The first thing Harry notices is the blond at his breakfast table.
"You've made yourself at home, I see," he says, pushing past the chair shoved halfway out into the room and reaching for the kettle, which, thankfully, still has water in it.
There's a non-committal noise from behind him and the rustle of newspaper. "You don't have a house elf, so I had to do for myself, and you're going to have to get real coffee. This instant stuff is a travesty."
Harry turns. He's already angry, and it's barely seven in the morning. "What right do you have to—" His eyes finally register Malfoy's posture, what he's wearing. It's a white shirt, nothing else that Harry can see, and he can see a lot. Malfoy's leg is hitched up, heel resting on the edge of the seat. The shirt is buttoned as though it was an afterthought, two buttons, right at the chest, and it's only by virtue of the way the fabric falls that Harry isn't treated to an eyeful.
That's a good thing, because that one, long, pale leg is driving him to distraction. "Are you even wearing pants?" Harry demands. "Couldn't you put trousers on before you insult my coffee?"
Malfoy looks up and twitches back the shirt tail that's fallen in front of his crotch, exposing a stiff cock stretching out the front of a pair of tight pink briefs. "You scrub up better than I expected, Potter," he says. "Maybe I won't mind being your house guest after all."
Malfoy is a pig. There's wet towels on the bathroom floor every morning, plates with half eaten food on them left lying around the house when Harry gets in in the evening, cups everywhere, as if Malfoy grabs a new one out of the cupboard every time he makes himself a cup of tea or coffee. There's bits of brown lettuce in the kitchen sink, tomato juice and seeds dried on the counter top. There's blond hair in the shower drain and piles of dirty clothes tossed in the general direction of the laundry basket and Harry spends all his time yelling, being ignored, and cleaning it all up himself.
Then he still has to make dinner for the prat. He's started getting takeaway on the way home, because now he knows better.
Harry could deal with all of this, because Malfoy was likely raised with an army of house elves to rival Hogwarts' to clean up after him, but the mess isn't the worst of the torment.
Malfoy wanders around the house half naked, all the time, and it's too much for Harry to be presented with those long perfect legs and not imagine them wrapped around his waist. To look at the shape of Malfoy's arse in those tiny briefs that apparently come in all the rainbow pastel shades, and not want to drop to his knees, yank down those ridiculous pants and fuck his tongue into Malfoy's arsehole until he cries.
"Why should I put something on?" Malfoy asks one evening when he's been there a week. Harry's collapsed on the sofa, an overfull tumbler of Firewhisky in his hand because he's just scrubbed the kitchen from top to bottom due to someone getting butter halfway up the walls, and Malfoy is sitting cross-legged by the fire, a wine glass in his hand. There's just one button done up on his shirt and it's too low, and when Malfoy leans forward it gapes and shows one perfect pink nipple that Harry wants to lick. "You like looking. I'm not going to deprive you of that."
Harry closes his eyes and tosses his Firewhisky down in one swallow, and as his brain explodes out his ears, he concocts an impossible plan in his head whereby he drags Malfoy upstairs by the hair, tears those bloody pants off with his teeth, and fucks him until he loses the ability to speak.
"Get out," Harry screams when he walks in late one evening to find all the furniture in the sitting room shoved up against the walls, broken glass in piles on the floor, and Malfoy passed out drunk on the rug. There's a wine bottle tipped over beside him, red liquid staining the pale fibres. "Get the fuck out of my house." He shoves at Malfoy's shoulder with his boot, hard enough to wake him and is rewarded as one eye cracks open. "Get murdered, I don't care. Go stay with Ron. Just get the fuck out of my house or I'll kill you myself."
Harry stamps his feet all the way up the stairs and throws himself into bed, hoping against hope that Malfoy, his mess, and his perfectly fuckable arse are gone by the time he wakes up.
For once, Harry wishes the wards had all been torn down on Sirius' old house, that Harry had had the Floo connected like everyone said he should when he moved in, because more than anything he wants to leave from his bedroom in the morning, find breakfast on the way to the Ministry.
Instead, he has to go downstairs, brave the carnage that's happened overnight, but if he closes his eyes perhaps he can make it to the door without encountering too much mess or Malfoy himself.
But coming down the stairs, he's sure there was a half full coffee mug on that step, a damp towel on that one when he was coming up. They're gone. He peeks into the sitting room, and everything is as it was when he left it yesterday morning.
Even the rug is spotless.
Harry's confused. Either someone sent a house elf, or Harry's going mad and Malfoy having to stay because the few Death Eaters they hadn't rounded up yet had put a price on his head has been a figment of his imagination.
He dares to venture into the kitchen.
He hasn't gone mad, apparently. Malfoy sits there, just like every other morning, drinking coffee, reading the paper, a plate with toast crumbs on the table at his elbow. He looks up as Harry enters, and the challenging, haughty expression is gone. Instead, there's fear and remorse in those eyes. "Good morning," he says, and then drops his eyes back down to the Prophet. "There's coffee. Bacon and eggs, if you'd like it."
