: Viridian 3: A Waiting GameAuthor
Bathing/washing (though it ended up being self thinking about future partner rather than bathing said partner, I'm afraid)Other Warnings:
Mention of past dub-con, prostitution.Word Count:
Draco insists Harry stay at his flat, but is it really a good idea?Author's Notes:
Third in a series. The first two can be found here
at AO3. Should be readable without the other two if you just assume Harry is a prostitute and Draco spent part of one night with him before he ran off. There will be at least one more piece in this, if I can manage it. Major thank-you to my sweet Kit, who helped me spice this one up a bit and gave it a good beta for me. <3
Draco had never stopped thinking of that night with Potter. Or at least, James Viridian, as he'd called himself. At first, the thought of Potter as his father's playtoy had amused him, but the more he thought about his father with Potter, the more it annoyed him. As time grew on, his annoyance shifted to worry. What was it his father had done to get Potter under his power? Did he still see Potter? Where was Potter now? Was he okay?
He'd been staying at one of the family's London flats for over a month before he found out the answers to the last. And he hadn't even needed to use Potter's 'business card' to see him. Not that Potter would have answered his call…
The reason he didn't was because Potter came to him. Or at least, he came to the flat.
Draco had been up late the night before, a night out with Blaise and Theo as a distraction from the latest scolding letter from his mother. Theo assured him that Pansy had taken their split with surprisingly good humor. Draco wondered if Theo was having him on, or if she'd already found someone better. Not that he thought such a person existed…
He was musing over just that when he heard the door to the flat open. Had his father or mother come to see if he'd finally seen the error of his ways? He stood up from the table where he'd been playing with the remains of his breakfast and moved toward the front door, and found himself colliding with Potter.
It was still such a shock to see him without those horrid glasses he'd always worn that Draco didn't notice anything else. He certainly couldn't think of anything to say. At least nothing that wouldn't come out rude. So instead, the two of them stood there for several long moments and just stared at each other.
Finally, Potter seemed to regain himself, and scowled. "Didn't know anyone would be here. I'll just go." He tried to turn, but Draco caught his wrist.
"Wait…don't…" That was when he noticed the bruises. And the dirt. A bruise on one cheek, smears of dirt on his shoulder and arm, and more bruises on his wrists. Someone had hurt him. "What happened? Are you all right?" He wanted to ask a million more questions, like how he was able to get into the flat without Draco's permission, but he had a feeling that the answer to that would cause a fight. And he wasn't ready to let Potter go just yet.
After a moment, Potter glared up at him. "Do I look all right? Let me go."
Draco shook his head. "Not until you tell me what happened."
"Whatever happened, Malfoy, it's none of your business. Now let go so I can leave!"
Damn. Draco hadn't wanted this to become a fight, but it looked like that was unavoidable. "No. Whoever did this to you…"
"What the fuck do you care, Malfoy?" Potter lashed out with a hand, but Draco caught it, and now he had both of Harry's wrists, and he wasn't sure what to do. "Stop it! Let me go!"
"I told you no. Who did this to you? What happened?"
"Like you give a fuck, Malfoy. I'm just a plaything, remember?"
The words struck like a physical blow, and for a moment, Draco remembered when he'd thought Potter just that. But no longer. And he hoped he could get him to see that. "You're not. I might have thought it funny when you appeared that day, but…well, maybe you haven't heard—I broke it off with Pansy and left. I don't know what father did to convince you to do this, but…you deserve better."
Potter blinked at him, obviously uncertain how to respond to what Draco'd said. Finally, he managed to regain himself a bit. "So? You're probably just hoping I'll stick around so you can finally get what you wanted that night. Well, it won't happen." Potter tried to pull away, but Draco kept a firm grip on his wrists.
"Actually, I was hoping you were okay. Even before I saw you today. You're already here. Let me help you."
Potter's eyes flashed, making it hard for Draco to breathe, the sight so familiar and yet so foreign that he barely understood Potter's next words. "Yeah, I've heard those words from a Malfoy before. I'm not interested in more help from your
It was hard to tamp down his anger at Potter once again confusing him for his father, but he did his best. It still showed in his voice when he spoke, though. "I'll thank you not to compare me to him, Potter. In case you haven't noticed, we're a good deal different."
"Yeah? How's that? You want what he got. Doesn't make you so different in my books."
