Prague, Czech Republic
Harry was an expert on desperate situations.
Between Quirrell, Crouch Jr., the Tri-Wizard Tournament, the Death Eaters, and the many variations of Voldemort—not to mention the sort of mishaps that were considered ordinary in the magical world—he was well-versed in handling hopelessness, fear and panic even before entering Auror training. He struggled badly with Dementors, but then again, everyone struggled with Dementors, and he had more than his fair share of nightmares. Then there'd been the cerberus, the basilisk, the dragon, pretty much everything except Buckbeak from Hagrid's classes, fucking Nagini...
But nothing had ever trained him for the heart-pounding anxiety of this.
Terror gripped Harry as he ran through the crowds. Ducking from vendor to vendor at Havel's Market, he raced against the sinking sun as he sought his missing son.
He turned a corner too quickly and bumped into a fruit stand; three yellow-orange peaches went tumbling to the floor to get crushed underfoot, but he ignored the shouting from the angry seller to continue his frantic search. "Minjoon! Where are you? Min!"
Ten minutes later, Harry was borderline hysterical. Just as he was preparing himself to call in every favour ever owed to him to summon aid, his eye was caught by a splash of white so bright it was impossible to miss: pale, fair skin against even paler, fairer hair.
And a smaller head of black beside it that turned as he skidded to a stop.
The four year old boy launched himself at Harry, arms winding tightly around his waist. Harry pulled him away just long enough to drop down to his knees and reel him back in. "Merlin, you scared me to death," he breathed as he clung to the small child tightly. "You can't run off like that!"
"Funny," a distinctly non-Czech accent drawled above them. "According to Minjoon, you're the one who disappeared, oh Boy Who Lived Thrice."
"Thri—oh. Very funny." Reluctantly looking away from his son to give the other Englishman a gander, Harry was startled to spot Draco Malfoy casually thumbing through a set of puzzles on a table. "Malfoy," he acknowledged, surprise evident in his tone—for more reasons than one.
Malfoy didn't return the greeting. "I know you're accustomed to people following you around, but expecting a four year old to do the same is a bit much, don't you think? Especially in a foreign place. Who takes their eyes off of a small child, particularly somewhere like Havelské Tržiště?" <Havels Market> Cool blue-grey eyes turned to Harry, judgment clear. "And on your first day in town, too. For shame, Potter."
"How... do you know all that?" Harry asked, more bewildered than suspicious. While they hadn't exactly become amicable over the years, he knew that the Malfoys had kept their heads down after the war, and Andromeda reported that the particularly Malfoy before him periodically came by to visit Teddy; he highly doubted his old peer was up to any sort of nefarious stalking. No; his confusion stemmed more from the fact that Minjoon rarely spoke.
And when he did, it wasn't in English.
"I mean, unless you... but why would you..."
Malfoy rolled his eyes and set a puzzle down. Stepping closer, he put a hand on Minjoon's shoulder and leaned over, waiting for the boy to extract his face from Harry's shoulder to stare at him expectantly. "야, 민준아. 아빠 손을 꼭 잡아야해. 알겠어?" <Hey, Minjoon. You've gotta make sure you hold onto dad's hand really well. Got it?>
Minjoon gave one curt nod. "네!" <Yes!>
"좋아. 착하다. Good boy," Malfoy translated, the words clearly bearing the English accent but falling comfortably from his lips nonetheless. Patting Minjoon, he lightly pushed him back toward Harry before straightening.
Cradling his son close again, Harry gave his former classmate a bewildered stare. "Why—I mean, thank you. Really, thank you for keeping an eye on him. But why do you know Korean, of all languages?" he asked.
Sniffing disdainfully, Malfoy crossed his arms. "I speak a number of languages, thank you. We're not all completely uncultured."
Not buying the deflection for a moment, Harry raised one eyebrow and waited for elaboration.
Malfoy reluctantly capitulated. "And my godmother happens to be Korean," he admitted. "I'm not fluent, but I can carry out a basic conversation with a child."
The pointed stare Harry received with the blond's last words made him wince. Whether it was from the papers or Andromeda, Malfoy obviously knew at least the basics of how he'd come to adopt the orphan five months earlier. He also knew it was a pretty ridiculous story—running into a burning orphanage, really? And then adopting the last child he saved?—and he could easily imagine the epic eye-roll that had likely followed Malfoy learning of the incident. "I'm working on it," he grumbled. "It takes more than a few months to learn another language, you know."
