summary: Harry makes coffee and Draco is a blood traitor, but that's not really what this is about.
word count: ~8700
disclaimer: All Harry Potter characters and ideas herein are the property of JKR and Bloomsbury/Scholastic. No copyright infringement is intended.
warnings: first person, lack of sexual intercourse, probably-illegal pastries
notes: thank you to imprintofadream and Erica for the betas. okay, if this has even the tiniest mistake, it is my complete and total fault. written for no particular reason at all. i really hope the html works, and the resemblance between my header-thing and the title is purely accidental, though highly amusing.
I have not seen him in ages, since the time I went to go return his wand. He'd accepted it with a tight-lipped, 'Thank you,' and then I'd nodded, left and that was that.
“Hello,” I greet casually, taking my wand out. This is a Wizarding establishment, no matter how Muggle I do my drinks, and it's far easier letting my magic remember the orders than writing them down on a notepad. “What d'ya like?”
Malfoy is taller than I remember, but then again, so am I. His hair is far from the properly-gelled do's from our school days, a muss of white-blond curling around his neck, falling into his eyes. Nowhere as long as Lucius', no, he more resembles the Blacks on his mother's side – the sharp, high cheekbones and full lips withstanding.
He blinks when he sees me, but gives the order all the same.
“Three Sickles, fifteen Knuts. Anything else?” I'm all professional-calm and hello, your family hasn't tried to kill me at all in the last decade or so and rather proud of myself. I am. I should be.
“No, nothing. Hell, these prices for a cup of coffee?” He complains, yes, but puts the coins on the counter all the same, so I don't care much.
I give the drink a bit later, because regardless of what the rest of the staff thinks, the mostly-Muggle way is not much longer than the Wizarding form and it's worth it, thank you. I give Malfoy the cup and after he thanks me, I find myself watching him as he leaves.
He comes again the next day. And the next. I am always there for his order; the others seem to be doing this to spite me. It’s fine; I don't mind. It never goes beyond 'what'll you have?' and 'can I get...' with 'three sickles, fifteen knuts, please' and a thank you when he leaves.
I know that he recognises me; the familiarity is in his eyes every time. But he is all smiles and looking around and deep inhales. I don't mind any of these, either, especially not the inhales; the café smells nice, like flour and cinnamon and coffee beans and magic. It's a good smell. Inhale some more, Malfoy, we all need some good in our lives.
black, no crm, 2 tsps sgr. muffin.
The next week, he finally acknowledges who I am.
I smile. “Malfoy. What have you?”
He gives the coffee order – why so bitter, I almost want to know, but it is none of my business. If he no longer wants mocha and whipped cream, then he won't have mocha and whipped cream and that is that.
“Will that be all?”
“Actually – fuck it – can I get a muffin to go with that?” I don't quite see why muffins constitute as 'fuck it', but again. None of mine.
“Any particular flavour?”
He shakes his head and rubs his eyes with both fists, before putting one down to cover his mouth as he yawns. He is – he looks tired, as if a good twelve hours would do him much good. There are bags under his eyes, something that I doubt is befitting of a Malfoy, and it seems as if he will fall down any second now. He needs sugar and if he will not allow it in the drink, I need to find another way. Thank Merlin that he agreed to the muffin.
I nod and head to the back, out of sight, and flick my wrist to have the coffee pour itself into a cup from the pot. I said mostly-Muggle, mind you.
“Two teaspoonfuls sugar, none else,” I call out to Hannah.
“Depressed, are they?”
“It's Malfoy, Hannah. Who knows what he is?” She snorts, shaking her head, and sets to the task.
I have these... special muffins that I only give occasionally. They're technically made normally, but right before the very end, I add just a bit of magic to them. Most everything here has residual magic, clearly, but certain forms have very positive properties. Malfoy needs positive properties, by the look of it. It's nothing personal. I do this for any person in need of it, really.
I get double-chocolate – the more sugar, the better – and Hannah hands me the coffee as I walk out.
“Five sickles, six knuts,” I say, setting the cup and pastry down in front of Malfoy.
He pays, “Thank you, Potter,” and leaves.
clmbn brew – heavy o/t milk – not skim – semi
“Potter, what did you put in the muffin?”
Five before closing, and the rest of the staff has already left. The shop is empty but for one woman in her mid-thirties. I've started to clean up, my magic giving me about five extra hands. Malfoy'd walked in as I went around to start on the tables.
“Nothing bad. Why?”
He runs his hands through his hair. Mess it up anymore and it'll almost be as bad as mine. “I was... not having the best day yesterday.” I was right. That's nice. “After I'd finished the pastry, though, I... felt better? Not noticeably, but – you know.”
Draco Malfoy, inarticulate and struggling over words.
“I know,” I confirm.
“Well... what'd you put in it?”
“Things,” I reply simply.
“Like?” he prods, making 'keep going' motions with his hands.
“Dead squids. A branch of the Whomping Willow. The remnants of a snake or two,” I say ever casually, as I lean over and use a rag and my hands to take out a particularly difficult spot that magic cannot do so well.
“You're being purposely difficult.”
“Never,” I say, grinning and standing up straight. I'm more small smiles now, except when I'm with my friends, and I do not think that the level yet belongs to Malfoy. So why the grin?
I don't know; I don't quite care enough to find out.
Malfoy sighs. “Good night, Potter.”
“What, no coffee?”
“Do you expect me to sleep? Funny. Goodbye, Potter,” and he leaves.
