"Life is a series of meetings; of daily, weekly, and yearly encounters to make of what we will."
The last place Draco Malfoy expected to bump into Harry Bloody Potter six years after Hogwarts was the pub. He never expected to find Wizarding World's Golden Boy hunched over the bar, working on a bottle of Firewhiskey and looking like he hadn't been home in a week. And seeing the speccy git like this lightened Draco's thunderous mood considerably, morphing it into a spring time shower. Draco liked those, spring time showers. Where the rain was light and the sun still shone from above and through flimsy clouds. Those showers were the best!
"Fancy meeting you here, Potter," he drawled, noticing the two days growth of hair on the man's jaw and sideburns. "Surprised to find everyone's Golden Boy holed up in a no named little pub off nowhere. I come here for the ambiance obviously." The sarcasm was completely obvious.
Potter groaned and dropped his head into his hands. "Not you," he moaned. "Piss off, Malfoy."
"Last I heard you were married with a baby on the way. What are you doing here? Shouldn't you be at home warming milk?"
Potter's face darkened with such intensity that Draco had a moment's thought of backing away quickly. "That was five years ago, Malfoy. Albus is five now," Potter hissed before shoving back from the bar. "Where the fuck have you been? Under a rock, where you belong?"
"Fancy that. Our sons are the same age," he murmured in amusement, completely ignoring the insult.
Potter scowled and wobbled on his feet, so much that Draco reckoned he'd had more than half the bottle of alcohol sitting beside his empty glass. The pain in Potter's eyes made Draco feel even better than before, and as Potter half stumbled and half stormed away, Draco was glad he'd let his mother babysit Scorpius and come out that night.
A week later the Prophet announced the Golden Couple intended to divorce and Potter's mood that night at the pub made complete sense. For some reason, Draco grew depressed over the thought. Maybe it was being reminded of his own failed marriage, which hadn't worked out as well as he and his mother had hoped. His father had been incensed. But he got over it as soon as he realized he had a grandson he thought he could mold. Draco didn't bother telling him he hadn't a chance in hell. Draco did not want Scorpius to grow up anything like he had.
Another two weeks passed and Draco met Potter at the same pub, much to the Golden Boy's consternation. "Need to find a new pub," he murmured into his pint when he noticed it was Draco who slid in beside him.
Draco didn't know why he always gravitated towards Potter. Especially not when there were plenty of free seats around. He hadn't a clue why, only that he couldn't help himself when it came to the speccy git. "At least you don't look like a barbarian this time, Potter."
"How many times must I tell you to piss off?"
"Am I bothering you?" Draco asked with his usual smirk.
"Of course you are!"
"Then I'm not going anywhere. Your woes give me pleasure, of course, Potter. You should know this by now."
Potter snorted and finally looked at him properly for the first time all night. Potter's eyes widened and then he blinked. And then he cleared his throat and tossed back another shot.
"Sorry to hear about you and Weaslette," Draco murmured for lack of anything better to say after they'd sat there in silence for nearly ten minutes, each of them shooting shots.
"Don't say anything you don't mean. You probably couldn't care less," Potter murmured as he refilled his shot glass. "Sides… she left me three months ago."
Draco looked down at his pint so the surprise wouldn't show on his face. That was news. The Weaslette had actually left Saint Potter. Why? Looking Potter up and down from the corner of his eye, he wondered if the red headed bint were insane. He may not like Potter, but even Draco could admit wizards like Potter came one in a million. He was a fit good looking bloke with an annoying heart of gold. "Why? Did you cheat on her or something equally heinous?"
Potter laughed without humor. "Maybe if I had we could have worked through it. No. I would never be unfaithful. She said…" Potter shook his head and threw back the shot. Coughing slightly as the burn went down his throat. "You're divorced, aren't you?" Potter asked then.
"Three years now. It wasn't pretty."
"Yeah, remember reading about it. There was a custody battle also."
"Bet you laughed."
Potter turned to him with a half cocked smirk. "Maybe I did."
Draco knew he hadn't. Potter wasn't the type to laugh at someone's misfortune, even if that person was his enemy. "She said I did nothing for her. But it's not as if I wanted to marry her! Father made me," he hissed after downing half his drink. Potter had gone still and was watching him. "It was arranged. At first I wanted it to work, but then… well anyway, she left me too. She let me keep Scorpius after I gave her essentially half of my fortune. At least that's what she thinks. Too bad she was never privy to the actual truth and had no idea how much I was really worth," Draco ended with a bitter laugh.
