Chapter 1: Teddy's Favourite Toy
The tree was almost all covered under the snow but the children in the park didn't seem to mind or care. Draco followed, slow at first, keeping a bit of distance away from young Teddy as he waddled his way.
Draco smiled down at the foot prints he was leaving in the snow. The boy insisted on going to the Muggle park, and though Draco could have used magic to protect his little cousin, he knew it was best to dress him warm for the weather than to put on a warm cloak on him. Other people, mostly Muggles, would have found it odd that a little boy wasn't all bundled up.
"Draco, look!" Teddy yelled, holding his pet toy dragon close to him. He held it by its mouth, where a small peppermint stick was glued on. It was silly, and Draco hated it. Mainly because it was Teddy's favourite toy and it hadn't been a present from Draco himself.
"I'm right behind you, Teddy," Draco said as he continued walking.
He nearly froze in his place when he realised what Teddy was yelling about. It wasn't the tree… but Harry Potter standing by it. Dressed as Father Christmas.
Chapter 2: HOT AZTA
"Father Christmas," Draco scoffed. "Couldn't think of anything better, Potter?" Draco looked away from Potter and towards the hordes of children walking towards them. They all held books in their hands; singing their little hearts away.
If he were there by himself, or well, with only Teddy, he'd have smiled. It was the most adorable little thing in the world wasn't it? Draco couldn't imagine being that young, and innocent, where all that mattered was singing with your friends, and impressing adults. Nothing else existed.
Maybe once, Draco had been like that, and then he had been forced to grow up. Still, for Teddy's sake, he could learn to appreciate the magic of it all. He didn't want his little cousin to see the pain he had seen. He wanted the little boy to remain as innocent as he could for as long as he could.
Sure, when he turned eleven and went to Hogwarts, he'd get into his on mischief. But those would be all decisions Teddy made for himself. Nothing would be an influence from adults with their own bloody agendas.
"I wanted give Teddy a good Christmas before I went away, is all," Potter said, picking Teddy up in his arms and then a plethora of children ran up towards Potter.
Santa! Santa! Santa! they shouted.
"Harry, they don't know…" Teddy said, sounding earnest.
"What?" Draco whisper asked.
"He's not the real Santa. He's one of the helpers," said Teddy.
"Oh…" Draco said playing along. "But, that's okay. It'll be our little secret."
Draco winked at Teddy who giggled and then when Draco looked at Potter, Potter looked surprised. It wasn't so hard for Teddy or Draco to tell that behind the fake beard and the garb, it was Harry Potter. Teddy was obsessed with the man. And Draco recognised that stupid scar anywhere he went.
Stupid Potter with his stupid scar. And face.
Draco watched as Potter interacted with the children around them all the while having Teddy in his arms. Teddy was holding onto that stupid dragon as tightly as he was holding onto Potter, quite rightly, of course since Potter was the one that'd gift Teddy the toy.
"It's time to go," Draco said softly when the other children were dwindling away from the marvels of being around Santa.
Draco made a gesture to look across to the big clock tower and nodded. "Teddy, you can stay here with your godfather if you'd like, or I can take you home to gran—"
Teddy frowned immediately.
"What about hotazta?"
Hotazta was what Teddy called it when Draco prepared hot steamed milk with Aztec chocolate. He'd called it 'hot cocoa with Aztec' and since then, Teddy's called any hot chocolate drink a hotazta.
If anything, Draco was surprised Teddy even remembered hotazta when he was in Potter's arms.
"Tomorrow, love. If you wish to stay with Po— Harry."
"I'm actually quite tired, myself, I wouldn't mind a hotazta if it's okay with you."
Draco frowned. "Do you even—"
"It's hot chocolate, Draco. Teddy told me all about it."
Draco rolled his eyes and nodded. "And your fans?"
"They can do without a replacement Santa," Potter said. "Besides, I was only here for Teddy. This is my last Christmas in England — for the time being anyway and who knows if I'll be back next year. I want him to have fond memories of me."
Draco knew Potter was going away. He didn't know where or for how long and he hadn't asked about it — mainly because his source of information had been Teddy and passing comments from his aunt Andromeda — and nor did he care. If Potter wasn't around, maybe Teddy would finally love him as family.
Prompt: 1. slythindor100 early bird prompt 3 (hot chocolate w/ melted snowmen) 2. dracoharry100 prompt: seasonal tradition. 3. newyearcntdown prompt: traveling. 4. adventdrabbles prompt 3: Warm Flannel Sheets.
Disclaimer: All Harry Potter characters herein are the property of J.K. Rowling and Bloomsbury/Scholastic. No copyright infringement is intended.
Author's Notes: Unbetaed.
The children surrounding them all seemed to pout as Potter walked away with Teddy in tow. As if right on cue, another Santa came by and the children screamed, running towards him.
"See, told you. Nothing to it," Potter said to Draco who was following quietly behind.
Muggle children were equally excited to see Santa as his wizarding ones would be. He still needed to find a Father Christmas for his event, though. He had been so busy running around doing all the other arrangements he'd forgotten to secure one. Now, he worried if he would have to end up dressing as one.
"When are you going away again?" Draco asked once they'd reached the edge of the park and Potter put Teddy down so he could start taking off his costume.
"On the twenty sixth," Potter said. "I needed to make sure I'm around for the family for Christmas before I head over to Mexico."
"Mexico?" Draco asked, surprised.
"Yeah. I thought you knew."
"Why would I know?"
"I don't know. Teddy said he'd told you."
"I did!" Teddy said jumping up and down as if trying to tell Draco yeah, he was still there. "Up!" he added.
"Look what you've done," Draco said scowling. He bent down to pick Teddy up. "You spoil him too much. You were just fine walking on your own." Draco looked at Teddy who looked sheepish. They had a deal. Teddy was going to be independent and only asked to be lifted up if he was truly tired and then he was going to have all the hotazta he wanted. Well, a sensible amount, of course.
Teddy shrugged. "I told you he was going to Azta."
"Ah…" Draco said. "Are you going near Central Mexico?" Draco was slightly jealous Potter was getting away from the winter. After Christmas, snow would lose its charm and Draco would much rather be in a tropical place than only imagine being there – under his own warm bed with warm flannel sheets. He’d must rather be laying about by the beach. Not sure if they had beaches near the Aztec ruins, though.
"Yes." Potter all but removed his outer garb and was dressed in Muggle jeans and a black t-shirt, then he placed his leather jacket on and asked for Teddy who only willingly went back to his god father's arms.
"Aren't you cold?" Draco asked, giving Draco a once-over.
"The jacket is charmed," Potter said shrugging and they were walking again. "There's a cute little cafe around here. We can have some hot cocoa there—"
"Hotazta," Teddy corrected him.
"Right. Yeah so I'm heading over for a six month recon mission to learn more about Mesoamerican artefacts. It's required learning if I want to apply to be captain."
"Yeah. Eventually moving onto become Head Auror."
"Oh, I thought they'd just hand it to you eventually," Draco grumbled.
"You'd think so," Potter said, laughing. "But no. I'd like to earn it, thank you very much."
"Evidently, you're dropping Teddy home tonight as you can tell her why she can't sleep. Sugar high much, Potter?"
"You know I love sweets," Potter said.
"How am I supposed to know that?" asked Draco.
"They're all for me. Who says I'm sharing?" Potter asked ignoring Draco's comment.
Teddy was all too well-settled in his own world with his hotazta and melted snowman to pay them any attention.
"So big plans for Christmas?" Potter asked.
"Nothing in particular. Except for spending time at work."
"Right, of course," Potter said as if he was supposed to know. Draco raised an eyebrow. "Andromeda said you've been spending a lot of time at the orphanage."
"Well, I do work there."
"Right. And you have a Christmas party coming up."
"Yes," Draco said. "A few of us are organising a toy drive and we need someone to play Father Christmas. Are you interested?"
"Will Teddy be there?" Potter asked.
"Yes, he's helping with the gift giving."
"Then, of course. When is it?"
"This weekend," replied Draco.
"Great, then I'll be there."
Chapter 4: Teddy's Pout
Prompt: 1. slythindor100 early bird prompt (decorated window) 2. dracoharry100: Last minute shopping. 3. newyearcntdown: Holiday Market. And 4. adventdrabbles PROMPT: Ugly Xmas Sweater
Disclaimer: All Harry Potter characters herein are the property of J.K. Rowling and Bloomsbury/Scholastic. No copyright infringement is intended.
After leaving the café, Draco with Teddy and Potter walked back towards Diagon where Draco planned to take the Floo to his flat. They were all quiet strolling down the street when Teddy spotted a heavily decorated window and ran up to peer into it.
"More presents?" Draco knelt down to tease Teddy and Teddy shook his head.
"No. Just pretty," Teddy said pointing at the little holiday market decorated inside the window.
"It is..." Draco said; when he looked up at Potter, Potter seemed surprised again. Why was Potter always so surprised? Did he really think Draco was terrible with children? For goodness' sake, he operated an orphanage for lost wizarding children.
"Let's go. It's getting late, your gran is gonna be worried," Draco said and stood up as Teddy grabbed his hand and then grabbed Potter's. He walked as if nothing was the matter, in-between Draco and Potter, making Draco feel absolutely uncomfortable. With the looks of it, Potter looked awkward, as well.
"How lovely..." A woman wearing an awfully ugly Christmas jumper smiled and walked past them, and then Draco couldn't help himself. He burst out laughing and Potter soon joined him.
"At least they're forward-thinking here," Potter said with amusement.
They got more interesting looks from people walking by, most of them looked like they were doing some last minute shopping.
"I'll see you soon, yeah?" Potter asked and Teddy nodded.
Potter left first and then it was Draco and Teddy's turn.
"I'm sad," Teddy said quietly.
"Why?" Draco asked, kneeling down to be eye-level with Teddy again. "What's the matter, little one?"
"Harry's going to go away." He pouted.
"Yeah, but he'll be back and you can write him letters. Or even talk on the Floo."
"But it's not the same," Teddy said, crossing his arms.
"Yeah, I know. But he'll be back. Didn't he promise you?"
Teddy shook his head. "Gran said he might go somewhere else after Azta."
Chapter 5: More To The Story
When they arrived at Andromeda's home, Teddy still looked upset, but he didn't say anything to his grandmother. He hugged her hello and ran up to his room to get ready for bed.
"How was your day?" Andromeda asked Draco.
