“And I thought Grimmauld Place was bad,” Harry muttered, squinting through the gloom of the hallway stretching out in front of him.
“Be quiet, I'm trying to concentrate.”
Harry rolled his eyes for what felt like the millionth time in a week. Bloody Ron and Hermione, taking off and leaving him for two weeks to this bloody nightmare. He leaned against the grimy wall and sighed heavily, mentally sending a curse to his two best friends. Did they have to go off on holiday at the same time? What even was the point in a honeymoon anyway?
“Potter, I said be quiet,” Harry's living nightmare whispered.
Harry gritted his teeth and resisted the urge to smack the blond git in the face. “I'm not doing anything.”
“You keep shuffling around and huffing and sighing.” Malfoy replied, his face still turned away from Harry as he ran his wand over the doorknob again and again. “It's really very irritating.”
“What's irritating is how long you've spent looking at that bloody doorknob,” Harry retorted, giving up on trying to be quiet.
“Well excuse me for wanting to be sure the thing doesn't try to bite our hands off before we attempt to open it.”
“Aren't you supposed to be good at curse-breaking?”
Malfoy drew himself up from his crouch and turned to face Harry. “I am,” he said imperiously. “I'm the best Curse-breaker the Ministry has on its payroll.”
“Then shouldn't you be quicker at it?”
Malfoy sneered at him. “I'm the best, Potter, because I'm thorough. Just because you're used to barging in with both left feet doesn't mean that's what you should do.” He turned back to the door in front of them. “Now, if you'll kindly shut up for a minute so I can work out how to remove this curse.”
“Fine! Just hurry the fuck up. The quicker we get through that bloody door, the quicker we can wrap this case up and I can go somewhere you're not.”
Malfoy snorted delicately but didn't reply, just bent back down and began concentrating on the doorknob once more. Harry tried to keep his breathing calm as he forced himself to relax back against the wall. He knew Malfoy was good at his job; other Aurors that had worked with him in the past had said as much themselves. And Harry had seen it with his own eyes, on the few occasions that their cases had coincided. Malfoy was meticulous in his approach, and had put a stop to more than a handful of lethal curses before they'd been triggered. He'd even saved Harry from blowing off his own hand during one such memorable job. Plus it helped that Malfoy was fabulous at making tea just the way Harry liked it, strong and sweet, with just a touch of milk. Being greeted with a cup every day so far on this job had certainly made up for the early mornings. It was just that Harry was used to having his Auror partner with him when he and Malfoy had to share the same small space. Without Hermione there to act as a buffer between them, Harry couldn't seem to stop himself from falling back on old behaviour, letting Malfoy get to him as much as he ever did when they were at Hogwarts. He was certain that Malfoy was taking his sweet time just to piss him off, but he had nothing to prove it except his suspicions and the occasional look Malfoy sent his way when he thought Harry wasn't looking.
They'd been rubbing each other up the wrong way all week, ever since Hermione had left with Ron on their long awaited honeymoon. The Auror department had a policy of 'floating' their temporarily un-partnered Aurors to other sections of the Ministry. It was for safety reasons, Kingsley said, because sending out into the field a pair of Aurors who hadn't had time to learn how each other worked yet was apparently dangerous. So lone Aurors were always at the top of the pile to be lent out to other departments who might need their services; the Misuse of Muggle Artefacts, Muggle Liaison, and curse-breaking. While usually curse-breakers were called in to assist Aurors when they came across something suspicious in the field, they also had their own jobs that sometimes required protection, someone to watch their back.
And so for two weeks, Harry was that protection exclusively. Which wouldn't be a problem if it weren't for the fact that Draco sodding Malfoy wasn't the curse-breaking department's golden boy, who was almost always assigned the trickier cases, the ones that would most likely require an Auror to be present. With the exception of a handful of cases, Harry and Malfoy hadn't had much cause to be around each other, and certainly never alone for any extended period of time. That suited Harry quite well; although he'd spoken in defence of both Malfoy and his mother at their trials, the blond was still an absolute git, and the less Harry saw of him the better, as far as he was concerned. Their interactions with each other extended only to the occasional nod in the hallways or greeting in the lifts, and when they crossed paths while on a case or down the Leaky, Harry usually left Malfoy for someone else to deal with. Hermione didn't like Malfoy any better these days either, but she was at least able to remain civil and professional when she needed to be.
Apparently, Harry couldn't say the same thing for himself. He couldn't seem to help himself; just the sight of Malfoy made his chest tight and his skin prickle. They'd been sniping at each other all week, as they worked together to clear an old house of its dark artifacts. Usually, curse-breakers would work alone in this, but the address had been known to house more than a few remaining Death Eaters on the run. Harry had been tasked with watching Malfoy's back while he concentrated on lifting the curses and taking inventory of all the cursed objects held within. All that meant for Harry was that he'd got to spend most of the past week with nothing to do but watch Malfoy work.
Which was why he was certain that Malfoy was taking his time with this last door. With nothing to occupy his attention other than Malfoy, Harry had recently gained quite a bit of knowledge about how he worked. He knew that when Malfoy was concentrating particularly hard, the tip of his tongue could be seen poking through his teeth. When he came across a difficult curse, his nose would wrinkle slightly. During moments when he was casually sweeping for trigger points, Malfoy would hum a surprisingly soothing melody.
And currently, Malfoy was doing precisely none of those things; he was just staring, blankly, at the bloody doorknob. Harry had absolutely no idea why Malfoy would want to drag out their time standing in a dank, mouldy hallway of a dank, mouldy house. Harry didn't exactly want to go down into the basement himself, but they couldn't leave until every last inch of the house had been swept and cleared, and it wasn't as though the hallway was much more of a fun place to be, hot cups of tea not withstanding.
Harry's temper was very quickly fraying. “Seriously, Malfoy, what is the hold up?”
He tensed, waiting for the backlash of Malfoy's anger for being interrupted again, and was surprised when it didn't come. Instead, Malfoy sat back on his heels and rubbed at his nose – that was now wrinkled slightly, Harry suddenly noted – with the heel of his hand.
“I've removed the mordent manibus curse, but there still seems to be some residual magic.” Malfoy huffed out a quiet breath and scrubbed his hand across his face. “I can't tell if it's just leftover from the hand biting curse, or if it's something else entirely.”
Harry thought for a long moment. “Does it physically stop us from opening the door?” He asked finally.
Malfoy shook his head. “No, but I don't know what will happen if we do. I can't even tell if anything will happen.” “I don't understand.”
“No, neither do I,” Malfoy muttered to himself. He shook his head, and then stood up again, leaning against the wall next to Harry. “There's something there, but I can't tell what. It feels...”
“It feels, what?” Harry asked, when it became clear that Malfoy wasn't going to finish his sentence.
“It feels like I'm not allowed to know it yet,” Malfoy said with a shrug.
“I don't understand,” Harry repeated. He was starting to get a bad feeling; the creaks and groans of the house around them suddenly sounded louder, more purposeful, and the door in front of them seemed to shimmer with ugly possibilities. He was rapidly becoming very tired of this entire job.
