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Hue and Scent

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Monday 11th February, 2002

Bitter green depths, the tang of sun-bright citrus and sour-sweet bergamot. Warm steaming heat. It was almost enough to distract Draco from the fact that outside the oasis of the cafe, London was currently freezing cold and wet. And that he would have to walk through the rain to get to work, because Apparition into the Ministry was impossible. He inhaled deeply, sighing in pleasure before taking his first sip.

Honestly Draco, it’s a cup of tea. Don’t be so pornographic about it.”

He hummed to himself, and took another sip before responding. “As though you have a problem with pornography, Pans?”

“Don’t call me Pans, Drake.” She grinned, delighted with the disgusted look he shot her. “And seriously, I still don’t get your obsession with sniffing everything.”

Draco knew the look he shot her was poisonous, but she merely sipped her coffee. One of the few downsides of nearly twenty years of friendship was that Pansy was utterly immune to his glares, and usually thrilled in prompting them.

“Scent is an integral part of taste, and to fully enjoy food and beverages one much pay as much attention to how something smells as to its taste. It’s not pornographic, it’s sensual.” He sniffed again, half in annoyance at her inexhaustible capacity to tease him, half to catch another waft of his perfectly made Earl Grey tea. “Anyway, if you do want to get smutty, let's talk about that delectable piece of arm-candy I’ve seen you trotting about with the last couple of weekends.”

Pansy snorted, clearly aware of his unsubtle conversational diversion but apparently happy enough to move on. An arched eyebrow over her coffee cup had him settling back comfortably, ready to be regaled by her latest tales of lascivious delights.

“Well, you know how I mentioned I bought the most delightful new strap-on harness?” She paused briefly for his affirmative nod—he did remember—she had paid extra to have it crafted with the finest pearlescent dragon hide. “You should have seen Sebastien’s face when I pulled it out on Saturday night—in fact, I might throw it in a Pensieve for you—positively sybaritic…”

Despite the rain Draco walked with a spring in his step into work. Pansy was the best gossip he knew, and was at her prime when recounting her own sordid stories. She should go into business writing filth for the masses with the way she waxed lyrical about every detail of her recent debauchery. Draco might not be indulging himself in the same for the moment, but he was magnanimous enough to be happy for his oldest friend, and a little impressed with her latest partner’s game attitude.

That lightness of spirit evaporated when he opened the door to his office.

He and Potter had been assigned as Auror partners two years prior, and despite the inter-departmental betting pool, a remarkable amount of scathing media coverage, and their own best efforts, Robards had been proven right in his choice. Smug bastard. Whatever bizarre clairvoyance he had tapped into that day he paired them up had resulted in one of the highest closure rates of any team the DMLE had seen in decades. What had initially felt like a grinding punishment during the first few months had slowly evolved into a strangely comfortable partnership.

Potter was all instinct, intelligent but so far from methodical it made Draco grind his teeth, messy but accurate, powerful and never ever cautious, but unmovable in his principles. Draco himself was a planner, willing to wade through the minutiae to find specific detail, focused and logical, more inclined to wait and see than rush in, and as happy to slip a curse at someone’s back as to hold the door for them if he thought it would achieve their goal. For all their differences though, they had managed a balancing act. They had found enough points of agreement to build a structure of understanding that felt secure, that felt steady. It certainly worked well in the field.

But Draco himself did not feel steady now. Because after the cosseting warmth of the cafe, then the brisk chill and wetness of the cobbles, he was now confronted with a dishevelled Harry Potter. They shared an office, of course, and now he found Harry lounging idly behind his desk, his robes slung over the back of his chair. He was wearing his favourite t-shirt, threadbare and tantalisingly thin, and currently dark under the arms. There was the faintest sheen of sweat in the hollow of his throat. He had his feet up on the desk, legs crossed, his arms stretched overhead, his hands tucked behind his neck.

“Morning, Draco, how’s Pansy?”

“As debauched as ever, she sends her regards.” He eyed Harry, ensuring he leant just the right amount of judgemental weight to his gaze. “And what have you been up to this early in the day? You’re not usually in until nine.”

A lazy shrug, a slow, lopsided grin. “Got roped into giving the firsties a demonstration of field-approved combat magic.”

Draco rolled his eyes, careful to show Harry just how tedious he thought the whole exercise was. “Any swooners this year?”

“Don’t be a dick.” Harry paused, considered. “There was one that blushed for the whole session though, actually.”

“And I’m the dick? You cocky bastard.”

Harry stretched, rocking his chair back onto two legs, and laughed. It was rare, now, that their insults were designed to hurt. Even so, it still took Draco by surprise sometimes, how easy things were between them now that they had untangled the Gordian Knot that was their shared history. He settled behind his own desk and breathed deep as he summoned the day’s case files. Swallowed down the rising heat in his belly as he watched Harry sprawl out across from him, his head tipped back, waiting to hear Draco read through the file and debate the plan for the day.

