Actions

Work Header

The Romances of The Saviour

Work Text:

The Romances of The Saviour

The wizarding world knows him as Our Saviour, The Boy Who Lived, and The Chosen One. He is known as many other things within his circle of close friends, however, and This Author intends to uncover them all.

Harry blinked blearily down at the copy of the Daily Prophet on the breakfast table before him. All throughout the Great Hall, he could hear hissing whispers, combined with giggles and a sharp gasp every now and then. He kept his head down, however, and continued reading.

Harry Potter, age eighteen [18], has been in the spotlight his entire life. By his own admission, he does not clearly remember the night that both his parents were murdered by He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, the night that made him so famous. That has not stopped him from taking advantage of this celebrity every chance he has gotten over the years. Special treatment from teachers (see my biography on Albus Dumbledore, “The Life and Times of Albus Dumbledore,” available in every good bookstore), and from ex-Ministry officials (in related news, my article on Cornelius Fudge’s latest happenings will be published within the next three days), and to gain influence with current Ministry officials (see page 4, “Ex-Auror Kingsley Shacklebolt’s Dark Past.”) Now that he has fulfilled the prophecy and defeated the greatest evil this generation has known, he is using his fame for another reason entirely: lust.

Harry spat his porridge over the table. Trying to take a deep breath, he inhaled what was left in his mouth and began to choke.

“Harry?” A hand slapped down between Harry's shoulders several times, causing him to cough. “Deep breath, mate. Can’t have you dying at the breakfast table after everything else you’ve survived.”

“I – I think the deep breath… is what caused the choking,” Harry managed to gasp out. His eyes were watering as he glanced up to see Dean and Seamus grinning down at him. “Seen this?”

He held the paper up for them to see. Clearing his throat and wiping his eyes, he tried to regain some composure. He grabbed a serviette and cleaned his mess up as Dean and Seamus took seats beside him.

“Skeeter again?” There was disbelief in Dean’s tone. “Why do you even bother reading this shit?”

Harry shrugged. “Hermione gets the paper every day, so I grabbed it when she left for the library.”

“But–”

Dean was interrupted by a sharp bark of laughter from Seamus beside him. “How many people are you planning on sleeping with, Harry?”

Harry sighed. He’d figured from just the small piece he had already read that the article would be bad. Shaking his head, he shrugged again.

“How many people does she think I’m sleeping with?”

Grinning, Seamus began to count names off on his fingers. “Ginny.”

Harry nodded. That one had been true, for a very brief amount of time after the end of the war. As it turned out, however, relationships with your best friend’s sister that start in the heat of battle tend to fizzle out after a while. After the initial rush of hormones and adrenaline had worn off, he and Ginny had basically gone back to being somewhat vague friends.

“Hermione.”

Disgust crinkled Harry's nose. Hermione was as close to having a sister as he would ever get. It would feel like incest if he tried it on with her.

“Luna.”

That one was a surprise. Raising his eyebrows and smiling a little, he pretended to consider it for a few seconds, earning himself chuckles from both Dean and Seamus. Luna was a good friend, but she had never been anything more.

“Padma.”

This time, Harry glanced down the table to see whether Seamus was taking the piss. By the confusion on his face, it seemed not.

“Padma?” Harry questioned.

“Oh, it gets worse.”

“How could it possibly get worse than resorting to sleeping with someone who once thought Ron was attractive?”

Though the Yule Ball had been a full four years ago, Harry still had the memory of the night clear in his mind. He shuddered, thinking back over how horrified he had been at being the centre of attention when he was dancing with Parvati. When Seamus said nothing, Harry glanced down the table again to see him begin to grin.

“And…” Seamus paused, clearly savouring the moment.

Dean sighed. “Get on with it.”

“Draco Malfoy.”

What?”

Harry made a grab at the newspaper, but Seamus was too quick for him. Holding the paper out so Harry couldn’t reach it, he continued, speaking loud enough to cause people around them to stare.

“‘It is assumed that, with his growing popularity, Potter’s perceived attractiveness has grown as well. He is receiving attention from multiple people, including the illustrious Draco Malfoy, whose family are well-known to have the most exquisite taste when it comes to choosing partners.’” Seamus had to pause again here, although this time it was so he could choke out a laugh. “Yeah, mate, you better watch out, though. You never know just how those parents of his are going to react. Might slip some kind of undetectable poison into your tea one day.”

Both Seamus and Dean dissolved into helpless laughter, leaving Harry sitting there, a little stunned. Draco Malfoy? He had no idea where that one could have come from. Ginny and Hermione, he could understand. Luna, he could reason out if he thought about it long enough. Even Padma had some kind of connection where he thought Rita had come up with her ‘information.’ But Draco Malfoy? He cleared his throat and ducked his head, not wanting anyone to see his confusion. This accusation hit way too close to the truth for Harry's liking. Even if he hadn’t slept with Draco, that didn’t mean he didn’t want to.

