“Knight to e-five,” Harry murmured, his eyes focused on the chessboard. He felt the bed shift slightly as Draco suppressed a laugh. Harry raised his eyes to him, but remained seated as he was; cross-legged with his chin propped up on his hand. “What?”
Draco smirked. “Might as well give up, Potter. Chess is not your game.”
Harry huffed. “Practise makes perfect, didn’t you know?”
“Have it your way, then,” Draco said as he moved his queen to the same spot.
Harry grumbled as his knight got smashed. “Merlin’s pants.”
It took Draco only a couple of moves before Harry was forced to yield. Harry settled back on his arms, stretching his legs out to get the circulation going as he watched Draco banish the chessboard to the desk. Harry’s eyes fell on the other boy’s left forearm, causing him to frown. Tapping Draco’s thigh with his foot, he asked quietly, “Will they be able to remove it?”
Draco raised an eyebrow in question, so Harry nodded toward the Dark Mark. Letting his fingers trail over the Mark, Draco sighed. “Possibly,” he said, his voice hopeful. “Dumbledore and Snape were looking into it.”
Harry shifted slightly so their legs touched. In the month since they had staged their escape, Draco and Narcissa had been guests at Grimmauld Place. Not all members of the Order were keen on the idea, but no one had been dumb enough to say anything to either Harry or Dumbledore, and they all treated both Malfoys with respect, grudging as it was. Things had been kind of weird in school after, but that was to be expected. There had been plenty of speculation about Draco’s sudden disappearance, as well as Narcissa’s.
Lucius had indeed ended up paying the price for their escape and while both Draco and Narcissa felt the loss keenly, they both took it with surprising grace. Or perhaps not so surprising, Harry supposed, given how things had ended up. Bellatrix, too, had been punished, as it had been her job to keep an eye on her sister. Harry couldn’t quite help the feeling of satisfaction at knowing she was gone, though part of him wished he could have killed her himself. Not that he would ever admit that to anyone, except perhaps Draco.
“I hope they find something soon,” Harry said, getting his thoughts back on topic. “Dumbledore doesn’t have much time left, according to Snape.”
Draco nodded, shifting a little, one leg against Harry’s, the other pulled up in order put his elbow on his knee. Resting his cheek on his hand, he stared at Harry, who could feel his skin start to flush at the scrutiny. “I know. You doing okay with that?”
Harry picked at an imaginary lint on his trousers as he shrugged. Dumbledore was dying – had been all year, as it turned out – and there was nothing anyone could do. Between the curse he had picked up when trying on the Gaunt ring, and the one he’d consumed while trying to acquire the Horcrux in the cave, Dumbledore’s time was running out rapidly. Snape had done his best, but even that was only good enough to slow the effects, and minimally at that. “Not really,” Harry confessed.
Draco moved to straddle Harry’s thighs, who looked up at him in surprise. His eyes widened further when the other boy cradled his face between his hands and gazed sharply into his eyes. “You’ve lost so many,” Draco murmured, his brows tightening in sympathy.
Hesitantly, Harry let his hands rest on Draco’s hips, earning him a brief smile. His heart was thumping in his chest as Harry stared at Draco. These past few weeks the two of them had laid old grudges to rest and forged a fast friendship, and it had become more and more difficult for Harry to ignore the feelings that had cropped up for the other boy. He hadn’t done anything, though. He hadn’t dared.
Narrowing his eyes slightly, Draco bit his lip, his thumbs caressing Harry’s cheekbones. “You aren’t alone, Harry. I promise you, you have family here. And I am not talking about those good-for-nothing muggles you got saddled with, either. Mother and I, we are your family now. We owe you everything, Harry, but more than that…”
He trailed off, his cheeks flushing slightly as he glanced away. Harry’s heart was trying to do a little jig right out of his chest. He couldn’t possibly mean what Harry thought he meant, could he? “More than what, Draco?” he asked shakily.
“This,” Draco breathed, dipping his head and kissing Harry soundly.
Harry closed his eyes and moaned, eagerly kissing Draco back for all he was worth. His hands slipped under Draco’s shirt and slid up his back as he pulled the other boy closer. It was Heaven. Kissing Cho had nothing on this. The one kiss he and Ginny had shared paled in comparison, too. How could Harry ever have entertained the idea of either girl, he didn’t know. Not when feeling Draco flush against him like this, tasting him, hearing every breathy moan that escaped him felt so very right.
After several minutes, Harry had to pull away to regain some measure of composure – and to catch his breath. Resting his forehead against Draco’s he couldn’t stop the goofy smile from spreading across his lips. This close, Harry saw the stormy grey of Draco’s eyes and Harry thought he might fly, or drown… or something. When he felt he could actually speak again, all he managed was a hoarse, “Yeah?”
Draco snorted, pecking his lips. “What, did I just snog all sense from you, Potter?” he quipped, then smiled tenderly at him and added, “Yeah, Harry. If you want me, then yeah.”
In answer, Harry chased after Draco’s lips and poured everything he couldn’t possibly find the words for into their kiss, because he wanted. He wanted very much.