Draco Malfoy/Harry Potter
Draco Malfoy Harry Potter Original Female Witch
Slash Drama
Harry and Classmates Post-Hogwarts
Philosopher's Stone Chamber of Secrets Prizoner of Azkaban Goblet of Fire Order of the Phoenix Quidditch Through the Ages
Published: 04/22/2005
Updated: 07/30/2008
Words: 247,857
Chapters: 31
Hits: 79,195

The Bet


Story Summary:
It all started with a little bet. "I bet you can't do it." "Do what?" "Seduce him." Draco Malfoy's never been one to back down from a perfectly do-able bet. But when that bet involves Harry Potter? Draco's realising that this bet isn't as cut and dry as it seems, nor as easy... AU post-war, post-Hogwarts, Harry/Draco/OC

Chapter 15

Chapter Summary:
When you want to learn something, sometimes, it only takes 536,400 seconds. Much needed conversations, an awkward situation, a fight, and a confusing and steamy photoshoot.
Author's Note:
Whew! It's finally done! First of all, let me say sorry (I seem to start a lot of chapter notes off that way...hmm) for taking so long. My trip was AWESOME and I had a blast. I actually was able to write a lot, but was unable to type it up until I got back, in which case I got really sick and couldn't do anything for the first five days I was back. So-


Chapter XV - 536,400 Seconds to Learn Confidence



Sunday, 5 October 2003, Mid Evening


When Harry dropped Raven off at number four, he found himself wanting to kiss her again. Really wanting to kiss her. So much so that he nearly turned his head when she gave him a quick hug goodbye.

Once she was inside, he stood there for a moment, his jaw clenched and his body trembling with tension. Breathing through his nose, he tried to calm himself, overcome with emotions and desires he was afraid to act on. After a few moments, he found himself releasing it all and falling into wretched sadness.

Sighing, he made his way off the porch and onto the grass, deciding to visit the alcove rather than the beach--his most recent memories of that place were not pleasant. The weather seemed to agree, as the storm had followed Harry back from London. The sky was darkening, but the sun still peeked through the clouds, the tension that was building in the air, palpable. Harry wondered if it would ever break.

He spent the entire walk to the alcove berating himself; berating himself for feeling like he did for Raven, berating himself for falling for her while she was in a relationship with Draco, and berating himself for wanting more contact with her, regardless. He couldn't get over the fact that he was indeed twenty-three, and as hard as it was to believe, he had never had a girlfriend, and he had hardly been kissed. He suddenly felt the effects of being cheated out of life--while all he had wanted was a normal, happy life, all he ever got was stranger and more painful than before, and he was stripped of his normal rights as a boy, as a teenager, as a man, and as a person.

Reaching the alcove, he sat down at the cliff, dangling his legs and sighing in frustration and defeat.

He had to find something else--no--someone else to focus his attentions on. But who, honestly? There wasn't anyone who wasn't already in a relationship and cared to know him. The real him, that is.

So here he was, left alone. And he was really fucking tired of it.

Sitting at the alcove, his thoughts rounded to Draco, and what he would say. 'You're being pathetic, Potter. You have plenty of friends, and everyone loves you. Stop whining.' Oh, and, 'You ever think about Raven again, I'll kill you.' Or something like that.

Okay, so maybe he wouldn't say quite that. But the pathetic part, Harry was certain of. He was acting rather pathetic. But he couldn't stop the driving need that was taking over his body.

The need of companionship. The need of affection and love. The need to be touched. The need to be stroked. The need to be brought to such exhilarating heights as someone explored his body and brought him pleasure. The need to be bodily loved by someone, and bodily love that person in return.

His arousal now straining in his pants, Harry's mind brought forth images from the book he had browsed through earlier; of men and women's bodies intertwined. He found himself shifting back from the edge of the cliff and lying down, deftly unbuttoning his jeans and shoving his hand in them to relieve himself of the pressure in his groin. He moaned out load as he touched himself, images from the book and Raven's face and imagined body looming in his mind's eye.

The chirp of a nightingale registered distantly in his mind, and a skimming thought of where he was and just whose 'thinking' place this was whirled his mind around, and he found his mental images changing. Draco's striking face and silvery piercing eyes entered the mixture, and the one little glimpse of the two males illustrated in the book came to the fore, as did the mental images he had had of Draco posing nude, and his hips bucked and he gasped.

The pressure was at the breaking point, and nearly had been when he started, and with two more rough strokes and semi-muffled groan, Harry came, Draco's smooth voice from nights before filling his inner ear.

"Do you scream, Harry?"

Harry's thought was: Oh god, I want to.

Slowly, he came down from his high, and taking his hand out of his trousers, he looked at the sticky mess on his palm and stringing between his fingers, musing what it might taste like. Scrunching up his nose at the odd thought, not quite sure where it came from, he took his wand out and muttered a quick 'scourgify', sitting up and looking down at his unbuttoned jeans and feeling rather disgusted with himself.

I can't believe I just wanked off in the middle of the woods. And I thought of Draco...god, he'd probably kill me if he ever found out...

Not sure if wanking off really helped him or not, he stood, pocketing his wand and re-buttoning his jeans before heading home. The sun had just begun to set, and Harry's thoughts set with it; the forest darkening quickly around him with his mood.


When Harry walked in through the back patio door that evening, Ron immediately knew that something was wrong.

He had been hanging out in the lounge with Hermione, Ginny, Luna, Seamus and Neville, when his best mate walked in, giving them all a half-hearted smile before heading upstairs without a word.

Ron shared a look with his girlfriend before they both excused themselves. The remainder of the group shared glances as well, and a worried look found its way onto Ginny's face.

Seamus put an arm around her and pulled her close, kissing her red hair. "I'm sure he'll be fine, love. It's Harry."

"But with last night...I mean, he seemed so much happier today in London...I wonder what happened?"

"Probably nothing more than the usual," Luna said, her gaze settled on Neville, sitting next to her.

Ginny looked at the blonde with perplexity. "The usual?"

Luna turned her double-plaited head towards the other girl with a dreamy look in her eye. "Depression, loneliness, sexual frustration..."

Ginny's mouth dropped open and Seamus burst out laughing. His girlfriend turned to him and frowned. "Seamus, it's not funny! Harry's still having a hard time, okay? And he is lonely," she turned back to Luna. "We should be supportive, rather than forgetting that anything's ever happened."

Seamus' laughter died down, and Neville nodded, kissing his girlfriend on the temple.

"It'll be four years come February," he murmured.

They all nodded, and Ginny cast a glance upward in a silent prayer.


Hermione cast a quick look behind her at Ron before knocking on Harry's door. She almost jumped back when it opened almost immediately, Harry's silhouette dark and ominous against the warm light of the room behind him.

Harry just looked at them blankly and turned around without a word, leaving the door open behind him.

"What took you so long?" he said tonelessly, plopping down on the bed and kicking off his shoes. "I figured you would have tried to stop me from going up the stairs."

Hermione and Ron entered silently, Ron closing the door behind them.

Harry looked back up. "What? You're not going to ask what's wrong?"

Hermione frowned and said, "We were kind of hoping we wouldn't have to."

"Well, keep hoping," Harry replied, shrugging off his denim jacket and throwing it on his trunk.

"Harry," Ron started, "don't shut us out. Please. Let us help you."

"Well, you can't, so stop trying."

"Harry James Potter, stop being such a pretentious ass!" Hermione cursed, her hands on her hips. Letting out a calming breath, she offered in a softer tone, "Maybe you'd feel better if you'd at least tell someone. Even if we can't do anything, we'd at least like to know what's going on."

Harry looked darkly up at his two best friends. He didn't respond.

"Harry, mate," Ron almost pleaded, "What happened? Did..." he glanced quickly at Hermione, "did something happen with Raven?"

When Harry looked away, Hermione took the initiative and sat down beside him.

"You kissed, didn't you?" she asked softly.

There was a tense silence before: "No. And that's the problem."

"Problem?" Ron asked.

"Yeah," Harry sighed. "The problem. I..." He leaned back on his hands and stared up at the ceiling. "I wanted to."

"But you didn't want to, because she's Draco's girlfriend," Hermione stated.

"You're too smart, Hermione," Harry said. Nodding, he finished with, "Yeah."

"Well then," Ron said a bit hesitantly, "isn't that a good thing? That you didn't, I mean?"

Harry and Hermione both shot Ron harried looks.

"You're so insensitive, Ron," the girl said.

"What?" the redhead defended. "I just... I mean, I guess I just don't understand cheating on someone, is all. So shouldn't Harry be glad that he didn't kiss Raven, so she wouldn't have cheated on Malfoy, and Malfoy wouldn't have had to come kick his arse? Not saying he could or anything," he added quietly.

Harry shook his head. "It's not about that, Ron. I'm just sick of it." He stood and started pacing about the room. "I'm fucking tired of being alone, of feeling alone, of wanting to have what you guys have," he gestured wildly, "of what everybody fucking has except me!"

"Harry, mate, calm down."

Harry took a couple of deep breaths and moved around his bed to look out the back window.

"She's asked me to pose nude with Draco for pictures."

"What?!" Ron exclaimed. Even Hermione's mouth dropped open.

"And I told her I'd do it."

While Ron was gaping like a fish, Hermione asked, "Raven wants you to pose nude...for pictures?"

"Yes." Harry replied.

"With Malfoy?" she clarified.


"And you've agreed to do it."


"Oh, Merlin, Harry..." Ron breathed.

"It's not that big a deal," Harry rationalised. "I've already posed for a painting, a few weekends ago."

"You did?" Ron asked, shocked.

Hermione cut in. "Harry, why didn't you mention this before?"

He shrugged. "I was kind of mad at you. Besides, you wanted to know what was going on, and this is it."

"Wait, why were you mad at us?"

"For talking about me behind my back. For talking to Raven behind my back."

Hermione blushed. "We just wanted to make sure she wasn't using you Harry."

"I know. But I realised something that night. I was tired of letting others direct my life for me. I wanted to do something different, something...for a friend."

"So you let her paint you?"

Harry nodded. "Yeah."

Ron sighed heavily and sat down on the bed. "So you're feeling really frustrated because you like her, and you can't do anything with her?"

Harry bit his lip, turning around. "Yes, it's that. I just...I'm just feeling rather confused right now, and I'm not really sure where my life is going." He smiled. "I mean, look at you two, you're getting married in a few months."

Ron smiled and Hermione blushed. "That doesn't mean you still won't be a huge part of our lives, Harry," Hermione said.

He nodded, sitting. "Yeah, I know. That changed a long time ago, anyway. You guys have your own lives together now, and I just need to find mine."

Hermione cocked her head. "It sounds like you've already figured it out on your own."

The bespectacled man snorted. "Maybe. It's just harder than it sounds, is all."

Ron patted Harry on the shoulder. "You'll find someone, mate. And even if you don't, you'll find your way. Not everyone is meant to be with someone. Look at Snape. Or Dumbledore, for example. They seemed to have managed so far at this point."

Harry raised an eyebrow. "You want me to become an old coot or a greasy-potions master?"

Ron laughed. "No, mate. Merlin, no. I think more of either of them is too much for this world."

"Feeling better, Harry?" Hermione asked, brushing a lock of hair out of the man's face.

Harry sighed, nodding and smiling. "Yeah. Much. Thanks guys."

"Always, Harry. Don't keep things bottled inside, all right?" And she leaned forward to give him a hug.

He hugged her back and felt Ron embrace them all. Harry couldn't help but laugh and soon they were all giggling, feeling for all the world that they were younger, and back at Hogwarts, on one of those rare occasions when none of them felt threatened or the urge to do some amateur detective work.

It truly was a wonderful thing to feel like he had his friends back, if only for a while.


Monday, 6 October 2003, Late Afternoon


"Hey Harry, can I talk with you a moment?"

Harry turned around to Mikhail's call, giving Draco a pat on the back before walking toward his captain.

"Yeah, Mik?"

Mikhail gave Harry an intense look before saying, "Look, I know you think you played a horrible game on Saturday, but I just want you to know that I think you did your best. The Widgeons are tough, and you played well under the circumstances."

Harry blinked in humbleness. "Er...thanks, Mik."

Mikhail smiled. "And I think you played well today in our scrimmages. I was wondering if you wanted to go out from drink with me tonight? I want to talk to you about your probable career in Quidditch."

A look of confused shock placed itself on Harry's face. "Oh? Well, uh, I can't tonight, actually. I'm studying over at Draco's right after I shower."

Mikhail raised his eyebrows in mild surprise. "Oh, okay. Well, do you want to go some other time?"

"Sure. Is Friday night after practise good?"

"Perfect. I'll see you then." Mikhail smiled brilliantly and patted Harry on the shoulder as he passed by on his way to the locker rooms.

Harry turned with Mikhail and saw Draco still waiting for him. Draco gave their captain a firm nod as he walked past, and waited for Harry to catch up. As Harry approached, he asked, "What was that about?"

Harry shrugged. "He just wanted to compliment my game on Saturday, and ask me out for drinks on Friday night."

"Oh. Friday, you say?"

"Yeah. He wants to talk about my professional career, apparently."

"Hm? I wonder if he's heard anything from scouts? You did disappear after the game, you know."

Harry blushed slightly, embarrassed. "Yeah. I know."


Tuesday, 7 October 2003, Early Evening


"I think I've figured out how to break him."

"You mean Harry?"


The two ex-Slytherins were sitting in Draco's room after Quidditch practice, winding down from a long day at school. Raven was laying on Draco's bed reading one of her books on photography, and Draco had just gotten back from his shower, still bare-chested and studying himself in his full-length mirror.

"Well?" Raven prompted when Draco didn't immediately elaborate.

"Sex. Keep his mind on sex. He'll be a lot more receptive to any ideas concerning it if his mind is on it all the time."

Raven raised an eyebrow. "I see. And how do you suppose you'll do that? Although I don't doubt his Gryffindor tendencies to be rather dense, I think he's going to notice that the only thing you want to talk about is sex."

"Did you just insult your beloved Harry?" Draco smirked.

Raven threw a pillow at him. "Oh, honestly, Draco. You know what I mean."

Draco tossed the pillow back and nodded. "Yes. Yes I do."

Draco paced back and forth a few times crossing his arms over his chest and nibbling on his right thumb. Suddenly he stopped and turned to his girlfriend, starting the conversation as if they hadn't just been talking.

"Raven, we need to do something about Potter."

Raven gave him an odd look but only said, "What exactly do you mean by that, love?"

