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Draco props himself up on an elbow. The man next to him is gorgeous—Draco loves him, splattered with his own come, arse hole leaking with Draco’s. But then again, Draco is biased—he thinks Harry is always gorgeous: beautiful naked, dashing in Auror robes, and adorable in oversized casual. Draco casts a cleaning spell over them both, and the protective spells dissipate, but the tingle doesn’t remove that sated look on Harry’s face.

“Harry, Hermione asked us over for dinner at her place next Friday,” Draco says softly.

Harry’s eyes sharpens as he frowns. It makes the green irises glow, and Draco is once again pleased that he made Harry correct his eyesight. What Harry says next, however, is incongruent with the thoughts in Draco’s mind.

“I didn’t tell her about you.” Harry sits up, searching for his wand.

Something like fear coils in Draco’s stomach.

“You didn’t tell her about—”

“There isn’t really an us.” Harry says as he stands up. He looks distant. “I mean, we’re just fucking. It’s not like we’re in a relationship, so it isn’t Hermione’s business.”

Draco stills. He can feel blankness crept into his face—it’s his automatic reaction, and he is relieved that Harry is turning towards the bathroom, so that he can’t see Draco.

“If you want to come over to the dinner though, I can’t stop you,” Harry finishes with a shrug.

So that Harry can’t see Draco crumble.

“I—” Draco was going to say I see, but he doesn’t, and the words won’t come out. Instead, he settles on, “I’ll be going now. I need to be in early to work tomorrow.” The excuse falls flat on Draco’s ears, but Harry just shrugs again as he walks off into the bathroom.

Draco couldn’t see what Harry saw, because he thought that he was in the brink of permanently moving in. He left his clothes in the bedroom wardrobes, his hair products in the bathroom, and his books on the library desk. Over the six months they had been fucking, Draco had slept over the night 96 times, and they had morning sex—fucking—every 96 times, and Harry had made Draco breakfast those every 96 times also. Not that—not that he is counting

Fuck. Draco stifles a sob, but he can't stop hurting. He dresses quickly, sloppy in his haste. The post coital glow has completely vanished. Outside the bedroom, he summons Kreacher, tells him to retrieve Draco’s things and return them the Manor. Kreacher gives him a wounded look, but it’s Draco who is wounded. Harry hadn’t given Draco allowance to the Floo, or to his anti-apparition wards, so Draco has to exit via the front door. That should have been a loud clue, that Harry doesn't trust him, doesn't really want him.

Draco apparates straight to his work room in the Manor, heart burning, tears finally slipping in privacy.

 

##

 

Harry isn’t worried when Malfoy doesn’t return the next day to fuck—or that day after. Harry supposes that Malfoy is busy brewing something, or maybe he has something on. Harry himself is often away on Auror missions.

A good fuck from Malfoy keeps Harry’s libido down for a good few days—a week if Harry tries, though Malfoy had been fucking him almost every day recently, so Harry is a bit out of practice of trying to ignore the sexual frustration. Harry wanks, but it’s unsatisfactory, and suddenly a week has gone by without Malfoy coming over to Number 12 Grimmauld Place. Harry briefly wonders if he should go out clubbing—Muggle, of course. But, Harry decides that he should wait, because the tension would make Malfoy’s fuck all the better.

Harry lasts another week, when the entire Auror department is wrapped in this insidious case of international magical beings—including humans—trafficking. That the entire case gets shipped off to the Unspeakables is extremely disappointing, and reminds Harry that he really needs a fuck. He bets that Hermione will ‘have fun’—she’s an Unspeakable, and Harry is certain she would take the case.

Which reminds Harry about Hermione’s Friday dinner.

 

When he arrives, Malfoy isn’t there, which is mildly irritating. Because, what kind of potion requires two weeks non-stop brewing? Harry certainly doesn’t believe it exists.

“Where’s Draco?” Hermione asks, smiling.

Harry shrugs. “Why would I know where Malfoy is?”

Hermione’s face falls as she gives him a disappointed look, but Harry doesn’t understand why. Because, really, she’s the one with the international trafficking case, not Harry. (Hermione can’t actually tell him what she’s doing, but Harry can guess.)

Ron distracts Hermione though, as he wanders into the dining room.

“Draco just owled. Says he’s sorry, but something came up.” Ron says to them both without preamble. Hermione frowns, so Ron continues, “Yeah, and Draco said he’ll tell you about it Monday, Hermione.” They both look at Harry, and then at each other. Something passes between them, some couple thing.

“He works too hard,” Hermione is saying, but Harry has kinda blanked out. Draco? When did Malfoy start chumming up with Harry’s friends?

“Yeah, well, a ferret can’t change his fur,” Ron says, but it sounds weirdly fond.

Harry tells himself to get some more sleep and maybe see a medi-wizard, because these twisted observations will impact on him as an Auror.

Dinner is pleasant, and Ron and Hermione don’t mention Draco again.

 

When Harry returns home, he decides to go clubbing after all. The Muggle nightclub scene is loud and brash and magicless. He goes there entirely for the anonymity and lack of unrealistic expectation (Merlin, if he hears one more Oh, I thought you were taller from a wizard trying to pull, he’ll go mad). Falling into bed with Malfoy after a stupid Ministry function was half that—Malfoy doesn’t care shit for the Boy-Who-Lived crap, with the added benefit of being discreet without Harry having to say anything.

