Protect Me from What I Want
Maybe we’re victims of fate
Remember when we’d celebrate
And we’d drink and get high until late
But now we’re all alone
Wedding bells ain’t gonna chime
With both of us guilty of crime
And both of us sentenced to crime
And now we’re all alone
~~Placebo/Protect Me from What I Want~~
Harry leaned back in his chair and closed his eyes; the beer had grown warm in his hand. Someone had put in a new CD, something quieter than the evening’s earlier choices. A delicate female voice over an elusive piano; a song about love lost. His brain felt foggy. Why had he let Ginny convince him to come to this party, anyway? He opened heavy eyelids. Most people had gone home or on to some other party and this one was winding down. He saw a couple he didn’t know fooling around on the couch adjacent to his chair, fumbling with each other’s clothes. He slouched down further, his eyelids half closed and the hand with the beer dangling limply to his side.
Harry forced his uncooperative eyelids open and focused on the person speaking his name. He smiled faintly at the sight of blond hair, grey eyes and neatly tailored clothes.
“Malfoy. I didn’t know you were here.”
Draco leaned back in his chair, warming his own beer in his hand. The pale, slender fingers of the other hand held a cigarette, which he now lifted to pale pink lips. The end glowed faintly as he inhaled deeply.
“I’m fashionably late.”
Harry grinned. “A bit beyond fashionable, I think.”
Draco shrugged. “I only came to see you.”
Harry raised an eyebrow, as he studied Draco. “I thought you didn’t want to see me again. Or, at least, that’s what you said.”
Draco considered this. “I did. But that was a long time ago.”
“Being a queer suddenly fashionable?”
Draco grimaced slightly. “Perhaps this conversation should best be held somewhere more private.”
Harry nodded his head. “Yes, of course. Must keep the skeletons in the closet.”
Draco smiled, taking a drag from the cigarette once more, and nodded in the direction of the amorous couple on the couch. “I’m merely suggesting that we should show more taste than those around us.”
“Neither of us has a hand down the other one’s pants. And besides, there’s nothing to talk about. You’ve made your decision. You made it quite clear.” Harry sunk even lower in his chair, allowing his eyelids to close once more.
Draco sighed. “I made a decision that was necessary at the time, and remains necessary in the present.” He set his beer down on the table and rubbed his temples. “Look, I really have no desire to rehash old sob stories. I came here to see you. There’s an empty room upstairs, if you’re interested.”
Harry didn’t open his eyes. “No. I’m not interested in whatever plans you have for a one night stand.” He remained silent for a few moments then opened his eyes. To his annoyance and pleasure, Draco remained in his seat, smoke dissipating around his head, grey eyes trained on Harry. Thin blond eyebrows arched in a wordless question. Harry sighed overdramatically and set his beer on the table with a loud clunk.
“Oh, alright. Lead the way.”
Draco smiled as he stood, holding out a hand to Harry. Feeling quite relaxed, Harry wasn’t much inclined to move, but he grasped the other man’s hand and coaxed his legs into supporting his weight. Draco turned to the stairs, holding onto Harry’s hand behind him as he led him up the stairs to a vacant bedroom. Draco opened the door and motioned for Harry to step inside. The master bedroom. Harry grinned. He should have known. Only the best for Draco Malfoy. How he had managed to get the room vacant, Harry didn’t want to know.
The room was sparsely furnished. A king sized four poster bed sat against the middle of the side wall, with two nightstands, one on each side. A plush overstuffed armchair was near the bed, and there was a window seat looking out on the immaculate gardens below. Harry stepped into the room, feeling his bare feet sink into the deep, plush scarlet colored carpet. He padded across the room and lay on the bed, arms under his head, fingers laced, as he stared at the ceiling. Draco followed, muttering a locking charm on the door and sat in the overstuffed chair.
Harry sat up, swinging his legs off the side of the bed and facing Draco. The blond remained silent as he pulled out another cigarette and lit it. For a moment they sat in silence, green eyes locked onto grey. Finally, Harry broke the gaze, looking down at his lap before looking back again, this time in anger.
“So,” he said sharply. “You were telling me about how breaking up with me was a necessity.”
Draco sighed. “Potter, we’ve been through this before. I really don’t think that we need to go through it again.”
“Oh?” Harry asked evenly. “I think we do.” There was a pause and then in a softer tone, “Why are you here, Draco?”
“I wanted to see you.”
“You mentioned that. But I seem to recall that the last time we were together, things didn’t end on the best of terms.”
Draco smirked, one eyebrow raised. “No. They didn’t. But then, I walked in on you fucking Oliver in the middle of our living room.”
“That was different,” Harry said quickly. “That was after you broke up with me.”
“I didn’t break up with you. I just—“
“—just told me you were going to marry Pansy Parkinson,” Harry finished bitterly.
“Potter, you know as well as I do that I had no other choice. The pretense of us being roommates could only last so long. I had to for my—“
“Yes, yes,” Harry cut him off. “For your image. For your career. Because all that was clearly more important to you than I was.”
“It wasn’t that simple.” Draco’s voice was calm but steely as he extinguished his cigarette.
“Well, I am so sorry that I’m not Harry fucking Potter, that I have to actually worry about my image, that people don’t just fall at my feet and adore me no matter what. That I actually have to work at it.” Draco paused for breath and Harry glared at him.
“Work at it? Hah. Well, you’ve been doing a good job of it. I hear the first little Malfoy’s on the way. I suppose I should congratulate you.”
