Title: Beautiful Sin
Pairing(s): Harry/Draco, hints of Harry/Ginny and Draco/OFC
Summary: Draco could feel Potter’s gaze on him as he poured entirely too much milk and sugar into his coffee, stirring slowly as he looked over the business section of the Daily Prophet in his usual corner of the Leaky Cauldron.
Rating:NC-17 to be safe.
Disclaimer: All Harry Potter characters herein are the property of J.K. Rowling and Bloomsbury/Scholastic. No copyright infringement is intended.
Warning(s): Bondage, Angst, Spanking, Het, children, and the acceptance of the epilogue.
Deathly Hallows compliant? DH Compliant with the epilogue
Word Count: 8800
Author's Notes: Thanks to my beta. I know this isn’t exactly what you were wanting, but I hope you like!
Draco could feel Potter’s gaze on him as he poured entirely too much milk and sugar into his coffee, stirring slowly as he looked over the business section of the Daily Prophet in his usual corner of the Leaky Cauldron. Draco grinned when he noticed his coffee was nearly as white as the rest of his ensemble.
Draco hesitantly looked up at Potter as the other man was staring down in his own steaming mug of black coffee, his hands hidden in the too-long sleeves of his black jumper. His thumbs had worked through a loose seam.
“Morning Potter,” Draco finally said as he folded up the paper before draining the rest of his coffee. “Do you have a long day planned?”
Harry looked up, a bit startled. “As always. Long day at Gringotts?”
Draco stood, straightening his winter white scarf. “As always. Same time tomorrow?” Draco turned, grinning as he heard Potter chuckle around his cup of coffee. There was something that Draco wanted to say, but he couldn’t place what it was. He stalled by the door, the newspaper tucked under his arm. “How’s the wife?” He asked, surprised by the even tone the question was posed in.
There was a flash of something in Potter’s eyes before he answered. “She’s fine. The baby’s due any day.”
Draco grinned slightly to hide the twist in his stomach and a grimace. “Congratulations,” he said, and his voice only wavered a bit. He quickly left, and he could swear he could smell Potter’s aftershave the entire short walk to Gringotts.
“Do you mind if I join you?”
Potter raised his head, his hair wild and his brows knitted. He tugged at the neck of his turtleneck jumper before offering up a tired smile. “Oh, yes of course. By all means.”
Draco slid down in the seat across from Harry, his coffee cradled in his hands. “You seem so much more tired than usual. Fatherhood rough?”
Potter seemed to melt into his chair. “God yes. James cries all the bloody time, and Ginny is always on me for not helping her enough, but I work all day and all I want when I go home is some peace and quiet. I’m about to go insane!” He quickly carded his hands through his hair before frowning. “And I just unloaded all sorts of frustration on you. I apologize.”
“I did ask,” Draco said with a smile. “I sympathize, I really do. I can’t imagine why your wife would bother you about your work. Surely she understands that your work is tiring.”
“I thought she did,” Harry said morosely. “I don’t know…” He studied Draco for a moment before laughing a bit. “I can’t believe you’re giving me relationship advice. I really can’t believe we’re sharing a morning coffee. Aren’t we supposed to be enemies? I seem to recall us being enemies.”
“I don’t remember that,” Draco said as he slid his hands over the edge of their table. “If it was like that, then I’d say that what happened in the past stays in the past. Yes?”
Potter’s smile was wide and he slid down in his seat. Draco felt their feet brush briefly. “You’re a very complex person.”
Draco tried to catch his breath and control the heat surfacing on his skin. “I try,” he finally said. Before he thought about it he asked, “Would you be interested in skipping out on the chaos of your house and grab drinks with me after you get off work?”
Potter very nearly frowned. Draco leaned forward a bit, and Potter offered up a half smile. “Ginny would kill me.”
“Tell her you have to work late,” Draco urged and he watched as Potter drew his bottom lip between his teeth. “You’ll have fun, I guarantee it.”
Potter didn’t answer and Draco stood, circling behind him and laying his hands on his shoulders. “If you decide you want to, you know where to find me. When you get off, stop by my office.” Draco slid his hands down Harry’s arms and the other man seemed oblivious to the implications of that gesture. Draco frowned to himself a bit and Harry twisted around in his seat, a relieved and exhausted grin on his face.
“I might take you up on that,” he replied before draining the rest of his coffee. Draco left knowing that Potter would, in fact, be coming to his office.
“I honestly wasn’t sure if I would see you this morning. How’s the head?”
When Potter raised his head he had dark shadows under his eyes but looked no worse for the wear. He offered up a tired smile before saying, “Vaguely pounding, but it’s nothing I can’t handle. How’s yours?”
Draco sank down in the chair opposite Potter, folding his hands together on the slightly sticky table top. “I was no where near as pissed as you. If I would have known you were such a lightweight I would have watched how many pints you consumed. Oh well, I’ll know next time.”
Potter laughed and promptly winced, nursing his black coffee. “Not sure if there is going to be a next time in the near future. Ginny was none too pleased with me. She blames me for waking up James, but he was already awake. She told me that if I was going to sacrifice time to go out and get pissed with god knows who, then I might as well just go home with them.” He recited her words like he had done it a million times before.
The barmaid, a thin woman with un-proportionately large breasts that Draco only ever seen work mornings, dropped his large mug of coffee in front of him and he spooned sugar into it. “You’re always welcome to camp on my sofa if that’s what it comes down to it.” Potter laughed again and stared as Draco methodically prepared his coffee.
