Title: Kissing Harry Potter.

Archiving: just ask.

Rating: PG

Date: 8-11-02.

Summary: Draco is That Way and Harry is crazy. The Hufflepuffs have steak-knives, and Morag is a boy.

Dedication: Written as a homage to Potterstinks, with all the love and respect in the world.

“I’m sorry. You want me to what ?”

Harry Potter stared. He didn’t stare often, but when he did, with those wide eyes behind those thick round glasses, he was exceptionally good at it.

The person to whom he was speaking felt the effects of the patented Harry Potter Stare ®, for he winced and shifted where he stood with his hands in his pockets. The stance in itself was unusual enough, for Draco Malfoy did not as a general rule utilise his pockets. He had given up slouching fourth year, when he noticed A Weasley doing it. He had been feeling irritable that day, and had decided to give up, purely on principle, the practice of slouching, blowing Bertie Bott’s Bobble-Blumper Bubble Bond, and following the Wizard’s Quidditch Weekly: Early Edition, because he’d caught The Weasley—he wasn’t sure which one, not that it mattered—thumbing through the magazine and popping his gum, all while perched with one hand lazily in his pockets.

Harry Potter did not know any of this, however; nor did he know that Draco Malfoy had also noted that day that Potter, sitting right beside this particular Weasel, was not doing any of those things, but was instead staring off at what appeared to be empty space, but was in fact the memory of Cho Chang, who had just walked by some minutes before, with a look of sweet remembrance and uncertain longing in his eyes. What Harry knew was that suddenly his gaze had shifted and discovered Draco Malfoy scowling back at him from across the courtyard, and that he had impetuously glowered back, then scooted closer, swung an arm around his best friend’s shoulder and laughed much too loudly, all as if to say, ‘I stand by my original decision, you slimy, git-faced Slytherin rat.’ That was the moment, right before he gave them both The Finger and turned away, in which Draco Malfoy had forever given up slouching.

Of course, slouching was entirely different from what he was doing now, which was keeping his hands in his pockets in an effort to prevent them from fidgeting and working nervously against his sides, thereby adding to his discomfort. Harry, who wanted desperately to believe that he had heard wrong, was not encouraged by this, as it seemed to indicate that in fact his hearing remained perfectly intact.

Nevertheless, he thought it best to try again.

“Malfoy?” he said sternly. “What did you say?”

Draco did not especially like having to repeat himself, but he supposed under the circumstances it was to be expected; and he also supposed it would probably be best to seen as compliant on this matter, since on the principle point he had no intention of budging.

So he repeated, “I want you to kiss me,” as calmly and nonchalantly as he knew how, and tried to keep the scowl off of his face as he watched Harry Potter’s eyebrows raise straight up into the bushy grove of hair covering his equally thick head.

“Why do you want me to do that?” said Harry, reflecting that it was an awfully dumb question, since surely Malfoy was about to explain himself anyway, but that he really could have given him the explanation first.

Draco sighed and dragged one of his hands from his pockets to splay through his hair. (His mother had raised him to always use baby shampoo mixed with lemon juice, to keep it that fine silvery texture, but he had never told that to a single soul, and had currently cleverly disguised the concoction in his rooms by transfiguring it into a bottle of Tabasco sauce.) He supposed he should have explained first, but he was never one to beat around the bush, not even if the bush contained a figurative lion about to whack his bush-beater away with one quick thrust of its mighty paw—

Wait. That wasn’t where he’d meant to go with that.

And Harry Potter was still staring at him.

(What Draco did not know was that in the back of his mind Harry was admiring Draco’s hair, and privately wondering what kind of shampoo he used.)

“Look,” said Draco dispiritedly, “It’s nothing personal. It’s just that some of the other boys in Slytherin are saying that I’m gay, and it’s gotten me thinking that I might be, and I don’t need those kinds of identity issues plaguing me!—so I thought that I would just kiss another boy and then I’d know once and for all.”

He said this oddly: he started out slow but then sped up and ended in a jumbled rush that left Harry feeling very dizzy. Harry shook his head, first to clear it, then to indicate his confusion.

“You think you might be gay?”

Draco nodded.

“And, you wanted to kiss another boy just to—to see?”

Another nod. Harry began to wonder which of them was going off his rocker.

“No way, Malfoy!”

“What?” Draco blinked. He had not anticipated this response.

“Why me? Why in the name of Godric would you want to kiss me?”

Draco promptly drew himself up to his full height, reminding himself that he was roughly the size of Napoleon in his heyday, and proceeded to look indignantly down at Harry, despite the fact that Harry towered over him. “Well, who else would I kiss?” He huffed.

This threw Harry considerably, for, just for a moment, he thought that perhaps Malfoy meant this to be a compliment of some sorts. Then he remembered that this was still Malfoy, albeit a milder and somewhat confused one.

“I don’t know!” he answered. “Someone from your own house!”