It wasn’t just the sight of him that hit Draco like a sucker-punch to the gut, though it certainly had its own impact. It was the scent of him. Their office was small, like every other on their corridor, and Harry hadn’t bothered hitting the showers after dazzling the new cadet intake class with his spellwork. He smelled of magic, ozone and petrichor, the spice of his favourite soap, the salt-sweet summer of clean sweat.

Draco’s mouth watered. So as he leafed through the file, he flicked his wand at Harry’s chair, the extra tip jolting him from his irresistible lounge, prompting a yelp and a tangle of limbs. Better that than Draco allow himself to sink deeper into the spiral of arousal tangling in his chest, to let it show on his face, or slip traitorously from his lips.

Draco’s earliest memories of childhood were blurred along the edges with the passing of time, specifics of days lost to him, but still he could close his eyes and remember the smell of his mother when she gathered him into her arms. Peonies, crisp satin, and the fresh pears she adored, cut with a mother-of-pearl fruit knife and shared with him in tiny bites; comfort, and cold love, and pride.

Pansy had been his friend since he was a toddler. And even now—with her heavy oud and rose perfume, her hair potions and fragrant smoke—every time she hugged him, he caught the faintest scent of jammy dodgers he’d associated with her since they were three. She used to scowl when he told her, but during the war she had admitted that he always smelled like lemon sherbert to her, like the summer days before school and Voldemort and wretched choices, and they had leaned on each other.

He had rejected lovers because of their scent. A charming Healer, handsome and understanding, had arrived at their first date smiling and windswept. He had leaned in to kiss Draco’s cheek in greeting, and Draco had covered the rush of nausea with a pained smile and feeble excuses. His aftershave was the same that Rudolphus Lestrange had used.

It wasn’t just the products people used though. Sometimes their natural, unaltered scent simply wasn’t right. Too tart, too sour, too sweet, too strong. Draco couldn’t even pin down the why sometimes—he just knew immediately—and his reaction was always final. Whether it was disinterest, mild discomfort, or full blown repulsion, there wasn’t much that could be changed about someone’s body chemistry. Take Andreas, an International Curse Breaker with a languorous accent and exquisitely delicate hands. He had made it as far as a delicious romp in Draco’s own bed. Everything had been fine until finally, with a low groan and a shudder, he had finished. All over Draco’s belly. And the scent of his semen had made Draco’s nose involuntarily wrinkle. He had showered for an hour, after, and politely brushed off Andreas’ attempts to arrange a second liaison.

Draco was honest enough with himself these days to admit that what had begun in childhood as a comforting habit—and evolved with age into a sensual necessity for his experience of the world—had finally stopped firmly in the region of Potter-specific kink.

His whole childhood up until Hogwarts had been simple, filled with family and friends. There might have been a rotten heart at the core of his parent’s outlook on the world, but they cosseted him, spoiled him, made him feel like the centre of the world. He didn’t notice everyone’s smell, he didn’t get close enough to most people for that. But aged eleven, with every fiber of his being tuned to Harry Potter, leaning close for a doomed conspiratorial handshake, Draco had been close enough then. Harry’s scent was the first he encountered—and catalogued in the instinctive filing system of his mind—that wasn’t a signal of familiarity and comfort. Not when he was a child, meeting him properly for the first time in the hallowed walls of Hogwarts, not even now that they were comfortable and familiar with each other.


Harry—ozone and sandalwood, clean sweat from flying or duelling, all warmth and the crisp cold of the sky, treacle tart and the salt-depth of a man’s body—his scent would forever be associated with the first time Draco felt true arousal. A random episode of Hogwarts hallway fisticuffs that stirred a tangled drag of heat in Draco’s teenage belly, confused want mixed with frustration and anger. Far from the idle wonderings of a waking adolescent body that had begun to filter into daydreams and uncomfortable awakenings; it had been the first time he had felt intent stir in his blood, the electric-wild desire to do, to act.

It wasn’t the only thing Harry’s scent meant to him, now. But it was the deep foundation every other thought and feeling rested upon. Every other association had built, stone-by-stone, into a rather more profound inclination than Draco cared to think about most days. He might be honest with himself, brutally when he could face it, but it didn’t mean he always liked the process.

It was difficult to acknowledge how many of his fears were allayed by even the memory of Harry’s scent. The faintest trace of old canvas tents that had overlaid memories of the Room of Requirement burning endlessly. The lightning-crack scent of his magic exploding as he fought Voldemort for the last time, defending them all, defending even Draco. The treacle tart sweetness of his serious face on the first day of their shared eighth year, an outstretched hand; reconciliation and the chance of redemption an oasis in the desert of Draco’s failures.

