Author's note: So this is something that popped up in my head around a week ago and refused to leave until I started on it. Originally this was supposed to be just a long oneshot, but the story just kept growing and well, it's going to be four long chapters in total *clears throat* Because we all know by now that I don't know any limits.
Warnings: Draco's pov; drama; MPreg; altered timeline; doesn't follow the epilogue nor the Deathly Hallows; slash; time skips. These warnings apply for the story in general
Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter. J.K. Rowling owns it.
I hope you'll like it!
"Mother and I will visit you as soon as possible," Draco swore; his right hand clenched around his father's left wrist. It was all the affection he dared to show with other people around them.
"I know you will," Father murmured, inclining his head slightly. His lips barely moved when he continued, "Take care of her and of yourself. Do not give them any reason to hunt you down."
"I won't," Draco promised and stepped back, releasing his hold on his father, in order to give his parents a few moments of privacy before Lucius would be taken to Azkaban where he would spend the next five years of his life.
There had been cries for a harsher punishment, a longer one, some even demanding he be Kissed, but in the end the Wizengamot had ruled that five years in solitary confinement would be sufficient. They had also taken half of what was in the Malfoy vaults, but they had left the manor alone and he and his mother had been quick enough to hide their important heirlooms and artefacts from the grabby hands of the Ministry.
It would be enough for them to pick up their lives again and build up their reputation once more.
"Excuse me, coming through!"
The familiar voice had his head whipping around before he could stop himself and the crowd parted in front of him to reveal Harry Potter, looking harried; his glasses slightly askew. His dark blue robes were wrinkled, his hair as untidy as ever, and a grim look painted his face.
"Potter," he greeted the other man cautiously, ignoring the dark muttering that rose up. He and Potter had a truce going on ever since they had started working together during the war.
Living in close quarters for more than a year hadn't given them much choice but to reconcile, if only to ease the tension somewhat. There was no point in holding on to old grudges and silly school feuds when they ran the risk of dying every time they set foot outside and their only chance of surviving was having each other's back.
"Malfoy." Potter nodded and then held out Draco's hawthorn wand with a wry smile. "Figured you'd like it back."
A shudder of pure warmth rippled through Draco when his fingers closed around the familiar wood, the wand back with its original owner. For a few seconds he closed his eyes, relishing the fact that he wasn't defenceless anymore – the temporary wand he had been forced to use had never worked quite as well for him as his hawthorn one – and then nodded.
"Thanks, Potter," he murmured, slipping the wand into his pocket.
Potter cocked his head to the left, a faint smile playing around his lips. "More like I should be thanking you for letting me use it." He took a step backwards and his eyes briefly flickered towards Draco's parents who were sharing a last kiss before Lucius would be taken away. "I guess I'll see you around."
Draco raised an eyebrow, slightly bemused. "I guess," he said blankly. He couldn't think of any particular situation where he and Potter would see each other again now that the war and the trials were over, but well, it wouldn't hurt to remain polite.
Potter nodded and after offering another smile, he turned around and disappeared back into the throng of Ministry employees and reporters, ignoring their demands for an interview.
A soft touch on his elbow made Draco turn his head to his left, where his mother stood serenely. When looking at her, one would never guess she was grieving the fact that she would have to miss her husband's presence near her for five years.
Mother is strong, Draco reminded himself, having witnessed that particular fact with his own eyes during the war. "Yes, mother?"
"Let us return to the manor," she spoke calmly, ignoring the curious looks of some other witches passing by. "There is nothing left for us here."
He inclined his head and offered her his arm, which she took with a serene smile.
Together they left the Ministry, leaving behind the suspicious scowls and the bewildered stares of the ones who had been hoping to witness a Malfoy break down.
Too bad they wouldn't get what they wanted.
With their heads held up high, mother and son disappeared into the green flames.
The surprised hum disrupted his focus and he blinked, resurfacing from his study of his great-great grandfather's diary, which he had found stuffed behind a large pile of thick tomes detailing the content of the Malfoy vaults. He hadn't decided yet what he would do next with his life now that he no longer had to act as spy for the Light side and had taken to riffling through old, abandoned rooms in the manor, interested in the trinkets and books he discovered in them.
