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PostPosted: Fri Jul 17, 2020 4:46 pm 

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When Draco set them in motion, Harry didn't look back. It didn't even occur to him, how part of the kiss was supposed to solidify their affection and attraction; how he, perhaps, should have ended the display with an intentionally coy smile in the direction of the under-secretary. The fact that she had been watching had completely left Harry's consciousness. Instead, he willingly followed as Draco filtered them through the crowd. A barely-there smile ghosting at the corners of his mouth, finding it impossible not to glance up at Draco's profile.
Harry's heart felt like it was leaping out of his chest; and they had only been at it for mere hours. He was in over his head. He realized it the moment he adjusted his hand around Draco's arm, how he already had a sense of just how his hand should curl around Draco's bicep for it to be comfortable. It was too familiar, too quickly, and, regrettably, with no end in sight.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2020 2:27 pm 

This body is a vessel for my mayhem and as long as I can perform bafoonery it doesn’t matter if this stomach is flat or not

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As they got outside, the cool blast of air that enveloped the pair served to make Draco think slightly more clearly. It was dangerously comfortable and Draco could already tell how easily he could get used to having Harry around. Sure, he was going to have to get used to having Harry around, but the ease with which they were already touching, exchanging kisses, greatly worried him. It would be so stupid to fall for his straight, fake boyfriend and yet Draco proved to be exactly that level of stupid.
“Much better,” he stated, taking a sip from his wine and feeling slightly more at ease. It was all just pretend and there was no reason to get caught up in his own head about it. They were just going to have to make the most of one another’s company and get this over and done with.
“Feeling okay?”

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2020 11:20 am 

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The cold air felt like a bucket of water, jolting Harry out of the tenderness of the moment. Draco's arm was still around his, and nothing had changed except for Harry's perception of the touch. Harry's wasn't that good of an actor, and it all started to feel like a dauntingly difficult line to stay on.
The courtyard was barely populated besides themselves and a handful of smokers skirting the perimiter. Hesitantly and too-aware of the people around them, Harry pulled away from the embrace, gingerly unwrapping his arm from Draco's. Rationally, Harry knew real couples weren't attached by the hip, and yet it felt dauntingly much like putting the charade on pause.
As it to compensate for the lack of physical contact, Harry stepped properly in front of Draco.
"Yeah," he eventually responded, almost truthfully. With a delay, a crooked smile appeared onto his lips, as he raised his own glass. "Just overwhelmed, is all."
When Harry took a sip of the soda, he was suddenly struck with a feeling of disappointment; it wasn't the first time throughout his sobriety that he had wished a drink was alcoholic, but never before had dutch courage felt so necessary.
To say the evening was overwhelming was the understatement of a lifetime. Harry could barely comprehend that this was his life for the foreseeable future. Though the glass had left his lips, Harry took another sip, dreaming the ginger ale to be champagne.
"What about you, love?" Harry countered, once again allowing the sweetness of a petname to compensate for the fact that Harry desperately needed a moment apart from Draco. A smile once again tugged at the corners of Harry's smile, the grin growing almost knowing. "It's your social circle."


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2020 5:27 am 

This body is a vessel for my mayhem and as long as I can perform bafoonery it doesn’t matter if this stomach is flat or not

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“Oh, I absolutely hate it here,” Draco stated, his voice soft enough that only Harry would be able to hear. He had always hated events like these, feeling like he was on display and was supposed to act a certain way. It was all like he was in a play, but no one had given him a script and he was supposed to just figure things out as he went, but would also be punished for going off script.
It was exhausting.
“Lucky for me, I get to drink, I have no idea how you are doing it without,” he added with a soft shrug, taking a sip from his wine as if to emphasise his point.
It was nice that they got to have a break from wandering eyes though, just them taking a moment to calm down and find each other again. It was an act, Draco knew it was an act, yet Harry was still his biggest source of comfort tonight and he was glad that he had him with him.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2020 10:59 am 