"It was fine, thank you," he replied politely. "I hadn't expected Potter show up looking like Santa Clause to surprise all the children."
"Oh he did that?" She threw her head back and laughed. "He said he was hoping to do so but wasn't completely sure. He's had to catch up on a lot of work."
"Yes, I hear he's going to Mexico soon."
"I know. Teddy's quite broken up about it."
"But he's putting on a brave face, it seems."
Andromeda nodded. "Yeah, I didn't want to tell him but didn't think it was fair to keep it from him."
"About Potter might stay away longer?"
She nodded again. "Yeah, if things work well for him in Mexico, he might go up to North America. Spend some time in New York before going to Argentina. Or is it the other way but... I'm not sure what he plans to do. Just stay away from here. Anywhere he can't get snowed in, I suppose."
"Oh, why?" As soon as he asked, Andromeda's eyebrow raised and Draco immediately regretted inquiring. "If he claims to care so much about Teddy, then why stay away from the boy?" he added, rather haughtily which sounded fake even to his ears.
But why did it matter? It's not like he was interested in Potter.
Draco was only interested in Teddy's happiness.
"I'm not sure. You'll have to ask him." She seemed to give Draco a knowing look but refrained from comment. "Can I interest in you some tea?"
His aunt's old record player seemed to be playing in the background and a song Draco was somewhat familiar with came on. Baby, it's cold outside. Draco smiled. He enjoyed the old records his aunt kept in her home. Her husband used to buy them for her all the time.
"Thank you but I should be going," he said politely. "I've got the event this weekend at The Home and we have a lot of work to do."
"Right! Teddy's going to help you give presents away to all the children."
Draco nodded. "And evidently Potter will be playing Father Christmas. I hope you and Mother will be able to attend."
"Of course, we'll be there. You know Narcissa is looking forward to it so much. Especially it'll be the last Christmas at The Home for some of the children. How exciting that some of them are going to be adopted right by the New Year!"
Draco smiled and nodded. "Yes. It's going to be sad but good."
Andromeda pulled him in for a long hug, which Draco still wasn't used to, and kissed him on the cheek. "I'm glad they have you, Draco," she said. "For now."
It had been the project he'd been assigned to after the war as part of his community service and now it'd become his life's work. "I'm lucky to have them," he replied and left.
Chapter 6: Potter's Mouth
Draco woke up in the middle of night, panting. His throat was dry and his cock, hard. He groaned to himself as he buried his face in his pillow. He couldn't believe it. He'd just had a vision of a naked Potter in front of him.
What was even worse of what Potter was wearing…nothing. His body was wrapped in a colourful string of lights. Draco's cock stirred with interest again at the memory. What he wouldn't — no — he wouldn't. Would he? What would he do to have Potter like that in front of him?
Draco bit his lip and closed his eyes. Fuck, he didn't want to remember that. He didn't want to think about it at all. His cock pressed against the soft fabric of his trousers and he bucked his hips.
Think about something else. Think about something else. Figgy pudding. You hate figgy pudding.
If that image had been real — if Potter was in front of him like that right now — he'd no idea what he'd do. In theory, he should have chalked it off to a fluke, a bad dream, but he couldn't help it when his hand lingered down… and travelled inside his trousers.
He couldn't help it when it grasped the back of Draco's cock and started to stroke it. Potter's well-defined muscles, his Auror's body, taunted Draco. It'd been a while since Draco had had someone in his bed and the idea of having Potter — a dirty Father Christmas begging for Draco — was just a bit too much.
Potter's mouth was so just so luscious, wasn't it? It was as if those lips were begging for Draco's cock. They wanted him. Potter could have been so hard, and wanting, and on his knees for Draco. He'd beg for Draco to fuck his mouth - his throat - and — and Draco stroked faster. His hips jerked up, his hand gasped tightly around his cock as he wanted and wished and fucking desired for Potter. For Potter dressed as a dirty, bad, Santa Clause, there for Draco's pleasure. Ready for Draco to give him everything. Or maybe — tease him and not give him anything at all.
Oh, to have Potter and own him.
Chapter 7: Looks could be deceiving.
Draco tried to shake off his dream all day. He knew he had a couple of days before he saw Potter at the Christmas banquet at The Home, but, he wasn't certain he could forget the images by them.
He hoped he would.
Every time he closed his eyes, his dream flashed in front of his eyes. He didn't even know what Potter looked like naked but he couldn't unsee what he'd imagined.
His stupid brain and its ability to detail everything.
He sighed and decided to just drink lots of coffee and work on the projections for the next year. He needed to set his budget for the New Year if they didn't get enough donations during the Christmas party and the few days following that.
He had a few kids that were being adopted in early January, but that didn't mean his work was done by any means necessary. He needed to provide for the kids that were living at The Home permanently. About three of the kids would be starting Hogwarts by September next year so he needed to make sure he had enough for their supplies.
His goal was to open up The Home not just for the lost kids in England but to the rest of the Europe. He'd been working hard on placing translation spells around the property so if they ever got non-English speakers, those boys and girls would be able to communicate with the kids their own age.
Draco wanted to do everything possible to make a good home for everyone. Something he'd never had for himself, but it didn't mean others couldn't have it.
He wasn't THAT kind of a Malfoy.
It was bittersweet but he loved having the Christmas tree with little hearts hanging around it — a representation of all the kids that'd been able to find a home. There was always hope that in the end, it'd all work out one way or another.
After having his fifth cup of coffee, Draco got up to make himself a sandwich. He looked out the window by the fireplace. It really was turning out to be a beautiful holiday season. He wondered what someone outside would see looking in. They'd see a well-lit Christmas tree through the frosted window, and warmth. Except, looks were deceiving. Sure he had some family around to share his holidays with but as to the warmth? There hadn't been any in his home, or in his bed, for a long time.
Draco wanted to groan when he heard Potter's voice coming through the Floo. This was the last thing he'd wanted. While he concentrated on work, he'd finally managed to forget all about Potter and his own bloody sexy dream.
But now the man was Floo-calling him and … was it too late to pretend he wasn't home?
"I know you're there. Your wards wouldn't let me connect a call if you weren't," Potter supplied.
"Thank you, Captain obvious," Draco said, walking up to the fireplace. "Well, in your efforts, you seemed to have earned the title of Captain there."
"You're so funny, Malfoy. Pardon me if I don't die laughing."
"Unfortunately, that's not something I can pardon," Draco said.
"Whatever. Can I come through?"
"Because I want to talk about the party this weekend."
"There's nothing to know, Potter. Dress as Santa Clause. Show up at the party. Distribute some gifts."
"Fine, please grace my home with your presence, oh Father Christmas. Or I won't be able to sleep tonight."
"Merlin, you're dramatic," Potter said as he stepped through the Floo and entered Draco's flat.
Chapter 8: Potter's Presence (or things Draco hates).
"Something smells good," Potter said as Draco only stood by the Floo, glaring at him.
"Why are you here, Potter?"
"I told you, I want to talk about the Christmas party."
Draco narrowed his eyes. "What about it?" Right about now, Draco wished Potter was at the North Pole rather than his flat.
"I know usually whoever plays Santa Clause at one of these things has to remain anonymous but I thought if we let it leak out to the news I'm gonna be there - maybe you'll get more of a turn out."
"What?" Draco spat but on the inside, he was impressed with Potter's idea. It would get him a good amount of press and most people will do anything to impress Potter. "Why do you care?"
Potter shrugged. "I care about Teddy, and I think what you do is a good cause. It's the last thing I can do - somewhat charitable before I go away. I mean, I know you hate me—"
"I don't hate you," Draco said looking away. There Potter was pouting again with those perfect looking lips. That mouth which was made for sucking Draco's— NO!
Draco took in a deep breath and left the room. He headed to pour himself yet another cup of coffee.
"I don't hate you. I just don't need your charity," Draco said, totally lying. He absolutely needed Potter's charity. If the word was spread Harry Potter himself was going to dress as Father Christmas and be at the orphanage, then the Galleons would come flying in.
"I don't care about you, Malfoy," Potter snapped. "I care about the fucking orphanage and the fucking kids."
Draco turned to look at Potter and raised an eyebrow.
"Okay, sorry, that came out wrong. But, I lost my parents at a very young age and I lived in a very — well, let's just say not an idea place for a kid — so what you're doing, it's good. Andromeda won't stop talking about it. I mean, if I didn't know any better, I always thought she was trying to make you look good in my eyes, like I could ask you out or fall for you or something."
"Absurd," Draco scoffed.
"I know. You're not even gay."
"Oh…" Draco said with a surprise, not realising he'd said it out loud.
"What?" Potter asked looking concerned.
"Well, I'm bisexual and I've only been dating men for the past two years."
"Oh." Potter looked confused. "D'you think she is actually trying to set us up?"
"Merlin, I hope not. She'd be in a world of disappointment."
"I know. We'd end up killing each other five minutes into the relationship," said Potter.
"Please, there would be no relationship. We'd go on a date and get kicked out of the restaurant or pub or whatever because I'd have thrown several drinks at you."
"Yeah…" Potter said chuckling. "Sex would be hot, though."
Draco sighed. Figgy pudding. Raisin cake. Raspberries, he repeated in his head. Think about the things you hate.
Potter's fucking mouth.
Chapter 9: It's about Teddy
Draco scowled at Potter who only laughed at him.
"Relax, Draco. I'm just joking with you."
Draco rolled his eyes. "Yes, of course, because such talk is just a joke." Why was Draco even upset? Because Potter joked about having sex with Draco? Or because Potter joked about having sex with Draco?
"It was a harmless comment."
"Yes, harmless like a Niffler. Attracted to anything and everything shiny and wreaking havoc."
"Oh for Merlin's sake, I don't even know why I try," Potter said, sounding exhausted.
"Well, good thing is after this one event, you won't have to try, now would you? You'll go away leaving everything behind you and that'll just be so great!" Draco said, unsure where this was all coming from. Why was he so upset at first, when Potter tried to be friendly, and now, Potter was leaving.
Who cared if Potter was leaving?
Except for Teddy. Teddy, obviously cared. And was obviously upset.
"What is your problem, Malfoy?" Potter asked, looking surprised at Draco's outburst — just as surprised as Draco was at himself.
"It's about Teddy," Draco snapped. "Do you even care he's so upset you're never going to return?"
"I…he knows I'm coming back soon and I'm spending Christmas holidays with him," Potter said, sounding confused.
