Title: A Change of Life
Pairing(s): Harry/Draco, existing Harry/Ginny and Draco/Millicent, implied Draco/Blaise Zabini
Summary: When Draco sees Harry on Platform 9 3/4, everything changes. Fast.
Disclaimer: All Harry Potter characters herein are the property of J.K. Rowling and Bloomsbury/Scholastic. No copyright infringement is intended.
Deathly Hallows compliant? Fully compliant, including Epilogue
Word Count: ~8500
Author's Notes: Happy hd_holidays, dracofiend! Thanks for the pinch-hit. I came close to your kinks list and prompt, and tried to tie in a bit tighter when I got your name. I’m sorry Draco is self-conscious about his hair- it’s really not so dire as he thinks. ;) I hope you like it! Many thanks to my long-suffering beta.
Draco looked across the smoke-filled platform, watching with disgust as a mass of ginger-headed children swarmed towards the train, their parents close behind. The Weasel had clearly followed his family’s planning procedures- that is, none at all. He edged closer to his wife and son, clutching the boy’s shoulder reflexively.
Scorpius looked up at him, suddenly nervous. Draco unlocked his hand, turning his incipient death-grip into a reassuring paternal shoulder-pat, and gave the boy a small smile.
He stared out into the crowd again, and noticed Potter staring at him. While the man was easily recognizable (a photo on the cover of every fifth Prophet tended to make him familiar), Draco had managed to avoid him for at least eighteen years.
His hand twitched towards his wand, but he quelled the juvenile impulse. Potter had given it back after the trial, favoring Draco with an unbearably smug expression and some vague statement about his mother. Draco had largely ignored it- he was happy enough to have avoided Azkaban and return to normal life; getting his wand back was an unexpected bonus, even if it involved a bit more abuse from the wizarding world’s most famously annoying git.
Potter was still staring at him, (what the hell did he want?) so Draco gave him a stiff nod.
When Potter smiled and nodded back, Draco’s hair literally attempted to stand on end, straining against the charms he’d used to keep it in place. He brushed it back hastily, but Potter was already engaged in earnest discussion with his younger son.
Millicent had caught the movement, however, and smirked at him as she leaned in.
“I see Potter still has a full head of hair,” she whispered in his ear.
“As do I,” he hissed.
“The charms aren’t quite keeping up in front,” she answered, eyeing his forehead critically. “It’s looking a bit thin and feathery just above...”
“This is neither the time nor the place,” he muttered testily, scanning the crowd for more potential problems and pointedly ignoring Millicent.
Finally the whistle blew, and she knelt down in front of Scorpius.
“Be sure to owl every week,” she instructed, giving his coat a final tug.
Scorpius nodded seriously.
“And stay away from anything with red hair,” Draco added, shooting another look towards the turmoil at the other end of the platform.
Millicent rolled her eyes, gave Scorpius a final peck on the cheek, and stood as he grabbed his trunk.
“I’ll send chocolates next week,” she promised, waving.
Draco waved too, watching their son as he marched purposefully towards the train.
He saw Potter as they walked toward the Apparition point, and again his hair ruffled. The top was trying to bristle upwards, fluffing up like some sort of agitated bird.
He clapped his hand down on it more firmly, ignoring Millicent, muttered a quick relaxing charm, and Disapparated for the Manor.
Harry collapsed into the squishy orange chair after dinner, smiling as Lily clambered up onto his lap.
“They’re both gone now,” she said, eyeing him narrowly as she swung her legs against the chair. “Now you have to pay attention to me.”
“What about work?” he asked, face a mask of sincerity. “The Auror department might collapse without me.”
Lily considered this for a moment. “You can go to work,” she announced, “but when you’re at home I get all the attention.”
“What about your Mum?” Harry asked, looking up as Ginny bustled into the room.
“She doesn’t need it,” came the prompt reply. “She’s too busy.”
“Then maybe you should help,” Ginny replied tartly, wiping her hands off on her apron as she wandered over to give Harry a peck on the top of the head. “Right now it’s bedtime.”
Lily slid off her father’s lap reluctantly, looking up for confirmation, and he nodded.
“What your mother said,” he told her, reaching for the Prophet.
“It’s bedtime for everyone,” Ginny said, giving Harry a significant look.
He sighed, dropped the paper on the table, and followed.
He was already in bed by the time Ginny returned from tucking in Lily.
“I got to do a bit of shopping today...” she cooed.
Harry’s eyes widened as she tapped a small purple bag with her wand, enlarging it into a monster capable of swallowing Lily.
“Don’t go nodding off yet, honey-bun.” Ginny gave him an enormous smile, and disappeared into the bathroom with a lascivious wink.
Harry pulled the pillow over his face and whimpered.
Draco leaned against the top of his bureau, examining his hairline critically in the mirror.
His father certainly hadn’t had any of these problems- the vain bastard had kept all of his hair until the day he died, and had the nerve to laugh at Draco when he asked for help with hair charms.
“Baldness genes are inherited from the witch’s side,” his father said. “Go ask your mother if her family has any good spells.”
Of course, his mother’s family all turned out to have full heads of hair as well, so no luck. Thankfully the Manor’s library had been more helpful.
“I’m not going bald!” Draco yelled.
“That’s right dear,” his mirror replied solicitously. “You’re just receding a bit in front.”
Draco glared. “I have a high forehead.”
“Don’t make faces,” the mirror continued. “You don’t need wrinkles to draw attention to your...” it paused delicately, “your high forehead.”
