written for hd_hols2012, and reposted now that the reveals are over.
the sky was made for us tonight (part one)
Harry Potter: Harry/Draco
PG-13, ~11370 words
In which Draco moves into his own place, but his neighbour - and the people he meets - are not quite what he expects.
warning(s): unintentional deception, angst, EWE, wallowing, and pining.
a/n: written for astridfire, for hd_holidays 2012. originally posted here. thank you so much to meiface for all of her support and ideas and handholding. ♥
“You have got to be kidding me,” said Draco Malfoy in horror.
From a few feet beside him, Potter continued to sputter, sounding somewhat like a drowning rat.
Draco was too shocked to make a disparaging comment about it. “Potter?” he asked instead. “What are you doing here?”
It had been a good three years since he’d been anywhere near Potter. Oh, he was aware, as was most of the wizarding world, that Potter had disappeared for a year after the defeat of Voldemort, only to reappear and go straight into the Auror training program, but compared to his Hogwarts days, he’d gotten uncannily good at staying out of view of the paparazzi. No one knew where he lived, what he did in his free time, or if he was seeing anyone. Of course, the Daily Prophet released articles at least twice a month about how Potter had been sighted at this new coffee house and that fancy Italian restaurant with so-and-so, complete with dark and blurry photos, but no one could really be sure if it was him.
It took another minute before Potter was recovered enough to speak. “What do you mean, what am I doing here? I live here!” he said finally, sounding unreasonably indignant. “What are you doing here?”
“You live here?” Draco repeated with mounting horror.
Setting foot again in London after being gone for a few years, it had taken Draco nearly half a year to find a decent place to live. It wasn’t that there was a lack of vacancies or anything, but growing up in Malfoy Manor unfortunately meant that one ended up being very particular about the sort of place one deemed “liveable”. Personally, Draco didn’t think he was being all that unreasonable. He was well aware that Malfoy Manor, built nearly two centuries ago under the instructions of Abraxas Cygnus Malfoy, was an architectural masterpiece, with every spiral staircase and marble arch built to perfection. He certainly didn’t expect any house to rival the grandness of his childhood home.
But Draco wanted something elegant. He wanted something with a wide balcony from which he could see the city, and he wanted the living room to be positioned so that the sun would stream through the windows and light up the rooms in the mornings. French windows were a plus.
After six months, five disgruntled realtors (four of them fired), and two shouting matches, Draco had finally become the proud owner of No. 5 Atolis Way.
But then Potter had to show up, and he didn’t look like he planned to go anywhere anytime soon.
“How can you live here?” he asked, because this situation was plainly ridiculous. Potter had a perfectly good Manor house sitting around waiting for him – what was he doing here, interrupting Draco’s life? “Why aren’t you at Grimmauld Place?”
Potter frowned at him. “Grimmauld Place? I haven’t lived there in years. It’s not even practical.” He shrugged, looking a little uncomfortable. “And the reporters leave me alone here because they don’t know where I am.”
“Yes, but why did you have to move here?”
“I liked the French windows.”
“Merlin, this cannot be happening.”
Potter had the nerves to roll his eyes. “Christ, Malfoy, don’t be such a drama queen. It’s hardly the end of the world.”
No, it wasn’t the end of the world, but it had taken Draco months to find the perfect place, only for Potter to waltz in and ruin his life.
“Why are you even living here, Malfoy? This is practically Muggle London.”
“No it’s not,” Draco said crossly, just to be disagreeable, but Potter was right. The houses on this street had been built so that the front doors faced wizarding London, but the back overlooked Muggle London. He’d chosen the location on purpose – it was mostly a residential area, and had seemed like it would be quiet and private. Few wizards would ever come to this area unless they lived here themselves, and any Muggles who strayed too close would suddenly recall an urgent matter they had to take care of.
Potter frowned. “You better not tell anyone that I live here!”
“As if,” Draco scoffed. “If anything, you’re going to be the one to do something stupid and attract the Daily Prophet’s attention again, and I’m going to get dragged into it.” And then, just to be annoying, he sneered and added, “Maybe I should call up Rita Skeeter and make her a deal. Information on the whereabouts of Harry Potter, as long as she leaves me alone.”
