Dear Auror Harry J Potter:
I am in receipt of Head Auror Robards of the Department of Law Enforcement’s request to relieve you of a temporary field suspension.
Unfortunately, this is a notice to inform you we are still in need of your Healer’s Release to Return to Work Form for the reported incident on February 6, 2019 during Case #4286334.
Under Section 2.A of the Field Auror Employee Handbook:
Prior to returning to active field duty following a medical leave, written authorization from the employee’s authorized healer is required. If an employee comes to work without providing the required documentation, it is mandatory for the employee to return home until s/he provides medical certification that s/he is able to return to work.
Please owl in a copy of the Return to Work to me on the day of return; until then Mr. Potter, you may need to continue working a modified schedule during the medical recovery period. We value your service to the Auror services and seek to resolve this matter in a timely fashion. Please do not hesitate to contact me with any inquiries or concerns.
Head of Wizard Resources
Ministry of Magic
Draco sighs softly, a lock of blonde hair huffing away from his face as he slowly twists the wrist he is writing with in an effort to rid some of it’s stiffness. His left hand picks up his still thankfully warm cup of Earl Grey as he puts aside the letter he just composed onto the ever growing pile of parchment for Lampley to simply look at and sign.
This is the fourth time he has to write the same letter since he started working for Marietta Lampley six months ago. If Head Auror Robards sticks to tradition, he will come marching into Lampley’s office not an hour after with Potter’s Release Form clutched in his hands. Most likely wrestled out of Potter’s healers hands just moments beforehand.
Draco rolls his eyes as he reaches for a new parchment to begin a new letter. They act like they cannot survive without Potter for a single week.It’s only been 4 days since Potter was slashed down with what is rumored to be a bad diffindo and patched up at St. Mungos the same day.
To be fair, it’s not often Potter is seriously hurt on duty and even Draco recognizes what a waste it is to have Potter walking around the corridors of the Ministry pretending to be on desk duty; but even the smallest of cuts and concussions come with their paperwork and Potter has to go through this many times a week. By extension, Draco has to deal with the Auror Department trying to finagle their way around many of his boss’ policies in an effort to avoid reassigning the absurd amount of pending cases Potter is required to investigate
Draco shifts in his chair and dips his Albanian Peacock quill into his ink to start constructing his second interdepartmental memo of the day.
To all employees:
This is a reminder that Ward 3 of Floor 2 will be under strict lockdown procedure beginning February 21, 2019 due to the Department of Health and Sanitation’s annual...
The day passes excruciatingly slow for Draco. He determinedly remains at his desk all day with only Susan Bones for company, foregoing lunch altogether because he forgot to pack a sandwich for the day. It’ll be a cold day in hell the day Draco decides to pay a visit to the Canteen to buy lunch.
He lifts his head up from proofreading Lampley’s presentation handout for an upcoming meeting to look at Bones. She was currently going around their designated small shared space at the front of their boss’s office. Technically, only Bones was the employee. Draco was technically a volunteer.
A volunteer required to complete 5 years of service to the community. Greg, Blaise and Pansy serviced their probation for a measly 6 months assisting in the reconstruction of Hogwarts before immediately managing to remove themselves from the eye of the public. They’re not in exile, they just rarely make an appearance in crowded wizarding locations.
They’re probably having lunch at Pansy’s, drinking mimosas while he’s stuck in a building full of people who either ignore him or spit at his feet.
Draco shook his head and returned to the stack of parchment on his desk. As he was the only one stupid enough to allow himself to be marked, he should pay a heavier punishment of course. He could have been in Nott’s place; serving the end of a three year sentence in Azkaban for also being stupid enough to accept a mission from the Dark Lord. Nott was lucky to be as unsuccessful as Draco was in his own mission, but unlucky enough to not have the Savior of the Wizarding World testify on his behalf.
Draco sighed, the blurry images of his trial flashing in his head.
“Alright!” A pale hand slammed down in front of him. “Why do you keep sighing! You’ve been wallowing for the last 5 hours and I’ve had to listen.”
Draco scowled up at the red head as he shifted as far back from her as he could. “Excuse you.” He prodded her offending hand with a single finger, as if afraid to catch something from her hand. He knows he is being dramatic, but he has always been dramatic so why stop now. “I am not wallowing.”
