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Surface by dee
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So I'm too violent,
Too volatile to touch you,
Fill you with my demons.
But these hands are too hungry to be gentle.
- Orisha, "Surface"

It worked so well, Draco wondered why he hadn't thought of it before.

Well, obviously, because making sexual advances to your worst enemy wasn't something that sprang immediately to mind, unless something suggested it.

Something like, perhaps, splashing out of the shallows of the lake - the water bone-cold but not nearly numbing - one sunny afternoon to find Potter waiting for him. He said something, but Draco had water in his ears - shook his head - and said: "What?"

Green eyes jerked upwards, and Draco realised Harry had been staring at his bare chest, at the trickles of water he could feel running down his skin. Staring with those eyes soft and an edge of something that was gone before Draco could know it exactly, but that didn't matter, because he knew enough to know it generally.

"Snape wants to see you," Potter said brusquely

"Why?" Draco demanded, dripping and wondering.

"How should I know?" And he walked away.

Draco smiled. Potter was tired, he knew, all that running around being the wizarding world's damn saviour. Tired enough to let something slip. Something Draco wagered he wouldn't have wanted anyone - let alone Draco - to know. But Draco did know, now. And he wouldn't be a Malfoy if he didn't exploit this.

He just had to figure out how.

Draco had spent hours watching Potter on a broomstick, attuned to every faint weakness. It had been a long time since he'd paid much attention to him with both feet on the ground. He had, in fact, been happy to ignore him, to go through his days with a Potter-shaped hole in his awareness.

He watched him now, like they were both after the Snitch and only one could be victorious. But carefully, because this was one game he didn't want to end before he knew what to do with victory.

What he saw was that Potter was careful too. Sure, he'd laugh and chatter and ape about behind the potions bench, but then nothing at all would happen and he'd be the same. And different. Circumscribed in the boundaries of his actions, within this surface of care. Draco couldn't describe it, didn't know what it meant, knew it hadn't always been there. But he recognised it.

It was like the way they'd both dive for the Snitch, pelting in from different angles, and when Harry caught it he'd swivel his broom in a tight, neat circle inside the wider, looser arc of Draco's frustrated turn.

Draco knew he was the more natural flyer. But, increasingly, Potter had more precise control.

There was no reason to hurry back to the Slytherin dungeon and the weekly letter that had no recipient, so Draco lingered in the steam-fugged showers after the game. When he emerged back into the changeroom, he was the only one there.

But there was a shout outside, and something hit the door with a thud. More shouting.

Draco wrenched his trousers on, and pulled the door open. "What the -?"

In the corridor outside, Jarvis Vench - fourth year Slytherin Chaser - had someone in a headlock. A Gryffindor, from the colours of the tie Jarvis was attempting to strangle him with. A smattering of spectators hushed and sidled back at Draco's entrance, but the combatants were oblivious, the Gryffindor shouting hoarsely and Jarvis snarling at him.

Much as Draco liked to see Slytherin get the upper hand, if a teacher came along now, it'd mean lost points. He stepped forward, and laid a hand on his teammate's shoulder.

A mistake, he belatedly realised, as Jarvis lurched around, dropping the choking Gryffindor, and swung a frenzied fist. Draco jerked back, but even so, the blow caught him on the chin with enough force to send him staggering backwards into the wall. Wet hair in his eyes and as he leaned against the wall, blinking, he realised two things. One, his bottom lip had split. Two, the Gryffindor changeroom door was open, feet in the doorway.

Jarvis was at his elbow, a neverending stream of apologies spilling forth. His ex-combatant and the last of the spectators were rushing away down the corridor. Potter stood in front of them, fully dressed, broom in hand.

Draco looked at him, and ran his tongue over the blood on his bottom lip. "Bloody hell, Vench. Save it for a Gryffindor, will you?"

Jarvis started blathering again, and Potter pushed between them without an apology. But he did it with every surface wrapped in care, in acute awareness.

Tasting the copper tang of his own blood, Draco smiled. "Shut up, Vench. Get out of here."

