*Waves white flag* Hi everyone, I'm so sorry about the wait, I've had issues with my account, both this and my email account and on top of that, I had major writers block. Luckily for you, I overcame that tonight, yay! Sorry it's not the greatest, I was kind of digging for ideas, but I like this and it's more Harry/Draco bonding, this time, without the girls! Please let me know what you think, I'm not going to guarantee anything, I'm going to do my best to update in a shorter time than I have been lately, but my live is a bit hectic right now, so we'll see. Again, if it's not the best, sorry, I'm tired, it's late and I wanted to get this out as soon as I possibly could.
Please let me know what you think.
"Let's talk colors," the wedding planner that Naricssa had hired said, pulling several books out of her pocket. They had been shrunk and she tapped them with her wand and they quickly grew to alarming sizes.
"Colors?" Harry asked, watching as she spread them around the large table where Harry, Draco, Hermione, Narcissa and Pansy were sitting.
"Of course," Missy Standage said, flipping two of them open and nearly knocking the tea set over, only Draco's quick reaction saved them from being pushed to the ground. "I imagine you would want to possibly combine your house colors?" she went on, looking between the two young men. "Of course, not red and green, you don't want to have a Christmas theme in July," she laughed as if were a great joke and the others laughed half-heartedly.
"Well we hadn't really thought about it," Draco said, looking towards Harry who looked just as lost.
"At al?" Missy asked looking between the two boys then the three women sitting there. "You surely have thought about this."
"It is their wedding," Narcissa said, sipping at her tea, she didn't like the idea of hiring the woman, but she had come highly recommended, though the woman was already getting on her nerves.
"Well the colors set the whole mood of the wedding, the flowers, the decorations, the tablecloths!" Missy cried, arms waiving.
"Tablecloths?" Harry asked, feeling more and more panicked, he hadn't realized that all of this went into planning a wedding.
"What about the guest list?" Missy asked, suddenly changing the subject.
"We were thinking of something small, the Weasley's, Hermione, Sirius and Remus," Draco replied and Harry nodded.
"Small?" Missy cried, sounding scandalized, "your wedding is the biggest social event of the millennium!"
"I do think that's taking it a bit far," Naricissa said, her voice sounding bored but an underlying edge of steel to it.
"Of course not," the other woman said, reaching for one of the books and flipping through, "now what about seat covers?"
"Have you thought of eloping?" Lucius asked as they entered the dining room for lunch, Missy had left twenty minutes before with threats to return the next weekend. Lucius had joined them for twenty minutes before he decided he had had enough and retreated to the house once again.
"I'm starting to like the idea," Hermione said, sitting heavily into her chair and taking a deep breath.
"I had no idea so much went into planning a wedding," Harry said, taking his seat as well.
"If she really thinks we're going to let the press into the wedding, she's sorely mistaken," Draco said, reaching for food.
"Can we elope?" Harry asked, really hating the idea of the fuss that the wedding was creating.
"I don't think that would be a wise idea," Narcissa replied, giving her boys a sympathetic look, "she is right that this is quite the affair, hiding it might backfire."
"I don't want to decide on the colors and seat covers, can we just stick with black and white?" Harry asked.
"Well what about the cake and food?" Hermione asked and Harry and Draco gave her a sharp look.
"We'll make the food," Harry replied and Draco choked a bit.
"We'll hire someone to make it," he amended and Harry gave him an exasperated look.
"We haven't even set a date, all we know is that it's going to happen after my birthday, so obviously in August," Harry said, resting his head on his hand that was braced against the table.
"Well with the deadline of the baby, you should probably do it as soon as you can," Narcissa pointed out and both boys nodded, really not wanting to think about it anymore.
"Hey," Draco called to Harry as he entered the library some time later to find the other boy reading in a large plush chair near one of the first bookshelves.
"Hey yourself," Harry responded and accepted a quick kiss before Draco squished in next to him.
"So I was thinking," Draco went on, wrapping an arm around Harry's shoulder as he turned and leaned his back against Draco's chest, his legs hanging over the side.
"Uh oh," Harry quipped, not looking up from his book and the other boy laughed.
"Quiet you," he said and squeezed Harry's shoulders before going on, "to get away from all of this wedding drama, why don't we go and look at your family's estates."
"What?" Harry asked, leaning his head back to look up at Draco who kissed his forehead.
