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the trembling of the moment

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photograph of lake titicaca at mid-sunset

The surface of the lake is streaked with red and pink, reflecting the sky. Draco sits on the edge of the stone steps, one foot dangling, the other knee propped up with a board and a sheet of paper.

“Dad!” Scorpius calls, waving what looks like a shell. “Look!”

“Very interesting!” Draco calls back. Scorpius puts the shell in his bucket and continues along the shore, under Draco’s careful eye.

Dear Luna, Draco writes. The nib scratches on the paper, and he tilts the pen. He’s not sure what to say—his life is by no means empty, but all the small occurrences are part of his daily rhythm. Luna would shake her head at him for these thoughts, he’s sure. She always says that life is constructed from all the tiny moments, strung together.

You are often curious about my work, so you may be interested in my new project. I’ll be narrating some poetry by a Spanish writer, Frederico García Lorca. I’m not sure if you’ve heard of him.

Draco looks up to see that Scorpius, apparently tiring of the shells, has abandoned the bucket in the sand. Scorpius has been particularly energetic of late, and Draco is feeling a little frayed at the edges.

“Scorpius,” he calls, setting the letter aside. “What happened to your shells?”

Scorpius glances up from the edge of the water, closer to the cold waves than Draco would like.

“Let’s go swimming!” he exclaims, waving at the lake. Draco smiles despite himself.

“It’s too cold, Scorpius,” he explains. Scorpius frowns in clear disappointment, despite the chilly breeze ruffling his pale hair.

“Use a charm,” he says, pointing to Draco’s wand, which he wears in a sleeve holster.

Draco shakes his head. “No, Scorpius,” he says gently, stepping across the pebbly shore to retrieve the bucket of shells. “Why don’t you come along, and I’ll show you the tops I’ve been saving.” Luna sent a particularly clever pair of magical tops from one of her recent trips along with the latest letter, and Draco has kept them in reserve for a day like this.

“Okay,” Scorpius says, relenting as he picks his way back towards the steps. He perks up when he sees the bright colours and trails of sparks. “Oh!” he exclaims, plopping down on the steps. Draco smiles, resuming his letter.

García Lorca was killed in the Spanish Civil War. It does bring up memories of our childhood; I’m not sure if I took on this project because of, or despite, the connection. I guess, in a small way, it feels like atonement, even if it’s not my war.

Draco sighs, staring out over the water. The sun has sunk lower, the last curve barely peeking above the horizon. He’s been thinking about the war again, not that he ever forgets it completely. Though he’s far from England, the distance is inconsequential.

Scorpius laughs, delighted with the new toy, and Draco watches him, so full of love and yet somehow so alone with the responsibility of raising his son. Sometimes, the thought is daunting.

On a related, yet unrelated note, I’ve been thinking about working on my Patronus Charm. Do you have any advice?

Draco is planning to start Friday early with a solid pre-breakfast recording session, but Scorpius wakes up teary after a nightmare and can’t be consoled. Draco glances at the sky outside the window, barely tempered with grey.

“Shh,” he hums into his son’s soft hair. “Everything is okay.” Scorpius sniffles into the shoulder of his pyjamas, and clings closer. They sit like that for a while. Though he wishes Scorpius hadn’t had a nightmare, Draco revels in the feeling of being able to wrap him up in his arms like this. At three, Scorpius is usually too squirmy for prolonged cuddles, something Draco misses from his infancy.

Scorpius surprises them both when his stomach rumbles, looking so startled that Draco laughs.

“It’s a monster,” Scorpius says. He lifts his head, rubbing away the traces of tears. Draco thinks about his carefully-planned schedule for a brief moment before setting it aside.

“Do you want to go to the market for breakfast?” he asks. The words are barely out of his mouth before Scorpius is bubbling over with delight, slipping off of Draco’s lap and tugging him along to the chest of drawers.

photo of liquado and fruit salad vendor stand in sucre market

The Mercado Central is always busy, even at six in the morning. Draco usually has to remind Scorpius that he needs to hold his hand in the crowd, but Scorpius is still a little clingy and opts to be carried instead.

