“Sometimes powerful magic only manifests after a deep trauma, Mr. Malfoy,” the voice said.
Draco didn’t say anything at all, because he didn’t think his vocal cords could make even a whisper. He just looked at the forest floor and bit his lip until it bled.
“Oh, Merlin, no,” Draco gasped as he fell into the old, battered, but still very comfortable pale green armchair. He had dragged it up here with Blaise by hand since the cursed thing couldn’t be moved by magic because one of his ancestors had wanted it to stay at the manor forever. Draco wasn’t living at the manor anymore—thank Merlin—but he had still wanted the chair, come what may, so they did it the Muggle way.
He closed his eyes so that he wouldn't have to look at what he had just created. He had no real recollection of painting it, only vague flashes of scents and colours. That was the one clue that it was probably a fucking – prophecy? Vision? Bane of his usually-peaceful existence. It was roughly one and a half meters wide and three meters high. The upper edge was still white in places—maybe he hadn’t been able to reach that far in his dreamlike state?
“You missed dinner!” Luna said. He hadn't heard her come in. Her eyes moved from him to the painting. “Oh,” she said.
“Yeah, well...not the word I would use,” Draco replied. He turned and looked at the painting again, taking in all the colours and details. The grisly, grisly details. He heard Luna snap a picture and knew it would be on its way to the Ministry.
She came closer to the canvas and peered at it intently. “Is that Harry?” she asked.
It better not be, he thought, getting up from the armchair and stepping beside her. They didn’t touch, but he enjoyed the faint heat of her body. It was comforting, despite what they were looking at. Or, maybe, because of it.
“Where?” Draco asked. The canvas was still wet and some of the paint was dripping, moving like it was alive.
“There, behind that blob of brownish red,” Luna answered, pointing her finger at the small figure. It was definitely Potter, his face in shadow, his scar painted in a stark gold.
Draco closed his eyes. “It doesn’t mean anything.”
Luna made a noise and Draco looked at her. “Since you started working with the Ministry of Magic, you've never once painted Harry. I mean, you've never painted or sketched or doodled Harry, Draco. You even doodled Mr. Starlord, and you hate Mr. Starlord, but never Harry.”
That was unfortunately true. On both accounts. He had doodled Mr. Starlord, Pansy’s evil cat who he fucking hated. Mr. Starlord had let him know on more than one occasion that the feeling was mutual.
“I think it means something. It might be his current case,” Luna continued.
That was what Draco had been afraid of.
Predictably, Potter had started a very successful career as an Auror and then had married Ginny Weasly, which had not worked out for them. Last Draco heard—and he tried not to care about Potter and his affairs at all—was that they had split up with no fuss five years ago. Since then, Harry Potter had been single as far as the public was concerned. Married to his work, they said.
“Are you putting him together, or something? Why is it taking so long to get Draco down from that bloody attic?!” Pansy yelled. She used a spell so that her voice was loud enough to bounce off the attic walls and invade every fucking corner of Draco’s peaceful world. Well, usually peaceful, except for the occasional bloody (in every sense of the word) vision he bore to canvas or paper.
“He made another one,” Luna yelled back. She too used a spell for that, but her own milder version of it. Pansy would probably hear it as if Luna was standing next to her in the kitchen and whispering into her ear. Why had he ever agreed to live with them?
A few moments later, Pansy was standing in the middle of the studio. “Well, fuck,” she said as she looked her fill.
“That was the word I would have used, too,” Draco replied. “Luna already sent a picture to Henri." Henri Devereux was Draco’s contact at the Ministry of Magic. They got along alright.
“I assume someone will pay us a visit soon,” Pansy said.
Draco nodded. Usually, they didn’t bother. The only one who ever came to look at the paintings was Henri, but this one had Potter involved, so Draco was pretty sure that someone from the Ministry would pay them a visit soon.
“I’ll go and make tea,” Luna said in that dreamy voice of hers. She kissed Pansy’s cheek and went down the stairs to the kitchen.
Pansy stayed in the studio. “Well, no more avoidance then.”
“I wasn’t avoiding anyone or anything,” Draco said.
“I bet you were tempted to set in on fire when you spotted Potter there in that corner.”
“Luna spotted him, and by then she had already sent the picture to Henri,” Draco said.
She laughed. “Well, it’s a good thing you like her.”
“I’m fond of her because she’s clearly off her rockers and because you are disgustingly in love with her,” Draco replied.
“Which of those means more, I wonder?” she mused.
“I’m not going to answer that.”
Suddenly, Luna’s disembodied voice was right there beside them. “The wards just started up. Someone's coming."
Luna was always the first who noticed the warning of the wards. Draco had a sneaking suspicion that the wards liked her better than Pansy and himself. Or, possibly, the whole house did.
“Coming,” Pansy yelled down, not bothering with a spell.
They had roughly ten minutes before the Aurors would knock on their door (they had bricked up their fireplaces when they moved in, so no one was able to use the Floo). Draco used those ten minutes to dress in presentable clothes and scrub the splattered paint from his skin, then made his way downstairs.
Henri met him at the end of the stairs, along with three Aurors. One of them was Potter, of course. Draco risked taking a look at him; he looked good. Older, and a bit taller. Draco was satisfied to note he was still not taller than him. Potter's hair was mostly the same, but his glasses were stylish now, and he didn't try to hide his scar anymore.
“Henri,” Draco said. He gave a nod of acknowledgment to the other three men in the hall.
“Mr. Malfoy,” Henri said. He never used Draco’s first name, which was fine with him. When Draco had gone to the Ministry, nearly ten years ago now, and told them about his visions, they had thought it was a joke. They had assigned Henri to him as a kind of punishment. Draco never asked what Henri had done to anger the higher ups, but thanks to Draco's visions and Henri's uncanny talent in deciphering the clues in the paintings, cases were solved left, right, and center. Draco refused to work with anyone else. Many others had tried, mostly to boost their performance ratings, but Draco liked Henri. He thought they were kindred spirits.
“Tea is ready in the parlor,” Luna said from the door to the kitchen. Pansy was nowhere to be found, as she did not like even breathing the same air as Ministry officials. Draco normally didn't either, and he would have been fine serving them nothing at all in the kitchen, but Luna had better manners than the both of them.
“Gentlemen,” Draco said, indicating the door.
Potter looked at him for a long hard moment but said nothing, for which Draco was grateful. Something inside him was stirring at seeing Potter, at smelling him. Something like resentment and excitement and—something else he didn’t want to name, but knew. Fear had a strangely sweet scent for him these days.
Luna poured tea for them once they were settled in the parlor, then moved to sit next to Draco, leaving the usual space between them.
“Thank you, Ms. Lovegood, you can go now,” Head Auror Thompson said.
She gave him a look. “I live here.”
“Yes, of course, but this is a very delicate matter and—"
Draco sighed. “She’s seen the painting. She’s seen all the bloody paintings, Thompson.” Draco didn’t like Thompson, and that was mutual, too. He knew Thompson had been the one who had assigned Henri to him, because he no doubt thought Draco was gaga and Henri was useless. Now he was probably resentful that they had turned out to be such a good team.
“Auror Thompson,” the bulky man beside Potter cut in.
Draco blinked at him. “Excuse me?”
The man bristled. “It’s Mr. or Auror Thompson. It’s a sign of respect.”
“Well,” Draco said. “Thompson it is, then.”
“Draco,” Luna said with a sigh.
“Let’s get this over with, shall we? Henri, you can go right up; the wards will let you through. You can look at it in peace while I deal with these gentlemen here," Draco said.
Henri nodded, grabbing his mug of tea and heading up to the studio.
“Why are three of you here? Surely we don’t need four people to look at a painting,” Draco said, looking from Thompson to the unnamed Auror, and then to Potter. Potter’s eyes were a beautiful shade of green, like growing things. The colour made his fingers itch for a canvas and his paints. He reached for his mug so his fingers had something else to do.
Potter hadn’t said a single word to him yet, but he had greeted Luna warmly, which had been expected. He and Potter had parted on civil terms after the war was over, but they had never been friends. As Draco wasn’t going out much these days, he hadn’t had the pleasure to see Potter on the other side of the street and nod at him politely, either.
“Aurors Bears and Potter are on the case you painted,” Thompson said.
“I figured,” Draco replied.
Thompson let the interruption go. He knew that the Ministry needed Draco more than Draco needed the fucking Ministry. As far as Draco knew, he was the only real Seer in this part of the world. Draco also knew that Thompson would love to see him locked up.
“We kept the details from the public,” Thompson said.
“Figured that as well, since I haven’t heard or read anything about grisly murders lately,” Draco replied. If his painting was just a fraction of what was happening, what has happened, what would be happening, then it was indeed grisly.
“It’s a serial killer,” Bears added.
“Targets?” Draco asked, because his Vision hadn’t shown him any faces this time around.
“Pretty, young men and women, magic and Muggle both,” Thompson answered smoothly.
“More Muggle-born than witch, I assume?” Draco asked.
Draco would bet anything that this had been going on for far longer than the Aurors had been investigating it. He glanced at Potter briefly, but his face was blank.
“I’m sure Henri will find something, but Aurors Bears and Potter can also go up and look at it. Maybe they’ll see something useful,” Draco said and told his wards to let Bears and Potter into his studio.
After a short nod from Thompson, the Aurors went up. Draco itched to follow them, but didn’t. Half an hour later they came back down. Bears looked sick, and Potter wasn’t looking at Draco. Thompson got up, nodded at Draco, and then they left.
That night Draco slept in the studio. He always said that he was just a medium when the visions came over him, but that wasn’t quite true. He could feel and smell things, almost like dreaming, but not. It was hard to explain, so he wasn’t trying anymore. It wasn’t like anyone would know how it felt.
He woke up in the middle of the night and grabbed for his pastels. He wasn’t looking at the paper because his mind was somewhere else, somewhere green and lush that tasted bitter on his tongue. Like regret, though he wasn’t sure if it was his or someone else’s.
When he "woke up", as he liked to call it, the wooden floor of the studio was littered with paper. He had used different shades of green and his subject, to no one’s surprise, was Potter.