“...and only semisweet, if you will.”
I nod. “That's it?”
“Yes. Can you make it fast, Potter? I'm going to be late.”
I don't ask why. None of mine.
When I hand him the cup and he hands me the change, our fingers touch. He's terribly warm.
He pulls away and I smile.
“See you, Potter.”
The next day, Ron and Hermione come to the café, late. It's about nine at night, and but for a few stragglers, it is empty. Hermione brings the food, I give the dessert, Ron brings something; never set in stone. This evening, it's a German lager that Bill and Fleur have sent as they vacation with their kids.
“How's Auror training?” I ask him, all the while filling my plate with Hermione's pasta.
“Done with training. And you won't believe who they partnered me with, mate.”
“Hit me,” I tell him, taking a bite. It's spicy, saucy, with a slight citrusy tang. I like.
“Malfoy,” Ron says with a long-suffering sigh, taking a swig from his bottle. “For a year, at the least.”
Hermione twirls some of her pasta onto her fork, frowning. “He's not so bad. You two are both still alive after all this time around each other, and that's an accomplishment all in itself.”
“He buys coffee here,” I add. “Pleasant enough.”
“It's the heart of the matter,” Ron sighs again. “Why won't anyone let me hate him in peace?”
I snort. “Woe is you.”
We eat in a silence for a moment, the only sounds the clinking of the forks as they scrape against the plates and the dull thud as a bottle is set back down. Hermione is drinking something other than the lager.
“Harry, did Hermione tell you the news?”
He's grinning now, completely over the topic of Malfoy. Hermione flushes lightly, though the why is lost to me.
“What is it?”
“She's pregnant!” Ron pipes up, chest puffing out, proud, exuberant.
I look to Hermione inquiringly, and she nods, rolling her eyes at her boyfriend. I laugh, getting out of my seat to hug her and Ron.
“I'm happy for you,” I say, sincere. I am. They're happy – clearly – and I am happy. Simple.
“But out of wedlock, Hermione? You heathen,” I add, smirking when she pushes me lightly on the shoulder. Ron laughs, almost choking on his spaghetti.
Dessert – chscke, mltd choc, cherries – earns a few hidden-moans from Hermione and, “oh, Harry, if I wasn't a taken man...” from Ron.
As they get ready to leave, coats on and arm-in-arm for Apparation, I get... advice.
“You need to get shagged, mate,” Ron insists, clapping me on the shoulder.
“What Ronald means to say, Harry –“Hermione pauses, not quite sure how to phrase what she wants to say. “Well, I suppose that one way would be... well, you need to get shagged, mate,” she finishes, imitating Ron with a toothy grin. Ron laughs loudly and happily, planting a kiss on her lips. It's amusing, watching them and then remembering fourth year... and fifth year... and sixth year. Taken them long enough.
Hermione pulls her mouth away first, pink in the face, and after a wave and, “Goodnight, Harry,” they Apparate away with a crack.
I'm just finishing up, shop empty, when I hear a knock on the glass door. It's a male, with white-blond hair. Malfoy.
I let him in.
“Are you closing? I was hoping to buy something.”
“I am. But – I have... cake and lager. Free of charge.” I do not know why I offer him. Possibly because in all actuality, the café doesn't close until ten and it is only 9:30; I'm a little eager, but it's not as if we're ever truly full on Wednesdays.
“Free? I can't possibly disagree now,” he says, taking a seat at the table closest to the windows. “So. Where are they?”
I have them all wrapped up, ready to go home with, on the counter, but I don't mind so much sharing with Malfoy. Utensils are right on the tables, but I don't quite feel like going into the kitchens, so I ask him, “You don't mind eating straight from the original container, do you?”
He shakes his head. “It's cake. Not even I could possibly care that much.”
Cake and beer on the table, I sit down across from Malfoy; the tables are small and I feel his knee against mine. With the first bite, he sighs breathily and I avoid grinning. It's one thing to hear that I bake well from Ron and Hermione, but another from Malfoy. His sighs are nice. I suppose.
“Fuck,” the word on his lips and his totally posh voice make it look and sound dirtier than it normally does, “Potter, where did you learn how to cook? This is amazing, really.”
I figure the question to be rhetoric, so no answer from me, but I smile lightly at the compliment.
For some reason that I'm sure I will never know, Malfoy stops using the fork in favour of his fingers, scooping a piece out with his thumb and index finger, delicately putting it into his mouth. I squirm. Then the neck of the long bottle, in his mouth, his lips wrapped around it like – and I should say something. Something.
“Ron told me that you two have been assigned as Auror partners.”
He sets the drink down. “Yes, we have. Merlin knows why, but they seem to think that we work well together. He's a good Auror, so I don't mind so much,” he replies, shrugging. Malfoy paying Ron a compliment. I'll have to tell Hermione about this.
“You must be good also, then.”
He nods. “Terribly so.”
“Not modest, anyhow.”
Sniffing pompously, he says, “Malfoys have no need for such things as modesty.”
“Of course not. How ever could I forget?”
We manage looking gravely serious for all of five seconds before he snorts and I am laughing.
Strange, laughing and snorting and eating cheesecake with Malfoy. Strange. Nice.
earl grey, a/lst 1 splash o/ mlk, 1 tbsp brown sgr.
“Earl Grey isn't on the menu, Draco.”
It's Draco now. It's more of that strangeness that is thereby associated with him, and I don't mind so much. We talk now, frequently, when he's not away on a mission and I haven't had to Floo home early in the risk of collapsing by way of exhaustion.
