Title: Sweet Pea
Summary: Harry has the best Christmas.
Warning: Slash! Harry/Draco! No like no read!
A/N: This is dedicated to my friend Myriah, who helped me come up with all the little details for it. The story itself was inspired by a rl story I read on msn about an American soldier adopting an Iraqi child. I hope you enjoy my Christmas story for 2007. And for any of you who are CSI fans, keep an eye out for my new story which should be up in the new year.
Harry climbed the stairs at the end of the walkway that led to Burby Orphanage. He had been coming here nearly everyday for that last few months, ever since they had commissioned him to make a new sign for the building. Now, it was December, and by the looks of the little tree in the window it was also quite close to Christmas.
The door opened up as he made it up the porch and he smiled at who was standing there, holding the door open for him, "Hello Jeremy."
"Hey, Mr. Potter." Jeremy was a seventeen-year-old squib who had grown up at the orphanage. Now, though, he worked for it as he would be out on his own and no longer a ward in less than a year, "The kids are just finishing up with dinner."
Harry nodded. He had chosen to arrive at this time specifically. He held out a bag to the teen as he stepped inside, "It's not much, but..."
Jeremy shook his head and took the offering, "I'm sure they'll like it anyway. Gifts are rare." He held it close to his chest and started for the room that held the tree, leaving Harry to shut the door.
Harry pulled off his cloak and hung it next to the door, just in time to catch three young kids into his arms as they barreled down the hall, "mr. potter!" They yelled through their laughter as they scrambled to get more of his hugs. He always received the same happy welcome, despite the fact that he visited at least three times a week.
He greeted each child even as he looked over their heads for a certain little girl. Four more children filed out of the dining room, followed by Denise Burby, the elderly witch who ran the orphanage. She caught sight of his searching eyes and turned slightly to look down behind her robes. Following her gaze, Harry saw who he had been looking for, clinging to the pale green fabric in front of her.
Harry rose to his feet and managed to pass the rambunctious children as they ran to Jeremy. He murmured a soft greeting to Denise before crouching down, "Hello Ianthe."
Milky, violet eyes turned his way and a small smile grew on her face, "lo mr. potter."
Harry reached out a hand and brushed her chocolate brown fringe to the side of her face, "How are you doing today, sweet pea?"
"doin okay." was her quiet reply.
"That's real good." Harry was about to continue with his questioning when Denise cleared her throat. He looked up at her, his gaze questioning. She pointed to her office, indicating that she wished to speak to Harry alone. He nodded and looked back at Ianthe, who was eagerly awaiting his next question, "Sweat pea, why don't you go and see what Jeremy has for you in the living room. I need to speak to Ms. Burby."
"k." Ianthe released her grip on Denise's robes and reached out to trail a hand along the wall that would lead her to the waiting seventeen-year-old, who was tapping his foot against the wooden beam edging the arched doorway.
Harry stood and followed Denise into her office. He sat down and waited for her to close the door and sit behind the desk, which was overflowing with mountains of paperwork. She clasped her hands together on top of the desk and looked at him over her glasses, "I've got some good news Harry."
The young wizard straighted his back in anticipation, "You mean..?"
Denise nodded, "You were approved. It was still faster than a normal adoption time, given your...history."
Harry rolled his eyes. Normally, adoptions were through the orphanage itself with inspectors hired out as needed, but in Harry's case, the child he wanted to adopt had a disability and so he had to go through the ministry. He looked over his shoulder at the door, as if he could see through it and into the living room where Ianthe was sitting, "When can I take her home?"
"You have some papers to sign, but you can take her home tonight." Denise handed him a folder when he turned back around.
He flipped open the cover and grabbed up the nearest pen. The orphanage may have had magical ties in various forms, but Denise Burby felt that using a quill and ink around children who liked to use her desk as a playground was just asking for trouble. Harry began signing his name at the various places indicated, however, one line caused him to pause, "What's the date?"
Denise's eyebrows rose, "It is the twenty-fourth."
Harry's head shot up and his eyes widened, "I...I realized it was nearing Christmas, but I didn't think it was that close."
"Maybe you should invest in a calender for your studio." Denise offered, remembering the lack of one when she and the kids were given a tour of the bright warehouse the month before.
Harry shrugged, "I will now, certainly." He signed his name on the last line with a flourish and tossed the pen down, "I can't believe she's mine. Although, I wish I had been given more of an advanced notice that I was approved. Maybe then I would have had time to shop for presents as well as more practical things for her."
Denise reached across the table and rested her hand on top of his, "Harry, I think just going home with you is going to be enough of a present for her. As for the more practical things, well, her belongings from here will certainly hold her long enough until the stores open again after the holidays."
"Right." He handed the folder to Denise, who flipped through the papers to the last page.
She added her signature below Harry's to authorize the adoption. The papers glowed a bright yellow before settling back to normal, "Well, that's it. From this moment on, you are father to Ianthe Caoilainn Potter. Congratulations."
Denise pushed back from the desk and smiled at Harry, "Why don't you go tell your daughter whats going on while I have Jeremy help me gather her things."