He had found the diary one hour ago and had joined his mother in the parlour, which looked out on the large garden. It being the middle of July, the air was filled with the heavy scent of the various flowers blooming and the sound of bees buzzing around created a pleasant background noise as the sun shone relentlessly.
"Something interesting?" Draco inquired and looked up, turning his attention to his mother, who was studying an article in the newspaper with narrowed eyes.
"Hm, it is, yes," she murmured and handed over the page she had been reading.
Several short articles littered the sides of the page, but he knew at once that the large article in the middle had been the one responsible for eliciting that sound out of his mother. He imagined that many a people would utter a sound similar to that of Narcissa at seeing the article and the bold headline stamped right above the moving picture of an irritated looking Potter, hurrying out of Saint Mungos, with Weasley and Granger at his side.
Our Chosen One Pregnant?
Earlier this morning, our newspaper got wind of the fact that Harry Potter was admitted to Saint Mungos urgently. Given the fact that the Boy-Who-Lived-Twice has yet to announce his decision whether or not he will be joining the Auror ranks soon, naturally questions arose as to why he would be admitted to the hospital. Has he already started his training as an Auror or was he attacked by one of the Death Eaters or supporters from You-Know-Who still remaining at large?
None of those, our reporter can assure you. In fact, it is quite the opposite.
Our source in Saint Mungos confided in us that Mister Potter was brought into the hospital due to a fainting spell. Fainting spells on their own can be quite innocuous, but Mister Potter's best friends informed his attending Healer that he has also been experiencing bouts of nausea. This, of course, ensured that the examination was more thorough and they uncovered the cause of the fainting spell and the nausea.
Dear readers, we can bring you the – albeit quite shocking – news that our hero is pregnant! According to our source, Mister Potter is currently three to four months along, though they could not give us the specific week count.
Mister Potter nor his friends were ready to give commentary on the news, but rest assured, dear readers, that our reporter will give you more news soon.
The article continued speculating about who the other father could be, even going as far as wondering whether one of the Weasleys had fathered the child, before asking the readers to come forth with any possible information they might possess.
Potter was pregnant.
Draco blinked and leant back in his chair, playing around with the news in his mind as if it was a Quaffle. It was entirely unexpected, more so because he hadn't known the man was bent. He supposed he couldn't be faulted for that, though, considering their conversations had either been screaming matches or discussions about battle plans in the last year. There had been no time and no reason to discuss something as intimate as romantic preferences. What would have been the point?
Still, he had expected that Potter would take it easy for a while after emerging from the war as the winner. Having a baby wasn't exactly taking it easy.
Not that he cared what Potter did. They had their own lives now.
"Curious news, isn't it?" Mother murmured thoughtfully, taking a delicate sip from her ice cold lemon tea.
"We can only hope he isn't contributing to the Weasley family," Draco scoffed, placing the page back on the table, and turned his attention back to the diary.
He did spare one more thought to the news: who had managed to get Potter up the duff?
He paused and rolled his eyes at himself. What did it matter who Potter was shagging? Sure, it would be interesting to know where he had found the guy, considering they had been mostly locked up in Grimmauld Place – unless it was one of the Weasleys, in which case Potter's taste was even more deplorable than he had suspected. More desperate as well.
It could be one of the older adults, like Shacklebolt, but Draco didn't think Potter would stoop that low – nor would any of the adults be stupid enough to try something with Potter.
Well, it didn't matter.
He turned to the next page of the diary and let himself be absorbed in his great-great grandfather's attempt to court a Veela woman.
"And I already told you that it isn't the Boiling Hex," Pansy smiled snidely; her dark eyes narrowed dangerously. Her left hand was clamped around her right arm, where dark purple and leaf green blisters were hissing and popping underneath the white bandages.
The Mediwizard – a lanky, dirty blond bloke with pale blue eyes – drew himself up, looking haughtily down at her. "You might have misheard your attacker when they spoke the spell, but I can assure you that - "
"That you weren't with me when that bastard attacked me and therefore don't have the slightest clue as to which incantation he used," she finished with bright glittering eyes. The brighter they were, the more dangerous she became. "And I can tell you with absolute certainty that it is not the Boiling Hex. I sincerely hope your education progressed further than simple third year curses."
