A/N I'm writing this because I am sick of stories where Harry runs off leaving Ginny pregnant (unknown to him) and she never recovers from his loss and is frozen in her love for him. Then when he returns it's all hearts and roses.

This could be a one-shot chapter, a short story, or fleshed out to a full fic. Drop me a review and let me know. Thanks!

He Didn't Have To Be

Harry Potter was coming to Hogwarts! The whole school was abuzz with the information. Everyone, teachers included, was acting as if it was the Second Coming of Christ. Everyone but the one person whom everyone believed would be the most excited. Her name was Lily Molly Malfoy. The 13 year old redhead wrote to her dad the second the news was announced. The letter read:


Please, I beg you! Come and take me out of school for the remainder of the week. Professor McGonagall just told the whole student body that Harry Potter is coming to Hogwarts. I don't want to have to sit here and hear how great he is. Please Daddy, come and get me. Please Daddy, they're all talking like he's a God.


Draco Malfoy sat in his office reading the letter a second time. He could feel his blood pressure rising.

If Potter thought he could swoop in here and take everything I have worked so hard for, he has another thing coming. However, Lily would have to get used to the idea that even for a Malfoy she could not get exactly what she wanted. He knew in order to be a good father he could not pull her out of school, but it killed him not to run to the school and remove her. As he ran a hand through his hair, his own father walked in.

"Something wrong, Draco?" Lucius Malfoy asked. Draco handed him the letter and Lucius read it over. "You have not headed out already?"

"Lily might not like it, but she has to get used to the fact that life is not always what she wants. But it's killing me to stay." Draco got up and began to pace the room.

"You don't have to take her out for the week, but you could head over there to let her know you're there for her after Potter finishes speaking to her year," Lucius offered.

"You're right." Draco then called to Hogwarts and found out from Blaise, who was the Potions master, when Potter would be speaking to the third years. Draco had until after lunch before he had to head to Hogwarts.

His own father looked at him "Draco, he can only take from you what you let him."

"You're right again, Father."

Twenty minutes later, Draco's daughter's face appeared in his floo. "Daddy, why haven't you come?"

"Lily, I understand how you feel, but you need to be strong about this. This is a fact of life. You also know your mother and I love you more than you can ever dream. I know you can do this."

"But Daddy!" She had tears in her eyes.

"Lily, I want you to make me proud to say that you're my daughter. I know you can do this."

"Daddy, please! I love you."

"Lily, there's an old saying; 'You can't cheat a cheater.' Well, you can't manipulate a manipulator. I learned that from your grandfather."

"Where is Grandfather?" If Daddy would not save her, Granfather would!

"He's here with me at the office. Lily, if you try flooing him I will be very disappointed in you."

"Yes, Daddy." She looked very hurt, but broke the connection.

Lucius was standing just out of view. "You have to give her points for trying."

"She didn't just try, she succeeded. I feel horrible."

"I don't think Ginevra would be upset if you took Lily a gift when you go."

Three hours later, Harry James Potter looked around the room of first to third years. His eyes fell on a redhead at the back of the room; she looked like she would rather be anywhere but in this classroom at this moment. As if she could feel his eyes resting on her, she looked up at him and for a second they held each other's gaze. Harry knew that second that she was Ginny's daughter; she looked just like her mother, the woman he loved for most of his life. She then looked away. He then scanned the room. There were at least three other Weasley children here in the room. He would have to ask Minerva about them. As he finished he noticed a group of others around the girl at the back of the class. He slipped out of the room and found Neville Longbottom there. "I saw you looking at the Weasley children," Neville said.

"Yeah, I noticed them. Whose are they?"

"Well, let's see; there's Vicky, she is Willaim's, then there's Molly, she's Percy's, and Fred, I don't think you have to guess who his father is, and of course Albert, he belongs to Ron and Hermione, and the one at the back of the room was Lily Malfoy. She's Ginny's."

"Ginny and Malfoy? I thought I recognizd her eyes."

"Lily Molly Malfoy looks just like her mother, but she has her father's eyes." the headmistress said from behind the two men. Harry turned around and looked at the woman. "Ginny married Draco two years after Lily was born. The child carries a name from each side of her family."

