The Basket Case
31. December 2006
Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter or its characters and make no money off of it. I'm not sure I would even if I owned them.
Warnings: This is my first HP fanfic that you get to see. I'm not a native English speaker, but I try. And this is going to contain SLASH! If you don't like it, you can still read it if you harbour masochistic tendencies. Flames are used to warm my cold little heart. Constructive criticism is appreciated.
Beta-ed by: Kestrelsparhawk, Vaughn and C. Dumbledore.
8 ·m 8 ·m 8 ·m 8 ·m 8 ·m 8 ·m 8
It was decidedly disturbing to wake up with a wand pointed at his middle, especially because it was Harry who was holding that wand. He looked a bit desperate and more annoyed by the second when the spell he tried to cast didn't seem to work, and Draco was so engrossed in that peculiar expression that he needed several seconds for what was happening to register in his mind.
"What the hell do you think you are doing?" he yelled at Harry, which apparently surprised the other wizard so much that he dropped his wand.
"Draco!" Harry's expression now changed to frightened, and Draco would be damned if he knew the reason for this odd behaviour. He doubted it was part of the standard morning after etiquette, especially because they had already had more than just a couple of morning afters and Harry had never before felt the need to act like this.
"What was that spell you tried to cast on me?" Draco demanded, sitting up in bed.
"I…" Harry looked down guiltily and then back at Draco. "I just wanted to know… we forgot the Contraceptive Charms last night…"
Draco's chin dropped and stayed that way for a second, then he blinked and a startled laugh forced itself through his mouth.
"You were afraid you got me pregnant again?"
Harry nodded, looking guilty. Draco let out a sharp gush of air, which drew Harry's attention to him, and he promptly started apologising.
"It's not because I don't want more, I do! It's just because it would be too soon…"
Harry's flood of words died when Draco's expression changed into a frown. It had never even crossed his mind that they could have more than one child. What for? But he was in no mood to start an argument with Harry right then, so he chose to skip over the topic. And, anyhow, it was time to clear some apparent misunderstandings.
"Harry, that potion didn't turn me into a woman. It gave me the possibility of magically creating one child and carrying it to term. That was all it was supposed to do."
"Then you can have children now, the normal way?" Draco was surprised at the small hint of insecurity in Harry's voice. Did Harry think that after he had regained his virility he would leave him to marry a woman? Not bloody likely. However, Draco didn't feel like sharing his sentiments. Especially because a little voice in his head strongly resembling his father's insisted that wanting to reassure Harry about his intentions was a glaring weakness. Thus, he settled for a partial truth.
"No, I cannot. I've hoped I would be able to – Snape's book didn't say anything about it, since wizards who had been administered that potion usually died after giving birth. But I asked Podmore to examine me and he said the change would be irrevocable."
"So… does that mean you cannot have any more children – either way?" Harry asked, his voice low and somehow sad. Draco had a sudden urge to draw him close and kiss the sadness out of him, which he managed to restrain. He was glad the excess hormones were now gone from his system.
"Not without another potion," he condescended, and then admonished himself when – seeing the little spark of hope lighting in Harry's eyes – he felt an answering joy leaping in his throat. So Harry did want to have more children.
Draco needed time to think about that revelation, thus he had no other choice but to distract Harry from the conversation by a cleverly executed seduction manoeuvre, which resulted in spending the forenoon in bed – only occasionally broken by short interludes of feeding a baby and watching him fall asleep in his cot. Draco sighed and mourned the day in the future when baby Harry would be old enough that they had to start getting dressed in his presence.
Two weeks and three days after their child's birth, Draco received a reminder that the outside world hadn't stopped going on its way just to give them time to get accustomed to the arrival of the new member of their family. He received an owl from Cyrus' lawyer. The letter contained a magical contract signed by Cyrus, which incorporated his vow that, once little Harry reached the age of twenty-five and was qualified to take over the position of the head of the Malfoy house, all the possessions and vaults now belonging to the Malfoy family were going to be officially transferred under his control.
On the bottom of the parchment, upside down, there was an additional clause – with different handwriting that looked like a schoolgirl's, complete with little hearts and flowers substituting the dots on the 'i's and small stylised horned pigs adorning the margins. It stated that Cyrus wasn't to hurt or otherwise incapacitate the transferee with any action that would prevent him being qualified for the role - under penalty of death by Wrackspurt, and his line losing every right to ever succeed the position of the Malfoy family head. The whole document was concluded with his cousin's signature.
Draco didn't trust the document to keep Cyrus away from his family, but the letter Pansy had written him not a day later, in which she warned him to stay home because her husband was very agitated by the 'Lovegood bitch' breaking into the manor and forcing him to sign that contract, served to prove that it wasn't only a fluke. Draco suspected that it had not really been Lovegood who had forced his cousin's hand but the promise he had stupidly made during Draco's hearing, for which he felt no remorse towards Cyrus whatsoever.
