Title: Years and Years of Afternoon
Date: October 2004
Notes: this fic was written for marginalia
’s Gay Wizard Wedding challenge
, for brownstudy
. This is only the first half of the fic—I wanted to post something by deadline and brownstudy
gave me permission. <3333.Thank yous
: to Reena and Orphne for pre-reads, feedback, and encouragement. This fic is unbeta’d, so all embarrassing typos and/or embarrassing sex scenes are completely my fault.
Thanks also to marginalia
for inspiring the challenge, primroseburrows
for inspiring me with Queen, and most especially to cellia
for inspiring me with lovely H/D wedding art, which kept me psyched about this for a month. You are both interminably cool and classically fabulous.
The title and opening quote come from The Mikado
by Gilbert and Sullivan.
Warnings: for gay sex, and rampant fluff, schmoop, and OOCness.
Years and Years of Afternoon
On this subject we pray you be dumb (dumb dumb)!
We think you had better succumb (come come)!
You’ll find there are many who’ll wed for a penny,
The word for your guidance is mum (mum mum)!
There are lots of good fish in the sea!
The threatened cloud has passed away
And brightly shines the dawning day!
But though the night may come too soon
We’ve years and years of afternoon!
Right, then, Hermione thought. Time to sacrifice your friends to the gods of social progress.
She refused to feel sorry for herself. She also refused to feel sorry for Harry. She was doing him a favor, after all—and who better to sacrifice himself this way than Harry? (Oh god, she had not just thought that, she had
just thought that; she was a horrible friend; she was going to the special hell reserved for friends who manipulated and coerced their heroic world-saving friends into accidentally making life-changing decisions due to peer pressure because they didn’t already have enough things to deal with.)
It’s your job
, she told herself sternly. She was the activist, she was the crusader, she was the tireless worker for equal rights, et cetera, et cetera. If she didn’t do it, well, it just wouldn’t get done, was all. And this needed
to happen—for the sake of wizardkind, and for the sake of, well, her best friend’s ultimate and eventual happiness.
She was a saint, really.
The elevator doors slid open, and Hermione smiled her best smile. Harry was already halfway out the door of his office to meet her, beaming at everybody. Her own smile grew a fraction more natural. He was so boyish, still, and he still looked more at home at Hogwarts than in the cabinet offices of the Ministry of Magic, she thought.
He came to her and wrapped his arms around her. “Hi, Hermione,” he said, his pleasure at seeing her enveloping her in its warmth as they hugged. “You know you can’t keep popping in like this once every three months and expect me to just forgive you on the spot.”
“You’ve already forgiven me,” she said, smiling.
“Beside the point,” he replied, planting a sloppy kiss on her forehead.
To her left, she thought she saw one of his receptionists attempting to collect herself with all the air of the hopelessly smitten. She shot Hermione a look of unmistakable jealousy as Harry’s arm slid around her waist. Ha, Hermione thought. I guess there are quite a few things his staff doesn’t know.
Harry led her across the room into his private office (still bigger than her entire flat, she mused), closing the door only after jauntily telling the blushing secretary to hold all his calls. Hermione swept her hair from her forehead and tried to ignore the rush of guilt overtaking her. Look at him, she thought. Smiling and giddy, with no idea of what I’m about to spring on him.
She looked steadily out the windowed wall, which let in the daylight and provided a stunning view of the midday traffic of Trafalgar Square, as though they weren’t in fact a dozen stories below ground in the bowels of the ministry.
Harry sat down on the edge of the huge desk in the center of the room, still beaming. “So,” he said. “How’ve you been?”
She rolled her eyes. “Harry, it hasn’t been that
long since I’ve been to see you, and you know it.”
“No, it hasn’t, but dropping off petitions to my secretary isn’t the same thing, and you
know it. When’s the last time you came to dinner?”
“Fine, June. But—"
“You know, Ron’s been by lately more than you have, and that’s saying a lot, considering.” He gave her a look, and didn’t need to elaborate—as if he ever would. Hermione tried to imagine Ron being eager for dinner parties with Harry those days, and had to stifle a giggle.
“They still fight, of course,” Harry offered. “But then—” he looked sheepish, and did a quite adorable job of it—“so do we.”