Harry achieves what he wanted that night—a tall brown haired man fucks him into the mattress—but the next day, Harry feels the frustration again. Malfoy still doesn’t appear at Harry's house, so Harry goes out clubbing again.

Sunday morning, Harry determines that neither fucks were even close to as good as Malfoy’s.

He feels like a Gryffindor when he owls Malfoy to come over for a fuck: mainly because he has never owled Malfoy before. Malfoy tells him Apologies, and I’m busy and I do not feel like fucking you.

That’s when Harry starts walking about the house, when he realises that his wardrobe seems to be missing clothes—but his are all there—and when he showers and attempts a wank, he is sure that the shower ledge contained more stuff—didn’t it?

Which reminds him to get a medical check-up. Hermione would be proud of his initiative.

 

##

 

If Harry hadn’t told Hermione about them, then Draco probably had, without realising. Hermione is an Unspeakable, after all and they share the same office-lab on Level Nine. She appears suspicious of him, on that day after Draco became aware of his stupidity, but doesn't say anything.

Instead, Hermione gives Draco their mission, and they’re off to the Continent under glamour, trawling for information on the source of illegal magical beings body parts. It's an unwelcome distraction from his research, but entirely necessary that the mess gets resolved quickly.

Draco stays at the Ministry past midnight after their return, re-examining their data, cross-referencing with the documentation from other Unspeakables and Aurors. He dislikes breaks, because it makes him remember those times when he smelt some other man on Harry—especially those days after a long mission—and arrives at the stomach-dropping conclusion that Harry had been going out, shagging other men.

Draco had thought those smells were just Harry’s Auror partners, or some criminal Harry had trussed up. Draco had thought they were exclusive. Draco had thought they were in a relationship. Draco had thought wrong.

 

In the mornings, Hermione just brings the entire teapot into their shared office-lab, but knows to leave him alone. It doesn't stop her curious glances, of course.

He is an Unspeakable, one the best, Merlin dammit—and he couldn’t even see.

The trafficking case gets fast tracked by the Unspeakables once the Aurors find out. Ron is one of the few Aurors pulled onto the case—he has worked with Unspeakables before and has already taken an Unbreakable Vow to keep their activities secret, and signed relevant documents in triplicate—and Draco has the pleasure of fighting alongside this man. Ron is one of the few people Draco trusts to guard his back. Most wizards and witches could still only see the Dark Mark on his left arm—and were thus more likely to take him down than keep him up.

On Friday, Hermione reminds him about dinner. “Look, you’re my friend, and Ron’s friend too. You’re welcome to come.” Draco gives her a smile, and she smiles back and drops the topic. Of course, he doesn’t go—he really can’t see Harry right now, not in front of Hermione and Ron, not when his blankness will come up and Hermione will be telling him off whilst simultaneously giving him a hug because then, he knows he’ll cry, and while he can bear Hermione seeing his tears, he doesn’t want Ron or Harry seeing them.

He remembers to send Hermione and Ron an owl though—despair doesn’t mean his manners are gone—before he signs up to a simple-enough task where he can work solo. Head Unspeakable Croaker hands him a few extra tasks as well, which keeps Draco busy. But not busy enough to keep his chest from hurting when Harry owls him requesting a fuck.

Draco declines.

He also declines Pansy’s invitation out.

Draco, darling, I’ll let you off this weekend, but regardless of whatever strop you’re stuck in, I’ll be dragging you out by the hair next week for a day in France.

Love, Pans.

She does send it with a box of Belgium chocolates though.

 

Monday brings Hermione coming through Level Nine like a whirlwind.

“Don’t let Harry dictate your actions, Draco! You’re better than that,” she says, as she pours him a cup of tea and places a plate of his favourite chocolate and custard Danishes on his desk. “I asked you over for dinner because I wanted to.”

“Apologies, Hermione—” Draco takes off his lab robe, casting a stasis over his experiments.

“Come over for dinner tonight. No—just me and Ron.” Hermione gives a weak grin. “We’ll probably just work on the case anyway.”

Draco nods. “I will then.”

A memo appears on their desks then—Unspeakable Team 75 had found a lead—all Teams on Field Duty to report. Draco and Hermione snap into action—potions, artifacts tucked in, Unspeakable robes on. They join the stream of deep blue and there is a faint tingle of excitement and anticipation in the air.

 

##

 

A week of lack-luster fucks, and three weeks since Malfoy last fucked him, Harry sees Malfoy down at the Ministry cells. Harry frowns, absentmindedly chucking his latest dark-wizard catch into a cell. Harry is certain that Malfoy is clean nowadays.

They are alone, so Harry approaches him.

“Malfoy!”

Malfoy turns around, and his voice is without inflection. “Auror Potter.”

“What are you doing here?” Belatedly, Harry makes out the Unspeakable insignia. What?

Malfoy gives him a blank look. “I’ll have to kill you if I tell you.”

“I thought you were a Potions Master who ran a struggling business.” Harry says without thinking, gesturing with his hands.

Malfoy stiffens. The dark Unspeakable robes are really good for helping him blend in with the dimness of the Ministry prison, but his skin and hair shine regardless. “Apologies for disappointing you. Have a good day, Auror Potter.” Malfoy turns sharply.

