Propriety: Chapter 37
**UPDATE 2/17/17: THE SEQUEL HAS BEGUN BEING POSTED! IMPRUDENCE! CHECK IT OUT!
Guys! This is the last chapter of Propriety! I want to thank everyone who stuck around and read this story, whether you enjoyed it or not. I loved all of the feedback and even learned some things along the way. I've started on the sequel, can't guarantee when that will start getting posted, but it probably won't be for a while. I've got another HP story that is pretty far along that I'll be posting first, so be sure to check that out. I'm going back to school this weekend so I'll be back to the every (or every other) Saturday schedule. Thanks again, and I hope you enjoy this final chapter. :) Luv- BB
Disclaimer: I think we all know at this point that no one other than JK Rowling owns these beloved characters. I just own this plot line. ;)
You Deserve It
Harry leaned back into Draco's side, and the blond laid an arm over his Intended's shoulders. The Gryffindor smiled up at him.
"I think this is the best Christmas ever," Harry said. Draco snorted in amusement and shook his head.
"We aren't even done yet. How do you know? You might just get nothing but socks for Christmas." Harry barked out a laugh, imagining Lucius Malfoy gifting him with one Second Year sized sock.
"Even if I did, it would still be the best Christmas ever. I've got everything I've ever wanted and more." Draco's smile softened, and he hugged Harry closer. His Intended didn't usually get sappy, as Harry called it, but when he did it was because he was being granted something he thought he would never have, like a family Christmas.
They were at Malfoy Manor and Severus was speaking with Draco's parents about some thing or other. Hermione was spending the holiday with her parents since they finally had their full memory back and were a bit clingy as a result. The Weasleys were spending the day together but would be joining them in the evening for dinner. Narcissa was already warned by Harry and Mr. Weasley that Mrs. Weasley would insist on bringing almost all of the food.
Draco let out a happy sigh as he surveyed the cozy room decked out in almost too many decorations. Harry had wanted to decorate at least one room the Muggle way, roping everyone into helping him. It had turned out well…for the most part. They all still had tinsel showing up in odd places now and then.
The young Slytherin looked down at his Intended again and turned Harry's face towards his own, tracing the faint scar on Harry's cheek with his thumb. Harry was used to it at that point and allowed it without fuss. Draco would feel a strong urge to see Harry's green eyes after the kidnapping left him with glowing white eyes and a strong fear of losing his Intended.
Draco flew from his seat next to his father and rammed into the doors of the Hospital Wing. Luckily for him, McGonagall was faster than him and un-warded the door before he collided with the wood. It meant Draco would only have a bruise on his shoulder from bursting through rather than a severe concussion from being flung back into a wall.
The young Slytherin ran over to his godfather and Intended fearing the worst. He didn't even register Madam Pomfrey standing at the end of the bed and crying happy tears. Draco froze at what he saw, his brain taking a few moments to catch up.
Severus Snape, his godfather, was sitting on the hospital bed. Tears were wetting the man's cheeks and his arms were wrapped around Harry. Draco wondered briefly if his godfather was aware that he was rocking Harry's back and forth in his arms. Harry himself was crying, absolutely sobbing actually, but the boy was smiling at the same time. The two, guardian and ward, clung to each other desperately.
Draco started when hands landed on his shoulders. He looked up to find his father standing behind him and smiling at the scene in front of them. Draco finally let reality sink in and soon his own cheeks were wet from happy tears and cramping from smiling so wide. Lucius suddenly ducked his head down to talk in Draco's ear.
"I must contact your mother now. She is no doubt frantic at this point. I don't know how I convinced her to stay at the manor in the first place." Draco distractedly nodded and Lucius walked off to find the Headmistress. He didn't have to go far as the witch suddenly hurried into the Hospital Wing. She paused briefly upon seeing him walk away.
"Ah. Lord Malfoy, use my floo and bring your wife here. I have no doubt she will want to see your son and see with her own eyes that Mr. Potter is well." As she spoke the last bit her eyes drifted over to the crowd forming around Harry's bed and a smile lit up her face. She saw Mr. Malfoy still standing there and shooed him away. "Well? Off with you. Women do not like to be kept waiting." Then she was gone, leaving a stunned Lucius Malfoy in her wake. The aristocrat shook his head at the odd interaction and went on his way.