“Yes, but the two of you
can always, erm. Make up for it later. As I’m sure you do.” She looked at him pointedly.
“Ron just gets to seethe until the next dinner party.”
“At least he comes, though,” Harry said plaintively. “But you, Hermione? I honestly thought you were over it ages ago.”
Hermione gaped at him. “Oh, Harry,” she said. “You don’t
think my not going over there lately has anything to do with him
“Well, how should I know? I didn’t think so at all at first, but after a while I wondered. And I know that’s what he thinks.”
“Oh, he does not,” she retorted in exasperation. “He
thinks I’m too busy to breathe and I should find a nice wizard and get laid more often. He told me so. We do
have lunch together, you know, we’re not still stuck in Hogwarts.” She winked. “Though I sometimes think you are.”
“Except there are some things we never
did at Hogwarts,” Harry said cheekily. “He’s right, you know.”
“Of course he is. But I told him there were more important things and people out there than me, and if I had to sacrifice anyone’s chances of getting laid to the cause of civil liberty, than better my vagina than his, if you know what I mean.”
Harry snorted. “And he said?”
“He said it was a good thing I was the crusader and not him, because if mankind’s struggle for equality ever hinged on his ability to give up sex, we’d all be serfs.”
Harry laughed heartily at this, and then trailed off, a faraway smile crossing over his face. It was a look Hermione knew well. Now or never, she thought, and sat down in the chair nearest his side of the desk.
It was time to implement The Plan.
Best to ease him into it.
“So, you know the Wizard Pride ball is coming up in two weeks,” she said—casually, she hoped, but not casually enough to stymie an immediate groan from Harry.
“And you want me to wear a corsage on a suit and sit at a long table and give a speech or something,” he said. “I knew it.”
“Actually,” Hermione answered crisply, “We’ve already got a keynote speaker. You might know him. Tall, blonde, very old money, refers to you as a demigod in the sack.”
“A demigod?” said Harry blankly, and then, “You mean—you got Draco
to—did he really say
“How should I know why, I didn’t ask for details!”
“No, I mean, why is he doing it? He hasn’t said a word to me about even wanting to go to something like that.”
“He has to confirm it with his agency first,” Hermione answered. “Make sure it doesn’t conflict with any book signings.”
“Oh. So he hasn’t said yes,” said Harry rather smugly.
“No, but he will.”
“How do you know?”
“Because, unlike you, Harry Potter, Malfoy actually supports the work I do on his behalf—and yours.”
“No, it’s not that,” said Harry. “It’s not that I don’t support it. I just don’t think being gay is really all that much a part of who I am.”
“Harry!” Hermione knew she looked as shocked as she felt, but although she had heard such a statement many times before, hearing it from Harry was something different altogether, and she wanted to make sure he knew it. “That’s like saying you don’t think Draco’s a big part of your life.”
Harry’s eyes darkened at that, and he scowled. “No, it’s completely different. That’s personal. It’s all personal.”
“So all those of us who’ve just spent two years working to lift the ban on gay weddings should have stayed home and kept their personal lives to themselves, then? Is that it?” Hermione realized she was now going about this entirely the wrong way, and that she was rapidly ruining any possibility whatsoever that Harry might have said yes to her Plan. And yet the words just kept coming out of her mouth.
Harry emitted a frustrated noise, slid off the desk, and stuffed his hands in his pockets. “Of course not,” he said. “It’s just that some people’s personal lives are just that, and they want them to stay that way—and that’s their
right, Hermione, as much as it is someone else’s right to try to fight for equality.”
“No, listen,” he said calmly, his gaze steady on her face. “I’ve had my entire life used by other people to champion a cause. I don’t want that anymore. Not for any reason. I want my life to be my own for once, not a banner for somebody else to wave. You of all people should know that.”
“Draco’s been used that way all his life as well,” Hermione said calmly. “And yet he still chooses to use his fame as a way of teaching tolerance.”
“Oh, please, he just loves the attention,” Harry scoffed. “Besides, it’s different for him,” he continued when she raised her eyebrows. “Realizing he was gay changed everything for him—it changed the way he thought about Muggles, me, everything. It was crucial to him. To me it was just another burden to bear, just one more thing that made it impossible for me to be normal.”
