Draco carefully aims at his fireplace, but just as he casts the spell that will lock down his Floo to all callers and visitors until he himself lifts it, his hand trembles, and the spell goes wide.
Swearing softly, he sets his wand aside and flexes his fingers, trying to force blood and warmth into them.
Not for the first time, he wryly considers just how wrong all the books and lore have been about his…condition, as his mother delicately puts it.
Of course, it makes sense why accurate details have faded, replaced by more romantic myths. Alphas are quite rare, omegas even rarer, and male omegas vanishingly so—Draco can likely blame the Black family’s propensity for inbreeding on the manifestation of this delightful little surprise.
All of that adds up to Draco having had a hell of a time finding any reliable, helpful information; he’s been mostly fumbling in the dark, figuring things out as he goes.
Some things the stories get wrong:
-Omegas are not all dainty wilting flowers, small and fey and delicate; Draco is 6’3” and broad with it, thanks to the training regimen the Auror department insists the corps adhere to.
-Omegas do not lose their minds in the presence of alpha pheromones, nor can they even detect them outside of heat. The worst that Draco’s experienced during the daytime when he’s on his cycle is some inconvenient erections (and maybe some embarrassing flirting) when
Potter one of the alphas in the Ministry gets too close to his desk. Nights are a different matter.
-Male omegas cannot get pregnant—thank Merlin. There’s really no biological difference between Draco and any of his male beta friends; it’s all brain chemistry. And related to that…
-Male omegas do not…self-lubricate. There are several products on the market meant to simulate the slick female omegas produce when they’re in heat that are popular in the gay community; Draco’s tried it, but he prefers to brew his own, as the commercial stuff smells plasticky and is slightly too sticky for his liking. Sometimes he wishes he was able to...er…produce his own, as he goes through buckets of the stuff during his heats, but it is what it is.
-And that brings him to the terminology used: heats. Whoever decided to call it that, Draco thinks every month as he prepares by weaving blistering Warming spells into his clothes and blankets and sheets, had no personal experience with the phenomenon and just borrowed a term from the animal biologists. Draco has never experienced a moment of heat; instead, as he gets closer to each month’s peak, his fingers and legs and magic get colder and colder, freezing down in the core of him until all he can think about is what he needs to do to get warm.
Which leads naturally into what the stories, unfortunately, got right:
-Draco does crave cock during his heat. He has a toy he bought and modified that mimics the shape and size and feel of an alpha’s dick, right down to the knot at the base; it’s enough to get him through the nights, but he knows that without the magic inherent in a person on the other side of the knot, it can only go so far in soothing him.
-Mating bites are, unfortunately, a real thing. Draco discovered this when he was seventeen, and the Dark Lord and his minions had taken up residence in his family’s home, and he’d caught the attention of one of Voldemort’s pets. His only heat where whatever fucked-up chemicals in his brain were finally settled, and he hadn’t even chosen it, hadn’t been able to get away, had to spend the next day learning healing spells and casting them on and in himself lest one of the other Death Eaters notice his pain as a weakness and take advantage; nothing had gotten rid of the small silvery scar just over the tendon on his left shoulder, though. He’d felt its effects, a desire to follow, to obey, to roll over and present, but luckily his Occlumency skills, the only Black family trait he’s grateful to have inherited, were enough to section that part of his mind away, wall it off so it didn’t make him actually act on anything.
Draco knows that it shouldn’t have been like that, if the mateship had been initiated honestly and consensually; it would have been more of a pairing of equals. He’d resigned himself to constantly having the mark, yet another in his collection of scars, but after the War had ended, after Potter had returned his wand and he stood over Fenrir Greyback’s corpse after casting the Killing Curse with his own hand, he’d discovered something else the books missed—the death of an alpha can break the bond, and the scar will fade along with whatever tie between them existed.
Now, Draco brushes his hand absently over the left side of his neck, at the clear, unblemished skin there (unlike the right side, but that scar is of a different provenance) and frowns at his fireplace before he sighs and shoves the grate in front of it; he worked past his normal hours today, and got home later than normal, and the chill is creeping up on his spellcasting ability faster than he anticipated.
