Beautiful

Debra Fran Baker


"You want to snog?"

Draco paused after checking once more for some sort of exit from the room to stare at Potter, who had settled into one of the dusty, sheet-covered armchairs that lined the room like ghosts of furniture. Potter grinned at him. "I didn't know Gryffindors were such perverts. You *are* aware I'm male, aren't you?" He let the disgust drip through his voice - positively channeling his father.

"Oh, I know you're male, Malfoy." He draped his legs over the arm, still grinning. "I very much know you're male. I wouldn't ask a girl to snog, would I?" Potter's legs weren't very long, but they draped nicely. Draco shut that voice down. It was easy after all these years.

Instead, he backed away, hitting the sofa against the other wall and falling into it. He coughed on the cloud of dust he raised. "You *are* one of those perverts. You've kept it well-hidden."

"I had to, didn't I? Your set are worse than Muggles when it comes to queers. Not even Ron knew I dated Justin for three months." Potter's grin disappeared for a moment. "I miss him."

Draco didn't know whether Potter meant Weasley, who was probably off with that Ravenclaw girl, or Finch-Fetchley, who hadn't survived the attacks the previous summer. He didn't want to know.

"I don't know what's worse - your dating a bloke or your dating a *Hufflepuff*." He could feel his lips curl.

"Maybe I should date a Slytherin instead?" Potter licked his lips.

"We have *none* of your Muggle perversions in *my* house, Potter."

"Of course not." He shook his head, letting his ponytail fall over his shoulder. Even long and tied up, it was still messy. The green ribbon holding it with a sloppy bow was starting to fray. "No pure bloods would ever be queer." He smiled. "That's why Goyle and Crabbe worshipped you, you git. And that's why I never see you with Pansy anymore."

"I don't want to hear this, Potter. We have to find a way out of here." Draco, who was still clutching his wand, began looking for exits again.

"Oh, give it up. I've been here before - this room only lets you go when it wants to. It could be in five minutes or it could be hours. Which is why I suggested that we snog."

"I don't know what you're on about." Draco stuffed his wand back in his robe in defeat.

"Can you think of a better way to pass the time? I quite like snogging." He got up and walked across the room, his robes moving gracefully against his calves. Draco could not take his eyes off them - neither the robes, which outlined rather than concealed Potter's slender body, or the calves.

"I...don't. Waste of time. Just something the girls like. But then, you're like a girl, aren't you?" This time he couldn't muster the same disgust.

"Trust me, Malfoy. I'm nothing like a girl." He flopped on the sofa, stretching out his legs, letting his robes drape across his body. No, Potter was nothing like a girl.

So why was Draco getting hard beneath his own robes? He tried to casually gather them in his lap, but could not escape Potter's gaze, which made him harder.

It couldn't be. He was a Malfoy, a pureblood, a Slytherin. He could hear his father's voice now, declaiming on the perverted filth that was all the fault of interbreeding with Muggles, and how the Dark Lord would purge them when he took care of the Mudbloods. To his relief, his erection faded.

"Why me?"

Potter touched his cheek. Draco should have pulled back, but he couldn't move. "Because you're beautiful. And you're here."

That wasn't his question. "But, you hate me."

Potter nodded. "I do. You're a prejudiced, closed minded Slytherin bully, an example of the worst of your set, and you'll probably be taking your father's position once you leave school, assuming it's there to be taken. You've never done anything but try to hurt me and my friends since we started. I think I hated you the first time I saw you in Madam Malkin's." He began stroking Draco's cheek with his thumb, leaving warmth in its wake, belying the cold mockery in his voice.

"You're..." Draco had to pause to catch his breath. "You're in love with your own fame."

"I'd give it all away in a moment. It's done nothing but make my life hell." All mockery, all expression was gone. Even his thumb was still.

"Is that why you told me this? So everyone would hate you?"

He shook his head. "I've been hated before - second year, and fourth year. Famous is famous, good or bad. Lockhart would have told you there's no such thing as bad publicity. Except I don't believe there's such a thing as good publicity."

