Come What May
AN: Thank you all for being so patient with me and I hope that you will all be happy with the newest chapter. Life and the general crap it seems to have been throwing at me seems to have gotten in the way of creativity, hopefully I'll get back in the swing soon.
Draco Malfoy felt an almost giddy elation take over him as he strode down the corridors towards the Gryffindor tower, his pocket felt heavy with the secret it carried. He smiled softly as he imagined the look that would take over his beautiful lovers face when he presented his surprise to him.
He rounded the corner at a quickened speed and collided with the object of his current musings who had been running towards the same corner.
"Draco" Harry whispered and the blonde reached out strong arms to steady his lovers smaller body. Draco offered a look of warm affection only to frown at the coolness that instantly settled on Harry's face. He stepped back unable to comprehend why such a look would adorn his lovers face...it looked almost alien on features that could never usually mask anything.
"Is everything ok Harry?" Draco asked softly, his apprehension grew when the question was answered with a slight quirk of an eyebrow and a casual shrug. Trying to shake off the feeling that something was wrong, Draco leaned forward to offer Harry a kiss.
The smaller teen turned his head so that Draco's lips landed almost clumsily on his cheek.
"Honestly Draco, anyone would think that you were a closet romantic if they could see you now" Harry stated stiltedly, crossing his arms across his chest and looking up at him. Draco's frown at the rebuff deepened at the words, he had always been openly affectionate with Harry...always shown his devotion to his lover, why would that have changed since he saw him last.
"Are you quite sure that everything is alright?" Draco tried again, this time his question was rewarded with an angry glare and a huffing of breath. He didn't understand Harry's sudden mood, it was not like his usually gentle natured and laid back lover to be suddenly cold and withdrawn. Draco could not shake the feeling that something fundamental had happened but he could not for the life of him fathom what that could be.
"Why the hell does there have to be something wrong with me? I mean I haven't heard from you in days and then you get offended the moment I don't swoon into your arms...grow up Malfoy" Harry hissed at him.
Draco recoiled as though he had been struck, then a shaky laugh left his throat. Trust Harry to get all bent out of shape over the fact that Draco had been unable to contact him over the past couple of days, but he had been exceptionally busy with war related topics with both his father and his godfather. He had also been doing his utmost to avoid his mother and her need to try and marry him off to various pure-blooded witches.
"I'm sorry Harry, I know that I should have owled you but I really haven't had a spare moment at all, I was going over plans with Severus and my father. Plus I had to dodge my mother, she still seems determined that I should marry a witch" he chuckled, but he could have sworn he saw something flash in Harry's eyes when he mentioned his mother.
"Oh, so I guess I didn't merit as being important enough to fit into your busy schedule" Harry all but spat the words at him. Draco felt almost helpless at the pure venom that shone in the green eyes that usually looked at him with a softly glowing love coupled with under hues of affection.
Now a dark aura seemed to surround the other boy and although Draco was powerful in his own right, he took a hesitant step away from his lover.
"I received an interesting letter from Ron over the holidays, something about Pansy telling him about your planned marriage to witch of noble breeding" Harry's voice was mocking as he spoke, undercurrents of scorn lacing the words that he spoke.
"I bet you had a right laugh over that didn't you, 'poor Potter, so devoted to me that he'll be happy as my bit on the side.' I should have known that you'd pull a dirty trick like this...how could you...you...you bastard."
Draco couldn't understand why Harry was saying such things, Harry was his world, he had to know that. He took a step forward and went to put his arms around his lover only to be savagely pushed away, he made a move towards him again but Harry's snarl stopped him.
"Harry, please baby, what's gotten into you? I love you, you know that...I love you" his voice was full of desperation as he grabbed hold of Harry's arm only to have it wrenched away from him. He looked helplessly as Harry gave him one last glare before backing away, his movements measured and his eyes now narrowed.
"Well I don't love you anymore."
The words were softly delivered, Draco prayed that he had heard wrong but when Harry repeated them in a voice that almost matched his own in desperation he couldn't mistake them. He fell to his knees his vision blurring, a Malfoy was meant to be strong but how could he bear under this.
