DISCLAIMER: I own nothing, not even the house I live in! I make no money from this, only JKR and her publishers do.
According to wizarding law, I must inform you, either in person or by letter, that there were repercussions from our night together. Fortunately, nowhere in those laws does it state that I need to stay around to see your reaction to finding out that you're going to be a father. I tried to tell you in person, but you didn't want to listen to me, so I wrote this letter. You needn't worry that I will force you to acknowledge our child, I just wanted to make certain that you knew.
Your words from three weeks ago made it painfully obvious, even to me, that you want nothing more to do with me, that all I will ever be good for is sex. This letter is difficult for me to write because, now that I know how you feel, I have to try to ignore the feelings I have had for you since our fifth year.
I know you want nothing to do with me, but I had to let you know, before I disappeared completely. No one knows where I am going, so do not bother to ask Hermione or Ron. Hermione knows what is in this letter, as she helped me to write it. Ron would most likely try to kill you, because he knows as well. I will let you know when the baby is born.
"Oh Merlin!" Draco whispered. This was not what he had been expecting when Granger had grabbed his arm and slapped the letter into his face as he got off of the Hogwarts Express. She stood and glared at him for a moment before noticing that he had gone extremely pale and was wavering on his feet. Weasley grabbed his other arm and led him to a bench so that he could sit before he fell over. "He said that you don't know where he went, is that true?"
Ron answered for both of them. "No, we don't know...and if we did, do you honestly think we'd tell you?"
Draco closed his eyes, not realizing that Granger had seen his tears before he closed them. What am I going to do? I have to find Harry to let him know that I have feelings for him, too. He opened his eyes to find a strangely sympathetic looking Granger staring at him.
"You aren't as unfeeling as you'd like everyone to believe, are you?"
Draco sighed heavily. "No. I didn't know he felt anything for me. I had hoped...but he never let on. I said what I did so that I wouldn't be hurt when he told me it was only that one night." Draco knew that he always chose to hurt over being hurt, but this time it had backfired in the worst way. He bowed his head and tried not to give in to the tears he could feel burning in his eyes. He could hear his father's voice in his head, 'A Malfoy never cries', and he almost snorted out loud. Well, fuck you Father, you're dead and I don't have to live by your standards anymore. He surrendered the battle with his tears and heard Weasley gasp as he saw them running down Draco's face. He felt someone kneel in front of him and opened his eyes to see Weasley on his knees.
"Do you really feel like that about Harry?" Draco nodded and sniffled a little, a small sob escaping him before he could stop it; a handkerchief appeared in Granger's hand and she handed it to him. "If you do, we'll help you find him. He'll have to stay in the wizarding world because muggle men don't get pregnant." Weasley stood and held out his hand to Draco. He didn't hesitate to place his hand in the offered one and Weas—Ron pulled him up to stand with them.
Draco held out his hand to Ron. "Hello, I'm Draco Malfoy...I really need your help to find the man I love. Would you help me please?" Ron's hand gripped Draco's again and he nodded. He turned to Gr—Hermione and did the same. She looked at him for a long minute and nodded, taking his hand and shaking it.
"C'mon Malfoy...Draco, if we're going to find Harry before the baby is born, we need to get started right away."
Harry looked around him at the empty house. It was rather large, but not nearly as large as Grimmauld Place was. He chose this house, out of all the properties that he had inherited, because of it's proximity to Hogsmeade and Madame Pomfrey. She was the only staff at Hogwarts who knew of his pregnancy and had offered to help him get through it. As she was one of the few adults he truly trusted, he had accepted her offer. She would come to him, once every other week, to check him over and make sure that the pregnancy was going well.
He opened the three boxes at his feet and began removing what looked like doll furniture. When he had them placed where he wanted them, he enlarged a sofa, two armchairs, some low tables and a chaise lounge. He placed bookcases along the walls and did the same. He moved on to the dining room and enlarged a table and six chairs. In the kitchen, he added a small table and two chairs and several muggle appliances, such as a coffee maker and a microwave oven. They would run off of magic, but he wanted to have the ease of preparation that he was used to from living with the Dursleys.
