Disclaimer – All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc., are the property of their respective owners. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended. This work includes direct quotes from the Harry Potter series including, but not limited to, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Members of the Chudley Cannons Quidditch team are named for members of the U.S. Men's World Cup Team.
This fic was written as part of the 2014 Harry/Draco Career Fair based on a prompt submitted by huldrejenta. I would like to thank my Project Team Beta transit betas hammondgirl, ElleCC, Spider Lilly, and Thir13enth and especially my permanent assignment beta, wifie29, who agreed to beta the fic from beginning to end. Also thank you to all the lovely Brits at hp_britglish for helping this American to British her writing up a bit. Last but not least, thank you to huldrejenta for her awesome prompt. There is a reference to past dubious consent but not regarding Harry/Draco.
THE SUN WILL COME OUT
The front door slammed shut with resolute finality, and Draco hung his head in spite of the anger coursing through him. The heavy sound signalled more than just the departure of Miss Westbourne. After fifteen years, he was giving up. He conceded defeat. They'd won. He was ready to do what so many others like him had already done—chuck it. Why shouldn't he? There was nothing to keep them in England now, not anymore.
He ground his teeth together, and his hand itched to grab his wand and go after the witch, teach her a thing or two himself. He would dearly love to teach her exactly what those two words she threw about so easily really meant.
Rather than head towards the door, Draco took a deep breath and exhaled long and loud through his nose. Anger pulsed through him, and he indulged himself by imagining showing Little-Miss-Never-Even-Fought-In-The-Fucking-War-Westbourne and all the others like her exactly what it had been like. But imagining it was all he allowed himself. He took two more deep breaths and turned to climb the stairs. People said, or so he'd heard, that forgiveness freed the person who forgave far more than it did the one who was forgiven. He didn't know about that, but apparently, deciding one had had enough worked the same way. The countless Miss Westbournes of the world might have won, but in doing so, they'd lost their power over him. The battle was over, and they no longer mattered. All that mattered was waiting for him upstairs.
Pushing open the heavy oak door, Draco entered his son's bedroom. Scorpius sat on the floor playing with his Quidditch figures while a house-elf stood watch. "Hey, monkey," Draco said softly.
Setting down the miniature Seeker, his son looked up at him. Scorpius was Draco in miniature. He had the same colouring, the same angular features. Looking at his son was like looking at himself at that age. The child was unmistakeably a Malfoy. Not for the first time did Draco wish his little boy had inherited his mother's dark hair and eyes. He wasn't foolish enough to think that just because the Miss Westbournes of the world no longer mattered to him that the reverse was true. With different features that didn't single him out as a Malfoy, Scorpius' future might be just a little less difficult.
"What did I do wrong, Daddy?"
"Nothing at all, Scorpius. It was she who was in the wrong, not you."
Draco sat down beside his son. He could see the questions forming behind the child's eyes. Why did she call you that, Daddy? Why did she say those things? What do those words mean? He'd known for six years that one day he would have to answer those questions, among others, and he'd sworn to himself he would tell his son the truth. Only, he'd hoped Scorpius would have been older when that time came. How did you explain to a six-year-old why people called his father things like Death Eater? He wouldn't lie to his son when the questions were asked, but if he could delay that day, he would.
"I don't like her, Daddy."
"Don't worry about it, monkey. I don't like her either. She won't be back."
The little boy sighed. "Do I hafta have another new teacher? I don't like teachers, Daddy. Why can't you just keep teaching me yourself? You're smarter than all of them."
"'Do I have to have another new teacher', Scorpius," Draco enunciated carefully. "Hafta is not a word. But, no. No more new teachers for a while." He pulled his son onto his lap and smiled. "How would you like to go on holiday?" he asked. He touched his forehead to his son's. "You and I can have an adventure."
"Yay!" Scorpius exclaimed. "Can we, Daddy?"
"Where're we goin', Daddy?"