"Half of that sounds so familiar… I- I feel like such a failure. I tried. I really did. I wanted it to work. We were supposed to be forever."
Draco sneered. "Real life isn't a fairy tale, Potter. You can't blame yourself."
"What do you know about it?" Potter hissed, jerking back a bit to glare insanely at him. "You haven't any right to speak about guilt or blame!" He reached forward, grabbing Draco's wrist and shoving the black cashmere sleeve away to display the cursed Dark Mark.
Draco reacted without thinking, and he wasn't sorry for doing so. Potter had no right! Draco saw red as the fury swept through him. The blond pulled back his fist and planted it firmly in Potter's fucking flat gut. Potter recovered quickly and dove for him, clipping Draco's jaw with his own punch as they went tumbling to the dirty sticky floor. It soon escalated with a full out brawl with the just the two of them and the rest of the pub quieting to watch the notorious Potter Malfoy feud play out right in front of their eyes. After the two were kicked out of the pub, they separated and didn't look back, nor did either of them return to that pub.
Ah, the annual Ministry events, Draco thought sneeringly as he made the rounds. The Ministry galas were quickly becoming boring. After the war, more and more events had popped up. Directly after the war, the Malfoys avoided them, they weren't really invited either, but in the recent couple of years, Draco had worked hard to restore the Malfoys tarnished name. It hadn't been easy, and Draco at first hadn't wanted to do it. But that was until the birth of his son. And then he'd worked his arse off to make the world a better place for Scorpius, and that meant cleaning up the family name.
Potter was at this event, as usual. He didn't look like he wanted to be there. As usual. What really angered Draco was the fact it came so easy for Potter. These people accepting him; accepting his fake smiles and insincere charm. But Draco… he still had to muck about as if walking through sludge and Potter, the ungrateful bastard, continued to lay on the woe is me shite. But Draco seemed to be the only one who could tell Potter was faking the cheerfulness of being surrounded by all these people.
Potter finally noticed his presence, and what surprised Draco was the fact the git looked happy to see him. Now Draco may have been drunk at the time, but he was fairly certain they had both fucked up that tentative civility when they'd tried beating the hell out of one another all those months ago at the pub. And Potter had had no right, no right to display his Dark Mark like that! Oh, and now the git was heading straight for him and Draco could see it written across his face. Potter may hate him, but still he wanted to apologize. It was plain as day on his face. Written all across his bloody Gryffindor sleeve.
Draco wasn't going to make it easy for him. He quickly and easily disappeared into the crowds. And did so for the rest of the night. Fleeing moments before Potter reached the groups he'd hidden in. This went on all night and by the time Draco left he was feeling slightly better, knowing he'd had Potter trailing after him all night like a puppy.
Another month passed and Draco was expected to attend another lavish social event, this one an art gallery where half the proceeds would be going to war orphans and the like. This function Draco didn't mind so much. He liked art. He loved finding original and unordinary pieces and paying extravagant prices for it. Half the time he did that bit just to annoy his father, the extravagant prices bit, but the pieces were all for Draco.
Potter was there. Draco ignored him for the most part, but again he noticed the uncomfortable aura around the Savior. Knew Potter would have rather been anywhere but there, having to rub elbows with the insanely rich and shallow. Draco grinned maliciously. He knew exactly what to do to piss Potter off. So plucking a glass of champagne off a passing floating tray, Draco made his way over and stood a foot back, listening to some old dame prattling on about the pieces she'd found at the last gala and Draco counted three times when Potter successfully kept from yawning right in her face. If Draco wasn't so angry at Potter, he would have found the prat's attempts to be attentive cute. But he was still angry, so Potter wasn't cute at all.
And then when the old witch finally moved on and Potter had a moment to himself, he eyed Draco warily when he moved in, smiling charmingly. "Potter, so good to see you!" he exclaimed, lunging forward to shake his hand.
Potter looked confused and jerked his hand away. "Err… listen, Malfoy. I wanted to talk to you--"
Draco's fabricated smile upped a notch. "Doing well, Potter? I do hope so?"