There had been one time – one! – with another bloke. It was right after the end of the war, during all the publicity they had done. Harry had been being trotted out in wizarding communities all over the country so people could thank him, or just stare with either wonder on their faces, or greed. Harry didn’t even really recall the guy’s name, or what he’d looked like. He shook his head. The point was, Rita had no basis for informing the entire wizarding community that he’d been sleeping with a bloke. Especially that bloke. Pushing back from the table, he clapped a hand down on Dean’s shoulder.

“Have fun with that, you two. See you in Potions.”

He paid little attention to the sniggers and whispers that followed him through the Great Hall and out into the corridor. That had become such a part of his life over the years that Harry no longer heard them. Or cared, for that matter. Let them say what they wanted about him; his true friends knew what the truth was. Trudging up through the castle, he cut through a couple of the shortcuts that hadn’t been blocked off during the reconstruction to get up to the new eighth-year common room.

Since there were so few people from Harry's year who had decided to return to complete their aborted seventh year, they had all been combined into one group. The professors had seen no reason to ‘waste’ a room in each of the House dormitories on a total of fourteen students. They still held their House allegiances, but they all shared rooms and a common room. He gave the password to the stony-faced portrait of a monk guarding the door and stepped inside. Briefly greeting the couple of people in the common room, he made his way through to his dormitory.

“Harry! Why didn’t you tell me you were seeing Malfoy?” There was laughter in Ron’s voice. “I’d’ve advised against it, you know.”

Lying splayed out on his four-poster bed, Ron’s feet dangled off the end. He was waving a copy of the Prophet through the air, a grin on his face.

“Yeah, Seamus and Dean told me the same thing. Dangerous to my health, apparently.”

It was good to be able to laugh freely with his friends again. Pushing aside the confusion he was feeling over the article, he collapsed down onto his own bed.

“Where’s Hermione?”

Ron and Hermione had been practically sealed at the lips since the final battle. The only time they spent apart was when they were in their separate dorm rooms. Hogwarts had still not allowed mixed dorm rooms, despite the fact that the occupants of these rooms were well over legal age. Ron had even gone over to Australia with her to find her parents and restore their memories. Stretching his hands above his head, a wide, fond smile crinkled Ron’s eyes.

“Library.”

The warm tone combined with the happy look on Ron’s face caused a responding ache in Harry's chest. Ron and Hermione were happy together. It would have been clear from just the tone to Ron’s voice, even if Harry hadn’t seen them together nearly every day for the past few months.

“Surprised you’re not with her.”

Ron chuckled as he sat up to meet Harry's eyes. “She threw me out. Says I’m ‘distracting.’” He grinned. “She wasn’t getting much studying done, if you catch my drift.”

Harry winced. A blind and deaf man could have caught that drift. “Way too much information.”

“Oh, what’s the matter?” Harry braced himself as he heard the teasing tone to Ron’s voice, knowing exactly what was coming. “Malfoy not putting out enough?”

Reaching over and grabbing the first thing that came to hand from his bedside table – an old pair of socks – he threw them at Ron. They bounced off the very top of his head and landed with a dull thud on the floor. They both stared at them for a couple of seconds before bursting into laughter. Harry circled his arms around his stomach as he laughed, tears springing to his eyes.

“Malfoy,” he gasped finally. “Where did she get that from?”

Despite the ache the article had opened up in his chest when he thought about Malfoy, Harry could see the ridiculousness of it all. Rita knew personally just how antagonistic his so-called relationship with Malfoy had been over the years, so there was really no justification for her claims. Still laughing silently, Ron just shook his head. It took another couple of minutes before either of them were able to speak without immediately dissolving into giggles again.

“It makes no sense whatsoever, right?” Ron, his cheeks still red from laughter, said wonderingly once they had themselves under control. “I mean, there was that one bloke last year, right? Then Ginny, and then… Nothing.”

Harry had, of course, blurted everything out to Ron and Hermione the next day. Hermione hadn’t seemed too surprised, but Ron had. He’d been accepting – with a brother like Charlie, there was little else Ron could have been, Harry figured – but surprised all the same. Collapsing back onto his bed, he sighed.

“No, there’s been no one since Ginny. Male or female.”

He wished there had been. Wished rather desperately late at night when it was just him and his hand, in fact. But, no one had seemed to show any kind of true interest in him as a person. Sure, there had been people throwing themselves at him in the wake of the war. They had obviously wanted nothing from him other than a shot at the fame he brought with him, though. Or, perhaps, his money. In a way, it made him envy Ron and Hermione for what they had. If he and Ginny had lasted, it would have been perfect, but as it was… He sighed. He didn’t want to think about it. Sitting up, he glanced around the room until his eyes fell on the clock on his bedside.

“It’s Potions first today.”

“Yeah, I know.” Ron let out a gusty sigh. “With the Slytherins.”

Brilliant. Just what he needed, Harry figured. For the first class of the day to be with the Slytherins the day Rita Skeeter started a rumour about he and Draco Malfoy, of all people.

“Hey, Harry?”