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Though there wasn't anything implied with Draco's comment, it still seemed to catch Harry off guard enough that it managed to fluster him. Having just asked himself the same question, Harry let out an awkwardly little chuckle, not sure what he felt about the possibility that Draco had so easily read Harry's mind.
"Yeah, well," Harry breathed, still almost a laugh. He didn't find that he had any prepared answer - none that was appropriate, at least. Harry hadn't declined the white wine served at lunch with the Malfoys, but Harry hadn't touched it. He felt a degree of uncertainty, not knowing whether or not Draco had understood that Harry was sober, always.
"I've been sober through worse things," Harry joked, the corner of his mouth finally tugging upward in a proper grin.
It was a weird dynamic getting to hide away with Draco in a corner of their own. It felt like the first time they had a moment to really be around each other, and yet, Harry still found himself friendlier and more willing to share out of the irrational fear that anybody would be listening in.
Harry lifted the glass to his lips, partially obscuring his smile. It only meant the toying glimmer translated to his eyes, and finally, Harry allowed himself to ground themselves. "The first time you had me over for tea at your parents, for example."


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 2020 1:56 pm 

This body is a vessel for my mayhem and as long as I can perform bafoonery it doesn’t matter if this stomach is flat or not

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Draco snorted at that, having shared the sentiment about their very first meeting, but somehow he was glad that Harry had been the one to put it into words first. Their relationship, if you could ever call it that, was in such a fragile state, both of them balancing what was real about it all and what wasn’t, which surprisingly was a lot harder than Draco thought that it would be.
“Can’t believe that you are still sticking around after that,” he said with a soft shake of his head. There was a certain appreciation in Draco’s voice, glad that Harry had stuck around despite it all, simply because he doubted that he would have enjoyed the company of just about anyone else as he did the company of Harry.
This, of course, could also end up being a terrible thing for him. In the dim light of the courtyard, it was difficult to not feel entranced by Harry, wanting to be closer to him but also having to remind himself that it was all just for show. They were barely even friends after all and Draco had to remember that.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 2020 2:38 pm 

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It was obvious how Harry's instinctive response was to smile. It was everything from getting to hear Draco chuckle to the honesty in his words, that made the corners of Harry's mouth pull upwards in a grin, too pleased by the response.
Then, as his lips parted to response, he fumbled. Unable to distinguish Draco's intention nor the expectations to his own reply, the bright smile turned tentative, making him shift his stance. In the end, no words left his lips, not knowing what to reply.
If they were playing a part, Harry should do more, whether that meant crossing the distance or speak to months together and not hours. Yet, nobody was close enough that made Harry believe that Draco had delivered his line for an audience, making him flush all over again at the possibility that the gratitude had been genuine.
When Harry's smile reappeared, it was boyish, flustered by the exchange.
"Of course," he finally replied, his voice made airy by the grin. "You're good company."


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 2020 4:48 pm 

This body is a vessel for my mayhem and as long as I can perform bafoonery it doesn’t matter if this stomach is flat or not

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The compliment came as a surprise to Draco, mostly in how genuine Harry sounded when he said it. They had not spent a lot of time together so far, both of them only just starting to get familiar with one another, yet Draco felt certain that he was going to enjoy his time with Harry.
“You think so?” He asked, his smile wide as he took another sip from his wine. There was a certain ease in being around Harry, or maybe it was just the fact that they were finally outside and didn’t have to put on as much of a show anymore. Either way, it was something Draco enjoyed and he allowed himself to relax into their interaction.
“I’m glad, because this is just the beginning,” he stated, as he offered his arm for Harry to take. He knew that they were going to have to go back inside soon, no matter how little he wanted to do so. “Come on, let’s go back in.”

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 21, 2020 3:57 am 

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They couldn't have been out in the courtyard for any longer than ten minutes and still it felt like Harry needed to muster all of his courage to reengage in the charade. The lines between act and reality had been fuzzy when it was just the two of them, but, as Draco offered him his arm to take, there was an inevitable moment where they'd be entwined in an embrace without any audience to witness it.
It made it all that more daunting, making Harry smile go crooked in lack of any better response.
Dragging out the inevitable, Harry finished his drink, once again wishing the soda to be an alcoholic drink instead.
"Fine," he said, the act of just having downed his drink making him sound reluctant; the smile, however, softened it.
When Harry finally closed the last remaining distance between them, his hand caught the crook of Draco's elbow, the touch ginger in an attempt to pace himself. He had too quickly become comfortable increasing the area of contact between them into something that was far greater than necessary; he had to pull back if he was ever to keep up with himself.
"How do these things usually go?" Harry asked as he set in motion, hand slipping to Draco's forearm when he moved a step ahead of him.
As Harry looked back at Draco, there was a grin to his voice. "Is it just an endless loop of drinks and small talk until someone finally unlocks the doors and we can leave?"


