Chapter Rating: NC-17
Disclaimer: JKR owns. I only play. You do not sue.
Chapter Summary: Wherein Harry gets a big surprise, Draco gets a new hobby, nobody wants to be an Auror, a body is a terrible thing to waste, and Quidditch is still Quidditch.
Concrit: Always welcome and appreciated.
Chapter 16 - A Terrible Thing to Waste
"What are you doing here?" Draco spluttered, eyes darting about for his robes. They hung from a peg on the wall, just three paces away. Three paces -- miles to Draco, with Potter watching him. Had Potter watched him in the shower? The thought of it set off a sharp quiver in his stomach, and another, very unwelcome one, below. He faced Potter, forcing his breathing to steady despite the mixture of fury and shame boiling in him.
"Waiting for you," said Potter. "Are you going to stand there gaping or will you get dressed so we can talk?"
Draco realised Potter had averted his eyes. Averted! His eyes! As if Draco were a girl! "You couldn't have picked a different time?" he demanded.
Potter turned his head, almost reluctantly. He kept his eyes on Draco's face. "I wanted to make sure you couldn't run away."
Draco felt his face heat up with indignation. "I'm not afraid of you." And yet, he wanted to run. The only thing that stopped him was that if he did run, by tomorrow the whole school would know that he'd run naked through the grounds like a lunatic. That wasn't the sort of attention he wanted to draw.
"Maybe not," said Potter. "But you-- bloody hell, Malfoy, will you get dressed already?" He looked away again, with what looked like effort.
Draco squatted down to retrieve his towel from the floor, held it up over his front, and tried not to leap towards his robes. He slipped them over his head in short order and smoothed the front until his hands stopped shaking. A thought occurred to him: he could run, now.
A voice not unlike Millicent's tsked in his head. You can't run forever, and he'll not leave you alone, not after last Friday.
"Not if I can help it," muttered Draco under his breath as he sat down on the bench to pull on his pants and socks.
"Not if you can help what?" asked Potter.
He appeared at ease, lounging with his back against the wall. All the same, something made him look poised on the edge of unexpected movement. Draco only grunted and turned his attention to lacing up his left boot. When finished, he stood, and faced Potter. The unease that he'd managed to ignore whilst focussing on getting dressed began to leak in again. Worse, anticipation tinged the unease -- anticipation for what, Draco couldn't say, but it felt wrong.
"What do you want?" asked Draco, wishing his voice wouldn't shake. If wishes were wings, Diricawls would fly.
Potter rose as well, and ran a hand through his black hair as if to straighten it. If wishes were wings, indeed. "I gave you my word," he said, frowning. "And I broke it."
That was it? Draco wasn't sure what he felt more strongly: relief or incredulity. "You can hardly be blamed for it," he said without thinking. "I was the one who--" He cut off, but too late. He'd just admitted to... well, to making Potter break his word. If Draco hadn't known any better, he would have thought that Potter had started with an admission of guilt to throw him off. An open accusation would have put Draco on his guard, but this... Draco scowled at Potter, wishing for lightning to strike him where he stood.
Lightning bolts were not forthcoming, and Potter appeared unfazed by the scowl. "Why did you do it?" He shoved his hands deeply into his pockets.
Draco said nothing. He didn't know. He didn't want to know. Potter drove him to distraction and tangled his wits worse than any Babbling Beverage, and now he had the gall to stand there and ask him ridiculous questions. He pulled his broomstick away from the wall he'd leant it against earlier and hefted it onto his shoulder.
"I hope you're not planning on beating me with that," said Potter dryly.
"Don't give me any ideas," muttered Draco.
Potter grinned at him, easily, openly, as though the tension between them weren't fit for slicing. "You're a nightmare, Malfoy. A nightmare and a curse." He sounded almost affectionate, and Draco bristled like a scalded Kneazle.
"Don't see why you'd seek my company quite so often, then," he said, getting a firmer grip on the broom handle. Just in case.
