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Can't Fight This Feeling

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When his evening is disturbed by a knock on the door, Harry knows exactly who he’s going to find waiting impatiently outside.

He yanks open the door as the little bird bursts out of the clock in the hallway to cuckoo the time. It seems right that Draco should arrive bang on the hour, even for a visit he didn’t bother to arrange. He’s always been punctual.

The sound of the clock interrupts whatever perfunctory greeting Draco planned to make, his mouth open and empty before he snaps it shut, annoyed. Harry clutches the doorknob tighter as reluctant desire grips him with unexpected intensity. Even after a year of apart and the heartache of their break-up, it seems his body’s still finely attuned to the presence of Draco Malfoy.

“I wasn’t expecting you,” Harry lies. He’s been expecting Draco ever since he saw the grainy pictures in the Prophet, announcing his return to England.

“Liar.” Draco looks Harry up and down, the warmth behind his eyes unmistakable. He holds up a bottle. “I brought wine.”

“I hate wine.” Harry lets him in anyway.

Draco shrugs off his blazer and hangs it next to Harry’s coat, revealing a silky blue patterned shirt. He doesn’t bother to take off his boots and the heels tap smartly against the wooden floor as he strides past Harry in slim-fitting trousers, heading for the kitchen. He looks like he’s going for an expensive dinner, not dropping in on a former lover unannounced.

“You look good. Different.” Draco goes straight to the cupboards, as if he still has the right to treat Harry’s home as his own. He’s elegant, unruffled and quite at ease, despite having turned up uninvited. He pauses, giving Harry a half smile. “I like the beard.”

“Glad you approve.” Harry runs his hand over the scruff on his chin, remembering how many times Draco suggested it would suit him. His stomach twists. “You’re back for good?”

“Yes.” Draco turns back to the cupboards and rummages around for glasses. “Open the wine, will you?”

Harry flicks his wand and the cork pops into his outstretched hand. It only takes a second, which gives him the opportunity to look at Draco properly while his back is still turned. It would have been nice if he’d got a bad haircut or lost his haughty good looks in Paris, but he’s every bit as handsome as he’s always been. If anything, the last year has served him well. The realisation that he still finds Draco mouth-wateringly attractive, after everything, makes Harry ache.

Draco reaches for the top shelf putting every line and curve of his body on display. The thin material of his shirt exposes the light musculature of his back and his black trousers stretch taut across his backside, hugging his slender frame in all the right places. It takes a monumental effort for Harry to stay put. All he wants to do is move close enough to clutch onto Draco’s hips and pull his perfect arse flush against Harry’s body as he’s done so many times before. Harry’s inability to be around Draco without thinking about sex doesn’t appear to have gone away either, despite their time apart.

Annoyed with himself, Harry pushes those thoughts firmly to one side. No matter how confusing his conflicting rush of unexpected emotion might be, he’s not going down that road again. Draco Malfoy is nothing but trouble.

“What part of ‘I hate wine’ don’t you understand?” Harry takes a sip anyway, when Draco hands him a generous glass. It’s not bad, as wine goes.

“This is the good stuff.” Draco studies the bottle with a frown, before moving it to one side. He looks around the room, a strange expression on his face. “You finished the kitchen.”

“Unlike some people, I don’t like to leave things unfinished.” Harry can’t be bothered to make small talk about interior design when he’s monumentally pissed off.

A flush of anger pinches Draco’s face, his lips pursing as if he’s swallowed something bitter. The silence gathers and stretches until the hiss of water hitting the hob reminds Harry that he was supposed to be cooking dinner. He grabs the bubbling saucepan and removes it quickly from the heat, cursing under his breath. The pasta is swollen and soggy and the starchy water has left brown marks on the top of the stove. Without a word to Draco, Harry chucks the pasta into the sink and uses charms to clean the mess, which only makes it worse. He grabs a cloth but the heat bleeds through too quickly. Eventually he gives up and throws the cloth in the sink with the pasta as Draco shifts irritably in his periphery.

“Am I supposed to stand around admiring your new AGA all night?” Draco asks, breaking the silence.

“Would you prefer to see what I’ve done with the bedroom?” Harry’s being a dick, but it’s no less than Draco deserves.

“You’ve always been impossible.” Draco’s lips clamp into a thin line and he glares at Harry. “I shouldn’t have come.”

“Probably not, but you were always going to, let’s be honest.” Harry tries not to let his anger get the better of him but it’s difficult. “Come on. We might as well get this over with.”

He leads the way back into the hall, opening the door to the warm living room. The fire crackles and spits, the shadows from the flames jumping across the walls. His photographs smile and wave, the cheeriness of the mantelpiece jarring with his mood. He’s spent so long getting his home exactly the way he wants it; painting, wallpapering and carpeting away the past. Having Draco here is more invasive than expected. Harry doesn’t want to look at his nice new sofa and be reminded of an awkward conversation with his ex. He spent too long choosing new furnishings to get rid of every trace of him.

Harry takes the armchair, not wanting to sit closer than necessary. In the past it would have been difficult to put any space between them and now that’s all there is. Seeing Draco on his sofa brings the memory of their first time surging into Harry’s mind with unstoppable force. He can almost taste the breathy kisses and feel the press and curve of Draco’s smile against his skin. It felt as though they had all the time in the world to explore one another, sticky, sweaty and sweet. When they were just starting out it was so good between them.

“Why are you here?” Harry asks. The memories fade away like echoes.

Draco doesn’t respond immediately. He looks around instead, taking in the room and seeming to focus on anywhere but Harry. His gaze lingers on the mantelpiece, where there used to be a picture from a Ministry function of Harry, Draco and a group of other people from the DMLE. You can’t put up couples’ photographs when you’re having a secret relationship, after all. The picture was the best one of them that Harry had, and he doesn’t even have that now, having thrown it on the fire in a moment of anger during the first, furious month of Draco’s absence. He regretted it almost immediately, but it was too late. The photograph burned, curled and turned to ash before a hurried Aguamenti could save it.

“I don’t have any friends left in England.” Draco answers Harry’s question at last. “Apart from you.”

Harry swallows back a clipped response. He and Draco have been many things, but they’ve never been friends. Draco became isolated after the war, cutting ties with everyone from his past and focusing on building a career as a lawyer. He kept himself to himself for the most part, often spending time in the Ministry library after hours, his head bowed over stacks of books. As Harry began to spend more time with Draco in a professional environment, they developed a good rapport, but there was always a heat between them that never felt particularly platonic. Not to Harry, at least. He was all too aware of the underlying spark of attraction that made his relationship with Draco very different to his relationship with Ron and Hermione.

“What makes you think you still have me?” Harry watches Draco’s face twitch in a familiar pattern of surprise, hurt and then controlled neutrality. “Sorry,” he says, averting his eyes. “That wasn’t nice.”

