Prompt: # 41
Summary: As Draco tries to get used to being under custody of his cousin, he has to get used to living a different life. Most importantly, he has to learn to get along with one Harry Potter, godfather to Teddy Lupin, if he doesn't want to hurt the little boy. He might learn to do more than that in the end.
Warning(s): not sure, flangst maybe?
Word Count: 6824
Author's Notes: Dear jeannie81, I'm sorry for not reaching max. rating, I would have liked to but I never would have been able to finish on time. And I was late enough as it is. I really enjoyed this prompt and would have loved to write heaps more, especially Draco with Teddy, but well... you know...
Special thanks to josephinestone for her wonderful and quick beta-services and the mods of this fest for giving me the time to finish :) And also a thank you to0 duodeathstar for the initial beta :)
Cars Not Carts
“-your room for the time being. Across the hall is Teddy's room which is next to mine.”
Draco watched as the woman in front of him, showed him a room that was only slightly smaller than his walk-in closet at the Manor, but he knew he would have to make do. He had just been released from all charges and was to fall under his cousin's custody, at least until his mother would be found innocent or would be released from Azkaban after serving some time there.
Draco had protested against the custody, feeling it was ridiculous as he was of age and no one else would fall under the same treatment. The Wizengamot rebuffed him, explaining that the wizards tried at the same time as him would spend time in Azkaban. Every witch and wizard that had fought on the side of the Light were also of age and hadn't been found complaining.
Draco still bristled at the words but he knew it was better to just leave it. He wasn't going to jail and he should've been counting his blessings; it could have been far worse. He could have been sent to work on rebuilding Hogwarts.
His cousin's voice broke through his memories and Draco had to blink a few times in order to clear his mind and bring him back to the present. “Yes?”
“I was wondering if there was anything you needed before I go,” she repeated with a soft sigh when she heard his question. “I have to go and pick up Teddy at my mum's and I will be gone for quite some time.”
“No, I'll be fine. I think I'll just stay in my room and read something. I have this new bo-I erm...” Draco stopped talking and frowned. He had no idea how to finish what he wanted to say.
He walked into the room that his cousin held the door open to. He sat down on the bed that seemed to dominate the chamber and watched as the woman who had introduced herself as Tonks, walked in after him.
“There are books in the living room if you want to read,” she said as she sat down next to him. “I don't know if there are any you'd like and they don't have their own room or study but it's enough for us. I'd invite you to come with me but I don't think you are ready to meet my mum just yet.”
“No, that's fine,” Draco answered, “I would like to meet her. I will have to at some point anyway and-”
“You do but not right this minute. It can wait a bit longer,” she said, interrupting him before he could tell her it would be better to do it all in one day. She could tell he was not happy with her interruption but she could also see that he was barely there; the famous Malfoy-mask was slipping every time he thought she wasn't looking and it had been slipping since she picked him up. “Why don't you take this time to rest? Believe me, once Teddy's home you'll wish it was still just you and me.”
Draco nodded and waited for Tonks to get up. He would have rather rolled with the sudden uncharacteristic bout of courage that had made him decide it would be better to have done everything at once, but he wasn't at all sure he would have been able to pull it off in front of his aunt.
As soon as she noticed his nod, Tonks got up and left the room to leave him to his thoughts. She turned when she reached the threshold and looked at the young man sitting in desolation on his bed. He was again lost in his own little world. Tonks hoped he would find some enjoyment in this ordeal although she wasn't expecting anything in the near future.
She sighed and turned away again, leaving the room and going for the Floo. She really wouldn't be home for some hours and she feared for what she would find upon her return.
Draco started when he heard the Floo come to life in the living room. He had gone hungry when he had been going through the bookcase in search of something interesting to read. He found three or four books that appealed to him when his stomach reminded him that he hadn't eaten anything since that morning. He left the living area with the books and went to find the kitchen. He was sure his cousin had shown him the room but he hadn't paid attention and now he felt sorry for it.
