Since the end of the Second Wizarding War, number 12 Grimmauld Place had become a sort of safe haven for Harry. He’d spent the better part of a year holed up inside. For a long while, Harry did nothing but wander the halls, trading barbs with the nasty portraits and eventually, after a lot of provoking from Hermione, he started to gut the place.
Harry tore out the old, creepy curtains and the mouldy furniture. He ripped out the weeds in the back garden, and surveyed the small square. Harry pursed his lips, unsure of what to do. It became a ritual in the mornings. With cup of tea in hand, Harry would stand barefoot and survey the concrete square.
Until, one morning he was greeted by a large orange eye, grey feathers and a loud squawk. Laughter bubbled out of him and he bowed to Buckbeak. The Hippogriff bowed quickly before coming forward to nuzzle at Harry’s shoulder. Reaching up to stroke his neck Harry smiled. “Hello, Buckbeak. Hello, boy.”
One day he was in the hallway fighting verbally and physically with Mrs Black’s vile portrait when the doorbell rang, barely drowning out her frantic cries of “Mudblood! Traitor!”.
With a growl and an angry swish of his wand, Harry shut the curtains around her, muffling her shouts before he yanked open the front door.
“Mrs Tonks. Uh, what are… Come in.” Harry stumbled back, giving Andromeda Tonks enough room to push passed Teddy’s pram and into the drawing room. Harry trailed along behind her, curious and wary.
“Can I get you anything? A cup of tea?” he offered.
“No.” Andromeda looked around the furnitureless room and raised an eyebrow at the half wall where Harry had started to strip the wallpaper and the dust on the floor.
“I’ve been renovating.”
“I can see that.” She sighed, “I- I will not beat around the bush here, Harry. I have no family left, neither do you. Except for this little boy, right here.” Andromeda’s face softened as she looked down at Teddy in his pram. “Teddy is my grandson and your godson. I have been selfish in keeping him from you for so long. I am here to rectify that.” She paused, pursing her lips as if thinking of the right words before asking, “Would you like to hold him?”
Swallowing heavily Harry nodded as he watched the baby. Teddy grinned a gummy smile and pointed at Harry with a loud “Oooo” as Andromeda plucked him out and settled him in Harry’s arms. Immediately one chubby fist tried to grab his glasses, and Teddy’s soft brown hair went very quickly to green and back.
“Hi Teddy. I’m your godfather.”
He made his way up the stairs to the first floor. “I don’t want to be presumptuous but it’s the first room I finished and I just wanted to show it to someone. And, it might come in handy, you know, eventually.”
Harry paused before the shut door, which he opened, just after Andromeda raised an eyebrow. He let her step inside first, then he took Teddy in. “Here you go, Teddy-Bear. Your own room at Uncle Harry’s. Now Nanna doesn’t have to take you home for your naps every afternoon and you could maybe stay the night.” Harry carried Teddy around his new room , glancing nervously at Andromdea as he did so. “And look here’s your cot, and some drawers. I got you some clothes, too. Not much, mind, but I think you’ll like them. And here’s the window. It’s got a pretty meadow view, it took me a while to learn that spell.”
Teddy gurgled happily, batting Harry in the cheek until Harry captured his hand and gently brought it down. Harry turned to face Andromeda, taking in a deep breath and holding it. Her face was impassive and her head tilted to the side and Harry knew what was coming. She was going to say no.
The painted pale blue walls with the wooden cot were going to be wasted. Andromeda stepped forward and fingered the bright pink blanket tucked haphazardly under the mattress. Harry watched her for a moment before saying, “That- that was ‘cause of Tonks, I always think of her when I see that colour and I figure Teddy could too. Don’t say anything yet. I’ve got one more thing to show you. Please.”
Hesitating for a moment, Harry left Teddy’s room and opened the door of the one opposite it. It was bare still, just a double bed, two bedside tables, and freshly painted white walls. “I- I thought you could stay here too. Sometimes, when Teddy does. We can decorate it as you like. I didn’t know what you would prefer so I sort of left it blank for now.”
Harry turned and saw Andromeda in the doorway with tears streaming down her face. “Oh. Um.”
“Thank you, Harry. Thank you,” she rasped.
“It’s okay. Hey, Andromeda, you’re family.” Harry took a step forward and brought Teddy close to her and hugged them both. When she slumped against him, one hand coming up to cup Teddy’s head, the other to hold Harry, he rested his cheek on her hair.