Harry gapes. "You've got trousers on," he says. "Your shirt's buttoned."
A line of pink spreads over Malfoy's cheeks. He clears his throat. "I'd rather not stay with Weasleby, if that's all right. And if you could teach me how to use that infernal clothes washing machine, I'd appreciate it. I spent half the night battling with it, and only succeeded in flooding the kitchen." He looks up sharply. "I mopped up."
"I see," Harry says. He notices that Malfoy's eyelids are heavy, his eyes bloodshot. He's obviously been awake all night. "I'll try to get home early so I can show you. You should probably try to get some sleep while I'm at work."
Harry takes the plate of slightly charred bacon and watery eggs from under the warming charm, douses the whole in tomato sauce, and eats the breakfast Malfoy cooked for him.
Malfoy floods the kitchen three more times before Harry takes pity on him and bans him from ever doing laundry again. There's still blond hair in the shower drain, but the wet towels get picked up now. Harry drinks less Firewhisky and more good coffee, and he does his best to find out where the last pocket of Death Eaters are so they can be locked up with the rest of them and Malfoy can go live in his own bloody house.
Even though Malfoy wears trousers in the house now and keeps his shirts buttoned, Harry still fantasises about tearing those pink pants off and fucking him into the mattress.
Harry stops staying late at work to finish up and brings home boxes of files instead.
He's kneeling on the floor in the sitting room, paper spread out over the coffee table, magical maps with concentric circle indicators of curses, varying in degrees of severity. As he watches, tiny ones, little dots that send out a couple of waves, pop up from time to time, scattered out over the entire map. He ignores them, waiting for something bigger.
There's movement out in the hall, a blur that sweeps by the open door. Harry looks up. "Malfoy," he calls. "You ever hear of wards that can hide the use of curses?"
Slowly, Malfoy backs up and peeks in through the door. He lifts an eyebrow when he sees the map spread out. "Granger'd be the one to ask." The entire front of his body is hidden by the door frame, and all Harry can see is his head and his backside.
Harry tries hard to keep his eyes on Malfoy's face. "Hermione's not here, and she never lived with a bunch of Death Eaters. Thought you might have heard something. I've got the whole of East Sussex here, and there's just nothing."
Malfoy frowns and moves into the room. "Why the bloody hell are you looking at East Sussex?"
Harry's eyes drop to the front of Malfoy's shirt. It's wet through, the whole front of his body is soaked with water and the odd soap bubble. Harry can see right through the front of the white shirt and there's nipples. Pink nipples of torment. He drags his eyes back up to Malfoy's face. "It's from your bloody testimony after the war. And what the hell happened to you?"
Malfoy looks down and peels the wet fabric away from his skin with a finger and thumb. "Dishwashing charm backfired on me again." He looks back up. "I never said anything about East bloody Sussex. There's nothing there." He shivers.
Harry rummages through the box of files he brought home with him. "Here," he says, waving a thick pile of papers. "This is the transcript of the testimony you gave after the Battle of Hogwarts." He flicks to the relevant page. "Here, East Sussex. That's where you said the safe house was."
Malfoy shakes his head, still pulling the wet fabric of his shirt away from his body. "Essex. That's where I said the safe house was. But they wouldn't let me sleep, the bastards. It was bloody torture. I was sleep deprived and pumped full of Veritaserum. Is it any wonder I slurred a word or two?"
Harry looks up from the transcript that very clearly says East Sussex. Malfoy's lips are starting to turn blue. "Go change your shirt, then get your arse back down here. I need you to read this whole thing. God only knows what else we've got wrong."
They find the Death Eaters.
Harry returns home afterward, exhausted, in dirty robes. He wants a hot bath and to go straight to sleep, but Malfoy's waiting for him. He drags Harry into the kitchen, feeds him a hot, if slightly burnt, meal, sits across from the table and watches him eat.
"Thank you," Malfoy says. "You might have saved my life."
Harry shrugs. "You never seemed that concerned by the threat. It was like you weren't worried at all."
"Why would I be?" Pink spreads across Malfoy's cheeks. "When I had a strapping hero to protect me?" For once, Malfoy doesn't sneer the word 'hero'. "So I guess I don't need to be here any longer. I'll have my things packed by lunchtime. I hope you'll give me until then to vacate."
"No," Harry says, dropping his fork with a clatter. "I mean, we don't know yet, perhaps they never intended to do the job themselves. It's possible they could have hired an assassin. Who could still be out there, with no idea the job doesn't exist any more. You could still be in danger. You should stay until we know."
The ghost of a smile flickers across Malfoy's face and then is gone. He lifts his head. "If you think it's best," he says. Then he leans over the table and quick enough that Harry could almost convince himself it had never happened at all, presses his lips to Harry's mouth before he gracefully swishes away from the table and toward the door.
"Malfoy," Harry calls.
Malfoy stops in the doorway, waiting.
It just slips out. "What was with you running around in your pants when you first got here?" Harry's face is burning, but he's got to know. "Were you trying to torture me, or what?"
