Chapter 1: Chapter One
Draco can’t believe this is happening to him. He simply can’t believe it. After the third time he fell asleep in Pansy’s presence, she insisted on taking him to St. Mungo’s. The last thing he expected was to hear he was pregnant, particularly since wizard pregnancies are not a common occurance.
Draco looks up from where he’s been staring at the drab carpet of the Healer’s office into his best friend’s eyes.
“Pansy, tell me I’m delirious, or that this is just some awful dream.”
“Sorry.” Pansy pushes Draco’s fringe from his eyes before taking his hand in hers. She squeezes it. “This is real, darling. You’re too powerful a wizard for your own good and got yourself knocked up. Now you're going to have to buck up and deal with it.”
Draco covers his eyes with his free hand. He’s re-dressed and waiting for the Healer in his office, but Draco’s already heard all he wants to hear.
Or didn’t want to hear.
“One night, Pans. One night!”
“Evidently, that’s all it takes—or didn’t your mother warn you?”
Draco jerks his hand from her grip. “Very funny.”
The office is cramped and in Draco’s opinion, lacks enough air for two people to breathe. He gets up and heads for the door.
“Draco!” Pansy starts after him. “Aren’t you going to wait for Healer Ficklestein to come back?”
Draco doesn’t answer. He strides down the hall and explodes through the exit doors, Pansy close on his heels.
Draco needs a drink badly, but according to A Most Rare and Magical Time: A Guide for that Lucky, Pregnant Wizard, alcohol and babies don’t mix. Figures. He sighs, tapping a long finger lightly on the steel table top of the outdoor café, and considers a cigarette, but a quick check of the book says that’s a no-no, too.
He glares at the stack of books his mother purchased for him. Besides the guide, there’s also So You’re Up the Duff--What Now?; Changes: Everything a Pregnant Wizard Needs to Know; Raising a Pureblood Wizard or Witch Starting from the Womb.
Draco could twist Pansy’s scrawny neck for telling his mother. The last thing he wants is to be fawned over—at least, not by his mother--and the fact that she now knows puts an end to any thoughts Draco may have had of ending the pregnancy. Which was probably why Pansy told her in the first place, the evil bitch.
Draco sighs again. He knows he wouldn’t have ended the pregnancy, but it was nice having the option. He looks at the time. Where is Blaise?
There’s a loud crack and Blaise appears from around the corner as though Draco had conjured him with his thoughts, impeccably dressed as usual and with a happy grin on his face. He takes a seat across from Draco and leans back in his chair.
Draco takes a sip of his water, stomach lurching uncomfortably. He feels like he has some sort of creature inside him making him irritable, sleepy, and sick all the time. “You’re late.”
“Maybe so, but I’m here, aren’t I?”
Blaise opens his napkin and covers his lap, then motions to a waitress to bring him water and a menu.
“Now what’s so important that it couldn’t wait until tomorrow when my schedule is much lighter? I told you I’m without a secretary. I have to do all the office work myself.”
Draco narrows his eyes at Blaise, who accepts the water from the waitress with a flirtatious smile. Then, timing it perfectly, when Blaise is in the middle of a long sip, Draco says, “I’m pregnant.”
Water spurts everywhere, dribbling satisfyingly down Blaise’s chin and the front of his shirt. Draco reaches for his napkin and wipes off the droplets from his own face.
Blaise stares. “What? That's...what? But—but you couldn’t possibly! And anyway, we both always used a contraceptive charm!”
“It’s not yours; you can stop flailing.” Draco’s lips curl. It was worth it to see that reaction. He leans forward so only Blaise can hear.
Blaise opens and closes his mouth in an astounding imitation of a fish.
“You’re kidding! Are you sure?”
“Of course I’m sure; I’m not a slag. You and he are the only sexual partners I’ve had this past six months, and like you said—you and I used a contraceptive charm. But Potter and I didn’t. Besides, the timing is right with him. I’m seven weeks.”
Blaise looks visibly relieved, and although Draco can understand it, he still wants to kick him.
“Wow. Pregnant. That only happens in--"
“One in every ten thousand wizards, I know,” Draco says. “I assure you, this is the only time I’m unhappy to be special.” He scowls. “I’m sure it has something to do with Potty’s mega-genes. I should never have let him fuck me.”
“Why did you?” Blaise asks.
Draco sniffs. “I was inebriated. So was he, for that matter. It just happened—I don’t know. One minute we were trading insults, and the next we’d Apparated to his bedroom and were all over one another having fabulous wall sex. It was just one of those things.”
“Fabulous?” Blaise raises a brow, and Draco turns pink. He ignores the question and studies the table instead, not wanting to think about what had made Potter so much better than everyone else; however, the words intensity, passion, and power all come to mind before Draco can shut down that train of thought.
Blaise eyes the stack of books. “I assume from those that you’re keeping it. Are you going to tell him?””
“Pansy’s already blabbed to Mum, so of course I can’t not keep her grandchild. As for telling Potter---I don’t see it happening.”
Blaise looks shocked. “You’ve got to tell him, mate. It’s his kid, too.”
Draco studies his nails, making sure only calm indifference shows on his face. “I don’t see why. He’ll only be a pest, or berate me about not being good enough to carry his child.”
“You were good enough to fuck,” Blaise points out.
Barely, Draco thinks sourly.
“You’d want to know, wouldn’t you?”
“That’s entirely different! If things were reversed, I would have to save the child from Potter’s ineptitude, wouldn’t I?” Draco leans back in his chair. “The man was raised by Muggles! He can’t be expected to carry a child properly.” He crosses his arms over his chest. “Think, Blaise. If Potter were to find out, he might try to take it away from me.”
Not wanting Blaise to realise how deeply Draco fears this, he leans forward and hisses, “…and raise it among Weasleys!”
Blaise wrinkles his nose and picks up a menu. “I see your point.” After they order, Blaise settles back in his chair and studies Draco.
“So, why did you call me here? Just to scare the pants off me? Because you really didn’t. I was only surprised.”
Draco rolls his eyes.
“Admit it; you nearly wet your pants.” He breaks off a piece of the bread one of the waitstaff set before him. “Actually, I wanted to talk to you about working in your office for the duration of my pregnancy. Potions aren’t conducive to a healthy foetus, I’m told.”
“What do you know about secretarial work?” Blaise asks with an arched brow.
“How hard can it be?”
Blaise looks unconvinced, and Draco throws the bread back in the basket.
“Come on. I’ll go crazy with nothing to do. I’m sure everything will be fine—I’m just a bit tired, and I get sick sometimes, but I can handle your office, I’m sure.”
Blaise sighs. "All right, we’ll try it. But you have to know there is real work to be done—it’s not as easy as you think.”
“Yes, yes.” Draco looks down at the salmon set before him. His stomach turns over. It resembles something he’s seen on the bottom of his shoe after walking on Pansy’s farm. Smells a bit like it, too.
“Excuse me.” He gets up and barely makes it around the corner before losing what little was in his stomach to begin with. Leaning against the brick wall, Draco does a freshening charm on his mouth and catches his breath. He hates vomiting; he absolutely hates it. Sneering, he looks down at his flat stomach.
“You are as troublesome as the man who spawned you inside me.” Straightening his clothes, he goes back to sit with Blaise, pushing the plate of salmon away and averting his eyes from Blaise’s disgusting salad. Draco sticks to water for the rest of the meal.
Chapter 2: Chapter Two
Blaise works in an off-shoot office of the ministry that deals with educational law, his office on the top floor. As his secretary, Draco has his own desk in the open area outside Blaise’s office. There’s a Floo as well as lifts around the corner. A small break room at the back affords Draco the luxury of a cup of tea when his stomach needs settling, which is often.
At first Draco has a bit of trouble identifying some of the odd contraptions Blaise’s previous secretary, a Muggle, used. His magic has become wonky of late, and he has to depend on the Muggle things more than he’d like. He decides the stapler is absolutely evil, and the scissors aren’t much better. Eventually, though, he settles comfortably into his role as secretary, handling the menial tasks assigned to him with a fair amount of efficiency if not graciousness. He’s beginning to show, his flat belly distending even as he loses weight from throwing up all the time.
Alarmingly, Potter has left a few messages for Draco with Draco’s apprentice at his Potions Shoppe. Draco has to wonder if news of the pregnancy has somehow leaked out, although Draco doesn’t know how it could have; only Pansy, Blaise, and Narcissa know. Still, the thought puts cold fear into Draco’s heart—he’s more determined than ever not to let the Boy-Who-Lived, now morphed into the Man-Who-Gets-Everything-He-Wants, take Draco’s child from him.
If Potter hadn’t gone all cave-man on Draco that night, this never would have happened.
Draco spares a moment to remember Potter’s broad, tanned chest and how his flat nipples puckered when Draco ripped his shirt off.
Fuck, Draco is horny.
“Draco, I’ve brought you a special home-cooked meal,” Narcissa says, jolting Draco out of his thoughts. Draco shifts farther under the desk to hide his erection. This is the fourth day this week his mother’s shown up with a meal so she can watch every morsel enter Draco’s mouth and make sure none of it comes back out again. So far, Draco’s managed to keep it all down as he's rather afraid to find out how she would manage that last part.
Draco uncovers the plate of steaming vegetables mixed with bits of mystery meat, and his stomach roils.
“Merlin, Mum! I can’t possibly eat this.” He pushes it away and covers his nose.
“You have to take care of the baby.”
“I am taking care of it! I just…can’t eat certain things.” Most things.
Narcissa comes around the desk to stand over Draco, much like she did when he was a child.
“Just eat a bite of the peas. You love peas.”
Draco feels like he’s six-years-old again as he takes a few peas onto his spoon, careful not to get a carrot or—Merlin forbid—a lima bean on there, too. He holds his nose and swallows them whole.
When Draco doesn’t immediately reach for the bin, Narcissa gives him an approving smile and asks, “Are you going to tell me who the father is, darling? I think I have a right to know.”
Draco bites his lip. He’s been avoiding this. If he tells his mother his baby belongs to the hero of the wizarding world-- i.e. their former enemy and the one who kept them out of Azkaban--she’ll go ape-shit on him and begin spreading the word faster than Fiendfyre. And Draco can’t have that. He won’t.
Blaise appears from around the corner, coffee cup in one hand and a newspaper in the other.
“It’s Blaise, of course,” Draco says before he can stop himself. After all, Narcissa knows Blaise and Draco dated for a few months at the beginning of the year. It’s not too hard to imagine them having a post-break-up shag a few weeks later that produced a sprog.
Blaise looks up. “What’s Blaise?”
Narcissa’s already upon him, hugging him to death while he holds his coffee cup out to the side to keep it from spilling. Draco has the graciousness to wince at what he’s done to his friend.
