Draco almost loses his mind when Potter just invites himself in for a cup of tea. Like it’s nothing. Like it’s normal.
What is this? He wants to snap, full of incredulity. What is this? What are you doing , Potter? With your ‘run away with me Malfoy’ and that beautiful wine bar and your horrifically sexy leather jacket (fucking hell) and letting your feet tangle with mine?
But then he’s also thinking: I hope the milk in the fridge hasn’t gone off , before holding his front door open so that Potter can step inside, because he sort of wants to see how this all plays out.
Draco directs him to the kitchen while he closes and locks the door behind them, only to find that Potter’s stayed exactly where he is leaning casually against the wall.
“Aren’t you going to give me a tour?” He asks, all bright eyes and easy smile.
It’s not like there’s anything objectively terrible about Potter’s request; Draco’s flat is clean and tidy and, truth be told, he’s quite fond of the personal space he’s carved out for himself. He also doesn’t believe that Potter’s really got an agenda here beyond just being a cheeky little shit.
It’s just. Well. This is the first time they’re alone together. Really alone. Potter and Malfoy.
Draco and Harry.
He’s thrilled and terrified all at once.
The apprehension must be obvious because Potter’s smile starts to fade and he stands up straight from the wall, shaking his head. “Sorry. I was - it doesn’t matter. I was just curious. Tea?”
And with that Potter turns and heads towards the kitchen, shrugging out of his jacket as he does so.
Potter is curious, is the thing. It’s obvious in the way he’s just looking at everything in silent appraisal; the dark blue cabinets, the fruit bowl, Draco’s bookmarked cookbooks in a neat row next to the utensil pot.
Potter looks down at the kitchen table. It’s a lovely sturdy thing, probably a bit too big for the space but Potter skates his fingers over the walnut wood as he heads towards the french doors at the other end. They open up onto a small balcony and the view isn’t really anything, just London streets and rooftops, but it’s nice.
The milk, rather fortuitously, is still in date and Draco busies himself with getting the kettle on and retrieving mugs because he can’t think about how good Potter looks in his kitchen, how perfect, how right . It all suddenly feels a bit much. Potter filling the space with his inexplicable... Harryness.
Mug. Tea bag. Hot water. Steep. Find sugar. Milk.
Potter takes his tea in the exact same way he did at school; extra hot and too strong, barely a splash of milk, one sugar. Their fingers brush when Draco hands it over and they migrate to the kitchen table.
“Do you do all your photography stuff at home?” Potter asks.
“My photography ‘stuff’?” Draco laughs, it’s gentle but he can see Potter’s cheeks colour a little.
“Well I don’t know how it works! And I’m interested. Muggles use a darkroom or something like that, don’t they?”
Interested. Potter is interested.
“Oh - yes, they do. That’s so the light doesn’t affect the developing chemicals. Wizarding photography is a bit different but I do both, depending on what’s needed or what I just prefer, and that’s all based down at the studio. It’s a good setup really, sometimes I do portrait work there too if Luna or a client want something more... modern-looking, I suppose.”
“Portrait work, hm? Is that what you’d call the calendar?” Potter says, nudging his ankle under the table. His mouth curves in amusement as he lifts his mug and takes a sip, his eyes never leaving Draco’s.
Oh, you absolute wanker.
“Well...those were - technically - portraits,” Draco points out, trying to sound indignant, but Potter just gently laughs.
Ivy poses a theory a few days later as she chooses photos for her exhibition. Draco is sitting next to her in an attempt to offer critical feedback, but the reality of the situation is that he’s actually just muttering into an overpriced takeaway coffee about the oddness of the Potter situation.
“So...what you’re saying is, you’re seeing him now?”
“What? No,” Draco says, narrowing his eyes at her, honestly of all the things to suggest - “What on earth gave you that idea?”
“You went out for drinks.”
“One drink. So I could interview him. For the calendar.”
“But then he took you out for dinner.”
“Lunch. And he didn’t ‘take me out’.”
“You said he paid.”
“Well yes, but -”
“You invited him back to your flat.”
“Wha - no, that’s not what happened!”
Ivy looks up at this statement, gives Draco a questioning look but says nothing.
“He offered to walk me home afterwards,” says Draco, oh Merlin is he blushing? Ivy will never let him live this down.
“What a gentleman.”
“I can assure you, Harry Potter is no gentleman.”
“Oh?” Ivy’s eyes spark with interest. “Do tell.”
“He invited himself in for a cup of tea.”
“A cup of tea? The scoundrel!” she says, turning back to her portfolio, ignoring him once again.
That fucking Ivy, what the hell does she know?
“You should ask him out for dinner,” she says after a beat.
Draco ignores her.
Will you go out with me? For dinner, in case that wasn’t clear. Or coffee, if you like? Whatever you w
You. Me. Dinner.
