“Once upon a time there was a Dragon,” Draco begins and leans back against the headboard of the bed, Scorpius shuffling closer, small body wrapped around his father's side, short legs hooked over Draco's and thin arm wound around his thighs, silver-blonde head resting on Draco's lap.
“What kind of dragon?” the boy asks eagerly as long fingers tangle in his hair to massage the scalp softly.
“Oh, a beautiful one,” Draco continues the tale. “He was tall and had bright white scales and golden horns on his head. He was as vicious and dangerous as a Hungarian Horntail, spat fire like a Swedish Short-Snout and roared like a Common Welsh Green.”
“And he was also very arrogant,” Harry chimes in from his position on the armchair next to the bed, an amused glint in his eyes and a smirk on his lips. Draco shoots him a glare that lacks heat and his response is a slight shrug that's not in the least apologetic before Scorpius tugs on his shirt sleeve and he looks down to be met with a wide-eyed stare.
“He was arrogant?” Scorpius asks and worries his bottom lip with his teeth, unconsciously showing off the gap where one of his incisors fell out a few days ago. Sighing softly, Draco resumes petting his son's hair and nods slowly. “Yes, he was arrogant. You see, he was from a long and strong line of dragons, a noble breed, and he thought he was better than all the other dragons.”
“And was he better than the other dragons?” Scorpius wants to know and his father smiles softly at him, eyes flickering towards the man sitting on the armchair and then back to his son. “He was better than some, but not because of his family or his breeding. And when I say better, then I mean not completely better, but more skilled in some things—in cunning for example.”
“Or sarcasm,” Harry interrupts yet again, but Draco can't be mad at him when he sees the smile on his face and the fondness in his eyes. “The Dragon was very good at sarcasm,” Harry tells Scorpius earnestly. “And at sneering.”
“I'll have you know, sneering is a skill that must be learned and refined over the course of years until it is perfect.”
Harry chuckles softly and reaches one hand out to brush a thumb over Draco's bottom lip, nail catching on bared teeth. Scorpius makes gagging noises and whinges, “Dad! You're doing your icky grown-ups stuff with Harry again!”
“One day, you'll do the 'icky grown-ups stuff' too, and,” Harry leans in and lowers his voice conspiratorially, “you'll enjoy it.”
Squeaking with horror and disgust alike, the boy shakes his head violently, denying every possibility of doingsomething disgusting as this, ever. Harry only laughs and leans back, his fingertips caressing the soft skin of Draco's cheek as he withdraws his hand.
“Silly me,” Draco sighs, but there's a smile curling the corners of his lips. “And here I thought my son wanted a bedtime story before he has to go to sleep. But I guess I can go now.” Shifting slightly as if he's trying to untangle himself from Scorpius' embrace, Draco waits for the protesting that's sure to come, and he isn't disappointed. “No! I want to hear what happens to the Dragon!” Hands holding onto his father's shirt, Scorpius pouts up at him, and Draco has to stifle his laughter at his son's face, chuckles instead.
“Well, then you'll have to listen. Now, where was I?”
“Harry said the Dragon was good at sneering.”
“That he was, amongst other things.” Draco's fingers begin stroking through the silky strands of hair again in a soothing rhythm, and he can already see his son's eyelids beginning to droop with the weight of sleep. “Many other dragon's wanted to be the White Dragon's friend because his father was a very powerful dragon, and they thought having him on their side would help them at one point or another. Then, one day, the War Chief came to the dragons. He was very strong, and everybody knew the tales of how he defeated a powerful enemy when he was still a child. That's why the White Dragon wanted to become the War Chief's friend.”
“I would like to be the War Chief's friend, too,” Scorpius chimes in eagerly, and the adults exchange a glance before Harry says, “I'm sure he'd want to be your friend as well, Scorp.”
Satisfied with that information, the small boy grins broadly and wriggles around to get more comfortable. Draco continues.
“So the White Dragon asked the War Chief to be his friend, but he was refused.”
“Because the War Chief was an idiot,” Harry says and Draco shakes his head, his eyes locked with green ones. “No, the Dragon was an idiot, because he insulted the War Chief's friends, and so the War Chief thought him arrogant and rude.”
With a soft smile, Harry brushes his knuckles along the side of Draco's thigh. “But I'm sure the Dragon did not stay that way.”
“No, but that comes later. For now, the White Dragon was furious, because nobody had ever declined him their friendship. He was also hurt, but he didn't show it, because his father had always taught him that a dragon like himself never shows weakness.”
“Because weakness is bad?” Scorpius wants to know and his father shakes his head quickly.
“Weakness is not always bad, but not particularly good either,” he explains. “It's normal. Everybody has a weakness, or several. Even the War Chief. And nobody should be embarrassed by it.”
Scorpius frowns as he mulls the words over, a thin line appearing between his blonde eyebrows, his lips pursed. “That's confusing.”
“You'll understand it one day,” Draco assures. “Anyway, the Dragon was hurt and sad because the War Chief didn't want to be his friend, and being hurt and sad made him angry because his father said it was bad. So the Dragon tried to find ways to get back at the War Chief. He played tricks and pranks on him, and even called his friends names. Really bad names. And even though he wanted to be the War Chief's friend, he only pushed him away and made him hate the Dragon.”
“I'm sure the War Chief didn't hate the Dragon,” Harry says and at Draco's raised eyebrow he adds, “he just didn't like him very much.”
“Is that so?” There's a smirk on the blonde's lips and Harry pokes his tongue out at him.
“Anyway, the War Chief didn't like the Dragon, but he hated the Snake.”