“Someone told me that if I ask nicely enough, you'll make it happen.”
“You've been – talking to... Hermione?” She is the only person that I know who knows this, because she is the only person that I let in on my stash. Tea is calming. Tea keeps the exhaustion away for another few hours.
“I cannot reveal my sources, Harry.” I'm Harry now. Strangeness. I like it, far too much. “What type of man would I be?”
I roll my eyes, but when I go to the back, the drink is made. Milk, brown sugar, terrible finickiness and all.
The smile on his face when he gets it. Beautiful.
It's night-time; we are hiding on the kitchen floor, legs folded, one across from the other. We are the only two here.
“Do you ever wonder...?” Draco starts, but it trails off as he picks at the chips of his biscuit, eyes downward on the sweet. Why not on me? Why care?
“Do I ever wonder what?”
“If – I don't know – if we hadn't hated each other so much, if – what things would have been like.” This is Malfoy – Draco – inarticulate. Tread cautiously, carefully, surely, do not fuck up.
“I stopped hating you sometime sixth year, to be honest.” I take a drink from my water (anymore caffeine, and Hermione has threatened to give me a sleeping potion) and my hands are not sweating, the cup is not slipping; they're not.
His face comes up, fast, eyes sharp, tight, confused. Maybe hopeful. I am hoping for the hope.
“Liar,” he says. Simple. No.
“What would I get out of lying to you?” Simple. Yes. Yet.
He blinks, pale lashes fluttering down. “Huh.”
I nod. He stares at me; I do not look away, but I want to.
Knowing what he is speaking of – clearly, unless we had a disagreed-on subject change, but asking all the same, “Why not what?”
“Why didn't you hate me anymore?”
He exhales roughly and warns, “Potter,” and I almost want to make him angry, if only for his eyes.
“I have my reasons. Let's leave it at that.”
“Why will you not tell me?”
My God, Draco, you're a persistent fuck.
Because then you may leave. “Because then I may have to kill you.” He snorts. “And Merlin, Malfoy, biscuits are for eating, not for demolishing. Either you stick it in your mouth or put it away.”
“Stick it in my mouth, eh?”
I throw a muffin at him, blushing fiercely all the while. Stick it in, indeed.
We continue doing this, nights after the café has closed and he is done at the Ministry for the day. It’s... nice, in its own way.
“I can't believe that you were supposed to go in Slytherin. Harry Potter, Gryffindor's Golden Boy, is more snake than lion. It's not hard to imagine once you truly think about it. All those times... Why didn't you go in, then? Did it change its mind? Or are you actually more lion?”
I swallow. “I asked the Hat not to put me in Slytherin.”
Draco frowns. “You purposely chose to not go there?”
“Why not? You'd known about the Houses when the Hat sang the song, Harry. Why—” He pauses. “Was it because of me? Did you dislike me that much, before you even truly knew me? I mean – I know I was a complete shit, but you—”
“You'd insulted the first friend I'd ever had, Draco,” I argue. It sounds a lot more petulant out loud than it did in my head, but it’s true. I’d never had anybody who was actually interested in me, and then Ron came along and Draco had nothing but insults. It didn’t help what he said about Hermione later on, either. “How was I supposed to take that?”
“I didn't hate you so much then, you know. We could have been friends. Things could have been different. But – we were eleven and you couldn't even stand being in my House?” He’s quiet as he says this, looking down.
I stare at him. Say nothing.
He takes a drink from his tea. Shrugs. “All in the past, that.”
He smiles. I don’t return it.
Hermione Floos me the next day, in tears and looking not at all as she usually does, still in her pyjamas. It takes me a while to finally get it out of her, but eventually she tells me that Ron and – Ron and Draco have been called for backup on a major case. A group of Death-Eater-supporters that are rumoured to be harbouring Fenrir Greyback; I can't breathe for a good minute when she tells me this.
It pisses me the fuck off, because, see — I know how these people think. They see Ron and Draco and they think blood traitor, blood traitor. Purebloods fighting against The Cause. A Malfoy capturing his own kind. What would Lucius think? Bellatrix wouldn’t have tolerated this.
I am not in the cafe today. I am home, number twelve, Grimmauld Place, and I am switching between drinking as much fucking caffeine as I can, lying on my back to stare at the ceiling and throwing screaming bouts of rage, my magic breaking anything and everything that dares to stand in my path of destruction. Kreacher has been banging his head on the wall; Master must not hurt himself, Kreacher wants not Master Harry to be hurt, oh no!
Master Harry wants to hurt.
We sit on my bed, Hermione and I, and I hold her, she holds me, because I'm not as strong as everyone thinks and I want to break down and she keeps me sane and we're just so fucking tired of this; this was supposed to end with him.
Blood traitors, don’t you know? Stains of dishonour, children of filth.
Don't you dare try to Apparate, she tells me. You don't know where they are, you'll Splinch yourself and I'm not fucking letting go. Not your fault. Were you supposed to kill Fenrir and Voldemort at the same time? Calm. Calm.
I cannot calm.
“They're back. I've been badgering Kingsley to tell me when and he did. They're doing paperwork right now, so either they aren't seriously injured, or they are not injured at all.” She grins. “Can I come through?
I can calm.
I nod, biting my lip to stop the silly smile from escaping and stepping back from the fireplace as Hermione comes out of it, wiping soot from her trousers.