Potter momentarily turned an amusing shade of red, but then, to Draco’s disappointment, he suddenly laughed. “You are still such a twat, Malfoy. You know you wouldn’t do that – you’re my neighbour now. Drawing attention to me would only bring the paparazzi down on you too.”
Draco scowled, because unfortunately, the other man was right. “You better not disturb my privacy, Potter,” he said instead.
He was not going to let Potter bother him. All he had to do, he decided, was ignore Potter’s existence. He’d been doing it for the last few years, after all – it couldn’t be too difficult to continue.
Draco spent his weekends getting to know his new neighbourhood. Starting in at his new position at St. Mungo’s meant that he didn’t have a lot of free time, but he’d discovered a gym, some excellent restaurants, and a tailor all within a twenty-minute walk away – the hole-in-the-wall Italian place a few blocks away had been a particularly good find. He still had to find a grocery store though. For now, he’d been stopping at one on the way home from work.
He ignored the logical little voice in the back of his head telling him that he could always do the reasonable thing and ask Potter.
His greatest discovery was, probably, the tea shop just a few blocks away. From the outside, it looked rather abandoned – the windows were rather grimy, and the sign on the door proclaiming Madam Paccat’s Tea Shop was tilted and worn down. Draco would have walked right by without a second glance if not for the fact that he saw two very well-dressed witches enter the establishment just as he was passing by.
Curiosity getting the best of him, Draco walked up and cautiously pushed open the door.
The inside of the shop was nothing like the outside. The place was much larger than the storefront would have suggested, and not only was it clean, it was also bright and cheerful. Eccentric, mismatching tables were scattered around the store, and Draco was surprised to see that almost every single one was occupied. There was even a cozy-looking loveseat by the window, which seemed to be overlooking a view of snowfall despite the fact that it was rather foggy outside. Celestina Warbeck’s voice wailed happily over the wizarding wireless network.
“Can I take your order?” came a voice from the counter at the back, and Draco looked up to find a plump, middle-aged witch looking expectantly at him. Her apron was bright orange and clashed horribly with her red hair.
“A cup of Earl Grey please,” Draco said, walking up.
“Anything to eat with that, my dear?” She motioned towards the giant printout stuck on the wall to her left, proclaiming Winter Specials!.
Draco ordered a slice of pumpkin pie as well, then paid the woman – Madam Paccat, he assumed. It wasn’t until he was waiting to the side for his order that he realized there was an unusual number of eyes on him.
The couple sitting at the table closest to him were looking at him curiously, while a group of younger witches in the corner were whispering and giggling while peering at him from behind their hands. Draco looked away stiffly, but then one of them got up and approached him.
“Excuse me, sir, I couldn’t help but notice – but are you really Draco Malfoy?”
Even if he wasn’t Harry Potter, the wizarding world was still interested in what had become of the son of Lucius Malfoy. Being out of the country for a while had diverted people’s attention, but Draco wasn’t exactly someone hard to recognize.
“I’m sorry, Miss, you have the wrong person,” he said, keeping his voice civil but insistent. He turned and faced the counter so that his back was to the rest of the shop until his order was ready, at which point he levitated his food with a flick of his wand and turned to look for a seat. There were two empty tables, but both were made to seat two or three and Draco had a suspicion that a nosy witch or wizard might try to join him if he were to sit there.
Instead, he looked over at the one table whose occupant was not peering curiously at Draco. The table itself was unusual – made out of wood but carved into the shape of a squirrel – and the man sitting at it looked to be about Draco’s age. He barely glanced at Draco, and was reading what looked like a Muggle newspaper.
Making a decision, Draco walked over to him. “Would you mind if I shared your table?” he asked. The man lowered the paper, his eyes widening as he looked at Draco. For a moment, Draco wondered if he would say something about who Draco was, but then he merely nodded and shifted his belongings over.
Draco sat. Settling himself down, he took a small sip of his tea and sighed involuntarily.
“This is perfect,” he said out loud, and the man next to him laughed.