The Prophet generated a grand public issue out of the birth of Cyrus and Pansy's son. The only suspicious thing was that the photographs taken of the infant had been black and white, oddly. The somewhat smaller article written by Skeeter about the rumour that the Malfoys had asked Severus Snape to be the godfather of the child – despite the fact that he already was Cyrus' own godfather – reinforced Draco's suspicion that the mysterious defect which the parents wanted to hide would be able to be cured by a skilled Potions master.
Alas, Snape ignored the request in order to be able to concentrate on some potions experiments of his, which were such a highly kept secret that not one person in the entire wizarding world was let in on the mystery until Snape had run out of the money he had extorted from Harry in exchange for his potion. (Draco only learnt years later that he had also made Harry pay for keeping Draco in his house, which led to a row that lasted two weeks and was only resolved because Draco got thoroughly fed up with all those bruises born of angry sex.)
Even years later, following the birth of the new Malfoy heir, there was a suspicious silence sitting in and around Malfoy Manor. There were rumours of more childbirths during the course of the subsequent years, but nothing concrete passed beyond the gates of the property. The only fact Draco could tell with certainty was that Cyrus had completely withdrawn from politics.
On the other hand, when Draco felt that his son was old enough to be left alone for a couple of hours a day, he began to expand his feelers inside the Ministry machinery again. He had never really withdrawn them, after all. The change in his associations and public view of things had – as expected – lost him quite a few of his old acquaintances but also gained him new associates. Especially after the Prophet came out with the article about the ex-Minister of Magic and her wife being the godmothers of his and Harry's son. It took precise timing and a couple of small favours to co-ordinate 'leaking out' that little titbit exactly when the time was right for the revelation to propel Draco's career forward.
The only thing that frustrated Draco to no end was the fact that Harry refused to pay any interest to politics, even to office politics. Draco wanted him to show more aspiration towards advancing within the Ministry ranks, but Potter stubbornly insisted that he was happy with being the head of the Misuse of Muggle Artifacts Office and did not need more attention than he was already receiving. Thus, Draco's latest ambition to get Harry to occupy the Minister of Magic's seat fell flat because it turned out that Potter wasn't the attention seeking bastard Draco had always thought him to be after all. It was a grave disappointment for Draco. Not that there was much chance to realise his goal at the time. The new Minister, Myron Wagtail, proved surprisingly capable – especially famous for his unique technique of ending pointless squabbles within the governing body by playing the bagpipe – mostly because he didn't know how to play it.
Once Draco's body and magic was proclaimed intact again, Podmore ended the bond transferring Harry's superfluous magic to Draco. In the beginning, feeling in a creative mood, Draco tried to recreate the potion Snape had improved on for Harry's use, but he only succeeded in giving him constipation for two weeks. Draco was a bit down, but his lack of success proved what he had been suspecting since he had left school: that he might have an above average focus and the ability to follow brewing techniques precisely, but he didn't possess Snape's genius for creating new brews. And the admission didn't even sting as much as he had expected it to.
However, the wrong had already been done.
Thanks to the struggle with the insufficient Containing Potions, Harry's state of health was revealed to the wizarding world. Harry and Draco started searching for alternative methods to drain the overflowing powers, which inevitably resulted in another revelational article in the Prophet about Harry's magic. Draco managed to bribe Skeeter enough to smooth over the embarrassing parts, but unfortunately, Draco had not planned that people would insist that Harry had the obligation to use his greater power for the betterment of the wizarding society.
The number of requests that Harry spend his magic into upholding active wards around magical creature reserves or Quidditch stadiums, schools, even private estates – naturally, in exchange for a generous amount of Galleons – grew day by day. But all of those requests were topped by the almost-demand of the Ministry that Harry resume his place in the Auror force and relinquish his powers for the exclusive use of restraining dangerous criminals and upholding the Azkaban wards. Even if this were the only way to advance Harry's career to which Harry seemed willing to agree to, Draco would have said a categorical 'no'.
Draco was scared to death. He had barely been able to restrain Harry from accepting the 'offer' out of a sense of obligation until he managed to drag Granger into their house to explain the dangers of tying one's own magic to inanimate magical objects such as wards, especially wards of these proportions. Not because Draco couldn't have told Harry that he could well pay with his life for his generosity, but because he knew Harry would believe his friend's logical explanations more than him – and Granger knew enough Latin expressions to stun Harry speechless with them. The fact was that empowering wards with a wizard's own magic was not only stupid – since wards also could be kept up with different sources of power – but dangerous as well. Wards had this annoying characteristic of not only accepting what one had to give but, in the case of being attacked, drawing power from the source and not caring whether the subject would live or die as a result.
