a wizard without his wand is a supremely wet wizard

in which London is rainy, in which accidents happen, in which love smells of lemongrass and ginger

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a wizard without his wand is a supremely wet wizard

(in which Harry gets wet, in which Harry gets hurt, in which Harry gets kissed)

It's raining. Pouring, actually. What had started out as a perfectly dry, clear morning in central Muggle London has turned into a very wet, horribly gray evening. And of course, of all the bloody days to forget one's umbrella and wand, Harry Potter had to pick this one.

He's taken no more than three steps out of the hidden entryway of the Ministry of Magic and already his clothing is soaking wet. Harry stands there on the gloomy street with a frown on his dripping face and squints into the rain. He takes a moment to regret not having his house hooked up to the Floo Network, before sighing and trudging onward.

It's only a few blocks home, and anyway, I can't get much wetter, he thinks. He glances up at the streetlight ahead of him; despite the pouring rain it still manages to give off a decent amount of light. The yellow-orange glow of the light illuminates a figure standing underneath it. Harry squints harder, trying to make out any details. Muggle? Wizard? The figure is definitely that of a man, at least six feet tall and slim. Long, dark coat with the collar pulled up against the rain, although the rain doesn't seem to be hitting the man at all. Wizard, then. But who is it?

While Harry is attempting to figure it out, the loud clearing of a throat breaks his concentration. The man is tall, impossibly tall, and wearing one of the most beautiful, elegant, no doubt extremely expensive cloaks Harry has ever seen. His head is covered by a tall hat, from which a blue and green peacock feather sticks out from. Everything about him screams old money and refinement. But it's the shadowed face of the man that causes Harry to stop in his tracks. A strong nose, high cheekbones, and pale, flawless skin are all that he can see clearly, but it's enough to rip the air out of his lungs and leave him reeling. Lucius. Fucking. Malfoy.

Lucius Fucking Malfoy in fucking Muggle London.

"What the actual fuck?"

Lucius finally turns to face him completely, the light from the streetlamp overhead glinting off of his ice blue eyes. "Mr. Potter." His lips are twisted up in a wry smirk as he nods his head in greeting. "Eloquent as ever, I see." He pulls one gloved hand from beneath his cloak, and Harry catches a glimpse of the silver snake headed cane he knows the elder wizard always has with him. "I was hoping to catch you on your way home. How fortunate for me that you decided to walk tonight, hmm?" He lifts an eyebrow.

Harry splutters for a moment, wondering if he's somehow caught cold and is now hallucinating due to illness. "I'm sorry, but seriously; What. The. Fuck. How do you know I live near here?" He edges back the tiniest bit; not that many people know that he lives in Muggle London, and certainly nobody who would tell Lucius fucking Malfoy of all people! "Have- Have you been stalking me?"

Lucius ignores him and slowly slips the glove off of his hand. "I would like to speak to you about my son." He offers his hand to be shook as he speaks, and Harry glances at the perfectly manicured nails and long, pale fingers.

Harry shakes his hands dry but keeps them at his sides. "Draco?"

"Yes," Lucius says, dropping his hand but not replacing the glove just yet. "You see, Mr. Potter, he's been spending so much time at this new job of his that he hasn't had the chance to write home." He flashes another one of his insincere smiles, offering his hand again, leaving it hanging in the space between them.

Harry shakes himself out of his daze and crosses his arms over his chest. "And?"

"I would ask that you keep me updated; nothing you would feel too uncomfortable with sharing, of course. Just enough to let me know how he's doing." His tone is as sharp and cold as before, but Harry catches a glimpse of true concern and worry in Lucius's eyes. He sighs and drops his arms back down to his sides.

"Well, I'll let you know if he's critically hurt or ill, and try to get him to start writing home more," he says, sticking his hands into his trouser pockets. "But I'm afraid I can't divulge just anything, no matter that you're his dad. Draco's really private, and I won't break his trust like that." He tries to look apologetic, but his tone and words are firm. He is not backing down on this, no matter what Lucius says or offers him.

"All information would be at your discretion, of course; as long as I'm kept updated on his health, Narcissa and I will be satisfied." He pulls his hand back and slips on the glove, turning his head to the right. The difference of angle causes the light from above to illuminate his face properly, throwing off the shadows that had thrown Harry off only minutes before.

Harry nods in acceptance, taking a moment to examine Lucius in the soft orange light from the streetlamp above. Along with the long, straight nose, the high cheekbones and flawless pale skin, Lucius sports perfectly arched eyebrows and his long blonde hair appears to be tucked up underneath the hat. At first glance, he really doesn't look much like his son; but upon taking a closer look, Harry realises they do in fact share some traits. The high cheekbones are the same, though Draco's jaw is narrow like his mothers (like Sirius, he thinks, before pushing that thought away). The long neck and pale skin are a complete match, as is the graceful way they hold themselves. Harry takes a moment to remember Draco the way he was in school all those years ago, trying to be a perfect twin to his father, this man before him. Thinking about the sort of man Draco's turned into after the war, Harry finds himself absurdly grateful that he'd never succeeded. Draco's his own man now, and that is a thousand times better than being this man's carbon copy.

Although, that isn't to say Lucius isn't attractive...

Stop that! he thinks viciously, running a hand through his wet hair in irritation. You're not allowed to be attracted to Draco's father! Also, are you forgetting that this man tried to fucking kill you?

Lucius allows the scrutiny for a few more moments, before asking, "Are you quite done?" in a bored tone, examining his gloved hand.

