Chapter 1: Sexy Aurors of the DMLE
It's so unprofessional, wanking over Harry Potter.
But Draco has seen him completely naked now, and that image just - it cannot be unseen . This is how Draco justifies it to himself as he brings himself off once - sometimes twice - a day imagining that beautiful cock and who it’s attached to.
The image of Harry Potter naked. Naked for him. On his knees for him. Fucking into him, hard and deep and toe-curlingly delicious.
Draco has wanked over it. A lot.
He quickly decides that the blame for his Potter-centric wankathon over the past week undoubtedly lies solely with the mastermind behind Sexy Aurors of the DMLE. The charity calendar couldn’t very well exclude the Saviour of the Wizarding World now could they? Sexy or not (though he is, Draco thinks, delectably so).
But then of course there’s the person who’s seen Draco’s freelance work for The Quibbler and suggested him as a photographer (Luna. It’s definitely, definitely Luna). And while he’s at it he can also blame Ivy, his assistant, for being so proficient at setting up that Draco has no choice but to help sort out the ‘models’ – chat to them, get them to loosen up a bit and take this for what it’s supposed to be: a laugh, a silly afternoon, all for a good fucking cause.
The last portion of blame goes to a man named Kettering, who Draco has never actually met. Waiting for his turn to be photographed, Weasley confides to Draco - because apparently a grown-up Weasley is also an exorbitantly chatty Weasley - that Potter initially declined the invitation to take part in the charity calendar. Hates having his picture taken, had to be convinced - Kettering guilted him into it, the prick (Weasley’s words).
Draco feels a hot flare of anger at this. He doesn’t like being photographed either - these days he prefers looking out at everyone else rather than the other way around - and feels a strangely protective urge to refuse to take Potter’s picture at all. He squashes it back down when the man himself emerges from the hair and make-up room wearing nothing but a towel and a wicked little smirk.
“Where do you want me, Malfoy?
Oh dear sweet fucking Merlin, Morgana and Mordred.
He’s gorgeous, of course. Dark stubble covers a sharp, masculine jaw and Draco’s eyes follow it to his mouth, lips dusky pink and a little shiny as if Potter has just licked them. He’s broad-chested, a light smattering of curly dark hair spread neatly across his torso and down hard, perfect abs to the edge of the towel, held teasingly loose at his waist. The rest of him is well muscled; arms sinewy and defined and looking more than perfectly capable of throwing Draco wherever he pleases.
Potter’s eyes are the same as they’d always been really, disarmingly bright and beautiful. Draco finds he can’t look at them too long lest he give himself away. At least Potter’s hair has always been a chaotic disaster, perhaps a small comfort can be found there.
In the end though, Draco has to add the hair team from the photoshoot for the copious wanking because clearly they have performed some sort of dark magic to make Potter’s hair look...to make him look...fuckable. And like he’s just been fucked.
There’s safety in it. The wanking.
Draco tells himself that he finds Potter attractive in the same way that probably most people do, he certainly can’t be alone in his thoughts about him. And he’s honest enough with himself these days that he can say - unequivocally - that he’s harboured this attraction for a little while.
There was a ministry social event - Draco can’t even remember what for, but he was there in a professional capacity only anyway. And if anyone recognised him as Draco Malfoy, ex-Death Eater then it was only for the quickest of moments before they seemed to get over it once they’d spotted his camera. Bellies sharply sucked in, hair fluffed up as they posed for him, smiled demurely at him. Winked at him. Squeezed his arm a bit too long before he moved away on to the next crowd.
It was just a job, and he had a list of people he needed to make sure he photographed - but there were three names on that list that left him feeling faintly sick. Of course the golden trio were gracious about it, but the shot was awful - too posed, too stiff, too resigned. The one he actually submitted for the editorial was a candid he got much later, much more Draco’s style. The three of them laughing, in their own little world, oblivious to his presence.
Granger requested additional prints and sent a thank-you card in return.
It was different after that; civility turned into friendly small talk which in turn grew into something not altogether unpleasant. Granger was a brilliant conversationalist and Weasley was a bit of a hilarious gossip once he was on his second glass of champagne. And Potter…confused him.
