Disclaimer: JKRowling owns Harry Potter. No infringement intended.
Author's Note: The original source for this snippet is Chapter 10 of Coming of Age by Frances Potter. This fic isn't slash, but Harry and Draco are the primary characters, and they have been tied together with a curse. In this scene, a rather abused Draco is getting various injuries healed by Harry -- subtext galore! *g* The opening paragraphs and some additional lines throughout this scene are her original words, and she deserves full credit for them. (And if you haven't read CoA yet, I strongly suggest that you do. Immediately.)
Feedback: Yes please. Even short notes mean a lot to me. I accept constructive as well as positive remarks.
Suddenly Harry crouched down, his hands on Draco's knees. "Look, I can help if you want me to."
"It's not that easy." He knew immediately even those few words were too much, and his eyelids fluttered closed. "I'm just very tired."
Remaining very still for several minutes, Harry finally straightened. "Okay, whatever you say." He returned to the towels and collected a dry one. "I need to dry your hair so I can check out the damage from your fall." The shoulders shrugged slightly. "Do you want to do it?" Another shrug but no overt movement.
Harry approached the stiff back again and began to carefully towel-dry the fine blond hair. Then, with equal care, he ran his fingers through the silky strands to investigate the injury with his fingertips. The torn skin had formed a vivid line now, and it no longer bled. There was, however a large inflamed red area surrounding it, and the lump was the size of his palm. He touched the edge with a fingertip and watched as Draco flinched slightly. "Ron wants me to leave this, but I'd like to try something if you don't mind."
"What? Like turning me into a chocolate frog?"
"No." With his left hand, Harry cupped the side of Draco head, holding it still. "Do you trust me?"
"Not really, but what else have I got to lose?" Draco found he couldn't move his head; the hold was gently tight, almost reassuring. He kept his focus on a spot on the wall. "Okay."
Not knowing what to expect, Draco was surprised to just feel the flat of a hand touch the wound. At first there was nothing, then slowly a strange sensation seemed to condense in the tiny space between the hand and his skull. It grew in strength, seeping into his skin and bone.
Draco closed his eyes as a ripple of something unknown passed through him. It wasn't just the sensation of magic emanating from Harry's hand. There was a warmth to his touch that had nothing to do with whatever it was he was doing. He shook off the feeling and snapped his eyes back open. It was just a hand on his head, for God's sake.
When Harry removed his hand, the sensation remained for a while, then as it cleared Draco realised the pain had gone completely. Dazed, he raised a hand to his head and gingerly touched the spot.
There was nothing but smooth, healthy skin. No lump. No cut. No bruising. He spun round, meeting the green eyes for the first time since Harry had come into the bathroom. "How...."
Harry raised a finger to his lips, silencing Draco. He took a deep breath and placed his hand on Draco's bruised face.
The feelings Draco had noted before intensified somehow. No one had ever touched him with such gentleness. More than that, it was almost intimate the way Harry brushed his fingers against his cheek. As the mysterious warmth once again flowed into his damaged flesh, he found himself resisting the urge to lean into that hand. To place his own hand over it.
Instead, he watched as Harry nodded to himself in some unspoken approval, before trailing his fingers down Draco's arm to his side. A tingling sensation followed in the wake of Harry's hand, as if his skin was coming alive and Draco found himself feeling increasingly lost and confused. Pain and harsh gestures he could handle. But not this gentle touch. Not the care and concern he saw in the jade green eyes, even hidden as they were behind their shields of glass. When the softly probing fingers reached his side, he trembled. It wasn't just the memory of the damage Voldemort had caused. It was the way that touch seemed to reach right into his soul. He took a deep breath, and willed the trembling to subside. He was used to bringing himself under control, but never to still a reaction like this.