“Bloody hell,” Draco whispered, running a hand over his eyes. His fingers were green from the dust. Everything was green: from pale shades like budding flowers to nearly black like the Forbidden Forest, to luminescent-like poison; Potter’s eyes were staring back at him. He felt naked with all those eyes on him, hidden between trees or bushes or flowers. In some, the trees and bushes were inside Potter’s eyes. It was beautiful and creepy. Draco shuddered and gathered the paper, putting all the drawings in a box, which he shoved under the daybed he slept on more often than in his own bedroom downstairs.
Henri had taken a million pictures of Vision No. 33, and the canvas was covered up with a tarp now. It loomed in the half darkness of the room and Draco was strangely fascinated by it. He should have put it in storage like all the others before, but for some reason he hadn’t. Maybe it was the fact that there was this white blank space. Maybe this wasn’t finished yet.
He got up from the floor and walked over to it, his bare feet making no sound on the wood. He grabbed for the tarp and pulled it down. Vision No. 33 looked different in this light. The gold of the scar seemed like it was beckoning, like it was shining. He reached out and rubbed it, feeling the unusual sandy texture.
Why isn't it smooth? he wondered. Had Henri made a note of it? The white space looked nearly violent in the dark. He dragged a stool near and climbed up on it so he could examine the top of the painting closely. The edges were smooth around the blank space, not like he hadn’t finished it, but like it was meant to be this way. Draco frowned. All his other paintings had always reached the edges of the canvas. He didn’t like blank spaces.
He climbed down and threw the tarp over the painting again. It was going into storage tomorrow. He didn’t want it in his home anymore.
Harry had known before they left the office three days ago that he was in the painting because his superior had shown him a picture of it. Thompson, of course, hadn’t said a word about the Seer being Draco Malfoy. Thompson was an arse like that sometimes.
They had pictures upon pictures upon pictures of the painting, but despite this, Harry felt like he needed to see it again. To be close to it, or maybe to touch it, with Draco’s permission. So he had called Luna and asked if he could come back over. To his surprise, Draco had allowed it.
“I was about to pack it up when Luna said you wanted to have another look,” he said from the top of the stairs. He looked good; Harry had noticed it three days ago, too. He had grown into his pointy features, and his hair was so light it was nearly blinding, his skin so pale it looked luminescent. On someone else it may have made him look ill, but not Draco. There were still parts of the Draco Malfoy Harry remembered, but he was also very different now. His confidence was real, and his mouth seemed less cruel, Harry thought. Or maybe it was just his own perspective. He’d seen real evil as an Auror, and Draco Malfoy wasn’t it.
“Thank you for letting me see it again,” Harry said.
Draco nodded then waved his hand, which Harry thought meant his wards would let him through. He wasn’t using any kind of verbal magic Harry could detect, or a wand, for that matter.
“I didn’t think you would want to. Bears seemed pretty sick after seeing it,” Draco replied.
“He's seen the real deal too, but not all of them in one place,” Harry said. It seemed to be explanation enough.
“Come up then, Mr. Potter,” Draco said, and turned on the stairs.
His back was small, his waist slim and his legs long, Harry noticed. He was noticing a lot about men now that he had the freedom to look. Draco Malfoy had inherited his mother’s beauty.
Once in the studio, Harry took the time to really look at his surroundings. The walls were white and pale grey. There was an ancient-looking green armchair, a daybed with blue and green pillows and blankets, and easels, paints, and small tables overflowing with what Harry was sure were sketchbooks.
He refocused on Draco as Draco pulled the tarp off the painting. Harry stared at the canvas. It was strangely beautiful. Grisly and bloody and gruesome, but beautiful too.
“What does the gold mean?” he asked. Draco shrugged.
“I don’t know. I just painted it,” he answered.
“You never seemed the artistic type at school,” Harry said.
Draco arched a perfect eyebrow. “Really? How would you know? I hardly shared my hobbies with you, aside from Quidditch."
He had a point, Harry had to admit. “What about the visions? I’m pretty sure you didn’t have those when we were at Hogwarts.” Harry said.
“I didn’t. They came later,” Draco answered.
He said it in a tone that was nearly hostile, and tinged with sadness. This fucked Harry up inside like the painting hadn’t. He had the urge to grab Draco’s arm and rub it, to comfort him somehow. After all, he knew how it felt to see things through someone else’s eyes or mind. He ignored this urge, however.
He hadn’t seen Draco Malfoy in over ten years; in fact, hardly anyone had seen him after the war ended. This Malfoy was foreign like the old Malfoy hadn't been. Thirty-two years old and working with the Ministry of Magic. In fucking secret. Harry knew Malfoy didn’t get any recognition for the solved cases, and it didn’t seem he wanted any. Harry had looked into Draco Malfoy and his visions over the last few days—how could he not have?—and discovered in the process that Draco Malfoy was making a name for himself in the Muggle art world. He made quite a good living off of it, in fact.
“Do you give them titles?” Harry asked.
“The prophetic ones?”
“Yes,” Harry answered.
“Vision Number 1 through 33. This one is 33,” Draco answered. He looked at it again. “Henri says it shows all the victims until now in parts.”
Harry nodded. “Well, except that one brownish blob near my scar,” Harry replied.
“The heart,” Draco said with a shudder.
“Yes, the heart,” Harry said.
“Could be your next clue then, Potter,” Draco said.
Harry smiled. “I missed you saying my name like this.”
“Like what?” Draco asked.
“It took me a long time to figure it out, but the Auror training helped. It’s part disdain and part ownership.”
It made Harry’s heart beat faster and his blood boil in a good way. Looking back, he had always been attracted to boys as well as girls, but he never really had the time to confront these feelings or ask about it, what with all the conspiracies and life threatening events.
Draco smiled, sharp but amused. “Ownership,” he said and shook his head. “And you like it?”
Harry didn’t answer for a long second. “It feels familiar. When you say my name like that it seems like the last fourteen years didn’t happen.”
“But they did,” Draco said, looking away from Harry’s face to the canvas.
There was something there, Harry knew. He had become a very good Auror over the years, and had learned to read people. He knew that Draco Malfoy had a secret. His mind wandered back to his school days, when he had obsessed over Draco Malfoy and his secrets. He had been right back then too, but he had also been petty and righteous.
“Yes, they did,” Harry agreed. He stepped forward and looked at the canvas again. “I’ve seen some of your other art. I mean, I saw it before I knew it was yours.”
“I don’t sign them with my real name,” Draco said.
Harry nodded. “And of course only a few people in the Wizarding World would know your style.”
“I bet you could spot one of mine in a London gallery now, after having seen this,” Draco said, stepping up beside him, though not close enough to touch. He smelled of paint and earth. The paint Harry could understand; the smell of wet, freshly-turned soil was a mystery.
“Yes, I probably could,” Harry said softly.
“The more I look at it the more I think there is something missing. I've never painted you before."
“I’ve been on some of the cases you helped solve,” Harry replied. "It seems odd that I wouldn't turn up until now.”
“Yes," Draco said. "Five out of thirty-two, and now this one."
“You were following my career?” Harry asked. He was still staring at the painting, not daring to look at Draco. The grisly details of the painting seemed safer than the storm in Draco Malfoy's eyes.
“Not really, but I know what I’ve painted, and some of it was in the papers,” Draco replied shrugging.
“What does it mean, that I’m in your Vision now?”
“I don’t know,” Draco answered. He reached out and touched painting-Harry's scar, then snapped his hand back as if burned. He cocked his head, then walked over to an empty canvas. He looked normal, but his movements were slow and graceful—like ballet.
Draco grabbed his paints and began smearing them onto the blank canvas. Harry watched him for a few moments and then decided to sit down; there was no telling how long this would take. He was fascinated by the whole affair, by the way Draco hummed under his breath, the way he moved, the way the colours took shape on the canvas. The smell of dark, wet earth got stronger, strong enough that Harry looked around to find the source despite feeling deep down it was coming from Draco.
There was a lot of green in the painting, and pale pink tones as well, and deep dark shadows at the edges that seemed to suck the light from the center. It was disturbing, more so once Draco put the palette and brushes aside and stepped back from it. He blinked, stopped humming, and stared at the painting. Harry was staring too. His own eyes were looking back at him, perfectly captured. Inside the green was a forest, with deep shadows and violent highlights. The darkness at the edges looked like fingers, and the pale center was made up of bodies or parts, intertwined and strangely erotic. There was also a heart again, stylised this time and not anatomically correct like in Vision No. 33.
“Well, fuck,” Draco said. He turned slowly and saw Harry sitting on the daybed. “You’re still here.”
“I think I might be a clue,” Harry said, looking at the painting. He couldn’t tear his eyes away from the bodies in the middle; they looked like a flower. “Is that an orgy?”
Draco shrugged and then shuddered. “It might well be. I need to call Henri.”
Harry grabbed his arm to stop him, though he couldn't say why. Draco sucked in a sharp breath, then screamed. It happened so fast Harry barely had time to register the sound before Pansy was there, looking furious. She tore Harry away from Draco and turned on him.
“Out!” she hissed.
“I just wanted—"
“Out!” she repeated. She sounded like a snake, an angry one that was ready to strike. He nodded and left the attic.
Luna was waiting for him at the stairs with a mug of hot tea and a black cat. He took the mug gratefully but couldn’t make himself drink the tea.
“You shouldn’t have touched him,” Luna said. There was something sad and furious and protective in her eyes, like Draco was a defenseless, naked, small thing that needed to be protected at all costs.
“I’m sorry. I didn’t think,” he replied.
She nodded. “Well, I’ll talk to Pansy. She won’t try to kill you.”
“Thank you, Luna,” he said, handing the mug back to her. “I think I should probably go.”
She nodded, then reached out and touched his arm gently. “He’ll be fine, don’t worry.”
He nodded, but she probably knew that it wasn’t going to happen. He was going to worry and he was going to obsess about the mystery that was Draco Malfoy.
“I don’t like that it’s been so silent,” Ivan said.
Harry nodded. They hadn’t had another incident for over ten days. He also hadn’t spoken to Draco Malfoy in over ten days, though he also hadn't tried to contact him. Luna had informed him that Draco wasn’t taking any visitors.
