Draco Malfoy is a man of habit.
He wakes at seven and takes the Floo to the Natatorium, where he swims for an hour. After a relaxing session in the sauna, he takes the long way round to the south exit, because sometimes that way he can catch a glimpse of the men’s synchronized diving team at practice. And let’s be honest, he’s content being single but he’s not blind.
He picks up tea and an almond croissant at the place around the corner; and from there it’s a short walk to Jot & Tittle, the publishing house where he has worked for the past five years.
He exchanges friendly ‘good morning’s with their secretary Bianca, perfunctory ‘hello’s with the other editors on the third floor, and silently raised hands through the Silenced window of the eponymous publishers’ shared executive office. On his tidy desk he will find the manuscript which Mr Jot has assigned to him. He has just finished working on a fascinating history of wandcraft in ancient Greece, and is now editing a monograph on wizarding harpsichord composer Tacullus Smorby-Flythhe. It can be tedious work at times, but Draco enjoys it. Someone’s got to make sure that the text makes sense, is enjoyable to read, and -- Draco’s particular favourite -- is factually correct. And it sure as hell isn’t going to be the author.
At noon, Draco meanders over to the Italian deli down the block, or sometimes the Thai place further down if the line for salami and provolone is too long. Sometimes he’ll have an afternoon espresso as a pick-me-up, but that’s about all of the variety he allows in his daily schedule. At five he bids farewell to his colleagues, Floos home, and enjoys the supper which his house elf Chintzy has prepared for him. After a peaceful evening of pleasure reading, he bathes and retires to bed.
It goes that way until Tuesday, September 24th.
Because new books are released on Tuesdays.
The first indication that something has gone wrong is the tapping at his window. Draco has the standard security wards installed on his flat, plus the ones which are meant to send all non-emergency owls to the building’s central receiving area. That way, Chintzy can collect the post for him to read over supper. He loathes having to exert brainpower on anything before his morning swim.
Therefore, the nine owls hovering outside his bedroom window are a rather unwelcome surprise.
Blearily, Draco scrubs a hand over his face before shuffling over and reluctantly allowing the owls entrance. One by one, they deposit their bright red envelopes on his ivory duvet. The last owl has the temerity to nip at his finger for a treat. Draco yelps, throws the blasted animal out of the window, and slams the glass shut.
He stares in dismay at the smoking red envelopes. Over the years, the threats and vitriol have mostly died down, but the occasional hateful message will still find its way to him. Nine in one morning, though? Before dawn? He raises his eyebrows to himself, then decides that he might as well get it over with. A swish of his wand opens all nine Howlers at once.
“HOW DARE YOU, DEATH EATER SCUM--”
“--FIND YOU AND HEX YOUR BOLLOCKS OFF--”
“--HOPE YOUR ENTRAILS EXPLODE--”
Stunned, Draco covers his ears and waits for the messages to have their say. He watches as the venomous red stationery flaps madly, before they each self-destruct with a whiff of unpleasant-smelling smoke. One of them singes the duvet; he’ll see if Chintzy can do anything about it.
Deeply rattled but determined not to let this ruin his day, Draco dresses and decides to head to the Natatorium. Perhaps a longer swim will clear his mind.
There’s a dull but satisfying burn in his shoulders and thighs as he pads towards the sauna in plush grey slippers and robe. Several extra laps of breaststroke have indeed distracted him from the unpleasant awakening this morning, and he’s very much looking forward to his croissant and tea in a bit.
There are already two men in the sauna, chatting companionably, though they fall silent as Draco enters. He leaves his robe and slippers by the door, clad in just his navy blue racing briefs, then takes a towel to cushion the wooden bench. He glances up curiously at the pair of men, who are ogling at him with thinly-veiled interest.
Good grief. He wonders belatedly if he ought to have checked the newspapers this morning after the Howler incident. Did his father do something particularly disgraceful from his self-imposed exile in Denmark? He can’t imagine what else could have invited such a strong wave of renewed hatred against the Malfoys after years of quiet.
Before he can snap and say something rude about staring, the darker-haired man asks, “...Pardon me, but aren’t you Draco Malfoy?”
Three sets of eyes fly to the smudged, faded grey on Draco’s left forearm. He says in a voice laced with something just this side of disdain: “Obviously.”
The other man, with curly brown hair, pipes up excitedly. “Is it true, then? Everything in the book -- did it really happen?”
Draco blinks. Book? Then he remembers. It’s Tuesday, and Circe’s Olive Branch: Wandlore of the Peloponnesian Peninsula has just been released. Most readers won’t get their hands on new books until the shops open in an hour or two, but Flourish and Blotts has recently begun a special order service which delivers new releases via owl at the stroke of midnight. These two must be subscribed to that service. Odd that they should be so keen on Greek wand history, but Draco’s never been one to judge.
“Oh, yes. Absolutely. Fascinating stuff, isn’t it?” Draco allows himself to relax, leaning back against the bench comfortably and taking a deep breath of steamy air.
“I’ll say.” The darker-haired man smiles widely. “Quite eye-opening. I’ve already read it twice this morning.”
His companion elbows him in the ribs and stage-whispers, “Anthony, you dirty dog!”
Draco’s nonplussed, but gratified nonetheless. Circe’s Olive Branch clocked in at no less than 924 pages -- not quite a quick read. But there are glasses charmed with speed-reading enchantments, and maybe this fellow is just that intense of a Grecophile that he devoured it before his morning swim.