“You ruin it when you put all that extra stuff in,” he finally said. “Why do you order coffee if you don’t like the taste?”
“I like the taste, just not the bitterness,” Draco argued. “Mostly I just love the smell.”
Another chuckle from Potter. Draco grinned before looking up from the cup. Potter began, “Let me guess, you really prefer tea, but…”
“They can’t make a decent cup to save their life here,” Draco finished with a shrug. “You seemed to enjoy this horribly bitter concoction, so I tried it. It’s only palatable when I add things.”
Potter slid down in his seat and crossed his arms across his chest. “You’re a strange man, Malfoy. Have you always been this strange, or is it a recent occurrence?”
“You would know that if you wouldn’t have turned me down all those years ago,” Draco replied with a smirk. “You missed out on years of quality Draco time.”
Potter snorted, his eyes on Draco’s hands. Someone bumped into their table and knocked the coffee everywhere, most of it falling directly into Draco’s lap.
“Oh, so sorry,” the man said, eyeing Draco with badly-concealed disdain.
“Fuck you,” Potter snarled, quickly spelling the table and Draco’s lap free. He looked up. “If you’re going to be childish, do it on your own bloody time.”
Draco’s eyes were wide as he watched fury boil on Potter’s face. After he saw it slowly begin to drain away he said, “Wow Potter, do you know you’re extremely frightening when angry? I would hate to get on your bad side.”
Potter shook his head as he put his wand away. “Bloody ridiculous. It’s called respect, and it’s really not all that hard to at least pretend you have respect for other people.”
“No one has respect for me Potter, that’s why I work with goblins,” Draco said with a shrug. “At least I’ll smell like coffee all day. One has to learn to look on the bright side, I suppose.”
“Draco, you don’t…” Potter started, then shook his head. “Why don’t we go out in a couple of weeks? I’ll try my best to be quiet when I go home. What do you say?”
Draco laughed. “You only like me because I smell like your favourite drink. Fine. Owl me, yeah?”
Harry nodded, smiling at Draco as he brushed past. “I’ll see you tomorrow.”
Draco couldn’t remember the last time he had laughed so hard. Potter’s son had started sleeping through the night, his wife had calmed down enough to allow him to have a bit of fun without much gripe, and he and Draco had been allowed to spend a bit more time together. Neither Granger nor Weasley were happy with the fact that Potter had befriended Draco, but Harry had said on more than one occasion that he felt like he could be more himself with Draco than anyone else because there weren’t as many expectations.
Currently they were sitting in the booth they had moved to after the first month. Potter was doubled over, his face red with suppressed laughter. “What did I bloody tell you?” Draco said through laughter. “It’s terrible! It’s like sewage! Why anyone would want to drink that is beyond me!”
Harry spit the tea back into the cup, snatching up Draco’s coffee and taking a swig. After a moment he stuck out his tongue, trying to catch his breath in the process. “Oh my god, that’s terrible. When I drink your coffee I’ve stooped to a new low.”
“Oh hush you,” Draco said, rolling his eyes. “I warned you, but you don’t listen to me. You’ve never listened to me. You’re sort of an idiot, you know that?”
“You love me anyway,” Harry said with a cheeky grin.
Draco shook his head and took his coffee back. “I do. I just can’t help myself.”
Harry leaned over against Draco, shaking with silent laughter. Draco’s heart skipped as he felt Potter’s hand slide over his thigh lightly but he didn’t say anything. Potter’s laughter stopped and Draco cleared his throat before finishing off his coffee.
“…Harry?” Draco cringed when he heard Weasley’s voice in front of their table. Potter leaned away from Draco and sighed, looking up at Weasley. “What are you doing?”
“Having coffee,” Potter said slowly, and Draco’s throat seized when he saw a ghost of Potter’s power and fury flash in his gaze. “Problem?”
“No,” Weasley replied, but gave Draco a dark look. “Don’t be late for work, yeah?”
Potter rolled his eyes and leaned back against Draco’s side. “So bloody annoying,” Potter hissed. His anger was disappearing and Draco couldn’t help but be a bit disappointed. Draco’s skin always began to tingle when he was around Potter when he was angry. “I should probably go,” Potter sighed, sliding out of the booth. Draco followed, stretching a bit. “Will you come have lunch with me this afternoon? I want to talk about Christmas. I thought you might want to come spend it with Ginny and me.” At the look on Draco’s face Potter added, “Don’t say no yet, I want to talk to you about it. I’d really like for you to come.”
“You’ve got no idea how bloody awkward that would be,” Draco said with a laugh and Potter took a step closer to him. “Christmas is for families,” he said as he slid his hands into his pockets. “I’m not your family.”
“You’re as good as family,” Harry said softly, shrugging. “Just think about it, alright?” Draco rolled his eyes but nodded. “Good. I’ll see you at lunch.” Potter laid a hand on Draco’s shoulder then pressed a kiss to his cheek, disappearing before Draco had a chance to process what had happened.
Draco was late for work.
“You promised you’d come.”
Draco flinched and stood, motioning for Potter to follow him out into the street. Potter did so in a huff, cornering him in the alleyway behind the Leaky Cauldron. “Potter, look…”
“You promised you’d come for Christmas,” Harry repeated, his gaze hurt and angry. “If you didn’t want to come you could have told me. You didn’t have to lie to me.”
