For AngelikRebel who requested a chapter with the children where everyone is older.
Meeting your girlfriend's parents for the first time over Christmas was nerve-wracking enough without them also being the subject of your last year's history paper. John would never date someone just because of their family, but it was difficult to convince his girlfriend of that when he held them in such great esteem.
But, honestly, who didn't in their generation?
Rose didn't get half the attention that Teddy or Lily had at school, but she seemed to resent any and all comparisons to her parents where Teddy loved them and Lily didn't get them since she was adopted. John tried to support her without angering her, but not angering her when she was in the same room as her parents seemed impossible. The introduction was the most uncomfortable situation he'd been in his entire life. Her father was the intimidating "You hurt my daughter and I'll hurt you type", which was just as he suspected, but the calm responses he envision himself saying on his way over came out more like terrified pleas. He was a Hufflepuff not a Gryffindor.
Then, they arrived.
Until he saw Harry Potter standing in Rose's living room, it honestly had not occurred to him that he was that close to Rose's parents. Despite the fact it was the topic of his history paper. Yes, they were normal people, and he supposed that normal people have family gatherings or, when absent families, attended their friends' family gatherings; he just never expected to see it.
'Oh, please don't embarrass me', Rose said. 'They hardly come out because they hate the attention; don't ruin their Christmas.'
Rose was a year younger than Lily and they spent most of their time together; well, before they started dating their boyfriends they spent most of their time together. So he was used to Lily's presence, but that didn't prepare him for seeing her with her fathers. It was even stranger seeing her without Neville.
John always teased Neville by saying that Lily only dated him because he wasn't named after her father, but really there were three Nevilles in their year. Neville always replied it was the same for John; there five Rons and it always creeped Rose out. She said they all lucked out being boys because there were fourteen Hermiones, even spread out through the different houses it was difficult to keep track of them all, which surpassed even the eight Harrys which was the most popular boys' name for fifteen years after the war.
Lily and Rose laughed at something that John missed.
Lily laughed. 'Could you drool a little more?'
'Or stare harder', Rose added without any humour in her voice.
'I'm sorry, I didn't realise I was.' He turned to leave them, but Lily grabbed his arm.
'It's okay; we're just—'
'No, it's not', Rose cut in. 'I'm sick of this. Just go fawn over them, you're obviously more interested in them than spending time with me.'
Lily let go of his arm surprised at Rose's tone. He stood there not sure what to say and then Rose stomped off. John and Lily fidgeted in an uncomfortable silence both unsure if they should go after her. Lily was her best friend and knew more about what she was going through than John, but he was her boyfriend and the one she was mad at and probably should be the one to fix it. He waited a moment more and then nodded to Lily as he went after her.
He walked toward the back staircase, because he didn't want her father knowing he was going up to her room where they'd be alone. As quiet as possible he tipped-toed down the hallway, but froze when he heard voices coming from the bathroom. At first he feared Rose was in there telling someone, most likely her father, about what a horrid boyfriend he was. Which he was NOT, but this was her family. They'd take her word over his any day and he cared too much about what these specific people thought of him, so he had to make this up to her whether he agreed with her or not.
The door was cracked open and light spilled into the hallway from it. He kept back but angled himself against the wall to see inside and through the mirror he could tell that Rose was not one of the people in the bathroom. Lily's parents were in the bathroom and they weren't talking. Well, there was talking, but it wasn't "talking". He'd never thought about the specifics of their relationship, of any homosexual relationship for that matter, but he supposed that it was just like any other relationship. It was something his father—well he father didn't approve.
There was a reason his paper was on Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger's influence and how Harry Potter could never have done the things he did without them, and not about Harry Potter himself nor did it have any mention of Draco Malfoy. His father read all of his assignments; he was very involved, at least, with John's modern history. Where Rose's paper had no mention of her parents at all.
'I love you', Harry Potter said to Draco Malfoy, and Jonathan Smith stopped breathing. Draco Malfoy returned the sentiment and they kissed. Not the like the light pecks his witnessed his parents' sneaking when they thought no one was looking, or what he's seen other's parents do in public all the time. Passionate, like what he saw new couples engaged all over Hogwarts in. Draco Malfoy reached for Harry Potter's belt, but Harry Potter stopped him. 'Not here.' Bloody hell.
'Sorry', Draco Malfoy replied. 'Habit.'
John, out of necessity, began breathing again.
'We've only been here twenty minutes.'
'And the she-wea—' Harry Potter cut him off with a look. 'She', Draco Malfoy started again gritting his teeth, 'already had her hands all over you.'
Harry Potter smiled and kissed him again. 'She is barking up the wrong tree. Draco it's been twenty-five years. Why do you still let this get to you? If anyone is bothered by it, it should be her husband. I don't want her. I broke up with her. I want you, okay?'
'I know it's been years.' Draco Malfoy sighed. 'And I know you love me, but—'
'She does this just to get to me. That look that she and her mother always give me. That "You know no one wants you here and everyone wants him to be with me" look.'
Harry Potter laughed. 'I'm sorry.' Then he laughed, again. 'You are so cute when you get all jealous.'