“Well, I’m glad you enjoyed it. We have so much to learn from the ancient Greeks.”
“Is that the industry term for it?” Anthony asks slyly, while his friend gives an undignified snort of laughter. “Oh, shut up, Ian, I saw you reading it too.”
Draco fidgets. The atmosphere is odd, loaded, as if they are discussing something other than Greek wizarding history. Anthony and Ian are both eyeing him like he’s a cake in a shop window, and he doesn’t care for it.
Because he’s not a complete savage, he mutters, “Pleasure meeting you gentlemen. Enjoy your day.” Then he rises quickly and collects his robe and slippers, before heading to his locker. As he dresses -- slim-fitting cobalt robes over black shirt and grey trousers -- he furrows his brow, replaying the conversation in his head. He feels uneasy, as if he missed a step on a staircase. Between the Howlers this morning and this odd interaction in the sauna, he’s distinctly shaken. It’s been an odd morning, but he has faith that things will clear up once he gets to work.
Things do not, in fact, clear up.
Bianca is sitting at the reception desk, staring down at something in her lap. At her elbow is a neglected, completely full mug of coffee. When Draco walks in, she startles badly, nearly knocking over the cup, and her face turns a delicate shade of maroon.
“Good morning, Mr Malfoy!” she squeaks, an octave higher than usual.
“Bianca.” Draco glances at her curiously. He can see the corner of a green paperback novel in her lap, hastily covered up with the Daily Prophet which she has dragged on top in an attempt to hide it. Strictly speaking, Bianca is not supposed to read on the clock, but working at a publishing house, who can blame her for becoming engrossed in the fascinating literature which they produce?
Neck-craning stares and fascinated expressions follow him all the way to his desk. Draco’s beginning to wonder if someone is going to tell him what’s going on, or whether he’s going to spend the rest of the day feeling as if he’s grown antlers and a tail without his knowledge.
There are no fewer than seventeen owls hovering outside his office window. Draco sighs heavily and sets down his breakfast. It’s the work of a moment to snatch the red envelopes, shoo away the owls, and incinerate the missives with a midair Incendio. But some of the Howlers manage to shriek out some of their hostile contents nonetheless.
“--FILTHY PONCE BASTARD--”
“--HURT YOU WORSE THAN A CRUCIO--”
He’s shaking badly when the last of the blackened remains float away on the wind, and it takes the work of both his sweaty hands to pull the window shut. Every editor on the third floor is gawking at him with jaws dropped. The room’s gone quieter than Silencio.
“What the hell are you gaping at? The show’s over, so you can shove your eyes back into your heads now,” he snaps. There’s a sudden flurry of activity as people scramble to pick up quills and parchment, anything to appear busy and avoid his ire.
Heavily, Draco drops into his chair, resting his elbows on his desk and then his forehead on one hand. He hasn’t lost his temper like that in ages. He’s worked hard to get here, a respected Senior Editor living a quiet, normal life. Except that nothing about today has been quiet or normal.
Sod it. He’s not going to be able to concentrate on his harpsichord manuscript now. What he needs is to obtain a copy of the Prophet and find out what’s got everybody in such a fuss.
And the closest place to buy the Prophet is at Flourish and Blotts, on Diagon Alley.
They’re waiting for him outside the bookshop like a pack of wolves. Paparazzi, reporters, and above all, fans. Hundreds of people scream in unison and mob him as soon as he touches down at the Apparition point at the top of Diagon. They are smiling, laughing, weeping, shrieking, all reaching out to try and touch him. And they’re each holding a green paperback book.
“Oh my god, it’s Draco Malfoy!”
“We love you, Draco!”
“Draco, sign my book! Please!”
It’s worse than the Howlers. He recoils from the crowd with a cry of alarm, but there’s nowhere to go. They are crushing ever closer, pressing things into his hands, touching his robes, touching his hair, and without a second thought towards Splinching the sycophants clinging to him, he Apparates away.
It takes him several moments of steady breathing to calm his heartbeat and reorient himself. He has Apparated into the comfortable sitting room of his flat, whose silence rings in his ears after the chaos of Diagon. The ever-omniscient Chintzy scurries out of the kitchen and presses a cup of tea into his trembling hands.
Well, one trembling hand. The other is holding a green paperback which someone pressed into his fingers. Draco absentmindedly thanks his house elf and turns the book over.
He nearly drops the teacup.
“The Slytherin Who Loved Me...?” His lips form the words, but he cannot bring himself to speak them out loud.
The book cover portrays a pair of men who look a little too old for the Hogwarts uniforms they are wearing. The slender blond is kissing a taller dark-haired man, who is pinning him against a wall with a passion verging on brutality. Draco watches in horrified fascination as the wizarding image moves: the dark-haired man tugs the blond’s green and silver tie loose; and the blond moves his head slightly to show the dark-haired man’s lightning bolt scar and round glasses, what the actual fuck.
Draco must be having a nervous breakdown. Or a nightmare? Or a breakdown within a nightmare? He sets the teacup down with a clatter and opens the book.
Amortentia Adventures presents:
The Slytherin Who Loved Me: Thirteen Tales of Forbidden Romance
By Marinda Love
And on the copyright page, so small it’s nearly invisible, so small that Draco has to put on his half-moon reading glasses:
We can neither confirm nor deny that names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents herein may or may not be based on real life.