Harry feels clumsy as he trails after Malfoy. “Wait, Malfoy. Why haven’t you been coming over lately?”

“I’ll have to kill you if I tell you,” Malfoy replies, without turning his head. That lack of inflection in Malfoy’s tones is starting grate Harry, and he wants nothing more than to slam Malfoy into the wall and get some answers.

“Malfoy! I want to talk to you.” Harry almost slams into Malfoy when he suddenly stops.

Malfoy’s eyes are blazing, as he sweeps Harry into one of the private interrogation rooms. Malfoy locks and charms the room with a non-verbal ease, before turning to Harry.

“What, Auror Potter, is so important that you cannot bear to follow through in the official channels of Auror-Unspeakable communications?” Harry expects Malfoy to stalk about angrily, but instead Malfoy simply stands there, wand inconspicuous in his left hand.

“Look, it’s not about work. Why haven’t you been over? If—if you’re bored with fucking me vanilla, then we could try something different—”

Malfoy’s face loses its blankness, as his mouth curls into a smile. His eyes, though, remain blazing and cold. It makes Malfoy appear dangerous. Like some dark wizard about to attack. “Harry, I do not have such a plebeian interest in fucking you.”

“What, do you think I'm a bad fuck? It’s not like wizards are clamouring to get fucked by a Death Eater—” Harry distinctly feels that he said something wrong, as Malfoy’s smile widens and Harry can see teeth.

“Half the British wizarding population may think I’m worth less than the dirt under their shoes,” Malfoy says (and Harry agrees that what he says is true), “but I do not care for what they think. I know my own self worth, and I will not lower myself to be your fuck-toy.”

“But you fuck me.” Harry says earnestly, because it’s true. If anything, isn’t Harry Malfoy’s fuck toy? “And—and—” Harry continues, when Malfoy stays silent, “what happened now that you don’t want to fuck anymore?”

Malfoy’s eyes narrow. For a few moments, Harry thinks Malfoy will just leave. He reaches for his wand with the intent of stopping him, and then Malfoy speaks.

“Would you believe that I thought we weren’t fucking? That I thought we were in a relationship?" Malfoy's eyes are dark.

Harry’s mouth gapes, and it’s undignified because he is an Auror for Merlin’s sake. They never said anything about a relationship! Harry doesn’t believe that a relationship with Malfoy would ever work. Too much history, too much hate. Not to mention Saviour of the Wizarding World and Death Eater didn’t make sense together. Harry quickly closes his mouth as Malfoy continues.

"That you didn’t want to tell anyone because you just wanted make sure it was on a firm base, so that nothing the papers say will make us break up? That I was expecting to move in any day now?” Malfoy’s smile drops, and that blankness is there again. “I was stupid, and it took me six months to realise that, while I thought we were making love, you believed I was just some easy fuck.”

Malfoy looks at him, but Harry is stupefied. Making love? But they don’t love each other, so that was impossible. Harry shakes his head. Malfoy is delusional.

Eventually, Malfoy inclines his head, and says in a toneless voice, “Good day, Auror Potter.” He leaves silently.

 

At his next dinner with Hermione and Ron, Harry glares at Hermione.

“Harry?” She asks, as she closes the door, letting him through.

“Why didn’t you tell me Malfoy was an Unspeakable?” Harry demands. “And don’t say that you’ll have to kill me if you told me, because I know that information isn’t classified.”

She gives him a shrewd look. “I thought you’ll be angry. And then after, you were together—I thought Draco would have told you.”

“And when did you ever call Malfoy Draco?!”

“Since Unspeakable training. C’mon, Ron’s set up dinner.” Hermione turns away. What is with people turning their back to him lately? “Ron’s gotten Indian. Ever since Draco recommended it, Ron’s been obsessed.”

Ron is already sitting at the table, tucking in. Hermione admonishes Ron lightly, but Ron just gives her a goofy grin. “What’s this about Draco?” Ron says around his mouth of food.

Harry points a finger at Ron now. “And why do you call Malfoy Draco? I thought you hated each other.”

“Mate?” Ron is looking confused. “Why are you still calling him Malfoy?” Ron looks a bit amused next. “Is it some kink you guys have?”

“Me and Malfoy aren’t—weren’t together. What did he say to you?” Everything feels wrong, like Harry has woken up in some alternate universe where Malfoy is friendly with Hermione and Ron—and they are friendly back!

“Well.” Hermione looks shifty. “He didn’t say anything. I just thought—it’s the way he looks at you across the Ministry Atrium, or at your picture in the Prophet.“

Ron nods. “For an Unspeakable, Draco can be very obvious sometimes.”

Silence falls across the room. Ron stops eating, and he and Hermione are both looking at Harry.

“Now I see.” Hermione says quietly. She gives Harry a very disappointed look, and her eyes are shiny. With tears. “That’s why Draco’s been—been—lately.”

“Been what?” Harry says harshly. That Hermione is siding with Malfoy feels like the ultimate betrayal. “Delusional? A prat?”

“I thought you knew better than that.” Hermione turns away from him again. "Fuck." Her voice catches, and Harry know suddenly that something is very wrong when Hermione swears. “I knew something bad had happened but—Draco—”

Ron is looking at Harry with pity, as he lays a hand on Hermione’s arm. “Let’s just eat, kay? Hermione? Harry?”

