Thank you to ALL my reviewers and to ALL my readers!
Disclaimer: I do not own anything here but the plot. Oh and James...I own James.
Thank you to Merlin and GoldenSunnyGrl for being such great BETA'S.
They had been at the cabin for four weeks now and had learned everything there was to know about each other. Well, everything about himself that Harry was willing to tell his six year old son. Harry had taught him everything that he thought James would understand about defense. Not wanting to tell James the real reason why he was teaching him Harry had made it into a game, one that James was very good at.
They had celebrated his sixth birthday today with Harry trying to teach James the joys of fishing. He had laughed so hard his ribs hurt when all James could do was complain about how boring it was. They had laughed all day and only that night as he was putting his son to bed did the laughter die.
The laughter died and the worry set in when James had said his prayers. Harry's heart had painfully clenched as his son knelt by the side of his bed and asked God to make sure that his Daddy was not sad because he had not spent his birthday with him. Harry had waited until he had made it to his own room before he let the tears of shame gather in his eyes but he refused to let them fall. He could not keep James from Draco any longer, Harry knew this now.
It had taken him a month before he was strong enough to walk across the small cabin without sweating and gasping for breath. He was still so weak that just sitting and fishing today had tired him. But he could not keep James here any longer on the pretense that it was the right thing to do. Because Harry knew it was not. He had already hurt Draco more than any person deserved to be hurt and Harry just could not continue to hurt him any longer.
There was still a lump of frozen heart in his chest and he was not sure that it would ever thaw. He did not know how to be a father to James. Draco did. He knew that it was time to send James home.
When they had first gotten here, James was the one who had helped Harry from the floor and unto the bed. It was James who had fixed the food and warmed the cabin, though it had taken him four times casting the incendio charm to get the logs in the grate to light. It was James that had made sure that he ate, slept, and was kept clean until he could do those things for himself. And not once did the boy complain about the situation. Sometimes Harry would catch a glimpse of something in his son's eyes but never having seen it directed towards himself he did not recognize the look a child gives a parent, the look of unconditional love.
Harry was keeping the loving boy away from the only family he had ever known. Harry knew what that was like and he did not want his son to feel that way. He sat on the edge of his bed, fighting the tiredness dragging him down, and finally let the tears flow. He had thought that he was being quiet but he was startled to feel a small grab his and he lifted tear filled eyes to see his son standing before him watching him warily.
"Dad?" James asked hesitantly.
"James...I..." Harry started to say but stopped when he could not get anything else past the lump in his throat. "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to wake you."
"You didn't. I never went to sleep. What's wrong?"
"Look Dad, I can tell there is something wrong." James said stubbornly his eyes flashing and making Harry smile as he looked so much like Draco in that moment.
"You miss your father?" Harry questioned instead of answering him.
"Yeah, I do."
"James, I think it is time for you to go home now." Harry said carefully.
"No!" James cried out taking a step back from Harry.
"You don't want me? I promise I will be good." James was crying now. His young face pale in the light from the small lamp Harry had in his room.
"James, no son." Harry tried to reassure him.
"I'll do the cooking and everything. Just don't do this!"
"James listen to me..." Harry tried to draw him into his arms but James was fighting him now and he did not have the strength to keep him close if he decided to run.
"You're sending me away! You don't want me!" James shrieked totally gone from the happy boy he had been earlier that day.
"That's not it!" Harry cried out.
"Yes it is!" He screamed out pulling against the hand Harry had grabbed. "Daddy was right."
"What? Right about what?" Harry asked as he tried to pull James to him. He was weak but he was still strong enough to keep him there.
James got a frightened look on his face and started to shake his head.
Harry sighed, "I love you James. Never, ever doubt that. I just thought...I am not good at this, son. I'm sorry. I thought you wanted to go to your Daddy." Harry said softly trying to calm down his very distraught son. He hadn't forgotten what he had let slip but he was not going to push it right now.
"I do Dad but I want to stay with you." James whispered around his tears.
"Okay James, I'm sorry I upset you."
The silence stretched as father and son held each other. "Daddy said you couldn't cry." James said into Harry's shoulder.
Harry sighed, it was time to explain some things to him. "For a long time I couldn't and then I was to ashamed to let him see me cry."
"Why?" James asked with all the innocence of a child.
"I...because...he always said it was a sign of weakness. And I didn't want to seem weak to him."
"I see Daddy cry all the time, mostly at night, when he thinks I am asleep. Just like you."
"Draco cries?" Harry said, shocked all the way to his frozen heart.
"Yeah, ever since I can remember he cries himself to sleep each night." James said not understanding that Harry was having a difficult time with what he was saying.
"Oh God, James." Harry whispered brokenly. He crumbled before his son and he felt James' arms around him, holding him up. He buried his head in his sons shoulder and cried, great shudders of his body and harsh sobs, he cried for the last six years and for the six before that. It was minutes later that Harry's sobs slowed down and he lifted his head to share a watery grin with James.
"I have been so stupid," he whispered.
"Dad says it is your stupid Gryffindor bravery." James' eyes widen in alarm and he slapped a hand over his mouth. Harry chuckled at that. He was just glad that Draco had talked to James about him and that not all of it was bad.
"Yeah, he said that to me all the time, too." Harry said with a smile. "Do you want to go back James?" Harry asked.
James shook his head, "not without you," he said firmly.
"Son, I don't think your father would approve of that." Harry said softly.
"But Dad..." James whined.
"No James. You will go back alone. I will contact your father about seeing you again, I promise."
"Do you think he will let you?" James asked hopefully.
Harry sighed and ran a hand over his face, wiping the tears from it. "I don't know, son. I am sure he is angry at me right now and terrified for you. In fact I know he is because I feel the same way. But James...I just don't know son."
"Why don't you ask him." Came the cold voice from the doorway. As one father and son both twirled towards the voice, their wands settling into their hands and pointed at the figure standing there.
Between the tiring day he'd had with James, the deep emotions he had felt over the last half hour, and the shock of seeing Draco leaning against the doorway to the room, Harry's mind and body could handle no more. He once again fell into the blackness lasting long enough to hear James' cry of 'Dad' and Draco's cry of 'Harry' before he fell with only a small quiet, manly whimper.
Hours later Harry slammed back into the living world abruptly to the sound of his son yelling at someone. He struggled to sit up to see what was going on. He saw James defiantly standing facing his father. Small hands on thin hips and a stance Harry knew came from Draco.
"You lied to me!" James screamed at Draco.
"No, I did not son." Draco's voice was calm but he could hear the underlying tension in it.
"You did! You said Dad would never wake up." James was crying now but still screaming at him.
"When did I say that?" Draco asked as confusion showed in his voice. "I never said that to you James." Draco whispered with a stricken look on his face.
James shuffled his feet refusing to look his father in the eye. "You didn't say it to me. I heard you tell Aunt Mi that."
"Oh James, you misunderstood what I said." Draco tried to keep the relief from his voice but James must have heard it because he jerked his head up and glared the famous Malfoy Glare at his own father.