Draco could hear his heartbeat in his ears and he couldn’t look at Harry. He felt too hot and too dizzy and all he wanted was to be able to go back in and drink his coffee and not have to talk about this. “I was going to, but…”
“You’re still fucking lying,” Harry said as he backed away. “I don’t know why I even try to have a relationship with you, all you do is push people away and make it hard to get along with you.”
“I’ve been nothing but nice to you,” Draco said, trying not to let Potter’s anger get to him. “Potter, you must have known that I wouldn’t come to your bloody Christmas. I don’t know why you’re so angry with me.”
Harry sighed, ruffling his hair as he stepped closer to Draco, his eyes softening a bit. He raised one hand, laying it over Draco’s chest and letting out a slow sigh.
Draco’s heart raced and he couldn’t pull away and Potter was very close to him, leaning forward. “Potter, no…” Draco said, turning his face to the side. “Please don’t…”
“Can I…can I just…?” Potter whispered, his voice shaking. He was shivering as he pulled Draco against him, wrapping his arms around Draco’s neck and holding him tightly.
Draco let out a shaky breath as he slid his arms around Harry’s waist, laying his head on his shoulder. “Harry…” he whispered against his neck. “We can’t…Harry, we can’t do this. It’s wrong.”
“We’re not doing anything,” Harry replied, but even he didn’t believe that. He pulled away from Draco, not able to look at him. “I’m sorry.”
Draco sighed, sliding his hands through his hair. “You’re going to be late for work.”
Potter hesitated. “Will you…come have lunch with me? I’ll order in some Italian food. Please?”
Draco knew he shouldn’t, but he agreed.
Things were strange for a while, and it took a few months before it went back to normal. Harry would touch him occasionally but then seemed to think better of it, drawing back. They stopped going out at night, deciding to simply have breakfast and lunch together. It seemed tamer that way, like they weren’t slowly walking into something that would end up getting them in trouble.
It surprised Draco when Harry asked him, over a lunch of hot and sour soup, to go see a play with him over the weekend. “I can’t, actually,” Draco said softly as he nibbled on a wonton. “I have plans.”
“Plans?” Harry echoed, trying not to sound too interested but not doing a very good job.
Draco nodded, setting aside the rest of his lunch. “I’ve…I’ve got a date, actually. It’s our anniversary.”
Harry coughed and picked up his glass, taking a large drink. He finally set it aside, clearing his throat before saying, “Anniversary. Congratulations. How long have…have you been dating this person?”
“Six months exclusively,” Draco replied. “But I’ve known her for a while. We were good friends for a while when I was younger and dated off and on for years. She’s…” He shrugged. “She’s lovely. She loves me.”
Harry’s knuckles were white and his jaw was tight, but he didn’t say anything. “Why are you…” he started, then shook his head. “Why are you doing this to me?”
“I’m not doing anything,” Draco replied calmly. “I’m not the one who is happily married with a child, Harry. I’m living my life. I’m moving on like you have. You can’t blame me for anything.”
Harry shook his head, pushing his chair back. He let his head fall into his hands and Draco tried to pretend he didn’t care that he could hear soft sobs.
“You can’t expect me to just…be there for you and wait for you to make up your bloody mind,” Draco said as he stood. “I want a life where I don’t have to worry about how you feel about me all the time. I want what you have, and if…” his throat seized and he had to swallow before continuing. “If I can’t have it with you, then I have to find another way of being happy.”
Harry stood quickly, in one swipe knocking everything off of his desk and onto the floor. He leaned over, gripping his desk tightly and grasping at breaths that just wouldn’t allow him to catch them.
Draco watched him for a moment, his throat aching and his eyes burning. “Tell me…tell me to stay. Tell me that you want me to stay with you and…promise me that we’ll do this right. Promise me that you love me. Just me.”
Harry’s shoulders slumped and he didn’t lift his head. There was a soft click as a tear fell onto the highly polished wood of his desk.
“I’m asking her to marry me,” Draco whispered, pulling the door to his office open. “I don’t think we should see each other anymore.”
“Don’t…” Harry groaned, finally looking up from his desk. “Don’t leave me.” His voice was low and guttural, broken and bruised.
“Make me stay.”
But Harry didn’t.
The first time Draco saw Harry since that day in his office was at his own wedding at Malfoy Manor. He watched Harry’s wife talk to everyone in the bloody room, their son on her hip. He watched Harry slip into a seat near the back, his head bowed. He watched Harry tighten his fists in his lap as Ginny dropped into the seat beside him, watched as Harry shifted a bit as James clambered over into his lap.
The ceremony passed by in a blur after his kissed his wife. He soon found himself lost in a crowd of congratulations. He felt suffocated and he pulled off his outer robes, draping it over the nearest chair. He picked up a nearby glass of water and drained it quickly, just wishing he could leave.
He was surprised when he felt a tug on the back of his trouser leg and he turned around to see a miniature version of Harry Potter standing there, one of his fists in his mouth. With much drool he pulled his hand from his mouth and lifted his arms, grasping and releasing his hands quickly. “Up!” he finally said when it became obvious that Draco didn’t understand what his motions meant.
Draco lifted James into his arms, and the boy laid his head against Draco’s collarbone. “Are you sleepy, little one?” Draco whispered, scanning the crowd for either of the boy’s parents. “Would you like to go lie down?”