Outwardly he appeared friendly enough, but was always a little bit aloof when the others were there. And that was the thing: Draco started to get the feeling that Potter kept trying to get him alone.
Which was absurd of course.
But the more Benefits and Galas and Banquets and Charity Balls there were that brought them together, the less absurd Draco thought it was until he finally figured it out: Draco was simply Potter’s escape from the near-constant demand for his attention.
“Thank fuck you’re here,” he’d said one night, sidling up to Draco as he stood changing the lenses on his camera.
Draco raised an imperious eyebrow. “Twenty minutes? That has to be a new record. You usually don’t come and find me for at least an hour.”
Potter huffed out a laugh but his cheeks pinked up a bit anyway.
Draco smiled in commiseration and gave him a quick once-over. “You look nice by the way.”
Nice was putting it mildly. Potter was dressed in very, very form-fitting midnight blue robes with a fine brocade woven in that you’d miss if you weren’t looking.
Draco was looking.
“Thanks, Malfoy.” Potter started adjusting the cuffs, as if his little outfit wasn’t tailored within an inch to fit him like a dream. Potter gestured at the camera. “Who’s on your hit list tonight?”
“Usual suspects.” Draco shrugged. “The minister, obviously. Benefactors. A few celebrities. You.”
Potter rolled his eyes when Draco started to lift his camera teasingly. “Don’t you dare.”
“Sorry Potter, you’re on my list.” But Draco set his camera down anyway. “Don’t worry. When I get you, you won’t even know I’m there.”
Potter hummed thoughtfully and leaned in close, lowering his voice. “Is that because you know all the good hiding places, Malfoy?”
Draco offered a coy smile. “Maybe.”
“Do you want to –”
“Ah! Auror Potter!”
Neither of them looked up at the interruption, though Potter’s frustration was clear in the way he’d set his jaw. Draco’s brain was flitting wildly between ‘What? Do I want to what?’ and ‘Yes. Whatever it is. Yes, I want to’.
“Duty calls,” Potter murmured, stepping away.
The rest of the night went as expected; Draco got his photos, treated himself to approximately one glass of champagne and caught up on the latest scandals with Weasley. True to Draco’s prediction, Potter didn’t notice when his photo was taken. He also didn’t notice when Draco left, camera bag hoisted over his shoulder, sparing the smallest glance out on the dancefloor as Potter moved gracefully in the arms of someone else, his robes flaring out beautifully behind him.
So, fine. He finds Potter attractive. What Draco is less honest with himself about is how deeply rooted that attraction is, and how it has unfurled and taken hold around his heart.
It’s deeply gratifying when Potter’s easy confidence falters as Draco gets him into position. A pink tongue darts out and licks an upper lip, a blush creeps into stubbly cheeks; Potter shuffles awkwardly, clutching the towel.
“Try to relax.” Draco plasters on his blandest smile. “I just need to get you into a good light and we can go from there.”
“Right. Light. Of course. Photographers need good light.”
Potter’s nerves calm Draco’s own, and he finds it easier then, easier to set up the first few test shots with Potter standing still. They even chat . Draco gives him a few ideas about what they could do for the photo, Potter asks what Weasley was like.
“Surprisingly enthusiastic,” Draco says, feeling oddly warm all over when Potter laughs.
There’s a shared smile that lingers a bit too long to perhaps be considered friendly but Draco knows he’d be playing a silly game with himself if he let his mind try to unravel that, so in the end he just holds his hand out for Potter’s towel.
And then he’s naked.
Just. Fucking. Naked.
Potter’s photo isn’t anything spectacular and privately Draco actually thinks the photo of Weasley has turned out objectively better: his hair had photographed incredibly well, contrasting perfectly with icy blue of his eyes as he stared directly into the camera, unsmiling. It’s intense and moody, the swirls of a scar stark against freckled skin, tendrils of damaged tissue winding up his arm and snaking over his shoulder. He looks fierce and wild and dangerous, and Draco feels a lovely twist of pride at how it’s come out. He’s not quite sure what the creative team of Sexy Aurors of the DMLE will make of it but decides he really doesn’t give a shit.
