’t,” Draco says smugly. “I’m just a much better Seeker.”
Potter snorts and shakes his head, and goes to where he had a bottle of water and his wand. He drinks quickly - and Draco definitely does not follow the line of his throat or the bob of his Addam’s apple when he swallows - and then he’s taking his shirt off.
He’s taking his shirt off.
Potter is taking his shirt off.
Draco is mid-crisis when he catches sight of the soul mark on Potter’s back. It’s gorgeous, a gold and white dragon that contrasts perfectly with his dark skin. It takes up most of his back, reaching his neck and below the low waistband of the joggers he’s wearing.
Draco’s so concentrted in it that he doesn’t see the stands right in front of him until he crashes into them.
He hits the floor with a groan, hot, sharp pain shooting up his left leg, and Potter’s next to him faster than Draco thought was possible.
“Shit.” He says. “Are you okay?”
“Uh.” He’s not. His ankle’s burning with pain, but he’s momentarily forgotten how to form words. “Uh.”
Potter frowns worriedly. “Let me look at it.”
Draco’s still not processing, so he doesn’t remember that it’s where his soulmark is until Potter’s already uncovered it.
“Wait, no!” He says, but Potter’s already seen it.
He goes very still, and his eyes - Merlin, his gorgeous, gorgeous eyes - go wide.
“Uh.” Draco repeats for a third time. His ankle is still hurting greatly, but he yanks it - and shit, that hurts - away from Potter’s grip. “I’m fine. It’s fine. I’ll go find Pomfrey. It’ll be fine. Thanks Potter.”
And he leaves, as fast as his legs will allow him.
Sadly, that’s not very fast, at least not with a probably broken ankle, so Potter doesn’t have a very hard time catching up with him.
“Malfoy.” He says.
Draco ignores him.
Draco continues to ignore him.
Draco stops at the use of his first name, only to remember why he’s trying to run away in the first place, so he continues.
“Merlin, you git, you’re going to hurt yourself!” And suddenly, suddenly Potter’s carrying him bridal style.
Potter’s… surprisingly strong.
“Potter!” He yelps. “Put me down!”
“No!” The stubborn, scar-headed git, says. “You’re going to hurt yourself. And we have to talk about this, whether you like it or not.”
“We don’t have to talk about this.” Draco says, but when he sees Potter’s unwavering look, he sighs. “Merlin. Potter, I know you’re with the Weaslette, yeah? I won’t go around telling anyone that I’m your soulmate. It’s fine.”
Potter finally stops walking, and looks down at Draco affronted.
“What?” he asks. “That’s what you thought I wanted to say?”
Draco frowns. “Well, yeah.”
Potter shakes his head, and his frown deepens.
“No! I like you, you prat! I don’t want to hide this! The only reason I didn’t say anything before is because I didn’t know!”
Draco frowns. “How many people with names that mean ‘Dragon’ do you know?”
The tips of Potter’s ears go red.
“I hadn’t figured that out.” he says. Draco snorts, and Potter glares at him lightly - more out of compromise than anything else - and shakes his head. “That’s not the point. The point is, I like you. Like, like you like you. Like boyfriend and boyfriend like you-”
“Potter, you’re rambling.” Draco smirks.
Potter smiles a bit. “Sorry. I do that.”
Draco can feel the corners of his mouth lifting against his will. “Something I’ll have to get used to, I suppose.”
Potter’s smile widens until he’s full on grinning.
“Yeah?” He asks.
“Yeah.” Draco confirms, mirroring the goofy grin.
“So?” Potter asks lightly. “What now?”
“Now,” Draco says softly. “Is when you kiss me, Potter.”
“Call me Harry,” Potter says grinning.
Draco looks up at him.
“Kiss me, Harry.”