We are never getting older.
He's thought it many times over the years, specifically over the last two, but when Harry watches Ron leave the tent, Hermione shouting after him, the thought strikes him like a blow to the chest. He's brought his best friends with him, they're counting on him, and he has no idea what he's doing. They're all going to die in this war.
The thought repeats like an unwanted mantra in his head, months later, when Hermione's screams from the floor above create a rumble of rage beneath his skin the likes of which he's never felt. He paces back and forth in the cellar as Ron screams his throat raw. Harry clutches the broken bit of mirror in his hand until he's sure he's drawn blood, desperate for someone to save Hermione because he sure as hell doesn't think he can do it himself, not without a wand and locked in the Malfoy's cellar.
He watches as Fiendfyre erupts around them in the Room of Hidden Things. We are never getting older, he thinks and adds Malfoy to the list of casualties racking up in his mind. He forces the thought away as he swoops down, lifting his nemesis by the hand and onto the back of his broom. Fire licks his heels as they barely escape with their lives, death chasing them.
It's only when he walks into the Forbidden Forest that he thinks it of himself alone.
I'm not ever getting older. My friends will live, but I'm going to die here.
And he does.
And yet life in the Wizarding World seems to resume the moment he stands back up and Voldemort falls on the sacred grounds of the broken school.
The undesired mantra vanishes, but the anxiety it left behind has carved a trench of wounds somewhere deep in Harry's soul. He can feel it. It doesn't sting or burn the way the Horcrux had, but its there. He feels it.
Eventually, he learns to channel it.
"Stupefy!" Harry shouts, chasing after a Death Eater. Well, not exactly a Death Eater. The man doesn't have Voldemort's mark, but he's dark as fuck, and while he won't admit so out loud, Harry knows he treats them all the same.
So does Ron.
The two disobey Auror orders, breaking away from the group to chase down the one dark wizard that escaped. It's stupid and reckless, but Harry's chasing the man as though he's chasing death, determined to either kill it or be consumed by it once and for all. It's not the first time that he's broken rules on the job. It's not the first time for many of the new recruits.
The spell misses the wizard, breaking the side of a brick wall and gouging a hole from it the size of Hagrid's fist. Ron, faster than Harry by just enough, tackles their prey rather than using magic and spends the next minute and a half punching him unconscious. Even over the pounding beat of his own heart echoing in his ears, Harry can hear bones break. It's only when he realises that Ron is crying Fred's name that he pulls his best friend off the man.
The dark wizard lives. His accomplices are arrested. Harry and Ron are put on probation along with three others who took things too far in the line of duty, breaking rules and disobeying orders. They often look to Harry instead of their actual superiors as though they're still in Dumbledore's Army rather than working as Auror trainees at the Ministry.
"It's a new programme," Hermione says gently, looking tired from her own work at the Ministry as she sits in front of Harry and Ron at Grimmauld Place. "I suggested it right after the war, but between catching the escaped Death Eaters, all the funerals, and putting Hogwarts back together, I suppose it got pushed aside."
"I don't want a Mind Healer, Hermione," Harry all but snaps.
Ron sits up straight and alert, looking ready for Hermione to snap back, but her eyes are soft, sympathetic, and sad. Harry and Ron used anger to get them through the aftermath of the war, but it's clear to him right then that Hermione is still coping in her own way and not well. She needs help. They all do.
They agree to go. They do so even before it becomes mandated for the Aurors and other Ministry officials. Even without Voldemort around to manoeuvre and manipulate, the people left alive in the Wizarding world are suspicious, anxious, and prone to violence. It's fair to say that the papers have been kept in business in the two years since what's now known as the Battle of Hogwarts.
With plenty of bitter moans and bitching, followed by a hefty amount of nudging on Hermione's part, they attend Mind Healing sessions individually, as well as separate support groups. They all agreed that it would be best to deal with their post-war traumas apart.
"Sometimes," Ron mumbled into a half-empty pint, "it feels like a lot of what happened to the two of you and to my family, also happened just to me. I don't know how to separate it. I can't talk to either of you about it. I know you'll feel guilty, or I'll feel guilty for, y'know, everything."
Harry gets on fairly well with his Mind Healer, a witch from America named Rebecca who is good at her job and disconnected from the war enough to see the healing that needs to take place from a different and unbiased angle. It takes time for him to open up, but once he builds trust with the woman, all his secrets come tumbling out in what he thinks might be a new effort to chase down death. He confesses his life story until he's pretty sure he'll stop breathing. He comes out feeling cleaner on the other side, but the wounds left behind inside of him remain there.
