Being An Originally Intermittent Account
of the Political (Mis)Adventures
of the Viscount Northallerton, Lord Malfoy of Wimbledon;
and the Rt. Honourable Harry J. Potter,
Member of Parliament for North Southwark and Bermondsey (Liberal Democrat).
Epilogue, Part II
He was speaking easily, with inexplicable intimacy, with something like anger.
"I believe you want some of the things I do. The trouble with you, you like to sit above the battle. I don't know that I've got much use for that. You're prepared to get your hands a bit dirty, but not very dirty. I'm not sure that that's as creditable as you would like to think. I must say, I sometimes lose my respect for people who know as much as you do, and still don't come and fight it out."
He gave a comradely, savage grin, then broke out: "Anyway, just to begin with, don't you think you might treat me as a moral equal?"
This was my second surprise–so sharp, it seemed I hadn't heard right and simultaneously knew that I had. We looked at each other, and then away, as one does when words have burrowed to a new level, when they have started to mean something. There was a pause, but I was not premeditating. I said: "What do you want? What do you really want?"
[He] laughed, not loudly this time. "You must have learned a little from your observations, mustn't you?"
His body was heaved back in his chair, relaxed, but his eyes were bright, half with malice, half with empathy, making me take part.
–Corridors of Power, C.P. Snow
THE LORDS CHAMBER
HOUSES OF PARLIAMENT
Unidentifiable mid-December 2006
This time the Vanishing Cabinet's portal was behind the Throne. Harry opened the door, squeezing by Draco's side and announcing, "Next stop," –and got a faceful of tapestry.
Draco hauled him back. "Please don't vandalise the Cloth of State."
"How was I to know there'd be a bloody great carpet in my face? Yuck." Harry screwed up his nose. "All I can taste is mothballs."
"Charming," said Draco.
Harry kissed him.
It wasn't the first time. That was years ago, in a cab back from the Guildhall where they'd met Mayor Livingstone, a casual piece of detective work on Draco's part because Harry had been looking at him over dinner and no-one that universally flirtatious could be exclusively straight. The cab stopped for Harry on the Shad Thames and Draco had leaned in, touching his lips to Harry's, and Harry's hand had rested on the back of Draco's neck for a long, sweet second before the cab driver said "Nine pounds twenty, mate."
Now Harry kissed him hard, open-mouthed, and he really did taste of mothballs. Revolting.
"Thank you so much for sharing," Draco pushed Harry back. "Take any more liberties and I'll jam this–" He shoved the tip of the rapier into the knot of Harry's tie, "–where it hurts."
Harry smiled innocently.
"Gustamente," Draco grumbled. The foul taste disappeared. So did Harry, slipping behind the tapestry into the Lord's, leaving Draco to bite his lip on the dilatory ghost of the kiss, suspecting he had missed something very important, before he followed.
In the Chamber, Harry craned his neck up, rolling his shoulders like he was trying to get comfortable in an ill-fitting suit. "Bloody hell." He took off his glasses and squeezed his eyes shut, rubbing at them. "Bit sparkly in here, isn't it?"
It was a little more decorative than the Commons, Draco would agree, but then your average airport was more aesthetically pleasing than the MPs' chamber. "What would you like to know?"
Harry had ambled over to the seats where the Lords Spiritual sat.
"Ah, you don't want to sit there," Draco warned–too late, as Harry recoiled from the oily fug of Bishopry that lurked about the clergy benches.
Harry scowled. "Not really enjoying my visit so far."
"That's because you're common."
His glasses back on, Harry looked over them down at Draco. "Oh, how many years have you been waiting to use that one?"
Draco smiled and dropped down onto the Woolsack. "A few."
"Where do you sit?"
Draco waved at the space in front of the doors. "The benches that cross the chamber. Ergo, the Crossbench."
"Who do you sit with?" Harry's tone–impossibly–brought back memories of his parents enquiring after Draco's term at school. That was just wrong.
"It's Parliament, Potter, not Potions."
Harry snorted. "Debatable."
"Whichever of the Baronesses has taken a shine to me that week," Draco flicked his hair back. "So yes. Perhaps you are right. But it's always been an unbeatable strategy; I know all the intrigues."
"I just read Guido Fawkes."
"How unsurprising that you consider a libertarian blogger to be a reliable source," Draco snorted, but he didn't pursue it. Everyone read that website. It was like Perez Hilton for Westminster. Leaned back on his elbows–the cushion was so squishy, why had he never come in here for a kip?–Draco watched as Harry made his way about the chamber, rubbing his palm over the carved animals in the wooden balustrades and muttering.
"They don't talk back," Draco called out, "at least, not for me." That was the problem with spending years in a place like Hogwarts: you expected anything with a face, no matter how inanimate, to be able to hold a conversation.
"Me neither," Harry said glumly, which pleased Draco to hear.
Harry stopped. "There's a dead spot here."
"What?" Draco craned his head around. It was amusing him to track Harry's reactions, his small frown and tense shoulders; he was obviously having the same discomfiting response to the Lords that Draco had to the Commons.
Harry moved to the right, paused, and moved back to the left. "Just here."
"Oh," said Draco, "that's where the Law Lords sit."
"Bit too ornate for me," Harry said, slumping down next to Draco. His eyelids were heavy, blinking slowly. "But this is comfy."
"I might have thought our colour scheme to have been just your style."
"Well, ditto. But reverse. You know."
Draco made a face and stretched. "For the record, I actually have a colour dislike of the profound green. Thing." He thunked his head down; the parts of him that were decidedly interested in Harry's proximity and the ebbing lull of Christmas cheer were not clamouring as loudly as the parts that wanted to sleep. "Suits you, though."