Draco gives an undignified snort. That is definitely not the industry-standard disclaimer. Heart racing with mingled panic and apprehension, he turns to the first story and begins to read.
1. Strange Bedfellows
Draco Malfoy banged his fist on the Portkey counter. “This is an outrage! This will not stand!”
“I’m so sorry, Mr Malfoy, but there’s really nothing we can do.” The witch shook her head apologetically. “We’re always overbooked around the holidays, and with the storm and all--”
“My father will hear about this!” Draco roared.
Someone behind him chuckled quietly. “I never thought I’d hear that again.”
He spun around. Standing in the queue was his old schoolmate, erstwhile rival, and Saviour of the Wizarding World: Harry Potter.
As Seeker for the Wimbourne Wasps, Potter had transformed into a delectable specimen of manhood since their Hogwarts years. His broad shoulders, muscular thighs, and chiseled jawline drew Draco in like a moth to a flame. He made no effort to hide the way his bright green eyes roved over Draco’s body, causing a shiver to ride up his spine like a bolt of lightning. The mere sensation of Potter’s attention seemed to make his expensive trousers shrink a few sizes, right around his--
Draco is going to have a nervous breakdown. Not even his worst nightmares have embarrassed him like this. His brain feels totally detached from his body, and his mind is roaring in outrage even as his fingers turn the page. Who the fuck is writing about him like this and publishing it for the world to read? Whose depraved imagination is entertained by the thought of him having the hots for his old classmate?
Hypothetical hots, that is. Extremely hypothetical and in no way real, relegated to a dark and secret corner of his heart right after a certain incident in sixth year, and never revisited.
He reads on.
“What the hell are you doing here?”
“Same as you,” Potter declared, shrugging his shoulders in a way that shifted his toned pectoral muscles under his thin t-shirt to really emphasise their strength. “Trying to get home for the holidays. It doesn’t seem like either of us will be getting lucky in that regard, though.” His eyes glimmered with warm amusement.
“Pardon me, gentlemen!” exclaimed the Portkey witch. “There does appear to be an available room in a hotel nearby. Our office will gladly pay the room charge, as an apology for your cancelled Portkey. But you see…” she trailed off.
“What?” snapped Draco, although he half-knew -- and half-hoped -- that he knew the answer already.
“Well… there’s only one bed.”
“Okay, first of all, split infinitives, really?” Draco says to the empty room, Summoning his self-inking correction quill. He scribbles in the book, crossing out the misplaced adverb in ‘to really emphasize.’ Flagrant violation of his right to privacy or no, he is still an editor at heart.
Draco owls in sick to work for the rest of the afternoon, as well as tomorrow. He’s certainly not going to be able to concentrate on his harpsichord manuscript while there’s much more important copy to claim his attention. Copy that involves his own goddamn anatomy, as well as Potter’s, interacting with each other in a variety of fascinating ways.
They share the single bed -- and each other -- in Strange Bedfellows. In Aurors In Love, they rut desperately against an alley wall in broad daylight while they should be pursuing a Dark wizard gang. (Highly irresponsible.)
Draco has been swinging wildly between indignant outrage and dizzying arousal since he sat down with the book. He’s had to fetch a fresh inkpot for all the corrections he’s made to tense jumps (“Potter pauses in the doorway. Draco loosened his tie, never once breaking eye contact.”), factual errors (the Room of Requirement is on the seventh floor, not the fourth), and spelling and grammar (dragon in lowercase; Swedish Short-Snout capitalized and hyphenated, please and thank you). These are mistakes which any decent editor should have been able to catch in their sleep, blindfolded and after three cocktails.
Yet, maddeningly, his body seems to think it’s a brilliant idea to bang Potter like a screen door in a storm, whether on the outskirts of the Forbidden Forest (The Vampire and the Veela) or a broom closet in the bowels of the Ministry (An Unspeakable Affair). He can’t stop thinking about how Potter would taste after an after-hours Quidditch game (Fly Me to the Moon), how Headmaster Potter would look on his knees under Professor Draco's desk in the Potions classroom (A Passion for Potions), or how it would feel to have Potter pound him into the mattress of a Siberian safehouse in an alternate timeline where Dark wizards won the war (My Life In Your Hands).
He has locked himself in his bedroom with a Silencing Charm and taken himself in hand no fewer than six times -- once for each tale. Draco's tempted to again now, but but he's sweaty and out of breath, and Scourgify only does so much.
He’s feeling terribly conflicted and feverish when he finally decides to retire for the night, supper uneaten, much to Chintzy’s distress. He opens his bedroom windows in an attempt to air out the evidence of his coping, wards the open window against all owls, runs a hot bath, and sinks into the fragrant bubbles.
...Then he picks up the book from where he’s sort-of-on-accident left it within reach on the bathmat, and begins a new tale.
7. A Coffee Cup of Hot, Strong Love
Harry wiped his hands on the towel tucked into his apron, relieved to see the afternoon rush dying down at last. He had made what seemed like hundreds of cold lattes and milky iced coffees on this scorching summer day. While the customers got to go out and enjoy their beverages in the beautiful sunshine, he was stuck at Lovegood’s Cafe until 8.
It wasn’t so bad, though. With every coffee he prepared, every new person he met, he came one step closer to finding his soulmate. He admitted that after years of searching, he still hoped to hear those fateful words -- the ones tattooed on the inside of his arm -- as he stood behind the counter of the most popular coffee shop in wizarding London.
