Harry and the Strawberry Secret.

Author: jeffgangfan

Rating: T

Word count: 2,350

Disclaimer: The characters are of J.K.Rowling. Any accidental similarity is unintentional. I do not profit from this work, unless one counts the pleasure of writing as money.

Warning: Character temporarily mute and invisible.

Summary: Harry came home after a hard day of work just to uncover a secret Draco kept from him. Yeah, and he was invisible. And mute. Temporarily.

Harry feels quite done with work today. His days chasing and investigating the illegal ring of wizard organ trafficking with Ron have finally come to an end with the arrestment of the last men behind it. He cannot fathom how anyone can address living witches and wizards by their numbered organs or how they are willing to kidnap these mages for the making of potions ingredients. The crazed looks on those men as they talked about how the potential of illegal potions will be increased by the magic cores of their victims would probably haunt Harry’s dreams for a while. He hopes that the notion of him continuing to defeat mad people even after the war would cheer him up, but he has no such luck. He had seen the dead bodies, the children. He can swear there was a kid looking just like Teddy.

People keep walking into him on his way out of St. Mungos, whose Healers insist that Harry must stay until tomorrow so that they could check up on his health. Harry argues that he has not been hit with anything unusual aside from a single hex that cannot be cured and will wear off after an hour or two, but they still keep him under supervision for a good hour and deny him of any information on Ron’s condition. Ron, who obviously needs more medical attention than him, had not been able to say anything to Harry the moment the Healers Apparated him writhing on his stretcher to the hospital. He knew that calling Hermione via Floo connection wouldn’t work without his voice so he went to her instead. Despite his best attempt to not startle her, she still flung a vase at his direction. He should have considered scribbling down a note and asking Parvati to contact her as a better option.

And, yeah, has he mentioned that he is temporarily invisible and mute?

Apparently, the abductors will hex their victims invisible and mute to the naked eye, so that they could make the kidnapping process much more discreet. They are equipped with special eyewear that only allows them to see the victims, which has made tracking them down the most challenging feat the DLME has ever faced. The last dark wizards that they ambushed had fired that kind of special hex at Harry, clearly did not expect him to roll up his sleeves and fight back the Muggle way. He was kind of glad that the hex obscured his outfit along with his body during combat only to realize that there is no way he can make people see that he is hexed invisible and… not just thin air. He can’t even say anything when people bump into him and can’t look in the mirror to see if Hermione’s broken ceramic pieces cut him somewhere or not.

He plans to go back home and take a nap until the hex wears off. Draco will probably head home after that happens with the strawberries which Draco promises he would buy on his way home. The thought cheers Harry up a bit, until he realizes he should walk home instead of Apparating (he’s not in his right mind to do it) and Floo does not work without his voice.

He lets out a sigh of relief when his non-verbal Alohomora works on the front door. Carefully arranging his shoes and hoping that he wouldn’t find them with Draco’s pair on top the next morning since they are also invisible with other parts of his outfit, Harry walks into the kitchen to find Draco’s familiar books and suitcase on the kitchen chairs.

“Finally an early day for him and I’m invisible. And mute.” Harry rolls his eyes. “Just my luck.” He rolls his eyes again when he realizes that his muttering makes no sound. Draco is rinsing the strawberries, humming a familiar tune that Harry suspects comes from the newest album of Celestia Warberk. He opened his mouth to tease Draco only to remind himself again that his voice won’t work for at least another half an hour.

He settles down on the chair nearby the same time Draco put the bowl of strawberries in front of him, casting a Drying Charm on the delicious red fruits. Harry lets out another silent groan, knowing that he would startle Draco if he reaches for one and Hermione is no match for Draco when it comes to throwing things. He aims well and would have played Chaser if Harry had not been Seeker at the time. Draco starts to scribble down notes from the red book he has opened before him, and Harry temporarily forgets about his unfortunate conditions as he watches his husband working, fascinated as always. He likes the way Draco’s head leans towards his left as he writes, adding a human touch to his straight and poised posture. He likes the way Draco licks his lips when his quill comes to a halt, a habit he picks up from Harry unknowingly. He likes the way Draco’s slender fingers do a small dance of confusion to restrain from scribbling mindlessly. He likes the way Draco is thorough with his work, his chores and Harry.

Draco sets down his quill, deciding for a break which is completely justifiable to Harry’s opinion. He loves Draco being his usual diligent self, but he wishes Draco would not feel pressured to work so much. Harry understands the importance of Draco’s work as a Healer and feels an immense surge of pride whenever he remembers their first encounter in the hospital when Draco has just been an intern. Draco has persevered, despite the nasty comments and shoves for the notion of a Death Eater trying to heal people. Now, here he sits across Harry in his uniform, an official Healer who is caring for his patients and meticulous in his work. Harry really hates the fact that his eyes prickled with tears too easily nowadays.

Draco eyes the bowl of strawberries with a look Harry would call hungry if he don’t know better. Draco dislikes strawberries, and he taunts Harry that he only indulge the sight of them because Harry likes them so much. “Sour and Gryffindor-red,” he had said, pushing one into Harry’s mouth. “You can have all of them to yourself, Harry.” He did not judge when Harry explains to him why he favors the fruit and that adds to the reasons why he is madly in love with Draco Malfoy, his husband and his everything nice.