Potter’s photo is more in keeping with what the calendar people probably had in mind. He’s got one arm pulled back, his hand cupping the back of his head in that slightly self-conscious hair-ruffling way that Draco has become achingly familiar with. He’s grinning at something off-camera in a way that looks both shy and teasing.
Or maybe Draco just wants him to look that way because he knows that Potter was looking at him.
Draco submits the photos and doesn’t think about what that look could mean.
He just needs to get Potter out of his system. That’s all. Because it’s just the nakedness, and therefore a temporary, fleeting...thing. It would pass.
And if it didn’t then Draco would just need to hex his cock off before he went blind from all the deeply unprofessional wanking.
Of course the interviews fuck everything up.
Word somehow gets around what a ‘laugh’ the photoshoot was, and how at ease Draco made them all feel. The brilliant minds behind the calendar decide they want a mini-interview conducted with each ‘month’ and that Draco should be the one to do it.
“You’ve got to,” says Ivy, her tone coming out less like a commiserating friend and more like a strict mother admonishing a naughty child.
“You fucking do it. You’re my assistant. I’m delegating this to you.”
She just snorts, amused. Petulant little witch. “They asked for you. They want you.”
Draco frowns. “Well who is this ‘they’ anyway?”
Ivy ignores him.
So, Draco and his notebook and quill are set up at a little table in the DMLE break room and each Auror he has photographed sits with him, blushing like proverbial virgins when it dawns on each and every one that Draco has seen them utterly starkers. They all leave happy enough though, grinning with both a touch of embarrassment and pride, which Draco thinks is quite sweet actually. They’re alright, the Aurors.
Potter arrives last. Unlike the others, he’s not wearing his Auror robes but a plain grey t-shirt and faded jeans that sit a little too low in the hip to be decent.
Potter doesn’t sit. “The coffee in here is terrible. Let’s do this somewhere else.”
Draco knows he should point out that Potter doesn’t actually have to drink the coffee at all, that this needn’t be anything more than a five-minute chat so he can write something banal and impersonal that no one will actually read. But he can’t stop looking at Potter’s hands. They’re gripping the back of the chair that he’s supposed to be sitting in while Draco interviews him. They’re just so... large and manly. Like they’re very adept at manhandling.
A shiver runs up his spine when Potter extends one of those hands to him, a cheeky glint in his eye. “Come on Malfoy, run away with me?”
This is a colossally bad idea, thinks Draco, lifting his hand to Potter’s in what can only be referred to as a spectacularly embarrassing display of surrender.
They don’t go for coffee.
They go to the corner table of a wine bar on Hackney Road that Draco’s never been to - replete with low, cosy lighting and exposed brick and relaxing music that Potter's muffliato doesn’t quite drown out. Under any other circumstance, Draco might swoon a little because he’s impressed with Potter’s choice and it’s all starting to feel a bit...intimate. Which is ridiculous. But the place has a faint, familiar thrum of magic seemingly imbued into the walls that reminds Draco of something he can’t put his finger on.
And then there’s the lighting. And the red wine. And two glasses. And it’s a barolo, Draco notes with a careful sip, which makes him feel giddy and warm and delicious.
“So,” he begins. “What made you decide to become an Auror?”
Potter gives a soft laugh. “Do you think people who buy the calendar will care more about the answer to that question, or having my cock on their wall for a month?”
Draco pretends to look offended. “Neither. Obviously they’re buying the calendar for my artistic merit.”
Potter laughs again. “You are good, I’ll give you that.” He tilts his glass in a small mock-toast before taking a sip, sucking in his bottom lip briefly in a way that sets Draco on fire.
“You can’t see it anyway.” Draco says this more into his wine glass than to Potter and at first he doesn’t think he’s been heard. He sets the glass down because he realises he’s taken rather a large gulp and that can’t be good when Potter suddenly nudges him in the leg. He looks up, startled. “Sorry, what?”
“I said, what can’t I see?”
Potter is looking at him, wide-eyed and innocent and expectant.
“Oh. Your, um...your…” Draco waves a hand in Potter’s general direction, already feeling the heat creep up the back of his neck. “You can’t see your – you know, your – your everything.”