Silently, unobtrusively Draco left the hospital room, trusting that his friend was able to handle herself against the Mediwizard. She wouldn't appreciate him helping her and he had recognised that particular tone in her voice; it meant she wouldn't give up on the argument until she had won. That might take a while, depending on the stubbornness of the Mediwizard, and Draco was not in the mood to listen to the growing argument.
The two Aurors who had escorted them reluctantly to the hospital after a wizard had attacked Pansy in Diagon Alley had already left and Draco snorted derisively, stuffing his hands into his pockets. Of course they had left already; they wouldn't want to stand guard for people they thought were beneath them.
At least they had taken Pansy's testimony, which was more than Draco had expected them to do.
Wandering further down the corridor, he ignored the glances the passing Mediwitches and Healers threw him and contemplated whether he should go downstairs and find something to eat. He had already messaged his mother where he was to prevent her from becoming worried, so there wasn't much he could do bar waiting for Pansy to verbally beat the Mediwizard into submission.
The corridor split into two others and he turned left, gazing disinterestedly at the pictures of former Healers decorating the walls, together with paintings of forests and oceans. This particular corridor was quiet with none of the medical professionals bustling around and he had just started to think that he was alone when he picked up the sound of soft voices deeper down the corridor.
Curiosity piqued against his will, he drew nearer to the only door which stood ajar.
"Look, mate, it's not good to keep ending up here, you know."
Draco stilled and his hands balled into fists inside his pockets as he realised that that was Weasley talking. And where Weasley was, was …
"Really? I hadn't realised that," Potter retorted; voice dripping with heavy sarcasm and unwillingly Draco smirked.
He could appreciate sarcasm, even if it came from the green eyed git.
"What Ron means, is that you can't keep going on like this, Harry." And that was Granger talking; her voice so worried, one would think the Dark Lord had risen again.
Draco cocked his head, pursing his lips slightly. What had landed Potter in the hospital again? His pregnancy? It couldn't be a regular check-up then, if that was the case, because Granger and Weasley wouldn't be concerned about that.
Potter uttered a heavy sigh and there was the soft rustling of cloth. "It's not like I have much choice, do I?" Bitterness laced his voice and Draco blinked surprised.
"You could tell him," Weasley suggested, but it was said in a tone which made it clear that this was an old argument they were having.
"No, I can't, and you know bloody well why!" Potter snapped and a silence so deep fell, one could probably hear a needle being dropped on the floor.
"He deserves to know, Harry," Granger said softly, breaking the silence.
"Drop it, please," Potter said wearily.
"I'll ask Healer Ravenwood whether you can go home," Granger sighed and the creaking of a chair announced she had stood up.
"I'm going to send a quick update to mum, before she decides it's necessary to burst in here," Weasley muttered.
Footsteps approached the door and Draco hastily cast a Not-Notice-Me Charm over himself before he could think twice about it. The door opened fully, revealing Granger and Weasley sharing a worried look with each other, before they walked past Draco, not taking notice of his presence at all.
Contemplatively he stared at their retreating backs until they had turned around the corner and he dismantled the charm. His ears caught the nearly inaudible sigh escaping Potter's mouth and in an impulse he would scold himself later for, he set foot inside the room.
The bed looked more comfortable than the ones in the other rooms, but Draco supposed Saint Mungos wanted nothing but the best for their Saviour. The man in question was lounging on the bed, staring at the ceiling with a heavy frown, as his hands rested on the gentle swell of his stomach.
The sight of the rounded stomach made something in Draco squirm and he frowned faintly.
"What, already ba- Dr- Malfoy?" Potter sputtered, his eyes growing wide, and he sat up straighter. "What are you doing here?"
The blond wizard was a tad gratified to see that despite his surprise, the younger man wasn't holding him at wand point. Still not entirely certain why he had stepped into the room instead of returning to Pansy, he shrugged, resting a hand on the doorknob. "Pansy was attacked when we were out in Diagon Alley, so she's getting treated here."
"Is she okay?" Potter asked, slightly alarmed.
Draco paused, not having expected the sign of empathy and nodded slowly. "I think it is safe to say she's okay, considering she's verbally abusing a Mediwizard at this moment, because he refuses to believe she wasn't hit with a Boiling Hex," he answered dryly, rolling his eyes.
