A/N: Okay. I had every intention of rolling out another chapter immediately after the last one because I was getting some really concerned reviews and I didn't want people to get the wrong idea. Unfortunately, I got caught up with that pesky thing called university and had to do a ton of reading and essay writing. Which is a pain but that's what you get for taking three literature courses... But- saving grace, new chapter's here now and we're getting a break from all the angst (unless you're like me and just can't get enough of the angst. To you, I sincerely apologize. I guarantee it'll be back.) Aaaand... I am throwing you guys some wolfish info this time. I won't be much of a tease. *coughs*. Don't let looks deceive you though... it could be exactly what you're thinking... or it could be something else. But something's going down soon. ;)
"Harry, you look awful!" were the first unfortunate words out of Hermione's painstakingly observant mouth upon entry into Harry's flat. Harry let out a groan. He knew how awful he looked- Merlin- it looked precisely how he felt, but he'd hoped he'd be able to put on a cheery face for when Ron and Hermione came over for dinner this week end. After all, he needed the company. His flat was too quiet now that Malfoy had gone…
"I feel awful," he sighed, gesturing toward the ratty chairs scattered about his living room before slumping down in an overstuffed armchair. He balanced his elbow on one of the chair's arms and pressed his palm against his temple.
Hermione scrutinized him with concern as Ron took his place next to his wife on Harry's couch. He had shadows under his eyes and his jet black hair was even more unruly than usual, looking as though he hadn't even bothered to try to tame it this morning. If she didn't know any better, she'd say his state reminded her a lot of…
She frowned, leaning forward slightly. Ron rolled his eyes, knowing this was a sign she was going to launch into her latest theory. "Harry, when was the last time you slept?"
Harry moaned, massaging his temple. "Some… some time yesterday afternoon," he mumbled through a gaping yawn. "I had a bit of a kip in the middle of sorting through paperwork at the Ministry. Been having trouble sleeping at night without Draco here."
Ron frowned with a forced laugh. "What- mate, I thought you were just putting him up for a while. And by putting him up I mean putting up… with him. You can't miss him that much."
Hermione's gaze darted between Ron and Harry and back again. She opened her mouth as a thought came to her. She closed it again, gauging Harry's expression a second time. "It's been more than that, hasn't it?"
It took Harry a moment to comprehend what she meant through the haze of sleep deprivation. "Wha-"
Hermione sighed, leaning even further forward toward him. Ron mirrored her movements for good measure. "I mean… You and him. It wasn't just a formal arrangement. You wanted him here and he wanted to be here with you."
"What?" Ron outright guffawed this time. "Hermione, do you realize how ridiculous that sounds? Harry and… and Malfoy? Mate, I know the whole wizarding world knows you bat for the other team- the Prophet couldn't keep their nose out of it, but Malfoy?"
Harry shook his head, rolling his eyes up toward the ceiling. "It doesn't matter. It's done- we're done. I screwed it up and he never wants to see me again. Just like Ginny." He slumped back against the cushions and folded his arms.
"Oh Harry…" Hermione sighed sympathetically, reaching across the coffee table for his hand. He accepted her gesture with gratitude.
"Well, does it surprise you, mate?" Ron sniffed, slumping back against the couch next to Hermione. "I mean, it is Malfoy after all. What did you expect?"
"Oh, please, Ronald," Hermione rolled her eyes. "It's not as if we haven't seen Harry's past consorts. All thin, blond hair, blue eyes... Harry's been pining for Draco for years. And anyway, this is the first time he's been in a relationship since the divorce. Oh Harry, I'm so sorry. This must be awful. No wonder you're a mess."
Harry frowned. "Thanks, Hermione," he responded awkwardly, unable to interpret this comment as good or bad. " I just…" he bit his lip. He leaned forward in order for Hermione to hear him better, as if there was someone in the room he wanted to keep this from. "I did something bad. Far worse than what I did to Ginny," he whispered. "And… the thing is…" he turned to Ron, just to acknowledge that he was still part of the conversation. His friend perked up, realizing the significance of what he was about to say. "…I don't remember any of it. I know what I must have done, because it was clear as day, all over his face, but… I don't remember how or when or why I did it."
"Well, mate, you ever think Malfoy's just overreacting? I mean… he did have a habit of blowing things out of proportion," Ron suggested with a shrug. "Slytherin drama queen in my opinion."
