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Ask Me Again in Twenty Years

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Ron falls off the sofa, and bolts up--suddenly awake--when Harry tumbles out of the Floo at six o’clock in the morning. 

 

“Wha’s goin’n,” Ron slurs, wiping drool from his chin, as he clambers to his feet. 

 

Harry’s too freaked out to have a laugh at the way Ron looks--face marked with lines from the tweed sofa. He’s too busy having the biggest freak out of his life. A million horrible scenarios start flitting through his mind, but the one he blurts out is, “Fuck, Mum’s going to kill me.” 

 

Ron is more awake now; suddenly at Harry’s side, clapping him on the shoulder while watching him with glassy blue eyes, “Why, what’s going on?” Releasing a sigh Harry closes his eyes, putting his face into his palms, and manages to keep himself from screaming--but only just. At his side Ron startles, “Harry, you know I’m not one to judge, but why are you damn near starkers?” 

 

He groans, slumping to the floor, uncaring that Ron is sufficiently disturbed. A laugh that borders on deranged leaves Harry’s throat, “She doesn’t have access to your Floo, does she?” 

 

“Who?” Ron starts looking around him--wary of this elusive She, blue eyes narrow as if she will burst in at them at any moment. 

 

“Draco,” Harry replies with a groan, “Please tell me she doesn’t have access to your Floo.” 

 

Rob looks offended by the notion, “Why the fuck would she? You think I want her in my flat? So she can tell me, in no less than a thousand different ways, how dirty and beneath her it is?”

 

Harry deflates against the dusty wood floors and sighs out, “Thank fucking god.”

With a hesitant expression Ron shuffles his foot just before he ventures to say, “This wouldn’t have anything to do with that one incident you swore me to never speak of, would it?” Harry’s groan is answer enough for Ron, who then decides to talk of The Incident We Shall Never Speak Of Again. Harry wants to murder the burk when he next opens his mouth. “You didn’t wind up shagging her again, did you?” Ron’s got an amused little grin on his face when he takes note of Harry’s shifty movements, “How often?” 

 

Despite being hesitant to admit to shagging Malfoy, of all people, Harry replies, “ ‘Bout five times a week, for the past half year.” 

 

“Bloody hell,” Ron rolls his eyes, “I knew you were lying when I asked if you’d seen her again and you said ‘No’.” 

 

“Of course I see her, Ron, we’re both playing for England in the next World Cu-,” 

 

Ron cuts him off, “You know what I meant when I asked, mate, and it was if you’d been seeing her horizontally.” 

 

“Cute,” Harry deadpans. 

 

Silence settles over them, thick and charged, and lingers until Ron finally speaks again, “So, did her bigot father find out?” Ron knows full well the intense dislike between the Potter family and the Malfoy family. James is outspoken about the rights of Muggleborns while Lucius Malfoy is very outspoken about how he believes all Muggleborns should be denied knowledge of the Wizarding World. Both extremely visible political figures--with almost all opposing views on all issues. Though the dislike extends back to Harry’s great-great-great-grandfather--idiot managed to seduce Malfoy’s great-great-great-aunt away from a marriage that would’ve greatly benefited the Malfoys at the time. It’s all been downhill from there, really, and is about to get worse when his parents find out. 

 

“No,” Harry replies to Ron--while he’s got all these horrible histories between them swirling about in his brain. “I fucked her full of a brat, apparently.” 

 

Ron laughs so hard Harry thinks he’s going to piss himself. 

 

#

 

Drinking doesn’t help as well as he’d like--especially not when Hermione’s sitting there trying to help him figure out how to approach this situation. He loves Hermione, truly--she’s the sister he’ll never have--but sometimes he just wants her to shut the hell up. She never does, mostly she talks about solutions. Because she’s a fucking problem solver, not a listener.  

 

“You could take her to a Muggle clinic,” she starts at him with a thoughtful expression. Harry visibly winces, and Hermione frowns. “She has the right, Harry,” Hermione replies hotly to the movement Harry’s created. 

 

He holds up a placating hand, “I know, I know--it’s just...”

 

“Just what,” she seethes.

 

Harry decides to quit while he can, falling silent--he’s not even sure what he feels when it comes to the idea of abortion. On one hand he understands it’s not his place to choose, because it’s not his body, not really his sacrifice--what contribution does he have beside supplying the baby batter? But, on the other hand, he sort of agrees with his dad when he and Mum go head to head over the topic. Dad says the Wizarding population is low as it is, and when we abort it doesn’t help that fact. Mum says girls shouldn’t be forced to have children they don’t want, can’t afford, etc., just because the population is small; and Harry agrees with that as well. He doesn’t feel it’s right to make someone have a child they cannot provide enough for or love enough. Brats deserve good homes--he’s seen the dark side of unwanted children; they spent a whole school year talking about some bloke named Voldemort who went all kinds of wrong because he didn’t have love in childhood. Harry just doesn’t understand--has never really bothered to understand--and so now that he’s facing these decisions he doesn’t know how to voice what he feels; because he doesn’t know what he feels and it’s making him a muddle of emotions.

 

Hermione’s glaring him down, though, looking at him like he’s the enemy of women now that he’s opened his mouth with a weak half-hearted utterance. 

 

All of this makes his head hurt. So he takes up his bottle of whisky and drinks down a large gulp that burns a path down his throat, to his belly, deciding to try and drown the confusion in his heart. 

 

Then he feels like a complete dick because as bad as he has it; Harry knows Malfoy--Draco--has it worse. In the end, she’s the one who’s going to have to make the choice. And none of her options will be easy. 

 

“Fuck,” he groans, putting his face into his hands.  

 

#

 

It’s about two weeks more until he decides to contact Draco. Making it a near month since she informed him of his impending fatherhood. Harry’s still not sure what to make of the idea of being a dad--if it comes to that. He’s just twenty-five with two brat brothers who drive him absolutely insane at nine and eleven. 

 

He watches them now while he tries to figure out what to put in this letter. A letter that so far consists of one word--“Draco”. 

 

James--the older of the two--shoves Albus--the smaller whiny one--and Harry sighs while he stands up to intervene. Before Jamie makes Al cry. Parchment shifting, on the desktop, beneath his tan hand--Harry doesn’t care about the wrinkles his palms put in the yellow sheet when Jamie starts whacking Al in the arm.  

 

“Knock it off...both of you,” Harry tacks on when he notices Al sticking his tongue out at Jamie. If the ruddy brat wouldn’t’ve taken Jamie’s Chocolate Frog card Jamie wouldn’t’ve started bossing Al around.  

 

“Who said you get to be Dad, Harry,” Jamie demands with a petulant glare. It’s funny how he thinks he looks intimidating. Harry towers over James, with years of added Quidditch muscle--his brother’s a brave little shit for thinking he can intimidate Harry with the look he’s giving. It almost makes Harry laugh--almost. 

 

“Yeaaah,” Al says--ganging up on him with Jamie due to their closeness in age. It’s a regular occurrence. Al likes Harry long enough for Harry to save him from Jamie’s torments, and then the moment Jamie starts in on Harry Al’s backing him up. Fucking brats. 