Draco started to pace again. "Well, I think it's quite obvious that he's starting to like you."

Raven nodded. "I had noticed as much."

"And it makes sense, really."

Raven quirked an eyebrow. "Why do you think so?"

"Well, he spends enough time around you, and you're probably the first girl to show an interest in him in ages. And unless Potter's an extreme closet case, I'm assuming that he has no predisposition to think about guys in that sort of way. He has, in fact, told me that he doesn't think he is, though to me it sounds like he might not be sure. But anyway, it's becoming a problem, especially if I'm trying to seduce him. And the fact that he likes you is only making things more complicated."

"I know what you mean. I've had the same thoughts. I've actually been trying to distance myself a bit."

Draco nodded, still pacing. "So...we need to think of some way to get Harry to start noticing me as well."

The two Slytherins thought in silence for a moment before Raven's eyes lit up and very devious smile played on her lips. "Harry's coming over today, right?" she asked.

Draco stopped pacing, a confused look on his face as he turned to look at the girl. "Yes...actually, he's coming over in about twenty minutes." He noticed the mischievous grin on the other's face. "Why do you ask? Have you thought of something?"

Raven tilted her head and sat up. "I'd like to think so."

"Well? Spit it out, woman."

Raven leaned forward a little, beckoning Draco closer with a finger. When he was close enough, Raven quickly snaked out a hand, catching Draco by the neck and kissing him hard, pulling him on top of her as she lay back onto the bed. Once Draco had gotten over his surprise, they kissed for a few moments before the flaxen-haired man pulled back, straddling her hips and holding himself up on his hands.

"I'm not sure I understand, love. How is kissing you supposed to help me seduce Potter?"

But Raven only smiled roguishly. "You'll see. Just don't take off my bra." At Draco's rather puzzled look, she said, "People always want something they can't have, Draco. Trust me. You'll know what to do when it happens."

Draco just shook his head, but went back to kissing his girlfriend, reaching down to snake a hand under her shirt and caress her skin. He became so lost in touching her skin and progressing the degenerating state of their undress that he was quite startled when he heard Harry's voice and the creaking of the door opening as the Golden Boy stepped over the threshold.


When Theodore Nott answered Harry's knock on Number Three's door, the Seeker wasn't expecting to be allowed in. But he was, and instead of being asked to wait in the foyer, he was directed upstairs to Draco's room. Feeling nervous walking around Draco's dorm unescorted, Harry ascended the stairs quickly, noticing that the door to the blonde's room was slightly ajar. He didn't just want to barge in, especially if Draco wasn't out of his shower yet, or...if he was still dressing. So, gathering his Gryffindor courage, he knocked once on the door, unintentionally making it swing fully open, calling Draco's name.


But what he saw, what most definitely not what he expected.

He saw a topless Draco, leaning over a black bra and panty-clad Raven, kissing her passionately on the bed. Draco broke the kiss when Harry had said his name, and now looked at Harry with a slightly shocked look, laced with the pink embarrassment suddenly colouring his high cheeks. But that was all that Harry managed to take in, before blushing like mad and moving to close the door.

"Oh god, sorry. I didn't mean to interrupt-" he stuttered as he averted his gaze and moved away from the door. Why the hell does this always happen to me...

"Harry!" he heard Draco cry desperately. "Harry!" The door opened to a heavily breathing Draco, who looked out into the hall to find Harry, blushing madly and shuffling to the stairs.

"Malfoy-honestly, I'm sorry, I didn't mean to-"

"Oh, shut up, Potter, and get your soppy Gryffindor ass in here."

Draco's careless manner stunned Harry for a moment, and a moment was all Draco needed to reach out and grab Harry by the collar and drag him into the room, closing the door behind them.

Harry stood close to the door, avoiding looking in the vicinity of the bed, where one hopefully unnoticeable glance told Harry that Raven was still sitting there, legs crossed and leaning back on her hands, still only wearing a bra and knickers. If it were possible, Harry was sure that he would be blushing even harder.

"For Merlin sakes, Potter, breathe. You're as red as a tomato."

Harry took an unsteady breath in, and let it out. "Sorry, I just...this is rather embarrassing." Without looking at Raven, he said, "I'm sorry, Raven, I didn't mean..."

But she interrupted. "Stop saying you're sorry, Harry. It's fine. Honestly."

Although it took him a minute, after his quick thinking, Draco realised Raven was right. He had known exactly what to do. And now all he had to do was see it through.

"Harry, why is it you won't look at Raven? Is she not pretty enough for you?"

Harry's head snapped up to Draco, who was standing near his desk. "I...er...no! Of course she's pretty enough! It's just..." his eyes darted around a second (avoiding Raven, of course) before fixing Draco with a confused expression. "I mean, you want me to look at her? She's...she's your girlfriend. I shouldn't be looking at her like that..."

But Draco only smiled. "So maybe you don't think about girls that way, then?"

"What? You mean...no! I'm not...gay...I just mean that she's your girlfriend...wouldn't it bother you if someone else saw her like that?" Harry asked with puzzlement.

"I'm still here, you know." Raven said from the bed.

"Sorry," Harry said sheepishly, still not looking at her.

Draco shrugged at Harry's question. "No, not really. I mean, she likes you; I know that. And it doesn't bother me. Besides, Harry, if you're ever going to lose your virginity, you're going to have to get used to seeing people naked." He was hoping Harry wouldn't notice the lack of 'girls' in his comment in lieu of being startled by the revelation that he knew that Harry was still virgin. The Gryffindor predictability didn't let him down.

"What?" Harry squeaked. "How...how do you know that?"

"That you're still a virgin?" Harry nodded, his eyes wide. Draco smiled. "I have my sources. It seems that some of your little Gryffindor friends like to gossip about you a bit." Harry's brows furrowed at that, and he almost started to look angry, before Draco spoke again.

"So...why don't you look at her, Harry." Draco suggested.


"Raven. Look at her." And he gestured to the other person in the room.

"You want me to?" Harry asked timidly, still unsure.

"You wouldn't be standing here if I didn't."

"I can't believe I'm even thinking..." Harry muttered to himself. Still without looking, he asked Raven, "Do you mind, Raven?"

"Not if it's you, Harry."

Gulping nervously, Harry breathed deeply. It wasn't like he didn't want to himself; it's just...wasn't it wrong? Oh, fuck. If Malfoy and Raven said it was all right...fine. So Harry turned his head to look over at Raven, who was only a few feet away, still sitting on the bed, leaning back on her hands.

And it wasn't some huge revelation, like he thought it might be. It was...kind of what he'd been expecting, but in a tangible form. He tried not to look too long, so it wouldn't seem as if he was staring. And as much as he found he liked the girl, he kept the mantra, 'She's a friend, just a friend, she's Malfoy's girl, friend friend friend friend friend,' going in his head, so as not progress his feelings any further. Or any lower.

Harry had been looking at Raven for no more than five seconds when he was startled out of his thoughts by Raven laughing and standing up. Grabbing her sweater and skirt, she pulled them on and took the short steps to Harry, wrapping her arms around his shoulders and kissing him on the cheek.

"Oh Harry, you're adorable." Harry flushed before she pulled away and stepped over to Draco, giving him a little hug and a kiss on the cheek as well. "I ought to go. I'll leave you two to your potions studying. Have fun..." she called as she swayed out of the room, leaving the two men alone.

"Bye love," Draco called after her, before turning to Harry. "Now, that wasn't so bad, was it?"

Harry chuckled nervously, running a hand through his hair. "Yeah, I guess not. Although I still don't understand why you wanted me to."

"Like I said, if you want to lose your virginity, you better get used to what you might be seeing."

Harry only grunted in response. It didn't quite seem like a sure-fire excuse, but Harry had long ago given up trying to fully understand the blond.

Now that they were the only two in the room, Harry took the chance to look around again. The room was basically the same as the last time he'd been there, still swathed in black and green, still an organised mess. In the corner to the left of the door, was Draco's desk, where Draco was currently standing, rifling through various stacks of paper, looking for something.

It was then that Harry noticed that Draco was still sans shirt, and that the candlelight from the desk illuminated his pale skin in an unearthly golden but beautiful way. As Draco's shoulders moved, Harry watched, fascinated at the differences of the other's man's torso. Did he look like that? Is that why Raven thought he was good-looking? Harry glanced down at his own hands, and observed that his skin was much darker that Draco's...so why did Raven like him? Surely, he didn't look that good naked. Well, not that Harry had seen anything else of Malfoy's, but if he looked that good on top... Harry quickly pulled himself out of that line of thought. But he knew that he himself wasn't all that good looking. Not even close to Draco. Raven hadn't added it into the painting she had done, but Harry had scars. Lots of scars. Most of them were tiny, barely noticeable crosshatch marks on his back. But there was this one...this one on his side...

Looking back up to Draco, he unconsciously uttered his thoughts out loud. "If only I looked that good..."

"What?" Draco asked, knowing he heard right, but asking just in case the meaning was different.

Oh, shit, did I just say that out loud? "N-nothing." Harry said, trying to cover up.

But Draco turned to fully face the darker man. "No, you said something. Something about looking good."

Harry shook his head nervously. "No. I didn't say anything like that."

Draco rolled his eyes, reaching out and grabbing a hold of Harry's arm. He dragged the reluctant man over to his full-length mirror on the right side of the room, so that they were both standing in front of it; he then took his wand out of his pocket and flicked his wrist, the mirror growing to twice its original size in width. Throwing his wand on his bed next to Raven's forgotten book, he took a hold of his own belt, and started to undo it.

"Wh-what are you doing?" Harry sputtered.

"Undressing. You too, Gryffindor."


"Undress. Down to your boxers. C'mon, it's not that hard."

"But...why?" Harry tried not to stare as Draco bent to pull his trousers down.

Draco rolled his eyes again as he stood and stepped out of his pants, kicking them away. "So we can look at each other. I want to see why you think you don't look good."

Harry's jaw dropped. "You're joking...right?"

"Nope. Strip. Now." Draco said.

Looking off to the side, Harry sighed. He's crazy. But, if you can look at Raven, you can do this, Potter. Just cover you scar with your arm, and it'll be over with quickly. He set down his book bag before shrugging off his denim jacket, throwing it on the bed and saying, "You've gone completely mad, Malfoy."

Malfoy grinned brightly. "But you're complying, now aren't you?"

"Shut up." Kicking of his shoes, he bent down and slipped off his socks as well. Then he turned, so that his right side was showing to the Adonis, and pulled his sweatshirt and undershirt off in one fell swoop, tossing those on the bed as well. Then he unbuttoned his jeans, undoing the zipper, and after a quick calming breath, he slipped those off, kicking them aside. Keeping his left arm glued in front of him and holding it there by the wrist, he turned towards Draco, biting his lower lip in nervousness since he couldn't run his hands through his hair.

Draco watched in rapt attention as Harry stripped in front of him. Only the fear that the other man would see if he had become aroused stopped his groin from outwardly reacting. Otherwise...Draco was almost scared to admit that seeing the Gryffindor so...vulnerable... was egging on his aching need for contact with the man. It hadn't really helped that the only reason he wasn't getting satisfied at that moment was because of Harry, looking at it from either the immediate set of circumstances (Harry walking in on him and Raven), or the more long-term set, which involved him shagging Potter senseless just as soon as he could get the emerald-eyed man to get comfortable enough around him. And as far as the current circumstances were concerned...Raven was evil. But so smart, and so devious...she knew Draco well enough to know that he would figure out what to do when Harry 'accidentally' walked in on the two Slytherins progressively making out. And even if it might not have been exactly what she would have thought...it was working, and that's what counted.

Now, standing next to each other, clad only in boxers--Draco in black and Harry in dark blue--they turned to the mirror.

"Ok," Draco said, "Why don't you think you look good? Are you comparing yourself to me? Because that's not the way to go, Potter. Sure, I look good, but you do too. Just in a...different way."

Harry scowled at Draco's reflection. "Oh, that's comforting, Malfoy."

"Alright, look. It's all got to do with taste. We both have roughly the same physique, the same build, although you're a bit more muscular around the shoulders, see?" the Seeker said, gesturing to Harry's reflection. "Some people like that. But we seem to look so different because of our colouring. I'm really pale and flawless, with light blonde hair. You, on the other hand, are more tanned, with random freckles and dark brown hair."

"I have eyes, Malfoy. And my hair's black, not brown."

"Sorry, black then. Like I said, it all depends on what you like. Some people like the brooding, darker man, while others like the blond aristocratic one." And Draco tossed his blond locks out of his eyes.

"I see you've never lost your flair for shoving your aristocracy in other's faces." Harry deadpanned.

"Oh, c'mon, Harry. That's not the point. What I'm trying to say is that we're both good-looking blokes, and we could have anyone we wanted. All it takes is a little confidence."

"Confidence, hmm?" Harry said mockingly, glaring at his own reflection.

"Yes. Like you. You're standing all wrong. It's one thing to be the shy type, because some girls like that. But even if they do, they don't want a pussy for a man. So stand up straight! And drop your arms to your sides."

Harry's eyes widened. "No!"

Draco looked at him, puzzled. "Why not? It's just us two in here, no one else will see you practicing."

"No...I just...don't want to move my arms."

"Why not?"

"That's not important. I just don't want to."

"Okay, now you've got my curiosity piqued. What are you trying to hide?"


"Bullocks, Potter. What's wrong? Why won't you show me?"

"I just...don't want to, okay?"

Draco frowned, but the next second, he had a mischievous glint in his eye. "I know how to make you loosen up..."

"What?" was all Harry got in before Draco attacked his sides, trying to wrestle the other man.

Harry squeaked in shock, moving his right arm to defend himself, and his left arm up to push Draco away. Unfortunately, that left his side wide open for Draco to see.

"What on earth...Harry, what's this?" he kneeled and reached a hand out to touch Harry's abdomen, just above his boxers, where a large, serrated scar could be seen; whiter against Harry's bronzed skin, blemishing the dusting of soft dark hair that lay there. It ran from near his navel, all the way over to the edge of his pelvis.

"Don't!" Harry panicked, grabbing Draco's wrist, holding it in place just as the pale fingers brushed the blemished skin.

"Potter...Harry...who did this to you? How did you get it?" Draco looked up with worried eyes.

Harry sighed. "It's a war wound, Malfoy." He muttered bitterly. He hadn't noticed how worried the other had looked; too wrapped up in his own swelling anguish as memories he had managed to suppress for the past few weeks suddenly came back, full force.

