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Harry Potter was not asleep, even if it was around the time most normal people would be. He was sitting in a chair in the Slytherin common room, of all places, hoping to escape. After talking with ‘Mione and Ron, Harry had gone for a walk. During that walk, he had ended up in the Forbidden Forest, down the same path he had taken hours earlier. When he got to the clearing he died in, he sat there for hours before returning to the castle. Now, there were people in the castle looking for him; most named Weasley. They were all either looking for their Boy Who Lived-Twice, or sitting around on the ground in a pile around Fred Weasley's dead body. One of the twins; died laughing, just like Sirius.

Hearing a noise, Harry brought himself to the present. No one should be around with all the Slytherins leaving either before or immediately following the battle. No one would think to look for Harry here, or so he thought. Draco Malfoy, the most annoying git on the planet next to dear old Voldie, was standing at the entrance to the Slytherin dorms and staring at him like he was a ghost. For all Harry knew, he might be. Maybe yesterday was a dream. Maybe he actually had died.

"Potter, what are you doing in my house? How do you even know where it is to get in here!?" Draco, despite knowing he was a nobody now and his father at least was going to prison and he might be too, seemed not to care that he had just insulted the Chosen One. Harry almost smiled at this. After yesterday, he appeared to not have it in him to hate Malfoy. He had come to understand Draco Malfoy in this last year. After Severus Snape's memories, he knew that everything was not as it seemed when it came to Slytherins.  

A quote from a scifi book he had read as a kid adequately describes his feelings. “In the moment when I truly understand my enemy, understand him well enough to defeat him, then in that very moment I also love him. I think it’s impossible to really understand somebody, what they want, what they believe, and not love them the way they love themselves.” Irony at it's finest.

Tilting his head, and seeing no reason to lie, Harry stated simply, "Because I've been here before. Second year. Polyjuice Potion of Crabbe and Goyle," He winced slightly when Draco flinched at the names; not a good idea to bring up the recently deceased. "You let us in yourself. We wanted to know if you were the heir of Slytherin. Plus, Parseltongue overrides whatever password put on the dorms."

That had been a recent discovery. He wanted to be alone after killing the crazy man that had been after him his whole life. No one would understand, so he went to the one place they wouldn't go or at least couldn't get into and had tried Parseltongue on the wall that concealed the entrance. He hadn't been sure he still had the Parseltongue ability, but when he had said, Open, it came out in snake-tongue.

"That's preposterous, I would've known if I was talking to you and the Weasel, who I can only assume was with you. You also couldn't have possibly made Polyjuice in our second year, we only learned to make it last year-" The mention of last year made Draco pause in his ranting before he blundered on like it hadn't happened. Harry almost stopped him and told him he didn’t blame him for last year. "And where would you have put it? Polyjuice takes a month to make! Where did you get the ingred-"

Harry looked up when Draco halted again. He had the look he always had when he was planning something, but this time without the obvious malicious intent. Draco started up again, “Snape’s stash was broken into. Of course! All that was taken were things needed for Polyjuice!”

Harry smiled at him like a second grade teacher smiles at one of the kids getting something right. “Moaning Myrtle isn’t all that bad you know.” He was of course referring to last years battle in her bathroom where he had walked in on Draco talking to her as much as the fact the third floor bathroom was where he, Ron, and Hermione-Well, mostly ‘Mione if he was being honest- had made the potion.

Draco got the subtext. He looked somewhat embarrassed about being caught crying before remembering that Harry had almost killed him afterward and then his eyes flashed dangerously. “Yes, well,-”

Harry cut him off before he could get started ranting again. “I know. I know. I’ve saved your life since then, I’m sure that makes up for it. Besides, I didn’t know what that spell was for anyways.”

Draco seemed to finally realize he had been standing at the entrance this whole time and moved to sit in the chair beside Harry’s at one of the common room fires. “That’s bollocks Potter, only an idiot would use a spell they didn’t know,” He paused then looked up in surprise, as if he hadn’t known it was Harry he was talking to even though he had said his name, then continued. “Oh right, this is you we’re talking about.”

Harry had to laugh at the joke. It was perfectly Malfoy. A little mean, but still funny enough to make you laugh. Not completely unpleasant. “Oh, just think what we could’ve accomplished had we become friends. This war might’ve ended very differently.” Harry looked at the small fire he had made when he first came in wistfully.

Confused, Draco replied. “But you still would’ve been in Gryffindor and we still would’ve been enemies because of that.”

Harry smiled. “No, maybe not. The hat chose Slytherin, I chose Gryffindor. Dumbledore used Hagrid to influence me into distrusting Slytherins and Ron was the first wizard I talked to about Hogwarts and you know how he feels towards Slytherins. Meeting you, the pompous brat you were at the time, didn’t help matters.” He may have forgiven Dumbledore, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t understand how manipulative he was. Sending him to the Dursleys so he would grow up humble, allowing Hagrid to tell them about Fluffy, and countless other times he was tested. Tested to see if he had what it took to martyr himself.

Harry fiddled with the ring in his jacket pocket. It had a crack down the middle but you could faintly see a circle in a triangle with a line through it. He had changed his mind about keeping the ring after much thought. He was afterall the rightful owner of all three of the Hallows. You are the true master of death, because the true master does not seek to run away from Death. He accepts that he must die, and understands that there are far, far worse things in the living world than dying, Dumbledore had said. He had however promised himself he wouldn’t use the ring. He didn’t want to go insane like the second brother had.

Draco’s indignant voice penetrated Harry’s musing. “What do you mean you chose Gryffindor!? What do you mean the hat chose Slytherin? That’s not possible! The hat never allows something like that! What am I saying this is you we’re talking about…” He trails off, muttering to himself before suddenly stopping as if processing what Harry said in full. “‘Dumbledore used Hagrid to influence me’?” He quoted back in question.

Harry smiled. Malfoy was the perfect Slytherin. Sly, deductive, observant. “Well he couldn’t very well allow me to be in the Slytherin no matter what the hat wanted. What would the public think? Their sparkling savior, a Slytherin? No, that just wouldn’t do. Better to put him in Gryffindor with the Weasleys who can keep an eye on him. Everyone expects him in there because of who his parents were- who he was. Can’t have him ruining all my hard work.” Harry was now mocking Dumbledore and he knew it, he just didn’t care at this point. Not after he figured out the true meaning of the prophecy, the truth in the choice he had made at King’s Cross Station. (Leaving this place would not be nearly as hard as walking into the forest had been, but it was warm and light and peaceful here, and he knew that he was heading back to pain and the fear of more loss.)

...either must die at the hand of the other for neither can live while the other survives…  

“Potter what in Merlin’s name are you on about now? What hard work?” Draco was looking annoyed as well as confused now and Harry had to say, it wasn’t an attractive look.

“Why, putting me with muggles who hate anything different, of course. Not to mention allowing my Godfather to rot in Azkaban without trial. Let’s not even mention the six times, one each year, that I fought Riddle directly. Up-front and in person.”

Draco, the clever little Slytherin he is, was starting to catch on; was starting to understand that Potter wasn’t who he thought he was. “Magic hating muggles?”

Harry smiled sadly at him, then nodded in agreement. “Magic, Harry-Potter-hating Muggles. Dumbledore had to have known what they were doing. I’m not sure if he did it so I would have a similar childhood to him, burdened with responsibilities, or to keep me humble. Living in a cupboard and basically being a house elf will do that to you.”

The nonchalance that Harry was using forced Draco to believe he wasn’t lying. No one brought up like a Malfoy was wouldn’t understand where Harry was coming from. Harry was right, who knows what would’ve happened had he been in Slytherin with him.

Looking over at Draco, he remembered the three wands in his possession and moved to get one of them out.

“What are you-?” Draco stopped when he saw what Harry had brought out. Hawthorne and unicorn hair. Ten inches precisely. Reasonably springy. This was the wand of Draco Malfoy. Ollivander’s words came back to him when he passed the wand back to it’s rightful owner.

“I believe this is yours.” Harry said, breaking the silence that had fallen between them.

Draco looked at it before slowly reaching out and grasping it with his right hand and taking it from Harry. Speechless, he simply held it in his lap and stared. Harry allowed the silence to reign, waiting for Draco to be ready to say something.

Finally, “Thank you. We have wasted a long time fighting haven’t we?”

The question was rhetorical but Harry answered nonetheless, “Yes, I do think we have.” He then shoved his right hand between them, the significance of what he was doing not lost on either of them. “No more.”

It was phrased as a question, Draco knew. He could accept or walk away. Reaching out, he joined their hands briefly, locking eyes with Harry. Understanding passed between them. They knew that though they would bicker and fight, the friendship would last just as surely as the fighting would.

 

Chapter Text

They talked well into the morning. Harry more deeply explained his adventures and Draco talked of what it was like growing up a wizard. Neither talked about their home lives as children, or went into depth about their parts in the War. That could come later.

Harry knew that they understood each other in a way that Ron could never compete with. Ron was jealous of Harry; even knowing about Harry’s life, he envied him, illogically.  He would- could never talk to Ron like this. Even if he wanted to, Ron and his friendship is more superficial than his and Draco’s newfound one is. Ron had not understood not wanting to keep the Elder Wand. But then, Harry had changed his mind about that as well.

“What are you thinking?” Draco’s voice stopped his depressing thoughts.

“What do you think will happen now?” They had yet to talk about the future and bringing it up changed the mood of the room.

“I think that my father will die, my mother will go to prison and I along with her.”

“I will stop that. You did what you did for your family. It isn’t your fault. You knew you were on the wrong side and wanted out. I saw that on the Astronomy tower that night.” Harry saw his astonished look on his now paler than normal face but continued without explaining. That would come later. “Plus, Narcissa saved my life when she told Riddle I was dead. It bought me time, allowed me to have the chance to kill him.”

Draco, having apparently heard that story from his mother, nodded at that. “Thank you.”

More silence between them, then, “Harry,” Draco appeared to mull over the name.

“Draco.” Harry looked into grey eyes fiercely.

“What will we do now, then?”

Before either could think on that more, an owl appeared from one of the shoots they used to get into the dungeon. It landed between them, on the table, and looked at them both expectantly.

“Yours?” they asked together. Glancing at each other, they nonverbally communicated their decision to look at what the owl had brought them.

The owl let Harry untie the parchment attached to one of it’s legs, before hooting and leaving the way it came. It wouldn’t need a reply, apparently.



To Harry Potter and Draco Malfoy

Slytherin Common room

Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry

Scotland

 

“It’s for both of us. The seal looks like it’s from Gringotts.”

Harry looked at it with trepidation. The last time he was in Gringotts, he was breaking in. He doesn’t imagine they’re very happy with him letting their dragon loose and breaking a bunch of things. Not to mention the fact that the sword of Gryffindor was now in the hands of Neville Longbottom and not with the goblin Griphook.

“You open it,” Harry said. “The goblins aren’t happy with me right now. Who know what would happen if I touched that letter.”

“Merlin’s beard, and you’re just going to let me open it? No, we’ll check for curses.” Draco brought out his newly reaquired wand. “Revelio.”

Nothing happened.

“Okay, now I’ll open it.”



Messrs Potter and Malfoy,

 

Yous staying together is a convenience that we at Gringotts decided to use. Both of you have become of age and have fully inherited the Potter and Malfoy families fortunes, respectively. We have previously been unable to contact either of you since your majorities. The managers of your bank accounts have both been killed or incapacitated in the War and therefore leave you both as sole owners. At your earliest convenience we would like you to both come in for bank statements of your accounts and all the vaults and properties encompassed.

 

Ragnok

Master Vaultkeeper

Gringotts

 

Harry and Draco sat in silence. “What does this mean? I thought the vault I got when I was eleven was all of it. Does this mean that was just a trust fund until I turned of age? Merlin, they’ve probably been wanting to talk to me since Dumbledore died. He must’ve been the manager they mentioned. Yours was obviously your father and ‘incapacitated’ must mean taken into custody. Did you know-?”

Harry abruptly cut off when he realized what he was saying. He couldn’t believe he had been so insensitive. Before he could apologize, Draco looked at him and said, “Looks like we know what we’re going to do now.”

Understanding that meant he didn’t want to talk about it, Harry didn’t push Draco. Making a split second decision, he simply settled back into his chair and called, “Kreacher!”

A faint pop was heard and a house elf appeared in front of them. He had a necklace on that swung back and forth as he moved from his heels to the balls of his feet, waiting instructions from the one who helped save Master Regulus’ memory.

“Yes, Master Harry? What is you be needing?”

Harry smiled gently at him, before responding, “I need all my things taken to Grimmauld Place. If 4 Privet Drive wasn’t burned down, I would also like you to retrieve my Firebolt from there. We’ll be going to Gringotts from here and I want you to be at Grimmauld Place. Is that okay?”

When Kreacher nodded, Harry continued now looking at Draco. “Draco, is there anything you want before we go? I have a feeling we won’t be coming back here for a long while.”

Draco peered at him through squinted eyes, before saying, “I can’t go anywhere, Potter. It would mean I’m running from the Wizengamot.”

“Oh, right, that.” Harry looked back at Kreacher. “Bring me a quill and parchment and stay for further instructions.”

Kreacher bowed lowly before saying, “Of course Master Harry.” and disappearing with a pop.

When he came back, Harry explained what he was going to do. “I’m going to send a letter to Kingsley. He’s been made temporary Minister, and I’m sure he can’t argue with the Boy Who Lived when I say that I need you and have memory evidence of your-er, hesitation at both the Astronomy Tower and the Malfoy Manor. He’ll have the charges dropped immediately, I’m sure. I’ll tell him we’ll be at Gringotts for now so he knows where you are. See, not running away.”

“You would do that?” Draco said, surprised. Their friendship was only a few hours long and he was going to help him out of a prison sentence. “There are no limits to your Gryffindor stupidity, are there?”

Grinning, Harry replied, “Of course not, Draco, where would the world be if I wasn’t self-sacrificing?” He then ended his letter with an unnecessary flourish given his cramped and in no way elegant handwriting. “I’ve also added your Mother in the letter. Though, she won’t be coming with us. It’ll help the Malfoy image that she saved me, at least. I’m sure she’ll be fine if we leave her here.”

“Where exactly are we going, Potter?”

“Traveling! I’ve always wanted to see the world, now I have time and I’m not being chased by Snatchers!” At Draco’s incredulous look, Harry continued. “What, it’ll be fun!”

He would have plenty of time to see the world, now. Forever. Why not take someone with him, at least for a while? He couldn’t take any of the Weasleys; they were grieving and he wouldn’t interrupt that. Hermione needed to gather her parents from wherever she had left them and fix what she had erased. Neville and Luna had enough to deal with. Harry paused when a thought came to him. Teddy. He knew he would be fine with Andromeda, and perhaps if he settled down somewhere… For now, he could always visit. Yes, that’s it, Harry decided. He’d visit. Right now, he wasn’t fit to be a parental figure.

“You’ve lost it, Potter. You’ve finally lost it. What about the Weasel and the Mud-and Granger?”

“They have other things they need to do. I’m completely free for the rest of my life.” My long, long, long life, Harry thought. “And you really can’t stay here. It wouldn’t be safe around all the people who lost friends and family in the War. Even if you didn’t do anything, you’re a child of a Death Eater.”

Draco grabbed his left arm below the elbow. He knew it was still there. It had faded into a scar with His death. But it was still there. He would still be judged by it’s very existence on his skin, even if it was taken unwillingly to try and save his family.

Harry ignored it, but recognized the gesture. Handing the letter to Kreacher, he told him to take it to Kingsley and come back after his things were at the house. Turning back to Draco, he said, “Your stuff is still here in the dungeons, isn’t it?”

“What I left when going home for break,” Draco nodded. Harry told him to go get it. Walking to his room in the Slytherin dorms, Draco thought about if he actually wanted to go with Harry. What would they do? Would they survive traveling together? We’ll kill each other within the week! But what if they didn’t? What if they ended up happy because they went away? Draco had to admit, going away did sound like a good idea. They could both figure out where they would go from here with the War over. Yes, Draco decided,  I want to go with him.

 

When he got back to the common room with his trunk all packed up, Harry was writing again. “Who are you writing to?”

Jumping, Harry looked over at him. “Merlin, you startled me. I’m writing a letter for Ron and Hermione. Explaining why I’m going, but not where. They’ll know from Kingsley that you’re with me. I’m sure they’ll be mad, but they’ll calm down and understand, eventually. I promised to write them, and visit, so it’s not as if I’m really disappearing for them, unlike with the rest of the Wizarding world. They won’t be able to follow us though, I’ve learned how to hide, Even from Hermione Granger. I’m also writing to Andromeda. She will get custody of Teddy, my godson, as his grandmother, and I want her to know what I’ll be doing. Maybe if we settle down somewhere, they can visit.”

“Andromeda? She’s that one that married the muggle, right? Why would she get-?” Draco shivered when he remembered words spoken to him months ago. “Will you babysit the cubs?”

Harry glanced up when he stopped talking. He remembered the dream he had last summer. “He was a bastard when he talked about them like that. You shouldn’t think about that time, until you’re ready to talk about it and overcome it.”

“How-?” Draco was incredulous. How had Harry known what he was thinking? He wasn’t there, was he? He stared at the scar on Harry’s forehead. “They said your nightmares were loud enough to wake the castle- dungeons excluded apparently. Did you really-?” He stopped again, gathered courage. “You could see into his head? Couldn’t you?”

“Yes, it was most unpleasant. Especially when he was torturing people. Sometimes I could block it out. Snape tried to teach me Occlumency in my fifth year. It didn’t end well. Most of the time it happened when I was asleep, powerless to defend my mind from the visions.”

Draco swallowed loudly. Deciding that he really didn’t want to know all Harry had seen, he changed the subject. “Are you ready to go? I imagine the anti-apparition wards are still down, so we can leave from here.”

“Yes, lets go. I can’t wait to start traveling. Where do you want to go first?” Without waiting for an answer, he spun on the spot, and disappeared. The letters he had written were on the table, labeled, waiting for Kreacher to deliver, who Harry had sent to Diagon Alley to buy one of those bottomless, weightless rucksacks and put all his things into when they did actually leave London.

Fuming, Draco followed him with a loud crack. When he reappeared, Harry was already walking into the entrance of Gringotts and he had to jog to catch up. “That was childish, leaving me like that!”

“Our entire relationship is based off of childish acts of attempted one-ups. I’m not about to stop that now our relationship status has changed from enemies to frenemies.”

“Frenemies?”

Harry grinned at him, walking into the now-repaired entrance hall to Gringotts. “Yes, frenemies. I believe it describes our relationship nicely.”

Before Draco could respond, a goblin walked up to them. No one else appeared to be here. The pair realized it was because it was four in the morning, after glancing at the clock.

“Follow me, Mr. Potter, Mr. Malfoy,” the goblin said, not even introducing himself.

“Rude,” Harry muttered. The goblin glared at him while Harry smiled back innocently. “I like what you’ve done with the place.”

The goblin continued walking without answering. “Potter, what are you on about? Gringotts hasn’t changed since it was built.” Draco was looking at him like he’d gone mad. Perhaps he had.

“Well, the last time I was here, it was mostly rubble and scattered goblins running about, so…” Harry stopped when he saw Draco’s face. He knew it was bollocks to talk like that with a goblin. Angering a goblin was just about the stupidest thing he could do.

“Here,” the goblin guiding them said. It pointed to a door, then walked away, presumably to count gold.

“Well that’s just great, where are we now?” Draco looked around. It didn’t look familiar. Must be where they have the offices.

“Let’s just go in and see exactly what they want, yeah? We can decide where we’re going from there.” Harry didn’t wait for Draco to agree. He opened the door their guide had pointed at, and walked in, making Draco scramble in after him.

There was a goblin sitting behind a desk in the center of the room. The desk had two scrolls on it but was otherwise empty. In front of the desk were two plain chairs facing away from the door. The walls were bare. The goblin was staring at them when they entered, obviously expecting them.

“Mr. Potter, Mr. Malfoy. Please, sit.” They sat, and the goblin continued. “I’m sure you’re wondering why you were called in. I can assure you that we are not upset about the help we brought in the War to you, Mr. Potter. You can relax. I am Ragnok, the master vaultkeeper. The reason you are here, is because of the will of one Severus Tobias Snape.”

“Snape?” Harry was now properly confused. “It makes sense that Draco would be here, but why me?”

Rangok peered at Harry with his black eyes, then answered the should-be obvious question. “It is because you are both in his will. You are the only people in his will.”

After a pause, in which the barely of-age boys exchanged confused looks, Ragnok continued. “If you will allow me, I would read it now and then we can continue onto your vault accounts.”

When the both nodded eagerly, Ragnok open a drawer and pull out another scroll and adding it to the two already on the desk. He then closed the drawer and took the new scroll in hand. Breaking the magical seal on the parchment, he began to read.

 

If my will has been opened, it means I perished in the War. I do hope I didn’t go without a fight and that it was simply a means to the end.

Firstly, to Harry Potter, should you have survived, I leave the pensieve hidden in Spinner’s End, the house I own there also going to you, in the hope that you spend the money you get from selling it wisely after procuring the memories of your mother in it. I won’t hold my now nonexistent breath.

To Draco Malfoy, my godson, I leave all my potions ingredients, all my notes, every book I own, Dark or otherwise, and the hope that you learned the truth about the side you are on before the end.

The rest of my possessions are to be done with as you wish, with my vault money divided equally.

The parchment I’m writing on has been charmed to show the extent of your relationship with each other in the hope that you will understand the stupidity of childish rivalries. Depending on your relationship when my will is unsealed, a specific paragraph will follow.

 

The parchment glowed charm-blue before turning a deep purple color. Ragnok continued as the paragraph appeared.

 

The depth of your new friendship will be one talked about for years to come. As a Slytherin, and spy, I have come to expect the unexpected. I survived by that philosophy for years. It is why I write this, thinking that it is unlikely it will be read, but knowing anything is possible. The deep purple that the parchment glowed indicates a soul-bond that only those who have exchanged life-debts could carry- though it is unique to each pair. I know of Dumbledores plans, and  I have read and analyzed the prophecy at great length upon hearing it in it’s entirety. Harry, I ask of you the forgiveness I saw in your mother all those years ago for my part in his plan, though I know I do not deserve it. I know what you have given up, even if you have not yet realized. Draco, I ask that you stay with Harry. You are bonded together more than you realize and distance could be detrimental at so early a stage. In my vault Library, you will find a book that will tell you more of what is to come. Good Luck, to the both of you.