"Then why? Do you think I'd keep this a secret?"

"If we snog, you will." There was a ghost of a smile on Potter's face, before it faded again. Draco missed it. He put his hand on Potter's shoulder, as gentle as the hand on his face.

"Why me? Why are you trusting me?"

"Because it doesn't bloody matter, does it? Voldemort's about to make his final push. My damn scar hurts so often and so much, I can't sleep. Half my friends are *dead*. People I love are dead. *Justin* is dead and I never got to say good-bye." He wiped his face with his free hand. "If the whole wizarding world *and* my Uncle Vernon knows I'm queer before I'm dead, who cares?"

Potter didn't care. The *Prophet* would have a field day; all of his pureblood friends would drop him and it sounded like some Muggle Uncle of his would be unhappy, too, although Draco, who never met either his Death Eater Uncle Lestrange or his Mudblood Uncle Tonks, didn't know why that would be important, but it clearly was.

And he really didn't care because he expected to die before summer term was over. He was a seventeen year old boy who didn't expect to see his 18th birthday.

Draco's blood ran cold. How could Potter be so calm about this? Or...Draco had heard all the stories. Was he so used to facing death that he didn't care anymore?

Or. Draco swallowed. Was he waiting for it? Looking forward to it? "Potter?"

Potter looked at him. His eyes were very bright. Tears, Draco realized. "Please. Don't ask me...anything."

Draco examined his hate, and it was real, but so was Potter, and Potter had bright green eyes and soft dark hair, and pale skin despite hours in the sky, and his body was too close to be ignored. Draco reached out, and Potter let him.

He felt strange but good in Draco's arms - there were muscles under that robe, and his arms were strong.

For a long time, they just held each other. Draco wondered if Potter was going to cry and hoped he would not - that would have been horrible. The whole situation, nice though it was, was also weird enough.

Potter didn't cry. He rested his head on Draco's shoulder, but otherwise, he was perfectly still, as if waiting for something. When nothing happened, Draco felt soft, tentative strokes on his back. He stiffened, but Potter's hands never moved from his back. And his own arms were getting tired, so he began to rub Potter's back. His robes were soft - obviously, Potter had better taste in school robes than he did in the Muggle clothing he wore on weekends. It felt good under Draco's hands. Then he thought of something.

"You know, I should probably kill you now, if you're such a threat to the Dark Lord." It would solve so many problems. Best way to keep the secret, too.

Potter looked up and smiled faintly. "You could. But you won't. Because killing me might kill him, and then where would you be?" He stroked Draco's hair. "Also, you've never killed, and that's not something I'd have you change." He rubbed his other hand on his robes as if wiping off dirt.

Draco stared at his hand, wondering whose blood it was. "That's the only reason?" He also wondered how it would feel to kill. It wouldn't be hard right now.

Potter shrugged. "I'm not going to say I don't like living, but I don't expect to get the results of my NEWTs. You killing me now would save me sitting them."

"You could do for yourself." Draco was surprised at the mix of emotions those words produced. How could he feel both hope and despair at the same time?

"You'd like that, wouldn't you? Your side wins all around, then." Potter sounded more amused than angry. Draco wondered about that.

"Save us a lot of trouble, yeah." He wrapped his arms around him again - might as well do it right now, since this was never going to happen again, and it did feel good. He tried to tell himself no good Slytherin would deny himself a bit of pleasure, but this had nothing to do with Slytherin and they'd never find out.

He had no idea how long they were like that, just patting each other, before Potter lifted his head and looked at him.

"You really are beautiful, you know. You're a complete git, but you're beautiful."

Draco had to smile at that. "Same to you, Potter." And then, obeying some impulse he'd have denied he could have ever had, he leaned forward and kissed Potter's lips.

He responded instantly, taking full control of the situation. Draco considered fighting him for a moment - he'd never let Pansy run anything they'd done together, and certainly not any of their kissing - but Potter's kiss was different - instead of using violence in place of passion, as Draco did and Pansy learned to expect, he used gentleness, undoing all of Draco's will with a soft upwelling of desire like he'd never felt before.