Potter's eyes narrowed. "You still haven't answered my question."
"I don't know why I did it!" Draco burst out in frustration. "I don't! But it won't happen again!" He caught himself mid-stride, surprised that he would try and approach Potter now of all times. "We just need to stay away from each other," he added.
It was the wrong thing to say, apparently, because a dangerous light flared in Potter's eyes. "The last thing I want is to stay away from you."
Draco matched his glare with one of his own. "You can't always get what you want."
"That's precious, coming from you." Potter took a step forward, but halted much as Draco just had. "I seem to remember you swearing by an entirely different philosophy." He altered his voice until it was a drawl alarmingly like Draco's. "Really, Potter, if you don't take care of your own desires, who will?" Potter's voice went back to normal. "Your words, Malfoy."
Draco worked his jaw, unsure whether he was furious at Potter's mockery or flattered -- flattered! God! -- that Potter had actually paid attention to what he'd said once.
"That was a long time ago," Draco said, with as much dignity as he could muster. "I was naïve, then."
Potter gave an amused grunt, and crossed his arms, squinting at Draco as though seeing an unusual animal. "You'll say anything, won't you? Anything to get me off your back."
Draco drew himself up. "If you think you're getting to me, Potter, you're sorely mistaken. I--"
Potter's eyes flashed again. "I'm not -- bloody -- trying to provoke you."
"What are you trying to do?" snapped Draco, lifting his chin.
"I want you to admit that you want--"
Draco's barely contained rage exploded inside him. In an instant, he was practically nose to nose with Potter. "Nothing. There's. Nothing. To. Admit." He punctuated each word with his finger jabbing into Potter's chest. It didn't even matter that he stood this dangerously close -- Potter had developed the ability to make his knees weak even when he was miles away, anyway...
Draco's knees did feel weak then. Nothing to admit. Nothing. It was just a phase. Just a phase that would pass, and what harm could there be in enjoying himself while he waited for it to pass?
He looked at Potter. The light overhead reflected in Potter's glasses, making it difficult to see his eyes, but Draco saw Potter's jaw tighten, his mouth a bitter thin line. As though in a daze, Draco brought his mouth closer to Potter's. His cock was at full attention. He felt Potter tense and shift, blinked.
"I think we could... if we kept it a secret... I want..." Draco cursed himself for a fool; why couldn't he manage a coherent sentence? Especially now, of all times. "I want you to take back your word," he said unsteadily.
It was probably the only time in Draco's life that he'd told Potter he wanted something and Potter immediately delivered.
Draco gasped as Potter pulled him closer, fingers digging into Draco's hips. "Didn't think I'd ever hear you say that." He kissed Draco, roughly, with a tiny sound in the back of his throat that made Draco shiver.
Draco pulled away from the kiss and peered at Potter. "No one knows."
"No one knows what?" Potter sounded irritated.
"This," mumbled Draco. "You won't tell anyone--"
Potter sighed. "If I was going to tell people, I would have already. Now shut up."
Draco did: it was difficult to speak with his tongue in Potter's mouth. He was the one to shove Potter backwards this time, back and back until they reached the bench where Potter had sat. Potter's knees buckled when he hit the bench's edge, and Draco climbed on top of him even as Potter was still falling on his arse. He could feel Potter's cock against his, and he rocked forward, wishing he hadn't got dressed, wishing that Potter would've started undressing instead of telling Draco to put his clothes back on.
"Off," he panted, tugging at Potter's robes. Potter shook his head silently, and his hands suddenly had an iron grip on Draco's arse. He pushed up against Draco once, twice, and then Draco felt him shudder and gasp. Potter's head hit the wall behind him as he collapsed backwards.
"Impressive," drawled Draco. "Must be a world record."
Potter's cheeks bloomed bright crimson. "I'll see how you do after you've been hard for half an hour. Here," he said, reaching for the front of Draco's robes. "I'll--"
Draco shook his head. He was so hard he would possibly die soon, but there was no time. "Hooch's going to come by any minute for her nightly inspection. You go on," he said to Potter, refusing to look at him. "If we're to keep this... this..." Draco cleared his throat, flushing. "If we're to keep it a secret, we shouldn't even be seen together..."
