See disclaimer in Chapter 1. They belong to JKR and I just admire them from afar.
This chapter is dedicated to FaeryQueen07, whose wonderful fic A Pirate's Tail (on hpfandom [dot] net and adultfanfiction [dot] net) inspired Harry and Draco's costumes, and Cristee, who patiently helped me plot out this story ages ago when I wasn't sure I had anything workable. Thanks, ladies!!
Oh, and there's a chapter warning for cross-dressing. *ducks and hides*
Oct. 31, five years later
"You've got to be kidding."
Harry stifled a laugh as he watched Ron studiously keep his eyes fixed on a vase on the mantle. Despite the furious intensity of his gaze, Harry doubted the redhead could tell him so much as what color the antique porcelain was.
"They slip," Draco said matter-of-factly, letting the elastic band snap tightly around his thigh as he released it. It was true. He had no idea how he was going to make it through the entire party without them pooling around his ankles at some point.
"Adhaero," Pansy said in a bored tone, pointing her wand at Draco's thighs. He shivered slightly as the spell brushed dangerously close to his bollocks, but she just rolled her eyes at his theatrics. "What? You said they were slipping. I merely helped you out by spelling them in place."
"I've never seen you wear those," Susan said, quirking an eyebrow at Pansy questioningly.
"No, you never have," Pansy said tartly, and everyone laughed as Theo flushed red and looked away.
Ron looked even more uncomfortable with where the conversation was heading, and Harry took pity on him, clapping his hands together to get everyone's attention. They were going to be late as it was, and there was no reason to make Ron suffer any longer. Here, at least. He'd still have to spend the entire party avoiding Draco. And apparently Pansy, Harry thought with a smirk.
"Shall we?" he asked, ushering people out of chairs and toward the Floo.
He and Draco had redecorated the sitting room a year or so ago. Gone was the kitschy island motif, replaced by soft fabrics, comfortable furniture and an entire wall of floor-to-ceiling bookshelves for their growing collection. Blaise heaved himself up off a leather ottoman, dragging his date along toward the flames. They were dressed as Anthony and Cleopatra, and Harry wondered if Blaise had chosen the woman for anything other than her olive skin and dark hair. They looked stunning together, of course, but he hadn't heard them speak a single word to each other in the hour they'd been there.
Lucius and Narcissa were celebrating the end of their house arrest with a Halloween Ball. They'd even gotten permission from the Ministry to hold it at one of the most sacred Samhain spots in the British Isles – Stonehenge. The magical stones would be teeming with wizarding pilgrims over the next three days, but tonight, on the eve of Samhain, it would be reserved for the Malfoys and 600 of their guests. The list read like a who's who of the European wizarding elite, with politicians, musicians and academics rounding out the predominantly aristocratic crowd.
"I still don't understand why he's wearing a dress," Ron said after everyone else had gone, still keeping his eyes averted in case Draco had any other hosiery mishaps.
"Because he's Princess Buttercup," Hermione said, grinning at Draco's flowing gown, accentuated by the gold and ruby circlet he was wearing in his hair.
She gave Harry an appraising glance, taking in his black leather breeches and tailored doublet, which hugged his torso and flared over his hips, exposing a delicately wrought waistcoat embroidered with silver and green thread that matched the embellishments on his black doublet. Knee-high black boots were laced up over his trousers.
"And Harry's Wesley, obviously."
Ron gave her another baffled look before stepping into the Floo, his chain mail shirt scraping loudly against the stone when he stumbled over himself. Dressing as Tristan and Isolde had been entirely Hermione's idea, but he hadn't protested because armor had sounded manly and cool; unfortunately, he hadn't taken into account how cumbersome it would be.
She gathered her long skirts and followed behind him, muttering about his complete ignorance of the Muggle world as she called out her destination and disappeared.
"Princess who?" Draco whispered, his breath stirring the hair above Harry's ear.
"I have no idea," Harry answered, just as baffled. He wrapped an arm around Draco's waist, feeling unexpectedly aroused by the way the blond looked in the corseted dress. He wouldn't go so far as to say that he was turned on by cross dressing; it was more the fact that it was Draco under the swaths of silk and lace. "But you do rather look like a princess in that get-up."
Draco smiled coquettishly and danced out of Harry's embrace, his eyes cast demurely on the ground.
"And you look every bit the dashing rogue," Draco teased, pulling up his voluminous skirts to examine the dainty buckle on one of his shoes.
"Aye," Harry said gruffly, grabbing Draco roughly and dipping him low enough that the blond locks that had been charmed longer brushed the ground. "Avast ye mateys and all that."
Draco laughed when Harry buried his face in the creamy skin the top of the dress exposed. He'd stopped short of actually stuffing the corset to give himself cleavage – it was one thing to publicly embarrass his father, and quite another to publicly embarrass himself – so Harry had no problem pushing the delicate fabric aside and laving his tongue over the pebbled nipple he found.
