Rating: ADULT, NC-17, MATURE
Warnings: written with no regard to HBP, D/s, violence, rimming, mpreg.
Archived at http://archive.skyehawke.com/story.php?no=10132 and http://www.livejournal.com/community/dracotops_harry/ and http://lddurham.livejournal.com
Disclaimer: This story is based on characters and situations created and owned by JK Rowling, various publishers including but not limited to Bloomsbury Books, Scholastic Books and Raincoast Books, and Warner Bros., Inc. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended.
This is a sequel to the story "Indago". If you haven't read that, you will be mightily confused while reading this.
Betaed by carvedwood and kitsune Thank you both so much!
AN: This chapter was betaed by the amazing CarvedWood and Kitsune! Thank you! But I must confess that I have jumped the gun and posted this before the final OK, so any remaining mistakes are soley mine.
“I haven’t seen the Manor this lit up in a long time.”
Harry looked over at Draco’s words. The sound of the Sleipner-drawn carriage pulling away rang in the stone courtyard. He turned to look at Draco’s childhood home. It was quite massive and Harry had never seen more than a tenth of the mansion, he was sure. He got the shivers whenever he went into that cavernous place and never wanted to hang around, but tonight it was lit warmly and seemed almost inviting. Floating candles were dancing in the air around the outside and all the windows were bright. The distant sound of probably hundreds of people drifted out into the night air.
“Come on. Can’t have the party without us, eh?” Draco took Harry’s elbow and they walked towards the grand stone staircase that framed and swept right up to the imposing front entrance. The doors were open and house elves stood at attention.
“Master Malfoy,” the head elf greeted as he took Draco’s cloak. He turned to Harry. “Master Malfoy,” he said again. Harry gave up his own cloak and Draco led him further into the house.
“Why do they always do that?” Harry asked in an undertone. “I’ve told them my name at least a half-dozen times.”
Draco smirked. “In this house, Harry, you will only be a Malfoy,” he said imperiously. Before Harry could hiss out a response, the great doors at the end of the entrance hall opened and the impressive figures of Lucius and Narcissa Malfoy appeared. They slid forward and the doors closed silently behind them, muffling the noise from the people behind them.
“Ah, Draco, Harry, you’ve come at last,” Lucius said graciously.
“Fashionably late, of course,” Draco drawled. Harry watched the two men greet each other. They didn’t hug or slap each other on the back, but there was a strong feeling of affection and respect that enveloped the two that only someone familiar with the family could see. Harry was always amazed at how alike and yet different father and son were. Draco had filled out even more over the years and was now the same height as his father, although Harry suspected that Lucius had taken to wearing a higher heel on his boot to make sure of it. Their features were very similar, and yet Draco’s were broader now and he was not as slim as the elder Malfoy. Both men wore their hair traditionally long, but Draco habitually tied his shoulder-length mane back and rarely wore it loose as Lucius did. Watching the two together was a fascination for Harry as he looked for glimpses of what Draco would become as he grew older. Still, Harry would never stay alone in the same room with Lucius and didn’t trust him further than he could throw a Hippogriff. And Draco looked much more handsome in his sapphire-blue frockcoat and black trousers than Lucius in his similar outfit in green, Harry thought.
“Harry, dear. How are you feeling?”
Harry turned and offered a small smile to the family matriarch. Narcissa Malfoy. Harry had yet to fully figure her out. She seemed nice enough now, but there was always a look in her eye as if nothing ever quite came up to her standards. Except, of course, her precious son. The sun rose and set in Draco’s eyes as far as Narcissa was concerned. Only because of his relationship with her son, did the woman seem to accept and concern herself with Harry. Her association with her husband and sister made her extremely suspect in Harry’s eyes, and he never fully trusted her, but he was willing to be civil for Draco’s sake.
“I’m well. Thank you for asking,” he said politely. She pursed her lips, in what Harry had learned meant that she was smiling, and nodded.
“Then shall we?” Lucius raised his arm and gestured toward the ballroom. The four people moved to the doors and they opened once again to the sound of many people talking. As Harry stepped through the doorway, he saw that the ballroom had been redecorated and was stunning. Everything was in cream and red tones and made of the highest-quality materials, from woods to fabric to metals. Everything was brushed, polished, and waxed, even the people.