“Oh, right, someone who’ll just blab to everyone in Slytherin that Draco Malfoy likes boys?”

“Oh,” said Harry, face falling. (Draco wondered fleetingly if Potter had inherited his pout from his father’s side or his mother’s.) “Well—but I could blab, too,” Harry remembered, lifting his chin.

“Right.” Draco waved this preposterous idea away with a hopefully vaguely regal gesture.

“Or—or get one of the other houses! One of the Hufflepuffs would do it!” Harry said, with a twinge of desperation.

Draco blinked at him. “Why would I want to kiss a Hufflepuff?”

“Well, why would you want to kiss me?!”

“Because you’re the best kisser, naturally! Cor, Potter, you think I’d want to start out with an amateur if I wanted to do this the right way?” Draco rolled his eyes. He was quite tolerant of stupidity in general, if it came from the right sources, his housemates being the premier example; but really, he thought, in Potter, it didn’t look good at all, not at all!

Just as he was wondering why he’d just phrased his thoughts in those terms, as though anything ever looked good on Potter, Harry himself let out a funny kind of gurgling noise and put his hand to his forehead.

“Oh, no,” he said. He began to thwack his forehead repeatedly. Harry often had bad days for no apparent reason. He often had recurring run-ins with Murphy’s law, so much so that he had made up a first name for Murphy (Clarence) and begun calling him by that. At the moment, however, he could not recall another bad day that had started off so oddly, then taken such a definitive turn for the distinct worse, as this one had, in this particular moment.

Draco squinted at him. “What’s that for?” he asked.

Harry groaned. “Do you by any chance mean that silly little poll that went around at the end of the year?”

Draco straightened. “Well, where else would I have gotten the idea? You don’t see me polling anyone, do you?” When Harry groaned again and began to thud his head in what looked like a Very Painful Manner against the wall of the classroom, Draco cocked his head and studied him. “You mean to tell me, Potter,” he said after a moment, “that somehow all four houses who voted you the Sexiest Kisser in Hogwarts were all acting under a misapprehension?”

Harry nodded weakly. “Malfoy, I’ve never kissed anyone in my life!”

“Oh!” responded Draco, purely involuntarily. He had certainly not expected this, and suddenly he wondered why the picture of Harry Potter, a ladies man, capturer of hearts, playboy, kiss-anything-that-moves Potter, should be so easy to, erm, swallow. After all, he observed, it wasn’t like the prat was remotely attractive. “I’m not following the logic of this,” he said dryly. “How did approximately three hundred giggling schoolgirls, and possibly a good lot of giggling schoolboys, get the idea in their heads that you were the best snogger around if you’ve never had a snog?”

Harry glared at him for a moment before answering, not because he was particularly indignant—he was too generally surprised for that (and besides, Malfoy was being not-too-unpleasant himself)—but because he didn’t really want to be reminded of the hairy details.

“Come on, Potter, spit it out.” Draco began to smirk rudely, then faltered as he realised he had just made his second reference to oral sex in as many thoughts.

Harry, who noticed only that Malfoy kept pursing and then biting his lips in a Most Irritating Way, began to fidget. “Well, see—last year, Ernie Macmillan and Seamus Finnigan decided that my life was too dull.”

“Oh, right—I guess the whole narrowly escaping death every few months does get old.” Draco was astonished to find himself on the verge of a laugh.

Harry eyed him warily and was startled to see that Draco’s lips were quirking as if he were about to laugh. It encouraged him to continue. “Well, I don’t know how well you know them, but they’re a couple of pretty randy blokes, and they decided that I needed to spice up my life by, erm…”

“Yes, Potter? By,… what, going cow-tipping?”

“What? No! That’s… that’s Muggle animal cruelty!” Said Harry, Thoroughly Shocked.

“Well, then?” Draco crossed his arms impatiently, proud of his ability to remain unmoved by the false innocence of the puny Gryffindor.

“Um. By watching porn,” Harry ended.


“Yeah.” Harry flinched. “I mean—I mean, it wasn’t gay porn or anything! It was regular porn!” And now Harry Potter began to engage in the patented Harry Potter Blush.® “Not that, I mean, not that gay stuff isn’t, you know, regular, or, I mean, doesn’t—isn’t—oh, you know what I mean!”

Draco tightened his arms and eyed him, Not In Any Way Amused by Potter’s (admittedly very good) attempts at looking flustered. “Right, so, what’s the catch?”

Harry winced. “The catch was that they borrowed the porn from Ernie’s older brother Nick, you know, the Ravenclaw—and Seamus, um—he kind of enchanted the screen so that instead of the people on the tape you saw, um…”

“Who?” said Draco, scooting closer in his interest.

“Me and a girl from Hogwarts.”

“Which girl?” Draco asked eagerly.

“It doesn’t matter which!” said Harry hotly.

“No, of course not, you’ve already told me the incriminating part, what does it matter if I know the rest?”