Potter kissed him again, just long enough for Draco to start wishing he wouldn't stop.
"We won't be," said Potter, and took off at a brisk trot.
Draco did look at him then, until he could no longer see Potter in the murky fog.
Just a phase. A... hobby. He'd never had the patience for hobbies, as his meagre Chocolate Frog card collection could attest.
Draco didn't want to be an Auror. Not if it meant running bloody laps around the bloody Quidditch pitch until there was only the pain in his side. That, and jelly instead of his legs.
"You think this is bad?" wheezed Millicent, collapsing onto the damp grass next to him. "I heard him talking to himself. Next week, he'll charm things into place for us to jump over. And after that--"
Draco cut her off with a groan. "I don't want to know. No Dark wizard is going to run so fast that we need to kill ourselves now trying to chase them down."
"That made no sense," announced Boot, flopping around to look at him.
"Sure it did," said Potter, who was sitting across from the three of them, flanked by Corner and Lisa Turpin. Beyond them, Draco could see Macmillan, halfway through his last lap. Moody was trotting alongside him and shouting something unintelligible. Potter frowned, and his lips moved soundlessly, then he looked up. "No, wait, it didn't."
"Thanks for trying," mumbled Draco, half to himself.
Potter flashed him a quick grin that made Draco's insides freeze. Boil. Rearrange themselves. The two of them were supposed to sneak off after the training. Draco didn't think he would be doing any sneaking tonight, though. He'd be lucky if he could haul himself back to the dormitories. Who invented the stupid no Apparition at Hogwarts rule, anyway?
"Dumbledore," said Potter, frowning.
Draco cursed under his breath. It was a good thing he'd only thought that part out loud, and not the part about sneaking off. A fat lot of good would all the secrecy do if he just announced that he and Potter were... He wasn't even going to think it.
He realised he was still staring at Potter, who was staring back, no longer frowning. He was looking at Draco like you would look at a rare work of art, something that shocked, something that made you breathless. Draco would walk naked through fire to see that look on Potter's face again. No! Rubbish. He hadn't just thought that. Anyway, just because he and Potter had made an agreement didn't mean that they were supposed to moon over each other. Especially since this was only a hobby. Like Quidditch.
"I still wonder how the Wisdom managed to do that at Slughorn's party," said Millicent, who had in the meantime turned to lie on her back, staring skyward. "She just -- poof! -- appeared. With the wards in place..."
Grateful for the distraction, Draco turned to look at her. "She was there the whole time. She probably has an Invisibility Cloak."
Millicent peered at him. "Think so? I dunno."
"What are you talking about?" asked Potter.
Millicent sat up, facing him. "Slughorn had one of his parties a few weeks ago. There was a Seer--"
"A charlatan, not a Seer," Draco put in. "The woman is completely mad. Besides, she can't speak English."
He'd received an invitation to this Friday's gathering, but he wasn't even going to consider going. The last thing he wanted was that crazy old woman cackling at him. And cackle she would, after he and Potter... What was he thinking? She was a charlatan, and she couldn't possibly know anything about him and Potter.
"She knew things about me no one else did," said Millicent, a mite defensively. "I hope to see her again this Friday."
"I don't think you will," said Potter. "Slughorn always invites different people to his parties."
"Oh." Millicent didn't wear disappointment well.
Draco told her so, and she threatened to make him run laps during practice. Macmillan finally arrived, and after a brief lecture on the evils of an idle body, Moody dismissed them. Draco and the other boys half-stumbled to the Quidditch showers. Potter wasn't averting his eyes, now, though he did have the sense not to stare too openly in front of Boot, Macmillan, and Corner.
It was after those three had gone that Potter stuffed Draco into a shower stall, half-dressed and panting. Moody had been right: a body was a terrible thing to waste.
