let me make up for the things you lack
“I’m bringin’ sexy back.” Pansy belted along to the radio.
“Yeah!” Draco added, checking his mirror before switching lanes.
“Them other boys don’t know how to act.”
“I think it’s special what’s behind your back.”
“So turn around and I’ll pick up the slack.”
“GET IT DRACO!” Pansy hyped.
“Dirty babe!” Draco belted, rolling his shoulders to the rhythm. He slowed down to turn right, keeping both hands on the wheel and his eyes on the road. “You see these shackles baby I’m your slave!”
Pansy wolf-whistled, rolling down her window to let in the summer air. It whipped her jaw-length hair around her face.
“I’ll let you whip me if I misbehave,” Draco continued at the top of his lungs. They were approaching a red light and Draco prepared to stop. “It’s just that no one makes me feel this way,” he purred, leaning over to sing right into Pansy’s ear. She laughed brightly. Draco smiled.
They alternated on the chorus, one singing the line, the other the backup, and vice versa. This was their song. It was tradition that every night they went out clubbing, they had to listen to this song on the way there. Draco, the designated driver of the night, was hyping himself up to spend the night without alcohol, as he knew Pansy would be trashed by the time they left.
The light turned green ahead, and their lane was empty, so Draco stepped on it. He never went more than five over the speed limit, he’d been taught better than that, but he was feeling reckless. He was young and wild and free, he was allowed to speed a little.
“Go ahead be gone with it,” Draco sang as they passed into the intersection. Instead of the next line, however, Draco heard Pansy scream his name. He whipped his head to the side to see a car headed straight for them and—
Time slowed down.
Draco’s head was thrown sideways, cracking his neck, and the world around him blurred. He felt pain distantly, like the claws of Pansy’s cat tearing across his skin. He realized that Pansy had stopped screaming. That was bad. That was very bad.
When the spinning stopped, Draco found himself in a corner of the intersection. He looked down and saw broken glass and blood on his lap and arms. Oh, god, he’d been hit. Oh, god, Pansy!
Draco looked to the side to see his friend with blood on her face. The side of the car was caved in beside her, and her arm looked trapped between her side and the bent metal. The window was destroyed. Even more glass lay around Pansy. Draco could see bits of it stuck into her.
“Pans?” Draco asked desperately. She didn’t respond, didn’t look up. “Pansy, oh god, please don’t be...” He trailed off, leaning across the console to bring a hand up to her neck. There, he felt a strong pulse. He exhaled sharply in relief. Draco looked beyond Pansy, out the window, to see someone getting out of another wrecked car. He saw red.
Draco threw the car into park, turned the key off, unbuckled himself, and threw open the car door. Immediately outside, he saw a woman standing nearby on the phone, presumably with 911. Draco sent her a grateful look before storming towards the figure in the middle of the intersection with their arms wrapped around their middle.
“What the fuck? ” Was the only thing Draco could get out as he approached the person, whose hands moved to clench in their dark hair. As he watched, their shoulders heaved. Were they crying?
“What the fuck were you thinking?” Draco yelled again. “You could’ve killed us!” This time the person turned around. It was a guy about Draco’s age with dark, curly hair and tanned skin and round glasses and a face that was most definitely crying. Sobbing, in fact, to a degree that gave Draco pause. People didn’t get to that level of crying in the minute and a half since they’d crashed.
“I’m sorry,” came the guy’s choking voice. “I’m so, so sorry.” He sobbed again, and Draco found it hard to be mad any longer when he was so obviously distressed by the event. Draco turned back to his car to see a couple people standing beside the destroyed passenger’s door, looking in at Pansy. She still appeared to be unconscious.
“Are they alright?” the guy said, his voice thick. Draco turned to see that he had followed Draco’s line of sight to the car.
Draco sighed. He should be furious, but this guy… just looked so pitiful. “I mean, she’s alive.” Draco cringed at how weak he sounded. “Luckily.”
“Thank god,” the guy said. He pulled out his phone and the screen lit up his face in the dark intersection. Draco watched as his features twisted into agony and he let out another sob, turning away from Draco. He fiddled with his phone for a second before raising it to his ear.
He was silent for a second, then jumped as though someone was yelling in his ear. “I know, I know, I’m sorry.” Another silence. “I tried. I couldn’t wait for ‘Mione to get there, so I tried to drive myself-” He broke off. “Yeah, I know how dumb that was, I just t-boned a car, Remus!” He sobbed again. The way his face twisted, he could tell the guy was getting an earful from the other person. “Yeah, yeah I’m okay. The other driver is, too, but his friend got hurt.”
Draco was done listening to this guy cry. He turned and jogged back to his car to check on Pansy.
“Are you alright?” A middle-aged man standing near the passenger side asked as he approached.
“Yeah, I’m fine.” He brushed him off and leaned through the shattered window to get a better look at Pansy. She looked okay except for the bleeding cuts. He looked down to see that her arm was indeed trapped, and it looked twisted at an unnatural angle. He grabbed the handle and pulled on it, but the door was too bent to open. He reached in to feel her neck again. Her heart was beating well. Draco lowered his forehead to the roof of the car, taking deep breaths. This was far too close for comfort.
In the distance, Draco heard the sirens. He raised his head to see the guy approaching, still crying.
“I promise, I’ll pay for everything. I really am so sorry,” He said thickly.
“Yeah, okay,” Draco said to placate him. “Are you alright?”
He nodded. “Yeah, I just hit my head a little bit.”
Draco took in the tear streaks on his face, the heaving of his chest. “Okay, but are you alright?”
After a moment’s hesitation, the guy shook his head. “M-my godfather is in the hospital. I was trying to get there to see him. It was hard to concentrate on driving, I was so worried.”
Draco was genuinely surprised. “Is it serious?” he asked. Duh. Obviously it is, his mind supplied, or he wouldn’t be crying like someone died.
The guy looked at him for a second as though he’d grown another head, then let out a hysterical sound somewhere between a laugh and a sob. Draco had the sudden urge to back away.
“I’m sorry, you just…,” the guy looked up at Draco with a mirthless smile. “If only you knew.” He shook his head.