Draco relaxed his hand in Harry's grip, which allowed him to press his palm flat against Harry's left side, right over the old wound. Harry jumped slightly at the contact, but allowed it, dropping his own hand to his side. Circling his thumb over the skin, Draco stood.

"Who did it? Do you know?"

Harry's eyes were lowered, but they moved up to look at Draco's face as his grey eyes watched his thumb's ministrations.

"Yes." Harry said lowly. "Your father."

Silver irises flashed up to deep jade, both full of immense pain and remorse. In an unexpected and impulsive move, Draco kneeled down again, leaning forward and brushing his lips over the jagged line that his thumb had been circling. "I'm sorry," he whispered against the skin.

Even though his stomach lurched nervously at the gesture, Harry grabbed a hold of the other man's shoulder, urging him to stand back up. "Malfoy..." he started once the pale man was on his feet again, "Draco...it's not your fault. It happened later. Just before the last battle."

"That was when he died, wasn't it? My father?" Draco wouldn't admit it, but his vision was getting fuzzy around the edges.

Harry's features contorted into pained grief. "Yes. I...I killed him."

Draco's breath hitched, and he blinked, the unacknowledged tears falling down his cheeks. Harry immediately lifted a hand and brushed a tear away with his thumb. "Oh gods, Draco, please don't cry..." Harry whispered.

Draco let out an unsteady breath. "No...it's not..." Draco caught Harry's gaze again; his eyes were blazing silver fury, a lightning storm surrounded by water. Fiercely, he said, "He should have been killed. After all he had done. And...it had to be you. You had to do it. I know. I understand. It couldn't have worked out any other way. Things happened they way they happened. Whether by reason, by chance or by choice. Like it was my choice to take the Dark Mark..." and he lifted up his left limb for Harry to see the underside of the forearm.

Harry looked down to see a faint, but pink mark in the shape of the Dark Mark on Draco's forearm. It wasn't quite a scar...just a leftover etching of the grotesque tattoo that used to be there. "...And to keep this scar as a reminder." Draco smiled wanly. "Just like you kept yours, but you got yours by chance, not by choice. And that's worse. You shouldn't have that scar. But I should have this one. I deserve to remember why I've changed. Why I am now the way I am. You, though...you shouldn't have to remember that. How much you sacrificed..." The blond chuckled softly, looking down at his upturned arm.

"Raven and Blaise have one too. Along with anyone else still left in Azkaban." He suddenly looked up at Harry. "Do you know how I knew you had finally killed Him, Harry?" The Gryffindor, afraid of speaking, only shook his head.

Draco took his hand briefly from Harry's side to brush his fingers along his own scar, before returning it to Harry's. Harry lifted his right hand to take a hold of the ex-Death Eater's arm, rubbing his thumb against the scarred skin. He looked to Draco, who had closed his eyes briefly at the contact.

Opening his grey eyes again Draco said, "It bled. It oozed poison and blood, until all that was left was this. This faint carving. I felt sick for days, while it all flushed out of my system. It was black and green and red, and it happened to all of us; Raven, Blaise and I...at the same time. That's how we knew. We knew that He was finally dead, and that you killed him."

Harry's breath hitched as Draco finished, and he found that his own vision was blurring. Using his left hand, he slipped his glasses off and tossed them on the bed, rubbing at his eyes to rid them of the obtrusive fluid. He locked gazes with Draco for a moment, before lifting the Adonis' left arm and pressing his lips to the scar, returning the Slytherin's gesture.

"I'm glad that this is the only mark he left on you," he breathed.

Without a second thought, Draco moved his arm through Harry's hand and around his neck, and slipped the one from his side to around his waist, pulling Harry into a hug, burying his hand in Harry's hair and his face in Harry's neck. Acting on impulse, Harry did likewise to Draco, holding him just as fiercely. They couldn't think about how it was supposed to be awkward, because it wasn't. It couldn't be, not any more, and it didn't feel that way either. For a moment that seemed like an eternity, both men stood there, locked in an equal embrace, forgetting entirely about their past history yet reliving it all at the same time, both unsure of what seemed to be a monumental step in their relationship.

Draco was the first to move; taking in a shuddering breath, he pulled back slightly and looked into Harry's wide viridescent eyes.

"Oh, Harry...I-I'm sorry. I didn't mean to suddenly grab onto you like that..."

But Harry, who was bewildered yet strangely centred, shook his head. "No Draco...it's fine. I..." But Harry found that he had nothing else to say. It was fine. And that was that. He felt like...everything that could be said didn't need to be. Those gestures, the embrace...that was all that was needed.

And while Draco felt the same way, he also felt something else. Something greater than what he had been feeling around the dark-haired man recently, and it scared him. It wasn't just friendship; he knew that. Friendship was what he had been sensing between them the last few weeks or so, ever since the night Harry had first modelled for Raven. Since then, they had grown closer as companions, almost in secret, gaining more knowledge about each other, and the selves they had never been able to explore by themselves. Draco had become more emotional, or rather, more open to let at least Harry and Raven know what he was feeling, much to his chagrin most of the time. Harry had also become more open, but had begun to learn about his wilder side; intellectually exploring things and gaining more and more Draco-esque qualities than life had previously allowed him. And Draco was the one leading him on that journey. Raven had just opened the door of opportunity.

So now Draco had to face these increasing emotions; this ardour that he hadn't expected to ever feel towards the dark-haired man, let alone anyone other than Raven. But as much as it scared him, he knew what he felt. He wasn't afraid to admit it, even.

He was in love with Harry Potter.

Admitting it even in his head made strange and beautiful feelings swell inside of him. It was different from when he realised he loved Raven. That had been gradual; she was now a permanent fixture in his life, and he had slowly come to realise that all the things he liked about her, he loved about her. But with Harry...it just hit him. Just right now, when he kissed Harry's scar, and he had allowed Harry to see him cry, and watched as Harry kissed his own scar, and when he impulsively hugged him...he had been so dazed by his revelation that he sputtered utter nonsense when he pulled away from the embrace.

And he knew it, that he loved Harry, without a doubt. It was undeniable. But he also knew that he shouldn't feel this way. Not in the sense that it was wrong or bad to feel that way about Harry, but that it couldn't last. He loved Raven too. He was going to marry her and they were going to have lots of Slytherin children...right?


Which is why Draco was scared. Because he now realised just what Raven had been trying to get him to realise.

That Harry needed him. Him; Draco. And what Harry was only beginning to realise, even though Draco could plainly see it by looking into Harry's eyes, was that Harry needed someone to understand him completely and love him thoroughly. And the only person who was capable of doing that was Draco.

But because of that, it couldn't happen. Because Raven and Draco would eventually get married...and where would that leave Harry?


And Draco couldn't bear the thought of that. Loneliness.

So, when the time came to tell Harry about his feelings, to let him share and be enveloped in Raven's and Draco's love, as he so needed, Draco knew he would have to be up front. To make it clear to Harry what he was getting into. That while Draco and Raven would love him always, physically, it couldn't last. That was, if Harry wanted to get into it at all.

"Draco? What's wrong?" Harry's soft voice filtered through Draco's whirling thoughts to his brain, startling him slightly.

"I...nothing, Harry. Something just occurred to me, is all." Draco finally looked away from Harry, painful as it was, and turned to pick up his trousers and put them back on.

"What?" Harry asked, sharply noticing how bereft he felt when Draco left his arms.

"I...I'm not sure if I'm ready to talk about it. I...need some time to think." When Draco turned back around, Harry stepped right up to him and placed a hand on Draco's shoulder, giving it a gentle squeeze.

"Draco, I...god, this sounds kind of an odd thing to say to you, but...if you need to talk about whatever it is, I'll listen."

Draco smiled softly, endeared by Harry's offer. "Thank you, Harry. When I'm ready...I'll come to you."

Harry beamed, and Draco felt his heart melt and clench a little more. Suddenly feeling very uncharacteristically embarrassed, although Harry wouldn't know why, Draco cleared his throat and said, "So, how about those potions notes?"


Wednesday, 8 October 2003, Mid Afternoon


"C'mon, you two! Smile!"

"Oh shove off, love. You've been taking pictures of us all afternoon."

"Raven, you should know that I hate cameras."

Raven pulled the camera away from her face, a wry smile on her lips. "They why'd you agree to let me take pictures of you?"

The two men lounging on the grass locked eyes for a moment; Draco with an amused smirk, and Harry with the stinging realisation of being caught in a lie he wasn't aware he told.

Raven smiled winningly. "I thought so."

Draco let out a long-suffering sigh, smiling a brilliantly fake smile up at Raven. Harry ducked his head in embarrassment.

Raven rolled her eyes, but snapped the picture anyway. Plopping down beside Harry, she pulled his chin up with her forefinger. "What's made you so camera-shy, love? If you're like this now, I'd hate to see how you are three days from now. Naked, if you don't remember. Though I thought we'd already sorted all that out last time..."

Harry looked at her through his fringe. "Try talking to Mr. Malfoy over here."

Draco whipped his head around. "Me? What do I have to do with it?"

"Let's see," Harry mused, looking to the sky. "You laughed at me when Lockhart forced me to take pictures with him, when I already didn't think I really deserved any special attention, not to mention your reputable relationship with Rita Skeeter, who became, mostly, my own personal paparazzi, thank you very much."

"What? Oh," Draco laughed, "Beetle Skeeter. That's right. I nearly forgot! Information-starved animagus, she was. Is. Whatever." He dismissed the issue with a lazy wave of his hand.

"Rita Skeeter?" Raven asked. "That reporter woman?" She raised her camera again and adjusted her focus on a witch walking into the Medi-Arts building.

"Yeah," Harry answered. "She hounded me constantly, twisting everything around, trying to deface me. And let's not forget Draco's love for giving her a few false stories of his own." Harry looked to Draco with a 'and I won't ever forget all that shit, you prat' look.

Draco appealed sweetly to the man sitting next to him. "Oh, Merlin, Potter. That was nine years ago. Haven't you forgiven me yet?"

"Do you deserve my forgiveness?" Harry countered back.

Draco winced. "Ouch," he muttered. "Harry," he tried again, "things were different then. I hated you. I actually like you now."

"Jeeze, thanks."

The men looked over to Raven, who was just lowering her camera from its pointed view in their direction.

"Thanks, love," was Draco's caustic remark.

"What? You guys were arguing. It was cute."

"I'll show you cute," Draco threatened as he launched himself across Harry's lap, trying to snatch the camera from Raven's hands.

"Hey!" she squealed, jerking out of reach and rolling out of the way. Standing, she ran barefoot in the opposite direction, across the grass and cobblestone of the courtyard, her dark hair and robes flying behind her.

Harry cried out in protest against Draco's heavy bodily assault on his lap, squeaking (in a very manly way, of course) when Draco unceremoniously pushed himself off Harry and bounded after Raven.

"Harry! Help me catch her!" Draco laughed over his shoulder.

Harry laughed in return, pushing himself up and taking off after the elusive ex-Slytherin girl as well.


Across the courtyard, Seamus, Ron and Hermione came out of the Mixing Chamber, talking amicably. Shouts and laughter echoed around the circle of buildings, and their attention diverted away from the conversation and to the line of three running just yonder.

"Is that...Harry?" Hermione asked, watching the other trio dash around campus.

"Chasing after Malfoy and his girl?" Seamus said. "Yep, I'd say that's them."

"What are they doing?" Ron asked in bewilderment.

"Playing tag?" Hermione offered.

Seamus' face scrunched up and he shook his head a bit. "Nah, they be chasing after each other, I reckon."

Hermione and Ron's eyes met. "You know what, Seam?" Ron said before setting off again, "I reckon you're right."


After a much-too-long run around the courtyard and buildings, Draco finally caught Raven around the waist, whirling her around so that she landed half-on top of him when they fell to the ground behind Number One.

"Oof! Gods, you're heavy!" Draco complained, trying to catch his breath.

"Oh, shut up, Draco!" Raven replied, elbowing him in her efforts to get out of his grasp and playfully push more weight onto him.

"Harry, Harry! Take the bloody camera!" the blond gasped.

Harry, who was trying to stifle his laughter along with his slightly laboured breathing, leaned down to wrestle the small piece of machinery from the girl's hands.

"No! You can't have it!" Raven protested jovially.

She kicked and screamed like a petulant child, trying to keep Harry away from her, while Draco only held her down from behind tighter. Harry finally got past her poor defences and managed to sit down right on top of her, pinning her hips down, grabbing the camera from her easily and turning it back on her.

"Smile!" he said mockingly, taking a few pictures of his own. He managed to get a couple of Raven turning her face away and putting her hand up to block the view, another of Draco laughing from underneath her, and another of them settling down, she turning her face up to smile at her captor, and he smirking down at her.

Harry both smiled and winced at the affection passing between the two. It was sweet, but it still reminded Harry of his traitorous thoughts towards his new friends. He cursed in his mind, moving to get off of them. "Nice camera," Harry complimented.

"Thanks," Raven replied as she sat up. "It's actually one of Colin's."


Raven nodded as Draco stood, demanding, "Let me see that."

Harry handed it over, and Draco inspected the slightly foreign object with narrowed eyes, as he once might have inspected a nasty insect used for a potion.

"How do you make it work?"

Harry rolled his eyes and moved over to Draco's side, pointing out the shutter button, the film advancement lever, and the manual focus.

Draco looked at Harry suspiciously. "How do you know so much about cameras?"

"That's what I'd like to know," Raven chimed from the ground.

Harry shrugged. "Well, I was raised by muggles. When Dudley got one for Christmas one year, I had to listen to him drone on and on about how to use it whenever his friends came over. I'm not sure why he bothered telling anyone; he wouldn't let anyone else touch the stupid thing. He broke it a few months later."

"Dudley...the ridiculously fat cousin, right?" Draco asked, looking back at the camera in his hands.

"Yeah. How'd you know?"

Draco shrugged. "I'm observant."

Harry was still puzzled, so Raven said, "We...were told a little about your relatives when we were in Sanctuary."

"Huh," Harry grunted in a non-committal way.

Draco looked up into black framed in green. "Does that bother you? That we know that?"

Harry shrugged. "It's in the past. I haven't heard anything about them since I was seventeen, and I really don't care too."

"It sounds like they were terrible to you," Raven murmured.

"It could have been worse."

"I think it made you humble," Draco put in. The two men shared a look for a moment, a strange acceptance passing between them. No matter what our heritage and upbringing, we are who we are now because we want to be. We overcame.