Harry stayed his hand. "No. No, this is something far more serious. I saw it. I-I can't quite explain it-" here he passed Hermione a significant glance to which she peered over her shoulder at Ron for the briefest of seconds before answering with a swift nod of understanding. Ron frowned, uncomprehending of the little exchange. "But I know it happened."
"Well, Harry, did he say anything?" Hermione inquired calmly, noting Harry's rising anxiety.
He shook his head. "No. He was too… he was too upset. I'd really really spooked him, Hermione."
"Spooked Malfoy?" Ron snorted. "Like it'd take much to spook him. Only he's a werewolf now, ain't he?"
Hermione let out a gasp. "Ron!" she flew up out of her seat with a flurry of hand gestures. "Oh my goodness! Your werewolf attack! Harry, you were bitten!"
Harry raised his brows. "Yeah… I'm very well aware of that, Hermione. How could I forget?" he inquired emphatically, pressing his hand to his side where his wound was getting close to full recovery- only leaving a glaring scar in its wake. "You think I can't remember because-" It was beginning to hit him precisely what Hermione was suggesting…
"Because your body's preparing you for your transformation! Full moon is in less than a week!" She slapped a palm to her temple and dragged her fingers through her untamable mane of hair. "And that's why you've been having trouble sleeping- werewolves are nocturnal!"
Ron let out a breath of disbelief. "Bloody hell."
Draco tried not to think about it. He had other things to concentrate on. Now that he was back at the Manor, he wasn't there out of the good of Astoria's heart. Oh no. He had to suck up to her. He had to make up for his foolish attempt at divorcing her and running off with Saint Potter, the Boy Who Said He Loved Him and Then... Well.
Considering they'd already drawn up the divorce settlement and the Manor was as good as Astoria's now, Draco couldn't demand she give it back without breaking the bonds of the settlement. And Scorpius…
Well, Astoria had no choice but to permit him to see his son now that they were living under the same roof once more. At least some good came out of this arrangement.
The boy was being tutored by some young wizard barely out of Hogwarts. Draco conveniently paid the teen off to leave Scorpius well enough alone for the day. It was about time he had some quality time with his son. Draco found him in his chambers, sitting at his desk, doodling lazily with his quill to parchment, his cheek pressed into his waiting hand. He was the picture of his father at eleven. The resemblance was uncanny. Draco couldn't help but smile at his son's fortunate genetics.
"Scorpius," he greeted him from the doorway, taking things one step at a time. After all, he had not seen the boy for a good month since he had started the Wolfsbane case and he knew what Scorpius was like after so long.
The boy's mercurial grey eyes darted instantaneously toward him. He dropped his quill and sat up straighter. He slipped his elbows back under the table, which caused the scroll beneath them to spring back into it's rolled up sheath. "Father," he complied easily enough. "You've returned."
Draco nodded, crossing his arms. "That's right."
Scorpius worried his lower lip between his teeth. "Are you… staying?" there was a glimmer of hope in his son's eyes that made Draco's heart leap. Perhaps their relationship wasn't such an impossible fix after all…
He nodded again. "For now." He took a tentative step or two forward, into the room. "Is that alright? With you?"
Scorpius blinked, dumbfounded by this question. "I…" He furrowed his brow. "I guess so." He glanced down interestedly at his well polished shoes, which kicked out one after another as he swung his legs. "Mother says you're not safe. The full moon…"
Draco forced a smile. "Scorpius-" he knelt down before his son. "I have been doing this a long, long time and I have worked out what I need to do to protect you when I change. Believe me when I tell you that I have no intention of letting any werewolf hurt you. I promised myself I would do everything in my power to keep you safe from the moment you were born. And do you know why?"
Scorpius blinked again.
Draco settled a hand against his son's own. "Because I love you," he forced out the words like they were the only things that would ever matter to him. Losing Potter made him realize how he only had so much time to communicate precisely how he felt to those he did care about. Even if it was the hardest thing he could ever say.
Scorpius' brow remained wrinkled but his guard was beginning to drop. "Father…" His lip quivered slightly as he threw himself into Draco's arms, warm, close and kin.
A/N: Any of this feeling anticlimactic/too predictable? After all, what devious things could we possibly get up to with a werewolf Harry? (He'd actually make quite the weapon... but how could it possibly that easy?) I'll also admit, I have a soft spot for Scorpius ever since I got a good play with him in Liberation. (he's far cuter in that than this but we'll definitely see...)
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