"Of course I know, but you've had him for—what is it, half a year now?" Malfoy waved off Harry's correction. "In that amount of time, you should at least have had sufficient time to learn the basics like 'Where are you' and 'Stay here' and 'You scared me to death.'"
"I did, and I have," Harry shot back tetchily. "Well—some of that, anyway. I just panicked. Besides, my priorities have been getting him settled and comfortable while keeping my job, and it's important for him to learn English while living in London as well."
"He's learning English," Malfoy drawled. "I bet he understands more than you give him credit for. He's just too overwhelmed to speak it. Children are sponges. 대중 알아듣겠니?" <You understand the gist, right?>
The last was directed at Minjoon, and the boy blinked owlishly at him before tilting his head consideringly. His quiet response went clear over Harry's head, but it seemed to confirm Malfoy's words based on his approving nod and smug look.
Malfoy dropped his arms and turned away. "In any case, now that the happy family is reunited, there's no point for me to stick around. Těší mě, Minjoon. Sbohem. Keep a better eye on your kid, Potter."
Harry rolled his eyes at his former rival's retreating back, biting back a retaliation for Minjoon's sake. "Thank you, Malfoy," he politely responded instead, because even if he hadn't exactly been polite about it and he'd mocked Harry's skills as a new parent, Malfoy hadn't had to stay with Minjoon like that.
And that was worth everything.
Malfoy didn't respond (nor had Harry expected him to), and Harry looked down at the child who was watching the blond go. "Minjoon, 배고파?" <Are you hungry?>
Minjoon lit up excitedly. Ex-Slytherin forgotten, they went on their way.
It was two months before the Potters saw Malfoy again, and this time, it was over kaya toast in Singapore.
"Come on, Minjoon—not in front of people, okay? 하지 마 <Don't do that.>," Harry chided as he pulled Minjoon's fingers out of his mouth again.
Minjoon stared up at him petulantly, fingertips covered in coconut jam. He wasn't significantly more vocal now than he'd been in Prague, but at least he'd begun expressing more opinions and preferences. For all the headaches his moments of stubborn rebellion caused, they were absolutely worth it just to see him becoming more comfortable in his environment.
Harry took a sip of his coffee before picking up his own toast. No sooner did he put it in his mouth than Minjoon stuck his fingers into the jam again, ignoring the grilled breading in favour of the sweet kaya. "Minjoon!"
"빵 싫어요!" <I don't want bread!> Minjoon retorted defiantly, sulking. "영국 사람들은 빵을 너무 많이 먹어요!" <English people eat too much bread!>
"Minjoon..." Harry sighed. "너무 빨라. <Too fast.> Can you say that again, please?"
"싫어!" <I don't want to!>
"For Merlin's sake, Potter," Malfoy drawled, "how drastically did you change his diet to upset him like that?"
Harry glared at the blond, feeling torn. On the one hand, Minjoon clearly liked him; he'd mentioned "the puzzle man" several times since their last meeting, wanting to know who he was and how Harry knew him. On the other hand, Malfoy's criticisms weren't exactly what he wanted to hear at the moment. "I try to make him Korean food every couple of weeks, but he says it never tastes right."
"I'm not surprised. Hermione mentioned that your spice tolerance was awful." Pulling over a chair, Malfoy dropped down with a menu from one of the other stalls in the hawker centre and flipped it open. "I would recommend the chilli crab with plain white sticky rice. It's to not-quite-die-a-third-time for."
"I thought I was already Boy Who Lived Thrice," Harry reminded, smiling faintly as he recalled their exchange in Prague. The casual reference to Hermione wasn't even that strange these days; they'd worked together for a couple of years after the war, her in the Ministry court system as an intern and him sorting out various property issues on the other end when his parents "went on an extended holiday" (read: scarpered) to Zurich and left him to deal with their local domiciles and businesses.
Malfoy looked distracted for a moment as he reviewed his memory before snapping his fingers. "Ah, the Minjoon scare, yes. Fourth time, then," he amended.
Harry nodded. "Better. And more to the point—Singapore, really?" he asked. "Why?"
"You really need to stop asking me 'why', Potter," Malfoy sniffed. "Why not?"