"You're the worst pirate I've ever heard," Draco smirked, tilting his head when Harry's lips caressed their way up over his collarbone to kiss his neck.
"That's hardly what a damsel in distress would say," Harry chided, nibbling along Draco's chin. He knew he'd be hexed from here to Surrey if he mussed the make-up that Pansy had painstakingly helped Draco apply, so he steered clear of his lips. "You should be saying 'oh, Pirate Harry, please spare me!'"
"Ah, but I'm no damsel in distress," Draco murmured, wriggling against Harry. "I'm a pirate too, remember?"
"Oh, for Merlin's sake!" Pansy huffed, and the two men paused, looking over at the fire in time to see her disembodied head roll its eyes. "Can't you two stop for long enough to come through?"
Harry sat heavily on the edge of the bed, pulling his boots off and rubbing at his aching feet. The party had been a smashing success, if the way Lucius and Narcissa had been received by their guests was any indication. He knew the elder Malfoys had worried that society wouldn't welcome them back with open arms, but it seemed that their house arrest – coupled with the copious amounts of money they'd donated to worthy causes over the years – had paved the way for acceptance.
He grinned as he remembered Lucius' reaction to their costumes. He'd seen Harry first and simply been confused, and then he'd turned an unattractive shade of puce when Draco had sauntered over, his skirts held up a delicate and demure few centimeters to keep the hem clean as he'd walked across the lawn. It had been Narcissa's fault, really. She'd insisted that costumes were mandatory and had asked that guests come dressed as historical or fictional couples. Since that left their options unappealingly slim, Draco had opted to dress in drag. It had taken quite a bit of doing, but they'd managed to find a husband and wife pirate team that had terrorized the high seas in the early 18th century; for some reason, Draco had absolutely insisted that Harry had to be a pirate.
Since Eric Cobham and his wife Maria Lindsay had been actual historical figures, Lucius hadn't had a leg to stand on, argument-wise. It hadn't stopped him from making a few scathing comments about their sex life that had reminded Harry of the old Lucius, the one he'd known years ago. But Harry and Draco hadn't taken too much offense, especially since the rest of the guests had quite enjoyed their outfits and had given Lucius quite a bit of ribbing about them.
He leaned back against the pillows, listening to water run in the bathroom. Draco was probably washing the make-up off. Coupled with his porcelain skin and lengthened hair, the artfully applied make-up had made more than one guest do a double-take. While he still looked like Draco, he'd definitely made a convincing woman.
He'd closed his eyes by the time Draco emerged from the bathroom, letting a fragrant burst of steam into the bedroom from his shower. Half-awake, Harry sniffed appreciatively, the familiar scent of slightly spicy sandalwood cut with citrus making his cock twitch within the confines of the tight leather.
"Didn't change," he mumbled, still not opening his eyes. Draco had insisted he remain in the bloody costume while he changed, though Harry had made the executive decision that the boots could go.
"Neither did I," Draco purred as he straddled Harry's prone body. Green eyes flew open at the words, and his throat went dry at the sight of Draco – his hair returned to normal, his face free of make-up – still wearing the corset that had gone underneath the dress he'd worn.
"Draco," he whispered, his eyes wide at the sight of Draco, naked but for the corset and a pair of silk knickers, straddling him.
"I thought it only fair," Draco said reasonably, trailing a long finger up Harry's leather-clad thigh before tracing the intricate pattern on his waistcoat. Harry's erection pressed painfully against the laces of his trousers, and he could feel himself start to sweat inside the restrictive doublet. When Harry looked at him in confusion, he laughed quietly. "Because I made you stay in costume."
Harry shivered when Draco's fingers circled the bulging leather, his breath catching in his throat when he started unlacing the crotch. The dark-haired man nearly sighed in relief when the binding trousers were released, letting his fully hardened cock free. He moaned when Draco leaned over his torso, his intoxicating scent enveloping him moments before hungry lips descended on his. Harry brought his hands up, running them over the corset. He felt an unexpected thrill run through him as his hands skated over the unfamiliar fabric, his fingers tracing the hard outline of the boning that had managed to make Draco's already trim waist look impossibly small. The contrast of the tiny waist with his wide shoulders made Harry's cock pulse.
"Fuck, you look –" Harry faltered, at a loss for words. He never would have suggested Draco dress in a corset, but now that he was, he had no words to describe how turned on he was by it. Or how embarrassed he was that he found Draco dressed as a woman arousing.
Harry's heart beat faster at the sight of Draco's mussed hair, heavily lidded silver eyes and slightly swollen lips; that alone usually made him crazy with desire, but the added element of the forbidden that the corset brought to the picture made him even more aroused.