“Do you want fruit salad or pasteles?” he asks, as they approach the liquado and fruit salad stalls on the main floor. Scorpius tilts his head in consideration.

“Pasteles,” he decides, looking determined. “With cheese. And I want api too.” Draco nods, shivering slightly as a cold breeze ruffles his hair. He’d like a warm drink as well.

They settle down at a vendor’s table. Draco has just placed their order when he spots the last person he’d expect to see at breakfast in Sucre—

“Malfoy?” Harry Potter says, standing only a few steps away. He looks as shocked as Draco feels.

“Daddy?” Scorpius asks, tapping on Draco’s arm. “Daddy, the food.” Draco glances up to thank the vendor but is quick to look back at Potter. He’s still standing next to the table, apparently at a loss for words. Draco hasn’t seen him in—he’s not even sure. Probably years.

“Hello Potter,” Draco says, trying to find his footing and settling on old ingrained habits. “Would you care to join us for breakfast?” Potter looks conflicted, and Draco is just about to let him off with a polite nothing when Scorpius interrupts.

“It’s delicious!” he says, exhaling a puff of powdered sugar as he takes another bite of his pastel, then politely wipes his fingers with the serviette, forgetting his sugar-smeared mouth. Potter’s expression softens into a smile, even as Draco leans over to wipe the sugar off Scorpius’ cheeks.

“Thanks,” Potter says, sliding into the chair across from them. “What are you having?”

“Pasteles and api!” Scorpius explains, expression serious, as Draco orders a pastel and mug of api for Potter. “Since it’s cold. When it was warmer, we had fruit salad downstairs.”

“That sounds good,” Potter says, smiling. “I haven’t been here before, so thanks for your advice.” He glances back at Draco, probably curious as to why he’s here. Draco is equally interested.

“What brings you to Sucre, Potter?” he asks, wrapping his fingers around the warm cup. “I thought you were with the Aurors?”

Potter laughs ruefully, shaking his head. “Please call me Harry,” he says. “And no. That didn’t—” He stops, then continues after a quick breath. “I’m with the Magpies.” He looks embarrassed, and Draco can’t help but laugh.

“Only the most successful team in the League,” he says. Harry runs a hand over his face, and Draco backtracks. He’s not a spoiled teenager anymore; he knows when to change the subject. “Then you must call me Draco,” he says, turning slightly to rest a hand on Scorpius’ back. “And this is my son, Scorpius.”

“Hello, Scorpius,” Harry says. He reaches across the table to shake Scorpius’ hand, even though it must be sticky with powdered sugar. Draco is impressed.

They’re interrupted then by the arrival of Harry’s breakfast, and Scorpius laughs when Harry manages to get powdered sugar all over his face when he takes the first bite.

“It must be the offseason?” Draco asks Harry after swallowing a sip of api.

“Yes,” Harry says, sounding reluctant. He glances down at his plate, tearing off a small morsel, but doesn’t lift it to his mouth. “I’ve actually been thinking about making a change.” His expression, when he looks up to meet Draco’s gaze, is determined.

“It’s a good place for that,” Draco says. Harry takes the proffered change of topics eagerly, gesturing with his hand even as he pops the piece of pastel into his mouth and swallows.

“But what are you doing here?” Harry’s arm sweeps out to include the second floor of the building, and likely the country by extension. “You’re the last person I’d have expected to stumble across on the other side of the world.”

“We came for breakfast,” Scorpius pipes up helpfully, completely missing the point of the question. Draco swallows his laughter, but can’t hide his smile.

“That’s right, Scorpius,” he agrees. “We live in Copacabana right now, but we sometimes come to Sucre for breakfast.”

“And...?” Harry glances towards Scorpius, a curious expression on his face. It takes Draco a moment to understand what Harry isn’t asking.

“It’s just us,” Draco says. His hand rises again to rest at the centre of Scorpius’ back, Scorpius glances up, checking in, but goes back to eating. “Astoria Greengrass was kind enough to be a donor, and I used a surrogate.” It’s been a while since Draco’s had to explain, but he’s used to it. Instead, it’s Harry who looks embarrassed. Draco is honestly curious, so he decides to push his luck.

