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PostPosted: Sun Sep 18, 2022 3:13 pm 

This body is a vessel for my mayhem and as long as I can perform bafoonery it doesn’t matter if this stomach is flat or not

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The day had easily slipped away from them, Draco having judged that Harry probably needed to get some rest and having cherished getting to be that for him. He had been right in his assessment, considering that Harry had kept dozing off, never quite falling asleep but never quite there either.
“Hey you,” he said in a soft voice, as he felt Harry’s hand move with more purpose to under his housecoat, causing a soft smile to appear on his lips. His own hand gained purpose as well, running up Harry’s neck, from where it had been resting by his shoulder, and into his hair, softly running his fingers through.
“How are you doing?”

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2022 1:09 pm 

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The feeling of Draco’s hand running through Harry’s hear immediately threatened to lull him back asleep. While Harry did feel better, his entire body felt limp, and the weight of Draco’s hand felt like it was enough to make Harry melt into the covers.
Harry refrained from answer, instead humming a vague response, sharing nothing beyond the fact that he was, at the very least, awake.
Running his hand upwards, it curled around Draco’s shoulder, an anchor to settle himself more comfortably against Draco.
“Sorry I feel asleep on you,” he croaked, although what he really wanted to say was thank you. While it hadn’t been long since the last time he had felt poorly, it had been a while since he had felt so alone. Making no move to disentangle himself from Draco’s embrace, he was, however, aware of the fact that he might’ve inadvertently taken Draco hostage.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2022 2:17 pm 

This body is a vessel for my mayhem and as long as I can perform bafoonery it doesn’t matter if this stomach is flat or not

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If Draco was being completely honest with himself, then a slow day had probably been what he had been needing as well, having stressed himself up to be able to do the job that had been expected to be able to do. It meant that he was now feeling spent and had honestly been fine with serving as a temporary pillow for Harry.
“It’s alright,” he said with a soft smile, still softly running his fingers through Harry’s hair and only now looking down at him properly.
Harry still looked like he was on the edge of falling asleep, but his eyes seemed clearer now and Draco felt good about what care he had been able to provide for him so far.
“You look like you needed it,” he added with a warm smile, a teasing edge in his voice that was completely cancelled out by the intimacy of their situation.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2022 2:46 pm 

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Harry couldn’t contain a huffed little laugh, unsurprised that Draco came to that conclusion. It was almost like clockwork, how every case seemed to knock Harry flat on his arse whenever it came to a cusp, more fragile under pressure than he was in his youth.
“I feel like I needed it,” he agreed, turning his head far enough that he could rest his chin against Draco’s chest, finally able to properly meet his eye. The sight made Harry’s stomach flip, finding it incredibly rare.
Though they had spent most of the past day together, tangled up like this, it hadn’t offered many opportunities for Harry to properly look at Draco. Besides the day they had spent in bed when Draco turned 30, Harry hadn’t seen Draco take a true day off in the time he had known him. He felt a little cheated, having slept through most of it.
Chasing an impulse he couldn’t quite place, he placed a chaste little kiss on Draco’s chest before once again settling on his cheek.
“I usually try to plan around it,” he mused. “I don’t handle pressure all that well.”


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2022 12:38 pm 

This body is a vessel for my mayhem and as long as I can perform bafoonery it doesn’t matter if this stomach is flat or not

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Draco hummed at that, having seen this in Harry once before and he didn’t like it anymore now than he had liked it back then. He knew that he wasn’t exactly one to take care of himself, but there was something different about seeing that level of exhaustion on someone he cared about.
“You should take better care of yourself,” he stated matter of factly, knowing that this level of exhaustion wasn’t healthy, especially not when it was something that seemed to happen regularly for Harry. It made him worried about the level of expectations he was putting on himself and Draco really saw no point in Harry working himself into sickness one a regular basis.
“You shouldn’t have to plan around being sick from working yourself too hard,” he elaborated, feeling certain that his plead wouldn’t have any effect on Harry’s future work, but he still felt that he at least owed him to voice his concerns.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2022 2:17 pm 

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No matter how fuzzy Harry’s mind still felt, his gaze remained on Draco, a little surprised by the sincerity of Draco’s concern. It suffocated the joke otherwise present in Harry’s voice, making Harry’s heart flip, unable to properly accept that degree of attention.
“Yeah, well,” he forfeited aimlessly, eyes dipping to the exposed triangle of skin visible at the neck of Draco’s house coat, a scar barely exposed. Relaxing a little in the embrace, Harry allowed his hand to fall from Draco’s shoulder, trailing the line of his clavicle.
There was not much to add, after all; Draco spoke as though there was an alternative.
“I have to.”