In the end, it was Granger who came up with the solution. To say that Draco didn't like it at first would have been a grave understatement – he found it highly annoying, to be perfectly honest. Apparently, Granger found a way to transform magic into some kind of electricity that allowed Muggle instalments to work in a magical place. She even managed to transfigure some primitive containers for storing it – batteries, she called them – so that Harry could watch the telly even when he was tired and depleted. After that day, Draco watched, appalled, as Harry gradually filled their house with Muggle gadgets, kitchen appliances, a PlayStation for Pinky and even a thing that was called a notebook but didn't even look similar, with some kind of cable connection, for Agador.
Draco was constantly angry and felt displaced in the presence of so many Muggle things. He was this close to demanding that Harry remove them from his house and do something different about his leaking – he was even ready to go crawling to Snape and hand over the key of his Gringotts vault if Snape promised to brew that damned potion for Harry again. But then, in an unexpected and wholly uncharacteristic manifestation of insight, one night Harry came home bearing a present for Draco and – using the opportunity that little Harry was currently over at The Burrow for the birthday of one of the Weasley brats – introduced Draco to the joys of a vibrator and all was forgiven. Even the fact that Draco managed to embarrass himself by bragging about the 'ingenious little device' to Granger the next time they were over for tea did not change that.
After her resignation from the Minister's office, Granger continued with her eternal pursuit of knowledge, which she had only temporarily given up for the sake of serving the wizarding world. She made quite a reputation as an independent researcher – even though she had given up on her doomed attempt of being Snape's research partner after the first month. They might be both geniuses in their own right, but they never worked well as a team. And since she had more free time now, Granger also started her dream of a house-elf training centre, which offered courses in 'how to be a free elf'. Harry even introduced Draco to a creature named Dobby who taught elven fashion, whom Draco apparently should have known, though he had not the slightest idea from where. In Draco's opinion, the subject would have been much more successful if it had been taught by Agador, but he was not mad enough to relinquish him into the hands of Granger – even though he was angry at the elf at the time because one of his Muggle-born neighbours told him that his wife had seen pictures of a young man with strong resemblance to Draco wearing different models of latex women's underwear and not much else on an Internet shopping site.
But to get back to the topic of Severus Snape, Draco didn't hear from the man for several years. And when he did, it was from a suspicious-looking full-page advertisement in The Daily Prophet announcing a revolutionary new product: a potion that was supposed to transform a person's nose into an aesthetic shape – guaranteed to work – with the fancy Latin name Nasus Rectus, which – owing to a misspelling in said advertisement – was shortened to the much easier to remember Nose-Cute Potion in the public mind.
The potion became a great success within a very short time and Snape was rumoured to have earned mountains of Galleons from selling the license to overseas potion manufacturers. The potion proved so successful that Snape became the newest celebrity of Witch Weekly, and with his new status, money and shapely nose, he didn't lack in relationships anymore. Even Rita Skeeter wrote a praising article about him. Snape later committed the mistake of publicly ridiculing Skeeter's over-enthusiastic fangirling, but even the subsequent bad publicity couldn't chip at his fame.
Putting his newly gained reputation to good use, he went back to teach in Hogwarts, as there was a sudden vacancy in the Potions master position. According to a certain seasoned scandalmonger, his reasons for accepting a teaching job again had been less than altruistic. Someone started the nasty rumour that, as Snape had never had much money, he hadn't known the first thing about investing and he had blown the whole amount within three years, buying pricey ingredients for his new projects, so now he needed the job to keep him above water.
True to the Nose-Cute Potion's publicity, when Draco next met Snape sauntering down Diagon Alley, he didn't recognise him at first. When he asked about the potion out of curiosity – and because indulging Snape's ego was always a good approach for getting on good terms with him – Snape explained that the potion worked with the mental image of the nose one wished the strongest to see on his or her own face. Draco wondered whether he should tell Snape that his new nose strongly resembled Harry's own and – as Draco had seen in old pictures among Harry's belongings – James Potter's, but he decided against that revelation in favour of retaining the possibility of using it as blackmail material in case he needed something from Snape in the future.
Snape, on the other hand, didn't show this much respect for Draco because he told him to his face that he had expected his marriage to go up in flames even before the first year was over. Apparently, at the time, he had considered it divine retribution for the Granger-affair, not that Snape had much to do with the fact that Draco had to marry Potter. However, their marriage seemed to persist and Snape was now disappointed that his revenge had given him less than the expected amount of satisfaction.
