An Exception
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By midnight they were all pleasantly tipsy, and sitting on a plush rug in between the two beds. 

"Draco come on, you have to have some kind of idea about what you want to do after school," Blaise said, passing the last of the second bottle to Ernie. 

"I have so many interests because I get bored easily," Draco replied with a drawl. 

Harry narrowed his eyes suspiciously "That's ridiculous, you've been happily tormenting me since I was eleven." 

"You're an exception," Draco replied. 

Harry's eyebrows rose up at that, "Really?" he asked, watching the tips of Draco's ears go pink. "Maybe your job should be to study me then," he said, leaning in to bite Draco's ear lobe, assaulted with scent of citrus soap and expensive cologne.

Draco huffed softly, "I could write several books on that topic, Potter. I imagine it would be quite profitable." 

"What about you, Savior?" Blaise asked, and Harry lifted his head off of Draco's neck to look up at him bleary eyed. 

"What about me?" 

"What are you going to do for work?" 

"Oh," Harry looked down at the bottle Pansy was stretching towards him and grabbed it unsteadily with both hands. "I dunno, something normal," he finished hopefully. 

Pansy smiled, "Normal is where you marry the Weaslette and become an auror, Potter," she said smugly.

Draco glared at her, and Harry laughed. "Well it's going to be hard to do any of that! I hate the thought of being an auror, and I'm kinda in- I want to be with Draco- with, with Malfoy."

Draco looked at him then, with a small smile, his silver eyes intense. 

"Ooh, I think you're a bit pissed." Pansy said with glee. "Let's hear some secrets Potter. I know you have a bunch of them."

Harry looked her over and said, "All right. I have a few. You first."

"You're adorable if you think that would work. Now, tell me what Ginny likes."

He shrugged, thinking back, and said, "Well, based on my experience she likes awkward fumbling hands, confusion, and good kissing," he looked up, "kissing is the only thing I'm good at with females. I mean I'm good at kissing guys too. Just, I'm also good-"

"Potter!" she said, cutting him off. "I'm well aware that you died, saw the big gay light at the end of the tunnel, and came back to have some fun. I do not want to hear about your cock adventures." 

"Sorry," he said, not sorry at all.

She showed her teeth, and said, "I'm not looking for advice on how to get her wet. Certainly not from you."

Harry and Draco both shuddered. Blaise laughed and Ernie turned to Pansy and said, "Oh really? Have you already done that?" 

Pansy winked at him and turned back to Harry, "I mean interests. Things to talk about. Stuff she likes to do. Ideas for a special date."

Harry stared at her for a moment, "Um… Quidditch?"

Pansy took a long, slow, deep breath and said, "Is there anything you're not useless at?"

"Blowjobs," he deadpanned.

Pansy glared at him, "Gross."

Harry laughed, "No," he said. "Quidditch is the answer to all of those questions. I mean it. Get her on a broom, you can thank me later."

She met his eye, "Really? Quidditch?"


"I have a question," Blaise said to Harry. "If you're willing."

"Sure," Harry shrugged, "if I don't want to answer I won't."

Blaise leaned back, "What did you see in the mirror of Erised?" 

"Oh, um-" Harry swallowed, his mind drifting back to first year, to the graveyard, to the sound of his mother screaming. "It was my parents. I was with my parents," he said quietly. 

Draco laced his fingers through Harry's and gave his hand a squeeze. 

"My parents went to school with them. My Dad told me a few stories of playing quidditch against yours," Ernie said, and Harry gave him a soft smile. 

An hour later Blaise and Ernie went back to their rooms. Pansy told Draco he could stay as long as he swore they didn't have sex of any kind in the room. 

"I know things about you Draco, so don't test me. I can ruin you," she threatened before spelling her curtain closed. 

Once they were in bed Draco curled up around Harry, who nearly melted into his arms. Kissing Harry's neck Draco said in a whisper, "What was it like, growing up without your parents?"

Harry stayed quiet for a moment, pulling Draco closer. "I don't really know, I don't have anything to compare it to, honestly."

Draco ran his fingers through Harry's hair, "No, I mean with the muggles."

Harry gave a humorless laugh, "Horrible," he said. 

"What do you mean?" 