“And yet, here you are,” Hermione commented, eyebrows still raised. “Do you consider Draco a burden, Harry?”
“What?” His eyes widened in a look of hurt astonishment so genuine and innocent she instantly felt like a heel. “No! God, no. Never.”
“Then why not be proud of that? Of him—of what you are together?”
“I am proud!”
“Just not in public.”
Harry started to reply, then opted for sulking instead.
“How many people in your office know you’re gay, Harry?”
“Huh?—all of them, I think.” She waited. He frowned. “Well, I know I told—no, wait… oh. …Well. … Okay, so maybe not all of them know, but—” he broke off, looking frustrated and confused. “Look, Hermione, I don’t know your point. I don’t know what you want me to do.”
Hermione was a smart woman. She knew how to pick and choose her battles. One look at her best friend’s face in that moment was enough to cause her to rethink The Plan and pick a far easier battle than the one she’d come prepared to wage. Switching gears and quickly revising timelines in her head, she gave Harry her most earnest smile.
“I want you to go with Draco to the Pride banquet,” she said. “As his date.”
“You’ve been together for three years,” she said gently.
“Two and a half,” he said.
“Right.” She stood up and touched him gently on the arm. “Don’t you think it’s time more people knew
Harry furrowed his eyebrows and ran his fingers through his still-too-messy crop of hair.
“I’ll—I’ll think about it,” he said uncertainly.
“Oh, Harry.” She hugged him and propped her head against his shoulder. “It’ll be wonderful, both of you will just be wonderful.”
“I haven’t said yes yet,” Harry protested, which earned him an even tighter hug. “I’ll still have to get dressed up and sit at the long table, won’t I.”
“But no speeches.” She kissed him on the cheek.
“No speeches. Right.” He blinked at her. Hermione beamed.
All things considered, she’d gotten off easy.
Harry left work that day feeling rather exhausted. It wasn’t that he was overworked—he was, of course, but it wasn’t the workload itself that tended to bother him. Heading up an international team of security networks was serious business. Apart from not being able to discuss much of what he did with anyone outside his office, there were days when the crucial importance of what he did weighed heavily upon him, and all he wanted was to come home to the life of someone who wasn’t Harry Potter, Ministry official and head of the Auric Secret Service.
Today was very much one of those days.
When he apparated into the living room, he found Draco stretched out on the sofa, long legs cascading over the end, one arm flung behind his head, as if he were posing for some very lucky imaginary artist.
“You’ve excellent timing,” he said without looking up at Harry. “I’ve just been thinking about you.”
“When are you not,” Harry said, lifting his eyebrows and setting down his briefcase.
“Immaterial,” came the cool response as Draco’s eyes flicked up at last, just in time to see Harry beginning to slide off his tie. His eyes opened a fraction wider, and he snapped the book shut. “At this particular point in time the significance was what I was thinking about you, not how frequently I was thinking it.”
Harry let his tie fall to the floor and moved over to the couch, undoing the buttons of his shirt. “And that was?” He stopped beside Draco’s head, but did not lean down to kiss him, as Draco was leaning back, both hands behind his head now, watching Harry casually, eyes raking over him in a manner that made Harry feel like an exhibitionist; as if the urge to undress had been Draco’s command from the start and not his own idea.
He slid the last button open. Draco’s eyes roamed all over the muscles of his chest and arms, and Harry felt his heart rate speed up as he dropped his shirt onto the floor. “I was thinking you needed a different job,” Draco said, his voice still collected despite the telltale signs of an erection forming beneath his slacks. He eyed Harry’s own as Harry took it in hand and stroked it to hardness through his trousers.
“What sort would that be?”
“One that allows us to fuck more,” said Draco, sitting up.
Harry unfastened his trousers and slid them down over his hips. “I’ve been thinking about quitting,” he said. “Staying home and fucking you full-time.”
Draco looked up at him expressionlessly. “I guarantee the pay would be better. And don’t get me started on the benefits.”
Harry responded by kicking off his shoes and sliding his pants down over his now considerable erection. In eight years of sexual activity, only one person had ever been able to get him this hard this quickly, just by looking at him, just by talking to him. And I get you every day, he thought.
