“So,” Draco flops down on his chair and makes it spin, landing his feet on the desk. He pushes his hair out of his eyes in a dramatic sweep. “Regale me with your naughtiest weekend adventures, ladies.”
Five disgruntled heads snap up, weary gazes fixed on Draco. His court, he likes to call them. His retinue.
Merlin, do they look pitiful. Monday morning faces that last all week. Draco can’t go on like this, or their cheerlessness will end up rubbing off on him.
Draco sighs, a theatrical puff of air that sends his fringe flying up his forehead. “Listen, babes, the long faces shan’t solve the problem of your lackluster lives. Have I taught you nothing after all these fabulous years in my company?”
Parvati Patil drops her mug on her desk. Draco can follow the timeline of her caffeine intake by the coffee tracks drying on the sides of the white porcelain. Third cup of the day. Good grief, woman. It’s only half past nine in the morning.
“Draco,” she growls. “You’re the only one having brilliant fun on the weekends these days.” She’s deeply involved in her task of taking various objects out of a box sitting on her desk; an old combat boot, a toy Firebolt (vintage, 1986 edition, Draco remembers it from his birthday that year), a tube of lipstick missing its cap, an autographed picture of a young Gilderoy Lockhart putting a stake through a vampire’s chest with a bright grin on his face. When she taps the items with her wand, they turn into pieces of parchment; certified Ministry forms that fly to meet their predecessors on Lavender Brown’s desk.
“Yeah,” Lavender Brown says from behind the mounting pile of forms, “makes you the only human in Britain.”
“I thought London would be more fun.” Gabrielle Delacour lets out a listless sigh and pouts. “Fleur assured me ze English men were ‘ot and adventurous.” She shrugs. “So far, ze most adventurous thing zat ‘appened to me was when zat guy tripped in ze pub and spilled his beer in my lap.”
“Nobody’s having fun anymore,” Hannah Abbott chimes in, running her fingers through her short hair. “Like, Matilda and I went out for drinks last Friday, see?” She gestures at Matilda Vance, sitting across the room, and Matilda nods so vehemently her thick-rimmed glasses almost slide off her small nose. “You’d think someone — anyone! — would have come and chatted us up! Flirted a little! Bought us a drink! We’re fun, smart, attractive ladies! We deserve some good old fashioned Friday night game! But nooooooo. Merlin forbid anyone look at us and think ‘I’d like to tap that.’” She throws her hands up. “ I’m telling you, girls. And Draco. I don’t know where all the good people have gone, but they’re not in London anymore, I can assure you.”
Draco listens to the whole exchange quietly, with only his eyebrow hitching higher and higher to showcase his scepticism. He takes a long sip of his morning Earl Grey, then sets the cup on his desk, fingers curled around the delicate handle, little finger lifted up.
“I disagree,” he says with a shrug. “One can still meet people and have fun —” he lifts a suggestive eyebrow, “—these days.” And smirks when all his coworkers gasp in shock and start arguing, What! and You’ve lost your bloody mind, and Maybe come with us next Friday and see for yourself, you wanker.
Penelope Clearwater stands from her desk, her chair doing a half spin as she does. She lifts a regal, placating hand, and the argument falls quiet. The girls look at her reverently. Even Draco leans back in his chair, expectant.
Penelope isn’t the head of the Department of Magical Lost and Found (also known as DLF) for nothing. She took in all the lost kids, for one, and helped them find themselves. All the queer kids that didn’t know where they belonged after the war. We're the Lost and Found, they like to joke among themselves.
Lavender Brown and Parvati Patil, who weren’t sure if they liked boys or girls better.
Hannah Abbott, butch lesbian extraordinaire.
Matilda Vance, formerly known as Matthew (Penelope had bought the biggest champagne bottle she could find when the Ministry had finally let Matilda change her name).
Gabrielle Delacour, their nineteen year old intern, who had never declared her level of queerness, but who had come from France to London to learn English and had got on with the rest of the team like a château on fire.
And then there was Draco, who had been kicked out of the Manor and the family vaults after Lucius ran into him, tie undone and Marcus Flint balls deep inside his arse, in the cloakroom of the Wizarding National Gallery gala.
Penelope took in all those kids, and then she made them find magical objects that had been lost — one-eyed teddy bears, handkerchiefs still holding their late grandmother’s perfume like a memory locked in a Pensieve, cracked Remembralls, taxidermied Egyptian cacti — and trained them to find the owners of those little treasures all over again.
Penelope never imparts her wisdom lightly. So when she clears her throat, you can hear a pin drop in the DLF office. Everyone is on the edge of their seats.
“That’s because you’re a gay man, Draco. Gay men are the only ones still having fun.”
Draco’s jaw falls slack around a mocking gasp. “That’s offensive,” he says, clutching his chest.
Penelope lifts her eyebrows. “How?”
“Morgana’s tits! The gay man thing! She’s right!” Lavender yelps, clapping her hands.
“She’s not right! She’s Penelope. You think she’s right because she’s always right about everything else!” Draco snaps back. Then smirks and points an accusing finger at Penelope. “Except this time!”
Penelope folds her arms and nods at him. “Oh yeah? Prove it. What did you do last Friday?”
“Who did you do, more like,” Parvati grumbles, almost inaudible, face inside her coffee mug.
Draco lowers his eyelids, touches the tips of his ring-clad, green-nail polished fingers to his lips. He’s the picture of guilelessness — not that anyone here will be fooled. They’ve been out with him at the clubs. Vogue Fabrics. Heaven. Ku. They know Draco attracts them like a magnet. All of them, like Seekers after the Golden Snitch. Girls, boys, and everyone in between. ‘Can you be a good friend and leave some of them to us?’ Lavender teased.
“My sex life is private,” he purrs, and his colleagues burst into laughter.