Harry blinked, then lowered his head. “Cho Chang,” he said, sounding almost miserable.

Draco for a moment felt a little sorry for him, then felt a little pissed off. The image of the Forlorn Potter that same day out in the courtyard came to him, and he mentally scoffed at the idea of Potter pining over some silly Ravenclaw who had been so smart she’d dated someone who’d gone and gotten himself killed at the first sign of danger. A likely match that would be, he thought, for any self-respecting Pot—

“Oh,” he said aloud again, scowling openly.

Harry frowned. “Anyway, they forgot to take the enchantment off after we were done with the tape, and then somehow Ginny Weasley got her hands on it and thought that it was an actual tape, and she told Lavender, who told Susan Bones, who told Ralph Studebaker, who told, and told, and so on, until suddenly I was this hot stud-god and nobody would believe me when I tried to explain it was all a joke.”

“Oh,” Draco said again. He was having difficulty keeping his thoughts organised because for some reason one thought in particular, namely, ‘what a relief!’ kept pestering him.

Harry looked up at him all at once with interest. “Does that mean you don’t still want me to kiss you?”

Draco’s eyes narrowed. “Ha ha ha. Very funny, Potter.” He put his hands on his hips, intoned, “Don’t think you’ll get away that easily!” and lifted his head in a Commanding Fashion.

Harry raised his head right back, and also put his hands on his hips for good measure, hoping for the purposes of argument that he didn’t look swishy or anything. “What do you mean?” he blinked. “You do believe me, don’t you?” He had not thought about it, but now the idea that Draco didn’t believe him was unsettling. Malfoy probably thought he was lying to get out of the kiss, he betted. But then, why should that be a surprise? Surely it was only natural that he’d want to get out of the kiss, wasn’t it?

Harry frowned at himself. Draco was still eying him. “Anyway,” Harry ended defensively, “Whether you do or not—I told you I wasn’t going to do it!”

“Sure you are,” said Draco dismissively. “You have no reason not to.”

Harry spluttered.

Draco tossed his head elegantly. He did that well. “You’ve never been kissed, and I need someone to snog. This works out very well, don’t you think?”

Harry was now of the belief that he had either fallen out of bed in the morning, hit his head, and was now in some strange concussed dimension, or had simply and effectively gone crazy. “Malfoy, do you realize what you’re saying?”

Draco fluttered his silver eyelashes at him, a gesture Harry found very unnecessary.

“You’re forgetting something, which is: why would I want to kiss you?” He asked blankly.

Draco stared at him. “Because I’m going to pay you, of course,” he said, as if it were the most natural thing in the world. Didn’t Potter understand simple business practices?

Harry thought vaguely that this might be a good time to act repulsed, but he was too busy gaping to get around to it. “You can’t pay me to kiss you!”

Draco smirked. He did that well, too. “What, are you saying I don’t have to?”

“I’m saying I don’t want to do it!” Harry responded, Properly Horrified.

Inexplicably Draco found that he was pouting quite naturally. He blinked at Harry for a few moments before he remembered to replace the pout with a scowl. “Potter, I have to kiss someone, you can’t bloody expect me to wander around Hogwarts staring at people’s arses trying to determine whether they turn me on!”

“Well, no, but—“ Harry blinked. “Are you saying that you’d stare at my arse?”

Draco rolled his eyes in the most dramatic fashion. “I’m saying that if you’d hurry up and get bloody on with it, I wouldn’t have to stare at anyone’s.”

“But you only wanted to kiss me because you thought I was really great at it and—” Harry flushed. “I mean, now you know I’m not, and, uh, why don’t you find someone who knows what they’re doing?”

Fleetingly the thought crossed Draco’s mind that Potter had a Very Good Point. His scowl deepened. “Honestly, Potter, now that I’ve got you here do you think I’d let you go? Ha! A-hahaha!”

(Fleetingly the thought crossed Harry’s mind that what he had taken all these years for Pure Malice was by all appearances merely Amateur Theatrics.)

“Do you think I’d just let you go so that you can tell everyone my dirty little secret?” Draco strutted over to Harry and smirked broadly, noting with dissatisfaction that a smirk of lesser proportions (always lesser proportions, obviously) seemed to be playing about Harry’s own features.

“But I won’t tell anybody!” Harry insisted. He was beginning to wonder when he should panic and turn tail and run, especially since Malfoy was suddenly a lot closer now than before and appeared to be intent on getting closer.

“No, you won’t,” Draco informed him. Inwardly he was considering how best to corner Potter before he turned tail and ran. “Because after we’ve kissed we’ll be even.”

“But we’re not going to—to—kiss! Are you deaf?”

Draco raised an eyebrow and leered charmingly at him.