“Really?” Bones raised her eyebrows, her lips twisted in a small smile. “Draco, I work with you every day. I know the difference between all your silences.”
“All my silences?” Draco almost snorted, but he refrained, choosing to turn back to his work, “Don’t you have an aunt to have lunch with or friends to go bother?”
Bones turned away and started watering the small plant on his desk. “Nope. My aunt has a hearing she couldn’t scheduled at another time, and Sophie has the Minister visiting her department today. So they’re all stressed and as you can imagine I couldn't step into their office if I tried.”
Draco eyed her once more and she began to fuss with the plant, picking at the dead ends and rotating its pot to an apparently better angle. She was still standing there after a few awkward seconds. After a second too long, Draco snapped, “What are you doing? I’m sorry if you think I’m sighing too much. I’ll try to breathe quieter. Now…” Draco motioned for her to go with his hands.
Bones pouted, “Draco don't be mean.”
Draco sneered, too used to her using his first name to be bothered to correct her.
“I just really wanted to talk to you. Maybe gossip a little. You’re always at this desk and I’ve never seen your friends visit. I thought maybe a little human interaction may do you some good.”
“That’s what a personal life is called Bones and if you haven't realized, we are at work.”
Bones shrugged and walked back to her desk, sitting down and cupping her cheeks upon her hands. Their desks faced each other on opposite ends of the room. She, as the official secretary to the Head of Wizard Resources, had a much bigger and cluttered desk.
“Did you finish all the work you had to do by today?” He looked pointedly at the pile of reports he personally placed at her desk at the beginning of the day. Six months ago, Draco was miserably separating mail in the mailroom before Lampley plucked him from the dim room and began to use his connections and good penmanship for her own benefit. Now it’s like he’s the unofficial secretary for both Bones and Lampley.
Draco prefers this so much more, although he will have to be dosed with Veritaserum to admit it. The mail room was accessible to all employees and he was tired of people “wandering” into the room to throw in a good jinx or dung bomb.
Bones ignored his question. “Did you hear the rumor?”
Draco shifts closer to his desk again as he moves the packet he was reading aside, giving up on it for now to move onto another project. “I can assure you I probably have not.”
“Apparently, Harry finally received his soul mark.”
Draco paused, looking up from rifling through his filing. “What?” His soul mark...
Bones rolled her eyes. “Potter. You know, Harry Potter, your arch nemesis since the two of you were both 11. He turned 21… 7 months ago I think and he finally got it. I received mines as soon as I turned 21, as do most people don’t they.”
“I got mines a month after.” Draco muttered, swallowing and turning to look back at his files. He should tell her to stop talking, but dammit it all if he isn’t curious.
“No one knows what it is of course, only that Lavender overheard Dean telling Seamus at the Leaky last week that it was black.Dean works at Ron and George Weasley’s shop, apparently only until his book is published. Well anyways, that’s why he is a credible source and did you know Dean apparently broke up with Ginny Weasley again?”
Now Draco tuned her out, not caring a single iota for Dean and Ginny’s relationship status. He turned to his left hand and slowly moved down the sleeve of his navy Gucci cardigan. There underneath the faded ugly mark that labeled all the Death Eaters and directly on the sensitive skin over his artery was a small symbol. A triangle with a circle and a line within it; the deathly hallows…
Upon waking up to find this symbol, Draco immediately spent the next few weeks scouring the Malfoy library until he found all that he could. Most of it were detailed accounts the reign and ideologies of the Dark Lord Grindelwald. There were gaps of missing information on the symbol that spanned centuries before Grindelwald’s inception, with the only known point of reference being a single faded piece of literature that told the story of a myth. A myth Draco was too quick to push aside at the time.
Up until a few years prior of course, when the symbol popped up for the first time since the rise of Grindelwald. An article and exclusive interview with the Golden Trio published by Luna Lovegood in The Quibbler, detailing a vague outline of the events leading up to the Battle of Hogwarts.
At the time the whole world only focused on the huge bits; Harry died once more, survived, and defeated the Dark Lord. The finer details precious only to a few scholars and historians who picked up on the single detail that startled Draco to his very core.
