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PostPosted: Wed Aug 04, 2021 6:44 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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When Potter flipped his hand to properly hold Draco’d, Draco’s heart skipped a beat, unsure exactly what he was supposed to read into the situation. It was only when his pulse returned to normal that he realised that Potter had likely thought that he wanted to take his temperature again, an explanation that made a whole lot more sense to him than Potter simply wanting to hold his hand.
“Everything, I guess,” Draco stated with a soft shrug, his hold still soft on Potters hand, not really wanting to let go but also knowing that there literally was no meaning to the gesture.
A thousand thoughts were flying through Draco’s head, unable to make sense of one before another took its place, what Draco did know though was that he was filled with regret. He had regretted his decisions as a teenager even before interacting with Potter again, but there was definitely something about spending so much time together with Potter that made him view their former interaction in a completely different light. It had been the cause of many a stomach ache on Draco’s part.
“A decade too late I guess,” he added, his smile timid, almost as if he wasn’t sure if he was allowed to smile after this. He carefully withdrew his hand as well, finding the gesture too intimate and needing to be able to better ground himself.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 04, 2021 7:25 am 

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Draco’s soft apology caught Harry off guard, the ease of his smile paling, realizing just how tremendously different Draco’s train of thought had been to Harry’s that it had brought them here. Draco’s small smile seemed a testament to the burden he still carried a decade after the war, and for the first time, Harry wanted to kiss him, if only to help carry that load.
"I haven’t waited a decade for it," Harry confessed with a tentative smile, not knowing how else to respond. Despite what society had made him out to be, Harry wasn't able to provide absolution. No matter how much he cherished the thought and understood the necessity of the apology for Draco’s own sake, he didn’t want Draco to live with the impression that Harry had resented Draco throughout their adulthood.
Harry wasn’t exactly sure when he had stopped, but he knew it wasn’t in the passing month. It felt likely to have happened over the course of the passing decade, when Draco had faded into little more than a childhood memory, but if Harry was honest with himself, he knew he hadn’t resented Draco when he carried his wand.
Draco’s hand no longer in his, Harry instead pressed the sentiment to Draco’s forearm, a brief grip just above his wrist filled with comradery and gratitude.
"I appreciate it," he reassured, not wanting to diminish the effort and vulnerability of Draco saying it. He didn't let his hand linger, allowing it to fall. "Thank you."


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 04, 2021 12:37 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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A wave of relief hit Draco when Potter seemed to just accept his apology, not feeling the need to tell Draco that it wasn’t necessary or that he did bad things as well, or some other hero **** like that. It was very simple to Draco and he was glad that he got to get it at least somewhat off his chest, just so that Potter knew how he felt about the entire thing.
The soft touch of Potter’s hand on his arm stung briefly, likely just from how unexpected it was to Draco. It was something that Draco had to conclude again and again, but the fact that he was becoming friends with Potter, genuine friends, kept absolutely boggling his mind. It wasn’t something that he would have ever thought to be possible and he kept wanting to pinch himself to make sure that it was real.
“I know it’s probably a given, but I regret so many things that I turn you through and I want you to know that,” Draco explained, almost constantly feeling like he had to explain himself to Potter, but it came from a place of wanting Potter to understand him better and maybe wanting to understand Potter as well.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 04, 2021 1:13 pm 

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The way Draco continued, more freely, assured Harry that Draco wasn’t looking for anything else from him except an acknowledgement of his wrongdoings. It made Harry’s own feel heavy on his shoulders, intentionally keeping his silence on every poor decision he himself could apologize for. That would have to wait, realizing Draco maybe didn’t see Harry’s actions to be on par with his.
"I know," Harry answered, wanting to meet Draco’s apology halfway in that way. While the apology was unexpected in the specific context, Draco wasn’t saying anything Harry hadn’t experienced through act and through conversation with him the past month.
In that moment, it occurred to him that perhaps the extension of the wards to include the sunroom should be included in Draco’s olive branch, a reparation Harry hadn’t fully understood the extent of. It made heat pool in the pit of his stomach, overwhelmed and appreciative beyond what he was able to express into words.
"I can tell. I understand."