"You need to find something to focus against the background," said Raven, breaking the tension and standing up on Draco's other side.

Draco raised the camera to his face. "Well, love, why don't you go stand over there in front of the trees for me then?"

Raven stepped away from the blond. "Oh no. There's a reason I'm always on the other side of the camera, Draco."

"Then why'd you let me take a picture of you just a minute ago?" Harry asked with a wry smile.

Raven paused for a fraction of a minute, realising she got caught in her own trap. But she still protested. "Draco was holding me down, though! What was I supposed to do?"

"Go on, get in front of the camera," Draco prompted.

"But I-" Raven started, before Harry bodily moved her in front of Draco and stepped away.

"There ya go."

Raven glared at her boyfriend. "I hate you."

"The feeling's mutual, love. Now, smile!"

Instead of smiling, Raven grabbed the neck of her red jumper and pulled it up over her mouth and nose. "No," came her muffled voice.

Draco sighed and took a few pictures anyway. "Harry, why don't you go into the picture with her. Maybe then she'll loosen up."

"What?" Harry looked at Draco with shock in his eyes.

Draco lowered the camera and sent an insistent look to the other man's green eyes.

Taking a deep breath, Harry stepped over to Raven's side and put a hesitant arm around her shoulders. Raven took her jumper off her face and relaxed into Harry, smiling up at him.

Draco took another picture.

In fact, he took a lot more; before Raven finally snagged the camera back from him, only to load a new role of film into it and snap even more pictures of the two guys, much to their chagrin.


Thursday, 9 October 2003, Early Afternoon


"Luna, does this aura-based diagnostic conclusion make sense to you?" Harry asked of his table companion.

The blonde looked up from her latest scribblings for her father's magazine, her oddly-shaped earrings glinting in the torchlight.

Taking the paper from Harry, she skimmed the words, her face becoming thoughtful. "Yes, I suppose so, but are aura-readings really that predictable?"

"Predictable? What do you mean?"

"Well, I think it's quite obvious," said Luna serenely, "that your conclusion is correct. How else could it be?"

Harry was still trying to decide if she was insulting his intelligence, or if she was just dismissing the difficult nature of aura-reading when someone stepped up to the table.

"Hi Harry."

"Oh, hey, Draco."

Draco turned his head and took in Luna's pale hair and eyes. "Loony Lovegood. How are you doing?"

Luna turned her protuberant eyes on Draco, and they lost some of their dreamy-quality. "Not quite so loony anymore, but fine, thank you." She returned to her work for The Quibbler.

Draco raised his eyebrows. Harry rolled his eyes in annoyance.


"Didn't mean to insult," Draco said glibly, ignoring the warning. "Harry, would you like to study with me, or are you and Lovegood here attached at the hip?"


"Go ahead, Harry. I'm almost finished here, and then I need to go to the owlery."

"Okay. Thanks for your help, Luna."

She only waved him away, scrawling like mad on her parchment.

Harry quickly gathered his things, following Draco to their usual table near the back.

"I didn't realise you and Lovegood were friends," said Draco as he sat down.

Sitting down himself, Harry said, "Since sixth year, mostly. I knew her in fifth, but thought she was a little odd, myself. Didn't really get to know her until her and Neville started dating a few years ago."

"Longbottom and Lovegood? Hmm... Well, I hope they're doing wonderfully."

"They are, and don't sound like you're so interested, Draco. I know you don't give a crap about them, any more than you give a crap about Ron and Hermione."

Draco snickered and nodded. "Yes, yes. You're right. I don't care. But I'll try not to insult any of them on your behalf. At least not in front of you."

Harry rolled his eyes. "You are an absolutely horrible person, you know that, Draco Malfoy?"

"I take pride in it, actually."

Harry chose to keep his mouth shut, falling into silence with Draco as they got to work on their various projects.

A heavy book slamming on the table between them a minute later surprised them both out of their collective silence. Jumping back, they both looked up to see Raven, looking smug and authoritative.

"Just wanted to drop this by for you two to read. Thought you might find it helpful."

Harry's eyes were glued to the book, and he flushed nearly scarlet, recognising it immediately. Draco frowned and took the book, flipping through it with something akin to confusion lacing his features.

When he looked up at Raven with bemusement, she leaned down close to Draco, whispering, "Chapter thirty might be of some...special assistance." And with a wink, she whirled around and walked away.

Draco slammed the book shut and shouted at her retreating back, "Just because we haven't had sex yet, doesn't mean I don't know what I'm doing!"

Harry simultaneously found himself asphyxiating, turning redder than he thought possible, and eagerly he buried himself under the table.

Draco looked over. "Harry, what are you doing?"

"Hiding from embarrassment. I can't believe you just said that!"

"What? It's true...Raven and I haven't-"

"Draco Malfoy!"

Draco's attention was now averted upwards, to the snarling face of the librarian, Madam Peabody. Normally a mild-tempered, sweet older lady, her current countenance could only spell harm and sure death for the young aristocrat before her.

"Yes, ma'am?" he asked innocently.

"How dare you disrupt the sanctity of the library with your crude and audacious comments! And--is that Harry Potter beneath the table?" Harry slowly crawled out, his face still flushed, and the look of knowing one's imminent doom written all over his visage. "Yes, and you. I can't believe you're hanging around with such a crude young man. Now both of you, out!"

Draco frowned at Madam Peabody's obvious insult, but one slightly murderous look from Harry sent him packing his things quietly, following Harry out, the book Raven bought under his arm. The other patrons either snickered or watched wide-eyed as the two men made their way out.

Once they were outside, Draco was going to suggest reconvening at Harry's, since it was closer, when a sudden snort of laughter escaped Harry's throat, and the dark young wizard started chuckling uncontrollably.

"Potter? Have you gone mad?"

Harry shook his head and wiped his eyes behind his glasses. "It's just...Madam Peabody...do you think she was channelling Madam Pince for a moment there? I've never seen her so..."

"Scary?" Draco pitched in, a chuckle rising in his own throat.

Harry nodded. "Hm-hmm. God...I know it's not really funny, because I'm still as embarrassed as all hell, but the look on your face..."

Draco smirked. "At least I wasn't hiding under the table like some silly little schoolgirl."

Harry shrugged and replied as if disgusted, "What do you expect when you shout something like that in public?"

"I expect you to question me about my numerous sexual exploits up in your room, and then pick over this book with me, in hopes of finding out why Raven gave it to us to read." Draco pointedly said, taking purposeful steps towards Number One. Harry didn't need to know that Draco already had a good idea why Raven had given them the book, he just needed to read the book, and become familiar with what he should have been doing this entire time; getting laid.

"Now, come on, Potter, this book won't be getting read by itself."

"Draco! Good lord, have you no shame?"

"Of course not! What do you take me for? A bloody Gryffindor?" Draco turned back and smiled devilishly at Harry, who was trailing behind him.

"But what about our homework?"

"Screw homework. This is much more educational!"

Harry sighed in defeat, following Draco into Number One and up to his room.

"I really don't want to know about your sexual exploits, Draco," Harry said as he set his stuff down on top of his trunk, removing his robes to reveal his muggle clothing.

"Good, 'cause I'm not talkin' about them." Draco set his things down as well, flopping down on the edge of Harry's bed with the book on his lap. Kicking off his shoes, he tucked his feet beneath him and grabbed Harry's hand, dragging him down onto the bed beside him. "Okay, let's crack this thing open. Nice cover, by the way. This is muggle, no?"

Harry spared a disparaging look for the off-white cover, elaborately but artistically illustrated with over-lapping pictures of bodies intertwined; male and female mingling with and without their own gender. A Fully Illustrated Guide to Sex of All Forms was written in a scarlet, scrawling script across the top.

"Yeah, it is," he answered.

Draco opened the book, flipping to the table of contents. "Wow...quite extensive... And it's broken up into three sections: Tools and Toys, Hetero-Erotica, and Homo-Erotica..."

"Draco, we really don't have to look at this..."

"Don't be silly, of course we do. Remember? You've got to get used to what you'll be seeing and doing when you start having sex. I won't forgive myself if I find out your first time was an embarrassing experience. Now let's see...should we start from the beginning or go on to chapter thirty, like Raven suggested? Chapter thirty...chapter thirty..." Draco murmured under his breath, thumbing through the pages, stopping to look at pictures that caught his eye, and so on.

Harry blushed awkwardly, countering, "Who says it'll be embarrassing? And why do you care about my sex life so much anyhow?"

"We're friends, you pillock. I'm supposed to care." He stopped at a particularly interesting illustration including a male and female using a few different devices such as harnesses and handcuffs. "Ooh, look at this one. It looks more like muggle torture...are you sure this is a sexual position?" Draco asked, cocking his head sideways as if that might help the picture make more sense.

Harry barely glanced over before replying in a mock tone, "How would I know. I'm the virgin here, remember?"

Draco looked over to Harry and bumped his shoulder. "Oh, honestly, Potter. You're not going to learn anything if you don't look at the bloody book. Now tell me, what do you think?"

Harry held in his breath and looked at the picture.

"Looks painful," he said.

Draco nodded. "Yes, I think so too...though I suppose some people might be into that. Could be interesting."

"Sure," said Harry, disinterested.

"Oh, and this one..." Draco said, backing up a few chapters, "This one is pretty common, Potter, so pay attention."

Harry reluctantly looked back over, and saw a woman on top of a man, her head thrown back in pleasure. He couldn't believe he was actually looking at this book...

"Now it says here, to 'be careful about the movement in this position...it's much different than when the man is on top, seeing as the angle and the range for movement are more limited and the woman has more control over the pacing.' Hmm...good to know. Moving on..."

The book now had Harry's rapt attention; though he'd be loathe to admit it. Draco kept up his one-man commentary.

"And they have tips on keeping an orgasm at bay, making it last longer and be more fulfilling. Wow... Tantric Sex... I'll have to look into that..."

Harry blushed furiously.

Then there was the section on homo-erotica.

"Ah, chapter thirty..." Draco murmured, as he turned the page. "Homo-erotica? I wonder why..." But he never finished his sentence, which left Harry to wonder what he was going to say. However, Draco started reading the introduction to the third section before he could ask about it.

"Homosexual sex is, in it's base form, no different than heterosexual sex; two or more people engaging in foreplay, oral sex and/or intercourse. But its experience can be an entirely new and exciting thing, for two reasons, which are inter-related.

  1. The bodies of men and women are, by design, meant to fit together. And in a very biological sense, this will always be true. But that does not destroy the right of two individuals of the same gender to have sexual relations with each other, and there are ways around the 'normal' idea of sex that heterosexuality contains, that are just as pleasurable.

  2. Women and men know their bodies better than anyone, and therefore, can please their partner with the first-hand knowledge of how something might feel. However, personal choice can influence this experience just as many other things can, including previous experiences with a particular technique or position.

This section discusses and illustrates the intimacies between couples and multiples of individuals of the same sex, giving tips and guides on how to make one's experience much more pleasurable, even if one is unsure where to start."

Draco looked up at a red-faced Harry. "Sounds interesting. Do you want to... Harry, are you all right? You look a little flushed."

Harry took a deep breath before mumbling, "I'm sorry Draco, I just... I'm having a hard time processing it all."

"Oh? Well, do you want to start back at the beginning, or-"

"No...that's fine. I guess... Is sex really that complicated?"

Draco looked blankly at his friend. Then he chuckled. "No, Harry. It's not, really. Most of this stuff is kind of instinctual, you know? You just do...what comes naturally, I guess. Different people have different tastes, so it depends on who you're with."


"Better now?"

Harry nodded. "Yeah."

Draco studied his profile for a moment before asking, "Is there anyone you fancy, Harry?"

Harry immediately started shifting in his seat. "No...not really..."

Draco smiled. "You liar. I can tell. Now who is it?"

"I told you, no one."

Draco kept pressing. "No, you can't fool me, Harry. It's Raven, isn't it?"

Harry stiffened, if only for a second, but a second was all Draco needed, and he pounced on it.

"Ha! I knew it!" He gave Harry a firm pat on the shoulder. "It's all right, Harry. I don't mind."

"Y-you don't?"

Draco shook his head. "Not really, no. I know there's no possible way you could steal her away from me, and I'm not just talking about your lack of gumption to do so, either. No one can resist me," Draco boasted, grinning.

Harry rolled his eyes. "You are the most conceited ass I know, Malfoy."

Draco put a reassuring arm around Harry. "Good. Maybe some of it will rub off on you. But seriously, I don't blame you, and I've been suspicious about it for a while now. She's a very beautiful woman, and she has a very magnetic personality. I think if most men were blind, they'd still want her. It's just a good thing most of the guys around here are taken, and know that I'd hex them to useless examples of the male order if they tried anything. And that was even before we started dating."

"That's so reassuring, Draco."

"Hey, like I said, don't worry. With you, I don't mind. Not sure why." He shrugged. "Now, back to this book."

Harry let out a breath, feeling rather resigned to his role as a non-threatening male.

Draco turned the page to an illustration of two men, one on his back and the other kneeling over him.

"Looks no different than a man and a woman," Draco commented.

"I think a different hole is used, though, Draco." Harry stated wryly, looking over his shoulder.

Draco looked up. "And I thought we didn't know anything about sex?"

Harry blushed. "I don't. I just...assumed, is all."

"Uh-huh..." Draco hummed, unconvinced. "It talks about lubrication and...flavoured varieties? Hmm...flavoured? Like strawberry or something?" Draco asked, musing out loud. Harry just stayed silent, unsure of what to say, if anything.

"It's really too bad these aren't wizard's drawings...at least I'd be able to tell better what they were doing," said Draco, undeterred by Harry's silence.

Draco flipped the page; an illustration of one man kneeling in front of the other, while the one behind obviously was inside the other, both of their faces contorted in pleasure.

"What do you think of this one, Harry? Kind of animalistic, though I think I saw something similar in the other section."

Harry blushed again, the stark reality of what he was looking at and who he was with sending a pleasurable scare through him. No! Don't think about it...it'll only make it worse. Once was enough. A fluke. It doesn't need to happen again, especially when Draco's sitting right next to you!

Harry shifted away slightly. "Yeah," he garbled. "Animalistic. But...it looks all right. Um...they make it look like it feels good."

Draco lifted a pale eyebrow. "It's a drawing, Harry. Of course it's going to look like it feels good." He snickered. "I bet you'd be the one on bottom."

