Word Count: 3269
Characters/Pairing: Harry/Draco, Luna
Author's Note: Giftee request was “friendship turning into something more, banter” I tried to stick to this but my bunny hopped away from me a little. I hope you like it!
Summary: Harry just wished Draco would notice what was right in front of him.
Harry leaned across the counter and rolled his eyes as he watched Draco bend over the passenger seat of the car that had just pulled up outside the café where they both worked. Harry watched as Draco pressed a kiss to the somewhat dazed looking man behind the wheel before jumping out of the car and slamming the door behind him. Harry rolled his eyes as Draco waved the car off before turning and making his way inside.
“Wow you’re so close to almost being on time its shocking,” Harry said sarcastically as Draco closed the door behind him.
“Well once I start showing up on time Potter you’ll expect it every day and we can’t have that now can we,” Draco smirked as sauntered towards the counter where Harry was still leaning.
“Funny, who’s the flavour of the week this time?” Harry nodded towards the door and the empty space where the car had been. Draco ducked under the counter and sidled up next to Harry so he was pressed against his side.
“Anyone would think you’re jealous, you do take such an avid interest in my sexual exploits,” Draco purred into Harry’s ear and grinned impossibly wide a he watched Harry blush and turn around to face the cappuccino machine. Getting a rise out of Harry was one of Draco’s favourite pastimes.
“Actually I’m just worried you’ll have worked your way through every man in town,” Harry snapped as he cleaned imaginary dirt from the coffee maker so Draco wouldn’t have to look at his flaming cheeks.
“Hate to break it to you Potter but I don’t think Brighton’s going to run out of gay men anytime soon,” Harry snorted and shook his head.
“Good morning Draco, glad you could join us,” Luna said dreamily as she appeared from the back of the café.
“Morning Lovegood sorry I’m a bit late, I was a little preoccupied…” Draco grinned cheekily making Luna chuckle.
“I hope it was worth it?” Luna asked softly as she joined the two men behind the counter and began filling the glass cabinet with their latest delivery of fresh pastries.
“Seven out of ten, above average but certainly not going back for seconds,” Harry snorted and Draco looked up sharply.
“Poor bastard didn’t have a chance with you!”
“It’s not my fault I’m waiting for something special!” Draco snarled.
“Maybe you should stop looking so hard!” Harry snapped back before grabbing a box from their earlier delivery and storming into the back of the shop.
As the storeroom door closed behind him Harry took several deep breaths. Like always Draco had managed to get under his skin without even trying. Days like today he wondered why he stayed, it wasn’t like it was his choice to be working with Malfoy, after all it was all Luna’s fault.
After finally leaving school Harry found he was drifting from job to job, after the war he had seen enough violence and bloodshed to last a life time so he ruled out becoming an Auror, he didn’t want to turn his love for Quidditch into a job and he didn’t have the qualifications or the dedication to become a Healer.
When Luna told him she was opening a coffee shop in the North Laines of Brighton going to work for her was an easy decision. It wasn’t what he wanted to do forever but three years later he had never been happier. After living in a cupboard under the stairs and a dorm room filled with boys for his entire life London was far too big for Harry, he felt like a small fish in a large pond. He had never become attached to the city, so leaving Grimmauld Place behind wasn’t difficult for him.
Life in Brighton was simple; days were spent in the little coffee shop helping Luna serve Organic, Fair Trade coffee to Muggle students and the surprisingly large number of Wizards who lived in and around the town and nights were spent out in one of the old pubs around the Laines or writhing against numerous Muggle men on the gay scene. He knew he would one day decide what he wanted to do with the rest of his life but for now he was happy being young and almost carefree.
He enjoyed working with Luna, despite being his boss she was his friend first and she had been there for every up and down in his life over the last few years. In all the months after the press got wind of his sexuality and the inevitable fall out; when he found the Muggle boy who he’d been seeing pressed against a wall with another man; and since Draco’s arrival she had been his main source of comfort when he realised he was desperately in love with the self centred, oblivious prick.