“And I’d never have to call in sick,” he said, lifting his hand and running it slowly through Draco’s hair, down over his narrow cheekbone. Draco lifted his head obediently and looked up at him, grey eyes dark with arousal.
“I’m serious, at any rate,” he said casually. His hands were flat on his thighs, deliberately avoiding his own erection and Harry’s.
“So am I,” replied Harry, who hadn’t realised it until just that moment. His voice dropped several notches lower as he spoke, and he leaned in to take Draco’s mouth in a kiss. Draco gripped his waist and forced Harry down into his lap, however, pulling his head down and leaning back into the couch. Their mouths met hungrily, and Harry fought to slip Draco’s shirt off as Draco fought to keep his arms around Harry’s waist. In the end Harry won, and Draco acquiesced with a moan, arching as Harry yanked his shirt off and traded soft cashmere for the endless possibility of smooth pale skin. Draco wriggled out of his trousers and pants as Harry bent down and kissed his collarbone, and slid both his hands down over Harry’s backside.
“Fuck me,” Harry whispered, pressing down. Draco’s cock was hard between his thighs, and he moved against it slightly, letting it stroke the sensitive area behind his cock, letting the velvet warmth of his flesh press into Draco’s shaft.
“You do that so well,” Draco muttered, sliding a finger along the curve of Harry’s cheek and slipping it past the ring of his arse. Harry shuddered, and squeezed his thighs more tightly around Draco’s cock.
“God, get in
me,” he urged, as Draco splayed him open from the inside with first one finger, then two. At this point in their relationship Harry’s body formed to fit Draco’s from practically any angle, any direction, it seemed, and if they’d had longer they might have gone for something more original; but Harry wanted now
, and so he wrenched away from Draco long enough to fiddle in the drawer of the side table. The instant he found the bottle, Draco pulled him firmly back as though he were all bungee cord, and kissed him.
“Can’t get enough of me, can you, Potter,” he said against Harry’s lips. “You’re desperate for cock.” He arched up, and his cock head scraped the base of Harry’s own. Harry moaned and ground against him, before reaching down and slathering Draco’s cock with the lube.
“But you’ll give it to me,” he muttered, flicking his tongue over the hollow of Draco’s throat. “You give it to me whenever I want.”
Draco bucked up into his hand. “Bullshit, Potter,” he panted. “You’ve never had it so good. Got you—” he shifted and lifted Harry up on his haunches, leaning back to nestle his cock firmly between Harry’s thighs. “—eating out of my hand.”
Harry’s reply came as a moan and dissolved into something very dirty in Parseltongue. Draco drew their mouths together even as he was still speaking, and the hiss died against his tongue. Harry locked his arms around Draco’s neck, settled into the kiss, and slipped Draco’s cock into the deepest part of himself.
They stilled, locked together, adjusting, until they found what fit and Harry began to rock back, drawing Draco in deeper and shuddering from the fullness of it, watching Draco’s muscles ripple as he thrust up into him. Sweat lay smooth and glistening along the corridors of Draco’s abdomen, decorating his pale skin like tinsel. Harry leaned down to lick it away, but Draco caught his head and redirected it, drawing him into a long, lingering kiss. They fucked rhythmically, in no hurry now that they were inside each other, and Draco dragged his fingers over Harry’s cock, enough to tease but not enough to tempt him to come.
“Mmm,” Harry hummed, nuzzling Draco’s neck. “You do that
“Of course I do, came the throaty response as Draco angled his hips and thrust up still more deeply, sending a jolt of pleasure sizzling through Harry. He shuddered and kneaded Draco’s shoulders. It was Draco’s turn to hum.
“I talked to—to Hermione today,” Harry murmured between thrusts. Draco’s eyes went larger at this, in suspicion, Harry thought at first, but then in arousal as he increased the pace of his thrusts ever so slightly.
“She said you think I’m a demigod in bed.” The words ended on a ragged note as Harry quickened his movements and flexed his inner muscles around Draco’s cock.
