"It's not working out, is it?" Harry asked Hermione.
They sat on the couch in the flat she and Ron shared, a glass of wine in hand. Ron was still at the Ministry and he wouldn't be back anytime soon, seeing as he'd recently been promoted to Head Auror. The youngest one in 150 years, Ron had excitedly told them when he'd gotten the position. Harry and Hermione were thrilled for him, but they warned him that he'd have to work overtime a lot, especially in the beginning. He simply shrugged it off, he was way too happy about his new position.
“Whatever are you talking about?" Hermione asked, taking a sip of her wine. Her tone of voice indicated confusion, but Harry knew her, and her look told him that she knew exactly what he was talking about.
“This," he replied, vaguely motioning towards their whole surroundings, indicating that he was talking about Ron's and Mione's flat. “This," he added, motioning into the general direction of the fireplace before he pointed at Hermione.
She sighed heavily, avoiding eye contact.
“Is it that obvious?" she asked, still not looking at him. She emptied her wine glass and summoned the bottle from the kitchen, refilling it. For a moment nothing but the sounds of wine splashing as she poured it into the crystal glass and the bottle clinking against the glass filled the room.
“It's obvious to me," Harry shrugged, setting down his glass as Hermione set down the bottle on the coffee table. “I'm your best friend.”
Hermione smiled slightly as she met his gaze. “You are."
“Did you talk to Ron?" Harry inquired. He leaned against the back of the couch, crossing his legs as he made himself a bit more comfortable.
She shook her head. “Not yet, but I think he noticed it too. We rarely see each other anymore," she sighed, “and the spark is just missing. We fight whenever we're both home and … moving in together was a really bad decision.”
He'd noticed that Hermione's and Ron's relationship had changed over the last few years, but not for the better, mind you. Their fights were more vicious, their phases of ignoring each other longer, their avoiding each other more frequent. When Ron asked Mione to move in together she'd accepted, hoping that it would repair what was so obviously broken between them. Sometimes Harry wondered if all of their lives would have been easier without them ever getting together. He felt bad whenever he thought about it, thought about telling them to just end it, but they were poisonous together. They didn't work, not really.
“Are you going to need a place to stay?" Harry asked her. He had more than one free room back in Grimmauld Place. He'd renovated the whole place with his friends' and Kreacher's help, even managed to get rid of the annoying portraits. It was nice to live there. Calm. Quiet.
“I already found a new flat. It's in a really nice neighbourhood. A Muggle-wizard one," she admitted.
“When will you break the news to him? He'll probably want me to go out with him.”
Hermione tilted her head in thought. She took another sip of her wine, swirling the liquid in the glass afterwards. “I planned on talking to him this Sunday. So he won't be able to go out with you till next weekend, he'll have to bury himself in his work until then.”
“Will you need help with moving?" Harry asked.
Hermione shook her head.
“I'm so glad you're talking again," Harry said, smiling at Ron and Hermione.
The three of them were in a pub near Diagon Alley.It was the first time since Ron's and Hermione's break up that they were out together. Ron dealt surprisingly well with it. But Ron and Mione didn't talk to each other for four months nonetheless. Whenever Ron found something of Hermione's in his flat he’d asked Harry to give it to her. He'd helped Ron to redecorate the flat so it didn't remind him of her all the time. He'd helped Hermione to deal by spending almost every evening with her, talking and drinking unhealthy amounts of elderflower wine. Sometimes Ron was bitter about Harry spending more time with his ex-girlfriend, but when Harry pointed out that Ron didn't have time most nights anyway he usually shut up.
But that wasn’t the only reason Harry spent so much time with Hermione. Harry and Hermione had become closer than Harry and Ron were when Harry came out to them. Ron completely retreated for a few weeks after Harry’s announcement, but Hermione eventually got Ron to come through.
Wizard society was accepting of LGBT+ wizards and witches, but it was still something weird amongst pure-bloods.
And as much as Ron and the other Weasleys liked to separate themselves from traditional pure-blood values, Ron was raised with some of them. And heterosexuality as the norm in order to have children and carry on the family line was one of them. So Harry's being pansexual was something he’d had to digest first.
“I'm glad as well. First round is on me. What do you want?" Hermione asked, returning Harry's smile as she slipped out of her jacket, putting it down next to Harry.
“Brandy. Don't care which brand," Ron replied as he sat down on Harry's other side.
“Elderflower wine," Harry answered, exchanging a private smile with Hermione. They always drank elderflower wine when they spent the whole night talking.
“You're a sap, Harry. I'll be right back," Hermione said, shaking her head as she walked towards the bar, purse strap on her shoulder.
“What was that?” Ron asked, one eyebrow raised.
Harry shook his head. “Not important. How was your week?”
Ron looked at him strangely for a few seconds before he shrugged, relaxing.
“It was nice, not as stressful as the last few weeks. We finally solved the Anderson case, so that's a relief. The Prophet has been pressing me for details for weeks now, but I couldn't release any relevant information to the press, would have made our investigations useless,” he explained.
“So you found out who produced the Imperius Potion?" Harry inquired.
Ron nodded in confirmation. “Yes, turned out it was a small group of sympathisers.”
“I can't believe that something like the Death Eaters still exists after the war, but here we are.”
“There'll always be groups like the Death Eaters. Not much you can do about it. And I'd be unemployed if there weren't, so it's not all bad.” Ron shrugged.
Harry just raised his eyebrow at him.
Ron rolled his eyes as he snorted. “You know that's not how I meant it. And stop with the ferret-y attitude.”
“I have to tell you guys something,” Ron announced.
It was late, well past midnight, and the pub was packed with people. Harry was on his fifth glass of wine, Hermione had joined Ron in drinking Brandy two rounds ago and Ron had lost count around midnight. But neither Ron nor Hermione were lightweights, unlike Harry (much to his annoyance).
Hermione and Harry looked at him expectantly. It had turned out to be a rather pleasant evening. There were a few awkward silences at the beginning, but they soon overcame those. It felt just like old times, back when they were all just friends. It was nice.
“I'm seeing someone,” Ron blurted after a few more moments of silence.
“Hear, hear!" Harry said, smiling as he patted Ron's shoulder in form of congratulation.
“Do tell," Hermione added, smiling brightly. She was obviously happy for him, her eyes twinkling with excitement.
“Do we know her?" Harry asked when Ron didn't answer immediately.
Ron nodded cautiously, his look flicking between the two of them before he finally opened his mouth, “It's Pansy. Pansy Parkinson.”
“Wait. Slytherin Pansy Parkinson? Short dark hair, loved to insult us?" Hermione asked.
“Pansy 'let's sacrifice Potter' Parkinson?" Harry added, trying to look more upset than he actually was. Ron paled and his freckles became more prominent.
“Yeah, that one. She's changed though,” Ron defended her.
Hermione and Harry exchanged a look before they started to laugh, leaving Ron speechless.
“Ah, your expression," Harry sighed, after he calmed down.
“Priceless," Hermione agreed.
Ron snorted. “I hate you, too.”
“When are we going to meet her?" Harry took a sip of his wine, or he would have if his glass wasn't empty.
“Next week?” Ron asked. Even though he was slightly annoyed with them, he was obviously happy that they so easily accepted his dating choices. He really expected more protest.
“Fine with me," Hermione nodded.
“Ditto," Harry agreed before he ushered Hermione out of the booth to get out himself.
“This round's on me!" he called back as he made his way towards the bar.
“The Weasel ? Are you serious, Parkinson?” Draco asked, his nose screwed up in disgust.
“Yes, Draco , I'm dating Ron," Pansy replied, sighing as she unpacked the box of formal robes they’d just gotten in.
After the war Draco and Pansy decided not to live up to their parents' expectations, just like most of their friends.
Theo had taken over the Prophet, turning it into a paper one could actually take serious. No more stupid gossip articles about the Saviour of the Wizarding World, no more stupid headlines like 'The Broken One – Harry's Life After Break Up With Ginerva Weasley' (an article, which caused a sudden increase in purchases of Witch Weekly).
Blaise was running a chain of hotels for Muggles and wizards all over the globe. He was currently in Tokyo to check up on his staff and to make sure that everything went smoothly.
Millicent had decided to go for a Muggle career, and a rather violent one at that. She used her strength and stamina, improved it and became a professional fighter. Draco wasn't sure, but he thought he recalled that they were called 'boxers'.
And him and Pansy, they had made themselves a name with their fashion brand, 'NOIR'. Pansy designed the clothing they sold and Draco managed the finances and everything that wasn't directly involved with the clothing itself. They sold wizard and Muggle attire, seeing as Muggle fashion had become a huge thing after the war. When someone uttered the names Parkinson or Malfoy most people thought of fashion.
“Please do tell, when did the Weasel become Ron?” Draco asked, one eyebrow up. He sat on the countertop of the checkout. The store in London was the only physical store they had, but the orders by owl were not only incredibly high, but came from all around the world.
Pansy sighed. “I met up with Theo for lunch a few weeks ago. The Prophet's main office is near the Ministry and we ran into Ron and Dean Thomas, who also met up for lunch. We got talking about our lives and what we've been doing since Hogwarts and he asked me out. He seemed alight, like he’d changed since the war, so I said yes. We were on a few dates since then and he asked me if I wanted us to be exclusive after our last date. I told him that we should tell our friends if we were to be serious and he agreed. So I said yes," she recounted as she put away the formal robes. They had been almost out of stock. Which wasn't surprising, seeing as the next Ministry formal was only a few weeks away.
“And it didn't occur to you to tell me earlier? Shame on you, Pansy,” Draco huffed, pouting slightly as he folded his jeans-clad legs, his chin up. He liked to be over-dramatic, and he knew Pansy secretly loved him for it.
“Get over yourself, Malfoy," she huffed, a small smile playing around her lips.
“So, when am I going to meet the new and improved Weasel? If he got your attention he must have done something right,” Draco asked, tilting his head slightly.
Pansy had always been his closest friend. He loved Theo, Blaise and Milli, but him and Pansy had been inseparable since childhood. They grew up together, were actually supposed to marry each other at some point. And when Draco realized that his first crush wasn't Pansy, like everybody expected, but Blaise, he told her with tears in his eyes and the fear of her pushing him away. But she instantly went on a rant about how hot Blaise was and asked Draco what he liked best about him.
He'd never felt so accepted.
Of course his parents were a whole other story. Lucius had simply told him to not be foolish and Narcissa sat idly by, only talking to him about it when his father was out of earshot. She told him that he was to marry a woman anyway, and that he was supposed to produce a heir. But he could have a man on the side, if he really wanted to.
And that was that.
His fellow Slytherins had mixed reactions. Daphne and Tracey were appalled and refused to interact with him, as if homosexuality were a transferable disease. Millicent, Greg and Vince were alright with it, even though they thought him weird for his sexual preference, seeing as all three of them preferred girls. Blaise was an annoying flirt and constantly teased Draco about him being his first crush. Theo was not only accepting, he was Draco's first kiss and first time.
“Well, he owled me this morning-”
“Was it a sexy owl?” Draco interrupted.
“-and we're going out with Granger and Potter next week. I thought about asking you to join, but you're obviously too much of child. So it's just going to be Theo and me,” Pansy continued, shooting him a glare.
Draco sighed and pouted, making puppy eyes at her.
“But I want to come along. What if Theo finally gives into the ‘secret’ obsession he always had with Granger and you'll have to deal with Potter and Weasley all by yourself?”
“Promise you'll behave yourself. No stupid nicknames, no schoolboy rivalries. We're 26 and old enough to leave that stuff behind us," Pansy replied, her eyes still slightly narrowed at him.
Draco sighed heavily. “I promise," he agreed.
“Good.” Pansy clasped her hands together, taking a look at the fully stocked store. “Let's open up," she said, unlocking the front doors with a swish of her wand.
“Pansy and Ron? Didn’t see that one coming,” Theo said, taking a drag of his cigarette.
“Neither did I. Wait, Pansy hasn’t told you yet? You’re coming to meet them with us this weekend," Draco replied, taking Theo’s cigarette. He took a drag, closing his eyes as the smoke filled up his lungs and the end of the fag glowed orange in the shadows of the night.
“Pansy never asks me, she just assumes that I’ll have time,” Theo shrugged, glaring at Draco as he stubbed out the tip, releasing the smoke from his lungs.
Draco smirked. “And you’re too scared of her to deny her.”
He and Theo were outside of the store, waiting for Pansy who was still packing up. They always had dinner after work on Monday evening, and whenever they had time or were around, Blaise and Millicent joined them. But it was usually only Pansy, Theo, and Draco.
“What happened between Weasley and Granger anyway? I thought they’d have a bunch of ginger bushy-haired children,” Theo asked.
Draco shrugged. “Don’t know. But my best guess is that the Weasel was unable to stimulate Granger’s intellect," he replied.
Theo snorted. “Was that an indirect compliment?”
“We both know that Granger’s not stupid. She did beat both of us to top of the class in most cases, didn’t she?” Draco retorted, rolling his eyes at Theo, “Anyway, maybe you’ll finally be able to wrap her around your finger.”
“Why would I want that?” Theo asked, one eyebrow up. Draco pushed himself off the wall, giving Theo a knowing look and a slight smirk when Pansy finally exited the store.
“You’re ready?” Draco asked her.
She nodded. “Diagon, Hogsmeade, or Muggle?”
“Muggle,” Draco and Theo said at the same time.
“Well, let’s go then.” Pansy nodded before she spun on the spot, her wand raised when a loud crack resounded.
“Wow, this is awkward,” Draco voiced everybody’s thoughts. They sat in a booth in a wizard bar in Muggle London. It was disguised as old hardware store, keeping most Muggles out, especially with the strong repelling charm at the front of the bar.
“I reckon we need more alcohol,” Pansy agreed, swirling her glass of white wine.
“Shots. Tequila,” Theo said, smirking when Pansy and Draco groaned, earning slightly confused glances from Hermione, Ron and Harry. Theo got up and slid out of the booth.
“If you don’t get me vodka or bourbon I’ll kill you, Nott," Draco said.
“Tequila,” Theo replied, the smirk audible.
“I’ll bribe your ex again. They're usually more than happy to tell me about your sexual exploits when I offer the right sum,” Pansy threatened loud enough for him to hear. He stopped dead in his tracks and turned towards them.
“You wouldn’t," he said, his eyes narrowed.
“What’s their full name again?” Pansy asked Draco, smirking slightly.
“Do you mean Jen or Marcel? I can’t seem to recall whom he dated last," Draco replied, tapping his pointer finger against his lips as if he were deep in thought.
“Okay. Vodka. Fuck you,” Theo said, sounding slightly exasperated as he turned back towards the bar, making his way over there.
“What was that about?” Ron asked, one eyebrow up as he smiled at Pansy.
“Draco’s really good with alcohol unless he drinks Tequila. And I’m a lightweight. Theo, Draco and I were at mine, we drank too much, and Theo dared us to have sex with each other. We were drunk enough to agree,” Pansy explained.
“Ugh, it was disgusting," Draco mumbled into his glass of wine.
“I don’t follow," Hermione admitted, still looking slightly confused.
“I’m hella gay and Pansy’s like the little sister I never asked for,” Draco explained. “I believe shagging Potter would have the same affect on you.”
“Oh my god, no. No offence, Harry." Hermione gave Harry an apologetic look.
“No, it’s fine. It’d feel… wrong to have sex with you," Harry said, smiling slightly.
“Vodka.” Theo sat a tray with three bottles and six shot glasses down.
“Never have I ever had sex with a bloke," Ron said, smirking smugly.
When they were one bottle in, Hermione had suggested to play 'Never Have I Ever', because ‘hey, they were buzzed enough’ and ‘they were here to get to know each other a bit better’. Now that Pansy and Ron were in a relationship they’d probably see a lot more of each other than they liked. Draco had snorted at the suggestion, getting a glare from Potter and Weasley, but Pansy had smirked at him and Theo would be down for anything Granger suggested. It was so painfully obvious that he still had a thing for her. Or maybe it was just obvious to Draco, seeing as he considered Theo his closest male friend.
So they started playing.
All of them groaned as they took a shot. It was Pansy’s turn next, and judging by the look she gave Draco he would suffer. Sometimes he hated his best friend.
“Never have I ever had a crush on anyone sitting at this table while at Hogwarts," she said, tapping the side of her glass with her purple fingernails. Hermione and Ron took a shot, they had been a couple for a reason after all.
“Theo," Pansy said, kicking him beneath the table.
“Oh, fine," he sighed, taking a shot as well.
“Fuck you, Pansy,” Draco murmured.
“I hate you," Harry mumbled at the same time and they tore their glances from Pansy and Hermione respectively, sharing a long uncomfortable look before Ron awkwardly cleared his throat. Draco immediately averted his gaze and took his shot, Harry resembling his actions seconds later.
“Never have I ever kissed a ginger,” Draco continued the game.
“I need some air. I’ll be right back. Theo, fag,” Draco excused himself, holding out his hand for the pack of cigarettes Theo carried in his pocket. Theo sighed as he slid back into the booth.
“Why don’t you ever buy your own?” he asked, faking annoyance.
“Oh, you know I prefer to suck on yours,” Draco quipped, winking at Theo as Ron choked on his drink. Theo laughed as Draco walked towards the entrance.
Draco was well inside the Muggle repelling charm as he leaned against the red brick wall, glad that he wouldn’t have to interact with strangers who needed fire for once. He pulled at the fuming cigarette, leaning his head back against the wall as he breathed out the smoke.
He had to admit, that Weasley wasn’t half bad. Didn’t mean that Draco liked him, and he knew that the ginger oaf felt mutual. But he would tolerate him for Pansy’s sake.
Granger was as much of a smart-ass as ever, and Theo seemed to be completely enamoured by her. They’d had a talk about his future plans for the Prophet and her future plans as whatever the hell she did for a living after they finished the second bottle in the game of Never Have I Ever.
And Potter, Draco realised that Potter hadn’t really said all that much. Draco had shared a look or a quick smile with him whenever they made eye contact over something one of their respective friends had said, but Potter hadn’t talked a lot. Draco had no clue what he did for a living. He knew that the Boy Saviour visited his aunt Andromeda regularly, almost as regularly as Draco himself. She was the only family he really had any contact with. And his cousin (once removed), Teddy, was clever and amusing to talk to. Draco liked spending time with them, and he did get lonely and missed his parents sometimes. But when that happened he usually recalled what his father had gotten them into and how his mother merely stood by. He’d last heard of Narcissa and Lucius when they sent him a present for his birthday, which had been a few months ago. He should probably check whether they were still alive or not.
“Do you mind?” A voice suddenly piped up next to Draco, snapping him out of his train of thought.
“Hm?" He looked at Potter, who leaned against the wall next to him, lighting a cigarette of his own.
“Do you mind if I stay here?" Harry gave him a sideways glance as he took a drag.
Draco shrugged, furrowing his brow when he noticed that he’d only taken about one drag of his cigarette and it had burned down to the tip by now. Great. Theo would be so annoyed.
“It’s a free country and not my wall. You’re free to stand wherever you want," Draco replied as he took the last fag out of Theo’s pack. Nott would really kill him.
Harry nodded, but he rolled his eyes, a lopsided smile on his lips.
They stood in silence next to each other, smoking as they looked up into the night sky, most stars hidden because of the smog and light pollution.
“So you and Pansy have a business together?"
Draco nodded as he turned his head slightly, looking at Potter.
“Yeah, she hates dealing with finances, I’m good at managing them. She’s great at designing, I’m horrible with business ideas. So we collaborated."
Harry nodded slightly.
“And what are you up to? I have to admit that I was surprised when I heard that Weasley is our new Head Auror. Made me worry for my own safety, really,” Draco quipped.
Harry snorted before he composed himself, taking another drag of his fag. “Ron’s a good Auror, otherwise Kingsley wouldn’t have promoted him to be the new Head of the Department. No reason to worry. As for me, I’m sponsoring and supporting several wizarding orphanages. Don’t know if you’ve heard of it, but the next Ministry formal will be in order to celebrate the new Department for Charitable Causes, my doing. With a little help from Hermione.”
Draco hummed in recognition. “Literal Saint Potter.”
Harry rolled his eyes.
“Everybody talks about it when they buy their robes at our shop. You do realize that a lot of single witches are asking Pansy and me if we have a clue how to impress you with their robes and dresses? It’s quite annoying," Draco replied, glaring at Harry out of the corner of his eyes.
Harry looked kind of sheepish. “Sorry? I guess.”
“Yeah, whatever. I’ll be back inside, don’t want Pansy thinking that I got into a fight with her new boy toy’s best friend," Draco said. He threw the cigarette onto the ground, stomping it out before he went back inside, catching the slight smirk on Potter’s face as he passed him.
“Potter’s still alive?” Pansy asked when Draco slid back into the booth next to her. Theo had moved to occupy Harry’s free chair next to the end of the booth where Ron sat. But he didn’t pay Ron any attention, he was deeply immersed in a conversation with Granger.
“He’s alive and well," Draco replied, rolling his eyes.
“My cigarettes?” Theo asked him suddenly. Looked like he wasn’t that immersed in his chat with Hermione after all.
Draco smiled sheepishly. “Empty. Sorry.”
Theo huffed. “You’re not sorry," he deadpanned.
Draco tilted his head, his fringe falling into his eyes. “You’re right, I’m really not," he admitted. Theo grunted and Draco shrugged slightly, turning back towards Pansy.
“So, what did I miss except for those two eye-fucking each other?" he asked her. Ron’s eyes widened slightly and his look immediately went back to Granger and Theo, who were once again chatting.
“Not much. We were snogging and Gr- Hermione ordered a bottle of wine," Pansy replied, shrugging slightly.
“We’re on first name basis, now?” Draco teased, raising one eyebrow as a smirk adorned his features.
“Yeah, you should try it sometime,” Pansy retorted.
Shortly after Hermione had poured herself, Pansy, and Draco a glass of elderflower wine (it really was good, better than tequila anyway) Harry returned.
He took a look at his occupied seat and had short eye contact with Weasley before he sat down next to Draco.
“We’re drinking wine again?" Harry asked, pouring himself a glass. He was pretty much drunk by now. They’d had two glasses of white wine before they started with the vodka shots. He knew that Apperating home wasn’t an option at this point, seeing as he was shit at sobriety charms.
“Granger’s idea,” Draco informed him before he took another sip.
“Of course it was," Harry mumbled, rolling his eyes.
“You’re slurring, Potter," Draco pointed out, an amused tilt to his mouth.
“Yeah, I suspected as much," Harry replied, smiling at Draco. Draco rose his eyebrows in amusement, Potter looked incredibly … dorky. It was almost adorable. Almost.
“I really ought to go. I’m meeting my parents tomorrow," Hermione was the first one to say goodbye.
“I’ll accompany you,” Theo immediately piped up, getting up as well.
“Thanks, Theo. We should really repeat this. I had a pleasant night," Hermione said, smiling at all of them.
“Yeah, I mean it’s not like we’ll be able to avoid it,” Draco quipped. Hermione rolled her eyes at him, thanking Theo quietly after he helped her into her coat.
“You’ll get home, Harry?" she asked.
“I’ll probably take a cab," he replied. Hermione nodded in approval, ruffling through his hair. She smiled at the rest of them before her and Theo left, vanishing between the other customers of the bar.
“Two weeks," Draco said, taking a sip of his wine.
“Four. They just met for the first time after years," Pansy replied.
“Well, it didn’t take you much longer than seven weeks, and I believe in Theo’s charming qualities. And his other qualities.” Draco smirked.
“Talking out of first hand experience, are we?” Pansy retorted.
“But of course,” Draco affirmed. He turned towards Potter, “How long do you think it will take until Theo and Granger hit it off?" he asked.
Harry furrowed his brow in thought, his lower lip vanishing between his teeth as he bit it.
“Well, I know Mione, and she’s usually not the head over heels type. And after being in her last serious relationship only four months ago, I’ll say it’ll take at least eight weeks. Maybe even ten," Harry replied.
“Ron?” Pansy asked, directing the question at her boyfriend.
“It took us years to get together. I’ll go with six months. At least," Ron replied.
“What will the winner get?” Pansy asked, smirking as she refilled her glass.