Harry wasn't sure if it was the alcohol or the need to be open with Draco, but in that moment, he was willing to talk. So he told him about living at the Dursley's, about Dudley, about the cupboard, about the name calling, and the starvation, about everything. When he finally stopped talking he felt raw and exposed, scared he'd said too much. He waited, holding his breath until Draco turned him over and kissed him. 

Pulling back, Draco said, "You won't ever have to go through anything like that ever again, Harry." 

Harry smiled at the use of his first name, curled into Draco's chest and prayed he wouldn't have nightmares about the cupboard. 


When Harry woke up it was to Draco shaking him. Harry groaned in protest, trying to bat him away. 

"Wake up you layabout," Draco said, pouting."I'm hungry and I want to get breakfast before the weasel eats it all." 

Harry pushed on his glasses and sent him a dirty look, "He's one of my best friends, you can't keep calling him that," he said testily. 

"Look how cute you are when you get all riled up first thing in the morning," Draco said, sliding a hand up Harry's thigh. 

Harry grabbed his hand and inner locked their fingers, "I mean it," he said, making purposeful eye contact with the blond. "Ron isn't going anywhere, so you will have to find a way to get along."

"Don't worry, Potter," Draco said easily, "I already thought of something him and I might have in common." He leaned forward and bit gently at Harry's neck, "Now come take a shower with me before Pansy wakes up."

Harry chuckled, "I thought you were hungry. Also, what happened to calling me Harry?" 

"Just a quick shower," Draco said, and Harry could feel the smile against his skin. 

In the shower Harry watched as the water cascaded down Draco's torso. In the heat, the silver lines of the Sectumsempra were more visible. Harry had tried several times to talk to Draco about them, but each time he was shot down. He'd apologized over and over, while Draco countered with things like, "I stepped on your face," "I was plotting a murder," and finally, "Luna says they make me look sexy."

So, Harry had stopped trying to talk about them and instead, chose to lavish affection on Draco's chest with his lips and fingers. Which he tried to do during the shower, but it turned out, Draco was serious about the speed of their shower. So they were both dressed and ready to leave at the same time as Pansy. 

The three of them walked down to breakfast together and sat at the eighth year table, across from Ron and Hermione. Hermione smiled and said good morning, while Ron grunted and shoveled more eggs into his mouth. 

"Weasley," Draco said as he grabbed an apple and two pieces of bacon, "how would you like to go on a day trip with me back to England?" 

Hermione and Harry both froze in place, staring wide-eyed at Draco. 

Ron looked disgusted by the idea. "What?" he asked after swallowing his food. "Why the hell would I do that?" 

"I was hoping you could take me to Little Whinging and help me beat the shit out of Dudley Dursley," Draco replied. 

Ron's face morphed instantly from disgust to delight. 

"Malfoy," Ron said with a smile, "that's the best idea you've ever had. I've been waiting years for someone to ask me that!" 

Harry started to panic, this was not good, this is not what he had meant when he said they should get along. He tried to think of something to say, but that was rather hard, seeing as Dudley was such a shit and Harry had stupidly confessed to both of them about his cousin. 

"We could bring George too!" Ron said to Draco, practically vibrating with excitement. 

"Yes, perfect!" Draco replied, "Let's send him an owl after breakfast."

"You two can not be serious!" Hermione cried. "You absolutely will not travel to England to attack a muggle." 

Harry was so thankful for her voice of reason, but apparently his boyfriend was still a Slytherin. 

Draco looked over at her, "Granger, did you know there is a charmed bookcase in my room? It gives me full access to the Malfoy family library. Would you like to see it?" 

Hermione stared at him, her mouth slightly open, as though he were offering the last drop of water in the desert. 

"You can borrow any book you like," Draco encouraged. "We have books older than even the ones here at Hogwarts." 

"I-" Hermione said, then swallowed, still looking at Draco. 

"Hermione!" Harry cried, finally finding his voice. 

Her eyes snapped to his as though a spell had been broken. "Sorry," she said, then turned to Ron. "You can not go," she said firmly. 

Ron turned an incredulous look on her, "And what would you do if I said those words to you?" he asked. 

Hermione didn't even flinch, she lifted her chin and said, "Not because of me, you can't go because Draco will be expelled and his case reopened and then you'll have to testify for him, again. Only this time you will both be completely guilty." 

Ron looked down at the table, his shoulders slumped in defeat. Until Pansy broke in with, "Guess you two will have to wait till Ron's an auror and you can get away with it, then," earning her a broad grin from both Draco and Ron.