“Well, the only way to know for sure is if we open it, right?”
“Are you joking, Potter?” Malfoy said, raising his eyebrows.
Harry shrugged. “We can't leave until the house has been secured, and if you can't work out what it is by looking at it, that only really leaves one option, doesn't it?”
Malfoy blew out a loud breath, then rolled his eyes. “Fine. But you're going first.”
Harry snorted. “I didn't expect any differently, Malfoy.”
He drew his wand, then reached out with his left hand. He took a deep breath and grabbed the doorknob, wincing as he waited for something to happen. Nothing did, and both he and Malfoy let out a relieved breath. Biting down on his lower lip, he turned the handle and let the door swing open. A set of wooden stairs led down into yet more murky gloom, thicker and darker than anywhere else in the house. The wood was bent and cracked in places, and Harry wondered if it would be stable enough to take his weight. He mentally prepared a quick cushioning charm, just in case he fell through, and lifted his leg to take a step forward.
“Wait, Potter,” Malfoy said, gripping his arm as he looked down at the floor. Harry followed his gaze and saw two words etched into the wood of the doorway.
“What does that mean?”
“I don't know,” Malfoy said, his nose wrinkling. “But I think if we step over it, we're likely to find out.”
Harry glanced down into the yawning black once more, and gritted his teeth. The quicker they got down there, the quicker the suspense would be over.
“Here goes nothing,” he murmured, and then placed his foot firmly on the first step. Nothing happened. He gingerly placed all of his weight onto the step and brought his other foot down onto the next one. The wood creaked ominously beneath him, but he remained miraculously both upright and in one piece.
“Perhaps it really was just residual magic left over from a previous curse,” he heard Malfoy mutter to himself, and then he felt the gap between them close as Malfoy stepped over the threshold behind him. It was about six steps down when it started to happen. The darkness seemed to creep up towards them, enveloping them both despite the lumos that had lit both of their wands. The air was cold around them, and Harry started to feel dizzy. His footsteps faltered beneath him as he took another step down.
“Potter, are you alright?” Harry faintly heard Malfoy ask.
Harry's knees shook and he felt suddenly very light-headed, and he tried to grab onto the banister to hold himself up. He stumbled back into Malfoy, and the wood beneath his hands gave way at the same time. Harry tried to regain his balance, but he was dizzy and sick and Malfoy was tripping over him. Their legs tangled together as the stairs seemed to disappear, and Harry grabbed on tight to Malfoy as they fell down, down down...
The first thing Harry became aware of was the sunlight streaming directly into his face. He groaned and shifted, burying his nose into the warmth next to him to shield himself. His head was pounding and his entire body felt as though he'd been kicked down a flight of stairs. He stretched his legs and whimpered slightly at the ache in his lower back. He snuggled further into the warm pillow while he waited; no doubt a healer would be coming along in a few minutes to administer a blessed pain potion. And then the pillow beneath him spoke.
“Don't even think about it, Harry. You promised me coffee.”
Harry froze. The voice was painfully familiar, and yet he had never heard it sound so... fond?
He lifted his head and blinked. Even without his glasses, he could tell that it was definitely Malfoy laying next to him, his fine blond hair falling into his eyes as he looked back at Harry with a small smile on his face. Maybe he was dreaming. Or he was still stuck at the bottom of the basement and Malfoy was dreaming. Or both.
“Er,” Harry said. Then, “Where are my glasses?”
Malfoy raised an eyebrow. “We didn't get that drunk last night. They're on the bedside table, as usual.”
Harry sat up quickly and had to bite back a shriek. Malfoy was right, there his glasses were, resting neatly on a bedside table. Which was at the side of a bed, which he was very much in. With Malfoy. Naked. Oh, so very naked. Harry could feel the long length of Malfoy's leg where it was nestled between his own, could feel cool air against his sweaty skin where it had been pressed against Malfoy's chest. Harry reached over to snag his glasses – maybe everything would make sense once he could see properly – and winced as a twinge made itself known from his thigh to his lower back.
And then he froze, again, because oh good God, that wasn't an ache from falling down some stairs, that was... that was from something else entirely.
“What the fuck,” Harry said, and shoved his glasses onto his face. He nearly crawled out of his skin when he felt an arm snake around his waist and Malfoy pulled him back down onto the pillows with a chuckle.
“Was I too rough with you last night?” He practically purred into Harry's ear, his breath on Harry's neck making him shiver. “In my defence, you were begging for it.”
Malfoy's teeth nipped Harry's earlobe, and Harry clamped his lips against a high pitched shriek. The noise turned into a surprised moan as he felt Malfoy's hand slide down his stomach and coming far too close to where Harry was very definitely still naked.
Harry didn't know whether to scream in shock or sigh in relief as Malfoy pulled away his hand and sat up next to him. Harry searched the room wildly for the source of the new – and extremely high – voice, and the next second he had a tiny knee connecting with his bollocks and an armful of something very small with grabby little hands and wild long dark hair.
“What the f-”
He was cut off again by Malfoy slamming his hand against Harry's mouth, before reaching out to drag the small squirming bundle onto his own lap. “Lissa, don't climb on your daddy so early in the morning, you know he's a grumpy git when he first wakes up.”
The little girl – at least, that's what Harry thought she was – squealed in delight as Malfoy tipped her backwards and began tickling her stomach.
“Oh for goodness' sake, Lissa, you promised you wouldn't disturb them,” came another familiar voice from the doorway, this one tinged with frustration. Harry looked up and stared at Ginny as she beckoned to the little girl. “I'm so sorry, we're on our way to the Burrow, but Lissa insisted she couldn't go without George so we stopped off here first.”
Malfoy chuckled and lowered the little girl to the floor, who ran straight over to Ginny and demanded to be picked up. “That's okay, we were just waking up, anyway.”
“Did you two have fun last night?” Ginny asked, a smirk pulling at her lips as she arranged the child on her hip. Harry jumped as he felt an arm snake around his waist again.
“We absolutely did,” Malfoy said smugly, and Harry had to hold back another shriek as he was pulled insistently back against the solid warmth of Malfoy's chest.
“Well, you can carry on having fun, just as soon as we find George and get out of here,” Ginny said, stepping back into the hallway.
“I'm fairly sure he's in the kitchen,” Malfoy replied, running his nose along the column of Harry's neck. “Lissa wanted him to help us make biscuits yesterday afternoon. I'm pretty sure his fur has still got dough stuck in it though.”
“Found him!” Another voice yelled from the depths of the house – and seriously, whose house even was this? - and Harry thought it sounded like Dean Thomas.
“No problem, mum will wash him while we're there,” Ginny said, giving them both a wave. “You two enjoy the rest of your day together, and we'll see you at the Burrow this evening.” And with that, she was gone, the little girl in her arms waving over her shoulder.
Harry was still blinking in shock at the empty doorway, so he was taken completely by surprise when Malfoy suddenly pushed him onto his back, leaning over him. His big grey eyes were suddenly far, far too close, and they were both still entirely too naked.
