Kristmas Wish Fulfilled for: gypsyflameFrom: entrenous88Title:
Only One WordCharacters/Pairings:
Remus Lupin/Draco MalfoyRating:
Remus survived the events of DH; this story completely ignores Remus/Tonks from canon.Word Count:
Remus worries far too much what Draco thinks of the differences between them, until he discovers what Draco truly thinks.Author's Notes:
Many thanks to the mods at Daily Deviant, both for running such a fantastic round for this Kinky Kristmas, and for their gracious patience with this particular delinquent author. To my giftee, I had such fun with your prompt, though you may find the unfolding of your chosen kink perhaps occurs more gradually than you might have initially imagined. I do hope you enjoy it!
The first time Remus Lupin saw Draco Malfoy after the final defeat of the Death Eaters at Hogwarts, it was across the room at a charity function meant to benefit the subsidization of Wolfsbane Potion.
"And so every werewolf who agrees to register with the Ministry would benefit, not only the ones so recently infected during Death Eater aggressions," Remus explained to a skinny dowager who, according to Kingsley Shacklebolt, had Galleons to spare.
"I certainly will consider your plight," she assured him, patting his arm before departing to try to catch the Minister's attention.
"How are you doing with your plight there, Remus?" Ron Weasley, who had appeared at Remus's elbow during his monologue to the possible patroness, handed Remus a glass of wine.
"Same as ever," Remus said with a half-smile.
"Well, Harry's just arrived, so expect witches and wizards to start actually opening their purses instead of only considering it." Ron nodded in the direction where Harry Potter and Ginny Weasley were smiling tightly at a group of admirers.
"Good of him to come." Remus took a swallow of wine, watching as Harry took Ginny's arm and eased them away from the crowd.
" 'Course he came, you know he -- what's Malfoy doing here?"
Remus looked in the direction where Ron had gestured, and indeed, there was Draco Malfoy, having a stilted conversation with an elderly gentleman.
"I suppose the Malfoys are working to better their reputation," Remus murmured.
"Well, yeah, they've put in loads of Galleons for all sorts of causes lately, but mostly things for widows and orphans." Ron gave Draco a shrewd glance. "Seems odd he'd be here
, knowing how he feels about werewolves, never mind the way he talked about --" Ron abruptly stopped.
"Spoke ill of me when I taught at Hogwarts; that's fine, Ron, I'm aware of that," Remus said gently.
"Well, if he says anything to you tonight," Ron said fiercely.
"Please, don't worry; I'm sure he'll keep his distance."
"Hallo," Harry said, grinning as he clasped Remus's arm.
"Harry," Remus smiled in return, putting his hand over Harry's.
There was a flash of camera bulbs popping all around them.
"Good lord," Remus murmured, blinking.
"There's been a lot of that lately," Ginny noted as she stepped forward to give Remus a quick peck on the cheek.
More flashbulbs popped.
"If you don't mind, I'd like to speak to my friend," Harry said in an irritated voice to one of the photographers.
"Remus Lupin, Friend to Harry Potter and Werewolf, Champions Charity For -- wait, what is this one again?" a reporter asked, jotting it all down on a pad of paper as he glanced about the room, as though the décor or hors d'oeuvres would indicate the cause of the hour.
"See that, Remus, you're a 'Friend to Harry' before a werewolf now," Ginny commented, rolling her eyes.
"I suppose I can't fault the current order of my titles," Remus replied, trying to resist the urge to rub at his eyes.
"Perhaps that's why Malfoy is here; werewolves are popular now," Ron reasoned.
"Werewolves, popular?" Remus asked sharply.
"Werewolves Considered Unpopular by Prominent Werewolf Remus Lupin; Can Harry Potter's Dedicated Support Turn the Tide?" the reporter opined, scribbling away.
"Come on," Harry said, motioning Remus and the others to a more secluded spot. "Did you say Malfoy showed?" he asked Ron as soon as they were a reasonable distance away from the members of the press. He peered around the room.
"Right over -- oh hell, he's coming over now," Ron said, his eyes wide.
"It's fine, truly," Remus assured them. "Let me go speak to him a moment." If he could exchange a mild word or two with Draco, potentially he could stave off any awkward confrontation between him and Ron or Harry. A shouting match would certainly not be good for their fund-raising hopes for the night.
He strode forward, hoping to intercept Draco before he could head toward the others. But to his surprise, Draco shifted course slightly, headed to speak to Remus as though he had been the target all along.
"Thank you for coming tonight," Remus said after a pause as soon as they were close enough.
"Professor Lupin." Draco gave a short nod.
"You needn't call me that; I only taught the one year," Remus said with an easy smile.
Draco looked down, pulling at his pristine cream dragon-hide gloves as if to straighten them though they fitted perfectly. "I was perhaps -- that year you were at Hogwarts -- I feel I ought to explain. Some of the remarks I made to you --"
"Draco," Remus said kindly. "You were a boy then, in the thick of terrible tensions that impacted all of us. Please don't think I would hold jeers you made as a schoolboy against you."