Harry's mouth dropped open. "I would not!"

"Yes you would. I bet you'd be the little submissive virgin, wouldn't you?" Draco taunted.

Harry barely took a beat to make a comeback. "And I bet you couldn't take it up the arse, you'd be squealing too much like a nancy-boy," Harry countered.

Draco's eyes narrowed to calculative slits. "Is that a challenge, Potter?"

Harry blinked blankly for a moment before saying carefully, "Not unless you want it up the arse, Malfoy." Did I just say that?

Draco smirked, amusement in his eyes. "Perhaps another time, Potter. I'm educating myself."

Harry sagged in embarrassed relief and rolled his eyes at the same time, shaking his head at Draco's brutal audacity and ability to glide smoothly in and out of any topic of conversation.

Draco turned the page to a diagram illustrating the inside of the male reproductive system, which pointed out the prostate, and it's role in male homosexual intercourse.

"Oh...so that's why it would feel good to have something shoved up your ass," Draco mused, intrigued, shrugging off his robes.

"Draco... Jesus..." Harry sighed, flopping back on the bed.

"What?" Draco asked, standing to put his robes by his bag and to flop, stomach down, on the bed next to Harry. "I mean...I always wondered, and now I know."

"But still, must you be so vocal about everything?"

Draco raised an eyebrow. "Would you like to know how vocal I could get?"

Harry looked over at his friend with disbelief in his eyes. Staring a moment at the mischievous glint in the grey, he finally turned away, muttering in exasperation, "I don't want to know..."

"Pity," was Draco's soft reply.

"Why?" Harry asked, moving onto his side, facing Draco. "You actually want to do something with a guy?"

Draco shrugged. "Depends on what this book says. I'm not primarily partial to guys, though, so..." Don't let him think you're not interested, Malfoy, but don't scare him away either... "Either way, I think it'd be an interesting experience. Sex is an interesting experience."

Harry raised his eyebrows in question, but decided to keep his thoughts to himself for the time being. He and Draco turned back to the book, looking at the pictures in interest or confusion, raising their eyebrows here, or swallowing embarrassedly there, Draco reading the captions and tips while Harry looked on in silence.

They were just sniggering at a rather interesting picture of three girls together when there was a knock on the door.

"Quick!" Harry whispered, "Hide the book!"

"Why?" said Draco, confused.


"Harry? Are you in there?" The door opened a crack, to reveal Hermione's pretty face. "Oh, hello, Malfoy."

"Granger," the blond replied, hiding a snicker at Harry's bodily attempt at hiding the book from Hermione's eyes.

"What are you guys doing?"

"Well, Granger-"

"Nothing! Ahem. Nothing, Hermione, really. Was there... something you wanted?"

Hermione blinked. "Oh, I was just wondering if you wanted to come with everyone to Celestine's for dinner. You could come too, Malfoy, if you wanted."

Draco sat up and turned to the door. "Thanks for the afterthought, Granger, but I'll have to pass. I'm a little busy learning about se-" But he was abruptly cut off by Harry's hand grabbing him firmly across the mouth and holding it there by slipping Draco into a head-lock.

"Uh, I'll...I'll have to pass too, Hermione. We're pretty busy, studying and all. We'll just make some sandwiches later."

Hermione's look of surprised bemusement didn't last long as an inkling of suspicion crept into her mind. "Okay," she said knowingly. "Have fun, you two."

"Oh, we will," Harry reassured her. "Now go, have fun."

The second Hermione shut the door, Harry released Draco from his hold.

"What the fuck do you think you were doing, Malfoy?"

Draco rubbed his long neck gingerly. "I believe I was just letting Granger know what I was busy dong. I never mentioned anything about you."

Harry scowled. "That's not the point! Do you deliberately like embarrassing me?"

Draco smirked. "Of course. You turn this lovely shade of rose when you're mad or embarrassed. Quite amusing to see, really." He rubbed his mouth. "You didn't have to grab me so hard, you know."

Harry groaned in exasperation. "I hate you."

"Oh? Well, then I suppose we'll just have to go back to the way things were; you hating me, me hating you, a never-ending battle of...well, it won't be wit, because I'm the only one possessing that, here."

Harry growled and punched Draco on the arm, hard. "Shove it, Malfoy."

"Ooh, see, you just proved my theory right, Potter. Not much of a comeback. And don't hit me." He punched Harry back.

Harry smirked, just before tackling Draco down onto the bed, punching and grabbing and pulling wherever possible.

"Watch the hair!"

"You're such a bloody ponce."

"I am not!" Draco squawked in protest, trying to push Harry off of them. He kicked out, knocking the book off the bed. The sound startled Harry, who fell off the bed in the other direction, dragging Draco with him.

"Ow!" Harry cried out as his head hit the floor. He reached up and rubbed the back of his skull, wincing. "Thanks a lot, Malfoy."

"It's not my fault you're scared by the sound a book makes hitting the floor."

Harry glared up at Draco, who was kneeling directly over him, their faces a few inches apart.

And that was how Ron found them when he came up to investigate the noise just before he left for dinner.

"Harry, Malfoy, are you all..." The redhead stopped, trailing off as he saw the situation in front of him. "Oh...sorry to interrupt..." he said slowly, backing out of the room.

"Ron, wait!" Harry called, moving to sit up, pushing Draco back on his haunches.


"I'll be down in a second to go to dinner. Wait for me?"

Ron smiled softly, nodding. "Sure. Bye Malfoy. Unless you're coming?" He said the last almost disparagingly, but managed to pull off civility.

Draco opened his mouth to reply, but Harry beat him to it. "Oh, no. You are going home," he said to the flaxen-haired young man. "I think I've had enough of you tonight already."

Ron and Draco both raised their eyebrows, each seeing the double meaning of Harry's words, who was oblivious, as always.

Harry stood, grabbing his jacket and throwing Draco his cloak. Draco gathered his things quietly, mildly amused and yet still somewhat hurt by Harry's attitude that evening. Tying up his shoes, he looked up to find Harry and Ron waiting for him to finish, so they could escort him downstairs.

I see that the trust still runs freely around here, he thought sarcastically.

He followed Harry down and out the door, waving a silent good-bye to him as he walked away with all of his closest friends, a group Draco didn't really feel he had the right to try and be a part of.

Gryffindors, the lot of them. They'd drive me mad within the hour. Oh, and can't forget Loony, the Ravenclaw. He sighed, arriving at Number Three. It's all for the best, I suppose. No need to work myself up over it. It's the way it's always been.

But then a sort of devious thought occurred to him.

But it doesn't always have to be that way...


When Harry returned from dinner, he was beat and agitated, from the not-so-subtle looks Hermione and Ron were giving him, to the realisation that he never did finish his homework, to the slightly worried glances from Ginny, to the fact that he couldn't stop thinking about that damn book. And Draco.

Sighing, he ran his fingers through his hair and got dressed for bed. Climbing in, he was just about to extinguish his last candle when he realised that Draco had never taken the book with him.

Sitting up, he peered over the edge of the bed; almost pleased to see the book, face down, on the floor next to the window.

Grabbing it, he sat back, turned it over and studied the cover. He fingered the scarlet lettering on the front, musing to himself.

He opened the book, idly flipping through the pages as Draco had earlier, stopping at interesting pictures and re-reading some of the tips. When he got to the third section, he hesitated, but ploughed on ahead, figuring if he was going to learn about it, he might as well learn about it all.

But he kept finding himself going back to those first few illustrations that he and Draco looked at--of the two men, in the throes of passion.

He found himself rubbing his arousal before he knew it, getting lost in the images running through his mind. By his own innate magic alone, a blond and brunette replaced the black and white illustrations on the page, and suddenly the picture was moving, and even though Harry tried to refuse the image in front of him, he was already coming, feeling wonderful and wretched at the same time.

Oh Merlin, what's happening to me...? Why do I keep thinking about Draco?


Friday, 10 October 2003, Mid Evening


Harry sat a little nervously on a bar stool while he waited for Mikhail to show.

"Waiting for a hot date?"

Harry looked up from his butterbeer. "Ah, no, Celestine. Just my Quidditch Captain. He wanted to talk to me."

"About your future..." said a mysterious sounding voice in Harry's ear, hot breath caressing the sensitive skin.

"Ah!" Harry jumped and turned abruptly in his seat to find Mikhail standing directly behind him.

Mikhail chuckled. "Two Devil J's Blood on ice, Cel."

"Comin' right up, Mik."

Harry rubbed at his ear, feeling strange tingles down his left side. "Merlin, Mik, you scared the shit out of me," he scolded.

Mikhail patted him on the shoulder. "Sorry, mate. Are these okay?" Taking the deep red drinks from Celestine, Mikhail led Harry to a small circular table near the back.

"Yeah, but I'll probably only have one. I still can't hold my drink too well. Especially that one."

Mikhail chuckled. "I probably should have asked first, sorry."

"No, that's fine. I don't mind it every once and a while."

They sat down, and Mikhail said, "You did good in practise again today, Harry."

Harry raised an eyebrow. "Really? I thought I sucked."

"Harry, you're not giving yourself enough credit. You're a superb Seeker."

Harry finished off his butterbeer and picked up his J's Blood, letting the stinging sweet liquid burn down his throat. "That may be so, Mik, but you know I'm tired of playing all the time. Why not give Draco a chance. You've seen him out there. Don't tell me you don't see it."

Mikhail sighed. "Of course I see it. And I agree with giving him a shot next game."

Harry perked up. "Really?"

Mikhail smiled. "Of course. But we're not here to talk about Draco."

"We're here to talk about me, aren't we?"

"Yep. And you're future in Quidditch."

"What have you heard?" Harry leaned back in his seat with the air of someone listening to business propositions.

Mikhail relaxed a bit as well, but excitement still shone in his dark eyes. "A lot, actually. When you disappeared last Saturday, I had scouts from Puddlemere, Wimbourne, and Montrose come up to me, asking about you. And your plans after graduation."

Harry frowned slightly. "And what did you tell them?"

"That I didn't know for sure, but I hoped that you had every intention of going pro." Mikhail took a sip of his drink.

"Hmm." Harry looked thoughtful.

"Should I not have said that?" Mikhail asked, setting his drink down.

"No, no. I've been thinking about it, Mik. I mean...you know I've been studying medicine on the side, right?"


"Well, I'm just not sure if I want to continue on with an apprenticeship, or spend a few years doing pro Quidditch. It's only a little bit longer before I'm out of my prime."

Mikhail nodded. "Understandable. I didn't know what I wanted to do after Hogwarts, so I came here to study Spell Creation and Arithmancy. After a few years of dabbling at my father's law-firm, that is. But I've always loved Quidditch, and now I'm Captain. I've had a few offers, but again, I know that I'll need the knowledge to keep a steady income whenever my prime is up. Assuming I decide to go pro"

"So you haven't decided?" Harry asked, sipping on his drink.

Mikhail shook his head. "Nope."

Harry bit his lip. "My friend suggested that I play Quidditch for a while, then take an apprenticeship as a medi-wizard."

"Smart friend."

"Yeah..." Harry mused. He finished off his drink, and hailed one of Celestine's workers over.

"Yes, Harry?"

"Oh, hey, Owen, I didn't know you worked here."

Owen Cauldwell shrugged. "Gotta get some knuts from somewhere to help pay for school. I only started a few weeks ago."

"Ah. Well, I'd like a butterbeer, please, and Mikhail, do you want another?"

"Devil J's Blood, yes, please."

"A butterbeer and J's blood, Owen. Thanks."

Harry could already feel the drowsy effects of the J's Blood start to work on his mind and body. It was designed to make you feel euphoric and sleepy, as if one of the royal vampires had seduced you into their chamber of sensual bliss and nightmares. Harry had only had a few in his life, preferring to keep his head a bit more clear and awake than the drink offered.

Turning back to Mikhail, he asked, "So only those three? Puddlemere, Wimbourne, and Montrose?"

Mikhail leaned forward. "What? Were you expecting more?"

Harry grimaced. "No. I'm glad there were only three. Too many offers would have had my head spinning."

"Well, there's sure to be more." Then Mikhail leaned in further, lowering his voice so Harry had to lean forward as well. "Though I think Puddlemere actually wants you to replace the Chaser they're losing after this season."

Harry's eyebrows rose. "Really?"

Mikhail nodded. "Yeah. I think they think a bit too highly of themselves, and are probably willing to take a first-class Seeker and give him a damn Quaffle, rather than chuck their current Seeker out and replace him and their Chaser properly."


Their drinks arrived, and Harry's head started to clear again after taking a few sips of the warm, sweet drink.

"So, if I were to go pro, where do you think I should go, Mik? Based on the offers given to me so far."

"Hmm... Well, the Magpies are by far the best team, with Puddlemere behind them. Their League wins are phenomenal, and I think they're in for their third European Championship this year."

"Yes, they are quite skilled."

"You'd be working with the best, I think. I mean, there are good players on all the teams, but the reason the Magpies always win is because they really act like a team. And the can adopt new players easily. Which is actually what made me think we should start up the JV team. To integrate player mobility and style."

"You thought that up?"

"Yeah, do you remember the year you guys came in? I had just been made captain, and there were so many new people who were really pretty good, but we couldn't fit them all in. So, I made a JV team, who would help with drills and scrimmages, and hopefully hone their skills enough to actually play in the games."

"Like Ron."

"Yeah, Weasley is my first success on that part. Not to mention we needed a new Keeper as it was." Mikhail smiled, tipping back his glass.

Harry nodded in thought. "Well, the Wasps never seemed to push themselves very hard, as far as I can tell. Though they are formidable...compared to some of the other teams."

"Maybe you could whip them into shape, Harry. I think even a horrible team could win, with you as their Seeker."

"What can I say, it's just too easy." Harry joked.

"See? You sound like Eunice Murray from the Magpies already."

Harry chuckled. "Well, I guess I'll just have to see what they want to offer me exactly, and we'll see what happens."

"I don't think Puddlemere's going to offer much. Especially if they plan on giving you the red ball as it is."

"It isn't about the money. Or the fame. It's about playing a game I love, with people I like and get along with."

Mikhail studied Harry for a moment. "Smart, you are."

Harry shrugged. "Well, I'm pretty sure just about every team will come running once they hear I might be looking. Can't let anyone else get the Saviour of the Wizarding World," he intoned somewhat sarcastically.

His companion frowned momentarily before finishing off his drink. "I think I'd like a butterbeer before we head out, myself."

