The first time it happens Harry and Draco are held up in potions, finishing their own experimental drought for Slughorn after classes have finished for the day. In their shared cauldron a sleeping drought happily bubbled away, Draco stirring counter clockwise every so often so the light blue liquid would thicken. The air was heavy with residential fumes from their potion, making Harry feel groggy and sluggish where he sat watching Draco.
Harry didn't know if Draco had cast a charm over himself to prevent himself from being effected by the fumes or if he was just naturally immune. After the war, Draco had let his hair grow long again but he often went without slicking it back like he use to when he was younger. These days he preferred to keep it soft and hanging around his face, tucking strands behind his ears or pulling the straight platinum locks into a messy bun at the nape of his neck. Dangerously, Harry let his mind wonder while staring at Draco, an occurrence that was alarmingly becoming an daily occurrence, something that he thought he had grown past after sixth year. He couldn't help himself, Draco with his perfect messy bun and sharp cheek bones, robes discarded, sleeves rolled up his pale forearms, Dark Mark on display.
When Hogwarts had opened again after a long summer of repairs, Draco was just a shadow of his former self. Hugging the walls as he walked to class, keeping his head down, only speaking one or two words a day in quip and quiet sentences when the professors called on him in class. Harry had watched helplessly as Draco took the abuse that other students had thrown at him, students who had lost their parents and siblings to the war, muggle born first years who were too young to understand were casting jinxes at Draco in the halls under older students persuasion. They just didn't understand Draco the way Harry did, they weren't there when Draco saved his life in Malfoy Manor, nor where they there when Draco lowered his wand and Snape killed Dumbledore in his place.
After a particularity nasty body binding jinx that had Draco immobilized on the floor, his books kicked around and parchment torn, Harry had intervened.
"The war is over!" He shouted at any one who would listen. "We've all made mistakes, done things we aren't proud of to protect our family's. It's time you all grew up and saw that he's just like the rest of us. I know a lot of you have lost something, someone. So has Malfoy. I think it's admirable that Malfoy came back here, no other Slytherin did, he just wants to finish his education like the rest of us. It's time to move on, grow up and leave him alone."
Some students sneered as they walked away, some looked sheepish, even sorry and soon the hallway was clear except for Harry and Draco. Harry undid the jinx and helped Draco to his feet. For the first time in months, Draco had glimmer of fire in his eyes.
"You didn't have to do that Potter." Draco spat and Harry shrugged.
"I wanted to."
Draco straightened his robes, long fingers ran over his tie and through his hair. "I can look out for myself."
"It didn't look like it Malfoy, what would have happened if you were walking down some stairs? You could of snapped your neck you git." Harry bent down and gathered some of Draco's paper together.
Draco crouched beside him. "I don't need your fucking help," he whispered and picked up his books, taking the papers from Harry's hands and then walking away, leaving Harry on the ground, shocked.
Turns out Draco Malfoy was a big fan of the word 'fuck.' That was something that Harry had discovered since his weird friendship with Draco had formed. After the incident in the hall, people had started to leave Draco alone, allowing him to hold his head a fraction higher when he walked. He became more confident when he spoke, starting conversations instead of only speaking when being spoken to and he answered the professors questions with in depth answers that awarded his house points. The former Death Eater became more comfortable in his skin, no longer ashamed of the Dark Mark branding him, and Harry would watch him over his meals or books and found that Draco had been expressing his freedom of speech.
Harry let his thoughts drift in the potions classroom, watching Draco's hands work with his wand.
"Potter." Draco started, squaring his shoulders when Harry looked up from his Transfiguration essay.
"I demand you return my wand, this ones faulty." He placed a light brown wand on Harry's parchment and Harry raised his eyebrow at it.
"You could ask nicely ya' know?" Harry pushed himself away from his essay and stood. Draco just glared. Laughing quietly, Harry gestured towards the dorms, "it's in my trunk." Leading the way, Draco followed silently. It was quiet in the eighth year dorms, the few who returned where already in bed or taking advantage of the eighth year curfew. Ron and Hermione were studying on the floor when Harry and Draco walked in, their pieces of parchment where thrown about everywhere and Hermione's jumper was tossed aside hazardously.
