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Take a Step Back and Look

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After graduation, Draco doesn't expect to see Harry again.

They’re not friends, but they’re not enemies anymore, either.  Not when his mother had saved Harry’s life, not when Professor McGonagall had gotten rid of the House system and Harry had been the first one to volunteer to room with him.

He had been angry then, so embarrassed that no one was willing to room with him – because of course people of the same former House weren’t allowed to room together, and it wasn’t as if Draco had made nice with students outside of Slytherin – that he had taken it out on Harry.  He didn’t need pity.

But as months went on, and his sarcasm and wit rolled right off Harry’s back, he had mellowed out.  Harry seemed so carefree about everything, which he later learned was because well, there was no homicidal maniac after him anymore, and fighting him seemed to be an exercise in futility.  So he just ignored Harry, until he no longer could.

They got breakfast together, and sometimes dinner, and maybe if they were both free they would go out to Hogsmeade together – alone – but the first one was because they were roommates and the second was because Harry had way too many sycophants and Draco was one of the rare few that wasn’t worshiping at Harry’s feet.

And it was a necessary evil, one Draco was willing to bear just to get through the school year alive.  No one dared mess with him, not with the Vanquisher of the Dark Lord constantly breathing down his neck.

So yeah, they’re not really friends despite spending so much time together, and Draco really thought Harry would be overjoyed at the idea of never seeing him again, but well…

Harry’s standing right in front of him, and Draco’s not quite sure what to do about this fact.

“Did I leave something?” he ventures a guess, already racking his mind for something he could’ve left in their room.

Harry makes a puzzled face, “No.”

“Did you?” he continues, and then pauses.  “Wait, you’re here for your scarf, aren’t you?”

Harry stares at him.  “Why do you still have my scarf?  It’s summer.”

“Oh, so it’s my fault that you leave your stuff just hanging around?” he gripes, even though really, Harry did lend it to him during a Hogsmeade visit in winter, and it was Harry’s fault for never asking for it back, not his.  He turns to leave to his room, but a warm hand on his shoulder stops him.

“Forget the scarf, Draco,” Harry says, “I’m not going to need it anyway.”

“Then why are you here?”

“Was going to ask you to lunch,” says Harry, and then he actually rolls his eyes at Draco, “until you basically admitted to stealing my scarf.”

“Did not,” he says, childishly, but then brightens.  He is hungry, and their usual at the Indian place sounds fantastic.  “Why didn’t you say so in the first place?  Let’s go.  Indian?”

“Sure,” says Harry, and then gives him an inquisitive glance.  “I was sure you were going to complain that I didn’t give you a heads up.”

“You really never do, Harry,” he says, and laughs when Harry protests.

“Okay,” says Harry, when they’ve both gotten their food and Draco’s nose is runny from the spice, “so remember how I told you I wanted to start a shop in Diagon Alley?”’

“I thought that was a whim,” says Draco, more concerned with wiping his nose than Harry’s choice of topic, “since you were distraught over not going into the Auror program.”

“It wasn’t a whim,” says Harry, and when Draco looks up, he’s smiling.  “I’ve rented a place.”

“I feel like you should be something more than a shopkeeper,” says Draco.  “Something more active.”

“Wow,” says Harry, “It sounds like you actually think I can do something.”  Draco sighs because he’s gotten over his Harry complex three months into them rooming together but Harry still never fails to tease him about their past rivalry.   “Anyway, it’ll be active.”

“How?  Chasing after shoplifters?  Thieves?”

“Rare potion ingredients,” says Harry, in a hushed voice, and Draco stares at him.

He puts down his knife, “This is my fault,” he bemoans, “I took you on that trip.”

“It was fun,” says Harry, brightly.  “And I can talk to snakes, Draco, like seventy percent of rare potion ingredients come from snakes.”

“I’m never going to buy from you,” he says, and then narrows his eyes at Harry.  “How did you get your friends to agree?  Dealing with potions isn’t exactly reputable at times.”

“You’re going to help me,” says Harry, as nonchalantly as possible, but it’s betrayed by the way he’s gripping his fork and not taking a single bite of what Draco knows is his favorite.  “Please?”

“No one is going to buy from a Malfoy,” he says, as gently as possible, because he knows how Harry gets whenever its clear people are prejudiced against him.  It would be sweet, but Draco’s more annoyed at the fact that Harry thinks he needs pity from him, so it’s easier to not remind Harry of the fact that the Wizarding World are full of jerks.

