Disclaimer: The wonderful and talented J.K. Rowling has dibs on the characters and the majority of everything else. I do however own this particular variation so if you'd kindly not steal and claim as your own, I'd be grateful.
So this is my late Christmas fic. It's long and it's pretty much mainly just fluff. I enjoyed the beginning of it and wish I'd managed to keep it all like that but I'm not sure if I did. I've read through it but there may be a few mistakes and for that, I'm sorry.
Oh and by the way; Happy New Year! It's not quite the New Year here yet but I know it is in some places. Enjoy!
A Very Weasley Christmas.
Draco sighed as he watched his boyfriend from where he stood in the doorway of their bedroom, trying to tie his tie. He watched the long thin fingers fumble with the silk fabric and try and get it to look like it is meant to, he couldn't help but smile as he noticed the deep crease in his forehead as he became more and more confused. Draco shook his head slightly and unfolded his arms, striding into the room, his expensive Italian shoes sounding across the shiny wooden floor.
Harry was so focused on his conquest with the tie that he didn't notice Draco until he took the tie gently from his hands and started to fold it in the right places. Draco felt Harry look up at him, and out from under his eyelashes saw him smile, Draco again couldn't help smiling back as Harry gently placed his hand on his arm.
Within seconds the tie was tight but loose around Harry's neck sitting perfectly at the centre of his chest the tails of it just the right lengths. "I still don't understand how you managed to tie your school tie everyday," Draco said softly.
"I didn't have to. Hermione tied it once and I loosened it so I could just slip it over my head. Lasted me six years that did," Harry admitted as Draco ran his hands over his shoulders, swiping at imaginary dust and fluff.
"That explains a lot," Draco said glancing at Harry's face properly for the first time with a wide smile as he began to tuck Harry's shirt into his trousers, acting much like a mother dressing a child.
"Like what?" Harry asked.
"Like how you always seemed to look scruffy back then," Draco said, positioning Harry's shirt just right and Harry let him. It wasn't the first time Draco had taken control of dressing him.
"Gee thanks," Harry said rolling his eyes.
"I said back then, love, not now. How can you look scruffy with me around?" Draco asked, turning to their four poster bed and shaking Harry's robes off of the coat hanger hanging on the top bar that hung the curtains. He held them up and Harry obediently stuffed his arms into them.
"True," Harry mumbled as Draco moved to adjust the robes around him again. They were silent as Draco fussed and preened over Harry, extracting his wand and spelling out any creases that he felt were there.
"Remind me again Harry, why we even have to go to this place tonight? I'd much rather be curling up with you and a book in front of the fire," Draco said breaking the silence at last, as he tucked his wand away finally happy with Harry's clothing only moving onto his hair next as he crossed to the dresser and picked up a comb.
"Because Draco, we've been invited and it would be rude not to go," Harry said, slightly afraid to move in his crisp straight robes in case he creased them in anyway. He didn't really like the scolding he got from Draco last time he had done that.
"I think you'll find you were invited Harry. I was a mere after thought. They don't want me there, I know they don't," Draco said tugging gently at Harry's mess of hair, silently wondering when the last time he had it cut as it was getting a little unruly again.
"No Draco, they do. Molly asked you to come when she invited me and she didn't even need to invite me, I always go there for Christmas dinner so really in a round about way she was inviting you," Harry said, barely making sense with his own take of what had happened. Draco just knew it wasn't as complex as that. This was the Weasley's they were speaking about after all.
"You're imagination never ceases to amaze me Potter," Draco shook his head slowly as he yanked the comb from Harry's hair and gave up. Harry opened his mouth to protest but Draco quietened him by quickly pecking his lips and taking his hand.
"We're going to be late if we get into this disagreement again. Are you ready?" Draco asked as he slowly led Harry out of their bedroom and to the stairs.
"You tell me," Harry said, his voice light with humour even though he had been cut off from an argument half way through. Draco just smiled and took in a deep steadying breath as they prepared to leave the house to the apparation point. He'd need all the strength he could get to make it through a Weasley Christmas dinner.
Harry and Draco jerked to a stop as their apparation finished and Draco had to steady Harry before he fell over from the sudden stop. He cast a quick look around at the field that they were standing in the middle of, long grass coming up to his hip, a crisp light wind sweeping through it, frost starting to creep in as the day turned to dusk with the sun setting behind them in the north. A large very mismatched, very crooked house was in front of them in the next field over which Draco guessed, with his nose scrunched up, that was the Weasley's house.
"Next time we apparate separately," Harry said rubbing at his forehead. "I forgot how much I hate a side along,"
Harry moved their arms so that their hands were linked together and started walking through the grass, slowly tugging a slightly resisting Draco along with him. Draco was tempted to dig his heels into the mud and protest that he would not enter willingly to his death, but he was scared in case somehow, the hard frozen ground would ruin his shoes. It would be just his luck that he'd dig into a defrosted particularly muddy part.
"I'm telling you Draco, you have nothing to worry about. It's not like they aren't expecting you. Mrs Weasley will make sure none of them act out of line," Harry explained calmly as they broke free of the grass field and into what Draco presumed was the Weasley's back garden, littered with gnomes peering through the bushes, bits of wood and metal and what suspiciously looked like one of those muggle entertainment tele-what's-it's.