Without giving Harry a chance to reply, the blond turned to Minjoon. "매운 음식 좋아하니?" <Do you like spicy food?> When Minjoon nodded, he pointed to one of the items on the menu. "그럼 이거 먹어봐." <Then try this.>
Minjoon peered at the menu curiously, then perked up and stared at Harry with wide-eyed hope. It was impossible to deny him anything when faced with that look, so Harry resisted sighing and got up. "Don't let him eat just the jam," he instructed the other man.
When he got back, it was to see the last bite of Minjoon's kaya toast disappear into Malfoy's mouth, followed by a sip of Harry's coffee. Too resigned to even be disgruntled, Harry set the steaming plate of spicy crab and bowl of white rice down in front of his son. A bright smile lit up Minjoon's face, and Harry had to smile back.
Harry started to draw away when Minjoon abruptly hugged him tightly. Turning away again, the young boy grabbed the spoon and helped himself to a big bite of rice.
Grinning in sheer relief, Harry settled himself back down again. He glanced at Malfoy, who met the look with a smirk and a smugly mouthed, "Told you so." Rolling his eyes, Harry stole his coffee back and took a sip. "Not that I don't appreciate your insightful suggestion, but get your own toast," he chided.
"You must be joking," Malfoy scoffed. "As if that would be sufficiently satisfying. I'm waiting for an order of char kway teow, thank you. I'll be out of your hair in a moment." He paused, eyeing Harry's actual head of hair critically before crinkling up his nose. "If I can find my way out of that jungle."
Harry kicked his chair leg sharply, hard enough that Malfoy had to quickly grab the table to keep his balance.
The Draco Malfoy from school would have been quick to scowl and hit back. The Draco Malfoy he'd become used to from Andromeda's anecdotes would have acted put-upon but refrained from lashing out. Harry expected something in between the two.
He didn't expect Malfoy to laugh.
It was brief, to be sure—quite possibly more of a startled reaction than anything else, although the look on his face afterward was still amused—but even so, he couldn't help but stare. Had he ever heard him laugh before? Snicker, maybe, when they were boys, but certainly not like this.
Luckily, he didn't have time to dwell long. A voice cut through the throng of people from behind them, and Malfoy rose to his feet. "That's me. I'll see you later, Potter. Minjoon, 잘 먹어." <Enjoy your food.>
Harry blinked, shaking his head as Minjoon thanked him and wished him well. He raised a hand to wave good-bye, but Malfoy was already gone.
Minjoon ran off again. This time, however, he was only out of Harry's sight for four seconds. A group of tourists exited out the back door to reveal the boy across the garden and latched onto a long, thin leg.
"Malfoy-씨!" <Mister Malfoy!>
"Hello, Min—Minjoon?" This time, Malfoy was the one to be startled by their presence. Blinking down at the boy hugging him, then up at Harry, he sighed. "Oh, come on. Really?"
"Yes, I've come all the way to the United States just to stalk you with my son," Harry snorted, tugging lightly at one of Minjoon's shoulders to urge him to let go. It didn't work, but he felt obligated to try nonetheless. "How is it that we never see you in England, but this is the third country—third continent, even—in six months?"
Malfoy rolled his eyes. "Probably because I'm rarely in England," he drawled, absently petting Minjoon's hair as he tried to pry his leg away.
Harry blinked. "I sense a story behind that. Could we tempt you to some lunch, or are you planning to vanish immediately again?"
Smiling faintly, Malfoy shook his head. "I'm technically working right now, but lunch could be a part of that. 민준아, 조개 먹을래?" <Minjoon, want to eat some clams?>
Minjoon made a face, crinkling up his nose in distaste. Malfoy laughed quietly. "Ah, well. Can't win them all. 새우는?" <What about shrimp?> When the boy nodded agreeably, Malfoy turned away and snapped his fingers as if summoning a pet. "All right, then; come along."
"What if we already had a restaurant in mind?" Harry asked in amusement, although he followed along anyway. Minjoon returned to Harry's side, slipping his hand into his dad's and swinging it slightly as he walked.
"I believe I've demonstrated considerably excellent accuracy in pinpointing what your charge would enjoy eating," Malfoy pointed out as he led them out of the garden and back onto the street. "I'm also willing to bet that my culinary tastes as a whole are more refined than yours, meaning," he emphasized when Harry began to protest, "that while there's a fifty percent chance I'd dislike a location of your choosing, the odds are much higher that you will like mine. Besides, I already have a reservation."
Well, Harry couldn't argue with that.
