Title A Peculiar Proposal
Author StrangeTidings
Characters Harry/Draco mostly. Also involving Hermione.
Rating PG
Words 2,953
Genre Humour
Summary Draco comes to Harry and Hermione for help with a problem. Harry gets upset, Hermione is seemingly indifferent, and Draco has a Cunning Plan TM®
Notes I...I have no idea where this came from. A few of the lines came into my head fully formed, and the rest swiftly followed. It was written with a certain backstory in mind, but all you need to know is that nothing bad happened to Ron, Draco became friends with Harry and Hermione by fifth year, and Voldemort is very dead. CRACK-ish. One-shot.
Disclaimer I don't own Harry Potter. Anything that seems familiar is not mine. It is owned by J.K. Rowling and her publishers.

Harry was content. There was really no other word for it. Voldemort was a decade dead and gone, Harry was a successful business owner at the age of twenty-five, and he shared a nice house in the country with Hermione. He had an exciting long-term relationship with the always infuriating Draco Malfoy, and a Quidditch pitch in the back yard. Yes, life was good.

Of course, that was the moment that everything went pear-shaped.

Not quite shockingly, Draco was the cause of it.

It had promised to be a quiet day. Harry and Hermione were in the library, Hermione doing her research for the altering of the House-Elf bond and Harry designing his newest magical toy. The companionable silence was shattered by Draco's dramatic entrance.

"Well, it's finally happened." Long used to Draco's apparent non sequiturs, Harry would have been content to simply wait him out and focused once more on a tricky bit of hinge that he had been having trouble with. Draco could not be kept quiet for any length of time, so it was inevitable that he would explain himself eventually.

Hermione apparently wanted his melodrama over with as soon as possible, for she played into it, though without looking up from her book, "What has happened Draco?"

Draco, happy to have an audience, even an indifferent one, flounced further into the room. He set himself in his 'grand pronouncement pose' and Harry had to smother a snicker. "My father has put his foot down. I must get married by the end of the year." The snicker died in his throat and Harry was left completely gob-smacked.

Hermione, still absorbed in her notes and completely unflappable, was the only one capable of a response. "Oh, that's nice. Do remember I have that conference on centaur rights in October, so make sure you don't schedule it then."

"Nice? Nice! Don't you understand woman? I'm going to die! Where am I going to find a wife of appropriate breeding who won't bore me to death?" At this outrageous statement, Harry finally felt his tongue loosen enough for wordless angry growling. Draco glanced in his direction and waved his hand negligently, "Oh yes, also the whole 'shagging the saviour of the wizarding world' thing. Do you know how hard it is to find a wife who will let you carry on a scandalous homosexual affair? She will be hideous and boring and a prude and I shall die!" Hermione managed to conjure a fainting couch behind Draco as he collapsed backwards in apparent despair.

"Really Draco, there's no need for all this melodrama, I'm attempting to work here."

Draco clasped at his heart as if wounded, which was a wasted effort as Hermione was back to her notes and did not see, "Granger! You are heartless and cruel! Obviously all of your words of affection, and declarations of friendship, were all lies!"

"Yes, yes, I'm evil incarnate; huzzah for suffering and all that rot. What was Farthering's postulate again?"

"That magical ability had been introduced into the human population by our ancestors having sex with magical creatures. Because Farthering is a dirty great pervert. But focus on me, and my problems! My father wants me to marry one of the Greengrass sisters. Which is just not on! Daphne couldn't string together more than two sentences that didn't revolve around dress robes back in school, I doubt her sisters are any better." Draco had resumed his pacing and wild hand gestures.

Harry, finally over the shock of the whole idea, felt himself about to burst with anger, "Then don't get married! For God's sake Draco, you don't have to do what your father tells you to do if you're already happy. Don't be an idiot!"

Draco was stopped in his tracks, hands mid-gesture. He looked a bit like a puppet with his strings suddenly cut, "Potter, you're mad. I have to get married. I must have children to carry on the Malfoy name. Don't get me wrong, I definitely want to keep shagging you on a regular basis, but you rather lack some essential equipment and magic can only do so much."

It took Harry a moment to reassure his mind that, yes, Draco had just implied what it thought he had implied. Once his mind had gotten over the shock, the anger was quick to return, "Draco, there's absolutely no way you're going to find a wife who'll let you keep dating men! You're barking!"

Hermione, always eager to share her knowledge with the uninitiated, was quick to interrupt, "Oh but Harry, it's quite common in the wizarding world, especially among the pure bloods who still practice arranged marriages. As long as the couple in question produces at least one heir, the society tends not to care what else they get up to. Often times they live almost completely separate lives. The fact that wizarding children are educated away from home lends itself to the ability of the participants in the marriage of convenience to do as they wish, with no hard feelings. It's actually a rather sophisticated system."