He never imagined that he would be walking through the Weasley's garden and going to Christmas dinner at their house. Never. Not even when he started dating Harry. He always thought he'd just have Harry and that would be it. He didn't account for his adopted family too, but apparently they came as a package. If his father could see him now he would be having some sort of fit, and Draco would be surprised if he wasn't turning in his grave. The things he did for Harry, they surprised him sometimes but he couldn't resist. He couldn't resist seeing that happy content smile whenever Draco agreed to attempt to make friends with his friends. None of their past tries had really worked, even though Draco thought that Granger was maybe starting to come around. He couldn't resist trying again though, not if it meant he got to see that smile.
"You are going to be nice aren't you? You're not going to insult their house or anything like that?" Harry asked as they reached the front door. Draco looked the short distance down on him and saw the weariness in his lover's eyes. He sighed and pecked the top of his forehead, right above that scar.
"No it's okay. I'll be polite and non-insulting as long as they are," he said confidently. Harry smiled and Draco smiled back, reassuring him completely. He wasn't joking either. The minute they kicked off so did he and he would have no mercy, Harry being there or not. At the same time he wanted to make a good impression. These people meant a lot to Harry and Harry meant a lot to him. He knew he would have to at least try and get on with them.
"You needn't worry about that, if they do try anything then I've got a plan," Harry said, raising his hand to knock. Draco caught his arm before it went crashing down on the wood and peered at his boyfriend.
"You've got a plan? What kind of plan?" he asked tentative and curious.
"Don't worry about it Draco, I've got everything under control," Harry said, breaking his arm free from Draco's grip and knocking loudly.
It was only seconds before Mrs Weasley, the short, bordering on overweight witch answered, her normally unruly wispy hair combed back into a tight bun and a frilly pink apron hanging over her red robes. Draco arranged his face into a smile the best he could so that it didn't look mocking or sarcastic. It was difficult to smile at people he could only stand if he had to. She was smiling brightly at both of them as if it was the best Christmas present that she had received tonight.
"Harry, dear you're finally here!" she exclaimed happily pulling him into a tight smothering hug that caused Harry's hand having to be pulled out of Draco's.
"Sorry we're a bit late Mrs Weasley, it took a while to get out of the house," Harry said, holding her at arms length and grinning at her.
"Well of course, when you dress so smartly it takes time, you know you didn't have to, not with us," Mrs Weasley said, brushing down Harry's robes. Draco bit back an immediate retort that would have been something his father would have said, and swallowed hard as Mrs Weasley all but groped Harry.
"Ah yes, that was Draco's idea," Harry said turning to Draco and drawing Mrs Weasley's attention back to him again. He was beginning to wonder if he would be ignored all night, be more of a decoration than part of the group. He couldn't decide it he would prefer that or not.
"Always so well presented you are Draco, it's so nice to see you again and I'm glad you accepted my invitation," Mrs Weasley said with a bright sincere smile as if she meant every word.
Draco was just wondering if that was just because he didn't know her that well that he couldn't tell if she was lying or not when he too was brought into a tight hug. He could practically hear Harry's joy beside him as he felt the air being squeezed out of him and he wondered if that was the plan, to be smothered to death. He wasn't quite sure what to do in the hug as the mixture of surprise and suspicion left him motionless.
She let go just as he was starting to regain his speech and held him at arms length much like Harry had done with her. Her eyes were twinkling and her smile was still huge and true. This didn't do much to the suspicion rolling around in the pit of his stomach, he was keeping alert just in case, like every Malfoy should.
"Thank you. It was very kind of you to invite me, very considerate as I didn't expect it," Draco said smoothly as he remembered the flowers still in his hand and held them out to her. She looked as if she was about to well up.
"Of course you were invited, Harry's family and of course that means you now are included too, you really didn't need to give me anything though," She said her tone happy none the less as she stepped aside to let them both in.
Harry stepped past first and Draco caught his look of triumph and resisted the temptation to roll his eyes. So Mrs Weasley seemed to be okay about it but that was one of nine Weasley's they had to win over, not exactly spectacular odds, plus there was Granger to persuade too and that on it's own was going to be a mammoth task. He wasn't about to count his dragons before they hatched.
Draco stepped over the threshold and a wave of heat washed over him, warming his fingertips immediately to which he was much thankful for. He cast a quick glance around at his surroundings and tried not to make judgments. The kitchen was a buzz of activity from the mashing potatoes, self doing dishes and the wooden spoon stirring the gravy on the cooker to the amount of clutter in the candle lit kitchen from cookbooks to pots and pans. Draco had never seen anything like it, there wasn't a house elf in sight either.
"Do you need any help Mrs Weasley?" Harry asked as they stood in the middle of the kitchen, Harry already shrugging off his cloak and Draco standing stationary in awe.
"Oh no dear, I've got everything under control. What you could do for me though is ask Arthur to get some of the boys to help him set up the marquee outside. There's not enough room in here for all of us I'm afraid," Mrs Weasley said as she flicked her hand at a pot hanging from the rack on the wall and it went zooming towards her, Draco having to duck to avoid being clunked over the head with it.
"Okay," Harry responded and within a second he was gone and Draco was left in the kitchen with Mrs Weasley alone. This would be the real test.
"I'm sorry, did you say we're having Christmas dinner outside?" Draco asked, keeping the politeness in his voice level and not too strained or over the top.
"Yes dear," Mrs Weasley responded and did Draco sense a hint of strain in her voice now that Harry wasn't there? The smile had certainly disappeared as she took over from the magic moving the wooden spoon round and round.
"In the snow?" Draco asked just to be sure, not putting quite as much effort into his politeness now that she wasn't.
"Yes. Don't worry there will be warming charms, we're not going to freeze," Mrs Weasley said with an odd little laugh. Before he could say anything else, Mr Weasley had joined them along with what looked like the two eldest of the Weasley children, neither of which Draco knew the names of, only recognising them from sight.