Harry nodded, starting to feel overwhelmed. He stood and followed Denise out into the hall. She motioned for Jeremy and Harry took his place on the ottoman in front of the fire. He accepted the thanks for the small toys and candies he had given the kids before looking at Ianthe, who was holding a small, toy harp in her hands.
She looked at the fireplace her head cocked to show that she was listening to the aim of the other children's voices. She smiled brightly and held out her toy, "thank you, mr. Potter."
Harry felt his breath catch in his throat and wondered to himself how he had gotten so lucky, "Ianthe, come here sweet pea."
She climbed to her feet and followed the tapping of Harry's heal against the floor. When she was standing in front of him, he raised his hands and framed her heart shaped face, "How would you like to go home with me?"
Ianthe's milky violet eyes widened at the implications of that, "go home? with you?"
Harry nodded, even though he knew she couldn't see it, "I was just approved to adopt you sweat pea." His smile dropped from his face at the same rate as the tear that was forging a path down her cheek, "What? What's wrong?"
She crawled onto his lap and raised her own small hands to feel around Harry's face, "i'm happy...papa."
His smile was back full force just as her fingers brushed his lips. He kissed her fingertips, "So am I, sweet pea."
Draco lit the last candle on the mantel of the fireplace and stood back to survey his work. The tree was lit in all its glory with fairy lights, the presents sparkled and the air was filled with the lovely scents of roast and apple pie. He knew Ianthe wouldn't be able to see the sight that stood before him physically, but there were magics out there that would allow her a small glimpse. If only there was a way to return her eyesight, but that was near to impossible.
He shook off those thoughts and reached out to straighten the pajama's that were folded neatly on the couch. Harry didn't know that he was here nor did he know what Draco had planned. Which was the idea. With all the extra holiday work he had been commissioned for as well as his time spent at the orphanage, Harry just hadn't had time to do any proper decorating.
Draco sighed and made his way into the kitchen to check on the roast. As he pulled the dinner from the oven, he made a bet with himself about how long it would be until Harry caught on to the fact that Draco knew that he was bringing Ianthe home tonight. All Harry knew about his job was that he worked in a little known division at the ministry. The raven haired man had never inquired more than that, figuring if Draco had wanted him to know, he would tell him.
Draco's reasons for not telling Harry he worked in adoption were more selfish than he let on. Mainly, it was because of the deep feelings he felt for his friend, ones that went beyond platonic. He felt that if Harry knew what department he worked in, he would have gone to Draco for help in finding a child to adopt. The problem with that was that he didn't work with the kids themselves, but the adopters. He couldn't bring himself to disappoint Harry in that way.
As he was dishing out the roast and vegetables onto a platter, he heard the lock in the front door jingle as keys started to unlock it. He left the spoon in the roaster and went and leaned against the doorway to the living room, arms crossed over his chest to hide the anxiousness that was building up behind his breastbone.
Harry cuddled Ianthe close as he pushed the door open. He was expecting to step into a dark living room, so seeing the fireplace lit and candles glowing from various places throughout the room was a shock. So much so that he almost dropped the six-year-old in his arms, "What..?"
He closed the door to keep the heat from escaping and in doing so, saw the tree lit up in the corner. He tightened his arms around Ianthe, who let out a murmur of protest, "papa?"
"Sorry sweet pea." Confusion growing by the moment, he scanned the room, taking in the presents under the tree and the apple pie resting on the buffet behind the dining room table. He stepped further into the room, taking him in direct line of sight of the kitchen and the man leaning against the doorway, "Draco?"
The blond smirked, "Harry."
"What...what is all this?" He waved his hand around to indicate their surroundings.
"One would think you had never seen Christmas decorations before." Draco replied, straightening up and stepping away from the doorway.
Harry just swallowed. Ianthe started squirming in his arms and he quickly set her down. She dug her cane out of her bag and instantly began mapping out the room. Harry turned most of his attention back to Draco, knowing Ianthe would let him know if she had problems with something but would prefer to do that particular deed alone to get more comfortable with the room, "Why did you do this?"
"Because I knew that you wanted to, but hadn't gotten around to it."
Harry raised an eyebrow and took a step towards Draco, matching him one for one, "And...?" He knew why Draco had done this, at least now he did. He could read it plain as day in the silver eyes and was biting back the ecstatic laugh he could feel pushing at his throat due to knowing his own feelings were returned. Now he wanted to see if Draco would admit it out loud.
Draco's own eyebrow rose, "And because I knew you were bringing Ianthe home tonight."
Harry faltered at that unexpected bit of information, but shook it off, figuring it would be something to ask later after they ate the fantastic meal he could smell, "And...?"
"Harry...mph." Draco's eyes shot open as Harry all but flew into his arms, his mouth greedily attacking Draco's. The blond barely held back a moan as he sought out Ianthe from the corner of his eye. Seeing her sitting at the tree but turned towards them with a broad smile, one that spoke surprisingly of approval, he let his eyes drift shut to enjoy the kiss.
Harry tightened his arms around Draco's neck and smiled inwardly as he heard Ianthe's giggles from the direction of the tree. He had his new daughter and his new love in the same room. This was the best Christmas ever!
A/N2: Hope you all enjoyed! I appreciate feedback so let me know what you think!