Draco Malfoy/Harry Potter
Draco Malfoy Harry Potter
Slash Angst
Multiple Eras
Philosopher's Stone Chamber of Secrets Prizoner of Azkaban Goblet of Fire Quidditch Through the Ages Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Published: 03/18/2003
Updated: 08/21/2003
Words: 70,367
Chapters: 11
Hits: 277,324

Beautiful World


Story Summary:
Draco is afraid of living and Harry is afraid of dying, but sometimes the choice isn't offered. Draco's got to learn what it is to really live, while showing Harry how beautiful the world really is when you're not too scared to see it.

Chapter 10

Chapter Summary:
Draco is afraid of living and Harry is afraid of dying, but sometimes the choice isn't offered. Draco's got to learn what it is to really live, while showing Harry how beautiful the world really is when you're not too scared to see it.

Beautiful World

Chapter 10

A Malfoy Does Not Kiss Other Boys In Public. It repeated in his memory, again and again, until, for the rest of his life, even when Draco was weak and tired and sore all over, he would still be able to mumble those words, over and over again.

His father had never laid a hand on him until he had gotten him home from London that day, after watching him kiss Harry. He had never beaten him nor even touched him affectionately. Had never slapped him or held him, certainly had never hurt him or tidied his hair. But that summer, everything was to change for Draco, and he found it only fitting that the change started at home.

His mother cried, cried harder than Draco could ever remember her having cried before. Because who knew how many friends of theirs had been on that platform that day, had watched Draco shove his tongue into the mouth of the Boy Who Lived? They'd never be invited out to polite society again! No one would ever want to be seen with them because their son had Kissed Another Boy In Public.

The 'in public' part was important, Draco knew, because a Malfoy could do whatever he pleased in privacy, and he knew for a fact that his father had kissed other boys before, and probably still did today. He knew because Narcissa still fumed over it, and one night over dinner, when she'd been angry, she had come right out and said it.

Draco had only been eight, but he remembered.

In the privacy of his bedroom, Lucius had replied coldly, a Malfoy could do whatever he liked.

It wasn't his bedroom, Narcissa had replied. It was theirs.

And that was when they got separate bedrooms.

That was the last time he'd seen his father touch anyone, actually. When his mother had grabbed Lucius' arm pleadingly and he had reached up, taken her hand, and dropped it.

The last time he touched anyone, that is, until he got Draco home from the train station and backhanded him across the face.

"A Malfoy Does Not Kiss Other Boys In Public," he'd said, almost politely, as Draco stared at him in shock.

He'd always feared his father, and in that moment, the fear changed to something else, something that tasted less like bile in his throat and more like ice in his body. A cold sort of hatred.

He was grounded to his room indefinitely, locked in, his wand taken away. The only sounds were his mother's weeping whenever she happened to pass by his door, and the rain on the window if ever it happened to rain.

His mother did not come to visit him, his father had claimed that he was to use the time in his room to think things over, and the house elves were cautioned not to speak to him when they brought his food.

In truth, it was not the worst of punishments. It was the slap that stung, even after the swelling on his lip faded.

He could see the formal gardens through his window, and it only served to remind him of being locked in his room as a child. He remembered that summer, those two weeks after first year, of being locked here, and how he had panicked and paced and ranted about how unfair it was. Now, he was content to sit on his bed and stare out the window and wait.

Content, that was, until the first week slipped by and still, his father had not come to let him out.

Harry needed him, he had to get to Harry. The thought consumed him and Draco started pacing his room, screaming for his father, screaming in rage until his voice was gone, but his father never came. He tried to break through the door, but it was locked tight. He lived too high up to jump from the window.

But he had to get to Harry.

Another week went by, and then another. It was then that the house elf walked in and caught Draco just as he smashed his fist through the window.

His arm was dripping blood and Draco tried to get out the window before the elf could react. It was no use and he was jerked back into the room.

His father was summoned, and Draco laughed a little hysterically. All it took to get an audience with his father was an attempt at smashing his way through the window.

He was moved then, to a room inside the house without windows. It was a smaller room, used for guests of lesser status. The slashes on his wrist were healed.

His father left him there for three days and then came back. It was July twenty-eighth.