“Good, isn’t it? This is my favourite tea shop in the neighbourhood,” he said, finally speaking up. There was something vaguely familiar about his voice, but Draco was too busy taking his second sip to really think about it.
“Do you come here a lot?” he asked finally, putting down his cup to take a bite of his pie. It was equally good.
“Um, yeah, practically everyday. I’m addicted,” the man said ruefully. “Is this your first time here? I don’t think I’ve seen you around before.”
Draco hummed happily. “I recently moved into the area,” he explained. And then, on impulse, he stuck out his hand. “I’m Draco Malfoy.”
The man seemed to hesitate for a second, but then he shook Draco’s hand and smiled. His grip was firm. “Har – I’m Harvey. Harvey Smith.”
Harvey had medium-brown hair and a fairly generic sort of face, but up-close, his eyes were unusually green. Most people Draco knew with green eyes had flecks of blue or grey or hazel mixed in, but Harvey’s were just a true green. It made the colour jump off his face a little, in a way that drew attention and became the first thing someone would notice.
He wasn’t bad-looking, Draco decided. Eyes aside, his features might be a bit plain, but he had the sort of face that came to life when he smiled.
Realizing that he was staring, Draco quickly cleared his throat. “So, what are you drinking?” he asked, peering into the other man’s cup.
“It’s a tea blend with bergamot, cinnamon, and herbs,” Harvey said, taking a sip with flourish. He laughed at the expression on Draco’s face. “What? Don’t like bergamot?”
“I’m fine with bergamot. And cinnamon, for that matter. But herbal blends?” Draco wrinkled his nose. “That’s not even proper tea.”
“You make it like tea, you drink it like tea, and it’s good for you. Why wouldn’t I consider it a tea? Besides, it’s good.” Harvey took another long, exaggerated sip. “Have you even tried any?”
“Of course I have,” Draco said, which was actually a big fat lie, but he wasn’t about to admit it now. “And it was awful.”
“Mine’s not awful,” Harvey insisted, and then, looking determined, pushed his cup towards Draco. “Here, try some.”
Draco stared blankly at the practical stranger who was trying to make him drink undoubtedly disgusting concoctions and then his lips were curving without his permission at the utter ridiculousness of the situation. “Are you crazy? No, I don’t want any.” He pushed the cup back. “And the whole point of tea is that it’s made from the tea plant. Herbs are not tea.”
“We’ll just have to agree to disagree then.” Harvey said, grinning.
Draco smiled back involuntarily. “So, Harvey,” he said, sitting back in his seat. “Aside from frequenting tea shops, what do you do with your life?”
They talk for longer than Draco had intended. He learned that Harvey worked as an Auror, had graduated from a school in the United States (but had lived in London as a kid, which was why his accent was British), and spent his free time drinking too much tea.
Draco, in return, found himself talking about his own life – how he’d decided to leave England after the war and study in France instead for his medical training, and how he’d recently come back to London to work. “I’m working mostly at St. Mungo’s now, but I’ll be the on-call mediwizard for the Hollyhead Harpies during Quidditch season,” he explained.
By the time Draco finished his (third) refill of tea, he realized that it had been over an hour since he’d first walked in.
“I should probably get going,” Harvey said, looking at the clock in surprise. “I didn’t realize what time it was.”
“Me too.” Draco stood up, leaving a generous tip in the box at the corner of the table as he pulled on his cloak. “It was nice to meet you, Harvey Smith.”
Harvey smiled. “You too.”
Draco discovered, quite abruptly, that while he would undoubtedly run into Harvey again at some point, he didn’t want to leave their next meeting up to chance. On impulse, he added, “Since I’m new here, maybe you can show me around the neighbourhood some time.”
“Oh,” Harvey said. “Um, sure. Okay. Why not.” He looked a little uncertain, but Draco, taking his tentative agreement as encouragement, pressed on.
“How about dinner some time? You can show me your favourite places to eat.”