 

“I’m going to knock you both out if you don’t behave,” Harry threatens, and both of his brothers take off--showing just how lionhearted they both are. Bloody typical.  

 

When Teddy arrives it’s less taxing. He’s the youngest at eight, but minds better than either of Harry’s brothers. Remus and Dora are doing something right with their kid. Something Harry’s parents are clearly failing at; though both Mum and Dad swear the boys only act up for Harry. Something about him not being mature enough for his brothers to take seriously. That makes him marginally afraid of how his own brat will talk to him. Then he thinks of his letter--wrinkled and forgotten--on the desk.  

 

Of course Jamie and Al argue over who gets to play with Teddy--when Harry’s trying hard not to have a minor panic attack--but Mum’s home by then, and Harry begs off of joining them for lunch on Diagon. He’s had enough of his brothers, and the horrible “what if” thoughts that rip through him when they act like holy terrors.

 

#

 

Harry’s missed a few practices since the discovery. Captain Wood tells him he’ll be benched all of the World Cup if he doesn’t get his shit together and show up for the next one; so he does. Harry arrives at practice on Yorkshire Moors Quidditch pitch moments before practice is due to begin. The stands of the stadium are empty, but Harry can still hear the screams. They follow him--ingrained now--every time he steps onto a pitch. It’s as thrilling now as it was the first time, and he smiles despite his heavy mood. 

 

Wood gives him an unimpressed look once he’s in his Quidditch leathers and practice uniform. “Mind telling me where you’ve been the past few weeks. Our break was only meant to be two weeks, not four, Potter.” 

 

“Sorry, I’ve had personal issues,” Harry replies, a frown marring his mouth when he notices Malfoy on the pitch arguing with Ron over defensive plays--a normal occurrence. Until she glances up--sharp grey eyes narrowing when they snap to Harry. “Fuck,” he breathes out. 

 

“What was that, Potter,” Wood inquires, looking up from his own board of plays--his head cocked to the side with a thoughtful expression on his face.

“Nothing,” Harry responds quickly; snatching up his broom with one hand before he marches towards centre field to move into the air for their scrimmage. They’ve got fourteen players; enough to sub out every position--on the off chance a game drags on for more than a few days. Wood and Ron play Keeper. Crabbe, Goyle, Morgan, and Thompson are the Beaters. Nelson, Gordon, Lee, Samson, Polly, and Jameson are the Chasers. Harry and Malfoy are the Seekers. The papers keep saying England’s got a chance at the World Cup, but when Harry and Malfoy start bickering before they’re in the air he’s not sure he agrees. They’ve been rivals for the European Cup and for the British and Irish League Cup since they signed with their respective teams, and before then they were rivals on the school pitch. Now their rivalry is for first string. Malfoy wants it--she practically froths at the mouth for it, and Harry wants to keep beating Malfoy. There’s something about the way she snarls when she loses to him that pushes him farther and harder.   

 

She sneers at him from her broom once they’re in the air. Her short, almost white hair whipping around her forehead, the longest strands hitting the middle of her cheeks. Harry hates that he finds her attractive--snarls at the image she makes; wind-blown hair, pink spots high on her cheeks, and lower lip wet from where she’s touched it with her tongue. The gleam of her grey eyes are his ultimate undoing--Harry knows the way they go glassy, pupils blown, when Draco orgasms. In her dark pupils he’s seen himself reflected, as if she is full of him--only him--in those moments; her eyes make Harry drunk on power. Now, from her seat on her sleek black broom, Draco smirks. Like she knows what she does to him. 

 

 

By the end of the game Wood and Ron have decided Wood will play Keeper for the World Cup, Crabbe and Goyle will play Beaters, Samson, Polly, and Gordon will play Chasers while Harry will fly as Seeker. 

 

Of course, Malfoy is to the point of spitting. She marches up to Wood and physically yanks him round to face her. Polly--Jessica--glare; her wand on Malfoy in a flash. It’s not unusual; most of their teammates aren’t afraid to hex one another when someone needs to cool their head. However, Harry’s not sure what Polly’s intending when the glossy, pale wood of her wand appears and his is out before he can consider what he’s going to do. The Protego is quick, precise, and Malfoy looks as surprised as everyone else when the shield goes up before her--causing Polly’s Bat-Bogey Hex to bounce back upon herself. Harry winces when the first one flies out of her nose--he’s never been fond of that particular hex. 

 

Malfoy swallows, seeming to have forgotten her ire--instead she watches Harry with unsure eyes, when he fidgets beneath her gaze she turns and storms off the pitch. Wood runs to catch up with her, and Harry sags--dropping his prized broom--when Ron jogs over to stand beside him. 

 

“What was that,” he’s curious rather than accusatory, but Harry’s defensive and on edge.

 

“Dunno,” he grounds out before stomping towards the locker room. Summoning his broom to him as he goes. Ron falls into step beside him, however, not reading the cues that Harry wants to be left alone. 

 

“Is this about the, you know?” 

 

Harry gives Ron his best angry face, but it doesn’t faze Ron in the slightest. “I’m just saying, it’d be perfectly normal if you were feeling protective of your-,” Harry cuts him off with a hiss. 

 

“She’s not my anything,” he thunders. Drawing the attention of most of their teammates. Posture sagging and turning his face skyward, Harry releases a long breath, “Just leave it, yeah?” 

 

“Yeah,” Ron agrees, voice quiet and clear blue eyes concerned. Harry’s grateful when Ron doesn’t voice the words he’s so obviously thinking. Instead he enters the locker rooms and ignores the questioning stares his other teammates are sending his way. He’s too tired for this shit.  

 

Malfoy brushes past him in the locker room and Harry doesn’t bother to stop her. Instead he punches the metal frame around where his gear hangs, and doesn’t notice the sting in his knuckles. He’s too fucked in the head to notice much of anything. 

 

 

Getting pissed is Seamus’s idea--unsurprisingly--and Ron’s the one who tells Harry it can’t hurt to try and forget for the night. That’s what Harry loves about Ron as opposed to Hermione; he’s an enabler--Harry often wonders about how the two of them are still together, maybe their differences make them stronger. Harry and Malfoy are so much alike, and it will probably never work out right for them. Even when they have sex all they’re doing is fucking. It’s angry, snarling, rabid sex that borders on brutal--when Harry looks at Ron over the rim of his glass he is willing to bet Ron and Hermione have never had hate sex. Angry shagging, probably, but never anything near what he and Malfoy do; for some reason that depresses him. 

 

“You should be celebrating, mate. You’re playing Seeker for England in the World Cup!” Ron’s smile is usually infectious, as is his enthusiasm, but Harry’s not feeling either of them as he stares down at the vodka tonic in his hand. A minute later he’s downing it and buying another. Hoping that in the bottom of this glass he’ll find happiness. 

 

 

“What the fuck do I do,” Harry hisses into his Mirror, Ron is looking rather bleary eyed as he tries to keep up with what Harry’s talking about. It’s not even first light yet, and Harry should know better than to expect Ron to be awake so early in the day. 

