The Music BoxPart 4:
Walk Carefully In The Beginning Of LoveAuthor:
R – sexual innuendoSummary:
One dinner changes the course of history.Challenge:
IJ/LJ AWDT Valentine's Quickies ##9, 10, 11, 12 & 13: (9) Strangers In The Night, (10) Champagne & Oysters, (11) If You Love Somebody, Tell Them, (12) "You're Not The Only One Who Feels This Way!", (13) "Love Me Tender"Disclaimer:
This story is based on characters and situations created and owned by JK Rowling, various publishers including but not limited to Bloomsbury Books, Scholastic Books and Raincoast Books, and Warner Bros., Inc. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended.Author's Note:
Hope this makes sense.You have to walk carefully in the beginning of love; the running across fields into
your lover's arms can only come later when you're sure they won't laugh if you trip.
~Jonathan Carroll, "Outside the Dog Museum"
A house elf popped into Draco's study, startling him so badly, the papers he'd been working on went flying everywhere.
"Master Draco, Ilsa be sorry! Ilsa will iron hands!" the elf trembled.
"Ilsa, how many times must I tell you, no elf is to punish themselves while in my care." he sighed as he waved his wand to straighten his work, "Now why have you disturbed me?"
"You has a visitor, Master Draco."
"I do? I wasn't expecting anyone today. Are you sure they are here to see me?"
"Yes, sir." Ilsa nodded, her ears flapping.
"Escort them to the Sun Room and set out tea. I'll be there in a moment."
"Yes, sir." Ilsa nodded, moving to do as she was told. Draco moved to the mirror hanging behind the door to make sure he was immaculate. Wondering who his visitor could be, he left the study.
- - -
A man was standing at the window, looking out over the gardens behind Malfoy Manor. Draco took in the broad shoulders and the fine cut of robes giving him just a hint of what lay beneath and he had to stop to wipe his mouth.
"You wished to speak with me?" he asked. The man turned toward him and stepped out of the shadow of the sun. Draco nearly swallowed his tongue when he saw Harry standing there.
"Hello, Draco." Harry smiled.
"Potter." he stated, no heat in his voice.
"I'm sorry to barge in on you like this, you're probably busy."
"It's all right. What do you want?"
Draco blinked, "Pardon?"
"Have dinner with me."
"Have you been Confunded?" Draco couldn't help but ask.
"I've been able to toss that off since I was 14." Harry laughed. Draco bit the inside of his cheek to keep away the images that came to him from that innocent statement.
"Are you mental?" he managed.
"Draco, no! I'm here of my own free will to ask you to dinner."
Draco stared at him for the longest moment and Harry began to fidget with the hem of his robe. Draco found it cute.
"Well...you've been tolerable these last few years, and I realized we're practically strangers around one another, so I figured – what the hell." Harry shrugged.
Draco cocked his head to one side exposing his neck to Harry's gaze and he swallowed hard.
"Please?" he added.
"You've never said please to me before." Draco stated.
"Should I get down on my knees and beg?" Because he would do it if Draco said so.
Draco sighed and he opened his mouth to say 'no' because it sounded like a really bad idea. But what came out was a breathy "Yes."
Harry's grinned threatened to split his face and Draco mentally gave in.
"But I'm picking the restaurant. No doubt you'd pick something muggle." he snorted.
"Fine with me. I'll come back for you at say...seven?"
"Make it eight."
"Eight it is." Harry smiled, moving past him. Draco could have sworn he felt a hand brush his arse and he resisted the urge to turn around and reciprocate.
- - -
"I have to admit, this is impressive." Harry told him later that evening as they were led to their table.
"Glad you like it so far." Draco smiled as they sat down.
"Monsieur Malfoy, a pleasure to see you again." the maitre'd smiled as he came over to them.
"Nice to see you as well, Maurice. This is my friend, Harry." Maurice turned to look at Harry and his eyes widened.
"Mon Dieu! Harry Potter! In my restaurant!" he exclaimed. "Monsieur Potter, it is an honor to have you here. Whatever you like, it is on the house."
"I don't want to impose."
"Merde! It would be my pleasure, Monsieur." And before Harry could argue further, Maurice walked away. Harry looked at Draco and noticed that his eyes were bright with amusement.
"Feel free to laugh at my expense." Harry told him. Draco chuckled as a waiter brought their menus.
"Gentlemen, tonight's appetizer is Oysters and Clam soup. I highly recommend it."
"Draco?" Harry wondered.
"Sounds excellent. Bring two. And for the main course, the fish scampi with a dash of lemon zest, followed by two slices of apple cobbler."
"Cafe au lait?" the waiter wondered.
"Perfect." Draco nodded. "And the House Red if you've got it."
"Excellent choices, sir. I will return with your drinks momentarily." He took their menus and left them alone.
There was silence from them both before Harry laughed.
"What's so funny?" Draco wondered.
"Us. I ask you out and now I have no idea what to talk to you about."
"What have you been up to since school?" Draco wondered, already knowing some of it. But it got Harry to talk.
- - -
After dinner, Draco invited Harry to take a walk with him in the park. He was having a surprisingly good time with Harry and didn't want the night to end too soon.
"Draco, can I ask you something personal?" Harry asked as they were walking over a bridge.
"How do you know when you're in love?"
"I don't know. That's one emotion I don't think I'm capable of."
"Did you love your parents?"
"Of course, what child didn't?"
"But as a child to a parent. That's a different kind of love, but you loved all the same."
"What are you getting at, Harry?" Draco wondered where this was going.
"I guess I want to know is...when's the right time to tell someone you love them?"
Draco took some time to think about that.
"I don't think there is a right time per say. I think that if you love somebody, tell them as soon as possible. The war taught me that. Life is too short for maybes and what ifs. Why are you asking me all this?"
"I don't know. It was just something that was bothering me. I didn't mean to make you uncomfortable or anything." Harry sighed.You're not the only one who feels this way.
Draco thought to himself. "It's all right, Harry. If you feel comfortable talking to me about this stuff, then I guess that makes us friends." Draco smiled without feeling the joy. He wasn't sure if he wanted to be 'just friends' with Harry.
"Thanks Draco." Harry smiled. A man standing on the corner with a guitar began to play "Love Me Tender" and Harry began to hum along. They walked in silence, both lost in their thoughts.To be concluded...