He could hear the Quidditch game from several offices away. He was on his way out the door when the large owl waiting on his desk hopped imperiously, ruffling its feathers, and made a noise to get his attention.
Harry turned wearily to lean against the door of the office. "Is this really urgent?" He asked the owl. It stared at him reproachfully. "Because there's a Quidditch match on in the other room. I didn't see the last one because of Dumbledore--not that I'm not dedicated to fighting the forces of darkness, mind you, but--" The owl had fixed him with an unblinking golden gaze, and he finally gave up. "Bugger it. Alright."
The strip of parchment fastened to the owl's leg was, indeed, from the headmaster of Hogwarts. *Death Eater meeting at sundown today,* it said. *We believe this one's not of any particular importance--going over their annual budget, according to our sources. Still, we can't discount the possibility of counter-intelligence. Better safe than sorry, right? Please take care of Draco.*
Not, *How did it go today?* Not, *Sorry for using your personal life for the Cause this way.* Not, *Thank you.* Not *Good show last time with the chocolate strawberries and the bubblebath; that was very clever.* Not even a single suggestion, although it had to occur to the leader of the fight against Voldemort that after three years, Harry was starting to run out of excuses to keep Draco out of Death Eater meetings and was recycling the ones he'd used at the beginning.
He turned the slip over and wrote on the back a curt, *Right. --Harry.* The owl left, and Harry reached for his broom again. "You know," he said out loud, to no one in particular, "the Death Eaters don't work during Quidditch matches."
Voldemort was really probably starting to miss Draco. The last time he'd made a meeting had to have been--what, two months ago, a few days before the full moon--when Harry'd destroyed half the tiles in the bathroom, but he'd manage to fix them before the meeting began, and Harry hadn't been able to come up with anything else? And that had been the first time in a year.
The last meeting had been little more than a week and a half ago, and Harry'd managed to keep Draco with the elaborate invention of an anniversary (not an anniversary anniversary, but the anniversary, he'd claimed, of the first time they'd stayed up all night shagging). He still wasn't sure Draco'd believed him, but he'd been willing to be talked into a reenactment anyway. Harry smiled smugly at the memory.
Well, alright, then. When you run out of reasonable sounding excuses, there *is* always sex.
The image in the pool of ink swam into focus. Draco's magnificent eyes were fixed off to the side (probably, Harry thought, on the TV). "Oh, for fuck's sake, Harry," he said irritably, "what is it now?" He'd been hanging out with those American Death Eaters Dumbledore had mentioned, evidently. Draco was always on the lookout for new profanity.
Harry licked his lips. "Well, now that you mention it, actually."
Draco looked back at him, and, evidently, registered his state of undress. He went still, and Harry could see his cheeks starting to flush as he said, "You're really an incorrigible little sex kitten, aren't you?"
Harry grinned and stretched, arching his back. "Well, I'm not sure--I thought you might like to help me investigate the possibility."
Draco made an inarticulate growling noise. "I just wonder, you bastard." He seemed to have some difficulty swallowing.
"Well," Harry said, "do you?"
Draco sighed and leaned back in his chair, staring at Harry with his eyes burning. Harry loved it when he looked threatening, and squirmed a little against his piles of pillows in anticipation. "You're at home, aren't you?"
"In our bed," Harry agreed cheerfully. "All alone--with these pillows. And this bottle of enchanted lubricant I got..." he squinted at the bedside table. Then he sighed elaborately. "I'm getting awfully lonely, Draco. I tried the lubricant on my own..."
Draco muffled a groan and muttered what sounded vaguely like "I'll bet."
"...but it's just not the same," Harry continued, at which Draco smiled rather triumphantly, the way he'd used to back when they were in school, at baiting someone to an outburst in Potions that cost Gryffindor some points... .
"Don't think I don't know what you're doing," Draco said with a rather superior little smile, licking his own lips as Harry idly plucked at one of his nipples.
Harry was confused. "Masturbating? I thought it was rather obvious."
Draco laughed, "That too, of course, you charming idiot. But, no, I was referring to your rather pitifully transparent attempts to distract me."
Oh. Harry was momentarily disconcerted. He'd rather thought Draco knew what he was doing, but they'd never discussed it openly before. Then he shrugged and trailed a hand down his bare stomach. "Transparent, yet effective," he suggested.
Draco was leaning back in his chair, and as Harry watched, he spread his legs a little and cupped a hand in his lap. "Mmmm," he agreed, "unfortunately effective. But it doesn't matter--Bolivia's not going to win the Quidditch match."