James yawned and nodded and Draco smoothed a hand down the boy’s back as he set out to find his parents. It didn’t take long to find Harry because he was looking for them as well. “Oh, I’m sorry Draco. He disappeared and…” he stopped, noticing that James was asleep.
“I was going to ask you if it was alright if I took him upstairs so he could sleep,” Draco whispered, lifting his eyes to meet Harry’s.
Harry swallowed thickly before nodding. “Yeah, sure. Of course.”
Draco started up the stairs, tilting his head to motion for Harry to follow. He walked down the corridor and into the sitting room that connected to the master bedroom, bypassing the couch in favour of the large bed in the connecting room. He carefully laid the boy down, draping a soft blanket over him. James spread out, sticking his fist back into his mouth, but he didn’t wake up.
Draco watched him sleep for a moment before turning to make his way back out of the bedroom. “He looks just like you,” he whispered as he stepped past Harry. He stepped into the sitting room and looked at the couch, wishing he could just lie down and go to sleep and not have to deal with all the people milling around the ballroom. He heard the gentle click of the bedroom door as Harry pulled it closed.
He could feel Harry before he had even talked. He was standing behind him and Draco closed his eyes, revelling in the warmth that he hadn’t quite realised he had missed until he had it again. Harry pressed his forehead between Draco’s shoulder blades as he wrapped his arms around his waist, holding on to him tightly. “I miss you,” Harry whispered, and Draco could feel him shaking. “I can’t…I can’t just forget you. Can’t it go back to how it used to be? Please? I…” He pulled away from Draco and turned him around, his hands tight around his wrists. “I don’t feel sane without you. I feel like I’m crazy and you’re the only one who understands. I need you. I do.”
“This isn’t…” Draco started, but his head was buzzing as he felt his wrist bones shift under Harry’s grip. They were aching, and it was making the rest of him ache as well. “This isn’t…friendships aren’t supposed to be this way. We shouldn’t have to need each other so much. I shouldn’t feel this way when you touch me and you…” he swallowed as Harry tightened his grip. “You shouldn’t want to touch me.”
He could see in Harry’s eyes what he wanted was to be able to do more than just touch him. Draco watched the other man wet his lips and he couldn’t help but allow his tongue to follow Harry’s back into his mouth. With a burst of force Harry pushed him back against the wall, twisting and pinning Draco’s arms behind his back just in case he was planning on changing his mind and pulling away. This way Draco couldn’t escape, and it was just the excuse he needed to allow himself to kiss Harry the way he wanted.
God, he could feel Harry’s erection against his thigh and he could feel Harry’s precome soaking into his trousers, the trousers his wife had chosen for him to wear. He was burning and any second he was sure they were going to catch on fire and when Harry bit the crook of his shoulder to stifle a groan he arched into the other man’s body and came harder than he ever had.
“You like it when I hurt you,” Harry whispered after he had caught his breath, letting Draco go before pressing a kiss to the corner of his mouth. “I’ll have to remember that.”
“We can’t do this,” Draco said, but he knew his arguing wouldn’t do any good. He was too far gone and had been for too long. “Harry, we can’t.”
“I thought this is what you wanted,” Harry whispered, lifting one of Draco’s hands and pressing kisses everywhere he could. “I figured it out. It’s why you talked to me, it’s why you came to sit with me. It’s why I was watching you. It’s all led up to this, to us.” Harry’s breaths were coming faster and faster as if he had been running. “It’s all I have been able to think about for half a bloody year because I haven’t been able to see you. It’s driven me crazy, but I know its right. I know it.”
Draco pulled his wand from his pocket and spelled them both clean, hesitating before deciding not to spell away the bruises around his wrists and the bite mark he could only guess was there. “It’s too late,” he said, and for a moment Harry looked like he was going to hit something, but he seemed to remember that his son was in the next room.
“Stop fucking arguing with me,” he hissed fiercely. “It’s not too late. It’s never too late. You wouldn’t have kissed me if you thought it was too late. Can we at least go back to…to having coffee? I miss starting my day with…I’ll leave you alone. I’ll only talk to you in that hour at the Leaky Cauldron. Can you just give me that hour?”
“It will never be enough,” Draco replied quickly. “No amount of time will ever be enough.”
“Give me what you can,” Harry pleaded. “And I’ll do the same. Please Draco. I need you. I need all of you that you can give me.”
“I don’t have much to offer anymore,” Draco said, pulling open the door of the sitting room. “I think you only want what you can’t have. Or maybe what you shouldn’t have.”
“I just want to be normal,” Harry said softly. “I can’t even manage that.”
“Like I said, what you can’t have,” Draco replied, leaving Potter behind in his bedroom.
Draco’s stomach grumbled as he straightened the papers on his desk again, casting a nervous eye to the door of his office. He was hungry, wishing that he had got his own cinnamon bun rather than just pinching off bites of Harry’s at breakfast. Harry had offered to bring lunch to Draco’s office, and he knew it was because Harry was getting nervous about his secretary getting suspicious about their lunches.
There was a gentle rap on the door and Draco looked up, his stomach jumping just like it always did when Harry came. “Come in,” Draco called, straightening his papers again.
The door opened and Harry stepped in, holding a sack that smelled like fried fish and smiling widely as he dropped it onto Draco’s desk. “Hey, how has your day been?” Harry asked as Draco stood, allowing Harry to take him into his arms and press a kiss to first his neck then his lips.
Draco trailed his fingertips down Harry’s cheek and smiled before pulling Harry back to his lips, holding on to Harry tightly. “Better now that you’re here,” he whispered as he looped an arm around Harry’s waist.
