Title: Sparkly-Eyed Nargles Know It All
Pairing(s): Harry/Draco one-sided Ginny/Harry
Summary: Not DH compliant. It looks like the fairy-tale happy ending for Harry and Ginny...In fact, a happy-ending for everyone. Except the man dancing in a London nightclub, trying to forget.
Total word count: 6908
Disclaimer: This story/artwork 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.
Sparkly-Eyed Nargles Know It All
“Harry! Good to see you! How’s Ginny?”
“Oh, she’s been great. We saw the in-laws at the weekend – Mrs Weasley’s already planning the honeymoon.”
A laugh. “Good for you, Harry! I’ll just go find Luna…Do you know if she’s here yet?”
A nod. “Yeah, I think she’s talking to Hermione and Ron, over by the punch. I’ll come find you later, Neville.”
They bid each other farewell, and Harry sighs, running a hand through his hair, closing his eyes against the bitterness in his stomach. He knows Neville means well, that he doesn’t know the whole, messy story, but…
He hates him for laughing, for thinking this is all well and good, just what everybody wanted. He hates them all for thinking that…And he hates Luna and Hermione for the searching glances they gave him when they arrived, almost soul-piercing, and the quiet murmurs of “Nice to see you after so long, Harry,” for the pointed lack of ‘congratulations’. Hates them for it, and wants to cry into their shoulders in thanks.
Because it’s not really them – any of them – that he hates.
It’s the red-headed girl in the corner, talking and laughing with a bunch of girls from her own year at school, the year that was barely touched in the war with Voldemort. The girl with the champagne glass in her hand, her fingers trying to be graceful around the slim stem, and he hates her for lacking that grace, because the hand holding the glass isn’t pale enough, the fingers aren’t long or slim or soft enough, and because the ring on that finger is gold instead of silver.
God, he hates her. Hates the way she tosses her head back, laughing; hates how she sees him, smiles her smug little smile for a moment before morphing it into a bashful, loving thing for the others benefit. Hates how she’s wearing the necklace she found in his shoebox, wrapped up so carefully in white tissue paper. Hates how it reminds him of the black velvet ring-box that was in there, too, that she threw on the table in front of him while they were at her parent’s house, how she screamed at him What’s this, you bastard!
Hates how her parents look at him from another part of the room, her father talking animatedly, hands gesturing wildly, smiling, but her mother just looks sadly at him, gives him a weak little smile and shakes her head in regret. Because he’s not the only one who knows he doesn’t want to be here, who knows how much he hates the red-headed girl in the corner.
He didn’t realise there’s been a group of people standing around him for some time, friends from school, each of them baring their own scars from the Second War; Seamus, with the thick, knotted line stretching from behind his left ear to disappear into his hair; Ron, with his nose that Harry knows has been broken twice and the slight limp in his right leg, almost unnoticeable, after all this time; Hermione, the ring finger on her right hand missing, a pale, nearly elegant circle of flesh, and you can always tell the weak from the strong because the weak people stare at it and wince, and the others don’t mind it, know it for what it is – a mark of her own strength. You could almost say they respect it. Parvati and Dean, the pair of them together now for almost a year, Dean with the cane for his leg, Parvati with the gloves over her burnt hands, and Harry knows their story, almost better than themselves: how Dean was caught in a trip-hex, that caught his leg and tore it down into the bone, and then, when he managed to shout enough spells to get himself free, force the words past the agony, he fell into fire, a burning blaze the Death-eaters had let loose on the Order. How Parvati, screaming, dragged him out of it, burning her hands like hell, only then realising that Dean hadn’t been burnt at all, that Mad-Eye had given him a talisman against fire, knowing it was a phobia, thinking it would make him feel better.
Their stories. The ones that got the happy endings.
And now, his, that they’re all glad is finally winding down, spiralling down to his own happy ending. So they think – Harry Potter and Ginny Weasley, oh, isn’t it a darling fairy-tale? The simpering reporters, trying to trick the details of the proposal out of him, the when-where-how-why of it, that he wishes he could give them. Wouldn’t that shock the lot of them, he thinks, bitterly, make them sit up and wake up, see what was really going on.
Didn’t any of them wonder why they never touched in public? Or at least, why he never returned Ginny’s simpering, sickly-sweet hugs and kisses and almost-too-far caresses? Why he closed his eyes and struggled not to snarl, not to lunge for his wand and give her a taste of the Cruciatus for touching what would never, never be hers?
