Title: Unexpected Visitor
Characters: Harry Potter/Draco Malfoy, Ron Weasley, Hermione Granger, Andromeda Tonks, implied Harry/Charlie Weasley from the past.
Rating: Mature for coarse language
Summary: Draco Malfoy has been battling depression since the war ended two years ago. He decides he wants to try and put the past behind him and move forward in his life and starts by paying a visit to Harry Potter.
Disclaimer: JK Rowling owns the characters. I'm just having fun.
A/N: This is the very first fic I wrote. It has been gathering dust on my computer for nearly six months, so I thought I had better post it. I would like to thank everyone who helped get this final draft polished. And I would especially like to thank Romaine24 for all her support and guidance, before she had to step back from fandom. Enjoy and don't forget to comment.
It's Saturday afternoon, Harry Potter is in the sitting room of Grimmauld Place, and Andromeda Tonks is there with Harry's godson Teddy, along with Ron and Hermione. Harry hears a knock on the door and wonders who it is, as he goes to answer.
"Who is it?" he asks through the door.
"It's Draco Malfoy," a voice answers.
What the fuck is Malfoy doing at my house? Harry opens the door, wand held tightly and pointed at Malfoy. "What do you want, Malfoy?"
"I want to talk to you," Malfoy replies.
Harry slams the door in his face. He hears another knock, turns around: and this time as Harry opens the door, his wand is pointing directly at Malfoy's chest.
Malfoy raises his hands slightly in surrender. Harry repeats his previous question, "What do you want, Malfoy?"
"I want to talk to you," said Malfoy.
Harry raises his eyebrows.
"Really? Well, start talking then,"
"I would rather not talk on your front doorstep," Malfoy sighs. "Perhaps you could invite me in, if it's not too much trouble that is."
"Not bloody likely Malfoy. Tell me what you want besides 'wanting to talk'. We can talk here as good as any other place." Harry waits but doesn't receive an answer so he continues, "Or perhaps that would be better somewhere in the public eye, in case you decide you want to try something stupid, like hexing me."
"Fine. Whatever you want, but you would think that if I was going to try something, I would have the first time you opened the door."
"That's not encouraging me to be anywhere near you. But if you seriously only want to talk you can meet me at the Leaky Cauldron in half an hour," replies Harry.
"Why half an hour?" asks Malfoy
"Well, how about for starters, I don't trust you as far as I can throw you, and I have guests, and I need to explain to them what is going on and see them out before going anywhere remotely near you which to be honest I don't really fancy doing. Let alone having a conversation with you that you seem to think is oh so important," Harry mutters.
Harry wants to figure out what Malfoy wants but is also wishing he would just leave.
"Look, I just want to talk to you. As for not wanting to be anywhere near you, I can only say the feeling is not mutual. Go back to your guests and I will see you at the Leaky Cauldron in thirty minutes,"
"What the hell do you mean 'the feeling is not mutual'?"
"Never mind, I will see you in thirty minutes at the Leaky Cauldron," Malfoy turns and leaves.
"I wonder what the fuck this is going to be about," Harry mutters to himself as he rejoins his guests in the sitting room.
"Harry?" Hermione asks. "Who was at the door? Why didn't you ask them in?"
"It was Draco Malfoy," Everyone freezes with total shock on their faces and robbed of their ability to speak for a moment.
"What?" they exclaim simultaneously after a moment of shocked silence.
"Yeah," Harry replies, "so I said I would meet him at the Leaky Cauldron in half an hour. He wanted to come in but I said no 'cause I have guests. Plus it's Malfoy and I didn't want to let the arrogant arse into my house. Sorry," he mutters and looks at Andromeda who doesn't like Harry swearing, especially not in front of Teddy.
"I quite understand, Harry; I can only wonder what Draco could want to speak with you about. Although I didn't think you got along with any of the Malfoys," responds Andromeda.
"I don't, which is why this is so confusing. I told him I didn't want to go anywhere near him, let alone have a conversation with him. He said, 'the feeling is not mutual', whatever the hell that is supposed to mean."
"Yeah, what does he want to talk to you about?" asks Ron.
"I dunno, he wouldn't say. Just said he didn't want to talk on my front doorstep."
"Harry, the war may have ended, but it's still Draco Malfoy and you should be very careful. I definitely agree with you about meeting him in a public place. Do you want Ron and me to come with you when you meet him? Hermione asks.
