"You've really got to stop doing that," Harry says, heading directly for the bedroom.
"He was all over you," Draco growls.
"No. He wasn't. He was handing me a drink and being chatty. That's not the same thing as chatting me up, either. Don't even try that one. I know how that brain of yours works."
Draco throws himself across the bed. "He was looking at you like you were the bloody prime rib."
Harry shakes his head and quickly undoes the buttons on his shirt, nearly snapping a few off. "It's embarrassing. Don't you get that? Do you not think I can handle myself if something were to happen?"
Draco snorts while rolling onto his back, his hands running up and down the planes of his body. "No. I don't. That's why I'm around. To keep the bloody meat eaters away."
Harry laughs. "Don't you mean man eaters?"
"Same difference, I suppose. Now come to bed. I need to claim you, I think."
"I see. Well, Mr. Malfoy, just what do you intend?"
"To bring you so close to the edge of orgasm so many times that when I let you fall, you'll pass out from the sheer relief of it."
"Ones I always keep."
Draco fancies himself a Veela. Harry doesn't mind it so much. It keeps things interesting in what had been a rather normal, hum-drum life, until Draco barreled in and knocked everything askew.
According to Draco, Harry is his mate, and because of this, they're bound together forever. Therefore, Harry must put up with his chocolate and sex cravings and that acid orange scarf he's partial to wearing with his charcoal gray cloak.
Harry can live with that, because he can't go back to hum-drum. Nothing Draco Malfoy does—or ever has done—is remotely hum-drum and Harry likes that. Harry thinks he might even love it.
"What's happened to all of the chocolate? Draco? Draco!"
"Hmm?" Draco asks, stirring from his nap and stretching like a sleek blond lynx.
"What's happened to the chocolate? I need it for my rations kit and I haven't time to get more."
Draco blinks and then shrugs. "No idea. You have to have chocolate, Harry. Can't go into that old crypt without it. You never know what you might find down there while trying to break curses with that Goodfellow chap."
"Yes, I'm aware of that, which is why I'm asking you where the chocolate's gone."
"Why would you think I'd know?"
"Perhaps because there are big rings of it around your lips."
To his credit, Draco doesn't bat an eyelash. "Oh, that. That was from before. When I ate the torte in town. You know how I get around the new moon. Those lunar cycles are a bastard for me. I must have gone into some sort of chocolate torte feeding frenzy. Thank the gods the éclairs were already gone."
Harry purses his lips. "The new moon was a week ago."
"Oh. Interesting. Must have been a random craving of some sort. Just Firecall Goodfellow and tell him he's got to handle this one on his own."
"You know I can't do that." Harry shoots Draco a sly, side-long glance. "But I suppose I can ask him if I can share his chocolate."
"Don't you dare!" Draco seethes, on his feet and clutching at Harry's protective work robes in the blink of an eye.
"Well then, we seem to have a problem," Harry says, keeping his voice and his wand steady.
Draco slumps against him. "I suppose this means I'm the one who has to dash out and get more?"
"That would nice, yes."
"Fine, but you owe me, Potter. I think I'll take my payment in trade. Once you return, of course."
Harry watches Draco leave. "You always do," he says, a smile playing at his lips.
Draco fancies Harry more than he'd like to admit. He can't live without him—he's sure of it. When Harry's not there, Draco feels like he can't breathe. He especially doesn't like it when Harry's gallivanting off with that Goodfellow chap. He's far too handsome and funny to suit Draco's tastes. Draco thanks the gods for his Veela allure, because he can't conceive of a reason why Harry would have let him into his life otherwise. Magic has to be afoot. Veela magic, Draco figures, because nothing else makes sense.
After kissing him into submission all those years ago, Draco told Harry that he was a Veela and that Harry was obviously his mate. Harry just nodded, his gaze fixed on Draco's acid orange scarf. His fingers reached out and tangled in the trim, tugging possessively when Draco said he was moving in. Harry never said a word, just smiled at him with that curious, wide-eyed expression of his—the one that makes Draco feel like he's worth something.
"Just ignore them," Draco says as he and Harry walk hand in hand down the street, the photographer for Witches Weekly trailing them and snapping away.
"I can't. He's been at it for an hour and now that obnoxious reporter's joined up with him. That tosser's been hounding us for weeks, trying to get something on us. Why can't they just leave us alone?"
"Let's have lunch at Chez Minuet. There's no way they'll be allowed in."