Luna was a magnet for taking in strays so it was hardly surprising when Harry turned up one day to find a very pale and thin Draco Malfoy standing behind the counter. As it turned out Draco hadn’t been able to be as picky as Harry about work since the war. Nobody would employ him and the Malfoy’s had fallen upon hard times in the years since. At first Harry had hated working with the blonde but as time went by the hurtful edge had fallen away from their banter and it changed into something that often bordered on flirtatious. It didn’t take long before Harry found himself looking forward to work every day.
Harry wasn’t sure when his chest had begun to constrict at the sight of Draco’s latest conquest dropping him off at the coffee shop but somewhere along the way he had fallen for him.
Harry smiled as he watched Luna serve an obviously hungry homeless man who had become a regular in their little coffee shop. Luna had built up a reputation for being sympathetic towards the local down and outs and in turn they paid her in ways they could afford. There was a shelf behind the counter filled with the most gorgeous pebbles and shells that Brighton beach had to offer and a week didn’t go by without a fine array of the local council’s studiously planted flowers turning up in Luna’s shop.
Harry was hard pressed to find someone more selfless than Luna, he had come to respect her a great deal since spending time working with her. She had become less dreamy as she had gotten older, he supposed the war had done that to her, ended her innocence. It hadn’t gotten rid of her kindness or made her hard in some ways Harry was afraid he had.
Harry was so preoccupied by Luna’s good deed of the day that it took him a while to notice the tall dark haired man in a suit sidle up to the counter and grin at Draco. He was incredibly handsome and from the cut of his suit, obviously loaded. He was just Draco’s type and Harry’s worst nightmare. Harry’s stomach clenched as Draco leaned flirtatiously towards the handsome stranger, and he watched in horror as he wrote down his number on a napkin and handed it over along with the man’s latte.
Something about the feral grin the man shot Draco before he wandered out the door left Harry feeling uneasy.
Draco looked back at Harry with a dreamy look on his face which quickly disappeared when he noticed the stormy expression on Harry’s face.
“Don’t worry Potter I’m sure you’ll get laid some day, someone will come in and sweep you over the counter,” Draco said jokingly and was a little surprised when Harry pushed past him, called to Luna that he was having a break and stormed from the shop.
He couldn’t tell Draco that the person he wanted had been standing behind the counter, next to him, for months.
“He’ll wake up one day Harry,” Luna said softly while she sat at a table in the back of the café counting that day’s earnings. Harry stopped sweeping the floor to look at her, very aware that Draco was only in the back setting the charms to clean the dishes for the night.
“I doubt that,” Harry sighed.
“He will, I’ve seen the way he looks at you,” Luna smiled at him as he blushed. Harry was about to tell her how stupid she was being when the sound of a car horn outside broke his concentration, a moment later Draco came tearing through the shop, his leather satchel and his coat in his arms. He stopped and turned when he reached the door and grinned at them both.
“I might be a little late tomorrow!” Draco winked before bolting through the door and across the street to the waiting car.
Harry sighed heavily and returned to his task, unwilling to listen to Luna talk about Draco any longer. He was doomed.
Draco was almost an hour late to work the next morning, and by the time he arrived Harry had worked himself up into a foul mood.
“Well, well, well look what the Kneazle dragged in,” Harry snapped as Draco ducked under the counter and dumped his bag and jacket in a corner out of the way. He was still wearing yesterday’s clothes and a dreamy expression not unlike Luna’s. It made Harry want to lash out, to remove it just so he wouldn’t have to look at how obviously happy another man had made him.
“Sorry, I was off having fun! Remember that Potter? Fun? I doubt you do,” Draco said snidely, he was not ready for Harry to kill his good mood.
“I don’t need your kind of fun thanks Malfoy; and I don’t care what you were doing, sorry, should that be who you were doing I just care that you turn up on time!” Harry snarled, not caring that he was probably alarming the few customers who were in at this time on a Thursday morning.