After their chance meeting, the next time Draco heard about Snape was in another article in The Daily Prophet. Apparently, after having missed the boat with Granger, Snape's midlife crisis continued with undiminished energy, proof of which was that soon, he married one of his ex-students freshly out of Hogwarts: Jessica Worthworm. She bore him a son six months later. They only lived together for two years. After that, she left with a sizeable amount of the newly acquired money and Snape got the worse half of the arrangement: he was saddled with sole custody of their mutual child, Maximilian. This experience taught him to value his privacy once more, and keep his sexual prowess away from the public eye.
It was no great surprise when – just before her eleventh birthday – Pinky got her Hogwarts letter. The Dursleys received the news with limited enthusiasm; mostly, they were just glad that Pinky was now someone else's responsibility. She had been practically living with Harry and Draco by that time, having only short visits with her parents. After she went off to school, Dursley divorced his wife and they relinquished custody of her to Harry. As expected, Pinky was Sorted into Gryffindor and got selected for the position of the Seeker on the House Team in her second year.
Unexpectedly, that was also the time when one of Draco's countless manipulations for advancing Harry into a more socially respected position finally succeeded: Harry accepted the offered position on the Board of Governors in Hogwarts. His first deed was to get Snape sacked and bring back the previous Potions Professor, Eloise Midgen, who might not have been able to devise ingenious potions to cure her pock-marked skin but, as Harry pointed out, at least didn't get her kick from humiliating her students. Draco didn't know what Harry meant by that remark, but the stack of letters sent by parents expressing their gratitude seemed to justify the measure.
It was rumoured that Snape bought himself a three-storey cottage in a quiet farmland somewhere in Wales and married again in utmost secrecy, but the identity of his latest wife was not made public, so Draco only found out from Harry the year Snape's son, Maximilian, entered Hogwarts. He thought it was like divine justice, just like Snape had about Draco's marriage.
Soon – Draco didn't even notice as the time flew by – Little Harry turned eleven and was accepted in Hogwarts as well. Harry had an unexpected call that day, so Draco had to escort their son and Pinky to King's Cross alone. That was the day when, after almost twelve years, he met Pansy again.
He saw her at Platform Nine and Three-quarters, waving after the red express which carried away their precious sons to Hogwarts, clutching the hands of a flock of ill-behaved red-headed children. Draco didn't want to believe his eyes at first. He thought a Time Turner had accidentally carried him back in time and he was seeing Molly Weasley biding farewell to her eldest. The image, though, was broken by the sight of Cyrus, waiting somewhat unenthusiastically and tapping his foot on the pavement while Pansy and the children had squealed themselves out and decided it was time to go.
Draco looked him up and down with interest born of so many years' secrecy. His cousin seemed somewhat ragged; his hair was now entirely white and he had dark circles under his eyes. His expression was pinched and he visibly flinched when his gaze strayed at Pansy's bulging front. The next thing Draco saw was Cyrus getting swarmed by his children and begged for ice cream. Then one of the small red-heads brought up the topic of penguins and pumas and soon all of them started on it – Draco had managed a head count by that time and came up with seven, not counting the one (or more?) who had just left on the train and the next addition to the happy family growing in his wife's stomach.
"Yes, darling, you promised to take them to the zoo this afternoon so I could rest at home," Pansy dropped the bomb shell on Cyrus' head casually. Cyrus slumped under the weight of all his children suddenly wanting to climb on top of him, his face darkening. However, it seemed he didn't dare object.
Observing his cousin leaving the station with his lively brood, Draco suddenly understood the years of waiting and waiting in vain for Cyrus' revenge to descend on them and why it had never come. Apparently, his cousin was now too preoccupied to have time for Draco with having been forced into the role of a family man. After witnessing this, the image of himself in Cyrus' stead on Pansy's side came to Draco unbidden, giving him the fright of his life and causing his grudging respect for his ex-wife's Slytherinness to go up several notches.
"Well, well, who do we have here?" The voice coming from too close to his ear made Draco jolt out of his thoughts. He turned around and saw Pansy smiling at him knowingly. "Did you think I wouldn't notice you standing there?"
Draco couldn't conjure up an appropriate answer so, beyond a short greeting, he remained silent. She didn't seem to mind, though, as she smiled at him again, and then said she would accept his invitation to the nearby station coffee for the sake of catching up.
"I couldn't help but notice; you're enjoying motherhood," Draco interjected right after their teas had been served.
"You did notice, didn't you?" Pansy laughed and swished a lock of her long hair behind her back. "Be glad I do. The children keep Cyrus occupied enough to distract him from his plans for you and your brood," she added.
"How many do you have?" Draco asked to avoid having to express his gratitude, though he suspected that her reasons for doing so had not been entirely altruistic. She didn't seem to expect any thanks from Draco – whether or not Draco's suspicion was true. She obviously still knew him well enough, and on the other hand, she seemed a lot more relaxed now than when she had been Draco's wife.