"Are we talking fashion or–" Harry's yawn was contagious, but Draco was pleased to see it, "–or politics?
Draco fumbled at his watch. "It's nearly–good god–four in the morning, I think you overestimate my powers of metaphor."
Harry laughed and got to his feet. "I overestimate your staying power, lightweight."
Bleary, Draco sat up. "I'm an old man of thirty. Take pity."
"As if." Harry picked up the sword from the floor and turned it over in his hands, whistling low. "This is–" he broke off, looking frankly at Draco. "This is really pretty. No wonder you're half-asleep."
Something in the way Harry appraised his effort made Draco momentarily irritated. He snatched it back. "Yes, well, some of us have to work for our achievements."
Harry pressed his lips together to trap some sort of smile and raised his eyes to the ceiling, like that was supposed to make a point.
"Thanks for the, uh, glimpse of hereditary privilege," he said. "Get some sleep, Draco."
Draco squinted at the spot Harry had apparated from. Contrary prat.
OFFICE OF THE MINISTER FOR MAGIC
HOUSES OF PARLIAMENT (COMMONS)
Thursday 10th May, 11:21 am
"Everyone thinks I'm Zac bloody Goldsmith!" Draco tossed the book on Boris's desk. "I have had three people–today!–asking me all about Hugh and Jemima!"
"Yes, well, there are certain similarities of background." Boris–alternately pointing his wand at and fiddling with the buttons on the television–was not taking Draco's concerns seriously; he wasn't fazed at all by his own sister publishing a find-and-replace expose of the Kensington set. Squib bitch.
"Please. I would never marry someone called Sheherazade. He bothers me, Boris. Can't you buy up his dreary save-the-planet periodical and make it into a Sunday supplement for your rag? Don't you have underworld connections?"
"Calm down, there's a chap." Boris looked up from his anchovy toast–somehow he had the head of catering, Mr Bibbiani, on 24 hour call–and tapped on the back of the book. "My dear sibling did badmouth that Freyberg boy for you."
True. "Valerian," Draco made a face. "Makes sense it's an ingredient in emetic potions, don't you think?" Draco had harboured the pleasant notion that he was actually the youngest sitting Lord in the House until the 3rd Baron Freyberg had come back from what was basically a gap year in China.
Boris slapped the side of the television set. "Stupid sodding–where's my wand? Acclarobeebus. Didn't know you were chummy with Seb Coe, though. I take it that was you two at tennis, throwing strawberries from the box?"
"Yeah, he's a friend."
"Not a bad move, having friends who head the Olympic Commission."
"Never crossed my mind," Draco grinned. "Not really the sporting type–oh, look, finally." Onscreen, Tony Blair strode around a suburban carpark, shaking hands and waving, before the cameras followed him inside a village hall.
"So, let me get this correct," Draco grimaced after Blair had left the podium to cheers and applause. "He announced in September that he'd announce within a year that he'd leave, and now he's announced that he'll leave in six bloody weeks, and that lot are happy clappy because they're going to get the dourest Scot in all dourdom as their fearless leader?"
Boris scrabbled a hand through his startled-duckling hair. "It'll be the pensioner, the prat, and the po-face Protestant in the Commons, sad to say."
"Your own party leader," Draco tutted. "Did you just call David Cameron a prat?"
"Like the Greeks, boy. Like the Greeks. Allegiance to ideas, but no man. Like you and Potter, eh?"
For all that it stung the remark seemed to be a throwaway bluster, but Draco eyed Boris skeptically. "You might say that; I couldn't possibly comment."
An unsent email (one of many):
Subject: [Saved Draft] (no subject)
From: The Office of Lord Malfoy <email@example.com>
Date: Monday 21st May 02:39
To: Harry <firstname.lastname@example.org>
PARK LANE, W1
Sunday 27th May, 4:14 pm
"Everyone." Blaise pushed a memo over the table between the scones. For once, Draco hadn't the appetite for clotted cream. "All three major parties, plus the Greens, the Scottish parties, Sinn Fein and–what are you like–Plaid Cymru?"
Draco was momentarily distracted by Blaise's ability to pronounce Welsh. He hadn't heard such a lilt since his nursemaid Laurie was sent off by an irate Narcissa; presumably he'd inherited his father's predilection for a pretty... accent.
He brightened. "So that's good!" He glanced up at Blaise, who was eyeing up the hotel lobby, convinced the Beckhams were staying here. "Right?"
"Possibly," Blaise returned his attention back to their afternoon tea. "Depends on your perspective. Either Lord Malfoy was allowed to claim his Viscountcy, enter the Lords on a technicality and then generously and indiscriminately donated across the political spectrum. Or you entered the Lords because of said indiscriminate donations." He surveyed the sandwiches. "Not such a wise idea to do it all on the same day, in retrospect."
Draco lounged back in his chair. "But I have no cause to anticipate calls from the Metropolitan Police at six in the morning?"
"I doubt it," Blaise said. "At least not as regards this. You might want to cut back on the gangland rentboys."
Draco blew across the top of his Assam. "That was just the one time. You know I don't really share your enthusiasm for fucking random Muggles–ooh."
They both peered over at the reception desk, where the former England captain was signing an autograph. "Except that one?"
"Except that one."
"Hmm." Blaise folded his fingers together across his stomach as he leaned back again. "Speaking of Potter, I take it by your availability on a Sunday afternoon–"
"We weren't speaking–"
"Oh, but look, now we are. So as I was saying, you're clearly not shagging your way together around the European mini-break hotspots, which means you haven't taken my advice and offered to demonstrate your unparalleled enthusiasm for giving–"
"–If you don't mind," Draco glared, "I will attend to the details of my personal life in my own time and in my own fashion. "
"Oh, just get on with it." Blaise made a great show of stretching in the chair and hooking his arms over the back. "Bad enough I should become the secretarial cliche and take an interest. Now we've established your financial idiocy was completely non-partisan, the least you could do is provide the House clerks with some hardcore gossip."