He opened random doors until he found the kitchen then went through all the cabinets he could find in order to find something to eat that he wouldn't need to prepare. The last cabinet held pots and pans that had been stacked so precariously they had fallen down and out on the floor when Draco touched the top pot. He realized he would have to put them back and then thought he could reorganize the whole cabinet so that the pots wouldn't fall out again the next time he searched it. He was surrounded by the contents of the cabinet before he could think about it some more.
“Draco? Where are you?” his cousin's voice carried down from the stairs where he realized she had gone first to find him.
Draco looked up from the pan he was holding, and was about to answer when he noticed a different version of his aunt Bellatrix standing in the door of the kitchen. She looked older than his aunt ever would look but she also looked much more sane as well as friendly, especially with the little boy in her arms, blowing bubbles at her cheek.
“He's down in the kitchen, Nymphadora,” she answered back for him, her voice calm but loud enough to be heard. Quick footsteps down the stairs followed her words and then the face of his cousin appeared, flustered and angry.
“I asked you to call me Tonks, just like everybody else,” she told the woman still holding the boy. She turned to her cousin on the floor and greeted him with the first thing that came to her; “Hey Draco, why are you sitting in the middle of our kitchen with all my pots around you?”
“Well Nymphadora,” he answered and smiled evilly when she glared at him. “I was hungry so I went in search of food. Instead I found this tower of pots that collapsed upon me when I opened their hiding place. I was waiting to be rescued when you returned.”
Tonks was about to answer when her mother pushed her son into her arms and walked into the kitchen to stand in front of Draco.
“You should be very careful when you open cabinets in this house Draco. They tend to attack unsuspecting victims,” she told him with a wicked gleam in her eyes. Draco could easily see the connection with her sisters. She winked at him before she turned back to the door. “Especially those that were told to behave by their owner. Now why don't you go clean up, Draco, while I clear up this mess and try to put something edible on the table by the time you finish.”
And just like that, she turned into a person he could not have imagine his aunt Bellatrix to be. His mother maybe, but only if she had turned away from Pure-blood traditions like her sister Andromeda had done. Draco shuddered and then nodded before he got up and escaped the kitchen. The footsteps that followed him closely, told him his cousin had decided it was a better idea to go upstairs as well. It wasn't until he was behind his closed door that he realized he had left the three books he had chosen to read, on the kitchen table so he couldn't lose himself in new worlds until supper was ready.
A loud wail penetrated Draco's dreams on his third night at his cousin's home. It had been a relatively quiet three days with him staying as far away from her as possible. She tried to persuade him to join her in her family life but when Harry Potter arrived on Draco's second day, Draco locked the door to his bedroom and refused to come out until the git left.
Supper that night was awkward but Nymphadora – Draco had taken his aunt's example and constantly called his cousin by her given name – was insistent and denied him a chance to keep quiet, asking him to be more cordial next time Potter was around. Which would be more frequent than Draco liked.
Draco nodded, ate his food and then disappeared to his room again. He was sleeping by the time Nymphadora went to bed. The next day he spent mostly in his room as well. He had only gone downstairs to eat.
Another wail sounded and Draco sat up in his bed, undecided at what to do. He wanted to go back to sleep but the noise woke him fully that time and it didn't seem like anyone else was. When another heartbreaking cry sounded his mind was made up and he got out of bed.
He opened the door to his bedroom and tiptoed across the hall, feeling slightly ridiculous since the wailing should have woken up his cousin but since it hadn't he wasn't taking any chances. He opened the door as quietly as he could and found Teddy standing upright in his crib, his little face contorted in an angry cry, red and tear stained.
“What's wrong with you, little man? Shouldn't you sleep and dream of all the ways you can torture your poor mother?” Draco asked as he walked towards Teddy's bed. “Although, if your crying doesn't do the trick, I don't know what would.”
