Lex stared at the odd-looking creature standing knee-high beside Draco in the bedroom of his – their Chelsea home. The illustrations in the Muggle Guide to Wizardry didn’t do it justice. Bulging blue eyes and bat ears made up most of its head. It had long limbs on a tiny body, dressed in a striped pillowcase and rope belt. “This is a house elf?”
“Yes,” Draco said. “Her name is Twinkles. Twinkles,” he looked down at her, “this is Master Luthor. You’re to do everything he says.”
“Yes, sir, Master Malfoy, sir,” Twinkles squeaked. “It would be an honor, sir.”
“Good. Go unpack,” Draco instructed. “You’ll make your bed in the attic. Hang the Malfoy family portraits up there, as well.”
“Twinkles is going, sir!” Twinkles said, and vanished with a pop.
Lex blinked at the empty spot Twinkles had been standing. “That’s going to take some getting used to.”
“You won’t even know she’s here, unless you call her or she has a message for you.” Draco walked into the closet, stripping off his sweater. “There’s an obscuring charm on all my belongings to prevent Mrs. Rubenstein from examining things too closely. I’ll have to cast a counter charm on you so you won’t be effected.”
Lex came to an abrupt halt inside the closet doorway. The side he had emptied for Draco’s clothing was completely filled. Long robes of various colors, mainly dark, hung neatly on the rods beside pale dress shirts and trousers. The shelves held sweaters, folded casual shirts, and running clothes. Dress shoes, gym shoes, and tall boots lined the shoe shelf. Lex suspected the drawers in the other room were filled with underclothes.
“I was mistaken in thinking we would need all weekend to unpack,” Lex said wryly, leaning against the doorframe with his hands in his pockets.
Draco tossed his sweater over the valet and smoothed his white button-down shirt. “It would’ve taken longer without Twinkles. Most of my stuff will remain boxed in the attic, anyway.”
“What about your furniture?” Lex asked.
“Shrunk and boxed, except for my desk and a secure cabinet, which are in the office by now,” Draco said. He looked seriously at Lex. “I have to ask you to stay out of the cabinet. Its contents are confidential and pertain to work.”
Lex tipped his head in acquiescence. “I know you’ll extend the same courtesy with my computer.”
“That won’t be difficult, considering I have only rudimentary training in Muggle machinery,” Draco said. He pulled his wand from his trousers pocket and approached Lex. Lex straightened and Draco pressed the tip of the wand to Lex’s forehead. “Obscuro compaere.”
Lex felt a brief itching where the wand touched him, before Draco put it away. “There. Now the obscuring charm won’t affect you. Don’t be surprised if you begin noticing people in robes walking on the streets or places that you sworn hadn’t been there. Best you ignore them all, unless I’m with you.”
“Any other rules I should be following?” Lex said drolly with a lift of his brows.
“Yes.” Draco draped his arms over Lex’s shoulders. “We will have sex daily and twice on Sundays. You will let me suck your cock whenever I want. I want snogs every morning, but not before brushing our teeth.”
Lex slid his hands around Draco’s waist, drawing him closer. “Sounds reasonable,” he said, lifting his chin a fraction.
“I thought so,” Draco murmured, and lowered his mouth to Lex’s.
Lex opened under Draco, inviting him to deepen the kiss. Lips parted, he sucked lightly on the intimately stroking tongue, leaning into the embrace. The intensity of the kiss was tempered, unhurried, need soothed by the fact that neither of them was going anywhere. This was home.
Lex looked up from the computer as Draco ricochet off the office doorjamb in his rush. Draco’s hair was escaping its tie and his dull gray robe was wrinkled. He stuck the apple in his hand into his mouth and rubbed his shoulder as he hurried to his desk.
Lex watched with unconcealed humor as Draco pulled one of the desk drawers completely free and dumped its contents on the pristine desktop. He bit into the apple, taking it from his mouth to chew, as he sorted through the pile on the desk with his free hand. He came up with a pair of glasses, thick-rimmed and even thicker-glassed, and jammed them on his face.
The apple was set on the edge of the desk and Draco turned to the dark wood cabinet behind him. “Pax nullum.” The scrolled doors opened with the password and Draco pulled them apart. Lex caught a glimpse of shelves filled with scrolls, books, bottles, boxes, and other things. Draco grabbed a battered briefcase, an abacus, and a handful of scrolls.
The abacus and scrolls went inside the briefcase, along with quills and ink. Draco closed the cabinet, pulled his wand from his belt, and tapped the top of his head. “Colorocoma suffuscus.”
Draco’s white-blonde hair turned dirty brown in color. He stuck the wand in his belt, shut the briefcase, grabbed it and the apple, and finally looked at Lex from behind his coke-bottle glasses, which made him look bug-eyed. “I’m off. Last minute assignment.”
He disappeared with an apple-wave and a pop.
Lex shook his head, lips curving in unfettered bemusement, and went back to work.