By now his catalogue of Potter-specific associations outweighed those of almost every other person he knew. Their school years, the war, that raw-edged bleeding aftermath, Eighth Year, Auror training, nights at the pub, frosty stakeouts and the heat of protecting each other’s backs in the field. Even shared afternoons with Teddy—talc and shortbread, the sweetness of infants, April blossom—were all tinged with the presence of Potter. He spent as much time with him now as he did with Pansy, Blaise, or Theo, which was still surreal enough to make him pause and wonder at it; at childhood dreams come true in ways he never would have imagined.

Harry was musk, and spice, and the earth after the rain; thrilling, enticing, calming. Irritating and entertaining, steadfast and unpredictable. They shared jokes, history, casual touches, and eye-contact that spoke when words weren’t necessary. If those touches sometimes lingered longer than normal, then Draco couldn’t be blamed. If that eye-contact made his stomach swoop, his heart pound, then he couldn’t be held responsible. He just hoped he was the only one that noticed.

If he was more of a maudlin personality, Draco might think that his own response to Harry’s scent was some kind of cosmic punishment for every extraordinary fuck-up he committed between the ages of eleven and eighteen. He certainly thought so at the time, when he first realised exactly what it was that he felt.

But, as had been so often proven to him in the years since leaving for his first term at Hogwarts, the world very much did not revolve around him. His attraction to Harry, and his scent, was simply chance; an unlucky fixation on an unattainable object.

Friday 1st March, 2002.

Harry always left the office bang on time on the first Friday of the month. It was his regular dinner night with the Granger-Weasleys and to Draco’s knowledge he had missed it on just one occasion, and that was only because he had been in St Mungo’s having all the bones in both legs regrown. Draco didn’t even mind, given that the rest of the time Harry was as willing to stay late in the field or the office as he was himself. That wasn’t to say he didn’t complain about it, however.

“Go on then, part-timer, fuck off home.”

Harry looked up from the form he had been scribbling on, his eyes wide. “Is it that time already? Bugger, I told Ron I’d pick up some bits from the shop before I come to theirs.”

“Well,” Draco drawled, “I’d suggest you get a move on. Go and enjoy some homely cooking and leave me to complete a week’s worth of paperwork.”

Harry snorted. “‘Homely.’ You’re just jealous because you know Ron makes better roast potatoes than Hogwarts or your bloody House Elves.”

Harry grabbed his robes, his bag, shoved papers haphazardly into his in-tray and was at the door before he turned back with a smile. “Don’t forget we’re on duty tomorrow, Miranda’s off for that wedding—”

“Fuck off Potter, I was the one that told you that this morning you utter berk.” Draco whipped a wandless Stinging Jinx at him, grinned at the resulting yelp and muttered promises of vengeance.

And then Harry was gone.

It was odd to work in the silence of his absence. It had taken six months for him to acclimatise to sharing the office with Harry, but now—two years in—Draco was so thoroughly used to the background noise of his quill scratching, his unconscious hums as he worked, their steady stream of conversation, that he missed it when Harry was out of the office.

It wasn’t long before Draco finished the report he was working on and leaned back in his chair, stretching his aching back. He flicked through the papers before him, and rolled his eyes when he realised that of course the last form he needed to close the file was the one Harry had been working on before abandoning his post.

He stood and moved to Harry’s desk, scowling at the ‘organised chaos’ that Harry claimed was just as effective for him as Draco asserted his own pristine work-space was. He hadn’t even properly closed his drawers, the lazy sod.

Draco nudged one with his knee, frowned when it resisted closure, then looked down properly and noticed why it wasn’t working. There was a bit of fabric, sticking out of the drawer, catching as Draco tried to push it closed.

He sat, tugged at the drawer, even more annoyed that it now stuck firm after his efforts to knock it shut. But one more firm pull dragged it open, and he saw what it was that had been in the way. Harry’s t-shirt. The one from their lunchtime sparring session. The one he had stripped out of, right here in their office, when they were called out to attend an underage Splinching and he had to change into something clean. The one that he had apparently just shoved in a drawer like a fucking teenager.

Before Draco could second-guess himself, he had it in his hands, soft cotton worn thin and still cool-damp with sweat. He cast a quick, but powerful, locking charm at the office door. He might be about to indulge in some deeply unprofessional behaviour, but he wasn’t so indiscreet as to get caught. That done, he settled more deeply in Harry’s chair. The leather creaked as he leant back, spread his legs comfortably, and raised Harry’s t-shirt to his face.