Harry flushes. "Sorry, it's just that, Draco really looks nothing like you anymore. I mean, he used to, back in school, but not now." He shrugs awkwardly and scratches the back of his neck. He can feel drops of rain dripping down underneath his sweater collar; it's supremely uncomfortable, but he tries to ignore it.

"Hmm." Lucius studies him intensely, his piercing, icy gaze flickering back and forth over Harry, as if reading him like a page in a book. "And I suppose that is a good thing, in your eyes?"

Choosing his words carefully, Harry says, "Well, in a sense, yeah. I mean, don't get me wrong; Draco is a nice guy and all, and a fantastic Auror. I love working with him. But it would be way more difficult to work with him if I was attracted to him, you know?" The words slip out, and the moment they leave his lips he wishes he could take them back. He splutters, mortified. "Oh fuck. I- I'm so sorry, I swear I didn't, um..."

Lucius raises an eyebrow in surprise. "Mr. Potter. Are you suggesting...?" His voice is quiet and a bit shocked, and it takes all of Harry's Gryffindor courage to answer the implied question.

"Uh, yes. I mean, no. I mean-," Harry covers his burning face with his hands, the blush spreading down his neck. "Merlin, I'm so sorry." He grimaces, before he lowers his hands and opens his eyes. "Also, you can call me Harry. If you want."

Lucius doesn't answer, merely stands completely still, his face frozen in shock. Harry tries to swallow his shame and embarrassment, focusing his gaze on the peacock feather in the man's hat rather than the man's face. Fucking hell, Harry, he thinks miserably to himself. You're a goddamned idiot.

After a few minutes like this, standing in silence in the rain, Harry shuffles his feet a bit and clears his throat. "So," he says, a bit loudly, trying to break the silence and turn the conversation away from him and his stupid attraction.

Finally blinking, Lucius takes a small step backward and bows low. "Thank you for your agreeance, Mr. Potter, I look forward to hearing from you on the subject of my son in the near future. Until next time." He straightens up and pulling his wand from the top of his cane, disappears with a crack.

Harry jumps at the abruptness, peering into the dark despite knowing he won't see a thing. He sighs and runs a hand through his hair again, wiping the rain from his glasses as an afterthought. Well, he thinks, trudging toward home, that was fun. Now let's hope Draco never finds out I just bloody well told his dad that I'm attracted to him.

o0o0o0o0o0o0oo0o

The second time Harry is caught in the rain without his wand, he's overseeing Draco at a crime scene. Recently promoted, he is now the Senior Auror of a small focused group of Aurors. Mostly that just means more paperwork, but since Draco now needs a new partner, he's doing his duty and watching to see if the other Junior Auror is at all compatible with Draco. As the other Junior Auror is Ron, he's been pleasantly surprised so far. They seem to be cooperating rather well, and none of the explosions or fist-fighting that he'd expected has occurred. Yet.

He's just stepped out of the building where the body is laying, spread eagled on the floor, for a muggle cigarette. He's been trying to quit for months now, but every time he gets close to succeeding, Lucius Fucking Malfoy breezes back into his world, all long limbs and ridiculous wealth as he requests, bargains and manipulates Harry into doing what he wants him to do.

Take today for example; despite the fact that the public aren't supposed to be informed of Auror work and citizens aren't allowed onto active crime scenes, Harry had given Lucius written permission to attend today, so he could help facilitate a meeting between father and son.

Harry snorts and takes a deep drag of his cigarette, holding the smoke in his lungs for as long as possible, his eyes closed and face tilted towards the sky. Fuck you, Lucius, he thinks darkly, his mouth opening to let out a stream of smoke.

That is when it begins to rain. Nothing heavy, nothing cold; just a light drizzle. Still, it's enough of an annoyance that Harry takes only one more drag of his cigarette, planning on putting it out to go back inside, when a sharp crack echoed out from the alley across the street, and the sound of a cane tapping against the ground reached his ears.

Harry huffs and lights another cigarette. "This is actually against the rules, if anyone cares. I could get fired for this," he says by way of greeting, sucking in the toxic smoke of the cigarette like his life depends on it. He watches as Lucius walks slowly toward him, his cloak billowing out behind him rather dramatically. Harry waits until he's only a foot away, before letting the smoke out in one long stream, blowing it right into Lucius' face.

Lucius does nothing, just stands there until the smoke dissipates, before turning his eyes to Harry's. Harry blinks. Do Lucius' eyes look apologetic, or is it just a trick of the light?

"I know, Mr. Potter, and I wouldn't have asked to be here if I felt it wasn't pertinent."

"That doesn't sound like an apology to me," Harry says churlishly, his cigarette still between his lips.

Lucius sighs and pulls his wand from his cane, waving it in a swirling pattern at Harry before replacing it. Harry feels the brush of warm but unfamiliar magic wash over him, and suddenly the rain is no longer hitting him. He glances up and sees that there is now an invisible barrier above his head, stopping the rain before it can reach him.

He rolls his eyes and decides that its as close to an apology as he's going to get, and in fact it might actually pass as an apology from a Malfoy anyways. "Alright, thanks." He taps the ash off of his smoke and shuffles his feet. "Do you smoke?" he asks, not wanting to sound like a complete idiot and not knowing what else to say. He still manages to sound like a simpleton, but he figures Lucius doesn't expect more from him. He certainly never sounds particularly intelligent during any of their conversations.

"I'm afraid so, much to Narcissa's displeasure. I've tried to quit, but never seem to find the dedication."

