Surrender the Grey

by Emma Grant

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Chapter 1

:: :: :: :: ::


21 February, 2004: Saturday

The scent of coffee was thick in the air when he awoke. Draco shifted under the duvet, not wanting to be awake just yet. The warmth of the duvet was comforting and the light filtering through the window was soft. This was his favorite part of the morning: the early light, before he had to get up. Today was Saturday, and it was comforting to know he could sleep as long as he wanted.


Draco opened his eyes to see Harry – shirtless, scruffy-looking, and holding a steaming mug – leaning over him. Draco closed his eyes again. Harry couldn't possibly expect him to get up now .

“Hmmm... need an incentive to wake up?” Harry's cold hand wormed its way under the duvet and stroked his thigh.

Draco made a whimpering noise and wriggled away.

“You're in a right mood this morning,” Harry quipped. Draco heard the clink of the mug being set on the bedside table, and then Harry slid under the duvet. He'd taken off his pyjama bottoms as well, and his erection pressed against Draco's thigh. “It's all right. You can go back to sleep if you want. Don't mind me.” That cold hand found his hip, then slid around to grasp his flaccid penis. Draco considered protesting, but Harry's lips were tickling his neck, and his cool fingers were stroking his prick.

“G'morning.” Draco was becoming aroused despite his intentions to remain asleep. Damn Harry's fingers. “Your hand's cold.”

Harry ducked under the duvet. A second later, Draco's cock was engulfed by Harry's mouth.

“Oh, god.” Draco sucked in a breath and opened his eyes. Harry's mouth hadn't gone anywhere near Draco's dick since that night in San Francisco , which seemed like months ago. In fact, Draco had started to wonder if it would ever happen again. “That feels nice,” he whispered, pushing the duvet away so Harry could breathe.

“Good,” Harry said, coming off for a moment before swallowing his cock again. It was a sloppy blow job, but the fact that it was Harry doing it more than made up for it.

“Oh... that thing with your tongue... do that some more.” Harry began moving slowly then, taking his time, sucking Draco's cock at a leisurely pace. His tongue swirled around the head as his hand gripped the base, and Draco clasped his hands behind his head and sighed. “That's fantastic.”

Harry's movements remained slow and steady for a long time. Draco could have stayed there for hours, with his cock being gently sucked, his balls grazed by inexpert fingers, saliva dripping down his shaft. Harry's movements finally began to grow stilted – his jaw was probably starting to hurt. Draco smiled. They'd have to work on Harry's stamina.

“Do you want to make me come?” he asked.

“Yeah,” Harry grunted. He even sounded tired.

“Put your fingers…”

Harry shifted between his legs, and Draco felt a wet finger probing his entrance. It pushed into him, and Draco winced: he had to get Harry to trim his nails more closely. But for now, as long as he was careful...

“Hook your finger up and rub–” Harry found the spot, and Draco sucked in a breath. “Oh... like that... suck harder... god...” Harry's finger kept pressing against his prostate and he sucked harder, and Draco's eyes rolled back in his head.

His words became unintelligible as his orgasm shuddered through him. Harry stilled when Draco came, and then stiffened. Draco had assumed it was fine to come in his mouth, but perhaps they should have talked about that first. Too late now.

“God, Harry,” he said, ignoring the fact that Harry was awkwardly mouthing his dick, apparently trying to decide what to do with his mouthful. Draco kept his eyes closed until it seemed Harry had managed to swallow. “That was amazing.”

“Good,” Harry replied, settling beside him. Draco opened his eyes. Harry's lips were wet and swollen, and his face was flushed. His stiff cock brushed against Draco's thigh.

Draco smiled. “Shall I return the favor?”

Inexplicably, Harry blushed. “You don't have to do. It's all right.”

“Are you kidding?” Draco laughed and then realized Harry wasn't kidding. He cupped the back of Harry's head and pulled him down into a kiss. “I want to make you come,” he whispered against his lips. “Tell me what you want.”

Harry moaned into his mouth and pressed a knee between Draco's thighs, pushing them apart. He reached out to the bedside table for his wand.

Harry had been surprised to learn there were so many spells for anal sex: lubrication spells, anti-viral spells, stretching spells, cleansing spells. The night before, Draco had pressed the tip of his wand into Harry's arse and whispered a spell that had made Harry's eyes widen almost comically.

Harry repeated it now, with the tip of his wand barely touching Draco's hole. “No, you have to stick it in,” Draco whispered, spreading his legs a little wider. “Otherwise, it only–” Harry pressed the wand a good two inches in, and Draco sucked in a breath. “Careful!”

“Sorry,” Harry whispered. “How far?”

“That's fine. Actually, that's kind of kinky.”

Harry chuckled, then whispered, “ Elutus .” Draco couldn't help but close his eyes at the sensation of magic filling him. He'd come to regard this spell as foreplay – the condoms and lube of the Muggle world just weren't the same.