The deep groan that preceded the response made it rather less than convincing. “She heard wrong.” His hand moved more firmly over the underside of Harry’s shaft, and Harry gasped. “I said I thought I
was a demigod in bed.”
“Explains why you’re such a wanker,” Harry panted. “Oh
.” He bent low and sank his teeth gently into the side of Draco’s throat, turning the groans into a series of whimpers. Draco wriggled in a most satisfying way, and for a few moments neither of them had the coherence to speak at all. Harry worked his way up Draco’s neck and kissed him deeply, slowing his downward thrusts. His legs were getting a little sore, but, god, Draco’s cock felt good. He wasn’t ready to come yet.
“What else did they say?” asked Draco when they broke the kiss. His voice was ragged too, and deep—at the guttural level between ‘sinister’ and ‘furious’ that meant ‘totally fucking aroused’ and never failed to make Harry shiver.
“Said you’re making a speech at that—oh, god, there
—” Harry threw his head back and lowered himself forcefully all the way down on Draco’s cock, legs trembling from the pressure and the pleasure. “—at that Pride thing she put together.”
Draco ran the hand not stroking Harry up over his stomach and higher, tangling fingers in his chest hair and tugging. Harry’s world went white for a moment, and he changed his mind about coming too soon.
“Well,” Draco responded, raking fingernails across Harry’s skin. “Nothing’s been decided yet, but—”
“But if your publisher says no you’ll say ‘sod off’ and do it anyway,” Harry breathed. He closed his eyes for a moment and let the feeling of Draco touching him all over wash through him; when he opened them, Draco was looking at him through a sheen of sweat and a heavy-lidded, lust-clouded gaze, one eyebrow raised, absolutely fucking hot.
“Yes,” Draco replied, in his deepest, cockiest voice, lips quirking in amusement as Harry moaned and spilled into his hand. “I shall assume you approve.”
Harry tried to nod but found it conflicted with the need to impale himself against Draco through his orgasm. Draco drew him down for a long, slow kiss, hand still caressing what was left of his erection. When at last Draco released him, Harry pulled himself up off the long body beneath him and turned around, leaning over the opposite arm of the couch and tilting his arse upward. Hopefully Draco would come before all the blood rushed to his head.
“S’okay with me,” he said muzzily, not quite sure he was referring to the banquet or to the tacit permission Draco had to fuck him into the carpet.
Draco sat up and repositioned himself, then leaned down over Harry’s back. “Sorry I didn’t tell you,” he said, whisking kisses over Harry’s back and shoulders. “Just didn’t think it’d matter.”
He slid back inside of Harry easily, and Harry’s response became an ‘mmmph.’ Draco took his hips and drew them up higher, fucking him apparently from his knees. The penetration was incredible; Harry rested his forehead on the arm of the sofa and moaned in perfect contentment.
“So you’ll be alright entertaining yourself that night, then,” Draco continued a few moments later. “Wouldn’t want to have to find you a babysitter—oh
, that’s, god
.” He dug his fingernails into the sides of Harry’s hips, as he was wont to do whenever he hit a particularly deep angle. Harry responded by contracting his muscles and pushing back to meet Draco’s thrusts.
god, to you,” he said jerkily. “And no, actually. I will be—ahh—completely helpless on my own—so I guess you’ll have to—oh mother of fuck
—have to help me buy a new suit.”
Draco’s response might have been “What?!” but it turned too quickly into a cry of pleasure for Harry to be sure, as he buried himself in Harry’s ass and came, hard.
Rocking backwards in time with Draco’s orgasm, Harry smiled. He was
a demigod. Nearly three years together, and he could still be surprising in bed.
The good thing about forcing your best friend to come to a ball you had set up was that you got to see a lot more of your best friend in the fortnight before said ball, Hermione reflected. Technically, she didn’t know how much bonding one could do over a couple of hurried conference calls, one terribly interesting window-shopping expedition with Malfoy (“Potter, if you so much as glance at that bargain rack again I’ll bloody your nose so badly the next party you go to will be the one for your funeral”) and a few quick lunches to reassure Harry there would be no speech-making or impromptu press conferences.