He’s been an idiot. And he was so, so sorry.
Far away, on almost the other side of London, the music is blaring and loud and he’s swimming through it, the boy-man with the skin like snow and eyes like ice, the hair like winter moonlight. He’s dancing, swaying, bottom lip caught between his teeth, one hand clenching his other wrist above his head, revelling in the heat from a hundred bodies, letting the edges of his Self blur so he can forget, forget how much it hurts, every god-damn minute of every god-damn day.
He’s been here all day, and all last night, and he still looks perfect, as if he just walked in a minute ago, the black denim trousers just barely wrinkled, the grey silk button-up shirt with the pearly buttons smooth and clean, no hint that he’s been wearing it for days. The ones who work here wonder who he is, and why he hasn’t left the dance floor all this time. If he needs escape so badly, why hasn’t he been living at the bar, nursing the sharp-scented drinks in all their comforting colours, bright acid green and crimson red that burns like melted ruby when the light hits it? A blue so fake one wonders how it’s made, deep golden pink with a paper umbrella, or the diamond-like liquid with a slice of bright lime.
He knows they wonder, and he doesn’t care. He’s trying not to wonder himself, and thinking about them thinking about it doesn’t help at all. In fact, he’s trying to stop thinking entirely. Maybe, just maybe, the music and the moves and the heat will just blow his mind into sparkling shards of glass, refracting light into tiny rainbows, and he can just forget everything.
Forget the look on his father’s face if he saw him now, his heir dancing his life away in a Muggle club. Forget the pin-prick of pain in his upper arm when he took the drug, forget its name and the face of the man who gave it to him, forget what he did to get it. Forget the reason he’s here in the first place, forget the name that’s driven him here, forget the plane ticket in his pocket, forget that there’s only a handful of hours before he needs to be in the airport. Forget the picture of his family’s villa in the photo album, forget how long it took to persuade his mother that he needs to go there, just for a year or two or three, until he can get himself sorted out. Forget that he promised to straighten himself out – in more ways than the norm.
Forget that he’s dancing because maybe, just maybe, the music can put him back together again if it can’t pull him completely apart.
Forget that nothing can put a heart back together again.
Draco Malfoy dances to forget.
Harry Potter slams the door behind him as he half-runs down the white hallway, the red plush carpet under his polished black shoes a little slippery. Damn dress shoes have no grip. He hates dressing up, and he knows why – he’s so used to wearing clothes that he needs to fit well, clothes that will tear if they’re caught on something instead of being strong enough to keep him caught, clothes that he won’t trip over, that will keep him warm or cool depending on the climate. Trainers and converse and boots, all of a design that will slip on and off in barely an instant if he needs them to, all of them that won’t let him slip at an inopportune moment.
That’s another thing Luna raised her delicate eyebrows over – the polished black lace-up shoes. None of the gang – the remains of Dumbledore’s Army, oh how long ago it seemed – would ever ask him to wear such shoes. Not now – not when they’d all been through those times.
But Ginny didn’t care. She cared about the diamond on her finger and the silk of the dress and the necklace meant for another that she wore around her throat.
Speaking of which…
Not even slightly out of breath – all that training was good for something, he knows that now, and he’s kept it up even now the war’s over – he leans against the wall, around the corner, tugs his onyx-black silk tie loose from it’s choke-hold around his neck, and opens his clenched palm, smiling down at what he sees.
If anyone had followed him from the reception room, they would have seen how his hard, angry eyes, smooth, cold gemstones, softened with tenderness and loss, braiding together to form a cord to choke his heart with. They would have seen how his eyes closed, how he leant his head back, let his knees collapse under him until he slid to the floor, his hand once again closing, like a moonflower come sunrise. They would have seen the thin, delicate silver chain spill through his fingers, hanging there, and they might have guessed he was holding a pendant.
And they would have put two and two together, remembered how Harry had snapped. How Ginny had walked up to him, simpering, the golden champagne in the glass swirling pathetically, as if even the wine wanted to get away from her. How she – in front of his friends! – had put her hand on his neck, wound her fingers around his silk tie, tugged him down for a lipstick-poisoned kiss.
