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29 February 2016 @ 08:05 am
H/D Fic: Not Just When You Want to Be - Chapter 1  
Title: Not Just When You Want to Be
Author: gracerene
Fandom: Harry Potter
Pairing: Draco/Harry, Draco/Astoria, Harry/Ginny, background Ron/Hermione, mention of Draco/OMCs
Rating: eventual NC-17
Word Count: ~4,100/~37,000
Content/Warnings: post-war, post-hogwarts, auror Harry, professional Seeker Draco, blow jobs, fingering, first time, anal sex, rimming, intergluteal sex, comeplay, switching, fuck buddies, epilogue-compliant
Summary: More than a year after the end of the war, fate seems intent on pushing Harry and Draco together.

Read on AO3

Previous Chapter on LJ

Chapter 1

January 2000

"Number 411," the familiarly cool, feminine voice of the Ministry called out to the large waiting room.

Draco reflexively checked his slip of paper, despite the fact that he was already well aware that his number was 313. He had been aware of this fact for over an hour now, and he was beginning to think he would die with this number clutched in his withered hand. Draco might have felt less discouraged if he had been able to discern any rhyme or reason to the order that the numbers were called in. As far as he could tell, the workers were using a magical algorithm heretofore unknown to greater wizarding-kind. Draco sighed. He should have brought a book.

He decided to content himself, in the meantime, with people watching. His notoriety meant that the chairs in his immediate vicinity were thankfully empty, leaving him free to look around in relative peace. Draco was not sure if he was meant to feel slighted by the fact that the frumpy women several rows down and her three screaming children did not want to grace Draco with their presence, but Draco figured he would survive the snub.

"Number 289."

A figure plopped down on the chair right next to Draco, and Draco braced himself. There was no reason for somebody to sit there unless they were looking for a fight. He looked up and was startled to notice that the man was rummaging around in his bag, his entire upper body practically disappearing inside. Ahh, so not somebody looking for a fight then, simply somebody who could not be arsed to follow proper seating etiquette. What kind of prick sat right next to somebody when there were plenty of open seats available? Had he not heard of personal space?

He cleared his throat politely, hoping that the bloke would clear off once he got a look at who he was seated next to. A head of dark, messy hair extracted itself from the recesses of the bag, and turned to face Draco. Draco fought the urge to scream. Of course, of course, it was bloody Potter.

"Malfoy?"

"Hello, Potter." Draco did his best to keep his tone civil.

"What are you doing here?"

"I would have thought that would be obvious."

Potter flushed in anger and maybe a bit of embarrassment. "I only meant that I was surprised to see you is all. I didn't expect to see anybody from our year getting their Apparition license so late."

"Nor did I. Though it was not exactly by choice on my part. I was on probation until the first of the year."

Potter frowned. "Oh, yeah. I'd forgotten."

"Lucky you." Potter's face darkened, and Draco continued on, hoping to cut off the no doubt scathing remark that Potter was about to make. Draco was well aware probation was the least he deserved, but it was still damned inconvenient. "What are you doing here? Shouldn't you have received your Apparition license already?"

Potter hesitated, seeming torn between his instinctive anger and Draco's unexpected politeness. He glanced at Draco warily, before his lips twitched into a small, somewhat sheepish grin. Draco found himself fascinated by the change that came over Potter's face. "Yeah, I...I never liked Apparating much, you know? I can, of course, and I've done it when I need to, but I'd much rather use a broom. I sort of forgot about the whole licensing thing until Robards called me into his office yesterday. He wasn't pleased that he had an Auror trainee who'd been Apparating without a license. Something about setting a good example." He grinned at Draco before he seemed to realise just who he was talking to, leaving his expression somewhat perplexed.

"I see," Draco murmured, before looking away towards the shiny Department of Magical Transportation sign hanging in the middle of the room. He felt a strange desire to keep talking to Potter, to find out about his life now. It had been odd, this past year and a half, not seeing Potter around every corner. To be fair, you couldn't throw a garden Gnome without hitting a Daily Prophet with Potter's face plastered all over it, but that was a far cry from the man himself. Draco thought he might even sort of miss him, in his own strange way.

Though maybe that was just the gratitude talking. That annoying kernel of gratefulness that Draco had not been able to squash since Potter had spoken for him at his trial after the war. As much as Draco hated to admit it, Potter had saved him, and far more times than Draco was comfortable with.

"I...I wanted to thank you," Draco finally said, haltingly.

