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There's No I In Team

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There’s No I In Team

  

   “No,” said Draco as reassuringly as he could whilst squeezing the bridge of his nose very hard.  “No, it’s fine, please don’t worry.”

   “Mr Malfoy I’m SO sorry,” came the tinny voice of his babysitter Natalie from down the other end of the phone.  “I know it’s last minute but I-”

   She made another retching noise, and Draco had to hold the mobile away from his ear, wincing.  The poor girl had come down with appalling food poisoning by the sounds of it, and he couldn’t in all good conscience ask her to leave the house.  That didn’t make him any less stressed, but it wasn’t Natalie’s fault. 

   “Don’t worry,” he insisted.  “We’ll be fine, you just focus on feeling better, okay?”

   “Okay,” she said weakly.  “Have you got someone else you can ask?” she checked before they hung up.

   “I’m sure my mum will be available, honestly, don’t worry.”

   His mum was not available.  His mum was in the Bahamas with his dad, but Natalie didn’t need to know that.  She also didn’t need to know that Pansy was in the middle of fashion week, Theo was laid up with a broken leg, Blaise lived in the middle of nowhere, and his sister-in-law had just had her second child and didn’t need to be burdened with anything else at this present time.

   And Draco would rather leave his son alone with a live grenade wrapped in barbed wire that expose him to his Aunt Bellatrix.

   “Shit,” he said with feeling, pressing the edge of his phone to his forehead. 

   “Daddy?”

   He blinked and pulled himself together.  This wasn’t the end of the world, he would manage. 

   He took a breath and walked from the dining room to where Scorpius was sitting at the kitchen table eating his Coco Pops, his big blue eyes wide.  “Hey champ, you okay?” Draco asked, sitting down and taking a sip of his cold coffee. 

   Scorpius considered him.  He was such a thoughtful little three-year-old.  “Are you mad Daddy?”

   “Oh, no,” he said quickly.  “But Natalie is sick, so she can’t come play today.”

   “Oh no!” Scorpius parroted back, but with more feeling.  “Poor Natalie!”

   Draco nodded, making a snap decision.  “But that’s okay, you can have an adventure with Daddy today!  Does that sound fun?”

   Scorpius’ face went from serious to excited in a heartbeat.  “Yes please!”

   “Brilliant,” said Draco, wondering how convincing his fake smile was.  “We can visit Daddy’s work, and see some of Daddy’s friends, and then if you’re a very good boy we can go to the park and play on the swings.”

   “Yay!” cheered Scorpius, bouncing in his seat and waving his spoon around. 

   “Come on then, let’s get you ready.”

   Draco was extremely grateful that Scorpius cooperated and got changed from his pyjamas into the outfit Draco had picked without any fuss.  Some days he refused to wear anything other than his Spiderman costume, or his waistcoat nanny had bought him, or his welly boots with nothing but swim trunks and a cowboy hat.  Today though, he was too excited about seeing Daddy’s work.

   Why today?  Why today!  Draco bemoaned silently as he helped Scorp brush his teeth.  Of all the days to have absolutely zero child care available, it had to be this day. 

   He checked his watch again and tried to calm himself.  They had enough time, and Luna would be able to help him once he got into the office.  He stopped and took a deep breath.  That’s right, Luna would have no problem looking after Scorpius for an hour or so, and everything would be fine.

 

***

 

   They got loaded into the car, and Draco tuned out the all-too familiar nursery rhymes that played continuously on a loop whenever they drove anywhere.  All he cared about was that Scorp was happy, babbling along to Baa Baa Black Sheep in the back seat, kicking his little legs and clutching his princess rag doll to his chest.

   Draco sighed, and hoped no one would be an arse about that, he really couldn’t cope with any tears on top of everything else. 

   He could do the twenty minute drive to the office complex in his sleep, which was lucky because his mind was whirring with all the things he should have been looking over whilst he had been calming Natalie down.  He’d meant to go over his notes one last time.  “You’ve got this, you’ve got this,” he muttered to himself.

   Gringotts was an advertising company based on the Wiltshire/Hampshire border that had offices in London, Reading and Bristol, and Draco had been lucky enough to get an internship with their head office right out of uni.  It hadn’t been long before he’d been able to work his way into a junior position within the team, but what he had his eye on now was becoming a fully fledged Accounts Manager. 

   The trouble was, the interview was today.

   Accounts Managers essentially split their time between doing actual work involving creative and finance, and then the rest of their time was spent making the client happy.  “Glorified babysitting,” Astoria used to call it, that twinkle she used to get in her eye when she teased her husband.  Inevitably, ‘glorified babysitting’ involved a lot of drinking, sports events, and more often that Draco liked (which was never if he could help it) strip clubs.  His colleague Marcus Flint had been letting him tag along over the last year, teaching him the ropes, hoping he’d get a position alongside him as soon as one became available, and Draco had worked extremely hard at it.

   It wasn’t that his employers didn’t know about Scorpius, but out of sight out of mind was generally better with this sort of role.  Being a young dad didn’t exactly scream party animal, and Draco was hoping none of them would glimpse his son before the interview and make up their minds before he had a chance to prove himself. 

   He sighed, and glanced in the rear view mirror as he parked the car in the first free space he found.  He hated thinking like that, like Scorp was a burden.  But people were more often than not dickheads in his experience, and he had to anticipate how they would try and judge him before they did. 

   “Ready to see Daddy’s office?” he asked excitedly, and Scorpius clapped his hands. 

   He scooped his son up onto his hip and awkwardly locked the car, his travel bag with all of Scorpius’ necessities filling every inch inside.  He was never quite sure how someone so small could need so many things.

   The security guard waved him in without much interest, but Lavender the receptionist squealed and balled up her fists as she raced around her desk to say hello.  Her hyper energy put Scorp on edge though, and Draco was worried they were heading towards a tantrum if he wasn’t careful. 

   A glance at his watch told him that he only had fifteen minutes until he was due for his interview.  He was lucky company policy allowed employees to take the rest of the day off when they were going for internal job rolls, but that didn’t mean he could rock up whenever he liked.

   He made his excuses and hurried up to the third floor with Scorpius clinging to him, his face buried against his neck.  He was picking up on Draco’s tension, no matter how well he was trying to mask it. 

   He managed to get to his cubicle without being stopped, though some people did a double take when they spotted the toddler in his arms, and carefully placed Scorpius onto his ergonomic wheelie chair.  “Look buddy, it spins,” he cried, giving the chair a gentle push, and was very relieved when Scorp giggled in response.  “Can you stay here a second whilst Daddy goes and gets his friend?”

   He nodded and popped his thumb in his mouth, Princess clutched tightly to his chest.

   “Good boy,” Draco said, swooping down to give him a quick kiss on the top of his head.  “Daddy will be right back.”

   Luna’s cubicle was only a few over from his, but Draco rounded the corner and his face fell as he realised it was empty. 

   “There you are,” a voice from behind him made him jump.  “I was starting to think you’d bailed on your interview.  I mean, we all know I’ve already got the job, but it’s good for you to at least try.”

   Draco turned and his stomach dropped.  Of course it was Harry Potter, yanking his chain as usual.  Infuriatingly gorgeous Potter, grinning at him mischievously.  “Where’s Luna?” Draco asked, ignoring the teasing. 

   Harry blinked, probably at Draco’s snappy tone.  He did normally rather enjoy hurling insults back and forth with his rival, but not today.  “Uh, she’s in London today, meeting with one of the designers.  Malfoy, are you alright?”

   Draco pressed his fingers against his eyelids. “Fuck,” he hissed with feeling. 

   “Daddy?”

   He spun around and saw that Scorpius had crept out into the corridor, presumably to see where he’d got to.  “Sorry sweetie,” he said, darting back over to him and plucking him up in his arms. 

   He had no idea what to do.  There was no one else he trusted enough to leave his son with, and he only had ten minutes before he needed to get over to his boss’ office.  He could feel the stress rolling off him as he held Scorpius to him in the middle of his cubicle, staring at the blank wall as he tried desperately to come up with a solution. 

   Scorpius sniffled onto his shoulder.  “Daddy mad,” he said in a small voice.

   “Oh pumpkin,” Draco said, trying to calm himself down as he stroked Scorpius’ hair, as white blond as his own.  “No Daddy’s not mad I promise, you’re being such a good boy.”  Daddy just has no fucking clue what to do, he though scathingly to himself. 