“I cannot believe—” Matilda laughs.
“Just last week! Last week! You were telling me quite graphically—” Hannah says.
“‘Annah made me cover my ears!” Gabrielle adds. “She said ze conversation was unfit for my age!”
“Private, my arse,” Lavender shakes her head. “You couldn’t help bragging about your conquests if you tried!”
“Draco, oh flirting master, will you show us the way?” Matilda rolls her eyes.
“Yes, Draco, show us how to pull hotties,” Parvati huffs without pausing in her task, and turns another lost object into a Ministry form.
“Fine.” Draco places a hand on his desk — his rings clink on the polished dark wood — and stands. “I will show you a trick.” He unties his silk scarf and folds it, puts it on the corner of his desk. “But only because your pathetic sex lives are spoiling the atmosphere of this office,” he walks around his desk and to the middle of the room, “and I can’t be the only person taking one for the team every weekend.”
“I don’t see you complaining about the ones you took last weekend…” Penelope drawls, and Draco pokes his tongue out at her.
“What, like it’s hard?” He smirks, and the girls burst into another round of delighted giggles. He gestures for them to come closer. “Gather ‘round and watch, my charm-challenged, flirt-incompetent friends. Welcome to Draco Malfoy’s Stupendous Seduction Seminar. This is something you can practice safely at home, in the office, at the pub. It can look absolutely innocuous or ragingly seductive depending on how interested the targeted party is. That way, if the trick fails, the object of your lust is none the wiser and you haven’t made fools of yourself. But if it works…” He realises his colleagues have actually all stood and gathered around him, and he waggles his eyebrows to stress his point.
“A trick?” Gabrielle murmurs in wonder.
Draco turns to her and announces grandly: “A trick. It’s called the ‘Bend and Snap’.”
“And it works?” Hannah challenges, chin lifted up.
“Like a charm.”
“Charms have never been my forte,” Matilda deflates.
“Well, this is a charm that doesn’t require any wandwork,” Draco tells her with a half-smile, “at least not until you’ve performed it…”
His friends grimace and giggle and say ‘Eww, Draco!’ Hannah thumps him in the back and points at Gabrielle, “Be quiet, you dirty man, there’s an innocent little thing among us!” while Gabrielle pulls at her sleeve, “What did ‘e mean? What does zat mean, ‘Annah’?”
“Just get on with it, Draco,” Penelope waves her hand, “the Lost aren’t going to find themselves.” She seems amused in spite of herself, and the team chuckles and urges Draco on, “Yes, stop teasing and show us, damnit!”
“All right, all right!” Draco pushes his hair out of his eyes, pops the top two buttons of his shirt, and stretches his shoulders and neck. “The ‘Bend and Snap’, now. Easy. Watch and learn, babes.” He leans over the closest desk and grabs a quill. “Let’s assume the target of your… affections has just walked into the room. That’s when you drop something; that’s the first step.” He opens his hand, and the quill falls to the floor with a light tap. His colleagues are watching him with a focused, hungry look on their faces, and Draco smirks. “Step two: you bend to grab the thing you just dropped. Like this.”
He puts a foot in front of the other, stretches out his long leg, and folds in a graceful arc, bending over to catch the quill between his fingers.
“Step three,” he instructs, still bent over his leg, “lift back up with a snap.” He straightens sharply, hip jutting to the side, arse pushed back. Blowing on his fringe, he takes his enraptured audience in and smirks. “Now you do it,” he tells them with a tilt of his chin, “and I’m going to walk among you and watch.” He claps his hands. “Bend and snap. Come on, ladies. Bend and snap! We’re not leaving here until you turn pro!”
Laughing, his colleagues position themselves around Draco.
“Like zis?” Gabrielle asks with a timid bat of her lashes. She drops a hair pin, bends to grab it, and lifts back up, her curtain of golden hair elegantly swept to the side of her neck.
Draco nods appreciatively, bottom lip jutting. “Very nice. I’m impressed, Gabrielle.”
“That’s not fair.” Lavender elbows Gabrielle lightly in the side. “She’s hotter than you, Draco. She could just stand there doing nothing and she’d still be hotter than all of us combined.”
“Tut-tut-tut,” Draco interrupts her with a lifted hand. “None of this self-deprecating bollocks. Gabrielle’s Bend and Snap is perfect because she watched and learned from the best — me. Don’t go finding excuses for yourself, Lavender. Chop chop, now. I want to see you Bend and Snap!”
His colleagues start practicing. There’s a lot of giggling and cursing going on as Draco walks past the bent forms of Lavender, Parvati, Matilda, Hannah, and Gabrielle. He catches Penelope’s eyes across the office and smiles at her half-annoyed, half-affectionate expression.
“This better improve my team’s morale,” she mutters as he passes by her, “or you owe me one hour of overtime for this spiel.”
“The ‘Bend and Snap’ is infallible, Penelope.” He grins, winking at her. “I promise you, your team’s morale will be off the charts once everyone gets laid next weekend.”
“Draco?” Matilda calls from near the door. “Could you show me again, please? I bend just fine, I think, but I’m not sure the ‘snap’ part looks very sexy yet.”
“Don’t doubt yourself, darling,” Draco reassures as he walks towards her. “The only purpose of the ‘Bend and Snap’ is to enhance your natural beauty and sexiness.”
Matilda rolls her eyes but blushes, pleased. “Fine. Show me again, please.”
“The secret to a successful ‘snap’,” Draco speaks up, spinning around slowly as his colleagues stop to listen once again, “is to maintain the advantage a pretty ‘bend’ will give to your bum. When you bend, you push your arse up and out — make sure it stays slightly out when you snap back up. Like this— “ Draco bends again, denim-clad arse in the air, and, just when the door bursts open, lifts back up in a sharp move, hips to the side, arse popped back, jeans tight across his rear—
“Package for the D… LF.” Harry Potter walks through the door, holding a big cardboard box under one arm and an empty takeaway coffee cup in the other. Then the coffee cup falls to the floor, and he freezes.