"I was thinking the same thing myself actually."
"We'll come whether you ask us too or not. Besides, we want to find out what the bloody git wants." says Ron.
"Mrs Tonks, I'm terribly sorry to cut yours and Teddy's visit short. I hope you don't mind, but I better go and find out what he wants. How about I come by tomorrow afternoon?" Harry asks.
"That's fine, Harry. I am rather curious as to what he could want also. Tomorrow afternoon would be lovely. Teddy and I will look forward to it."
"Great, I will see you tomorrow." Harry smiles.
Harry hugs Teddy and Andromeda and receives a kiss on the cheek from the elder witch as they leave, before he returns to Ron and Hermione.
"Well, what are you going to do, mate? Are you still planning on meeting him? Because it has been a quarter of an hour already since he left," murmurs Ron.
"I definitely want you two nearby as backup in case he goes completely mental and tries something. I doubt he will be too pleased about my showing up with the two of you, but I really don't care. He is the one who is so desperate to speak to me that he shows up at my front door without warning."
"Okay," his friends agree.
Harry arrived and noticed Draco Malfoy is already at the Leaky Cauldron. "Great, just what I bloody need…an audience," Malfoy mumbles under his breath as Harry arrives at his table.
"Malfoy, what did you just say?" Harry growls.
"Nothing Potter…Weasley. Granger. I can see that my hoping to speak to you alone, Potter, isn't going to happen," Malfoy receives a barely there nod from Ron and Hermione.
"What do you expect when you turn up on my doorstep unannounced and uninvited, wanting to talk to me about god only knows what, and making cryptic little comments,"
"I sent you an owl with a request to speak with you, Potter. But I didn't get a response, and you probably burnt the parchment the request was written on. That is why I showed up unannounced earlier today" Harry recalls the letter Malfoy is talking about and that he burnt it without even opening it.
"You have never wanted to talk to Harry or any of us for that matter before, so pardon us for wanting to know what the bloody hell is going on." Ron says in a harsh tone.
"Ron!" Hermione warns.
"It has been two years since the war ended, and I wanted to set a few things straight, in the hopes that perhaps we may at least one day be able to have a civil conversation without the need to draw our wands and try and hex each other." drawls Malfoy.
"Alright then, start talking. What do you want to set straight?" replies Harry.
"I will be the first to admit that, while we were at Hogwarts, we didn't get along, and that is a major understatement, I'm sure you would agree. But during the last two years that I attended Hogwarts, I began to start revaluating what was important to me."
Harry hears a snort of disbelief coming from Ron.
"I would appreciate it if you would reserve your judgement until you have heard me out, Weasley. I have been debating for weeks exactly how to approach this delicate issue. As I was saying before I was interrupted. I have been revaluating what is important to me. As you know, Potter, during sixth year at school, I was set a task to complete and failure was not an option. The Dark Lord was less than pleased with what happened during the fight at the Ministry, and became more and more irate as time passed because I was having difficulty fulfilling the task I was assigned." Malfoy looks drained as he says this and Harry can understand how he feels to an extent.
"And you all know what the outcome of that was. The summer after sixth year was the most excruciating experience of my life. I was tortured among other things. I saw people killed for no apparent reason apart from the fact he said they had to die. I even saw the Muggle Studies teacher killed and then fed to that… that… snake." Malfoy shudders
While Malfoy was explaining what it had been like to see his family humiliated and the horrors that had been performed by his fellow Death Eaters, Harry and his friends sit in quiet but rapt attention. They share a look of wide-eyed shock when Malfoy expressed regret for what had happened to Ron's brother, Bill, at the hands of Fenrir Greyback and for letting the Death Eaters into the School in the first place.
After what feel like hours of listening to Draco Malfoy recount the many reasons for his change of heart, he suddenly turns to Harry and asks something he never thought would come out of his mouth.
"I regret a lot of things from the past, and I would like it if we could perhaps… try and become friends. I realise you don't trust me, but hopefully I have proved with what I have told you that I am not the boy you once knew. I cannot make amends for my past actions except to try and put the past behind me and move forward."
Harry, Ron, and Hermione share a dumbfounded look at this newest revelation. Hermione is the first to speak, breaking the tense silence.
"Why now? Why wait so long?"
