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Christmas Counselling

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Opening her book, Melinda smiles. Her first case! So exciting. This is why she moved to England. American wizards could be so volatile. The staid English are more her speed.

Exhaling, she looks up at the two men before her. They’re both handsome, early thirties, but the air between them is thick with tension. “I’m your Mind-Healer, Melinda Morris. Welcome to couple’s counselling, gentlemen.”

When her words are met with cold silence, Melinda’s smile falters. Clearly, she’s going to have to draw them out. “Right, straight to business it is. So, Mr Malfoy, care to tell me why you’re here?” Melinda, quill and parchment hovering beside her, looks encouragingly at him.

Tossing his long, blond hair back over his shoulder, Draco Malfoy shrugs. “Ask him.”

“You mean, Mr Potter?”

“Who else?” Draco huffs. “Counselling. What a useless load of—”

Melinda clears her throat warningly.

“—codswallop,” Draco finishes smoothly.

“Yes, well, it has been known to help couples mend their…differences.” Lips pursed, she turns to look at Harry Potter, who’s sitting at the other end of the sofa, his back to Draco, his arms crossed, and his lips compressed in a thin line. “And what about you, Mr Potter. Why are you here?”

“No effing clue,” he growls, tossing a glare over his shoulder at Draco.

Draco snorts.

“You have something to add, Mr Malfoy?”

Draco rolls his eyes. “Never mind.”

“Oh, please,” snarks Harry. “Do enlighten us!”

Eyes narrowed, Draco turns to face Harry. “All right, you arse. I will.” He huffs. “The only reason I agreed to this is to prove his best friend wrong for once. I’m sure she’s the one who really made us come here.”

Melinda frowns. “I don’t underst—”

“Believe it or not, you tosser, this wasn’t Hermione’s idea!” snaps Harry, wrenching himself around to stare at Draco. “I asked her, and she was as surprised as I was.”

“It has to be Granger! She’s always been an interfering bitc—”

“Hermione’s been good recently! She hasn’t asked any invasive questions in months.” Harry jumps to his feet, his hands on his hips.

“Ah, I see. So you’re saying it was someone else?” Draco’s tone is dripping with sarcasm as he unfolds himself from his seated position. “You actually expect me to believe Weasley came up with this?!”

Melinda clears her throat loudly. “Gentlemen, this isn’t the most productive way to spend your time here—”

“It was one of your lot who did this, I know it was,” Harry sneers. “Parkinson’s always hated me, and Zabini’s just a pillock!”

Draco rolls his eyes. “Pansy again? When will you get over that? She was a kid! She no more wanted to turn you over to the Dark Lord than she wanted to turn herself over. She was just scared. And what has Blaise ever done to you?”

“D…Dark Lord?” Melinda echoes, alarmed. “I’m not sure I’m following—”

“What’s Zabini done? You mean other than threaten me with death and dismemberment when we started dating? And was Parkinson scared when she tried to give you Dreamless Sleep to stop you from going out with me on our first date?” Harry snarls.

“Yes! She thought you’d hurt me.” Draco gestures around the office. “And here we are in counselling, so maybe she was right.”

Melinda coughs. “If you could both take your seats, I’m sure we can get to the bottom of—”

“Just tell me one thing,” interrupts Harry, eyes narrowed. “Are we here because you’re cheating on me?”

“How dare you?” Draco moves so fast his hand’s a blur, and a moment later, his wand’s pointed straight at Harry. “You take that back, you bastard!”

As fast as Draco moves, Harry’s faster. Wand steady, he says softly, “That’s not a no.”

“Fuck. You. I’ve never cheated on you, but now I’m considering it,” Draco replies, tone dry.

Melinda, who ducks behind her chair as soon as wands make an appearance, peeks out timidly. “I-if I may, I think I-I can provide some clarity on this.” Both Harry and Draco turn to stare at her, and she shivers. They are still handsome, yes, but dangerous, if the light in their eyes indicates anything.