 

Harry didn’t know what to think. Snape had figured it out. He knew what Harry would be doing when going into that forest better even than Dumbledore did. This bond they appeared to have was worrisome. What if it was connected to their lifeforce, and Draco became what he now was? They must research it immediately, Harry decided.

After that, Harry thought about what Severus had written as a whole. Sarcastic, but in a good way, just as Harry now knew Severus to be. Glancing over at Draco, Harry knew he too was remembering his godfather’s cheek. There was a faint smile on his otherwise emotionless face.

“I didn’t know he was your Godfather,” Harry said, breaking the silence that reigned in the room.

Draco broke out of his memories and replied, “Yes, well, there’s a lot you don’t know about me, Potter.”

After a pause, Ragnok decided to speak up. “Messrs, do you not want to talk about your accounts?”

“Yes, of course, thank you Ragnok.” Harry replied.

Ragnok nodded. “When firstborn wizards and witches from pureblood families come of age, they inherit all that the family owns. They are able to become the head of the family if it is necessary, such as it is with both of you. Therefore, you have each become Lords Malfoy and Potter. The Potter family, though more progressive than the Malfoy family, was indeed old and pureblooded along with the Malfoy’s and as such, there are many vaults that have now become yours.

“Furthermore, you, Mr. Potter are the heir to Gryffindor and Slytherin by blood and magic, respectively. You are here to gain your Lordship rings and combine your vaults, if you desire to. Malfoy is, as Mr. Snape said, connected to you magically and you do in fact share everything, including your vaults. It is my understanding that you will want to keep your vaults separate, yes?” Harry exchanged a glance with Draco, and although neither spoke, they seemed to come to an agreement and Draco nodded at him.

“Yes, that is correct. We would also like for there to be a separate vault made for Narcissa Malfoy-Draco, remind me to talk to her about becoming a Black again- that we will put 40% of the Malfoy’s money in. The rest, and the artifacts, will stay in the Malfoy vault.” Harry told Ragnok while Draco seemed surprised but pleased at this.

“Very well, that can be arranged easily,” Ragnok said. “Is there anything else?”

“Yes, we will be traveling and, though it is my understanding that wizarding money is the same everywhere, that is not the case in the Muggle world. Is there a way to get money from the vaults immediately that is both Muggle and magic? A Credit Card perhaps?”

Ragnok nodded along, before answering. “Yes, they are used by Muggleborns and half bloods that go into the Muggle world frequently. They are the plastic squares, correct?”

Harry nodded, while Draco watched the exchange, confused.

“Of course, those are available for use. Would you both want one?”

Harry, who was the only one of the two following the conversation, answered for Draco, “Yes, that would be splendid. They will work anywhere, right?”

“Anywhere that takes cards. If you are in need of galleons, you can of course use your charmed money pouch that is connected to your vaults. Any other money type, you will have to contact Gringotts and have it sent through the pouch. You can also keep Muggle money in the vaults, if need be.”

Harry got an idea. “Can I just keep some money of each of the Muggle kinds in my vault and withdraw them through the charmed bag?”

“Yes, of course,” Ragnok said. “Although, you do not have only one vault. You are the owner of the Potter, Gryffindor, Slytherin, Black family vaults- and Lestrange by proxy of the Black family traditions with the last surviving member gaining everything. As the last remaining of two Founders, you also own Hogwarts and all the vaults associated with it.”

Draco looked flabberghasted, while Harry just sat there thinking about Sirius. What he wouldn’t give to...NO! He would not use the ring. He couldn’t do that to Draco. With their bond, who knows what would happen if one of them went off their rocker.

“O-kay,” Harry said, drawing out the ‘o’ syllable. “So, what exactly does that mean?”

“It means, Potter,” Draco drawled, re-joining the conversation. “That you are the richest man alive. In monetary terms and the amount of artifacts you have.”

Draco was impressed. Perhaps this bond isn’t so bad, if it allows him access to all those vaults.

“I would also like Malfoy Manor and everything in it sold,” Malfoy told Ragnok. “I’m sure Mother won’t mind, as she likes the French chateau we have much better.”

“Brilliant, Dray! We could even spend some time there with her if you want,” Harry exclaimed.

Draco eyed him, insulted. “Dray?”

“What, now we’re bonded together for the unforeseeable future, I can’t give you a nickname?”

Draco peered at him, before saying, “Whatever,...Potter.”

Harry beamed at him, knowing that he just got the first nickname he actually liked and permission to call Draco, Dray.

Ragnok interrupts their moment by asking, “Is that all you want done?”

Both looked back at him, startled that they had forgotten he was there. They nodded.


“Good, then I will give you your bank statements and the Credit Cards with be sent to you through the post, along with confirmation on all that you want done.” Ragnok hands each a scroll before the goblin that guided them to the office came into the room. He brought with him two small jewelry boxes. “Nug will take you to Snape’s vault for the book he mentioned. First, your Lordship rings.”

The boxes were placed in front of them. Harry’s was bigger, as he apparently got more than one. Ragnok opened them slowly. Draco gasped, looking at Harry’s box. He had already seen the Malfoy ring, on his father’s finger. It was a king cobra wrapped around an emerald, prepared to strike for it’s master, much like Father’s cane. The rings Harry now owned we much different than that.

The Founder’s rings- only three for some reason that Draco didn’t understand- were probably priceless. Ravenclaw’s was a bronze eagle spreading its wings, that wrap around the finger, and an aquamarine gem as the eye of the bird. Hufflepuff’s is a black and white ring- the colors of a badger- with a goldstone in the middle. Gryffindor’s was a gold ring in the shape of a lion head with rubies for eyes. The Slytherin ring wasn’t there.

The Black ring was simple silver and onyx. He put it on his right thumb.

Draco, curious about the Slytherin ring and unable to hold in his question, said, “Where is the last Founder ring?”

Ragnok, although goblins aren’t known to be able to show emotion, smiled evilly. “Why, we don’t know. It was always passed down personally through the family, even before Slytherin was their family name. The last known owner was sentenced to Azkaban and did not have it in his possession when arrested. It is said, the new heir of Slytherin stole it from him.”

Harry, still looking at the ring on his left hand thumb, once again thinking of Sirius, who never got to wear the ring, turned sharply to look at Ragnok, who peered back evenly.

Draco, following the exchange, confused and angry at the apparent subtext he wasn’t privy to. “What am I missing?”

“Only that I have the ring already, Dray,” Harry replied, reaching into his pocket and bringing out a ring. It looked familiar to Draco, although he knew not where he had seen it before.

“Why do you already have it?”

“It was a gift, from Dumbledore, who stole it from the Gaunt house, where Riddle hid it after killing his Muggle family and framing his uncle, the last heir to the Slytherin family.”

Draco said nothing, knowing that they would talk about this later. They’ll have to, bonded together as they were. He instead, reached for his own ring and put it on his right ring finger. Harry follows by putting the Slytherin ring on his right hand ring finger, watching as it shrunk down, as if expecting something on top. Harry grabbed the Gryffindor ring and put it on the same finger. When it too shrunk, he put the rest of the Founder’s rings on and they watched as the rings, shrunken to simple bands of metal, wrapped together until they were interwoven and made one ring.

“Brilliant!” Harry exclaimed, amazed at the magic in the rings that he felt flow through him. He had no doubt the rings had increased his magical power somehow.

Ragnok, however, appeared unaffected and emotionless once more. “If you would follow Nug to get your book from the Snape vault. As high profile clients, Gringotts is always open to you and I am sure you want to be gone before we open the doors to the general public.”

Draco and Harry, now more subdued at the thought of being caught together by the masses, silently stood as one and turned to follow Nug out of the office. Harry thanked Ragnok as they left.

The cart ride was also quiet, both trying not to puke from the speeds that, although fun on a broom, were not so pleasant when on an underground cart. When it stopped outside vault number five hundred and sixty seven, they piled out and watched Nug pull out a keyring with several keys on it and open the door. He handed the keyring to Harry, who looked at it confused, before Draco, who was rolling his eyes at him, said, “It’s all the keys to your many vaults Po-Harry.”

“Right,” Harry said sheepishly. “I knew that.”

Draco snorted, but didn’t say anything.

They looked into the safe at the same time, and were not surprised at what they found. It was mostly filled with books and potions ingredients carefully stored on shelves, with coins stacked in the back as though unimportant. The book they wanted, however, was separate from the rest. It was on a stand in the middle of the room, waiting for them.

Draco grabbed it quickly, planning on reading it before Harry, as he knew more about bonds. That decision, though not talked out between them, seemed to already be agreed on. Not for the first time, Harry noticed they seemed to wordlessly agree on things. Perhaps it was a part of the bond, Harry thought. Perhaps, Draco agreed.

They started as one, before turning to each other. You can hear me?, Harry thought.

Of course I can, we’re bonded. I didn’t know it would happen this quickly, though. It usually takes years for bonded pairs to converse so easily like this, Draco thought back.

“Merlin, how connected are we?” Harry asked aloud, scared of the answer, and the thought of yet another person in his head.

“We should read this book, and quickly. I don’t think it an accident that I found you last night. It was probably part of the bond, pushing us together.”

Harry nodded. “We are staying at Grimmauld Place for now, before we decide where to go from here in our travels. I don’t plan on staying in London long, however. We may need to figure this out on the way. Snape said stick together, and we’ll be doing that so it should be fine for now, while we learn more.”

Draco agreed, wordlessly again. They walked out of the vault and into the cart, wanting to get home as soon as possible.

 

 

Chapter Text

It wasn’t until several days later, when Harry was sitting in the kitchen watching Kreacher make dinner, and thinking about his friends, that Draco stormed in and exclaimed, “Harry, I’ve figured it out!”

Harry assumed he meant the bond, as all Draco had been doing these days was read that blasted book. “And?”

“And,” Draco drawled, upset at Harry’s lack of enthusiasm. “I’ve learned that when Uncle Sev said soul-bond he meant it literally! We’re bonded through our souls. We live together, die together, and generally share everything. I’m the richest man on Earth- by proxy, but who cares!”

Harry, unlike Draco, was decidedly not happy about this. He gave up death to save the world, and now the world repaid him by giving him Malfoy for eternity. They may be friends now, but still, it was Malfoy. Harry pouted, not as upset as he was acting. Draco looked at him when he stopped dancing around ridiculously, and noticed the pout. Unfortunately for Harry, Draco could also feel his emotions, which were decidedly not distressed or even resigned, but happy.

“Why do you feel like that?”

Harry watched him sit down across the table, before replying, “Because of what I found out the night I came back from the dead. When I died...Draco, I was in limbo. I talked to Dumbledore. I saw Voldermort- or what was left of him- stuck there for eternity. When I decided to go back, I didn’t know what I was doing. It wasn’t until later, when I was sitting in the same clearing that I died in...Well, I-I,” Harry fumbled for words, while Draco, sensing the seriousness, said nothing.

“I killed myself,” Harry finally got out, fingering his wrists. “I didn’t think I had anything left. So many had died, and I wanted to be with them. You understand, right Dray? That I felt I had to? I thought I owed it to the world to die a savior. Or something. I’m not sure what I was thinking anymore. All I remember really is waking up in a pile of my own blood, wrists healed. There was a man- Death, he called himself. He said I wasn’t allowed to die, because I had a job to do. That I had to help the wayward find their way. I-I learned then what had happened. I died, twice, in the presence of all the Deathly Hallows. The ring, the wand, the cloak, all there in that clearing. I owned them all, and they say the one who unites them becomes the Master of Death. Apparently, they weren’t lying.”

“Harry,” Draco said, knowing how much it took out of Harry to tell him. “I know.”

When Harry’s eyes flew open, he continued. “You talk in your sleep. But, it’s not just that- it’s your dreams. I see them, all of them. I watch as you die, as Cedric dies, as Sirius dies, as Dumbledore dies, and I feel your emotions so strongly. I think your dreams are so emotional and we are so connected emotionally, that mine can’t hope to compete and so I do not dream.” When Harry looks devastated at this news, Draco attempts to appease the guilt he now feels from Harry. “Now, don’t feel like that, I know you can feel my understanding. Do you feel me? Do you feel the lack of resentment? I may have to live forever at your side, but there are worse fates. I am okay with it. I’ve known since our first night here.”

Before Harry could argue, there is banging heard throughout the house. Someone was at the front door. I thought this place was unplottable? Draco thought.

“It is. That doesn’t mean, as the Secret-Keeper, no one knows. The only others are-” Harry was cut off by the shout of “Bombarda Maxima!” and then an explosion that tore the door off it’s hinges. There was another bang and then Mrs. Black could be heard yelling about who cares what upstairs.

“Harry! I knew you’d be here!” Hermione cried, before throwing herself at Harry and cutting off his air supply with her arms around his neck. Ron came in behind her much calmer, before spotting Draco and letting out a yelp, drawing his wand.

“Hermione!” He yelled, not looking away from Draco. Harry felt Draco’s uncertainty.

Don’t leave for good. I’ll explain it to them, but you probably shouldn’t be here. Pop up to my room, I’ll keep them downstairs. Harry told Draco.

“Hermione!” Ron shouts again, when Draco apparated away. “Malfoy just got away! Stop strangling Harry and lets go after him!”

Hermione pulled away from Harry finally, before glancing at Ron, who is fuming on the spot, and saying, “Ron, don’t you remember what Kingsley told us when we went to talk to him about Harry disappearing? That Harry also sent him a letter- a letter that was as rubbish as the ones we got by the way Harry- that said he asked for Draco and Narcissa to be cleared of all charges and that Draco would be with him? Why are you surprised that he was where Harry said he would be?”

Ron looked chastised, as always after a lecture from Hermione.

“Speaking of, why exactly are you taking along your number two enemy on this ‘vacation’ and not us?!” Hermione glared at Harry, who cringed.

You going to survive? Harry heard. It was the first time they’d talked like that without being in the same room so Harry was momentarily surprised, before he sarcastically replied, Didn’t we just agree we were living forever?

“Well, you see…” Harry fumbled, not sure how to answer. “Er- how about we go in the living room while I think about how I’m going to explain?”

Harry’s truthfulness appeared to not appease Hermione, who simply glared the way she used to when he told her he hadn’t done the homework that was due tomorrow. She probably expected him to have written an entire essay in preparation of explaining everything to her. She would be a great teacher.

“Kreacher, clean this up, will you? And shut her up.”

“Yes, Master Harry, of course, Master Harry.”

Kreacher had gotten more obedient when Harry had tried to give him clothes and explained that, since he was never going to die, he wouldn’t want to see another of his house elves die and get a new one every time it happened, so he might as well get used to living without one. Kreacher had tearfully rambled before Harry got out words like “bonded”, “Master”, “live with you”, “die as Master dies”, and “you live and I live”. He had then told Kreacher he wasn’t going to leave him, if Kreacher promised not to leave him. He figured from what words he had made out, that the house elf bond changed when he changed and Kreacher would now serve him for life- forever. It was comforting to know he wouldn't be alone.

Don’t forget about me, too, Potter. Harry ignored him.

“Harry,” Hermione chastised. “What have you done to him? Why is he not at Hogwarts?”

“Now isn’t the time for S.P.E.W. ‘Mione,” Ron said lovingly. “We were just going to force Harry into explaining, remember?”

Hermione glared at him and stomped toward the living room. Ron followed like an obedient dog. Well, now we know who wears the pants in that relationship, Draco interrupted Harry’s thoughts.

Stop distracting me, or I’ll never get this done. We still have to decide where we’re going first, you know. Go figure that out.

“Harry?” Hermione called from the living room.

“Right,” He muttered to himself- and Draco, he guessed. “Coming!”


 

“So what you’re saying is, Draco has to stay with you, or you both die?” Ron slowly worked out.

Harry decided, with Draco’s agreement, to not tell them about the whole immortal thing- at least, not now. He nodded to what Ron said, as it was, technically true. Hermione was ready to leave, so she could research this soul-bond thing more in depth.

“Why are you going traveling, though?” Hermione asked, sceptical.

“Because, I’ve spent the past seven years as the Boy Who Lived. I want to travel, so that I can be Just Harry again. So I can find out who that even is. I didn’t get a childhood. Now, I want to do something selfish, and leaving you guys while the Wizarding world needs their Savior and leaving before all the funerals that I’m not sure I could even go to without breaking down...It’ll be the most selfish thing I’ve done my whole life, and I’m going to do it.

“You guys will be fine, because you have each other. Now you know that I’ll be fine because I have Draco, who feels what I feel, and understands in a way no one else has- or can. I’m sorry, I really am. But I can’t face those people. The Weasley’s, they’re my family, sure, but I can’t look at any of them- including you Ron- and not think that it’s my fault there’s only one twin now. I need time. Time to heal and figure myself out. Draco is the same. Even before we learned about the bond, I wanted him with me. He grew up being molded into the perfect Death Eater, and now that’s over, he needs what I need; to find ourselves.”

There was silence while they, Harry’s best mates, digested what he was saying. “Okay.”

Harry looked at Hermione, surprised. Ron nodded along with her. Harry was now confused, along with Draco who was still listening in. “Just like that?”

“No, not just like that! You’re going to visit, and come see us, like you promised. We’re going to get over this War together, while you and Draco do the same. We are going to stay with the Weasley’s and mourn, while you and Draco mourn. We’re going to find ourselves and get a life here at home while you and Draco go out and do the same. But you’re not leaving us. We know that now. Partly because we aren’t going to let you, just like we didn’t let you hunt Horcruxes alone and, while you’re not going to be alone this time, you still need us to ground you. So, you’ll visit, and when you settle down somewhere, we’ll visit. We’re going to stay as we are; best friends. The Golden Trio.”

Harry and Hermione were crying by the time she ended her speech. Ron also appeared to be tearing up, and Harry could feel the surprise and gratitude through the bond at ‘Mione including Draco.

“But mate, if you can’t be apart for long, where did he go when we showed up?’ Ron finally asked, ending the moment they were sharing.

“Upstairs, of course, Weasel. I’m nothing if not self giving. I wouldn’t risk my life while you whined to Potter.” Draco popped in, sitting himself next to Harry.

“Dray, stop it.” Harry sighed. Things were going so well…

“Dray?” Hermione questioned.

“Potter has decided to give me a nickname-without my permission. He seems very fond of the one I’ve given him as well- I know, I can feel it, don’t deny it Harry.”

“Wouldn’t dream of it, Malfoy,” Harry answered back, playfully.

Ron and Hermione watched, flabbergasted.

“You’re friends?” Ron said, seemingly hurt by the information.

“Well we can’t kill each other now as we aren’t suicidal,” Draco paused when he felt Harry’s emotions at those words. He sent reassurance through their bond before continuing. “So, why not be friends? What, are you telling me it’s not allowed to be friends with someone who is bound to you through your soul and knows- or will know- everything there is to know about you? How can we not be friends, Weasley?”

Ron turned bright red, matching his hair, and prepared to insult him back before-

“Ron, stop it. You’ll just have to accept the fact Draco is a part of my life now. Hell, he’s kind of like a part of me, really. If you can’t, then I think it’s time you leave.”

The gratitude from the bond more than made up for the insecurities Harry was feeling when he said those words. Would they not accept them?

“We’ll leave Harry,” Hermione cut in, but hurried on when catching the look on Harry’s face. “But only because it’s dinner time and Ron is only cranky because he hasn’t eaten.”

Ron looked at her like she had betrayed him, before the image was ruined by the rumbling heard coming from his stomach. “Right,” Ron snapped out, face red in embarrassment. “We must be off. Mum is sure to have dinner ready by now.”

“Wait!” Harry cried, when they moved to leave the room. “Where are you staying? Hogwarts?”

“Yea, mate. The bloody Death Eaters burned down the Burrow after the Malfoy Manor incident.” Ron glared at Draco, who showed no outward response, but Harry knew better.

“Leave it, Ron. I’ll visit. See you guys, okay?” Harry got up and Hermione hugged him then Ron clapped him on the shoulder. He still wasn’t used to all the physical contact that wasn’t aggressive, even after seven years. The War might’ve had a play in that, Harry supposed.

“Yes mate, we’ll see you.”

“Bye, Harry.”

When they were gone, and Harry was sitting by Draco again, Draco looked at him and said, “That was really sappy. You’re all Hufflepuffs, I swear. Merlin, I am not looking forward to living forever with a sappy Hufflepuff.”

The joke lightened the mood before he felt Draco’s determination. “What?”

“I want to learn Parseltongue,” Draco answered, understanding what he was asking.

Harry was stunned. “How?”

“We’re bonded Harry, we share everything. What part of ‘everything’ did you not understand?”

Harry cleared his throat. “You can’t. No- I mean it, you can’t learn it. It’s not like French or German. You either know it or you don’t.”

Harry looked around before spotting Draco’s ring. “Okay, look at your ring, Dray. Look at it and imagine a real snake. Imagine it twisting around your finger, and say something to it. That’s how it works, you look at a snake, or you think about one, and it comes out Parseltongue.”

Draco nodded, and didn’t say anything while he concentrated. After several minutes of staring at his ring with determination, he said, “I name you Alistair.”

Harry felt and saw the confusion, and said, “It worked. You just can’t tell. I didn’t even know I did it the first time. You have to learn to pay attention to the words spoken and then you’ll notice it’s really hissing and gibberish to anyone who doesn’t know the language. We’re the last Parseltongues alive.”

“Awesome, now we have a secret language! Not that we need it because we can talk in our heads if we need privacy, but it’s comforting to have.”

Harry paused. “Awesome?”

“What? It’s a perfectly dignified response.” Draco said, indignant.

“It sounded...Muggle. American Muggle.”

“That’s it! We can go to America!” Draco exclaimed, getting up and running from the room when a bell went off. Dinner was ready, apparently.

“What, that’s where you want to go first? The whole world to choose from, and you choose America?”

“Of course not, Potter,” Draco drawled. “I just want it on the list. I was thinking we could go to Egypt. Learn how to be a curse-breaker from the goblins there. Maybe excavate a few  tombs! Doesn’t that sound exciting? Then we’ll of course go to France for a while to visit with Mother. Then America.”