"Because I have been trying to deal with what I saw and did myself. I spent the first six months after the war at the Manor, not really venturing outside the house, let alone my room, so much so that my Mother was very worried about me."
"I was taken to St Mungo's for treatment. I was admitted for six months. And after the first three months passed, I was allowed home for brief periods of time to try and get used to the outside world again. After six months, they thought that I should go home and try to go about my life as normally as possible. So you see, Granger, I have had my own demons to deal with, and it has taken me a very long time to venture as far from home as I have today."
"I'm sorry to hear that," says Harry, breaking his silence.
"It wasn't exactly advertised and I'm sure you understand why. My Father is a very proud man. Can you imagine what it must have been like for him, let alone me, having to be admitted to the hospital because of what happened to our family?"
"My purpose for meeting with you, Potter, was partly to aid my own recovery but also to try and if not be friends, then at the very least no longer remain enemies. I realise what I have told you today is a lot to take in. All I am asking for is a chance to prove to you that I have changed and see what happens from there."
"Well, you're right about it being a lot to take in it is a start to at least see that you regret what happened during the war. As for us becoming friends, I cannot make any promises, but I guess it would be nice to get to know the real Draco Malfoy and try to forget the arrogant prejudiced arsehole we remember," Harry replies with an odd gleam in his eye.
"What about you Weasley? Granger? What do you say about putting the past behind us?" Malfoy asks
"Well, I am willing to try," Hermione says.
"You will have to earn my trust. Our families have hated each other for a very long time, but I am willing to, at the very least, be civil with you and start from there," says Ron.
Malfoy smiles and responds with a simple, "Thank you."
After a few more minutes of banter between the four of them, Harry and his friends leave because they are expected at the Burrow for dinner. They bid farewell to Draco with handshakes and a tentative agreement to meet in the future for a drink.
When the trio arrive at the Burrow, Mrs Weasley promptly puts them to work. Harry and Hermione are to set the table and Ron is to round up the rest of the family as dinner is ready. As everyone finishes dessert, they move into the sitting room for after-dinner drinks.
"So, Harry, how was your day with Teddy and Andromeda?" asks Mr Weasley.
"It was actually interrupted with a visit from Draco Malfoy."
Almost everyone chokes on their drinks at this news. "What in Merlin's name was Draco Malfoy doing calling on you, especially at home?" a shocked Mr Weasley asks.
"He wanted to talk to me," says Harry.
"What on earth for?" Mrs Weasley interjects.
"He has been having a hard time, especially since the war ended. So he wanted to try and put the past behind him and move forward in his life. And he said he wanted to try and maybe be friends."
"Mum, he told us some of the stuff that he was expected to do for Voldemort and some of the things he witnessed Voldemort and his Death Eaters do and also what they did to him as well. He actually ended up in St Mungo's for six months." says Ron.
A collective gasp of "What" came from the Weasleys at this revelation with mouths hanging open.
"He was actually quite pleasant, Mr and Mrs Weasley. He didn't make any rude comments or anything and he even shook hands with us when we left," murmurs Hermione.
"We agreed to maybe meet him again in the future for a drink," says Harry.
"I just hope you keep your wits about you when you are around him. Regrets or not, he is still Lucius Malfoy's son. And we all know what a bastard he is," George pipes in.
"Believe me; we know exactly who he is. We put up with him for six years at Hogwarts. But he seems to have changed for the better from what we saw today. So we are going to let him attempt to earn our trust," replies Harry.
"And if he tries anything with Harry, every newspaper in the wizarding world will be all over it," says Ginny.
"Exactly!" George smirks.
The next day, Harry visits Andromeda and Teddy, as promised, to make up for the interruption the day before. He arrives just after four in the afternoon.
"Harry," Andromeda smiles, "come in. Teddy is playing in his room."
"Thanks. How has he been today? Not getting into too much trouble I hope."
"He has been very good today, but he has been asking for you since he woke from his afternoon nap."
Harry follows Andromeda to Teddy's bedroom where the two and a half year old is playing with the toy broom and snitch Harry gave him for his birthday.
"Hey kiddo, what are you playing with?" Harry asks Teddy, who promptly throws his toys and runs toward Harry for a hug. Teddy's hair changes colour abruptly, from brightest blue to bubblegum pink, just like his mum used to have.