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 21, 2020 12:51 pm 

This body is a vessel for my mayhem and as long as I can perform bafoonery it doesn’t matter if this stomach is flat or not

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It was already becoming a familiar feeling to have Harry’s hand on his arm, liking how it made them look like an item and also helped to make Draco feel more grounded. It was nice to have someone he knew was in his corner, even if he knew that it was fake all of it. They still were in a weird situation together though and it seemed that they really only would be able to discuss this with each other.
“Yeah, that is pretty much it,” he said looking over at Harry with a warm smile. It was then he realised that people were probably going to be assuming that they had been hiding to make out and nothing about either of them implied this.
“Hold on a sec,” he said, freeing his arm from Harry’s hand and went to properly face him. It was probably too intimate, even for what they were doing, but with the wine in his system it seemed like a perfectly good idea.
“Hold this for me?” He asked as he handed Harry his wine glass, managing to free up his hands. Once both of his hands were free he reached up and started to run them through Harry’s hair, playing with it and messing it up. Much to his chagrin, it wasn’t hard for him to imagine what it would be like to snog Harry and he tried to shut down those thoughts as he kept messing with his hair.
“Gotta make people believe that we just had a proper snog, yeah?”

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 21, 2020 2:42 pm 

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Completely caught off guard, Harry barely registered what had led to Draco's fingers raking through his hair. In that moment, the pressure against his scalp threatened to make his knees buckle, literally feeling his hairs stand as Draco ruffled up his hair. Harry, frankly, didn't need a justification for the caress.
Mouth barely falling open, Harry was at a loss for words. Draco wasn't looking at him, attention directed a few inches above Harry's line of sight, and yet Harry couldn't keep his eyes off of him. Either the wine or the cold had flushed the very peak of his cheekbones and Harry could barely stand it.
"Is that what we're telling people?" he attempted, voice breaking at the attempt to regain his composure. His words were an ill-placed joke, knowing this to be a statement that was utterly off the table; nothing more than a discrete nuance as they re-entered the stage.
The smile came delayed, sheepish but hardly able to concentrate on a productive line of thought with Draco's hands still in his hair.
"Are you gunna let me ruffle up your hair?" What was intended as a challenge sounded breathless despite the grin, Draco remaining too close for too long for Harry to be witty. "It's supposed to look like we've snogged each other, isn't it?"


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 21, 2020 3:57 pm 

This body is a vessel for my mayhem and as long as I can perform bafoonery it doesn’t matter if this stomach is flat or not

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“No, but they will know,” Draco said as he removed his hands from Harry’s hair finally, feeling a little pang of sadness when he was no longer touching him like that. It was incredibly stupid and Draco was doing what he could to keep a level head, they were probably going to be sticking around for a very long time so there was no reason to let it get out of hands.
“And I would never let you touch my hair,” he stated with a shake of his head, knowing that it would be too much with his hair being ruffled as well. Especially because of how much he had enjoyed the touching and playing.
“I can do this though,” he stated and took a small step away, allowing him to ruffle up his dress shirt a little. It was just enough that it could look purposeful to the people who hadn’t seen him earlier, but also messy enough that people who had seen him earlier would know.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 21, 2020 4:25 pm 

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Harry's heart skipped a beat at how definitive the refusal had been, immediately serving to remind Harry that this was nothing more than a business transaction. They were still, in every sense of the word, strangers, and the mere suggestion that Draco's ruffling of Harry's hair had been fun and easy suddenly felt stupid.
It made Harry's stomach turn, knowing he had overstepped suddenly feeling like he had wholly misjudged the tone they could have with each other in private.
His lips parted to apologize, wanting to soothe the kink it had left in the flow of their conversation, but he never got a chance to do so.
Immediately, it seemed, Draco's hands were against his own midriff and Harry could do little but to gawk. Unable to follow the quick, intentional pace Draco maintained, it took Harry a heart beat to catch up.
Then, he blushed.
His eyes immediately darted upwards, flustered by having looked, as if Draco himself had not brought attention to the state of his shirt. It was nothing else than a costume change, just how ruffling up Harry's hair had been purely aesthetical; yet Harry's lips remained parted, mind occupied by the implications that he was supposed to have done that to Draco's shirt.
"Okay," he croaked helplessly, not knowing what else was appropriate to say. His mind was still playing catch up, desperately trying to picture their supposed embrace, Draco's hands in Harry's hair, Harry's at Draco's fly. It was too much, especially given the rap on the wrist for becoming too familiar. Too familiar indeed, Harry thought.
Harry hardly felt present in his own body when he continued. "Ready, then?"