Draco chuckled, rubbing himself against Harry's thighs, the thin silk knickers sliding easily against the leather. He groaned, throwing his head back at the sensation of the cool fabric gliding against his swollen shaft. The knickers were too small to contain him, and the head of his cock peeked out the top, pink and shiny with precome. Harry licked his lips, his eyes locked on the small strip of exposed skin between the corset and the kickers, accentuated by the head of Draco's cock trapped against his abdomen. It looked deliciously out of place, and Harry delighted in running a teasing finger over the pale flesh, touching so lightly that Draco could barely feel it. The blond jumped when his thumb grazed over the head of his cock, rubbing the slick precome in small circles as he leaned in for another kiss, this time sliding his tongue between Draco's lips.
"More," Draco groaned, arching into the touch and grinding himself into Harry's palm. He hissed in disappointment when Harry's hand disappeared, trailing its way up over the silk knickers and back to the corset.
"I have other plans for you," Harry murmured, his trembling hands fumbling with the delicate laces on Draco's corset.
"I'm sure you do," Draco smirked against his mouth, nipping at Harry's lower lip as he pulled at the doublet that had looked so tantalizing stretched across Harry's wide shoulders. They struggled with the unfamiliar fasteners and laces for a few frustrating minutes, tugging and pulling on fabric until one of the seams on Harry's waistcoat split under the pressure. The sound of ripping fabric was abnormally loud in the quiet room, and they stayed silent for a few more beats before bursting into laughter.
"We're quite a pair," Draco said with a smirk, fingering the torn seam on Harry's waistcoat and then a bit of lace trim that had come loose on his own corset.
Harry grinned back, rolling to his side and grabbing his wand from the nightstand. Two quiet spells later he was naked, and Draco was wearing nothing but the silk knickers. When the blond quirked an eyebrow at him, Harry blushed and shrugged.
"And here I thought I'd learned all your kinks in the last five years, Potter," Draco drawled, his smile growing when Harry flushed even darker. "Oh, and you do like it, don't you?"
Draco grabbed Harry's hand, guiding his palm over the still-tented knickers. He groaned and thrust against him, not missing the soft moan the gesture pulled from Harry. He held Harry's gaze, arousal spiking through him at the way Harry's green eyes had darkened.
"Shall I keep them on?" Draco murmured in Harry's ear, shivering involuntarily when Harry's cock, which was wedged against his hip, twitched violently.
Harry buried his face in the curve of Draco's neck, his face blazing with embarrassment and arousal.
"What was that?" Draco teased, shrugging his shoulder to dislodge Harry. "I didn't quite catch your answer."
"Yes," he mumbled, refusing to meet Draco's gaze.
Draco climbed atop him, making sure the silk knickers came in contact with Harry's erection. Harry gasped at the sensation of the fabric, which had been warmed by Draco's skin, sliding over his aching cock as Draco ground their hips together.
"God, Draco," he moaned, surrendering to a heated kiss when Draco bent over him and captured his lips, his hips still moving against Harry's.
"Hurry," Draco murmured, releasing him and climbing off. He crawled to the middle of the bed, raising himself up on his hands and knees and looking over his shoulder at Harry, who didn't hesitate at the invitation.
Harry fumbled for his wand again, casting Lubrication spells on both Draco and himself. He pushed the silk knickers aside, his pulse quickening at sight of the crimson fabric against the pale skin. He groaned when the finger he slipped into Draco's entrance met no resistance; the blond had obviously prepared himself in the shower.
"Eager?" Harry teased, adding two more fingers and drawing a satisfying moan from Draco as he brushed them over his prostate.
"Confident," Draco said tartly, hissing out a breath when Harry removed his fingers and replaced them with the blunt head of his cock.
Harry closed his eyes, resting his head against the smooth skin of Draco's back as he slowly pushed into him. He couldn't help but shudder when his balls brushed against the silk knickers once he was fully seated inside the blond, the sensation nearly enough to send him over the edge. He paused, gathering the willpower not to let himself explode before pulling back slightly and thrusting into the tight heat again, making Draco gasp when his thick cock grazed over the sensitive bundle of nerves hidden inside.
"Draco," Harry murmured reverently, his eyes squeezed shut as he concentrated on slowly sliding in and out of him, knowing each stroke across his prostate was sending the other man closer to release. Sweat rolled down his back at the effort of gentling his thrusts, but he wanted to make Draco come without touching him, and he knew from experience that the slow build-up was sure to do it.
"Harry," Draco keened, his voice hoarse. He pushed back against the dark-haired man, forcing him deeper.
With movements born of familiarity and practice, Harry quickened his strokes, knowing from Draco's body language that he was close. He snapped his hips forward, his thrusts going from gentle to merciless with almost no warning. Draco let his head fall forward on the bed, a litany of wordless begging falling from his lips as Harry brought him higher and higher.
Draco came with a soundless scream, his body clenching around Harry's cock almost violently as he bucked against the mattress, hot spurts of come coating his belly and the crimson knickers. Harry drove into him deeper, riding out Draco's orgasm as it sparked his own. He pumped his hips, growling Draco's name as he came hard, his arms and legs burning with the effort to stay upright as pleasure burst through every cell in his body.
"I fucking love these knickers," Draco murmured sleepily against the duvet, letting himself collapse against the mattress and taking Harry down with him.