Harry pressed the wand in a little further, then slowly withdrew it. After a pause, he pushed it in again. “Tell me if you want me to stop,” he said.

Draco grinned. “You like fucking me with your wand, do you?”

“Yeah,” Harry replied. His eyes were fixed between Draco's legs.


“I dunno. I like the idea of fucking you, I guess.”

“I like the idea of fucking you too,” Draco said, raising an eyebrow. Harry turned an endearing shade of pink and looked away.

“I know.”

“It doesn't have to hurt, you know.”

“You keep telling me that.” The wand was removed from his arse. Harry pointed it at his own cock. “ Madefio .” He looked back at Draco then, eyes wide and dark. “Is this okay?”

Draco let the subject drop, smiling instead. “How do you want me?”

Harry returned the smile, to Draco's relief. “How about on your hands and knees?”

“Or how about this?” Draco replied, rolling onto his stomach. “It's a lot tighter this way.”

He felt Harry straddle him, and the wet tip of his cock pressed between Draco's cheeks. Draco forced himself to relax. Harry pushed forward, breaching his body in a smooth movement. Harry was big enough that it hurt for a moment, but it felt good, too – stretched tight, filled, with pressure in interesting places.

“God, this is tight,” Harry panted. “You're so warm, so much warmer than–” He broke off then and started to move.

Draco was glad he didn't complete the sentence. He focused instead on the feeling of Harry moving in and out of his body, on the smooth glide of cock inside him, on the sound of Harry's breathing above him.

“Are you all right?” Harry asked.

“Mmmmm, yeah,” Draco sighed. “You feel great.” He wouldn't come again, and he hoped Harry didn't expect it.

Luckily, Harry seemed to be close enough to coming that it wasn't a concern. Draco concentrated on tightening his arse in time with Harry's rhythm. Harry finally gasped, then collapsed onto Draco's back, stilling.

Draco wanted to stay like this for a while: Harry's dick filling him, his weight pressing him into the mattress, the sunlight playing on the sheets. Harry wriggled a bit and pulled out, then pushed off the bed and stood. Draco sighed. His arse felt uncomfortably loose and wet now, and he was alone on top of that. If he'd learned anything this week, it was that Harry wasn't a post-coital cuddler.

He kept his eyes closed, hoping Harry would come back if he stayed still. He heard the bathroom door open, and then the water running. He wondered if he should take it personally that the first thing Harry seemed to want to do was wash away all traces of sex. Now he was cold, too: the duvet had been pushed to the floor. He sat up to look for it, scratching his stomach.

“Good, you're up,” Harry said from the doorway of the bathroom. “You can shower first, if you like.”

Draco felt his lips forming a pout. “I'm not getting up.”

“It's half nine.”


“So we're supposed to be at Hermione's at ten.”

Draco closed his eyes and flopped back onto the mattress. Brunch. He'd forgotten. “Do we have to go?”

There was a pause. “She's expecting us.”

“She's expecting you . I wasn't invited.”

“Of course you're invited,” Harry replied.

“The fact that I was standing there when she invited you does not imply she invited me as well.”

“She said you two ,” Harry retorted. His voice had an edge to it. Draco opened his eyes to see Harry leaning against the door frame, arms crossed over his bare chest. “Why would she invite me and not you, in front of you, no less?”

“Because she hates me,” Draco mumbled. He was losing this argument, and he would resort to childishness if necessary.

Harry sighed. “She doesn't hate you. She just... hasn't had a chance to get to know you.”

“I should go home,” Draco said. “Manny's probably worried.”

“I think Manny can figure out where you are,” Harry replied. “He knew we were going out last night. You told him at lunch, and you said not to wait up.” A smile was teasing Harry's lips.

Draco glared at the ceiling. He wasn't going to win this one. Maybe he could turn the situation to his advantage, somehow. “What will you give me if I go?”

Harry made a snorting sound. “My undying gratitude.”

Draco rolled onto his side and smiled at Harry in a way he hoped was endearing. “I don't want to go have brunch with Granger and her Weasley offspring, but I'll do it... for a price.” He grinned suggestively.

Harry smirked. Draco was growing fond of the expression. “It's always about sex with you.”

Draco affected an innocent smile. “Did I say anything about sex?”

Harry rolled his eyes, but it was for show. He was trying not to smile. “I was planning to fuck you again tonight anyway. What more do you want?”

“Oh, I'm sure I can think of something.”

Harry sighed. “All right, fine. Just get into the shower, will you?”

:: :: :: :: ::

They stepped out of the fireplace at Granger's house at ten past ten . Draco dusted himself off, trying not to scowl. He'd just scourgified his clothes, as he was wearing them for the second day, and thanks to Granger's ignorance of chimney sweeping spells, he now needed to do it again.

Harry seemed unaffected by the thin layer of ash covering him. “Hermione?”