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 22, 2020 12:42 am 

This body is a vessel for my mayhem and as long as I can perform bafoonery it doesn’t matter if this stomach is flat or not

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Draco hadn’t meant for his words to be unkind, merely factual, but it became clear to him that maybe he had been a little rude to Harry. After all, it was simply the fact that Draco knew how to make these subtle differences and knew exactly how much they would be able to get away with without causing a scene. However, Harry was his only confidante in this and he had to remember that.
“Yeah, I guess so,” he said, as he gingerly took back his glass of wine. This was going to take a lot of work if they wanted to make it work, and even if it wasn’t Draco’s idea then he desperately wanted it to work out for them.
Acting on a kind of spur of the moment motivation, Draco leant in to press a quick kiss to Harry’s cheek. He needed them both to calm down and look familiar, maybe even a little giddy, around each other and while he wasn’t sure a kiss on the cheek would accomplish that, he felt that he had to do something.
“Just relax, you’re doing great.”

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 22, 2020 3:01 am 

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This truly felt like his breaking point. Harry suddenly felt like he was on unsteady ground, questioning everything he he had done with - to - Draco as his pretend partner. Harry had never been more certain that he couldn't bare an entire evening like this, nerves too much on his sleeve to endure even a second more of it.
The kiss on his cheek had completely knocked the air out of him, catching him off guard. Harry barely heard the praise, finding this entire exchange to have been one whiplash after the other. With the ghosting of Draco's lips still burning against his cheek, it seemed they were only a few inches away from actually having snogged; something, which Harry almost expected to have been easier on him.
His skin felt electric, needles shooting down his spine. He felt like a wreck, too wound up with almosts.
"Thanks," he replied, barely a mutter.
Awkwardly needing to diffuse the charge of his skin, Harry brushed his hand against his hair in an attempt to rile in the work that Draco had done to it; to little avail, the curls unwilling to flatten themselves back down. Knowing better than to expect that to have done any significant change, Harry finally smiled, boyish and awkward.
No explanation seemed to follow whatever had brought the smile to Harry's lips. Instead, he finally reached out to reestablish the embrace Draco had cut short. Harry's hand settled on Draco's lifted wrist, an inch away from the wine glass.
"Come on," Harry urged, not having it in him to spend a moment more this alone with Draco. "If we stay out here any longer I'm gunna go from looking snogged to shagged."


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 22, 2020 3:32 pm 

This body is a vessel for my mayhem and as long as I can perform bafoonery it doesn’t matter if this stomach is flat or not

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Draco really hadn’t intended for them to stay for so long, but he had found that he had simply just been enjoying his time together with Harry so much that he hadn’t noticed the passing of time. Having gotten over the initial tension, the two of them had managed to mingle and be the perfect couple to Draco’s father’s supporters, doing exactly what they had planned.
It had come as a surprise to Draco just how much he was enjoying Harry’s company. It was a pleasant surprise to him, having feared the absolute worst when Lucius had talked him into doing this, but by now he was fairly pleased.
They were among the last of the guests at the gala, only about 10 people being left in the room, themselves included. When Draco went to check his watch, he realised that it was nearing midnight, meaning that he and Harry would probably have to get going soon as well.
They had placed themselves at a large table, having a fair distance between them, but with their ankles intertwined, as they nursed each their own drink. It was a deeply intimate kind of caress that spoke of a need to constantly be touching, even while being a little apart, even if it was mostly staged.
“Getting tired?” He asked as he looked at Harry, unsure how he was handling having been on show for so many hours by now.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 22, 2020 4:13 pm 