One inhale. One, and the scent of Harry—sweet, salt-musk—triggered a chain reaction of memory and sensation. Draco’s cock swelled, his mouth watered, the hair on the back of his neck rose in a shiver of arousal and hot, shameful, hunger. His fingers clenched tight in the fabric, pressed it closer to his nose, his mouth. His other hand drifted down, cupped his hardness through finely tailored wool, unbuttoned his trousers and felt the heat of his erection. He closed his eyes, opened his mouth, breathed in the smell of Harry, darted his tongue out and tasted.

Like this—alone in the quiet, eyes closed, senses filled with Harry’s scent, his sweat—Draco could almost pretend. Pretend that the pressure he rolled his hips up towards came from another’s hand, pretend that the salt on his tongue, the heavy sage-ocean scent in his nose, came from Harry’s skin. Pretend this was real, not a stolen echo, a phantom. So he did. Behind his closed lids he dreamed up a vision.

Dark curls, clinging to tawny skin with slick sweat. Green eyes bright with energy, with the electric awareness that lit him up every time they practiced together. The scent of magic on the air, from both of them, hot-sharp lightning and the cool smoke of twilight mixing together, wrapping around them. Strong hands touching him, grip as sure and confident as when they handled a wand, a broom; natural, instinctive, capable.

Draco stifled a groan, tugged at himself faster, harder. Imagined broader fingers than his own. Panted into the fabric his face was buried in, his breath mingling with Harry’s scent in ways that made his mind spin with wild wants, unreasonable desires. Wondered—ceaselessly, mindlessly, obsessively—what Harry would smell like without the cipher of his clothing as a stand-in, what he would taste like if Draco could chase each droplet of sweat as they appeared.

His orgasm took him by surprise, another deep inhalation, a gasp of shocked pleasure at the thought of pressing his face into Harry’s body, of skin against skin, of being surrounded by the scent of him.

As quickly as he crested, he came down. With one last long breath of Harry’s scent, he pulled the t-shirt away from his face, cast an efficient cleaning charm over his wet hand and cock, then righted his clothes. The warmth glowing in his belly in the wake of his orgasm ebbed as he collected himself. Delicious as his fantasy was, irresistible as the draw of Harry’s scent had been, this was stupid. Indulging in his weakness once, like this, just cast into excruciating definition that fact that this was as close as he’d ever get to the real thing.

Draco dropped the shirt onto the floor, went back to his desk, and summoned the form he needed from the mess of Harry’s inbox with a whispered Accio. He finished filling it out, his own neat cursive a sharp contrast with Harry’s simple scribble, and filed it with the rest of the case into his outbox where it disappeared to the administration team. Getting on with what was expected of him despite discomfort, physical or emotional, was something Draco was adept at. Soon enough he was finished with all of his outstanding work, and headed home to drown his unfortunate miscalculation in as much Malbec as he had in his wine rack.

Saturday 2nd March, 2002.

If starting off his Saturday with a Hangover Potion wasn’t bad enough—they smelled appalling and left a hideous aftertaste to boot—then arriving at his shared office at nine to find an absolute lack of partner was enough to have Draco gritting his teeth with frustration.

Needless to say, an evening drinking copious amounts of red wine had done little to soothe the sting of his ill-thought adventure into Harry’s side of the office, and he’d spent the morning so far building himself up to be stoic and unaffected when he saw Harry. He dropped into his chair, deflated and irritated in equal measure. There were no files waiting to be addressed, no memos fluttering for attention, and no bloody Harry to even talk to. Draco leaned back, tapping his fingers on the worn wood of his desk, watching the clock, and quietly simmering.

The minutes dragged by, sandpaper across Draco’s rising temper, and the knowledge of the t-shirt still lying on the floor by Harry’s chair was like a cut lip he couldn’t help but tongue. Stinging, but impossible to resist. If he gave in; let his eyes close and breathed deeply, he could almost imagine the smell of it against his face again. By quarter past nine a well placed Incendio felt like it might be the most sensible option; maybe if he took out the entirety of Harry’s desk he’d feel better about things.

Draco was saved from himself by the tap of an owl at the window. Small, brown, with a perpetually put-upon expression. Harry’s owl. He felt the furrow between his brows deepen as he moved to open the window and let the thing inside, taking the insistently proffered leg and attached letter with a huff. If this was some ridiculous excuse for being a no-show then Harry’s desk really was toast.


Before you go all in on the complaining—and the frowning—I reckon it’ll have taken Locke about twenty minutes to get to the office, and I only got confirmation a moment ago. We can work from my place today, you know the address.


Seriously, stop frowning. You’ll get wrinkles.

Locke squawked and hopped away as Draco’s Incendio hit the parchment, crackles and sparks giving way to ash in the space of a heartbeat. Wrinkles. The tosser. Of course he knew Harry’s address. He’d never visited the house, but he’d known its location since before they were partnered up. He might have shaken off his childhood penchant for stealing other people’s belongings, but his Auror training had only encouraged his natural inclination to collect information. And when it came to Harry, that tendency was already bone-deep.

