Title: The Best Laid Plans…
Summary: Being a Veela isn’t as easy as you’d think. Especially when you’re trying to win your mate.
Disclaimer: All Harry Potter characters herein are the property of J.K. Rowling and Bloomsbury/Scholastic. No copyright infringement is intended.
Deathly Hallows compliant? EWE
Word Count: ~2500
Author's Notes: I tried to incorporate the preferences for a fic in which the boys are not in an established relationship, Draco as a veela, and hopefully some conversation that passes as snarky. I hope you enjoy!
Three years after the Second War ended, Draco Malfoy received two pieces of absolutely abominable information within two days of each other. The first wasn’t exactly news per se, but rather a revelation of sorts. It came when, going through a motley assortment of his old school things, he came across his old Quidditch robes and thought Potter, followed a split second later by Harry, which was accompanied by a vision of his former rival diving after the Snitch with effortless grace, the wind tousling his dark hair into further disarray and bringing a flush to his cheeks. It made his heart lurch and his blood tingle, and when his parents saw him at supper and took in his distant, dreamy expression, they gave each other knowing looks and asked him if he wouldn’t like some raspberry soufflé.
The second was news in the proper sense of the word. The day after his unexpectedly fond vision of one Harry Potter, Draco opened the Daily Prophet to see an announcement of the engagement of the erstwhile Boy-Who-Lived to a certain Ginevra Weasley.
For the rest of the day, a frightful sound of crashing and shattering and muffled yelling could be heard coming from Young Master Malfoy’s room. The Master and Mistress sat in the drawing room with their cups of steaming Earl Grey and listened to the commotion with knowing expressions as they waited for the storm to abate.
When Draco emerged at just past eight o’clock with bloodshot eyes and tousled hair, he stared at them accusingly.
“Why didn’t you tell me?”
His father remained silent.
“We did, darling," his mother said, taking a sip of tea. "We told you when you turned seventeen, remember?”
Draco snorted angrily. “You told me that I was part veela, not about the – the –“ He threw his hands up and gestured wildly in an attempt to express his anger.
“Not about this.”
Lucius looked at his son as though he were an idiot. Narcissa sipped her tea and smiled peaceably.
“Darling, surely you must have been aware that magical creatures eventually take a mate. It’s a fact of nature! And those families who share their blood are also subject to the… to the mating urge,” his mother finished delicately.
“Of course I know that, but Potter?” Draco’s voice cracked and ended on a distressingly high note. His father sighed.
“We didn’t know it would be Potter. But we had our suspicions. He is, after all, an extraordinarily powerful wizard and it’s to be expected that his magical signature would attract anyone with the urge to seek a mate, so to speak.”
Draco groaned and buried his face in his hands. “But is there any way I can get out of this?”
His mother blinked in astonishment. “Get out of it? Draco darling, why on earth would you want to do such a thing? Magical instincts are never wrong when it comes to the question of a mate and I must say that this match is particularly prestigious –“
“Prestigious?” Draco snapped. “He’s the bloody Boy Who Lived!”
Draco slumped back into his chair and poured himself a cup of tea.
“And there’s no way to change this?”
Lucius shook his head. “As far as changing your instinct to search out a mate, no. It’s in your blood, after all. But that isn’t to say that you have no choice in the matter. You could always refuse to court Potter and not bond with him, although you will spend the rest of your life in a state of melancholy depression always feeling that a vital part of you is missing.”
“That can’t be worse than living with Potter.”
“Don’t be so sure, darling. I remember that my mother’s second cousin Alianna was less than pleased with her chosen mate, so she decided to turn her back on her veela heritage and live as a spinster. She went mad within eight months.” Narcissa shuddered delicately. “It was horrible – simply horrible. I would not like to see that happen to you, Draco dearest.”
Draco frowned. His mother leaned forward and patted his knee sympathetically.
“Don’t forget that you do have veela blood, and that is a powerful advantage. Make him want you. It should be quite easy. And once the two of you are together things will probably go quite smoothly. These things have a way of sorting themselves out.”
Draco groaned and fled to the sanctuary of his room. He spent the first five hours sulking. The next seven were spent planning.
Headmistress Minerva McGonagall was in the habit of holding a small Christmas party each year for the surviving members of the Order of the Phoenix and other prominent war veterans. Naturally, Harry Potter received an invitation each year along with Hermione Granger, Ronald Weasley, and all of their closest friends. Draco Malfoy had never been invited, although to be fair he had never expected to be. The Malfoy name might have been, well, not exactly redeemed, but at least allowed to remain in genteel obscurity with no mention of past events, but the family had never made much of an effort to ingratiate themselves with the new social elite. So it was a surprise to everyone to see Draco Malfoy appear, with a raven-haired beauty hanging on his arm, in the Hog’s Head Inn just as the bottles of elf-made champagne were being opened.