Harry wrinkles his nose and purses his lips. "I hate that place. I wish they wouldn't allow us in, frankly."
"Stop acting like a brat. And you love that place, at least you always tell me you do."
Harry glances at Draco, his expression meant to convey that Draco likes Chez Minuet and that Harry likes making Draco happy. At least, Harry hopes Draco understands that's what he means.
Draco turns his head and clears his throat. "Pretend they're not there."
"No, you know what? I'm tired of this," Harry says as he stops and turns around, pulling Draco along with him.
"Leave us alone," Harry calls. "I assure you there's nothing exciting about our weekly shopping, unless you'd like to weigh our courgettes, or something."
"Harry! Harry!" the reporter calls out as Harry and Draco turn around to leave.
"I told you, no quotes."
"Fine," the reporter retorts. "I'm sure I can come up with something all on my own about The Man-Who-Lives and his Death Eater consort."
Harry wriggles free of Draco's grasp and charges over to the reporter, shoving him into the wall behind him. "You want a quote? How about this," he says, punctuating his words with a hard shove. "Draco Malfoy has more humanity and humility and forgiveness in one finger than you will ever know in the entirety of your miserable, sad excuse for a life. He's my partner in every sense of the word and I will gladly stand by his side for as long as he'll have me."
Harry lets go of the terrified reporter and steps back. "You've got your quote and some lovely pictures of us shopping. Leave. Now."
The reporter nods frantically, edging away from Harry as quickly as possible. Harry turns to the photographer, freezing him in place with only the weight of his stare. "If even one picture of that escapes or accidentally makes it to the front page, well I don't think I need to explain to you what will happen, do I?"
The photographer shakes his head and steps backward. Harry watches them until he can't see them anymore.
He turns and gasps at the expression of pride and lust on Draco's face.
"That wasn't really necessary," Draco says, drawing Harry into a fierce kiss—the kind that makes Harry stumble and forget how to string words together.
"Yeah. It was." Harry says after regaining his composure. He threads his fingers through Draco's hair. "It completely and totally was."
They stand that way for a long while, not caring about the goings on around them.
"Come one, we've got shopping to finish and it's your turn to find all of the dirty socks," Harry says eventually.
"Bollocks, Potter. I did it last week."
Harry shrugs. "But I just defended your virtue. Surely you can gather up the socks."
Draco smiles. "You're a bastard, you know that?"
Harry smiles, too. "Yeah. But that's why you keep me around, I think."
Draco listens as Harry chatters on and on about socks and shopping and nosy reporters, but inside he's beaming. Harry said he loved him. Harry said he'd love him forever.
Draco thinks this is the first time he's ever really believed that Harry won't chuck him out of the flat one morning when he finally thinks things through. He thinks he recognizes those wide-eyed smiles for what they really are now. He knows Harry isn't nearly so passive as he pretends to be.
Harry loves him. Draco clutches Harry's hand and pulls him close as they continue on their way.
"For the love of God, now. Please!" Harry begs, his skin slick with sweat and his eyes bright with desire.
Draco lines up his cock with Harry's entrance, barely pushing in.
"Yessss," Harry hisses in sibilant symphony, his eyes squeezing shut while his fingers fist the soft sheets beneath him.
Draco makes furtive, shallow thrusts, deliberately tormenting Harry.
"In me, I need—I need… Draco… come on… in me," Harry pants, his head tossing back and forth.
"Why should I give it to you?" Draco teases, barely restraining himself from shoving his cock up Harry's arse and taking him for a long, hard ride.
"Need… need," Harry gasps, shaking his head from side to side. "Please. I need you. Want you to fuck me."
Draco chuckles and pulls out again.
Harry's hand pulls at Draco's hair, grasping at the spun-gold strands. He stares directly into Draco's eyes as he tugs forward.
"You know you want to do it. Want to bury that huge cock in me. Claim me."
He tilts his head and looks at Draco askance. "The lunar cycle's begun. You feel it, don't you? Come on, and claim me. You need it," he says in challenge, his green eyes defiant.
Draco stares back, panting hard. "You seem to need it more."
Harry rolls his hips and runs his hands along the planes of his torso. "Maybe I do. But if you're not willing to give it to me…."
"Mine," Draco growls as he pounces, sinking into Harry's body.
Making love to Harry is like flying lightning-fast through the tree canopy in the Forbidden Forest—as terrifying as it is exhilarating. Harry's wild and hot and abandons himself totally, giving himself completely to Draco. He lets him take whatever he has and trusts Draco to give it back to him in the end.