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 04, 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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It had been such a weird day to Draco and it didn’t seem like it was going to stop any time soon. It had never been spoken out loud, but despite their less than productive work day, they had both been in the severe need of a glass of wine.
Coote had just removed both of their plates and Draco was refilling their glasses. They had barely left the sun room the entire day, not even now that the sun was rapidly sinking behind the horizon and that they both had finished their dinner. In a way, Draco knew that both of them wanted to drag out the day, no matter how odd it had been for them.
Draco was swirling the wine in his glass, leaning against the cushions in his chair and looking at Potter, who was still looking unfairly handsome, even if the sun was no longer shining brightly on him.
“You know what, with everything that you are telling me, I am glad that I have just stayed here,” Draco stated with a shrug, taking a sip from his wine with a soft smile playing at his lips. There seemed to be a lot of drama in the outside world and honestly Draco was just fine with just sticking to himself.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 04, 2021 3:34 pm 

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Harry still sat on the edge of his chair, leaning forward from when he had placed his wine glass in front of Draco for him to refill it. Even having already taken a sip, Harry’s forearms remained on the table, turning the glass by its stem.
He had just finished unloading the latest cycle of DMLE gossip and its possible progressions now that Harry was out of the loop for time being. The fact that Draco so easily discredited it as being anything but humorous had Harry wanting to call out his bluff. Working with Draco for a month had blurred that line, finding it increasingly harder to comprehend that Draco wouldn’t be or hadn’t always been an in-office coworker, and that he neither had nor ever would ever get to experience the comedy of the scene first-hand.
"I’m not," he countered with a smile, aware of the fact that the three glasses of wine had dulled the rationality of his argument. There was no real truth in the statement, even inebriated he knew better than to expect them to have reconnected through any other circumstance than through force or chance; and yet Harry smiled like he whole-heartedly believed it could have been different. "I think you would’ve had a right laugh; I’m just not telling it right."


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 04, 2021 3:43 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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With Potter staying at the manor, Draco was going through bottles of wine from the wine cellar much faster than he had ever done before. It was nice in a way, feeling like he could finally put the wine to good use, even if he doubted that his father would appreciate his ways.
In a way, that made the wine taste that much sweeter to Draco.
He watched Potter as he talked, liking the way that Potter always got very animated as he talked, almost as if the point was inside of him and he was about to explode just to get it out. It was fascinating to watch and completely impossible to not just be swept up in, Draco was fairly certain that he could watch and hear Potter talk for hours, even if it wasn’t particularly intelligent.
“I’m sure I would,” Draco said with a soft smile, wanting to encourage Potter to feel free to share. After all, it wasn’t like Draco had a lot of things going on in his life, so while he appreciated his solitude, it was nice to hear from the real world for a bit.
‘Do you not think that we have enough drama in our office? Do you want me to create some?”

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 05, 2021 6:21 am 

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That hadn’t been the point Harry had intended to make, but the way his expression changed showed that his interest had been piqued regardless, though maybe not with the connotations Draco himself had had in mind.
In the grand scheme of things their relationship was anything but straight forward, yet Harry personally thought their working relationship to have been rather pleasant. He was, however, interested in seeing how far the joke could be pushed, doubting that Draco knew that, more often than not, Ministry drama was rooted in who was currently sleeping with who.
"Well, I’m certainly open to suggestions," he encouraged, a toothy smile pulling his lips apart.
It felt unlikely that Draco was amid pitching an office affair, but Harry realized he wasn’t particularly opposed to it. As the sun had set, the purple light of the twilight reflected in the panes of glass both above Draco and behind him, leaving him a shimmer of silver against a navy-blue summer sky. It's not like Harry would object.
"Are you going to pick a fight with me or with Coote?"


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 05, 2021 8:52 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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Draco couldn’t help but grin at the suggestion, knowing that nothing at all good would come out of picking a fight with Coote, but then again, he didn’t really want to fight with Potter either. He liked being friends with Potter, liked knowing that they could just sit like this and talk, and for the first time in a long time Draco really felt like he had a good thing in his life.
“It’d have to be you,” Draco stated with a shrug, despite the conclusion he had just come to. He didn’t really want more drama in their home office situation, finding that the case was dramatic enough on its own, but it was good fun to speculate how it would go down if their situation was even remotely more conventional.
“Can’t afford to be on Coote’s bad side, he does too much for me,” he said with a warm smile, leaning back against the cushions in his chair and just let his gaze rest on Potter. It felt intimate in a way, but Draco figured that that was just the wine and the blue light of twilight that made everything seem softer and more intimate than it would be under normal circumstances.
“Also, Coote holds grudges like no one I have ever seen, it’s just not worth it,” Draco finished, before taking a sip from his win, feeling perfectly at ease with the world.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 05, 2021 11:09 am 

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Harry couldn’t help but grin, endlessly entertained. Draco was terrific company, and Harry had grown especially fond of the very particular way he participated on a joke. Everything, even the dumbest suggestion, was weighed and considered with the same sense of rational gravity as their professional work and it made Harry’s cheeks hurt from smiling each time.
"It’s a narrower field, yeah," he agreed with a chuckle, the nature of their circumstance one that meant there really wasn’t any alternative.
"Personally, I fight with my house elf all the time," Harry pointed out as if it were the most natural thing in the world; in reality, it was nothing more a poorly concealed attempt to spare himself from any involvement in the matter. He didn’t feel any particular need to pick a fight with Draco, having grown quite content with their relationship.
His smile returned as if it by a force of nature. "I eat burnt toast every morning, sure, but at least my showers are hot."