Draco looked around then, realizing the house appeared to be empty. He turned to Harry, hopeful. “Maybe she forgot. We can still go to that lovely little café on–”

A thumping sound from above caused them both to look up at the ceiling. A minute later, Granger – Weasley , as Harry kept reminding him, always followed by, just call her Hermione, okay? – descended the stairs, a worn robe wrapped around her and an expression approaching horror on her face.

“Hiya,” she said, biting her lip. “I overslept, sorry. I'll put coffee on.”

“Are you all right?” Harry asked.

“Yes, yes,” she replied, not looking at them as she crossed to the kitchen. “I was going to set the alarm, but I forgot, and–” She dropped the glass coffee carafe to the floor, where it shattered. “Shit!”

“It's all right, Hermione,” Harry said, stepping forward and touching her arm. “Are you sure you're okay?”

“Yes. I just... sorry. Where's my wand?”

“It's all right,” Harry repeated, and pulled his wand from his jacket. He pointed it at the pile of shattered glass on the floor. “ Reparo . Where are the children?”

Hermione retrieved the repaired carafe from the floor and took a deep breath. “Molly has them for the weekend.” She spooned ground coffee into the Muggle coffee machine's basket and filled the carafe with water. “She does that every now and then, to give me some time to myself.”

An awkward silence stretched between them as Hermione finished setting up the coffee machine and switched it on. She turned then, and seemed to notice Draco for the first time. “Good morning,” she said, expressionless.

Draco forced himself to smile. “So far. We don't want to be any trouble. We could just go–”

“Nonsense,” she snapped, and a determined expression settled on her face. “Breakfast will just be a bit late, that's all.” She gestured to the sofa. “Please, make yourselves comfortable. I'm just going to go get dressed.” With that, she disapparated.

“Looks like we caught her at a bad time,” Draco mused. “And you were worried about being late.”

Harry frowned. “She usually has everything ready before I get here. Something must be wrong.”

Draco sat on the sofa. “You heard her: no kids this weekend. She probably doesn't get to sleep in very often.”

Harry sat next to him, leaning into his shoulder. “I suppose. But I told you she was expecting you this morning.” He nudged Draco with his elbow.

“Or she hid the shock well.”

“She's even making coffee for you. I didn't even know she had a machine. Isn't it sweet?”

Draco scowled. “This doesn't change our agreement, you know.”

“We'll see. You still have to behave yourself.”

“That was not part of the deal.”

“Really?” Harry's smile was brilliant, and Draco felt a little twinge in his stomach. Harry stared at him, almost invitingly, and Draco leaned forward to kiss him.

“Ooops! Don't mind me.” Hermione had reappeared, wearing jeans and a worn FCUK t-shirt, bushy hair pulled back at the nape of her neck.

Harry pulled away from Draco. “Can we help?”

“No, no,” Hermione replied. “I'll just get everything started and we can have some coffee.” She pointed her wand in the direction of the refrigerator, and then several cupboards, muttering spells. Objects began flying around the kitchen above her head at dangerous speeds: eggs broke themselves into a pan and started frying; two bread slices sailed into the toaster while a line of slices formed in the air above, patiently waiting their turn; a can of baked beans opened itself and dumped its contents into a waiting pot; dishes and cutlery settled themselves neatly on the table. Hermione waved her wand at the coffee maker and the carafe obediently poured coffee into three mugs that had appeared beside it. She carried the mugs to the sofa, a jug of cream and the sugar bowl trailing behind her. She handed each of them a mug of coffee.

“There we are,” she announced, and settled into a chair.

“Wow,” Draco said. He'd never seen someone coordinate so many cooking spells in his life. “That was impressive.”

Hermione seemed not to know what to make of his compliment. “You should see me change nappies. Did you two have fun last night?”

Harry blushed and suddenly became very interested in adding cream and sugar to his coffee.

“Yes,” Draco replied, turning to face Hermione. “We had a fabulous dinner. Best curry I've had in ages.”

Hermione smiled. “Harry knows all the good Indian restaurants.” She glanced at Harry, but looked away when she realized he hadn't quite recovered from his embarrassment.

Draco fished around for a new topic of conversation, but his mind was oddly blank.

“Adjusted to the time change?” Hermione asked, raising her cup to her lips.

“Getting there,” Draco replied. He'd been surprised to see Hermione at Heathrow on Sunday evening. Of course, he'd been frightened out of his wits. He hadn't known if he'd be stunned on sight, even though Manny had sworn he wouldn't let that happen. Hermione had taken his appearance in stride though, and had even accompanied him to the hotel that night.

Harry cleared his throat, breaking the silence. “So, Hermione... what did you do last night?”

“Good morning,” they heard, and turned to see Manny descending the stairs.

Draco grinned into his coffee. “That answers that question.”

Manny shot him a bemused look as he crossed to stand beside a red-faced Hermione. “What question?”

“Coffee?” Hermione asked, standing and bumping Manny in the process.

“Sure, thanks,” Manny replied, and settled next to Draco on the sofa.