"Liar!" he cried out again.
"James." Harry whispered but it was loud enough for the two to hear as they whirled around to glare at him. He purposefully kept his eyes from Draco, keeping his gaze on his angry son. "Please, don't yell at Daddy."
James ran to him and threw himself at Harry. Harry's arms wrapped tightly around the sobbing boy. "I'm sorry. So sorry." Harry whispered over and over as he tried to calm down the near hysterical boy. He rocked his son in his arms, his mantra of 'I'm sorry' filling the room.
Harry could feel Draco's eyes on him but he did not look up. He was a coward, he had proven that six years ago, and then two months ago, and he was proving it now. Draco was here to take James home. That thought made Harry's frozen heart pound hard in his chest and tears well in his closed eyes.
James' sobs quieted as the silence in the room now grew oppressive. James pulled back from Harry's embrace and Harry was shocked by the understanding he saw in those eyes so like, but unlike, his own. The tears that had welled in his eyes earlier now spilled unto his cheeks as he watched his son. James smiled softly and snuggled into his fathers loving embrace placing his small head on his fathers shoulder.
A pale hand came into his field of vision and wiped a tear from his cheek. Harry lifted his tear filled eyes to see Draco staring at his finger as if he could not identify the substance on it. Harry watched the emotions play across Draco's face. The first was confusion, which he could partially understand, followed by anger, which he completely understood, and lastly fear, which he did not understand at all. Why would Draco fear Harry's tears?
Now that Harry had looked at him he could not drag his eyes from the vision before him. Draco had just gotten lovelier as the years passed. His hair was longer than Harry remembered but was still that bright blonde and silky looking. His lithe body had matured from very respectable looking into 'O God Is He Hot!'. He finally let his eyes fall on Draco's face. It was more mature now, everything was more defined.
Harry's breathing stopped as Draco lifted his silver blue gaze from his finger to meet Harry's troubled green gaze. Neither spoke as they continued to drink in the sight of each other. Harry was afraid to breathe, afraid to break the moment, afraid of what Draco would do now.
Time passed slowly as the two gazed into each others eyes and it was the soft sigh of the boy in his arms that drew both of their gazes downwards. Harry watched as his sleeping son snuggled more fully into his arms and he tightened them around him before looking back up into the now unreadable eyes of his only lover.
Draco was now standing stiffly before him with the hand he had caught the tear with now clenched in a fist at his side. His gaze knifed into Harry and only with a supreme effort did he stop himself from flinching.
"Why?" Draco ground out.
Harry knew what he meant. Why did Harry leave him? Why did Harry not tell him Voldemort cursed him? Why had Harry tried to kill himself? At the time, Harry had all the answers, now, those answers seemed childish. So, he answered in the best way he knew how, with the truth.
"Because I am a coward." Harry whispered, his voice low, hard, and shaky.
"And a fool." Draco said harshly his silver gaze snapping at Harry. "Don't forget that."
Harry nodded and whispered, "and a fool."
His shoulders slumped and he curled around his son. It took him three tries before he could speak clearly and all the while he could feel Draco's eyes boring into him. He kept his face lowered in shame.
"I could feel it eating at me. I fought it for so long but I wasn't strong enough to keep fighting. It was a fire consuming me." His voice was loud in the silence of the room only broken by the deep breaths he forced himself to take.
"Your presence made the rage grow so fierce that I couldn't fight it anymore. I was too weak." Harry voice lowered and was filled with so much pain Draco felt his heart clench in remembrance at the pain he had felt back then. "Every time I saw you I envisioned my hands around your throat and the way your face would look as you drew your last breath."
Harry was sobbing now but the dam had been broken and he could not stop the words from spilling from him. "I fought it for so long but I was losing. Every minute of the day, waking or sleeping, I saw it."
His arms started to shake and he tightened them even more around James. "The blood rage took over and I knew that soon I would not be able to fight it any longer so I...I ended it. And then I went home and I knew my life was worthless, without you I was nothing."
Harry lifted his stricken face to stare at Draco's expressionless one. "I remember breaking the glass. I don't remember picking it up but I do vividly remember seeing the blood on my arm and thinking that this was the way it was suppose to be. Blood played a part in my survival of the curse when I was a baby, blood brought him back in fourth year, and my blood killed him in the end. But, there wasn't enough blood to pay for what I had done to you. So, I made sure that there was."
Harry's voice cracked and he pleaded with Draco, "why didn't you let me die, Draco? I deserved to die."
Harry could talk no more around his harsh, silent, sobs as he held his son close. His body so tired now he could barely hang on to him.
"You are holding the reason I didn't let you die." Draco said brokenly. "I was going to tell you that night. Hermione had called me just an hour before you showed up. But, I never got the chance."
"I didn't know. I am so sorry." Harry whimpered as he let his head fall to James'. He kissed him and sighed wearily. He was still so weak and tired and now his arms were shaking from holding him but he didn't want to put him down.
Expensively glad arms drew his son from him and Harry murmured in protest until Draco said quietly that he was only taking him to bed. Harry nodded and as Draco left the room he settled tiredly on the bed. He had his back against the head board and a pillow in his lap when Draco walked into the bedroom and quietly closed the door. Harry refused to look at him but kept his eyes fixed on the embroidered pillowcase as his shaking fingers fiddled with a loose thread.
He was strangely calm. There was nothing that Draco could do to him that Harry didn't believe that he deserved, or, that he hadn't already done to himself.
"Why did you leave?" Was asked softly as Draco came to stand at Harry's side. Harry refused to lift his eyes to met his.
"I didn't want to interfere in your life anymore." Harry whispered.
"Interfere? What makes you think you were interfering?" Draco questioned softly. Harry was surprised at the gentleness in Draco's voice. Why was he not yelling at him, something that he firmly believed he deserved?
"You had your life Draco. You had James...and...and Don." The last name was barely heard but by the indrawn breath Harry knew the blonde had heard what he had said.
"Don? How did you...just exactly how long had you been awake Potter?"
Harry flinched before he could stop himself at hearing Draco call him Potter. He hadn't called him that since after their first kiss. "I--I" Harry stammered, "a while," he finished lamely.
"I see." Draco said in a now cold voice.
Minutes passed as neither spoke, too lost in their own thoughts to realize how long had passed. "Why did I wake up?"
"We weren't sure you ever would. The curse wouldn't let you go, you weren't dead but you weren't alive either. Ron thought that you would wake up once the curse ran it's course. Looks like I owe him 100 galleons." Draco said with a small, short laugh.
Harry smiled slightly but it soon faded into a frown. "I remember feeling so...angry, so much rage. At me, you, at everything. I didn't want to hurt anyone anymore. But...I was...I wouldn't be able to stop." Harry's tired body shuddered and tears fell down his cheeks to splash on his clasped hands.