Draco didn't understand the significance of this until they had their altercation with the reporters the week prior. Draco now understands just what Harry's giving him, and it feels like he can't breathe from the weight of it, crushing against him, embracing him.
Trust is a perilous thing. It terrifies Draco that Harry gives it to him without question. It exhilarates him that he finally has the capacity to give it back.
Draco bears down and takes flight.
"You can't go. It's too soon. You've only been home two days."
"I have to go, Draco. Fuck, stop it!"
"Excuse me for wanting to have some time with my mate."
"Would you just—can't you—bloody hell, Draco, lay off of the Veela shite, for once. I'm tired and can't find my goddamn socks and just can't deal with—with that at the moment."
"What the fuck are you talking about?"
Harry runs his hand through his hair and swears under his breath. "Nothing. Just stop. I have to go to on this assignment. Please don't make this harder than it needs to be. I'll be back in a week—two at the absolute most."
"You say that every time, and then I don't hear from you and you're gone longer than you say, and when I ask your superior about it, he acts like I'm some sort of fishwife."
Harry says nothing as he reaches under the bed, looking for errant socks.
"Well, aren't you going to defend me?" Draco asks.
Harry sighs. His head drops. He stops looking for his socks. "You do get a little screechy."
Embarrassment blooms across Draco's face and makes him feel shaky and sick inside. "Fuck you, Potter!"
"Just like that, actually."
"Get out. Leave. Go on assignment with Goodfellow. Being with him is obviously more important than me."
"How can you—do you even listen to the ridiculous things that come out of your mouth? Do you?"
Harry's on his feet and crossing the room in the blink of an eye. He reaches out and grasps Draco's shoulders hard, holding onto them as if they're the only things keeping him standing. "Please don't do this. Please. I'm sorry I have to leave, but I don't want the last thing we talk about before I go to be this—this stupid shite. I thought you knew by now how I felt about you."
Draco swallows and looks away.
Draco wriggles free of Harry's grasp. He feels Harry step away from him, hears his exasperated sigh. Still, he says nothing.
"Fine. Whatever. See you," Harry says, shoving things into his pack and tearing out of the room, slamming the front door behind him.
Draco's up all night, going through the flat, madly searching for socks. Harry's forgotten his socks. Draco has to find them so that he can—
Draco stops and drops to sit on the floor.
He has no idea of how to get in touch with Harry. He never does when Harry's on assignment.
There's nowhere to send the goddamn socks.
This is why he hates it when Harry leaves, because in the ensuing silence, his mind fills in the gaps with thoughts of betrayal and aching sadness. Gods, he was such an idiot. He should have said something, done something, before Harry left. What if—what if—
Draco gets to his feet and returns to searching. He wants to make sure Harry has socks when he gets home.
Harry floats in a milky-white mist, unable to move or see or do anything useful. It's as if he's been asleep for years and has just come around.
"Mr. Malfoy, you're not helping," Harry hears.
Harry tries to sit up and ask questions, but the milky-white mist keeps him trapped.
"You can't give him that. There's bitterroot in it—I can smell it from here. He can't tolerate it."
"We're the Healers, Mr. Malfoy. We'll decide Mr. Potter's treatment."
"You can't give him that. You'll just make it worse. You have to use an alternative. Severus Snape will know what to do—he's made potions for Harry before. What are you doing? You can't give him that!"
Harry hears the sound of glass breaking and what sounds like commotion.
"Take your hands off of me," Draco bellows.
Harry knows at once that whoever dared touch Draco has complied. A fierce sense of pride rises up in him. No one–no one–tells Draco Malfoy what to do. Harry likes that almost as much as Draco's orange scarf, and the way Draco looks at him just before he thrusts into Harry for the first time.
Harry hears murmuring and swears that someone's standing over him. He tries to make his eyes open, but they won't cooperate. He feels someone touch him; there's a tingle of magic just after.
"It wouldn't hurt to get an alternative to the bitterroot," Harry hears a different voice murmur. "If Mr. Malfoy's right, the bitterroot could make things worse."
"You're going to believe him? He's been a bloody nightmare since Potter was brought in, swooping about, screeching at everyone, clutching the poor sod like he's his lifeline, or something," the first voice says. "He even claimed to be a Veela, which we've already proved to him is impossible—he's still acting like a right sod about it."