   “Who do we have here then?” a voice asked, and Draco opened his eyes to find himself confronted with Potter for the second time in as many minutes, but this time his face was soft and his wide green eyes were focused on Scorpius.  He held his finger up as Scorpius raised his head and regarded Potter and his proffered finger with sniffling interest.  “Hi,” Potter said encouragingly.  “I’m Harry, is this your daddy?”

   Scorp glanced at Draco, who was looking warily between his son and his colleague.  Scorpius nodded.

   “Oh brilliant,” replied Potter, that dazzling smile back in place.  “I’m one of your daddy’s friends, it’s lovely to meet you.”  Potter wiggled his finger, and Scorpius eventually reached out to take it.  Harry gave it a little shake.  “And what’s your name?”

   Scorpius snuggled into Draco again, overcome with shyness, so Draco answered for him.  “Scorpius.  He’s had to come in with me today.”

   Potter’s gaze lingered on Scorp for a second, warm with affection, before turning to Draco.  “And you wanted Luna to watch him whilst you had your interview?”

   Draco nodded, not sure why he was being so nice.  “I didn’t know what else to do,” he said, hating how his voice caught.

  Potter smiled again, wide and unguarded.  “He can come with me,” he said as if that was obvious.  “My godson is only a little bit older than him, I’m used to kids.  Would you like that Scorpius?” he asked, addressing Scorp directly.  He lifted his head and narrowed his eyes, bright with threatening tears.  “I’ve got some great games on my computer, would you like to come with Harry whilst Daddy does his important thing?” 

   Draco was stuck dumb.  Most guys their age were either terrified or perplexed by children.  But here Potter was, holding his hands out, prepared to watch over his son out of the kindness of his heart. 

   “What do you think Scorp?” he asked him hopefully, bouncing him on his hip.  “Can you be a good boy for Harry?”

   Harry.  It felt so odd to call him by his first name.  But it would be odder still to expect Scorpius to call him Potter, so Draco didn’t correct himself.

   Scorpius was worrying his doll’s hair, clearly quite overwhelmed.  But Potter apparently didn’t give up that easily.  “What kind of games do you like, Scorpius?” he asked, using his name with confidence.  Sometimes Draco kicked himself for being talked into giving him an even more ridiculous name than himself, but Potter didn’t seem to have a problem with it.  “I’ve got an aeroplane game, one with lots of coloured blocks, one where you have to play along with the music-”

   “Angry birds?” Scorpius asked hopefully, and Potter’s face lit up. 

   “I have Angry Birds on my iPad,” he said triumphantly.  “Can you show me how to play it?  That way we can both show Daddy when he comes back.”

   Scorpius mulled that over whilst Draco held his breath, then finally nodded his approval. 

   “Brilliant!” Potter cried, and boldly reached over to lift Scorp over to his hip. 

   Draco spun around and fetched the travelling bag.  “Thank you,” he said, trying not to come across as being too desperate.  “Seriously, Potter-”

   “Harry,” he correct with a raised eyebrow and a nod towards an oblivious Scorpius. 

   “Harry,” Draco repeated slowly, the word strange on his tongue.  “Thank you.”

   Potter – Harry – shook his head.  “Don’t mention it.  I take it everything’s in here?”  He took the bag from Draco’s grip and slung it over his other shoulder.

   “Yes,” said Draco hastily.  “Yes, there’s some snacks in there, his blanket, clean clothes in case he spills anything – oh!  He’s not always good at asking to, you know-”  He dropped his voice.  “Go to the little boys’ room.  He always says he doesn’t until it’s almost too late, so make sure-”

   “Draco,” Harry interrupted firmly.  His name sounded as funny on Harry’s lips as Harry’s had sounded on his.  “I’ve got this.  Scorpius and I are going to get on great, aren’t we?”  And he leant in, confident as anything, and gave Scorp a noisy kiss on the cheek which made him giggle and bat his hands at Harry’s nose.  Draco blinked, astonished.  “Go grab a cup of tea, take a breath, then head upstairs and knock their socks off.  Alright?”

   It wasn’t really alright.  Draco wanted to ask what parallel universe he’d walked into where Harry bloody Potter would just drop everything to do Draco a favour.  It wasn’t just that though, he seemed to genuinely care about Scorpius’ well-being. 

   And there was nothing attractive about that.  Nothing at all. 

   “Um,” he said stupidly.  “Okay, I guess.  If you’re really sure?”

   Harry rolled his eyes.  “Go,” he said, heading out of Draco’s cubicle himself, pulling faces without a hint of self-consciousness at Scorp to make him giggle again. 

   Draco watched them go.  “Blimey,” he said out loud, before rushing to go get ready for his blasted interview. 

 

***

 

   The whole thing was rather a blur.  Draco thought he’d done a good job, but it was hard to tell with the amount of adrenaline thrumming through his body.  He’d answered all the panel’s questions as best he good, and felt like his smile and enthusiasm had got more genuine as the interview had gone on, but he just couldn’t stop thinking about the way Harry’s eyes had lit up when he’d spoken to Scorpius.  

   Draco had been honest enough with himself to admit some months ago that his relationship with his fellow Junior, although mostly manifested through childish banter and the occasional elaborate prank, was deeply rooted in the kind of sexual chemistry that had led to most of his late night fantasies over the past year.  Harry was electric, Harry was an absolute sod, and now, out of the blue, he had flipped some sort of switch and turned into a doting babysitter. 

   If he was being really honest, there were a lot of things about Harry that reminded him of Astoria.  Wonderful Astoria, with her wicked humour and bright eyes and caring heart. 

   Draco stopped walking in the stairwell, and took a deep breath.  It had been some time since Astoria had halted him in his tracks, and he let the moment wash over him, like a wave.

   “Oh babe,” he said, looking skywards and sighing.  “What am I getting myself into?”

   He found Scorpius perched comfortably on Harry’s lap, both of them holding the iPad as they tilted it back and forth, firing fluffy birds at pigs in houses, for some unfathomable reason.  Harry cheered, unaware he was being watched, and cuddled Scorpius to him.  “Nice one mate – top score!”

   “Top score!” Scorp repeated and clapped his hands.  It was his response to everything he liked of late, and Draco smiled.

   He needed to clear his throat or something, but after all the stress of the morning, he found the tension was just seeping out of him as he watched someone else treat his little man like he was as precious and important as Draco knew he was. 

   He’d known at the time that he and Tor had been young to have a child, but he would be forever eternally grateful that they had.  It was the best decision they had ever made.  But being in your mid-twenties with a toddler was pretty unusual, and a lot of people Draco’s age judged him whether they meant to or not, assuming he must have knocked some girl up or something.  Either that, or they were so unnerved by the prospect of looking after a small child they just legged it in the opposite direction.  Harry though was almost exactly the same age as Draco, and he looked like an absolute pro, bouncing little Scorp on his knee and playing their silly game with gusto. 

   “Looks like you guys managed okay?” he said, finally, figuring if he lurked any longer it would become creepy. 

   “Daddy!” Scorpius squealed, wriggling down from Harry’s lap to fling himself at Draco’s leg.

   Harry, he mused.  How ridiculously fast he’d gone from being Potter to Harry.  Draco might have been embarrassed if he’d cared enough. 

   Harry looked just as pleased as Scorpius at Draco’s return.  “Did it go well?” he asked, eyebrows raised over his glasses. 

   Draco’s heart fluttered, before he reminded himself that Harry had gone for the same job mere hours ago – he was probably only asking for his own benefit. 

   Draco shrugged.  “Well enough, I guess,” he said, finding he was much more interested in the present situation that he was thinking about what his bosses had made of him.  “Glad it’s over.”

   “I bet,” Harry agreed with a large grin. 

   “Park now Daddy?” Scorpius piped up, tugging on his trousers.

   Draco looked down at him.  “That’s right,” he said enthusiastically.  “I did promise we could go on the swings if you were a good boy.”  And before he could stop himself, he raised his head and looked to Harry.  “Was he good Harry?” he asked, loving the way his name tasted on his lips.

   Harry smiled for a fraction of a second just for Draco, a lopsided affair that made his knees weak.  Then he looked back down at Scorpius clinging to Draco’s knee.  “He was on his best behaviour,” he confirmed with a decisive nod.  “I think the park is an excellent plan, as well as ice cream if you can manage it.”

   “Ice cream!  Ice cream!” Scorp shrieked, swinging off of Draco’s trousers, and Draco glared at Harry for putting the idea in his son’s head.

   Harry of course, just smirked triumphantly back, but there was no malice to it.

   Draco figured maybe it was that damnable smile that made his mouth move without his brain’s consent.  “Would you like to come with us?” he asked, then realised what he’d done.  