"Turn to face us. That's it, this way, please," a photographer who had caught up with Remus instructed them.
"I do have, er, a cheque," Draco said, fumbling in the pocket of his robes as he stood beside Remus and faced forward for the photographers' benefits. "This rather seems the moment for it."
"Oh, that's very kind -- thank your family --" Remus stood straighter, squinting slightly in anticipation of the coming flashes.
"It's me, not my father or mother, who is giving the Galleons," Draco clarified, his pointy chin raised slightly.
"Oh, I see." Remus turned inward a bit, facing Draco. "Thank you," he said sincerely, taking the cheque Draco offered.
As flashbulbs again went off, Draco held a hand out, and Remus reached to shake it. Moments later the photographers turned away, scanning the crowd for their next subjects.
"You're quite welcome, Professor Lupin," Draco said softly. He still had not let go of Remus's hand. Around them, people greeted associates and friends with similar gestures, yet the outward signal of simple courtesy between them felt oddly intimate to Remus.
"Please, you're not my student anymore; do call me Remus," Remus said quickly to dispel any awkwardness.
"Remus, then. After all, as you said, you're no longer at Hogwarts. More to the point, I'm not exactly a boy anymore." Draco Malfoy pressed Remus's hand slightly, almost stroking it along the centre, and, with a final nod, walked away.
"That seemed like it went all right," Harry said later when he caught up to Remus. "With Draco, I mean."
"Yes," Remus replied, almost unconsciously running a finger over the hand Draco had squeezed.
When Remus found himself in a pub in one of the quieter spots of Diagon Alley not six weeks later, he at first didn't see Draco Malfoy tucked into the corner of the room.
The fundraising for subsidizing the Wolfsbane Potion had been a success. Such a success, in fact, that Kingsley persuaded the Wizengamot there should be a Council on Werewolf Affairs, and that Remus should act as its head. The monies and structure for the new Council had but just received official approval, but Remus and two assistants had been working for weeks already on budgets and press releases with the expectation.
The benefit had indeed helped their case; as it turned out, so had the event photographs the Prophet
published. A few well-known patrons of charitable causes had stepped forward to help, noting specifically they found the cause sympathetic once made aware through the Prophet
's coverage of Harry Potter's interest in the charity.
Other donations, however, came from an unexpected source of largess: individuals and families affiliated with Slytherin. When Remus did a bit of digging he discovered more than a few of those endowments had come as a result of the Prophet
coverage as well; but instead of Harry's investment, it seemed the photographic proof of Draco Malfoy's interest in the cause had drawn in those contributions.
Remus kept the two photographs, which the Prophet
had paired together at the top of its page-four charity coverage of the Ministry event, as a record for the new Council on Werewolf Affairs. After coming across them after an extremely busy day, one of his assistants had playfully Spellotaped the two newspaper photographs over his desk. It was good to have a photograph featuring him smiling with Harry, to be sure (even one in which Harry at times looked quite startled while Ron sniggered in the background). But glad as he was to possess that photograph, Remus found his eye often drifted to its companion, the picture where Draco Malfoy over and over again took Remus's hand and held it for longer than one might have expected in a sign of mere politeness.
In recent days, as Remus worked overtime and hurried to compose correspondence to interested foundations, Remus thought he could see Draco leaning a little closer to him than seemed strictly necessary. The night before, during a late session completing proposals, it seemed to Remus as he watched the picture that Draco's eyes flickered over him with something more than ordinary interest. But that could of course have been a trick of the light, or of Remus's overtired mind.
So it was somewhat disquieting when halfway through his second pint and with thoughts of Apparating home to the remains of a cold meat pie and then his bed, Remus looked across the dingy pub and spotted Draco in a heated conversation with another man.
They hadn't appeared to have spotted Remus looking on -- indeed, there were only a few other idlers in the pub aside from the three of them, so they might have thought themselves alone. As Remus watched, seeing the other man loom slightly over Draco and the flush in Draco's cheek as he leaned against the wall, he suddenly remembered keenly the feel of Draco's hand in his. It gave him an odd pang in his chest, somehow, to think the passionate discussion opposite him could represent more than merely a friendly debate.
That sort of thinking was ridiculous, he told himself; he had only held -- he had only shaken
Draco's hand for show when photographers goaded them to pose, and hadn't happened across Draco even once since that night. It was no business of his with whom Draco passed his time. And really, for Remus to think of Draco Malfoy in that way, a man half his age and of extremely better fortune --
Remus frowned as the mood of the conversation he watched became more apparent, as the other man raised a finger to jab Draco's shoulder as he made a point. Draco's face, which a moment ago had appeared flushed, went pale.
"I say," Remus remarked as soon as he was close enough (he couldn't recall making a conscious decision to start across the room, yet there he was), "Is everything all right, Draco?"
"Yes," Draco said quickly, but his eyes darted toward the other man, whose face by now had become an ugly twist.