Teddy starts jibbering to Harry, too fast for anything to be coherent. Harry just smiles and replies with the occasional "yeah" and "really" whenever Teddy comes up for air.
"Harry, would you like something to drink?" Andromeda asks
"Sure, we'll be right behind you."
Harry and Teddy make their way to the sitting room and Andromeda has a large pitcher of homemade lemonade and a plate with a selection of biscuits ready on the coffee table. Harry pours a glass of lemonade and takes a biscuit.
After a few minutes of comfortable silence, the both of them sitting just watching Teddy play, Andromeda asks,
"So how was your meeting with Draco yesterday, Harry?"
"It was actually very surprising. He told us about some of the things he witnessed during the war that Voldemort and his Death Eaters did. He also said that he regretted a lot of things, and although he can't make amends for what he has done, he wants to move forward with his life. And hopes that we could at the very least not be enemies anymore and perhaps even become friends."
"That is very interesting. What do you and your friends say to all of this?"
"We said we would think about what he said and that he would have to earn our trust."
"You do realise though, don't you, Harry, that my sister and her husband won't be terribly happy about their son being friends with you, Ron, and Hermione."
"I don't really care what they think. If Draco wants to try and become friends with us, then that is his choice, not theirs."
"True," Andromeda nods
"What have you and Teddy been up to over the weekend besides visiting me yesterday?" Harry murmurs around a mouthful of biscuit.
"Nothing much. I worked in the garden a little, doing some pruning and such. Teddy had a bit of a play date with Bill and Fleur Weasley's little girl this morning, and they stayed for lunch afterwards."
"Teddy and Victoire? That should be interesting to watch develop," Andromeda laughs quietly at Harry's remark.
"What about you, Harry? Is there someone special for you?"
"No. I have my eye on someone though, and I am just going to see how things play out."
"Anyone I know?" Harry blushes and looks away. "I see. You don't want to tell me. That's okay. I don't want to pry; it is your business after all."
Later that evening, Harry receives an owl from Draco Malfoy.
I would just like to thank you and your friends for meeting with me yesterday. I know it can't have been easy for you. It certainly wasn't for me.
But I really appreciated you giving me the opportunity to try and put the past behind us.
I would like to invite you, Weasley, and Granger out for a drink this Friday evening. I believe you all work together at the Ministry. If you would please pass on my invitation to them, I would appreciate it.
We can work out a location later, if you decide to come.
After Harry reads the letter, he feels nervous anticipation at getting to know Draco Malfoy. Attaching the letter to his own owl Harry sends it off to Ron and Hermione with an invitation for them to join him for a drink so they can discuss the invitation.
Approximately an hour later, Ron and Hermione, are in the sitting room of Grimmauld Place with Harry. They have all decided to accept the invitation and are trying to work out where to meet Draco.
"I say we just go back to the Leaky Cauldron," says Ron.
"It is fairly close to the Ministry," Harry muses.
"We usually meet there for dinner at the end of the week," Hermione adds. "Why don't we ask him to join us and we can hang around for a few drinks after dinner?"
"That is a brilliant idea, Hermione. I knew there was a reason I love you," Ron smirks.
Harry and Hermione just roll their eyes at his bull.
"Okay, it's settled. the Leaky Cauldron for dinner and drinks. What time? Say about seven that gives us all time to clean up and change out of our work clothes," said Harry.
"Sounds great," Ron and Hermione respond.
"Excellent. I will owl him back now with the details," Harry crows with excitement in his voice.
We accept your invitation for drinks this Friday; however, we normally meet for dinner every Friday evening after work.
So we would like to extend an invitation to you for you to join us for dinner and drinks.
We will meet at The Leaky Cauldron at seven; my friends and I reserve a private parlour for ourselves each week so the reservation is taken care of. That way we can hopefully have a peaceful evening.
No response necessary. See you on Friday, at seven.
During the week following his encounter with Draco, Harry's work in the Auror office of the Ministry is pretty much business as usual. So when Friday afternoon arrives, he is actually looking forward to having what he hopes is a quiet evening with his friends and Draco.
Ron comes to see Harry before he heads home for the day and the topic of discussion is the upcoming dinner with their one time enemy.
"Tonight is going to be weird don't you think? Having Malfoy there" Ron asks.