"You're telling me she's my daughter and Draco Malfoy is raising her? I want to meet her!"

On the other side of the classroom outside the door stood Draco Malfoy. As his daughter came out of the room relief washed over her face. "Daddy, you came!"

"I thought we could have tea together once you're done with classes for the day." He smiled. "How did it go?"

"He mentioned Grandmother and what she risked."

"I knew you could do this."

"I love you Daddy." She wrapped her arms around him.

He hugged her back. "You best get to class. I'll see you after for tea."

"Thanks for coming."

"I love you princess." She then took off down the corridor.

"Malfoy." There stood the only man Draco ever feared, only because of what he could take from Draco.

"Potter." The two stood facing each other, then Draco spoke again. "We need to talk."

"I want to meet my daughter!" Harry demanded.

"Your daughter, your daughter. Tell me Potter, do you think you have the right to call her that just because you can have sex?"

"I have a right!" Harry exclaimed.

"A right? You lost your right the second you walked away from Ginny. You see Potter, the minute you did not oppose my adoption of her when I married Ginny, you lost that right. I hold all the cards and you're not coming within fifty feet of her until we get some things straight. I will meet you in the Three Broomsticks at six. And don't think that the rest of the Weasleys are going to help you."

Draco then turned and headed down to the dungeons to speak to his old friend Blaise.


Draco had floo'd home and let his wife know he would be home late, then arrived at a quarter after six. He was late on purpose. It just proved the point that he was in charge here and if Harry wanted to play, it was by Draco's rules. He had heard that Potter had been living in South America playing Quidditch. He began to check in to Potter's whereabouts years back, shortly before he and Ginny got married. Potter looked much the same as he had years before. Draco took his time making his way to the table Harry sat at.

"I'M her dad! I have a right to get to know her."

"Potter, tell me; what makes a dad?"

"She's my flesh and blood," Harry shot back.

"Sorry, Potter. That makes you a sperm donor."

"She is my child!"

"Really, Potter? Can you tell me when she was born? How about when she was conceived? Or her first word? How about the first time she did magic?"

"No one told me about her," Harry countered.

"That's why I'm here; the only reason in fact. But you disappeared off the face of the earth and no one could find you until eleven years ago. Before mine and Ginny's wedding, I found you playing Quidditch for a Chilean team. I told Ginny that I found you and do you know what she said? She said that for almost all of her daughter's life, she had known me as the father figure in Lily's life, and that you no longer mattered."

"What did you do to Ginny? She would never fall for you, never mind marry you of her own free will!" Harry said haughtily.

"But she did. And I was there for Lily, for everything. Do you know what she did today when she heard you were at Hogwarts? She wrote to me." Draco pulled out the letter Lily had sent him and passed it to Harry.

After Harry read it he looked up. "All this proves is that she was never told that I am her father."

"No, Potter. She was unaware of that fact until about two years ago before school began. Vicky told her she would not be sorted into Slytherin like the rest of the Malfoys because she was not really a Malfoy but instead actually a Potter. She, like most children in our world, had heard the tale of you. I never poisoned her against you, but I was the one who dried her tears while she dealt with the fact that you never loved her or Ginny."

"Don't claim to know anything about me."

"What's there to know, Potter? The facts are clear. You did what you had to do. You could only handle a year in the limelight as a hero. You took off on Ginny without leaving any word. Did you really think she was so weak that she would just up and die? Never be able to move past you? You don't know her at all; she's strong. I of course wasn't there at first and I'm sure she was upset when you first left, but it did not take long for her to get over know, she was over you sooner than it sounds. I had to spend almost a full year getting the Weasleys to trust me and then my family. I wanted Ginny to have the wedding she always dreamed of. Actually, I should thank you. Because of the way you took off, her family was all pretty willing to hate you."

Potter looked at him with disbelief. "I don't believe a word you say."

"Really? Maybe we should floo Ron. He had no problem with me adopting Lily. In fact, why don't you pay any of the Weasleys a visit? I'm sure you'll hear the same thing from all of them."