It was clear what was coming simply by the tone to Ron’s voice. Harry braced himself before glancing up.

“Maybe your boyfriend can help with some of the potions?”

The teasing continued all the way down to the dungeon classroom. Harry took it in good humour, though. After everything they had been through over the past few years, just being able to interact like normal teenagers felt really nice. Ron didn’t let up until they reached the corridor the potions classroom was on and even then, it was only because they ran into Hermione on her way to class as well. Harry continued on after greeting her and managed to get almost halfway down the corridor before realising that he was alone. Turning back, he caught sight of the two of them leaning back against the dungeon wall, pressed as close together as they could get. He grimaced.

“You can catch up,” he called, waving a hand in their direction.

This Potions classroom was different to the one they had used for so many years under Snape. Slughorn’s class from Harry's sixth year had used the same old one, but this year was different, Slughorn had claimed. This year, they were meant to be learning much more dangerous potions and, therefore, would need a special room. Harry hadn’t worked out just what ‘special’ meant when it came to classrooms until a potion had exploded and, instead of taking out the wall behind the bench it had been on, the wall seemed to absorb the blast. It was rather impressive, when you thought about it. Lost in his thoughts as he was, he didn’t realise that he had arrived at the classroom until he heard a very girlish snicker. Frowning, he glanced up.

“Looking for your boyfriend, Potter?”

Pansy Parkinson stood a couple of steps away with a group of Slytherin girls from both their year and the one below. Each of them wore similar smirks as they watched him. Rolling his eyes, he tried to ignore her.

“He’ll be here in a minute, Potter, don’t worry!”

This was greeted by a chorus of giggles. Crossing his arms over his chest, Harry ran his eyes over who was already there. A couple of the Gryffindor girls from Ginny’s year smiled at him, but there was no one there who he really knew. Blocking out Parkinson’s grating voice as much as he could, Harry tried to go back through what they had been learning recently.

A lot of the potions had been much easier to make in his sixth year when he had had access to the Half-Blood Prince book. Potions had never been one of Harry's favourite classes, and having a sort-of cheat book had been an enormous help to him. This year, he had had to rely on his own memories of what the book had said, and the assistance of whoever he had been paired with at the time. And, as Slughorn tended to like pairing students from different Houses in his classes, Hermione hadn’t been of much help. Frowning as he heard a particularly loud screech from Parkinson, he tried to remember the ingredients for the Draught of Living Death.

Powdered root of asphodel with an infusion of wormwood.

Harry sighed. Those were probably the only ingredients he was going to be able to remember off the top of his head. He swung his bag off his shoulder so he could retrieve his book, but it crashed into something. The ‘something’ grunted loudly.

“Oh, sorry–” Harry began to say before a sharp elbow connected with his ribs.

“Watch what you’re doing, Potter,” a haughty voice hissed from just behind him.

Harry's stomach dropped. This was the other drawback of having Potions with the Slytherins: Draco Malfoy. Harry's eyes followed him as he pushed past to stand just off from where Pansy stood with her group of girls. There had always been something about Malfoy that Harry had found intriguing. He was also annoying, and infuriating, and made Harry want to punch his smug face, but he was intriguing all the same. Unfortunately, Harry's encounter with that random bloke the year before had given him an insight into just how intriguing he found Malfoy, and why.

“Shove off, Malfoy.”

Harry jumped. Ron’s voice was low and gruff, sending images through Harry's mind that he really did not want. Turning, he shot Ron a grateful look anyway, choosing to ignore the fact that both he and Hermione were red-faced and panting.

“Oooh, you better watch it, Potter. Draco will get jealous!”

Harry merely rolled his eyes. It seemed it was going to be a long day. By the time Professor Slughorn called them into class, even the true seventh-years were getting restless and shooting Pansy dirty looks. She didn’t seem to care, however. Giggling with her friends and making comments about Harry and Draco, she led the way into the classroom, her head held high. Harry held back, waiting for most of the rest of the class to enter before taking his own seat at the back with Ron and Hermione. Casting his eyes over the room, he took in the fact that the class had separated yet again into House allegiances.

The war had not united the school, as the Sorting Hat had encouraged. If anything, the Slytherins were more outcast than ever before. Harry had no idea how that would ever be resolved, however. Especially with people like Pansy Parkinson mouthing off the way she did.

“Good morning, class,” Professor Slughorn called a couple of minutes later, drawing Harry's attention to the front of the room. “We will be working in pairs today. Now, I want you all to move to the partner I assign you…”

Harry held his breath. Slughorn never paired Gryffindors together, but he always had the hope.

“Parkinson and Andersen.”

Relief flooded Harry at that announcement. He had no idea how Pansy had even managed to convince Slughorn to allow her into the class this year, but he was just grateful that he didn’t have to deal with her.

“Granger and Zabini.”

This set off another round of giggles, although Harry didn’t know why. He shook his head.

“Good luck,” he muttered to Hermione.

“Potter and Malfoy.”