"The difference, which I'm sure you're well aware of, Potter, is that I
didn't force the issue when you said no. You left that night unmolested." Mostly, anyway. "And I've left you alone since, or hadn't you noticed?"
"You mean after you stopped calling me at all hours?" Potter said with a sneer. It looked particularly ugly on his face.
Draco felt his cheeks heat, but he ignored it. "Look, Potter, you're here already. You need help. This place is large enough for both of us, as you're obviously aware, given that you seem to have been here before, given the fact that you could get in. Just…stay. If you don't want to see me, you won't. But the elf can help you at the very least. And you can rest. Eat…whatever you need. If at any time, you feel I'm pushing…then go. I won't stop you." Not that Draco wanted him to, but he had to at least try. He knew Potter was likely to get better rest here than anywhere else. To prove his intent, he let go of Potter's wrists, hoping that he wouldn't vanish before Draco could stop him.
He didn't. Instead, he glared at Draco for a long moment. "Why?"
"I told you. You need help. And I can't imagine that you'll get much elsewhere, or you wouldn't even be in this state." He wondered what Potter's friends knew about his current state, and if they knew, why they'd allowed it to get this far.
Potter rubbed at his wrists, looking at Draco for several minutes before answering. "And what will this cost me?"
"Nothing," Draco answered. "Just stay. Relax. Let the elf help you. Recover. Do whatever you need. I promise I won't disturb you." Now wanking about him, on the other hand, would definitely be happening. But Potter didn't need to know that.
"And if I say no?" Potter asked.
"If that's really what you want, then…I suppose I can't stop you. Do you have someplace else you can go?"
Potter clenched his jaw, then looked away. "No. Not…really."
Draco wanted to ask why he didn't go to his friends, but he knew that would only start a fight. "There. So you can stay. I won't bother you, you can bathe, rest, eat…whatever you need. Without judgment. Or payment." So long as he stayed.
Potter was silent for a long time, but finally he nodded. "Fine. Which is your room?"
"Across from mother and father's."
"Good." Then Potter turned and walked down the hall, going through the first door on the left—about as far from Draco's room as he could get.* * *
After that, Draco was alone again. A night turned into a day, then two, then a week. Sure, Potter was there, but Draco never saw even a hint that he was. Even the elf refused to answer Draco's questions about him. Only the fact that the door to the room Potter had chosen remained closed gave Draco any clue that he was still there when he woke up each morning.
Where before, Draco had, on occasion, thought about Potter, now, he couldn't seem to stop. Where was Potter normally staying? Who had hurt him? What did
his friends think of all this?
He'd even considered dropping Weasley or Granger an owl to let them know where Potter was. The only thing that stopped him was that neither would be particularly appreciative, and that he knew Potter would likely leave as soon as he found out.
So instead he waited and wondered. And thought about Potter far too much for his own good. In the shower. At his meals. Every time he walked past that bloody door. All he wanted was to know what he was up to. And whether or not he was okay.
Not that it stopped him from thinking about less platonic things.
Most mornings, he woke up from dreams of Potter so intense that he was unable to do anything but give in and stroke himself, images of Potter pulling him to climax almost before he was even fully awake. At least, those days where he didn't wake up having just come. He couldn't remember having this many wet dreams since before sixth year.
And in the shower, it was worse. He never seemed to shake the idea of Potter showing up while he was halfway through his shower and joining him. He would stroke himself imagining the sudden feeling of cool air on his skin as the door to his bathroom opened. And he would look up to see Potter watching him, green eyes dark with a different emotion for once.
Then Potter would let the robe he was wearing fall to the floor, and Draco would watch as he stepped into the shower, Potter's hand replacing his own on his cock. That thought always drew a moan from him. Just the imagined feeling of Potter touching him once more was enough to make him throb with the need for it.
But the fantasy never stopped there. Most mornings, it was about Potter's mouth. The mouth he remembered so fondly from their first (only) time together closing around him, and he could almost feel Potter's hair under his fingers as he sucked and swallowed around him, drawing him deeper until he came for what was often the second time that day.
Soon, his friends began to owl, wondering why he hadn't gotten in touch. Blaise suggested an outing or an overnight, but the very thought of having Blaise here flirting with him or worse with Potter still here made his stomach tilt uncomfortably. Theo kept egging him to come out for another night on the town, but Draco put him off as well, stating that he'd had enough of clubs for a few months, and he'd let him know when he was up to it again.