“But they will from me,” says Harry and there’s a challenge in his eyes as they meet gazes.  “Partners?”

There’s no shortage of reasons why Draco should say no. A Malfoy isn’t expected to be working in Diagon Alley, in fact a Malfoy isn’t expected to be working at all.

But Harry’s looking at him and Draco’s mouth goes dry.

It’s awfully hard to deny Harry anything, the stubborn git he is, so he nods, and watches as Harry all but deflates in relief.

A year in, and business is blooming. 

Of course it is, his partner is Harry bloody Potter, and really, the only brief scare they had was when Draco’s parents found out about the business.

Harry had a flat above the shop that he stayed in when he was too lazy to apparate to Grimmauld Place, and Draco had fled there in a panic.

Surprisingly, when he got the invite to brunch and went, his mother hadn’t seemed mad.  His father had clapped him on the shoulder when he left, an inscrutable expression on his face, and had said nothing more.

Draco ended up staying at Harry’s, because his father kept giving him these looks that absolutely made no sense and his mother kept bringing up weddings every other conversation.  That was a clear sign his mother was about to spring an arranged marriage on him, because really, there was no other candidate in his life to be a marriage partner; Draco can’t even remember the last time he’s actually talked to a witch.

His parents surprisingly didn’t make a fuss, except to demand Harry came along with him to brunch once a month.  Harry had laughed himself silly when he made the request, but came along anyway so it isn’t as if Draco could complain.

He does feel like he’s missing something but whenever he asks, Harry just laughs more so he gives up.

It’s the middle of the night, and they’re off to collect some flower that only blooms when the moonlight hits its petals.  It sounds like a hoax, but Harry’s convinced it’s true, and if they get it, there’s a whole slew of experimental potions that can be made from it.

They’re out, wandering in a forest, when Harry starts a conversation.

“So business is good,” he says, “and we’re usually sold out by the end of the week.”

“That’s what happens when the Chosen One runs a store,” he says, and Harry just rolls his eyes at him instead of taking the bait.

“Which is why,” continues Harry, pushing past some vines that was in their way, “I signed you up to get your Potions mastery.”

He freezes, Harry turning when he realizes Draco’s stopped following him.  He’s grinning unapologetically, and he takes Draco’s hand into his, his hand warm enough to keep Draco  steady in reality. 

“They actually accepted?” he asks, and he can’t help the way his voice is shaky, not when he’s dreamed about becoming one ever since he was little.  When the War happened and his family ended up firmly on the losing side, he never thought –

“Of course,” says Harry, his voice soft even as it’s flippant, “Don’t you know who I am?”

Harry’s mocking him, Draco knows he is, but still.

“And what do you get in return?” he asks, and Harry’s grin turns sheepish.

“Well, first off, I was hoping after you’re done you’ll come back and make potions for the store.  And,” Harry pauses here, drawing out the word until Draco levels a look at him, “I wanted to start raising snakes.  In the store.”

He knows what brought this on; the last adventure they went on they ran across an ashwinder, and Harry hadn’t stopped talking about it since then.

“Okay,” he says, “but if I’m going, you have to promise you won’t go collecting without me and if you’re raising ashwinders, and you burn down the store while I’m not there –“

“We’ll just fix it,” says Harry, resolutely, and Draco knows he should probably fight this more because Harry and dangerous snakes are a bad combo.  Even without becoming an auror, Harry’s almost constantly running into dangerous situations and letting him own snakes that could kill him almost certainly spelled disaster.

But Harry’s right.

They can fix it when it happens.

They stay out for two hours later, and when Draco’s ready to call it quits, they come upon the flower they’re looking for.  When they harvest it, and Harry’s babbling on about how much they could sell it for, Draco stops him with a cough.

“Thanks,” he says, and he knows Harry knows what he means, because Harry’s smiling when they apparate home, flower safely in their pack.

“Harry Potter is here?” 

The girl’s voice is shrill enough that Draco winces, but he tries his best to ignore them, using all his concentration to get his potion perfect.  He doesn’t quite know what the other girls were working on that they were able to split their concentration so easily, but Draco’s is complicated, and sightings of Harry Potter aren’t about to –

He pauses, because now that the words registered, every part of him wants to see if they were true.  Because he hasn’t seen Harry since he started, what with him taking on a new course load and Harry having to manage the shop all by himself and he really thought the next time he was going to see Harry was at least a month away.

But still, potion.