"Well, evidently his grandmother has told him you're going to Argentina or America or whatever after and he thinks you're going to stay away longer. Personally, I don't care. Obviously but if you're going to hurt Teddy—"
"I am not going to hurt Teddy," said Potter. "I've been with him since our first Christmas together. We used to stay up all night, every year, and leave treats for Santa. Why would you even—"
"It's not who you have to convince, Potter."
"Right. It's not you who I have to befriend, either," Potter said, almost spitting out the words, and left.
Thankfully, Potter left soon after. Draco made himself breakfast in peace and then returned to his office to mill over the numbers again. He needed to work on a strategy for raising more money for The Home.
After lunch, it was evident to him that a nap was in order. He was exhausted. He'd not been able to sleep well the night before and his stupid argument-or-whatever-it-was with Potter had also drained quite a bit of energy.
As he lay on his sofa and closed his eyes, the image of a naked Potter wasn't far behind. Draco groaned in his sleep watching himself sitting on his bed, straight up, as a man approached him. Potter, of course, who was completely naked, once again, except for fabric made to look like a reindeer's head covering his bits.
"Like what you see, Draco?" Dream Potter's tone teased him.
Draco shook his head. "I'd like it more if you here."
As the man came close to Draco, the reindeer face staring Draco right in the face, Draco woke up.
"Oh, bloody hell," he cursed to himself. "What is it with these dreams?"
The last thing he needed was a magical mistletoe appearing above Potter's cock and Draco being forced to follow tradition. He hated how his mind went there, and how his cock twitched at the idea.
Now, he just needed for the guests to arrive.
The children were all in their rooms getting ready and their minders were helping them, so Draco helped himself to the coffee, and smiled. This was going to be a great night. Yes!
Of course, he'd almost forgotten that Potter was going to be the Santa Clause at the party. When Potter stepped in through the Floo with Teddy next to him, Draco wanted to cry. He couldn't even look at Potter. Again.
Teddy ran up to Draco and gave him a hug, and Draco immediately pulled him up.
"Malfoy," Potter said curtly and nodded.
"Potter," replied Draco.
"Santa!" Teddy protested.
"Of course, Teddy. How could I forget?" Draco kissed the top of Teddy's head and gave him a peppermint stick. "Where is your favourite dragon?"
"It's at home," Teddy said, making a face. Apparently, Draco should not have brought it up.
"Oh? For safe keeping, I hope."
Teddy nodded. "That's what nana said."
"Well, she's right. Don't want to lose our favourite toy, now do we?"
"Your favourite toy?" Potter asked and Draco wanted to roll his eyes.
"What Teddy likes. I like." Except for you. And that blasted dragon.
"That's good to know. I'll keep that in mind," Potter said with a sly grin which was still totally obvious under his stupid Santa beard and Draco, once again, remembered his dream where Draco was all about wiping that sly smile off Potter's face.
He hadn't realised but a huge crew from the Prophet had also arrived and it seemed, Potter had been true to his word. He'd spread the rumours, albeit true, about him playing Father Christmas for The Home -- and there was quite the crowd.
"We're going to run out of refreshments," one of Draco's staff members told him.
"I'll go downstairs and speak to the elves. I'm sure they have plenty stored." And Draco did.
The Christmas party was looking to be a success, and clearly, he had Potter to thank.
Chapter 11: The Holiday Party
Enchanted reindeer ornaments shimmered like tinsel in the big Christmas tree placed in the middle of the party room. Everyone seemed to be having a great time, and the Children, and some adults loved Father Christmas.
Draco relaxed into a sofa chair in the corner of the room and released the breath he'd been holding. He hadn't been doing this for very long, and if anything, this was his first year throwing the Christmas party at The Home under his supervision - and things were nearly perfect. He didn't want to think about it too much--just in case the thought would jinx it all somehow.
"You did wonderful dear," his mother told him as she perched up on the side of the chair. Draco started to get up but she placed a hand on his shoulder. "Don't, it's okay."
"Are you certain, Mother?" She nodded. "Are you having a good time?" She nodded again.
Draco looked around the room and of course didn't see his father. He didn't know what he was expecting.
"They've accepted you," she said, as if she knew exactly what he was thinking. "Us. Maybe. But your father--he still makes plenty of people uncomfortable."
Draco snorted under his breath. "Perhaps it's a good thing he's home."
"But you will come and see us on Christmas day? I'll make sure we have your favourite, gingerbread!"
"You know I will," he replied.
It wasn't long until his mother told him she was tired, and so was Aunt Andromeda, leaving Teddy in Draco and Potter's care.
"We trust you can bring him home tonight?" Andromeda asked, sounding worried. "And not too much cake if you--"
"I promise," said Draco. "There's a very strict sweets limitation we have here at The Home. Every child is going to be in bed on time and quite cross with caretaker." Draco winked.
Andromeda shook her head. "You've always been a terrible liar, Draco," she said.
"That's because you only met me in adulthood. As a child, I was excellent at lying." He winked at his aunt and his mother again and then walked them to the Floo to wish them goodnight.
"Can you and Harry tuck me in together?"
"Oh, okay..." Draco said reluctantly. "I'm not sure what your godfather's plans are for tonight. If he is free, then, certainly."
"You both are funny," said Teddy.
"Because he said the same thing. Draco's busy but ask him. He said. Nana says you two same."
"Well, we both love you so I suppose that's somehow partially correct."
Chapter 12: Two Places
"That was…uncharacteristically sweet of you," Potter drawls as Teddy runs away to play with other children. Potter couldn't seem to take his eyes off the Christmas tree; perhaps he was avoiding eye-contact with Draco, Draco thought.
"What do you mean?" Draco asked.
"The way you are with Teddy. It's hard to believe you're the same person."
"I don't know. You weren't around much up until a few years ago. I thought maybe you weren't interested in getting to know your family."
Draco wanted to argue but he knew he shouldn't. He needed to be polite to Potter because they were in a social setting and he didn't want Potter to think his words could get to him. "I was somewhat busy building up my reputation."
"The Malfoy name," said Potter, looking at Draco's hand where the silver ring with the Malfoy family crest was.
Draco shrugged. That was uncharacteristic of him. "It is what it is. I have my father to thank for that. What I do is on me. What I do is a representative of my mother. I wanted to get to know Teddy, ever since I'd heard about him. But, he was a baby and if I wasn't there then, it would have been okay. I'm here now. I'm not leaving."
Potter sighed again. "So you keep telling me."
"I shouldn't be the only one."
"You aren't," said Potter. "Everyone wants me to stay but I made a commitment. What kind of a man would I be if I just cancelled my plans? I signed a contract for the courses. I promised the teachers in Mexico, I'd be there. I don't want Teddy to think it's just so easy to go back on your word."
Draco raised an eyebrow. "Does this mean you would like to stay? But aren't because of some obligation?"
Potter shook his head. "My heart's in two places." He had looked right at Draco when spoke and Draco didn't—couldn't read too much into it. This wasn't that kind of a conversation.
Potter’s heart was with Teddy, obviously.
Why wasn't he drinking more alcohol at this party? He could’ve really used a Gluehwein right about now. Especially with the way he was trembling. The fire should've kept the room warm, but Draco only felt a chill in the air.
This was exactly why he kept his distance from Potter. Conversations with Potter only confused him. There was always something Potter wasn't saying or Draco wasn't understanding. Awkwardness hung in the air, and for once, Draco didn't welcome it.
"I need to make some preparations to ensure everything ends smoothly if we are to leave soon and take Teddy home."
Potter nodded, looking slightly disappointed. What was that look all about?
Draco didn't have time to wonder.
Chapter 13: Concentrating on Work
"You've been a bad boy, Draco…"
Draco held a small red Christmas stocking in his hand, and it was full of toys. Not the kind he could have shown to other people but the kind he'd kept hidden away in the locked drawer next to his bed.
The message on the stocking was mocking him … SANTA I CAN EXPLAIN
Bloody hell, not again! What was he? Fifteen years old and dreaming in his old room at Hogwarts. Dreaming about the boy he wanted to have but couldn't. The boy he loved to torture?
And now, what was this? Some sort of bad Christmas-karma? Was it Potter's job to haunt his dreams now, dressed like a sexy Santa or an elf or just be a naked fucking man and torment him?
He sighed and summoned himself a new pair of pants and silk trousers. He'd deal with the mess later. He'd deal with all of it after Potter was gone.
The Prophet displayed a drawing of an advent wreath and each corner represented a local charity that'd bought the ad place. The Home had been prominent in the advert page because of the success they had received from the auction prizes, but there was more work to be done!
With what they had now, it was enough to save for the three kids returning to Hogwarts, and the three that would be starting in September. But, they needed to make sure if more weren't adopted soon, they'd have a comfortable cushion to rely on.
Slowly, he'd been taking funds out of the Malfoy trust and buying the children clothes and toys. He did it when he knew his father wouldn't notice, but he couldn't continue to do so. If anyone found out, it wouldn't exactly look ethical. People would somehow twist it to make it look like he was doing it for his own advantage. If anything, they'd say he was laundering money away from The Home.
He couldn't trust the wizarding society. Not now, or ever.
He made a list of local business that may carry items they'd be willing to donate. If he ran a Christmas special on the auction, he'd have more interest. Especially if the items came from exotic lands and not something that was made in Western Europe.
"Draco, Mr Potter is here." Sharla, one of the weekend volunteers came in the office to make the announcement.
"What?" Draco asked, almost shouting. He wasn't on the Board. Did he know about the meeting? Had he come to be on the Board?
No, that didn't make sense. He was leaving.
Why? If he were to ask that, Sharla would only tell him he was being like Scrooge again. He couldn't have been frowning around The Home during Christmas.
"Yes, please. Show him in," Draco said quickly to Sharla who bounced away.
What did he want?
"Potter, how can I help you?" Draco asked standing up off his office chair to greet Potter. He quickly glanced at his watch to make sure he had enough time to talk with Potter and then have enough time for his meeting.
"I brought you a present," Potter said, handing a small bag to Draco. "It has an extension charm…" he added.
"A present? You mean for Teddy?"
"No," Potter said, shaking his head. "It's for you. The Home."
"Oh," Draco said, hoping his disappointment didn't show. A part of him was excited to get a gift from Potter, but then he suppressed that part down with a reality check. "Good, if it's for The Home, I mean. If it were for me, I'm sure it would be nothing but a Santa hat full of coal."