"What the hell? Malfoy, stop it!" he spat.
"What's wrong? Are you not enjoying yourself?"
"You're not supposed to act this way," Potter said lowly. "You're supposed to be you and treat me like I'm nothing special! Quit being like them!"
"Being like who? Potter, I hope you aren't coming down with something…"
Potter snarled and spun away from him and stalked away to the other side of the room. Draco internally danced a dance of victory and went on in that good mood, looking for extraordinary art to buy in order to feed the parentless children. And feeling loads better for making Potter's night even worse.
Potter came back an hour later. Draco hated that he noticed how strung out the Savior looked, and he really hated the fact he remained in one place in front of a mural and allowed Potter to stop beside him. "Still enjoying yourself?" he asked in a moderate tone.
"Look, Malfoy… I'm sorry, alright! I'm sorry about what I did at the pub."
"I couldn't possibly accept your apology. You're Harry Fucking Potter. You have every right to do what you did, don't you?" he drawled. "You're the Savior while I'm nothing but a Death Eater. Isn't that so? I have no rights."
Potter growled and grabbed his arm, spinning Draco around to look at him. "No! I had no right to do that!"
Draco didn't understand why but he was suddenly enraged. Why was Potter always putting others in front of himself? Yes, Potter had been in the wrong, but why did he always have to automatically offer himself up like this? "What is wrong with you, Potter?" he hissed. "This, this is why I fucking hate you! You're such a self righteous arse!" Draco moved until their chests were practically pressed together. Potter didn't look angered. He looked confused, wary, and sort of trapped. "I bet you blame yourself completely for the failing of that safety net of a marriage. You didn't let your ex-wife take any sort of credit for the fallen relationship, did you?!"
"You don't know what you're talking about," Potter whispered, pressing a hand against Draco's chest to try and push him away. Draco snarled and grabbed his wrist in a vice grip.
"We may not like each other, Potter," he sneered. "But we know each other well enough. It's why you grew angry when I started acting like all these other pissants."
"Let go, Malfoy."
"Did you ever stop to think that maybe it hadn't ever been right? Your marriage."
Potter looked down at the hand holding tightly to his wrist. "It gave me Albus. She gave me Albus. I couldn't blame her for anything. She said…" Potter paused and bit his lip, eyes filling with so much emotion, all heavy and self-depreciating.
"What did she say?"
Potter shook himself, composing himself and easily jerked his hand away from Draco. "I just want you to accept my apology, Malfoy," he said softly.
"No. No, I don't think I will."
Potter moved off to the other side of the room after that, while Draco left the gala, strangely bereft.
Harry groaned when he looked up after the customer bell over the door of Florean Fortescue's gave a trill. Malfoy was walking in. The blond didn't seem to notice him right away as his chin was dipped, eyes cast downward to the small boy clutching his hand and talking softly. Harry studied them with a little bit of awe. He knew Malfoy had a son, but he expected Draco to be as cold as Lucius was concerning his offspring. But Malfoy was smiling fondly at the boy holding his hand and never had Harry witnessed Lucius show any kind of physical affection for his son.
"Dad," Albus whined and poked him in the side. "Dad, order already. He's waiting!"
"Right," Harry murmured, jerking his eyes away from the two just as Malfoy noticed his presence. This wasn't going to end well, he was sure. The last time they saw each other, two months before, it ended in a heated argument that had left him feeling weird afterwards. The last thing Harry wanted to do was fight Malfoy in front of their sons. Harry didn't think he had the energy to fight Malfoy anymore.
"Potter," the git greeted as he and his son took to standing beside them. He sounded strangely cordial.
"Why do we keep meeting each other like this?"
Harry turned to face him, making himself meet those mercurial eyes. Curiously Malfoy looked amused so Harry grinned. "I'm sure you're stalking me."
Malfoy smirked and stepped closer. Neither noticed their sons were introducing themselves to each other. They thought it alright since their fathers seemed to know one another. Albus immediately took a liking to Scorpius. The blond boy seemed a bit shy. And Albus was anything but. So the contradiction seemed appropriate, at least to his seven year old mind.
"What? Like you stalked me sixth year?"
"I never stalked you, Malfoy."
"You were obsessed," Draco purred.