“Then why aren’t you two living together?” Narcissa asks. “The baby needs both its parents. And why didn’t you tell me it was Blaise's to begin with?” She looks at Blaise with affection. “Did you think I would be cross? You two have known each other your whole lives. I think it’s lovely, and isn't it a boon the two of you could make it happen!”
Blaise looks as though he wants to cast Sectumsempra at Draco right then and there. Draco rises from his seat. He’s lied to his mother, and he just wants this all to go away.
“Blaise and I are only friends, Mother. Please don’t make this into more than it is. The whole thing was an accident.”
Narcissa beams at the two of them. “An accident that is giving me a grandchild! Now I know why you’ve taken this horrible job, Draco; you need to be close to the baby’s father. Completely understandable.” She squeezes Blaise’s arm. “You must come to dinner tonight. Both of you.”
Blaise is still staring at Draco over Narcissa’s head with a look of pure murder.
“I don’t know, Mum…” Draco hedges.
“Draco, I’m so alone without your father. I only have the house elves to amuse me.” She turns to Blaise, who quickly adjusts his expression to one of compassion. “Blaise, convince him.”
“Er…all right, Mrs Malfoy. We’ll come.”
“Brilliant!” Narcissa claps her hands happily and heads for the Floo. “I’ll have Mipsy make all your favourites, Draco!”
Draco’s stomach churns at the thought, but he smiles and waves.
“Draco!” Blaise says between gritted teeth as soon as Narcissa’s gone. “Why did you drag me into this?”
“Because you were available!”
“That’s the thing, you wanker, I’m not available! I’m seeing someone.”
Draco stares. “Since when?”
“Since a week ago when we decided to move in together.”
“Well, good for you! It doesn’t matter, Blaise. You heard me tell Mum we’re only friends.”
“It matters to me! I don’t want my boyfriend to think I’m having a baby with you! And have you ever considered what will happen when the baby’s born? It’s unlikely to look anything like me.” He waves a hand to indicate his dark complexion.
“I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it. And just explain it to your boyfriend; I’m sure he’ll understand.”
Blaise steps menacingly closer to Draco. “No he would not, and you’ll cross it sooner than you think. Draco, you need to tell Potter.”
Draco steps back.
“Whatever for? He need never know!”
“If you liked him enough to let him shag you, you can fuck-well like him enough to share a baby with him.”
Draco sputters. “I don’t like him at all! That was a spur of the moment mistake.”
“Call it what you will, but it’s earned you a child. You will tell Potter, Draco, or I will do it for you.”
“I never even see the dolt!”
And because the universe seems to hate Draco, no sooner had the words left his mouth when in walks Harry Potter from the hallway.
Draco stands immobilised, eyes wide. He has not seen Potter since that night, and the man looks gorgeous, his red Auror robes lending a golden glow to his tanned skin . A smile spreads over Blaise’s face, the fucking bastard.
“Speak of the devil!” Blaise says, and Draco elbows Blaise in the ribs, enjoying the oof that escapes his mouth. Potter looks between the two of them.
“Articulate as always, Potter,” Draco moves back to lean against his desk for support, careful to keep the slight swell of his belly from pushing against the front of his robes. “May we do something for you?”
“Since when do you work here?” Potter asks, and Draco swears he can feel the heat and magnetism rolling off the man. It makes Draco’s knees weak.
Draco struggles to keep his voice even. “I’m filling in until Blaise gets a new secretary.”
“Oh, that’s—good of you. Uh, Kingsley sent me over with this.” Potter hands Blaise an envelope before turning his eyes back to Draco, perplexed. Draco’s heart beats fast, and his head swims. It wouldn’t do to faint in front of Potter, and it’s frankly a strain to keep the look of derision on his face when all Draco wants to do is melt into Potter’s arms. Draco inwardly winces at the admission. He’ll have to work on that—he does not want Potter, dammit! However, Draco knows he can only hold this stance so long--best to rile Potter enough to get him out of there.
Draco narrows his eyes and gives Potter his best look of disdain. “Reduced to being the ministry’s lackey, Potter?”
Potter purses his lips as though he's sucked on a lemon—it doesn’t escape Draco that they’re the same lips that had kissed Draco as though he were something special.
“Um, I have something for you, too.”
Draco raises a brow. “For me?”
Potter glances at Blaise before stepping toward Draco and pulling something from inside his robes.
“You left these at mine,” Potter says quietly, putting Draco’s black silk pants into Draco’s hands. Ah. The reason for the messages. Draco should have known it was something like that, but he’d allowed himself the slightest tinge of hope, not even daring to acknowledge it in his mind.
At least Potter hasn’t heard about the pregnancy, he tells himself. Draco shoves the pants in his desk drawer.
“You keep them in your robes?” Draco asks as though Potter is a perverted slag.
“I was going to give them to Blaise to give to you,” Potter says. His green eyes stare piercingly into Draco’s, and Draco barely holds back the shiver that tries to run through him.
“Cheers. Can’t have enough black silk boxers.” Draco catches himself about to cross his arms over his chest and stops, realising it would emphasise his baby bump. He clears his throat and looks away. He really just wants to sit down.
“I laundered them for you,” Potter says.
“Good of you.” Draco tries not to think about the cum stains that must have been on them—Potter had felt him up enough. He stares at Blaise, so he won’t have to look at Potter.
“I’ll just be going into my office.” The fucker quickly slips away, but not before shooting Draco a loaded look that plainly says Draco is to tell Potter everything. Draco ignores it, of course. Why isn’t Potter leaving?
“I’ve been trying to get hold of you,” Potter finally says, scratching the back of his neck. “I—why aren’t you working at your lab?”
“I told you; I’m helping Blaise out.”
Potter looks confused, and it isn’t endearing—certainly not. In fact, it’s maddening. Draco tells himself if Potter were a Slytherin, he would have this all figured out by now—why Draco’s working here, what he’s hiding--and Draco wouldn’t be suffering in limbo like he is—something would have been decided. Instead, Draco’s condemned to these long, awkward moments of Potter sensing something’s amiss but not being able to put his finger on it, and this heavy secret wouldn’t be weighing Draco down, growing worse every day.
Draco bites his lip. He does not want Potter to know. He doesn’t. Potter made it clear he wants nothing to do with Draco. The git will take this child away, and no one will stop it because of who Draco used to be.
“I would think Blaise could find any number of people to fill in as a secretary,” Potter says, arms crossed and feet planted apart. In his Auror robes, he looks frankly terrifying. “Why you?”
Draco straightens his spine and summons his most haughty look.
“I’ll have you know, I’m doing him a favour. My secretarial abilities are exceptional. Blaise would have nothing less.”
“Of course; my mistake.” Potter sounds sarcastic, and Draco spares a moment to be insulted. Was it really that difficult to believe? Draco’s a Malfoy, after all. He narrows his eyes.
“If you’ll excuse me, Potter, I have to get back to work.”
Draco flips his robes out behind him and takes a seat at his desk, looking about for something to do that will make him appear professional and busy.
“Draco,” Potter says, “about that night…” Draco’s insides freeze. He cannot take Potter telling him again what a mistake it had been, particularly in that quiet, sympathetic voice; it was bad enough the way he’d said it before.
“Potter, I don’t have time for this.” Draco grabs one of the yellow sticky notes from their bin and begins scribbling on it with one of those funny featherless quills. He’s writing nonsense, but Potter doesn’t have to know that.
“Why aren’t you using your magic?”
Draco stills, panics, then purses his lips. “I happen to like doing things the Muggle way, Potter, not that it’s any of your business.”
Potter waits a moment in silence before saying, “Since when?”
Draco huffs. “You don’t know everything about me, you know. You think you do, but you don’t!” He feels his face going red.
Potter stares at Draco a little longer before shrugging and leaving. The baby gives Draco a kick in the bladder as though in frustration. It is its first kick, and Draco wants to cry. He slumps in his chair and covers his face with his hands.
Chapter 3: Chapter Three
Dinner with Narcissa is excruciating. Draco thinks he’s having a worse time than even Blaise, and that’s saying a lot. Draco knows Blaise is annoyed with him for not telling Potter when Draco had the chance and feels fortunate that his friend came with him at all. They told Narcissa that the baby was an accident and that Blaise is with someone else, but she won’t listen. Blaise keeps eyeing Draco with disapproval, silently urging him to tell the truth, but Draco ignores him. Narcissa won’t stop rattling on about the baby, and Blaise can’t possibly have any interest since he really isn’t involved, which makes him come off looking like a real wanker in Narcissa’s eyes. Draco’s getting an ulcer.
“Honestly,” his mother says to him when Blaise goes off to use the loo, “you could have been a bit more selective about who you slept with. Blaise doesn’t seem interested in the baby at all.” She leans in closer. "To be honest, I'm rather surprised a Zabini could manage this. A Malfoy, yes, but..."
“He’s just tired,” Draco interrupts. In truth, Draco is the one who’s tired. He doesn’t sleep well—he’s always having crazy dreams that don’t make any sense or that involve Potter shagging him senseless—it’s beginning to weigh on Draco that he’s taken something on that he’ll have to do all by himself. What does he know about raising a child?
When Draco arrives home--after a lecture from Blaise that he is never doing that again, and Draco had better tell Potter OR ELSE--Draco collapses on his bed without even undressing. His clothes will be a horrible mess in the morning, but Draco can’t be bothered; his limbs feel like weights, and his eyes simply won’t stay open.
Sometime in the night, Draco awakens with a terrific hard-on. He’d been dreaming about Potter and the way he’d pressed Draco against the wall, Potter’s chest to Draco’s back, fingers pushing into Draco’s mouth while his cock thrust into the Slytherin’s arse. Draco throws the covers off and takes himself in hand, remembering the heat of it, the way his ankles had been confined by his trousers, and his cock had been pinned against the smooth, cool wall.
Draco finds release to the memory of the delicious burn, the sounds Potter had made in Draco’s ear when he came, and the feel of Potter’s capable hand tugging Draco’s climax from him.
After, spent and panting in his bed, Draco tries not to remember what came next, but it unravels in his mind anyway.
Potter stepped away, taking all his heat and passion with him.
“This was a mistake,” Potter said, voice hoarse from exertion.
Draco toed off his shoes and stepped out of the confines of his pants and trousers before going to sit beside Potter on the bed. Tentatively, Draco placed a hand on Potter’s shoulder. He wanted to say something to the effect that it didn’t have to be a mistake—they were older and wiser since their school days, after all; but Potter shrugged Draco’s hand away.
“I don’t do this—have casual sex. Hell, Malfoy, we don’t even like each other!” Potter rubbed at his face in obvious agitation. “We were arguing, for Merlin’s sake--I don’t know what came over me.”