"For what?" Potter seemed genuinely bewildered. Draco thought that probably had more to do with the fact that Draco was thanking him for something at all; Potter had to be more than aware of everything Draco owed to him.

"For testifying for me, and my family. At the trials. You didn't have to."

"Yes I did. It was the right thing to do."

"Yes, well, all the same. I appreciate it."

Potter narrowed his eyes, studying him, before asking, "How's your mother doing?"

Draco's eyes widened at the question. "She's very well, thank you. She has been focusing on gardening. It gives her something to occupy her time."

Potter nodded thoughtfully, as if he actually cared about his mother's well being. Draco looked away. He was not sure if he could bring himself to reciprocate the small talk with questions about the Weasleys.

An uncomfortable silence settled over them. Potter fidgeted. "So...how long have you been here for?"

Draco smiled to himself, secretly grateful that Potter had broken the silence, and even more grateful that he had not been the first to cave. He checked his watch. "Over an hour. Though I cannot seem to figure out how the numbering system actually works."

Potter rolled his eyes. "If it's anything like the rest of the Ministry, it'll be overly-complicated, take too damn long, and be massively inefficient."

Much to Draco's horror, he found himself letting out a snort of laughter at Potter's pronouncement. Potter looked at him askance, and Draco hurried to cover. "Quite the ringing endorsement for your future employer."

"Yeah, well, it's not all bad. And I want to do what I can to help change it."

"How very noble of you."

Potter rolled his eyes. "Whatever, Malfoy. What are you doing these days?"

"I'm the reserve Seeker for Puddlemere United."

"Blimey, really?"

"You hadn't heard?" It had been all over the papers when he had signed, angry witches and wizards calling for his immediate dismissal for his crimes during the war. Luckily, the manager of Puddlemere United was not a man easily swayed, and he was much more concerned with winning than with angering a few self-righteous wizards who likely did not even pay attention to Quidditch. He knew, as Draco did, that all it would take was a few winning games for the fans to be screaming Draco's name instead of screaming for his blood.

Potter scratched the back of his neck. "I had, yeah, but I wasn't sure if it was true. I didn't peg you as the professional Quidditch type."

Draco felt his hackles rise and took a few slow breaths. Potter was not exactly wrong. Malfoys were not the type to go chasing stardom or to stoop to physical occupations, as his father so often liked to remind him. Still, it rankled that Potter didn't think Draco had what it took. It wouldn't do, however, to get into an argument with Potter, at least not in such a public forum. If Draco was going to feel off-kilter though, he wanted Potter to be just as uncomfortable.

"I suppose not having you to compete with during eighth year gave the league an inflated impression of my skills."

Potter's jaw dropped at the compliment, and Draco let a serene smile spread over his face. Unsettling Potter was just as satisfying as it had been in school, only now Draco realised he could do it without resorting to childish hair-pulling. Potter turned away, as if he couldn't bring himself to face Draco and deal with his niceness. Much better.

With Potter looking away, Draco had the the opportunity to finally look his fill at this slightly older Potter. He could see traces of his boyhood nemesis in the messy hair, atrocious glasses, and those sharp, green eyes. But now there was a maturity there, as if Potter had finally grown into his features. He was not classically handsome, but Draco couldn't deny that he was...appealing. Strong shoulders, full lips, a face made to smile, and hands that seemed more than capable. It was a shame Potter was sitting, as Draco has the sudden urge to see what his arse looked like in those Muggle jeans. More arresting than his looks though, was that familiar energy about him, a compelling, magnetic pulse of something that had always seemed to draw people in. It was interesting. Potter was interesting. Which, unfortunately, was not exactly news to Draco.

Potter turned to face him again, his eyes curious. "I—"

"Number 313."

Potter broke off and looked down at his slip of paper. It took a moment for Draco's brain to catch up realise that it was his number that had finally been called.

"That would be me." He was strangely disappointed. Despite the fact that he had been waiting for well over an hour, he found himself wishing that he could stay a little longer in Potter's company. That he could hear what it was that Potter had been about to say.

"Oh, alright then." Was it just him, or did Potter sound a bit disappointed too?