There was a moment of stunned silence before Professor McGonagall smiled graciously and said smoothly, “Mister Malfoy. What a pleasant surprise. Would and your guest care for some champagne?”
Draco smiled, his grey eyes flicking briefly to Harry’s face.
“That would be lovely.”
Within ten minutes everyone had a glass of the sparkling liquid in hand and were conversing politely, careful to avoid calling attention to the presence of an interloper in their midst. Draco, however, had no qualms about going right up to Harry with his companion in tow.
“Potter. How nice to see you looking so well.”
Harry gave him a polite nod, his face a cool and emotionless mask even as his eyes slid over to examine Draco’s date. The instant Draco saw the flash of confusion in Harry’s bright green eyes he knew that his plan would work, and he had to bite back a smile of triumph.
“Allow me to introduce Marguerite Amalle. She went to Beauxbatons and has been a frequent guest at Malfoy Manor. There is a longstanding friendship between our families.”
“Pleased to meet you.” Harry’s voice was tentative and slightly nervous, and Draco watched in satisfaction as he swallowed convulsively. Ginny put her hand on his arm and frowned at Draco.
“Enjoy yourself, Malfoy.” Her tone made it clear that while she would put up with him for the sake of keeping peace, his presence was hardly welcome.
“Of course.” Draco smiled but made no move to leave.
“I believe congratulations are in order? I heard the news of your engagement.” He raised his champagne glass in a toast. “Here’s to the happy couple.”
He took a sip, keeping his eyes fixed on Harry. Harry’s cheeks were slightly flushed and he looked distinctly uncomfortable. Ginny laced her fingers firmly with his and glared at Draco.
“Thank you for your well wishes. And now if you’ll excuse us.”
Draco watched them go, no longer bothering to keep a faint smirk off his lips. Marguerite leaned in close to murmur in his ear.
“And which of them are you trying to make jealous?”
Draco laughed and pressed a kiss to her cheek. “Now why would I want to do something like that?”
Marguerite smiled coyly and took a sip of champagne. “Because, Draco, this is the first time you’ve bothered to even send me an owl for the first time in two years. If you were really so very in love with me you’d hardly have waited so long, non?”
“True enough. But as long as it stays between just the two of us.”
Marguerite followed his gaze to where Harry and Ginny were in conversation with Fleur and Bill Weasley. Harry was clearly unsettled, constantly rubbing the back of his neck and glancing nervously around. Draco let a smile curve his lips. Marguerite sighed.
“But of course.”
“I want to know what you did to me.”
They were meeting in a small teahouse in Muggle London, filled with comfortable old armchairs and round oak tables. Lamps with colorful glass shades created a warm and cozy atmosphere that was especially inviting in light of the dreary December day outside. It was the perfect place to unwind and relax in, but Harry was agitated, constantly twirling his spoon in his rapidly cooling cup of Earl Grey and rearranging his napkin. Draco, of course, was calm, collected, and thoroughly enjoying his companion’s discomfort.
“I’m sure I don’t know what you’re talking about, Potter.”
“And I’m sure you do,” snapped Harry, flushing hotly. “I haven’t felt right since you showed up at the party with that – that –“
“With Marguerite?” Draco asked mildly, taking another sip of Darjeeling.
“Yes!” Harry exploded, his hands clenching into white-knuckled fists. He glared balefully at Draco. “So what did you do? Why should I care who you’re shagging? We’ve never been friends, and now Ginny –“
He broke off and ran his fingers distractedly through his hair. Draco noticed that he managed to look quite attractive in his disheveled state.
“I can’t stop thinking about you.”
Draco hid his smile behind his teacup. “Well, I fail to see how that is my concern.”
Harry’s eyes narrowed and Draco could have sworn the air had a sudden icy edge. He immediately thought the better of continuing to push Harry and backed down.
“Well. Perhaps I can offer something of an explanation…” He leaned forward and smiled coyly.
“You see, Harry, we’ve always been important to each other, haven’t we? Ever since first year when we faced each other over the Quidditch Pitch, we’ve always been aware of each other. We’ve always been able to push each other and get under each other’s skin in ways that no one else has been able to do. And so when you saw me in the company of an exceedingly lovely witch you were jealous, because suddenly you weren’t in the center of my world anymore.”
“Jealous?” Harry laughed incredulously and shook his head. “Hardly. I just can’t figure out why it’s bothering me, because it shouldn’t.”
“And that’s exactly it. My family is special, Harry, and it’s foolish to try and fight against the tie between us. You know that, even if you don’t want to admit it.”
Harry’s eyes narrowed. “I know one thing, Malfoy, and that’s that whatever petty manipulation you’re trying to use to get me to just abandon my life won’t work. Quite honestly, I don’t see what’s in it for me.”