“No. No. Tell Groening that I’ll be there in three hours and I expect the projected damage report to be in my hand the second I arrive,” Lex said into the phone wedged between his shoulder and ear. He emerged from the closet carrying several hanging dress shirts, trousers, and suit coats. He laid them on the bed. “And I’d better not find that anyone has talked to the press. See that it hasn’t.”
Lex disconnected the call and shoved the cell phone in his pocket. Draco sat on the other side of the bed near the pillows, watching Lex pack hurriedly. Draco helped by staying out of the way and keeping quiet so as not to distract Lex, just as Lex did for him when he was in a work-related crunch.
Lex disappeared into the bathroom and returned a few moments later with a shower kit. It joined a pair of shoes at the bottom of his suit bag. The clothes went in next and the bag zipped closed. Lex left the room once more, coming back with a silver briefcase full of papers and folders, to which he added the book from his bedside table. He snapped the briefcase shut and looked at Draco. “I don’t know how long I’ll be gone.”
“That’s all right.” Draco half-smiled with melancholy humor. “We’ve seen less of each other since I moved in than in the months prior. I’m becoming used to it.”
Lex opened his mouth to speak and hesitated. He appeared torn about saying whatever it was, and Draco forestalled him with a raised hand.
“No worries, pet,” Draco said. “I’m not some clingy bint that demands all your attention. Go, do your executive arse-kicking. I’ll give you a good seeing to when you return.”
Lex picked up his briefcase and suit bag, rounded the bed, and kissed Draco’s upturned mouth. “Bye. I’ll call tonight.”
“Bye.” Draco watched as Lex left their bedroom. A few moments later he heard the front door open and close, leaving him alone.
Lex’s skin was the color of buttermilk in the soft light from the bedside table lamp. Flecks of cinnamon freckles sprinkled his shoulders, back, buttocks, and legs. Spread prone on the pale cotton sheets, arms crooked by his head on a pillow and another pillow under his hips, his breath hitched in anticipation when Draco spread his nether cheeks.
The copper hairs exposed, lining the cleft down to Lex’s balls, sent a surge of arousal directly to Draco’s cock. Draco had a serious fetish for redheads. He brushed his thumb against the wiry hairs, snagging them on the whorls of his fingerprint. Lex’s muscles jumped and clenched in sensitive response.
Draco shifted between Lex’s spread thighs, kneeling back and lowering his mouth to Lex. Hands holding Lex open, he licked a stripe from balls to back, earning a hiss and a wiggle. Smiling wolfishly, he pressed a sloppy kiss to the base of Lex’s spine before sliding lower, layering quick kisses down the shadowy cleft, his lips and nose tickled by the hairs.
He reached Lex’s balls, opened his mouth wide, and took them in. Saliva dribbled from his overfull mouth while he tugged gently at the sac. He slurped obscenely as he drew back, releasing Lex. His wet chin slid against Lex’s slicked skin as he dragged his tongue upwards.
The coarse hairs scraped his tongue and he paused to tug lightly at them with his lips. The muscles under his hands quivered when he reached the puckered flesh that was his goal. He turned his head and nipped Lex’s rounded buttock. Lex shifted his legs in anticipation, drawing his knees higher on either side of the pillow under his hips, opening himself further with unspoken invitation.
Draco dove in without hesitation, his thoughts blanked by lust. He burnished a kiss on the wrinkled hole before laving it with the flat of his tongue. He licked at the opening with a swirl, drew back, and thrust right in the center.
“Uhngh,” Lex moaned inarticulately. Draco buried his face between Lex’s arse-cheeks, breathing deep the strong scent of musk and soap. Lex tasted like skin and tightened around Draco’s reflexively.
Draco flickered his tongue in and out and around. He rubbed his saliva wet chin with his hand, drew his arm underneath himself, and grasped his own aching cock. Lex’s writhing became rhythmic against the pillow. Draco pulled at his cock with his damp hand, riding Lex’s rocking hips, listening hungrily to Lex’s hitching, panting breaths and the scrape of his fingernails on the pillowcase as he clawed the pillow under his head.
Lex’s scalp flushed deep pink, the muscles in his neck and shoulders tensing visibly, and he climaxed with a raspy gurgle. He tremored under Draco, vicing around Draco’s tongue. Draco stilled, waiting until Lex went limp suddenly, sucking in large gulps of air.
Draco knelt up and scooted forward. His fist worked hard at his cock, eyes trained on the shiny, wet red hairs matting Lex’s cleft. The fingers of his other hand tightened on Lex’s buttock, holding him open, and Draco shot his load across Lex’s upraised bottom.
Shuddering, he knelt with his head bowed, panting in the aftermath. Eventually, he wiped his hand on the sheets and his wet chin against his shoulder. He crawled over Lex’s leg and collapsed onto the bed beside him.
Lex shifted his legs, tossing the pillow under his hips off the bed. He didn’t move anymore than that, other than to blink lazily while looking at Draco with half-lidded, pleasure-hazed eyes over his curled hand on the pillow. Draco reached over and lightly clasped Lex’s wrist. Lex smiled.
“Hmm. Harry Potter. Isn’t that your friend?”
