Title: Give the Moment Wings (1/2)

Disclaimer: J. K. Rowling and associates own these characters. I am writing this story for fun and not profit.

Pairing: Harry/Draco, past Draco/Astoria

Warnings: Angst, partial epilogue compliance (Draco married and had Scorpius; Harry never married)

Rating: R

Wordcount: (this part) 3300

Summary: Scorpius considers Mr. Potter's Black house a secret place where he can go and play whenever his father isn't there—which is all the time. He never considered that his father might someday find out.

Author's Notes: An Advent fic written for an anonymous request: Recently divorced Draco Malfoy is a busy man and, without many friends his own age and aloof adult figures (and house elves) around him, Scorpius is running wild around the manor...and is more than just a little lonely. When he happens to find an abandoned fireplace in a deserted part of the manor, he doesn't think twice about throwing in floo powder and seeing who'll answer on the other end.Well, that is, until he accidentally falls in and finds himself in Grimmauld Place, home of reclusive magical theorist and famous hero Harry Potter. Harry doesn't know what do with this mini-Malfoy, but soon comes to enjoy his company. And Scorpius enjoys learning new magic and things like science, cooking, gardening, listening to stories, and having fun with someone who isn't so straitlaced. And his father doesn't need to know about this special friend and his special place. He's never there, after all...Draco, after coming home to a empty home with no one knowing where his son is, of course thinks otherwise.

I followed most parts of the prompt, but it was so detailed I had to leave some of them out. Happy Advent! The second part will be posted tomorrow.

Give the Moment Wings

"Mr. Potter, I want more biscuits!"

"More biscuits, Kreacher," Harry murmured, not raising his head from the scroll he was examining. He wouldn't have possession of it for long—he'd negotiated a temporary loan of it from a hag who didn't grant favors easily—and it was too old and frail to be subjected to copying spells. He needed to make sure that he fully understand the principles of the magic that claimed a wizard could have more than one Animagus form, under certain circumstances.

But then he sneaked a look as Kreacher popped out of the room, and had to smile at what he saw, after all. Scorpius Malfoy lay sprawled on his belly on the red rug in front of Harry's fireplace—the one he had unexpectedly popped through one day, apparently because of a connection between Malfoy Manor and Number Twelve Grimmauld Place Harry had never suspected existed—and played with his toys. One of those was a wooden horse that Harry had Transfigured into a small, living one for Scorpius. It would run where Scorpius directed it.

The other was a wooden unicorn that Scorpius had to move by hand, and the little horse never tired of prancing past it and giving it superior looks and racing it across the floor of the room. Harry had offered to Transfigure the unicorn, too, but Scorpius had refused. He said it gave the tiny horse—whom Scorpius had named Dapple for its coat color—too much pleasure.

Scorpius tried to move the unicorn faster, making wind-noises under his breath, but Dapple stretched its legs out and galloped with small, noisy clips past the unicorn over to the edge of the rug. Scorpius laughed and said, "The winner!" Dapple pranced in a full circle, snorting over his back at the motionless unicorn.

Kreacher appeared with more biscuits. Scorpius grabbed one, broke off a corner to share with Dapple, and called to Harry, "You need to share them too, Mr. Potter!"

"All right," Harry said, and yielded to reality and put the scroll down. Esther could wait one more day for him to return it. He could always do her another favor if he had to.

As he came over to the small round table in front of the fireplace, Scorpius tilted his head back and gave him an adoring look. Harry smiled and ruffled his hair, and then took off his reading glasses. They only got in the way when he wanted to look at ordinary things. The eye correction spell had been one of the first he'd performed on himself. It hadn't gone quite right, but using glasses when one got older was normal, anyway.

"My dad never ruffles my hair," said Scorpius contentedly, and then flushed a deep red.

"Why not?" Harry asked, picking up a small, folded sugary biscuit with chocolate inside it and biting into it. He sighed as small flakes melted on his tongue. He tried not to ask about Malfoy and Scorpius's home life; it made Scorpius so unhappy to talk about it. But there were certain things he couldn't ignore.

