Summary: Harry’s not quite sure how he ended up in love with Draco Malfoy.
Fandom: Harry Potter
Warnings: slash, AUish
Original Story: No Surprises by justholdstill
Harry is only here because Malfoy Manor is the last place in the world where anyone would think to look for him. He thinks at first that it is the last place in the world he wants to be, but that’s before weeks of warm summer days spent roaming the estate: lawns primly manicured by house elves, gardens cluttered with the riotous growth typical of a true English garden, two private lakes, all sorts of arcane enchantments that come of a place long inhabited by wizards. The albino peacocks Harry could do without; their ear-splitting calls echo over the grounds early in the morning, and even Narcissa acquires a deeper sneer than usual if they disturb breakfast on the terrace.
Evenings, though, the peacocks are quiet. Everything on the grounds is quiet and still, and the silence makes the sounds that escape Draco seem dangerously loud. Harry knows there is no one around to hear, but it makes him nervous, stirs tension in his belly that gallops around with all the other feelings and sensations that are really too strange to process. Strange to be kneeling in the dirt beside the little fountain in the south garden, wedged between Draco’s legs where he sits on the fountain’s lip. This is new to Harry. Strange taste, strange smell, warm and earthy and salty. His jaw aches, and Harry catalogues that little discomfort with the crick in his neck and the uncomfortable tightness of his own pants, still firmly buttoned. He thinks about reaching down to touch himself, but his hands are gripping the cool stone of the fountain’s edge, and he doesn’t want to lose his balance, especially not now when Draco’s noises are getting louder, his breath coming faster. His hand ghosts over the back of Harry’s head as if seeking to grab hold but not quite daring it.
Draco makes a pained little sound, and then Harry feels warmth at the back of his throat. He pulls away, spits onto the dirt. Draco’s hand is squeezing Harry’s shoulder as his breath begins to slow. He doesn’t make eye contact, and after a moment Harry gets up, brushing off Draco’s hand, and leaves the garden.
He’s half-way to the house before Draco overtakes him and pulls him back behind the yew bushes to return the favor.
Harry had thought he’d be lonely here, but he’s not, or at least not as lonely as he felt at Privet Drive, or now and again at school, even if there is only one person on the whole estate who talks to him. Draco still calls him “Potter,” although there’s no one to overhear them. Harry tries to convince himself that means Draco still hates him, but he’s pretty sure that’s not the case. If he doesn’t exactly like Harry either, at least he tolerates him enough for the two of them to keep doing what they’re doing, whatever that is.
But every time Harry meets him in the south garden—a place so familiar with their trysts that the very memory of it sends a sly twist through Harry’s stomach—Draco’s eyes light up for a moment before he shutters them again behind a mask of amused indifference. And after that, when Harry’s on his back in the dewy grass, his shirt rucked up about his armpits, his trousers pushed down around his thighs, the warm weight of Draco leaning over him, Harry starts to feel like he shouldn’t be enjoying himself so much, not with this particular boy. Then Draco’s cheeks hollow, Harry’s hand tangles desperately in white-blond hair, and Harry realizes there’s nothing for it but to give himself up.
It’s impossible to play Quiddich with just two, but Draco and Harry try anyway, every day of the summer. They try infinite variations involving one ball and three hoops, two balls and two hoops, and one dismal failure with six balls and no hoop at all. It is during this last that Draco runs afoul of a tree and falls to earth. Harry carries the unconscious Draco—who is much heavier than he looks—back to the house, where Narcissa promptly takes charge, bidding the house elves to keep Harry away.
Later, after the moon has risen, Harry tiptoes out of the guest wing and across the house to the room at the end of a long, empty hall where the deep, plush carpet muffles his footfalls. A house elf had told him weeks ago where Draco’s room was, and although he’s never been there, he was always aware of it, like a crouching Hungarian Horntail at the edge of his perception. Tonight he pauses outside the door, ear pressed to the keyhole to make sure Narcissa has gone to bed. All he hears is the rhythmic whisk of a hand brushing against sheets. The sound stops as soon as Harry pushes open the door.
“It’s me,” Harry whispers.
“I know,” Draco snaps, as if it had been an exceptionally dense thing to say. Apparently, Draco isn’t put out enough to prevent Harry from crawling under the sheets and finishing what he’d started.
Draco’s room has thick, rich comforters on the bed, deep Persian rugs, and hanging wall tapestries that swallow up sound. Certainly no one had heard the noise they made earlier. Harry trusts to that when he whispers into the pillow something he wouldn’t dare say anywhere else, not even in their garden. As soon as he’s said it, he rushes back to the guest wing, where he lays awake listening to the vast silence of the manor. In the morning, if Narcissa seems overly concerned about Draco’s behavior, Harry chalks it up to yesterday’s accident and nothing more.
It’s exactly like falling: like the sickening sink of nothing but air beneath him, like falling off his broom, or tumbling down a pit: a pit filled with giant, venomous snakes. It’s frightening how easy it is to let go and fall. Even though Harry never makes a decision to let it happen, it is happening, it’s been happening all summer. He never asked for it, but he lets it happen. As the days wear on, Harry begins to wonder if he’ll hit the bottom soon.
One morning it’s too cool to stay in the garden, and, as if that’s some sort of signal, Draco takes Harry up to his room where they’ve been together only that once, and he locks the door behind him. Falling is not only easy, it’s good, too, when Draco’s fingers are slick inside him, when he swallows the desperate sounds Harry makes. Harry can chart the course of their activities: a straight line like a plummeting stone as he let Draco in and in and in.
It would be so easy for Draco to fuck him now; Harry wouldn’t say no. He could picture himself pushing back on Draco’s cock, against the body that has become so familiar to him over the past weeks. He could imagine the feel their skin slapping together, hear Draco’s grunts hot against his neck. He isn’t ready, no, but the picture springs to mind so fast that Harry feels he’s in free-fall, a heavy core of desire dragging him down. He’d let that happen, if Draco asked.
Draco doesn’t ask. Instead he moves his fingers, his teeth grazing Harry’s cheek, his neck.
“Draco,” Harry says, although he’s not sure what he means by that.
“I know,” Draco says. “Shut it.”
Harry’s not sure if he intends to say anything else, but his mouth is open when Draco’s fingers curve, and a gasp escapes. “Harry, shhh,” Draco says, and strokes a hand across his side, and Harry comes, slicking his and Draco’s bellies where they’re pressed together.
Draco is smiling when Harry opens his eyes. Looking into his face, reading what’s there, Harry feels dizzy, feels like he’s falling. But somehow, along the way, Harry has started to like that feeling.