"I guess it will be a strange." says Harry. "Just remember to keep your famous Weasley temper under control. Kingsley will kick our arses if we end up in a duel with Draco Malfoy."
"I do know how to behave myself, Harry. Though I will admit Malfoy usually gets under my skin."
"I know. We have been best mates for a long time, Ron. I should know who and what pushes your buttons by now."
"Okay, I'm heading home. Hermione and I will see you tonight," says Ron.
"See you then,"
Harry eventually finishes work at half past five and heads home. He gratefully sinks into a steaming hot bath, feeling the water ease the tension in his body from his week at work.
At the Leaky Cauldron Harry goes to make his way upstairs to the parlour, and he notices that Draco has just arrived. With a small smile, Harry approaches him.
"Draco," Harry says.
Draco gives a small smile in return as he replies with, "Potter…. Are the others here yet?"
"No, we are the first ones here. I was just heading up to the parlour. We are in number two. Did you want anything to drink? Or would you rather wait for Ron and Hermione to get here?" Harry asks.
"I think I will get a butterbeer for now. Can I get you anything to drink while we wait?"
"Nah, we always come here so they should have a tray of drinks upstairs ready. Thanks anyway,"
Draco orders his drink and then asks, "Shall we go up and wait for them then?"
After a few minutes a waitress from the pub comes to take any further drink orders and gives them dinner menus as Ron and Hermione arrive.
After the quartet place their orders for their meals and drinks, conversation starts to turn more personal. "What do you do with yourself Malfoy?" asks Ron.
"I don't have a job at the moment. I am still finding it difficult to leave the Manor. So I spend most of my time reading, and I work on potions occasionally. Like I said the other day, this is the farthest I have been from the Manor in a long time. But I hope to study law eventually."
"Is it getting any easier?" Hermione, enquired.
"Yes, it is getting somewhat easier. It doesn't really help when if I do go out somewhere, people stare or avoid me like the plague because my family are former Death Eaters."
The waitress returns with their orders, as Ron and Harry share a look of 'What do you expect?' Hermione catches this silent exchange and smacks both Ron and Harry upside the head.
"Ow! What was that for?" they ask in unison.
"You both know exactly what that was for! Need I remind you that we agreed to try and leave the past exactly where it is and try and move past the animosity?" Hermione huffs irritably. Ron and Harry both look sheepish as they murmur their apologies.
"What do you do at the Ministry, H-Her-…Granger?" Draco stammers.
"I work for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures. I'm trying to get some laws changed in regard to House Elves and Goblins, among other things."
"That must be satisfying work, considering what you got up to while at Hogwarts, with knitting hats and what-not, trying to trick the House Elves into freeing themselves."
"Yeah, Hermione loves her crusades." Ron smirks and earns another smack from Hermione which Harry and Draco both laugh at.
"Yes, I do find it satisfying, although it's frustrating at times because people don't want to listen to me because I'm only 20 years old," Hermione replies to Draco's question.
"What about you, Potter? I heard you were in the Auror program. Catch anybody I know lately?" quips Draco.
"You can call me, Harry, you know. If you are honestly trying to let go of the animosity, how about we start there?" Harry says and Draco nods as Harry continues,
"Yes, I'm an Auror, and, no I haven't been out in the field lately. So I haven't caught any of yours or your father's old friends."
"What about personally? Are you still seeing the Weasley girl?"
Ron stiffens at this, and Harry and Hermione each place a hand on his arms to try and calm him down before he does something stupid.
"Her name is Ginny, and no, I'm not seeing her anymore. I'm not actually seeing anyone at the moment," responds Harry.
"I'm surprised. I would have thought you would have girls falling all over you. Being the 'Chosen One' and 'The Saviour of the Wizarding World' and all that."
"Despite what you may think of me, I actually just want to be left alone, but unfortunately, being Harry Potter, that isn't going to happen. Why do you think that when Ron and Hermione meet me for dinner here every week that we come up here? It's so that we can eat in peace without having people hounding me for a photo or an autograph or whatever else might cross their minds when they see me."
"I see. Well, I guess I can understand that," murmurs Draco.
"There are other reasons why Harry is not seeing anyone at the moment," replies Ron, trying to defend his friend. Harry stands on Ron's foot and sends his best mate a warning look to remind him to keep his mouth shut on that particular topic.