Harry took Draco’s hand and walked him over to the leather couch Draco had always had in his office but only recently started to use. Harry lay on top of him, sliding his tongue over Draco’s neck. “I got us a room at a motel in Muggle London for the weekend. You have to come with me, I sent a letter to your house saying there’s an emergency international finance meeting going on in London that requires your attendance. I told Ginny weeks ago I would be gone this weekend.”
Draco wrapped a leg around Harry’s waist, laying his head back against the couch as he wrapped his arms around Harry. “It’s just a weekend,” Draco said, sliding his hand down Harry’s back. “You’ll want to stay there forever and you know we can’t. Sometimes I think it would be better if we didn’t see each other. It would be easier to deal with when we can’t see each other anymore.”
Harry grumbled against Draco’s chest. “Why do you have to be so rational all the time? Why can’t you just be a hopeless romantic like me?”
“Because there really isn’t anything about this situation that is romantic,” Draco said with a chuckle. “But it’s not for the lack of trying on your part.”
Harry sighed, lifting his head up a bit. “I should probably go, Ginny asked me to go with her to the Healer’s office. She thinks I should be more involved this time around. That and she’d rather me watch James than having to worry about it when the Healer is…” Harry trailed off, laying his head back on Draco’s chest. “I can’t believe we’re having another kid. We don’t…we don’t have sex all that often really, I’m too busy and she’s always tired. But this time…I know when it happened. It was when you surprised me at the office with a bottle of wine and the chocolate-covered strawberries, remember?”
Draco nodded, wanting to smile but unable. He couldn’t stand the thought that Harry was having sex with his wife and thinking about him. She was getting the love that Draco deserved, and the thought angered him. “I remember. It’s a good thing you remembered to block your fireplace.”
Harry pressed a kiss to Draco’s jaw before continuing. “I was so frustrated that I had to leave, but she had been planning that surprise for weeks. I couldn’t stop thinking about you, though. I tried, but I couldn’t.”
“I’d rather you didn’t when you’re with her,” Draco said softly. “You’re mixing your interests a bit, don’t you think? She’s giving you the family you’ve always wanted, and I’m…”
“You’re making me happy,” Harry finished. “It’s just that…that I’m going to have a child because I love you. We would have never…” he pressed his lips together for a moment before slipping his fingers through Draco’s hair. “I’m sorry if that makes you uncomfortable. I don’t mean it to be, I just...technically you’re giving me family too, even if you can’t.”
“You think about this entirely too much,” Draco said, rolling his eyes. Harry pinched his side and Draco squirmed a bit. His eyes wandered to the clock on his wall and he sighed, squeezing Harry. “You’re going to be late, you should probably go. Did you eat before you came?”
Harry nodded as he climbed to his feet, pulling Draco up as well. “I’ll see you tomorrow. I might know if I’m having a boy or a girl. I hope it’s a boy, I don’t know if I’d know what to do with a girl.”
“You’ve done a well enough job figuring that out,” Draco replied with a badly concealed grin. “Good luck. I hope everything is fine.”
Harry pulled him into a kiss, worrying his bottom lip between his teeth before pulling away. “I got you a present,” he said, pulling a box from his pocket and handing it to Draco. “Open it, love.”
Draco popped it open and inside were two simple black leather wrist cuffs, soft and worn. He picked one up, taking a deep breath of the rich leather scent. “What are these for?” Draco asked as Harry helped him put them on, one on each wrist.
“This weekend,” Harry said mysteriously, circling behind Draco and pulling his wrists together behind his back. He felt the creak of leather as the two bands seemed to twine together, leaving his wrists bound. “I thought it would be something fun for us to try. What do you think?”
Draco was too busy trying to catch his breath to think.
“Hurt me,” Draco breathed as he slammed the door to the room that they had decided to rent for a meeting place. Harry was already waiting for him, wearing a threadbare t-shirt and jeans that must have been two sizes too big for him. Draco quickly pulled off his shirt, throwing it aside and quickly starting on his trousers. “I need you to hurt me. Make me bleed, make me cry. Just…” he stepped out of his trousers, standing before Harry in just his black silk pants and leather bracelets. He could feel tears sting at his eyes as he stepped forward, taking a handful of Harry’s messy hair and dragging his face closer. “Annihilate me.”
He couldn’t ignore the concern in Harry’s gaze and he did his best to plead, to show Harry that he needed this. He could never quite understand, but Draco needed to hurt. Harry snatched up Draco’s wrists, twisting them behind his back and holding them there as the bracelets weaved together. “You think you deserve this,” Harry snarled, circling behind Draco and slipping his pants down over his arse, leaving the pale skin bare and vulnerable. “You think you deserve to have my anger released on you. Don’t you?”
Draco didn’t answer, and he received a sound slap on his arse. The sting made his skin sing, and he groaned, “I do. I deserve whatever you give me. I deserve so much more than what you can give.”
Harry hummed as he scraped his fingernails down Draco’s back slowly, almost thoughtfully. After a moment of silence he said, “Get on the bed, arse in the air.”
Draco did so quickly, spreading his knees a bit and laying his face against his forearms. He could already feel tears burning and blurring his vision and didn’t want Harry to know. God, he didn’t want Harry to know. He felt the bed shift as Harry climbed onto the bed. His hands were on Draco’s hips for the briefest moment to steady himself before another sound slap landed on his arse, followed by the gentlest caress. Draco only allowed himself a whimper and that was cut off by a gasp as another slap landed right over the previous one.