“And the last one, Vision No. 34,” Ivan said, looking at the close ups of the painting. He leaned his head back and stared at the ceiling. “It looks different than his other pieces. Draco Malfoy is a Seer, the real deal...”
Harry looked at Ivan. He liked the guy; he was young, he was loyal, and he was different, probably because he had gone to Durmstrang and not Hogwarts. He was the only partner Harry actually liked working with. Before Ivan, he had six different partners over ten years and had disliked them all.
“Yes, he's the real deal,” Harry said.
“I read you went to school with him."
“I did, but we didn’t know each other well,” Harry said, suddenly realising it was the truth. He had thought he knew Draco Malfoy, but he had had his own version of Draco that had also been influenced by the people he had loved, but he was older now and understood that there were different sides to people.
“I’ve looked into him. He graduated at eighteen like the lot of you after the war. His grades were really good. He’s a smart guy,” Ivan said.
Harry nodded. “He's always been excellent at Potions.”
“And then he just vanished for three years, no trace of him whatsoever," Ivan continued.
“I heard he went to France for a while with his mother,” Harry said, but now wondered if that had been true or not. He hadn’t cared at all back then. He'd had his own life to live for the first time.
“And then he comes back at the age of twenty-two and starts to work with the Ministry half a year after.”
“How did you get those files?” Harry wondered.
Ivan winked at him. “I have my ways, Mr. Potter,” he said.
Ivan was big on respecting your elders and superiors, but Harry was slowly training that out of him.
“He buys the house and moves in with Pansy Parkinson, and later, Luna Lovegood.”
“The wards on that house are very strong, the ones on the studio even stronger,” Harry said.
“He bricked up all the fireplaces,” Ivan replied. “He really does value his privacy.”
Or he’s trying to keep people out, Harry thought.
“His file says he took the Dark Mark,” Ivan continued.
“Yes, at the tender age of sixteen,” Harry replied. In hindsight, he felt sorry for the boy Draco had been, the impossible position he had been forced into.
Ivan nodded. “Must have been hard for him since then.”
Harry had never really thought about that, but Ivan was of course right. The Dark Mark was a stain, and even with his excellent grades it would have been hard for Draco Malfoy to find
employment in Britain.
“He seems to be doing alright for himself,” Harry said. He didn’t want to feel sorry for Draco Malfoy anymore. He was sure that Draco didn’t want anyone to feel sorry for him either; in that regard, they were similar.
“I keep coming back to the heart,” Ivan said. “Something about the heart...”
It was both in Vision No. 33 and No.34. “That's the thing you find out of place? Not my face?”
“You are obviously somehow involved, but even Mr. Devereux thinks it’s not really about the case, but about...well, the Seer’s connection to you.”
There's no connection, Harry thought bitterly.
“So, I’m concentrating on the heart,” Ivan continued, ignoring Harry’s inner turmoil.
Harry stood up abruptly and Ivan looked at him. “I’m going out for lunch.”
Ivan nodded. “Good luck.”
“With lunch?” Harry asked.
Ivan smiled, it was more like a smirk, really. “Yes, with lunch, because you’re intending to have it at Mr. Malfoy’s place.”
Harry didn’t reply to that. Ivan was right and they both knew it.
“I’ll stay here, chained to the desk then, and try to figure this out,” Ivan said as Harry left the office.
Once he was outside, he breathed in deeply. It was raining, and the smell reminded him of Draco. He had made a comment about it to Ivan this morning, and Ivan had written it down but didn’t think it was important. Harry wasn’t sure why he was thinking about the earthy, wet smell, but it was surely intriguing. And not unpleasant, not at all.
He grabbed lunch and coffee at a nearby place and then called Luna. He had always assumed that she was the only one with a phone in that house, but now he wasn’t so sure, because Draco had to deal with Muggles somehow to be able to exhibit and sell his paintings.
“Harry, how lovely to hear from you again,” Luna said.
“Luna, yes, I was wondering if Draco is up for visitors again?”
She sighed. “He says no, but he’s alright again. He just doesn’t want to see anybody.”
“Anybody, or just me?” Harry asked.
“It’s not just you. Usually it’s only Henri and Blaise he sees, except for me and Pansy of course, but we’re living here.”
“Right,” Harry said.
There was a long silence on the other end of the line, but she hadn’t hung up on him. “I know you want to ask him questions, but he won’t answer them, Harry.”
“And if I don’t ask any questions?”
“Have you eaten?” Luna asked.
“No,” Harry lied smoothly.
“Well, maybe you can come over then. I’m making lunch, and there's cake."
“I’ll be right over,” Harry replied, then hung up on her before she could change her mind.
Draco was not amused when he felt the wards stir. He knew it was Potter before he heard him enter, and was proven right when he heard him greet Luna.
“He's our lunch guest?”
Luna nodded. “Well, maybe he’s only mine.”
Draco looked from her to Potter. “Potter.”
“Draco,” Potter said.
It had always irritated Draco that Potter could so casually call him by his first name when they weren’t even friends.
If he was here already, he could stay, Draco supposed. “After you then.”
“Thank you for having me,” Potter said. His eyes were smiling. He was amused—that made one of them, at least. Draco hadn’t been able to sleep for days because dreams and memories were haunting him. He probably looked like death warmed over, not that it mattered. It wasn’t like he could—he cut that thought short. It was no use; even holy fucking Potter wasn’t able to touch him. In fact, it had felt worse with Potter than with anyone else who had ever tried before.
Pansy looked pissed, but she didn’t leave the table. She also wasn’t making any kind of conversation with anyone, so lunch would have been a pretty silent affair if it hadn’t been for Luna and her talent to talk any awkward silence to death. After they were done and Draco had banished the remains and plates to the kitchen, he looked at Potter. Potter looked steadily at him over the wide expense of the old mahogany dining table. Luna touched Potter’s hair gently, then grabbed Pansy’s hand. They disappeared up the stairs.
“Probably going to have a row now and then make up really loudly,” Draco explained.
“They seem good for each other,” Potter replied.
“Well, they’re both a bit gaga.”
“I noticed you’re only using non-verbal magic these days, Draco.”
“Is this a question? Are you starting an interrogation?”
“Why are you so hostile?”
“It’s my natural default when it comes to you,” Draco answered. Probably because he had been stung deeply as a child when Potter had told him he didn’t want to be friends. Things like that could really impact a person.
Incredibly, Potter laughed. “I like that about you. I think I kind of liked it about you in school, too.”
“Really? You get off on verbal abuse?”
“I might. I've never tried it before,” Potter said.
Draco suppressed the urge to blink at him. This line of conversation was very dangerous to his heart. “I know why you’re here, Potter and I’m going to tell you now that I—"
“Why am I here?” Potter interrupted. He folded his hands on the table. They were good hands, Draco noted, big and strong. Clean, too. Draco had always liked big hands on him, well...before.
“So rude, Potter. Didn’t anyone teach you to not interrupt? You have been sent to smooze up to important people, right? As a successful Auror, and all.”
“Something about you makes me want to misbehave, Draco,” Potter answered.
“I think you want to misbehave all the time."
Potter smiled. “Maybe.”
“Did you catch this case because you grew up amongst Muggles?” Draco asked. He knew that technically he wasn’t part of the investigation, and he had no right to ask these questions, but he—like Potter—liked to misbehave. He also liked to rule what little power he had over people that thought he was beneath them.
“Partly, I guess. It was like you suspected: it started with Muggles, but it was soon pretty clear that the murders had been magical,” he smiled wryly. “Magical murders...”
“And then it started on our side of the fence too,” Draco said.
“Yes. We have eight victims so far. Ivan thinks the heart you painted in both Visions is somewhat important, but I’m more concerned about my face on those canvases,” Potter said.
“Henri doesn’t think it has anything to do with you directly," Draco said.
“What do you think, Draco?”
Why was it that the more he heard Potter say his name, the more he liked it?
“I never interpret them myself. I mean, except for the first two; that was when I realised that they were visions. You know, I went to the Ministry five times before anyone deemed it important enough to hear me out? And then, only after McGonagall had seen the paintings and called in some favours.”
“She saw you paint one,” Potter said. It wasn’t a question; it seemed Potter was pretty sharp, after all.
Draco nodded. “Yes, she did. That's how I ended up working with the Ministry of Magic. What a glorious life it has been ever since.”
“From what I’ve heard, you’re doing alright for yourself.”
“Money-wise yes, I guess I am a huge deal in the Muggle art world.”
It was not the life he had imagined as a kid, but except for the Visions, the cause for them, and his little problem with human touch, he was doing alright.
“So humble, too,” Potter said.
“When did you ever know me to be humble, Potter?”
“Never. I used to think it was a character flaw, and I was sure you had many.”
“Not anymore?” Draco realized that they had both leaned forward over the table while they had been talking. The edge of the wood was digging into Draco’s stomach, but he didn’t much care.
“I’m rethinking a lot of the things I took for granted when I was a child, Draco. Haven't you?”
“Yes,” Draco replied. Like the freedom to fuck someone for example, he thought, but didn’t voice.
It seemed like Potter wanted to say something else, but his phone rang and he excused himself.
Over the last ten years, the Wizarding world had adopted a few of the handier electronic devices that Muggles made, and portable phones were on the top of that list. Draco hadn’t bothered, because it was fun to listen to Luna’s stories about dealing with the art dealers in London and beyond.
“I’m needed back at the office,” Potter told him.
“By all means, go. I haven’t chained you to the table, have I?”
“Can I come again?” Potter asked.
Draco knew he should say no, but he nodded instead. These days he didn’t have much company except for Luna and Pansy, and despite everything, he had enjoyed talking to Potter.
“See you soon, Draco.”
“Yes, see you soon, Potter,” Draco replied.
Visions No. 33 and No. 34 were still in the studio, sitting side by side. When Draco was up there—and he spent most of his time up there—it was like they were sucking him in. Something about the flowers, the forest, and the unfinished edges were calling to him. It felt familiar, but he couldn’t put his finger on it.
“You’ve been up here for hours,” Pansy said from the door. She wore her dark hair long these days, and it suited her. She and Luna were perfect opposites. Like Potter and I, he thought wryly.