At that moment, a police car pulled up between their cars and cut off whatever the guy was about to say. An ambulance and firetruck followed shortly after. Both Draco and the other guy moved towards them as the police and medics approached the cars.
“What’s the story here?” the officer asked the two of them as they neared him.
“Officer, it’s my fault. My godfather attempted suicide tonight and I was trying to get to him at the hospital,” the guy said, and Draco immediately felt awful for yelling at him. He was so much closer to losing someone than Draco had been. He began to cry again. “I was so worried and it was hard to concentrate on the road and I ran the light. But I swear I didn’t see them coming.”
“What’s your name, son?” the officer asked next. Draco’s eyes flicked back to see a firefighter working on his car door to get it to open.
“Harry Potter, sir,” the guy said. The door creaked and came away from the side of the car. His vision was blocked by the medics, but it looked like Pansy’s arm had come free without bleeding much.
A nudge in his side made Draco turn back to Harry. “What?” he asked sharper than he meant to.
“I asked your name,” the officer said.
“Draco Malfoy,” he answered automatically. “And that’s my best friend Pansy and I need to know if she’s alright.” He tried to go to her, but a hand on his arm stopped him. He looked up into the officer’s stern eyes.
“You can see her in a minute. I need some information first.” Draco reluctantly looked away from where his friend was being pulled from his car and followed the officer and Harry to his car.
They spent several minutes— in which Harry flitted between crying and twitching anxiously and Draco kept his eyes on Pansy at almost all times— giving the police officer every bit of information they could about themselves and the crash.
At one point, one of the EMTs came over to them, a young woman.
“Which one of you knows the girl?” she asked plainly.
Draco stepped forward. “Me. She’s my friend.” His gut twisted at the stern look on her face.
“She’s looking okay.” Draco slumped with relief. “She should be totally alright as soon as we get her arm set and check her for a concussion. Can you tell me her name?”
“Pansy Anne Parkinson. She’s twenty-two.”
“Do you happen to know her blood type?”
“No, but she was in the hospital for some blood work less than a year ago.”
“Thank you, that’ll be helpful. We’re going to take her now. One of my team can stay behind if either of you need medical attention?” She looked between Draco and Harry. They both shook their heads.
“I’m alright, just a few bruises probably,” Harry said.
“I’ll be okay with some bandaids,” Draco added.
“Alright, we’re taking her in now.” With that, she ran off and jumped into the back of the ambulance that drove Pansy away, sirens blaring.
Harry’s phone dinged and he pulled it out to check the message. He gasped, hand flying over his mouth. Seconds later, he sobbed.
“What is it?” Draco said, fearing the worst. How awful would it be if his godfather had died while they were standing exchanging information after a crash?
“He- he’s gone into cardiac arrest. My uncle says it doesn’t look good.” Draco’s heart lurched for Harry.
The police officer looked between them. “Alright,” he said, sighing. “Let’s get you two to the hospital.”
Both Draco and Harry ended up in the squad car, headed for the hospital. Though they weren’t too terribly far from it, the officer put on his lights and sirens and sped down the streets. Harry, who sat in the front seat, had his phone glued to his ear, tearfully telling someone named Remus that he was on his way and apologizing endlessly for something Draco couldn’t make out. In the meantime, Draco’s stomach was flipping, and he pulled his arms in against his torso, hoping not to bleed on the seats in this car.
They flew into the parking lot of the emergency room based on Harry’s instructions, and the officer parked at the curb. The three of them leapt from the car and raced inside.
Harry whipped his head around, looking for someone.
“Harry!” a man’s rough voice called, and they all turned to see a man with graying hair and a thin frame, tears shining in his eyes.
“Remus, oh my God,” Harry said, flying across the room and into his arms. Draco heard him speaking to the man: “I’m so sorry”, “I should have realized”, “He has to be alright. He has to be”. When Remus started to look over Harry, checking him for injuries, Draco turned away, feeling as though he was intruding on a private moment. He looked up at the sound of his name to see the police officer was speaking to the nurse at the front desk. He followed him over.
“I want you to sign in here to get yourself looked over. I don’t like the look of some of those wounds, son,” the man explained.
Draco nodded, accepting the clipboard the nurse handed him. He began to fill out his information, but looked up when the police officer began walking away.
“Excuse me, sir?” he asked. The man turned back. He looked between him and Harry, who was now sitting beside Remus with the older man’s hand on his knee. “I… Harry’s suffered enough tonight. He already agreed to pay for the damages. Is it possible to drop any charges he might face? That is, of course, if Pansy’s alright.”
The officer thought it over. “I’ll still have to file a report, that’s just standard procedure. Since he’s not intoxicated and no public property was damaged, if you’re not willing to press charges, we can let it go I’ll have your car towed with this service, you can call them to get it back.” He handed Draco a slip of paper with a name and phone number.
Draco nodded. “Thank you.”
“Have a good night, son.” With that, the man stepped over to talk to Harry.
“You too, sir.” He filled out the rest of the paperwork to the best of his ability, and gave it back to the nurse.
Now feeling awkward standing alone in the middle of the room, Draco hesitantly stepped toward Harry. Remus had his head in his hands, but looked up when his footsteps approached, looking over him oddly.
“Do you mind if I sit with you?” he asked Harry softly.
“No, that’s fine,” he answered, scooting over in the plastic chair closer to Remus. “Draco, this is my uncle— well not really my uncle, but you know— Remus. He’s my godfather’s husband. Remus, this is Draco. I nearly just killed his girlfriend.”
Draco snorted as he sat on Harry’s empty side. “She’s not my girlfriend. Definitely not my girlfriend.” He hoped Harry got the message.
“ Oh. Well, sorry for assuming.” Harry said, slumping back in his chair. Draco had a sudden shock. This was a family emergency for them, and he was cracking jokes about being gay. Suddenly his face heated in shame.
“It’s fine.” He went back to filling out his forms.
“Are you alright, Draco?” came a warm voice from the other side of Harry. Draco looked up to see Remus leaning around his ‘nephew’ to look at him. Draco was shocked.