Draco looked up from his copy of The Goblin Journal of Finance at Lex’s question. “Sadly, that is true. Why?”
They were in their pajamas in bed, the house locked up for the night. Lex tilted the hardcover Twentieth Century Wizarding History book, a Christmas gift from Draco, so that Draco could see the page. Draco shifted against the pillows propped up on the headboard, leaning closer to Lex, their bare shoulders touching. He skimmed the passage Lex was reading. “Ah, the Final Confrontation.”
Draco blanked his face and returned to his side of the bed. Inside, his gut twisted. A moment later, the memories came back fast and furious, and as clear as if it had happened yesterday and not more than ten years ago.
“Then, it was your friend that fought against Voldemort?” Lex said.
“Yes,” Draco answered shortly.
“All by himself?” Lex sounded skeptical. “It says here that there were twenty Death Eaters as well as those Dementors.”
Draco stared down at the magazine on his lap, but he
didn’t see it. His focus was
turned inward, remembering another time and another place.
“The Dementors were chased away before we landed.”
Lex paused a moment before softly prompting, “We?”
“Potter needed a ride.” Draco closed the magazine and set it on the bedside table. His knees rose under the bedcovers but he refrained from clasping his arms around them in a defensive posture.
Lex waited, the air becoming thick with tension in the bedroom. “What happened?” he asked eventually, curiosity tempered with concern.
Draco hesitated, then the words came, though it felt like it was someone else speaking through him. “He found me that Tuesday and said he needed the best flier in school to take him to Cethegus. I remember it was a Tuesday because I was in the Quidditch locker room polishing my broom. I always polished my broom on Tuesdays.”
Harry had looked determined, his jaw set and green eyes hard behind his glasses. The scar on his forehead had been vividly red. “I was his choice. He couldn’t fly or Apparate because of a grounding spell Dumbledore put on him. I knew the ‘best flier’ bit was crap and called him on it, so he told me the real reason.”
Draco smiled humorlessly. “See, everyone, including and especially Potter, thought I was a Death Eater. The name Malfoy was synonymous with the Dark Lord, linked irrevocably during the Second War. Most wizards still make that connection.
“Back then, they would’ve been right.”
Draco shook his head at past foolishness. “I was seventeen. What did I know about war? I was sheltered from the realities of it at Hogwarts and at home. I ran my gob about the glorious ideologies of You-Know-Who and the deaths I read about in the news didn’t affect me in any way. I didn’t know those people. My father’s brief incarceration during that time – caused by Potter, I may add – only served to make me furious and support His side even more,” he said.
“Then, Potter came and asked me to deliver him into the Dark Lord’s hands. ‘If you’re already a Death Eater, you’ll get high props. If you’re not a Death Eater, they won’t kill you and you’ll still get high props. It’s a win-win situation for you,’ he said,” Draco told Lex.
“So, we went, because I hated Potter anyway. He shot off three patronuses and other curses from the air, causing the Dementors to flee and me to dodge the spells aimed at us. There were, in fact, twenty-three Death Eaters as well as the Dark Lord gathered in a cemetery in Cethegus.”
Draco’s fingers curled in the bedcovers, the events unfolding in his mind. “I remember Potter jumped off the broom before I landed and the Death Eaters stopped firing curses. Then, the Dark Lord addressed me, thanking me for bringing him Potter and dismissing me. And I left.”
Silence descended heavily in the bedroom again. Draco saw himself flying away, leaving Potter standing tall and alone against the vilest, most powerful dark wizard of their time.
“How far did you get?” Lex asked quietly.
“Too far.” Draco closed his eyes and pinched the bridge of his nose. “No matter what my beliefs, Potter’s death would’ve been squarely on my shoulders. And I couldn’t—” He swallowed past the lump in his throat. “I knew Potter. I fought with him every single day. I knew that he chewed his left thumbnail when he was bored and that he flew like he had wings, and that saying anything about his parents made him grab his wand. I knew his hair still stuck up even in the rain, and that he’s blind without his glasses but that didn’t stop him from hitting you. I knew him.”
Draco dropped his hand and looked at Lex. Shame, self-loathing, and old fear reflected in his eyes. “I turned back and flew high, so I wouldn’t get hit before I could do anything. The Death Eaters, for some reason, were fighting each other. I later learned a spy had imperioed a few of the Death Eaters and was controlling them,” he said.
“Potter was on the ground, writhing at the point of the Dark Lord’s wand. I knew I would have to get closer to do anything and could maybe cast one spell before I was cursed myself. There was no guarantee I would hit, either. So, I forgot the wand, aimed my broom, and shot out of the sky as fast as I could fly.
“I rammed into the Dark Lord like a bludger, knocking him down and sending me arse-over-tit. I hit the ground hard and broke my arm.” Draco lifted his left arm briefly. “One of the Death Eaters came running towards me, and I managed to roll out of the path of the Killing Curse.
“I nearly blacked out from the pain. The bones were sticking out and I’d rolled directly on my arm. I thought for certain I was going to die; the Death Eater had to have been about to recast Avada Kevrada and I was in too much pain to move again.