“Tea?” I ask, and she nods. After I come back from the kitchen and the hot cup is in her hands, she casually tells me:
“I noticed that you didn't just seem to be worrying about Ron. Which leaves only one other answer, unless you were taking Greyback's safety into thought?”
I take a loud gulp from my tea.
“I know that you two have been talking, but – well, forgive me for asking, Harry, but – are you and Malfoy, er, doing – you know – things of a sexual nature?”
The liquid splutters from my lips, half from her choice of words and half from the implication; I'm partially mortified.
“No,” I say passionately. “I'm not – doing things of a sexual nature.”
“Do you want to?” Hermione prods, her face heated, thoughts of Ron and Draco’s impending arrival pushed to the side.
Her voice is gentle when she says, “Ron doesn't even really hate him anymore; he's only saying so for the sake of it. And he's polite when he sees me, Malfoy.”
I do nothing.
“You – the thing from sixth year never truly went away, did it?”
I raise my chin in defiance, daring her to say something about... it.
“I know that you know what I'm talking about, Harry.”
I take a measured sip from my cup.
“Personally, I feel now would be a great time to tell him.”
I set the empty cup on the table, pushing my chair back and getting up.
“More tea?” I ask, pointedly ignoring her comments.
She sighs, shaking her head. “No more caffeine for me – and no more for you, either. Your eyes are dilated and too wide, Harry. I'll Vanish your entire stash if I have to. Throw it out.”
I smile. The subject change is welcome.
“I don't drink that much of it.”
Hermione blinks. I grin.
With water our only companion, we sit and wait for more news on Ron and Draco. I am calm, though, and breathing and Kreacher looks like the sun has just risen for the first time in years, anxious to get us whatever it is that we need.
When we hear the unmistakable crack of Apparition and the spoken, “I told you that you wouldn't get Splinched, bloody wanker. You Side-Along’d me and Harry's wards are more complicated than that so —”
“Oi, Weasley, shut up. I think they're in the kitchen.”
“I should have let him eat you.”
“Your little Gryffindorness wouldn't be able to handle that,” Draco replies, and as the sound of footsteps get closer, I force myself to sit down and continue drinking even as Hermione jumps out of her chair and runs toward Ron; it's very unHermionelike behaviour. I slowly lift my head and gaze evenly into Draco’s eyes. We're not together. I cannot act like a total maniac.
He stares back at me and shortly, a small smile tugs at his lips; I can't help but bite my lip. 'Hullo,' he mouths at me. I blink, slow.
Ron breaks it with, “Why's there a bunch of glass on the floor of the entrance? Doesn't Kreacher tend to make sure that everything is perfect for you, Harry?”
I blush, sheepish, and mutter, “He's busy cleaning the upstairs.”
Hermione clears her throat, looking at Ron from under his arms meaningfully, and after giving me a searching look, he nods and comes over to awkwardly pat my head. I'm grateful and I hope that my smile shows as much.
“Well, Harry, Ron and I will just be going,” Hermione announces, a tad obnoxiously. I roll my eyes as she pushes him through to the Floo – she's disturbingly strong, this woman – even as he looks back over his shoulder. I think I hear him ask why they're leaving but she merely gives him am impatient and hurrying look, one which we both know better than to question. Then it's only Draco and I and oh, look, my palms are sweating, yet again. I put the water down and stand up to lean against the wall across from Draco.
“How was the mis –”
But then Draco is across the room, and he's kissing me, oh, god, it's chaste but so not, and that doesn't matter because his lips are on mine and I can feel his tongue trying to prod them open, so I comply because common sense tells me that – oh... yes – that's the smart thing to do.
His hands are gripping at the clothing on my hips, as if wondering what in the world they could possibly be doing there and, fuck, I'm wondering that too, even as my hands shake and wander aimlessly for a place to land when he drifts down to kiss and lick and oh – my neck.
“You – oh, okay. That's nice,” I breathe, not quite sure how coherent I am.
“Yes,” he murmurs against my skin. “Me. You. Very fucking nice.”
His hips are grinding against mine now, persuading my cock into full hardness, but wait, no, this is – slower. Slower.
“Wait,” I tell him, my sanity dragged from somewhere far below the remaining gush of my brain, as I ease him back. If I truly wanted him off, he would have been across the room by now; I don't. I'm forcing myself to do this.
“Wait?” he repeats, farther from me but still too close. His eyes are half-lidded, breath coming out in uneven exhales as he runs a hand through his already shaggy hair, licking his kiss-swollen red lips.
“Yes. Wait,” I say, attempting to regain my breath. I don't want to fucking wait. Fuck wait. I should just take him, right now, against the fucking table but – no. Slower. Wait.
I can't do this.
“Why are we waiting?”
“We... we need to slow down. We were going too fast.”
“Not really, no. We could have been going fast. Very fucking fast, if you would just let me. Or you, I don't really mind much.”
This is Draco Malfoy sexually frustrated. Tread cautiously, carefully, keep clear of his crotch area and do not fuck him, no matter what he says.
“Draco,” I say softly, looking him in the eye. “Please.”
“Just—” He sighs, sentence unfinished, rubs a hand over his face before plunking down onto a seat. I mimic him.
“So, how was the mission?” I manage to ask, false casualness. Draco looks at me, all exasperated grey eyes and elegantly quirked brows, possibly wondering about the state of my mental health. He replies, though, and we sit there, with my questions and his reluctant answers. I feel... stupid, fumbling, after it all, I feel as if I am searching for a Snitch in the dark with a crap broom – I know the final destination of it all, but with no sure path and sketchy means of getting there.