As Harry worked, he thought again about how odd it was to see Draco in person after all these years. It seemed astonishing that they were not friends exactly. But not enemies any longer, either. Like the long separation had wiped the slate clean of his previous emotions where Draco was concerned, leaving only what? Openness, he supposed. He certainly hadn't anticipated that at their first meeting they would end up together in a steam-filled room, or that he would be running his hands over the blond's damp skin. No, not running, he corrected himself mentally. Healing. It was nothing more than that. Or was it? Harry had to admit to himself that he had wanted to touch Draco in some way, more than the simple hand-on-the-shoulder gesture he'd made out in the garden. It was what had prompted him to give in to the impulse to test the wandless magic theory in the first place. Although he hadn't seen Draco in person in three years, they had been living with the odd forced bond for several months now, and the sense of connection had increased exponentially now that they were in the same place. It was almost a kind of physical pain, and he'd felt a need to find a tangible means of expressing the bond he felt in his soul. Hands on Draco's back, on his head, his cheek, his arm all soothed him. And yet also awoke something in him, intensifying what he felt through the tie.
Finally, the hand reached for the hem of the dressing gown, pulling back the cloth to reveal the damage caused by Ron's foot. Harry suddenly felt hesitant; it was one thing to heal Draco's head, or even his side. But this was rather more intimate, to go putting one's hand on another person's thigh. He was aware of Draco's eyes on him as he laid his hand carefully on the outside of Draco's thigh, the wound disappearing under his touch. As he pulled his hand away - a gesture more a caress than a simple removal of fingers --. Harry felt a sudden urge to kiss the spot he had just healed. The situation was rapidly becoming less clinical, and not just for him.
The feel of Harry's fingers tracing over his thigh had elicited a shuddering breath from Draco before he could stop himself; Harry looked up at the sound, and their eyes caught. Something was passing between them, but damned if Draco knew what it was. There were no words, just an almost overwhelming trainload of emotions from their connection; he was no longer sure what was his, and what belonged to the other man. But he was aware, as he stared into those brilliant green eyes, that their bond was unmistakably alive. And it was pulling him into Harry.
Harry leaned forward in answer to that same pull, not thinking, not questioning this need to come together physically. Only responding. His focus had narrowed to Draco's angular face, to the soft mouth; his lips parted unconsciously as he drew close. Closer.
His lips had barely brushed Draco's when the blond man's head jerked back abruptly, eyes wide as they stared at Harry. His pupils contracted to mere pinpoints in fear, and his breath came erratically. Neither of them spoke.
Stung, Harry stood just as abruptly, unaware of just how much the healings had sapped his strength. He swayed slightly and Draco's hand shot out to steady him. "Harry?" The sensation of vertigo was so unexpected that Harry thought he might pass out. It passed after a few seconds, and he wondered if he had imagined it. "Thank you," he finally managed to say as Draco released his arm. Then he frowned, remembering the rejection he had just suffered. His emotional walls went up in the next instant, and he turned on his heel to leave before he could make a greater fool of himself.
"Don't. Don't shut me out." Draco's whisper somehow managed to sound louder than Harry's furious footsteps; he turned around, ready to point out that it was Draco who had first acted contrary to their bond. But his anger quickly fell away as he saw the plea echoed in the silver eyes. He blew out a breath, trying to pull himself back together.
"I'm sorry," he murmured. "I shouldn't have-"
"No, don't apologise." Draco bit his lip, his cheeks flushing slightly. "I should be the one to say ." He cut himself off, and sighed. "Look, I I didn't know what to do. I've never-- No one has ever touched me like like that. Only with pain." He gave a short bitter laugh. "You know, all those lovely scars you just found. Not to mention the Weasley handiwork." Then he looked away. "So much for the great Malfoy reputation."
Harry knelt back down in front of him, nestling ever so slightly between his knees. "Draco, look at me," he whispered, lightly touching him on the arm. The blond man turned his head at the sound of his given name, and their eyes met and held, as before. Harry went on: "I won't hurt you. I can't hurt you. It would hurt me, too, you know, because of the spell cast on us. But I don't want to hurt you. I just want to acknowledge this thing that's happening between us, this bond, whatever it is." He paused. Then - "Do you trust me?"