Harry Potter is the last recorded Master of Death. The one who literally represents the symbol forever painted on Malfoy’s inner wrist.
Draco snapped out of his reverie to look at Greg. “Hmm?”
Greg pointed at Draco’s garlic naan. “Are you going to eat the rest?”
Draco looked down at his food and then shook his head. He’s done eating for the day anyways. He turned and caught Pansy’s eye. Her eyebrows were furrowed in concern.
“Okay, something’s definitely wrong. Greg’s been trying to get your attention for a while now and you’re not even done with the rest of your Tikka to just give Greg the rest of your naan.” Pansy pointed a finger to his plate.
Draco shrugged and avoided her stare. “I had a pretty big lunch.”
Blaise hummed quietly as he took a sip of his white wine.”Or you’re pining away as usual. Didn’t your soulmate receive his mark today?”
Draco sniffed as he pushed away the rest of his take out, “And didn’t your soulmate fuck off to France?”
“Boys! What did I say about talking about soulmates at the dinner table! We’re supposed to be discussing my fabulous birthday plans!” Pansy throws her arms in the air after a glamorous flip of her long black hair.
Draco grabbed his wine glass, thankful for the change in subject. “We already know. Male strippers, lots of booze, and generous amounts of new couture clothing?”
Pansy winks deviously. “Well of course that is a given. But where? When? How? Who to invite?”
Blaise listed names, “Well let’s see… Greengrass. The younger one since the older one fucked off to France.” Draco sent an apologetic smile to Blaise. “Me, Draco, Greg… and you, of course.”
Pansy bit her lip. “How about.. And please seriously consider this. How about we head into the muggle world?”
Greg peered at her as if she grew two heads. Draco and Blaise were too busy trying not to react. For his part, Draco wanted to break down laughing. The last time Pansy ventured out into the muggle world, she ended up stuck in a “never ending train.” “How was I supposed to know it had multiple stops that’s just looped around to the beginning again and that my destination was a couple streets over from the the station and so would not have the name on the platform,” Pansy had cried to him after she finally gave up on her plans for the day and left the train to find a secluded corner and apparate away.
Before that, Pansy tried shoving galleons towards the manager at a Prada location until she was able to get the purse that she wanted. “Draco! For some reason they said they don’t take gold, only money. Why the fuck were the two separate things to muggles?”
Draco cringed. “To do what Pans?”
Pansy resettled her napkin on her lap, “There’s a club called Clyde’s I want to check out.”
No one responded and so Pansy snapped at them, “Don’t give me those looks! I’ve been out to the muggle world a few more times. I was able to get coffee the other morning now that I exchanged a bit of galleons at Gringotts, they’re called pounds!” Draco looks down to see her pull out a few colorful pieces of paper from her pocket. Draco bites his lip to hide a smile. “And I went to a cinema with Tory. That’s way more than what the three of you have done.”
Blaise shrugged, not bothering to hide that fact.
Draco pointed at this sweater. “I frequent the muggle stores.”
“Liar!” Pansy flicked a piece of naan at him. “You shop at muggle clothing stores operated by wizards.”
“Well I ordered this food. And all the food we ever order from a muggle restaurant.” Greg raised his hand.
“That is because you’re the only one crazy enough to have a cell phone.” Blaise stuffed another piece of tandoori in his mouth. “Where is the phone anyways?”
Greg pulled it out of his pocket. Draco leaned in to see the black glass rectangle light up at the touch of Greg’s finger. “It’s quite simple actually.”
“That’s simple…” Draco repeated apprehensively as Greg started touching the screen with more frequency.
Greg touched a button on its side and Pansy’s eyebrows raised as the screen turned black again. “Yea, very. I can’t play with it too much here. Or else the battery will get wonky or my screen breaks. It doesn’t react well inside wards. Once I’m outside though it’s fully functional.”
Draco was truly impressed. For all of Pansy’s boasting, Greg has definitely had them all beat when it came to embracing muggle culture. They have all tried adapting to muggle clothing but only Greg has started getting used to their technology and even moving out of his family’s home to rent a small flat above a nearby italian restaurant. In the muggle side of London. Although Draco has long ago moved out of Malfoy Manor, his own London townhouse is safely tucked deep within a pocket of one of the many wizard neighborhoods.