Hermione mutely nods and Harry’s fight drains.

Dinner is not pleasant at all.

 

##

 

After that confrontation with Harry, Draco feels better—not great, but he can survive this. After all, he survived living amongst Death Eaters—survived having Voldemort living in his own home. He was stupid in assuming things, when the only things he is really good at is his job.

The international trafficking case is growing by the hour, and some of the Unspeakables are uncharacteristically distressed. The Auror department has been yelling for inclusion, and Minister Shacklebolt has allowed a team of Aurors to join the Unspeakables on the case.

The Aurors are standing around the Level Nine Conference Room Five, nine out of ten of them fluctuating between false confidence, awkwardness and awe. Conference Room Five is almost like one of the drawing rooms at the Manor—high ceilings, wide windows filled with light and opulent furniture. It is also the only conference room that requires only ten forms signed to enter and has a spelled entrance at Level Two so that visitors wouldn't tramp through Level Nine.

Ron is looking entirely comfortable on one of the red sofas, when Draco and Hermione enter. The other Unspeakables are already there, grouping together separately from the Aurors. Ron isn't mingling with the Unspeakables like Draco expects, but instead he is with one of the Aurors.

Harry.

Harry is sitting next to Ron, not looking quite as at ease. Hermione heads directly to Ron, and Draco resigns himself to following her. He squashes his feelings with a professional hammer. He isn’t going to let Harry affect him in work.

“Unspeakables Granger and Malfoy,” Ron says in greeting, grinning. “This is Auror Potter.”

Hermione rolls her eyes, but plays along. “Auror Weasley. Good to meet you, Auror Potter.”

Draco nods also. “Auror Weasley, Auror Potter.”

Harry gives Draco a suspicious look, which Draco ignores in favour of sitting on the sofa, on the far side from Harry.

Head Unspeakable Croaker arrives, which silences the Unspeakables immediately, and thankfully the Aurors catch on quickly. He sharply sends the files flying into everyone’s hands and quickly moves to outlining the current knowledge and the planned raids. Croaker speaks without waffle, and the entire affair is over quickly. The Aurors look rather dazed that it’s over.

(It’s probably some Unspeakable thing —not many like spending useless time talking when they could be researching their life's work, after all.)

“I’m Agent 23?” Harry says, amused, as he flicks through the papers in his file.

Draco stands up, leaving Hermione to be part of the trio.

“Unspeakable Granger, Aurors, if you’ll excuse me,” Draco says, forcing himself to meet Harry’s eyes as well.

Hermione waves to him, but her look speaks. Draco retreats back to their office-lab.

 

He takes some deep breaths. Yes, his heart still hurts. But it’s not hurting as much, and Draco has hope that he’ll get over it. Saturday with Pans is starting to sound good, and he needs to look for a gift for his Mother, who took the brunt of his sulking at the Manor.

 

##

 

Harry should be happy that he’s back on the trafficking case. He gets to work with Unspeakables, use their gadgets. He even gets a code name.

He knows why he isn’t though.

Malfoy is standing across the room, conversing with some other Unspeakables. Unlike Aurors, Unspeakables don’t wear their robes during missions. Instead, they’re decked out in black and dragon leather. Hermione looks slightly scary in it, and Malfoy looks dangerous. Harry has never seen this Malfoy before, and it makes him uncomfortable.

It makes him uncomfortable because it makes him think how much he hadn’t seen of Malfoy, how much he doesn’t know, despite shagging for half a year. He has never seen professional Malfoy, Unspeakable Malfoy, confident-without-being-a-prat Malfoy. It doesn’t fit with Hogwarts-Malfoy, or War-Malfoy. It doesn’t fit with the Malfoy he thought he saw when they were fucking.

Harry feels betrayed learning that Ron has done quite a number of missions with the Unspeakables. He feels even more betrayed at how easily Ron converses with Malfoy.

Once Croaker sends the all clear, Hermione hands out wheel spokes—portkeys to the raid location.

“Don’t die, Aurors!” One of the Unspeakables says quite cheerfully.

Ron chuckles, dragging Harry over to his portkey. Malfoy is already gripping the rim, fingers curling through the gaps in the spokes. With Ron on his left and another Unspeakable on his right, Malfoy is directly opposite Harry.

Malfoy sweeps his gaze over all three of them. “Ready?” He asks. Harry’s heart thuds as they nod.

He hates the coolness Malfoy directs at him. They had been shagging for six months — surely that meant something?

“Good.” Malfoy waves his wand, and the portkey tugs them away.

 

##

 

“Ten metres ahead, your right.” Comes Hermione’s voice in his ear. “Teams in position. Agents 7-B, 19, 23 and X, proceed.”

Draco is Agent X, so he moves in.

They’re in the outskirts of France, near the sea. It’s night, moonless. Beside him, Agent 7-B vanishes part of the wall, and they slip into the opulent building. Or rather, it looked opulent on the outside. The stench of blood and rot reminds Draco of the War, and beside him, Agent 19 —Ron— gives him a determined look. Agent 23 is Harry, beside Ron, and he isn't looking at Draco at all—hasn’t since they arrived at France.

There is a flurry of movement, and then Draco’s thick in the danger, the battle—and he breathes and lives in this moment. The spells roll through his mind, and through his wand, much faster than if he had to speak them. The entire place lights up and Draco doesn’t have time to be horrified, but knows that Hermione can see everything he sees and is documenting it all.