THE PEERS LOBBY
HOUSES OF PARLIAMENT
Friday 8th June, 6:20 pm
"–and in addition to my duties in the House, I'll have further such meetings later today. So no, thank you." Draco smiled pleasantly at the lackey from the Foreign Office who was lamely trying to recruit for an Inter-Party Parliamentary Interest Group on Angola. Africa was over once the indie musicians had started wearing their little rubber bracelets. Draco was all about South America now.
There was an elderly chuckle behind him.
"I understand that you're representing the sporting honour of the Upper House later today, young man." Peering over his half-moon specs, Lord Naseby slapped him on the back. "Won the trophy once myself, back in my day in the Commons. Wasn't called the Annie then, of course. Wasn't such a thing as Crossbench, either."
Draco smiled politely and let Naseby reminisce on to himself until it clicked. Fuck. All this distraction with Potter and he'd completely forgotten about the pool tournament.
"Misspent youth, then?" Naseby, his bowtie bobbing gently, was asking where he'd learned to play.
"Absolutely squandered," Draco nodded.
HOUSES OF PARLIAMENT
"Here you are, sir." The barman pushed Draco's Guinness across the counter and nodded. "Good luck with it."
"Cheers." He downed a few mouthfuls and went through to the billiards room. Three of the other quarter-finals were already underway; Draco noted with some relief that Shahid Malik, who most people thought should quit politics and go professional, wasn't to be his opponent. He was already obliterating some poor flunky from the Home Office.
Draco didn't see anyone he knew in the knot of people around the table until Ed Balls–a Labour member tipped to be on the frontbench when Brown took over and who ate all the Jaffa Cakes at Ways and Means committee meetings–turned around and nodded in greeting.
"Sorry, long queue at the bar." Draco sat his beer down on a side-table, gave his jacket to the porter, and started to turn his cuffs over, half-listening to the conversation.
"–it's a good point, we should get the whips onto it–"
"–appalling that there's no portfolio." That was Balls: big booming voice to go with his name.
"–there's a position outside Cabinet under Education, but nothing specifically for child welfare–oh, there you are."
Draco turned his head at that voice.
"Needed to steady your nerves, did you?" Harry–Harry–was perched on the edge of the table, rolling the white ball back and forth with an insouciant flick of his wrist, his head inclined at Draco's beer.
Potter was the absolute last person Draco either expected or wanted to see right now. It had been a couple of weeks since the Incident, but that had been scarcely enough for Draco to look at his headboard without thinking of Harry's knuckles gripping it, let alone dispel the rest of the mindfuck Blaise had pulled.
Discreet enquiries had revealed this Penelope chit to be the horsey type of Dorset gal with two labradors in her LandRover, the sort who wrote a 'Country Diary' for The Face in between skiing in Finland and raves in Dubrovnik. Not a sniff of magic about her, which might account for her finishing with Potter if there was need of any other reason besides his gigantic ego.
And yet. No small black Pottercloud had appeared in Draco's office, huffy with indignation; there were no rancourous emails or an ill-tempered Hedwig, so Draco had to assume that Harry was so laced up that night he'd forgotten he was hexed.
It didn't allay the apprehension that churned up a small corner of Draco's stomach as Harry watched him. Under the disorienting table downlights his face was only half visible, his expression ambiguous. Draco felt his own tighten in response.
"How sweet of you to come along, Potter." It came out sharper than Draco expected. "I don't necessarily need the moral support but it will be so nice to have someone to keep the drinks coming." Draco brushed past Harry and instead turned his attention to the cue rack, picking out one with a heavier wrap so he could take a few really solid shots and blow out the cobwebs. He hefted out the cue and glanced up at the players' blackboard, where his own name was paired with– "Oh, fuck off."
"Pete came down with a nasty case of salmonella, poor bloke." Harry pushed off from the table and scooped his hair back. Perhaps he was the picture of concern for the benefit of colleagues, but Draco was wise to Harry's previous involvement in convenient food poisoning cases of fellow Liberal Democrats. "Called me earlier and asked me to step in rather than just give you a free pass. I told him I wasn't exactly Jimmy White–"
"That's snooker." Draco eyed Harry suspiciously. All that time with the Weasleys and no clue about pool? He was unconvinced. Harry was surely just out for a little tawdry revenge.
"See?" Harry grinned at the few bystanders in what Draco understood was meant to be interpreted as a self-deprecating fashion. "I'm just here to put up a bit of token resistance."
Draco shrugged and raised his eyebrows. "If you feel up for the humiliation. By all means."
Harry started the first frame with a piss-poor break. Draco watched his stance carefully and decided Harry was not acting incompetent. He just... was. No forethought beyond the immediate shot, and no economy of movement–save beyond his usual annoying dexterity. It begged the question why he was here, but Draco was tired with Potter-shaped conundrums. It would be something blunt and obvious, no doubt.
Draco relaxed a little and concentrated on setting up his own shots, calling a ball in succession in each of the corner pockets. He missed the fifth on the side with too much topspin and frowned at the baize.
He looked up to see Harry leaning on his cue, watching seriously. "You're good."
"Your standards are questionable," Draco lifted his glass towards the table. "Have at."