“And you?” he asks, taking the last sip of his api. “Ginevra Weasley?”

Harry looks uncomfortable but not offended. “We didn’t work out, but that was years ago,” he says. “She’s with the Harpies, so we get to play sometimes now.”

“I want to see Quidditch!” Scorpius says, turning to Draco with sticky fingers raised. Draco does his best with the serviettes—a charm will have to wait until they’re not in public.

“Have you been flying?” Harry asks. Draco falters for a moment—he hasn’t really had the opportunity, and Scorpius is still so young, but—

“Yes!” Scorpius says, beaming with delight. “Daddy and I went on the plane.” Harry looks startled, which makes Draco feel oddly pleased.

“We’re regular globetrotters,” Draco says, getting to his feet. Now that they’re finished eating, it would be rude to linger at the vendor’s table. He hands over a few Bolivianos after asking for the cost, and thanks the woman politely. Harry steps forward, but Draco waves him away.

“It was nice to see you,” he says, though to be honest, he’s feeling more scrambled as the surprise wears off. Harry looks embarrassed but nods in thanks. Draco is grateful that he’s not protesting.

“¡Hasta luego!” Scorpius says proudly, waving goodbye to the vendor. His pronunciation is already better than Draco’s.

Draco looks across towards Harry, who meets his gaze. His expression is opaque; Draco’s not sure what Harry is thinking. “I hope you have a relaxing holiday,” he finally offers. “Perhaps we’ll see you again.”

“Bye-bye!” Scorpius calls, tugging Draco’s sleeve, and he’s relieved to have a reason to turn and walk away.

photo of a storefront in sucre

The weather is nice for mid-June, the sun bright on the white walls of the city buildings. Draco decides not to Apparate them home, and he and Scorpius go for a walk around the plaza instead, then meander off to walk along the pavement. Scorpius manages to convince Draco to stop by Chocolates Para Tí, and they pour over the bonbons to create an assorted box.

“For later,” Draco cautions, and Scorpius nods enthusiastically.

“For later!” he agrees. They walk along the streets for a while, enjoying the weather and stopping in at small shops. They’ve just stepped out of a small stationery store, new pen tucked into Draco’s pocket, when Scorpius tugs on his arm.

“I’m hungry,” he says. Draco glances up at the sun, surprised to find it nearly overhead. Scorpius must be tired as well—they’ve been walking almost the whole morning, even if at a slow pace.

“Do you want to go home?” he asks, swinging Scorpius up onto his hip. Scorpius looks momentarily pensive, then shakes his head.

“I want pancakes!” he says. Draco smiles—they’ve always referred to crepes as pancakes between the two of them. He’s not sure how it started, but he’s happy to keep the small tradition going.

“Can you wait just a bit longer?” he asks, tilting his head in the direction of the hill, up towards La Recoleta. Scorpius beams. By the time they arrive at the café off the plaza, Draco is rather warm from the exertion. Still, he can’t bring himself to regret the suggestion. He's grateful it's already late autumn, the heat of high summer merely a fading memory.

The café is terraced on the side of the hill, entrance near the top. Draco’s still catching his breath by the gate when Scorpius takes off running.

“Scorpius!” Draco calls, startled. Scorpius tends to be shy and hasn’t ever done anything like this before. He murmurs a quick apology to the café employee and quickly follows, only to be brought up short at the sight of Harry, already seated at a table.

“H-Harry,” he stutters, taking a breath. Harry looks equally surprised, but not displeased. Draco wonders for a split second if Harry is lonely, but quickly shakes the thought away.

“Harry!” Scorpius echoes, scrambling up into the seat next to him. “You came for pancakes too!”

“I was passing by and decided to stop,” Harry says, gesturing for Draco to sit down. “I didn’t realise they have pancakes.”

“They’re actually crepes,” Draco explains, taking a seat. “We just call them pancakes.” Harry smiles at him before leaning down to look at the menu Scorpius is showing him, and Draco feels—he’s not sure what he feels. Rather than pursue that line of thought, he busies himself with his copy of the menu.