When they arrived at the subterranean restaurant Alligator Soul and gave Malfoy's name, the trio was quickly ushered to a quiet table far from the door. Minjoon stared around with wide eyes, never having been somewhere so classy before; Harry was a fan of cosier establishments when they went out at all, but for the most part, he cooked for them at home.
Malfoy's own expression was grudgingly approving as he settled into his seat, peering around with a more critical eye. "Hmm. Not as desperately pretentious as I'd feared. Decent spacing between the tables, too," he murmured, largely talking to himself. Picking up one of the menus, he gave it a cursory skim, obviously assessing it for something other than the descriptions. He crinkled his nose in dissatisfaction before going back to the beginning and reading through the items. "Shall we start with some appetizers for the table? The Gator Croquettes sound interesting. And some crostinis? I'm curious about the local honeycomb."
"I'm curious about your interest in the local honeycomb," Harry teased, smiling as Malfoy tutted at his impatience.
"We'll get there, Potter. Let's do the oysters instead of the croquettes, and one of us can get an alligator entree. Minjoon, gator 라고 아니? 악어?" <Do you know what 'gator' means? Alligator?>
Minjoon stared at him in shock. "사람들은 악어 고기를 먹어요?" <People eat alligator meat?>
"물론이지. 많은 사람들이 좋아해," <Well, naturally. Lots of people like it.> Malfoy chuckled quietly.
With his Korean not yet good enough to follow the quick changes in register or the unfamiliar vocabulary, the conversation pretty much went over Harry's head. He found, however, that he didn't mind; he couldn't mind when it meant he could watch his son happily chatting, or see how well relaxation suited his old classmate. He was so accustomed to a much younger Malfoy's haughty peacocking, or a slightly older one quietly keeping to himself. This was the first time he could remember ever seeing Malfoy truly calm.
After the server came and went with their orders—the oysters and charcuterie won in the end, followed by pork chops and summer squash for Harry, Creole shrimp and grits for Minjoon, and persimmon-glazed scallops for Malfoy with some Cajun gator gumbo to share—Harry turned to Malfoy expectantly as Minjoon contented himself with Malfoy's mobile (and the end was truly nigh when Malfoy had a smartphone and Harry didn't).
The corner of Malfoy's mouth twitched up at the silent question, and he shook his head. "All right, all right. It's really not that interesting of a story, though."
"I somehow doubt that," Harry drawled, earning the soft huff of laughter again from the other man.
Malfoy sipped at his Glenfiddich, which Harry automatically mirrored with his chocolate stout. "I suspect you heard all about that mess that went on six, seven years ago? With the Apothecary down south, and the manor in Wales?"
Harry started to nod, then hesitated. "I read a bit in the papers. Something about back taxes, wasn't it? But Hermione said not to believe it. She couldn't divulge any details, though."
"Yes, she's really decent that way," Malfoy nodded approvingly. "The only one who could be arsed to help. Not that I don't understand," he added haltingly in case Harry'd planned to bring up history.
"Still, it was all I had left, you know? I couldn't let the Ministry take it away just because they 'lost' all record of forty years of property and income taxes. Even our solicitor all but laughed in my face and resigned from his post."
"This may be none of my business," Harry began carefully, "but why was it all you had left? I never understood why your parents left, especially at such a... complicated time. Andromeda made it sound like your mother was there one day, gone the next." Which was putting it mildly: her exact words were that Lucius had fled the flames of scandal with his tail between his legs, dragging Cissy along for the ride.
(He didn't plan on bringing that up, either.)
Malfoy stared at him. "Is that a serious question? Of course it is." Sighing, he took a longer pull of his scotch before setting the glass down and pushing it to the side. "We weren't exactly liked before the war outside of those who wanted the political connection. After—even if you cleared our name, that didn't mean anybody else miraculously forgave us. The strain of... well, all of the gossip, the snide remarks, the cold treatment wore at them. And then the Ministry swooped in, waved warrants in our faces, and declared they were shutting the Apothecary down and taking the Welsh manor along with it. It was just too much. Especially for my mother—"
"—who never did anything wrong in the first place," Harry realised, shoulders sinking. "Merlin, that's awful. I'm so sorry. But why did they leave you behind?"
"I stayed behind," Malfoy corrected. "This was my home. Both of my parents spent loads of time in France and Switzerland off and on until I went to Hogwarts, so that was nearly as much home to them as Wiltshire. Not to me, though."
"But you said you're barely in England anymore," Harry reminded.