Which most likely makes no sense, and a Quidditch metaphor probably isn't best, but I just want him, badly, for years and years now and I... just can't. Dramatic, just a bit, I know.
But then Draco is leaning over the small space between us and his mouth is on mine. It is much slower and more deliberate than the last one, barely fifteen minutes ago, and I am not thinking or feeling or being much of anything other than </i>oh, god, yes</i> and Draco and mine. Fucking mine.
“Draco,” I murmur, hands going up to twist in his hair, because closer, closer.
I could cry when he pulls an inch or two back, separating our lips but leaving our foreheads against each other. He breathes hard into my face, smelling like healing potions (which I wonder about) and blood and it's not altogether pleasant, but there is an underlying mist of oranges and toothpaste and something that just has to be all Draco.
“Go mad waiting for me, did you?” His voice is a whisper, to be heard only by me and nobody, nothing else. I love this.
“Absolutely fucking bonkers,” I reply, not even exaggerating one bit.
3 btrbrs, 5 muffins, 2 dghnts, 2 meat-crsst, plate of bscts, bottle of ogden's best
The next day, I show up at the café, unable to help my smile, functioning so much better. I have slept and the eyes are normal, the fidgeting has stopped; I am calm. And truly happy, something which is not particularly easy to accomplish for those other than Ron and Hermione, honestly. And Draco, now, apparently.
“You're chipper,” Hannah comments, waving her wand and starting the coffee pot. It's hard, working with all these electronics around magic, and we had to buy this special tool that makes them function around each other, and even though we've been through seven pots already, I find it worth it.
I shrug, not replying, because I probably am. Chipper. Huh.
Draco drops by around four, rushing through the doors and heading straight to me.
“Hello,” he breathes. “I really shouldn't be here and Weasley will fucking kill me, but, see – I'm coming back, and I'll probably have two people with me. Believe nothing they say about me, if they manage to talk to you.”
He waves a goodbye and then is back out and Disapparating.
I have no fucking idea what that was about, frankly. But when he shows up again about an hour and a half later, I catch on pretty quick.
The Auror robes have been shed, and he enters in black trousers and a white undershirt, following a pair who looks an awful lot like Pansy Parkinson and Blaise Zabini.
They walk up to the counter, Parkinson scrutinizing and judging the café, Zabini... sniffing? and looking far too lost for a Slytherin.
“What can I get for you?” All polite, small smiles, sincere tone; it's not that big a deal. Not really. I won't kill Draco. He'd warned me, technically, and his death would be rather inconvenient for my mouth.
Parkinson stares, eyes narrowed. I meet her gaze straight on, and she doesn't intimidate me. Much.
Draco responds for them. “We'll have three butterbeers and a plate of biscuits, please.”
I do not stare at his mouth as it moves.
“And like... five of those muffins. Over there. With the chocolate.” This comes from Zabini, and he's lost some of the confusion on his face, replaced with grins and if he gets this excited over food, how is he that size?
“And the fat,” Parkinson adds to the end of his sentence. He shrugs.
“You know you'll eat most of them, so hush.”
“Sometimes I wonder why I bother...”
“We are your lives now.”
“Keep quoting bad Muggle novels, Draco, and you won't have a voice to quote them with.”
She's terribly amusing. I bite my lip to stop the laughter from escaping. “Nothing else?”
Parkinson redirects her sharp eyes to the food counters. They're strange, amber and blue, as if her genes couldn't quite agree on which would look better on her. Zabini's are so dark that they're black.
“What's that circle thing with the frosting?” It's more of a demand than a question.
“Doughnuts. A type of Muggle pastry.”
“What are they made out of?”
She scowls. I smile wider.
“If you'd like to try them, I can pick a pair you may like. They're not poisonous.”
She nods, and then Zabini again pipes in, “What's in that croissant?”
“Meat. Spices. Death.” This may be just a bit beyond standard-customer-niceties, but I possibly want to impress them, just a little.
“Add one of those for me, then,” Draco says.
Looking over to him, I reply softly, “Wouldn't want you to die, would we?” I wish it were later, that all these people were gone, just me, him.
Parkinson clears her throat and I look away.
“Are you three eating in or taking out?”
At the same time Zabini and Parkinson say in, Draco says out. I wouldn't mind him staying in. Anywhere.
“We're staying in,” Parkinson reiterates.
Hannah helps me to fix the food, muttering about Slytherin invasions and far-too-chipper bosses, and with Parkinson and Zabini walking in front, I aid them in bringing it to a hidden table.
“They forced themselves on me,” he says.
“I tried to outrun them but they know where the café is like the rest of the bloody Wizarding world and it's pretty difficult to get rid of people in front of your destination.”
“I can stay. After you've closed shop. We can talk. Or something.”
“Or something,” I repeat.
“That was horrible,” I say later. Draco and I are in the kitchen, after closing.
“They weren't that bad.”
“You ordered firewhiskey after fifteen minutes of sitting down.”
“Yes, well... They were talking about things and asking questions that make alcohol mandatory.”
“What type of things?”
“You don't want to know, trust me,” so I do.
We are quiet. He is once again diminishing my food supply, long fingers picking and putting into his mouth. His mouth.
“You're staring at my face again,” he whispers. Doesn't look up from his pastry.
“Am I?” The voice is not the normal one; it's low and husky and sex and I'd like my cock in your mouth now. Now.