Once their orders arrive, Scorpius occupies himself with deconstructing the carefully assembled crepe with strawberries, chocolate sauce, and ice cream. Draco cuts a bite of his omelette, then glances up to meet Harry’s thoughtful gaze.

“I have to admit I’m curious,” Harry says, looping a noodle around the tines of his fork but not lifting it to his mouth. “You know what I do, but I don’t know what you’ve been doing, or even why you’re here.” As soon as he’s finished the sentence, he stuffs the forkful of pasta into his mouth, perhaps to keep himself from saying anything else. Draco hides a smile.

“I did my NEWTs at Beauxbatons at my mother’s insistence,” he says, frowning into his cup of coffee. “And then I—” he gestures with his fingers at nothing in particular. “Mother wanted me to get married, have a child, take over the estate, and I—” He swallows, glancing over at Scorpius, who is thankfully engrossed in his chocolate sauce. It’s so strange, to have Harry here, so far away from the past, and yet so close. It feels like he could say anything, and it wouldn’t even matter. “I don’t like people that way. I travelled, for a while, and then compromised.” There’s a ringing metallic sound, and Draco straightens, startled; the tines of his fork have dropped enough to hit the porcelain of his plate. Draco blinks, glancing back up. Harry’s expression is impossible to read.

“Mother assumed that my compromise meant that she would get what she wanted, so I left instead. Astoria is just a friend—she doesn’t mind.” Scorpius glances up when he hears the name and grins.

“We’ll call Astoria soon, right?” he says, mouth smeared with chocolate. Draco leans across to dab at his face with a serviette.

“That’s right,” he says. “And you have lots to tell her, right?”

“Yes!” Scorpius says, returning to his plate. The ice cream is soft by now, and he uses the fork to scoop some into his mouth. Draco stifles a sigh and lets him continue.

“But what do you do?” Harry says, drawing his attention back to the conversation. “Or do you just travel?” His plate is almost empty, whereas Draco still has half an omelette left. He’s still a little full from breakfast.

“Oh,” Draco says, feeling embarrassed. Here Harry had asked him about his job, and Draco had gone on about his family history. At least Harry doesn’t look annoyed, just curious.

“I narrate audiobooks,” he says. Harry looks confused, so Draco explains. “You know, books on tape. Mostly for non-magical books, though Luna has gotten me involved in a few projects as well. It’s easy to do from wherever I am, and I find it relaxing.”

“You read Muggle books?” Harry says, voice raised slightly in surprise, then flushes in embarrassment. Luckily, if anyone is listening to the conversation, they’ll probably chalk it up to eccentric tourists.

“I prefer to use the term non-magical, rather than something that feels too much like a slur,” Draco says, voice slightly hushed, “but yes, I do.” He lifts an eyebrow, daring Harry to comment, but Harry just nods, sitting back. His plate is empty. Draco cuts another bite of omelette but leaves it on his plate. Scorpius is still eating, though he’ll probably be done soon.

“I’m sorry,” Harry says, breaking into his thoughts. “I probably shouldn’t have assumed.”

Draco sighs. “I understand,” he says. “We haven’t seen each other in years, and I expect we’ve both changed a lot.” Harry nods, reaching for his cup. Draco takes another sip of coffee and reorganises his thoughts. Scorpius hasn’t had any of his water yet, so Draco sets it at his left hand as a reminder, before glancing back up.

“Where are you staying?” Draco asks. Now that they’ve met twice, it feels less nosy.

Harry looks sheepish. “The hotel I had a reservation with made a booking error, so I’m trying to find something else.” Draco wonders if Harry’s realised yet that last-minute hotel bookings in Sucre can be hard to find. The offer is slipping out of his mouth before he has a chance to stop himself.

“We rent a house in Copacabana,” he says, fingers twisting nervously in his lap. “You could stay with us if you like.”

Harry’s expression is so shocked that Draco’s already scrambling to rescind the offer, smooth over the imposition, when Scorpius interrupts.

“You can stay in the extra room,” he says, reaching over to pat Harry’s hand. “The bed is comfy because I’ve jumped on it.” Harry laughs, breaking the tension, and nods.