   Harry blinked, a moment of surprise on his features, before Scorpius spun around and scampered back over to his knee.  “Yes, yes!” he cried.  “Harry park, Harry swings!”

   Draco waited anxiously to see what he would make of that, but Harry gave him that lopsided side again.  Cautiously, but with a little sparkle in his eyes.  “Well, who could resist an offer like that?” he asked. 

 

***

 

   And that was how Draco ended up next to Harry in his car, as Scorpius once again chattered along to nursery rhymes in the back seat on their way to the play park near their house.  Draco was clenching the wheel so hard his knuckles had gone white, and he was staring at the road so adamantly in an effort not to glance over at the passenger seat he was making his heart skip beats.  Relax! he screamed at himself.  So what that Harry looked comfortable as anything, slouched in the seat with his suit jacket slung over his lap, like he did this every day?  So what he’d been kind and caring with his son?  He was still just as unattainable, an immature fantasy that Draco nurtured in the sparse seconds of down time he got to himself before he snatched a few hours sleep. 

   He would not risk a fling with a co-worker, and Harry would never want to tie himself down to a family, so that was that.  He told himself this firmly as he did not glance over at him.  But Harry treated him to an easy smile, and his insides dropped.

   Everyone knew Harry was gay, he made no secret of it.  Him and Cedric Diggory had been having an on-off fling that they’d all seen evidence of at more than one work night out before Diggory had finally changed jobs, so it wasn’t that Draco was afraid of rejection on that front.  It was just…this was Potter.  They stole each others’ clients and covered each others’ desks in post-its or sticky tape.  Once, Harry had even pinched Draco’s set of highlighters and somehow set them in a mould of jelly in the time it had taken Draco to come back from his lunch break.  The man was an incorrigible flirt and shameless tease, and yet…

   And yet he had taken Scorpius into his care without a moment’s pause, and now he was humming along to Humpty Dumpty like that was always on his usual choice of driving compilations.  Four years ago Draco would have sworn that would have been nothing but irritating, but now he was arguing furiously with himself that it wasn’t completely adorable.

   Oh Tor, he begged silently, glancing upwards as he often did.  I don’t know what I’m doing, help me snap out of this.

  “So what’s your favourite part of the park Scorpius?” Harry asked, turning and looking over into the back seat and earning both the senior and junior Malfoys’ attention .  Scorp broke from his mumbled singing, and Draco watched in the rear view mirror as he looked at Harry with serious consideration.  “The swings,” he said, as if it was the most important question he would answer.

   “I love the swings,” Harry agreed in that affected way he had of talking to Scorp, Draco had noticed.  It was just slightly over the top, like he really wanted his son to know everything they were talking about was really important.  Draco liked it, although he’d roll his eyes if Harry caught him looking at him whilst he did it.  “They go really fast.  Is that why you like them?”

   Scorpius gave him a slightly confused look.  “They go high,” he said. 

   Draco thought he knew what he meant.  There was that moment of weightlessness when you were on a swing, when gravity took a breath and waited for you to come back down, and in that split second, it was like you were free from everything.  He got why Scorp might light that. 

   “I bet Harry can’t go as high as you?” Draco said to Scorp, then gave Harry a wink.  He was really failing at the whole ‘playing it cool’ thing. 

   Harry spluttered in fake indignation.  “I think Daddy doesn’t realise he’s talking to a swinging champion,” he said to Scorpius.  “I bet I can go higher than you.”

   “No you can’t!” Scorpius squealed in delight, kicking his feet in excitement. 

   “Tell you what,” said Harry, raising his eyebrow over his glasses.  “If you can go higher than me, I’ll buy you and Daddy an ice cream, deal?”

   “Deal,” Scorp agreed emphatically.

  

***

 

   Sometime later, Draco sat on one of the park benches with the mid-afternoon sun beaming pleasantly overhead and a mint Cornetto dripping gently down his fingers.  “Blast,” he said, and licked the cool ice cream off before it could find its way onto his trousers.  Beside him, Harry chuckled.

   “I don’t know what you think is so funny,” he said in a prickly tone, but there was a smile tugging at the corner of his mouth.  “You have chocolate on your chin.”

   Harry had gone for some ridiculously flamboyant Magnum that had several sickly layers to it, and was eating it sinfully slowly, licking and sucking at it in a way that made Draco need to cross his legs.  But in that moment a look of horror crossed his face, and his hand flew up to wipe his chine.  Only to come away clean.

   “Made you look,” said Draco wickedly, his eyes returning to Scorpius, who was scampering around the play fort with two other children, happily whooping and giggling without a care in the world.

   “Git,” said Harry, and slapped his thigh. 

   They finished their ice creams in comfortable silence, watching the toddlers play.  Scorpius had wolfed down his Milky-Moo so fast Draco had worried he would get a headache, but he seemed fine now.  Harry had let Scorpius win their little contest of course, and made a big fuss out of losing, but Draco could tell he was basking in the attention his son was lavishing on him. 

   “You said you have a godson?” he asked by way of staring up a new conversation.  It was the first time they had been without Scorp as a buffer since before his interview, and he felt like something had shifted between them. 

   Harry nodded.  “He’s a few years older than Scorpius, seven or eight I think?  He’s the son of one of my dad’s best friends.”  He leaned forward and linked his fingers together between his knees, his eyes following Scorpius as he dashed over to the little seesaw.  “I love looking after him, I thought it would be terrifying at first.”

   “It is,” Draco protested.

   That got him a laugh.  “Of course it is,” Harry agreed.  “You just get used to the terror, that’s all.”

   Draco felt that was a very apt description of parenting. 

   “You know,” Harry went on, a minor note of caution in his voice.  “The girls in finance are going to be quite surprised by this little turn of events.”

   Draco frowned.  “How do you mean?”  He hadn’t fooled himself that news of his son wouldn’t fly through the company like wildfire, but Harry’s tone made it seem somewhat salacious. 

   Harry allowed himself a conspiratorial smirk before he turned to look at Draco.  “They’re always trying to set you up,” he said.

   “Oh,” said Draco, keeping his tone light despite the constriction in his throat.  “Well, I am actually single.”

   “They keep trying to set you up with guys,” Harry said meaningfully.

   Draco digested that for a second.  He might as well be honest he figured, though he wasn’t exactly sure why he felt that necessity all of a sudden.  “Well, um,” he stumbled, then took another breath.  “That doesn’t bother me.  I’m not really fussy in that way.”

   “You’re bi?” Harry clarified.

   Draco shrugged, and took a second to wave at Scorpius who was standing proudly at the top of the slide, demanding to be watched at he made his descent.  “I guess.  I don’t really see it like that.  I just…like who I like.”

   “Ahh,” said Harry, stretching his arms and leaning luxuriously back against the bench, like a cat getting comfortable.  “I believe the kids call that pan.”

   “What?”

   “Pan,” said Harry, sitting back up again and leaning into Draco.  His instinct was to move away, but he didn’t.  He allowed himself to just enjoy a moment to himself for once, and gently breathed in Harry’s cologne.  “Pansexual, when you’re not limited by gender.  ‘Hearts not parts’ a friend of mine once described it as.”

   Draco considered him for a breath or two, their gaze easily resting on each other.  “Huh,” he said, feeling his mouth curl up on one side.  “Yeah.  Yeah, I like that.  That sounds right.”

   Harry beamed at him.  “Congratulations,” he said.  It could have been a tease, but as he knocked his knee affectionately against Draco’s, he felt maybe it was more than that.  “You’ve just officially come out.”

   Draco shook his head.  “I wouldn’t say that.  It must have been much harder for you?” 

   He’d come to realise in sixth form that he wasn’t entirely straight, but he figured that wasn’t all that unusual for boys at boarding school – he’d not had a lack of friends to mess around with after all.  But at uni he’d found he’d had several flings with girls too, and thought maybe it had just been a phase due to an excess of hormones and only one gender to chose from.  And then there had been Astoria and that had been that. 

   But he couldn’t deny the depth of attraction he’d been quietly cultivating for Harry over the past year or two, and he had wondered where on the spectrum he stood exactly. 

   But Harry was completely gay, he was very vocal on that front, and Draco wouldn’t want to compare his experience to someone who had had to officially come out of the closet.  That seemed selfish to him.

   Harry though was looking at him fondly.  “So that was easy was it?” he said.  “Realising you weren’t straight, weren’t normal?”

   “You’re normal,” Draco snapped heatedly, a flare of anger surging through him at the kind of language he’d fought against for years, regardless of the fact he might not have been open about his own preferences.