Harry finds himself laughing at that, and laughs even harder when he imagines Mrs. Malfoy frowning in displeasure, looking more like his Aunt Petunia than he ever thought she could. "Yeah, same for me. Life's too stressful, or something. Hermione would murder me if she knew, although she'd have to fight Mrs. Weasley for the pleasure." He smiles and offers up a cigarette.

Lucius declines, saying, "No thank you. I would not, however, say no to your lighter." He pulls a very fancy, very silver cigar case from inside his cloak, and removes a cigar from it before placing it back.

Harry hands the muggle lighter over curiously, asking, "Why not use your wand?"

Lucius takes up the proffered lighter and lights his cigar, inhaling steadily until the tip burns bright orange-red. He hands the lighter back with a nod of thanks and closes his eyes for a moment, savouring the flavour before answering. "I've found that my fire spells haven't been the same, since the war. I normally carry such a lighter with me, but it seems I've left mine at home." He takes another slow drag. "I'd rather use a Muggle appliance, than accidently singe my eyebrows off because I was trying to light a cigar and failed."

Harry's eyes are fixated on Lucius as he inhales; the tightening of his throat, the flush of his cheeks, the way his long fingers curl around the cigar like it's a precious, fragile anchor to his sanity. The shape of his lips as he lets the smoke out in a gentle curling stream above his head. Harry swallows heavily and turns away to get his burning face (as well as other, rather unmentionable body parts) under control. Thankfully Lucius's eyes are still closed, because there's no way he could hide anything as obvious as his physical reaction from those piercing blue eyes.

They stand out there in the rain, smoking silently for a few long minutes. Lucius looks content with the silence, but Harry, who has never been very good with long, extended silences, can feel himself getting more and more uncomfortable. The silence feels suffocating, but at the same time he knows that whatever comes out of his mouth will be awkward and leave him wishing he'd never spoken in the first place. He stands there in silence for a few minutes longer, before cracking.

Just as he is opening his mouth to say something, Merlin, anything to break this fucking silence and distract me from his bloody pornographic smoking, the rain begins to hurtle down in a much heavier downpour. Lucius takes one last drag of his cigar, before dropping it onto the ground and stepping on it lightly with his perfectly shined dragon-hide boots.

"Well, as much as I love London, I do so hate its weather. Shall we?" He holds his cane up, pointing toward the entrance to the building. Harry sighs and nods, letting his cigarette drop from his lips onto the concrete below him.

"Alright, let's go. I should be in there anyways, who knows what the others have gotten up to while I've been gone."

They step into the front hall, and Lucius brushes non-existent raindrops from his cloak before removing it. He drapes it over his arm and gestures for Harry to lead the way. Harry rolls his eyes at the dramatics, but nevertheless steps ahead and pushes through the next set of doors to reveal his team, including Draco. They are busy squabbling amongst each other like little children, and he sighs. He looks at Lucius in apology before stepping forward and yelling, "Oi! Prats! We've got a guest, so be polite and for fuck sakes, get to bloody work!" His group of Auror trainees and very young Junior Aurors nod and do as he says. Draco on the other hand, takes on glance at him, slides his eyes behind him to look at Lucius, and makes a face before turning away.

"I would apologize for my son, but I'm sure I'd be wasting my breath." Lucius says quietly, coming to stand next to him. Harry smiles a bit, looking at the man from the corner of his eye. Even in the midst of emotional distress, even while being shunned by his own flesh and blood, Lucius plays the part of the perfect pureblood, polite and poised as if nothing were wrong.

"Nah, it's fine. I'll have a chat with him, see if I can't get him to be a bit nicer."

Lucius's mask crumbles a bit. "That really isn't necessary, Mr. Potter. You've already gone to such lengths to get me here, I don't need-,"

Harry hushes him. "No, really, it's fine. I don't mind."

He watches as the mask crumbles a bit more. "Thank you," Lucius practically whispers, and Harry is kind enough to pretend his doesn't hear how the man's voice cracks.

"Draco! Come tell me what we've got so far." He waits for the Junior Auror to scowl and cross his arms, before Draco finally spins around and stomps toward them.

"Why is he here?" he asks abruptly, pointing rudely at his father. When Harry ignores him, he turns towards Lucius and addresses him instead. "Why are you here?"

"I came to see how you are doing," he says smoothly, his mask once again firmly in place. "Your mother does worry so." He raises an eyebrow and gives Draco a significant look. "You haven't been writing, and I asked Senior Auror Potter to keep an eye on you and inform us if anything should happen."

Draco scoffs and sneers. "I don't need a bloody chaperone."

"I never said you did, Draco. I didn't mean to be intrusive when I requested that Mr. Potter watch over you, I merely..." Lucius sighs and bows his head. "Neither Narcissa nor I know what exactly we did to drive you away. But son, we want you to know that no matter what you always have a place at the Manor, with us."

With narrowed eyes and rather less frown than before, Draco pauses a moment before nodding his head once sharply. He pushes past the both of them and disappears through the doors and out into the rain.

Harry huffs out a frustrated breath and scrubs a hand through his messier than normal hair in agitation. "How the hell am I supposed to evaluate him, if he's not even bloody here to evaluate? And where the hell is Ron?" The last part he shouts, and one of his trainees lifts their head up and points at the door Draco had just exited through.

Harry feels like screaming, suddenly filled with exhaustion. "I'm too fucking sober to deal with this shit right now."

Lucius only nods once, before he hands Harry his cane with the wand still in it, and takes a step to the side. "Holly," he states quietly, and with a near silent 'pop' a small female house-elf appears.

"You's be callin' Holly, Master Lucius?"

"Yes, Holly. Please bring me two of the crystal glasses and a bottle of the Chardonnay Narcissa and I picked up in France after Draco was born."

