The title is from a song by Elliott Smith (I added the "The"). This is late, I'm sorry. I blame randomly visiting relatives. Contains a hint of Neville/Pansy, on request. Cait: everything else I said would be in it did not make it in. I'll be keeping all those things in mind for future fics.
Also, I set out to write smut, but it appears I don't know what I want. How annoying.
Hard R for smutty moments and language.
About 1,800 words.
A woman’s body is a lump of clay, molded by fucks gone and fucks to come, always changing. The hand that molds her is sometimes rough, fingers fisted or splayed, thrusting into her crevices and tearing her new ones. Sometimes she’s molded with tenderness, with hands meticulous in their carving.
But then, Pansy thinks, then there are men. Men are an unfettered terrain, changing only with the seasons. Men are the clay fresh out of the kiln, too hard to mold but fragile enough to break.
It’s all a matter of breaking points and where to find them, she muses as she shakes the rain out of her black umbrella. Harry Potter’s front stoop is covered by the balcony on the second level, and the rain trickles down the imitation marble columns. Thunder rolls and shortly after the sky illuminates with lightning. By counting the seconds between the two, Pansy reckons the bulk of the storm has either just passed or is waiting in the post.
She breathes deep, rolls her eyes at herself, and knocks seven times.
His nose. That is all Harry can think about as he stands in the far right corner of Colin Creevey’s Capricious Captures and peruses through picture frames. The frame he’s holding with both hands is a 4x6, silver, no detail besides scattered light scratches due to rough handling. The stock snap in the frame is of a man—tan skin, light hair—standing on a boat, looking out to sea. His nose is large; that is all Harry can think.
Zacharias Smith steps out of the shower, wraps a towel around himself, and scratches his nose.
His nose, firm on top and soft at the bottom. It curls up, just slightly enough to give him the stereotypical snobbish profile. Ron had, in his nit-pickier days, insisted that Draco and Zacharias’s noses were switched at birth, because although Draco’s nose was too long and too skinny, it did not carry the snobbish air Zacharias’s did. Harry had spent days trying to decide if Zacharias was actually a snob or if his nose had simply been misplaced, skewing his characteristics.
In the big picture, though, it’s just a nose. It smells, it sneezes, it itches. Under the secrecy of an invisibility cloak it brushes up a Seeker’s thigh and skims over dark pubic hair. It rests in the space tucked behind the balls, it dances around a hardened shaft, running laps up and down and up and down and up and down its length. And when it’s had enough, when it has heard the cries to stop, it will sashay up clenching stomach muscles and past peaked nipples and through the dips of shoulders and up the strong neck to rest next to a larger, freckleless nose, a dab of cum poised on the point where it turns up just so.
Harry puts the frame down, shakes his thoughts out of his head, and settles on the three frame foldout he’d been looking at before he started thinking about noses. As he pays for his purchase and Colin stuffs his bag full of coupons and fliers (FAMILY PORTRAITS! 75% OFF! Catch your children while they’re young!) he wonders if Colin even knows what capricious means. Harry sure as hell doesn’t. His eye catches a large gold frame behind Colin’s jiggling head, the portrait inside a surprisingly erotic black and white of the curve in a hip.
Zacharias sits on the floor, bends one leg over the other, takes a calming breath, and feels his hips align with the shifting of the earth’s crust.
Whenever Harry fell asleep in Zacharias’s low lying bed, the first thing he would see every morning was a hip, hovering over his face like a rain cloud hovers over cartoon antagonists.
It took Harry a while, but eventually he’d figured it out. A Zacharias Smith runs on two modes: COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE GIVE ME COFFEE NOW and “Get the fuck out of my flat.”
Harry, generally, preferred the first. He’s never been keen on feeling left out of things, so being kicked out is near unacceptable. But he knows he’ll be back in a day or two, stumbling into the flat with its abstract art and its philosophy texts and its pretentious looking coffee maker. He’s come to expect the sex that never makes it to the bedroom, the dry humping that only happens in the bed to protect the sheets Zacharias never changes, the overwhelming whiteness of the bedroom leaking through his eyelids and waking him up early in the morning. So really the hip should be expected, as well, but normally it’s covered with cotton or fleece or twill (but never denim or leather). This morning it’s covered with skin and thin sheen of sweat.
“I’m randy,” Zacharias blurts before Harry can say anything.
“I’d noticed,” Harry says, groggily twirling a hand over the erection dangling above his face.