"Have you come to realize the error of your ways?" Lucius asked, and Draco spat on the floor at his feet.

Lucius ordered then that he be lashed with a belt and that perhaps this would teach him proper respect for his father and what it was to be a Malfoy. Draco was incredulous at this, and he laughed. Belted? A Malfoy? It had never happened before and he was sure his father wouldn't dare make him be the first Malfoy it happened to. He was wrong.

His father didn't belt him himself, of course, but had a house elf do it. The poor creature sobbed all the while, smashing the belt into Draco's naked back.

Draco… Draco didn't make a sound. He lay on his stomach on his bed and let the belt cut into the skin on his back and he did not flinch, did not cry, did nothing. He thought of Harry waiting for him, Harry kissing him, Harry smiling at him, and he smiled while the house elf belted him.

When it was over, the elf carefully set the belt down, glanced at Draco meaningfully, and walked out, leaving the door open a crack.

Freedom, then. He heard a distant howling as the house elf began slamming his leg in an oven in punishment for that.

He walked gingerly, his back torn and aching. He pondered where to go. The library? He had to check the books, there had to be something, someway to help…

But Harry was waiting.

Harry, Harry, oh god, what should I do?

He went instead to Lucius' study and tore the top drawer open. There a ring there, a ring he recognized. It was a portkey that would bring him anywhere he wanted to go, his father used it whenever he and Draco had to go anywhere together. He found his wand there as well and took that too, then going to his bedroom and changing into something clean. He took the back servant steps down to the kitchen and slipping out the back door. After all, his father would never think to search for him in the servant's domain. He was a Malfoy, and Malfoys neither sneaked out through the servant's entrance, nor Kissed Another Boy In Public.

He walked a while, until he was out of sight of the house, and then Draco dug through his pocket, pulling out the ring.

He slipped it on his finger and disappeared a moment later.


"My name is Harry Potter and I live on Privet Drive. I am fifteen years old and in three days I'll be sixteen. My mother and father died when I was just a baby and I have a scar to show for it. Oh, and one on my forehead too, that one you could see if you looked at me. The other is not so visible and only I and a few others know it is there.

Should I be frightened? Should I be scared? Would Draco be scared? He's not afraid of anything.

My name is Harry Potter, and I'm going to die.

I'm going to die.

I'm going to die.

Draco, Draco, where are you?"

The quill was shaking and he set it down with utmost precision, tilted exactly diagonally on the piece of lined notebook paper he'd been writing on.

Harry didn't know if wizards believed in God. Did they pray? It had never been covered in any of his classes, nor had Ron ever mentioned it. Did Harry believe in God? At times like this, it was easy to answer no, a bit easier to answer, "No, but I might. I might, if only He could do something to make this hurt less. Then I'll believe. If he proves it. If he's listening, he'll prove it."

And that's just what Harry did.

He had never prayed before, to any god. If there was a god, he reasoned, they were too busy to listen to the prayers of a little boy locked in a closet. He used to wonder, as a child, if prayers would even matter. How would they get out of his closet and find their way up to God if he didn't have a window?

But now, three days before he was due to turn sixteen, and sitting alone in a darkened bedroom, Harry closed his eyes and clasped his hands and whispered in a voice husky from disuse, "Please, God, please. I'll do anything you want me to, I'll be grateful, I won't be scared, and I'll be good. I'll stop being so angry and I'll stop fighting you and hating you for everything that's happened lately. I'll forgive my mother, I'll forgive Dumbledore, I'll do anything. Just please, please, let him come for me. Please…"

His hands were trembling, his throat was tight, and Harry listened for any sort of sign that God had heard. There was nothing. Not a whisper. The house was dead silent.

Harry hated God then more than he ever had before (for even when he wasn't sure he believed, he still felt that, if there really was a God, life was so unfair that he could not be a very good sort of god). He fell back onto his bed and glared upwards, as if, were there really a God, he would feel Harry's furious stare and be cowed by it.

Perhaps He was. Or perhaps, perhaps, He'd been looking after Harry this whole time.

There came a scratching on the window.

Slowly, slowly, afraid to hope, Harry sat up and turned towards it, holding his breath. There was nothing there, but the scratching came again; something had smacked into the window. A pebble.