“What will we do in France? We’re not just going to visit with Cissy are we?” Harry was hesitant to call her that, but when she had visited after she was released, before heading to France, she had insisted. ‘You’ve saved me and Draco, Harry, and you insist I call you Harry, so I must insist as well that you call me Cissy,’ she had said. She also promised to talk to her sister, Andromeda. She wanted to see her nephew, and wanted to patch things up with the only family besides Draco she had now.

“We can think of something while we’re there. I hear they have really good places to shop.”

Harry groaned. He knew he needed clothes, as he didn’t really have any, but he loathed shopping. Shopping with someone like Draco was sure to be a nightmare.

“Promise me, that when we go Muggle shopping, you leave me in charge. Please?” Harry pleaded.

“Well, I’ll have to, I suppose. I’m not used to Muggles. I’ve always been surrounded by the Wizarding world.” Draco responded, sitting at the kitchen table while Harry followed suit, relieved.

“I made steak-and-kidney pie, for Master Harry and Master Draco,” Kreacher croaked.

“Thank you, Kreacher,” Harry said.

“Do you really treat him so kindly all the time? I’ve been here three days and he’s obedient, but I’ve never seen any punishment. Does that work?”

“Kreacher is being loyal to Master Harry. He is like Master Regulus. He is nice to Kreacher. He is giving Kreacher his Master’s locket,” Kreacher said, showing off the necklace around his neck proudly.

“He talked,” Draco exclaimed. “He wasn’t spoken to and he talked!”

“Of course he did, what do you expect from my house elf? Less check? You won’t get it.”

Draco, properly scolded, was quiet the rest of dinner. Harry knew he hadn’t really hurt his feelings, so he didn’t say anything either. They were each lost in their own thoughts- thankfully, mercifully, private unless projected.

When they had moved back to the living room, Draco spoke up again. “I think my magic is different. I can feel it and it doesn’t feel the same. It almost feels...larger. Do you think it is because I’m connected to you, who is more powerful than even Dumbledore? I also felt the increase when you put on the Founders rings and they combined.”

“I felt that, yes, but I also felt a change in my mind. Like I suddenly could think better. It must’ve been the Ravenclaw ring, right? Because they’re always known for being smart and wise.”

Draco nodded. “That makes sense. I didn’t feel any difference with the other rings, just an increase in power. Maybe Ravenclaw put in that as a gift.”

“Merlin, we could just ask! I don’t know why I never thought about it before, but why aren’t there any portraits of them? The magical ones, where you can talk to them? They must be in the Hogwarts vault!”

Draco couldn’t believe what he was hearing. “Talk to the Founders?”

“Sure, I’m the owner of Hogwarts and their heir, why wouldn’t they talk to me? And you’re my bonded or whatever, so why not you? I’ll owl Gringotts back when they send our cards and confirmation letters.”

“How are they going to find us, if we’re unplottable?”

“I gave Ragnok a paper of the address in my handwriting as Secret Keeper. It set itself on fire as soon as he read it, so he can’t share the secret, just in case. We’ll leave after we talk to them. We should also ask about the curse-breaking thing you’re so interested in.”

Draco beamed. He had loosened up around Harry. Now that they could feel each other’s emotions, it became unnecessary to hide behind a mask.

“Yes, I really want to be going now, too. Before we have any more unexpected visits.”

They chuckled. Draco may not like them- at all- but he is influenced by Harry’s emotions. “We need to figure out more about the bond. How to control it. I’ll keep reading for now.”

He got up and went back to his room to read. Harry sat there, thinking about what he would talk to the Founders about.

 

Chapter Text

It was another couple of days when the owl that had come with their cards came back with a letter from Ragnok. “Draco!”

“What?!” Draco screamed back, from the third floor.

“The owl’s back! Ragnok says we’re welcome to check the vault as they aren’t allowed in and don’t know what exactly is in there!” Harry yelled, hearing footsteps coming nearer.

“Merlin, Potter, why are we shouting when we can talk in our heads!” Draco said, coming into the living room on the second floor.

“Because it’s fun this way,” Harry responded, beaming and handing the letter to Draco. Now that they had learned to block emotions, Harry could prank him without him expecting it from the mischievousness he would feel through the bond. Harry had learned this last few days that he really was a Marauder’s son, now that he didn’t have the threat of being killed hanging over his head.

“POTTER!” Draco screamed, lunging toward him, looking like a wet cat from the jinx Harry had put on the letter.

“AH-It’s funny Dray, admit it!” Harry yelled, running from the room and up the stairs, Draco on his heals.

“NO, NO IT IS NOT!”

Harry got upstairs just in time to slam his bedroom door in Draco’s face, giggling like a schoolgirl the whole time.

“I’ll get you back for this Potter, just you wait!” He heard Draco’s bedroom door close and sagged against his own. They had stopped using magic as much lately when it came to fighting each other. Draco, apparently, knew some martial arts and had started teaching Harry. They found it was more fun, and satisfying when they beat one another up physically than doing it with magic. The bruises healed quickly, anyway.

Harry relaxed against the door, knowing Draco would be in the bathroom for ages, fixing his hair. It wouldn’t be as long as when Harry had but pink hair dye in his shampoo, though, so the retribution won’t be as bad as it was then. He shuddered. Food still tasted like ash to him.

Suddenly, Harry couldn’t see. It was pitch black, and he couldn’t feel himself in his room anymore. It was like the visions he used to have when he was stuck in Voldie’s head. Oh gods, please not again. He was sure Riddle was dead, so what now?

He began to make out shapes. A living room, a man sitting in a high winged chair.

“Hullo?”

Hello, Harry,” the man answered. “Do you know who I am?”

“Death!?”

“Yes.”

Harry looked at Death. The first time he saw him, he had been distracted. Now, he saw Death clearly. It was not what he expected him to look like. He wore an all black suit, with a blood red tie, and had short, spiky pitch black hair with eyes to match. He looked to be Harry’s age.

“Do you look like that to everyone?” Harry asked.

"Of course not," Death replied. "I look like you want me to look. I look un-opposing to everyone who sees me so they do not fear Death when I come to ferry them into the next world."

“That makes sense, I guess. Why am I here?”

Death smirked. “That is something you will have to find out for yourself. You wouldn’t believe me if I told you.”

“Sure I would,” Harry cheekily answered, with a grin. “You’re Death. The only reason you would lie is to amuse yourself. But I think you find watching Draco and I far more amusing.”

Death merely looked regal once more, hiding his emotions like a natural born Slytherin. “Perhaps.”

There was silence. Then-

“It’s important Harry, you being here. You’ll see. I will give you a hint,” Death whispered when the vision started fading. “A riddle, of sorts. When is magic not magic?”

“That’s bollocks. I hate riddles, you know that!”

Yes, I do,” Death replied, amused while Harry felt his vision return.

You okay? Draco asked. I felt your vision. I couldn’t seem to follow you when it happened.

I’m fine.

“What was it about?”  Draco asked through the door. Harry got up and opened it.

“It was short. Death just wanted to show me some living room. It looked familiar but I don’t know why. He said I would see it again, that it was important. He also gave me a riddle.”

Draco groaned as he plopped down onto Harry’s bed. “I hate riddles!”

“Me too,” Harry grumbled, sitting down next to him. “He said: When is magic not magic?”

“Oh!” Draco exclaimed, shooting up. “I know that one. Some Muggleborns who join leave the Wizarding world and get higher Muggle education. They come back claiming all sorts of rubbish like that. That magic isn’t magic, it’s science and genetics- whatever that is.”

“Well, that was easier than the last riddle I got. Bloody sphinx.”

Draco glanced at him. He knew Harry was thinking about Cedric and the tournament. “Well, we should go check and see if the Founders painting exist, then be on our way,” He changed the subject and Harry gratefully accepted the transition.

“Of course, let’s go.”

They went down to the ground floor, telling Kreacher, who they passed on the way, that they were going out and would not be coming back. Harry promised to call for him once they got to where they were going, but not to expect them to come back to Grimmauld Place any time soon. Harry and Draco had already packed days ago when they decided where they would be going first. When they stepped out onto the front step, and apparated away, they went not to the Leaky Cauldron, but instead to a place Ragnok had said would get them into Gringotts unseen. It was the employees-the human ones, at least- entrance. Few but the curse-breaker trainers and Ragnok knew it existed, therefore Griphook had not known about it when they were planning the break-in.

When they got there, Ragnok was waiting for them. “Come quickly. I will take you personally. I have already arranged to have Urg meet you in Egypt, where you will learn curse-breaking, though I can’t see why you would want to. It’s a very dangerous profession.”

Ragnok seemed more human around them. Even all those weeks with Griphook, he was never like this. It’s probably because we’re the richest men on Earth.

Harry nodded at that, agreeing with Draco. The ride to the Hogwarts vault was a long one. Harry thought it was most likely so far down, the dragon once protected it. When they got there, pale and queasy, Ragnok told them to stay in the cart until he had opened the vault.

“Think they’ll be in there?” Draco asked Harry.

“I hope so. We can ask about the riddle as well.”

“Good idea.”

Ragnok turned back to the distracted pair. They had completely missed what he was doing. “The vault is now open. I cannot go in. You will walk back up. Goodbye.”

They clammered out of the cart while Ragnok got in. Harry watched him speed away, before turning to the door. “Shall we?”

They walked in together. Harry’s jaw dropped as he heard a gasp next to him. They were in a room so large, it looked like the inside of a hollow castle. In fact, it looked like a room one would find in Hogwarts. The stone walls and floors look exactly like the ones in Hogwarts. That wasn’t what made them gap, though. It was the painting that took up the far wall. It was Hogwarts, from the viewpoint of across the lake. And on the shore of the lake, were four people, playing around with balls of light and laughing. They weren’t using wands, either.

“Merlins beard, Harry, you were right,” Draco said, no where near composing himself.

“Who’s there?” Was heard from the painting as the four stopped playing and looked out into the vault.

“Harry Potter, sir.”

“Draco Malfoy.”

“What are you doing here? No one is allowed in here unless-” The man with the dirty blond hair that looked like a mane said, before the black haired studious looking woman interrupted.

“Godric, you daft sod, that unless is the reason they are here, of course.”

“Hullo,” said the other woman, who looked not unlike Mrs. Sprout.

The man who spoke first had no hair but a short beard only on his chin and a mustache that were both grey. He asked again, “Who’s there?”

“I’m Harry Potter, sir. I just came of age and the goblins told me this vault was mine.”

“I’m Draco Malfoy, his soul-bonded,” Draco said, regally. “You are Salazar Slytherin.”

They looked surprised at his words. “I did not think soul-bonds worked. One or both of the parties always perished when attempted.” The woman, who could only be Rowena Ravenclaw, said.

“It is very rare, yes. But given that it’s Potter and I, I can’t say I’m surprised at it’s development.”

“Tell us everything,” Helga Hufflepuff said, looking keen for a tale of the new world. So they did, starting with what they knew of Grindelwald and the start of Voldemort and into the Second Wizarding War that they were a part of. The Founders, though gasping several times, said nothing as they talked. It was hours later, when Harry was feeling drained and could feel Draco was as well, that they finished with learning of Harry’s Master of Death status and the riddle Death had given them. They hadn’t talked about the War and their parts in it before this, and getting it all out was like a weight off their shoulders. There was still more to talk about, more to get over, but that they would do together.

“You killed my basilisk?” Slytherin is the first to speak. “In your second year, no less!”

“Well, of course! He’s a Gryffindor, through and through! He’s only related to you through magic given to him as a baby. Blood is thicker!” Gryffindor boomed, a proud gleam in his eyes.

“Enough of your petty squabbles, boys,” Ravenclaw cut off Slytherin before he could retort. “I have just learned of my daughters fate. We now know the fate of the outside world. Now is not the time. We must help our heir in any way we can.”

Hufflepuff simply beamed at them, happy that they seemed less burdened than when they had walked in.

“Merlin, they’re worse than us!” Harry whispered to Draco.

“No matter,” Ravenclaw said. “The ring you asked about, it is true I placed a charm on it. It was much like the one I place on my diadem.” She paused, looking distraught, before continuing. “I hoped it would help my heir. I made sure it would only work if the rings were place together, as they are now, in the hope that the new owner of Hogwarts would use the power wisely. You will find that it is easier to do things like reading, learning a new language, and learning in general. There are no other enchantments on the rings.”

“Wicked,” Harry muttered. “And the riddle?”

“I am afraid that I do not know. It is beyond my time,” Ravenclaw looked disappointed she couldn’t help more. “However, know that if you trace the family history of a Muggleborn back several generations, there is a witch or wizard that married into the family. Perhaps that is what Death meant. That it isn’t magic, because it is passed down through the family. The squibs marry squibs or Muggles and it dilutes the blood until it becomes strong again for whatever reason and thus Muggleborns are created.”

Harry nodded. “We’ll look into it, thanks.”

They got up to leave, having what they came for. Hufflepuff called to them as the left. “Don’t forget to visit, dearies! I so love your stories!”

“Okay!” Harry yelled back from the vault door. He was tired, and he just wanted to get to Egypt as soon as possible. The walk back to the surface took ages, however, and by the time they got back to the top, all he wanted was a large bottomless glass of water and a warm bed to collapse into. Ragnok could be seen coming toward them from the end of the long hallway, and Harry wasn’t sure he would be awake by the time he reached them.

“Merlin Harry, we need to get you working on endurance. How did you survive on the run so long if you can’t even I?”

“Shut it, Malfoy,” Harry breathed as Ragnok finally reached them.

Ragnok peered at Harry before looking to Draco, who was barely breathing hard. “I have your portkey. It will sent you directly to the camp in Egypt we train curse-breakers in.”

He handed Draco a small button from a coat and said, “Follow me outside so you can use it.” Then walked back toward the way he came. Harry and Draco followed slowly, both tired from the day they’d had.

“Don’t think I forgot about your jinx this morning, Potter,” Draco hissed at him suddenly. “I’ll get you back for it, you know that.”

“I know,” Harry sighed. “I’m looking forward to what you come up with. My hair’s a lost cause so it’s not like you mess with that. Plus, we’ll be learning all sorts of new things soon and I can’t wait to learn how to apply them to pranks.”

Even tired, and a little hungry now he thought about it, Harry was always thinking of pranks. Once a Marauder, always a Marauder.

Chapter Text

(August 1998)

Egypt was to be expected. Hot, dry, and sandy. Draco hated what it did to his hair, while Harry basked in the newness. If was nothing like London, or Surrey. He could start anew here, learn who just Harry was. But they were leaving soon. Almost three months was all it took to learn curse-breaking and everything the goblins were willing to teach them, including their language, Gobbledegook. Most took years to learn curse-breaking, and few as well as they had. No human could speak Gobbledegook as fluently as they now could. Draco was most excited at what they could learn next. Harry was thinking of learning how to be an animagus.

The vision he had most recently was a man with glasses helping a woman give birth to a baby. It was short and ended with her eyes glowing. Harry didn’t know what that meant, nor where they were, as it seemed to be a cave. Death did not accompany him so he couldn’t ask him about it.

Draco wants to go somewhere called Tibet, to learn from the monks there how to better control the bond and their immense power. They had learned that they didn’t need wands anymore and could do wordless spells with ease. It was now harder to use spells that required a delicate touch and could not be used with too much power, however, and Draco was convinced these monks could help them with it, even if most were Muggles.

“They’ve given up material objects, Harry!” Draco had told him. “That includes their wands. They sit around meditating all day, learning themselves inside an out, physically and spiritually. I think, even if they can’t help us with our power problems, they can help with our PTSD.”

Draco had taken to reading anything he could get his hands on, and opening the bond when he was finished to give the knowledge to Harry. He had read much on science and psychology in the hopes that is what Death meant from his riddle. Harry had opened his mind during the visions to Draco and learned that, though he couldn’t join, he could see them. They were getting better at sharing their mind- and not sharing it, when needed.

Harry blushed as he thought of the first time he had wanked after the bond was formed. Draco had started screaming in his head when he started: don’t stop. Oh Merlin, that feels awesome.

Distracted as he was, it wasn’t until he had a handful of semen and more than a little embarrassment flowing through the bond both ways that he realized what had happened. They wanked together- and liked it.

Merlin Harry, Draco’s murmured voice went through his mind. It’s been a while since...I-

Pushing past the embarrassment, Harry couldn’t help but be amused. Finally gotten the great Draco Malfoy speechless. This is one for the history books.

Oh I can see it now, came the cheeky reply. ‘Draco Malfoy, speechless for the first time after wanking along through the soul-bond he has with Harry Potter, The Man Who Conquered.’

Is that a new title I missed?

I read it on one of the Prophets the goblins had. It was fairly recent.

And so, the awkwardness passed and they never spoke of it again. But Harry thought about it a lot. When he knew Draco was asleep, and couldn’t sense his thoughts. What did it mean, that he liked it? Harry wasn’t very skilled when it came to- sexual things. He blushed again, looking around his Muggle tent in the middle of the desert, to be sure he was alone. His face was still an open book, or so Draco said, and if anyone walked in now, they were sure to know what he was thinking about. Or they would know it’s about sex, Harry thought. Not that I’m thinking about it with another guy.

All he knew about this sort of thing was from the Dursley’s yelling at him. "You better not be a fag too, or you’re out on your arse, no matter what!" Uncle Vernon would scream at him. He didn’t understand what he meant until years later, when Ron explained it to him.

A fag, though most in Britain know it to mean a cigarette, also means someone who likes the same sex. He hadn’t thought he was one, while in school. But that was Harry the Savior. Now, as just Harry, he wasn’t so sure.

He had loved Ginny, he knew that for sure. But had he been in love with her? He didn’t think so. Harry turned on his cot, sleep finally catching up with him. He vowed to figure it out while with the monks, who they were going to tomorrow morning. Maybe it was just a MoD thing. That now, even when dying, everything was beautiful to him. He succummed to sleep.

 

September 1998

The monks, to use Draco’s words, were "off their rockers.” Draco couldn’t stand them. Harry knew it was mostly because they made them leave everything but the clothes on their backs at the bottom of the mountain. He didn’t like leaving his hair products more than he didn’t like leaving his wand. Harry didn’t mind, as much. They had learned much in their time here; invaluable things. Draco had only agreed when Harry promised him they weren’t actually leaving their rucksacks in some cubby hole that was unguarded. He called Kreacher and told him to keep them with him.

Kreacher, Harry learned, could find him anywhere. He was staying at Hogwarts, to help with the rebuilding, but would always come when called. Sometimes he came when he wasn’t called, as though he missed Harry. Harry would come to his room in the temple at the top of a mountain in Tibet, and find treacle pie- his favorite- sitting on his mat, still steaming. The monks mostly just ate white rice, and every morning after he had a pie, they would eye him, as if they knew he was cheating.

Harry knew he was different. He had taken care of his anger at the world, and Dumbledore, and replaced it with understanding. He learned much in the month they had been with the monks. Mostly about himself, but some about Draco also. They would open their minds sometimes, and meditate together. It was incredible, to see each others memories as if they were their own. To feel what the other felt like that, there was no way to describe it. He knew what it was like to have a loving mother and a cold father. He knew what it was like to watch as some boy you were trying to impress refused your offer of friendship. He knew what it was like to kiss Blaise Zabini after too much contraband firewhiskey.

The last one was a surprise. He had always thought Draco to be with Pansy, despite how much he appeared to dislike her. But, he was wrong. Draco only tolerated Pansy because his father had hoped to arrange a marriage between them. Harry learned that he liked kissing Blaise. It wasn’t much different from kissing Ginny, not really. Draco had helped him understand it wasn’t wrong to like that kind of thing. "Muggles are close-minded, Harry." Draco had explained. "You live in a magical world, and you worry they will think you strange for liking the same sex? Merlin Harry, what goes on in that empty head of yours?"

Draco had taken to joking about the bond like that frequently. He enjoyed the secret, Harry knew. He liked that they shared something that only they knew about. Hermione and Ron, when they visited them like he promised, told Harry that he was very close to Draco. Not just physically, although Hermione said they were very comfortable around each other, but also as if the were one person. They moved together in a way only true love couples did. Harry had turned red at this and said, “It’s not like that ‘Mione. He’s like an extension of myself just as I am of him. We don’t- I- I don’t like him like that. He doesn’t feel that way toward me. We are in each other’s heads, ‘Mione,” Harry added, when she looked sceptical. “We feel emotions. It isn’t exact, no, but I would feel it if he fancied me.” Harry knew that no matter how hard he tried to explain, they wouldn’t get it. He didn’t understand it himself sometimes.

His vision blurred, although he had been meditating with his eyes closed- he could feel his Sight coming. He lost all bodily feeling and remained in darkness. He opened his eyes to what looked like a deserted city. It was very advanced, and looked nothing like anything he had seen- which was admittedly not much- on Earth. Death was already there, looking around solemnly.

“It was sad, what happened here. A whole civilization, destroyed by a bug.”

“Why am I here?” Harry asked him, having learned to not ask what he meant anymore. The answered were always cryptic and confusing.

Death stared at him for a minute before answering. “You are here to observe, again. But this time, you will do something also. I will stay with you to walk you through it.”

The room faded again, and in it’s place was a street, much like the ones in London; busy and chaotic.  He could see Teal’c, the man Daniel- the guy with glasses- knew, and he didn’t look good. It fact, he looked terrible. He was glancing around as if on the run, and somehow failed to notice the little girl with a water gun following him. “What is wrong with him?”

“He is dying.”

“What! We’re going to do something, right?” Harry exclaimed. “That’s why we’re here? I don’t think I can watch him die. I feel attachment to him for some reason.”

Death looked at the confused young man beside him and motioned for him to follow. “Come, before he loses his tail. She will help him, if she can.”

Harry hurried after him, relieved. So they were going to help. “What am I to do, then? I know she will not see you unless close to death, so what will I say to her?”

"Simply tell her where he went," Death replied, like it was obvious. They had now surpassed the girl, who was looking around confused. Teal’c had ducked into an alleyway and went into a building, but she missed that when hiding from him.

“Hey you!” she said, looking at Harry.

“Me?” Harry said back, surprised. He looked around, and at Death before realising he had made him visible without telling him. Bloody wanker.

“Yeah, you!” she said, exasperated. “Did you see a really big guy with a gold thing of his forehead go by?”

“Oh, er- yeah of course, he went through that alley. Ducked into the building there, I think,” Harry told her.

“Cool, man, thanks!” She ran toward the building, then paused at the entrance. “Tell no one you saw me.” She said seriously, before cracking a grin and running inside.