Manny was also wearing the same clothes he'd had on at the office yesterday, and looked quite rumpled. Draco resisted the urge to tease him, and only grinned. Manny grinned back, raising his eyebrows. It was an expression Draco knew meant What a night!

“That good, eh?” Draco asked.

Harry elbowed him, but Draco ignored it.

Hermione reappeared after a moment, looking a bit more composed. She handed Manny a mug and settled into her chair again.

“One of us should probably stop by the flat sometime today to water the plants,” Draco quipped.

Manny smiled. “Oh, I doubt they'll wilt after only a day.”

“I dunno. Some of them are rather temperamental.”

Manny laughed in response, but Draco was painfully aware that he and Manny were the only ones who seemed to find humor in the situation. Harry was staring awkwardly into his coffee again, and Hermione was studying her nails.

Draco sighed, as dramatically as he could manage. “All right, I'll say it, since no one else wants to.” Everyone looked at him, and he nodded his head toward Harry. “ He fucked me last night, and again this morning, actually.” He turned to Harry, who was gaping. “And Manny fucked her last night, and likely did other things to her that we won't discuss. They were probably going at it when we got here.” Hermione made a small noise and flushed even more. Draco turned to Manny, who was biting his lip in an effort not to laugh. “ We used to fuck each other regularly. And whatever the truth is, everyone thought Harry and Hermione were doing it back in school.” Draco cut off Harry's protest with a gesture. “The point is, we've all had sex with each other, and we all know it. It's a bit late to feel uncomfortable about it now.”

Harry shrugged, staring into his coffee again. Hermione giggled, casting a furtive glance at Manny.

Draco couldn't help himself. “So were you going at it when we got here?”

Harry's elbow dug deeper into his side, but he ignored it. Hermione ducked her head, grinning. It was all the answer he was going to get.

:: :: :: :: ::

“And I think we ought to include more employees in the smothering spell resistance training,” Hermione said, hands folded over her empty plate. “The spell affected everyone, so I don't see why the lower-level staff are being excluded.”

“We can only handle a certain number at a time, though,” Manny countered. “The plan is to train the top-level staff, and then let them train their own folks.”

Hermione shook her head. “But I'm not convinced that will happen. Half of them don't even believe it's true.”

Draco felt his jaw clench. They didn't believe him , of course. It was personal, and he knew it. It would always be that way, as long as he stayed here.

“That's a bit harsh,” Harry said. Draco looked up to see Harry's eyes dart away from Draco's face. “Bass believes it, and the staff are loyal to him.”

“But Fallin doesn't believe it,” Hermione replied, eyes narrowing. “And Bass won't stand up to the Minister for Magic.” Harry's eyebrows shot up at that, and Hermione sighed. “Don't get me wrong. I think Arnold Bass is a great man, a wonderful Director. But he lets Fallin meddle too much.”

“And Bass will let Fallin take the fall for this when we're proved right,” Harry said. “This is big, Hermione. It proves that Death Eaters have been manipulating the Ministry, right under Fallin's nose. Of course he's opposed to that news making the papers.”

Draco snorted, and everyone looked at him. “You think this will make the papers, even when we're proved right? I find it hard to believe the British Wizarding press has changed quite that much in five years.”

Harry sighed and pushed away from the table. “It hasn't.” He suddenly looked tired.

“Are you making any progress in resisting the smothering spell yourself?” Manny asked.

Harry shrugged. “Yes, but it helped that I'd been away from it for a while. I don't know how difficult it would be if I hadn't been aware of the difference.”

“It's not easy to block it,” Draco said, keeping his voice gentle. “It's not as difficult as resisting imperius , but it's similar.”

“But it's something I constantly have to be aware of,” Harry sighed. “Resisting it is exhausting, and it interferes with my ability to focus.”

“So does the smothering spell. And Manny and I have to work to resist it too.”

“It's not the same. You don't spend that much time at the Ministry.”

Draco swallowed down a pulse of irritation. He'd been genuinely surprised at Harry's moodiness over the past week. He hadn't seemed so moody in San Francisco . He'd been sweet, confident, strong, and even charmingly possessive. Draco liked that in a boyfriend. He was the needy, moody one in the relationship. There wasn't room for another.

He really, really needed a cigarette.

Hermione pushed away from the table and cast a few spells, and the dishes made their way into the kitchen, jostling for space in the Muggle dishwasher. Draco had developed an appreciation for those machines while living in the States, but he'd not seen one in a British wizard's household before.

Harry stared across the room for a long moment, then excused himself from the table, disappearing into the loo.

“How's he really doing?” Hermione asked when Harry was out of earshot.

Draco shrugged. He wasn't comfortable discussing Harry with anyone. Manny took the cue, fortunately, and distracted her by reaching out to tuck a stray lock of hair behind her ear. She turned to him, and he kissed her. Draco felt a stab of something he hadn't felt around Manny in a long time. Manny whispered a few words Draco couldn't quite hear, and Hermione giggled. Draco gritted his teeth and closed his eyes.

