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Worst Timing

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May, 1999

"We can't do this anymore." Draco whispered the words against Harry's chest. He didn't want to say them and his stomach clenched as he said them, but one of them had to say them, and Harry would never.

"We could-"

"What? You'll break up with the Weaslette and I break off my engagement to Astoria?" Draco asked with a snort. "You're salivating at the idea of marrying into that family."

"That was before, Draco. We've been together for months now. Things have changed," Harry insisted.

It had started after the trials. Draco had gone to Grimmauld Place to thank Harry for all of that he'd done, but he'd found Harry all battered from an encounter with Death Eaters still at large. Draco had helped Kreacher patch him up and stayed behind until Harry had felt better.

After that, they met almost every day, Auror's job permitting. Neither could pinpoint the moment that they had fell for each other, but one night before Christmas, being the brave Gryffindor, Harry kissed Draco, a simple kiss under the mistletoe, something that could have been dismissed, but Draco responded in kind and they ended up in bed for the first time.

They didn't see each other during the holidays, not with the students back from school. Harry had spent his time with the Weasleys, the Malfoys were making arrangements with the Greengrass, and when school started again, Harry and Draco went back to their own arrangement, until tonight.

"Have they? There's a reason why we've kept this a secret from everyone," Draco pointed out. "You spent Easter break picking flowers for your wedding. Things haven't changed that much in two months."

"I-" Harry kissed Draco softly. "I love you, but-"

"Neither of us is ready to fight this battle," Draco finished, a little too calmly, but he wouldn't show how much the decision was hurting him. He couldn't even blame Harry. They had discussed coming out, but killing Voldemort hadn't made the wizarding world any more progressive than it was a year before. The only difference was that no one was getting arrested for being a Muggleborn.

"We're getting married," Harry said with an air of finality.

"I guess." They both sounded miserable. They both felt wretched. They both knew that there was no other each choice. They both agreed that this would be their final time together.


It wasn't their final time. Draco was at the ministry trying to obtain a portkey, when he felt a hand pull him toward the loo. There was no one there, but he could smell Harry's cologne. Bloody cloak. Still, he went along, because it was better than make a fuss while surrounded by ministry employees.

The moment the loo's door locked, he found himself pushed against it. "Nice to see you too," he said coldly when Harry dropped the cloak.

"Why didn't you tell me?" Harry hissed.

"That the sun is hot, the sky is blue, it rains in England. You'll have to be a tad more specific." Draco didn't have to fake his annoyance or confusion. He was pretty good at guessing what Harry was thinking, but after not seeing each other for four months, he had no idea what the topic might even be.

"You and Astoria! You broke off your engagement."

Ah! He should have guessed that one, but he just shrugged. "She broke off our engagement; I didn't. When she turned seventeen, she told her parents that she was marrying one of the Macmillians. They threatened to cut her off, but Robert has plenty of money, so she doesn't really care.”

Harry glared at him. "She turned seventeen in April. You already knew that day. At the house. You knew that you weren't engaged, but let me think that you were getting married."

"And what should I have done?" Draco asked. "What should I have said? Oh Harry, she doesn't think I'm good enough, could you please break it off with Weasley so we can live a life of secrets and lies?" He pushed Harry off and moved away, although there wasn't much space in the little room. "You won't leave her, will you? You want to be a Weasley just as much as you don't want to come out. The papers will be on you, they'll say all sorts of things, that's what you said. So why should I have said anything when I knew your answer?"

Harry was on him again, hands on his shoulders. "You should have told me."

"And now that you know what has changed?" Draco challenged. "Will you leave her? Will you come out? Ah, I know that look, that 'I'm so sorry, I wish I could give you what you want, and I'll be miserable for the rest of my life, but I must do what's right' look, because you're still marrying her, aren't you?" His voice broke on the last words, almost hoping for a moment that Harry would prove him wrong, even though he knew better.

Harry nodded. "I am."

The words hit him worse than the cruciatus and Draco closed his eyes. "On Christmas Day?"

"How did you know?" Harry asked with a frown. "We've just decided."

Draco huffed, but it was a sad sound. "How can I not know? You said that it's when your parents got married. Of course you'd pick the same day."

Harry pressed their foreheads together. "You know me too well."

"I do," Draco whispered. "It's why I didn't tell you."

"I wish-"

"Don't. I can't deal with that. I can't deal with you wanting and wishing, when you can have what you want." He closed his fingers around Harry's hair and pulled him, closer, lips almost brushing. "I'm right here, Harry."