He'd left two easy setups for yellow on the table, and Draco was relieved despite himself when Harry sunk one of them. A complete lack of competition would have been tedious. Draco stepped up again and pocketed two more, leaving a final red and the black at opposite ends for his last turn. He drained down his Guinness, felt himself smile over the top of the glass. He liked playing pool. There was something infinitely relaxing about the ceramic click of billiard balls and the wax and wane of triumph.
"Where'd you learn?" Harry came around to survey the table, hooking the cue over his shoulders. The gesture left no doubt in Draco's mind that Harry was a novice. But the question? Draco looked at him disbelievingly: the Slytherin common room had gone through three tables with overuse, not counting the one that Greg and Millicent broke in other pursuits, and it was hard to believe that the other houses hadn't been similarly outfitted.
"School, of course," he replied, chalking up his cue. He added quietly, "The pockets move about and the table changes shape. Much more difficult."
"Ah," said Harry. "I didn't know that about you. But then, I suppose, I didn't ask." He raised an eyebrow at Draco, holding his gaze with a tight smile. The air was heavy even when Draco broke eye-contact to nod at the table.
The unobstructed side-shot eluded Harry, and he turned back from the table with a small shrug. Draco unclenched his grip from around his cue and stretched out his fingers. The distraction of being watched was nothing much compared to the prickly flush of realisation that Harry, perhaps, had a point.
He chalked the cue again, considering all the angles.
This was, however, a simple sort of sport, so Draco pocketed the final two with loud, satisfying thunks.
"Malfoy, first of three," the porter announced. A bar flunky came over with a tray of champagne flutes, but Draco waved her off. Half of a million pounds worth of wine in the Government Hospitality cellars, and they still tried to flog off antipodean fizzy in the bar. Disgraceful.
Draco made the next break and thought he might run out the frame until his fifth ball trickled to a stop an inch from the pocket. He looked up at Harry and glared.
"Shame," Harry said, lining up to bank off the top rail. It looked like the shots were pocketed properly, but only because the Muggles in the room couldn't see the air ripple where Harry was using the cue as a bloody great wand.
"Spare me," Draco muttered. He was above Potter's shenanigans, honestly. They played back and forth, Draco sinking a ball and curiously–to the onlookers–missing the next, Harry blatantly cheating and following his score.
Three balls left on the table, and Harry clapped him on the back. "Don't worry," he said, pocketing the black, "I'm sure it's just a minor setback."
Up at the bar, Draco tapped his fingers on the counter, contemplating migraine seizures for Harry and a Bloody Mary for himself.
"You forfeiting, Malfoy?" Harry sauntered up. "Best of three, remember."
"You're doing about as well as Cameron's A-List, Potter."
"Thought you needed the competition," Harry blinked at him. Draco hated having his own words thrown back at him.
Harry peered in the mirror behind the bar, ran his thumb across his jaw. "Bruised my face on your bloody coffee table. It's gone," he said conversationally, "which is good–for you–because I'd decided if it was still there when I saw you I was going to repay the favour."
For a brief second Draco wondered if Harry was going to actually clock him one in front of all and sundry, parliamentary priviledge notwithstanding. But Harry went on:
"Then I thought maybe that kind of tit-for-tat was getting a bit old."
"You–what?" Confusion was always a good fallback. "I'm sorry, I don't know what you–"
"Draco Malfoy," Harry shifted in close, his voice pitched low against the background hum. "You're fucking impossible, you know that? Four years of crazy flirting, and then you give me a concussion?"
Draco spun his head around. No-one was watching them, which was just as well, as he had a horrible suspicion his cheeks were pink. "The head trauma wasn't, um, deliberate."
"Dimwit," Harry looked up impatiently at the ceiling. "I was pretty sure we'd gotten beyond that phase of our relationship, you know."
"Two Guinness, gentlemen."
Drinking a mouthful gave Draco a moment to think, but the only useful thing he could come up with was that thinking, as pertained to Harry and himself, had perhaps declined in general utility.
"Harry, I just–" Draco ran his hands back through his hair before he realised the gesture wasn't even his own. Fucker. "I'm sorry."
Harry shook his head, brows drawn together in bemusement, looking intently at Draco as a smile broke out on his face. He brought his hand up, skimming the lightest of traces across the faint line across Draco's cheeks, one then the other. "You're still crap on your follow-through," he said softly, and picked up his drink, heading back to the table.
Draco's concentration was pretty shot; Harry didn't use a jot of magic and the last game was still close. Between turns, Harry was carrying on the discussion that had been underway when Draco arrived. It seemed he was trying to motivate some kind of initiative for a Minister for Children in the next session. As far as Draco knew, Harry had nothing to do with child welfare beyond godfathering the next generation of Gryffindors, but maybe there was some sort of tiresome personal demon the Boy Hero had to work through via legislation.
Talk turned to the recent edict that MPs were no longer allowed a sofa in their offices. Draco–who had stared appalled at the Estates and Facilities minion who'd shown him the room he was supposed to share with two other Peers of the Realm, then promptly converted a service cupboard into his corner office with the help of several enlargement charms–shared a conspiratorial glance with Harry. He knew damn well that Harry had done exactly the same thing.
Balls was adding: "–apparently the village is approaching the population density of Dar-es-Salaam."
"I hate the way people use the term Westminster Village as if it's some sort of gentle hamlet in the Cotswolds and not a ghetto of power-mad lunatics," Draco said, "Present company included, of course." He pocketed the black in the far corner with a decisive crack.
"Two games to one, Malfoy," concluded the porter over a smattering of applause.
The tension of their earlier exchange came flooding back to Draco as he leaned over to shake Harry's hand, but he managed: "Do you have plans, now?"
Harry looked up at the parliamentary monitors before replying. "There's a division shortly."
Right now, Draco hated democracy. "Ah."