Andromeda had been helping with the renovations while Teddy had his morning naps. In next to no time at all, the house was fully redecorated, re-furnished and liveable, except for the uppermost floor where Sirius’ and Regulus’ rooms were. But Harry was happy to leave them as they were.
Suddenly, as winter came, Harry found that the pile of Teddy’s toys in the front drawing room was seemingly getting bigger each day. Andromeda started to do the laundry while Harry cooked their dinners. One day, Andromeda and Teddy stopped going home and stayed in Grimmauld Place with Harry. They helped fill the emptiness of the house and Harry found it easier to get up each morning knowing that they were there.
A cold November morning saw them playing with Teddy in front of a warm fireplace when a quiet knock-knock-knock on the front door disrupted them. Harry opened the front door and immediately shut it. When the knock-knock-knock came again, he opened it again, more calmly this time.
“I believe my aunt is here.” Malfoy raised an eyebrow, shivering in his cloak, his cheeks and nose pink with cold, and his eyes bright.
Harry stepped aside and led Malfoy into the drawing room. Teddy’s laughter was bright as he played, Andromeda’s smile dropped as she saw Malfoy. “Draco.” Andromeda said blandly, her movement closer to Teddy betrayed the ease in her voice.
“Aunt Andromeda.” Malfoy’s gaze moved to Teddy, who had gone still as he sensed the change in the atmosphere. “And the cub.”
Immediately Harry was snarling and pulling his wand out. “Don’t you dare!”
Over Teddy’s cries Malfoy held his hands up, palms out, and said “No offence, Potter.”
“What do you want, Draco?” Andromeda asked quietly as she rocked Teddy from side to side, shushing him quietly.
With a side glance at Harry, Malfoy lifted his head. “May I speak with you alone, Aunt?”
“No, you may not,” Andromeda said firmly.
Harry shuffled his feet and Malfoy’s jaw clenched for a moment before he began to speak. “I require your help. My— my father is in prison and... Mother is inconsolable. Currently the Malfoy name is no better than... dirt.” Malfoy took a deep breath, his eyes fixed on the wall in front of him, and the colour high in his cheeks. “I cannot get a job. No education and a bad reputation.” He huffed sardonically. “Our funds have been…seized by the Ministry and we have no way to warm the manor, this winter.”
Malfoy moved to meet Andromeda’s gaze. “Mother is all I have left, I cannot see her starve or freeze.” Malfoy’s cheeks had become pinker the more he talked. “I went to your home but there was no one there…”
“This is my home now. With Harry and Teddy.”
“Buh-Buh! Buh-Buh!” Teddy squealed.
Harry grinned. “That’s right Teddy-Bear! And Buckbeak.” He watched Malfoy’s face closely and almost laughed at the way he swallowed, but Malfoy said nothing.
Andromeda looked at Harry and nodded minutely. Harry forced a smile, and said, “Hey Malfoy, why don’t we go make a cuppa?”
Teddy responded eagerly to Harry’s “Teddy-Bear” but he was equally enthusiastic when Malfoy would smirk at him and say “Come here, Cub.”
Playing with Teddy was full on for Harry, he would tip Teddy upside down and run around outside with him on Harry’s shoulders. Lifting and spinning and they would sometimes got to the park, with Andromeda and occasionally Malfoy, where Harry would help Teddy down the slide, and push him on the swings.
Despite all the fun they would have, and how much Teddy would laugh and squeal with joy, Harry would get jealous when he saw Teddy and Malfoy curled up together looking at a book. Malfoy would narrate the books with a different voice each time and Teddy would lean into him resting his weary head on Malfoy’s chest.
Harry hated the closeness they had and he wished Teddy was like that with him, that they could hug so comfortably. He hated that he knew it was his fault that they weren’t like that. Harry had no idea how to be physically affectionate, he hadn’t had much of it in his life. Hermione would hug him, Ron would nudge him, Hagrid would clap him on the back. He could see the way Mrs Weasley would hold back from hugging him, and Andromeda was getting the same expression.
Hating Malfoy came easily especially with how Teddy would tilt his head up mouth open to press a sloppy, childish kiss to Malfoy’s face; when Malfoy would brush a hand over Teddy’s hair while he was playing, or press a kiss to his head. Even his affection with Andromeda made Harry burn with jealousy. He never had a mother, so he'd shied away from her touch.