“But then, there was a deafening crack, as if the very earth had broken. I was on my side on the ground and I saw the air ripple as a shock wave rolled above me and cut like a blade at chest height through anyone standing.”
Draco stopped a moment and took several, measured breaths. His mind had blurred the memories of the bloody aftermath in self-preservation.
“That was the end of the fight,” he continued in a subdued voice. “I moved eventually. I was unable to hear a single sound, but I could see just fine. All the Death Eaters were felled in one way or another. Same with the Dark Lord. And Harry Potter.”
Draco plucked at the bedcovers, a frown between his brows as his memories became even hazier. “I remember Potter was dead, but apparently not dead enough, since he’s walking around now. I know I transfigured a marking beacon before somehow flying back to Hogwarts with Potter’s body on my broom. I had to have reached the school, because the next memory I have is waking up in the Hospital Wing,” he said.
“And that’s it.” Draco glanced at Lex, lips curved in a self-effacing manner. “I never told anyone that story, and obviously neither has Potter since the historical accounts are so vague. I have a feeling Headmaster Dumbledore knew, because he offered me a place to stay after graduation and later, along with Potter, got me a job as an Unspeakable within the Ministry.”
Silence settled in the room once more. There was nothing more to say or that Draco wanted to hear. The years after the Final Confrontation filtered through Draco’s mind, some good, some miserable, and some—
Lex took his hand, entwined their fingers, and went back to reading the book.
—Some quite perfect.
Draco removed his gloves, swept his stocking cap off, and combed back his damp hair. He followed Lex into the house. Clasping his hands, the cap in his grip, he raised his arms above his head, stretching further after their morning run. He shed his running jacket and dropped it, his hat, and gloves, along with Lex’s outside garments on the chair in the entry hall. Their trainers squeaked on the floor as they headed for the dining room.
It was a cold morning. Draco’s nose and cheeks were numb and a glance in the hall mirror showed his ruddy complexion. He was looking forward to hot coffee after drinking the required water.
Lex stopped walking suddenly in the dining room doorway and Draco bumped into him. His hands caught Lex’s arms, steadying them both. “Sorry.”
Lex didn’t reply to him though. “Hello, Dad.”
“Lex.” Lionel Luthor sat comfortably in Lex’s seat at the table, dressed in a full Muggle suit and tie at six o’clock in the morning. He folded the newspaper he had been reading, set it on the table, and gave Draco a sizing look. “And guest. I don’t believe we have met.”
Lex stiffened under Draco’s hands at Lionel’s derisive undertone. Draco caressed Lex’s arms as he lowered his hands and lightly urged Lex into the dining room.
“Draco Malfoy,” Draco said, sidestepping Lex but not approaching Lionel. “A pleasure. Pardon if I do not offer my hand, but as you can see we have just returned.”
“Normal people find it polite not to show up unannounced before nine,” Lex said snidely.
“My apologies for thinking I’m welcome in my son’s home.” Even though Lionel spoke plainly, the sarcasm was clear. “The time change has played havoc with propriety.”
“Then you won’t stand on propriety as we clean up.” Lex about-faced and motioned for Draco to precede him. Draco inclined his head politely to Lionel and allowed himself to be ushered out.
“You’ve obviously not told your father about me,” Draco observed once they were behind the locked door of their bedroom.
“It’s none of his business,” Lex said shortly. He shed his running clothes with jerky movements and practically stalked into the bathroom.
Draco followed, stripping down to his y-fronts. He leaned against the sink, speaking loudly as Lex started the shower. “How do you want to do this, then? Are we flatmates? Casual lovers? A one-night fuck that overstayed my welcome?”
“Don’t play the wounded card with me.”
Draco glared at Lex through the frosted glass shower door. “You’d best rethink your response.”
Lex was silent. Draco fumed. He didn’t move from his spot, glowering at Lex as he shut off the water and emerged from the shower.
Lex took a navy bath towel from the wall shelf, dried himself, and wrapped it around his waist. He slapped on deodorant, then folded his arms and glowered back at Draco. “What do you want me to do?”
“You tell me,” Draco said. “He’s your father.”
“He’ll have you investigated,” Lex said.
“I can erase his memory,” Draco responded. “Or, I can obtain a Muggle back-history through my Department.”
“It won’t hold up. He’ll know it’s fake and then there’ll be questions.”
“Lex,” Draco sighed. “I can be a nobody if that’ll be easier.”
Lex looked skeptical. “You don’t care?”
“No,” Draco said. “I don’t care what your father thinks. I only care about what you want.”
“And if I imply you’re a whore and want you to leave?”
Draco shrugged. “Then I’ll go after I shower and you can send Twinkles to fetch me when he’s gone. I’m not a woman that needs to be coddled. And it’s not like I’ve introduced you to my parents, and they’re in the attic.”
“Your parents are in the attic?” Lex said in surprise.