"Hmm… why? Have you been a bad boy?"
And if Draco's knees didn't whimper at that.
"Sorry, it was a terrible joke but I couldn't help myself."
"So shall I open it or…?" Draco drawled.
Draco placed the bag on the desk and started to dig through it. He took out a few boxes and a small card. He looked at the card and then looked at Potter who looked equally confused.
"Oh, I didn't realise…" Potter trailed off. "I only brought the gifts."
"Is it for you?" Draco asked offering it to Potter.
"No. Like I said — the gifts will make more sense when you open them."
Draco nodded but opted to open the card first. He nearly froze in his spot. "All I want for Christmas is you…naked."
"What?" Potter asked, sounding surprised.
"I don't think it's for me." Draco handed Potter the card. Unless it's from you.
"I… oh shit." Potter ran a hand through his hair. "That explains it."
Draco didn't say anything. He only stood silent. Obviously, whatever this was — was Potter's business.
"Do you want to open the presents?" Draco said a minute later. "Are there going to be more messages?"
"No, it's fine," Potter said and Draco opened the boxes. It looked like Quidditch supplies and gear. But they were all autographed by a Quidditch celebrity.
"It's for your auction. Andromeda said you'd been trying to raise money for a while and I thought if I got a bunch of this stuff donated—I'm sure you'd get enough donations."
"That's very kind of you, Potter," Draco said, momentarily overwhelmed by Potter's actions. "And the card?" He hated how he sounded then.
Potter's face flushed. "It's from the Junior Secretary of Public Relations at the Ministry. I didn't realise it was there. Or that's how she felt about me. She was my Secret Santa at work - and I'd made my Christmas items list to be donatable items for a charity. Most of those things are from her. Bit bold, I might say…" Potter chuckled looking at the note in his hand, "knowing I'd already told her I was more interested in men than women."
"And that I'm moving away for a little while."
"Maybe she wanted a fling," supplied Draco. "Some people are into that. You know, have a bit of Christmas fun. No strings attached and all of that."
"That's a thought," Potter said, looking pensive. "Would you be interested in that?"
Chapter 15: Cuddle Weather
"I…uh…I have a meeting," Draco said unable to function or form words. Was Potter asking what Draco thought he was asking? Was Potter actually there?
Was this another fucking dream?
"Yeah?" Potter asked, looking amused. He gave Draco a once-over and then looked at his eyes again. "What's it about?"
"The Meeting?" Draco asked and Potter nodded. "It's about fundraising."
"Oh," Potter replied with a knowing smirk. "As in someone just gave you loads of fundraising items so you don't actually have to meet to discuss fundraising?"
"Right." Draco cleared his throat and straightened his robes. He was frozen again, unsure of what the next step should have been. Should he leave with Potter? Plan to meet him somewhere.
What the fuck was he doing?
"So um…I live alone," Draco said.
"I know, and I don't have a place." Draco looked confused so Potter added, "I got rid of my flat and I was crashing at the Burrow. So if I were looking for company," Potter lowered his voice, "I would need to go to someone else's home."
Draco didn't reply. Not that he didn't want to but because he was mentally reviewing the condition of his flat. Was it clean? Was it clean enough for company? Was his bed made? Had he changed the sheets after—
"Or we could get a hotel," Potter said. "It'd have to be Muggle though because I think it'll make front page news otherwise."
Draco's eyes widened. "My flat will be fine," he said. "Can you meet me there in ten minutes?" Assuming Potter knew where Draco lived. When Potter only nodded, Draco received his answer.
Potter knew where Draco lived even though Potter had never been to Draco's place.
"Shall I Floo there?"
"Yes, that'll be best, thank you." Draco said in a curt tone realising he sounded like he was making a business deal. Potter didn't look totally happy with Draco's reply so Draco sighed and looked at his watch.
"It's still a bit early for dinner. Maybe you can get takeaway?"
"And yet you keep surprising me, Malfoy."
Draco rolled his eyes. "So do you just want to fuck and go home?" Potter needed to figure out what he wanted. He seemed open to the idea of no strings attached but when Draco started to treat it as such, he looked disappointed. And now, he was making fun of Draco.
Oh. Realisation dawned on Draco. He wasn't an idiot. He'd been so focused on himself and this, he'd not noticed — Potter was nervous.
His kids did this. Heck, Teddy did it. When they were self-conscious, they either became mean or turned to make fun of everything. In this case, Potter was making fun of him.
Draco came around his desk and then glanced at the door before coming face-to-face with Potter. He leaned in close, and Potter leaned in as well. They shared a quick kiss.
"No strings…" Draco whispered. "Unless, I read this wrong and you didn’t think I’d actually agree…"
"Of—of course. I mean…I didn’t think you’d agree but yes…you didn’t read it wrong."
They looked at each other for a long moment.
"So dinner or no dinner?" Draco asked, his fingers raking through Potter's hair which was softer than Draco had imagined.
"We'll probably get hungry, eventually."
Draco smiled. "Good point."
"So, I'll meet you at yours in a few with some dinner."
"Good boy," Draco all but whispered the words against Potter's lips. If this were a dream, it was a damned good one. Potter trembled against him.
A moment later, he was gone.
"So, we still have forty-five minutes before the meeting," he said to her and she nodded. "Can you Floo call everyone and send an owl cancelling it."
"Why?" Sharla asked looking at all the donations and then seemed to understand. "We don't need a meeting but we need to organize the auction for the next few days. We're going to be very busy."
"Indeed. Can you gather the volunteers and let's have a planning meeting tomorrow afternoon. No need to meet the Board about that."
"Good plan, Boss."
Draco laughed. "You're a volunteer, Sharla. And I'm not your boss."
She shrugged. "So are you going out with Mr Potter?"
"What? No." Okay that sounded a bit too defensive even to Draco's ears. "Why do you say so?"
"I don't know. Body language. He came in here looking all tense, brings you all these gifts, and you've both now got a twinkle in your eye. I mean, I know I read a lot of romance novels but—" She shuffled her Christmas mittens around.
"It's not like that. He's my cousin's godfather." Yes, because that explained everything.
"If you say so, boss."
Draco shook his head. "Oh, and if it's totally not inappropriate of me to do this…" Draco reached into his pocket and took out a few coins. "Dinner's on me?"
"This is enough for dinner for the week, Draco," she said looking tad uncomfortable.
"Yes, well. We're having a planning meeting and you know everything thinks better with food." Now he sounded like a Weasley. It's what Teddy was always saying when they went out to breakfast together.
"Sounds great!" Sharla relaxed after that. "Oh, I got you something."
She handed Draco a box and when he opened it, he found an unwrapped cushion with the words Cuddle Weather stitched on it.
"Are you trying to tell me something?" Draco asked, nervous. First a woman tried to pull Potter and now Sharla gave him this.
"Just that you need to get out, boss. Go on a date. Even if you're not going on a date with Mr Potter. You should. You'd make a good looking pair."
"I told you, it's not like that."
"I know, but, I've see him here before you know. You don't see the way he looks at you."
"It doesn't matter," Draco said, putting the cushion back in the box and then carrying it to take it home. "He's moving to Mexico in a few days."
Chapter 16: Spending The Night
They started in the sitting room. As soon as Potter arrived and announced the food was under a stasis spell, Draco was on him.
Their first kiss in Draco's office was tentative. This time, Potter responded with vigour. His hands rested on the small of Draco's back as Draco straddled his lap. It was surprising, Draco thought, given Potter was there for a shag, he didn't mind taking his time.
They'd kissed for a long while — and Draco was almost scared off by the intimacy of it. Draco didn't interrupt their snogging for more, not in the beginning, because was curious. He'd been curious about the taste of Potter's mouth. Those lips meant to suck Draco's cock but also those lips Draco was busy biting and licking right now.
Potter moaned into Draco's mouth when he'd parted his lips and Draco slid his tongue in. They'd stayed on the sofa until it'd got dark outside and there was no light in the room. Then, Potter started to remove Draco's shirt. They pulled apart to get undressed, and even though Draco had a perfectly comfortable bed, there was something about this moment he didn't want to break. He loved feeling Potter's body vibrating against his. Loved knowing Potter was desperate for him.
If it were sex, Potter could have easily got it anywhere else. Draco wanted to believe it was him Potter wanted.
Maybe it was more like an itch Potter wanted to scratch. Maybe after dancing around in circles all these years, Potter finally decided he wanted a taste. Draco certainly felt this way. Potter was going away, when else was he going to get this chance?
"Get these off…" Potter said, pulling down Draco's underwear. "I want to feel all of you against me."
Then, he wrapped his hand around both of their erections and started to tug. He moaned, mumbled incoherent words in Draco's ear, and brought them both to the edge together.
All the while, Draco remained quiet, short for his panting. His fingers were lost in Potter's hair, and his face was buried in the crook of Potter's neck. "Fuck…" was all he'd manage to utter out when he spilled all over Potter's hand.
"Didn't think you'd be a quiet one in bed," Potter mumbled, his hand coming to cup Draco's face and then pulling him in for a soft kiss.
"Didn't think you'd thought about what I'd be like…" replied Potter.
"Of course, I'd thought about it. Hadn't you?"
"What makes you say that?"
"Because you were quick to response to my proposition. It was like you didn't even need to think about it. That's why I was dumbfounded for a moment back there — I'd wanked to fantasies of you. To even consider you'd want the same—"
"You talk too much," said Draco and kissed Potter again. "Now, shall we go to the bedroom to continue this or…"
"Or do you want to go home. Or wherever you're calling home these days."
"I'd like to stay," said Potter.
In the middle of the night if one of them got up to go to the loo, the other had also woken up. And then they'd had a quick session of either hands or mouth, or both on each other before falling asleep again.
Draco thought he should have been exhausted, but if anything, he was feeling more energized. Perhaps, after a shower, they'd have another go. It’d been a long time since Draco had had anyone which wasn't a fantasy or his hand, so he wondered how long it'd been for Potter.
When Potter stirred awake, Draco didn't know what to expect. Was Potter going to leave immediately or—
"When do you have to go back to the office?"
What? Right. Draco had told Potter about his volunteer meeting about the Prophet auction.
Potter hummed. "Good. Your bed is a lot more comfortable than Ron's old bed."
Draco wanted to smile but refrained. "I'll take a shower and we can get some breakfast—"
Potter was on him again. He pulled Draco into his arms, all but got on top of him and started kissing him.
