Harry liked it, having Draco to come home to. Having Draco.
Before they had moved in together—and they went too quickly from kissing to fucking to living together, everyone had said it, but Harry had just shrugged and said that when you know, you know, and Draco had said nothing, just looked a bit tight around the mouth and like he was afraid that someone was going to take it all away from him, and Harry couldn't have that—Harry had thought it would be more... well, just more difficult.
Because Malfoy was so posh (still, even with his parents dead and the Manor repossessed and his new predilection for jeans), and had always had such nice things, and Harry had presumed there would be antiques, and certainly a wine rack at the very least, and a load of sniffy portraits who’d probably act the dick to Harry in his own home.
Plus there was the potions stuff—Malfoy didn’t have enough money for a lab yet—and Harry had imagined there would bobotuber pus on their kitchen table and too much smoke, oily stuff like Harry remembered from school, and gritty gouts of stinking potions residue in the sink where Harry rinsed their veggies and did the dishes.
Only Draco was good at potions, and was very clean, and it was actually a bit lovely watching him work; the blue flames humming, the musical chink of wand on glass, the simple harmony of the ritual. Harry liked to sit with him and breathe in the fumes of lovely, familiar things like Pepper-Up and Amortentia (the blast of hot air from the oven when Molly opened the door to take out a roast, newly-trimmed Quidditch grass, the clean skin smell of Draco’s body, the sharp tang of expensive leather from the gloves Draco had worn the first time he wanked Harry off behind the Hog’s Head back in that lonely, desperate winter years ago).
So really, living with Draco was all very easy, in fact, once everyone (including, probably, Draco himself) had got over the shock. And actually, it turned out that Draco did like nice things, still. Only it happened that the things he liked were also things that Harry thought were nice.
Like flowers on the bedside cabinets, and fresh bedlinen (white, clean, sweet-smelling, which Draco hung to dry by hand on the washing line so they’d bring the outside in). Pastries on weekend mornings. Draco moving around the kitchen, talking about potions in a low quiet voice, the small magic of it. Agrippa and antimony, granian hair and honey water and neem oil.
He always had talked a lot, Harry remembered, and he said as much about himself. I never shut up, I’m a bit much sometimes, with that crease between his brows that showed he was cross about caring too much about it; and he said out it just like that, like it was a fact, as though it was something he’d heard from other people too many times before.
But Harry had never had enough of anything, growing up, and privately he thought that a bit much sounded like just right. Not that he knew how to tell Draco that, but Draco seemed to understand anyway.
Harry liked the mornings, not waking up alone. He liked having someone to cook for. He liked all the sex—trying to get Draco to make those noises (because the only time he was quiet was when they were fucking, biting down on the heel of his hand like he couldn't allow himself to breathe let alone show how much he wanted it all).
Harry liked that a lot, in fact, but it wasn't just the heat and breathlessness and pleasure of it—and fuck, what pleasure—but it was the feeling of having one particular person, someone just for him. Like being part of a team.
They didn't talk about loving each other, of course. Neither of them was good with that sort of thing, and anyway Harry had always been better at doing. And Draco, well Draco didn't trust the word love. It always meant the wrong things, before.
He said it once though, when Harry was about to go out in the snow for the papers, and was carelessly muffling himself up to his eyeballs in Draco’s old school scarf. Draco had kissed him on the mouth right through all the layers of green and told him crossly, I love you, and again with another kiss, the outbreath of it muggy through the wool, I love you, Harry, like Harry was somehow at fault. But he sounded like he meant it.
Harry didn’t need to hear it often, anyway. Once was enough—was more than he'd ever had before—especially coming from Draco, in that accusing tone that showed he'd never said it and meant it before.
So Harry bought the ring anyway. Thought he’d have it ready for the right time. He knew it was definitely the right thing—or at least, that it was something he wanted (almost more than he'd ever wanted anything) which he figured was pretty much the same thing, really.
He kept the ring in his sock drawer, because that’s what people did with these things, holding onto it for when he was—they were—ready. But he hadn’t really considered Draco and his thieving ways. Which was probably why he came home one day to find Draco sitting on the edge of the bed in just his underpants, with Harry’s warmest Weasley socks (the robbing bastard) abandoned on the floor beside the bed, and the closed box in one trembling hand.
Harry took one look at the scene and very strongly considered just turning on his heel and Apparating away from the look on Draco’s face, but he couldn’t really leave Draco all pinched and white-faced and disbelieving on their bed, so he took a deep breath and shoved his hands in his pockets and stayed where he was.
Draco’s voice was thin in the quiet room.
“Is this… ? Did you… ?”
There wasn’t really anything for it, because it was, and he had, so Harry nodded. And even though Draco didn’t like apologies, he added, “Sorry, you weren’t meant to… well.”
“Clearly.” Draco sounded a little more like himself. “Your hiding place was so elaborate.”
And that was irritating, because it wasn’t Harry’s fault Draco was pathologically unable to wear his own fucking socks.
“I was keeping it,” he said, “for your birthday. And then we went and got drunk and I didn’t want to ask you drunk. Because you’d probably think it was gauche, or whatever.”
“Impossibly so,” Draco murmured.
“And also,” Harry continued, “because I didn’t know… I mean, I wasn’t sure…”
I wasn’t sure you’d say yes was what he wanted to say, but it seemed a bit too big to have that out there, all of a sudden. Not to mention that then Draco might tell Harry that actually, he wouldn’t have said yes. And where would that leave Harry with his big, lonely house, and his stupid ring (winking with diamond constellations, of all things) that was probably far too gaudy for words, but had seemed like the right one when he’d seen it.
But then Draco blanched, which Harry hadn’t known was an actual thing until right that second, and said “I see,” in a horribly chilly voice, and Harry realised what he’d said, or what it sounded like he'd said, and he moved fast, almost ran to the edge of the bed and sank down to his knees in front of Draco.
“”No,” he said, and then nonsensically, over and over, “No, Draco, no, no no.”
Draco must have been sitting there for quite some time, because his thigh was cold when Harry laid his cheek against it.
“I meant, I didn’t know if you’d want me to. I meant, I wanted to. I meant, I just needed to be sure you wouldn’t think it was stupid.”
Draco lifted his cool, shaky hand then, and began to stroke; through Harry’s curls, down the nape of his neck, along the ridge of his spine under his shirt collar, then back up again to cup the base of his skull.
“I don’t,” he said, “I mean, I do think it's stupid in general. But not like this. Not if it’s you.”
And that seemed to be that (enough, more than enough, just right). And the ring fit perfectly.