The little boy stopped his crying and looked at the man that stood next to him. He still frowned but was curious at what the other person in his room would do next. He tilted his head to the right and let out a frustrated sigh when nothing happened.
“Oh, that's right, you don't really speak yet. Well, not in a language I understand anyway,” Draco said softly. He stroked along one of Teddy's tear streaked cheeks and smiled when the boy sighed again. “Let's see if I can discover what's wrong with you without having to wake Nymphadora.”
A giggle escaped from the little boy's lips and Draco laughed along with him. He had noticed Teddy giggling each time Draco – or his grandmother – used his mother's given name and enjoyed the little boy's glee more than the irritation it gave Nymphadora. Soon she would acknowledge that Draco was only doing it for fun and would ignore it, he was sure.
He picked up the little boy and tried to determine if he might need a new diaper. As far as Draco knew, Teddy ate along with the whole family and only had a bottle before bed. Which Draco was sure the boy had had because he had seen Nymphadora feed it to Teddy at supper.
“Al right. How does this work?” Draco asked, pulling the boy closer to him and then pushed him away again when his nose met a sour smell. “Phew, you stink, Teddy.”
Teddy gave him a look that told him that the boy knew and wanted to know what Draco was going to do about it. The boy squirmed a bit in Draco's arms which made the smell fill the air even more and made Draco wonder how he had missed it when he walked in.
“What has that woman been feeding you? Never mind, don't answer. I already know it was the same thing I ate,” Draco said as he searched the room for somewhere to put the boy down. When he noticed the dresser near the door, he nearly heaved a sigh of relieve. It had a stack of nappies on top of it so it was bound to be the place where one would change them. He put Teddy on top of a strange looking mattress and smiled when the boy laid himself down and waited for Draco to continue. “Okay, now how does one do this? I'm sure magic would work just as well but somehow I don't think your mother has done that so I suppose I shouldn't either.”
Draco looked at the little boy's onesie and frowned; how was he supposed to take it of the child without just tearing at the seams? He found the snaps when he was ready to just grab his wand and cast a removal spell. As soon as he removed Teddy's legs from the constricting material, the boy started kicking and the smell seemed to intensify.
“Seriously, have you been eating something else than us?” Draco asked the boy who stopped his kicking and regarded him with a frown. Teddy then shook his head and made a noise that sounded an awful lot like no. “No? Then why does it smell so foul?”
The boy opened his mouth, showing Draco the few teeth in his mouth and then shrugged. He gurgled a bit and made another few noises that would have been words if he could talk. Draco smiled at the boy despite his discomfort and stroked along his cheek. He set about to undo the diaper and found his next problem; how?
Draco began to murmur, wondering how his parents used to do that but soon realized that a house-elf would have taken care of problems like a dirty nappy. He briefly wanted to summon one of the elves still bound to that Malfoys but stopped himself before he did. Potter no doubt, had done this a great many times and Draco would not bow down to the annoying git. Draco shook his head to rid himself of the thought, he had no idea where it had come from even if it was probably true.
He countered every problem the diaper threw at him and cheered when he successfully put Teddy's clothes to rights; he had done it! He had successfully changed the boy's diaper and he had done so alone.
Draco looked down at Teddy and grinned when he met a big smile. “We did it, Teddy. I didn't even have to ask for help.”
He picked up the little boy and hugged him tight before walking over to his bed and putting him down for the rest of the night. “Do you think you can sleep again? Or do you want me to tell you a story? Yes? How about one about your godfather?”
Teddy smiled and gurgled his assent. Draco grinned and began to fabricate a story about his time at Hogwarts. He made sure to make himself look good in the eyes of the little boy and if that meant painting a very different picture of the great Harry Potter – and maybe painting him to be a bit more evil than he really was – then he was not going to stop himself. Besides, Teddy seemed to enjoy it.
Draco didn't hear anything about that night, except maybe a remark about the change in Teddy's hair-colour. Which apparently lead to Nymphadora letting go of her own restrictions and changing her features more than once. He had encountered a duckface at the breakfast table far more often than he liked.