“The winner has three wishes free. Each loser has to fulfill one,” Draco suggested, leaning back. He was surprised to feel Potter’s arm draped over the back of the booth, the wool of his jumper brushing against the fine hairs at the nape of Draco’s neck whenever he moved his head.
“Okay. Let’s drink on it," Harry agreed after a short silence.
Ron still looked doubtful, but he rose his glass anyway.
“It’s on,” Pansy declared as they toasted, their glasses meeting over the middle of the table.
“It’s on," Harry, Draco and Ron echoed before they took a sip of their drink each.
“How was your night with Granger?” Draco asked Theo on Monday evening. They were, once again, waiting for Pansy to close up the store. Theo looked at him for a few long moments, his eyebrows slightly risen.
“We didn’t spend the night together. Like she said, she met with her parents the next day,” Theo finally replied, taking a drag of his cigarette.
Draco huffed and rolled his eyes. “That’s never stopped you before.”
Theo shrugged as he smirked slightly. “Yeah, but I don’t want to fuck this up with a one-night-stand. You were right, I still like Hermione.”
“Of course I was right," Draco said, smiling as he flicked his hair out of his face.
“Don’t tell me you tended to his ego again.” Pansy sighed as she exited the store, assessing the situation with one look at Draco.
Theo shrugged. “It’s not like I’ll have to deal with his attitude for the next few days.”
“You’ll regret that, Nott,” Pansy mumbled darkly, pocketing her wand after sealing the store’s doors.
“I feel like treating you to a fabulous dinner in Hogsmeade tonight, any objections?” Draco asked, still smiling serenely. Pansy and Theo exchanged a glance before taking Draco’s offered elbows. They apparated with a crack.
“Harry," Ron said cautiously.
They sat next to each other on a park bench near the Ministry. It was rather quiet, which was probably due to the fact that Ron managed to start his lunch break earlier than usual. He really missed having lunch with Harry, it was a rare occurrence ever since his promotion.
“Hm?" Harry asked, chewing a chip.
“There was a question during Never Have I Ever last weekend which bothers me,” Ron admitted. He’d already finished his meal, the crumbled up paper sitting next to him on the bench.
“Shoot," Harry replied in between bites.
Harry, Ron and Hermione had promised each other to be honest a long time ago. They didn’t want their friendship to crumble apart because one of them was unable to voice the fact that something bothered them.
Sometimes that resulted in fights, like when Harry told Ron and Hermione that he felt like they didn’t need him in their lives anymore. Sometimes that resulted in tears, like when Hermione confessed that she couldn’t get pregnant according to her last examination by her OB/GYN and her mediwitch. Sometimes it resulted in temporary alienation, like when Harry came out to them as pansexual. But mostly it resulted in them growing even closer as they relearned to trust each other completely; not with their lives, like when they were on the run during the war, but with their feelings, their secrets, their fears and desires.
“You took a shot when Pansy claimed that she never had a crush on anyone at the table while we were at Hogwarts," Ron said.
Harry nodded, dreading where this was going. He felt the blood rising in his cheeks. Thank Merlin he had a rather dark complexion.
“And I wondered on whom you had a crush? Was it Hermione?” Ron asked after a short silence. His voice wavered at the end.
Harry almost choked on his chips, held back tears which were swimming in his eyes as he laughed. “No, I never felt attracted to Mione. Not romantically or sexually, you wanker," Harry said, smiling at Ron, who looked relieved.
“I just thought- well, it doesn’t matter. Who was it then? Pansy, Nott?” Ron replied. He smiled at Harry, his eyes twinkling in amusement at the face Harry made.
He cleared his throat. “Neither of them," Harry mumbled, looking at the rest of his chips as if they were the most interesting thing in the world, “I had a crush on Malfoy.”
Ron stared at him blankly, blinking a few times before he started grinning widely. “I knew that there was something fishy about your obsession with him during sixth year!" He was patting Harry on the back.
“Hey, that was mostly due to the fact that I knew he was up to something!" Harry tried defending himself. Tried.
Ron snorted. “Mostly.”
“Mostly," Harry agreed, once again happy for his dark complexion.
“Draco! I need you in the front!” Pansy said loudly.
Draco sighed as he put down his quill. He was currently ordering the cloth samples Pansy wanted in order to finish their summer collection. The season was still months away, but Pansy liked to do her work ahead of time.
“Coming!” Draco replied as he got out of his chair in their office.
He ruffled the snowy fur of Pansy’s cat on his way out. Pansy had called her Angelica, referring to the Victorian Flower Code, which every respectable pureblood was supposed to know by heart. Draco didn’t know what possessed Pansy to name her cat after the flower of inspiration, but he decided not to question her.
“What do you need me for?" he asked as he stepped into the sales area, taking in the scene before him. Granger, Potter and Weasley were looking at different robes while Pansy kept a bunch of witches and reporters at bay by having locked the door.
“Would you please deal with the reporters?" she asked as she approached him, sending the people at the front window a cautious glance.
“Why me? The only press I don’t completely hate is the Prophet, and I only read it for Theo’s sake," Draco replied, sneering as he took in the cameras and the wide eyed witches and wizards. They were of every age and he knew that the reason they stared into their shop was Harry fucking Potter.
“Because I’ll lose my temper and insult them. Do I have to remind you of the disaster two years ago?" she retorted, raising one eyebrow.
Two years ago they’d had a similar on storm of reporters and the like because the Weaselette, unfortunately a very popular Quidditch player, had decided to grace their shop with her presence. She wanted something she could wear to somebody’s wedding, the press got wind of her location, Pansy lost her patience and hexed a reporter. Ever since then Weasley announced her visits beforehand, they closed the store for the time being, they adjusted the wards, and she apparated directly into it.
That’s how they dealt with every famous customer. The customers usually preferred their privacy, therefore announcing their visit to the store. But it looked like Harry Potter didn’t deem that necessary.
“Okay, if I’m not back in ten minutes the fangirls have killed me in order to get in,” Draco gave in, sighing dramatically.
Pansy pecked his cheek before she slapped his behind, ushering him towards the front of the store.
“I hate you Parkinson, remind me why we’re working together again?" he said over his shoulder, drawing his wand to undo the locking charm.
“You love me and you can’t draw,” Pansy retorted.
“Do I have to be jealous?” Ron asked Pansy when Draco had sealed the door behind him.
“Of my gay best friend? Not really," she replied, smirking slightly.
Ron leaned in and pressed a soft kiss to Pansy’s lips, smiling when she sighed into it, her hand on his cheek. They parted when Hermione cleared her throat, holding two robes up in front of her when Pansy turned towards her.
“I could use your assistance," she stated.
Pansy rolled her eyes as she walked towards her, using her wand to tie her hair into a bun.
“Can you tell us what happened between Ms Granger and Auror Weasley?”
“Are Ms Parkinson and Auror Weasley involved?”
“Since when do Mr Potter, Ms Granger, and Auror Weasley affiliate themselves with former Death Eaters?”
“Are you and the Golden Trio close, Mr Malfoy?”
Draco forced himself to keep up his polite smile and the emotionless impenetrable mask at the questions the reporters screamed at him from all sides. The horde of fangirls and -boys was pressing on to hear his answers as they stood directly behind the half circle of reporters around him, caging him with his back against the entrance of the store.
“Mr Potter, Ms Granger and Auror Weasley decided to buy their formal attire for the upcoming Ministry Formal at Ms Parkinson’s and my store. We’re always happy to welcome other customers, but decided to close the store for the time of their visit to keep their privacy. We apologise for the inconvenience to any possible customers and thank you for your understanding," Draco replied diplomatically, still smiling as he was bombarded with another round of questions.
“Can you tell us if Mr Potter is romantically involved with anyone?”
“There have been rumours of Mr Potter pursuing sexual relationships with other men, can you confirm this?”
“Is it true that you and Mr Nott have been involved in the past?”
“Mr Nott and Ms Granger have been seen together, any comment?”
“Are you and Ms Parkinson romantically involved?”
Draco kept on smiling as he waved his wand behind his back, knowing the flick and swish which unlocked the store by heart.
“No comment. And again, thank you for your cooperation," Draco replied before he took a step back, his hand against the cool glass. He opened the door and stepped inside the store, sealing it when the reporters and other onlookers attempted to follow him. He pocketed his wand as he turned around.
Weasley and Potter were looking at three robes together, seemingly unable to decide which one they should chose. Pansy stood next to Granger, holding up robes in three different shades of purple.
“Am I still needed?” Draco asked, shooting a look at the people outside the shop. He flicked his wrist and smiled when the looks of the crowd turned irritated and brows were furrowed. He’d darkened the windows for the viewers outside of the shop.
“I could use help with my robe,” Weasley replied. Draco nodded and walked towards him and Potter, stroking his fringe out of his eyes.
“Well, what’s the matter?" he asked when Weasley didn’t immediately say something.
“I’m not sure which robe says ‘Head of the Auror department’," Ron said.
Draco nodded, putting away all three robes him and Potter had seemed to consider.
“I’d go with something practical, but still fashionable. Simply cut, not too many flourishes, and only subtle ones at that. Something like that,” Draco explained, pulling out two robes.
Ron nodded, looking both robes over. “Which colour, do you reckon?" he asked.
Draco looked at him, really looked at him for a few seconds, taking in his blue eyes, the freckles and the way too familiar mop of red.
“Midnight blue. Brings out your eyes, goes with your hair, won’t clash with Pansy no matter which colour she’s going to wear," Draco replied. He concentrated on the robes and they vanished, being replaced by the same model in blue. “Try them on and I’ll adjust them when you settled for one,” Draco instructed.
Ron nodded as he took the robes. He walked towards the back of the store, towards the changing rooms, which left Draco and Harry alone.
“Non-verbal wandless magic." He looked at Draco intently.
“It’s incredibly useful whenever Pansy forces me to actually interact with customers,” Draco confirmed.
They looked at each other in silence.
Harry was surprised by how grey Draco’s eyes were. He always was when he bothered to really look at them. There was the slightest hint of blue around the pupil, but the rest of Draco's iris was made up of differing shades of grey. The last time they had looked at each other like that in complete silence was when Harry had returned Draco’s wand to him. It was only a few days after his’ and his parents’ trial.
Harry had apparated to Malfoy Manor, surprised when Narcissa had told him that Draco didn’t live with his parents anymore. She gave him Draco’s new address after he told her of the nature of his visit. Harry had apparated into central London after that, surprised to land in a Muggle neighbourhood. He’d found the apartment complex which Narcissa had told him about easily.
Draco was surprised to see him, to put it mildly. He just stared at Harry, not sure why he visited him and how he’d gotten his address.
“May I come in?" Harry had asked when it became apparent that Draco wouldn’t say anything.
That shook him out of his stupor. “Yeah, of course. Sorry, come in," he’d mumbled, stepping aside to allow Harry into his flat. It was mostly furnished, only few cardboard boxes still stood around. Harry really wanted to ask Draco when he’d moved here. And why. And what had happened between him and his parents. But he was visiting the git for a reason.
“This belongs to you," Harry said, pulling out the hawthorn wand. Draco looked at the wand, his surprised look snapping up to Harry’s eyes after a few seconds. Harry nodded slightly, offering him the handle of the wand with a slight raise of his hand. Draco looked at Harry for a few more seconds, his eyes showing nothing but slight surprise as he took the handle of the wand.
Draco smiled as he took the wand back into his possession. Harry had felt the shift in the air when the hawthorn wand accepted Draco as his owner once again, and he assumed that Draco had felt it too.
“Thank you," Draco said, surprising Harry.
“You’re welcome," Harry replied, nodding slightly. He gave Draco another look, that was the most genuine smile Harry had ever seen on Draco’s face, and for some reason he wanted to remember this moment. It felt important.
They looked at each other for a few more seconds, the prickling of magic still filling the air like static when Harry turned around and left.
“I know which one!” Ron said as he exited the changing and fitting area. Pansy and Granger walked past him, Granger smiling as she carried four different robes and Pansy stopping to kiss Weasley before she followed Granger.
“Very well," Draco said, motioning for Ron to wait in the back as he walked towards him. Ron vanished and Draco was about to follow him when he felt a hand around his wrist, stopping him. He flinched slightly at the prickling feeling that ran through his arm at the contact, looking at Harry with slightly widened eyes.
“Potter?” Draco asked huskily when Harry simply stared at him with comparably wide eyes.
Harry blinked a few times. “Erm, could you help me too? With my robes?" he replied.
“Yeah, no problem," Draco said, nodding slightly. He sighed when Harry let go of his wrist, walking towards the changing rooms. He rubbed his wrist, all too familiar with the prickling he felt in the pit of his stomach. He really didn’t need his schoolboy crush to resurface right now.
“Okay, I lost,” Draco admitted defeat.
Him, Pansy, Theo, Ron, Harry and Hermione were out again. Two weeks had passed since the first time they met up. Today they were in a small Italian restaurant of Pansy’s choice. Draco was currently outside, smoking. Potter had joined him again, this time he got up with Draco and they went outside together.
“I’d say I’m sorry, but I’m really not," Harry replied, smiling when Draco huffed and poked Harry in the ribs with his elbow, ash from his cigarette landing on Harry’s jumper as he did so.
“Hey! I really like this sweater!" Harry complained, trying to wipe the black flecks off. But he only smeared small black stripes all over the arm of his cream coloured sweater.
Draco snorted. “I could have told you that wouldn’t work," he pointed out.
Harry held Draco’s gaze for a few seconds, taking a drag of his cigarette and blowing the smoke right into his face. He chuckled when Draco scrunched up his nose.
“Wow, and I thought the great Saint Potter was above petty revenge,” Draco quipped, the sarcasm dripping off his words.
Harry snorted. “I’m not a saint and I’m definitely not above petty revenge. You of all people should know that.”
“Don’t worry. I’ll never forget the countless times you took revenge for the pranks I played on you at Hogwarts. Oh no, wait, you didn’t. Saint Potter," Draco replied, smirking.
“If you don’t count beating you at Quidditch and getting the House Cup every year as revenge." Harry shrugged slightly.
Draco snorted. “That was the most decent way of getting revenge you could have chosen. Not exactly petty.”
“Believe me, Ron and I had some pretty nasty things in store for you. Unfortunately Mione wasn’t exactly thrilled whenever she found out. And she always found out," Harry gave in. He threw the tip of his fag on the ground, putting it out with his foot.
“Aw, that’s supposed to convince me that you’re not a saint?” Draco asked, one eyebrow up. He blew out the smoke and took one last drag before his fag joined Harry’s on the ground.
“Believe what you want to, Malfoy, but I’m not a saint," Harry replied, rolling his eyes as he walked towards the entrance of the restaurant. Draco snorted as he followed him inside and back to their table.
“Looks like I’m the first to leave tonight. I’ll visit my aunt tomorrow, can’t be in bad shape when dealing with her and my cousin.” Draco was the first one to get up. He slipped into his coat as the others looked at him.
“Mind if I drop by to have a chat with Andy? She’s always so helpful when I’m not sure about a design,” Pansy asked. She smiled up at him. She generally smiled more ever since her involvement with Weasley.
“Come by sometime in the afternoon, I planned on taking Teddy out to the cafe near my flat around four. They started selling Christmas themed pastries last week," Draco replied as he pulled out his wallet. He pulled out some Muggle money and put it onto the tabletop.
“That should cover for me," he said as he slipped the wallet back into his coat pocket.
“Dromie didn’t mention that you’d be there when I asked her if I could visit her tomorrow," Harry piped up, his head slightly tilted as he looked up at Draco.
Draco rose one eyebrow as he slipped on his leather gloves.
“You’re free to come by anyway. If Andromeda doesn’t mind I don’t care. And Teddy will probably be a bit more bearable if you’re there. He loves telling me about his godfather," Draco replied, an amused tilt to his mouth when Harry averted his gaze.
“Yeah, I’ll think about it," Harry mumbled.
“Scared, Potter?” Draco teased when he finished wrapping the scarf his aunt got him for last Christmas around his neck. It was rather cold in the late night hours, it was early November after all.
“You wish," Harry huffed, taking the bait.
Draco smirked. “I’ll see you tomorrow then. And you Pans. You on Monday, Theo, and you probably sooner than I’d like, Granger, and Weasley. Have a pleasant night," Draco said. He gave a small wave over his shoulder before he left the establishment.
“Draco!” Teddy screamed joyfully as he ran towards the entrance.
“Teddy!” Draco imitated the boy, crouching down to catch him. He hugged him and rose, twirling with him in his arms before he set him back onto solid ground. Teddy’s cheeks were tinted red and he giggled as Draco slipped out of his coat, swiping the fringe out of his eyes as he smiled at his cousin. Andromeda watched them from the entrance to the living room, shaking her head as she smiled at their antics.
“Thanks for coming by," she said as Draco followed Teddy into the living room, where Teddy dragged him to sit next to him on the couch. Pencils and paper were spread out on the coffee table in front of them, the beginnings of a drawing filling a sheet of paper.
“Thanks for having me. Do you mind me taking Teddy out around four? The coffee shop near my flat is selling Christmas themed pastries and I thought he might like them," Draco replied, watching Teddy continue his drawing.
“Teddy, do you think you’ll be able to control your hair colour for an hour or two? Your cousin wants to take you to a Muggle place,” Andromeda asked the boy. Teddy looked up from his drawing, his mop of turquoise hair turning a light blond as he smiled widely at Draco.
“Of course! I’m a big boy, after all!" he replied excitedly.
“In this case you’re free to take him,” Andromeda said, smiling at her nephew. Draco nodded, mouthing ‘thank you’ as he leaned back.
“Oh and Pansy wanted to drop by later, I assume she owled you?” Draco asked, ruffling through Teddy’s blond hair. It even felt similar to his’, the boy was getting better at this.
“Yes she did. Needs help with your summer collection, I gathered.”
Draco nodded when Teddy turned towards him.
“Draco, can you draw me a bunny? I want to colour it,” Teddy asked, his eyes large.
Draco sighed at the puppy eyes staring up at him. He’d never admit it out loud, but he’d do anything for his cousin when he looked at him like that.
“You know I’m shite at drawing,” Draco warned him.
Andromeda cleared her throat, getting an apologetic smile from Draco before she left the room to prepare some tea.
“You just can’t draw people. But you’re good at drawing animals,” Teddy replied, completely ignoring the ‘bad word’ his cousin said.
“Well, give me a sheet,” Draco gave in, already reaching out for the pencil amongst the bunch of colours.
He sketched out a bunny, using the black marker lying around to redraw the outlines. He erased the pencil before he returned the paper to Teddy who’d watched the whole thing like a hawk.
“Here you go," Draco said.
“Thanks, Draco!” Teddy replied happily. He took a few moments to pick out a colour and started colouring after he settled for a deep blue.
Draco smiled as he got up, walking into the kitchen where Andromeda put a set of cups onto a tray.
“How were the last few weeks?" he asked as he filled some dried herbs into a tea egg. He mixed the herbs to his liking, making sure that it wouldn’t turn out too bitter, so Teddy would still drink the tea.
“Good. Your parents came by to visit. Narcissa asked how you were doing and Lucius finished his research on the inheritability of lycanthropy,” Andromeda answered, as she put sugar and honey onto the tray.
Draco ignored the comment about his mother. “What did he find out? Is there a chance of Teddy turning?" he asked as he filled the hot water into the tea pot containing the egg.
“Luckily not. There is no way for a werewolf to pass the gene on to their child,” Andromeda replied, a smile on her features.
“Thank Salazar. I’m glad that that’s clarified. Have you found a new tutor for him?” Draco asked.
His aunt sighed. “No, it’s rather hard. I want him to learn about Muggle and wizard culture, so a muggle-born wizard would be my first choice. But most private tutors are pure-bloods, and prejudiced ones at that. They’d never set a foot into this house. And the last one proved that a Muggle tutor isn’t a solution either. I had to obliviate the poor girl,” Andromeda replied.
“Well, the only muggle-born witch I socialize with would be Granger, but I don’t know if she’d be up to it. You could ask Potter when he comes by later, though," Draco replied.
“You know that Harry is coming? And you socialise with Hermione?” Andromeda asked, a smile tugging at the corner of her mouth.
“Yes," he sighed, “Pansy and Weasley are a couple and I’m forced to be nice to them. And Potter mentioned it during dinner last night.”
Draco groaned in fake annoyance at the look his aunt gave him.
“You and Harry had dinner last night?" she asked, the smirk now fully evident on her features.
Draco rolled his eyes at the implication. “Yes. Along with Granger, Weasley, Pansy and Theo. Not what you and your dirty mind are making up.”
Andromeda laughed at his response, removing the egg out of the teapot after checking the colour. She put the pot on the tray and picked it up, walking ahead into the living room. Draco followed her, sitting back down on the couch next to Teddy.
“Look, I made it a rainbow bunny,” Teddy said, showing Draco his drawing.
“You did. It looks great," Draco replied as he took the piece of paper, looking at the neatly coloured bunny. The colours were even in the right order.
“You can have it,” Teddy offered, looking up at Draco.
“For my fridge?” Draco asked, smiling at his cousin.
Teddy nodded, looking surprisingly serious for an eight year old.
“We’ll put it up before we go to the coffee shop later, okay?” Draco suggested and Teddy nodded, smiling widely.
“I forgot the milk,” Andromeda sighed, getting back up. Just as she arrived in the kitchen the doorbell rang.
“Could you get that, Draco?" she asked.
“Of course. Come along Teddy," Draco replied, walking into the hallway. Teddy followed him, skipping excitedly.
Draco opened the door, not surprised to see Potter on the other side of it.
“Potter. Come in. Andromeda is in the kitchen,” Draco greeted him, stepping aside for him to enter.
“Hey. Thanks," Harry replied, shuffling inside.
Draco closed the door and walked towards the living room, stepping out of Teddy’s way, who giddily approached Harry before clinging to his leg.
“Harry! I missed you!" he said looking up at him.
“Hey, small one. I missed you too," Harry replied, ruffling through the hair as the roots slowly turned black, building a stark contrast to the ends which remained light blond.
Draco re-entered the living room, sitting down on his place on the couch. Andromeda smiled at the other boys entering the living room behind him as she set down the milk can on the tea tray.
“Dromie," Harry greeted her, stalking past Draco with Teddy still clinging to his leg. The boy giggled with every step Harry took.
“Harry, it’s good to see you," she replied, embracing him. When they let go Teddy let go of Harry’s leg, taking his hand instead.
“C’mon, sit with Draco and me,” Teddy said enthusiastically, pulling Harry past Draco in the small space between the coffee table and the couch, forcing Draco to lean back into the couch. Harry slumped down on Teddy’s other side, a slight ‘oof’ escaping his lips.
“Tea?” Andromeda asked him as she gave Teddy and Draco their cups. Draco gave her a thankful smile before he took a sip of the hot liquid. It was just how he liked it, strong with a bit of honey. Teddy’s tea was milky and probably had two cubes of sugar in it.
“Yeah, thanks," Harry replied, smiling at her.
“Did you mix it?” Teddy asked Draco after taking a few sips.
“I did, can you tell what I put in?” Draco asked.
It was kind of a game of theirs. Whenever Draco made potions or mixed tea or cooked, Teddy would guess what he put in by the smell and look and use of the potion or the taste of the food. He’d gotten better at it throughout the last few years, and Draco was proud to say that his cousin was rather good at it. He planned on getting him his own potions kit for Christmas along with one of the Black family wands for practice. He just had to force himself to finally visit the Manor for the second one.
“Can I have your tea for it? Mine’s full of milk and sugar,” Teddy asked, already reaching out.
“Course," Draco replied, giving Teddy his cup.
He took a sip. “Okay, Gran put honey in it. Then there’s cinnamon. And I think it’s mint,” Teddy said, looking up at Draco who nodded, a smile tugging at his lips.
Teddy took another small sip. “Lemongrass, rooibos and,” Teddy sniffed at the steam over the cup, his brow furrowed in concentration, “Is that cocoa?" he asked.
“Well done, it is. You’re getting better at this," Draco replied, smiling at his cousin as he took back his cup, taking a sip of the tea.
“Do you think I can brew a potion by myself soon?" he asked, his eyes wide with anticipation.