Or he could have dragged Potter to shower with him.
No, Draco decided against that as well. It was one thing to have his fun with Potter, maybe even share a meal if only to refuel for more sex. But showering together? That was something Draco considered a bit too intimate. He only did that with men he was in a relationship with.
"Come in my mouth," Potter said, sliding down Draco's body. "Then you can go and take your shower."
Potter had his eyes closed. Had he really fallen back to sleep?
Before Draco could say or do something, Teddy was shaking Potter's leg.
"Hey, Teddy…" Draco started to speak.
"Why are you in Draco's bed?" Teddy asked. He didn't seem as confused as he seemed upset.
Potter sat up and the sheet slid down his body. Draco was relieved to realise Potter was wearing his jeans. He must have got half-dressed after Draco went to take a shower and then fell asleep again.
"I was staying the night and talking with Draco," said Potter.
"But you slept in his bed?"
Draco could not understand why Teddy looked angry.
"Um…yes?" Potter said, confused. He looked at Draco as if Draco could provide some insight into the situation.
"Why don't we get some breakfast and juice, Teddy," Draco said. "We were supposed to go sledding today, correct?" They had plans to go tobogganing but Teddy couldn't pronounce the word so they'd called it sledding.
Draco couldn't believe he'd forgotten. He'd made these plans with Teddy and stupid Potter with his generous donations and sexy body had made Draco forget.
"Yes." Teddy seemed determined.
"Okay, let's allow your Uncle Harry to get dressed and join us, all right?"
Teddy nodded and they walked out of the bedroom. Draco placed Teddy on the kitchen counter as he began making breakfast. As the scrambled eggs cooked, Draco gave Teddy a piece of toast with extra strawberry jam. "Milk?" he asked and Teddy nodded.
Ten minutes later, Potter came out of the bedroom, looking showered. He'd spelled his clothes clean and they looked pressed. Draco was glad Potter had the brains to look decent and not thoroughly shagged. Although, it was a good look on him.
"You said I had to sleep in my own room," Teddy said and Draco nearly dropped the pan. Now he knew why Teddy was so angry.
"I… yes. I did say that," Draco said quietly, turning around to look at Teddy. "Pott— Uncle Harry should have slept in the guest room after we were finished talking but we were too tired and we fell asleep." Draco looked at Potter who’d come to stand next to Teddy and nodded in agreement with Draco.
"Can I stay over?" Teddy asked. "And we can all sleep in the same bed after story time."
"All of us?" Draco asked.
"Yes," said Teddy.
"That'll mean I stay another night," Potter said, looking at Draco.
"Yes," answered Teddy.
"Okay. Um…sure," Draco said carefully. "Why don't we go sledding, and then we'll go to The Home and you can play with your friends while I work. And later tonight, your Uncle Harry will come over and we can have dinner and…"
"Story time!" shouted Teddy.
"Story time," said Potter and Draco together.
Fucking brilliant. Draco truly should have considered this thoroughly before he decided to shag his little cousin's godfather.
Chapter 17: Fake Family
Prompt: 1. slythindor100 img: socks, fireplace, xmas cups 2. dracoharry100 Ice Castle 3. newyearcntdown Happy Endings 4. adventdrabbles img: sex by fire (NSFW and it's HET so like… you'll be repulsed. I was, lol).
Disclaimer: All Harry Potter characters herein are the property of J.K. Rowling and Bloomsbury/Scholastic. No copyright infringement is intended.
The scene of being huddled on the sofa by the fire and drinking hot azta with Potter and Teddy was a something that'd confuse the best of them. If anyone saw a picture of how they were, it'd look like an advertisement in THE ENGLISH HOME, selling wholesome gay family values.
If anything, Draco wouldn't have minded if it were just him and Potter, and if they were naked by the fire. Drinks and dinner, forgotten.
So yeah, Draco was glad Potter had arrived to save him from all of that.
They read two stories, because it was a special night about ice castles and happy endings; then Potter carried to bed. His bed. And stayed the night.
It was almost an uneventful evening, if once considered sleeping with Harry Potter in one's bed two nights in a row — but otherwise, Teddy was a happy camper.
The next morning, when Draco woke up, Potter had just been coming out of the loo. He was showered and was wearing a different outfit from the evening before. Potter had brought a change of clothes not only for sleeping but for the next day. This was becoming a bit too domestic for Draco.
It's not like Potter lived there. This was supposed to be no strings attached.
"Calm down," Potter said coming next to Draco and kissing him on the cheek. "I can see you panicking but I actually have plans early this morning and didn't think I'd have time to drop Teddy off and then go to my meeting."
Draco nodded, although, he wasn't entirely convinced.
"You said no strings attached, right?"
"And you'd agreed," Draco said, or had he? He was leaving so of course, he’d have to agree.
"Right. So shall I make breakfast when you shower and get ready for work?"
Draco nodded again.
Yes, far too domestic, no matter how Potter tried to tell him otherwise.
Chapter 18: Convincing Teddy
It took an extra special breakfast with all of Teddy's favourite, hot azta with extra marshmallows, and an early Christmas present (one of three, apparently), for Draco to convince Teddy to keep Draco's secret.
"But nana likes Uncle Harry," Teddy said.
"I know, love. But our friendship, the three of us, it's special right?"
Gods, no matter how Draco spun the words in his head, they sounded wrong.
"So extra peppermint sticks and another dragon for this favour?" he asked, hoping to spread some more holiday cheer for his little cousin. He knew he'd be drinking a lot of cheer after this was all over.
"I can't believe you're doing this much work for—" Potter had begun to speak but one look from Draco shut him up.
Draco got up from his spot to level with Potter. "Do you want my mother and aunt knocking on your door asking what's going—what's our business?"
Potter shook his head. "It's both our faults," he said.
Draco was going to snap at Potter again when Teddy spoke.
"And ice skating. Can we all go ice-skating with aunt Ginny?"
Brilliant. Ice-skating with Potter and his ex-girlfriend.
"Ginny is busy with her Quidditch team this season so I'm not sure she'll have time to come out with us, mate, but I'll ask her, okay?" Potter said, sounding cool but looking totally alarmed.
Draco wanted to laugh because he didn't think he'd ever seen Potter so nervous before but remained stoic. He was glad to know that Teddy wasn't just pushing all of Draco's buttons, but Potter's also.
Prompt: 1. slythindor100 img: picture message. 2. dracoharry100 sad Christmas songs.
3. newyearcntdown Cabin. 4. adventdrabbles: Christmas Cabin.
Disclaimer: All Harry Potter characters herein are the property of J.K. Rowling and Bloomsbury/Scholastic. No copyright infringement is intended.
Warning: ANGST. Denial.
Teddy was pants at secrets.
Draco didn't blame him, he was seven.
When Draco was seven, he knew all about Harry Potter, the magical boy that was out there somewhere—and had told his father all about him. He was sent to his room and wasn't allowed to come out for an entire week.
So, no. Draco wasn't going to punish Teddy for the fact that Andromeda and Narcissa Black both tried to Floo-call him asking why Teddy had seen Mr Potter sleeping in Draco's bed. Without a shirt.
Bless Potter for having worn trousers.
Or why after all these years, Teddy had had his favourite story time with both his godfather and his cousin.
"It's just a friendship," Draco told both his aunt and his mother. And a short one, at that.
"You know you could ask him to stay if you want it to be more than friendship," Narcissa said.
"You know, I've always seen him making eyes at you, so this doesn't surprise me," Andromeda said.
Oh, how Draco wanted to disappear to somewhere far far away. Did his family still have that cabin in the woods? Or did they had it on hire for a family celebrating Christmas. Because, with conversations like these, it only made sense to run, run away.
Draco could imagine himself sitting by the fire, listening to sad Christmas songs, and reading an old book.
"Draco, you're worrying me," Narcissa said.
"I'm fine, Mother. Nothing to worry about."
"But you're so quiet—"
"I'm not sure what you wish for me to do, Mother? You said if I keep fighting with you, then we have something to fight over. But you never listen, do you? And now I'm quiet — maybe I've nothing left to fight for. I just wish to be left alone. I need to concentrate on work. You know how much I care about The Home. I don't have time for a relationship right now. What we did wasn't worth mentioning, that's why I hadn't mentioned it. Teddy is a kid, he'd not going to even remember this. Especially with Potter leaving."
His mother made a face but didn't say anything. "I suppose times have changed. In my day, you could ask a man to stay and he would."
Well, I haven't asked, thought Draco. And he wasn't going to. It wasn't like this was going to be a repeat performance. Draco was alone tonight, and that's how he liked it.
"Busy tonight?" he asked.
Draco shook his head and let them both in.
So yes, Draco had probably lied to his mother, but he wasn't one to say no to a good shag, either.
Chapter 20: Pertinacity
Draco rolled in bed and Potter's arm wrapped around him. He buried his face in Potter's neck and breathed. He was knackered. It'd been meetings after meetings for The Home, and then it was late evenings with Potter with a shag after a shag. Not that he was complaining. This'd been one of the most eventful Christmas season not only for his work but his personal life.
His family, though, he'd kept them at a distance. He didn't need more grief from his mother or his aunt about what he was doing with Potter. What it all meant. And if this was going anywhere.
He didn't know. And he didn't care.
For once, he was living in the moment.
That was, until Potter opened his mouth.
"Do you want to come to the Ministry gala tomorrow night?"
Draco's body stiffened in Potter's arms but Potter didn't let go of him. That bastard.
"It's taking place at Hogwarts. It's staff and some Ministry employees who're are alums from our year… sort of. Some of them were part of the war even if they aren't—"
"At Hogwarts?" Draco asked. Suddenly the image of his old school, looking magical under a flurry of snow, flashed in front of his eyes. "Please tell me you're joking."
Potter chuckled. "It'd be nice to have a date—"
"Potter… I don't know what delusion you're living under—"
"It's a fucking party," he said.
"No. No parties. No public appearances as the date for the Saviour. It's bad enough my mother and—"
"Fine," Potter said quickly. "Let's just drop if okay? Maybe I just wanted to see you all fine the way you had looked for the holiday party for The Home and finally be able to rip those robes off you at the end of the evening."
Potter mostly mumbled to himself and Draco didn't know if he was supposed to make any sense, or if Draco was supposed to even hear what Potter had uttered.