Harry sneered down at his fallen form, his eyes so alien with their lack of emotion and his features so twisted in their distain.
"Because all you think about is yourself Draco, you were nothing more than a passing infatuation, a roaring flame to warm myself with. But now that the flame has died I find I have no use for ashes."
Leaving those as his last words Harry turned on his heel and walked away from him, his footsteps pounding in Draco's ears as they fell heavy of the stone floor. A jovial whistle accompanied the movement and then Harry was gone.
Draco was left there, on the floor, his heart breaking in ways he had never thought it possible to break. He couldn't understand any of it, he'd started the day so happily and now his world was lying in tatters around him. He had no idea of how to fix what had happened, had no idea why Harry had fallen out of love with him...or perhaps he had never really loved him in the first place.
It was the final thought that caused the tears to finally fall.
The property was old, large and in utter disarray. The walls were crumbling; the structure looked as though it could give way at any minute, almost as though the building was waiting for a good solid gust of wind to knock it over. It looked like a lost cause, looked like it would be difficult to salvage.
Harry loved it on sight.
His agent had raved about the potential of the building to him when they had talked via floo, now Harry could see why. His inner designer was coming to life as he surveyed the rooms, envisioning what would go where and what sort of colour schemes would work well together...did he want bright colours or dark colours? It was all part of what he loved when a project started...the creativity of it all.
Flipping his phone open he hit the speed dial option two and waited for his contract builders to pick up. He'd helped fund the company he used before he had actually started building The Rhinestone, he'd handpicked the workers himself. He wanted no cut from the money they made nor did he want discounted rates, his only concession however was that they try their best to be available when he started a project.
Speaking with Nathanial the foreman he smiled when they confirmed they would reschedule anything they had booked to accommodate Harry. Luckily they had nothing pressing at the moment, and the one major project they were involved in was due to finish within the next couple of days.
He flipped the phone shut and continued his scrutiny of his surroundings.
He would have to visit the ministry for certain planning permissions as his property was on the edge of the wizarding quarter so therefore would also be accessible to muggles. He would have to set up oblivate wards on the entrances and exits of the club...set to alter the mind of any muggle that entered.
He didn't want to mess with their memories too much being that it could cause numerous problems if the spell work went too deep. Just haziness and no ability to remember anything magical at all, it meant that for one night the local muggles could experience something spectacular even if they could not remember it the next day. There would also be another spell set to wipe any evidence of magical content from cameras and mobile phones alike, this way the ministry could not accuse him of not having all precautions covered.
Other than that though, the muggles were free to retain their memories of everything else.
A set of footsteps sounded out in the rubble and he turned his head sharply to see who had decided to interrupt him. When Draco's tall frame came into view Harry felt his throat dry, he hadn't seen the other man since he'd walked out on him the other morning...it had been three days since they had slept together and Harry had done his utmost best to avoid his ex lover at all costs.
His eyes darted about his surroundings quickly, deciding that escape would not be a course of action he could take at the moment so he squared his shoulders. The blonde obviously had a good reason for coming here, perhaps lady luck would bless him and Draco wouldn't want to talk about what had happened.
"Draco, how are you? I'm sorry that we haven't been able to catch up, I've been kind of busy with the start of my new development" he coupled his words with a smile and hoped to god that Draco wouldn't be able to sense his pure panic at being alone with him. He still retained the memory of how the other man had felt inside of him and how his lips had been so soft and pliant against his own.
Draco didn't seem to be listening to him; he just stared at him with an unreadable expression. After a few moments of silence Harry began to squirm when the gaze continued to pin him, he cleared his throat and shifted from foot to foot whilst he waited for the blonde to finally speak.
"I had a dream last night." Harry had not expected those words; he continued to watch as Draco began to take slow steps towards him. He didn't realise that he had been taking steps back until felt the wall behind him, he swallowed when he realised that he had nowhere left to go. He could do nothing but stare helplessly as the taller man advanced on him.