"There will be ten of them, come December." She patted her bulging belly fondly. "This little sprog here will be my last one, though."
Draco whistled. "Are you competing with the Weasleys?" he asked. To his surprise, Pansy laughed again.
"It's not a bad tactic, you must admit. The times have changed and the Weasley name is rather more respected nowadays than it was when we were kids." Draco had to agree with her. The Weasleys were the heroes of the last big war and they were much better off – what with the twins' blossoming ventures and two of the family being famous Quidditch stars, even though Ginny's career had started unexpectedly and had initially been devised for her as some kind of occupational therapy so she wouldn't focus all her energies on her past boyfriends' lives. "Besides," Pansy continued, "where do you think all that red hair is from?"
"You mean it's natural?" Draco asked, rather taken aback. "Please tell me it was your grand-grand-grand-grand-grand-something!"
"Sorry to disappoint, but actually, it is my mother." She didn't seem to be very self-conscious about that, and Draco's feelings were warring between the two sides of the spectrum: feeling horrified that his son had been this close to having Weasley blood in him and relieved that the situation had been averted at the last moment.
Not because he didn't like the Weasleys, not at all! But…
"All that red hair…" Draco moaned, scowling with distaste. Pansy only laughed at what she considered his 'antics'.
"I'm not like our fathers' generation of pure-bloods," she quipped. "I wouldn't use magic on my children just to maintain the 'Malfoy appearance'. They can do what they want when they grow up."
Draco didn't ask Cyrus' opinion about this. It seemed as if it had not much mattered in the final standing of things. On the other hand, he wanted to refute her assertion, but fact was that he didn't know whether his parents had used any charms on him to change his colouration or not. So instead he redirected the topic to Pansy's children again.
That proved to have been a mistake. He discovered that Pansy could talk and talk incessantly about her children, making Draco miss his own after only just seeing him off to Hogwarts. That was when Draco decided that he wanted another one. He didn't say anything to Harry yet, though. He thought he could wait another year and see how he could fit another pregnancy into his own up and rising political career while trying to decipher his son's letters from Hogwarts and coming to terms with the fact that he had been Sorted into Gryffindor and was best friends with Primus Malfoy. Soon, the golden trio of the next generation was completed with Copernicus Granger-Bell (aptly nicknamed "Puck"). They were rumoured to be worse than the Marauders or even the Weasley twins in their time.
After Little Harry had left for his second year at Hogwarts, Draco decided that his career could withstand a two-year pause for the sake of bringing another child to the world, and he paid a visit to Healer Podmore.
Shortly after he had served his sentence, Podmore was reinstated as a Healer in St. Mungo's. The Ministry declared his criminal record for injustice done by the defeated party of the last war based on false accusations and deleted it. He was acknowledged for his revolutionary healing technique of successfully applying Felix Felicis in emergency situations and on otherwise incurable patients. Not that he was the first Healer to think of it, but every one of his predecessors in the past had administered the potion to the Healer in charge to guide their hands, which usually resulted in the medical personnel becoming addicted to Felix, and its effect diminishing with every use. No wonder they had stopped the practice.
Harry was more than happy with Draco's idea, and their son was all for a little brother or sister. Draco brewed the Draught of Bestowed Life again – Podmore advised him he should do everything the exact same way, so as to not confuse the magic in his body. Draco was not entirely convinced that Harry had not had something to do with that advice. Secretly, he was rather proud that he had finally managed to teach him some of his own Slytherin ways and he reckoned that visiting Copenhagen and that same establishment again was like a second honeymoon. He didn't mind wearing a dress that much, even if he had insinuated the opposite, so he could coax some creature comforts out of Harry in exchange. The only thing Draco insisted on doing himself was arranging the hotel reservations, which meant a week of uninterrupted wedded bliss in Denmark's finest penthouse suite.
Since Draco's opinion about the Caesarean section remained unchanged, he was adamant to get the same treatment from Podmore as during his previous birth. And since the effect of Felix Felicis was rather incalculable, he prepared for a worst case scenario months ahead. He made a card that he always carried with him, which stated that in case of an unexpected delivery, the child's name should be enquired about by his husband.
Thus, the name of their second son became Jesus Draco Potter – but at least Draco could blame it on Harry this time. He figured it could have been worse. His son could have ended up being christened 'Merlin', had Harry not taken a liking to watching stupid American sitcoms recently.
And really, the name of his son wasn't the most important thing to concern himself with at the time. Felix had arranged for some half-wit intern to muck up a batch of Gender Change Potion two floors down, and the aggressive fumes seeping upwards through the cracks in the floors and walls of the old building caused six wards worth of male patients to suddenly grow vaginas. After sixteen hours of labour and giving birth to his son the natural way, Draco decided that, perhaps, he shouldn't have been that squeamish about that little cut on his belly.