"I never, ever wanted to hurt you again. The look on your face. Oh, God I couldn't take it anymore." He whispered achingly. "I killed him but he made sure he took everything that meant something to me away. It was so hard. I am so sorry."
Draco said nothing. Harry could feel his eyes on him but was to scared to look at him. He broke first, he could not do this anymore. He was so tired he could barely keep his head up, nor could he stop the flow of tears. It was just too much for him to handle anymore.
"Draco, I know you want to talk and I promise I won't run. I am so tired. Can we talk tomorrow?" Harry finally lifted his tear filled eyes to search Draco's cold face.
Draco nodded and with a quick turn left the room closing the door softly behind him. Harry sighed as he settled down onto the bed not knowing that his sounds of grief could be heard by the man standing, stiff and shaking, on the other side of his door.
Harry woke many hours later to the sound of talking in the other room. He listened to the indistinct voices and smiled as he heard his sons light laughter. He knew today was not going to be an easy day. He had so much to say but he did not know how to start, what to say, or even if talking was worth it. He knew he still had feelings for Draco but he did not know if Draco still had feelings for him.
He slowly got out of bed, gathered clean clothes and went to the shower. Ten minutes later, he was clean, dressed, and standing on the balcony that was right off his bedroom. He gazed at the surrounding mountains lost in thought, maybe he would stay here after Draco took James home.
He sighed softly as he leaned against the railing, arms across his chest, and thought of what he could do with his life now. He really did not have any skills, spending your formative years learning to defeat a Dark Lord, did not leave much time for school work and studying. He had done all right, yes, but his OWL and NEWT scores would get him nowhere.
And since he knew for sure that Voldemort was dead...his options for employment were slim to none. He had enough money to last him for a while, so, he pushed that thought aside. Besides, he was still too weak. Maybe staying here for a few more months was a good idea.
"Dad!" James yelled out as he ran across the room, onto the deck, and straight into Harry's arms.
Harry lifted James up and twirled him around both laughing loudly.
"Guess what?" James asked with a huge grin.
"Aunt Mi is gonna be here today!" James cried out happily.
Harry stiffened and abruptly set James down. He didn't want to see her, hell, he didn't want to see anyone but James.
"I...nothing son." Harry said smiling down at him reassuringly.
"James, why don't you go finish setting the table." Draco said from the doorway.
"K!" James giggled and skipped away.
Harry stared at Draco fearfully. "I can't..."
Draco interrupted him with his cold voice that Harry was beginning to think was the only tone he had. "She is only going to be picking James up for a few hours so that we can talk. She understands that it might be too much for you."
Harry closed his eyes, not wanting to see the anger radiating from him. He could feel it and that was enough. He nodded once before turning to stare once again out towards the mountains. He heard Draco walk until he was standing right behind him but he didn't have the courage to turn around to face him.
"I spent all night thinking about what you said." Draco said quietly. Harry shivered as Draco's breath ghosted across the back of his neck.
"All night. While you cried yourself to sleep. I sat by your bed and listened as you talked in your sleep." Harry flinched at that. He had never been able stop that habit. "Before we talk I just have to tell you this one thing." His tone was so devoid of emotion that Harry was scared for him.
"I hate what you did, Potter." Draco's spoke, his voice hard and sharp in the silence, before he stepped back and walked into the cabin.
It took seconds before Harry was able to move. His body shuddered once before he sank slowly to his knees right there on the balcony. Tears filled his eyes and sobs caught in his suddenly dry throat. He hated him. Draco hated him!
Harry had known that that was a possibility. That the love that they had once shared was gone. Hearing it from Draco's lips sent Harry spiraling down into despair. He refused to shed another tear, really he did. His face was wet from something else. He didn't have anything left inside. With those six words Harry was now left a shell, devoid of even the will to breath. The only thought in his head was, don't cry. Please don't cry!
Harry gave up the fight with a groan and let the tears flow. Something he should have done six years ago. Maybe if he had he would not be in this mess.
He stood up slowly and shakily approached the railing once again. He gripped it so hard he could feel the splinters entering his palms. That small pain drew his gaze down to his hands, which brought into sharp focus the mutilation of his arms. He didn't remember doing this to himself. All he remembered of that night was screaming and coldness and darkness and more sadness than any one person should have to feel.
His hands clenched around the railing and his body shook violently as Harry stared down into the gully that was just waiting for him to find the bottom of. It would be so easy. So quick. So right. But deep down Harry knew he wouldn't do it. He couldn't do that to James. Or to Draco. Not again.
He didn't see the young man standing just to the side of the French doors watching him as he cried. He didn't see the tears fall from sad blue eyes, if he had, maybe he wouldn't have felt so dead inside.
He was exhausted beyond measure right now. He had told Harry the truth, Draco had sat up and listened as he talked in his sleep. What Harry had said answered almost all of the questions running through his head.
As he watched Harry try to eat the small lunch he and James had prepared, Draco let those thoughts gather and flow through his mind. He looked at each and every one and knew that Harry had suffered enough. But he also knew it was up to Harry himself to end his suffering. Draco could only be there for him after it was over. He vowed to himself that if Harry let him be there, nothing would drag him away.
It was obvious that his once lover was still weak. He was amazed Harry was even able to stand after being in a coma for six years. He had tried to hate this man sitting before him, tried and failed. Harry had always had Draco's love, since day one, in one fashion or another. Draco had forgiven him years ago. He just wished Harry would forgive himself.
Hearing a knock at the door he ignored Harry's suddenly pale face and stiff back as he left the kitchen to answer the door. He opened the door to an anxious Hermione and Ron. They spoke softly and he barely managed to convince them not to go running in there and scaring Harry.
"Will he be all right?" Hermione asked as unshed tears brightened her eyes.
"I-I don't know Mi." Draco answered truthfully. "The curse seems to be gone but he is so..."
"Have you talked to him?" Ron questioned quietly.
"Some." Was all that Draco would reply.
"Draco..." Hermione said, "please."
"I know Mi, it's just that... it's hard though. He is still so weak, so tired. He talked in his sleep last night. He..." Draco broke off as his voice cracked under the strain of keeping it calm.
"Look mate, I know you still love him and Harry has always loved you. You know it was the curse, Draco. Don't give up now that we have him back."
"I'm not going to Ron. But I'm not the one to make that decision, Harry is."
"Let's get James and go Ron." Hermione said softly her voice a little husky due to her tears.
"I'll get his stuff." Draco said as he went into the room James had been using and got the bag he had prepared earlier. His son did not have much, just what Harry had been able to get him in the weeks they had been here.
He walked into kitchen to see the two men in his life with their heads together whispering and giggling. God how he loved both of them!
"Aunt Mi is here to pick you up son!" Draco said brightly, deliberately not mentioning that Ron was here as well. He wasn't sure how Harry would take that news.
"See you later Dad." James cried out as he ran from the room after a hug from Harry. Draco saw the happy face Harry had shown their son fall as soon as he was gone. He studied the tired face for a few seconds noticing how Harry refused to meet his eyes, before he turned and left the room.