“Oh, well, there’s a brunch place nearby that I go to a lot on weekends, but I guess we can go for dinner? I mean, I’m not sure what time it’s open until, but it’s probably fine – I mean, I don’t think they would close early or anything –”
“Sounds great,” Draco said, and found himself trying to hide a smile at Harvey’s babbling. He hadn’t seemed flustered at all past the initial small talk earlier, and his apparent nervousness now was funny, somehow. “Weekend, you said? I still need to do the last of my furniture-shopping this week, but I’m free next weekend. How about Saturday night, six o’clock?”
“Er, yeah, okay. The restaurant isn’t that far from here, but I don’t know if you’ll be able to find it?”
“Let’s just meet outside here, and we can walk over together.” Draco looped his scarf around his neck and tied the front. “See you then.”
The warm feeling in his stomach – just the tea, surely – accompanied Draco all the way home.
Draco ran into Harvey a handful more times before they were scheduled to meet for dinner. He supposed it wasn’t unusual, with both of them going to the same tea shop now, but he still found the frequency they ran into each other a little surprising. Sometimes, they would sit down and talk, while other times, they would only have time for a hello before one of them had to run.
The second time, Harvey made him drink some of his herbal brew. Draco gagged and complained the entire way through, but secretly, he didn’t think it was too bad.
The fourth time, Harvey wasn’t alone.
That in itself wasn’t the surprise. The surprising part was the fact that Draco actually knew his companion.
“Draco!” Hermione Granger said, sounding shocked. She also seemed strangely panicked, but Draco just chalked that up to her being odd.
“Granger,” he said, giving her a small nod. Granger, who’d gone on to work in the social justice department at the Ministry, had played a big role in getting his mother declared innocent of the crimes certain people had only been too eager to slap on her. They’d had their share of friction at first, with Draco unwilling to believe that she would ever actually try to help anyone with the last name Malfoy, and her, frustrated by his attitude, but eventually they’d gotten past most of their childhood grievances and had settled into a courteous if stilted relationship.
“Oh! Do you live around here too?” She asked. “This is my friend, he’s new to the area, so I thought I’d show him the –”
Harvey cleared his throat loudly, cutting her off. “It’s alright, Hermione. I, um. I actually know Draco already.”
“What?” Granger looked between Draco and Harvey with wide eyes.
“Yes, we’ve met,” Draco said. He looked at Harvey. “I thought you’d been living here for a while already?”
“Er, yeah, that’s right. Of course.” Harvey nodded vigorously. “I moved here in the fall, just a few months ago, but Hermione meant, relatively, of course, that I’m fairly new compared to a lot of people here.” He seemed to be turning an odd shade of pink, although Draco couldn’t determine why. “Not as new as you, of course.”
“Yes, that’s exactly what I meant,” Granger said quickly.
There was definitely something odd going on here, but not sure how to question it without directly asking, Draco let it go.
The moment Granger excused herself to look for the washroom, however, he leaned forward. “So, how do you know Granger?” he asked Harvey, who seemed to be examining the table with great fascination.
“Um, you know. Just. Mutual friends and things.”
“What?” Draco narrowed his eyes. “Wait, does that mean you know Potter too?”
“Who?” Harvey asked, a touch too loudly. The couple sitting next to them turned to look at them, and Harvey flushed, sinking into his seat.
Draco, however, was still staring at him. “What do you mean, who? Are you saying you don’t know who Harry Potter is?”
“No no, of course not. Famous bloke, how could I not know him,” Harvey babbled. “What I meant was, I don’t know him. Of course. I know Hermione from, ah, work. Yeah, I know some of her coworkers.”
“Oh,” Draco said, frowning. There was still something suspicious going on that he couldn’t put his finger on, but before he could figure out how to question Harvey further, Granger reappeared.
“Well, it was nice running into you again, Draco. Harvey and I actually have lunch plans with some friends – we have some catching up to do, don’t we, Harvey?” She gave Harvey a pointed glance before continuing. “Anyway, we’ll see you around?”
“Of course,” Draco said smoothly. “Harvey – are we still on for dinner this weekend?”
Granger’s eyes widened as she glanced back and forth between Draco and Harvey.
“Yes, yes, of course,” Harvey said, gathering his jacket and sounding a little choked. He coughed loudly. “Sorry, just… coming down with a cold.”
Draco watched them go until they disappeared from sight, then sipped at his tea. He wondered what all the blushing and stuttering had been about.