"Sounds like she's going to be okay then," Potter chuckled and his left hand started rubbing his stomach. He flushed when he caught grey eyes staring at the motion and cleared his throat, stilling his hand. "Still doesn't explain why you're here in this room, though."
He sounded more curious than angry and the blond relaxed a bit. "You do not want to be near Pansy when she starts arguing with someone, trust me. I was planning on going downstairs for a while, but I heard you talking and got a bit curious."
The dark haired wizard sighed and ran a hand through his hair. "You went from one argument to the next one, huh?" he muttered wryly.
"Problems with your partner?" Draco inquired neutrally.
The newspapers still hadn't managed to find out who the father of Potter's unborn child was and neither Potter nor his friends were inclined to give in to the enquiries. Draco thought it strange that the other man wasn't present here. One would think he'd join his pregnant partner at the hospital, if only to protect him from possible rabid fans.
Green eyes stared at him blankly. "Partner?"
"Well, I assume it wasn't an immaculate conception," Draco snorted, nodding towards Potter's swollen stomach.
Potter curled an arm around his stomach and something in his eyes shuttered close. "We're not," he licked his lips and continued, "he doesn't know about the baby."
The blond paused, taken aback by the honest – and completely unexpected – answer. "Oh. I take it you have your reasons?"
Potter pursed his lips and nodded; his green eyes hooded as he gazed at the blond lingering in the doorway.
"It's your life," Draco said dismissively.
Who cared why Potter hadn't informed the other man about his impending fatherhood? Although not telling him might have been useless considering Potter's pregnancy was all the newspapers could talk about these days. You'd have to live underneath a rock and not have ventured into society these past few months to not know about the baby.
It was strange, though. Draco had always envisioned Potter to want to have a family after losing his own when he was still just a baby. Why would he take that chance away from his own child?
He shook his head and sighed inaudibly. It didn't matter. That was between Potter and the mysterious guy; if Potter wanted to deny his child having two parents, that was his prerogative. He might even have good reasons to not want to involve the other man. What did Draco know about it anyway? It wasn't like it was his business.
Granger's voice drifted towards him and he tensed, realising he had spent longer in Potter's room than he had originally intended to. Grimacing he turned around, slipping his wand back out of his pocket to cast another Not-Notice-Me Charm.
"I'm going back to Pansy. Maybe she finally beat some sense into the guy," he muttered.
Raising an eyebrow at the unexpected call, he looked back at Potter. "What?" he asked impatiently. Granger and Weasley were nearly around the corner and he didn't fancy a confrontation with them now.
"I hope Parkinson feels better soon," Potter said and blinked as if he was surprised by his own words. The sunlight streaming through the window created a gentle glow around the contours of his body.
"Thank you. I hope you feel better soon too," he murmured and cast the charm on himself and slipped out of the room before Potter could open his mouth.
Only when he was back in Pansy's room, watching how a different Mediwizard was applying a potion to her blisters, did he realise that he never had found out just why exactly Potter had been admitted to the hospital.
"You invited Potter," Draco stated blankly, watching with apprehensive eyes how the house elves busied themselves with setting the table while others were rushing around in the kitchen, preparing an elaborate meal.
"Yes, I did," Mother said calmly, studying the plates and the cutlery criticizingly, discerning it for any possible fault.
Draco waited, but she remained silent, save for directing a house elf to place the vase with sunflowers near the window instead of on the table.
"Why?" he asked eventually when it became clear she wouldn't offer further explanation.
She turned towards him and raised an eyebrow. "Why not?" she retorted serenely. "He helped us during our trials. We never officially expressed our gratitude for that."
He cocked his head and smiled wryly. "I think he would be more embarrassed to be thanked like this instead of appreciative," he murmured, calling up the few pieces he had learnt about Potter when they were living in one house.
Most likely Potter wouldn't understand why they were grateful for his help; as far as he was concerned he just had done what needed to be done.
"Perhaps we ought to teach him how to properly accept an act of gratitude then," Mother murmured and clucked his tongue at the house elf who was placing down eggshell white napkins. "Not that colour; take the lavender blue ones instead."
"Yes, Mistress," the house elf squeaked and instantly the eggshell white colour deepened into a soft lavender blue.