He finds his place in the support group, but progress there is slow. It doesn't help when his and Ginny's rekindled relationship falls to pieces in the middle of it. Her own progress and healing is different than his, and they grow apart because of it. Harry sometimes wonders if their relationship is just a reminder of the past. He begins to rely on his group for support since he feels guilty complaining about his love life to his friends. He doesn't want them to feel like they need to choose sides.
Making new friends is difficult, especially when he's still angry about a lot of things that Voldemort's presence in his life prevented Harry from dealing with in a healthy way. Sirius's death, for one. His guilt over Remus and Tonks is another, not to mention the burden of not knowing how to deal with being a godfather himself to their orphaned son. His dread of returning to the Burrow every Sunday for family dinner where Fred's seat remains empty, and Harry feels like he's stolen a place at the table meant for someone who belongs there but isn't ... because of him.
The one bright light is an awakening for him in group.
Another man sits across the circle from him every week, quiet as a mouse.
When Harry finally dares to speak, most still look at him with either awe or sympathy. Hero or sacrifice. The quiet man, however, looks at him like he doesn't care. Like he has his own baggage to carry in the world and can't be bothered with giving any more attention to the Chosen One than is already being dished out in abundance.
It's an itch on the back of Harry's neck that he never knows how to place.
The itch replaces the feel of the wounds inside him, turning them to scars, if only because it's a distraction. It reminds him an awful lot about the way he used to occasionally glimpse in Oliver Wood's direction in the showers after Quidditch practice.
"Want a fag?" the man offers outside of the building where the support group is held every week.
Harry turns, shocked to hear the voice, only to see a cigarette extended in his direction.
As he takes it, he thinks of the way the smell of tobacco had clung to Sirius's robes and how he hadn't realised until now that he missed the scent. The stick is slightly moist when he brings it to his lips, which makes the itch move from the back of his neck to the centre of his throat and then down his chest, travelling along with the smoke as he inhales, settling in the pit of his stomach. He chokes once but savours the burn as he holds the man's gaze.
"I know who you are."
The man smirks as he takes the cigarette back. "Funny. I was about to say the same thing."
Harry laughs. Laughs for the first real time since Voldemort fell. Since the many funerals he felt required to attend. Since he poured hours into Auror training, dishing out and taking hexes to divert from the pain inside of him. Since Ginny said it was better for them both to move forward with their lives.
"Clean slate?" Harry offers along with his hand.
The man rolls his eyes but the corner of his mouth twitches up into half a smile. "How adorably cliche of you."
Taking his hand, Harry smirks. "Harry Potter."
Squeezing the hand a little and narrowing his eyes in amusement, Harry plucks the cigarette back, right from the man's lips.
"Fine, Potter, have it your way. Pleasure to meet you. I'm Theo Nott."
Three weeks of shared cigarettes outside of group is followed one day with Theo offering, "Blowjob?" instead of a smoke.
Harry chokes on his response the same way he had the first puff of tobacco. It isn't the first offer, of course. He's still a stupid hero in the eyes of Wizarding Britain. Hell, he's had to put a special charm on his mail to stop dirty photographs flowing in through the window by owl every morning, accompanied by letters of gratitude and offers of sex, marriage, and first-born children. He's grown used to gently turning down women in the Leaky and whispered suggestions in Diagon Alley, but this ... he's not been offered this.
The alley they run into is dirty, the wall he leans against is covered in grime, the ground Theo's knees are settled on is muddy, and the way his mouth works over Harry's cock is filthy. But his dark hair feels so clean when Harry runs his fingers through it, groaning when Theo moans at the contact, sucking harder when Harry gives the hair a little tug. It feels like the most wicked thing he's ever done, but the itch is scratched and gone, and the scars inside him feel as though they almost no longer exist.
Harry reciprocates eagerly, even if he doesn't know what the fuck he's doing.
"You seem happier lately," Hermione comments as she joins Harry and Ron for lunch at the Leaky Cauldron.
She sits on Harry's side of the booth. What little relationship his best friends had is long over, but they both still give one another a wide berth as though they're still leaving room for their friendship to grow away from romantic tendencies and back toward something that feels normal again.
"Support group has been good," Harry says with a smile, swallowing a bit of beer down with his secrets.
"I'm so glad!" Hermione turns to Ron. "And yours?"
He shrugs one shoulder. "Fine, I guess. Pretty girl from Slytherin seems nice, but she takes up most of the attention in the room when it's time to share. Susan seems to like her."
"What girl from Slytherin?" Harry asks, changing the subject away from Susan Bones before Hermione even has a chance to ask.
"Greengrass," Ron mutters before taking a bite of his sandwich.
"I'm glad you're making friends," Hermione eventually says. "I umm ... Malfoy is in my group."