“Well since Greg has one of those devices, why not just jump into it then? Why not, lets go to Clyde’s.”
Pansy gives a high-pitched cry and launches herself towards Blaise, her red lips pressing a kiss onto his cheek.
Draco laughs as Blaise grimaces. He knows the pain of trying to wipe her lipstick off.
Draco’s eye catches a glint of gold. The last few rays of the day’s sunlight catches onto the shimmering gold of Blaise’s soulmark, barely showing over the edge of his neck collar at the side of his neck. He knows a fleur-de-lis would be marked there, the gold a stark contrast to Blaise’s dark skin.
Blaise notices Draco staring and shifts his collar. “Still gold, Dray.” He whispers, smiling at the concern he can see in his friend’s face. “I told you, we never made it far into the bond. I’ll be fine.”
Pansy was now pulled back and peering down at Blaise’s neck. “And you’d tell us? If anything changes?”
Blaises takes another sip of his wine and Draco takes a gulp of his as well. “Yes, Pans. If I so much as cough you’d be the first to know.”
Greg shakes his head, “I never understood it. That she’ll leave you. Leave all of us.”
Draco winces and mutters a response. “She’s grieving Greg. She just needed space.”
The older Greengrass heiress quietly slipped out of England two month ago, months after the arrest of her father and only three weeks after a startling miscarriage. From what Draco understood, her and Blaise weren’t trying and they didn’t even know.
The distance put a strain on Blaise and rumors of the Daphne’s exploits in France have begun to reach them.A consummated soulmate bond is strong though and Draco is sure Blaise can make it through. Even if Daphne decides to remain in France and Blaise’s soul mark fades back to black.
People do not die from broken bonds. They do run the risk of poor health and depression though, thus explaining the group of Slytherin’s caution and worry.
Pansy’s eyes flick to Draco but thankfully no one mentions the boy-who-lived-to-make-headlines.
Draco takes a long drink from his glass, wishing he hadn’t seen the cover of Pansy’s copy of Witch Weekly on the glass table when entering the foyer.
“Harry Potter’s Mark Revealed - A Dragon!”
Below the headline was the black creature, more serpentine than dragon but with its wings extended back and it’s tongue flickering out.
Three weeks later, Potter is hurt again. A minor concussion but Draco almost throws the incident report in the bin once he sees it on his desk first thing early morning.
Draco removes his wool coat while eyeing the stack of papers below Potter’s report. “It’s much too early to handle whatever that is.”
Bones looks up from stirring her tea, eyes still puffy from sleep. “What?”
Draco points to the stack.
“Oh, apparently someone’s mission went sideways and other aurors were called as backup. Looks like many injuries. Just file the ones who didn’t go to St. Mungo’s and send those mental health brochures to the really gruesome reports.”
Draco nods, knowing most of the procedures he has to take when he comes across deaths or injuries in the incident reports.
He fixes himself his morning cup of tea, very little milk and too much sugar, and then prepares himself for a long morning of consisting of reading the incident reports.
He was halfway through Jean Kloss’ report of a dislocated shoulder when an owl swoops into the room and lands on Draco’s desk, almost knocking over his mug. “Hey!” He scowls and cradles his precious caffeine closer to his chest.
Curious, Bones looks up from her own stack of paperwork.
Draco avoids her silent question and warily unties the letter from the owl’s leg. As soon as it’s free, the owl flies away, apparently not instructed to wait for a reply.
Draco uncurls the parchment and rolls his eyes when he catches a whiff of Pansy’s floral parchment spray. She’s never sent him a letter while knowing he was at work. They all know better than to attract unwanted attention.
It has come to my attention that we must go to the Leaky Cauldron tonight. It is imperative. For my sanity and for our long and loving friendship, you must accompany me.
I do not feel comfortable to go alone and you’re the only other who does not have plans tonight. Before you try to come up with a pathetic excuse, I know you have no plans. So meet me there at 5 PM.