Harvey wasn’t the only one acting odd. Potter, Draco noticed, was also acting excessively weird.
Not that Draco really interacted with Potter – in fact, he’d made an effort to pretend he didn’t see Potter even when he caught sight of him – but lately, Potter was actually greeting him when they saw each other on their way to work in the mornings. And when Draco just raised an eyebrow at him instead of replying, he seemed flustered, for some reason. One day, he’d even dropped his keys.
It all came to a head one evening when, having just gotten home from a long shift, the doorbell rang just as Draco was settling into his couch with a cup of tea and considering how much he didn’t feel like making food.
Wondering who could be showing up at this hour, he tightened his grip on his wand – it was doubtful that anyone with ill intentions would ring the doorbell, but it didn’t hurt to be safe – and peered through the peephole.
Then, flinging open his front door, he glared at Harry Potter. Who was standing on his porch.
“Potter,” Draco ground out. “What are you doing here.”
“Hi Malfoy!” Potter chirped, sounding cheerful and entirely out of character. “I was baking pie earlier for dessert, and ended up making more than I should have.” He whipped his hands out from behind him, revealing a large plate. “I thought I’d bring some over to share. It’s pumpkin.”
Draco stared at him and wondered if Potter had actually gone insane. “Why?”
“Well, I had extra. And I just thought it would be nice. As a… a welcome-to-the-neighbourhood thing!”
“Are you trying to poison me?”
“What? No, of course not. Here, look,” he said, breaking off a piece of the pie and putting it in his own mouth. “See? No poison.”
“What is wrong with you?” Did Potter even realize how weird this was? Sure, they weren’t mortal enemies any longer, but Draco barely tolerated Potter’s presence – surely he’d made that clear from the moment he’d moved in. They certainly didn’t have the type of relationship where Potter brought over baked goods. “Just get off my lawn before someone sees you.”
“Not until you accept these,” Potter insisted, and Draco, realizing the futility of arguing with Potter over something this pointless, sighed internally.
“Fine,” he said, taking the plate. “Goodbye, Potter.”
And then he shut the door in Potter’s face.
He spent an hour casting every spell he could think of on the pie just to see if there was anything wrong with it before he cut up a slice. Transferring it to a plate, he cautiously took a bite.
His eyes widened as he chewed. It was good – surprisingly good. He’d had no idea Potter could even bake, never mind bake well. Making himself a cup of tea to go with it, he settled himself down on his couch again, sighing as he dug in.
Draco would never admit it to anyone, but it was so good that he finished the entire pie in about half an hour.
When the weekend of the dinner finally arrived, Draco was surprised to find how much he was looking forward to it. It had been a long week at work, with medical emergencies cropping up more than usual, and Draco had found himself staying overtime more days than not. It wasn’t like he had a lot of friends to spend free time with either – he’d lost contact with the few people he’d still talked to when he’d left England without telling anyone. Last he heard, Pansy was married to some Romanian aristocrat now, and Goyle had moved out of the country.
And so it was with a certain amount of anticipation that he arrived outside Madam Paccat’s ten minutes before schedule. The sky was already dark, and with the end of October just around the corner, the weather was getting depressingly cold. Luckily, Draco’s cloak and boots had been made with self-heating charms woven into the material, and his scarf and gloves, which his mother had sent him last Christmas (both cashmere, of course) kept him nice and toasty.
It was clear, when Harvey arrived a few minutes later, that he was not nearly so prepared. Gloveless, scarfless, and bootless, he seemed to be trying to stuff his hands into the opposite sleeve of his giant puffy jacket as he walked. His face was pink from the cold.
“Draco!” he said, running over the rest of the way. “Sorry, did I make you wait long?”
“Where are your gloves?” Draco asked, ignoring his question entirely.
“What? Oh, um. My friend got me a pair a few months ago, but I lost one, and then the other one shrank in the washing machine.” Harvey looked sheepish. “I guess I keep forgetting to get a new pair.”
“Washing machine?” Draco repeated blankly.