“It’s my studio, where I work, to pay for all those pretty, pretty things you like so much,” Draco said.
She huffed and rolled her eyes. “You buy me stuff because you want to, Draco,” she said, her voice soft on his name. She had always had a soft spot for him. Draco knew she had been in love with him at some point. Of course, when he realised he wasn't attracted to women romantically or sexually, that had put a damper on things.
“What else should I spend my money on?” Draco asked.
“You could just leave and—"
“No,” Draco cut in sharply.
“Come down then and have dinner. Blaise will be here in a few weeks to keep you company and get you out of your head so you don't lose your mind.”
“Oh, joy,” Draco said, but followed her into the kitchen.
While half his brain was paying attention to the conversation going on around him, the other half was chewing on No. 33 and 34. Was Potter in these pictures because he’d been there too? Seen what Draco had seen all those years ago? Obviously, Potter hadn’t been—his mind shied away from a word for it, but yes, obviously Potter hadn’t. Potter’s magic was strong, but not like Draco’s. Draco’s was scary sometimes, or used to be at least, before he'd tucked himself away and mastered it. Now it didn’t need more than a focused thought for him to make things happen. And if people knew this...well. He glanced down at the Dark Mark on his arm. It wasn’t moving anymore, and he'd added bits and pieces to it so it wasn’t as ugly as it used to be, but if you looked for it you could see its shape under the beauty he piled on top of it. In the end, he thought wryly, it's just like me.
He slept in the studio that night. He had vivid dreams, but no visions. When he woke up it was still dark outside, and the moon shone directly onto that golden scar. Draco got out of bed and sat down, naked, in front of the two canvases. He had dreamed about that place again, about that night that had changed everything for him, giving him the visions, the power, and the inability to stand human touch. He could feel his heart beating faster and faster in his chest the longer he stared at the canvases in the dark. And then he fell inside.
It was that night again, and Joel was saying something funny, and he was touching Draco, and they had been kissing the whole evening between touching and teasing. It was leading up to—well, sex. Draco had fooled around with both genders during his stay in France, but confirmed his suspicion pretty fast that he wasn’t turned on by women, so he stuck to men.
Joel had come along and swept him away, and now here they were and Draco knew it was going to be the night. He had some experience, but he had never let anyone fuck him before. He was nervous and excited, and Joel, well...was Joel. He pressed Draco against the car and kissed him breathless and hard, then told him to get in. He had a surprise for Draco, he said.
Draco's mind shied away from the rest. It had been a surprise, alright. Being a sacrificial virgin had not been on his agenda, but by the time he listened to the knot in his stomach telling him something just wasn’t right, they were in the woods already. He had felt drunk on—something, something that Joel had slipped him, no doubt. He had laughed when he saw the people in white robes and the torches and the—knives.
Laughter soon turned to screams. His screams, loud and echoing and horrendous, until the silence came.
He blinked and was back in his studio again. He didn’t think they had intended this. Parts were fitting together more clearly now, pieces he'd had before but didn’t fit, slotting into place. Draco bit his lip until it bled, and then started to paint.
It wasn’t a vision. It was just as horrendous as the visions, but this one was—
“Merlin, fuck,” Pansy said from the door, and the tray she had been holding slipped from her fingers; a thought from Draco had it floating safely in the air. “It’s—fuck, is that you?”
Draco nodded, because it was. It was his death so long ago, at the hands of people he didn’t know and who had hated him. At Joel’s hands.
“Are you going to tell Henri about this?” Pansy was still standing in the door, not coming any closer, like maybe if she did the painting would devour her. It certainly looked alive and mean; but in the end, it was just a painting.
“It’s not my death—well, it’s not my future death,” Draco corrected himself.
“What? What the hell?” Pansy said and now she was all motion, angry motion. “What is this!?”
“It’s not a vision, it’s...a memory,” Draco replied. His skin felt itchy now, though he didn’t know why. It was such an irritating fucking feeling he stripped off his shirt.
Pansy gasped. “Draco—"
“Ah, well...” Draco replied. He hadn’t been shirtless in ages around people. He had a glamour on him at almost all times, but something was different now. Not his magic: that was still strong as ever. He could feel it in his veins, writhing and pulsing. Something was changing, nevertheless.
She reached out then, and he stepped back. “Not a good idea, I think.”
She snatched her hand back. “Of course, sorry. I never...when? They look old.”
“They are old. I got them on the same night I got the visions and the magic,” Draco replied.
“You always had magic. Strong magic.”
“Not like this,” Draco replied.
She glanced from Draco to the painting, then back to Draco. In the painting the symbols and lines that were now silvery scars on his body where crimson and dripping.
“People did this to you.”
“Wizards did this to me,” Draco replied, balling his hands to fists. The anger was surprising, really; he had thought he was over it by now, but seeing it like this... It was different, seeing it from the outside.
“Of course,” Pansy said. “Will you tell Potter about this?”
“Whatever for?” Draco asked. He waved his hand so the painting was covered up by another tarp. He didn’t want it damaged. Maybe because it was the only evidence, aside from the visions, magic, and scars, that proved that night happened. Maybe it would... what? Help? Who was he kidding?
She crossed her arms over her chest. “I think it’s connected to the current case. Potter’s current case, Draco.”
He sighed. “Maybe it is, maybe it isn’t.”
“What happened to the people who did this to you?” Pansy asked, waving at the covered-up painting.
“I’m going to call it ‘The Artist in Agony’," Draco said.
“Draco! What happened to the people who did this to you?”
“I think they’re dead. I can hardly remember what happened after, you see. I was in so much pain I blacked out, and when I came to, I was alone in the forest and there was red and green and black everywhere.”
“Merlin,” Pansy said.
Should he say something about the voice he had heard that night? Probably not; she was
freaked out enough as it was.
“Pretty much,” Draco replied.
“I hate the title, and I think you should bury that thing,” Pansy said. “Not sell it to some sick person who would probably get off on it.”
He laughed. “Pansy, I do love you.”
She smiled at him. “Well, I love you too. Now come down; I don’t want to be in the same room as this thing.”
He nodded; he was hungry, and if he was honest with himself he wasn’t too keen on being in the same room with ‘The Artist in Agony’ either.
It should not have surprised Draco to find Potter on his doorstep the next day, but it did. He looked at Potter, and his forest-green eyes looked steadily back at him.
“Want to let me in?” Potter asked eventually.
Draco pretended to think about it.
“Will you let me in?” Potter rephrased and smiled, like it was something they did.
“Out of curiosity, I will let you in, Auror Potter,” Draco answered, and made room for Potter to get inside.
“Auror Potter,” Potter said. “You do respect me then?”
“I respect your work, Potter,” Draco answered, waving his hand in the direction of the sitting room. He conjured a pot of tea and some biscuits from the kitchen with a thought.
“I’ve never seen anyone use magic like you do it, not even Dumbledore,” Potter said. “It’s like you don’t even have to think about it.”
“I do think about it. I think, and it happens,” Draco replied.
“I know they used to trace your magical signature,” Potter said as he poured himself a cup of tea.
“I was a dangerous, cunning, evil Death Eater,” Draco replied, sarcasm heavy in his voice.
“You were a kid. We were all kids.”
“Yes, but some of us were heroes, while others… were not,” Draco looked past Potter and out of the window. “You were going somewhere with this whole thing?”
“Yes. They lost track of you one night, and I think your magical signature is different now.”
“They aren’t tracking it anymore now that I am working for the Ministry of Magic,” Draco said.
“I think they can’t,” Potter replied, honest as ever.
“I think you're right,” Draco said, not that he cared much.
“You might be the most powerful wizard in the world now, Draco."
“Are you afraid?” Draco asked, leaning closer. The table was a flimsy barrier if you could do the things Draco could with just a thought.
“The thing I realised when I got older, Draco, is that I am excited by dangerous things.”
Draco laughed. Hell, was Potter flirting with him? It certainly sounded like it. “You think I’m dangerous because I’m powerful?”
“You were always dangerous for me, Draco,” Potter replied.
“Are you flirting with me?”
“Isn’t it obvious?” Potter asked. “If it’s not, I'll make sure to do better in the future.”
“Why did you come here today?”
“I wanted to see you, and Luna might or might not have dropped a hint about your new painting,” Potter answered. “But really the painting thing was just an excuse. It seems I didn’t need it because you let me in.”
He had, hadn’t he? He'd let Potter not only into his house, but maybe into his heart as well.
“I don’t think you will like it,” Draco said.
“Will you show it to me?” Potter asked.
“Finish your tea, and I will,” Draco replied. Potter smiled.
He finished his tea and Draco led him up the stairs to his studio. With a flick of his finger, he uncovered it. He didn’t look at Potter’s face as he took in the painting.
He was naked in the painting, younger; he looked nearly innocent, the pale of his skin set apart from the red of the bloody symbols. There were shadowy knives around him, and lush green foliage.
“I call it ‘The Artist in Agony’,” Draco said.
Potter swallowed, but didn’t say a thing or turn away from the painting. In fact, he got closer to it, reached out even before Draco stopped him by grabbing his shirt.
“It’s still wet,” Draco said. It was a whisper across his neck, and Potter shivered. They were so close he could feel Potter’s body heat; he could smell him. For the first time in over ten years, he wanted to feel skin against his own. He could hear Potter’s breathing, could feel it too, through the shirt, his fingers curled in the material and he breathed Potter in. He felt like a beast scenting his prey. Was Potter feeling it, too? Was he afraid? Or excited like he had claimed to be earlier, when he was around dangerous things?
Potter spun around then and Draco let go of his shirt and stepped away. He was feeling as breathless as Potter looked.
“In sixth year, I was yearning for you to notice me,” Potter said.
“I always noticed you,” Draco replied.
Potter smiled wryly. “I didn’t know what it was about you, not back then. We didn’t know much about non-hetero relationships back then, did we?”
“Speak for yourself, Potter,” Draco replied.
“Fair enough: I didn’t know much about it. I probably didn’t want to know much about it, because it made me even more alien.”
“You’re not alien here,” Draco said.
Potter stepped closer, reached out to touch Draco’s shirt. “No, I’m not alien here.”