Draco nods slowly and sips his wine. The sight of it is torture—the wet press of his lips, the muscles of his throat working, the way his fingers hold the glass. Harry bites at the inside of his cheek.

“I used to be so terrified whenever I thought about you.” Draco breaks the silence, his voice thin.

“I’m pretty intimidating when I want to be.” Harry tries to lighten the mood, but it falls flat. He remembers how scared Draco was, and why. It hurts to think about it, so he tries not to anymore. “And now?”

“Now I don’t think about you at all,” Draco replies.

*

It’s midnight when Harry’s woken by hail hammering against his bedroom window. He’s always loved a storm, so he puts on his glasses and opens the curtains to look outside. As he watches the large hailstones bounce off the pavement, he notices a shadowy figure pacing outside his front door.

“You’re unbelievable, Malfoy.”

Cursing under his breath, Harry tugs on his dressing gown and shoves his wand into the pocket.

It’s typical of Draco to skulk around outside feeling sorry for himself without plucking up the courage to knock on the door. He had plenty of opportunity to talk to Harry properly earlier, but instead he stayed for barely an hour, leaving when he’d polished off the last of his expensive wine. In keeping with the rest of the evening he didn’t have much to say for himself, walking out of the door with a snide thanks for the hospitality, Potter.

The visit seemed so pointless, devoid of any real emotion. They’d made small talk about everything from the weather to the Ministry, skirting around anything important and filling the gaps in the conversation with uncomfortable, protracted silences. By the time the evening came to an abrupt close, Harry hadn’t asked a single one of the questions racing through his head and Draco hadn’t volunteered any answers.

Harry makes his way downstairs with an aggravated huff, annoyed with Draco for being a dickhead and annoyed with himself for the tingle of anticipation that shivers across his skin. He pulls open the door to find Draco sitting on the step outside, his agitated pacing clearly over for the time being. His arms are wrapped around his knees, his body protected from the weather by a bubble of magic that responds with a wobble of annoyance when Harry prods at it.

“Stop that. I’m going to get soaked.” Draco stands and the weird bubble disappears with a flick of his wand. He moves closer towards the open door, an attempt to get away from the hail. “I should’ve brought lager. I know you hate wine.”

“It’s fine.” Harry waves him in, despite knowing the smarter choice would be to tell Draco to Apparate home. “You used to say you’d rather eat flobberworm shit than drink lager.”

Draco steps inside, pocketing his wand and slipping off his jacket again. This time, he sits at the bottom of the newly carpeted stairs to take off his boots as if he’s going to be sticking around. Harry sighs and closes the door. Draco glances up at the sound and his diminutive position combined with his unexpectedly vulnerable expression makes Harry’s chest tight.

“I used to say a lot of things,” Draco murmurs. His gaze sweeps across Harry’s face before travelling lower. It would be so easy to step forward, to trace the line of Draco’s jaw and urge his mouth closer.

“Yeah, you did.” Harry gulps and shakes away the image burning his brain. He tightens the loose knot keeping his dressing gown fastened, wishing he’d bothered to put on pants. It’s just like Draco to make everything topsy-turvy, turning up for a second go at this when Harry isn’t even properly dressed.

“It didn’t go well earlier.” Draco stands and straightens, thankfully back to eye-level as opposed to the decidedly more distracting cock-level.

“I’m not sure dragging me out of bed at midnight is going to make it go any better,” Harry points out. He has a feeling he’s going to need to sleep all weekend after tonight, the whiplash of emotions already exhausting. “You’re lucky it’s Friday, otherwise I’d have left you there.”

“You could have done, it’s no more than I deserve.” Draco frowns at Harry. “I wasn’t making any noise. I didn’t wake you, did I?”

“No. It was the hail.” Harry makes his way into the kitchen and puts on the kettle.

Based on their earlier disastrous attempt at conversation, Harry wouldn’t have been at all surprised if he never heard from Draco Malfoy again. But then, he wasn’t that surprised to find him sitting on his doorstep either. Things are never simple when it comes to Malfoy.

“Have you been out there since you left?” Harry asks.

Draco doesn’t respond, watching Harry make tea without asking if he can have some. Harry makes him one anyway, shoving it across the counter hard enough that some of the liquid spills over the rim. A tiny splash of milk, two sugars. Strong and sweet, just how Draco likes it.

“Nothing went to plan earlier,” Draco replies, not answering the question. “I thought it would be different.”

“Sorry it didn’t live up to expectations.” Harry takes a sip of his tea, wincing as it burns his throat. “Next time I’ll roll the red carpet out or put up bunting or something.”

“Fuck off.” Draco sips his tea and a knowing smile curls at the corner of his mouth. “You remembered exactly how I like it.”

Harry tries to ignore the fierce yearning that grips him at the implication behind Draco’s words. He remembers every bit of it. The hot flavour of sweet tea kisses, tugging off clothes because they couldn’t wait long enough to go upstairs. The ache of wanting Draco burns through him, leaving him restless.

“It’s just a cup of tea. It’s not exactly complicated.” Harry grips the counter with his free hand, determined to stay exactly where he is. “You’ve only been gone a year.”

Eleven months and twenty-something days to be precise. Not that Harry’s counting.

Harry puts his mug on the work surface and folds his arms. He doesn’t volunteer to move the conversation into the living room. He’s got no desire to repeat the earlier part of the evening with its awkward chit-chat and uncomfortable silences. He certainly doesn’t want to suffer the indignity of listening, again, to Draco blithely suggest he hasn’t given Harry a single thought since he swanned off to Paris to do Merlin knows what. Considering Draco’s been standing in a thunderstorm for the last couple of hours, Harry isn’t stupid enough to believe a word of it, but that doesn’t ease the sting. If Draco thinks more lies are the way to resolve anything, he can get fucked.

“If you want to sit somewhere more comfortable, we could—?”

“I don’t.” Harry cuts Draco off before he can finish his sentence. “I want you to get whatever you want to say off your chest and then you can piss off and let me go back to bed.”

“You’re such a prick,” Draco replies. Pink spots rise on his cheekbones and his lips narrow. He grips his mug of tea tight enough that his knuckles turn even whiter than usual.

“Yeah, you’re right. I am.” Harry sighs. Comments like that are par for the course with Draco. They don’t make him angry, not anymore. It just makes him tired and sad. “Is that what you wanted to tell me?”

“No.” Draco gives Harry a humourless smile, his eyes flashing with something unreadable. “You’re going to make this as difficult as possible for me, aren’t you?”

“What did you expect me to do?” The anger returns, flashing through Harry like Crucio. “A few hours ago, you were pretending not to give a fuck about me and making stupid comments about the weather. The next thing I know you’re moping around on my doorstep like a lost Crup, now you’ve got the nerve to tell me I’m the prick.”