He painstakingly finishes it, and luckily, when he turns the girls are still talking in hushed tones.  Several of them are fixing up their hair and make-up and Draco resists the urge to chasten them for it.  Harry’s already with Ginerva after all, and after getting to know her, he thinks she matches Harry quite well.

“Hey,” he says, and they startle because he’s never talked to them before, “do you know where Harry is?”

“Oh,” says the girl, her upper lip already curling in disgust, “you’re Draco Malfoy.”

He’s glad Harry’s not here to see her; he can already hear Harry’s disapproving voice in his head after hearing multiple people in Diagon Alley subjected to it during work hours.  So he ignores her cutting tone, “Yes, I went to school with him.”

The girl looks like she wants to spew more hostile words at him, but another girl, a sweeter looking one perks up.  “Did you know Ginny Weasley as well?  Are they really dating?”

The first girl also looks interested in the answer, enough so that Draco delights in responding.  “Yes,” he says, the simple word enough to make the whole group’s expressions fall, and he relishes in it, enough so that he’s entirely too distracted to hear the door opening.

An arm pulls him flush against another body, and when he turns in surprise, Harry’s smiling down at him.  “Don’t listen to him,” says Harry, when he looks away and notices the girls standing in front of Draco.  “Ginny and I aren’t dating.”

“What?” is torn out of him before he can regain his composure, because this is the first time he’s heard of it.  Harry’s always going out with Ginny for drinks after work, and she’s always swinging by after practice that Draco had just assumed.  He had never asked, because he thought it was obvious; although, Ron and Hermione stop by just as often, so he suppose he did assume quite a bit.

Harry looks fondly exasperated when finally meets his gaze again, “You’re oblivious,” he says, and only laughs when Draco shoves him for that response.

The girls titter at their reactions, and they ask Harry a slew of questions until they can get away.  They’re surprised of course that they’re on good terms, though Draco thinks it’s rather stupid of them to be so considering Harry and he are partners.

He says so, right before they leave, and Harry stiffens up next to him, and the girls stare in utter shock.  He pulls Harry away, eager to show Harry the closest Indian restaurant he had found and doesn’t think much about the way the girls’ eyes widened at his proclamation.  Honestly, they were studying for a mastery in Potions and didn’t know Harry and he ran a potions supplies store together?

“Congratulations!” and normally Draco wouldn’t let Hermione pull him into a hug, but they’re at a bar celebrating his completion of a Potions mastery and he’s feeling rather tipsy.  And besides, they’ve been forced to see each other for years now, it isn’t as if they’re strangers anymore.

“Thanks,” he says, and tips his head back to swallow the rest of his drink.  He scans the room for Harry as his throat burns from the alcohol, and sees him at the Muggle pool table, competing with Ron at their silly Muggle game.

Draco’s not sure how Harry convinced him the first time to come to a Muggle bar, though he’s pretty sure he was drunk at the time, but it’s nice here.  No one bugs them, not like they do when they’re in the Wizarding World, and some of the alcohol is decent.  Well the expensive wine is, but the Golden trio never lets him order it.

“So,” says Hermione, bringing him out of his thoughts, “What did Harry get you for your graduation gift?”

He flushes and tries to hide it by taking another swig of his drink.  It isn’t as if things had become awkward between the two of them after he found out Harry and Ginny weren’t dating, but it had started this little seed inside of him, a little seed about Harry and it’s worse than what he had back when he was younger.  He always had it, but he had buried it the moment Harry had refused his hand in their first year and had strictly not thought about it after that.  And when they started rooming together, he hadn’t had a spare moment to think about Harry that way, not when he was navigating a world that hated him.

And falling into friendship with Harry had been easier than anything else he’s done; the two of them get along so well that jeopardizing it for something as stupid as falling in love with Harry was downright humiliating.  After all, almost everyone in the world is in love with Harry; Harry could literally have anyone he wanted in the Wizarding World, and why would that someone be Draco?

But Hermione’s still looking at him expectantly, so he swallows his despairs and answers, “A gold cauldron.”

Hermione raises her eyebrows, “A gold cauldron?” she repeats.

“Inscribed with our initials,” he says, “Of course, you know, since it’s our shop name.  Harry thinks he’s being funny.”

“HPDM?” she asks, and this time, there’s no hiding the amused smirk on her face.

“Yes,” he says, scowling, “Harry’s name comes first because I lost a bet, and he loves rubbing it in my face."

“You know,” says Hermione, “those cauldrons are worth hundreds of galleons.”