He drew Hermione aside and asked her to take James for a another day instead of just overnight and she readily agreed. He gave her the password to get past the wards on his apartment when he wasn't there and told her he would see her Saturday morning.
He stooped and drew James into a tight hug. "You are going to stay with Auntie Mi for a little while, okay James? Be nice to Haley."
James gave his father a look that no six year old should ever have too and said softly, "don't hurt him Daddy. He does that enough without you helping him."
Draco felt tears threatened as he drug his wonderful son into a tighter hug. "I won't, James. I promise."
James whispered into his Daddy's neck as they hugged each other close, "you aren't the only one to stay awake and listen to him talk, Daddy."
Draco pulled back in shock and stared at the knowing look on his son's face. James had known all along what had happened. "I love you, James."
"Love you too, Daddy."
Goodbyes were said quickly and Draco stood in the quiet room thinking about what to do next. He could hear sounds from the kitchen and he knew that Harry was cleaning up after their breakfast. He didn't think he could do this, as a matter of fact, he couldn't. They had a few days and a couple hours more wouldn't hurt. He didn't fear Harry leaving, why he wasn't sure, but he believed him when he said he wasn't going to run this time.
Pushing open the swinging door to the kitchen he watched as Harry dried and put away the last plate. He wanted to take him in his arms but he knew they had to talk first.
"Hermione will be taking James for a few days." He said in the calmest tone he could manage. He watched as Harry stiffened and then nodded. "I am tired and am going to lay down, I trust you will be here when I wake?" He sneered in the best imitation of the old Malfoy that he could muster up. It must have worked because he saw Harry's head hang before he heard the snapped 'yes'.
Draco turned and went into James' room and with a muttered silencing charm sat down on his son's bed, cradling his pillow in his shaking arms, and cried. He cried for the last six years. He cried for the next days to come. He cried for the uncertainty of Harry's love. He didn't know why he was being so cold to him, he just knew it was the only way he was going to hold on long enough to learn everything.
Harry was tired but he did not want to lay down. So, he spent some time cleaning the cabin and then making himself a cup of tea. He sat on the balcony, watching the mountains, but not really seeing anything, lost deep in his memories. He would answer any questions that Draco asked, he owed him that much. And when he was done, he would ask to still be able to see James. Hopefully, Draco would agree.
He knew that Draco hated him and he could not blame him. He had ruined everything because he didn't talk to him, didn't tell him what was going on, didn't tell him what was wrong. But he couldn't, in the end it took all of Harry's strength to do what he did.
He had been staring at the mountains for hours, tea long gone cold, when a small sound drew his attention to the doorway. Draco was standing there, freshly showered, with a closed expression on his face.
"It is time," he said softly.
Harry nodded and got up to follow him into the living room. Draco sat on one end of the couch while Harry paced the small room.
"I will answer any questions you have for me." He said softly, refusing to meet the others eyes.
"We will start at the beginning then." Draco said tonelessly. Harry threw him a glance and flinched at the expressionless face. "When did you fist notice the effect of the curse?"
He knew this question would be asked but he really didn't want to answer it. "I think immediately but actually knowing was about six hours later."
He saw Draco stiffen and his lips compress angrily. He too was thinking about what they had done that night right after they had finally made it home. Harry flushed as he remembered the passion of that night. Silence grew as Draco thought over Harry's answer.
"That was the night James was conceived, did you figure that out?" Draco asked in the same emotionless tone as before.
"Yes," Harry whispered from where he stood next to the small fireplace.
"Why did you do it?"
"Draco…I need you to be more specific…I did so many things…I just…"
"Do you want them all Potter?" He ground out.
"Draco…I-" Harry began but was interrupted by the furious blonde as he stormed off the couch right up to him and started snarling in his face.
"Why did you not tell me? Why did you leave me? Why didn't you leave me for that matter? Why the bloody hell did you not tell someone what was going on? Why wasn't I enough to make you stay? Why the fuck did you try to kill yourself?" Draco was screaming at the last but he didn't care. He was so angry, so scared, that the calm he had been fighting for was gone. He didn't want to scare Harry off but damn it he was just so made.
Harry stood there and excepted Draco's anger. He let it wash over him. He took it in and let it heal him. This is what he should have done years ago. He reached out and gently took Draco's cheek in his trembling hand. Draco flinched but did not draw away and Harry felt heartened by that.
"I couldn't. I didn't want to lose you. At first, I could handle it." He began softly, "I thought my love for you would give me the strength to fight it. And then…it was too late to tell you. It was like I couldn't. I tried a few times but…something happened and I…we fought those times. Soon, we were fighting all the time."
Draco nodded and stepped back. Harry let his hand fall back down to his side with a sigh. They each took the time to get control of themselves before Harry asked a question of his own.
"Is it gone? Will it come back?" He asked fearfully.
"We don't know, Ron thinks not."
"I still can't believe he is a doctor." Harry said with a small smile.
"Yeah, after you…" Draco gestured with his hands towards Harry's arms, "he went into research trying to find a way to cure you. Believe it or not, but he is one of the best breakers we have."
"Good for him." Harry murmured, pride for his best friend apparent in his voice.
"What now?" Draco asked as his smile faded and his face grew dim. He would not force Harry to be with him but that didn't stop his heart from pounding faster in the hopes that he would want too.
"I don't know." Harry said tersely. He was now very afraid that Draco was going to take James away from him and wanted to curtail that quickly. He started his pacing back, running a hand through his hair and sighing. "I just…will you let me see James?"
"Of course." Draco kept the hope out of his voice by a phenomenal effort.
"I will get a job. Uummm, doing something. I can like see him on the weekends, that's what divorced muggles do. I can get a place…" Harry trailed off from his babbling to stare into the sad eyes of his ex-lover. He knew, without a shadow of a doubt, what he wanted but he didn't know if he could ask. So, he settled for this.
"I see." Draco said softly as he turned from Harry.
"Draco," Harry said uncertainly, "what is it?"
Draco shrugged his shoulders but did not turn around.
"Please…" Harry whispered.
"I can't do this anymore. I am going to my room. I'll be out in a little while." Draco said as he slowly made his way to James room. He closed the door softly and cast the silencing charm just seconds before his calm broke and sobs filled the room.
Harry didn't move, he couldn't, he stood there and stared at the door willing it to open and his love to walk out. But it didn't, it stayed firmly tightly closed against him. Like Draco's heart
He was such a fool. He finally moved only to sink slowly to the floor where he stood. He drew his knees to his chest and laid his head upon them. This was not going to work out all right. Draco would never forgive him for what he had put them through.
Harry had let the darkness that he had fought against since he was eleven win. The only thing he had left to him was possible weekends with his son, or so he hoped. He should be grateful for that. He vowed not to let shadows overtake him ever again. He didn't want to lose James. He had already lost Draco, losing James would kill him. He sat still, deep in thoughts and plans for a possible future, as the sun went down and the room gradually cooled.