“No—with your mouth,” Zacharias says.
“I—no. Morning breath.”
“He doesn’t care, Harry. Just do me and then you can put on the coffee.” Zacharias stomps his foot just barely, a whole-body pout. As Harry runs his lips everywhere (it is morning and he is tired and his breath is bad so there will be no foreplay or tonguing or any such nonsense requiring concentration), he thinks about the level of sanity one has to be at to refer to his prick as a “he”. As Zacharias clenches his stomach and grabs onto Harry’s shoulders, he can feel the existential bullshit seeping out from underneath Zacharias’s fingertips and slinking into his pores. He can see afternoons spent sipping lattes and discussing old Norse mythology in perfect iambic pentameter with men in berets and girls with short black hair, always in their eyes. He can see the fifty letter words on the pages of their philosophy books. He can see Zacharias mentally adding ‘e’s to the end of words they’re not meant to intrude upon (“Give me a blowjobe, Harry. You fucking pricke.”). He can see Zacharias getting it all wrong, but still swallowing it totally, just as Harry’s eating his orgasm for breakfast.
Wouldn’t want to mess the sheets, after all.
Thunderclouds bump into each other, losing their momentum. In seven minutes, Pansy will be able to see the sun break above the horizon. The door opens and Harry, in red cotton boxers, looks like he’s fighting a strong urge to slam the door in her face.
“Neville left,” she states, pushing past him and into the tiny two-level. “And yours was the only address I could find, so I’m here.”
“Wha… Neville… me?” Harry rubs his face.
“Ministry called him in on urgent business. He may be gone for weeks, he said. And I don’t like being alone—”
“You can’t be alone,” Harry quips, heading for the kettle nonetheless. “You’d die of shock the day you woke up and no one was there to fawn over you and, on that note, I really don’t know what Neville—”
“My luggage is on the stoop. I’m taking a shower. Bring it in for me and I won’t even snoop around your things until after you’ve left to do whatever it is chauvinist glory suckers do,” Pansy calls over her shoulder before shutting the bathroom door behind her sopping wet arse.
Harry, feeling disappointed with himself for having nothing better to do, goes to retrieve her things. When he opens the door, however, there are legs. Legs wrapped in twill.
“Huh-hullo, Harry.” Zacharias tries out a weak smile, but his lips are too chapped and cold to really let it work. Carbon dioxide slinks out of his mouth as a vapor, clashing against his red lips in a way that really sort of works.
“What’re you doing here?”
“I need coffee.”
“You really need to learn how to use that fucking thing yourself.”
“Why should I? You’ll always do it for me.”
And, Harry slowly realises, this is very much true. Neither of them go out for evening drinks anyplace new anymore because there’s never been so good an excuse for hooking up as alcohol. To go someplace new is unspoken treachery, and they’ll have nothing of it. But to go home near every night with the same person, kissing as though it’s the first time, groping as though this is a stranger whose body you need not respect, fucking as though the kiln that makes the clay of a man has broken down and left them as nothing more than putty… yes. Yes, indeed. Hm, indeed. Fuck, indeed, even.
“I—I don’t suppose you’d like to go for a walk later? Or maybe catch a flick sometime?”
“With you?” Harry asks. Zacharias gives him ‘a looke’, extra ‘e’ included as a desperate grasp towards familiarity. “No, not really.”
“All right then,” Zacharias says, shivering inside himself. “Would I be able to just—”
And that’s that, then. Pansy will, once she’s finished using all the hot water, question their lack of a proper relationship. She’ll say things like, “I’d never figured you the type to fuck blokes.” because for all her proper upbringings Pansy has never been terribly subtle. She will question what it is they do together, but ultimately decide she just doesn’t want to know. She’ll be generally annoying for three more hours until Harry leaves for Zacharias’s.
A little part of him is killing itself in the slowest way possible because it knows Pansy is right. It knows this sort of relationship isn’t healthy, and it knows all this fucking around is going to start screwing with emotions very soon. Could be today. Harry knows he can do better than Zacharias. He knows he’s not perfect for Zacharias and he knows they will never be in any form of love. He will not go to dinner with the blond and they will not share one thousand first kisses.
But he will continue to suck his cock and fuck him through and through and listen to his ridiculous screaming. Every man has his breaking points, after all. He’ll wake up in that flat every few days, wondering how but not caring enough as to why.
Besides, someone has to make the coffee.
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