He wasn't jealous. Of course, he'd been completely, absolutely, madly in love with Manny Padilla once. He would probably always carry a torch for the man, to be honest. He tried not to remember how hurt he'd been when Manny had said it just wasn't going to work, and no, he didn't love Draco back. The memory of the moment Draco had said those three words flooded his mind now, against his will.

Hands pressed lightly on his shoulders from behind, and he felt Harry's lips brush his cheek. Draco opened his eyes to see everyone watching him. Manny tilted his head and gave him a quizzical smile. Draco forced himself to smile back, and reached for Harry's hand.

Harry was someone Draco knew he could love. And he thought – hoped, believed – Harry could even love him too, despite the past. He'd gambled everything on it, in fact.

Harry gave his hand a squeeze. “Thanks for breakfast, Hermione.”

Draco suppressed the urge to roll his eyes at the unspoken signal. Harry had many ‘husband' behaviors, and he'd started using them with Draco in the last week. It was charming in some ways, and annoying in others.

“It was nice and quiet, for a change,” Hermione said, grinning. “I almost dread the little shits coming home.”

“No more sex on the dining table, eh?” Draco quipped. Manny's eyes widened a fraction before he blushed and looked away.

“Yeah, well,” Harry mumbled, releasing Draco's hand.

Ooops . He hadn't meant to refer to that night a few weeks ago when he'd managed to talk Manny into giving it one more go. Still, it was nice to know he could unsettle Manny and make Harry jealous. He grinned.

Hermione stood, oblivious to the tension, and ruffled Manny's hair. “I was thinking of something a bit more comfortable, certainly.”

They made their way to the fireplace, where Hermione surprised Draco by kissing him on both cheeks. She ignored the expression on his face and moved on to Harry.

“Draco, you know how to perform a proper depilo , don't you?” she asked, squinting at Harry's face.

“Of course,” he replied.

“Good,” she said, and kissed Harry lightly on the lips. “Someone needs to take care of him.”

Harry managed to look offended in response, but said nothing.

“Will you be home tonight?” Manny asked.

Draco shrugged. “Harry's made a reservation for dinner, and I don't know what we'll do after that.”

Manny raised his eyebrows and grinned. Hermione nudged him with her elbow and rolled her eyes.

:: :: :: :: ::

Draco stared at his reflection in the mirror for a long time before making up his mind.

Dissimulo.” His image shimmered, morphed, and darkened, and then he was staring at himself through completely different eyes. He grinned. Harry was going to love this.

“I'm ready,” he called as he walked out of the bathroom. He rounded the corner and laughed at the expression on Harry's face.

“Wow,” Harry said, obviously struggling not to gape.


“Yeah.” Harry's lips quirked in a smile.

Draco had cast a glamour charm on himself every time they'd gone out in public, and he'd chosen a different look each night. Tonight he was a very hot black man, with short dreadlocks sprouting all over his head. He gave Harry a seductive smile and stepped forward. “Go ahead.”

Harry bit his lip and reached out to touch Draco's face, then kissed him. It was a nice kiss, the kind that never failed to turn Draco on. He'd often wondered how Harry learned to kiss like that.

“This is always so bizarre,” Harry whispered against his lips. “It feels like you, but it doesn't look like you.” Harry's hands went into Draco's hair, and he looked up. What Harry saw were rough braids, but what he felt was Draco's fine hair. He shook his head, and Draco laughed.

“Don't tell me you're not enjoying the variety.”

Harry shrugged and tugged him toward the door. “Let's go.”

They stepped out onto Sutherland Avenue and headed towards the tube station. Draco took the opportunity to smoke a cigarette as they walked, ignoring Harry's pointed stare. He knew Harry wanted him to quit. He'd like to quit, but his life was a bit too stressful at the moment. So far, Harry hadn't pushed the issue.

It was pleasant to stroll down Warwick Avenue on a chilly Saturday evening. The sun had set hours ago and the street was quiet. A few people were walking in the same direction they were, dressed warmly against the damp winter weather. Draco took a long drag on his cigarette, half-closing his eyes against the reassuring buzz of nicotine. How he'd managed to get himself addicted to these Muggle deathsticks was beyond him. Maybe his father was right about the suicidal tendencies.

They took the Bakerloo line to Oxford Circus and changed for Tottenham Court Road. Draco had spent a lot of time on Muggle transport while working undercover in New York , but he couldn't remember the last time he'd ridden the Underground. It was all familiar to him, but it was as if he'd dreamed about it – the long escalators, the crowds, the entertaining adverts along the platform. It made him distinctly uneasy.

It had begun to drizzle when they emerged again. Oxford Street was crowded despite the weather, and they had to wind their way through several particularly busy areas. Harry turned them off the street and down towards Soho Square .

“I haven't been here in ages,” Draco remarked, looking around. “There used to be some fantastic pubs along Greek Street .”

“Still are,” Harry replied, steering Draco towards the top of Greek Street . “And here's where we're eating.”