   Harry’s eyes, if possible, grew softer.  “Thanks,” he said quietly.  “But not everyone feels like that.”

   “Anyone who thinks there’s anything wrong with you can fuck off,” he said, feeling his cheeks heat up as his stubbornly turned back to watch Scorpius as an excuse not to look at Harry.  “Anyway, that’s my point.  Society still makes it necessary for you to announce that you’re gay, risking people rejecting you solely on that one part of who you are.  I was married – to a woman – I have a son.  As far as I go, I’m just a little bit gay, and people will probably find out only if I date a guy, or if I tell them, which I’m probably too cowardly to do without cause.  So no, I don’t really see this as anything half as brave as what you had to do.”

   Harry barked out a laugh, making him jump.  He hadn’t been expecting that.  “My ‘coming out’,” Harry cheerfully announced.  “Involved me at the age of fifteen telling my parents that I was gay at the dinner table, then asking my mum to pass the butter.”

   Draco stared at him, horror struck.  He tried to imagine a similar scenario at his own home, and failed quite miserably.  His parents had no idea he’d ever shagged any boys whilst away getting educated.  In fact, he felt they had probably obstinately convinced themselves that he had been a virgin until his wedding night. 

   “What did she do?” he asked, feeling a little sick.

   Harry smiled warmly.  “Passed the butter,” he said, rubbing the material of his trousers between his thumb and fingers.  “Then my dad groaned and announced he had a bet to pay my godfather, and told me off for not waiting to come out until my next birthday party, when he’d had his money firmly placed on.”

   Draco sat back.  “Wow,” he said, blinking and looking over the playground again. 

   He started fractionally when he felt Harry’s warm hand press on his knee, his attention drawn down to the point of connection.  “I’m not saying it’s like that for everyone,” Harry said sombrely.  “In fact, quite the opposite.  But that’s why you shouldn’t undervalue what you just did.  You came out to me Draco, that’s important.”

   “But you’re gay?” he countered.  “You understand.”

   “And you’re arguing you’re not ‘gay enough’.  I think you think I’m judging you on some level.”

   Draco stared at him shrewdly.  “Don’t take this the wrong way,” he said, hoping he wasn’t going to shatter the moment.  “But since when did you get all mature and understanding?  Where’s the bloke who cackles at fart jokes and alphabetises his porn collection?”

   “Oh,” said Harry, devilment back in his eye in a heartbeat.  “He’s definitely still in here, don’t you worry.  I’m a fascinating, multi-layered creature, you just have to get to know me is all.”

   “Is that right?” Draco asked, his throat dry.

   Harry nodded.  “I have a feeling there’s a lot more to you too than meets the eye, Draco Malfoy,” he said, and licked his bottom lip.

   “Daddy, Daddy!” Scorpius chipped, and the spell between the two men was broken as Draco found his lap suddenly full of his son.  “Daddy I met a dog, look!  Yellow dog!”

   Draco turned his head to see the golden retriever he was pointing at, and its owner waved back in a friendly fashion.  “Oh,” he said, swallowing and trying to clear his head from his intense conversation with Harry.  “That’s lovely.”

   “Can we have a dog?” Scorpius asked, turning his big blue eyes up to his dad.  “I love dogs.”

   Draco stroked his soft hair.  “I don’t think so pumpkin,” he said with a sigh, almost cringing at the idea of having to manage a pet as well as a child.  “Maybe when you’re a bit older and Daddy doesn’t have to work so much?”

   Scorpius deflated, his bottom lip sticking out. 

   “I have a dog,” Harry piped up.

  Both Draco and Scorpius both straightened and looked at him. 

   “Really?” said Draco.

   Harry nodded.  “Maybe one day you could come over and play with him?”

   Scorp clapped his hands.  “Yes please!” he cried, not forgetting his manners which made Draco proud. 

   Harry lifted his eyes to Draco.  “You’re welcome to come over whenever you want,” he said.

   Draco felt electricity flare through him.  He’s just being polite! one side of his brain insisted.  He is blatantly flirting, argued the other. 

   Draco nodded and cleared his throat.  “That would be lovely,” he said as evenly as he could.  “How about we take a walk around the woods Scorp, then you can maybe meet some more dogs?”

 

***

 

   The two of them had a regular walk they did around the reasonably sized forest by the park, and on occasion Draco had had company in the form of his mother or Pansy.  But having Harry there by his side as Scorpius darted back and forth was strangely intimate.  Draco made sure to keep his hands in his pockets. 

   Scorpius was on a troll hunt, zipping back and forth between trees and bushes and puddles, brandishing a stick and challenging imaginary beasts to daring duels.  It was hard not to find him endearing, and Harry chuckled often and freely. 

   “You’re good with kids,” Draco commented without letting himself pause to think of the consequences of such an observation.  He was finding out more about Harry in the past few hours than he had in the last two years, and he was becoming quickly addicted to the concept.  He wanted to know everything about Harry Potter.

   His co-worker shrugged casually.  “I’ve always liked them, I like how they don’t have an agenda, there’s no BS with children.”

   “Very true,” Draco agree, but he didn’t miss Harry’s sigh.

   “I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to have any though,” he said.  “Not all guys want them, and adoption is notoriously hard, even in this day and age.”

   Draco wasn’t really sure what to say.  “I’m sorry,” he said simply, but Harry visibly shook off his melancholy. 

   “There’s still plenty of time to worry about that later,” he said.  “I’m still young and fabulous,” he added jovially, tilting his head and flicking his hand back as if swishing a ponytail, making Draco laugh.  Not many people were good at making Draco laugh, but Harry managed it with aplomb.  “Or, maybe I’ll reach thirty, realise the right guy is never going to come along, and just march off to Africa and Asia to make up a brood like the Jolie-Pitts,” he carried on dramatically, but Draco shrugged.

   “I think adoption is wonderful,” he admitted.  “I’m sure you’d make a great dad.”

   They shared a look for a moment, until Scorpius’ wail brought Draco snapping back to his senses.  Scorp had tripped over, and was clutching his hand, fat tears rolling down his checks.   “Oh bother,” said Draco calmly, dropping down to take a look.  “Ahh, you’re okay.  Daddy can kiss it better, okay?”

   Scorp sniffled but nodded in any case, and with a noisy kiss to his palm, Draco sent his little boy on his way again, telling him to check behind a big oak for the troll nest he was sure was there.

   “Well,” Harry said once the drama was over.  “I’ll be sure and come to you for parenting advice if I ever find myself with a little one,” he said.  “You’re a pro.”

   “Oh, I get lots of help,” Draco said, then bobbed his head, thinking of his panic that morning.  “Normally, when every single person in my life doesn’t abandon me in one fell swoop.”

   Harry laughed.  “So does he spend a lot of time with his mum then?”

   Draco’s skin flurried with goose bumps as a cold sensation chased through his body, but after a second he took a breath, and reminded himself that this topic was bound to come up sooner rather than later.

   “His mum’s no longer with us,” he said evenly.  He didn’t want to be sensational, but he preferred that turn of phrase.  People seemed to react better to it than “Unfortunately my wife is dead.”

   Harry still notably straightened though, and Draco could see him turn to look at him from the corner of his eye.  “Oh mate,” he breathed.  “I am so sorry, I had no idea.”

   “Why would you?” Draco asked kindly.  “I don’t make a point of telling people.”

   “But, all those insults-” Harry started, clearly thinking of the many times he’d mocked Draco’s sex life, or lack thereof.  

   “Don’t be silly,” Draco interrupted though.  “If it really bothered me, I would have said something.” 

   “Oh,” said Harry softly.  “I’m still sorry.”

   “Thank you,” Draco conceded.  It was nice to hear it after all, even after so much time.

   “How did it happen?” Harry asked tentatively. 

   “Car crash,” Draco said simply, firmly keeping the memories of those awful days pushed to the back of his mind where they now lived.  He would not think of Astoria like that.  He would always think of his beautiful wife on her happiest days, how wonderful she was in the short time she got to be a mother.  “Scorpius was only six months old, he doesn’t even remember her.”

   He hadn’t realised his hands had come free of their pockets until Harry reached over and squeezed the one closest to him.  It was only brief, but Draco’s whole body lit up like a firework.  “I think he does,” he said, “in his own way.”  Draco blinked at him, carefully sliding his hand safely back in his trousers.  What could he mean by that?  But Harry was ready to answer that for him.  “He showed me Princess.”

   “Ah,” said Draco delicately.  They had left the rag doll in the car, but he had wondered if the subject had come up in his son’s time with Harry.  “I guess you thought that was odd?”