Draco abruptly stops when he sees that Potter’s mouth is threatening to pull into a grin, his eyes crinkling at the edges, amused at Draco’s flustered state.
“Fuck off.” Draco rolls his eyes, but he’s smiling too. He can’t help it. “They’re very tasteful photos.”
“Mhm, I’m sure they are.”
“I believe you!”
Draco frowns. “But haven’t you – you must have seen your own photo. I sent the final shots for approval to all of the Aurors who took part before I submitted to the calendar.”
Potter just smiles. “I know. Ron is very happy with his by the way.”
“You didn’t look at yours.” It isn’t a question.
Potter shakes his head and tops up their glasses.
“Why didn’t you look?”
Potter shrugs. “I trust you.”
He says it in a way that is so plain and simple that Draco just blinks back at him in astonishment, which Potter seems to take as a cue to continue talking.
“You – the photos you take of me. People used to only ever seem to want to see me looking scary or stupid or fucked up. Yours aren’t ever like that. You always seem to make me look – I don’t know, separate from all the ministry crap, that I’m just...Harry. Is that a weird thing to say? I’m not very arty, but I just – I really like them.“
Potter shrugs again and takes a sip and smiles crookedly at Draco like it’s just the most natural thing he’s ever done and –
Oh this is very much not good, thinks Draco, already feeling himself blush and smile and fuck, he’s fairly certain his traitorous eyelashes just fluttered themselves at Potter.
“Why’d you become a photographer?”
The question surprises him, but not as much as Potter’s tone; soft and interested. He’s definitely shifted closer to Draco too, there’s a warmth pressed against his right calf and he doesn’t need to look to know it’s Potter’s leg against his.
Very, very not good.
Draco doesn’t move away.
“I needed a job.”
Potter rests his chin on his hand and signals for Draco to continue.
So Draco tells him about Luna and working at The Quibbler, traipsing along behind her to museum exhibits and haunted houses and magical animal sanctuaries in the arse end North Wales to photograph everything she asked him to.
“It was just cows.” Draco sips his wine and Potter gives him a bemused look. “At the magical animal sanctuary. It was just cows. I took photos for over two hours in a cold, wet, muddy field wearing horrible muggle wellies for completely normal, ordinary non-magical cows.”
When Potter finally stops laughing, he asks if Luna still did a story on it.
“Of course she did.” Draco’s face is serious when he adds, “it was a rather brilliant piece on humane farming practice actually.”
“So that’s it?” Potter asks after a beat. “You just ‘needed a job’?”
“Well I do actually like what I do.” Draco smiles, because he realises how true it is and that thought makes him happy. “Working for Luna is wild and sometimes I meet some interesting people at the charity events. I’m sorry if you were expecting something deep and profound, but I do feel the need to point out that I just spent an afternoon taking pictures of twelve naked Aurors for a calendar.”
Potter’s grin is mischievous. “Hm, where you saw my everything.”
“All for a good cause.”
“I had no idea you were so charitable.”
“Says the man who got his cock out.”
This time Potter’s laugh is kind of filthy and Draco shifts in his seat.
You absolutely cannot get hard right now. I forbid it.
“Well, I imagine there are worse ways to spend an afternoon. DMLE budget meetings come to mind.”
“How tragic for you, Harry Potter reduced to cost benefit analysis and spreadsheets.”
“Joke all you want but some of those higher ups need to funnel more money into training and development and less into their office furnishings. We need more theory-based education for the juniors, especially in curses and potions, more first-aid training for everyone and - what? Why are you smiling?”
He’s smiling because he loves hearing Potter talk about something he cares about. It changes his face in a way that does something to Draco’s chest.
Draco schools his features into something he’s pretty sure looks like a grimace. “I’m not.” Potter smiles. No, smirks. “I’m not.”
He knows he doesn’t sound indignant at all; that he sounds bashful and prim. It’s the wine. And the lighting.
And Potter sitting so close to him, smelling like a fresh spring day.
Fuckity fuck fuck fuck.
A fresh spring day? Honestly.
Sort your shit out you embarrassing fucking idiot.