“I like her, don’t you?”

“Yeah, she’s something,” Harry sighed. “Does this mean he’ll be fine?”

“Yes, he should now survive.”

“Good,” Harry nodded, feeling just vision ending. “Until next time, then.”

“POTTER!” Draco was yelling when he came back to himself. “How dare you do that when we’re about to leave! I need a proper shower before we go to see Mother! It’s bad enough you make me wear Muggle clothes all the time, I will not go to Mother looking anything but my best.”

“Whatever you say, Dray. I think you just miss your hair products.” Harry laughed, ruffling Draco’s hair, who squawked indignantly and flattened his hair.

“Shut it, Potter. I just want to get out of this bloody place,” Draco pouted. He acted like  a seven year old most days, now that he didn’t have to ask permission to be a kid. Harry wasn’t much better, so he never said anything.

“So, France?” Harry asked, preparing for the long trek down the mountain. They couldn’t apparate from here, and risk blowing the Statute of Secrecy.

“Yes, France and then America. Although, we’ll probably stay in France for a while. I’ll need their food after all this white rice I’ve been subjected to,” Draco said flippantly, looking forward to seeing his Mother again.

“About food, Dray,” Harry called, already trailing behind Draco, who seemed halfway down the mountain already. “I want to take cooking classes. Most people go for years, and I want to see how long it’ll take us. Plus, it’ll be fun, don’t you think? Image the pranks now!”

“Pft,” Draco scoffed. “You do what you want. I want to learn more about this science stuff. It’s really rather fascinating. We’ll share our knowledge everyday before sunset, how about that?”

“Fine,” Harry huffed, winded from the journey. “But I’m keeping the prank info to myself.” Another thing they had learned while with the monks, was how to filter the information they gave each other.

“Whatever, Potter.”

When the reached the bottom of the mountain, Harry felt like he was dying and Draco looked as princely as ever, if a little grimmy.

“Come along, Potter, we still have to find somewhere I can shower,” Draco commanded, before apparating away, not waiting for Harry. It was a good thing he could find Draco through the bond, or else he would’ve been angry.


 

(September 1999)

It wasn’t until they had been with Cissy for a year, before they left for America. Harry had perfected what took most people four years to learn and longer to come close to perfection in only ten months, with a month before he started and a month after to spend with Cissy and Draco. Draco, however, wasn’t done with his studies, and knew there was so much more he could learn about science. There were so many kinds to choose from and so many theories to research, it would take longer than a year to learn. He figured he knew roughly what a Biology and Physics major knew upon graduation, but knew next to nothing about the theoretical sciences and things to do with space, as Death had finally told him was something they would need.

Harry remembered enough visions of Sam Carter saying big words and having Jack O'neill stare at her blankly to know they were learning it because of her. Whether it was to help her, or to simply provide stimulating conversation, Death would not say. He was annoying like that. Draco insisted the first stop they make in America was Harvard, the school only the very smart, and the very rich go to. He wished to apply there, under the guise of having gone to college already and get a doctorate in everything he could. Harry was going to study archeology, like Daniel did, because he genuinely found all that “rubbish,” as Draco called it, fascinating. They agreed to share the knowledge with each other everyday just as they have been doing since Tibet.

Harry, who had started seeing a guy named Miles, was sad to be leaving. He knew he shouldn’t have gotten close to him when he planned on leaving, but Draco insisted he try out a relationship with another man. Their outward appearance still showed growth, as Death explained they would still age, until they were 25, though they would be able to pass for younger, and older. At 19, he could already pass for early 20s. Miles was 23 and he went to the same cooking school. He wasn’t surprised when Harry- who was under the alias James- told him he was leaving. He only hugged him and said, “I knew it would happen eventually. You are much like the wizard Gandalf, in the Lord of the Rings. You seek adventure. I didn’t know why you stayed so long in the first place.”

“You aren’t mad?” Harry mumbled into Miles' shirt.

“I am sad, but no, I’m not mad. As I said, I expected it.”

Harry became sheepish, before blurting out the question, “Make love me me- before I go?”

Miles kissed his forehead. “I would love to. But do you think we should? It would be your first time, wouldn’t it? We have only been together a month or so.”

“I want to.”

 

When Harry left the next day, it was with a heavy heart and an aching he had never experienced before. He felt no equal to the pain of Daniel’s sorrow, however, as Daniel’s forever in a day when he watched as Daniel watched his wife died by Teal’c’s hands a month later. He had been in the middle of a mind meld with Draco after a day of classes when it happened. They both cried as they watched Daniel suffer through so much only to see her die. When the vision ended, they took comfort in each other’s arms and embrace.

The next morning, it was on silent agreement that they would never speak of the night again. Though they had found comfort in one another, it wasn’t a relationship they wanted together. If anything, seeing Sha’re die like that, it brought Harry closer to Daniel. He had already learned so much in a month at school. He knew many languages, and many cultures and would not have to stay in school long. Although he loved archeology, his heart was in baking pastries and roasting coffee. He hoped that was what he could do when Death finally told them where Daniel and his team were. He wanted to open a bakery, while Draco slaved away at the books, absorbing anything he could get his hands on.


 

(January 2000)

Five months later, he watched Daniel find Kheb, and the child that Sha’re told him about. He watched as Daniel learned of the Ascended, and knew Draco would be researching the science behind that one for weeks. He was worse than Hermione sometimes.

I heard that, Draco said, disgruntled.

You were meant to, Harry responded cheekily.

“Speaking of research,” Draco walked into his room in the house they had near campus. “I think I know what Death was saying. About the science thing. It’s apparently a genetic trait that causes our powers, and depending on the strength of your wizarding blood, it determines how much power you have at your disposal. But, it’s more than that. I think that wizards simply put, use more of their brain’s capacity than a Muggle does.

“Scientists say you are only using roughly 10% of your brain at any given time. But, those tests I made you do, show that you’re using somewhere around 45%. I think that’s what the monk meant on Kheb, that once you can utilize all of your brain, you don’t need the body anymore. Imagine, if you use 45% as MoD and a very powerful wizard, how much a regular wizard would use. Somewhere around 25%, yes? So, wizards have it easier when trying to ‘Ascend’ or whatever, because they are further along the path. Also, we could check how high the test scores you at after meditating, that seems to be a key factor in Ascension.”

Harry, though following all he said because of their mind melds, wasn’t as fascinated by this as Draco. He liked his languages and his dead cultures that he studied just fine without Draco getting all sciencey on him all the time. “As interesting as this is, why are you telling me?”

“Because,” Draco rolled his eyes, exasperated. “It means we understand the riddle. It’s only a matter of time before Death lets us in of the big secret. I know he filter’s the boring parts out of your visions, and but I think he does more than that. We know the Stargate goes to other planets. We know the Goa’uld are bad. But we still don’t know why exactly this specific team is important. Sure, they die or are close to death a lot, but why them?”

“Maybe because they’re just important people, and we need to help them when they need help, and listen when they need to talk. I think we’re just guides for them. Perhaps we’re to help them toward Ascension?”

Draco didn’t look convinced, but dropped the subject all the same. “Perhaps.”

 

Chapter Text

July, end of, 2000

“Happy birthday, Harry!” All the Weasley’s- including the new member, Hermione- screamed at him before you heard a murmur of “Yeah, that, Potter.” from the back.

Draco, after two years, still wasn’t used to the Weasleys. They took a while to warm up to him after the War, but when Harry promised to vouch for him, and he didn’t do anything nefarious for a few months, they treated him like family. Harry was pretty sure they thought their bond meant they had to be together together and that’s why, besides a few sad looks whenever he sat next to Ginny- who was happily dating Michael Corner again now that he wasn't so pissy about Quidditch- they never said or asked about his love life. Not that he had anything to tell them. The last time he had been with someone was Miles in France, and the last time he had been with someone, it was Draco five months after that.

“Thanks, guys, this is grand!” Harry beamed, watching the giant cake Molly had made float outside. Most of the surviving Order was here, including Hagrid (who was already drunk in a corner of the garden), and the Black sisters with Teddy. Andromeda moved in with Narcissa about the time they left to America, not being able to stay in the same house she and her husband, Ted, had shared any longer without him there. Andy was now dealing with her loss very well under the watchful eye of her sister, Cissy.

They visited the Weasley’s often when they were in France, telling them all about the monks they had seen before that (excluding bond things), and the bakery classes they were taking. When they left for America, they visited less, because transcontinental apparating is impossible at best for most wizards- though they could do it once every month or so and not feel any strain. Hermione had made them promise to visit on Harry’s birthday. “Like old times,” she had written to them. Harry- and by extension, Draco- couldn’t refuse her.

“Harry?” Ginny called from down the table. “Are you alright?”

Harry grinned. “Perfect.”

Hufflepuff.

Shut it, Dray, you have to be nice, it’s my birthday.

Pft,- Whatever Draco had been about to say was interrupted by blurred vision. As Harry had long ago gotten his eyesight corrected, he knew it was his Sight.

When he could make out shapes, then the familiar gate room, he watched as Martouf was shot, and died in Sam’s arms. Death stood beside him, waiting to ferry Martouf’s soul to the next world. Before he left, with the glowing orb in his hands, he told Harry, “It is time, young one. Be there for them, but do not tell them what you know. Not yet.”

The vision, shorter than most he had seen, faded and he was left with a group of worried redheads, and an excited Draco. They had already seen the team personally, a few weeks ago, when Death wanted them to intervene and make sure Daniel, Sam and Jack didn’t kill anyone at a bar called O’Malley’s. They simply stood at the bar, watching them beat up guys that totally deserved it, and subtly dampened the power of the arm bands.

“What was that, Harry?” Bill said from across the garden.

“Nothing, really, Draco was just distracting me,” Harry answered, saying play along to Draco.

Draco, on cue, blushed red, and refused to look at any of them. The Weasley’s awkwardly looked away and started loud conversations with each other- all except Ron and Hermione, who were glancing between them worriedly. They knew what he looked like when having a vision, though the last time had been during the War. They also knew, that no matter how much Draco and Harry act like it sometimes, they weren’t a couple.

What do you want to tell them? Draco asked.

What can I tell them? Harry replied, also worried. I can’t tell them about the not dying thing. I thought- I could mask it by glamours, and come visit less and less over the years...Perhaps that was ill conceived. I will have to tell them. I know that.

But not now. Harry said determined. Not on my birthday like this. We tell them that I am a Seer, as it is true, that I see the present happenings of somewhere, and if someone needs my help, I do all I can. That is also true.

Okay, your call.

“‘Mione, Ron, want to come inside with us for a second?” Harry asked, as nonchalant as he could- which was surprisingly convincing, as Draco had taught him the Slytherin mask of indifference.

“Of course, Harry,” Hermione answered, grabbing Ron’s arm and pulling him toward the house.

“Don’t worry,” Harry reassured Molly. “We’re just going to do presents in private this year.”

He summoned the gifts Ron and Hermione got for him- with his wand- and walked with Draco to the rebuilt Burrow. He was already hopping like a bunny as soon as they went inside, so excited. He didn’t hide behind the mask with ‘Mione and Ron anymore, knowing they would see through it now they knew each other better.

He grinned while Harry sat down next to him, setting the presents down and facing his two childhood best friends. “Dray, stop it, this is a serious conversation. I know you’re excited to be going, but we’ll deal with it later.”

“Harry?”

“Er-,” Harry stared back at Hermione. “Well...you see, I-”

“He has visions,” Draco blurted out. Harry glared at him.

“What kind of visions?” Was Hermione’s quick reply.

Harry glared at Draco when he went to answer. “The present tense kinds. They’re much like the ones I used to have, without the emotional transfer. I’m also a third party, instead of in someone's head.

“I have them so, if I can, I help the people in them. I’ve learned to make myself visible in them, when need be, and help whoever needs help. It’s mostly small things. Listening if they need an ear and stuff.”

“Mostly?” Ron asked, speaking up.

“Yeah, sometimes I help them physically, like drag someone out of the street before they’re hit by a car. It’s like the universe was compensating for my losses by helping me satisfy my Savior complex.”

“Why didn’t you tell us about this before, if that’s all this is?” Hermione was sceptical.

Harry looked at them both for a moment before making a decision. “I was waiting. We were waiting. I can’t say how I knew, but I knew that one of my visions would help tell us where to go. To where I-we’re needed most.

“Draco is really excited about it- and so am I. I’m going to be opening a coffee shop slash bakery. Draco is going to continue reading anything he can get his hands on and occasionally baking if I’m busy in a vision or something.”

Hermione looked at them for a few minutes, before her face became resolute. “As long as you tell us where you’re going. We know you were in America and France before that, but you never told us where exactly you were. No tracking spell worked.”

Harry, although insulted that they had tried to track him down like that, understood where they were coming from. He had hated being left out of things with the Order, and knew he couldn’t leave them out of this- at least, not completely.

“We’ll be in Colorado. Colorado Springs, Colorado,” Harry said, watching Ron try not to laugh at the name and Hermione try and figure out where that was on a map in her head. “You live in Ottery St. Catchpole, Ron, shut it.”

“When are you leaving?” Hermione spoke up, ignoring Ron’s sputtering.

He glanced at Draco. Soon. Now, preferably. “Soon. When we were scheduled to leave, I guess; tomorrow. We always travel like we’re not going back to where we were before, so we have everything we need already in our bottomless rucksacks.”

Hermione looked confused. “How are you going to get there? In fact, how have you been getting here when you visit? Transcontinental apparition is impossible. Even Dumbledore couldn’t do it.”

He and Draco looked at each other for a beat. By all means, tell them. “Well..we-”

They gasped before he could finish. Hermione was thinking it over, while Ron gapped at them. “But- how?”

“We’re just the best,” Draco finally cut in, sarcastically. “Obviously, Granger, it’s because of the bond. It pulled us together, mind and soul. Why not magic as well?”

Hermione was silent, at war with herself, debating it in her head, again. “Yes, I suppose that makes sense.”

“Merlin Harry, I thought it was just because you don’t like portkeys you didn’t visit more often!”

“Enough about that,” Hermione shushed him. “Open your presents, Harry! Molly will be wondering what’s taking so long.”

 

They left the next morning, eager to set up Harry’s shop. It was agreed they would use their real names- their first names, at least. Everyone in Colorado would know them as Harry and Draco Black, adoptive brothers, because no one would believe they were actually related. The shop would be close to where all of the team lives- excluding Teal’c who still lives on the base. The hope was that they came in and they would be able to develop a friendship with them.

Draco was still sceptical as to why, exactly, they were doing this, instead of just joining the base. They had enough qualifications- even if some would be faked, because technically only Draco took all those science classes, and only Harry took the archeology and language ones. Harry just accepted the fact Death had a good reason and would tell them when they were ready to know.

A week later, Daniel Jackson was driving to work, not looking forward to the bases idea of coffee before they were to leave to P4X-639, when he noticed a new shop, Lily’s Coffee and Pastries. That was more like it. He could even bring Jack and Sam some for their traditional breakfast before a mission meetup. Pulling in, he walked to the door hoping for some good coffee for once.

The shop was empty when he walked in, though he could hear voices coming from the back. The first voice, deep and rough sounding, said, “But, Dray, how come you get to sit there, watching me slave over the ovens, reading about advanced astrophysics? Can’t you at least read it out loud to me? This job is so mindless sometimes.”

Astrophysics? Daniel heard another voice, aristocratic sounding, reply, “That’s bollocks, Potter, you’re the one who wanted the shop, the least you can do is run the thing yourself. It’s not as if we need to charge people, either, so there goes my managing work.”

“Perhaps we’ll just give it all away for free then, and see how busy we’ll be then, with me all alone, surrounded by mobs, without even astrophysics to calm me down!” ‘Potter’ replied, raising his voice.

Daniel was starting to think he had come in during a lovers spat, but still wanted some coffee, so he called out, “Uh, excuse me, are you open?”

There was a crash, like a book falling to the ground, before a series of grunts and hisses from both people in the back, almost like they were communicating that way- and he would know, he was a linguist, after all- before he saw a man with pitch black hair and shocking forest green eyes pop out of the doorway, followed by a regal looking pure blond man with equally shocking pale blue eyes at a more sedated pace.

“Of course we’re open! We’re always open, aren’t we, Dray?” The black haired man said to his companion, coming up to the counter. Daniel was surprised the deep voice he heard before came from the rather small body in front of him. The blond, Dray, simply glared at him while the other beamed back.

Daniel glanced between them, and decided maybe he could just come back tomorrow. “I, uh.”

“Oh, er, I’m Harry, this is Draco; we own the shop,” the newly named Harry told him.

“Yes, Harry, tell the man our life story why don’t you, I’m sure he’ll find it fascinating,” Draco drawled, amusement in his eyes. Harry laughed, like at an inside joke. The fight seemed forgotten. If they own the shop, then who and where is ‘Lily’?

Shut up, Daniel you’re being paranoid.

But, what are obviously British people doing in Colorado Springs?

“Listen, I’m running late as it is, maybe I can come back another day or-”

“Nonsense!” Harry cried, moving over to the coffee makers he had in the corner behind the counter. “I’ll just whip you up something quick, you and your friends will love it. Three people, right?”

“Uh, yes?” Daniel asked, not sure when he said anything about Sam and Jack. “Aren’t you going to take my order?”

“From what menu?” Harry replied easily, eyes sparkling as he bustled about.

For the first time, Daniel looked around. There were small tables surrounded by low, comfortable looking chairs and couches, and the counter and display were covered in goodies from donuts to lollipops, but there wasn’t a menu in sight.

“Why don’t you have a menu?” He asked Draco, who was just standing in the doorway to the back room looking bored.

Draco stared at him as if he’d lost it, before Harry cut in. “Oh, those rubbish things, I hate ‘em! They restrict my creativity! If I just make the same thing every day, I would lose my head! I need variety in my life. Dray thinks it’s because of my adventuresome youth. If they could see me now!”

"Plus, he likes to think he knows what you want better than you do," Draco chuckled, before sighing. “Ah, the good old days. I miss fighting with you.”

Daniel, properly confused now as they had been fighting when he walked in, simply stood and listened to the conversation as though listening to a new language. These newcomers were very fascinating indeed.

“Oh, remember the buttons, Dray, in our fourth year! ‘Potter stinks’ they said. How original.”

“That’s it, Potter! We’re sparring tonight, no getting out of it!” Draco spat, steaming with rage. Harry beamed at him, putting the lids on the finished drinks.

“Wouldn’t dream of it.”

Daniel now understood what fighting meant. They must’ve been on their school’s wrestling team or something. Although, they were thin as sticks, and taller than 6 feet, so maybe not.

“Why do you call him ‘Potter’?” Daniel spoke up, as Harry turned to give him his drinks in a cup holder.

Harry and Draco exchanged looks, before the blonde nodded, as if they had silently communicated. Harry told him, “We’re adoptive brothers, you see, and when I was adopted into the family, he didn’t think it right to call me a Black- his last name- so he called me Potter. It’s from the saying ‘pot calling the kettle black’. He thought he was rather clever at the time.”

“It was clever, Harry,” Draco rolled his eyes. Daniel felt guilty for assuming they were a couple. I spend too much time around Jack and Sam, he decided. He kept thinking fighting was flirting now.

“Anyway,” Harry rolled his back at him. “The first time here is on the house, so stop getting your wallet out. You’ll want to be on your way before the coffee gets cold. It shouldn’t seeing as we’re close to the mountain, but just in case.”

“Close to the mountain?” Daniel said, putting his wallet back in his pocket.

Harry and Draco nodded in sync. “Yeah, because you work there.”

Daniel was now getting suspicious. First the number of coffee’s, now, knowing where he worked...He would have to bring Sam by to check them for Goa’ulds. “How do you know that?”

Harry pointed at his shirt, eyes twinkling with mischief. Looking down, he noticed he already had his ID badge clipped to his jacket- his green, air force issued jacket, meaning he was in uniform. “Oh, right.”

The raven haired man laughed, and started to pull Draco into the back room. “Come back anytime, Dr. Jackson.”

When he said that, his green eyes glowed iridescent, and his face went slack. Draco stepped in front of him before Daniel could get a good look, but he decided he should definitely bring Sam here, soon.

“We’ll be seeing you, Jackson.” He nodded and walked out. The door locked as soon as it closed. The shades were drawn, and the lights were out in the main room. The shop looked like he had never been inside, like it had hadn’t just been open for the day.

Strange, Daniel thought, taking a sip from the one with his name on it. The others weren’t named, but said ‘Friend 1’ and ‘Friend 2’ on the sides. Harry really did seem to know what he wanted. It was the perfect cup of coffee he had ever tasted.

The drive to the base was uneventful, Daniel lost in thought about the new shop owners in town. Why was it called ‘Lily’s’ if they owned it? If they were Goa’uld, why were they just running a shop? Why didn’t they attack? They can’t have come through the Stargate, so they would have to have a ship. What was up with Harry when he left?

After the long elevator rides, and many check stations later, he still didn’t have any answers. Walking to the cafeteria, he decided, if they weren’t Goa’uld, he would still ask Sam to run a background check, to be safe.

Chapter Text

Harry watched as Daniel ranted about base coffee, before asking Jack, “Anyway, that’s just how I feel about it, what do you think?”

Jack looked up from his fruit loops, confused, glanced at them, then looked at his watch. “Will you look at the time! We’re going to be late for our briefing.”

Sam looked at her watch, and started. “Oh, Sir’s right, we should get going.”

Daniel watched them get up, dejected, and put down his uneaten piece of waffle. Harry had become good at reading Daniel’s mind, simply by watching his face. He knew that he was thinking about asking Sam about them, but was looking forward to meeting the archeologist they would see on the planet they were going to as he watched Sam talk about coronal mass emissions and Jack sit there thinking about fruit loops.

He watched Daniel and the team get ready, watched as they left to the planet, going with them. He looked at the ruins, curious about this language he heard Jack speak a year ago. He hadn’t learned how to read it yet, but Daniel had gotten rather good at it. When Malikai, the alien archaeologist, shot Daniel with some sort of energy weapon, he moved to help, before being pulled back by Death, who suddenly appeared. “Now is not the time for you to help. You must let this come to pass.”

“I hate it when you do this!” Harry cried, staring at Daniel. “Is he going to be okay?”

“Of course, young one, I would not let him die. It is not his time.”

“I demand you tell me when his time will be! I won’t watch him die!”