After that day they fell into a routine where Draco tried his best to be around for more than mealtimes, and Nymphadora tried to leave him alone when he withdrew into himself and went to his room. That routine was only broken when Nymphadora had to work and Andromeda watched Teddy – Draco had free reign of the house on those days – or when Harry Potter came over to be the perfect godfather he thought he was. Draco was on his best behaviour on those days because he didn't want to cause any problems for Teddy and the little boy did like his godfather. It also helped that it seemed to confuse Potter to no end when Draco was pleasant.
It was on one of those people-free days that Draco learned that his aunt knew more about Teddy's clinging to blond than he had realised. He was enjoying his new book – bought by Andromeda – when the Floo sprang to live and his aunt popped out with a crying Teddy in her arms.
Draco sprang to his feet and stood in front of them before she had even been able to straighten them up. “What's wrong? Why is he crying?”
“He's crying because he misses his favourite toy,” his aunt said, walking over to the couch Draco just vacated. “And nothing else is wrong. I was also wondering why Nymphadora still insist on using me as a sitter when she has you as well. Don't get me wrong, I love spending time with him but he seems more invested in you than anyone else.”
“Me? I'm sure you've g-”
“No, I'm not wrong. It's more than just his hair. He follows you, you're his focus point, his world if we must give it a name,” Andromeda interrupted before Draco could tell her she was mistaken. “He's done that once before and you don't like that person very much. I know you're trying but you're only doing that for this little guy.”
“He tried to have Harry Potter's hair, before trying for mine?” Draco asked, easily deducting that it was Potter his aunt was talking about. He also didn't have much liking for Teddy's father but that man hardly ever came up in conversation as it was, and Andromeda didn't really appreciate her ex son-in-law.
“He hardly had hair at that moment so it was the eye-colour but yes he did try,” Andromeda said with a nod. She sat Teddy down on the floor and watched with a smile as her grandson made his way to Draco.
Draco sat down on the floor and took Teddy in his arms when the boy arrived at his knees. “I still don't understand why you're here though. So my secret is out. You could have waited until you came to visit. Why now?”
“Because I have another appointment in an hour and I want to keep that,” his aunt answered. “Your secret, as you call it, is still safe with me. I'll be back before Nymphadora comes home and then I'd like to talk to you.”
Draco nodded and watched his aunt get up off the couch again. She said her goodbyes and was gone before Draco remembered to ask her what the other appointment was and why she hadn't told her daughter about it. “Do you know what that was about?”
Teddy shook his head and then tried to pay attention to something on the side of Draco's face. Or at least that was what Draco hoped what he was doing, he wasn't sure he wanted to change the boy's diaper so soon after he had come home. When a small hand took hold of a loose strand of his hair, Draco knew he would be all right but he did grab his wand from his pocket and began to summon toys from Teddy's room.
As soon as the first blocks flew by, Teddy's attention went from the hair in his fist to the toys flying by and soon he was back on the floor trying to stack blocks on one of the odd looking carriages that Teddy liked and Nymphadora called 'carts'.
“All right, so you'll play and I'll read and that'll – I guess I won't read,” Draco amended when he tried to get up from the floor and Teddy made a distressed noise. “But what do you want me to do? You're already playing with everything I Accio'd.”
Teddy pushed one of the carts towards Draco and made encouraging noises when it took the older boy too long to pick it up. He pushed against it again when it took even longer. “I don't even know what I'm supposed to do with this. I've never seen anything like this.”
“Oh great, your godfather is looking for us,” Draco said when someone called from the Floo. “I wonder if I will even get a moment of rest today. I'm here, Potter!” he yelled when Potter called his name again.
“Can I come through or are you busy?” Potter asked when his eyes landed on Draco.
“Would it matter if I was?” Draco murmured and then called out for Potter to just come through.