He went up the stairs, boxes floating behind him, and began to set up the bedrooms. In the largest went his bed, three dressers and a desk and chair set. In each of the next two rooms went a smaller double bed, a large dresser and another desk and chair set. In the last bedroom he kept the furniture in the box, ready to be enlarged when he needed it. It was to be the baby's room, but he wasn't going to jinx himself by setting up the room now. He looked into the bathroom in the hall and nodded; then he went back into his room and looked into the en suite bathroom. He was pleased that the bathroom seemed to have fairly modern conveniences for a house that was well over thirty years old. He pulled several bags out of one of the boxes and enlarged them. With a flick of his wand towels began to arrange themselves and a plush bath mat came to rest on the floor outside of the large shower stall.
He went back into the bedroom and again flicked his wand. Sheets, blankets, pillows and a duvet automatically found their way onto the bed and into the closet behind him. Leaving his bedroom, he made his way back down the stairs to the library. Opening one of the remaining boxes, he began to fill the bookshelves with books. While the books were re-arranging themselves, he pulled out more furniture and enlarged a desk and comfortable chair and two sofas. Satisfied with his work, he applied a glamour so that he could go to Hogsmeade to stock up on staples for his kitchen.
Harry had never intended to live alone, but now, he really had no choice. He wasn't going to make Ron and Hermione live with him and a baby, they needed their own place. As a gift to them at graduation, two days ago, he had given them Grimmauld Place and permission to do whatever they wanted with it. He had told Hermione that there was a vault at Gringotts at their disposal, so that they could easily pay for any and all renovations they did to the place. He had gone there first, though, and removed any dark objects and books and had stored them in a new vault at Gringotts. He was going to have Bill Weasley look over the objects, to see if they could be salvaged; if not, he was going to destroy them.
He had gifted Ginny and Dean Thomas with a small house that wasn't far from the Burrow, so that they could live near Molly and Arthur after Ginny left Hogwarts next year. After the war, they hadn't wanted to wait to marry, so, with her parents' approval, they'd had a small ceremony right before graduation. For the next year, they would live in quarters reserved for married students and Dean would be apprenticing under Flitwick to be the next Charms professor.
With Sirius' vaults added to his own, Harry had more money than he knew what to do with, so he gave Molly and Arthur a full vault at Gringotts with the understanding that they weren't to try to give it back. Arthur had tried to argue, but Molly, ever the realist, had placed a silencing spell on her husband and accepted the gift.
Harry knew it looked like he was trying to give his wealth away, but, after the conversation with Draco, he knew he had to disappear. He wanted those he loved to be able to survive without him because he wouldn't be able to function with all the looks of pity he knew he'd get; he had told only Poppy where he would be. As he thought about the Hogwarts medi-witch, she came through the floo. She looked around and smiled at him.
"Been setting up? It looks nice Harry; did you lift anything?"
"Not after it had been enlarged. I want this baby and I'm not going to do anything to place him or her at risk."
They moved into the kitchen and Harry offered her some tea. "Thank you, but no, Harry. I only came over to see that you were okay and to give you this." She handed him that morning's edition of The Daily Prophet. The front page was dedicated to a large photo of himself and the words 'WIZARDING WORLD'S SAVIOUR MISSING?' It was an article by Rita Skeeter that had been commissioned by Draco Malfoy. Apparently Draco was frantically trying to find him and had recruited the journalist to assist him.
"Doesn't he realize that the last person I would ever talk to is Rita Skeeter? I thought that he would have known that after all of her articles telling everyone I was insane."
"You did tell him about the baby, right?"
"Yes...after he wouldn't let me tell him in person, I wrote a letter and had Hermione deliver it to him. I knew that I had to tell him, but I didn't have to be there for it. I'm assuming that he's now looking for me because I'm carrying the Malfoy heir or heiress. He told me exactly what he thought of me and it damn near killed me to hear it." He looked up at her. "I can't go through that again."
Poppy nodded knowingly. "Does he know about your feelings for him?"
"Yes, I wrote it in the letter; he wouldn't let me talk...he just told me that it was a one-off and that I was great for sex but that was it." He heard his voice crack on the last words and felt the tears come as Poppy's arms encircled him. Damned hormones! He leaned on the motherly medi-witch and cried until he felt like all he wanted to do was curl up and sleep. She led him up to his bedroom and tucked him into the huge bed.
"I'll be back tomorrow. I want you to promise me you'll eat something later." Harry gave his word that he would eat and the woman left him alone to sleep.
By Draco's calculations, Harry was now almost three months pregnant. The search for him had not yielded any results and he was becoming disheartened. Hermione kept telling him that they would find Harry, but Draco wasn't so sure. He had tried any number of spells to trace his magical signature, but none were successful; Harry had probably masked his signature before he left Hogwarts. He had even pulled strings to see if Harry's life-force indicator at the Ministry of Magic was still glowing...it was. Draco was at his wit's end and couldn't summon the energy to move.