Draco gave him a wry smile. "I'll see you around, Potter."

~~~~~


Draco walked slowly down the aisles of Flourish and Blotts, scouring the titles on the shelves. Astoria's birthday was coming up and Draco was after a suitable present. She had recently become quite enamored with architecture, after an illuminating trip to Italy. Draco thought a few books on the subject would make for an appropriate gift. Unfortunately, there wasn't actually an architecture section—it was included in the Leisure & Activities section, which did not appear to be organised by subject matter. Normally Draco would have gone up and asked the shopkeeper for assistance, but going from the look of pure disdain the older witch had given him when he had walked in, Draco rather thought he was probably better off on his own.

He was peering so intently at the titles, that he didn't realise he was no longer alone in his aisle until he had walked right into the other occupant.

"Sorry about that," Draco murmured, raising his eyes to the gentleman he had almost plowed over. "Potter?"

Potter smiled faintly. "You did say you'd see me around."

"So I did." Though, when Draco had said it, he hadn't thought it would be so soon. He figured he would see him from a distance, walking through the Ministry or across Diagon Alley. Maybe they would exchange polite nods, or at best, a neutral hello. He certainly did not expect to walk right into him at Flourish and Blotts. Draco nodded at the small pile of herbology books in Potter's arms. "New hobby?"

Potter smiled somewhat sheepishly. "Neville's offered to help me start up a garden."

"I wasn't aware you were so enamoured with botany."

"No, that's always been more Neville's thing, but…" He trailed off. Draco did his best to mask his interest, despite the fact that he was suddenly monstrously curious about Potter's new desire to grow things. Merlin, what was wrong with him? Leave it to Potter to make even plants seem interesting. "It's just something to do, you know? Thought it would help to have something to occupy my free time. You're the one who gave me the idea actually."

"I am fairly certain I've never willingly gardened in my life."

That startled a laugh out of Potter, a warm, surprised sound that made Draco's stomach feel oddly fluttery. "No, I don't suppose you have. But you mentioned, when we ran into each other a few months ago, that your mother was keeping busy by tending to her flowers. Didn't seem like a half-bad idea." Draco chest felt tight at the mention of his mother and the fact that Potter had been paying as much attention to their earlier conversation as Draco had.

"Well then, I wish you luck. I am sure my mother will be pleased to know she is still inspiring trends."

Potter opened his mouth, hesitating before saying, "I—I should probably get going. I'm meeting up with some friends soon."

Once again, Draco felt that same curl of disappointment that he did not have longer with Potter, but it was probably for the best. Thus far they had managed to avoid coming to blows or dealing out hexes, but with their history, it was only a matter of time. Best not to tempt fate. "Of course. Until next time, Potter."

Potter gave him an inscrutable look, before a sliver of a smile crossed over his face. "Until next time."

~~~~~


The pub was packed, and Draco wasn't sure whether to be relieved or annoyed. He would much rather be at Brian's flat right now, fucking him through the mattress, but Brian had insisted on grabbing a drink first. The Muggle pub was closer to Diagon Alley than Draco would have normally prefered, but the packed room meant it was easier to blend into the crowd.

He had met Brian several months back at a gay Muggle club Theo had dragged him to visit. There was still quite a bit of prejudice against homosexuality in the Wizarding world, especially among the pure-blood families, but Theo had always been good at finding ways to push the boundaries. Draco had ended up going home with Brian, and while it had not exactly blown his mind, Draco had certainly enjoyed himself. He had gotten in touch with Brian a few times since, whenever he felt the urge to get off with somebody warm and male.

He leaned against the bar as Brian ordered their drinks, feeling the low thrum of anticipation that he always got when he knew he was going to get laid. Brian was leaning half-over the bartop, his arse sticking out invitingly, and Draco decided that he could suffer through a few drinks. Of course, that was before Harry bloody Potter walked up to the bar.

Potter spent several moments trying to catch the attention of one of the bartenders and shouting out an order. The bartender nodded, and Potter turned to look out at the crowd, his eyes widening when they caught sight of Draco standing right next to him.

"Malfoy!" Potter greeted, with a surprisingly amount of enthusiasm.

"Potter."

"What are you doing here?" Potter leaned close. "This is a Muggle pub! Did you know that?"

Potter's breath was warm against Draco's ear, his cheek surprisingly smooth as it brushed up against his own. Draco suppressed a shiver. Potter was clearly more than a little tipsy.

"Why yes, yes I—"

"Here you go, Draco." Brian handed Draco a glass of something cool and clear. His gaze flicked between Potter and Draco, and his eyes narrowed. "Who's your friend?"

"Just somebody I went to school with." Brian pursed his lips, pressing closer to Draco as if to stake his claim. Draco barely managed to keep himself from laughing, both at Brian's ridiculous possessiveness, and the adorably confused expression on Potter's face.

