Humiliation clawed its way up Harry’s throat and contorted into annoyance. He knew if he allowed his anger to show it would only end up in more humiliation. With a small growl he tried to sink deeper into his chair. Half of the people in the restaurant were staring at Harry; the other half were staring at the man down on one knee in front of him.
With a groan he let his head fall into his hands. He should have known, really. David had been lovely up to this point, which was only a month in. But if Harry thought about it, he was a little too attentive. He never wanted to spend time with Harry at one of their houses, it was always in public. Oh, to be seen with the famous Harry Potter. Harry peered down into David’s seemingly earnest eyes. How could anyone propose after one month? It was ridiculous. Harry truly didn’t know what to do. The silence in the restaurant was taunting him, he knew everyone would be listening to his response. He took a shaky breath to speak, although he really didn’t know what to say, when a haughty voice said loudly, “There is a hair in my salad! How disgusting!”
Somehow, the silence deepened. A few people were looking to the speaker, but most of the attention stayed fixed on Harry. He knew that voice.
“It’s dark and curly! Oh, Merlin. I’m going to be sick.” A plate shattered. Now most people’s attention had shifted off of Harry and David. Harry couldn’t help but smile at Malfoy’s antics, and the gratefulness that welled up in him. He quickly got up, grabbed David’s hand and made a quick and discreet exit.
The next day had Harry sulking at the end of yet another relationship. He couldn’t seem to find anyone that could look past the fact that he was Harry Potter. David hadn’t understood at all when he had said that it was too soon. He had been enamoured with Harry from the start. Harry sighed, wondering what he should do with his now free Saturday. He thought back to the awkward proposal and remembered Malfoy’s intervention. Smirking, he quickly got up and found his quill.
Thank you, Malfoy.
He sent it off with his owl before he could second guess
himself. He hadn’t seen Malfoy much since their time together at Hogwarts, when
he did they would always greet each other politely and nothing more. Maybe,
after this, they could be on more friendly terms.
He was busy making himself lunch when his owl returned, and was surprised to find a letter tied to his leg.
I don’t know what you mean, Potter.
Harry laughed. Of course Malfoy wouldn’t admit to coming to Harry’s rescue. Feeling brave (and maybe a bit lonely), he replied.
Of course, my mistake. I guess there’s no reason to buy you a thank you drink then. Pity.
After he sent the letter off he sat and waited by the
window, drumming his fingers on his thigh. After half an hour, he sighed and
realised Malfoy wasn’t going to respond. He wasn’t surprised, maybe just a
little disappointed. Harry grabbed a book and settled down to read.
He definitely did not jump when his owl returned a few hours later. He sighed and went back to his book, only to be gently pecked on his hand. Suddenly straightening, which caused his book to fall to the floor, Harry saw that there was a reply. He quickly untied it and opened it.
7pm. The Three Broomsticks.
He didn’t even realise he was grinning.
Harry was only five minutes late. He had planned to be ten minutes early but he had tried, and failed, to do something with his hair and had been strangely indecisive on what to wear. The pub was only mildly full so it was quite easy to spot Malfoy’s pale hair. Harry paused before approaching him, taking a moment to appraise his former rival when his guard was down. He had cut his hair a bit shorter on the sides than on the top, which flopped down quite nicely over his eyes. He was still lean but had his shoulders squared and still managed to have a regal air about him. He turned his head suddenly, his piercing grey eyes finding Harry watching him. A small smile played on his lip and he quirked a brow. Harry ducked his head and quickly made his way over to the table where he sat down across from Malfoy. They stared at each other for a few long seconds and Harry suddenly realized two things. Firstly, he was more than a little surprised to find that Malfoy was extremely attractive. Secondly, he was suddenly very nervous. He wasn’t entirely sure if the two facts were related or not.
Trying to hide this, he casually leaned an elbow on the
table and rested his head in his hand.
“Hello, Malfoy.” He smiled.
When Malfoy grinned, there was a strange gleam in his eye that had Harry a little worried. “Potter. It’s been a few years.”
“Yeah, it has. Strangely enough, as soon as I heard your haughty voice complaining in the restaurant the other day I recognized it immediately.”
Malfoy tilted his head, “Oh, were you there?”
Harry laughed, and when Malfoy couldn’t suppress his grin he decided to let it go.
“So, what are you doing these days?” Harry asked, truly curious.
Malfoy leaned back in his chair. “I make potions for St Mungo’s.”
“I should have known it would be something to do with potions. That must be quite interesting. Is there ever emergency potions that they call you in to make for some rare conditions?” Harry asked.
Malfoy looked slightly confused but he replied. “Sometimes, but not very often because I’m not the only potion maker so they rotate the emergencies through us.”
“And for what kind of potions would they call you in?” Harry asked.
Malfoy shifted in his seat. “We make sure to always be well stocked in the common potions, blood replenishing and such. But sometimes something strange things will come in that is also quite rare so we don’t have any potions prepared. Certain counter potions for curses and things like that.” He kept glancing away as he spoke. He appeared grateful when the waitress came to take their drink orders. “And what about you, Auror Potter?” he asked, smirking.