"Oh, Draco Malfoy, nice to see you again," Mr Weasley said even though he certainly didn't sound as if it was nice to see him again, certainly not in his house anyway. Draco wasn't stupid or blinded by liking these people, he could hear the lies and distaste in their voices, every single one of them.
"And you Mr Weasley," Draco said carefully keeping his voice level and being the better person, putting all his preconceptions aside, with a great amount of effort. He would end up the bad guy if he responded in the same way. He knew where he stood when it came to who Harry would side with and even though it sometimes bothered him he tried his hardest to push it away.
Mr Weasley looked taken aback by Draco's calm and seemingly sincere introduction, while one of the other Weasley's, that had long hair, an earring and a rather heavily scarred face with signs of handsome looks underneath was smiling at him with his hand outstretched. Draco didn't hesitate in grasping it, thinking that this Weasley was the only one that had any manners or common decency.
"Bill Weasley. It's nice to meet you officially, Harry's mentioned you quite a bit," Bill introduced himself, his voice was calm and kind, much more than Draco had actually expected. He couldn't help but smile back at the scarred man, finally feeling a little more welcomed in the sorry excuse for a hou-
No he couldn't even think about that. He felt wrong about it now, even when he didn't have Harry reading his face and expression when they talked about them. Harry was unexpectedly good at knowing when he was thinking badly of his surrogate family and would scold him for doing so, being pretty mean about it too. Draco was sure Harry had picked up some Occlumency in the lessons he told Draco about.
"Draco Malfoy. I wouldn't believe everything he's told you he has a rather biased view of me," Draco responded with a genuine smile, keeping the conversation as light and as normal as possible. "Harry's told me of you too. You work for Gringott's don't you?"
Bill continued to smile and rested himself against the kitchen table, settling himself down for the conversation. Draco tucked his hands under his arms as he prepared to listen with wide interest while the second Weasley that Draco guessed was Charlie from process of elimination smiled and nodded at him in greeting, seeming a little shy or intimidated by him. Draco nodded and smiled back between listening to Bill.
"Yeah, it's just a desk job mainly, I get to go abroad every now and then though, to stretch my legs a bit I suppose, a bit of a change from being a Curse breaker but better money I suppose," Bill explained. Draco of course knew this. Harry had been sure to give in-depth detail about every family member, Draco supposed, so that he was pre-prepared, trying to give him the upper hand, all he had to do was match up the face with the name.
"You're married aren't you?" Draco asked even though he knew for sure that Bill had married the Delacur girl. Bill nodded with the largest smile Draco had seen on him yet, with a particular light behind his eyes. "I suppose it's good to have a job close to home with a someone to come home to, you're very lucky compared to some these days,"
"Yeah totally," Bill said, sitting up a bit, really diving into the conversation now. Just as he was about to open his mouth and carry on he was interrupted by Mrs Weasley.
"You know those tables wont set themselves," she said with her hands finding her hips with ease and a look on her face that Draco could never imagine anyone arguing against.
Bill smiled his apology at Draco and followed his father and brother out the backdoor. Mrs Weasley sighed and bustled after them, probably to make sure that they were going to do it right. Draco turned and found Harry smiling at him. That smile that Draco had been hoping for.
Harry crossed the short distance between them and embraced Draco in a tight smothering hug. Draco smiled to himself and embraced him back, just not as tightly.
"See? I told you they'd be alright," Harry said against his neck and followed it with a small feather light kiss.
Draco didn't have the heart to tell him what he really saw behind it all, behind all the fake smiles and such because he didn't want Harry to loose his real one. "Yeah, so far. We still have six more to contend with," he said, his fingers twisting a lock of hair at the nape of Harry's neck, his eyes closed, even though he really should have been more on his guard.
"I have that plan remember?" Harry said as he loosened his tight hold but continued to grip onto the back of Draco's cloak. It dawned on Draco at that moment that they were embracing in the middle of the Weasley kitchen, but before he could do anything about that a new voice entered the room.
"Oh, sorry," Draco opened his eyes and found himself staring at Granger, who had a smile on her face that he was unable to read properly. He unwound himself from Harry, whom turned but kept one hand on Draco's shoulder.
"Merry Christmas Hermione," Harry said, either oblivious to the awkwardness or outright ignoring it. Granger put down the glass she was holding on a teetering pile of books beside the door, and opened her arms.
"Merry Christmas Harry, we didn't know you'd gotten here already," Granger said as they hugged and she kissed him on the cheek. Draco wasn't a jealous person, he knew who Harry's heart belonged to but he was finding it increasingly difficult to keep that in his mind when there were people whom had been with Harry from the beginning, and had a lot of history with him. The Weaslette would be the biggest challenge he was sure.
"Not long here, I went into the living room but only saw Bill, Charlie and Mr Weasley. Where were the rest of you?" Harry asked and he wrapped his arm around Draco's waist, probably just to remind him that it was all okay.
"Oh, Fred and George had some new invention to show us. They'll probably drag you two up later," Hermione said her eyes drifting to Draco. Her smile became a little tighter but not to the point where Harry would have noticed, Draco was just extra sensitive to it.
"Merry Christmas Draco," she said and outstretched her arms again. Harry let go of him and he noticed the warmth of his arm leave him just before Hermione hugged him. Her bushy hair tickled his nose but not to the point where it would annoy him and he hugged her back, mostly to show her that he was different now. He wouldn't have even touched her a few years ago.