This is what Draco knew:

When he looked up from measuring salamander scales, Potter was not looking at him, with a studied absence of movement.

When Draco snarled "Potter" in the hallway, he almost didn't hesitate before turning. He snapped "what?" back with the perfect meld of boredom and condescension and he looked not at, but through, Draco.

When they raised their wands - Incantatum ad nauseum - sometimes Potter's knuckles would be white, though his face was perfectly calm.

Pansy stopped him in the commonroom one day with her hard eyes strange, and said: "Draco, I'm sorry." He didn't even know what the hell she was talking about until she added: "If anything happened to my mother, I'd just be -"

He cut her off. "I don't particularly want to talk about it."

"Oh. Of course." And she left him alone after that, which was just the way he liked it.

This is what Draco surmised:

Potter was growing up - inevitable. He was doing it himself. They were moving into an adult world where you couldn't just let things show. Where you kept everything inside and hidden under the surface.

It wasn't just overflowing anger he was hiding.

Harry Potter wanted Draco.

Not just that. He wanted Draco, and he hated it.

The weather was blustery and ominous and uncertain. It was awful weather to practice in, the wind jostling him about on his broom and in the air. It was perfect. Just what Draco needed.

He soared (jittery and juddering) solo over the pitch, circling higher to the glowering sky. When he was so high looking down made vertigo claw at his throat, Draco tossed his Snitch-substitute.

It was a solid ball of glass as big as his fist. It had been a present from his mother. Colours - blues and greys and greens - swirled inside the globe. Once, they'd been constantly moving, undulating and insinuating. Now they were stolid and frozen.

It was heavy. It fell fast.

Draco plummeted after it. The world rushed past his peripheral vision and a gust of wind blasted in his ears, but he was singularly focussed. He snatched the globe from the air with one hand as he turned his broom out of the dive and into a long, shallow swoop that curled straight back into climbing again.

He'd been doing this for an hour at least. The globe hadn't hit the ground once. Draco didn't know if it would survive the impact should he fail to catch it.

As he rode the air at the apex, he saw colours on the field below. Red. He tossed the globe, and streaked after it. The Gryffindor team rushed towards him with the ground. Reaching for the globe, he let his fingers brush it before he pulled up hard on his broom.

The ball hit the ground with a dull thud. Draco landed lightly beside it, and was surprised to see that the globe was intact, just almost buried by the force in the ground of the pitch. He crouched, and started to pry it loose. Red loomed above him, and he looked up, squinting.

"We've booked the pitch for practice," Potter said, wreathed in disinterest, his eyes darting.

Draco pulled the globe free, smeared with dirt, but whole. He stood, tossing the ball and catching it again. He brushed wind-blown hair off his forehead, and smiled, feeling the stretch tug against the healing scab where Vench had split his lip. "It's all yours," he said.

Snape asked him to stay after Potions. Draco waited impatiently as the rest of the class filed out, amusing himself with wondering if Potter's glance up at Snape's instruction had been planned or a slip. It was something he found himself wondering quite a bit, recently.

"Yes, sir?" Draco said, as soon as the door closed echoing behind the last student.

The Professor looked down at him, weighing and measuring. It was not a gaze that would disturb any Slytherin, let alone a sixth year. Draco waited. "Are you managing well, Malfoy?"

Draco frowned. "The class work? It's no trouble."

"I was referring, rather, to more personal matters."

Draco jerked his bag on his shoulder. "Fine. I'm fine, sir. Can I go?"

Snape inclined his head. "You know where to find me, should you have need."

"No need," Draco insisted.

Sweeping around a corner by the library, Draco almost ran bodily into Harry. He stopped dead, drew himself up to stand straight, even as he realised Potter was doing the same. They were of a height, he realised, which was strange, because he'd never felt that tall.

"Watch it," Potter snapped.

Draco sneered, because he liked the way he imagined it caused the faintest ripples across the surface of those eyes. "I'll walk down any corridor I fucking please, Potter."

