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It was actually two days before Draco heard from Potter -- two angst-ridden, soul-searching days that he spent sitting at his desk and pretending to work, but really trying to ignore the erections that plagued him constantly.

This time it had started with a scent he'd caught in the corridor passing a colleague, a whiff of something that he later realized was the scent of Potter's aftershave potion. It had made him hard so fast he'd dashed back to his office and shut the door in a panic.

Even now his prick was aching between his thighs, and no amount of trying to focus his attention elsewhere helped. His mind kept drifting back to that dark little room at Paparazzo, to the sight of Potter on his knees.

I'm not gay, he told himself over and over, as if making a mantra of it would make it true. But it was rather like telling someone not to think of a kneazle. All he could think about was the fact that he might indeed, despite his proper upbringing and a life of learned homophobia and vast (well, perhaps not vast, but respectable, certainly) array of sexual experiences with women, be gay.

"Fuck it," he said at last. He closed his office door with a flick of his wand, then leaned back in his chair and opened his fly. His cock nearly sprang into his hand, and he stroked hard and fast, trying to get it finished as soon as possible. He gave up trying not to think about Potter and just let go, letting his mind go where it wanted, to thoughts of Potter on his knees for entirely another reason, with Draco fucking him the way he'd always wanted to fuck Pansy, but never had done, despite his pleading and offers of jewelry.

And just as he was about to come, there was a knock on his office door. "Bugger, shit, and fuck," he spat, and was just about to reach for his wand when the door opened. He squeezed his prick and gaped -- it was Potter's head poking through his office door.

"Can I come in?" Potter asked. His eyes narrowed a bit as he took in the sight of Draco, red-faced and huddled over his desk. "Are you all right?"

"I'm fine, just…could you…?" Draco waved his free hand.

Potter had the decency to be embarrassed, and took an immediate step backwards. "I'll just… pop into the toilet for a moment. Be right back." And with that, he closed the door.

Draco exhaled and leaned forward, banging his forehead on his desk. His prick was wilting already from sheer embarrassment, and a few spells later he was back in proper form. Potter knocked from the outside before opening the door again.

"Sorry I didn't owl you," he said, a bit pink-cheeked himself. "I think my post is being monitored by Ravener's people, and I didn't want to take any chances."

Draco decided it was best to completely ignore the fact that Potter had walked in on him having a go at himself. "Are you sure you weren't followed here?"

"As sure as I can be. I took seven apparition skips all over town, then popped right outside your office door. Sorry if I interrupted--"

"Let's just move on to the business at hand, shall we?" Draco gestured to the chair in front of his desk. His cheeks were warm again, to his horror.

Potter sat, pulling a folded piece of parchment from his pocket. "It took some negotiation, but Ravener has agreed to meet with me tonight at midnight to discuss the terms of our new business arrangement. I have the legal documentation that shows the property is all mine, but Ravener will want a share of the general profits and the freedom to use the place as a base for his potions trade. He probably won't consider Max's debt paid off, either."

"How did Max get himself in so deep in the first place?"

"It started before we became business partners. I did what I could to dig him out a few times, but I couldn't keep him from going back to Ravener in the end. There was just so much money to be made in potions, and he couldn't resist."

"And you could?"

Potter looked tired, as if he hadn't been sleeping well. "Money was never that important to me. It was more about having that pub, a place of my own. I live in a flat above it, you know."

Draco nodded -- he understood what it was like to want something of his own, after losing his family estate to war reparations and being forced to work for a living. His ancestors were probably looking down on him in horror this very moment. For a variety of reasons.

Potter tossed the parchment onto Draco's desk. "Anyway, this is a map I've drawn of the meeting place. I have a few favors I can call in to get us some support, if needed. How many Aurors do you think you can get?"

"For Ravener? As many as we'll need." He unfolded the parchment and studied Potter's hand-drawn map. "We don't have much time, but I think we'll be able to make this work. Can I ask you something?"


"Why wait until now to do something like this? I mean, you're Harry Potter, hero and all. Why spend all these years dealing with thugs and criminals and just taking it from them?"

Potter took a deep breath and released it slowly, then looked up at Draco. "I wish I could answer that."


"Are you ready?"

Draco looked up and tried not to seem surprised. Potter was dressed differently than he had even seen him before, in dark, stylish robes that reminded Draco intensely of the way his father dressed when he was a child. He looked like a real wizard, the way wizards hardly ever dressed any more after the war and the Ministry's efforts to integrate better into the Muggle world.