Malfoy snorted. "Yes, well. After that awful experience trying to hold onto the Apothecary and manor, much of my love for England was lost. I'm pretty sure I still owe Hermione a good half a dozen favours for all the help she gave me."
I'm positive she won't be collecting, Harry thought. He didn't want to interrupt Malfoy when he was finally on a roll, however, so he kept his impressions to himself.
"I didn't want to go hide behind my parents forever, so I took up a Muggle guise—also with your friend's help—and began to travel instead. I'd never done so alone before, and it was... liberating."
"And delicious, it would seem," Harry teased as their appetizers arrived. "Or were you always a culinary connoisseur?"
"Merlin, no," Malfoy laughed. "I was the pickiest child alive. No, that definitely came with the traveling. Most of the dining establishments I visited were suitably all right, but then I found this absolutely terrible place in Italy where the food was abysmal and the service even worse. A pit of money-stealing vipers, and I'm very familiar with my snakes. By this point I already had that," he gestured at the phone in Minjoon's hands, "so I left scathing comments on every review site I could find and suggestions for superior alternatives. The next thing I know, I'm being contacted by several food blogs and magazines to write guest columns, and things took off from there."
"Wow," Harry blinked. "So you write restaurant reviews for a living now? Do you even need the income?"
"Thankfully, no, although it certainly gives me a sense of security after nearly losing the family business," Malfoy replied wryly. "I just enjoy it. My more regular employers pay for my basic travel costs, I pay for the luxury upgrades and swallow the costs for independent articles, and there you have it: my life as of the last two years."
They fell into silence as they tasted their food, Harry coaxing Angry Birds away from his distracted child. He took the time to digest Malfoy's words along with his food (which was excellent; even Minjoon, despite his fuss about clams, gobbled down an oyster happily), and only broke the quiet chit-chat when their starters were gone. "If you call that an uninteresting story, I wonder what you'd consider exciting."
Malfoy laughed over the rim of his glass. "Your story, Potter. Your entire life story."
Harry peered at Draco—because after sharing dinner in Savannah and catching up on the past decade it was silly to continue calling his old peer by his family name—and stepped back to let him in out of the rain.
"Draco? Why is there a tiny you attached to your person?"
"Why do you think, Potter?" Draco demanded as he dripped his way inside, all of the calm poise Harry'd become accustomed to completely gone. The infant in his arms shivered and wailed, her pale hair plastered to her pale forehead. "Help."
"I couldn't begin to guess its gender identity, but the sex is female, and beside the point. HELP."
Harry led him into the living room and sat him down on a couch. Minjoon looked up curiously from where he was playing with some Muggle toy cars—ballerina cars, of course, because why wouldn't a Chevy wear a tutu?—and scrambled over. "아저씨의 아기 이에요?" <Is it Mister's baby?>
"I don't know how to get her to stop," Draco confessed in a panicked rush, not seeming to have heard Minjoon's question. "She's been crying all morning, and Andromeda is visiting Zurich, and Hermione's not answering her firecall, and I-I didn't know anyone else—didn't know where to take her—"
"Breathe," Harry instructed firmly, reaching over to coax the infant from Draco's arms. The blond resisted at first, hold tightening in some sort of panicked paternal instinct, but he relented after a moment. "Have some tea, take a deep breath, and tell me what's got you so worked up. From the beginning." Adjusting the bundle of blankets and baby, he began pacing back and forth as he rocked and bounced her.
Exhaling shakily as he tried to settle his nerves, Draco picked up Harry's mug of Earl Grey from the coffee table and took a tentative sip. His long, thin fingers wrapped around the mug as he held it close to his face, breathing in the comforting steam as much as the scent. In an uncharacteristic act of affection, Minjoon tucked himself against Malfoy's right side and hugged onto him. Draco distractedly lifted his elbow to make it easier for him before settling it back down, but didn't otherwise react.
It was a few minutes before he spoke.
"It's been—I don't normally—share my life with others. It's... difficult to maintain a relationship, as I'm sure you can imagine, given that I'm rarely in one place for long. But about a year ago, before—in Prague, actually—there was someone. Nothing serious—not for long—just..."
He glanced down at Minjoon then, and then back at Harry, but Harry didn't comment. Minjoon had gone from an orphanage in Korea to a single father in England with friends in all sorts of relationships; the idea of dating someone for a short period of time wouldn't be anything shocking, nor was it anything to shield him from.