"It's." Harry screwed up his face a little. "Sorry, it's important."
Someone called: "–Potter, are you coming?"
"Yup," Harry said, letting Draco's hand go.
"Congratulations, Lord Malfoy," the porter said, handing him his suit jacket. "Through to the semi-finals."
At least something went in his favour.
Draco's footsteps clipped loudly on the marble of the Common's Lobby.
Harry paused at the door of the Commons, knotting his tie as the Doorkeepers started to close up.
"Quick," Harry said. "Gotta vote."
Deepbreath. Deepbreath: "After?"
"All yours," Harry smiled, and disappeared into the Chamber.
ST STEPHENS CLOISTERS
HOUSES OF PARLIAMENT
"Who goes home!"
In the days when London was subject to pea-souper fogs, Draco supposed the evening cries of the police might have been helpful to cab-seeking, late-voting MPs, but on a summer evening whose only menace was the odd German tourist photographing Big Ben, the coppers just looked a bit embarrassed. He propped himself against the arch and watched the Palace empty of its inhabitants, streaming out to taxis and the tube, a few hardy souls clipping lights onto their bicycles and donning helmets.
After twenty minutes spent rearranging various objet d'art in his office he'd decided fresh air was the thing and sent off a note to Harry by the House runners.
"I do love defeating the government." Harry's head poked around the little alcove Draco had discovered.
"That's something of a pasttime for you, isn't it?"
Harry lounged against the wall next to Draco, his jacket unbuttoned and tie off again already. For someone so fucking gorgeous he always managed to make a suit look dishevelled. "Vanquishing evil, one early day motion at a time."
This was–good. Familiar. Draco could trade snark with Harry for approximately ever. It went some way towards stupefying the flibbertigibbets in his stomach, too.
"I got a little further along in your thesaurus," Harry turned towards him, "it has been some time–"
"– a long time, yes," Draco cut him off, certain there was some explicable reason for why he hadn't done this earlier, but equally certain that it could wait, and kissed him.
Harry's mouth was pliant and slutty, opening hungrily as Draco pushed him back against the wall, and for the long moments of frantic snogging Draco felt nothing but warmth and pleasure and the overwhelming relief of being kissed back. Kissed back with purpose.
Kissing, kissing, Draco hadn't kissed someone like this for years. It was insanely good.
"Wait–" Harry pushed him back, straightening his glasses over heavy-lidded eyes as he glanced behind them into the passageway "–not here–Draco–"
Draco's head was spinning, dopey with off-kilter kisses; daft things like where they were seemed such a minor concern, but he liked watching Harry's mouth move when he spoke. "Hmm?"
"–people. Just around the corner." Harry's hands slipped over Draco's shoulders, threading into his hair, tugging. That felt very good, too. But there were little lines of concern above Harry's glasses. Hmm.
People. Crap. In the public eye, yes, if you peered over from the tube station.
Draco shook his head. "Charm, charm, thingy charm." He drew a hasty obfuscation in the air around them, turned back to Harry and–where was he?
"Here, you nob," Harry said, breaking Draco's sloppy charm and coming into view again, "you alright?"
Draco stared at him. No, he thought, I just kissed you and it was so good I'm shaking like a fairy dust addict without a fix and I just screwed up a child's spell because I can't think straight and I kissed you in the fucking Houses of Parliament without so much as a closed door or a statute of secrecy to hide behind and I kissed you. "Fine. You?"
"Same," Harry said, with just a hint of a crack to his voice, and Draco felt a little better.
"Oh, fuck," Draco said, and he loved a good suit, he really did, because the seams were well-stitched and held up to a thorough manhandling such as Exhibit A, Harry Potter, firm grasp on Draco's lapels and hot, impolite kisses that just went on and on. "Say yes again."
"Yes–ngh, christ–" Harry's voice went up, "–yes."
Indeed, thought Draco, shoving his thigh between Harry's legs a little further and grinning, I will not say no to that. At all. Hello.
But there was still the location problem. "Office?"
"No. No fucking way."
Draco paused, drew back a little. Stubbornness narrowed Harry's gaze.
"Come Monday we can do every broom cupboard of this bloody building," Harry's voice was rough, and that made the flibbertigibbets in Draco's stomach do an entirely different kind of nervous canasta, and the heat in his groin was more urgent. "But right now I want to fuck you, and then you'll need some sleep, because in the morning I'll want to fuck you again, and I don't fancy the couch in your office is that comfortable."
He paused. "Draco?"
Draco swallowed. "Who says you get to–"
"You do. Later is negotiable."
"But I don't" just would not make it past the thought stage into actual spoken words. Draco, in subsequent rationalisations, put that down to the resolute certainty of Harry's expression which said because I wish it to be so and you won't stand a chance, and Draco was never very good at withstanding that sort of implacability, and if he was going to do something profoundly reckless like have sex with Potter, why not go the whole jolly hog and set it up for maximum emotional disaster?
"You'll owe me, you have no idea."
Harry shrugged, crooked up the side of his mouth into a saucy invitation. "I like pretty much everything."
"I'm particular," Draco said, "I'm sure you're surprised."
"I think you're probably a bit repressed."
Draco kissed him for that, digging his fingers into the soft spots at the base of Harry's neck. "Were we leaving?"
"This is where you say 'Back to mine,' I think." Harry pulled him into the far corner of the alcove, pressing kisses along his jawline. The marble against Draco's back was still warm from the day, but Draco shivered a little. This would not do.
"One of the reasons I don't–" Draco swallowed. Harry was working at Draco's tie. With his teeth. "–like you is because you invade people's space without invitation."
"You kissed me, Draco."
"You're also a bit dim."