It was hard to see the closeness between them, the physical ease they had when Harry was pushed to the outside of their little family unit. And then, something would happen to draw him back in. Teddy would crawl over to him and pat his cheek after Harry would pick him up. Or Malfoy would say “Potter, for Merlin’s sake, sit down. You're blocking the light” while shifting on the sofa for Harry to plonk down next to him and Teddy. Or Andromeda would smile at him, peck him on the cheek, or squeeze his shoulder.
Things were getting easier day by day with little moments like that. Harry began to feel that his jealousy was slower in coming; and his relief and joy at being a part of something again was quick to take over.
The first time Malfoy stepped out into the garden, he yelped and backed slowly into the house, shutting the door firmly. Harry asked, with a grin on his face, “Problem, Malfoy?”
“That bloody chicken of yours.” Malfoy grumbled as he made his way to the counter and poured the tea. He set one mug down in front of Andromeda, pressing a kiss to her cheek, and one on Teddy’s who was in his high chair. He put another mug down before Harry, smirking at Harry’s surprise.
After Andromeda gave him a pointed look, Harry decided to take some pity on Malfoy. And then he offered, “I’ve got some Christmas shopping to do, want to come with, Malfoy? I’ll be going on Saturday,” Harry offered after a pointed look from Andromeda.
“I- uh I-” Malfoy took a sip of tea. “People don’t like me in public.”
“They tend to mob me, so maybe if we’re seen together they won’t harm you and leave me alone. It’s a win-win.” Harry sipped his tea and waited for Malfoy to nod, once, in acknowledgement.
“Excellent,” Andromeda beamed at the two of them. “If you two would look after Teddy while I get some shopping of my own done, that would be helpful.”
“Of course, Aunt Andromeda. We’ll have a lot of fun won’t we, Cub?” Malfoy charmed her with a smile, and Harry gritted his teeth as Teddy bashed his spoon and started his little “Duh-Duh” noise.
It took a couple of days before everything was settled and Andromeda headed off to do some shopping. Harry had put Teddy down for his morning nap, smirking triumphantly at Malfoy as he did so. Malfoy sneered back.
They were sitting in tense silence in the kitchen before the Floo flared. “Ron!” Harry grinned, anything more he was going to say was lost as the Floo flashed green not once, but twice, as Hermione and then Ginny came through.
“Harry!” Hermione threw her arms around his shoulders as she pulled him into a tight hug. “How have you—” she stopped suddenly as she caught sight of Malfoy.
Ron drew his wand which caused Malfoy to sneer. “Be careful where you point that, Weasley. You don’t want to be throwing up slugs again.”
Placing himself between Ron and Malfoy, Harry growled “Malfoy, shut up” waiting for him to turn back to his tea before Harry spoke to Ron. “Put it away, Ron.”
“But—” Ron’s face was turning red with anger.
“War’s over, Ron. There’s no need to fight. Malfoy’s my…” Harry hesitated, with a glance at Malfoy who raised an eyebrow in interest. “...guest.”
Ron tucked his wand away and sat down at the table, as far away from Malfoy as possible. Hermione pursed her lips and sat next to him. “How’s your mother, Malfoy?” she asked politely.
“Poor, unwell, and missing her husband.” Malfoy said as though he were talking about the weather. “And your parents? Got their memories back?”
Rolling his eyes Harry glared at Malfoy who huffed and went back to his book. Hermione’s shoulders straightened and she rubbed at her forearm. Harry put the kettle on the stove, Ginny moving to stand with him. “You never replied to my owls, Harry.”
“Uh-” Harry looked around the kitchen, despite her low tone Ginny’s voice had carried. “I-uh I’ve been busy.”
She looked unimpressed. “With Malfoy.”
“With Teddy,” Harry snapped. Ginny flushed and tucked a lock of hair behind her ear as she muttered an apology.
“It’s just we haven’t seen you since Fred’s—” She cut herself off and Harry coughed uncomfortably, busying himself with the tea.
After a tense and uneasy cup of tea, Ron, Hermione, and Ginny left with promises to visit over the new year. They made Harry promise that he'd visit the Burrow soon, because Molly was asking after him constantly. Harry sat down at the kitchen table as the Floo faded away, ignoring the way Malfoy was watching him.