How he’d jerked back, eyes full of revulsion, and wiped his mouth with the back of his hand, instinctively, the lipstick shining like dried blood on his skin. How the watchers had shifted from foot to foot, uncomfortable, uncertain, and how two of them – a misty-eyed girl who saw more than she said, and a chestnut-haired book-worm with a head full of words – had watched and waited.
The slap had not been unexpected – for those two, at least. Not Harry, oh no – no matter how much he hated her, Harry Potter, War Hero extraordinaire, would never hit a woman. But Ginny Weasley wouldn’t stand for her fiancé to make plain his hatred of her, not in public.
There had been a stunned, frozen silence, an in-drawing of breath and a dawning of realisation.
And Harry had leant in to her, and maybe some of them – Ginny included – had thought he was going to kiss her, for whatever reason. But he didn’t.
His hand reached up and tugged at the silver pendant she’d been wearing, the crackle of static letting everyone know he’d cast a wandless spell to undo the clasp, and the silver pooled in his palm, the thin, water-smooth chain silk in his hand. And he’d hissed at her, in front of everyone –
“This was not meant for you.”
And then he’d turned and left, the door slamming behind him.
If they’d still been watching, after remembering all of this, they would have seen him, leaning against the wall, sitting on the floor, and they would have thought he looked broken.
They would have seen him start to cry.
The alarm on his mobile phone goes off, and somehow, over all the music, Draco hears it, reaches down in his pocket to pull it out and switch it off, trying to forget who it was that picked that tune for him, who made him laugh as he sang it around their flat, using a toothbrush for a microphone.
He has to go. It’ll take him an hour to get to the airport from here, and then he’ll have an hour spare, just in case he’s late. He forgets how his mother told him to just Apparate, or take a Portkey, and how he stayed silent, not willing to explain that, by travelling the Muggle way, he’s close to his memories of the last four years. Forgets how he thinks of it as an exorcism – by travelling with the memories, he gets to the place those memories can’t follow.
But…He wavers as he collects his coat from the cloakroom, pauses as he pulls his arms through the sleeves.
It would only take a minute. Apparate, from here to there, give the dagger in his heart one more sweet, sweet twist before he goes. Maybe it could be an exorcism too.
Do it – don’t do it. Do it – don’t. Which?
He pulls a sickle out from his coat pocket, fingers tracing the stamped mould, before he picks a side and flips it, watching as it goes, over and over and over and over again, twisting and turning, before it lands on the ground.
Forgetting the twinge of pain in his stomach, he sighs – and vanishes with a whip-like crack.
Harry reaches down into the pocket of his silk dinner jacket, fingertips stroking the smooth velvet of the ring-box, the one he carries all the time now, after Ginny found it. He lets the memories come.
The Burrow. There’s light coming from one half of the room, the other in darkness, and Harry is sitting right between the two, the light slashing like a knife across his face, and the wound bleeds tears. Angry, hate-filled tears that he won’t let fall.
Her parents sit opposite him, Mr Weasley fidgeting with his hands, uncomfortable, and Molly looking upset, flustered, uncertain. They’re just waiting for Ginny to show up, come downstairs after however long it’s been and sort this out.
And she arrives. Oh, she arrives all right – furious, her pale, Celtic skin flushed with fury, red hair blazing. Through the door at Harry’s back, and he doesn’t flinch, doesn’t move his gaze from watching the family clock, the one with the added hand, the one that he has a place on, has had for years. The whole lot of them know why his hand rests at Danger.
She rushes in, and there’s a bang, making her parents start, as she throws a black velvet box across the table. They all watch it, watch it as it nears the edge, before there’s a quiet “Accio,” and the box changes direction in an instant to slide into Harry’s waiting hand.
They all watch as he strokes it, the velvet rustling, before his hand curls around it and he returns to his former position, arms crossed, eyes blank with shimmering anger and despair.
“What’s this, you bastard!” She yells, pointing at his hand where the box is hidden. “I thought we’d made an agreement!”
She jerks away as he throws the chair back, ignoring how Molly winces, as he stands, fire burning in his eyes. “Don’t you dare, you absolute bitch. You tricked me into this! No part of this is for your benefit – I’m only marrying you,” he spits the words out like a curse, like they’re poison in his mouth, “for the baby. But I don’t love you, and I never will!”
She sneers at him. “Who was that ring meant for, Harry? Not perfect Draco?”