"It's just not his thing," Scorpius muttered, and then paid such close attention to feeding Dapple and lifting him onto the table to run around that Harry gave it up. He was sure that Malfoy didn't actually abuse Scorpius; he just left him alone with the house-elves a lot. Scorpius would never trust him if he pried too much.

And Harry wanted Scorpius's company as often as he could get it. As far as he could figure out, Malfoy was missing a lot by not spending time with Scorpius. But presumably he had his reasons.

Scorpius sometimes shivered when he thought about how he had come across the fireplace behind a dusty door of the Manor. He had nearly turned in a new direction, and listened to the prompting of the house-elves to come back to the kitchen, where he could eat and spend time in front of the fire. If he had done that, he would never have found the Black house.

He would never have met Mr. Potter. And that was just intolerable to think about.

He had opened the door, though, and seen a fireplace with symbols carved around the mantel that he didn't recognize. They were rearing lions, and while Scorpius could read the letters spelling out the words Toujours pur, he didn't know what they meant.

But there was Floo powder in a bowl on the mantel. It was probably there because of the house-elves, who always took care of things like that. Scorpius had reached out and taken some and thrown it into the fire, and when the fire turned green and lit, he'd leaned forwards. His father sometimes warned him about the dangers of people who wanted to harm them, but he knew he could just close the connection if someone showed up and snarled at him for being a Malfoy. Nothing could truly harm him in the Manor.

Although the fire had tried, when he'd tumbled into it and smelled the scent of scorching hair. Scorpius had yelped and flailed his arms around, and the Floo swept him swiftly past a bunch of different fireplaces. It was probably taking him wherever the one in the Manor had last opened.

That might be a problem. Scorpius knew that his father dealt with some strange and savage creatures.

But he'd fallen out on a perfectly nice and normal carpet, a red one that stretched out across a dim room with books on the shelves. Despite his fear, Scorpius looked at them with interest. He'd already read all the books in the Manor that his father would let him have access to.

"Who are you?"

Scorpius wasn't proud to remember the way he'd jumped and rolled over, one hand coming up defensively, as if he could fool the person who spoke into believing he had a wand. But it was only an old wizard, at least his father's age, who put down a large book with locks on the binding and studied him with a surprised gaze.

"Well?" the wizard prompted when Scorpius only stared at him. "I think it's customary for the intruder to give his name, or it was the last time I checked."

And that was how Scorpius met Mr. Potter, who was probably his best friend and (as much as he didn't want to admit this to himself) a substitute father, and who made him toys and fed him biscuits and let him read almost as much as he wanted. He said that some of the books that looked the most interesting needed to wait until Scorpius was older.

Scorpius had pouted about that, but inwardly, he had rejoiced. Because that meant he was going to keep on visiting Mr. Potter even when he was old. At least seventeen! That was how old Mr. Potter said he needed to be to read some of the tomes.

And it was all a lovely secret, and it would have stayed that way, if his father hadn't come home early from work one day.

Draco shook the snow off his cloak and sighed, holding it out so the house-elves could take it. Then he lifted his feet so they could take his boots, and limped slowly towards the nearest sitting room, where he flung himself down on the couch in front of the fire. If he closed his eyes, he could almost imagine that the crackling of the flames was the only sound he'd heard all day, instead of the angry, shouting voices.

Getting divorced had seemed easy compared to the business that followed it. Lucius had decided that since Draco was no longer simply living in the Manor with his wife and raising a child, he could participate in the family business that Lucius conducted under several false names. He could learn the names of contacts Lucius had kept secret in case he ever needed them to provide last-minute testimony. He could spend time with his former friends from Hogwarts, turning them into allies as well.

Draco had done it, not so much for himself-he could have accepted less attention and just having the Manor to himself while his parents lived abroad-as for his father, to make him happy, and Scorpius. Scorpius might want the extra wealth someday. Draco had certainly thought he would, when he was growing up.

He tilted his head back and rolled it from side to side, soothing his temples against the soft dragonhide leather. Then an elf appeared with his customary drink, and Draco grunted and nodded acceptance, wrapping his fingers around the glass stem for a full minute before he began to sip.