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 05, 2021 11:27 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 was no level of surprise to Draco that Potter would regularly fight with his house elf, Draco only too aware of the fact that Potter likely weren’t as conservative as Draco had always been raised to be. It was all a game after all, something where you had to know what to do and exactly how to act, which was just something that Draco had been raised in.
In a way, it was deeply refreshing to be around someone who didn’t know like that.
“Why doesn’t that surprise me?” Draco asked with a soft smile, deciding to finally free his wand from his fair for the night. He placed his glass on the table and pulled the wand out of the long, blonde locks before placing it on the table. He ran his fingers through his hair a couple of times, before leaning back against his chair again, bringing his glass of wine with him.
“I think I would rather just stay on Coote’s good side, he’s good at his job,” he said, not at all having the intention of getting on Potter’s bad side either, but if it came down to it he would definitely rather fight with Potter than he would with Coote.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 05, 2021 11:51 am 

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The sight of Draco’s wand leaving his hair send a shiver down Harry’s spine. He felt it particularly as it cut through his sternum, a phantom sensation of Draco’s magic igniting beneath Harry’s skin, making his heart skip a beat. It was dizzying, forcing his mind to a complete stop with the ingrained expectation that Draco had intended on carrying out another test.
When Draco so easily continued his own train of thought, Harry in turn found it endlessly difficult to reengage, his mind completely derailed by his own muscle memory.
"Kreacher came with the house," he elaborated almost timidly, willing his mind back into motion. "He’s old and fiercely loyal to people who’ve been dead for decades."
Harry had seen Draco with his hair down so often he had come to associate it with their shared work, but nothing had ever compared to the sight of Draco’s hair in moonlight. While it had previously reflected the light only when Draco himself moved, it now seemed to catch the light with every breath.
It made Harry’s mouth go dry.
"I’m not sure he’s all that good at his job," he eventually concluded, dumbly.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 05, 2021 12:02 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 softly, also finding it easy to believe that a house elf would come with an old Black house and also that said house elf probably wouldn’t be thrilled about having to serve Potter. In a way, it almost made Draco laugh, something that only showed in the way he grinned. He didn’t have a lot of courage to break traditions himself, but it pleased him to see other people be able to do it.
“I guess I’m lucky that Coote always liked my mum better than he liked my father,” Draco admitted, knowing that he bore a much bigger resemblance to his mum than he ever had to his father; something that Coote liked to point out every now and again.
It was something he had ended up giving a lot of thought over the years, thinking of what would have happened if he had been more like his father. It was never a particularly good line of thought to follow and Draco quickly abandoned it, wanting rather to focus on his wine and how Potter looked in the moonlight.
“And that I look more like my mum, I guess.”

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 05, 2021 12:23 pm 

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Harry smiled warmly, perfectly able to recognize the pride audible in Draco’s voice. Harry had for years felt the closest to his parents when people remarked how much he reminded them of them.
It had been years since people had compared him to his father, having long ago outlived him; he did, however, still get people reminiscing about his mother and her eyes, and it never stopped feeling wonderful.
“That’s the best compliment,” Harry agreed with a smile, voice inadvertently heavy with his own baggage. Hearing it only when speaking it out loud, Harry tried to shift the tone, adding a more playful, “And your luck, really. Her entire family has beautiful genes.”