"Damn Malfoys, flaunting yourselves as though you're honest folk when you ought to be ashamed of all the wickedness you've caused," the man spat. "Why you have any Galleons to give away while men like me sweat to make an honest living -- well, it's a crime, is what it is. I'd like to know who you paid to keep you out of Azkaban after all you've done."
"How dare you --" Draco began, but his bravado seemed a wavering thing as he glanced toward the exit. His hand hovered over his cloak pocket, but Remus could see him hesitate to reach where he presumably kept his wand. Remus's gaze moved in rapid assessment: Draco's would-be assailant had his wand in his back pocket. No doubt only the number of lagers he'd consumed had kept him from drawing it yet.
"Perhaps you've had one too many," Remus said, keeping his tone even as he addressed the argumentative man. He put a hand on the man's shoulder in a conciliatory fashion, though he took hold of him to keep him from starting forward suddenly. "I suggest you leave before you say something you'll regret."
The man shrugged Remus's hand off his shoulder and scowled. "This little ponce thinks he can drag everyone else down and step all over them. Well, I'll show him he can't when I --" The man began to reach behind him.
"I really think you ought to stop speaking," Remus said conversationally, though he dug the tip of his wand into the other man's neck to emphasize his recommendation.
The man sputtered to find himself at a strange wizard's wand-point and at once fumbled for his back pocket.
"Oh, no, no; I wouldn't if I were you." Remus smiled. When he caught the eye of a man standing at the counter looking over at them curiously, he gave a friendly nod and the observer looked away.
"You see," Remus continued in a lower voice, "though I'm very good at a number of spells that could stop whatever you may have planned, I don't mind telling you that hexes are a particular specialty of mine. Normally I wouldn't go around casting them in a public place or at a stranger, but when someone is threatening a friend of mine, well. Though I hate to cause a bother," and here Remus dragged his wand tip down the man's jugular, "I'm quite prepared to put you through a great deal of pain if you don't leave immediately."
The man gaped and stumbled back.
"Here now, we don't want any trouble," the publican called out when he saw Remus's wand drawn.
Draco, who stood frozen as if he couldn't quite bring himself to run as his instincts were urging, looked at Remus with wide eyes.
"No trouble at all," Remus called pleasantly. "This gentleman was just leaving. Weren't you?"
The man sneered at them both, but he did stalk toward the exit.
The publican watched them warily from across the room. Remus gave him a reassuring smile then turned slightly to face Draco.
"And now it might be best for you to leave, in case that git decides to return with friends," Remus murmured.
"I -- yes." Draco shook himself slightly before he drew himself up again with his customary arrogant bearing. "Thank you," he said flatly, but his eyes still appeared wide and wild looking.
"It may be best not to Apparate just now. Perhaps you should Floo?"
"No, I'm -- it's quite close." Draco smoothed his robes, and then gave Remus an enigmatic glance. "You've already been a help. But I wonder if you wouldn't mind --"
"I'd be happy to walk you," Remus said at once.
They left straight away, neither one speaking except for Draco's occasional terse directions to turn at that corner or cross at another. The intensity of the encounter had sent a frantic pulse thrumming through Remus's veins, and he tried to calm himself as they walked. For his part, Draco appeared tense and troubled, hurrying toward their destination.
"Just here." Draco unlocked an outer door and started up a staircase; without inquiring whether he ought to accompany him, Remus followed.
"If you'll be all right now," Remus began as he reached the top of the stairs, where Draco waited at the entrance to his flat.
He stumbled as Draco suddenly rushed forward. Their mouths met before Remus could react, but then he surged forward, shoving Draco against the wall, repositioning to scrape his teeth down Draco's neck as Draco gasped and turned his head for more.
An enticing little cry Draco suddenly voiced brought Remus up short. With no little shock, he made as if to pull away. "No, wait; I shouldn't -- you've just -- we're neither of us thinking straight --"
"Shut it," Draco breathed, pulling Remus back to him.
It took a few more moments to realize they were still in a somewhat public corridor. They managed to make it inside Draco's flat before Draco tore off Remus's cloak and Remus yanked open Draco's shirt, but only just.
The next time Remus went to Draco's flat, he went with the intention of explaining how things could never work between them. His resolve faded when Draco went to fetch him a glass of Firewhiskey. Draco slipped into Remus's lap to hand it to him, and they ended the night in a tangle of limbs and clothing atop the Persian rug, the whiskey spilt beside them as they clutched and thrust.
A week followed, and another, and Remus repeatedly failed to end things properly even as Draco continued to ask him round. It felt quite difficult to raise the topic, somehow, when he had Draco pressed against the glass of his ridiculously immense and lavish shower, all hot soft skin and hitching breaths as Remus growled and fucked him hard. A few times Draco even came round to Remus's set of tiny rooms. Though he wrinkled his nose slightly at their size and the second-hand furniture cluttering them, he soon dismissed the setting in favour of straddling Remus on his threadbare lounge and tugging his tie loose.