Draco Malfoy glared at him. 'I'm not cute.'
Then they stood in front of him, holding hands, and giving him a strange look. 'Hullo, John right?' Harry Potter asked him.
Harry Potter was standing in the same hallway as John. He was in the same hallway as Harry Potter and Draco Malfoy. Harry Potter asked him a question! Shite!
John nodded. 'I'm sorry. I was just—' He pointed up the stairs, then afraid they'd tell Rose's dad where he was headed blurted, 'Rose is mad me', in an attempt to explain.
Draco Malfoy snorted. 'There is a temper on that one.'
'What happened?' Harry Potter looked concerned.
'She... I don't know', John said. 'She thinks I don't want to spend any time with her, and that I'm more interested in her family.'
'Oh, to have that problem', Draco Malfoy said, 'Your significant other getting along with your family and enjoying each other's company? Travesty.'
Harry Potter shook his head at his husband. 'Not helping.' He sighed and rubbed the bridge of his nose lifting his glasses slightly. 'I don't believe I have story for this.'
Draco Malfoy smirked. 'Oh, I'm sure you do.'
'I have no family and yours used to hate me; father still does.'
'True.' Draco Malfoy rolled his eyes in impatience. 'But his problem isn't that he gets along with her family.' He annunciated each word waiting for Harry to catch on. 'His problem is that his girlfriend isn't feeling appreciated and is insecure in their relationship.'
'Oh, right.' Harry Potter turned back to John with a broad smile. 'I have plenty of those stories.' As Harry thought about which one to tell, Draco rolled his eyes and began for him.
The first Christmas Harry brought Draco to the Weasley's no one knew what to think. Harry never mentioned dating anyone and never mentioned being interested in men, so everyone assumed they were friends though no one understood why. Draco caught their confusion within momments of their arrival. After he refused in a polite manner any type of beer Charlie had to offer, he excused himself to the toilet.
Why was he there? Harry didn't need him and no one else wanted anything to do with him. He could be at home drinking champagne and reading something interesting. Maybe sketching Harry from memory again. Harry wouldn't even miss him. He wasn't missing him. Every second that past without Harry missing him angered Draco more. Why force him to come to this party to celebrate a holiday which depresses him with people he hates to be ignored by the man he loves? He left the loo to search for Harry and found him with his ex-girlfriend dangerously close to the mistletoe, and though they started in a group it became the two of them within a minute. Everyone wanting to give them privacy; to be alone in hopes to rekindle what was once between them. Not wanting to see what happened next Draco snuck off to the garden and watched the stars while he waited to be miss.
Draco waited twenty minutes before left.
Harry mingled with his friends whom he avoided for the past few years except for special occasions, because he lived with Draco which made causal visits with his friends difficult. He always forgot how much he missed them, until he was with them again. The time went fast as he caught up with his makeshift family, remembering those who were no longer with them and informing each other what happened in their lives since they last spoke. Not much, not much, still at the same job, no promotion yet, same house, same spouse, everything was well.
Twice he had to escape Ginny under the mistletoe, but he swore it kept moving. Wasn't there only one? It popped up everywhere. He was tempted to grab Draco and kiss him to get it to leave him alone. Where was Draco? They were separated soon after they arrived with everyone greeting him, but he assume Draco would be by his side once everyone was settled. There wasn't anyone else for him to talk to; Fluer maybe? No, she sat quietly next to her husband bored and ignored as always.
'Looking for someone', Charlie asked after sneaking up behind him.
Harry nodded. 'Have you seen Draco?'
'Last I saw him he headed off to the toilette.' This calmed Harry until Charlie added, 'Which was about an hour and a half ago.'
Harry's stomach dropped as he ran towards the downstairs toilette, which Ginny existed from just as he got there.
'Hello', she said with a flirtatious smile. 'Coming to see me?'
'No', he said quickly; not noticing the smile fall from her face. 'Have you seen Draco?'
'Draco? No, I haven't seen Malfoy, since he came in with you. Maybe he wised up to the fact that no one wants him here, and went home where he belongs. Why did you bring him here anyway? I know, for some unfathomable reason, you feel you need to make amends, but this is going too far. Even Hermione thinks so, not that anyone else would say anything.' She waited for Harry to speak, but he starred at her in horror. 'Well, say something. Explain this ridiculous idea of yours.'
He couldn't speak. Disappointment washed over him. What was he thinking? He wanted them to accept Draco as a friend, before he told them about them. Afraid they'd put two and two together, he didn't even tell anyone he was gay, though he'd know since the first time Draco kissed him. He wanted to break everything to them slowly, gently, but there was no way to do that, and he couldn't do it now that Draco was gone. Draco was gone and he had to find him.
'I'm sorry, Ginny. I have to go.'
He apparated home with Ginny calling after him, and Molly calling everyone to the table in the dining room.
'Draco!' The house was dark as Harry ran from room to room. 'Draco are you here?' He got to their room and found it is disarray. The wardrobe was hanging open and all of Draco's things were gone. He apparated to the Manor, but the house elf that answered had heard nothing from his master that evening and the Mrs was sleeping. Where else would he go? He apparated to every spot they'd ever had a romantic moment, even to where they'd had their first (though it required a lot of walking and sneaking about) and second kiss (which he no longer had to break into, but did anyway).