Slap after slap and Draco was sobbing ‘Harder’ over and over, his feverish forehead pressed into his bound wrists. Harry was panting behind him and he suddenly jerked Draco’s hand away, snarling, “You’ll come when I want you to.”
Suddenly everything stopped, and Draco’s arse was burning and felt as if Harry had peeled away a layer of skin with his touch. He felt a searing, open-mouthed kiss over his arsehole and the probe of Harry’s tongue and Draco couldn’t think of anything that could possibly be any better than this. That was until Harry started to fuck him, stabbing and tearing and making Draco feel like he was paying for his sins for the first time in his life, and what beautiful sins they were. He burned and ached and throbbed until he came into Harry’s hand and Harry came deep inside him.
They collapsed together, Harry smoothing his hand over Draco’s skin and whispering words that were meant to soothe him but weren’t. “What’s wrong?” Harry finally asked when a half-hour had passed and Draco hadn’t stopped crying. “What is it, love? Did I hurt you too much?”
“Not enough,” Draco sobbed, burying his head in Harry’s chest. “You should have killed me.”
“No,” Harry whispered, holding Draco against him and rocking him a bit. “That’s stupid. Don’t say that.”
“She’s pregnant,” Draco screamed, slamming a fist into Harry’s chest. “She’s fucking pregnant, Harry! I’m going to have my own fucking family and…” he hit Harry again, trying to fight his way out of Harry’s grasp but the other man was holding on to him too tightly. “It’s too late for you to be my family!” Draco sobbed, finally going limp. “Why am I always too fucking late?”
“I’m sorry,” Harry whispered into Draco’s hair, but he knew that wouldn’t be enough. It had been so easy to forget Draco was married, but now…with a child… “God…I can’t imagine how you…how you’ve lived feeling like this all these years.”
Draco allowed Harry to hold him until he stopped crying, slowly disentangling himself, showering and dressing in silence. “We’ve got five months,” he said as he stood at the door, preparing to pull it open. “Five months until this thing…this thing can really start to hurt. We’ve got…we’ve got so much to lose, Harry. So much to lose. Is what we have to gain worth it?”
Harry couldn’t answer.
It didn’t help that their children became fast friends. Draco was Albus’ godfather and Harry Scorpius’, and it was something that neither of them were completely comfortable with. They were under constant scrutiny and were both sure that there were plenty of theories concerning the true nature of their ‘relationship’.
There were numbers of photos of them together, both toting their respective sons with James circling around them. Their wives never accompanied them on these outdoor excursions; possibly they were too mortified to be seen in public with such a scandal. It was funny that rumours only started up after the most interesting part of their relationship had cooled down. They had settled into a routine that was very nearly domestic: coffee in the mornings, lunch, and the occasional play date for Albus, Scorpius, and James. Ron had decided not to talk to Harry anymore, and Hermione was too busy with her own children to pay all that much attention.
Harry was watching the children get completely filthy in a puddle of mud beside the swings they were supposed to have been playing on. Albus and Scorpius seemed to be relying heavily on each other to walk and would fall down in the mud quite often, although after a bit of watching Harry decided this was probably the point. He tried not to laugh too loudly, as he didn’t want to disturb Draco, who was sitting with his feet up on their bench reading a book. It wasn’t until Albus screamed that Draco looked up, seeing the three boys completely caked in mud and chasing each other with handfuls of the stuff.
“BOYS!” Draco screamed, laying aside his book and standing up. “Leave the mud alone!” He rounded on Harry but he was only laughing, holding a handful of mud and looking entirely too smug. “If you throw that at me I’ll…” the sentence was cut off as a clump of mud landed in the middle of his chest.
The children laughed as Harry started running toward them, Draco not far behind. The boys scattered as Harry approached their large puddle and Draco pounced, taking Harry down and holding him down in the mud. Harry flipped Draco over onto his back and held him down in the mud, smearing some into his hair. Draco tried to wriggle free but couldn’t and he could see blazing victory in Harry’s eyes and he loved him so much his heart was about to burst, even though he was covered in mud in a rain-drenched playground. “I love you,” Harry whispered, looking down into Draco’s face. Draco wanted to kiss Harry but soon three little boys were piled on top of Harry, laughing and smearing their handfuls of mud into Harry’s already muddy hair.
“JAMES! ALBUS! GET OVER HERE NOW!” Harry flinched at the sound of Ginny’s voice ringing across the playground and the boys groaned, straightening up and walking over to their mum with their heads bowed. Harry climbed to his feet as well, wiping mud from his glasses and helping Draco to his feet. Draco picked up his son as they all made their way over to Ginny.
“Sorry,” Draco whispered and Harry just shook his head, his eyes catching the angry gaze of his wife before she knelt down and started spelling her sons clean.
“You are absolutely filthy,” she snapped and Albus started to cry softly. “Why in the world would you think it was okay to play in the mud? Disgusting.”
“We was just havin’ fun, Mummy,” James grumbled, trying his best not to shiver.
“Gin, it was alright, I was going to clean then up when they were done,” Harry said as he picked Albus up, not caring that he was dirtying his son back up. “They were having fun, and we didn’t think…”
“And you,” she snapped, rounding on Harry. “They could have gotten sick! Albus is only a year and a half old, what made you think that letting him play in the mud was a good idea in the first place?”