As the alcohol warmed him up, Draco wondered why he hadn't seen Scorpius. He could hardly wait until the elves had taken Draco's cloak and boots sometimes, but came yelling into the room, breathless, to tell his father about the great stories he'd read.

"Bring my son to me," Draco instructed the elf building up the fire after another ten minutes of solemn peace. Maybe Scorpius had seen the expression on Draco's face and hidden, the way he had a tendency to do when he didn't want to bother him. Draco appreciated the concern, it was sweet, but he liked his son's conversation more than he liked the peace Scorpius was trying so carefully to conserve for him.

The elf turned one great eye sideways towards him, squeaked in what sounded like alarm, and then cleared its throat and whispered, "Suzzy is being sorry, Master Malfoy, but the elves is not being able to fetch Mast Scorpius."

Draco tilted his head the other way and spent some moments stretching the kinks out of his neck. "What?" he asked absently, and hid a massive yawn behind one hand. "Has he started sulking in his room again? Go find out."

"No, Master Malfoy." Suzzy bowed until the tiny hairs on its chin brushed the floor. "Suzzy is being very sorry. But Master Scorpius is not in the house."

Draco paused. Then he put down his glass and palmed his wand, making sure that it was well within reach. "Has a ransom note been received?" he asked quietly. "Or was the former Lady Malfoy here at all?" Kidnapping threats from Astoria and her parents were what most worried him.

"Oh, no, there is not being ransom note!" Suzzy bobbed hard enough that his ears snapped back and forth. "Suzzy is not meaning to worry Master Malfoy! Master Scorpius is going to play with his friends."

"His friends," Draco repeated blankly. Scorpius did have a few friends among the children of Draco's friends, but none of them had visited since the divorce. That was largely because their parents had also been friends of Astoria, and they were giving tempers and affections time to cool. Draco supposed that Jessamine Rosier, Pansy's daughter, might have sneaked in through the Floo, but it would be unlike even her. "What friends?"

"The friends through the Black house fireplace," said Suzzy, and his forehead wrinkled hard, probably at the sight of Draco's expression. "Master Malfoy is not knowing it?"

"Guide me to this fireplace," said Draco tightly, and stood up, making sure that his wand was ready to hand.

Harry was pondering whether he should allow Scorpius to read one of the books he kept asking about-reluctant more because of its extreme age and because he thought the magical theory would be over Scorpius's head than because he was afraid Scorpius would be damaged by it-when the fireplace puffed out black smoke. A second later, Draco Malfoy came striding through.

And his wand was in his hand. Even Scorpius paled and scrambled back from the fireplace on his hands and knees, his eyes wide.

Harry didn't rise from his chair, but touched a small red jewel that he'd embedded in one arm of most of his pieces of furniture. The gem rang with a mad, shimmering chime that made Malfoy put his hands to his ears. Scorpius looked over his shoulder, blinking and staring but otherwise unaffected.

On the other hand, Scorpius hadn't come into the house with hostile intent. And the hostility was confirmed by the way Malfoy had reacted to the gem.

Malfoy lowered his wand and started to move forwards again, then stopped abruptly. Harry reckoned that he'd finally noticed the shimmering red lines of the spell-wards crisscrossing in front of him at chest height. He stared, then brought a pair of blazing eyes up to study Harry's face

"Living alone as a magical theorist encouraged me to learn how to use magical theory in my defense, as well as an interesting subject of study," Harry said mildly, and took off his glasses. He didn't draw his own wand. He didn't see the point. The house's spells could hold Malfoy harmless until Harry decided what to do with him.

"Daddy?" whispered Scorpius.

The hopeful tone in his voice broke Harry's heart. Harry opened his mouth to say something to the boy-he wasn't sure what-but Malfoy broke in first, sounding every bit the arrogant arsehole Harry remembered him. "What are you doing, kidnapping my son?"

"I haven't kidnapped him," Harry answered calmly. "He visits here of his own free will." Scorpius spun around and stared at him accusingly, but Harry ignored that. Malfoy would have had to know once he'd seen Scorpius here. "He stumbled in first by accident, but he's a valued visitor now." He leaned back and crossed one leg over the other, rejoicing in the stupefied look on Malfoy's face. It's about time that something made him pay attention to his son. "I think the larger question is, why did you not know where he was long since?"