Draco slipped back into his outer robes, let Locke out of the window, and stalked his way through the nearly empty Ministry to the nearest Apparition point. He was almost glad he couldn’t Apparate straight there, it gave him time to build up the stream of invective he was going to unleash upon Harry, all righteous fury and well-placed indignance.

Harry had the gall to smile at him when he answered the door, welcoming and warm in the face of what Draco knew was an impressive scowl. He went inside anyway. Stepped over the threshold into Harry’s home, a boundary he wasn’t sure he was pleased about crossing, particularly given his recent slide into self-indulgence and all the accompanying...complications that entailed.

“Told you to stop frowning, the wind’ll change and you’ll get stuck like that.” Harry closed the door behind him, took his cloak and hung it neatly on the hook next to his own.

Draco sighed, pretended it was in frustration and not a shameless excuse to breathe deep. To scent the air. Oak. Beeswax polish. Worn-in Quidditch leathers. A trace of the winter jasmine growing by the front door. And Harry himself, of course. Tea, and toast, and treacle tart, cinnamon, and cumin, and sage. The food he cooked, and the way he lived, all imbued into the house. Despite himself, Draco relaxed.

“Charming way to welcome a guest, Harry, invoking weird Muggle superstitions.” He followed Harry along the hall. “I didn’t see any files in the office while I was there, did you get them all sent over this morning, or—”

Draco trailed off as he caught sight of the room. It was comfortable and warm, mismatched and masculine, and he could easily spend a day inspecting it, learning what he could about the man who lived in it from each trinket and portrait and well-loved book. But that wasn’t what stopped him in his tracks. No. It was the bottle of Firewhisky and two cut-crystal tumblers on the coffee table that halted his words. It was the absolute lack of files. It was the sudden realisation that Harry wasn’t even in work clothes. It was the curious presence of a Pensieve—mirror-silver, ocean-deep—hovering by one of the armchairs, like it had been in use, maybe just moments ago.

“What—what’s going on, Potter?” Draco knew his tone had gone flat, suspicious. Because he felt safe with Harry, had done ever since they were eighteen—irony of ironies—but the whole situation felt like a trap; like a delicate noose around his neck, like steel teeth closing around his ankle, and he wasn’t sure why.

“Relegated to ‘Potter’ am I?”

“Obviously. Because you’re acting like a dick. We’re supposed to be working but here you are in your—” Draco gestured at Harry’s casual clothes, jogging bottoms—loose and low-slung and almost impossible to resist—and another of those godforsaken threadbare t-shirts. “Not in your work clothes. You’re keeping something from me. And have you been drinking?”

“I’m always a dick around you. But you don’t usually call me Potter. Stop reverting to type.” Harry smiled that awful lop-sided smile, cocky and dimpled and devastating. “And I’m not in my work clothes because we’re not going to work today.”


Harry sank down into the armchair, loose-limbed and relaxed, and reached out to trail a finger through the glassy surface of the Pensieve beside him. It rippled, like smoke, like water. Draco couldn’t make out the memory it held, but a feeling of impending doom crept down his spine like ice. He despised being at a disadvantage, and this was beginning to feel more and more like a duel he wasn’t prepared for.

“Funny you should say that, Draco, because I was going to ask you the same thing. See, it appears that you are the one that’s been keeping things from me.” He paused, tilted his head, looked Draco in the eye. “There’s only one thing I haven’t told you—never thought it would be relevant being as how we work together—but ever since I joined the Ministry I’ve marked my desk with a privacy charm. And that’s linked to my Pensieve.”

It was only morbid curiosity that kept Draco standing through the rush of horrified adrenaline at this disclosure, that made his mouth move without his permission to ask. “So it records, what, the desk itself? The person trespassing?”

Harry nodded, dipped two fingers into the swirling silver of the Pensieve, and Draco’s eyes were caught. Ridiculous, given the circumstances, that even the sight of Harry touching the memory of Draco’s own stupid indiscretion like that—like he was fucking it with his fingers—was enough to make Draco’s breath catch in his throat.

“It records both. Well, once it’s triggered it captures my whole half of the office, actually.” Harry’s voice was casual, unaffected, as he continued. “Gives me the...full perspective of the situation. Panoramic, even.”

Draco swallowed against the rising tide of panic, mortification settling into his bones. He had been caught. Harry had seen him. Seen it all. Every shameful, unselfconscious moment of abandon he had given into last night. He felt the blood drain from his face, thanked Merlin for the reprieve from blushing, small mercies still worth gratitude. Retreat was the only sane option, before he crumbled right here in front of Harry. He could spare himself at least that humiliation before he dealt with the fallout from this conversation.