"Whatever," Harry murmured, turning away before the guilt he felt took over his face. Quickly he took up his and Albus order and retreated across the shop to an empty booth.
After only a minute, Harry looked up from his ice cream to see Albus beckoning the spitting image of Draco to the table. Scorpius hesitated a moment, turning to look at his father who was in the process of paying for the treats, before coming over and the two smiled at each other. Albus scooted over and patted the spot he had just opened up. Scorpius' eyes widened and rounded on Harry, who gave the cute little bugger an encouraging nod. If Albus wanted to befriend Malfoy Jr., then Harry wasn't going to let his and Draco's animosity get in the way of his son's happiness. Besides, the look on Malfoy's face when he finally turned around would be priceless.
Malfoy didn't react as Harry hoped he would. He turned around, spotted his son and heaved a sigh. "Oh the horrors, Scorpius! Seems even my son can't turn from the beguiling Potters."
Harry choked on the ice cream he'd just licked into his mouth, and continued to choke when Malfoy sat beside him, forcibly pushing him all the way to the window. Harry swallowed thickly, intensely aware of Malfoy pressed firmly against him. Thighs and hips and arms… "Did you just call us beguiling?"
"I was only repeating what the rest of the world insists on calling you. Not my words. My words would be… well, they can't be spoken in present company," he murmured, gesturing to the two young boys opposite them, who had their heads bent closely together. "Potter," he finally whispered, "if they become best mates, I will murder you."
Harry grinned widely. He then laughed when the boys looked at the two of them and asked permission to go to Flourish and Blotts and Quality Quidditch Supplies together.
"Murder," Malfoy hissed when Harry replied he didn't have a problem with it. But Harry learned something fascinating about Malfoy then. The blond was really a big softie when it came to his son, because he said it was alright with him as well after Scorpius gave him this look with wide blue soul wrenching eyes. And then Scorpius sent his father the brightest smile Harry had ever seen on a Malfoy and Draco Malfoy melted just a little bit in his seat from his son's look. There was no way Harry could stay immune to that. The man clearly adored his son.
Harry spent some time after that studying their sons, while Malfoy, unbeknownst to Harry, watched him from the corner of his eye. "They look just like us," Harry murmured to himself.
"Good genes, Potter. The best… on my part anyway."
Malfoy smirked and went back to watching Harry lick the spoon clean of his ice cream. After a moment, Harry caught him doing this. But he didn't think the blond knew he had caught him. And then Harry was lost in thought wondering why Malfoy was staring at him and wondering why Malfoy was being so civil… downright nice, actually. And Harry couldn't seem to stop noticing the press of Malfoy's thighs against his or their combined heat. Nor could he ignore Malfoy's smell. It was… nice. Masculine. Harry was just inhaling deeply when his son cried out.
Both Draco and Harry jumped. Harry blushed when he turned his attention to Albus. Malfoy cleared his throat and looked mildly ashamed.
"Scorpius says he has a real full length Quidditch pitch at his house!"
Harry rolled his eyes and dropped the spoon into the empty bowl. He missed how Malfoy stared at that spoon and then his mouth. "Of course he does," Harry smiled at Scorpius, "he's a Malfoy. And it's not a house. I rather think it's a museum."
Scorpius smiled shyly. "It is, sort of, Mr. Potter. There are a lot of statues and vases and pictures Father won't let me touch."
"But it's true, Father."
Harry laughed and leaned into Malfoy. "I like him."
"I like him too!" Albus piped in. The two boys grinned at each other.
"I'm surprised you even know what a museum is," Malfoy grumbled.
It wasn't long before they were up and heading for the book store and Harry couldn't contain his questions any longer. "Malfoy," he started and the blond beside him sighed.
"You just can't help yourself, can you?"
"Well I really do feel bad about that! I was intoxicated!"
"Fine! I accept your bloody apology!"
"But why're you acting… why're we?"
Malfoy's eyes crinkled in amusement when he turned to look at him. The expression made him look soft. "As inarticulate as you are, I find it truly amazing I can understand your unspoken words."
"You're a git."
Malfoy nodded. "Listen, Potter. I think we live to bait each other. And we'll probably do it again. I don't feel like thinking about what was said last time…"
Harry nodded and looked away from Malfoy to watch their boys' race to Flourish and Blotts. "Are we… friends now?"