The bell above the door sounded, rousing Harry from his thoughts. The customer who walked in was--
Draco sighs and massages the bridge of his nose. There’s only so many times he can bear reading about imaginary him meeting imaginary Potter for the first time. It’s all untamed hair, commanding physiques, heated looks, and trousers fitted tightly over arses sculpted by Auror/Quidditch/immortal vampire lifestyles, blah blah blah. A bit guiltily, he skips forward a few pages.
--I love you as you are, Malfoy. And I always will.”
After a moment of hesitation, Malfoy began to unbutton his shirt. The soft white fabric glided over his torso, revealing four long, thin white scars--
Draco’s blood runs cold. He’s been so caught up in his grammatical fixes and spelling corrections that he’s forgotten that someone has written a pornographic story about him, and that it is apparently someone who has actually seen him shirtless. His mind is reeling. He spent the first few years out of Hogwarts keeping a low profile, apprenticing at a small publisher before meeting Mr Jot, living a quiet solitary life. With his parents in Denmark and Pansy and Blaise raising their children in Toronto, there’s hardly anyone in England who knows about his scars. The two former Hogwarts headmasters are dead and buried. And somehow, it seems unlikely that Madam Pomfrey or any Hogwarts faculty member would use their spare time in this way.
Draco stares unseeing at the taps of his bathtub. Surely not.
But there’s only one way to find out.
The Glamour makes his skin itch unpleasantly, but it’s worth it to be able to walk around unperturbed. He can’t help but notice that everyone seems to have a copy of the bloody book. They read it while walking, while waiting for the Knight Bus, while sitting on patios drinking coffee and eating lunch. Draco cannot move for people standing around with their noses buried in The Slytherin Who Loved Me, reading about his and Potter’s ‘throbbing members’ in broad daylight! Have they no shame? No sense of decency, of moral fortitude?
Draco glowers at a cluster of witches who are chattering loudly. It’s only when he draws closer that he realizes they are... oh Salazar...!! They are staging an impromptu dramatic reading of the green books that they each hold.
“‘Why don’t you shut up, Malfoy?’” snaps one girl, in a passable Potter impersonation.
“‘Why don’t you make me, Potter?’” a young man replies. His Wiltshire pronunciation could use some work and the P ought to be more aspirated, muses half of Draco’s brain, while the other half screams WHY IS THIS HAPPENING TO ME.
A third participant reads in a sonorous tone: “‘The two men drew closer until their soul bond quivered with the undeniable sexual tension between them. Then, in a flash, Potter seized Malfoy by the collar...’ -- Go on and grab him, Rosie! -- ‘...and hauled him in until their mouths crashed together.’”
The amateur thespians engage in an exaggerated, rather wet kiss and their friends squeal with amusement. Draco holds back some very well-deserved Stinging Hexes and ducks around them into the offices of Amortentia Adventures.
His nostrils are assailed by the cheap, torrid smell of artificial perfume -- something floral and aiming for provocative, but missing the mark. He resists the urge to clamp his fingers over his Glamoured nose and makes a beeline for the receptionist’s desk. There are dozens of hot pink interdepartmental memos fighting for the airspace above her head. She glances up at him in greeting as she cradles a wizarding telephone handset between her shoulder and her ear.
“--would be absolutely delighted to discuss film rights as soon as she’s back from overseas. Yes, that’s right. I will absolutely pass on your sentiments to Ms Love. Thank you so much, Mr Coppola. Goodbye.”
She hangs up the phone with a pleased smile and turns her attention to Draco. “How can I help you, sir?”
“I suspect you know already,” he replies gruffly, his voice camouflaged by the Glamour. “I’d like to speak with Ms Marinda Love.”
“Get in line.” The receptionist gives a wry laugh. “We’re up to our ears in requests for reprints, interviews, a radio adaptation, and sequels! Unfortunately, Ms Love is abroad and will not return until next month.”
Next month?! Draco’s life flashes before his eyes. Delirious images flood his mind: a green paperback in every Christmas stocking, the street-corner thespians upgraded to a ten-year run in the West End. But his threats fall on deaf ears. He demands to speak with Ms Love’s agent. She is also out of the office. He must have Ms Love’s home Floo number! The receptionist laughs and tells him to pull the other one. He will Floo his solicitors, raising charges of libel, slander, defamation! It does no good.
He’s about to Finite his Glamour, desperate for some foothold even if it means revealing himself, when he spots someone out of the corner of his eye who renders him speechless.
He is striding out of an office behind the receptionist’s area, tailed by a publishing exec who is reciting platitudes to his retreating back. “--unfortunately, nothing can be done at this point, we’re so sorry you feel this way, Mr Potter--”
He looks thunderous, like he might knock down the universe with his bare fists. He takes long, angry strides, his dragonhide boots thudding against the floorboards and sending reverberations up through Draco’s legs. Potter is shrugging on an impossibly soft-looking black leather jacket over muscles that could bench press that fifty-foot statue of himself at the Ministry. And he is rugged, wearing a motley assortment of scars like they were custom-fitted to his forearms. Draco is quivering, both with outrage at seeing the man, and with resentment that he’s got it worse than his fictional self.
Potter is heading for the lifts. Cutting off both the receptionist and the executive, Draco dives in after him and slams the button to close the doors.