“Yes. Well, their portraits are, along with my other relatives, which is close to the same thing only easier to ignore,” Draco replied. “But we’re not concerned with my family at the moment. What are you doing about yours?”
Lex lowered his folded arms. “Are you sure you don’t care what I tell him about you?”
Draco shook his head. “I love you, not him. His opinion doesn’t matter to me one knut.”
A slow smile bloomed on Lex’s face, raising his ears and crinkling his eyes. He crossed to Draco and planted a firm kiss on his lips.
“Shower, get dressed, and join us in the dining room.” Lex pivoted on his bare heel and headed out of the bathroom, saying over his shoulder, “I’ll set up your falsified history later today. I have better contacts. My father won’t find fault with my live-in lover.”
“Are you certain you want to do this?”
“You survived being subjected to my father. It’s only fair that I meet yours,” Lex said, standing at the base of the ladder in the hall. “Besides, I am uncomfortable not knowing the people living in my attic.”
“They’re portraits,” Draco said, adjusting the line of his white button-down shirt. “They’re not really people.”
“Then why are you nervous?” Lex said with a quirk of his lips.
“I’m not nervous.” Draco caught himself patting his neatly tied-back hair and dropped his hand.
“There are certain cultures throughout the world – the Aborigines in Australia, several tribes in Africa, and some natives of Central America – that believe a camera captures your soul in a photograph,” Lex said. “From what I understand, a wizard-portrait actually does this.”
“I don’t know how it works. I only know there are centuries worth of Malfoys about to find fault with every little thing about me.” Draco smiled tightly. “Luckily, I don’t care what they think.”
“Of course not,” Lex agreed readily. He reached out and smoothed Draco’s collar. “Shall we?”
Draco nodded, turned, and climbed the stepladder to the attic.
The attic was a largely empty, sloped-ceilinged room, with a wood floor and no windows. A switch turned on a hanging bulb light. Dust-free boxes were stacked against one side, all Lex’s, and a single trunk with the initials DM scripted on the side rested beside them. A pile of blankets in the corner was where Twinkles made her bed. And along one flat, magically expanded wall, hung the Malfoy family portraits.
Draco had worn Muggle clothing in deference to Lex. He didn’t want to mislead his relatives as to exactly what Lex was, a Muggle. The family was all present in their respective frames, painted in their finest robes, already looking down their aquiline noses at him and Lex. Draco addressed his parents’ side-by-side portraits first, as protocol dictated, and refrained from wiping his sweaty palms on his trousers. “Lex, I’d like you to meet my parents, Lucius and Narcissa Malfoy. Father, Mum, this is Lex Luthor, my significant other.”
“It’s nice to meet you both,” Lex said as though he were talking to real people, not two-dimensional constructs. For a Muggle, Lex continued to amaze Draco with his acceptance of things in the Wizarding world.
Draco shifted closer to Lex, laying a possessive hand briefly on Lex’s lower back, as Lucius surveyed them both with cold, gray eyes.
“A Muggle,” Lucius said in disbelief. Narcissa pursed her lips. “Is this some sort of joke, Draco?”
“No, father,” Draco said.
“It must be. You introduce us to a Muggle, a male Muggle at that, and expect us to believe you are involved with him.” Lucius made a sound of derision.
“We are very much involved, Mr. Malfoy,” Lex spoke up. “It is why I wanted to meet Draco’s family.”
“Please, Draco, this has gone on long enough. I do not know what you wished to accomplish, but I am not amused.” Lucius waved his hand at Lex. “Take that filthy creature and be gone.”
“Lex is not filthy,” Draco said icily, taking a threatening half-step forward. “You apologize this instant.”
Lucius’ chin rose and he stared hard at Draco. “Do not take that tone with me, Draco. I am still your father.”
“Which is why I agreed to make proper introductions, for Lex,” Draco said. “Do not make me regret my decision.”
Narcissa’s pinched face grew more so. “You care for him.”
“I do,” Draco confirmed, unhesitant. “A great deal.”
The other portraits’ disgust was palpable. “Hundreds of generations of Malfoys, ended in disgrace,” Lacroimia Malfoy, Draco’s aunt six times removed, said. “It’s appalling.” There was a murmur of agreement among the Malfoy relatives.
“Father,” Draco said, looking squarely at Lucius and ignoring the others. “I am thirty years old and no longer need your approval. However, I trust you to know that I would not embarrass the family name, no matter who I chose to make my life with, and my partner should be afforded all due respect.”
“But, a Muggle?” Lucius persisted. “If I were still alive, there would be none of this foolishness from you.”
“If you were still alive, many things would be different,” Draco said. “But you’re not and my filial respect only goes so far.”
Lucius was silent for a moment, sizing up Draco. Finally, he graced, “Very well, Draco. It is your life. I shall refrain from besmirching your chosen companion.”
“Thank you.” Draco turned to Lex, desire to retreat and regroup evident in his eyes. “Lex, is there anything you’d like to say?”
“No,” Lex said. “I think we’ve taken up enough of your parents’ time.”
“All right.” Draco returned to the wall of portraits. “Father, Mum, everyone. Good day.”