Brian downed his drink in one long swallow. "I'm going to the gents, and then I was thinking we could get out of here."

"I thought you wanted a drink."

"I did, and now I've had one. I'm more interested in….other pursuits now."

Draco nodded. "Alright."

Brian tossed Potter another contemptuous glance as he rubbed himself suggestively against Draco on his way to the lavatory. Draco noted the way Potter's eyes seemed glued Draco's hands as they slid over Brian's lower back in a distinctly sexual manner. He wondered what Potter's views were on same-sex couplings, and if he was as progressive when it came to love and sex as he was when it came to blood status.

"I don't think your friend likes me much."

"He's like that."

"Is he?"

"I have no idea, actually. We're not...close."

An awkward silence fell over them, with Potter checking on the bartender every few seconds to see where he was at with his order. Potter kept shooting curious glances at Draco opening and closing his mouth as if he could not figure out what to say. Finally Draco took pity on him.

"How's the gardening coming?"

Potter's face lit up. "Oh, it's great! Neville thought it would be best to start me off with non-magical plants, so we set up a little vegetable patch. It's not as much work to maintain as I thought it would be."

Draco laughed. He couldn't help it. He was in a Muggle pub, having a completely civil conversation about Potter's love for growing vegetables. Sometimes life was too bizarre.

The bartender caught Potter's attention, and Potter turned to grab his tray of drinks just as Brian reappeared.

"You ready to go?" Brian leaned in to whisper, his fingers trailing softly over Draco's bicep. Draco glanced up, his eyes locking on Potter's. Potter's face seemed like it could not quite decide on what emotion to settle on, but Draco was a bit surprised at how relieved he felt that revulsion did not seem to be one of them. Draco raised his hand in farewell. "Enjoy your night."

Potter's eyes flicked to Brian. "You too."

~~~~~


Draco supposed he should not be surprised to run into Potter at a Harpy's game. Potter was waiting at the end of the queue for the concession stand, and Draco contemplated just turning around and avoiding him altogether. But Draco was thirsty, and he would be lying if he said he had not been a bit disappointed that he'd not seen Potter around since the pub a couple of months back.

"We meet again," Draco murmured, as he moved to stand behind Potter in the queue.

Potter startled. "Oh! Hullo, Malfoy. Didn't expect to run into you here."

"Do you usually expect to run into me?"

Potter ran a hand across the back of his neck and smile sheepishly. "I guess not. Though maybe I should start."

Draco huffed in amusement. "Quidditch is my game, you know. I've got to keep up with the rest of the league."

"Is that what you're doing here then? Scoping out the competition?"

"I certainly didn't come to a Harpy's game for fun."

"Hey! The Harpy's aren't half bad, you know."

"Well they are not as bad as the Cannons…"

"If they're so bad, then why are you even bothering to spy on them?" Potter's snapped, surprisingly heated.

Draco rolled his eyes. "It's hardly spying if I come to a public game. And I didn't say they were bad. Don't get your knickers in a twist, I wasn't insulting your girlfriend. She's actually one of the better players on the team."

Potter looked at him through narrowed eyes. "She's not my girlfriend."

Draco vaguely remembered some conversation with Astoria gossiping about the break-up, but seeing as how, at the time, Potter and the girl Weasley were practically sitting on top of one another, he had not given it much credence. "Alright then, I was not insulting your ex-girlfriend."

Potter seemed reluctantly appeased, a small smile tugging at the corners of his lips. Draco felt irrationally pleased.

They managed to last the rest of the queue making pleasant conversation, mostly about the current Quidditch standings. Draco knew there was much left unsaid, but he was still surprised at how easy it was to talk with Potter, to pretend that they were just old friends catching up.

It was not long before they parted ways, Potter melting into the crowd with a smile, laden with enough snack foods to feed a small army. Draco resolutely did not think about the fluttering in his stomach at Potter's small smile.

And if he spent more time looking for a head of messy hair and bright green eyes than watching the Quidditch plays, well, nobody could prove it.

~~~~~


Draco was eating a solitary lunch at Gallow when somebody slid into the booth across from him. Somehow he knew, without even looking up, exactly who it was.

"Did no one ever cover the concept of personal space with you, Potter?"

Potter grinned at him. "Nope, must have missed that day."

"Well, in case you were curious, sitting down at somebody else's table, uninvited, is generally something that is frowned upon."