“How about an anniversary shower?” Malfoy murmured, leaning down and running his tongue across Harry's collarbone. Harry gasped and arched upwards in surprise.
“Anniversary?” He squeaked.
Malfoy rolled his eyes and smiled. “Yes, I know it's not our anniversary anymore, grumpy.” He trailed kisses along the line of Harry's throat. “But it's been so long since we had a morning to ourselves. I want to enjoy every second until the little monster comes back and demands our undivided attention again.” And then he kissed Harry.
It wasn't a quick, light kiss either. He sucked Harry's lower lip between his own and bit down gently. Harry gasped and then Malfoy's tongue was in his mouth, sweeping across his teeth and tangling with his own. Harry kissed back before he even realised that was what he was doing, moaning at the feel of Malfoy's lips moving against his own, at the slide of his hands down Harry's sides, the little satisfactory humming noise he made deep in his throat. Merlin, could Malfoy kiss. Harry felt completely breathless by the time Malfoy moved away. He smiled down at Harry and brushed his nose across Harry's lightly.
“I'll get the shower warming up, shall I?” He slithered out of bed and stalked across the room, completely unashamed of his nakedness, and disappeared behind another door. Harry sat up again as he heard a shower starting up on the other side of the wall, and he glanced around the unfamiliar room.
“What the fuck,” he said out loud, and thankfully, this time he wasn't interrupted. Of course, this also meant that he didn't get any answers either, and he was stuck in a room he didn't know with a Malfoy who was expecting Harry to join him in the shower and either Harry had hit his head harder than he thought or the entire world had gone mad while he'd been unconscious. He had to get out of here. He had to... Hermione. Yes, Hermione would know what the fuck was going on, he just had to find some clothes...
Harry got out of bed, flushing bright red as yet another twinge reminded him of just what his body thought he'd been up to the night before, and then stopped, disoriented. He had no idea where his clothes were. Maybe there'd be some that would fit in the chest of drawers? He pulled one open tentatively, resolutely not looking at the photo frames scattered across the top. He decided not to think about why his favourite Cannons t shirt was folded up next to several pairs of jeans that looked like they'd fit him perfectly, just pulled out a pair and scrabbled around until he'd found some underwear and some socks and threw them all on.
He was just dropping to his knees to look for some shoes – aha, there they were, shoved under the bed – when Malfoy's voice floated out from the bathroom. “If you've gone back to sleep in there, I won't be held responsible for my actions.”
Harry froze, one trainer on and one off. He didn't have a clue what to say. He pulled on the other shoe and stood up, walking hesitantly over to the open door, as clse as he dared. “Er, I've just remembered, I, er, need to talk to Hermione about something,” he called.
“Er, sorry? I've got to go.” Harry found his wand, laying on the bedside table, and snatched it up, disapparating to Brook Cottage before thinking about it any further. If he had to be within shouting distance of a very naked Malfoy for much longer, Harry thought he might start crying.
Harry found himself standing on the porch of Ron and Hermione's cottage before he remembered that they were still on their honeymoon and wouldn't be there to help him anyway. He was just about to apparate to his flat, when the front door opened. Harry slipped off the top step, startled.
“Harry? What are you doing here, mate?”
Harry whimpered and threw himself at his best friend. He didn't care that Ron was still in his dressing gown and pants, or that he was probably making a right tit out of himself; he was just so glad to see him.
“Er, okay, sure,” Ron said, patting Harry on the back awkwardly. “Not that I'm not pleased to see you, mate, but is there a reason we're hugging on my front doorstep?”
“You're here,” Harry mumbled, then frowned and straightened. “Wait, why are you here, you're meant to be on holiday.”
“I am? That's news to me, to be honest.”
Harry shook his head. “Never mind, you're here now, that's all that matters.” He grabbed a fistful of Ron's dressing gown and shook him slightly. “Something really weird is going on, Ron. I fell, and then I woke up, and Malfoy was there, and he kissed me, and everyone was naked. Well,” he amended, “Ginny wasn't naked, but Malfoy was, and so was I, and there was touching, and kissing, and did I mention the nakedness?”
Ron's eyes had widened under Harry's babbling, his eyebrows slowly raising up towards his hairline. “Hermione!” He yelled, and Harry breathed a sigh of relief, because Hermione would fix everything. “Harry's here, I think it's finally happened!”
As Ron dragged him through the door and into the kitchen, Harry wondered if his two best friends had actually taken bets on when he would finally lose his marbles. He opened his mouth to accuse Ron, but stopped short at the sight of a highchair sitting next to the scrubbed wooden table.
“What is that?” Harry asked, pointing at the highchair.
Ron raised an eyebrow. “That is my son.” He glared Harry into a chair and then sighed. “I realise you're probably a bit confused right now, but there's no need to be rude.” Ron moved off to put the kettle on, and Harry stared warily at the little boy sitting in the highchair. He had porridge in his curly red hair and all over his fingers, and when he grinned at Harry he could see the boy had two little teeth on his bottom jaw.
“Why do these things always happen when it's my turn to lie in?”
Harry turned as Hermione appeared in the kitchen, sleep mussed and yawning. Her hair was shorter than Harry remembered it being last week, pulled back into a low ponytail. She wore an extra ring next to her engagement and wedding rings, Harry noted as she yawned into a fist. Harry vaguely remembered something about wizarding traditions and eternity rings given when a first child was born. He turned to look at the inhabitant of the highchair in shock.
“What is going on?” Harry burst out, startling Ron as he reached out to his new wife with a cup of coffee.
Hermione ran a critical eye over him as Ron cleaned up the spilled drink with his wand. “Well, we knew it was coming,” she said with a shrug, and sank down into a seat next to the highchair. The little boy gurgled at her and she chucked him under his chin. “Unfortunate that it happened this weekend of all dates but, I suppose it can't be helped.”
Harry wondered if he was about to burst into tears. “Look, will someone please tell me what's going on?” He gestured helplessly at the little boy, who was now struggling to wipe his porridge covered fingers all over Hermione's dressing gown. “So far this morning I've had a little girl jump on my bollocks, Ginny and Dean yelling about something called George, and a naked sodding Draco Malfoy trying to snog my face off!” he crumpled over onto the table, hiding his head in his hands. “Is this a dream? Do I need to click my heels together three times?”
Ron snorted above him. “Heels? I'd really rather not know the details to you and Draco's sex life, if you don't mind.”
Sex life? Draco? Oh, God, Harry thought. This is it, I'm about to be admitted to the Janus Thickey ward.
“Don't tease him, Ron, it was bound to be a shock,” Hermione said, and Harry felt the familiar weight of her hand pressing against his shoulder. “Harry, what's the last thing you remember, before you woke up this morning?”