When a full two months had passed with more nights spent with Draco than not, Remus threw himself into his work. If Draco suddenly came to his senses and chose to see someone his own age, Remus hoped he would be too distracted by his projects and campaigns to feel stricken. Yet Draco did not announce he felt constrained or bored, even when they began to share meals together instead of merely rutting on every surface in Draco's sitting room. Remus himself couldn't register either of those problems, certainly not when leading Draco into a cloakroom during a Ministry function (where they tried to muffle their gasps lest they be discovered) or sneaking with him out to a dank alley outside a pub they frequented (shivering as Draco gave a cool smile and slid a warm hand into Remus's trousers).
Soon enough Remus realized he felt a fierce sense of pleasure not only when he had Draco face down on his bed, begging and squirming, but also when Draco turned his head on his pillow in the morning before he woke fully and made a petulant sound.
Soon enough Draco began speaking of how very inconvenient he found waiting for Remus to fetch clothing or paperwork from his horrible tiny rooms, particularly when Draco had ample space for such things in his large flat.
In the end it seemed a far simpler matter than Remus had anticipated, telling Harry he planned to move in with Draco, letting Kingsley know the new address at which he could Floo him. His friends stared until they managed to say, yes, well, as long as Remus was happy, and thankfully kept their further thoughts on the inadvisability of arrangements to themselves.
Perhaps Lucius or Narcissa Malfoy might have had cutting words strong enough to complicate things at that point, but Draco hedged about telling them, and Remus, keen to keep the peace when such good fortune as this -- whatever this was with Draco -- was at stake, immediately agreed they ought to wait to tell Draco's family.
Only Remus's more talkative assistant voiced the concern haunting the back of Remus's own mind when she asked searchingly (one night after Draco had actually brought Remus take-away when he worked late and Remus's assistants bustled about pretending to be quite busy but actually examining the situation with avid interest): "Draco Malfoy -- isn't he rather, well, young for you? Not that you're so very -- Ow
, Genevieve, that really
hurt! You needn't step on my foot to stop me from speaking!"
Remus smiled vaguely as his assistants bickered about what was proper to say to him and returned to his correspondence, trying to push those looming twenty years from his mind.
For as much as Draco huffed about the few pieces of Remus's mother's furniture Remus wished to keep and sullenly stashed them in out of the way spots; as much as the Weasleys were shocked into silence the first time Remus brought Draco to one of their gatherings; as much as Draco's friends sniffed dismissively and made no attempt to engage Remus in conversation when they saw the two of them socially; and as much as Draco turned irritable and lashed out verbally the closer it came to a full moon and the three days Remus would spend away from him -- really, in the end it was those twenty years separating them that remained the primary source of Remus's anxiety.
Yet while they quarrelled over their respective friends, or Draco's lack of profession and Remus's fervent dedication to his, while they ate at the cafés Remus thought clean and affordable and Draco thought tawdry, or while Remus slid inside Draco slow and sure while Draco curled white-knuckled fists against the bed and wailed for harder and more: though through every conflict large and small Remus waited with baited breath, Draco never once spoke of their age difference.
They lived together for nearly two months when Remus told himself with cautious relief that if they could both ignore the twenty years separating them, so much the better.
Remus groaned and let his head tip back as he sprawled in his chair. After taking a shaky breath, he reached down with trembling hands, letting his fingers entwine in soft hair.
On his knees in front of Remus, on the same Persian rug they had once rutted on while spilt whiskey soaked in beside them, Draco rubbed his lips against Remus's cock, his eyelashes fluttering. He whispered something incomprehensible before lowering his mouth down its length, wrapping his long fingers around the base with a familiar squeeze.
"Yes, just like that, love," Remus whispered. He nearly bit back the endearment, but it was all right, wasn't it, to use now? Seven months since they had unexpectedly reacquainted themselves, a full three months since they had taken a flat together; it seemed time enough for such words.
Those days of living separately, days of growing and multiple uncertainties, seemed at the moment the faintest of memories. No, now they were in their flat, their sitting room, their life together. And as Draco gave a tantalizing sigh, the Sunday afternoon light spilling in and making his hair gleam under Remus's trembling hands, it seemed at last a fitting time for Remus to find himself in possession of a great many things he had never imagined he would call his own.
Any worries that remained melted from Remus's mind in the sunlight and softness. He found it almost wickedly easy to lose himself in every sweet sensation: soft, hot and wet surrounding him, the slip of those yielding lips, the huff of breath and the hint of rasp from that clever tongue.
Remus raised himself slightly on his elbows and forearms to look down, to watch the head of his cock outlined as it pressed from inside Draco's translucent cheek. "You do that beautifully; you know that, don't you? Gorgeous, every time --"
Draco glanced up, meeting Remus's gaze, and seeing those hooded grey eyes, pink tight lips stretched around him, the glow of colour fanning along Draco's cheekbones -- Remus gasped and came, tightening his fingers to tug Draco's head that last bit down.