And there were more people in the room than he had ever thought possible. He hadn’t seen a crowd this large since the after-war celebrations. Women were in beautiful gowns, although none as fashionable as Mrs. Malfoy’s, of course, and the men were in their best robes or tuxes. Silver trays floated through the crowd, laden with crystal goblets and fancy canapés.
Malfoy nodded at the string quartet in the corner and the music came to a stylish halt. The room en masse turned to the great double doors at the top of a small set of steps. Harry plastered on his polite and happy face as all eyes rested on the Malfoy family. Lucius placed his wife’s hand on his arm and put his hand on Draco’s shoulder. Harry felt Draco slide his arm around Harry’s back. The happy family routine, Harry mused, and smiled a bit more.
“Ladies and gentlemen,” Lucius began in a smooth voice that demanded he be heard. He was. “I would like to extend my family’s gratitude to everyone for participating in the joyful occasion this evening. Our guests of honour have arrived and I would like all of you to join my wife and I in congratulating them on their fifth wedding anniversary.”
The room was filled with clapping and many shouts of “here, here” and “congratulations”. Harry waved his hand in acknowledgement until he caught Draco’s eye. He was going to hear a lecture on how gauche it is to wave, he bet himself.
“In addition, I have happy news to impart that will make this an even greater cause to celebrate,” Lucius continued. Harry stiffened immediately and turned his head to look at Draco. Draco shook his head slightly but Harry wasn’t going to allow what he was sure was about to happen. Before he could open his mouth, a rush of guilt ran through him. How dare he question Draco? He should remain silent if that would please Draco. Harry turned back and regained his smile.
“I am pleased to announce that our small family will be a bit larger soon. My son and his husband are expecting their first child, and the next Malfoy heir, in April,” Lucius drawled with a smooth smile. The room erupted with cheers and clapping and calls for toasts to the happy couple. Flashes lit the room and Harry saw the photographers from the press for the first time. Lucius raised his hand to quiet the room.
“Now that I have said what I have desired to say all evening, and my son and son-in-law have arrived, I will open the dancing.” With a gesture of his cane to the musicians and to the centre of the room, the walls began to move back and a dance floor appeared under the guests’ feet. Soon, the masses had moved to reveal the mahogany floor and many couples stepped out and began to dance.
Draco took Harry’s arm and led him onto the floor. As they began to move, Harry noticed that all of the members of the press, at least five reporters and their photographers, were trying to find a way to come out to the dance floor to talk with them. But Lucius deliberately stepped into their sights and the mob went after him, instead.
“Harry, I had to do it so let me explain before you throw a hissy,” Draco said, drawing Harry’s attention back to his husband. A smile lit the brunet’s face.
“I promise I won’t do anything to -” Harry stopped smiling and his eyes widened. “You bastard!” he hissed. “You used the pheromones on me on purpose!” He stopped dead in on the floor but Draco’s greater size forced him to keep moving.
“Smile, Harry. Don’t make a scene or I claim that you have violent nausea and cart you out of here.”
Harry gritted his teeth and plastered a smile on his face. “There,” he said through his teeth. “Now why did you do that? Why did he do that? Now everyone is going to be all over me and try to touch me and who knows who’s going to try to come after me and -”
“Stop it,” Draco interrupted smoothly as he guided them effortlessly around the floor. “You are being melodramatic. If you will stop your antics, I will explain.” Harry opened his mouth to blast him for the “antics” remark and Draco pushed him into a spin. When he came back to Draco’s arms, the blond was already talking.
“You could not have hidden this forever. You are already beginning to show, even through your handsome robes — have I told you how delicious you look tonight? -- and you will only get bigger. No one will touch you because I will not permit it. Yes, we will need to talk to some reporters and such, but I do not wish for the press to make up stories as to why we would keep it a secret. By announcing it ourselves, we only appear to be any high-profile couple having their first child. If we were to hide it, Merlin knows what misdeeds would be attributed to us. Nothing stays out of the paper like normality, Harry.” Draco’s voice was smooth and his face was nothing but pleasant.