Harry froze, his stomach dropping into his feet. The chance had always been there, he knew, that he would end up paired with Malfoy. It hadn’t happened yet this year, so he should probably have been expecting it.

“Looks like you’ll need it more than me, Harry.”

He sighed. “Yeah, I might.”

“The Draught of Living Death will be on your N.E.W.T. exams this year! I know we have practised it before, but it never hurts to brush up on old skills, does it?” Professor Slughorn always looked so happy to Harry, no matter what disastrous thing he was setting them up to do. “Get to work, then! You only have an hour to finish it!”

Before moving to the bench Malfoy sat at, Harry moved over to the ingredient shelves. The Draught was a difficult potion to master, he knew, and not having the Half-Blood Prince book would make it even harder. Grabbing the ingredients his textbook told him they would need, he placed them carefully down at Malfoy’s bench. He tried offering Malfoy a small smile, but he was met with an eye roll.

“Let’s just get this done, Potter.”

Something tingled down Harry's spine, but he brushed it aside. It was only one class. He could deal with this. Spreading the ingredients out in the order they would need to be used – with the help of the book Malfoy had propped up – he proceeded to try to ignore Malfoy as much as possible. This had been the best tactic he had come across over the years, after all. It seemed Malfoy would not be ignored that day, however.

“For Merlin’s sake, Potter, get out of my way. I’ll do it myself.”

They had barely started the potion before Malfoy was trying to elbow Harry out of the way. Harry sighed. Malfoy was always difficult, this was a well-established fact. He had thought, however, that the end of the war would have changed him somewhat.

Move, Potter!”

Apparently not. Harry winced as a sharp elbow connected with his ribs again.

“Alright, alright, I just–”

“Just nothing. Let me do it before you blow us all up.”

“Oi, I have never–”

“Collaboration is the key to this exercise, people,” Professor Slughorn interrupted, his voice ringing out through the dungeon. “Please remember that, as it is the reason you were placed into pairs this lesson.”

Standing staring at Malfoy, Harry went through a range of emotions. Anger and what felt dangerously close to lust were the foremost in his mind as Malfoy stared right back at him. There was colour high on Malfoy’s cheeks, his eyes shone brightly, and his shoulders rose and fell rapidly as he breathed. Harry's fingers twitched, although whether it was due to the need to smack Malfoy right in the mouth, or the need to just move, he had no idea. Taking a deep breath, he let it out slowly.

“You want this to be done quickly, Malfoy?” He waited for a response, but the only one he received was a curling of Malfoy’s top lip. “Work with me, not against me.”

Disgust flashed across Malfoy’s face. He glanced over his shoulder towards Slughorn before letting out a sigh of his own.

“Fine. But don’t get in my way.”

Harry resisted the urge to inform him that that would be a little difficult, as they were supposed to be working on the one cauldron together. Instead, he tried to calm himself down enough to brew the potion.

“Infusion of wormwood first…”

Muttering the instructions to himself as they worked seemed to help with Harry's concentration. He watched as Malfoy measured the correct amount with a small dropper. He knew from the last time he had brewed this potion that the tiniest of mistakes would cause the potion to fail. Thirteen drops were enough. Any more or less would give them the wrong colour halfway through. He watched Malfoy’s long fingers pinch the dropper, pouring the wormwood into a small beaker to be used at the correct time.

“Now the powdered root of asphodel…”

Harry reached across the bench in front of Malfoy to grab the asphodel. A shot of heat travelled up his arm and swirled in his chest as he brushed against Malfoy’s robes. He ignored it. Measuring the asphodel was a little trickier than the wormwood. Holding the packet of powder up to the light, Harry began slowly pouring it into a second beaker. His skin tingled as though he was being watched. Rolling his shoulders, he pressed his lips together, trying to concentrate.

“Glaring at me won’t make me work faster.” Placing the beaker down on Malfoy’s scale, he smiled when it gave him the correct weight. “The Sopophorous beans are next.”

“Remember class,” Slughorn called then, drawing Harry's attention. “Your potion should smoke a deep blue if it is being mixed correctly.”

Harry nodded, memories of brewing the potion in sixth year flooding him. Returning his attention to the bench, he was just in time to see Malfoy preparing to slice the Sopophorous beans.

“Wait!” He grabbed Malfoy’s left wrist, forcing the knife blade away from the bean. “Don’t slice it.”

“What the fuck is wrong with you, Potter?”

Malfoy yanked his wrist out of Harry's hand and began rubbing it as though he had been burned. His eyes narrowed as he glared.

“Crush it, don’t slice it.”

“What are you on about?”

“Crush it, Malfoy. It will release the juice better than slicing it.”

“And how would you know that?”

There was a tone of disbelief to Malfoy’s voice. Harry sighed.

“Snape told me.”

Malfoy scoffed, rolling his eyes. “Please, Potter. If you’re going to lie to me, at least make it a believable one.”

Turning back to the bench, he held the knife over the bean again, preparing to slice into it. Irritation causing the hairs on his arms to stand on end, Harry grabbed Malfoy’s wrist again.