Draco held his son close. First thing tomorrow morning, he was going to Floo call his probation officer at the Ministry and tell him they were leaving. He had no idea where they were going, nor did he care. He only knew they were leaving—leaving England, leaving Britain, leaving Europe. He would find his precious son somewhere to grow up where people wouldn't condemn him because of the Mark on his father's arm.
The lift came to an abrupt stop, and the magical voice announced their arrival on Level Seven. "Department of Magical Games and Sports, incorporating the British and Irish Quidditch League Headquarters, Official Gobstones Club, Ludicrous Patents Office, Foreign Affairs and Sports Department and the Office of Muggle and Magical Sports and Activities Interaction and Exchange."
Behind Harry, his godson, Teddy, sang along with whoever was the latest big name in music. The boy's eyes were closed, and his head was bowed as he bobbed it in time with the music playing over his mPod. Others on the lift were peeking at him out of the corners of their eyes and trying not to laugh. Fighting a smile himself, Harry called his name twice to no avail. He plucked one of the earbuds from Teddy's ears. "You're doing it again, mate," he said when the boy looked at him.
Teddy's face turned pink, and he quickly pulled the other earbud from his ear and stuffed both in his pocket.
Years ago, the Weasleys had all gone to a party for Hermione's parents' anniversary, and George had been perplexed by all the people in the streets with wires hanging from their ears. The idea of a small devise which played music that only the wearer could hear had excited him, and he'd set to work on creating the mPod almost the very moment he'd got back to his shop. The small, charmed squares of unbreakable glass combined with reworked extendable ears had taken the younger generation of wizards by storm—and earned their creator a huge pile of galleons.
"This is our floor," Harry said, but Teddy was already scurrying passed him off the lift, his eyes fixed firmly on the floor and the pink on his cheeks deepening to a true Gryffindor red.
"So, let me just do a bit of work, and we'll be off," Harry continued as they made their way down the corridor towards his office. When Teddy didn't respond, Harry elbowed him, grinning. "Not even a three."
Teddy looked at him, his embarrassment gone, replaced by puzzlement. His expression was the classic "I'll humour you because you're getting old, and your mind is starting to go" look teenagers so often gave their parents.
"On the scale of embarrassing things that will happen to you in your life, singing on a lift in front of strangers isn't even a three. Now, did I ever tell you about the time Uncle Ron tried to hex this git we went to Hogwarts with? The tosser was picking on Aunt Hermione, and Uncle Ron wanted to get him back. Except his wand was dodgy after a run-in with the Whomping Willow, so it backfired, and he hexed himself instead. In front of the whole school. Now, that? That, was a ten. Never, and I mean this Teddo, never cast a Slug-vomiting Charm with a dodgy wand."
"I won't," Teddy agreed, laughing.
Entering his office, Harry said, "I won't be long. Just have a few memos I have to get off, and then we can get going."
Gathering his notes from yesterday's meeting with his colleague in the Muggle world and the representative of the Department of Magical Transportation to review, Harry settled himself at his desk.
Harry was the head of the Office of Muggle and Magical Sports and Activities Interaction and Exchange. His job would be considered boring by many, but it suited him perfectly.
As had been universally expected, he'd begun Auror training almost immediately after the war. The need had been great, and it had been what he'd wanted to do since was thirteen. It had seemed like the inevitable course his life would take. But as right as the move had seemed, it was wrong. It had taken less than a month of training for him to realise the last thing he wanted was to be an Auror. The war was over. He'd been fighting the bad guys since he was eleven years old, and he was done with it. All he wanted was a nice, quiet life that did not involve the possibility of lethal curses on a daily basis. Now, Harry headed to the Atrium at the end of the day to Floo home and left his job behind.
A wonderful thing, that—leaving one's job behind one at the end of the day.
Harry glanced through his notes from yesterday's meeting.