"When I got back to London a few days ago, there was a letter from Social Services requesting a meeting as soon as possible. I saw them Tuesday, and they arrived with a birth certificate and photo for me. Eva—Evelina, the woman from Prague—had binned my contact information after we broke up, and with my Muggle records being so limited, she had trouble finding me. She was... she had no desire for a child to—" Mindful of Minjoon, Draco reevaluated his words. "She didn't want a family. Merlin... Diana was a mess when she arrived," Draco admitted miserably. "Underweight, terrible nappy rash, and utterly terrified of everyone. She won't eat or drink anything, and she hasn't stopped crying."
"How long have you had her?" Harry asked as gently as he could; the baby continued crying and wriggling in his arms, but the shrieks were slowly getting quieter.
"Since yesterday noon. My parents don't even know yet." Draco looked up at Harry with wide, anxious eyes. "I don't know what to do. I don't know how to be a father."
Harry looked down at Minjoon, who was still quietly burrowed into the blond; even distracted by his own distress, Draco had let go of the mug with one hand to rub Minjoon's back reassuringly. "I don't know... I think you're doing all right."
Diana was down to sniffles by this point, so Harry sat back down on the couch and held her out. Draco jerked away defensively even as his arms twitched forward before staying where they were at. "Come on," Harry urged quietly. "It's okay. Sometimes they just need to be rocked."
"How do you know?" Draco despaired, although he accepted Diana back and allowed Harry to manipulate his arms into the proper baby-holding posture—a lesson he himself received when first learning how to interact with Teddy, and then again when Hermione had her first child. Diana scrunched up her nose and whimpered, but otherwise permitted the transfer.
"Practice," Harry replied with a smile. "A baby's a person, Draco. Each one expresses itself a little differently. Children who miss their kip often get fussy and resist sleeping, no matter how knackered they are. Merlin, adults who don't get enough sleep get fussy. Infants are the same. There's probably been too much excitement for her to feel rested." And if her mother wasn't very maternal, she's probably starved for attention, he did not add.
"My flat is the opposite of exciting," Draco huffed, but his tone was softer as he stared fearfully at his daughter.
Harry rolled his eyes. "It's been one day. It would take her a while to settle down no matter how good your parenting is. It took Minjoon about a year to consider London home. Right, Minjoon?"
Minjoon blinked up at him before putting his head back down again, clearly not having been paying attention to the exchange as he watched the baby.
"This is different," Draco argued. "Your son had another country he could remember and consider home. Diana is three months old. She doesn't remember anything!"
"She doesn't need to have concrete memories to have instincts," Harry corrected. "Being a baby doesn't mean they're not aware of their surroundings, or when those surroundings change. Just give it time. You've got Andromeda and Teddy to help, and you've got us, too."
Draco peered at him warily. "I do?"
"You do," Minjoon piped up—in English, for once. Of course, it didn't last, but by this point it was a matter of preference rather than sentence generation capability. "저의 동생처럼 할께요." <I'll treat her like my little sister.> Sitting up properly, he held up his arms. "Can I hold her?"
"'May I'," Draco corrected absently, struggling to shift Diana's weight without upsetting her too much.
"Can may I hold her," Minjoon retorted as Harry bit down on his lip.
Draco sighed. Harry gave up and laughed as he showed Minjoon how to hold her on his lap. "See? You're absolutely a parent already," he teased the blond. "Come on. She'll be fine with Minjoon for a bit, and Kreacher's around here somewhere. Help me finish making dinner, and we can go over some of the basics you'll need. You and Diana are welcome to stay over tonight."
"Oh, we couldn't possibly—"
"You may have to fight Minjoon for some of your old toys, though." Harry smirked as he watched realisation dawn on Draco's face; this was, after all, his great aunt's house, and yes, he still had childhood knick-knacks squirreled away somewhere. "He was particularly taken with the big, soft, purple, plush dragon."
"That monstrosity still exists?" Draco demanded as he reluctantly followed Harry to the kitchen, glancing back nervously at Minjoon and Diana. "Why hasn't it been Incendio'd?"
"You'd have to ask Walburga's painting that. Maybe she'd stop shrieking her acrylic lungs out if she saw you," Harry suggested wryly as he handed Draco a knife and pointed him at some loaves of bread. Just before he turned away, however, Harry stopped him with a hand on his shoulder and a serious look on his face. "I meant it, though. This is your home by blood, and you've been nothing but good to my son, so it's your home by invitation as well. You're welcome here anytime, whether or not you need help."