   Harry scoffed.  “I hate gendering of toys,” he said crossly, and Draco believed him without pause.  “I told him she was lovely, and he told me she was his special princess.  He said that some princesses have to go to Heaven to become angels, but Princess would always stay with him.”

   Draco felt the lump rise in his throat, not sure how to express his gratitude at Harry’s unapologetic understanding.  “He has a big book of fairytales,” he said, aware of the slight tremble in his voice.  “It seemed the best way to try and explain why he doesn’t have a mummy.” 

   Harry nodded.  “Like I said,” he replied, and cleared his throat.  “Great dad.”

   They changed the subject after that, chatting about work and musing on their other rivals for the job they had gone for earlier in the day.  Draco would have assumed that it would be tense to discuss, but he soon realised they were both quite light-hearted on the subject.  Neither asked the other how they had done, instead choosing to mock their other rivals instead.  The conversation naturally flowed into sport and their time at university, and before Draco knew it, they were back at the car, the evening sky starting to darken around the edges.

   He was going to ask Harry if he wanted a lift back to the office, to get the car he imagined he had left there.  Or, if that wasn’t the case, offer to drive him back home.  But that wasn’t what came out of his mouth. 

   “You’re not free to join us for dinner are you?”

   He had only a second to panic that a whole sentence of unintended words had come out of his mouth, when Harry’s face broke into a wonderful smile.  “That would be great,” he said genuinely.  “As long as I’m not intruding?”

   “What do you think champ?” Draco asked his sleepy son perched on his hip.  “If Harry comes home for dinner, we could get a Chinese?”

   Scorpius popped his thumb from his mouth, blue eyes widening.  “Chicken and chips?” he asked hopefully.

   “And chow mein for Daddy,” Draco said, finishing the little alliteration they always used. 

   “Does that mean I have to order something beginning with a ‘ch’?” Harry asked playfully as they got Scorpius settled in his car seat.

   “Of course,” Draco told him with a wink.

 

***

 

   Whilst Scorpius napped in the car, Draco and Harry dropped by the local Chinese restaurant and ordered half the menu.  Draco realised that aside from some mint ice cream, he’d not eaten all day and was absolutely ravenous, and Harry insisted they get a variety of dishes so Draco could try the ones he himself liked.  “You can always have anything we don’t eat for breakfast tomorrow,” Harry suggested when Draco had proposed they had maybe gone a bit overboard.  At Draco’s noise of disgust at the thought of cold leftovers for breakfast, Harry had just wiggled his eyebrows gleefully and added an extra foo young to their order. 

   By the time they got home Scorpius was wide awake again and ready for his plain chicken and chips, though Draco caught Harry’s impressed look as he dipped everything in a pot of sweet and sour sauce.  Draco let Scorp try everything and tried not to make a fuss around food, and so far he had quite a wide pallet for such a little boy.

   They all sat around the living room table with the radio playing pleasantly in the background, and Harry followed Draco’s example of helping himself to whatever he wanted to directly from the boxes, piling their plates with a whole host of different dishes.  “Here,” Harry said halfway through their second helping.  “Try some crispy squid.”

   He held several deep fried portions between his chopsticks, and Draco realised in alarm he intended to feed him.  “Um,” he said, panicking.

   “Try Daddy,” Scorpius piped up.

   “Yeah,” Harry agreed with a raised eyebrow.  He did that a lot, Draco had come to realise.  “Weren’t you just telling Scorp he was a good boy for trying a spring roll?”

   He had, in fact, said that exact thing about five minutes ago.  And he would be happy to try something new, he was a firm believer in that.  Just…this seemed very intimate.

   But Harry and Scorp were both looking at him expectantly, so he rolled his eyes and made a show of huffing.  “Fine,” he moaned, and ate the damn squid to Scorpius’ round of applause. 

   “See,” said Harry, as Draco nodded in approval at the salty crunchiness.  “That wasn’t so bad, was it?”

   The twinkle in his eye suggested he knew that Draco had never been bothered by trying a bit of seafood, and his insides fizzled.

   Draco was fully aware that he now had Harry in his home, and that without thinking through the consequences thoroughly, they had both already made it through two beers each.  Harry could always get a taxi, but seeing as it was a Friday night, it seemed so much more likely that he would just crash on the couch.

   Yes, definitely the couch, Draco had assured himself as the third bottles had been opened and they had picked at prawn crackers.  Not anywhere else.

   It was creeping up to Scorpius’ bedtime, and Draco decided that he needed to take charge of the evening a little bit.  So once they could no longer manage another mouthful between them, he suggested that Harry clear up what remained (for what would be a near-enough banquet for breakfast tomorrow, just as Draco had suspected) and he would take Scorpius upstairs.

   Despite his nap, the tantrum that followed was not unexpected. “No!” Scorpius had screeched.  “Not tired, not TIRED!”  He was obviously extremely tired from such an unusual day, but clearly wanted to stay up with his new friend Harry, and Draco had to be strong.

   “Harry and Daddy are going to have some grown up time now,” he said as he plonked his whimpering son into the bath.  “You’ve been such a good boy today, I’m sure you can be a good boy now.”

   “No!” came the adamant response, and Draco sighed.

   It took almost an hour to get Scorp to go down in the end, but Draco stuck to his guns, walking him calmly back to his room whenever he tried to escape, sitting in the hallway until finally, mercifully, he crept in to see the small, sprawled out form of his unconscious son laying diagonally across the mattress.  “Good boy,” he murmured, running his hand through his hair and trying not to feel as frazzled as his nerves assured him he should be.

   Harry had probably got fed up and left, he told himself as he carefully tucked the blanket around Scorpius’ sides and made sure Princess was under his arm, ready for when he stirred.  That was okay, they had had a lovely day, something Draco would never in a million years have predicted.  He would drop Harry a text and thank him; he was pretty certain he had his number programmed in.   

   Except, Harry had not left.  He had cleaned the living room to a standard Draco hadn’t remembered seeing it in months, and was curled up on his sofa with his Kindle, half a beer dangling casually from his fingers.  A full, cold bottle was perched on a coaster at the other end of the table, and Draco looked between it and Harry in surprise.

   Harry however looked relieved to see him.  “That seemed tough,” he said in a soft voice, turning off his book and sitting up.  “I wanted to help, but it seemed better to leave you to it.”

   He reached over to hand Draco his beer, and Draco felt a sudden pang for simple domestic life.  He and Tor had spent so many evenings on this sofa, and he had missed having someone else in the house actually thinking about him for once. 

   He took a fraction too long to take the bottle from Harry.  “What’s wrong?” he asked gently.

   Draco shook his head, finding his senses again, and accepted the drink.  “Sorry,” he said, blinking away the wetness that had threatened at the corner of his eyes, and sank into the couch.  “Long day.  Thank you.”  He indicated the beer, but he meant so much more. 

   Harry nodded, pleased, and leaned forward again.  “I thought we could watch a film?” he said, picking up a couple of DVDs he had obviously selected from Draco’s collection and showed them to him.

   That means you want to stay? Draco almost asked, but he was done with being cautious.  Yes, Harry had joined them for dinner and cleaned up his lounge and made himself so comfortable Draco would have been forgiven for forgetting he had never set foot in his house until a few hours previous.  He had planned their evening whilst Draco had wrestled with Scorpius, so yes.  Yes he wanted to stay. 

   “Anything with a spy in is good in my books,” he said, indicating the latest Mission Impossible film, and Harry’s face lit up. 

   “I was hoping you’d pick that one.”

 

***

 

   It turned out that Harry shared Draco’s habit of chatting through films, something Astoria always used to grumble at him for, bless her.  Harry liked to talk to the characters as if they could hear him, whereas Draco liked to pull apart the plot, or geek out over the stunts or special effects.  Harry also made no effort to hide his crush on Simon Pegg, which Draco berated him for, but secretly found quite adorable.  “Look, Ethan agrees with me, don’t you Ethan!” he said, careful to keep his voice low so as not to disturb Scorpius as he jabbed his finger accusingly at Tom Cruise’s character on the screen.  “He’s so in love with him it’s disgraceful.  At least try and play a little hard to get,” he chastised as the super spy negotiated the nullification of the bomb strapped around his friend’s chest.

   “Okay,” Draco admitted.  “They are pretty gay for each other.”

   “Thank you,” Harry said smugly.

   Draco never had his phone more than three feet away from him when he was at home, as it acted as his baby monitor too.  So when it lit up with a text message he noticed it immediately.  He also noticed Harry fidget at the same moment, and fish his own mobile out of his pocket.