"Merry Christmas Hermione, you look well," Draco said because he had to say something else, had to show he was making something more of an effort and that was the only thing he could think of. Granger let go of him and nodded, her smile becoming more natural. She was getting there. She was coming around slowly, which was more than Draco ever expected especially after what he had done to her in the past.
"Thank you," Hermione said. Draco stepped back, out of the hug properly and his hand immediately connected with Harry's, which seemed to be waiting for him. Draco would never admit it but he needed Harry there, he was scared. Luckily he didn't need to admit it, Harry just knew anyway.
Before anything more could be discussed, Mrs Weasley came back inside, brushing snow from the ends of her robes and shaking her head. "Honestly, if you want something done..." Mrs Weasley muttered and rolled her eyes.
She noticed the three of them standing watching her and smiled. "You can go out there now, everything is set up. I'll tell the rest to go and join you out there, go on now, on you go," she said, almost physically ushering them out of her kitchen and into the garden. They went along quite willingly, Draco finding himself more hungry than he had initially thought he was.
There was a large Marquee pitched only a few metres from the door, that seemed to have an ebbing glow around it, which just screamed warmth even though there was snow all around it. Harry shuddered next to Draco and he made sure they quickened their strides.
As it looked, the inside of the marquee was as warm as the house was. There was a large table stretching across the centre. Even Draco had to admit, it was tastefully decorated, not quite as lavish as at the manor but just nice, and kind of Weasley-ish, which a few years ago would have had him cringing not grinning.
"Ah boys, I think Molly wanted you over here, beside Bill," Mr Weasley said from his seat at the top of the table. Harry and Draco navigated their way around the table and Draco sat down next to Bill, knowing that whom ever was going to be on the other side wouldn't be quite as friendly. Before anyone could strike up an awkward question, a babble of voices grew nearer and Draco was seriously reconsidering his decision to come tonight. The things he did for Harry sometimes.
Hermione, who had hung back when Mrs Weasley was trying to get rid of them, entered first with a large encouraging smile in Draco's direction and he felt confident enough to think she was very almost there when it came to getting used to him. Her other half followed her, narrowed eyes and tight lips shot at him before his features softened and brightened at the sight of Harry.
"Merry Christmas mate," he said as he reached their side of the table, his hand outstretched. Harry stood, as did Draco, more out of manners and politeness and for Harry's benefit than anything else.
"Yeah man, Merry Christmas," Harry said as they clasped hands and then met in a rather manly hug that Draco was unaware Harry was capable of; his hugs with Harry were always, soft and clingy and always had been. Ron watched Draco over Harry's shoulder and Draco watched him back. He heard Harry mumble something and Ron narrowed his eyes even more. Draco couldn't even resist the urge to smirk.
The pair separated from the hug and Draco immediately outstretched his hand, across Harry and clearly at Ron. Harry beamed at him while Ron looked as if he was working out every Auror strategy in his head, in case he needed it. He clasped his hand and shook with a nod. It was more than what anyone expected and so Draco just nodded back and they let go. It was progress and no matter how much Draco detested Ron he was doing this for Harry after all.
The twins and one of the older Weasley brothers, Draco was sure was called Percy or Perkins or something of the sort, had entered the tent and given Harry Christmas wishes and Draco nods of greeting, they all seemed to be taking the nodding approach and Draco had to wonder if Harry had some how pre-warned them all.
"Harry! I thought you weren't going to make it, Merry Christmas!" Ginny had entered the tent, followed by a very smiley, confident Neville Longbottom. Draco hadn't seen Neville since the war and was surprised at how different he was, even though Harry had told him his confidence had improved since the war and getting together with Ginny.
This fact, even though it was in the forefront of his mind did not stop him from feeling the bubbling jealousy deep in the pit of his stomach when Ginny made her way around the table to purposefully hug Harry. Longbottom didn't seem as bothered by this as Draco did, just sitting down in his assigned seat and nodding briefly at Draco, obviously having received the same memo as everyone else from Harry. Draco could only blink for a minute before he nodded back.
"Merry Christmas Gin, Neville," Harry said with wide smiles at both of them and a shake of Neville's hand across the table. Before anything else could be done or said, Mrs Weasley entered with bowls and plates of food floating in behind her.
Ginny rushed back to her seat without so much as a look at Draco, and he and Harry sat down. There was no way that that wasn't a snub from her, there was plenty of time to give a quick nod, welcome or Christmas wish to him there and she couldn't even make eye contact. Anger was now replacing the jealousy that had started in the pit of his stomach as he thought about how a Weasley, that Weasley in particular, had just snubbed him.
Harry placed a hand on Draco's knee and Draco could just look at him blankly to show how annoyed he really was. Harry of course could already tell that much and of course knew why and so his hand squeezed Draco's knee before rubbing up and down the length of his thigh, in an attempt to calm him.
Harry leaned in close to his ear, so no one could over hear and whispered "Don't let it get to you. You're better than that Draco." Draco stared ahead, straight at Ginny as Harry did this, whom had noticed the movement from Harry and was staring straight back. Draco watched her blankly until she turned away without so much as a smile, proving beyond anything that he had indeed been snubbed on purpose. He glanced at Longbottom next to her and wondered how he put up with this. He could even tell that Longbottom came second best to Harry in Ginny's eyes.
"And dinner is served," Mrs Weasley's voice broke through Draco's little bubble of selfishness and he looked around the table to see everyone starting to talk and pass around the bundle of food that was laid out in front of them.