P.S. Greg is apparently spending his Friday playing in a dungeon with a dragon? Blaise, as you are aware, received another letter from a cousin in France and is locked away at the moment.
P.S.S. Weasley and Granger broke up.
Draco sighed and pinched the bridge of his nose. Of all places… in the whole fucking world. She had to choose the Leaky Cauldron. The always-crammed pub between Diagon Alley and muggle London. The Leaky Cauldron, whose location is only a short two blocks away from Draco’s job, the Ministry of Magic, where a good portion of their Hogwarts class work alongside him. The same pub where those same people always head towards at the end of their Friday shift.
Nope. NO. Absolutely not…
P.S.S. Weasley and Granger broke up.
Bugger it all, he has to go.
“What are the chances a great berk like him will notice me?”
Draco looks up from his gin to sneer. “Do you need me to cut you off now? You’ve only had a single martini and you’re already speaking like a ‘Puff?”
Pansy grabbed hold of his arm, her bright red fingernails digging into his thin sleeve and skin, “Take it back!”
Draco shot her an evil look as he shook her head. “Trust me, there’s no greater insult that fate aligning your path with his, of all people!” Pansy glares as Draco laughs. “I mean c’mon Pans. Look at you. I’m as gay as they come but I know you’re hot and he’s... weaselby.” Draco grimaced.
“Yeah well….” Pansy sits up straighter, begins to twirl a lock of her hair in between her fingers, a nervous tick she recently acquired. “He’s my-”
“Don’t say it Parkinson.” Draco tisked, tilting back his glass to his mouth and observing the rest of the room.
Thankfully, so far no one has even glanced their way, instead choosing to yell and boister around the Aurors that had filed in 20 minutes ago and taking up the left side of the pub, on the far side of where Pansy and Draco were sitting.
Draco noticed a few of the auror were wearing scratches and arm slings. He saw Weasley sitting next to Thomas and Longbottom, regulars to this Friday night tradition. Most of the occupants are former Gryffindors and Draco angles himself to further obstruct his [their] view.
“Oh honey, refusing to acknowledge something doesn't make it disappear.” Pansy pointedly looked at Draco’s wrist.
“Yea, well I can definitely pretend it’s disappeared. Actually on second thought, what are we discussing?”
Pansy rolled eyes and took out the olive from her glass to put in her mouth, brown eyes observing the redead from across the room. She’s meant to be looking for signs of heartbreak or relief. “He is really not my type. Why does my magic think that he is it for me.”
Draco looked up to the ceiling, tired of the word soulmate and soulmark taking up most of the dialogue around him for the last few weeks. “And remind me again why you think he is the one and why has he not said something yet?”
Pansy frowned. “Well I don’t know what he sees but…” Pansy looked down into her glass and mumbles something.
Draco gives her an incredulous look. “Was I supposed to hear anything in that last part?” Pansy is usually brimming with confidence and sass, even when she doesn’t necessarily feel confident. The last few years have been humbling to them all, but for her to start mumbling.
Pansy’s his head shot up, a frown plastered on her face, and through gritted teeth she said, “It’s a small dog.”
Draco burst out laughing and Pansy glares daggers at him. “Stop laughing,” she hissed.
“A dog? That’s it?” Draco snickers.
“His patronus is a dog!” Pansy looks around frantically, hoping no one can overhear them. They were more than safe, with the crowd on the left side rising in volume at the entrance of even more people at the door. “He’s the only one I know who has a dog patronus, not to mention the fact that I can count on my hand how many people I know can do that kind of magic. Also… it just feels right. He is it, Dray, I know it.”
It could also mean someone's pet, but Draco doesn't anything. Draco just tilts his head and decides to not pursue her line of thinking, choosing to take another sip of his glass and then finishing it off with one more gulp. He glances down at his watch and deems it early enough to continue drinking. “I’ll go get us another round yeah?”
He barely glances at her nod of agreement before slowly making his way to the bar with their empty glasses, attempting to avoid the groups of people sat on the stools at odd intervals and making his way to a small space open at the bar. He settles himself on an empty seat and waits for Tom to see him and his empty glasses. Draco is grateful that when he and Pansy first walked him, Tom just glanced at them and asked them what they would like to order. In kind, Draco makes sure to pay double for his drinks and bring the glasses up to the counter.