Draco, holding the pose and standing very still, carefully turns his head to look at the intruder.
Potter is rooted to the spot, his red Auror robes still swishing around him. His jaw is slack and his throat is working — and his eyes. His eyes are fixed on Draco’s arse.
“Hello, Potter,” Draco says, hiding his stupefaction behind a smirk. “What a large… package you have there. Although it comes at quite an inconvenient time.”
The girls giggle behind their hands as a furious blush creeps up the side of Potter’s neck and he swallows helplessly. Draco glides out of the pose and turns to face him, arms crossing against his chest, fists pushing his biceps into a more prominent position, still smirking. Penelope is the only one with the presence of mind to put Potter out of his misery.
“Over here, Auror Potter,” she pulls him by the arm, gentle. “I can sign the transfer forms.”
As though walking through a trance, Potter follows Penelope to her desk, and Draco gestures to his colleagues, teeth clenched and eyes wide. ‘Move!’ he mouths, and they scatter with a round of quiet giggles. Draco goes to sit at his desk. He watches, blatant and teasing, as Potter finishes with Penelope.
Only, when Potter is done, his eyes are drawn back to Draco, wide and intense. It’s unsettling. Potter hasn’t looked at him like that in ages. Possibly ever. Draco leans back in his chair and shakes his fringe out of his eyes, arms crossed and rings shining against his white shirt, which is still unbuttoned at the neck. He returns Harry’s disconcerting stare, defiant, challenging. Let Potter think of him whatever he pleases.
But Potter doesn’t look like he’s extending a challenge. Potter doesn’t look like he’s thinking of anything at all. With a blank look and a short nod in Draco’s direction, he all but runs for the door, receipt file tucked under his arm, Auror cape flying, the tips of his ears pink.
The door bangs shut behind him.
“I’m still not sold on the ‘Bend and Snap’ trick,” Parvati muses from her desk once the quiet has returned. She Summons the pot of coffee and pours herself a fourth serving. “There aren’t any good men left in England for us to pull, anyway.”
“That’s because the last good men in England have all landed in Draco’s bed,” adds Lavender with a wistful sigh.
That’s right, Draco wants to say, but he thinks of Potter’s eyes on his body a minute ago, the shocked look on his face, as if he’d been struck by some sort of invisible lightning — and the retort dies in his throat. He goes back to his notes for real this time. Rattled, confused, heart hammering in his temples, he’s fairly certain this won’t be the last he’s seen of Potter.
The first time Harry had seen Malfoy at the Ministry had been in the cafeteria, roughly a year previous. It was in the middle of his lunch with Ron. After three years as an Auror, Harry had developed a routine: lunch at the Ministry cafeteria with Ron every day at quarter past twelve, except on Wednesdays when they bought samosas and balti curry from the Indian food truck that stopped in one of the small streets near Scotland Yard.
So seeing Malfoy again — in the middle of the Ministry cafeteria, no less — was a strange kind of shock. Less strange than seeing him bent over in a room full of weirdly attentive women, of course, but Harry was curious.
“Wha—” Ron asked around his mouthful of sandwich when he noticed Harry staring slack-jawed over his shoulder, a forkful of salad halfway to his mouth. He turned around and simply said, “Oh.”
Malfoy was waiting in the queue, calm as you please. As though he’d been doing that, waiting in the queue to buy lunch at the Ministry cafeteria, every day for years. As though he belonged there. Yet the most notable fact wasn’t his presence: it was… the way he looked.
Harry couldn’t help but catalogue every detail of Malfoy’s appearance: the hair (longer than he wore it at Hogwarts, cut just below his chin, a graceful white-blond sweep across his forehead); the hands (nails painted black, rings on every finger except the thumbs); the piercings (one in his left eyebrow, one in his lip, several in his ears); and the clothes… Merlin. The clothes. That day, Malfoy was dressed all in black. Nothing new, that. But not traditional wizarding robes like he used to wear at Hogwarts. Fuck, no. The opposite of that. He was wearing the tightest shirt, right sleeve rolled up to his elbow; the skinniest jeans, hugging his… his arse and his long legs like a second skin; and the most stylish combat-style boots Harry’d ever seen.
On the breast pocket of his shirt, a small but unmissable rainbow-coloured badge.
There was a hunger in Harry’s staring that alarmed him. He put his fork back in his plate, food untouched. “I didn’t know that—”
“—Malfoy worked at the Ministry? Yeah, mate, he just started,” Ron told him. “My dad found out last week. Penelope Clearwater hired him.”
“That’s not… what I was going to say.” Harry hesitated, fiddling with his fork. He’d totally forgotten how to eat food.
“Oh?” Ron lifted his eyebrows and bit into his sandwich again. “What, then?” he asked, spraying crumbs across the table.
Harry looked left and right before leaning forward, face close to Ron’s.
“I didn’t know Malfoy was — gay.”
Ron placed his sandwich in its paper plate, wiped his mouth, and shrugged.
“Always thought it was pretty obvious.”
“I mean… yeah. You never thought—?” Eyes shifting, Ron rubbed the back of his neck. “I thought everybody knew. Looking back… I’ve often wondered if the reason why he picked on you so much at school was because he… liked you.” He seemed to reconsider his words, and cast a wary glance at Harry. “Forget I said anything. It’s just a stupid theory, anyway.”
As Malfoy moved up the queue, and Harry stared some more, Ron gently grabbed him by the shoulder. “Come on, Harry. If you’re not going to finish…” He nodded towards Harry’s plate. “Time to go back to the office. Let’s go.”