He swallows. Raises his head, eyes on mine, burning me inside and out. This is beyond warm.
“Going to kiss you now.”
He raises an eyebrow, as if asking me why I have not acted on my words already. I act.
This is different, this pushing him back, on him, bite his lip, draw blood, he'll scratch my neck, press my vein, don't you even dare.
I hiss, I bite, I push forward, into him, and I feel his cock, hard against mine. He arches, thrusting up and wouldn't it be grand if we were naked?
But that'd be too much, too fast; this is too much, not fast enough.
We rut, animals, and the kisses, bites, presses muffle the gasps. The moans. The calls to God and Merlin and just every fucking higher power out there.
“Draco,” I whisper, mouth against his neck. “Draco.”
He nods, tilting his head, biting his lip. “Yeah.”
I manage to reach a hand down, palm him. Squeeze, and he's there, quieting his moan against my
cheek. I can vaguely feel his cock pulsing, his shirt moistened against my skin at the bottom, and I come, with his name on my lips and his tongue in my mouth.
“That was too fast,” I say after a while, once Cleaning Charms gave been mumbled – I still feel sticky, and I need a shower, but moving seems universes away.
Draco grunts. Yawns.
“You're not falling asleep on my kitchen floor,” I warn.
“Get off me, then. I need to go home before I collapse.”
With an effort, I roll off him. He tells me that I am overweight. I roll my eyes.
“You're just underweight. Do you even eat when you're not here?”
He stands, shrugging and stretching. I try not to notice the flex of his muscles, the tightening of his trousers over his arse. I'm fairly certain I fail. “Mother makes me. Sends a house-elf after me when I try to escape without at least a piece of toast. I learn pretty quickly, usually, but this is one thing that just doesn't seem to get through properly.”
I snort, lean over and kiss him once but not twice. I will not pull away if I do. We go out to
“Bye,” he murmurs. Walks away and Apparates outside the door, eyes on mine.
That was nice.
“They like you.”
“Who, Parkinson and Zabini?”
“Pansy and Blaise, yes.”
“Are you sure Zabini wasn't saying that he likes the food and Parkinson didn’t like that I almost tripped and died?”
He shakes his head, smiling. “I need to leave. Weasley keeps threatening me if I show up late again, so – bye.”
He doesn't come back, but I get an owl about paperwork and horrid headaches; I do not mind. Much.
Luna does, though, stepping through the Floo with Frank, and allows me to hold him when I reach out. I quite adore children; they don't talk, judge, expect.
“H'lo, Harry,” she greets softly, putting Frank's bag down. It's odd, with slightly animated ducks, reeking of magic and powder. I'm fairly certain that I bought it.
“Hi. The – you have a lovely layer of soot on your person.”
She looks down, almost as if surprised to find that her clothing is scattered with ash and dust. “Hmm,” she says, frowning, and waves her wand to get it all away, before putting it back up as a placeholder for her hair.
We walk to the kitchen. Frank is on my hip, heavier than the last time I held him, and I vaguely wonder what I'd be like if I had my own children, if I was still with Ginny and wasn't gay. Exhausting, most likely. I can handle taking care of others' when requested, but on the rare occasion that I get it, a full night's sleep is pretty nice. We talk of everything and nothing, Luna and I, and she prepares something or the other; I lean against various places with Frank, moving when she needs something from the cupboard, fridge, pantry.
“I'm coming back to Erised,” Luna tells me a bit later, setting our plates on the table, side-by-side. Penne pasta with an obnoxious amount of cheese and God knows what and I almost moan looking at it. Frank has been placed on the floor to crawl and attempt wobbling, assuredly not placing small objects in his mouth and causing Neville to strangle me to death.
I miss Draco something fierce. I'm being melodramatic, I know, but it feels terribly long since early afternoon, and he'd probably be horrid with Frank, staring blankly and horrified as if facing a tiny, drooling monster and be awkward around Luna – as awkward as a Malfoy can be – and I'd be able to breathe just a bit easier. I close my eyes shut for a moment, opening them to reply to Luna.
“Are you?” She nods. “Frank?”
“Oh. Well, Nev's on one of his research breaks, so he'll have Frank, don't you suppose?”
“I suppose he will.”
pmpkn jce, hogwarts-style. 2 scones, cnbry
I'm insanely thankful that Luna is back, especially today. It's not... not so much that I have 'insane fits of sorrow and grief and can barely live with myself, knowing that they died and I didn't' – it's not that, not like the Prophet says. I just like being a bit alone some days, is all.
I stay in the kitchens all day; Luna and Hannah man the front. One or the other always volunteers to help me in the back, but I prefer doing it alone, so that there's no time to think, not really, with the constant moving and orders.
Luna walks in to give yet another order, and tells me, “Draco Malfoy is here.” My hands freeze, stop kneading the dough. There are two other invisible hands working on separate portions.
“Is he?” I’m casual. I hope.
“Mhmm. Asking for you. He likes you,” she adds.
I cough. “Does he? How do you know?”
“Well, his hands.”
“His hands,” I repeat.
“Yes. They flex when he says your name and were flat on the table. He'll probably have them pressed against his neck and folded when he sees you.” She pauses. Blinks. “Neville's hands did that, and so did Ron's when we were at school. For Hermione, of course.”
“Of course.” I've learned to accept what Luna says, and figure that Hermione will get a kick out of the statement.