Harry and Ron both stare at her. Harry wonders if Malfoy's said something horrible. Ron looks as though he's terrified that Hermione might blurt out that she's eloping with the former Death Eater.
"He apologised, you know, for everything, I suppose." She smiles sweetly as a waitress comes by, bringing her usual drink.
"Imagine that," Harry chuckles, shaking his head at the gobsmacked look on Ron's face in the wake of an apologetic Draco Malfoy. "Who'd have thought we'd ever be friends with Slytherins?"
They both pin him with a look.
"Who's your snake friend then?" Ron asks.
Harry hopes that his face doesn't turn red as the image of Theo on his knees runs quickly through his mind. "I meant ... just everyone in general. I guess."
Neither looks like they believe him.
"Muggle contraptions are interesting," Theo mutters as he fidgets with the cord on Harry's radio. Hermione figured out a way to charm the machine so that it'll play, even in magic houses like Grimmauld Place.
Leaning back against his pillow, Harry watches in amusement as the bottom sheet on the corner of the mattress curls up. The top sheet and blanket are in a pile on the floor. His gaze turns to Theo, stretched naked across the bed to fiddle with the CD player.
"The music is atrocious, though."
Harry nudges Theo in the leg with his foot. "Leave it."
"Say it ain't so, I will not go. Turn the lights off, carry me home." The song plays on, and Harry closes his eyes, relaxing in a post-sex haze of mild euphoria that he knows will be interrupted eventually by Ron coming home and Theo dashing out through the Floo before they're caught.
"Weird Sisters are better," Theo mutters, and Harry smiles when the song plays again, noting that someone had clearly pressed the repeat button.
Six months of secret sex that turns into secret affection followed shockingly fast by secret ... Harry doesn't know what to call it. He tries to, though. He's never been good at timing.
"I love you."
Soft kisses turn stiff and cold.
Without notice, Theo suddenly looks just as broken as Harry felt the first time he walked into the Mind Healer's office. He wonders how he's never really noticed the circles under Theo's eyes or the paleness of his skin. He mustn't sleep well. Harry scolds himself for playing house instead of paying attention.
"I'm not supposed to be the person you love."
Harry swallows down the bitterness and vulnerability. He thinks of Vernon and Petunia, who would be utterly horrified to know of him in bed with another man. He thinks of Dudley poking fun at him for mourning Cedric, commenting about his "boyfriend". But then he remembers that being with a man has nothing to do with the forbiddenness of their ... not love, apparently. No, not even the fact that his secret boyfriend was a Slytherin is something that would dig its way onto the front page of the Daily Prophet.
Harry Potter fucking the son of a Death Eater, though? That would be a headline.
Walking into group, Harry feels like he's back at square one.
It takes a few months and more sessions with Rebecca to realise that a relationship should not dictate how he feels about himself. Harry realises that his entire life has been spent in relation to how someone else sees him. He was the Dursleys' burden, Dumbledore's sacrifice, Sirius's regret, and Voldemort's enemy.
Harry notices that the way he interacts with those closest to him are in relation to how he feels they might need him, or at the very least not be ruined by his existence.
He starts training harder at work with Ron in an effort to build his friend up rather than holding back to let Ron shine. He starts inviting Hermione out for things they both might enjoy, like going to the cinema, rather than ignoring her for Quidditch or grumbling as she drags him to a bookstore. He apologises to Ginny and buys her tickets for the next Harpies versus Puddlemere game. They go together, and he's not afraid to argue with her when they get into a fight over whether or not the Puddlemere Chaser earned a foul for knocking a Harpies Keeper through one of the hoops and off of her broom.
He starts dating again, always on the lookout for love but determined not to be defined by it or the lack thereof.
Years later, he feels pretty good about his life. He no longer chases death.
Staring down at the remaining half a pint of beer in his glass, Harry looks across the room and catches Hermione narrowing her eyes at him. With a snarky bubble in his chest, he lifts the glass in cheers to her before bringing it to his lips, half choking on a mouthful with laughter when she rolls her eyes and waves a flippant hand in his direction.
He knows she thinks he drinks too much. She says it an issue. He thinks that he's doing okay. Frankly, her concern would be well-placed to most observers. He's made it a personal mission to go through the cellar in Grimmauld Place, full to the brim with fancy and expensive whisky, wine, and liquors he can neither spell nor pronounce. He rarely drinks it, though.
Most evenings after work, Harry sits in his parlour and swirls the liquid in the glass, watching the colours change in the light of the nearby fireplace. He thinks often of Sirius, and how he wallowed in that house as a young man and then used the drink to numb the pain when he was basically imprisoned there as an adult during the second war. Harry pours, swirls, watches, and occasionally sips, but more often than not, he tosses the remainder down the sink or into the fire, enjoying the fact that a half-blood is wasting through the Black family's collection of rare alcohols.