The following morning, the Healers proclaimed him healthy, but they still decided not to change his sex back until his body had had time to overcome the stress of the birthing. Thus, Draco was also deprived of sex and the amusement he managed to get from freaking out Harry every night for two solid weeks was not nearly a satisfying enough substitution.
A good thing came out of the whole name-debacle, though. Thanks to Harry being afraid to come to sleep, he got into the habit of going on nightly walks. On one of these walks, he wandered into a Muggle antiquary and found the portrait of Narcissa Malfoy there. Draco was so delighted that he forgave Harry on the spot and hung it in Jez's room, so he would be able to flaunt his progeny. He was happy that he finally had the opportunity to ask his mother all those important questions about his childhood, his father and how to make spots on his bottom disappear without leaving a scar. Unfortunately, whenever he decided to do just that, he found his mother's portrait empty.
Two weeks later, Harry removed Narcissa from there and put it into a less frequented room because it turned out that she started a rather passionate love affair with Lockhart's portrait and they didn't have any scruples about using the chaise lounge on her own canvas to do the deed in the middle of the night. After two weeks of sulking, Narcissa promised to end the affaire, so that Draco could hang her back in Jez's room, but in exchange, she demanded that he buy a portrait of a young, rosy-cheeked shepherd boy painted with a haystack.
Jez's godmother became none other than Pinky Dursley, who left Hogwarts the year he was born. By that time, she had become just as much of a Seeker-legend as Harry had been in his own time. She acquired the nickname 'the Human Bludger' because she was quick, to the point and lethal, (and because despite her lifestyle centring on the sport, her figure had not changed a smidgen, Draco thought with fondness). Upon leaving school, she was immediately hired by the Wilburne Wasps, and within a year, she became the captain of the team. She held the position until, after a difference of opinions with the Wasps' manager, the Togayashi Tengu won her over. According to Shuukan Kuidicchi, Japanese men were loving their Hyuuman Burajyaa and she had a suitor for each of her fingers.
Following in her wake, Little Harry became a great Quidditch fan. He didn't play himself, choosing to concentrate on doing mischief instead, but after the Beijing Quidditch team had become World Champions during his third year, he insisted they call him Confucius and that name stayed with him from then on.
In retrospect, Draco should have paid more attention to confiscating those comic books Pinky regularly sent to his sons – let it be said in his defence that, at first, he had no idea that the word 'Doujinshi' wasn't the Japanese name for comics about Quidditch. Alas, he only realised his mistake when one day, nineteen-year old Confucius, who had by then obtained a respectable position in the Ministry of Magic in the Magical Games and Sports Department, came home with the proclamation that he was going to introduce his intended.
At first, Draco was ecstatic and thought it was bad timing that Harry should have chosen that same afternoon to go to Diagon Alley with their younger one to buy his Hogwarts supplies. One sentence and a good look later, he blessed his good fortune that he would have time to talk some sense into his son before Harry learnt about the whole thing.
"Dad, Let me introduce you." Not-so-little-anymore Harry turned towards Draco and gestured in the direction of the living room. "My Princess: Maxie."
Everyone had said Maximilian Snape took after his mother and was nothing like his father. Draco had the dubious fortune of discovering just how true this was, when the person in question entered his house.
Draco gazed out into the hall where Maxie was still standing, looking somewhat shy but very prim in his corduroy skirt and light peach-coloured blouse. His straight, blond hair – the colour not unlike Draco's own, which his older son had failed to inherit – brushed his shoulders where it wasn't held in place by Muggle hair-clips decorated with white kittens. The picture was completed by fine Italian shoes with low heels and the hint of make-up making his lips shine in a rosy colour and his eyelashes seem impossibly long.
At first, Draco didn't know what to say. He only knew that he couldn't let it happen; that his son, his heir, marry like he had. Though the wizarding world had become much more tolerant of same-sex relationships, they still didn't have the same standing as marriages between a witch and a wizard.
"Confucius," he said, having resolved to remain categorical about this whole debacle, "you cannot seriously think you're going to marry this person."
"Aww, Daddy, but why not?" Confucius asked, looking not at all as troubled as Draco would have expected him to, and that worried him a bit.
"He is a boy." Draco had no qualms about stating his opinion.
"Kind of obvious, right?"
"Are those tits real or stuffing?"
"And he is wearing stockings."
"At least they're not fishnets." Confucius winked at Draco, causing him to blush. Damn, he thought he had packed away those things in a drawer where his children couldn't find them.
"And he isn't pure-blood," Draco said as what should have been his final argument.
