Their romance had been brief. After all, both were married and had children. They could only afford brief and, really, had hardly been able to afford that. That one night, bodies slicked with sweat and pressed together. Hands greedy and busy. Mouth hot and desperate, the sounds almost not human.
In the split second that it took for Draco Malfoy to deliver that curt nod was all the time Harry Potter needed to re-experience that night's events in his mind. His heart leapt, craved, but was kept at bay by a glance to his wife. Pretty Ginny Weasley. He did love her, truly. And it wasn't a platonic love by any means, but with Draco's silvery-blond hair in the corner of his eye, it was difficult for Harry to not feel as though he was settling for second best…
He looked back up at Draco, quickly discovering that this was a mistake. Their eyes met, briefly, before Draco turned away to face a boy that looked impossibly like young Draco. And Harry wondered if anyone else could feel the incredible heat that he did…
"So that's little Scorpius," said Ron under his breath. "Make sure you beat him in every test, Rosie. Thank God you inherited your mother's brains."
"Ron, for heaven's sake," said Hermione, half stern, half amused. "Don't try to turn them against each other before they've even started school!"
"You're right, sorry… Don't get too friendly with him, though, Rosie. Granddad Weasley would never forgive you if you married a pureblood."
Harry looked over, a little startled. Married? If Rose married Scorpius, then Draco would be part of the family. He didn't want Draco to be part of the family. The temptation would be… He quivered. It would be too great. He was across the platform, now kneeling in front of his son to help fix his tie and the temptation was already nearly overwhelming…
"Teddy would really be part of the family then!"
He looked down at his daughter, wondering what exactly was happening. "He already comes round for dinner about four times a week. Why don't we just invite him to live with is and have done with it?"
"Yeah!" said James enthusiastically. "I don't mind sharing with Al – Teddy could have my room!"
"No," said Harry firmly, Draco momentarily forgotten, "you and Al will share a room only when I want the house demolished." The former Slytherin bully back on his mind, Harry checked the battered old watch that had once been Fabian Prewett's. The sooner they were on the train, the sooner he could be away from Malfoy.
"It's nearly eleven," he saw with relief. "You'd better get on board." And the motion started quickly. James was on the train quickly, but Albus was hugging his father tightly.
"What if I'm in Slytherin?" he whispered quietly. Harry crouched down so that Albus's face was slightly above his own. Alone of Harry's three children, Albus had inherited his grandmother's eyes.
"Albus Severus," Harry said quietly, "you were named for two headmasters of Hogwarts. One of them was a Slytherin and he was probably the bravest man I ever knew."
"But just say–"
"Then Slytherin House will have gained an excellent student, won't it? It doesn't matter to us, Al. But if it matter to you, you'll be able to choose Gryffindor over Slytherin. The Sorting Hat takes your choice into account."
"It did for me," said Harry.
He had never told any of his children that before, and he saw the wonder in Albus's face when he said it. But now the doors were slamming all along the scarlet train, and the blurred outlines of parents swarming forward for final kisses, last-minute reminders, Albus jumped into the carriage and Ginny closed the door behind him. Students were hanging from the windows nearest them. A great number of faces, both on the train and off, seemed to be turned toward Harry.
But Harry's eyes had locked onto Draco again, who had his gaze turned towards Harry, a hand on his son's shoulder as he got him onto the train.
"Why are they all staring?" demanded Albus as he and rose craned around to look at the other students.
"Don't let it worry you," said Ron. "It's me, I'm extremely famous."
Harry heard laughter, but the train had begun to move. Harry walked alongside it, watching his son's thin face, already ablaze with excitement. Harry kept smiling and waving, even though it was like a little bereavement, watching his son glide away from him. . . .
The last trace of steam evaporated in the autumn air. The train rounded a corner. Harry's hand was still raised in farewell.
"He'll be alright," murmured Ginny.
As Harry looked at her, he lowered his hand absentmindedly and touched the lightning scar on his forehead.
His gaze passed to Malfoy, who was still nearby. His hand was still lifted as though he were touching his son, but as their eyes met a third time, their was a flash of awareness in Draco's eyes that settled Harry's mind.
They'd made a choice. And even if it was technically settling for their second choices, their sons were more than enough to make up for it. Harry smiled slightly and Draco answered it with his eyes. With that mutual understanding now between them, Harry turned a wider smile on his wife and went to her.
"I know he will."
Meanwhile, as the train bustled along, young Albus was shooed away from his older brother and had to find his own compartment… In the only one he found with room sat a young boy with silvery-blond hair and silver eyes.
Automatically drawn to the fellow wizard, he walked in and took a seat. "Hello," he greeted. "I'm Albus."
The boy looked up from his book, looked the young Potter boy up and down. "Scorpius."