Green eyes raise to his, filled with mingled anger and curiosity. The clenched lines in his jaw and throat are very dangerous to Draco’s wellbeing, but he’s closer than ever to finding the answers he seeks. He cannot afford to get distracted.
“Potter,” he growls.
“Er, do I know you?” Potter raises an eyebrow.
Belatedly, Draco remembers his Glamour, and Finite’s it with a careless wave of his hand. It’s almost comical to see Potter’s expression slide from inquisitive to shocked to outraged, except that the level of animosity radiating towards Draco nearly makes him take a step back.
Merlin, that street performer could never dream of holding a candle to the way Potter says his name, even after all these years. It holds a lifetime of tension, competition, and obsession, things no amateur could ever hope to channel.
Then, inexplicably, Potter blushes.
Draco watches with undisguised fascination as a deep pink creeps from the back of Potter’s neck and over the angles of his bronze cheekbones. He’s seen Potter flushed with anger and exertion before, but never this. He’s embarrassed! The scoundrel has been found out, at long last, and he has the gall to be embarrassed! Draco’s going to enjoy this.
“You’ve read the book, I reckon,” Potter murmurs.
So he’s playing it this way, is he? Draco drawls, “You reckon correctly. I’ve read your book. I never took you as the literary type, I must say.”
“My book?” Potter, if possible, turns even pinker.
“Oh, cut the crap, Potter!” Draco reaches into his coat pocket and yanks out the hateful green volume, waving it in Potter’s face. “Your book! You, ’Ms Marinda Love’, because who the hell else would want to write about us shagging our way across the country in such excruciating detail? Details that only a few people are privy to!”
“Just admit it, Potter. You fancy me, you’ve fancied me since school, you have these lurid reveries of me tied up and begging for you, and you have the impertinence to put your thoughts to paper, to make a dirty Galleon off this… literature--” he smacks Potter’s chiseled chest with the book, “--without so much as a ‘by your leave’--!”
Potter reaches out one hand and slams the emergency stop button on the lift. It screeches to an abrupt halt, slamming Potter against the wall, and tossing Draco into his arms.
They stand like that for a moment, chests heaving, both of them a little more scarlet than they were a moment ago. Draco breathes in Potter’s aftershave, reminiscent of cider spices -- clove, cinnamon -- but with something underneath that makes him want to sink his teeth into Potter’s neck. It’s right there, after all.
Potter says, “I think I should explain something.” Draco almost startles at the reverberation of Potter’s chest against his. His voice, deeper and richer than it was in their teenage years, sends a tremor all through Draco’s body.
Draco pushes himself away from Potter, flicking imaginary dust off the front of his indigo robes. He tries, unsuccessfully, to fight the blood away from his loins and his cheeks through sheer force of will. “I’m listening,” he replies, voice a little high. Shakily, he manages to stuff the book into his pocket.
Potter runs his tongue up the inside of his bottom lip, and damned if that little movement doesn’t make Draco’s heart stutter in his chest.
“I didn’t write it,” Potter says firmly, holding up a hand to stop Draco when he begins to make a disbelieving noise. “But I think I know who did. It’s this girl, this woman, Romilda Vane. She was a year below us at Hogwarts? Anyway, she cornered me at a party last Christmas and asked if I would mind if her publishing house put out a series of fictional stories about me. I told her no way in hell, obviously!” he adds quickly, at Draco’s stifled exclamation, “but she’d had several glasses of champagne at that point and I think she chose to ignore me. She never was one to take no for an answer. She was sort of obsessed with me in Sixth Year.”
“Join the club,” Draco mutters.
“Nothing.” Draco is mentally arranging the letters of Romilda Vane’s name and oh yes, that’s quite cheeky, Marinda Love, and now he seems to recall a dark-haired girl who used to volunteer in the hospital wing sometimes, who would've seen his scars. Bitch. “So, suppose you’re telling the truth and you and I are both victims of this intolerable persecution. What course of action do we have?”
Potter’s look is grim. “None. The publisher claims that because of the disclaimer, they’re not subject to lawsuits or disputes.” He puts on an aggrieved expression. His eyes are so green.
“This is outrageous,” Draco cries. “It’s hurtful to our reputations, it’s scandalous, and most of all, it’s not true!”
“That’s why they call it Real Person Fiction, Draco.”
Draco’s so wound up that he doesn’t notice the slip of his name until after he’s already replying. “Don’t start with me about semantics! It’s an extremely serious affair. And so help me Salazar, you’re going to help me track down Romilda Vane and--”
“Honestly, I thought it was you.”
“Me?!” Draco squeaks.
“Yeah, well.” Potter slips him a lopsided grin. “You've always had a flare for the dramatic.”
Draco gapes at him, a hand flying to the throat of his robes. He staggers backwards, blinking owlishly and drawing breath in three great scoffs.
“‘Flare for the dramatic?!!?!’” he howls.
Potter gives him a look that would be pure fond exasperation, were it not for the way he pushes his tongue against his bottom lip again. It drives Draco absolutely spare.
Without thinking, Draco reaches into his robes and draws his wand, holding it an inch away from the succulent hollow of Potter’s throat. He is trembling, held together with nothing but nerves and pride.
“Don’t try to make fucking light of this, Potter. You have no idea what I’ve been through, no idea at all! I’ve spent years with my head down, working hard, just trying to live without people spitting at me in the street. The last thing I need is someone publishing erotic tales about me defiling their Saviour! I’ve had nearly three dozen Howlers since yesterday and you have the gall to joke, to jest--”
“Oh my god, Draco, just shut up for one second.”