   “It’s from HR,” he said, as Draco reached over to read his own text.  Sure enough, it was from the office.

   He quickly opened it up and took in the small words on the glowing screen.  “Oh,” he said as a mix of emotions shot through him, and he looked up at Harry.  “Sooo…” 

   “Michael Corner got it,” Harry finished, and they both held each other’s gaze for a moment.

   “Oh thank fuck for that,” Draco cried as he dropped his phone onto the cushions and covered his eyes, letting out a laugh of pure relief. 

   “What?” Harry asked confused, and Draco laughed again.

   He lowered his hands and shook his head.  “All day,” he said.  “All day I kept looking at Scorpius and I was thinking why on Earth am I going for a job that means I’ll have to spend more time away from him, a job I don’t even want!”

   Harry shook his head.  “Seriously?” he asked, and Draco nodded, still feeling giddy with relief and light from all the beers he’d had.  “Then,” Harry slowly asked.  “Why did you go for it?”

   Draco shrugged and flopped back against the sofa.  “I don’t know,” he said, laughing again and wondering if he was a bit hysterical.  “Because I was supposed to?  Because Marcus wanted me to?”  He rubbed his eyes again and took a bigger breath.  “I guess,” he carried on in a slightly more sober tone.  “I was starting to feel like my life had no direction, and this gave me something to work towards.  But I’m so happy right now-”  He suddenly looked at Harry.  “Oh shit,” he said, feeling like a right bastard.  “I’m so sorry you didn’t get it though.”

   Harry though had placed his phone on the table, and had his hands looped together in his lap, a sheepish grin forming on his face.  “Um,” he said, looking up at Draco through his lashes.  “I have a confession.”

   Draco frowned at him.  “Okay?” he prompted.

   “I never wanted the job either,” Harry blurted in a rush.  “I just went for it because you did.”

   “What?” Draco uttered, perplexed.

   “I, um,” Harry said, his ears a little pink as he squirmed at the other end of the sofa, which, all things considered, wasn’t all that far away.  “I didn’t want you to leave our team, I wanted to try and keep up with you.  Plus, I like winding you up, so it uh, was a win-win for me, unless you actually got the job and left.”

   Draco couldn’t think what to say, he just stared at him until his voice finally came crawling up his throat.  “You little shit!” he hissed, slapping his shin and trying not to laugh. 

   “What!” Harry cried, grinning ear to ear.  “You just said you didn’t even want the job either!”

   “But you just went for it to mess with me!” Draco retorted, trying to keep his voice low, but he was laughing uncontrollably now, and grabbed a pillow to wallop Harry with.

   Harry pushed back and they lunged at each other like children, tickling the other’s ribs and trying to pin the other down to claim victory.  “I love messing with you though,” Harry said between breaths, more and more pillows becoming dishevelled as they twisted joyfully in each other’s arms, pulling and wriggling to try and win the play fight.

   Until in a breath, Draco realised he was under Harry’s firm body, their legs entwined and his arms above his head, and Harry’s face slackened into something quite serious.  There were several moments where they just stared at each other, their breathing slowing and the tension thickening. 

   “Actually,” Harry rasped, his green eyes searching.  “There’s quite a lot of things I love about you.”

   Draco gulped.  It was an audible noise that betrayed the mild terror that fluttered through him, but it was almost immediately dampened by the untameable surge of desire that made every inch of his skin swiftly feel like it was too hot and too tight for his body to handle.   He lifted one of his hands, and timidly placed it against the side of Harry’s face.

   He responded by letting out a breath, closing his eyes, and leaning into the touch.  Draco watched him with something akin to wonder.  “There’s quite a lot of things,” he said, his voice almost too quiet to hear.  “I think I love about you too.”

   Harry held his gaze as he licked his lips, and gradually, as if in slow motion, lowered his lips to meet Draco’s.

   He hadn’t kissed anyone in so long, not since he’d lost Astoria so cruelly, and he couldn’t help the sob that escaped his mouth as he pulled Harry closer to him, their tongues thrusting forwards as the kiss intensified almost immediately.  “Fuck,” Harry gasped as their bodies pressed together.  “Fuck, I’ve wanted this for so long.”

   “You have?” Draco asked, pulling back to look at him in surprise, but Harry wasn’t having any of that.  He slid one hand through his hair and pulled their mouths firmly back together. 

   “Yes,” he said as he migrated down Draco’s jaw line.  “You pillock.  Why do you think I’m always fucking with you?  I might as well have been wearing a sign that said ‘Please pay attention to me you gorgeous sod.’

   Draco was struggling to concentrate as Harry kissed his neck in a way that sent shivers all the way down to his toes.  “I never realised,” he managed to mumble, his hands roaming up and down Harry’s back.  He could feel the muscles playing under his fingers and he groaned with want. 

   “And now I know why,” Harry said, his voice rumbling through his chest and against Draco’s.  “You’re always too busy looking after other people, looking after Scorp.”  He stared down at him, his eyes positively smouldering.  “I want to look after you now, if you’ll let me?” 

   Draco shuddered, unable to talk.  Harry was gripping him possessively, rolling his hips ever so slightly against Draco’s, and he had no illusions as to just how he wanted to look after him.

   “Let me take care of you?” Harry asked, so sweetly as he trailed his fingertips over Draco’s cheek, touching his thumb gently to Draco’s lower lip. 

   Draco nodded, his heart thumping wildly against his ribcage.  “Yes,” he said, his voice husky with desire.  “Yes Harry, please.”

   Harry got to his feet, pulling Draco with him, and for a moment they stood with their hands clasped between them, their breath mingling as they panted shallowly.  “Come on,” Harry said, and began to lead him out of the room.

   Draco paused to fetch his phone, never forgetting that Scorpius could wake at any moment, but begging silently that he would sleep for a little longer.  He wanted this so badly he ached.

   Harry kept his fingers interlocked with Draco’s as he confidently lead them upstairs, then looked to Draco for a queue as to which was his bedroom.  With a nod, he told him, and Harry walked backwards through the doorway, bringing Draco along with him. 

   “God, you’re so hot,” Draco whispered as he reached behind and closed the door, dropping the phone on the bedside drawers.

   “Says you,” Harry all but growled, pulling him around and pushing him onto the bed.  Draco felt a spike of lust surge through him. 

   The curtains were still open, and they had just enough street and moon light to see by, which was a good thing, because he didn’t want to miss a second of Harry’s attentions to him.  He moved up so his head was on the pillows, Harry watching him like a predator.  It was then Draco’s turn to watch as he slowly crawled up the bed to hover over him, his hands running up his arms to rest on his shoulders. 

   Harry’s legs were either side of Draco’s hips, and he lowered himself to sit carefully on Draco’s lap, lining up their arousals and making Draco gasp.  “Shhh,” Harry soothed him, and began unbuttoning his shirt, his hands hot against Draco’s skin.  He always had such cold hands, and he worried Harry wouldn’t like that.

   It  must have shown on his face because Harry tutted and stopped his work on the buttons to cup his face and demand his attention. 

   “None of that now,” he urged, kindness clear in his hushed tones.  “You’re going to be so relaxed by the time I’m through with you, you’re going to be nothing but a puddle of goo.”  Draco bit his lip and tried to look away, but Harry tilted his chin and caught his gaze again.  “Can you do that for me, and you relax and let me take care of you?”  His eyes skirted Draco’s face for a second.  “Please Draco, I’ve wanted this for so long, I didn’t know you needed it so badly though.  Let me undo you?”

   Draco was mesmerised.  Harry really just wanted him to lie back and think of England?  He had to admit, the idea was so appealing he could feel himself relaxing into arousal at just the thought of it.  “You don’t want me to do anything for you?” he asked, lifting his hand and stroking the side of his face. 

   Harry shook his head.  “Not tonight,” he said, and the implication this was just the first night between them set off fireworks inside Draco’s chest.  “All I want is for you to enjoy yourself.  Is it okay if I top?”

   Draco had experimented with several different ways of fucking with guys along the way, but as he’d gotten older he’d always taken charge and dominated the situation, which generally meant topping.  But now, under Harry’s solid weight, he couldn’t think of anything he wanted more than to let himself be taken wholly and completely by the dazzling man he’d become so infatuated with without even realising. 

   He nodded.  “Make love to me,” he whispered, aware of a single tear slipping down the side of his face.  Astoria had always taken care of him, she’d been so wonderful in every way, including in the bedroom, and Draco had never even thought about sharing that again with anyone else until that moment. 