Mother nodded in approval and then her blue eyes took in the layer of dust coating Draco's hands, his sleeves, parts of his shirt and his thighs. "Go wash up, dear. It won't do to greet a guest while looking like you were attacked by dust," she reprimanded him and went back to her scrutiny of the table.
With her back towards him, he felt safe to roll his eyes, but he left the room, agreeing with his mother all the same. He had been planning on washing up either way, because the layer of dust had started irritating him as soon as his attention was no longer fixed on the strange silver bowls he had uncovered in a room in the most eastern wing of the manor. He knew some wings had fallen in disuse after their inhabitants had died, but he hadn't expected their belongings to actually gather dust.
Their house elves were usually rather rigorous in keeping the manor clean, so it had come as a complete surprise to see a layer of dust in the rooms of the eastern wing. The creatures might have decided that the most frequented wings were the most important ones to clean and leave the others to collect dust for a while. Regardless, he didn't particular care about it, save that the dust on his clothes annoyed him. The dust was easy to ignore, though, when more interesting items and books were there to grab his attention.
He would go back to the eastern wing tomorrow and try to figure out from the belongings which ancestor had lived in that particular place.
But first he would take a shower and sit through a dinner with Potter.
He had done stranger things, he supposed.
"So what do you do nowadays, save for trying to escape the paparazzi and your 'adoring' fans?" Draco inquired, leaning back into his chair. A glass of cold lemon water was resting next to his hand; the music of crickets chirping filled the evening air.
Potter grimaced and rubbing the back of his neck. "Taking care of Teddy mostly and trying to make Grimmauld Place more habitable," he replied and took a sip of his own cold water. The blue shirt he wore did nothing to hide his rounded stomach, which seemed slightly bigger than when he had seen it a week ago in the hospital.
Or maybe his mind was just playing tricks on him.
Dinner had been surprisingly pleasant once the initial awkwardness had passed and afterwards they had moved into the patio, relaxing now that the air had grown cooler and wasn't as humid anymore. Narcissa had left them a few minutes ago, claiming she had become tired, but reassuring Potter that he didn't need to leave immediately.
Draco frowned and stared incredulously at the man next to him.
"What?" Potter asked defensively; a frown of his own creasing his forehead.
"You think cleaning up that house is a good idea while you're pregnant?" Draco asked disbelievingly.
Grimmauld Place had been their base during the war and even though he should have felt home in it, considering the blood of the Blacks ran in his veins as well, he had never felt comfortable there. Maybe because he hadn't been able to relax while the war was going on and he had to play spy, but the building just exuded misery with its dark, dirty rooms; its Doxy infested curtains and Merlin knew what else resided there. They had been forced to disable wards, hexes and curses more than once and had to deal with the screaming portrait of Mrs. Black every time someone woke it up.
Draco couldn't imagine a place worse than Grimmauld Place to live in – let alone for a pregnant person to putter around and attempt to make it habitable again.
Green eyes cast him an annoyed look and Potter huffed. "You sound like Hermione," he complained. "She's been on my case about it ever since I decided to clean it up."
"As much as I abhor the thought of agreeing with Granger," Draco started and shuddered, "she has a point, Potter. We barely could handle some of the curses with everyone helping; what happens if you run into that type of curse again? You're at a disadvantage now."
"I'm pregnant, not an invalid!" Potter snapped, surging forwards. His wand spat out red sparks in response to his anger. "I'm perfectly capable of handling my – oh!" His hands flew down to his stomach, cupping it as he bowed over it.
Unwillingly something akin to alarm made Draco lean forwards quickly. "You okay?" he asked sharply and wondered whether he should have a house elf call his mother. "Do you need to see a Healer?"
"Oh no! Not at all!" Potter surprised him by laughing brightly. He shook his head and straightened up again, though his hands remained on his belly. "No, sorry for that. I just felt the baby kick for the first time!" he exclaimed excitedly and green eyes gleamed almost unnaturally when they looked at Draco, whose breath hitched at the unexpected sight of deep green blazing like a roaring fire.
The blond shook his head, forcing himself to relax now that he was reassured that Potter wouldn't suddenly go into labour. "Don't startle me like that! I thought that - "
"Here, maybe you can feel it already!"