Harry snorted. "Leave it out. You'll like it better on your turf. And you can throw me out."
It was a point, and the ache in Draco's chest was not getting any better with all this palavering about, and he'd stopped even thinking about the ache down below, probably because all the blood available for his brain was still cliche, yes, down below. "Fine," he sighed. He tugged Harry's head up. His thick locks of black hair were a proprietary sight between Draco's fingers, and for a moment Draco wondered what the fuck he'd agreed to, and then Harry bit him on the earlobe and sucked hard and all equivocation became like last week's news, and he yelped:
Harry tipped back his head and scrunched up his chin, flickering mischief. "Nah, lets take a taxi."
"You don't like the idea? Bit of a thrill in the dark–"
"Buh-ya-mm–" Draco couldn't decide how to start his sentence. "...magic," was what he spluttered, hoping it conveyed something like: as much as I'd like to get my hand on your cock in the back of a black cab let's save the exhibitionism for the future and please can we apparate right. fucking. NOW.
Bollocks, he must have said the last bit outloud, because Harry's grin went all twitchy and smug:
"Impatient, are we?"
Cheeky fucker. Draco couldn't wait to wipe the arrogant smirk off Harry's face.
"On occasion, yes. Where did this nasty streak of self-control come from?"
Harry leaned a little harder into him, which was a big yes, everywhere. Draco hadn't thought to move his gaze away from Harry's mouth: smart decision, on reflection, because Harry licked just under his top teeth and grinned, and Draco thought–ridiculously–but we banned fox-hunting, didn't we?
"Self-control? I had a brief career as a contract-killer for the state, remember?–ohhh. You like that, your face, Draco, you've–"
"Nothing," Draco bit down on his tongue, suddenly aware he had no idea what his face was doing.
"–too late, saw it," Harry said, and shoved his hand between them, heel of his hand straight onto Draco's cock and pressed, and moved, and squeezed, and Draco went stupid at the knees with that sort of of direct handling at the best of times and now? Was not Draco's finest hour with respect to composure, but at least he had the presence of mind to muffle the groan he couldn't help with Harry's shoulder.
Firm shoulder. Muscles shifting. Draco wanted to bite down so badly.
"Yeah," Harry said, warm voice in his hair, "you like it and you're hard and you're close," and Draco wanted more of that, wanted him to keep talking so he wasn't sure why he said:
but Harry, Harry took no notice whatsoever and kept his lovely grip on Draco, wanking him firmly through his trousers. The wool gave fantastic friction but the buttons were fucking deadly and Draco was under no illusion that Harry wasn't aware of that fact. No illusion whatsoever.
"Good?" Harry's stroking turned into fingertips, teased an outline of Draco's cock, lighter and lighter. "I'll get you off right now if you want."
Draco breathed. Air in, air out.
Harry shoved his whole body against Draco to murmur in his ear: "Make up for lost–"
Concentrating, now. "So help me god, Potter, if you get splinched it's your own fucking fault–"
"It's kindof hot that you can do that while you're getting a hand-job," Harry said when the apparition pop faded.
"Impending climax. Focusses the mind," Draco panted, trying to regain his breath as well as he could with Harry wrapped deliciously around him. "Let me go and then bloody well finish what you started. Properly."
Harry tightened his hold, one hand splayed through Draco's hair, the other restless on his rear, humid breath pooling at Draco's collar. "One or the other. I like it here."
No fucking kidding, thought Draco, groaning at the pleasurable spasm when Harry's cock rubbed against his own. But... no. Dry-humping was not an option here. "Harry," Draco stumbled them against the back of the chesterfield, "I will throw you out in the street. Behave."
Muttering, Harry unwound himself enough so Draco could actually move his arms.
"Better." Draco's hands twitched between indecision and want. Possibly also from the urge to smack Harry across the mouth, which was pleasantly familiar and hadn't been irrevocably damaged by this whole kissing thing, so perhaps matters weren't dire just yet. The lights were slowly glowing as they registered Draco was in the room, showing Harry to have the kind of wanton colour in his cheeks that made Draco's pulse race.
"Wait." Harry blinked and frowned, looking around. "Where's this?"
"My house," Draco replied, composure regained enough to prioritise kissing the corner of Harry's mouth, "like you said."
"Less talking, more touching." In his lust-addled haze he'd apparated them to the sitting room, and now he was trying to steer Harry through the hallway without letting go of him.
Harry stopped, held them still. "No, where are we?"
"Hallway, en route to the bedroom. First right, flight of stairs, second left, your clothes on the floor–"
For heavens sake. "Other house. Wimbledon."
"But why have I never been here?" Harry demanded. The rest of his body was still, like he was ready to spring. Or explode. As gratifying as Harry's tantrums could be Draco did wish he could sometimes just pack it in for ten minutes. Five even.
Draco tugged at him. "I invited you once. We only got as far as the pub."
"Once." Harry regarded him closely.
In Harry's glasses, Draco could see his own reflection, lit from the side by street illumination through the windows. That was too distracting: he slid them off into a pocket, but Harry continued:
"Once in four years. What the fuck is up with that?"
"A man's home is his sanctuary." He'd meant it to come out caustic but it merely sounded plaintive. "If I'd invited you in, I'd never have got rid of you."
"That's just vampires–"
"It's a personality type," Draco said, because he'd seen all variations on a Penelope and what they looked like afterwards, and if there was one thing Draco had honed to perfection it was the desperate art of self-preservation. It was just a shame about now.
"I am not–"
"Harry," Draco curled a palm around Harry's jaw, pressed his forefingers to Harry's mouth, "do shut up." Draco held his gaze, the both of them quiet, breathing quick and shallow.