Draco glanced up at the entrance to a restaurant called ‘The Gay Hussar'. He raised an eyebrow at Harry. “Appropriate.”

“Hermione's assistant Peggy pulled a few strings to get a reservation on short notice.”

Draco snorted. “I think I need a personal assistant too.”

The restaurant was cozy and intimate, and every table was packed. They were seated near a narrow staircase in the back and handed menus.

Draco looked up at shelves filled with books to the ceiling. “How'd you find this restaurant?”

“Ron's brother, Charlie – he loved this place.” Harry smiled and looked around the small dining room. “Said it was the closest he could get to his Romanian host mum's cooking.”

“Drink?” the waiter asked. He was a large, well-dressed man with an accent to match the restaurant's eastern European theme.

“Want to choose a bottle of wine?” Harry asked, not looking up from his menu.

Draco smiled. Harry had chosen the wine on their first official ‘date' earlier that week, and the result – a bottle of Amarone paired with seafood – was a disaster. Draco had really taken the piss out of it – moaning in mock ecstasy with every sip – and Harry'd made him choose every night since. Draco pointed to a second-growth Bordeaux on the wine list, and the waiter nodded and walked away.

“Cherry soup?” Draco mused, scanning the menu.

“It's good,” Harry replied. “Bit like yohgurt.”

Five minutes later, they had placed their orders and were sipping wine. Draco had quietly cast a privacy spell around their table. It didn't prevent Muggles from hearing their voices; rather, it made their conversation sound incredibly dull.

“So how long do you think Manny's been banging Granger?” Draco asked over the rim of his wine glass. Harry made a choking sound and gaped at him. “Sorry, Hermione .”

Harry's mouth opened and closed again before a sound emerged. “It's none of our business, is it?”

“I'd say since Monday,” Draco continued. “He's been annoyingly cheerful all week.”

“Maybe he's just happy,” Harry countered. “Maybe he really likes her.”

It was on the tip of Draco's tongue to ask what that implied about Harry's moodiness all week, but he resisted. “I dunno. Getting laid regularly would make him happy too.”

Harry smiled at that, seemingly against his will, and changed the subject.

The waiter set a plate of fish dumplings between them, giving them an odd look as he did. Draco glanced around the room and caught the curious stares of more than a few people.

“I'm not sure the privacy spell is working,” he whispered, picking up his fork. “People are staring.”

Harry looked around for a moment. “Did you know you're the only black man in here?”

Draco scooped a fish dumpling onto his plate. “We're also the only obviously gay people in here, you know.”

Harry didn't reply, and Draco looked up to see he was staring at his fish dumpling, a strange look on his face. “We're not obvious. Are we?”

Draco gave him a long look and ate his dumpling.

“I've been thinking about the smothering spell,” Harry said at last. He traced the rim of his wine glass with a fingertip. “Maybe it would help if I understood more about how the spell worked.”

Draco pursed his lips. “Harry...”

“I know,” Harry said, still not looking up. “And I know you understand more about it than you've let me believe.”

Draco sighed. He didn't understand the spell in any helpful way, truth be told. He'd managed so far to reveal as little as possible about what he did know, and he intended to keep it that way. It was for Harry's own good, he kept telling himself. Well, mostly it was for Draco's good, which would amount to the same thing, in the end – at least, that had been his reasoning. “I only know what I've told you already,” he said, focusing on his wine glass. “You're doing fine, Harry. Better than I expected.”

“For someone with a large lapse in his memory?” Harry's tone was stilted. “You don't know what it's like.”

“How do you know I don't?” Draco retorted – and regretted it almost instantly. He hadn't meant to say that, or even to think it. He poked at his food with a fork, and hoped Harry would let it drop.

He did, to Draco's relief. “So how long did you live in New York ?”

“A few years,” Draco replied. “Long enough to get to know the place pretty well.”

“So you were there during 9/11?”

Draco looked up at Harry. “Yes. I lived in the East Village , so it was really close. It was horrible because we kept finding–” He stopped himself, staring at his plate. He'd almost said something that wasn't an appropriate topic for dinner conversation. “Well... It was the strangest thing, because I had a bit of déjà vu about it all.”

Harry nodded. “So did everyone here. It happened not long after the Death Eater Attack on Diagon Alley.”

Draco frowned. “What?”

“You didn't hear about it?” Harry asked, incredulous. He took a gulp of wine and shook his head. “Over fifty people died, and a third of the shops in the district were destroyed.”

“I didn't know,” Draco said, feeling an odd twist in his gut. “Were you there?”

Harry opened his mouth and closed it again. “No,” he said at last. “I was told later that I helped with the cleanup and even pulled some people from the rubble, but I don't remember it. I'd always thought I must have just blocked it out, but… do you think it's connected to everything else?”

“I don't know,” Draco replied. He didn't feel like he knew much of anything these days.

Harry stared at him for a long moment before changing the subject yet again, and Draco tried not to look relieved.