"You look the part," he said at last.

"That's the idea," Potter replied, straightening the collar of the shirt he was wearing.

"Here," Draco said, and stepped forward to do it for him. "You've got it all wrong. It goes more like…" He trailed off and worked to adjust the fabric, folding it carefully into position, trying to ignore the fact that Potter's mouth was just inches away from his.

"Thanks," Potter said, smiling at him.

Draco paused for a moment, unable to tear himself away. He cleared his throat and struggled to think of something to say, but his mind had gone blank.

"So everything's set, then?" Potter stepped back, giving Draco space to breathe.

Draco stepped away. "Yes. Everyone's in position. We just have to wait until you give us the signal to move in. Are you sure you want to do this alone?"

"I work best alone." Potter turned to examine his reflection in the mirror.

"Of course." Draco sat on the edge of Potter's bed, then thought better of it and stood again.

Potter frowned at him. "You're a nervous wreck tonight. You're making me nervous."


"Are you sure there's nothing wrong? Is there something else you're concerned about?"

"No. I mean… no. Definitely not."

"Malfoy, we don't have time for this."

Draco gritted his teeth. Potter was right; they didn't have time for this, for Draco to act like a lovesick schoolboy with his hormones out of control. "I'm sorry. I should probably go."

"You can't. It's not time yet."

"I know. I'm just going a little crazy after being in here all afternoon." All alone with Potter, with nothing to do but watch him get dressed. Merlin.

Potter sighed and sat on the bed. "Can we just stop this, please?"

"Stop what?"

"We've been avoiding it all day, but it's clear that you're uncomfortable being around me after what happened at Paparazzo. You act like you're afraid even to touch me, afraid that I'm going to do something. I get it. You're not gay. I'm completely capable of controlling myself, so really, you have nothing to fear."

Draco made a sound between a laugh and a whimper, which came out sounding a bit strangled. "Oh… god. Right. So the thing is, maybe I am gay."

Potter said nothing in response; he just stared at Draco.

Despite the part of his brain telling him to shut up, that this was neither the time nor the place, Draco's mouth decided to forge bravely ahead. "Because I've been thinking about you for days now, and I can't stop. I mean really, it's been hell being here with you all day, because I really think I want you, but I have no idea why, or what that means."

"You want me?" Potter asked, still expressionless.

"Maybe. Oh, all right -- yes." He met Potter's gaze again. "I have a shitty existence and a dead-end job that I hate with a fiery passion, and I can barely pay my rent, and I'm tired of being alone, and to top it all off, I'm probably fucking queer." Saying it out loud actually made him feel worse.

"Draco, look at me." Potter was standing in front of him now, his expression guarded. "I don't have a solution for any of that, but I do know that you can't go through life pretending to be someone you aren't. If you hate your job, find another one. Hell, you could even work for me for a while, if you want."

Draco stared at him, wondering how a washed-up hero who'd been running a bar for the last couple of years could seem so content and sure of his place in the world, of what he wanted from life. Draco would be thirty soon, and he had no idea what he wanted. Was he supposed to know?

Other people had told him what to do for most of his life. Father had it all mapped out for him, but then the world had changed, and there was no map. He'd been fumbling in the dark for years, with no idea where he was going.

He sighed. "I don't even know what I think I should be."

"Happy," Potter replied. "You should be happy. And let everything else come second."

"Happy. Right." And before he could lose his nerve, he kissed Potter. It was a long, wet kiss, full of more emotion than Draco had let himself feel in years. He pulled Potter against him, sighing at the feeling of all that exquisite elf-woven fabric, and tangled his fingers in it.

"You have some sort of robe fetish, don't you?" Potter said against his lips, sounding amused.

"God, yes," Draco replied, and kissed Potter so soundly neither of them could do much more than groan.

They collapsed backwards onto the bed, and Draco surprised himself by not feeling a bit shy about grinding his erection against Potter's. Gay, then. Definitely gay.

There was a shrill sound, and they both looked up to see an owl standing on the headboard, staring down at them quizzically. It held out its leg. Potter climbed out from under Draco long enough to take the note tied there, unfolding it carefully.

"It's time," he said, looking up at Draco.

"Perfect." Draco rolled off of him and readjusted his swollen prick in his trousers. "Great timing. I finally work up the nerve to kiss you, and off we go."