“Yeah, I think you can. I’ll have to be there, of course, in case something goes wrong. But you’ll probably manage just fine,” Draco confirmed, taking a sip of tea when Teddy suddenly started jumping up and down on the sofa, forcing him to freeze in order to not spill any of his tea.
“Did you hear that Harry? I’ll be able to brew potions!” Teddy cheered loudly.
“Yeah, I heard," Harry said, the smile audible.
“Sit back down and drink your tea, darling,” Andromeda interrupted Teddy’s cheering, effectively calming him down enough for him to sit still.
“Thanks," Draco said under his breath, resuming to sip at his tea. Andromeda merely smiled at him, exchanging an exhausted but amused look with him.
“I can’t wait to go to Hogwarts! Only three more years,” Teddy said excitedly. At some point he’d grabbed Harry’s and Draco’s hands and dragged them along upstairs, into his bedroom. Harry sat next to him and played a Muggle game with him while Draco lay on Teddy’s bed and read one of his books, occasionally throwing in his two pennies when he felt like the conversation required his input or commentary.
“What house were you in?" he asked, looking between Harry and Draco with his big, currently grey eyes.
“Well, I was sorted into Gryffindor, but it was a close thing. The Sorting Hat wasn’t sure whether to put me into Gryffindor or Slytherin. I think it even considered Ravenclaw at one point," Harry replied. Draco snorted as he pictured Potter in Slytherin.
“Well, I was in Slytherin. And I don’t think you would have made a good Slytherin, Potter. You tended to be a bit too brash, lacking the Slytherin elegance," Draco said, smirking slightly.
“What house do you think I’ll be in?” Teddy asked, stopping Harry from retorting anything.
“Well, you’d make a good Ravenclaw. You like knowledge, are pretty intelligent, quite creative," Draco said, abandoning the book and adjusting his position to have a better look at Teddy and Potter.
“If you come after your parents you’ll be in Gryffindor, like your dad, or in Hufflepuff, like your mum," Harry replied, shrugging slightly.
“And if you come after the rest of the Black family you’ll be in Slytherin. Not counting my other first cousin once removed, he was a Gryffindor,” Draco added, sitting up on the bed. He rose his arms above his head and stretched.
“Wait, are you talking about Sirius?" Harry asked, one eyebrow up.
“I believe that was his name. He died during the battle in the Ministry, didn’t he?” Draco asked as he leaned back on the bed, his arms supporting him. He knew that the man was Potter’s godfather, but he’d never met him. Sirius was in Azkaban for eleven years of Draco’s life. When he escaped his parents warned him that he was a blood-traitor, that he wasn’t someone Draco wanted to be associated with. Back then he’d believed them.
“He did," Harry confirmed, “He was my godfather.”
Draco nodded. “I know.”
“Like you're my godfather?” Teddy asked, his head tilted as he looked at Harry, his eyes turning bright green. Draco had noticed that they’d switched between green and grey for the better part of the afternoon, his hair still black at the roots and white blonde at the tips.
“Yeah, he was your dad’s and my dad’s best friend," Harry replied, a wistful smile on his features.
“Did he die because of Voldemort as well?” Teddy asked, more curious than anything else. He still didn’t wholly grasp the concept of death and dying.
“Yes, essentially he did. It’s a bit more complicated than that, but I’ll explain that when you’re a bit older," Harry replied, ruffling through Teddy’s hair.
Draco took a look at his wristwatch when the doorbell resounded. They all were silent for a few moments until they heard Pansy’s voice.
“Time to leave, boys. The ladies need peace and quiet," she shouted, ironically, before the sound of her heels against the wooden floor grew fainter.
“It’s past four anyway, time for tea. What do you want to wear, Teddy?” Draco asked, getting up from the bed as he walked towards his cousin’s wardrobe. He opened the doors and took a look at the clothing.
“Can I wear a dress? I’d like to wear a dress,” Teddy replied, as he joined Draco.
“Sure, any specific wishes or shall I pick?” Draco asked, crouching down to get a better look at the dresses.
“You always chose the prettiest dresses,” Teddy replied, smiling at him.
Draco returned his smile. “Why thank you, little cousin. What hair colour do you want to go with today?" he asked. Teddy tilted his head before he closed his eyes. His hair grew a bit longer, and the roots turned bright turquoise, apparently his favourite colour. It took a few seconds until the whole mop of hair was turquoise.
“Turquoise, very well. And what eye colour?” Draco inquired, tilting his head slightly.
“Can I have a grey and a green one?” Teddy asked, looking between Harry and Draco.
“Of course, it’s rare but not unnatural," Draco replied. When Teddy blinked his left eye was grey and the right one green.
“Are you coming with us, Harry?” Teddy asked when Draco took a look at each of the dresses.
“I don’t know, am I?" Harry asked Draco.
“If you want to," Draco replied, pulling out a lilac dress. “How about this one?" he asked, showing Teddy the article of clothing.
“Oh yes! It’s my favourite right after the orange one!" he replied excitedly, already stripping.
Draco smiled as he put the dress down, getting up to fetch tights and a wool cardigan. he gave Teddy the articles of clothing and closed the wardrobe, waiting for his cousin to finish getting dressed.
“Are you coming?” Draco asked Harry when they followed Teddy downstairs a few moments later.
“Pansy! Look how pretty I am!” Teddy said loudly as he entered the living room. Draco and Harry were not even halfway down the staircase.
“If you’re fine with it. I really don’t want to intrude," Harry replied.
Draco rolled his eyes, which Harry didn’t see since he walked behind Draco. “I honestly don’t care. This is about Teddy and not me. As long as he’s happy I’m fine with it," Draco replied, looking at Harry expectantly as he stood at the end of the stairs, just out of sight of the living room.
Harry stopped a step above him, looking down at him. He was a bit taller than Draco with the advantage of the step.
“Okay, I’ll come," he replied.
“Good, we’ll take to Floo to my flat and go to the coffee shop from there," Draco replied as he turned and walked into the living room to greet Pansy.
“Malfoy Residence," Draco said loud and clear after he threw the floo powder into the fireplace in Andromeda’s living room. He stepped into the green fire and was glad when he landed in his living room. He took a step into the room as he ran his hand through his hair, trying to get the soot out. Teddy arrived a few moments later, just when Draco finished brushing the soot off his coat.
“I don’t like travelling via Floo,” Teddy said, shivering slightly.
“But you dislike Apparition even more," Draco pointed out.
“True, but Apparition is shorter than the Floo,” Teddy retorted. He unfolded the drawing of the bunny he brought along, putting it down on the coffee table as he attempted to straighten out the lines in the paper.
A few moments later Potter stumbled into Draco’s living room, barely gathering his balance and preventing a fall.
“You alright?” Draco asked, smirking at him with one raised eyebrow.
“Peachy," Harry retorted, averting his gaze.
He took a look at the living room. There weren’t any cardboard boxes anymore (no surprise there), and it didn’t look white, as he remembered it. It looked more homely, lived in. The walls were pastel yellow, the tint of yellow almost not notable, and the walls were decorated with various paintings. The wide windows were covered by thin white curtains. A big lush sofa stood in the centre of the room, a bunch of pillows covering it.
“I didn’t know you liked flowers so much," Harry commented as he followed Draco and Teddy into another room. Most of the cushions on the couch were covered in flowers of all kinds and colours.
“I really don’t. But Luna does," Draco replied, shrugging slightly.
“Luna Lovegood? You two are talking?" Harry asked as he leaned against the entrance into the kitchen. Teddy currently picked out magnets and pinned the drawing he’d made to the fridge, which was already covered in several drawings, along with the pinboard which was on the wall to Harry’s right.
“Yes, Pansy and I worked with her for a while. We got along quite well and meet up every now and then. Exchange Christmas cards, birthday presents. Stuff like that," Draco replied, smiling at Teddy when he’d finished pinning up the drawing.
“Huh," Harry mumbled.
“Hey Draco, what can I get you today?” asked the girl behind the counter in the coffee shop. She was smiling at him.
“Hey Mel. I’ll have the usual, one white chocolate cocoa for my cousin, one of every Christmas themed pastry you have to offer, and Potter?” Draco turned towards Harry who stood on Teddy’s other side.
“Huh?" Harry's eyes slightly widened.
Draco rolled his eyes. “What will you drink?”
“Er, I’ll have Earl Grey," Harry replied, smiling awkwardly at the girl behind the counter.
“You’ll stay here?” Melissa asked as she typed the order into the screen of her checkout counter.
“Yup. I’ll pay with card," Draco replied, pulling his wallet out.
“That’ll be 27.45,” Mel said as she took Draco’s card. She gave her colleague the first print of the receipt, returning the one Draco had to sign along with his card. Draco signed it and smiled at Melissa as he stepped aside.
“Why don’t you go pick out a table? I’ll be right there.” Draco smiled at Teddy, when Teddy dragged Harry through the coffee shop.
“I like this one best. Do you think I’d look pretty with red hair?” Teddy asked Draco and Harry. He currently ate a red velvet cupcake with green cream cheese frosting and little candy cane speckles on top.
“Sure, why not," Harry replied.
Draco smiled slightly. “I think you’d look gorgeous with velvet red hair.”
“Can I try it out when we’re at your flat?” Teddy’s smile was so hopeful it almost hurt.
“Of course," Draco agreed, ruffling through Teddy’s turquoise hair.
“Gran will probably be mad when we tell her that I ate sweets for dinner,” Teddy mumbled as he took another bite of his cupcake.
“I told her you’d have sweets,” Draco shrugged as he leaned back in his armchair, taking a sip of his coffee.
“Did you tell her he’d have so many sweets?" Harry asked, a slight smirk on his features.
“I told her Teddy would have sweets. And Meda knows me, I tend to overindulge him," Draco replied.
“Mel, could we make a doggy bag out of those pastries?” Draco asked her as she passed their table to clean another one.
“Course, I’ll drop you a bag," she replied, smiling at them.
“Thanks, you’re a sweetheart," Draco returned her smile.
“Do I really have to go home?” Teddy asked, pouting slightly.
“It’s almost seven, sweetheart. You have to go to bed in an hour," Draco replied, ruffling the turquoise hair. Teddy yawned, the roots of his hair turning a dark brown as he blinked his eyes back open.
“Yes, it’s definitely time to leave." Harry gave Teddy his hat. The little boy groaned but covered his head and reluctantly got dressed when Draco shot him a look.
“We’re back, Dromie!" Harry said loudly as he stumbled out of the fireplace. Shortly after him Draco gracefully stepped out of the green flames, a sleeping Teddy in his arms. His hair was turquoise and red, he fell asleep as he tried to turn his hair the same colour as the red velvet cupcake.
“How was tea? Did Teddy behave?” Andromeda asked as she entered the living room from the kitchen, “Did he have dinner?”
“Yeah, he ate a whole lot of pastries. I’ll get him changed and into bed," Draco replied, smiling as his aunt gave him a scolding look.
“Teddy was an angel, like always," Harry replied as Teddy and Draco left the room.
“Was he now? And how did you and Draco behave? I hope you didn’t get into a fight,” Andromeda said, one eyebrow raised as she sat down in her armchair. Harry shrugged out of his jacket and flopped into the other armchair.
“Yeah, he behaved himself. And Malfoy and I didn’t start any fights. He was polite and surprisingly pleasant and I was nice, too," said Harry, smiling proudly.
Dromie smirked. “You do realize that he has a first name?”
“Old habits die hard," Harry shrugged, “How did your meeting with Pansy go?”
“It was good. I helped her to pick out the colour patterns for the summer collection of formal robes. She also gave me the name of a possible new tutor for Teddy, a muggle-born wizard who recently graduated Hogwarts and wants to go into teaching,” Andromeda recounted, leaning back into her seat.
“Mind if I meet him before he teaches Teddy?" Harry asked.
“Now, now, Potter. Don’t you trust my aunt to be a good judge of character?” Draco asked as he entered the room, his coat over his arm.
“Teddy’s sleeping?” Andromeda asked and Draco nodded, sitting down on the couch.
“I do trust Dromie’s judgement, but better safe than sorry," Harry retorted.
“Hmm, is that paranoia I hear speaking?” Draco smirked slightly.
“Just a gut feeling. My gut tends to be right. You know, like in sixth year when I suspected that you were a Death Eater," Harry answered, his smile sharp.
“Low blow, Potter,” Draco responded, his smirk looking somewhat forced.
The silence that followed was filled with tension. Draco’s eyes were slightly narrowed as he averted his gaze from Potter’s, telling himself that this didn’t mean that he backed down. Malfoys didn’t back down.
Draco sighed, somewhat dispersing the tension as he realized his stupid train of thought. He was a Malfoy, but he’d sworn that he wouldn’t follow the useless family rules anymore. They were part of what got him into the Death Eater dilemma in the first place.
He’d stopped wearing the ice-cold, unapproachable mask at all times, he’d stopped following the rules which implied his family’s superiority, he’d stopped using the family fortune once his business with Pansy got started. He’d promised himself that he’d prove that he was more than another stupid pureblood heir who wasn’t capable of anything but following the etiquette and the snobbish rules.
“Anyway,” Draco said, changing the topic of conversation, “would you mind accompanying me to Malfoy Manor, Meda? I was planning on getting Teddy a potions kit for Christmas, but he’ll need a wand for brewing. And as it’s tradition to go to Ollivander the Summer before you start at Hogwarts, I thought I’d get him one of the old Black family wands.”
“Do you really think he’s ready for that?” Andromeda asked, her voice doubtful as her brow was furrowed.
“I allowed him to practice simple charms with my wand and I think he’s good," Draco replied, looking at Potter for a confirmation of Teddy’s abilities.
“I agree, Teddy’s levitation charms are wicked," Harry agreed, smiling at a memory he didn’t bother to share.
“Well, if you both agree on this I’ll believe you. When would you like to go?” Andromeda asked, a kind smile gracing her features.
“Next Sunday? I want it to be done and over as soon as possible," he replied.
“Fine by me. Can I leave Teddy with you for the duration of the visit?" she asked Harry.
He nodded. “Of course, just drop him by Grimmauld Place. Ginny will probably be over next weekend, but she loves Teddy. And she hasn’t seen him in ages," Harry smiled as he said all this.
“Good, I’ll owl mother and father so they won’t die of a heart attack when I step out of the Floo," Draco said, a humourless chuckle accompanying his words.
“Have you contacted them at all since your Birthday?” Andromeda asked, her head slightly tilted, her eyes sad.
“No, didn’t see a reason to. And I’d rather not have mother and father trying to interfere with my life or my business. The last time I allowed it I took the Dark Mark,” Draco retorted sharply.
“Those were other circumstances,” Dromie sighed. Harry sensed that this argument wasn’t a new one. He didn’t know that Malfoy had cut all ties with his parents, it was almost as surprising as him befriending Luna.
“Doesn’t make their behaviour or my decisions any better, does it?” Draco answered, one of his eyebrows raised.
Andromeda held his gaze for a few moments before she sighed again, averting her gaze. “It doesn’t," she finally agreed.
“So, Malfoy and Luna have been in contact," Harry told Hermione as he sat down on her couch.
“Yes, Luna told me about it. I was quite surprised because she was one of the captives in Malfoy Manor, but she told me that Draco is a lovely person and that they get along famously," Hermione replied, offering Harry a glass of wine. He accepted it with a small smile, taking a sip as he mulled her answer over.
“I don’t know what she sees in him, but as long as he’s nice to her I don’t object," Harry finally said, shrugging slightly.
“Well, I guess the fact that her and Blaise have been engaged for two years also helps.”
Harry choked on his sip of wine, almost staining the cream coloured couch. “Luna and Zabini? When did this happen? Why don’t I know stuff like that?”
Hermione giggled. “Because you don’t care about gossip and barely talk to anybody but Ron and me. And you stopped reading the papers.”
“And you care about gossip?" Harry asked, a sceptical look on his face.
Hermione rolled her eyes. “You know I don’t care about gossip, but I care what happens to our former year mates.”
“Okay, enlighten me, what else did I miss throughout the last years," Harry said, motioning for Hermione to go on. She rose one eyebrow at him and Harry returned the gesture. She tilted her head in a gesture which said ‘if you say so’ and started talking.
“Hey Teddy, hey Meda,” Draco greeted them as he entered the living room. He’d apparated to his aunt's and would accompany her to Grimmauld Place before they would go to the Manor.
“Hey, Draco,” Teddy said, smiling up at him as Andromeda rechecked his backpack for what was probably the third time.
“Hey," his aunt greeted him when she finished checking whether Teddy had everything with him he’d need.
She embraced her nephew and squeezed slightly, reassuring him. Andromeda knew that he was nervous about returning to the Manor after more than two years. He hadn’t seen his parents since the Christmas disaster almost three years ago. They only had contact via owl whenever holidays came around which required him to send them his well wishes.
“Ready to go?" she asked him as she held him at arm’s length, scanning his face.
“Ready when you are," Draco replied, laughing shakily.
She nodded and went to the Floo, ushering Teddy with her.
“Where does Harry live?” Andromeda asked her grand-son.
“12 Grimmauld Place,” Teddy replied, smiling brightly when Meda ruffled his hair.
Andromeda offered him a small bowl which contained floo powder. “Here, take some powder," she instructed Teddy.
He did as she said, threw it into the fire, and stated his destination as he stepped into it. She set the little bowl onto the mantelpiece and smiled at Draco before she followed Teddy. Draco sighed and took some of the powder, he didn’t like Floo travel but it was his aunt’s preferred option for travel.
“- it’s been a while since we’ve seen each other,” Ginny said to Teddy as Draco stepped out of the Floo. He’d opted to not wear a coat, he didn’t plan on spending more than 5 minutes at a time outside after all. The soot was barely visible on his dark grey jumper.
“It has! But look, I have a new favourite hair colour! Draco told me that I look gorgeous with it,” Teddy rambled excitedly before he concentrated. His hair slowly turned velvet red.
“Did he now? Well he was certainly right,” Ginny replied, ruffling through Teddy’s hair.
“Wow, I never thought I’d witness the day when a Weasley admits that I’m right," Draco said, smirking as he crouched down in front of Teddy, spreading his arms to give his cousin a hug before he left for the Manor.
“Malfoy, are you and Pansy free next week?” Ginny asked, as Teddy wrapped his small arms around Draco’s neck, nuzzling into the crook of his neck.
“We could close at 6pm on Thursday. Need a robe for the Ministry Formal?” Draco replied, pressing a kiss to Teddy’s red hair. He really loved his cousin, enough to return to the Manor to get him a wand.
“Yeah, I know I’m a bit late. But thanks, I’ll apparate into the store?" she added, smiling at him.
“Like always,” Draco confirmed as he loosened his hold on Teddy.
“Thanks for taking care of Teddy,” Meda smiled as she squeezed Harry’s shoulder affectionately. Draco hadn’t even noticed him.
“No problem. I’ll see you in a few hours," he replied.
Meda nodded before she walked back towards the fireplace, Draco joining her.
“I’ll go first?" she asked, floo powder already in hand.
“Please," Draco replied, giving her a thankful smile. She vanished in the green flames and Draco took a deep breath before he threw the powder into the flames. He stepped into them.
“Malfoy Manor," he said loudly and clearly before he disappeared from Harry’s lounge.
“Draco,” Narcissa said, her smile lopsided, her eyes glistening with unshed tears.
“Mother," Draco replied coldly, embracing her only after she initiated the gesture.
“Son,” Lucius greeted him with an incline of his head.
“Father,” Draco returned the greeting, nodding stiffly.
“Now, how about we have some tea before we take a look at the wands?” Andromeda suggested, trying to disperse the tension without notable success.
“Yes, let’s have tea. In the sun room,” Narcissa agreed, leading the small party into one of her favourite rooms.
The first thing Draco noted was that his parents had redecorated. The Manor looked lighter, somewhat friendlier. But it still had that cold and impersonal quality to it. The sun room was completely different. It was flooded by the cool winter-y sun, the yellow walls catching and reflecting the sunlight to make the room look like it was alive. The plants were thriving and the furniture looked actually comfortable, unlike most of the rather stiff and ancient stuff around which Draco grew up.
“Tammy," his mother called. One of the house elves Draco grew up with popped up next to her, bowing deeply.
“Mistress?" she asked, not daring to look up.
“Could you serve us tea for four and some pastries? Fetch some Cauldron Cakes, would you?” Narcissa requested.
“Of course, Mistress," the elf replied before she disappeared with a pop.
The silence between them dragged on as they waited for Tammy to reappear with tea and desserts. The tension was almost unbearable, but Draco didn’t come to have a nice chat and reconcile with his parents. He needed a wand for his cousin, and that was the sole purpose of his visit. The only reason he accepted his mother’s invitation to stay for tea in the first place was because he knew that his aunt would be there to get him out if it became too much.
Tammy returned and set down the tray on which she carried the tea and the sweets. She started to pour the tea, but she shook so much that she almost spilled half of it. Tension like this usually meant that Lucius would abuse the elves later that day to diffuse his anger. But Narcissa forbid him to do so after the war, she tried to be a better person. Somewhat of a better person.
“Tammy, I’ll take that. You’re dismissed,” Narcissa told the elf as she took the tea pot from her shaking hands, pouring the tea herself,
“Tammy thanks Mistress,” the elf replied before she disappeared with an even deeper bow.
“I hear that your and Parkinson’s business is doing well?” Lucius asked, trying to start a conversation.
“It is. We have quite the high request rate due to the upcoming Ministry Formal and the nearing Christmas season," Draco replied, taking a sip of his tea after he added some honey.
His mother nodded slightly. “Are you going to attend the ball?”
“Pansy and I have been invited by the Minister while he was shopping robes at our store," Draco replied. “Are you going to attend?”
“Well, seeing as this is the formal in celebration of the new Department for Charitable Causes and we’re the biggest donors to charitable causes as of right now, we’ve been invited by the new Head of Department,” Lucius recounted.
“Potter invited you himself?” Draco asked, one eyebrow up in question,
“He did, owled us as soon as the event had a date to it,” Narcissa confirmed with a small nod.
“Saint Potter," Draco mumbled under his breath.
“Could I have a look at the family wands? I want to give Teddy one for Christmas as he’ll need one along with the potions kit I got him,” Draco asked, ending yet another awkward silence that had settled around them.
There was no reason for him to stay any longer. The tea was empty, the pastries were eaten and he refused to have more than small talk with his parents.
Narcissa looked at him, her eyes telling him that she wanted to talk to him. But Draco kept his look cold. He knew how his eyes looked, he did have his father’s eyes after all. And he’d been on the receiving end of his father’s cold look more than once.
His mother sighed. “Of course.”
She got up and Draco rose after her, following her out of the room and through the hallways of the quiet Manor. The only sounds were those of their breathing and of his mother’s heels clacking against the expensive wooden floor.
“Here they are," his mother said as she opened the door to her study.
Draco always liked Narcissa’s study better than his father’s. it was furnished in pastel colours, not in dark brown and green and grey. It looked pretty, like spring. He spent a lot of time reading in there back when he could read but didn’t have a tutor yet.
They stepped into the room and his mother lead him to the mantelpiece of the chimney where several glass cases containing Black family heirlooms stood. Amongst them were several wands.
“What kind were you thinking of?" Narcissa asked him.
Draco seized the different wands as he answered, “Dragon heartstring, no longer than nine inches.”
Narcissa nodded. “I think I have the right one. It used to belong to my great grand uncle, Phineas Black. He was disowned because he supported Muggle Rights," she explained as she removed the wand from its glass case, “Black walnut, eight and a quarter inches, reasonably pliant, dragon heartstring core.”
Draco took the wand and gave it a look. It felt somewhat foreign in his hand, but he decided to try a spell anyway. The non-verbal levitation charm he tried worked well enough. He guessed that the wand would work for Teddy as well, at least until he got his own before he left for Hogwarts.
“Thank you, mother,” Draco nodded. He transfigured the glass case into a wooden case which was silk cushioned. When the wand was secure he put it into the inner pocket of his robes, turning towards the door of the study to return to the sun room.
“Draco," his mother said, forcing him to come to a halt. Draco suppressed a sigh as he took a deep breath, turning around.
“Mother?" he asked, meeting her look head on.
