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Aftermath

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The knock on the door wasn't unexpected, though it came about five years late. Draco took one look at the figure and stepped aside.

"Come in, Harry."

The war had changed Potter. It had changed all of those fortunate enough to live through it, but it seemed that it was the years after that had hit Potter the hardest. Black hair that had been slightly unkempt at Hogwarts was now an unruly mess barely contained by a loose ponytail. There was a jagged scar running along the side of Harry's face, an almost perfect imitation of the one on his forehead. Draco remembered that scar as being one of Voldemort's parting gifts. He had one, almost its twin, on his lower back.

There were more scars, he knew. Many more. He'd been there for some, but not all or even the majority of them. Most, like the ones Draco carried, were worn on the inside.

Draco shut the door without a word. Locks both magical and Muggle snapped shut with the wave of a hand.

"Tea?"

He didn't wait for a response. Brushing past the silent man, he headed for the small kitchen. There was a kettle already on the stove and he relit the fire beneath it with a muttered word. He heard Harry shuffle into the kitchen as he rummaged through the cabinets. The bags were labeled, not by word, but by color and symbol. He pulled out a small brown bag folded over with red tape and tapped out a portion of leaves into the strainer of the already waiting pot.

The kettle whistled. He lowered the fire but kept it on to heat water for a second pot. The scent of oranges filled the room as he poured hot water over the tea leaves, closing the lid to let it steep while he refilled the kettle.

"Cream, sugar, or honey?" Draco asked as he pulled down two mismatched mugs from the cupboard.

"Honey."

So Potter did still have his voice. Draco had been starting to wonder. The cups went on opposite ends of the table, quickly filled before he set the teapot in the middle. Turning back to the cupboard he pulled out a jar of honey for Potter and the sugar bowl for himself. There was already a spoon in the sugar, and he used that to measure out two generous mounds of sugar and stir his tea, returning the spoon to the bowl when he was finished.

Across the table, Harry had opened the honey and poured a good portion of the jar into his cup.

"Do you want a spoon?" Draco started to rise.

"No, it's fine." As if to prove his point, Potter sipped at the tea. He stopped as he was about to lower the mug and sniffed. "What kind is this?"

"Blood orange. It's a specialty mix from one of the shops down the street."

"Oh."

Silence filled the table between them. Draco pursed his lips and studied the other wizard, more than a little curious as to what brought Potter here. There had been a few rumors of the Boy Who Won's whereabouts over the last five years, but the press had been strangely silent. He wondered if the journalist that lived next door would believe him if he said he had the scoop of the century.

Well, no use putting off the inevitable.

"So, what brings the infamous Mister Potter to my doorstep?"

Harry looked up from his mug as if suddenly remembering there was someone else in the room. "What?"

It seems Draco wasn't the only one wandering in his thoughts. "I was just wondering if there was any purpose to your visit or if you were just paying a social call."

Harry's face darkened almost imperceptibly as he frowned. Uncertainty was clear on Harry's face. Clear to Draco at least, though he doubted others would have noticed. Draco had gotten good at reading people during the war and he was hardly one to let his talents dwindle.

"Do I have to have a reason?" Harry asked bitterly.

Draco wondered what kind of company Harry was keeping to give him such a sharp tongue. Considering how many had died on Harry's side during the war, perhaps there wasn't much company left to keep.

"No," Draco answered calmly, "you don't. I was merely curious."

Harry's frown remained but he didn't respond.

"I am impressed," Draco started, determined to carry the conversation himself since Harry seemed unwilling, "that you managed to find me. Few have."

"I'm good at tracking people down." There was that bitterness again. Not that Draco blamed Harry for being... different than what he once was. He understood. They had been on the same side, almost. If Draco had picked a side he would have picked Harry's and not just because they'd won.

"I remember." This wasn't the first time Harry had tracked him down. He hoped he'd made it a bit harder this time.

"I was a bit surprised to find a Malfoy living in a Muggle neighborhood." The spark was back in Harry's eyes for a brief second and it was like they were students again. "Why Moody?"