 

“Wha,” Ron slurs inelegantly, and Harry shoots a worried look at the bedroom he’s just left. 

 

“For fuck’s sake, Ron, keep it down--she might hear you,” Harry seethes in as loud a tone as he dares. 

 

“Who might,” Ron is suddenly more alert, and a slight bit more quiet. He’s also frowning at Harry in a very judgmental sort of way. 

 

“Draco,” Harry admits, after a minute spent chewing his lip in a nervous fashion. 

 

“You’re with MALFOY?!” Ron screams and Harry glares down at the Mirror where Ron’s horrified expression stares up at him. Harry vaguely recalls Ron going on about not leading her on last night--before Harry Floo-ed “home”. He’s not sure what led him to Malfoy. Really everything’s a blur after his fifth or so shot. 

 

“Fucking great way to keep it down, mate,” Harry grouses, and then groans when he hears movement from Malfoy’s darkened bedroom. “I gotta go; I’ll call you in a bit, yeah?” 

 

“Harry!” Ron tries, but Harry’s about to close the Mirror, and so Ron shouts, “If I don’t hear from you by nightfall I’m ringing your parents!” There’s more, Harry’s sure, but the click of his Mirror closing ends the conversation. He just kind of stands there--in the small corridor, looking around at the framed photographs on the butter coloured walls--starkers. Harry’s not sure if he should go back into the bedroom to retrieve his clothes or if he should cut his losses and Floo to Ron’s as is. He loses the chance to decide when Malfoy barges from her bedroom--wild-eyed when she spots him standing there. 

 

It could be considered awfully amusing to see Malfoy standing in her hall in nothing but skin, but it’s not amusing--at the moment it’s Harry’s worst nightmare come to life. Play Wizard would kill for this spread, however Harry is currently willing to give anything to have this moment erased from his memories. He’ll take the gamble on winding up on the Janus Thickey Ward. 

 

“Why are you here,” she demands; then--a moment too late--seems to realise it’s quite fucking obvious what he’s doing here. Painfully clear--by his state of undress and the flaking come on her thighs--that they spent the evening taking a tumble in bed. “Rather--why are you still here?” Draco amends before Harry can muster a scathing glance and dry response. He hasn’t got anything to say. He’s not sure why he’s still here, hell he’s not sure why he came at all--Harry’s been doing his best to avoid her, because he’s not sure what all of this is between them. If there even is a this at all. Of course he’s found a way to bugger it up, because that’s what he does. He buggers shit up all the time. His brat in Malfoy is proof enough of that. 

 

“Do you mind if I grab my clothes?” Harry says, finally, breaking the tension a tad. 

 

“By all means,” she replies with a faint voice--stepping aside to let him back into her room. 

 

Harry tries not to look at the rumpled remains of their debauchery. Just gathers his clothing as quickly as he can and hurries into them without taking in much of the scenery. Usually, they fuck at his, or in hotels, Malfoy’s never been one to invite him round to her fucking posh flat. Harry can’t recall if she’s ever told him her Floo address or the Apparition point, and he knows for certain he’s never asked.   

 

He comes out of her bedroom in the faded blue jean trousers he wore to the pub the night before, and his navy blue T-shirt with Pudd United’s crossed golden bulrushes on the front, the banner beneath them reading: Est. 1163. She pulls a face, “Looks like I forgot to burn your shirt, Potter--take it off and I won’t forget a second time.” 

 

He frowns, “Touch my shirt and I’ll hex your bollocks off.” 

 

She laughs sharply, “Lucky for me I haven’t got any.” Draco slams the door in his face before he can reply. She’s always been good at having the last word. 

 

Of course Malfoy’s in her dark green Holyhead shirt when she joins him--the golden talon opens and closes where it sits resting against her chest and Harry’s thinking about smarting off. He refrains when she summons a pot of tea and some biscuits to the sitting room. Malfoy drops onto the posh looking sofa beside him, huffing, “I’d offer to put some whisky in the tea, but I didn’t think it’d be appropriate after last night.” 

 

Harry makes a face, “Too right--I’m swearing off the drink.” 

 

She makes a derisive noise, “I’m sure at the weekend you’ll be back round at that pub having a laugh about me with your mates while you drink your way into some other tart’s bed.” 

 

Harry frowns again, “You don’t have a very high opinion of me, do you?” 

 

Malfoy lets out a short chuckle, “Have you ever given me reason to have a decent opinion of you?” His mouth hangs open as he flounders, but Malfoy spares him the attempt at speech when she says, “Have your tea and then out with you--we’re going to pretend this never happened.”

 

“Like we pretended all the other times this never happened?” He nods at her still flat stomach, “What are you planning on doing about that? Gonna tell the world it’s some made up Pureblood’s?” Harry can’t stop the snarl that morphs his face into something more sinister--he’s seen it in photographs, moving in The Prophet and he can admit the expression has frightened opponents on the pitch. Draco, however, appears unfazed. 

 

“I drank two bottles of wine last night, Potter, I’m not fit to be a mother--clearly.” 

 

Harry’s face goes slack, “Why would you do that?” 

 

He’s never seen Draco look small or vulnerable--she stands at six foot, an inch or so beneath Harry, of a height with him when he’s slouching. She’s also all long lean sinewy flesh, elegant in appearance, but powerful when messed with. Often she’s held his arms pinned as she rode him with a ferocity he’s never seen in another lover. So the idea that she can be fragile stops him cold, and he feels like a terrible person when she whispers, “You never wanted this, clearly, and neither did I--I was maybe hoping it’d sort itself.” 

 

Chewing his lips a moment, Harry weighs his words before he ventures to ask, “Do you want to go to a Muggle hospital?” 

 

Her glare is glacial, “I’m not letting some Muggle butcher touch me.” 

 

“You know you have a choice, right? You don’t have to have this baby,” it takes a lot for Harry to force those words out of his throat. Feels like he’s betraying every moral his father drilled into him as a child, but at the same time feels like he’s making his mother proud--creating within him a very odd vortex of emotions he’s not looking to sort at the moment. Now he’s too focused on the sharp angles of Malfoy’s face when she snarls at him.  

 

“You’d like that wouldn’t you? For me to let some Muggle butcher mutilate my body so you don’t have to face the consequences!” She accuses and Harry’s not prepared for the slap that stings across his cheek. 

 

“No,” he says, voice soft and full of calming intent, but she’s having none of it. Malfoy looks ready for blood.  

 

“All I ever wanted was to fly for England, and now that dream’s been pushed back because you had to put your cock in me!” Her scream is shrill.   

 

“You didn’t seem to mind at the time,” Harry snaps back, and she slumps as the truth of that statement hits her. Malfoy’s eyes go wide while her body crumples close to his, her breath hot at his neck when she lets out a sob. 

 

“I just feel like everything goes right for you--while I’m stuck here, miserable, in second place.” Harry sags against the back of the sofa, awkwardly holding her--patting her thin shoulder--when he feels warm tears dampen his neck and the collar of his shirt. “You don’t even try, Potter. I’m always striving for better, and yet--somehow--you’re the one who wins.” 