Potter bent down to kiss him before pushing himself off the bed. "If we're successful tonight, we'll have all the time in the world."

Draco sat up and watched him straighten his robes, feeling a shiver of anticipation.


Draco took eight apparition skips to get to his prearranged hiding place. He signaled to the Aurors already stationed there that it was almost time and settled in to wait, trying to stay focused on the task at hand.

He ran through the plan and the alternate plans several times, just as he and Potter had spent much of the afternoon doing. Potter hadn't yet appeared in his line of sight, probably still hanging back and making sure Ravener's men weren't trying to ambush him. Draco had been reluctant to let Potter go alone, but they didn't have much choice. This had to be done on Ravener's terms.

The moment a group of figures appeared on the street below, Draco signaled the others. Eight sets of omniculars were focused, and Draco heard a low whistle through the bug in his ear. "That's Ravener all right. He's lost some hair since the last time I saw him."

Draco smiled. "He's going to lose a lot more before the night's over. They're… Hang on." The figures moved in a direction he didn't anticipate, not into the restaurant they'd cased and set up, but continued down the street.

"They're mobile, heading north," Draco heard in his ear.

"Copy that. We go to plan 4." Plan 4 meant Draco and two Aurors would follow on foot while the rest of tried to keep visual on the targets. It was the version of the operation he'd most hoped to avoid carrying out. "I'm on my way."

He made his way to the street below, moving quietly and avoiding using magic in case Ravener's men had cast sensing spells in the area. One of the Aurors with visual fed them the current location, and he walked casually, dodging through pedestrians in the busy street and trying not to worry. He saw the other Aurors out of the corner of his eye, both walking casually along the pavement.

He caught sight of Potter surrounded by Ravener's men, just as they disappeared into a pub they hadn't checked out. Draco tried not to panic, but it was the worst thing that could have happened. He had no idea what the interior of this place looked like, nor what he might find inside.

"I'm going in," he said, gritting his teeth. He couldn't even cast a glamour on himself; the range was too close. He'd just have to do his best to stay out of sight.

It was a Muggle pub, which was something Draco hadn't expected. Their intelligence had suggested Ravener despised Muggles, but the place was full of them, smoking cigarettes and hoisting pints of beer. Surely a group of men in wizard's robes would be easy to find in this place.

They weren't there, though, and when questioned, the patrons didn't seem to have seen anything unusual. Draco pulled his wand out then, casting quick spells to look for magical barriers, but found nothing. Potter had vanished into thin air.


"You can't do this," Draco snarled, barely resisting the urge to point his wand at Weasley. "He's out there somewhere, and we've no idea if he's being tortured, or worse. You can't just continue to sit by and do nothing!"

Percy Weasley leaned back in his chair and sighed. "For the last time, Malfoy -- my hands are tied. Taryweather himself said to drop the case. My job is on the line here."

"You're willing to sacrifice Harry Potter to save your own skin, then?" Draco shook his head in disgust. "Did Taryweather take your bollocks as well as your office when he came back?"

"I can't help you find your boyfriend," Weasley snarled. "Take it up with Taryweather himself if you like, but I've done all I can. I'm very busy, so if you don't mind--" He gestured sharply to the door.

Draco glared at him a moment longer before storming out. It had been more than a week since Harry Potter's disappearance at the hands of the criminal potions lord Hawthorn Ravener, and it seemed that Draco was the only one who cared. There had been no word from Potter himself, and no evidence of him anywhere. For all Draco knew, he was dead. That thought made him feel like throwing up.

But he couldn't be dead -- there would have been a body, placed somewhere very public -- that was Ravener's style. And that could only mean that Potter was being held prisoner somewhere, and that he was doing everything he could to escape. He needed help, Draco's help.

Draco had spent the last week calling in every favor he had, talking to everyone in the department who owed him in some way, however small it was or unimportant they were. And every time, the same thing had happened: they'd agreed to help him almost immediately, and then later backed down, saying there was nothing they could do, that their hands were tied, that even for Harry Potter they couldn't take the risk of helping Draco. In less than a week, Draco had spent all of the social capital he'd built in the years he'd worked for the Ministry, and had nothing to show for it.

It just convinced him all the more that he was in the wrong fucking job. What had happened to these people to make them such Ministry cogs? Why were they so afraid of resisting the authority of Taryweather and his lackeys?