“That’s not what I came here to tell you.” Draco doesn’t sound so certain, a sharp note of anger beneath his expensive tone. “I’ve already pointed out you’re the only friend I have left—”

“Are you serious?” Harry stares at Draco, who meets his gaze with defiance. “I’m not your friend.”

“Well that’s clear enough.” Draco’s voice turns icy, his lip curling into a disdainful sneer.

“Shut up!” Harry’s anger gathers inside his chest, a white-hot rage that leaves him breathless. “Don’t twist it all around. That’s not what it was. We were never friends. That was the lie you made me tell everyone, because you’re a bloody coward.”

“I didn’t make you do anything,” Draco snaps. “Everything we did, you wanted.”

“I didn’t want to hide. I never wanted that.” The fury rolls off Harry, crashing over him in waves. “I hated sneaking around, pretending to go our separate ways after work and dancing with everyone who asked at Ministry events because you couldn’t bear to be photographed too close to me.”

“I was always happy being close to you,” Draco murmurs, his voice rough. “I was closer to you than anyone in my life. I’ve never been like that with someone—”

“I know all that. I haven’t just forgotten.” Harry makes a strangled sound in the back of his throat. It was Draco’s first time with another man, his first real relationship—if you could call it that. They talked about it at the start, speaking in whispers between kisses as they slowly undressed and explored. “The fact it was new to you isn’t an excuse. It’s not like I’d been out with all and sundry before you either.”

“But you knew who you were,” Draco replies. His voice is terse and clipped. “Everyone knew. You had time to understand it. I still didn’t know that I was—”

“Gay?” It doesn’t escape Harry’s attention that Draco stops before finishing his sentence. He shakes his head, sadness overwhelming him. “It’s just you and me, Draco. No one’s around, the walls don’t have ears. The fact you still can’t say it out loud shows nothing’s changed.”

“You’re wrong,” Draco bites out. “Nothing’s ever going to be the same for me again. Everything’s changed, Potter. Everything.”

“Has it?” Harry pushes himself off the counter and advances towards Draco, getting so close he can hear the stutter and shake of his breathing. “I had to redecorate my whole damn house after you left because you were on every single surface, in every room. We fucked in every one of them. Was I your friend—were you straight—when I was inside you?”

Harry raises his hands, not sure if he wants to shove Draco or yank him closer. With a growl of frustration, he catches himself because however angry he is, he’d never hurt Draco. He’s not going back to the place when he was a stupid kid, lashing out and casting spells he didn’t understand. Harry stumbles back, putting much needed distance between them. He sinks into a dining chair, dropping his head into his hands. His shoulders heave as he swallows back the surge of emotion that makes him want to cry.

“I hate you for not understanding.” Draco’s voice is quiet, the rustle of his clothing and the warmth of his body indicating he’s taken the seat next to Harry. “I don’t expect to be forgiven for leaving, but this is different.”

“What makes you think I don’t understand?” Harry refuses to look at Draco, trying to gather his racing thoughts. “It’s not like I woke up one morning, realised I was gay and that was the end of it.”

“I expect not, but I’m not sure you’ve ever fully understood the power of shame,” Draco murmurs. “I was terrified of other people finding out, of the things they would say.”

“I remember,” Harry replies. “I understand you didn’t want loads of people knowing, but you couldn’t even be honest with me. You kept insisting you were straight, like I was some weird anomaly. It made me feel like we were doing something wrong.”

“I never meant to make you feel that way.” Draco sighs, sitting heavily back in his seat. “It all got so complicated.”

“Why am I not bloody surprised? Everything’s complicated with you.” Harry looks up and finally meets Draco’s gaze. “Don’t get arsy with me for saying I’m not your friend. There was a time you were as important to me as the closest friends I’ve ever known. I was in love with you, more fool me.”

“You never said.” Draco’s eyes widen and his voice wavers, a splash of pink rising in his cheeks. “Why wouldn’t you tell me?”

“Because you left before I could. Pretty glad I didn’t to be honest. I’d have felt like even more of a knob when you fucked off to Paris.” Harry breathes out through his teeth, looking back down at the floor. His anger dissipates and he’s left sad and deflated. “Have you said everything you wanted to?”

“I haven’t even started.” Draco’s voice lowers. “I was in love with you too.”

Harry wishes he wasn’t in a stupid dressing gown. Draco’s revelation should make him feel happy, but it doesn’t. It just makes him even more confused because people who love one another don’t just leave without saying goodbye.

“I feel like a dickhead wearing this,” Harry says at last. “Particularly when you look so…Parisian.”

“Actually, this isn’t French, it’s Italian—”

“Malfoy.” Harry gives Draco a weak smile. “I don’t care. I need a minute and I just want to go upstairs and put some clothes on. If you want to do something useful, you can sort the fire out.”

Draco looks as though he wants to say something else, but in the end he doesn’t argue. He leaves the kitchen without so much as a backward glance, the thud of logs indicating he’s doing as Harry asked.

“I wish you hadn’t come back,” Harry whispers to the still room. “Why couldn’t you just stay away?”

The words are hollow and false, no matter how much he wishes they were true.

*

The fire crackles, the living room warm and cosy in the flickering light from the fire. Draco’s already settled on the sofa, watching the flames. Harry takes a seat next to him, leaving space between them. He regrets it almost as soon as he sits down. The smell of Draco’s cologne mingles with the woodburning stove. It takes him back instantly, in a sudden, heady rush that grips his body.

“I’m gay,” Draco begins. “If that’s what you need to hear from me.”

“It’s a start.” Harry glances at Draco. “Is that what sent you running off to Paris?”

“In a manner of speaking.” Draco frowns and picks at a small speck of dust on his trousers. “The papers got it all wrong. They made it sound like I was in Paris for the parties, the haute société…”

“You made it look like you were there for that, in fairness.” Harry tries to quell the shiver that passes through him when Draco speaks French. It’s a bloody unfair trick, he knows the response that elicits. “You didn’t turn down many invitations from the looks of things.”

“No, but I had my reasons.” Draco’s expression turns wistful. “I heard you were looking for me in England—”

“Of course I was,” Harry replies. “I didn’t hear anything from you, until you sent that useless note asking for space. I was convinced something had happened because I thought you wouldn’t just leave. Not without talking to me first. Clearly, I’m a bloody idiot.”

“No. You’re not.” Draco looks up at Harry, his face pale. “I never intended to stay for longer than a week or two. I only sent the note when I realised things were going to take longer than expected. I thought it would buy me time.”

“A fat lot of good that was,” Harry mutters. “I didn’t have a clue where you were, you didn’t exactly leave a return address. Then I saw the pictures in the papers. I might have guessed it would be Paris.”