Taken by surprise Draco allowed Potter to snatch his wrist and tug him closer, forcing him to abandon his chair or make an ungraceful tumble on the floor. Then his hand was resting on a firm, rounded stomach, warm to the touch and he stiffened. A tanned hand covered his own and guided his hand slowly over the gentle swell.
"I think it's somewhere around here," Potter mused; a look of concentration on his face as he brought Draco's hand down. "At least just now I – here! Can you feel it?"
He should pull his hand back. He wasn't interested in feeling an unborn baby move and he wasn't like Potter's sidekicks who would probably fall over themselves to feel the child of their friend move. Something, however, compelled him not to pull his hand away and so he remained hovering in an awkward pose above Potter's stomach as his hand was pressed to Potter's right side, near his hip.
He didn't feel anything, save for the way Potter's stomach rose up and down almost unnoticeably with every inhale and exhale, and rolled his eyes.
Shaking his head, he started to pull his hand away and said, "I don't feel any - " he cut himself off when he felt something odd against his thumb and he held his breath and his eyes shot down.
A pause and then the strange sensation was back, like a kitten paw nudging his thumb.
"Is that …"
"That's the baby kicking, yes," Potter laughed delighted and his grin was nearly blinding when Draco looked at him. "I thought I had felt my baby moving before, but I wasn't sure. Now he was definitely kicking." He rubbed lovingly over his stomach, seemingly having forgotten that Draco's hand was still on it. "I didn't know whether you would be able to feel it too, but it's amazing, right?"
Draco felt himself flush slightly at the expectant look he was suddenly favoured with and retracted his hand hastily, clearing his throat. "So you know it's going to be a boy then?" he asked in an attempt to distract himself.
Potter smiled a bit embarrassed. "Well, no, not yet. I'll probably know with my next check-up, but I have a feeling the baby is a boy."
"Well, they always say to trust your gut feeling," Draco muttered dryly and Potter beamed.
The subject was changed to what Draco was occupying himself with these days and the blond wizard sank back down in his chair and they watched how the sun set completely as their chattering filled the cool air.
When Draco went to sleep that night, his fingers still seemed to tingle; the nudge of Potter's unborn baby a phantom touch.
What the hell am I doing here?, Draco thought dismayed, fingering his wand inside his pocket. Across the street Grimmauld Place Twelve stared back at him with dark windows. A bead of sweat dripped down his right temple and he grimaced, renewing his Cold as Ice Charm. The August sun was relentless, even at this early hour of the day, and he longed to be back at Malfoy Manor where he could hide into the cool building and not have to experience feeling his clothes stick tightly to his skin.
He could still go back; nobody knew he was here now and nobody would know if he left again. But his conscience – an irritating thing he seemed to have developed during the war – kept nagging at him and if he went back now, it wouldn't leave him alone.
Gritting his teeth, he quickly crossed the street and passed through the wards that kept the outside world from seeing Grimmauld Place Twelve. The wards tingled and bent around him, putting brief pressure on him before they relaxed and allowed him to go through. He rapped sharply on the door and hoped the other man was close enough that he would hear the sound.
It seemed he did, because footsteps soon could be heard approaching the front door from the inside and then the door swung open, revealing a flushed looking Potter, whose white shirt was already streaked with grey lines and dampened around his neck and chest.
"Malfoy! What are you doing here?" Potter asked surprised, shoving his glasses back when they slipped down a tad.
"If you insist on being a stubborn idiot, at least let me help you out," Draco sighed.
Potter looked taken aback. "What? You don't have to do that. I'm fine, I promise."
"Stop being so daft and just let me in," Draco snapped annoyed, scowling at the other man.
Green eyes rolled and an exasperated huff left the dark haired wizard, but he took a step back, allowing the blond to enter. The macabre looking umbrella stand had been switched with a regular dark wooden one which had flames carved out near the bottom. The hallway looked a lot cleaner than Draco remembered it being; he had never known the tiles were actually a shiny black.
"I was just planning to clean up some of the bedrooms on the first floor," Potter explained as he trudged past the portrait of Mrs. Black, hidden behind long, thick curtains, and started ascending the staircase.
"Where's your godson?" Draco inquired curiously as he followed behind the other wizard, eyeing the rickety bannisters warily.