Draco had been dying to wrap his own arms around Harry back when the boy first woke up, but he restrained himself. He knew that his godfather and Intended needed a moment to themselves…as much as they could with seven people staring at them.
He had waited patiently then, but now he didn't have to. Lucius and Severus conceded that their Courtship was…"advanced" enough that they were allowed non-sexual intimate contact. It was rather frustrating to be told you weren't allowed to kiss your Intended even after he had been kidnapped and in a coma, never sure if he was going to wake up. Draco would take what he could get though and tightened his hold on Harry in the present.
The young Gryffindor looked up at Draco with concern. The other boy was still staring intently at him and rubbing his scar.
"Um…Draco? Everything alright?" The blond shook his head as if coming out of a trance and smiled brightly at Harry.
"Yeah. I'm fine. Just remembering seeing you wake up after…well after." Harry huffed and nodded in understanding. He would get those moments too sometimes when he would look at something and just get lost in a memory.
"That's okay. I get it…but my cheek is going a bit numb from the constant rubbing. If you don't mind, Ferret," Harry reached up and pulled Draco's hand from his face. Draco gave Harry a sheepish grin and apologized.
"Everything alright over there, you two?" The boys turned to look at the trio of adults who were smiling at them with knowing looks. Harry glared at his guardian as his cheeks tinged pink, knowing what the man was implying. Harry had found out that when Severus Snape discovered his proclivity to blush at the slightest mention of doing intimate things with Draco, the man went out of his way to do so. Draco did something very similar and the two combined made sure Harry was near constantly red in the face.
The two found it absolutely hilarious. Slytherins, Harry's mind spit in fond anger.
"Oh we're fine, Uncle Sev. Just wondering when we're getting to the presents since you all have been chatting all morning." Harry smacked Draco's side for acting like a brat, drawing amused chuckles from the adults.
Narcissa was thrilled to see the boys interacting so easily. When Lucius had finally told her that Harry hadn't know he was in a Courtship with her son, she was devastated. When he went into vague detail (giving her a good sense of why without hurting Mr. Potter's privacy) she wanted to kill someone for the first time since Voldemort. How dare someone do that to any child!? After raging for a solid thirty minutes, Narcissa comforted herself with the knowledge that Severus would exact revenge as he saw fit. The man could be extremely creative.
She had then been worried for her son, as she knew Draco cared deeply for Harry, but Lucius was quick to reassure her. It made her even more enamored with the young Mr. Potter. To go through so much pain and suffering and still follow your heart in spite of it. Well, she will admit she might have swooned just a tiny bit.
As Narcissa smiled at her memories, Severus smiled at his ward and remembered his own feelings when Harry had woken up.
Severus' consciousness slammed back into his own body and jolted him fully out of the spell. He shook his head to clear it and then focussed intently on his ward. Harry's eyes were now closed which was a change, but he wasn't awake. Snape sat there for ten minutes, willing his ward to come back. The Potions Master had done his part; now Harry had to do his.
Just when Snape was beginning to lose hope Harry's hand twitched. Snape tensed in his seat and leaned forward. He grabbed Harry's hand.
"Harry? Harry, wake up." The boy's face scrunched up and he turned his head to the side towards his guardian. Harry gripped Severus' hand unconsciously, and Snape held on even tighter. "That's it, Harry. Come on, my boy." Finally, finally!, Harry's eyes fluttered open. His glasses had miraculously stayed on his face the whole time and the first thing he saw was his anxious guardian.
"S-Sir?" Something seemed to click in Harry's head. "Sir!" His shout carried, but neither teacher nor student concerned themselves with the bustle that likely caused outside. Harry automatically dragged Severus over and wrapped his arms around the man. Snape adjusted to sit on the bed and pull his ward even closer. His heart felt as if it would burst for joy. Harry trembled in his arms and Snape finally spoke past the lump in his throat when he felt a wet spot growing on his robes.
"Harry, are you alright? What is wrong, my boy?" Harry nodded viciously, grinding his forehead into his guardian's shoulder.