His eyes burn. “Yes, it was. Before you went and bypassed those legal contracts. Before you went and got yourself pregnant by that stupid government project.” The one where he, as part of a project designed to create a generation of more powerful witches and wizards, since the Ministry was getting worried that the successive generations were weakening, donated sperm for the use of volunteering witches, once they’d signed contracts to say Harry himself had no obligation to the child.
But Ginny hadn’t signed that contract.
Gods, he hated her. Hated her for taking Draco away from him.
He turned and left the room, hand clasped over the velvet box, only realising when he got back to his room that she’d taken the necklace as well.
All he wants is for Draco to come back. No part of him wants to marry the red-head bitch, but he can’t leave a child of his in the lurch. He just can’t.
But neither can he live without Draco. Gods, he needs him back. He’d do anything if Draco would just come back.
Draco Malfoy stands outside the hotel, the White Swan, hands in his pockets, chin tucked into his collar, forgetting that it’s raining. The silk of his shirt is turning darker in the rain, because he’s forgotten to do up the silver zip of his coat. But he doesn’t care.
Briefly, he takes his hand from his pocket, caressing his stomach with the palm of his hand, the secret he didn’t have time to tell Harry. And he won’t, not now. He won’t make Harry’s life even worse, even more complicated, by telling him just whose children he’s carrying. They knew, from the beginning, that the Malfoy men were Bearers. Draco didn’t keep that a secret.
They just didn’t think it would happen to them. And if it did…
He smiled weakly as he remembered the dreams Harry spun for him, as he laughed and swung him around in his arms through their flat, describing with fevered intensity the huge nursery their child would have, someday, when they were ‘old enough to have children’, with teddy bears and wooden bricks and brightly-coloured story-books, and Lego – which Draco didn’t know about, which made Harry laugh and drag him down to the Muggle Hamleys in London, buying him boxes and boxes of the little plastic bricks and wheels and motors, and they spent days building all kinds of things, laughing and throwing their creations at each other.
He’s here, and he is here, too, the raven-haired man of his dreams. It’s laughable, to those who’ve been out of the country since the Second War, that Harry Potter and Draco Malfoy got together. But it’s old news now.
The engagement announcement is taking place inside, in the grandest of the hired-out rooms, the one done in white and cream and gold. He knows, his family has held a dozen wedding receptions here, and he’d planned to hold his and Harry’s here, too, someday. Maybe. Not now.
He shakes the water from his head, takes his hand out of his pockets to push the door open. There’s a puddle on the floor, soaking the Persian carpet, but it doesn’t matter, and the attendants take one look at his clothing and let him pass by without a murmur. Wizarding Armani, the whole lot, and the crystal in his tear-drop earring is Swarovski, sparkling like a tiny mirror to the chandelier in the reception hall.
He found out he was pregnant two days after Harry told him about Ginny. They had both been crying, holding each other on the floor of their flat, but Draco didn’t ask him to abandon his child. He knew how much Harry had wanted a family, someday, when they were both a little older. Knew how much Harry loved children, and that was why he’d gone back to Hogwarts as Defence Professor and Head of Quidditch. Knew that, even though the imaginings he’d had were for his child, Draco’s child, Harry would give them to his son or daughter, no matter who the other parent was.
And when Harry left, gave him the deed to the flat and the number to a vault Harry had set up for him, connected to his own – and he was rich indeed now, with a salary from the Ministry, no matter how unwanted. “I’d rather you had it than it lay in some vault forever, gathering rust,” - he couldn’t eat, couldn’t sleep, felt sick and nauseous all the time. He’d thought it was just because Harry was gone, his other half, his safety net.
When he’d gone to his mother, needing sympathy, needing loving arms, she’d cast the charm to check – and it came up a braid of gold and silver, twined together, sprouting from his stomach to the tip of his mother’s wand. Twins. A boy and a girl.
Just a quick look, he tells himself, as he walks down the hall and up the stairs, laughing nervously as he turns and comes back down, remembering he has to go down, not up. His hand, still damp, slides on the polished wooden rail, inlaid with gold gilt, the steps covered in red plush carpeting, the cream and gold wallpaper done in tasteful swirling designs. Just a quick look. No more than a minute. Say hello, say goodbye, steal a glance as you walk out the door. Don’t let him see you.