Her blue eyes were sad and filled with unshed tears. She looked lonely and surprisingly lost. Draco had never seen his mother like that, and it broke his heart to know that he was the cause for her pain. But he needed to free himself of his parents, he needed them to understand that he wasn’t the boy they raised, not anymore. And he couldn’t do that if he pretended that everything was alright between them, because it simply wasn’t.
“Can we go out for tea next week? Just the two of us?" she asked. She tried to sound composed, but her voice broke as she finished the second sentence.
Draco looked at her, not sure if he wanted to agree, if he wanted to give in so easily. That was the first time either of his parents really reached out to him since the Christmas debacle. They never asked him to meet up and talk, they simply expected him to return to them sooner or later. And as it turned out Draco had chosen that it would be later than they had expected.
“Thursday? 5 o’clock at the shop? We’ll have the shop closed at six, so Pansy will survive,” Draco suggested, barely able to believe that he was really doing this. He was going to meet up with his mother.
“Thursday is perfect,” Narcissa agreed, a smile on her features. She walked towards the door, squeezing her son’s hand in passing. Draco looked at her as she walked down the familiar hallway, following a few moments later.
“Why aren’t you and Harry together anymore, Ginny?” Teddy asked.
He’d never really noticed that his godfather and his favourite Weasley weren’t together anymore. But as he spent the last two hours with them he’d noticed that they sat apart and that they weren’t kissing like they used to. He couldn’t pinpoint when he’d made that observation for the first time, but he only now connected the dots.
“Harry and I haven’t been together for months now, cupcake," she replied, somewhat surprised by the question.
“Yes, but why?” Teddy asked tilting his head.
He had lengthened his hair so it almost touched the floor when he walked, and Ginny was currently braiding it. They sat across from each other on the floor in front of the fireplace. Harry was somewhere around, but he’d left them to it when he realized that they were busy talking hairstyles.
“Well, we used to think that we were still in love with each other, we really did. But then I started my career with the Harpies, Harry moved into Grimmauld Place and we only really saw each other when I had downtime between seasons. We first noticed that something was incredibly wrong with our relationship when George and Angelina got engaged and we talked about marriage.
"I realized that I don’t want a family, and Harry wants one. I realized that I want to see the world when I’m done playing Quidditch, Harry doesn’t. We took a break when you were about four, but we were still too hung up on each other to move on, so we got back together after a few months. We ended our romantic relationship almost two years ago when we realized that we still love each other, but only like siblings love each other. I love Harry like I love George and Ron and Charlie, Bill and Percy, and I really don’t want to kiss any of them,” Ginny explained.
Teddy made a face. “That would be like me kissing Draco, wouldn’t it?" he asked.
Ginny nodded, smiling at the look of disgust on Teddy’s face. “Not a nice thought, is it?" she asked.
Teddy shook his head and Ginny giggled, Teddy joining her with chuckles of his own.
“No! Don’t tell me!” Teddy said as he stared at the chessboard in concentration.
Ginny leaned against the back of his armchair and Harry sat across from him, directing the black pieces over the board. Harry and Teddy played wizard chess a lot, and whenever Ginny was around she tried to help Teddy out. But as of late he wanted to play alone, which resulted in him losing more often than he liked. But he was determined to win today.
“Are you sure? Because I know a wicked move,” Ginny asked, an amused lilt to her voice.
“I can do this on my own,” Teddy mumbled before finally directing a piece, cornering Harry’s King.
Harry was about to announce his next move when the Floo flared up green, a shrill ring echoing through the room. Moments later Draco and Andromeda came through, brushing off the soot as they oriented themselves.
“Draco, Gran! You’re back!” Teddy squealed enthusiastically, jumping off the armchair and into Draco’s open arms, the chess game forgotten.
“Hey Ted. How was your time with Potter and Weasley?” Draco asked, smiling as he readjusted his cousin so he sat on his hip. He was way too tall and too heavy to be carried around, but Draco liked to indulge him.
“First we played a few rounds of Exploding Snap, then Ginny told me about her last match, then Ginny and I talked about hair and she braided mine and I braided hers and we talked about love and why her and Harry aren’t together anymore, and then Harry and I started playing Wizard Chess,” Teddy said all this incredibly fast, but Draco caught most of it anyway, and so did the other adults in the room.
“You talked about our relationship?” Harry asked Ginny, his eyebrows up.
Draco sat down with Teddy on his lap, watching the Weaslette and Harry.
“Teddy asked why we weren’t together anymore, so I explained that we only loved each other like siblings love each other, and that kissing you would be like kissing Ron or Charlie or any of my brothers, really. He agreed that it would be kind of gross and that he’d feel the same if he were to kiss Malfoy,” Ginny replied, sitting down on the couch next to Draco.
“Did you, now?” Draco asked his cousin, an amused smirk on his features.
“Kissing is gross,” Teddy replied in complete seriousness, looking at each adult in turn. When his look returned to Draco they all burst out laughing, Draco ruffling through the loose strands of Teddy’s hair.
“We’ll see about that in a few years," Draco said, smiling at his cousin.
“Okay, my mother will be here in five. You’re sure you can manage the store by your own? Don’t forget, the Weaslette comes at six, you’ll have to adjust the wards,” Draco rambled as he slipped into his coat.
He planned on taking his mother to his favourite coffee shop, the one by his flat. He didn’t feel like being in the public eye of wizarding Britain, so he owled his mother to tell her she should wear Muggle clothing. He even recommended her a Wizard store where she could acquire modern Muggle attire, other than his’ and Pansy’s.
“That’s not my first time, Draco, I’ll be fine. And please stop your nervous pacing or I will have to hex you,” Pansy retorted sharply, her narrowed gaze on him as he came to an abrupt stop.
Draco huffed indignantly but continued to tap the tip of his foot against the floor. That wasn’t ideal, but better. At least in Pansy’s opinion.
“Narcissa won’t eat you alive. You’ll have tea, you’ll talk, you’ll be fine. I mean, she finally reached out to you, that’s more than I can say about my parents," Pansy said as she approached Draco, hugging him when she stood before him.
Draco huffed but returned her embrace, resting his chin on her head, taking in the calming scent of vanilla that her hair emitted.
“You’re right, I’ll be fine,” he mumbled into her hair, taking a deep breath before he stepped back.
“She’s here, just apparated," Pansy said lowly, giving Draco a reassuring smile.
He looked into her eyes for another moment, nodding when he saw nothing but reassurance and support in hers.
“I’ll see you later," he said before he turned around, walking towards the entrance to their store.
“See you later,” Pansy confirmed before he left the store.
Narcissa was incredibly nervous as she stood outside of NOIR, the fashion store (of all things) that her son and his closest friend had started. Narcissa once intended for her son and Pansy to marry, her and Colette Parkinson had it all planned out. Even when her son came out as homosexual she never thought that it would have any affect on her plans for him.
But as it turned out all her plans had been for naught. She had been stupid and vain to assume that Draco would live through a war without changing the slightest bit, she had realized that by now.
“Draco,” she greeted him, smiling at him.
“Mother,” he replied with an incline of his head.
He offered her his elbow and she took it. Draco apparated them into the small alley between his apartment complex and the one next door, the one in which the coffee shop was. He put his wand away and offered his mother a hesitant smile before he lead them out of the alley and onto the pavement. She returned his smile as she walked alongside him, her hand still on his arm.
“I’ll have the usual and a cup of Earl Grey with a hint of sugar and a scone for my mother,” Draco ordered, motioning towards Narcissa who sat down in an armchair by the windows, currently removing her leather gloves.
“So that’s your mum?” Melissa asked, taking a look at her as she typed in the order.
“Yep, disappointed?” Draco teased, smirking at her.
“Not in the least, she’s every bit as aristocratic and graceful as I pictured her after I first met you," she replied, returning his smirk as she moved to the coffee machine. The shop wasn’t particularly busy on Thursdays, so she usually took the last shift alone.
“Did I really come off that snobbish?” Draco asked, scrunching up his nose in distaste.
Melissa laughed. “You did, but that was years ago. And look at us now, you're actually nice and I’m still running the coffee shop next door," she replied, smiling as he gave her a pound note and motioned for her to keep the change.
“And it’s still my favourite coffee shop,” Draco replied, taking the tray she gave him with his order on it.
“We really ought to meet up sometime. It’s been a while,” he said.
“Agreed, the weekend after this one?” she asked.
“I’ll pick you up after your Saturday shift,” he agreed, smiling before he walked to his mother. Mel returned to the cash register, tending to her next customer.
“Who is that Muggle girl?” Narcissa asked, tilting her head slightly as she removed the teabag out of her mug.
“That’s Melissa, she owns the shop. She was the first person I met when I moved here. We get along quite well,” Draco replied, stirring milk into his coffee.
“She owns the shop?”
Draco nodded. “It’s her whole pride.”
Narcissa scanned the room in which she sat, took a look at the furniture and the walls. “Well, she did decorate it tastefully,” she admitted, which was as close to a compliment as she was probably going to get.
“And you two are just friends?” Narcissa inquired not nearly as subtly as she liked to think.
Draco sighed. “Mother, I’m gay. Which means that I feel attracted to men. Melissa is a woman so I very much do not feel attracted to her. So yes, we’re ‘just friends’,” he replied, using air quotes to make his point.
“I just wanted to make sure that it wasn’t merely a… phase,” Narcissa replied, taking a sip of her tea.
“It isn’t,” Draco leaned back in his armchair. He saw the frown on his mother’s face as she took in his posture, it wasn’t becoming for a Malfoy after all. “Well, how have you been doing since the last Christmas we spent together?” he asked.
“Your father and I have been alright. We worked with the Ministry and Mr Potter contacted us when he decided that he wanted to set up his new department. We’ve been working with him for the last year to make it happen. Ms Granger was of help as well. Your father made amends with most of the wizarding public and I supported him,” Narcissa recounted.
“I read of your gracious deeds in the paper,” Draco retorted, one of his eyebrows raised as he took a sip.
His mother narrowed her eyes at his tone, but composed herself in a matter of moments.
“We’re merely trying to do right. Ms Granger and I had a meeting to discuss the treatment of house elves and the things she’s planning with her organisation in order to help the non and part-human magical creatures,” Narcissa added.
“Hm, that’s nice. Is she still calling the organisation S.P.E.W.?” Draco asked.
Narcissa smiled at that. “No, it’s E.R.M.C. now. Equal Rights for Magical Creatures.”
Draco nodded. “I wonder if she’s going to talk Theo into promoting it. Or well, he’s probably going to write an article on it himself if he wants to impress her," he said absentmindedly.
“Why would Theodore strive to impress Ms Granger?” Narcissa asked.
“He has his eyes set on her, is completely besotted with her.”
“Oh, since when?”
“Well he was into her during our time at Hogwarts, but his infatuation arose again when him, Pansy, and I went out with Potter, Weasley and Granger in order to celebrate Weasley’s and Pansy’s getting together,” Draco explained.
“Pansy and a Weasley? That’s surprising,” Narcissa commented.
Draco nodded in agreement. “It’s still a bit weird, but he’s alright. If Pansy likes him he can’t be as horrible as I used to think. And Potter and Granger are fine too.”
“Pans? Can I come through?” Draco asked later that day.
Him and his mother had parted about an hour earlier and Draco was currently in his flat. He had changed, had gotten a bite to eat and it was almost 9pm by now, so Pansy was most definitely at home. He knelt in front of his fireplace, his head in the green flames as he looked into Pansy’s living room.
“Come through! We’re in the kitchen!” she said loudly from the room next door.
“We?” Draco mumbled to himself as he came through. That was when he realized that Weasley was probably with his girlfriend who also happened to be Draco’s best friend.
Draco suppressed a groan as he made his way into the kitchen. He wore leggings Pansy had forced on him a few years ago and a pullover which was twice his usual size. It went down to his mid thighs and the arms covered his hands, which was only annoying if he actually tried to get something done. As he’d only planned on crying his heart out to his best friend the pullover had been the most comforting choice of clothing, but he hadn’t thought of the Weasel.
“How was tea?” Pansy asked as he entered the kitchen.
She sat on one of the counters, a glass of white wine in her hand. Weasley stood two counters down, cooking something which smelled surprisingly good.
“It was alright. She was better than expected, but still as charming as always,” Draco’s voice was thick with sarcasm.
“Details,” Pansy demanded, patting the empty counter next to her. Draco lifted himself onto it, thanking her with a smile when she accio’d him a glass and filled it with wine.
“Well, first she was a bit put off because I’m friends with Melissa, the Muggle who runs the coffee shop. Then I wasn’t sitting like a Malfoy nor was I behaving like the nice little heir she raised me to be. I was sarcastic and, well, she didn’t like it. But, surprisingly enough, she didn’t comment on it,” Draco recounted.
“Hm, that was to be expected. When she last saw you, you still had trouble not putting up the Ice Prince mask whenever someone you didn’t consider a friend approached you,” Pansy pointed out.
“Ice Prince?” Ron chimed in, an amused lilt to his voice.
“That’s what we called him in school, the Ice Prince of Slytherin.” Pansy explained, a fond smile on her features as her eyes twinkled with amusement.
Ron eyed Draco up for a moment before his eyes returned to the pot he was currently dealing with. “I can see why,” he mumbled, trying to disguise his laugh as a cough.
Draco rolled his eyes before he continued.
“Yeah, then she basically asked me whether I was sure that I was gay, she actually asked me if I was with Melissa. Looks like she’d be happy if I settle with a Muggle as long as it’s a woman at this point,” Draco took a sip of his wine as Pansy snorted.
“Not surprising, I think Cissa and Lucy just really want an heir at this point. The only ones able to actually continue the Black bloodline are you and Teddy. And you’re the sole Malfoy heir on top of that,” Pansy pointed out.
Draco groaned. “I know, but I honestly couldn’t care less. I didn’t come out to be with a woman. And if they don’t start to understand that, we’ll never reconcile.”
“Okay, what did you talk about next?” Pansy asked, tilting her head.
“Well, she told me about their work with the ministry. Apparently she started working with Granger and they’re the biggest supporters of Potter’s new department. I told her about the shop and how I actually participated in designing the spring collection by picking out colour patterns and cloth," Draco replied.
“Your parents work with Harry and ‘Mione?” Ron asked. He hadn’t known about this, not really surprising seeing as he’s been busy with his relationship and his job, but it still stung that they hadn’t told him.
“Yeah, mother is helping Granger with her Equal Rights Movement and they actually helped Potter to get his department started. They’re the biggest donors for ministry approved charities, have always been. Keeping up the appearances and whatnot," Draco replied, shrugging slightly.
“So they’re basically buying themselves back into the Ministry,” Ron deadpanned, his eyes slightly narrowed.
Draco shook his head. “Can’t, Potter and Shacklebolt wouldn’t allow it. The Wizengamot is way too scared of the Boy-Who-Lived and of Shacklebolt to allow something like this. I think they just don’t want the Malfoy name to equal Death Eater anymore.”
Ron nodded to himself, humming slightly. “You know a whole lot about Ministry Politics,” he pointed out.
“I was supposed to take over Lucius’ former position,” Draco shrugged, taking another sip of his wine, “Anyway, where was I?” he asked Pansy.
“You picking out colour patterns for the spring collection," she replied.
“Yeah, colour patterns,” Draco continued to tell Pansy about his chat with his mother. She sent Ron a small smile when he caught her look. He blushed lightly as he returned it.
“Blaise, darling?” Luna asked as she entered their shared apartment, slipping out of her formal robes as she walked into their bedroom.
They expected guests tonight, well one guest. Luna and Draco hadn’t seen each other in months, and Draco’s last meeting with Blaise was even longer ago. Luna owled him as soon as Blaise had told her that he would be home the next weekend, just like her, and Draco had confirmed her invitation in a matter of hours.
“Hmm?" he asked as she passed him on her way to the bedroom. He was in the kitchen, currently making their dinner.
“When did Draco say he’d arrive again?" she asked, leaning in the door frame for a moment. She slightly tilted her head as she watched Blaise stirring the sauce.
“He should be here in an hour,” Blaise replied, winking at her before he went on to chop the peppers with a wave of his wand.
“Okay,” Luna sing-songed as she continued her way into the bedroom.
“Luna, hey!” Draco greeted her when she opened the door for him. He’d apparated to the outside of their building.
“Draco, it’s so nice to see you again,” Luna said as she welcomed him, embracing him once he was inside. They smiled at each other as they separated.
“Ah, I brought you something," Draco said as he slipped out of his coat, fiddling with his inside pocket. He retrieved a small glass vial which contained a memory of his’, a memory which he knew Luna would appreciate greatly.
“Oh, what is it?" she asked as she looked at the vial, a curious glance in her light eyes.
“It’s the memory of Blaise proposing to you. View it as early Christmas gift," Draco replied, smiling as her features lit up.
“Thank you so much, Draco," she said, pecking his cheek before she walked down the hallway.
“Blaise is still in the kitchen,” Luna added.
“Zabini,” Draco greeted him as he entered the room.
“Draco, the gay still going strong?" he asked, smirking at his old friend.
Draco snorted. “The gay’s still going strong,” he confirmed nonetheless.
“Nice, found a bloke?” Blaise inquired.
“Nope, nobody worth my time or patience," Draco replied, shrugging when Blaise rose his eyebrows.
“Pity. Anyway, I hope you’re hungry and ready to talk. I hear Pansy and the Weasel are a thing now,” Blaise stated.
Draco grinned. “They are. Quite a bit has happened since we last talked.”
“And you have a bet when Theo and Granger finally shag?” Blaise asked over dinner.
“Yeah, I’ve already lost. It’s the fourth week since we met up at the bar,” Draco confirmed.
“That’s quite nice. That Pansy and Ronald found each other. And Hermione and Theodore. I’ve never seen Hermione and Ronald grow old with each other, they’re quite different. And not in a way that makes them very compatible,” Luna said, smiling at them.
“Yeah, Granger and Theo are a match made in heaven. Both brainy nerds. And Pansy and Weasley are both annoying as fuck, so I guess they’re good too," Draco agreed, smirking.
Blaise rolled his eyes. “Good to know that you’re as polite and considerate as ever.”
Draco batted his lashes as he smiled. “For you, always, sweetheart.”
They were on their fourth round of wine and had settled on the couch with a box of chocolate in between them. Blaise and Luna were all coddled up, but not obnoxiously so, and Draco had stolen Luna’s patchwork quilt to snuggle up in it.
“We finally have a date for the wedding,” Luna announced, smiling happily.
“Really? When will you two finally tie the knot?” Draco asked, smiling. He couldn’t help himself, Luna’s moods were just really contagious.
“We settled for May 1st, that way the preparations, the wedding itself, and our honeymoon won’t interfere with anyone’s birthday. The weather’s also quite nice in May and I’d like to have the ceremony outside,” Luna replied.
“That’s amazing, do you need help planning?” Draco inquired.
Luna nodded. “As a matter of fact I wanted to ask you and Pansy if you’d like to help us planning. You know Blaise and me quite well, after all. And we’re going to get our robes at your shop anyway.”
Draco’s smile deepened at that. “I’d be honoured to plan your wedding, and I think Pansy will feel the same. It’ll be amazing.”
“Have you heard? Luna and Zabini finally figured out the date of the wedding,” Ron told Harry as they walked through Diagon Alley.
Harry, Ron, Seamus, and Dean had decided to meet up to finally catch up. They hadn’t had a men’s night out in what felt like forever, and it was quite necessary. They had settled for the Leaky Cauldron after a lot of discussion over the question Diagon Alley or Hogsmeade. In the end Ron had won. Even though he was the only one who wanted to go to the Leaky, he had the best arguments.
“Really? When’s it going to be? And since when do they know?” Harry asked as he opened the door to the bar. The mere look of the Leaky’s interior used to send him spiralling into memories, but he was kind of used to that by now, and he could easily shut his raving memories out.
“May 1st. They announced it last week, told Pansy and Draco because they’re the wedding planners. I guess them because they know Luna and Zabini pretty well," Ron replied, walking towards the table at which he spotted Seamus and Dean.
“Do they already know any details?” Harry asked.
“Luna wants an outside wedding and apparently she’s going to ask Ginny to be her maid of honour and Pansy and Mione to be her bridesmaids. Theo will be Blaise’s best man and Draco and Bulstrode will be his groomsmen," Ron replied as they sat down across from Seamus and Dean.
“Luna’s wedding?” Dean asked. Ron nodded.
“We already ‘eard. It’s time, they’ve been engaged for over two years now,” Seamus said.
“Wait, isn’t Bulstrode a woman? Millicent or something?” Harry asked.
“Yeah, she’s a woman. But the rules aren’t really that set when it comes to weddings. You just need a best man and a maid of honour, the gender doesn’t really matter. The titles are just a formality,” Ron explained, waving as he saw a waitress two tables over.
“Ah, I didn’t know," Harry mumbled.
“Hey boys, what can I getcha?” the waitress asked, smiling at them. She kind of stared at Harry for a few moments, obviously in the process of recognizing him, before she got a grip on herself.
“I’ll ‘ave a butterbeer.” Seamus said, smiling at the waitress. She scribbled down his order.
“Same here,” Dean agreed.
“Make that three," Harry said, smiling kindly at the flustered woman.
“Four,” Ron added before the waitress walked back towards the bar.
“How are people still not over the fact that I’m Harry Potter. It’s been eight years,” Harry sighed, running his hand through his chaotic head of thick dark hair.
“Ye killed Voldemort, mate. That’s not something that anybody will forget anytime soon,” Seamus pointed out, leaning back and wrapping one arm around Dean’s shoulders. They got together soon after the Battle of Hogwarts. Almost losing somebody kind of opened one’s eyes about how one felt for them.
“How’s it going between you and Parkinson?” Dean asked Ron, wiggling his eyebrows.
“It’s brilliant. She’s a snarky bitch, but I love it. We fight pretty often, but it’s mostly just fun, you know? Tease each other a whole lot and throw insults at each other. I think it’s how Pansy shows affection, she and Draco insult each other non-stop," Ron replied, smiling wistfully.
“Eh, since when do ye call Malfoy Draco?” Seamus asked, one eyebrow up.
“Since I’m dating his best friend. He’s actually not that bad. We had him over for dinner two weeks ago after he met up with his mother for tea. Apparently him and his parents have a really bad relationship ever since the war ended and his mother is trying to make amends, but she’s not really good at it,” Ron recounted, smiling at the waitress as she put their butterbeers on the table.
“Really? I didn’t know,” Dean mumbled, taking a sip of his butterbeer.
“Yeah, neither did I, that is until Pansy and I started dating. She calls them Cissa and Lucy," Ron said, snorting at the names.
“She calls Lucius Malfoy Lucy?” Harry asked, barely suppressing a fit of laughter.
“Yeah, it sounds quite ridiculous, doesn’t it?” Ron confirmed.
“That’s an understatement,” Harry mumbled into his drink.
“Okay, but Ron’s right, you know? You really need a hook-up, Potter. Can’t have you attend the celebration of your new department alone. Unless you want the ladies to follow you around all evening,” Dean said, somewhat slurring at the end of the sentence.
“You could ask Mione?” Seamus suggested, taking another swig of his drink.
“Nah, can’t risk cockblocking Nott,” Harry replied.
“What about Gin?” Ron inquired.
“Nope, she’s going with Greengrass,” Harry shook his head.
“She’s going with a woman?” Ron shrieked, the shock clearly audible.
“Yeah, something about broadening her hunting ground, I don’t know,” Harry hiccupped, smiling sheepishly.
“Hmmm, who else is single, not completely appalling and about our age?” Dean mumbled, furrowing his brow.
“Neville? I hear he’s playing for our team,” Seamus suggested.
Harry choked on his butterbeer. “No offence, but Neville is like a brother to me. That’s a disgusting thought.”
They fell into silence for a few minutes, silently sipping at their different drinks. They all had a little much, but it was all fun and games.
Dean broke the silence when he hit the tabletop with his fist. “I got it!” he exclaimed, subtly rubbing the fist with which he hit the wood.
“Who?” Ron asked.
“I want a drumroll,” Dean demanded, smug smirk in place.
Seamus and Ron huffed but did as demanded anyway, stopping when Dean cut his hands through the air. He remained silent for a few more seconds, enjoying the nervous and expectant tension he created.