"You can finish off mine, I'm not going to."

"Really? Thanks." Mik reached across and took the proffered bottle, chugging the last half quickly.

They both stood, Mikhail pulling out a little pouch and placing a few coins on the table. Walking out, they waved good-bye to Celestine and Owen, before stepping out of the golden warmth of the café-turned-pub and into the midnight blue darkness of the night.

"Thanks for the drinks, Mik."

"No problem. Can I walk you home?"

"Well, sure. But don't you live here, in the village?"

"Yeah, but I don't mind. The walk will clear my head a little more."

They walked for a few minutes, past the darkened windows and bright porch lamps. The breeze was shallow and the sound of the ocean was not far off. The village was quiet for a Friday night. It wasn't quite ten yet.

Mikhail broke the silence. "So, why medicine?"

"Why Spell Creation and Arithmancy?" Harry asked back, smiling.

Mikhail smirked. "A case about a potentially dangerous spell being created came through the office one day, and with the war just ending, I became interested in how the spell worked exactly, to know if it really was dangerous, and should be considered banned and/or the research on it erased and the spell creator's memory modified."

"Interesting..." Harry commented before offering, "There were a lot of people who I wished I could have helped on the battlefield, but lacked the proper training to do so. Not to mention that Madam Pomfrey will be retiring soon, and someone's got to take over for her. I love Hogwarts, and would really like to make it my home, even with all the memories she gave me. Good or bad."

Mikhail stopped walking, just as they entered the darkened path between Rookwood and the B.I.

"That's...really special, Harry."

Harry smiled in return. "Thanks, Mik. I like to think so too."

They walked in silence, enjoying each other's company, before the B.I. came into view.

"Number One, right?" Mikhail asked, the circle of lights bringing a strange warmth and comfort with it.


They entered the circle and walked past Number Three and Number Two, the lights in the cottages still on, and the occasional sound of laugher or the Wizarding Wireless echoing out an open window and across the courtyard. The melody of water on rock the sea created was a beautiful atmospheric background for the whole picture. Harry and Mikhail approached Number One and climbed the short steps to the porch.

"Well, here it is," Harry said, sticking his hands in his pockets. "Thanks again for the drinks, Mik. And for walking me home."

"It's no problem Harry. I wanted to."

Harry smiled and turned to open the door. "Goodnight, Mikhail. See you on Monday."

But Mikhail grabbed Harry's arm. "Wait, Harry, I-"

Harry turned, and his green eyes met with Mikhail's deep brown ones, a split second before Mikhail leaned forward and kissed him.

Harry stood there for a short moment, unable to process and respond, before instinct kicked in and his eyes fluttered shut, his lips pressing back against Mikhail's.

It lasted for a bittersweet moment, and then his brain finally caught up with his instincts and he pulled away.

Looking wide-eyed up at his Quidditch Captain, Harry breathed, "Mikhail, what are you doing?"

Mikhail's eyes also turned wide, and his mouth stumbled out apologies. "Oh shit. Harry, I'm so sorry. You're not gay, are you? I just thought, with all the lack of girlfriends...shit! I'm such an idiot-"

"No!" Harry protested, holding up a hand. "I mean, I don't...I've never...really thought about guys before, but...I...er... Look Mikhail, I just need to go think. I'll, uh...talk to you later." And Harry quickly went inside, leaving Mikhail out on the porch.

The dark young Quidditch Captain sighed, feeling the weight of his mistake upon his shoulders.



Harry bolted upstairs the second he got inside, nearly slamming his bedroom door behind him in his haste.

Sliding down onto the floor, he threw off his glasses and rubbed his shaking hands over his face. Touching his lips with his fingertips, he whispered the only thing that came to mind:



Saturday, 11 October 2003, Early Evening


Harry entered the painting studio with something akin to bats flying around in his stomach. Raven and Draco were already there, setting up a low table and the camera on a short tripod. Raven called a greeting from the floor, where she was fiddling with the camera.

"Hey, guys," Harry replied, closing the door behind him.

"Just finishing up," Draco said, straightening his back and nudging the table a few more inches with his wand. "This good, love?"

Raven glanced up. "Yep. Perfect. I'll set up the backdrop, you guys go get ready."

Turning to Harry, Draco smiled and walked over. "You ready to get naked in front of a girl, Potter?" the blond whispered, slinging an arm around Harry's neck and ushering the other man to the back changing room.

A wry smile came over the brunette's mouth. "Nothing I haven't done before." Draco chuckled, and the bats in Harry's stomach receded to butterflies. "But can I say the same about you?"

Draco raised an eyebrow. "I've had my fair share of bed partners," he said as he closed the door behind them.

"I'm sure," Harry replied, shrugging his jacket off and throwing it in the corner.

"What? Don't you believe me?" Draco asked, pulling off his charcoal grey jumper.

Harry's breath hitched slightly as porcelain pale skin came into view. The light was much dimmer than it had been in Draco's room, and the shadows tickled at the curve of Draco's side and collarbones, accenting his cheeks and chin, as well as his moderately toned chest and lower torso. He averted his gaze and pulled off his own shirt. "Sure, I believe you. I don't think there'd be any doubt, honestly."

"Uh-huh," Draco said, eying Harry's own well-maintained torso, drinking in the creamy skin and smooth muscles of his back as Harry bent down. "This room's a little small for two people, don't you think?"

Harry looked up from untying his shoes. "Yeah. A little."

"Here's you robe," Draco said as he tossed the black silk robe in Harry's direction. It landed on his head and shoulders, and silently fell to the floor.

Draco snickered and kicked off his own shoes and pulled off his socks. He watched as Harry pulled the robe over his shoulders before turning around and taking his pants and boxers off from underneath.

Draco raised an eyebrow again, noting Harry's shy behaviour compared to that of Tuesday night. He himself disrobed without shame, slipping a deep red robe over his shoulders just as Harry turned around.

Their eyes locked, and Draco tried to give Harry a reassuring smile. "Ready?"

Harry nodded. "Ready."

And they stepped out of the small room.


"Okay guys," Raven said upon seeing them, "robes off, and up on the table."

Draco mock-groaned as if he were asked to do some particularly distasteful, but smiled and slipped off his robe easily, hopping up on the table.

Harry hesitated at seeing Draco so at ease, if only for a second, but Raven caught his hesitation and questioned him anyway.

"Still nervous, Harry?"

Harry started slightly, and looked at his reflection in the window, just before turning away and slipping off his own robe. "Er, no. It's just those windows, is all. I know no one can see us, but it's still kind of weird."

Raven walked over to the windows, charming them to look like the walls surrounding. "Better?"

"Yeah. Thanks." Harry stepped up onto the table, carefully avoiding looking at Draco, but he could feel the other man's gaze on his skin, see that porcelain skin from his peripheral vision, and those butterflies turned into bats again.

"Why aren't we using the photo lab? Surely they have a studio too?" Harry asked.

Raven shrugged. "Yeah, but I like this room. And I'm comfortable here. I'm the only one who comes here late at night as it is."

"Ah. So...where do you want us?"

"Well, first Harry, I need your glasses."

"What? Oh, right." Harry took them off and handed them down to Raven, who tucked them away in a pocket of her robe. Some part of him could relax, because he couldn't see Draco so easily anymore, but another part was nervous because he couldn't see Draco, but Draco could see him.

"Okay," Raven started, "for this first shot, I'd like you two to face each other," and the men turned sideways to the camera, their eyes tentatively meeting, " and Draco, put your right arm on Harry's left shoulder...yeah like that, but across his back too, good... And Harry, step forward on your left leg. Yep. And lower your head, so we can't see your face behind Draco's arm. Good. Yes...we can work with that. And now, for the lighting."

She adjusted the candles around the pair, building shadows between them and highlighting their musculature.

Draco watched Harry throughout the entire set up, noting that his skin was darkly tan against his own fair pallor. Harry kept his eyes closed and breathed rapidly through his mouth, which concerned Draco.

"Harry," Draco murmured, "are you all right?"

Harry tensed slightly, but didn't move. "Yeah, I'm fine. Why to you ask?"

"You seem a bit tense," Draco surmised, giving the muscles under this hand a soft squeeze.

Harry's breath came quickly through his nose now, and he swallowed hard. It wasn't that he was standing here naked with Draco. He was more afraid of whether or not he could stand being around Draco like this for so long and not react in an unwanted way. Raven and Draco had been occupying his thoughts for the better part of the week, and now Mikhail's actions brought in a whole new set of things to think about. Although he'd been thinking of how Draco had unexpectedly entered his fantasies on Sunday and Thursday, he hadn't indulged; he had forced himself to think about someone else, anything else. But male figures still haunted the vestiges of his intimate dreams, and still he woke feeling confused and conflicted, but knowing, somehow, that what he was feeling was just the way it was, even if he wasn't completely sure of what it was he was feeling in the first place. But he had a pretty good idea, and it scared him to think of what could happen if anyone else knew.

"No," he finally replied, "I'm fine. Just...got a lot on my mind is all."

"Alright you perfect examples of the male ideal, you still ready?" Raven asked, stepping behind the camera.

"Yeah," Draco replied quietly, his gaze still on Harry.

Raven adjusted her focus, took a few pictures, and shifted her tripod to the right, readjusting the focus and taking a few more. "Alright. Now I want you guys to push against each other, like you're struggling, but you'll have to hold it for quite a few moments, so nothing too wild."

Draco smirked, and before Harry could move, he shifted his stance to that he was just behind Harry, tightening his arm around Harry's neck, slipping him easily into a chokehold.

Harry nearly stumbled forward in surprise, but Draco pulled their weight back and held them there. "Is this fine, love?" Draco grunted, as Harry's arms came up to stop Draco from pressing on his throat any further. He could feel the radiating heat of Draco's body and the smoothness of his skin all along his back, and it made him tense and gasp. It felt good, and Harry held his breath in anticipation of his own body's reaction to the feeling.

Raven's eyebrows were raised. "He's not hurting you, is he, Harry, love?"

Harry shook his head minutely, sucking in a breath. "No-he's...just got a good hold. Surprised me." His voice sounded rough, but not inhibited.

"Okay..." Raven adjusted the angle of the camera, quickly moved a few candles, and refocused the lens. "Alright...hold...just one more...and good."

Draco released his hold on Harry, who turned around with narrowed eyes.

"Thanks for nearly choking me, asshole."

Draco smiled. "Glad to be of service."

"I thought you were fine, Harry," Raven asked, worried.

The jade-eyed man turned to her. "Oh, I was. After Draco nearly choked me."

"Draco!" Raven chastised.

The blond shrugged. "What?"

Raven sighed and rolled her eyes. "Whatever. Just...go get your wands and get back on the table."

"Our wands?" Draco asked as Harry hopped off the table, quickly donning his robe.

"Yeah, I want to take a few shots of you mock duelling. And then we'll do a few of you sitting down and a few close ups of your individual limbs--for sketch-work."

Draco nodded and followed Harry to the back room, slipping on his robe as he went.

"You're not really mad at me, are you Harry? I was just kidding around."

"No, Draco, I'm not really mad," Harry answered with a distant-sound in his voice, pulling his wand out of his jacket pocket.

Draco pulled his out as well, but put a hand on Harry's shoulder to stop him from leaving.

"Potter, cut the bullshit. What the fuck is going on with you tonight?"

Harry glared at Draco as best he could in the slightly dim room without his glasses. "I told you, I've got a lot on my mind."

"Then tell me about it."


"Why not?"

"Because. I just...it's... I don't even understand it, Draco."

"Well, maybe you'll start to if you talk about it."

Harry fidgeted on the spot, biting his lip. "Okay. I'll talk about it. But later. Raven's waiting for us." And Harry pushed past Draco and back into the studio, disappearing behind the backdrop. Draco watched as Harry's silhouette appeared on the cloth; his head drawn down and his shoulders slumped forward slightly. He looked defeated.

Draco finally followed, and over the next hour or so, Raven had them in various wizard's duelling positions, after which she had them set aside their wants and sit down on the table.

"Okay boys, last set for tonight. Harry, will you turn so your profile is facing away from Draco, and Draco, you do the same to Harry. I want you to lean your backs against each other and wrap your arms around your knees. Like that! Yes, perfect. You guys are really doing wonderful."

Harry again felt the warmth of Draco's skin on his back, and instead of making him tense, it made him feel a little more relaxed, like a reassurance that everything would be fine.

He let out a breath, and Raven took the picture, with Harry's head tilted back slightly in a rather carefree gesture.

Raven smiled slightly at the scene in front of her, before telling them gently to break apart and for Harry to sit facing her, cross-legged.

"Put your hands in your lap, Harry, and Draco, I want you behind him, kneeling, with your hands on his shoulders. Yes. Now look at each other. Perfect. Hold that."

As Raven adjusted her camera and the lighting, Harry and Draco gazed directly into each other's eyes, Draco intent on trying to read Harry, and Harry intent on not swooning. The atmosphere was definitely getting to him, and he was finding it hard to breathe. He glanced away for a second without moving and swallowed, just before Raven asked if they were ready.

Capturing the tender moment set up in front of her, Raven felt the atmosphere change, the tension and the adoration flowing unchecked around the room. Raven herself wasn't sure how she felt; feeling adoration for both men, she knew something was changing, and some part of her was saddened by it. Being behind the camera kept her separated from what was happening, and in some ways, that was a good thing. She had only been feeling more and more insecure about the situation since the first time Harry had been in this room, even before her dreams were forcing her to feel things she didn't think belonged to her. It was the most disconcerting feeling in the world, and she was only thankful that the dream only came sparingly and erratically, and not every night. The fact that it was reoccurring was only adding to her own tension and distress.

The need to talk in a subdued voice overcame her. "Harry, will you now sit turned away from the camera, your legs stretched out in front of you, with your left hand in your lap, and your right hand holding you up? Good. Draco, will you kind of sit on your side, facing Harry and I, holding yourself-"

"Up with my left hand?"

"Don't get smart with me," she said with a smile. "But yeah. And get a little closer, you two. Relax; like you're lounging."

"It's kind of hard to lounge on a hardwood table, love."

Harry's left hand came around and slapped Draco lightly across the mouth.

Raven laughed. "Thank you, Harry," she said as she adjusted her tripod.

Draco's mouth hung open in incredulity.

"You deserved it, dear," the girl said, winking at Harry as he turned to give her a smile.

Draco scowled, but moved closer to Harry anyway, shifting his legs to a comfortable sitting position.