"No, he is my little Three-Quarters-Blood Princess. For the record: his blood status is the same as mine." Obviously, his son had not been raised to have the same hang-ups as Draco when he had been his age.
"Son, have you thought this through? What can he offer you: the heir of the Malfoy and Potter fortune?"
"I thought you were over this aristocratic nonsense, Dad." Confucius rolled his eyes. "But if you insist, I can list you a couple of things he can offer me. Besides the obvious, I mean," he leered, making Draco blush again. Then he started counting on his fingers. "He is good looking, intelligent, he has been made Head Boy, you know? Well, Head Girl, actually… He has perfect manners, his family is rich as well as respected..."
"And what about his magic?" Draco asked, hoping to find something to criticise there.
"Well, he has talent in Potions and Dark Arts, just like his father. And he learned to be an Animagus from his stepmother. You wouldn't believe the cute little ladybug he can turn into...!"
"Enough!" Draco put out a hand, defeated, when his son had run out of fingers to count on. It was clear his son was completely besotted. "Let's see what your father is going to say about the matter."
"One more thing." Confucius didn't bother to lift a finger now.
"He also knows the recipe of the Improved Continence Potion."
"On second thought, let's not say anything to your father yet. We are going to surprise him with the engagement. Have you been to Diagon Alley to look for a ring?"
Later, while waiting for Harry to return and advising Agador on what to cook for a festive dinner, Draco overheard a conversation between his son and his intended, which explained some of the unspoken attraction Confucius felt for Maxie but, at the same time, caused Draco to feel mortified and wish he had not heard it.
"Did you notice your house-elf speaks funny? He refers to himself in the first person."
"Don't worry, pet, he just likes role-playing. If you understand what I mean."
"Oh, Maxie is understanding just fine, Master Confucius. Maxie, too, likes role-playing..."
Needless to say, Agador and Maxie got on splendidly.
The betrothal was very short: they only waited with the wedding until Jez's Christmas holiday. Draco didn't let them be married in the same unimaginative Ministry room in which his own wedding had been held. By then he was the head of the Wizarding Family Affairs Office, and he decided to build a little 'chapel' at his own cost, dedicated to the sole purpose of making these weddings more festive. Of course, the fact that this deed furthered him on the way towards promotion didn't hurt either. Harry was happy that his son was happy, the wedding party was in awe of Draco's generosity once again, Snape was content to have found a shadowed corner to hide in from the paparazzi and Rita Skeeter wrote a spectacular article about the event in the Prophet – although that was only to be expected of her, seeing that the bride was her own stepson.
Belying Draco's initial fears about the short-livedness of his son's marriage, Confucius and Maxie set up a happy little house for themselves, presenting Draco and Harry with the first granddaughter in three years and the first grandson five years later. By the time Confucius was old enough to take over the position of the Head of the Malfoy family, there was nothing standing in his way, least of all Cyrus.
Pansy had her own theory concerning his son's marriage, which she shared with Draco when he next met her at a Hogwarts Christmas banquet. (In Jez's sixth year the freshly appointed Headmistress Lovegood, who was just as barmy as her great predecessor Dumbledore, announced that they were going to hold another Triwizard Tournament in Durmstrang.)
"Well, it's not unexpected: Gryffindor and Slytherin, both boys, both good-looking, and bitter rivals from the very beginning. Why, do you think, I told my son to befriend yours instead of becoming his adversary, as he could have, considering family history?" She shook her violently red hair, which Draco still hadn't got used to seeing on her.
He refrained from uttering his doubts about her assertion, seeing that Confucius and Maxie hadn't even been in the same year. Instead he chose to observe Pansy by chasing away the flock of fairies that thought Cyrus' wheelchair would be a convenient place to rest their tired wings - considerably less prickly than the large pine trees they were stationed to flutter around. Draco saw there was a child no older than two sitting in his unresponsive father's lap, and he was certain that – though Pansy had last time told him she didn't want more than ten – by that time she had overdone the plan.
"Tell me one thing," Draco asked, still not being able to get over the state his cousin had obviously let himself be worked into. "How did you get him to procreate with you at this rate?"
"Easily." Pansy took out a handkerchief to wipe away the drool from both her child's and her husband's faces. "I told him you planned to have five with me. He wanted to double the stake. It's not really my fault if he over-exerted himself. All those performance-enhancing spells and potions…" She shrugged and gave a couple of knocks to Cyrus' skull, as if to prove that there really was no one in there anymore.
"I notice he is still not out of the mill," Draco couldn't resist remarking, watching Pansy's son trying to stand up, using his father's necktie as a handhold.
"Well, you know how it is with you men," Pansy said, smirking. "Your brains and that thing down there don't have much of a connection to begin with."
