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PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2022 3:12 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 had mostly mentioned Hannah to remind himself that she was there, knowing how easy it was for him to lose himself in Harry and his attention.
They were very much in public and at work on top of that, and Draco was absolutely desperate to make a name for himself at the ministry; wanting to prove that he was there for a reason and not because he was some kind of pet project to Harry.
“We are analysing and cataloguing the items retrieved from Towthorpe,” Draco stated, realising just how little he had wanted to talk about work when he had returned home to the manor and it hadn’t seemed like Harry had been particularly keen to start that subject either.
“We are through most of the benign ones, but some of them seem pretty volatile, so we were discussing how best to move forward.”

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2022 4:52 pm 

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It would have been pitiful just how much Harry’s attention favoured Draco, had he been self aware enough to notice it. Realistically, he was paying more attention to the way Draco’s expression shifted, how his lips formed the words, than the briefing he gave him.
“Let me know if you come across any signatures,” Harry stated, straightening his posture enough to include Connor in that statement. Sitting here, barely back at work, the case felt a lifetime removed from the presence, and deep in his marrow, he felt like he could happily abandon it as unsolved.
“Paul is asking Tsai about the same,” Connor offered, tossing her head aimlessly over her shoulder, vaguely Buchannan with the Forensic Inspector somewhere out of sight.
It made Harry nod, slowly, mind still slow to adjust. “Good; I’ll catch up with them.”


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2022 2:05 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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_______
He and Harry hadn’t discussed whether Harry would be returning to the manor after his day at the ministry, and Draco had tried not to get his hopes up too high; not wanting to leave himself open to disappointment in case Harry had decided to go home.
Still, he could feel his anticipation building as he exited his fireplace, knowing that he wouldn’t be able to hide his own disappointment in case Harry wouldn’t be there.
It was honestly terrifying just how much of his world had come to center around Harry, how much he depended on him to be in a good mood for the day, and how much of his time he wanted to spend with him. It was going to become a problem, that much Draco already knew, but he was also prepared to handle that problem when it was inevitably going to crop up later.
In that moment, all he could focus on was the relief that washed over him when Coote told him that Harry was waiting for him in the sunroom.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2022 3:58 pm 

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When Harry had left for the Manor, he had been aware of the fact that Draco and Connor were still deep at work, even as the department had started to empty out for the evening. He hadn’t been by to say his goodbyes, feeling quietly reassured he and Draco would find each other, one place or the other; Harry might as well go to Draco’s, having come to find Coote as willing to let him inside as Grimmauld was to Draco.
His muscles growing sore from the physical evaluation of this morning, the stiff antique sofas in the drawing room had little appeal, and instead, Harry had withdrawn to the sunroom and the plush pillows of the garden sets.
They were in the depths of Autumn, and while the sunroom had changed considerably since the sunny afternoons of August, the room had no less charm. It was dark beyond the windows, but cozied up with a blanket and a cuppa, Harry was just as well at ease as he had been this summer. While he had brought with him a book, he had eventually asked Coote to turn on the wireless; for the past hour, Harry had listened to a qualifying game of Quidditch between two Italian teams, neither of which he could pronounce the name of. Head lulled back against the backrest, mug cradled between his hands, Harry had successfully pushed the impressions of the day abay, allowing for a merciful break from his own thoughts.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2022 4:58 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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No matter how many times Draco got to witness it, he didn’t think that he was ever going to get over the novelty of seeing Harry being comfortable in the manor.
As he entered the sun room, he felt his heart flip in his chest at the sight of Harry bundled up in blankets, despite the heating charm that kept the room at a comfortable temperature, and a cup of tea clutched in his hands. It felt intimate in a way Draco couldn’t put into words, and he knew that he wanted to return home to this every single day if he could.
“Hi darling,” he said with a warm smile, working on muscle memory as he approached the couch and immediately sat down next to Harry, leaving little to no space between them as he did.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2022 6:14 pm 

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Even with his eyes fluttering shut and the voice of the commentator filling the sunroom, Harry doubted there’d be any situation in life where he wouldn’t be acutely aware of Draco’s presence in a room. Tipping his head backwards towards the sound of Draco’s voice, Harry opened his eyes to the sight of Draco taking a seat next to him, a smile already pulling at his lips.
“Hi, babe,” he greeted, the grin seeping into his voice. The pull Draco had on him was visible in the way his balance shifted, leaning closer until their shoulders met.
In an instance, the presence of the mug in his hands felt clumsy, having much preferred to reach for Draco; the only available compromise, Harry’s right hand welcomed Draco’s proximity, curling around Draco’s thigh in lieu of an embrace.
Harry’s gaze kept dipping from Draco’s eyes to his lips, barely managing to reestablish eye contact when speaking. “You’re back late.”