Some were convinced that it had all been a set-up, that Potter had been playing Draco all along. Draco ignored that theory for the most part, because really, what did Potter have to gain by creating such an elaborate disappearance? But it niggled at the back of his mind anyway. Potter knew what the alternate plans were, but he didn't do anything to prevent himself from being abducted. Maybe it had been a scam all along, to find out how the potions department worked so they could avoid getting caught in the future.

He didn't believe it. This was Harry Potter, after all; it just wasn't possible.

He walked by The Cockatiel every day, but its doors remained locked, its 'closed' sign firmly planted in the window. He missed the place far more than he would have expected, but he missed Potter even more. He regretted wasting so much time, spending so much of the last few weeks in denial of how he felt about Potter, of who he really was.

Now that he'd finally admitted to himself that he was gay, so much of his life became clear. He'd always pushed away feelings for other boys, crushes on certain (potions) professors, particular predilections that Father had scorned, his uneasiness at sex with women, and his lifelong obsession with Harry Potter -- all of it made sense now. It was as if he had finally admitted to himself something he'd always known to be true. How had he lived almost thirty years without being able to be honest with himself?

He had no one to share these revelations with, no one to talk to. Mother would be devastated, and he had few friends -- certainly none who would understand. He felt more alone than ever before.

Two weeks to the day after Potter's disappearance, he pressed his nose against the door of The Cocktiel, and was surprised to see someone inside. He rapped his knuckles against the door, and after a few moments it opened. One of the bartenders -- Jared, if Draco recalled correctly -- smiled at him through the doorway.

"Draco, good to see you. It's still closed. Just came by to pick up some of me things. I was hoping I might be able to get paid for that last week. You haven't seen Harry, have you?"

"No," Draco replied, crestfallen, but still happy to see someone familiar. "I was hoping you'd heard from him."

"Came to work a couple of weeks ago to find the place all locked up. No one else knows what's going on either." He paused, and then opened the door wider. "The cooling spells are still in place on all the kegs of ale. Fancy a pint?"

"Absolutely," Draco replied.

They spent an hour sitting at the bar, talking and drinking. Jared was quite young and their paths had never crossed at Hogwarts, but he was also a Hufflepuff and had known Max well. Jared and a few of the other employees had been passing by the pub rather frequently, and none had seen a sign of any suspicious types lurking around.

If Ravener was going to take over the pub, surely he'd have done it by now. The thought gave Draco hope that Harry was still out there somewhere, was still working against Ravener.

After half a dozen rounds, Draco was able to charm from Jared the security spells for the doors of the pub, and when Jared headed out for the night Draco promised to close up after him. He did, but instead of leaving the pub decided to try to apparate into Potter's flat. He was mildly surprised when it worked -- Potter must have recast the wards to allow him access -- and disappointed to find it empty, as he'd harbored a fantasy of finding Potter holed up there, in hiding.

Everything was left just as it had been that night. Even the bed-clothes were still rumpled where they'd… No. Draco wouldn't let himself think about that, just in case Potter didn't come back.

He slept there that night, unable to bring himself to leave.

The next morning he went to work to find that he'd been sacked. There was an owl waiting for him, perched on his desk clutching a note written by Taryweather himself. Draco supposed he should have seen it coming. Oddly, it was a relief to know he wouldn't have to come back to this place again. He briefly considered storming into Taryweather's office to give him a piece of his mind, but decided against it. Making a scene wouldn't help Potter. He packed up his things, stopped by personnel to pick up his severance galleons, and then left without saying goodbye to anyone.

But without a job he wouldn't be able to pay his rent for long, and the thought of trying to find another position at the moment was utterly unappealing. What he really wanted to do was to continue looking for Potter. Of course, without his Ministry connections, he'd lost most of his resources.

He decided to move into Potter's flat for a while, and when no one came by to bother him or try to take over the pub, he decided to stay. On Saturday afternoon, he wandered down to the pub and sat at the empty bar, which was already collecting dust from disuse. He went behind it and located a glass to pull himself a pint -- the taps were working, their cooling spells still firmly in place. He flicked his wand at the lamps to turn them on, and stared around the empty room, pint in hand, and sighed.

There was a tap at the window, and he looked up to see a group of men standing there, peering at him curiously. He walked over to the door and opened it.

"Are you open?" one of the men asked.