He sniffs, “I’m a Malfoy.”  He doesn’t elaborate, because Hermione’s already rolling her eyes and he knows she understands that he only deserves the best and really, Harry has money to spare, why not drop hundreds of galleons for him?  It’s expected, with how much Draco has to put up with on a daily basis running the shop with Harry.

Harry’s there before Hermione can say anything, his cheeks flushed from drink and his eyes dancing, and then he’s presenting Draco with the most expensive wine bottle the Muggle bar has.

He’s absolutely delighted, and it’s a celebration after all, so he has no clue why Hermione sighs as he corks the wine bottle open.

It’s ridiculously cold, but Draco’s thought ahead.  He reaches into his bottomless bag, courtesy of Hermione, and pulls out a thick wool blanket and shoves it at Harry.

Harry blinks at him, his hair dripping wet and his teeth chattering, and takes the blanket gingerly, holding it away from him.  They do this often enough that Draco’s mastered a particular way to dry Harry off, and he sends the charm toward Harry, poofing his hair up into a ridiculous hairstyle when it’s done its job.

He can’t help the snort, “You look ridiculous,” he says, just in case Harry doesn’t know, but Harry just rolls his eyes at him and pulls the blanket closer to him. 

“A warming charm would be nice,” says Harry.

“No,” he says, “if you’re stupid enough to charge up a mountain alone with your magic bound then you’re going to make do with that blanket.”

“My magic isn’t bound,” argues Harry, “it’s just diminished.  For like a day.”

He levels Harry with an unimpressed look and turns to the kindling he had transfigured from some rocks.  He lights it to give him something to do because he’s not sure he can keep from killing Harry if he continues looking at him.

There are footsteps behind him after the fire comes to life, and Harry’s voice is soft.  “Sorry,” he says, sounding so pathetic that Draco can’t help turning to look at him.

“I made you promise,” he spits, his temper flaring, “to not go by yourself!  You promised!”

“You would have never given up your magic,” says Harry, “and the butterfly only comes close to those without magic.”

“Then we would have made do,” says Malfoy, and Harry frowns at him.

“I read your notes, Draco,” he says, “and there are no substitutes.  You’re so close to figuring it out, you just need this one last ingredient and that’s what we do.  We find those rare ingredients.  Just let me do this.”

“Let you?” he repeats, and he’s shaking in anger.  He hasn’t been this legitimately mad at Harry in what felt like ages, and unlike before they became friends, it feels wrong now.  He doesn’t want to be mad at Harry.  “Do you know what it felt like waking up this morning and knowing you’re off without a single clue on where you’ve gone?”

“You weren’t supposed to follow,” starts Harry, but Draco’s not done.

“What would I do without you?” he asks, “How could I ever make potions again knowing you went and offed yourself because of your stupid hero’s complex?  Can you imagine what people would say?  They’ll think I’m the one who caused your death.”

Harry’s silent after his outburst, his green eyes so large behind his glasses as he stares at Draco.  In his anger, Draco had gotten closer, close enough that they were face to face and close enough that he could feel the warmth from Harry’s exhale.

He freezes, all too aware that a flush was starting to creep up his neck and as a result, all the anger just leaves him.  He takes a step back, his heart pounding and his head dizzy, and says quietly, “I don’t want you to do these dangerous things for me.”

There’s a long silence, and then, “I’ll do anything for you, Draco.  You know that.”

His statement feels charged, as if they were on a precipice of something.  It’s just the two of them in the cave, alone and cold, and yet, Draco feels so starkly exposed.  It’s not something he’s used to; it’s not like he’s not used to tension with Harry, they had spent all those years in Hogwarts together, but recently, the only tension they had was over who ate the last bowl of cereal.  This?  It feels like something else, something he’s not sure he likes.

“You’re lucky I don’t take advantage of that,” he says, eventually, and in a show of peace, raises his wand and casts a warming charm. 

Harry looks at him for a long moment, and for a second, Draco thinks that they will keep arguing.  But Harry accepts the peace offering for what it is, and sits down by the fire.

Draco’s not stupid, he knows Harry’s a stubborn git and they’ll go chasing down the butterfly tomorrow.  But for now, they can catch their breath and wait out the storm.

“Mother wants you to spend Christmas brunch with us this year,” he says, and Harry cracks an eye open from where he had been dozing off.

“You are taking advantage of me,” says Harry, but he sounds good-natured about it and he’s smiling.  “Fine, the Weasleys’ party isn’t until later at night, anyway.”