It had been Potter’s fault; the git had insisted on sitting on his desk and chatting with him all afternoon, and Draco’s fucking biological imperative to pay attention to any nearby alphas when he’s on his cycle had kept him engaged in the conversation instead of finishing up his report from the morning’s interview.
Yes. The hormones from his heat, and nothing else.
Draco stumbles off to his bedroom, the ache low in his stomach already growing past what he can bear. He sheds his robes as he goes; they don’t make a difference without any Warming spells added, and he can’t be bothered to care about wrinkles right now.
He’d laid out his supplies before he left for work that morning, luckily, and while he takes care of things well into the early morning hours, he deliberately doesn’t allow himself to think of green eyes, or dark curly hair, or that bloody distracting arse perched on top of his paperwork.
The next morning, Draco drags himself into the office ten minutes late. He’s exhausted but wired, and Minister Shacklebolt’s eyes rest heavy on him from Robards’ when Draco crosses the bullpen to his desk. Draco very carefully does not allow himself to meet that gaze; Shacklebolt knows what time of the month it is, and should know better than to come down to the bullpen, but some things are unavoidable, and Draco just has to call upon his reserves of willpower to stay sitting at his desk instead of prancing in to flirt and preen.
Potter, on the other hand…
“Good morning, Draco!”
Draco groans and rests his head on his desk, closing his eyes. Potter is entirely too cheerful for him. “What do you want, Harry?”
“Merlin, you look exhausted. Long night?”
Draco cracks an eye open and stares up at him disbelievingly. He can’t be serious? “You could say that, yes,” he snaps. Potter frowns uncomprehendingly, and that’s it, Draco is too on edge and Harry is too close. “Bloody fuck, Harry, don’t you know what day it is? Surely you know that you constantly badgering me like this is playing hob with my ability to be in the office at all? Haven’t you noticed that Boot and Thomas have been avoiding me the last couple of days, or do you care so little about my comfort that you don’t care?” He’s breathing heavily by the end of his speech, and with each breath his awareness of Harry sharpens until it’s all he can think about.
Potter’s eyes are huge, and he’s slowly backing away as Draco pants at him. “Oh, fuck. Draco, I’m...Merlin, I lost track of the day, I am so sorry, is there anything I can do to… Do you want tea, or, I don’t know, one of those wanky pastries from the coffee shop at the other end of Diagon that you like, or…”
Draco sits up and buries his head in his hands, too overwhelmed to respond. Luckily, Tony Goldstein shows up, grimaces sympathetically at Draco, and drags Potter away before he can make it worse; is he really offering Draco gifts, for Salazar’s sake, haven’t his Weasleys taught him anything?
His symptoms are worse that night; proximity to an alpha, with no alpha there at night to follow through on the promise his body had decided had been made, is going to make this heat both longer and even more hellish than usual.
Wait, no, don’t think of that...
When Draco’s alarm blares, he rolls over in bed and stares at the ceiling after throwing it across the room, seriously considering using a sick day.
But, no. While being an omega doesn’t have any impact on him legally, he’s well aware of the stereotypes people have of him, and the stigma surrounding being a man who goes through heat; he’s clawed his way past them for the last five years in the the Auror department, and he’s not about to start requesting special treatment for his heats now.
Besides, by his best guess, because of Harry fucking Potter’s inability to read a bloody calendar, he’s got another six days of this, instead of the three remaining he’d normally have at this point, and he can’t take a full week off work.
He makes it through the day in a daze, barely registering the conversations he has and the paperwork he fills out; someone must have talked to Robards about what happened yesterday, because at least he’s keeping Draco off field work and has rearranged his patrol schedule, so all he really has to do is stay at his desk and try not to swoon when Potter enters and exits the bullpen.
And really, what is he doing, coming and going so often? Draco feels hypertuned to him; knows when Harry’s going to leave, has his eyes fixed on the door every time Harry walks back in. Harry’s watching him too much, too, and Draco blearily wonders if he’s experiencing the same pull.