"What's he doing here?" Ron shouted in surprise when Draco awkwardly hovered in the door way. Hermione just sat up straighter and flicked her eyes from Harry to Draco.
"I'm returning his wand." Harry replied casually. Kneeling in front of his truck and shifting things around.
"I didn't know you still had it Harry," Hermione spoke up, eyeing Draco warily.
"Ah, yeah," came Harry's distracted reply from inside his trunk. "I hadn't had the opportunity to return it since the trials."
Draco looked at the ground. "Oh, well." Hermione cleared her throat, "a lot has happened since then."
"Yes," whispered Draco from his spot in the door way. The dorm was filled with an awkward silence, aside from Harry moving things around in his truck.
"Ah-ha!" Harry stood, gripping Draco's wand in his hand. His hair was more devilish then usual and his glasses were askew across his nose. "Here," he said and Draco walked forwards, careful of the papers on the floor. Holding his hand out, Draco reached for his wand.
"Thank you," he whispered sincerely when Harry handed it over. The familiar feel warmed him as his magic recognized it, thrumming happily in his veins at the reunion of its old friend.
"Test it out," Harry said, choosing to sit at the foot of his bed. Draco swallowed.
"Hang on a minute," Ron interjected getting to his feet and moving to stand protectively in front of Hermione. "This could of been his plan all along ya' know? Get his wand back and then kill you!" Hermione gripped Ron's thigh from where she sat.
Draco shook his head. "Do you know how ridiculous you sound Weasly? I-I wanted to apologize actually." He licked his lips, exchanging his weight from one foot to the other. "For everything. My behavior over the years, my discrimination towards you and your family. I'm sorry about your brother. About the stupid fucking war. Granger, I'm sorry for calling you- Well," he swallowed, "I don't think I'll ever say it again but you know what I'm talking about. I-I meant it back then, but I don't mean it now. I'm sorry for it, and for what Bellatrix did."
Hermione's eyes grew darker when she remembered, nodding once to accept Draco's apology, not trusting her voice.
"Thanks mate," said Ron, his voice raw in the memory of Fred. "But don't think this changes anything." Harry chuckled weakly and Draco huffed once, lips quirked into a small smile.
Harry sat with a dopey smile on his face and Draco kicked him from under the desk. "It's your turn to stir the potion Potter, my arms are fucking tired." Frowning from being kicked, Harry shuffled until he was leaning over the cauldron, stirring with his wand. Harry must of been lost in his thoughts for some time because the potion was now light pink.
"Did you add the slime?" He asked idly, watching the light pink drought bubble.
"Yes I did, but I shouldn't have because that was your fucking job. You're welcome."
Harry grunted. For weeks now Draco's swearing was getting more frequent, he hated the foul words that came from Draco's beautiful mouth but it's not like he could do anything to stop him. Hunched over the cauldron, Harry let his mind wander again, Draco was off to the side, legs crossed under the desk, a quill tapping his lips as he documented the color change of their potion. Harry watched hypnotized as Draco drew his lip into his mouth, chewing it lighting with his straight teeth.
That's when Harry got the idea. It was perfect. Fool proof. Draco wouldn't even see it coming. Harry grinned at his genius idea and stirred.
"How are we going to test this?" Harry asked, wondering which one of them would be the test subject.
"Frogs," Draco muttered, not looking up from his parchment.
Harry hummed in response. "How do we know when it's done?"
"In ten minutes."
"How do you know that?"
Draco looked up, annoyed. "What's with all the fucking questions Potter?"
Harry grinned, Draco fell into his trap perfectly. Surging forwards, Harry wrapped his fingers around Draco's tie and pulled him forwards until their lips met over their cauldron. The pressure lasted for three seconds, Harry's eyes shut and Draco's wide in surprise. When Harry let Draco go, he slid back into his seat slowly, eyes still wide, tie crooked and a blush painting his cheeks.