Raven had them hold while she took a few shots, before asking them to face each other and intertwine their legs and arms together, in a loose, sitting embrace. Clumsily, and with much blushing, their legs wound up over and under each other's, and their arms loosely around each other's shoulders.

"I hope this isn't too intimate for you guys. I'll only take a few shots at medium range, but I'd like to take a few close up, if that's alright."

Draco whispered an affirmative, his grey eyes locked with Harry's jade ones, their breath mingling together, a light sheen of sweat starting to cover their nude bodies. Draco's hands rested lightly upon Harry's back and shoulders, his lips parted and his heart beating rapidly in his chest. He could feel himself hardening, and had only been able to keep it at bay in the first place because of his determination not to think about it. Blast Raven! She's deliberately putting us in this position, probably with the hopes that we'll start shagging on this very table...Oh Harry...dammit, I'm sorry...

I can't help it; I want you...

I love you.

Harry himself was fairing no better. He had been too worried and nervous to become hard earlier, but with Draco so close and the tension of their current position slapping him in the face, he found he couldn't control his body anymore, and the pressure between his legs was building, his embarrassment apparent on his cheeks.

"Harry?" Raven asked, catching his attention. "Is this all right?"

Harry turned his head towards her, swallowing. "Uh, yeah," he breathed, his eyes losing focus slightly as the beating of his heart became erratic and the sudden heat around him caused him to become dizzy.

He couldn't understand what was happening to him. One minute, he was fine, if not a little distant; the next, he was in more and more intimate positions with Draco, which he thought he could handle, but it was apparent he couldn't. His logic was trying to fight his body's natural reactions; a battle that finally became too much.

"Harry?" Draco asked, as the jade eyes closed and Harry's weight swayed in his arms.

Raven frowned, stepping forward. "Is he all right?"

"I don't know. Harry, speak to me, come on." Draco shifted Harry's weight so he could hold on to him better.

"I..." Harry rasped, his eyes fluttering open, "just got...dizzy, is all. I'm fine."

"You sure?" Draco asked. "Do you want to stop?"


"All right. Come on, I'll help you up."

Draco quickly untangled their limbs and supported Harry as he stood, steadying him on his feet. "Can you make it to the back room?"

"Yeah, I think so."

"Here are your glasses, love," Raven said, placing them in his hand. Harry put them on, making his way slowly to the back room.

Draco stepped up to Raven, giving her a kiss on the cheek. "Sorry you couldn't get those last pictures, babe."

"It's all right. It was only the last set...I guess we'll just have to do it later. I wonder what happened, though? I noticed that he seemed a little off, but I didn't want to pry."

"Bullshit. When have you ever not wanted to pry into other's lives?" he jibed playfully. "Besides, I know you deliberately put us in that position to get us closer. I know you're trying to get things moving, but-"

"Wait a minute. Are you accusing me of causing what just happened?"

Draco was caught off guard by Raven's sudden defensiveness. "Well, why not? Darling, I know you mean well, but you haven't been talking with him. He needs time. Just let me deal with him, okay?"

"Draco, I'm just trying-"

"That's just it! You're trying too hard!"

Draco's voice rang out in the high-ceilinged room, stunning Raven into silence.

Raven narrowed her eyes up at him. "Fine then," she said. "You needn't worry anymore. You won't be seeing much of me in the future." And she turned around and started packing away her equipment, obviously having nothing else to say. Draco huffed and turned away from her, bending down to pick up the discarded robes before going to the back room.


"Hey," Draco said, closing the door behind him.

"You were fighting about me, weren't you?" Harry asked, leaning against the wall, still completely undressed.

"You heard?"

Harry stepped away from the wall, looking at the floor and their pile of haphazard clothing. "You yelled, how could I miss it?"

"Right. Well, don't worry about it, Harry. She...just wants you to be happy, and I feel that she's pushing too hard. I lost my temper is all. But we'll be fine. We always are." He stepped forward and put a hand on Harry's shoulder. "Besides, I'm more worried about you. What's up? You nearly passed out there."

Harry shook his head and turned so that Draco's hand fell away. "I don't know why I started feeling so faint... Overwhelmed, I guess?" He sighed. "Sorry I worried you."

"That's fine, Harry. Isn't that what friends do? Perhaps I missed that memo when I was still being a complete prat."

Harry chuckled. "Maybe." Turning back to Draco, he said with a bit of hesitancy, "Something happened last night, that I don't know what to do about."

"Last night? Wait...didn't you go to the bar with Chaikovsky last night? He didn't kick you off the team did he?"

A puzzled frown graced Harry's visage as he finally found his boxers. "Kick me off? No. No...he didn't do that. We talked about the scouts that were at last week's game."

Draco's eyes lit up as he straightened from putting his own boxers on. "Really? Who was there?"

"Puddlemere, Montrose, and Wimbourne."

"I'd go with Montrose, Harry. Most consecutive wins, not to mention they usually win the cup every year."

"I thought you didn't follow the Magpies?" asked the brunette, slipping his jeans on.

Draco shrugged. "I don't, usually. But I'm not an idiot either...if I'm going to be on a team, then I'm going to be on a team that wins." He bent to find his socks.

Harry shook his head. "Here, this one's yours, I think."

"Thanks. So...if he didn't kick you off the team, what happened to make you so down today?"

Harry took a large pause, twisting his shirt in his hands before saying, "He kissed me."

Draco, who was balancing on one foot, nearly fell over. Righting himself, he asked, "What?"

"Do I really have to repeat it?"

"He...kissed you. He, as in the Captain? Chaikovsky? Mikhail Chaikovsky?"

"Yes, yes and yes."

"Oh...wow. I never realised..."

"That he was gay? Yeah, I know." Harry felt uneasy.

"So...you're feeling weird because he kissed you?" Draco was starting to feel a little pang of jealousy in his chest, but ignored it as best he could.

"Well...that's part of it..."

"And the other part?" God, this room seems smaller every time I come in here...and the air is stale.

"Well, I told you I like Raven, right?"


"Well, if I like girls, then why'd I kiss Mikhail back?"

Draco stood there for a moment, completely stunned. Part of him was jealous as all hell, and another part was overjoyed that Harry seemed to have homosexual tendencies...but Draco wasn't about to count his eggs before they hatched. Taking a breath, he said reasonably, "Well, Harry...I don't know exactly. But either you like guys too, or you just did what anyone would do when they're kissed. They kiss back."

Harry just seemed to become more upset as he leaned against the wall. "So you're saying that you would kiss a guy back too, regardless of the fact that you like girls?"

"Er...that depends on the guy."

"Draco, you're confusing me..."

Draco stepped forward. "I'm sorry." He placed a hand on Harry's shoulder, before quickly taking it away again. "Sorry...you probably don't want guys touching you, huh? You should have said something to Raven...we could have done this later, when things aren't quite so confusing for you."

Harry shook his head. "No...it's not that. I just... It wasn't a bad kiss, I just... It was my first real one. Besides that one with Cho in fifth year... Fuck. I don't know, Draco."

"Well...what did you do after he kissed you?"

"I asked him what the hell he was doing, he apologised for assuming I was gay, and I told him that I didn't know how I felt, then I went inside."

"You didn't know how you felt? About what, exactly?"


"Okay..." Draco leaned on the wall next to Harry. "Have you been thinking about guys before he kissed you?"

Even in the dim light, Draco could see Harry's face and chest flush adorably. It made Draco's heart flutter slightly. "Er," Harry replied, "Just one...once. Or twice."

"Oh." A devilish smile graced Draco's mouth. "Care to tell me who?"

"Er...no thanks. If that's alright."

Draco waved him away. "It's fine. It took enough guts for you to tell me you have the hots for my girl. I hardly expect you to divulge in telling me what hot bloke has caught you're eye. Though I take it it's not Mikhail." And I pray it's me...Merlin, I'm such a conceited sod.

"Thanks, Draco. And you're right. It's not Mikhail. I just...don't think this other guy likes me that way. But...I've been thinking about what happened with Mikhail all day, and I...I think I might like guys too. Just a little. I mean, I must, right, if I kissed him back and didn't want to beat the shit out of him."

"Well, if you're using that logic, then yeah."

Harry chuckled with no humour. "My only other thought is that I'm so starved for affection that I'll take it where ever I can get it."

"Don't sell yourself short, Harry. You deserve to be happy. More than anyone I know. And just about everyone else thinks so too. So...if you want to try something with Mikhail, then go ahead."

"You'd be okay with that?"

"It's not my approval you need, Harry. It's your own."

"I know that. I just...no offence or anything, Draco, but you've never seemed to be the most accepting person I know."

"Things change. People change. You of all people should know that."

"Yeah, I know."

There was a pause before Harry said; "I don't really know him all that well, even though he's been my captain for over two years."

"Well, go out on a date with him. Get to know him."

"But...wouldn't that cause favouritism? On the team?"

Draco shrugged, feigning indifference. "Then don't date him. Do whatever you want with whomever you want." He moved over to the other side of the small room, bending down to retrieve his pants.

Harry stepped forward. "Draco, have you ever thought about guys? Even in just a passing fancy?"

Draco finished slipping on his slacks and straightened. "Only recently. Why?"

Harry seemed to sag in relief. "Well...I know it's none of my business, especially since I won't tell you who I've thought about, but is there someone in particular?" Draco shifted his eyes to look at the forest-coloured ones in front of him, and Harry rambled on. "I'm wondering because...if you were in a position to kiss a guy, would you?"

Draco stared at Harry for a long time before saying, "It's been more than a passing fancy, actually, and only one person."

"But would you kiss them, if you had the chance?"

"I'd want to, yes." Draco was starting to feel uneasy about this conversation. If only you knew, Harry.

"Now I'm really curious," Harry said, studying Draco. "Who's the bloke that's caught Draco Malfoy's fancy? I promise I won't tell. I'm not a snitch, regardless of how many times I've caught one."

A smile tugged at Draco's mouth. He bent down for his jumper, studying it closely, as if it held the answer he needed. "I'm not sure you're ready to know that, Harry."

This only puzzled the dark-haired man more. "Why? Is it Ron or something?"

Draco's head snapped up. "Weasley? Ugh, Harry, don't gross me out, really. Weasley? Ew."

Harry laughed, feeling more at ease again. "Okay, okay. It's not Ron. Just had to throw it out there." Sobering, he asked for a third time, "So? Who is it?"

"You sure are demanding tonight, aren't you?"

"No, I'm just really, really curious. I never imagined that we'd be having this conversation."

"Neither did I." Charcoal grey wool slid over smooth porcelain skin. Tugging it straight, Draco looked up to watch Harry as he put on one of the red shirts he always wore, and made his decision. Once he had the other man's undivided attention, Draco murmured, "It's you."

There was a long pause as the two men stood there, bright grey lightning and dark emerald blazing. The air was suddenly heavy, while one figured out how to react, and one waited for the inevitable reaction.

Just as Draco was going to open his mouth and plea for Harry to say something, the ruby lips parted, and a soft "What?" emerged.

Draco swallowed and tried to make light of the situation. "It's Raven's fault, really. You know she adores you, and I...well, recently, I found that I couldn't resist your charms either." He paused and sobered. "I won't try anything Harry. Strangely, I've found your friendship to be very invaluable, and I'm done taking risks."

Harry lowered his eyes and broke contact. Turning away, he braced himself again the wall opposite. He just needed to think.

What about Raven?

Should I...?

Would it mess things up?

I'm tired of waiting... I should just take what I want, right?

Harry wasn't sure of the answers.

The blond in the room stood very still, so unsure of what the other was thinking or feeling; and almost loathed to find out either way. He was getting no vibes from the situation-no awry magical energies were coming from Harry, and he wasn't sure if that scared him more than a magically rampant Harry. Not that he really knew how to deal with either.

Harry finally turned, his gaze lowered and his breath quickened.

"What about Raven?" was all he asked.

Draco was puzzled by the subject, but understood what Harry was getting at. "She...wants you to be happy. She cares a lot about you, and so do I. It's...taken me a lot of thinking about you to realise that. Raven wasn't lying when she said she'd be your friend or lover, whatever you need, and..." he took a deep breath, "I'd like to extend that offer as well."

Harry raised his eyes and searched Draco's grey depths. "Are you saying...that...I mean...I could be...dating...both of you? At the same time?"

Draco shrugged. "It's your decision, Harry. We just offer you ourselves and our...affections, whether it is closer to friendship or not. I'm not going to sway you either way, nor will I blame you if you walk away from the both of us, right now."

Harry glanced away before returning to his original gaze. "Hy-hypothetically, what if I wanted to be with only one of you?"

Draco gazed evenly back. "Then that's your decision, and neither of us would be petty enough to contest it." He smirked softly. "But I can't guarantee there won't be a little bit of jealousy."

Harry also smirked, and then his face softened in thought as his gaze once again turned away. Looking back to Draco, he stepped forward. "I've never been with a boy, Draco, let alone a girl."

"We know that, Harry. We won't force you to do anything you don't want to do."

Harry stepped forward again. "I don't even know how to kiss properly."

Draco wanted to shift, but didn't dare move. Harry's demeanour had changed slightly, and Draco wasn't sure what to make of it. "That's okay. You'll find most of it comes naturally, after you get started."

"I bet you already knew everything. You've never been the fool." Harry stepped forward again, and then he was only a foot away from Draco, who was feeling uneasy and wanted desperately to know what Harry was feeling or thinking or something. If he was going to hit him, he should just bloody well get it over with. But something in Draco was reading the situation positively, and hoped beyond all hope that he was right.

"That's not true," the pale man countered. "I was a fool about the Dark Lord. I was a fool about who you really were--about you in general. I...was all right my first few times. But like I said earlier, Harry, it's all about confidence."

Harry seemed to weigh the word on his tongue. "Confidence... Will you teach me confidence, Draco?"

"If you'd like."

Harry nodded. "I would like that," he lowered his gaze and swallowed nervously, "and other things, too."

Draco cocked his head. "Like what?"

Harry's eyes landed on Draco's lips, and Draco felt a strange swelling under his rib cage.

"Like to be kissed again."

There was a beat and Draco breathed, his throat suddenly closed off, "By me?"

Harry's lips' parted and he nodded, shifting closer.

Something sparked in Draco's mind. "Was it me?" he asked slowly, wondering. "The one you've thought about?"

Harry's eyes left Draco's pink lips to meet his wondering grey gaze. "Yes."