Ever since that first sighting at the Ministry cafeteria, Harry keeps noticing Malfoy around the Ministry. It’s uncanny, how Harry can walk into a room and know that Malfoy is there before he even sets eyes on him. He will step out of the Floo and into the Atrium and the back of his neck will prickle, and Malfoy will be there, passing by the tall fountain, chatting with one of his DLF colleagues while carrying boxes of ownerless magical objects. He’ll be washing his hands in the men’s loos and know, before the door even opens, that Malfoy will be the next person to walk in.
Malfoy is always the first thing his eyes are drawn to, no matter where he is. It’s hard to focus when he’s at work, sometimes. He’s poured boiling water on the bench right next to his mug more than once.
“You gotta calm down, mate,” Ron mutters and rolls his eyes whenever he catches Harry in the act, but there’s a worried undertone to his words. Harry knows what bothers Ron: he thinks Harry will become all ‘obsessed with Malfoy, mate, the way it was in Sixth Year’ — Ron’s words, not Harry’s — but that’s ridiculous. Harry’s learned his lesson, and Malfoy is nothing to obsess about (if that’s even what Harry had been doing, back in the day, anyway). It’s just that… well. It’s just that it’s almost as if Malfoy is begging to be noticed, to be stared at, for his looks to be commented upon. What with his outfits, each tighter and more revealing than the next. What with his hair, its colour so unique, all soft-looking strands falling in his eyes. What with his rings, and his impeccably polished nails, and that rainbow badge always pinned to his shirt or jacket. What with his trademark drawl, more languid than it had sounded at Hogwarts. Silky. His posture, back straight, chin held high, narrow hips swaying lightly when he walks, as if to say ‘Me me me. Look at me. Fucking look at me. Don’t you dare forget about me.’
Malfoy clearly likes men, fucks men, and wants that information to be plain to everyone who lays eyes on him.
And Harry doesn’t know what to make of it.
There are rumours at the Ministry. Lucius Malfoy chased his own son out of their home, people say. Found in a compromising position. Mother visits him in secret when father is traveling.
Went from one extreme to another, the rumours say. Went from blindly abiding by the old pureblood values and traditions, to pulling scantily dressed, glittering young men in the trendiest gay clubs of Muggle London.
The last one, Harry thinks, sounds a bit far-fetched. It’s almost like the Ministry employees have a competition for the most titillating, scandalous gossip about Draco Malfoy they can find.
Not that Harry thinks about Draco Malfoy that way… does he?
It’s just that… it’s a bittersweet irony, isn’t it? Malfoy has openly and ostentatiously done what Harry, for all his legendary Gryffindor bravery, has never admitted to anyone but himself.
That he, too, likes men.
And that his fascination with Malfoy, recently exacerbated, possibly carries an undercurrent of… something more personal, something that’s always simmered between them, something that says more about Harry than he’s been ready to acknowledge until now.
Attraction, the little voice in his head nags him.
The sight of Malfoy in the DLF office, his back turned to Harry, striking a sexy pose to entertain his colleagues, struck Harry like a Stupefy to the chest. It was also a loud, clear, long-time-coming wake-up call. He doesn’t remember much of that morning. The Auror department had an arrangement with the Department of Lost and Found: all magical objects and artefacts gathered in the course of an investigation that ended up not being classified as evidence would be delivered to the DLF, so that they could one day, be handed over to their rightful owners. Wilson, Harry’s intern, in charge of bringing the discarded boxes of evidence to the DLF, had called in sick that day. Harry had offered to bring the box down to the DLF himself. Not as an excuse to see Malfoy again. No. Harry hadn’t thought about that. But he’d scurried back to his office all the same, after escaping the five-minute blur that his visit to the DLF office had been, heart pounding, cheeks hot, the image of Malfoy so confident and suggestive and comfortable in his skinny, skinny jeans seared into his brain.
Now it is all he can think about.
Harry is watching the dregs of his morning tea dry on the inside of his mug, lost in thoughts of shiny rings, blond hair, and denim-clad legs, when the announcement of the interdepartmental mail delivery man snaps him out of his ruminations.
“Discards for the Lost and Found!” the delivery man says, and drops the bulky cardboard box on the desk of Harry’s intern. Wilson looks up at Harry, waiting for his instruction. Delivering the evidence box to the DLF has been one of his tasks since the beginning of his internship, but he still awaits orders with bated breath every time something new comes in. Harry doesn’t know if Wilson will make the best or the worst Auror, some day.
“I’m taking care of it,” Harry says. He grabs the box — it’s big, but not overly heavy — and makes for the door at a speed he hopes projects confident nonchalance, and doesn't give away his thirst to be down at the DLF already.
“You sure about this, mate?” Ron calls from behind him, but the door has already shut behind Harry, and he’s hurtling down the stairs, two at a time, magical objects clattering inside the box.
He needs to tell Draco Malfoy—
Tell Draco Malfoy what, though?
Hi Malfoy, I’m a bit gay? I see you are too. So, tell me, how does it work?
He gives the door to the DLF a perfunctory knock before barging in.
Harry Potter bursts into their office with all the grace of a rabid Hippogriff.
“I’ve got a package,” he says, same as last week.
“He’s got a package.” Hannah winks at Draco. Draco would take great pleasure in watching the colour rise in Potter’s cheeks if he wasn’t sure he was blushing himself.
“For fuck’s sake, woman,” he mutters with a mock-disapproving shake of his head. He glances at Potter, takes a breath, and straightens his shoulders. “Yes, Potter. Over here. I can sign this in.”