“Oh! It’s a Muggle thing, for doing your laundry. But sometimes, they shrink things, or change the colour of your clothing if you don’t wash it right.”
“Why would you do that? Why don’t you just use a spell, like normal wizards do?” Draco asked, exasperated. “You know what? Never mind. Here.” Pulling off his gloves, he stuffed them in Harvey’s general direction. “Put these on before you get pneumonia.”
“What? No, I couldn’t,” Harvey protested. “What about you?”
“I’m not the one without scarves or boots. Honestly, how have you survived all these years?” Seeing that Harvey was opening his mouth again, Draco shook his head. “Just put them on. I insist. And the faster we get to the restaurant, the faster both of us can get out of the cold.”
For a moment, he thought Harvey was going to object again, but then he ducked his head. “Thanks,” he said quietly as he pulled them on. “The restaurant’s just over that way.”
The restaurant turned out to be more like a diner – and what Harvey had failed to mention beforehand was that it was located in the Muggle half of the neighbourhood.
“Are you sure the food here is edible?” Draco asked, wrinkling his nose down at the menu.
Harvey laughed. “Don’t be such a snob, Malfoy. The store might not look like much, but I promise, the food is good. Try the burgers – they’re the best.”
Draco had serious doubts about anything here being the “best”, but he dubiously ordered the four cheese burger, which came with curly chips. Harvey got something called an American burger and a large chocolate mint milkshake.
“Here, try it,” he said, pushing the milkshake in Draco’s direction.
“I don’t think so, Smith.” Draco pushed it back.
“You should always try everything once,” Harvey insisted, bringing the cup close to Draco’s face. “Come on, just a sip. Trust me, you’ll like it.”
“You should try everything once? What kind of bad advice is that?” Draco grumbled, but sighed, bracing himself before taking a sip.
He blinked. And took another sip.
“See?” Harvey crowed. “You like it. I knew you would.”
“No, I don’t. Just because it’s not terrible doesn’t mean I like it,” Draco said, which was a lie, because it was, in fact, delicious. He stared at it for a moment, wondering if he could get away with taking another sip.
“Right, of course,” Harvey laughed, and grabbed an empty cup from the side of the table. “Here, I’ll split it with you.”
“I’m only drinking this because there’s way too much sugar in this for you to drink by yourself,” Draco said, sighing happily into his cup.
He couldn’t decide at first if he was happy or annoyed when his burger too, ended up delicious, but then he was too busy eating to be irritated. Harvey kept stealing curly chips off his plate, which was ridiculous because his own burger also came with chips.
“Oi, eat your own chips!” he said, slapping at Harvey’s fingers with his free hand. Harvey just laughed and stole another one.
“Yours are crispier,” he insisted, licking at his fingers.
“You have terrible manners,” Draco informed him, and proceeded to steal one of Harvey’s chips in return.
Harvey looked at him for a moment, his face the picture of surprise, before he burst into laughter.
They ate quickly but ended up staying longer to talk. When the waitress started giving them pointed looks and brought over the bill without their asking for it, Harvey grinned. “Maybe we should go soon.”
Draco nodded, reaching into his pocket. He realized the problem a second later.
“I don’t have Muggle money,” he confessed, feeling a little embarrassed. “I didn’t think we were coming to Muggle London –”
“Hey, don’t worry, it’s on me,” Harvey said easily, leaving some bills on the table. “You can get it next time.”
Next time, Draco thought, and didn’t mind the idea at all.
They walked back in the direction of Madam Paccat’s, chatting about inconsequential things on the way. It was pitch black out now, but there were streetlamps lighting their way every few feet. Draco couldn’t help but notice the way they made the shadows fall across Harvey’s face, contouring his cheekbones.
Dragging his eyes away, he realized that they were only a few blocks away from the tea shop now. “I’m just on Atolis Way,” Draco said. “Which direction are you going?”
“Oh, er. That way,” Harvey said, motioning vaguely in the opposite direction. “I should probably get going.”
Draco had been about to ask if Harvey wanted to come over for a cup of tea – he found himself oddly reluctant to let the evening end – but took the hint. “Thank you for showing me the diner, and for dinner – it was lovely.”