That was all the confirmation Draco needed before he finally moved--like the rubber band holding him back had finally snapped--and he shifted forward, closing the gap between them. But he paused right before their lips touched; to see the want in those green eyes, giving Harry the opportunity to complete the gesture and press his lips against Draco's.

All was still for a moment, just lips pressing against lips and lashes tangling together as they fluttered shut. Then Draco raised a hand to caress Harry's soft cheek, his other arm slipping around Harry's waist, while Harry's arms rose to hold Draco's upper arms before sliding around his shoulders.

Draco breathed in harshly through his nose, slipping his other arm around Harry's waist to pull the man to him and press harder with his mouth. The nervous tension in his rib cage swelled, pressing against his heart, and he could feel it beating harder in his chest, and surely, he thought, Harry could feel it too. Then Draco slowly pulled away, planting another short and soft kiss to Harry's wanting lips before breaking lip-to-lip contact completely.

Harry's eyes blinked open, and Draco was pleased to see his green eyes heated and his cheeks and lips flushed red.

Harry was breathless, his mind whirling and his heart thumping hard, and oh, he'd just been firmly and soundly kissed, and...and...

Their breath mingled together for a moment before Draco whispered, "Was that what you had in mind?"

Harry nodded mutely, his eyes trailing up Draco's face to rest on his eyes. "Better than," he replied breathlessly.

...he wanted more.

Draco smirked. "Good."

There was a beat where Draco was trying to decide if he should initiate another kiss--not wanting to pressure Harry into anything more than he asked for, when Harry made that decision for him by throwing off his glasses and moving his head to capture Draco's lips with his own. Draco enthusiastically took his own surprise and put it to better use, pulling Harry to him again, who lost his balance and slammed them both into the wall behind Draco.

The kiss seemed to change then, becoming fevered and open; Draco guided Harry, their breaths becoming harsh and panted as desire consumed them both. Harry pulled back on Draco's neck to kiss him harder, also pressing Draco into the wall as much as he could, trying to mould his body to the blonde's. Draco pressed firmly back before easing away and teasing Harry's lips with his tongue.

Harry's lips parted quickly, and the next either of them knew, it was a battle of tongues, with Harry plunging his fingers into Draco's soft blond locks and Draco's hands seeking the hot skin of Harry's back beneath his shirt.

Harry moaned as Draco's cool hands came in contact with that hot skin, their mouths breaking apart, and Draco dove for Harry's neck, overwhelmed with want and need for the man in his arms. The cognate part of his brain that was still active was in awe at what he was currently doing and just how much the need had been there, and how much it consumed him now.

Harry felt the same, dazzled by this all consuming need to touch and feel and reach some dizzying point of distinct pleasure. It was humming through his bones, and singing through his nerves, creating a seductive melody that rung in Harry's ears, along with the shuffling of fabric and the moans and breaths of himself and Draco. He was not thinking about the fact that he shouldn't really be so attracted to another man, that it didn't matter, because he was, and Draco was so suddenly wonderful and perfect, and Harry wanted nothing more than to spend all his time kissing his newfound friend.

Harry fell victim to Draco's talented mouth, gasping when the bites stung and moaning when the sting was soothed by Draco's wet tongue. He could feel the ache within his groin building painfully, and could feel that same ache from Draco. The thought of it sent a thrill through his entire body and ended at the centre point--in his hard arousal.

Harry moaned louder and felt his knees go weak; kissing was like...like...oh hell, he couldn't make a good analogy right now, he was being thoroughly snogged by Draco Malfoy.

Harry yanked up on Draco's hair to kiss that sensual mouth again, and Draco complied hungrily, devouring as much as he was being devoured. He tugged up on Harry's shirt, and they broke apart to pull it off and throw it in the corner, and Draco once again had that beautiful skin in his view, but this time it was under his hands and he was able to explore the smooth planes and hard musculature. It was so much different than a woman, who was all soft and curvy, but it was no less wonderful.

Harry's arms were loose at his sides, but he soon ran his hands up Draco's arms as Draco distracted himself with Harry's torso. The wool of Draco's jumper felt coarse under even his slightly callused hands, and Harry wondered idly why Draco would wear something so rough. His fingers clutched at it slightly, feeling the hard muscles underneath, and wanted to feel them with his bare hands again.

Draco stepped forward into Harry's arms again, placing a chaste kiss to Harry's collarbone and his hands on Harry's hips. He then placed another short kiss on Harry's exposed neck, and one on his temple before backing away and pulling off his own shirt.

Harry barely got a good, long look at Draco's chest before it was once again against his own and his lips were at Draco's mercy. The heat radiating between them was exotic and intoxicating; and as their activities heated up their bodies and blood, the room's temperature also rose, and their breathing became even more laboured, inhaling hot air and the smell of desire.

Harry allowed his hands to roam Draco's back, and as sweat began to build up on their skin, Draco pushed them to the wall opposite, trapping Harry against the wall and himself. He pressed his hips against Harry's, delighting in the surprised gasp it elicited.

Draco's fingers wandered around Harry's body, caressing his sides and causing the slightest bit of laughter from Harry's throat and into Draco's mouth as they continued to kiss almost desperately. Those deft fingers teased the hem of Harry's jeans, sneaking inside an inch or two and pausing, waiting for Harry's approval.

What he got was a small hiss as his fingers brushed against the scar applied to Harry's side.

Draco immediately stopped, pulling away slightly to look into Harry's eyes, deep emerald with desire, and marred by pain.

Draco quickly slid down Harry's body, and reaching Harry's hip, he quickly unbuttoned Harry's jeans and tugged them down a few inches, to see the very thing that caused Harry pain.

He placed a soft and gentle kiss to it before murmuring, "Does it always hurt?"

Harry's breathing was slightly irregular, as he fought to regain control of his senses. "I... Not all the time. It's always been tender."

Draco nodded and brushed his fingertips over it again. "Harry, I don't want to hurt you."

"Draco, I'm fine."

"No, I don't mean your scar. I mean...Raven and I... I love her, Harry. And we've...thought about marriage." He looked up. "You have to understand, that even though we care a lot about you, we...we can't guarantee that this can last. Physically, that is. So you can walk away now, if you want to. I don't want you to regret this, any of it, when one of us says it has to end."

Harry blinked, swallowing the harsh reality he'd suddenly been put into by Draco's words. Draco stood, and brushed his fingers over Harry's cheek. "I am so sorry, Harry. I never should have allowed things to go even this far. But Raven kept insisting, and-" he dropped his gaze and hit the wall next to them, making Harry jump, "dammit, this is exactly why I didn't want... No, that's a lie." He looked back up into Harry's confused gaze. "I do want you, Harry. But I'd rather we just stay friends than me having to hurt you. Or Raven for that matter. It's not fair to you to be put in this situation."

Harry's face became slightly troubled as the high from earlier came hurtling downward. "I understand, Draco. I...I have to think about it."

Draco nodded, already turning away to get ready and leave, when Harry's hand came up and turned Draco's face back to his.

"But I doesn't mean I want to stop."

Draco was whirled around and pressed up against the wall, Harry attacking any skin he could reach with his lips and teeth, and Draco was taken aback by this suddenly aggressive Harry.

"Harry, Harry, what are you-ah!"

Harry leaned his face in close, almost whispering directly into Draco's ear. "Draco, I'm tired of people trying to baby me, and influence the way my life goes. So, until I've made some decision, I'm going to do what I want. And what I want right now, is for you to shut the hell up and make out with me."

Draco's chuckle was muffled by Harry's mouth upon his, and in answer, he kissed him back enthusiastically, twining his hands in Harry's wonderfully wild hair. Harry's hands sneaked around Draco, splaying across his back, one hand then going to try and unbutton Draco's trousers while the other snuck underneath the waistband and teased the flesh of Draco's ass.

Draco moaned appreciatively, one of his own hands sliding down to play with Harry's jeans, pushing them down slightly. Harry quickly stepped back and pushed them down the rest of the way, kicking them away before moving in on Draco again. Draco delighted in the feeling of Harry against him, and could now feel just how aroused Harry was. He slipped his hand underneath the waistband of Harry's boxers, enjoying the feel of his smooth skin, as Harry worked on getting Draco as undressed as he was.

Draco stepped out of his pants as successfully as he could while kissing and holding on to Harry at the same time. Unfortunately, he lost his balance at the last second, sending them both crashing into the wall and floor opposite.

"Ow..." Harry complained, rubbing his head as Draco kneeled over him, uncharacteristically embarrassed and knees smarting from the fall. "This is the second time this week."

"You okay?" Draco asked breathlessly.

"Yeah," Harry replied, tilting his head up to accept the small kiss of condolence Draco granted him, before being once again swept away in the intenseness of Draco's lips and Draco's body hovering over his.

Draco let his hands roam over Harry's skin as they sat there, in the dim room of the hidden art wing. Ghosting his palm over Harry's arousal and receiving a most pleasing noise, Draco took it upon himself to relieve Harry of that most tortuous pressure.

Harry gasped as Draco's fingers teased him before finally engulfing him in heat and pressure. He could only sit there against the wall; holding himself up and breathing harshly at the feelings that ran like electricity through his body.

They had long ago broken lip contact, both concentrating only on the feelings of giving pleasure and receiving it. Draco leaned over Harry, bracing an arm on the wall above Harry's head, enraptured by Harry's pants and noises, and the feel of him in his hand. So much like himself, but so different.

It did not take long for Harry to cry out, the release imminent and over, in wave after wave of shock and pleasure.

Draco took his hand away, and not caring about the stickiness, tilted Harry's flushed face upward and kissed him soundly on the mouth, stealing what little breath Harry had away. Pressing their foreheads together, they closed their eyes and let their sweat and breath mingle, Draco's just as laboured as Harry's, yet his gratification was not yet met. Lazily, Draco cast a wandless cleaning charm, removing the mess from Harry's stomach and boxers, and his own hand.

Harry whispered, "Draco, do you want me to..."

But Draco shook his head. "No, you don't have to. I'm fine."

Harry kissed him. "Liar. You're just as hard as I am."

"Was," Draco corrected.

"Oh shove off. Let me." Harry kissed him again, his hands trailing down Draco's bare sides to the top hem of his boxers.

"Do you think it could wait until we get to my room?"

"On your bed?" Harry asked huskily, kissing him once more.

"Or the floor again, whichever you prefer."

Harry chuckled and kissed Draco one last time, sitting up and snaking his arms around the blonde's slim waist and looking him in the eye. "I...really like you, Draco."

Draco paused slightly, covering it up by pulling Harry to him. "I really like you too, Harry." He pulled away. "Which is why I don't want you to get hurt."

Harry's eyes narrowed slightly. "I'm aware of the risks, Draco. But I'm twenty-three years old, and I have been capable of making my own decisions for quite a while now. However, I told you that I'd really think it though, and I will." He smiled. "Let me be reckless, will you? I do believe I've had plenty of practise of making it out unscathed."

Draco rolled his eyes and moved back to stand, stepping around the room and grabbing the articles of clothing that were his, and throwing the rest of them at Harry, who only laughed.

Once they were fully clothed, and their wands and Harry's glasses found, the two stepped out of the room, hit full on with the light and the clarity of the air in the much larger room. Draco grabbed the robes before they left the room, which was now devoid of anything visible that might point to the activities that occurred there.

Walking through the studio, they both noted that everything was as it was before the photo shoot. The table was neatly pressed up against one wall, the backdrop gone and the windows revealed once more.

Just before leaving the studio, Draco turned to Harry and pulled him forward, kissing him, hard, putting all of his love and frustration into the gesture. They both came away breathless, and with one last glance, Draco quickly led the way out and into the dark and cold night, across the courtyard and into Number Three.

Blaise tried to question them as they ran up the stairs, but they ignored the queries unheeded, sharing secret devious smiles that continued to stick as they made it into Draco's room and shut the door behind them.

Draco still had a half-mind to cast a silencing charm as Harry attacked him, pushing him up against the door and ravishing the sultry and smirking mouth that was Draco's.

His last coherent thought was: I do believe I've unleashed a monster. Or a very horny and sex-deprived twenty-three year old man.

Oh, fuck it. Who cares?

And Draco lost himself in the feel, taste and sound of Harry as Harry lost himself in the feel, taste, and sound of Draco.

Author notes: Author notes: First of all, I want to thank all of my reviewers: Ravenclaw Rockstar, Minetta Moonlight, belahunter, Goth Flamango, Crazy 4 Draco, isangonce, CelestBlack and HermlovesRon. Many of you reviewed for EVERY chapter, and for that, I am most grateful! I'm sorry if I've forgotten anyone. I would love to reply to every review thoroughly, but if I did that, I'd never leave my computer! (Not that I do anyway...)

But I�d like to thank you all, my faithful readers, for being so patient. I hardly ever get a review just telling me to update. Everyone is very polite about it, and for that, I thank you sincerely.

Again, I can�t thank you all enough for being so patient. I have finished reading HBP, and it WILL NOT affect this story at all. This story has always been considered AU, and obviously, to those who have read HBP, know that certain things have been set up in my story that discount the �updated� canon. So no complaining! ;)

School is starting up for me again, and when time warrants, I will write, but I cannot and will not guarantee the next chapter being up soon.

I hope you all are doing wonderfully, and I do hope, that even if you read this chapter at my yahoo site, that you PLEASE leave a review, either as a message, or here. It would be much appreciated.

Also, for any of those who wish to discuss HBP or Harry Potter in general, you can use my Yahoo site if you wish. I have no problems hosting a discussion about HBP and how that might influence fanfiction. I will not be posting my opinions at this time, but perhaps later, and most likely on my LJ, which can be found under �raven_hunter�. Friend me, if you like.

I�think that�s it. Knowing me, I�ll probably remember something later. -shrug-

Love you all!



P.S. Okay...I thought of something. I have a few one-shots on my Yahoo group as well. One of which is VERY NC-17, so I couldn't post it on here at all. Please go check it out and tell me what you think!

Added (again, in case anyone's been missing it):04.09.06
Okay...I'm getting rather tired of everyone thinking that my story is a rip-off of "Cruel Intentions". I've written notes about this at FanFiction.net, but perhaps I forget here. I DID NOT INTENTIONALLY USE THE SAME PLOT. I totally forgot the movie existed, until someone pointed it out after I posted chapter five or so. Any similarities are COMPLETELY COINCIDENCE. So please stop telling me I'm ripping something off, when I had no intention of doing so. Besides, "Cruel Intentions" is a rip off of Dangerous Liaisons, an old play.