“Don’t slice it.”

Malfoy didn’t take his hand back this time. His head turned so he was looking Harry right in the eyes. A jolt ran through Harry's stomach and he automatically dropped his gaze to Malfoy’s lips.

“Trust me, Malfoy. Crush it, don’t slice it.”

Harry's insides danced when Malfoy’s tongue flicked out to wet his lips. He could feel his cheeks heating as they stood there pressed together in the middle of the classroom. He didn’t back down, however. Eventually, Malfoy sighed.

“Fine. Do as you like.” He spun the blade in his hand, holding the handle out for Harry to grab. “But if I fail this because of you and your bullshit…”

Malfoy left the threat open. Unable to help it, Harry rolled his eyes. Taking the knife, he used the blade to crush the bean, just as Snape’s notes had told him to two years previously. Holding the bean above the cauldron, he squeezed. Juice gushed out, dripping down Harry's hand and splashing into the cauldron. Grinning, he turned to Malfoy, who was watching the juice running into the cauldron.

Snape told you this?”

Harry shrugged. “Not told me, no. I had a copy of one of his old textbooks in sixth year. He wrote in the margins.”

Malfoy was silent for a few seconds as the last of the bean juice dripped into the cauldron. When he spoke again, there was a strange tone to his voice.

“So, you cheated?”

It was impossible for Harry to stop the smile that spread on his face. “The instructions were from a teacher. He just didn’t mean to give them to me.” Finished dripping the juice into the cauldron, Harry met Malfoy’s eyes again. “Are we going to do this?”

A blush tinted Malfoy’s cheeks a faint pink. Harry's hands clenched into fists by his side, smearing the remaining juice all over his palm. He swallowed as his chest swirled with a need that he continued to repress.

“Malfoy?”

“Fine.”

Grabbing the drops of wormwood, Malfoy set to work. Harry couldn’t help watching his fingers again as they worked, moving over the cauldron and gripping the silver stirring rod. His skin was warming again and it wasn’t because of the heat Malfoy was setting beneath the cauldron. When the potion was letting off a faint blue smoke, Harry began pouring half of the powdered root of asphodel into the mix. His arm brushed against Malfoy’s as he worked, causing a jolt through his stomach.

“Sorry.”

He moved off, reaching for another beaker. This time it was for half a litre of plain tap water. Harry dissolved the rest of the asphodel into the beaker, stirring slowly counter-clockwise. He kept his eyes locked on what he was doing, but he knew he was being watched again.

“By now, your potions should be producing a lovely blue smoke.”

Harry jumped, nearly spilling the asphodel onto the floor. Their potion wasn’t smoking nearly as much as it should be. When he glanced up, Malfoy was glaring at him again.

“Come on, Potter.”

“Bite me, Malfoy.”

“Charming.”

Harry rolled his eyes as he poured the beaker of now-liquid asphodel into the cauldron. He couldn’t help a smile when the potion started to smoke a deep blue.

“Look,” he began as soon as the asphodel was completely in the cauldron. “I’m not trying to impress you, Malfoy. I’m just trying to finish this potion without being given detention for hexing you senseless.”

“You certainly are trying, Potter. Probably not in the way you mean, though.”

Placing the beaker down onto the table carefully was a test of Harry's self-control. What he really wanted to do was thump it down hard enough to smash it. Or, better yet, throw it at Malfoy. How he could be attracted to someone as irritating as this, he had no idea.

“Let’s just get this finished, alright?”

“By all means.” Malfoy swept his hand before him, indicating the potion. “What else did Snape supposedly tell you?”

Harry wanted to snap at him. He wanted to reach out and slap the disdainful look off Malfoy’s face. What he wanted, more than anything else, was to… With a jolt, Harry realised he had been leaning closer to Malfoy. Clearing his throat, he bent to retrieve a test tube from Malfoy’s right-hand side.

“Sugar water.”

The smoke from the potion puffed out silently in front of them as Malfoy stared at Harry in what appeared to be disbelief. Scooping three ounces of sugar into the test tube, Harry added enough warm water to turn it into ten fluid ounces once the sugar had dissolved. Malfoy watched him silently as he worked, sending a shiver down Harry's spine. Being under this kind of intense scrutiny was not the way he preferred to work, especially when it was Malfoy watching him. Just as he was about to add the sugar water, Malfoy grabbed his wrist.

“Bullshit.”

Goosebumps rose all along Harry's arm, sending tingles through him. He met Malfoy’s eyes again.

“It isn’t.”

“And I’m just supposed to ‘trust’ you on this, am I?”

Malfoy’s voice was pitched low. With the murmuring of the other students in the classroom, it made it a little difficult to hear him, causing Harry to lean closer again automatically. The move caused their arms to press together from the wrist to the elbow.

“Would I sabotage my own mark for this potion just to screw yours up?”