Harry laughed. “Yeah, if you still get the Daily Prophet you could have kept up with my life just by skimming the headlines.” The smirk on Malfoy’s face abruptly vanished and Harry quickly added, “Not that you would have of course.” Harry stared intently at the tablecloth.
Malfoy cleared his throat. “Of course not.” Harry risked a glance up and saw the beginnings of a sly smile playing on Malfoy’s lips. “Are you seeing anyone?”
Harry groaned which caused Malfoy to laugh softly. But when
Harry raised his eyebrows at the blonde, a feigned look of innocence was his
only reply. “Well, I was seeing someone.” Harry began. Malfoy’s smile softened.
“But we broke up last night.” The look of sympathy on Malfoy’s face was new to
“I’m sorry. You look well for someone who just got out of a serious relationship.” He said simply.
Harry was disconcerted by the softness in his voice. He huffed out a humourless laugh. “It wasn’t that serious. We had only been together a month.”
“What? And he proposed? What an imbecile.” Malfoy groaned, looking shocked. Harry stared at him, a smirk dancing on his lips as he watched Malfoy. As the silence grew Malfoy looked briefly confused. Harry saw the moment realization hit him and he narrowed his grey eyes at Harry. He straightened and crossed his arms elegantly, waiting for Harry to say something.
“Tell me about it.” Harry couldn’t help grinning as he spoke. “So, Malfoy. Are you seeing anyone?” He could see Malfoy relax as he saw that Harry wasn’t going to call him out. He took a long swallow of his drink and Harry couldn’t look away. And he realised he was slightly anxious about Malfoy’s answer.
“Well,” Malfoy began in his trademark drawl. “I was actually on a first date the other night, but apparently me causing a scene and breaking dishes at the restaurant wasn’t his ideal first date.” Harry choked on his sip of firewhisky. Malfoy’s eyes sparkled with amusement at that. He handed Harry a handkerchief which he produced from his pocket, which Harry used to dab at his chin.
“I’m really sorry, Malfoy.” He said sincerely.
Malfoy shrugged a shoulder. “He was rather dull, anyway.” He said with a small smile.
Harry smiled back. Just then the waitress came to ask if they’d like another drink. Malfoy glanced at Harry, an eyebrow raised and a seemingly silent challenge in his eyes. Harry grinned in response.
Hours later Malfoy said they should call it a night. They had switched to coffee after a few drinks and had been engaged in conversation the entire time they were there. Harry wished he had ran into Malfoy years ago, Harry couldn’t believe how much fun he had just chatting to the other man.
They paid for their drinks and stood to leave. Looking around Harry was surprised to find that the pub was still quite full. He was just turning back to Malfoy when he saw Malfoy sink down to one knee. His heart stopped. His mouth fell open.
Malfoy glanced up at him. As he did, Harry caught a glimpse of his hands which were tying his shoelace. He saw the look on Harry’s face and burst out laughing. He stood up and ran a hand through his hair. “You wish, Potter.” He teased.
Harry’s face was on fire. “Sorry.” He averted his gaze and started walking out. He stopped outside and turned to face Malfoy.
Malfoy studied him, eyes lingering on the blush on his cheeks. Malfoy’s lips were quirked upwards.
“Well. Thank you for coming. I actually had a great time.” Harry said earnestly.
“I’m quite shocked that I share your sentiment.” Malfoy said with a small smile. Harry smiled back and felt himself suspended on a precipice. He was staring into clear grey eyes and was on the verge of considering leaning forward when Malfoy stepped back with a nod. “See you around, Potter.” He turned and started to walk away, leaving Harry with his disappointment.
He had gotten a good distance away when Harry realised he
needed to take this chance, even though there were no clear signals. He started
“Malfoy! Wait!” he called. Malfoy turned and frowned at Harry’s approach.
He watched as Harry caught his breath. He raised an eyebrow. “Yes, Potter?”
Harry swallowed nervously. “Would you like to have dinner next week?” He asked, feeling his cheeks warm.
Malfoy tilted his head to the side. He studied Harry’s face intently. “In what capacity?” he finally asked.
His blush intensifying, Harry looked away briefly. His green eyes raised to meet curious grey ones. “A date.” If they hadn’t been standing so close together, Harry would have missed the surprise flickering over Malfoy’s features.
Harry held his gaze. Until Malfoy’s tongue darted out to lick his lips, then he was distracted. “Hmm.” Malfoy said in a low voice. “Let’s see.”
He stepped closer, his hand slowly coming up to brush Harry’s
neck. Harry’s breath caught. Without his permission, his hand reached out to
brush a stray lock of hair off of Malfoy’s forehead. Malfoy grinned and slowly
leaned closer. Warm lips met Harry’s, firm and delicious. His hand cupped the
back of Malfoy’s head and he moved closer so that their chests were pressed
together. When Malfoy’s mouth opened to deepen their kiss, Harry couldn’t keep
in his groan. There was soft laughter against his mouth, and in retaliation he
nipped Malfoy’s lower lip. Malfoy hummed in approval. A while later, Malfoy
gentled the kiss and pulled away slightly. Harry followed him to place two
quick, soft kisses on Malfoy’s mouth before he allowed him to retreat.
They stood close, staring at each other. Harry pouted. “So that’s a no then?”
Malfoy laughed. “It’s definitely a yes.”