   “I will,” Harry promised, tenderness ringing through those two simple words as he bent down to pepper Draco’s lips and face with fluttering kisses.  “I will baby.”

   The familiar pet name caused another sob to rattle through Draco’s chest, and he hugged Harry tightly to him; he was starting to appreciate how much he had missed simply being held by a lover. 

   “I’ve got you,” Harry whispered, kissing and stroking him.  “I’ve got you.”

   When Draco’s grip lessened, Harry began to undress him again.  His ministrations didn’t feel rushed, but they were efficient nonetheless and it wasn’t long before Draco was naked and slipping himself between the sheets as Harry tugged off the last of his own clothes and placed his glasses carefully down by Draco’s phone.  He was beautiful naked, with a lovely dusting of dark hair across his toned chest that trailed down to the coarser hair between his legs, where his erection stood to attention, bobbing as he slid himself into the bed beside Draco.

   “Is this okay?” he asked as they lay facing one another, Harry’s strong hand trailing up and down Draco’s arm.  He nuzzled their noses together in an Eskimo kiss, and Draco felt himself smiling in the near darkness.  He was sure Harry was a bit younger than him, but he was obviously extremely confident in the bedroom and not shy about his body as he coaxed Draco closer to him, their legs entwining and their bellies and cocks rubbing slowly against each other, the almost imperceptible movement sweet torture.

   “Yes,” he murmured.  “Yes, Harry.”

   “We could just do this?” Harry offered.  “If it’s too much to-”

   “No,” Draco stopped him.  “No, I want you inside me, I just want to feel you, I want to let everything else melt away, just for a moment.”

   Harry nodded, understanding, not making Draco feel selfish for wanting something for just him, for needing a break and to be taken away from himself.  “Do you have lube?” he asked, and Draco nodded, pointing at the drawer.  He made to sit up and get it, but Harry pushed him back down.  “Ah ah,” he teased fondly.  “You just get comfy okay, lie however you like it, that’s all I want you to do.”

   Draco smiled sheepishly.  “Okay,” he said.

   “Good,” Harry murmured, giving him a kiss on the lips and sending electric pulses down Draco’s spine. 

   He wasted no time in fetching out the bottle Draco kept to hand for his private, intimate moments, and then he got a condom out from his wallet still in his trouser pocket on the floor, which Draco was extremely grateful for as he hadn’t even thought about buying a packet of those in years.  Harry left the small foil square on the side for the time being though, pumping out some of the silky gel into his hand, and coming back to meet Draco, who had stayed on his side hoping Harry would take his throbbing prick in hand like he did.

   He moaned quietly, and nuzzled his face into the crook of Harry’s neck.  “I want to be on my back,” he said to Harry by way of an explanation.  “But just wanted a little longer like this, so nice…”

   “Okay lover,” Harry rasped, kissing the top of his head as he stroked Draco’s his taut arousal.  “That sounds perfect.”

   “I want to see you,” Draco said, his desperation to be grounded in reality and not in a fantasy clear in the tension of his words. 

   “I want to see you too baby,” Harry uttered, trailing kisses along his collar bone.  “I want to kiss you.”  Draco whimpered and thrust his crotch into Harry’s curled fingers, but Harry chuckled.  “Hey, hey,” he whispered.  “I’ve got you, lie back now, lie back.” 

   Draco took a shuddery breath and relaxed as Harry let him go.  He did as he was told, rolling onto the mattress as Harry recoated his fingers with another application of lube, then came back to settle over Draco, the duvet snug over them both.  Draco felt warm and safe as Harry captured his lips in a deep kiss, then artfully snuck his arm between their bodies and began to tease his entrance with a single cool and slippery finger.  Draco was so tight he almost felt like a virgin again, but Harry wasn’t to be put off.

   “Draco,” he breathed between kisses.  “Fuck, I’ve wanted you for so long, you’re so beautiful.”

   “Harry,” he stuttered, focusing on his breathing, willing himself to open up. 

   “You’re such a difficult little sod,” Harry chuckled fondly, kissing along his neck again.  “I tried so hard not to fall for you, but you just always grab my attention, no one else stood a chance.”

   Draco thought of poor Cedric Diggory and how Harry kept breaking it off with him.  Was that really because he had wanted Draco all along? 

   “Couldn’t think about anyone else,” Draco managed to agree, his words catching in his haze of lust.  “Didn’t want, don’t want-”

   “I’ve got you, I’ve got you,” Harry assured him, gently easing his finger inside, and Draco gasped, pushing against Harry’s hand, eager for more.  “No one else,” Harry promised.  “No one else for us now.”  He picked up the pace gradually, easing a second finger in after Draco had gotten used to the first, and spent his time gently stretching him open.  “So good,” he mumbled into Draco’s mouth.  “You’re doing so well for me, you feel amazing.”

   Draco’s hands never stopped moving, running all over Harry’s back and along his arms and shoulders, though his hair, gasping for breath as he looked into his eyes. 

   “Is it okay?” Harry asked.

   Draco nodded in a jerky motion, overcome with sensation.  “So good,” he stuttered.  “So good, don’t stop.”

   “I won’t gorgeous,” Harry promised, his mouth curling into a beautiful smile.  His eyes were naked without their usual glasses to protect them, and even in the dim light Draco would have sworn they were greener.  “You’re doing so well for me.”

   Draco made a keening noise and shut his eyes, turning his face into Harry’s arm and pulsing in time with his tender thrusts inside him.  “Harry,” he gasped again.

   “Draco,” he whispered with a hint of a command to it.  “Draco look at me please.”

   Draco did what he was told, following Harry’s instruction without pause.  “Yes?” he said.

   Harry bit his lip.  “You’re being so good for me,” he said lovingly.  “You don’t have to worry about anything okay?  Just look at me, alright?  I’m going to add another finger now, I want you to relax and take it for me.  Can you do that?”

   He could do that, he knew it.  He could do whatever Harry wanted him to.  “Yes Harry,” he rasped. 

   “I knew you could,” he murmured, dipping down for a lazy, possessive kiss.  There was a shift, and Draco’s breath caught as the burn swept through him, but Harry didn’t rush.  “Shh,” he placated, his other hand cradling the back of Draco’s neck as he rolled their bodies together, rubbing delicious friction against Draco’s cock and distracting him from the almost painful sensation.  “Shh, it’s okay, you’re doing perfectly, look at me Draco, stay with me.”

   Draco nodded, his hands tightly gripping Harry’s hair, but he didn’t seem to mind, and gradually, Draco got used to the new sensation.  “I’m ready,” he said.  “Harry I want you.”

   “Just a little longer,” Harry told him, then crooked the angle of his fingers, and Draco hand to snatch his hand away to stuff it in his mouth to stop himself screaming.  “Ahh,” said Harry happily.  “There it is.”

   He pumped his fingers slowly in and out of Draco for a little longer, before finally retracting them and reaching for the condom.  Draco panted, his body fizzing with energy as he watched his lover rip the packet with his teeth and then roll in onto his own cock.  As he positioned himself between Draco’s thighs one more, Draco obediently wrapped his legs around Harry’s waist, giving him easier access. 

   “You’re so beautiful,” Harry said reverently as he nudged his tip into Draco’s entrance.  “God I’m so lucky, you were so worth waiting for my gorgeous man.”  Draco couldn’t find his voice, so instead he took Harry’s face in his hands, and carefully pulled him in for a lingering, open mouthed kiss. 

   Fingers were never the same as a blood-heavy, pulsing penis, and Draco shifted as Harry slowly entered him, acclimatising to the fullness as the burn went from almost unbearable to deliciously pleasant.  Harry made an almost animalistic growl as Draco enveloped him tightly.  “Is it okay?” Draco asked, unable to help himself.

   “It’s perfect,” Harry gasped, eyes fluttering in elation.  “Fuck, Draco, you feel amazing.”

   “You can move,” Draco stuttered.  “Please move.  Oh, Harry-!”

   Harry began to rock gently inside him, and they undulated their bodies together in time, fingers digging into flesh and eyes locked on one another.  It had been so many years since he had had sex, Draco could tell he wasn’t going to last long, not with all the attention Harry had given him so far. 

   “Tell me when you’re going to come,” Harry urged, but at that moment he found Draco’s prostate again, and he clamped his jaw together to stop himself squealing like a pig. 

   “Not long,” he panted, scrabbling for purchase on Harry’s skin or the bed sheets – anything to anchor him down.  “Oh, Harry, oh, oh!”

   “Tell me Draco,” Harry begged, and Draco nodded. 