"Oh god," Harry breathed, whether in thanks or relief or disbelief, it didn't really matter. It all came down to the same.

He hurried to the window and wrenched it open. Draco was standing below with a handful of pebbles, tossing them at his window.

He grinned rakishly. "C'mon, Harry," he called softly. "Let me in!"

Harry nodded jerkily and dashed from the room and down the stairs. Uncle Vernon snorted in his sleep but Harry didn't care. Draco was there. Draco hadn't forgotten him.

He slipped out the backdoor and for a long moment, stood on the step staring at Draco in the moonlight, as if making sure he was really there, that it wasn't a dream.

It wasn't.

If there had been a swelling of music and bird song, if dawn had suddenly burst upon them then, Harry would not have been at all surprised. That was how it felt inside then, and any and all doubt in the existence of God and angels disappeared in an instant because how could there not be any such things as angels when Draco was standing right there, grinning at him?

"Oh god," Harry said again, and then he was off the steps and tackling Draco, leaping into his arms. Draco staggered, surprised, and he caught Harry against his chest, unbalanced. They spun a bit, and tumbled to the ground, Harry landing on the bottom with a grunt.

Draco was laughing before Harry even caught his breath. "Missed me, did you?" he asked warmly.

"Missed you?" Harry cried, because 'missed' seemed too flat a word to describe what he had felt when Draco hadn't written, hadn't shown up.

And then he was crying, unable to help it. Happy tears, or at least, bittersweet ones.

"Oh, hush," Draco said softly, smiling in an incredibly tender way and rubbing his cheek against Harry's, closing his eyes.

"I thought you weren't coming," Harry whispered, touching Draco's face with trembling fingers.

"I promised I'd be here."

"In a week. What happened?"

"I was just detained is all, I'm sorry."

"You're here now. Everything's alright, everything in the world is alright, you're here now." He smiled brightly, and Draco laughed softly and kissed him softer still.

"Everything in the world?" he teased a moment later, and Harry nodded emphatically.


Draco, smiling still, sat up and pulled Harry up with him. They sat that way in the grass for a moment, studying each other, grinning at each other, and for a minute or two, both could almost truly believe that everything was right in the world. How could it not be right? They were together, the sky was an endless expanse of stars, fireflies glittered all around, and they were together. What could ever have enough power to tear apart the skies and the perfect night that smelled of grass and forever and a bare hint of rain? What could ever be strong enough to tear them apart? Nothing, because to be torn apart, you had to let go, and they both knew that they would never, never let each other go.

The moment faded and Draco took Harry's hand. It didn't matter if a moment would pass, because another always came to take its place, after all. "Where do you want to go?" he asked.

"We're going somewhere?"

"Everywhere. We're going to see the world." He smiled, that careless, reckless grin he seemed to have developed over the month they'd been apart, and Harry was lost in it.

"Anywhere?" Harry said.

"Pick somewhere."

There was a moment there when a choice rose up before Harry. He remembered Dumbledore had made him promise to stay at the Dursleys, so that he could find him if there were any developments. There had been a few reassuring owls, but nothing concrete. Still, three days… Something could be found to help in three days. Chances were slim, however. And then there was Draco, offering to show him the world. Had he checked the books at home? Did it matter?

It suddenly became clear to Harry that he would rather spend three days with Draco and die at the end of them then spend three days with the Dursleys on the off chance that he'd live.

It was a decision that his mind skittishly refused to acknowledge the consequences of.

We're in the formal gardens. So Draco Malfoy would spend one of his last nights on earth in a formal garden? He smiled a bit as the words whispered through his memory. "The Malfoy Formal Gardens," he said.

Draco seemed to stiffen, his eyes sliding away skittishly. He bit his lip, and Harry reached out and touched it with a soft fingertip. "It's alright," he said uncertainly. "I didn't mean it."

"No," Draco said, shaking his head and smiling at him, his distraction gone. "I want to show you my gardens. You've never seen more beautiful gardens anywhere."

"I remember, you told me." He grinned, impishly. "I want to see the snapdragons."

Draco shot him a menacing look and took his hands. "Shut up, you," he said, his other hand reaching into his pocket. He pulled out a large, ornate ring and slipped it onto his finger, and they both disappeared, leaving Privet Drive far, far behind.


