When Draco woke the next morning, they were no longer just cuddling. Instead, he was half-draped over the Gryffindor, his head on Harry's far shoulder, his face turned towards the foot of the bed, with a wonderful view of Harry's morning wood poking proudly up out of the flap of his boxer-briefs. The underwear wasn't a style he particularly approved of, but they were better than the loose, shapeless, baggy style of underwear he'd seen one or two Muggleborns wear. Why were they so ashamed of their bodies that they wanted to hide their form? Were they, perhaps, misshapen?
He lay there admiring Harry's erection, then tinted a bit as he remembered where that beautiful column of flesh had been, and how good it had felt. He wouldn't admit it to anyone, but it had taken an effort of will not to walk tenderly the day before. He could still feel it a little bit, but instead of making him leery of a repeat performance, he was in danger of mounting Harry right then and there, and slipping that tool into himself again. A couple of things stopped him. For one, he wasn't lubed, and would wake Harry if he went looking for some; but the most important reason was that he wanted Harry to be fully cooperating. He wanted their relationship to be more than sex, as well, and that meant getting to know each other. If they started with sex, they might never get past it.
"You called me 'love' last night," came Harry's voice, just as Draco had decided to give that tool a few gentle strokes, and he felt the Gryffindor's hand start stroking his back.
"Did I?" Draco teased lightly, foregoing the experience he'd been thinking of - for now. "Must have been dreaming."
"You, or me?"
"You, of course. I wouldn't dream of calling you 'love'," he said, and chuckled at his small joke.
Harry swatted the blond's shoulder lightly in retaliation.
"Ouch! You beast," Draco accused, lifting himself up enough that he could turn his head and aim a pretend glare at the boy under him.
Harry chuckled. "You seemed pretty comfortable, there," he said.
Draco laid his head back down. "Mm-hm. I was enjoying the scenery."
"Scene- Draco!" Face burning, Harry pushed the blond off him, and frantically rearranged himself until he was decently covered, although it didn't hide his condition.
Draco was rolling on the bed, giggling (masculinely, according to him) at Harry's reaction.
Harry glared at him in embarrassment, and then he started grinning widely. "I see I'm not the only one," he observed.
Draco's laughter subsided, and he studied the dark-haired young man grinning at him, a small smile gracing his face. "Like what you see?" he asked coyly.
Harry nodded, suddenly serious. "Very much so," he said softly.
"Harry," Draco said, matching Harry's mood, "don't you find this a bit odd, that we're so comfortable with each other so quickly?"
The Gryffindor thought for a moment, and then said, "It is, isn't it? I was almost ready to throttle you when you showed up... What? Just night before last? So much has happened." He thought for a moment more. "Must be the magic. After all, we're practically married, according to Snape."
"And Professor Snape would appreciate it if you two would stop lolling about!" came that worthy's voice. Fortunately for Harry and Draco's modesty, the bed curtains were still drawn. "There are things that must be talked about: plans to be made! So get your arses out of bed! I'll see you in the Great Hall in half an hour."
Two very surprised young men heard a door shut - very firmly.
"I think we forgot to ward the door last night," Harry said quietly.
"I don't think that would have stopped him," Draco replied in the same tones.
Harry cocked his head as he studied Draco's face."You're probably right," he finally said - then attacked his bedmate with all eight fingers and both thumbs, claiming, "Tickle attack!"
A very shocked Draco Malfoy tried ineffectually to fend the boy off, but he was laughing too hard. When Harry finally let up, he glared at him. "Why did you do that?" he demanded, face flushed, and breathing hard..
"Look at us. No more morning wood!" Harry said, grinning. "Besides; it was fun!"
"Remind me, someday, to teach you what fun is," the Slytherin grumped. "It is not about just about making me piss myself!"
"I'm sorry," Harry said, laughing. "I'll make it up to you when we go shopping, okay?"
Draco shot him an annoyed look, got out of bed, and went to the toilet. Harry used the shower, and was surprised to find Draco standing outside the stall awaiting his turn, when he got out. He was a bit embarrassed, but tried to think of it as nothing more than the dorm showers or the Quidditch dressing room showers. But it was different. This was a young man he had been intimate with, and wanted to be intimate with again. But he tried to be casual anyway, and smiled at the blond as they passed each other. He was relieved to receive a tentative, shy smile, back.
At breakfast, Snape was in a sour mood, which was explained when he said not one word, but let Dumbledore do all the talking. He must have been under orders.
"Now, boys," Dumbledore began, "I'm quite sure you realize some of the implications of what you've done, but I wonder if you realize... "
"We're bound for life," Harry interrupted. "Draco explained the main points to me before I agreed to anything. Of course then I was expecting a vassal that I'd have to take care of the rest of my life; not a possible life partner."
At those last words, Draco ducked his head a fraction, then raised it proudly. He wasn't sure that it could happen, or last if it did, but he wanted the position of being Harry's life partner.
"And you know-"
Again Harry interrupted. "I know that Lucius, Voldemort, and possibly the whole body of Death Eaters will be after us, yes. But Voldemort, at least, is foiled. He'll exact vengeance if he can, but he won't have Draco bound to him. The only thing I want to know is, can you, and will you, help us?"
Dumbledore sat back and folded his hands together, index fingers steepled and touching his lower lip as he studied the two young men before him. Finally he spoke, in an uncharacteristically frank and forthright manner. "Professor Snape and I talked about this for several hours last evening. To begin with; you, Draco, need to file for emancipation, so your father no longer has any legal rights regarding you. Hopefully he won't have anyone watching that portion of the Ministry, and won't interfere until it's too late. If necessary, Professor Snape, here, can sign and witness any papers. Then the two of you need to get married."