Teddy, who had looked put out by the interruption, mimicked Draco's murmuring and grinned when Draco chuckled. Teddy looked up at Potter when he saw the other wizard and let out a happy shout that could have been the dark haired git's name. He frowned for a moment but must have decided he liked Draco's look better since nothing changed.
Potter picked up the boy and smiled when Teddy immediately squirmed to be let down again. “I'll let you go in a moment, just let me look at you. What were you doing that is so important?”
“He was playing with his carts and-” Draco tried to explain, holding up the vehicle Teddy had wanted him to use.
“Cars,” Potter said, interrupting Draco quickly.
“...What?” Draco asked in bewilderment.
“They're cars, not carts,” Potter said, pointing at the blue thing in Draco's hand. “It doesn't matter. Is Tonks in the kitchen? I went by Andromeda's house and she wasn't there so I thought Tonks must've taken the day off or something and-”
“Nymphadora is at her work place one would hope, and Andromeda had to go somewhere so she asked me to look after Teddy,” Draco explained in a haughty voice.
“Do you even know how to?” Potter watched him carefully as he sat Teddy down on the floor again and went to stand where Draco was sitting.
“Of course I know how to. Aunt Andromeda wouldn't have trusted me with him otherwise,” Draco responded. He smiled when Teddy made his way back to him and sat down in his lap. “And as you can see, so does Teddy. Was there a special reason you needed to see Nymphadora? I'm sure I can give her a message if so.”
“No, I just wanted to spend some time with Teddy. And you apparently.” Potter sat down next to Draco and picked up a pink car from the floor, seemingly intent on playing with the thing.
“Don't you have a job to go to?” Draco asked, already knowing he wouldn't get an answer. It was one of the questions he always asked when Potter came over and so far he had yet to receive a satisfying answer.
“I thought annoying you was my job,” Potter answered with a chuckle. “Although, recently you have done all you could to be nice. Today must be a good day for me.”
“You must be joking. Doesn't that get tiring?” Draco asked with a frown. He never thought he would be having any kind of conversation with Potter that wouldn't involve either of them calling the other names, and yet that was exactly what they were doing and had been doing for a few weeks already.
“Hoping I'll get more than a token reaction from you isn't tiring. Getting nothing but a polite answer is,” Potter answered. “I know Tonks asked us to get along but she's forgetting past enmity between us. I'd rather have you firing insults at me than the boring shell you've been showing me our past few encounters.
“It's not for her,” Draco said.
“It's not for her, it's for Teddy. He likes you and I don't want to hurt him,” Draco explained. He got up from the floor when Teddy left his lap to go after the pink car Potter had been pushing back and forth while he and Draco talked. Draco walked to the couch to grab his book and then made his way to the door. He was nearly there when Potter's voice stopped him.
“You're not going to leave me alone with him, are you?”
“Why not? Surely you've babysat for Nymphadora before?” Draco asked, wondering why the other man had sounded panicked.
“Well yes, but Hermione has always been there with me and Ron,” Potter admitted. “I'm great at playing with him and giving him the stuff he needs but I have no idea what to do when he cries.”
“You comfort him, you idiot!” Draco exclaimed. “And then you try to find out what's wrong with him. It's easy if he falls, bleeds or turns blue but if he's not choking, doesn't have any wounds or bumps, he's hungry, thirsty or needs his diaper changed.”
Potter's eyes grew impossibly large by the time Draco finished his speech and Draco nearly felt sorry for him. He did turn around and walked back to the couch. He wouldn't leave Teddy alone with the imbecile breathing heavy and sweating like an otter on his cousin's carpet.
A few hours later, Draco regretted his decision immensely. Potter hadn't been kidding when he said he didn't know what to do when Teddy cried. Which didn't happen often but the panicked reaction didn't make it any easier to comfort the boy.