“I cannot tell you what I do not know,” Death said sadly.

“You know! You have to know,” Harry yelled, distraught.

“I do not. His death varies. Sometimes he is to die tomorrow, sometimes it is not for years. They all are like that. Their lives are important, and their deaths are, too. Not even I can tell when they will die.”

“They cheat death too much, don’t they?” Death nodded.

Suddenly, a blinding flash of light distracted him, and he watched his surroundings change and heard Daniel say, “Anyway, that’s just how I feel about it. What do you think?”

Jack stared around, seeing them staring at him like nothing had just happened, then said, “What?”

When they went to the briefing, again, Death walked toward the fumbling Jack, trying to explain. “Now, you must do it now. Before time restarts again. The spell will stick, because we will it to, but we have other things to do. It will be a long few months.”

“What spell?” Harry asked, walking up to them as well.

“The learning spell. They will have to learn much, and it will help.”

Harry nodded, and cast the spell with a wave of his hand. Teal’c looked around, before becoming distracted by the gate activating. Jack noticed nothing, consciously, but he also frowned. “They noticed!”

Death watched Harry’s amazement, before telling him, “Jack has Ancient blood. Teal’c is a Jaffa, and more aware than people give him credit for.”

Before he could ask more, the base started to fade around him. When he blinked his eyes, he was in the back room with Draco too close to his face, staring at him. “What?”

“Daniel saw you slip into your vision,” He said, worried.

Harry nodded. “Yes, I know. He will ask Sam about a background check on us after checking us for Goa’uld.”

“Ugh, those snake things.” Both gagged. They may speak Parseltongue, but snakes are forever ruined for them.

“You need to shield the town,” Death said, popping up out of nowhere like he always does. “The wizards will notice the time loop, and we must not let them look into the Stargate program. The Wars and rebuilding have kept them distracted, but the time loop will peak their curiosity. The world cannot afford a World War where no one knows why they're fighting.”

They nod, not even jumping at his sudden appearance.

Death doesn’t understand the meaning of a 9to5 job sometimes. “We’ll have to close the shop, I suppose. We can’t take customers while shielding the city.”

“How long?” Draco asked.

“Several months.” They gaped.

“We’ll drain ourselves!” Draco cried.

Death shook his head. “No, you will use the Master of Me powers and magic when you feel strain on your magical cores. It will sustain it. You will be tired by the end, but able to use your magic for your store, at least.”

“And we won’t die, so it’ll just recharge,” Harry comforted Draco. “Plus, this gets me out of sparring with you tonight.” He moved to put a statis charm on the food in the front, so he wouldn’t have to make anything for a while once to loop was broken. He watched Death do the same, to ensure it would stay during the looping. He could feel the daggers Draco was shooting him, remembering their fighting from earlier.

They went upstairs to the apartment- that was, of course, magically enlarged somewhat- so as to be as comfortable as possible. They agreed to sit on Harry’s bed, which was on a balcony that overlooked the living room and small kitchen- because they had a giant one downstairs. The hallway underneath led to the spiral stairs to get to Harry’s ‘room’ and the door to Draco’s room. Draco had insisted on an en suite, so Harry also had his own bathroom, upstairs.

When they got to his balcony room, Harry pulled the curtains around the balcony edge. They were sound proof and worked as a shield, so that, once they were closed, no one could get into his room besides Draco. No spells would penetrate in, just in case they failed, and the wizards followed the signal here, they wouldn’t be able to get in while both were weak.

He saw Death glance at them, impressed at the magic put into them, before sitting on a leather chair much like the ones downstairs that was facing the bed. Draco sat on the other side of the bed as him, both getting into the positions the monks had drilled into their minds and bodies until it was instinct and they could do it as fluidly as water.

“Scared, Potter?”

“You wish.”

They share a look, before the tension, that had been slowly building since Death had not explained the loop, broke. The laughed quietly, before getting down to business. They had already mapped out the edges of town when they came, just in case shielding it would be necessary. All they had to do, was imagine the town surrounded by an impenetrable shield, and their magic would do the work for them.

“I will stay, watch over you.” Death settled more deeply into his seat, before they watched him cast a bubble around the room, so everything in it wouldn’t be affected by the looping.

“Question,” Draco blurted. “What about if we need to use the bathroom? Food?”

“It is not necessary, as you will not die. If you have to use the restroom, I will clear the passageways in your body. Therefore, you will not be affected.”

Draco peered at him, then muttered, “Creepy.”

Harry turned to Draco, as he finally stopped stalling, and they linked hands in front of them. He looked into Draco’s eyes, before they closed, his following. The magic might do the work, but they would still have to chant the strongest shield spell they knew over and over until the looping ended.

When the loop was broken, thankfully without anyone from the Wizarding world figuring it out, Death gave them the highlights to the past few weeks from Jack and Teal’c’s point of views, before telling them to rest their vocal cords so they would heal faster. Harry and Draco, while not killed by the lack of food, proceeded to eat everything they had in their small kitchen.

When the day ended, Harry announced, through their mind link- that he still wanted to run the shop tomorrow. Sam and Daniel will be by tomorrow, you know that! Don’t you wanna meet her? Plus, it would be suspicious if we weren’t open. Draco, while not happy about it, agreed it would be best.

After some not-really-needed-but-appreciated-sleep, they went downstairs to open up the shop. Daniel was waiting there, at the door with a short blond haired woman in civilian clothing.

Chapter Text

Daniel had dragged Sam to Lily’s as soon as he got up, and despite what Harry had said about always being open, the shop was closed. He insisted they stay, and see if they open at a more reasonable time, as it was 6 am.

When the door opened, and the shades were drawn, Daniel rushed in, pulling Sam behind her. Harry looked mildly surprised, before rasping, “Hello Dr. Jackson, is this your girlfriend?”

Girlfriend? Daniel thought. He couldn’t believe he didn’t think of what it would look like, bringing a girl here. Now he felt guilty somehow, like he wanted Harry to know it wasn’t like that.

Sam spoke up before he could get his head out of his ass, shooting him a look that said ‘clean’. “No, I’m afraid not, I just work with him.”

Harry nodded. “So, when you left yesterday, I grew curious as to what happens in that mountain of yours. The internet- bless it, I just learned how to work it recently- anyway, it said, you work on- what was it, Dray?”

Draco came out of the back, carrying an open book titled, Introductory Astronomy & Astrophysics. He glanced at the newcomers, then said, “Analysis of deep space radar and telemetry.”

“Yes, yes,” Harry said, his voice deeper, and raspier than Daniel remembered. “Then, I- what was it, Dray? Right, ‘google’. I googled you, and found that you were an archaeologist. Funny, I don’t see what you would need an archeologist for when you’re doing analysis, but Draco always told me I was too curious for my own good.”

Daniel watched them both closely, more suspicious than ever, before he noticed something. “Why do you look like you haven’t slept in weeks? You were fine yesterday.”

Harry smiled, as if glad he’d noticed. “Well, you see,” He glanced at Draco, who nodded. “We did a marathon, and didn’t get much sleep. We talked almost the whole time, so that’s why our voices sound different, too.”

Draco came up to the counter, and said, “Why don’t you both go sit down, and I’ll bring you some snacks while Harry makes the drinks?”

Sam smiled at them. “That would be great, thanks.”

She pulled Daniel to the farthest chairs from the counter, and told him under her breath, “Harry’s clean, but not sure about the blond. I’ll know in a sec when he brings the snacks. What’s with them not asking what we wanted?”

“Draco says it’s because Harry thinks he knows better than you what you want. He’s right, too. I didn’t order our coffee, yesterday, he just started making it.”

Sam looked surprised. “But it was exactly how I take my coffee!”

“Yes,” Draco cut in, setting down a large blueberry muffin in from of Sam, and a banana nut one in front of Daniel. “He has a knack for it. Only went to culinary school a few months, when we were in France, visiting Mother.”

“France?” He knew they had to be rich, but weren’t culinary schools in France really expensive?

“Yes, he did that, while I majored in Biology and basic Physics.” Sam lit up, just now remembering the book he had had when they came in.

“You’re studying astrophysics now, though, aren’t you?” She nodded at Daniel to tell him Draco was clean too, while Draco sat down at their table.

Draco sighed. “Yeah, when we came here to America after France, I made Harry stay with me at Harvard while I studied anything science related, really. He didn’t complain much because he started studying archeology. Rubbish subject, no offense Dr. Jackson.”

“Daniel, call me Daniel.” Draco’s eyes gleamed triumphant, then you could hear a clatter from behind the counter, and a soft ‘umph’.

“Ha!” Draco cried, turning to look at the flour covered Harry that emerged from underneath the counter. “I win!”

“No fair, you cheated!” Harry whined, gathering the four completed coffees and bringing them to their table, shaking off flour as he went. Perfect.

“What?” Daniel asked, taking a sip, and watching Sam do the same.

Harry sat next to him, grinning. “Google says you don’t like being called Dr. Jackson. We bet to see who could get you to say it first. Draco cheated, though, because I was busy making your drinks.”

Draco shot Harry a look that clearly said, ‘Did not!’ but didn’t say anything. Daniel was again amused at their conversation, looking forward to coming by every chance he got just to hear them communicate. Sam didn’t look much better, watching them with wide eyes. Harvard? she mouthed to him.

“Anyway, have you run the background check yet? I can’t wait to hear what you find!” Harry exclaimed next to him, looking genuinely excited to know. He stared at him, not even surprised anymore, while Sam gapped.

Daniel asked, “How did you know we would do that?”

“You looked at us suspiciously the last time. Plus, I slipped into one of my episodes right before you left and they are rather strange to witness, or so Dray says.” Draco shot Harry a sharp look, to which Harry returned with a defying one. “Draco, if they’ll be coming by regularly, they should know. They’re mostly random, you know that.”

“Episodes?” Sam spoke up, almost scared to know.

Draco sighed, glancing at him and Sam, before nodding to Harry. “He blanks out sometimes. It can happen at any time. He’ll be there one second, and, with almost no warning, gone the next. Harry, after a few months living with Tibetan monks- gods, I hated them- learned it was because he has PTSD. He relives the trauma during his episodes. They don’t happen often, and they aren’t set off by anything that we know of, so you won’t have to tiptoe around him or anything.”

Now, Daniel couldn’t keep quiet. “PTSD from what?”

At his words, Draco and Harry’s demeanor changed completely. From open and friendly, to closed and standoffish. They looked into each others eyes from across the table, seeming to forget he and Sam were there. It was the look in their eyes that threw him. Just looking into their eyes, you would think you were seeing an old man who had gone through war, to hell and back, and then stopped by purgatory as a tourist. They were the eyes of marked men.

It lasted several long seconds before eye contact was broken and all was as it had been before. Draco looked at Daniel, the echo of pain in his grey eyes, and said, “You wouldn’t want to know.”

Daniel believed him. It seemed, Harry wasn’t the only one who went through this ‘trauma’. But, that didn’t stop his curiosity- if anything, he wanted to know them better. There were few he could talk to about what he’d seen, but even fewer who would understand how he felt. Sha’re…

He nodded at Draco. He saw, out of the corner of his eye, Harry smile at him. It gave him a warm feeling in the pit of his stomach the likes of which not even Ke’ra, whom he had fallen for briefly, shortly after watching Sha’re die, produced.

“Anywho,” Harry’s gruff voice pulled him from his memories. “If you stay much longer, you won’t have time to run a background check on us! Off you go, and hurry back with a copy for me and Dray, I can’t wait to see what you find!”

Daniel and Sam got up and threw away the trash from the muffins they had devoured. Those were also perfectly made. He heard Harry mutter to Draco, “Maybe I can have Gringotts run their own background check, and compare the two. Imagine the differences!”

 

*************************

 

Harry told Draco, hours later, when they were sitting in the living room, meditating.

He heard Draco sigh. It was the truth. I know you still have nightmares in which you relive the past, even when you shield me from viewing them. To call them episodes, and to say they can happen at any time, is simply stretching the truth, but it is still truth.

I will ask Death to stop sending me during business hours unless it is really important. Harry decided, coming out of his meditation slowly. He had watched Teal’c do Kelno’reem, and knew his meditation was much like that. But first, I wanted to talk to you about the background check.

They will not find anything, Draco assured automatically.

On the contrary, they could find much, Harry countered. I was raised Muggle, remember? I have records that disappear when I turn eleven. I have police reports with my name instead of Dudley’s on them. I do not know if I wish them to know about my childhood.

Yes, you do. For Daniel at least. Draco peered at him disbelieving that Harry had not noticed his own feelings. Besides the changed name, the records aren’t changed or faked, they simply say you went to a Gifted School for gifted youth and it burned down, with all the rest of your records. It is the truth, mostly.

Harry winced. They had not gone back to Hogwarts, or the Wizarding world, unless you counted monthly visits to the Weasley’s. Yes, I suppose you’re right. Do you think it will tell them that I was almost expelled twice?

Draco snorted, stretching. Twice, Potter?

Well, officially, I was only almost expelled twice, Harry shot back, sheepishly.

Draco snorted again. Yes, well, I doubt Ministry records like that will be public knowledge. Especially because they can’t be looking bad for expelling the Savior twice.

Harry gagged. Ugh, I hope none of that is in the file either.

We’ll have to wait and see. Have you contacted Gringotts for our own version of our files?

Yes, I sent Kreacher after he made dinner. Harry yawned. I’m going to bed.

Mhm, the sooner you go to bed, the sooner you see Daniel again? Draco teased.

Harry blushed. Shut it, Malfoy.,/em>

You can’t hide your emotions from me, lover boy! Draco called as Harry ran to his room, shutting their link as he went. He could hear Draco chuckle just before his shades drew closed. Jerk.

Heard that!

You were meant to!

Chapter Text

When Harry didn’t hear from Daniel again for two weeks, he was only mildly worried. As promised, he had talked to Death, and now he only had visions at night. Last night, he had dreamed of Daniel with some sort of creature. They were throwing a symbiote head around a fire and Daniel was laughing- albeit, tied up and laughing, but he seemed safe enough.

 

He was curious about the language Daniel seemed to be learning from the creature. It seemed primitive and ancient. Just the kind Harry loved to learn. The door opening distracted him from his musing. “Daniel!” he called, surprised.

 

Daniel looked very tan, like he had been in the sun for too long, and tired. But his eyes gleamed behind his glasses, that were much like Harry’s old ones. “Hello, Harry. I come with news!”

 

“Our background check then? What took so long?”

 

“Sam was curious at the missing pieces and insisted we try to find more. Plus, I was busy at the base with other things.”

 

Harry laughed, and nodded, getting Daniel his coffee. “Yes, I thought as much. Learn anything new about space?”

 

Daniel beamed. “Yes, I have.”

 

Handing Daniel his coffee, and noticing the manilla folder in his other hand, he called to Draco through the link. “What do you want, Potter? I’m in the middle of my new book-!”

 

Draco cut off when he came from the back room and saw Daniel holding up a folder, but looking at them confused. Harry realized he called for Draco without saying anything out loud. He thought it better not to call attention to that fact, and said, “Shall we, Dray? I know you want to see what Sam unearthed as much as me.”

 

They all sat at a table not far from the counter, as there was no one else in the shop. “Now,” Daniel started. “There isn’t much really.”

 

Harry and Draco grinned at him. “We know.” they chorused.

 

“Harry was born July 31, 1980, and Draco was born June 5, 1980. All we found was Harry’s public education up to age eleven. No doctors visits, or anything like that. Draco, yours is much the same, but you went to some private school called Wombat. At the age of eleven, you both are accepted into Hogwarts School for the Gifted and Talented. The records were lost in a school fire a few years ago.” Daniel paused, seeing the looks in their eyes, and thought perhaps this was the ‘trauma’ they had mentioned. “After that, you dropped off the grid for a while before resurfacing in France, like you said. The records for your schooling were found but there still seems to be no records of anything else. When you moved to America, though there aren’t any records of your flight and you both don’t seem to have a passport or ID of any kind, you were at Harvard for a while before moving here a month ago for no reason.”

 

Harry nodded. “Sounds about right.”

 

“Of course, there are a lot of things left out. Like doctors visits, dental records, eye doctor visits, as we found some early pictures of Harry with glasses, and any family members information. Your adoption papers weren’t found, either. It was as if you were always Harry Black, as that’s what the records say.”

 

He nodded at Daniel again. “We know some dentists. Family friends, you could say. They didn’t keep us on record. Our doctor was also like that. She saw us often enough, she didn’t bother to keep us on record.”

 

Harry smiled when Draco groaned at that. “Poppy did always like me best.” he told Daniel.

 

“Please, Harry, you know she doted on you. Remember, when that rotten bird of yours scratched me? She left me alone for ages while tending to you because you passed out or something rubbish like that.”

 

“Hey, you’re the one who threatened Buckbeak, and you know he doesn’t like being threatened. You should’ve kept away like Hagrid told you to.” Harry watched out of the corner of his eye as Daniel watched them bicker, looking back and forth as if watching a Quidditch match. He turned to Daniel before Draco could retort. “Enjoying yourself, are you?”

 

Daniel looked at him surprised, before huskily replying. “Yes, I am. Listening to you two talk is like listening to a new language. I can’t wait to learn and understand, and yet I also want to sit back and just listen.”

 

He smiled at him, ignoring Draco, who subtly got up and left them alone, whispering, Have fun, lover boy, into his mind as he went. “Yes, I know the feeling. Learning a new language is very exciting.”

 

“Your records say you took archeology classes along with language classes, but yet you run a bakery shop. Why take those classes if you don’t plan on using them in your profession?”

 

“Perhaps, I was learning all I could for pleasure,” Harry purred, and watched as Daniel subtly shivered. “Or, maybe I was learning so I could get into someone’s pants.”

 

Daniel locked eyes with him, and drew in a sharp breath. “How many languages did you learn?”

 

Harry tilted his head, pretending to think about it. “German, Latin, Ancient Egyptian, Russian, Greek, French, Spanish, Mandarin Chinese, Mayan, Phoenician, Aztec, Ancient Babylonian, Middle English, Dutch, etc. I’m not sure, I’ve never counted.”

 

Daniel gapped. He knew that Daniel knew around 26, and while he had only mentioned 14, he also knew some Ancient, a little Abydonian and Goa’uld from Daniel, and the wizarding languages like Mermish and Gobbledygook. “You cannot have learned so much in so little a time. It took me years to learn even half of those!”

 

Harry winked, and Daniel flushed. “I’m a quick study.”

 

“Prove it!” Daniel playfully replied.

 

I need not prove my worth to you Daniel Jackson. I can feel you already understand me more than most. Harry hissed, in Parseltongue, just to throw Daniel off. He was very much enjoying talking to Daniel, and knew that it would not be long before his crush became full blown falling.

 

“I haven’t heard that language before, how do I know you are not simply speaking gibberish?” Daniel challenged.

 

“Dray, Danny here requires a demonstration,” Harry called to Draco, who was hiding in the back, away from the two love birds.

 

“Of what?” Draco answered, not wanting to admit he’d been eavesdropping. Harry smiled at him knowingly.

 

“Our secret language, of course, do not pretend to have not been eavesdropping, it is below your status.” Harry poshly replied, before breaking down into giggles. Draco rolled his eyes, while Daniel looked between them, and mouthed, Status?

 

“Shall we get on with it then, Harry?”

 

He sobered. “Yes, of course.”

 

It is a risk to tell him about this, Draco said. Do you think it wise, while he barely knows us? We know they will have to know some of it eventually, but I think it’s too soon.

 

Too soon? Harry scoffed. It is never too soon to trust. Not with Daniel. We have known them for longer than they know us. You know they are trustworthy. They have saved the world, just as I have.

 

And you do not think it is just your feelings for Daniel clouding your judgement?

 

Harry looked appalled. You know I do not trust easy, Draco. You know what it is like for me. Must you ask me that? I do not know what I am doing with him. I don’t know where this attraction will go, if anywhere. Have you not thought, that I will see him die one day?

 

Draco looked chastened, while Harry was still upset. He turned away, and looked at Daniel, who had somewhat followed the conversation through facial expressions, as Draco left to the back room again. “What did he say to you?”

 

His face cleared, not wanting to upset Daniel with their fighting. “It is nothing, Daniel.”

 

Daniel shivered again. His voice had been deep with emotions, and though his face was clear, he couldn’t know what his eyes told. He only hoped Daniel would not say anything, as he knew he had sounded as Sha’re did when saying his name.

 

“I am sorry, I’ve upset you,” He whispered, sadness in his eyes.

 

Daniel looked at him, with pain hidden beneath glasses. “It is nothing, Harry.” He couldn’t help but smile at the obvious lie repeated back to him.

 

He put his small hand on the archeologists larger one, and simply stared into his hazel eyes for a few minutes. When he was certain his feelings were at least somewhat returned, he leaned forward as if to kiss him. Daniels eyes showed panic, before he pulled away quickly.

 

Standing up, Harry attempted to hide his hurt and disappointment, and knew he was not successful at the look on Daniels face. “Yes, of course. My apologies. I have baking to do.”

 

Before Daniel could speak up, though he didn’t know what he could say, Harry hurried into the kitchens, and into Draco’s waiting and understanding embrace. He had felt Harry’s turmoil, and knew now was the time to be his brother, and not his ‘frenemy’ as Harry still sometimes called them.

 

When they heard the door to the shop close, Harry let out a sob. Perhaps you were right, it was too soon. I was clouded by my emotions.

 

“Shh,” Draco soothed. “You haven’t changed as much as you think, Harry. You are still a Gryffindor, throwing your empty head first into things.”

 

And that is a bad thing, Harry decided. I will learn to be like you. A Slytherin. Will you greet Daniel for me from now on? At least until I can hide my emotions from him?

 

“I do not like it,” Draco started, but at Harry’s shattered, and puppy-dog look, he sighed. “But I will do as you ask. You have my permission to look at my training as a child. Though, you will not like what you find.”

 

I know. Just as you did not like what you found when looking at my years with the Dursleys. The blond growled at that, and Harry tried to smile.

 

“I still want to punish them,” He told the green eyed baker.

 

I know, Harry replied.

Chapter Text

Several more weeks later, Daniel still hadn’t seen Harry- and not for lack of trying. Every day he wasn’t busy with the Enkarans, helping them settle into their new planet, he was at Lily’s , trying to get Draco to tell him where Harry was. “He is busy somewhere else,” the blond would always reply, while getting his coffee ready. Daniel was growing frustrated at his resolve. No matter what he tried, Draco would always look at him as coldly as ever, and refuse to help.