The intensity with which Malfoy was staring at him caused strange flutters all through Harry's body. As close as they were, Harry could make out the different flecks of blue and grey in Malfoy’s eyes, as well as the deep ring of sapphire around his irises. His lips tingled as he flicked his tongue out to wet them. Malfoy let out a small breath.

“Fine, go ahead.”

Harry backed off, giving himself some space to both work and cool down a little. The sugar water caused the potion to bubble gently, as Harry had known it would. The blue hue of the smoke deepened as well. When Malfoy shifted, leaning closer to the cauldron, Harry smiled.

“You had better be certain about this, Potter.”

“Once again, Malfoy: I have no reason to sabotage myself here.”

The next step involved stirring the potion until it turned a blackcurrant purple. Harry willingly relinquished the silver stirring rod over to Malfoy to stir. Finding his hands beginning to twitch as he watched Malfoy stir – clockwise for two solid minutes were the instructions given – he began cleaning up some of the ingredients they had no further use of. When he stepped over towards the bin, Ron followed.

“You looked like you were about to clock each other a few times there, mate.”

Harry sighed as he dropped the soggy remains of the asphodel out of the beaker into the bin. It would be magically cleaned at the end of class, to prevent the leftover ingredients catching fire, or worse.

“He’s so frustrating,” he exclaimed, although he tried to keep his voice down. “He won’t listen, he thinks he knows everything, and he’s so–”

He cut himself off as one of the Slytherin girls reached between them to discard something. Pressing his lips together, he let out another sigh through his nose. It was probably a good thing he had been interrupted, Harry figured, as with the tinglings and flutterings his body was putting him through with the proximity he was to Malfoy, who knew how he was going to finish that last sentence?

“How about you? Are you nearly finished?”

“Well.” Ron glanced over to the bench where a seventh-year Slytherin girl was stirring their potion. He shrugged. “I guess so? The smoke’s blue, but I think that’s mostly Melissa’s doing. You know how I am with potions, mate.”

Nodding slowly, Harry took a few deep breaths. He could feel his muscles relaxing a little now he was away from Malfoy. Eventually, he puffed a breath out and offered Ron a grin.

“Better get back to it.”

Ron nodded and slapped a hand down on Harry's shoulder. “Good luck.”

Pansy was at Harry's bench when he arrived back. He hesitated a second, listening to the conversation she was having with Malfoy.

“…you deserve better, Draco.” Pansy’s voice was a low hiss, but that made it easier to distinguish for Harry, compared to the low rumbles of everyone else. “I’ve seen the way you look at–”

Malfoy cut her off with a quick wave of his hand the second he spotted Harry. “Eavesdrop often, Potter? Might want to work on your technique.”

Raising his hands in an ‘I surrender’ gesture, Harry shook his head. “I just want to finish this potion. I don’t care what you two talk about.”

Something flashed through Pansy’s eyes, but Harry ignored it. Moving so he was standing beside Malfoy again, he waited for her to leave.

“Much better, Draco.”

The hostile tone to her voice sent confusion through Harry, but he had told them the truth: he didn’t care what they were talking about. It wasn’t his business. Organising the rest of the equipment for the end of the potion, he turned to Malfoy.

“Nearly ready?”

He was unprepared for Malfoy to be watching him with that intense scrutiny again. His stomach did a pleasurable little jig. Malfoy watched him for what seemed like hours. It was long enough that Harry began to fidget.

“Malfoy?” Harry waved a hand before Malfoy’s eyes. “Are you done? The two minutes is up.”

Malfoy blinked, shaking his head. “Ground Valerian root is the last ingredient.”

It was clearly a statement, but Harry nodded anyway. This was the last step before Snape’s added instruction on how to stir the potion. Leaning across Malfoy again, Harry grabbed the mortar with the already-crushed root.

“Here.” He handed the mortar to Malfoy. “You add it in as I stir.”

Their fingers brushed gently when Malfoy handed the stirring rod over, sending a shiver through Harry yet again. He cleared his throat.

“Snape’s instructions said to stir seven times anticlockwise, then once clockwise. You add in a bit of that Valerian root each time I stir.”

He expected Malfoy to object to being ordered around. His instructions were followed silently, though, causing suspicion to run down Harry's spine. He ignored it in favour of counting the rotations of the stirring rod in the potion, however.

“One…”

Malfoy added in a scoop of the Valerian root. They both watched as the potion lightened a touch.

“Two…”

The potion continued to lighten with each addition of the Valerian root. By the time Harry had stirred the potion seven times anticlockwise, as the instructions in the textbook told them, it was a brilliant shade of lilac.

“It’s supposed to be clear, Potter,” Malfoy hissed, staring at the potion with his top lip curled. “You’ve fucked this up on purpose, haven’t you? You–”

“Oh, shut it, Malfoy.”

Harry stirred once clockwise, hoping against hope that it would turn clear, as the potion should be. It almost worked. Huffing out a sigh, Harry began stirring again.

“Trying to cover it up, Potter? Brilliant. Just fantastic. I knew I shouldn’t have listened…”

Malfoy trailed off as their potion lightened until it was as transparent as the water they could get out of a tap. One last stir clockwise, and Harry removed the stirring rod from the potion.

