(Author’s note – Wishing everyone a wonderful 2018! Thank you so much for following this thus far. I’m really enjoying writing this and am hoping to bring it to a close within the next few weeks. Any reviews, likes and/or follows you would like to send my way, any and all are always muchly appreciated. Happy new year.)
Draco floated up into consciousness as he lay in the wintery morning darkness listening to Harry’s soft snoring next to him. A small, contented smile came to his lips as he felt the warmth of the Gryffindor stretch tight against the length of his body as Harry held him close. Draco had never really slept with someone before. Obviously, he’d had men stay the night but there had never really been the intimacy that he felt right this moment. He lay savouring the sensation. There was someone in the world whom knew almost everything about him and was still here, fast asleep, cuddling up to him. As if he’d spoken his thoughts aloud, Harry stirred slightly, pulling Draco closer.
He sighed sadly knowing that he had to get up for work. He watched Harry’s face as he tried to lift his arm off to roll out from under it. He had to stifle a laugh at how funny this would look. Eventually, he managed to escape Harry’s arms only to lie there for a few moments longer just gazing at his peaceful, sleeping face. He tried to commit his face to memory as he raised his hand to stroke the soft black hair. It felt every bit as soft as it promised.
He had lied to Harry yesterday and as he stared into the grey, shadow-painted face of the boy-who-kissed-him, he knew. He was so much more than ‘In Like’ with him. When Harry had agreed to being tied up with no wand and no way of escaping, Draco knew that Harry truly trusted him.
Once he was bound and blindfolded Draco just stood there for a long moment, forgetting himself. That act of trust alone dissolved any resistance to the idea that Draco had.
He smiled again as he climbed off the bed to shower. He glanced back at the bed as the slim line of light from the hall cast across Harry’s body. Draco turned away quickly before his determination to go to work dissolved too.
He was quick to shower, not spending hours under the shower rose as he would’ve done when he was at school. After scrubbing up and rinsing down he stepped out and wrapped a towel around his waist. He was just about to brush his teeth when he heard a commotion in the bedroom. He felt his heart in his throat as he rushed down the yet unfamiliar hallway to his new room. He opened the door, his wand raised as he looked around for the danger. The room was as he left it, nothing was broken except Harry.
He was shaking in a ball, the bedclothes discarded to the floor. Draco rushed to the bed, his heart in his throat.
“Harry?” He called, shaking him gently. He could feel the tremors through the bed. He felt sick as Harry contorted suddenly on the bed as though he was being tortured with the Cruciatus Curse. Draco watched the writhing man next to him and wasn’t sure what to do. He tried pulling his hair which had seemed to work last time. Harry cried out in pain but didn’t wake. Draco felt his heartbeat increase. Why wasn’t he waking up?
“Harry!” He called as he slapped Harry across the face. Harry froze, green eyes wide and staring. He jumped up and away from Draco, his heels slipping on the silk.
“Harry, its ok, it’s me.” Draco smoothed, hoping he hadn’t hit Harry too hard. Harry’s chest was rising and falling as he glanced around the room like a trapped animal.
“Where are we?” He panted. Draco ran a hand through his wet hair as he tried to regain his heartbeat.
“We’re at my new flat, you helped me move in last night,” Draco said calmly as he tightened his towel around his waist. Harry’s eyes paused at the movement. His eyes transfixed on a bead of water rolling down Draco’s chest. Draco smiled as Harry blushed. “You had a-”
“A nightmare” Harry interrupted. He seemed more disorientated this time. “yeah I know, They’ve seemed worse recently, like someone is walking around in my head showing me the worst things I could imagine” Harry’s eyes caught his own before looking away quickly.
“Have you always had nightmares?” He asked,
“I’ve had strange dreams since I was about ten but the nightmares started about 4th year, I think.” He said without much feeling. Draco could tell he was still relieving the dream. Draco thought for a moment before running out into the hallway. When he returned a few moments later he handed Harry a small packet. Harry looked at it for a moment before offering a small smile.
