Harry Potter and the Second-Time Graduate
Disclaimer: Harry Potter is the brainchild of J.K. Rowling and thus belongs to her and whomever she sells the rights to, which is not me in this case. This piece of fanfiction is written with the admiration and respect of Harry Potter's creator. I claim no ownership of her creations. The Graduate also does not belong to me and I claim no right to the original work. Both works are gently parodied for the amusement of all and it is done so with admiration for the original material.
Summary: "Mrs. Malfoy, you are trying to seduce me!" A Harry/Draco fic inspired by the famous scene from The Graduate. "I hate your family, Draco."
Rating: M – for strong, but non-explicit adult themes and coarse language.
Dedication:Written as a response to a birthday request from Armity.
Harry Potter is a graduate again.
That is, if he counts Hogwarts, and he doesn't. Everyone else does. But he knows that he hasn't actually fulfilled the requirements of his seventh year and what that ultimately means. He tried but after the high of being Hero of the Wizarding World wore off, full-time schoolwork was just far too heavy a load.
It was the light; the walls seemed to be eating it up and the silence was so thick in patches that he was sure it was a series of spells. He avoided those too-quiet halls during the day and tormented himself into the night imagining what terrible echoes those charms were meant to cover up. Three weeks in and it was obvious he couldn't take it. The worst part was that they had seen him cry. Not only Hermione, Ron, and what was left of the teaching staff but also the gaggle of Slytherins brave enough to have returned. Draco Malfoy was at the periphery, slowing as a group of teachers and two Aurors escorted a blubbering Harry Potter down the hall. No matter how hard he tried, Harry couldn't stop, pushed into every pocket of screams and filled with so much weariness that it was a disease. All Draco did was stare and that was more than enough. For the longest time, Harry was haunted by the fact that he would know.
"This is nothing to be ashamed of, Potter," McGonagall assured him from in front of what would always be the Headmaster's desk.
"No, of course not, Harry," Shacklebolt added. The Minister of Magic was absentminded in his replies, tapping a bent index finger against his lips. Harry knew what the man had to be thinking: How to cover up the fact that the icon of their victory was suffering a mental break, without him left appearing like a glorified high school drop-out. The answer was masterful.
Harry Potter was signed up for Auror Training. In front of a dozen select reporters, he was handed an ornate diploma bearing the Hogwarts seal and his co-conspirators' signatures. The minister had convinced the public that he had earned it by, "…His constant and unselfish sacrifices for his people." The press had gobbled it up but Harry found it hard to swallow. He couldn't help feeling like a cheater. Hermione still attended every class and exceeded all school requirements. She earned her own diploma the right way, even with her parents sharing a room with the Longbottoms at St. Mungo's. The healers spent her entire seventh year attempted to fix the damage caused by a botched reversal of Hermione's memory charms. She struggled with so much to hold that certificate. He should have done no less.
"When do you begin training, Mr. Potter?" Rita Skeeter crowed out as soon as the floor was opened to pre-approved questions.
"Unfortunately," Minister Shacklebolt said, "because of the decimation of our forces in The War, the Auror Department is being restructured. It will take some time before the training program can be properly reinstated. In the meantime, Mr. Potter shall be in service for the ministry on Unspeakable business."
The only reason it was unspeakable was because it would hurt post-war morale to know Harry Potter, The Boy who Lived and Died, would be in and out of St. Mungo's psychiatric unit four times in the next six months. Hermione would visit him before leaving Ron behind. No matter how much it tore her apart, she always visited what was left of her parents, what she had done to them. Harry wasn't in their ward. He wasn't insane; he only needed a quiet room away from the world with a window that showed an empty green pasture that wasn't there. After six months, Hermione couldn't visit anymore. She was accepted into an elite Wizarding medical school in France. She had decided if the healers couldn't fix her parents, she could or would study herself to death trying. Ron followed her since he had long decided her the love of his life and couldn't bear losing her.