Harry immediately started to calm under Hermione's level and logical tone. Whatever was going on here, Hermione would be able to figure it out and put everything right again. He took a deep breath and lifted his head. “Me and Malfoy were clearing out a cursed house. We started to go down into the basement, and then we tripped, or something, and we fell down the steps. Then, I woke up with a very naked Malfoy pressed against me.” He stressed the part about the nakedness, wanting to make sure they both understood the severity of the situation. To his consternation however, Hermione merely suppressed a smile.
“Okay. Harry, I want you to tell me something: do you trust me?”
“What? Of course I do!”
She smiled and patted his hand. “Good. Then I want you to trust me when I tell you that I can't say too much about what's going on, but that I promise you that everything is going to be okay. Can you do that?”
Harry gaped at her. “I- I don't know. Can you tell me anything?”
Hermione pursed her lips in thought. “I can tell you that there was a spell on the doorway you and Dra- Malfoy walked through, called Brevem Conspectum. It basically translates into a brief glimpse.”
“A brief glimpse at what?”
Hermione tipped her head to the side, wincing when the little boy took the opportunity to grab for her hair. “Let go, Hugo. That, Harry, is something you'll have to figure out for yourself. If I tell you any more, it could change things.”
Harry looked from Hermione to Ron, who shrugged apologetically. “She's right, mate. Sorry. You know we'd help if we could.”
“So, what do I do until I work it out?” Harry asked helplessly.
Hermione stood up, pulling the little boy out of the highchair to balance on her hip. The boy clapped his hands, spraying globs of porridge over the table. “Now, you go back home, and you try not to raise any suspicions. The good news is, Ginny's looking after Lissa for the day, and there's a party at the Burrow tonight, so you won't be alone for too long.” Harry smiled at the thought of Hermione not wanting him to be all by himself, until she continued with, “So you shouldn't mess anything up too badly.”
“So, you're saying I have to go back to Malfoy?” Did you not hear the part about the nakedness?
“Yes, although it might be a good idea for you to call him Draco, just for today.”
Hermione handed the boy over to Ron and steered Harry towards the floo. “Harry, I want you to think about one very important thing: this morning, when you woke up with Draco, when he kissed you, and with the er, the nakedness?”
So she had heard the part about the nakedness.
“Yes,” Harry said slowly.
“Did you like it?”
Harry spluttered, and Hermione used the moment to throw a handful of floo powder into the fireplace. “Harry and Draco's house,” she said into the flames. “Just think about it, okay?” She pushed Harry into the fire, and as he spun away, he heard her call out, “And try not to act too suspicious!”
Harry skidded out of the floo and into a bright, airy, completely unfamiliar room. He brushed the soot from his t shirt and jeans as he looked around, his pulse jumping as he took in what clues the room had to offer him. There was a large wooden toy box in front of the huge windows, the lid pulled half off and toys spilling out onto the floor; a big yellow truck sat next to it, a barbie doll behind the wheel and a My Little Pony in the back; what looked like half a witch's costume stretched over the stomach of a large teddy bear; a rocking horse that had had one of its white patches coloured in a variety of shades. A purple and blue pygmy puff rolled around in a cage on the opposite side of the room, letting out the occasional chirp as it smacked into the bars and reversed course. A dark green leather high back chair sat in one corner, facing out into the room and within easy reach of the bookcases sitting to either side of it. A big screen telly dominated one wall, opposite a comfy looking striped sofa, scattered with mismatched cushions and blankets. A tiny black shoe sat innocuously on one of the cushions.
And everywhere, everywhere, there were pictures.
Everywhere Harry looked, photographic versions of himself and many others waved back at him. He, Ron and Hermione sitting on a bench with scarves wrapped around their necks smiled at him from on top of the dresser; Molly and Arthur grinning down at a small bundle in their arms on the mantelpiece; a photograph of what seemed to have been Ginny's wedding to Dean; Hermione in her wedding dress, scolding Ron for having his mouth full of cake – Harry remembered that one, he'd taken it just over a week ago at their wedding.
And interspersed between all of these were pictures of Harry and Malfoy. Malfoy pulling a face while Harry kissed him messily on the cheek; Malfoy with his arms wrapped around Harry's waist, his chin resting on Harry's shoulder; Malfoy sitting next to Harry on a sofa that was obviously in the Burrow; Malfoy playing with a little girl with long dark hair and wide grey eyes; Malfoy standing next to a hospital bed, staring down at the small baby Harry was holding in his arms.
And then his eyes lighted on a small black frame on the bookshelves, holding a picture of a shy looking Harry with his hands caressing his stomach lovingly. His very round, big stomach.
Harry's hands flew to his own stomach, lifting up his t shirt and running over his taut muscles. What the hell? He hadn't even known that wizards could do that... Okay no, he did know, because Charlie Weasley and his husband Evan had been talking about one of them getting pregnant recently, it's just... he'd never seen it, and now here he was, staring at evidence that he'd done it himself.
Harry sank down onto the sofa, wincing when he landed on the discarded shoe. Okay, he just had to think about this for a minute. What had Hermione said? This was the effects of a spell, and something about a brief glimpse. But what was he briefly glimpsing at? A bad acid trip? Harry didn't think he needed a lesson in responsible drug use. Maybe a look at how his mind would crack if he kept on spending so much time at work? It was true, Harry did work a lot, not leaving much time for a personal life, but he really didn't think that this would be what his frayed mind would conjure up. An alternate universe of some kind? Harry didn't know if such things existed, but if they did, then maybe Hermione's reluctance to tell him much made a bit more sense. Maybe if he learned too much, he wouldn't be able to get back to his own world?
Harry sighed and scrubbed at his face with his hand, pausing when he felt something unfamiliar moving across his skin. He stared at his left hand; on the third finger sat a simple, white gold band.
Harry thought he might be having a heart attack.
Okay no, he just had to take some deep breaths, and think. Wherever Harry was, an alternate universe, a mental breakdown, a massive bonk to the head and a subsequent coma, whatever, clearly things here were very different. He seemed to be married, for a start, and was living in what seemed to be a very beautiful house, and had had a child...
Harry felt light headed.
So, he was married, living in a house rather than a flat, with a child – Lissa? That's what Ginny and Hermione had both called the little girl – and he seemed to be doing all of this with Draco sodding Malfoy.
“Finally decided to grace me with your presense, I see,” Malfoy said behind him, and Harry jumped so hard he slipped off the sofa. Malfoy sneered at him. “I'm so bloody honoured.”
Harry stared at him. Malfoy had put some clothes on by now, and was wearing a pair of deliciously soft looking faded jeans and an untucked white shirt rolled to the elbows. He stared at the place where two of the shirt buttons were undone, showing a hint of skin and the way Malfoy's throat moved as he swallowed.
“Got nothing to say?”
Malfoy stared down at Harry, his grey eyes cold. And a little bit hurt, Harry was surprised to notice. What had Hermione said? Try not to act too suspicious. Right then. Harry cleared his throat.
“Er, sorry. It was work stuff, something important that I forgot to tell Hermione about. I'm back now though. Er, obviously.”
Malfoy snorted delicately and turned away. “Bloody figures,” he mumbled, walking off in the direction of what Harry assumed to be the kitchen.