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2022 2:45 pm 

This body is a vessel for my mayhem and as long as I can perform bafoonery it doesn’t matter if this stomach is flat or not

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And just like that, Draco felt all of the fight leave his body, only all too familiar with feeling like you had something to make up for. While he knew that Harry had absolutely nothing to make up for, saving the wizarding world had to make up for whatever perceived sins that Harry was working to make up for, he still deeply understood the urge to make things better and prove yourself worthy.
“Yeah, I get it,” he stated, looking down at Harry still, liking how soft he looked like this, his hair having grown out longer which made him look slightly more youthful, something that made Draco’s heart flip in his chest.

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PostThis post was deleted by Nymeria on Wed Sep 21, 2022 2:58 pm.
PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2022 3:25 pm 

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Draco’s response made Harry’s eyes dart back up to him, half expecting him to go on; when no addition came, Harry felt heart bloom through his chest, surprised how valuable Draco’s simplicity was to him. There was no doubt in his mind that Draco did know, perhaps as the only one left alive.
Just as much as Harry was racing to meet societal expectations, Draco had worked tirelessly to dispel them. It was exhausting in a way that always felt isolating and lonesome, racing against a version of yourself that you no longer wanted to be.
However familiar that anxiety felt, Harry was once again forced to face the fact that he hadn’t felt lonely in months, much less so in this given conversation. Tangled up in Draco’s embrace, Harry felt understood in a way that he didn’t think would ever be for him, let alone with so few words said.
The love and gratitude he felt for Draco in that moment all but knocked the wind out of him, and he realized it wasn’t the first time he had felt it.
It didn’t make it any easier to face, however.
“Yeah,” he muttered, drawing up short of everything he wanted to say.
Feeling his cheeks heat with the prickle of tears, Harry averted his gaze, pushing his face into the fabric of Draco’s housecoat, wanting to sink into him and never let him go.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2022 3:42 pm 

This body is a vessel for my mayhem and as long as I can perform bafoonery it doesn’t matter if this stomach is flat or not

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Though Draco had thought that he had become pretty adept at reading Harry’s place of mind and his facial expressions, but now he felt at a complete loss. He figured that Harry was probably still too exhausted to have a conversation like this, neither of them terribly keen on discussing their past, but Draco had always thought that it was easier for them to do with each other; at least that’s how it was for him.
“Are you alright?” He asked in a soft voice, his hand sliding from Harry’s hair to his neck, wanting to prompt him to look up at again. He knew that these conversations were difficult for them and he just wanted to make sure that Harry wasn’t too out of it.
“It’s alright you know, I understand,” he assured Harry further, wanting to be absolutely certain that Harry knew that he wasn’t judging him, just desperately wishing that it could be difficult for them.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2022 3:56 pm 

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Though every fiber of his being screamed for the opportunity to hide away, Harry allowed himself to give into the vulnerability of the moment - of the realization - unable to deny Draco anything he asked of him. When he tipped his head back up to look at Draco, Harry’s eyes were glassy with tears that had yet to fall. The genuine worry he saw in Draco’s expression made Harry choke out a chuckle, feeling simultaneously out of it and found.
“I’m just happy you’re here,” he croaked with a stupid, self-concious little smile, freeing a hand from beneath himself to rub it across his eyes.
Those few words didn’t come close to covering even a fraction of the feelings filling Harry’s chest, and yet they did, summarized in its purest form; an eternal gratitude of the kinship Draco was able to provide by simply existing to Harry.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 22, 2022 12:17 am 

This body is a vessel for my mayhem and as long as I can perform bafoonery it doesn’t matter if this stomach is flat or not