Harry was ready to dismiss all of this out of hand, but Draco had begun to stare at Hermione with a speculative gleam in his eyes. She went back to work and he began to circle around her, muttering softly to himself. At one point, he even reached out and pulled Hermione's hair away from her face. She swatted his hand away with the hand that wasn't busy taking notes. Harry felt his stomach start to churn unpleasantly with each mutter. Things never boded well when Draco muttered. It inevitably lead to one of his "Cunning Plans" TM ®.

Draco seemed to come to a decision and, after a quick cleaning spell directed at the carpet, he knelt next to Hermione's chair and grabbed her non-writing hand with both of his. "Granger, will you marry me?"

Still without looking up from her notes, she was quick to respond, "Draco, in case you've forgotten, I'm muggle-born." Draco briefly released her hand to wave his own about casually, as though it was hardly a concern.

"Yes, yes, and don't think that wasn't a strike against you. But you're hardly boring, and with your raw intelligence and my cunning, our children will rule the world."

"You don't even call me by my first name."

"A minor detail! I shall practice diligently. Think of Granger as a pet name if it helps."

"Hmm, I'll want full access to the Malfoy library, complete parental rights, and naming rights on the children."

"The library will have to be decontaminated first, of course you'll share parental rights, and the children have to be named after stars."

"I'll want political support for my projects."

"You already have that you daft woman."

"Fine then. Let me know when you plan the wedding so I can be sure to leave a spot open in my schedule."

Harry, feeling rather left out of the proceedings, felt the need to object, "Wait, wait! Draco, you can't marry Hermione. It's not right."

"And why not? What's wrong with Granger? I count her as a friend, I doubt she'll have a problem with our continuing to shag each other rotten, and she's hardly hideous. Though I do hope the children inherit my hair." He absently brushed his fingers through Hermione's trademark frizz. This sent Hermione into a fit of giggles and finally tore her away from her work.

"Really Draco, you're terrible. Harry, it's truly nothing to be upset over."

"Nothing to be upset over? Are you mad? My boyfriend is marrying my best friend and that's nothing to be upset over? I'm very well upset and I'll thank you not to tell me otherwise! This changes everything!" Now he was the one who was pacing, arms waving. He felt a rather childish need to break something, anything. His brain attempted to hijack his thought process to come up with a toy that could be easily broken, but self-repairing. Furiously shaking his head, he focused on his two best friends. Hermione had her usual "placate angry Harry" expression. Draco, the bastard, was smirking.

"Really now Potter, if I didn't know any better, I'd say you were jealous. Who knew you've been pining for Granger all these years? And she, heartless woman that she is, has scorned you for her dusty tomes. It's straight out of Shakespeare."

"Draco, shut it. Seriously, before I send you arse over tea-kettle, shut your gob."

"You know Potter, now that I think about it, you should be looking for a wife as well. Can't very well let the Potter name fade into obscurity. It's not quite as prestigious as the Malfoy name, but it's decent enough I suppose. Now who do we know that's available? Maybe Lovegood? She's always good for a laugh."

"Draco, I swear, if you don't stop right now, I won't be held accountable for my actions."

"What about the Patil twins? I'm fairly certain you could manage to nab both of them. Begin your own little harem?" Harry was quick to silence Draco and managed to get off a hex, which turned a certain portion of Draco's anatomy into a slimy tentacle, before Hermione disarmed them both. Draco silently yelped as the tentacle "explored" it's surroundings a bit. That was too much for Harry, and all the energy that had been building up inside him from the beginning of this madness turned into hysterical laughter. Draco was alternating between desperate gestures at Hermione and rude gestures towards Harry. At this point Harry had collapsed onto the floor, overcome by his laughter and the absurdity of the situation. He had just hexed his boyfriend for attempting to pick a wife for him after proposing to their mutual friend. Hermione removed the tentacle hex but stared Draco down until he had calmed and Harry had regained his composure. She removed the silencing spell and Draco was quick to take advantage of his regained speech, "You'll pay for that tonight Potter."

Harry stared at him rather incredulously, "Do you seriously believe you're getting any tonight after the shit you've pulled today?" Hermione waved her wand threateningly and they both immediately stopped talking. They settled for death glares across the study.

"Alright, it's time to settle this like the adults you are both supposed to be. Harry, what is your real problem with all of this? Nothing should really change, there will just be children added to the mix. Draco practically lives here anyway."

"It's not that Hermione, it's just...I want you to be happy. If you marry Draco, what happens if you meet somebody?"

"Harry! I'm surprised at you. Don't you think that if Draco is going to be free to pursue you, I'll be free to pursue whomever I wish? It's called a marriage of convenience for a reason. Besides, when was the last time I went on a date?"

"Well, there was Viktor..."