"Is it?" Potter took a large bite of shepard's pie. "Sounds dead boring."

Draco geared himself up for a long lecture on social etiquette, when he caught the teasing gleam in Potter's eye. "Are you purposefully trying to rile me up?"

"I figured, why fight it?"

"Why fight what, exactly?"

"Well, the universe is clearly conspiring against us. I don't think I see my friends half as often as I seem to run into you. So, I'm going with the flow."

"Is that so?"

"Yup. So, tell me all about yourself, Malfoy."

"Are we dating now? Would you like to know my sign, too?"

Potter flushed. "I only thought, if we're going to run into each other anyways, maybe we should talk for more than five minutes."

Draco's heart was beating uncomfortably fast. "Alright then, what should we talk about?"

"I dunno. Whatever we want. Friends, family, work, people we fancy…"

"Did you want to do each other's hair and paint our nails, too?"

"Merlin, Malfoy, you don't have to be such a prick about it."

"Fine then. Tell me about...tell me about what happened with you and Weasley."

"Ron? Nothing happened with—"

"Not him. I meant the girl Weasley. Ginevra. Everybody seemed quite convinced that you two were meant for each other."

Potter laughed. "Don't let her hear you call her that. And it's….complicated." Draco gave him an incredulous look and Potter sighed. "After the war things were just...different. We'd both changed. We were different people. We still care for each other but there was a lot of...a lot of stuff we both needed to work out, needed to do. We agreed to call it off, for now. If we're meant to be together, then we will be. But we both need some time to grow up a bit before we can think about the future or forever."

"So in the meantime you are out and about. Sowing your wild oats, as the saying goes?"

Potter's smile was self-conscious. "Eh, well, there's a distinct lack of sowing, to be honest."

Draco opened his mouth to ask one of the thousands of questions on his tongue. Surely the Chosen One could not be having difficulties finding somebody to bed? Though maybe he was not into sex, or casual sex...or women. Draco felt desperate to find out which, but a quick glance at Potter showed him just how uncomfortable he was. Maybe he was one of those people who just couldn't talk about sex. As curious as Draco was, he was not quite ready to destroy the fragile peace between them.

"Did you catch the Arrows game last week?"

Potter's eyes lit up with relief at the change of topic, and he latched onto the Arrows discussion with alarming enthusiasm. The rest of the lunch hour passed in the blink of an eye, the minutes melting away like snow as they talked and ate.

"We should do this again sometime," Potter murmured as Draco prepared to leave.

"Why?" Draco was a bit horrified by the confusion evident in his tone.

"I don't know. I sort of like talking to you. It's easy. I mean, we have some similar interests, but you don't...you don't want anything from me. I love my friends, but it's nice hanging out with somebody who doesn't expect anything from me, not even for me to be nice."

"So, essentially, you want to hang out with somebody you can be a prick to without feeling guilty about it?"

"Merlin, when you say it like that it sounds awful."

"It sounds honest. And I don't mind. I hate to break it to you, Potter, but you're not actually a bad bloke."

"Yeah, well…"

Draco hesitated before walking away. "You can owl me, if you want. Either way, I am sure I'll be seeing you, Potter."

He felt Potter's eyes on him all the way to the exit.

Next Chapter on LJ
 
 
 
Amillaeyro on February 29th, 2016 07:59 pm (UTC)
Gosh. Knowing what I know from the Teddy/James fic, this is going to be tough... Starting to feel it already and nothing's happened yet :/

They're so cute, and I love Draco's witty snarkiness, especially that bit about doing each other's nails! The fates are definitely conspiring to get them together ;D
wicked smut goddessgracerene on March 1st, 2016 02:41 am (UTC)
I'm sorry! But I do plan on giving them their happily ever after eventually!

Glad you've been enjoying it so far though. :D
kerrilee75kerrilee75 on February 29th, 2016 11:17 pm (UTC)
They're so freaking adorable! Are you sure we only get one chapter a day?!?!
wicked smut goddessgracerene on March 1st, 2016 02:36 am (UTC)
Glad you liked the first bit! Don't worry, the time will fly! :)
mindabbles: crystal ballmindabbles on March 15th, 2016 06:28 am (UTC)
The numbering system is just brilliant. I love the build up we can already see. Excited to read the rest!!!
wicked smut goddessgracerene on March 15th, 2016 02:15 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much! I had a fun time with that Ministry scene, so I'm glad you enjoyed the numbering system bit. :D

I hope you enjoy the rest!