A different sort of pain blossoms in Harry's gut. How dare they tell Draco he's not a Veela. How dare they take that from him. Harry pushes himself into consciousness, determined to shove that Healer into the wall and explain precisely why Draco most certainly is a Veela. He's Harry's Veela. That's all that matters.
"Nevertheless, he's his partner. It's worth looking into."
"Fine. It's not as if Potter's going anywhere."
Harry struggles more, trying to force his way out of wherever he is. Draco needs defending and that's his job. It's the only thing he's good at. But the more he struggles, the faster the mist surrounds him. It's getting thicker and softer somehow. Harry's so tired. He drifts.
Something brings him back. He feels a cold hand squeezing his tightly. Liquid drips on his face and arm.
"You'd better come back, or I'll kill you myself," Draco says, his voice broken and rough. "You can't leave me. I'd die without you. You have to come back, Harry. Please. I can't—I can't do this by myself. I'm sorry. I didn't mean those things I said. I just—please. Don't leave me."
Harry wrests himself from the milky-white mist, the pain of loosing its bindings excruciating. All he wants to do is take Draco in his arms and kiss him and tell him everything's going to be all right. And then he'll punch that stupid Healer, the one that had the audacity to tell Draco such filthy lies.
All he manages is a weak hand squeeze and a muffled groan in the back of his throat.
Arms are around him, and a body is pressing down on him in an instant. "Harry! That's right. You fight. You come back to me, prove them all wrong. Show them all what a stubborn arsehole you can really be. Please. Please come back to me."
Harry fights even harder, not caring about the pain, so long as, in the end, he can get back to Draco.
"What are you doing? Get back into bed right now!"
"Oh for the love of—Draco, I'm just getting a glass of water. The Healer only said that I had to take it easy, not spend all day and night in bed."
"I thought you liked spending all day in bed."
"I do, when you're fucking me, or I'm fucking you, but there's been no fucking in five fucking weeks."
"You almost died, you idiot. It's too soon for sex. Especially Veela sex. I am part animal, you know."
Harry breaks out into a soft smile. It's Draco's first reference to being a Veela since Harry's time in hospital. That Draco calls himself a Veela makes Harry inexplicably happy.
"That's true—I hadn't thought of that," he says.
There is a light in Draco's eyes that takes Harry's breath away.
"Yes. Veela sex is very debilitating. We're such incredible lovers that we divest our mates of all will and stamina."
Harry licks his lips. "I'd forgotten that part, what with having to give up my Veela sex for so long."
Draco sniffs. "And you'll go longer still. No sex until the Healer releases you from bed rest."
"But I'm not on bed rest," Harry whines.
"Because he doesn't know you like I do. Bed rest, Potter. No sex until you're better."
Harry sighs. "Can't you at least get into bed with me, then? I want to touch you," he says pouting.
"Oh, all right. You're quite demanding, did you know?"
"Learned from the best," Harry says with a happy grin as he scoots over to make room for Draco in the nest of pillows and blankets. Harry wiggles his toes, smiling at the feel of the soft cotton socks. For some inexplicable reason, Draco has insisted on giving him a fresh pair of socks every morning.
Draco settles on his back and Harry scoots over, arranging himself so that he is flush against Draco's side, his head on Draco's shoulder. Draco settles his arms around Harry and squeezes before running fingers up and down Harry's spine in a lazy figure eights.
"I still can't believe you turned in your notice," Draco says sometime later before the lassitude of sleep can steal them both.
Harry shrugs, using it as an opportunity to shuffle even closer and throws his leg across Draco's. "Too many close calls. Too much time away from home. Besides, we're both independently wealthy. It's not like we have to work. At least not for now."
"Thank gods I'm finally rubbing off on you," Draco says.
Harry chuckles, soft puffs of breath skating across Draco's torso. "You smell good," he murmurs as he takes a deep sniff.
Draco snorts. "That's the soap powder."
"Smells like you. Smells like home," Harry says, his voice thick with sleep.
Draco kisses the top of Harry's head. "Told you that you needed to rest," he whispers.
Harry says nothing in return, instead burrowing closer and inhaling deeply.
He doesn't care if he isn't really a Veela. All that matters is that he's Harry's Veela and that he smells like home and that Harry curls around him, both to be protective and protected.
Draco feels himself slipping into sleep, the feel of Harry all around him. His head rests against Harry's and he lets himself fall.
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