“Team Star, anti apparition wards now! Teams 75, C-2, back up immediately!”

The wizards and witches are falling, encased in a modified incarcerous. The ones with free mouths are shouting curses, but Ron and Harry are already rounding up their wands. Agent 7-B setting up a localised magic dead-zone in case any had wandless ability—not something Auror-ethical, but Agent 7-B isn’t an Auror. And from Harry’s glare, he doesn’t mind reducing the traffickers to temporary squibs.

As quickly as it starts, it’s over. Hermione and Agent Moon are congratulating them over the audite consilium. Code 5 Unspeakables are moving in to take the evidence and Hermione is approaching, her voice a constant litany of scanning and healing spells.

“Thanks, Agent Wing,” Ron says with a grin. Ron remains amused about the random procedure of assigning code names in the Unspeakable department.

“Yeah, thanks,” Harry adds in.

Hermione smiles back, as she pushes some hair away from her face. “Good work, Agent 19, Agent 23, Agent X.”

It turns out that this is—was the main base of the trafficking operations. The Code 5 Unspeakables are rolling in information, sending it back to Level Nine for analysis.

 

Once they return to the Ministry, it’s just final round up by peripheral teams, notifications to Aurors of relevant Ministries to deal with the victims, and writing reports in triplicate—the extended version for the Unspeakable archives, the censored version for the British Auror archives, and the official version to release to the public and foreign Ministries.

 

Head Unspeakable Croaker enters their office just after 7pm, and much to Draco’s surprise, shakes both their hands.

“Excellent work, Unspeakables. Your security clearance has been maxed to Level Nine.”

Draco is—awestruck, and Hermione is grinning, and even Croaker is smiling (which makes him look approachable). He gives them the metal cards and hands them the stack of forms to sign.

Thankyou,” Draco finally breathes.

Croaker continues smiling. “Arianna is in the process of increasing your grant, and we’ll get some people in to upgrade your office.”

To be honest, Draco doesn’t care about the increased money, or space—he doesn’t need those. But Level Nine clearance meant all Unspeakable accessible data banks—Muggle or otherwise—are open to him.

 

##

 

It’s been a while since Harry last visited Luna. She takes him out to a local field, as she searches for something. But even Luna calls Malfoy by his first name.

“But you were trapped in his dungeons!” Harry protests.

Luna gives him an absent smile. “I was. Did you know that Draco has a lot of Finklepops in his home? They’re good for increasing happiness in a house.”

Harry blinks. Has he ever been over to the Manor? It was always Malfoy coming over to his place, wasn’t it?

“I told Draco to put out plates of milk—Finklepops love it. Harry, you should too.”

Malfoy was ruining his life. Friendly with Harry’s friends—even Hermione was siding with Malfoy—with what, Harry didn’t get—but it’s the action that matters. And even now, Malfoy’s ruined him from a good fuck. And Malfoy has the gall to be an damned good Unspeakable.

“C’mon Harry, I think I saw some Ufflepuffles over there!” Luna bounds forward.

Luna is turning her back to him too.

She stops, angling her head, blond hair catching light. Not as much light as Malfoy’s. “What have you done, Harry? Do you remember?” She says, giving him an unnervingly direct look. She quickly returns to looking for Finklepuffles, but her words echo inside Harry’s mind for days.

 

Inspiration finally strikes Harry, and he retrieves his pensive.

He doesn’t watch the most recent memory of Malfoy—eyes blazing, hair windswept and body lithe as he duels against dark mages—but he does watch that night they last fucked. Malfoy is giving him this look, and watching them fuck leaves Harry uncomfortable and aroused.

“Harry, Hermione asked us over for dinner at her place next Friday.”

Harry frowns at memory-Malfoy. Did he really call Harry by his first name? Did he just call Hermione by her first name?

“I didn’t tell her about you,” memory-Harry is saying, but real Harry is focused on Malfoy’s face. A wrinkle has appeared on memory-Malfoy’s face.

“You didn’t tell her about—” “There isn’t really an us. I mean, we’re just fucking. It’s not like we’re in a relationship, so it isn’t Hermione’s business.”

Memory-Malfoy is suddenly looking like old-Malfoy—post-trials Malfoy. Blank face. Emotionless.

“If you want to come over to the dinner though, I can’t stop you.” “I—I’ll be going now. I need to be in early to work tomorrow.”

Memory-Harry doesn’t notice, but real-Harry can see Malfoy’s jaw clenching.

Something is hurting Harry’s stomach, and his erection is wilting. But after returning the memory, the food doesn’t seem to go down.

An instinct is telling Harry to look over more memories—it’s a mystery that he needs to solve. So he buckles down with a cup of coffee and gets to it.

The next memory is a morning fuck—languid—and Malfoy glows in the golden dawn light as he is looking at memory-Harry in that way again. The memory shifts to Harry cooking pancakes for breakfast, and Malfoy has this—dazzling smile on his face as he accepts Harry’s pancakes. Well, Harry reasons, I make really good pancakes.

Harry examines another memory. It’s dark, and memory-Harry is moaning and the slap of flesh is loud.

“Come for me, Harry.” Malfoy whispers into Harry’s ear. “You can do it.”

And he does, and Malfoy is, and then they’re slumped together in the bed and Malfoy is curled about him.