So Harry had noticed the name on the mailbox. Draco shrugged. "I liked him, even if his doppelganger did turn me into a ferret. We got along better during the war." To this day he still missed the man. It had hurt more to see him go than when his old man had died. Kind of fitting, considering they'd killed each other. Bittersweet memories welled up and he smiled. "He knew I was planning to change my name before he died."

"Why give it up?" He could tell Harry was confused. He couldn't blame him. Back in school he would have thought it daft of anyone wanting to stop being a Malfoy.

Draco shrugged. He'd buried the pain of betrayal a long time ago. "The Malfoys are dead and gone. That line ended with my parents. I'm not a part of it. Not anymore."

"That doesn't stop you from using their money," Harry accused. There was the bitterness again, though Draco had no clue why. Either Harry would tell him, or he wouldn't. It didn't matter.

"Actually, it did," he answered calmly as he sipped his tea. "I gave everything they had to the Reconstruction Committee. What I have, I earned. A Slytherin can do well in the Muggle world, even without magic." He smiled around the rim of his cup. "Did you know they turned Malfoy Manor into a home for war orphans? My father's probably rolling over in his grave at the thought of half-bloods running through his house."

Harry watched him carefully. "And how did you earn your money? Black market trading? War profiteering?"

If he didn't know, in full detail, what the war had done to Harry, he would have thrown the man out of his house on the spot. Instead, he set his cup down with a bit too much force and glared. "I run a legitimate business, Harry Potter, and you would do well to remember that," he bit out. "If you don't believe me we can go down to the shop right now. I'll show you my books. Every cent is accounted for."

They stared at each other for several long minutes before Harry finally dropped his gaze back to his cup.

"That was rude of me. I apologize."

Draco drained his cup before answering. "It's all right," he said quietly. "I'm not who I was during school. Moody and the others, they taught me better."

"Then why didn't you join us?" The words came out barely above a whisper. He'd wondered why Harry had never asked him that before.

He turned his empty cup in his hand as he considered his response. There was no simple answer. He poured himself another cup, stirring in more sugar than he normally took.

"I was never as good as you, Harry," he answered finally. He got up to put the sugar away and turned off the stovetop. He didn't think he could stomach another cup. "How do you choose between destroying the world and killing your friends and family?"

Harry didn't answer him. Draco sighed. Picking up his mug, he dumped it down the drain without drinking any.

"I'm going to bed," he announced. Leaving the kitchen felt almost like running away.

He crawled into bed in only his boxers, glad for the quiet and the dark and the lack of questions that brought up old regrets. The door opened and closed. He heard the rustle of fabric and then another body settled against his. An arm snaked over his chest, palm resting over his heart. Warm breath ghosted over his shoulder. Soft hair tickled his neck.

"Why are you here?" Draco asked again.

"You're the last one left."

Draco stiffened briefly and then sighed. So, it was over then. They were the only ones left who'd been there.

He put his hand over Harry's and carded their fingers together. It was strangely fitting that they'd be the last.

The offer was understood but Draco felt the need to voice it anyways. "Stay here."

"Okay."

In his head, Draco was tallying up the added cost of another body in the house, another mouth to feed. They'd get by. He had a few investments. They could clear out the study, give Harry a room to... do whatever it was he wanted to do. Draco could use another hand at the shop, but he'd get by if Harry didn't want to.

They'd worry about it in the morning. Right now he was tired. Part of him was grieving over the loss of an age.

Eventually they'd have to go back. There were still stories to tell. Draco had been writing them down, in case he never made it back. The wizarding world had to know, and remember. There wouldn't be another Lord Voldemort or another Harry Potter. Draco would make sure of that. He had to, if only for one reason.

There had been too many sacrifices. He was going to make sure they didn't die in vain. It was his apology, for not standing by their sides. It was a legacy, for those who had nothing left to leave.

It was the aftermath of a war nobody won.