He scowled, and conjured a curtain over the mirror before finally reaching for his pyjamas.
When he emerged from his dressing room Millicent was already in bed, the latest Witch Weekly levitating in front of her. He fluffed his pillow and crawled under the covers, turning quickly to face the wall in an effort to hide his annoyance.
“Ignore the mirror,” Millicent drawled. “It’s jealous- mirrors don’t even have hair.”
Draco snorted in disgust and rolled over, pulling the duvet up to his chin and squeezing his eyes shut tight. He felt the bed flex as Millicent leaned over, and flinched as she kissed him gently at the edge of his temple.
“At least your hair smells nice,” she said, sniffing. ”ACHOO!”
“It’s the same shampoo I’ve always used,” he muttered, flipping onto his back and staring at the ceiling. “And I love it. You are not allowed to develop another allergy.”
“You know I’m only allergic to down, peanuts, and- achoo! - raw poultry.” She glared at him suspiciously, rubbing her nose with a handkerchief. “You haven’t tried to smuggle in another down pillow?”
“It’s not,” Draco snapped, rolling over again. “I still say we should use separate rooms. Now that Scorpius is gone it won’t scar him in the slightest, and I could use whatever bedding I like.”
Harry thought he was prepared, but as usual it was never enough. He could face the Dark Lord, the Ministry, and any number of freakish criminals with aplomb, but this was beyond his abilities to handle.
The room lights dimmed, some sort of sultry music began as Ginny emerged slowly from the loo and spun about in the half-light.
She was wearing what looked to be around half of a rather unfortunate rabbit, the fur straining dangerously against her curves. Her long hair was free of its usual bun, but seemed to be put up with... oh god. A ribbon, and some sort of bone.
Harry smiled weakly. “That’s... creative, Gin.”
She hopped up on the bed, straddling his prone body, and thrust a small package at him.
“There’s a matching version for you,” she said, rummaging inside and pulling out the rest of the rabbit. “And here’s your club.”
“So you can knock me over the head and drag me back to your cave,” she said with a leer. “And look- it’s charmed to vibrate!”
Harry shivered, pushing the offending item as far away as possible.
“Look, Gin, maybe we should save this for later...”
“Don’t worry,” she chirped, “I’ve got enough for something new every day this month!”
“No butts,” she said sternly. “The club doesn’t have a flange.”
When he woke the next morning Millicent was already dressed and gone.
Draco staggered off to shower, dress, and charm his recalcitrant hair, then made his way downstairs in search of food and caffeine.
Millicent was hunched over her tea, squinting at him through red and puffy eyes.
“What happened to you?” he croaked, clutching greedily at the hot cup at his seat.
“I don’t know,” she muttered. “Definitely allergies, though- the house elves are double-checking the room, and I’m off to St. Mungo’s if they don’t find the culprit. It’s been better out here.”
Draco gulped his coffee and leaned over to pat her hand. “They’ll fix it,” he said absently, reaching for the toast.
“Look at this!” She held up her hand, which was turning an angry red where Draco had touched it.
He raised his eyebrows.
“Maybe you’re just allergic to me,” he said, turning back to his tea and reaching for the marmalade. “That certainly wouldn’t pose too many problems, and I’d get my own rooms.”
She left the table in a huff, soon followed by an angry yell of “St. Mungo’s!” and the whoosh of the floo.
Harry woke early, managing to slip out of bed without waking Ginny, and bolted for the shower. He removed the rabbit-thing gingerly, fantasized momentarily about trying to flush it, then reluctantly added it to Ginny’s special hamper under the sink.
He stood under the hot flowing water, letting it flow over his shoulders and beat into his tense muscles. Ginny’s efforts to “spice up their marriage” were quite possibly the worst thing he could imagine. She said he lacked imagination, and “needed a bit of pepping-up.”
At least she managed to behave normally in public, he reflected. Probably no-one knew except for George, who sold them to her in the first place. He’d tried insisting she not take gifts from her brother’s store, so she started buying the awful things.
Now that both boys were gone, she was stepping up her efforts. Next year when Lily went off to school too... he shivered under the hot water. Maybe she’d have gotten it out of her system by then.
Harry stepped out and toweled off, cast a warming charm, and tossed on his robes.
Lily would be up already, and lonely by herself- maybe they could have a day out together in town. His full attention for the day (and a bit of ice cream) might almost make up for the boys’ abandoning her for Hogwarts.
The leaves were beginning to turn, Draco noticed as he stepped out of the Apparition point. Yesterday he had barely noticed his surroundings, focused as he was on Scorpius. Today promised to be crisp and clear.
He buttoned his collar a bit tighter against the wind, tucked his head down, and made his way towards Gringotts.
He looked up sharply just as a rather tousled Blaise Zabini grabbed his arm.
“Draco, did you know I just inherited ten million Galleons?” Zabini asked, gazing up at Draco adoringly. “And your hairline hasn’t moved an inch.”
“Get off me, Blaise,” Draco hissed. “I’m sorry to hear about your mother, but that’s not a reason to accost me in the street. We were over twelve years ago, and nothing has changed. What’s wrong with you?”
“But Draaaaaaaaco...” Zabini wailed, still clutching his arm.
“Stop. Touching. Me. In. Public.” Draco wrenched his arm away, and at Zabini’s hopeful look added hastily, “Or in private. That’s over.”