Harry just hummed in his success and Draco's silence, going back to their potion.
2 + 3.
They're in the eighth year common room. Hermione's curled up on a sofa by the fire reading out loud from her book. A book that Draco had recommend. Every now and again Draco interrupts her, offering his thoughts on a particular line or sentence and they will debate about particular spells. Harry's beside Draco on the couch, feet under Draco's bum, more to annoy Draco then to keep his feet warm. It's a regular occurrence now, doesn't shock anyone anymore. Ron is loosing his game of Wizards Chess. Draco turned out to be an unexpected challenge, now every evening Ron hassles Draco until they play, determined to bet him at least once.
Ron groans loudly in defeat. "I trusted you," he angrily whispers to his King whose just been checkmated.
Draco laughs, a warm sound, only slightly mocking.
"You cheat Malfoy." Ron's nodding, convincing himself that Draco is actually cheating. He turns to Hermione, "Malfoy cheats. I know he does!" Hermione shakes her head fondly.
"Of course he does, it's not like he has actual talent or anything."
Hermione closed her book, a teasing smile tugging at her lips. "Come on Ronald, I think you've played enough chess for one evening." She stood, unfolding her limbs and pulling Ron to his feet. He towered over her when he stood but she just pressed her face against his chest.
"I want a bloody rematch." Hermione tugged at Ron's sweater, looking up at him with brown eyes. "But, tomorrow." He said, looking down at Hermione. She smiled and lent up on her tip toes to press a quick kiss against his check. "G'night Harry, Malfoy." Hermione waved at them and they left. Hermione still pressed against Ron's chest as they walked, Ron holding her there tightly.
Draco scowled. "They do realize that some of us are single right?"
Harry wiggled his toes and Draco shot him a glare.
"They're in love," said Harry, looking straight at Draco, something unreadable in his eyes.
"It's fucking disgusting." Draco hissed, mending his chess pieces. Harry leans forwards in his seat, pulling his feet out from under Draco's bum and raises a hand, cupping Draco's jaw and turning his head. Draco turns, frowning, a question on his lips before Harry kisses it away.
Draco pulls back in shock. "That's the second time you've done that!" He yells, "what the fuck are you doing?" The blush is back on his cheeks, turning his pale skin a beautiful shade of red. Harry kisses him again, leaving Draco flustered and gasping when Harry pulls away and leaves the common room.
4 + 5 + 6.
Harry's scratching some last minute findings on his parchment, his frog just waking up from their experimental sleeping drought. His frog croaked once before hopping off to find something to eat. Harry let it go, knowing it would return in a few moments.
"We need to talk." Draco didn't look up from his own frog when he spoke, his voice was leveled, calm, something Harry grinned at.
"I don't know what you're talking about." He replied, dipping his quill in ink.
Draco huffed, his quill hovering over his parchment, mid sentence describing the effect their potion had on his frog. "You know what I'm talking about Potter."
Harry grinned when Draco clicked his tongue, but he didn't say anything more, opting to fill a vile of their potion to hand in at the end of class.
There was a minute more of Harry grinning and Draco fuming in silence before Draco threw his quill down and crowded Harry's space on the desk. "Potter."
Harry hummed, still scratching his quill on his parchment, fixing a few spelling mistakes and signing his name at the bottom.
"Why the fuck have you been kissing me?" Draco whispered harshly. Harry was glad they were partnered together at the back of the classroom because Harry kissed Draco right there in the middle of potions.
"Potter! You can't just- What the fuck do you think-" Harry kissed him again, catching Draco's words in his mouth. Draco spluttered and pushed at Harry's chest, his fingers curling around the Gryffindor tie, not knowing if he wanted to push Harry away or pull him closer. Harry broke the kiss, this was the longest one they'd ever shared. Licking his lips Harry smiled innocently and pried Draco's fingers from his tie.
