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The Scent of Violets

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Harry gently patted the small bundle in his arms, making small shushing noises at the whimpering infant.

"What's wrong, little man?" Harry said softly. "Your tummy's full and your nappy is clean, all should be right in your world. Shhh, let's not wake up your Papa. He's barely recovered from what you put him through getting here."

He shifted his son to lie in his arms. The hunter green blanket surrounding the infant emphasized the shock of messy blond hair and gave depth to the green eyes that stared up at his father. Harry kissed his son's forehead and whispered conspiratorially, "Besides we wouldn't want him to think I can't take care of you, now would we?"

Harry wandered over to the window, gently shifting the baby onto his shoulder. "Oh, Matty, what I wouldn't give for ten minutes with my mum to find out how to be better at this." Harry's voice was soft and emotion-filled. "But I've stumbled through larger problems than a fussy baby and always seemed to come out on top."

He looked out over their back yard at the gazebo he and Draco had bonded in, the memory of that day always made him smile. He ran his cheek over Mathias' soft hair and sighed. He closed his eyes and leaned tiredly against the window frame.

Suddenly, the fussy baby in his arms stilled and a cool breeze wafted across his neck, raising the skin into pronounced goose bumps. Harry felt a gentle hand run down his cheek and he opened his eyes quickly, expecting to see Draco standing there. He turned in a circle, checking the room to be certain there was no one else there. The cool air lingered and now carried the scent of violets with it.

Harry gasped, his mind recalling an auburn-haired woman looking down at him. Her hands were soft on his skin and she smelled like violets. "Mum?" he whispered anxiously.

He heard no reply, but felt a small squeeze to his shoulder. His eyes filled with tears. "You're always here, aren't you? Watching... guiding me... helping me make the right choice." He choked back a sob. "Thanks, mum."

Harry felt the cool air swirl around him and then it was gone, taking the violet scent along with it. Harry looked down at his son, now peacefully sleeping in his arms, and smiled.

He crossed the room and laid Mathias into his cradle, pulling the blanket up to cover the baby and placing a kiss on the top of his head.

Harry crawled back into bed and snuggled up against his husband. Draco turned slightly and kissed Harry's cheek.

"Did the baby give you any trouble?" Draco asked groggily.

Harry burrowed further under the covers and closer to Draco's warmth. "He was a bit fussy, but nothing I couldn't handle. Go back to sleep, it'll be your turn in a couple of hours."

Draco whimpered softly, reminding Harry of the soft snuffling noises Matty had made. "You smell like violets," Draco said dreamily as he drifted off to sleep.

"Night, Mum," Harry whispered to the room, safe in the knowledge that his mother's ghost was there, watching and helping him in his life's journey.