“Y-yes, I’m fine sir. Thank you for asking. It’s more Pansy I’m worried about.” He replied stiffly. The man’s eyes softened and he nodded. Draco noticed a thin scar running across his nose that shone in the light. Interesting.
“ Harry!” came a high-pitched, feminine screech from the door. Draco’s head snapped up to see a curvy young woman with a mass of frizzy dark hair followed by a tall, lanky ginger guy. The girl stomped angrily across the room towards them, and Draco tried to scoot away only to have Harry grab his sleeve and pull him back towards him, placing himself between Draco and the woman. “Harry James!”
She stopped before him, hands on her ample hips, and looked down at Harry with a pout on her face. Draco noticed she appeared to be pregnant, and the ginger came up and placed his hand on her back. What an interesting bunch.
“I told you to wait until I got there! You know how dangerous it is to drive when you’re not well! Do you understand how foolish that was?” Wow, foolish . Bookish type, Draco guessed.
Harry wouldn’t look her in the eyes, but they were shining with tears and regret. Draco itched to shield Harry from this fierce woman before him.
The redhead threw in his two cents next. “Dude, you really messed up. What if you’d been killed in that crash, huh? What would Sirius think then?” What would serious think? What’d that mean?
“And what if you’d been too late, huh?!” Harry said, his voice going up an octave with emotion. “What if Sirius died and I was just sitting at home, waiting for you to come get me? What would I do then?” Wait, why was this not making any sense to Draco?
“OH!” he finally exclaimed. They all turned to look at him. “Your godfather’s name is Serious! That’s weird.” Nice, Draco. Open mouth, insert foot.
Remus managed a watery smile. Harry shook his head, but there was amusement in his eyes. Remus spelled the name for him. “It’s the name of a star. His family was all named after things like that.”
“Not to be rude, but who are you?” the ginger asked.
Harry explained through angry tears what had happened that night. Before he was finished, Draco had been called back for examination.
His bandaging went quickly, and they did a few tests to check for a concussion. A nurse poked her head in to tell him that Pansy was going into surgery to set the bones in her arm. Other than that, she was looking fine. Draco felt himself deflate as worry left his mind.
Remus and Harry were gone when he reached the waiting room again. His stomach twisted as he thought of the worst. He took a seat one away from the pregnant woman who now looked like she was lost in thought. “What’s happened?” he asked nervously.
She looked up. “Oh, it’s you.” She shook her head, curls bouncing. “Sirius is stabilized, but still unconscious. They’ve gone in to see him.” Draco nodded, sighing in relief. “I’m Hermione, by the way. Harry’s friend.” Only now, when she wasn’t yelling, Draco realized she had a bit of an accent. She sounded Nigerian.
“I’m Ron. His other friend,” said the ginger.
“Are you two together?” he asked, trying to keep his mind off of Pansy.
“Yep, we’re married,” Ron said, placing his hand on his wife’s stomach. “First one due in a couple months.” They smiled lovingly at each other and Draco fought not to make a gagging noise. He hated when Pansy and her girlfriends acted like that. Especially Ginny. Wait, Ginny… didn’t she have a brother named Ron?
“Okay, don’t take this the wrong way, I know not all redheads are related, but do you happen to know a girl named Ginny?” Draco asked.
Ron’s eyebrows quirked. “Yeah, she’s my baby sister, why?”
“Because I was driving with her ex, Pansy, when Harry hit us.”
Ron gasped, then gasped again. “Wait, you’re that Draco?”
Draco snorted. “How many other Dracos have you heard of?”
“Good point. My sister talked about you a lot when they were together.” Draco’s eyebrows furrowed. What kind of things would that girl have to say about him? “All good things, really. She liked spending time with you.”
Color Draco surprised. For all the times he’d been on her case for being soulless, carpet munching, or any number of topics to tease about, you’d think she’d’ve been put off.
“Well... she wasn’t so bad herself,” Draco conceded. Ron laughed.
“Could you two knock it off?” Hermione interrupted. “We need to be here for Harry right now.”
“Yeah, speaking of Harry… you really shouldn’t have yelled at him for driving tonight. He’s already been through enough,” Draco reasoned.
“You think I don’t know that?!” Hermione turned on him, glaring at him hatefully. “This is the third time Sirius has tried to take his life. I yelled at him because he should know better than anyone why you need to be alert and cautious when driving.”
“And why is that?”
“His parents were killed by a drunk driver when he was young. He was raised by Sirius and Remus.” Draco was taken aback. Not only was Harry almost losing a godfather, he could have lost a dad . Draco’s heart ached for him.
They fell into silence now, waiting for news of any kind. Ron stepped out to call Ginny, and said she’d be coming around, too. She and Pansy had parted ways amicably, and only because Pansy was going off to college while Ginny was still in high school. They lost touch and grew apart. Pansy had never said she missed Ginny, but she seemed sad whenever she spoke of her. Draco could only guess that Ginny felt the same.
Sirius. Now that it had stewed in his mind, the name sounded familiar to Draco for whatever reason. He was fairly certain it wasn’t because of the star, Draco had never known about things like that. God knows he didn’t have a cultured upbringing of any kind. That was his mother’s thing, and she was gone before Draco was able to absorb any of her more eccentric knowledge.
His mother was a traveler. She had moved out of her parents’ house when she was sixteen. She’d never lived in one place for more than six months when she met Draco’s father on one of her rare trips back to her hometown. He was a business major just starting out in the world. Their love was a flash and a burn, and Draco was the result of that. His mother reluctantly stayed with his father until he was born and old enough to remember her, then she was gone off to travel again. They’d never even married. He’d received a postcard from her every birthday until he was sixteen. He hadn’t heard from her since.
As he grew up, Draco’s father became more and more questionable in his mind. He brought women home night after night, treating them roughly and then kicking them out. Though he’d never really had a problem with alcohol, he certainly enjoyed it enough. He would often take out his anger on Draco in screaming rages when he couldn’t get his way in business, in bed, or whatever else he had to bitch about that day. It wasn’t pleasant, but Draco survived.
