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PostPosted: Wed Nov 03, 2021 3:52 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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Time had gone by in a flurry for Draco once more, completely absorbed by the work in front of him.
He really felt like he was close to an answer, close to knowing more about what was plaguing Harry, and he was desperate to connect the last dots. Part of it was, of course, that he wanted to save Harry’s life, feeling certain that this thing would kill him if it go the chance, but he was also desperately to prove himself, wanting to get to show the world that he could do this.
Notes were scattered about on his desk as he tried to take them all in at once, a tea cup, with its contents long gone cold, stood on the corner of the desk, out of the way from papers. It was a scene of chaos and did very little to help Draco see the clearer picture.

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 03, 2021 4:37 pm 

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Suddenly having taken note of the blue stains that were once again marking Draco’s under eyes, Harry had throughout the day glanced up from his own work to judge how Draco was holding up.
Poorly, it seemed. And to no real surprise.
As they had stopped going to bed together, Harry had lost track of Draco’s sleeping schedule. However, with what he had learned last night, Draco couldn’t be sleeping more than a couple of hours a night, and the pressure he put on himself to exceed any expectations was finally showing, 8 days into this pace.
“Hey, Draco,” Harry interrupted before he could really process the decision to do so. Only after speaking did he pause to weigh his options.
He had no ground to make such a claim, but he had grown uncomfortably aware of the fact that Draco was simply reverting back to his old habits and schedule; the only difference being that now, Harry was there to witness him overwork himself to ruins.
“Do you have a minute?"


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 06, 2021 4:32 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 Harry had come to join him in the study, Draco had barely even looked up, the same had happened when Coote brought them their afternoon tea. Draco was completely focused on the task at hand and wasn’t very keen on any interruptions whatsoever, working like a mad man in the hopes of finding the answers that he so desperately craved.
When Harry suddenly spoke, Draco had no idea what time it is, nor for how long he had been working, but he figured that he could take a brief break to hear what Harry had to say. His desk was messy, but all the objects were neatly accounted for, Draco not daring to lose any of them, nor to put them in a position to be damaged.
“Yeah?” He asked more than said, curious as to what Harry could want from him at this time. “What’s up?”

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 07, 2021 10:18 am 

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It hadn’t been often they had maintained a true professional relationship, but it was reaching a point where Harry felt like it was irresponsible not to interrupt; as of late, Draco was working himself harder than Harry would ever allow any of his employees to do back at the office.
When Draco turned to look at him, any good intentions of professionalism deflated. Draco looked like he had come up for air only because Harry had reminded him to breathe. The fact that Draco had even paid him any mind made Harry’s throat knot up.
Their relationship suspended somewhere between collegial and affectionate, what struck Harry was the urge to give Draco a hug.
“How are you faring?” he asked when he found his words, intentionally inconspicuously. Restless energy building beneath his skin, he picked up his quill to pluck at it.
“Haven’t heard from you in a while.”


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 07, 2021 2:44 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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Even though Draco had previously become better at sharing his progress with Harry, his current progress had been such a mess and array of half finished thoughts that he hadn’t felt like he could. It made sense that Harry wanted to know what he had been up to though, and Draco looked over his notes, trying to figure out something that he could say.
“It’s frustrating,” Draco opened with, rubbing his temples with two fingers as he glanced at the mess of notes in front of him. He had been so deep into his notes and the work that he was doing that he felt uncertain if he was able to separate the thoughts that was haunting him.
“Every time I feel like I am about to have it, something new pops up that shatters my former theory and I have to start all over,” Draco started, glancing up at Harry again, unsure what exactly it was the he wanted to hear. “It doesn’t help that objects are going to react different to the kind of exposure that you likely have been victim to, so I can’t make an exact comparison.”

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 07, 2021 3:57 pm 

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Finally hearing Draco speak after several days of working in silence demanded enough of Harry’s attention that his hand stilled, trying to make sense of it as Draco unloaded part of his burden.
It was almost nonsensical, fractured thoughts Harry had little context for, but he so desperately sympathised with the frustration he heard in Draco’s voice.
Though Harry wanted nothing more than to offer the affection that had disappeared from their interactions this passing week, Draco was completely out of Harry’s reach, and would remain so unless Harry got up and went to him. It made for an almost juvenile shyness, that distinction of intent making Harry’s every move feel loaded with something that was quite certainly not professionalism.
After a moment, Harry moved his seat to stand, disinterested in pretending they were in a public office.
“Why don’t you tell me some of them, and I can braid your hair back,” he urged softly, his voice almost practical. “Get it out of your face while you work.”