“You saw them because I wanted you to,” Draco replies, tightly. “I know you, Auror Potter. You can’t let things lie. That’s why I went to those parties. I knew the press would be there, taking photographs.”

It makes sense that Draco would expect to be photographed at fancy parties. After the war he spent years working on his public image. When he became the benefactor of several notable charities the paparazzi began to take interest in the handsome, reformed Draco Malfoy, Ministry lawyer, confirmed bachelor and heir to an enormous fortune. He slowly went from being treated with distrust to the darling of wizarding Europe’s society pages.

“You know my views on the press. Finding out from the Prophet was shit, I felt like a right twat after worrying everyone.” Harry’s palms are clammy, and he presses them flat on his thighs. “Since when do we communicate through the papers?”

“It seemed the easiest way.” Draco’s face twists. “But I wasn’t thinking about you—even though I never stopped thinking about you. I was thinking about myself. About what needed to be done.”

“And what was that?” Harry frowns at Draco, noticing the shake in his hand as he runs it roughly through his hair. It falls in a soft, rumpled curl that makes Harry’s chest tight.

“I went to stay with mother and father.” Draco focuses on Harry properly at last, his expression haunted. “To tell them about me, and about you. About us.”

A jolt of surprise and confusion leaves Harry momentarily dumbstruck. “But the whole reason we couldn’t tell anyone about us was because you didn’t want your parents to find out.”

“Thank you for reminding me, Potter.” With a huff, Draco stands, a waft of woody musk and expensive scent filling Harry’s senses. He walks to the window and looks out as the rain batters against the panes. “We argued about telling people, all the time. I was convinced you were bound to leave me for someone easier, without my complications.”

“I wouldn’t have left you for anyone else, you idiot.” Harry swallows, thinking of the times he called Draco a coward for not being able to admit what was happening between them. “I’d never have sent that stupid letter if I you'd just talked to me and told me that’s what you were doing.”

“You’re not always as easy to talk to as you might imagine.” Draco tips his head back, looking at the stars. “Besides, I knew it would come out sooner or later with you so eager for everyone to know. I had to deal with my parents before that happened.”

“I’d never have forced you to tell your mum and dad or told people without your permission.” Harry winces, realising in his hot-headed moments he probably hasn’t handled things as well as he might. He does tend to be impatient. “I just wanted you to tell my friends we were together. My friends. I hated keeping secrets from them.”

“But that’s how it begins, isn’t it?” Draco turns, leaning against the windowsill and contemplating Harry. “You tell Weasley and Granger because you trust them. Weasley tells Finnigan because there’s no way he’s going to talk. Finnigan tells Thomas, then Longbottom finds out. They tell their partners, who tell their friends and eventually everything’s out there and everyone knows.”

“I’ve trusted Ron and Hermione with bigger secrets than that.” Harry frowns at Draco. “They would never have told anyone, not if I made it clear it couldn’t get back to your parents. I trust them with my life.”

“But I don’t.” Draco shrugs. “Trust them with your secrets, if you wish. That doesn’t mean I care to trust them with mine, any more than you would confide in Gregory or Pansy.”

“It’s hardly the same.” Harry rolls his eyes. “Parkinson hates me. She doesn’t like you much either anymore.”

“And Weasley hates me,” Draco snaps. “Why on earth would he protect me?”

“Because he’s not a twat.” Harry rubs his forehead. “He wouldn’t care, as long as you’re not fucking me around.”

“But he’d care if I was,” Draco says. His voice is quiet. “Then all that’s left is an angry Weasley, eager to protect his friend and privy to private information that could ruin me. Do I trust him then?”

“Were you fucking me around?” A hot wave of jealousy rolls over Harry and he curls his hands into tight balls, his stomach in knots. The idea that Draco might have found someone else occurred to him countless times, the images conjured by the society pages leaving him nauseous. “You had a better social life in Paris than England, by the looks of things.”

“Of course not,” Draco replies, curtly. “Not in the way you mean at least. I imagine you think leaving for Paris wasn’t decent behaviour.”

“No.” Harry lets out a whoosh of breath, relief coursing through him. He sits back and blinks at the wall, his thoughts spiralling. “I didn’t mean to push so hard. I just wanted to stop lying. Ron knows there was something going on with us, and Hermione too. I haven’t said anything explicitly, but they’d have been blind not to see it. They asked me about it, loads of times.”

“It doesn’t matter who knows, now.” Draco turns back to the window, watching the rain. “Not anymore.”

“How did your parents react when you told them?” Harry has a suspicion from the shadow that crosses Draco’s face, but he wants to hear it.

“How do you imagine?” Draco’s shoulders tighten. “Exactly as I anticipated. My father with disgust, my mother with tears.”

“Great.” Harry leans back on the sofa, closing his eyes as he tries to steady the anger and confusion he can’t quite shake away. “I’m glad they think so highly of me.”

“You’d be surprised. Your involvement was the only thing that stopped father from throwing me out of the house immediately. He’s remarkably deferential to Aurors these days.” A hint of wry amusement creeps into Draco’s voice. “I might have given him the impression you were just a Port-Key away, ready to come bounding to my defence like a lion cub.”

“You weren’t far off,” Harry mutters. “I came to Paris to talk to you, after the photos came out in the Prophet.”

“Why?” Draco turns to Harry with a look of surprise. “You broke up with me.”

“Because you left without a word and then sent me that stupid, bland note that didn’t say anything at all. What else was I supposed to do?” Harry shakes his head, trying to clear his muddled thoughts. “It’s not like I wanted to.”

“I know that now,” Draco says, quietly. “When did you come to Paris?”

“It was just before I sent the owl.” The reminder of Harry’s disastrous trip and the furious, messy fuck you letter he sent afterwards brings all the pain and confusion back in a breathless rush. “I wanted to talk but I saw you with your mum and you looked happy. I felt like a weird stalker and left.”

“I can’t believe you came to Paris. I used to think about it, you know.” Draco’s jaw works. “Sometimes I’d walk down the streets and see men that looked like you, but they never were.”

“I wish you’d told me what was going on,” Harry replies, trying to ignore the way Draco makes him feel, like his insides are Fizzing Whizzbees. “If you had, I’d have been there.”

“I know.” Draco moves from the window at last, sitting back on the sofa. He crosses his legs and stares at the fire, not looking at Harry. “But I didn’t want you to come to Paris—”

“Thanks very much,” Harry mutters.

“Let me finish, will you?” Draco rolls his eyes. “It was something I had to do alone. I could never expect you to understand my relationship with my father, not after the things he’s done to you. I couldn’t imagine you in the same room together, trying to get him to understand me—us. It wouldn’t have worked.”

Harry’s itching to pass a scathing comment about it being rich of Lucius Malfoy to be so fucking judgmental, but he knows that’s completely the wrong thing to say. Fear of exactly that sort of response seems to have stopped Draco from telling Harry any of this in the first place.