“You were saying, Malfoy?”

Straightening, Harry met Malfoy’s eyes with confidence. He had to look up a little, as Malfoy seemed to have grown since they had last been in such close proximity to each other, but that didn’t deter him. He wasn’t backing down, not now that he had been proven right.

Malfoy took a small step forward, closing the distance between them until Harry could have sworn he could feel the heat emanating from him. The sounds of the classroom seemed to fade until it was only the two of them. Harry swallowed, his mouth feeling suddenly dry.

“Oh, well done, Harry and Draco!”

Harry jumped. Malfoy stepped back immediately at the sound of Slughorn’s voice. It seemed as though an electric current had been flowing through Harry's veins, as his skin prickled and his mind buzzed.

“Come, come, take a look at this perfect Draught of Living Death, everyone!”

The class crowded around Harry and Malfoy’s bench, separating them even further. Harry found himself rather grateful for the distance.

“Congratulations, the both of you,” Slughorn continued, completely oblivious that he had interrupted something. “Was it difficult?”

Harry took a couple of seconds to realise that he was being spoken to. When it finally registered, he opened his mouth to respond, but Malfoy beat him to it.

“It was nothing, Professor.” Brushing a hand down his sleeve, Malfoy refused to look in Harry's direction. “With the correct knowhow, any potion is a breeze.”

“Oh, ho! Sounds like you might have some competition as best potioneer in the class, hey, Harry?”

Slughorn chuckled as he moved away, again oblivious to Harry's stunned reaction. The class began to move off as the bell rang for lunch, but Harry stayed frozen to the spot.

A breeze. That is how Malfoy had described one of the most difficult potions they had been set. A fucking breeze. A buzzing sound began to fill Harry's ears as anger pounded through him. If it hadn’t been for Harry, Malfoy would have followed the textbook instructions and failed, or not finished as the rest of the class had. He closed his eyes and counted slowly backwards from ten, a method Mrs. Weasley had showed him that was supposed to calm him down. It didn’t work. Opening his eyes, he caught a glimpse of Malfoy heading out the door, with Pansy in his wake. Harry scooped up his potion equipment without even bothering to clean it, shoved it into his bag and rushed to the door.

“Harry, wait up!”

He ignored Ron’s shout in favour of striding out into the corridor. Most of the rest of the class had turned right, heading towards the Great Hall for lunch. The sound of Pansy’s whining voice reached Harry from his left, however, so that was the way he turned.

“Harry, no!”

This time it was Hermione Harry ignored. Jogging down the corridor, he rounded the corner to be confronted with Malfoy laughing with Pansy and Zabini.

“…but she didn’t–” Pansy cut herself short when she caught sight of Harry standing at the end of the corridor. Placing a hand on Malfoy’s shoulder, she turned him away from Harry. “Come on, Draco. We have better places to be.”

“Malfoy.” Harry put as much warning into his voice as he could manage. “Don’t you dare walk away from me.”

In that moment, it seemed as though something snapped. Pansy gasped as Malfoy threw her hand off him and spun around to face Harry, scorn clear on his face.

“And why not, Potter? Are you going to run to old Sluggy? Tell him the nasty Slytherin took credit for your hard work?”

“Harry, no.”

He twisted out of Hermione’s reach as her hand stretched out to grasp his robes. If Malfoy wanted a fight, then a fight he would get. Marching up so he stood directly in front of Malfoy, Harry allowed his top lip to curl up in disgust.

“Never thought I’d see the day you would have to steal my potions work, Malfoy. I thought you’d have more dignity than that.”

Closing the gap between them again, Malfoy’s gaze dropped briefly to Harry’s lips before meeting his eyes again. “Dignity has nothing to do with it, Potter. It was a joint effort. You assisted while I worked.”

Harry couldn’t recall later on which one of them struck first. What he did know was that they ended up rolling on the floor of the dungeons, their limbs and robes tangling around each other to pin them together. His head swam with a combination of anger and lust as Malfoy’s body rubbed against him. Both of them tried to connect with wild swings as they tussled, but they were too close to do much damage. Harry copped a knee to the stomach that doubled him up while he was trying to protect much more vital parts of his anatomy, giving Malfoy the opportunity to pin him to the floor. It was then that Harry heard the shrieks of Hermione and Pansy, as well as Ron’s egging them both on.

“Draco, no!”

“Get him, Harry!”

He couldn’t see them, though. His world had narrowed once again, with Malfoy’s intense blue-grey eyes the only thing he could focus on. Malfoy adjusted his position, presumably to hold Harry down better, but the brushing of something hard against Harry's hip sent lust jolting through him. Without even thinking his actions through, Harry leant up and kissed him.

Everything went silent. The only things that existed in that moment for Harry were the press of Malfoy’s hot, hard body above him, and the swirling lust that threatened to overwhelm him. Malfoy’s tongue pressed against Harry's teeth, and he opened willingly. He could barely breathe. Letting out a sound, he tried to press closer.