"If it's dress-up you want to play — We don't have to go to a party. I can put on some posh robes, I can do that. Then you can undress me all you want."
Potter sighed and pulled away. "I need to use the toilet," he said and left Draco alone in bed. Cold, and empty.
Chapter 21: We're not Friends.
Draco wasn't an idiot.
He knew what he was doing. He knew what Potter was doing, also. Potter wanted more that what they had right now. It was obvious but he'd said the woman from his job — the one who was his Secret Santa might have hinted the idea of having a no-strings-attached fling. And he was interested in doing that with Draco.
But why did Potter come over every night? Now, he'd started to stop by without even asking. And Draco always let him in. They'd spend a little bit of time chatting on the sofa but it wouldn't take long until their clothes would be off, Draco would secure the wards and turn off the Floo network, and drag him to the bedroom.
Draco was an idiot because he was starting to get used to Potter. He'd started expecting his call when he'd return from work. When he'd find himself thinking about Potter in the middle of the day and smiling.
Tonight, when Potter came over, they didn't talk. Not at home. He told Draco to grab his coat and scarf and they went for a walk. A bloody walk in the snow blanketed garden with Christmas lights on the trees, and they'd held hands. It was absolutely romantic, and Draco had thought it was nice. Still, he didn't tell Potter that. He'd only complained about how cold it was, and Potter placed a warming charm on them.
"I'm ready to go home now," Draco said.
"Very well. I'll drop you off."
"Oh. You're not coming—" Draco stopped to clear his throat. "What was the point of this little romantic walk if you weren't expecting a shag?"
"That's why you thought I did this?" Potter said, almost laughing. "You didn't want to go to the party at Hogwarts, so I thought perhaps we could go for a walk."
"Not because you want to go home and take off my posh robes?"
"Of course, I do," said Potter, now, he looked slightly hurt. "But maybe I like your company."
"No, Potter. You can't say things like that."
"We can have no-strings and still enjoy our talks," replied Potter.
"No." Because when you leave, it'll only make me miss you. "We're not friends."
Chapter 22: Little Time Left
His bed was cold at night, and Draco absolutely hated it. He hated Potter wasn't in it. He hated how for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, Potter and Teddy were going to be at the Burrow. He himself had to be at his parents' but he didn't care about that. Part of him thought if Potter wanted to spend Christmas together, Draco might have said yes.
He could have easily hid under the pretence of a good shag. Now, since he was alone in bed, and Potter was most likely surrounded in warmth with friends and family at the Weasleys' he wasn't sure how much of it was Potter's body, and how much was it just a shag.
Last few times, they hadn't been at each other immediately. Draco had broken all of his rules. They'd had dates, and dinner, and drinks. They'd retired to bed together and then shagged all night.
They had been so domestic.
Yesterday, even Teddy had stopped by for a few hours and Potter had read him a book all cuddled up on Draco's sofa.
He shook his head and decided to get all thoughts of domesticity out of his head. He shoved the covers down, along with his trousers and his pants, and took his cock in his hand.
Tonight, he was only going to miss Potter because he was missing Potter's mouth. The way he sucked Draco, begging for it. Every time, he'd beg for it like a good little boy he was.
Yeah… Draco arched up slightly, this was working. This was going to work. He focused on Potter's mouth, his well-defined body, those bloody thighs that loved wrapping around Draco's waist as Draco would drive into him.
That's it… That was it. What Draco truly should have concentrated on, instead, his thoughts went towards the way Potter's eyes lit up when he saw Draco. The way his shy smile took over when Draco had once inadvertently given Potter a compliment. The way he'd bit his lower lip when he wanted a kiss.
Fuck… Everything about Potter was intoxicating. It wasn't just the hot sex. It was more. It was everything about Potter.
Eventually, as Draco tried to block everything out and simply give into the feeling of his hand. Pretending his hand to be Potter's hand, he came, almost breathless.
It hadn't been that long since the last time Draco had seen Potter, but he felt like it'd been ages. Maybe over a week. His mind would keep going off track and start thinking about Potter and then his mother would ask him what he was thinking about.
"Is it Mr Potter again?"
His father grumbled at the name everytime.
"No." One word answers weren't going to last very long.
"I don't know how you young people do it," she said.
"Be in a relationship without feelings. I'd considered inviting Mr Potter over for dinner, you know—"
"Please tell me you didn't."
"No, I didn't because I knew you were going to make that face. You can't make that face at me, Draco. I'm your mother. I only want what's best for me."
Draco nodded. "Mother, I know my lifestyle isn't something you'd have chosen for me but things are different now. No, it isn't ideal what happened between Potter and I but — he's leaving. And we are only friends. We see each other occasionally, and when he leaves, it'll be over. He has his career to think about. And so do I. Frankly, I'm tired of discussing this."
"Good, then let's not anymore," Lucius said, cutting in. "Tell me more about the publicity your orphanage is brining in."
Draco wanted to groan.
His mother wanted him to marry Potter and his father only cared about how much worth the Malfoy name had in the wizarding society.
They looked at each other and Potter looked… tired but awake. His face didn't give anything away but Draco felt a heat between them he couldn't deny.
In a moment's notice, they had closed the distance between them. Potter pulled at Draco's clothes to bring him closer still and Draco grabbed Potter by the back of his neck and kissed him.
They stood there, in the sitting room, kissing for a very long time. Potter moaned as he slid his tongue in Draco's mouth and bucked his hips.
"I don't have a lot of time left here," Potter said once they'd taken a short break to catch a few breaths.
"Then let's not waste it by talking," replied Draco and Potter fucked him right on the sofa.
Chapter 23: The Half-Truths
The joy about writing every day - a new chapter - or the painful task about it - your story ends up taking a turn YOU DID NOT EXPECT. This isn't how this chapter was supposed to go...
The next morning when Draco woke up, Potter was gone. His chest ached with the longing and if anything, he hated himself even more. Why did he care?
As he turned over, to get up, he found a note. A note from Potter.
I needed to go and get Teddy, we were supposed to go to the Muggle shopping plaza again and meet Santa. After the feast I had at the dinner, I could use the exercise of chasing after him.
You looked so peaceful
beausleeping. I was worried if I woke you, I wouldn't be able to leave. I'll be back in a few hours. Probably Teddy too. See you soon.
It was hard to admit Draco wanted him to stay. It was harder to realise, Draco needed him. It'd been stupid. It shouldn't have gone on like that but it was really Draco's fault, wasn't it? He had admitted there was something between them. Always had been. And when Potter had suggested a casual shag, he should've allowed the alarm bells to go off and not suppress them.
He tried to keep himself busy as he waited for Potter and Teddy to return, but it was useless. He only became overwhelmed with his emotions. His desire for Potter, and his dream of Potter wanting to stay. He didn't want to ask Potter to stay, because Draco was a stubborn bastard, he wanted him to tell Draco he was staying. For him.
Potter looked grave, and Draco feared the worst. He wasn't staying. He was certain of it.
"I told everyone the programme was six months, but that isn't true. I didn't have the heart to admit it. But now, I can't lie to you about it, either."
"Very well," Draco said clearing his throat. Potter's voice had been low, and Draco turned to look at Teddy who was sitting by the fire playing with his Muggle Christmas toys. "I believe Andromeda said you might travel after Mexico."
"It's an eighteen month programme. There's no might. I had signed up for this a long time ago. I'd been…" Potter sighed and ran a hand through his hair. "I'd had a bad breakup. This bloke, I found out he'd been taking money from me— which whatever, it's fine if he was a crook but he'd also been unfaithful. And I was having a hard time trusting people. Seeing anyone and I'd decided to get out of here."
"I wasn't aware you were in a relationship. Was it recent?" Draco's heart pounded as it broke simultaneously. Potter was good at keeping a low profile after the war and if he'd been in a relationship, of course no one would know about it. The only people who knew aboutthem were Andromeda, Narcissa, and Teddy.
There was no them.
"It ended eight months ago. I was working a lot after that and everyone thought I was trying to make Head Auror. Then about three months ago, I found this programme in Mexico. It's intensive training and it's good for trying to find an International law enforcement position."
"So you're leaving for good," Draco said softly.
"I… that wasn't my intention. This…" Potter gestured between them, "wasn't my intention."
"This is nothing, Potter. We've discusses this from the beginning."
"No, this isn't necessary. I've told you before it meant nothing."
Draco stood up abruptly and went to his bedroom. He closed the door behind him and sat down on the bed, burying his face in his hands.
There was a small knock on the door and Teddy came in. "Uncle Harry says it's time to go home," Teddy said and Draco nodded.
They hugged goodbye and Potter took Teddy home. He returned ten minutes later.
Draco wanted to snap back at him; ask him if he'd returned for a final shag when Potter pulled Draco to him and held him tight.
"I was telling you that because I wanted you to know… I could stay."
"Stay?" Draco said, his voice cold. "You could stay." Why did he even tell Draco he was leaving for eighteen months if he could stay?
"I want to stay for you. But you keep saying…"
"Because it's the truth, Potter. If you wish to advance your career, I'm not going to be in the way."
"Fuck my career, Draco. I want to be with you."
"Not a good idea," replied Draco.
"Because we're not going to work. Because yes, I may enjoy our sex but I don't like you. I don't want you to stay and ruin my relationship with Teddy. Just go away, all right. I'd been waiting for you to leave so we can all move on with our lives."
"You don't mean that," Potter said and he looked so hurt, Draco wanted to crumble. But he needed to remain stoic. He wasn't going to ask Potter to stay. That was never ever going to happen.
"You should go," Draco said. "You should tell your friends and family the truth. You're leaving tomorrow anyway, so go and pack and spend time with them."
Potter didn't argue as he looked resigned.
"My portkey is at one o'clock tomorrow afternoon. If you want to come and say…something."
Chapter 24: Unfinished Business
When Draco woke up hours later, fatigued and hung over, he made his way to the Floo to call the night shift manager at The Home. He liked to check-in from time to time and given the staffing was low during Christmas hols, he wanted to ensure things were running smoothly.
"It's all fine, but it looks like some of the stringy lights fell in the snow outside the building. The cold wind has been quite strong tonight," the manager, Talon, informed him.
"Do you want me to come by and—"
"No, I can handle it. Just thought I'd give you an update."
"I'll come by, anyway. Just give me a few minutes."
Draco didn't like to add more stress to the workers at The Home and the staff they did have now were all doing him and everyone a favour by picking up shifts. Especially when they could have all been at home with family.