Thankfully, Draco had no idea that his leer was charming, nor that Harry, looking at him, suddenly felt as though he had been struck very hard across the head with a two-by-four and corkscrewed in circles for good measure. Draco did, naturally, sense that something had shifted when Harry spat, “Okay—fine! You selfish, cocky, inconsiderate prat!” and gripped him by the shoulders, raising him roughly onto his tiptoes and jerking him forward.

It struck Harry that he really didn’t know what he was doing when his lips collided with Draco’s teeth and the other boy let out a muffled yelp. Draco said, “Ow!” or perhaps it was “Argh!” Either way, whatever both boys had expected, it was not to be suddenly wide-eyed, eye-to-eye, with Draco’s tongue peremptorily flicking out against Harry’s firmly puckered mouth.

They were mashed like that for an uncomfortable number of seconds before Draco broke away and howled in disgust. “What was that? Who taught you to kiss like a blowfish?”

“I told you, I never—” Harry, Thoroughly Mortified, backed up and gazed with all his might at the stone floor. “I told you.”

“I know you told me, but—but bleeding hell, Potter! What kind of porn did they procure for you, anyway, Forrest Hump?” He pouted indignantly, feeling inexplicably bereft, and cursing himself for thinking it was a remotely good idea to involve Harry Potter in any part of his Tentative Sexual Explorations.

Although he recognised that logically, the best thing to do would be to laugh this moment off, Harry winced before he could help himself. “Well, fine, then, since you’re such an expert at it, why don’t you go kiss someone more on your level of experience!” He sounded—and felt—quite bitter, and was beginning to wonder why he hadn’t just hexed Malfoy much earlier and put a Memory Charm on himself to block this horrible episode from his mind forever.

Draco glared at him and shook his head. “What, after having to endure that? No way, Potter, you’re going to do it now and you’re going to do it right.”

Harry’s jaw dropped. “But—”

“No. Now come here and try it again!”

“You are a madman! A madman, I tell you!”

“Yeah, yeah, that’s what they always say. Now let’s try this again.”

Harry squared his shoulders. It was at this point that Draco decided the best thing to do would be to be Didactic. And so he was.

Coming to stand in front of Harry he grimaced and tilted Harry’s chin down to face him. Harry growled. He took his thumb and pulled on his chin, attempting to pry Harry’s jaws apart. Harry resisted and Draco grumbled. “Look, you wouldn’t want to go into battle with your wand pointed the wrong way, would you?” He snapped.

“Of course not but when I go into battle I’m not planning to snog my enemy,” retorted Harry.

Draco raised his eyebrow. “You just did, didn’t you? Tried to, rather.”

Harry Potter was also very good at looking Sullen.

Gently Draco parted his lips just a bit. “Right. Don’t open them too much or you’ll wind up making your partner feel like their lips are caught in a really wet vacuum, and that’s never good for romance.” He ignored Sullen!Potter’s glare. “Now, when you go to kiss, you don’t want to suck too much and you don’t want to let your tongue get in the way of your mouth—not unless you’re ready to deal with saliva.” He considered. “No, I really don’t think you’re ready for saliva.”

“I hate you.”

“Right. The most important thing, though, is to relax.”

Harry automatically stiffened.

“I mean you have to lean into it. You’re not a potato. Mashing is not good. Don’t move your lips too much, not at first. It just kind of comes naturally once you let yourself feel it.”

Draco paused, aware that his voice had softened considerably, and also that Harry had really pink lips. And that he had just thought of him as Harry, not Potter. And that Harry’s glare had faded somewhat. Now it was a little confused as well.

The thought occurred to Draco, rather out of the blue: what if indeed he was gay?

Harry shifted uncomfortably, and said in a rather strained voice, “Let’s just get it over with.”

But Draco suddenly did not want to get it over with. He backed up and scowled some more, then turned away. “You don’t really think I’d want to snog you, Potter? I’d get Weasley germs all over me where your redheaded friends have been kissing up to you all day long.”

Harry’s insides had been doing extreme and highly reprehensible things to his stomach in the last few minutes and now they had decided to coat it an annoying shade of frigid. It was very cold and felt twice as heavy as normal, and he found himself wondering why the frost had hit the moment Draco started speaking. “You started this thing,” he replied angrily. “What, you’re not man enough to finish it? Maybe you are a ponce!”

Draco whirled at that, the predicted and hoped-for response, and shoved him back ungently (though not as hard as he could have, a fact that surprised them both). “You’re the one who kisses like a girl, Potter!”

“I do not!”

“Well then—” Draco, a breath away from spitting out “Prove it!” discovered something odd, which was that he had inexplicably lost the ability to speak. It might have had something to do with his throat, and the lump in it, but he didn’t want to investigate it—he wanted to be rid of it. And Harry—Potter. Potter. He growled instead and began to shove past the Mistake of Nature, when said Mistake reached out and gripped him by the shoulders just as he had gripped Harry earlier.

“Prove it,” said Harry, burning him with A Glare the Strength of a Thousand Suns® , and he kissed Draco.