Draco opened the door the next morning to see Harry, sitting on the floor in the exact spot he had left him in when he had ran into the bedroom. He hungrily drank in the sight of his lover. Harry's face was resting on his knees facing the door. The lines of tiredness were easy to see in the sleep softened face. He forced himself to walk to the couch and sit down quietly. He had decided to give Harry what he wanted. He just hoped James would understand. He didn't look forward to that conversation with his stubborn son. James reminded him so much of Harry that sometimes he wondered if he had any part of making him.
Harry woke with a start and looking around frantically, stopped when he saw Draco watching him. Harry felt his face flush wondering if he had been talking in his sleep again. He hoped not as he had been having the most delicious dream.
Draco decided to get straight to the point and get this over as quickly as possible. The sooner they agreed the sooner he could go home to James.
"I have decided to agree to your terms. The fireplace will be connected to Malfoy Manor and every Friday James will come here after school. Every Sunday, I will come pick him up at seven in the evening." Draco started evenly.
Harry just stared at him in surprise Draco was going to let James come and see him. He wasn't going to take his son away!
"Thank you," he whispered.
Draco nodded as he stood to leave. "I will have some food sent to you in a few hours to help you until you can get around better on your own. I will also explain this arrangement to James."
Draco walked to the fireplace and got some floo powder out of the holder. He turned to say goodbye to Harry and caught the sadness on his face before he managed to conceal it. He was giving him what he wanted so why was he so sad? "I trust you will be here the first time I send my son to you?" Draco asked harshly.
Draco smiled when he saw Harry flinch but was surprised when he didn't say anything in his defense. Draco didn't know that Harry felt that he deserved his hatred. He hated himself so why shouldn't Draco. Harry nodded in response as Draco turned again to leave.
"Tell him I will miss him."
"I will." Draco said seconds before he apperated to Malfoy Manor.
"I'll miss you, too." Two voices whispered who were further apart than mere continents.
Draco was good to his word as a house elf appeared hours later with enough food to feed Harry for a week. Harry thanked the house elf before it left and set about making another cup of tea. He had four days until James was here and he hadn't a clue as to what to do with his time until then. Maybe he could find a job in the nearest town. Thinking it sounded like a good idea he set about job hunting.
Before he knew it, it was Friday and he was anxiously waiting for James to come through the floo. Just when he was getting worried that he wasn't coming the fire flared and his son shot out of the fireplace with a glad cry. They grabbed each other in a tight hug, falling to his knees in order to hug his son more tightly. All his anxiety fled as he held his son. He caught movement out of the corner of his eye and saw Hermione step out of the fireplace.
He stared at one of his best friends, shame on his face, as she took one look at him and dropping to her knees gathered him in a fierce hug.
"I'm sorry. I'm so sorry." was all he could say as the two best friends held onto each other.
"Draco told us Harry, we understand." She whispered through her own tears.
"How can you understand?"
"Because we love you twit," Ron said as he caught the end of Harry's question. Harry jumped up and threw himself at Ron. With a laugh they hugged and Harry once again said, "I'm so sorry."
"It's okay mate." Ron said as he hugged him.
Harry stepped back and a weird silence filled the room before Hermione snorted. The men looked at her in astonishment as she exclaimed, "we're not children here, come on."
Ron grinned at his wife and was glad to hear Harry's lilting laugh soon follow. It was great to be with him again.
"Can you stay for dinner?" Harry asked hopefully.
"Well, I don't…"
"Please…" he begged with a pout.
"Yes we will." Hermione gave in with a grin. She was very happy to see Harry laughing and teasing with them. It bode well for his recovery.
Harry grinned at them and getting James' things went to put them in his room. He smiled giving a sort of happy hop, went to join his son and his two best friends in his living room. Thanking all the Gods he knew to have this chance again. His smile faded as he wished Draco was here but he understood why he wasn't. Besides, he though with a hopeful grin, he would see him Sunday.
"I'm serious!" Harry cried out.
"Harry, mate, quit pulling my leg." Ron laughed.
Harry pouted at him and Hermione and James erupted into stronger laughter.
"I don't see what is so funny about my new job." Harry huffed as he crossed his arms over his still very thin chest.
Ron sputtered, "b-but Harry…you…you're a…"
"A dishwasher!" James cried out as he danced in a circle. "Dad's a dishwasher…Dad's a dishwasher…"
"James." Harry growled at his son but he didn't hear him over his singing. Harry swiftly moved to grab him and swing him around. They both laughed so hard that Harry's sides were beginning to hurt. He swung James and held him like a football and started running around with him. James was flopping around laughing so hard he was barely able to breathe.
Harry and James fell on the couch when Harry got too tired to hold him anymore still laughing. He caught Ron's eye and he raised a red eyebrow at him and then launched himself across the room. Grabbed James from Harry and proceeded to 'fly' him around the room. Harry lay on the couch tired but content as he listened to his sons shrieks of laughter.
Hermione came to sit beside him on the floor and he was proud of himself when he didn't pull away when she took his hand in hers. He couldn't stop the flinch but he was proud he didn't pull away. He saw the understanding and compassion in his eyes and they shared a smile.
"You okay, Harry?" She asked.
He squeezed her hands and smiled softly at her, "I'm getting there."
She nodded and then yelling at Ron to put down the airplane they left after more hugs and laughter.
James and Harry spent their weekend laughing and getting closer than ever before and soon it was Sunday night and Draco was going to be here in fifteen minutes. Harry couldn't stop his heart from beating faster as the minutes counted down. He pointedly ignored James' knowing looks, spending his time watching the clock slowly count down the minutes.
When seven o'clock came it was not Draco who stepped out of the fire but Ron. Harry knew he didn't hide his disappointment fast enough from Ron. Draco didn't come.
"Where's Daddy?" James asked sullenly.
"He had a business meeting to go too." Ron said trying to keep his own disappointment from showing in his voice. He had argued with Draco for thirty minutes before finally giving in to his wishes.
James said nothing he just turned to Harry and hugging him tightly whispered that he would see him on Friday. He turned around and flooed home.
"Business meeting?" Harry asked as casually as he could.
Ron looked sheepish as he said, "no, he just…you both need time Harry. Don't blame him."
Harry looked surprised. "Ron, I don't blame Draco, not one bit."
It was Ron's turn to look surprised, "you don't?"
"Why would I blame him? It was my fault, not his." Harry stated. "Does he think I blame him?"
"I think that both of you need some time to think about things." Ron said slowly as if reluctant to say what he really thought.
"I know Ron. I gave him his space. It's what he wanted."
"I don't think it is a matter of want, Harry. It is what you both need."
"I…you're right. It was foolish of me to think he wouldn't hate me." Harry sighed as he turned to look out the window missing Ron's surprised glance and narrowed eyes.
"Look, I have to go. How about guy night, say Wednesday?" Ron grinned at Harry, "that is if you don't have to work."
"Shut up, you," Harry grinned at him, "Wednesday night sounds good to me."