They stepped out onto the street a little more than an hour later, stomachs pleasantly full, and both of them significantly more relaxed. Draco resisted the urge to light a cigarette – he didn't want to upset the delicate balance they'd managed to reach while talking about Quidditch.

Instead, he focused on what to do next. “We could pop into one of the clubs down towards Leicester Square . Or we could head back to mine, considering we're just a few streets away.” Harry's attention was riveted on a pair of drag queens walking past, and Draco had to repeat the suggestion.

“I don't know if I feel like going out. What about Manny?”

Draco shrugged. “He's probably still hanging out at Hermione's house, taking advantage of the lack of children to do naughty things to her.” Harry didn't rise to the bait, to Draco's mild disappointment. “If he's there, we can just floo to your place. He wouldn't mind, anyway.”

Harry smiled. “And yours is closer, after all.”

Draco took Harry's hand, twining their fingers together, and for once Harry didn't pull away. They began to head down Greek Street towards Shaftesbury Avenue . The pavement all around them was packed with young people in various stages of intoxication. A pair of giggling girls walked by, bumping Draco as they did. He swallowed his annoyance.

“Harry? Is that you?” One of the clumsy pair had turned back and was staring at Harry. Her companion turned too, and a grin spread across her face.

“Harry Potter! My goodness!”

Harry dropped Draco's hand. “Susan, Hannah,” he said, paling a bit. “Haven't seen you in ages.”

Draco blinked at the women standing before him. One was round-faced with curly blonde hair sticking out from under a brightly-colored stocking cap. The other was brunette, wearing a skirt much too short for the cold weather. They were both beaming at Harry.

“You look great!” the blonde – Susan? – said, stepping closer. Draco'd never paid much attention to the girls at Hogwarts, particularly the ones who weren't in his house. All those Hufflepuff girls looked alike, anyway: chubby cheeks and vacant expressions.

“What are you doing tonight?” Hannah asked, glancing curiously at Draco.

They wouldn't recognize him – they only saw the glamour charm. He suppressed a grin. This could be fun.

Harry cast another nervous glance in Draco's direction. “Ummm... not much. Just... out. You know.”

The girls stared at Harry blankly, and Draco resisted the urge to make a sarcastic comment. Instead, he smiled and affected his best imitation of Manny's Texan accent: “I'm Derek Malone, since he's being too much of a twat to introduce me.” Both girls turned to him. He held out one hand, and each girl shook it in turn. There was a moment of delicious awkwardness, during which Draco just kept smiling.

“You... you're American?” Hannah asked.

Hah. “Yes,” Draco replied, ignoring Harry's elbow in his side. “Over here on vacation and met Harry a few nights back. He's showing me the scene – you know, clubs, bars, the spots where all the boys go.” He raised an eyebrow suggestively, and Susan's eyes widened. “We were just– ow!”

Harry's elbow had connected with his ribs hard enough to leave a bruise. “We just finished dinner,” he said, sounding as if his jaw was clenched. He didn't look at Draco.

“Oh, well... we were just going out,” Hannah said, still glancing back and forth between Harry and Draco. “You should come along."

“Yeah, it would be fantastic to chat a bit,” Susan added. “I haven't seen you in ages, and Cho said–” Susan's words were cut off by a jab from Hannah's elbow, and she blushed. “I mean...”

“Unless you have plans,” Hannah finished, shooting her a dirty look

Draco smirked. “Do we have plans, Harry?”

Harry's expression was cold. “I don't know. Do we?”

Draco winced. He'd only been teasing. So much for keeping the peace.

“Another time, maybe?” Susan said, breaking the tense moment. “Owl me sometime.” She smiled, tilting her head. Blonde curls fell around her shoulders, and right on cue, a breeze ruffled them.

“That'd... right. Sure,” Harry stammered. “Nice seeing you.” He looked as uncomfortable as Draco had ever seen him. Hannah and Susan turned and walked away, looking back once and whispering to each other.

“I don't think they recognized me,” Draco said. He hoped he hadn't overdone it. It was a bad idea to draw any attention to himself, but he'd just wanted a bit of fun.

Draco waited for Harry to say something, but he didn't. He simply began to walk.

“Oh, for–” Draco had to jog to catch up. “Harry! What the fuck is wrong with you?” Harry snorted and kept looking straight ahead. Draco was tempted to stop walking and let himself be left behind.

He trailed behind Harry as they walked in silence to the flat Draco shared with Manny on Dean Street . The area was lively this time of night, streets full of people on their way to and from pubs and restaurants, all smiling and having a great time. All except Harry and Draco.

At the door to the building, Harry stepped aside to let Draco open it, and then followed him up the stairs, still silent while Draco unlocked the flat's door. The flat was quiet and dark; there was no sign Manny was home. Draco flicked on the lights and headed to the kitchen for a drink. He had a feeling he was going to need it.

He caught a glimpse of his reflection in the kitchen window and started – he was still disguised, of course. He whispered the words to break the spell and watched his own face reappear, apprehensive.