“Malfoy!” he finally replied. Seamus started laughing at Harry’s extremely displeased look and Ron looked like he had an epiphany.
“But of course! Dean, you’re a genius!”
Harry snorted. “Nope.”
Ron narrowed his eyes at him. “Why not? You don’t hate him, you think he’s fairly attractive and you had the worst crush on him during our time at Hogwarts.”
“I knew it!” Dean exclaimed, blushing a bit when Ron and Harry looked at him, “Please continue,” he motioned for Ron to resume.
“Like I said, you had the worst crush on him. And we know he’s into blokes. It’s the perfect match!” Ron finished, smiling proudly at his summary.
“And my answer miraculously remains no," Harry replied sarcastically, taking a sip of his drink.
“It’s your loss, mate. You’ll have to deal with all the single witches following you around all evening,” Ron shrugged, turning back towards his drink.
Harry groaned, putting his head onto his folded arms.
“My answer stays no,” he grumbled when he heard Ron taking a breath to dish out another argument.
“And hereby I hand the key for the newly founded Department for Charitable Causes to Mr Harry Potter,” Shacklebolt announced before he gave Harry a silver key with a red bow on it. They both held it for a few moments, smiling for the cameras, before Harry took the key and stepped up to the little podium.
He cast a wandless sonorus before he started speaking. “Thank you, Minister. I’d like to thank Hermione Granger, who helped me to organize the whole structure and the connections to the other ministry departments. She supported me from the moment I had the idea and helped me to realize it. I’d also like to thank Lucius and Narcissa Malfoy who have more than redeemed themselves by funding the Department for Charitable Causes and by proving to be reliable donors and supporters of E.R.M.C. Thank you," Harry said, ending the spell when applause resounded through the full ballroom.
Harry stepped off the side of the stage and Shacklebolt resumed his place at the podium.
“And now I’d like to invite you all to have a drink and a dance in celebration of the DCC,” he announced, receiving another round of applause before he stepped off the stage as well. Behind him the band which had been hired for the event took their places and started filling the room with soft, classical music.
“Congrats, mate," Ron said, smiling at Harry as he patted his back.
“Thanks Ron," Harry replied, returning the smile as he sat down on Ron’s left.
Ron, Pansy, Draco, Theo and Hermione had decided to sit together and left a free seat for Harry. Pansy and Draco were currently two tables down, talking to Blaise and Luna, while Hermione and Theo were deeply immersed in a discussion with Narcissa Malfoy. Lucius stood by her side, but he merely sipped on his drink, not really contributing anything to the conversation.
“I really don’t see why giving me a key needed a whole ball," Harry grumbled, taking a sip of the champagne he’d gotten on his way to his friends’ table.
“You know us wizards, we like to celebrate. Even if it’s Shacklebolt giving you a bloody key," Ron replied, smiling as Harry snorted in amusement.
“Still, I don’t like it,” Harry pointed out.
“Pity, you’re the only one,” Ron retorted, smirking.
“Shut up, Weasley. You sound too much like your girlfriend,” Harry was smiling at Ron.
“Talking about girlfriends, I’ll ask mine for a dance," Ron said, saluting Harry before he went off to talk to Pansy. Harry shook his head and smiled. He hadn’t seen Ron so happy in a while. Him and Pansy really seemed to be a good fit.
“Potter,” Daphne greeted him politely as her and Ginny dropped by his table to congratulate him.
“Greengrass, Ginny,” he greeted them, smiling politely.
“You really came without a date,” Ginny said, shaking her head at him as her lips curled into an incredulous smile.
“Yeah, I didn’t feel it," Harry mumbled, hoping that Ginny would change the topic of conversation.
“Well, most of the witches will be delighted. I work for Witch Weekly and you just gave me a perfect headline for my article about this boring ball,” Daphne quipped smirking.
“Glad to be of help,” Harry snorted, exchanging a small smile with her before Daphne and Ginny were on their way to chat with someone else.
“It’s finally over,” Draco sighed as he flopped down next to Harry. He’d spent the last two hours chatting to strangers and people he hated (let’s be real, he hated most people). It was awful.
“Tired of the pointless small talk, as well?” Harry asked, leaning into his seat. At one point Hermione had dragged him along to make his rounds and thank everyone for attending, seeing as this whole ordeal was in his department’s honour.
“I hate it. Unfortunately it’s necessary if you’re running a business which relies on rich people giving you their money for things they don’t necessarily need," Draco replied, ruffling through his hair. It was a mess anyway, he ran his hand through it too many times already.
“I would have gladly stayed at this very table but Hermione made me play host and answer questions that people had about the DCC,” Harry recounted.
“How come you’re dateless?" he asked after a few moments of silence.
“Didn’t know who to ask. All the suggestions Ron, Seamus and Dean made were either ridiculous or … well, they would have said no," Harry replied, looking at the dance floor as he answered. He’d watched Pansy and Ron dancing for the last fifteen minutes, ever since Hermione allowed him to return to his table, and by now Blaise and Luna had joined them.
“What about you? You’re dateless too, aren’t you?” Harry asked, looking at Draco for a short moment.
“I considered asking Finch-Fletchey or MacMillan, and then I realized that the mere thought of going out with either of them is appalling to me," Draco replied completely serious.
Harry snorted. “Because they’re Hufflepuffs?" he asked, smirking slightly.
“That’s not even the real problem, they’re disgusting judgemental prats. Didn’t think I’d ever complain about that,” Draco answered.
Harry nodded. “Neither did I. But I also thought that Ginny and I would marry and have kids, so I don’t seem to be good at Divination.”
Now it was Draco’s turn to snort in amusement.
“How many weeks has it been since we started the bet?” Harry asked after a few moments of silence.
“Six weeks, if I’m correct," Draco replied.
Harry nodded, smiling slightly. “Looks like I’ll win it, then," he said.
“I wouldn’t be so hasty, Potter. They still have until Monday before the seventh week begins. If they announce it this weekend it’s a tie between Pansy’s four weeks and your eight weeks," Draco pointed out.
“Nah, I’m pretty confident I’ll win,” Harry smirked, holding Draco’s gaze.
“We’ll see,” Draco retorted, an amused tilt to his mouth.
“And now everybody grab a partner, it’s the last dance of the evening,” the singer of the band announced.
Draco and Harry had spent the last few dances in comfortable silence next to each other, only talking when they wanted to point out someone or something. But now they noticed several groups of witches not so subtly approaching their table.
“Oh no," Harry mumbled.
“I’m not going to dance with another woman twice my age just because it’s good for business,” Draco gritted out between his teeth. Him and Harry shared a look which felt way longer than the actual three seconds it lasted.
“May I have this dance, Potter?” Draco asked as he got up, offering Harry his hand as he inclined his head like the gentleman he was.
“But of course, Malfoy," Harry replied, batting his eyelashes as he took Draco’s hand.
Draco rolled his eyes at him.
“I’m leading," Draco mumbled as they made their way past the stunned crowd of ladies and onto the dance floor.
“Why?” Harry asked indignantly.
“Because I’m taller,” Draco smirked at the sour look Harry shot him in reply.
When they arrived on the dance floor Draco pulled Harry towards him, positioning his hand on Harry’s waist as Harry put his free hand on Draco’s shoulder.
“Scared, Potter?” Draco asked, a smirk on his features.
“Shut up and lead," Harry grumbled, suppressing a smile.
And Draco did lead. It was a bit awkward and clumsy at first, seeing as Harry had never been lead before, but when Malfoy threatened to hex him if he didn’t stop fucking up it worked pretty well. He simply let go and just moved as Draco’s lead commanded it. It was actually kind of fun.
And then Draco looked into his eyes. He didn’t smirk or screw up his nose or furrow his brow or roll his eyes; he just looked at Harry. And his eyes were beautiful. Harry was surprised how much it always struck him that Malfoy’s eyes looked like a storm was coming up.
Draco was completely enchanted. He’d actually intended to tell Potter that dancing wasn’t that bad if the lead knew how to dance, but the snide remark dissipated on the tip of his tongue as he caught Harry’s look. His eyes were bright and green. The colour reminded him of emeralds and grass and, surprisingly, of the killing curse. A shiver ran down Draco’s spine at the thought, but he didn’t avert his gaze.
They were so caught up in looking at each other, that it took them a few moments to realize that the song was over. Both took a step back, taking a look at their surroundings and the people around them. Harry caught Ron’s smug smirk and Draco caught Blaise wiggling his eyebrows.
“Ugh, I hate people," Draco mumbled as he noticed that his parents were approaching them.
“Me too,” Harry tried to keep a polite smile on his face as he returned Narcissa’s enthusiastic greeting.
“What do you think this party is about?” Harry asked Ginny as he entered the kitchen. When Ginny stayed in London she always stayed at Grimmauld Place, the fact that they weren’t romantically involved anymore didn’t change that. Harry and Ginny never were awkward around each other. She’d seen him in compromising positions more than once and if Ginny forgot to put up silencing charms the whole neighbourhood heard her. They were pretty much used to each other.
“Don’t know. But it’s kind of a big deal, everybody will be there. Ron asked Mum and Dad if he could throw the party in the Burrow,” Ginny replied as she finished her omelette. It was almost midday and she and Harry had gotten up about half an hour ago. Neither of them were particularly fond of the early hours of the day.
“And Molly allowed it? With only a few days preparation?” Harry asked as he stole a piece of bacon off Ginny’s plate on his way to the stove.
“Apparently,” Ginny gave a slight shrug.
“Oh, why does it never do what I want it to do,” Hermione mumbled, looking at her reflection.
She’d tried to tame her hair enough to braid it, but it was just hopeless. Bad enough that she had to attend the spontaneous party Ronald and Pansy were throwing, but now they also demanded that everyone wore somewhat fancy attire, preferably muggle. Hermione was fine with that, she had quite a few dresses that she liked. And with the magic of Floo travel she wouldn’t even need tights. But she had pictured herself sporting a braid to this particular dress, and now her hair wouldn’t cooperate.
“What’s the matter, love?” Theo asked as he joined her in the bathroom of her flat, running his hand through his hair to somewhat untangle it.
“My hair is being horrible again,” Hermione sighed, pulling at one of the curly strands in displeasure.
“Hm, I think you look quite beautiful like this,” he said, wrapping his arms around her waist. Hermione was about a head shorter than him, and that was when one put the mass of hair on her head into account.
“Do you now?” Hermione asked, smiling at him through their reflection.
“Mhm,” he hummed, kissing her cheek.
“Do you think we should tell everyone today?” Hermione asked.
“I’d love to, but Pansy has an announcement to make, otherwise she wouldn’t throw that big of a party. And do believe me when I tell you that we don’t want to overshadow her with announcing our relationship. Besides, our friends are expecting it anyway, so it won’t be surprising to them if we’re a little closer than usual,” Theo replied.
“Tell them tomorrow then? Separately?”
Theo nodded. “Tomorrow,” he agreed.
Pansy softly hit her wine glass with her knife, surprisingly getting everyone to focus their attention on her, even if it took a few minutes until everybody had settled down. Most of the Weasley clan was present, as well as the majority of Ron’s and Pansy’s friends and their good acquaintances. The Burrow was quite full, they’d barely fit everyone into the living room, even with expansion charms enlarging the room.
“Thanks. First off I’d like to thank Molly for being kind enough to allow Ron and I to host this party in her lovely home," Pansy said, clapping softly. The others joined her applause and Molly blushed quite beautifully. Arthur pecked her cheek affectionately.
“Secondly, yes, I have an announcement to make. There is a reason to this incredibly spontaneous party. Ron and I have known each other for years, but we only got together a few months ago. And it’s been wonderful. It’s a bit soon and yes, it’s a bit of a whirlwind romance with the two of us, but I am happy to announce that we are engaged as of yesterday evening!” Pansy announced, smiling widely.
There were few seconds of silence before everybody broke into applause, congratulating the happy couple. Molly had tears in her eyes because her youngest son was getting married and Pansy’s friends teased the hell out of her for the whole ‘whirlwind romance’ thing, but they were happy for her.
“Congrats, Parkinson!” Draco said as he hugged her tightly, smiling into her hair.
“Thanks, Draco,” she replied, nuzzling into his shoulder.
“I'm so happy for you," Draco mumbled, kissing the top of her head.
Pansy smiled, tightening the hug for a short moment. “Love you, too,” she said lowly before she stepped back, beaming up at him.
“By the way, will you be my maid of honour?” Pansy asked him, suppressing a smirk.
Draco looked at her for a few seconds before he started laughing. “Of course, I'll even wear a dress if you want me to,” he replied, wrapping one arm around her shoulders. He lead her through the crowd towards one of the tables overflowing with food.
“I think I'll take you up on this offer,” Pansy lilted, giggling when Draco poked her into her side.
“I'm so happy for you, Ronald," Hermione said, hugging Ron tightly.
“Thanks, 'Mione,” he replied, groaning when Harry joined their hug and squeezed them tightly, turning it into a group hug.
“I didn't see that coming," Harry admitted as he looked at his friends in his embrace.
“Neither did I,” Hermione wiggled so she'd have a bit more room to breathe.
“Well, it was spontaneous. We were talking about Zabini's and Luna's wedding, and I decided to ask her. So I suggested going out to look for a wedding present, suggesting a necklace or something like this. We went to the jeweller, she pointed out the rings she liked, I asked her which one she liked best and proposed to her on the spot,” Ron recounted, smiling sheepishly.
“That's so adorable," Hermione said, smiling widely.
“It's really cute," Harry agreed, winking at him as Ron rolled his eyes at them. They loosened their embrace when they saw Ginny and Percy approaching to congratulate their brother.
“Do you already have a wedding date?” Daphne asked between taking sips of her champagne.
Pansy nodded. She was surrounded by her old Slytherin friends. It made her feel somewhat nostalgic, especially because Crabbe was missing.
“We are thinking about October. Everybody should be able to make it, in theory. And we won't overshadow Luna and Blaise like that," Pansy replied, tucking a strand of hair behind her ear.
“And Draco will be the maid of honour?” Milli asked, smirking.
“I will," Draco replied, returning her smirk.
Greg rolled his eyes at them. “Do you already have a location in mind?”
Pansy shook her head. “The Burrow would be big enough, but it's not what I have in mind. My parents' Mansion would be good, but we're still not talking. I don't even know if I'll invite them. Maybe we could use Malfoy Manor, if you reconciled with your parents until then?” Pansy replied, turning towards Draco for the last question.
“Not likely, but I'll keep it in mind," Draco mumbled, shrugging slightly.
Pansy smiled at him, squeezing his hand before she continued to talk about her wedding plans.
“I'm so proud of you,” Molly said as she hugged Ron tightly.
“And she's such a nice young lady,” Arthur added as he patted his son's back.
“Thanks mum, thanks dad,” Ron mumbled, blushing furiously.
Molly smiled widely as she let go of her son. “The third of our children to get married, it's wonderful, isn't it?”
Arthur nodded his head in agreement, wrapping one arm around Molly's shoulders as they looked at their youngest son.
“Do you already 'ave a date for ze wedding?” Fleur asked, one hand on her swollen belly.
She was currently pregnant with her and Bill's third child. Their first two, Victoire and Dominique, were currently playing with Teddy and Percy's daughter, Molly. Percy sat amongst the kids, allowing them to draw on his arms. His wife Audrey was sitting nearby, she was taking care of their second daughter, Lucy. The girl would turn one year old two days before Silvester.
“We were thinking about October. Pansy likes the colourful leaves and fall is my favourite season, so it would make a good mix. If nobody gets pregnant anytime soon everybody should be able to make it," Ron replied.
His parents and sister-in-law laughed at the pregnancy remark. Fleur's and Audrey's pregnancies were two of the reasons why Luna couldn't settle for a wedding date for so long, she didn't want it to interfere with any of the births. When Fleur announced that her last child would come in Apri,l Luna finally settled for May, instantly telling Blaise about the date so he could make sure that he was free for the whole month and the month before.
“Ah, I can already see it. It will be beautiful,” Fleur said, squeezing Ron's shoulder before she went to pick up Dominique who had started crying a few moments before.
“Malfoy,” Harry greeted him as he came to stand next to Draco near the windows which lead out into the garden. It was somewhat quieter back here, less crowded.
“Potter,” Draco inclined his head slightly.
Harry leaned against the wall next to Draco, taking a sip of his bourbon. He'd decided to go for something a little stronger than champagne. He was happy for Ron and Pansy, but the whole party made it awfully obvious to him that he was rather lonely. Yes, he had his friends and the Weasleys (who practically were his family) and Teddy and Dromie, but more often than not he longed for somebody next to him when he went to bed and woke up.
He wanted to have somebody who saw him for himself, and not as the Boy-Who-Lived or the Saviour of the Wizarding world or something stupid like that. He wanted somebody who wasn't scared to pick a fight with him, somebody who wanted to spend rainy days inside, playing chess (even though Harry was pants at chess).
But everybody he went out with since his and Ginny's break-up had either wanted him for his name or for his reputation. He had a few hook-ups, one-night-stands, but he wanted more.
“Sick of people again?” Harry asked.
Draco gave a noncommittal shrug. “Just don't feel like talking about weddings right now. I'll start planning Luna's in January and I'll probably help Pansy plan most of hers, so I'll hear more than enough of robes and colour patterns and buffets for the next ten months at least.”
Harry nodded in understanding. “Understandable. But isn't it a bit like listening to Pansy when she's designing?”
Draco shook his head no. “Not really. I helped my mother planning a wedding once, it's way more stressful and exhausting. The worst will probably be to figure out who's going to sit where.”
Harry nodded. Draco sighed.
“Why are you back here?” Draco asked, changing the topic.
Harry bit his lower lip in contemplation. He could tell Draco the truth, but he wasn't sure if he wanted to endure the teasing that would probably come out of it. But it's not like Hermione or Ron would really understand him. Most of his friends were in a relationship (or close to one in Mione's case), and if they were single, like Ginny, they were happy with it. He sighed.
“I don't exactly feel like being around couples right now. Reminds me of what I don't have," Harry admitted. That didn't sound too pathetic, at least in his opinion.
He was ready to hear Draco snort, but Malfoy surprised him.
“I can relate," he admitted, swirling the champagne in his glass.
“Really?” Harry asked, looking at the man next to him.
There was the snort. “Well, I'm single and I don't exactly want to be single. So yes, Potter, I can relate,” Draco retorted, rolling his eyes at Harry as a small smirk tugged at the corner of his lips.
They were silent for another few minutes before Draco pushed himself off the wall and looked directly at Harry.
“Do you have a fag?” he asked, a lopsided smile on his lips.
Harry nodded, returning the smile. “You want one?” he asked.
“Duh," Draco replied, rolling his eyes at Harry's dorky smirk.
“Come on out then,” Harry retorted, as he pushed himself off the wall as well.
Harry pushed the full length window next to him open and walked out, Draco following him.
“Ohai guys! What's new? What can I get ya?” Jane, their favourite waitress of the small Indian Muggle restaurant Draco, Pansy and Theo ate at frequently, asked.
“Hey, J," Pansy said, smiling up at waitress, “I got engaged!”
Jane squealed excitedly, giving Pansy a quick hug before she went back to more professional behaviour.
“Nothing new from me, and I'll have the usual," Draco replied, smiling at her as he gave her his menu while she scribbled down his order.
“I'll have the usual and well, and you know what's new. What about you?” Theo asked, sharing a secretive smile with her.
“I broke up with Jared,” Jane replied, raising one eyebrow at Pansy regarding her order.
“The usual as well. Did you throw him out?” Pansy asked, looking up at the woman. She was a few years younger than them.
Jane nodded. “Exchanged the locks this weekend. And I'll get you a bottle of champagne, I think it's in order,” she replied, winking at Pansy before she went off towards the kitchen to give their orders.
“What does Jane know that we don't?” Draco asked Theo, one eyebrow raised.
Theo smiled. “You picked up on it, didn't you?”
Pansy rolled her eyes. “Duh.”
“Well, Hermione and I officially are a couple as of last week,” He beamed at his friends.
“That's amazing," Pansy replied, smiling widely.
“Finally,” Draco laughed when Pansy and Theo poked him in return.
“Have you thought about searching yourself a Muggle?” Pansy asked later that evening. They were currently having dessert, and it was getting late. All of them had to be at work tomorrow, it was Monday after all.
“Did you forget about Beau?” Draco replied, sighing heavily.
He had dated a Muggle, Beaufort, for three months before it went to hell. Beau was lovely. He looked good, he was from Paris and him and Pansy got along famously.
Draco lived in a muggle-neighbourhood anyway, so that wasn't a problem. But he could never allow his boyfriend to drop him off at or pick him up from work. He couldn't simply floo someone whenever Beau was around and the absence of a phone was odd as well. It was surprisingly hard to explain away his owl, he had to hide the fact that Grace brought his post, and he somehow had to explain why he never emptied his mailbox. It were little things like that which fed Beau's distrust and finally caused them to get into a horrible fight where Draco almost hurt him with accidental magic. Beau had left after that, not even wanting to hear an explanation. It's not like Draco was willing to give up his identity and break the Status of Secrecy for him, he didn't love Beau. But it was a close thing.
"Oh yeah. He slipped my mind for a moment,” Pansy mumbled, sobering up. She was the one who picked up the pieces after Beau had left Draco.
“We could go out sometime? Maybe you'll meet a hot bloke?” Theo suggested.
Draco furrowed his brow. “But do I really want to go out with someone who chats me up for a blowjob in a club?”
Pansy snorted and Theo groaned, rolling his eyes. “Why do you have standards?” Theo asked.
“Stupid question, Nott,” Draco retorted, taking a bite of his dessert.
"I won the bet,” Harry stated as he flopped down next to Pansy. It was Friday night and the three Slytherins and Gryffindors had met up again, in the same bar they went to for the first time.
“What bet?” Hermione asked, one eyebrow up.
“We bet when you two would get together, and Harry's estimated eight to ten weeks were the closest to the seven weeks it took you,” Pansy explained, smiling.
Theo rolled his eyes and Hermione looked somewhat put off.
“You bet on our love life?” she asked, mainly addressing Ron and Harry.
“Sorry,” Ron shrugged, smiling sheepishly.
Harry shrugged as well.
Hermione huffed indignantly. “Was it worth it, at least?” she asked.
“Definitely. I have a wish free from each of them," Harry replied.
Theo laughed at that. “God, you're lucky Draco or Pansy didn't win. They're horrible when you owe them,” he explained, smiling at his friends.
“True,” Pansy admitted, smiling sweetly.
“He's not wrong," Draco agreed, tilting his head slightly.
“What are your wishes then?” Hermione asked.
Harry smiled. “I don't know what I want Malfoy and Ron to do yet, but I already know my wish for you, Pansy," Harry replied, turning towards her.
She rose one eyebrow. “And that would be?”
“I want you to be completely honest with me for the next 24 hours. Starting right now," Harry said, smiling at her.
Now it was Draco's turn to laugh. “Good luck, Pans.”
“What do you like best about Ron?” Harry asked Pansy, smirking when she groaned.
“Would you give me a break, Potter?” Pansy retorted, taking another gulp of her firewhisky. After the first few questions about her upbringing she started drinking the whisky, deciding that wine wasn't nearly strong enough if she was to survive this.
“Good one, mate,” Ron said, laughing when Pansy hit him on the upper arm. He leaned in and kissed her cheek in response.
“This is going to sound so cheesy,” Pansy mumbled, blushing slightly. Harry wasn't sure if it was due to her high alcohol consume or due to his question.
“I really like his freckles. The way they look when he blushes, that they're spread over his whole body. They look like constellations on his skin,” she replied, blushing even harder. Okay, it was definitely due to Harry's question.
“That's so adorable,” Hermione sighed, smiling when Pansy sneered at her in reply.
“Okay, a less embarrassing one next," Harry said.
“But first I'll have another glass of firewhisky,” Pansy mumbled, sliding over Harry's lap in order to get out of the booth. She took a few deep breaths before she started walking towards the bar.
“She's so pissed," Draco pointed out.
“Good luck dealing with her tomorrow, Weasley,” Theo agreed as he wrapped his arm around Hermione's shoulders.
“Where's Draco?” Pansy asked when she sat back down in between Harry and Ron.
“Went out for a smoke,” Harry replied.