Draco clears his throat, pushes his wine glass a little further away. “What do you like most about being an Auror?”
His eyes follow Potter’s following the wine glass and then he’s looking back at Draco. “That I look really good in the burgundy robes.”
Draco opens his mouth to speak, to say - what, exactly? To protest? Demand that Potter take this stupid interview seriously? That he’s wasting Draco’s time? He’s not even looking at Draco anymore. He’s beckoning over an older man in a white shirt and black waistcoat with a tilt of his head while wandlessly dropping the muffliato all in one fell swoop.
“What can I get for you gentlemen? Another bottle of wine perhaps? I can recommend a particularly good Brunello di Montalcino.”
Potter waves a hand at him and smiles politely. “Oh, no thank you. Just some water and two glasses would be great if you don’t mind.”
The man nods once. “Very good Mr Potter.”
Draco watches the exchange with curiosity until Potter’s attention is back on him, the muffliato restored.
“Do you come here often?” Draco asks and immediately cringes, flushing a deep pink as Potter laughs. “You know what I mean. You’re... you, and this is obviously a wizarding bar.”
“A bit, yeah.” Potter pours Draco a glass of water and pushes it over before doing the same for himself. “It’s a nice place. I don’t get hassled. So.”
That seems to be the only explanation that’s being offered and Draco has to admit that it is a really nice place, which he’s about to say out loud when Potter’s attention is suddenly drawn away.
Draco doesn’t know who the patronus belongs to, requesting that Potter return to DMLE poste fucking haste but they are now a permanent fixture on Draco’s shit list. Possibly on Potter’s too as Draco catches a flash of irritation in his face, but maybe that’s wishful thinking on Draco’s part. Either way, it doesn’t change the fact that Potter is leaving.
It’s only much later that Draco realises he hasn’t actually done the fucking interview.
He didn’t even take his notebook out of his bag.
The next time Draco knocks one out thinking about Potter, things are...different.
He’s lying in bed, two days after their impromptu drink at the wine bar. He’s still half asleep, one hand tucked comfortably behind his head while the other trails lazily down his abdomen.
He still hasn’t decided what to do about Potter. Real Potter. And the interview. Sexy Aurors of the DMLE have given him a deadline now because they have a launch date and there’s going to be a party with blown-up pictures of his work. He knows he can’t actually put ‘because I look good in the uniform’ , even though it’s true and he’s tempted to do it anyway; just to witness the fallout and because he knows it would make Harry laugh.
No. Not Harry. Fuck. Potter. He’s Potter.
Potter Potter Potter.
So instead he just thinks about Naked Photo Fantasy Potter, who is always naked and uncomplicated, as he slowly strokes down his shaft. He’s already hard when something starts to feel a little off. Or rather, not enough. He reaches into his bedside table and pulls out a small vial of lube. He coats two fingers and shuffles awkwardly, massaging at his hole until he’s able to slip a digit inside and he pushes back against it and fuck, yes. That’s what he wanted. He slips the other finger in alongside the first and thrusts in and out, working in tandem with the other hand on his cock and his hips jolt up so that he’s fucking hard into his fist and picturing Potter’s cock. Draco licks his lips and fucks himself on his fingers faster, harder, the pressure building low and lovely in his spine.
His mind whirls and then he’s picturing Potter in the bar, smiling in that way and he’s leaning in to Draco, murmuring - he’s saying - he wants -
“Fu-uuuck Harry. Harry.”
Draco comes all over himself, his vision a little hazy at the edges as he shivers on his bed, letting his hand fall idly in his release.
He huffs out a frustrated little sigh. “This might be a problem.”
Draco owls him.
Dear Auror Potter,
With regards to the DMLE charity calendar, I would like to schedule an appointment with you at your nearest convenience to complete the interview.
It’s perfunctory, and when he gets a response back a few hours later he’s mostly expecting something formal in return. Not even from Potter himself but most likely an assistant, with a suggested date and time. He’s half right.
Does tomorrow work for you? I’ve got meetings all day but I can fit you in at 2ish.
Draco quickly scribbles back a response and attaches it to the ministry owl.
Budget meetings? Poor you. 2pm tomorrow would be acceptable.