He looked into Draco’s eyes and there it was again, this strange sense of déjà vu. He had seen Potter’s eyes before, but it wasn’t that; it was the forest.
“Why paint this?” Potter asked after another lengthy silence in which they were breathing each other’s air. Draco’s fingers itched to run over Potter’s face, his neck, his chest and...lower.
“Because I had to,” Draco answered.
“Because I had to,” Draco repeated.
“But it’s not a vision,” Potter said. It was kind of a question too.
“It doesn’t feel like a vision. I was in full control when I did this...” His eyes flickered to the painting again, to this young, carefree, stupid, weak version of himself. “I thought I loved him, you know?”
“Who?” Potter asked softly.
“The man who brought me to that forest. I thought I loved him,” Draco replied. He looked into Potter’s eyes again. “I’m pretty sure I died there.”
“You—" Potter shook his head. “I’m touching you now, so obviously you’re not dead.”
“That doesn’t mean I didn’t die that night,” Draco replied. He didn’t mean in any esoteric sense; that his soul had died, or his heart or something like that. He meant his body. He was pretty sure he died in that forest; and yet here he was.
“Tell me,” Potter said.
“Because I think someone should know what happened to you.”
“Someone does,” Draco replied.
Potter sighed in frustration and then grabbed Draco by the neck. The pain was instant like that first time, but he bit his lip because he wanted this; he wanted to feel Potter’s fingers on his skin. The symbols flared to life under his skin and he gasped, tearing himself away from Potter and falling to his knees. He could hear Potter curse at himself, but it was all so distant.
Harry messed up. He knew it the second his fingers brushed Draco’s skin, but he couldn’t make himself let go; his fingers had lingered as he took in Draco’s face: the way he bit his lips, the way his eyes darkened with pain, but also something else. And then Draco was on his knees and the contact was broken and Harry felt like a total idiot.
“I’m sorry,” Harry said, sinking down to his knees so he was level with Draco, who was panting now.
“Well...” Draco whispered. “Now we know I really can’t be fixed.”
“I messed up,” Harry said, ignoring Draco’s comment; he was in pain and probably not thinking straight.
“Yes, you did,” Draco replied, but when he looked up from the floor, he was smiling. Just this little curve to his lips. It was a real smile. Not a sneer, not a grin, but a real smile, and Harry wanted nothing more than just to lean in and kiss him.
“Don’t,” Draco warned and Harry jerked back; he had been about to do just that. It was messed up how much he wanted it. He had always been better at controlling these kinds of desires.
“Sorry,” Harry said again.
“I’m flattered, really, but your timing sucks,” Draco replied. “And if it weren’t for this, I would let you fuck me on that daybed over there.”
Harry swallowed and scooted another few feet away. The temptation was too much otherwise.
“I’m going to stay over here and you will tell me about that painting.”
“Will I now?” Draco asked.
“You said that someone knows what happened to you?”
Draco sat up and closed his eyes. He breathed for a few minutes and Harry watched him. Watched his chest and his face and his neck, so tempting, really. Had Draco always been so tempting?
“When they were done with me and I woke up,” Draco began, “everyone was dead. I am pretty sure of that; the ground was littered with flesh, bone, and blood.”
“But you were alive?”
Draco nodded. “I think I was alive again.”
Harry blinked at him. He took off his glasses, rubbed the bridge of his nose and then looked at him again. “Please explain in more detail.”
Draco pointed to the painting. “This is what happened to me. Yes, I am a wizard and more resilient than a Muggle, but this should have killed me.”
“Did you fight?”
Draco gave him a look. “Of course I fought, but I was drugged.” He shrugged like there was nothing more to add.
“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to make it sound like you let it happen. I’m just trying to get a picture of what went on. Please continue.”
“I was murdered, sacrificed to some old gods, I think. That's what happened to me, Potter.”
“But here you are,” Harry said.
Draco nodded. “Death isn’t always so permanent for us, you know.”
Harry swallowed. He tried not to think about that. With time, what had happened to him in the Forbidden Forest had become a hazy dream. Maybe he hadn’t really been dead. Maybe it had been some kind of coma.
“I woke up and was alone, or thought I was alone until I heard a voice. I think maybe someone else was there. Maybe someone found me, maybe someone survived the ritual.”
“What kind of ritual was it?” Harry asked. During his career he had seen a lot of horrible things, including rituals and magic gone wrong.
“I was too out of it to really remember, but when I woke up I felt different. My magic felt different. I’m pretty sure it was about power, and I'm also sure that power shouldn’t have gone to only one person. But it did and here I am.”
“That voice,” Harry said. “Was it a man or a woman?”
“I don’t know. I think it might have been a woman,” Draco replied after a short silence.
“Did anyone try to contact you after?” Harry asked, now fully in Auror mode. This was a mystery and Harry had always like mysteries. He was good at solving them, too.
“No.” Draco said.
“So how did you get back?”
“I walked out of the forest and then I walked home,” Draco replied. “I took a shower, I put on clothes. I ate, slept, and did it all again the next day and the next. Life went on.”
“And you never told anyone about it?” Harry asked.
“Who should I have told? I was alive and everyone else was in pieces on the forest floor. I’m a former Death Eater, and it was shortly after the war.”
“You were afraid they would have blamed you, would have sent you to prison,” Harry said.
Draco smiled. “Yes, of course they would have. Potter, you were always suspicious of me too, back in the day. Isn’t that why you stalked me in sixth year?”
“Partly. We’ve been over this, Draco,” Harry said. Yes, he had been suspicious, but he had also been crushing on Draco, not that he had known that back then. Part of him had wanted to help him, and that part still wanted to.
“Yes,” Draco replied.
“Okay, you couldn’t go to the authorities and so you kept silent. Did anyone ever come knocking on your door asking for someone?”
“Someone?” Draco asked, there was amusement in his voice.
Harry sighed. “Someone drugged you, someone got you there, someone you trusted, Draco. That someone.”
Draco shook his head. “Funnily enough, no one ever asked about Joel.”
“Strange, isn’t it?” Harry mused.
“Yes, in hindsight it is,” Draco answered.
“Then you decided to go back to England,” Harry started, because he was still trying to put the pieces together. “Did you know about your new powers by then?”
“Yes. They didn’t develop slowly. They were just there when I woke up in that forest,” Draco answered.
“And…the visions?” He wanted to ask about the touching, but he would get there soon enough. The visions were important too.
“They set in later, and as soon as I realised what they were I went to the authorities. Not that they took me seriously.”
“I can tell how much you love working with the Ministry of Magic, Draco,” Harry said with a wry smile.
“Before this whole Voldemort thing, I actually wanted to become an Auror,” Draco said. “I think I might have been good at it.”
The funny thing was that Harry thought so, too. Draco was cunning, smart, and resourceful. He was good at solving problems.
“And now you’re an artist and a Seer,” Harry said.
“Unpredictable, my life,” Draco replied.
“Did you ever wish you didn’t take the mark? Didn’t help get Death Eaters into the school? Didn’t—"
“No,” Draco cut him off. “There was no other way for me; my family was with him, and I was with my family. The same way you were with yours.”
Harry had half a mind to tell Draco his family had been killed by Voldemort, but Draco knew that, and it hadn’t been what Draco meant, anyway.
“I do wonder sometimes what would have happened if you had taken my hand that first time we met when we were eleven,” Draco added.
Harry had never wondered about that.
“Potter,” Draco said with amusement in his voice and Harry blinked at him. He could feel Draco’s breath on his face and it told him that he was too close to Draco again. He scooted away, ran a hand through his hair and closed his eyes for a second to get himself under control again.
“I never wondered about that,” Harry said.
“The no touching thing, when did that start?”
“When I got back home."
“As soon as you stepped on the island?”
Draco thought about it. “No...once I went home to the Manor.”
“You never made that connection before?”
“I never thought much of it before."
“Liar,” Harry said.
“Fine. I thought about the magic and Visions and the fact that I was assaulted after it all happened, but I never—only after I painted this,” he pointed at the painting. “Things started to come back to me.”
“Okay,” Harry said. “Okay, so maybe the whole no touching thing is just a side product. Maybe something at Malfoy Manor triggered it.”
“There are a lot of nasty things at the Manor, Potter."
“I know. The Ministry wanted to have a look at it all, wanted to get their hands on it, but your mother has very good lawyers.”
Draco smiled, and this time it wasn’t a nice smile at all. “Of course. We might be pariahs now, but we won’t be poor pariahs.”
“Yes, so it seems,” Harry replied with a smile. “I would like to go over to the Manor with you and an expert on curses."
“Want to touch me that badly?”
“Yes,” Harry admitted without any hesitation.
“You know, there are other ways to have fun in the meantime,” Draco said.
“I don’t think I can watch you touch yourself and not try to feel your skin against mine, Draco,” Harry replied honestly, because even now he could feel the pull to be closer.
“That won’t be a problem,” Draco said and waved his hand. The air between them shimmered and the room was suddenly split between where Harry was sitting and where Draco was, on the other side of a barrier. He scooted closer and touched it; it was solid. He couldn't see it, but he could feel it.
“Glass?” Harry asked.
“Something else,” Draco replied and touched his hand to the barrier as well. Harry could feel the heat of Draco’s palm but nothing else. He could hear Draco perfectly too, like there wasn’t anything separating them at all.
“You’re full of surprises, aren’t you?” Harry asked.
“I think you like that about me,” Draco answered and leaned into the barrier. “Want to feel the heat of my cock touching yours as well?”
“Have you been with a man before, Potter?”
“Not like this."
Draco smiled. “No one has been with a man like this before, Potter. Our circumstances are very unique. And you’re avoiding answering my question.” He flicked his eyes to Harry and suddenly Harry was naked.
“Jesus,” Harry said.
“You look good, Auror Potter.”
A shiver ran down Harry’s spine. He liked it, he discovered, when Draco called him ‘Auror Potter’, especially while he was naked. “You should be naked too,” Harry said.
“I’m afraid I’m not as pretty as I used to be,” Draco replied, making no move to take off his clothes. He told Harry to get closer to the barrier, putting his hand right over Harry’s chest and sliding it down. Harry couldn’t feel the pressure, but he could feel the heat, and he could see Draco’s eyes focused on his face. It made him feel hot in his skin. He was getting harder by the second.