“Sweet dreams, Harry.” “Hm, night, Draco.” Malfoy pressing a kiss into Harry’s hair is the last thing Harry sees before the memory ends.

Harry is getting desperate.

Each memory he sees, another part of him starts hurting. First it was his stomach, and it’s still twisting and heavy and floppy. And then his chest starts to hurt, and he’s finding it hard to breath without remembering that look on Malfoy’s face as he watches Harry come, and as they curl up to sleep. And then his heart starts to constrict and beat erratically, as Malfoy’s smile gets sticky-charmed to Harry’s mind and Harry realises that Malfoy smiles at him a lot. His throat is tightening up as he realises that what’s missing from his wardrobe is Draco’s clothes, and what’s missing from his bathroom is Draco’s shampoo, conditioner, soap, moisturiser, and cologne, and what’s missing from the kitchen is Draco’s special mug that Parkinson and Zabini had given him for his last birthday, and what’s missing from the lounge room was Draco’s magical theory books and quidditch magazines.

And then Harry’s eyes and nose are hurting from crying as he reviews the angry encounter in the Ministry prison.

“—That I thought we were in a relationship? That you didn’t want to tell anyone because you just wanted make sure it was on a firm base, so that nothing the papers say will make us break up? That I was expecting to move in any day now? I was stupid, and it took me six months to realise that, while I thought we were making love, you believed I was just some easy fuck.”

Harry knows that sometimes can’t see things, that he isn't that good with emotions. Harry blames that on the Dursleys and on Voldemort, but this time, even Ron saw it.

Draco loves him.

Or maybe—loved— him—because Harry doesn’t know if Draco loves him anymore. And of course sex with strangers could not compare, because Draco was making love, and a plain fucking lacked everything that mattered—Draco.

And Harry had been stupid enough to make him go.

All the Dracos are running in repeat in Harry’s mind, all narrowing down to the fierce concentration of Draco in battle, beautiful even then and it hurts so much.

He does the only thing he can think of: he fire-calls Hermione. The moment Hermione’s face appears in the flames, Harry is blubbering, “Hermione, ‘Mione, I—Draco—”

Her face hardens, then softens. “Step through, Harry.”

Harry nods, and barely forces out the words to Hermione’s place. He stumbles straight into Hermione, burying his face in her hair. Hermione’s a saint, as she lets him smear her hair with his tears and his snot.

“I was an idiot, I told Draco—that—we—”

Hermione pats him. “Don’t tell me this. Tell Draco.”

How?” He sounds like a wailing child, but he’s desperate. What if Draco’s found someone else? It’s been over a month already, and Draco is handsome, and rich, and charming.

“Owl him. Floo call him. Visit the Manor,” Hermione says. “If you’re willing to sign a stack of documents, you can visit him in Level Nine."

Harry will do anything.

 

##

 

Hermione gives Draco a sly look Tuesday morning. Draco arches his brow. “Did something good happen?”

“You could say that.”

Draco shakes his head. Gryffindors trying to be Slytherins.

His research into deflecting and blocking the Killing curse is proceeding well. He initially started it because of Harry, but it is now his greatest project when he isn’t on field. Other Unspeakables are interested in it too, even if they think Draco’s a bit of a Death Eater for wanting to play around with the Killing curse. Croaker is supporting research into defence against the other Unforgivables, and he wasn’t thinking just about the three known ones.

 

A ping echoes through their office. Draco is deep in the lab, so he expects Hermione will greet whoever has arrived. Presently, Draco hears Ron’s voice.

“Draco!” Hermione calls. “Lunch!”

Draco huffs, but he willingly leaves his research. Ron is there by Hermione’s desk, and he greets Draco with a grin. Always smug. Ron has the great privilege as the only Auror welcomed on Level Nine.

Harry is there too.

Draco struggles to not put up a blank mask, because Hermione and Ron are watching and he doesn’t want them to see that. Last time was okay—professionalism kept the feelings from burning, and he had his Unspeakable mask. He can’t revert to that though—not when this situation is meant to be friendly and informal. He finally settles on politeness.

“Hello, Harry.”

Harry shuffles, and peers at Draco through his lashes. “Hello, Draco.”

Fuck, Draco still finds him absurdly lovable.

“Let’s go,” Hermione says. Draco gives her a glare, which she replies with an arched eyebrow. Merlin dammit, she’s been around Draco for much too long.

But when Draco looks at Harry, he is feeling idiotically hopeful. And heartsick. And angry. But the miscommunication was Draco’s fault. He set himself up for heartbreak, really, he couldn’t blame Harry.

Draco shrugs off his lab robe. He has Muggle clothes underneath, because he knows Hermione and Ron like going out for lunch somewhere Muggle. Ron is still enamoured with Indian which suits Draco perfectly though Hermione is getting a bit tetchy. Draco knows that Harry likes Indian as much as Hermione does —on occasion and with a low level of heat.

“C’mon,” Ron is saying, as he leads them to Level Nine’s private Apparition Point. “I’ve found this new place—and Draco—I bet you can’t even eat it that hot!”

Draco smirks. “Is this a contest?”

“You bet!”

Hermione shakes her head in exasperation. “What about the rest of us?”