"Lily is my daughter and I demand to see her!" Harry ordered.

"Potter, I'm not going to force her to do anything she does not want to. That's your problem, not mine."

"I want to talk to Ginny myself, alone," Harry spat.

"Fine. If she's willing you can talk to her, just not alone."

"Why Draco, don't you trust your wife? Or maybe she does not love you like you claim."

"I trust my wife completely. I don't trust a man who claimed to love her and then left without a word and never even checked on her. If she's willing, I will let you know. You know she's pretty forgiving and she might forgive you. After all, she forgave my father despite his past. I can't count the number of times we have left the children alone with him. You know, when I would not come and take Lily from school today, her first thought was of him and that he would. And if I hadn't been there, he would have happily removed her." Draco got up. "Look, it's been lovely catching up with you, but I really would rather be with my wife. I'll have her owl you if she's willing to speak to you."

As Draco walked out of the Three Broomsticks, he wished he was as confident as he sounded. After Apparating back to Malfoy Manor, he walked in the door remembering the first time he brought both his princesses home. Ginny had been so nervous and Lily loved the long open halls to run in. She had been going through a phase where a game of chase was the funniest thing in the world. He had taken a moment to kiss Ginny and Lily disappeared. Ginny panicked until they found Lily. The toddler had found Lucius' study and wandered in. Up to that point, Ginny still stayed away from Lucius as much as she could.

When they found Lily, she was sitting with Lucius behind his desk. He was gently talking to the toddler and she was resting her cheek on his shoulder. Draco and Ginny remained unseen as Lucius asked the child if she was ready for a nap because he wouldn't mind one. She replied, "Sleepy time." Lucius got up and moved to the sofa in the office and laid down with her on his chest. They both closed their eyes and were asleep within seconds. After that, the whole house learned that if Lily was missing, just locate Lucius. The two would be together.

He headed up to the childrens' rooms where Ginny always was at this hour. He watched through the crack in the door as Ginny held their youngest to her breast, feeding him as she read to the other two. He stood there watching her for at least ten minutes. After she finished the story and put their twin six year old boys in bed, she turned the light out and came out of the room. She gave him a smile.

"You're home! You should say good night to the boys."

"I will, and I promise not to get them overly excited. I'll see you in our room." He then looked down at his two month old son. "Good night, my little man."

She smirked, "I'll be waiting."

After saying good night to the boys, he headed to their room. Ginny was sitting at her dressing table combing her hair. Draco moved across the room and knelt next to her. "Ginny, are you happy? I mean really happy?"

The second he asked the question she knew something was wrong. "Draco, what happened today?"

He looked at her; there was no point in not telling her. "Harry returned to Hogwarts for a speaking engagement today."

His wife's eyes grew big. "How did you know?"

"Lily wrote me all panicked, wanting to come home."

"Is she here?"

"No, I convinced her to stay, but someone told him that he's a father. He wants to talk to you."

She moved towards her husband and pulled him close. "Draco, you have nothing to fear. I love you. How could I not? Just look at what you did to be with me. Look at how you love a child whose father you can't stand. Hell, at times I worry that maybe you love her more than me or the boys. Draco, you have nothing to fear from Harry Potter. I'm happier than I ever dreamed I could be. You won't lose me to him."

"I love you too, Ginevra. I just worry about Lily; he wants to get to know her," Draco admitted.

"Draco, listen to me. No matter what happens, you will always be the man who checks for monsters under her bed, who taught her how to fly, whose shoulder she cried on this summer when David Clearwater told her he wanted to date that Patricia McDonough girl. You're the one who knows she says gold is her favorite color but always picks silver. And what sweater she likes when she's sick. You're the one who will stay up late the night she goes out on her first date. The only other man who will ever come close to that is Lucius. Let Potter do his worst. You loved her first and she loved you first. You're her Daddy in every way that matters and the only Dad I could have ever wanted for her. I love you because you love her, among other things."

If you would like to find out how Ginny and Draco got together, their back story, and if Harry gets to meet and know his daughter, leave me a review.