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 08, 2021 3:40 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 offer took Draco a little aback, but he had to admit that getting his hair out of his face would be nice, especially seeing as he was using his wand, so he couldn’t just stick that into his hair. Also, he figured that maybe it would help to get to read his work out loud, maybe it would allow him to see things differently, when he had to attempt to explain his process to someone else.
“Alright,” Draco stated, feeling somewhat of at a loss of where to even start with explaining the entire thing, but it did seem to be the reasonable way to go. Harry had high stakes in his research as well after all, so Draco shouldn’t mind as much, having good experience with Harry not expecting exact answers from him, even if he so wanted to provide them.
“I am not sure that it is going to make a lot of sense.”

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 08, 2021 4:03 pm 

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“It’s alright,” Harry muttered as he stepped behind Draco’s chair.
The easy acceptance of Harry’s meager attempt to help lifted a weight off Harry’s shoulders that he hadn’t realized he carried. It had felt presumptuous to think that Draco missed the affection, but Harry had found that he did.
“I’m not sure I’d be able to tell the difference,” he added, a barely audible grin to his voice as he gently ran his hands across Draco’s temples, brushing his hair back behind his ears. There was no doubt in his mind that Harry was out of his depth on this particular subject matter, feeling quite certain he couldn’t provide any other help than to lend an ear for Draco’s considerations.
His hands trailed the length of Draco’s hair, feeling for knots. Despite the frizz, he found none, the state of Draco’s hair speaking of frustration rather than neglect.
When Harry's hands returned to the sides of Draco’s head, his fingers brushed against the curve of Draco’s jaw in a gentle encouragement.
“Look up.”


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 09, 2021 2:55 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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All it took was Harry touching him to make Draco realise just how much he had missed the casual touch, that had become a part of his every day life. The soft touch at his temples, the feeling of Harry’s hands in his hair, and his fingers at his jaw, it almost felt like too much, but it also made Draco feel lighter and more comfortable in his own body.
He allowed himself to take a moment to just take it all in, gently looking up as Harry instructed, removing his focus from his noted for the first time in several hours. His head was buzzing, but he was uncertain whether it was from the touching or from all the thoughts that seemed to be constantly fighting to come to the forefront of his mind.
“I don’t even know where to start.”

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 09, 2021 3:36 pm 

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Harry hummed in lieu of a reply, his attention already far removed from their conversation as he carefully picked out three sections of hair from Draco’s hairline, attentive to not pull at the fine hairs.
Braiding a link, Harry’s fingers racked across Draco’s scalp, sectioning off more hair to add to the French plaid tentatively taking form. It eventually removed the necessity for Draco to look up.
“Take your time,” he eventually reassured. As the amount of hair in his hands increased, it became easier to maintain a steady grip and the conversation simultaneously. To Harry, it wasn’t that he cared what Draco had to say, he cared about Draco easing up on himself. “We can just sit for a moment, too.”


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 09, 2021 4:28 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 softly at that, thinking about everything that he had been working on, and just how unimportant it seemed as the two of them just sat there. It was as if time paused for a minute and Draco get to view his own thoughts from afar, rather than having to experience them.
It was weird though, unable to completely shake the restless energy that seemed to have taken permanent residence in his body, Draco was still eager to try and explain his thoughts to Harry. Maybe the explaining of his thoughts would help his own understanding as well.
“The extra frustrating part,” Draco started, finding the prospect of silence to be too scary for him to indulge in that.
“Is that I understand all of these-“ he waved at his notes in a noncommittal fashion “-separately, but I cannot for the life of me tell what it is that connects them. What is the red thread in all the work that I have been doing.”

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 09, 2021 6:00 pm 

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During the brief silence that fell over them, Harry had a moment of self awareness, finding it impossible to justify what on Earth they were doing. While Harry found it hard to regret getting up and going over to Draco, there was a stupid presumptuousness about turning to physical touch as a mean to pull Draco out of his reverie.
Mercifully, Draco was quick to fill the silence, interrupting Harry’s train of thought.
As a response, Harry only hummed, a gentle encouragement for Draco to go on. He braided another link, slow and neatly.
“Should there be one?” he challenged, the same way he would prompt any other of his coworkers to reexamine their assumptions, though his voice lacked any real bite. The intimacy of braiding Draco’s hair back removed any trace of professionalism from their interaction.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 10, 2021 5:36 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 question floored Draco for a moment, leaving him questioning his entire approach to his work all over again. He had been working so hard to find the answers that he so desperately craved, that it was hard to not feel like the lack of those answers was a failure on his part.
“There has to be,” Draco stated, knowing that he would absolutely lose his mind, if it turned out that there was no connection in anything and that he had been doing all of this work for nothing.
It made his head spin further, unable to find much coherence in any of the thoughts that were flittering through his mind. It was much easier to keep focused on Harry’s hands in his hair, finding that the easy touch was keeping him anchored in reality better than anything he attempted to do himself ever would.