It was when he found Draco making out with his guy “friend” in sophomore year that things turned violent. It was the first and last time Draco’s father ever laid a hand on him. That night, Draco packed his things and slipped out his window, going to Pansy’s house. Her parents took him in as their own, and he lived with them until beginning college.
The door opened, and an exhausted looking Harry shuffled out with an ice pack pressed against his face. Remus walked beside him, hand on his shoulder, looking years older than he must have been.
Harry slumped down to the floor, resting his head against Hermione’s knees, his face turned toward Draco. Remus sat in the empty space between them, patting a hand on Draco’s knee as he did so.
“How is he?” Ron asked carefully. Harry sniffled. Hermione’s fingers worked through his hair, and something sparked in Draco. He felt almost… jealous. When had he become so protective of this guy he’d just met?
“He’ll be touch and go for a while,” Remus croaked out. Draco was surprised again at the man’s strength. This was his spouse they were talking about. “They’ve promised nothing.” His voice cracked at that, and Draco’s stomach twisted as Remus’ face did, and his head dropped into his hands. Draco ignored that fact that his back was shaking.
“Hey, man,” Ron said, poking at Harry’s shoulder. He made a grunt in response. “You’re never gonna guess what we found out while you were away.”
“No offence, Ron, but I really don’t care right now,” Harry said, barely loud enough to be heard over the hustle and bustle of the emergency room. He looked deflated and utterly exhausted.
Draco leaned down to speak to him. “What happened to your cheek? It looked fine before.” Harry lifted his head a fraction and pulled away the ice pack. An angry purple mess was spreading across his cheek. His eye was swelling shut. Draco sucked in a breath. “Is that from the crash?”
Harry nodded. “Hit my steering wheel.” His face lowered back down to his friend’s legs. They fell into silence again.
As the time stretched on, Draco became restless with worry. He fidgeted in his seat so much that Hermione shot him a look. Finally he stood up and began to walk.
“Where you going?” Harry asked softly from behind him. Draco turned to see him looking up at him, ice pack lowered to his lap. He looked pitiful. It made Draco’ chest hurt.
“I can’t sit here. I need to take a walk.”
Remus sniffed, raising his head. “I’ll come with you. I could use a time out from my thoughts.” Draco nodded and the man fell into step with him.
They walked in silence for a while, and Draco chose to follow the signs to the food court, hoping for a hot drink.
“Any word about your friend?” Remus asked.
“Uh…,” Draco found himself at a loss for words for a moment. “Her arm was broken pretty badly. They had to take her into surgery to set it.”
Remus sighed. “I know my apology means little, but I am truly sorry that Harry dragged you into all this.”
Draco scuffed his feet along as they continued to walk. “As strange as it sounds, It’s really okay. Pansy’s strong, and I know she’ll be alright. Right now I’m worried for you all.”
“Thank you,” Remus said, and Draco was beginning to hear the facade of calmness over his words. “That means a lot.”
They made it to the food court, and it was mostly dark inside. Not many people eating at this time of night. There was, however, a coffee bar set up along one wall. They made their way over. Draco found himself speaking again as he made his coffee.
“Hermione filled me in a bit on your family while you were gone. I think it’s really great what you and Sirius did for Harry. Taking him in, I mean.”
Remus snorted. “Don’t think so highly of us, it was purely for selfish reasons, I assure you.” Startled, Draco turned to look at him. The man was making hot chocolate and smiling to himself. Glancing at Draco for a second, his smile widened. “Ever since he was born, Sirius and I loved Harry like our own. There was never any question of who would care for him after-” He broke off, face falling. He pulled out another cup and began making some tea. Draco leaned against the counter as Remus prepared four drinks, all different.
“I’m sure Sirius will be alright,” Draco said, desperate for a way to make Remus feel better.
He nodded. “Sirius is strong. Sometimes he’s stronger than I give him credit for.” Draco watched him work in silence for a few moments. “He blames himself for what happened to Harry’s parents.”
“What?” Draco asked, confused.
“Sirius. He blames himself for what happened that night.”
“But he had nothing to do with it, right?”
“No. He was at their house, babysitting Harry while they had a date night.” Draco could tell this was hard for him to relive, but he was too curious. “I was working a night shift. Sirius called me at nearly four in the morning, hysterical. He was James’ emergency contact. He was in shock, I’m sure. When I got to their house, he was… completely out of it. He went nearly mad with grief. James was a brother to him.”
“What happened then?”
“It took years, but we healed. He went to therapy, raised Harry, but he never really moved on. He still blames himself.”
“That doesn’t make any sense.”
“Most delusions don’t.” Remus sighed. “He tells me he can still see them. He sees James and Lily and they blame him for their deaths. Usually I’m there to help him through these delusions. This time I wasn’t.”
“Harry said something on the way here about how he should have known, that he should have been there. What did he mean?”
A look of complete adoration crossed Remus’ face. “Harry has always been the type to want to take on everyone’s problems, put everyone back to rights when they’re hurting. Hermione calls it his ‘saving people thing’. Usually, we can tell when Sirius is getting bad again by the way he talks to us. Always apologizing for things, telling us how much he loves us and misses James and Lily. It’s worse around Harry because he looks so much like his father. There are times where the delusion manifests itself and makes Sirius think that Harry is James.
“Harry was saying he should have known because its been a while since he was home. Sirius was separated from the main source of his guilt, Harry, for most of a year. And then Harry came home, right at the age that James was when he died, and it set Sirius off. He sometimes thinks the only way he can make up for letting James and Lily die is by taking his own life.” Remus sounded weary, but Draco could also tell it was something he’d had a long time to cope with.
Suddenly he turned back to Draco. “This one’s for Harry, will you carry it back for me?” Remus asked, handing him the first hot chocolate.
“Sure thing,” he said, taking the cup.
“Blow on it as we go, will you? Harry never checks to see if things are too hot, just scarfs them down and burns his whole digestive tract.”
Draco laughed aloud at that. “Will do.”