“Potter, you know as well as I do that to get anywhere in this political circus I have to play the game and look the part. And if that means that I have to keep a pretty little trophy wife at my side to smile and wave at the cameras, then so be it.”
“Well, it’s worked marvelously. You’re ahead in the polls. Congratulations. This time next year you’ll be working out of the Minister’s office, no doubt”
Draco nodded, ignoring the bitter tone in Harry’s voice. “That’s the plan.” He stole a quick glance out the window. “But I don’t want to focus on next year. I want to focus on tonight.”
“And just what exactly do you have in mind for tonight?”
“I thought we could spend some time in one another’s company.”
“Uh huh. Just an innocent little rendezvous?”
Draco remained silent for a moment, and then grinned impishly, his eyes locking onto Harry’s. “Not entirely innocent, no.”
“What about Pansy?”
Draco shrugged. “She’s not here.”
“I can see that.”
“But you are. And I am. And we have this room all to ourselves.” Draco smirked and stood so he could look down upon Harry. “And you’re sitting on a nice big bed.”
“Do you expect me to just forgive you because you suddenly show up after two years and start spouting sexual innuendo?”
“Absolutely not. I would never expect such a thing.” Draco sat next to Harry on the bed. “However, I am hoping that you can forget—“
Harry started to protest, but Draco held up a hand to silence him.
“--forget, even if it’s only for tonight. I know that I want you. And I suspect that you want me as well.”
“I don’t want you for just one night. I don’t want to watch you go back to Pansy in the morning. I don’t want to read about your happy little family in the newspapers.” Harry’s voice trembled, but he made mo effort to move away from Draco’s advances.
“Shh. Potter, forget about all that for tonight. Just for tonight. Tonight there’s only you, and me, and the time we have together and what we choose to do with it.”
Harry didn’t answer. He remained still, his face turned towards Draco’s. Draco leaned forward and brushed his lips lightly against Harry’s. Harry wanted to pull away, wanted to push Draco away, wanted to do anything except what he was doing, which was to part his lips slightly in acceptance of Draco’s kiss, feeling Draco’s tongue lightly slide across his lower lip. He didn’t want to feel a shock of pleasure that went straight to his groin as his tongue brushed against the other man’s. He didn’t want to slip one hand into Draco’s hair as the other hand played with the tiny buttons of his white shirt. But he did. And he wanted it; oh, he wanted it so badly. Wanted this man. Needed this moment.
Faint rays of sunlight began to seep in from the window. Harry, curled in the blankets of a stranger’s bed, felt even more lonely than he had at any given time in the previous two years. He sighed and sat up, his legs curled up to his chest, his arms and head resting on his knees. He looked up at Draco, who stood at the foot of the bed, pulling up his trousers and buckling his belt quickly. Draco avoided his gaze and began searching through the discarded clothes on the floor for his shirt. Harry didn’t move, refusing to let go of their night. Maybe if he didn’t look away, maybe if he could just catch Draco’s eye, maybe then things could go back to how they were—to how they were supposed to be.
Draco found his shirt and slipped it on, buttoning the buttons carefully and smoothing the front, still carefully avoiding Harry’s gaze. Harry held his breath, holding back the tears that crept into his eyes. He could not—he would not—cry in front of Draco. His throat ached from the effort, and he almost didn’t notice as Draco knelt in front of him. Draco took Harry’s hands in his own and sighed.
“I wish it didn’t have to be like this,” Draco spoke softly, his voice almost a whisper.
Harry looked away from him.
“Harry, I mean that.”
Harry closed his eyes briefly and then turned back to face him. “Draco, what do you expect from me?” His voice was strained.
“I don’t—“ Draco sighed. “I don’t expect anything from you. I just want you to know that … that I love you, Harry.”
A smile tugged at the corner of Harry’s lips. “So, it’s Harry now?”
Draco smiled too. “It was a slip of the tongue, Potter.” Harry was quick to point out that it had happened twice. “I assure you it won’t happen again.” Draco winked and squeezed Harry’s hand.
Harry sniffed lightly. Draco reached up and brushed at the tears that hovered in the corners of Harry’s eyes.
“Don’t do that. It’s going to be hard enough for me to leave without you blubbering all over the place.”
Harry nodded. “You’d better go because…” He couldn’t bring himself to say Pansy’s name aloud. He sniffed once more. “…She’ll be wondering where you are.”
Draco stood and gathered his things, taking his cloak from where it was tossed on the floor. Neither of them said good-bye. Draco just slipped quietly out of the room and out of Harry’s life once more.
Harry had no idea how long he’d stayed curled in a ball on the bed. After what felt like, and probably was, hours, he finally forced himself to get up and get dressed. He picked his cloak up from the arm chair and slipped it on, surprised to feel that it seemed just a bit too small. He thought back to the events of the previous night and then clearly remembered taking off Draco’s cloak and tossing it onto the chair—not the floor. Harry sighed. Draco must have mixed them up. Harry smiled and pulled the cloak tighter around him.
Draco walked slowly down London’s snowy streets. He could have Apparated home, but he wanted to walk. He needed to spend some time alone with his thoughts. He turned his face to the collar of his cloak, catching a drift of Harry’s cologne and smiling brightly. I’m never going to wash this, he thought. Of course Pansy was going to wonder what happened to the cloak he left home in, but he didn’t care. He would deal with that problem when he got home. In the meantime he decided to wrap himself in Harry’s cloak and reminisce about the past. A past when things had been much simpler; when Harry’s bottle of cologne had been a permanent fixture on his nightstand, rather than a fading memory on a stolen cloak.
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