Draco's expression turned complicated, and he opened his mouth to respond. When no sound came out, however, he simply swallowed and nodded. Smiling encouragingly, Harry dropped his hand and headed to check on his casserole.
An hour later, everyone was fed. Harry left Minjoon with Draco and Diana and went to run some errands—namely, to buy nappies, formula, a bottle, a softer teat for her bottle in case that accounted for some of her resistance to eating, and a cot. He knew from discussion over dinner that Diana had arrived with several outfits, so he picked up a warm winter coat but otherwise left her wardrobe alone. The mention of nappy rash earlier prompted him to grab some flannels, a skin cream meant for babies, and a pushchair since Draco'd arrived carrying her in his arms.
Purchases made, Harry returned home to quite the sight.
The proud, persnickety Draco Malfoy lay curled up on his side on the rug, Diana tucked against his chest, both dead to the world. Minjoon was sprawled on his stomach beside them, snoring quietly with one hand resting on Diana's shoulder, covered by Draco's much larger one. Minjoon murmured in disoriented greeting, but the Malfoys didn't even stir.
Luckily, Kreacher popped up then to Apparate all of the new purchases upstairs. Thanking him quietly, Harry left him to it as he went to go fetch a blanket and spare pillow. Not wanting to disrupt what was probably the first semi-decent sleep Draco'd had since hearing the news, Harry coaxed Minjoon up to go sleep in his room and covered the blonds with the blanket, leaving the pillow nearby just in case. Turning off the light with a flick of his wand, he smiled fondly at his houseguests one last time before retiring to bed.
The excited shout was all the warning Harry got before an excited eight year old landed on him.
"It's Christmas! Wake up!" Minjoon demanded as Harry rolled over with a groan and covered his face with the duvet.
"Minjoon, for the love of God, 여섯시도 안 됐잖아," <It's not even six o'clock yet.> a muffled voice complained tetchily from beside them. Even after three years of living together—the first off-and-on as friends and mutual babysitters, the second and third as a couple—Draco had never gotten used to the way Minjoon woke up before the birds, full of energy the instant his feet hit the floor.
Minjoon impatiently yanked the pillow off of Draco's head and climbed onto him. "Wake up!"
Harry looped an arm around his waist and dragged him down between them. Minjoon offered no resistance as he collapsed into a fit of giggles. "Hey, Min. We're on holiday, remember? And Draco had a long flight yesterday to get here in time," he reminded, voice scratchy with sleep. "Let him rest a little."
"But it's Christmas!" another protest piped up from the doorway.
Harry lifted his head and smiled at the three year old girl who stood in her jammies, chewing on the corner of her favourite soft toy - a snowy owl named Hedwig. "Tell you what. Give us another hour or two, and 아침으로 김치 부침개를 만들어 줄게." <I'll make you kimchi pancakes for breakfast.>
"Mm... maybe. With pumpkin eggnog?" Minjoon asked slyly.
Harry sighed. "Yes, with pumpkin eggnog."
Brightening, Diana ran over and clambered onto the bed. "It's a deal!" she declared, tossing herself onto Draco's back.
Her father whimpered.
Snickering, Harry scooted away enough for her to slip in between Minjoon and himself. There was a brief tussle as Minjoon playfully blocked her, but soon enough, both children settled down. Despite Minjoon's excited energy, it wasn't long before they were fast asleep, safely cocooned between their loved ones. Harry wound an arm around both of them, index finger brushing against Draco's shoulder fondly.
The pillow lifted long enough for Draco to cast the kids an affectionately exasperated look and mouth a silent "Thank-you-I-love-you" at his lover before he disappeared beneath it once more.
Outside, it was still dark on the streets of Spain, but Harry could already hear the telltale signs of the city starting to rouse. By the time they got up, got dressed, unwrapped presents, and ate, Seville would be wide awake and ready for exploring. They would go shopping, grab lunch, and head to the Plaza de España to enjoy the lights before heading to their dinner reservations, then returning to the hotel to relax for the night. But all of that was hours off.
Christmas could wait. Harry already had everything he wanted right here.
(Well... almost. But the ring sitting wrapped up in his coat pocket could wait, too.)
/ I've been down across a road or two /
/ But now I've found the velvet sun /
/ That shines on me and you /