Now Harry was totally lost. "They're not?" He said cleverly, wondering what on Earth his lover was talking about.
"Of course not," he said in a superior manner, the hand between his legs beginning a slow massage as he gazed at Harry through eyes slitted with pleasure. "They don't need my involvement to properly curse them."
Harry, who had allowed one of his hands to wander between his own thighs and was growing rather preoccupied watching Draco, took a few moments to comprehend that. Then he exclaimed, "Hey! Do you mean to say you Death Eaters are fixing the Quidditch matches?"
"Very good," Draco said, through some rather harsh breathing. Harry was having some difficulty breathing evenly himself. He spread his legs further apart and watched Draco's breath catch.
"That's not very sportsmanlike," Harry managed to get out of his dry mouth, putting his hands back on his stomach (no good finishing before he'd even managed to lure Draco back).
"News flash, Potter," Draco drawled, unfastening his robes at the neck. "The forces of the Dark Lord? We're evil. I can't say we usually concern ourselves overmuch with sportsmanlike behavior." Now a narrow triangle of the skin of his chest was exposed.
"...Right," Harry agreed absently.
There was a little silence in which Draco, who was watching Harry still even though his head was tilted back and his pale, delicate skin flushed a delicious pink, made no noises other than an occasional long, savory "Mmmm."
Draco's robe was unfastened nearly to the stomach, and he wasn't wearing a shirt under it. Harry happened to know that that was because they'd been shagging on the kitchen table five minutes after he was supposed to have left, and when they'd finished hadn't been able to find it. "So," Harry finally said, stretching langorously again, "...do you think you could *possibly* make it home and... keep me company?"
Draco looked at him rather grimly, with his narrow eyes glittering, two magnificent slashes of color high on his cheeks. Finally he fumbled the clasp of his robe closed again without taking his eyes off Harry. "I'll be there in fifteen minutes," he said shortly.
Harry smiled and blew him a kiss.
He rolled his eyes and vanished.
"He shows *no* remorse whatever," Harry had grumbled when they'd been living together only a few months, crossing his arms over his chest.
"Remorse for...?" Hermione had prompted, nibbling a blueberry scone. "These are pretty good."
"Really?" Harry'd said, distracted. "I'll tell him. I like them, but he thought they needed more sugar. --Oh. Remorse for torturing people to death!" he'd exclaimed. "You'd think it would *bother* him a bit. 'What about the screams of pain?' I asked him. 'What about when they beg you for mercy?' Do you know what he said?"
Hermione had paused, not having yet taken another bite of scone. "What?"
" 'Well, it's entertaining at first of course,' he said. 'But they all beg the same. I get awfully tired of hearing "please"!' He *mocked* them! '"Oh, anything you want! I am your slave!"' He said."
Hermione had slowly put the scone down and taken a sip of coffee instead. "Er, Harry?"
"Don't take offense at this question, or anything. I'm just curious: why do you stay with him?"
"Oh," Harry'd said, smiling foolishly, "well, he's a cruel, wicked bastard who calls my best friend a 'Mudblood' and doesn't really care about anyone except himself--and me, of course. But I love him. And besides," he'd added, blushing a little, "he's *great* in bed."
Hermione had raised an eyebrow, and Harry had quickly hidden his face behind the rim of the coffee cup.
"Come here," Draco glowered, gracefully stripping out of his robe as he advanced on the bed.
Harry smiled and slid to the edge of the bed. When Draco came within reach, he seized his arms and brought their mouths swiftly together. "Mm," Draco murmured, while Harry unfastened his pants, licked from his ear down the line from his jaw, and backed him away from the bed. "Where are we going?"
"Aren't you getting a bit bored of the bed?" Harry breathed huskily against the pulse point in Draco's neck.
Draco groaned and buried his hands in Harry's hair. "Frankly... no," he said. "Bed... sex... good. Soft... comfortable..." He broke off with a gasp when Harry bit his earlobe.
"It's so pedestrian, though," he whispered in Draco's ear, and drew him by the hands out of the bedroom, leaving his pants in a pool on the floor.
"Pedestrian," said Draco, turning his face so Harry's kiss fell on the corner of his mouth, giving him a few more seconds to speak, "implies walking. The bed is clearly *not*..."