It felt like a very long time to be so close together, just looking. Draco's pulse seemed to become audible.
Then Harry swallowed, and the muscles shifting in his throat made his skin terribly enticing, and Draco couldn't not: he angled Harry's face and kissed him, opening his mouth right over Harry's answering response, wet and urgent and fantastic.
From there, the sequence of events in between the hallway and the bedroom was a little hazy.
There was the undressing in the doorway, difficult because they were glued to each other:
Draco pressed against Harry, seeking the taut friction of his body. "What do you like?" Kissed the smooth skin under his eyes, Harry's lashes flickering uncontrollably.
"Your mouth," Harry tipped his head back, his hips forward, "don't stop, don't stop kissing me."
Easy to oblige; Draco couldn't stop touching him, tasting him, the salty dip of his sternum, his hard and eager nipples through the soft cotton of his shirt. He kept missing with the unbuttoning charm and gave up, took Harry's shirt off with impatient, clumsy fingers. All the while, Harry didn't shut up; little noises, soft gasps, "there, yes, yes–"
"Oh, you're beautiful," Draco ran his hands across the broad expanse of Harry's chest, sucked rosy bloodmarks down his sternum while he unbuckled Harry's trousers. Harry's breath was hitching, and Draco stood to kiss him, rubbing himself against the hard length of Harry's cock while he worked their trousers down, drinking it in as Harry bit his lip and moaned into Draco's mouth.
There was, fuck, there was this:
"Oh, fuck, fuck," Harry groaned, "so good, your mouth, it's just–" His hands clutched, agitated, at the back of Draco's shirt as he fought with the compulsion to let go and push inside. Draco felt of sharp rush of satisfaction; he knew how good he was at this, and the powerful contradiction–being on his knees but in complete control–never failed to thrill. He paused, waiting for Harry to settle, then scraped the flat of his tongue hard up against the underside of Harry's cock, humming with pleasure as that got him another groan. Good, Draco thought, coaxing Harry's hands up to grab the back of his head.
"Yeah," Harry threaded his fingers through Draco's hair and smoothly pushed his hips forward like that was all he'd ever wanted, filling Draco's mouth to the back of his throat. Draco closed his eyes again and let Harry fuck his mouth, gorgeous length grazing along his tongue so perfectly that Draco couldn't help his throaty, coaxing noises, wanting Harry to push all the way inside, thrust himself into his mouth so Draco couldn't feel anything else.
He grabbed Harry's hips and held him, taking him deep, sucking, his own prick fat and twitching with every noise he pulled from Harry, loving the breathy grunts and gasps he made when Draco used his tongue.
"Close," Harry whined, "Draco–"
"Mmm," Draco licked swipes around him, salty and hot, "Come then, come for me–"
That made Harry jolt: "Stopstop–jesus–" he pushed at Draco's shoulders, reaching down to grab the base of his shiny cock, heaving in a breath, "–not. yet. Want to fuck you–"
It was amazing how idealistically long-term Harry could be, even on the brink. Draco rose and wrapped his hand around Harry's own, interweaving their fingers. "Too late, Harry, just give it up," he murmured, tightening and pulling a long stroke that made Harry rise up on his toes and slam his head back against the wall, shuddering as he came in spurts all over their hands.
There was Harry, post-orgasmic and laconic, showing off, snapping his fingers:
"What are you doing?" Draco's shirt tightened about him, buttoning, tucking; Harry straddled him, naked, dragging his teeth across his bottom lip with a slow grin.
"I wanted to take your clothes off properly," Harry said, settling himself over Draco's lap just so, "since you won't be putting them on again for some time."
"Oh," said Draco, because as much as the blithe assertion was Potterishly arrogant Draco had no problem with the general concept.
Harry's hands were surprisingly small as he whispered quietly to buttons and cuffs; his deft gestures so near that Draco could feel the heat of his skin as the fabric did what Harry told it to do, rolling back and rustling away.
It was like–no, he was–being slowly unwrapped. Harry's spells were overladen, leaving trails on Draco's skin humming with magic. The silk of Draco's tie was almost unbearable when Harry coaxed it in spirals around Draco's forearm, slipping like water between his fingers, and Draco couldn't help shivering.
"Now what shall we do?" Harry spread his hands wide on Draco's chest, finally touching him properly, the spell residue like a warm embrace, heavy and encompassing.
"You feel good," Harry said, "let me–" and Draco felt the shift in the air around them, felt an insistent, hot fluttering at the base of his neck.
"Oh–" Draco stilled, realising what Harry was doing; willing the automatic bloom at the edges of his own magic to stop, he drew back in the eager strands that were furling out to meet Harry's. Stay, stay. "Not yet."
Harry made a frustrated noise against Draco's neck. "Hmm, you really are repressed."
"No," Draco breathed out slowly. "But you–you're the sort of person who eats pudding first."
Harry smiled, and the fluttering subsided, but not before Draco's senses snagged on the displaced echoes of Harry's own; colours shifted off-spectrum, fuzzy edges, a faster heartbeat, all intoxicating, nameless shards of Harry, and they reeled him in, dizzy and out of control.
There was this conversation:
"Were you jealous?"
"–No. Harry, come on."
"You were jealous, that's why you cursed–"
"I hexed you. More, come on–slowly."
"Cursed, and one day I'll find out that curse and maybe I'll not report you to the Ministry."
"It's not–it's not–Unforgiveable. Yes, there, there there–"
"It should be."
"You wouldn't. Again."
"I might, you don't know."
"I d-do know. I–I–Oh. Ohh–-."
"You're fucking gorgeous like this."
"Don't stop. Keep your fingers–oh god, there. Course I was jealous."
"Tell me why."