“Why didn't you go with him?” Pansy retorted, furrowing her brow slightly.
“Do you want me to?”
Harry raised his eyebrows in question.
Pansy blanched slightly. “I want a break from your questions.”
Harry looked at her with narrowed eyes. “I don't believe that's the only reason. Why do you want me to accompany Draco?”
Pansy bit her lower lip as she squeezed her eyes shut. “Because I think Draco likes your company. Even if he won't admit it,” she finally replied, rendering everyone at the table speechless.
“He likes my company?” Harry asked, too stunned to think of any other question.
“Are you deaf, Potter? Yes, I think he does,” Pansy grumbled.
Pansy flailed her arms. “Merlin knows, I certainly don't.”
“What did I miss?” Draco asked as he slid back into the booth. He was probably the most sober person sitting at this table.
“Not much, I mainly asked Pansy what living in the dungeons was like,” Harry lied smoothly.
Hermione was surprised by how smoothly and Ron tried to suppress a cough which would give Harry away.
“Hm, go on then," Draco replied, nodding slightly.
“What was it like to be Snape's favourite?” Ron asked and Harry nodded, forwarding the question to Pansy.
“You're asking the wrong person, Severus was Draco's godfather. Draco was his favourite student," Pansy replied, nodding towards Draco.
“He was your godfather?” Harry asked, surprised by the revelation.
He knew that Malfoy and Snape were close, but that the potions master was Draco's godfather? He had no idea. And then it struck him. Draco had lost his godfather to Voldemort, just like Harry lost Sirius to Bellatrix and, by extension, to Riddle.
“Yes, Severus taught me everything I knew about potions before I attended Hogwarts. I wasn't top of the class for nothing," Draco replied, shrugging slightly.
“I always thought that it was just because Snape favoured you,” Hermione admitted sheepishly.
Draco rolled his eyes. “Of course you would think that. But no, I got away with everything because Sev favoured me, but I had to work for my marks just as hard as you had to.”
“Well, I'm sorry for thinking so lowly of you,” Hermione apologised, a soft smile on her features.
“It's fine. I'm sorry for the way I treated you though. I wanted to tell you this for a while now," Draco replied, returning her smile for a brief moment.
“Why did you tell them to send me out to meet Voldemort back in the Great Hall?” Harry asked, tilting his head slightly. He wasn't angry at Pansy for it, he just wanted to know why she'd done it. Harry thought he had a right to know, especially now that she would marry his best mate.
“It wasn't personal, really,” she replied, tucking a strand of hair behind her ear.
The tone of conversation had turned rather serious with the question about Snape.
“It was a question of self-preservation. In that moment it was either you, a Gryffindor I'd disliked for years, someone who'd hurt my best friend and almost killed him, someone I didn't know neither cared about; or my friends, the people I grew up with, the people I loved. It wasn't really a hard decision at the moment,” Pansy explained.
Harry nodded, looking at her.
“I would have probably chosen the same. Hell, Dumbledore did the same. He cared about me, but I still wasn't much more than the Saviour of the Wizarding World to him, a means to an end. So I get it. And I forgave you a long time ago," Harry replied, squeezing her free hand in reassurance.
“Thank you,” She directed a teary-eyed smile at him.
“Could we lighten up a little?” Ron asked, breaking the tension that had surrounded them. Everybody looked kind of relieved.
“Yeah, that would be nice,” Hermione mumbled.
“Anybody have a question for Pansy?” Harry asked, smiling when Pansy sighed heavily.
“I actually have one,” Hermione said, participating in questioning Pansy for the first time.
“Well, ask away," Pansy said, intrigued by the fact that Hermione was the one asking,
“If I am correct, you and Draco were supposed to marry each other from a young age on.”
Pansy nodded in confirmation.
“Well, how did you feel when he told you that he was gay? Assuming he told you,” Hermione asked, her head slightly tilted as her eyes flitted between Draco and Pansy.
Draco blushed slightly but didn't say anything to intervene and Pansy giggled.
“I wasn't surprised, not really. Draco's first crush was on Blaise. I've suspected it for a while when he came out to me in third year. And if he hadn't told me then, I would have figured it out in fourth year. That was a wild year,” she recounted, giggling when Draco's blush intensified.
“Oh, please do elaborate. Pretend this was a question,” Harry said, chuckling when Draco glared at him.
“Well, first off he was in denial, it was hilarious. He tried to act like the other guys around Fleur, but he wasn't the least bit attracted to her. He really had it for some of the Durmstrang boys though. And, well, some of them did find the Slytherin Prince rather attractive,” Pansy told them, wiggling her eyebrows as she continued, “And then there was the second trial, where you had to dive into the Black Lake, Blaise and I teased him for years about it.”
Harry rose one eyebrow as he looked at Draco. But Draco merely looked at Pansy, his eyes slightly widened. He seemed to be mildly panicked in regards to what Pansy was about to reveal. Harry wasn't sure whether he wanted to force Pansy to tell him something about Draco, something that the other man obviously didn't want the rest of the table to know. But before he could properly think about it, Ron had asked the question.
“What did you tease him about?”
And Pansy answered without batting an eyelash, “That he was incredibly worried when Harry didn't resurface for so long.”
They were speechless, once again. Hermione, Harry and Ron looked at Draco in surprise. This bit of information wasn't exactly news to Theo; and Pansy, well, she seemed disturbingly pleased with herself.
“Thank you so much, Parkinson,” Draco finally broke the silence. He was somewhat flushed, but he still sat with them, even if he avoided Harry's curious look.
“You were worried about me?” Harry asked, still trying to process the information. It was as much of a shock as Pansy's earlier revelation.
“You were underwater for well over an hour and I do know the properties of Gillyweed. Everybody was worried," Draco replied without looking at him.
“Not everybody,” Theo mumbled under his breath, not looking at Draco as a small smirk graced his features.
“Why were you worried about me?” Harry asked, tilting his head.
Draco sighed, finally looking into Harry's eyes. “Because I was developing the worst crush on you, Potter. Happy?” he confessed, the last question directed at Pansy and Theo who smiled in response.
The table was silent once again.
“I guess it's time to leave. Enough humiliation for one evening and all that," Draco mumbled, about to get up.
“No wait, don't leave," Harry said, ready to jump up if Draco didn't listen.
“So you can pity me? No thanks," Draco replied somewhat snottily and Harry rolled his eyes.
“No, you git. I was at least as pathetic as you, what with the not-so-subtle crush I had on you," Harry replied, causing Draco to stop dead in the motion of putting on his coat.
“I knew it!” Pansy said happily, clapping.
“Damn, I'll have to contact Finnegan, he owes me a few galleons,” Theo mumbled, but Draco ignored it.
“When?” he merely asked.
“Funnily enough it started during fifth year, even though you were part of Umbridge's little gang, and lasted well into our seventh year. I guess it got pushed aside when we were hunting for Horcruxes. And I still struggled with my sexuality until a few years ago, so I didn't realize that I had a crush on you back then until lately," Harry replied, smiling sheepishly at Draco's stunned look.
“You two would have made quite the couple. Always hexing and screaming at each other,” Ron quipped.
“Father would have had my head,” Draco huffed, slipping out of his coat as he leaned back.
“But you two always had the chemistry. Nobody got under Draco's skin like you, Harry,” Theo said, “We called him the Ice Prince of Slytherin, but that ice always seemed to melt when you threw Draco's insults right back at him.”
Pansy nodded. “We even had a couple name for you.”
“What was it again?” Draco asked, a smirk on his features.
“Drarry,” Theo replied.
“Hey, why isn't it, I don't know, Harro?” Harry asked, pouting a bit.
Draco snorted. “Because it sounds ridiculous. And I am Draco Malfoy, of course my name would come first.”
“Of course,” Harry mumbled sarcastically, rolling his eyes.
“I really don't feel like going out again,” Harry told Hermione whose head was in his fireplace. Her patience obviously started to wear thin. They've been at this discussion for fifteen minutes now.
“I don't care, Harry. You're coming and you'll be on time. Nine o'clock in front of the new club near the Thames. I'll forward you the address of the alley nearby. Pansy owled it to me," Hermione replied.
“But why? We're meeting up for brunch on Sunday. Why do we have to go clubbing today?” Harry asked in exasperation.
“Because Pansy and Theo wanted to go out dancing and Draco already agreed as well. It's going to be fun. And maybe you'll meet someone,” she repeated what she'd told him for at least three times now.
“It's a muggle club, Mione. I genuinely don't want to deal with the added stress of dating a muggle right now. My life is stressful enough without having to keep secrets from a hypothetical significant other,” Harry deadpanned.
“You're still coming because I'll tell Dromie that I'm worried about you not getting out enough if you stay at home,” Hermione retorted, a wicked grin on her features.
Harry narrowed his eyes at her. The last time she did that Andromeda floo called him daily and expected one owl a week for three months, updating her on how he was doing.
It was nice to have someone caring so much about him, but it was a bit suffocating as well.
“You wouldn't,” Harry whispered dramatically. He already knew her answer.
“You know I would," Hermione replied.
“Fine! Seven o'clock.”
“Nine o'clock. See you later!” Hermione corrected him before she ended the call, the green fire turning red again.
“Pans!” Draco said loudly. He had the Floo connection to Pansy's flat open, but he was too busy to actually go to the fire. He'd just wanted to take a nap because work had been hell that day, and the nap accidentally turned into two hours and now it was five to nine and he'd just emerged from the shower.
“Dray, where's the fire?” he heard her answer, the smile clearly audible in her voice
“Haha, you're so funny,” he deadpanned, rolling his eyes at the lame joke. “Could you tell the others that I'll be late? About fifteen minutes.”
“Course, see you in twenty," Pansy said before she disconnected.
Draco sighed in relief, he hated being late.
He ruffled through his hair, the towel still wrapped around his hips, as he opened the doors to his closet. Muggle club, so he was free to look as slutty or as stuck up as he wanted. His friends would be there, Potter would be there, but other than that the chances of someone knowing him were relatively low. He didn't have to worry about the wizarding press getting hold of pictures of him, a reason why he preferred muggle clubs and restaurants. The privacy they offered was a luxury.
Draco quickly settled for black briefs, light blue skin tight jeans and black docs. He looked at his shirts for a while before he settled for a black and dark grey crop top with long sleeves. Draco put the outfit on and folded the sleeves thrice.
He ruffled through his hair a few more times, using a hairdryer to dry it a bit faster. He'd learned that using magic on your hair was fatal for it early on. His mother was furious when he'd dried his hair with a spell sometime in his second year. It became all dry and had split ends.
Draco took a look at himself in his mirror. His hair was still a bit damp but it would dry soon enough. The top showed his stomach from his navel downwards, which looked good. He nodded at his reflection, which shot him a wink as he slipped into his leather jacket. He slipped his wallet and his wand into his magically enhanced jeans pocket as he made his way into his living room. He checked his other pocket for his keys before he left the flat.
“Sorry I'm late- Potter? Where are the others?” Draco asked as he rounded the corner out of the alley onto the street on which the club they'd chosen was.
Harry turned towards him, his frown deepening. He'd been five minutes early. He'd been waiting for twenty minutes for somebody to show up and now it wasn't even Hermione or Ron?
“Well, obviously not here.”
Draco rose one eyebrow at Harry's tone. “Woah, calm down. Not my fault that they're not here. Pansy told me she'd forward that I'd be late, but you obviously couldn't get the message if she didn't even show.”
They were silent for a few minutes, looking at each other but trying to avoid the others eyes. Harry was surprised by Draco's outfit. He didn't peg Draco for someone who'd wear ripped jeans and crop tops. Let alone a tattoo choker.
Draco was pleasantly surprised by Harry's outfit. He wore well fitting jeans which nicely emphasized his legs and a shirt which showed his abs very clearly. It was nothing like what he'd worn back when they were at school.
Harry sighed. “Looks like they set us up.”
Draco nodded. “I hate to agree, but this would be a typical Pansy thing to do.”
Harry looked at Draco, green eyes meeting determined grey ones.
“I say we go clubbing anyway. It's what they expect and I'd love to see Pansy's face when she hears what we got up to," Draco said, a mischievous smirk gracing his features.
Harry raised one eyebrow as he returned the smirk. “What is it we're getting up to?” he asked.
Draco looked at him for a few more moments before he shrugged lightly, his smile turning coy and his look turning innocent as he turned towards the entrance of the club. He took a few steps before he turned to look at Harry over his shoulder.
“You coming, Potter?” he asked, the challenge clear by the way he raised his eyebrow.
“But of course," Harry agreed, following him towards the short line of people.
Harry and Draco got into the club easily enough, it was early and not as full as it'd be in about two hours. They had left their jackets at the wardrobe and Draco led Harry right towards the bar.
“Two vodka tonic,” Draco ordered, paying the bartender after he got their drinks. He thrust one glass into Harry's hand, toasting before he took a big gulp of it.
“Er, thanks," Harry said loud enough to be heard over the music before he took a sip of the drink himself.
“So, what's the plan?” Harry asked when Draco had emptied his glass. He'd already ordered another round, even though Harry hadn't even finished half of his drink.
“First we get drunk, then we go dancing. Then we plot something scandalous and make it happen," Draco replied, inclining his head towards the bartender when he received his second drink.
“And we have to get drunk because?” Harry inquired.
“Lower inhibitions increase the chance of us doing something scandalous and coming up with a good plan," Draco replied easily.
“And we have to go through with the plan-”
“Because Pansy always sees through my lies,” Draco interrupted Harry, giving him a look. He furrowed his brow when he saw the amount of alcohol left in Harry's glass.
“Hurry up, Potter. I don't plan on spending the whole night at the bar.”
Harry gave Draco an exhausted look before he chugged the rest of his drink. This night was going to be interesting.
Four rounds of drinks later Draco deemed them tipsy enough to hit the dancefloor.
“I bet you still can't dance,” Draco said when he'd slipped off the barstool.
Harry had snorted as he'd followed the blond, grabbing Draco's shoulder to stay balanced. Harry's alcohol tolerance was still nearly non-existent, meaning he was definitely drunk and not 'really tipsy' (as Draco had described his own state).
“Oh, I'm a good dancer, alright," Harry replied as Draco lead him towards the dancefloor. He didn't object to Harry holding onto him. He really didn't feel like being responsible if the Chosen One broke his face because he fell down face first under Draco's watch. And there was also the fact that Harry's hand on his shoulder felt … nice. Reassuring in some weird way.
Draco stopped walking when they were somewhere in the middle of the crowded dance floor. He turned towards Harry, taking the hand which formerly lay on his shoulder into his own without thinking about it. He pulled Harry closer and leaned in towards his ear. His lips brushed against the shell of Harry's ear as he spoke.
“Prove it,” he whispered before he leaned back, the strobe light dancing in his stormy grey eyes which looked uncharacteristically delighted. Draco didn't let go of Harry's hand as he took a small step back and started swaying his hips to the heavy beat of the song playing. He didn't know the song, but that really didn't matter when the bass filled the dancefloor with life, thrumming through the veins of the ones occupying it.
Harry's eyes raked over Draco's lithe form. His pale skin looked fluorescent under the neon light and his almost white hair reflected the colours of the flashing strobe light. When his eyes met Draco's he smirked. He'd take the challenge (when did he ever pass up on a challenge?), he'd prove just how good of a dancer he actually was.
Draco was pleasantly surprised when Harry pulled him closer by their intertwined hands. Harry put Draco's hands onto his shoulders before he rested his hands on Draco's hips. He looked up into grey eyes, a smirk on Harry's lips as he pulled Draco flush, moving along to the beat of the song playing.
Draco tightened his hold around Harry's neck. He felt a flutter in his stomach, he felt lightheaded, he felt like he was on top of the world in that very moment. It was exhilarating.
Draco closed his eyes at some point, completely losing himself to the music and to Harry's body against his. He sighed in pleasure when he felt Harry's fingers stroking over his bare stomach. Harry held on tight, tight enough to bruise and Draco loved it. He opened his eyes and smirked at Harry. Draco leaned in, resting his forehead against Harry's, causing Harry to pull him flush, his hands on the small of Draco's back.
When Harry ground himself against Draco, Draco was a goner.
“Not bad," he admitted, biting his lower lip. Draco really tried to stop the stupid smile from emerging in response to the dorky one Harry was giving him. But he failed miserably, giggling when Harry's smile seemed to brighten at his reaction.
They kept on dancing for what could have been minutes or hours, they didn't know.
All they knew was that they were feeling invincible.
“Okay, plotting," Draco said when they sat in a booth with a bottle of tequila, a bunch of lemon slices and some salt. He knew that this would be his undoing but he was far beyond the state of caring.
“You wanted it to be something scandalous?” Harry asked as he poured each of them a shot.
“Yeah. I mean they obviously expect us to hook up after we both confessed that we had a crush on each other," Draco replied.
Harry nodded in agreement. “So something else, something that'll throw them off,” he said as he poured salt onto the place on the back of his hand he'd licked so the salt would stick.
Draco looked at him and Harry rose one eyebrow as he noticed grey eyes watching him.
“Go on,” he said, motioning towards the salt and Draco's hand. He watched Draco as the tip of his tongue grazed his hand. Draco poured a bit of salt onto the spot before his eyes returned to Harry's.
“We could do body shots,” Draco suggested as he took his glass of tequila.
“Hmm, we'd need a few more people for that," Harry replied in thought.
They toasted, chugged down the tequila, sucked on a lemon slice and licked the salt off their hands. Both made a face at the burning the liquid left in the back of their throats before they continued to prepare for the next shot.
“I think we'll need a few more people no matter what we decide to do," Draco pointed out.
“I'd rather not involve others," Harry admitted, shrugging slightly when Draco raised one eyebrow in question, “But I'd be willing to relent if you have a good plan,” Harry gave in.
“Okay, the things I have in mind: body shots, threesome, foursome, orgy, each of us takes someone else home, we get into a really nasty fight just to spite our friends, we get engaged or floo to Vegas to marry-”
“Doesn't a spontaneous marriage seem a bit drastic to you?” Harry interrupted Draco, an amused lilt to his voice.
“I like drastic. Especially if it regards giving my friends the metaphorical middle finger," Draco replied.
Harry shook his head, his smile wide as he looked at his drinking companion for the night. “You're still such a drama queen,” he said.
Draco leaned a bit closer to Harry (which was hard, seeing as their thighs already touched), his eyes twinkling with mischief as he smirked slightly.
“You wouldn't have me any other way,” he said lowly, his citrus-y breath hitting Harry's face.
Harry felt kind of dizzy as he blinked rapidly, trying to keep eye contact with Draco.
“Certainly not,” he somehow managed to reply.
“You know what? Maybe we should just do what they expect us to do and go home together," Draco said lowly, his look resting on Harry's lips for a few moments before it flicked back up.
“I think I'd like that," Harry agreed, licking his lips.
“Good,” Draco leaned back and took his refilled shot glass into his hand, “then let's finish those and get out of here.”
“Ugh,” Draco moaned when he squeezed his eyes shut tighter.
Why was there light in his bedroom? He had dark blue taffeta curtains for a reason. He turned around and cuddled back into his pillow, taking a deep breath to fight down the nausea which was slowly but surely forcing him into a state of consciousness. He sat up straight when he registered that the sheets didn't smell of citrus and mint like they were supposed to. Draco instantly regretted his instinctual reaction because it felt like everything was spinning and if he closed his eyes now he'd surely throw up. Why hadn't he used a sobriety spell the night before? And more importantly, where the fuck was he?
“Draco?” he heard a way too familiar voice asking from behind him.
No. No, no, no, no, no. That wasn't possible. He wasn't in a bed with-
“Potter?” he asked, turning slowly after his sight had somewhat returned to normal. He was still dizzy, but at least the room had stopped spinning.
“It's Harry, we settled on first names last night," Harry mumbled as he rubbed his eyes and turned towards the alarm clock on his bedside table. He was in Harry's bed. And he was … dressed? Yeah, he still wore his boxer briefs. Draco let out a sigh of relief as he laid back down, running his hand through his hair, untangling it in the process.
“Good to know," Draco said.
“Why the hell are you awake anyway? It's not even nine,” Harry asked as he turned back to look at Draco, the alarm clock sliding off the bedside table and hitting the ground because of Harry's bad placement of it. Draco winced at the sound.
“I realized that I am in a strange bedroom and I can't quite remember how I got here. My first reaction was panic," Draco replied, giving Harry a look.
“What's the last thing you remember?” Harry asked.
“We were getting back to the bar to get alcohol and to start plotting, and from there on it's mostly a blur.”
Harry nodded. “Well, we got a bottle of tequila and sat down in a booth-”
Draco interrupted him, “Tequila? Whose idea was that?”
“Mine?” Harry replied, slightly confused.
Draco groaned. “Tequila's my no-go, Po- Harry. No wonder I don't remember all of last night.”
“It's too late now, continue.”
Harry cleared his throat. “Well, you were making a few suggestions and I was kind of opposed to them and remarked on you still being a drama queen. We flirted somewhat and decided to do what our dear friends expected us to do and went home together.”
Draco felt himself flushing. He knew that he was an extremely sexual drunk. What had he thought when he proposed to get drunk last night?
Well, apparently he hadn't.
“We took a cab here, we stumbled up into my bedroom, and … snogged. And then we both started laughing hysterically because of something I can't recall and decided that we were way too pissed to do this and went to sleep,” Harry recounted.
It was silent until Draco cleared his throat.
“I remember that. The snogging part, I mean,” he said lowly, looking at Harry out of the corner of his eye.
“Oh,” Harry merely replied, his gaze meeting Draco's for a few awkward seconds before they both averted their gaze, their cheeks hot.
“How about we just continue sleeping until we're not hungover anymore?” Harry suggested after a few more moments of silence. He didn't know why he didn't just ask Draco to leave so they could get over this.
Draco mulled this over. The bed was really warm and he didn't mind sleeping next to another person for a change. It was actually a nice idea, even if that other person was Potter. He only had one objection.
“If you don't mind me charming your windows. This room is way too bright for me to go back to sleep," Draco said.
“Go ahead," Harry mumbled, already back to snuggling up underneath the blanket. The one blanket they apparently shared over night. Just perfect.
Draco sighed as he leaned over the edge of the bed, reaching for his abandoned jeans lying next to the bed. He reached into the pocket and got his wand after a bit of searching. He waved it lazily, mumbling an incantation before he laid back down. He put the wand onto the nightstand next to him and turned around so he faced Potter who'd been watching him.
The room was considerably darker now, there was just enough light for Harry and Draco to see each other and to find their way around.
“Night," Harry mumbled.
“Night," Draco replied before he shut his eyes and slipped back into sleep, a place where he could ignore his raging hangover.
"Hey Harry,” Hermione greeted him with an embrace when he arrived at their table.
It was Sunday and time for brunch with Ron and Mione. He was still kind of pissed at them for setting him and Draco up, but the night had turned out rather pleasant. And after the 9am encounter, the next time they woke up was surprisingly less awkward. They'd gotten up and had taken turns in showering. Draco had brewed them a quick hangover cure while Harry made breakfast, and Draco had left after beating Harry at three rounds of wizard's chess. Harry even dared to think of Draco as friend by now. It was a weird friendship it if it was one at all, especially if one considered the way they'd danced with each other, but a friendship nonetheless.
"Mione, Ron,” Harry greeted them coolly. He merely inclined his head at them as he sat down across from them.
“How are you doing, mate?” Ron asked, clearly awkward. So the set up wasn't his idea.
“I don't know mate, how would you be doing if your best friends set you up with your ex-enemy and former crush for no apparent reason?” Harry replied, his voice even and detached.
He knew that acting furious would just make Ron mad, and Ron got incredibly self-righteous when he was mad. But acting cold and detached? It made him feel insecure and guilty, increasing the chances of him spilling the truth. But unfortunately Hermione intervened before Harry could continue.
“Well, how was your evening with Draco?” she asked, smiling innocently.
Before Harry could reply with a scathing remark their waitress arrived and Harry had to act like a civilised person. They gave their orders and stayed in silence until their orders arrived. Only when they had started eating Hermione dared to repeat her question.
“How was Friday night?”
Harry looked at her for a long few moments before he settled for an answer.