Potter marches to Draco’s desk while Draco makes room for the box. He doesn’t have to look up to know that his colleagues are watching the scene like thirsty hawks. Ever since their last collective encounter with Potter, when that green-eyed spoilsport had walked in on the entire DLF striking sexy poses for fun, Draco has not had a minute of peace. ‘ You should have seen his face!’ Lavender had hooted. ‘ His face?! More like his pants! He almost came in them when he saw you all bent over!’ Parvati had replied. ‘ Draco, I think your crush might have a crush on youuuu!’ sang Matilda.
Firstly, that was ludicrous. Sure, Potter had left the place all flustered last week, but that doesn't mean anything. A room full of giggling women could unsettle even the most stoical man. Secondly… how had they found out about his crush on Potter? His very, very secret crush? He’d thought he'd kept it so perfectly under wraps. Yes, he might have been a little obvious about it when he was fourteen, but since then, he’d done a brilliant job at hiding it. There was the time when Parvati had found the stack of Harry Potter-themed newspaper clippings and Witch Weekly covers hidden in Draco’s desk drawer but he’d thought he’d been most convincing at explaining it away (‘Research, Parvati! For all we know, the Dumbledore action figure we found the other day could be his’). And the time when he’s been squeezed against Potter in the morning rush of the Ministry lifts, and had to walk with a manila folder held in front of his crotch for a good fifteen minutes. Beyond that… he’d never given any indication of being interested in Potter. No more than the rest of the wizarding world, anyway. Everybody still fawned over Potter, all the time, always. If anything, the fawning had intensified after the press had announced Potter’s breakup with Ginny Weasley for reasons left unexplained, shrouding the man in an even more opaque layer of mystery.
He doesn’t look very mysterious now, standing over Draco’s desk, proud and official in his Auror uniform, if only for his slightly flushed face. He looks… edible. Draco’s mouth waters, and he takes a swig of his tea to hide his swallow.
“Did you bring the receipt form?” he asks, all professional calm.
Potter pats his pockets and his chest, then deflates. “I seem to have left without it.”
“Fine,” Draco sighs, tucking his hair behind his ear. Potter’s eyes follow the movement of his hand, and Draco’s heart — the treacherous thing — jumps in his chest. “Let me—” He lifts a finger and walks to the filing cabinet near his desk, ducking to avoid a form flying from Parvati’s side of the room to join the piles of parchment on Lavender’s desk. He scans the cabinet. Receipt forms, receipt forms… ah yes, in the bottom drawer. He bends, opens it, and grabs a blank form.
When he stands and turns, Potter is staring, eyes wide and nostrils flaring, as if he can’t believe Draco just did — whatever he did.
“What?” Draco snaps.
“You—” Potter starts, then stops. His jaw is working. “Why are you doing— this,” he says, voice going squeaky..
“What?” Draco drops the form on his desk, but doesn’t sit. “Why am I getting you a receipt form? Other than the fact you’re incompetent and forgot to bring one with you?”
“Draco…” Penelope warns, without lifting her eyes from the forms she’s filing at her desk.
“No, Penelope, I’m genuinely curious.” He puts his hands on his waist, tilts his hips, gives Potter a defiant glare. “Potter here appears to believe I live as a personal insult to him.”
“That’s not— not at all—” Potter stammers, then exhales sharply, frowning. “You keep doing this… thing. The bending over. When… I’m around.”
Draco feels his ears grow hot, and raises a brow. “I don’t wait for you to be around, Potter. I bend over fairly often. Every weekend, in fact.”
One of the girls snorts in the background, but Draco’s attention is all on Potter: the pink on his cheekbones, the rise and fall of his chest under his pressed, crimson Auror shirt, the helpless movement of his Adam’s apple in his throat. Merlin, if only the annoying prat wasn’t so bloody gorgeous…
“Why— do you have to be like this?” Potter says through gritted teeth. His voice is low, private, like he wished to be addressing Draco alone. Anger — good old-fashioned, Potter-triggered anger — bursts in Draco’s chest.
“Be like what?” He gestures at himself, up and down his outfit for the day — a long-sleeved, dark green t-shirt, right sleeve rolled up; dark jeans, ripped at the knees; high-rise combat boots, studded with silver. The rainbow badge, gleaming under the office’s neon lights. “Say it, Potter. Say what it is about me that bothers you so much.”
“Not with everyone around—” The words seem to have escaped Potter’s mouth before he could stop them. He stands back, wide-eyed and blushing. Draco stares. All the air seems to have left his lungs.
“Maybe… we can give you gentlemen five minutes?” Penelope’s voice brings him back. She’s already standing, beckoning the girls to follow her.
“Maybe it’s for the best, yes,” Draco tells her, not looking away from Potter. Who keeps staring, abashed but unrelenting.
“Be nice, Potter,” Penelope says when she passes by him. “I have no qualms kicking your arse if you so much as touch one strand of Draco’s hair — Boy Who Lived or not.”
“Duly noted,” Potter answers absently, as Draco follows the retreating group and closes the door behind them. He seals it with a discreet Colloportus, then pockets his wand and rests his back against the door.
Potter turns, watching him warily — something in his demeanour like a deer in a circle of wolves.
“Let’s have it out, once and for all,” Draco drawls. He sounds more confident than he feels. A matter of survival, when it comes to being in the presence of Harry Potter. “Since there’s a chance we’re going to be working in the same building for the rest of our lives.” He blows his fringe out of his eyes. “I want to hear you say it. Does it bother you that I am gay?”
“No,” Potter growls. He doesn’t move from the spot he’s been standing in since the beginning of their little exchange.
“Something about it bothers you, though. You find it… provocative. That I am who I am. That I dress the way I dress, that I move the way I move.”
“Yes,” Potter says, teeth clenched.
“Well,” Draco shrugs and inspects his nail polish — dark grey today. “That seems an awful lot like your problem, Potter.”
At Potter’s admission, Draco’s head snaps up. Potter is looking at him, eyes hard, chin up.
“I do find it provocative. And also… admirable.”