Draco knew, as he and Lex left the attic, that his relatives would travel far and wide spreading gossip about Lex. His relationship wasn’t a secret before, but he tended to keep his private life quiet. Now, everyone would know Draco Malfoy was in a serious relationship with a Muggle.
Draco honestly didn’t mind.
Wizards, Witches, and Muggle spouses congregated in the lobby of the Sonorous Auditorium during Intermission of the Eidological Choral Society concert. Dressed in resplendent robes, with Lex looking sharp in a tuxedo, Draco made introductions to anyone who asked – and there were plenty of people interested in meeting the Muggle companion of a Malfoy.
“Mrs. Veneer, Lex Luthor,” Draco said for the hundredth time. “Lex, may I introduce Mrs. Dorthea Veneer, an old friend of the Malfoy family.”
“Mrs. Veneer,” Lex acknowledged politely.
“How do you do?” Mrs. Veneer said. Dressed in peacock colors, complete with plumage in her gray upswept hair, she peered through her half-spectacles at Lex as if he were a bug. “Are you enjoying the performance?”
“Honestly, I find it to be a trifle boring," he replied. He leaned in, like he was sharing a private joke. “Truly, how many times can one hear La Bella Noche without it becoming tedium.”
Mrs. Veneer warmed up suddenly. “I could not agree less. Do you know Grace La Voca performed Illa Aria merely a month ago?”
“Simply scandalous,” Lex said poshly.
Draco hid his smile as they began chatting like old friends. He didn’t know how Lex did it. Lex had put every person he’d met at ease, from society matrons like Mrs. Veneer to staunch despisers of the name of Malfoy, who’d tried to warn Lex away. Draco, having grown up in high society, could relate to his aristocratic peers, but his snobbishness kept him from being more than polite to others.
“My husband beckons,” Mrs. Veneer said eventually. She patted Lex’s arm. “We shall have to get together for tea sometime.”
“We will” Lex said, and smoothly sent her on her way. He shifted closer to Draco and whispered, “Remind me to be unavoidably occupied at tea time.”
Draco laughed, drawing stares and earning a half-smile from Lex. “I’ll remember.”
“Malfoy, stop laughing. You’re scaring everyone.”
“If they weren’t frightened off by your face, I think they’ll survive.” Draco’s amused grin remained as he addressed Harry, as Harry joined them. He touched Lex’s shoulder briefly. “Potter, you remember Lex.”
“I do. Hello, Lex.” Harry shook Lex’s hand. “I’m surprised to see you both, actually.”
“It’s Lex’s birthday,” Draco said, the first truly honest explanation he’d given all evening. The general public didn’t need to know it was a special occasion. “The concert is my gift.”
Harry looked solemnly at Lex. “I’m sorry.”
Lex chuckled, as Draco scowled. “It’s not too bad,” Lex said. “It took me a while to wrap my mind around the fact that the choral group is comprised of ghosts, but after that, I’ve been enjoying the performance.”
“I’m glad someone is,” Harry said. “The number of bruise marks on my ribs attests to the number of times Hermione’s elbowed me awake.”
Draco smirked at Hermione Weasley’s name. “Couldn’t find a date again, Potter?”
“By choice, again,” Harry stated. “You know how The Daily Prophet, The Quibbler, and The Tattler are. I don’t want anyone’s name linked with mine. It’s bad enough I have to come to these things for publicity obligations. ‘Savior Supports the Arts.’” He looked pointedly at Draco. “I have half a mind to tell what really happened that day, if only to get me out of doing these.”
“Why don’t you?” Lex asked abruptly. Draco tensed and Lex laid a hand on his back. “Or do you like having something to hold over Draco? It’s obvious, since he’s not mentioned in any of the accounts I’ve read, that he doesn’t wish to be recognized.”
Harry shrugged, seemingly unoffended. “Malfoy told me not to say anything, so I haven’t.”
“That’s the only reason?” Lex said skeptically.
Now, Harry’s eyes narrowed. “I don’t know about you, but when a friend requests something from me, I give it without conditions. If you’ll excuse me.”
Harry walked off, an irritated set to his shoulders. Draco waited until he was out of earshot before rounding on Lex. “What the hell did you do that for?” he hissed, well aware that they were in public.
“I don’t know what you mean.” Lex was confused, though it barely showed.
“I do not appreciate your questioning the veracity of my friends.”
Lex’s jaw tightened. “I wanted to make sure he wasn’t blackmailing you.”
“Do you think I’d be on companionable terms with someone blackmailing me?” Draco said in a low, angry voice.
“Then, why did you do that?”
“Because I refuse to let the person I love be used or hurt in any way,” Lex ground out in reply.
Draco felt a surge to his heart and his loins. He hadn’t realized that a near-admission of love from Lex would affect him; it was just a word. He was still peeved, but now he desperately wanted to strip Lex starkers and swallow him whole.
Draco stepped closer, invading Lex’s personal space, and murmured gruffly, “I love you, too.”