“I’m glad you liked the food. And oh!” Harvey pulled the gloves off his hands and tried to push them into Draco’s fingers. “I should probably give these back. Thanks for letting me borrow them.”
“Don’t be ridiculous,” Draco said. “It’s even colder now. Wear them home.”
“But what about you?”
“I’ll be home in no time, and I have at last five other pairs in my house. Clearly you need them more than I do.”
“Okay then. If you’re sure.” Harvey hesitated for a second, but continued. “Good night, Draco.”
“Good night,” Draco echoed, and following another, strange impulse – he seemed to be having a lot of those lately, where Harvey was concerned – he leaned over and pressed his lips to Harvey’s cheek.
Or so he’d intended – except Harvey turned to smile at him at precisely that moment, and his kiss lands on chapped lips instead.
They both froze for a second, but neither pulled back. Draco had the fleeting, incomprehensible thought that this was like the plot in one of those terrible romance novels Pansy used to pretend she didn’t read – and then he was leaning in kiss Harvey properly with the sudden, certain knowledge that he wanted this, that he’d noticed Harvey’s eyes that first day in more than just an abstract, off-hand way.
Harvey kissed him back, hard, his tongue licking into Draco’s mouth, and Draco felt himself melting into it. Unconsciously, he reached up, arms looping around Harvey’s neck to brace himself, and then –
– abruptly, Harvey pulled back. “Oh god,” he said, looking frantic. “What am I doing.”
Okay, not the reaction Draco was expecting. That had definitely not been a one-sided kiss. “Hey, what’s wrong? It’s okay –”
“No, it’s really not. Merlin, this is a mess,” Harvey said, eyes wide. He ran a hand through his hair, messing it up even more. “I can’t believe I did that.”
Draco narrowed his eyes. “What, do you already have a boyfriend or something?”
“What? No, of course not, I would never do that,” Harvey said immediately, which reassured Draco greatly. It still didn’t explain what was going on though, but before Draco could ask, Harvey was stepping back.
“I’m so sorry, I have to go,” he said, looking like he wanted to flee.
“What? Harvey, stop,” Draco said, reaching out for him. “What are you talking about? I need you to explain yourself, because you’re not making any sense. Did I… do something wrong?”
“No no, it’s not you, I swear.” Harvey stopped, visibly taking a deep breath. “I’m really really sorry, but I can’t do this right now. I promise it’s not your fault, and I promise I’ll explain everything soon but… I just need some time right now, okay?”
“Okay,” Draco echoed blankly, even though he had no idea what was going on.
“I’m so sorry,” Harvey repeated. “I should really go now.”
He turned and practically ran, disappearing into the dark before Draco could think of anything else he could say. “What the hell?” Draco said out loud to the empty street. Everything had seemed to be going so well. It didn’t make any sense.
It was a long time before Draco started walking home.
A week passed.
Draco wasn’t sure what he was expecting. From their interactions, Harvey hadn’t seemed the type to run from confrontation, but enough time had passed that Draco was no longer sure if anything was going to come of the situation at all. He’d continued visiting Madam Paccat’s on a regular basis, reasoning to himself that there was no logical reason to avoid Harvey, but it was clear from the fact that he hadn’t seen Harvey once in the last seven days when they used to practically trip over each other at the tea shop that Harvey was avoiding him.
And so what Draco didn’t expect, is for his doorbell to ring a few minutes past midnight one night, just as he was getting ready to turn in. He didn’t expect the sight of Harvey standing on his front porch, looking like he hadn’t slept in two days.
“Harvey,” he said, keeping his tone even. The other man looked nervous, but for once, Draco didn’t feel like reassuring him. “What are you doing here?”
“I’m sorry, I know it’s late,” Harvey said. “But… I have something I need to explain. Can I come in?”
Draco opened his door in invitation, and it didn’t occur to him until Harvey was seated in his living room that he’d never given the other man his exact address. “How do you know where I live?” he asked, one hand inching towards his wand just in case.
“I know it’s not going to make any sense, but that’s part of what I need to explain,” Harvey said, carefully not meeting Draco’s eyes. “I know I was terrible the other night, but. There’s something I have to tell you. Something I should have told you as soon as we met at the tea shop.”