Stunned and hurt, Draco stood up. He’d stupidly allowed Potter to see his vulnerable side, and look what had happened. Draco stared at Potter a moment. Potter’s shirt lay on the floor at their feet, and Potter’s trousers were open. They had Apparated straight from the pub to Potter’s bedroom and hadn’t even made it to the bed. Blindly, Draco reached for his own trousers and yanked them on as Potter continued to make excuses: he’d been drunk, and it had been a long time since he’d been with someone. He hadn’t meant to kiss Draco...he never should have let it get that far. Draco’s ears buzzed as he shoved his feet into his shoes.
He said something like, “Forget about it,” before tossing the Floo powder into the Floo and going home.
So Potter had never meant to shag Draco. Draco had been a convenient outlet, and it was just too bad that it had been the most satisfying experience of Draco’s life, even if Draco had been pressed against a door—Draco'd had to face up to the hard fact he’d been lying to himself for years about how he feels about Potter.
Draco blinks up at the dark ceiling of his bedroom, eyes damp. How could he have let himself think during those moments of bliss that Potter could have put his old feelings of animosity aside and actually felt something for Draco? What would Potter think now if he knew he’d created a child with the man he wished he’d never shagged? If just shagging Draco could have put that look on Potter’s face, then the fact that he’d mingled their genes to form a new life would definitely make him sick to his stomach. Draco puts a hand on the bulge of his abdomen. As the baby begins to grow and move within him, he’s becoming more and more attached to it.
“Don’t worry, little one. You’re mine, and I will take care of you. Whether your other father believes it or not, I’m not the man I used to be.”
“Have you told him?” Blaise asks for the umpteenth time. When Draco ignores him, Blaise huffs and pulls a chair up to Draco’s desk where Draco is writing on a piece of flimsy parchment Muggles call paper.
“I ran into your mother this weekend, and it was by the grace of Salazar that Griffin had just popped into the café to get us coffee. Your mother had been shopping for the baby, and she wanted me to look at every item. Draco,” Blaise yanks away the paper and grabs Draco’s hand, squeezing it to the point of pain, “this isn’t my baby, and I’m not going to pretend any longer that it is. The next time I see your mother, there will be no farce.”
Blaise stands and strides into his office, slamming the door behind him. Draco knows Blaise isn’t lying—he will tell all. Draco leans back in his chair, trying to calm his breathing. His head pounds, and his limbs feel like butter. It’s due to hunger, but he can’t keep much of anything down. Pansy lectured Draco just yesterday about how he hasn’t been back to a healer. Now this thing with Blaise—if he tells Draco’s mother, there will be hell to pay. Draco has to be the one to do it. Everything will be all right. I will just admit to Mum that I lied about Blaise—but I won’t tell her who the real father is. She’ll be angry, but if I play my cards right, she’ll stop pestering me.
“I’m going to have lunch at Mum’s,” Draco calls into the paneling of Blaise’s door. He Floos to the Manor.
“Draco!” Narcissa stands from her seat at the dining table, a look of surprised pleasure on her face, and Draco freezes in the middle of swiping ash from his robes when he sees that she is not alone.
Several thoughts go through his mind at once: What the fuck is he doing here? Oh, Merlin, does she know? Does he know? Fuck, he looks delicious. Does my belly show? Can I possibly turn around and leave without too much of a fuss?
Potter has stood, a cup of tea in his hand. He’s in his Auror robes again, and Draco wishes to disappear. Potter is staring at Draco’s belly, the swell of it quite obvious due to the fact that Draco neglected to re-button his robes.
“Sorry, I didn’t know you had company.” Draco turns back to the Floo and grabs the Floo powder. “I’ll come back later.” He just hopes he can make it back to the office without passing out.
“Have you eaten, darling?” Narcissa rushes after him. “You look so pale and thin. You know, you really should…”
“I’m fine, Mother.” Draco tosses the powder in.
“Stop!” The authority in Potter's voice freezes Draco on the spot, and the baby does a somersault in Draco’s belly.
Narcissa seems confused, but she walks over and takes Draco by the arm, leading him to a seat at the table. He’s thankful for the support.
“Have some tea, love. You aren’t interrupting a thing—Auror Potter and I have concluded our business and were just chatting.”
She pours Draco some tea before topping Potter’s off.
“There was a breach in our wards, you see, and Auror Potter came here himself to straighten things out…” She continues chattering, and Draco wishes to hell he hadn’t come. Potter knows now. He has eyes in his head, after all. Could Draco possibly get away with a lie? Tell Potter it’s another man’s baby? The baby kicks Draco in the ribs, and he winces.
Narcissa stops mid-sentence. “Are you all right, dear? Is it the baby?”
Potter gapes. "Baby? He's pregnant? Can that even happen?"
Draco swallows, takes a deep breath and lets it out before meeting Potter’s eyes; there are too many things flitting through their jade depths to read.
“Yes, it can. And I’m fine,” Draco says.
Narcissa turns to Potter, oblivious to the undercurrents in the room. “Draco is due in May, and I can’t be more excited.”
Draco can see Potter activating his mental calculator. “Maybe June,” he says.
Narcissa shakes her head. “Nonsense, Draco. May 13th, to be exact. I’ve bought the loveliest pram...I tried to show Blaise the other day, and he was downright rude. I’m beginning to think you shouldn’t put his name on the birth certificate at all; he makes it dreadfully clear he wants nothing to do with the child—to think, his own flesh and blood. It’s disgraceful, really. What’s going to happen when you need his magic to boost yours and the baby’s? The farther along you are, the more you’ll need him, and if he’s being difficult…”
Now Draco’s caught in Potter’s gaze like a fly in a spider’s web.
“Zabini? This is Zabini’s baby?” Potter interrupts Narcissa’s rambling. “May 13th…” Potter never was very good at Arithmancy, but he's getting there. Draco can see the wheels turning.
Narcissa falls quiet, looking between the two men, only now realising something's amiss.
There’s no way around this, really; Draco’s in too deep. His head buzzes as he addresses his mother without taking his eyes off Potter, as though he is a poisonous snake on which he mustn’t turn his back. “The baby isn’t Blaise’s, Mum.”
Potter’s eyes widen, and Draco imagines Potter's more surprised Draco’s going down without a fight than that his suspicions are correct.
“Not…what are you talking about?” Narcissa’s voice hardens. She does not like being lied to; it’s probably the worst thing Draco could have done. He should have told her the truth to begin with. He knows that now.
“I lied,” Draco says, finally pulling his gaze from Potter’s to look at his mother. “I’m sorry, Mum. I—I was afraid. I actually came today to tell you the truth.” At least part of it.
Narcissa’s nostrils flare, edges white. “And just who exactly is the father?”
Draco slowly turns his head to look at Potter again, seconds ticking by in the dead silence of the room.
“I am,” Potter says, and Narcissa gasps. “Isn’t that right, Draco? This is my baby.”
Draco nods once, swallows, and looks down. Narcissa stands, almost knocking over the teapot in her agitation.
“I’m surprised and disappointed in you," she tells her son. "It seems you two have much to discuss. We will talk later. Excuse me.” She sails out of the room in a waft of rose-scented perfume.
The ensuing silence is excruciating. Draco tries not to fidget, but he’s nervous and a bit sick to his stomach. Beads of sweat gather on his forehead, and his armpits dampen. When he tries to Accio the pitcher of water from the sideboard, his magic fails him, and it starts to fall. Potter grabs it at the last second, pours some of the water into a glass, and hands it to Draco before setting the pitcher on the table. He always did have good reflexes, Draco thinks inanely.
“Why didn’t you tell me?” Potter’s voice is carefully controlled.
Draco looks up, meeting steely green eyes over the glass. “Why do you think, Potter? You made it clear our—interlude—was a mistake.”
“So, you hid from me the fact I’m going to be a father?”
“Obviously.” Draco focuses his eyes on the pulse beating madly in Potter’s neck, refusing to meet the other wizard's eyes.
Potter slams his fist down on the table, making the china jump, and Draco drops his glass. He watches the water spread on the pristine table cloth.
“You had no right!” Potter says from between clenched teeth, and Draco bristles.
Draco balls his fists at his sides. “I had every right! I am carrying this child, and you are a threat.”
Potter moves away from the table. Draco can see the muscles tensing and pulling at Potter’s crimson robes. The afternoon sun pours in the floor-to-ceiling windows, giving Potter an other-worldly halo that sets Draco’s teeth on edge. Saint Potter.
Potter dips his head low, like a bull ready to charge. “How could you say such a thing?”
Overheated, angry, and more than a little afraid, Draco opens his shirt collar with shaking fingers. His mouth is dry, and he wishes his water hadn’t spilled. He really hasn’t the strength to pour another himself, but he’ll die of thirst before asking Potter to do it.
“If you try to take this baby from me, I will fight you with everything I have,” Draco says quietly, hating the tremor in his voice.
Potter frowns. “Take it from—Draco?”
The edge of Draco’s vision goes fuzzy as all his blood rushes from his head to his feet, and he sags sideways. Two hands catch him, and distantly, as though through a very long tunnel, Draco hears Potter yelling for Narcissa just before a buzz sets up in his ears, and he feels himself gently lowered to the floor.
Draco isn't sure how much time has passed when he opens his eyes to find himself lying half on the Persian rug, half in Potter’s arms.
Narcissa’s kneeling in front of Draco, with Potter sitting behind him, supporting Draco’s back. “See? Your magic is strengthening him," she says to Potter. Indeed, Draco feels stronger by the moment, and the baby kicks and rolls in a lively manner.
Draco struggles to rise.
“Easy, now,” Potter says.
“I’m all right.”
Draco pulls himself to his feet, his mother and Potter hovering.
“You should have told me about the baby,” Potter says. “You should have told me as soon as you knew.”
Draco nods. He’s tired and just wants to go home and to bed. “Yes, I should have.”
“I can’t believe you thought I would take it from you.”
Draco presses the pads of his fingers to his eyes. “Could we possibly discuss this later? I’m quite knackered.”
Potter seems about to argue but suddenly gives in. “I want you to owl or Floo call me if you need anything.”
Now he cares, Draco thinks. Well fuck if I’lI ever call him. I’ll die first. Isn’t this what he was avoiding all along? Experiencing Potter’s attention and concern for the baby when Draco will never have it himself?
Chapter 4: Chapter Four
The longest relationship Draco’s ever had was with a man named Lionel. They dated for several months, but Draco could never reach a point where he was fully comfortable with their intimacy. The sex was good, but Draco didn’t particularly enjoy what came after. Snuggling never was his thing, and waking in the morning wound up in Lionel’s limbs left Draco cringing.
It wasn’t surprising that they broke up and that Lionel was the one to initiate it.
That time with Potter, as fleeting and sexually charged as it was, had been markedly different for Draco; not only did Draco have the singular feeling that he would allow Potter to do whatever he wanted —a feeling Draco had certainly never experienced with anyone else, as he always preferred to remain in control and was frankly a bit finicky in bed—but Draco also had the real urge to melt into Potter after the deed and spend the whole night with him. Somehow Draco thought waking with his limbs entwined with Potter’s would not be such a bad thing, and he’d let his guard down, exposing his vulnerability.