Harry followed, wracking his brain to come up with a way to fix this. Whoever this Harry was, he had clearly not been expected to go apparating off to his friends this morning, and Harry needed to fix this before anyone noticed he wasn't acting in the right way. “I really am sorry,” he said, rounding the corner into the kitchen and finding Malfoy facing away from him, fiddling with the kettle. “But it was urgent, and it was about work.” Surely this Harry worked too, right? Harry's eyes widened slightly. What if he was a stay at home dad?
Malfoy sighed and turned around to face Harry, leaning back against the counter. “No, I'm sorry. You told me where you were going, and you were gone less than half an hour, it's not a big deal, really.”
“Yeah but, I upset you,” Harry said hesitantly, not believing an apology was really all it took. The Malfoy he knew would be spitting mad at any perceived slight against him.
Malfoy smiled. “I was just really looking forward to spending the whole day with you, that's all.” The kettle whistled and he turned around to begin making two cups of tea. “Work has been busy for both of us recently, and with Lissa waiting for us when we get home every night, it just feels like it's been forever since we've had an entire day to ourselves, you know?”
Harry nodded and accepted the tea Malfoy held out for him. He sipped at it in lieu of replying, and moaned aloud at the taste of it. “Mmm, this is perfect,” he said unthinkingly.
Malfoy snorted. “When is it not?” He raked his gaze over Harry as he drank some of his own tea. “We don't have to be over at the Weasleys for a few more hours. Any idea how you want to spend the time?”
Harry went hot all over at the thoughts that inspired, his brain flashing images from earlier in the morning; sweaty, close, naked images. He cast his mind around for an innocuous activity they could do together without Harry raising too many suspicions. “The telly,” he burst out quickly, watching as Malfoy raised his eyebrows. “We could er, watch a film?”
Malfoy nodded slowly. “An afternoon on the sofa. How could I say no?”
Half an hour later, and Harry was beginning to regret his offer. He sat on one end of the sofa, Malfoy's head in his lap and his hand wrapped around Harry's thigh. The movie Malfoy had picked was set in space, a genre Harry usually loved, but he couldn't concentrate on a single thing happening on the screen. Malfoy had drawn the curtains and left the lights off, and the room was dark and intimate, and he could feel Malfoy's every exhale, hot and damp against his thigh. His hair was soft and smooth between Harry's fingers, and it was only when he realised he'd been rubbing at Malfoy's scalp that he yanked his hand away.
“Why'd you stop?” Malfoy pouted up at him and grabbed Harry's wrist, forcing his hand back to his head. Harry tentatively moved his fingers again, and Malfoy arched his head into it like a cat, a contented humming sound rumbling deep in his throat. It startled a laugh out of Harry; it was just so like his Malfoy.
“Don't laugh at me,” Malfoy said, turning away from the telly and looking up at Harry. His face was now a bit too close to a part of Harry that suddenly seemed rather interested in the new position. Harry held his breath and willed his erection away. Malfoy smirked and edged his face closer to the tell tale bulge in Harry's jeans. “What a perfect way to spend our anniversary.”
“Anniversary of what, exactly?” Harry tried to keep his tone light, teasing rather than clueless. Despite what Hermione had said about him figuring stuff out on his own, Harry needed to know some details if he had any chance of not cocking up.
“Forgotten already?” Malfoy murmured, teasing the edge of Harry's fly with his teeth. Harry sucked in a sharp breath.
“I guess you'll just have to remind me.”
“I suppose I shall.” The film played to itself in the background, forgotten completely as Malfoy slid into a sitting position before swinging over one leg to straddle Harry's thighs. Harry's hands flew to Malfoy's waist on instinct, pulling him in closer and bringing their jeans covered groins into contact. They both hissed at the sudden pressure. “Let's see,” Malfoy whispered, leaning over to suck bruising kisses into the skin of Harry's neck. “Five years and one week ago, you were a ginormous prat and stepped over a spell trigger in an old Death Eater house and fell into the basement.”
Harry wanted to concentrate on the five years ago part of that explanation, but he was having trouble; Malfoy was now moving his hips in maddeningly light circles, sending sparks of white hot pleasure up and down Harry's spine and back to his dick.
“Then,” Malfoy continued, moving to the other side of Harry's neck, “Five years ago yesterday, you woke up from your magical coma and kissed me.”
“I imagine that was somewhat of a surprise,” Harry managed to say. His fingers were clenching and unclenching round Malfoy's waist, and he couldn't seem to make himself stop. Nor could he stop himself from arching into the feel of Malofy's lips against his skin.
Malfoy chuckled. “It was, but considering I had been fantasising about you doing just that for years already, I wasn't too put out by it.”
He ground his hips down onto Harry's erection, and Harry gasped out, “Malfoy!”
Malfoy stopped moving, raising his head and looking down at Harry, a strange look on his face. “Did you just call me Malfoy?”
Oh shit. Hermione had warned him about that. “Sorry,” Harry mumbled quickly. “I was just... er, remembering.”
Malfoy smiled and leaned back in. “I've never forgotten,” he whispered, and then captured Harry's mouth in a searing kiss.
It was all so, so wrong, and mainly because it felt so damn perfect. Harry didn't think he'd ever been kissed the way Malfoy was kissing him now; it was so breath takingly wonderful that Harry's heart broke a little at the thought that it wasn't really meant for him. This Malfoy, this Draco, belonged to a different Harry, one that was used to being kissed like he was the other person's entire world. Draco kissed Harry like he was starved for him; his hand shaking slightly where it was cupped around Harry's cheek, his tongue tentative but desperate at the same time. Harry felt as though he was drowning in it, and it was only the thought that this wasn't his that stopped him from giving himself over to it completely.
Then Hermione's last words came back to him: when you woke up with Draco, when he kissed you, did you like it?
Yes, Harry liked it. He'd thought about it before, if he was honest with himself. When they were out in the field and Harry could see Malfoy's lips moving soundlessly as he traced curse magic back to its source; when they found themselves alone together in a lift or an office; that time he'd seen Malfoy in the Leaky, lips shiny with firewhisky and grey eyes light and open as he gazed over at Harry. He'd thought about crowding Malfoy up against the wall of the lift and slotting their hips together; thought about pulling Malfoy close so that he would know how his mouth felt moving against his skin; thought about sliding his tongue between those damp lips and seeing how they taste...
Five years ago...
If what Malfoy had said was true, then maybe he was in the future? His own future, one that included anniversaries and beautiful houses and even more beautiful little girls and making out on the sofa in front of a film. If that was the case, then it wasn't really wrong, was it?
Malfoy pulled back, trailing his fingers over Harry's cheek. “Still lost in the memory?”
Harry looked up at him and thought fast. If this really was his own future, then he could have this, couldn't he? It wouldn't be like he was stealing something from somebody else, because it was his. It wouldn't be wrong, would it?