He forgot the part about not sucking too much, but that was okay, because Draco was instantly glued to his mouth like flies to honey, and the feel of Harry’s lips nodding against his own was just as cool and smooth. The thought passed through Draco’s mind that Harry had actually been paying attention, and that surely this was proof of his excellent Skillz as a teacher, before all thought slipped away from him like water, beneath the parting of Harry’s mouth and the meeting of their tongues inside of it. Harry knew next to nothing about tongues or what they were supposed to do in a kiss, but he knew instinctively that he liked Draco—the Malfoy had been left permanently behind somewhere back around Draco’s Charming Leer—he liked Draco’s tongue very much, and he very much wanted more of it. He bent his head closer and ran his hand through Draco’s hair, experiencing a very-brand-new thrill when Draco gasped and wriggled closer. Draco’s hands were sort of nowhere at the moment, but they quickly found their way around his waist, and in spite of everything Harry heard himself let out a sigh of contentment, and he broke the kiss to nuzzle Draco’s neck while he gathered air.

Draco Malfoy had been used to many experiences, varied and sundry; the experience of wanting more, however, was not one of them. He had been told no, he had had things refused to him, and he never really quibbled about such matters for too long—the rejection he was currently kissing being the only notable exception—and he tended to find, whenever he did have what he wanted, that a little of it was more than enough to satisfy his appetite—whether it be for food, love, learning, or life.

So the fact that he absolutely did not want to stop kissing Harry Potter was rather one of the more extraordinary things he’d run up against in his lifetime. He blinked at Harry, and, internally, at himself, and let out something he realised upon later reflection could technically be called a moan; and pressed himself closer to Harry, attempting to reclaim his lips and cursing himself for the kazillionth time for being the short one. He knew enough about desire, in theory of course, that shouting “Moremoremoremore!” would not help him on the way to getting what he wanted; but he also knew that if he didn’t have more of Harry’s lips in That Very Second! he might conceivably collapse and die from the sheer absurdity, the enormity, of being denied something so exquisitely beautiful and soft and pink and tongue-containing and wonderful, and—

Harry, who had gotten his share of air, and was just as eager to resume the activity as Draco, kissed him again. Draco decided that under the circumstances it would not be inappropriate to utter a second moan. He was increasingly gratified when it was rewarded by a matching one from Harry, as well as the sweep of Harry’s tongue over his own mouth. Never one to refuse a good tongue, Draco parted for Harry and clung to him, deciding to wait until after the moment had passed to have a Conniption.

The moment, however, seemed to want to continue. Harry, for his part, had never been so caught up in anything, and was half-focused on the fact that he seemed to be Not-A-Bad-Kisser, and half-focused on the fact that Damn, Draco Had Talents. Draco, quite oblivious to his Talents and cognizant only of the fact that his head had begun to swim and a very real light-headedness had begun to take the place of coherency, was forced at last to break away at last, just in time to keep from committing the ultimate Abomination, and murmuring Harry’s name gently under his breath.

“Draco,” said Harry, whose eyes were wide and damnably jewel-like.

“Potter,” said Draco, breathing heavily.

“That was…” breathed Harry.

“A fluke,” responded Draco.

“That was nice,” said Harry confidently.

“It was just a random hormonal interaction,” replied Draco flatly.

“A passionate one,” said Harry firmly.

“A lot of wheezing,” retorted Draco, nonplussed.

“A lot of moaning,” clarified Harry.

“Tomfoolery!” cried Draco, quickly smoothing out his robes.

“Tonguing,” smirked Harry, loosening his tie.

“You’re insane, Potter,” said Draco, with great conviction.

“Yeah, yeah,” responded Harry, whose grin was now broad and brilliant, built-in, no doubt, to match the inferno-like blaze in his eyes. “That’s what they always say.”

He advanced on Draco. (He was quite enjoying this sudden unexpected display of his own virility and efforts at Seduction, though the fact that he was exercising both on Draco Malfoy was a most surprising turn of events that he was prepared to overlook at the moment.) “What’s wrong, Malfoy?” he smirked, in what he hoped was a Coy Manner.

Draco, unsure whether to be outraged that Harry was using his own smirk on him, or to be alarmed at how attractive he looked wearing the same, gulped and shook his head ever so slightly, his legs, those most Traitorous of limbs, suddenly jelly-like.

In the back of his mind something told Harry that he really ought not to be pouncing on Slytherins, especially not Slytherins quite so slinky and feral-looking as the one in front of him. The front of his mind, however, in which he was much more engaged at the moment, was informing him that Draco Malfoy was Delectable Material, and that he really ought to seize the moment, seize the day, and—Carpe draconis.

So he did.

Draco found himself standing on his toes and lacing his arms around Harry’s neck this time around, leaning against him so that their chests caught each other’s shuddering breaths.

He also found that his general principle of having Too Much Of A Good Thing, did not apply to this particular circumstance at all, and that Harry’s arms around him were even warmer and cosier than his lips, if such a thing could be conceivable.