He hated his face. It was too narrow and his skin was too pale, and he looked delicate, much more than he really was. People had told him he was attractive all his life, but he wasn't sure he believed it.

When Draco returned with a couple of beers, Harry was sitting on the couch, staring at his hands. “I'm sorry,” he said.

Harry always apologized first. Draco liked that about him. He handed Harry a bottle and waited for him to explain what he was apologizing for. In the last week, he'd learned it best to keep quiet in these situations. Harry would confess to all sorts of interesting things.

“I just...” Harry sighed and ran a hand through his hair. “I'm still getting used to this.” He set the untouched beer on the sofa table in front of him.

“Getting used to what?” Draco replied.

“I know, I'm an arse, I'm sorry.” Harry covered his face with his hands. “I thought I would be fine with people seeing me with men, but... I guess it's going to be a bit harder than I thought.”

So that was it. Harry had dropped his hand the moment the girls had seen them, and Draco hadn't thought anything of it at the time. He felt his jaw clench. “You... you are an arse. God, Harry!” He looked away, afraid to say anything more for fear of what might emerge from his mouth.

His stomach dropped as the realization hit him. He'd known this would happen. Harry wasn't even gay, after all. Hell, he'd been staring at Susan Bones, so maybe he thought she was cute and that was why he'd dropped Draco's hand and glared at him when Draco was talking about going out clubbing and boys and–

“Fuck!” Draco stalked towards his bedroom, then slammed the door behind him. This was not happening. He had not come all this way and risked so much for Harry, only to have him decide he wasn't interested in men after all. He sat on his bed, dazed.

It was too much to process. The nicotine craving that came over him was nearly as overwhelming as the emotion that was pooling in his gut. And to think he hadn't smoked for hours, just for Harry.

There was a gentle knock on the door. He ignored it and fell back on the bed, pulling a pillow over his head. If he let Harry walk through that door, Draco would certainly say something he shouldn't. It wouldn't do to be the vulnerable one here. Harry had too much power over him as it was, and Draco wasn't ready to trust him with that knowledge

Harry would give up eventually. Draco could wait.

He'd have to go out to smoke, though. Why had he let Manny talk him into letting this flat, where he couldn't even smoke inside?

Another knock. He considered telling Harry to fuck off.

The door opened, and a moment later the bed dipped. Draco felt Harry take his hand.

“Leave me alone,” Draco mumbled through the pillow.

His hand was raised, and then kissed. Nibbled, to be more precise. A tongue wormed its way between his fingers, and then one finger was sucked into a warm mouth. Draco struggled not to groan, focusing instead on his anger.

“I'm sorry,” Harry said, releasing Draco's finger. “Let me make it up to you?”

Draco felt his shirt being pushed up. Harry's breath played across the bare skin of his belly for a moment before he began planting soft kisses there. Draco stayed still and kept the pillow over his face. He resisted the urge to twine his fingers in Harry's hair.

Harry pressed his face against Draco's stomach and stilled, sighing. “I care about you. You know that, don't you?”

Draco smirked under the pillow. “You don't have to keep reminding me, you know. I'm not a girl.”

Harry's hand cradled Draco's groin and gave his cock a squeeze. “I know you're not a girl.” The hand started stroking.

Draco sighed and stretched his hands out over his head. Harry's fingers fumbled with the fastenings of his trousers, and then a hand slipped inside. Harry's fingers were always a little cold, but Draco liked the contrast.

His cock was hard after a few moments of gentle stroking. Harry pulled it out of Draco's trousers and planted a kiss on the tip before sucking the head into his mouth.

Two blow jobs in one day. Draco couldn't help but feel smug at this turn of events. Harry's tongued swirled as he sucked, and Draco sighed at the sensation. He petted Harry's head and pushed the pillow away from his face. “You should piss me off more often.”

Harry came up for air and laughed. “I'm good at that, at least.” He climbed up the bed and stretched out on top of Draco, smiling down at him. “Forgive me?”

Draco frowned. A shag wasn't going to erase his anger or his doubts. But Harry's cock was hard and pressed against his, and Harry's mouth was so close. He wasn't going to turn Harry down, at any rate.

Draco lunged up to kiss Harry and found himself pushed to the mattress again. Harry began fumbling with his jeans, pushing them down as best he could without breaking the kiss. Draco wriggled out of his own trousers, then rolled onto his side and flung a leg over Harry. Harry took the hint and rolled onto his back. Draco straddled his hips, reaching between them to press their cocks together.*

It didn't take long for both of them to come, dicks pressed together in Draco's hand, sliding against each other and kissing with mouths open wide enough to vent their frustration.

They didn't speak afterwards. Draco spelled their combined semen away with a whisper, then stretched out alongside Harry, closing his eyes. Harry made a small effort to cuddle, but Draco wasn't in the mood anyway. Harry's breathing soon became shallow, and Draco counted the breaths until he fell asleep.


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