When I go out, apron and flour and all, I pay close attention to Draco’s hands; they remain folded together on the counter. Go to rest against his neck, slightly flexed.
I bite my lip.
“Are you ordering anything?”
“Do you have pumpkin juice? Like they made them at Hogwarts?”
“I'm not quite sure that reaching that level is possible.”
“You could try.”
I turn around and head back into the kitchen and not two minutes later, am back out with the juice and a pair of cranberry scones. I set them in front of him.
“I didn't order those,” he says, pointing at the scones.
“You didn't,” I agree. “I gave it to you. That's five Sickles and nine Knuts, please.”
“You're charging me for something I didn't order,” says Draco blandly, all the while digging through the pockets of his Auror robes.
“Oh, yes. Regardless of whatever,” I motion my hands between myself and him, “you still have to pay. No favouritism.”
He sets the coins down. Raises his eyebrows, and there's a hint of a smirk on his face. “Hmm.”
“The scones are for Ron, actually,” I say, taking the payment. “Would you like your own?”
“You charged me for scones that I did not order and they are for Weasley.”
I shrug, one-shouldered. “He gets hungry. Bye, Draco.”
He grabs the cup and pastries, scowling and rolling his eyes at me.
I grin and walk back in.
clmbn brew, ½ c. mlk, — [egplt lasg/cas.]
“Have dinner with me,” I say, handing him his coffee.
“Yes. Will you?”
I smile, wide and toothy and possibly ridiculous.
“You know, Columbia isn't the only place that makes coffee. Why do you only ask for their brew?”
“I never thought of it.”
“I didn't think so. Next time, I'm giving you another brew, yeah? You'll love it, I'm positive.”
“If you say so.” He takes the cup. “And Weasley is asking for more food, though I don't know when I became an owl or a bloody messenger.”
“Is he?” I frown and grab three pairs of muffins from a stand near me, Conjuring a bag to place them in. “There you go.”
“Why are you giving three? I'm not paying for three muffins for him.”
“You're not paying at all. And one is for you. To eat and whatnot.”
“Oh. Thank you, then. I'll make certain to eat it. And be at your place later tonight.”
“Nine,” I tell him. “Be there at nine.”
“I will be there at nine.”
He shows up at nine-thirty.
“I'm sorry,” he tells me, closing the door behind him and lifting his Auror robes up and off over his head. “I was still on a mission and the suspect was just being so difficult. And then there was the paperwork, which Weasley is complete bollocks at, so I had to help him with his.”
“It's fine,” I tell him, and it really is.
“It's going to bother me,” he admits. “I was raised to always be punctual and now I'm half an hour late which just doesn't happen, not when you're a Malfoy.”
I snort, grabbing his hand and leading him out of the foyer and into the living room, where I have the food set up and ready in plates.
“Sit down and eat, Draco.”
He does, ever-graceful, folding his hands in his lap and looking around. “You have a telly,” he says, looking to me, sitting at his right.
“Here, take the plate, it won't bite.” I hand him his food, and he takes it with one hand, accepting the fork with the other. “Try it. But yeah, I do. I'm surprised that you know what a telly is.”
“My mum,” he explains, “she's been talking to Andromeda Tonks, who is apparently my aunt, trying to get reacquainted with her. They were close when they were little, they tell me, before she got disowned.”
He crosses his legs, somehow managing not to disrupt the plate at all. “And Andromeda owns one, owns a telly. She had to spend an entire day explaining it to my mother, and then Mum went and bought one for herself, in a fit of boredom and anger at my father, because it'd piss him off.”
Draco snorts, and all I can say is, “Oh,” before taking a bite of my food. I'd rather not get into Malfoy politics, actually. Dangerous territory and such.
“Yes. Oh. What is this, actually? I see something semi-green and then egg, how is there egg in this?”
I swallow my food down and reply, “It's eggplant lasagna or casserole, I don't know, something. It's probably very unhealthy and the eggplant gets fried, but it's pretty much all I can cook, so. Don't tell me you're allergic to egg, or anything, because if you were you would have died when I first gave you that muffin.”
His lips twitch. “I'm not allergic to egg, no.” Before I can breathe a sigh of relief, he continues, “I am allergic to eggplant, though.”
“I'm telling the truth.” My face drops, because fuck, I should have known that. But then his lips twitch and he takes a forkful, chewing thoughtfully and swallowing it down with a sigh. “I suppose this'll be worth death.”
I shove him gently, laughing out, “Wanker,” and he chortles.
“How can you not cook? You're a chef, Harry.”
“I'm a baker. I can bake stuff semi-decently, but can't cook very well. I mean, the only reason why I can bake at all is because my aunt had me at the oven the second I turned six. She tried teaching me to cook, but I didn't want to so much that everything got ruined, some way or another. Hermione tells me it was my magic manifesting in the most stubborn and immature way possible, but I liked the baking, so something turned out right.”
I'm rambling. I'm rambling and my palms are sweaty. I've never been on an actual date before, not one that I count, so this is — nerve-racking and nice and I want to kiss him, badly.
I look away.
“I'd say a lot turned out right,” he says, looking down and taking another mouthful, humming in approval.
I hmm, then ask him a question to direct the attention away from myself, “Why're you an Auror? From what I've heard, you're very good at it, but you never seemed the sort.”
“After the war, the Ministry gave me two choices: house arrest, or work for them, where they could keep track of everything I did.”
I frown. “I'd testified for you, so that they wouldn't do something like that.”