"You're in a rare mood," Harry said, voice carefully laden with casual lack. "Has Snape given his darling boy a detention?"

"You wish," Draco shot back. He pressed his lips together, felt the healing line of the split, and cursed himself for the nervous habit.

Then he noticed Potter's distraction. The way he'd been caught - bloody riveted - by the movement.

Draco's smile was hard and satisfied, and it stretched his bottom lip. With care to rival Potter, Draco ran his tongue over the split.

Potter's body was suddenly taut, tweaked at every joint with some mixture of surprise and fear and adrenaline and other things that Draco guessed kept rabbits trapped in bright light. Green eyes met Draco's, and they blazed too much to tell.

"Harry! There you are!"

Granger, rescuing him. Letting him slip away and tossing Draco a worried look over her shoulder.

Getting cornered wasn't hard at all. Just let it happen, wall at his back, sneer on his face just enough to not object. Harry dithered, held fast in indecision, looking almost sick.

"What's your problem, Potter?" Draco spat.

That broke the surface, rippled wild, and Harry lunged. He kissed Draco with one hand clamped on his jaw hard enough not to shake. Draco stood and was kissed. He took it, absorbed all the energy Potter poured forth between impartially parted lips. He waited until the ardour ebbed. Until Harry pulled back, breathless and exposed.

"Well," Draco said slowly, carefully, meaningfully, with one eyebrow raised. There was a tremour in Potter, under the surface. Draco smiled, smug and knowing. He had him now. No need to say it. He'd walk out of here with Potter in his hands.

The hand on Draco's jaw had slipped down. It tightened now, at the base of Draco's throat, fingers tight on his collarbone, and with a shove, Draco's back hit the wall. Hard, making his breath shock from his lungs.

"Harry, what are you -"

"Shut up."

Potter's body was immovable, pinning Draco to the wall and his eyes were too close and blazing, his mouth crushing, forcing Draco's head back and his chin up. Teeth plunged into his lower lip, and Draco felt it split again along the almost-healed line. It made him flinch, and Potter's tongue lashed his mouth. His weight was refusing Draco air.

"You want this," Potter said. He made a fist around Draco's wrist and clamped his hand to the front of his trousers, pushed hard against the heel of Draco's palm. Blood coloured the edges of his teeth. "You want this," he said.

Draco didn't like it when his plans didn't work out. The bitter salt taste in his mouth was like failure. His neck ached. His muscles echoed with being manhandled. He lay on his bed in clothes he didn't want to take off.

He'd had stupid plans for his life, things he'd never tell a soul because they were so idiotically infantile. Quidditch, Prefect, NEWTs, and his parents approving, maybe even his father, making it known in his cold, precise way. His mother would shine on him like spring sunshine, pale and warm and promising.

Draco didn't like it when his plans didn't work out.

Finding some sort of clarity in a well-made potion was something Draco was used to. The process, the very menial tasks, were soothing, let the dross of the memory fall aside even as the ingredients purified in the cauldron. Leaving the essence. The gold.

He could brush aside the wrenching, burning, scalding things, the rush and plunge and choke.

He could find, at the bottom of the brew, the moment when Potter paused at the door, eggshell pale and panicked, looking back at Draco slumped on his knees against the wall.

Draco knew, if he looked, that Potter would be precisely perfectly fine behind the bubbling surface of his own potion cauldron.

"Malfoy." He looked up as Professor Snape paused before his bench.

"Yes sir?"

"What happened to your neck?"

Draco shifted his shoulders, twitching his robes back into place. "Nothing. A bruise. An accident."

Snape showed no sign of belief or otherwise. "Perhaps you should see Madam Pomfrey."

"No need."

It was impossible to move silently in the utter absence of sound in the lesser-travelled sections of the library. Draco heard Potter three aisles away, but he didn't look up until robes brushed his elbow.

"Stop looking at me," Potter hissed.

Draco reshelved the book, and didn't. "No."

"Draco -"

"Give me one good reason why I shouldn't go straight to Dumbledore."