Hands shaking, she Levitates her appointment book off her desk and begins flipping through it. “Here it is. Y…yes. An appointment for one Draco Malfoy-Potter and Harry Potter-Malfoy was made by…Narcissa Black-Malfoy, December tenth.”

Draco slowly lowers his wand. “Mother did this? Why?”

Harry drops his wand, too. “How should I know? Although maybe—” He pauses.

“What?” Draco’s wand disappears up his sleeve. “What have you come up with?”

Harry smiles faintly, tucking his wand into his back pocket. “She does tend to encounter us when we’re fighting.”

“Well, yes, but we do that all the time. It’s how our relationship works.” Draco scowls. “Why would that necessitate counselling?”

“Maybe she thinks we have a problem.”

Melinda begins to breathe again. “Gentlemen, if I may—”

Draco holds up a hand, silencing her. “Do you think we have a problem?” he asks Harry.

“I didn’t until I got a message to report to fucking counselling,” Harry snaps. “I’ve been happy with our relationship as is. I assumed you were the one who wanted things to change.” His expression clears. “Are you saying you don’t?”

“What the fuck do you think?” Draco stalks towards Harry. “Of course I don’t! I love our relationship. But then I get a notice to attend fucking couples counselling, so I assumed you had a problem—”

Melinda looks down at her book. “I would appreciate less profanity, gentlemen. Now, according to my notes, the concern raised by your mother, Mr Malfoy, is that your relationship with Mr Potter is dangerously volatile and has been that way for several years and—Oh my!”

Draco, his arms wrapped around Harry as they kiss, clearly isn’t listening. And from the way Harry has moulded himself to Draco, neither is he.

“Excuse me!” Melinda squeaks. “You cannot do that in here, this is a professional office—”

“Sorry, baby,” Harry mumbles as he drags Draco down onto the sofa. “I shouldn’t have assumed.”

“No, no, love,” whispers Draco as he scatters kisses over Harry’s jaw and neck. “I’m the one who shouldn’t have assumed—”

“All right,” snaps the Melinda. “That’s enough! This is an office and I must insist you— Merlin! No! Bring back your clothes at once! What on earth—!”

The two men, now entwined on the sofa, just continue writhing together, and as Melinda frantically looks around, she hears one of them whisper, “Lubricus.”

“Oh no,” Melinda gasps, backing towards the door. “No, no, no…”

Slipping outside, she shuts the door, collapsing against it. Her gaze locks with Mary, the appointments secretary, who raises an eyebrow in silent inquiry.

“Oh hello,” says Mind-Healer Browning, who’s walking by. “How’s your first day going, then?”

Melinda’s laugh sounds maniacal, even to her ear. “Great! Fabulous! There are men fornicating in my office! Even on my worst day back in America, that never happened!”

Mind-Healer Browning, blinks, backing away. “Well…that’s good? At least they’re not hexing each other?”

Melinda stares, then laughs so hard, she collapses onto the floor. “I’m done,” she gasps when she can again speak. “You English people are crazy!” And shaking her head, she Apparates away.

Frowning, Healer Browning walks over to the appointment desk. “Who was Healer Morris seeing just now, Mary?” he asks.

“Harry Potter and Draco Malfoy,” replies Mary.

“You gave her a celebrity couple?” Browning gapes at her “We were supposed to start her off on easy cases!”

Mary shrugs. “She asked for something exciting and fun.”

Browning rolls his eyes. “Merlin’s beard.”

They both hear a loud Disapparation bang from inside Morris’ office.

Browning sighs. “Send in the cleaning crew and sterilise the place,” he snaps. Pulling the appointment book towards him, he scans the upcoming appointments. “I’ll contact Healer Morris and let her know it’s safe to return. And this time assign her…” he pulls his finger down the list, “Pansy Parkinson and Ronald Weasley. Yes, that should be safe.”

Mary smirks. “Yes, sir.”