When Potter told Draco it had been a mistake, Draco felt as though he’d been slapped.
And it still burns.
As Draco passes his evenings after work reading or just lying in bed with a cup of hot tea close by, he wonders what it was about Potter that night that made such a difference.
Draco has to admit to himself that Potter exudes a magnetism that Draco finds undeniably attractive. When they went Hogwarts, Draco spent most of his time focusing the strong feelings Potter brought out in him on hatred. Every time Potter’s eyes flashed in challenge, there was an answering tug in Draco’s groin, but Draco refused to acknowledge it back then.
The handful of times Draco and Potter concentrated on something other than insulting or trying to curse one another, such as school work, their magic was inexplicably companionable. That fact made the sex against the wall of Potter’s bedroom even better—it was as though their magic joined--circling them and electrifying every taste and touch. Draco imagines that's why they clashed together so perfectly that night. Their long built-up sexual tension finally came to a head. Draco knows Potter felt it, too, but it wasn't enough to sway Potter into accepting Draco, to even consider that Draco may have changed in the years since Hogwarts. Potter regretted what they did the moment their bodies disconnected.
Draco forces himself to remember the rejection of that night and not allow himself to give in to what he wants so much every time Potter Floos to Draco’s flat to check on Draco, which is normally once a week.
“I’m fine, Potter,” he invariably says, no matter that he’s melted into the cushions of the sofa and wouldn’t be able to move if the place caught on fire.
Thankfully, Potter always insists on sitting for a few moments anyway, probably having been coached by Draco’s mother on the necessity of allowing Draco to absorb Potter’s magic in order to support the life growing inside him. Draco knows it’s true—that he needs Potter—but he hates needing him.
After the first time spent in awkward silence with Draco sitting stiffly beside Potter, every fiber of his being yearning to drape himself over him, Potter brings something called a television set to Draco’s flat for them to watch. It is almost enough to take Draco’s mind off the mind-numbing relief of receiving Potter’s magic, but not quite. His body tingles with the life force emanating from the man beside him. Draco can literally feel Potter’s magic being absorbed into his body. During these sessions, the baby kicks furiously, and Draco shifts at the discomfort, wincing at the onslaught while at the same time trying not to tremble as Potter’s magic washes through him, relieving the ache that stays with Draco at all times when Potter is not present.
During one particularly rough kicking session, Draco opens his eyes to find Potter staring.
“What’s wrong?” Potter asks.
“Baby’s kicking…” Draco gasps as he gets a foot to the rib from the inside. He doesn’t mention how fucking good Potter’s magic feels.
Potter turns his body on the sofa. “Can I touch it? The baby? I mean, your belly.”
Draco can’t in good faith keep Potter from feeling his own child move. He bites his lip and nods.
Gingerly, Harry puts his hands on Draco’s belly. Draco can feel the warmth of them through the thin material of his shirt. The baby goes wild, turning somersaults, and Draco hears Potter’s indrawn breath. He looks up at Draco in wonder.
“What does it feel like to you?”
Draco thinks about it. “Much like what it is—something moving around inside me. It’s weird. Sometimes it hurts.” After Potter takes his hands away, they don’t say much else to each other. When the show they’re watching ends, Potter Floos home.
The rest of the week, Draco yearns for the relief of Potter’s presence. The baby takes every ounce of Draco’s magic, absorbing it and causing Draco to be unable to perform the simplest magic for himself without something going drastically wrong. Slowly, Draco feels himself becoming no more than a Squib.
Draco wakes up to Potter staring down at him, eyes angry.
“What the fuck—“ Disoriented, Draco struggles to sit up.
Potter steps back to allow Draco to swing his legs over the edge of the bed.
“You’re not my father, for fuck’s sake!”
“Thank Merlin for that!” Potter’s pulling open Draco’s bureau drawers, sifting through them.
“Just what do you think you’re doing?” Draco demands. “You are wrinkling those, you oaf!”
Potter throws a shirt at Draco, followed by a pair of socks. “I just found out you haven’t been back to the Healer since you were told you were pregnant!”
Draco clamps his lips together and scowls. Which one of his so-called friends told Potter that piece of information?
“I should have known you wouldn’t be taking proper care of the baby,” Potter grumbles, stalking over to the cupboard and sliding hangers around. Draco hoists himself out of bed. It isn’t that he’s all that big, it’s just that he no longer has proper equilibrium. Having a bump in front without hips to balance it out feels just plain wrong. His knees shake a little as he pads over to where Potter stands, holding out a robe.
“Will this do?”
Draco swipes the robe from out of Potter’s hands. “Any of them will; they’re all impeccable.”
“Good. I’ve made an appointment with the most renowned healer dealing in wizard pregnancy, so shake a leg.”
Draco looks at Potter from the corner of his eye, ignoring the weird Muggle expression, and slips the shirt on. He doesn’t argue about going. Frankly, he’s terrified to have this baby. That’s the biggest reason Draco hasn’t been back to the Healer—he likes to pretend this isn’t happening to him. He yawns and scrubs his fists into his eyes. Merlin’s balls, he’s tired. When he lowers his arms, he finds Potter staring at him with an odd look on his face.
Draco turns in a huff, not liking being ogled, and snatches his trousers off the bed. He almost loses his footing trying to put them on and makes a grab for the bed post. Potter rushes over to steady him with a hand to Draco’s elbow, and Draco grunts as he slips the trousers over his legs and ties them beneath his belly. He shakes off Potter's hand, knowing the man who continues to live if only to be a thorn in Draco's side would never willing touch Draco if it weren't for the baby. At least when he wasn't wankered.
“Where did you get those?” Potter asks, indicating the trousers.
“Pansy made them for me.” Draco is about to go shopping for pregnant wizard wear, and Pansy is good at magical sewing.
“I’ll bet they’re much more comfortable than regular trousers.”
“You don’t know the half of it,” Draco says, slipping his arms into his robes. To Draco’s embarrassment, Potter has to help him with his socks and shoes.
When Potter Apparates them to the Healer’s, Draco stumbles, head spinning violently. Potter clutches Draco briefly to his chest until Draco can stand again.
Annoyed, Draco pulls away and steps back. “Where are we? That Apparition was hellish!”
Potter looks away, mumbling something, and then walks toward a pair of double doors.
Draco hurries after him, glancing around enough to see they’re in an office building of some sort. Potter’s already got the doors open, and he pauses for Draco to walk ahead of him.
“Oh, Mr Potter,” a woman simpers. She’s sitting behind a window that separates a waiting room from the offices behind and looks as though she’s had a crush on Harry Potter for years. Draco wouldn't be surprised to find out she has a poster of Potter on his Quidditch broom over her bed. He can tell by her flat accent that she’s American. “I saw your name in the appointment book, but I thought perhaps it was a different Harry Potter.”
“Merlin help us, are there more than one?” Draco asks incredulously.
“And this is…” the woman glances down at the open book, “Draco Malfoy?”
“Yes,” Potter smiles, and Draco scowls. He doesn’t like Potter throwing his charm around; it's a reminder that Potter’s never had any to spare for him. Again, except when wankered.
“Healer Biggs will see you right away.” The woman stands and leads them to a door.
Draco looks back at the waiting room teeming with people and rolls his eyes. “I see you no longer mind deferential treatment.”
“I had to pull some strings,” Potter mumbles, having the decency to blush.
They follow the receptionist through a door and then a nurse down a sterile-looking hallway.
Evidently Potter will go to great lengths for his offspring.
The nurse hands Draco a flimsy gown. "Remove your clothing and put this on.”
“You’re not going to stay in here, are you?” Draco asks when Potter doesn’t leave with the nurse.
“Of course I am. I want to know what the Healer has to say.”
Draco wants to insist that Potter leave, but he can tell by the firming of the man’s mouth that it would do no good. “Well, at least turn your back while I disrobe.”
Potter snorts. “I’ve seen it all, Malfoy.”
“You were drunk then.”
"I mean in your bedroom a while ago."
Draco glares, and Potter rolls his eyes before turning around.
Draco slips out of his shoes and strips off his shirt, laying it on a chair. He then puts on the gown before taking off his trousers and pants. He carefully leans on the examining table while doing so, remembering how he almost fell before.
Potter turns around. Draco finishes tying the gown in the front—it is really incredibly revealing—and gracelessly hops up on the table, almost sliding off again before he gets it right.
“Are you laughing at me, Potter?” he demands, seeing the corners of Potter’s mouth twitch.
There’s a knock and the door opens, saving Potter from the verbal thrashing Draco has ready.
“Hello,” a jovial wizard who Draco thinks must be in his mid-eighties at least, walks in, clipboard in hand. He holds out a hand for Malfoy to shake. “I’m Healer Biggs.” This man is American, too. Draco glances at Potter, but before Draco can say anything, Healer Biggs starts shooting questions at him. Draco has a difficult time keeping up.
“Is your magic working all right?” Healer Biggs has long, grey hairs peeking out of his nose, and Draco thinks he’d dearly love to take some scissors to them. Magical scissors, not the kind in Blaise's office. He suspects there are similar hairs sprouting from the Healer’s withered ears.
“Well…” Draco glances at Potter, who leans against the wall, his eyes never leaving Draco. Draco doesn’t know if Potter expects him to bolt or to lie to the Healer. Irritation sparks.
Healer Biggs waits, one of those Muggle pens poised over the clipboard.
“You must be extremely honest, Mr Malfoy. Male pregnancy in wizards is rare, and if I am to treat you, I must know everything.”
Draco purses his lips before finally giving up. “It’s pretty erratic.”
“In what way?”
“I—I can’t really do much of anything magically anymore. Not without making a complete mess, anyway.” Humiliated, Draco avoids looking at Potter. His heart pounds a rough pattern against the walls of his chest, and his mouth goes dry.
“I see.” Healer Biggs writes, blue veins sticking out beneath the paper-thin skin on his hands. “Try getting this pen.” He holds his pen in the palm of his hand. Potter reaches for Draco’s wand from out of his trousers and hands it over.
Draco bites his lip. Must he do this? He glances at Potter, who has gone back to staring, arms crossed over his chest. Draco flares his nostrils, huffs out a breath, and resignedly holds out the wand.
The pen rises about an inch from the Healer’s hand before falling down again. Potter’s eyes widen, two pools of green behind gold wire-framed glasses.
Draco flushes hotly, utterly humiliated at failing at this most basic of skills.
The Healer writes some more.
“Is that normal?” Potter asks.
Healer Biggs looks up. “It’s rather impressive, actually. I expected worse.”