“Draco and I decided to go clubbing seeing as we were already there. We got drunk, danced, drank some more, went back to my place and ended up in bed together,” he recounted.
He was telling them the complete truth, and it definitely wasn't his fault if they interpreted it wrong.
And by the sound of Ron choking on his scrambled eggs he definitely interpreted it wrong.
Hermione hit him on the back with a bit more force than necessary, and when he finally stopped coughing, Ron took a gulp of his orange juice. He looked at Harry with a completely flushed face.
“Did you...?” he trailed off, raising one eyebrow.
“Sleep together? Yes, yes we did," Harry replied, delighted by the way Ron kept interpreting his words completely wrong. But Hermione wasn't as easy to fool.
“Did you and Draco have sex, Harry?” she asked the question Ron had failed to finish. Ron blushed harder, his face almost as red as his hair. Harry leaned back and shook his head.
“Nope. We slept together, like I said,” he replied, smiling innocently at Hermione. The witch suppressed an amused grin as she shook her head lightly, eating her brunch.
“But seriously guys, why did you set us up?” Harry asked, looking at each of them. Neither Ron nor Hermione seemed willing to answer his question. Harry sighed heavily. He knew he'd regret this, but he needed to know.
“Ron, I'm using my wish and expect you to give me an honest answer. Why did you guys set me and Draco up?” Harry repeated his question.
Ron made a face as he exchanged a look with Hermione.
“I can't not tell him now,” he mumbled at Mione's stern look.
“But you did promise Pansy,” she replied.
“And I owe Harry," Ron said, shrugging slightly. Hermione bit her lower lip in contemplation before her shoulders sagged.
“Go ahead,” she said, returning to eating her brunch.
“It was Pansy's idea. She suggested it because she said that you and Draco have such a good chemistry, and that the unresolved sexual tension between you two is bothering her. She also said it's for each of your sakes, because you haven't gotten laid in too long," Ron replied.
Harry snorted. Why wasn't he surprised at all?
“Well, that's along the lines of what Draco and I assumed. We initially planned to spite you, you know? Draco had the wildest suggestions which would have done the job,” he told them.
“Like?” Mione asked, one eyebrow up.
“Flooing to Vegas and marrying," Harry replied.
His friends were silent for a few moments before they started laughing.
"And you seriously considered marrying Potter just to spite us?” Theo asked, the amusement clearly audible in his voice.
Draco hummed as he nodded.
“It's not like getting a divorce would have taken long. And it would have shocked my parents as well, maybe enough to wake Lucius from his stupor," Draco replied.
Pansy shook her head in disbelief, a smile etched across her features.
“I would have loved to see the headlines. Even you couldn't have not written about something like that," Pansy said, directing the last sentence at Theo who nodded.
“Would have made the lead article of the Lifestyle section,” he agreed.
“Have you and Harry talked since your domestic breakfast together?” Pansy asked, eating a spoonful of her dessert. It was Monday evening and they were in a French restaurant of Theo's choice.
“No, he spent yesterday with Granger and Weasley and I was over at Meda's. Promised her to take care of Teddy this weekend as well, as she's accompanying mother, who plans on visiting relatives in France," Draco replied.
“Yeah, Ron told me about that. The trio's monthly brunch,” Pansy commented.
“But you're on first name basis now?” Theo asked.
“Apparently it was my idea. But I don't remember it, I just go along with it,” Draco answered.
“Who would have thought that? Us getting along with the Golden Trio," Pansy said, smiling.
Draco and Theo nodded in agreement.
“Wouldn't have dreamt about it,” Theo mumbled.
Draco smiled slightly. “Looks like people do change after all.”
“Hey Meda,” Draco greeted his aunt as he stepped out of the Floo. He was in comfortable clothing as he didn't plan on leaving Andromeda's property for the day. He had his hair in a small bun as it was long enough as of lately.
“Draco,” she replied, smiling kindly as she embraced him.
“Is mother going to come here?” Draco asked.
Meda shook her head no. “We'll meet at the International Floo Office in the Ministry,” she replied.
Draco sighed in relief. “Good. Where's Teddy?”
“He's upstairs. He's grumpy because I don't allow him to come along seeing as international Flooing is incredibly exhausting and not recommended under the age of 10,” she replied.
Draco snorted. “And don't forget that you're visiting the even more supremacist and judgemental French part of the Black family,” he added.
Andromeda smirked. “That's also a problem,” she agreed.
“Okay, I'll talk him out of his pouting. Don't leave before he said goodbye," Draco said as he made his way towards the staircase.
“Didn't plan on leaving without a goodbye,” she replied.
“Hey, Teddy Bear," Draco said as he cautiously opened the door to his cousin's room.
“I'm not going to say goodbye!” he grumbled from his bed. He had his face buried in his pillow and his hair was grey, which usually meant that he was extremely upset.
“It's okay. May I come in?” Draco asked, still not inside the room. He knew that his cousin relented easier when one respected his personal boundaries.
Teddy was silent for a few moments, mulling over his cousin's question. “Alright,” he finally agreed, his face still buried in his pillow.
Draco entered the room, leaving the door open behind him. He sat down on the bed next to Teddy and cautiously put his hand on his cousin's hair. When Teddy didn't respond to the touch, Draco deemed it safe to continue without upsetting the boy further. He slowly stroked through his soft hair until the colour turned somewhat lighter, resembling a blueish grey instead of a stormy one.
“Better?” Draco asked after a few minutes of that. Teddy sat up and looked at Draco with red rimmed eyes. He'd obviously spent some time crying.
“Why can't I come with Granny and Great Aunt Cissy?” Teddy asked, his eyes bright blue.
Draco wrapped one arm around his cousin, pulling him into a one armed hug.
“Because the family they visit is very prejudiced," Draco replied.
Teddy furrowed his brow.
Draco nodded. “They believe in a thing called 'blood purity', which means that they think that wizards should only have children with other wizards. Not with muggles, muggle-borns, werewolves, giants,or other creatures,” he explained.
Teddy furrowed his brow.
“But didn't Granny marry a muggle?” he asked.
“That's why they don't really like her. But my mother refused to come without her, so they agreed to have her as guest," Draco replied.
“And why can't I come?” Teddy repeated his question from earlier.
“Because Meda is scared that they will say something hurtful when they hear that your dad was a werewolf and that your mum was a half-blood Metamorphmagus,” Draco explained, stroking Teddy's arm.
“So she's trying to protect me?” he asked with wide eyes.
Draco nodded as he continued to soothe his cousin by stroking him.
They fell into silence for a few moments.
“I want to say goodbye,” Teddy finally said, his hair back to a vibrant turquoise.
“Okay, let's go downstairs, then," Draco agreed, getting up and taking his hand.
He and Teddy went downstairs and Meda got up from her armchair when they appeared in her line of sight. Teddy walked towards her and she crouched down so they were on the same eye level. Teddy wrapped his arms around her neck and hugged her tightly. Meda smiled softly as she embraced her grandson. She gave Draco a thankful smile and Draco simply shrugged, indicating that it wasn't a big deal.
“When will you be back, Granny?” Teddy asked as they retreated.
“I'll be back by tomorrow morning, Draco is going to sleep over,” Andromeda replied as she ruffled through his hair.
“Okay. I'll miss you,” Teddy said, smiling up at her with sad eyes.
“I'll miss you too,” she whispered, an encouraging smile on her face. She pressed a kiss to the top of Teddy's head before she turned towards the Floo. She walked to it, threw the powder in, stepped into the green flames and was gone moments later.
“What will we have for dinner?” Teddy asked Draco.
“What do you want to cook?” Draco replied with a small smile.
“Okay, how about we go out for a bit while we let the lasagne bake?” Draco asked his cousin.
They had just put the dish in the oven and had to wait for about 30 to 45 minutes until it was ready. But it wasn't even late enough for dinner yet. Draco hoped that he could get Teddy to take a nap before dinner, so they could watch a movie afterwards, during which Teddy would hopefully fall asleep again. It was a good plan, he just had to wear his cousin out enough for Teddy to need a nap.
"Yes! Can we play with my toy broom?” Teddy asked, eyes bright.
Draco looked out of the window. The weather seemed to be well enough.
“Okay, but not for longer than thirty minutes, it's going to get dark soon,” Draco relented.
“Yeeees!” Teddy cheered as he ran upstairs to get his toy broom and a scarf. He came back downstairs moments later and slipped into his shoes and a jacket. Draco took one of Meda's coats and put it on. It fit him well enough.
As soon as they were outside, Teddy sat down on his broom. Draco put a warming charm on his cousin and himself before he motioned for the boy to kick off. The broom didn't go very fast or rise very high, but it was enough to put Teddy into a really good mood and to exhaust him. He flew around in Meda's backyard, not noticed by the neighbours due to the charms protecting the property.
Draco sat on one of the swings Ted Tonks had installed when Draco's cousin, Nymphadora, was still a child. It was rusty and squeaked, but it was nice and made Draco feel relaxed and at home. He slowly swung forwards and backwards, watching his cousin as he showed Draco what his favourite tricks were. He would make a good Chaser if he ever decided to play Quidditch. Draco smiled at Teddy, praising him when one of his manoeuvres went especially well, but Draco was mainly lost in his own thoughts.
He'd decided that what had happened wasn't something worth thinking about when he'd returned home from Grimmauld Place last Saturday. And he managed not to spend more than one minute thinking about it until now.
Draco managed not to think about the feeling of Harry's hands on his skin, of the feeling of Harry's lips on his; of the way the mere thought of Harry's body against his made his skin tingle and the blood rush into his cheeks.
It was obvious that Harry was attractive, and Draco did feel attracted to him, that much was clear. And judging by Potter's behaviour he was attracted to Draco as well, which was something Draco couldn't quite wrap his head around.
Why would Harry Potter, of all people, be attracted to him? Yes, Draco knew he looked good, but Harry knew him, knew about every horrible thing he did and lived to regret. And yet he didn't treat him like he was Death Eater scum. But he wasn't cautious with what he said around Draco either, he didn't treat him like glass (because he was the poor boy who was brainwashed by his parents to believe in blood-purity). He simply treated him like a normal human being, and it made Draco happier than he cared to admit.
It was one of the reasons he felt so comfortable around Harry, one of the reasons he liked to spend time with Potter. It was fascinating how Harry Potter, of all the wizards the world had to offer, made Draco feel like an average person. And it was the first time in his life that Draco truly enjoyed not being someone special, the first time he enjoyed to simply be… Draco.
"Draco? Can we go inside and read a book?” Teddy asked him, ripping him out of his thoughts. Draco instantly felt guilty, he hadn't even noticed that his cousin had landed, let alone walked up to him.
“Of course. What story do you want to read?” Draco replied as he rose from the swing. He felt a bit stiff and his face was cold. He didn't know how long Teddy and him had stayed outside, but the sun had already started painting the sky in red, pink and orange hues. It was about 4pm, Draco estimated.
“I'd like to read 'The Shoes that Were Danced to Pieces',” Teddy replied, his eyes filled with anticipation and joy. But he was clearly tired, his eyelids dropping every few moments.
“Okay, let's get inside and get changed. I'll make us some tea and you get the Fairy Tale book, deal?” Draco asked as he walked back towards the house with Teddy on his right.
“Deal!” he agreed enthusiastically.
As soon as Draco opened the door, Teddy vanished to get the book. Draco smiled to himself as he shook his head, closing the door behind him before he made his way towards the wardrobe. He put his aunt's coat back into place and went into the kitchen to make tea and turn off the oven. When he returned with two steaming cups of chamomile tea, Teddy was already waiting on the couch, the page on which the fairy tale opened.
Draco sat down next to Teddy and gave him his cup. He pulled the book a bit closer and began to read, “Once upon a time there was a king who had twelve daughters, each one more beautiful than the others. They slept together in one room, where their beds stood next to each other. At night when they were lying there, the king closed their door and barred it. However, when he opened it the next morning he saw that their shoes had been danced to pieces. No one could determine how it had happened.”
When Draco was halfway through the story he took a look at Teddy. His cup was empty and it leaned against his stomach. His head had dropped to the side. He leaned against Draco's side and his eyes were closed as he breathed deeply. Teddy was definitely asleep.
Draco closed the book and levitated it and the cups onto to table, as to not disturb Teddy by moving too much. He readjusted Teddy's position before he got up and picked him up, waiting until the boy had settled down before he started moving. Draco went upstairs and tucked Teddy in, turning on the fairy lights on the wall above his bed before he left the room silently.
Draco made himself comfortable with another cup of tea and the fairy tale book. He'd barely finished the story he started reading to Teddy when the doorbell rang. Draco wasn't happy to be interrupted. Who would arrive unannounced anyway? Meda hadn't told him that she expected any visitors.
Draco sighed as he put the book aside, unwrapping himself from his blanket burrito. He walked towards the front door and opened it.
“Of course,” he sighed as he looked at Harry who stood on the other side of the threshold.
“Draco, hi. I just wanted to drop by and visit Teddy," Harry said, smiling up at him. Harry would have been surprised, but only if he would have expected his life to be easy in any way.
“Teddy's napping, but you can come in and wait until he wakes up,” Draco suggested, stepping aside.
Harry seemed to contemplate this for a moment.
“Yeah, why not,” he finally agreed, entering the house. Draco closed the door behind Harry and returned into the living room, wrapping himself back up in the blankets.
“Where's Dromie?” Harry asked from the hallway.
“She's visiting the French Blacks with mother. She'll be back tomorrow morning," Draco replied, the book back in his lap.
He attempted to read his cousin's favourite Fairy Tale, Rapunzel, it was called, but he was distracted by Harry walking into the living room and sitting down on the other end of the couch, near Draco's feet.
“There's chamomile tea in the kitchen, if you want any,” Draco stated, his eyes never leaving the page of the book.
“Yeah, thanks," Harry said, getting up. Draco was successful in reading a few paragraphs, but that was before Harry returned and started fidgeting, causing Draco's feet to jump up and down on the couch.
“Could you please not?” Draco asked, finally looking up from his book.
“Hm?” Harry asked, looking at Draco with slightly widened eyes.
“You're fidgeting," Draco pointed out.
“Oh, sorry," Harry replied sheepishly, stopping with the annoying motion.
The awkward silence lasted exactly as long as it took Draco to accept that he wasn't going to absorb the sentence he'd just read about twenty times, no matter how hard he'd try.
“Okay, this isn't working,” Draco sighed, closing the book with a snap. He put it onto the coffee table and took his mug into his hands instead, taking a sip of tea.
“Sorry," Harry mumbled.
Draco shook his head. “It takes two to create an awkward silence, so let's disperse it. Because honestly? I feel like the tension in this room is going to smother me,” he replied, looking at Harry, who turned towards him.
“Take care of it?” Harry asked, one eyebrow up. He smirked at Draco.
Draco snorted. “I swear to Salazar … I meant talking. Or playing a game. Something like that.”
Harry chuckled deeply. “Okay, what kind of game did you have in mind?” he asked.
“Truth or dare?” Draco suggested.
“Okay, you start," Harry agreed.
“Truth or dare?”
Draco bit his lower lip in contemplation, immediately noticing Harry's look catching the motion. Draco felt himself blushing lightly. He cleared his throat. “Do you feel attracted to me?” Draco asked. He needed to know if his earlier train of thought was, in fact, based upon the truth.
Now it was Harry's turn to blush, which Draco couldn't see due to Harry's dark complexion.
“In case the dancing and the way I stared at you the whole evening didn't make that clear. Yes, Draco, I do feel attracted to you,” Harry sassed, smirking at the way Draco raised one of his eyebrows at Harry's tone of voice.
“Truth or dare?” Harry asked.
“Dare," Draco replied, not feeling like answering any questions.
“I dare you to eat a whole teaspoonful of cinnamon.”
Draco screwed up his nose. He went into the kitchen, filled a teaspoon with cinnamon and put it in his mouth. It was fine at first. But then it started burning, and when he tried to swallow he started coughing, immediately going to the sink. He didn't particularly feel like cleaning up the whole kitchen.
His eyes were glazed over when he returned to his place on the sofa. He took a sip of tea. “Truth or dare, Potter,” he said, emphasizing Harry's last name.
Harry bit his lower lip to prevent a laugh from escaping and barely succeeded. Draco merely tried to blink back the remaining tears in his eyes.
“Dare," Harry replied.
“I dare you to dress up in one of Meda's outfits and wear it for the rest of your visit.”
Harry groaned but got up anyway. He went to Dromie's bedroom and opened the wardrobe. He felt like a creep, but Draco had dared him and he knew that Dromie wouldn't really mind as long as he didn't go through her underwear drawer.
“Oh my god, Harry," Draco said, laughing when Harry returned into the living room. Harry wore a dark blue dress which was way shorter on him than it was probably supposed to be. Small flowers in different colours covered the dress and it had white lapels on the neckline. It was sleeveless and it looked uncomfortably tight on Harry's broad shoulders.
“I know I'm pretty," Harry replied, running his hand through his hair.
“This cannot possibly be comfortable," Draco pointed out, still chuckling.
“It really isn't," Harry mumbled. He'd already used an extension charm on the dress, otherwise he wouldn't have fit into it at all. But it still was a bit small.
Draco searched for something between the blankets and his hand emerged holding his trusty hawthorn wand. He mumbled some incarnations as he waved and flicked the wand. A few yellow flashes later the dress fit Harry like a second skin.
“Thanks," Harry said, sighing.
“Your luck that Pansy taught me all the spells you need in order to design and sell customized fashion,” Draco quipped.
“Truth or dare?” Harry asked Draco.
Harry took a long look at Draco before he spoke. “I dare you to give me those blankets because this dress is bloody short and I'm cold,” he replied, smiling widely.
Draco narrowed his eyes at Harry but gave him his blankets anyway, pulling his leggings clad legs closer in order to tuck them underneath his oversized pullover.
“Truth or dare?” he asked Harry.
“When did you realize that you aren't straight?” Draco asked.
Harry hummed as he thought about it, scratching his stubble covered cheek in thought.
“I think the first time I realized that I wasn't straight was when I wanked to the fantasy of doing it with a guy. That was back in sixth year. I was in denial about it for a long time, only daring to think about my sexuality well after the war was over.
"I felt like Ginny and I were supposed to be the perfect happy couple and didn't understand why I wanted something else. It took me and Ginny breaking up to explore what I wanted, and to realize that I didn't care about gender as long as the person I was intending to have sex with was attractive to me. I had to do a bit of research before I stumbled over the term pansexual.” Harry recounted.
Draco merely nodded.
“Truth or dare?”
“Dare," Draco replied.
Draco was surprised by the intensity of Harry's eyes when their looks met. It reminded him of the way they looked at each other while they danced. The mere thought of it sent shivers down Draco's spine.
“I dare you to kiss me," Harry said lowly, his voice husky.
He licked his lips, drawing Draco's gaze to them.
Draco wasn't exactly surprised. The tension between them was still there, even if it wasn't awkward anymore. He realized just how much he wanted to kiss Harry as he shifted until he was on his knees.
Draco crawled over the couch until he knelt in between Harry's spread legs.
“Wears a dress but can't sit like a lady," Draco mumbled as he raised his hand and laid it on Harry's cheek, stroking over the light stubble with his thumb. His skin looked so pale in comparison to Harry's.
“Shut up," Harry mumbled, looking up at Draco. Draco smirked as he caught Harry's gaze. He slowly let his hand drift into Harry's hair, liking the way it felt against his hand. Draco was delighted when Harry pulled him closer, adjusting Draco so he sat on Harry's lap. Harry partially covered him with the blankets surrounding them.
Draco slowly traced the shape of Harry's lips with his thumb, humming, when Harry caught his thumb between his lips, sucking it into his mouth and biting down on it. Draco pulled at Harry's hair and Harry let go, his eyes flashing with arousal.
Finally Draco leaned in, softly brushing his lips against Harry's.
“Do you want more?” he whispered, Draco's lips gracing Harry's as he spoke.
“Yes,” Harry groaned, his hands stroking over Draco's thighs, making their way up underneath his pullover. Draco went for a full on open mouthed kiss this time, tilting his head in order to get a better angle. Harry responded by groaning, his tongue caressing Draco's in a fight for dominance, which Draco easily won.
Harry threw his head back when Draco started trailing kisses down his neck. He left bites all over the dark skin, soothing the bites with soft kisses immediately afterwards. Harry pulled Draco closer by his hips, his hands roaming Draco's back when they started to grind against each other.
Draco's lips found Harry's and they lost themselves in another kiss, completely forgetting everything around them.
That is until Teddy interrupted them.
“Draco?” Teddy's voice suddenly resounded through the room.
Draco and Harry immediately jumped apart, both visibly flushed.
“Hey Teddy," Harry said, clearing his throat awkwardly.
“Were you two kissing?” Teddy asked, his head tilted as he looked between them with this intelligent look of his. He was extremely receptive when it came to other people's emotions, so he'd certainly notice if either Draco or Harry would attempt to lie to him. Especially considering the messy emotional state they were in right now.
“Yeah, we were,” Draco confirmed, readjusting his pullover to hide the bulge which had formed in his leggings.
“Are you two a couple now?” Teddy asked.
“No, we just really enjoy kissing each other," Draco replied, getting up from the couch. He quickly glanced at Harry as he passed him to pick up his cousin. Harry was obviously still trying to compose himself. Draco suppressed a satisfied smirk at the thought of how much he affected Harry.
“Oh, okay. Can we have dinner now?” Teddy asked, rubbing his eyes as he yawned. He was still sleepy and sort of oblivious to what exactly he'd run into. Draco let out a relieved sigh at that realization.
“Yes, I'll just reheat the lasagne. Will you set the table?” Draco asked his cousin.
“Mhm. Harry's eating with us, right?” Teddy asked Draco.
Draco bit his lower lip in contemplation. The tension would probably be horrible, and Teddy would pick up on their feelings one way or another, even if he didn't entirely understand them. But Teddy loved his godfather and he would surely be disappointed if he left (not to mention that Draco also quite liked to have Harry around).
“If he wants to. Why don't you ask him?” Draco replied as he put Teddy back down. They were on the threshold between livingroom and kitchen.
“Okay!” Teddy replied, running towards the couch to harass his godfather.
“This is really good," Harry said as the three of them ate.
Harry had agreed to stay when Teddy gave him the most adorable puppy dog look he could manage. It would have been infuriating how easily his godson convinced him if Teddy wasn't so adorable.
“I picked out the spices!” Teddy replied happily, beaming proudly when Harry gave him a thumbs up.
“And what do you know about spices?” Draco asked, smiling at his cousin.
“They are the essential ingredient to make a dish delicious!” Teddy recited.
Draco smiled proudly. “Exactly,” he agreed.
“So, Draco is teaching you cooking?” Harry asked his godson. Teddy only ever told him about the magic tricks him and Draco practised together.
“Yes, he's really good at it. Better than Granny, to be honest. We often have him cooking for us when he's here at the weekend and putting the food into boxes in the fridge to reheat them,” Teddy replied proudly.
Draco ruffled through Teddy's hair. “You'll be a fantastic cook when you're older,” he praised him.
“I hope so,” Teddy replied seriously.
“What movie are we going to watch?” Teddy asked. They were up in Andromeda's room because it was the only one with a TV. Teddy sat in between Harry and Draco on the bed and Draco had the remote control in his hand. He had put in a DVD which had several movies Teddy liked on it.
“Well, we have Bambi, Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan and The Lion King on this one,” Draco read out the titles.
“I wanna watch The Lion King!” Teddy proclaimed.
“Haven't seen this one yet," Draco mumbled as he chose the movie and pressed okay.
“Oh, you're in for emotional trauma," Harry said, smirking at Draco.
“Psssh!” Teddy shushed them as the Disney Castle appeared on screen.
Harry was incredibly glad that he'd watched this movie more than once, otherwise he would have had no clue what happened. He basically could sing along to most of the songs, even if Teddy never appreciated his renditions. Teddy preferred 'the original', as he usually put it.
Harry knew that Draco was way too immersed in the movie to notice Harry looking at him every few minutes. And Harry was irritated with himself to be completely honest. He'd accepted that he felt attracted to Draco. He'd accepted that he liked kissing Draco, that he liked the way their bodies fit together so well. He'd even accepted that he somehow came to appreciate the git's sarcastic remarks and the way he teased him.