“Yes?” Draco asked. Everyone had their secrets, but he couldn’t think of anything that would reasonably explain Harvey’s reaction the last time they’d seen each other.
Harvey visibly hesitated. The silence stretched.
Draco sighed. “Look. It’s nice that you’re here to try and explain things, but it’s really late. And I’m confused – I’ve been confused all week. I would’ve thought you didn’t feel the same way, but you kissed me back.” He paused, trying to voice his thoughts clearly. “The point is. If you’re here to tell me you weren’t interested after all, that’s fine, but in that case, you should just say so and leave. I have an early shift tomorrow.”
“No, Draco, that’s not it,” Harvey said, looking even more distressed. “That’s the problem. The problem is, I do like you – more than I should – but this isn’t right. I – I can’t ask you not to be angry with me, but I just want to say beforehand that – I was serious. Getting to know you properly, dinner, and the kiss, all of it – I meant it all. And I still mean it.”
Before Draco could ask him what on earth he was talking about, Harvey took a deep breath. Visibly steeling himself, he pointed his wand at his own face. “I’m so sorry. Homo Revelius!”
Draco watched, half in fascination and half in horror. It was like watching the top layer of a familiar painting being wiped off, only to reveal a completely different picture underneath. Harvey’s hair colour was the first to change, the brown slowly melting into a jet black, and then his face was growing narrower, his lips slightly wider. His brows darkened, and on his forehead, a familiar scar appeared.
The entire transformation took about a minute.
Draco found himself staring at Harry Potter with a sense of blank horror. It took him a second to regain his voice, and then the words were tripping their way out of his mouth. “What the hell is going on here, Potter? Why were you pretending to be Harvey? What have you done with him?”
“I – what? No, Draco, you don’t understand. I am Harvey.”
“No, you’re not. You can’t be,” Draco said, even as there was a sinking feeling in the pit of his stomach. Harvey’s initial reaction to him, his green eyes, the odd meeting with Granger – it was all starting to make a terrible amount of sense. Except – “You’re nothing like him.”
Potter flinched at that, but unlike at their last meeting, he stood firm. “Draco, I’m so sorry. But we’re the same person.” He paused, as if gauging Draco’s reaction, before continuing in a rush. “After having to move twice because the reporters found out where I lived and started waiting outside my door, I moved here and decided I was going to put on a glamour every time I left my house. And it worked – people left me alone because they didn’t know who I was, and it was fine because no one really tried to talk to me when I didn’t look like myself.”
“So, what? I moved here and you decided it would be a great big joke to play on Draco Malfoy?” Draco sneered. “You know what? Never mind. I don’t care. Just get out of my sight, Potter.”
“No, I swear, I never meant to deceive –” Potter started, sounding desperate, but Draco didn’t have any patience left. It had taken a moment for the disbelief to pass, but that was quickly fading into anger. And he wasn’t just angry – he was furious. For a single, blinding moment, Draco felt like he could pass out from the rage.
“Well, you did, so fuck you and your noble intentions,” he said, aware that he was dangerously close to shouting. “Now get out.”
He jabbed his wand in the other man’s face and watched with vicious delight as a gust of wind opened the front door, picked up Potter, and deposited him outside. The door slammed with a deafeningly loud bang after him, but it did nothing to make Draco feel better.
He stormed around his kitchen and living room, throwing his teacup against the opposite wall. It crashed to the tiles into a hundred pieces, but Draco ignored it, sweeping knickknacks off the table and onto the floor instead. His hands were shaking, and beneath the rage, he could feel the exhaustion settling in. It doesn’t matter, he told himself, bluntly vicious because it was the only thing he could believe right now. He was lying about everything all along, but it doesn’t matter, because I don’t care.
Draco collapsed on his couch, chest heaving, feeling like a puppet whose strings had been cut. His house suddenly felt impossibly cold, despite the wards maintaining the temperature, but he didn’t bother getting a blanket. Instead, he curled up onto the seat, staring at a spot on the opposite wall and determinedly not thinking about anything.
He didn’t fall asleep for a long time.