"Boring," Harry insisted, seizing his partner's chin in his hand to prevent him from moving his head again and claiming his mouth with a deep, swift kiss. His tongue danced around Draco's and re-learned the contours of the familiar mouth. He savored the slight tang of blood when Draco bit down hard on his lip.
They were standing, mutually naked, in the upstairs hallway rather near the railing overlooking the living room. Afternoon sunshine poured in the window and painted Draco's aristocratically translucent skin luminous golden, and caught fire in his pale blond hair. Harry backed Draco up against the railing, which pressed against his ass. Draco braced his feet a little apart for balance with what presence of mind he had left while Harry continued to kiss him senseless.
Harry took that opportunity to insinuate a thigh between Draco's legs. "Were you thinking of fucking here on the railing?" Draco breathed, "Because that might be a little dangerous, compared to what you usually go for..." he groaned as Harry's teeth scraped his right nipple, "not that I'm complaining."
"Nah," Harry said, putting his hands, braced on the railing, closer in to Draco's sides. "I need something to push against... I was thinking of the downstairs bathroom... we haven't done it in there for months..."
"Ah," Draco murmured, closing his thighs around Harry's hips, "that works for me. Assuming..." Harry stopped him from speaking, temporarily, with a short, wet, messy kiss. "...Assuming that our time frame is essentially," he gasped, "*right now.*"
"Mm," Harry agreed emphatically, capturing his lips again and kissing him deeply as he backed away from the railing. Draco's hands seemed to be finished running up and down his back, and had settled at his hips. He clasped Harry's ass and rubbed against him a bit as they turned, rather awkwardly with neither looking, in the hallway.
Next thing, Draco was against the opposite wall, next to their bedroom door, hitching one of his legs high around Harry's hips, panting with his head thrown back and his eyes closed while Harry kissed down his neck again. "Or," Harry said indistinctly against his neck, "I could just fuck you here against the wall now, and we could try the downstairs bathroom later."
For answer, Draco spread his legs further and growled the lubrication spell. "I think that's rather too much," Harry said doubtfully, and then, "ow!" As Draco sharply bit his ear.
"Hurry on with it, you stupid git," Draco said hoarsely.
"Right," said Harry.
"I was just observing," Draco said, lying on his back on the floor of the downstairs bathroom, "that as you seem to have thought of everything *else*, it wasn't outside the bounds of probability that you would have brought at least a rug in here, if not some pillows. I mean did you think we'd get up and clean off and go somewhere else *before* we laid down--?"
"Draco," Harry interrupted, "Shut up."
"Granted, there's a sink, but there aren't even any *washcloths*, but we won't mention whose fault *that*--mmf," he said, as Harry levered himself up on an elbow and descended calmly to kiss the rest of the fight out of him.
"If you must know," he said when he'd dropped onto the floor again and pillowed his chin on his folded arms, "I thought we'd be too tired to care about cleaning off and too wrapped up in each other to care about pillows." As he spoke, he caressed one of Draco's calves with his foot.
"That's all very idealistic and romantic, Potter," Draco retorted, "but we could've had romantic sex in bed, and then we'd have pillows."
Harry sighed, exasperated. "I didn't see you complaining on the landing upstairs. In fact, you were willing to have me shag you on the railing rather than taking two seconds to turn around to the wall."
Draco flushed. "That was your idea."
"And what was that on the stairs? I suppose it was, 'Wait, the pillows,' and in the heat of the moment it just happened to sound, to my stupid ears, like 'I'll kill you if you don't hurry down the stairs faster, you brainless, yet incredibly edible piece of ass.'"
"That's not what I said," Draco muttered. "I didn't say 'incredibly edible,' I said 'incredibly hot.'"
"Oh," Harry said. "Excuse me. At any rate, I did think of doing something to the bathroom, but I wanted to seem spontaneous. It's just too unromantic to arrange all these things in advance."
"Even when you've already planned them," Draco said flatly.
"Yes." Harry's voice was firm. "It's not the same at all. Besides, you don't know that I--hey--what is *that*?"
"What's what?" Harry indicated Draco's left forearm. Draco followed his eyes, then raised his eyebrows and said, "We-ell, Potter, when you become a Death Eater you swear an oath to the Dark Lord as your Master, and he cuts your arm and uses your blood, and a number of other substances, in a charming and very creative little ceremony to put this mark on you--"
"I know about the Mark," Harry said impatiently, "I'm talking about what it's doing. It's--sort of red and purple, and it's pulsing or something, and your arm looks swollen. Doesn't that hurt?"