Two sets of eyes, one green, one grey, looked at him in astonishment. Snape looked like he was torn between glaring at the headmaster, and expressing almost sadistic amusement at the boys' plight.
"You need to have an explanation for why you're always together, and since neither of you is likely to marry anyway... I'm not mistaken, am I?" the old man asked. The hint of uncertainty was so faint that Harry almost missed it.
Draco decided to handle this one. "I, at least, am not likely to engender children with a female," he said, making eye contact with the green-eyed young man beside him for permission to say more. Receiving an almost imperceptible nod, he continued. "And Harry has indicated an interest in being with me, but we hardly know each other! We just decided, last night, to try to be boyfriends. And now you want us to marry?"
"It would provide legal protection to back up the magical protection you already have," Dumbledore replied.
Looking at Draco, Harry said, "I... He has a point, Draco. And we're already bound. What could it hurt?"
Draco gave the Gryffindor an obscure look, then sighed and gave in. "I'd always envisioned romance when I was involved in a proposal; either giving or receiving. But neither of us is proposing," he said, giving the headmaster a glare, "it's being proposed for us." He looked at Harry. "I'm not at all sure this is a good idea relationship-wise, Harry, but if you want it, I'll go along with it."
"I wish we had time to become sure, Draco, but it's just a formality - a legal piece of paper. We're already far more bound than that can do, and we can still follow our own plan of action regarding each other afterward, if it would make you feel better." A glint of mischievous humour started showing in his eyes, then he said, "After all; we've already had the wedding night."
This occasioned a short outburst of laughter from both men (although Snape's was more of a snort), and caused Draco to tint slightly as he glared at Harry; but there was little he could say that wouldn't make it worse.
Harry took pity on him and pulled him into a hug, so Draco could hide his face. And the Slytherin did, but not before he slapped Harry's upper arm for embarrassing him. It was hardly enough to even sting, but Harry would have accepted it as his just due had it been much harder, and more painful.
The Gryffindor thought it about time he broached another subject that was rather pressing for both himself and the blond. "Professor," he said, addressing Dumbledore, "Draco and I are in dire need of clothing. All we have is what we're wearing. Is there somewhere we could safely shop? There are other schools of magic, so presumably there are other magical communities, which means shopping must be had. They can't all be going to Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade," he reasoned.
Professor Dumbledore nodded. "Indeed there are, but - no other clothing?"
"Professor Snape destroyed everything we couldn't carry," Harry explained.
"Oh?" The headmaster was now looking at a decidedly uncomfortable-looking potions master. Turning back to Harry and Draco, he said, "Then you'll definitely need to replenish your wardrobes, and other supplies. I'll see what can be arranged."
"Thank you, Professor," Harry said. Draco echoed him, comfortable in Harry's arms, but he had turned his head to listen to, and participate in, the conversation.
That evening, Draco filled out the emancipation paperwork, with the headmaster's guidance when necessary, and gave it into his care.
Three days later they were back from Nice, France, which held the French version of London's Diagon Alley. Dumbledore had, somehow, convinced Snape to escort the boys on their shopping trip, and they had been under strict orders both to behave themselves, and to report any poor behavior on the professor's part. Amazingly, Snape's cutting remarks and impatient sneers were few; few enough that Harry and Draco decided not to report them.
Once Draco had been assured that Harry could afford it, he had very enthusiastically got stuck into the job of outfitting his husband-to-be. Harry wound up with a dozen fine Italian dress shirts, six pair of dress slacks, two pair of fine Italian leather shoes, four dress robes in various styles and colours, four school robes and two fine woolen capes, six casual robes, a dressing robe, a bathrobe, two dozen pair of silk underwear in various colours and styles (some of which made Harry blush), two dozen pair of socks, casual clothing and footwear of various sorts, and various and sundry pieces of outerwear, as well as all sorts of grooming accessories.
Draco had even pressed the Gryffindor into getting his hair styled. Harry's hair was soft, but extremely thick and grew in different directions, so neat wasn't really an option, but 'sexily tousled', was. He was advised to grow his hair out; shoulder-length would allow his hair to look much more in control, and he could pull it into a 'tail' for those times when he needed to keep it out of his eyes, such as during Quidditch.
To Harry's surprise, however, Draco, always having had more money than he knew what to do with, now felt rather like a leech on Harry and would have limited himself to the bare necessities, had the Gryffindor not insisted otherwise. "You're to be my wedded partner, Draco," he had said, "and I will not have you looking as though I neglect or mistreat you!" If Harry had said what he truly wished to, that he felt Draco deserved the best, he was afraid the Slytherin would have ignored him. But he knew Draco would pay attention to matters of social appearance and propriety, so now the blond's wardrobe was as extensive as his own.
Most of their purchases had been put away by the house elves by the time they arrived. Those few items that had to be tailored, or were to be custom-made, would arrive a few days later.
But the best was when they got back and found that the headmaster had called in a couple of favours, rushing Draco's paperwork through the system. Draco was now fully emancipated.
When asked, the boys had talked it over, and decided to have their wedding the day before school came in session, before the other pupils arrived. They figured it would save trouble if they were to present everyone with a fait accompli. There were to be no guests. Dumbledore would officiate, and the teachers would witness the ceremony. Harry was sure that many people would feel slighted, but they could always have another ceremony at another time; if and when they felt they were ready to marry, and not just as a legal measure.
And so it was. When Dumbledore said, "By the power invested in me by the Ministry and by custom, I now pronounce you wedded life partners," it rather fell flat, emotionally. There was no great joy, only a bit of self-consciousness and shyness, but Harry did gently hug and kiss his co-husband, smiling at him in reassurance. Draco clung to him, hoping they had done the right thing. Then they had a bit of cake and coffee that the house elves had provided, and made their way to their rooms.