“Thank you,” he says to Scorpius, then turns to meet Draco’s gaze. “I appreciate it.”

In the evening, after tucking Scorpius into bed, Draco goes back down the steps to the kitchen and dining area, where he’s surprised to find Harry flipping through his papers. He’s used to the shorter evenings here, the longer period of dusk and dark that’s not quite night proper, yet it still sometimes takes him by surprise. Instead of turning on the light, Harry’s cast a Wand-Lighting Charm, and the glow feels out of place in this space.

“Oh,” Harry says, fingers fluttering as the papers slip back down to the tabletop. He doesn’t look embarrassed though, just flustered.

Draco gives himself a moment by flicking on the lights. The fluorescent bulbs are cool and snap the room back into familiarity.

“Interesting?” he asks, taking a cup from the sideboard and pouring cooled tea from the pot. Across the table, Harry murmurs a muffled, “Nox”—the warm glow disappears, and Draco is almost disappointed. He sets the feeling aside, though, and sits down.

“I wish I knew Spanish,” Harry murmurs, gesturing to the words on the page. “I can’t tell if the translation holds up.” The words are upside-down, letters small, but Draco has a pretty good idea of the contents.

“I’m not a native speaker,” he says, rolling the words around in his head, “but I think the sentiment comes across.”

Sean para ti
Mi corazón,

Draco thinks about the words out of context, about the person sitting across the table from him, here in this house. About the years between them.

“He must have loved his mother a lot,” Harry says, bringing Draco back to the conversation. “Lorca, I mean.” Harry’s face is slightly flushed, as though he’s embarrassed. Draco’s not sure why.

“Do you…your mother…?” Harry’s voice trails off, as though he regrets broaching the subject. His fingers curl around the page, stopping just short of creasing the paper. Draco muses that he should probably get a tablet.

“It’s complicated,” Draco says, taking a sip of cold tea. “She’s—” He stops, sets the cup down on the coaster. Across the table, under the cool lights, Harry’s expression is almost painfully detached.

“Scorpius is more important than anything or anyone else,” Draco finally says. The words catch in his throat with too much emotion. “I know my mother loves me, but I don’t understand how she could make some of the choices she’s made.” He closes his mouth, rests his chin on his elbow. It’s frankly shocking how much his table manners have deteriorated.

Harry doesn’t say anything. Draco looks up and catches his eye, the faint nod of his chin. Mothers are a tricky subject—maybe he should have—

“…saltarás de un lucero a otro2,” Harry reads. His pronunciation is muddled, but Draco understands. His mother is still here. Harry’s is not.

“I’m sure,” he says, voice hushed in the dark. Harry nods, setting the papers back down on the desk.

“Can I have some tea?” he asks, and Draco feels relieved, and yet off-kilter.

“Of course,” he replies, and stands to fetch another cup.

photo of lake titicaca during daytime

“Yes! Yes! Yes!” Scorpius bounces down the hall towards the lounge where Draco is arranging wood in the hearth.

Incendio,” he casts. Fire blooms, then settles into a cheerful flickering.

“It’s rare to find a house with a fireplace here,” he tells a bemused Harry, sitting on the sofa. “But it’s nice to be able to keep in touch.”

Harry nods. “Should I—?” He gestures toward the hallway.

“No!” Scorpius says, shaking his head. He detours over to pat Harry’s knee before settling on the cushion set before the hearth. “You should say hello to Astoria too.”

Draco gets the container of Floo powder and tosses a pinch into the flames, stating Astoria’s address. It’s always a hassle to get an international connection set up, and he never bothered before he had Scorpius. However, even though Astoria isn’t legally Scorpius’ mother, Draco wants him to have a connection to her. She’s a wonderfully kind person and Draco’s grateful to be able to call her a friend.

“Hello Astoria!” Scorpius calls, waving at her figure in the flames.

“Hello my dear,” she replies, waving back, then glances up to Draco as he retreats to sit on the sofa next to Harry. “Hello Draco. And…is that Harry Potter?”