“Well. Thank you for informing me, Potter, and my deepest apologies for the trespass.” Draco gritted out around clenched teeth. “Goodbye.”

He spun on his heel and strode towards the hall, polite enough not to Disapparate right from his host’s living room even in his distress. But not quick enough to evade Harry. Strong fingers wrapped around his wrist, pulling him backwards into the doorway of the living room.

“Wait, that’s not what I—”

“Let me go, Potter, I’m going home.”

Harry didn’t let go of him. He stepped around Draco instead, herding him against the doorframe. “Would you just let me speak? Bloody idiot.”

“I’m quite aware of my own bloody idiocy right now, Harry, now kindly fuck off and let me go.”

Draco shoved at Harry’s shoulder with his free hand, tried to shake his other hand free. When that failed he reached for his wand, at this point determined to leave by whatever measure necessary. But before he could raise it properly Harry grabbed that wrist too. He had never been angrier about Harry’s late growth spurt that had left them on physically equal footing in eighth year, not now he was struggling against broad shoulders and firmly planted feet with absolutely no leverage of his own.

“Well, at least I’m back to ‘Harry’ I suppose. Draco—” Harry broke off with a yelp at Draco’s wandless stinging jinx, weak but still vexing enough to make him growl. To make him shove Draco’s other hand up above his head, press it into the doorframe, clasp both wrists with a firm grip and the familiar glow of his magic. “Draco, for fuck's sake, I already knew. I knew.”

Those words were like a knife to the strings that had been holding him up since he had stepped into Harry’s living room. Draco slumped in Harry’s hold, giving in to his restraint—why worry about physical vulnerability when every other card was already on the table—wondering what had given him away. “You knew? How?”

“Well, I hoped.” Harry shrugged, somehow awkward and sheepish while maintaining his fierce grip on Draco’s wrists. “As to how? I’ve been watching you for most of my life, Draco, it’s a hard habit to shake.”

“And so last night was, what? Confirmation of your suspicions?” Draco asked, still hesitant, still not daring to latch on to that casually thrown out ‘I hoped’. “And today? Did you ask me here to spill my guts?”

“You know you’re an incredible tosser, Draco, don’t you? I could hex you right now. No. I didn’t get you here to spill your guts.” Harry sighed, rolled his eyes, gentled his grip on Draco’s wrists but didn’t let go, not yet. “I invited you here to talk, you arse, even got out the good Firewhisky in case it was awkward.”

“Harry, it’s half nine in the fucking morning—what made you think Firewhisky would be a good idea?”

“I thought you’d manage a chat about emotions better if there was drink on the table. Didn’t quite plan for you legging it.”

Emotions?” Draco knew his voice was incredulous, but he just didn’t have the energy to modulate it right now.

“Yeah,” Harry smirked, that damned dimple back. “Don’t strain yourself. For now I’m alright if we just talk about the way you looked last night, and what I’ve got to do to get to see it in person.”

For all that Draco planned for every eventuality, imagined every outcome, predicted every step he might take, he had never quite allowed himself to envisage this particular play. And Harry wasn’t teasing. He wouldn’t, not about something like this. But it wasn’t just his usual kindness that was fuelling this strange trip into a world in which Harry might like the idea of Draco losing it over him. There was a heat in those green eyes, a hunger in the curl of his mouth, a thrumming tension in the body boxing him in against the doorframe, intention in the clasp of fingers around his own delicate wrists.

Draco lifted his chin, gathered his pride, and hazarded speaking around the lump in his throat. “What is it, exactly, that you’re hoping to see?”

“I want to see…if it’s just my clothes, or if it’s me. I want to see the look on your face. I want to touch. If you want.” Harry’s voice was calm, steady, and he loosened his grip on Draco’s wrists, brought them down between them, let go. All entreaty, no force, and so completely Harry that Draco could have laughed.

As quickly as he had decided to leave, before, Draco decided to stay. To see how far Harry was willing to go. To grasp the opportunity presenting itself to him so prettily. Never look a gift-Niffler in the pouch, and all that.

His voice was still low, though, when he finally answered. “It’s not your clothes.”

“No, I didn’t think it was.”

Harry moved forward a little, brought himself back into Draco’s space, their faces close but not yet intimate. Draco reached out to clasp Harry’s wrists, a mirror of the frustrated restraint from moments before. He trailed his fingers up corded forearms, biceps, rested his palms on the curve of muscled shoulders, felt the flex of them, the surge, as Harry gripped at his hips and pulled their bodies together.

“It is you.” Draco murmured into the breathless inch of space between them, filled with the scent of Harry, the spice and warmth of him. “So if you want. I want.”

And then Harry’s mouth was on him, those full lips, that half-smile curling against his own insistent grin. Gentle presses to start with, before mutual relief bowed before the oncoming wave of desire. The first touch of Harry’s tongue at his bottom lip had Draco gasping, gripping at his shoulders, rolling their bodies together, seeking more contact, more of those simmering, rippling waves of pleasure.