While he hadn't wanted to become an Auror, he had wanted to contribute to the betterment of his world in some way, and he'd found that way quite unexpectedly. It hadn't quite hit him in the face, but it had been a near thing.
In the days, weeks, and months following the war, the Wizarding world had been in a beaten and bloodied state, much like a prize fighter at the end of a championship bout. People had been in a kind of a stupor. Like the prize fighter, they'd taken too many blows. Their world had still been standing at the end of the fight, but it had been standing on shaking legs.
Like so many others, Harry had volunteered to help rebuild Hogwarts. There had been many jobs which required specialised magical skills, but there'd been still many more that anyone competent with a wand could take on. After leaving Auror training, returning to Hogwarts to assist in the rebuilding was exactly what Harry had needed. He'd already learnt he hadn't wanted to fight. At Hogwarts, he'd learnt he wanted to build.
Not buildings, Harry had wanted to build the future.
Everyone in the Wizarding world had a stake in Hogwarts. Almost every witch or wizard in all of Britain had been educated there. People had still been scared in those early days after the war, and parents had been unwilling to be far from their children, who had been equally unwilling to be far from their parents. The result was that sometimes whole families—magical and mixed, parents and children—had turned up to do what they could to repair the damage done to their Hogwarts.
Harry'd been casting spells all day, and he'd been exhausted. There had been a tea tent set up to provide meals and refreshments to the volunteers, and as he'd made his way across the grounds towards it one afternoon, he'd seen a small group of young children kicking a ball around. They were the children of Muggle-born and Half-blood witches and wizards, and they'd got up an impromptu game of football whilst they'd waited for their parents to finish their shift. A group of Muggles, the children's non-magical parents, had been close by keeping watch.
Looking on, although from farther off, had been a group of Pure-blood children, also waiting for their parents or other family members who were working on the school. They'd been trying to look like they hadn't noticed the other children playing.
Harry had stood and observed. He'd waited and hoped, but what he'd waited and hoped for hadn't happened. No one had made any attempt to include the Pure-blood children in the game.
After the war, tension between Muggle-borns, Half-bloods and Pure-bloods had been extreme, with each group closing in on itself and suspicious of the other two. The tension between Muggle-borns and Half-bloods had been less than that between either group and Pure-bloods, but it had been there nonetheless.
There had been some, Harry among them, who feared the need to bring those responsible for so much destruction to justice might warp into vigilantism, that those who had been targeted and had suffered so terribly during the war might seek to retaliate against those responsible for their suffering. From there, it wouldn't be a far jump to spread the blame to any Pure-blood who couldn't prove they'd actively opposed Voldemort. They could so easily have had a second war on their hands if those tensions were not diffused.
Harry had watched the two groups of children, those included in the game and those excluded. He knew too well what it felt like to be the one on the outside.
"Hey, got room for me and my friends?" he'd called out as he approached the kids with the ball.
It was a simple fact that there was no one in the Wizarding world who didn't know his face. Even those pre-Hogwarts-aged kids and their Muggle relatives recognised him immediately, and he'd been enthusiastically welcomed to their group. A child of about nine had kicked the ball to him, arcing it high and nearly hitting Harry in the face. There had been gasps, but with his Seeker's reflexes, Harry had caught the ball, and he'd laughed. Then, he'd turned and called out to the Pure-blood children to come and join them, to learn a new game called football.
That had led to more gasps.
It had also led to his idea to create a program to give children from different backgrounds a chance to get to know each other before their first day at Hogwarts. And so, the Office of Muggle and Magical Sports and Activities Interaction and Exchange had been born—a very long name for a department with a very simple goal.
His office planned a number of events throughout the year for children from both the Wizarding world and Muggle-borns to meet and get to know each other before arriving at King's Cross as First Years. The kids, and their families, got to know one another's world first-hand through a number of gatherings and excursions throughout the year starting when the kids were eight. Additionally, help was offered to children from Muggle backgrounds in preparing for Hogwarts, a kind of pre-Hogwarts magical version of Muggle Studies.