"Yes, Master Lucius, I's be being right back." And with that, the little house-elf disappeared.

Harry pivoted from staring down at the cane in his hands in shock, to looking up at Lucius in shock. As far as he knew, Lucius never went anywhere without his cane (did he forget to mention that the wand was still in it? Holy shit). It was practically attached to the man, and as far as he knew, nobody else ever touched it, not even Draco. He ran a hand over the snake's silver head, and traced with one finger the engravings along its back. He felt like he had been offered a great honour, almost as if Lucius had handed him a part of the man himself. And in a way, he had; a wizard's wand was his most precious possession, and often considered as important as an arm.

Not only that, but Harry had just witnessed Lucius Malfoy have a polite and kind interaction with a house-elf. He sort of wishes Dobby had been here to see it. Fucking revolutionary.

He wonders for a moment if hell is now frozen.

Harry glances up when he hears clinking and the sound of liquid being poured. He somehow managed to miss the return of the house-elf, so lost was he in his thoughts.

"Here, Mr. Potter. Consider it thanks for lending your assistance and help."

He takes the offered glass of wine and nods, smiling rather bemusedly. "You're welcome, then. I'm happy to help." He takes a sip of his drink and nearly groans out loud, it's that amazing. "Where did you say you got this?" he asks, barely holding himself back from drinking all that's in his glass in one large gulp.

Lucius smiles and takes a small sip from his own crystal glass. "France, in 1980. Narcissa has always favoured the Sauvignon Blanc from the same year, but I have to say that this is my preferred vintage."

Harry nods enthusiastically in agreement, taking a rather larger sip than is probably advisable, nearly emptying his glass. "I'd have to agree with you there, this is bloody fantastic!"

"Hmm, quite. I'm glad you like it." He glances down at the elegant wrist watch Harry's only just noticed he's wearing, before finishing the last of the wine in his glass. "Do forgive me, Mr. Potter, but I'm afraid I must be leaving."

Harry held back his initial reaction of disappointment (and when the hell did that happen) and nodded, holding out the cane and the crystal wine glass, the last one rather ruefully (damn, who is he kidding? He didn't want to let go of either). Lucius takes the cane but shakes his head at the wine glass, shoving the still mostly full wine bottle into Harry's now free hand.

"A gift, Harry," is all he says before drawing his wand and apparating away.

Harry is too shocked by the gesture to even protest, cradling the bottle and cup against his chest. "He said my name," he whispers to himself, quietly enough that the curious and eavesdropping trainees across the room don't hear.

o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o

Because it's London, the rain over the next few weeks is nearly constant. Apparently even Wizarding criminals are reluctant to do their dirty deeds in the torrential downpour, because work is slow and boring. Harry is left doing the paperwork that he's let pile up, and he is feeling antsy and impatient when he finishes up for the night. He leans back in his chair, cracking his neck and stretching his arms up above his head to try and release some of the tension in his neck and back from being hunched over for so many hours. "Fuck me, I'm never letting that much paperwork pile up again. That was fucking torture."

He closes his tired eyes for a moment, just to rest them, and finds himself being shaken awake by Hermione some undefined time later. He blinks his eyes open and looks at her blurry form for a moment. "Hermione? That you? What're you doing here?"

She sighs and shoves his glasses onto his face. His eyes come into focus and he can finally see the work robes she's wearing. "You still working, 'Mione?"

"Yes, I was called in a little over an hour ago. Seems like the DMLE needs use of the Unspeakables again." She purses her lips and flicks a curl out of her face in irritation. "It's unfortunate that I'm the only one they'll let into the Department of Mysteries."

"Need my help?"

She smiles at him gently before shaking her head. "No, we'll be fine, Harry. It's just never pleasant dealing with Parkinson."

Harry chuckles a bit. "She still after that dinner date, then? I woulda thought she'd given up by now, it's been, what, four months?"

Hermione sighs. "Yes, she does seem to be rather persistent." She glances at the watch on her wrist and grimaces. "Go home, Harry. It's late, and you've finished your paperwork. I'll call you a cab, so you don't have to walk home, it's raining rather heavily right now." She helps him up, steadying him as he sways tiredly on his feet, before pulling out her magic enhanced muggle cellphone and dialing the taxi company.

"Thanks, 'Mione," he mumbles, pulling his coat tight around his shoulders as he steps outside his office and heads down the hall with her by his side. They get into the elevator just as she clicks her phone closed.

"Leaving the Department of Magical Law Enforcement, going up." The voice of the Ministry's elevator hasn't been changed since the days of Harry's childhood, and he finds it increasingly more annoying each time he hears it. When they finally reach the top level, the elevator doors slide open and Harry scrambles out before the voice can even begin to speak.

"Bye, see you at the Burrow on Sunday!"

"Just get home safe and get some sleep, Harry, then we can talk about dinner at Molly's," she says, before the elevator doors close and she disappears from sight.

Harry makes his way across the Atrium, ignoring the gaudy golden statue in its center. Ever since the Battle of Hogwarts, the statue has been two figures in the middle of a duel; Harry on the right, and Voldemort on the left. He's put in multiple requests to have it changed, but Kingsley claims that he's never received anything of the sort. Stupid fucking airplane memo's, Harry thinks crossly as he steps out onto the streets of Muggle London and into the rain. He goes to grab his wand and realises that his pockets are empty.