I want to take you out for dinner. And then I want you to take me however you see fit.
Draco “I want Potter’s cock” Malfoy, Esq.
One time I came so hard thinking about riding you that I blacked out for a second. Care to discuss over dinner? How does Italian sound?
Auror Potter, Draco finally writes, It would be appropriate for me to buy you dinner in reciprocation for lunch at Galen’s last Thursday. Please let me know if you are amenable and when would be convenient for you. Kind Regards, Draco Malfoy
Potter doesn’t respond because he’s been taken to St Mungo’s. Injured out in the field, Esther’s hastily scribbled reply says, dodgy wolfsbane thing. Draco isn’t sure of the details of the case but he’s fairly certain Esther wasn’t supposed to tell him anyway.
“I’m fine,” Potter says.
He’s sat up in a hospital bed, a blanket thrown over him except for his left leg which sits uncovered and bare. The curse damage has caused a significant portion of muscle to deteriorate from ankle to thigh, the leg itself looks skinny, the skin unhealthy and lacklustre in its hue.
Draco frowns at him. “You’re in hospital.” Obviously, fucking hell. It comes out much more accusatory than he intends, and Draco flushes with embarrassment.
Because this is Potter’s job. Well, not the getting injured part exactly. But it’s likely to happen isn’t it? An occupational hazard . Potter knows what he’s getting himself into. And he’s well within his rights to tell Draco to fuck off and do one and why does he care anyway?
But he doesn’t do that, just pats the space on the bed next to him and shuffles up, waits for Draco to awkwardly sit on the edge before he speaks again.
“I’m fine,” Potter says again, softer and quiet. He flexes his foot back and forth as if to say see? “The healers have done their job and stopped the curse from spreading. It’ll just take a few days to repair and rebuild, that’s all.” He pauses, glancing at the paper bag in Draco’s hands. “Did you bring me something?”
“Oh,” Draco says. “Yes. Ah - Esther told me you were here and I thought - well I thought you might be a bit sick of hospital food.”
Potter’s face softens, he blinks a few times, smiles up at Draco from his pillow-nest. Must be all the potions he’s on, Draco thinks; pain relief, blood replenishers. And knowing Potter, probably some kind of relaxant to stop him wandering off. He wouldn’t be looking at Draco like that if he wasn’t off his face on a cocktail of potions. Wouldn’t look at him like -
Like Draco is lovely.
Draco holds up two paper bags, puts them on the table before Potter. “Pierogies and potato pancakes. And some cake.”
Potter sits up straighter, infectious grin brightening his tired features. “From Galen’s?”
“Yes,” says Draco. “Well not the cake, that’s from this little German bakery in Belgravia. It’s called a Prinzregententorte.”
“How do you find all these places?” Asks Potter, already ripping into the cake bag, eyes widening in delight. “Oh my god . Is Ron still here? He can’t see this, he’ll nick it. He said he was going to try and get Kettering off my back about doing paperwork for a few days. Is that - how many layers is this cake?” Potter digs a fork in and takes a bite, sighs a little around the mouthful, pulls it possessively closer. “Jesus Fuck. If you see him coming you’ll have to hex him. I am not sharing this.”
The healers assess Potter’s leg and determine he can spend the remainder of his recuperation period at home. Two or three more days, as long as he keeps up with his regimen of healing potions and physio exercises. He’ll need to come back in for another assessment before he’s allowed to go back to work.
Draco is still sitting on the edge of his bed, his hip pressing gently against Potter’s damaged leg, neither of them saying anything about it. Maybe there’s nerve damage and Potter can’t feel it, can’t feel him , Draco thinks; he shifts experimentally, the rest of him still as the Healer in charge of Potter explains about the medication he’s being sent home with, Potter nodding along like it’s all old hat to him. Draco hates the fact that it probably is. Minutely, he increases the pressure against Potter’s fucked up leg.
And he just - Potter just casually places his hand high up on Draco’s thigh, all attentive-as-you-like, fucking reassuring as he’s rubbing affectionate little circles with his thumb into Draco’s leg, repeating things back to the healer like mhm, after dinner, one more before bedtime, plenty of rest, will do .
The healer, she nods in Draco’s direction with a bit of a smirk. “This one taking you home then is he?”
Potter’s thumb doesn’t even falter, his mouth curves into a devious little grin as he looks at Draco. “Dunno, do you want to take me home Malfoy?”
They get to the Floo, Potter with his arm slung across Draco’s shoulders and Draco supporting him around his waist ( ‘shall we start calling you hop-along-Harry?’ ‘Ha bloody ha, just fucking help me you prat’). The thin fabric of Potter’s t-shirt has rucked up enough during their slightly awkward amble that Draco’s hand has slipped underneath the hem, resting somewhere between Potter’s hip and the small of his back and Draco’s mind is racing like mad with the feel of him, all heat and soft skin.