"With Andromeda," Potter replied, rubbing his lower back absentmindedly. "Whenever I'm working here, she takes care of him. I can't keep my eye on him and clean this house after all."
"So you do have some common sense at least," the blond muttered darkly and Potter turned his head to glower at him.
"Really, you and Hermione are worrying about nothing," he muttered, slipping his wand out of his pocket.
"No, she and I just have a better memory and know what can happen in this place," Draco retorted snippily and threw a suspicious look around the corridor when they arrived on the first floor. "Did Kreacher die?"
"What? No, he's just hauling up somewhere, trying to hoard as much stuff as he can," Potter snorted; a light sneer lingering around his mouth. He had never forgiven the house elf for the part it had played in his godfather's death.
"And he hasn't tried to stop you from cleaning out this dump?" Draco raised an eyebrow incredulously, remembering all too well the wailing and hissing Kreacher had done during the war whenever they had attempted to throw something out.
Potter glanced at him and something in those bright green eyes made Draco pause. "He knows better than to try and stop me," Potter said quietly and waved his hand at the second room of which the door stood ajar. "You can start in that room if you insist on helping me out."
"Wouldn't it be - "
"I'll be working in the room right next to it. If something happens, I'm sure you'll know immediately," Potter muttered and looked incredibly put out before slipping into the first room.
Only Potter could be frustrated because someone wanted to help him.
For a moment Draco wondered once more what exactly he was doing here. Then a Doxy suddenly came flying straight at him, screeching, and he had to throw a Knockback Jinx at it in order to knock it out.
Right. This was exactly why he was here. Because someone had to have common sense and it was clear Potter had as much self-preservation now as he had had during the war.
God damn idiot.
Something – maybe his bloody conscience – compelled him to return over and over again to help Potter clean out the Black house. He reasoned to himself that it wouldn't look good if the Saviour of the Wizarding World was done in by a filthy house, but the truth was that he was actually starting to enjoy his time with Potter.
He still considered him an idiot for cleaning the house whilst being pregnant, but he wasn't quite as annoyed anymore and he caught himself actually laughing a few times at some of Potter's jokes. They filled their days with attacking each room one for one, getting rid of the dust and grime and vanquishing any Doxy and or Boggart they encountered and which had escaped their attention when they had stayed at the house during the war. Occasionally Kreacher tried to stop them from throwing out a moth eaten curtain or carpet, but one look of Potter and the house elf was quelled and disappeared, darkly muttering, into whatever hole he crawled into when they couldn't find him.
While Draco had given up on trying to convince Potter to stop cleaning, he did put his foot down on the kind of lunch they ate. After the first week filled with nothing but stale sandwiches and Butterbeer, Draco insisted on leaving the house and finding a place where they could eat their lunch. He would have offered the assistance of his house elves, but Potter still had strange reservations about actually using them, so eating out was the next best option. It also allowed them to breathe in something else than stale air and it was definitely nice not to have to look out for a Doxy attempting to bite their noses off or ratty drapes trying to strangle them. Potter had resisted at first, naturally, because that git was just stubborn like that, but had given in when Draco had reminded him tersely that he needed decent food for his baby.
That had made him give in fast.
So the days passed with him either rummaging through forgotten rooms in Malfoy Manor or battling the grime and pests in Grimmauld Place with Potter at his side as outside the sun burned everything it touched.
And somehow, somewhere, 'Potter' became 'Harry'. Draco didn't know how that had happened. It had been nearly a month since the dinner at Malfoy Manor and he was on the third floor of Grimmauld Place, trying to dispel the Biting Cheek Curse and the Dancing Fluid Curse someone had cast on a decrepit looking chair. Whenever he came too close, the raffled cushion on the chair tried to bite him and whenever he attempted to just be done with the bullshit and blast the wooden chair apart, the chair danced out of his reach, neatly avoiding his curses.
It was incredibly frustrating.
His fingers tightened around his wand and he glared at the chair, which had moved right next to the door now, seemingly taunting him. It stood completely still now, but he knew that if his wand even so much as twitched, the chair would scuttle away again.
Fuck the Blacks. Fuck his ancestors. What was the bloody point in cursing a damn chair?!