Worse? Draco thinks. Wasn't it miserable enough? From the look on Potter’s face, he seems to agree.
“And the magical drain…how does it make you feel?”
Healer Biggs waits.
A flush starts at Draco's neck and runs upwards, warming his cheeks. He turns his head to stare at the wall, long seconds ticking by before he answers. “Just…tired a lot of the time.”
“All right, utterly exhausted.” Draco huffs. “Absolutely knackered. Given the chance, I could sleep for a week.” He reaches up and rubs his eyes as though in illustration and wishes he could lie down and sleep right then on the uncomfortable examination table.
“I see.” The Healer jots more down. “Have you ever passed out?”
Potter shifts against the wall.
“No…I’ve felt like I might once or twice, but I’ve never done it. Well, except for that one time at Mum's.”
"He was only out a few seconds," Potter told the Healer.
“Does being near the baby’s father…Mr Potter here…help you at all?”
Would this old fart never quit hounding him? When Draco looks up, two sets of eyes are pinned on him. He sighs.
“Yes. Being with him infuses me with strength, if you must know.”
“For how long?”
Draco’s tone is wooden. “A good eight hours, I’d say.”
“Wizards have to be very compatible for one to give that type of relief to the other.” Healer Biggs says. “You are very fortunate. You and Mr Potter must have very similar magical signatures. I’m sure you felt the pull toward one another from the day you met. It’s no wonder that you became pregnant, Mr Malfoy—it would have been a ripe coupling, indeed.”
Draco absolutely refuses to look Potter’s way. Instead, he stares at a picture on the wall of a young Healer pulling a billymaggot from a child's ear.
Healer Biggs springs from his chair rather spryly for someone his age, Draco thinks. “Lie down, and I’ll commence with the physical part of the exam.”
Finally. Draco lowers himself to the examination table.
“Please put your feet in the stirrups.” Healer Biggs pulls two steel foot rests up at each side of the bottom of the table.
Draco sends a rather frantic look Potter’s way, and Potter comes to stand beside Draco’s head, whether as emotional support or to spare Draco his modesty, Draco isn’t sure but appreciates it either way. Draco places his stocking feet in the stirrups while the healer snaps on some gloves and takes a seat between Draco’s legs. This is absolutely too much. Draco covers his face with his hands.
“I’m going to touch your opening,” the Healer says. “My fingers are well-lubed, but if you’re stressed, this may be a bit uncomfortable.”
If I'm stressed, he says. Draco wants to crawl into a hole. His breathing speeds up and his heart rate soars when the Healer touches him. A fine sweat breaks out on Draco's brow. The healer’s finger is a lead pipe pushing its way into him. How did he ever handle Potter's gigantic cock?
Draco panics, legs tensing and hands moving from his face to clench the edges of the table. The sudden touch of Potter’s hand on his head is the only thing that keeps Draco where he is, as the urge to run is overpowering.
“I am feeling around to see that your channel has widened and that the sac has attached and formed a sealed hole.”
When Draco looks down, he can only see the swell of his belly and the top of the Healer's head. Draco thinks he very well might vomit.
“Can we not talk about it?” he asks through clenched teeth. Healer Biggs hums, and Draco feels fingers moving within him. Does the man have his entire hand in there?
“Everything seems to be in order,” the Healer says, slowly withdrawing the offensive digits and peeling off his gloves. He writes on his precious clipboard.
“I’m going to prescribe you some special vitamins, Mr Malfoy, as well as something to help keep you stabilized as your organs continue to adjust. The baby will be growing a lot in the next few months, and it will undoubtedly get uncomfortable for you. This potion will elasticize your muscles to a degree that will allow for that growth, which will in turn keep you calmer, which is imperative in a male pregnancy. As you get farther along, you will find that you need to have Mr Potter around more and more in order for you to keep your strength up. I’m happy to say that your compatibility makes it much more likely that you will go to term and have a healthy baby.”
“What do you mean?” Potter asks, and Draco supposes it’s good he’s asking questions, since all Draco can focus on is getting out of the damnable stirrups.
“Wizard pregnancies are very dangerous,” Healer Biggs says, and goes on talking about stress, diet, and a lot of other things that Draco doesn’t listen to. When the Healer stands, Draco shakily rises to a sitting position, and Healer Biggs automatically sticks out a hand to help him. Draco would dearly like to refuse it; he feels violated and sore from the physical intrusion. However, getting off the table himself would be graceless suicide. He knows he's being silly—it was a medical exam after all—but it was invasive and it hurt, dammit. Draco is mortified to feel tears stinging his eyes. When Healer Biggs finally leaves, stands by the table swallowing his tears.
“Are you all right?” Potter asks.
“I’m fine, Potter.”
“Listen,” Potter’s voice is quiet. “Do you think perhaps we can dispense with the last names? After all, we’re having a baby together.”
It seems to Draco that he’s the only one having this baby, but he’s too tired to get into semantics. “Sure. Whatever you want, Potter.”
“Harry.” Draco’s mouth is dry. Potter—Harry---hands Draco his trousers, and Draco finds he doesn’t mind when Harry helps him to dress; he frankly isn’t sure he could manage it by himself.
“Do you mind if we get a bite to eat?” Draco asks as they pick up the prescriptions at the front desk and head out.
“Sure,” Harry says. “I was going to suggest it.”
They get the prescription filled and then exit the building, Draco looks around at the unfamiliar street.
“Where in the name of Salazar are we, Potter?”
“Harry, and we’re in…New York City.”
“As in America?” Draco thought it odd to run into two Americans at the Healer’s office.
“Yeah, well, see, this guy is the best.” Harry looks sheepish as he scratches the back of his neck.
“You Apparated us all the way to America?” Draco knows his mouth is hanging open, but he can’t help it. “In one go?”
Harry nods. “Is that odd?”
Draco snorts. “Not for you, I suppose.” He looks around. There are witches and wizards everywhere, some staring at the swell of his belly. He quickly buttons his robes.
“This is the wizarding district,” Harry says needlessly. “Come on. I think I see a deli.”
He takes Draco by the hand, and Draco’s too curious about the things around him to mind much. They enter a sandwich shoppe, and Draco’s stomach rumbles.
“Order me anything,” he tells Harry, lowering himself into a chair with relief. Harry nods and goes to the counter while Draco looks around. A couple of wizards who were outside when he and Harry came out of the Healer’s building enter the shoppe, bells jingling overhead. They spot Draco and walk over.
“Say, are you really a pregnant wizard?” the tall spindly one asks. He’s obviously from Britain, and Draco steels himself for the moment of recognition.
“What business is it of yours?”
“I told you it was possible,” the spindly man says to his smaller companion.
“I don’t believe it. It has to be a pot belly. But doesn’t ‘e look familiar?”
“I beg your pardon!” Draco cuts in, partly from indignation and partly to stop the progress of discussing who he might be. “I do not have a pot belly.”
“You’re preggers, then. See, Johnny? I told you ‘e was!”
“How can a wizard be pregnant?” Johnny crosses his arms over his chest.
“He probably has the female parts.”
Draco clenches his teeth. “I assure you, that is not the case. Perhaps you should go do some research, seeing as you’re so ignorant on the topic.”
“You callin’ us stupid?” Johnny is instantly red-faced, and Draco assumes this is not the first time the fellow’s been called stupid. Draco’s mouth thins, and he looks away, attempting to ignore the two wizards.
“’ey! Blondie! I asked you a question!” The man leans close. Draco can smell his stale breath, and his stomach clenches.
“Perhaps you’d care to ask me the question.” Harry’s voice brings Draco’s head around. Harry stands with two red plastic baskets of sandwiches and chips in his hands, green eyes sparking as they run over the two wizards.
“It’s ‘arry Potter!” The small man says.
“And you are?” Harry asks.
“M’name’s Pete Walkins and this ‘ere’s Johnny Jenkins.”
An ingratiating smile spreads over the smaller man’s face. “I collected all yer chocolate frog cards!”
Harry looks at Draco. “Do you know them?”
“Certainly not! They’ve been interrogating me,” Draco says with a frown.
Harry sets down the sandwiches and lets his wand fall from his sleeve into his hand. The two men immediately put their hands up and step back.
“We didn’t mean no ‘arm,” Walkins says. “Just curious about the preggers wizard, ‘ere.”
“No need to look so angry, Mr Potter.”
“We’ll just be on our way now.”
They turn and rush out of the shop with a jangle of bells.
Harry sits down across from Draco. “Are you all right?”
“Of course, I’m all right!” Draco snaps. A trickle of sweat makes its way down the side of his face. He’s tired, hungry, and humiliated. He looks down at his food.
“What kind of sandwich is this?”
“It's called a Reuben. Try it; it’s good.” Harry’s already taken a bite of his and is speaking through it, much to Draco’s disgust. He’d better not teach their child such atrocious manners. Draco picks up the sandwich and brings it to his mouth. The potent scent of the tiny seeds in the rye bread attack his senses, and he almost gags. Everything smells strong lately. He swears he can smell the perfume on the witch all the way across the room. His stomach rumbles, and he holds his breath and takes a bite. The meat, the sauerkraut…it’s all too much.
“I’m going to be sick,” he mumbles, clutching his stomach. A second later, Harry grabs Draco up onto his feet, and Draco feels the pull of Apparition.
When he opens his eyes, they’re standing in the living room of Harry’s flat.
Draco takes a deep breath.
“Why didn’t you take me home?” Draco asks, trying not to lean too heavily into Harry.
“This is the first place that came to mind. Come, sit down on the sofa.”
Draco can smell the awful sandwich on Harry’s breath. He shakes his head and makes a b-line for the loo. Fortunately, it isn’t difficult to find. He’s retching his guts out when he feels a hand on the center of his back. Draco is too busy vomiting bile, eyes watering and stomach spasming, to shake him off.
When Draco’s finally finished, Harry hands him a wet flannel and flushes the commode.
“I—I really need to lie down,” Draco whispers hoarsely. He hates being this vulnerable. He can’t help the tears that run down his face and hopes Harry attributes them solely to the violent vomiting.
Harry takes Draco’s arm and walks him to the bedroom. Seeing the room again hits Draco like a lorry—the last time he was there, Harry kissed him and fucked him to within an inch of his life. And then dismissed him. Harry helps Draco to the bed and removes Draco’s shoes. Draco would protest, but he doesn’t have it in him. He lies down and almost immediately falls asleep, his last thought being he is happy Harry didn’t fuck him in this bed. When he awakens, there’s a plate of plain crackers and a glass of water on the side table, along with a note.
Had to go out. Try to eat something. I’ll be back shortly.