"Oh, that," Draco said airily, "a bit."
Harry poked inquisitively at the mark with his forefinger, and Draco's body tensed and arced off the floor. He screamed. Harry sat up to look at him wide-eyed. His teeth were clenched, his face pale and glistening with sweat. "Wow," Harry said.
Draco glowered. "The Lord," he gritted, "is not pleased with me."
"Um. I'll say," Harry said uneasily, "I wonder why?"
Draco rolled his eyes. "Let me know when you figure it out."
"But I didn't know you got *punished* for missing meetings," Harry finally cried. "What does it mean, the red and purple?"
"You don't always get punished," Draco said, still a little breathily. "Predictability wouldn't serve Voldemort's purposes very well. --I'd think even *you* would know that much about torture," he added scathingly. "And I'd say the pulsing means the next time I see him, I'll get the Cruciatus."
"Were you planning that we'd ever eat dinner? Because I don't think I'm up for another round until I've had a shower and eaten, and I don't think I can really cook very well--"
"But how can you just say it like that? You don't like it, surely?"
Draco sighed and levered himself up, using mainly his right arm. He leaned against the wall. "If I did, it wouldn't be a very useful punishment, now would it?"
"Good wizards never do things like that. You should switch over. Dumbledore'd protect you."
"Nice try, Potter. The answer remains the same: No. You should really switch over. Dumbledore and his weaklings don't deserve you."
Harry frowned. "Why do you want to serve Voldemort?" He asked.
"For the one million, six hundred and fifty-four thousand, eight hundred and sixty-*second* time," Draco said patiently, "*I am evil.*"
Harry stared at him for a second, then gave up again and stood up. "I know, I know. ... I'll make dinner."
*Oh yes, I knew about that,* said the letter from Dumbledore. *I suppose I should have told you about it, but I figured you'd know already. You know. The Dark Mark has lots of ways of communicating with Death Eaters. For instance, when they're called to a meeting, it turns black.*
Harry brushed the quill thoughtfully across his lips, looking across the room at the closet. Finally he just wrote, *Thank you. --Harry.*
"Is it snowing really?" Harry said, not actually very interested. A cold, pale hand jerked the comforter from over his face, and he was presented with the attractive face of his lover set in a petulant scowl.
"Yes. It is," Draco said silkily. "Perhaps you wonder why I'm mentioning this. Let me give you a hint. *Robes.*"
Oh, drat. That. Perhaps it hadn't been the best idea to get rid of all the long-sleeved robes, but it hadn't been wintertime when he'd done it. Harry sat up, rubbing his eyes. "What about them?" He asked, eyeing Draco's bare chest.
Draco slammed his fist down on the bedside table, causing _The Joy of Gay Sex_ and a stack of Death Eater reports he'd been writing comments on to slide onto the floor. Their collection of lubricants jumped into the air, but none fell. Harry winced. "None of the long-sleeved ones seem to be there," he announced.
"Oh. Right." Harry said. "I meant to mention that to you, actually."
"You did," said Draco, not encouragingly.
"Yes. You see, I was trying to--er--"
"Well, that's what happened; it's not what I was *trying* to do. I was trying to, um, clean them. And they seem to have been accidentally destroyed."
"I noticed," Draco said grimly. "Well, perhaps you had an idea, then, about what I should wear?"
"A short-sleeved robe," Harry suggested. It might be cold, but on the other hand, that way he could see the Dark Mark.
Draco put his head to the side, pretending to consider. "Hm, well, let's see. How's that? Since the sleeves are short, I would be outside--in the snow--which does tend to be cold--without my arms covered. The cold air would be in constant contact with my skin. I would become cold. ...You know, I think that might be unpleasant. Any other ideas?"
Harry sighed. "I suppose you could borrow one of my robes, but I want it back, mind you, and not smelling of blood."
Draco glowered. "The sleeves are too short."
"Well, they're longer than short sleeves," Harry pointed out.
Draco stalked, grumbling, to the closet, and ripped a set of Harry's robes off their hanger with unnecessary violence. "I'm going to get back at you," he said.
Whispers followed Harry and Draco through the throngs of wizards in their most magnificent dress robes. "Why do I get the feeling that I'm not perfectly welcome," Draco murmured near Harry's ear.