Serves him right, if so. Alphas don’t experience any of the same shit Draco and other omegas deal with on a regular basis; no cycles affecting their behaviour and sleep patterns, no need to prepare by heating their homes so much that they wake sweating and gasping for breath when the overnight freeze has passed, no long-term effects if they bite someone during sex. So, if Potter’s feeling guilty, or has gotten hooked in by Draco’s scent by being too close and now is distracted by it—it’s really the least he deserves, for how shitty Draco’s feeling.
He ventures to the cafeteria at lunch; he’s starving, his body burning calories at an extraordinary rate, and he’d finished the food he brought from home at ten. He nods tiredly at the only other omega at the Ministry when he passes her table, a woman about a decade older than him who just recently got divorced and looks even more bedraggled than Draco himself feels.
Stumbling through the line, he smiles wanly at the wizard behind the counter, who serves him a triple-serving of potatoes with a wink, then slinks off to a table to eat mechanically.
He’s about halfway done and thinking about what he’s got left to get done for the day when Potter strides in, colour up and eyes furious. Draco groans, but before he can try to get out, Terry Boot runs in after Potter, and now everyone in the cafeteria is paying attention, because the magic snapping between them is almost visible, it’s so tense.
“Don’t you walk away from me, Potter! You know you’ve fucked it up, and if you won’t face me and answer for yourself, I’m going to take it as agreement!”
That gets Harry to stop, and he whirls on Boot, chest heaving. Draco catches his breath at the fury in his eyes. “Bloody hell, Terry, will you listen to yourself? It was an accident, I genuinely didn’t know what day it was, and what is all this shit about claims and challenges? He’s a person, not a plaything, and if he wanted something from me he’d ask! He doesn’t need you trying to defend his honour!”
Boot snarls and gets up in Harry’s personal space, and Draco feels the dull pressure of dread in his chest.
They’re talking about him, about Harry getting too close to him yesterday; Boot must have noticed something was wrong despite the polite distance he’s been keeping since a few days before Draco’s cycle was scheduled to start, and the idiot has let himself get caught up in bravado and machismo and something that Granger would no doubt have other words for, and now he’s going after Potter like Draco’s some sort of...damsel in distress, or a child who can’t speak for himself.
Well, this won’t do; Harry’s almost glowing with the force of his anger, and Draco cannot allow a brawl to occur in his name in the middle of the Ministry for Magic’s cafeteria. Sighing, he abandons his potatoes with a wistful glance and strides to the center of the room, pushing between Boot and Potter. “Alright,” he says loudly, pushing Potter back and stepping away once he’s sure they’re not in immediate danger of drawing wands any longer. “Terry, thank you for your...chivalry.” He grimaces, but Boot brightens and smiles stupidly at him. Bloody Ravenclaws, too busy being cerebral and intellectual, and then the minute a real-world tangle comes up they fall right into it because their heads are too high in the clouds. “I assure you, though, that I am fine. There’s no need for whatever this was turning into.”
Harry won’t meet Boot’s eyes, but they both nod, and Draco needs to get out of there, because Merlin, he’s never felt anything like that, and, joy of joys, it would appear that being exposed to two alphas on the verge of fighting over him is enough to tip his body over into the peak of his heat hours early, because his fingers are already tingling with cold.
He makes it halfway back to the bullpen, already thinking about how to phrase this to Robards so he doesn’t get the dreaded pity-nod he’s managed to avoid thus far, when Harry runs up behind him.
“Don’t you know when to leave well enough alone?” Draco cries, whirling on him and planting his hands on his hips.
Harry stops a few feet away and puts his hands up in what he no doubt thinks is a placating gesture, but Draco will not be placated. “Look,” he says gently, and Draco bristles. “I just...is anything Terry said true? Did I really make your cycle this month that much worse? I thought it was just annoying, you know; not that it would really…hurt you.” He looks anguished, and Draco curses the hormone cocktail in his brain that makes him soften.