“He’s staying with us,” Scorpius explains. “I told him to.” Startled, Draco laughs, shaking his head when Astoria glances toward him.

“No coercion was involved,” Harry says, a little awkward as he waves. “They were kind enough to have me.” He smiles over at Scorpius while Astoria gives Draco a calculated glance. He’s not looking forward to receiving a well-meaning but ultimately uncomfortable letter from her.

photo of the tiwanaku semi-subterranean temple

Draco had asked Harry earlier if he had any plans, but Harry had shrugged and replied that he just needed to get away, and would be happy to do anything, or just sit on the sofa and rest. Draco has decided to take him at his word. If Harry is bored, he’s certainly welcome to wander Copacabana by himself or Apparate to any other place in the country.

In the afternoon, he uses Side-Along Apparition to take both Scorpius and Harry to Tiwanaku. He’s out of practice taking two people along, but luckily Tiwanaku isn’t very far, and Harry will be able to Apparate himself back to the house.

Scorpius busies himself running along the walls, crunching and silent by turns as he crosses gravel and grassy patches. It’s chilly today, which is probably why it’s quiet. Draco stands near the centre of the semi-subterranean temple, keeping an eye on Scorpius as he breathes in the fresh air. Harry stands next to him, taking in the surroundings.

“I just—wow,” he says. “Luna took me to Stonehenge once, but—”

“Luna was the one who suggested Bolivia,” Draco says. Despite the chill, the sun is warm on his face as he closes his eyes. “I think she was here as part of a dig or something.”

“That makes sense,” Harry says. “She’s always so busy.” He shifts his feet, the gravel crunching. “Do you talk to her much? It’s only—she doesn’t mention you.”

Draco smiles, tilting his head back down to look at Harry. “Luna is very good at keeping confidences,” he says. “She’s the best.”

Harry nods decisively. “Just before I left, she asked me for advice on Patronus Charms, since she wanted to help a friend.”

Draco can’t help it; he starts at the mention, and a grin spreads across Harry’s face. “That was you!” he says. Draco can feel his face heat in embarrassment, but he tries to ignore it.

“I never managed to learn,” he admits. “I think I’d like to try again, though.”

Across the semi-subterranean temple, Scorpius is climbing the steps towards one of the entrances.

“Please remember to stay where I can see you,” Draco calls. Scorpius nods, waving distractedly as he crouches down to peer at a crack in the stone.

“I could teach you,” Harry says, tone offhanded, but when Draco glances back, he can see that Harry is biting his lip. Is he nervous?

“Don’t you have to be back for training camp?” he asks, instead of commenting. “I doubt I’ll master the charm in a couple of days.”

Harry looks away, over the stone wall at the clouds softening the stark sky.

“Don’t worry about it,” he says.

photo of laguna colorada

It’s been—it’s been days now, almost two weeks since Harry’s been staying with them. He sleeps in the extra bedroom that is now Harry’s bedroom, he trades off reading a bedtime story to Scorpius, and he even watches Scorpius sometimes when Draco is recording. In the evenings, after Scorpius has gone to sleep, they sit in the lounge and talk about everything and nothing in particular, except for what Harry is planning. They’ve worked sporadically on his Patronus, but he hasn’t made much progress, and Harry doesn’t seem to be in a rush.

Draco doesn’t want to say anything.

Draco can’t bear not to know.

They’ve continued to do some sight-seeing in between, both because Draco does want to see these different places with Scorpius, but also because it makes an excellent justification in his head for why Harry is still here. The highlands alone are full of places to see and things to do, and they haven’t even made it to the rest of the country yet.

They’ve Apparated out to Laguna Colorada today, even though it’s cold, with a brisk wind whipping the strands of hair around Draco’s face. He’s slathered Scorpius with a Sun-Blocking Potion, despite his complaints, since the atmosphere is thin here at such a high altitude. Scorpius seems to have forgotten all about his disgruntlement though—he’s bouncing along the rocky shore, waving at the flamingos.

Draco is perched on a rock, gloved hands tucked into his pockets, nose burrowed in his alpaca-wool scarf.