"You -" Wouldn't. Mustn't. Potter's hands were curled in fists at his side and emotion boiled off him. Frustration, anger, fear, guilt; Draco could almost taste it. "- can't."

Draco took one step to walk past Harry. A heavy hand fell on each of his shoulders, and Potter slammed him back against the shelves, rattling the books and making them shed dust.

Keeping him at trembling arms-length. Elbows locked in determination. Face a picture, etched with everything. Shoved him again, though there was nowhere for Draco to go, in letting him go. Like throwing him away. Potter turned away to actually run back down the aisle.

Draco bared his teeth, not a grin, not a snarl.

This is what he knew:

Harry Potter wanted Draco, and he hated it.

Potter fucked him in the changerooms after the Slytherin versus Hufflepuff game. Draco had caught the Snitch, but that was nothing compared to the burn of hesitation in Harry's hand fisted in Draco's hair. Draco arched like he was trying to get free, pushing his head back into Potter's hand, and the hesitation vanished. Potter's grip tightened into pain and he shoved Draco's head down and forward.

Draco brought his hands up fast, bracing on the cold tiles. He locked his elbows and lowered his head until he could see his bare feet, Harry's shoes behind him.

He'd meant to stay utterly quiet - thought that might be best - but when Potter's full weight hit him, over and in and through him, he couldn't stop the grunt of expelled air that jolted from his throat.

Fingers twitched at his hip, on the back of his neck, and nails dug in. Interesting. A little while later, as Potter got wilder, Draco let it happen again, and grin-grimaced at the response.

The hand that had been in his hair was gripping the back of his neck now. Holding him steady as Harry thrust into him. Holding him like the choke-hold on a kitten, to make it stop struggling.

But Draco didn't stop. He twisted, he bucked - just enough, not too much. He pushed back against Potter weakly, violently, sometimes off the beat, sometimes jarringly, perfectly with, and it was one of those times, Draco forcing himself back as Harry forced forward, that Harry gasped and came, overcome with surprise.

He left fast, left Draco kneeling on the floor (again) and hard. In the shower it only took a few minutes, remembering the tremulous violence of Potter's hands on him, the twitch before, the flight after. Draco came, replete with grim satisfaction.

Some days Draco would wind Harry in, like catching a fish. Bait the hook with something irrestistible, like just the right angle of his neck, head tilted just so. Then he'd be everywhere, like a net, around every corner, in every corridor, every time Potter turned around.

Some days he'd make it hard. He'd be a ghost, nowhere, like he'd never existed, until Harry almost had to admit to himself that he was looking.

There were many variations, so many particulars, and Draco worked them all like a master-craftsman. He played Potter like a harp, and the music was brutal. Sometimes he'd force Draco to suck him off, thumbs digging under Draco's collarbones as his neck and shoulders knotted up. Sometimes he fucked Draco, not giving a damn about the marks he left, bruises on Draco's hips, bites on his shoulders from vain attempts to censor groans, grazes all up Draco's back from the time he'd been fucked in the staircase of the south tower.

They'd almost been caught that time, McGonagall's voice making Potter beat an even speedier retreat than usual. Draco was just buttoning his shirt - carefully, ginger over his shoulderblades - when she came around the curve of the staircase.

"Mister Malfoy!" She sounded slightly scandalised, as always, as though every minor act of misbehaviour was a mortal sin.

"Apologies, Professor." Draco redraped his robes.

"This tower is off-limits to students."

"I know. I was just..."

Her face softened. "This is a hard time for you. I understand. The funeral is soon?"

It was none of her business. "It was on Tuesday."

She blinked. "But you didn't go."

None of her business. "Too much work. Excuse me, Professor, I have to get back."

Sometimes Draco would push too hard. Miscalculate somehow. He'd wait for the snap and it wouldn't come. Just Potter staring at him, boiled dry, burnt away. Sometimes from across the room, sometimes close enough to feel his unhurried breath. Until Draco would leave, quietly, not making a ripple on the surface.