Potter closes the distance between them so quickly that Draco only has time for a muffled "Mmaahh!" against his mouth. One of Potter’s hands knocks Draco’s wand arm away with electrifying carelessness, while the other presses flat against his robes and shoves Draco unceremoniously against the wall of the lift.
Draco turns his surprised exclamation into a fierce parting of Potter’s lips with his tongue, chasing the warm, irresistible masculinity of Potter’s taste. He clasps Potter’s shoulders and a thrill goes through him at the solid heft of Potter’s body. This is a man who could toss Draco over his shoulder without a second thought, and isn’t that a delightful idea.
The insistent slide of his tongue against Potter’s is addictive. It is a hungry kiss, messy and wild and Draco loves every moment of it. Potter’s spicy aftershave fills Draco’s lungs, and he opens his mouth wider as if he could taste more of Potter that way. Potter hums as he lowers his warm, strong hands to Draco’s waist with a vice-like grip. He slides a leg between Draco’s parted feet, a perfect denim-covered surface for Draco to push back against with all the modesty of a wild animal. Merlin.
“What have you been up to lately, anyway,” he whispers brokenly, groaning when Potter bends to bite the hypersensitive skin at his earlobe.
Potter’s huffed laugh against his ear breathes flame into the coals of Draco’s belly. “Curse-Breaking.”
“That explains the, ah--” (beastlike, gorgeous physique) “--scars.”
Potter pulls back to breathe and Draco dives forward to graze his mouth against the long lines of his throat. The stubbly skin is paradise beneath his lips, as is the low, hungry groan that begins in Potter’s chest and issues forth from his stunning mouth. It’s alarming how loud it sounds in the stopped lift, and it only serves to turn Draco on even further.
Their mouths meet again and they kiss with renewed vigor, a mad brush of inquisitive lips and greedy tongues. Are they making up for lost time, thinking of all those repressed emotions Sixth Year (maybe just Draco), or just two frightfully attractive men who’ve recently had their imaginary pornographic encounters published in a book? Draco can’t tell. His eyelashes flutter against Potter’s glasses, a stylish upgrade from the pair he wore in school, and they do spectacular things for the already lovely shape of his face.
Draco glides his fingertips light as a ghost over Potter’s front -- the gratifyingly hard jut of his nipples beneath the threadbare t-shirt, the concrete slab of his abdomen -- before turning his attention to Potter’s belt buckle. His knuckles skim the strip of exposed stomach above Potter’s jeans (ugh, Draco cannot believe he’s about to fuck a man who wears jeans).
“C’mon, you don’t wanna do this here,” Potter whispers.
Draco’s hands freeze. Has he wildly misread this situation? “Um. I don’t?”
“Nah.” Potter threads a hand into Draco’s hair, caressing it with a tenderness that he has heretofore not shown in the five minutes that they’ve been pawing at one another. At the same time, he shifts his hips forward, driving against Draco’s hip like a prod for attention. “We’d be much more comfortable in a bed, wouldn’t we? Soft pillow under your head, maybe another one under your--”
“Ohgodyes,” Draco says all in a rush, and then Potter is laughing against his neck and Apparating them away.
They land in a sun-dappled, messy bedroom that is the most Potter-ish place Draco’s ever laid eyes on. He would love to stare and snoop and inspect the photographs and piles of books cluttering the space, except that Potter is unbuttoning his robes with a speed and dexterity that must set some sort of all-time world record. The indigo fabric falls heavily to the floor, pooling around Draco’s feet and leaving him in the pinstripe grey trousers, bespoke black waistcoat, and periwinkle button-up he wears beneath.
“Ugh, too many buttons.” Before Draco can get a word in, Potter gives a lazy wave of his hand. Trousers, waistcoat, socks, and shoes appear in a neatly folded stack on a nearby armchair, as do all the buttons of his periwinkle shirt, because Potter’s insufferably sexy wandless, wordless magic has severed them neatly from the garment.
“This is Alexander McQueen, you dick!” Draco yelps.
But Potter’s already falling to his knees, tossing his leather jacket onto the pile of Draco’s clothing, nosing at the dark gold hair at Draco’s exposed stomach, and biting the waistband of his black silk boxers. “Honestly, Draco, I could not care less.” Then he mouths at Draco through the luxurious fabric, and Draco can't speak or think any longer. He moans and braces himself against the footboard of Potter’s bed, certain that he would collapse if not for the wooden rail under his arse and Potter’s immense hands wrapped around the backs of his thighs.
As he administers a series of open-mouthed kisses with maddening deliberation, Potter asks, “So what have you been up to. Lately. Anyway.” The puff of his breath falls over the wispy hairs that cover Draco’s shivering thighs.
“I-- I--” Draco almost wants to swoon to see if Potter's strong hands would support him alone. He's quite sure they'd be up to the task. “I’m an editor.”
“Mmhm.” Potter begins to lower the waistband of Draco's pants, and the sound Draco utters will not be found in any dictionary, English or Gobbledegook. “Figured it was something like that. Dramatic. Posh. Fussy.”
“I am not fusssSSOHHHHH,” Draco groans and lapses into unintelligibility again, because Potter is doing something amazing with his tongue. He keeps his eyes trained on Draco’s, his glasses sitting a little askew on his ears, and Draco marvels that someone could look so adorable and yet so tremendously provocative at the same time.
