“All right, Draco,” Luna Lovegood-Scamander said, fingers twirling a long strand of her dishwater blonde hair. She was seated in a large purple pouffe, her gauzy royal blue robes fanning out prettily to show her bare ankles and feet. “Why don’t you tell Harry why you left him.”
He was sitting in a cozy armchair to Luna’s left, and had finally forced himself to meet Harry’s eyes, looking over to where he was seated at Luna’s right. Harry looked horrible. He was wan and his eyes were haunted, lost. Draco felt the flame that had drawn them together so many years ago flicker feebly inside, but tamped it down with all of the frustrations he felt weighing on him.
“If Harry doesn’t know, then I don’t know why I should be the one to have to tell him,” he muttered bitterly. “My leaving has been long in coming. It isn’t my fault he’s so stuck in his own head that he doesn’t notice his family is falling away from him.”
“Draco,” Harry’s voice cracked, close to tears. “What did I do? What can I do to fix this? What happened to us?”
Draco felt his eyes narrow, watching as Harry seemed to fall apart.
What had happened? He wondered the very same thing himself, all the time. Harry had gone from being a confident, heroic man who’d held his own against the greatest villain the world had ever known, to what he was now: as absent-minded and pathetic as Luna’s idiot father, though Draco knew better than to put it that way aloud.
Luna’s calm voice carried through the tension that had built between them, ballooning like a Shield charm of doom. “Harry needs to hear it from you, exactly the way you told me earlier, Draco.”
He scoffed, crossing his legs and folding his arms tightly across his chest. The bright yellow walls of Luna’s office, decorated with her paintings of flowers and springtime gardening implements in primary colours, normally made him feel a sense of warmth and comfort though he’d never admit it, but with Harry sitting in the room looking like death warmed up, it was as if a Dementor had joined them, sucking all the cheer out of the place.
“Let me ask you, Harry,” he said, finally. “What do you miss the most about us not being there? Do you miss having your laundry done, your dishes washed, your meals prepared… or do you miss our presence? Because, honestly, I don’t think you’ve spent five minutes playing with either of the children in the past couple of months. Hell, I can’t even remember the last time we had sex.”
Harry’s face paled at Draco’s words. It made the fury inside Draco flare even higher to see him take the accusations without argument; all his fight was gone.
“I’m sorry,” Harry stammered. “I get caught up in my head. I didn’t realise it had been that long.”
“Are you seeing somebody else?” Draco snapped. “Is that what it is? I honestly can’t figure out what else could be occupying so much of your mind. I would have asked you about an affair months ago if you weren’t always home. Talk to me!”
Luna stretched her feet out in front of her, reaching towards them with her fingertips. “Harry?”
“There’s nobody else, Draco,” Harry said softly, shaking his head. “How could you… I don’t know why you’d even think…”
“Well,” Draco said, tapping his fingers against his folded arm. “There’s the no-sex thing. If you’re not getting it from me, then I start to wonder where you might be getting it from. You’re not present when I try to engage you in conversation. I’ve tried everything: shouting at you, dressing up, dressing down, dancing like a fool on the stage; nothing gets through. I’m tired of feeling like the only one in the house who does anything. I cook, clean, parent the children, feed the crup, handle the finances, everything, and what do you do? Sure, you go to work every day, but as soon as you’re home you hole up in our room, or stretch out on the couch and lose yourself in that blasted Muggle contraption. I mean, honestly. Who in their right mind plays solitaire for hours on end when they have wee ones running amok?”
By the time Draco finished speaking, his heart thudded angrily in his chest, and he had to pull out his handkerchief to wipe the sweat from his brow.
“Harry,” Luna said kindly. “Do you hear what Draco is saying? Do you realise how much your closing up into yourself is hurting your relationship?”
“I—I don’t know how to fix it,” Harry said, running a hand absently through his unruly hair. “How are they?” He cleared his throat. “The kids?”
Draco uncrossed his legs briefly, feeling the stiffness in his joints from holding his muscles in tension for so long. He wiped his hands on his trousers, hating the clammy feeling on his palms. “The children are fine,” he said bluntly. “They are with my mother at the Manor.” He stopped, almost ready to leave it there, but reluctantly added, “They have been asking to see you.”