Ron stuck his head around the door to the library at Grimmauld Place to see Draco lying on the sofa with his head tilted back against the arm rest, tears streaking his cheeks. He turned to Hermione and motioned for her to follow him into the kitchen.
"I don't think he's eaten in days. He's giving up...we can't let that happen. Were you able to get that list of properties from Gringotts?"
"No, they wouldn't let me have it, no matter how much I begged, pleaded or threatened. All they would tell me was that three of Harry's properties were under Fidelius charms and that there's no way to find them." She sighed. "I thought that Harry would eventually contact us to let us know how he's doing."
Ron shook his head. "You know how he is when he gets something into his head. He probably knew that Draco would ask us for help because we're the closest to him. I wish that the laws required more out of Harry than just notifying Draco that he's going to be a father."
Hermione's eyes became wide. "Maybe they do and we just don't know it. I'm going to go to the law library at the Ministry to see if there are other laws on the books about single parenthood. If there is, maybe we can force Harry's hand."
"You can look, but don't do anything until the two of us have talked to Draco about it. You know how Harry is when he's forced to do something he doesn't want to. The only reason he wrote that letter to Draco was because Madame Pomfrey threatened to get the Ministry involved...WAIT! Madame Pomfrey! D'you think she might know where Harry is?"
"She might...Harry's said that she's one of the few adults that he trusts. You go see her while I go to the Ministry." They went into the library to tell Draco where they were going.
"I'm going with you, Ron. I want to see if anyone else at Hogwarts might know where he is."
They went their separate ways, Hermione heading to the Ministry building and Ron and Draco to Hogwarts.
It had been a very tiring day for Harry. He had gone to see a solicitor about the pregnancy, just to make sure that he had done everything he had to. There were no laws about it, other than the one about informing the other parent that he was pregnant. Since his letter had absolved Draco of any responsibility, and he could afford the baby on his own, there was nothing else he needed to do. He lay on the sofa in the sitting room, trying not to think about Draco and what he was doing.
There hadn't been any more articles in the Prophet, but there was a weekly advertisement stating that, if anyone had any information as to Harry's whereabouts, they were to contact Draco Malfoy at Number 12 Grimmauld Place. He hadn't realized that Draco would stay with Ron and Hermione, but he figured that they would somehow be helping him. He felt a tear leak out of his eye and roll down his cheek. If only he didn't feel like he did, if only Draco felt differently.
"Draco, I need to talk to you."
"What about Potter? I wouldn't think we had anything to say to each other."
"I need to talk to you about that night. We..."
"Don't Potter, just don't, alright? We had sex, it meant nothing."
"No, no 'buts'. I don't want to hear it. It. Meant. Nothing. What part of that is so difficult for you to understand? It was a one-off, for one night only. You might be worth another night, at some other time, but not right now. I have a future to plan...have to get married and have children, you know. After all, the Malfoy name must go on, no matter what my father did to it. Mother had a list of potential brides, so I think I'll look at that."
Harry couldn't understand why Draco was babbling the way he was or why he wouldn't let Harry speak to him. All he wanted to do was to tell him about the baby. But, now that he knew that Draco felt that he was only good for sex, he couldn't tell him; he couldn't set himself up for a fall like that. He backed away, trying hard not to let his pain show. He'd had a crush on Draco since fifth year...he didn't know when it had turned into love, but it had, and now Draco was breaking his heart.
Harry turned around and walked away from the only person he'd ever loved.
Harry knew that Poppy was worried about him. He hadn't started gaining any weight yet, but he was starting to show slightly. Since he had kept himself in good physical condition before the pregnancy, his abdomen had been flat and nicely toned, but now there was a thickening to his waistline. He hadn't thought that he would show at three months, but apparently his body decided he would. He was more worried about the depression he couldn't seem to shake; it felt like he was surrounded by walls and dark clouds, all vying to fall down on him. He tried to keep as active as possible, but he was just so tired all the time.
Poppy flooed into the sitting room for her weekly visit. She had changed it from every other week to once or twice a week when Harry showed signs of depression. She was very concerned about the boy and hoped that he wouldn't do anything to harm himself or the baby. She saw him lying on the sofa and began her normal scans. He still hadn't put on weight, but that was to be expected, he was only three months along. He should start gaining soon...I hope, she thought. She rummaged through the basket she had brought and pulled out several brightly coloured phials. She began to chant the spells that would send the potions directly into his system.