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2022 12:55 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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“Yeah, sorry,” he said with a warm smile, unsure exactly how late it actually was, paying little to not attention to the time when he was working, even if the work he did was at the ministry.
It seemed unbelievable to him now though, when he could have been home with Harry instead of spending hours pouring over dark artefacts, trying to figure out if one of them was the one that was killing Harry.
The thought made him reach out for Harry, his hand finding the nape of his neck and running up into his hair, finally getting to see the touch that he hadn’t been able to bestow him earlier through. It wasn’t a touch filled with excitement, the way it had been the first many times, but one of comfort and intimacy.
It made Draco’s stomach flip in a way he refused to analyse further.
“I got caught up in work and neither Hannah or Buchannan seem very keen to stop me.”

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 09, 2022 4:14 am 

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Harry was almost certain neither Connor nor Buchannan expected Draco to have anybody waiting for him at home; he didn’t say it out loud, not sure he even ought to be here right now, and afraid that addressing it would make Draco realise it.
It was difficult not to be, however, finding that the hand in his hair turned his spine into jelly. It read as an invitation for Harry to rest on Draco, but, for the first time today, Harry could look at Draco unabashedly and without restraint; and he did, eyes drawn to the curve of Draco's smile.
“You’re good company,” he instead settled on with a lopsided grin, precariously leaning into the touch, the half-filled mug still in his free hand as more of his forearm rested on Draco’s thigh.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 10, 2022 4:23 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 seemed impossible not to grin at that, Draco finding that no matter how much time he spent together with Harry, he still needed the confirmation that he liked being around him and wanted to keep hanging out with him. His hand kept running through Harry’s hair, keen to keep him close and enjoy the time they had together.
“I try to be,” he stated with a soft smile, looking at Harry and trying to analyse the feelings that were flowing through him.
In the end he decided not to think further about it, knowing that nothing good would come from thinking like that, and instead leaned in to finally kiss him hello.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 11, 2022 12:43 pm 

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Harry met the kiss already grinning, seeming to exist in a constant state of anticipation of Draco's affections. He hadn't realised just how much he needed this, this sense of being cared for, finding that the day at the Ministry had quickly unraveled him at the edges, he had spent the last week redrawing.
He met the kiss with a gentle touch, his hand leaving Draco's thigh in favour for his cheek, fingers barely brushing the line of his jaw.
"Robards wants me to get my evaluations redone," Harry breathed into the narrow space between them when their lips parted counting on the softness between them to soften the harsh reality of his words. Harry had barely been able to stomach it himself, and although he desperately needed Draco to know, too, he wasn't sure he could bear seeing his reaction, either.
Hand skipping a few inches aside, Harry kissed Draco's cheek, a distraction rather than an invitation.  "I did my physical today, and I have an appointment with a Mind Healer tomorrow."


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 14, 2022 4:45 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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Even if it was blatantly obvious what Harry was doing, Draco was ashamed to admit that it was working.
With Harry’s kisses trailing off, Draco almost didn’t realise the severity of the statement, being too caught up in getting to be around Harry like this again.
He did realise the severity though, not knowing much about proper ministry workings, but what he did know was that this had to be serious.
“Yeah?” He found himself asking, leaning away a little to get a proper look at Harry. He was desperate to know what was going on in his head, wanting to know how seriously he was supposed to take this statement and what Harry expected from him.
“Do they suspect to find something wrong?”

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 16, 2022 4:37 pm 

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Harry’s smile wavered when Draco pulled back, a sudden clumsy shyness about him. For a flash of a moment, he almost came to regret sharing this with Draco, finding that this was an entirely new sort of vulnerability; it was difficult to stay in the conversation rather than to withdraw from it.
“I don’t think so,” he fumbled. That hadn’t been his impression.
Unable to maintain eye contact for long, he instead shifted to finally place his mug onto the coffee table, intermittently glancing back at Draco. “I’ve been absent for most of the year and then with Towthorpe last week, I think they’re just trying to make sure I’m alright to work.”


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 19, 2022 3:12 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, still not too keen on allowing Harry back in full service, but he could definitely understand why Robards would be easier to get him back in the field.
“Alright,” he said with a soft smile, realising that Harry really didn’t want to swell on the topic and it wasn’t entirely like Draco could blame him. After all, it was likely just protocol to make sure that Harry would be able to get back to work.
Deciding to put him out of his misery, Draco leaned in to kiss him again.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2022 7:28 am 

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________

Scheduled after working hours, the DMLE laid barren when Harry finally headed back from the department Mind Healer and his first session with her. Though he had no reason to expect it, Harry still felt the phantom itch of Legilimency in the back of his mind, although, more likely, he just hadn’t been asked about his state of mind for a decade. The expected vulnerability and self-reflection had felt both uncomfortable and unwarranted, and the conversation had left him even more exhausted than his physical evaluation yesterday. Perhaps worst of all, it had only been the first of five.
With each step through the halls, any considerations about Towthorpe and stress gave away for everything he couldn’t share with the Mind Healer; when she had asked if Harry was able to relax at home, Harry hadn’t been able to share that, for weeks, he had barely set foot back at Grimmauld.
Harry had returned to his office with no intention of going home tonight, either. Selfishly turning Draco as a balm for a sore mind, he all but jumped when he opened his door and found Draco at his desk, taken aback by the way thought and reality blurred and overlapped.
It took a moment for a smile to tug at the corners of his mouth, but it was there, brightly and relieved.
“Hi, love,” he greeted as he shut the door behind him, the tension in his shoulders slowly dissipating. It offered space for a grin and an exhausted little tease. “Busy?”