Once, Harry hit him. Not slammed him onto a surface to fuck him, not shoved or wrenched or pushed him where he wanted him, but out and out hit him. Knuckles of his clenched fist against Draco's cheekbone and the rest of Draco's sentence exploded inside his head.

"Jesus!" Harry swore. He was out the door by the time Draco realised where he was, cheek and palm and hip against the floor.

Draco carried the bruise for a week, deep and dark around his eye, taking its time to fade through grape-stain on his pale skin, into motley. It was a week when Potter flinched - visibly - every time he saw Draco's face.

It was fucking beautiful.

This is what Draco didn't know:

How long Potter was going to be able to go on like this, getting paler, more distracted, his control slipping.

Where the point lay where Potter stopped breaking, and just gave up.

How this was going to end.

This is what he didn't know. Yet.

Granger blocked the door belligerently. "Stop it."

"What?" Draco demanded and at the same time Potter, behind him, snapped: "Hermione." Draco didn't look back. They were the only people still in the potions classroom, them and Weasley, hovering at Granger's elbow.

"Whatever you're doing to Harry, stop it."

No one did righteous indignation quite like Hermione Granger. Then again, no one did reprehensible insouciance quite like Draco Malfoy. "What I'm doing to Harry," he repeated.

"He's not sleeping well, or eating. He doesn't have time for your stupid, petty distractions," Granger declared.

"I am here, you know."

He certainly was. There was tension thrumming like a drum behind Draco. He bounced words off its surface. "And it must be something I'm doing."

Granger set her jaw. "Everyone's all overcome with pity for you but you can't just get away with anything you like because..." She faltered.

Draco raised an eyebrow. "Because? Go on, say it." She shook her head, all her ire melting. "Say it. I can't just get away with anything I like because my mother committed suicide. Was that it?"

She bit her lip, cut her eyes imploringly to Weasley. Draco ignored them both, and pushed past, out of the classroom.

It was a horrible night - blustery and cold - when Potter fucked him on top of the south tower. There were no stars to be seen, and the lowering clouds occasionally whipped them with drizzle as Harry pounded the base of Draco's spine into the cold stone, and Draco crucified himself against the parapet, holding on for grim death.

When it was done, and Harry let him fall, Draco sat for a minute, eyes closed. He catalogued his body with satisfaction, the aches and scrapes, the throbbing along his jaw where it had chafed against stone that would be good for at least three days of that shadow on Harry's face.

When he opened his eyes, Potter was standing across from him. Skittish, but there.

"What are you still doing here?" Draco demanded. He pushed himself upright and started pulling his trousers back on.

Potter shrugged. "I just - I mean, well..." Draco looked up, fastening his trousers, and what the hell was that in Potter's face? "I'm sorry," Potter mumbled, and reached out towards Draco's face.

Draco flinched back from the outstretched hand. "You're what?"

"Sorry," Potter repeated. And Draco got it. "About your m-"

"Oh, shut up," Draco snapped. He drew himself up, buttoning his shirt, and he felt tall now. Taller. He got it. "Save your fucking sorry for someone who cares." Found a way to make it fine, have you, Potter? "I don't care what you feel." Found a way it's alright for the Golden Boy to do these things? "What do you think this is, a relationship?"

Harry's face was stone, ash-grey and dead. "Don't you-?"

But Draco wasn't going to let him try and lessen this. "You're a good fuck, Potter. That's all I want, not your 'sorry'."

He marched across the tower top to the door, measuring the diminishing space until behind him Potter said: "Draco..."

Then he turned, fingers closing around the door handle. "It's Malfoy to you."

It was a horrible night - blustery and cold - when Draco left Potter alone on top of the south tower. But for all the horrible weather, he supposed the view wasn't too bad from up there. It was high. Higher than the tower at Malfoy Manor. The fall would be longer; the stop at the bottom more sudden.

Draco didn't really think Potter would throw himself off. But then, his mother had seemed fine, that last letter he'd got from her, wrapped around a chocolate cake, sent with all her love.

You just couldn't tell these things from the surface.