Hermione burst out in barely controlled laughter upon seeing them first like this. She had said it reminded her of those muggles who got paid for taking several dogs out for a walk at the same time. The fact that Hugo and Rose were part of the bunch of kids he chaperoned through the busy street of the ever growing Diagon Alley while their parents were off to work didn’t stop her from laughing herself to tears. Ron awkwardly patted her back and smiled helplessly at Harry. Harry smirked back at them and glanced down at the enthusiastic commotion jumping around his legs.
Ruben, Ginny’s and Blaise’s son was insistently pulling Luna’s and Neville’s youngest child’s, Xaver’s hand and gestured toward the long ago rebuilt Ice Cream Parlour. The two redheads belonging to his best friends, Rose and Hugo giggled hysterically with their cousin Roxanne at the silly faces Teddy conjured up for their entertainment. Julie and Lily Longbottom resembled their parents a lot – they looked around in awe, like it was the very first time they were in Diagon Alley. Ron silently pointed at Fred, Roxanne’s troublemaker of a brother, who voluntarily took up position next to the innocent twin girls as their bodyguard. Ron and Harry grinned like a lunatic when the boy silently sent a Jelly-Legs Jinx on an inappropriately staring guy.
Hermione rolled her eyes and didn’t even try to scold the boy. She kissed Rose and Hugo on the cheek.
“You sure you can have all day?” she asked approximately the hundredth time. Harry sighed but he didn’t have to repeat himself, Ron did it for him.
“Hermione, if Harry wants to babysit-”
“Sure, sitting, he says…” Harry muttered sarcastically and grabbed Ruben’s neck to prevent him from disappearing in the crowd. The little boy stuck out his tongue at him.
“Really, Hermione. Not that this is the first time… Oh my God. Can you see that?”
“What? What is it, Ronald? Fred! Fred put that crystal ball down! Dear Merlin, where did you get it?”
“That poster! The guy on it is…”
“Leave them, Hermione.” Harry said distractedly. “Just as Ron said, it’s not the first time I’m doing this. Besides” he continued while directing the ever-moving Roxanne in the good direction – toward the others “I put tracking charms on all of them.”
“Harry!” Hermione cried scandalized.
“Isn’t that bloke Malfoy?”
“Who?” Harry whipped his head in the direction Ron was pointing. Hermione raised her eyebrows knowingly. “What Malfoy?”
“Draco. Who the hell were you thinking of?”
“Never mind…” Harry muttered already walking forward.
Hermione shared an amused look with Ron. This was the only topic that could take Harry’s mind off of children. Or his new business as a psychologist. Or the still ongoing nightmares about Voldemort and the war which he believed he was successfully hiding from them.
When they finally followed him – after checking the bunch of kids already gorging up Florean’s ice cream stock – Harry was standing in front of the new fashion shop staring at the poster on its wall. Next to him a little girl with platinum blonde hair stood. A silvery sparkling tiara sat on her head. She wore a snow-white dress and was grasping Harry’s hand.
“… and he’s a rock star and is constantly traveling the world and he never wants to let me go with him because he says the I have to be older to go out into the muggle world but they have these amazing parks like Diznee Land and I saw pictures and all I want is to go with him!”
Ron gaped like a fish, Hermione giggled giving up on being dignified for the day. Harry crouched down next to the little girl. His smile was angelic. Hermione sighed. If only he’d known how many people he ensnared with his mere presence… But Harry remained chronically shy and still lacked self-confidence in most common things.
“I’m sure your father loves you more than anything in this world” he said kindly. “Next time you see him just tell that you only want to spend more time with your daddy.”
“I always say it but he doesn’t listen!” Huge tears started to pool in the corner of her eyes. Hermione had the feeling that was some kind of secret weapon and indeed! Even Ron couldn’t resist the urge to coo. At Draco Malfoy’s daughter, no less! How their world changed…
Harry pulled out a handkerchief from his pocket and smiled helplessly.
“Just cry, little Vela. never hold your sadness in.”
Vela Malfoy smiled with a trembling mouth. Hermione rubbed at her forehead.
“If only he would take his own advices…” Ron hummed in agreement.
“You should convince him, Uncle Harry!” Vela suddenly shouted. “He’ll listen to you!”
“Me?” Harry laughed incredulously. “He’s Draco Malfoy! That’s impossible!”
“She’s adorable” Ron cooed again with a whisper.
“But he always speaks about you! Daddy loves you and I know that adults listen to their lovers!”
Harry choked on pure air. Ron started to laugh hysterically and Hermione… She had no time for a reaction because Rose was poking her legs demanding money for the ice-cream. They were lucky she earned a lot because they were practically feeding a horde most of the time. Even Harry otherwise he’d only eat treacle tarts – occasionally, mind you – and drink tea.
“Uhm, I can try if you really believe so…”
“Thank you! You’re just as amazing as daddy told you to be!” Vela hugged him tightly. Harry’s face mirrored such bafflement it was priceless. Up until the point where it turned pale then a little scared then bright red. He hastily stood up just as a new voice joined the awkward conversation.
“Vela? Har… Potter?”
“You’re outed, Malfoy, don’t even try” Ron declared with palpable glee to a befuddled looking Malfoy. Wearing leather pants, a flowery shirt and an elegant jacket that probably cost more than Ron’s and Hermione’s new house in the outskirts of London. Harry discreetly started drooling.
“You’re getting slime all over your scarf, mate.”
“I think he didn’t hear you. Aaand we just became invisible.”
The two past-enemies stared at each other like the whole world disintegrated around them.
“You look… good” Malfoy gulped. Vela was hugging his leg but he didn’t seem to notice when he took five steps in Harry’s direction arriving in the sliver of a minute. They were standing without a centimeter distance between them. “I didn’t expect to see you here…”
“You’d have pulled on an even more expensive suit?” Ron snorted but none of them heard him.
“Me neither. But I’m happy. So…”
“Delighted. Yeah, I know the feeling.”
“This” Harry breathed and pointed at the poster. “I had no idea you were a model.”
“And a rock star!” Vela piped in enthusiastically.
“You can sing?” Harry smiled. Malfoy’s pupils dilated dangerously. Hermione rolled her eyes in the background. She grabbed Ron and Rose and they silently left the three to themselves.
“He has the best voice ever!” Vela latched onto Harry’s right and Malfoy’s left hand.
“I can’t believe it” Harry remembered their old animosity and tried to be… unfriendly. He couldn’t. He was flirting with the guy he dreamed of every day since giving back his freedom after the war at the public trials.
“Mhm.” Malf… Draco leaned closer and inhaled deeply. Harry felt hot all of a sudden.
“Uncle Harry! Uncle Harry!”
“Oh, yes. I wanted to talk to you about… Uhm…” he scratched his nape. His pink cheeks captivated Draco’s eyes.
“Yes. Of course. Happily.”
Draco took his hand and never let it go again.
A little picture about the kids. At least, how I like to imagine them :)
And the inspirational pics about 'Draco':