 

Harry doesn’t try to comfort her with empty words. He’s too proud to admit that she’s right. She wants the glory more than he does; Harry only shows up to challenge her, he’s only excited when she flies opposite him on the pitch. He decimates in the league for Malfoy, because he wants to fly against her--wants to win her. He doesn’t want to win England the World Cup; not really, Harry just wanted to win the position away from Malfoy. It makes him disappointed in himself when he holds her there on her sofa. There is a dark part of his mind that wonders if he was careless on purpose; he’ll never admit it aloud, but he thinks about it now--wonders if this was a way to take the position from her for England.  

 

 

The smell of stale piss is heavy in the air when Harry wakes--his head spinning and his mouth full of a scratchy wool feel. Ron will kill him, he knows, if he show’s up to Victorie’s Quidditch scrimmage reeking like a lager lout. 

 

He’s half tempted to ring Ron and claim an emergency’s come up, but he knows better. Ron’ll come in here and drag him out by his ruddy nostrils when he gets a bug up his arse at Harry. So he climbs from his lumpy sofa and casts a piss-poor freshening charm over himself--not bothering with a shave--before Harry wanders to the Floo. He’s too damn hungover to attempt Apparition. 

 

 

The Floo is slightly less dizzying than Portkey, but still manages to make Harry sick when he falls out of the hearth at The Burrow. Molly’s not around to give him a disapproving, motherly frown so Harry waves his wand right quick and it’s gone before she can come in to complain. He goes out, into the back garden, and follows the narrow path that winds over the small sloping hills--down into a wide field where he and Ron used to play pickup games of Quidditch when they were both still too young to fly for Hogwarts. 

 

Now, it’s not so much of a green meadow--overrun with garden gnomes and flowers--as it is a youth league pitch. Ron and his brothers--Fred and George--spent good money after they all became successful. Ron makes a fair amount from endorsements with his own line of Keeper helmets--something only Ron Weasley can make cool. While his brothers built a joke empire out of Harry’s off-handed, and casual donation of one thousand galleons. He’d been half drunk at the time--if one can believe that--and hadn’t expected anything to come of his investment, but they’d made him a wealthy nineteen-year-old--more wealthy nineteen-year-old, rather, since Firebolt had--still has--him a pretty generous endorsement deal. Not to mention the contract he has with Pudd United, his season contract with England, and his future inheritance--Harry really won’t have to work a hard day in his life, but everything Fred and George built they built from bare bones. Their fortune is one Harry admires. Not for the size, but for the drive and passion they’ve put into it. He loves Quidditch, but sometimes he’s not sure he’s passionate about sport. Rather it fell into his lap as so many things do. He’s always been incredibly lucky. 

 

He wonders about that now when he stops at the bleachers erected around the small pitch. Ron’s got a delighted smile on his face while the kids huddle up--they range from six to ten. All sponsored by different players. Harry’s been stuck with Victorie’s team, even though she’s Ron’s niece, because Harry wanted nothing to do with his brothers’ teams. The little blighters drive him round the twist on a good day, and today is not a good day. He’s not in love with Quidditch enough, really, to want to be here when he’s still hung over and still in knots over Malfoy. 

 

Malfoy who shows up in her artfully beat-up denim trousers and another of her blasted Holyhead shirts.  Al runs up to her, his green eyes wide and a smile on his face when he stops right in front of where she’s standing with her broom slung over her shoulder. Despite the fact his father and hers don’t like one another--loathe one another really--and the fact that their mothers have held obvious public disdain for one another, and the very public feuds between Draco and himself--Harry is happy to note Draco is genuinely kind to Al and the rest of the team. She doesn’t even favour Scorpius--her own younger brother--despite the fact she runs his and Al’s team. She treats them equally and Harry’s not sure he could be so kind. Malfoy glances over at him, briefly, when his staring goes longer than is socially acceptable. Harry feels a flush rush up his neck and takes to looking down at his feet. 

 

A whistle blows and Harry winces, flopping onto a bench so he can put his Quidditch leathers on over his clothes. Ron comes over once he’s got his own team shooed off to run a few laps around the pitch. 

 

“Bad night?” Ron starts with a knowing tilt of his head. 

 

“Bad life,” Harry replies with a casual shrug. 

 

Ron’s blue eyes follow Harry’s line of sight--his green eyes drawn back to Malfoy--and his mouth tips down into a frown, “How is that going?” Harry shoots him a withering glance and Ron says, “Ah, I see.” Sitting beside Harry, Ron laces his fingers in his lap and asks, “How’s that situation? Any progress?” 

 

“No different than last month,” Harry admits grudgingly. 

 

The look Ron gives is questioning, but he doesn’t say a word more. Remains silent beside Harry and joins Harry in watching Draco fly around the pitch yelling commands to the brats on their brooms. 

 

#

 

It’s hardly a surprise when Wood tells Harry he’s not flying first string. Not after he fell off his broom a few practices ago--arse over tit--and wound up at hospital. The Howler his mum sent him was mortifying. Dad showing up with the paper hadn’t been much better. 

 

Now Wood’s the one watching him with a disapproving curl of his mouth and Harry feels like a Hogwarts aged brat. It’s not a pleasant feeling. 

 

“Malfoy’s up, Potter--you need to do something about your drinking habit. It’s affecting the way you play.” Harry doesn’t offer up a fight and Wood looks even more disappointed, “You used to be passionate about the game, Potter, what happened?” 

 

He hasn’t got an answer, and Wood stares at him with a disappointment Harry feels in his bones, but he still can’t muster a decent reply so he chooses to stand instead. “I’m glad Malfoy’s playing. She deserves it--wanted it more than I ever could.” That’s the truth, too, Malfoy does want it. Wants it more than anything, and Harry thinks that of the two of them she’s the one who will do England proud when she holds that large golden cup in her hands. 

 

 

The first thing he sees is the flashing headline : Malfoy’s In, Potter’s Out--just before it smacks into his forehead, while an angry blonde vision ‘Pops’ into existence before him. 

 

“What the fuck is this, Potter,” Malfoy seethes. 

 

“The paper,” he replies--ever so sarcastic--and she rages harder. 

 

“Did you do this on purpose?” She’s following him as he makes his way into the sitting room--ignoring the empty food cartons he’s got scattered about. Going to the bar for a drink. Her eyes are flinty grey slits when he turns--she’s glaring at his drink, “Do you think that’s wise at nine in the morning, Potter?” 

 

“Haven’t got anything else to look forward to,” he mutters, raising the glass to his lips. 

 

Then she’s looking at him with an expression Harry thought he’d never--not in a thousand lifetimes--see on her; pity. It’s foreign on her face and angers Harry enough to throw his drink to the side. It crashes against the plaster; drenching the wallpaper with shards of glass and amber liquid. 

 

“Don’t you dare look at me like that,” Harry hisses--turning away from her and giving Malfoy his back. 

 

“Potter, is this why you were benched?” Her long feet fall softly against the plush carpet--so softly Harry doesn’t hear her approach. He only knows she’s there when her hand touches his shoulder in a gentle way, “You didn’t do something ridiculously noble like give up your spot for me--this is just you having an out of control habit, isn’t it?” 

