Harry struggled miserably, and wished he was back in Hogwarts. Craning his neck, he attempted to latch his teeth into the wrist of one of the men carrying him. But the two burly wizards simply shook him roughly as if he were no more than a pesky fly, hard enough to rattle his teeth in his head, and continued on toward the manor steps.
In his distraught condition, Harry had forgotten about the sensor spells guarding Malfoy manor, and he'd been too preoccupied to remember to don the invisibility cloak. The guards had very neatly picked him out of the air even all of Harry's dodging and swerving couldn't save him when there were eight of them after him. He'd been pulled from his broom and fallen, for they'd let go by accident.
As the ground rushed up towards him, his life flashed before his eyes he'd gotten as far as the first time the Dursleys had locked him in the cupboard before someone had grabbed him by the back of his robe. Choking on the collar of the garment, he was brought to earth, and then uncerimoniously patted down and stripped of his wand.
Now he was being manhandled up the steps, his feet dragging he was actually back peddling in mid-air, and probably cutting a remarkably comical figure, with his dishelved hair and his green eyes fearful behind the askew slant of his spectacles. He yelped out a protest as his foot hit a rock, and drew both legs toward his chin a dead weight, not that it stopped the wizards.
Harry grunted as he was flung forwards onto the steps, and heard his glasses spin away from him across the stone floor. The world resolved from clarity to a disorderly and myopic blur, and at the fore of that blur was a pair of what might have been feet, clad in dragon skin boots. And above that, Harry saw, tilting his chin upwards, was more blackness someone's school robes and then, at the very top, a silver and white haze, more vivid in contrast than a star in the night sky.
"What do you think you're doing with him?" he heard Draco say. "That boy is a friend of mine. Or at least he was."
"Leave him alone. Otherwise I'll tell my father how you've been treating my guests. I very much doubt he'd be happy. Yes off you go."
The guards left, and one of the blurred boots kicked something toward Harry. Harry reached for it, and felt the familiar curve of his spectacles. They weren't broken thank god for small mercies. He pushed them onto the bridge of his nose, and stared up at Draco, who was weighing his own wand and Harry's in each hand.
"It's all settled," said Draco, tossing over Harry's wand. "My father's dealt with it. No more snitch, no more worry. Of course, given that it's practically dawn now, you'll probably end up be expelled for leaving school. Can't help you there, I'm afraid."
"My father is going to explain it all to Dumbledore in a way that will result in my expulsion being retracted, and my father not receiving an inquest from the Ministry of Magic. Alls well that ends well, I suppose." Draco grinned, devillishly. "So, that leaves us where exactly, Harry?"
He called me Harry, thought Harry, blinking up in surprise. Then again, I suppose he's a right to use more familiar terms after all, two kisses and a couple of proclaimations of desire and love later, I think we're definately on a first name basis.
"You said, um something about a tete-a-tete," said Harry.
"Very clever, Harry," Draco congratulated him, as if Harry were a particulary thick student who'd just managed to master a simple spell. "And here we are, the spell broken, and quite alone apart from my father's hired goons skulking about, but I'm sure they've been chastised sufficiently, and aren't willing to risk getting caught eavesdropping. I think before we head back to Hogwarts we should settle this whole affair once and for all."
Harry gulped, thickly. "Listen, Draco," he babbled, "what I said before about the chocolate cake I was just being stupid. I mean, I'd like that, certainly, but if you just want to be, er, platonic companions.."
"Oh, so you do fancy me as a life-time partner after all," said Draco micheviously, using the tip of his wand to scratch his chin.
"Yeah. A life-time bed partner," Harry managed to quip.
Draco blanched, and accidentally stuck his wand up his nose. He let out a whine and rubbed at his face.
"Yes, well. There is that," Draco muttered.
"So do you want "
"So do you think "
They'd spoken at the same time.
"What I mean is "
"I'm trying to "
They'd done it again. Harry grinned.
"You go first, Draco," he offered, genially.
"Thank you, Harry," said Draco, wiping his wand absently on the hem of his robe. "What I was trying to say was do you think we could manage something a mutually beneficial situation which would include a certain but not obligatory amount of togetherness, and possibly the occasional intimacy? If you understand me, Harry."
"Sure. You blow me, I blow you."
Draco groaned. "Good grief. Why do I even bother?"
"Sorry, Draco." Harry coughed, and attempted to look sincere. "You're asking me out, right?"