He stalked away, trying not to look over his shoulder while still listening for footsteps.
When he finally paused by the goblin guards at the entrance to Gringotts, Zabini was still standing where he’d left him, looking confused and forlorn.
Their first stop was, of course, Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes.
Ginny had placed a moratorium on visits in the week before Hogwarts resumed, presuming (rightly, Harry thought) that Uncle George would load the boys up with illicit gags and treats. Of course, she couldn’t intercept all the owls to the house, so there was probably still enough contraband in their trunks to support a small guerrilla uprising.
Lily tugged on his hand, stopping just in front of the chicken-feathered front door.
“Dad,” she asked urgently, “how much can I bring home with me?”
“One small bag, just like always,” he answered. “Your Mum won’t have any more than that in the house in one go.”
“But what if there’s only one small bag left when we get home?”
Harry grinned. “Go for it.”
Lily gave him a hug and dashed into the store in a shower of white feathers, the door squawking behind her.
Harry followed more sedately, carefully bypassing what might (or might not) be fake dog poop on the stairs, and ruffling few enough feathers that the door continued its contented clucking.
“Harry!” George set a giggling Lily down just in time to sweep Harry up in a bear hug. “How’s it been, mate?”
“Not so bad yet,” Harry answered. “Lily’s still around, so things aren’t too quiet.”
Lily disappeared around a pile of “Automatic Wedgie” pants, making a beeline for the candies.
“George,” Harry lowered his voice, “Could you please stop giving Ginny all of that...” he gestured towards the purple-lit back room labeled Warning: Age Line, “...all of that stuff?”
“But Harry,” George said, trying to look innocent. “She’s a paying customer. And anyway, I can’t tell my little sister no.”
“You’re going to have to try,” Harry said grimly. “It’s getting to be a bit much.”
“She said you loved that blonde wig...”
“Now look, Harry, be practical.” George leaned in closer. “I know you need something, and if role-play and toys aren’t doing it, I’ve got some potions you should try.”
“I don’t need any potions,” Harry snapped. “What did Ginny tell you?”
“She said enough,” George answered carefully. “Calm down, Harry. I won’t tell anyone else- I just want my baby sister to be happy.”
Harry continued glaring, and George sighed, scratching his remaining ear.
“Just give it a try.”
But Harry had turned on his heel and was halfway across the shop. He gathered a protesting Lily, who already had two full bags of toys and sweets, and left, the door squawking angrily in his wake.
Gringotts was uneventful- it was early, the bank was near-empty, and the goblins had been as surly and efficient as ever. But Draco couldn’t shake the strange feeling from his encounter with Zabini.
The man hadn’t exactly looked mad from grief, and there was no way his mother was suddenly worth ten million Galleons.
Maybe Zabini was having some sort of manic episode- that would explain it. He’d always been a bit dramatic, so if he’d gone round the twist... well.
Thankfully he had gone by the time Draco left Gringotts. A repeat performance would have been horribly embarrassing.
He paused in the middle of the empty street and cast a quick Tempus. Half an hour before his next appointment, plenty of time for a quick indulgence.
After a morning like this he needed something to calm his nerves.
“Yes Lily, two scoops,” Harry said preemptively, rolling his eyes at an amused Florian Fortescue. “And I’ll take one of pumpkin-ginger.”
He paid for both of them, then made his way towards an empty table along the wall. Lily remained pressed up against the glass separating her from the ice cream, breath fogging the glass around her fingers as she struggled to decide.
The doorbell tinkled once more, and Harry looked up to see Draco Malfoy for the second time in as many days. After so many years he was suddenly everywhere, Harry thought, staring.
Malfoy still looked carefully put-together, but perhaps a bit worn around the edges. Maybe sending his son off to school was tough on him as well.
The other man didn’t notice him, so Harry nibbled his ice cream and watched with curiosity as he queued up behind the still-indecisive Lily. After a few moments Malfoy crouched down beside her.
“I recommend the Butterbeer-raisin,” he said. “It was my favorite when I was your age.”
“But I get two scoops,” Lily said, still attached to the glass.
“Then add pumpkin-ginger,” Malfoy said with a small grin. “That’s my favorite now.”
Lily shook her head. “That’s what my dad got,” she said. “I’ll get something different.”
Harry held his breath as Malfoy stood and started to turn, but was stopped by Florian’s aged but sturdy grip on his arm.
“Here’s a double pumpkin-ginger, on the house,” Florian said, shoving a cone across the counter and staring glassily at Malfoy. “Did you know I make it all myself, by magic? I can break Gamp’s Third Law of elemental transfiguration.”
Malfoy jerked away as if burned, still gripping his ice cream with a white-knuckled hand, but was blocked by the young wizard from the next table.
“I’m a go-go dancer at The Chimera,” he said, clutching at Malfoy’s robes as his girlfriend looked on in horror. “And I own half of Diagon Alley!”
“Witch Weekly voted me Best Dressed three years in a row!” yelled a paunchy middle-aged wizard, dropping his cone and waving his arms as he scuttled towards Malfoy. “I’m Keeper for the English team!”
Harry bolted across the room, wand out, grabbed Malfoy around the waist and yanked him away from the gathering crowd, yelling ”Protego!”
The shield charm knocked them back long enough for him steer Malfoy towards Lily, and Apparate the three of them to a corner of the empty park across the street.
He deposited them under the nearest shrub, shook his arms to dispel the strange tingling sensation, and peeked over the hedgerow.