“It’s not your fault.” Malfoy’s voice was quiet but firm.
“The twin, Fred, his death wasn’t your fault.” Malfoy stared at Harry with an intensity that made Harry unable to look away. “If you want to blame someone blame the Dark Lord. He didn’t die because of you, Potter. None of them did.”
Affronted; Harry snarled “I never said they did.”
“The look on your face suggests otherwise.” Malfoy’s features softened almost to the point of pity, “Their mother won’t blame you, either. She’s already lost one son, don’t make it two because of your guilt complex.”
A cry of Teddy’s room permeated the air and Malfoy stood up. “I’ll get him, we’ll meet you in the drawing room when you’re ready.”
Malfoy was almost out the door when Harry called out to him. “Hey, Malfoy... thanks.”
Malfoy sneered at them all, taking Harry’s arm and pulling him into Quality Quidditch Supplies. Malfoy pretended as if nothing had gone wrong and started to ponder over the brooms made for young children. “You know, Cub would love it right?”
“Yep.” Harry brushed his fingers along the smooth handle. “But Andromeda would kill us.”
“Yes she would. The Saviour of the Wizarding World would be beaten by a Grandmother.” Malfoy laughed quietly. “Wouldn’t the Prophet just eat that up, eh Potter?”
“Shut up, Malfoy,” Harry nudged him in the shoulder, unable to wipe the smile off his face. “Come on, I need to find something for Andromeda.”
Harry usually found shopping to be tedious, especially once the novelty of having money and being able to spend it as he wanted had worn off. To his surprise, with Malfoy, the hours went by quickly and much sooner than anticipated and they were strolling back to Grimmauld Place with their pockets laden with shrunken bags.
On the doorstep as Malfoy went to open the door Harry touched his arm. “I had good time today, Malfoy. Better than I thought I would.” Harry grinned and rubbed the back of his neck.
“Me too, Potter.” Malfoy’s mouth was turned up at the corners in a soft smile and his grey eyes were intense as he looked at Harry.
Taking a deep breath Harry shuffled forwards, leaning his face towards Malfoy’s, he hadn’t done this a lot and never with a man but—
“There you two are,” Andromeda said loudly as she pulled the front door open, her eyebrows rising as Harry and Malfoy swayed back from each other. “Draco, you have a visitor.”
With a frown, Malfoy headed into the house and Harry made to follow when Andromeda stopped him. “Be careful, Harry. Love is a force to be reckoned with and one that can cause as much destruction as growth.”
“I- we- he- um… I won’t break his heart.”
“But Draco may very well break yours. He has not had much positivity or affirmation in his life, and it is easier for him to be cruel.” Andromeda’s hand cupped Harry’s cheek. “I do not wish to see you hurt.”
“I- um… er, thank you.” Harry shrugged, uncomfortable with the candid show of affection. Andromeda smiled and gave him a gentle shove to the drawing room.
Harry entered, and blinked in surprise at Mrs Malfoy sitting next to her son on the sofa, with a blond haired Teddy sitting up on the floor between them. Teddy was batting Malfoy’s knees with the little “Duh-Duh” noise that by now, they had all assumed meant ‘Draco’.
“Mr Potter, it is a pleasure to see you again.” Mrs Malfoy said, her face impassive and her voice prim.
“Uh, yeah, you too. Thanks for, you know, lying to Voldemort.” Harry lifted a shoulder at the twin flinches he got from both Malfoys. “Sorry,” he muttered.
“I am sorry to intrude in your home; my son appears to be here more often than he is at our home.”
“Well you’re more than welcome. As Mal- Draco’s mother and Andromeda’s sister, of course you are welcome, Mrs Malfoy.”
Mrs Malfoy’s smile was tight, “Please call me Narcissa.”
Harry didn’t say anything else because Teddy had crawled across the floor and was tugging on his jeans. “Teddy-Bear! Have you been a good boy for Nanna?” Harry sat down on the floor with him and started to build his blocks for Teddy to knock over.
Andromeda came in with a tray of tea, taking a seat next to her sister, and nudging Malfoy towards Harry and Teddy.
“Sorry for my mother, she’s uncomfortable here,” Malfoy said when he sat down beside Harry.
“You don’t have to apologise to me, Malfoy,” Harry said.