The sounds of someone muttering phrases in Latin woke Harry from his nap. He blearily gazed up at Poppy and smiled. "I'm sorry I woke you Harry. I was hoping to get these into your body before you got up. Just stay still, I'm almost done." He lay still on the sofa until she was done and then sat up. "Stay there, we need to talk." Harry sighed and sat back against the sofa, knowing that she was right, he did need to talk to someone.
"Harry, you can't keep going on like this, you're not doing yourself or the baby any good. You need to get out more, see more daylight. I know you're depressed about the situation, but you have to do something to get out of it."
"What should I do? I'm so tired all the time, Poppy. I just don't feel like moving most days."
"The problem with that is that, if it keeps up, your health is going to decline and, by proxy, so will the baby's. I think you need to come to the school to help me during the day. It will get you out of this house and you'll be able to talk to me whenever you need to. You need to talk to me Harry, so that I can help you. I need to know what you're thinking and feeling."
"Is there a way to do it so that no one sees me? I don't want anyone to know where I am. Ginny and Dean will be back soon and all of the professors know me."
"I've asked the castle for a separate room for brewing potions and making salves. You could be in there with me. It will help me and you at the same time."
"Alright, when should I start?"
"You can come tomorrow, just floo directly into the Infirmary Potions Room." She paused, thinking about how to word what she wanted to say. "You ought to know that I had two visitors today, Ronald Weasley and Draco Malfoy. They asked if I had seen you and said that you had told Ronald that I was one of the few adults you trusted."
Harry stiffened slightly before sighing and relaxing again. "I knew that they would come to you eventually, I just didn't expect it so soon. Ron's right, you are about the only adult I trust completely; you've never hurt me, you even fought with Dumbledore about my safety."
Poppy smiled slightly and thought about how to tell Harry what Draco Malfoy had looked like. "Harry, I don't want to worry you, but I feel I must tell you that Draco looked awful. He has lost about two stone and he has horrible dark circles under his eyes. I think he may not have been truthful when he spoke to you about how he felt about that night."
Harry's pulse sped up and he felt a pang in his chest. He's just worried about his heir, not about me. "Poppy, why would he lie to me? He's never felt anything for me except hatred and, for one night, lust. He doesn't care about me like that, he never will." Harry lay back down on the sofa and closed his eyes, hoping that she took the hint.
She did. "I'm sorry Harry, I just don't believe that. I'll be going now; I will see you in the morning, at about 9, if that's alright with you." Harry nodded and the medi-witch flooed back to Hogwarts. Harry fell asleep, dreaming of silvery-eyed gods and dark haired babies.
Draco had given up. He had gone back to Malfoy Manor at about Harry's five month mark and hadn't left in the last two months. Ron and Hermione came over to give him non-existent updates about the search, but he knew that they'd never find Harry. He didn't deserve to find Harry after what he'd said. He had lost more weight and had basically stopped doing anything that remotely resembled something healthy for him. He drank coffee and ate crisps, when he ate, never eating what the house elves prepared for him.
He heard a knock at the door, but couldn't be arsed to get off of the sofa to see who it was. He wasn't sure he had the strength to walk anyway. One of the house elves must have answered it because he heard talking in the hallway. He hadn't seen Ron or Hermione in about a week and had spent the entire time not eating and avoiding mirrors; he really didn't want to see what he looked like. He heard a muffled gasp as Hermione rounded the end of the sofa and caught sight of him. He tried to smile, but didn't think he succeeded. He vaguely heard someone talking in the floo and then felt strong arms surrounding him. He felt a spinning motion followed by complete darkness.
Harry knew he was pushing it, but he really couldn't find it in himself to care. The last time she had come over Poppy had threatened to petrify him and drag him to Hogwarts if he didn't start taking better care of himself and the baby. He ate only when the hunger pangs told him that he needed to and had stopped going outside of the house altogether. He couldn't remember the last time he had actually bathed; normally he just ran a soapy cloth over his body or used a cleansing spell. He just didn't care anymore. If he couldn't share this baby with Draco, what was the point?
He heard the floo flare up and knew he was in deep shite. He felt himself being levitated onto a stretcher and moved toward the hearth. He could hear Poppy muttering under her breath and thought he heard things like 'Stupid child' and 'I warned you'. He knew she was going to chain him to a bed in her infirmary this time. It was sort of her fault; she should never have told him that his magic would support the baby and keep it healthy even if his health declined. He heard the fire flare and then...nothing.