Draco let himself drown in those kisses, let Potter lie down on the sofa and pull him on top, let his own hands wander as they would over Potter's body. He knew this was wrong and disgusting, that if his father had not been in Azkaban and had discovered them, he'd be disinherited or dead. He knew that he and Potter shared a mutual hatred.

He knew that he was as alone as Potter, and that these new feelings would never go away.

He should have been scared to death, and revolted at what they were doing. He should be all the way across the room.

Instead, he moved his body against Potter's, knowing Potter was as hard as he was, letting their erections rub together through their robes, and, taking control of their mouths, deepened the kiss.

All too soon, it was over for him - his orgasm crashed through him as if propelled by magic. He thought about pushing off - that's how he'd always done it before. He'd taken his pleasure and that was all that mattered - although he did pride himself that Pansy seemed to enjoy herself.

This time, he didn't want to leave. Instead, he reached between them and grasped Potter's cock through his robes and began to stroke. It didn't take long for Potter to come, screaming his release into Draco's mouth before lying gasping back on the sofa.

Only then, after he'd maneuvered them so they were on their sides, Draco pressed against the back of the sofa, did he start to shake.

"It's all right, Malfoy. It's scary, I know. I've been through it." Potter stroked his hair - still gentle and kinder than Draco ever thought he could bear.

"Am I queer?" He clutched at Potter.

"I don't know. I don't how you feel, Draco. I just know I am. I can call you Draco, can't I?" He had the most beautiful smile.

"Not when there's anyone around, you can't. Harry. That's not even a proper name - you should be Henry, or Harold. What were your parents thinking?"

Still holding on to Draco, Harry shrugged. "I'll probably never know. At least it's not pretentious."

They were silent for a while. Then Harry dug his wand out of his robes and murmured a charm to clean them off. "Sorry. I was feeling a bit sticky."

"Ta, actually." He kissed Harry's cheek. "I still hate you, you know. You're still the stupid Gryffindor who put my father in prison."

"Yeah, well. Still hate you very much, too." That smile never faded.

"How did you know? How did you know that I wouldn't hex you across the room?" How did he know Draco was gay when Draco himself didn't know?

"I knew. Justin...Justin said it was something Muggles call 'gaydar.' Comes from a device of theirs called 'radar' that's sort of like a Sensing Charm. Some people just know. And, honestly, Draco - we all thought so. All of us Muggleborns." Harry sighed.

"You're not Muggleborn. Your mother was a Mu...was, but even my father says they were powerful for Gryffindors." He had to make that point. Harry was just not a Mudblood. And his stomach twisted every time Harry said "Justin."

"I'm as good as. And, Dumbledore says we have a different set of prejudices, so sometimes we see things your set, the Wizardborns, don't. Like that you are good looking and wealthy, even with your dad locked up, so you should be dating lots of girls, or have a steady girlfriend. But you don't, and Pansy's sleeping with both your henchmen. But, mostly. I hoped."

"Why?"

"Because we're trapped in this room together. And you're lovely. And the last time I was trapped in here, Dumbledore had sent me to this part of the castle with Justin. And now he sent me here with you. And Dumbledore knows everything."

"I wish he hadn't. I don't know what I'm going to do." Somehow, during their encounter, Harry's ribbon had come loose. His hair fell over his face. Draco smoothed it back, knowing nothing would make it neat. "I can't lie to myself."

"I'll help - I've had practice keeping secrets."

Good. Harry would help. Harry would be there, hating him but knowing what to do...

"You still think you're going to die?"

He nodded. "Voldemort and I are tied together because of what he did to me when I was a baby, and then when he took my blood to get a body back. Dumbledore won't say so, but I know. It's...there's nothing I can do about it. I dream about it. Sometimes I look forward to it." Everything drained from Harry's face again.

Draco couldn't say anything. He just held his dearest enemy in his arms until, a timeless time later, a door opened and Dumbledore walked through, smiling as though he'd won the war.

Copyright 2003 Debra Fran Baker and NightRo
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