“His name is Terrance and he’s a Muggle banker I’ll have you know, took me to his flat last night, he’s totally minted!” Draco smiled triumphantly at Harry.
“I don’t honestly care what you did with him,” Harry said softly, he felt defeated and drained. He was tired of constantly having this passive aggressive argument with Draco. He knew it was getting him nowhere but he still couldn’t find the Gryffindor courage in himself to tell Draco how he felt.
Draco knew Harry was rich, knew he was famous, yet neither of these things seemed to make him want to be with him so Harry had long since convinced himself that it was him that Draco didn’t want.
“I did things with him I’ve never done with anyone!”
“What agree to a second date?” Harry sneered and met Draco’s eye with an explosive glare that they held for several seconds too long.
“Fuck you Potter,” Draco snapped.
“No Draco, I think I can say I’m probably the only gay man in Brighton you haven’t fucked,” Harry spat back, Draco looked hurt and livid and just for a moment Harry regretted what he’d said. Draco grabbed his bag and jacket from the floor and stormed past him into the kitchen, leaving Harry alone to deal with several alarmed customers.
They didn’t speak to one another again throughout the entire day.
Harry didn’t seen Terrance again for the rest of that week, though he knew Draco was still seeing him. On the following Saturday however Terrance appeared at the counter while Draco was out the back. Harry swallowed his disgust at having to talk to him and plastered on the best fake smile he could muster.
“Can I help you sir?” Harry almost didn’t recognise his own sickly sweet voice.
“I’m here for Draco,” Terrance said smoothly, making Harry’s skin crawl.
“He’s in the back; can I give him a message?” Harry said sweetly as Terrance stared at him, he could see right through Harry, they both knew that.
“I’ll wait,” Terrance sneered and leaned against the counter. Harry rolled his eyes and made his way into the back to get Draco. He opened the door and frowned at finding him deep in conversation with Luna, their faces looking serious and grave. They stopped as soon as Harry appeared and Draco’s cheeks flushed.
“There’s someone here to see you,” Harry said softly and stood in the doorway while Draco slipped past him into the café. Harry watched as Draco walked up to Terrance. The taller man tried to grab his arm but Draco pulled away. Harry couldn’t hear their entire conversation but Draco was obviously unhappy to see him.
Luna pushed past Harry and followed Draco out into the shop.
“Luna, do you mind if I take a ten minute break?” Draco asked softly as Terrance clutched, claw like, at his elbow.
“Of course, take as long as you need,” Luna smiled and Draco disappeared out the door with Terrance trailing behind him.
Twenty minutes later Draco still wasn’t back and Harry was beginning to worry, he didn’t care how smooth a talker Terrance was he didn’t trust him.
“Harry can you take the rubbish around the corner for me, we’re full up,” Luna said as she dragged two heavy utility bags filled with rubbish out of the kitchen. Thankful for a distraction from Draco’s whereabouts Harry picked them up and made his way outside. He rounded the corner and made his way to the back of the café to find Draco pushed against a wall, Terrance leaning over him menacingly.
“I told you I’m not seeing you anymore!” Draco growled angrily.
“And I told you it was a mistake, don’t be such a whiney little fag,” Draco pushed against Terrance’s chest but didn’t manage to move him.
“You were too rough, you left bruises, and it wasn’t a mistake! You’re just a Neanderthal in a suit!” Draco snapped.
“And you’re a pathetic little cock tease who needs to be taught a lesson!” Terrance leered and pressed forward, forcing his lips on Draco’s. Draco choked as Terrance tried to force his tongue past his lips and managed to push him away. The smaller blonde landed a harsh slap across Terrance’s cheek. Draco tried to struggle out from between Terrance and the wall he’d been pushed against but Terrance pushed him back before returning his slap. A loud cracking sound filled the alley as his hand connected with Draco’s delicate cheek.
It was then that Harry broke out of his stupor, dropping the rubbish bags he was holding and charging at Terrance. They struggled for a moment but finally Harry managed to pin him to the ground.
“Don’t you ever fucking touch him again, do you understand me?” Harry asked as he punched Terrance in the face.