 

Finally, when the Enkarans had left to their home world, he walked into the shop, and stopped in surprise. There was Harry, bustling about behind the counter as if he had never left. He turned, and greeted Daniel warmly, but with guarded eyes. It was then Daniel realized for all his trying, he didn’t know what he would’ve said to Harry had he been able to break Draco.

 

“Where have you been?” Daniel spat out, suddenly angry. It was childish, but then, so was Harry’s running away.

 

Harry’s demeanor didn’t change as he went to get Daniel’s coffee. “Visiting family.”

 

“What family?” Daniel challenged, seeing as the only family he knew about was Draco and Draco’s mom, and the background check said nothing of anyone else. He regretted his words when Harry paused in his working.

 

“My parents. I was visiting my parents,” Harry told Daniel truthfully, continuing as if he had never paused.

 

“I thought you were adopted?” Daniel challenged again, still not ready to give up being childish.

 

Harry turned to him with a smile that showed no emotion. He gave him his coffee, and moved to continue bustling as he had been when Daniel arrived. “I never said I was visiting living relatives, Dr. Jackson.”

 

Daniel opened his mouth to say, ‘Daniel’, but closed it when he realized he had just been dismissed. Harry moved around behind the counter as if he wasn’t there. Daniel left, still angry, and now confused.

 

What would he have said to Harry, had he the chance? He had rejected him, he knew that. Sha’re was still so recent, and the last woman he had grown to like had really been Linea. He had never felt anything romantic toward a man before- and Harry was really but a child. He is 35 and Harry is only 20.

 

He knew he was making excuses now, for Harry may be 20 physically, but his mind appeared older. Much older. As if Daniel was the one who was the child. But he didn’t know what it meant to love a man. Harry was beautiful, and Daniel knew he was plain in comparison. How could he hope to compete with that? But he tried to kiss you, his mind pointed out, sounding like Jack when he was exasperated by Daniel.

 

Frustrated as he was, he didn’t realize he had drunk all his coffee until he went to get more, and found an empty cup. Sighing, he got up to get some base issued coffee. On the way to the kitchens, he ran into Sam.

 

“Daniel!” Sam called. “I’ve been looking for you. General Hammond wants to talk to us! Something about an advanced civilization SG-5 found. He wants us to go check it out and start talks.”

He sighed. “Coming, Sam.”

 

When Daniel didn’t come back for a few weeks, Harry thought perhaps that was it. Death had stopped showing him visions of the team, and so he didn’t know what was going on. They could be dead for all he knew. No, he would know that, Death would’ve told him. Better yet, he knew he would’ve known somehow if Daniel died.

 

But still, he couldn’t help being worried. He might be better able to hide his emotions after a crash course through Draco’s memories- however unpleasant that had been- but he still felt. He felt hurt at Daniel’s rejection. He felt sadness toward the thought of living forever alone. He felt anger toward Death at bringing him back every time he died, or was close to death over the years. He felt guilt because of the memories he saw of Draco’s. But most of all, he felt joy. Joy, because Death told him that, if used only for short visits, like the night he had died for the people in Hogwarts, he could see his parents again, and Remus and Sirius, and Tonks. All of them, he had talked to while avoiding Daniel.

 

The first thing he heard when he first turned the ring thrice, was, “Wotcher, Harry.” Tonks had appeared along with the ones he had seen during the first time he used the ring. She didn’t say much, just stuck by Remus’ side. His parents were so proud of him. But they were also sad to know that they would never see him again, in death. They couldn’t talk about the other side, and so they mostly discussed their years alive. Remus and Sirius were the same as ever. Remus of course was healthy and happy with Tonks and without lycanthropy. He was sad to have left his child behind, but knew with Harry as a godfather Teddy would turn out just fine. Sirius talked to him about his years in Azkaban, of all things. The trouble he went through, and the calming effect being in Animagus form was for him, surrounded by Dementors as he was.

 

When Harry had sheepishly told them of Daniel, fearing rejection at liking a man, they had all smiled. Lily ghosted her insubstantial hand around his check, and said, “I have always loved you, Hadrian. Nothing would change that.”

 

James grinned at him, then winked. “Going for an older man, are you Harry? Ignore Lily, she insists that your name is Hadrian, no matter what we try and tell her.” Lily huffed beside him.

 

Sirius winked, too. “I went out with a boy once. It was great fun.”

 

“But he’s gone for a man, hasn’t he Padfoot?” Remus asked, bemused. Without his burden of being a werewolf, he was as much a Marauder as Sirius.  

 

Tonks whispered to Harry conspiratorially, “I could become a man, with my Metamorphmagus. Remus liked having sex with someone else sometimes. It wasn’t always a woman.”

 

“Dora, how could you!” Remus exclaimed.

 

They went on to bicker, while Harry just sat on his bed, watching them. He felt lighter than ever, while talking to them. He only ever felt the same with Daniel. It started early on, he realized. He had liked Daniel for a while. Seeing him in those visions, almost dying, saving the world, being a genuinely good person, even in the face of true evil, he couldn’t deny that appealed to him. It reminded Harry of him, when he was still in school. He felt old in that moment. Older than Daniel, because he knew the price better. He knew Death personally, of course he knew the price better.

 

“Stop thinking such thoughts,” Lily interrupted. “It is not good to dwell on such things.”

 

Remus spoke up. “Perhaps you should have Teddy visit. If he is anything like his mother, you will be so distracted by the handful, you will not have time to dwell.”

 

“Hey!” Tonks yelled. Harry smiled at them all. He felt a tingle, and knew they needed to go.

 

“I will miss you guys.”

 

Lily looked to be starting to cry. James pulled her to him. “We can come back whenever you like. Maybe someday we can meet this Daniel of yours.”

 

“He isn’t his yet, Prongs.” Sirius called.

 

Remus smirked. “ Yet.

 

“Wotcher, Harry. Take care of my child,” Tonks cuddled into Remus’ embrace.

 

Lily moved to touch him, before pulling back. “Until next time, my dear Hadrian.”

 

James sighed. “Honestly woman, must you insist on calling him that? If anything, we should all be calling him Prongslet. He is the spitting image of me, you know.”

 

Harry watched as they faded away, bickering again. He cried himself to sleep that night.

 

When he woke up the next morning with a splitting headache, and way too early in the morning, he started to regret opening a bakery. The baker seemed to have to get up at an ungodly time to make the food for the day, and Harry still had a letter to write Andy. He would ask to have Teddy visit for a few weeks. He was sure she wouldn’t say no, as Teddy was, true to his parents assumptions, quite the handful.

 

After writing the letter and giving it to Kreacher to send, he got everything ready for the morning rush. His first customer, a regular named Sylvester Siler, who seemed to always be injured for one reason or another, also worked on the base with Daniel. “Hey Siler, usual?”

 

He was one of the few that insisted on having the same thing every time he came. Most others knew better, and just let Harry do his magic. Ha, magic .

 

“Yes, sir.” Siler also insisted on calling him ‘sir’. When Harry had asked, he told him ‘It’s in your eyes, sir. You have seen the world and I have not, making you superior to me.’ Harry tried not to think about that. Handing him his usual, he again refused Siler’s money.

 

“No one at that base of yours pays, you know that. Now run along, and tell your friends.” Harry winked at him. Siler nodded and left.

 

“Prongslet!” Draco called, coming down the steps to their apartment with Teddy in his hands. He started calling the raven haired man that after last night, and Harry found he quite liked it. “Why did Andy appear with Teddy and Kreacher, practically throw the child at me, along with a bag and then disappear? And not to mention, she said, and I quote, ‘He’s your problem now! I’m going shopping with Cissy.’”

 

Harry looking sheepishly at the blond. “I may have offered to take care of him for a while. Tonks and Remus thought it would be good for me.”

 

Draco softened, but still shoved the two year old at the baker. “Well, then, take care of him. I’m going back to my books.”

 

“‘Arry!” Teddy pulled on his hair. “I can control my p’wers!”

 

True to his word, his hair changed from Lupin-brown to Potter-black, and his eyes turned the perfect shade of green. Harry smiled at him, setting him on the counter. “Good Teddy! Your parents would be so proud!”

 

Distracted as he was, he didn’t notice the door open until he heard Daniel clear his throat. He glanced up before hurriedly whispering into Teddy’s mind, Stay looking like me, Teddy, for safety. Do you understand?

 

Teddy nodded at him, used to the presence of Harry in his mind. “Good boy, Teddy. Up you come.”

 

He pulled the boy into his arms, and looked up at Daniel, eyes guarded. “Hello, Dr. Jackson.”

 

Daniel’s eyes shown with determination. “It’s Daniel.”

 

“Of course, Daniel.” Harry remained neutral, Teddy silent in his arms.

 

“I’m sorry, Harry.”

 

“For what?” Harry cautiously replied.

 

Daniel looked forlorn. “For pulling away.”

 

Before Harry could even think of a response, Teddy cut in, no longer liking being ignored. “‘Arry?”

 

Daniel looked at the child, as if just now seeing him. “Who is that?”

 

“This is Teddy. Teddy, this is Daniel.”

 

“Hullo, Dan-yell.”

 

Daniel’s eyes grew dark. “He sounds like my wife. She used to say my name like that.”

 

“I am sorry for your loss.”

 

“And I yours,” Daniel replied, assuming Teddy was his.

 

Harry softened. “His parents were close friends of mine. I am his godfather.”

 

“Right,” Daniel blushed. The look in Harry’s eyes suggested he knew what he had been thinking.

 

“I have only ever had one girlfriend, Daniel. She is now like a sister to me.” Harry would let Daniel assume what he wanted from that.

 

“I am sorry for not coming the past few weeks, I was stuck underground.” He knew it was the truth, but he knew it wasn’t the whole truth. He had been stuck underground, he was sure, but not on this planet. He simply nodded.

 

“In truth, I didn’t know what I would say to you. The last time we spoke, I was angry. Angry because I don’t know what it is like to like another man. It has always been women. Sha’re...she was a gift, from a village I traveled to. Given to me by her father, because I saved them from oppression. I didn’t like it at first, to know she had been given to me like property. But I loved her anyway, and she loved me. I miss her, and I don’t know if I could ever replace what we had.”

 

Harry put his hand on Daniel’s, his face and eyes now completely unguarded. “You can’t. But that doesn’t mean you can’t be happy again. Not with me, I do not know the true meaning of the word, but with someone. Do you not think Sha’re would want you to move on? She has left you empty. You can never fill the void completely, but you can try.”

 

Daniel stared at him. He was standing close, a baby in his arms, and honesty in his gaze. “How?”

 

Harry’s eyes clouded with confusion. “How what?”

 

“How do you know? How are you so young, and yet so old at the same time?”

 

He pulled back, guarding himself again. “I have seen the world, Siler tells me. It is why he calls me Sir. He thinks me his superior because of the look in my eyes.”

 

“Then he would be right,” Daniel said, grabbing his chin and making him meet his eyes. “You have the look of a man who has seen the devil himself.”

 

“Perhaps,” Harry started, unable to lie when faced with the deep blue pools of Daniel’s eyes. “That is exactly what I have done.”

 

“‘Arry?” is what broke the spell Harry felt he was under when looking at Daniel. Teddy squirmed in his arms. Stepping back again, and not meeting his questioning gaze, he told Daniel, “I will be right back.”

 

Sprinting up the stairs to their apartment, he found Draco staring, waiting for him. “Take your time, I have a feeling he’ll wait.”

 

Harry’s eyes speared him. “It isn’t funny. He destroyed my mask in a matter of minutes. How am I to face him again?”

 

“Without the mask, Prongslet,” Draco replied, taking Teddy from him. “I will deal with the demon child, you go back to your man.”

 

“He isn’t mine!” Harry insisted, but moved to go downstairs again.

 

“Sure, Potter, and I have no idea about quantum mechanics.”

 

Harry snorted, and ignored him. Daniel was on the phone when he got back down. “Okay, I’ll be on my way.”

 

“Leaving then?” Daniel jumped, and looked around.

 

“Yeah, something I need to translate apparently.”

 

Harry nodded. “I’ll make you coffee to go, then.”

 

Daniel eyed him, as he got the coffee ready. “What did you mean about not knowing the meaning of happy?”

 

Harry started, but continued making his coffee. He knew he had said too much, but he hadn’t realized he said that much. “Like you said, I have the look of a man that has looking into the eyes of the devil. How can you know happiness after that?”

 

“I think you will know happiness again,” Daniel nodded to himself, accepting his completed coffee. “I will make sure of it.”

 

“There are those that have tried,” Harry told him, seeing no reason to lie. “None have succeeded.”

 

Daniel smirked at him. “I don’t believe in no-win scenarios.”

Chapter Text

A few days later, the whole team came in. They were all wearing civilian clothes, and Teal’c had a hat covering his Goa’uld stamp of slavery. They were in a military issue van and appeared to be going somewhere. “Who’re your friends, Daniel?”

 

“Well, you know Sam, and this is Jack and-”

 

Jack spoke up when Daniel faltered. “Murry!”

 

Harry glanced between them, amused. “How about you tell me his real name, guys?”

 

They gaped. “Seriously?”

 

“You military guys, always assuming your military-ness will get you anywhere. That lie was mediocre at best.” Harry rolled his eyes. Teal’c raised his eyebrow.

 

“You may call me Teal’c.” The rest of the team gaped again.

 

“Murry, how could you!” Jack yelled.

 

Harry laughed. “Hello Teal’c. I would ask you not to wear a hat inside, but I know all about hiding marks you want to keep unseen.”

 

Teal’c raised his eyebrow, again. Harry winked, and flashed him his forehead, showing off his lightning bolt scar. “Indeed.”

 

Daniel watched, confused, as he always was around Harry. He hadn’t seen what Harry had shown Teal’c, but it seemed to make them fast friends. As Harry scrambled to make them all coffee, while they sat down, Draco came down the stairs with Teddy.

 

“Hello, guys,” Draco called, seeming unaffected by Teal’c imposing demeanor. “This is Teddy. Daniel met him about a week ago.”

 

He unceremoniously plopped Teddy onto Daniel’s lap. “You take care of the demon child for a while,” Draco said, elegantly sitting at the table, ignoring Daniel’s protests.

 

Harry appeared with five coffees and a tea for Teal’c. “Now, Draco, you know you love the boy.”

 

The blond scoffed. “Yes, right up until he starts pulling on my hair.”

 

As if by cue, Teddy did just that to Daniel’s hair. Harry pulled him free and took Teddy with him to get a seat before joining them at the table.

 

“You weren’t kidding Daniel, they do bicker like 5 year olds!” Jack blurted rudely.

 

Daniel panicked, before realizing they were looking at Jack amused, and not glaring daggers at him.

 

Harry watched closely as Teal’c took a sip of the tea he had created solely for him. Teal’c raised an eyebrow in surprise. “This reminds me of the tea I had as a child. Thank you, Harry.”

 

“No problem.” Harry beamed.

 

Jack watched, then took a sip of his own drink. He started gulping it down soon after. Coughing, he asked, “What is in this?”

 

“Whiskey; special brew, you won’t find it anywhere else.”

 

“You put whiskey in your coffee?” Jack coughed again. Harry laughed. Firewhiskey did take some getting used to.

 

“Only in those who want it.”

 

“I didn’t ask for it though,” Jack replied, calming down, and taking another sip.

 

Harry smiled knowingly. “But, you wanted it.”

 

Teal’c raised an eyebrow, and said, “Indeed.”

 

“Harry has a knack for knowing what you want. It’s why we don’t have a menu,” Draco explained to the group.

 

“Well, your business must be thriving,” Jack exclaimed, drinking again.

 

Draco snorted. “Not with him giving it away for free.”

 

Everyone but Daniel looked at the blond in surprise. “ Free ?”

 

“Well, I don’t charge the people on the base, and first timers get anything for free.”

 

“Why don’t you charge the base?” Sam asked.

 

“Isn’t the Air Force the first line of defense? Why charge them?” Harry replied, unknowingly quoting something Sam’s dad had said to her a few years ago.

 

“Not since the Gulf War, it hasn’t been,” Sam shot back, using her dad’s words to test Harry. She still wasn’t sure about the shop owners, even after the background check. It had come back too clean, and too empty.

 

“What war was that? I’m not very up to date on military stuff. It’s not something we focus on.”

 

“You don’t know about the Gulf War?” Jack cried.

 

“I don’t know about any American wars, Colonel,” Harry replied. His eyes, he knew, had darkened at the mention of War. Draco wasn’t doing much better.

 

Daniel thought it best to step in. “So, why is your shop called Lily’s ? I keep forgetting to ask.”

 

“It was my mother’s name.” Harry grew colder again, and Daniel knew he picked the wrong topic.

 

“‘Arry?” Teddy pulled on his hair. He immediately brightened, smiling down at his godson.

 

“Yes, Teddy?”

 

“Can I have food?” Draco jumped up, and grabbed him from Harry.

 

“I’ll take him upstairs, Prongslet.” Harry nodded and watched him go up the stairs.

 

“Why did he call you Prongslet, Harry?” Teal’c asked.

 

Harry smiled at him. “My father had a group of friends. They called themselves the Marauders. James, my dad, was Prongs. Sirius, my godfather, was Padfoot. Remus, my godson’s father, was Moony. The last, Pettigrew, or Wormtail, is not someone we now consider a Marauder.”

 

“You speak of them in past tense, Harry,” Teal’c said.

 

“That is because they are all dead, Teal’c.”

 

Teal’c nodded. He knew young warriors who had the same look Harry was now showing. He had been through great pain in his young life. “I am sorry for your loss.”

 

The team watched the exchange with sadness. Harry seemed to have lost much in his young life. They were all several years older than Harry, and yet they seemed to be talking to someone older than they were.

 

“So, you want some donuts for your stake out or whatever you’re going to be doing?” Harry asked, eyes clearing. Jack looked at him weird, but their background checks checked out and they seemed like alright people so he didn’t say anything.

 

“I would not be adverse to a box or two,” Teal’c replied.

 

“Great! I’ll get that ready, along with some coffee to go.” He went behind the counter to gather everything for them.

 

“So, guys?” Daniel asked, unsure.

 

“I like ‘em. They sure know how to make damn good coffee.”

 

Sam ignored Jack, and peered at Daniel. She always seemed to know everything, so he avoided looking her in the eyes. “I think he’s nice, Daniel.”

 

“Indeed,” was Teal’c’s usual reply.

 

Dammit , Daniel thought. Sam knows. Of course she knows, he’s like an open book.

 

“Y’all should come back soon, just to hang out. You keep weird hours at that base of yours, but the shop will be open most hours of the day, so come by anytime.” He handed Teal’c his boxes of pastries.

 

“We’ll come back, if only for a bottle of that whiskey of yours,” Jack smiled.

 

They all got up when he did. Leaving, Daniel turned back at the door. He walked back to Harry, gathered him in his arms and hugged him hard. He knew he wasn’t ready for a kiss, but he’d wanted to feel Harry against him.

 

Pulling away, he whispered, “Goodbye Harry. I’ll be back.”

 

And then he was gone, leaving a puddle named Harry who melted onto the chair behind him, incoherent.

 

**************************

 

“Hullo Daniel, have a nice trip?”

 

“Well, considering it was for my old professors funeral, my old girlfriend tried to kill me, and I got to visit Egypt, it wasn’t the worst.” Daniel sighed as he sank into his favorite chair at the shop.

 

“I would think you were lying, but I know better. Jack and Teal’c visited. They said they were going fishing. T didn’t look very enthusiastic.” Harry set coffee in front of him and sat down on the other side of the table.

 

“Yes, Jack loves fishing. He only fishes in this pond behind his cabin. There are no fish in it.”

 

“That seems odd. Why fish when there’s no fish?” Harry’s brow furrowed. Daniel tried not to find his confusion adorable; he failed. “Perhaps, being a military man, he enjoys the mindless task. No bad guys to chase; no fish to fish for?”

 

“That...actually kinda makes sense,” Daniel said, surprised. No one ever knew what was in Jack's head most of the time. Harry always had a unique perspective, though. He didn’t understand things normal people would, and understood so many things others wouldn’t. He was the opposite of normal and Daniel liked it a lot. He thought, with everything in his life he’d want normal. But, sitting here, looking at Harry, he knew he was wrong.

 

“Will you come visit again soon?” Harry asked, hope in his emerald eyes.

 

“Wh-? Of course, I can’t very well drink base coffee all the time, can I? That stuff is horrible.”

 

“Maybe I’ll apply for a job there, start giving those poor base personnel something other than ash in a cup,” Harry mused, not meaning it entirely. He like his shop, but he mostly served base people anyway. Draco was getting antsy with nothing to do all day. Maybe…

 

“I don’t think they hire civilians, even for kitchen duty.” Daniel really wished they did now, though. Having Harry so close by, he would get to see him every day.

 

“Well bollocks! What about you? You’re not military. Couldn’t you use a research assistant? I could make coffee just for you, then!”

 

Now Daniel really wished that could happen. “That sounds wonderful, really. I’ll ask Jack about it, okay?”

 

“Brilliant!” Harry beamed.

 

“I better get going,” Daniel sighed. He loved coming here, but the visits never seemed long enough.

 

“Yes, all that deep space to analyze,” Harry joked, eyes sparkling.

 

“Of course,” Daniel replied, smiling.

 


 

“I’m going to need that bottle of whiskey, stat,” was the first thing Harry heard from Jack the next time he came in.

 

“Trouble?” Harry asked, bringing a bottle of firewhiskey out from under the counter.

 

“Could be, we’ll see. First I’d like to get drunk, though,” Jack replied sinking into a chair close to the counter.

 

“Well, I’ll warn you, this stuff isn’t called firewhiskey for no reason. The stuff I gave you last time was diluted.”

 

Draco, get in here, I’m about to get Jack drunk.

 

Sweet, be right there.

 

“Seriously? That stuff was worse than moonshine on Abydos while diluted ?”

 

“Well I can’t say anything about Abydos moonshine, but I’m sure it’s pretty weak. Me and Harry have been drinking since what? Third year?” Draco put in, coming down the stairs alone, Teddy finally back with his grandmother.

 

“Yeah, but that’s butterbeer, that stuff barely has alcohol. Nothing like firewhiskey,” Harry answered, as if he expected Draco to show up. Daniel was right, they were weird.