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 01, 2023 3:51 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 perhaps been presumptuous for Draco to wait for Harry in his office, having had no idea when Harry was even going to return to his office or if he even was going to return. However, the idea of not getting to see him today was almost too much for Draco to bear, having gotten so used to having him around that he found it hard to go without.
Thus a wave of relief flooded him when he heard the door open followed by Harry’s voice.
It brought an instant smile to his face, looking up from the paperwork he had brought with him to pass the time while he had waited for Harry.
Harry looked ragged, the mental evaluation clearly taking its toll on him and Draco wanted nothing more than to hug him and kiss him, run his hands over his face and soothe the worry away from his expression.
“Not at all,” he said with a warm smile, keen to hear whatever Harry wanted to share with him and just serve as a comfort for him through the things he didn’t want to share.
“How’d it go?”

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2023 6:08 am 

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The question made Harry hold his breath, an effort to refocus his thoughts on a topic that had left his mind the moment he saw Draco.
“Fine, I suppose,” he said on the exhale, further entering the room.
His hands found the buttons of his coat, eager to shed the tightness and pull of the uniform; it was almost compulsory how Draco’s mere presence encouraged an increased sense of comfort.
“It’s not great fun, but it feels pretty standard,” he said as he circled his desk. The breast of his coat opened, he leaned against the lip of the desk next to the seat, glancing thoughtlessly at the papers Draco had brought with him. It was more likely that gall which made the corners of Harry’s mouth quirk, attention returning to Draco.
“Not being a danger to yourself or society, and all.”


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2023 2:34 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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Whenever Draco actually caught himself in the act, he was taken aback by just how much he sought out Harry’s presence, constantly wanting him closer, desperate to catch as much time with him as humanly possible. It was absolutely pitiful and was likely going to lead to his destruction, but he also didn’t have it within himself to turn Harry down.
It felt so natural for Draco to reach out for Harry, wanting to ease the stress that he so clearly saw in his expression, no matter how much he tried to hide it.
Even if they spent most of their free time together these days, Draco still found himself missing Harry whenever they were forced apart and he was always desperate to make up for the time lost.
“We can’t have the wizarding world’s most special boy out of commission,” he stated with a crooked grin, his hands finding Harry’s hips and gingerly pulling him closer.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2023 2:58 pm 

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The way Draco egged him closer made Harry snicker, giddy relief spilling out of him as he allowed them to indulge in the stupidity of it all. In that moment, it was exactly what he needed.
Staggering half a step forward, there was little space to move in, between the desk and the chair; Harry quickly reached for Draco’s shoulders as a point of stability
“You look good in an office,” he grinned as his hands brushed up Draco’s neck, not terribly keen to encourage that particular line of conversation. It was likely why Harry had left with such a headache, the Mind Healer knowing too much of the broader context of Harry’s life and too few of the nuances.
Leaning into Draco’s touch, Harry allowed himself to sink into Draco’s lap. It was an awkward fit, the generous chair still too narrow for two grown men; it dulled some of the brazen desire of the action when Harry had to take a seat as he fit, knees both turned to one side.
It didn’t dull his grin, however, his eyes bright with affection. “Suits you.”


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2023 5:12 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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Just how easily Harry gave in to his encouragement made Draco realise that he was never going to stop reaching for him and seeking that intimacy. Harry just made it so easy for him, making him want to always have him around like that, because it was so easy for him to believe that maybe Harry wanted him too.
That wasn’t something that was ever going to be on the table for them though, that much Draco knew, but sometimes it was nice for him to believe that he could live a life with Harry like this.
“And you’re changing the subject,” Draco stated, the grin on his face a testament to how little he cared about the fact. Sure, he wanted Harry to be healthy and of sound mind, but he saw no reason to dive deeper into his meeting with the mind healer. He figured that if Harry wanted to share with him, he was going to do that.
Instead, he moved his one hand from Harry’s hip to his thigh, wanting to keep him securely on his lap, the chair not leaving much room for the both of them, while he used the other to cup Harry’s cheek as he leant up to kiss him.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 03, 2023 2:10 am 

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Both the comment and the touch had Harry meeting the kiss grinning, a soft chuckle escaping him when their lips met, the feeling of joy and relief too large to be contained in his chest.
What was a simple matter of logistics and practicality turned the scene so unexpectedly sweet that Harry really ought to be embarrassed by it; he wasn’t, basking in the confirmation that Draco did more to improve his mental health than anything a healer could prescribe.
He returned the kiss with gratitude and adoration, hands curling around the column of Draco’s neck in a plea to keep him close even when a smile kept pulling at Harry’s lips.


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