"Well," Draco began, and then stopped. This perfectly good pub was just sitting here collecting dust. If -- when -- Potter did come back, wouldn't it be better if he had something to come back to? Draco nodded and smiled. "Yeah. We're open. Come on in."

The men grinned and filed past him, and headed to the bar.

"Is it under new management, then?" one asked.

"It is," Draco replied. His path was suddenly very clear. Why hadn't he thought of it before? He flipped the 'closed' sign to 'open' and turned back to face them. "But there's no illegal goings-on anymore. No more potions in the back. If you want that sort of thing, you should go to Paparazzo."

The men laughed, and one said, "That's fine with us, you know. We liked it better before all of that mess started anyway."

"Good," Draco said, and smiled genuinely for what felt like the first time in weeks. "Now what can I get you to drink?"


The following week, he committed himself to becoming a full-time pub manager. He struggled a bit at first, but when a few of the old staff members showed up in hopes of getting their positions back, things began to run more smoothly. When staff and patrons asked about Potter, Draco said he was on holiday in Australia and would be back soon. He told the story enough that he started to hear it told around town; he even read it in the Prophet, along with a few tales about the scandalous things Potter was apparently up to down under.

Business was good, and for that he was grateful. He had to forcibly eject a few shady characters hawking potions out of the back room in the first week, but they didn't come back. He converted that dismal space into a cozy conversation area, with squashy sofas and low tables charmed always to be under your drink when you set it down, and customers began showing up early to claim a corner for the night.

He found he had no skills as a bartender, but was good at managing people. He made enough money to reopen the kitchen, and made a deal with the house-elves' union to staff it. A trio of young wizards trying to make a living as a band approached him for a gig, and he hired them to set up in a corner and play Friday and Saturday nights.

As the place changed, so did the clientele. Though late nights were still dominated by young men looking to hook up, the evenings belonged to young witches and wizards relaxing after work. He took the obscurus spell down and converted the loft above the bar into an office so that he could do paperwork and keep an eye on things at the same time.

Three months after its reopening, the Daily Prophet named The Cockatiel as one of London's top magical nightspots, and after that, Draco's nights were a blur of activity. He spent his afternoons in the loft going over the books and writing out orders, and his evenings making sure everyone was having a good time. Young men chatted him up every now and then, but he always turned them down. He wasn't sure what he wanted, but he knew it wasn't the sort of casual sex they were offering.

He tried hard not to think about Potter. It didn't work.

By late October, the evenings were growing long and the clientele were coming in earlier, which made Draco's life even busier than it had been in the summer. Halloween was approaching and the staff were making plans for a big party. The pub was pulling in enough money that he was considering giving them all a substantial pay rise, though he hadn't mentioned it yet.

He closed for the night, locked everything up, and headed up to the flat. And nearly screamed.

It was Potter, sitting on the sofa dressed in jeans and a t-shirt, as if he hadn't been missing for nearly four months. Draco could only stare at him in disbelief.

"Love what you've done with the place," Potter said, smiling. "Sorry I glamoured myself tonight, but I'd heard you'd completely re-done it all, and I wanted to see for myself. I especially like the new selection of goblin ales you've brought in."

"Where the fuck have you been?" Draco managed to spit out.

"Missed you too." Potter grinned, then stood and walked towards Draco.

"No," Draco said, holding out his hands when Potter leaned in for a kiss. "First you explain where you've been and why you completely abandoned me without a word, for months."

Potter stepped back. "Right. Fair enough. Coffee?"

Draco wanted to punch him. "It's two in the fucking morning!"

"Scotch then." Potter disappeared into the flat's tiny kitchen, and Draco suppressed his growing irritation that Potter was acting as if he owned the place -- since he actually did. Potter reappeared with two glasses and a bottle and placed them on the table before settling himself onto the sofa.

Draco took one, but was unable to sit. "So talk."

"Where should I start?"

Draco pursed his lips. He had so many questions that he didn't know where to begin.

Potter sighed. "First of all, you should know that you quit your job at the Ministry at exactly the wrong time. After that first month, I had earned Ravener's trust enough that I had a chance to send a message out, only to find that you no longer worked there. So the whole undercover operation had to be done without your input, and I couldn't contact you to tell you anything about it."

Draco gestured wildly with the glass, nearly losing his scotch in the process. "First of all, I didn't quit -- I was sacked because I wouldn't stop pressuring them to go after you. But more importantly: what undercover operation?"