 

“Imagine taking Jack to Hog’s Head! Merlin that’d be a hoot. We’d fill him with a number of alcoholic drinks he’s never heard of and he’ll swear off drinking anything else for the rest of his life!”

 

Harry laughed at that. “I could see that. All those types of whiskey and mead? He’d love it.”

 

“How would you know?” Jack asked.

 

“Oh, well you liked firewhiskey so much, we just figured…” Harry trailed off, Draco picking up the sentence.

 

“You’d like it. But that’s not us saying you’re an alcoholic or anything. I know plenty of times I drank before I was of age were for good reasons. Military men see things when at war. All we’re saying is sometimes you look like you need a good getting pissed session.”

 

Jack glanced between them. He knew what they were saying, but how could they possibly know that? They weren’t military men. They were practically kids compared to him.

 

“How would you know?” Jack repeated taking a sip of the glass placed in front of him.

 

Harry replied after his coughing stopped. “Sometimes bad things happen. Even to people who aren’t in the military. Sometimes especially to those people. It happens, and you move on. But not before getting piss drunk and wallowing for a while.”

 

“Can I take the bottle to go?” Jack asked. They gave him a lot to think about. But first he need to figure out the real reason General Hammond stepped down.

 

“Sure, take it, let us know how your problem works out, yeah?” Draco said.

 

When he left, Draco turned to Harry. “Should we have said those things?”

 

“I think it might help with his guilt over Charlie, so yes. We might have revealed stuff about our past that wasn’t in the background check, though. Hopefully he won't go digging.”

 

“Want to look at the Gringotts background check?”

 

“Totally!” Harry snapped his fingers and the letter appeared. They hadn’t looked at it before while they had Teddy, but with him gone they had plenty of time to themselves again.

 

“Alright, let's see,” Draco said opening it. “Harry James Potter. Average grades...OWL scores...achievements...blah blah blah Order of Merlin First Class...Oh! Turns out the Muggle Prime Minister gave you an award that equals an Order of Merlin. That’s cool, I guess.”

 

“What about you?” Harry snatched the paper from him. “Draco Abraxas Malfoy. Seriously? Okay, Wombat grades good...OWL scores perfect, of course...You took the NEWTs? Not very good, understandable given the year...pardon from Kingsley...pardon from Muggle Prime Minister. Odd, I didn’t think you would need one from them. It doesn’t have anything past the War for us. That’s good to know that if anyone else comes looking they won’t find anything.”

 

“There’s something else,” Draco pulled another paper from the envelope. “It’s a Prophet. ‘Where has The Man Who Conquered gone?’ How original. No one seems to know...Weasley refuse to comment...no word from the Ministry as to if you’re on a secret mission...Some think you’re off going dark. Idiots, the lot of ‘em.”

 

“Well, it’s not like I need to go back. It’s easier not seeing anyone from there. We’ve already stopped growing. A few years, they might think I’d gone dark just because I’ve achieved what Snake-face couldn’t. Immortality.”

 

“Good point. Well, at least we knew the goblins got our back. Having Shacklebolt in our back pocket is nice, too. I was thinking we should tell him.” Draco peered at Harry, not sure how that idea would go down. They were bonded, sure, but Harry still surprised him all the time.

 

“Maybe, Dray. I’ll think about it. It could be a good idea for him to know just in case, but him knowing could also be bad if he gets captured and fed Veritaserum.”

 

“You know as well as I there’s an antidote for that. As Minister, I’m sure Shacklebolt carries it with him.”

 

Harry hesitated, but nodded. “Okay, next visit to the Weasleys we’ll go see him, too.”

 

“Should we bring Death in on this?” Draco questioned.

 

“If Kingsley doesn’t believe us, but I don’t think that’ll be necessary. Kingsley is a loyal man and he was loyal to Dumbledore. He knows I wouldn’t go Dark, even if you were trying to corrupt me,” Harry smirked.

 

“Trying? Psh, you wish, Potter. I would succeed if I wanted to.” Draco rose to the bait, as always.

 

“Sure, sure,” Harry patted Draco’s arm sympathetically.

 

“Speaking of,” Harry cut Draco off when he opened his mouth. “What does Death look like to you? I never got around to asking you. He says he looks different to everyone.”

 

“Oh. Uh, well,” Draco fumbled. “He looks like you, actually. But with grey eyes.”

 

Harry didn’t know what to say. He supposed it made sense, now that they were bonded. Draco would literally follow him into death. He tried not to start crying.

 

Draco looked up from where he’d been staring at the ground when he heard a sniff. He found himself with an armful of Harry and a face full of black curls. His shoulder felt wet as Harry cried in happiness. Draco understood what he felt. They weren’t alone anymore. They had each other, forever.

Chapter Text

You must come quickly, Daniel is in trouble. Death appeared from nowhere. Harry had just felt what Jack would call a ‘disturbance in the Force’ and was about to call him.

 

“What kind of trouble?”

 

“The near certain death kind, Death replied, grabbing him by the arm. It was the first time they’d touched and Harry thought he was surprisingly warm for the embodiment of death. They teleported to the living room he saw during his first vision.

 

Jack was an a balcony talking to someone. Harry cloaked when Death motioned to him. They weren’t to be seen, it seemed.

 

“We’ll get it back,” Jack said.

 

“We can’t get it back,” Daniel answered. Why were they here? Shouldn’t they be at the base already? He moved forward, and was horrified at what he saw.

 

Oh gods. Daniel!

 

What is it? Draco asked.

 

He’s- oh my- he’s on the balcony. About to jump.

 

WHAT!?

 

Daniel started, then looked back. “Jack?”

 

Jack moved quickly to grab him. “Yep.”

 

I think Jack has him.

 

Merlin, why was he about to jump?

 

Death grabbed him, and they teleported back to the shop. “I believe the danger has passed, for now. The reaction was caused by a device, he’ll be stuck on the planet until they figure out how to stop it.”

 

“But he won’t do that again? Won’t try to kill himself?”

 

No.”

 

“Good. I don’t think I can do that again.” Harry quickly went upstairs to talk to his parents.

 

“I don’t think you taking him for no reason was wise. You know how Harry feels about Daniel, and what he went through to get here.” Draco chastised Death.

 

“I am aware. However, given Dr. Jackson’s line of work, he will always be very close to dying. Harry needs to accept this.”

 

“And you thought showing him almost dying like that would help him? That’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard.” With that Draco left to go check on Harry.

 




“Daniel!” Harry exclaimed when he walked through the door. He’d just come back from his extended stay at the planet with the light. The whole time he was there, he couldn’t help but wonder what Harry was doing and what he was thinking with him gone so long.

 

Harry came toward him quickly and before he could react, he had an arm full of Harry. Not that he was complaining. Wrapping his arms around Harry’s waist, he marveled at how short he was. He’d never noticed it before, but Harry was really small.

 

“Harry,” Daniel breathed into his neck, where his face somehow ended up. Shivering, Harry pulled away slowly.

 

“You haven’t come by for a while and I was worried. Teal’c kept saying you were on vacation, but still. You didn’t call, or come by before you left so I wasn’t sure.” Harry avoided eye contact, his face flush.

 

“Yeah, sorry. It wasn’t exactly planned. You know how weird the hours are at the base.”

 

“I know. I shouldn’t have worried, I’m sure it was important.” Harry moved behind the counter to make his coffee, the blush not going away.

 

“No not really, it was actually more me, Jack and Sam stuck together somewhere, that’s why only Teal’c visited.” He sat in his favorite seat, as always and watched Harry sit opposite him after handing him his coffee.

 

“Are you okay?”

 

“Yeah, our base doctor gave me a clean bill of health. The others are fine, too,” Daniel added as an afterthought.

 

“That’s good,” Harry nodded.

 

They were silent for a while, but not uncomfortably so.

 

“I-”

 

“So-”

 

They laughed. “You go first.”

 

“I was just going to say I’m glad you’re okay.” Harry didn’t look at him when he said it. He appeared embarrassed.

 

“Thanks, so am I,” Daniel smiled.

 

“What were you going to say?”

 

“Oh, I talked to Jack about you working at the base. He said he’d speak to Hammond. He seems to like you a lot, which doesn’t happen often with him.”

 

“It’s probably the whiskey I supplied him with a while back,” Harry laughed.

 

“Yeah, maybe,” Daniel murmured.

 

“You don’t think so?”

 

“I think you seem a lot like someone he could relate to; a comrade. I’m just not sure how.”

 

Harry again refused to look at him. “Daniel, if I asked you what really happened in that mountain, would you tell me?” He finally looked up, then shook his head. “No, don’t answer, I know you wouldn’t. Do I not get the same right? Some things can’t be revealed. At least, not without knowing the secret would be safe.”

 

Daniel left soon after, upset that there was something Harry wasn’t telling him, but understanding he didn’t have the right to push when he was keeping this huge secret.

 


 

 

“Hermione and Ron are getting married.”

 

“And?” Draco asked.

 

“They want us there. Few months of planning and getting everything ready.”

 

“Okay, so we’re just going to the wedding, right?” A pause. “Right, Harry?”

 

“Well…” Harry looked at him with his childlike eyes.

 

“Dammit Potter. Next you’re going to say they want us going to the Anniversary.”

 

“Well…” Draco sighed.

 

“How long would we be gone?”

 

“A fair few,” Harry looked sheepish.

 

“Meaning?”

 

“Six months, more if you want to visit Cissy. Plus any time you want to go traveling.”

 

“And you’re okay with being away from the team for so long? From Daniel?”

 

“Death was wrong, it isn’t time to be here. I can’t be here. I’ve talked to him. He’s agreed to give me visions again so I can check up on them, and he’ll watch them for me. As for Daniel...I don’t think he’s ready. Not for a relationship, not for me. Certainly not for the Wizarding World.” Draco could see and feel his sadness over this, but knew he had to respect his decision.

 

“Okay Harry. I wanted to visit Mother again anyway. Maybe we’ll travel to South America? There are rare plants there I could use in potions. I’ve also been meaning to ask about the Chamber and the basilisk…”

 

Harry listened to Draco prattle on and hoped he was doing the right thing. It just didn’t seem like the right time to be here. Sure, he liked Daniel, but that didn’t change the fact that he’d never been with a guy. Daniel wasn’t ready. He knew staying away was a good idea.



When Daniel went back, it was after Sam had been downloaded into a computer and then uploaded into her brain again. The first thing he heard made his heart sink.

 

“You’re what?”

 

“I’m leaving, Daniel,” Harry repeated. “My best friends are getting married- to each other, imagine that- and made me promise to stay for a while. I’m not sure how long I’ll be gone, because Draco wanted to visit some other places, too. Maybe go back to France for a while.”

 

“Oh,” was Daniel’s brilliant reply.

 

“I just thought you should know, being my favorite and most frequent customer. Figured you could spread the word around the base so they know we’ll be closed?”

 

“Uh, yeah. Yeah I’ll do that.”

 

“Great, here’s your coffee.” Daniel took the cup, still in shock. He turned to leave, but was enveloped in a hug by Harry. “I’ll miss you, Daniel.”

 

“I’ll miss you too Harry,” Daniel sighed. He had started to get used to seeing him all the time. He also knew he felt some kind of attraction toward him, but, truth be told, wasn’t sure he was ready for something like that. “Come back soon?”

 

“When you’re ready, Daniel, I’ll tell you.”

 

Those words haunted Daniel. He thought about it when he went to sleep, when he woke up, in the middle of torture, anytime, anywhere. What did it mean? Why did Harry stay away? What did he need to be ready for? It wasn’t until he died that he understood. There might be a whole universe out there of worlds and galaxies, but there was another world going on alongside theirs right on Earth.

Chapter Text

“Daniel is going to die.” Death came from nowhere, in the middle of dinner. They were alone, in South America.

 

“What?!”

 

“Radiation poisoning. An Ascended being Oma, the one who Daniel met on Khep, is helping him to Ascend.”

 

“So, is he dying or not?” Draco asked impatiently, already packing up camp.

 

“His physical body, yes. I assumed you would like to see him.”

 

“Yes, of course, thank you,” Harry mumbled, still in shock. He knew about Ascension, that it wasn’t really dying. Death didn’t come to take you. But it would still be heart wrenching to watch.

 

When they arrived, invisible, Sam’s father, Jacob was over Daniel with a Goa'uld healing device.

 

“Is he going to heal him?” Harry questioned.

 

“It would not be a full healing. The side effects would leave him crippled physically and emotionally.”

 

Daniel appeared and walked around the room. He didn’t notice them, but Harry shrunk behind Draco all the same. When he walked up to Jack and asked them to stop, Harry let out a sob. Draco pulled him into his arms. Harry couldn’t look when the heart monitor flat-lined.

 

“Get us out of here,” Draco demanded.

 


 

Ron and Hermione loved having them in London almost as much as Molly did. After seeing each other every day for seven years, once a month just didn’t cut it anymore. Harry knew there were important reasons he’d decided to stay away, but coming back for the wedding made it hard to leave.

 

The wedding was a traditional Muggle wedding, in a church and everything. The bill was secretly taken care of by Harry, who hoped they never noticed. As it was, his wedding gift was an apartment nearby downtown London and as close to the Ministry as possible. Hermione, having changed her tactics after a long talk about house-elf enslavement with Draco and Cissy, worked at the Ministry to get equality bills passed for all manner of creatures. Ron worked with Seamus in the Auror department.

 

Draco, amazingly enough, gave the couple the greatest gift in their opinion. He had created a portkey that was word sensitive. It would take them to Harry whenever and wherever they were. It had been a difficult decision, on whether or not he should give it to them. Ultimately, he knew the only reasons Harry decided to stay away was because he was scared of what they’d think when they found out about his immortality.

 

After the wedding, they visited with Cissy in France. Harry spent most of his time in kitchens, visiting with all the chefs that would see him and learning all he could. They left to tour Europe at Harry’s request, because he wanted a more diverse learning. After a while of that, Draco got sick of museums and kitchens being the only thing they saw and demanded they be tourists for a while. When he got sick of that, too, Harry suggested they go to South America is search of those potion ingredients. They never got around to going to Hogwarts, even with the Anniversary coming up.

 

When Death called, they had been making their way the the coast in preparation of apparating back to Scotland. Leaving Daniel, Death must have known that because they showed up in Ron and Hermione’s apartment in the middle of the living room.

 

“Bloody-,” Ron put his wand down, having jumped up in Auror mode.

 

‘What’s happened?” Hermione demanded when they realized Harry was in Draco’s arms crying. Draco ignored the question and asked his own.

 

“What time is it here?”

 

“Just after eleven,” Ron answered. Hermione opened her mouth to demand an answer, but stopped when they noticed another person in the room.

 

“Who’s that?” they asked together. Ron raised his wand again, despite not feeling any danger from the boy. Hermione curiously studied the boy in front of him. Strange; to her he looked shadowy. She couldn’t quite make out his features.

 

“Can we explain this tomorrow? Right now Harry needs some rest. He’ll be leaving,” Draco added when Hermione started to protest. Death disappeared, soundlessly.

 

“How in Merlin did he do that?” Ron asked, amazed.

 

Despite Draco promising they’d talk about it the next day, they didn’t. They knew better than to pressure him, given how fragile Harry was being. It was Sirius and the summer after fourth year all over again and as Harry’s best friends, they hated it. They didn’t even know for sure what was going on. All Draco would tell them is that something had happened with Daniel. They knew from Harry that Daniel was someone important. Hermione explained to Ron, when he wanted to press, that Daniel was someone Harry like liked. It wasn’t until the Anniversary at Hogwarts that something happened.

 

Everyone was understandably excited in the Wizarding World. After Harry Potter had shown up at the Weasley-Granger wedding, they all expected him to show at the Anniversary this year. It had been four years since he’d killed the greatest Dark Lord of the age. Every year, they gathered at Hogwarts to celebrate and remember the losses. Every year, they hoped the Man Who Conquered showed up. This year, he did.

 

Harry showed, with Draco on his left and his newly married friends on his right. He sat at the front and listened to all the speeches from people who really didn’t seem to understand that today was a day to remember the ones they had lost, not boast. They didn’t even have anything to boast about! He’d sacrificed his death for these people. For everyone. He had to live forever, never seeing his dead family members again but for pale imitations, because he’d chosen to come back and save the wizards and witches that were stuck in Hogwarts that night.

 

He wasn’t sure how to feel about the ceremony, though the raising of the wands in commemoration was thoughtful. He couldn’t remember a word said, really. All Harry could think about was everyone he’d lost.

 

I want to visit them. Each and every one, He told Draco afterwards. The families who lost loved ones would visit the graves of those they lost before going back home and celebrating their lives, remembering who they were. Harry was determined to see every grave this year. He’d put it off for too long. He had to see them. The ones he hadn’t been quick enough to save.

 

Of course, Harry. Do you want me there?

 

Not for the others. I’ll call for you when I go see Fred. Can you go with the Weasley’s? Bring George when I call?

 

What are you planning? Draco asked, having a pretty good idea.

 

You’ll see.



Harry wasn’t sure, but he thought seeing the grave of Colin Creevey was the worst. He’d been so young, he’d left Dennis without an older brother; he hadn’t deserved to die. He left a signed photograph charmed against tampering at the grave. It was the only one he would ever give.

 

Now, he stood next to Fred Weasley’s plot, preparing himself. He’d never specifically called for someone with the ring before and wasn’t sure it would work. But he wanted to try. No one deserved not being about to say goodbye- especially to your own twin.

 

“‘Arry? What’s going on?” George asked when he appeared, having been dragged here by Draco.

 

“I wanted to try something. But first, I have to tell you that it’s a one time deal. It’s just to say goodbye, okay? You, above everyone, deserve this. I’m sorry I didn’t do it sooner.”

 

“Harry?” George breathed. He wasn’t stupid, he knew what Harry was saying. But there was no known spell to bring back the dead.

 

“Promise me, George. Just goodbye. Don’t come asking for more because I won’t give it,” Harry insisted.

 

“Harry, if you’re saying what I think you’re saying, I’ll promise anything. I might have to kiss you.”

 

Harry had already turned the stone, thinking of Fred.

 

“Honestly, George, not even your first born? Just a kiss?” Fred answered, insubstantial, but there. Harry moved away to give them time while George just stood there crying in happiness.

 

“This is a good thing you did,” Draco told him.

 

“I should’ve done it sooner. I’m afraid it’ll break open old wounds,” Harry muttered, bundling against the cold of early spring.

 

“Perhaps,” Draco agreed. “But now maybe they’ll heal properly. He was never the same, after Fred.”

 

“They’ll wonder what happened. You whisk him away, and he comes back lighter and looking like he’d been crying. I should’ve thought of that.”

 

“Harry, I don’t think they’d give a shit. Like you said, he’d be lighter. They wouldn’t question something like that for fear of it going away.”

 

They stayed silent, watching the twins say goodbye.

 

“So, this is what you kept from me?” a voice spoke, causing them both to freeze.

Chapter Text

“Daniel,” Harry whispered, looking around, unsure. When his eyes landed, he couldn’t look away. He’d known Daniel was okay, because Death hadn’t taken him, but it was very different having visual confirmation.

 

“Hello Harry,” Daniel smiled. He looked different without his glasses, Harry noticed.

 

“I knew you weren’t dead but it’s nice to see it for real,” Draco put in when Harry remained silent.

 

“And I know how you knew that. The things I know now are, in short, amazing and impossible. The reason some people have the Ancient gene, but most don’t is that almost all of them are wizards or witches. The ones we have are descendants, or Squibs.”

 

“Yes, I figured that was what Jack was when we found out about him,” Draco easily replied. Daniel was still staring at Harry, who stared back.

 

“I heard about you both from some of the Others. They don’t like you interfering, but can’t stop you. It’s frustrating because they refuse to help people, and don’t like you doing so. Being Ascended is amazing and terrible all at once.”

 

“So is being immortally like that, I’d imagine.”

 

“Yes, well, I could still descend, as it were. From what I’ve heard, you can’t.”

 

“No, I’m stuck like this, forever,” Harry cut in. Draco, I- I can’t. He glanced at George, and saw Fred already gone. He disappeared, unable to deal with the reminder that he would live on when Daniel died.

 

“Perhaps it wasn’t wise to bring up the whole immortal thing. He’s still very sensitive as it reminds him of things he doesn’t like,” Draco offered after an awkward silence. Daniel looked at him, distraught, before also disappearing. Draco sighed, and went to get George.

 




“Harry,” Daniel said when he found him again several weeks later.

 

“Daniel,” he cautiously answered. He didn’t know if he was ready yet. He’d probably never be ready.

 

“I’m sorry about last time. Forgive me?”

 

Harry couldn’t resist his puppy dog eyes and nodded. Daniel beamed.

 

“You know, being energy technically makes me both genders. It’s incredible how mundane the thought of being scared of being with a man is now,” Daniel said. Harry knew what he was implying when he started moving toward him, but could he risk it?

 

“Daniel…we can’t,” He moved away, causing Daniel to stop his advances.

 

“Why not?”

 

“It’s too complicated. I know you. You won't be able to stay like this forever. You’ll do something to warrant descension by the Others. Then where will I be? I can’t just go back to being the coffee guy. I couldn’t stay around the team and help how I’m supposed to if I knew what it was like to be more with you. I’m sorry.”

 

Daniel slowly nodded. “Okay, I can understand that. But isn’t it better to have loved and lost than to never love at all?”

 

“Daniel...I’m not sure I could see it that way. Because when you descend, depending on what you do, they could take your memories of everything, not just your higher understanding of the universe. It wouldn’t be losing you because you’d be around, and I have to see you all the time. But I wouldn’t be able to kiss you, or hold you, or even talk to you the same. It would be losing a part of you and having to go back to screening what I say to you.” Harry shook his head and took a step back. “I don’t think I could look at you every day and know I had you and we were happy and know you have no idea.”

 

“But-”

 

“No, Daniel,” Harry interrupted. “I would rather suffer through unrequited feelings than know a different version of you wanted and had me.”

 

“I’m not different!” Daniel insisted.

 

Harry shook his head again and backed up more. He felt like crying, but held it back. “No, don’t you see? You are different. Human You wouldn’t be doing this. Human You is still struggling with your sexuality. If Human You, when you go back, gets over that and accepts me then I’ll take him, but you’re not him. You’re Daniel, but you’re not my Daniel.”