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Harry's lips parted as if to reply, but found the response in the way his mind had gone blank for a second. His eyes had dipped a while back, probably having prompted Draco's question to begin with.
Harry's attention had been caught by the way Draco's ankle leaned against his outstretched prosthetic leg. Harry's relaxed, laid back posture was solely practical, finding the prosthetic joint awkward to manually bend when seating himself; when Draco had returned the proximity with a caress to a bodypart Harry had no feeling in, it had warmed his heart endlessly.
The evening had been a lot of that; Draco being unexplainably generous in his affection and Harry so flustered that he struggling to accept it in a way that seemed habitual.
With a little sigh, trying to regain a sense of reality, Harry shifted in his seat. As his eyes finally found Draco's, he comfortably outstretched his good leg, crossing it over his ankle.
"We're getting there," he admitted in an exhale, a grin growing at the corners of his mouth as he crossed his arms across his chest. He felt his eyes go glassy, the evening so exhaustingly long that Harry had first switched to a more coffein-high soda, and the once again back to something that wouldn't keep him up at night.
Finally feeling like he could return the caress, Harry tipped his shoe up against the inside of Draco's calf in an attempt to perk them both up a bit. "Are you? You seem fine, still."


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 23, 2020 2:34 pm 

This body is a vessel for my mayhem and as long as I can perform bafoonery it doesn’t matter if this stomach is flat or not

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“That’s ‘cause I am drunk,” Draco stated, his tone not too indicative of his alcohol level. It had taken many years of practice, but he had perfected the art of being undetectably drunk, a skill that had come in handy many times when he had had to attend galas and the like.
By now, he was nursing a glass of water, not too keen on waking up with a hangover the next day. All in all though, the evening had been much less terrible than what he had anticipated and he was relieved that he and Harry got along as well as they did. It made it easier to play boyfriends with him.
“I am bloody exhausted,” he added with a shake of his head. He knew that it wouldn’t be difficult to get back home from there, but the idea of having to return to the manor was absolutely suffocating to him and he had half a mind to just get a room at a hotel under the guise of sleeping with Harry. That way his father couldn’t really be made at him.
“I’ll finish this water, then I’ll get us a ride out of here.”

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 23, 2020 4:13 pm 

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While Harry couldn't say that he had noticed Draco to be drunk, he was also hardly surprised by the matter-of-factly admission, having served as a witness to every drink Draco had had over the course of the evening. It brought a slowly growing grin to his lips, endlessly humoured by how perfectly poised Draco seemed to remain even when declared drunk by his own standards.
It was, however, the almost nonchalant, off-handed addition that made Harry's smile freeze in place.
"Oh yeah?" Harry let out, the laugh in his voice making him sound both caught off guard and pleasantly surprised.
The boyishness of his reply had been genuine, startled by the implication that they were, in fact, not just waiting for the last guests to leave. In the back of his mind, Harry had thought this to be the entire reason why they were still there in the first place, seeing as they had barely spoken to any but each other for the last couple of hours.
The notion of them leaving together was enough for Harry's grin to widen, even if he knew it meant absolutely nothing; everything about him an accidentally perfect picture of a pleased boyfriend who hadn’t expected company for the evening.
"Well, hurry up, then," he grinned, his voice juvenile rather than suggestively. His eyes had once again dipping to their intertwined legs, once again bumping his foot against Draco's leg in a too-familiar gesture. "We've got better things to do than to linger about here."


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 26, 2020 12:37 pm 

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Draco couldn’t help but grin at the comment, liking the idea that Harry might be eager to take him home, even if he knew that they were not actually going home together; it was simply another part of their huge illusion and the image they had to create for themselves.
“As you say,” he said with a crooked grin, before emptying his glass of water in one, long sip. Just as he placed his glass back on the table, he spotted his parents approaching out of the corner of his eye, naturally being among the last to leave as well.
“Draco, your mother and I are getting a town car, are you coming along,” Lucius stated, leaving it clear that it wasn’t a question but a statement. He clearly thought their ruse were up for the night and that he no longer needed to look at Draco and Harry play a couple.
Sadly for Lucius, Draco had other plans.
“Actually,” Draco stated, noticing people, the few remaining, stretching their necks around them to hear what was being said. It was unusual for Draco to no just agree to what his father said, so it wasn’t like he couldn’t blame them, however he found this part very necessary.
“I was going to accompany Harry back to his hotel, you know how it gets with his leg when he has been standing for many hours,” he said, a polite smile on his lips, leaving Lucius with no real room to argue.

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