Everyone in Florian’s stood looking around, dazed. Florian eventually shook his head and went back to scooping ice cream and the middle-aged man ordered a replacement cone, but the witch stormed out, leaving the young man staring after her in confusion.
Harry turned to see Lily making short work of Malfoy’s double pumpkin-ginger, as its previous owner eyed him suspiciously.
“Anything you need to say to me, Potter?” Malfoy asked, both hands clutching anxiously at his hair.
“Not particularly,” Harry answered with a shrug. “I just want to know why everyone in Fortescue’s acted like you were a Veela in heat. You didn’t buy anything from Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes, did you?”
Malfoy’s face shifted rapidly through a succession of emotions before settling into a general twitchy nervousness.
“I’m not stupid, Potter,” he said at last, voice strained. “Thank you for your help, but I must be off.”
“Look, Malfoy,” Harry said, “I don’t know how, but someone must have given you some sort of weird potion. You should go to St. Mungo’s and get checked out.”
“No time now,” Malfoy said, reaching into his robes while keeping the other hand firmly atop his head. “I’m going home.”
“Are you sure you’re OK?” Harry asked, eyeing him carefully. He put his hand out. “I can take you side-along, if you think...”
“No!” Malfoy practically squeaked, jumping backwards. “I’ll be fine. Thank you, goodbye.”
And he spun about and Disapparated.
Harry stared at the spot for a moment, bemused, then turned back to Lily, who was just finishing the last of Malfoy’s ice cream cone.
“Ready to go home?” he asked, reaching for her free hand.
She shook her head firmly. “I want to look at brooms, and you promised I could try the other half of Uncle George’s toys before we go home!”
Harry sighed and took her hand. “Well, something like that.”
Draco collapsed into the desk chair, and pointed his quivering wand at the library shelves.
“Accio Malfoy Geneology!” he whispered, and an enormous volume sailed towards him. He guided it gently onto the desk, then began paging through, scribbling occasional notes on the adjacent parchment. Several other books eventually followed, joining the gathering pile on the desk.
He barely noticed when the light waned and a house elf lit candles on the wall above him, and consumed the tea and biscuits it brought without looking up from his work.
Finally he slammed his book shut, and stared moodily at it through the haze of freshly disturbed dust.
“Bloody hell,” he muttered. “This is not good.”
“So then Malfoy got all twitchy and Disapparated,” Harry said. “Does that make any sense to you?”
“Not a bit, mate,” Ron answered.
“There’s always been something a bit queer about Malfoy,” Ginny said, standing up to clear the table. “I wouldn’t worry about it. Lily?”
“Mr. Malfoy gave me his ice cream,” Lilly said, eyeing the rest of Harry’s pie.
“Lovely, but you still get to help with the dishes,” Ginny answered, passing her the pile of plates.
“You going to eat that?” Ron asked, reaching for Harry’s plate. He gave Lily an unapologetic smirk as he tugged the rest of her father’s pie across the table, and Hermione rolled her eyes.
Lily stuck out her tongue at Ron, and reluctantly followed her mother into the kitchen.
“But it was weird, Harry said, leaning back in is chair and staring at the table. “He’s got to be up to something.”
“You’re obsessing,” Ron said around a mouthful of apple. “You were just like this most of sixth year.”
“Yeah, but I was right,” Harry said sulkily. “Malfoy was in over his head, messing around with that vanishing cabinet.”
“Harry.” Hermione looked up at him. “So you didn’t do anything strange while Malfoy was around?”
“No, of course not.”
“Who else behaved normally?” She asked.
“Well, Lily of course,” Harry answered, tipping his chair back and staring up in thought. “And that fellow’s girlfriend seemed perfectly normal. There wasn’t anyone else in the shop.”
“I bet she dumped him pretty quick,” Ron said, scraping up the last crumbs with his fork. “Hopping all over Malfoy like that would be a right turn-off.”
Harry snickered, then realized Hermione was still staring at him.
“When was the last time you saw Malfoy?” She asked, pulling out a bit of parchment and starting to jot down notes.
“At the station yesterday,” Harry answered.
“No, before that,” she said impatiently, tapping her quill. “Have you seen him since the trial?”
“No,” Harry said, “Why on earth would that matter?”
“We’ve got to go,” Hermione said, rising and reaching for Ron. “I’ll look something up and get back to you.”
“Hermione!” Harry set his chair down with a thump. “What’s going on?”
“Yeah, what’s up?” Ron asked, fumbling for his scarf.
“I don’t want to say anything until I’ve checked,” she said firmly. “I’ll owl you tomorrow.”
She shrugged on her coat and gave Harry a quick hug. “It might be nothing, and I don’t want to worry you.”
“I get more nervous when you don’t tell me,” Harry said, but she was already half-way out the door.
“Goodnight Lily! See you, Ginny! ” Ron yelled down the hall, giving Harry a final wave before clicking the door shut behind him.
Draco sidled into the dining room.
“What did St. Mungo’s say?” He asked, leaning against the door frame.
“Nothing useful,” Millicent answered, setting down her wine glass. “They said it was an allergic reaction, but there aren’t any new allergies- still just birds and peanuts.”
“Yeah, and it’s not like you’re smuggling pigeons in your robes.” She rolled her eyes. “They’ll be sending someone over tomorrow to check the house and make sure we don’t have some sort of infestation.”
Draco cleared his throat, and she glared at him.
“You aren’t, right?”