 

Harry doesn’t say anything as he glances around. The evidence is there. It’s in the empty bottles on the ground, the lost nights he can’t remember since his discovery of the unborn sprog in Malfoy’s womb, and Harry thinks perhaps she’s right. Maybe he is slipping down a spiral, a slippery slope he’s not sure how to stop. Perhaps Ron, Wood, and his parents are right, too. 

 

Doesn’t matter if they are. The last person he wants looking at him as if he’s pitiable is Malfoy. “Get out,” Harry rasps--too ashamed to look her square in the eye. 

 

She watches at him for a long time--minutes that drag like hours--and seems as if she wants to stay, but decides to do as she’s been told.

 

He watches her leave with a sinking feeling.  

 

 

Malfoy flies like she was born to ride a broom. Harry says this to Ron as they watch England play Brazil in their first match of the season. There’s a grace to her that he’s never seen recreated--others get close, but are never quite as elegant as Malfoy. The sport columnist in The Prophet--Williams--calls her The Sky Dancer. Harry finds that nickname fitting now that he’s forced to watch her from below.  

 

“She looks like she was born to ride a Quidditch player,” Ron quips and Harry hasn’t got the energy to glare nor to come up with a witty response. Silently he studies her, instead, and makes mental notes of when her reaction times are less than perfect. Harry wonders about how she’d react if he told her she is too hasty when she goes to grab the Snitch. He wonders if she’ll sneer, or if she’ll take the advice to heart. He wonders even though he knows he’s not going to say anything. Harry’s never been good at communicating with Malfoy. 

 

After a while--when Malfoy beats De Sousa to the Snitch--Ron says, “She is graceful as fuck on a broom; even if she does have a couple of things to work on--wonder what’ll happen when Wood finds out about her pregnancy.” 

 

“They can’t bench her for that can they?” Harry doesn’t want the added guilt of knowing that his brat can cost Malfoy her dream. 

 

Ron shoots him a look, “You’ve been in the bottle too long, Harry--it’s a safety issue. She takes a Bludger to the stomach or falls off her broom and that could result in a messy accident.” 

 

Harry doesn’t know how to process the wooshing drop in his stomach when he hears these words. 

 

 

“Jesus,” Mum’s voice is loud in his ear, and Harry feels himself being pulled up. “It’s nine in the morning, Harry,” she says--sadness heavy in her tone. He tries blinking the blurriness from his vision, but finds it makes him dizzy instead. 

 

“I’d’ve been better off as an orphan--probably better adjusted,” Harry mutters against her shoulder and she looks appalled.  

 

“Harry James Potter!” She’s towering over him, hand on her small hips and a sneer on her mouth. She looks as if she’s doing a fairly decent impression of Malfoy so Harry laughs in an almost deranged fashion. “You think this is funny, do you?” Mum demands. “You’re in here pissing life away--your career, your reputation...not to mention your health and personal relationships.” 

 

He stares up at her, glassy eyed while a sardonic grin tilts the corners of his mouth, “I got a girl pregnant.” Another laugh tumbles out at him at the way she falls immediately silent. He’ll have to tell Dad later, and let him know the next time he wants to shut Mum up all he’s got to do is say he’s gone and put a brat on someone. Harry’s too drunk to realise there’s no way in hell Dad will find this funny. 

 

Mum stops cold. Her eyes wide and horrified as she takes in the information Harry’s just given her. 

 

“What,” she breathes faintly; after a thick swallow and a long--at least it feels long to Harry--silence. 

 

Harry’s next words manage to kick the legs out from beneath her, “I’ve been buggering Draco Malfoy for months now.” Mum’s slumped on the floor watching him with a pitying look and Harry starts glancing around for his new bottle of whisky. “I know, I know, I should’ve married her first or gave her potions--something,” he waves in a dismissive way, “But I was stupid.” When he finds his bottle he holds it up with a lopsided grin and says, “Clearly, I’m still stupid.” 

 

#

 

Dad’s the one who loses his shit, and unfortunately Harry’s sober for the entire ordeal. 

 

“What were you thinking, Harry?” His expression is hard--the sort of look that frightens the prisoners he has to interview as Head Auror. To be honest, the glare frightens Harry as well. “Lucius is going to use this to drag us through the mud--the papers are already having a grand time with speculation over your drinking problem since you’ve been benched. This, however, is so much worse.” 

 

Harry flops his head against the back of the sofa, uninterested in the shit Dad’s talking about. Politics bore Harry to tears. That’s his dad and Lucius’s game, and he wants nothing to do with any of it, thanks. “Lucius won’t drag us through the mud--because he’d be dragging Draco right along with me.” 

 

His dad’s laugh is hollow, “Give him a moment--soon as he knows he’ll have it turned around, making it out as if you are some kind of raper and brute.” 

 

Harry gives his dad a look full of disbelief, “Have you met Malfoy? No one in their right mind would think she’d allow me to live if I raped or brutalised her in any way.” Of course Lucius Malfoy isn’t in his right mind--old sod is the biggest arse Harry’s ever had the displeasure of meeting. He’ll take Umbridge over Lucius any day of the week. 

 

“Either way, we need to sort this,” Dad mutters, almost to himself--as if he’s always having to clean up after his son. Which, to be fair, lately he has had an awful lot of damage control where Harry’s concerned.  

 

#

 

That’s how they wind up--Harry, his parents, and brothers--at Malfoy Manor less than a week after Harry admits the truth to his mum. 

 

Lucius and Narcissa don’t seem too pleased to see them, but Scorpius appears curious while Malfoy looks as if she will spit. 

 

“Potter,” she seethes, “Want to explain to me what you’re doing here?” Her fingernails dig into his thick bicep, and he winces when she releases him--leaving behind little crescents in his skin. 

 

Harry releases a slow, tired breath, “I accidentally told my mum, so we’re here to...” he trails off unsure of how to continue. It’s awkward enough thinking about how the past half week he’s been annoyed to hell because he got arsed and went blabbing to his mum. 

 

Draco goes pale, “What?” 

 

Behind Harry Mum says, “Perhaps there is some place we could all talk in private?” She casts a meaningful glance at the three boys who are cautiously and curiously glancing at one another. 

 

Lucius curls his lip, like the idea of his son playing with two half-bloods will leave Scorpius with some sort of undesirable disease, but he manages to keep his hatred inside himself. Harry guesses his prejudice is what keeps him from attending any of the littles Quidditch games. Bloody sod.

 

It is Narcissa who speaks, “The receiving room is warded against eavesdropping,” then at Scorpius she says, “Darling, please show the Potter children to the playroom--Dobby will join you to watch over you.” She’s much better at hiding her discomfort in the presence of half-bloods.

 

“Come this way,” Scorpius says with a tone far more posh than Harry’s brothers--or Harry for that matter--could ever manage. 

 

James looks put off by the command that comes from a younger child, but Albus isn’t waiting for James’s lead as he hurries after Scorpius. Mum shoves James out of the receiving room, with a gentle hand and firm command, “Jamie, go on.” He releases an annoyed sigh, but does as told. Harry frowns after him--he’s never been able to get James to mind that quickly.  