Back in the waiting room, it was now largely empty except for their depressed-looking bunch. Harry lay across the seats they vacated, his head in Hermione’s lap. Draco thought he was asleep, but he sat up as they approached. There were tears shining on his cheek. He murmured something like ‘moony’ and reached out towards Remus.
“Just a second, Har,” the man said, and handed Ron a drink, receiving a small thanks. “How’s the little one treating you?” He asked Hermione, handing her another cup.
“Ugh, an absolute nightmare. I can’t sleep, I can’t eat, I can’t even go a normal length of time without running off to go to the bathroom!” the woman said, though Draco could tell her annoyance was mostly fake.
“Yeah, I remember Lily had similar complaints when she was pregnant with this one.” He ruffled Harry’s hair, pulling the ice pack away to look at the bruise underneath. He hissed. “Oh, kiddo, you’ll be feeling that for a couple weeks.” Harry sniffed, and Remus took the seat beside him, leaving one open between Harry and Hermione. Draco was shocked at how welcoming these people were of a total stranger. Harry’s head fell onto Remus’ shoulder.
“This is for you,” Draco said, handing over the hot chocolate. Harry glanced up, taking the cup from Draco’s hand and holding it close to his chest. Draco sat down beside him.
“I’m sorry,” Harry whispered.
“I know,” Draco said, still unsure if he was ready to forgive.
Hermione spoke up. “What Harry means is that a doctor came out to tell us to tell you that Pansy is out of surgery.” Draco started, guilt washing over him. “It went perfectly fine, but she’ll be out for a while.”
“I have to go see her.” Draco stood.
“We’ll be here,” Ron said, slouching down in his seat. Draco looked across them, wondering how in the world he got himself here— and smiling to himself when he saw that Remus was now holding the ice pack against Harry’s face, as the young man seemed to be drifting off in sleep— and went to inquire about Pansy’s room number.
Pansy was, indeed, out cold when Draco entered her room. She was wired up to several machines around her and her arm was in a thick cast and a sling.
“Draco!” someone exclaimed when he entered, and he was startled to find that he was now held in someone’s arms. He looked down to see that is was Mrs. Parkinson. “We tried to call you, but you wouldn’t pick up, and you were nowhere around when we got here!” Draco realized with a shock that his phone was still in the car. They’d been using it to listen to music. His arms closed around her, and he looked up to see Mr. Parkinson sitting against the wall, his eyes still locked onto Pansy.
“We got a call that Pans was in the hospital following a car crash, and we knew you two were going out tonight, and we just didn’t know what to think,” Mrs. Parkinson continued. She pulled away from him sharply. “Are you hurt?” she asked in concern.
He rolled up his sleeves to show off his bandages. “Nothing more than some shallow cuts, and they already checked me over for a concussion. I’m all clear.”
Draco took a place next to Pansy, grabbing her uninjured hand. He leaned in close to her ear, whispering his apologies.
A short time later, the door opened again and Ron entered with Ginny trailing behind him shyly. When her eyes fell on Pansy, they widened and filled with tears.
“Ginevra,” Draco said, standing. He never called her by her shortened name to her face.
“Draco!” she cried and flung herself at him. They squeezed each other tight. “It’s been so long.”
“Too long,” he said, a smile tugging at his lips. He pulled back to look at her. Her hair was cropped short, even shorter than Ron’s, and she wore it in a soft swoop across her head. She had gotten several new ear piercings as well. Overall, she had grown up. And she was definitely Pansy’s type.
“How is she?” Ginny asked, stepping around him to look down at her ex. She waved awkwardly at Mr and Mrs Parkinson, aware that they were probably still angry about their breakup.
“She’s okay, luckily. She just had to be sedated so they could work on her arm.”
Ginny shook her head. “Harry’s an idiot,” she muttered as she stepped around him and took his seat. She picked up Pansy’s hand, the other stroking through her dark hair.
Ron’s phone chimed. “Sirius is waking up. Harry wants to know where we are.”
“Do you want to go to him?” Ginny asked. “I can stay here with these guys.”
“Nah, I have to take Mione home, anyway. She’s tired and feels ill.”
“Alright, text me when you guys get home.”
“Sure thing, squirt.” Ron turned to leave, then stopped and his phone chimed again. He looked back over his shoulder at Draco. “Harry wants you to know you’re welcome, too.”
Draco’s stomach flipped at the thought of Harry. “Uh, yeah, okay. What room is he in?”
“157 in the CICU. I’ll let him know you’re coming.” He typed something out on his phone, and Draco heard it send. “See you around, guys.”
“Goodnight, Ronald,” Ginny said.
“Yeah, it was nice to meet you, even under the circumstances. Night,” Draco added. Ron gave a little wave and walked out.
“Alright, I’m going to go be with Harry. I’ll see you later, Mr and Mrs Parkinson,”
The older woman sighed. “Draco, you’ve been like a son to us since you were sixteen. When will you start calling us by our names?”
“Not tonight,” Draco called over his shoulder, slipping from the room.
He walked the maze of halls alone, dodging people who ran past them to complete their jobs. He was sure it must have been past visiting hours by now, but he tried to look distressed enough not to get kicked out.
It wasn’t hard.
The lights in 157 were dimmed, but the atmosphere was darkened enough anyway by the emotions of those inside. As the door clicked shut behind him, a cold hand clenched Draco’s stomach. He felt as though he’d stepped right into a drama movie, complete with ominous beeping of a heart monitor. It was if the colors had bled out of everything around him, including the three other occupants of the room.
Remus’ head was bowed, but his hand was firmly around that of the man in the bed. Harry was clearly fast asleep. Draco’s eyes finally ventured up to the face of the man unconscious in the hospital bed, and his breath was forced out of him when he found he recognized the man. One of the few things he had left of his mother was a family picture taken only a few months after Draco was born. He had studied that picture for ages, memorizing every face in it. The faces of a family he knew nothing about.
“Draco?” a warm voice pulled him from his shock. His eyes darted over to find Remus watching him with a look of mixed sympathy and distress. “I didn’t realize you were coming.”