Harry scooted over slightly so the bulk of his weight wasn't pressing Draco into the bed, leaving his head and torso still draped across the blond's back.
"Mmm," groaned, pressing a kiss between Draco's shoulder blades. "Me, too."
Draco rolled over, frowning when he realized the bed was empty. He sat up sleepily, looking around the room. The remains of Harry's pirate costume and his corset were still on the floor where Harry had Banished them, but Harry's robe was missing from the wardrobe door. He stretched, tilting his head to listen for the shower. He could just make out the drum of running water.
He sighed, easing himself out of bed. It was barely dawn, but he wasn't surprised that Harry was up, even after the late night they'd had. Harry had a ritual he never missed on Nov. 1. It had started years ago, when his father had been forced to give a detailed accounting of any Death Eater activity he knew of during his trial. The Wizengamot hadn't limited the scope of its investigation to the Second Voldemort Rising, which meant Lucius had faced hours of interrogation into activities from both wars. One of the more salient points that had come from it, though, was the fact that the Potters had actually died just after midnight, making the date of their death Nov. 1, not Oct. 31 as all the newspapers and history books reported.
Harry had made it his practice to visit their graves in Godric's Hollow in the early morning on Nov. 1 ever since the revelation, taking a small gift for each of this parents as well as tokens for Sirius, Remus and Tonks, all of whom were also buried in the same cemetery. He made a similar pilgrimage to the cemetery in Ottery St. Catchpole on April 1 to visit Fred's grave, accompanied by the rest of the Weasleys.
Draco picked up a small box on Harry's nightstand, absently brushing his fingers across it. Harry took it with him every year, using it to store the small tokens he gathered throughout the year to bring with him to his parents' graves. Draco had never accompanied him, but every year he woke early to offer Harry whatever comfort he could before the man set off for the visit, which usually took most of the morning. Harry was always somber and withdrawn when he returned, and Draco ached to go with him, but he didn't feel it was appropriate for him to intrude on something so personal.
He looked up at the closed bathroom door and replaced the box on the nightstand, his chest tight. Harry didn't notice as he eased the door open, but he did turn when the shower door opened and Draco stepped into the steamy cubicle.
"I didn't mean to wake you," Harry said softly, offering Draco a small, apologetic smile. It was the same thing he said every year.
"You didn't," Draco answered, though it was only partially true. He had a hard time sleeping if Harry wasn't next to him, and he rarely managed to stay asleep if the other man rose early.
This was part of their yearly routine, too, this avoidance of the real reason Harry was awake and showering before the sun was even over the horizon. They never talked about where he went or what he did there, but Draco knew because Ron had told him that first year so Draco wouldn't panic when Harry disappeared for the day. Harry never spoke of his parents or the other loved ones he'd lost, and Draco tried his hardest not to be hurt that he couldn't share that part of himself. He'd learned to make do with Harry's love and trust, acknowledging that much of Harry's history belonged to others, not him, and that there would likely be parts of Harry he never got to see.
"Wash my hair?" Harry asked, the dark smudges under his eyes letting Draco know he had awoken long ago, even if he'd only recently left the bed.
Harry was rarely this tentative or needy anymore, but his old mannerisms seemed to resurface every Nov. 1. Draco accepted it, relishing the chance to share at least some of Harry's burden by taking care of him when he was vulnerable. It was his only part in this yearly ritual, and he itched to do more.
"Of course," he answered, grabbing a bottle of his own shampoo from the ledge. Any other day they showered together he'd use Harry's shampoo, but on this day he always used his own. He knew it was petty, but he liked the thought that at least some part of him would accompany Harry to Godric's Hollow, even if it was only a familiar scent that reminded Harry of him and their life together.
Harry tilted his head back wordlessly, not questioning him when Draco massaged the distinctively scented shampoo into his scalp. He simply let the water beat over his torso, his head inclined toward Draco so the blond could wash his dark locks. He stepped back when Draco gently pushed on his chest, keeping his eyes closed so Draco could rinse off the suds. Draco didn't bother with the conditioner he used on himself, knowing from experience that it would do absolutely nothing for Harry's thick, unruly locks. Instead, he picked up a wash cloth and lathered it up with his special sandalwood soap, pulling Harry entirely out of the stream of water so he could start sliding it over his slick skin. It never smelled quite the same on Harry – something about his body chemistry transformed it into something muskier – but Draco liked that even better. Unable to resist, he leaned forward, his lips grazing against the exposed column of Harry's tanned throat as he moved the wash cloth in soothing circles over his golden skin.
"That feels nice," Harry sighed quietly, relaxing into Draco's slippery massage.
Draco made sure to wash every bit of Harry with slow, sure strokes. He tossed the wash cloth aside when Harry was covered in suds, sidling up to him and pressing their bodies together. His skin slid easily against Harry's slick soap-covered body, and both men groaned softly as the friction of their cocks rubbing together made them both hard.
