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The lips did not linger over kissing his scar, though the reverence they showed it was to set the tone for the rest of the kissing they did that night. Instead, they moved on to gently buss each eyelid, bestow a peck upon the tip of his nose, brush a series of kisses across his cheekbones and down along the lines of his jaw and sweep lightly over his chin. A quickly whispered, "Basio," issued from them before they continued their downward journey and planted a trail of warm, open-mouthed kisses along the underside of his jaw and down the side of his neck, breaking off only to whisper, "Basio," again.

It was only then, at the second utterance of 'basio', that it came to him that the word his lover had whispered was a spell and that what he had taken to be phantom sensations invented by his highly-sensitised skin were in fact of magical origin. He had barely managed to come to this conclusion, however, when his attention was again snared by the heated press of lips on skin, which had now laid seige to the hollow at the base of his throat and been joined by what felt to him like twin comet-trails of kisses bestowed by tiny invisible mouths.

And again it was invoked, "Basio."

And a third comet-trail had joined the first two, which traced molten patterns over his flesh, following the paths the kisses had blazed. They danced trippingly along his collarbones, circled back to scale the column of his throat, then worked their way down to eagerly explore every centimetre of flesh that was exposed as familiar, nimble fingers undid his shirt buttons and slowly parted the pieces of concealing fabric. Three buttons in, the fingers paused while the incantation was once again whispered, then returned to their unbuttoning, repeating this ritual when they'd undone the remaining three.

Then his shirt was off and those maddening lips were everywhere.

Retracing the path they'd made down his sternum.


Circling his nipples before lavishing them with a hail of kisses as white-hot and glorious as falling stars.


Kissing the span of each of his ribs in increments as measured as those of the sun traversing the sky.


Seeding the whorl of his bellybutton with a galaxy's worth of kisses.


And then those clever, clever fingers, which he had lost track of sometime after they had taken part in removing his shirt, were making short work of his belt buckle, button and zip and shucking off his trousers, pants and socks with the ease of well-earned familiarity. And while he had managed to open his eyes again momentarily, grounded by the concrete sensations of fabric sliding against skin and hands sliding after it, the moment he found himself naked he also found himself closing them again, lost in the susurrus of feeling induced by nine incantations of 'basio' compounded upon each other.

After that, everything seemed to be happening to him both all at once and from a great distance, as the touch of his lover's lips tenuously punctuated the incandescent waves of sensation coursing over his body, which every further invocation of 'basio' seemed to multiply exponentially. Now, heavy with spells waiting to be spoken, those lips moved lower.

Kissing his hipbones.


Tracking along the outsides of his thighs.


Lingering to tease the sensitive spots at the backs of his knees.


Tracing nonsensical nothings over his shins and the outsides of his calves.


And finally turning to his feet. Savouring his anklebones, tasting each individual toe, almost nibbling as they made their way along his insteps. But always, always kissing - every bit of his skin they could reach. And if he could have gathered his thoughts together enough to consider the matter, Harry would've agreed wholeheartedly that thirteen 'basios' was really quite a lucky number.


Fourteen, however, was an even luckier one, for as those lips worked their way up the insides of his legs, they made a leisurely transit along the arcs of his inner calves . . .


. . . before taking the art of kissing his inner thighs to an entirely new level of care and exquisite precision.


And then they turned that dedication to kissing the prized fillip of skin between his bollocks and arsehole, continuing on to suckle those heavenly pendulous spheres, leaving off there only to traverse the valleys of flesh created by the joining of thigh and pelvis, before finally, finally turning their attention to his ever-so-interested cock. The kiss they planted on its head almost had him coming right then and there, but it was the kisses they trailed down its vein and then covered every remaining centimetre of engorged flesh with that actually sent him over the edge when, in a voice taut and husky with constrained arousal, the command was issued one final time: "Basio."

As the maelstrom of tiny mouths covered what seemed to be every possible part of his body with kisses, he simultaneously fell and soared through a darkness that seemed to go on forever, but throughout it all he felt Draco mapping his hands with kisses that came from no mouth but his own. And it was these tender, entirely earthly touches of mouth against skin that tethered him and drew him back to himself.

When Harry had recollected himself enough to take control of his muscles and brain, he found that Draco was sprawled bonelessly against his chest, so he brought his arms up to cradle him there, and said softly,

"Soles occidere et redire possunt
Nobis cum semel occidit brevis lux
Nox est perpetua una dormienda
Da mi basia mille, deinde centum
Dein mille altera, dein secunda centum . . ."

"Suns can set and rise again: when our brief light
is gone we sleep the sleep of perpetual night.
Give me a thousand kisses, and then a hundred more
and then another thousand, and add five score . . ."

"I know we decided it didn't matter if our names didn't scan . . ."


"But we saw that play months - almost a year ago. I never expected . . ."

"That anything would ever come of it?"


"Well, that's why you keep me around, isn't it? To confound your expectations with my outrageous and unprecedented behaviour."

"What - not the snappy conversation and brilliant sex?

Draco smirked a bit at that, but said only, "Happy birthday, Harry. I'm glad it's you I've got, rather than that silly Jackson fellow. He's no appreciation for subtleties."

"I rather think that if Housman couldn't get him the way he wanted him, you really wouldn't have a chance. I mean, he was practically a girl, even if he was bloody brilliant when it came to the Most Ancient and Revered Languages." Harry paused then, before continuing with an affectionately mocking smile, "'Sides, he was a muggle - hardly a fit partner for a Malfoy - particularly not my Malfoy."

And then, with the after-echoes of the recently cast spells ghosting over his skin, Harry Potter kissed Draco Malfoy and they found that the press of lips against lips and the slide of tongues over teeth and the inner contours of mouths was perhaps even more sublime than any of those spells had been.