Draco was glad of the support of the doorframe, as Harry pressed into him eagerly, their shared weight and his own shuddering need too much to bear on his own. He couldn’t think beyond the stunned realisation that finally, finally, he was getting what he wanted. He would get to discover if his obsession with Harry’s scent was well-founded, to explore every subtle change, to chase every drop of sweat, to relish every point at which their bodies connected and their scents mixed.

A sharp nip to his bottom lip broke his fevered imaginings, brought him back to the moment, to Harry’s bright eyes and flushed cheeks.

“With me?” At Draco’s nod, Harry continued. “Sofa.”

It wasn’t far, but by the time they had negotiated their way across the room Draco had managed to unbutton his own shirt halfway, and Harry had stripped down to his boxers. He dropped down onto the sofa, legs spread, his erection bulging obscenely behind the tight black material. That cocky smile was back on his face, and Draco caught his eyes flicking to the Pensieve, then back to Draco still standing before him. He knew what was coming before Harry opened his mouth.

“I want to watch, Draco, will you show me?”

Draco’s hands were already moving to the remaining buttons on his shirt, no dissimulation, no delay. Harry’s eyes were greedy, tracing every revealed inch of skin with scorching heat until Draco let the crisp cotton slip from his shoulders to fall to the floor. It was warm in the room, but still a shiver went up his spine at the sight of Harry watching him, studying Draco with all his not-inconsiderable powers of observation as he stripped for him.

For Harry this might be a replay of last night’s viewing, but for Draco, this was his first knowing self-exposure. He dropped his hands to his trousers—Harry’s unwavering gaze following their movement—unbuttoned them, hooked his thumbs into his underwear and pushed them and his trousers to puddle at his ankles before he stepped out of them. In for a knut, in for a galleon. He stood for a moment, allowed Harry to look his fill, acutely aware of every scar on show, every throbbing pulse in his erection.

“Is watching enough for you? Or would you like to touch?”

“I’m not sure ‘enough’ is going to come into it, Draco.” Harry’s voice was gravelly and his words were accompanied by open arms reaching out to Draco.

He stepped forward to kneel on the sofa, straddling Harry’s thighs, settling lightly as Harry’s hands landed on his hips once more. A kiss. Careful, exploratory. Another. Long and languorous and syrup-sweet. Those broad hands stroked down the curve of his back, the curl of his legs, slipped Draco’s socks off with a gentle pressure of thumb against arch. Finally he was naked, and aching with the sweet intimacy of it all, so far from his sordid imaginings.

Finally Draco tore himself away from Harry’s mouth, trailed his kiss-swollen lips across the faint beginnings of dark stubble on his jaw, to the vulnerable softness under his chin, the strong column of his throat. He ducked his head lower, to linger in the hollow of Harry’s clavicle, before sliding to his knees on the ground to ease the path of kissing his way down the rest of Harry’s body. This close—mouth to skin, to nipple, to the trail of dark hair leading down his belly—Draco realised he’d underestimated the effect of Harry’s scent. It had always been distant, removed from his objective reality, so he had thought it manageable, even as he had obsessed over it. But he’d been wrong, and with every breath Draco realised that now he knew the soft animal-scent of Harry that lay under the soap and the cologne, he might never be satisfied with anything else.

As Draco adjusted himself, trying to get comfortable kneeling on the rug, Harry reached down to gently card his fingers through his hair, to angle his head up so once again he was caught in that heavy green gaze.

“Scent is eighty percent of taste, right, Draco?”

Draco dragged in a shuddering breath, the direct acknowledgement of his strange preoccupation enough to wind him, enough to make the heat in his gut throb and swell. Taking advantage of the silence, Harry shoved his boxers down past his hips, and Draco only broke eye-contact at the sound of his cock slapping wetly against his belly as it was released, hard and already wet at the head.

The grip in his hair went tight, just shy of painful, and Draco looked up once more to find a question on Harry’s face. He didn’t know what Harry wanted, but in this moment Draco couldn’t think of a single thing he could deny him. So he just nodded, helpless and hopeful and wanting.

It was obviously enough for Harry, because the next moment Draco gave in to the insistent pressure of his hand in his hair as he crushed Draco’s face into his groin; crude, and lewd, and utterly erotic. Uncaring of finesse or etiquette, Harry seemed content to just rub Draco’s face over his cock, and balls, and crisp pubic hair. The scent of him here, concentrated and strong, the intimate heat and musk of him, was enough to send a shiver of need through Draco’s body. He closed his eyes, gave himself over to his other senses, allowed Harry to move him as he pleased, and opened his mouth, ready to taste.