Draco pulled back after a moment, his eyelids nearly closed as he raised his face to Remus. The pink flush on his face and his swollen parted lips made Remus's hips tilt forward almost as if by reflex. Draco snorted softly, leaning forward to rub his cheek against Remus's oversensitive cock.
"Come here." Remus tugged him up toward his lap.
Draco slithered up and pressed against Remus, pulling in his legs and bracing himself against the thick armrest for ballast until he fit with ease. His breath hitched when Remus undid his trouser buttons and drew him out.
"Or shall I do the same for you instead?" Remus asked in a low voice, palming the head of Draco's prick and sliding his fist tight down the length of it. He caught the lobe of Draco's ear between his teeth and then whispered, "I've half a mind to slip down to my knees, sitting back on my heels, sliding you inside my mouth --"
"No, this, please," Draco breathed, snaking his arm around Remus's neck and pulling him close for a frantic kiss. "Don't stop."
Remus brushed his mouth across Draco's full lips, smiling against the quickened inhalations. "You've the loveliest cock I've ever seen; did you know that?" Remus for a moment let his fingers uncurl and splayed his hand around the base of Draco's erection, making the hard length push out shamelessly.
"I --" Draco licked his lips, twisting in Remus's lap until Remus laughed and again closed his hand around him.
"Lovely," Remus whispered. They looked down together, watching as Draco thrust against Remus's hand, as Remus pulled and tugged, until at last Draco leaned his cheek against Remus's shoulder, panting when his cock began to pulse.
"Darling," Remus whispered hoarsely.
The word Draco blurted in reply muffled itself against Remus's neck almost immediately, but Remus caught the raw, helpless note in his voice.
Remus kissed Draco's temple, the bridge of his nose, his closed eyelashes. "What was that, love?" he asked when a few seconds had passed.
When Draco didn't respond at first, Remus turned his face, finger under the tip of Draco's pointed chin.
"Nothing," Draco answered at last, his eyes slitted and sly as he turned away.
"All right?" Remus asked. He brushed the hair out of Draco's eyes.
"Fine, I'm fine. I'll just --" Draco drew the back of his hand over his mouth and slipped from Remus's lap.
Remus frowned as he pulled out a handkerchief to wipe off his hand. "Was it something I said?"
"No," Draco said quickly. "Nothing you said." He paused at the door. "I'll just see about those tea things from earlier."
Remus cleared his throat in the empty room and fastened his trousers. Strange how he could feel they were so familiar and comfortable one moment, and oddly distant the next. Seven months since they had met again at the Ministry benefit, three since they had begun to share the flat, and it seemed there were undiscovered gaps separating them still, perhaps far greater than those troubling twenty years between them.
If the moment on Sunday night had passed after a brief spell of awkwardness, there would have been no difficulty. But for days after Draco acted distant and disgruntled, and for nights after Remus worked late, telling himself he had meeting agendas to prepare. What might have been a short stretch of strangeness turned into a larger strain between them, as Remus returned each night to find Draco already asleep, turned away from Remus's side of the bed as if he couldn't bear to face it.
Remus might have continued rising early in order to leave before Draco woke (forgoing a mug of tea at home in favour of buying one at the café at work). He might have continued to return very late whilst telling himself Draco's brooding came from keeping their relationship a secret from his parents. But the fourth night, Harry stopped by Remus's office and insisted Remus accompany him out for a drink.
He expected Harry to avoid the topic of Draco, as he did whenever Remus did not deliberately raise the matter himself. The conversation, however, took an unexpected direction halfway through their first round.
"Malf-- Er, Draco told his parents yet about you two?" Harry asked in an off-hand way.
Remus started and then forced a laugh. "I hadn't realized I'd mentioned that to -- well, no."
"No?" Harry asked incredulously. "He can't imagine he has any right to be ashamed of you!"
"No," Remus repeated more quietly. "And that isn't a concern of mine. I think his family imposes a great deal of pressure on him. I'd like to honour his choice to wait to tell them about what's only just begun between us."
"Has it only just begun?" Harry asked. His green eyes searched Remus's face. "Seems to me it's quite serious, the two of you living together." He exhaled and then laughed. "Seems very
serious if you've made me come for tea twice now with you both."
Remus made a non-committal noise and finished his pint in silence.
"Well, I'd best be off," Harry said finally. After a quick friendly embrace, he waved and headed outside to Apparate home.
Though Remus considered the notion, it seemed absurd for him to return to the Ministry at that point in the night only to write another memorandum or re-check the budget figures that were perfectly balanced. So rather than return to his office, he made his way back to the flat he and Draco shared.
When Remus had trudged up the stairs and unlocked the door, he found Draco sitting in the very chair they had shared on Sunday. Odd, that; Draco generally left it alone, seeing as Remus preferred to sit in it. But tonight he had curled himself up in it. He gripped a book, covering most of his face as though completely engaged by its contents. As he glanced up over the top of it, however, his eyes glittered, just as if he had been keeping avid watch.