“It’s dirt Ginny, it’s not going to kill him,” Harry said, pressing a kiss to his head. “It’s not like you’ve never played in the dirt before.”
She sneered at his appearance and took Albus back away from him. “Clean yourself up,” she snapped as he snatched up James’ hand, glaring at Harry. “Come home when you’re done wrestling in the mud with Malfoy. I’ll leave your dinner in the oven.”
“Listen, Ginny…” Draco started, but she dropped James hand to land a slap across his face. Scorpius whimpered, his tears clearing tracks down his mud-caked cheeks.
“Don’t you dare call me that,” Ginny hissed, her eyes narrowed. “It’s more than obvious that you don’t have any respect for me or my family or else you would have left well enough alone years ago. You have no right to speak to me. Do you understand?”
Draco couldn’t reply, but Harry did. “Don’t talk about things you know nothing about,” he replied, his tone barely controlled. “If you’ve got a problem you take it up with me, not him. He’s got nothing to do with you or the state of our family. If you don’t respect Draco then you don’t respect me, and if you don’t have any respect for me then we need to rethink this marriage.”
“Of course, because you expect me to respect your weekend fuck?” Ginny screamed, and Albus began to cry harder.
“We aren’t talking about this right now, not with the kids here,” Harry said as James ran over to him, wrapping his arms around his legs. He picked James up and Albus reached for him. Before Ginny had time to think Harry snatched him from her grasp, backing away from her. “You’re going to go home, calm down, and let me know when you’re calm enough to talk rationally. Until then, we’ll be at Draco’s.”
“Of course you are,” Ginny sobbed. “That’s where you’re happy, right? That’s where you’ve wanted to be all along. I’m just the person who you use for babies. Hell, after this next one you can have your own big happy family. Just group together your children and forget about where they came from. Brilliant plan.”
Harry’s brain has stalled around ‘next one’ and his chest was tight. Next one. Ginny was pregnant. Draco’s grip was tight around his elbow. “You’re lying,” Harry breathed. “Please tell me you’re lying.”
“I’ve known for three months Harry,” Ginny yelled as it started to rain. Her hair darkened and formed a wet curtain around her face. “And for three months I was hoping you’d just leave so I wouldn’t have to deal with this all over again. God Harry, why don’t you just leave?”
How many times had Harry asked himself that same question? Why didn’t he just leave? Why? He wouldn’t have to lie anymore, he wouldn’t have to pretend that he wasn’t in love with Draco and hadn’t been for four years, maybe longer. But everything else, everything else would fall apart. His family, his marriage, his relationship with the Weasleys. They would all hate him, and he would probably hate himself. They had shown him so much kindness, adopted him as their own, and he had repaid them by cheating on Ginny nearly the entire marriage and leaving her after they had three children? And what of Draco and his family? Draco had never even known a marriage without distraction. He was never given a chance to be a real family with his wife and son. Harry had been so selfish. So very selfish.
“You can’t fix everything Harry,” Ginny added over the rumble of thunder. “You can’t even use your name to hold this together. You may be a hero to some, but you aren’t mine. Not anymore.”
She then turned and walked away, her arms wrapped around her.
“Take the boys,” Harry said, passing Albus over to Draco and letting go of James’ hand.
“Harry, I…” Draco started, but Harry didn’t let him finish.
“TAKE THE BOYS, DAMN IT!” He bellowed, backing away from them as he pushed his hair back off of his forehead. He turned and started to walk away.
“You’ll come back, right?” Draco called after him, standing by himself in the pouring rain.
“I don’t know,” Harry replied, but he was sure that Draco didn’t hear him over the rain.
So much time had passed that Scorpius didn’t remember that night. Draco did, and his wife had learned about it via a lengthy letter from Ginerva Potter, but they didn’t talk about it. Things had been rough, but it seemed that the Parkinson family had raised both his wife Claudia and her sister Pansy both to believe a similar idea that if you don’t talk about something, it doesn’t exist. Draco never talked about the lengthy affair he had with Harry Potter, so it didn’t exist. Draco didn’t talk about how devastated Scorpius had been when he lost his best playmates, so the feeling didn’t exist. Draco didn’t talk about the hollow spot in his heart that had once been filled with laughter and love and understanding, so it didn’t exist.
“Draco come, the Portkey activates in a minute,” Claudia said from the doorway, her voice firm. He took one last look in the mirror before starting out into the study, where his voice and son were both standing, touching a paperweight. Draco took hold of one of the handles of Scorpius’ trunk. He felt a tug behind his navel and closed his eyes, opening them again when they were standing on Platform 9 ¾.
He didn’t recognize many faces but he recognised the looks they were giving him. They were the looks he used to receive when he was suspected a Death Eater. Now they were the looks reserved for those who remembered the entire ordeal, the ones who knew that he was the cause of Harry Potter’s divorce.
It had been in the headlines for years, each story adding more detail to the sordid tale. In the end Ginny had settled on joint custody and a stipend that Harry had seemed more than willing to pay. He even let her keep the house. The divorce was messy but the aftermath was fairly calm. The Weasleys didn’t speak to Harry for a while, but when they had been convinced he was really sorry for his actions and had no plans to speak to Draco ever again, they forgave him quite readily. He had even been quoted as to saying that Draco was a ‘poison that had been eating away at my relationship for years, just like I was a poison eating away at his’. That had broken Draco’s heart and only solidified the fact that he would probably never see Harry again. He had his marriage dissolved, but still allowed Claudia to stay with him and Scorpius in the Manor, as there was plenty of room for them both.