Poppy had just finished getting Harry settled in a private room at the back of the infirmary when she heard the floo activate. She hurried out to the main room and almost fell over at what she saw. Ronald Weasley stepped out of the hearth with Draco Malfoy in his arms. Well, she assumed it was Draco Malfoy, because this frighteningly thin man no longer resembled the reasonably healthy one she had seen just four months ago. She motioned Ron to follow her and led him into another private room. After getting Draco settled, she stepped out, closed the door and warded both rooms so that neither man could get out without an alarm sounding; not that either of them was in any shape to walk, let alone try to escape. She led Ronald and Hermione to her office and shut the door, activating a ward that would let her know if anyone came into the infirmary.
"He's given up. We've been trying to find Harry since we left the Express, but haven't been able to locate him. People have answered Draco's advert, stating that they've seen Harry from Hogsmeade all the way to Portsmouth. They all think that Draco's offering money for news of a sighting, real or otherwise." Hermione sighed. "If we don't find Harry soon, I think he's going to give up entirely. We can't get him to eat, his house elves say that they prepare meals for him every day, but he turns them away and tells them to eat the food. Tippy, his personal elf, said that he hasn't eaten in about a week now. We're afraid he's going to kill himself if this keeps up!"
Poppy pursed her lips slightly and stood. "Follow me." She led them to the door of the room next to Draco's. "You must keep this to yourselves. If any of this gets out, Minerva will have my guts for garters for not telling her." She opened the door and ushered them inside.
For a moment, neither one recognized the man lying on the bed, then the hair clued them in to who they were looking at. "Harry!" Ron breathed. They almost ran to the bedside and stared down at their lost friend. Harry had lost so much weight that, like Draco, he was almost unrecognisable. They noticed the large swelling under the blanket and realized that Harry's belly was huge in comparison to his body. It was almost like someone had attached a large ball to the belly of a skeleton. Hermione sank down to the floor, crying despondently.
"If I hadn't gone to see him today, I'm not sure what I would have found the next time I went. I made the mistake of telling him that his magic would keep the baby alive and well, even to the detriment of his own body. I think, after hearing that, he just gave up." She looked at them and back at the man on the bed. "I need you to stay here. I'll arrange for rooms off of the back of the infirmary, so that no one will have to see you come and go from Mr. Malfoy's room. I promised Harry that I would tell no one that he was here, so I expect you to 'accidentally' discover him once I tell you that he's woken up. I've given him nutrient potions, so that he will be able to keep carrying the baby, and you can see the intravenous hook-up. He doesn't need to know about Mr. Malfoy yet. I am assuming, judging from the condition he's in, that he lied to Harry about not caring about him."
Hermione nodded as Ron helped her off of the floor. "He almost broke down at King's Cross when I gave him Harry's letter. Over the last few months, he's talked to us and explained things a little bit. His father told him that his son wasn't allowed to be gay, that Draco had to marry and marry well. He had lived for so long under his father's threats that denying his own nature became normal for him. When he and Harry spent their night together, it was his way of rebelling against his father. He told us that he said what he did because he loves Harry and was afraid of Harry telling him that it was only for that night and that there were no feelings behind it." She looked at Ron. "How did he put it?"
"He said that it was a choice of to hurt or be hurt and he chose to do the hurting first. He also said that this was the first time that choice had ever backfired on him."
Poppy nodded. "All we can do right now is to nurse them back to health. Once they're stable, then we can let them see each other. I think that if we let them see each other now, in the condition that they're in, it would do more harm than good; not to mention that neither of them is conscious. This is going to be a long process, are you willing to stay and help me?"
After about a week of Poppy spelling nutrient potions into his body and chanting healing spells over him, Draco was the first to wake up. He knew from the smell and the sterile white walls that he was in a hospital, but he didn't know which one...he really hoped it wasn't St. Mungo's. A head of bushy brown hair came around the door frame, followed by the rest of Hermione's body. She was quietly speaking to someone outside the door so, while her back was still to him, Draco closed his eyes again and feigned sleep. Hermione crept up to the bed and stood looking down on him. He thought she didn't know he was awake as she began to talk to him.