“Fine, great plan. Why wasn’t I informed of it?” Harry said through his fake smile.
“To capture your beautiful blush,” Draco deadpanned. Harry’s hand clenched where it lay on Draco’s shoulder. “Watch the fabric, Harry, it’s imported.”
“I am going to walk out of here right now unless you tell me why you did this without telling me!”
“No, you’re not, because then people will ask questions and you will be embarrassed in the morning. And then you will come after me because I failed to stop you from making an ass of yourself.” Draco barely caught hold of the smaller man before Harry stomped off the floor. “Settle down,” he warned. “Fine, you were not told because I knew you would fight the decision and refuse to come tonight. Your instincts are forcing you to be secretive about this and that will not do. No one is going to attack you. You are fine and you are safe.”
“You’re just doing this to crow. You want everyone to know that you got Harry Potter up the duff!” Harry accused, losing his strained smile. Draco grinned down at him.
“I assure you, pet, I don’t need to do anything of the sort. Everyone knows you’re mine.” He leaned down and placed a gentle kiss on the pursed lips. When he raised his head, he said in a low voice. “Yes, I am proud of you and our child, and yes, I want everyone to know. But these were not my sole reasons. I want the hubbub to flash out quickly. It was why I waited until you were this far along. In a few months there will be another splash of excitement when we have the child in our arms and then we should be left alone. For the most part.”
“Ha! You love the limelight. You would want us to be on the front page everyday!” Harry accused as Draco moved them into a graceful turn.
“Yes, I would. But you would not.”
Harry blinked at the simply-said words. Taking a deep breath, he leaned his head onto the broad shoulder. Draco tightened his hold and brought them closer together, slowing their steps.
“I’m sorry. You’re right. You just scare me when you act and sound so much like him,” Harry murmured. He felt more than heard Draco chuckle.
“What is this affinity you have for calling my father by a pronoun rather than his name?”
“I will never trust him, Draco, and whenever you are around him, you start acting more and more like him. It freaks me out,” Harry answered. “You start to sound like him and you become cold like him.”
“Harry, what you are referring to is my public persona. My father taught me how to handle myself in different types of crowds. It is very useful. One must act appropriately when one is in the public’s scrutiny.”
Harry raised his head. “See? Like that. Referring to yourself as ‘one’. I hate that,” he groused. “And over-explaining everything like everyone is an idiot.”
“I just want you to be my Draco. The one who is a hothead and laughs for real and who insults people viciously and not in weird, backhanded insults.”
“No. I don’t understand why you have to act so differently and so much like him. You’re better than him and you shouldn’t ever try to imitate someone who is so obviously inferior!” Draco pulled Harry’s head back down to his shoulder to prevent anyone from seeing Harry’s anger.
The blond sighed. “I don’t know whether to get mad at the insults to my father or kiss you for championing me so vociferously.” The hand on the brunet’s back slid up and combed gently through the hair at the nape. “Regardless of who you think I am impersonating, I have a career I am building. We grow up, Harry. I have to behave this way whether you enjoy it or not. But that does not change who I am when we are home.”
Harry nodded stiffly into Draco’s lapel and they danced in silence for a moment.
“You’re proud?” Harry asked quietly.
“You said you were proud of me and the baby. You’ve never said that before.”
“Of course. I didn’t think you would need me to say it.”
Harry smiled and leaned back. “What’s the surprise?”
“What surprise?” Draco asked blankly.
“The surprise you give me every anniversary,” Harry said knowingly. “The one you always pretend you have no clue about and that you would never lower yourself to sneak about to surprise me with.”
“Haven’t the vaguest notion of what you are talking about. Now, the music is done, shall we get you a drink and get the inane questions over with?” Before Harry could answer, Draco was leading him off the floor towards the bar. They didn’t get very far.
“Mr. Malfoy, Mr. Potter, we would like to extend our congratulations!”
“I hope, Ms. Stocking, that you can remember newsworthy details better than you do names,” Draco drawled, putting his arm around Harry’s waist. The reporter from the French newspaper blushed, which clashed horribly with the purple hair piled onto her head, which also clashed with her brown dress.