"All right?" Remus asked him. He slid off his cloak.
Draco nodded slowly. "You're home early."
Remus faltered, tried a smile. "It's not a problem, is it, arriving early?"
"Of course not." Draco rose and, after a second's hesitation, came forward to brush his soft lips against Remus's mouth. "You've been drinking," he remarked, gazing evenly at Remus. "Alone?"
"Just a pint. With Harry."
"Oh, with Harry
, I see; if that's all." Draco threw his book to the floor and stomped off to the kitchen.
As Remus stared at the volume on the floor with its broken spine and heard Draco slamming things about a room away, the skittish avoidance in which they had somehow become complicit seemed to fragment and shatter, expose a glaring problem that Remus hadn't yet managed to identify.
"I understand you and Harry are far from fast friends, but I thought the two of you had begun to be civil of late," Remus began as he followed the sounds of Draco's fit of temper.
In the kitchen, Draco rattled around in their charmed cold cabinet until he pulled out a bottle of Butterbeer. He opened his mouth, closed it, and then as his expression took on a malicious cast, said casually, "You know, I always wondered about you and Harry."
Remus only blinked at first, but when he realized Draco's implication, his jaw dropped.
"Even back at Hogwarts, you know, I wondered about the two of you." Draco's eyes narrowed. "All that time you spent together -- you know, he was in your office more often than not that year, the door closed behind you both. Everyone probably thought the same."
"Good god, you think -- never mind that Harry's with Ginny and the son of one of my best friends, but -- to imply -- he was a child!"
"So was I," Draco shot back.
Remus closed his eyes. The sharp reminder of the difference in years between them at present was almost as bad as the impact of Draco's lurid insinuation. Part of him knew Draco had dug deliberately for something to slash him to the core, but the sting of it hurt no less. "If you hadn't noticed, I had absolutely no romantic interest in any
of you students when I taught --"
"Well, what about now, if you prefer," Draco interrupted. "You've found yourself a situation here with me, certainly, but what if? What if you could have someone else like me, someone young, only better?" He gave a nasty laugh. "Half the Wizarding world wants to get in Harry Potter's pants, and you're telling me that every night this week when you've 'worked late' -- very likely meeting him
all along, I suppose -- you haven't ever thought, just once thought, when he leaned toward you and looked at you with those green eyes --"
Remus had Draco shoved against the wall before he knew what he was about. "Listen to me, you complete brat: when I moved here with you, I wasn't angling to use you as a stepping stone to someone else. I agreed to this because I wanted you
, and I stay because I love you
, and I'm trying to make this work because you are the single most important person to me! Do you hear me?"
Draco's eyes again glittered, and for a terrible moment Remus waited for him to blurt out something that would sever every tie they had woven between them.
But instead Draco yanked him closer, moving sinuously against him as he pressed hurried kisses over Remus's mouth and jaw and whispering, over and over again, "Show me, show me."
Remus couldn't pull Draco's clothing off fast enough on the way to their bedroom. As soon as Draco stood completely naked and shivering in front of him after they had crossed that threshold, Remus urged him on his hands and knees on the middle of the mattress. The thought he acted too roughly flittered through his mind, but Draco arched his back and tipped up his arse to emphasize exactly how much he liked this turn of events.
"You need me to fuck you hard, don't you, love?" Remus murmured. He struggled out of his own clothing as quickly as possible and climbed up to kneel behind Draco.
"Yes," Draco bit out, pushing back when he felt Remus's fingers stroking along his arse.
"You need my cock in you," Remus whispered, draping himself over Draco and nudging his knees further apart.
"Yes," Draco gasped when Remus teased the tip of his cock head against that tight entrance.
He kept on, telling Draco in a soft voice how deeply, how forcefully he would ride him, all the while fingering him with generous amounts of salve to get him ready.
By the time Remus lined up his stiff prick in place and shoved in hard, Draco wailed as he jittered back to meet the thrusts. "Please, please," he cried out as Remus fucked him forward bit by bit until Draco's head was in danger of banging against the headboard. At the last moment before that could happen, though, Remus slid and pulled back, until he again had Draco near the centre of the bed.
"That's right," Remus crooned, splaying his hands on Draco's hips to drag him back onto his cock as he thrust. "Just like that, love, just like you need it." He slid the heel of one palm down hard along Draco's spine, making his chest collapse against the mattress, making Draco turn his cheek to the bed's surface so that he might gulp in air.
"Yes, please," Draco moaned as Remus sped his thrusts. Remus could tell Draco's cock rubbed against the bed now, and Draco wriggled forward to increase the pressure.
"Deep enough, love? Hard enough?"
"Oh fuck --" Draco let out a sound fraught with pleasure and expectation.
"Darling," Remus gasped when he felt the spasms shudder through his body.
"Daddy," Draco sobbed out desperately.