"I'm surprised you haven't caught on actually," Harry says with a wave of his hand, filling his own vile of potion.
"Caught on to what Potter?"
Shrugging, Harry fiddled with his glasses, getting them to sit better on his nose. "I don't like it when you swear."
"What?" Draco said frustrated, "what has you kissing me got to do with me swearing?" He hissed.
Harry raised an eyebrow, "you're slow this morning, you didn't ingest any of the potion did you?"
Draco balled his fists. "No I did not ingest any of the potion." He said sarcastically, "and I can fucking say what I like." Harry rolled his eyes and kissed him again. Draco pulled back this time, pushing away from the table. Harry raised his eyes to meet Draco's grey ones, they were fuming. "You can hand in our project Potter, I'm going to go sit with Granger."
Draco had avoided Harry for the rest of the day, skipping Transfiguration and ignoring Harry at dinner.
"Did you and Malfoy have a fight Harry?" Hermione asked when Draco stormed past them in the common room, heading to his dorm without even a hello.
Harry sighed, "not really. It's complicated."
"You and Malfoy haven't had a proper fight since sixth year," Ron commented, mouth full of Every Flavor Beans. "Unless you count squabbling over pumpkin juice as a fight."
Harry's face heated. "We do not squabble."
Hermione and Ron shared a look.
"What?" Harry asked, not missing the look his best friends shared. "Guys."
"It's nothing Harry." Hermione said, but her tone of voice indicated to Harry that that was not true.
"Hermione, what is it?"
Ron was the one who spoke. "You and Malfoy."
Harry just looked bewildered at his friends. "What about me and Malfoy?"
His best friends shared another look before Hermoine turned to Harry, her brown eyes warm and open, non judgmental. "We've seen the way you look at him."
"And the way he looks at you," Ron muttered around another mouthful of beans.
Harry stutters. "I-I have no idea what you're talking about."
"Mate," Ron gave Harry a stern look, one that looked odd and out of place, something Harry hadn't seen since the war. "You fancy him."
"It's not like that, we're just friends," he says defensively, face reddening under his friends heavy gaze.
Hermione laughs lightly, "it's okay Harry. You don't have to hide it anymore."
Harry fidgets in his seat. He hadn't expected this, for his friends to be so open after everything. Draco was a different person now, better, no longer influenced by the Dark Lord or forced to do things he didn't want to do to keep his mother safe. New Draco was wonderful, smart, still arrogant but he had a sense of humor, he looked forward to meals in the great hall and his chess games with Ron, finding friends in unexpected places.
"I saw you in potions," Hermione says softly, gauging Harry's reaction. His green eyes go wide under his glasses, his flush darkening.
"I-It's nothing, he swears a lot, I'm making him stop."
Ron rolls his eyes. "Blimey Harry, there are other ways to get somebody to stop swearing."
Hermione nods, tucking a frizzy lock of hair behind her ear. "We could of had an intervention. We could help?"
A sudden possessiveness surged through Harry, "no. This is something that I have to do myself." Ron and Hermione share another look so Harry gets up, tired of his friends for the moment. "It's not like that," he insists. "We're friends."
"Uh-huh," Ron and Hermione say together, watching Harry's retreating form. He stumbles on the stairs, flushed and embarrassed. He shuts his curtains when he climbs in bed, not wanting to see Ron when he shows up, lest he try to talk to him again. He'd straighten everything out with his friends and Draco in the morning.
The thought of Draco had Harry's heart pounding in his chest. Sleep didn't come easy that night.
In the morning the air around his friends was slightly different, like they knew something he didn't. Except he did know. They were just completely and utterly wrong about the entire thing. Tomorrow was a Hogsmeade weekend, the eighth year common room was buzzing with plans to buy as much Butterbear and Firewhisky from the Three Broomsticks that they could and sneak it back to Hogwarts. At breakfast they passed a piece of parchment around between them, listing who would buy what and how they were going to carry it back to the castle. When it reached Harry he laughed with Ron at some of their fellow classmates ridiculous ideas.