It’s not even been an hour when he can hear the familiar tap-tap-tap of an owl at the studio window. Draco let’s it in and unties the missive, raising an eyebrow as the bird doesn’t move, waiting for a response.
Yes, budget meetings. You know how much I love those. You better make this interview worth my while.
I am wildly offended that you wouldn’t think my company alone is worth your while. I could just send the interview questions to you by owl, if you’d prefer?
No. Tomorrow. Don’t be late.
Comments and kudos are lovely 🖤
You’re a professional.
Draco walks quickly across the ministry atrium, reciting the mantra in his head as he makes his way towards the bank of lifts.
You’re a professional. You’re a professional. You’re a professional.
The doors ding open on level 2, the large DMLE sign looming intimidatingly above the front reception. The girl behind the counter smiles cheerfully at him as he steps out, looking somewhat relieved to not be carrying on the conversation with the Auror hanging around her desk.
The Auror, who Draco remembers is actually Mr April from Sexy Aurors of the DMLE - and seemed liked a bit of prick if he was being perfectly honest - makes no move to vacate his position at the desk.
“Draco Malfoy to see Auror Harry Potter.” He leans forward towards the girl and offers her an easy smile. “I have an appointment. I believe he’s expecting me.”
She gives him a conspiratorial wink and grins back. “He mentioned you’d be popping in to see him. I’ll escort you.”
Mr April scoffs. “Come on Esther, I’m sure he can find Potter’s office on his own.”
“Auror Potter asked me to.” The girl - Esther - bristles a little as Mr April rolls his eyes.
Draco isn’t sure he needs an escort either. But Mr April is giving him an up-down-up look that oozes with disdain so instead he says, “thank you Esther, I’d really appreciate your help. This place is a bit of a warren.”
It’s a lie, DMLE is essentially one big grid but Esther looks grateful as she steps out and nods at Draco to follow her. Neither of them look back at Mr April, who is clearly in the midst of having a strop.
“Thanks for that,” Esther says when they’re well out of earshot, her flirty demeanour dropping instantly. “Harry didn’t really ask me to escort you. Kieran’s just a twat.”
“You’re not wrong,” replies Draco, laughing softly.
Esther’s returning smile goes from impish to nervous as they head down the corridor. “So, um - no Ivy with you today then?”
“Ivy?” Draco’s eyebrows bemusedly knit together at the same time as the tips of Esther’s ears turn pink.
Kieran really is barking up the wrong tree, Draco thinks.
“She’ll be at the calendar unveiling, as she did a lot of work on it.” Draco bites back a smile as Esther’s blush deepens. “She actually has a small exhibition coming up too, if you’re interested in photography.”
“I’ll owl you the details, if you like?”
Esther positively beams. “That would be lovely, thank you.”
Esther’s a nice girl. Maybe too nice for Ivy, but that’s not Draco’s business and it’s not like he has a clue about real compatibility or -
“Oh shit,” Esther breathes, stopping abruptly in the corridor and laying a surprisingly firm hand on Draco’s arm. “Wait here.”
And then she’s disappearing through a door that appears to be closing him off from a very heated argument. Draco stares at it for a moment, at the gold letters spelling out Auror HJ Potter on the frosted glass. On the other side he can make out blurry burgundy shapes, and a more defined dark blue one that he knows is Esther. She’s not saying anything as the other two shapes shout at each other.
Esther has been inside for about 15 seconds when the shouty swearing starts to subside. He hears Potter say something he can’t quite make out and a second person respond with a ‘fine, fucking fine Potter’ with about as much agreeability as a blast-ended skrewt. The door swings open aggressively and Draco is met with a very red-faced man who gives him a once over, snorts and turns on his heel to storm off down the corridor. Draco watches him go, clutching the strap of his satchel. When he turns back he can see Esther and Potter peering out at him.
“Shall I come back?” Draco asks.
Potter’s face breaks into a grin. “Absolutely not. Come in.”
The office is much more boring than Draco had expected, with a normal boring desk and chair and grey filing cabinets. There’s a partition of some kind in the corner that seems to be leading to a small hidden area. Apart from the name on the door and the fact that Potter is actually here, there’s nothing personal about the space at all.