“Yes,” he grits out, clenching his fists to stand still and not rush over to coo over Harry until he looks happy again. “Once I got your...your scent or whatever it is, whatever bloody mix of chemicals you spew out, into my nose and my blood, it fucked me over for this cycle. It put forth a question that now my body wants to answer, except you’re not there, and so it makes it worse. Hopefully you’ve learned your bloody lesson, Potter; if you do it again I’m taking you to WR, and not even the Ministry’s favoured child will get away scot-free over something like this.”
“I could be there,” Harry says quietly, watching him sharply.
Draco’s stomach swoops. “You...what?” he replies weakly.
Harry’s eyes are steady and sure. “I said, I could be there. Tonight. The rest of your heat. Whatever. I didn’t…” He sighs and scrubs his hand through his hair, and Draco follows the motion helplessly. “Fuck. I hadn’t meant to do it like this, you know. I thought that if I chatted you up enough, you’d...I don’t know, warm up to me a bit, and maybe if we were friendly you wouldn’t laugh right in my face if I asked you out? But...well, I wasn’t paying attention, and I thought you were finally responding to me the other day, but really it was because your heat was about to start, and I didn’t realize, and now I’ve...I hurt you. And I didn’t mean to. That’s the last thing I wanted. And so…” Harry spreads his arms, and Draco bites down on his lower lip. “So. If there’s anything I can do, to make this better for you...I could do it. I’m happy to. I want to. If you’ll have me.”
Draco’s silent for a minute, utterly at a loss for words, but when Harry’s arms drop and his face starts to shutter, he springs to motion, and is suddenly pressed against Harry’s body before he’s fully conscious of moving, burying his face in Harry’s neck. “You’re an idiot,” he says into Harry’s warm skin—god he’s so warm. “And we’re going to talk more about this tomorrow. But thanks to Boot’s little stunt down in the cafeteria, my body’s decided it’s about to get dicked down and started the party early. If you want to help—if you really want to do this with me, and aren’t just feeling guilty—we have to leave now.”
Harry wraps his arms around Draco with no hesitation. “I’ll send Robards a Patronus when we get back to yours to let him know we’re out for the rest of the day.”
Draco’s not entirely sure how they got back to his house and into his bedroom; whether it was Floo, or Apparition, hell they could have walked home and he wouldn’t have noticed, as wrapped up as he is in getting his hands on every bit of Harry’s skin he can.
He feels warm for the first time in days.
“Godric, it’s hot as fuck in here; do you have to do this every month?” Harry says, stroking along Draco’s back. Draco can feel him fiddling with the temperature spells, but even when he cools the air and cancels the heating spells on the bedsheets, Draco’s still warm, still comfortable, and desperate for Harry to get naked already.
He pulls back enough to rip his own clothes off, then falls onto his bed, crawling back and spreading his legs enticingly as he reaches for the lube on his nightstand. “I need you, Harry,” he says, and his voice is breathier than he’d prefer, but it’s hard to care when Harry’s presence is filling his room, heating his blood, tugging at every godforsaken bit of biology and brain chemistry that’s made him this way.
Harry’s nose flares as he takes in a deep breath, and Draco crows internally that Harry’s finally starting to look as affected as him. With a snap of his fingers, Harry’s clothes are gone, and Draco whines as the wandless magic strokes over his skin.
Harry crawls on top of him and bends down to nip at his neck—not enough to be considered a bite, not enough to mate, but enough to tease at it, enough to make Draco shiver and arch his back. “I’ve got you,” Harry rumbles, then sucks lightly on Draco’s jaw while he fumbles with the lube and finally gets his fingers slicked up.
Draco thrashes when Harry starts petting over his hole, but he quiets and stills when Harry growls and bites at his collarbone warningly. He drops his legs further apart and lets Harry twist first one, then two, then three fingers into him, panting and shaking and crying out when Harry brushes over his prostate.
“Enough,” he finally gasps out; Harry’s fingers feel amazing, and he’s on the verge of a very satisfying orgasm just from that, but he’s feeling the chill creep into his hands and feet again, and it’s not enough any more. “Harry. I need you to fuck me now.”