“Harry? You okay?” Harry's body made the decision for him, tackling Malfoy back onto the sofa and landing down on top of him. Malfoy chuckled and pulled at Harry's shirt, lifting it up over his head and throwing it across the room. Harry pulled at Malfoy's shirt, snarling when the buttons refused to undo themselves.
“You and your bloody buttons,” he mumbled, smiling slightly because he knew this about Draco, knew he would never stoop to wearing something so simple as a t shirt, even when lounging around the house.
“You like my bloody buttons,” Draco murmured, hugging Harry's hips with his knees and arching his neck so that Harry could latch his mouth onto a newly exposed collarbone.
“I like them better when they're open,” Harry replied, grinning in triumph as the last one yielded to his fumbling fingers and he could finally run his hands over creamy soft skin and taut muscles. Draco lifted up so that Harry could slide the shirt down over his shoulders, the material catching where it was folded to the elbows. Harry didn't bother trying to help him get untangled; he'd already moved on to the fly of Draco's jeans.
Draco laughed. “I know we've spent the last three years rushing this in case Lissa needs something, but she's not here right now, remember. We don't have to go quite so fast.”
“Yes we do,” Harry kissed the words into the skin of Draco's hip, his fingers pulling at the waistband of his jeans. “I need to be inside you, now.”
Draco sucked in a sharp breath and lifted his hips, hands coming down to help Harry wriggle him out of his jeans. “Yeah, that- yeah, yes, please.”
Together they pulled at their jeans, yanking at the stiff fabric and kicking their legs to get free. Harry was nearly thrown off the sofa when Draco bucked his hips up, trying to remove his briefs, and was only saved by Draco grabbing onto his arm just in time. They knocked heads and Harry accidentally kneed Draco in the stomach, getting a sharp elbow dug into his ribs in return.
“We used to be so much better at this,” Draco muttered between chuckles, as they finally extricated themselves from their twists of clothing and limbs.
Harry groaned as their bare cocks came into contact for the first time. “We're going to do this all the time from now on,” he gasped out, sliding a hand in between them and gripping them together loosely.
“Sounds like a fantastic plan.” Draco arched up and turned slightly, one arm disappearing behind the arm of the sofa, appearing again with a small vial held in his fist. “At some point we're going to have to hide these better, before Lissa comes across them by accident.” He handed the vial to Harry. “You said something about being inside me? Because I vote for that happening now.”
Harry uncapped the vial and let the silky liquid slip out into his hand. He got more than he needed in his haste, the substance dripping over the edge of his palm and on to Draco's thighs. Draco groaned and lifted his knees higher, exposing himself even more to Harry's hungry gaze. He stopped for a moment, just to take in the sight before him.
Draco was flushed, a pretty red blooming in his cheeks and down his neck to his chest. His nipples were hard and pebbled, and his stomach rose and fell sharply in anticipation. His legs trembled ever so slightly where they were pressed against Harry's ribs, and his cock was hard and waiting, leaking precome steadily over the trail of pale hair leading down from his belly button. Harry's mouth filled with saliva and he groaned as he leaned down to lick at the pearly white fluid.
“Jesus.” Draco's hips stuttered, the tip of his cock knocking against Harry's chin, and Harry wasted no time in opening his mouth wider and sliding halfway down the length. “You're going to bloody kill me.”
In response, Harry let his hand drift down, his slick fingers tugging at Draco's balls before sliding down to circle his hole. He sucked lightly, flicking his tongue into Draco's slit just as he breached him with one finger, and Draco nearly unseated him again as he bucked into the sensations. Harry opened him up slowly, one finger and then two, scissoring to stretch him further before adding a third. He didn't let up with his mouth the entire time, the taste of Draco on his tongue making his head dizzy and his dick harder than it had ever been before. He didn't stop until Draco started pulling at his hair, forcing his head away.
“I know I said we didn't have to rush,” he panted out, “But if you don't get inside me right now I'm going to come before you even get close.”
Harry whimpered. “Right, yeah, right.”
He pulled his fingers out and used the remaining lube to slick his cock. He slid his hands under Draco's hips and lifted, shuffling closer on his knees to position himself. Draco reached down between them and Harry had to bite his lip to stop himself from coming over the feel of Draco's fingers sliding over him, guiding him until he was pressed against him.
“Come on, come on,” Draco muttered, shifting his hips in Harry's hands and forcing the tip of Harry's cock inside him. “Mmm yes, more, come on, for fuck's sake.”
With Draco's feet wrapped around the backs of his thighs pulling him forwards, Harry slid the rest of the way inside. His eyes rolled back from the pressure, the hot, slick tightness that gripped him and threatened to send him imminently over the edge. Harry leaned down until his forehead was resting against Draco's and stilled, concentrating on his breathing to stave off his orgasm. Draco let out a contented sigh, his breath skimming over Harry's parted lips, and he had to lean in and kiss him. For the first time since waking up that morning – longer even, if he took a moment to really think about it – Harry felt like he was exactly where he was supposed to be.
Draco shifted his hips, sending sparks of white hot pleasure up Harry's spine, and they slowly began to move together. One of Harry's hands slid up until he found Draco's, linking their fingers together, pressing their joined hands into the cushions beneath them. They kept on kissing as they moved, not breaking away even when they needed to breathe, their lips staying connected as they breathed the same air together.
When their breaths began to become more desperate, Draco broke away, arching his head over the armrest. Harry buried his nose in Draco's neck, tongue flicking out and sliding over the tendons, teeth nipping the flushed skin. He let go of Draco's hip and slipped between their sweaty bodies, curling his fingers around Draco's hard and leaking cock, stroking him in time with his thrusts, thumb skipping over the head with every upstroke. Draco let out a keening sound high in the back of his throat, and Harry bit down on his neck as he felt warm liquid shooting over his fingers.
Draco tightened up all around him, clenching down onto him, fingernails leaving half moon grooves in his hand and the back of his neck, heels pressing hard into the back of his thighs, sweet, beautiful pressure where they were joined together. Harry choked back the words he wanted to say and let his orgasm overtake him, rushing over him like a wave and stealing his breath and his vision, until it finally receded and all he could see, all he could taste, all he could feel was Draco.
“Wow,” was all Draco said, as they lay tangled together, Harry slowly slipping out of him with a small rush of warmth. Harry let himself sink down onto the sweaty skin of Draco's chest, his nose rubbing along the fine stubble dotting Draco's jaw. Draco curled his arm around him, the other still keeping their fingers linked. “You didn't say it.”
Harry raised his head. He'd lost his glasses at some point during the removal of his clothes, but he was close enough to see the warm contentedness in Draco's face, the inquisitiveness in his light grey eyes. Harry shifted them both until Draco was resting against the back of the sofa, both of their heads using the armrest as a pillow, legs and arms tangled together. “Didn't say what?” He leaned in for another kiss; he couldn't stop kissing Draco now.
“That you love me,” Draco whispered back. “You always say it, every time.” He slid his fingers lightly through the sweat on Harry's back, making him shiver and press even closer.