"Bloody buggering fuck!" he exclaims, wiping the water out of his eyes and peering into the street, looking for the cab. He tries to lean back against the wall behind him, hoping the tiny awning above will provide some protection against the elements, but no such luck. He sighs and hunches his shoulders; he could really use his fucking wand right about now. It seems forgetting my wand is becoming a common occurrence, Harry thinks sarcastically. Wonderful. I'm a Senior fucking Auror and the Defeater of Voldemort and I can't even remember my mother fucking wand.

"Finally," he mutters under his breath when the cab pulls up, and stepping forwards he slips into the back seat.

"Where to, mate?" The cabbies gruff voice asks as the cab begins to roll forwards. Harry tells him his address, before leaning back and shutting his eyes. God, he's so tired. He hasn't even been out in the field all week, but there's just something about paperwork that turns his mind to jelly and makes him an exhausted mess. When the cab comes to a stop, he fumbles in his coat pocket for some Muggle money (thank god he'd remembered that, at least) pays the driver and gets out. He stands there in the rain for a minute, eyes closed and face tilted up towards the sky. The rain is refreshing, and helps to wake him up a little bit. After about three minutes, he wipes his face off and removes the keys to his flat from his pocket, before placing them in the keyhole. He is about to turn them and unlock the door, when he hears the sound of apparition directly behind him. He whirls around, suddenly intensely alert, arm coming up as if to protect himself, although without his wand, he's not sure what he'd do if someone were to actually attack him. Adrenaline rushes through his veins, and his heart pounds wildly in his chest as he takes in his would-be-attacker.

"...Lucius?"

The man shuffles closer, ever present cane in his hand. "Hello, Harry." He clears his throat and glances down slightly. He's swaying slightly on his feet, and Harry scrunches his face up in tired confusion. The adrenaline is wearing off now that he knows there's no threat, and he can feel the exhaustion more than ever before.

That doesn't stop him from noticing how drunk Lucius sounds, or how he's unable to stand straight without swaying. He frowns and steps forwards, trying to get a closer look at the other man.

"Lucius, are you alright?"

"Oh, of course, of course, Harry. Fine, just fine." Lucius smiles at him, but Harry isn't fooled.

"Lucius, you're drunk! Completely shit-faced! You just used way to many words to say the same thing over and over again, idiot, you think I don't know you're drunk? You should go home and sleep it off," he tries to reason with the man, but Lucius is having none of it.

"No! No, I cannot go to the Manor just yet...though sleep would be wonderful...No, Harry, there is something I must say first." He straightens up as much as he can, shifting on his feet in order to find a steadier position. "Harry, I felt it was imperative I told you.... that I told you..." He shuffles once again, this time in embarrassment.

Harry is suddenly grateful that he forgot his wand, because it gives him the perfect excuse to step closer to Lucius so that he is also covered by the man's magical barrier against the rain. He stops a hairs breadth from the other man, and can feel his cheeks flushing with their proximity. "Yes? That you told me what?" he asks in a hushed voice, tilting his head back to look Lucius in the eyes.

Lucius looks at him through half-closed eyes and smiles softly. It is possibly the most beautiful expression Harry has ever seen the man make, and he can't stop staring at Lucius's lips. "That I have never had such fun as when I'm with you. That I find myself making excuses to see you." Lucius's eyes close as he whispers, "That I miss you desperately when I'm no longer in your presence."

Harry swallows past the lump that has suddenly formed in the back of his throat. "I miss you too, Lucius," he whispers back, reaching out a hand to help steady the swaying man. Suddenly Lucius is swaying too far forwards, and as Harry's arm comes up to support him, Lucius's arms come up around Harry's body and hold onto him tightly. Harry stiffens in surprise, before relaxing into the impromptu hug, and raises his other arm in order to wrap it around Lucius's waist alongside his other one. Lucius smells of lemongrass and ginger, and it's the most delicious thing Harry's ever smelled in his life.

They stand like that for a long minute, Harry's mind rushing and racing, his thoughts a jumbled mess. Lucius rests his face against Harry's head and breaths out a sigh that ruffles Harry's hair, before letting go and rocking backward slightly. Their eyes meet as they both take a slight step backward, and Harry can't help the soft, adoring smile that escapes. "Go home and get some sleep, Lucius. Owl me when you wake, alright?" He reaches out one last time to squeeze Lucius's hand, before stepping back.

Lucius nods and smiles back at him, a quiet, "Thank you, Harry. I will," all he says before turning and apparating away. Harry thinks that maybe he shouldn't have apparated while sloshed, but figures if he can apparate here safely without splinching himself, he can probably apparate home as well.

As he unlocks his door and steps into his flat, his mind flashes with an image of Lucius's soft, gentle smile, and he feels his heart skip a beat before speeding up.

Holy fuck, he thinks as he freezes in his open doorway. I'm in love with Lucius Malfoy.

o0o0o0o0o0o0oo0o

The fourth and absolute last time Harry forgets his wand, he is running alongside Draco and Ron as they chase a criminal they'd been investigating for more than two months. It is ultimately the forgotten wand which gets him hospitalized.

Harry does his best, but ultimately can't dodge the inevitable; just as he is turning a street corner, a brightly coloured series of curses come raining down on them. Both Ron and Draco, having remembered their wands, quickly cast shields to block the curses. This has the unfortunate effect of deflecting the spells, and a dark purple starburst of magic comes hurtling toward him through the rain filled air.

The last thing Harry hears before everything goes black are the twin shouts of protest from Draco and Ron as they realise what's about to happen.

o0o0o0o0o0o0oo0o

Harry wakes up slowly to the rustling sound of cloth and the cool hands of a Healer on his cheeks as he or she help him drink a foul tasting potion. His eyes refuse to open, but it doesn't matter; he is pretty sure he knows where he is. He's spent enough time recuperating and being stitched up in hospital to know the sound of one. He crushes the impulse to try and sit up, taking time to catalogue his injuries, his aches and pains.