Draco sighs and pulls himself up to a sitting position, back against the headboard. Gingerly, he bites into a cracker and happily finds he can stomach it. Looking around Harry’s bedroom, Draco can’t help but remember that night-- Harry’s tongue all over the inside of Draco’s mouth, burning him with the intensity of his passion. The kiss was nothing like Draco ever experienced before. The one in the pub—the first one—was all soft lips, although Harry pressed hard into Draco. They’d been arguing about the same old things—who had been more of a prat in school and who was more of one now—when Potter abruptly grabbed Draco by the back of the neck and covered his mouth with his own. Shocked, Draco succumbed.
When Harry Apparated them to this room a moment later, the kiss quickly turned dirty, and Draco found himself giving as good as he got.
If Draco concentrates, he can still feel Harry’s mouth on his.
“Fuck this,” Draco mumbles, getting up and slipping on his shoes. He can still Floo, and he’s going home.
Once in his own flat, Draco rather wishes he brought the crackers with him, as he has nothing so bland in his own cupboard.
Shrugging, he removes his clothes and takes a quick shower before collapsing in bed, tugging the sheet up over his nude body. He intensely feels the loss of Harry’s presence. The baby rolls about as though looking for his other father’s magic. Weak, Draco quickly falls back asleep.
The pop of Apparition wakes him up.
“Why did you leave?” Harry asks, staring down at him accusingly.
“I wanted to be in my own bed,” Draco says.
Harry runs a hand through his hair. “Did you get my note? I’d gone to fetch some dinner you might like.”
“I’m too exhausted to eat.”
Harry’s voice rises. “You have to eat!”
“You aren’t the boss of me, Potter!” Draco says as heatedly as he can manage.
“You’re impossible.” Harry shakes his head. “You heard Healer say you need to keep your strength up, and you need me around to support your magic.”
“I’m pretty sure he said that would come later,” Draco says, although his body is humming from Harry’s nearness, and he would like nothing more than for Harry to lie down beside him for a while. The baby twirls in a way that Draco can only think of as ecstatic. “Stop worrying, Potter. I’ll take care of your spawn.”
“It’s Harry—I thought we’d gotten that settled!”
“Go home, Harry.”
Harry waits a beat. “How do I know you’re going to call me if you need me?”
Draco’s voice is muffled by the pillow. “You don’t.”
“Then I’m staying.”
“Morgana’s tits! Will you please go home, you berk?”
Draco throws a pillow at him, but it misses its mark because there was no strength behind it.
Harry crosses his arms over his chest in a familiar stubborn stance. “Only if you promise to contact me if you need me.”
“Fine, fine, now go on and let me get back to sleep.”
“You’re lying, aren’t you?”
Harry picks up the pillow from the floor and sets it on the bed.
Draco huffs. “You really have no way of knowing.” He sighs. “I told you I’d take care of the sprog, and I will.”
“Don’t call him that,” Harry says.
Draco summons every bit of energy he has and sits up, the sheet pooling at his waist, just below the bump of the child.
Harry firms his lips and stays where he is.
“I may be a fucking ex-Death Eater, but I’m not going to kill my own baby!”
Harry’s face goes white. “I didn’t say…”
“It’s what you’re suggesting. You made it perfectly clear the night we created this baby that you don’t want to be with the likes of me. The entire thing had been your idea—you kissed me at the pub. You brought me to your flat and pressed me into the wall and stuck your cock inside me! You did this! And then you told me it had been a mistake. Taking all that into consideration, I think it rather magnanimous of me to allow you to participate in my pregnancy at all. Now, I’m tired. I need rest. Go home!”
Harry stares, face pale and mouth open. Draco doesn’t care. He lies back down and pulls the sheet up over his head. A moment later, he hears Harry Disapparate.
A few more ticks of the clock, and Draco’s asleep again.
Chapter 5: Chapter Five
Draco absolutely refuses to invite Harry over. He’s weak and barely functioning, but he can get by on his own. He asks Pansy to bring some groceries over.
“Draco, you look terrible,” she says when she sees him.
“Thanks very much; you look lovely yourself,” Draco mutters, rummaging through the bag. He told her to get the blandest stuff she could find, and it all still turns his stomach.
“Your hair's sticking straight up in the air.”
“You’ve lost weight.”
“Don’t you eat at all?”
“I can’t hold anything down.”
“Can’t the Healer give you something for that?”
Draco pauses in pulling things out of the bag. What had happened to the vitamins and potion? He hasn’t thought a thing about them since leaving the hospital. Did Draco leave them in that delicatessen in New York City?
“Of course,” he says to Pansy, “but they can only do so much. I eat; don’t worry.”
Pansy sits down at the table and folds her hands on it. “What about Potter?”
Draco sniffs the cottage cheese. "What about him?”
“Your mother told me he knows he’s the father and that he took you to a Healer in America.”
“I suppose you’re the one who told him I’d only been the once,” Draco says, opening a small container of vanilla pudding.
“I had to. I want you to take care of yourself.”
Draco dips a spoon into the pudding and glances at her. “I forgive you. And yes, Harry did take me to a Healer.”
Pansy’s smile is annoying. “So, it’s Harry now?”
Draco licks the spoon. The pudding isn’t half bad. “He insists.”
“Does he come for magical infusions?”
Draco’s not lying—Harry has come since Draco last saw Pansy.
"Does he...infuse anything else?"
"Salazar's pubes, Pans! Do you think I have the energy to let Potter plow me?"
"I think you lack the energy to stop him."
Draco rolls his eyes.
Pansy sighs. “All right, then. I’m going to keep checking up on you.” She stands and presses a kiss to Draco’s head. “Take care of yourself.”
Draco isn’t particularly proud of the way he hides in the pantry when he hears Harry Apparate into his flat, but it’s a reflex. He tells himself he’s protecting the baby by staying away from unneeded stress. Draco holds his breath as Harry walks through the flat calling his name. Finally, he hears Harry Disapparate.
Knowing that Harry won’t give up that easily, Draco writes out a note telling Harry he’s visiting his mother for a week or so and that he will get in touch the moment he begins to need Harry’s presence. He leaves it on the kitchen table, hiding again when Harry Apparates over the next time. He hears Harry pick up the paper and give a grunt before Disapparating.
Draco enjoys the respite from the nagging.
He’s getting weaker as his bump grows. The baby remains agitated, but it kills Draco to think of letting go of his pride and telling Harry he needs him—that is, the baby needs him. Harry never wanted Draco. He didn’t want this. Draco knows it’s Harry’s stupid Gryffindor sense of morality that brings him back again and again to check on Draco, and fuck if Draco’s going to beg him to come over.
At the end of the week Draco feels so wretchedly awful that he almost sends his owl for Harry. After a long day with Draco unable to keep most things down, he’s in quite a bit of pain as the baby seems to have doubled in size, and Draco bemoans the fact that he doesn’t have the vitamins and the potions that are supposed to help his body adjust. It feels as though something is stretching him from the inside out, pushing his bladder, stomach, and other organs to the side, which he supposes is what is actually happening. The thought makes him queasy.
As Draco stares at his owl sitting on its perch and thinks perhaps it wouldn’t be all that humiliating to get Harry to come over and sit with him a while, his eyes are drawn to the telly. He’s recently managed to get a wizarding station and enjoys watching the news in the evenings. At the moment, the entertainment section is featuring film of Harry, arm draped around Ginevra Weasley’s waist, as they stand for photographs, both dressed to the nines at some Ministry function.
A bitter taste takes residence in Draco’s mouth. Harry and Ginny turn to each other, and Harry presses a kiss to the witch's cheek. Draco throws the remote control at the television and screams in fury.
Hades will freeze before Draco calls Harry. Ever.
Draco was asleep. It feels so good just to sink into oblivion, although he wishes he had the strength to change the bed sheets, which are beginning to stink of stale sweat. Draco still manages a daily shower, but he sweats terribly during the night, often hounded by nightmares in which Harry rips the baby from his body and sails off on his broom with it.
“…absolutely a mess!”
“…some cleaning charms.”
Someone shakes Draco’s shoulder, but he can’t quite manage to open his eyes.
“…said he’ll be right over. Draco!”
Draco recognises the harpy voices of his mother and Pansy. He wonders what day it is; he’s stopped keeping track of such things. A hand slaps at his face.
“…barely eaten the groceries I brought three days ago.” Footsteps leaving the room. Draco hears dishes clinking in the kitchen.
A pop of Apparition and a male voice Draco would know anywhere. “What’s happened?”
“I can’t rouse him.” The hand leaves Draco’s shoulder. “Lie down with him, Harry.”
“…better skin to skin…”
“Turn around then.”
The rustle of clothing and then the bed dips. Draco gasps when someone scoots against his nude, sprawled form.
Skin touches skin, and slowly, so slowly, Draco begins to come alive. The baby begins to kick, hard.
“…can feel the baby,” Harry’s voice sounds far away although Draco knows he’s close. Another, smaller, hand comes to rest on Draco’s belly below Harry's.
“It’s responding already!” Draco's mother.
Draco can feel the strength of Harry’s magic entering his body, running through him, making him stronger.
“Why didn’t you owl me if Draco was this bad?” Harry asks. He sounds angry.
“Why—what do you mean? I thought you were with him.”
“He said he was staying with you.”
Somewhere underneath all the fog in Draco’s mind, he knows he’s been found out, but he can’t be arsed to care.
“Where has he been, then?”
“Sounds like he’s pulled one over on you.” Pansy’s voice again, slight amusement mixed with her concern.
“We’ll go make a broth for when he wakes up.”
Draco hears receding footsteps. Sounds are a bit clearer now, less like they're coming from under water. He hears Harry breathing beside him, feels his forehead press up against the side of Draco’s head, glasses cold on Draco’s temple.
“Ah, Draco. Why do you have to be so fucking stubborn?”
Harry’s hand remains on Draco’s belly, a warmth that Draco doesn’t want to lose.
Presently, the baby settles down, and Draco dozes, the comfort of Harry’s body and magic lulling him to sleep. He moves, migrating closer to Harry.
“Draco?” his mother’s voice. His eyes flutter open. “There’s my dragon.”
Harry helps Draco to sit up, propping him with pillows. Narcissa sits on the side of the bed and places a cloth napkin under his chin. She spoon feeds Draco, and he eats, although he isn’t hungry. There’s still a dull pain in his insides, as though everything has shifted and bruised.
“Um, Pansy?” Harry says. “Will you hand me my pants?”
Draco wants to smirk at the fact that Harry’s naked in front of the two women, but it won’t come. His lips tremble as he sips the broth.
“Where have you been, Draco?” Harry asks, settling back down, his underwear on. Draco fixes his gaze on Harry’s legs, tan with dark hairs covering them. The hairs lessen at his ankles. His feet are surprisingly fine-boned.
“Here,” Draco says, voice raspy.
“But the note…”
His head falls back. He can’t eat any more.
Narcissa takes the bowl back to the kitchen. Pansy stands in the middle of the room, hands on hips.
“Draco, you’re a berk.”