“No,” he muttered “No pigeons. But St.Mungo’s won’t be coming by tomorrow.”
“This isn’t the time to worry about your privacy,” she snapped. “I need to know what’s making me sick!”
Draco paused, and cleared his throat nervously. “You’re allergic to me, Mill.”
“I don’t want to-”
“Just tell me, you chicken-shit bastard!”
“It’s... well,” he paused, adjusting his sleeves, then looked up at her.
“I’m apparently a Veela.”
Millicent hurled the empty glass at his head and he ducked, wincing at the sound of smashing glass behind him.
“Do you think I’m some sort of idiot?” She yelled, shoving her chair back and jumping to her feet, her hands curled into angry fists. “If you were a Veela it would have become obvious at least fifteen years ago. What exactly are you trying to pull?”
“Nothing!” Draco said, backing into the doorway. “I just read everything the library has on Veela- under some circumstances part-bloods don’t manifest until late in life.”
“What circumstances?” Millicent spat. “This had better not have anything to do with Zabini.”
Draco sighed and leaned back against the doorframe, closing his eyes.
“Nothing even remotely that reasonable,” he muttered. “You’re never going to believe this.”
She narrowed her eyes. “So talk.”
The Auror department was remarkably quiet the next morning, and Harry couldn’t keep his mind off of Malfoy.
After two cups of tea, five uninteresting department memos, and three visits to the loo, before mid-morning Harry gave up. He grabbed his cloak, scribbled a note on the back of the least-relevant memo, and headed to the Apparition point.
A quick spin and a gut-wrenching moment later, he found himself in front of Malfoy Manor. A disturbingly chirpy house elf showed him into an enormous sitting room, practically forced him onto the over-stuffed couch, and plied him with tea before disappearing to “inform Master.”
He thought he caught the sound of breaking crockery, but before he could unroll his Extendible Ears, the door burst open.
Malfoy was flushed and panting lightly, his hair stuck up in chunks, and a fine red line on his cheek was just beginning to bleed.
“What do you want, Potter?”
Harry stared at him.
“I wanted to see if you were OK,” he said, still transfixed by the sight of a disheveled Malfoy. The blood was beading up, and about to fall...
“Bloody hell, Potter!”
Harry froze, his hand inches away from Malfoy’s cheek. His index finger was tingling, the tip covered in a bright red drop of blood.
Malfoy was pressed back hard against the wall, eyes frantic.
Harry had no memory of getting off the couch, much less crossing the room to stand in front of Malfoy.
“Sorry,” he muttered, voice suddenly hoarse. He began to step back, unconsciously sticking the bloody fingertip into his mouth.
Harry stopped abruptly, staring wide-eyed as a sharp jolt ricocheted through his body. He saw the shock mirrored in Malfoy’s eyes, and the other man began to glow.
“What did you...” he asked, but Malfoy was already on him.
The force of his kiss was stunning- Harry had never even imagined anything like it before, and he matched its passionate intensity without thought.
Hands threaded through his hair, tipping his head back, and Harry moaned as Malfoy’s mouth left his and moved, licking and sucking, along his jaw and down his neck. He reached for Malfoy’s waist, pulling him in close and grinding against his hips. One of Malfoy’s hands swept downwards, clamping against Harry’s arse as he thrust up against him.
Harry stumbled backwards, crashing into into the low arm of the sofa and flipping back, gasping, Malfoy’s weight pushing him down. He wormed his hands upwards into the other man’s robes, his own dick straining within his pants. He found a belt and began to work at the clasp, feeling the radiant heat of Malfoy’s body as he got closer to what he so desperately wanted...
“Back the fuck off, Potter!”
Harry whimpered. Malfoy was suddenly gone, his heat and his hands and his mouth... he reached up, dazed, searching for what he’d lost.
Harry’s eyes finally focused on the furious woman glaring down at him, her wand out and pointed at the center of his chest.
Oh gods, what had he done?
He sat up slowly, tugging his collar up to cover his throbbing neck, and running an ineffectual hand through his hair.
Malfoy was pulling his robes back together and edging towards the door, but the woman (Merlin, it was Malfoy’s wife!) slammed it shut with a flick of her wand.
“I’m not finished with you yet,” she growled. “But you, Potter- get out of here.”
She thrust a packet of green powder at him and conjured a small flame in the fireplace.
He hesitated, glancing at Malfoy, who didn’t look up.
“Go!” She raised her wand in warning, and Harry dove for the floo.
Millicent rounded on him, staring. “He doesn’t know, does he.”
Draco shook his head. He opened his mouth to reply, but she held up her hand.
“Draco, this can’t go on.”
“I’m so sorry, Mill- I won’t let it...”
“You can’t do anything about it,” she said, more gently this time. “I’m furious with you, but this Veela thing is beyond either of us.”
He sat down slowly, and held out a plaintive hand. Millicent stared at it until he hastily pulled it back, giving her an apologetic grin as he shifted further over. She settled onto the sofa beside him, leaning against the far arm.
“I’m still sorry,” he said. “You know I’d never intentionally do this to you.”
They sat silently for a while, staring at the remaining bits of flame in the hearth.
“Look, it’s been good for both of us,” Millicent said finally. “A sensible marriage, and a fair trade.”
He nodded. “Scorpius is certainly even more than I had hoped.”
“Your father was particularly enamored with my child-bearing hips,” Millicent said with a dry laugh. “He thought the Malfoy line was in danger of becoming too... delicate.”