Harry was quickly getting the hang of this kissing thing, and he especially liked that Draco always knew just when to part for air, and how to slip his tongue over Harry’s mouth and tickle the roof until he moaned, and how to sigh whenever Harry took his lower lip between his teeth—a sigh like it was the best thing in the world.

From a place quite far down inside of him Harry felt a wellspring of emotion bubble forth and spill over into the smile that plastered his face and turned his kisses into swipes. Draco schnoogled him and started to drop kisses around the corners of his mouth. Harry closed his eyes and clung and murmured quite contentedly, “Draco…” and realised at once that he had never said anything in his life that felt quite that good.

With a sluggish attempt at a jerk Draco pulled away and looked at him. Harry’s eyes fluttered open, and he blinked at Draco once, twice, the joyous expression still firmly on his face, before Draco Malfoy, King of Strategic Manoeuvres, turned and ran out of the room as fast as he could go.

It is to be assumed that Malfoys never ever ran, and certainly never Away from Impending Danger. However, under the circumstances, this particular Malfoy felt that facing any number of life-threatening terrors would be better than facing the rapture on Harry Potter’s face. Malfoys should never cause such Looks on the face of a Potter! Stark Terror, yes; Unspeakable Revulsion, that was also acceptable; but Joy? Yearning? Fulfilment? It Could Not Be.

His heart pounding, he ran indiscriminately through the Hallways, past students and faculty, heeding no one and barely seeing anything around him. His mind was entrenched in that kiss, his eyes were still fixing on the glow in Harry’s, and the space around him was filled with the sound of that murmured Draco…

All at once something occurred to him, and he stopped. On the pretext of catching his breath (which was actually not a pretence but a very practical move, considering that he had also left most of his lung capacity back in the classroom with Harry), he leaned against a pillar and slid onto the stone windowsill behind it, gasping and clamouring for air.

Surely, he thought, this kind of reaction could not be due to the fact that he had kissed Harry—ahem. Potter. Surely, any boy, anywhere, anyone who looked halfway decent, could provoke the same kind of effect as Potter had. Surely, though they might not have a pair of precious stones for eyes and ebony hair or a voice like rough silk, they could kiss the same ways. Elementary. As he had said, it was purely a matter of hormonal interaction. Any chemist would have agreed with him.

That was it, then. He just needed to kiss someone else. Then he would know that his reaction had nothing to do with Har—with Potter, and everything to do with being a lusty, hormonal, apparently gay teenager.

Inexplicably, his famously Unslouched posture began to droop. Clearly a natural response from all the standing-on-tiptoe. Clearly, the sagging in his shoulders was in no way linked to the sudden sinking of his heart and the impulsive feeling of dread that accompanied the notion that he must indeed press his lips to some other boy’s mouth in order to know, once and for all, the truth.

Draco leaned back against the wall, sucking in great gulps of oxygen, wondering for a brief moment if kissing could make one asthmatic.

He was not aware that on the floor back in the classroom, Harry was in a similar posture, running his hands through his hair and trying to convince himself not to obey the urge to go running after Draco Malfoy. Why would he want to go find the silly twit? If the boy hadn’t had better sense than to run it certainly wasn’t Harry’s loss—was it?

Oh, but it was. He felt bereft of Draco’s lips, and of his eyes, and of the way he gasped when Harry touched him in an unexpected way, and of the way his throat was taut and flushed and so kissable as he leaned into Harry, and—good god, thought Harry, I was really enjoying that, wasn’t I?

Ordinarily Harry Potter might have been distracted by the fact that he had never before kissed another boy, that he had kissed another boy, and that this was the first time that he could ever recall being this attracted to anyone of either sex; as it was, all of those accurate but somewhat superfluous truths were swept away by the much more pressing consideration: that he had just kissed Draco Malfoy. And that he wanted to kiss him again, very much. Potters did not kiss Malfoys. Did they? And once kissed, what was the policy on kissing them again? Especially considering that the Malfoy had turned tail and run off?

This was a Most Alarming Development.

This was Just Chemistry, Draco was repeating. Just chemistry. Just chemistry. Having gotten his breath back, at least enough to enable him to walk without puffing like a cow, he rose and moved hurriedly along the corridor, entirely unsure of where he was going but certain that any distance he could put between himself and Potter was a Very Good Length, Indeed. Girls and boys passed him. He stared wide-eyed at the boys, many of whom cast him odd and disparaging looks. No, no, surely this would not do—the chances of him finding one to kiss who would be as obliging about it as Potter would be very small. Of course, that was one of the reasons he had chosen Harry in the first place, not that Harry would ever know that. And there it was, Harry again! He scowled and may even have growled, based upon the number of looks he received.

That did it.

Draco grabbed a Random Hufflepuff and pulled him into a side corridor.