“Nice of you to give my queerness your blessing, oh Chosen One,” Draco deadpans, but his heart isn't in it. Potter ignores his jab and takes a step in his direction. Draco leans more heavily against the door.
“I see you every day, and there’s something about you…” Potter starts walking closer, “... something about you that just…” Closer, closer. “... just calls to me, Malfoy. The way you are — the way you look… I can’t — not notice you. I can’t get you out of my fucking mind.”
He stops. There’s only a foot of distance between them. When Draco releases the breath stuck in his lungs, it kicks back in quicker, faster, like he’s been running instead of standing there, watching Potter close the distance between them.
“And what am I supposed to do about that?” Draco asks. His voice is too thin to carry a challenge.
Potter lowers his eyes. It’s a relief — his stare feels like a burn on Draco’s skin. “Nothing. Whatever you like. You asked me what bothered me and… I was honest. You’ve always felt… inevitable. To me. And now I— I finally understand why.”
“You like men,” Draco states.
“I think—” Potter lifts his hand, reaches for Draco’s face. He hesitates. Asks, “Can I?” Draco gives a minute nod. Harry slides his fingers in Draco’s fringe, tucks his hair behind his ear. Draco stands motionless, breathless, as Potter’s thumb lingers on the ring at the top of his ear, stills on his cheekbone.
“Potter,” he inhales sharply. “I am not going to be your experimental gay phase.”
“I don’t think it’s a phase.”
“I can’t go out on a limb for ‘I don’t think’.”
“I know. I know it’s not a phase.”
Potter’s breath hovers over Draco’s face. Draco melts against the door. Summons the last bit of his pride.
“If you want me — I’m not going to be your secret.”
“Look at you,” Potter says. His eyes are so bright. “Look at you, Draco. If I had you… I couldn’t keep you a secret if I tried.”
Draco pushes a breath out, and then his hands are in Potter’s hair, pulling his face closer, and he’s kissing him. He’s kissing Harry Fucking Potter. That is an experience in itself. Harry’s hands are on the small of Draco’s back, bringing their hips closer, pulling his body flush against his, and at the same time he’s crowding Draco against the door — Draco’s head hits the wood with a dull thud that he registers in the back of his mind, a mild inconvenience in a sea of wonder.
He’s kissing Harry Potter.
Harry is kissing him.
It’s like flying amidst the heat of Fiendfyre, grappling for Harry with his whole body, thinking he’s about to die — only it’s the exact opposite emotion of that. He’s never felt more alive.
They break for air, just an inch of space between their lips, foreheads pressed together — Draco’s already panting, desperate, Harry’s hot breath bathing his face.
“The lip ring—” Harry murmurs. “—S’nice.”
“Glad you approve,” Draco murmurs back, and they’re kissing again. It’s a blur, really. Harry is everywhere. Hands in Draco’s hair, fingers pulling lightly; tongue in Draco’s mouth, hot and unbearably soft; taut body crowding Draco’s against the door, erection sliding against Draco’s own, and it’s good, so good, so good. Draco moans into the kiss when Harry’s thumbs slide down to the side of his jaw, his palms cupping Draco’s face. Harry takes his bottom lip between his teeth and pulls — it’s more teeth than Draco’s used to, but he’s not going to complain. Harry pulls back once more, and this time his eyes lift to Draco’s — all wide and stunned behind slightly fogged spectacles.
“Does that mean I can have you?” He asks.
“I’m not something to have.”
Harry’s expression softens some more. “I mean it, Draco.”
“So do I. Being with me is simple. Either you’re in or you’re out.”
“That what you tell your weekend conquests?”
Draco bursts out laughing. “Fuck off, Potter. You’ve spent too much time listening to Ministry gossip about me.”
“I wanted to learn more about you.”
“You could have just asked.”
“I was too shy.”
“Potter. Shy. That’s two words I never thought I’d hear in conjunction.”
“Well.” Harry gazes at him, a small smile on his lips. “You looked so — confident. Anyone would feel shy in comparison.”
“Yeah.” Harry leans in again. Draco can feel his erection through layers of clothing. It hasn’t wilted, and neither has Draco’s. His eyes want to roll back in his skull, but Harry takes his chin, turns his face, and whispers in his ear. “Confident. Dauntless. But — you know that, don’t you? You look like you’re daring the world not to notice you. Like…”
“Yes. Like—” Harry nips at his earlobe and Draco is interrupted by his own embarrassing squeak. “Like what?”
Harry’s hands slide down Draco’s sides, and he’s pushing him against the door. It rattles in its hinges, and Draco faintly pictures all his coworkers pressing their ears to the other side and stifling giggles. It would be mortifying, if it wasn’t for Harry’s fingers hesitating just below the waistline of his jeans.
“I could tell you exactly what you look like,” Harry whispers into the shell of his ear, the touch of his breath shooting down Draco’s spine. “I bet you’d love that, wouldn’t you?”
“You know me so well. I do live for hot men complimenting me,” Draco says, aiming for dry wit when he’s all but holding on to the door for dear life.
Harry ignores the sarcasm and presses closer. “The first time I saw you again…Jesus. I couldn’t believe my eyes. You were so…” His hand slides further down Draco’s hip, the other one lifts to the side of his neck. “…so fucking beautiful, I couldn’t believe it was you, until I remembered—” Draco hears him swallow against his neck, and his own throat is tight, his breath is short, his heartbeat is thrumming in his skull, loud like static. He wants Harry to come closer, closer— “I remembered how I used to watch you, to follow you around.”
“Of course you did. Of course you followed me around, I was your arch nemesis, that’s what you’re supposed to do—”
“Arch nemesis,” Harry laughs, softly, into his hair. “I was fucking lovesick, is what I was.”