"I…I thought I'd n-never make it back. I thought you…wouldn't want me after w-what I did. Then you came a-and…Sir?" The boy looked up at him, not a care in the world for the tears blurring his vision. "You meant it right? When you were talking to me in there?" Harry gestured to his temple. "You weren't just saying it to get me to let you take control of my magic, right?" Severus' own tears started to make an appearance and he squeezed Harry impossibly tighter.
"I absolutely meant it, Harry. You are like a son to me. I can't say either of us thought we'd ever end up at this point though." They both laughed, a little on the hysterical side. Harry smiled as he clumsily wiped the tears from his eyes.
"Yeah, not really. Ugh. I think I've cried my fill for the next ten years." Severus and Harry gave another few tired chuckles.
"I think you are entitled to plenty more tears given your life, Harry, but I understand. I agree that I could do without the snot stains on my robes though." His ward barked a laugh as Severus had hoped and even playfully hit him.
"Git," Harry said fondly. They held onto each other as they calmed and didn't let go even after they acknowledged everyone else around them.
"Severus, it's time for presents." Snape was shaken from his memories by Lucius' hand on his shoulder. The Potion's Master blinked at his friend while the aristocrat gave him an understanding smile. Lucius clapped him on the back then went to take his seat. Snape finally settled himself in the present and found he was the only one left standing.
"Well, I suppose it falls to me to get this started." Snape picked the gift he had gotten for Lucius and passed it over to the man. The presents were distributed one at a time from there. Narcissa received tasteful jewelry and clothes as well as a planner from Harry to help her when she got started working on his orphanage idea. Lucius received a new wand holster and other assorting dueling items. Snape was given his usual assortment of potions journals and rare ingredients. The boys each got a few interesting books pertaining to their future career paths, and then laughed when they found out they had gotten each other the same thing: a box of chocolates from Honeydukes, one very similar to the one they shared on their first chaperoned date (minus any peanut butter this time).
Harry had thought they were done when Snape got a nervous look on his face and said there were two more gifts left. Severus first brought out a flat box and laid it in Harry's lap. The young Gryffindor sat up and grew more anxious at his guardian's strained facial expression. Finally, he just bit the bullet and tore open the wrapping paper.
The box wasn't helpful at all at telling him what was inside and so he just took a deep breath and opened it. It looked like official documents of some sort, and at first his brow furrowed. He started to read them and when he finally understood what they were his head whipped up.
"S-Sir? Are these…?" Snape nodded.
"Adoption papers? Yes. They're…they're all signed by me and are only waiting your signature. You don't have to sign them now. You can sign them whenever, if, you want to. I know in the Muggle world you are considered an adult and even here you would only need a guardian for a few more years but- OOMF!" Severus was cut off by his ward suddenly launching at him. Snape was smothered by an enthusiastic boy and didn't bother stopping the huge smile on his face.
When Harry finally pulled back, he looked Severus straight in the eyes and said,
"Do you have a pen?" There was some cheering from the Malfoy family as Harry quickly signed the adoption papers. They disappeared with a pop to be filed immediately.
"Now, there is one more thing I got you." Harry shook his head.
"I don't need it. You've already given me the best gift ever." Snape had brought out a much larger box this time around and shrugged.
"Well I debated which one to give you first, but I just couldn't wait on the adoption papers. This one…well-" He was cut off when the box suddenly shook. Harry stared at it, eyes wide. He slid out of Snape's lap and onto the floor. Severus handed him the box and he tentatively opened the lid.
"Meow!" A tiny, spiky black head suddenly popped out and two bright yellow eyes looked at Harry curiously.
"You got me a kitten!?" Harry scooped the small animal up and held it reverently against his chest. Snape smiled and nodded his head.
"Draco helped me pick him out. The hair reminded us of you, and we couldn't pass it up." Harry knew there was more to it than that, but laughed all the same and let it go. Both Draco and Snape had noticed how much Harry had missed having a familiar. The kitten wouldn't replace Hedwig but he would be loved all the same.
As Harry cuddled the animal close and thanked his family profusely, words he had heard from a dream a long time ago floated into the forefront of his mind.
"Don't ever let it go, Harry. You deserve it. Remember that, my sweet, sweet boy. I love you." Harry smiled back at Draco and realized he was finally starting to believe it.
The sequel will include some new trials and some old ones. Stay tuned and stay strong. Over and out.