Draco came in late, hair slightly damp and robe thrown over one arm.
"Sleep in did you?" Harry asked when Draco sat next to him, stealing a sausage from his plate and glaring his answer instead. Harry just laughed and showed Draco the parchment. Draco read it expertly, taking in every idea with a small nod of approval or a delicate shake of his head.
"Your names not on here," he said when he'd finished reading it. Sliding it across to Neville who exchanged it with a glass of pumpkin juice which Draco took a small sip of.
"Neither is yours," Harry commented and buttered himself some toast.
"I don't want to get fuc-- Caught. I don't want to get caught." Draco was staring intensely at Harry. Grey eyes bore into green. Harry just bounced his eyebrows and shrugged once, gleeful that his kissing plan was finally sinking in and was actually working.
Draco exhaled, visibly relaxing.
"I don't think McGonagall would do much if she discovered one or two students had a bottle of whatever tucked away in their briefs." Draco snorted around a piece of bacon.
"Or hidden in their hair." Harry giggled and Draco joined him. They laughed together at the absurdity of that idea, ignoring everyone around them.
Hermione raised her eyebrows at Ron and he whispered something to Neville, who in turn whispered something to Dean and soon the whole eighth year table was watching the former Death Eater and the Savior of the Wizarding World steal food from each others plates and laugh together like it was the easiest thing in the world.
On another piece of parchment somebody started a betting pool.
"I require some new quills actually, so my moneys going towards those. I'm sure Granger and her extendable bag charm will fool even McGonagall, I'll get my fair share of Firewhiskey from her."
Harry nodded, "that was my idea too."
"Are you not going to Hogsmeade?" Draco asked, resting his elbow on the table, sipping his glass of pumpkin juice. Harry shrugged and pushed his plate away.
"It's not the same anymore," he said looking down at the table. Draco nodded.
"We'll go together," Draco said firmly. Not going to take no for a answer.
"You want to go to Hogsmeade with me?"
"Don't look so fuc--" Draco coughed. "--Surprised. Don't look so surprised Potter, as it happens I only need someone else's opinion on what type of quill I should get."
Harry grinned and nudged his shoulder against Draco's, a laugh humming in his throat. "It's not like you enjoy my company or anything."
Draco rolled his eyes, "you wish." Harry laughed out loud and Draco matched Harry's smile.
"Oi love birds!" Ron called out from across the table. Draco and Harry both flushed and turned to look at him. Ron was shaking his head, "it's time for class you idiots."
"You- You're the idiot Weasly!" Ron just laughed, dragging Hermione out of the Great Hall by her hand.
"Wow," Harry said, gathering up his bag.
"Shut up," Draco grumbled pulling on his robes.
"I mean, as far as insults go, that was pretty lame Malfoy."
"Oh fuck up you wanker." Draco didn't even realize his slip until Harry tugged him into an alcove and threw his arms around Draco's shoulders, pulling him towards him until their chests were flushed against each other and slotted their mouths together. Draco gasped in surprise and gripped Harry's shoulders. Harry broke the kiss panting.
"We're going to be late to class." Draco didn't have time to ask what the hell Harry thought he was doing because he was already tearing down the hall towards Charms.
8 + 9.
Scrivenshaft's Quill Shop smelt of ink and parchment. Draco was aimlessly chatting about the different types of quills he picked up and Harry listened contently, keeping an ear open for any swears. They weren't the only ones in the store, a group of third years were gossiping by the counter, a girl with blonde hair had just purchased a bottle of ink. Harry wondered if he should buy some as well.
"Are you even listening to me Potter?" Draco cut into Harry's train of thought. He hummed and turned his attention back to Draco who was clutching a bottle of rainbow ink.
"What are you getting that for?" Harry questioned, eyes flicking between the bottle and Draco's eyes.
"I'm not, I was just holding it." He quickly puts the bottle down. Harry quirked an eyebrow but Draco had turned back to his quills.