With a huff of amusement and a smile, Malfoy said in a quieter tone, “You called me Draco before… Harry.”
“Yes I did.” Harry smiled. “Draco.”
“Duh-Duh!” Teddy babbled as he knocked over the block tower with enthusiasm.
Harry laughed. “That’s right, Teddy-Bear, it's Draco. Clever boy.”
“It’s so lovely to see a child laugh,” Narcissa said, her voice wistful as she watched Draco and Teddy play together.
“Hey, Narcissa, do you want to join us for Christmas?” Harry asked.
“No Harry, it can’t go there,” Narcissa sounded frustrated. “There’s already a green one there.”
Frowning, Harry looked from the green bauble in his hand to the tree where he was going to put it. He couldn’t see the other green one Narcissa was talking about.
A warm hand settled on his hip and long pale fingers slipped the bauble from his grasp. “Here, let me.” Draco smirked as he drew away and placed the bauble on the other side of the tree. “Mother will change her mind in a minute anyway.”
“Oh hush, Draco.” Narcissa’s face was flushed, whether from embarrassment or pleasure Harry couldn’t tell. He just made sure to pick up a golden bell next and place it on the branch before anyone could tell him it was in the wrong place.
He glanced up to see if anyone noticed. Narcissa was busy waving her wand and levitating a pinecone ornament and Draco was bouncing around the room with Teddy in his arms. Only Andromeda was smiling at him, with something that looked a lot like pity in her eyes. Uncomfortable with her scrutiny, Harry turned back to the tree, folding his arms.
“Hey Cub, I think Uncle Harry can help now because you’re getting too heavy for your Uncle Draco.” Teddy was pushed into Harry’s chest by Draco who avoided Harry’s eyes. Harry cuddled Teddy close and looked at Narcissa who was watching them from behind a box.
It was overwhelming--he could feel their pity, the realisation that this was his first time decorating a tree, that this would be his first Christmas in his own home with his own family. “Uh-I’m going to put the kettle on,” Harry muttered, placing Teddy on Andromeda’s lap and he quickly rushed away.
The coolness of the kitchen was refreshing, though Harry found himself moving outside to greet Buckbeak with a bow. When he bowed back and moved forward, Harry rested his head against the Hippogriff’s neck, taking in a deep, shaky breath.
“Tea’s taking a while.” Draco’s voice filtered out to Harry. “Come away from that bloody chicken, I’m not coming near it.”
Buckbeak shifted so Harry stroked across his wing. “Don’t listen to him. You’re beautiful and he’s just jealous that you can fly better than him.”
Draco snorted and Harry couldn’t help but grin as he left Buckbeak to meet Draco in the doorway. Draco leant into Harry’s space and pressed a warm kiss to the corner of Harry’s mouth. “You’re freezing,” he muttered.
Harry said nothing, just kissed Draco again, properly. He tucked his cold nose into Draco’s cheek chuckling when he pulled away shivering. Pushing Draco further into the kitchen Harry kicked the door shut with his foot, and lit the stove with his wand to boil the kettle.
Hooking a hand behind Harry’s head Draco tugged him closer. They met in the middle kissing wet and loud-sounding in the quiet of the kitchen. Harry pushed himself further into Draco’s body, clutching at his back.
The shrill whistle of the kettle startled them apart. Draco’s hands lingered as Harry moved away to put the water into the teapot and set it along with the cups, milk and sugar on a tray. He picked it up and looked over to Draco, pleased with the dazed look on his face, his flushed cheeks, and swollen lips.
“Come on, your mum and Andromeda are waiting for their tea.”
Draco was smiling and he hooked his hands into the belt loops of the back Harry’s jeans, trailing him up the stairs to the drawing room where their family was waiting.
“You know, we could teach you our Christmas Songs,” Draco said. Andromeda and Narcissa both agreed.
“I could teach you some Muggle ones.” Harry put the tray out of reach of Teddy, and then picked him up. “There’s a great one called ‘Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer!’ Teddy-Bear.”
“What? How callous!” Narcissa’s face was outraged and Harry laughed loud and Teddy joined him.
“Hey,” Harry said to all of them, over the laughter, “do you think we could put some garlands in the hallway?” Harry was thinking back to Christmas during his fifth year, the one he’d celebrated with Sirius.
“Absolutely,” came Draco’s warm reply, followed by a soft kiss to his neck.