"I dreamt of the night that you broke up with me, of the words that you threw at me in order to break my heart. How your face held no emotion when you did it, how you turned and walked away from me whilst I shattered behind you...do you remember?" Draco's words were soft, almost whispered and there was no harshness in them considering the topic he spoke of.
Harry nodded, not trusting his voice to speak. How could he forget those words? They had haunted him every night since he had forced himself to say them, he still agonised over how he had planned it all, taking a potion that would block every emotion except anger, resentment and hate...the charade had almost destroyed him.
Draco was close to him now, his arms lifted to rest his hands on the wall above Harry's shoulders, effectively blocking him in. He tilted his head to look up and only then did he smell the firewhisky on Draco's breath, only then did he see the unsteadiness in his eyes and the flush to his cheeks. Obviously Draco had spent the night before as well as much of the morning drinking and had decided that he needed to speak with Harry whilst he was still intoxicated.
"Please" he whispered his own voice soft yet ragged.
"I said please too, do you remember that? I asked you why and you told me that I was just a flame that you had used to warm your body...was that really all I was to you Harry. Is that all our relationship was, a sexual encounter that dried up when it had run its course and you grew bored of me...did my mother really have to push you so hard...did you ever really love me?"
Anger shot through Harry then, knowing what Narcissa had put Harry through, knowing what type of a person Harry was and Draco had asked such a question. His hands lifted to push Draco away but despite his inebriated state the blonde acted quicker, capturing the slender wrists and pinning them above Harry's head with one hand. Harry struggled against the hold but the hand that held him was as unyielding as steel.
He flinched when Draco lifted his free hand but all he did was stroke an idle finger down his cheek. He renewed his bid to get free but it only resulted in Draco tightening his hold and he winced when the pressure about his wrists caused a sharp pain.
Finally he sagged, the fight completely draining out of him.
"How can you ask me such a question, I sentenced myself to a fate almost like a dementors kiss...my heart and soul were sucked from me the day I had to tell you I didn't love you. Do you have any idea what that did to me? Do you know how I broke inside when I lied and told you that the most pure and greatest love I have ever known was nothing more than a mere infatuation?"
The words wouldn't stop coming now, now that Draco was here and he had pushed, Harry found that he needed to get it all out.
"If it wasn't for our daughter I don't think I'd have survived, I'd have happily let myself be destroyed in the final battle. I almost gave in to the temptation to end my suffering when I heard of your engagement and then your marriage...do you have any idea what that did to me knowing that I could have had that?" he took in a harsh breath before forging on.
"I agonised every day over my decision to keep our daughters identity a secret from you, wondering when Narcissa would turn up at my doorstep deciding that she wanted to destroy my life after all. I think I cried so much that I ran out of tears at one point...do you know what that's like? To live each day in sorrow yet wear the mask of a smile?"
"Everything I did to you, I know how it made you feel...because I did it to myself as well...I didn't just break your heart Draco...I utterly shattered my own." He finally tugged his hands free from the suddenly slackened hold and on an almost desperate sob he pulled the blondes head down and captured his lips in a searing kiss.
As soon as Harry's lips had touched his own Draco was completely sober, shock held him frozen and he couldn't even react to the heat of the kiss. Then Harry went to pull away from him and his body reacted instantly, pulling the smaller body closer to his own.
He inwardly marvelled again at how well they still fit together as he deepened the kiss, how Harry's small lithely muscular frame practically moulded into his taller broader one.
Finally be pulled away, his breathing harsh and his heart pounding in his chest. Harry looked so lost as he stared up at him and Draco felt himself come undone at the sight, he sank to his knees, pulling the raven haired man down with him.
"I cursed you so many times that night and every night since. I'd never loved someone the way that I had loved you...you took my breath away every time I looked at you...you still take my breath away" he almost choked at the sheer swell of emotion that clogged his words as he spoke. Lifting a pale hand he threaded it through Harry's hair, relishing at just how soft it felt beneath his fingertips.
"I wanted to hate you, I wanted so desperately to loath you but I just couldn't bring myself to do it."
Harry pulled him close, pulling him down into a warm embrace and muttering softly spoken words against his hair he began to rock them back and forth. Draco almost smiled at the calming gesture and continued to talk.