Suddenly, he can hear sounds outside of the room. They sound like voices, familiar voices. They are loud and angry, and Harry concentrates to try and figure out with his sleep and potion addled brain, what they are saying.

"But it's not my fault!"

"If you weren't trying so hard to get yourself killed by playing the hero, Harry wouldn't have had to chase after you!"

"He didn't have to chase me! I am perfectly capable of catching a-,"

"HE WAS PROTECTING YOU, YOU UNGRATEFUL CHILD AND YOU NEARLY GOT HIM KILLED!"

It clicks; Lucius. Lucius and Draco. They are arguing. Loudly and angrily.

About him.

About him?

"Oi! Draco's right! It's not like he cast the bloody curse, and besides, Harry should bloody well know better than to go after a criminal without his bloody wand!"

And that would be Ron. Harry winces. He knows Ron is right, and worse than that, he knows that the moment Hermione hears about it, he'll be wishing that whatever curse he was hit with had killed him.

Harry tries to speak and tell them to shut the hell up already, but his throat is so sore that all he manages is a cough. He listens as the shouting outside the room stops and thundering footsteps descend upon him.

"Harry, mate, you okay?" Ron says, seemingly from his right side, and with his eyes still closed he turns to that side and nods slightly. He'd answer with words if his throat didn't hurt so fucking much.

A hand is suddenly touching his face, ever so gently, and he can smell the familiar scent of lemongrass mixed with ginger. He lets out a sigh and turns his face into the hand, his lips turning up into an unconscious smile. He feels the lip of a glass being held against his lips, and opens his mouth to allow a bit of water to slide into his mouth and down his sore throat.

He feels the brush of fingertips across his forehead and he leans into the gesture as much as he can. "Thank you," he whispers as quietly as possible, trying not to aggravate his throat.

"Of course, Harry. Of course." Lucius's soft voice sounds cracked and broken, but his gentle hands soothe Harry into a deep sleep before he can think to question why.

o0o0o0o0o0o0oo0o

When Harry wakes up, he is finally able to open his eyes. Which he is incredibly thankful for, because the sight that greets him is the most precious thing he's ever seen, and he never wants to forget it.

Lucius is sitting in the chair beside his bed, most of his upper body resting on the hospital cot next to Harry's legs. His face is smooshed against the sheets, long blonde hair ruffled and curling at the ends. He has one hand resting against Harry's right knee, and the other wrapped tightly around Harry's left hand.

The only other chair in the room is occupied by Draco, who is curled up and wrapped in his father's cloak, his feet tucked up underneath him. Harry feels a little surprise at that, and wonders if the fact that Draco is using his dad's cloak means they're reconciled now and getting along. He hopes so; he knows how much that would mean to Lucius.

But the fact that both of them are there, had in fact been there for what appears to be many hours; that warms Harry's heart. Draco is a good man and a good friend, but he still has trouble allowing his emotions to show. And Lucius...well. Lucius is Lord Malfoy. He's untouchable, poised and perfect. He's cold, cruel, dark. Well, that's what people said. Harry had never known him to be anything but considerate, honest, kind. And yes, he is poised, and Merlin is he perfect; but Harry knows that he is also one of the warmest, most caring, most protective people he has ever had the honour of calling a friend. Just watching him interact with his son is enough to know the goodness inside Lucius Malfoy, and Harry only wishes his friends and family could see what he sees.

And of course, there is the added bonus of him being absolutely and hopelessly in love with the man, but that is besides the point. Just being able to see Lucius without any masks on is both the most amazing and most terrifying thing ever. It means that he trusts Harry, truly trusts him. It means that he cares more about Harry than about his image. It means there is the potential for more than friendship, just waiting to be acted upon.

Harry's eyes turn back towards Lucius as he feels the man begin to wake up. He smiles fondly at the twitching nose and fluttering eyelashes. Lucius pulls himself upright and rubs his eyes blearily. "Hello, Harry. I see you've awoken." He looks down, his face a strange mixture of sadness and joy.

Harry smiles up at him. "Hi," he says softly, sure that all of his soppy feelings are displayed on his face like an open book, but he no longer cares. Let the man see, he thinks happily, let him see how loved he truly is. "How long have you been here?"

Lucius shifts in his seat. "About an hour after you arrived here. Draco failed to inform me, and it was only when young Mr. Weasley came crashing through my study fireplace that I was told."

Harry raised one eyebrow, even as a feeling of intense warmth flowed through him. "That's not a real answer, you know."

Closing his eyes, Lucius tightened his grip on Harry's hand. "You've been here exactly four days, seven hours and about eleven minutes." He opens his eyes and glances down at his knees.

Harry can practically feel him shutting down, knowing that he's just admitted to sitting in hospital for non-family for four days and seven fucking hours. He's probably worried about the ridicule he'll get for showing such weakness.

Idiot, Harry thinks fondly. Caring isn't weakness.

Instead of saying that, however, he just squeezes Lucius's hand. "You should go home and get some proper rest," he whispers, trying not to wake Draco up. "Narcissa's probably very worried right now."

Lucius's face turns red in sudden anger. "Fuck sleep, and fuck Narcissa!" he hisses viciously. He drops Harry's hand. "You are so absolutely selfish Harry Potter, risking yourself like that when there are people out there who care about you, who need you, I can't-," he sucks in a breath and shakes his head, stepping backward away from the hospital cot and away from Harry.