"What about you Draco? Are you seeing anyone?"
"I was seeing Pansy Parkinson for a while but after I was admitted...Well, let's just say that she didn't want a boyfriend who may very well be crazy. I still have nightmares most nights, and when you wake up screaming in your sleep, I don't imagine many people would want that in their lives."
The rest of the evening goes without a hitch and they even share a few laughs, which is a major milestone considering that Draco Malfoy is joining the trio of former Gryffindors for dinner. They wrap up their evening and say their goodbyes around ten o'clock.
The rest of the weekend passes without incident, Harry enjoys watching Ginny's Quidditch match on Saturday evening which the Harpies win by more than one hundred points, and spends most of the rest of the weekend just enjoying the quiet. That is until Draco shows up again on Sunday afternoon.
"What are you doing here? Why do you always show up unannounced?" Harry asks.
"I'm sorry, but I was wondering if you would like some company. I brought a case of butterbeer and my chess set. I thought we could maybe have a drink or two and chat a bit over a game of chess. You mentioned the other night that you're a pretty good player."
Harry sighs and tries to figure out if there is an ulterior motive for why Draco Malfoy would turn up uninvited for a second weekend in a row.
"Okay. I will let you in this time, but you really shouldn't turn up here without at least an owl or firecall first. I work long hours a lot of the time and I'm not always fit for human company. I know you are trying to become my friend and everything, but even you know it's rude to show up unannounced."
With that out of his system, Harry shows Draco into the sitting room and asks Kreacher to put the case of butterbeer into the fridge after he and Draco each take a bottle. They spend a few hours chatting, laughing, and playing chess.
The time Harry is spending with Draco was very enlightening. He has learned just how badly Draco's depressed ran, that before being admitted to St Mungo's, Draco had stayed at Malfoy Manor, getting to the point of being almost completely unresponsive and never leaving his room except to use the bathroom, and even that was a rare even, because he wouldn't eat or drink anything.
If Lucius of Narcissa had tried to talk with Draco, he would just stare into space occasionally, making a grunting noise or blinking. When his parents couldn't stand seeing him like that any longer, they had contacted the best Healer's in Britain, who saw Draco at the Manor and after examining him, they all had agreed that he needed to be admitted to St Mungo's.
Harry has asked Draco about being at St Mungo's a few times but has never really got much of an answer. Draco would simply shrug or say he couldn't remember. But Harry suspected that his new friend didn't really want to remember. When Draco speaks about this dark time in his life, a shadow often crosses his face, making Harry believe that the Draco Malfoy he had come to care for wasn't as recovered as he lets on.
Months have passed from his initial encounter with Draco. Harry's suspicions have been erased and replaced with an attraction that is slowly building into desire. Harry now sees a whole new side to the man; they share a similar sense of humour and a love of all things Quidditch, even going to a few matches together including some of Ginny's Harpies matches.
And to Harry's astonishment, they even share similar tastes in their private lives. However, he is unsure how he should approach what he is feeling towards Draco.
Knowing that he and Draco share the same taste in men doesn't mean that he feels the same way Harry does about him.
Harry is becoming distracted so much so that Ron and Hermione are beginning to notice how much time he is spending with Draco and that if he isn't with him, Harry is talking about him and what they have done together. Finally, Ron confronts Harry about what is happening with Draco one Saturday over a game of Exploding Snap and a six pack of butterbeer in Harry's kitchen.
"You've been spending an awful lot of time with Draco Malfoy lately. Are you starting to like him?"
"What on earth gave you that idea, Ron? I happen to like his company."
"Do you honestly expect me to believe that? You would not go to Malfoy Manor and put up with Lucius Malfoy for just anybody, mate."
Harry sighs in defeat; Ron knows him far too well. "I do happen to be attracted to Draco, but that doesn't mean I'm about to start shagging him."
"I knew it! You want to get busy with ferret boy!"
"Okay, believe what you want, Ron. I'm not saying anything else on the subject."
"Are you seeing him today?"
"Yes. He is due here any minute. So can we please drop the subject? The last thing I need is Draco getting wind how I feel before I'm ready to tell him."
"Whatever." Ron rolls his eyes before glancing at his watch. "I better go anyway. I'm having dinner with the in-laws tonight and 'Mione will hex me into oblivion if I'm late."