The first touch to his mouth was Harry’s fingertip, tracing his bottom lip, gentle and dry. A moment later, his cock, the slide of pre-come as Harry fed his length into Draco’s waiting mouth. The combination of scent and taste, salt-sour and the sultry musk of Harry’s most intimate smell, was enough to make Draco tremble. To throw caution and self-defence to the wind, to surge forward and slide his mouth lower, to take more, to lavish Harry’s cock with his tongue, his lips, uncaring of the wet slide of saliva down his chin as he gave himself over to the overwhelming wave of sensation.

Above him, Harry’s moans were growing louder. The grip in his hair tightened. And then Harry rolled his hips up, reflexive and impossible to resist, and his cock hit the back of Draco’s throat. He choked, the pressure unexpected, his breath caught in his chest. And the thought of that, of his lungs filled with Harry’s scent, his mouth filled with his heat and hardness, almost brought Draco to the brink. All too soon Harry dragged him off his cock, still steering his movements with that hand in his hair. Draco blinked up at him, all too aware of his still open mouth, his wet gasps.

“I want more, you can finish that another time.” Draco might have been the one sucking cock like a whore, but Harry’s voice was hoarse when he spoke.

He leaned in, ignoring Harry’s cock twitching, wet and shiny in the curve of his hip, and dropped a kiss just under his belly button. Hummed in agreement as he moved higher, dragging his teeth carefully over Harry’s ribs and intercostal muscles.

“What do you want more of?” He asked, ready to tease, regaining his equilibrium now he wasn’t drowning in Harry’s most potent scent.

Harry shifted, raised his arms to fold his hands behind his head, spread his thighs to make room for Draco to manoeuvre. He looked stunning, all dark skin and darker hair, and so arrogant that Draco could have hit him. The soft curl of his mouth though, the pulse of his cock, told a different story; curbed Draco’s immediate irritation into a kind of shocked gratitude. This was Harry giving Draco what he wanted; full, unfettered access to every soft part of him, every drop of sweat and hint of scent. Draco kissed his way past Harry’s pectoral, lingered in the soft curve of his underarm, breathed in the fresh sunshine of his sweat, licked at the dark curls there.

“Mmm, more of that, soon enough.” Harry’s voice was a deep rumble in his ear, Draco’s cheek pressed against his chest. “But for now, my turn.”

With that, he dragged Draco up from his knees onto the sofa, bodily adjusting him until he was tucked under the curve of Harry’s body. His thighs spread, and Harry settled easily between them, their cocks finally pressed together. Like this, Draco was surrounded by Harry. His weight pressed him into the soft cushions of the sofa, the scent of his home, the scent of his sweat, his precome still smeared on Draco’s lips, the mix of their saliva in kisses on skin. If Harry told him now this would be all he’d get, it might even be enough.

But he didn’t. Instead, Harry leaned closer still. Propped up on one elbow to kiss him again, sipped and lapped at Draco’s mouth like it was wine, crushed their bodies together with abandon. The insistent roll of Harry’s hips was a rhythm Draco’s body fell into like flying, instinctive and free. And then Harry worked his other arm between them, took them both in hand, and those fingers were just as broad and capable as Draco had fantasised about. The slick and sticky slide of their cocks in Harry’s grip had Draco’s eyes rolling back, pulled a ragged groan from his throat, set up a tremble in his thighs even as he wrapped them around Harry’s hips.

They were barely kissing now, panting into each others mouths, tongues stroking and lips sucking between moans and gasps. Both of them had matched the rhythm of their thrusts, hips rolling together, and Draco felt his balls tighten against Harry’s. He came with a shuddering cry, closed his eyes against the intensity of it, whined as Harry kept pumping his cock alongside his, oversensitivity setting in too soon. But then Harry was burying his face in his throat, hips twitching, and the heat of his come splashing over Draco’s spent length was a balm.

Draco lost count of the heartbeats they both spent catching their breath, before Harry raised himself up a little, enough to bring their mouths together in an indulgent kiss. Enough to smear his hand through the mess of their combined spunk, to rub it into Draco’s belly, his own. Enough to drag the blanket from the back of the sofa—woodsmoke and sandalwood and Harry—and wrap them in it. Enough for Draco to catch sight of that damned dimple, to catch the scent of them both, mixed, together. Enough for Draco’s gut to clench with the rightness of it, the bone-deep satisfaction of it.

Whatever this had meant, Draco suspected the delicate shiver of pleasure shuddering up his spine from Harry’s fingertips trailing gently across the small of his back was a feeling he might be chasing for some time.

They would talk, later, but endorphins made Draco brave enough to ask. “Enough?”

“Definitely not.” Harry’s voice was muffled, his face tucked into the curve of Draco’s throat, but still his smile was audible. “Y’know, you smell really good.”