"Well, the thing is… I didn't quit the Auror department two years ago. It was made to look that way so that I could get this place going and set a trap for Ravener. I've been trying to get him arrested for four years now."

Draco felt his knees start to wobble and thought it best to sit down on the other end of the sofa. "You were working for us, all this time?"

Harry nodded. "As was Max. He was brilliant, an amazing Unspeakable."

"Max?" Draco's mind was racing. "But what about the potions?"

"We never quite saw eye-to-eye on that, to be honest. I knew he used, and I couldn't stop him. He thought we had to beat the dealers at the game, and it took a lot of negotiation with Misuse of Potions to let us do what we did here."

"Taryweather knew?"

Harry nodded. "He started investigating us two years ago, and we finally had to bring him in on it. He realized that getting Ravener was more important than selling a few hundred vials of Glitteratus in the long run, and so he closed the case and covered for us. Unfortunately, Percy decided to reopen the case, and… well, you know what happened next."

Pieces of the puzzle were starting to fit together in Draco's mind now, so quickly that it made him dizzy. "Yes. I nearly fucking ruined everything."

"Actually, you didn't. Ravener had got wind that something was up that night of the sting operation, but he didn't suspect I was involved. He apparated me away and I had to play along that I was grateful for his protection. The easiest thing for me to do after that was pretend I wanted to stay in hiding. So I became part of his organization. I got further inside than I ever could have hoped to do."

Draco felt a stab of regret. "I thought you were… I don't know what I thought." He should have had more faith in Potter, should have guessed what he was up to. He could have helped him if he'd hadn't given up so quickly. What was wrong with him?

Potter smiled. "When I heard you'd reopened the pub, I was relieved, honestly. Ravener wanted to move back in, but I convinced him it was too public now, too much of a target after what had happened to Max. I got him to focus his attention elsewhere, and that provided the break I needed to get into the very center of his organization."

"Did it not occur to you to send me an owl in the midst of all of this? To let me know you were at least alive?" Draco was vaguely aware of the amount of anger in his voice, but didn't try to stop it.

Potter recoiled a bit. "I tried once, but the owl returned from your office with an unopened message, and I couldn't risk it again. And then it got really busy, and I was in way too deep. That's a shit excuse, I know. I'm sorry."

Draco stared into his almost-empty glass. "So what happened next? You were apparently successful at working your way into Ravener's operation, but how did you get out again?"

"I had an opportunity four days ago to nick a large number of documents and apparate away with them. I've been in a dark room in the Ministry ever since, working with Ron to get it all sorted out. With the information I provided, the Ministry was able to get Ravener and his top associates on a stack of minor charges."

Draco swallowed down his jealousy that Ron Weasley knew what had been going on before he did. "What, like tax evasion?"

"Something like that. It all went down this morning. It'll be on the front page of the Prophet tomorrow."

They stared at each other for a moment, neither of them knowing what to say.

"I've missed you," Potter said at last. "I was counting down the days until all of this would be over and I could see you again."

"I've missed you too. I just…" He shook his head, uncertain how much of what he felt was anger and how much was relief.

Potter nodded and studied his hands. "I see. Well, I'll stay out of your way, if you like. Legally, the pub and the flat are mine, but we can work something out." He stood.

"No, that's not it, wait." Draco caught his hand and tugged him back down, so close Potter was almost in his lap. "Look, I've done nothing but think about you since the night you disappeared. And even though there've been lots of opportunities, I haven't been with anyone else. I--" He stopped, not sure how to express what he was feeling. He'd built Potter up in his mind over these months, and he was sure he was in love -- but was it with Potter himself, or with the idea of him, the memory of something that hadn't quite happened between them?

Potter smiled. "You've been running the most popular gay pub in London, and you haven't taken advantage of it?"

Draco rolled his eyes. "No. I'm a bit of a prude at heart, apparently."

"So am I. Well, with the exception of that one night." Potter winked and then leaned forward a little, as if waiting to see if Draco would push him away again. Draco felt a stab of panic, but leaned in the rest of the way before he could change his mind. It was tentative at first, as if neither of them was sure, but after a minute Draco shifted, pulling Potter on top of him, and the kiss grew more frantic. It was as if they hadn't been apart at all -- Draco felt all of his anxiety melt away in the slide of Potter's lips against his, and after another minute he had stopped thinking altogether.