“I’m sorry, Ron texted Harry that I was, but I can go if you don’t-“
“No, no, it's fine.” The man finally straightened up, stretching his shoulders back. His hand lifted to brush hair back from Sirius’ face, fingers lingering on his cheek. Draco blushed and looked away, feeling as though he was trespassing. “He woke up only slightly, but was so out of it he didn’t even recognize us.” Remus looked across the bed at Harry, frowning. “Do me a favor and wake Harry for me. I don’t want him to hurt his neck any more.”
Draco looked over and noted that Harry was slumped down in his chair, head nearly resting on his shoulder. He looked peaceful in sleep, but it really did look horribly uncomfortable.
Quietly, he pulled a chair up beside his, as close as he could get it. He sat, slipping his shoulder gently beneath Harry’s head and raising it to a normal height so that Harry was resting against him instead of supporting himself. Harry only shifted slightly following the exchange, and it was to turn his face closer to Draco’s neck.
Draco looked up to see Remus watching them, a hint of a smile turning the corners of his mouth. Then his attention went back to Sirius. Draco tried to stay alert, tried to keep himself from drifting off in a hospital room full of people he didn’t really know, but his eyes betrayed him, and he finally gave into their weight.
“Sirius? Sirius, can you hear me?”
Draco’s eyes slid open to see Remus standing over his husband, who shifted in his bed. Draco turned to Harry, who now draped an arm across both of their laps, and gently nudged him awake.
“Huh?” came his sleepy voice.
“Sirius is waking up,” he whispered, and Harry was up like a flash, darting over to the bed.
“Sirius, hey baby, wake up for me,” Remus said calmly, and Draco could just barely see his eyes blink open from where he sat.
“Re-?” he croaked, confused.
Remus’ breath left him in a whoosh . “Yes, Sirius, I’m here,” he said, voice thick. He sat back down, taking Sirius’ hand in his own.
“Wha-... wha’s goin on?”
From behind, Draco watched Harry’s shoulders sink. Sirius was still delusional.
“You’re in the hospital, Sirius. Do you remember what happened?” At this point, he sounded as though someone had slipped gravel into his tea.
“I…” He was silent for so long that Draco thought he would not answer. He twisted slightly to try and get a view of Sirius around Harry’s back. As Draco watched, his face shifted from confusion to horror. “Oh my fucking god.” He lifted wet eyes to meet Remus’. “I— I’m so-” His voice failed, but he raised his arms and Remus embraced him tightly. Draco blushed as he heard them both crying.
Harry seemed to deflate, reaching out to place a hand on Sirius’ shoulder. The man’s head shifted, showing his tearstained face to Harry and Draco. “Har,” his voice cracked out, and an arm let go of Remus to reach out to his godson. Harry leant forward and pulled the man in tight. Draco found his throat aching and looked down at his fingers twisting in his lap. Every sob that rent the air make Draco feel more and more out of place in this hospital room.
Finally, he could stand the feelings of intrusion no longer, and stood to leave. He was across the room with his hand on the doorknob when Remus called out to him.
“Draco, I already called someone with this button here, you don’t have to get anyone.” He turned around with a question on his lips to see a pair of kind eyes on him. Remus had pulled away from Sirius, who had both arms around Harry, looking as though he was about to crush him. Swallowing thickly, Draco nodded.
Moments later, the door burst open and Draco had to jump out of the way. A doctor and nurse came rushing in, but stopped short at the scene before them.
“He’s awake,” the nurse said uselessly, and they continued on their path to the bed.
“I have to ask you to step back, sirs,” the doctor ordered, and Remus and Harry both stepped away. With his arms now empty, Harry wrapped them tight around his middle, looking incredibly small. Remus walked around the bed and pulled him into his chest. His hand stroked softly over Harry’s back, and they seemed to melt together. Draco again found himself feeling out of place.
For the next long, tense minutes, the doctors worked on Sirius and asked him questions about his memory, his condition, if he needed to speak to a therapist. After waving them off time and time again, the doctors finally left, and Draco leaned against the wall, content to let the family reunite.
“I’m so sorry I wasn’t there for you, Sirius. I didn’t pay attention when you needed me,” Harry said, head against Sirius’ shoulder in another crushing hug.
“None of this is your fault, kiddo. Please don’t blame yourself for this. I’m sorry that I didn’t ask for help when I needed it. I knew where my mind was going, and I… I just let it happen.” Sirius’ eyes met Draco’s over Harry’s shoulder. “And who’s this, Harry?”
Harry raised his head and followed Sirius’ line of sight. “Oh, this is Draco. I, uh… I kind of, um…” he trailed off, looking to Remus for help.
“Harry decided to drive himself here after I called him about you and ended up running a red light. He hit Draco’s car, injuring his friend, nearly busting his own eye, and now Draco is here.” The man paused, his annoyed expression falling blank as he looked from Draco to his husband. “Sirius?”
“I know you. You’re Narcissa’s kid, aren’t you?” he asked breathlessly. Draco nodded. “Jesus Christ, what happened to you, kid? We all thought you were dead!”
“You remember me?”
“Of course I do! When your mom went missing, we all thought she took you too.”
“Wait,” Harry interrupted, looking between them all, “what’s going on here?”
“Aunt Andy actually had two sisters. You’ve met Aunt Bella, but Aunt Narcissa went missing when you were…” Sirius trailed off, thinking.
“Probably about eight,” Draco added bitterly. Sirius nodded.
“So what happened?” Remus asked, sitting beside Sirius on the bed.
“You remember I told you when Cissy went missing,” Sirius said. Remus nodded. “Our whole family tried to look for them. We never got the police involved, since Cissy had always been a bit of a runner. We just assumed she’d come back someday, or that she didn’t want to be found.” A sad look took over his face. Draco didn’t know her family cared for her that much. He figured if she stayed away, that meant she didn’t leave anyone behind she cared about. Draco always felt bad thinking back on it, since she must not have cared for him very much. “What happened to you?” Sirius asked him, pulling him from his thoughts.
“I kept living with my dad. We moved, so that’s probably why you couldn’t find us.”
“Did you ever hear from your mom while she was still around?”
“I mean, I used to get a postcard every year around my birthday.”