It makes him feel a bit uneasy and Draco has the brief thought of buying Potter a plant, a photo frame, maybe his own fucking mug.
He probably already has his own mug, Draco thinks, shaking the thought of buying Potter presents from his mind, it’s probably in the break room, in a cupboard next to Weasley’s.
It’s probably one from home.
Or bought for him by someone he cares about.
I.e. not you.
“Er, Malfoy?” Potter says, drawing Draco’s attention away from the curiously blank walls. “Do you mind if we do this in the canteen? I’ve been in back to back meetings and haven’t had lunch yet so -“
“Canteen’s closed,” says Esther abruptly, picking up a file from Potter’s desk and idly flipping through it.
He snatches it back out of her hands and tries to give her a reproachful look that she pointedly ignores.
“What do you mean?” He asks.
“It’s closed. The ovens are broken. Or the water’s off. I don’t know.” She shrugs. “You’ll have to go out somewhere together I guess.”
“Hm.” He offers in return before looking at Draco again. “Have you eaten?”
Draco hadn’t, because he’d been too nervous about maintaining professionalism while trying not to think about Naked Harry Potter.
He shakes his head, no.
“Great!” Potter says, “maybe we could go to that place you keep banging on about?”
“What? What place?” Draco asks, suddenly confused about this imaginary conversation he’s supposed to have had.
“You know, the Ukrainian place you always go to after the events.” Potter says, smiling softly at him. Professional, professional, professional, Draco thinks. “With the potato pancakes? You said you always go on your way home.”
With a flutter in his chest, Draco remembers that he has only mentioned that place to Potter once.
“Galen’s?” says Draco.
“I’ve been there,” Esther chimes in, eyeing Potter with a smirk. “You definitely can’t wear that.”
He’s in his Auror jacket, which is a deep burgundy colour. It has gold fastenings down the front and gold epaulettes. It fits him perfectly (of course) and sits at the waist rather than falling to the floor like his formal Auror robes do.
“Why not? My uniform suits me.”
It does, Merlin fuck it does, Draco thinks.
“It’s a muggle place,” Esther explains, rolling her eyes (quite frankly, thank fuck for Esther, who seems to be acting as some sort of anchor to rationality for Draco in this moment) “And you look a bit…”
She waves her hand vaguely at Potter, who scowls back at her.
“A bit what?” He grits out.
The lunch rush at Galen’s is starting to die down when they arrive and Draco holds the door open for Potter, who has donned a buttery-soft looking leather jacket over a dark green shirt.
Which is, in Draco’s opinion, somehow so much fucking worse than the Auror uniform.
Potter hadn’t waited for Draco to step out of his office before stripping off the Auror jacket with an amusing little huff. But then Esther had just left after making Potter promise to bring her back some sweet cabbage pierogies and Potter had stretched his arms above his head, sighing with pleasure at the little pops in his spine while Draco stared rather unabashedly at the strip of skin revealed with the movement.
Draco had pulled his lower lip between his teeth and Potter had definitely seen him do that.
Draco chooses an empty window booth and makes a big show of getting his notebook out as well as a muggle pen as a way of setting the tone for the afternoon.
“As per your request I’ve prepared some questions ahead of time.”
Potter frowns at him across the table. “My request?”
“Yes,” Draco says. “You said you were busy. With meetings. That I needed to make it worth your while.”
“That’s n-“ Potter shakes his head looking a little flushed and grasps a menu. “Can I at least order first?”
“Oh. Yes of course.” Draco sets his pen down, feeling like a total prat for rushing in. And it’s not like Draco really wants to rush, even though Potter had said how swamped he is with meetings. “Sorry.”
“S’ok.” Potter shrugs one shoulder, not looking up from the menu. “What do you recommend?”
“Everything except the borscht.” Draco sits back in the booth and folds his arms as Potter glances up at him with curiosity. “It’s not quite there yet.”
Potter smiles at him and nods, returning to his menu and Draco stares out of the window trying not to think about how their feet are tangled together underneath the table or how Potter’s forearms look with his shirtsleeves rolled up to the elbow.