Harry already had the turkey and was giving three slices to Draco, as if he couldn't do it himself. Draco rolled his eyes in spite of himself and searched the table for the mashed potatoes. They sat just to the left of him and just as he reached for them so did Ginny, each of them gripping either side of the bowl. Draco had never been more tempted to snatch something off of someone before and then proceed to throw it in their face. He managed to refrain from doing so however and even managed to let go.
"Sorry," he apologised even though he knew he had nothing to apologise for. Ginny didn't say anything, only helped herself to the potatoes and then passed them along to Longbottom. Draco, watched and his right hand gripped tighter into a fist as the anger swooped again. Harry had clearly been watching as his hand had returned to Draco's thigh and was tracing gentle patterns.
Longbottom looked at the potatoes with a frown when Ginny handed them to him and then looked up at Draco with the same puzzlement. Without even a raised eyebrow from Draco he handed them over to him, with an apologetic look of his own.
"There you go Malfoy," Longbottom said as Draco took them with a small smile.
"Thank you Longbottom," he said and Longbottom smiled back and nodded slightly. Of all the people that Draco imagined getting on with that night Neville Longbottom certainly wasn't one of them. If anything he imagined he would be the worst to deal with, well to a certain extent and not including the she weasel.
"Ginny, you know I don't even like mashed potatoes," Neville said quietly, probably in the hope that no one would hear him. Draco narrowed his eyes at Ginny as he looked up from where he was spooning the mash onto his plate.
"Oh, sorry. I forgot," Ginny said with a strange little laugh that some what mirrored her mothers.
Draco had a bundle of remarks to make to what had just happened, but he refrained from saying any of them because of Harry's hand on his thigh, that was gently squeezing. Instead he spooned some mash onto Harry's plate before he passed the potatoes to Bill, whom was gesturing for them and was in turn offered carrots.
"Thank you Bill," Draco said with a nod but then however promptly passed them to Harry. Harry smirked at him and shook his head. Draco couldn't help but smirk back at him and wait on some other vegetables reaching him that he did like.
The table lapsed into casual chatter that Draco was left out of. Hermione had gotten Harry's attention and they were talking about something that Draco couldn't keep up with, especially when the Weasel joined in with them. Bill, on his other side, was talking to Fleur, whom was situated beside him and Draco really didn't want to disturb a conversation between husband and wife. As for everyone else they were categorically ignoring him the best they could, pretending that he wasn't even there.
By the time he had gotten half way through his meal, Draco was starting to get frustrated. Harry's hand hadn't left his knee at all, and that at least was comforting, but the fact that everyone was ignoring him was beginning to irk him. He had thought at least, with the briefest glimmer of hope that they would at least look at him or attempt to make an effort for Harry's sake. These people, Merlin only knows why, meant a lot to Harry and Draco had always assumed that the feeling was mutual. That's why he couldn't understand why they were being such arseholes now.
In the lull between courses Draco found himself twirling the napkin ring around his index finger for something to do. The more they left him to sit there with no communicative stimulation the angrier he got. The fact that whenever Harry turned to talk to him he was dragged into another conversation by another member of the Weasel family, was not helping in the slightest, no matter how much Harry squeezed and caressed his leg.
"So Draco, did your mother not mind you missing out on Christmas dinner at the manor today?" Bill asked innocently. Draco knew that he didn't mention it maliciously like he guessed the majority of others at the table would have, and so he was finally able to smile and hopefully engage in conversation at last, even though it took Bill long enough.
"We visited her this morning to exchange gifts and such. I think that was enough for her. She doesn't get much joy out of the holidays anymore," Draco explained and had noticed a few conversations simmer to a stop as more people listened in.
"Did you not 'hink to invite 'er 'ere? Maybe being surrounded by other people would be what she needs?" Fleur asked, leaning against Bill so that she could see around him to speak to Draco. She hadn't officially introduced herself and he couldn't get a proper scope of where she stood when it came to him, but he didn't particularly mind. At least she was speaking to him.
There had been a clatter of cutlery on plates at Fleur's suggestion and Harry's hand had tightened on his leg. Draco ignored it and carried on, without barely blinking an eyelid at the now eerie silence that had enclosed on the table. "Maybe I should rephrase that; she doesn't much like company at all anymore. She'd rather be on her own,"
"Ah, zat iz a shame," Fleur said, with a small nod of sincerity. Okay, so maybe not all of the Weasley's were bad, just the majority of them. At least Bill had good taste in women. And maybe Granger was alright too, but Draco supposed that depended on how well the rest of the night went.
"You've clearly never met Narcissa Malfoy then Fleur," one of the twins commented, with a nudge in the ribs to the other one and a smirk. Everyone's eyes flickered to them, including Draco's.
"George!" Mrs Weasley hissed and Harry's hand left Draco's knee at the same time. For a second, and only a second, Draco's hand twitched towards his wand but stopped almost immediately when he thought about how Harry would take it if he cursed a close friend. He'd been on the end of that before and didn't particularly want to visit it.
"What? So now we can't say what we want about Malfoy scum just because Harry's shagging a 'reformed' one?" George said, still with a smirk as his twin sniggered beside him. Draco gritted his teeth and felt Harry tense up next to him and felt a push of magic, radiating from him. He looked over and saw Harry beyond livid, his hands were even shaking.
"That's enough! Apologise now!" Mrs Weasley barked and even Draco jumped at her tone of voice. That was not something he expected, Molly Weasley sticking up for a Malfoy, his respect for her skyrocketed.
"Mrs Weasley, it's okay, I-" Draco started, not in aid of saving the twins from a scolding but because it was causing both she and his boyfriend a great amount of stress while he wasn't as particularly bothered about it as he once might have been.