At that moment they were in Teddy's room and Draco was again changing his diaper. Potter was hovering just behind him, distracting Teddy with his antics but annoying Draco to no end. He nearly shoved him out of the room when they made it up, but the git was carrying Teddy and refused to hand him over, saying that he'd want to learn how to do it so he wouldn't need anyone's help.
“Potter, stop it! Pay attention if you want to learn.” Draco finally had enough and spoke up. Potter stood ramrod still at the one end of the changing table. Draco would never stand there unless Teddy was in his bed. He thought about warning Potter but knew the idiot wouldn't believe him so instead he went on with the job.
He was nearly done – only needed to put the fresh diaper on Teddy really – when Potter learned why it was better to stand anywhere but there; in a beautiful arch Teddy emptied the remaining fluid in his bladder.
“You knew he would do that! You knew and you didn't warn me!” Potter accused Draco immediately when he had dried his face – with another fresh diaper – and stopped sputtering.
“Of course I knew. I thought you knew as well but wanted to impress me with your lighting fast reflexes and stood there because of that,” Draco laughed and complimented Teddy on his feet. He continued to put the diaper on and finished putting Teddy to rights. He tried to ignore the open mouth behind him as much as he could. It was blissfully quiet for a few minutes.
Of course it couldn't last.
“Would you really?” Potter asked when Draco returned in the living room with a cup of tea for them both. Potter had gone there with Teddy already and was sitting on the couch with the boy in his lap.
“Would I really what?” Draco countered as he sat down on the opposite side of the couch.
“Be impressed if I showed you my lighting fast reflexes?” Potter looked at him with curious eyes.
“I...I don't know...Probably.” Draco answered, squirming a little under Potter's gaze. “You used to be extremely fast on a broom and that was impressive but-”
“Wait, you're admitting that-”
“I'm not admitting anything!”
“You just said-”
“Boys. I'm sure Nymphadora would be upset if she saw the two of you fight. All I see is a healthy discussion but my daughter will not be convinced.”
Their heads turned in unison to the Floo they had missed coming to life. Draco looked down at his hands and saw Potter looking at Teddy from the corner of his eye. The boy was asking to be let down so he could greet his grandmother and no doubt hide in her arms.
“Good, now that you two have calmed down, Harry can get me a cup of tea and I can have a word with my nephew,” Andromeda told Potter.
Potter sputtered, saying things that seemed to mostly be variations on 'but I was talking to him' before he got up and left for the kitchen. Andromeda put her grandson down to play and walked over to sit in Potter's vacated seat. All that time, Draco tried to keep his face as neutral as possible, knowing he could show his emotions if he wanted to – Nymphadora kept telling him that she didn't like his impassive mask – but training taught him to keep up that mask.
“Don't worry Draco, it's nothing bad,” his aunt said as she sat down next to him and took his hands in hers. “Although I have to give you some warning; it seems that Harry has taken a liking to you and if you don't want him to pursue you, you might want to tell him.”
“He has a funny way of showing that,” Draco said, looking at the door Potter had left through. He winced when he heard the loud clinking of metal on porcelain.
“He's Harry, he doesn't know any better,” Andromeda answered. “As I said; if you don't want it you have to tell him. Preferably without hurting him, He has an extended adoptive family and yes I am a part of it but I will step away because you're a part of my family. And that's what I wanted to talk to you about; I've been visiting you mother and I know why she's been refusing to see you.”
Draco frowned. He knew his mother hadn't wanted to see anyone but their advocate. He hadn't given it any more thought, thinking she would change her mind when it took more time than either of them anticipated for her trial to begin or when they would have a verdict. Lucius had received his sentence as one of the first Death-eaters put on trial and if Draco was honest he hadn't been surprised to hear that his father was to spend the rest of his life in Azkaban.
“I know that you probably think it's nonsense but she didn't want you to see what she was put through in her holding cell. She wanted you to remember her as the strong woman she is, not as the miserable person they tried to turn her into,” his aunt's voice told him as she squeezed his hands. He looked down at the frail hands holding his and frowned again, trying to find what didn't seem right in what she was saying. And then he did.