They hugged briefly and Ron left Harry alone with his dreary, lonely, thoughts.
Wednesday night had been a blast. He had needed it. But now, it was Friday again and he was waiting for James to get here. He wondered if Draco was going to show up or someone else. Anyone was fine except for the Don person. James didn't like him and neither did Harry. The fire flared and James stepped out with a solemn face, one look and Harry knew Draco was not coming. He kneeled in front of his son and taking him in his arms held him tight.
The weekend passed swiftly and before he knew it, it was time for James to leave. At seven the fire flared and a man he didn't know stepped out of the flames. James cursed beside him and somehow Harry knew that this was Don. Harry tensed and his hand gripped James' shoulder.
Harry took the time to study the man whom Draco had chosen and he couldn't fault him for it. The man was bloody gorgeous; sandy blonde hair, perfect teeth, slim build. Harry hated him even more.
The man smiled at Harry and held his hand out for Harry to shake. Harry stared at it for seconds before raising cold eyes to met startled brown ones.
"Dad doesn't touch people, moron." James said angrily.
"James," Harry murmured warningly.
Don had the grace to look shamed but then he shrugged and said instead, "got your stuff, son?"
Harry felt his body grow cold as he heard this man call his son 'son'. logically, he knew that Don had had more to do with James than Harry had but hell had had been in a coma, hadn't he? He restrained from ripping the mans head off, barely, by kneeling beside James and whispering in his ear.
James' face lit up and he nodded happily before grabbing his bag and walking to the fireplace. They shared another grin, one a Marauder's son and the other a Marauder's grandson, which should cause concern to anyone who knew before he flooed home. He ignored Don's helping hand the entire time.
Harry stared coldly at Don until the man flushed and left as well.
Weeks passed with James arriving on his own and leaving with Ron, Hermione, or Don. Draco never showed up and he was beginning to think he never would. His strength was returning but he still tired easily. He spent his weekdays working in the small restaurant down the street and his weekends with James.
All in all, he couldn't complain. Except for he was so ,lonely. It was all he could do to make it through the week. It was Thursday, on the six weeks mark that he had been out of the hospital, and he was looking forward to having James here. He was walking home after his shift, shivering in the cold. The weather had turned two nights ago and it was dreary and wet and cold.
He hated this weather. He shivered in his wet sweater. He really needed to buy a jacket. Harry finally got home and after taking a hot shower h sat reading until he fell asleep.
Getting up the next day was difficult. His chest felt like someone was sitting on it and his head like someone had stuffed a whole pillow up his nose. He thought he had a fever but couldn't tell. He drank an cup of tea and barely made it to work.
He shivered all morning and finally, around noon his boss, Rose, sent him home. He felt absolutely horrible. He walked home in the pouring rain and spent an hour in the tub trying to get warm. He weekly got out of the tub, shivering as he dressed, and slowly made his way to the kitchen to make himself a cup of tea.
He knew he was sick. He didn't want to think it was bad though the room was only spinning slightly. He managed to make his tea and get to the couch where he fell down on it weekly only thinking about sleeping until James got there.
He slept the rest of the afternoon away alternating between fevers and chills. He didn't wake when the fire flared and James stepped through. He missed the dejected look on his sons face when he saw that Harry was not there to hug him. He missed the scared look on his sons face when he saw Harry laying so still on the couch. He missed the fear in his sons voice as he tried to wake him up. He didn't feel his son shaking him and yelling in his ear to please wake up and that he was scared.
James ran to the fireplace and screaming 'Malfoy Manor' disappeared. Minutes later he shot back out of the fireplace closely followed by his anxious father.
"Dad…" James cried again as he flung himself at Harry.
"James," Draco said softly as he pulled the crying boy away from the shivering man. Draco placed his hand on Harry's wet brow and couldn't keep a gasp of shock from escaping. He was burning up!
"James, go into the bathroom and get me a wet washcloth." He gently commanded his son. He levitated Harry to his bed where he clothed him in his pajamas making sure he didn't stare too longingly at Harry's beautiful body. He had just tucked him in when James arrived with the washcloth and he instructed him to hold it on Harry's forehead. He tried to ignore the lump in his throat as he gazed at Harry's pale sick face. How long had he been sick? Why, oh why, had he not contacted anyone?
"I'm going to call Aunt Mi and have her come check him out. Will you be okay?" He asked his quietly sobbing son. James nodded as he gently wiped Harry's face with the damp cloth.
"Thanks, Daddy." He whispered.
"James…" Draco started but sighed and stopped. He knew James was very angry with him for the way he was treating Harry but it really was for the best, "…you're welcome son."
Hermione came quickly, and though she blanched at Harry's condition, assured them he would be all right. He was still weak and his body couldn't fight off the cold. More than likely, it had hit him hard and fast before he could do anything about it. They would have to just wait and let him heal. She offered to stay and take care of him but Draco refused, saying he would stay. After all, it was Harry's weekend with his son and he didn't want to take that away from James.
Hermione smiled and leaving the right potions, flooed home. Draco missed the knowing look that passed between her and James. Maybe, just maybe, this would be what his fathers needed.
Pain. Anger. Hatred. Fear. Amore. Coldness. Darkness. Blood. Hatred. Caedere. Red Eyes. Scaly Skin. Avada. Hatred. Blood. Pain. Subemere. Hatred. Kedavra. Fear. Pain. Screams. Blood. Blood. Blood.
Harry was lost in a whirlwind of memory of the last battle with Voldemort. His mind kept clicking the events in his head and each time more and more things became clearer. He had never fully remembered that night. Until now.
He cried out in anguish as, in his mind, he saw Draco fall followed closely by Ron. He cried out for them in his delirium, he poured all the anguish he felt when he saw them fall into that cry.
"Draco, NO!" Harry cried out reaching a hand out just like he had done that night.
"I see your lover wasn't strong enough, Harry. Pity that."Harry heard the cold voice behind him and he turned to face the evil standing there.
"Hello, Tom." Harry said in a surprisingly calm voice.
"Do not call me that!" Shrieked Voldemort.
Harry raised an eyebrow at him and shaking his head gave a small chuckle, "still arrogant as ever I see. Too bad you lost what little looks you had in the first place, Tom."
"You fool!" Spat the snake like lips as the red eyes flashed their hatred.
"I am a fool for not killing you before you took Draco away from me." Harry agreed.
"You will be the one to die this night, Potter."
Harry smiled sadly and looked one more time in the direction in which Draco had fallen. "I want to die tonight, Tom."
Harry stepped away from him and raised his wand casting a shield around the both of them, "shall we dance, Tom?"
Harry relived the battle between himself and Voldemort. In his delirium he called out each and every curse he threw at him. Until finally, he chocked and cried out, 'what have you done?"
"You may have won this time Potter, but you will never be free." Voldemort gasped out around the blood pouring from his mouth.
"What did you do to me?" Harry cried out again. He had not recognized the curse he had been hit with. His fury grew to outrageous heights as he raised his wand and pointed it straight at Voldemort's heart.