“Did you stay because of my owl?” Harry’s stomach rolls at the idea that his desperate attempt to get a response from Draco might have been the final nail in the coffin. “I only sent it because I didn’t know what else to do. I hoped you might respond, but you never did.”

“In part, but not entirely. Mother became unwell.” Draco’s voice gets rough and he bows his head. “I stayed because of that. When I got your letter, I told myself it was for the best. I decided caring for my mother was an additional complication you didn’t need.”

“You daft sod.” Harry’s voice breaks. He wants to reach for Draco, but he catches himself. “I was pissed off you couldn’t be honest with me, because you fucked off and left without telling me why. That’s totally different. Your mum getting sick wouldn’t have made me break up with you, what sort of man do you think I am?”

“An unflinchingly good one.” Draco’s gaze heats as he looks at Harry. “A better man than I’ve ever been. I blamed myself for everything, for hurting you, for mother. Father said it was because of me, at first. The stress of it all.”

“What an arsehole,” Harry blurts out. He’s a good mind to go to Paris and tell Lucius Malfoy that in person. He winces when Draco raises his eyebrows at him. “Sorry, but it’s a bloody awful thing to say.”

“It was…unkind.” Draco gives him a small smile. “I know what you’re thinking.” His gaze drops to Harry’s lips. “You’ve always been fond of heroics.”

“Well it’s not right, is it?” Harry huffs. “He’s your dad, he shouldn’t say that sort of thing to you.”

“People say all kinds of things they wish they could take back, when they’re scared of losing someone.” Draco shrugs. “He loves us, in his own way.”

Harry has a feeling arguing over Lucius will only make things worse, so he changes the topic. “How’s your mum now?”

“Getting better.” Draco’s expression softens into the first genuine smile of the evening. He turns to Harry, the flicker of happiness fading. “The irony is I only left because I wanted to make things better and I ending up making such a bloody mess of it all.”

“I wish we could have talked about this.” Harry clenches his jaw, the futility of the situation overwhelming him. “We could have sorted it out. We were good together.”

“I used a lot of things as an excuse to avoid having that conversation.” Draco wets his lips. “I didn’t know how to be the kind of man you wanted.”

“Oh.” Harry rubs his cheek, thinking. It’s all so stupid, the heartache of the last year could have been so easily avoided. “The thing is Malfoy, you already were.”

“I really do like the beard.” Draco’s voice cracks. “I always said it would suit you.”

“I remember.” Harry stands abruptly, his heart kicking in his chest. He’s suddenly desperate for air, the living room too small and hot. “I’m putting the kettle on.”

He strides out of the room and into the kitchen. He’s glad to have an explanation at last. The fact Draco’s disappearing act came from a place of wanting things to work with Harry is something. But all the pain, all the anger. It was so senseless. Draco might have gone to Paris to try to make things better for them, but he stayed because it was easier to be apart than to fight for what they had. There were other issues, other factors, but that’s the crux of it.

Harry doesn’t know what to do anymore or what he wants. He can’t help but wonder if getting his owl was a relief for Draco, a way out of being forced to take a chance on something—and someone—that scared him half to death. The thought makes Harry want to scream, to punch something, to pin Draco to the sofa and fuck—to do something to take away the itch that crawls beneath his skin.

“I won’t do this again with you,” Harry whispers to himself. He rubs his trembling hand over the light scars that still linger from years before and swallows back a wave of pain. He’s reminded of the press of quill against skin, the dark seep of blood. I must not tell lies.

Shaking himself, Harry puts on the kettle and splashes cold water on his face. He hunches over the sink, trying to keep his breathing steady. He doesn’t even want tea. He wants whiskey, but he knows that’s not going to help anything. The last thing he needs is booze.

“I should leave.” Draco appears in the kitchen doorway, because of course he can’t give Harry room to breathe. Of course. “It’s late.”

“Nearly one in the morning.” Harry turns to find Draco standing so close it sends a pulse of lust through his body. “Did you really come here to talk?”

“Yes, of course.” Draco nods in an attempt at innocence, but the hunger in his expression says otherwise.

“Liar.” Harry yanks off his glasses and leaves them on the side. He moves towards Draco, crowding into his space until he’s backed against the kitchen counter. “You didn’t just come here for conversation.”

“Perhaps not.” Draco’s eyes flash in challenge. “I also came because I was hoping you might fuck me. But you already know that.”

Harry’s breath catches in his throat and he presses against Draco. “Bit presumptuous of you, Malfoy.”

“I don’t think so, Potter.” Draco traces one long finger down Harry’s chest, his voice low. “I’ve noticed how you’ve been looking at me since I arrived. Don’t be coy.”

“I hated you, the whole time you were gone,” Harry breathes. He leans in until his lips almost touch Draco’s. “I hated you for leaving.”

Instead of replying, Draco closes the distance between them. His expensive shirt slides under Harry’s fingers, his body taut and firm. Their mouths slant together, their lips opening to one another. The familiar sensation of Draco’s touch is like coming home. He trails his fingers over Harry’s back and down, clutching onto his t-shirt and hauling him as close as possible. Harry goes willingly, pushing against him and catching his mouth in another searing kiss. Harry’s always loved kissing Draco and now he can’t get enough of the heat of his mouth, the slick warmth of his tongue. It reminds him of the time they would spend working one another up with filthy promises and long, lazy kisses until it became impossible to hold back any longer.

With a muffled groan, Harry deepens the kiss, his head swimming with the taste and scent of Draco. He gives as good as he gets, his hands twisted into Harry’s t-shirt and his mouth wet and eager. Their kiss gets messy and breathless. It’s as though the room shrinks in on itself and there’s nothing left but them, two galaxies colliding and bursting into flame. Harry moves his hands down Draco’s back, pulling him away from the counter just enough to grip the curve of his arse. It makes Draco pull back, a hiss leaving his lips. He’s already the kind of dishevelled Harry likes best. There are few things that get him hard as quickly as Draco Malfoy looking well-kissed and desperate to be fucked.

Harry touches the line of Draco’s jaw, drawing him in again. The kiss is slower this time, but every bit as filthy. The hard press of Draco against Harry’s thigh makes him dizzy and he digs his fingers into Draco’s hips, grinding against him. The position isn’t quite right, but it gives some much-needed friction, and it’s enough for now. He takes his lips from Draco’s mouth to taste the warm curve of his neck and he tilts his head obligingly to give Harry better access. With hurried fingers, Harry unbuttons Draco’s shirt as quickly as he can manage. He pulls back for just long enough to yank off his own t-shirt, throwing it fuck knows where and pressing Draco back against the counter.