Harry pauses and pulls back, staring down at Draco with eyes that are mostly pupil. He’s sweating, Draco absently notes. “Are you sure? I mean, I’m not… It isn’t…” he fumbles for his words, and Draco gives into temptation and leans up to lick along Harry’s chest, moaning at the salt-sweat-sex-Harry that bursts along his tastebuds.
“Now,” he breathes into Harry’s chest, and he must be convincing, because Harry’s sitting up and slicking himself, and Draco finally takes a look down.
Harry’s cock is, as Draco had known it would be, big. Normally, Draco might be a little intimidated, might demand an orgasm before he took something that size, but now, he thinks he’s drooling a little bit.
Harry groans as his hand strokes over the knot that’s already beginning to pop at the base of his cock, and Draco hisses. He needs that in him.
Luckily, Harry isn’t distracted for long, and soon he’s slowly pushing in, Draco’s legs resting over his shoulders as he leans forward. His arms are shaking with the strain of going slow, of being careful, and Draco has to close his eyes.
It’s different. He knew it would be, but...the reality of the difference, of the care and the gentleness and the admiration he sees in Harry’s eyes, not just raw lust, is almost too much for him to handle right now.
Finally, Draco feels the extra stretch of the start of Harry’s knot—he’s all the way in. They’re both still for a minute, Harry taking great gasping breaths like he’s just run a sprint, Draco’s entire body trembling, and then Harry begins to move.
His thrusts are long, and deep, and hard, and now Draco’s fingers are tingling with warmth instead of cold, and he trails them down over Harry’s chest and grasps at his biceps as Harry pushes them further up the bed with each pass. He’s making no-doubt embarrassing sounds, but Harry seems to like it, if the wild look in his eyes is any indication.
“Harry—” Draco finally gasps out, writhing as Harry passes over his prostate. “Harry, bite me. Bite me, I want it, I want it, I—”
Harry leans down, and Draco for a minute thinks it’s happening, he’s going to get what he’s asking for, but instead Harry kisses him, hard and harsh, and Draco can feel his knot swelling even further, and just like that he comes all over his stomach with a shout.
Harry pushes in once more, then starts to shake and moan as he starts coming, deep enough inside Draco that he can almost taste it, and then Harry collapses on top of him, still coming, his knot pulsing against Draco’s prostate.
Draco whines and shifts his hips, and Harry manages to move them so Draco’s on top. Draco is bone-deep tired, and he knows that the pressure inside him will ratchet his arousal up again soon, so makes himself as comfortable on Harry’s body as he can, closing his eyes and hoping for a quick nap before his body demands they start again.
Harry’s running his hands over Draco’s back, and it’s nice, and he drifts for a while, until Harry kisses his ear and whispers, “I’m not going to bite you.”
Draco opens his eyes and frowns. He tries to push himself up and away, but Harry holds him close, and those muscles pressing around him stirs something deep in his belly. He ignores it now, though, catching Harry’s eyes as best he can at this close proximity. “And whyever not,” he says, trying to sound as disdainful as possible.
Harry quickly covers up a laugh with a cough, though, so he probably wasn’t very successful. “Well,” Harry replies softly, one hand wandering down and squeezing Draco’s arse, then reaching further and tracing over where they’re connected. Draco shivers and feels himself start to get hard again. “First of all, I haven’t even taken you on a proper date yet. Second, if that’s something you really want, with me, we have to talk about it when we’re both in our right minds—what it would mean for us, what I want, what you want. So...maybe not this month, but if things go well…?” He leaves his sentence hanging, voice filled with hope.
Draco smirks and pushes himself up to a seated position. His body is responding to Harry’s words, to this alpha who’s got him hanging on a knot and planning for the future, faster than Draco ever thought possible. “We’ll see, Potter,” he purrs, grinning when Harry’s cock twitches at his tone. “For now, let’s see if you’re able to keep up with me this month.” He clenches around Harry’s cock and bends down to swallow Harry’s moan.
He can’t remember the last time he was this warm.