“You're using past tense. As if it's something in the past, as if she's no longer there and had her trial and-”
“Yes, she's been tried and thanks to Harry, she's been found innocent but Draco look at me,” Andromeda said when he raised his head to look at the Floo as if his mother was going to walk through in any moment. He looked at his aunt and frowned when he read the worry in her eyes.
“She's been through a lot. She was one of the last to be tried and that has given some of the guards the time to humiliate her and hurt her. I've given their names to Nymphadora and she's promised to have someone look into it,” his aunt answered with another squeeze in his hands when he tightened them. “That's not what I need to tell you though. I've asked her to stay with me until she's recovered her strength. She's agreed but she has asked me to tell you that she does want to see you but you should bring someone you trust with you.”
“Someone I trust?” Draco asked indignantly. “Everyone I trusted has either died, in Azkaban, or hiding. Who would I take?”
“You could take me with you,” Potter said as he walked into the room balancing a table-boy filled with steaming teacups and food.
“Why should I take you?” Draco asked at the same time as his aunt said; “Oh that's a wonderful idea Harry.”
Draco turned towards his aunt and hissed under his breath; “I thought I didn't have to if I don't want to.”
She smiled and shook her head. She accepted her cup from Potter and waited for him to sit to change the subject. Draco fumed and swore he would tell Potter that there was no way he would accept him as his escort to his mother. He just had to wait until he was alone with him again.
It took far longer for Draco and Potter to be alone together and by then it was too late. Nymphadora had agreed with her mother and didn't seem to hear any of Draco's complaints even when he specifically told her that he didn't want Potter's attention. And the prat never came without company any more; it was as if he knew Draco was going to reject him.
They stood in front of Andromeda's door and waited to be let in. Potter was giving Draco his best wounded puppy-eyes and Draco did his best to ignore him. They hadn't spoken more than the greeting at the door and Draco felt hurt. He missed the waterfall of words that usually accompanied Potter as much as the taunting that the other man seemed to use to flirt with him. At least that would have broken some of the new tension surrounding them as well as gotten rid of some of Draco's nervousness. He hadn't seen his mother since they had been taken out of their home and nothing Andromeda had said would make the image of the broken down woman he pictured, disappear.
“Ah there you are Draco. And you've listened to us and taken Harry with you. Wonderful.”
Draco opened his mouth to protest but his aunt had walked back into her home after opening the door and greeting them. He turned to Potter and watched the other man gesture for him to go inside. Potter even mumbled a demure; “After you.”
Draco felt his anger bubble to the surface and fumed. He took a few steps back and stood in front of the dark haired wizard. “Will you stop acting like I stole your favourite quill? Tease, taunt or annoy me but stop acting like a kicked crup!”
“Why should I?” It's obvious that you don't want me around. Well obvious to me anyway,” Potter answered in a dull tone. “I'm only here because I promised Tonks and Andromeda. I'll be out of your hair when this is over.”
“Who told you that?” Draco asked the man in front of him and saw his eyes grow wide and his mouth open to answer. “Never mind. Look Potter, even if I was interested, I can't. I have a duty to my family and-”
“No, you don't! You don't have to do anything for your family, Draco! When they took everything from you, they also took away that duty. You're free to do whatever you like!” Potter exclaimed, his eyes showing the fire that had been lacking for the last hours.
“I – I erm...” Draco tried.
“I understand that you want to rebuild your family name, re-establish your social standing and everything that used to be your world. And I'll gladly help you if you'll let me, be at your side if you'll allow me to stand next to you, but you should stop hiding behind what used to be the norm for you,” Potter said as he pushed him towards the house. “We can discuss this later, after you've seen your mother.”
Draco nodded and let himself be led into his aunt's house by Potter. He wasn't ready for the sight that was waiting for him but he knew that trying to lure Potter into a fight was not going to work. He could always try after his visit with his mum.