“Really? From where?” This was becoming much too heavy of a conversation to be standing up. Draco slid back into the chair beside Harry, who was watching their interaction with one eye beneath his mostly melted ice pack.
“Out west, mostly. Towards the end they were from overseas. Europe.”
“The end? Why doesn’t she send them anymore?” Harry asked softly. When he looked over, Harry’s eyes were sympathetic. If anyone should have parent issues, Draco thought, it certainly was Harry.
“I don’t know,” Draco dropped his gaze, watching his hands wring themselves in his lap. “I guess she just… forgot about me? Maybe wherever she is now, they don’t have postcards or something.”
Heavy silence hung for a moment. “Wait, you really don’t know?” Sirius breathed. Draco met his gaze and found nothing but pity. A knot of anxiety twisted in his stomach.
“Don’t know what? Do you know where my mom is?”
“I…,” he trailed off, eyes flicking to Remus, as though he didn’t want to say. “She’s dead, Draco. She passed away in a hospital in Spain.”
Something deep inside of Draco broke. For his entire life, he’d carried with him a small pocket of hope that he would one day see his mom again. As he grew older, that hope was pushed deeper and deeper inside of himself, leaving it to simmer and die out with time. Now that he knew she was gone forever… all of the times he’d felt abandoned, angry, distrustful, and rejected all came rushing back to him. Why had she left him with a father who didn’t love him? Why had her own happiness taken priority over Draco’s? Why hadn’t she loved him enough to stay?
The weight of his self-doubt dropped his head into his hands A ragged breath escaped him.
“Draco, I…,” Sirius said softly. “I’m sorry, I thought you knew.”
Draco was lost to his tears. He tried to stay silent, but the shaking of his shoulders gave him away. He felt a gentle hand slide over his shoulders and the arm settled around him, pulling him close into Harry’s body. Draco, too weak to protest comfort he otherwise would have brushed off, leaned into the warm body beside him.
“I’m so sorry, Draco. This is a horrible way to find out about something like this.” Another hand fell on his shoulder, and he peeked from beneath his hands to see Remus’ foot in his peripheral. What did Draco do to deserve the concern of these people he’d just met? A fresh round of tears sprung to his eyes, and he turned himself fully against Harry, who used both arms to hold him gently against himself. He leeched strength and comfort from the strong wills of the men around him.
Eventually, Draco was able to lift his head and snuck a look at Harry’s face. There was concern there, but something deeper as well, something warmer. Shaking off the fluttering in his stomach, Draco turned to Sirius. “I guess this makes you my cousin.”
“I guess so. Small world,” the older man replied. His eyes traced Draco up and down as though searching for an answer in his presence there. “You have her eyes, you know.”
Draco nodded. “Yeah. That’s what my dad told me. He hated them.”
The three other men shifted uncomfortably at the hurt in his voice. Sirius sighed. “We were always iffy about your dad. He seemed nice and loving when Cissy first met him, but as time went on, he…”
“Turned into a massive dick?” Draco finished for him.
Sirius snorted. “Yeah, something like that.” His eyes fell, and he shared another long look with Remus, who moved back to Sirius’ bed, but was able to reach out and place a hand on Harry’s knee. “Listen, kid, if I’d known she hadn’t taken you with her, I swear I would have come to find you. I never would have left you alone with your dad. I’m sorry things ended up like they did.”
Draco wiped his eyes of their growing wetness. “It’s okay. It wasn’t your fault. They just weren’t ready for a kid.” To think, all this time there was someone thinking of him, worrying about him, and he’d never been the wiser. How different his life could have been. Draco started when a warmth enveloped his hand. He looked down to see Harry’s fingers intertwine with his. When Harry squeezed, he squeezed back. Their eyes met, one of Harry’s sill dark and swollen shut, the other the clearest green that Draco had ever seen. Harry smiled softly, just a raising of the corner of his mouth. The fluttering grew stronger.
“Dwelling on the past doesn’t help anyone,” Remus said sagely. Draco was beginning to think he was the realist of the family. “What’s important is that we’re all here now, together. That we’ve all made it this far.” He ran a hand over Sirius’ blanketed legs, then reached out to pat both Draco and Harry on the knee. Draco could see the moment his eyes caught their hands, and he almost pulled his away before Remus sent a look to Sirius. A look-what-we-have-here kind of look. Of course these two were meddlers.
“Jesus Christ, Moony, look at the time!” Sirius exclaimed. “How are you three still here?”
They all laughed. “I was beginning to think we should head out as well.” He turned to Draco. “Do you need a ride home? A place to stay? Something to eat?”
Draco smiled at the kindness in the man’s eyes. “Well I’ve been staying with Pansy’s family over break, but I’m almost certain they’re staying the night here with her. I can get in the house just fine, but I could use a ride home.”
Remus nodded. “Of course, I’ll take you home.” He sighed heavily, standing up from the bed. He then turned back to the man lying beneath the covers. “I love you, Sirius. So much.” Sirius looked down, his cheeks flushing in shame. “Please don’t ever forget that you don’t have to go through this life alone. You have people who love you, people who would drop anything to be with you if you need us.” He pulled his phone from his pocket and slipped it into Sirius’ hand. “Call us at home if you need anything tonight, anything at all. God knows I won’t be sleeping.” With that, he wrapped up his husband in his arms, squeezing him tightly. After a moment, Sirius’ eyes fell shut as he hugged Remus back.
When they pulled apart, Harry let go of Draco to step up to the bed. Sirius grabbed his arm and dragged him into a fierce hold. “Why did you have to inherit your dad’s decision making skills, kiddo? When I get out of this bed we’re gonna have a long talk about safe driving, alright?” Harry nodded against his shoulder. “I love you, you know that?” Another nod.
“I love you, too, Sirius. I’m really sorry.” Harry’s voice cracked, and Draco instinctively stepped toward him. He flushed when he saw Remus smile at the flinch.
“No, Harry. Don’t be sorry, just make better decisions, alright?” Harry nodded again and pulled away. “Draco?” Sirius addressed him, waving him over. Draco took Harry’s place and Sirius gripped his arm. “I want to make up for leaving you with your dad.”