“Ugh,” says Draco, “do we have to?  You need to help me find a present for Ron this year, there’s only so many quidditch merch I can buy before I feel like a lunatic.”

Harry laughs at that, and the tension melts away.

It’s been months since the butterfly, and it’s not strained, but Harry’s taken to pursing his lips at him and he has no clue why.  His parents are even getting short with him, and Draco’s preparing to get ambushed any second now with an arranged marriage.  He knows he’s pushing it; he’s not dating anyone and his mother wants grandchildren but how can he find someone to date when he’s so busy with Harry?

He can’t just go on a date, not when Harry’s so sporadic with choosing the days in which he wants to go out to collect ingredients, and after the butterfly incident, Draco needs to make sure he’s available or else Harry’s going to go and die and where would that leave him?  The shop would definitely close without Harry, and he’ll never be able to sell a potion again, not without Harry’s backing.

They’re both getting ready for the monthly brunch with his parents, and Harry’s brushing his teeth in the bathroom when Draco pops his head in.

“Hey,” he says, “so I feel like I should warn you.”

Harry looks at him in the mirror, and he takes that as a cue to continue. 

“Mother might be springing an arranged marriage on me soon and I feel like she’s going to use this brunch to scope out any potential candidates.  Don’t mention any pureblood witch or else I’ll end up shackled to her.”

Harry chokes as Draco talks, coughing madly when he finishes.  Draco summons a glass of water from their kitchen and hands it to him.

“Arranged marriage?” he asks.

“She’s not very subtle,” says Draco, “she’s asked my opinion on wedding venues five times in the last month.”

“She has?” asks Harry, and Draco gives him a look.

“Are you awake?  My parents like you, of course, but you’re going to have to contribute more to the conversation during brunch.”

“I’m awake,” says Harry, affronted, and then waves him away.  “I need to get dressed.”

“Okay,” he says, confused, and then leaves Harry in the restroom to get changed.


He knows his parents are up to something.  They keep exchanging glances, and Draco knows it’s a testament to their love that they can understand each other without saying anything.

But he’s also grown up with them, so he understands them too, and they keep looking at each other with the ‘Now?’ look and it’s obvious something’s about to happen.  Harry’s not helping matters either, with the way he keeps shaking his left leg, and he’s so openly nervous that he’s surprised his parents haven’t called him out on it.

“So,” says his mother, “Harry has something he’ll like to say.”

“Uh,” says Harry, “I really don’t?”

His mother’s glare is withering, and Harry audibly gulps.

“Harry, you’re like a son to me,” she says, and Draco raises his eyebrows because he had no clue that his mother felt so charitable toward Harry, and then she smiles in a way that is threatening.  “And you will do as I ask before I do it for you.”

There’s a long, pregnant silence, and then Harry’s looking over at him with wide eyes.  “I …” he starts and then pauses and then glances back at Narcissa helplessly.

“What’s going on?” he interrupts, because while he does enjoy watching Harry squirm, he feels supremely out of the loop and he hates it.

Narcissa sighs, another sign that something’s wrong because his mother never does something as uncouth as showing her displeasure openly, and now he’s more worried than ever before.

“Are you okay?” he asks before she can say anything.  “No one’s died, right?”

“No, no one’s dead, but someone might be soon,” says his mother, and she shoots Harry one more withering glare before continuing.  She pulls out her wand, and then does a summoning charm.  He’s so focused on his mother, he doesn’t realize at first that the thing she’s summoned has hit Harry right in the chest.

A ring box.  With the Malfoy crest on it.

He stares at it, then back up at Harry’s stricken face of horror, and then back to his mother’s pleased face. 

He can’t help the way that his heart sinks at the thought; Harry hadn’t even mentioned another witch, and why would his mother be okay with Harry proposing to someone else with their family’s ring?  His mother knows about his feelings about Harry; she’s known since he came home crying during their Hogwarts years and even more so from their numerous letters after the shop’s been opened.  He feels betrayed and he doesn’t stop his knee-jerk reaction of pushing back from the table.  His eyes feel hot with the sting of betrayal, and he looks at his mother.  “How could you?”