“Didn’t take you for the shy type, Draco,” Harry said, just to see if he could goad him into losing his clothes. They had always been good at riling each other up.
“I know what you’re doing,” Draco said. He opened his pants and reached inside to pull out his cock. It was smooth and pale except for the faint pink blush at the tip.
“This, my face, and hands are pretty much the only pieces of me that are not covered in scars...” he said, trailing his fingers over the pale silvery line on his throat. “This one you gave me.”
“I’m sorry about that,” Harry said. He was sorry; it had been an accident. He hadn’t really known what that spell would do to Draco.
“Strangely enough,” Draco said in nearly a whisper, and it sounded like he was right there beside Harry, right there whispering into his ear. “I am not sorry you did it.” He scooted even closer and his cock pressed against Harry’s. He could feel it hot against his own flesh.
“I really want to—" He stopped, took a breath. He wanted a lot of things; to touch Draco, for one.
“This works both ways, you know?” Draco said and Harry reached out to run his finger along the graceful curve of Draco’s cock. Draco inhaled sharply. “I almost forgot how it felt to be with someone else.”
“We need to lift that damn curse as soon as possible,” Harry said and then leaned down so he could press his tongue against that barrier and run it up and down Draco’s cock.
“Merlin,” Draco hissed.
“I’ve done this a few times and was told I’m quite good at it,” Harry said proudly.
Draco laughed and then moaned when Harry pressed his cock against Draco’s. Draco was staring at him while he pleasured himself and Harry was staring right back. Yes, Draco was very attractive and he was very... Draco, but there was something more here too. At least Harry thought so.
He sped his strokes up and nearly came the second Draco matched his speed to Harry’s. He was breathing heavily and his eyes were dark, his eyelashes long. He almost looked like he was in pain, but not at the same time. Harry thought that no one had ever turned him on more than Draco did, and then he was coming.
Ivan gave him a thumbs up the next morning.
“What?” Harry asked.
“You look like you got laid, Harry Potter,” Ivan said and Harry was glad he hadn’t used ‘Auror Potter’. So shortly after hearing Draco saying it while he was naked...well, better not to think about being naked in Draco’s presence.
“None of your business, Auror Bears,” Harry said, sitting down at his desk. “I need a curse expert. A really good one.”
Ivan looked at him. “Are you working on a new case? Because I should know that, as your partner and all.”
“I am not working on a new case. I am still working on Draco’s case.”
“Draco’s case,” Ivan said slowly.
“The murders,” Harry prompted.
“I know, but it’s not ‘Draco’s case’ Harry. It was never his case. He’s just a medium; he doesn’t solve crimes, he gives clues.”
Harry rubbed the bridge of his nose. “I think he could be the key to our case, Ivan.”
“Ah...and how did you find that out?”
“By talking to him,” Harry answered. He was still kind of a little bit surprised that Draco had talked to him, but of course Draco was different from the kid he had been over ten years ago. Harry was different too.
Ivan got up and paced the small room. It was cramped and neither of them was very tidy; they had a system that worked for them, but really no one else. He came to a stop at the small window, leaned his arse against the ledge and crossed his arms over his chest. “I have a feeling this is getting personal for you.”
“It was personal for me the moment I was told Draco Malfoy is the Seer,” Harry replied.
“Did you sleep with him?”
“No,” Harry replied.
Ivan nodded. “But you want to.”
“Yes,” Harry admitted.
“This is very unprofessional of you.”
“I’ve always kind of lost my head around him,” Harry admitted. It was funny how Ivan was one of his closest friends these days. There was, of course, Ron and Hermione, but they were now Ron-and-Hermione.
“Well, good to know,” Ivan said. “I can work with that, but you need to let me in, Harry.”
Harry nodded; he knew that. He told Ivan about the assault and murder; it was still murder in Harry’s book, even if Draco was alive. He told Ivan about the new painting too.
“He says it’s not a vision, but a memory; the past, his past, and it’s...it’s messed up because it’s beautiful but also horrific.”
Ivan raised his eyebrows in a silent question.
“The painting, obviously, not what happened to Draco. Even if it made him stronger.”
Ivan was silent for a long moment, and then he nodded. He had made a decision and Harry was pretty sure he would help him.
“I can contact someone from home to consult on your curse problem. I bet you don’t want anyone from around here,” Ivan said.
Harry nodded. He didn’t want anyone local if he could help it. The rumours would fly. He was Harry Potter, and no one had set foot in Malfoy Manor for years, and there was also that well-kept secret of Draco Malfoy being a Seer.
“Well, he is our only good lead. He and the paintings. I mean...what you described is pretty similar to how we found the victims,” Ivan said.
Harry nodded. He had noticed that. “We should maybe look into the Muggle victims again. Maybe they had some witch or wizard blood in them.”
Spells like the one Draco had described to him, the one he had seen in the painting, didn’t work so well with pureblood Muggles, but they could work on Muggles born with magic blood. Maybe the killer thought he could do it with diluted blood, so to speak, and once those attempts failed he moved to witches and wizards.
“Yes, there is definitely a connection there,” Ivan said. He looked at Harry. “You want to keep this to yourself for now, don’t you?”
Harry nodded. “Yes.”
Ivan’s contact was a grumpy old witch who reminded him of Mad-Eye Moody. He liked her on the spot. Draco did not.
They met in front of the enchanted gate of the Manor.
“It’s blood protected,” Draco said.
“Of course it is,” Mrs. Bellke huffed.
Draco gave Harry a look. Harry just shrugged. What could he say? She was an expert on curses, and she came highly recommended. It didn’t matter that she was also one of Ivan’s more elusive relatives. Not that he had told Draco that tidbit of information.
The Manor was clean once they got inside. Just because no one lives here anymore doesn’t mean that no one takes care of it, Potter, he could almost hear Draco saying.
Mrs. Bellke stopped in the entry hall and closed her eyes. Draco looked at her, scepticism clear on his face. It amused Harry that in some way Draco was still kind of a snob.
He leaned over so he was nearly touching Harry and whispered, “If she starts with ‘I feel a dark presence’ I might have to throw her out.”
Harry grinned, fighting the impulse to lean into Draco and stepping away instead while taking a deep calming breath.
“I understand that you can’t be touched by anyone since you came back to the manor?” Mrs. Bellke said.
“Well, I can be touched, but it hurts like hell and doesn’t seem worth the trouble.”
“But you lived her for years,” she said, frowning. “This place is protected by blood-spells.”
Plural, Harry thought. Of course there would be more than one protection spell on a place like this.
“Yes,” Draco replied.
“You are the last heir to your name?” Mrs. Bellke asked.
“Yes,” Draco replied, crossing his arms over his chest. He was clearly getting impatient with her.
“Are you sterile?” she asked.
“Well, I don’t think so, but if you want to know if I will have kids, probably not.”
“And why is that, Mr. Malfoy?”
“Because I’m gay and think that my line should die out with me,” Draco answered calmly. It didn’t seem to Harry that this was a whim. No, Harry was sure Draco had thought about this, long and hard.
“Yes, I see,” Mrs. Bellke said.
“You see what?” Harry asked, also getting a bit impatient with her vagueness.
“You are a very powerful wizard, Mr. Malfoy, one of the most powerful your line has ever seen, and it seems your blood-magic is trying to...well, make you reconsider. The ironic part is that before you died, you weren’t that powerful. Still a powerful wizard yes, but—" She shook her head.
“What in Merlin’s name are you saying? That my dead ancestors want me to father a child so this magic, this—" He looked down at his hands. “This thing inside me can be passed on?”
“That is exactly what I’m saying, Mr. Malfoy.”
“Great. Wonderful. I guess I’ll never get to touch anyone, and then die,” Draco said.
She looked at him with kindness in her eyes. “It’s not hopeless.”
“I know it isn’t,” Draco said, closing his eyes briefly.
Her eyes were sharp as she smacked his leg with her walking cane. “No such thoughts, young man!”
Draco rubbed his leg and glared at her.
“He has to share it, right? That’s what his ancestors want?” Harry asked. An idea was forming in his head, an insane idea that could lose him his job, or even his life.
She held up her hand. “You can’t take it on. It’s family and blood related.”
“I could marry him,” Harry said, surprising himself. He had been married once. It hadn’t worked out, and he hadn’t had any intention to do it again, but here he was, proposing.
“You're a prince of romance, Potter,” Draco said, but he seemed amused.
“You want me to fall to my knees?”
Draco’s eyes went dark. “Yes, but not so you can propose to me.”
“Well, if you want me on my knees at all, then we should get married,” Harry replied.
“You’d marry me just so you can fuck me?” Draco asked.
It was crazy and impulsive, but on the other hand it wasn’t like Draco was a stranger, and he had always wanted Draco to—well, notice him, pay him attention. He had always wanted to help Draco as well, and now he could have it all. Was it wise? Probably not, but it felt right. He nodded.
“Would that work?” Draco asked Mrs. Bellke.
She shook her head. “I’m afraid not, but I might be able to break the curse anyway.”
“Good for you, Potter, you don’t have to marry me.”
“I will need access to the Manor. If I could live here for a while it would make things easier.”
Draco waved his hand. “If I could get rid of the curses and blood-spells that way, I would burn it to the ground,” he said. “You are welcome to stay here as long as it takes. I care nothing for this place.”
After discussing details and payment for another thirty minutes Harry found himself outside again with Draco.
“Who would have thought I was cursed twice?" Draco said, blinking up at the sky. His eyelashes were so pale it was mesmerising.
“Did you get prettier?” Harry asked.
“Than I was this morning?”
“It’s called growing up, Potter,” Draco said. He looked at Harry, a smile curving his lips. It made him look dangerous and inviting at the same time. “Or maybe you’re just noticing all these things about me now because you want me so badly.”
It was a real possibility.
“I do want you badly,” Harry admitted.
“Maybe someday soon. I’m paying that witch a fortune for the curse to be broken, after all,” Draco said. “In the meantime, I think we have a killer to catch.”
“We?” Harry asked.
“Well, the way I see it, I'm your best lead in this case,” Draco said.
“How do you figure?”