“With good reason. I mean… Look at you. Took me years to sort it out.” He kisses down the side of Draco's neck. “I've never done this before. Fuck, Draco, kiss me again, please—”
Draco does. It’s a scramble, hands fisting in hair, eyes scrunched closed, tongues and teeth and the small thrusts of hips against hips, innocuous at first, unnoticed, and it’s almost too late when Draco realises he’s not going to be able to stop this, to stop what comes next. Harry's thigh has slid between his open legs and he's rutting against him.
“You're doing so good,” Draco murmurs, hiding his face in the crook of Harry’s neck. Harry lets out a little whimper and humps Draco's hip harder. “So good. You feel so good, Harry.”
Spurred on by Draco's encouragement, Harry takes Draco's wrists in one hand, and pins them above their heads, against the door. It's a good thing he's strong and holding Draco’s wrists so tight, because Draco’s vision tunnels, and all of a sudden his legs can barely carry him.
Understanding dawns on him.
“You like that.” He lets out a disbelieving laugh. “You like it when I tell you how good you're doing.”
A beat, then, “Yeah.” Voice small, almost embarrassed. Apologetic.
“You’ve nothing to worry about,” Draco says, lower, urgent. “Whatever you do, just — feeling you up against me — Merlin, you’ve no idea… You’re doing amazing, darling, you’re so fucking hot—” Draco moans when Harry rolls his hips. He’ll never get tired of the initial thrill of feeling a hot, heavy cock slide against his body. It’s that first touch, breathtaking like a clap of thunder, that he’s been chasing in the clubs, in the furtive encounters with young, pretty men. The fact that it’s Harry this time, hard against Draco’s hip, all heady desire and trembling need for validation, makes Draco lightheaded. “Your cock—” Draco makes sure to stress the word, to linger on the k, “feels so good up against me—”
At the sound of the word, Harry groans, rolls him hips faster. “Yeah? Tell me — what else?”
“If you’re mine, oh Merlin, if you’re mine I’ll make you feel so good, Harry. I’ll show you — I’ll show you everything. Have you ever sucked cock? I bet you would be amazing at it. Merlin, with that mouth and those lips— I’m going to teach you so good, Harry, you’re going to be the best at it, the best cocksucker wizarding Britain’s ever seen—” Draco’s babbling now, but he can’t stop, because Harry’s moaning at each of Draco’s thrusts and filthy promises, and he’s matching the rhythm of Harry’s hips, frantic and breathless. “And I’ll get on my knees for you too, trust me, I’m dying to, and you’ll fuck me so good I’ll forget my own name, say it, say what you’ll do to me—”
Gripping Draco’s arse through his jeans, Harry moves impossibly closer, bites at Draco’s neck. “I’ll suck your cock, I’ll—I’ll fuck you, if you want to—” There’s the distant sound of the door rattling with each of their thrusts, Harry fucking him into the hard wood. Draco’s never lost control like this, not since he was fourteen and had soiled his pyjamas with come, one early morning in his four-poster bed, after barely bringing a hand to himself. He bucks into Harry’s grip, but Harry’s hand is still pinning his wrists to the door and no amount of squirming will make him loosen his grasp.
So he lets Harry take the lead. And Harry rams against him once, twice more and stills with a cry. Draco feels the warmth and wetness through his jeans. Whispers, “Fuck, Harry, that was hot—”
Harry lets go of his wrists and is instantly on him again, kissing, moaning, “Draco, Draco, Draco.” His hand falls to Draco’s cock, painfully hard against his jeans, and he starts rubbing him frantically. Finish him off. Draco is going to come in his pants like a bloody teenager, like his fourteen-year-old self… and he’s fine with that, he’s more than fine with that, it’s like coming full circle, all the shame and loneliness and fear he felt back then, touching himself to thoughts of Potter, finally making sense. The final proof he needed—shared, irrepressible desire. Harry’s hand wraps more firmly around him and he lets go — feels his cock twitch, feels the stupefied relief of orgasm wash over him as Harry kisses the corner of his mouth, the ring in his eyebrow, the side of his neck, murmuring almost unintelligible encouragements.
When Harry pulls back, he’s got that look on his face, a look that says, I should be embarrassed but I’m actually bloody well pleased with myself. Draco can’t blame him: he hasn’t come so hard in ages. Speaking of…
“Gay sex lesson number one, Potter,” he says, whipping out his wand. “Pull your cock out when there’s still time to not make a mess.”
Grimacing, he casts cleaning and drying charms on both their crotches. Harry watches the swirl of magic, eyes crinkled with a playful grin. “If I’d known you’d be bestowing gay wisdom on me when I came here, I’d have brought my school supplies.”
“School supplies won’t be necessary,” Draco tells him, wrapping his arms around Harry's neck and bringing him flush against him. Harry’s tongue darts to lick his lip ring, and Draco laughs. “My teaching style focuses on practical work.”
“I can’t wait for the next lesson.”
“Hmm. I might have availability in the near future.”
Draco hesitates. But Harry’s expression is expectant, open, so he says, “I could make myself available tonight, for instance—”
“Tonight it is,” Harry says.
“My place? Yours? Or would you prefer I dispense all my lessons up against the DLF office door?”
“I was thinking that little Italian place in Marylebone, first.”
All the filthy things they’ve already said and done to each other, and this is what makes Draco blush.
“A date?” He asks, careful.
Harry cocks his head. “You know, for a bloke who claims to be clever enough to teach me things, you’re awfully thick sometimes.” He nudges his nose against Draco’s. “Of course, you berk. A date.”
“Fine,” Draco rolls his eyes, but leans in to kiss him. “A date.”
And then the door bursts open, and Draco is propelled forward.
Harry’s on his back, on the floor, a heap of Draco Malfoy crushing him. It technically wouldn’t be unpleasurable, if there weren’t also five women staring at them from the threshold of the DLF office, some of them gasping in shock, some others smothering giggles behind their hands.