He used to leave the empty bottles out to give the portrait of old Walburga something to scream about. Then as something for Kreacher to clean up when he mumbled on how useless old house-elves might as well be tossed into the fire with the good whisky. Now, he leaves them out for Hermione to see when she comes over. He knows she likes to fuss over him, and he shockingly has had most of his shit together since his last session with Rebecca, and sometimes Hermione looks fidgety when she isn't able to tuck his tags in the back of his shirt.
He smiles when he sees her casually smooth the neatly pressed collar on Viktor's dress robes. They've only been dating a few months now, but Harry sees the way the man looks at his friend, admiring her for her brilliance the way he likely had all those years ago back at Hogwarts, when not even he or Ron ever saw her as more than a bossy girl who they loved in ways boys that age couldn't quite grasp when they were too distracted by Quidditch and tournaments and detentions and trying, as always, to evade Voldemort.
Ron, thankfully, has Susan now, married for three years. Though, one would be hard pressed to wonder if his friend wasn't rethinking those nuptials the way he follows after Viktor, slinging an arm around his neck and leading him away for the latest details on how the approaching World Cup is looking, as though he hadn't once thrown a legendary tantrum over him and Hermione back at Hogwarts.
The bride and groom dancing in the centre of the floor, across the ballroom from the table where Harry sits, has him wondering if he might not one day settle down as well.
"Don't get any ideas, Potter," says the blonde siren beside him, just as she steals the glass from his hand and finishes off his beer.
He looks over her slender shoulders and watches her parents' disapproving stare in the background. "Looking to get a reputation, Miss Greengrass?"
She licks her lips and sets the glass down before following his gaze and smiling sweetly at her mother before blowing a kiss to her father. "Trying to maintain it, love."
"Deplorable," Harry says, running the knuckle of his index finger up and down her bare arm, happy that she convinced her sister to skip the froofy bridesmaids dress and go for something sleeker.
He'd seen the photographs from the bridal shop that Hermione had taken when she'd accompanied Daphne and Astoria on the dress hunt. More ruffles than a cake. Daphne now looks as she always should: the way a still lake looks on a winter day right before the water freezes over. Like glass. Beautiful and sharp.
It was her sharp wit, in fact, that had won him over during a brief time when he was certain he'd sworn off relationships.
He had been typically morose after a breakup with Hannah Abbott followed by a series of regrettable one night stands, and a blind date with Zacharias Smith that Neville still routinely apologises for and Ron refuses to stop laughing about. Then one day, Daphne Greengrass walked into the Ministry with clicking heels that she took off once in his office, insisting that he take her to dinner so she could discuss the Auror involvement with a project she was brewing in the Department of Magical Accidents and Catastrophes regarding a new, less invasive form of Obliviation.
He occasionally, though not with any serious thought, wonders if she Obliviated him. One day he was a walking poster for an overworked Ministry employee, pleased with his job but tired, and the next he was dancing with a beautiful blonde in a Muggle club in the centre of London with every set of eyes in the place looking at him with envy as she twirled around him without a care in the world.
He sometimes wonders if he's in love with her.
"Want to get out of here soon?" she asks, mischief igniting in her ice-blue eyes.
He might be in love with her.
"You would leave your sister's wedding early?"
Daphne looks across the room at Astoria, wrapped in Malfoy's arms on the dancefloor. The music stopped a full minute ago, the band looks like they've taken a break, and the newlyweds still move along gently across the floor. Astoria's fingers twirl a loose strand of silver hair that's fallen from Malfoy's hair tie.
"She won't miss us," Daphne says, the mischievous tone in her voice giving way to sweet affection as she watches her baby sister be kissed by her new husband.
Harry shrugs. "Up to you. I'm only here as your guest, after all."
Daphne rolls her eyes and lets out a small snort of a laughter that makes him smile.
She was quietly dignified at Hogwarts, always sitting in the background of rooms with her friends, staring at her nails and sighing heavily as Malfoy and his friends took centre stage in Slytherin House.
Once the war was over, though, she joined Ron's support group, letting the burdens of war chip away revealing butterfly wings that spread with a ferocity that likely scared the hell out of her stiff-upper-lipped parents.
"I have a surprise for you," Daphne whispers in his ear.
He smiles. Her surprises are always delightful and wicked and sometimes absolutely filthy. Sirius would have loved her, he thinks.