 

When their voices fade up the large stairwell Lucius turns to Draco, “Explain. Now.” 

 

Harry feels responsible and guilty when he watches the way Draco cowers before her father’s obvious ire. She swallows, eyes already bright with a sheen of emotion, and Harry steps in front of her, answering for her when he realises she’s having a hard time getting the words out. 

 

“I got her up the spout,” is his eloquent way of putting the “delicate news”.

 

Lucius’s dark grey eyes are on Harry in an instant, and before Harry realises what’s happening he’s been knocked back into the wall, against some pallid bust that shatters upon the polished marbled floors when it falls from its perch.  

 

“Harry,” Draco shouts and she’s over him a second later. “Are you fucking stupid,” she demands, not even bothering to ask if he’s okay, “That’s not exactly how you’re supposed to tell people you got me pregnant.” She smacks him against his already smarting head with an irritated frown.  

 

“I realised that about two seconds after he sent me flying across the room,” Harry growls. “Goddamn this hurts.” He gingerly touches the back of his head and blinks away the stars he’s seeing.  

 

When Harry stands up he takes immediate notice of the fact that his dad has his wand pointed at Lucius with a hard expression on his face. “Now, Malfoy,” Dad warns in his Head Auror voice, “We’re going to try this again--without violence--and if you touch my son I will rip you apart.” 

 

Lucius appears only marginally impressed with Dad’s threat as he puts his wand back into the head of his cane, “Very well, Potter--let’s sit and figure out how we’ll deal with this scandal before it gets out.” 

 

Malfoy scoffs at Harry when Mum comes over to check on him, he hears her mutter the words, “Big baby” under her breath as she moves to walk beside her own mother. 

 

When they’re seated--Harry beside Malfoy--he whispers against her ear, “I’d rather be with your mother because she is much fitter.” She always manages to bring out the cruelty in Harry. 

 

Malfoy’s smile is all teeth when she hisses, “Unfortunately for you she’s got much higher standards than I have.” Narcissa is fucking bang tidy--Harry’s got eyes, and anyone with eyes can see that she’s attractive--but when Malfoy’s next to him Harry doesn’t notice the alluring curves of other women.   He notices her delicate jawline, the wide shape of her eyes, her plush lips, the tight pull of her denims over her round bum, and the stretch of her shirt over her tits. There’ve been women after matches, plenty of women in tight, low cut blouses. Wearing short skirts with no knickers. Women wet for Harry before he’s said a word, and still he’s ignored them for Malfoy who was sweat damp in her Quidditch leather--bruised and dirty from the game. It’s his favourite time to have her. When she’s ripe with fresh sweat and still riled up. 

 

“Lucky for me you’re so easy,” he whispers back, and feels his pulse flutter when the familiar gleam of want sparkles in her eyes. 

 

 

Growing up in the public eye has always been a nightmare for Harry. His grandfather was Minister of Magic for most of Harry’s childhood, his father is Head Auror and is always being hounded by Grandfather to run for Minister. While his mother heads various charities and is outspoken against the conservative views of the Ministry as well as the oppression of Witches. Then there is Harry’s very public Quidditch career. He can’t go to a pub without at least three photographers taking photos of him while he eats greasy chips. Draco has her own share of being in the public eye--her grandfather, Abraxas, sat on the Wizengamot for years, and has been overly involved in the politics of Hogwarts since he was a young man. Lucius is the same as his father in what he does, only a lot more flashy--at least from what Harry’s seen--and Narcissa is an outspoken advocate against the more liberal views Harry’s mum preaches. Draco is also in the spotlight because of her own illustrious Quidditch career and actively political family. Both of the are similar levels of celebrity, and neither are unused to lack of privacy. But Harry knows when his parents and Draco’s start asking them intrusive questions that their lives are about to become even more nightmarish; the public are like hell hounds and they are the damned souls who are drenched in the sweet scent of blood. 

 

“Harry didn’t coerce you in any way or take advantage of a situation he shouldn’t have, did he, Draco?” Mum’s voice is gentle and concerned. 

 

“Harry was a total gentleman,” Draco replies in a flat tone to the question while Harry shrieks Mum, seriously?! It’s wonderful to know his own mother thinks he’s a brutish lout. 

 

“I just know that he likes his drink and I’m not sure what he’s like when he’s pursuing women in that fashion,” Mum’s very realistic about people, and most of the time Harry appreciates that she--like Hermione--is unafraid to talk about the uncomfortable. Now, however, Harry doesn’t appreciate it; not in the slightest. 

 

Draco looks just as offended as Harry feels; which makes Harry feel like less of a shit. “If anything, Mrs Potter, I was the one who instigated it.” 

 

That takes Harry by surprise. He never thought Malfoy was instigating anything, to be honest. He thought, at the time, that she was just being a fucking burk like normal. 

 

“Draco,” Narcissa says, scandalised while Malfoy shrugs in her usual unapologetic manner. 

 

“It was before he and Romilda broke it off,” she waves off the disappointed noise Narcissa makes, continuing, “She was slagging about so I doubt she’d care if Potter was doing the same--anyways, they’d had this row about something or another during a party Pudd United was hosting after a game, and I decided to crash it with some mates. Saw the whole argument and told Potter if he was a better shag she’d stay around--but I knew he’d rise to the challenge if I set the bait, and Utterly Predictable over here was mine in a matter of moments.” 

 

Harry remembers, with clarity, how Malfoy had been standing there in her ruddy Holyhead shirt, hip cocked casually against the bar with a smirk on her pale lips. “If you were better in bed she’d have no need for slagging about.”

 

“I am amazing in bed,” he’d claimed, voice full of anger and arousal when he looked at the way she was giving the signals that she was open to putting his bold claim to the test. “Do you need me to prove it, Malfoy?” 

 

Her smile had grown wide--predatory--and with hooded eyes she said, “I’d love to prove you wrong, Potter.” 

 

They’d fucked in his flat that first time. She had a glib remark or two about the state of his place, but when he yanked her trousers down and got her thighs spread enough to taste Malfoy’s mouth was put to better use--releasing moans, half-sobbed commands, and hitching breaths. 

 

Harry had her laid over his bed, kneeling on the ground between her legs, spreading her open with his fingers, and had mouth fucked her through two orgasms before she sat up, growling at him, “Get up here, Potter and fuck me.” 

 

He thought he’d be better than her, but Draco gave as good as she got when she climbed over his lap, husking, “I’m going to show you how a real woman rides a Quidditch star.” His swallow was a loud click in the room around them, but she never mentioned it when she lowered herself upon him. The way she removed her shirt enraptured Harry--the way she rocked her hips, graceful, slow, with obvious purpose, as if she were dancing. She was always dancing in the sky and in that moment she was dancing on his cock. Swaying to a music that made him grip the sheets and bite his lip against a whimper. 

 

A whimper he must release now, in this room with all these people because when he hears his mum saying, “Harry!” He comes back to this moment and swallows when he notices they are watching him with varying expressions of discomfort. 