"I think I'll get these two." He says after a moment and Harry moves closer. His front pressing against Draco's back. Draco smelt like broom polish, lemons and Treacle Tart, making Harry's knees weak.
"They look like ordinary quills."
Draco rolled his eyes, pivoting where he stands to face Harry and slap at his shoulder.
"What was that for?" Harry asks, faking offence to Draco's action.
"They are ordinary quills, don't you know anything?"
Harry deadpans, "I'll have you know I know 12 things."
Draco tossed his head back in a surprisingly loud laugh, echoing throughout the quill shop. Harry watched Draco's Adams apple bob in his throat, finding himself wanting to claim the pale expanse of skin. "Fuck, Potter." Draco giggled once more before clearing his throat. An amused smile sat on Draco's lips, his grey eyes filled with a happiness he only found in Harry.
Harry slipped his hands to Draco's waist, green eyes shinning and filled with a happiness he only found in Draco. They stared at each other, eyes locked in some ridiculous declaration of love. Harry tilted his head up, claiming Draco's lips with his own. But this time it wasn't just because Draco swore, it was because he wanted to.
He wanted to kiss Draco always.
Draco's eyes fluttered shut, quills forgotten in his hands which he wrapped around Harry's neck, running his fingers through the black curls, tugging at them to deepen the kiss. Harry squeezed Draco's hips making him gasp, Harry took this as an invitation to slid his tongue into Draco's mouth. Draco moaned into the kiss and willing let Harry explore his mouth. When Harry pulled away it was only because he needed air.
Lips inches apart, Harry sucked in the air Draco breathed out, his thumbs rubbing small circles into Draco's hips. Draco laughed, a happy little sound that was contagious. They laughed happily together, warm, wonderful little sounds that went straight to Harry's heart.
"Bloody hell," Draco says and Harry closes the space between them once more, even though technically 'bloody hell' isn't much of a swear.
A week later everyone's enjoying dinner in the Great Hall. The eighth years are whispering among themselves, watching Harry and Draco over their spoons of pudding and cups of pumpkin juice. Harry and Draco are sitting together, which isn't unusual, neither is the way the laugh together, or look at each other like they hung the moon, but they way Harry is tracing random patterns into the back of Draco's hand with his fingers tips is unusual.
Hermione and Ron neither confirm nor do they deny that Draco and Harry have finally gotten together, which just makes the rest of the table suspicious and someone pulls out the piece of parchment with all their bets written on it.
"People are looking." Draco whispers into Harry's ear.
Harry smirks, "let them."
"You're not afraid of what people will think? I can see the head lines now 'Former Death Eater Captures Harry Potter's Heart'.'' Harry grins at Draco's words and laces his fingers through Draco's on the table.
There's a 'whoop!' from someone down the table and a collective groan travels throughout the rest. Younger students from their places at the house tables are now looking over at the commotion from the eighth year table. Even the professors are looking.
Seamus is waving the piece of parchment with their bets on it over his head, a manic grin plastered on his face, their classmates are handing down coins and little bags of money, a small pile forming by his dinner plate.
"What's happening?" Harry asks Ron who is grumbling, fishing in his pockets for a Galleon.
Seamus hands Harry the piece of parchment and Harry soaks it all in.
"You bet on us?" He shouts down the table. Hermione offers him a shrug and flicks Seamus a coin.
"'One week from today they'll hold hands,''' Draco reads. Neville throws a bread roll at Seamus' head instead of a Galleon. Seamus takes it as acceptable payment.
"What the fuck?" Harry shouts again. Now everybody is looking. Harry's not angry, not really. He's just embarrassed that everyone seemed to know while him and Draco had tried to keep their relationship quiet.
Draco's laughing beside him, their thighs touch under the table. "You swore Potter," is all he says before threading his fingers in Harry's hair and locking their lips together in front of the everyone in the Great Hall. There's a pregnant pause of shocked silence before everyone starts talking at once, but Harry and Draco take no notice of it, too wrapped up in each other to give a fuck.