"I wouldn't put it quite so frankly," said Draco, tensely. "You know, it is quite a step. Given our respective social circles, and our in-house rivalry, and my father, and you-know-who, and the snitch affair, and the fact that I don't really know how you feel about me "
"I think I kind of like you," Harry supplied honestly.
"Wonderful. A relationship based on kind-of-like. My word, Harry do you consciously try to make me feel like shit, or is it some natural aptitude of yours?"
"Natural, I think."
"Oh, even better."
Harry got to his feet, unsteadily, and climbed the remaining steps to where Draco stood, still morosely turning his wand over in his hands. His silver-blonde hair fell over his face in a thick fringe, obscuring whatever expression currently lingered on his pale countenance. Harry could guess at what it would be, though: a mixture of regret and annoyance.
"This isn't going to work, Harry. You probably know that as well as I do. "
"Don't be so defeatist, Draco. It isn't becoming."
Draco looked up. He's been crying, Harry noticed and bit his lip, wondering if Draco really wanted him to see him in this state. But Draco didn't appear ashamed of it he hadn't even bothered to wash his face before he stepped outside to deal with the guards. Perhaps this whole ordeal had changed Draco: now that everyone knew exactly how Draco felt, Harry supposed it would be ludicrous to continue to bottle it up inside.
A more open, honest Draco? It seemed impossible, but there Draco was before him, tear-stained and delicate and admitting even after the effects of the spell had worn off that he was still very much enamoured with Harry Potter. Perhaps not in so many words, but that was the gist of it, and Harry gaped.
"We are not a muggle-fish, Harry," said Draco, blithely.
Harry shut his mouth.
"Do you want to go out with me, Harry Potter?" said Draco.
"I really don't have all day. I've flies to tease and classes to catch up on. Oh, and a lot of explaining to do to various people."
Draco tapped his wand against the palm of his hand. Harry struggled for words. What will Ron and Hermione think, when they discover my obsession has become a reality? he wondered, franticly. What will Neville, Seamus, Dean, and all the other Gryffindors think? Not to mention Crabbe and Goyle and the Slytherins, and the professors, and the entire school..
He bit his lip again. Who cares what they all think? he thought furiously. They can get used to it, or bug off. The question is not what everyone else thinks, but what Harry Potter thinks, and what Harry Potter thinks is
What Harry Potter thinks is that Draco Malfoy is possibly the most spoilt, attractive, pretentious, intelligent, bullying, graceful, annoying and sexy boy in the entire wizarding world.
"I'm waiting, Harry," Draco chimed.
Draco didn't miss a beat. "Of course you do," he said, confidently, nipping in to plant a breif kiss on Harry's forehead. "Shall we adjourn to the boudoir, then?"
Harry blinked. "I thought you didn't "
"It's what's called a bluff, Harry," said Draco, shifting to interlink their arms, and manouvering him elegantly into the manor's entrance hall. "I rate you far higher on the fantasy list than Parvati or Lavender. And with a little wheedling, I'm sure my father will be able to write you a note, too. Potter, concerned over Malfoy's wellbeing it's almost as good a headline for the Witches Weekly as The Boy Who.."
"The Boy Who Lived An Alternative Lifestyle," said Harry, with an outward grimace and inside his stomach was in knots, and he knew his face must be the same colour as a tomato, and he didn't think he could possibly feel more happy and afraid. His fantasies, his reality the two were melding seamlessly, and it was all he could do not to kiss Draco furiously on the staircase.
"Don't sound so annoyed," Draco drawled. "Personally, I think it would make for a charming caption."
Draco made the first move, for once. They started kissing on the landing, and stumbled backwards to Draco's room first Draco pressed against the wall, and then Harry submerged beneath Draco's fast and desperate lips. Slamming the door shut behind them, Harry fiddled with the clasp of Draco's robe franticly, his fingers clumsy in this fit of lust.
The seams, already bedraggled after the battles Draco had fought earlier in Hogwarts, came apart suddenly in Harry's hands. He stepped away with his fists full of dark cotton, simply staring at Draco, as if his eyes might pop from his head.
"You don't wear " he whispered, incredulously.
Draco grinned at him, overcome with a fit of mischeif. He clasped his hands before his bare chest like a repenitant choir boy, and all Harry's breath left him.
"Please, Mister Potter," Draco begged, "Can I play with your wand?"
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