She takes his hand and leads him across the room as he gives a casual farewell wave to his friends. Daphne stops to kiss Pansy Parkinson on the cheek. While they occasionally make pleasantries in public, Harry is far from Pansy's biggest fan. He is briefly terrified that Daphne's surprise might be a threeway with her best friend. They've joked about it before, but never mentioned any potential partners by name. Now he desperately wishes he'd given her a list. Thankfully, she bids the brunette farewell, and Harry breathes a sigh of relief, sharing a playfully narrowed gaze with Pansy as he and Daphne leave her behind.
Blaise Zabini is next on the goodbye train, and Harry groans as the man steps between him and Daphne to bombard him with his newest investing opportunity. A year earlier, when the media had finally died down a bit, Harry donated a large sum of money to a scholarship programme headed by Hermione and Astoria for wizards and witches who wanted to attend Muggle University after Hogwarts. Rita Skeeter got the tip on the amount he donated and printed it for all to see. Blaise has practically been up his arse ever since looking for loose Galleons.
Groaning, he mutters, "Can you tell your friends it was nice to see them but—"
"You hope you never see them again?" Daphne finishes with a roll of her eyes, laughing.
"Something like that."
They give a final congratulations to Astoria and Malfoy. Harry shakes the man's hand as though he hadn't once refused it more than a decade earlier. They're not friends, but they're friendly enough these days. Even if Harry still hated him, he wouldn't be rude to the man on his wedding day.
Daphne playfully leads Harry out of the ballroom and into the bar of the wizarding hotel that the wedding is being held in. He hadn't planned on it himself since he has a home of his own, but he wonders if Daphne purchased a room for the night. Instead, she stops at the bar and orders them each a drink.
"Dare I ask what you've got planned?" he asks as he takes the short glass of whisky as it's passed to him.
She licks her lips and looks nervous for the first time that night. Affectionately, she scratches her nails against his stomach, sending chills up and down his arms. "Don't be angry with me."
Brow furrowed, Harry tries to wonder what he'd ever be angry with her about. They've been having an amazing time since being together. She's fun and sweet and sexy and independent as hell. Unlike most strangers that make a pass at him, he knows Daphne cares neither for his fame or his money, and she's not looking for anything more serious than he ever is. They've shared intimate moments and intimate secrets, and he trusts her.
And it's the reminder of his secrets that makes his stomach flutter for just a moment, right before it drops at the sight of Theo Nott at the bar behind her.
Four years, no owls.
There he is.
And Harry's heart breaks.
He heard through gossip that Theo had gone off to the continent, the wizard equivalent of backpacking through Europe. Harry had been furious in the beginning, imagining his ex-boyfriend fucking Parisian men or Greek gods as he spent his fortune on fine wine and imported cigarettes, ever bitching about Muggle music. Eventually, he began wondering if Theo needed to escape physically the same way Harry had done emotionally right after the war. It took a while to forgive him for leaving, but Harry had.
Anger and resentment don't fill him now.
But memories do.
Theo looks just as good as the day Harry met him.
Just as good as the day he left Harry.
"What is this?"
Daphne squeezes his hand. "Theo and I used to be friends back at Hogwarts."
"And more than friends ... sometimes."
Harry looks down at her with wide eyes. He'd told her about his relationship with Theo, but never actually mentioned the man's name. Likewise, she'd confessed to having several boyfriends back at school but never went into details.
Before Harry has a second to think about what to say, Theo approaches them looking casual as ever. Harry notices the cigarette between his fingers and the way he rubs the pad of his thumb against the filter. He's nervous.
Swallowing, Harry mutters, "Nott."
He anticipates a long moment of awkward silence, but Daphne's hand is on his lower back, her nails drawing circles there as she says, "Well, I'll leave you boys to it. Catching up and all."
When Harry looks down at her again, her eyes are lit up with the same old mischief he's learnt to anticipate but there's also something else there. She has a pleased look on her face. It's the way Ginny looks after winning a game of Quidditch, the look Ron has whenever he brings in a new arrest, the look Hermione has whenever the Ministry pushes forward into the future rather than clinging on hard to the oppression of the past. Daphne looks accomplished and pleased, and suddenly Harry realises that she's done this for him.
He wonders if she knew he needed it.
He wonders exactly what about this he needs.
"You headed home?" Theo asks her, breaking Harry away from his thoughts.
She leans forward, slapping her hand gently on the countertop of the bar, sliding it forward and settling it right in the middle of where Harry and Theo are standing. When she lifts her palm, there's a plastic card. "I'll be upstairs in the penthouse suite. Thought very briefly about giving it to my sister and her new husband, but they're the poster children for traditionalism and propriety. Very likely headed back to that fussy, old manor as we speak."
"And you're not traditional?" Theo asks as Daphne begins to pull away from the both of them.
She flashes them a sly smile. "Sweetheart, I am anything but traditional. And, if we're lucky, my lack of propriety could very well scare the pants right off you."