Harry tries to scramble up into a sitting position, tries to reach out for Lucius, but the pain nearly makes him blackout. "Lucius, wait, please! I-,"

"No." Lucius's voice is cold and hard and empty; it's like nothing Harry has ever heard. "Stop. There is nothing you could ever say to me that would make me forgive you." He takes another step toward the door.

Draco, now awake, speaks up from his chair. "Father, don't-,"

Lucius cuts him off as he steps out of the door, his face blank but his eyes filled with pain. "Either of you." And with that he is gone.

o0o0o0o0o0o0oo0o

Harry gasps for breath, his vision swimming black for a moment, before hands are there helping him lay back down against the pillows. "Thanks," he chokes out, trying to catch his breath enough to figure out what the hell just happened and how to fix it.

"Potter, my father, he...he didn't mean what he said, and I know-,"

"Draco, I am so sorry. I am so fucking sorry that I got you into this mess, and I don't know how you'll ever forgive me, but I want you to know that I will do anything, anything, to-,"

Draco clapped a hand over his mouth, albeit gently. "Potter," he says sharply, before softening his tone. "Harry. None of this is your fault. The blame is mine, and I accept it. My father is right in that regard; had I never had the idiotic idea to become an Auror, this never would have happened. It is my place to apologize," Draco swallows and looks down.

Harry's eyes are wide.

"Draco," he says slowly, and continues once Draco's eyes meet his. "I will say this once, and only once; it's. Not. Your. Fault." He's beginning to tire again, but he refuses to let his gaze waiver. "I'm the Senior Head Auror, I'm the one training you, I'm the bloody idiot who forgot his bloody wand! How on earth does any of that translate to you being at fault?" He pauses to take a breath. "Look, I know that Lucius wasn't thrilled with your decision to join the Aurors. But don't for one second think it's got anything to do with you being unworthy of it! He's just scared for you, like your mother is, you prat!

Draco blinks furiously. "How- how can you know that?" he asks desperately.

Harry just shakes his head. "Draco, your parents love you. More than anything else, they love you. That means that as long as you're happy, they are too. Okay?"

When Draco just nods, Harry sighs and lays back. "Okay, good. Now, go make up with your Father. And give your mum a hug from me, okay? Tell her I'm fine."

Draco sniffs and stands up. "I will, Harry. Thank you. You are a good man, and I hope that one day you'll forgive my father. He isn't used to finding himself so hopeless in love." He looks at Harry one last time and smiles.

Harry watches him leave and leans back on his pillows, his eyes closed and his overworked body completely exhausted. He falls asleep quickly despite his emotional turmoil; he blames the potions.

What seemed to be hours later, Harry wakes up to a soft voice whispering in his ear.

"I know what I said to you, and I am sorry, Harry. You didn't deserve that, and I will never be able fix this. I know you think I blame you and Draco, but you have to know that's not true." Harry keeps his eyes closed as he listens, knowing that Lucius will stop immediately if he realizes Harry can hear him.

"It's no excuse, but I only said those things because I find myself battling with feelings I never thought I'd have to deal with." He lets out a choked off sob before continuing. "I know I'm not worth you, I never was; you are so kind and caring and wonderful, and what am I?"

Harry's heart aches as he listens to Lucius speak, listens to the insecurities and secrets of a man who the world thinks is made of ice, listens to him lay his heart bare. Harry has never loved him more than in this very moment, but he knows that he can't say anything now or he'll just be pushed away.

Lucius goes on. "I am nothing, I am cold and thoughtless and manipulative. I'm everything bad and I will ruin you if you give me the chance. I can't do that to you, Harry. Not to you, who mean so much. Which is why I'm releasing you from your burden, from our agreement. I no longer require your help, as I am retreating to the Manor where I will remain. I will stay there for as long as it takes these feelings I have for you to fall apart; only then will you be safe. And that's all I want, Harry." Harry feels a warm hand run lightly through his hair, and he suppresses a sigh. Anyone who has ever felt that warmth on their skin would know that Lucius is not the cold, unloving man the world thinks him to be.

"Goodbye, Harry," he says even more quietly, before Harry hears the sound of retreating footsteps and he drifts back into unconsciousness.

o0o0o0o0o0o0oo0o

A week, three hours and forty-two minutes later, Harry is released from St. Mungo's with instructions to take it easy for the next week or so. His ribs are still tender in spots despite the Skele-grow, and there is a very large, very permanent scar running from mid thigh to his hip, but other than that he is good as new. He's still on some pretty heavy pain potions, but is supposed to be slowly taking himself off of them over the next five days.

When he shows up at his office in the Ministry, everyone is crowded around his desk, which is overflowing with flowers and cards and small gifts, even a couple of balloons. He grins and walks slowly toward them. "Oi, what's all this then?" he asks, gesturing with his arm to the plethora of items surrounding his work area and cluttering his office.

Hermione grins and bounces a bit on her feet, before grabbing onto Pansy Parkinson's arm (Harry had thought it a bit strange to see her in his office, but now he understands. Hermione better be prepared to tell him about that development). "Most of it's from us and the Weasley's, but I think some of it's from Hogwarts students and Professors who heard or saw what happened in the Prophet, and this card and gift here are from Narcissa Malfoy." She points to a large gift box and large card.