Draco smiled and focused hard on being a veela, veela, veela. Turn on the charm. Give the eyes an extra sparkle, the smile a bit more allure. He could see Harry’s eyes becoming slightly more unfocused in response and he spoke in a low, persuasive tone.
“Just give it a chance, Harry… I promise it will be more than worth your while. You won’t regret this. I swear.”
Harry’s lips parted and his expression softened. But just when Draco thought that he’d succeeded and was about to reap the results of his victory, Harry’s eyes hardened and his face became closed.
“Drop it, Malfoy. Just stay away with me.”
Before Draco could even attempt to summon some kind of response, Harry had gathered his coat and swept outside into the gently falling snow.
Draco spent the next three days barricaded in his room. His beautiful plan, to make Harry wildly jealous and drive him into his arms had backfired. And now he was even worse off than before. Because he had realized that Harry really was his perfect match – an intelligent, brave man who would push him and challenge him more than anyone else. And of course a man like that wouldn’t be foolish enough to succumb to petty jealousy. All that he had succeeded in doing was making Harry think of him as a selfish, egotistical little boy who retreated to trickery to get what he wanted.
His parents were predictably useless. His mother left trays of tea and sweets outside his door, often accompanied by saccharine notes along the lines of, 'Don’t worry, darling, everything will be all right. I’m sure he just needs a bit of time to come to terms with all of this.' His father suggested love potions.
By the time Christmas Eve arrived, he was still in no mood to be festive with others, so he made his excuses to his parents and chose to forgo the Malfoy Christmas Party in favor of being alone. It was easy enough to take shelter in a small, brightly lit little teahouse and indulge in a pot of Earl Grey and some pudding, where no one disturbed him except the waitress, and that was only to deposit his order. He would fulfill his familial obligations tomorrow, but tonight he preferred to be solitary.
So when someone abruptly seated themselves at his table without so much as a by-your-leave he was ready to tell them in no uncertain terms that their presence was not welcome in any way, shape, or form. But when he saw that his unexpected companion was none other than Harry Potter, all he could do was stare dumbly.
Harry unwound his brightly colored muffler and leaned back in his chair. After a moment he offered Draco a tentative smile.
Draco swallowed. “Merry Christmas.”
“So.” Harry looked intently at Draco. “I did a little research into wizarding bloodlines after your comment about your family being special. The Black line has veela heritage, right?”
Harry nodded. “And now you think I’m your chosen mate, or something.”
Draco shook his head emphatically. “No. That’s where you’re wrong. I don’t think you’re my chosen mate, I know it.”
Harry frowned. “But does mate need to mean, you know, a romantic partner? Or does it just mean your complement? These kinds of things can have multiple layers of meaning, you know.”
Draco shook his head stubbornly. “I know what my instincts are telling me.”
“And so you expect me to just abandon everything I’ve built up in order to accommodate your desires.”
Draco felt a dangerous burning in the backs of his eyes and gritted his teeth. He’d be damned if he cried in front of Potter.
“It goes both ways. You felt it, too; I know it. We’re meant to be.”
“I felt it, too. But I’m not stupid enough to go rushing into something like this.”
They sat in silence. It seemed like forever until Harry put a small tissue wrapped package in front of Draco. Draco stared at it blankly.
“Open it. It’s for you.”
It was a tiny snow globe. Not one of the magical ones, where the tiny figures danced or sang or played Quidditch, but a Muggle one. It was still lovely, though. The glass was tinted a deep azure and small crystalline flecks of white floated gently onto a carving of a miniature village.
“I grew up with Muggles, you know. My aunt’s family. She never like me much – I was a reminder of everything she wanted but couldn’t have.” Something like regret flashed across Harry’s face but it was gone within a second. “So she made sure I was never happy with them. It’s why I could never wait to go back to Hogwarts. It was my home much more than the Dursleys’ ever was.”
Draco remained silent, listening intently.
“I always loved Christmas, though. Even though I never really got any presents or anything I just liked seeing all the Christmas lights and hearing Christmas carols. I liked the feeling of joy and hope that always filled the air at that time.”
Harry picked the snow globe off the table and pressed it into Draco’s hands.
“No matter if we have some sort of connection or not, if there will ever be anything between us, either as friends or something more, we need to know each other. Harry and Draco, not just Potter and Malfoy.”
Draco watched the snowflakes dance in the deep blue glass sky. “So does this mean that you’re willing to give me a chance?”
Harry nodded. “I can’t promise anything, not yet. But maybe we can make a beginning?”
Harry held out his hand. Draco looked at it, then at Harry. He was smiling; a tentative, beautiful smile, and Draco couldn’t help but smile back. He reached out and put his hand in Harry’s.
“A beginning, then.”
Maybe it would be a nice Christmas, after all.