"Say hi to the Grangers for me," says Harry as Ron leaves and Draco arrives; Harry sees a knowing grin flash across Ron's face and he elbows his friend in the ribs before growling, "Enough Ron!" who just chuckles and winks at Draco.
"I will see you two at the game!" Ron shouts before Disapparating
"Okay, what the hell was that about?" Draco asks Harry once he is inside.
"Doesn't matter. Ron was just being a prat."
"R-i-g-h-t… then why don't I believe you, Harry?"
"It's nothing you need to worry about. Ron was just being a pain as always and taking the piss out of me."
"Fine. Whatever," Draco sighs.
"Go make yourself comfortable and call Kreacher if you want a drink or anything. I am going to get changed before we head off to the match. Ginny would never forgive me if I showed up not sporting the Harpies shirt she gave me. I will be right back."
Draco nods and makes his way to the sitting room as Harry runs upstairs and changes his robes. He has to take a couple of extra minutes to calm himself down; talking with Ron about how he was starting to feel about Draco has stirred up those feelings at the most inopportune time, especially since they will have to spend a few hours watching a Quidditch game with the rest of the Weasleys.
And knowing Ron, Harry thinks, he will probably enlist George's help to make a spectacle of Harry in front of Draco, and that's all he needs.
After he has somewhat calmed down and changed his clothes, Harry makes his way back downstairs to Draco in the sitting room only to find him reading one of Harry's private magazines. Harry instantly turns bright red and takes a minute to compose himself before clearing his throat and alerting Draco of his presence.
"Oh shit! Don't do that, Harry. You scared the fucking shit out of me!"
"Sorry. I didn't mean to scare you. Find anything of interest in there?" says Harry, nodding at the magazine in the blonde man's hands.
"Umm… actually…I did find something interesting. I had no idea you read this stuff, Harry," Draco says, looking embarrassed.
"I'm single and I don't really get much of a chance to go out. So I tend to entertain myself. If you get my drift" Harry smirks.
"You don't have to look far if you are looking for a relationship…." Draco mutters under his breath.
"What?" Harry is sure he's hearing things; he is afraid to believe it, but it sounded like Draco might be interested in him as more than a friend.
"Okay. Well, the match doesn't start for another two hours. What did you want to do in the mean time? Play a game of chess or Exploding Snap? Or we can just go for a walk around the square across the road to kill some time?"
"A walk sounds nice."
After about an hour, Harry and Draco make their way to the Weasleys' box at the Quidditch stadium to watch Ginny and the Holyhead Harpies play against Ron's favourite team, the Chudley Cannons, and Harry knows it will definitely make for some interesting family dynamics while watching the match.
The majority of the Weasleys are clearly still wary of Draco but are starting to warm to him, in part because he always makes an effort to be polite, no matter the reception, when he accompanies Harry to a match or is invited to dinner at Harry's when the Weasleys are there.
There is also the fact that they can see how much he has changed and is nothing like Lucius. As they make their way to the Weasleys' box, Harry notices that there is an extra Weasley this week: Charlie is here.
"Charlie!" Harry calls and sees the man in question look up and smile, which is soon followed by a frown when he sees Draco with him.
"Hey, Harry! Good to see you, mate!" Charlie replies.
"Yeah, you too… You know Draco Malfoy?"
"Yep," Charlie responds curtly.
"He's fine, Charlie. Hermione, Harry, and I have been hanging out with Draco for a while now," Ron says trying to keep the peace.
"Yes, really. He and Harry have become quite close." Ron smirks and winks at Harry who turns beet red at the implication in Ron's words.
Harry notices that Draco has cautiously extended his hand to greet the unexpected Weasley. It warms Harry's heart to see Charlie shake Draco's hand.
"Nice to meet you, Charlie. I believe you work with dragons, is that right?"
"Yeah, I do. I work on a reserve in Romania. So you and Harry are friends? How did this happen? Last I heard, you couldn't stand each other."
"I have been dealing with a lot of demons since the war and I am trying to put the past behind me, I showed up at Harry's one day and, needless to say, he wasn't exactly happy to see me."
"I'll bet," Charlie mumbles.
"But Harry, Ron, and Hermione were gracious enough to meet with me and let me explain everything. And since then, I have joined them for their weekly dinner date. And I have come to see some of your sister's Quidditch matches," Draco continues.