He washed his face, combed his hair, and dressed warmly before he took the Floo to The Home. After a brief hello with Talon, he went outside to brave the cold.
It wasn't complicated but the lights buried in the snow gave everything a depressed feel. Or maybe it was just Draco. After fixing the exterior of the building, and placing a warming charm around it, just in case the wind would pick up and the house would get colder, he headed to do his rounds.
He walked quietly in the halls of The Home and felt comfortable. He liked this. This is where he belong. Where he was in control.
But you did enjoy being out of control too, a voice reminded him.
So he did. But whatever it was, it was too late for it. Potter had made him feel like a fool.
How'd he do that, Draco? By telling you the truth, by admitting he wanted more. By giving you exactly what you'd been waiting for?
His conscious was starting to sound a lot like his mother.
Eventually, he went to his office and locked himself in. Burying himself in paperwork was a lot better than to mope around the house. It didn't take long before Draco sagged into the sofa, closed his eyes, and fell asleep.
He dreamt of a shirtless Potter bringing him presents. A huge smile on his face reserved only for Draco, and Draco stirred in his sleep. This is what had been happening from the beginning, wasn't it?
When he woke up, it was half past eleven o'clock.
These dreams had been strange, and they'd been so vivid, Draco felt like they all could have been real. Potter could have been real. And his.
He took in a deep breath and remembered Potter's portkey was scheduled for one o'clock.
Draco took in a deep breath, placed a spell on his clothes to make them presentable and headed to the Ministry. Maybe he had a few things left to say to Potter.
Chapter 25: A Not Goodbye
Draco wasn't one to lose composure, not anymore. Sure, he was hurt, and he also felt foolish for acting like an idiot, but that didn't mean he was going to lose it.
He was early to the Portkey, by an hour, even, so he didn't need to rush. When he arrived at the department of magical transportation, he found Teddy and Andromeda waiting there.
Teddy rushed to him and Draco immediately picked him up. Soon, he was going to be too big for this, he knew, but Draco wished Teddy could remain an innocent child forever.
"Are you here to tell Uncle Harry to stay?" Teddy whispered in his ear, his voice as melodic and sweet as an American candy cane.
Draco chuckled and shook his head. "I don't know. I think I'm mostly here to tell him I'm sorry."
"We had a fight and I was mean to him. I want him to know I like him so he's not sad. And I'm not sad," Draco said, that was the most honest he'd been with anyone in a long time. "Do you understand?"
"Nana said I can't ask him to stay," Teddy said with a serious face as they sat down on one of the chairs.
"That's probably a good idea. You want him to miss you, right? So when he comes back he won't leave again."
Teddy's eyes rose up. "That's a good idea," he said.
Potter's voice echoed in the hall and Draco immediately stiffened up. Teddy, seated in Draco's lap turned around and peered up at Potter.
"Uncle Harry! Draco wants you to stay."
"Why don't you go and see your nana for a moment, Teddy," said Draco and Teddy rushed away.
Draco stood up straight and didn't like the way Potter had looked so exhausted. "Didn't sleep much?"
Potter shook his head. "Mostly drinking with friends. Couldn't tell them..." Potter trailed off.
"I don't want you to stay," Draco said, clearing his throat. "Just so we're clear. It would be nice if you did but this is your career and you've made a commitment. If I made promises to improve The Home and jumped up at a better opportunity, I would be a right wanker. And even though I think you are one — still—"
"Can I kiss you?" Potter asked.
"Fuck yes," replied Draco. "Please."
Potter pulled Draco by the elbow and somehow found an empty office to lock them in. Then, he pressed Draco against the door and kissed the living breath out of him. Draco was panting and gasping by the time they were done and he almost asked Draco to stay.
"So now that's over," Potter said pulling away from Draco, looking winded himself, he smiled. "Why did you come again?"
"I came to apologise," Draco said with a smirk. "For the things I said. This means something to me too. I mean, I hope that's what you'd meant. And I wish you hadn't lied to me or your family you were going away for over a year. I mean, Teddy—"
"Right, Teddy," said Potter, looking angry.
"You always need to argue with me, don't you?" Draco scowled.
"I can't ask you to wait for me."
"You couldn't if you tried," said Draco shaking his head. "I'm willing to pick this up when you return. Given you haven't moved on..."
"I can wait for you. I can wait forever."
Draco pulled Potter close to him again and gave him a tender kiss. "Don't be an idiot, Potter."
"I'll be visiting, you know. In the summer for Teddy's birthday, and next year for Christmas—"
"Right," Draco said, unconvinced. Maybe he should have thought this through. Could he do this to himself? A long-distance with a man he barely knew out of the bedroom?
In his softest tone possible, Draco continued, "I didn't come here to ask for a long-distance relationship, Potter. I came to apologise. And maybe... someday in a different life..."
"You came to tell me you want me too but you don't want me to stay."
"It's only eighteen months, and if we can survive the war and Hogwarts, and everything else — I'm sure there won't be much stopping us—"
"Can I kiss you again?"
"I do hope by now you don't have to ask anymore."
With another passionate kiss, and a soft moan from Draco they realised they couldn't hide in the office forever. And with his hugs and goodbyes from his family, Potter was gone.
Draco felt an emptiness he'd not known before. Even before he'd started with his arrangement with Potter, he'd known Potter would always be there. Now, that concept was gone. There was no more Potter in his life. All there was— nothing but Teddy's insistence to go to the OWL POST and send Potter a letter. Because obviously, Draco would never do it himself.
It was only eighteen months, at the most, and that was really okay. Truly, it was. Draco had dealt worse.
The fear of the Dark Lord and the dominance of it on his family had lasted many many years. At least the next year and a half gave Draco good memories to focus on. Potter's touch, and his sweet words, and his brilliant smile — were all things Draco could live with. Memories that would never dare fade away.
It was fine.
Chapter 26: Draco's Favourite
Draco woke up with a stiff neck, almost forgetting where he was. After seeing Potter off to Mexico with a few of his Auror friends, Draco, Teddy, and Andromeda when to Andromeda's house. Draco ended up sleeping on the sofa as he was keeping Teddy company well into the night and Teddy insisted he wanted to have breakfast together.
It'd been a taxing few days to say the least. He had done the last thing he'd ever thought possible. He had expressed his feelings to Potter who had smiled at him in a way — it made Draco think anything was possible.
Still, trying to forget everything and having a fun day with Teddy, Draco opened up the newspaper while Andromeda fussed over them. He read several announcements of Christmas babies being born and how some people were trying to hold onto the New Year until giving birth.
Draco wanted to roll his eyes but stopped himself. It was something his old self would have done; now, he could hear Potter's voice, telling him to be kind. So he decided to tell his aunt all about the birth announcements and she in turn, gossiped about the old families mentioned in them.
All in all, it was a good day.
After breakfast and before Draco took his leave, Teddy said he had a present for Draco. He ran into his room and then ran right back out to give Draco a box. When Draco opened it, he wanted to groan. It was nothing but an exact replica of the tiny dragon Teddy liked to drag around with him for the past few years.
"Uncle Harry said since it's your favourite dragon, you can have one too."
"Of course," replied Draco.
Even in his bloody absence, Potter needed to have the last laugh.
Chapter 27: Wrapping Up
Thin strips of tiny metal foils fell on the floor as Sharla started to wrap up the Christmas tree in the great hall of The Home. Another Christmas season was coming to an end,and another New Year's beginning where Draco was alone.
It wasn't necessarily that Draco felt lonely, it was just the fact of how he almost had somebody and then that person was taken away from him.
Where was Potter? How was he doing?
Was he settling well in Mexico—wherever he was? Why did he need to leave right after Christmas? Was that by choice or something else? These were all very good questions Draco should have asked when Potter was still here but of course, he hadn't. Because, like a fool, Draco had tried to distance away from Potter than give into his curiosity, his feelings, his desire of wanting to be with Potter.
Some things never changed, he supposed. Draco was always slow at learning a lesson.
He'd know. He had many, many scars to prove this point.
"Do you have big plans for New Year's Eve?" Sharla asked him as they boxed up almost all the decorations away to place balloons and magical confetti spells.
"Not really," replied Draco. "My friend Pansy is having a soiree, not sure if I'll attend."
"Because of Mr Potter."
"Because of what now?"
"You know, I noticed you and Mr Potter were friends and he's not here anymore. I mean, that much Teddy told me."
"Ah Teddy. That little future Hufflepuff," Draco said with a sigh and chuckled. "Yes, Mr Potter and I were close and he's not here anymore so you know… it is what it is. I might attend the party my friend's having or I might simply stay at home, not sure yet. It's just a regular night. Some people celebrate but I like having a quiet night with no drama, my mother not breathing down my neck, and The Home being all settled a good reason to celebrate."
"You're very young to end up sounding like a forty-something, Draco," Sharla said.
Maybe she was right but he didn't argue. He only smiled at her and they continued working. She didn't need to know more and Draco had not much to share. His evening, his entire fucking year was going to be a quiet one, so it seemed.
Potter, who he didn't even want in the first place, wasn't here.
And if they ever re-connected, Draco would have a reason to celebrate. But at the current moment, he didn't.
Chapter 28: Unexpected
"Draco, your hands are colder than a snowball…" Potter whispered in Draco's ear as Draco stirred in bed.
"Mmm…" Draco moaned. "Not again," he said and turned in bed but the hands on him felt firm.
"Not what again?" Potter's voice whispered again, his hot breath on Draco's skin.
"Go away, Potter. I'm tired of dreaming—"
"You dream about me?"
Draco arched his back and his body molded into Potter's. This dream felt more real than the others. "Just don't leave me tonight…" Draco mumbled and fell asleep again.
"I'm not a dream, sweetheart."
"What…" He almost gasped when he realised Potter was next to him. Was this still a dream? Or had he travelled back in time without realising it?
"Hey, you're awake," Potter said, pulling Draco close to him. "So tell me about these dreams of yours."
"Potter, what are you doing here?"
"It's New Year's Eve," Potter said, "well, day but it's New Year's Eve tonight."
"And, I'm here to spend it with you."
"Believe it or not, they give us the evening off," Potter said with a chuckle. "We were all required to settle in, get to know our fellow students and then we have two days off before starting the actual training. Many of my classmates went back home to spend time with their friends and family, so I came to see you."