The thrill of feeling Draco tighten around him as he came, of the two of them riding out the last of the tremors together, nearly erased the word Draco had uttered from Remus's mind.
But as they pulled apart and he drew Draco to him, he stilled.
He felt the moment Draco stiffened in his arms. "I didn't -- what I said --"
"I thought you said 'darling' back, at first," Remus said. His voice sounded thick with the tension he felt spreading through his limbs.
A beat passed.
"No," Draco answered. "It's just a word," he added, and then held very still, as though waiting to hear what Remus would say in return.
"I just hadn't realized you thought --" Remus cleared his throat. "Did you say that a few days ago, when we were --"
"What does it matter?" Draco asked. He sat up, sliding until his legs dangled over the bed's edge, and rubbed at his closed eyes with his thumb and forefinger.
Remus closed his own eyes for a moment and tried to think if it did matter, whether the odd gaps he and Draco had been trying to ignore were small interruptions along the way to growing closer or large rifts between them that could split them asunder, whether his nervousness about being twice his partner's age would dissipate or ratchet up with the newfound understanding Draco imagined him, well, in that fashion.
While he frowned in consideration, Draco rose and walked out of the room, shutting himself in the bathroom.
The next morning, Remus very nearly left quite early as he had done the past days, anticipating the cup of tea he could find at the café.
But the uneasy resolution of last night, when they showered separately and fell asleep just barely brushing fingertips from their respective sides of the bed, stalled his footsteps and made him turn to prepare his morning tea at the flat.
"You're still here," Draco said as soon as he entered the kitchen.
"Oh, yes, I thought I would -- the tea," Remus finished, drinking to cover his confusion of what exactly Draco had meant by his observation. Had Draco thought Remus would leave for work, or actually leave?
Draco gave a sharp nod and moved about restlessly, finally coming to lean against the threshold as he watched Remus sip from his mug.
"I ought to leave in a moment," Remus began at the same moment Draco said, "I forgot to ask you last night --"
"What was that?" Remus asked, waving away Draco's evident hesitation in continuing.
"My parents," Draco went on. He darted a glance at Remus and then shifted his eyes to a spot on the floor. "I -- well, they want to have us to the Manor for dinner tonight."
Remus choked on his tea.
"We could schedule it another time," Draco rushed to say. "I forgot, though I waited to see if you would arrive home in time to let you know, but then --"
"You -- they know
Draco's lips pressed together. "I had thought perhaps some of the business with you acting oddly the past few days -- so I told them yesterday, when I visited --"
A sickening idea rose up in Remus's mind and he couldn't stop himself before he blurted, "When you said, last night, 'Daddy', you weren't thinking somehow of, er --?"
"What?" Draco took a step back, looking positively horrified. "What? No! Christ, no, I didn't mean -- it's not as though I was thinking of my father
when we --" He grasped the door jamb tightly. His face had gone almost entirely white.
"Of course," Remus hurried to assure him.
"Is that what you thought I meant?" Draco grimaced and looked away.
"No, no, it was just now, I don't know why it occurred to me --"
"Well, it wasn't." Draco shook his head.
Remus opened his mouth to say something, anything, to disperse the tension, but Draco announced quickly, "You'll be late if you don't leave soon."
"You're right." Remus got to his feet and moved forward to kiss him.
"Tonight," Draco added softly, stepping back. He looked up and then down again, everywhere but directly at Remus. "Don't forget." And with that, he slipped from the room.
All that day at work, Remus found his eyes drifting again and again to the photograph of himself and Draco at the Ministry charity.
He wished there was some way to recall his faltering words of that morning. It wasn't as if he truly imagined Draco held a secret yearning for Lucius Malfoy and fancied Remus a substitute. It had just been completely disconcerting, finding that the gap in years between him and Draco that had worried him so possibly held an entirely different meaning for Draco. And then to have Draco raise the topic of his father, of his parents, so soon afterward --
Or perhaps how Draco thought of him in the midst of those passionate moments -- the word he had surely muffled against Remus's neck that Sunday after which things seemed so strange, the word that had escaped him when he hadn't the presence of mind to turn his face into the mattress to stifle it the night before -- perhaps it hadn't entirely to do with the difference in their ages. Remus skimmed the nib of his quill across a piece of parchment as he watched the photograph version of Draco hold on to Remus's hand for longer than one would expect for such a brief social encounter.
At that moment Remus saw Draco's eyes flicker over him, just as he had thought he imagined in the photograph late at night all those months ago. Remus dropped his quill, leaning forward to see. Draco leaned toward him in that photograph as if drawn to a flame, and Remus thought suddenly of the way they had surged together after the incident at the pub with the aggressive wizard, the way Draco had come undone just last night when Remus had forcefully exclaimed, after all their days of near silence, the way he truly felt.
"Late night tonight?" the quieter of Remus's assistants asked him as she saw him sitting very still at his desk.
"No," Remus said absently, and then, "No," more firmly as he got up from his chair and went to fetch his cloak.