“I talked to Henri,” Draco answered with a shrug.
“You talked to Henri,” Harry repeated. Draco nodded.
“Yes, I know that the Ministry thinks he’s some kind of joke, but he isn’t, Potter. He’s smart and respectful and he told me everything he knew about your case. I asked for pictures of the victims, and I have to admit they look awfully familiar.”
“They have some resemblance to you. The old you, I guess,” Harry said. He hadn’t seen it before, but once he and Ivan compared all the victims and confirmed that all of them had at
least some magical potential, even if it was not enough to be invited to a magical school, they saw the pattern.
“I don’t think he is a joke,” Harry answered, truthfully. He hadn’t really known Henri Deveruex that well before this whole thing happened, but even then he had acknowledged the fact that the Seer only wanted to work with him. Obviously Deveruex had done something right.
“The way that Henri and I see it—and I am sure you and Bears came to the same conclusion in the last few days—is that someone is trying to do to these people what was done to me.”
“Yes,” Harry said, because he and Bears had indeed come to that conclusion, once Harry had told Bears about what happened to Draco.
“If we spin this a bit further, then it must be someone who was there that night, or who knows about this kind of ritual,” Draco said. “Which makes me the only witness.”
“You could be in danger,” Harry said.
Draco smiled at him. “You don’t really think that.”
Harry shook his head. “You could be in danger, Draco. I know you are more powerful than pretty much any other wizard, but most people don’t know that. This person might think you’re hiding because you’re broken.”
“You're right,” Draco said. “They could think that, but—"
“And there is another curse that will render you helpless for a few seconds, Draco, and a few seconds is often enough. You know that.”
“You want to protect me?”
“I've always wanted to protect you. Mostly from yourself, Draco," Harry admitted.
“From myself... I don’t need that anymore. I know who I am, and I know my value,” Draco replied.
Harry believed him, but it didn’t change how he felt.
“You’re working with Potter on that murder case?” Pansy asked, crossing her arms in front of her chest.
“I think that’s wonderful,” Luna said, who was stroking Mr. Starlord, who in return was looking with disdain at Draco.
“Thank you, Luna.”
“You are very welcome, Draco,” she replied, pouring him more tea.
“You're working with Potter on a murder case,” Pansy repeated.
“We’ve been over this,” Draco replied.
“Yes, but you’re...you haven’t left the house for years, Draco, and now you’re going to the Manor. You hate the Manor. Not to mention: Potter.”
“We're hooking up,” Draco said, because they were. Not in the traditional sense where they could touch each other, but the magic barrier he made the first time had come in handy again. And again and again, over the last few weeks. There had been no new victim, for which both Harry and Draco were thankful, and in the meantime Draco was remembering bits and pieces from that night; faces, wands, and other details that could help identify the people who had been there. He had been sketching pretty much every free second he got and handing the sketches and drawings to Potter, Henri, and Bears.
“Well yes, Draco...good for you,” Pansy said. “I’m more concerned about the thing where you might be the only witness to a murder and a serial killer might want a piece of you.”
“The heart?” Luna asked.
The heart in Vision No. 33 had been bothering Draco a lot lately. Before he and Potter started whatever they were doing, he had thought the heart was a symbol for the next victim. Now he wasn't so sure. Maybe it was his heart on the line now, or even Potter’s.
“The heart. Henri says he doesn’t know what it means.”
“Doesn’t Henri always know everything?” Pansy asked. Pansy didn’t like Henri much, but Pansy didn’t like anyone much.
“He doesn’t always know everything, Pansy, because no one knows everything.”
“Just so you know, I don’t like this.”
“Because it’s Potter?”
“Oh, come on. You know me better than this. I love you and I want you to be happy and if it’s with Potter of all people, good for you. Took you long enough. No Draco, I don’t like it because of the serial killer who will mostly likely go after you.”
“You’re right. We should set a trap.”
“That is a horrible idea,” Pansy said. “It’s like he doesn’t even listen to me,” she added, looking at Luna.
“Harry will protect him. When it comes to protecting Draco he has a very good track record, Pansy,” Luna said.
Pansy blinked at her and Draco smiled.
“Yes, he does, doesn’t he?”
Luna nodded. “I'm not worried.”
And why should anyone else be, Draco thought fondly, when Luna is not?
“I don’t like that there has been no new victim in weeks,” Bears said. “And yes, I know exactly how that sounds, Mr. Malfoy,” he added, probably because Draco had given him a look. Draco was good at giving people looks.
“Of course, we don’t want anyone else to get murdered,” Potter said.
“I assumed as much, you two being Aurors and all,” Draco replied.
They were in the sitting room. Draco found that he liked having people over again. Maybe his mood was improving because he was having regular orgasms with another person now, but he didn’t hate Bears and his professionalism. Bears was probably aware that Draco and Potter were hooking up. He seemed like a smart guy, once you got to know him better.
Henri took another biscuit and frowned. “If he stopped, it can only mean one of two things: he killed again and we haven’t found the victim yet, or he’s stalking his prey.”
“Exactly, and I'm thinking maybe it’s the latter,” Bears said, putting his teacup down. It looked even more delicate in his big hand. “We now suspect that these murders are connected to that ritual that killed you ten years ago, and we are pretty sure the killer is trying to recreate this ritual. Aside from me, Auror Potter, and Auror Devereux, no one is privy to this information. Except, of course, the killer. Or killers, because we have to assume that all the other people ten years ago intended to kill you.”
“Well, they did it,” Draco said. He was facing the three men from his armchair, because of course he could not sit close to anyone. He hated that Bears and Henri knew that he was cursed like this, but it was a relief not to have to be so careful all the time.
Henri finished another biscuit. “Our main suspect is Joel Pelletier.”
“He’s dead,” Draco threw in. “They're all dead.”
“Are you sure about this, Mr. Malfoy?” Henri asked. “I know this is hard for you and I know you can’t remember all of it, but you heard a voice in that forest.”
“It wasn’t Joel’s voice. I would have recognized his voice. Besides, why would he have let me live?”
“Good question. The answer is he wouldn’t have let you live, Mr. Malfoy. The whole point was to kill you to release the power and share it among the people who participated in the ritual," Bears said.
“But it went wrong and it killed everyone, and brought me back.”
“Are you sure that it killed everyone?” Potter asked suddenly.
“I saw the bodies, or what was left of them. You’ve seen the sketches, Potter.”
Potter shook his head. “I didn’t mean that. I believe you when you say you woke up to body parts everywhere, but what if it wasn’t the ritual that killed those people?”
“You think Joel killed them all once he realised something went wrong?” Draco asked, aghast.
“We don’t know what happened,” Potter said, shrugging.
“We know what was supposed to happen,” Henri threw in. “I looked in the archives in France for something similar to the ritual you described to us, Mr. Malfoy, and I think I found the original that was used as a template.” He took copies out of his bag and passed them around. They took a few moments to read through it all. It was gruesome, and Henri was right that it was very similar to what had happened to Draco. Except for the outcome.
“But,” Bears said, frowning down at the parchment, “Mr. Malfoy died and came back. That was not supposed to happen.”
“No,” Henri said.
Draco looked at him. “You think the ritual is unfinished somehow, that is why I am the way I am.”
“Hold on a second,” Potter said. "The curse specialist said that the ritual reacted with all the blood magic that was in the Malfoy family.”
“I don’t think so, Auror Potter,” Henri said.
“But the specialist said that,” Potter said, looking at Bears. “Your trusted curse specialist said that.”
Bears shrugged. Clearly he didn’t have an answer either.
“I am not a specialist on these things, but I do have my strengths, and I am pretty sure the problem is that the ritual is not finished and that Mr. Malfoy’s body is in a state of flux.”
“But it didn’t start right away. He said it only started when he came back to the Manor.”
“I don’t think it has anything to do with the Manor. It was more that the spells of the ritual were finding new pathways to work and it took some time and this—condition, is a side effect of that.”
“So,” Draco said, leaning back against the chair. He wasn’t really concerned about the witch lying to him, it wasn’t the first time someone wanted a piece of his fortune after all. “When the ritual is complete I will not be afflicted anymore?”
Henri nodded. “Yes.”
“Wait a second,” Bears said. “If I read this correctly, and I think I did, then the ritual is only complete when there is one survivor. It was only ever intended to have one survivor.”
“Yes,” Draco answered. It meant that Joel Pelletier had to die.
“We don’t know if Joel is the one who is alive,” Potter said.
“It was his spell, his ritual, his idea,” Draco countered. “He sought me out to make me fall in love with him. He had a following, ready to murder me for the power slumbering in my heart, Potter. Of course he is still alive.”
“We can’t just kill someone,” Bears said.
“Of course you can’t,” Draco replied. “You are Aurors. But knowing this will help us catch him, now that we know what he wants.”
“You,” Potter said.
“He probably thought I was dead. I thought he was dead, so...we didn’t look for each other. But now the situation is different. He will come for me, once he is sure I survived. He will want to finish the ritual.”
“We can’t let him have these powers, Mr. Malfoy,” Henri said.
“Oh, I don’t intend to let him have any part of me ever again,” Draco said with a smile he knew was deadly.
“Potter,” Draco said two days later. It was late at night, or maybe early morning, and it was raining. Potter was wet because...Potter was Potter and didn’t think to use a spell to keep the rain away.
Draco waved his hand and Potter’s clothes were dry in an instant. “You look like death warmed over,” he added, opening the door wider so Potter could come in.
“I really want to hug you right now,” Potter said, running a hand through his unruly hair.
“Mrs. Bellke was found dead just an hour ago. She’s been dead for some while,” Potter said. He was pacing the living room, to the fireplace and back to the door and back to the fireplace.
“Who did we talk to then, at the Manor?” Draco mused.
Potter stopped and looked at him.
“Of course. Joel.”
“Yes. I think it’s safe to say he’s coming for you.”
“Yes, but we knew it was going to happen,” Draco replied.
“I don’t like seeing you in danger, Draco.”
“I already died once,” Draco replied. “I’m not keen on a repeat, so I will take care.” He stepped closer to Harry. He was becoming Harry now; Draco could not keep him at bay any longer.
“You know you can’t bring him in, right?”