“Oh, I do apologize, Mr. Potter-Malfoy,” she said recovering her composure.
“It’s alright,” Harry said politely.
“Yes, it has only been five years since he’s taken my name,” Malfoy added with a smile. Ms. Stocking smiled uncertainly and then her newshound instincts kicked in.
“Yes, five years since you have married. It was one of the century’s most lavish weddings, was it not? Every influential and pureblood family in all seven continents was invited, yes?”
“My father wanted to invite everyone, but we had to keep the guest list small,” Draco quipped.
“And now you are expecting a bundle of joy. That is quite nice. Are you both excited?”
“Of course. We have our worries as any new parents are bound to have, but on the whole, we are waiting for our child with great happiness and excitement,” the blond answered smoothly. Ms. Stocking smiled understandingly and then went for blood.
“This is actually your second pregnancy, Mr. Potter-Malfoy, isn’t that true? Did you terminate the first pregnancy because of your youth or because it would be unseemly to have had a child out of wedlock?”
Harry stiffened. Draco’s arm tightened about his waist and Harry could feel the anger in his stance.
“That is a highly personal and upsetting question, Ms. Stocking,” he said, his voice never betraying his anger. “But I shall be glad to put any nasty rumours to rest. Yes, this is Harry’s second pregnancy, but the first was not terminated by conscious decision. There was an attack by werewolves while Harry was attempting to save a young boy. This attack led to a miscarriage. We still grieve for our son and you will excuse us if we do not wish to discuss it any longer. Good evening, madam.”
They stepped away and made their way through the throng of people calling out congratulations toward the bar again. “I’ll have that woman’s job by the end of the week,” Draco growled. Harry placed a comforting hand on the taut arm around his waist. They finally made it to the bar and Draco got them both water. Draco ordered his in a martini glass so that people thought the blond was drinking vodka. Just another Slytherin trick Harry knew Draco loved using in situations when co-workers and rivals were present.
“I guess it’s not so bad that you keep your cool,” Harry acknowledged after sipping his own drink. “I thought that woman was going to be blackened charcoal when you were done with her. You restrained yourself very well.”
Both men turned toward the shout. Harry could just make out a crown of red hair through the crowd. Finally, Ron popped into view and right behind him was Hermione.
“Hi, guys. Hermione, you look beautiful,” Harry said with a smile. Hermione grinned and came up to hug him. Pulling back, her eyes were wide in wonder.
“You really are!” she said excitedly. Putting a hand out, she placed it on Harry’s abdomen and outlined the lump under the robes. “Oh, look! It’s right there!”
“Merlin, Granger. Where else did you expect it to be? His neck?” Draco said nastily. Hermione cast a mean glance at Draco before smiling back at Harry.
“Why didn’t you tell us?”
Harry shrugged his shoulders. “I just… I don’t know. It was just something I wasn’t sure I wanted people to know.”
“So you announced it to this bash?” Ron asked with a laugh.
“How did you get in here, Weasley? I am quite sure you were not on the guest list,” Draco growled.
“I’m always on the guest list, didn’t ya know?” Ron replied with a grin. Draco narrowed his eyes and grabbed Harry’s shoulder.
“We have other people to talk to, Harry,” he clipped out. Harry left with a resigned look and a promise to catch up with them later.
It seemed like hours to Harry as Draco spoke to probably thousands of people. He and Draco also posed for pictures and answered more questions from reporters. Finally he was able to get away as Draco was pulled into a conversation with some other ministry officials.
“Hello, Mr. Potter.”
Harry turned at the dark voice. Professor Snape stood near a potted palm, a drink in his hand and a scowl on his face. Harry smiled and stepped over to him.
“I’m surprised they dragged you here,” he greeted the older man.
“Mmm, yes. Drag would be the operative word.”
“Is Logan here?” Harry asked, casting a look about him. He didn’t want that nasty rat catching him unawares.
“So kind of you to ask after him,” Snape smirked. “Yes, he is skulking about somewhere. He was quite excited to be here and traipsed off almost immediately.”