At least he didn't have to deal with Pansy. She'd always known when something was up with him. It had been why he'd chosen to marry her in the first place. She had a very canny sense about her. Particularly when it came to him. Which meant that if she'd decided to come around, she'd have known in an instant what he was up to. And he certainly couldn't have that.
And so things continued as they had, and Draco determined to shut out the world if he could. His friends. Potter's friends. Anyone who might interfere. Anyone who might try to take Potter away.
Potter had been staying at the flat for almost a month before Draco saw him again.
He'd come out for a late-night snack after another of those vivid wet dreams, and was seated at the counter while the elf made him something when he heard a footstep behind him.
Potter was standing in the doorway, looking sulky. "What are you doing here?" he finally asked after a moment.
"It is my flat, Potter." It was hard to see him like this after the dream he'd just woken from, of Potter's warm kisses, his hands touching him everywhere, the feel of a hot cock pressed against his… Draco had to turn away. "I'm sorry if my presence offends you."
Potter was silent for a long time, then settled on the stool next to Draco. "Didn't mean that," he said softly.
The house-elf squeaked a greeting to Potter, then set plates in front of each of them. A slice of ham, some potatoes, and a few pieces of fruit. "Here you are Mister Potter, sir," it said, watching him with wide eyes.
"Thank you, Bubby." He dug into the food as though Draco weren't there at all.
Draco frowned down at his plate. Was this why he never saw Potter? He only came out at night? Had Potter just been avoiding him all this time? And how the hell did he know the house-elf's name when Draco hadn't even remembered?
After a few bites, Potter spoke. "I don't know what the food did to offend you, Malfoy, but I promise it's quite good."
Draco turned his glare on him instead of the plate. "Is this why I haven't seen you at all since you arrived? You've only been coming out late at night?"
Potter stopped, then glanced at him, suddenly looking wary. "I…thought it would be better…if you didn't have to see me. And…I wasn't exactly fit for company." He dropped his fork on the plate. "But if you'd rather I left…"
"No!" Potter looked as alarmed as Draco felt at his own outburst. "I just meant…you don't have to go. I just…didn't realize…" Draco tried again. "You don't have to hide from me, Potter. I promise I don't bite."
At first Potter looked shocked, then he began to smile. "Never seen you flustered before, Malfoy." He grinned. "It's a good look for you."
Draco snorted, but he couldn't hold back a smile that Potter seemed to be so relaxed with him suddenly. "Oh, shut it, Potter, and finish your…" What meal did he consider this, anyway? "Breakfast?"
"Supper," Potter corrected him. "I usually have a bit more that Bubby brings to my room after you eat."
"Ah." He watched Potter pick up his fork once more and begin to eat again, then finally started on his own. "You seem…better."
Potter shrugged. "It's nice not to have to worry about…things," he said softly, toying with his potatoes.
"You're welcome to stay as long as you like," Draco said softly. "I…don't mind you being here at all."
Potter turned to meet his eyes. "Really? Even though…"
"I don't care. What's happened. What we used to do to goad each other. That was then. We're not who we were in school. And I can tell…whatever's happened…you need…a place to be."
Potter was silent for a long time, and Draco worried that maybe he'd offended him, but then he nodded. "I do. I…had a place, but…" He bit his lip. "It's not safe right now." His voice was low, soft, and Draco could hear his underlying fear.
"Well, you can stay as long as you wish," Draco said with a smile.
At first, Draco thought he wouldn't answer, there was such a long pause after his statement, but then Potter nodded. "Thank you." He seemed to draw his courage around him before asking, "Why are you being so nice to me? You don't have to."
Draco looked at him. He was still scrawny, and he could still see the circles under his eyes. "Let's just say…I've been thinking a lot about that night. And some of it…well…no one deserves to be treated like an object…Harry." He hoped Potter would see calling him by name as a peace offering. After all, they'd never done it before. Maybe it was about time they started. It wouldn't be easy, but he'd try.
Potter looked startled, like a unicorn calf about to bolt. For a few seconds, Draco was sure he would, but then he nodded. "Thanks," he said, his voice almost too soft to be heard.