But not being able to keep his eyes off Draco for more than five minutes wasn't something Harry was ready to accept yet. It was bad enough that he had to resist watching Draco while they were having dinner. He was so glad that Teddy kept on talking, it forced him to keep his attention off the blond and gave him an excuse to look at him whenever he talked to Teddy.
But now? Now his godson was the only reason why Harry hadn't pulled Draco back on his lap to continue where Teddy interrupted them earlier. He had no distraction whatsoever and it was tough.
When Harry looked at the screen to find out how far along they were in the movie he almost groaned out loud. They weren't far in, Simba was currently singing about wanting to be King. Harry inwardly prayed to every entity that would listen that he would survive this.
“And this is supposed to be a kids movie?” Draco asked, slightly incredulous. He'd legitimately cried, even though he would deny it if anybody ever asked.
“I know, it's a bit dark at times. But generally, yes," Harry replied lowly, motioning for Draco to keep his voice down by pointing at the sleeping boy in between them. Teddy had fallen asleep with his head in Draco's lap and his legs on Harry's. He looked adorable.
“Oh, I'll tuck him in," Draco mumbled.
When Draco emerged from Teddy's room, closing the door gently behind him, he bumped into Harry in the hallway. They looked at each other for a few long moments, until Harry broke the moment by clearing his throat.
“You're staying here overnight?” Harry asked.
Draco nodded, running a hand through his hair. Most of it was loose by now, he had to redo his bun. “Yes, Meda doesn't know if she'll be home in time for breakfast so I'll take care of Teddy,” he replied.
“Cool," Harry said as they walked downstairs. They stopped in the hallway, Draco leaning against the wall next to the living room door. Harry stood across from him, looking kind of lost as he stood in the middle of the hallway. They looked at each other, the tension rocketing when Harry's gaze fell to Draco's lips.
“Well, will you stay or leave?” Draco asked eventually, tilting his head slightly.
Harry took a deep breath, forcing himself to give the answer he should give. He definitely needed to think about this, and staying wouldn't lead to him thinking. At all.
“I should go,” Harry finally said, his look apologetic.
Draco nodded, pushing himself off the wall. He tried to hide the fact that he was disappointed by crossing his arms as he motioned towards the wardrobe.
He stood by as Harry put on his coat and his scarf, turning towards Draco when he was ready to leave.
“I guess we'll see each other," Harry said, smiling awkwardly.
Draco sighed and rolled his eyes, crossing the space between them with two long strides. He leaned in and softly pressed his lips against Harry's, smirking when they parted.
“We sure as hell will.”
“Mione!” Harry called out after stumbling through the floo into her living room.
The flat was quiet, but as far as Harry knew she was home. Her and Theo didn't have any plans. At least the last time they talked she didn't mention any. He hadn't even thought about the possibility of them not being home or being busy with … other things.
“Harry?” Hermione asked, yawning as she emerged from her bedroom.
Harry immediately calmed down a little. Mione was there, he could talk to her, she would- Harry furrowed his brow as he took in the pyjama pants and the tank top she wore. “Did I wake you up?” he asked, surprise swinging in his voice. It wasn't even 10pm yet.
“Yeah, I'm going to meet Theo's mum tomorrow for breakfast. We'll have to get up rather early,” she explained, smiling tiredly.
“Oh. Right. Well, sorry to have woken you up. I'll just-”
Hermione sighed as she sat down on the sofa, motioning for Harry to do the same.
“Something happened, otherwise you wouldn't be here screaming my name. Talk to me, I'm awake now,” she interrupted him, tucking a strand of hair out of her face.
“Are you sure? I could leave, you know,” Harry bit his lower lip. He really hoped that Hermione wouldn't throw him out because he needed to talk; but he felt selfish for robbing her of her sleep.
“Talk, Harry,” Hermione urged him, knowing that he was probably beating himself up over having woken her up. But she didn't have time for that right now.
Harry smiled apologetically before he finally started to talk. “I was at Dromie's to visit Teddy, but Dromie is in France and apparently Draco is taking care of Teddy. I didn't know about that beforehand, so I showed up unannounced like I usually do. And when I arrived Teddy was napping, and Draco opened the door. He invited me to stay until Teddy woke up and I accepted,” Harry recounted, looking at his folded hands, “We talked a bit before we decided to play truth or dare. It was a bit awkward first, but, well, only at first. And I eventually dared Draco to kiss me.”
Harry knew Hermione well, so it wasn't surprising that her reaction was no reaction at all. She always tried to stay as neutral as possible when she helped Harry out. He looked up to meet her gaze after a few moments of silence, knowing that she wouldn't talk if she couldn't see his immediate reaction to what she asked.
Hermione took a few moments to pick out the right question to ask, all the while keeping her eyes on Harry. She eventually found the question which would lead this conversation in the right direction, “How did he react?”
Harry licked his lips, his gaze flicking through the room before it returned to Hermione's questioning look. “He teased me and kissed me. And I kissed him. And it was glorious," Harry replied lowly, his voice cracking at the last word. He knew that his pupils were probably blown. The mere memory of Draco's lips on his' turned his knees into jello.
“And then?” Hermione inquired softly, her tone holding no judgement at all. That was one of the reasons why Harry preferred to talk about his problems with Hermione over Ron; Hermione tried to be as neutral as possible while Ron usually voiced his opinion very loudly and clearly, no matter if you wanted it or not.
“And then Teddy came in and we jumped apart. He asked us if we were a couple and Draco told him that we just liked kissing each other. Then we had dinner together and watched a movie and I couldn't keep my eyes off him. And, well, Draco kissed me before I left,” Harry recounted. Hermione nodded, considering how to best formulate her next question.
“Did you like it?”
Harry laughed without humour, his laugh bordering on desperate. “Hell yes.”
Hermione tried really hard to suppress a smirk at that. “And do you feel anything else but attraction for Draco?”
Harry sighed in defeat. “I think I do. I feel like in sixth year all over again, it's crazy," Harry replied cautiously, a lopsided smile gracing his features.
Hermione simply smiled at him and pulled him into a hug.
“Then do something about it,” she encouraged him as she leaned back.
Harry rolled his eyes when he was met with a knowing look. Of course Mione knew about his feelings before he had figured them out. Somehow she always did.
“How long have you known?” Harry asked her.
“I suspected it after our first night out, I was sure about it during Pansy's and Ron's engagement party," she replied, smiling proudly.
“You've known for all this time and didn't bother to inform me?” Harry asked slightly incredulous.
Hermione shrugged. “I wanted you to realize it yourself.”
Harry sighed as he shook his head.
“Don't you always?” he asked as he smiled at Hermione.
“I do not.”
“I do not have romantic feelings for Harry Potter.”
Draco groaned. He was so tired of this discussion. It's been going on since Draco told Pansy about his and Harry's little game of truth and dare and the goodbye kiss.
“The fact that you so vehemently deny it leads me to believe that you do, my dear,” Pansy deadpanned, stretching out her legs. They were at his place. It was Friday and almost one week had passed since him and Harry had kissed. Again.
It was also about the 20th time that Draco and Pansy had this argument.
“I want to shag him. No feelings involved," Draco mumbled, his eyes narrowed.
He knew that he was lying to himself, he did that sometimes. He'd realized how he felt about Harry the same evening he gave him the goodbye kiss, and he instantly went into this beautiful thing called denial. Draco was sure that Harry was merely interested in the sexual side of a relationship, and not in the mushy romantic part which would actually require them to talk to and properly get to know each other.
“I still don't believe you," Pansy said, smiling smugly.
“And why wouldn't you believe me?” Draco asked. He knew that Pansy knew that he was in denial. And she wouldn't stop pestering him until he told her what she wanted to hear, which was the truth.
Pansy was incredibly stubborn when it came to Draco not telling her the truth.
She was his best friend, and she knew that he trusted her. So why waste his time on lying to her and fighting with her because of his bloody lies?
Pansy was incredibly tired of this discussion, they've been at it for six days now, and Draco hadn't budged the slightest bit. She usually didn't use bribes with Draco, but he left her no other choice.
“Because I know when you're lying. If you tell me the truth, I'll tell you how I know when you're lying,” Pansy suggested, smiling at him.
Draco narrowed his eyes. Something was off about this deal, but he couldn't place his finger on it. Pansy was a Slytherin, she wouldn't just give up information like that, it kept her at a great advantage after all.
“C'mon Draco, be honest. How do you feel about Harry?” Pansy asked, smiling tiredly at him. Draco bit his lower lip in contemplation.
What did he have to lose? Except for his sanity and his heart, of course.
He sighed. “I'm head over heels for him, okay?” he finally admitted.
Pansy clapped her hands together, raising her folded hands above her head.
“Thank Salazar! He finally said it!” she called out, smiling widely when her gaze returned to his'.
“How can you tell when I lie to you?”
Pansy smirked. “You have a tell. Two, actually.”
“Let me guess, you won't tell me what they are?” Draco asked.
“Of course not.”
“One thing, promise me that you won't try to set Harry and me up again, okay?”
Pansy looked at Draco for a few moments before she nodded. “Okay.”
Good thing Draco never said anything about others setting them up.
“Come on Draco, we're going to be late!”
Theo sighed as he tapped his foot against the floor.
It was Saturday and him and Draco had decided to go Christmas shopping together. They tried to find good Christmas presents for their new circle of friends, but it was harder than expected, and they hadn't expected it to be easy in the first place.
“Just one more minute, for Merlin's sake," Draco mumbled.
He wasn't quite sure which quill he wanted to give to Hermione. He had no clue what she liked and Theo wasn't exactly helpful. He couldn't even tell Draco what her favourite colour was.
“I'll take the green one,” Draco finally picked and the shop attendant smiled as she put the quill into a beautiful dark blue and golden case Draco had picked out earlier.
Draco paid before him and Theo left the shop. They apparated to the pub where they were supposed to meet the others.
“Sorry we're late, Draco's fault,” Theo said when they were at the table where the others had gathered. Strangely enough none of them sat. A warning bell went off in Draco's head at the odd sight.
“It's fine, we haven't waited for too long," Pansy replied, smiling at them.
Draco didn't like the look her and Theo shared. He didn't like it at all. He looked at the others for clues and caught Weasley's gaze. Or, well, he didn't catch it. In fact Ron looked incredibly nervous and uncomfortable, his neck blotchy with red stress marks. It took a few moments before Draco understood.
His face immediately fell at the realization of what was happening.
“Pansy, you promised," Draco said, glaring at his best friend.
“I didn't do anything. I merely talked to Theo and Hermione about what we had learned from our respective friends and they came up with this plan on their own. I merely went along with it," Pansy replied, smiling cheekily. Sometimes Draco genuinely hated her.
That's when it dawned on Harry.
“Not again,” he groaned, running one hand through his hair.
Why hadn't he noticed it earlier? Why hadn't he even thought of the possibility that his friends would try to set him and Draco up again? Hermione had surely told Theo and he told Pansy and … hadn't Pansy said respective friends?
“Yes again. You two need to talk and you won't if we don't force you to," Hermione said, interrupting Harry's train of thought.
“I hate to agree, mate. But Mione and Pans are right,” Ron addressed Harry.
Harry felt a bit like his friends were ganging up on him, and it definitely wasn't a nice feeling.
“You two are going to sit down and stay here for at least an hour. I charmed the table to alarm me if you boys decide to go earlier.” Hermione explained.
“The drinks are on us.” Theo added as he pushed Draco until he sat down in the booth with a resigned sigh. Pansy would have hexed him into his seat if he didn't sit down somewhat voluntarily. Draco slipped out of his coat as Ron forced Harry to sit down across from Draco. Both glared at their friends.
“I'll get you two a bottle of Elderflower Wine and two glasses.” Pansy sing-songed, taking Hermione's hand to drag her along.
“And we'll be outside. Have fun.” Theo said, motioning for Ron to follow him.
Ron smiled sheepishly at Harry, mouthing 'I'm sorry' before he followed Theo outside.
“Here you go, your wine. Talk," Hermione said as she put a bottle and the glasses onto the table a few minutes later.
“Oh, and be honest to each other, will you? Otherwise we'll have to repeat this whole ordeal,” Pansy added with a wink. Her and Hermione linked arms as they left the pub.
“I hate our friends," Draco said, sighing as he opened the wine bottle. He poured himself a glass and did the same for Harry, sliding the glass over the tabletop.
Harry took the glass and sighed.
“They're not wrong, so it's kind of hard to hate them for it," Harry admitted begrudgingly.
Draco merely gave him a look and rose his glass.
“To our lovely friends," Draco said, his voice dripping with sarcasm.
Harry smiled slightly as he rose his glass as well.
“To our lovely friends,” he agreed as they toasted.
“Okay, we're two glasses and 30 minutes into this evening and we've successfully avoided talking about anything of relevance," Harry said. He was slightly tipsy.
“Excuse you, but I find that talking about my favourite pieces of our upcoming spring collection is incredibly relevant. Thank you very much," Draco replied, smiling slightly as he flipped his fringe out of his line of sight.
“Git," Harry said as he chuckled.
“Prat,” Draco retorted, smiling at Harry.
“Do you want the rest of the wine?” Harry asked, lifting the bottle.
“Low tolerance?” Draco asked, one eyebrow up.
“Shut up," Harry mumbled, pouring the rest of the bottle into Draco's glass.
Draco took a sip of the wine. “I guess that's a yes.”
They looked at each other for a few long moments, simply watching each other.
And Draco was fascinated by just how much he wanted to walk around this table, sit down on Harry's lap and kiss him. The urge was almost overwhelming, and the few glasses of wine on an empty stomach didn't exactly help him with keeping to himself. But maybe Harry would initiate the first step and he wouldn't have to keep to himself?
“Why did you kiss me goodbye?” Harry asked, breaking the silence.
Draco blinked twice before the question actually registered. He took a sip of his wine before he answered, “Because I wanted to.”
Harry nodded, licking his lips. “Do you still want to kiss me?”
Draco rolled his eyes, smiling slightly. “I wouldn't sit here if I didn't.”
“That's good," Harry mumbled.
“And why exactly?”
Harry gave him a lopsided smile. “Because I really want to kiss you too.”
“What's stopping us, then?” Draco asked, raising one eyebrow.
Harry looked at him for a few moments before he slid towards the mid of the booth. Draco did the same and they met in the middle, their thighs touching, just like that night. Harry mumbled something and flicked his wrist before he wrapped one arm around Draco's waist, pulling him close.
Draco sighed and decided to take matters into his own hands. Somehow he always had to when it came to Harry. Draco slid onto Harry's lap, the small of his back leaning against the table behind him.
“I guess you put up a privacy charm?” Draco asked lowly, his lips almost touching Harry's.
“Good guess,” Harry retorted, smirking at Draco.
“Good,” Draco whispered before he kissed Harry.
Draco urgently pressed himself up against Harry, sighing into his mouth when he felt Harry's hands on his hips. They lost themselves in the sensations of tongue against tongue, of teeth clashing, of lips being bitten and of moans being swallowed up by the others' lips.
Draco detached himself from Harry for a moment, the feeling of the table digging into his back becoming too uncomfortable.
“Let's get out of here,” Draco suggested, biting his lower lip as he waited for Harry's response.
And he didn't disappoint. “Yes, please,” Harry mumbled, pressing a short kiss to Draco's lips before they untangled themselves from each other. Harry ended the spell as they slid out of their respective side of the booth.
“It's still eighteen minutes until Granger's spell stops," Draco pointed out as they left the pub.
Harry groaned. He pulled out his wand. “Expecto patronum,” he said, a white stag emerging from the end of his wand.
“Your Patronus?” Draco asked his eyes slightly widened. He'd seen Severus' Patronus a few times, but he'd never been able to produce one himself. No memory of his' seemed to be happy enough.
“Yeah," Harry said, smiling at Draco before he turned back towards the misty stag.
Harry raised the tip of his wand to his lips. “To Hermione Granger: Sod off, I'm with Draco. Draco, say something?”
Draco snorted in amusement. “Hi,” he said into the tip of Harry's wand.
“There you go,” Harry added before he pointed the tip of his wand towards the stag, sending it off with a swish.
“My place?” Draco asked when the white mist had disappeared.
“Gladly," Harry said, taking Draco's hand into his'.
Moments later they disapparated with a crack.
“Hmm, have I ever told you that you smell fantastic?” Harry mumbled as he kissed Draco's shoulders.
Draco laughed lightly, ”No, you haven't.”
“Well, you do. Citrusy. It's really nice.”
“Thanks," Draco mumbled, sighing in pleasure at the feeling of Harry's lips against his bare back.
They were sitting on Draco's bed, most of their clothing scattered on the floor. Harry sat behind Draco, drawing patterns on his back with the tips of his fingers as he kissed him. Draco didn't even know how they ended up in this position, but he definitely enjoyed it.
Suddenly Harry squeaked loudly, jumping back from Draco. Draco furrowed his brow as he looked at Harry over his shoulder. He rose one eyebrow in question.
“There was something-”
“Oh," Draco mumbled, understanding immediately. He turned around so he faced Harry and concentrated, showing Harry his left arm. The arm where the Dark mark used to be, but it wasn't there, not anymore. The only hint that it had ever been there were a few scars.
As Harry watched Draco's arm, an eagle landed on one of the scars, making it look like a branch.
“It's a tattoo?” Harry asked.
Draco nodded. “I got it shortly after I moved out of the Manor. I just wanted something that didn't remind me of the war whenever I looked at my arm,” he explained.
“Why an eagle?” Harry took Draco's arm in his hand, tracing the scars and the eagle which sat completely still underneath his touch.
“It's the Ravenclaw animal and Ravenclaw always reminds me of Luna. She was the most positive force in my life back then.”
Harry looked up and was met by a sad smile as Draco watched the eagle on his forearm.
“It's beautiful,” Harry whispered as he leaned in, kissing Draco softly.
Draco completely melted into the kiss, pulling Harry closer.
“How did I end up beneath you?” Harry asked as Draco trailed kissed down his torso, making him gasp in the most beautiful ways.
“I don't bottom, that's how," Draco replied, smirking as he continued to kiss Harry's stomach.
“Hmm, lucky you I don't top," Harry mumbled in between sighs of pleasure.
“Lucky me, indeed," Draco said, winking at Harry before he pressed an open mouthed kiss to Harry's clothed dick.
Harry groaned, crumpling up the sheets as he gripped onto them tightly, moaning as Draco continued to mouth his cock through his briefs. The friction of the cloth wasn't quite enough to really pleasure him, and Draco didn't apply nearly enough pressure to do anything but rile Harry up. And Harry enjoyed it, he enjoyed being teased when Draco did it.
“Mmh, tell me what you want,” Draco lilted, looking up at Harry through his nearly transparent lashes, smirking slightly.
“I want you to fuck me,” Harry demanded. He knew that his pupils were completely blown, what with how aroused he was.
“Very well," Draco said, hooking his fingers into the waistband of Harry's briefs. He pulled them down and threw them down to their other clothing. Draco's briefs followed shortly after. Harry ran his hands through Draco's hair when the other man hovered above him, leaning in to kiss Harry.
Their tongues stroked each others' as Draco lowered himself onto Harry, sighing when their dicks made contact. They moved against each other, their cocks trapped between their stomachs, the only lubrication their leaking pre-cum.
Draco bit Harry's earlobe, rolling it between his lips. “I'll fuck you now,” he whispered.
Harry groaned when Draco rolled off him, chuckling as he opened the drawer of his night stand, retrieving lube and a condom. Draco covered his fingers in lube before he pressed one finger against Harry's puckered hole, slowly inserting the digit. To help with the pain of stretching, Draco lapped at Harry's dick, trying to take Harry's mind off the pain. Harry moaned when Draco engulfed the head of his cock in the hot, wet cave of his mouth. He didn't even notice the second digit entering him. Draco continued to stretch Harry, eventually inserting a third finger. He released Harry's cock and changed the angle of his hand, thrusting into Harry. Harry moaned when Draco brushed his prostate, starting a fire within him.
“Are you ready?” Draco asked Harry after a few more thrusts, brushing Harry's prostate with most of them.
Harry nodded, his gaze locking with Draco's.
Draco pulled out his fingers before he ripped open the condom wrapper. He rolled it over his erect cock and used some more lube to make sure that Harry's pain would be as minimal as possible.
Draco placed his head at Harry's entrance, slowly pushing in. Harry tried to relax, but his face contorted in pain. It had been a while since the last time he had sex with a guy. And it always took a while to get used to having a dick up your arse.
Draco slowly continued to push in until his head was inside of Harry. He paused for a moment, waiting for Harry to give his okay. He continued like that, only moving when Harry nodded or indicated that it was alright. It took a while, but Draco was ready to burst when he was fully settled inside of Harry. It felt so good.
“Move," Harry mumbled, and Draco did as he was told. He slowly pulled out before he thrust back in, repeating the motion a few times before he picked up speed. Draco groaned at the wonderful sensation; wanting Harry to feel the same, he changed his angle until Harry seemed to fall apart beneath him.
Draco took Harry's hands into his', intertwining their fingers as he continued to fuck him senseless. Harry tried to keep his eyes open, tried to watch the mop of blonde and the canvas of pale skin writhing in the moonlight, but the sensations were too overwhelming. He moaned loudly when Draco wrapped their joint hands around Harry's cock, jerking him off in the same rhythm as he fucked him. Harry felt like he was about to lose it. Everything was too much and not enough at the same time. He wanted Draco to fuck him harder, wanted him to tighten their grip on his cock; and at the same time he wanted to slow things down, wanted to draw this feeling of complete and utter bliss out for as long as possible.
But he didn't manage to voice any of those thoughts. Harry came with a loud moan, his sticky cum covering his stomach and their joint hands. He felt completely overstimulated as Draco pushed into him a few more times, brushing his prostate with every thrust, before he followed Harry over the edge.
“That was amazing," Harry mumbled as him and Draco lay beneath the satin sheets. The smell of citrus, mint, and sex surrounded them, clouding their exhausted minds.
“Mhmm,” Draco agreed, pressing a kiss to Harry's bare torso. He rested his head on his chest, Draco's ear next to Harry's heart.
They fell into silence. They'd cleaned themselves up before Draco allowed Harry to crawl underneath the satin sheets. And now they cuddled up, legs entangling as they both fell into a slumber. Draco only woke out of it when Harry said his name.
“Draco?” he asked, his voice low and husky.
“Harry," Draco mumbled, blinking his eyes open as he moved so he could look at him.
“Want to be my boyfriend?” Harry asked, a small smile playing around his lips.
“That's what you woke me up for?” Draco asked, laughing when Harry poked him in response.
“Yes Potter, I'd like to be your boyfriend," Draco mumbled, rolling his eyes when Harry beamed at him. Draco smiled as well, couldn't really stop smiling with the amount of bliss and happiness he felt at this very moment.
“Good," Harry replied, pulling Draco closer. Draco rested his head back on Harry's chest, listening to Harry's steady heartbeat as he drifted off again.
“Draco?” Harry asked, forcing Draco to look up from the article he was currently reading. Harry's mouth was full of toast as he spoke.
“You're disgusting,” Draco merely replied, taking a sip of his coffee.
Harry rolled his eyes and made a point of swallowing extra loudly before he continued to speak.
“Do you have any plans for Christmas?” he asked.
Draco rose one eyebrow at Harry. It hadn’t even been a week since they got together. It was Thursday morning and Harry had spent the better part of the last few nights at Draco's flat. They were still getting used to each other; Draco had assumed that family introductions were off the table for now.
“My parents have invited me to join them for their annual Christmas Party in the Manor, but I don't plan on going," Draco replied, taking another sip of his coffee.
“Hm,” Harry hummed, smiling slightly.
Draco narrowed his eyes at him. “What are you planning?”
“You'll accompany me to the Burrow for Christmas," Harry replied as if it were a fact.
Draco rose one eyebrow. “I will not.”
“Yes you will. Because it's my wish," Harry said, smiling at Draco.
“I hate you," Draco mumbled, taking another sip of his coffee as he glared at Harry.
“Keep on telling yourself that, maybe you'll believe it someday," Harry replied, winking at Draco.
Draco merely rolled his eyes and went back to reading the Prophet.