“He needs to face justice for what he’s done,” Harry said.
“I know, and he will.”
“Is it justice if I let you kill him? Or is it vengeance?”
“I’m doomed if you bring him in,” Draco replied. He began to strip.
Harry stared at him, his green eyes first lighting up then going dark with anger, as piece by piece of clothing fell to the hardwood floor. Draco could have done it with a thought, but this had more impact, and that was what he needed now. He needed Harry to see. To see him and what Joel had done to him. He hadn’t let anyone look at his naked body in a long, long time, but he himself looked at it regularly. He traced the shapes of the symbols that were scars now, staring at himself in the mirror sometimes for hours.
“All this,” Draco said. “And I don’t even think it’s that bad. What I do hate him for is the inability to touch or be touched by anyone. What I hate is that I was confined to this house for years because brushing against someone on a crowded street would cause me so much pain I’d pass out. And if you bring him in, he won’t die, and who knows what an interference from Dementors would do to the spell. It could make it worse, Harry.”
Potter looked at his face then. “You think if the ritual is completed, all this will disappear?” He waved his hand vaguely at Draco’s naked body.
Draco shrugged. “I don’t really care, but I do want to touch you, and I want you to touch me.”
Harry nodded. “You want to do this alone.”
It wasn’t a question, but Draco nodded anyway. “You think he knows his charade is up?”
“The only people who know about Mrs. Bellke's death are Bears and me, and the Aurors that got the case. They don’t know she was here because of me.”
“They will find out, Harry.”
“And soon,” Harry replied.
“So?” Draco asked with a raised eyebrow.
“We do it your way,” Harry answered.
Draco nodded and started to gather his clothes.
“I like looking at you,” Harry said, coming closer. By now it was second nature to him to call up the barrier when they got in the mood. He had never been completely naked with Harry before, and he really couldn’t wait for the day he could touch Harry, kiss him, intertwine their fingers.
“In the mood, Potter?”
“With you naked before me? Always, Malfoy,” Harry said.
Joel in the disguise of the departed Mrs. Bellke met Draco at Malfoy Manor. He was using a highly potent version of the Polyjuice Potion and not a glamour, which explained why Draco’s magic hadn’t picked up on it.
“Joel,” he said, because he didn’t think there was any need to pretend anymore.
“Has that witch been found?” Joel asked, and Draco’s heart skipped a beat. He remembered this; it wasn’t Joel’s voice, but the way he spoke was the same.
“Yes,” Draco said.
“So you know all that I told you about your curse was a lie,” Joel said.
“Yes,” Draco repeated.
“I didn’t lie when I said I could fix this for you.”
“You mean you can fix this for you,” Draco said.
Joel smiled, and that smile, even if it wasn’t Joel’s face right now, was the same. “You gave me your heart once, Draco. You can give it to me again.”
“It’s not mine anymore. Someone snatched it away,” Draco said, because he wasn’t in the habit of lying to himself. His heart belonged to Harry now. For better or for worse.
“It doesn’t really matter, Draco. I need this.”
“You tried and you failed, and then you tried again and again and again and failed, again and again and again. What makes you think you can do it this time?”
“Because I’m halfway there, Draco. You were so willing the first time.”
“I didn’t know you were unhinged the first time. I thought you loved me.”
“I loved your pain, and I loved your long and proud and pure bloodline, Draco. You were so fucking perfect for me.”
“Good thing we cleared that up,” Draco said. He flicked his fingers and the barrier he usually used with Potter came to live, but it was a box now, and inside was Joel.
“What is this?” Joel asked.
“You see, your ritual worked." Draco explained casually. "There was a massive amount of power released and it needed to go somewhere. It also seems that I was the only vessel for it. It didn’t only give me the side effects you pretended to cure.”
“I was there too!” Joel hissed.
“You weren’t worthy, Joel, but I was, so it brought me back and it gave me power. Whatever I imagine will happen,” he said softly. The cube he had Joel contained in was getting smaller and smaller.
Joel was throwing everything at it; curse after hex after jinx, but it was all being absorbed by the barrier. Draco was standing a few feet away, watching Joel. He didn’t feel anything. Nothing at all. No love, regret, or hate.
“You’re going to watch me die?”
“Isn’t it fair?” Draco asked. “You did the same to me.”
Draco wasn’t looking forward to the next part, once he had Joel helpless and at death’s door. He needed the heart. He could rip it out with a thought, but he would still have to hold it, to eat it.
He hadn’t told Harry about this part. He hadn’t known about this part until this morning when he had finished Vision No.35. It would hurt like hell, he knew, but once it was done, he would be able to go home and see Harry, to touch him and kiss him and feel only excitement and joy.
“I buried him in the rose garden,” was the first thing Draco said when Harry opened the door.
“Did it work?” Harry asked.
“One way to find out,” Draco answered, grabbing Harry by his shirt and pulling him into a kiss. It wasn’t a soft kiss, nor was it hard or passionate, but it was the best kiss Draco had ever had.
“You’re not screaming,” Harry said, once Draco broke away.
“It doesn’t mean you’re doing it wrong,” Draco teased.
“I mean, you’re not in pain,” Harry said. His hand was on Draco’s hip and he liked it there. He also liked that he could reach out and bury his fingers in Harry’s hair.
“And your power?”
“Still there. So are the scars, if you’re wondering,” Draco answered.
“I wasn’t, Draco,” Harry said, and kissed him again. This time it was passionate and bordering on claiming. Draco liked that very much, too.
“I have one,” Harry said.
“I assumed, Potter,” Draco replied. “Do you want to take this to the bedroom, where we can be naked and comfortable, or do you want to fuck me in your hallway against the wall? I don’t have a preference right now.”
“I love your mouth,” Harry said between more kisses.
“Hallway it is.”
“I also love when you take charge,” Harry said.
“We need to be naked and we need lube,” Draco replied and waved his fingers.
“Your kind of magic is really, really handy, Draco,” Harry said, and he was naked now like Draco, their clothes folded upstairs in the bedroom. Draco put the lube in Harry’s hand and turned around to face the wallpaper. He braced himself against the wall and waited.
“You haven’t been with anyone in over ten years,” Harry said.
“It will be like fucking a virgin,” Draco said, but his voice sounded funny even to his own ears. He was a virgin in this regard, after all. Harry picked up on it.
“Have you been with anyone like this before?” Harry asked, and kissed his nape. It made Draco shudder.
“No. You will be my first. As strange as it sounds, I’m glad it will be you.”
“You want me to fuck you?”
“Later, upstairs,” Harry answered. His hand was running down Draco’s spine, lingering here and there on a magical symbol that was forever carved into his skin. It made Draco shiver. Every touch was making him shiver because he had been deprived of it for so long. Harry’s lips followed the path of his hands until he was kneeling behind Draco. The kiss to his arse cheek was unexpected, but not unwelcome.
“If you want to eat me out fine, but later, Harry.”
“I will remind you of that,” Harry said just before a lubed up finger was circling Draco’s rim.
Harry was careful and took his time, pressing in one finger and then another, and Draco was oddly touched but also impatient. His hands were trembling and he pressed them more firmly against the wall. His prick was rock hard and leaking and he needed Harry to stop being careful and get inside him already.
“Come on, or I will make you and you know I can.”
Harry kissed his nape again. It was such a tender gesture it nearly undid him. Harry stood back up and pushed slowly inside Draco.
“Okay?” Harry asked, his breath hot and moist against Draco’s skin.
“Yes,” Draco answered and pushed back to take Harry’s cock deeper inside himself. Harry groaned. “Move, Potter.”
And Harry did, slowly at first but faster and harder with every encouraging moan and word
that left Draco’s lips. When Harry sensed that Draco was close he curled his fingers around Draco’s hard, leaking cock and stroked it in tandem with his thrusts. It didn’t take long for Draco to spill all over Harry’s hand and himself. Harry wasn’t far behind.
“So, what are you going to do now?” Harry asked once they had showered and made it to bed.
Draco was running his fingers in random patterns over Harry’s skin. Harry had his fair share of scars as well, and Draco delighted in being able to map them all out.
“I guess I will still work for the Ministry of Magic, but now that I can leave the house and am dating a celebrity I might as well make my talents known.”
“You want to declare to the world you’re a Seer?”
“Don’t be stupid, Harry. I want to be admired for my art,” Draco said, and kissed Harry hard on that talented mouth.
“You think you can still paint the future?”
“What was given to me that night is still inside me, Harry. I will always be this powerful and I will always be a Seer.”
“You should be an Auror, Draco.”
“I really, really shouldn’t,” Draco replied, remembering how easy it had been to kill Joel. And he had loved Joel at one point in his life.
“I think that justice and vengeance are the same thing sometimes, and if there is no one who can stop me, why should I stop?” He kissed Harry’s frown away. “Besides, I like working with Henri.”
“And you like to paint and draw,” Harry said.
“I do. I want to keep doing it.” He rolled onto Harry to feel all of Harry’s skin against his. Maybe they should stay naked for the rest of their lives, Draco mused. “I like helping people too, but I don’t want to be tempted to use my powers like that in the field.”
“You’re not a bad person, Draco.”
“A lot of people would disagree with you there.”
Harry grabbed his wrist and kissed the Dark Mark. Draco had had it redone, but it was still the Dark Mark, a reminder of who he had been and what he had done. With these new powers coursing through his veins he could have gotten rid of it, but he didn’t want to. He made it better, prettier, more his, but it was still there.
“I don’t care what people think. I make my own decisions, I make up my own mind about my friends and my lovers, Draco.”
“You realise that I love you, right?” Draco asked.
Harry looked at him, his green eyes vivid and dark and alive. “Yes.”
“If you asked me to do something I would. It's just a flick of my fingers, a thought in my head. Do you want to be tempted like that?”
Harry was silent for a long time, thinking over everything Draco said. His hands were stroking Draco’s lower back and ass; he could feel himself getting hard again.
“No, I don’t want that much power,” Harry said. “Not even by proxy.”
“Good,” Draco said.
“You know what I want?” Harry asked.
Draco raised an eyebrow at him in question.
“Your pretty cock inside me.”
“That can be arranged,” Draco replied, leaning in to kiss him.