Harry groaned as Draco's long fingers massaged tense muscles in his back, gliding over the warm, soapy skin with ease. Draco batted Harry's hand away when he tried to return the favor, instead turning him toward the spray to wash away the soap.
"Let me take care of you," Draco said, echoing the words he said every Nov. 1.
Harry said nothing in response, leaning back heavily against Draco as the other man's chest. He could feel Draco's erection nestle between his arse cheeks, and his pulse sped up in anticipation of what was to come. He hissed out a breath when Draco's hand snaked its way down his chest, wrapping around his cock and tugging on it gently. He wanked Harry languidly, his lips busy against Harry's neck, alternating soft kisses and sharp nips against the silky skin. Harry sighed, enjoying his passive role in their lovemaking.
He nearly stumbled when Draco abruptly released his cock, the other man's hands moving to steady Harry's hips as he knelt behind him. Harry's breathing quickened, every muscle in his body tensing deliciously at the first swipe of Draco's warm, soft tongue against his entrance. Harry spread his legs further apart, bracing himself against the shower wall to give Draco better access.
Draco hummed his approval, sending sparks of pleasure through Harry as his mouth vibrated against his sensitive skin. Harry's eyes drifted shut as he focused on the sensation of Draco his teasing hole with his tongue, darting it inside to stretch him and then retreating to circle his slickened entrance with firm, short strokes. He pushed back against Draco after a few minutes, aching for deeper penetration than his tongue could give him.
Draco's cock jumped at Harry's quiet whimpers. From the way the other man was trying to ride his face, he judged him adequately stretched. Harry protested briefly when he pulled away, the words trailing off when Draco replaced his tongue with several fingers, rotating them slowly in Harry's arse to make sure he hit his prostate.
"Please, Draco," Harry murmured, his words almost lost against the backdrop of falling water.
Draco stood, guiding Harry over to the tiled bench they'd added to the large shower years ago for occasions like this. It made it so much easier to be able to use the bench for support and leverage, as they'd discovered nearly four years ago when Draco broke his wrist after losing his balance during sex in this very shower. He grinned at the memory, glad he was finally able to laugh at something so mortifying, and reached for the bottle of lube they kept on a shelf above the bench. They rarely used Muggle lube outside the shower, but since wooden wands didn't mix well with steamy showers, they didn't have the benefit of magic when making love inside the shower cubicle.
Draco bit his lip as he coated his erection with the viscous liquid, holding back a moan. He poured more into his fingers, generously coating Harry's entrance. He didn't particularly like the feel of Muggle lube – so synthetic – but it was a necessary evil at times like this.
As an afterthought he reached for one of the towels hanging over the shower door, rolling it into a pillow of sorts for Harry to rest his head on as he bent over the bench.
"Ready?" he asked Harry, making sure the other man was comfortable.
"Mmm," Harry answered, wiggling his arse in the air from his bent position, his legs spread as wide as they could be and his arms braced against the bench, supporting his torso and head.
"So sexy," Draco murmured, rubbing the head of his cock against Harry's slickened entrance. The spray from the shower was beating down over them, threatening to wash away the lube, so he pushed inside quickly.
He groaned when Harry braced his knees against the bench for leverage and thrust back against him, impaling himself on Draco's cock and forcing him more deeply inside. He marveled at the wanton way Harry squirmed and wiggled underneath him, desperate for deeper, harder strokes. There was no sign of the timid man who'd been so nervous about bottoming that he'd nearly worked himself into a nervous frenzy before the first time he'd done it.
Draco gripped Harry's hips, forcing him to still his motions. The dark-haired man grunted in frustration, but Draco immediately picked up the pace and Harry's grunt turned into a moan of pleasure at the new angle. He groaned again when one of Draco's hands wrapped around his cock, stroking him in time with his slow, deep thrusts.
Draco wished he could fuck Harry like this forever, but he could tell the other man was getting desperate for release, and his own orgasm was slowly building in his belly. He planted his feet more firmly against the floor, picking up the pace so he could bring them off. He came a split second before Harry, his orgasm prolonged by the way Harry's arse spasmed around him as he tipped over the edge, coming hard into Draco's hand and sobbing his name against the tiles.
Draco waited until the last of Harry's shudders had stopped before pulling out of him gently. His spent cock hung heavy against his thigh as he bent over Harry, pressing soft kisses up his spine until he reached his neck. He wrapped his arms around the other man, helping him into a standing position. They stayed like that, spooned against each other, until the water started to turn cool.
"I love you," Harry murmured, turning his face so it was pressed against Draco's neck, the words almost too soft to carry. The blond shifted a bit. This wasn't part of the yearly routine. "Come with me?"
Harry's quiet request startled Draco, who pulled away slightly so he could look at the other man. Harry had never even told him where he went, and now he was asking him to come along? Hope flared in Draco's belly, making his chest burn with everything he wanted to say but knew he shouldn't.
"To Godric's Hollow. I know Ron told you where I go," Harry said, meeting Draco's eye. "I told him to."