"How did you—" Draco realised he never changed the spells for his home for Potter. He had raised the wards for the night before when Potter was leaving but he hadn't changed the magic. The wards recognised him and allowed him in.
"Are you seeing your friends and fam—"
"No. I'm here to see you."
"And what else?" Draco asked.
"What do you mean?"
"There has to be a catch, Potter. You won't just show up back here for two days, allow us to torture each other, and then what? Leave again?"
Potter laughed. "And here I didn't think you knew anything about me," he said. "You've started to get to know me well, Draco."
"What's the catch, Potter?" Draco asked.
Potter pulled him closer still, wrapped his legs around Draco's waist and kissed his nose. "Let's enjoy this for now, and then I'll tell you my crazy ideas later?"
Draco decided to drop the subject for the moment. He kissed Potter, glad to have the man in his arms and it not be a dream, and then eventually dragged him into the shower with him.
Chapter 29: The Next Step
"You know, you could always come back with me…" Potter's voice was so silken smooth, Draco wanted to say yes to everything.
"Shut up, Potter," Draco said instead.
Christmas was over, and the time for giftgiving and daydreaming was over, as well. They were at Pansy's annual New Year's Eve party and tonight, Potter was Draco's date and there was already a lot of pressure on him. He didn't need Potter to whisper sweet nothings in his ear - ideas that could never be.
"I'm serious, Draco," Potter said, turning Draco around to face him as they were on the dance floor.
"It's enough everyone's watching us," Draco said.
"Yeah? So… let them watch."
Draco rolled his eyes. "Easy for you to say because you'll go back to Mexico or wherever after and I'm the one that'll stay—"
"That's what I'm telling you, Draco. You could come with me."
"You're daft, do you know that?"
"I did some research, you know, and I found a programme for you to enroll in."
"What are you on about, Potter?" Draco sighed and finally gave in. Potter had been trying to talk to him all day and Draco hadn't been in the mood for it. Whatever it was, was most likely too far fetched for Draco and whatever fantasy Potter had cooking up in his head.
Potter grabbed Draco by the elbow and took him away from the crowd.
"Finally," he said, placing his hands on Draco's shoulders. "Finally you'll listen to me."
"Okay, fine. Just tell me whatever it is!"
"I know you started working at The Home five years ago and your role's changed a long since then. You told me this. You went from managing operations to basically running the finances now and supervising the entire operations and the fundraising team."
"Yeah, so?" Draco said, almost scoffing. It wasn't that big of a deal. He wanted to give Malfoy a good name.
"Right. So, last time — I mean at the Christmas party you were talking to some Ministry officials about opening up The Home on a more international level. Help them get the education and the language skills before they went off to Hogwarts…"
Potter paused and Draco couldn't help but look at him surprised. He'd been listening. Whatever chance Draco got, he would talk about improving The Home and making it more welcoming but it was different to know someone had actually listened.
"The programme I'm in. It's not Ministry sanctioned, which means, they offer a variety of subjects and you do not have to be an Auror to sign up. I found a certification programme for developing a more intercultural orphanage. Directors learning about spells to provide translations in home and welcoming—"
"I'm not a director, Potter."
"That doesn't matter, Draco, I can get the Minister to write a reference on your behalf. And your programme isn't as rigorous as mine. It's not more three months and you get the weekends off which means you can come back to check on Teddy and see how things are going at The Home. And if you like it, you could continue on with Level two."
"Why…" Draco hesitated. "You found this in just a handful of days?"
Potter shrugged. "Maybe I started looking into it before I even left. So what? Whatever. I've wanted us to be together longer than you, Draco. I've wanted us."
"And what if it doesn't work?"
Potter sighed and ran his fingers through his hair. His hair stuck up in random directions in the back. It was stupid and endearing.
"If it doesn't work is because you and I don't get along or whatever. Or we fight a lot or something stupid which is all really stupid because I love you and it'll work."
"I'm sorry? You what?"
"For fuck's sake, Draco. I love you. Don't you just know that already?"
Chapter 30: Worth It.
"What?" Potter was once Draco had been staring at Potter - stunned silent - for a long time. "Why do you look like you just got kicked by a reindeer?"
"I… just processing the words you've just said."
"That I love you?" Potter said with a shy smile. "I do. I want us to be together. More than just long distance. I want us to really try."
"This entails my moving to Mexico?"
"For three months, and then spending some time apart. I mean, all I know right now is no matter what I said about making a commitment to the programme, I just wanna be with you. I want to leave everything, pack my bags, pack your bags and run away together."
"That's idealistic. It'll never work—"
"Yes! What will work is doing the mature thing. You may be showing me you want this too. More than just telling me. Is that too much to ask?" Potter looked so nervous Draco almost wanted to hug him. Almost. "I was afraid if I told you what I expect maybe it'll be too much. Maybe you'll think I'm not worth it."
"Is that how he made you feel? Whoever that bloke was—cheated on you. He made you feel you weren't worth it?"
Potter shrugged. "He made me think I was nothing more than my name and my money. I don't thin—I know you're not like him. You don't care about any of it. I mean, for your auction, I did so much—"
"I thought you cared about the kids."
"Of course I care about the kids. I could’ve easily made all my donations anonymous which I always do. I was doing all the extra things to get your attention, Draco."
Draco didn't reply.
"And what did you do? You didn't even look impressed. I don't know if it frustrated me more or made me like the happiest possible. You gave no fucks about me which meant I had to work hard—I have to work hard to impress you. It's absolutely mental but I love it. I love the challenge. I love you."
"So you just want me to follow you? " asked Draco.
"Yes, " answered Potter.
Chapter 31: Home
Happy New Year's. Enjoy this short chapter. More to come, I promise!
"Let's go home," Draco said grabbed Potter by the elbow.
"Why?" Potter asked but he allowed Draco to lead him to the Floo. "What about the party?"
"Fuck the party, Potter," Draco said and Potter smiled. He wrapped his arms around Draco as they stepped into the Floo. Draco thought he heard Pansy call his name but he didn't wait to reply. She could owl him her angry thoughts later.
When they arrived, Potter stood around the sitting room awkwardly.
"What's the matter?"
"You called it home," Potter said.
"I… yes. I do live here."
"You've not done that before."
"Oh," Draco said clearing his throat. "Well, since you don't actually have one and you're here with me so I suppose you live here too now. Until you settle wherever."
"Is that a no to my proposition?" Potter asked and Draco scowled. "About coming to Mexico with me. We won't even see each other that much. I mean, the training programmes are vigorous…"
"I'm not saying no, Potter, but you need to stop pushing me."
"Okay. Fine… so now what? We still have a few minutes until midnight. Am I going to get a midnight kiss, at least?"
Draco rolled his eyes and grabbed Draco to the collar. "Let's get to bed," he said, "I'll give you a midnight kiss."
Chapter 32: Finale
Draco didn't want to give Potter all the credit for his decision to move to Mexico. Even if it was for a little while. When Potter left on the evening of the 1st of January, he left Draco with pamphlets from the programme. The one he'd wanted Draco to join was starting on the 10th of January; there was no way Draco could get his affairs in order by then.
He looked through the literature provided to him, owelled the program manager in Mexico himself, and asked more question.
He wasn't going to join Potter in January, no. But he was seriously considering the programme that started in the middle of February. It would go on until mid May and then he would return home. Potter would no doubt stay on longer as his training programme was for the Aurors.
"So you're going to do it?" his mother asked him when he went to visit her on the weekend and told her about this idea.
"I'm still not certain of it. The course schedule is well thought out and it would be a huge advantage for the kids at The Home, and—"
"And you'd be with Mr Potter," she said with delight. Draco wanted to roll his eyes. When had his mother become such a big fan of Potter's? Without a question, it was his aunt's doing.
"Please know my consideration of this project is not to be taken lightly. I do not want people to think I've gone to Mexico only to chase after Potter."
"No one will think that, Draco," she said softly.
"No? Then what will they think?"
She gave him a knowing smile. "I didn't realise you still cared about what people think."
"I don't," he said in haste. "I just don't want to be known as that bloke."
"That bloke?" she asked with a chuckle. "The man who followed his heart? Gave his own happiness a chance?"
The man who has stupidly fallen in love with Harry Potter.
The air felt different. And a heavy weight settled on Draco's shoulder. Was he doing the right thing? What if this was all a mistake. He didn't have enough time to second-guess his decision because Potter was on him like a Niffler on a gold coin.
"Easy there…" Draco said as he felt the wind kicked out of him, again. This time with Potter crushing him under his arms.
"I'm so happy to see you!" Potter said with a goofy grin and Draco couldn't help but smile. So maybe he felt a little sappy himself. It was good to be able to see Harry in real life, to be able to touch him, feel his breath on Draco's face.
"Let's go," Harry said.
"Where are we going?"
"To your quarters. I know where you'll be staying and—"
"I'm not staying with you?" Draco asked, hating how insecure he sounded in that moment.
"Oh. Yeah. Of—of course."
"I didn't think you'd want to stay with me. I mean, what if I got on your nerves."
"You're already on my nerves," said Draco.
"Okay, so let's go to my rooms. It's a small place but I had managed to get one without a roommate. I think they'll be happy your room's freed up. Your orientation is in an hour."
"Merlin, you know my schedule better than I do," Draco teased.
"Well, I've only been waiting six weeks for you."
Draco could have continued his banter with Harry, given him a smart remark but when they entered Harry's rooms, which were now their rooms, he pushed Harry against the closed door.
"I was afraid you wouldn't want me anymore," Draco whispered against Harry's lips as he gently kissed him.
"You're mental if you think that. I've missed you so much. I'm already unsure how long I can survive here without you after you go back in May."
"Do you mean that?" Draco asked, feeling insecure again.
"Of course!" Harry said, turning them around so this time, Draco was pressed against the door and Harry's knee was in-between his legs. He buried his face in Draco's neck and took in a deep breath. "Fuck, missed the way you smelled, Draco."
Draco groaned, bucking his hips all the while grinding down on Harry's leg. "Missed this. Love this…" and then he paused for the briefest of seconds. "Love you."
Harry stopped doing what he was doing and locked his gaze with Draco. "Yeah?"
"Yeah…" said Draco.
"I love you too, Draco. And we'll figure this…us… out."
Draco knew they would. They had to. He didn't know when it'd happened but he'd come to need Harry — who had now become his home. And now, all his adventures would only lead them to Harry.
They'd lead them home.