Draco took a slow deep breath and then let it out. Harry had asked him the same question earlier, prior to healing him, and he'd given a snarky reply. There really was no reason to trust him, after all. There was no reason to trust anyone. And yet - deep in his gut, beyond a lifetime of mistrust, of betrayals and mistreatments, he realised that Harry had never been anything but trustworthy to him personally, especially in the months since they'd been tied together.
Harry searched the grey eyes, looking for confirmation that Draco really meant the gesture, and found it. Their force of their heightened emotions once again brought the sense of connection, of need to fulfill that connection physically, to the surface. A slight hint of fear remained, but it was nearly nonexistent in the face of the growing desire which also rested there. Harry leaned in, and this time Draco did not pull away. He pressed a gentle kiss to the blond man's lips, lingered a moment, and then leaned back again to gauge Draco's reaction.
It had only been a small kiss, and yet it was beyond anything Draco had ever experienced. That feel of soft lips on his - so much more than the few meaningless moments he'd stolen back at Hogwarts. He felt alive somehow. Alive and no longer alone and wanting more. Their lips met again, and this time Draco actively kissed Harry back, tentatively at first, then with growing confidence. When he felt the flicker of Harry's tongue, he hesitated only a moment before parting his lips and allowing the other man access. It was a gesture far more significant than what seemed on the surface; it was the first time he had ever willingly opened himself up to anyone.
They kissed for long moments, soft and hot and wet: slow, exploring kisses, and harder, more insistent ones. It was Harry who first left the warmth of Draco's mouth, letting his lips trail along the other man's jaw to his ear. He ran his tongue along the curved shell, pausing to suck lightly at the lobe at the bottom; Draco drew a shuddering breath in response, then ventured to imitate the gesture.
As he felt the damp warmth of a tongue flicker along his ear, Harry ceased his own ministrations, giving in to the sensations coursing through him. Draco's movements were still tentative, unskilled, and yet almost more arousing, if it was possible, because of that. Not only that, but it was almost as if he could feel everything that Draco could feel, and vice versa - the sensations were being shared in a way he had never experienced with anyone else. It was subtle, but tangible.
It was when Draco moved to explore Harry's throat, working his way down to the barrier of shirt buttons, that Harry's brain function kicked back into gear. He suddenly realised the magnitude of what they were doing and whom he was with. This wasn't just any person - it was someone who had lead a very sheltered social life and was, additionally, coming off a lifetime of abuse. And no matter what he thought now, in the heat of the moment, Harry doubted Draco was really ready to handle anything terribly adventurous. The last thing Draco needed was to experience another panicky reaction, or worse, morning-after regret; he would probably only retreat further into himself, and Harry needed him to be open and cooperative, if they were ever going to find a way out of their situation. Nor did he want to be bound to a man who would shrink from him in memory of what they had done.
Gently, he pulled away from Draco's ministrations. "I think," he said slowly, "we should stop."
Draco stared at Harry a moment, and then nodded, once. Control. He had almost forgotten control. Taking a deep breath, he ran through the mental exercises which had helped him survive all his life -- cooling his emotions, pulling himself together. But he didn't shut himself off. Not entirely. He still didn't really know what he thought about Potter, but there was something to be said about their connection. It meant that, for all the suffering it was causing him, he was also, for the first time in his life, not alone.
Harry was glad Draco had seemed to accept the decision to stop without question. He wasn't sure how well the former Slytherin would take to being handled, told what he was and wasn't ready for. The past hour or so had been a new and largely positive experience for them both, and he didn't want it to end in a quarrel. He met the other's gaze and was instantly transported back to Hogwarts and their battles as children. Then he suddenly realised that between them, they were the Slytherin colours. His green eyes and Draco's grey/silver eyes. He pondered the thought for a moment before resting a hand on Draco's shoulder. The tips of his index and middle finger brushed against the raised flesh of Draco's scar and he cocked his head slightly, studying the curious shape. Then, swiftly, he bent to plant a kiss on the lightning bolt mark before rising and offering his hand to the still-seated man.
"Come on, let's get you in bed. We can talk more tomorrow."
|DC Slash||Harry Potter||Ros. Hetero||Ros. Slash||Ros. Other|