By the time he apparated to his parents' graves he was in tears sure that all was lost. How fragile was their relationship after four years that one bad evening destroyed it? He spent the rest of the night sitting next to his parents' graves casting warming charms on his legs, and telling his parents all about the last four years, which he kept secret even from them.
Telling them everything he should have told everyone else.
When Harry got home sometime after dawn, Draco was laying wrapped up in their bed. The wardrobe still sat opened and empty. Harry stripped down and slipped next to Draco and found that he was freezing and naked. Confused he tried to wake him while he cast a warming charm, then he smelled the alcohol.
'Draco', Harry whispered. 'Where are your clothes?' He feared what he must have been up to and with whom. He'd never cheated before, but he'd never run away before either. Harry didn't know what to expect.
Draco groaned, then answered 'Gave them away.'
'The ones you were wearing?' Harry couldn't tell if he was still drunk or hungover, so he summoned both potions.
'All of them.' He rolled over a looked as though he might be sick. Still drunk, Harry decided and tried to get him to drink the appropriate potion.
'Seemed like something you'd want me to do.'
Harry smiled. He had no idea why Draco thought he'd want him to give away all of his clothes, even the ones he was wearing, but he was pretty sure that meant Draco did not cheat on him and had no plans to leave him.
Draco's face regained colour and soon he was sitting up and pulling Harry to him.
Harry looked around the bed. 'Where is your wand?'
'I left is here.' Draco pointed to the drawer in his nightstand. 'I was too drunk to use it.'
Draco took a moment to gather his thoughts, but ended up shaking his head and pushed Harry away. 'Forget about it. How was the party? Have fun snogging the she-weasel once I was out of the way?' His voice was small and flat.
'Draco', Harry said in a stern voice. 'You know I I would never do that. What happened? Did someone say something to you or—do something?'
Harry opened his mouth to respond, but he knew he was the one in the wrong here. He should have told everyone the truth, and then kept Draco next to him the whole time. This was worse than just being apart one night.
'I'm sorry. I should have told them we were together, but I didn't do anything with Ginny. I've been out all night looking for you.' Harry gestured towards the closet. 'I thought you left.'
Draco looked at the empty wardrobe. 'Fucking hell. I really did that?'
'I came home and started drinking upset that you forgot about me.' Harry decided not to interrupt and say that he didn't forget about him. Draco continued, 'And I started thinking about all of the fights we've had, so I was going to burn my clothes. Because you hate them so much; I was drunk. But I really love my clothes so I couldn't burn them, so I decided to give them away. It seemed like something you'd do. So I gathered everything I could carry and I gave them to random homeless people. Or maybe it was only one random homeless person, I can't really remember.'
'Then you walked home naked?'
'What?' Draco looked confused, then looked down at himself and laughed. 'No, I threw up on them when I came home; they're in the bathtub.'
Harry sighed. 'I'm going to tell them.'
'You don't have to.'
'Yes, I do. I should have before. I should have last night while everyone was together.' Harry took a deep breath. 'I love you, and I shouldn't be hiding that from everyone. If they don't like it, then they can shove off.'
Draco climbed into Harry's lap and—well that part doesn't really matter. They ate and exchanged gifts, and, luckily, Harry bought Draco clothes for Christmas, because he knew how much Draco loved them.
'No matter how long you are together, or how much you love each other', Harry said, 'You'll always have to reassure each other that you still do. You take someone for-grated and you lose them. Even if they have no intention of leaving.'
'Or maybe', Draco added, 'We just have a talent for that.'
John wasn't sure what it had to do with his and Rose's relationship, but he thanked them anyway and headed upstairs to find his girlfriend. She sat on her bed kicking the wall obviously still angry at him. He hesitated a moment watching her, before he taped the door announcing his presence.
'You'd better go; if my dad catches you up here—'
'I don't care.'
He knew it was the right thing to say when she didn't have a comeback.
'Can I come in?'
Rose nodded as she sat up and made room for him on the bed. He sat next to her and took her hand, and played with the tips of her fingers as he thought about what to say. He still didn't feel he did anything wrong. He wasn't ignoring her and unlike Harry Potter he stood right by her. He wasn't listening to their conversation, but they weren't really been talking to him. Maybe, that was the point of the story. He didn't feel he did anything wrong until he thought he lost Draco Malfoy. John knew he hadn't lost Rose; she was just mad at him. Would he feel different, if he thought she wouldn't be his tomorrow?
He should have been listening and it wouldn't hurt to stop thinking of all of them with their full names.
'I'm sorry. I should've paid more attention to you.'
Rose rolled her eyes.
'I love you.'
Rose's eyes shot up to his and she let out a small gasp.
'I should have told you that before—'
'I love you too', she said as her lips formed a hesitant smile and she leaned in to kiss him.
A moment later Ron's bellow of, 'What do you think you are doing' could be heard throughout the house.