Harry started forwards.
“But I won’t let you see them until I feel comfortable knowing that you won’t space out and let them wander off while you sleep on the couch,” Draco added, making Harry sink down in his chair again.
“You mean, even after we do this couple’s counselling, you’re not coming back?” Harry’s voice sounded hollow.
“Lovegood,” Draco said, looking to Luna. “I have to get back to the kids. Will you let Harry know what my terms are, please?”
Luna nodded, her gaze focussed on Harry. “All right. Thanks for coming in, Draco. I’ll see you at our next session and I will be in touch about scheduling another couple’s session for you and Harry.”
He stood up, feeling Harry’s eyes on him, hating himself for putting Harry through whatever pain he was feeling, but he’d made up his mind. Until Harry really ‘got’ it, they weren’t going to be able to move forwards.
He shut the door behind him with a click that felt like the final straw holding them together had broken.
A few days later, Draco sat in Luna’s office once more. She put the kettle on.
“What’s with all these death masks?” Draco asked, looking up at the wall now lined with half a dozen African masks, some painted, and others clay imprints of deceased faces, all creepy.
“Oh, do you like them?” Luna asked brightly. She set a mug of tea on a spindly-legged table to Draco’s left.
“Not especially,” Draco answered, shivering at the similarity between the one right across from him and his aunt’s Death Eater mask.
Luna had taken her seat in the purple pouffe. “I wanted to talk to you today about Harry,” she said.
The worried undertone in her voice sent a chill of fear through Draco.
“What’s happened?” he demanded suddenly.
Luna smiled reassuringly. “Oh, nothing bad, Draco,” she said, and he felt the grip of tension around his heart loosen slightly. “I referred him to a Mind Healer at St. Mungo’s for an evaluation. I think Harry is suffering from a rather severe case of depression.”
Draco felt the moisture leave his mouth. He washed the bitter taste away with a swallow from his mug. “And? Is he being treated?” He tried to keep his voice nonchalant and unconcerned but the truth was he knew how resistant to examination Harry had been in the past.
“He is,” Luna stated solemnly. “They’re keeping him on an in-patient capacity. He’s started a regimen of mood-stabilising potions and some one-on-one therapy to get to the bottom of what’s troubling him. The truth, Draco, is that Harry isn’t well. I understand your frustration with how life has been, as you’ve been living with him in this state for so long, but I need to know what your intentions are before we continue. I would hate to give Harry false hope as he works on digging himself out of this pit he’s in.”
“My intentions?” Draco asked. “What do you mean?”
Luna got to her knees on the floor. She put her hands on Draco’s knees and looked up into his face, her blue eyes searching. “Are you planning to take your children and leave Harry permanently or are you serious about working things out?”
“I feel like a complete shit now,” he said, looking into Luna’s open face. “I want my husband back. I just don’t want things to continue like they have been. Is that too much to ask?”
Luna smiled up at him. “No, of course not,” she said. “Come and join me on the floor. I feel like having today’s session down here.”
Draco raised an eyebrow. “Why?”
She pulled on his hand and he followed her onto the floor until they were seated cross-legged on the braided rug.
“I feel like I can access the real you better at this level,” she offered in explanation. “Tell me about your children. How old are they?”
Draco felt ridiculous sitting on the floor, but over the past couple of months of seeing Luna for counselling, he had come to trust her bizarre methods. “They are two years old,” he said. “Still in nappies, but we’re working on toilet training. You’ve got a couple of brats, too, haven’t you?”
Luna tucked her feet onto her legs, sitting in lotus position. “Yes. Twin boys. They’re the same age. It will be quite an adventure in a few years when they’re all going off to Hogwarts. Tell me, how did you and Harry come by your boys? Are they biologically yours or Harry’s?”
“One of each,” Draco explained. “Albus is Harry’s and Scorpius is mine. They have the same biological mother, but I don’t know who she is. We used a Muggle surrogate.”
“That’s nice,” Luna said. “You know, one of the things Harry confided in me, which he did give me permission to tell you, was that part of what is feeding his fears is the thought that he doesn’t have a positive upbringing to draw on as he tries to be a good father. I don’t know how much he’s told you about his childhood.”