Draco snorted. “Effeminate, you mean.”
“Call it what you like,” she said with a grin, “but it does seems to have worked.”
He gave a wan smile in return, regarding her carefully for a few moments.
“What do you want me to do?”
“Call you solicitor, and we’ll draw up the papers tonight,” she said, regarding him calmly. “Then you can go to him- I have what I need.”
He reached to hug her but she flinched away from his touch.
“Birds,” he sighed. “Right. Sorry.”
Harry had just gotten out of the bath, towel around his waist, when Ginny came home.
He hastily cast a concealment charm over the marks on his neck as she clattered about the kitchen, dropping his wand back on the bureau as she opened the bedroom door.
“Harry,” she said, batting her eyelashes coyly, “you decided to surprise me!”
“Yeah,” he said, fumbling through the drawer for his trousers, “I thought I’d stop by for lunch with you and Lily.”
“Don’t bother with those,” Ginny purred, catching his hands and prying them off the trousers. “Lily is off with her cousins, and we’ve got plenty of time before lunch.”
She dropped them on the floor, gave his bum a tweak through the towel, and headed towards her bureau. “I’ve got something special in store for you today.”
Harry sat down heavily on the bed, staring at Ginny as she hummed to herself, rummaging through that drawer, searching for his tiny, no doubt silky doom.
“I can’t do this anymore,” he said finally.
“What’s that?” she called over her shoulder, wriggling her ample rear end at him as she dug further into the drawer. His mind flashed back to the feel of Malfoy’s sharp angles as he pressed Harry into the sofa, and he reached up nervously toward the still-tender skin on his neck.
“This,” he said, his voice as hollow as he felt. “Us. I can’t handle it anymore.”
Ginny slammed the drawer shut and snapped upright.
“Excuse me?” she said, eyes narrowed dangerously. “After all of the work I put in to you and this marriage, you can’t handle it anymore?”
“You’d damn well better explain yourself,” she spat, stalking over to loom in front of him, arms crossed. “After all the excuses I’ve made for you, this had better be good.”
He stared at her helplessly. “Ginny, I...”
“No excuses!” she snapped. “Just tell me.”
“I...” Harry swallowed, staring down at his knees for a moment, then looking up again to meet Ginny’s fiery glare. “I think I might like men.”
She gaped at him for a moment, then fell sideways onto the bed, cackling hysterically, barely managing to breathe.
“Merlin,” she choked out between wheezes, “you would make the worst gay wizard on the entire bloody planet.”
He stared at her.
“You’re joking, right?” she asked, sitting up and searching his face.
Harry shook his head, and she smacked him, hard.
“I’ve wasted my entire life on you,” she yelled, “and now you tell me?”
“But Ginny, I thought...”
“I should have listened to them,” she muttered. “He warned me, but I called him an idiot.”
“Who?” Harry stared in confusion.
Ginny grabbed her wand and stormed about the room, flicking open drawers and sending their contents flying into her trunk. The lid finally slammed shut, and she spun to confront him, hands on her hips.
“Fred and George,” she said, her voice dangerously brittle. “They always thought you were a bit nancy. George reckons that’s why you can barely get it up without something up your bum.”
“You told him what?” Harry’s voice rose, and he could feel himself flushing red. “That’s personal. How could you-”
“Stuff it, you bloody prat,” she said, cutting him off with a withering glare. “I did everything in this relationship, and you have no right to complain about my efforts.”
“Goodbye, Harry.” She levitated the trunk out the bedroom door, and stalked after it, pausing for a moment in the doorway, arms folded. “I’m taking Lily to the Burrow. If you follow us I’ll hex your nuts off.”
“I’ll be back for more of our things tonight. Make sure you’re gone by eight.”
She spun, and the door slammed shut behind her.
Harry stared after her, unsure whether he was more worried or relieved.
Actually, he reflected, as his thoughts wandered back to Malfoy, maybe he was just plain scared.
“That wasn’t so hard,” Millicent said, rubbing her quill-hand. “Though I don’t know why a charmed signature isn’t binding.”
“Our solicitor wouldn’t be able to bill as many hours,” Draco said with a rueful grin. “A modified Quick-Quotes quill would be fast, though probably easier to forge.”
“I’m glad that’s what you’re concerned about,” she said, rolling her eyes at him. “What are your plans tonight?”
“I... don’t know.” Draco shifted uneasily. “According to the books there’s a time limit- if I don’t see him soon things will get worse pretty fast.”
“Then go see him,” Millicent said, leaning across the desk and propping her head on one arm. “How hard is that?”
“What, just head to Potter’s house and jump him?” Draco snorted. “I can see it now- Excuse me, Mrs. Weasel-Potter, I’m a part-blood Veela in heat, and your husband is my soul-mate. Mind if we fuck on the sofa?”
“Not such a bad idea,” Millicent said, waving her free hand. “Simple, direct, and effective. Positively Gryffindor.”
“You’re forgetting one thing,” he retorted. “I can’t go running after Potter.”
“And why not?” she asked, grinning.
“Because my family doesn’t behave like sex-crazed weasels,” Draco said primly.
Millicent snickered evilly.
“That explains why you tackled Potter onto the drawing room sofa and snogged him senseless earlier today,” she said. “Good show upholding the family pride.”
“You have to draw the line somewhere,” he said, glowering at her. “I’m not doing that again.”