It was now the day of, and while Hermione had, for the past two weeks, been content to let her Plan work itself out according to schedule, that morning a truly Brilliant Idea had assailed her, and she had decided to move things forward just a bit. She checked her watch. It was 3:15. The ball was at 7:00, and the speech began promptly at 8:00. That gave him just about 3 and a half hours. The timing was perfect, if only she could squeeze in the topic in the next fifteen minutes. Not that Hyde Park in the middle of December was an ideal spot for discussion of this sort, but at least there weren’t too many people around, and she could whip up a warming charm if things went on too long. Not that she anticipated much difficulty at this stage, since Harry had been so obliging about being Draco’s date. Granted, he was a nervous wreck currently, but Hermione knew deep down that was mostly excitement.
“And he keeps giving me odd looks whenever I ask him what to do if somebody asks stupid questions about us,” he was saying at the moment. He’d just distractedly thrown the remnants of his sandwich to the ducks, who appeared very confused as to why they were being given bratwurst instead of bread crumbs. “He keeps saying there are no stupid questions, only stupid answers, but that’s bullshit because if there’s a stupid answer, GUESS WHO’S GOING TO BE GIVING IT. RIGHT. EXACTLY. But does he care? ‘Course not, all he cares about is the attention, and how good he’s going to look having Harry Potter
as his date.”
“Harry,” Hermione scolded. The schoolchildren collecting for UNICEF on the corner were giving them odd looks, as if they’d never seen a gay wizard before. She quickly cast a soundproofing charm around Harry, who continued to rant.
“I knew this would happen,” he was saying. “Just like when we were at school and all he wanted was to get his name in the paper with mine.” His mobile rang. “Oh, he acts like he’s changed, but really he’s just the same snobbish little—” Harry answered it before it rang again—“wanker. Hullo, wanker.” The change in his tone of voice from pissed off to pleasant was so instantaneous it took Hermione several seconds to figure out who was on the phone, even after Harry continued talking. “Was just speaking of you,” he grinned, holding the phone closer and turning a bit red. “How’s the grocer expedition?”
“Terrible,” came the only comprehensible part of a whiny rant so loud Hermione could hear it from where she stood. It went on and on and proceeded to get whinier by the moment, until Harry cut him off, smirking.
“That’s because you’re looking for the wrong brand. You don’t want that one, you want the other one. Yes, the organic. Of course I bloody well know, who would buy British salsa over Mexican?—Who other than you, I mean? No, they don’t make it from burro meat, you bloody racist bastard.” Hermione could tell Harry was trying very hard not to laugh. “No, nor chinchillas. I don’t think there is such a thing anyway. Yes, it’s your favorite kind! Because it’s the kind we got the night we—yes
. And the—exactly. No, not those—get the little—yeah, with the dip. Right. Think you can remember how to find your way home?—I am not. And no, you can’t appar—because it’s only three blocks away, you can walk that far—and because at some point you need to learn what street you bloody live on.” The smile had reached Harry’s eyes now as well as his voice. “Right. But you’ll make up for it later. Yeah. See you home at quarter of.”
When he hung up he was still smiling, and Hermione was too. “So, you taught him to use the mobile?” she said.
Harry shrugged. “Wasn’t that hard, really. He’s still terrified of answering machines and vcrs, but he thinks text messages are the greatest thing ever. “It’s all one step up and two back with him. But the steps up are the fun part.”
He trailed off into a thoughtful silence, and Hermione deliberately let it linger, allowing him to enjoy these last few seconds of oblivion.
“So, tonight,” she said at last.
“Yeah, tonight,” he echoed.
“Very big night for us. It’s been a very big year, really, what with the defeat of the book ban and the marriage victory. Especially
the marriage victory.”
“Yeah,” said Harry, miles away.
“We’re hoping to have an official ceremony for the first legalized wedding in the country,” she continued. “Hopefully something well-publicized—some well-known people getting married at midnight on New Year’s, right when the clock strikes. With a big celebration to follow.”
“Sure,” said Harry, who was watching the ducks fight rather indifferently over his bratwurst. “Get some celebrities who’d’ve gotten married anyway, get them to use their fame for a good cause.”
He trailed off absently, but Hermione’s pointed silence eventually registered.
He looked at her.
“So, how about it?” Hermione said.
Next Part: Coming Soon!