“Eat it you’ll feel better,” Draco said as Harry opened the small chocolate bar. Harry ate it slowly but seemed to become more alert and calm with each mouthful.
“I must look awful if you are willing to share your chocolate,” Harry said finally with a hint of his usual cheeky smile. Draco felt relieved enough not to rise to the bait.
“I want to talk more about this, but right now I need to get ready for work,” He said as he placed a hand on Harry’s leg. Harry nodded as his eyes followed Draco around the room getting dressed.
Draco tried to ignore him as best he could, he had never had someone pay so much attention to him before. Just the smallest things and Draco knew that Harry had them memorised. He decided to put on the clothes he had picked out a few days prior, the new that the green jacket would go perfectly with. The green jacket which started it all. He smiled to himself as he turned around to Harry.
“How do I look?” Draco asked, throwing his arms out wide to show off his close. Harry smiled.
“I don’t believe it,” He said finally after a moments silence.
“What?” Draco asked nervously, as he ran a hand down his clothes, looking for some imperfection.
“That your hair is naturally that perfect. Me, Ron and ‘Mione always reckoned you must have spent hours in front of the mirror. If I hadn’t just been watching you I’d say you either used magic or it was down to styling” Draco huffed softly with a small smile on his face. It had been a compliment, if not the ones he had been after. “You look amazing” Harry finished. “That’s your favourite jacket, isn’t it?” Harry asked as he pulled his legs up to his chest. Draco noticed it was a defensive gesture as if they were about to enter into personal territory.
“Why do you ask?” Draco replied carefully. Harry shrugged, averting his eyes as he played with something on the bed.
“Just the way you wear it I guess”
“Is it because I gave it to you?” Draco asked as he moved towards the bed “Not knowing whether I would get it back or not?” Harry opened his mouth to say something then nodded, his jaw clenching. “Yes, it is my favourite jacket, now more than it was before” He smiled. Harry smiled too.
Draco pulled Harry forwards for a kiss which succeeded in making Draco regret not calling into work sick.
“Don’t forget our date tonight” Harry smiled.
“I won’t, I’ll owl you later. Now go back to sleep, don’t want you falling asleep on me during dinner” Harry smiled.
“Yes Madam Pomfrey” He replied causing Draco to grimace. He laughed as he left the flat. Once outside in the fresh morning air he apparated.
The atrium was as busy as normal, and the looks slightly less hostile, but not by much. Draco looked around nervously as he made a beeline for the lifts. He managed to squeeze onto one with limited complaining from the occupants. He heard the rustling of newspapers and mutterings.
“I’m not surprised” came one hushed voice from the back.
“-saw in him in the first place” came another
“-moved on” a third interjected.
Draco tried not to let the stares or muttering’s get to him as he focused on his breathing. Shortly the lift opened at his floor and he was able to escape. Once at his desk he let out a long breath. It was Friday, he’d woken up with Harry. It was the end of his first week. He was sleeping with Harry. Only eight more hours and then he could see Harry again. He tied to smile as he repeated the mantra. He’d closed his eyes for a moment as he tried to visualise seeing Harry again when he felt the air move and heard the wallop of paper on wood. He jumped up as his eyes burst open. Cosima stood towering over his desk. He waited for whatever she was about to say but as he looked at her face he realised that her usual hostile sneer was missing.
“Good morning Cosima” He started carefully looking up at her cautiously.
“Have you seen the Prophet yet?” She asked. Again her tone was blunt but not hostile. Draco shook his head and looked down at the paper. He saw a picture of Harry disappearing through a door with another man. He wasn’t sure what he was seeing until he saw the headline.
“Exclusive photo’s – Harry’s hidden hunk!” Draco felt his eyes narrow as he read the subheading “Malfoy heir unaware.” Draco dropped the paper as if it burned him.
“What is this?” He said as he stood up from the desk.
“Today’s prophet,” She said quietly. Draco felt sick as he watched Harry looking around as he held hands with the brunette. He felt his heart hitting the inside of his chest like e sledgehammer.