"No Draco it's not. George!" Mrs Weasley said without even looking at Draco, her eyes were fixed on her son and her hand was hovering over her wand, sitting next to her glass on the dinner table. Everyone else was in silence, still waiting on what was going to happen next.
Draco looked across at George and watched his face go through several different emotions. Harry was still radiating magic next to him, which was getting stronger and starting to shake the wine glasses nearest him, so much so that it was Draco's turn to calm him with a hand on the knee. "Sorry Malfoy," George said finally, with a scowl to show how he really felt. There was almost a collective sigh of relief around the table and everyone looked around to see what the other was thinking about the whole episode.
"Apology accepted," Draco said quietly with a small nod that left his eyes lingering on the table, unable to look at anything else.
"Right, who wants dessert?" Mrs Weasley said cheerfully in an attempt to deter everyone's attention, which thankfully worked when the table erupted into appreciation and conversation again.
Mrs Weasley promptly dragged Fred and George out with her to help with the dessert. Harry turned so that he was comfortably facing Draco and had his back to Ron, whom was watching him, with a slightly confused expression.
"Draco, are you alright?" Harry asked him, his chair closer to Draco's now and his hand clutching onto the side of his robes.
"Yeah, it's fine, lets just forget about it, yeah?" Draco said, for once being the one moving on and not rising to an argument. He just knew that if he did, he would make things a million times worse for Harry and that was the last thing he wanted to do.
Harry sighed and looked as if he was about to try and argue that everything was not fine. Draco shook his head and turned away, hoping that he would find a distraction to get off of the topic. Okay so maybe Harry would fight for Draco against some of the Weasley's but he knew for sure that he would be disregarded when it came to Ron or Hermione or Ginny, he could accept that much.
Before he could strike up another conversation with Bill and Fleur, even though he knew that was still a dangerous place to tread but he had no other option, he felt Harry tugging on his robes and was all at once gathered into a hug. His face blushed in a way that he had hoped to keep from company, other than Harry and his mother and Harry's chin rested on his shoulder, looking at the side of Draco's face in some sort of bizarre side hug.
"Harry I don't think-" Draco started to mutter out of the side of his mouth while he watched Ginny watch them, casually ignoring her own boyfriend.
"I'm behind you one hundred percent, you have to know that. I'm with you all the way," Harry whispered in Draco's ear and the hairs on the back of his neck stood on end, not just at the warm breath tickling his ear but at the words that had fallen so seamlessly from his lips.
Draco turned his head to reply, even though he had no idea what he really wanted to say but was interrupted by Mrs Weasley and the twins re-entering the tent and announcing dessert. Harry let go of Draco, but still stayed close enough to have his hand planted firmly on Draco's shoulder and body faced in his direction. Draco, really wasn't one for public displays of affection but, to be quite honest he needed it just now, it was comforting.
"And dessert is served, there is plenty of everything so have as much as you want," Mrs Weasley said, once everything was laid out in the centre of the table. Everyone happily helped themselves to anything they wanted and attempted to resume conversations from before. Harry was now silent, not wanting to speak to Ron or Hermione anymore and clearly sensing that Draco didn't particularly want to talk, unfortunately not everyone was able to pick up on this.
"So Draco, how did you two get together anyway? I heard you didn't really tolerate each other at school," Charlie asked from the other side of the table, a little further up from where he and Harry sat. He was treading on fine ice and everything was a little timid when it came to Draco but he felt that this was maybe going to be an okay topic.
Harry laughed from beside Draco and leant forward to speak for him. Draco let him as he felt Harry probably needed to do so to not feel quite so guilty for blocking Ron and Hermione out. Now that he gave that some thought, he didn't really understand why Harry was doing so, they hadn't said a word. Maybe that was why.
"He was my New Years resolution," Harry said fondly, looking back at Draco. Draco grinned at him.
"He basically stalked me until I would start listening to him, no matter how much I attempted to ignore him, he just wouldn't give up," Draco said.
"That's our Harry for you," Ginny piped up, looking meaningfully at him while cutting Bill off before he could say something. Draco knew that was a dig but just smiled at her and took the high road, letting that one slide, he could only be pushed so far though.
"What was your New Year's resolution? To become a stalker?" Bill chuckled, ignoring Ginny's statement and carrying on with what he had been wanting to say before she interrupted.
"No," Harry blushed and Draco brushed his hand down Harry's arm until their hands met. "No it was to make up for something I regretted. I regretted being such a git to Draco," Harry said.
"I'm not saying I didn't give back as good as I got, if not worse, but when I finally allowed him to speak to me and he apologised, it gave me a chance to apologise back. Our relationship just kind of went on from there," Draco said. Charlie nodded with a wide grin, clearly having appreciated the story. Bill patted his shoulder as if in congratulations and pushed his dessert plate, that he had been devouring the contents of while they spoke, away from him.
"Vat iz it that you do Draco?" Fleur asked next and Draco smiled at her, this question seemed to have passed by everyone unnoticed as they carried on with their dessert rather quickly after the last conversation.
"I used to work at the Ministry, in the potions department, as an apprentice potions master. I've got my qualifications now and just got offered a job that I'm considering," Draco told her.
"Oh? What job's that?" Percy asked, now getting included in the conversation that Draco thought he had believed he was above. Now that he looked around, everyone seemed to be interested in the answer to that.
"That's actually something I want to speak to you all about," Harry announced before Draco could continue. Draco closed his eyes and sighed.
"Harry, are you sure you want to-?" Draco started.