He knows he can look after them on his own. He’s the head of the Malfoy family, after all – his father is long dead, slain right at the start of the Second War by Harry himself. That was a night he never wants to remember – how his father, furious with him for not being strong enough to kill Dumbledore, that night in the Astronomy Tower, hands him over to Voldemort. Who, learning of Harry’s crush on him from a spy within the school – one of the younger generation of Death-eaters, Theodore Nott – held him as hostage for Harry to come and rescue. And rescue him he did, killing the patriarch to get to the heir.
Their relationship started then.
So he knows he can take care of them. He can give them that nursery Harry created out of dreams and visions and laughter. He can give them Lego. He’s even been thinking of names for them – and though he can’t decide on firsts, he knows the boy will have Harry as a middle name, and the girl Harriet.
Just to twist the dagger in his heart a little more.
But when he gets to the door of the room, prepared to take hold of the twisted gold doorknob and force himself to open the door, it’s already open. Crunched into the inner wall, in fact, as if someone had slammed it open, as they stormed out. Or in, perhaps.
But he’s the only person who might have stormed in to this, and he’s too well-mannered to do that.
Either way, he walks in, carefully, taking his hands from his pockets and glancing around the room. There’s Hermione, and Luna, both of them standing together, talking quietly, and Luna waves. He smiles back, the corners of his mouth moving upwards as if by magic in answer to her own bright grin. Hermione, too, is trying to hide a smile, her eyes sparkling, and she grins as she lifts her glass, as if in a toast to him, before she drinks, letting the golden wine sparkle.
A group of red-heads are off near the buffet table, trying to comfort a crying girl among their number, and he knows it’s the Weasley clan and Ginny. After Harry rescued him, all those years ago, he gets on with most of them quite well – the twins, though they still love to prank him, Bill and Charlie. Even Ron, upon occasion.
None of them are here, he notices, bar Ronald. The others are conspicuously absent, and he wonders if they know of the secret behind the ring on Ginny’s finger. They probably do – why else would they not show up for their little sister’s engagement?
Luna smiles softly as Hermione lowers her glass, neatly compensating for her missing finger. It’s not a problem for her anymore, and that’s good. The sleepy-eyed witch is glad for her best friend.
She shakes her head, and the infamous radish earrings swing on their silver hooks, her hair swishing her braid of Ice Mice wrappers, that crinkle pleasantly. She knows she’s been getting odd looks all afternoon, but she really doesn’t care.
After all, everyone knows Ice Mice keep away Nargles. It’s the blue and white on the wrappers.
And the radishes?
Ahh…The radishes are for luck in love.
But not for herself! Oh no. She’s very happy with Neville. He’s lovely. They moved in together a few months ago, into a lovely little cottage up in Scotland. Very close to Hogwarts, in fact, so Neville can go in and teach his Potions. Rather a lot of Nargle kittens, but she manages. Yes, after all those years, he went and got a Masters in Potions. It was just his fear of Snape keeping him back. Hermione did keep telling him.
No…The radishes are for Harry and Draco. And they might just be working.
After all, Draco’s just walked through the door.
Ah! He’s pregnant! Won’t Harry have a lovely surprise!
Yes, yes, Luna has the Sight. Why else do you think she can see the Nargles when no one else can? Don’t be silly. Of course they’re real. They’re small and white and they have fur and sparkly eyes. She graduated with top marks in Divination. That was her part in the War – working with Harry and the Ministry, too, at times, to predict Voldemort’s attacks. Hermione worked it out once – she saved almost seventeen hundred people. Neville is very proud of her.
A boy and a girl. Lovely. The boy will have Draco’s eyes and Harry’s hair, and the girl will be the other way around. Beautiful, that colouring. Silver hair and emerald eyes. And the boy too… She feels sorry for the daughter, though – she’ll be so embarrassed when Harry goes into parent-mode with the boyfriends.
She laughs, and Hermione gives her a bemused look. “What did you See, Luna?”
Still giggling, she leans over to whisper in her friend’s ear, watching as the hazel eyes widen.
“Oh! But that’s wonderful!” She declares, perhaps a little tipsy. But only a very, very little. “Harry will be so happy!”
Luna nods. “Especially when we tell him Ginny’s child isn’t his.” She comments, dreamily, watching the firework-eyed Nargle play with the shrimp.