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 05, 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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Despite how the comment made Draco’s heart jump in his chest, he couldn’t help but let out a laugh at it as well. It was a nonsense compliment, if it had even been meant as a compliment in the first place, yet Draco still felt affected by it. There was something about both feeling flustered and wholeheartedly laughing at the same time that moved something in Draco, finding that he wanted to keep his head level.
“Lucky me,” Draco settled on, glancing briefly at his glass, which was still mostly full, and then over at the bottle they had shared over dinner, which was now empty.
The prospect of being done talking with Potter once his glass was empty suddenly seemed overwhelming to Draco, finding that their day had been so good that he wasn’t ready for it to end. He knew that it didn’t make any sense to try and delay the end of a day like that, but he was still going to give it a try.
“If I were to find us another bottle, would you help me drink it?” He asked, finding that what he was actually asking Potter was if he wanted to spend even more time with him.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 05, 2021 3:53 pm 

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Getting Draco to laugh was a special kind of victory, especially when on the topic of his family. It had never been explained to Harry in detail, and yet he had a clear understanding that Draco’s relationship with his father was strained, if that even began to cover it. Knowing they shared the amount of trust to allow for such teases made Harry’s heart flip and heat rush through his veins.
It was frankly more intoxicating than the wine.
"Yeah," he answered, no reservations in his smile. The days of the week had slipped from his consciousness, and though he thought tomorrow to be a workday, he felt it impossible to value his productivity tomorrow more than prolonging his enjoyment tonight.
"Of course."


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 05, 2021 4:03 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 Draco hadn’t expected to get a no, he could still feel his shoulders fall down and relax a little more upon getting a definite yes. It was part of them getting better and better acquainted that Draco had never thought that he was going to get to feel the thrill of a new friendship like this again.
The fact that Potter was the subject of this feeling was only the weirder but also even nicer somehow.
“That’s the one good thing about my father,” Draco started, grabbing his wand from the table and flicking it to make a new bottle appear from the well stocked wine cellar.
Even if they were going through the wine faster than Draco ever would have been able to alone, he also knew that there was no way that they were going to run out any time soon.
“His taste in wine,” Draco elaborated, flicking his wand again for the bottle to open, before leaving his wand on the table next to it.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 05, 2021 4:16 pm 

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Relaxing into the prospect of spending another bottleful at the table, Harry settled himself better. He didn’t lean back, instead supporting his jaw with his hand, watching Draco summon another bottle with an inattentive smile to his lips.
Harry hadn’t expected being without his month to affect him as much as it did, but watching Draco so easily extend their evening with the apparition of another bottle made Harry’s stomach flip with something he knew for certain wasn’t jealousy.
The added specification struck Harry unprepared, a laugh escaping him as he was reminded of their topic of discussion.
"I thought you’d say his taste in women," Harry grinned out, genuinely humoured by the prospect that the one thing Draco could appreciate about his father was that Draco had only gotten half of his genetic make up from him.
Harry didn’t settle back down on his hand, instead reaching for his glass in preparation for finishing it, not intending on mixing reds.
A boyish smile remained at the corners of his mouth as he raised his glass to his lip. "The wines haven’t been bad, either."


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 05, 2021 4:29 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 couldn’t help but grin at that, knowing that his mum was a highly attractive woman, even if it had been an odd realisation for him. It made him feel perfectly at ease to know that Potter was able to see it as well, and much less weird than it did when he was younger.
“I am fairly certain that my grandmother had something to do with that, but I guess I can offer him a little credit for that as well,” Draco stated with a soft smile, knowing quite a lot about how his parents had gotten together, mostly because people loved to tell him about it.
He took another sip of wine, feeling perfectly happy and at ease with the world right in that movement. That was also the reason why he wanted to extend their time together, feeling so perfectly at ease with Potter in a way that he didn’t think that he would get again.
“I am just glad that I have someone to share the wine with,” Draco admitted, potentially too honest for their relation, but Draco had found that he usually didn’t go wrong with honesty when it came to Potter.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 05, 2021 6:14 pm 

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The more time Harry spent with Draco, the more aware he had become that Draco had described his years at the Manor with half-truths. There was no malice in the action, the two of them barely having been anything more than strangers when Draco assured Harry that he had happily spent his years in solitude. Harry wasn’t the one to judge whether or not that had been a lie, but it was continuously refreshing whenever Draco dropped his guard another bit, happy to see that Draco was enjoying himself in Harry’s company.
"I’ll come help you drink it," Harry promised, his smile easy in an attempt to balance the weight he knew the promise carried. They hadn’t at all talked about the time after Harry’s quarantine, but it was no secret that it would have to come to an end, one way or another. Harry spoke both of a situation where he both survived this and where he would be invited back to the Manor, but privately, he felt carefully confident in both.
Harry also wanted to extend the invitation to a pint, but he wasn’t actually sure whether or not Draco would want to be seen with him in public. Not wanting to linger at that thought, Harry instead took another drink.
"You’ve really spoiled me with absolutely terrific wines lately," he added with a smile. "I’m not sure I can upkeep that standard at the grocer’s."


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