Ron waves his hand dismissively. “There’s boring options so don’t worry.” Ron tells them the nearest Apparition point to the place, but it’s still a good five minute walk through crowded Muggle London to get there.

“How did you find this place out?” Draco settles down at the table next to Harry (Hermione manoeuvered him there). The menu makes his stomach greedy, and the whole place smells heavenly.

“On my way to a raid, if you can believe it.”

Draco rolls his eyes. “Aurors.” His smile must have caught Harry’s eye, because a smile is spreading over Harry’s face too, and it’s beautiful.

Draco is resigned to being biased to anything related to Harry.

“Somehow, I can’t see Unspeakables being any better,” Harry says lightly.

Draco meets Hermione’s eyes, and they’re chanting together, “We’ll have to kill you if we tell you.”

Ron snickers into the menu—fooling no one—and Harry grins. The waiter comes to take their order and collect the menus.

This is what Draco wants—Draco and Harry and friends sitting together and arguing about the best quidditch team. Hermione’s smiling, and she’d give you the trends and logical conclusion to the finals, and Ron has that mock hurt look as everyone tells him that the Chudley Cannons still kinda suck, and Harry’s still trying to convert Ron to Puddlemere United and Draco already knows that the Montrose Magpies are the best, even if they have plebeian name.

Draco is a bit pathetic like that. He would give up sex in a heartbeat if it means he can be friends with Harry. And Hermione and Ron. And maybe one day, he can bring Pansy and Blaise and Greg over. At the Manor, with Andromeda and Teddy and Luna, and even his parents and then Draco can have all his favourite people in one place.

Whilst Draco and Hermione are arguing over some finer points of magical theory—whether the effect of star light is small enough to disregard to a good approximation in Arithmancy equations—Ron has apparently been egging Harry on to steal some of Draco’s vindaloo, because Harry has suddenly gone cross-eyed and drinking all the water on the table. Ron is laughing so hard, and Draco takes pity on Harry, shooting him a discreet spell to clean his mouth of the spices.

Harry gives him a large, relieved smile. “Thanks Draco,” before giving Ron a sharp glare. “You owe me for that, mate.”

 

Lunch finishes, and Hermione and Ron go to the front to pay the bill, shooing Harry and Draco outside. Draco knows what she wants.

Harry shifts to the edge of the footpath, away from the road. “I—I hope we can do this again,” Harry says adorably.

Draco shrugs, aiming for nonchalance. “Ron and Hermione will undoubtedly organise another lunch outing.”

“Look, I meant—with you.” Harry nibbles at his bottom lip.

“Y-e-s?” Draco says slowly. Hermione likes roping Draco into these outings, so his attendance is assured.

With you.

“You can’t understand how sorry I am. I’ve been stupid and an idiot and a prick—and I’m sorry.” Harry’s eyes are bright green and it’s beautiful. “You’re right and it wasn’t just fucking but I was too caught up to notice. Everything hurts when I think about you and I really want what we have back. More than that—I want there to be an us, and to scream it to the world that Draco Malfoy’s mine and that I’m his.” Harry’s voice drops to a whisper. “I think I’m in love with you.”

Warmth blooms in Draco’s heart, giving his lungs air and his muscles vigour.

“I’m sorry, I even cheated on you with some random Muggles. I can’t believe I—was so stupid. But I’ll never do it again. So, please, Draco?”

Maybe Draco is more naive and less of a Slytherin than his father wanted. But Hermione and Ron and Harry have obviously leached some Gryffindor into him because Draco wants this chance. He reaches out to takes Harry’s awkward outstretched hands. He looks Harry in the eyes and says simply, “Yes,” and has the pleasure of watching Harry’s face brighten and eyes light up and mouth moving into a large smile. Harry rarely looks at Draco like this, and Draco will be storing this memory away for the rest of his life. Harry is leaning in for a kiss, so Draco gives him one on the tip of his nose.

“Draco?” Harry looks cross-eyed at his nose.

“We’ll do this properly,” Draco admonishes. “I’ll take you out to dates, and no sex until after the sixth —strictly above waist. And you’ll be invited to the Manor to meet my parents.”

Harry frowns, but it quickly smooths as Harry looks at him hopefully, adorably, “Does this count as the first date?”

Draco gives in, drawing Harry into a kiss, on the Muggle pavement, outside the restaurant, in Muggle London, surround by Muggles. He tilts Harry’s head upwards to him, saying into his lips, “Yes,” and Draco is so happy it hurts.

But Draco thinks it will last this time, that it will work, and Hermione and Ron drag them into a great immature group hug.

As they walk back to the Ministry, Harry is holding his hand and grinning dreamily, and Draco is probably smiling as well, Malfoy coolness be-damned. And for once, Draco wouldn’t mind being called a Hufflepuff about being in love.

 

##

 

The second date was dinner at a fancy Wizarding restaurant, and the third was a breakfast date into a tucked away cafe. The fourth date was a picnic after traipsing round the wilderness with Luna, and the fifth was lunch at the Manor, with Draco’s parents and Teddy and Andromeda.

 

For the sixth date, Harry holds it at Grimmauld Place.

“Very romantic,” Draco says, as he sits down at the table.

Harry and Kreacher have done the room in candles and the light and atmosphere is warm. Harry has cooked a full course Italian, and it goes perfectly with the red Draco brought. Harry's heart is full, still dazed at how much he enjoys just sitting here with Draco.