In the past, if they hadn’t seen one another for a while, one of them would be on their knees by now, sucking and tasting, chasing orgasms. For all they loved the slow tease, after a few days apart their first moments alone would always take on a dizzying urgency. Now, after so much time apart, those desires have intensified tenfold, but neither of them move lower. Harry knows why he isn’t getting on his knees for Draco—not yet, not yet—and he expects he knows why Draco doesn’t sink to the ground either. It’s as if neither of them wants to give the other any kind of tacit upper hand until one of them says I forgive you, I miss you, let’s try again.

Harry pushes those thoughts to one side, shoving his hand between them to rub the heel of his palm over Draco’s cock. Even through cloth, Harry’s mouth waters at the hard, familiar line, the buck and strain of it, the heat. With a grunt, Harry buries his face in Draco’s neck again and bites. He doesn’t bite hard, just enough to graze his teeth over flesh. It makes Draco gasp and press closer in his arms, his fingers curling against Harry’s back. They used to say if Draco had anything other than blunt nails, Harry’s back would be scratched to fuck. Even when they were trying to be tender, their fucking could turn into a rough, heady, animalistic grasp and push towards the finish.

As he kisses Draco, it all comes flooding back. The taste of Draco’s skin, the bitterness of cologne, the saltiness of sweat. He remembers sinking into Draco and the way his body would shake and tremble after having Harry’s face and tongue sliding over and into every intimate place Harry could reach. He remembers the ache of his arm after fucking his fingers into Draco, the hiss and spit of ragged pleas and the sweeping pleasure of climaxing in Draco’s body, his hand, his mouth.

“I don’t want to be in love with you still.” Harry’s voice is broken, and he pushes Draco’s open shirt off his shoulders, watching him shake it off completely and drop it on the floor. “I don’t.”

“Then fuck me like you’re not,” Draco breathes. “Let’s pretend that’s all this is. You can fuck me like I’m a stranger.”

“You might as well be,” Harry replies. He doesn’t mean it, his stupid heart kicking and tripping just as it always did when Draco was around. He runs his thumb against Draco’s cheek, looking into his eyes. “I wouldn’t be this hard if you were a stranger, though.”

“You always say the nicest things.” Draco laughs and it’s so bright and unexpected, it makes Harry laugh too. When the laughter fades away, Draco runs his tongue over his lips. “That fucking beard.”

It doesn’t escape Harry’s attention that when he kisses sensitive areas on Draco’s neck, the tickle and slide of his beard against Draco’s skin makes him particularly responsive. Harry’s head swims with the masculine scent of Draco and the way he gets so restless and eager in his arms. With a groan, Draco tugs Harry into another desperate, biting kiss. They break apart and watch one another, Draco’s eyes glassy and dark. With deliberate precision, Harry slides Draco’s belt open, holding his gaze.

“Harry…” Draco’s eyelids flutter closed.

“Keep them open,” Harry says, his voice gruff. “Look at me.”

Draco does as Harry asks, his cheeks flushed. Harry continues to watch him as the belt clinks open, the slide of leather mingling with their ragged breaths. He slides down the zipper of Draco’s trousers, before tugging the belt completely out of its loops.

“I imagined doing this sometimes.” Harry buries his face in the crook of Draco’s neck, breathing him in as his pulse skitters and jumps. “I thought I could use your belt to tie you up, or on that gorgeous arse of yours. I never found the right time to ask.”

“You’re a kinky fucker.” Draco laughs breathlessly. “Is now the right time?”

“Probably not.” Harry drops Draco’s belt to the floor and tugs the lobe of his ear between his teeth, drawing a ragged moan that goes straight to Harry’s cock. “But maybe one day it will be.”

Yes.” Draco yanks Harry in, drawing him into another kiss. “Come on, Harry. Please.”

Harry pushes Draco’s trousers down, swallowing at the sight of his prick straining against his pants. Harry places his hands on Draco’s hips and runs his thumbs over his sides, drinking in the shudder of pleasure the touch elicits. He drags his fingers along the trail of downy hair that snakes downwards from Draco’s bellybutton, lifting the elastic band of his pants just a little to take in the thick, wet head of Draco’s cock. He swipes his thumb over the head of it, not missing the way it makes Draco buck and clutch onto the counter as if his life depends on it.

With a low grunt of pleasure, Harry stops his slow exploration and shoves down Draco’s pants. He wraps his fingers around Draco’s prick, getting used to the feel of him again, the length and the weight of him. He murmurs a lubricating charm against Draco’s lips as they sink with a groan into another filthy, messy kiss. Harry finds himself aching to make Draco feel good—to make them both feel good.

Draco seems to have less patience than Harry. There’s no slow undress. Instead he yanks Harry’s joggers down and sucks in a breath.

“I might have known you’ve been sitting around with no pants on.” Draco always used to tease Harry about his loose tracksuit bottoms and how easy they made the kind of careless, spontaneous fuck they both enjoyed. It reminds Harry of the way they used to laugh. They were so comfortable with one another; sex was always so easy.

“I thought you liked that?” Harry grins, a giddiness racing through him. He slides his hand over Draco’s cock and swipes his thumb over the leaking tip of it again. He brings his lips to Draco’s ear, making sure his beard rubs against his skin. “I thought you liked having easy access to my cock.”

“Well of course I liked it,” Draco snaps. He bites out the same lubricating charm Harry used a few moments before. He wraps cool fingers around Harry, his breath hot and rough. “Don’t pretend it didn’t make you horny as fuck, too.”

Because it still makes Harry horny as fuck, he responds with a fierce kiss. He grunts when Draco begins to wank him off properly, the filthy slick and slap of their hands and the puffs of their breath loud in the quiet space. They stroke each other with practiced familiarity, re-learning the all the things that used to make one another gasp, twist and buck. Harry loves the velvet slide of Draco’s cock between his fingers, the messiness of the lube. His pleasure mounts as Draco breaks away from the kiss, arching as if he’s imagining Harry’s cock sinking into his body. With a murmur of encouragement, Harry takes the opportunity to taste the light perspiration on the pale arch of Draco’s neck. He sucks barely-there blooms of red onto Draco’s throat and breathes in the rich, expensive scent of him.

Draco responds by quickening the pace of his hand, using his free hand to squeeze the fleshy globe of Harry’s arse. He digs his fingers in—hard—and it makes Harry shudder with pleasure. Their kisses get more uncoordinated, punctuated by every bite and whisper. It doesn’t take much time for Harry’s orgasm to knife through him, a searing pulse of pleasure. The heat of his climax ebbs away as Draco jerks back from the kiss to catch his breath, spilling over Harry’s fist. Not caring about the come on his fingers, Harry pushes his messy hand into Draco’s hair and urges him into another kiss. They stay like that for a long time, touching one another with warm, sticky hands until the kisses lose their urgency.