Harry watches her walk away, hips swaying as she blazes a path toward the lift. She turns as she presses the button, blowing a kiss in their direction. He briefly wonders if it's meant for him or for Theo, but the half-hard erection in his trousers tells him quickly that he doesn't really care.
"You look good."
Turning back to Theo, Harry swallows and offers a small smile. "You too."
And he does. Theo looks good and healthy and happy, albeit still nervous. Harry remembers how he looked four years ago. The dark circles under his eyes are long gone, and the gauntness of his skin is left in the wake of a slight tan and what looks to be only a day or two of stubble on his jaw.
"You went abroad?"
Theo nods, the tips of his fingers touching the edge of the room card that Daphne left behind. Harry looks at it and wonders how big the bed is. "I became quite an expert at ridding myself of my father's money."
"You've moved back?" Harry asks, surprised with how hopeful he sounds when his own voice reaches his ears.
"Muggle flat, actually. Islington."
Harry snorts in amusement. "So not all of your father's fortune is gone then."
A grin crosses Theo's lips. Same lips that he brings the cigarette to. Out of habit, even after all these years, Harry takes the smoke from him and brings it to his own mouth. Theo's smile widens. "No, not all. Car's on its last life, though."
"You have a car?" Harry asks, letting smoke billow out of his mouth along with the shocked laugh.
"Rover. Brokedown piece of shit. But it got me here."
Harry passes back the cigarette. "You didn't use a Portkey?"
Shaking his head, Theo touches the room key once again. "I like looking at the scenery when I travel. But I think I'm done travelling for a bit. Wanted to come home and see if I could ... I don't know, start over maybe."
"Clean slate?" Harry offers.
Theo looks down, smiling as he nods. "Something cliche like that, yes."
"Right from the start?"
Looking up, Theo makes eye contact and licks his lips. "Maybe not right from the start. I left a bit of a life behind. Can't pick up exactly where I left, of course, but I do have a bit of unfinished business here."
Harry finishes his drink, wondering exactly what the hell he's getting himself into. Setting the glass down on the countertop, he looks at the card. "Didn't know the two of you used to date."
"Not many people know that you and I dated either."
"I wonder who she left the key for."
Harry's fingers touch one edge, Theo's touch the other.
"I don't entirely know what this means," Harry blurts out.
Theo laughs. "Potter, when do you ever know anything about anything?"
By the time they reach the lift, Theo has slipped the room key into Harry's front pocket, and the tips of his fingers hesitate in letting go. Harry feels the motion, and the very moment the doors shut in front of them, they collide together like magnets that have been held just an inch away from one another for much too long.
Kissing Theo again feels like taking Felix Felicis. Like he's being directed by some new magic inside of him, telling him where to go, what to do, where to put his hands, and exactly the right moment to slip his tongue in Theo's mouth, gliding it briefly along the man's lips before pushing inside. The taste of him is intoxicating, and if Hermione was worried about Harry drinking before, she has no idea that his true addictions lay elsewhere.
His cock is fully hard as he presses it against Theo, groaning out a "Jesus Christ" when he feels another erection pressed against his own.
Hands and fingers are frantic as belts and buttons and zips are moved about.
Like deja vu, Theo is on his knees in front of Harry, tugging his prick from his trousers as though it was commonplace.
The lift they're in is clean, the silver wall Harry leans against is shining so bright it reflects the illuminated buttons on the other side near the closed doors, the ground Theo's knees are settled on is expensive marble, and the way his mouth works over Harry's cock is a goddamned revelation.
Before they even really get started, though, the doors open. Thankfully, no one is on the other side. Still, as though they're finished, Theo stands up. "What now?"
Harry fingers the room key in his pocket. "Do you think she's actually in there?"
Theo laughs. "Knowing Daphne, I'd be surprised if she's not waiting."
Blonde hair is spread against dark maroon sheets of the biggest bed Harry has ever seen in his life. Her dress is gently hanging over the edge of a lounge in the corner, leaving her in nothing but a lacy white corset, knickers, and heels.
"Did you boys have a good chat?" she asks, tilting her head to the side to look at them. At Harry's dishevelled appearance and Theo's swollen lips, she smirks. "Mmm, more than chatting then?"
Harry very quickly remembers that Theo and Daphne have been together before. He fully expects jealousy to bloom in his chest at the thought the same way it had long ago when he watched Ginny and Dean snogging in the corner of the Gryffindor common room, or even the niggling sort of way it had bothered him when Hannah and Neville began dating just a few months after she broke up with him.
But it's not there.