Draco shakes his head. “No, you wanted to keep me out of Azkaban. There are always loopholes, Harry. Anyway, I decided to choose the Auror branch, because I knew it would piss every single last one of them off, me being part of that. And when I passed the prerequisites, they had no choice but to let me in, unless they made some new law completely prohibiting me, and they could not do that without tipping Shacklebolt, and therefore you, off. And Weasley had an aneurysm when he saw me, so I stayed,” he adds, grinning suddenly, and that answer makes more sense than anything.
“Isn't it? Do you know why Malfoys and Weasleys originally hate each other so much?”
“Don't know. It goes back centuries, maybe even before Salazar's time. Hell if anyone kniws, We just generally avoid one another. That, and Weasleys tend to piss off a majority of all other purebloods. I don't even think they can help it, quite frankly. Do you know,” he begins, “that on my mother's side — the Blacks — my great-aunt's cousin married a Weasley, so they got burned off? Just for that?”
“So are you and Ron like, cousins thrice-remo —”
“Do not even go there, Potter.”
earl grey (one tbsp sugar), btrbr, 3 dble-choc. muffins, éclair, water
“Shut up and just open the damned door, would you?”
“Malfoy, you keep pushing your luck, and I swear—”
“Ron! Honestly, you'd think...”
“He's extremely disrespectful, Granger. Every day I have to go through this. I think he needs a tighter leash.”
“Oh, fuck you, Malfoy.”
I can hear them from the kitchen. I can hear the louder footsteps that are undoubtedly Ron's, and the lighter two, Draco and Hermione.
It takes no time at all for them to realise that I'm in the back; Erised isn't at all that big.
I'm sorting out papers, filling out the forms for Gringotts and the Ministry, sitting on the floor completely surrounded by parchment, trying to ignore the migraine coming on. I manage a,
“Hello,” not risking lifting my gaze from the too-small print on the page.
They respond back with greetings that are far too loud and cheerful for my liking, and I see as they sit down within my peripherals.
“Oh, are you doing the annual forms again, Harry?”
“Does that mean that I shouldn't ask you for food right now?”
“Ronald, honestly,” Hermione starts, but I'm already scrambling to stand, just a little too eager for the chance at distraction.
“No, no, I'll get it. Whatever you want. I'd bake a cake but it hurts to blink, so I think we'll save that for another time. Or something.” I raise my hands, closing my eyes and rubbing them beneath my glasses.
“How about two of those illegal muffins, the ones that you're not supposed to sell, double-chocolate, and a butterbeer?”
“If you keep eating like this, Weasley, you'll be off the field in five years.”
I shake my head, a yawn getting through. “Would you like a muffin, Draco?”
“Yes. And Earl Grey, too, if you don't mind. One tablespoon sugar.”
“You're drinking tea right now, Malfoy? How poncy can—”
“It's called class, Weasley, you may have heard—”
As amusing as they are, my head fucking hurts right now, and I can't.
I turn away, facing Hermione, letting them banter and quarrel like a bloody married couple.
“Would you like anything?”
“Can I just get an éclair and a bottle of water, please? But here – help me up. Thank you, Harry. I'll help you.”
I kiss her cheek, grateful like she can’t possibly know.
She gets her sweet and water herself, grabbing Ron's butterbeer and one of his muffins, winking at me as she bites into it. I drag myself back, throwing Draco and Ron their muffins and resisting the urge to fling the tea at Draco.
I hand it to him by hand. He mouths a thank you, fingers lingering a beat longer, and I'm not grumpy. Just terribly, terribly tired.
“You need sleep,” Hermione comments, twisting the cap off her water and taking a long drink to
wash down the half of the éclair that she's already eaten. Hormones, I suppose.
“I'm fine,” I murmur, sitting back down and massaging my temples. The words seem to have gotten smaller in the minutes I was away.
“If you can tell me the last time you got eight hours of sleep consistently, I'll believe you.”
At my lack of response, she takes her wand out from God-knows-where, swishing it. My parchments arrange themselves in a large pile, and before I can complain, she presses the tip of her wand to my right hand and then to the quill lying off to the side.
The quill seems to be filling out the forms for me, in my handwriting, signatures and all, before sorting everything into three neat stacks.
“I could marry you right now, Hermione,” I breathe out, the boom of my head reducing to a low, almost bearable throb.
“Except that she's a girl and I would have to kill you,” Ron says.
“Yes, well, there's that.”
I get up, locating the designated folders, and once they're in, Banish straight to the desks of Gringotts and the Ministry.
“I really, really love you two, I do, but can you please leave?”
“You use my wife and then you kick us out. Shame, Harry.”
“We're not married, Ron,” Hermione says, but there's a light blush on her cheeks as she accepts Ron hand lifting her up.
“Yeah, well, everyone thinks we are and we might as well be, don't you think?”
“Was that a proposal? Because it wasn't a very good one, Weasley,” Draco quips.
“It was? Oh. Er, Hermione, wanna get married or something?”
Hermione coughs. “We'll talk at home.”
Ron's hand on the small of her back is sure, and I'm knocked back by how much I adore and love these two, and everything they come with.
Draco and I follow them out front and there are calls of goodnight as they open the door to leave, with an added, “Don't you and Malfoy do anything I wouldn't do!” by Ron, before the crack of Apparition takes them away.
“He knows,” I tell Draco.
He shrugs. “I've learned that Weasley isn't that daft, after all. Just mostly.”
“Ah. Of course, of course.”
I smile and I kiss him.
I am calm.