Molly Weasley’s strawberry short cake is the first homey desert Harry had cooked to him by people he considers family. He likes Hogwarts food, yes, but he loves Molly’s strawberries and cakes. Everyone may have a piece for themselves, so Harry does not have to worry about carefully saving food for the rest of his Gryffindor table. His only threat is Ginny constantly snatching at them, which can be taken care of if he slides into the furthest seat away from hers. He has not known how to deal with the way she then rearranges so all the best dishes go to her direction, though. Anyway, he loves strawberries and all the creative combinations Molly made with them. He loves strawberries, because he can now eat them without fearing that Petunia would find out and accuse him of stealing. He loves strawberries, because Draco is willing to buy them for him despite not liking the fruit.

Harry lets out a surprised yelp when Draco picks up a strawberry, thanking Merlin that he was still silent. He does not know what Draco is going to do with it, certainly not eating it. Draco pulls away the leaves, looking vaguely guilty before putting the red fruit in his mouth. Harry’s jaw drops.

“Mmmm..” Draco’s eyelashes flutter as Harry continues to gape at him. Draco only does that when he really likes the way something tastes. It couldn’t be, could it? “It’s been so long, that is.”

The blond Vanishes the leaves, seemingly intends to go back to his work. Harry still does not know what to make of what he has just witnessed when Draco eyes the bowl again. He obviously tries hard to resist temptation, turning away from the bowl several times to Harry’s confusion. Harry pulls at his own hair, cannot comprehend why Draco would act as if he is hiding his fondness of strawberries. He certainly cannot be embarrassed for liking a fruit with the bright red color, can he?

Harry watches his husband finally stands up and lets out a small “tsk”. He puts the bowl away in the fridge in a manner that Harry finds incomprehensibly begrudging. After a good minute, he watches again as his husband surrenders and opens the fridge to pick out two more strawberries. Everything does not make sense at all.

It takes him a few seconds to realize that Draco’s eyes are wide, obviously staring straight at Harry. He immediately raises his hand, seeing that it has turned visible while Draco blinks. A faint blush creeps up to his’s pointy face as he stammers out a greeting, not as eloquent as he would like.

“Harry?” Draco brushes the bangs on Harry’s head away, frowning at his forehead. Must be because of the earlier cut. “How did you even get in here? Why are you bleeding from your head? How do you not know you’re bleeding, you insufferable being?” Harry smiles at his husband, knowing that Draco only interrogates him when his husband is surprised or nervous.

“Remember the case that I suspect an invisible-mute hex? I was hit with that today and was actually home half an hour ago or something.”  Harry sees the pink in Draco’s cheeks flush a bit darker. “Sorry for spying on you. Old habits die hard.”

“I brought strawberries.”

“I know.”

Draco hides his face in his hands, which Harry gently uncurls to hold. He knows Draco tends to act exasperated instead of embarrassed, because, well, being caught off guard is very un-Malfoy. He likes the smooth feeling in the palms, liking it even better when he knows Draco brews his own hand cream. He must have been smiling madly because Draco snaps him out of his thoughts with a huff.

“What are you smiling at, Potter? I couldn’t have done something that embarrassing for you to keep grinning like a loon.”

“You looked as if you secretly like strawberries. As if you pretend not to like them. Any explanations, Potter?” Harry asked, leaning in for a kiss that softens the pout on Draco’s strawberry-sour lips. He is pretty sure Draco would have retort for being called Potter if they haven’t kissed, but it is Harry’s favorite thing to do after their marriage.

Draco tries to lengthen the kiss, but Harry pulls back to quirk an eyebrow at him. He picks up a strawberry and peels of the leaves before pushing it between Harry’s lips, looking aggravated by Harry’s inquiry, probably. “I want you to have all of them since you like them so much. I bet the red color turns you on, being the Gryffindor you are.”

Harry quickly recalls the incredulous look on Narcissa’s face when she overheard Draco saying he disliked the fruit. It starts to make sense, but only a bit because Harry finds the idea of Draco almost sacrificing the pleasure of eating strawberries for him both ridiculous and utterly uncharacteristic. If Draco also likes them, why couldn’t they share? This self-sacrifice kind of thing is so unlike Draco. Yet, Harry can remember Fleur once commenting that Harry eats as if he was afraid his food would be snatched away. Can this be the reason why Draco decides to feign dislike for the strawberries?

But Draco looks so embarrassed, glaring away and Harry finds his voice useless again, his throat tight with the thought of Draco caring about Harry over something so small. He cannot see anyone else do that for him and the fact that it is Draco, his ex-rival, makes him want to cry. He reminds himself that the man before him is now his husband and he feels so loved that it still seems strange until now.

“We can share them, you know.” He tries, so that Draco won’t comment on why he looks so close to tears. Today is a strange and tiring day, but that won’t work as an excuse. Draco finally looks at him, still staring at the cut that he is anxious to treat. Harry pulls him closer to kiss him, and kiss him until he can taste strawberries on both of their tongues. He feels so dizzy, so loved and he promises that he will love Draco just as much as Draco loves him.

“You’re dizzy because you’re still bleeding from your head, you impossible fool. Let me heal you first.” Draco sounds breathless and Harry realizes he must have said his previous thoughts aloud. He finds Draco’s lips again until the blush from his embarrassment fades and his hands wander on Harry’s broader back. “Okay, wait, hold on.” He mumbles a quick spell with his wand and dives in to kiss Harry again, holding him like a vice.

“You really don’t have to Hufflepuff for me like that again.” Harry tells him, a while after they catch their breaths. “I would like to share them with you more than anything. I love you.”

“Now that you said so, you’ll have to fight for them, Harry.” Draco teases, nipping his cheek slightly the way Harry likes. Not that he would ever admit doing so in front of their friends. “No mercy.”Harry pushes the last strawberry into Draco’s mouth, feeling strange when he is finally the one doing so. He is still grinning until Draco chides him for not taking off the leaves.

Harry really, really likes strawberries. Even more after his little discovery.

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