As he stepped into the living room, he realised he had been preparing for the worst and was shocked that it wasn't that bad. It was not good either but from what his aunt had said he had thought his mother had been wounded beyond recognition. She did sport a few scars in her beautiful face but he could see beyond them and see the woman that she was. He was crossing the room before anyone had encouraged him to, and sat down next to his mother before she asked him to.
“I see you've misplaced some of the good manners your father and myself have taught you,” she said hoarsely, as if her voice had been in disuse for longer than the few minutes it had probably been.
“I – I just-”
“I know and it's good to see you acting free,” she stopped his explanation before it began. “I'm glad you feel well enough with your aunt and her daughter that you can be like this.”
Draco caught movement from the corner of his eye and realised his aunt had taken Potter out of the room. He was glad for it; it was one thing to let the man take him here, it was quite another to let him see whatever it was his mother wanted to discuss with him.
Draco turned back to his mother and waited for her to begin. He had many questions but he wanted to hear her tell her story before he asked them. He would get many answered just by listening anyway.
Again they had travelled in silence but this time Draco was grateful for it. His mother had given him much to think about and he still wasn't sure what to answer Potter, Harry. He should probably start calling him Harry if he wasn't going to reject him, if he was going to allow the other man to flirt with him.
“We're here,” Harry said softly, as if he was not ready to break the silence.
“Oh,” Draco responded, having been lost in thought and loosing track of where they went.
“No need to sound so disappointed. I'll be here again tomorrow,” Harry teased as he opened the door and let Draco pass. He then turned towards the gates and was about to walk away when Draco put a hand on his arm and stopped him. “Yes?”
“Harry, I...I want to thank you for being there with me. I could have done this alone but it was nice to know I didn't have to,” Draco said, smiling at the confused and then delighted look on Harry's face.
“You don't have to thank me. It was a pleasure to meet your mother and see you acting a bit more carefree,” Harry answered. “I'm glad you've included me in your small circle. If you haven't got anything else to say, I'd like to go home and-”
“I also would like to tell you that I would like to have the chance to court you. I know you wouldn't be adverse to it and-” Draco found it hard to finish his sentence when Harry had evidently thrown caution in the wind and kissed him squarely on his lips. Draco put his hands on Harry's shoulders and tried to hang on for dear life as he returned the kiss and managed to deepen it. He felt his knees go weak when Harry's tongue met his.
All too soon Harry pulled back and smiled while he put his head against Draco's. “Just so you know, I'm really glad you changed your mind but I don't need to be courted. You have my attention and have been on my mind for far longer than I dare to admit.”
“So, no dates?” Draco asked when he found his breath again.
“Oh, there will be dates, don't worry,” Harry answered with a small chuckle. “And a lot more if I have anything to say about it. You probably won't even have to wait until the fifth date to get in my pants. I'd let you now, but I think that might be a bit much.”
“Just a bit,” Draco admitted although the thought of having sex with a man, with Harry, didn't scare him half as much as he thought it would. “I won't be the one that will be taken though so if that's what you like best we-”
“Oh, that's not a problem at all. I don't mind being your bottom,” Harry assured Draco. “As a matter of fact I prefer to bottom. I can't wait to have your dick inside my ass.”
“That's a little crude, isn't it?” Draco responded when the words sank in.
“Maybe, but it's the truth,” Harry said with a wink. “Now go inside before Tonks begins to worry about your virtue. I'll talk to you tomorrow and then we'll discuss where you're taking me.”
Harry pressed another kiss to Draco's lips, pulled back and turned him around towards the house. Draco felt a soft nudge and began to walk. He turned back when he was inside, and watched Harry walk through the gate and Disapparate. Draco smiled and went further into the house he would have to call home for a while longer while his mother recovered. For the first time he wasn't upset about it and actually enjoyed the idea of helping Nymphadora with Teddy, even if she still had no idea. Things were finally looking up for him.