Hermione’s eyes widen, the glass falls to the floor, snapping neatly in half. “What?! Why haven’t you told him?! He needs to know!”
“I only found out this morning,” Luna says, swirling her apple juice. She doesn’t like alcohol. It tastes strange; burns her throat, you know. And Seers really shouldn’t drink. It gives them the most terrible headaches, you know. “There didn’t seem to be a good time to tell him – and then he left.”
Hermione nods, waving her wand idly, the glass flying back into her hand, whole once more, not even a hairline crack to show where it was broken. “All right. But we have to go tell him. Come on!”
Setting the glass down on the white tablecloth – Luna tugging her hand out of the way so she doesn’t crush the Nargle’s tail – Hermione turns to her. “And I think we should bring Draco.”
“That’s a good idea.” Luna agrees, putting her own glass down. The Nargle from earlier starts to drop olives into it. She wonders if the others can see the olives, but not the Nargle, or neither.
And they make their way to the door, smiling, Hermione waving Ron’s questions away – and the two of them take one of Draco’s arms each, dragging him through the door and to Harry.
Harry opened his eyes, wiping away the tears with the back of his hand, the lipstick long ago rubbed off on his trouser leg, before he looked up.
And lost his breath.
Draco. Draco Malfoy, looking as if he’s about to cry, his arms held – gently – by Hermione and Luna, who seems to be staring at something near his foot with an amused and dreamy grin. His hair is wet, and dripping diamonds onto his collar, and unconsciously Harry’s eyes move downwards, noticing with a pang that, from the way his soaking shirt sticks to his chest, Draco hasn’t been eating very well in the two months since they broke up.
But when his eyes come to his love’s stomach, he stiffens.
His eyes dart back up to Draco’s face, taking in the loss, the pain, the little bit of fear that cuts him to the core. He watches as Draco takes in the fact that Harry knows, knows he’s pregnant, and there’s a struggle of emotions that flickers over his face.
Harry cuts the fight short. “Whose is it?” His voice is just a little bitter, that Draco could get over him so quickly, move on and get pregnant by somebody else so quickly. It hurts, he won’t deny it.
Draco says nothing, and Harry stands up to leave, pushing off the ground with his hands but careful not to press on the pendant he’s holding, turns to walk away, already choosing a place where he can go and cry, unable to stand the pain of seeing the child that could – that should have been his, when Luna speaks up.
“They’re yours, Harry.”
He whirls, shocked, and he’s fighting back the hope and joy that are rising in him like a tsunami of light, because even though he knows Luna is a class-A Seer, it’s too good to be true. Nothing so amazing has ever happened to him, and he can’t see why life would start showering him with gifts now.
But Draco nods his head, hesitantly, to answer the question in Harry’s emerald eyes, and for a moment Harry is completely incapable of movement, unable to comprehend just what this means. How perfect and beautiful the world has suddenly become.
And then he laughs, and throws himself at Draco, barely noticing how his two best friends step back and to the side, watching with proud and knowing smiles at each other, as he flings his arms around his love, kissing him and kissing him, tasting the sugared velvet of his mouth that he’s missed for so long, winding his fingers up into the silver silk of his hair, fingering the smooth coolness of the new earring, one he hasn’t seen before. And he’s laughing and breathless as Draco matches him, kiss for kiss, on his brow, his mouth, his cheek, his neck, before they break apart, laughing with un-diluted joy, and Draco buries his face in Harry’s shoulder, arms around his neck, nuzzling him.
“I’ve missed you so much, Harry,” he whispers, and Harry can hear that he’s almost crying. “I missed you so much.”
“Shhh,” he whispered back, stroking Draco’s silk-clad back under the jacket. “Shhh…It’s okay. We’ll work something out with Ginny. I’m never leaving you again, Draco, ok? I promise.”
There’s a pause, while Draco sighs in contentment, his lips brushing Harry’s neck, Harry’s hand on his back soothing and warm, before Luna speaks up.
“You don’t have to, you know, Harry.”
They both turn to look at her, but it’s Hermione that answers their gaze.
“Don’t have to work something out with Ginny, is what she means, Harry. Ginny isn’t having your baby. Luna Saw it this morning.”
Draco looked up at his love’s face. He knows Luna is an amazing Seer, remembers it from the War – which is why he wasn’t completely confused that Luna knew exactly where to bring him to Harry a few minutes ago. He doesn’t doubt her.