"Yes, I'm positive," Harry said shortly and smiled around at the table of Weasley's. Draco was half willing to climb under the table to get away from the chaos he was sure would ensue. He really had wished Harry would be able to wait until after the dinner to have announced this. "Draco's been offered a job at Hogwarts," Harry grinned.
Looks of confusion passed around the table, in a rippling Mexican wave effect as the Weasley's turned to one an other as if to check that they had heard correctly. Draco sat up straighter, ready on the outside for this but breaking down on the inside. Even though he didn't know these people as well as Harry, he wasn't as blinded by caring about them the way Harry did and so knew that no matter what, these people were not all going to take this lightly.
"As potions master? That's brilliant Draco!" Hermione was the first to put two and two together and realise what position Draco had been offered. She was smiling wide and looked genuinely happy for him. Realisation dawned on the majority of the other faces, most were keeping their composure and grace and others looked genuinely happy about it, where as a few looked almost livid. Three guesses as to whom.
"I would start after the summer," Draco said. He glanced over at Harry whom was grinning from ear to ear and silently begged him not to even try finishing what he was about to announce. Of course, since when did Harry ever do anything that Draco wanted him too? The stubborn git.
"As would I," Harry said and the silence that spread over the table, quelling the mumbles of congratulations for Draco immediately. Draco now just wanted to leave, even more than he had as soon as they arrived. Either that or bury his head in his hands. However, it was like a splinching, he just couldn't look away no matter how horrific it was.
"What do you mean?" Ron asked and Harry faced him for the first time since the incident with the twins.
"I was also offered a job at Hogwarts," Harry said happily as if he expected them to smile and say that that was brilliant news and tell him he would be a great teacher. The reaction however was of complete shock. "They will need a new Defence teacher after summer and Minerva offered it to me," Harry continued, his smile starting to falter when he didn't get the reaction he expected.
"But you're an auror," Ron said as if he was wanting to check that this was true and looked around at everyone else for agreement.
"Yes, but you know as well as I do Ron that my heart just isn't in it anymore," Harry said, and at this point he chose to look at Draco and smiled.
"What? So you're going to give up a job that you are respected in and have built up over seven years, for him?" Ginny exclaimed loudly, and Harry bright warm mood turned cold in under a second. Malfoy felt the change immediately and was half tempted to warn everyone just to leave before this got out of hand.
"I am giving up a job that I am not happy in, that I have exhausted for one that I can get something out of! I want to be able to teach kids how to defend themselves and not have to do that for them. I'm done catching the bad guys, I want to teach people how to do it for themselves," Harry said, his eyes narrowed on Ginny and his voice dangerous. Even Draco wouldn't have argued with Harry when he was in that state and he could normally push Harry further than anyone else.
"So this little epiphany of yours just so happened to come about when he was about to take a job in the same place?" Ginny said. Her face was growing red and angry and her eyes were fierce, her hair swinging wildly.
"No Ginny, the idea came to me when I got the offer! I've been looking for an opportunity to get out of the ministry for months and I was given that at the same time as Draco. It's a coincidence," Harry snarled.
"Don't be so naive Harry, we all know it's because he's too much of a coward to go back there on his own. I wouldn't be surprised if he paid the defence teacher to leave to make way for you, coincidence my arse," Ginny spat.
Three things happened at once, Mrs Weasley hissed Ginny's full name, Harry rose from his seat with his wand drawn and pointed at Ginny and Draco rose with him, taking a hold of his wrist and attempting to push his wand arm down by his side. Everyone else was sat in shock and awe, surprised the former lovers were suddenly being so vicious to each other. Even with a wand pointed at her, Ginny was still glaring at Harry and subsequently Draco.
"Harry, don't. You'll regret it," Draco said quietly, knowing that he was speaking the truth, as unfortunate as that was. He would have taken great pleasure in seeing the bitch being cursed. He still knew where he stood with Harry however and he knew Harry would regret cursing her for his sake.
"That's right Harry, listen to him, do as you're told, just like you always do when it comes to what he is telling you," Ginny said sarcastically, vindictively. Draco was so close to charming her mouth shut, she was not helping herself or anyone else.
Harry's hand tightened on his wand and the glasses on the table started to rattle. This was never a good sign, it was a well known fact that Harry had a short fuse and his magic got out of hand when he was beyond angry.
"Stop it. Stop it now," Harry said through clenched teeth. Draco peered around at everyone else at the table, some glaring at him as if it was completely his fault that this was even happening, others just sitting back to see what was going to happen, torn between family and justice, not one of them jumping to their defence.
"Harry please? Just sit down," Draco said, ignoring Ginny's comment even though it was still bothering him something rotten.
"No Draco," Harry snapped with his eyes still trained on Ginny, wand still pointed right at her chest. Draco couldn't decide whether he was just saying no to prove Ginny wrong about doing everything he asked or because he genuinely didn't want to.
"Mate..." Ron started, his hand rising to pull on the arm of Harry's that Draco wasn't already tugging on. He seemed to think better of it however when Harry's head snapped to face his instead and took his hand back as quickly as he had outstretched it.
"No. The lot of you need to hear this. All of you," Harry said gazing wildly around, wand not faltering for a second, his eyes stopping on Draco as he said the last bit. "I'm sick of this. I'm sick of having to be on tender hooks when I get you all together, I shouldn't have to be anymore. It's been three years, isn't that enough time for you lot to adjust to Draco? He's made such an effort with you lot and what does he get back? What do I get back? Shit like this,"
"Harry," Mrs Weasley started and took a breath to continue, but Harry shook his head sharply with a warning look to match and she stopped immediately.