"Which I'll remind you ended a year outside of school. Harry, I'm much too busy to date anyone right now. I'm not saying I'm going to rule it out for the future, but it really isn't a priority at the moment. This way, I'll be gaining a lot of political clout and I'll be able to do quite a bit of good in the world with it." There was a quick mutter that sounded something like "should have been in Slytherin" from Draco's corner of the room, but they both ignored him.

"But Hermione, that's not a good enough reason to marry someone! You should love them if you're going to spend the rest of your life together."

"Who says I don't love Draco?" at their shocked expressions, she quickly clarified, "I love you both, you silly gits! You're my best friends. There's no one else I'd rather have in my dysfunctional little family. Besides, look at Draco. I have to do all I can to fight the rampant inbreeding in the wizarding world. You know me and my causes." Draco was somehow attempting to look both pleased and offended. He ended up looking rather constipated before he gave it up as a lost cause and simply smirked, his default setting. Harry was still in a bit of a flap, and it must have shown on his face, because Hermione continued in her infuriatingly reasonable voice, "Harry, I could do a lot worse than marrying a friend and gaining political connections. This way, I'll get to have a family with the two boys I love most in the world, and the two of you can stay together. I want you to be happy too, don't forget."

Harry felt the uneasy feelings rising inside of him and he couldn't quite control what they were making him say, "But that's just it Hermione! You won't be having a family with both of us. You and Draco are going to be married and have kids and I'll be left all alone," Hermione made as if to speak, but he cut her off, "Oh, I know you'll mean well, but it's natural isn't it? You'll try to keep me involved, but I'm always going to feel the outsider. And what if Draco grows tired of me? You'll always be connected to him through your children, so I'll lose both of you."

"Potter, you're even more thick-headed than I ever gave you credit for. Don't you think if I was going to grow tired of you, I would have somehow done it by now? I think we're rather stuck with each other at this point. Besides, if you ever sleep with another man I'll be forced to hex your bollocks off, and that would be a crime against my country. Defacing a national monument -- the Malfoy name would never recover. Besides, that's why I was trying to get you to have children of your own. If we find you the right wife, she may not want to have anything to do with the children, and we'll be all set."

"I can't marry someone I don't love! What's wrong with you?"

Draco hummed a bit and began his muttering routine again. Harry, fearing whatever insane idea would follow, was desperately planning a way to get his wand back from Hermione. To prepare. Not at all to hex Draco stupid. Stupider.

"Right then. That settles that."

Not wanting to put off the inevitable chaos and madness, Harry asked, "What's settled?"

"Oh, well obviously the three of us are going to get married." Hermione started to look thoughtful, and that was when Harry knew he was doomed. "See, if we both marry Granger, and she gives us each an heir, they can be raised as siblings. It will be the beginning of a beautiful alliance between the Potter and Malfoy names. I can see it now, the wizarding world will be at their mercy. The Malfoy children will be cunning and intelligent. The Potter children will be brave and moderately intelligent with terrible hair. It will be glorious!" Harry was appalled to notice tears of scheming joy in the corner of Draco's eyes.

"Well, what if I don't want children?"

"Oh Potter, don't be stupid. Of course you want children. That way we can be a proper family. Besides, my children will need minions. I've discovered that brainless Gryffindors make excellent minions." The smirking was really getting out of control. Harry was momentarily distracted by thoughts of how he would be punishing Draco tonight.

"I sincerely doubt that we'll be able to all get married to each other. In case you've forgotten, the wizarding world is a bit old-fashioned."

Hermione, who had begun drifting towards the law-book section of the library, felt the need to refute that concern, "Actually Harry, I believe there's a precedent to be found in the case of Livius the Limp. Not to mention the harems of many other cultures. I know there was mention of the possibility in 'A Brief History of Law: The Past Thousand Years'. Where did I leave it..." She was soon off in her own happy little world, a world of books and rules.

Draco was quick to encourage her. "That's right Granger, my darling! Research, research research! You'll overwhelm the conservatives with your relentless logic and copious notes. And if that fails, you can bop them on the head with one of your beloved dusty tomes. Prove that we can legally have a harem. I'll just go floo the Patil twins with the good news." Harry was quick to grab a hold of him before he could make it out the door of the study. Draco made a token struggle, but it was obvious his heart wasn't in it.

"You know, I haven't agreed to any of this yet."

"Minor detail, not a problem. I'll just have to convince you. It will take Granger at least a week to make all of the colour-coordinated charts and graphs she'll want."

"This had better be a convincing week."

"Hmm, I think I'm willing to put in a bit of effort. After all, I'm Draco Malfoy, I always get what I want." Harry was quick to wipe the smirk from his face with a hungry kiss. As he was dragging Draco towards the doorway, he heard a faint voice from behind a mountainous pile of books.

"Will you two finally get out of the study? I have work to do." Laughing at the insanity that he had not yet agreed to, Harry pulled Draco out the door.

"You know Potter, we're going to have to buy a better house. I don't do rustic country."

fin