"Well, you haven't seen any of them right?" he asked and Harry nodded, "so I was thinking we could go to Madrid, Venice and then Paris and finish with dinner in Paris."
Harry got a thoughtful look on his face, he hadn't really thought about the Potter family holdings since he had learned about them, other things on his mind but he liked the idea.
"With the girls?" Harry asked and Draco scowled, understanding why the need for chaperones was necessary, but not liking them being around all the time.
"I think we could sneak away for a couple of hours," he said with a grin and received one in return.
"When you said 'sneak away', I didn't think you mean it," Harry said from where he was standing next to the fireplace, the bag of Floo powder in his hand as Draco entered the room. Harry ran an appreciative eye over the boy, he was wearing dark slacks and a silver button down, they had decided they would make a date of it and had changed before leaving.
"Well, I want to spend time with you, and only you," the other boy said, "the girls would be in the way. Plus, I left a note."
"'We'll be back' is not a note," Harry protested and Draco rolled his eyes.
"I talked to my father, he will keep them calm until we get back, and if they need to, our trusty alarms," he said holding up his wrist, "will allow them to find us."
"They're going to be pissed," Harry went on, glancing at the door as if expecting to see Pansy and Hermione there.
"We don't have to go Harry," Draco said with a sigh.
"No, I want to go, I'm just not looking forward to the aftermath is all," the other boy assured and Draco grinned.
"That's half the fun, come on," he said and took Harry's hand and they stepped into the fireplace.
The room they stepped into was large to say the least, with gleaming marble floors, plush couches and not a speck of dust in sight.
"Should someone be here?" Harry asked in a whisper that still echoed around the room.
"You would think," Draco said and stepped forward, his shoes echoing as well but still no one appeared. "I guess we'll need to look for someone." They both walked through the room and peered through the large archway that led out and found a long hallway. The hallway's flooring was made up of large stones, some looked big enough for at least two people to fit on. The walls were covered in a light gray color with lamps placed in strategic places on the wall so there were few shadows. To their right, there was a large wooden door that they assumed led to the front and the hallway led to the left, ending in two curved staircases at the end, leading up to the second floor,
Halfway down the hall, to the right, there was a large room with a wooden floor and floor to ceiling windows that looked out on immaculate lawns.
"Someone has to be here," Draco said after they had explored the first floor and moved to the second, "this place is to well maintained not to." Harry agreed and they went on, looking through the rooms on the second floor. There were four bedrooms, a sitting room, two baths and a small office on that floor, all beautifully decorated and still missing any dust.
As they turned their steps towards the third floor they heard a voice behind them.
"Who are you?" it demanded and they turned to find an older man standing there with his wand pointed at them, "I'll call the authorities, this place isn't so easy to rob."
"We're not here to rob you," Harry said, putting his hands up in the air, "my name is Harry Potter, this is my fiancé Draco Malfoy, we just came to see the place."
"Potter?" the older man asked, squinting at him and he nodded, "who're your parents?"
"James and Lily Potter sir," he replied and the man got close and stared for a long moment before lowering his wand and stepping back.
"Mr. Potter, please forgive me," he said, looking embarrassed, "my name is Clement, I'm the caretaker here, I haven't had many visitors, in fact the last one was your father. That was a long time ago," he went on, scratching at his mostly bald head and sounding sad, "a long time ago."
"No harm done," Harry said and both boys lowered their hands and shook the older man's hand and accepted his second apology.
"Come down into the kitchen," Clement said, leading the way slowly down the stairs, his back bowed with age. They followed him down and into the kitchen where he set a tea pot to boil and pulled out some biscuits while waving them to chairs.
"Have you been caretaker here long?" Harry asked and the older man smiled at him, showing two rows of straight, white teeth.
"Going on sixty-five years," he said proudly, using his wand to move the tea pot and cups over, "ever since I was fifteen." When he noticed both of their looks of surprise he laughed. "Yes, I'm almost eighty, I won't be here much longer, I've been teaching my grandson to take over for me. He'll finish up school at the end of the year and he'll take over, he's a good lad, I think you'll like him."
"Good," Harry said and took a sip of the tea, trying not to wince at the weak taste, "you said you met my father?"
"And your grandfather and great-grandfather, but only in passing, I started working here just before he died. Your grandfather was quite fond of this home," he said, looking up and around with pride and if Harry was mistaken, love, "spent a few years here. He would stay here when he was working during the week and go home on the weekends. Malfoy?" he went on, turning to Draco who nodded, "I think I met your father once or twice too, he and James were quite the pair," he said with another indulgent smile.