Just as Draco finishes talking, the first whistle to signal the start of the match is heard by all. The players soon make their way onto the pitch and the match begins.
After more than four hours of a tense stand-off between the two teams, the Harpies win, beating the Cannons 310 points to 180 points. Harry gives Ron a ribbing about the loss ratio, which he doesn't appreciate in the slightest. Everyone makes their way to the locker room door to wait for Ginny and then head to the Leaky Cauldron for post-match drinks.
While they are having fun and enjoying some light-hearted banter, Harry notices that Charlie is studying every move he makes, especially when he is near Draco. So he decides to go and find out what his long-time friend and one-time partner's problem is.
"Charlie, what's wrong? You have been staring at me almost the entire time we have been here."
"I'm just a bit confused. I can't for the life of me figure out what you see in that git Malfoy."
"What do you mean? Draco and I are friends."
"Ha! Don't insult my intelligence, Harry. I have known you a long time. I also know what signals you send out when you have the hots for someone. I was on the receiving end at one point, remember?" Charlie whispers.
"Of course, I remember. I have very very fond memories of our time together, Charlie. Are you jealous of Draco, my Charlie?" Harry purrs against Charlie's ear, sending a visible shiver down the older man's spine.
"Harry, stop it!" Charlie hisses. "I am not here to get in your pants. I am simply pointing out that I have noticed you're attracted to Draco Malfoy, of all people."
"So what if I am?"
"Just be careful okay? Please, for me, just watch your back. I would hate for you to get hurt again."
"He has nothing to do with how I feel about Draco!"
"You mean a lot to me Harry. I don't want what happened last time to happen again." Charlie murmurs and kisses Harry on the cheek.
Harry sighs and looks around the pub to see if anyone has noticed his exchange with Charlie. He sees that Draco is watching their conversation and wearing a strange expression on his face. If Harry didn't know better, he would swear that Draco was jealous, so he motions for Draco to join him and Charlie, but Draco shakes his head and turns to Hermione, starting a conversation with her.
A few hours later, Harry and Draco are back at the kitchen of Grimmauld Place, and Harry decides he may as well bite the bullet and find out how Draco feels about him. Especially after hearing what he did that afternoon and what he witnessed at the Leaky Cauldron while talking to Charlie.
"I wanted to ask you something."
"What did you want to ask me, Harry?"
Harry watches Draco's reaction carefully as he says, "I was wondering about your reaction when I was talking to Charlie earlier at the pub. You looked like you weren't happy that I was talking to him or something. It almost looked like you were jealous. What was the matter?"
Harry notices that Draco starts to blush and fidget with his robes almost like he is embarrassed at being caught out. But he doesn't say anything so Harry tries again.
"Draco, you can tell me, you know."
"I was jealous," Draco mumbles under his breath so softly that it is barely audible.
Harry can't believe his ears: Draco Malfoy is jealous that he was talking to Charlie Weasley. Harry wonders if he saw Charlie kiss him. His heart is starting to race at the possibility that Draco may be as attracted to Harry as Harry is to him. It has been a while since Harry was in a relationship and he doesn't want to ruin things with Draco by getting involved with him, but he doesn't think he can stand not knowing what it is like to have Draco wrapped in his arms, calling his name, falling asleep together at night, and waking up together the next morning. Harry thinks that if that were to happen, it would be pretty close to bliss.
"Draco?" Harry coaxes the blond to look at him. When he does, Harry continues, "Why are you jealous of Charlie? He and I have been friends for ages."
"I saw him kiss you, Harry. I'm not stupid."
Harry sighs "Why would that bother you? Are you attracted to me?"
"I have come to like you as more than a friend, Harry. Yes, I am attracted to you, and I get the feeling that you feel the same way."
"I am very attracted to you. When I came down this afternoon to see you looking at my magazine and then you mumbled something about 'not having to look far' if I wanted a relationship, it took all my self-control not to pull you into my arms and show you just how I feel about you."
Harry gets up from the table and goes to sit next to Draco.
"Would you like me to show you just how much I'm attracted to you?" Harry breaths against Draco's neck just before he plants a feather light kiss. He grins when he hears Draco gasp and notices that he has closed his eyes.
"Yes," is all Draco is able to say, as Harry captured his lips: in a kiss that is so tender and passionate that it can only leave both men wanting more.