“Oh, my days…”

The feminine voice startled Harry out of the lust-induced trance Malfoy held him under. The kiss was broken a couple of seconds later. Harry merely lay there, staring up into Malfoy’s eyes. His tongue moved slowly out to touch the small, aching spot on his bottom lip where Malfoy had first latched onto.

“Potter.”

Malfoy’s voice cracked. Harry grinned.

“Malfoy.”

~*~

“You do seem happy, Draco.”

Draco smiled. It felt as though he hadn’t stopped smiling for the past month. His cheeks sometimes ached with it. It was ridiculous.

“I am happy, Pansy. I swear.”

They had stopped outside the Charms classroom, which was where Pansy was supposed to be heading to. Draco had chosen to not take Charms that year, as he knew it would be useless for him. Having decided to take over the management of the family vineyards in Italy, he knew Potions, Herbology, and Transfiguration were the only truly relevant classes to him that year.

“You’re certain? Absolutely certain?”

This was a conversation he had had with Pansy over and over again. The teasing and taunting she had always treated Harry to had vanished almost the second she had realised how serious Draco was about this relationship, but some things would never change, he knew. Ever since that day in the dungeon corridor, she had asked him nearly every day whether he was happy, and whether he was sure about this. His answer had been the same every single time.

“Pansy, if I was unhappy, you’d be the first to know.”

And she would. He had never kept secrets from Pansy and he didn’t intend to start now. He smiled down at her, before nodding towards the doorway behind her.

“I’ll catch up with you after class.”

She nodded slowly. “Alright. I’ll see you later.”

Draco shook his head as he made his way slowly down the corridor. The past month with Harry had been… intense. They were never going to be perfect together, and Draco wouldn’t want them to be. Perfection was boring, he found. They had to work to be able to not want to murder each other every day. Even then, they sometimes failed. He was fairly certain that he wouldn’t have it any other way, though. He was just about to turn the corner that would take him to the stairs to the common room when a hand reached out of an alcove and dragged him inside.

His first instinct was to fight. His hand was on his wand before a set of hands was placed on his shoulders and he was pushed back against the hard stone wall. A flash of lust-filled green eyes was the only clue Draco got as to his attacker before a pair of lips descended on his.

Draco groaned. Despite the arguments they still had, and the annoyance Draco felt towards Harry sometimes, they were always good at this. Wrapping his arms around Harry's waist, he pulled him closer.

“Aren’t you supposed to be captaining your Quidditch team right now?”

Harry rocked his hips, sending a delightful jolt through Draco’s nervous system. “You want me to leave?”

“Don’t you dare.”

Harry was hard in his Quidditch leathers, Draco could tell. Reaching down, he cupped him and squeezed, causing Harry to groan.

“Get on with it, then.”

Draco had become adept at lubricating charms over the past month. His fingers trembled a little as he worked at the laces of Harry's pants, but he got him free from them in almost record time. Muttering the charm, he ran his fingers along Harry's length.

“Draco…”

Harry's voice was barely a whisper. Jerking his hips forward, he leant in and latched onto the pulse in the side of Draco’s throat. Draco’s head fell back, giving Harry better access.

“Been thinking about you all day…” Harry's hips moved in a steady rhythm, thrusting into Draco’s hand. “Needing you to touch me… Needing you…”

Desire shot through Draco with surprising speed. It was amazing how quickly Harry could turn him on. Pulling Harry closer still, he tried to create some friction for himself as well. Harry hummed against his throat.

“Need this… Draco, I – I…” Harry's hips stuttered as Draco twisted his hand. “Need you…”

Harry froze as his orgasm hit. His breath came in hot, sharp pants against Draco’s throat as his release soaked into Draco’s robes.

“Harry?”

Dropping to his knees in response, Harry grinned up at Draco. What Draco could see of his irises shone a bright green around his wide-blown pupils. His heart was pounding so fast, Draco could barely let out a moan as Harry released him from his woollen trousers. When Harry's hot mouth surrounded his aching cock, Draco’s knees almost gave way. His hands landed in Harry's hair, using him as an anchor to the real world.

“Oh – ohhhh…”

He was incapable of words. Clenching his hands in Harry's hair, he thrust, knowing he wasn’t going to last very long. The muscles in his thighs tensed as pleasure built in the small of his back. Harry hummed around him, causing Draco to see stars.

“I… I…”

It was all Draco managed. His entire body spasmed over and over again as Harry sucked him through the orgasm. When it finally released him, his knees really did collapse. Reaching up, Draco ran a hand through Harry's wild hair.

“Not sure I want to ride a broom after that,” Harry murmured, his voice breathless.

“Don’t. Come back to the dorm with me.”

The chuckle Harry let out sounded tired. “You’re a bad influence, you know.”

Draco smiled as he felt Harry's hand begin to run up his inner thigh. “You wouldn’t want me any other way, Potter.”

They weren’t perfect; far from it. But they were what each other needed.