Scorpius leaned back on his heels and hands and looked anxiously from his Dad to Mr. Potter and back.

Neither of them seemed as upset as they'd been. Or, well, maybe Mr. Potter had never seemed upset in the first place, and some of his calm had flowed to Dad. At least Dad had put his wand away, and was looking at Scorpius as if to make sure that he wasn't wounded.

Scorpius wanted to scoff. As if he could be hurt in Mr. Potter's house. It was probably safer than the Manor, even with all the traps and everything, because the house-elves didn't know how to deal with everything, and Mr. Potter was right there if Scorpius did run into trouble, like he had with that warded book yesterday.

"I am busy," said Dad at last, and his voice was the stiff, haughty one that Scorpius flinched from whenever he had to listen to it. It didn't seem to intimidate Mr. Potter, though, who just cocked his head the way he did when he was deciding whether or not to let Scorpius have another biscuit. "Not only with business but with settling the aftermath of the divorce from Scorpius's mother. Scorpius is a good child, and the elves keep him out of trouble."

Scorpius stared down at his hands and said nothing. Of course, his Mum hadn't been there much in the last few years, either. She was always on holiday, and then she was always away because she'd fought with Dad, and then she just never came back. But it still hurt to have Dad refer to it so casually.

"He's been visiting me for a few months now," said Mr. Potter, and tapped his fingers on the gem in the arm of his chair. The red lines surrounding Dad flickered and vanished, and Scorpius held in a jealous gasp. That was so brilliant, and he wanted Mr. Potter to teach him how to do that. "I haven't harmed him. I've given him some society."

"He's not to come here anymore."

At his Dad's blunt pronouncement, Scorpius leaped to his feet. "You can't just take me away from Mr. Potter like that!" he yelled, and he didn't care about the chiding glance his Dad gave him, which he knew was because he was "in the middle of an emotional outburst unbefitting a Malfoy." "He's the only one who made things interesting for me after the tenth time I read every book in the Manor! What do you think I can do all day? There's only so many times I can daydream and ride my broom and eat snacks in the kitchen, and-and I'm lonely, and Mr. Potter made it so much better, and-"

Scorpius had to turn his head away, and he knuckled angrily at his eyes. It was unbefitting for a boy of nine to cry like a little kid.

There was a stifling silence behind him, the kind there used to be after an argument between his Dad and his Mum. Then his Dad muttered, "I suppose perhaps there could be some sort of-arrangement?"

"An arrangement where Scorpius visits me during the day and you continue your business?" Mr. Potter asked calmly. "I've enjoyed his company. But," and his voice sharpened until it felt like Scorpius was right next to one of those humming spells that had imprisoned his Dad, "you need to spend some more time with him. You can put off some of your business until the next day, or the next week."

"Some of it is urgent-"

"Your son is more urgent."

Scorpius had to turn around despite how sick the tension was making him feel. His father and Mr. Potter looked each other in the eye, and there was an older tension between them, Scorpius thought, that also ached.

His Dad looked away first, and ran a hand through his hair, a gesture that made Scorpius's mouth drop open. He'd never seen his Dad do that.

"Very well," said his Dad grudgingly. "I'll come home earlier tomorrow and spend some time with you, Scorpius, all right?" He looked at Scorpius.

It felt as though a Muggle rocket was taking off from the center of his chest. Scorpius nodded eagerly.

"But," and his Dad turned around and looked at Mr. Potter, "I want to spend some time with him here the next day, so that I can make sure that Scorpius isn't injured in such a dangerous house. And you may not visit here tomorrow, Scorpius."

Scorpius just looked at Mr. Potter instead of pouting. Mr. Potter nodded slowly. "I expect that you would want to see that. And it's about time you took an interest."

Scorpuis's Dad flinched, but Scorpius didn't even care. He was going to spend time here, with two people to pay attention to him!

He had a punishment of no pudding when he got home, but that was okay. Everything, he believed firmly, was going to be okay now.