He has the perfect view from here, eyes darting from Potter's mouth to the flex of shoulder muscles beneath Potter’s t-shirt. And the occasional press of Potter’s free hand to the unmistakable swell in his jeans, and what a delightful picture that is.
“Yeah, yes, let’s--”
It’s the work of a moment for Potter to haul himself up from the floor and toss a stunned Draco bodily from his standing position at the foot of the bed onto the soft surface of the duvet. As he catches his breath, he gets to watch Potter drag his t-shirt off with one fluid grasp behind his shoulder blades (and Draco doesn’t date men who wear t-shirts, it’s simply not on; but damned if that motion isn’t something he’d like to see every day). His gaze is torn between the glorious bronze planes of Potter’s chest and the mouthwatering V that leads down into those jeans. Jeans which are being unzipped and shucked to unveil only bare skin beneath. Draco vaguely wonders whether going starkers under jeans wouldn’t chafe horribly, while his treacherous body shudders in a pure wave of want.
He bites down hard on his bottom lip, and Potter laughs before leaping nimbly into the triangle of space between Draco’s splayed legs. He moves like a predator, Draco thinks frantically as Potter climbs up the bed -- but then past Draco’s body, reaching towards his nightstand.
When he leans back into Draco’s view, he has a little bottle of lube, and he presses something else into Draco’s hands: a green paperback book.
Draco didn’t think he could be any more astonished today, but he’s continually being proved wrong. Unable to top his ‘flare for the dramatic’ outburst earlier, he simply turns his dumbfounded face towards Potter, holding the book like an accusation.
“You read it!”
“Obviously. And you didn’t?”
“Well. Hrm. Only through Chapter 7.”
Potter grins when Draco’s blush deepens. “Go on and read it for me, then. I liked Chapter 8. You can start there.” And he settles himself between Draco’s legs, nudging his glasses back up onto his nose, with the anticipatory look of a sprog awaiting a bedtime story.
So Draco obliges him.
8. What’s Mine Is Yours
Draco was sick to death of tiptoeing around. His professors, parents, and what seemed like half the Ministry of Magic had been unable to find a cure for the magical bond between him and the Chosen One. It had been three weeks of jolting awake in the dark whenever Potter was having nightmares three rooms away; three weeks of wanting to laugh when he laughed, to hold him when he hurt. And Potter had spent an awful lot of time feeling hurt, it seemed -- sequestered in the ruins of Gryffindor Tower with Weasley and Granger, or taking long walks around the lake with Lovegood when the winter chill faded into the tentative blush of spring.
Well, Draco had had enough of it. He had been so wound up about the bloody bond, about fearing that Potter would somehow become a competent Legilimens overnight. Well, today he just needed to blow off some steam.
After sealing his door with a Colloportus, he reached into his bedside drawer, and--
“--aaand, ahh, Potter!”
Draco looks down between his legs to where Potter has been sitting, listening to him. He’s been so caught up in reading -- it’s an interesting premise, and he’s always enjoyed reading aloud and being read to -- that he nearly forgot Potter was down there.
“Go on.” Potter’s voice is low, a laugh floating on his command.
Draco nods shakily and goes on:
--and pulled out a certain item from the assorted collection there. It was smooth, red, slender but long. Draco cast Lubricus under his breath before guiding it between his--
“--Mmmmerlin!” Draco cries, since Potter seems to be doing his best to distract Draco from reading. “Keep doing that,” he pleads.
“Hmm. Keep reading.”
A moan escaped his lips as he pushed it in halfway, then two thirds, and finally felt the flat end brush against his body. Then Draco tapped the end of it with the tip of his wand, and it began to move in and out of him, just a few inches. He bit back a relieved cry as he finally reached down and grasped himself.
“Oh, Potter,” Draco sighed, half mad with the familiar consolation of his own hand after what seemed like an eternity without it.
Draco echoes his fictional counterpart, arching his back in ecstasy as Potter's hands move over him. The book lands with a soft thump as Draco’s arm falls to his side. He begins to move his hips, chasing more, more.
But it’s not enough. “I need… Unh… Get on your back, Potter.”
Potter blinks up at him, his hand stilling.
“I’ll keep reading if you do.”
That seems to decide matters. Potter scrambles up the bed and lies down, adjusting his glasses to watch Draco with interest. Draco turns around and straddles Potter’s lap, preening at the sharp intake of breath this elicits. He’s still wearing the buttonless periwinkle shirt, which is a little damp with sweat at the underarms and back. There’s something dirty about this one article of clothing that remains between them, and Draco loves it.
He keeps his gaze trained on Potter’s as he finds the right position. There’s a split second of resistance before he begins to sink down.
Potter’s mouth has fallen open in an expression of sheer awe. He looks up at Draco like the meeting of their bodies is the best thing that’s ever happened to him. Draco allows a complacent smile to curve his lips, and picks up the book once more.
“Yes, Potter…” Draco moaned, imagining the strength of those Quidditch-toned muscles, the way Potter’s hands would hold him firmly in place while he moved hard, fast, and deep. The sounds he made echoed starkly against his bedroom walls.
He barely registered another sound: that of a muffled Alohomora followed by the creak of a door. A soft, disbelieving gasp.