Surprise flickered in Lex’s sharp blue eyes before a smile bloomed on his face. Draco couldn’t help but echo it, and they stood there, staring at each other like besotted fools until the lights dimmed briefly, signaling the end of Intermission.
“Want to go home?” Lex asked, as people filtered past them and returned to the auditorium.
“Yes.” Draco took Lex’s hand, entwining their fingers. “Definitely.”
Lex sat back on his heels, drinking in the sight of his lover on the bed before him. Pale blue veins crisscrossed beneath the surface of Draco’s winter-pale skin that glowed preternaturally in the lamplight. His fine, white-blonde hair contrasted with the dark green pillowcase and draped like silk over his collarbones. Half-lidded gray eyes watched Lex lustfully, his mouth wet and swollen from rough kisses.
Draco was all planes and angles, whipcord thin and pointed features. His long fingers curled against the bottom sheet on either side of him. Lean muscles stretched along his arms and spread legs, and barely defined his chest and abdomen. His pale pink nipples were peaked. A trail of white-blonde hair arrowed down from his navel, fanned out, and thickened on his groin.
His swollen cock rose from the thatch of pale hair, curved and resting on his lower belly, pulsing steadily with his heartbeat. The flushed crown poked from the foreskin, a pearl of pre-ejaculate beading on the tip. His balls were drawn tight to his body, exposing the faint crease on his perineum that ran downward and disappeared beneath him.
Lex wrapped his hand around Draco’s cock, raised it upright, and bent forward to lick away the pre-come. Bitter and salty, the taste was ten times better than latex. Wizards did not catch and couldn’t transmit Muggle diseases and the use of condoms went by the wayside the night Lex asked Draco to stay.
Draco hissed as Lex licked him again, fingers scratching the bedsheets. Lex swirled his tongue around the hooded crown, kissed the tip, and raised his head slightly. He skimmed the foreskin down with his fist, licked his palm, and gripped Draco’s erection firmly at the base.
“Yes,” Draco groaned, as Lex lowered his mouth once more. “Suck me.”
Draco’s cock slipped between Lex’s lips with familiarity. The cockhead bumped along Lex’s palate, sliding deeper until Lex kissed his fist. His tongue wiggled against the thick vein on the underside of Draco’s shaft. Draco made a choked sound as Lex began bobbing his head, fist sliding up and down the length beneath his mouth. Lex’s lips stretched thin and tight around the hot, heavy cock, saliva escaping his mouth and wetting his hand. His tongue lashed back and forth, the spongy cockhead bumping the back of his palate.
“Merlin, you’re good at this,” Draco said breathily. He cupped Lex’s head with both hands and hooked a leg over Lex’s shoulder.
Lex sucked and jacked at a steady rhythm, Draco’s fingers pushing in counterpoint on his scalp. Messy slurping, tongue-clicks, and pops sounded loud and lewd in the bedroom. Draco’s breathing became rough and his hips twitched under Lex’s ministrations.
Lex looked up the sex-flushed body and saw Draco twisting his head left and right on the pillow. The leg hooked over his shoulder trembled and tensed, pulling him closer. His mouth and fist tightened, head bobbing quicker. He shifted his supporting arm beneath his chest and rubbed the knuckle of his forefinger against Draco’s perineum.
A strangled noise tore from Draco’s throat and he bucked under Lex. Lex stilled his head and hand, allowing Draco to thrust wildly in his grip. Draco’s cock swelled and erupted in Lex’s mouth, thick streams of semen coating his throat. He swallowed what he could, the rest dribbling from between his lips.
Draco went limp and pushed gently at Lex’s head. Lex released him, wiped his mouth with the back of his arm, and leaned his cheek against Draco’s thigh. He tugged lightly at the pale curls surrounding Draco’s spent cock and looked up.
Draco smiled faintly, breathing heavily, one arm propped behind his head on the pillow. He traced his fingers along the curve of Lex’s face. “You’re perfect,” he murmured.
“And still hard,” Lex joked, even as his ears heated at the compliment.
Draco shifted his leg, licked his lips, and his smile grew wolfish. “I can take care of that.”
“I’m home.” Lex heard Draco’s voice drift faintly through the open bedroom doorway. In his pajamas in bed, Lex marked his page, closed the book he was reading, and set it on the bedside table. Outside, a nighttime summer storm beat against the bedroom window.
Lex shifted against the pillows propped against the headboard and adjusted the cotton sheet over his bare legs. He smiled at Draco, who walked with an exhausted shuffle through the door, closing it behind him.
“Hey,” Lex greeted fondly, a feeling of relaxation washing over him. “How was your assignment?”
“Dismal.” Dark circles etched beneath Draco’s eyes. He released the hidden catches of his robes and let the garment fall around his feet. He stepped out of it, and hopped on one foot to remove his boot. “I had to work with someone who despises me because of my name.”
“How long did it take before you hexed him?” Lex asked with a knowing look.
“Her. And four days,” Draco replied. He smirked. “She doesn’t know it was me, though.”