"I was going to ask you to marry me the night we broke up; I had the Malfoy engagement ring in my pocket. I'd practiced what I would say to you at least a hundred times over the holidays, everyone was sick of hearing me talk about it" a choked sob sounded out against his neck and he tightened his hold on the other man.
This was what they needed; every festering wound ripped open, every scab pulled off to allow them to bleed. Only then could they really heal and perhaps they could rebuild what they had once had, Draco wanted that so badly that he could taste his need for it, could picture it so clearly. He knew that Harry wanted it too and he knew that if they decided that they wanted to be with each other that nothing would come between them again.
"I should have fought harder for you; I shouldn't have let you walk away from all we had so easily. I should have been a better man for you Harry...but I wasn't, I let lies and manipulations blind me to the truth when in reality I should have known better."
He pulled out of the embrace and lifted his hands, cupping Harry's cheeks in his palms and using his thumbs to capture the tears that fell from those beautiful green eyes. Slowly he leaned down and offered a gentle kiss, his lips hardly meeting the other mans but the gesture more powerful than any passionate kiss they had thus far shared. In that small touch of skin on skin he was showing his true self and if the widening of Harry's eyes was any indication then he knew what it was that Draco wanted him to know.
"I'm sorry Harry, so very sorry. Please tell me that you'll forgive me for being so weak."
"You have nothing to be sorry for love, if anything I should be apologising to you. I'm sorry that I didn't tell you about Abbey, I'm sorry for all the horrible words I said to you when we broke up, I'm sorry that I listened to your mother, I'm..." Harry's words trailed off as Draco placed a single finger on his lips to silence him.
"It doesn't matter anymore, all that matters is the here and now. I'm not saying that it's going to be easy Harry, but I want us to be a family...I want to be with you again" he whispered and was almost blinded by the beautiful smile that lit Harry's face at his words.
"I didn't think you'd still want me, I understand if you don't love me anymore, but maybe in time you can..." Harry's words trailed off as Draco shook his head, a worried frown marring his brow. Draco could easily depict where his thoughts were leading and captured both his hands as he opened his mouth to say the words he should have said long before today.
"Surely you must know that I never stopped loving you Harry, I was foolish not to tell you when you told me, but I had hardly dared to dream that you would still feel that way. I swear to you here and now, I'll love you till my last breath and I promise you that my mother will pay for what she did to you...to us."
"Draco please, she's your mother, what's happened has happened and we can't change that. Hurting her isn't going to solve anything, I know what it's like to not have a mother and although I am not particularly fond of yours I do not wish to be the cause of you no longer having one either." Harry pleaded with him with his eyes and earnest words; Draco just pulled him closer and whispered soothingly into his hair.
Harry was a better man than his mother had ever given him credit for. But Draco would not let this lie, he was a Malfoy first and foremost before anything else and no matter that he now had Harry back in his arms, his mother would pay for taking him from them in the first place.
Revenge was not a dish best served cold, and he would serve his almost scalding with the heat of his anger and his need for it.
"Pint please Remy" Remus Lupin laughed as old Sebastian Faulkner plonked himself lopsidedly against the bar, his crinkly face smoothing out as he offered Remus a wide smile. Nodding his head he began to pull the 'perfect' one for him, Sebastian thought that all Remus's pints were perfect, would probably still think that even if the beer was stale and flat.
"No Gertrude today?" Remus asked pleasantly, shaking the froth from his fingers where it had tipped from the glass as he set it down. Gertrude was Sebastian's wife, a plump woman who reminded him fondly of a more laid back Molly Weasley. They were his favourite elderly couple to serve and they had an almost wicked sense of humour between them.
"Old girl will be along in a minute, she's cooing over some woman and her baby outside...dang woman goes stupid in the head at the sight of a baby" he groused. But his eyes twinkled with amusement and warmth belying his words. Sebastian loved his wife just as she was, and it made Remus feel good inside knowing that there were still people in the world who loved the way that they did.