There was a stone wall that ran around the length of Malfoy Manor, and it was only a foot taller than Draco was. Harry glanced from it to Draco and back again and then said, "This is all the security your house has got? I expected spikes and howling dogs and massively uncomfortable security charms."

Draco smirked a bit. "Who would dare break into Malfoy Manor?"

"Someone who didn't know any better and didn't realize it was the Malfoys who lived there?"

"Precisely. And anyone so thickheaded is easy enough to deal with without the inconvenience of having to sharpen spikes, care and feed rabid dogs, or waste time with complicated security charms."

Harry had to give Draco a boost, and then watched as the other boy hauled himself up onto the wall. "Wait by the gate," he called softly. "I'll be there in a second to let you in."

The gate was a short distance away and Harry made his way over there, restraining the urge to giggle. It all seemed so silly, this subterfuge. It was Draco's house, why did Draco have to sneak into it?

But he wouldn't ask questions. Draco knew best, after all.

It was dark and quiet, and for a moment, Harry nearly panicked. Silence pressed down on him like a heavy wave and if he closed his eyes, nothing moved or breathed and it was almost like being dead.

But he wasn't, he reminded himself. And just to further press that knowledge into his mind, when Draco opened the gate, he slipped through, slammed Draco against the stone wall, and kissed him furiously.

Draco whimpered, a painful sort of whimper, the type that was strangled because he'd tried to restrain it. Harry pulled away, eyes narrowing suspiciously.

"What happened to you?" he asked softly.

"Nothing," Draco lied, wincing as he gently pushed Harry back a step and carefully straightened up, so he was not touching the wall.

Harry didn't believe him, but he didn't bother to ask again. Instead, eyes daring Draco to object, he turned the other boy and lifted his shirt.

Ragged welts, some of them cut and crusted with blood, marked Draco's back. Sucking in a painful breath, Harry touched one of the wounds very gently, his other hand slipping around to rest on Draco's stomach, an attempt to soothe him.

"What's he done to you?" Harry whispered.

"It's nothing," Draco said quietly. "Harry, I swear, it's fine."

Scoffing, Harry kissed the back of his neck and then pulled out his wand, casting healing charms. "What kept you, all that time?" he asked lightly, his free hand sliding around to Draco's side and then down to his hip, holding him still. "What really kept you, Draco?"

"It was nothing," he repeated, more firmly. "Are you finished yet?"

The wounds were closed and healed, and Harry leaned forward, kissing his back between the shoulder blades, before letting his shirt fall again. "Yes."

"Good. I couldn't reach, or I would have done it myself." He smiled at Harry, and before the other boy could ask any more questions, he took his hand firmly and tugged. "Now come on, I want to show you my gardens."

He hadn't lied, Harry decided. The Malfoy gardens were more beautiful than all the Hogwarts ones. There were acres and acres of them. Ordinary ones that, though filled with recognizable things like snapdragons and orchids, were somehow made extraordinary by the sheer volume of flowers and ferns, streams, ponds, statues. Then there were the gardens filled with plants the like of which Harry had never seen before. Magical plants that shimmered, changed colour, moved, sang, smiled. It was unnerving and enchanting and beautiful.

There were no garden gnomes here, not a single one, Harry knew.

Draco guided him passed the hedge maze (he did not let Harry go in it, though, and Harry wondered if Draco was remembering the third Triwizard challenge), down all his favourite paths, and then further from the house. The further away they went, the darker it seemed to get. Then Draco led him to another stone wall that was taller than he was, and opened a wrought iron gate. Harry followed him through.

A massive tangle of vines and shrubs seemed to burst from the ground, all of them so black that they seemed to be sucking colour from the world and swallowing it. On the tips of every branch, however, a tiny shimmer of silver seemed to reflect the moonlight.

"A Night Time Garden," Draco said, voice heavy with satisfaction. "It only blooms in the night time."

It was, Harry decided wistfully, glancing around, the most delicate and beautiful thing he'd ever seen.

"Two more parts you have to see, my two favourites," Draco declared, grabbing Harry's arm and tugging him from the small night garden.

They went next to am empty plot of barren earth. "Lovely," Harry said sarcastically, glancing around.

"It's a winter wildflower garden," he explained, glancing sideways at Harry, as if checking that Harry remembered.