There's a long silence. Malfoy never turns back to the room. "Yes," he finally says. "Caught you checking out my arse when you lot were still trying to figure out what to do with me. Thought I could have a bit of fun. Wait for you to try and fuck me and then tell you to piss off."
"There's a name for people like you," Harry says.
"I know." Malfoy drops his head, his shoulders rise and fall as he breathes. "There's this, though. Wasn't long before I realised I wouldn't have told you to piss off. You never took the bait, though, so I guess the joke is on me."
Harry doesn't stop him when he heads for the stairs, but he imagines what it would be like to follow Malfoy to his room, to strip him down to those pink pants, to drop to his knees and suck a wet mark in the front of them.
Harry doesn't tell Malfoy the day they use Veritaserum on the Death Eaters that there's no assassin. The threat is gone, and Malfoy could go home, and he'd never have to see Harry again.
Harry's not entirely sure how he feels about that, so he goes home with every intent to tell Malfoy that he doesn't want to never see him again. The time never seems right, though. Harry's come to like his burnt dinners and the evenings in front of the fire when he pretends to work but actually watches as Draco attempts to fold the laundry Harry left for him to hang in the garden to dry. Harry suspects he's been using a drying charm because a few of the towels are singed on the edges.
They never really speak, much, even when he looks across the kitchen table at dinner Draco's cheeks turn pink and he looks away quickly.
"Look, I'm sorry I called you a tease," Harry says one evening when he can't stand it any longer. Draco seems miserable, and Harry's been letting him believe he needs to stay.
Draco looks up from his glass of wine. He's surrounded by drifts of laundry, but has made no move to fold it yet this evening.
Draco purses his lips and shakes his head. "I wasn't aware you had called me such a thing."
"Pretty sure I thought it," Harry says. "I didn't want us to be..." He takes a deep breath. "There's no assassin. You're safe. You don't have to be here any longer. I don't want you to go and us never see each other again though. I thought, maybe you were upset at me for what I said."
A tight smile spreads over Draco's lips. "I'm not upset with you, Harry." A jolt goes through Harry at the sound of his own name on Draco's lips—and he also realises that he's been thinking of Draco as Draco instead of Malfoy for some time now. "The joke's on me, remember."
Harry shakes his head slowly. "You have no idea what went through my mind while you were wandering around here in bugger all. What still goes through my mind."
Draco's eyes go wide, and they search Harry's face. "Really?" he says, and his blush, instead of streaking across his cheeks, spreads up from the open collar of his shirt this time.
Harry looks down, and his fingers itch to reach out, to unbutton the thing, to push it open so he can see Draco's nipples. He wonders what colour pants Draco's wearing tonight. "Really."
"What are you thinking right now?" Draco's breathing has gone heavy, quick. "I mean, are you—"
Harry can feel his own blush colour his cheeks. "Wondering what colour pants you're wearing," he says. "And if they match the pink that's going down here." He reaches out, brushes his fingertips over the exposed skin at Draco's collar. Then he flicks his eyes up to Draco's face to gauge his reaction before he turns a button out of its hole.
Draco's breath hitches, and he puts his wine glass down on the coffee table. "Tempted to tell you to piss off, you know."
Harry slips another button, slides his hand inside and over Draco's nipple. He moans as the small peak hardens under his palm, and with his free hand he tugs at the fastening of Draco's trousers. "Better be quick," he says. "I feel like I've been hard the entire time you've been here. That's weeks, Draco. Do you have any idea how many times I had to go wank in the shower after coming home to find you in those tight little pants and not much else?"
Draco leans in, his breathing quick and fast, the flush spreading over his skin like wildfire. "Piss off," he breathes, his breath hot at Harry's ear. "And I thought you were one of those compulsive types, what with the shit you kicked up over my towels."
Harry pulls back. "You're a pig." Then he pulls open the fly of Draco's trousers and slips his hand inside.
Straining against tight, stretchy cotton, Draco's cock is very hard. It's making the fabric damp where it stretches over the tip. Harry drags his fingernail down the length, right at the moment when he presses his lips to Draco's mouth, and he swallows his hiss.
"Piss off," Draco smiles against his lips, and then moans as Harry wraps his fingers around him and squeezes.
Then Harry pulls away.
"Hang about," Draco squeaks. "I was just—"
"Get your bloody trousers off," Harry says, shoving Draco back into piles of laundry and tugging on the offending garment. "And don't tell me to piss off again, or I'll drag you upstairs and fuck you until you forget how to talk."
Draco blinks, just as Harry yanks his trousers all the way off. He's lying there, crisp white shirt half undone, otherwise just in a tiny, tight pair of pastel pink underpants, pale skin streaked with red. He takes two deep breaths in and lets them out slow. Then, very deliberately, he says, "Potter?"
Harry looks down at him. "Yeah, Malfoy?"
Harry stares for a beat. Then he grabs Draco by the hand and pulls him up out of the pile of laundry and drags him toward the stairs.
He might have thought twice, he might have wondered what Draco really meant, except that Draco let out a squeal of glee as he yanked him up off the floor, and he giggled as he dragged him up the stairs to his room.