Instead, Harry is left with his imagination taking control, picturing the two of them sneaking around in the dungeons of Hogwarts, Daphne pressed up against the cold stones of the old castle with her skirt pushed up around her thighs; Theo's Slytherin robes pushed to the back as he thrusts in and out of the witch. Harry knows what they both look like when they come. He's seen it. He's been the bloody cause of it, many times.
"What do you want to happen here, Daph?" he tentatively asks her, not wanting to let his cock get ahead of itself.
She rolls over on the bed, perching her chin up with her hand. Playfully kicking her legs up behind her, the heels fall off of her delicate feet and she points her toes, elongating already glorious legs. "Well, I've fucked each of you before," she says with an innocent tone despite the content of her words. "And I know how good it feels to have you inside me. I'm a very generous person, Harry. Who am I to deny the two of you the same pleasure you've each given me."
"And your relationship?" Theo asks, gesturing between Harry and Daphne.
She runs the fingers of her free hand down her corset, settling them between her thighs as she whispers, "Roomy."
Harry is naked first. Mostly because he's too frozen in shock and awe to do much himself, and Daphne has perched herself on the edge of the bed, watching like a hungry hawk circling its prey as Theo removes Harry's shirt and trousers.
When Theo stands in front of Harry, the synapses in his brain click back into place, and he makes quick work of Theo's clothes, tossing them to the side as though they've offended him. Before he has a chance to either push Theo back to his knees or get down on his own, Daphne is there with them.
She turns Theo around to face her. Harry can't see Theo's face, but he watches Daphne smile, the light in her eyes darkening as she kisses the man, making eye contact with Harry as she does so.
"Closer," Theo moans when Daphne breaks the kiss. Without asking, Harry knows the man is speaking to him, so he sets his hands on Theo's shoulders and pulls him tight, chest to back, letting his cock press against Theo's arse.
Daphne lowers herself to the ground. Harry can no longer see her, but Theo let out a moan and tilts his head back onto Harry's chest. Looking over Theo's shoulder, Harry glances down, watching as his girlfriend sucks a cock that isn't his own. Theo's fingers thread themselves through her golden hair, and the pleasure in Harry's prick exacerbates to a painful level just at the sight.
"Closer," Daphne says when she briefly pulls away, looking up into Harry's eyes.
Obediently, he holds Theo tighter, no room left between them as even the skin of their legs touch.
She returns to her task, her head bobbing, and Harry feels a hand slip between his and Theo's thighs, wrapping around his own prick. With gentle guidance, she pulls it between Theo's slightly parted legs, running her hand up and down the length of Harry's shaft; it's not as tight as he normally likes, but her palm rubs the bottom while the top pushes against Theo's skin, tempting Harry in ways he hasn't felt in years.
The noises they're both making are the dirtiest music Harry has ever heard, and he wants to press a repeat button so he can listen to it always, letting it lull him to sleep at night.
Harry stares at Theo's skin, watching sweat build up in certain places, tempted to lick it clean. Theo had been pale and perfect before, but now there's an inked falcon on his right shoulder. Desperate to taste skin, Harry puts his mouth on Theo's shoulder, first as a tender kiss, then a swipe of his tongue to taste, and then, when Daphne runs her thumb under his glans, Harry bites down in pleasure on the tattoo, causing Theo to groan.
He reaches around, hand searching out Theo's cock still in Daphne's mouth. She makes room for him to grab the base and hold on tight like a lifeline, squeezing just hard enough. Harry bites harder when he feels Daphne's lips touch the edges of his fingers on every downstroke. Then, while lingering there, she darts her tongue out and licks his thumb and then back up Theo's cock.
It's that exact moment that Harry knows he needs to be inside one of them. He doesn't care which. He's had to take whatever's given to him most of his life, and being given options isn't something he's very used to, but Theo is closer, so the choice is easily made. With their wands discarded along with their clothing, Harry whispers wandless magic down Theo's spine, smiling when the noise emitted from Theo's mouth is a telltale sign that the spell worked.
Pulling a step back, Harry removes his cock from Daphne's gentle grip and places a hand on the small of Theo's back. Daphne rises to her feet, kissing Theo again even as Harry moves them both back toward the bed.
The backs of her knees hit the mattress, and Daphne flows with the movement, letting herself fall. She pulls her knickers off and throws them over both of their shoulders before spreading her legs. Harry can feel the grumble in Theo's chest at the sight. He doesn't blame the man. He tasted Daphne just that morning.
As Theo dives to feast on her, returning her generous favour, Harry slips a finger into his ex-boyfriend, working as gently as his passion will allow. Daphne makes sweet little noises of content much like an affectionate cat, arching her back every so often when Theo finds just the right spot. Harry, likewise, uses sound to guide his movements, adding a second and eventually a third finger when Theo begins pressing back against him.