Dinner at the Malfoys that night seemed best described as a very genteel disaster.
"This is perhaps a finer wine than the ones to which you're used, Mr Lupin," Lucius observed as Remus sipped form his glass. "Then again," he continued as if in afterthought, "now that you live with my son, I suppose you're growing accustomed to many of the finer things you once found yourself denied."
"Lucius," Narcissa murmured in half-hearted protest, though she had yet to look Remus in the eye the entire evening.
"No, truly, I commend Mr Lupin on his newfound good fortune," Lucius insisted. He raised his glass. "Now that my son has offered you shelter -- excuse me, shares his flat
with you --"
"That's enough, Father," Draco said, but he seemed on edge as he sat very still in his seat and the words came out weakly.
"Why would either of you object to my observations about the rather thrilling changes Mr Lupin has found in his life of late?" Lucius asked, his eyes narrowed. He shifted his gaze to Remus and gave him a superior smile, tipping his sharp chin up in the air in a manner so reminiscent and yet so completely different from Draco's. "I would think those unexpected, though I'm sure not unsought, riches constitute a most welcome departure for him, particularly when one remembers the most unfortunate change he is required to undergo every month --"
They were halfway through what Remus guessed was the fish course, though the smiling insinuations and less than discreet barbs constantly coming his way had made it difficult to taste any of the food. Draco had grown quieter and quieter as the evening wore on, while Narcissa Malfoy looked as if she couldn't decide whether to exit the room in protest of her husband's veiled aggressions or in light of the disagreeable guest she had been forced to entertain.
Remus glanced at Draco, and just for a second fancied he saw the same wild wide-eyed look on his face he had first noticed that night months ago when he intervened on Draco's behalf at the pub.
Suddenly Lucius's clever digs all fell away from Remus, fangless. "Ah, but you know all about werewolves already, Lucius," Remus interrupted pleasantly.
Draco dropped his fork and Narcissa looked up in surprise.
"I hear in the past you hosted one at your dinner table as a regular event," Remus continued. "I wonder why it seems such a novelty for you now."
Lucius's breath hissed from his mouth as he exhaled. "If you are referring to the necessary association we once had with one Fenrir Greyback --"
"You seem to care a great deal about Draco --"
is the most important thing in our --"
"What I don't understand," Remus continued pleasantly, "is why you imagine deriding his partner in front of him is in any way respectful or supportive of his choices."
Draco's lips had parted as he watched the verbal volley between his father and Remus, while Narcissa frowned at her plate.
"Perhaps my son's view of his choices has become clouded." Lucius turned his most ferocious smile on Remus. "After all, he finds himself in the strange position of funding the means of a man far below his station and twice his age; you understand of course he must feel almost as though he were Confunded. And if you respect and support him, perhaps you
had best remove yourself--"
"From here at present? I agree completely." Remus stood and offered Narcissa a brief smile before turning to Draco. "I think we can continue this another time, don't you, Draco?"
Draco swallowed, glancing at his parents.
"We'll have our dinner with your parents when they are better prepared to receive us," Remus said softly, holding out his hand.
Lucius rose. "I recommend you remain here so that I might speak to you further, Draco, about these choices
to which Mr Lupin referred --"
Draco stood, and in two steps had slipped his hand into Remus's.
"I'll Floo tomorrow, mother," was all he said before he led Remus outside, while behind them Lucius continued to sputter.
They returned to their flat as soon as they could Apparate from just beyond the Manor's boundary. When they entered and shut the door behind them, Draco took a deep breath. "I want to apologize for what my father said," he began formally.
"Hush." Remus drew Draco toward him, cupping his jaw with his hands so he might kiss him.
Draco stood stiffly as though in shock for a moment before relaxing against Remus, offering his soft lips, yielding his warm body.
In their bedroom that night, as Remus curled behind Draco penetrating him with slow sure thrusts, as Draco moved sinuously back and tugged Remus's arm around him in an even tighter clinch, Remus whispered, "My darling."
Draco tilted his head further to the side, offering his neck for Remus to mouth and bite, starting to shake when Remus rolled him slightly forward and sped their pace. "Oh, please," he called when Remus closed his fingers around his lovely cock, pulling in time to the motion of his hips now snapping forward.
"My darling boy," Remus murmured as Draco's panting turned into little hitching breaths. "No, I want to hear you," he urged when Draco mumbled something under his breath. "Say it, love. Tell me."
"Daddy," Draco whispered helplessly.
"That's right," Remus crooned. "That's right, and you're my own boy, my sweet darling." He stroked Draco's cock with a steady hand even as he began to propel his hips forward more erratically.
When they lay together afterward, breathing heavily in their languid tangle of limbs, Draco lifted slightly on his side, looking at Remus with a searching expression. "It's -- it's really just a word," he said softly.
"Of course," Remus answered, pulling Draco back in a tight embrace and kissing his trembling lips. *~* the end *~*