"I won't. Tell me why, Draco, and I'll suck you off."
"Sweet fucking Merlin is it always this much–stop stopping–bargaining with you?"
"Ever beg like this for anyone else?"
"Didn't think so."
And finally, this:
"Are you close, Draco, close?" Harry's eyes were so wide; Draco nodded, because he couldn't speak, he was close, and the edge was so tempting, so lush, and he wanted to keep fucking him forever–
–and then Harry's hand on his cock was slick and manic, pumping him hard, no finesse–but, oh, pressure, friction; Draco arched and cried out when Harry slid off him and down the bed, grabbing Draco by the hips and engulfing him in his mouth, hot and sweet, sucking hard and screwing his fingers back into Draco's body. Too much, and Draco shuddered, spilling himself into Harry's mouth and tightening so hard around Harry's fingers he felt them twist inside him, sweet bursts of pleasure as he came.
In the small hours:
"Hmm?" Draco opened his eyes, sleep-fuzzy. Harry was opening the door. "Don't go."
"Is the loo alright?"
"Hmmm." Draco closed his eyes again, smiling. He drifted off until Harry shifted the covers, settling himself in, tucking his knees behind Draco's.
"I'm not leaving," Harry kissed Draco's shoulder.
"Good," Draco said.
LAMPTON HOUSE CLOSE
Sunday, June 8th 11:42 am
"Want to have dinner at Granita?"
"It's closed." Harry was standing at the kitchen bench, his hair curling wet on the edges of Draco's robe. Draco had had it made for him in Shanghai, but all the bespoke silk embroidery in the world had never looked so good until now. A small mountain of toast crusts was piled on the newspaper. "There's a good bar there now, although if you want to sit outside you're basically in a bus-stop–"
Draco moved closer and kissed him. "It was–" Kissed him again, licking sweet marmalade from the corner of his mouth. "A figure of speech."
"Bugger," Harry's frown dimpled into a slow smile, "thought you'd be too well-fucked to be clever this morning." He ran his hands down Draco's back, pulling them together.
"You'll have to try harder. Mmm."
"Spent all weekend trying–"
"Spent being operative. That's quite a gift you have there, Mr Potter."
Harry looked down, smirking. "Yes, yes it is."
Draco laughed. "Actually, it's more like my gift." He took the last piece of toast from Harry's plate. "Happy Birthday to me."
ST STEPHEN'S TAVERN
Monday, July 23rd 4:42 am
"–on the Woolsack?" Blaise's expression was halfway in between horrified and congratulatory.
Draco fought to keep a straight face. "Rumour mill working overtime, I'm afraid." He fished in the packet for the last of the crisps. "And in the end, too dusty."
"I can't believe I encouraged this," Blaise shook his head, but his little smile made it not entirely censorious.
Outside, the weather was chucking it down relentlessly against the leaded windows. The House was overrun by smarmy environment know-it-alls with their climate change prophecies of doom. Draco thought if he heard the word emissions uttered one more time–outside a pornographic context–he was going to hex the hapless fool.
Not that he was a global warming skeptic: quite the opposite. It was just patently obvious that the wettest British summer on record was Brian Haw's fuck you to the SOCPA legislation. He and his hippy mates in their tiny tent on Parliament Square had been–quite openly–constructing the mother of all rain charms for weeks. Draco had some sympathy for the man and his ongoing anti-war protest, but it was such a shame when talented wizards put themselves forward so openly.
What with one thing and another–Blaise buggering off to the south of Spain, and Draco spending much of his free time indoors–they hadn't got around to reporting the whole affair to the Office of Meteorological Misadventure.
On the television over the bar, the afternoon news cut to the sodden expanse of College Green, black cabs inching along Millbank in the downpour. Harry had spent an extra ten minutes that morning attempting to match a shirt and tie for the cameras–all for nothing, as everyone being interviewed was buttoned up in their macs, huddling under umbrellas.
As it was, the new Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families delivered most of the announcement, but it was quite refreshing to see the rumoured cross-party collaboration with the Lib Dems being announced to the media.
"Heineken for me. Guinness for you." Harry pushed a fresh pint across the table to Draco, beads of water dripping off the ends of his hair.
"No umbrella?" Blaise snickered, standing up. "I'll just be–"
"Sit down, Zabini, I only have two hands and the barmaid can't find a cucumber for your bloody Pimms." Harry stripped off the sodden coat, dumped it over the back of the chair, and darted back to the bar.
Draco bit back a laugh at Blaise's face. "Go on, stay."
"Fine," said Blaise, dubiously, though Draco wasn't fooled. "I'll count this as a working lunch."
Handing a glass to Blaise that was more fruit salad than actual liquid, Harry dropped one of the free London papers–the purple one–on the table. He tipped back a good third of the pint glass, and turned the paper over to the front. "Problem."
"Oh, for fuck's sake," said Draco.
"You are joking me," said Blaise, snatching up the paper.
HAVE I GOT NEWS FOR YOU, shouted the headline. Underneath: BORIS THROWS HIS HAT INTO MAYORALTY RACE.
Draco considered the matter. "It's not really a problem," he said.
"It's a fucking disaster," Harry spluttered, "he might win. The tube delays are bad enough without a Tory nob diverting funds into cycle lanes and Roman empire re-enactments."
"Yes, he might win," Draco smiled into his Guinness, glancing up at Harry with a brief wink, "But then it occurs to me that there'll be a job opening."
Harry looked over the table at him, and grinned.
I always wanted to write an epilogue. Oh good intentions. Thank you to circe_tigana, who asked me "but how do Harry and Draco get together?" approximately one billion times in the last year, and who made sure I eventually told her. ♥