He did, of course. The garden they had dug together had been cast into a winter wildflower garden. "You don't like wildflowers," he said, smiling.

Draco just shrugged with a rather enigmatic smile of his own. "They have their charms," he replied, and then he took Harry's arm again, tugging him in another direction. Harry was content to let Draco lead him around this way, because this was Draco's world, and he wanted to see all of it.

They went next to a small orchard on the south side of the house. The trees each grew a wild assortment of different fruits and berries, each which grew naturally frosted with sugar. The effect was that they looked covered in a fine sprinkling of ice, and the starlight reflected off of the sugar and made them glitter like diamonds.

Draco surveyed the orchard thoughtfully and then chose a sugared grape tree and easily leapt into the lower branches and pulled himself up. Harry watched him climb easily, and then called uncertainly, "What are you doing?"

"Come up," Draco replied, laughing quietly. "Surely you know how to climb a tree."

"Never have before," Harry admitted, biting his lip and having no idea where to even begin.

"You've never climbed a tree?" Draco cried, as he swung back down and held his hand out. "C'mon, I'll help you. Don't let go and I won't let you fall."

He pulled Harry up into the branches and they climbed until they were surrounded by glimmering grapes, coated in a fine layer of sugar themselves, which fell from the branches every time they shook.

Draco leaned back against the trunk, balancing easily where the branch joined it, and Harry slipped onto his lap, so he was cradled against his chest. He was suddenly aware of how very late it was, and his eyes fluttered sleepily.

Draco held a sugared grape to his lips. "Eat this before you sleep," he whispered, breath brushing Harry's ear.

"Why?" he asked, voice husky with sleep.

"Because we didn't come all this way to climb my father's sugared grape tree and not eat a few," Draco admonished, pushing the grape against his mouth. Harry relented with a sleepy giggle and let his mouth open a bit. Draco pushed the grape inside.

"Shoulda climbed a cherry tree," Harry mumbled, smiling a little and resting his head on Draco's shoulder, closing his eyes. "I hate grapes."

He fell asleep then, slipping away peacefully, for the first time in nearly a month content enough to sleep undisturbed by nightmares.


The sun was warm and his tongue was thick with powdered sugar. For a long moment, Draco thought that he was twelve and had fallen asleep in the sugar orchard again, but he wasn't. He was fifteen, and Harry had fallen with him, which was an even sweeter way to wake up.

It happened slowly, in stages. A vague awareness of the sun on his face, the trunk against his back, the cramps there. The dew that dampened his skin and his hair, and the heavy warmth of Harry lying against him. Harry's breath against his neck. And then Draco opened his eyes and stretched as best he could without knocking Harry from the tree, and smiled sleepily at him. Harry was still asleep and didn't see it, but it didn't matter.

He leaned his head back, against the tree, and closed his eyes, determined to memorize each of the tiniest details of that morning. Not because he was worried that there wouldn't be anymore mornings like that (Harry wasn't really going to die, that just wasn't possible), but because he'd never imagined anything as perfect in its simplicity as waking up holding Harry in an orchard of sugared fruit.

It couldn't last forever, though. His father could not find him here. Shaking Harry gently, he called his name and watched as the other boy woke up, the way his eyes fluttered in protest, his lips parted, a soft moan whispering from them.

"We're in a tree," Harry murmured, after his eyes opened for a moment and then slammed shut against the sunlight sprinkling through the leaves.

"We are. And covered in sugar too. C'mon, we've got to get out of here before my father finds us."

Draco had to help Harry out of the tree and then he glanced around carefully, memorizing the colours and the way the early morning sun fell over the gardens.

"Now where?" he asked. It was easier, this constant moving, constantly having something else to think about so that he didn't have to deal with thinking about everything else.

"Draco," Harry said.

He turned and looked at him. "Yeah?"

"We don't have to go anywhere. We can stay here."

"We can't."

"Why not?"

"I don't live here anymore." Then, so he wouldn't have to discuss it, he said, "And we have to go somewhere. Anywhere. Where do you want to go? I need… need to go somewhere. Get away. Someplace you've never been."

"I've never been a lot of places."

"Pick one. Or someplace you love." Urgency made him sound almost like he was begging.