"I think they're just jealous of me," Harry replied, smiling. "You're very dramatic and dashing." Draco's formal robes were of fine, thick black velvet, edged with stiff silver lace at the high throat and the sleeves. His skin glowed in the light of hundreds of candles which hung suspended in the air, reflecting from mirrors on the walls. His glossy hair was little darker than the silvered cream it had been when they'd first met.
"Perhaps," Draco said doubtfully, somewhat mollified, even though it was obvious that wasn't the explanation (at least, not the *only* explanation) for the attention.
"Besides, you can't blame them for being a little wary of you; for a lot of them, the last thing they remember was that banquet when you and your Dad tried to assassinate Dumbledore--"
"Harry, do you *always* have to bring that up?" He hissed. "Why does it always have to be about Father? He's dead, for the Dark Lord's sake, can't you leave it alone?"
"I'm just saying," Harry protested, "that they're not expecting you to be on your best behavior. --Or if they are, they don't know what your best behavior is."
Draco smiled reluctantly at this. "Maybe they'll be surprised."
Harry threw him a sidelong glance. "Draco, darling," he whispered. "Best behavior. You promised."
"I will be, as long as you don't call me 'darling' again," came the flippant answer, as Draco drew Harry's arm in its deep green velvet through his. "Let's go make virtuous, mind-numbing small talk with your asinine friends."
"Alright," Harry said, choosing to ignore the adjectives and be happy with the expressed intent. "There's Hermione."
Draco stood next to Harry's shoulder, looking superior and not really contributing anything to the conversation, just sipping a flute of champagne taken from a passing waiter. As soon as Harry had finished his wine, Draco whisked it from his hand. "Excuse me for a moment, Granger," he said loudly. "My partner here's run out of champagne. Let me get you some more, love," he said in a caressing voice. Harry threw him an uneasy glance, not at all reassured when he bent to brush his lips against Harry's cheek. "I'll be right back," he said with a little sparkling smile, and walked towards the table of drinks and finger foods with enough stately majesty, and enough cold glances cast around, to assure that he had nearly every eye in the room.
"Oh, hello, Minerva," he said, with a smile no warmer for Professor McGonagall. Harry closed his eyes and felt Hermione patting his arm reassuringly. He opened them again swiftly, afraid to miss whatever was going to happen. "How are you? You don't happen to know what variety of champagne this is, do you?"
McGonagall's answer, pitched in a normal conversational tone, didn't carry across the room as well as Draco's unfortunately did.
"Oh, really," he said, sounding regretful, "a pity. One of the few areas in which Muggles can claim to have surpassed us. I can't give Harry another glass of this champagne. I'll just make it into a nicer variety." The gasps and whispers that swirled around the edges of the room picked up momentum.
"Oh, bollux," Harry muttered. Draco had put his hand in his pocket.
He rummaged around a bit, and finally drew out a length of sickly pink-gray animal intestine glistening with blood. "Oops," he said with a dazzling smile for McGonagall: "Wrong pocket." And laid it on the table.
He wiped the hand on the edge of the tablecloth, thrust it into the other pocket, and pulled it out empty with a puzzled frown. At last, his face clearing with relief, he slid his wand out of his sleeve, and with a muttered word, made the animal intestine vanish. Harry leaned weakly against Hermione as Draco pointed the wand at a champagne flute. He had left a smear of blood on the table. He finally picked up the flute, and said to McGonagall, who was watching the whole thing with her face frightfully stiff, "I'm afraid I'm not used to the arrangements of these pockets. New robes, you know. Well," with a glance sweeping her from head to foot, "perhaps you don't. But anyway, Harry... accidentally... burned my old set." Then with another charming grin, he turned and swept away.
By the time he was at Harry's side again, the whispers had risen to a roar. Draco ignored them and handed Harry the champagne. "Sorry I've been so long," he said sweetly, "darling."
"Was that," Ginny asked Ron incredulously, "*Draco Malfoy*?"
Ron made a face. "I'm afraid so."
"What in the world are you talking to him for?"
Ron looked to see if she was serious, but apparently, she was. "Harry," he said.
She frowned. "Harry?"
"Harry... and Draco? Draco is his... Harry's... partner." From her face, he'd have to be a bit more explicit. "Lover. They're lovers. He's invited all of us to a surprise birthday party for Harry." Ginny still looked rather blank. "At their house. On Harry's birthday... next week..." Ron continued.
"...Oh," she said faintly. "We're going?"
Ron said staunchly, "It's Harry's birthday; of *course* we're going."
"Ginny," Hermione whispered, "you *do* know about the rules, right?" The young woman shook her head wordlessly.