Draco closes his eyes. “Thanks, Pans. Love you, too.”
“I’m serious, Draco!”
“Pansy,” Harry says softly, and it’s surprising how much authority lies behind that one word.
Pansy fairly stomps out of the room. Harry looks at Draco.
“You didn’t want me here so much that you lied?”
Draco turns his head toward the wall and swallows.
“I didn’t want to ask you to come help me.”
“Even for the baby?” Harry’s tone becomes harder. “That’s nothing but selfish. I can’t believe you!”
“Harry,” Narcissa says from the door. “I can’t find those pills you mentioned.”
“Where are your vitamins and potion?” Harry asks Draco.
“I…” Draco tries to think. What did he decide happened to them? “They’re at that sandwich shoppe, I think.”
“What?” Harry sits up. “What are you--what sandwich shoppe?”
Draco turns to look at him. “I forgot about them. I don’t think I ever brought them home. We were eating…I got sick, and you Apparated us.” In spite of Harry’s magical infusion, this little speech makes Draco feel as though he’s run several miles.
Harry curses. He gets up from the bed and finds his trousers. “I’m going to the Healer’s now to get more.” He doesn’t say anything else, just gets dressed and leaves.
Narcissa approaches the bed. “You’ve been very silly. You’ve put yourself and the baby in danger.”
Draco sinks into the bed and closes his eyes.
Not only does Harry bring the prescriptions, but he brings Healer Biggs, too.
The Healer shoos everyone out and examines Draco. Draco is relieved when Healer Biggs doesn’t produce stirrups from his bag and put his fingers inside Draco like the last time. He listens to Draco’s heart, takes his pulse, checks his eyes, and questions Draco quite a bit before letting everyone back in. Narcissa sits at the edge of the bed, Pansy standing behind her, and Harry stands like a statue by the door, fists clenched by his sides.
Draco can’t help it—his eyes slip shut again.
“He has ignored every attempt I’ve made to help him,” Harry tells the Healer.
“While I admit that the magical infusions would have helped Mr Malfoy,” Healer Biggs says, “it was really dealing with the pain of his bodily changes that did him in. He’s exhausted.”
The Healer approaches the bed, potion in hand, and lifts Draco’s head to pour some in his mouth. He follows with a glass of water, and Draco swallows.
“Rest,” the Healer says before leading the others out of the room, shutting the door behind them.
Chapter 6: Chapter Six
It is several days before Draco’s able to leave his room. He doesn’t see very much of Harry during his time in bed, Narcissa being the one to feed and sometimes read to him. Harry takes naps beside Draco, so Draco can absorb his magic, and he also washes him every evening, which Draco bears with the utmost embarrassment. Harry quietly chats to him about inane things, trying to distract Draco from what he’s doing. Draco supposes it’s better than having his mother or Pansy bathe him. When Harry isn’t doing either of those things, Draco doesn’t know where Harry is---at work, probably.
Upon leaving his room, Draco finds that Harry has moved in, but Draco doesn’t argue. He’s already been lectured by everyone, including the Healer who told him he might have died if his mother and Pansy didn’t checked up on him. Harry’s jaw firmed when he heard that. Draco figures Gryffindor guilt tells Harry he should have checked every closet when he’d found the flat empty and a note on the table. Draco suspects Pansy berated him about trusting a Slytherin.
Draco’s surprised Harry doesn’t remain angry with him. Oddly, Harry seems hurt, and that makes Draco angry, for what right does Harry have to be hurt? He’s the one who rejected Draco in the first place. Draco is the pregnant one—the injured party. Harry’s been out partying with Ginevra Weasley and getting himself on the WEN (wizard entertainment news).
Things come to a head one night during dinner.
“Have you taken your vitamins and potion?” Harry asks.
Harry looks at Draco like he doesn't believe him.
“I have! Believe it or not, I don’t enjoy the feeling of my insides rearranging. I didn’t leave those prescriptions at the sandwich shoppe on purpose, no matter what you think.”
“But you never mentioned it,” Harry says.
“I forgot about them! My mind hasn’t been very clear.”
“Yes, the Healer confirmed that.”
“Good of him,” Draco sneers, “since you don’t seem to believe anything I say.”
“Can you blame me?” Harry almost shouts. He falls silent, watching every bite Draco puts into his mouth. It’s infuriating.
“And I’m not trying to starve myself!”
“You’ve lost fifteen pounds.”
“Because I’ve thrown up everything I’ve eaten.”
Harry leans back and sighs. “Why didn’t you want me here with you?”
“I don't know; you’re such charming company.”
Harry doesn’t budge. “Did you mean what you said before? That I rejected you and shouldn’t be allowed to participate in your pregnancy?”
Did Draco said that? Well good on him. He pushes his plate away, even though he’s barely eaten. Harry frowns.
“Yes. I meant it.”
Harry looks down. “I’m sorry about that. Draco…we have a very volatile history, you know that. It was wrong of me to get drunk and start things.”
Draco holds up a hand. “Please. No more on how you regret sleeping with me.” He gets up from the table, putting his hand out to get his balance.
“It’s not like I didn’t enjoy it…”
Draco chuckles mirthlessly. “Oh, I know you enjoyed it, Potter.”
Draco sighs. “Whatever. I’m going to watch some telly. I hope you and Ginevra aren’t on again.”
“On the WEN. Some Ministry do.”
Draco slowly walks to the living room. He can hear Harry following. He lowers himself to the sofa and switches on the lamp on the side table. It casts a soft glow over the room through its mustard-coloured shade.
“Oh…that. Yeah, I needed a date.” Harry scratches the back of his neck.
“Good thing Ginevra was handy.”
“What’s the matter with you? You’re acting as though you’re jealous.”
“Jealous that you took Ginevra Weasley to a party while I sat at home incubating your spawn? Ridiculous.”
“You are jealous!”
“Shut it, Harry,” Draco grumbles. “I know that even if I weren’t blown up with your child you wouldn’t have taken me to the party. I’m an ex-Death Eater, after all, as you never tire of reminding me. Hell, fucking me put you out.”
“Draco.” Harry sits down on the sofa, but Draco refuses to look at him. “I do not remind you of those days.”
“Wouldn’t it have been much more convenient if you’d knocked up the Weasley girl?” Draco asks, unable to stop now he's on a roll. He’s hurt, and no matter how much he tries, he can't keep his emotions hidden like he used to.
Harry huffs out a laugh. “Unlikely, since I have no desire to make love to a woman.”
“Perhaps one of the strapping Weasley men, then.”
“Draco, you do understand that it’s unlikely I could have gotten any wizard pregnant other than you? Didn’t you listen to anything Healer Biggs told us that day? We have very similar magical signatures--very compatible ones.” He puts a hand on Draco’s leg. “You’re giving me something I might never have had without you. Do you know how much I’ve always wanted a family?”
Draco shifts, not knowing what to do with this information. The baby has rolled to the side of his belly nearest Harry and it kicks excitedly.
Draco sneaks a look at Harry. “I’m sure you’d rather it be with anyone else but me.”
Harry grins. “Well, when you act like a total prat, it sometimes crosses my mind, yeah. But for the most part, I’m glad it’s you.”
Draco frowns. “Why?”
“Because you’re exceedingly intelligent, a powerful wizard, and quite handsome. Our child will have amazing genes. Ever thought about that?”
Draco leans his head against the back of the sofa. “Not really, but I suppose you’re right.”
Harry takes Draco’s hand in his, lacing their fingers together. “And when I told you it was a mistake that night, it wasn’t because I wasn’t attracted to you or thought you were Death Eater scum…it was because of our history—you do recall never being able to be in the same room without tearing into each other.”
Draco remains silent but fights a smile.
“I’d felt as though I’d taken advantage of you when there was no way we could have a relationship.”
Draco remembers Harry’s words from that evening. “And you don’t do casual sex.”
Draco shrugs. “Okay. But…” he licks his lips.
“What?” Harry tilts his head. “Tell me.”
“I just felt like that night…” Draco can’t say it.
“What? You felt like what?”
“Why can’t you just be honest with me?”
The emotional roller coaster that is his pregnancy makes things difficult for Draco. He actually wants to tell Harry this. He looks up and meets encouraging green eyes before looking down at the round swell of his belly.
He fiddles with the hem of his shirt. “I just…I don’t know. I felt like there was more that night. I guess it was just my imagination.”
Harry sounds stunned, and Draco rushes to interrupt.
“Never mind, Harry. It’s all water under the bridge now.” Draco picks up the remote and turns on the telly. He gets interested in a show about people who have extremely messy houses, and Harry remains silent for the rest of the evening. Draco gets the feeling he's not paying attention to the show at all.
Rather than being embarrassed about what he’d admitted to Harry, Draco feels liberated. He thinks that maybe it wasn’t such an awful thing that he had a vulnerable moment and spilled how he felt. Harry doesn’t mention it again, but sometimes Draco catches the other wizard looking at him with a thoughtful expression.
At night Harry sleeps in the guest room, only infusing Draco with his magic during the day when Draco naps or when they sit on the sofa together watching telly.
One night a couple of weeks after Harry moves in, Draco wakes up feeling very odd. He tries to move, but he can’t even lift his hand from the mattress. His heart speeds up as a wave of dizziness assaults him. The room spins, and he calls out to Harry.
Draco hears a thump followed by a crash. A moment later, Harry stumbles into the room, hair sticking up all over his head. Draco would laugh if he weren't terrified.
“Draco? Is something wrong?”
Draco swallows. “I…I feel really odd.”
Harry approaches the bed. “Odd like how?”
“Really weak. I woke up, and I can’t lift my arms or legs.”
Draco manages to turn his head toward Harry, although if feels like a lead weight. He knows his panic must show in his eyes.
Harry lifts the covers and slides in next to Draco, pulling him into a warm embrace. Immediately, Draco calms, his head clearing somewhat. He lays his cheek against Harry’s chest, baby bump pushed into Harry’s side. After a few moments, he manages to move a little, entwining their legs. He remembers how he thought that night he was with Harry that it would be nice to curl up with him this way, and it is.
Harry runs his hand over Draco’s bare back. “Better?”
“Mmm. Yeah.” Draco lifts his arm from his side and flops it onto Harry’s stomach in demonstration.
“I may need to sleep with you from now on,” Harry says.
Draco breathes in Harry’s scent and sighs before falling asleep with the steady thump-thump of Harry’s heartbeat in his ear.
The third trimester of Draco’s pregnancy is in some ways the easiest. Although it’s difficult to get around, he now has an appetite, and his insides have stopped shifting about. He has to take a piss about every half hour, though, so he can never be far from a loo. He can no longer sleep on his back, either. Rather, he sleeps on his side, curled up against Harry, or with Harry spooning him. Draco wonders how he will ever go back to sleeping alone.