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 10, 2021 6:12 pm 

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Harry thought Draco might be right. Among several dozens of enchanted and cursed artefacts retrieved from that basement shop in Aberdeen, these had proved incredibly troublesome if not impossible to dismantle. Draco was right, that had to mean something.
As the braid took shape, Harry shifted his stance, taking half a step backwards to better increase his field of vision, this time intent on making the braid as straight as possible.
“What could a correlation be?” he prompted, encouraging Draco to think solution oriented instead. If nothing else, then to keep him talking, finding that he had missed the sound of Draco’s voice even more than he had missed his touch. “Not in this case in particular, but in general.”


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 11, 2021 3:38 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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It wasn’t that Draco didn’t know exactly what Harry was doing, just prompting him to keep talking until he either found a solution or at least calmed down. It was transparent, but it work enough that Draco found himself calm down in the touch.
“Well, first of all, they are all cursed and clearly by strong, dark magic,” Draco started out, knowing that it was likely obvious, but he felt the need to start in such a way. He needed to make it obvious to himself as well as Harry, but probably far more himself.
“Then it comes down to severity and style of magic,” Draco stated, finding that his headache subsided as he talked and Harry braided. It was nice and Draco felt more and more relaxed the longer he got to say these things out lout.
“I can tell some similarities between the objects in style, which indicates that they may have been cursed by the same wizard, but they are also so different that it might not be the case. It’s not clear enough to really tell.”

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 12, 2021 10:57 am 

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Harry hummed. Though he wasn’t paying great attention to what Draco was telling him, he figured it made sense. The objects had been kept in secure custody for a year precisely because the Ministry had eventually decided it was a waste of resources to try and figure them out, let alone dismantle them. Harry had never had high hopes for Draco being able to make any more sense of them, but it was clear that Draco was holding himself to impossibly high standards.
More pressingly, Harry shifted his hold on Draco’s hair, freeing one hand entirely to smooth over the hairs at the nape of Draco’s neck. The touch was gentle and repetitive, careful to get every fine, blonde hair.
“They were found in a workspace,” Harry mused as he resumed the braid, the first free hanging link. “I think the assumption has been that it's all one person.”


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 12, 2021 4:04 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 nodded gingerly at that, not wanting to disturb Harry’s braiding too much, but he was caught in a loop of thought and he was once again hoping that he could find the end of it. He was convinced that if he just saw it all correctly, he would be able to crack this case wide open and figure out what was going on.
“That makes sense,” Draco stated, having seen great similarities in all of the objects, yet he had still doubted himself greatly.
“I’d assume that it was objects made and collected over a great any years, which would account for the changes in style and for why I couldn’t say for certain whether or not it was the same person,” Draco reasoned, unsure how much Harry was actually listening to what he was saying, or if he was just trying to keep him going.
He found that he didn’t mind either way.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 12, 2021 7:42 pm 

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The regular plaid required less attention to braid, allowing Harry’s response to come more timely.
“That’d make sense, too,” he agreed as he braided the last few links. Signature analysis was not in Harry’s wheelhouse, barely able to make sense of the conclusionary reports.
In his hands, Harry had finally braided the full length of Draco’s hair. Harry watched the ends of it against his palm, fingers still wrapped around the unfastened braid, awkwardly aware of the fact that he had been specifically instructed not to charm it tied again.
Not entirely ready to let go of Draco, Harry circled the chair, allowing himself to rest at the lip of Draco’s table, careful not to topple anything over as he did. Long enough to curl over Draco’s shoulder, Harry maintained a careful grip around Draco’s hair, arm slightly extended between them.
“Do they do anything?” he continued, eyes glancing off to illegible notes scattered besides him; there was almost an inadverted boyishness to the attempted professionalism in his voice, completely undermined by the gentle but persistent grip around Draco’s hair.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 13, 2021 4:15 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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Once Harry got into sight, Draco almost lost his line of thought, having almost forgotten that Harry was actually present and not just a phantom touch to his hair. It was nice to have confirmed in a way, liking to know that he wasn’t actually alone with the work that was threatening to swallow him whole.
“Not that I know of,” Draco stated, his eyes returning to his notes once more, but his gaze was less focused now and he seemed to zone out more. He could feel the exhaustion settle in his his bones, but he also knew that now wasn’t the time to rest.
“They seem very volatile, but it doesn’t seem like they have been hexed with a purpose,” Draco explained, liking to be able to keep answering questions, not wanting to think too much about how to explain things to Harry.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 13, 2021 4:37 pm 

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Harry nodded, not entirely in the conversation anymore. The way their desks were positioned, Harry spent most of his days looking at the back of Draco’s hair, only so often catching a glimpse of his profile. Seeing him head on with his hair tied back made Harry’s stomach flip with longing.
Thoughtlessly suppressing a caress, Harry brushed the pad of his thumb across the ends of Draco’s hair, sticking out from his hold.
With a little sound, Harry turned to look around at Draco’s desk.
“Here,” he said, as he reached for Draco’s wand, holding it by the tip as he offered the handle to Draco. There was a grin playing at the corner of Harry’s mouth, happy to have followed orders this time around. “Fasten the ends yourself.”


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