They broke apart after a few more minutes, both of them panting. Draco grinned up at Potter, his heart feeling lighter than it had in a long time. "For the record, I'm not so much a prude that I'd make you sleep on the sofa tonight."

"Good," Potter said as he sat up and tugged his t-shirt over his head. "Considering that it's my bed anyway, that's quite considerate of you."

Draco didn't have to ask Potter to go slowly; he just seemed to know it was what Draco needed. They peeled off their clothing bit by bit, taking time to explore newly exposed stretches of skin, and by the time they were both naked, any uncertainty Draco had felt was gone.

Potter stretched out over him and took both their cocks in hand, and just stared down at Draco as he stroked. Draco was lost in sensation, lost in Potter's intense expression of concentration and in the feeling of their bodies pressed together.

When Potter seemed to be getting close, Draco reached between them to take his prick in hand, stroking hard and watching his face. Potter shifted off of him to allow better access, and Draco propped himself up on an elbow and smiled down at him.

"What?" Potter asked, stretching his arms above his head.

"I spent of lot of time imagining what I would do if I had a chance to see you again, and to be honest, giving you a handjob wasn't really at the top of the list."

Potter laughed. "We're lucky it's not just going to be the one time then, aren't we?"

Draco grinned, relieved. He wasn't sure how good he would be at giving blow jobs or anything else, but he knew how to wank. It had been his primary form of sex for most of his life, and he was pretty good at it.

Watching Potter's face when he came was a wonder. He was so amazingly expressive, not to mention loud, and the idea that it had been Draco's hand that had caused it was more thrilling than nearly any sexual experience he'd ever had.

He kissed Potter afterward, and then laughed when Potter rolled them both off the sofa and onto the floor, cushioning their fall with a quick wandless spell.

"So what would you like?" Potter asked, planting a line of kisses down Draco's jaw.

Draco closed his eyes and smiled. "What are my choices?"

"Anything. And I do mean anything. I don't usually bottom, but I could be convinced."

"Not tonight." Draco put a hand on the top of his head and pressed down. "There's plenty of time for that."

Potter slid down Draco's body, surprising him by pressing his thighs apart and starting on his balls. Draco had barely caught his breath from the sensation of that hot tongue flicking against his sensitive skin before Potter pushed his thighs up and moved lower.

"Oh god," Draco said, his eyes flying open. Potter's tongue was circling his arsehole slowly, and Draco had no idea if he liked it or not. Then Potter's tongue probed into the center, going just a tiny bit inside him, and Draco decided he did like it. A lot.

His cock was aching by the time Potter moved back up to pay it proper attention, and when Potter slid a wet finger inside him to stroke as he sucked, it proved to be enough to send Draco over the edge.

He was shivering by the time Potter made his way back up to kiss him and stretch out beside him on the floor. Potter produced a blanket from somewhere and covered them both, and he snuggled his head against Draco's shoulder like a cat.

"We should probably get in the bed," Draco said, stifling a yawn. "The floor is dirty."

"Don't you know any decent cleaning spells?"

"Of course not. We had servants for that when I was a child." Potter snickered into his neck, and Draco grinned. "Besides, now that you're back, you can take care of it."

"Let's talk about it in the morning," Potter mumbled.

They had a great deal to discuss -- the pub, living arrangements, their relationship -- and it probably wasn't going to be easy. But they would make it work. Draco was sure of it.

"All right. In the morning." Draco wrapped his arms around Potter, and then listened to his breathing grow shallow as he fell asleep.

For the first time in his life, he felt like he was right where he was supposed to be. He smiled.


Chapter End Notes:

[info]serpentinelion Secrets & Wishes Fest request #46:

I want something fun. A gay bar, with Harry behind the bar. He's wearing a t-shirt that says "I can't even see straight!" done in rainbow letters. A little mystery maybe. Something light, and yet not short on plot. Straight!Draco being convinced otherwise. Post-War. Adults. Auror!Draco investigating the not-quite-legal goings on at Harry's club. A murder mystery? Harry being guilty until proven innocent. Harry seducing Draco. Hot, frantic sex. Doesn't have to involve actual penetration, but blow jobs and illicit handjobs are hot. I love almost public sex, possessive! H/D, claiming, light bondage, breathplay, rimming, being caught in the act by the other while wanking, shower sex...

I didn't include everything in the request, but I did the best I could! I'm also a bit worried that the plot took over more than she was expecting, but I hope she likes it. :-)