When they finally break apart, Draco looks faintly embarrassed. He ducks his head and picks up his belt from where Harry discarded it, a flush rising in his cheeks. He threads it back through the loops and buckles it with more avid attention than it warrants, his throat bobbing. Harry tugs up his joggers as Draco looks around with a frown, eventually spotting his wand and pocketing it.

“I suppose I should leave you to it,” Draco says, gruffly. He pats his tangled hair, his cheeks turning red when he appears to remember what caused the uncharacteristic messiness in the first place. “What are you going to do?”

“I’m going to bed.” Harry looks out of the window. It’s still pitch-black outside but the rain has stopped. “It’s late.”

“It is,” Draco agrees. He pauses awkwardly, making no move to leave. “Should I Fire Call you tomorrow?”

“If you like.” Harry turns to go, stopping at the door, clutching onto the frame. “Or you could just come to bed with me.”

When Harry makes his way upstairs, Draco follows.

*

It’s midday when Harry finally wakes.

He reaches across the bed to the rumpled sheets and the warmth of the mattress that confirms the night wasn’t just a dream. The sound of the shower lets him know that Draco’s still around, which is a good thing at least. There’s a hot cup of something next to Harry’s wand and glasses and he props himself up to drink it. The familiar taste of strong, black coffee reminds him of countless lazy weekends in bed with Draco. A kernel of warmth swells in Harry’s chest as he thinks about the previous night. Part of him is happy things ended the way they did, but there’s a smaller voice that reminds him the night ended with some things left unsaid.

“Good morning.” Draco emerges from the bathroom in a billow of steam. He rubs the back of his hair with a towel, another slung casually around his waist. “Did I wake you?”

“No.” Harry finishes his coffee and places the cup on the side. “Do you have anywhere to be today?”

“Nowhere at all.” Draco glances at the clothes he left in a neat pile on a chair in the corner of the bedroom, then looks back at the bed. “Do you?”

“Nowhere at all.” Harry reaches out a hand and Draco crosses the room quickly, leaving his towels on the floor and slipping under the sheets. “Still using as many towels as possible?”

“I used your toothbrush too.” Draco’s lips tilt into a smile. “I also used plenty of your shower gel. It’s new.”

“Yeah.” Harry doesn’t want to mention he changed it because the old one reminded him of Draco. He hopes this doesn’t go to shit again. He really doesn’t want to have to buy new stuff when he’s only just got everything the way he likes it. “I should probably shower.”

“I like it when you don’t,” Draco murmurs.

“I remember.” Harry sighs. He reaches for his wand and casts a charm to leave his teeth fresh. Draco might have a thing for sweat but no one likes stale morning breath. “I feel like a shit for making you think you had to tell your parents.”

“You didn’t.” Draco gives Harry a firm look. “Any ultimatums were all in my head. No matter how eager you were to tell your friends, you were remarkably patient, considering.”

“Not that easy to talk to, though.” Harry’s jaw works. The sting of Draco saying he couldn’t talk to Harry has lingered through the night into the morning, like a bruise that won’t fade. “It’s going to be hopeless if we can’t do that.”

“It’s different now. Everything’s different.” Draco pauses. “You’re a good man, someone who possesses the kind of courage I’m not sure I’ll ever have.”

“I’m not always good. I can be a dick when I want to be.” Harry pushes a hand through his hair, his thoughts from the previous night returning with force at the mention of courage. “It was easier not to take a chance, wasn’t it? That’s why you never replied to my owl. It’s why you stayed in Paris.”

“At first. Until it became unbearably difficult.” Draco glances at Harry. “I need you to understand we learned very lessons as children. I felt wrong.”

“About being gay?” Harry asks, quietly.

He really does want to understand, to listen now the past impatience caused by the horrible weight of keeping secrets has eased. Although it seems like the issues with Lucius and Narcissa are mostly resolved, the fact Draco was so terrified of them finding out in the first place appears to be a direct result of his upbringing. It’s the kind of thing that would make anyone’s head messy, and Harry hadn’t realised the full extent of that until last night.

“That, and other things.” Draco frowns, considering his words carefully. “It’s taken me a year away to realise those are my issue, not yours. I can’t change the fact that you made good choices and I made bad ones, no more than I can alter the things I was raised to believe as a child and the shame that caused. I need to focus on the choices I’m making now, as an adult.”

“It sounds like you’ve been doing a lot of thinking,” Harry says.

As much as he hates to admit it they couldn’t have carried on as they were for much longer, with all the fighting and lies. Running off to Paris might not have been Draco’s brightest idea, but it’s clear that the time apart has given him much needed space to think, without Harry around to confuse matters. Draco’s new, considered honesty makes it far easier for Harry to trust that he’s not going to leave again any time soon. His heart gives a happy, hopeful leap at the thought that this time they might really be okay. Better than okay.

“What choices are you making now?” Harry turns on his side to look down at Draco, drinking in the sharp, angular lines of his face and the cloudy grey of his eyes.

“I’m turning up on your doorstep uninvited for a start.” Draco’s lips curve into a small smile as he looks at Harry. “Then refusing to leave, after the first attempt goes to hell.” He takes a faltering breath. “It’s time to stop running. I’m choosing you, if that’s still an option.”

“It’s an option.” Harry doesn’t need to consider it for a second. He wants so badly to try. He’s never been afraid to take risks. Even if he ends up buying another new sofa as Ron pats him awkwardly on the shoulder telling him to cheer up, mate, there are some risks worth taking. The fact that Draco’s willing—at last—to take that chance too makes his body warm. “What do you want from me? No jokes, no lies. Just the truth.”

“Everything you wanted before. No more hiding away.” Draco holds Harry’s gaze, a light flush colouring his cheeks. “I told mother I was planning to see you. She said if we were able to resolve things, she’d like to have supper with us.”

“If that’s what you want.” Harry might not relish the idea of making small talk with Lucius and Narcissa, but if that’s what it takes, he’s willing to give it a shot. “In Paris?”

“Most likely.” Draco pushes a hand through his damp hair and pulls a face. “I don’t imagine it would be a regular occurrence. Just a visit, every now and then. Civility is all I ask for.”

“I can do that. I’ll bring your mum a bunch of daffs and eat my snails without making a single sarky comment.”

“How unlike you.” Draco sounds amused.

Harry laughs, running his fingers down Draco’s chest. He doesn’t mind forced civility, if it’s worth it, and Draco’s newfound openness makes Harry certain that it is. He’s always trusted his intuition, and he feels instinctively that this time will be different.

“And you’d make an effort with the Weasleys?” Harry already knows the answer, but he wants to hear Draco say it out loud.

“Of course.” Draco nods, smirking. “I can be less obnoxious than usual, when the occasion requires.”

“I’ll believe it when I see it.” Harry grins, the tension in the air fading away. He moves over Draco, looking into his eyes. “Hi.”