He shakes his head and laughs. "Gee, aren't I popular all of a sudden. If I'd known that all it took was nearly dying, why, I'd have done it ages ago! Oh wait, I did!" He grins at his friends and workmates as they all laugh. It's good to be back, he thinks, even as he can't help but miss the smell of lemongrass and ginger.

o0o0o0o0o0o0oo0o

A few day's later, after he's run out of potions and his ribs no longer hurt, Harry is asked to come into the DMLE for a case. He still isn't able to go back to work yet; he actually has the next three weeks off, possibly longer if the Healer's aren't satisfied with how his body's healing. But when the call comes in that he should show up and help walk the trainees and Junior Aurors through the newest case, he agrees immediately. He knows that despite needing the time to heal, he will drive himself crazy long before he is cleared to go back to work; if helping newbies out is the only thing he can do, at least it's something.

At least it isn't sitting on the couch all day and night, downing potions and watching terrible Muggle telly while trying not to think about Lucius. At least it isn't him, working up the courage to write a love letter, only to rip it up and throw it away. At least it isn't him, standing in his kitchen and staring at the empty Chardonnay bottle he'd saved all those months ago.

And so, it is that on that rainy morning, Harry left his flat with his coat on over his Auror robes, his keys in his pocket and his wand in his hand. After all, not having his wand with him is what put him in the hospital, pining after Lucius Malfoy; there's no way he is ever going anywhere without it again. He steps out into the rain, his very own umbrella shield charm keeping the rain off of his head and gets into the Ministry sanctioned vehicle that is waiting for him outside his flat. Hermione grins at him as she drives away to the scene of the crime.

"Glad to be back at work?" she asks him the moment he gets into the car.

"Fuck yes. You know I hate bedrest."

The conversation pauses for a moment, before, "So, Lucius Malfoy, huh?" There's a knowing smirk on her face when he turns to look at her, and he can't feel anything but relief knowing that she accepts him just as he is.

He grins and counters with, "So, Pansy then?"

She flushes and immediately looks away. "Well, you know..." she trails off, looking slightly embarrassed.

Harry laughs and pats her head. "I know. She's persistent. She probably wore you down." His grin gets bigger.

Hermione only laughs and nudges him with her elbow. "Oh, hush you!" She smiles and keeps driving.

When they get to the crime scene, Harry is told to wait on one of the benches or something; when they need him, they will send someone to fetch him. He doesn't mind in the least, he's just happy to be back to work in some way, even if it is small and insignificant. Just the smell and feel of a crime scene brings back the rush he feels every time he works a case, and he smiles widely as he makes his way to the outskirts of the field. The rain is only getting heavier as time wears on, but not even that can stop his good mood. Especially not now, when he has finally remembered to bring his blasted wand.

The sound of apparition comes from behind him and he turns around expecting to see Hermione or Draco or some DMLE worker come to fetch him. Instead, he sees Lucius, running full speed through the pouring rain, his robes drenched and his hatless head dripping with rain, his hair turning tangled and wild in a way Harry has never seen it before.

It hits him then and causes him to freeze in shock; Lucius doesn't have his cane.

Lucius doesn't have his cane. Which means he doesn't. Have. His fucking. Wand.

Holy shit.

Lucius pants for air, trying to catch his breath, before he pushes his hair out of his face and stares in wonder at Harry, like he's some sort of miracle. Harry barely allows himself to take in the fact that the other man looks tired beyond belief, ragged and worn. He immediately takes a deep breath and says, "Lucius, I-,"

He's cut off by Lucius saying, "Harry, I'm so sorry. Merlin, how will you ever forgive me?" his voice is a broken wail as he wrings his hands. Despite the rain, Harry can tell he's crying, though which drops are tears and which are rain is impossible to tell.

He shakes his head and pulls Lucius's restless hands into his own. "Lucius, there's nothing to apologize for." Lucius sags against him, and Harry hugs him, holding onto him as tightly as possible. "I love you so much, Lucius Malfoy." He says it with such conviction, like it's the only truth in the universe that matters. Like it's so obvious, a statement of fact equal to the rain is wet and the sun rises in the east. And for Harry it is; it's the only truth that matters in this moment, the only truth he has left to share that Lucius doesn't already know.

"Say it again," he demands, his arms tightening around Harry, his body completely still.

"I love you, Lucius Malfoy. I fucking love you."

Lucius draws back slightly, but leaves his arms around Harry's shoulders, to examine his face. He stares intently at Harry for long moments, assessing and processing what he finds there. And then he leans forwards slowly as if making sure Harry is real and isn't going to disappear. Harry waits patiently, and when Lucius's lips are but an inch away surges forward.

A silent gasp escapes Lucius at the suddenness of the contact, and he presses their lips together in a desperate attempt to convey his thoughts and feelings. The umbrella charm fails in the heat of the moment, forgotten completely as the two share their first kiss. The rain sprinkles down upon them from above, only succeeding in pushing them even closer together. The kiss is desperation and hope, it's fear and love. It's two wonderful, beautiful forces of nature colliding. It's esoteric and it's absolution, and neither Harry nor Lucius are able to stop themselves from falling just that little bit

Harry nor Lucius are able to stop themselves from falling just that little bit further.

"Oh, gross."

The two pull apart and turn to look at Ron and Draco who both look absolutely disgusted.

"Yeah, I didn't need to see that. Ever." Ron shudders, before clapping Draco on the back. "Well, looks like you're officially part of the family, Draco. Be prepared for the annual Weasley Christmas sweater."

Draco's nose wrinkles. "Why?" he whines as he and Ron turn back to the crime scene and leave. "Why me?"

Ron snorts. "Suck it up, you prat. Besides, I think it's hilarious that your mum and dad are now gonna have to spend time at the Burrow. Oh hell, Mum's gonna have kittens when she finds out! Abort! Abort!"

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