“He’s going to feel the pull too, right?” Millicent asked with a yawn, stretching as Draco nodded back sullenly. “Well then, go out and have fun. Make Potter do the work.”
“What do you mean?”
“You know exactly what I mean,” she said, staring at him frankly. “Get all kitted up, go out to one of those pretty-boy dance clubs you love so much, and wait for Potter to come to you.
“I’m too old for that,” he muttered, “and anyway, I’d be mobbed in a second.”
“Bollocks,” she retorted. “You snuck out to one last month, and I can cast a Disillusionment Charm strong enough to cover your Veela problem for a few hours.”
He ran a hand through his hair. “But…”
“I’ve also figured out how to modify your hair charms for Veela-effect feathers,” she cut in. “You’ll be fine.”
Draco stared at her for a moment, silent.
“I really don’t deserve you, Mill,” he said.
“You’re bloody lucky,” she said drily. “Now go- he’ll find you.”
“Harry!” Hermione dusted the ash off her robes and wandered through the dining room. “Harry?”
“He’s out,” Ginny yelled from the kitchen.
Hermione followed the sounds of crashing crockery into the kitchen. “When will he be back?”
“I don’t fucking care,” Ginny snapped, continuing to send dishes cascading into a large crate. “I’m leaving that two-faced bastard.”
“He knows?” Hermione asked in surprise. “He told you?”
“You already knew, and didn’t tell me?” Ginny yelled, twitching her wand and smashing a bowl into the wall.
“But I just…”
“Out! Get out!”
Hermione dodged a teacup and ran for the floo.
Harry trudged out of the Leaky Cauldron, scuffing his trainers against the cobblestones.
It was past ten o’clock -- how long was he supposed to stay out, anyway? He shivered, the cold autumn wind cutting through his cloak as he wandered aimlessly along the streets. He couldn’t shake the feeling that he needed to be somewhere.
All of the shops were closed, and Nocturne Alley looked even more dark and forbidding than usual as he passed it by.
He turned, following some unknown internal compass, heading up one of the smaller side street. A door opened in the darkness ahead, spilling music and a flash of colored light out onto the cobbles, along with an extremely well-dressed wizard who stepped aside and Disapparated.
Harry paused in front of the door, which featured a large and finely-carved chimera. He felt a sudden fascination with the place.
It was clearly a club of some sort, and he’d rarely been out anywhere but the corner pub and an occasional trip to the Leaky since the kids arrived. He’d certainly never frequented any dance clubs, but this seemed as good an opportunity as any to explore. The chimera winked at him, and Harry made up his mind.
He shrugged, pulled open the door, and stepped into a world of pulsating light and sound. He cast a quick noise damping charm, and stepped past the doorman into the crush of bodies.
There were lots of men about, he noticed as he worked his way towards the bar, and most of them were wearing- he gulped- not much.
He stared in fascination, watching the play of silk and leather about broad expanses of bare, toned flesh, and felt his cock twitch again.
Gods, apparently he did like men.
“Start with a drink,” the bartender suggested, startling him out of his blissful reverie. “First one’s on the house.” The man shoved him a glass of something green and fruity-smelling, with a cherry and a small paper umbrella on top.
Harry nodded his thanks, and clutched the drink nervously as he turned to inspect the dance floor. It was full of sweating, gyrating, gorgeous young wizards who seemed oblivious to anything but pure physicality and the driving force of the music.
He scanned the suspended cages, and promptly choked on his drink as he recognized the young man from Fortescue’s.
He was decked out in a pair of tight, shiny red shorts and matching sparkly knee-high boots, alternately twirling about his cage and grinding against the bars as he moved to the music. The boy’s dark-rimmed eyes were half-closed, and he smiled to himself as he pressed his hips up against the bars, arching backwards in apparent ecstasy.
Harry tore his eyes away, and looked back at the seething throng on the dance floor. There seemed to be an empty space near the right corner, particularly surprisng given the tight press of bodies elsewhere. He gulped down the rest of his drink and left the glass on the bar, maneuvering towards the odd space on the floor.
The dancers’ behavior was even stranger up close. The wizards eddied about- first they would dive purposefully towards the center of the space, then meander back out looking somewhat confused.
Harry adjusted his wand, shrugged off his heavy cloak and dropped it in a corner, and followed them in.
The dense pressure of bodies was almost too much for him, but he continued towards his goal, rubbing a hand across the occasional sweat-slicked back to make space as he wormed his way through the crush.
Finally the pressure in front of him eased, and he looked up to see a glowing black-and-white shape dancing in a in the open space at the center of the crowd. He watched, mesmerized by the dancer’s sinuous movement, eyes fixed firmly on the most sinfully tight pair of leather trousers in the entire world.
He finally looked up, and found himself transported the last few feet across the floor. His hips melded seamlessly against those tight leather trousers, the stiff cock within them pressing heavily against Harry’s as they moved in sync. Merlin, it felt good.
“Took you long enough, Potter,” Malfoy breathed into his ear, hands sweeping around to cup Harry’s arse.
“Malfoy,” Harry whispered, shivering. He ran his palms over Malfoy’s back and shoulders, then slid one inside the half-unbuttoned shirt to rest atop his chest as the other wound into the back of Malfoy’s hair.
Harry leaned forward, resting his forehead against Malfoy’s as they swayed together. “What have you done to me,” he murmured, staring at Malfoy hungrily. “I can’t think of anything else but getting you out of here and naked.”