Almost randomly, Harry said, "I've never swam in the ocean."

Draco was shocked. "Never?"

"No. I've been there, a few times, but never for long enough to swim."

He took his hand and they were gone a moment later.

They spent the day on a beach, walking together and talking, laughing, eating ice cream and swimming in the cold, salty water. It was easy to forget the future looming ahead of them while standing on the sand and staring out at the endless expanse of cobalt blue water, glittering in the sunlight. Easy to forget how small and powerless they were when standing next to something that large. It's strange how standing by the ocean could make you feel at once tiny and insignificant, and at the same time a part of something so huge that you honestly could believe in your own immortality.

The sun set and they still stayed by the sea, even after the other beachgoers had left. It was late when they used Draco's Portkey to go to London, eating dinner in Diagon Alley and then taking a room at the Leaky Cauldron.

Draco had never stayed in a hotel before, his family had only ever vacationed in places where they owned a house or had relatives with many guest rooms, so he spent the first few minutes inspecting it. He was in the bathroom poking at the soaps and such when Harry called softly from the main room, "Draco?"

He stiffened a bit and then swallowed hard, poking his head out of the door. After all, he knew that this couldn't last forever, this forced game of pretending everything was alright. "Yeah?"

"Did you find anything?"

"In the bathroom?"

"No." A heartbeat's pause. "In your library."

Their eyes met and held and forever seemed to pass before Draco could reply. "Yes."

"You did?"

"Oh, yes. I did, Harry." Draco was nodding emphatically. Words were forming in his mouth and spilling from his lips almost thoughtlessly, all driven by the instinctive and feverish belief that if he spoke these things out loud, that would make them true. "And I cast them all. A thousand dark spells protect you now. That's what kept me from coming for you. All the spells."

"A thousand?" Harry whispered, smiling trustingly. Fury hit Draco then, at the unfairness of this, the painfulness of it.

"And more," Draco swore, eyes narrowed. He fell onto the bed, kneeling in front of Harry and taking his face roughly into his hands, slamming his lips over the other boy's. It was a rough, angry kiss that Harry responded to gently, until all of the anger had been soothed out of Draco and he was clinging to Harry and Harry was kissing him. What had started as a punishment ended as something bittersweet and soft and Draco wondered where Harry got the nerve to think that he had to comfort Draco now. Malfoys didn't need comfort. Just as they didn't kiss other boys in public. Malfoys needed…

Hell if Draco knew what Malfoys needed.

He pulled away and rested his forehead against Harry's, who was still smiling with infinite gentleness up at him. But then, Harry could afford to be gentle. Harry thought that Draco had saved him the way he had promised to.

"A thousand spells," Draco whispered again, closing his eyes. "A thousand. You'll live forever, Harry. We both will."

Harry kissed him, not gently, but desperately, and he was nodding, his voice a little choked. "Forever," he agreed, and it was almost a strange sort of promise.

Promises had been broken around Draco every day since he was a child and he didn't know why this should be any different.

But he wanted it to be. He needed it to be.

Pushing Harry until the other boy lay on his back, Draco whispered, "We're immortal," against his throat and then kissed it. Salt had dried on Harry's skin from the ocean, and Draco could taste it on his tongue, and fancied that he could also taste the sugar from the grapes in the orchard that morning, though that was impossible. They'd washed the sugar off in the sea.

But it didn't matter, because Draco would drive it into Harry's mind, that he wasn't going to die, that he was protected by a thousand spells, that they were immortal. He'd tattoo it all over his body with his teeth and his tongue and then Harry wouldn't dare leave him.

He started at his throat, licking the salt off and learning every inch of skin with his tongue, imprinting himself there, because if he was all over Harry and Harry was all over him, somehow that meant that nothing could pull them apart.

Flawed logic, but Draco didn't care.

While he kissed Harry's throat and bit it lightly, his hands were fumbling shakily with his shirt, pulling it off.

Harry's hand had come up and was resting on Draco's back, trembling a bit. His heart was fluttering wildly and he was panting. Lifting his head, Draco whispered, "Are you scared, Harry?"

Swallowing, Harry shook his head and then said quietly, "Should I be?"