“Sorry,” Harry chuckled lightly, not sure what to say. He'd wanted to say it, had almost choked on the words by the end from the effort of holding them back, but it was too soon, and he was in a place where he didn't really belong. “I guess I lost the ability to form words at some point.”
To his relief, Draco just smiled back. “Yeah, that was pretty intense. We should definitely do this more often.”
Harry leaned in to kiss him again – he just couldn't stop – but was interrupted by the arrival of a silvery otter landing in the middle of the room behind him.
“Party's in an hour, boys, don't be late,” Hermione's voice said through the patronus, and the little animal dissolved into silvery mist as it sat cleaning one of its paws.
Harry looked back at Draco. “How about that anniversary shower I ran out on earlier?”
Draco smirked. “I think I could be persuaded.”
After showering – anniversary orgasms included – and dressing, Harry and Draco both Apparated to the Burrow. The party was in full swing, but fortunately for Harry, Hermione was standing at the gates to greet them. As they wandered around to the back garden, Harry managed to pull Hermione aside and whisper in her ear.
“I know you said you can't tell me anything, but can I at least know what this party is for?”
Hermione patted his arm. “It's a joint anniversary party for you two and Ron and I. We do it every year.”
Hermione smiled enigmatically. “You will.”
So he'd been right, Harry realised. This was the future. Or, at least, it was a future. As the Weasley family and all their friends gathered round them in the back garden of the closest place he'd thought of as home outside of Hogwarts, Harry wondered if it was a future he was lucky enough to actually get.
The party was enormous fun; everyone seemed to accept Draco's presence among them without a blink. Lissa had come running out of the house moments after they'd arrived, Ginny running out after her, looking harassed. She'd taken one look at Harry and Draco and heaved a massive sigh of relief. “Good, you're here,” she'd said. “I need a drink big enough to drop a hippogriff, excuse me.” And she'd gone off in a desperate search for alcohol.
All Harry's friends were there; Neville and Hannah, Seamus, Luna, all the Weasley family, including Charlie and Evan and their little boy. There were numerous kids running around, most with shockingly red hair, and Lissa stood out from the crowd with her long waves of messy dark locks. Harry had trouble remembering all the names that Hermione thankfully whispered into his ear whenever he was climbed on or smashed into, but there was so much going on he didn't think it was noticed. It was fun, and Harry realised with a wry grin that fun was something that had been lacking back in his normal life.Maybe his Hermione was right when she nagged him about spending too much time at work.
Evening had fallen around them, and Harry found himself sitting on a bench a little away from everyone else, watching with a confused smile as Draco spun a giggling Molly on the impromptu dancefloor. Something pulled at his leg, and he looked down to see Lissa climbing onto his lap.
“Hey there, ba-” He cut himself off. It felt like instinct to call her 'baby', but he didn't know if that was what future Harry would do. He'd tried to avoid the little girl during the party, because she was so young and he didn't want to inadvertently do anything to upset her. He glanced around for Hermione, but she was occupied by Angelina on the other side of the garden. He turned back to Lissa hesitantly. “Are you having fun?”
The little girl parked herself on his lap and studied him with serious grey eyes. They were a carbon copy of Draco's. “You not daddy,” she said slowly, quietly.
Harry didn't know what to say. He didn't want to say anything that would upset her. But he didn't like to lie either, so he settled on, “No, sorry.”
“Who you?” She asked.
“Er, you can just call me Harry.”
“I Lissa,” she said, patting herself on her chest.
Harry smiled. “Yes, I know. It's a very pretty name.”
Lissa smiled. “It two names.” She held up three fingers, then frowned down at them. She lifted her other hand to force down one of the fingers. “Lily Nar- Narssa.”
Lissa nodded. He couldn't remember seeing any pictures of Mrs Malfoy in the house, and he wondered if something had happened, or if she kept her distance after her son had married a half blood.
“Where daddy go?” Lissa asked, and Harry looked up to see that he huge grey eyes were filled with tears.
“I- I don't know, baby,” he said, letting the endearment fall out as he tried to comfort her. “But he'll be back soon.” He didn't say when; he didn't want to make a promise he might not be able to keep.
“Daddy come back?”
“Yeah, baby, daddy'll come back.”
Lissa smiled and reached up a hand, patting him on the cheek. “You nice.”
“Why thank you, I think you're very nice too,” Harry grinned, giving into the urge to stroke his fingers through her wild hair. It felt just like his own. Lissa curled up on his lap and hummed to herself as he played with her hair, just like Draco had done earlier, and by the time Draco found them, she was fast asleep and drooling on Harry's shirt.
“Good to know she can actually get tired out occasionally,” Draco said, helping Harry stand up with his arms full of sleeping little girl. “Maybe we should ask the Weasleys to host a party every night, just so we can get her to sleep.”
“I think Molly would be perfectly happy to do just that, really,” Harry said with a quiet laugh. “We should probably get her home now though. She's heavier than she looks.”
Together they said quiet goodbyes to everyone, Draco gratefully retrieving George, who turned out to be a huge purple stuffed dragon, from Ginny, and Apparated back home. Draco went to set the wards for the night while Harry walked up the stairs looking for Lissa's bedroom. He found it next to the room he'd woken up in, the corners filled with wobbling stacks of toys and clothes strewn across the floor. He gently laid her down in the My Little Pony covered bed and eased her shoes off. She stirred slightly as he pulled the covers over her, and he stroked her hair to sooth her back down to sleep.
Harry stared down at her, dark waves of hair spread across the pillow, a small smile lifting the corners of her lips, her plump pink cheeks with creases from his shirt, and he wanted. “You're so beautiful,” he murmured.
He got up and went over to the door, but he had to turn around for one last look. “Oh God, I want her,” he whispered, his chest clenching at just the sight of her.
“Well good, maybe we'll keep her,” Draco said from behind him. He smiled when Harry turned to face him. “You'll be happy to know I've repaired the hole in the wards you ripped when you apparated from the bedroom this morning. You're welcome, by the way.”
“Sorry, I wasn't thinking.”
“Something I'm very much used to, believe me.”
Together they entered their bedroom and got undressed, sliding in under the covers. Draco wasted no time in positioning Harry exactly how he wanted him, using his chest as a pillow and hitching his knee over Harry's thighs. “We'll have to think of something nice to buy Ginny as a thank you present,” he said, pulling at Harry's wrist until he began playing with his hair. “I think our little monster really ran her ragged today. Not that that's unusual, she's far too much like you.”
“Hey,” Harry pulled his hair, affronted.
“It's probably because you carried her; she learned to be reckless and to jump before she looks before she was even born.” Draco drew circles on the skin of Harry's chest as he spoke, his shoulders tensing slightly. “Maybe next time, it should be me.”
Harry's heart beat wildly in his chest. “Next time?”
Draco shrugged, but Harry could tell that he was nervous. “We don't have to. But it might be nice for Lissa to have a sibling.”
The image unfolded before Harry's eyes, and they burned with unshed tears. In this future, he had everything he'd ever dreamed of, a partner, a home, a family, and he wanted it all so goddamned much it hurt.
