In the seven months since Harry had regained consciousness after the Final Battle, both teens had progressed wondrously. Draco spent hours in physical therapy. Poppy worked him hard, re-building his muscle strength and waking his nerves. Within a month of being released from the body-bind, he was able to stand on his own. He was able to walk – needing lots of breaks – by April. Now Draco had been walking normally for two months, needing a cane when he grew tired, but still! It was a miracle. It hadn't been easy and often caused him a lot of pain, but he was able to stand and walk now. He had to take potions every night, but he may be able to forgo even those by next year.
Harry was another miracle: the first survivor of Desecration in the history of the Wizarding World. They had discovered that as long as he was with Draco, he was fine. Draco was his stabilizer, the filter that made what happened to him just bearable enough to let him survive. But if Draco left for longer than a few hours, he would start to have flashbacks, display nervous ticks, and his magic would become unstable. Even when he was with Draco, Harry's magic was atypical.
His wand no longer worked for him and he couldn't do any magic unless he was very emotional. Harry had been frustrated, at first, but had come to realize that it wasn't that bad. He was with Draco most of the time, anyway. If magic needed to be done, then the blonde could take care of it. At least it was still able to protect him. It was quite explosive when he became frightened or angry.
The only problem with Harry not able to consciously use his magic was it needed an outlet or it would explode. That was how powerful his magic had become. Luckily, Harry instinctively knew this and dumped a good portion of his magic into his bond to Draco. The Malfoy Lord couldn't contain such force either, so Harry's magic went through him down his connections to his family. All across the country, those of the Malfoy family that had pledged themselves to Draco had their magic enhanced by almost thirty percent. And those that Draco felt affection for doubled their magical strength.
Little Elisabeth was already displaying accidental magic of incredible strength, and Kenneth could now transfigure things with ease when he had always struggled to do so. Harry was the best thing that could ever have happened to the Malfoy family. He was making them stronger, and better yet, gave Draco the power he needed to rule such a vast family at such a young age. No one would dare to usurp Draco as Lord when Harry was bound to him alone.
Despite being a little magical sun for the Malfoys, Harry had been very insecure about what he could offer Draco and the Wizarding World. He felt useless, a burden to everyone. So he began doing some reading and studying about Wizarding government and culture, and he realized how very much he never understood or even knew was happening around him because he hadn't been raised in the Wizarding World.
Determined to fix the gap in knowledge between the Muggleborns and Purebloods, Harry asked Draco to build him a school for his seventeenth birthday (as he had the majority of the Potter money on orphanages and restoration projects). It would be a school where the Muggleborns from Hogwarts, Beauxbatons, and Durmstrang could come on the weekends to study current and historical Wizarding culture. Draco had agreed.
The Purebloods were unhappy with this at first, but Harry and Draco had gone to all the prominent Dark and Light families to explain that if they taught Muggleborns and converted them to their lifestyle, then the influence wouldn't be so one-sided and Muggle culture wouldn't degrade their ways so much. They had finally agreed and promised to consider Harry's school neutral ground and untouchable from any political or physical attacks.
Still high from his victory, Harry had also hired as many werewolves as he could to teach, guard, and maintain the school, and he was paying them decent wages. Before anyone could freak out, he made sure everyone knew that every werewolf he hired would be required to take Wolfsbane Potion and would be removed from the school on full moon nights. Harry hoped that this would stop the rise in the werewolf population and curb the desperation in them. Naturally, Remus was very interested in this and Harry made him co-Headmaster. Harry was the Founder, but he didn't have any idea how to run a school, so they would do it together.
The school, named Ethos Academy, would open October 1st, a month after all the other magical schools began. It was a beautiful Wizarding building, taking almost five weeks of non-stop work to be finished and there was still room for it to continue to grow over the years. And because students would attend from all three of the European Wizarding schools, the students would learn about countries other than the one they were born in, make friends across Europe, and learn new languages. In fact, Hogwarts was now going to offer French and German language classes as electives.
Also the Ministers of Magic from all three countries would have to be on friendlier terms since their children would be gathering together there. The Ministers had been reluctant to agree to this of course, but when The Harry Potter, Slayer of Voldemort, comes to you for a favor, it's hard to resist. Draco's cold stare as he stood behind his love and the sheer power the Malfoy family had when it was truly united, had something to do with it as well.
Harry stood at the window in the blue parlor. It was modestly (for a Malfoy) decorated with two beautifully carved divans, a huge fireplace, two bay windows, and elegant landscape paintings. There was not one marble sculpture or gold anywhere in the room, so Draco felt it bordered on plebian. It was Harry's favorite. He thought Malfoy Manor was beautiful, but sometimes it just felt cluttered.