Draco looks down when he sees feels someone stand next to him and begins to play with his watch, making sure the cold silver completely covers the skin that can usually peak out from underneath his shirt.Draco can only thank merlin that the Dark Mark is further up his forearm and is easy to hide.
Draco glances up and thankfully makes eye contact with Tom. He gestures at his glasses with two fingers up. His traitorous head then glances at the man next to him.
Harry Potter gives a small wave with an equally small, barely there, smile.
Draco nods in greeting and turns back to look at Tom as he begins to prepare another round of drinks. Not his, unfortunately.
“I haven’t seen you come here before.”
Draco swallows and keeps looking at Tom. Maybe if Tom feels his stare he’ll hurry the fuck up. “Oh you know, decided to see what the fuss was about.”
Potter snorts next to him and turns to glance back at the room. “Well the fuss today is that Evan and Neville didn’t die yesterday.”
Tom finally walks up to them, ‘Here you go Harry.” Fuck, still not Draco’s drinks with him.
Potter smiles at the bartender as his hand grabs onto the pint of what appears to be a dark stout. “Thanks Tom.” Harry fishes out a galleon and leaves it on the counter.
He watches Potter drink some and before he knows it, he’s speaking. Draco shouldn’t have opened his mouth. He really shouldn’t have, but before he even processes the thought in his head, it’s out in the air already. “Should you be drinking?”
Potter pauses and frowns, turning to look at him. Draco averts his eyes from the bright green that is just way too intense to be appropriate and the slightly wet look Potter’s lips now have after his tongue wiped away some of the foam. “What do you mean?”
“Oh fuck it…” Draco whispers, turning to Potter. He waved his hand towards his head. “Your head. Shouldn’t you avoid alcohol while concussed.”
He laughs in astonishment, eyebrows high and eyes wide. “And how do you know that?”
“I’m not a stalker or anything.”
Potter actually has the nerve to look at him in disbelief.
“I’ll leave that up to you, thank you very much.” Draco retorts and at least the man in front of him has the decency to look guilty, “I happen to work in WR. I got your accident report for your concussion.”
Draco turns back to facing forward, already done explaining. Tom finally walks up to him and slides the two drinks in front of him. He almost shows obvious signs of his relief.
Draco’s hands just grabbed onto the cold glasses when Potter speaks again. “Well then take it off my hands then.”
Draco pauses and just stares into green eyes.
Potter flushes and pushes his glass towards him. “I know you already have a drink but think of this as an ‘I’m sorry.’”
Draco just looks down at the stout.
“For the stalking... back in 6th year.”
Draco wills any sort of blush from making its way up his neck at the thought of drinking from the same glass Potter just did. His lips touching where Potter’s lips were just touching. Potter obviously doesn’t think anything of the intimate act, pushing the glass further towards.
Draco’s left hand reaches for it and once it curls around the cool glass, Potter’s fingers slowly let go, bushing against Draco’s own fingertips.
They both freeze and Draco could literally hear Potter’s sharp intake of breath. They both look down.
The touch. Draco is so stupid. Stupid, stupid…
Draco feels the tingle, the warm electricity running up his veins and stopping where his soul mark is. It’s feels so so warm, almost hot. Where a black mark used to be, Draco is sure now rests a golden symbol.
Draco sees Potter grab onto his wrist and slowly turn it over. His watch was obscuring the symbol so without moving much, Potter’s thumb pushes the strap further down. The peak of the triangle and half of the stick appeared before green eyes before Draco came to his senses.
Draco yanked his hand back. “Actually, I just remembered.” Draco turns back to grab onto his original order of drinks. “I don’t like stouts.” With the practiced air of a pureblood, Draco gave a shell shocked Potter one last sneer before walking away.
“Wait... Malfoy.” Potter mutters softly, now frowning at the floor.
Draco make his way to Pansy and grabs onto her arm. “Come on, Pansy. We have to go.”
“What, why? What did they do?”
Draco makes sure Potter is still where he left him. “Because I’d say I have maybe 60 seconds tops to get the fuck out of here, before Boy Wonder causes a scene.”