“No chance for retaliation then. Smart.” Lex watched as Draco removed his other boot and socks, and then wandered into the bathroom in his briefs. He heard the sound of Draco’s evening ablutions and the comforting familiarity that had been missing all week returned.
Draco came out of the bathroom, wearing his pajama bottoms, climbed onto the bed, and kissed Lex. “Missed you,” he said.
Draco slid under the sheet. “Six days,” he said, snuggling into the pillow. One bare foot moved to Lex’s side of the bed and pressed against his leg. “Six days without sex is too many.”
Lex smiled as Draco drifted to sleep nearly before he finished his sentence. He turned off the light, adjusted the pillows, settled down under the sheets, and released a contented sigh.
Draco was home.
Lex stood at the living room window, looking out at the gray afternoon, a glass of dark alcohol in one hand, the other tucked in his pocket. Draco knew that stance – it meant something deeply concerned Lex. Draco didn’t ask, however, as he came into the living room. Instead, he poured himself a drink from the wet bar and settled into the corner of the sofa. He chose a magazine from the neat pile on the coffee table and began idly paging through it.
Draco was on page fifty-six when Lex spoke. “Dad wants me to return to Metropolis.”
Draco looked at his lover’s back, as Lex continued to stare out the window. “For a holiday?”
“Do you want to?” Draco asked around something painful suddenly tightening in his chest.
“LuthorCorp does do more business in the States,” Lex said.
Draco read the sidestepped response with practiced ease. “When do you leave?”
Lex turned from the window. “I haven’t decided if I was going yet.”
“Yes, you have,” Draco said. He set his drink on the coffee table to hide his shaking hand. The magazine slid off his lap onto the sofa cushion. “When do you leave?”
Lex looked down at the glass in his hand. “I have a few loose ends to tie up, but after that…”
Draco wondered if he were one of those loose ends. It made him angry to think that he was, adding to the sharp ache in his chest. “You’d best get cracking, then. I can have Twinkles pack for you in a snap, so you won’t be held up by that.”
Lex’s fingers tightened visibly around the glass, knuckles whitening. He raised his eyes, meeting Draco’s angry gaze. “I suppose it’s futile to ask if you’ll come with me.”
Draco stared in shock. “Move to the States?”
His hurt fled in a flash. Lex didn’t want to end their relationship - at least, if Draco relocated. “What if I asked you to stay, instead?”
“I could.” Lex hesitated, emotions flying across his features before his chin set stubbornly. “I would, if you asked.”
Draco’s chest tightened again, for a wholly different reason. He rose, crossed to Lex, captured his questioning face between two hands, and kissed him breathless.
“I’ll put in my request for a transfer,” Draco murmured against Lex’s lips. He pulled back, drank in Lex’s passion-dazed expression, and as arousal spiked, added huskily, “But not until tomorrow.”
Their belongings had been packed by the house elf. The Malfoy portraits knew to stay at the Manor until their frames were reset. Mrs. Rubenstein had been released and she’d left them with a delicious apple pie. The bed had been stripped and the furniture covered with sheets. The heat had been adjusted to its minimal setting, to keep the water pipes from freezing. The postmaster had been instructed to forward the mail.
“We’ll met you there, Twinkles,” Draco said to the house elf. They stood in the entryway of the Chelsea flat, preparing to leave.
“Yes, sir, Master Malfoy,” Twinkles said. “Twinkles will have everything in place when the Masters arrive.”
“Good.” Draco and Lex had spent the past two weeks furnishing their new flat in Metropolis via decorator, computer, and telephone. Draco had also been in contact with the American Office of Magic, obtaining an employment visa for both the Wizarding and Muggle worlds.
“All set?” Lex asked from the open front doorway. Draco could see the limo that would take them to the airport idling in the street behind Lex.
“Yes,” Draco said. His travel bag was already in the limo, along with Lex’s. “Are you certain I can’t portkey and meet you there?”
“Positive,” Lex said. “You need to travel with Muggle legality, so your presence in the States won’t be questioned.” He smirked. “Plus, I’m looking forward to initiating you into the Mile High Club.”
“Very well,” Draco sighed. He exited the flat, joining Lex on the stoop.
“See you in Metropolis, Twinkles,” Lex said, before closing and locking the front door with her still inside.
Together, Draco and Lex walked down the steps to the limo. The driver had been instructed to remain in the auto, and it was Lex who opened the rear door.
Draco hesitated and looked back at the house. The morning sun sparkled against the windows and made the white paint gleam. “I’m going to miss this place,” he admitted. “It always felt like home.”
“Pliny once said, ‘Home is where the heart is,’” Lex quoted quietly.
“Then, it’s a good thing I’m coming with you,” Draco said matter-of-factly, and then got into the limo.
Lex gazed at the Chelsea flat a moment longer. His place of escape had turned into much more in the time he’d been in London, because of one person.
Lex climbed into the limo, shut the door, and settled beside Draco on the bench seat. He took Draco’s hand, interlinking their fingers and resting it on the seat between them. “I love you,” he said the words to Draco for the first time.
It wouldn’t be the last.