He smiled as he listened to Kenny's and Liza's laughter. They were playing in the garden and he watched them fondly. Cousin Augustus and Margaret, and especially their children, had become part of his little family. Remus and Margaret go on famously and Severus and Augustus were two of a kind. And Harry loved the children. They felt almost like siblings. Liza even called him Brother Harry. He would have been playing with them now, but had become antsy and retreated to the parlor to wait for Draco to floo home.
Harry wondered if Draco's meeting would be over in time for them to go play with the kids a bit more before dinner. He reached with his mind and fully engaged their bond. He felt Draco's amusement and knew the meeting was going well. He sighed and leaned his forehead against the window. Draco had been gone for almost three and a half hours and he was beginning to feel the strain. He was already reflexively grabbing hold of the bond every few minutes now to keep himself grounded.
He turned and saw the golden-haired Augustus standing in the doorway. Harry smiled and gestured to a chair in welcome. If his movements were a bit jerky, Augustus didn't say anything. The man came in and took the seat, his dark blue eyes soft. He was not a tolerant man and weakness was abhorrent to him, but the little brunette was not a weakness to the family. In fact, Harry was a precious resource. The teen's magic even now filled him with a sensation like warm summer sunshine.
"He should be home soon, Harry."
"I know," Harry nodded spastically and reached again for the bond, bathing in his love's steady emotions. "Sometimes I wish that Draco could still feel me as I can now sense him. Then he'd know when he's been gone too long."
Augustus smiled, "Lord Draco would never get anything done if that were the case. He's distracted by you enough as it is."
Harry smiled happily back, knowing Augustus was only teasing. Draco really did love him. Whenever they were together, Draco always had one eye on him. It made Harry feel safe and secure, and he adored Draco in return. The blonde was everything to him. He grabbed the bond and told himself to take deep breaths. He was fine. Nothing was going to hurt him.
"Would you like to play chess?" Augustus tried to distract the brunette. "I hear you have been taking lessons from your father?"
"Yes," Harry stood, but then sat back down again immediately, his hands twisting in his lap. "I'm teaching Liza, too. She likes it, I think."
"That's wonderful, Harry. I thank you."
The fire flared and Draco stepped into the room. Without stopping to brush off the ashes from his clothes, he strode across the room and caught Harry up into his arms as the brunette ran to him. Severus stepped out of the fire after the Malfoy Lord and shared an amused glance with Augustus. The two teens were impossible.
"How are you, Baby?"
"I'm fine." Harry grinned and buried his face against Draco's neck. "The meeting went well, I take it."
"It did." Draco smirked and tucked Harry against his side so that he could face his cousin. "I've just secured exclusive rights to market the new Egyptian silks."
"Excellent," Augustus practically purred. "And how did you manage that?"
"I talked Lord Loring – dreadful name, I know," Draco added when Harry laughed – "into selling his half to me and in return, I sold him 45 of the Malfoy shares in the very lucrative Swiss chocolate stocks."
"Stocks that just so happen to be dropping." Augustus grinned. "Well done, Draco."
"And the drop in chocolate is so small, he won't realize it for a while, and I won't possible be blamed for that. The market is fluid, after all, and almost impossible to predict."
Harry pulled away enough to look up at his lover, "What are you going to do with all the billions you just secured for the Malfoy family?"
Draco leaned down to kiss his cheek, "Three percent is going to the restoration of the buildings that have been destroyed by the war. And another three percent will go to Ethos Academy. The rest will be mostly spent in the upkeep of our holdings and taxes."
"Thank you!" Harry squeezed him.
"It's a great idea, Harry. I'm proud to help you," Draco assured him.
Harry could feel his lover's honesty through the bond, but when he looked up at Draco his smile was knowing, like he was humoring his love. Harry knew the truth behind Draco's enthusiasm for his project – besides wanting to support him, of course. Draco just loved the fact that they were making such a powerful statement to all three of the major European governments. Draco was a Malfoy and extending his metaphysical territory always made him smug and pleased with himself. Draco had the grace to flush a bit, but winked saucily. He wasn't ashamed of his ambition or of having pleased his lover. Harry chuckled.
"Cousin Draco! Brother Harry!" Liza came running into the room, her golden hair up in pigtails and her face red from yelling and running. She crashed into their legs and Harry bent to lift her onto a hip, kissing her cheek as he did so. "Save me! Kenneth the Ugly is after me!"
Draco laughed, "Kenny, what have you done to your sister?"
The boy came into the room scowling. He had the same light brown hair as his mother, but his both him and his sister had their father's blue eyes. "She bit me and so I told her I was going to bite her back."
"Elisabeth!" Harry scolded. "Biting is bad and you know it!"
