It’s the first day of the new school year and Lily is finally attending. I know that she’s more excited than nearly anyone has ever been to go to school and she’s off on the train so fast I barely have time to say goodbye to her. I wave at her and the boys as they get seated and that’s when I see the flash of blonde in my view.
I never thought that it would be like this again. I mean, when looking at everything it seemed as if it had only been a day or two prior. It wasn’t like we had slept together in more than a year, but seeing him there, standing on the tracks as he was sending his one and only child off to school, did I realize that I missed everything that we had before. I was immediately brought back to a time when he had reached out a hand, his white blonde hair caressing my chest, and he stroked up and down my arm as we laid in silence. I knew that at the time I wasn’t ready to admit to anything yet. I wasn’t ready to admit to myself that what we had was beyond what I had ever experienced with another person, especially my wife. But seeing him standing there with his own son made me realize that we had indeed shared something special- something beyond what either of us would ever understand I think.
Draco looked over at me then, a brief nod in acknowledgement, but nothing more. We shared a look, and my heart clenched when he turned away and I knew right then that I was hooked once more. I was the one who had called it off of course. Of course I was, I was a right bloody fool. My heart hammers as he walks towards me as the train pulls away and I feel Ginny tense at my side. Astoria nods briefly before apparating away and I know that she’s going to say something. I don’t want her to open her mouth so I shake my head. “Malfoy.” It’s brief, and a look of hurt flickers across his features as he stares me down with such intensity that I remember when that was passion, not anger. I miss passion on his features, and my lips open to say something else when he waves a hand. “Potter, may we have dinner, catch up?” Ginny looks at me stunned and is about to open her mouth when my cold stare stops her this time.
“I will have to take a rain check on dinner tonight. Owl me this evening and we’ll arrange a time later this week?” My eyes are glued to his in a deep stare, I know he’s reading everything that presents within my eyes and he nods. “I’ll expect to hear back promptly then.” He turns and sweeps away, reminding me briefly of Professor Snape. Even after all these years I cannot bring myself to call him anything but. Severus sounds strange in my head and just Snape feels to disrespectful for all he did for our cause, for me, for my mother. Ginny stares at me and asks, “What in the hell was that about? WHy would he ask you to dinner now? The two of you were never friends, barely friendly after you made it so that he wouldn’t get locked up in Azkaban.”
I stare at her in mock horror. “You do realize that for nearly all of the last two years he and I were corresponding regularly so that we could actually try and be more civil to one another so that our grudges that we held when we were children wouldn’t carry over to our offspring?” She stares at me and her jaw drops. “I had no idea that the two of you were even talking.” I shake my head. “You remember when I said I was getting together with a colleague twice a week for dinner last year?” She nodded and her eyes grow wide. “You were meeting with him?”
I roll my eyes. “I did tell you WHO I was meeting with, but you do so often forget when I'm getting together with people that you probably forgot.” She blushes and shakes her head. “You’re right. There’s no way I would have remembered. Not when last year…” she trails off. It was a rough year for us both. She had been cheating on me with Dean… which started after I had ended things with Draco. Unlike my affair, I found out about hers when I walked in on them fucking right by the front door when the kids were at the grandparent’s house. I was home early to surprise them and found them on the floor, going at it like rabbits. I wasn’t devastated like most people would have suspected of me, but I knew that it was going to be either the end of our relationship entirely, or somehow we would make it through. I honestly never expected to try and work things out, but she made such an effort to fix things that I would have felt bad leaving. But it wouldn’t have mattered anyway; Draco was over us at the time, and wasn’t going to leave his wife and child to be with me. While gay wizards aren’t unheard of, there was no way that my pure blooded lover was going to let himself be smeared across the press as queer.
I sighed and shook my head. “Don’t worry about it. We’ve moved past it.” She nods and bites her lip, a telltale sign that something is wrong , or there is something she’s failing to tell me. I take her arm and we do a side apparation home where I sit her down. “Talk.” She shakes her head, clearly communicating something more than what I was hoping for. I stayed with her for the kids- they need a stable environment. I didn’t stay with her because I loved her anymore. I was there for noble, stupid, selfish reasons. I’m pacing as I’m waiting for her to speak. It feels like I’ve been doing it for ages when her voice is quiet, but audible. “Dean was here last night while you were in Bulgaria.”
I stop mid-stride and just turn my head to look at her. “Did he fuck you?” She is silent as her head falls to her chest, a shaking encompassing her form. “Did. He. Fuck. You?” The words come out cold, harsher than I intended them to be. She still isn’t saying anything. “Ginny, please, if you and he had sex, why can’t you just tell me so we can accept what this is already?” She looks up at my words. My voice is tired, the anger draining from me as quickly as it could appear. I’m not one to talk. I carried on an unknown affair for nearly two years. The difference was that when mine ended I never went back. “Let’s just get our divorce. We haven’t been in love for ages. Otherwise you wouldn’t keep going back to Dean.” Her face falls again and I know for sure she’s crying now.
“I’m sorry. I swore it wouldn’t happen again, but I couldn’t help myself.” Her voice is breaking between words because of the effort to keep her voice steady enough to say them. “I thought we had fixed things, but I know now they were never fixed, just put off.” Her voice breaks and she is sobbing hard now, and I want to comfort her but I don’t. I know if I do, I will forgive her, I will allow her to hurt me again and again and I cannot have it. I shake my head and go to the fireplace. I light it and take a pinch of floo powder and call out for the Burrow.
I step out and the Weasely clan is looking at me surprised. “Harry! We weren’t expecting you for another day or two what brings you by?” Molly is looking at me lovingly and surprised to see me, as she always is nowadays. I feel my eyes welling up because she’s the only mother I ever really had. She sees me upset and pulls me into the den to sit while she summons tea and cake from the kitchen. She’s had to deal with so much loss, I hate to do this to her, but I have to talk to someone about it.
“Ginny and I are getting a divorce.” Her hand is rubbing my back, and I find myself overcome with emotion. “She had an affair for six months last year, and I caught her...she told me it was over. We went to therapy to work through it but while I was gone last night it happened again.” I feel the tears streaming down my face and I pay them no mind. It’s not love, it’s just a sense of loss. “I figured you would want to hear it from me before the press gets hold of it.” I don’t even remember raising my eyes up to look at her. Her face is tight and her lips are pursed, almost displeased. “I’m sorry I’ve made you mad with me.”
She shakes her head and lets out a hollow laugh. “I’ll admit I’m a bit surprised, but more from the fact that you stayed than the fact that you’re leaving her for it. I didn’t think for as in love with you as she was for so many years that she would do something like that. You were good to let her try and make it up to you- to try and fix things, but unfortunately not everything can always get fixed. You sometimes just have to let things lie and this, if this is the second time that she’s done it to you, perhaps it is time to accept the bed she put herself in isn’t yours and you just have to let her lie in it alone.” Molly takes my hand and I feel like her heart is breaking more than mine. “Despite this, you are always welcome in this house, you are still a part of this family, no matter what. I can’t lose any more of my children.” She says this earnestly and fiercely, like I was going to abandon her, leave her. I shake my head and she pulls me into a tight hug, almost until I can’t breathe anymore and when she pulls away she has tears in her eyes. “Stay the night, we’ll take care of things here.” I nod and she points me to Charlie’s old room. I settle in, realizing that I don’t even have a change of clothes, but the only thing I can think of in that moment is Draco. I pull a quill and ink out and start writing a letter.