Chapter Text

 

Siler was on his way to work like every morning. He had recently been tested for an updated version of vest protection so his ribs were heavily bruised. Like always, he glanced over at the stoplight nearest the base to check on Lily’s Coffee and Pastries . The owners had been gone for months, so he wasn't expecting it to be open. He was just making sure it hadn't been broken into in their absence.

 

Unexpectedly, the lights were on and the blinds were drawn. Frowning, he immediately pulled off the road. When he tried the door, it opened. Walking in, it was like they had never closed. It looked exactly the same.

 

“Hello?” he hesitantly called out.

 

“Yes, sorry, be right there, Siler!” he heard in answer. Of course, they would know he was here. They always knew. He wondered if they also knew that Daniel was dead. They hadn't left a forwarding address, so they had no way to contact them and tell them. But something in Siler was telling him that they knew. That didn't stop him from feeling obligated to let them know. He would have to stick to the cover story, though, seeing as Daniel wasn’t technically dead.

 

“Your usual, Siler?” Harry asked as he came out from the back room covered in flour.

 

“No, sir.”

 

“No?” Harry was confused. Siler always demanded an actual order.

 

“Make me something. Anything. There is something I must tell you both, sir,” Siler elaborated. His expression was grave. Harry looked at him for a full minute. It was as if he was looking into his soul. This is why he called Harry ‘sir.’

 

“Alright,” Harry replied at length. While he went about making Siler his drink, Draco appeared from the doorway that led upstairs, regardless of the fact that neither man had said anything loud enough to summon him.

 

“If this is about what I think it's about, I don't appreciate my studies being interrupted,” Draco drawled.

 

Contrary to his statement, he went forward to one of the tables and didn't take him eyes off of Harry. Siler could tell he was worried about him, despite his front. Being in the military so long taught him to see past the masks people put on to hide. Draco’s was one of the toughest to crack, but around Harry, things leaked through.

 

“Yes, yes, you’re the perfect Slytherin, Dray,” Harry said while joining them at the table with Siler’s drink. “Now, what is it?”

 

“Sir, I just want to stress that there’s hope. But currently, Dr. Daniel Jackson is MIA, presumed dead.”

 

Both men's faces closed off immediately, but not before Siler saw the hurt in Harry's and the anger in Draco’s. He also noted the lack of surprise.

 

“I see,” Draco said, at length. Harry didn't move a muscle. Before anyone else could say anything, not that it looked like they would, Siler’s phone rang.

 

“Hello,” the Sergeant said when he answered. “Ah, yes Dr. Lee sorry I’m at-,” he glanced at Harry and wait for him to nod his consent before continuing with, “I'm at Lily’s. It looks like our resident enigmas are back.”

 

Harry and Draco traded amused looks, but still looked subdued from the news about Daniel. Siler decided he would tell the team as soon as they got back from their mission. They were probably going to arrive sooner than later. Colonel O’Neal could only spend so much time with one of the replacements the General was forcing on him before he found a reason to get rid of them. Siler became aware suddenly that he was still on the phone with the doc.

 

“-and I can't believe I didn't drive by there this morning but I swear he was talking my ear off! Funny story he actually-” Dr. Lee had kept talking without his input but as soon as he heard the words ‘funny story’ he knew the doc had to be stopped.

 

“Dr. Lee, I'll be at the base shortly. I was just informing them about Daniel.”

 

“Oh. Oh, okay yeah I'll be waiting. See ya,” Dr. Lee replied after a short silence before hanging up. Talking about Dr. Jackson always caused that nowadays.

 

“I understand if you have somewhere to be. You were heading to work weren’t you? I’ll get a coffee for you to go- your usual!” Harry practically ran from the table to get away from the conversation. Draco’s eyes followed him warily before snapping to Siler.

 

“Thank you for informing us of this. I know Harry greatly appreciates it,” Drace told Siler when he was sure Harry was safely out of hearing range. “It’s been a tough few months being away and he is excited to see the rest of the team. Let them know he’s back won’t you?”

 

“I will, sir,” Siler said back, before adding, “I’ll let them know you’re both back.”

 

Harry was in the back room getting Siler his coffee when he thought back to the last he’d seen of Daniel. After proclaiming that Ascended Daniel wasn’t his Daniel, Daniel had continued arguing with him.

 

“But if I’m so different why can’t you just get to know this me? It’s not even like we were that close before, we hardly knew each other. We can make this work, please!”

 

“No, Daniel. I know my Daniel very well, and even if he doesn’t know me like I know him yet, I know that there is potential there. A relationship with you while Ascended will only end in heartbreak,” Harry screamed, holding back tears.

 

“But-!” Daniel protested. “But what if I promise you I’ll stay in line with the Others? They actually don’t mind me visiting you because they think it’ll distract you. At least, that’s what Oma says…”

 

“Oh, Daniel. Don’t you get it? Don’t you see? You could never stay in line with them. The first hint that any of the team is in danger or near death- something that happens to them a lot, mind you!- and you’re going to be with them and breaking the rules just to help. The Others won’t tolerate it for long,” Harry finally gave in to the tears and broke down sobbing.

 

Daniel didn’t know what to do. Wasn’t being Ascended supposed to mean all knowing and decisive? He wished it actually worked that way. Why did Harry insist on not giving them a shot? If he could have one more month-- one more day-- one more minute with Sha’re he would take it and be happy. Harry’s acting like he would rather never see him again than risk his heart on something Daniel was sure would work. Seeing Harry start to cry sealed the deal for him.

 

“Okay Harry, okay,” Daniel sighed. “I won’t push this. I’m sorry you feel this way because I know we could have loved each other. But I can’t change how you feel and I don’t want to force you. I’ll go away, and I promise to stay away.”

 

Harry tried to stop crying so he could see Daniel’s face. If this was the last he would see of him, he wanted to remember every detail. Daniel helped him wipe his face gently and they started at each other. Tears were streaming down both their faces but they couldn’t look away.

 

“One last kiss?” Before Harry could answer, his lips were covered. It wasn’t a particularly nice kiss because of the tears and snot and sorrow and anguish. Despite all that though, they didn’t separate for a long time. When Daniel finally pulled away, he gathered his strength before looking into Harry’s emerald eyes and whispering one last, “Goodbye.”

 

And then he was gone.

 

“Goodbye, my Daniel.”

Chapter Text

Harry snapped back to reality by shouting in his head. --RRY HARRY HARRY HARRY POTTER POTTER POT HEAD POT HEAD DUNG BEETLE DUNG BEETLE!! EARTH TO MR. HARRY POTTER, DIVA EXTRAORDINAIRE!!

 

Oh my god, Draco you could have just come and shook me, you didn’t have to scream in my head. What is it?! Harry answered, extremely annoyed. But at least it got him out dwelling and focused on something else. Draco counted that a win. He tried not to smirk because he knew Siler was watching him very closely.

 

If you must know, I was only trying to get your attention to remind you of the customer you have waiting for a drink you promised them. Plus why would I walk all the way across the store when I can get you without moving? Draco prided himself for not smirking after that comment. It was sure to get Harry whining about laziness for days. Hopefully long enough for the team to stop by and distract Harry further. He could only hope seeing SG-1 didn’t have the opposite effect he was looking for.

 

Draco watched as Harry emerged from the back room with a perfect cup of coffee carefully not being squashed like the paper in his other hand. He was trying to hide his annoyance behind his mask but no matter how hard he tried, he wasn’t a Slytherin born and breed. It was plain as day on his face and the daggers he was shooting with his eyes didn’t help.

 

Harry schooled his features before looking at Siler. They both knew the poor Muggle was slightly scared of Harry, hence the “Sir”s being thrown around. Wouldn’t do to frighten the Muggle with glowing eyes, now would it Harry?

 

Harry smiled at Siler, handing him his drink and thanking him for stopping by. Daniel wasn’t mentioned at all. Siler looked clearly uncomfortable and hurried from the store. Shut up, Malfoy.

 

Oooo, he got a ‘Malfoy’ out of him. Harry almost never used that anymore except when he was really angry. It was like a parent bringing out the full name; you just knew you were in trouble. Draco hoped the proceeding prank war would also contribute to his plan to keep Harry busy and mildly happy for the foreseeable future.

 

Bring it, Pot Head.

 

----------------------------

 

"What do you think?"

"About what, Carter?" Jack sighed.

"About them being back. It's been so long, and they come back now? Why now? Why come back at all? Siler says it was obvious that they weren't surprised about- about Daniel," Sam lost steam suddenly.

Jack sighed again. He'd been doing that a lot lately. Before he could answer, they were interrupted by Jonas.

"Hey, what are you guys talking about?" He leaned over from the other side of the aisle. No matter how many times Jack took this trip, traveling to Area 51 via commercial airplane never seemed to fly by, so to speak.

"Oh, some friends of ours just got back from a trip. They were-uh- they were also good friends of Daniel's," Sam answered him when it became clear Jack was going to ignore him. She gave him a pointed look that he also ignored.

Teal'c leaned forward from where he was sitting new to Jonas and lifted a brow, barely seen from under his hat. "Indeed. They are very spiritually aware, In their beverage shop, they make you a drink instead of you requesting one. Harry has somehow managed to produce a traditional tea from Chulak. I greatly enjoy going when I leave the base."

"Whoa, Te- T, I think that's the most I've heard you speak since I've known you," Jonas remarked from beside him. Teal'c simply lifted an eyebrow and nodded at him.

Sam smiled and tried not to laugh. "Yeah, Harry is really interesting. Draco is too, of course. They're both highly qualified and could work on the base if they wanted but seem content just running their cafe and bakery."

"Huh. Maybe I should ask them if one of 'em wants to join the team..." Jack muttered, loud enough that Jonas heard it and tried not to make too dramatic a face at Sam in response. Sam sighed.

"I don't think that would be a good idea. Draco, maybe, but Harry has been through too much and I'm not sure he could handle it," Sam replied, deciding to ignore Jonas and his pouting face.

"You do not think him strong enough?" Teal'c questioned.

"Yeah, Harry is totally qualified, what gives?" Jack added.

Sam sighed again. "It's not that, I just- he seems- well, you know how he is. He puts up a good front but I think he would be too soft for the job. He would let things get to him too much. Don't you both agree?"

Teal'c raised his eyebrow. Jack scrunched up his face and started shaking his head. "Not at all. I've seen his military training come out. It's not obvious and it clearly wasn't an official military, but it's clear he's been through something. Something where he was a leader and he didn't break under that pressure. Sometimes you can tell that Draco looks to him to decide things, like he is checking with his commanding officer. You can tell that Draco cares about him like a brother, but I've noticed him look at Harry like he wants to protect him from himself. Like if he stops watching him for one second, he'll run off and get himself killed trying to save someone or something."

Sam didn't say anything more to that, and neither did anyone else. Jack tried not to think about the similarities he was sure they were drawing between him and Draco, and Daniel and Harry. He decided against asking one of them to join the team, though. Draco probably wouldn't take kindly to being separated from Harry, and Harry was too like Daniel for his own good. There was no way he was willing to lose another team member because he couldn't protect them from themselves.

Jack sighed again. These commercial flights really did take forever.

Chapter Text

Draco sighed. He knew the team were busy with the whole exploding gate thing or whatever, but he was exhausted. Trying to keep Harry distracted was a lot of work. Just as the thought ended, he heard the front door open. He looked up from where he was sitting in the back corner of the cafe, reading an astrophysics book.

The man who walked in was clearly from the base. He was someone Draco had never seen before and with Lily’s so close to the base, they were most of their clientele. His face scrunched up when he looked around and spotted only Draco. “Do you work here?”


“I suppose,” Draco drawled. Harry was making pastries in the back so he was in charge of the front. The people at the base were all too busy to leave and come here right now, meaning it was currently empty save Draco and the new customer.


“And?! Are you gonna serve me or what?” the man demanded.


“I’m thinking,” Draco answered, not sure he wanted to. This man was being rude and even if he was on the way to the base, probably to help, that didn’t mean Draco had to be nice or serve him.


“Draco, we aren’t in the habit of refusing customers, no matter how rude they are being,” Harry said from the doorway to the kitchen, looking pointedly at the newcomer. Besides, I feel like he has...potential for some reason, Harry continued in his head.


Draco sighed. “Fine, I supposed I will lower myself to your level, Potter, and serve one of the lowly masses.”


Draco got up and went behind the counter and ignored the man who came up and started to demand his order. He cut him off because he knew that would annoy him, “No. You don’t order here. You sit down and wait for me to bring you something.”


“I’m allergic to lemons,” he got out after sputtering for a while. “And I’m taking it to go.”


“Of course, the base has terrible coffee,” Draco answered.


“How could you possibly know that?” he asked, while walking over to where Draco had been sitting and turned over his book, the nosy bugger. “Is this-?”


“Just a little light reading,” Draco interrupted again. “The people from the base are frequent customers. Most of our customers actually, hence the emptiness.”


“This is advanced astrophysics, there’s nothing light about it!”


“Maybe not for you,” Draco retorted, finishing up making two cups of coffee and bringing them around to where the man was gapping at him.


“Do you work at the base, then?” he asked, looking at him sceptically. “And why do you have two cups?”


“Me and Harry have thought about working at the base, but no, we are content to run this cafe. The other cup is for Sam.”


“Sam? As in Samantha Carter?” A strange gleam appeared in his eyes and he took both cups greedily. Any further talk about astrophysics clearly the last thing on his mind now. “She’s a regular then?”


What do you think, Potter? Think this guy has the hots for Sam? Draco asked.


Oh, yes, clearly. I wonder if Sam likes him back. Though, with how he was acting, I doubt it.


“Yes, we are very close with the whole team,” Harry answered out loud, bringing out a paper bag with some of the fresh strawberry cannolis. There was also a donut in there, though he wasn’t sure why he felt the need to put it there. Sometimes his ‘know what the customer wants/needs' thing confused even him.


“You should be on your way, shouldn’t you?” Draco spoke up when he noticed the man looked ready to stay and continue talking about Sam. “Wouldn't want the coffee to get cold.”


“Oh, yes yes, of course…I’ll try to be back at some point if we don’t all die soon,” the look on his face made it clear he didn’t mean to say that out loud. Without another word, he rushed from the store.


“So, he has potential how, again?” Draco questioned Harry, while moving to sit and go back to his book.


“Oh, I don’t know...but there’s definitely something,” Harry answered distractedly, looking out the window toward the mountain. “I get the feeling of a vast open sea and… whales?”


Draco looked up at him from his book and made sure his face remained straight. “Whales?”


“Who knows, my knack for feeling people out has never made sense.”


Draco hummed. Harry’s wand went off from the timer he set for his other pastries still in the oven and he went to go get those. Draco subtly followed him and waited. Harry walked into the kitchen and went about his business before catching his reflection in one of the chrome surfaces and double taking. He quickly conjured a mirror and looked at his head in horror. His hair was a violent shade a bubble gum pink.


“DRACO!!!” he screamed while Draco praised his own foresight to grab his camera. He had caught the moment Harry had realised on film! Draco stopped his laughter when he spotted Harry’s face. Uh oh.


“T-this was only in response to what you did to my shampoo this morning,” Draco stuttered, slowly backing away while Harry stalked toward him. He had to wherewithal to hide the camera before it was seen. “It’ll go away in a day, I swear!”


“It’s not reversible!?!?!” Harry screeched. Draco knew that was the last straw and instead of answering, ran for it.


While Harry chased him around the place, Draco lamented his lot in life. Typical he would be stuck with a man whose needed distractions were so competitive in nature.

Chapter Text

So, the gate was going to blow up. Nothing to do that could stop it. McKay knew that. He also knew Carter was going to keep trying to stop it no matter what. After the failure with the F302- which he totally saw coming by the way- there was no new ideas for a while. Well, no good ideas anyway. Seriously, who hired all these idiots above him? So what that he doesn’t ‘play well with others.’? Since when has that been a requirement to being a scientist? Although, with the amount of near death catastrophes that happen around here, he was probably better off at AREA 51.

 

He walked toward Lily’s in the hope of some good coffee. It was nearing the 36 hour mark and he needed out of the base. With Carter on her way back from Nevada, everyone was arguing at him, pushing their ideas, completely ignoring him when he said all their ideas were stupid. If even Major Samantha Carter’s idea didn’t work, why did they think any of theirs would? Idiots.

 

There was a ringing bell when he walked into the cafe. Huh, he hadn’t noticed that last time. Looking around, he was disappointed to not see that blonde from his previous visit. Sure, he had basically called him a lowly commoner, but the coffee had been amazing and had even won him some points from Carter- he could tell, no matter what she said. Plus, he had been reading some heavy stuff and claimed he could work at the base if he wanted. That made him interesting.

 

The one he saw briefly before was there instead and he had violent pink hair instead of the black he had just a few hours ago. That was a few hours ago, wasn't it? “What’s with the hair?”

 

“Oh, I just felt like a change,” he answered. McKay wasn’t sure but he looked like he didn’t like the change. Pink-y was bustling around doing things with the machines behind the counter. He might've built an atomic bomb (Model, not working! Stupid CIA) for his sixth grade science fair, but looking at all those contraptions baffled him.

 

“Sit down, I’ll have your order out in a second,” he called. “I’m Harry by the way, this is my shop. You met my brother, Draco, yesterday?”

 

“Uh, yes. McKay, Dr. Rodney Mckay,” he answered. “Who’s this Lily then, another sibling? She decide to do something more meaningful than run a cafe?”

 

“Lily was my mother actually,” Harry made eye contact and paused before smiling and continuing. “She’s dead. Sacrificed herself for me, actually so I guess you could say, yes she did do something more meaningful than run a cafe.”

 

McKay sputtered and grabbed the cup of coffee Harry set on the counter and took a big gulp. He sucked at people; always had. This conversation reminded him of his sister and that made him uncomfortable. Harry continued eyeing him and McKay might be bad at social cues, but he could tell Harry was laughing at him on the inside.

 

Damn, this coffee was hot! He would complain but after bringing up the dead mom that might be the last straw and, despite the temperature, it was good coffee. Don’t want to get kicked out and not be able to taste it again.

 

The bell for the door chimed again before the awkward silence dragged on too long. And  what do you know, in walked Samantha Carter! O’Neill was behind her, but McKay focused on Carter.

 

“McKay!?” Sam yelled when she saw him.

 

“Slacking off there, poindexter?” O’Neill called from behind her, limping to the seat closest to the entrance. “What’s with the hair, Harry?!”

 

“Major. O’Neill. I was just trying to get some coffee that wasn’t made with rocket fuel.”

 

“Sam, Jack! It’s good to see you!” Harry came around the counter and hugged both of them. Sam held the hug a little longer than McKay thought was necessary. He tried not to make a face but the look O’Neill gave him told him he failed.  Harry looked to Jack and said, “Draco thought it would be funny to dye my hair in my sleep. Don’t know how he didn’t wake me.”

 

“How are you holding up?” Sam asked, holding both of Harry’s hands in hers. What's with that? McKay failed at not making a face again

 

“Shouldn’t I be asking you that?” Harry was clearly trying for levity and missing by miles. Even McKay could see that. He glanced at O’Neill hoping to figure out what they were talking about but he was busy talking to Draco who came out of nowhere. He thought he caught O’Neill exchanging prank ideas with the blonde. That didn't bode well for him if the gate ended up not blowing up.

 

“Should I know what you all are talking about?” He finally demanded, not liking being the odd man out.

 

“D-Daniel,” Harry answered, a light going out in his eyes that McKay just noticed had been there now that is was gone.

 

“Oh, right. Dr. Jackson. You knew him then?”

 

“Yes, we knew him well,” Draco suddenly appeared next to Harry and grabbed his hand. Harry glanced at him and the light in his eyes came back a little.

 

“Well, uh,” McKay cleared his throat awkwardly and drank the last of his coffee. “I’m sorry for your loss.”

 

“It’s quite alright Doctor, it isn’t as if he’s dead,” Harry attempted humor and instead created a weird silence. Not quite awkward, but definitely not right.

  

“Well,” Draco broke the quiet. “Let's get you all to-go cups. I’m sure you’re busy up in that mountain of yours.”

 

“Oh, yes,” Harry clapped his hands together and moved to the counter to make the drinks while Draco also moved, but toward the food displays instead. “Try not to blow yourselves up while you study deep space!”

 

O’Neill and Carter shared a look that McKay caught. Were they giving away top secret info to these two civilians? Harry finished up the drinks before he made up his mind about saying something.

 

“Run along now,” Draco shooed them toward the door, shoving a couple of bags of goodies at them on the way. “Harry and I hope you find your missing piece, Jack. We know it won't be a perfect fit, but close is better than nothing.”

 

The door closed before anyone could get another word out. “Damnnit, I hate it when they do that,” O’Neill cursed. McKay caught Carter smiling wryly.

 

“What was that all about? Have you both been spilling state secrets to cafe owners ?” McKay accused.

 

“It’s nothing like that McKay,” Carter soothed. “They’ve been thoroughly checked out and they aren’t Goa’uld and their background is clean. Teal’c says their highly evolved spiritually, but everyone on base who comes has different opinions. There’s actually a betting pool on what their mysterious and tragic past is, because they have confirmed there is a mysterious and tragic past. Don’t know how they plan to figure out the truth, now I think of it. Those two are more tight lipped than we are.”

 

“Carter,” O’Neill whispered before McKay could get a word out. “Why is this the first I’m hearing about this betting pool!?”

 

“Sorry, Sir,” Carter looked contrite. For a second, McKay thought she was in trouble before she added, “Talk to Walter, he’s in charge of the money and list of ideas.”

 

“Thank you,” O’Neill glanced at McKay and shook his head. What was that about? “Anyway, we should be heading back. We really shouldn’t have stopped for coffee. General Hammond is waiting for a report.”

 

Before they got too far into the parking lot, Harry called out to them, his ridiculous pink hair flapping around while he jogged toward them. “Wait! I was so distracted I forgot to give you this!” He was carry a large coffee pot like the ones at diners that have a closed lid. “This is for everyone at the base. It doesn’t look like much, but it holds a lot. Be safe!”

 

He was gone again before anyone could get in a word. “Well,” O’Neill said. “At least now Hammond won’t be too mad.”

 

Carter gave him a look and walked off toward the car. McKay looked back at the cafe contemplatively before following her. He heard O’Neill mutter behind him, “I hope there’s cake in this bag.”