“Hello,” Draco breathes. He touches Harry's jaw, his eyes glinting. “Are you keeping the beard for a while?”

“If you want me to.” Harry closes the distance between them, whispering against Draco’s lips. “Who’s the kinky fucker now?”

Instead of the frantic fever of the previous night, the kiss is slow and steady. Passion flares through Harry, bright and hot in his chest. The knots in his stomach slowly unwind and for the first time since he started kissing Draco again, he enjoys it without any inhibitions. He takes in the breathy whimper as he tugs Draco’s lip lightly between his teeth, the slide of their tongues together dizzying. Having time to kiss Draco and knowing he’s going to stick around reminds Harry of the long nights that would stretch into morning and the slow tease as they would draw the hours out for as long as possible.

Unlike those times however, it’s been far too long since Harry’s been able to do this properly with Draco. They fell asleep straight away after slipping quietly into bed together the night before. The ache of missing Draco and the happiness of having him back settles deep in Harry’s bones. There’s time enough for languid mornings and bringing one another to the brink before pulling back and building towards a climax all over again. Today, he just wants to spend the day in bed, getting used to being together in a fresh new world where they can say the kind of things they’ve never been able to articulate until now.

Harry throws back the sheets, breathing in the clean, soapy scent of Draco’s skin as he works his way down his body. His body is still warm and damp from the shower, small beads of water kissing Harry’s lips. He lingers over Draco’s hipbone, mouthing lower. He pointedly ignores the irritated tugging at his hair, muttering patience in a rough tone that makes Draco’s swollen prick give a bob of appreciation. With a grin, Harry moves lower. He makes sure he’s just close enough that the short, wiry hairs of his beard drag along the full length of Draco’s cock.

“You wanker.” Draco sounds half cross, half impressed. He gives Harry’s hair another impatient tug. “Are you planning to blow me anytime soon?”

“I’ll get there,” Harry promises. He hooks his arms under Draco’s thighs that tremble with the efforts of trying to nudge his dick closer to Harry’s mouth. “Hold still, will you?”

Without waiting for an answer, Harry mouths over Draco’s balls. He’s always loved the way he can make Draco come apart with his mouth. He’s half a mind to get Draco to turn over so he can really put his tongue to work, but he decides that can wait. He’s been desperate to take Draco into his mouth ever since last night, which wasn’t enough to quench the thrum of desire that’s been building steadily since the moment he opened the door and let Draco inside. With a hmm of contentment, Harry pulls back. He moves quickly up the bed to tug open the drawer of the nearby cabinet, rummaging around until he finds the lube.

“Did you forget you can use magic?” Draco’s voice is sexy as fuck, his eyes lidded as he watches Harry. He looks filthy, decadent and gorgeous, stretched out on Harry’s sheets with the hard line and curve of his prick nudging against his belly, leaving a light, damp trail.

“Where’s the fun in that?” Harry flips open the top of the lube. He gets his fingers slick as Draco watches, a moan stuttering from his lips as he drops his hand to his cock and gives it a quick stroke. “No touching,” Harry says. “I’m coming.”

“I wish I was,” Draco mutters.

Laughing, Harry resumes his position after making sure he has proper access to Draco’s arse. Breathlessly he slides a slick finger inside him, meeting only a little resistance. The hot clench of Draco around him sends pleasure pulsing through his veins. He fucks Draco slowly before adding another finger, taking in the way his lips part and the arch and buck of his body.

“I love you,” Harry blurts out. “I never stopped.”

“Sweet of you to tell me with your fingers buried in my arse.” Draco’s voice breaks, the teasing chased away when Harry pushes inside him again, curling his fingers gently and dragging them back. “You're such a romantic—”

Draco’s words leave him with a groan of pleasure as Harry takes him into his mouth, largely to shut him up. Harry concentrates on using his mouth and fingers to give Draco every pleasure. His head spins with the warm, masculine scent that lingers beneath Draco’s freshly washed skin. The delicious stretch of his jaw makes his own prick twitch in appreciation. He’s so turned on, so into every wriggle and twist of Draco beneath him. The air in the room is close and hot, the sounds of sex and the roughness of breath filling the space. Harry’s jaw aches and saliva gathers in his mouth, but he doesn’t want to stop tasting Draco. He works his fingers in tandem with his mouth, before bringing Draco to a rushed, salty climax that leaves his body with a shudder as he collapses back on the bed with a curse.

Harry brusquely wipes his mouth with the back of his hand and straddles Draco, wanking himself off. Draco is flushed and handsome, the rumple of his still damp hair, the insolent curl of his lips and the hunger in his eyes only serving to make Harry even more turned on.

“I love you too,” Draco murmurs, digging his fingers into Harry’s thighs. “I missed you so much it hurt.”

It turns out declarations of love are Harry’s thing because his orgasm spikes, hitting him with force as his cock pulses in his hand. He spills into his fist and stripes Draco’s chin and torso with his climax, leaving him utterly dishevelled. His chest rises and he settles back on his heels, still straddling Draco and trying to catch his breath.

“Well.” Draco wipes Harry’s come from the corner of his mouth, his eyes shining with mirth. “If I’d have known that’s all it takes to get you to come on command…”

“Shut up, Malfoy.” With a happy, shagged-out sigh, Harry rolls off Draco and collapses onto the bed. “Your timing, as always, is impeccable.”

Draco reaches for his wand and casts a quick spell to clean them both up. He props himself up on his elbow and looks down at Harry, a fond, affectionate expression crossing his face.

“I’m sorry,” he says, sincerely. “I should never have left without speaking to you first. I got it all so wrong.”

“It’s okay,” Harry replies. “I’m not sure I got everything right either.” He brushes his thumb against Draco's cheek. “But I forgive you, if you need to hear it.”

“And I’m not going anywhere again,” Draco says. “If you need to hear that.”

“I’m glad to hear it.” Harry’s stomach growls. “Although I wouldn’t say no to a bacon sandwich, if you fancy going downstairs.”

“I suppose I could.” Draco gives Harry a salty, filthy kiss that lasts for longer than expected before they finally break apart. “You taste like come. I suggest you shower and brush your teeth because I have plans for later. I’ve had a year of abstinence, after all.”

“You’re not the only one.” Harry leans up for one more quick kiss. “There’s been no one else. Just lots of moping around and furniture shopping.”

Draco seems pleased by the revelation. He pulls on a pair of Harry’s jogging bottoms and doesn’t even comment on the indignity of wearing Gryffindor colours, which is definite progress. After he leaves the room to make breakfast, Harry stands and opens the bedroom window.

The hail from the night before has melted away and the sky is blue and vibrant. Harry drinks in the boldness of the air as the shadows disappear together with the heavy weight of secrets, chased away by the light of the sun.