"Paybacks a bitch, Tom." he said coldly as he cast the spell back on him, "AMORE CAEDERE SUBEMERE!"
Voldemort screeched as he fell to his knees. Harry watched, calmly, as he withered on the ground.
His voice was cold, dead, and full of fury as he pronounced his last spell, "avada kedavra."
With a scream of pure terror, Harry convulsed on the bed. Draco had listened in horror to the one sided conversation. Finally knowing, at least Harry's side of the story of that night. Most importantly, they now knew the name of the spell that Voldemort had cast on Harry and maybe Ron would be able to break Harry from it.
As Harry convulsed Draco threw himself at him and held him. He started whispering loving words and settling little butterfly kisses all over his face. Soon he stopped convulsing and lay limp in Draco's arms falling into a deep sleep. A wash cloth appeared and Draco lifted his eyes to see the tear stained face of his son.
"James…" Draco whispered worriedly.
James shook his head, "I've already heard this Daddy, it's okay."
"That first night here. He was out for two days. I was very worried."
"Why didn't you floo someone?'
"Because you would have taken me away." James said simply.
"Son, I wouldn't…"
James interrupted him, "liar," he snapped, "you did take me away. Now look at him!"
Draco did what his son asked him to do and looked at Harry. More tears fell as he stared at the only man he would ever love. Draco pulled his son to lay down on the other side of Harry as father and son held onto the sleeping man between them, tears falling down both of their cheeks.
"I'm so sorry." Draco whispered to James over Harry's head.
"It's okay, Daddy." James whispered back from where he was cuddled up against Harry's side.
They fell asleep holding Harry between them. Both missed the deep sigh and small smile on his face.
For three days Harry faded in and out of delirium. One minute he was still as death, the next he was screaming in agony. His fever had broke the next day, due to Hermione's potions, so Draco knew that it wasn't the cold that was the problem…it was the curse. He had contacted Ron and gave him the name of the curse and he had promised to get back to him as soon as he knew something. That was two days ago.
Both James and Draco were worn ragged and scared. James cried easily. He was scared he was going to lose his Dad just when he had gotten him back. Draco was scared that he was going to lose Harry forever this time, at least when he was in a coma he knew he was okay. This was beyond frightening.
He had taken to sitting beside his bed and talking to him, telling him all about James. He wanted to think that Harry heard him because those were the times that he was still as death. It was when he just couldn't talk any longer or had fallen into an exhausted sleep that he started screaming. Quiet whimpers that gradually turned into full out screaming. It was beginning to tear the two Malfoys apart. Draco finally sent James home with Hermione, not wanting his son to be there if Harry suddenly died. Ron had taken him, screaming, into the fireplace.
That was two hours ago. Draco was talking now, telling Harry everything he couldn't have said with James there. He started with that day in Potions when he had realized that he felt more than hatred for The Boy Who Lived. He told Harry about his feelings the first time they had kissed, made love, and told each other that they loved. He talked about the war and his fear every time he went out that he wouldn't come back. He told him how the fighting and hatred he showed him after the war had made him feel.
He told him about how he had learned he was pregnant and before he could tell him, he had left him. He told how he was glad that he had done that because he didn't think he could have handled much more of his anger. He told him how scared he was when he had found him laying in a puddle of his own blood, saying over and over again 'I'm sorry'.
He told him about raising James by himself and the anger he had cultivated at him for leaving them. He told him about the joy and astonishment he had felt when he had walked into his room and saw him standing there. He told him about his desperation that he couldn't find them. He told him about his need to stay away and give him the space he said he needed and how that was driving him insane.
And through it all, Harry lay there, still as death, and listened.
Draco talked for over three hours and his throat was sore but he had one last thing to tell Harry. He told him about how through all of this he had never stopped loving him and his hope that one day he would love him back.
"I love you, Harry."
Draco's voice trailed off in the grim silence of the room. He had poured his heart and soul out and now he was drained, physically and mentally. He stared at the still form on the bed and sighing deeply got up and went to the bathroom. He wanted a shower and a cold drink. Shower first though, the last few days had been rough and he knew he stunk.
They had lost so much time. He only hoped they could get it back. He wanted his Harry back.
He stood under the hot water spray letting it wash away his tears. A sadness so great he could not contain it any longer overcame him and he fell to his knees, sobbing. He wrapped his shivering arms around his wet naked chest and cried for Harry, for James, and for himself.
Finally the sobs ceased and Draco sat back in the tub, letting the water beat down on him. He felt better now, amazingly. He had really needed that.
He heard the whimpers as he walked by Harry's bedroom door towards the kitchen to make himself a cup of tea for his sore throat. He hesitated outside the bedroom door but decided to get his tea first. He was leaving the kitchen when the fire flared and Don stepped out of the flames.
Draco scowled at him, "what are you doing here?"
Don gave him a weird look before saying, "I came to see you."
"Well, you've seen me, now leave." Draco growled. The cries were louder now and he knew that soon Harry would start to scream.
Don threw a look at the closed door, "what is wrong with you?"
"Nothing. I just don't want you here."
"Really? That's not what you said last month." Don said smugly.
"I have changed my mind." Draco said haughtily.
Don snorted, "so like a woman."
"What did you say?" Draco snapped menacingly.
"Look, come home Draco. James needs you, I need you." Don tried to cajole him.
"James is with Ron and Hermione, he is fine."
"And what about me?"
"What about you?" Draco asked in confusion. The cries from the room had now morphed into faint screams.
"Draco," Don tried to say sexily, "you know how I feel about you."
Draco rolled his eyes in a very childish manner, "you know what I told you, Don. I don't love you."
"You could." Don raised his hand and traced Draco's cheek.
Draco jerked his head back, "no, I couldn't. Now, leave. I have to get back to Harry."
"Why do you still want that bastard after everything he has done to you?"
"Because I love him. Now leave before I curse you." Draco snarled.
Don cursed and stomped to the fireplace. He gave Draco one more glare before he left. Draco sighed in relief as soon as he was gone.
He went into the bedroom to sit next to Harry. He started talking again and gradually his screams began to lessen. He was so tired he climbed into the bed next to him and gathered Harry into his arms and continued to talk.. He had been talking for over an hour when he heard Ron's voice call from the living room. He scrambled up and raced into the room, his heart in his throat.
"Ah good, you're up. Coming through," Ron yelled and seconds later he shot out of the fireplace with the biggest grin on his face.
"Oh, please…" Draco breathed, unable to say anything else over the lump in his sore throat.
Ron grinned again and nodded. Draco gave a glad cry and launched himself at the red head. He hugged him tightly and then ran into the room. Ron followed slowly and when he got there he gasped at how horrible Harry looked. Draco had kept him clean and fed but the terrors he had went through in his mind had left physical traces on his thin, pale body.
"Ron?" Draco asked worriedly.