On the morning of the first Quidditch game of the season, Millicent was in a temper. The team had improved with practice, but they were far from a real Slytherin team -- or even a real Gryffindor team, for that matter.
"That's what happens when you have Hufflepuffs on the team," said Draco, checking to make sure Smith didn't hear him. The last thing he wanted was a confrontation, especially right before the game. Quidditch had little to do with Draco's intense dislike of Smith, though. He wasn't sure why he hated Smith so much all of a sudden, but it certainly wasn't because Potter had been with Smith. Potter again. Lately, Draco's thoughts would stray to Potter even more often than they had before the... agreement. Soon, very soon, he would grow tired of it all.
Cornfoot and Smith walked up with their broomsticks. Cornfoot carried the Beater's bat in his other hand, slapping it against his thigh occasionally.
"Useful as dormice in the pantry," growled Millicent, so softly that only Draco could hear her.
"Lead the way," he told her. "Don't worry about the dormice."
Daphne chimed in with, "One can only hope they want to win."
"One can only hope that they'll stop being such arses if we do win." Thomas glanced down at himself. "I feel like an impostor." The seventh-years wore what once were Slytherin team robes. Green and silver on a Gryffindor. Draco shook his head. One would think that a school such as Hogwarts could afford new team robes since the houses were no more, but apparently not.
Then Hooch's impatient whistle hustled them out onto the pitch, and Draco didn't have time to think about Hogwarts and team robes and Potter. He kicked off the second it was permitted and began scanning the sky for a flash of gold. Maybe he wasn't playing against Potter, but Potter was in the stands somewhere, and Draco would show him. Show them all. He would set a new record for catching the Snitch, and then Millicent wouldn't need to worry about Cornfoot or Smith, at least not until the next game.
"Shouldn't fly with your mouth open!" called Ginny Weasley from across the pitch.
Draco scowled at her. He'd forgotten about the competition -- he always did, unless the competition was Potter. The thought startled him, and he was too late in spotting the Bludger flying at him at full speed.
Draco started to duck, but the Bludger connected with the side of his neck, numbing it for a split second. Draco wanted to laugh -- a Bludger to the neck at this speed, and he was fine! Surely that meant they would win. For some reason, he couldn't breathe. It was merely the shock from the impact. He would be fine in just a moment. Just a moment. He tried to draw a breath, but his chest felt like it was collapsing on itself. Just another moment.
Swirling thunderclouds billowed into Draco's mind.
"...still weak, but very lucky..."
"...see him! We aren't..."
"...anything better to do? Off with you, or I'll..."
"...his mother? It will take at least a week..."
The insides of Draco's eyelids felt like coarse sandpaper. His tongue clung to the roof of his mouth. With an effort, he opened his eyes. It was dark here, wherever it was -- his dormitory? Potter's dormitory. The Gryffindors... Draco blinked and immediately winced -- the sandpaper was still there. He was beginning to make out faint shapes in the darkness, and he knew this wasn't the dormitory. A faintly unpleasant, chemical scent filled his nostrils. The hospital wing.
It was quiet -- those voices he'd heard must've been from a dream. No, that couldn't be right. He never remembered his dreams. He must've been drifting in and out of sleep, before. What time was it? Draco turned his head to look for a clock on the bedside cabinet. Tried to turn his head, but it wouldn't move. He made to struggle up on his elbows, but the rest of him wouldn't move, either.
"What's happened to me?" he whispered. Tried to whisper -- his mouth was fused shut, or felt like it. It was as though he were locked inside his mind, with no control over his body except for the eyes. He remembered the Bludger's impact, his lungs on fire, and the thunderclouds... those voices. What had they been saying? Maybe he had dreamt them. Locked inside his mind. He blinked furiously, if only to remind himself that at least he could do that much. All he could do was lie here and blink. He didn't feel the tears leaking down his face, but he knew they were there, because the sandpaper was gone from his eyelids.