“The Snake?” Scorpius' eyes become comically wide and Draco nods severely. “Yes, the Snake. The Snake was evil, very evil. It was bigger and stronger than the Dragon and poisonous, but it was also weakened, because it was the enemy the War Chief had defeated as a child. It tried time and again to regain its strength and kill the War Chief. But he defeated it every time with the help of his friends.”
Scorpius grimaces. “I don't like the Snake.”
“Neither did the War Chief. Or the Dragon for that matter. But the White Dragon's father became a follower of the Snake, because he believed what it said. It promised him more power than he already had and told him he was better than all the other dragons, and so the White Dragon's father did many terrible things for the Snake because it was too weak to do it itself.”
“I don't like the Dragon's father either.”
“Yes, he was a very stupid dragon. But he paid for everything he did for the Snake later. Now, one day the Snake kidnapped the War Chief and used his blood to become strong again. The War Chief was able to flee, but nobody believed him that the Snake had returned, because they were too afraid of it.”
“That's stupid,” Scorpius exclaims. “Just because you don't want it to be true, doesn't mean it's a lie.”
“That's very good thinking, Scorpius. You're right,” Draco tells his son with a soft smile and ruffles his hair affectionately. “But the others weren't as intelligent as you, so they went on living their lives without preparing to fight the Snake. And the Snake waited in the shadows, planning when to strike. It sent out the White Dragon's father to retrieve something for it, but the War Chief stopped him, and the Dragon's father was put in jail. To punish him for his failure, the Snake made the White Dragon to one of his followers and marked him with an ugly scar one one of his front legs. The White Dragon didn't want to follow the Snake's orders, but it threatened to kill his father and mother, and so he went to kill one of the Snake's worst enemies, another powerful Dragon they called Bumblebee.”
“Bumblebee?” Scorpius asks incredulously. “That doesn't sound very powerful!”
“But he was,” Draco insists. “People thought he was a bit barmy—“ Harry snorts and coughs “—but he was still powerful and wise, and he was also the War Chief's mentor and very dear to him.
“The Dragon knew all that, but he was scared for his mother and father and even his own life, so he went to kill Bumblebee. However, he couldn't, and another follower of the Snake did it instead and took the Dragon back to the Snake.”
Scorpius gasps and snuggles even closer, oblivious to the sadness on his father's face before a hand comes to rest on his left forearm, calloused thumb brushing over the patch of skin where the sleeve ends. Draco shakes his head to get rid of the memories and clears his throat.
“The Snake was very angry with the Dragon, and so it made him do terrible things. Like burning down houses.” And torturing people, a cruel voice in Draco's mind provides. He ignores it, concentrating for a moment on the reassuring warmth of Harry's skin he can feel seeping through the fabric of his shirt.
“Meanwhile, the War Chief and his friends tried to find a way to destroy the Snake once and for all. He traveled far to do so, and one day he was caught by the Snake's followers. They brought him to The Dragon because they weren't sure it was truly the War Chief. The White Dragon recognized the War Chief of course, but he lied and said he wasn't sure, and so the War Chief and his friends could escape.”
“Why did the Dragon lie?”
“Because he believed only the War Chief could defeat the Snake, and he didn't want to be one of the Snake's followers any more and do terrible things for it.”
Scorpius hums thoughtfully and nods then, eyes falling closed again as Harry's fingers entwine with Draco's and he squeezes softly.
“Having escaped yet again, the War Chief finally found a way to destroy the seven pillars that made the Snake nearly immortal. He did so and later faced the Snake in battle, slaying it once and for all. Finally, there could be peace for dragons and humans. The White Dragon's father remained in jail, and the Dragon himself had his powers taken away as punishment, making him human.”
“Forever?” Scorpius asks in shock, but Draco shakes his head.
“Only for a few years, but he learned a lot during the time he lived with the humans and finally realized that he wasn't better than them or other dragons. During that time, he met the War Chief by chance, because he was half human, half dragon, and sometimes spent time with the humans. When he saw the War Chief, the White Dragon walked up to him. 'I'm sorry,' told him the Dragon, and the War Chief forgave him. 'I'd like to be your friend,' said the Dragon to the War Chief, and the War Chief took the offered hand. And together, they lived happily ever after as humans.”
When Draco finishes, Scorpius is already sleeping, chest raising and falling with even breaths. Carefully, Draco disentangles himself from his son's embrace, tucking Scorpius small, sleeping form in before brushing a kiss to his forehead and leaving the room followed by Harry. As the door clicks shut behind them, Harry winds his arms around Draco's waist, pulling him back against his chest. Draco lets his head drop onto Harry's shoulder, eyes closed, reveling in the feeling of dark stubble scratching against the smooth skin of his cheek. He hums contentedly, a deep rumble in his chest like the purring of a cat. Harry chuckles softly and plays with the buttons of Draco's shirt, slipping one after the other through the holes to get to the pale skin beneath.
“You didn't tell him how the White Dragon and the War Chief fell in love and then had too much Firewhiskey one night and ended up having drunken sex and confess their feelings for each other the next morning,” Harry whispers, breath hot and teeth nipping on Draco's earlobe.
Groaning softly, Draco manages, “icky grown-ups stuff,” before Harry's hands brush over his now bare stomach, then dipping lower, fingertips brushing over the skin at the edge of an elastic waistband, and Draco is lost in the currents of electricity running over his skin and Harry's throaty chuckle being breathed against his neck.
“I love you,” said the War Chief to the Dragon, and the Dragon smiled.