"Sorry, Ferret, I just didn't know what to expect." Ron tried to joke but it was a pathetic attempt and they both knew it.
"Well!" Draco demanded impatiently, "can you break it?"
"No," Ron sighed, "Harry already did."
"We just have to wait." Ron tried to sooth him. Draco was having none of it though.
"Wait? I can't. Ron! You have no idea…just listening to him. God! Why couldn't I see it? Everything pointed to it but all I could think was he didn't love me anymore. And it was just the opposite, the more he loved me the worse the curse got. Merlin! What did he have to live through, Ron?" Draco slumped to the bed in defeat.
"Draco…the curse. You know Harry, better than I do now. If he hadn't loved you I doubt he could have lasted the six months that he did before he couldn't handle it anymore."
Draco's brow furrowed in concentration. Something Ron said was niggling at the back of his head. He frowned when he just couldn't get it.
"What is it?" Ron asked when he noticed his expression.
"I don't know. There is something…" Draco's eyes widened as it hit him, "six hours, six months, six years, six weeks…Ron! That's it! He'll be fine in six days. Six! I should have seen it."
"What?" Ron squeaked as Draco jumped up and twirled him around.
"Don't you get it? I'm willing to bet that it took six seconds for the curse to settle and six minutes after Voldemort cursed him it started. Six hours after Voldemort cursed him he knew. He lasted six months before he couldn't take it anymore and tried to kill himself. He was in a coma for six years. It has all gone backwards. I knew he had been awake for a while I just didn't know how long. Now…everything is going backwards and in two days, six hours and six seconds he will be fine!"
"Draco…" Ron cautioned, "you could be wrong."
"But I'm not, Weasley. I just know it. Besides…the curse is gone. You said so yourself. This time I'm not leaving him." Draco said firmly. He now believed that Harry was going to be all right.
"Okay Draco. I do have some more good news." Ron said with a smirk as he let the other go. They would know in a few days if Draco was right, if he wasn't he and Hermione would be here for him just like last time.
"What?" Draco looked startled for a moment before he narrowed his eyes at the red head.
"I can stop his screaming." Ron said smugly.
Draco looked stunned and then his nostrils flared, "you mean we have been sitting here and all this time you could have already done that? I've a good mind to hex you."
Ron laughed and turning performed the complex charm over Harry. Seconds later the man on the bed gave a great sigh and slipped into a restful sleep.
"Thank you." Draco murmured.
Ron nodded and turned to leave. At the door he turned to watch as Draco took Harry's hand in his and held it tight against his chest. He watched as he tenderly moved Harry's hair from his forehead and leaned down to lace a kiss on his scar.
"Come back to me love," he whispered onto that pale flesh.
"I'll send James back in a few hours." Ron said quietly.
Draco nodded but continued to watch Harry sleep and lovingly caress his face. Ron sighed and left. He had never really like Draco all that much but he never, not once, doubted his love for Harry.
James had returned a few hours later and Draco had sat him down and explained everything to him. Not for the first time he was amazed at all he already knew. His son was very intelligent and he may have only been six years old but he was very mature for his age.
He listened as his father explained about the curse and what it had done to his Dad. He cried softly when Draco talked about the anger and hate he had felt for Harry when he had left him once again. He hugged his Daddy close when he too broke down and cried when he told his son how terrified he had been when he couldn't find them.
"I'm sorry, Daddy."
"Me too, son."
"Will he be okay, now?" James couldn't keep the fear from his voice as he stared hopefully up at his father.
"I hope so. Uncle Ron seems to think he will be. We just have to wait two more days to find out."
"W-will I stay here?" Draco could hear where James tried to cover his anxiety.
"Yes James…you will stay here with me, with us."
"What about Don?" James demanded with a glare. Draco had known that his son did not like Don but he had never known why.
"Don is gone."
"Good." James snipped with a funny grin. He was not going to tell his Daddy about the prank the he and his Dad had planned for Don.
"James Black Malfoy! What is that suppose to mean?" Draco asked with fake anger as his son started to giggle.
"Daddy! He was more of a ponce than you are!"
"James!" Draco was highly offended but let it go as they both dropped beside Harry and started laughing. They laid there and laughed and talked for a long time before they both were tired.
"Love you, Daddy." James said sleepily.
"Love you too, son.' Draco said as he let sleep claim him.
"Night, Dad." He heard James murmur.
It was actually four days before Harry regained consciousness. Just like before, one minute he was asleep and the next he was awake and trying to figure out his surroundings. He recognized his room at the cabin. Moving his head to the left he discovered the warmth on that side to be James. Moving his head to the right he discovered the warmth on that side to be Draco. His breath caught as he drank in the sight of the sleeping man curled up next to him. Moving slowly he managed to get his arm from underneath James, without waking him, and lifted it up to caress his lovers cheek.
A quiet giggle drew his attention to his son and he moved his finger up to his lips in a motion to get him to be quiet. James nodded slowly and carefully he got up from the bed and left the room after a brief look at his fathers.
Harry settled back and watched Draco until he began to stir. Keeping his eyes almost closed he was mesmerized as Draco opened sleepy eyes to look at Harry.
"Morning, love." Harry whispered as he let all the love he felt for the man beside him shine from his eyes.
Draco's eyes widened as it took a few seconds for his brain to register the fact that Harry was awake.
"Harry?" He breathed out.
Harry nodded his head as he gathered the man he loved into his still weak arms, "I'm sorry."
Draco shook his head as he tried to still his own shaking, "it's okay."
"Let me make it up to you." Harry pleaded.
"Oh, you'll make it up to me, Potter." Draco mocked growled, "even if it takes the rest of your life to do it."
Harry knew that the times ahead would not be easy. But he also knew he was where he was always meant to be, with Draco.
"Promise?" Harry whispered as he let his lips rest lightly on the blondes.
"Always." Draco whispered back as he claimed the others lips in a soft kiss.
Harry sighed and pulled back. As much as he wanted to make love to Draco he knew he was still to weak. "Tell me."
He listened and cried along with him as Draco told him everything.
"Is it gone?" He finally asked after he had been told everything that they knew.
Harry felt more tears well up in his eyes and spill onto his cheeks as sobs raked his body. He let his finally cry in Draco's arms.
"Shhh…it's okay." Draco whispered as he hugged him tighter.
"I'm so sorry."
"I love you, Harry."
"I love you, too, Draco."
"Woohoo! About damn time if you ask me!" James yelled as he skipped into the room from where he had been hiding just on the other side of the door. He jumped on the bed and launched himself at his fathers, completely ignoring their combined shocked cry of 'James!'
Soon all three were laughing and hugging and Harry thought it a fitting end for the last six years.
He smiled at Draco over James' head and felt his heart swell when he smiled back.
'Sometimes,' he thought, 'I'm sorry does say it all'.
Thank you all for reading and waiting patiently for the last installment of this series.
Trails of Blood 5. COMPLETE Sometimes 'I'm sorry' says it all. If you can say it. If it is heard. Sometimes it just might be enough.