The student squeaked and dragged his feet, but as squawking Hufflepuffs were not that unusual anyway, no one came to his aid. Draco pushed him inside an empty classroom and glared. “Right, then. Which one are you?”

“Um. Morag!”

“Morag? You’re a boy and your name is Morag?” The Hufflepuff nodded. Well, thought Draco, this wasn’t a bad sign, at least. “All right, Morag, listen up. Do you like boys?”

Morag’s jaw dropped. “Malfoy, I don’t know what you’re on about but I never…”

“Oh, never mind, then, I’ll memory charm you anyway,” said Draco impatiently, and he shoved Morag against the wall and kissed him.

To his credit Morag fought back bravely, but Draco was a boy of Great Determination, and there were few who could resist a Patented Malfoy Kiss. ® Morag yelped and attempted to clamp his lips shut but ultimately made the mistake of thinking, hey, this isn’t so bad, really, and decided to try kissing back.

He swung his arms around Draco’s neck, and Draco, who up till that point was growing increasingly desperate because his lips did not seem to want to move the way they had before, suddenly felt as though he had been hit with a stun ray. He went rigid all over and began to break the kiss, when Morag murmured, “Oh, Malfoy,” and began to kiss him in earnest.

Just Chemistry, Just Chemistry, Just Chemistry…

Oh, help.

Draco pried himself away, shuddering and speechless with dismay. Oh, the horror of it all! It was like being flung into a vat of cold sardines, like being showered with wet noodles, like having one’s faced shoved into a bowl of Jell-O.

It was not like kissing Harry Potter.

Morag MacDougal was smiling at him dreamily.

For the second time in half an hour Draco turned and ran away.

When he reached the corridor he realised that he had forgotten to Memory Charm the Hufflepuff. This, while an Unfortunate Oversight, could be taken care of if he could just get back to the boy before he recovered from the kiss.

He turned.

Morag was right behind him.

“There he is! That’s the chap who tried to kiss and run!”

At least twenty other students, all wearing hideous black and yellow jumpers, turned and stared at him.

Draco blanched.

“After him!” shouted Justin Finch-Fletchley.

The Hufflepuffs advanced.

Draco backed away.

The Hufflepuffs kept coming.

Draco turned and ran.

The Hufflepuffs followed him.

He looked back over his shoulder to see them nipping at his heels, cries of “Die, you Slytherin scum!” ringing in the air around him. He whipped around the corner just in time to avoid being sacked by Terry Boot, who, while technically not a Hufflepuff, had decided to join in, undoubtedly motivated by the time Draco had accidentally fed him to the giant squid.

The mob, which was gaining increase in number every bend or so, let out a cry and hurled after him, several students falling by the wayside and getting summarily trampled on in the stampede to Get To Draco. A few corridors down, Harry, stepping out of the empty classroom, the cold temperature and dark isolation of which suddenly seemed to go quite well with his mood, was taken aback at the rumble of the Approaching Crowd. Up ahead of him he could see a dark shadow, but several more moments passed before the shadow turned materialised into a very Hysterical Malfoy, who was letting out a very loud and protracted Scream.

He pelted down the hallway and ducked behind Harry with a whimper, and a fearful cry of, “I don’t care what he says, I didn’t enjoy it!”

Harry had no time to ask what the matter was before he saw the crowd of Hufflepuffs coming around the bend, brandishing the torch-lights and steak-knives they had acquired along the way. He said, “Oh!” in alarm, and in a wave of protectiveness impulsively spread his arms to shield Draco.

The mob marched up to Harry and stopped. “Hand him over!” declared Ernie Macmillan in a Tone of Great Authority.

Harry crossed his arms in a Manner Reminiscent of Mr. T.

“You shall not pass,” he said firmly.

Ernie rolled his eyes. “We don’t want to pass, we want to tar and feather Malfoy!”

“Er, I didn’t think we did that in England,” Harry replied.

The crowd Murmured Ominously.

“Morag says he kissed her,” Justin glowered.

“Him!” Morag squeaked.

“Yeah. Him.” Justin stepped forward. “Come out, Malfoy, and fight like a man!”

Draco was just fine where he was, with his arms around Harry’s waist, thank you very much.

Harry appeared to Consider The Situation Calmly. “Malfoy, did you kiss her—er, him?” he asked smoothly.

“Maybe,” Draco said into Harry’s back. Harry, for all this news dismayed him, reflected that he Rather Liked the way the Slytherin felt tucked up against him like that, and that it would probably be a Shame if he allowed the Hufflepuffs to tar and feather him.

“Why did you maybe kiss her?” he said patiently, wondering if Draco would possibly care to take tea with him sometime.

“Because I mmrfrrrmrfrmm,” said Draco, cringing.

“What was that?”

“Because,” Draco mumbled almost inaudibly against Harry’s right shoulder, “I thought it would help me know whether I likedtokissboysorjustlikedtokissyou.”