"So I've heard," Draco replied and Clement smiled again, asking them how long they'd been together and seemed to know a lot about their situation. He explained that he had caught their fathers together on more than one occasion. The older man laughed when they both made a face at the thought.
"When was the last time you saw my father?" Harry asked and Clement leaned back in his chair and scratched at his head again.
"Oh, it's going on twenty years now, he spent the summer here after they found out that your fathers couldn't be together. Not long after that, your grandfather died and I never saw him again."
"So you never met my mum?" Harry asked and the older man shook his head.
"No, but I heard about it, I heard that you had been born, but when they were killed, I never heard one way or the other about what happened to you, whether you were alive or dead, not until you defeated Voldemort. I would think," he went on, noting Draco's flinch at the name, "that being the son of a Death Eater, you wouldn't mind hearing his name." Draco looked him, startled and opened and closed his mouth a couple of times without saying anything.
"Lucius Malfoy was a spy," Harry defended and it struck him, not for the first time, how odd it was to be sticking up for the man.
"Yes, yes, I know, I read all of the papers," Clement said, waving a hand back and forth dismissively, "the sins of our fathers and all that. When I met him, the few times that it was, he was always kind and respectful, so I can't complain. Just treat him right," he said, looking at Draco and pointing at Harry.
"I plan to," Draco promised. After some time speaking with Clement, they needed to be on their way and with a promise to keep in touch, they headed to Venice.
The villa was much the same as the one in Madrid, larger than needed, more opulent than was necessary but this was taken care of by house elves who were more than happy to see another Potter on the property. After repeated offerings of refreshment and as many declines, they escaped with the same promise and a promise to host a grand party like that of what were once held in the great house.
Of the three, the summer house in Paris was Harry's favorite; it was much smaller than the other two, only three bedrooms in total and two baths and seemed quite cozy. It only had two floors and was full of dust, obviously not touched in many years.
"We'll have to clean up in here," Draco said, looking around with a distasteful look on his face, not for the house itself but for the dust and dirt everywhere.
"I love it," Harry said coming into the front room from the kitchen which was situated at the back of the house and heading up the stairs that were to the left of the front door.
"I'm sure it's lovely," Draco called, not wanting to move unless he got his clothes dirty. "Are you ready?" he asked as the other boy came back downstairs, a wide smile on his face.
"You can't stand it can you?" Harry asked with a laugh as Draco seemed to try to make himself as small as possible and try not to touch anything.
"I don't want to get dirty," he explained and Harry rolled his eyes and laughed again.
"Yes, I'm ready, but I want to come back here and clean it up soon."
"As long as we leave soon, you have yourself a deal," Draco said and Harry shook his head.
"We can go," he said and led the way over to the fireplace but before he stepped in, he looked back again at the cozy looking front room with it's comfortable looking furniture. He could imagine his mother's influence here more than the other places as if she had been there at one point and helped with the decorating. "Dinner?" he asked as he stepped into the fireplace.
"Dinner," Draco said and took his hand before calling out their destination and throwing the Floo powder down and they disappeared in a cloud of smoke..
After dinner, they walked through Pairs, enjoying the sights and each others company, walking hand in hand and occasionally stopping to take in sights, or just to kiss.
"We should head back," Harry said as he glanced at his watch and noticed it was nearly ten and heard Draco sigh in resignation.
"All right," he said and led the way back to a point where they could Floo and stepped through, entering the same room they had left hours ago.
"Did you have fun?" a voice greeted them and they turned to find Lucius watching them from a chair where he was reading a book.
"We did, actually," Draco said, "we met an old friend of yours."
"Oh?' the older man asked, an eyebrow raised and his son smiled at him.
"Clement was at the house in Madrid," Harry explained and Lucius looked surprised.
"He's still alive?"
"Yes and he's still running the place," Draco explained and his father looked impressed.
"Well, until his grandson takes over when he finishes school," Harry pointed out.
"Well, if you see him again, tell him I say hello," Lucius said, standing with a yawn. "I was able to divert the girls attention away from their anger tonight, tomorrow I'm not promising anything," he said with a wink and left the room, bidding them goodnight as he went.
"We should probably get to bed as well," Draco said, not wanting to end the night without their chaperons.
"Hopefully we can avoid the girls for the most part," Harry said and kissed Draco goodnight and headed towards his room, Draco doing the same.