“It’s a nice day today.” Potter says it casually without looking up. “Do you think you’ll walk home after this?”
“I - yes, probably.” The question throws him, which is why Draco follows it up with, “I only live five minutes from here.”
Potter makes a non-committal sound in response but Draco thinks he might’ve seen Potter’s lips threaten to tug into a smile (although he can’t really be sure because obviously he’s looking out of the window and not surreptitiously looking at Potter’s mouth).
It’a a unique sort of torture, particularly when Potter is idly running his thumb across his lower lip and even worse when is tongue darts out and licks the upper one.
Draco sets his jaw and continues to stare resolutely out of the window, counting how many trees and shrubs and plants he can see. He’s up to 14 when his mind wanders back to Potter’s office and the distinct lack of foliage or anything personal.
It bothers him more than it probably should.
Was Potter’s home just as...blank?
The waitress arrives to take their order and Draco’s so distracted by thoughts of what Potter’s home looks like he realises he hasn’t chosen anything and just asks for the same as Potter himself.
“What is the most rewarding aspect of being an Auror?” Potter asks, when the waitress has left them alone.
Potter has stolen his notebook. Outrageous.
“Give that back,” demands Draco, attempting to look cross as he reaches for it.
“In a minute.” Potter holds it out of his reach and reads off another question. “‘Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?’ Really?”
“It’s a perfectly acceptable question.”
“Alright, where do you see yourself in five years’ time?”
“This isn’t about me.”
Potter shrugs. “I want to know.”
Draco stares back at him, at his notebook being held hostage in Potter’s hands.
“Fine,” he says. “I suppose...I’d like to be earning enough as a freelancer that I don’t have to do the ministry events anymore.”
Potter lowers the notebook onto the table but Draco doesn’t take it back. “Oh. I thought you liked doing them? You said you met some interesting people…”
“I do, sometimes. And I don’t mind it as such.” Draco takes a sip of his water. “It’s just...not what I want to spend all my time doing. And sometimes they’re really tedious.”
“I know what you mean.” Potter laughs, but there’s no real mirth in it which Draco finds he doesn’t like.
“Occasionally I’ll time myself to get my hit list done as fast as possible.”
“Fuck off.” Potter laughs properly then, leaning forward and reaching for Draco’s pen. “When was that?”
Draco doesn’t move, just watches Potter take his stuff. “October. Some international quidditch thing.”
“I remember.” Potter wrinkles his nose, clicks the pen and scribbles something under the first question. “This twat from LA kept challenging me to a seekers game.”
“As I recall you beat him,” Draco says.
Potter looks up through his long, dark lashes, knocks his leg against Draco’s, let’s it rest there. “Thought you only stayed for 27 minutes, hm?”
Draco’s about to tell him that the photos took 27 minutes when the waitress arrives with their food. Potter slips the notebook off the table out of sight as she puts their plates down.
It all passes too quickly.
Potter loves the food and tells Draco that they need to come back immediately so he can try everything else. They muddle through the rest of the interview questions, Potter making jokes and scribbling down answers and doodling all over the place, pestering Draco to answer questions of his own. It’s wonderful and easy and Draco doesn’t really want him to go back to work or to go home himself, not alone at least.
The only time the good feeling slips is when Potter deflects a question about job satisfaction and Draco asks, “fuck Potter, do you even like being an Auror?” It’s rhetorical of course but Potter’s infectious grin falters for a moment as he frowns and says ‘yeah, of course I do’ and Draco feels something weird turn over in his stomach. He’s about to ask him again, seriously this time, when the bill arrives and Potter grabs it quickly, leaping out of the booth.
“Can I walk you home?” Potter asks, coming back to the table having paid. There’s a bag with Esther’s sweet cabbage pierogies dangling from one hand as he reaches for his jacket with the other.
“Don’t you have more meetings?” Draco says, shuffling out awkwardly from his side of the booth.
“It’s fine.” Potter waves the question off which is neither a yes or no. “Anyway you said it’s just five minutes away right?”
Oh, fuck it.
“Let’s go,” Draco says.
Stay safe lovely readers and have a wonderful day 🖤
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.”
Stay safe and have a lovely day 🖤