"Some of you have made an effort too and that's fine," Harry said pointedly looking at Bill and Fleur and Hermione and Ron. "But as for the others that haven't, I'm done. I'm not going to be around people that do not accept the most important person in my life and don't give a shit what you have to say about it," he finally lowered his wand, stored it in his robes and turned to face Mrs Weasley again.
"I'm sorry Molly. The meal was lovely but I just can't stand here and let this happen," Harry said determined and standing tall. He turned and separated himself from the table, marching swiftly out of the marquee and out of sight.
Draco stood stunned. Had he seriously just heard what he thought he had? His head was light and there was a swooping, fluttering feeling in his chest. That was not what he wanted from Harry. Of course he was always jealous of the relationships with the Weasley family and Harry and always felt it would be better if they could just accept him but he didn't want Harry to cut ties with them just for him. The thing was he hadn't ever even mentioned anything like this to Harry so he wasn't even sure how he knew, unless he was doing it for himself and really couldn't stand the treatment towards Draco anymore.
"This is all your fault," Ginny spat at Draco, attempting to stand up. Hermione was already stood and making her way to follow Harry, while others twittered around the table. What Harry had done was extremely rude and disrespectful but no one seemed concerned about that like Draco's family would have been.
"No Ginerva, this is all your fault," Draco snapped at last, his thoughts halting and clicking back into action. Ginny looked taken aback and appalled where as Hermione had paused on her way out of the tent to look back, probably just to make sure nothing got out of hand. "You didn't need to push him the way you did. You should have expected a reaction like that. You're not going to make me feel ashamed, this wasn't my doing, nor did I ask for him to do this,"
"Now if you'd excuse me Mrs Weasley. It was a lovely meal and I'm sorry," Draco said. Mrs Weasley blinked at him but offered nothing else. He bowed slightly and left, weaving the chairs and keeping his head down.
Hermione seized his arm on the way out. Draco looked at her and she just bit down her lip, her eyes swimming. She wrapped him up in a hug before he could do anything else. "I'm sorry. Tell Harry I'm sorry,"
"Hermione, I don't think-" Draco started, over her shoulder, patting her back in an attempt to reassure her.
"I know, just tell him anyway," Hermione whispered. She let go of him and nudged him in the direction of the apparition point. He stopped and stared at her some more and then nodded and set off. He knew Harry would have apparated already but there was only one place he would go.
Draco sighed with relief when he pushed open the front door of his and Harry's house and found the lights in the hall on and various noises coming from the kitchen. He had been pretty certain when he left the Weasley's that Harry would have come back to the house but there was always that little glimmer of doubt on his way over. He hung up his coat and scarf and made his way down the hallway to the kitchen.
The door of the kitchen was already open and Draco was met with the sight of Harry moving around and tidying up, a sure sign at any time that there was something wrong if he was attempting to tidy up. The kettle was gently simmering in the back ground with two cups already layed out and set for tea. Draco sighed and entered, immediately walking up to Harry whom had plastered a fake smile on his face at the sight of Draco that he could see right through.
"Harry, stop." Draco said as soon as he placed his hands on his boyfriends hips from behind, in an attempt to stop him from gathering and stacking newspapers on the kitchen table.
"Draco, I'm fine," Harry said with the weirdest laugh Draco had ever heard from him as he continued to collect and stack.
"Harry," Draco warned and that was enough to make Harry stop and stand up straight. Draco pulled his hips back towards him and then spun him round so he could embrace him properly. Harry went quite willingly and was, within seconds, clutching to the back of Draco's dress robes and breathing deeply.
"You didn't have to do that Harry," Draco said quietly, his fingertips smoothing the ends of Harry's hair that resided at the nape of his neck.
"I did," Harry mumbled into Draco's shoulder and gripped tighter on to his robes.
"No you didn't. You're going to regret that in the morning. They've been there for you since day one and you just want to cut ties with them? You don't want to do that, not really," Draco said.
"I meant what I said Draco. You're the important part in my life now and if they can't accept that, then I don't need them. If they cared about me the way I thought they did they'll realise that and fix it," Harry said, not so much a mumble anymore as he started to pull back to look Draco in the eye.
Draco looked at him for a long moment and then sighed and started to shake his head and looked as if he wanted to argue. Harry however had other ideas and kissed him before he could. Before Draco could even start kissing back, Harry changed directions again and pulled back, holding Draco's face only centimetres away from his own.
"Draco I know you don't ever believe me when I tell you this but you need to start to. I love you more than anyone. You're the best thing that's ever happened to me and I care more about you than I do myself, never mind anyone else. Yes you frustrate the hell out of me sometimes and sometimes I just need a few hours away to stop myself from killing you at certain times, but don't think that makes me love you any less. And trust me I don't think I'd be able to live with Ron and Hermione for any length of time before they frustrated the hell out of me too.
"I know you think you always come second best to them but you don't. You're my number one, you're the one I'd die for, the one I live for and the one I care the most for, no matter what history I have with them. I'm truly sorry if it ever feels like that," Harry said. He looked into Draco's eyes the whole time, not once breaking contact and the whole time rubbing his thumbs on the side of Draco's face. He finished his speech with another kiss and even though Draco would never admit it, he was only seconds away from crying.
Sometimes he wondered what he did to ever deserve Harry, but knew that if he focused on that too much he would be back where he started in the relationship. He knew he would always have some insecurity about Harry's relationship with his friends but at least now he had this memory to look back on and remind him exactly where he stood in Harry's heart and luckily that would be enough. And as he thought about that while eagerly kissing Harry back, pushing up against him, he realised that Christmas at the Weasley's had gone better than he thought.