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Nothing could have prepared Draco to see Harry teary eyed like that. During his stay at the manor they’d often talked about their shared past, something they had quickly realised required not much talking at all, seeing as they both were probably the only person who understood what the other one was going through. Still, it absolutely spoofed him to see Harry so raw and vulnerable in front of him.
Draco had regularly had the same thought, just really happy that Harry was around and they got to share the things that they shared together. Still it felt almost like too much to hear it said like that, unsure what to do with the feelings, by now all too familiar to him, that welled up in him.
He had realised that he loved Harry, something that he hadn’t thought that he would ever get to have again, but he had also known that Harry wasn’t for him, not like that at least.
That didn’t stop him from leaning down though, hand still in Harry neck, urging him higher as he leaned down to kiss him, wanting to be able to kiss the tears away.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 22, 2022 4:33 am 

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While what Harry wanted to do was to laugh at the ridicule of it all, his breath escaped him as little more than a sob, relieved that Draco was not only here, but here like this.
Clumsily meeting the narrow angle of the kiss, Harry couldn’t help but smile, overwhelmed and in love. His hand curled around Draco’s forearm, begging him to stay close even when the kiss was too hard to sustain and their lips once again parted.
Not ready to forego that proximity, Harry pushed himself off of Draco, displacing his weight onto his hands to stretch above him and, for the first time today, getting to properly look at him.
Beneath him, Draco was a sight to behold, aristocratic sharpness softened with sleep and a day spent in bed, and Harry could cry all over again. Getting to be around Draco like this was everything to him, and still his heart was an endless pit, a feeling that nothing could ever be sufficient, that nothing would ever be enough.
It showed on his expression as another hazy little smile, letting go of Draco’s wrist in favour of his jaw, leaning in for another kiss ebbing over with affection.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 22, 2022 5:43 am 

This body is a vessel for my mayhem and as long as I can perform bafoonery it doesn’t matter if this stomach is flat or not

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It felt impossible not to be struck with the familiarity of the situation, Draco’s hands finding Harry’s hips as he let go of his wrist, eagerly reaching up to meet the kiss. He didn’t want to overthink the situation, knowing too well what could come from such speculations, but he also couldn’t help but feel that this moment was more loaded, as if they both understood something intricate about the other.
Yet it was also so familiar, the two of them having been in this situation several times before and it was such a practiced song and dance that they barely even had to think. It was easy in the way that they conversations rarely were, just both of them tuned in on what the other wanted and needed.
It was always enough to make Draco weep as well, so taken by Harry’s attention and current mind space that he couldn’t imagine ever feeling as lovely as he did right now.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 22, 2022 7:04 am 

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_____

Potter had yet to come back into work on the second day after the discovery of the concealed cellar at Towthorpe, offering up a chance for Paul to reach out to Malfoy directly for a walk-through of Cursebreaker protocol, which Paul knew Potter neither needed nor cared to hear.
Malfoy had appeared in his doorway a bit before their meeting time of ten, more well rested and at ease than Paul would have expected; certainly more than Paul felt himself.

A standard layout of the department, each Inspector office had a workspace attached to it. Having spent a few hours going conversationally going through the initial findings forensics had made, and the objects they had cleared, Paul and Malfoy had retreated back to his office.
Their conversation had primarily centered itself on the upcoming bureaucracy, and the work needed to return to the site, but aided by a cup of tea and a biscuit, the authority slowly seemed to leave Paul’s voice.
“Have you given any thought about what you want to do after Towthorpe is dismantled?” Paul asked after a moment of silence, the easiness of his voice making it sound like a spur-of-the-moment consideration. In reality, it had been on his mind the very moment he had invited Malfoy over for a status briefing.
“Have you considered the possibility of applying for a permanent position?”