"Well, Harry and Draco have an ongoing... argument... about You-know-who," Ron said.
"You might almost say it was like a battle between the forces of Light and Darkness," Fred grinned.
"Almost," George agreed.
"So," said Percy, "it's necessary to be especially... circumspect, in their house."
"Okay," said Ginny uncertainly.
"So don't mention You-know-who," Hermione hissed.
"And don't say anything about the fight."
"Or the Death Eaters."
"Or wizards?" Ginny asked sarcastically.
"No..." Percy said, "wizards are okay."
Harry was tired. He was of the opinion that no one should have to do any work on their birthday. Of course, the fact that it was his birthday and that he'd just finished doing quite a lot of work, and was getting home late, might have had something to do with his feelings on the matter. He wondered whether eating dinner would give him enough energy for the amount of shagging he'd been looking forward to all day. ...Well, *some* of him was showing some interest in the idea, despite his weariness.
The lights were out.
He wasn't *that* late. Where was Draco?
Surely he hadn't forgotten his birthday? And even if he had, where would he have gone? The only thing Harry could think of that could have called Draco away was Death Eater business. He'd heard nothing from Dumbledore, he thought, beginning to be a bit panicked.
Harry had a peculiar prickling between his shoulderblades as he approached the door. He set his broom aside and got out his wand, just in case, his mind racing through various unpleasant possibilities.
He opened the door on a tremendous flash of light, which revealed the room full of robed figures. A Death Eather gathering? Just as he'd feared! He unleashed the spell he'd had ready, stupefying everyone in the room.
The lights remained on, and Harry surveyed the frozen tableau. Draco, in the front, and behind him a number of other wizards, mostly his friends, and only a few Death Eaters. No one was hooded, and everyone--Hermione, Percy and Ron, Ginny, Fred and George, Colin, Justin, Cho, even Draco--was smiling. Draco's Death Eater friends even seemed to have been attempting it. Most of them were wearing party hats. There was, Harry could see now, as he shut the door and stepped further into the room, a cake on the table.
Feeling rather foolish, he waved his wand and released Draco. Draco blinked, and then scowled. "*That's* the thanks I get? You're welcome for calling all your disgusting little friends," he grumbled. "Stupefying everyone? Happy Birthday."
Harry hugged his partner's stiff, resisting shoulders and gave him a brief kiss. "Thanks, Draco. You startled me, is all. I thought I was walking into a Death Eater meeting."
Draco's lips twitched. "Worried when you couldn't see the Dark Mark under my sleeve this morning, were you?"
Harry grinned. "Well, you do look awfully good in the new robes, anyway." He turned to face the room and waved his wand to release the guests.
"SURPRISE!" They all yelled, after blinking for a second, and "HAPPY BIRTHDAY!"
"Thanks," Harry laughed, "to all of you. As you can see, I was *very* surprised." A chuckle ran around the room. "Thank you for coming! Enjoy yourselves. And neither Draco nor I will blame any of you if you don't want to eat the cake."
"Why'd you say that?" Draco muttered in his ear.
"I don't trust you with them," Harry said.
"Well, I like that!" Draco exclaimed. "After I--!"
"Well, unless you'd rather I ate the first piece of it--?"
"No!" Draco sighed glumly. "Oh, very well. You win--dammit."
"You have no shame, do you?" Said Harry, frowning. "Trying to poison my friends at my birthday party?" His voice was starting to rise.
"If you're waiting for an apology," said Draco icily, "keep waiting."
"Not an apology, no," Harry practically shouted, while the other people in the room exchanged glances and edged away from them, "I wouldn't expect that! Or even some common decency, because of course you evil people don't care about that--"
"Well," said Draco hotly, "We *don't*!"
Utter silence reigned in the room while they remained standing there, eyes locked, glaring.
Draco wasn't smiling, but if you looked very closely at his face, it had softened. Harry suddenly reached out and gripped his arm and dragged Draco behind him from the living room to the kitchen. There, with a jerk, he pulled him off-balance, and when Draco fell against his chest, crushed him in his arms and proceeded to very thoroughly kiss him, right there in the kitchen door. Neither of them appeared to notice that the party was still silent and all the guests were still staring at them.
They were still kissing. And kissing.
"Well," said Ginny bravely in a small voice, "that was interesting."
Fred and George snickered. "You should come here more often. They *always* are." Which, given the noises coming from the kitchen door, was very believable.