She huffed and pouted. When Harry's green eyes didn't soften in the least, she caved. "Sorry, Brother Harry. Sorry, Kenny."
Augustus laughed, "Before you, Harry, that little brat never apologized in her life! I am twice grateful to you!"
Harry smiled and tickled the little girl's stomach, "She's sweet, really."
"I'm hungry," Draco smiled and kissed his lover's cheek. "Why don't we see what the elves and Cousin Maggie have decided on for dinner?"
"I wish you wouldn't call her by that dreadful name," Augustus muttered, knowing full well Draco wouldn't stop. It didn't help that his wife didn't mind in the least.
"Should we wait for Moony?" Harry asked, looking over at his father.
"No. He's busy settling a squabble with the wolves at Ethos," Severus sneered.
Harry nodded and the six of them made their way to the informal dinning room.
Harry and Draco walked into their bedroom together. Usually they put on their pajamas and Harry would spend at least ten minutes brushing out Draco's glorious waist-length hair. But tonight, Draco went straight to the bed and lay down with a hiss. Harry had expected it. As soon as his blonde love sat at the dinner table, he had felt Draco tense with pain. But he had hid it well and none of the others had suspected. Without saying anything, Harry gently pulled off Draco's shoes and socks and then his pants. He saw the blonde's thighs and calves twitching spastically and painfully as the nerves fired and misfired uncontrollably.
Draco lay with his eyes closed tight and only moved to swallow when Harry put a vial to his lips. The potion had long ago stopped bothering him, his taste buds giving up on warning him that it was foul. The pain didn't lessen, but the twitching did and he began to relax. He relaxed further when Harry's strong hands began to message a pain-easing salve into the abused muscles. He smiled and let his love work.
Harry stopped when Draco was practically a puddle on the bed and purring with pleasure, his eyes half open and bright. He smiled and shook his head. It never failed to amuse him that even when Draco was in such pain and his legs temporarily off line for a few hours, he could still look at him with lust. Harry put the salve away and finished undressing the blonde, leaving him in only his silk boxers. Harry slept in soft, cotton pajama pants. He crawled into bed and curled up against his lover's side. The blonde nuzzled his cheek and nipped at his ear, trying to get him to respond.
Harry's breath hitched, but he didn't move to give his love what he wanted. "You overdid it today. You were gone too long and you got up so early and went riding bareback. That's too much, Ray."
"I have to push it some or I won't get any better. I didn't collapse and I promise I'll take it easy tomorrow." Draco felt triumphant when his love sighed and tilted his head a bit so that he could get at the skin right under the ear. Progress!
"I hate it when you come back in pain." Harry murmured and then moaned as hot wet heat trailed across sensitive skin. "Ray… You need to rest…"
"Mmmm…" Draco pulled Harry so that he was lying across his chest and looked up into his love's gorgeous eyes. Technically he wasn't doing anything wrong since he hadn't moved yet and still lay on his back. His hands tangled in midnight locks and guided Harry's mouth to his. He smirked and set to kissing his little lover senseless. It didn't take long and soon Harry was a panting mess with blazing eyes. Draco himself was having a hard time breathing steadily and he groaned at Harry's wanton expression
"…Ray…" Harry hissed in Parseltongue as Draco brushed a thumb against his nipple.
Draco growled, eyes wide open and blazing right back at Harry. He roughly grabbed Harry by the waist and hefted him so that Harry straddled his waist. The little brunette arched up with a gasping sob of pleasure as Draco ground their hips together. Harry was well and truly lost, his own body's pleasure blending with the echoes of Draco's, doubling every sensation and practically drugging him out of his mind. He whined and wiggled, head tossing, his mouth slightly parted as he panted.
Draco watched rapt as Harry writhed, sitting on him and bringing them both rapidly over the edge. His love hissed something and collapsed against his slick chest, bringing their mouths desperately together. Holding tight to Harry, they came together in great shuddering waves. Harry's salty tears ran into his mouth and Draco lapped them up hungrily even as he hugged Harry to him with trembling hands.
"I love you, Harry," he said hoarsely, cradling his lover's limp form to his chest.
"Love you, Ray," Harry murmured with thick, sleepy contentment.
Draco chuckled and tightened his arms. He wondered how Harry would react when he asked him to marry him. Would Harry be as shocked as he had been when he walked in on his surprise party for his seventeenth birthday a month ago? Draco hoped so. He chuckled again and drifted off into a deep, restful sleep, dreaming about tomorrow.
The End of Growing Pains
A/N: That's the ending, everyone. I know the votes for a sequel far outweighed the votes to let the story lie, but I just can't seem to write anything more here. If anyone else wants to give a sequel a try, just let me know and I'll give you permission.