“Excuse me,” He said his words barely above a whisper as he turned fleeing the office. He walked to the lift and calmly waited as the lift thundered to a stop.
“Draco?” He heard his name and turned. The office seemed to spin slightly as he waited for his sight to catch up. He saw Rolf walking towards him, he started to jog slightly as he noticed the lift door was open. “Ah Draco, I was hoping to catch you, I’ve got your travel papers and portkey all set up. The accommodation I’ve arranged is for two just in case you wanted Harry to visit over the weekend.” Rolf smiled. “However, it is a working trip” He chided warmly.
“I don’t think that will be necessary” Draco managed to force out. Years of training to be the cold Malfoy heir paying off.
“Are you well Draco?” Rolf asked gently.
“I am,” He said feeling the icy cold demeanour mirroring his fathers.
“Very well, when did you want to leave?” He asked
“Immediately,” He said without thinking about it. Rolf raised his eyebrows in surprise.
“Oh, right, I take it Harry is already aware of the trip,” He asked.
“He will be informed in due course” Draco replied coldly. He felt like his mind was on autopilot.
“Are you quite sure that you are alright?” Rolf asked again.
“Indeed, Eager to get on with the task ahead” his voice sounded odd without the inflexions he had gathered from being with Charlie and Harry but he didn’t think that was a bad thing.
“Very well, here are your papers, The portkey is a muggle energy drink can, it will activate with the correct incantation,” He said as he handed the large can over. Draco took it gingerly as he grabbed the paperwork offered. “If you require anything from us, just owl and we will assist in any way possible.” Rolf smiled at him, a questioning look still on his face.
“Thank you, sir” He replied as Rolf left him. He stood in the corridor, feeling a slight tremor travel through his body. He swallowed loudly as he calmly walked back to his desk. He collected his things and the prophet that Cosima had left. He wanted to know in exactly what way he had been betrayed.
Draco exited the lifts as he gritted his teeth, he saw that many more people were looking his way, looking for a reaction.
“Ah Draco,” Came a voice which stilled him “What a surprise to see you here” Pansy smiled smugly as she sashayed over to him.
“Lady Nott” He greeted, remembering his last meeting.
“How are you today?” she asked. He said nothing as he waited. “Yes well, I’ve just seen the Prophet. What a scandal!” She said dramatically. “Just as well mother dearest and father are no longer around to feel the shame” She smirked as she rolled her eyes.
Draco remained close-lipped and silent. He had nothing to say and his mind was still reeling so much that he didn’t have any witty remarks to hand.
“That’s Mr Malfoy” Draco interjected coldly.
“Indeed” She started slightly off balance, “You must be so devastated, I know you carried a torch for Potter, obviously the same cannot be said” She pouted for effect.
“Is there anything I can help you with?” He asked ignoring her comments.
“No, nothing really, just came to offer moral support,” she said insincerely.
“Lady Nott, I believe you wouldn’t know what morals were unless they bit you in the rear, now if we could wrap this up, I have an appointment to keep,” Draco replied as emptily as possible.
“Indeed, Well I can see why Potter played away, you’re no fun” She replied her pug-like face twisting in distaste. “In fact, Theo and I were thinking that he really was too good for you”
“Lady Nott,” He said his voice dripping with condescension “I’ve often thought that you look truly adorable when you speak of things that you do not understand.” His lips twisted into a vicious smile. Pansy looked shocked for a moment before recovering her composure.
“I’ll have you know that I understand fully and thank you for saying such nice things”
“I could say more but I prefer to tell the truth.”
“You cut me to the quick, Mr Malfoy.” She placed her hand on her chest as if gathering her breath. “So do you know who the mysterious man is yet?”
“When I said I had an appointment I really meant it. Some people have work to do instead of allotting time to make a fool out of their selves in public” He didn’t wait for a reply before he turned his back on her.
“I wonder where exactly Potter was on Tuesday night” She called after him before the gathering crowd drowned her out. He stepped into one of the floos before calling out Diagon Alley.