“I think that would be nice,” he said eventually, when he thought he could keep his voice even.
Draco raised his head to look at him, his grey eyes hopeful. “Yeah?”
“Yeah.” Harry kissed him, putting all the words he couldn't say into the kiss; how much he wanted this, how sorry it was that this wasn't real, how he would give anything to be able to stay and make this his. When they parted, Draco snuggled back down onto Harry's chest, and Harry let the sound of Draco's even breathing send him off to sleep, wishing with all his heart that he could do it every night.
The first thing Harry became aware of was the smell; disinfectant and lemons. Then he heard the tell-tale subtle beeping and he knew exactly where he was. He'd been hurt on the job many times only to awaken again to the sounds of medical observation charms and the scent of freshly scrubbed rooms in St Mungos.
He didn't open his eyes straight away – he wanted to stay in the dream he'd been having for as long as he could. Eventually though, he knew he'd have to face reality and he slowly blinked his eyes open, taking in the familiar view of a hospital room ceiling above him. He swallowed his disappointment and lifted his right hand to scrub at his face – his left was encased in something warm, and he wondered if he'd done enough damage to warrant a stronger healing charm on it. He didn't look; he knew he'd be okay eventually, and he didn't need to see whatever had been done to him.
“Harry, thank goodness you're finally awake!”
Harry turned to find Hermione sitting on his right, holding his glasses out to him. He took them, and she came further into focus. Her hair was longer again, pulled back in a messy plait, and she looked tired. Books and parchment covered her lap, tucked down the sides of her chair and spread across the bottom of his bed.
“What are you doing here, you're meant to be on honeymoon.”
She snorted quietly. “Please, you've been unconscious for a week, did you really think Ron and I wouldn't come back to be with you?”
Hermione nodded. “Ron and I got a message from Kingsley four days ago. I've been researching ever since, but we couldn't find a way to wake you.” She frowned. “I actually haven't been of much use, to be honest.”
“What happened?” Harry asked.
“You triggered a spell, a really old one. Malfoy managed to get you here, but nobody could work out why you weren't waking up.”
Harry started at the name and tried to sit up. “Draco? Is he okay?”
Hermione gave him a speculative look, and nodded her head at the other side of the bed. Harry looked over, and found Draco sitting next to him. He was fast asleep, his head resting on the bed next to Harry's hip, his right hand curled tightly around Harry's left.
“He did all of the work, all I've done is sit here reading these completely useless books.” Hermione snapped the one on her lap shut, startling Harry. “When he hasn't been here, he's been in the Ministry library, trying to work out where you went and how we could bring you back.”
“Where I went?” Harry was confused; he'd been here in the hospital, hadn't he?
Hermione nodded. “It was the spell, Harry. It's very old, so old there aren't many mentions of it anywhere. It's called brevem conspectum, and as far as we could work out, it means a brief glimpse. Malfoy managed to work out that it transfers your conscience somewhere, but that's as far as we got, I'm afraid.” She reached out and grabbed his wrist, and when Harry looked up he could see her brown eyes were filled with tears. “I'm so glad you came back. I really though we might have lost you this time.”
Harry opened his mouth to respond, but was interrupted by a slight squeeze of his hand. He turned, and watched as Draco slowly blinked his eyes open. He stared up at Harry, his grey eyes wide and open in a way Harry had only seen in his dream.
Or was it a dream?
“You're awake,” Draco said, his voice rasping. He coughed, and Harry could see the shutters coming down, hiding his emotions behind the cool mask he presented to everyone else. A sharp pang sliced through Harry's chest. Draco sat up properly and removed his hand, and Harry wanted to reach out and drag him in again. “I should let the two of you talk,” he said, standing up swiftly and moving towards the door.
“Don't leave,” Harry called after him. Draco turned back and looked at him. “Please?”
Draco stared at him for a moment, then nodded. “I'll just... get us a hot drink.” He left the room, and Harry missed him immediately.
Hermione looked at him consideringly for a moment, and then nodded to herself. She picked up a piece of parchment and a quill. “Now that you're awake, maybe you can give us some inside as to where you were sent. It's very important, others might stumble over-”
“It was the future,” Harry interrupted her, closing his eyes and trying to remember the exact feel of Draco's skin against his, the sound of Lissa's giggle, watching his entire family gathered together in celebration. “Or at least, it was a future.”
“The future? How can you be sure?” Her voice was hushed, but Harry could tell she was skeptical; Hermione had never put much stock in the area of Divination.
“Because you told me.” Harry smiled. “Or, you will tell me, in a few years from now.” He grinned and squeezed her wrist. “I don't need to tell you any more, because I know you and I know you'll research this to death-” she scoffed, and Harry raised an eyebrow. “And I know you'll steer me in the right direction when the time comes.”
Hermione's face crumpled slightly, and she threw herself out of her chair and wrapped her arms around Harry. “I am so glad you're back,” she whispered into his neck.
“Me too.” He gave her a pat on the back and pushed her away slightly. When he looked up, Draco was standing in the doorway, two cups of tea in his hands. “Now go and tell Ron that I'm okay and get some sleep, you look knackered.”
Hermione laughed. “You're so full of charm, but you're right. I'll bring Ron to see you a bit later.” She gathered up her books and stowed them away in her bag, smiling slightly at Draco as she passed him.
Draco sat back down and held out one of the cups of tea. “You're really very lucky to have a friend like Granger.” He frowned. “Or, Granger-Weasley, I should say now.”
“According to her, I'm lucky to have you, too,” Harry replied. He took a sip of his tea. “Mmm, perfect.”
Draco's lips curled upwards in a small smile, but he shook his head. “I was the one who let you step through that doorway.”
“And then you divided your time between being here with me and looking for a way to cure me,” Harry said firmly. “So, like I said, I'm lucky to have you, Draco.”
Draco looked up at him, shock in his grey eyes. “Since when have you called me Draco?”
Harry realised his mistake, but then abruptly decided that it wasn't a mistake at all. “Since I decided that I like you, and I want to get to know you better.”
“You would like us to be friends?” Draco asked, hopefulness in his tone.
“No,” Harry said, and he watched as Draco's expression closed up again and his eyes dipped away. He remembered what future Draco had told him, the anniversary they had spent together, and Harry realised that if he wanted a chance for that future to come true, there was something he needed to do. He reached out and curled his fingers in Draco's collar, pulling him closer. “I want more than that,” he said, and kissed him.
It was just like their kiss on the sofa in the future; hot and sweet and perfect, Draco's fingers trembling as he lifted his hand to tentatively cup Harry's cheek, his tongue hesitant against Harry's own, until Harry deepened the kiss and his instincts kicked in. Something clicked inside Harry's chest and he whimpered into Draco's mouth, wanting more, wanting it all, and hopeful that he'd get it.
A brief glimpse wasn't enough for Harry, not anymore. He wanted everything, and now that he knew what everything looked like, he was going to move heaven and earth to make sure that he got it.