“Oh,” said Harry.

“Mmrfrrm,” said Mortified!Draco.

“Sorry, you can’t have him,” said Harry to the Crowd.

The crowd gasped.

“What?” said Ernie.

“But he kissed me!” said Morag.

“Did he say his name was Malfoy?” said Harry shrewdly.

“Well,… no…”

Justin and Ernie cast Disparaging Looks of Dismay at Morag to express their displeasure at his oversight.

“Were the lights on in the classroom?”

“Well, no, but I could still see—”

“There you are, then,” said Harry matter-of-factly. “I’m afraid that must have been some other runty silver-haired Slytherin who kissed you.”

“He has a birthmark on his neck,” Morag stated confidently.

Harry returned uncertainly, feeling Draco’s grip tighten involuntarily around his waist, “Um. Aha.” The crowd Murmured. “That, uh, could not be the same runty silver-haired Slytherin you saw, for this one does not have a birthmark. Behold!” With a flourish he produced the Malfoy, who cringed and tried to burrow into the floor. Harry pointed at the Slytherin’s neck. “You see? This Slytherin has no birthmark on his neck.”

“What do you call that?” said Hannah Abbot, pointing to Draco’s birthmark.

Harry responded, with a grand sweep of his hand, “That, my friends, is no birthmark. That—” he paused dramatically—“is a Hickey.”

All Gasped.

Draco narrowed his eyes at Harry. This is what I get for entrusting my safety to an Ignominious Gryffindor! he thought. Perhaps Harry might be persuaded to take tea with him tomorrow so he could vent his displeasure more openly.

Justin eyed the birthmark. “How do you know that’s a hickey and not a birthmark?” he asked suspiciously.

“Because,” Harry said glibly. “I put it there.”

Another Collective Gasp. None louder, naturally, than the one from Draco himself.

You put it there?” asked Susan Bones. “But…how?”

“Like this,” said Harry, spinning Draco around in his arms and kissing his neck.

“Oh!” said Draco, and then he said nothing, because he was too busy being happy.

“Oh!” said the Crowd, Astonished at This New Revelation.

“Oh…” said Harry, who then gave himself up to the Very Necessary task of disguising Draco’s birthmark.

“Malfoy, how long have you known about this?” demanded Terry Boot, coming forward.

“Uh. Well, Potter—I mean, Harry, gave me the hickey on Friday night, so I guess about two and a half days?”

“Not that,” Terry snapped. “This.” He waved to the air between them.

“You’re not entitled to know all my concerns,” sniffed Draco. “Harry, dear, a little higher if you—oh! Yes, that’s perfect!”

“This is an outrage!” huffed Ernie. “Harry, after all the trouble we went through! Seamus had you pegged from the start but I said, noooo, you couldn’t possibly be gay. I even got my brother to—to—” He clamped a hand over his mouth.

“Hmmm,” mused Draco, shifting his weight to pull Suckling!Harry closer, “You weren’t by any chance about to mention the bootlegged Porn movies your brother, the, aherm, Ravenclaw Prefect, has hidden in the chest at the foot of his bed, were you?”

Ernie looked very abashed. Terry Boot looked abashed likewise, and very Disappointed that any Ravenclaw should be accused of Naughty Behaviour.

Harry chortled and nuzzled Draco. “You are such a good listener.”

Draco gave the crowd a Malfoy Smirk. © “Ahem,” he said. “If you’ll all just return to your activities? Yes, Please? Thank you?”

Right on cue, the crowd began to Mill.

Terry Boot and Ernie both Frowned at Harry and Scowled at Draco before turning away. Justin said pleadingly to Harry, ignoring the fact that Harry obviously wasn’t listening, “But—but Harry—he’s a… a Slytherin!”

“Right,” said Draco dryly. “And he’s a girl.”

Morag looked crestfallen. Justin looked at Morag, then at Malfoy, and finally shrugged, dragging Morag away to Mill with All The Rest.

Harry and Draco were alone in the corridor.

Draco looked at Harry, wondering how he managed to pull off the feat of fitting so perfectly against his shoulder when Draco was a full head shorter.

Well. Would wonders never cease.

Harry lifted his head and looked back at Draco. Yes, he thought. Draco might indeed be open to tea.

Draco’s heart began to thud around in his chest. Calm, calm, he reminded himself, trying not to lose control of his limbs this time around. This was, after all, Just Chemistry.

“Draco,” said Harry. “Am I a good kisser?”

“You ask the stupidest questions,” said Draco, sliding his arms around Harry’s neck.

He did so like Harry’s arms around him. And Harry’s stupid thick ugly glasses. And the dimple in Harry’s left cheek. And the name Harry.

Harry decided impulsively that it would be a very good thing to kiss Draco’s smile before it went away. So he did.

And Draco, in the midst of Kissing Harry Potter, realised something.

Kissing Harry Potter was not chemistry at all.

It was alchemy.

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