Relief coursed through Draco. Harry had never meant to hide this part of himself away; he'd just been unable to share it with Draco outright.
"Of course," Draco whispered, kissing away the wrinkle of tension that always formed when Harry frowned.
He and Draco spent two hours at his parents' grave, delivering the trinkets he'd collected for them – this year it had been a Snitch Harry had caught at the alumni match at the Hogwarts reunion over the summer and a silver broach with lilies on it he'd seen at a Muggle antique shop – and telling them about his year. It hadn't been nearly as hard with Draco there at his side, and Harry could have kicked himself for not bringing him sooner. He'd thought he might feel silly sitting there talking to a piece of stone if Draco was there to watch, but the blond had amazed him, sitting on the blanket he'd spread over the cold ground with him and adding bits of information Harry forgot to mention. Draco Malfoy, conversing with a headstone without blinking an eye – who would have thought? Harry gave him a one-armed hug, warmth flooding through him as he thought about how much he loved him. He nearly tripped when he looked up and saw a familiar face as they neared the cemetery gates.
Harry stared at his quirky friend, who was sitting with her legs intertwined in what looked like a very precarious position on top of a headstone a few graves away. Her wispy blonde hair was pulled up into a messy knot at the back of her head, and she was dressed in a jumper and skirt that looked far too thin for the cool November chill. The thick striped tights she wore seemed to be her only concession to the cold.
"Harry," she greeted him, her voice solemn. When she saw Draco behind him, though, her face lit up, and she jumped up from the stone, her dangling earrings and multitude of bangle bracelets bouncing with the sudden movement. "And Draco! I knew it. I knew this would be the year. Blibbering Humdingers never lie."
Draco shifted uncomfortably under the weight of Luna's scrutiny, but Harry stepped forward, enveloping her in a warm hug.
"What are you doing here?"
Luna smiled serenely at him, her blue eyes twinkling in a way eerily reminiscent of Dumbledore.
"I've been here every year," she said simply, wrapping an arm around Harry's waist and walking him back toward his parents' graves.
Harry looked at her quizzically, sharing a bewildered glance with Draco, who was trailing slightly behind them.
"I've never seen you," he said carefully, wondering exactly what was going on. Only Ron and Hermione – and Draco, of course – knew where he disappeared to every Nov. 1. And he was certain they wouldn't have told Luna.
"You haven't seen me because you haven't been ready to see me," she said cryptically, making him quicken his pace when she started skipping as the familiar headstones appeared in the distance. Harry allowed himself to be pulled along, his curiosity outweighing his sorrow for once.
"Luna, what are you talking about?" he asked, forcing her to stop several graves before his parents'.
She just gave him a maddeningly frustrating smile and pulled away from him, closing the distance between them and his parents' grave. She crouched down before the slab of stone, running a finger over the weathered lettering reverently.
"I've come to tell you it's time, Lily," Luna said, leaning in to press a kiss against the cold stone.
Draco stepped up beside Harry, grasping his hand tightly as they watched Luna settle herself in front of the grave. She continued to whisper something to the marker, but just as Harry would have intervened, the stone glowed brightly for a moment, shocking him into silence. When the soft light receded, he saw a gleam of gold lying on top of the gray stone.
Luna gave the stone another loving caress before hopping up and taking the object in her hand. She skipped back to Harry, opening her palm and revealing a gold pocket watch on a long, thin chain. Harry took it cautiously, releasing Draco's hand so he could turn it to read the inscription on the back.
"To my son, James Ignotus Potter, commemorating the birth of his own son, Harry James Potter. 'The most valuable gift a man can have is the ability to see himself through the eyes of his child.' 31 July, 1980. Ignotus Archibald Potter"
Harry opened the watch with shaking fingers, gaping at the names and dates inscribed on the inside. It went back seven generations. He closed it, running a finger over the etched inscription on the back. He handed it to Draco, who mirrored his gestures, handling the watch as if it was a priceless artifact. Which, Harry supposed, it was, if he was really to believe it was a gift from his father from beyond the veil.
Harry shook himself out of his stupor when he realized Luna was watching him with wide, unblinking eyes.
"Munia Enitor," she said as soon as he looked up at her, ignoring Draco's sharp inhalation at the words. "My mother owed your mother a life debt. Since Lily died before she could fulfill it and you were missing, the life debt transferred to me when my own mother died."
Harry stared at her, trying to make sense of her words. Luna owed his mother a life debt? Was it even possible to owe a life debt to someone who was dead?
"It transferred to you, of course, when your mother died. That's why my own mother tried so hard to find you after you disappeared," Luna continued, her tone surprisingly conversational since the subject had to be a difficult one for her. Harry knew it sure as hell was for him, and he hadn't even really known his parents.
"I knew when I met you, you know," she said, leaning in conspiratorially. Draco took an unconscious step closer to Harry, the pocket watch still warm against his palm. "You were so fierce and proud and I knew right then that I'd never be able to satisfy the life debt in the traditional way."