Draco’s a little surprised to find that Harry has frequent nightmares. Many times he awakens to Harry thrashing about. Usually a soothing word and a couple of gentle pats settle Harry down, but one night Harry’s so worked up, Draco has to move out of the bed to avoid being kicked or hit. When Harry finally awakens, he’s mortified.
“I’m so sorry!”
“Don’t be.” Draco gets out of the large chair and back into the bed. “I’ve had my share of nightmares since the war.”
Harry stares at the dark ceiling. “Mine are always about losing my friends." He's silent a moment. "Sometimes I dream I can’t save you from the Fiendfire.”
Draco shivers. He dreams about that, too. “I was hardly one of your friends,” he says.
Harry turns to look at him. “Even then I knew you were a victim of circumstance, Draco.”
Draco blinks at him, realising Harry must have done, or else why would he have bothered?
“So you didn’t hate me because I took the mark?”
“Of course not.”
Warmth settles deep in Draco’s middle. He reaches for Harry’s hand and wraps their fingers together.
“I wish I’d known that a long time ago.”
As Draco gets further along in his pregnancy, Harry takes more and more time off, but an emergency comes up the day Draco’s labour begins. Harry’s only been gone for an hour when the pains start.
“This just figures,” Draco says, panting as he doubles over in agony. He Floo Calls his mother, and five minutes later she appears to escort him to St. Mungo’s.
“Darling,” she says, stepping out of the Floo to help Draco off the floor where he’s curled in on himself, “I’ve sent an owl to the Ministry. Harry’s already in the field, but they’re trying to get a message to him.”
Draco’s a little surprised at how much he wants Harry to be with him. The pain is excruciating, but it isn’t just Harry’s magic Draco wants; he wants Harry's reassuring presence, his hand on Draco’s belly, and his calm voice telling him everything will be all right. He wants his steady green gaze and his goofy smile.
Good grief, Draco thinks. I’m in love with the git!
St. Mungo’s maternity ward is crowded, it being a full moon with every heavily pregnant witch in the vicinity in labour. The healers seem a bit crazed at the thought of attending a wizard giving birth, but Narcissa calmly tells them to get in touch with Healer Biggs in New York City.
Biggs arrives in short order, but Draco feels like he’s been waiting years. He’s in a gown and has his own room—probably only because this is Harry Potter’s baby trying to tear its way out of him—but he’s in pain and scared out of his wits.
“And where’s Mr Potter?” the Healer asks jovially as he checks Draco over.
“Out fighting crime,” Draco says between clenched teeth. “Would you get this baby out of me, please?”
“All in good time. Just relax, Mr Malfoy. It will make this easier.”
“Nothing will make this easier!” Draco bellows on a wave of pain. His mother pats his shoulder comfortingly. The Healer putters around with instruments so alien they make Draco’s skin crawl.
“Where in the fuck is Harry?” Draco blurts out as Healer Biggs holds a particularly frightening contraption up to the light, and miraculously, a disheveled and panting Harry appears at the door.
“What’s happening? Is the baby here?” Harry’s glasses are askew and his robes more than a bit mussed.
Harry gaze latches on Draco and moves toward him. “Draco…”
Narcissa looks up from where she’s sitting in the corner knitting and smiles.
“Glad you made it, Harry. Please take off those filthy robes.”
“Looks like you two are about to be fathers,” Biggs says. “I hope you don’t mind, but there are several healers here who want to witness the birth. It’s not every day they get a wizard pregnancy at St. Mungo’s.”
“Certainly not!” Draco exclaims, gripping the edge of the bed. “I will not be stared at like a lab rat!”
Healer Biggs looks disappointed. “Well, if you feel that way.”
Draco fumes. The very idea! A wave of pain hits him, pulling his stomach muscles inward, and he groans. Harry, who has removed his robes and thrown them onto a chair, takes Draco’s hand.
Healer Biggs lifts the stirrups from the side of the bed, securing them into place.
Merlin, not these again!
“Mother, could you please step out of the room?” Draco groans as Biggs places Draco's feet in their ugly red poka-dotted socks in each stirrup.
“Nonsense, darling! I’ve seen it all.”
“All right, all right. I’ll go get some coffee and phone Pansy.”
Just what Draco needs—Pansy. Sometimes he thinks she and his mother are bff’s now. At least, that’s what those Muggle teen magazines call annoying relationships like theirs—and Draco may have got into the habit of reading the things lately. Only when extremely bored, of course.
Healer Biggs runs his wand over Draco’s entrance, sending the oddest sensation through Draco’s arse.
“What the hell?” Draco’s eyes go to Harry, who reassuringly pats Draco’s hand.
“Just widening the entrance--making room for the baby to come out,” the sadistic Healer explains. Harry moves down a bit to stare between Draco’s legs.
“This is mortifying!” Draco whines just before being hit with another horrible pain.
“Push, Draco,” Healer Biggs instructs, and Draco gladly does, feeling as though the baby is trying to claw its way out of him.
“Morgana’s fanny, are you sure this is a good idea?” Draco wheezes. Harry’s eyes are wide as saucers behind his glasses as he watches. “What’s happening?”
Healer Biggs answers. “Don’t worry; your body’s made a canal for the baby that has by-passed your intestines. Just push. I’ll take care of the rest.”
Draco does, the sensation of something loosening inside him and being propelled outward driving him on.
“Good, good…that’s excellent, Mr Malfoy…just a little more.”
Draco takes a breath and pushes really hard until something slips out of him in a rush and is caught in the healer’s hands.
“Here’s the baby!” Healer Biggs smiles triumphantly. As though he’s the one who’s done all the work, Draco thinks. “Cut the cord, Mr Potter.”
Harry gets his wand. A touch from it and the cord that attaches the baby to Draco dissolves. Draco can feel Healer Biggs doing various things to him down there, but his eyes are on Harry holding the squirming baby. A nurse appears—or maybe she’s been there all along---and takes the baby to a table to wash it off before bundling it and setting it back in Harry’s arms.
“A boy,” Harry says, raising bright eyes to look at Draco. “It’s a boy.” A bright grin spreads across his face, and something shifts in Draco’s chest. He swallows as Harry comes forward and places the baby into Draco’s arms. The little wizened thing blinks, all dark hair and shining, unfocused eyes. Gently, Draco runs a finger down its cheek, and that side of its face scrunches up, showing pink gums between rosebud lips.
“He’s…he’s beautiful,” Draco says on a breath and looks up at Harry, who seems to agree. Harry takes a seat on the edge of the bed, his leg against Draco’s side. Narcissa leans over to peer at her grandson.
“Any idea for a name?” she asks.
Draco shakes his head. “Not yet.” He stares at the baby. “This is what was inside of me?”
Harry laughs. “What did you think?”
Draco bites his lip. “I knew it was a baby, but…this one is so…”
“Perfect,” Harry finishes, and Draco nods.
“He looks a bit like you,” Harry says.
Draco glances up from where he’s been studying the baby’s face. “Do you really think so? He’s got your chin. And hair, of course. I’ll have to immediately begin training it to stay down.”
Harry snorts softly and reaches over to gently run his palm over the baby’s head.
“He’s falling asleep,” Draco whispers. He can’t take his eyes off him. The spawn of Potter. Their beautiful child.
Various medical personnel make their way into the room, gawking at Draco and the baby and leaning in to see whatever Healer Biggs is doing between Draco’s legs. Draco doesn’t even notice; he only has eyes for the little bundle in his arms and the man sitting beside him.
Six Weeks Later
“That is so not true,” Draco says, licking crumbs off his fingers and watching Harry feed little Darien his bottle. Harry leans back into the corner of the couch, eyes on the baby in his arms. Darien’s growing like a weed—he sucks greedily, dark eyes taking in everything around him.
“I swear it is,” Harry insists. “I was scared shitless.”
“You didn’t look it. You looked like someone who had had his fill of shagging and wanted nothing more to do with me.”
How they’d got onto the subject of their first time together, Draco doesn’t know. He isn’t as reluctant to speak about it as he was initially; not now that he is confident of Harry’s love for him. That four letter word has come up frequently since the baby's birth, from the both of them.
“That’s what I wanted you to think,” Harry says while making faces at the baby. Darien smiles around the nipple, sending bubbles into the bottle as the suction breaks.
“Why didn’t you just tell me you were scared?” Draco asks, heart melting a little at the scene before him. Would it never get old?
Harry watches his son guzzle the formula for a few moments before tugging the nipple from Darien’s lips and lifting the baby to his shoulder. He gently rubs Darien’s back to bring up a burp.
“I couldn’t let you see I was scared,” Harry says. “We’ve always acted tough with each other, after all. I couldn’t suddenly break out and say, ‘Listen, Malfoy. I’m terrified of what I’m feeling after fucking you and don’t know what to say or do.’”
Draco crosses his arms over his chest and gives a half-hearted attempt at a scowl. “So you just told me it was all a mistake. Nice. What happened to Gryffindor decency?”
Harry grimaces. “Did I ever tell you the Sorting Hat wanted to put me in Slytherin? Yeah. Well, whatever I said at the time, it didn’t mean I didn’t enjoy what we did or wish we could do it again.”
“Telling the truth would have saved us some trouble. I mean, what if Blaise had liked the idea of playing the father? Where would we be now?”
Harry’s low growl goes straight to Draco’s groin.
“We’d be exactly like this, because that would never have happened. You would have told me before it got that far.”
“You’re very confident about that,” Draco says with a smirk.
“Yes.” Harry’s green eyes penetrate Draco's. “I am.”
Darien lets out a surprisingly loud belch for one so small, and Harry kisses his dark head before shifting him to the crook of his arm to continue feeding him.
Watching Harry like this, Draco wants more than anything to feel Harry deep inside him, but it will have to wait until Darien’s down for the night. That’s okay, though.
There’s something to be said for the thrill of anticipation, after all.
Draco leans back in his chair and sighs contentedly.
Tomorrow’s going to be a big day. It’ll be the first time they let Narcissa babysit, and while she does, Harry and Draco are going to move Harry out of his flat and into Draco’s. It isn’t as though Harry hasn’t spent all his time with Draco and the baby anyway, so what’s the point in having two flats? They long ago made the guest room into a nursery, and Harry took up permanent residence in Draco’s bed. This will make it official, though.
Harry has fewer nightmares these days, and Draco doesn’t have a problem at all with tangling their limbs together.
Harry’s spending less time out in the field, opting to work at home some of the time while Draco runs his potions shoppe. Draco’s apprentice does the rest.
Healer Biggs has asked Draco to write up his experiences as a pregnant wizard for a medical journal, and Wizards Weekly wants to do a photo shoot of their little family.
And speaking of families, Harry recently asked Draco to marry him. Draco hasn’t given his answer yet, but there’s a good chance it will be a resounding yes.
A very good chance, Draco thinks with a smile.