But Harry’s a lot more trusting, of the world as a whole, and it’ll be harder for him to accept Ginny was lying. Or that Mr and Mrs Weasley were lying, anyway. Draco’s more of a cynic – except with Harry.
“Oh,” Harry whispered, and Draco couldn’t see his eyes from his position on his shoulder, his pale cheek brushing against Harry’s black dinner jacket. “I see.”
And his voice is cold and hard, and despite himself Draco shivers with the beginnings of arousal, remembering how often Harry has dominated him with that voice, making his eyes glaze in memory.
But this time they’re talking about Ginny, not…well, something else, and Harry’s asked, “Whose is it, then?”
Luna shrugged. “I’m not sure. That’s not really the part I Saw. I just had a vision of the head of the project you took part in – what was his name? William Cuckold?”
“Chukwold,” Harry corrected her, quietly.
She waved her hand, as if dismissing him. “William Chukwold. Anyway, I Saw him discussing your…donation, and a few others, with the Minister, and deciding that they wanted strong witches and wizards who would ‘pass their genes on’. They worried that if they used the sperm from gay wizards, the children would be gay too, which wouldn’t fix the problem of the weakening bloodlines because there’s only a handful of families with hereditary Bearers, and maybe ten or twelve known Bearers that don’t belong to one of those families. So they didn’t use yours at all.”
Hermione snorted. “Don’t they know that being gay isn’t hereditary?”
“Actually,” Draco says, speaking for the first time, “in wizards, it almost always is. Something to do with the connection between magic and mind, I believe. I’ve forgotten.” He shrugged, delicately. “I can find out, if you like,” he offered, not sure who he was speaking to.
“No, it’s fine.” Harry’s whisper breathes into his ear, making the silver-eyed boy shiver again, mouth opening in a breathless sigh.
His ebony-haired love turns to Hermione, holding Draco close. “Yeah?”
“I think I’ve just thought of something I should have realised before…How long ago was Ginny part of the project?”
He frowns, counting under his breath. “I’m not sure. About…three, four months? Why?”
The pure-blood can feel the coolness stretching out from the Muggle-born. “Because she should have been showing by now.”
There’s a stunned, shocked silence – and then Harry mutters, “I’m going to kill her.” at exactly the same time as himself and Luna.
The three of them grin at each other.
Draco nuzzles into Harry’s throat, loving the hitched breath the movement summons. “Don’t,” he breathes, soft heat onto the steadily flushing skin. “I don’t want you in Azkaban. Let’s just – just go.” He straightens, noticing Luna and Hermione have conveniently vanished, sensing their need for privacy. “I have the perfect idea.”
An hour later, and everyone’s life has changed.
Luna and Hermione went back into the reception room, waiting for them to realise that Harry isn’t coming back – ever. Hermione has the letters he wrote to everyone – rushed, harried scribblings written with the paper against the wall, Harry too exited and ecstatic to truly take the time to explain everything - one to the Weasleys, including Ginny, one to Ron, and one to all his friends that don’t know the full story. Hermione, privately, doesn’t think Ron knew about Ginny’s real plan, because he does, truly, love Harry like a brother – even if he speaks without thinking sometimes.
But she doesn’t feel like handing them out yet – after all, it’s so much more amusing to watch as Ginny grows redder and redder, growing more and more embarrassed as the guests start to mutter and cast furtive glances at the would-be-bride.
An hour later, and everyone’s life has changed.
Draco is standing on the gently curved top of an almost-but-not-quite hill, overlooking the villa nestled between the mountains. It’s large, sprawling elegantly across most of the valley, easily big enough to support itself with the surrounding farms and vineyards. It exports its own wine, he knows – his family has been making thousands of galleons on it a year.
Oh yes. They’ll be very comfortable.
Strong arms wind around his waist, and he tilts his head to the side to bare his neck, moaning softly as Harry kisses his throat, nipping gently with his teeth, summoning blood near to the surface of his skin with his hot breath.
Just as he’s losing himself in the sensation – it’s so much easier to forget in Harry’s arms than on the dance floor – Harry brings his mouth up to his ear, and he shivers, eyes glazing, as the hot breath caresses the secret-spot behind his ear, making his knees tremble.