Draco nodded and stood up. "I'm going back to bed. Some of us need our beauty sleep." He gave Harry another smile, and his heart lifted when it was returned. The last thing he heard as he made his way back to his rooms was Potter asking for a second helping.* * *
Things changed between them after that. Potter was still in his room more often than not, but now he ventured out on occasion when Draco was around. Sometimes, they even spoke. It wasn't much, but it was a very good beginning. Draco encouraged interaction as much as he could without seeming too pushy.
It still wasn't easy to remember him as Harry, though. Not after so many years of thinking of him as Potter. But he always made the effort when they were speaking, at the very least.
He left notes when he went out to let Potter know he would be gone. Not that he went out too much, but the owls from Blaise and Theo had gotten demanding to the point where he knew they were about to come and check on him. There was no way he was going to allow that, so he agreed to nights out just often enough to keep them from getting curious again.
Coming home from his third night out with his friends, he found Potter waiting for him in the sitting room with tea. It was so domestic, Draco thought he was hallucinating for a moment. "Potter?" he finally asked, just to confirm that he wasn't just seeing things.
"Thought you could use some liquid so that you don't wake up with a hangover," he said. "I know water or coffee is traditional, but…well, I was thirsty, too."
Draco sank into the nearest chair, not sure what to say. Finally, he took a cup, blowing on it before taking a sip. It was his favourite. He wondered if Potter had asked the elf, or if he'd somehow known it was. "I thought I was supposed to be taking care of you," he said softly after another sip.
Potter smiled, and Draco felt his breath catch. "Well, maybe it's time that I returned the favour."
And maybe it was time for Draco to head to bed. Before the alcohol in his system had him doing something stupid like leaning over the table between them and seeing if those lips were as soft as he remembered. "Harry," he said softly, putting down his cup.
"Is it too cold? I could heat it for you." He raised his wand, but Draco shook his head, catching his hand. A jolt of lightning would have felt softer than that touch, and he had to close his eyes to regain himself.
"Draco?" Harry's voice was softer now. "Are you all right?"
Draco felt Harry's other hand cover his, and opened his eyes. "I…should go to bed." Before he did something really stupid, like kiss Harry and scare him away.
Harry seemed to deflate. "Oh. Sorry. I didn't mean to upset you. I just thought…"
"You didn't," Draco said, not wanting to hear Harry apologize further when he'd done nothing wrong. "It's just…" His eyes dropped to Harry's lips before he could stop himself, then quickly looked away. "I'm not…strong enough."
"Strong enough to do what, Draco?" He could hear Harry's confusion, and that only made it worse.
Draco pulled his hand away, trying to keep his voice soft. "I'm drunk. And a cup or two of tea won't be enough to stop that. Which means my defenses when it comes to you are…greatly lowered. And I don't want to hurt you."
"Hurt me…?" Draco had expected Harry to sound angry. Or sad. Or worst of all, scared. But he didn't.
He looked up to see that Harry looked shocked. "Yeah. You deserve to have someplace to go where no one expects you to…put out. And…let's just say right now, I don't think I could be…platonic."
Harry seemed to think about that for a long time, then nodded. "Thank you," he said softly. He was silent for a time, and Draco was just about to get up and leave when he spoke again. "When I am…ready…I don't think I'd mind that." His voice was soft, and it took a full minute for the words to make sense to Draco, lust slicing through the alcohol in his system like a fine-edged blade.
"Just…I wouldn't mind."
"Wouldn't mind, meaning you don't care either way, or wouldn't mind meaning the idea would be…titillating?"
A flush spread across Harry's cheeks. "The…latter."Too soon, too soon, too soon
repeated in Draco's head, even as he stood up and moved to kneel in front of Harry's chair. A single kiss couldn't hurt…could it? Harry looked frightened again, though, and Draco was about to back off when Harry clasped his hands.
For a long time, the two stared at each other. Then Harry leaned forward, and Draco closed the few inches left between them. This was nothing like that first kiss, as soft as it had been. It was still soft, yes, but at the same time, there was a promise to it. The need wasn't just Draco's. Each time he thought about pulling back, Harry would press forward for more, until Draco knew he had to before he did something more. Something worse.
"I'll wait. When you're ready…All you have to do is say so," he whispered.
Harry's eyes were bright and his voice breathless when he answered. "I will. I promise you that."
Draco smiled, then stood. Time to go. Before he pushed the matter further. "Sleep well, Harry."
Harry smiled back. "Sleep well, Draco."
Draco hurried from the room. It was going to be a long night. But maybe, just maybe, it would be worth it.Fin for now.