Draco rides at a steady pace, hips rising and falling in a controlled bounce. One hand holds the book aloft, while his free hand is braced against the top of his thigh. Potter holds him by the waist, crumpling the expensive shirt fabric beneath his grip. He is still gazing at Draco like he hung the moon, while offering the occasional “So good” and “Oh, Draco, yes.” That and their persistent movements make it extremely difficult to maintain a steady reading voice.
Draco made a startled sound of alarm, though he couldn’t bring himself to stop the movements of his hand or hips. He was already so close, and not even the astonished face of his enemy -- green eyes wide, cheeks a deep pink, lips parted in shock -- could bring him back from the swift current he found himself falling into.
“Potter!” he cried, and several things happened at once:
The vibrating toy struck an incredible spot within and pressed there, sending a heavenly burst of bliss cascading through him.
Potter clutched at the door frame, watching Draco writhing on his bed like he’d never seen anything so magnificent. He grated out a groan, and Draco realized that the bloody bond must have shared every wave of his impending euphoria with Potter.
And Draco bucked into the tight clutch of h-h-his--
Draco whimpers and drops the book to his side, unable to continue. Because Potter has moved from gently resting his hands on Draco’s waist to actually lifting him with startling ease. His incredible biceps and forearms hoist Draco a few inches in the air before shoving him back down. At the same time, he thrusts up from underneath to meet Draco, which means he is slamming upwards, drawing a shouted sob from him with each push.
Tentatively, Draco reaches for himself, but Potter shoves his hand away. “No,” he growls. “Let me.”
There follows a perfect thirty seconds or so where they move together breathlessly, and it’s filthy and amazing and Draco’s producing these helpless little breathy mewls, realizing with surprise that he’s saying, “Ha-- Ha-- Harry--!”
And as he cries Harry’s name, they climax together in tandem like they planned it, like they planned any part of this absolutely mad encounter: the book or the lift or the way they drew together like planets in orbit like they have always done.
They fall back down onto the mattress in a spent, sweaty heap. Draco’s ruined shirt is drenched in sweat and he wrenches it off with a twist of shoulders and arms. Harry watches him with a little smile and one hand tucked behind his head in a post-coital stretch. His glasses are completely crooked and Draco thinks, I did that. Merlin.
“Well,” he says.
“Well.” Harry runs his fingertips along the hairs on Draco’s thigh, making him shiver with something close to overstimulation. “I’ve never had anyone read me a story like that before.”
“I should think not.” Draco arches an eyebrow at him before gingerly lifting himself up and off, making a tremendous mess. Harry doesn’t seem to mind. He turns and scoots closer so that he can press slow, lingering kisses to the small of Draco’s back, to his ribs, to his shoulder blade. Draco lets his eyelids flutter closed, savoring the moment before it turns to awkwardness, to regret, to hexes, as it naturally must.
“What are you doing for the rest of the day?” Harry asks against the nape of Draco’s neck, where his breath tickles the dusting of almost invisible blond hairs.
Draco allows one hand to trace the swell of Harry’s arse, to hook comfortably around the beautiful narrowing of his waist. There are scars here too, some narrow cuts and some deeper wounds. He wants to ask about every one of them, to learn every detail of the eight years he studiously wasn’t thinking about Harry Potter. It’s a silly notion, he knows, but having a thorough and phenomenal dicking-down does funny things to his brain, it seems.
“Owled in sick to work, was going to throttle Marinda Love at the publishers’ office. But it seems she’s out of town.”
“Mm.” Harry has begun to lick at the shell of Draco’s ear, and that little murmur makes his lips vibrate against Draco’s skin. “We could follow suit, you know. Hide from the press in a cozy little flat somewhere. I’ll cook.”
Draco huffs a laugh, partly from that frivolous idea and partly from Harry worrying the soft flesh of his earlobe between his teeth. “And I presume you have this hideaway in… the Lake District? Wales?”
“Tuscany, actually.” Harry laughs when Draco gapes at him. “Think about it. Sunshine, olives and focaccia, hazelnut gelato for afters. And no Howlers.”
Draco moans and twists around so that he’s chest to chest with Harry, whose parted legs hold evidence of his own obviously renewing interest. “That’s a fantastic idea,” he breathes between kisses.
Harry hums. “We go to Venice in Chapter 12. Can’t believe she thought I would choose Venice over Florence.”
“Then you’d better get to reading,” Harry grins, fetching the fallen green volume and pressing it firmly into Draco’s hands. “You’ll like Chapter 9. It starts in the Prefects’ Bathroom.”
The Daily Prophet
Fans of the runaway hit story collection The Slytherin Who Loved Me are in for a special treat. Amortentia Adventures have just announced a forthcoming audio adaptation of the X-rated stories, which may or may not be based on real-life rivals Draco Malfoy and The Boy Who Lived, Curse-Breaker Harry Potter.
The Prophet attempted to reach the book’s joint narrators, Ottry Harper and Dory MacFoal, but were unable to do so.
In related news, the Italian wizard who claimed to have seen Mr Potter at a small villa outside Florence yesterday was found to be dosed with a Memory Muddler Potion. The man had previously claimed that Mr Potter was traveling with an unidentified man: blond, slender, and molto bello (‘very handsome’).
Mr Malfoy responded to the Prophet’s inquiries via owl -- not his usual tawny, but a Siena Shortfeather.
‘It has been a very odd week, and I never could have imagined that this would happen to me,’ wrote the 25-year-old editor. ‘But it’s the truth, and I’ve always found that the truth is stranger than fiction.’