“It’s perfect, Draco,” he murmurs, his tongue darting out to taste the side of Draco’s throat. “We can bring them up here, in the golden heat and the story-book countryside, can’t we? Both of them. They’ll have their first taste of wine,” and he licks again, nipping Draco’s earlobe so he gasps, “on their ninth birthday, and we’ll take them horse-riding and swimming and mountaineering. Deep-sea diving. You’ll teach them fencing and I’ll teach them magic, and when they get their Hogwarts letters…” He kisses Draco’s pulse point at the base of his throat. “Well, maybe we’ll go back to England and maybe we won’t. There have to be other schools, right? Here in Italy?”
“Some of the best,” Draco manages to gasp out, struggling to breathe as Harry’s hand slips under his shirt, as he’s pulled tighter to Harry’s chest.
Harry chuckles against the back of his neck, and he shivers again. “That’s what I thought. But for now,” and Draco can almost hear him grin, “for now…”
“Yes?” Draco breathes, head thrown back, very close to begging as Harry’s hand begins to drift lower, teasing with his trousers, his finger-tips darting under the line of his boxers.
“There’s something I want to ask you,” Harry murmurs, taking his hand from under Draco’s shirt, stepping back and gently, with his hands on Draco’s shoulders, turning his silver-haired lover around to face him.
And Draco gets chills, finger-like shivers that run down his spine, even in this heat, at the look on Harry’s face.
He watches as Harry reaches for something in his pocket, watches the expression of determination that tries to hide the little bit of fear as he drops to one knee, taking Draco’s hand with a self-conscious grin.
Draco can’t speak, can’t move, can barely breathe as Harry opens the little black velvet box with the hand not holding his, struggling for a moment to do it with just five fingers, but he manages, and then Draco can’t look away from the two rings nestled in the black silk, the silver, emerald-eyed lion biting it’s own tail, the mane etched with exquisite skill, and the slim, elegant gold dragon, wings gently curled, the ruby-eyed head resting next to the spine-tipped tail in a full circle.
“Draco Lucius Edward Malfoy, would you do me the honour of becoming my husband?”
He looks up from the rings to meet the emerald eyes, looking up at him with hope – desperate hope – and love and a bit of fear, and Draco just melts.
“Of course I will, you idiot!” He laughs, dropping to the ground to hug him, kiss him as hard as he can and kiss Harry’s tears of joy away, smiling against his mouth as Harry slips the silver lion onto his finger, the raven-haired man kissing it, before he reaches up around Draco’s neck.
“This was meant for you, Draco,” he whispered, solemn. “I was going to give it to you when I asked you to marry me, and, well…That’s today, isn’t it?” He grins as he pulls away, letting Draco look down at the pendant around his neck, nestled in the hollow of his throat.
“Harry…” He looks up, tears shimmering in his eyes, and he’s going to start to cry with the perfect workings-out of today – he has Harry back, they’re having twins, and he’s going to marry the man he’s loved for years. “It’s beautiful.”
They both stare, for a moment, at the gold-and-silver pendant, Draco’s hand reaching up to finger it, awed; the silver lion, star-emerald chips for eyes and tiny ivory claws, silver mane fanned out as if in a breeze, and the gold dragon, burning eyes and tiny, delicately etched scales and smooth, curving wings, entwined with each other, hanging from the silver chain, the mirror of their rings. Together, they’re barely larger than the first joint of his thumb.
Harry helps him stand up, and then they’re kissing, Harry’s hand returning to its proper place, under his shirt, tracing and tweaking and making him gasp.
“For now…Right now, though…I think you should give me the tour of this place.” Harry whispers, kissing his neck again. “Every…” Kiss. “Single…” nip. “Room.” Taste.
Draco groans, arching back into his lover. “Can we just skip…right to the…bedroom?” He gasps, mind almost blanking out at the pleasure Harry’s skilled fingers are summoning from his skin.
Harry chuckles again, his voice husky when he answers. “I think you misunderstand me, Draco. I haven’t had you in four months…” He nipped the skin behind his ear, catching his weight as Draco’s knees gave out, moaning. “I’m very…very hungry.” He laughed softly, the sound making him shiver.
And with that, he Apparated the two of them back down to the villa.
Far, far away, Luna smiled happily, both at her friends’ antics…
And at the Nargle about to jump onto Ginny’s head.