Malfoy didn't verbally answer, but he laughed. He laughed and smiled and Harry took that as a maybe. Strangely he hoped it would turn into a yes eventually.
"This is your fault!" Draco hissed at the wizard pacing back and forth in front of him.
Harry rounded on him with an incredulous look. "Mine? How in Merlin's name is it my fault they both contracted Dragon Pox at the same time?"
"You are responsible for your son being alive. If Scorpius hadn't come into contact with him, ever, then this wouldn't have happened! You were the one who took Albus and Scorpius on the last outing!"
"Malfoy, get real! Besides, Albus got sick because of your clone!"
"Who is the one who thought it would be a good idea if they were friends?!"
"IT MOST CERTAINTLY WAS NOT! I DESPISE YOU! What makes you think I want my son hanging around yours?"
"You were the one who came up to us in Fortescue's and sat down as if you'd been invited!"
"It was your son who lured my Scorpius over to the table!"
"And whose idea was it to suggest the boys be allowed to play together every weekend?"
"I'm sure that wasn't me!"
"You bloody liar! You completely fell for Scorpius' puppy dog eyes! Again!"
"Wizards, if you please," a stern voice said behind them. They spun around to find the boys' Healer standing there. "This is a hospital. If you cannot be quiet, I'll have to ask you to leave."
Draco huffed and returned to his seat. Harry glared at him for one moment more before doing the same. The Healer glared at the both of them before returning to their sons' room. The two wizards then turned and looked at each other before snorting.
… Three Days Later…
"Potter, you utter ignoramus," Draco laughed as he walked into the room. Harry groaned and thought about smothering himself. "You should have had one of the hordes of Weasleys care for Albus if you'd never had Dragon Pox. You should have told someone before you got the worst of it! In fact," Draco went on, unable to contain his glee at seeing Harry sitting there green faced and pock marked, "you should have said something the moment Albus was diagnosed with the Dragon Pox!"
"You're enjoying this, aren't you?"
"Abundantly," Draco returned with a smirk as he sat beside the hospital bed. "Before you ask, I've had Dragon Pox. I won't catch it from you."
"Why are you here? Thought you despised me."
"I do, Potter. Believe me, I do."
"I think you're lying." Draco waved that away as if it weren't important. Harry smiled slightly and felt less inclined to smother himself. "How is Scorpius?"
"Much better. The green has left his skin. Pock marks are still there though. But since he's had the cure, he'll be fine. He's being kept indoors for another week though. And how about your progeny?"
Harry's smile disappeared. "I don't really know. Molly took him when I fell ill. She's still irritated with me. Says Ginny would have known how to keep Albus from getting sick."
Draco felt like frowning, but he didn't. "So you haven't been visited by anyone?"
"George came to see me earlier, but he hasn't been by the Burrow in a while. Hermione was here yesterday. She'll probably be by later." Harry shrugged. "It's not as if I'll be here for much longer…"
"And what about the Weasel and Weaslette?"
"Ginny's gone on tour. Ron… I haven't seen Ron in a while. He's busy with work."
Draco could see this kind of talk was not what Harry wanted and maybe under other circumstances he would have pursued the discussion just to rile Harry up, but he couldn't bring himself to do it now. Not while Harry was sick and missing his son. It was obvious he missed his son. However, Draco had to say one thing, "you have that look about you again. The look that says you're blaming yourself for the failed marriage. When you start looking like that, I'm reminded why I hate you. Self righteous prick."
Harry blinked owlishly at him and then a small smile touched his lips. "Piss off, Malfoy."
Things were irrevocably changed after that meeting. Draco noticed it. Harry didn't seem to, and if he did, he never mentioned it, never acted as if anything had changed or if he noticed the undeniable tension between them. But Draco had noticed many things about the brunet over the last few months of their continued association. Draco noticed he could draw Harry out of his moods with the snap of his finger. Draco noticed he didn't mind doing it either. Draco noticed Harry was a loving devoted father and a lonely one. Draco suddenly noticed he could relate and wanted to chance that part of their lives.
A/N: So this isn't anywhere as long as my usual stories or chapters and the ovreall story really isn't that long either. But this plot bunny grabbed me and shook until i swore to write it. So hear you go! Let me know what you think :D
Have a great day!