Potter tosses a handful of powder into the Floo. “The Flat Above The Bar.” His voice is clear and commanding, sending a shiver down Draco’s spine. “27 Sullivan Street, Shoreditch.”
When the flames die down Draco is a little stunned. What he’d been expecting, or fearing - don’t be like his office, don’t be like his office - it certainly wasn’t this . It’s a massive open loft-space with exposed brick walls and huge windows looking out into the city night. There’s a small kitchen off to one side and a staircase leading to a closed-off mezzanine area that he assumes is Potter’s bedroom. The furniture is minimal but warm and cosy and lived-in, there are little pieces of his life everywhere; a mug left on the coffee table, a jumper tossed over the back of an armchair, one cushion squashed into a corner of the sofa where Potter’s obviously put his head down for a snooze.
“Want a tour?” Potter asks, huffing out a tired laugh. “This is sort of...it.”
“It’s lovely,” Draco says, and he means it.
He kind of loves Potter’s home.
What would it be like to spend an evening here? Is he about to find out? What are the expectations of taking someone home from the hospital?
“Come on,” Potter says, shifting awkwardly next to him. “Help me upstairs, I need a shower and then bed.”
“You need to eat something too,” Draco says, holding him still. “Healer Abrahms said you need a small meal before your replenishment potion, something with protein remember?”
Potter yawns, leans on Draco a little heavier. “I’m sure I’ve got a packet of ham in the fridge or something. Will that do, Nurse Malfoy?”
“Hmph,” grumbles Draco, and they head upstairs.
He leaves Potter in his bathroom and heads back down to rummage in the kitchen. It’s not as nice as Draco’s but it’s fine, functional. He gets the impression Porter doesn’t use it much. There are eggs next to the bread bin and - sure enough - ham in the fridge as well as some strong cheddar, so Draco sets about making an omelette.
This is fine, he thinks. This is what a friend would do.
Potter and Malfoy.
Draco and Harry.
“Fucking hell,” Draco mutters to himself, closes his eyes, shakes his head.
Potter’s out of the shower, towel-drying his hair and already changed into soft flannel pyjama bottoms and a sweatshirt when Draco walks into his bedroom, carrying the food and a large glass of water.
“Oh my god, you didn’t have to do that,” Potter says, smiling bright and happy, reaching for the glass. “Thank you though, I really appreciate this.”
“You’re welcome,” Draco says, and suddenly he’s not sure what to do with himself. He’s just standing in Potter’s bedroom, still holding the omelette, watching Potter lick a stray drop of water from his upper lip.
“Can you give me a hand getting in? I don’t want to spill anything,” Potter says.
“Alright,” Draco replies, willing his skin not to flush at the implication of getting Harry Potter into bed . “But you can fuck off if you think I’m tucking you in.”
Potter convinces him to stay for a bit while he eats his omelette, and it’s not that late really so Draco kicks off his shoes and sits as upright as he possibly can on top of the covers on Potter’s bed because it’s either that or the floor and he doesn’t want to make it weird even though inside he’s thinking this is fucking weird.
At some point he’s going to have to go home, he’s going to have to leave Potter on his own looking all soft and lovely and warm to rest and recuperate like he’s supposed to. Potter switches on the television that’s at the end of his bed on a chest of drawers and nestles back into his pillows. He’s finished the omelette, taken his potions. There’s no reason for Draco to be here.
“Have you got a telly?” Potter asks.
Draco frowns down at him and wishes he didn’t because Potter’s eyes are massive and green and beautiful, watching him carefully in the semi-darkness.
“Of course I have a telly,” Draco says, sounding a little huffy, at least trying to convey an air of frostiness in the face of what is happening here: getting cosy in Harry’s bed.
Potter’s bed. Potter’s bed.
Potter quirks an eyebrow at him, looks faintly amused. “Oh? What do you watch then? On your telly?”
It’s such an innocent question but Potter’s voice is all low and rumbly and teasing and Draco can already feel himself shuffling down a bit, getting comfier.
“Documentaries,” he says. “I like Blue Planet.”
Potter snorts quietly. “Everyone likes Blue Planet. What else do you like?”
Draco rolls his eyes. “I don’t know! I can’t think right now, with you all -” Fuck, what’s he saying? He needs to shut up immediately. “What do you like?” He asks, desperate to draw attention away.
But Potter is just...looking at him, this long considered thing that Draco can’t read, and he’s about to say I think I should go now when Potter leans up, supporting himself on one elbow, cups Draco’s face to pull him in and kisses him, slow and sweet.
“You. This.” he says, smiling against Draco’s mouth, his thumb running soft over Draco’s cheek. “And Blue Planet.”