Draco hurried to stop him. “You don’t have to—”
“Humor an old man, would you?” Sirius smiled kindly. “I want to keep in touch with you. I can tell my godson wants to as well.” They both looked over to see Harry blush and look down at his shoes. Sirius chuckled. “Just know that you’re always welcome at my house. I’m sure you’ll be exchanging numbers with Harry before you get home, so feel free to call if you need anything.” It was Draco’s turn to blush now and rub his eyes to dispel the fresh tears. He nodded, throat too tight to speak “Good boy,” Sirius said, patting his arm.
“We’ll see you tomorrow, Padfoot,” Remus said, eyes lingering on his husband. Harry picked up his ice pack, which was a bag of water at this point. Remus chuckled at it. “We’ll get you a new one on the way out.”
“Good night, my loves,” Sirius said to his family. “Try and get some sleep.”
“Don’t die while we’re gone, alright?” Harry said jokingly, though there was a hint of real fear in his voice.
“No chance of that, Har. I promise.” He chuckled, but there was guilt in his eyes. Harry gave him one last hug, Remus gave one last kiss, and Draco followed them from the room, waving to Sirius as he shut the door behind himself.
Draco cleared his throat to dispel the emotion there. “Can we go say goodbye to Pansy? I want to let her parents know I have a ride.”
“Of course,” Remus said, with not a small amount of sympathy in his voice. After a moment of silence, he turned to Draco. “I’m sure Sirius doesn’t remember this, as he always gets drunk at family Christmas parties. I didn’t really know your mother very well, but I did meet you once when you were a baby.”
“Yeah. You were a little thing, not even a year old yet. That was even before we were looking after Harry. Your mom looked so happy with you.” Draco tensed and Remus seemed to sense that this conversation wasn’t one he wanted to have right now. Instead, the older man slipped an arm around Harry and pulled him toward his side. “You look like you’re about to drop dead, Har.”
“‘M so tired,” Harry groaned, putting his weight against Remus.
When they arrived at Pansy’s room, there were still three visitors there.
“Ginny?” Harry asked in surprise, perking up. Her head whipped around to look at them. With a smile, she jumped from her chair and gave Harry a tight hug.
“How’s Sirius doing?” she asked as they pulled apart.
“Pretty well, all things considered,” Remus answered. “He’s conscious and cracking jokes, so I’d say he’ll be fine.”
“That’s so good to hear,” Ginny said, returning to Pansy’s side.
Draco stepped up beside the bed. “Has she been awake yet?”
“For a little bit,” Mr Parkinson answered. Draco looked over to see Mrs Parkinson asleep against his shoulder. “She wasn’t really with it, but she asked about you.”
Guilt twisted in his stomach. “I’m sorry I wasn’t here.”
“That’s alright, son.” No matter how many times the man had called Draco that, there was a small part of him that still couldn’t accept that name. As much as he loved Pansy’s parents, the affection went only as far as his gratitude for what they’d done for him. They weren’t his real parents.
“I, uh… I’m gonna head home now.”
“Do you need a ride?”
“No, Remus is going to take me home.”
As if just noticing the other two men in the room for the first time, Mr Parkinson scrutinized Remus closely.
Draco was far too tired to go over the whole story of his night once again, so he kept his explanation short. “He’s a family friend, Mr Parkinson. We met here by coincidence.”
Mr Parkinson nodded. “Alright. Good night, Draco.”
“Goodnight.” He herded Remus and Harry out of the room before any more questions could be asked of him. The three of them headed for the main entrance of the ER in silence. At the front desk, they got Harry a new ice pack, then headed out for the night.
He gave Remus directions to the Parkinson’s house mechanically, too exhausted for any small talk. Harry’s head slipped down against the window in sleep. Draco envied him.
They pulled up to the dark house and Draco found himself to be reluctant to leave the safety of this family. He hadn’t felt so at home with a group of people in his whole life as he had tonight, and though Sirius had promised contact in the future, Draco still feared this would be the last time he would ever see them.
“Harry,” Remus said softly, shaking Harry gently. The young man groaned, turning to look at his guardian. “Say goodnight to Draco.”
Harry sat up like lightning, turning to look at Draco in the back seat. He looked inexplicably nervous. “Uh,” he started, then paused, looking at Remus. “I’ll walk you to the door.” They left the car and Draco led Harry up the walk to the front door. They stopped and looked at eachother. “As awful as tonight was,” Harry started, “having you there… made it less awful.” He shook his head and looked down. Even in the faint light of the streetlamp, Draco could see his bright blush. The stomach flutters came back full force, and Draco smiled, letting the feeling wash over him. “I, I was hoping we could…” Harry lost confidence and his mouth shut firmly.
“Give me your phone,” Draco said, holding his hand out. When Harry handed the device over, Draco quickly put in his number, adding his name and two car emojis. When he handed it back, Harry breathed a laugh. “I’d really like to see you again,” he said, not able to look Harry in the eye.
“I’d like that too. Can I call you tomorrow?”
Draco was about to agree, when he remembered where his phone actually was. “Shit. I left my phone in my car.”
“Oh, we can go get it if you want?”
“No, don’t worry about it. How about… why don’t you just come get me when you go to the hospital tomorrow? I need a ride there, anyway.”
Harry nodded. “Yeah, that sounds good.” He scuffed his foot against the porch. “Thanks for… well, everything. You were so calm tonight, it really helped to ground me.” He opened his arms, and Draco gladly hugged him. He was just a touch shorter than Draco and his unruly hair brushed lightly against Draco’s jaw. Warmth spread through Draco at the thought of getting to see Harry again tomorrow.
A short honk of Remus’ horn had them jumping apart. Harry glared at him, but Draco could hear the man laughing from there. He smiled at Harry, grabbing his hand.
“Goodnight, Harry. Ice that eye, alright?”
“Yeah. Goodnight, Draco.” With that, he pulled away and headed back for the car. Draco watched him go, waving back when Remus raised his hand.
As they pulled down the driveway, Draco unlocked the door and slipped into the Parkinson’s dark house, already anticipating the next day.