“You look cosy,” Harry laughs. His cheeks are pink with the wind, eyes bright. Draco grumbles about the cold, but he doesn’t really mind. He’d rather be here.

“I can’t believe that someplace like this exists,” Harry says, facing out at the pink-hued water. According to Draco’s neighbour, doña Florencia, windy days are the best time to come, since the wind stirs up the minerals that colour the lake. “I’ve always associated flamingos with tropical climates. They seem so out of place here, and yet they belong.” He bends to pick up a rock, running his thumb over the wind-smoothed texture.

“The world is a wide and wonderful place,” Draco says. “It doesn’t need magic to be that way.”

Scorpius is laughing, and the flamingos are far enough from the shore that they remain undisturbed. Draco glances back to find Harry looking at him, unblinking.

“Is there something on my face?” Draco says, feeling off-kilter.

“Can I ask you a question?” Harry asks, instead of replying. Draco nods, heart racing. Harry might be about to say goodbye.

“I apologise if this is too personal,” Harry says. Draco’s breath catches—is Harry going to ask about his father? He doesn’t—he doesn’t want to talk about Lucius at all. Ever. “Are you asexual?”

Draco just—stops. The moment hangs in the air around him, time heavy as it clings to his limbs.

“I—” he begins, but he’s not sure what to say. Has Luna—? But she wouldn’t. Out of habit, he checks Scorpius in his peripheral vision. Still okay.

“I’m sorry,” Harry blurts out. “I just—I remembered talking to Hermione, and I’ve just—I’ve been trying to figure you out. I just—” He stops, cheeks flushed. Draco reminds himself to keep breathing.

“I want to figure you out,” Harry says, voice almost lost in the wind. “I want to stay.”

They’re interrupted by Scorpius, running up to plop himself into Harry’s lap, and reaching over to pat Harry’s arm.

“Hot chocolate now, please,” he says, and then looks confused when both Draco and Harry laugh.

photograph of lake titicaca at late sunset

Later, that evening, Draco stands at the shore of Lake Titicaca, watching the sunset. He’s been thinking about poetry these days, with the García Lorca narration project, and about García Lorca’s inspirations. One of them is Issa, and a particular haiku comes to mind.


Back in the house, Harry is reading a bedtime story to Scorpius and tucking him into bed.

“Yes,” Draco tells the lake and sky and stars emerging in the dimming sky. “Yes.”

One Year Later

Draco wakes up early, stretching across the crumpled sheets. His arm meets no resistance—it looks like Harry must be awake already. He blinks, feeling slightly disgruntled. It’s been a long time since they’ve been able to indulge in a lie-in together.

Slowly, the sounds of the day drift in through the open window—a bird calling, and then the peal of Scorpius’ laughter. Draco smiles to himself. Despite his misgivings, Harry has purchased a toy broom with the justification that Teddy was flying at four and a half. Draco’s still not convinced, but he trusts Harry with his son’s safety. Our son, his traitorous mind whispers.

Pulling a dressing gown over his pyjamas, Draco slips his feet into the slippers by the side of the bed and heads down the steps to the kitchen. After years living in more modest houses, the distance between rooms in Number 12 Grimmauld Place is ridiculous. Somehow he doesn’t mind it today. Each step is a quiet reminder of time, and space, and all the things for which he is grateful.

Kreacher has left a cafetière on the counter, cup at its side, but Draco’s eyes are drawn to the paper lying on the kitchen table. The words are laid out in careful writing, Harry’s painstaking characters causing the nib of the pen to scratch a little.


The line ends with a question mark, scrawled with red ink in Harry’s more customary writing.

Heart leaping in his chest, Draco twists his fingers in the pockets of his dressing gown before letting go. There’s a pen on the table, next to the paper. It’s not the one Harry used to copy the haiku, but rather a new one Draco hasn’t seen before.

Draco lifts the pen, balancing it in his hand for a moment before he leans down to write on the paper in reply.


Through the open window, Draco can hear Harry calling as Scorpius shouts in delight. Setting the pen down, Draco climbs back up the steps and into the garden. They have a big day planned, after all.