Cleaning spells are one thing, but magic can only go so far. Harry starts looking around the room, not knowing what he expects to find.
"In my clutch," Daphne says on an exhale, gesturing with a limp hand to the side of the bed where her bag is.
Harry darts for it, eyes wide when he opens the clutch to find her wand, a tube of lipstick, and a small container of lubricant. "My God," he mutters in surprise, looking back at her on the bed.
She grins, meeting his gaze, licking her lips and rolling her eyes as Theo continues to pleasure her. "What can I say?" she says, voice breathy. "I'm a very ambitious woman."
"You could have talked to me about this, you know?" Harry says, his tone pleased.
"Mmm," Daphne moans, rubbing her hands down her chest to loosen the strings of her top-laced corset that pops open like a present, revealing her breasts. "Care to teach me a lesson, love?"
He's never wanted anything more.
Setting the lubricant on the bed, Harry wraps an arm around Daphne's back, pulling her away from Theo and spinning her small frame until she's facing him. His prick is swollen and aching, and she's so wet that he doesn't even touch her more than lining the head of his cock against her entrance before thrusting inside. She cries out in pleasure, her body actually quaking with it as Harry seats himself fully inside of her.
He lets out a rough grunt with each piston of his hips, fucking her the way he knows she loves. Her nails dig into the skin of his back, and he's aware she'll leave scratches; she always does. Her legs wrap around his waist, giving him a better angle as her back falls to the mattress once more. Harry puts his lips around a nipple, feeling her body tighten with the action just as his does the same when he looks to the side and watches Theo stroke himself at the sight of them.
The very moment that the heels of Daphne's feet dig into his arse and her legs begin to shake, Harry knows that she's close. So he drops her and pulls out.
"You utter shit."
Harry and Theo both laugh, watching as she throws a minor temper tantrum with one hand over her eyes.
"I swear to Merlin, one of you better finish fucking me, or I'll curse you both impotent and do the job myself."
Theo picks up the container of lubricant, tossing it in Harry's direction with a tempting expression as he makes his way to the other side of the bed, situating himself between Daphne's welcoming legs. He bends forward, slipping himself inside of her, moaning with her in tandem. His thrusts are gentler than Harry's, but Harry knows he's trying not to move as much in an attempt to make this easier on all of them.
Harry opens the lubricant, working some on his own cock that's still wet from his girlfriend's body. With two fingers, he works over Theo's entrance as well, smiling when the man has to stop fucking Daphne to get the best angle.
Slowly, Harry pushes himself inside of Theo, taking his time to be a bit more gentle with him than he had with Daphne, who had been more than ready to accept him inside of her. It takes a bit of work, but not much thanks to a great deal of effort in foreplay.
It's been a while since he's fucked another man, but Harry feels all of twenty again when he's fully inside of Theo, blood pumping in his veins like Fiendfyre. He leans forward, putting both knees on the bed and pinning his partners to the mattress beneath him.
Daphne reaches up, affectionately touching Theo's face with one hand, Harry's arm with the other.
His movements are slow and subtle until they're suddenly not. He snaps his hips against Theo's, propelling the other man deeper into the woman beneath them both. Daphne lets out gorgeous sounds of pleasure, removing her hands from them to grab her own breasts as she's rocked back and forth with the motions.
"Closer," Daphne says, her body plucked tight like a bowstring. "Oh, God!"
Theo stops his own thrusting, but Harry is relentless. Theo's head is pressed between Daphne's breasts, and she clutches at his shoulders, digging her nails into his skin and scratching as she lets the orgasm take her.
"Harder," Theo says the moment that Daphne's hands release him, falling to the sheets effortlessly.
Gripping the man's shoulder with one hand, his hip with the other, Harry fucks like his life depends on it. Theo is pulled out of Daphne's spent body, and she makes a little more effort, tired though she is, to grip his cock and let Harry's movement help in pulling Theo to his own climax, which lands on her belly button, just below a diamond piercing.
The tension in Theo's body helps bring Harry to his own orgasm, shocked as hell that he lasted as long as he had. They collapse together, spread out on the large bed, thankfully not on top of one another.
When the beating of his own heart stops echoing in his ears, Harry watches as Daphne rises from the bed to hit the loo, returning minutes later cleaned up and no longer wearing the corset. She switches sides, snuggling up against his right, moving his arms to wrap around her. When Harry glances at Theo, he sees the man looking contemplatively up at the ceiling, as though trying to figure out his next move.
Harry opens his free arm.
Theo looks at him nervously, just as he had in the bar downstairs.
"What do you want from me, Potter?" he asks.
Harry looks at Daphne, eyes closed and grinning like the cat that got the canary. He turns back to Theo and smiles. "Closer."