Draco pushes himself off Harry’s body, lifts his head just enough to give his colleagues what Harry guesses is his best murderous glare.
“Ladies, I despair of your manners. What do we say to knocking on doors before barging in?”
“That it’s something only the incurious do?” Parvati asks, all faux-innocence.
“That knocking on our own office door is redundant and pointless?” Lavender adds.
“Zat we were dying to see if you two finally kissed!” Gabrielle is the only one who doesn’t seem intent on teasing them until the end of time.
“That someone remembered to cast a Scourgify on themselves, but not a much needed air-freshening charm in my office?” Penelope Clearwater sniffs, unimpressed. She steps in as the others make room for her. She surveys Harry and Draco with a lifted eyebrow. It barely twitches with hilarity, which Harry thinks is quite a feat of self-control, given the pretty conspicuous tableau they make.
Harry’s trousers are thankfully clean, but his shirt has been torn half open somewhere in the midst of their... excitement, and his whole face feels hot. Draco, though… Draco is a debauched sight to behold. Cheeks pink. Lips swollen from Harry’s bites and kisses. A small tear at the collar of his t-shirt. And his hair — his usually perfectly, artfully coiffed hair — is a mess now, fringe falling in his eyes, sweaty strands sticking to his temples, the rest of it in complete disarray. Harry can’t help the tightening of his chest when he realises it. That he did this to Draco. That Draco said he could be his.
That Draco said he’d teach him.
His cock gives a hopeful lurch at the thought.
“I told you you had five minutes,” Penelope says, hands behind her back, walking a slow circle around them. “In my great magnanimity, I gave you ten.” She stops and studies them from above. “I assume that gave you ample time to sort your… quarrel?”
Draco groans and lifts himself off Harry. Despite his sex-mussed hair and disheveled clothing, he manages to sound bored. Harry is grudgingly impressed. “You can stop torturing us right now, Penelope. Yes, evidently, Harry and I sorted our issues.”
“Harry?” Lavender asks, all innocent wonder, and a few gasps echo around her.
“You said ‘Harry’! Not ‘Potter,’ ‘Harry’!” Parvati squeaks.
“Harry and Draco, sitting in a tree!” Matilda sings.
“S-N-O-G-G-I-N-” Start all of Draco’s colleagues in unison.
“Will you stop?!” Draco interrupts. He blows on his fringe, sending his white-blond hair flying. Harry’s starting to find that little tic of his weirdly sexy. Draco holds out a hand for Harry, who takes it and hauls himself from off the floor. “We were not snogging!”
“Erm,” Harry says, brushing his palms down his Auror uniform. Draco rounds on him, gaping. He’s about to say something biting and snarky, Harry’s sure, but Penelope Clearwater smirks, putting her arm over his shoulder.
“I like you already, Harry,” she purrs.
“We’re just going through the hypotheses, Draco,” Hannah Abbott says, lifting her eyebrows. “If you weren’t snogging, then judging by the abused state of our poor office door it was either a rather vigorous fistfight, or—”
Draco throws his hands up in the air with a frustrated growl and stalks back to his desk. Harry’s left with Penelope half-hugging him, and four women watching him with small, knowing smiles. He squirms.
“May I—” he nods over his shoulder and points at Draco, who’s sitting at his desk, filling out Ministry forms with slashing movements of his quill. “I’d like to—”
“Of course, Auror Potter.” Penelope lets him go, while her team smiles like benevolent sharks. “Finish your business, please.”
Harry shuffles off to Draco’s desk. After what they just did — after having Draco pinned under him against the door, after almost unhinging that door with the force of their — er… Eagerness? Yeah, eagerness sounds about right, Harry thinks, remembering Draco’s cleaning charm and feeling his ears go hot. After everything, then, he’s feeling shy again. Bashful. Tentative. He approaches Draco’s desk, slides two fingers over the side of the mahogany table.
“Er. So. Can I have the form, please?”
Draco’s head snaps up. Harry can tell he’s trying to school his features into his usual prickly sneer and failing miserably.
He looks well-shagged and happy, even when he frowns.
“Ah, yes. The receipt form.” He leans over the side of his desk and grabs the parchment. “Because that’s what you came here for, wasn’t it, Potter.”
There’s something cautious and pained in Draco’s voice. Harry leans in and touches the tips of his fingers to Draco’s hand, the one that’s holding the quill he’s about to sign the form with.
“I don’t mind the date I got in the process.”
Draco glances at him. His mouth twists at the corner, almost imperceptible. “The happy accidents of Ministry bureaucracy.”
“I can live with those types of accidents.”
“So can I.”
“As long as the next ones are planned.”
“Seems to me we’ve already planned our next… ‘accident’. Are there going to be more?”
“If they all go as well as the first one, I sure hope so.”
Draco lowers his eyes, the pleased blush unmistakeable across his cheekbones. Harry wants to kiss him again because kissing Draco Malfoy is intoxicating, just as he expected. It’s about the only thing that is expected about Draco Malfoy. And Harry might never want to stop kissing him at all.
“Later, Potter,” Draco says, voice softer around his clipped accent, and Harry smiles. He touches his fingers to Draco’s hand once more, his palm this time, and lets them linger for a moment. Then he pulls back and straightens up.
“Bye, Draco,” he says and turns towards the door.
He can feel the combined stares of the DLF team, can feel that it’s only a matter of seconds before the dam of giggles and teasing breaks. He’s not too worried about Draco, really. If anyone can hold his own in this office, it’s him.
And just when he’s about to shut the door behind him, he hears that satisfied drawl, directed at his colleagues.
“Maybe now you’ll believe me. The ‘Bend and Snap’? Works. Every. Single. Time.”