Harry tried to interrupt, to tell her that her friendship alone had been a lifesaver for him and that she owed him nothing else, but she shook her head, resting a cold finger against his lips to silence him.
"And then I saw the way you looked at Draco," she said, a wistful smile on her face as she nodded toward the man in question. "And I knew."
Draco edged closer to Harry, their hips bumping. He'd gotten to know Luna over the years, but this was outside the realm of normal, even for her. He slipped the watch into his pocket, patting it to make sure it was secure before reaching down and taking Harry's hand again.
Luna beamed at them, clapping her hands in excitement and startling both men. Draco had to fight the urge to grab her by her thin shoulders and shake her until she told them what the hell she was talking about.
"You knew what, Luna?" Harry asked, his voice carefully calm. Draco could feel the tension radiating off of him, so he knew Harry was skating along the boundary of his control.
"I knew you two belonged together. And I knew exactly how to fulfill my mother's life debt to Lily Potter. Munia Enitor. But I had to wait until you were ready. I nearly tried to tell you when you two finally stopped fighting fate and got together, but Lily said it wasn't time."
Harry swallowed, a shiver of the fear many people felt around Luna tingling down his spine for the first time. Luna thought she'd had conversations with his mother?
"The dead never truly leave us, Harry," Luna said gently, looking at him with something akin to pity. "They remain tethered to those who loved them in life, guiding them and protecting them."
She paused, looking back over her shoulder at his parents' grave.
"They love you very much. And they are so very, very proud of you," she said softly. Harry's eyes pricked with tears at hearing the words he'd so desperately hoped to hear, the answers to questions that had plagued him year after year and kept him coming to the graveyard every Nov. 1.
"Lily wishes you'd chosen a safer profession, but she knows you're good at what you do," Luna said, startling a laugh out of Harry. "And despite your worries, James is nothing but proud of the choices you've made in your life. All of them."
She gave Draco a significant look before turning her attention back to Harry, who was looking pale and shaky.
"His only regret is that the Potter legacy might die out with you," she said, her soft smile confusing Harry. "Which is where I come in."
Harry stared at her dumbly, completely lost. He expected to see a similar look of confusion on Draco's face, but he was surprised to see the blond looking at Luna appraisingly, with something akin to respect.
"She's offering to fulfill her life debt to your family by bearing a child for you," he said softly, and Harry visibly flinched at his words. "Munia Enitor. A gift child. It's an ancient tradition that hasn't been practiced for centuries."
"Luna –" Harry started, trailing off as he looked at her. She smiled serenely at him, her hands folded at her waist. "Luna, I can't ask you to do something like that."
She nodded solemnly, the look in her blue eyes more serious than he had ever seen it.
"You can't," she agreed, glancing at Draco. "The magic wouldn't allow that. In order for it to work, the child has to be a gift given with no strings attached. No expectations. It must be the bearer's idea."
She heard Draco mouthing the words to himself, completely shell-shocked by the implications. Munia Enitor would allow them to combine their magical essences and use them to impregnate Luna. Genetically, the child would be Luna and Harry's, but magically, it would be his and Harry's, inheriting magical traits from both the Malfoy and Potter lines. In the past it had been used as restitution when a family's heir had been killed in battle or, less commonly, when a couple found themselves unable to produce an heir. The spell had been altered three centuries ago, making it impossible to force a woman to be the Enitor, or bearer, unless she was pure of heart and uncoerced. What Luna was offering to do was nothing short of amazing.
"So," Luna said cheerfully, linking her arm through Harry's. "Shall we make a baby? And then maybe we can have pancakes. I do so love pancakes."
Oct. 25, one year later
Harry paced the waiting room at St. Mungo's, agitating everyone with his nervous energy. Draco was in the delivery room with Luna – she'd kicked Harry out two hours ago, saying his inability to relax was making both her and the baby edgy – and he'd promised to come out as soon as there was any news to report, but Harry couldn't help but worry about all the worst-case scenarios.
The irony of their child being born on the anniversary of the day they'd reconciled – six years later – wasn't lost on him, and he briefly wondered if his mother had something to do with it. Luna's due date was still two weeks away, but everyone, from the Healers to Molly to Bill, of all people, had reassured him that it was perfectly normal for a baby to be two weeks early.
He stared at the swinging doors again, willing Draco to appear and tell him everything was alright. He sighed and resumed his pacing after a few moments of scrutiny, his eyes trained on the floor as he walked. It had taken Luna a few months to convince them to take her up on her offer, but once they had, the spell had been surprisingly simple. And her pregnancy had been a relatively easy one – for her. Harry, on the other hand, had been a basket case, just like he was now.
"I told you not to read What to Expect When You're Expecting," Hermione said for the fifth time, sighing at him as he turned to make another pass between the neat row of chairs occupied by every member of the Weasley family other than Ginny, who had moved to the States after being released from her rehabilitation program a year ago. Lucius and Narcissa were seated a bit further down, both of them staring at the doors to the maternity ward with the same intensity as Harry.