To everyone's surprise (except perhaps Draco's) Jez became the Triwizard Champion of Hogwarts. He placed second in the last task, though in Draco's opinion, he should have won. He employed true Slytherin cunning: they were supposed to survive three days in a dark cave that was sealed away from the outside world with only a small split in the rocks through which they were given food. Jez used that split to summon a vial of the Draught of Living Death to him and took it, thus escaping the attention of the blood-sucking bats the cave was populated with. The jury insisted that he had help from a house-elf, and Draco had to make a hasty departure with Podmore, Agador and Dobby, whom he had borrowed from Granger for a very special task.
They were still stopped at the Durmstrang gates by two frost-covered supervisors. Thankfully, Podmore, whose beard had by then turned snow white, but his penchant for jokes no one understood remained unchanged, knew just the trick for the situation. He slowly waved his open palm in front of the faces of the two wizards and told them:
"You don't need to test our wands. These aren't the house-elves you're looking for."
By then, Draco should have learned to trust the old man; he was still surprised when the trick worked. Thus, Jez was pronounced second after the Beauxbatons girl, but that didn't count because she was a full Veela and had obviously charmed the jury into giving her the first place, despite having turned into a bird and eating all the bats in the cave when one of the contest's conditions had been that the competitors weren't to harm the native fauna.
By the time Jez also finished his wizarding education Harry relinquished his job in the Ministry and dedicated his time fully to his work on the Board of Governors. Draco knew he wouldn't want to take on a more prominent position ever – Harry considered his contributions more important than pushing parchments in an office – but Draco was already resigned to it. On the other hand, his own career advanced splendidly and he was certain he would be able to make his old dream come true and become Minister of Magic one day – and what was even better: he would become that on his own merit. He had already devised his own slogan for the election posters and badges: "M stands for 'Minister'."
And as a significant difference from his father's life, his own marriage hadn't suffered the price of his ambitions. Harry was happily puttering away at his side with his own little things, supporting him in his career (though sometimes he drew him to the side and asked whether Draco had really thought 'this thing' through), and once in a while, when Draco spent too much time in his office meeting important persons, Harry didn't hesitate to drag him home and into his bed.
"Up for a little action today?" he asked sometimes, just after having Apparated both of them straight into their bedroom, wiggling his eyebrows, which resulted in little red sparks flaring up at the two ends of the ever bushier black lines shading his eyes. It was nothing new: as he grew older and became more and more powerful, his Magical Incontinency became worse, even though now he took the Containing Potion Draco brewed him from Snape's recipe thrice a day. That reminded him...
"Did you take your dose this afternoon?" Draco asked suspiciously but not overly annoyed. He could feel the minute tingles of raw power tickling along his nerve endings and knew they were becoming stronger as they were talking.
"Nope," Harry answered, the sparks having transferred to his eyes by then. Their shine caused the little crow's feet in the corners of Harry's eyes to deepen, but they had not detracted one smidgen from his attractiveness.
Draco's mouth pulled into a slow, sly smile, observing Harry taking off his clothes and automatically mirroring his motions. Soon, they stood naked opposite to each other. The currents of magic in the air had almost become visible between their bodies.
"Agador?" Draco asked, gasping from the sensation of Harry's magic washing over him.
"I sent him away to visit this new leather shop…" Harry growled.
Draco gave him a toothy grin and almost purred with anticipation as he stepped closer – close enough that the hairs along his arms and thighs stood on end by the almost liquid static thick between their bodies like the two ends of a huge magical capacitor. He watched as Harry's hand came up and drew a sparkling line on his chest, the discharge catching one of his nipples and causing it to firm up at once.
"Oooh, we are feeling very kinky today, isn't that right, Mister Potter?" Draco asked, his head thrown back in the guilty pleasure of being able to enjoy games like this.
"That's right, husband," Harry hissed, and Draco could feel that he was at the end of his resistance. He could barely contain his power and it had already started seeping from him in jets, trickling down the sensitive flesh of Draco's belly and hardening cock. He could smell the familiar ozone-stench that signalled that the dam was about to break and Harry was about to shower him with everything he had in him.
"Well then, what are you waiting for?" Draco asked, licking his lips and covering that last half step that had distanced them, moulding his body to Harry's.
"I'm here. Leak away!"
A/N: Yes, that was Star Wars – plagiarising again. :)
A/N2: Shuukan Kuidicchi: Weekly Quidditch – from wikipedia. (Sorry, can't find the page anymore. If someone comes upon it, please drop me a link!) Hyuuman Burajyaa Human Bludger (Thanks to alphamatrix for the translation.)
A/N3: I tried to include the answer to every question issued about the fic into this epilogue, but there were just parts that didn't need to be included. That's why I've decided to put up a Question/Answer post on my LiveJournal no link available yet.