"Say, what do you think of eating at - "
"Wait, no, Harry!" He reacted before thinking twice: he jumped right in front of the shocked, pregnant wizard, casting a silver shield around him, and cried out when the cushion – filled with razor sharp teeth – clamped down around his right leg. Acting on instinct now, he kicked out with his right leg, hitting the chair and managed to dislodge the cushion. Before the chair had the chance to race away, he hit it with a Blast Ball curse, putting more force behind it than he normally did.
The chair exploded in a thousand pieces and a shield enveloped him before the tiny wooden shards had a chance to impale themselves in his body.
"What the hell was that?" Green eyes stared at him shocked.
Draco sneered, dispelling the shields as soon as he was certain the blasted thing wouldn't start moving again. "That was the result of someone with a bad sense of humour."
Grey eyes looked down blankly at his leg, where dark red blood was sluggishly dripping down from the bitemark. All of a sudden his nerves came alive again and he hissed as he became aware of the sharp, burning sting radiating throughout his leg.
"Come on, I've got some medical supplies in my room." An arm slipped around his waist and together they made their way to the second floor where the dark haired man had claimed a room for his own during the war.
With every step he took, the pain flared up in his leg and a grateful groan left him when he sank down on the bed; the wound throbbing less now that he wasn't putting any weight on it.
A small, white box was placed down next to him on the floor and when it opened, it revealed several small, dark coloured flasks and five rolls of gauze. The cloth around his wound was cut away with a spell and he grimaced, hoping he wouldn't botch the repair spell later on.
Slender fingers retrieved a flask in the middle and removed the cork from it, releasing a sharp, bitter scent. The other man sank down in front of him and after letting a piece of dark cloth soak up the potion, he carefully pressed the cloth against the bleeding bitemark, ignoring the vicious hiss that escaped the blond as the burning in his leg worsened.
"Sorry, but I figured disinfecting it first would be best," the younger wizard murmured apologetically.
Draco looked away, clenching his jaw as the potion bubbled and hissed and burned against the open wound. Soon the cloth was pulled away and exchanged with another one. The potion soaked up in this cloth felt cold, but soothing against his wound and he relaxed as the coldness spread out, numbing the pain.
"You could have just left it at casting the shield, you know? You didn't have to jump in front of me. Who's the Gryffindor actually?"
"Oh, shut up. I wasn't thinking, okay!" Draco snapped, annoyance flaring up. "I reacted before I realised what I was doing."
"Did you call me by my first name without thinking as well?" Green eyes regarded him expectantly.
Grey eyes glanced away, not able to maintain the staring match. "So what if that's the case?" Draco muttered petulantly and just barely kept himself from folding his arms in front of his chest like a child.
Fingers paused on his leg before they resumed rubbing the cloth carefully on and around the closing wound. "Well, I don't mind," Pot- Harry responded quietly.
"Well, good," Draco mumbled and hesitated for a moment. He sighed and continued, "I – don't mind either."
When he glanced down, he was greeted by a bright grin, which had him blink and pause.
"Good." Harry rose up with a slight wince, rubbing his lower back. "Wait for a few more minutes and then you're good to go again. I was thinking we could go for an early lunch today."
"We're going to Madame Fonne today," Draco declared with a huff, carefully stretching his right leg. The newly healed skin looked red and a bit shiny, but he knew it would go back to looking normal soon.
"That posh restaurant? Why?" Harry grumbled, dumping the box with the medical supplies in his nightstand.
"Because I just saved your life and this is a way you can thank me," the blond sniffed and threw the other man a haughty look. Grey eyes looked pointedly down at his right leg. "I even got wounded for you!"
"Oh my god, you big cry baby." Green eyes rolled in exasperation and Harry threw up his hands in defeat. "Fine! We'll go to that bloody posh restaurant. You're paying, though."
"Excuse me? Seeing as I just heroically saved your life, you should be the one paying for me!" Draco retorted offended.
They left the house, bickering all the way to the restaurant.
AN2: So what do you think of this first chapter? Interested in reading more? I hope so anyway!
Please leave your thoughts behind in a review; should you spot any mistakes, please point them out to me.
See you all in the next chapter!
P.S. For more information about my upcoming and posted stories, please visit my profile.