Though, he also very much enjoys Draco’s eyes darkening as they eat the tiramisu. The last of it is left uneaten, and Harry manages a preservation charm just before Draco has him pressed against the wall. It starts off chaste as Draco’s lips slide across his. The moment Draco’s tongue taps at his top lip, though, Harry opens his mouth immediately. It’s hot, and it sweeps in and alights all of Harry’s nerves, and he lets the pleasure just flow over him.

Draco is flush against him, and Harry can feel Draco’s hard cock pressed against his thigh. In the moment Draco’s tongue retreats, Harry breathes.

“Bedroom.”

There is a heart clenching moment when just Draco presses their foreheads together, and his thumbs trace Harry’s face. And then Draco apparates them both into their bed. Harry has prepared the bedroom too—lube on the bedside table, and floating glowing lights circling the bed. Harry scoots up on the bed, and starts taking off his shirt, but Draco stills his hands and kisses his ear.

“Let me.”

This is what love looks like, Harry sighs. The openness and light in Draco’s eyes, as he looks at Harry as though Harry is the most beautiful being, as though Harry is Draco’s sun. The Daily Prophet might think Draco has enslaved Harry, but they have never seen Draco like this, and Harry doesn’t want anyone seeing him like this. Else Harry will be fighting off all the competition who want to enslave themselves to Draco.

This is what love feels like.

The gentle caresses of Draco’s fingers, as Harry's shirt slips off. Draco’s lips and hot breath against his skin. Harry is writhing by the time Draco has undressed him and kissed every part of his body, including the lightest of licks along his cock, his hole.

Draco’s heated kisses leaves him helpless to watch Draco step off the bed, to watch Draco remove each piece of clothing in an unhurried fashion. Helpless as yet another inch of Draco’s skin is revealed. Draco gives him a heavy look, and Harry whimpers.

The curve of Draco’s hard cock is calling for Harry to suck it, but Draco has draped himself over Harry, pressing him into the mattress, tongue thrusting into Harry’s mouth, and Merlin, all Harry can do is whimper and moan, and revel in the feel of Draco’s skin against his.

Draco lifts from the kiss, and Harry spreads his legs obligingly. His arse is tight—he hasn’t been fucked for weeks, and he didn’t prepare himself. He wants Draco to do it. His heart skips at Draco’s secret smile as the first slick finger slips in. Draco's kiss becomes hungry, open and devouring as the second finger enters. Harry has missed this so much, and his cock is leaking, heavy and neglected on his stomach.

“So tight, so hot,” Draco whispers.

He writhes, desperate, moaning into Draco mouth as Draco eats up his yes’s and more and Draco. That beautiful burn-pleasure, the shiver as the protection spell sets in. His eyes are squeezed shut as Draco mercilessly rubs his prostate.

Draco finally pushes a pillow under Harry, and Harry draws his knees up, opening himself up. His hole is dripping with lube, fluttering and empty. The blunt head of Draco’s cock bumps against his slick hole, and Harry suddenly realises why Draco likes having sex with Harry on his back: this way, Draco can see Harry, and Harry can see Draco.

Grey eyes are blown dark with lust and love when Draco pushes into him. Harry hisses at the intense sensation of being impossibly filled, always wondering how Draco’s cock could possibly fit in his arse, but it does. Draco bends him almost in half as he leans over to kiss, tongue thrusting languidly. It is hot and messy, just like Draco's thrusts in and out, a slow building but inevitable wave of pleasure.

“I’m so hard for you Harry, only you. I need you so much, this, us—”

“Please, Draco,” Harry pleads. The heat and fire has spread to the tips of his fingers. His cock is swollen and aching, trapped between their chests. Harry arches helplessly at each thrust, trying to get some friction, trying to get more. “I need—you—harder—need—”

“Mine,” Draco growls. The vibrations makes Harry cock tingle and his heart thump harder.

“Yes—yours—”

Draco’s fingers tighten around his hips, and Draco is fucking him hard, making love to him with every ounce of his being.

Mine.

Harry arches, whining without words for release, his hands running ceaselessly up and down Draco’s arms, back. Draco won’t touch his cock, but it doesn’t matter, because each thrust is driving Harry dizzy, heat, fire. He feels entirely connected to Draco, overwhelming and Harry whimpers and moans with each thrust.

“Love you so much, Harry.” Draco leans in, open mouth kisses against Harry’s neck. But the thrusts don’t stop and Harry’s so helpless—gone—moaning— “Open your eyes Harry. Come for me, Harry. Let me see you—so fucking beautiful—mine.”

Harry manages to force his eyes open against the need and Draco is there and then it’s all Harry can see—Draco’s grey-silver eyes—as he comes hard, whimpering Draco’s name over and over. Draco keeps thrusting and Harry's pleasure spirals up until all he can see is white and all he can feel is ecstasy.

Draco slams in deep, and it’s Harry’s name on Draco’s lips as Draco comes inside of him.

 

Some indeterminate time later, Harry returns to himself. His arse hole is twitching, come dripping out, and his chest is splattered with it. Harry is a convert from fucking to making love, and he is sure he’s permanently addicted to it. Everything is aching and relaxed.

But best of all, Draco is beside him, smiling and dazzling, and he has that look. Harry must be looking the same.

And this is love itself. Draco.

 

FIN.