"Stop your whining you old codger you, don't think I never clocked you making baby noises to our young neighbours young one yesterday" came an amused response and Gertrude settled herself on the barstool to the left of her husband, her pale lips spread in a wide smile.
"Hello there dear one, I'll have a dry white please with a tiny splash of soda" thus was her usual drink of choice.
The pair had literally stumbled upon Remus when he had been at his lowest, when he'd done something completely out of character and got blindingly drunk in a muggle bar. He'd hooked up with a man who had been just as inebriated, more so in fact given that he'd got quite forceful when Remus had sobered enough to realise he didn't want a dirty night with a random guy.
Sebastian and Gertrude had happened upon their interlude as Remus was doing his utmost best to dissuade the younger man from crossing the line.
He'd never seen someone handle a wand quite as skilfully as the silver haired old witch and wizard had, not even Albus Dumbledore. They'd worked so well together, almost like they were the same person…they knew each other well enough to interpret the next move.
Then the guy he'd tussled with was unconscious and he was throwing up his stomach contents on Sebastian's polished shoes.
Since then the couple had doted on him, they had been the ones to persuade him to go on his trip. They had even given him the money to do it, much to his dismay. They wouldn't take no for an answer and in the end Remus had given in gracefully and accepted the gift for what it was…had finally realised that they saw him as the child they had never had.
He thought he would never smile again at one point, but people like Sebastian, Gertrude, Harry, Ron, Hermione, Sirius and even Severus had all showed him that he could. He had a lot to be thankful for, and he was thankful…every day.
Even if his heart did still ache and his eyes still watered when he curled around an old bed pillow which had long since lost the scent of the person whose memory it invoked. Even if he never thought he would love again as he had once loved before.
He was still thankful for the small things.
"So young man (Remus still marvelled that there were people in the world who considered him young), when are you going to settle down and have children of your own" Gertrude asked when he set her drink on the coaster next to her hand. She knew of his preferred sexual gender of course, but she did not believe that made Remus exempt from having a child...'there's always adoption lad' she would tell him.
He'd had that dream once, had dreamed of a family, of a husband, of strong arms to hold him of a night and loving lips to kiss his brow before he fell into a gentle sleep. But dreams such as those had faded from his mind many years ago, he'd been a romantic once…he was not a romantic any more…at least not in the way he had been.
Life was a harsh taskmaster when it came to matters of love, and she taught her lessons very well. Remus had no plans to be taught that lesson again, had no plans to feel the whip of pain ever again, he didn't think it was something that he could recover from a second time.
"I think that ship has long since sailed sweetheart" Remus said softly in answer to the question, a hint of nostalgia lacing his voice.
"I wouldn't say that" a smooth voice cut in and Remus felt his whole body stiffen as he lifted his gaze past his two companions and locked onto the very recognisable figure that stood behind them, his mouth simultaneous went dry and watered at the sight of him.
So many years and he still had the ability to make his heart stop, still had the ability to make a pleasurable ache settle in his groin. Even with all the hurt he had been through at the hands of this man, he still had to fight the urge to reach out and touch him, to reach out and pull his taller body against his own and stand on his tiptoes to kiss the lips that were curved into a soft smile.
Broad shoulders tapered down to a narrow waist and endless yet powerful legs. His hair was lighter, and the glasses were new, but even if he had been scarred beyond recognition Remus knew that his heart would recognise this man no matter what.
"Hello Remus" Lucius whispered in the sudden silence.
Ok, I know that it has been an age since I have done an update and I have many reasons for that. I have only recently managed to get back online, and I feel horribly bad because I was acting as a beta for an author who I have not been able to contact. My yahoo account has decided to lock me out and I cannot for the life of me get back into it, and as I am sure you all may know I lost two of my most beloved and dearest friends...may they RIP.
But anyway, I am back now, and I plan on getting everything moving again. I am so sorry to have kept you all waiting...I know this chapter isn't very long but hopefully it will tide you all over whilst I work on the next one which should be my usual length.
Thank you to all my reviewers: I know I usually thank you all individually but I am so very tired at the moment, so a big thank you is extended to you all and I should get back to my usual personal messages when I do my next chapter.
Ciao for now xxx