Silence reigned in the room before their lips met. A spark of hope ignited in Draco, but as the kiss went on, he could tell that this was another goodbye. He squeezed his eyes tight, chasing away the tears before they appeared. "We can't. You'll hate yourself."

"Ginny and I- we still haven't had sex."

"Does it matter?" Draco asked. "We can't just fuck until your wedding. I can't do this again, and you'll be miserable if you have to keep it secret. It's over."


Draco was getting ready for their family Christmas Party. His mother had insisted that they do something for the holidays. It had supposed to be a small party before Christmas. It ended up being a gala, four days before Christmas, with every old family being invited. Not surprisingly, there were a lot more women attending, with too many men dead or in Azkaban.

He was almost ready when Narcissa entered the room, look rather serious. "Mum, is everything all right?"

"We have a guest," she said.

Draco laughed. "We're about to have three hundred guests. If one annoys you, this doesn't bode well."

She smiled at him affectionately. "You know better than that. It's this one particular guest, who wasn't in the guest list, who's a problem. Potter is here to see you. While I appreciate what he's done for us, tonight is not the best of times for a visit. I had him escorted to the library. You can see him there and get him out before our guests arrive." Draco nodded, although he was barely listening, wondering why Harry would even be here. "And Draco, remember he's getting married in four days."

Draco's head snapped up. "I don't know-"

"Oh love, don't lie to me," she said, with a smile. "You know that I want you happy and I haven't said anything, but if he hurts you again, I'll have to do something painful to him and none of us would like that."

Draco went to her and hugged her tight. "I don't say it enough, but you are the best mother there is. I love you."

Narcissa kissed his cheek before pulling back. "I love you, too, Darling. Now don't make your guest wait, and do try to get him out without people seeing him."

Draco chuckled, but agreed. His good mood changed as he walked toward the library. He had no idea what Harry could want. They hadn't spoken since that day at the ministry. Whatever it was, it couldn't be good news. One look at Harry as he reached the library confirmed it. "What's wrong?"

Harry sat on a couch, elbows on his knees and leaning down. He didn't look up at the sound of Draco's voice. "I can't do it."

Draco sat next to him and pressed his hand against Harry's back. "You can do anything you want, Harry. If there's one person who can manage the impossible, that's you."

Harry sat up and stared at Draco. "I can't marry Ginny. We were at the Burrow today, just talking, nothing special, and then we started talking about the wedding and the rest of our lives and I felt like I couldn't breathe. I love her, I do, but I'm not in love with her, and I can't imagine spending my life with her. It's not fair to me or to her."

Draco tensed. "Why are you telling me this?"

"Because it's what you said when we got together, you told me that I’d never be happy and I didn't believe you, and- I broke it off, Draco. I talked to her and told her and do you know what she said? That she sort of knew, that we talked about her family, the jobs, but not really about us, and neither of us wanted to get physical."

Draco frowned. "I- I don't understand. Why do you look like a hippogriff landed on you? Isn't this what why you told her, to break it off?"

Harry nodded. "Yes, but I'm also scared, terrified. Going after Dark wizards is nothing compared to this."

"To what?" Draco asked, still very confused.

Harry took a deep breath and then slid off the couch and on one knee. "You can tell me to piss off and you'd have every right to, but I want to fight this battle with you. I want to show the world that there's nothing wrong with being bi or gay. I want to show them that this is about love, and-" He took Draco's hand and kissed it. "I want to marry you."

Draco sighed. "You know we can't."

"Right now we can't, but I'll fight until we can. If you want me to." Harry reached out and pressed his hand against Draco's cheek. "I want to be with you, and I'll do everything I can so that we can be together. If you still want to."

"You absolutely horrid man. I have to be downstairs for a party attended by every person I know and you ask-" He grabbed Harry's cheeks and kissed him. "I want you. I want to be with you, and I don't care what anyone says. We just can't get married on Christmas Day."

Harry grinned. "That's okay. It doesn't have to be this Christmas Day. We have time. Still, since you're having a party, we could make it official."

Draco raised an eyebrow. "The Weasleys will murder you. My parents might beat them to it."

"I don't know if you've heard, but I'm hard to kill." Harry grinned when he saw Draco smile. "Forget about what everyone will say. Do you want to go to this party with me?" Harry asked.

"You know I do." Draco stood up and pulled Harry up by his hand. "Fine, let's find you some decent robe and let's tell my mother. She'll ensure that no one kills you."

Harry pulled Draco in his arms and kissed him. "There's something else I forgot to say. I love you, Draco Malfoy."

Draco shook his head. "You have the worst timing in the world, but despite all your many faults, I love you, too."