“Leaving you by yourself, in the shadows, to insult people under your breath to your heart’s content.”
“Yes. Very thoughtful of him,” Snape drawled.
“How is Lydia? I haven’t written her in a while. I don’t think Hedwig likes Africa’s weather. She always comes back in a tiff.” Harry leaned against the pillar that was closest to Snape.
After taking a sip of his drink, Snape answered, “She is well. As is her husband. She is enjoying her new work as an herbologist and seems quite happy. More fool her.”
“It never bothered you that she married when she got there?”
Snape raised a brow. “No. She is happy. That is all one can hope for, I am told.” Harry shook his head.
“And you, Mr. Potter? Are you happy?”
Harry smiled and leaned his head back. “Yeah. I’m a bit scared about the baby, but I’m happy.” He rolled his head to look at Snape. “You’re not angry that we didn’t tell you, are you?”
“No. I would have liked to have been informed, but I find that old age is mellowing my temper.”
Harry laughed. “Old age? Sure. You’re younger than most of the people in here. And I bet if I walked into your classroom, none of your students would say anything about you being mellow.”
“I would not wish to be un-motivating,” Snape drawled. Harry laughed again. “And so, Mr. Potter, destroyer of evil and other infamous attributes, you have decided to stay home and become a parent, hmm?”
Rolling his eyes at the titles, Harry answered, “Yeah. I was kind of sad to leave the herpetological institute, but it was full of muggles who couldn’t know. It’s a bit boring at home now, but I’m sure I’ll be busy enough once the baby comes.”
“Indeed. And have you thought of what happens when the baby comes?”
“What do you mean? You aren’t going to try to frighten me, are you?” Harry asked cautiously.
“Now why would I do that?” Snape put his hand up when Harry started to open his mouth. “I am not trying to frighten you. I am just making sure you are prepared. Have you been sleeping and eating well?”
Harry scrunched up his face. “I guess so. No real difference than before.”
“And your kleptomania is under control?”
The younger man blushed. “Well… sort of.” When Snape lifted a questioning brow, Harry exhaled loudly. “Draco caught me trying to shoplift a really nice pair of gloves. Now he makes sure to buy something every time he’s out.” At the other man’s smirk, Harry defended himself. “It wasn’t like I wanted to take them or anything. I mean, I did, but I would have paid for them. I just didn’t realize that I had slipped them into my pocket.” Harry didn’t mention the lecture on pride and name he had received after the shop owner had coughed discreetly and made a motion to Harry’s pocket just as they were leaving the store. He also didn’t mention that Draco placed the new items he brought home around their house so that Harry could have the joy of discovering them and secreting them away.
“Of course not.”
Harry glared. “Why do you care, anyway?”
“Merely making conversation, Mr. Potter. It is what one does at these sorts of things.”
“May I have your attention, please?”
Harry turned to look back into the room. Lucius had stepped back up onto the landing and was waiting for everyone to quiet and face him.
“Thank you, ladies and gentlemen. I am sorry to have to interrupt once more, but apparently we are having quite a red-letter day. Draco, my son, will you come up here.” Harry watched in confusion as Draco smoothly stepped up the stairs and stood at his father’s side.
“I was informed a moment ago that my son has been made the new Canadian liaison for the Department of International Cooperation.” Lucius paused for the clapping. “It is fine, but saddening news, as this will mean our time with our grandchild will be limited by the Atlantic Ocean. But we know that Draco will make us proud in his new position. And as a proper anniversary gift, my wife and I will be purchasing any home that my son and his husband would like in their new country.” The clapping and called-out congratulations were loud enough to cover the glass shattering in the back of the room.
“Lucius will not be pleased with having to repair a window,” Snape drawled. “His mother picked those out.”
“Fuck him and his bleeding windows!” Harry bit out.
“I take it your immigration is news to you, as well?” Snape said quietly.
“You think?” Harry flung out nastily as he stalked away through a side door. Snape eyed his exit and then listened to a few more words of happiness and pride that Lucius had for his son. A number of cameras flashed and the two Malfoy men were once again swallowed by the crowd.