“What are you gonna do about it you speccy little git?” Terrance spat up at Harry, a malicious smile on his face. Harry punched him again; he was shaking with rage and behind them they could hear the sound of the bulbs in the dim street lamps lining the alley beginning to pop.
“Harry stop it, calm down!” Draco shouted desperately and as the street lamp over head exploded in the shower of glass Terrance looked genuinely terrified. He managed to push Harry off him and clambered to his feet before disappearing out of the alley, leaving Harry and Draco alone.
“Are you alright?” Harry asked breathlessly from where he remained kneeling on the floor.
“Yes, I’m f-fine, thank you for doing that,” Draco said softly. “Are you alright?”
“I’m fine,” Harry said tersely as he stood up and wiped away the grit from his knees.
“Harry I…” Draco didn’t know what he was going to say but he was pretty sure he owed Harry more than just a thank you.
“I cannot believe you Draco!” Harry snarled as he rounded on Draco.
“What’s that supposed to mean?” Draco said defensively.
“I can’t believe you’d go out with a man like that! Let a man like that put his hands on you, kiss you, have access to your body when…”
“When I’m standing fucking here waiting!”
“What are you talking about?”
“Are you totally blind, do you need my glasses? I’m waiting for you to fucking wake up Draco and realise that I am here, here for you, I’m in love with you!” Harry snarled, he couldn’t remember ever being this angry, so angry that he didn’t care what he said anymore.
“Harry I…” Draco stepped forward but Harry was feeling too raw to listen. He stepped back and held out his hands trying to fend off Draco’s platitudes and pathetic reasons for not wanting him.
“Just tell Luna I’ll see her tomorrow,” Harry sighed heavily, running his hand through his hair before Apparating away with a pop.
The next day Harry was miserable, Draco hadn’t turned up to work and Luna refused to tell him why. He knew he had probably ruined everything by telling him how he felt but a part of him felt considerably lighter for doing so. Maybe now he could try and move on.
It was almost midday when the bell above the café door rung and Harry looked up from the morning edition of The Quibbler to find Draco standing on the other side of the counter. He was dressed smartly in dark slim jeans and a black button up shirt and grey cardigan. He looked gorgeous and Harry could feel his chest constricting at the sight.
“Hi,” Harry said softly as Draco stood across from him staring at him strangely.
“Hello Mr Potter,” Draco said softly.
“Draco I…” Harry frowned.
“I was wondering if you were free this afternoon, I thought maybe we could go down to the pier, and get some candy floss, and I thought maybe later we could have some dinner,” Draco said shyly as he interrupted Harry, not sure if Harry was still angry with him. Harry stared at him with wide eyes for a moment, wondering if he’d heard him correctly.
“Are you asking me on a date?”
“Yes I am,” Draco smiled.
“I’m working,” Harry said feebly.
“No he isn’t, I’m closing early,” Luna said sweetly, appearing at Harry’s elbow.
“Are you serious,” Harry asked as he stared intently at Draco.
“I’ve never been more serious about anything in my life, I didn’t think you’d want me, I wish I’d know you did, I would never have…” Draco stared at the counter and blushed. “What you must think of me,” Draco sighed and Harry frowned before ducking under the counter so they could stand face to face.
“I already told you what I think of you,” Harry said softly as he stood in front of Draco.
“Yes you idiot, I’m in love with you,” Harry smiled softly at Draco before leaning in and pressing his lips gently against Draco’s. Draco sighed into the kiss and wrapped his arms around Harry’s waist.
“Does that clear things up?” Harry grinned, and Draco nodded emphatically before leaning in and kissing Harry again, lingering until Luna cleared her throat.
“I’m afraid we’re closed now gentlemen so you’ll have to go somewhere else to do that, I trust that you’ll make sure Draco is here on time tomorrow Harry?” Luna grinned at them both as she held open the café door.
“Yes boss, I can manage that,” Harry laughed as he grabbed Draco’s hand and pulled him out of the café and along the street towards the sea front.