   “I’m – I’m – oh, now, now!”

   He felt like his entire body shattered into a thousand shards of glass as Harry sped up, slamming into his sweet spot as he came in hot, thick bursts all over his stomach.  Harry’s face screwed up as he gave the final few thrusts, and then he was seizing Draco to him, the lengths of their bodies pressed together as his climax tore through him. 

   They collapsed together, boneless on top of the mattress, Harry’s softening cock still inside Draco.  They must have done nothing but breathe and hold each other tightly in their sticky mess for several minutes by Draco’s count, until Harry finally raised his head and stroked Draco’s hair from his face. 

   “Are you okay?” he asked, his face lined with concern.  “I sort of…lost myself a bit there.”

   Draco took a second to understand what he was asking.  “I’m incredible,” he replied lethargically, a smirk on his face.  “Harry that was hands down the best I have ever been fucked.  You amazing, beautiful bastard.”

   Harry’s face broke into a tired but gleeful smile, and he peppered kisses all over Draco’s face.  “That wasn’t fucking though,” he admonished.  “We made love.  If you want me to fuck you when you’ve not had such a full on day, I will take you apart so beautifully you won’t be able to walk for days.”

   “Potter,” Draco scolded him, accompanied by a slap on the arse, but he didn’t mean it in the slightest.  In fact, he was extremely tempted to ask what Harry was planning on doing for the rest of the weekend, but then he came back to his senses. 

   This wasn’t just about the two of them, this was about Scorpius too, so a change like this to their routine would need to be handled slowly.  And, as if on cue, Draco’s baby monitor app alerted on his phone by the bed, and a distressed little cry came over the small speaker.

   Both heads snapped towards it, and Harry hastily pulled himself free.  “Hang on,” he said, snatching several tissues from the box to hand, and mopped Draco up with expert precision. 

   “I’m sorry,” Draco said, half upset that he couldn’t lay and cuddle with Harry like he so desperately wanted to, and half grateful that Scorp had timed himself almost perfectly.  Either way, he was in a rush to get to his little boy, and as soon as he was clean enough he rolled out of the bed and unhooked his dressing gown from the back of the door.

   As he turned though, Harry was already up, unabashed by his nakedness as he deftly grabbed the dressing gown ties and secured the robe tightly.  “Don’t be absurd,” he admonished, giving Draco a quick kiss on the lips.  “You’ve nothing at all to be sorry for.  Go look after the little tyke, and I’ll be waiting for you when you get back.”

   Draco paused.  “You will?” he asked stupidly.  There was a small part of his brain that half expected now that Harry had got his end away, he’d be out the door and back to his uncomplicated life. 

   Harry looked stunned.  “Of course I will,” he said crossly, but then his face fell slack.  “Unless you want me to go.  If it’s not okay for me to be here when Scorpius wakes up-”

   Draco silenced him with a kiss.  “Don’t be absurd,” he parroted back, aware that Scorpius was still making odd noises, probably having a bad dream.  But he needed Harry to know this.  “I – you – please stay.  Please.  I want you to and Scorp already thinks you’re marvellous.  I just though it – us – our situation might be a lot for you to take in?”

   Harry sighed, and stroked Draco’s hair.  Even though he was slightly shorter, and even though they were no longer in bed, he still had a commanding air about him.  “I thought I was smitten with you before, you big lug,” he teased.  “Then I saw you being a dad and-” he broke off and swallowed, and even in the dim street light Draco could see his eyes glistening.  “Let’s just say, I have a lot of boxes to be ticked to qualify to be my ideal man.  And from what I’m seeing, you’ve got it nailed.”

   Draco allowed his gaze to linger just a fraction longer, words failing him yet again, before he planted a firm kiss on his lover’s lips, and darted out of his room.

   Scorpius was indeed having a nightmare, and Draco knew in a year or so he would have to remove the monitor and let him deal with them by himself.  But in the here and now, he gently shook his son’s shoulder, urging him awake.  “Scorpius,” he called out softly.  “Scorpius it’s okay, Daddy’s here, it’s just a bad dream.”

   Eventually, he opened his bleary eyes, and blinked himself awake.  “Daddy?”

   “I’m here,” Draco affirmed.  “You’re alright.”

   Scorpius struggled up and threw his arms around Draco’s waist for a hug.  “Bad dream,” he sniffled. 

   “I know champ,” Draco soothed.  “I know.  Daddy’s here, I’ll look after you.”  Scorpius hiccupped a sob though, and Draco wasn’t convinced.  “And Princess,” he said, fishing the rag doll out from the tangle of covers.  “Princess is here to sleep next to you.”

   Scorpius seized his special doll into his arms and clutched her fiercely, his head still pressed to Draco’s stomach.  “Don’t go,” he whined.

   “I’m not going to go,” Draco assured him quickly.  “I’ll stay until you fall asleep, okay?”

   But Scorpius shook his head.  “Don’t go to heaven,” he pleaded, and Draco’s heart almost broke.  Whatever nightmare he’d been having, must have been a bad one. 

   “I’m not going to heaven,” he said, he voice thick, so he cleared his throat.  “Not for a very, very long time, I promise.”

   “Promise?” Scorpius demanded.

   Draco was sure Astoria would have promised the same thing, but he couldn’t explain that to his little boy.  All he could do was assure him that as long as it was humanly possible, he would never leave him,  “Promise,” he repeated firmly.  “Now you snuggle down and close your eyes, and Daddy will stay right here until you fall asleep, okay?”

   Scorpius already looked like he was half gone again as it was, his eyelids opening and closing slowly, and he flopped back down onto his pillows, Princess held securely to his chest.  “Okay,” he mumbled.

   Draco was never any good at singing.  Tor had a lovely voice, and she used to serenade Scorp to sleep when he was an infant, screaming at ungodly hours of the morning.  He searched his memory now for one of the songs she had preferred.  Astoria had never really been one for traditional lullabies. 

   “Remember those walls I built,” he began croakily, unsure of what he was doing.  But Scorpius smiled sleepily up at him and began sucking his thumb again, renewing his confidence.  “Well baby they're tumbling down.  And they didn't even put up a fight, they didn't even make a sound.”

   His voice was scratchy and he was undoubtedly off key, but he carried on in his soft baritone anyway. 

  “I found a way to let you in, but I never really had a doubt.  Standing in the light of your halo, I've got my angel now. 

   “It's like I've been awakened, every rule I had you breaking, it's the risk that I'm taking, I’m never gonna shut you out.  Everywhere I'm looking now, I'm surrounded by your embrace.  Baby I can see your halo, you know you're my saving grace.”

   He had to think of the next lyrics for a moment as Scorpius sighed and snuggled further into the blankets.  He remembered them after a few seconds combing his memoiry though, and after clearing his throat, he began again. 

   “You're everything I need and more, it's written all over your face, baby I can feel your halo, pray it won't fade away.  I can feel your halo halo halo, I can see your halo halo halo.”  He stroked his son’s fine hair, watching him as he drifted back off to sleep.  “Pray it won’t fade away,” he finished, a little hoarsely. 

   He stood, careful not to disturb the bed too much, and tiptoed to the door.  But a tiny sleepy voice caught him before he could make his exit.  “Daddy?” Scorpius asked, in no more than a mutter.

   “Yes darling?” he replied, his hand on the door as he turned. 

   Scorpius sighed, obviously on the edge of unconscious.  “I like Harry,” he said.

   A lump rose in Draco’s throat, and he gave an involuntary glace to the empty hallway, wondering what his new lover could hear.  “I like Harry too,” he said, hope blossoming in his chest.  “He, um.  He could come to breakfast tomorrow, if you like?”

   Scorpius turned over in his bed, his back to Draco.  “Yes please,” he mumbled into his pillow.  “Night night Daddy.”

   “Night night pumpkin,” he replied automatically, a little stunned, and carefully exited the room, closing the door with a soft click.

   As promised, Harry was waiting in bed for him when he returned, shutting his own door and slipping off the robe.  Harry was still very naked under the sheets too he soon discovered, as he pulled him into his arms.  “Is he okay?”

   “He’s fine,” Draco said, feeling a mite overwhelmed.  “He, um.  He wanted you to come to breakfast tomorrow.  Someone has to eat all that cold Chinese after all,” he tacked on as joke, but he was tense waiting for his answer. 

   He felt Harry still, then pull him closer into his embrace.  “I’d be honoured,” he said.

   Draco sighed, a deep contentment seeping through him.  “Me too,” he said, curling into Harry’s warmth.  “Me too.” 

 

 

The End