Instead of answering, Draco kissed his collarbone, slipping lower, determined to taste every inch of exposed skin as if this would somehow claim Harry as his and save him.

Moments later, Draco had kissed his way to the waist of Harry's jeans, and there he paused, glancing up at Harry's face. He was lying with his head tilted back, eyes closed, breath light and fast. Draco pulled back, worried that Harry didn't want this, was too scared for this. But as soon as he moved away, Harry made a noise of protest in the back of his throat and his hand came up and stroked the back of Draco's head, fingers filtering his hair through them.

"Don't," he whispered. "'Sokay…"

Draco smiled a little and kissed his stomach, shaky hands fumbling with his trousers, and for a long, breathless moment, the only sound was Harry's light panting. And then his breathing hitched and his chest heaved a bit, his fingers twisting in Draco's hair. "Ohh," he breathed.

Draco took that as a good sign. It was like Harry's first gasp had sort of cracked the dam that had kept him so silent and still through all of this, and he twisted a bit, fingers pulling at Draco's hair.

"D-Draco?" he stammered.

"Yeah?" he asked huskily. He loved the way Harry jumped at the brush of his breath against his skin.

"What are… what are you doing?"

Rather than tell him, Draco just kept on doing it, and Harry soon forgot how to breathe, let alone form a coherent sentence.




"Harry, honestly. You're distracting me." He was laughing softly, breathily, and smacked Harry's stomach lightly. "Shh."

"God. But Draco, I —"

It was the last coherent thing he said for a while.


It was like losing his mind. Like something had blown up in his mind and he was waiting for all the pieces to fall back down again and they were taking their sweet time.

Draco was holding him, stroking his hair and talking to him, his voice soft and soothing, and warm with amusement. It would take too much effort for Harry to concentrate on what exactly he was saying, so Harry just let Draco's voice wash over him as he struggled to catch his breath.

Finally, though it took more effort than anything Harry could remember, he tilted his head and pressed his lips to Draco's. Then, he drew back and blinked.

"You're crying," he whispered shakily.

"I'm not."

"I can taste it."

"It's the sea salt." Draco rubbed the back of his hand over his face and Harry felt his stomach drop a little bit. He was crying, no matter how Draco tried to deny it. He looked terrified, and Harry wondered tenderly how stupid Draco thought he was.

Feverish promises of thousands of dark spells? Please. But he'd play along, because he wasn't scared anymore. After all, he'd promised that he wouldn't be scared, wouldn't be angry, if only Draco came for him. And Draco had.

Draco, however, looked terrified, and Harry took his face in his hands and kissed him gently. His body felt lazy, slow, and very heavy, and he stretched a bit, his eyes fluttering. "Mmm," he breathed, kissing Draco again. Then he lowered his head on Draco's shoulder. "Everything's gonna be alright."

Though he didn't say anything, Draco's chest shuddered a bit, and Harry sighed, slipping his hand into Draco's. "Don't be scared," he murmured, a bit incoherent and not quite recovered from the strange almost painful (though in a hot, sweet sort of way) sensation of coming in Draco's mouth.

"I'm not scared."


"Harry, I lied, there aren't any —"

Harry kissed him firmly, muffling the words with his lips. He did not want to deal with that, he did not want to hear it. "C'mon," he said suddenly, pulling away.


"Shower. We're covered in salt."

"Shower," Draco repeated, his tone rather dull.

"Of course."

"You go first then. I'm sorta tired…"

Harry grinned, rolling his eyes, and tugging his hands. "Together."

"Excuse me?"

"'Malfoys do not shower with others'," Harry recited, his grin becoming even more impish. He tugged on Draco's hand.

It didn't take much convincing, really, and Harry was glad. He needed to distract Draco somehow, and it seemed only fair that he distract the other boy in nearly the same way he had been distracted moments before.

It was certainly the longest shower he'd ever had, though it seemed to be over too fast, with more splashing and giggling than any other he remembered. It was also the most erotic shower he'd ever taken, with the streaming water, the whimpering moans, the way Draco whispered his name, barely heard over the pounding water. It was strange, and very dreamlike, the details burned into his memory, every moan and whisper and kiss, and afterwards, when they lay together tangled up on the bed and still damp from the shower, Harry was so exhausted that he fell into a deep, dreamless sleep.