"I needed to be prepared," Harry hissed, the heels of his shoes clicking against the linoleum as he continued to pace.
"You Firecalled the Healer in the middle of the night when Luna had a headache because you thought it was preeclampsia," Hermione said dryly, raising an eyebrow at Harry.
"It could have been," he said defensively, turning to make another round around the small space.
"You wouldn't let Luna eat cheese because of listeria," she said, crossing her arms.
"It's a legitimate worry!"
"Not if it's pasteurized, Harry," Hermione sighed, shaking her head.
"The time you tried to sneak an iron potion into her juice because you thought she was anemic?"
"She was pale!"
"She's always pale!" Hermione cried, throwing up her hands. "My point is, Harry, that if you hadn't read that dratted book you wouldn't have spent the last nine months driving everyone – everyone – crazy with your needless worries."
"Luna 'as the patience of a saint," Fleur said, shaking her head at Harry, who glared at her and resumed pacing.
"So does Draco," Ron said, remembering the stories the blond had told him about exhaustive searches for fresh blueberries ("full of antioxidants"), middle of the night expeditions to find organic yogurt ("high in calcium") and the mind-boggling assortment of whole grain pasta, rice and flour that he had to Apparate all over London to find. And that had all been at Harry's insistence, not Luna's.
Deg shifted in the hard plastic chair next to Ron, watching Harry as the man resumed pacing. He eyed the empty chairs warily every time Harry passed them, since his control over his magic seemed to be slipping with each additional minute Luna was behind those doors.
"So do we."
Everyone looked up when the swinging doors burst open, revealing a breathless and glowing Draco dressed in a strange set of blue robes. Harry remembered seeing the mediwitches and Healers wearing something similar and instantly panicked, but Draco drew him into a crushing hug before he could say anything.
"It's a boy! A perfectly healthy, wonderful boy!" Draco cried, peppering Harry's face with kisses. He released him, surprised to find himself being passed down a seemingly endless line of Weasleys, getting a hug and a kiss from each of them. Even his parents joined in, his mother shocking him when she swiped at tears running down her cheeks.
"Luna's healthy as well. You can all come back in a few minutes. I want to take Harry back to see him first," Draco said, pressing an impulsive kiss to his mother's forehead before he grabbed Harry and dashed back through the doors.
"A boy," Lucius said, shaking his head in wonder. A grandson. He had a grandson.
Harry could barely take his eyes off the sight of Draco and their son cuddled up together in a rocking chair under the window, both fast asleep. True to her word, Luna had handed the baby over with no hesitation, filling him yet again with awe that she could be so selfless. He felt privileged to have her in his life, and they'd made her the baby's godmother to ensure she continued to be a part of it.
His life. Harry's lips curved into a smile as he leaned against the doorframe, admiring the way the moonbeam glinted off the two blond heads. He'd never anticipated that he and Draco could have a child together, but here he was. A child of his blood who shared both his and Draco's magic. It was truly a miracle, and he felt blessed beyond words, and completely at ease with himself and his life for the first time ever. Being with Draco had made him feel stable and steady, but the three of them together made him feel nothing short of whole.
He stepped forward when the baby's eyes blinked open, a brief flash of bright green, before closing again as he fell back to sleep. Harry wondered if he should take him and put him in the crib so Draco could get to bed, but he couldn't bear to break up the beautiful picture they made. He decided to leave them alone, using the quiet time to put away some of the seemingly endless laundry their tiny son generated daily.
As Harry moved toward the chest they used to store clothes, a glint of gold caught his eye. His father's pocket watch. He sat the basket of clean laundry down, reaching for the watch on a whim. He'd have to get Hermione to show him the charm to add their son's name to the list. He opened the catch to read through the list of names again, his heart thudding in his chest when he realized his son's name was already there. He snapped the casing shut, turning it over in his palm, nearly dropping it in his haste. His eyes filled with tears when he realized the inscription on the back had changed, making it truly his watch now.
"To my son, Harry James Potter, commemorating the birth of his own son, Orion Harry Potter-Malfoy. 'Never doubt that you, and he, are loved.' 25 October, 2012. James Ignotus Potter"
Harry stared at the watch in wonder for a few moments, raising the cold metal to his lips and pressing a kiss against it before sliding it into his pocket. He grabbed a blanket from a nearby footstool, draping it over both Draco and Orion before kissing both of them and easing out of the room. One thing was for certain: He had no doubt at all that he was loved.
Author's note: That's it! We've come to the end of the Honeymoon. I hope you've enjoyed reading it as much as I've enjoyed writing it.
I'll be taking a bit of a hiatus from the fandom soon, as my second child is due at the beginning of October. I hope to get a few more one-shots out there before the big event, but I'll be staying away from chaptered fics just in case the little one chooses to make an early appearance. So if you don't see me around for awhile, well, that's why. *winks* But I'll be back, I promise …