“Seriously?” Draco asked, incredulously. “The Weasley patriarch wasn’t a bad figure, as much as my father would beg to differ. But yes,” he sighed. “He’s told me a bit about those Muggle bastards that raised him. He won’t tell me where they live, though. He knows I wouldn’t hesitate to hex his uncle’s bollocks off.”
Luna smirked. “I was tempted to do the same thing after Harry told me about him. All right, Draco. Let’s talk for a bit about some of the issues you’ve been having with Harry. You mentioned last time that you’ve been feeling neglected in the bedroom. Have you felt tempted at all to seek outside assistance?”
Draco felt his mouth curve into a smirk. “If you’re offering, Lovegood, I’m afraid you don’t have the equipment that I require.”
Luna smirked. “No. I wouldn’t think you’d take up an offer for sex with me. But I do want to know if you’ve been thinking about having an affair. It’s important to be honest here. I am not going to judge you.”
The instinct to lie through his teeth in an effort at self-preservation hit him hard, but Draco pushed back against it, trying to come to a place where he could put his feelings into words without sounding like a needy bitch. “You know I have. I can tell just looking at you that you’re reading me. The thing is, Lovegood, that I want sex with Harry, but it’s just not been happening. I have thought about looking for a one-night stand, but it wouldn’t be the same. It might blow off some pressure initially, but I know myself well enough to know that if I went down that road, I wouldn’t be able to look Harry in the eye. I’d feel like a complete and utter failure for cheating. I’d need to end things with Harry first, but I don’t want to. This is the biggest reason that I decided to look you up for counselling. It’s my last-ditch effort to get back whatever Harry and I have lost.”
Luna nodded wisely. “Thank you for your honesty, Draco. I want to tell you that I am very impressed with how much you’ve grown up since we were at Hogwarts.”
Draco felt his heart swell slightly with pride at the compliment. He’d not realised how highly he valued Luna’s opinion of him. “Thanks,” he said, feeling the thank-you fell a bit short of how much he meant. “So when do you think Harry will be ready for another joint session? Am I allowed to visit him at St. Mungo’s or would that be detrimental to his therapy?”
“I’m glad you asked,” Luna said, turning to look at a large cuckoo clock hanging in the corner. “Our time for today is up, but I really think a visit from you would do Harry a world of good. I can arrange for a joint session at the hospital in a few days if that works for you.”
Draco climbed to his feet, stamping out the pins and needles. “Yes, thank you.”
At St. Mungo’s, Draco spoke with the Healer in hushed tones, while another Healer fetched Harry to bring him to the visitors’ room.
“How’s he doing?”
Healer Meriwether smiled good-naturedly, matronly in her lime-green robes. “He’s making progress, Mr. Malfoy,” she said reassuringly. “I ask that you try not to upset him. He’s in a fragile state right now, but he has been asking to see you.”
Draco nodded, feeling a bit outside of himself. He was nervous, though he tried hard not to let it show. “Do these mood potions make him…” he gestured, trying to find the words he was looking for, “…not himself? I mean, is he still Harry?”
“Oh, yes,” she said, patting his arm in what was clearly meant to be a gesture of reassurance, but Draco felt slightly like she was invading his space. “The potions neutralise imbalances, that’s all. Mr. Potter will be more like himself than he has been for a while.”
“He’s ready,” the other Healer said, popping his head through the door to the private visiting room.
Draco followed him through and his eyes landed instantly on Harry, who had stood up from the low couch upon seeing him.
“Draco,” Harry exclaimed. He put a hand forwards, like he wanted to jump forwards and touch Draco, but wasn’t sure if he’d be rebuffed.
Draco smiled at the gesture. Harry was acting human again. It had been a long time since he’d shown an interest in touching. He crossed the room and pulled Harry into a hug, burying his face into the hinge of Harry’s neck, uncaring of the Healer witnessing their moment.
“I’ve missed you,” Draco said, placing a kiss against his rough stubble. “I’m not giving up on you, Harry, or on us. I want you to get well. I want us to always be together.”
He closed his eyes, loving the feeling of being in Harry’s arms again, hoping that the road ahead wouldn’t be too difficult.