“Veela soul-mate,” Malfoy whispered back.
“What?” Harry’s thumb swept over a nipple, and he leaned down to nibble on Malfoy’s neck.
“Gods, Potter,” Malfoy gasped, his grip on Harry’s arse tightening. “Let’s go before the Disillusionment charm wears off.”
He moved back up and gave Malfoy a lingering kiss before pulling back. “Where?”
“My place. Now.”
Granger rose nervously from the sofa as Millicent walked in.
“I do hope this isn’t about work?” she inquired, shaking Granger’s hand and settling into a wing-backed chair. She suppressed a smirk as the other woman settled back onto the end of the couch.
“No,” Granger said, fidgeting with the edge of her robes. “It’s about your husband.”
Millicent raised her eyebrows in inquiry.
“And Harry Potter,” Granger plunged on, clearly prepared to finish her prepared speech.
“You mean the whole Veela soul-mate problem?”
Granger’s shock was beautiful to watch, but she recovered quickly.
“Exactly,” she said, nodding. “If they don’t form a steady pair-bond within the week, it will do them irreparable harm.”
Millicent looked at the clock.
“That shouldn’t be a problem,” she said. “I’d bet they’ve found each other by now- I had the house-elves prepare the master suite.”
“This doesn’t bother you at all?” Granger asked, watching her carefully.
“A bit,” Millicent admitted, “but I’m pragmatic. I have his name, a son, and an assured income- it’s better than I’d expected after the war.”
There was a crashing noise in the front hall.
“They’re home,” she said crisply, rising and heading towards the open door.
She stopped short and peeked around the frame, and heard Granger’s sharp intake of breath behind her.
The two men were glowing. Draco’s back was firmly planted against the wall, his sweat-soaked shirt half-off as Potter clumsily worked his way through the rest of the buttons without breaking their kiss. Draco’s hands started on Potter’s arse, then moved frantically towards the front of his trousers, unbuttoning and reaching...
Millicent closed the door firmly, ignoring Granger’s moan of frustration.
“They’re clearly going to be safe,” she said, reaching for the floo powder. “Time to go home.”
Draco reached for Potter’s trousers, unbuttoning them and reaching for that wonderful cock he’d felt digging into his hip ever since they met at the club. Potter moaned his encouragement as he finally cleared the last button and tugged the shirt out of his way, then started to work on the trousers.
The pressure on his cock through the trousers was almost enough to do him in, but he managed to hold on long enough for Potter to undo the zip and free his aching dick. The feel of Potter’s warm hands on his dick was even better, and he yelped when they were replaced by Potter’s even hotter wet mouth.
He tangled his hands in Potter’s mop of hair, trying to hold back, but within seconds he was coming, yelling incoherently as he spilled down Potter’s throat.
Draco shivered, suddenly chilled, as Potter released his spent cock and stood up, grinning at him with heavy-lidded eyes. He wrapped Draco’s hand around his still-erect dick, and leaned in against him.
“Want to fuck you,” he whispered huskily. “Where?”
Draco’s dick twitched, and he licked Potter’s neck as he gave the other man’s cock a squeeze.
Harry woke late the next morning, feeling warmer and happier than he could ever remember.
He opened his eyes to find himself in a sea of white feathers, with a warm naked body pressed up against his own.
Malfoy was gorgeous, he thought. The feathers had worked into his long tousled blond hair, which was sticking up like a peacock’s crest, and his long arms and legs wound around Harry’s before disappearing into the white fluffy mass.
Best of all, Malfoy’s cock was firm and full against Harry’s stomach. He reached down and gave it a few light strokes, and the other man nuzzled more deeply into his neck.
“Again?” Malfoy murmured sleepily.
“Are you complaining?” Harry asked, continuing his ministrations.
“Mmmmm, no,” Malfoy said, rolling his hips and reaching for Harry’s dick. “But my arse may not be able to take much more.”
“Same here,” Harry said with a wry grin, “but my hands and mouth still work.”
Malfoy nipped at his shoulder.
“What’s with the feathers?” he asked.
“Millicent’s idea of a joke,” Malfoy answered. “The whole Veela thing.”
“Care to explain that one?” Harry asked, his hands still. “First I was immune to your crazy Veela-charms, then everything suddenly went nuts and here we are, naked and sore.”
“We’re soul-mates,” Malfoy said simply. “It just erupted late in life because I’m only part-blood, and didn’t see you for years after I came of age.”
“This doesn’t have anything to do with the Elder Wand, does it?” Harry asked suspiciously.
“Dumbledore’s gay wood has nothing to do with ours, I can assure you,” Malfoy answered firmly, giving Harry’s cock a squeeze for emphasis.
Harry groaned. “Please, never say that again.”
“So, shut me up,” Malfoy said, rolling over and grinning down at Harry, who responded by wrapping an arm around the back of his neck and kissing him soundly.
“Veela soul-mates,” Harry mused as he released Malfoy. “How long will it last?”
Malfoy stared down at him. “Forever.”
“Forever?” Harry asked, eyebrows raised. “I’ll have to tell the kids, then.”
“Are you complaining?” Malfoy ground his hips against Harry’s.
“Mmmmm, no,” Harry gasped. He rolled over, flipping Malfoy onto his back and straddling his hips. “Definitely not.”
He cupped Malfoy’s face within both hands and smoothed his hair back, then leaned in for a long, lingering kiss.
“If this is forever,” he whispered, “I’ll take it.”