As Harry finished a memo to his counterpart in the Muggle world, Teddy roamed around his office.
The walls of Harry's office were covered with framed posters—depicting motionless, Muggle photographs—of footballers, tennis players, skiers, figure skaters and Team GB from the 2012 London Olympics. There were also posters for cultural events, such as the British Museum and historical and Royal attractions. With his earbuds back in his ears and his head once again bobbing to the music that only he could hear, Teddy drifted from poster to poster.
Harry grinned. Any second now, he'd start singing along again.
It was hard for Harry to believe how quickly the last fifteen years had flown by. It seemed like just yesterday he'd held his godson for the first time, and now Teddy would be taking his O.W.L.s in just two months. He knew he shouldn't, but in his mind, Harry sometimes still saw him as a small child who wouldn't move more than a foot from either his grandmother's or Harry's sides for a least twenty minutes whenever they took him somewhere. At some time over the course of the years, the questions Can we go . . .? and Can you take me . . . ? had changed into Can I go with . . .? The confident young man Teddy was becoming made Harry inordinately proud, but that the child he had been was gone forever made him more than a little sad.
"It's strange, though. Don't you think?" Teddy asked in the overly loud voice people used whilst wearing earbuds. He prodded at the image of an Olympic athlete. "They don't move. Not even when you poke at them."
"Yeah, strange," Harry agreed as he dropped the memo into a special outbox that would transport it to the matching inbox on his cousin, Dudley's, desk.
If he had hoped for the different factions of his world to make peace with each other, he'd felt he should make peace within his own world first.
Harry snuck up next to Teddy and jabbed him in the shoulder. "After all, you move when I poke you."
Teddy adopted a fighter's stance, but rather than fists, he raised pointed hands at Harry, stabbing his index fingers at him. "Yeah, come on. Let's go," he laughed, dancing around Harry like a boxer.
Harry feigned to poke him from the right, but when Teddy leaned away from the attack, Harry grabbed him and wrapped his left arm around his godson's shoulders, tousling his hair like he used to when Teddy was small. "Gotcha," Harry laughed.
"Aw, come on! Not the hair, Harry!"
Still chuckling, Harry released him and picked up a file from the corner of his desk. "Come on. Let's get out of here. I just need to run this to the Improper Use of Magic office up on Two." The one part of his job Harry didn't like was all the paperwork it entailed. The file he had to deliver to Improper Use was an application for a temporary waiver of the Statute of Secrecy to allow him to bring the Muggle-borns and their families into the Wizarding world for a weekend in July. The application was two feet long and in triplicate.
The best part, aside from working with the kids, which Harry loved, was how much free time it allowed him. Most weeks, he only worked an average of twenty hours, sometimes less, and his hours were very flexible. Only in the weeks leading up to one event or another did Harry put in a full forty hours, and there were only six events a year, two per age group. It hadn't always been that way. In the early days, there had been long days, but after the first couple years the groundwork was firmly in place, and his workload was much lighter. It had given him the invaluable chance to be around a lot for Teddy and, once they'd started arriving, his nieces and nephews.
"I've got a good feeling about the match. I think things are going to turn around for the Cannons," Harry insisted.
"Get real, Harry. The Cannons are the worst team ever."
"Hey! We've won the League Cup twenty-one times!"
"Yeah, but the last time was in the 1890's."
"Bah, the Twentieth just wasn't our century. You wait and see. They're going to start winning."
"Yeah, sure, Harry. You just keep those fingers crossed and keep hoping for the best."
Hello, again! I'm back! (Smiles and waves) I hope you'll all like my new H/D story. It's completely written and betad, so it shouldn't be too long before I have it posted in full. It's six chapters and about 37,000 words long, so it's a bit shorter than my other H/D stories. If you liked this first chapter, drop me a review and let me know!