Harry had become bored with his window still-life and signed himself out of the unit for the last time. The political winds had changed. Shacklebolt was nervous of any possible allegations of misconduct and even a small white lie could bring into question his suitability for office. And a dozen wizard and witch upstarts eyed his position. He made Harry an Unspeakable in truth, though none of the more earnest work could be trusted to someone with such emotional instability. Harry was worse than a glorified secretary; he was the man assigned to watch said secretary.
"How did you become an Unspeakable, Malfoy?" he asked one day. He was leaning against the countertop in the canteen set inside their specific department: only for Unspeakables and staffed by Unspeakables. There were at least a dozen that did nothing more than wash dishes and assemble sandwiches all day. Though no body else knew that, not even their families. They were paid to live a lie. Really, he fit in perfectly.
"How did youbecome one, Potter?" Malfoy replied with only the pretense of hostility. Harry ignored the snitty tone and watched him puzzle at the three mugs in front of them. "Shite. I can't remember. Was it Bennings that wanted four sugars, no crème, or was it Vibbard?"
"Vibbard. Bennings wanted you to go through the Kaffer file and highlight anything in the transcripts for importance."
"Meanwhile, I take two sugars, please."
"Ha, you can make your own bloody coffee, Potter."
"Is that the way to talk to your supervisor?"
Malfoy smiled. "Suck it."
Two years after receiving his first graduation and a year after Auror training began in earnest, Harry Potter smiles for the cameras and the minister holds out his second diploma and shakes his hand for what feels like three minutes.
"When do you begin, Mr. Potter?" Rita Skeeter asks before the next graduate's name is called.
"Monday, I guess." He is terrified. The room laughs.
Twenty-seven witches and wizards graduate from Auror training today but it is Harry Potter that steals the front page. He knows that without seeing it, before it is even printed. Everyone knows that. His guilt is palpable but his colleagues suffer it with grace. They have already learned they will never measure up to those who fought and fell in the war. The ones who couldn't take it have long since dropped out. After all, the program started with fifty recruits.
"I can't believe I have to wake up to your cheeky face tomorrow while having breakfast. As if I haven't suffered that enough," Draco teases with a sneer and champagne. Harry laughs nervously since they could be overheard. "Don't laugh like that."
"You sound like a pouf."
"Ha-ha, Malfoy. Is your mother flirting with the minister?"
The party has been going for a while now and the room is so filled that people will start leaving soon. Draco glances over his shoulder to where Harry gestured his chin and a bulb explodes.
"All right, Harry?"
"Creevey!" Draco growls, blinking into his palm. Harry knows better than to look overly concerned about this in public. He is long accustomed to bouts of Creevey blindness; Draco, not so much, but he will survive. "If you don't stop doing that, I'm going to sneak into your loft at night, kick your mother out of your bed, and eat your liver."
"Is there any truth to the rumors that you're blowing Harry, Malfoy?"
"You filthy mud-!"
"Hey!" Harry shouts over them, smacking down Draco's hands as they reach out toward Creevey's throat. He smiles at the concerned and curious faces suddenly turned toward them. The minister purposefully continues conversation with Mrs. Malfoy and Rita Skeeter. There is no doubt Shacklebolt is in hell. Harry would try to make it easier on him if possible. "Colin, you do realize you are ruining the graduation party of twenty-seven newly certified Aurors, right?"
"Nonetheless pissing off an Unspeakable. You print that and my family's solicitors will sue you for libel so fast your mother will-"
"I think he's got the point, Draco. If you value your liver, be somewhere else, Creevey."
There is an exchange of dirty looks but Harry is happy the pissing contest is postponed. He hasn't drunk nearly enough for that. Draco downs the rest of his champagne in a gulp and heads back to the open bar for harder drinks. By the end of the night, he'll be pissed. Sometimes, Harry worries he is an alcoholic but feels he has no place to judge, considering his regular use of Felix Felicis. Just as he is considering this and watching Draco stomp away, he sees a new hoard of reporters and opportunists descend on him.
"Haaaarry Potterrr!" He knows it is going to be terrible when Skeeter sings his name.