She looks completely confused, his father not much better, and he continues.  “Is there some long-lost sister I don’t know about?  Is that what you’re so pleased about?  Marrying Harry into the Malfoy family would do wonders for our family name, but…” he knows he’s being ridiculous, that having an outburst would do nothing for his parents’ plan to get Harry as one of their own, but he can’t stop himself.  The thought of having Harry married to someone else, and he knew this was going to come one day – Harry always talked about wanting to start a family, to have kids, and he could do nothing for Harry in that department.  He hasn’t cried in public since forever, but he still feels it coming now, and all he wants to do is flee, but his parents are still looking at him in complete shock, and he really doesn’t understand why they look shocked when they were the ones who knew about Harry wanting to marry someone else.

“You knew how I feel about him,” he directs toward his mother, not wanting to look Harry in the face, but Harry apparently has different ideas.

Because Harry stands, and tugs him so that he’s forced to look Harry right in the face, and Harry’s eyes are determined. 

“And how do you feel about me?” he asks.

He falters here, because he was about to spew it all out anyway and let his parents have it for forcing him into this position, but it’s completely different when he realizes Harry’s going to hear it all too.

He tries to take his hand back, but Harry’s grip is insistent and when he looks back up, Harry looks like he isn’t going to let this one go.

It’s either say it now, or have their relationship broken anyway, because it isn’t as if Harry’s future wife is going to let Draco stick around, not when she learns that Malfoy has been harboring a secret crush on her husband for ages.

“I don’t want to lose you,” he starts, staring at their conjoined hands instead of Harry’s face because it’s easier, “and you getting married means you won’t have time for me.”

“That’s all?” asks Harry, his voice sounding strangled, and Draco grips down hard on Harry’s hand.  He takes a deep breath, because this is it, this is him confessing his feelings from when he was eleven to a man he had only fallen in love harder as he grown older and he can’t chicken out now, not when this might be the last time before he could say anything.

“And because I love you,” he says, and he doesn’t shy away from saying love because it’s true; his feelings have gone long past a simple crush, borne from spending holidays together with their respective families, from running a shop together, from intertwining their lives so close it’s difficult to even imagine a life without Harry.  “I have loved you,” he continues, because he’s already dug himself this far, he might as well tell the complete truth, “ever since I was little and hated your guts, too.”

Harry’s nose wrinkles at that, but he’s smiling and he wouldn’t do that if he’s about to reject Draco.  He holds his breath, and waits and thankfully, Harry doesn’t keep him waiting for long.

Harry gets down on one knee, still keeping Draco’s hand in his, and wandlessly opens the ring box that he has cupped in his other.  It’s beautiful, Draco’s known it was from the moment he saw the box because it is his family’s ring after all, but it’s different when he’s staring down at it and knowing it means that Harry loves him.

“So,” starts Harry, “You’re sort of an oblivious idiot, Draco, because this ring has always been meant for you.  And your parents figured out my crush on you the very first time I came over for brunch, and I kept waiting for you to do the same, but well, here we are.”

Draco’s face is hot from the reminder that his parents are still watching, but he doesn’t look away, because Harry’s still staring up at him, and now that he knows what to look for, he sees the clear affection Harry has for him in his eyes.

“I love you,” says Harry, “and that’s why I asked you to run the shop with me, why I pushed you to get your mastery in Potions, why I stay with you even when you’re being a git, and why I’ll do absolutely anything for you.  And why I’m going to ask you to marry me.”

The words ring in his head, and it takes him a long while to respond.  Because this is something he’s only dreamed of hearing, and to hear it now, like this?

“Don’t you think we should date first?” he asks, stalling for time because he doesn’t want Harry to have it too easy.  Every single part of him is already saying yes, and he knows Harry can tell because Harry just smiles at him, soft and sweet. 

“Wait,” interrupts his father, and when Draco turns his head to look at his father reluctantly, his father’s eyes are wide and his mouth agape.  “Weren’t the two of you already dating?”

He watches as his mother elbows her husband in the chest, a warning look on her face.  He turns back to look at Harry, and Harry’s laughing.

“Your parents never believed me when I told them we weren’t dating,” he explains, “they were convinced you were keeping it from them for some reason.”

“If we were dating,” says Draco, “I would’ve told everyone.  Just to rub it in all your fans’ faces, of course.”

“I know,” says Harry, exasperatedly fond, and then he takes Draco’s hands into his.  “Are you going to keep me on my knees forever?”

He’s tempted to tease Harry some more, revenge for making it so hard to tell he was interested, but his mouth goes dry at the thought that yes, Harry did propose to him, and that even before that, his feelings were returned.

So he dips his head, his throat too tight to speak, and lets Harry slip the ring onto his finger.