Scorpius was so excited for his first year at Hogwarts that he couldn’t seem to contain his enthusiasm. Draco handed over his trunk to one of the men loading the train and stepped back, laying a hand on Scorpius’ shoulder. “Would you like to go pick out a compartment?” Draco asked softly and the boy nodded, rushing off to find one.
Then Draco heard a familiar laugh he hadn’t heard in ten years. Ten years and Albus Potter’s laugh hadn’t changed. He turned and saw Weasley, Granger, Ex-Potter, and Harry standing together but apart, watching their children scurry around each other and tease each other except for the smallest girl, who simply held her mother’s hand and cried silently. Draco had never seen her before, but she looked so much like Ginny that he couldn’t look very long.
Ginny was talking to her brother and Granger and her face was turned away, so Draco didn’t really run the risk of being caught looking by her. He looked at Harry and noticed his slightly greying hair and stubble, his new spectacles, and the laugh lines—or were they worry lines—around his mouth.
And then Potter’s gaze met his. Draco stopped breathing for a moment because that gaze still had that power over him, even after all these years. He saw the faintest flicker of…something…in Potter’s eyes and he didn’t know what to do, so he inclined his head. Potter returned the nod with a grin and was forced to turn away when Weasley noticed them.
Scorpius bolted from the train, “I found a compartment Father,” he said with a wide smile, his robes looking too big for his small frame. “It’s empty, so I have to find people to sit in it with me, but…” he trailed off when he noticed a group of nearby children, the majority of them red-haired, staring at him. Only one, the smaller dark-haired boy, smiled at him. He returned the smile. “Who is that, Father?” he asked, drawing a bit closer to Draco.
“His name’s Albus,” Draco replied. “I think he’d be a good person to ask to sit with you in your compartment.”
Scorpius seemed to file away this information before setting out to spy on Albus in the least conspicuous way possible.
“Ah, there’s Pansy,” Claudia said before floating away in the direction of her sister and nieces, leaving Draco and Scorpius alone. The train pulled its whistle twice and Draco knelt down, a hand on each of his son’s shoulders.
“You be good at school, yeah?” Draco said, smoothing the boy’s robes. “Do your homework and bathe and try not to be too horrible to the rest of your classmates. Your mum would kill me if you used any of those jinxes I taught you, so try your best not to test them out, however tempting they may be.”
“Yes Father,” Scorpius droned with an eye roll. “Can I get on the train now?”
“Yes, go,” Draco said, shooing him away. Only the boy didn’t go to the train, he scurried over to Albus and said something, motioning vaguely to the train. Despite disapproving looks from the red-headed group that followed them, Scorpius led Albus to his compartment.
Draco stood there, watching the train leave. He saw the Gryffindor group start to leave out of the corner of his eye and he eyes burned. The platform cleared of parents quickly and Claudia and Pansy had decided to go have a spot of tea at Madame Puddifoot’s, leaving Draco to his own devices.
So he ducked into a nearly deserted Leaky Cauldron, sitting at his usual table and ordering his usual coffee.
“Morning Draco. Long day planned?”
God, but that hurt. The leather bands Harry had given him broke long ago, but he could still feel the hold that Harry had on him. He looked up as Harry sat down across from him, his eyes glistening a bit as he offered up a smile.
“Always,” Draco replied and his voice cracked. “And you?”
“I think so,” Harry replied. “You see, there’s someone that I owe a very big apology, and I think that’s it may take all day to do it right. It might take weeks, years even.”
Draco wanted to leave. He didn’t want to hear this, after all this time. “I think the apology is a bit late,” he croaked. “I think that any apology is null and void when you leave someone standing in the rain with your children and don’t come back. It’s pretty much clear that when you don’t want to see that person enough that you don’t come back for your children, that any apology you might have is too little, too late.”
Harry was crying. And Draco was sure he had steeled himself against the works he had to have been sure were coming. “I thought so too, to be completely honest,” Harry whispered. “And then…then I saw our sons pick up right where they left off, as if the last ten years didn’t happen.” He took a deep breath and leaned forward. “But before that I was watching you. Just like I used to. I didn’t realise I was doing it until you looked back. And…and I had the strangest sense of déjà vu, and then I remembered. It all comes back to here. To this. To us.”
Draco swallowed over and over to try to rid his throat of the lump that clogged it, but he couldn’t.
Harry took his silence as an opportunity to press on. “I realised that…that I may have been being selfish, keeping you for myself and wanting you when it wasn’t my right, but really I just knew that you were what I wanted, and I didn’t want to have to give you up. You’re still what I want. We weren’t good for each other because we were both trying to make people happy other than ourselves. And we can’t do that, Draco. We have to think of ourselves first. If we aren’t happy, then life isn’t worth living. And my life isn’t worth living anymore without you.”
Draco was crying into his coffee, his sobs shaking his body. He looked up and Harry was watching him, looking absolutely terrified. He held out one of his hands and the other man took it, the fear in his eyes not fading a bit. With a half-laugh, half-sniffle Draco said, “You think about this entirely too much.”
Harry chuckled, pulling Draco forward and into his arms. Kissing him was like picking up right where they left off, whispering ‘I love you’ to each other in the mud, smiling and loving like it was the only thing really worth doing.