 

All of them save for Malfoy, she’s watching him with a devious half smile and hungry grey eyes. 

 

 

He’s got his hand wound in her short, silky hair--her torso pressing to the wall while she’s got her firm arse pushing against the front of his denim trousers. Harry’s tight against the seam of his jeans, rubbing her bare crack, exciting a breathy moan from Draco’s lips. 

 

“Potter,” she begs, “Get your cock in me, already!” 

 

“Pushy,” he kisses the small shell of her ear, “Did you miss my cock, Malfoy?” 

 

“Yesss,” she hisses, bucking against him. Leaving a smear of slick on the fold of fabric over his zipper--and he licks his lower lip at the sight that she’s so wet for him--for his cock.  

 

“So you’d say I’m good in bed,” he questions, a wolfish grin she can’t see pressing at her temple. 

 

She’s strong enough to push him off of her, turning where her back is touching the wall and showing him all of the skin he hasn’t seen in months. There’s a slight swell at her lower abdomen, but other than that he cannot tell she’s got his seed in her womb. She notices his staring and runs long fingers over the soft flesh. “Come give me some more, Daddy.” 

 

It shouldn’t turn him on, but the way she’s watching him, how she arches, and that low husk of her voice make him ache. An ache that grows stronger when she spreads her thighs. She’s got the palest cunt he’s ever seen--and Harry’s seen more than his fair share--glistening pale pink folds that she opens with her long fingers for his gaze. “What’re you waiting for,” she breathes. 

 

Harry says nothing, swallowing the saliva pooling in his mouth as he stalks purposefully closer. His cock twitching at the promise of that tight wet heat.  

 

 

“There’s a rumour going about that Malfoy’s engaged,” Ron says when he joins Harry in the Leaky one evening. Hermione’s out of town so they’re taking advantage of a night alone to eat crap food and talk about nothing.  

 

Harry smirks, “Is there?” Of course he’s heard the rumour, it’s been splashed across the front of every damn paper. 

 

“That ring on her finger was a pretty good indicator, mate,” Ron replies with a droll tone. “If that’s your idea of subtle you’re sorely mistaken.” 

 

Harry laughs, setting his fork down on the heavily scrubbed wood of the table. “Wasn’t my idea. She’s a fucking fright of a woman at times--I thought Fleur was girly, you ought to see Malfoy when she’s in a jewelers.” It had been interesting to watch her eyes light up when the man behind the counter brought out the rings. Harry’s already planning on buying her a diamond choker for Christmas. He likes the idea of her in diamonds and nothing else--she could be his own private, expensive gift. 

 

“I’ve met her mum--I’d wager Malfoy’s apple didn’t fall far from the tree.” 

 

“Her mum is fit as fuck,” Harry agrees, and Ron makes a disgusted face. 

 

“That’s her mum, Harry.” 

 

“Doesn’t mean she’s not fap fodder,” Harry is unapologetic. If Malfoy is anything like her mother she’ll be damn attractive in her fifties as well. “I mean, clearly Malfoy’s the better looking of the two, but if I hadn’t started shagging Malfoy and I’d met Narcissa at one of those boring Ministry balls, and she was looking for a good time--I’m just saying I wouldn’t have been opposed.” 

 

“She does have a pretty nice arse,” Ron admits after a long moment--a grin pressing against the rim of his pint. “I’ve seen her in those skin tight gowns at the annual League Charity Gala. She is pretty fit for an old bird.” 

 

“Don’t let Hermione hear you say that; she’d string you up for objectifying her and shit.” Playfully Harry rolls his eyes after he speaks. 

 

With a chuckle Ron replies, “Yeah, I know. I mean it’s not like I sit in bed and wank over Malfoy’s mum, but I can admit she’s good looking. Better than good looking. So’s your mum, actually.” Harry chokes on his fish, and starts hacking loudly while he reaches for his glass.  

 

Ron notices Harry’s absence of his usual lager and quirks an inquiring eyebrow at Harry, “I see the ring’s not the only thing new in your life.” 

 

When Harry gets control over his coughing fit he glares at Ron--who is smiling wickedly--and says, “Not okay, Ron, not okay at all. That’s my mum.” 

 

“Your dad’s a very lucky man,” Ron chuckles again and Harry starts to seriously reconsider this friendship. 

 

#

 

“So when are you going to marry me?” Harry asks her one night, after Malfoy catches their victory against Ireland. Harry’d been watching from the bench with a proud smile on his face as Malfoy beat Lynch to the Snitch with her usual grace and finesse. Ron had stomped on his foot and told him to knock it the fuck off--Harry had just laughed, too enamoured with the way Malfoy moved to care what Ron or anyone else thought. She’s got his kid in her; it’s a little late to try and pretend he’s not captivated. 

 

“When you win us the World Cup,” she replies with a casual shrug. 

 

Sitting up Harry frowns, “That won’t be this season; I’ve been benched, and there’s no guarantee they’ll bring me back for the next World Cup.” The especially after how I’ve behaved this season is unspoken and heavy between them. 

 

Malfoy smirks at him, “Guess we’ll have to live in sin for however long this lasts, then.” 

 

Harry’s incredulous when he says, “How long are you betting this lasts, hmmm?” The post shag glow leaving him as he glares at her, “So you just think this is a fling, yeah? I’ve been serious about you, you know.”

 

She appears annoyed when she sits up to answer, “Look, Potter, I get you’ve been sober for a couple months now, and that you’re all excited we’re a...thing, but I’m doubtful this is going to last over a year. You’ve never been good at sticking to anything--in school nor in life--the only reason you’ve stuck with Quidditch so long is because you’re fucking good at it and it gets you laid.” There’s a red tinge to her cheeks by the end of her rant. 

 

Harry’s mouth is pinched into a frown when he replies, “You don’t have a very high opinion of me, do you?” 

 

“You still haven’t given me much cause to have a good opinion of you,” she sounds extremely tired and Harry’s willing to bet it’s all because of him and not the baby. 

 

#

 

He doesn’t give her the satisfaction of quitting Quidditch; he’s half convinced she said what she said to make him quit, but Harry won’t. He lives to prove her wrong. He wants the victory of laughing in her face when she sees that he can be diligent, and good, and whatever else.  Harry still goes to practice and the games, but he’s decidedly more frigid towards her than he’s ever been in the past. He’s avoided her flat for the last three weeks, as well, and that’s a first for him since they started their relationship.  

 

The papers take notice, of course, when Harry starts making callous remarks about her secret fiancee at team interviews. 

 

During one such interview a reporter for Quidditch Weekly asks Malfoy about the person who bought her the ring, “What’s he like?” 

 

“He’s a drunken sod,” Harry replies for her, as he storms off--away from the throng of photographers and reporters. He can’t find it in him to give a shit--fuck her, fuck the papers, all of them think he’s a drunken sod so it’s not exactly a lie.

 

Witch Weekly later has a blurb in Skeeter’s column about how she thinks Potter’s jealous because she’s been able to see, for years, that he’s had a not so secret longing for Draco Malfoy--he just allowed bitter rivalry to come between what could have been true love. 