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 22, 2022 11:55 am 

This body is a vessel for my mayhem and as long as I can perform bafoonery it doesn’t matter if this stomach is flat or not

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While it probably shouldn’t come as a surprise to Draco anymore, he still found himself surprised when Buchannan had called him into the ministry by himself, aware that Harry was still ill and wouldn’t be in for at least a couple of days further.
Buchannan had spent a couple of hour running through the different objects that had been cleared by forensics, giving Draco an idea of what he was going to be dealing with once they got to return to Towthorpe. It had been pretty thrilling to get to a proper insight into things, feeling like a proper member of the team.
When they had retreated back into Buchannan’s office, the offer of tea took him a little aback, but he figured that Buchannan probably had more he wished to discuss with him so he jumped at the chance.
The question wasn’t as a big of a surprise to Draco, though he had hardly dared to hope that it would be a chance that would present itself to him. He knew his own reputation all too well and he understood if people would rather not take that chance on him.
“I wasn’t sure if it was going to be option for me,” Draco admitted, knowing that his presence was tolerated because Harry, and later Buchannan, had stuck their neck out for him, but had doubted that that was going to mean anything about him potentially staying on once they were finished with Towthorpe.
“I figured that I would just return to my studies.”

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 22, 2022 2:54 pm 

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Paul couldn’t help but notice the fact that Malfoy spoke in the past tense; he almost made a comment on it, interested in hearing whether things had changed. After all, he had only recently gotten to truly participate in Ministry operations.
“Who are you studying?” he asked instead, a relevant yet harmless tangent of the main point.
Placing his cup back onto his desk, Paul leaned back in his chair, hands folded across his lap. “Your approach is very similar to that French fella, Marquis,” he mused, and meant it as a sincere compliment. “I manage in French, so I am usually able to read it as they’re published, but I know the translated texts are making the rounds. We are keen to find people who know how to apply them, though.”


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 22, 2022 3:21 pm 

This body is a vessel for my mayhem and as long as I can perform bafoonery it doesn’t matter if this stomach is flat or not

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When Draco had first published his books he really hadn’t given his pseudonym much thought, having published his books in french as that was more natural it had seemed even more natural to chose a french-leaning name.
He had never expected to hear anything about his works, so having heard it first from Harry when he had found him and now from Buchannan was a complete whiplash for him. It sent a surge of pride through him, knowing that someone had gotten use out of the many years that he had spent studying and writing down.
“Yeah, it would be,” he found himself saying before thinking, a grin appearing on his lips as he placed his cup back on the desk between himself and Buchannan.
“I’m sorry, I assumed that Potter would have told you,” he stated, realising that he probably seemed like he was in on a great big secret, and in a way he was. After all, Harry had managed to find him, though he still had no idea how, so it hadn’t been a stretch to believe that Buchannan would have figured it out as well.
“I have spent the past ten years writing down my research and publishing it under the pseudonym of Damien Marquis,” he finally revealed, feeling uncertain of how Buchannan was going to react to the revelation.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 22, 2022 3:35 pm 

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It was all very simple, and still it hadn’t crossed Paul’s mind. The realization dawned upon him, visible in the way his gaze changed as he looked at Malfoy. For a moment, he was at a loss for words.
“Well, there you have it,” he fumbled, the surprise having tipped over into acceptance, although he appeared more than anything a little shell shocked.
Paul felt silent, looking Malfoy over as he allowed the revelation to sink in.
“But still, you have no expectations of pursuing a career in Cursebreaking after Towthorpe?” Paul pressed with his brow furrowed, but there was a smile in his voice that spoke of well-meaning incredulity.
He leaned back forward in his seat, feeling like the conversation called for it. Certainly, it didn’t feel like Malfoy was taking his words to heart as anything but an off handed compliment, seeing it in the boyishess of his grin.
“I have staff literally studying your work. I’d love to have you in.”


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 24, 2022 1:45 pm 

This body is a vessel for my mayhem and as long as I can perform bafoonery it doesn’t matter if this stomach is flat or not

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It had honestly never crossed Draco’s mind that anyone would even have read his books, much less having ministry employees who studied them. It made it all seem all the more worth it, and all the more like maybe he had a chance to actually work properly with what he did after this case.
“Do you mean it?” He found himself asking, knowing that Buchannan wasn’t the type to say things like that out of flattery, yet he still needed to have complete confirmation, needing to know for sure that he wasn’t just imagining things and getting ahead of himself.
“Because I do want to work with this, I just never thought that anyone in their right mind would want me to,” he admitted.

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