Chapter Two - Denial
Harry was not in denial. He was in love. Hopelessly, wonderfully, stupidly in love. And, better yet, a point Hermione would be proud of, he wasn't even letting it interfere with his schoolwork.
Every night, Harry was the first person upstairs to bed. His friends didn't think that strange, for he'd been doing it for a long time now. And he was smart. He hadn't started going to bed early all of a sudden-it was a gradual thing, earlier and earlier, until now it was not unusual to see him mounting the stairs and combating a yawn at eight thirty.
He would change, but not into his pajamas. He'd pull on a pair of Muggle slacks that hugged his bum just right (he checked in the mirror every night), and a worn T-shirt that smelled like summer and he'd brush his teeth and charm his bed so it looked like he was safe and sound and sleeping. And then he would open his bedside table drawer which he kept carefully locked, and he would take a pinch out of his jar of Floo powder and step over into fireplace, and say "Head Boy's suite!" and dissolve in green smoke.
There was always someone waiting for him when he arrived, someone with silk hair and bright eyes and soft lips that never failed to make him smile. A kiss left him feeling giddy, and he had to lace his fingers through the other boy's and rest his head against a firm shoulder.
It was very windy that day a year and a half ago. The sixth years trudged back from a Quidditch match, grateful it was over, for the weather was horrid. Gryffindor was victorious over a fatalistic Hufflepuff, but Harry walked slowly back to the locker rooms, dragged his broom behind him, a sour set to his mouth. He was so preoccupied that he didn't notice the figure creeping up behind him, ready to grab him by the arm. He did notice however, how firm the grip was, and that the person had very long and slender fingers.
"What is your obsession with my hands?" Draco Malfoy asked. Harry had twined their fingers together and was holding their joined hands before them, kissing Draco's knuckles.
"I don't know," Harry answered truthfully. "They're very...I don't know...aristocratic, I guess."
"Of course they are." Draco smiled. "Were you really expecting anything else?"
A soft snort of laughter. "Not really." Harry caressed the back of Draco's hand with the fingers of his free hand. "How are they so smooth? So perfect?"
"Calluses are so plebian, by dear Harry. Not that yours are, of course. Just...in general."
"Of course." More laughter.
"Well? What did you expect? A detailed account of my manicure process?"
"That would definitely be too much information, Draco. Way too much."
"You're the one that wants to live with me when we get out of here."
"Sorry. So stupid of me."
"That's okay. You're kind of useful to have around. Good coat rack possibilities."
"What? You mean the Malfoys don't have an heirloom coat rack?"
"Dear God. If we do, I don't want to know about it."
"Ah, the burden of being rich."
"Don't forget beautiful. I'm pretty damn beautiful, too."
Later that night, they lay curled into each other in the middle of Draco's giant bed. Draco's head rested on Harry's shoulder, and Harry lay awake, watching the other boy sleep. He loved to do this-did it every night, if he wasn't too tired. His breath would expel gently, brushing against Harry's bare chest, stirring the pale hair on his own forehead. His face was gentle and smooth, perfect. Draco was pale, pale as the moon, as the stars, as a piece of paper, as a sheep. (Draco had been quite indignant when he heard the last one). His skin was white, his hair was white, and his eyes were the palest gray Harry had ever seen.
But overall, it was the lines of his body that Harry found fascinating. Draco's face was angular, but not hard, all smooth lines that flowed into one another and formed a seamless picture of inherent grace. His waist smoothed into his hips smoothed into his rather astonishing legs, all of him elegant. The ancient Greek sculptors would have wept, had they had the chance to create a work of art this beautiful. This perfect. Years of selective Malfoy breeding had paid off, and the boy resting against Harry was one of rare beauty.
Draco sometimes spoke in his sleep, a bare whisper, a sibilant hiss, that chilled through Harry's body, and made him wrap his arms tighter around the pale creature, pulling him close and keeping him warm. Harry may not have been as pretty, but he was made of firmer stuff.
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