 

Harry has a good laugh about that; Skeeter doesn’t know shit about love is what he thinks--if she did she’d know that there is nothing remotely loving happening between Harry and Malfoy. 

 

 

Malfoy plays up until she goes into labours. No one knows about the baby other than Ron so it’s a bit of a shock to their team and the spectators when she suddenly starts falling from her broom with a loud scream. Harry doesn’t even realise he’s caught her from astride his own broom until the referee blows her whistle and penalises England for having too many players on the pitch. Harry’s not paying attention, he’s too busy getting Malfoy to Narcissa and Harry’s mum who take her from there.  

 

He damn near follows, but Wood’s hand on his shoulder stops him. 

 

“Potter, you’re up.” 

 

Malfoy waves him on with a combination of a wince and a glower, “You cause us to lose the Cup and I’ll kill you, Potter.” It would be amusing if Harry wasn’t scared shitless. 

 

 

Harry’s not aware they’ve won the World Cup against Bulgaria until Ron’s prying the Snitch from his hands and the team is carrying him along with the giant golden cup. Scorpius, James, and Albus are still in the top box, along with Dad and Lucius, and all of the boys look at Harry in awe while Dad and Lucius look at him with varying degrees of worry.

 

He moves with the intent to talk to them, but his team mates drag him off admits a stadium wild with cheers.   

 

 

“Potter you can’t take that with you,” Wood tries to reason, but Harry’s snarling at him and holding the World Cup away from Wood’s reach. 

 

“I’m showing it to Malfoy, whether you like it or not--she carried us to the finals, and she deserves to touch the damn thing.” He’s pissed enough that he’s been at this sodding party for hours. Harry was intending to slip off with it when all his teammates were heavily intoxicated, but Wood’s apparently named himself designated Apparator. 

 

“I’ll go with you--,” Harry cuts off Wood’s reasonable suggestion. 

 

“No, I’m going alone.” 

 

And then Harry leaves with a crack. 

 

The cup is heavy in his hands, the Snitch from the game clinking around in the bowl of it while Harry carries it through the near silence of the maternity ward. The receptionist looks awestruck when she glances up at Harry while he asks where to find Malfoy’s room. 

 

“Room three-thirty-seven,” she replies, breathless and Harry doesn’t bother to thank her as he rushes in the direction she’s pointed. He just wants to check on Malfoy, and make sure she’s all right. 

 

She’s paler than usual with her hair plastered to her forehead and cheek, her eyes have purple bruises beneath them due to exhaustion and her lips are cracked. Harry’s been finishing the game for the past twelve hours--fucking Krum’s Wronski Feints and Harry’s distraction with Malfoy made it a long, long match. Then Harry couldn’t escape the after party for another four or so. All of England singing him praises despite the fact he did nothing extraordinary at all. Not compared to Malfoy who sat her broom all through pregnancy--bringing England to the finals--and who spent the rest of Harry’s match bringing their child into the world. Harry thinks of the two of them she’s far worthier of praise. 

 

“Hey,” she rasps--voice hoarse from all the screaming he’s assumed she’s done. “What’s that you’ve got there?” 

 

Harry doesn’t answer for a long moment, he’s too enamoured by the bundle in her arms that’s just released a wail. The bundle he hadn’t noticed when he first walked in--too mesmerised by Draco’s appearance. “What’s that you’ve got there,” he repeats the question back at her as he takes cautious steps closer. 

 

“Your daughter,” Draco smiles lazily, “Lyra.” She nudges his arm when he’s beside her bed, “You smell like smoke and piss.” 

 

Harry’s distracted by the unruly mop of dark hair on his daughter’s head to really notice what Malfoy’s saying. “She’s so small,” he whispers, dropping to a crouch to gaze at her more closely. When she turns her little face so he can see it more clearly, Harry is blown away by her--the shape of her brow, cheeks, nose, and chin are all Harry. “She looks just like me.” 

 

“See, Potter, told you she was yours,” Malfoy comments with a hoarse laugh--rustling the sheets on the bed as she moves to sit up. 

 

“I never said she wasn’t,” Harry replies, his eyes on Malfoy’s tired face, “God, you’re beautiful.” 

 

She rolls her grey eyes, “Potter, I just birthed your child--I’m not shagging you tonight.” 

 

He scowls, “You haven’t got a very good opinion of me, have you?” 

 

Malfoy gives him a look, “Why do you smell like piss and smoke?” 

 

“Had a party in celebration,” then he scowls, “I didn’t drink just so you know.” 

 

“I know,” she smirks, “If you’d been drinking you wouldn’t have stopped until you passed out in bed with some slag.” 

 

Harry doesn’t bother replying, instead he hefts the large golden cup onto the bed beside her, “I brought you a present.” 

 

“Won this for me, did you?” Her eyes are half-lidded, and there’s a teasing tilt to her smirk. 

 

“No,” Harry says with a cocky grin, “I won this for my future wife.” 

 

She laughs, “You know I’m never going to marry you, Potter.” Her gaze is soft despite her words, “I’m not that kind of person.” 

 

“Fine,” he says, “Then I won this for the woman I plan on fucking exclusively, until the end of our days--will you go for that?” 

 

Malfoy regards him for a long while, in silence, until a grin spreads across her face, “I think I might be okay with that.” 

 

“So, can I hold her?” Harry asks, and Malfoy shoots him a look. 

 

“You smell like smoke and piss, you’re not holding her until you’ve had a wash.” 

 

“I don’t want to leave yet, I just got here,” Harry says with an affronted tone. 

 

“Then I suppose for now you’ll have to do with just looking,” Malfoy replies in a manner that suggests she’s not going to cave. 

 

“I won a World Cup for you, you know,” Harry tries again when Lyra shuffles in Malfoy’s arms and opens her wide little eyes--glancing around at the new sights around her. 

 

Malfoy releases a sharp laugh, “Pretty sure I’m the one who got us to the finals, but good try, Potter.” Then when Lyra starts to cry she says, “Ring the Healer’s Aid, she needs a bottle and a nappy.” 

 

“I could make the bottle for her,” Harry offers when he notices the bottle of warmed milk near a few pristine bottles. He’s made bottles before for Mum when the boys were little. 

 

The hesitation on her face offends him. 

 

Harry makes an annoyed face, “You still haven’t got a high opinion of me, have you?” 

 

Her smile is all teeth--sharp and fond at once when she replies, “Ask me again in twenty years, maybe my opinion will have changed by then.”

It isn’t exactly a confession of undying love, but Harry’ll take it--he’ll take Malfoy, and Lyra, and all the crazy fucked emotions warring in him. He’ll keep them all, cherish them, and in twenty years time perhaps he’ll admit that he’s known for a long while where his passion lies. 

 

Harry’s passion lies in a stiff hospital bed, a garish gown, and has sweat matted hair stuck to her forehead. The sight of her makes him smile, and for the first time--in a long time--Harry is truly happy. 

 

“All right, then,” he chuckles as he goes to ring the Healer’s Aid, “We’ll make it a date. Twenty years from this moment.” 

 

“You’re on, Potter.”