"I wish that you'd listened to Harry that day, Draco. None of this would have happened and you and Harry would be happily expecting your baby." An alarm had gone off when Draco woke, so Hermione knew he was faking sleep. She knew enough not to say anything about Harry being next door or about how awful he still looked. "One of these days you're going to allow you to be yourself. I hope you realize how much you are wanted and needed by everyone, not just Harry. Ron and I don't know what we'd do without you as part of our lives. Your godfather has been in here several times, checking up on you. Severus said that he always knew about your sexual preference and had tried to make your father see reason. Believe it or not, Minerva McGonagall came in yesterday and tried to flay you alive...it was a bit of a lost cause because you're still unconscious. When you finally wake up, I want you to promise me that you'll never do anything like this again. I don't think you know how close you came to dying. Poppy said that, if we hadn't brought you here when we did, you would have been dead within three or four days. I know you can hear me, even if you are unconscious. Please Draco, don't do this again. Harry's going to need you when we find him...and we will find him, just you wait." She finished her little monologue and left the room, closing the door softly behind her.
She went into the next room and cast a silencing spell...she didn't want Draco to hear her. "Harry, I know you can hear me. Poppy said that talking to you might make you wake up sooner...I hope so. You don't know what your leaving did to Draco; we've been searching for you ever since we got off of the Express. He's doing better now, but for a while, this past week, we weren't sure either one of you was going to live. He lied to you, you know, when he said that it was just a one-off. He nearly broke down after he read your letter. I'd never seen Draco cry before and I would have been happy to never see it again, but unfortunately, he seems to cry a lot lately. He thinks we're never going to find you; he doesn't know you're here. I don't think letting him see you right now would be a good idea, though; you look like absolute hell. I think you've actually lost more weight than Draco has, and, since you're pregnant, that really isn't a good thing. Poppy said that she's been taking care of you since you left and she thinks she's made a dreadful mistake by telling you that your magic would keep the baby alive. What happens, though, if you do enough harm to yourself that your body can't take it? Will your magic still keep the baby alive, or will it die with you? Do you really want to do that? I know you're depressed, but if you had just contacted one of us, we would have told you that Draco lied to you." She sighed and leaned in to kiss Harry's scar. "I love you, Harry James Potter, Ron loves you and, believe it or not, Draco loves you. Don't you dare give up; you have a baby that's just waiting to come out and make its two fathers so happy. I want to be around for this birth and the births of all of your children with Draco. But you have to wake up for that to happen. Please, Harry, we miss you so much. Please come back to us." She wiped the tears off of her cheeks and left the room, never seeing the one lone tear that made its way out from under Harry's closed eyelid.
He could hear voices, lots of voices, but he couldn't place names to them. He wanted to respond, but it was as if he was trapped somewhere. It wasn't such a bad place to be, wherever this was. It was nice and warm in here, free from any kind of pain, free from the depression that had been slowly sucking him in. He walked around a bit, stretching his legs and looking around him. He looked down and saw a little girl standing in front of him. She was beautiful, with long black hair and gorgeous grey eyes. He knelt down next to her and placed a hand on her shoulder. She was crying and he wanted to help.
'What's wrong little one?'
She sniffled and wiped the tears from her eyes. 'My daddy is sick and I want him to get better.'
'Where is your daddy, maybe I can help?'
She shook her head. 'He has to help himself, the lady said. She said that he needs to wake up, but no one can do that for him, he has to want to wake up.'
'What's wrong with your daddy?'
'He's sad. He thought my other daddy didn't love him, but the other lady says that he does. She said that he needs to wake up, that he needs to go back to them.'
'Why doesn't your daddy wake up? Doesn't he realize that you need him?'
'He knows, but he's too sad. My other daddy loves him, but Daddy doesn't think that he does. The other lady said that my other daddy was crying because of a letter. I want my daddy to wake up.'
He picked the little girl up in his arms and held her close. 'What's your name, little one?'
'I don't have one yet, I'm waiting for my name.'
He hugged the child closer to his chest, feeling her heartbeat meld with his. 'I think your daddy's going to wake up soon, precious. Why don't you go back and be with him, so that he can wake up and get better.'
He set the girl back on the ground and watched as she scampered off. 'Thank you, sir, for helping my daddy wake up!'
Harry slowly opened his eyes...
It had been two weeks since Draco had woken up. He knew Harry was in the next room, but he hadn't been allowed to see him. Madame Pomfrey said that he wasn't stable enough to handle hearing Draco's voice yet. Just knowing Harry was close by and alive was enough for right now. Draco was slowly getting better and gaining weight, but it wasn't easy after months of deprivation. Professor McGonagall had been in to see him several times, each time she had become more motherly towards him, even going so far as to sit and hold his hand when he got upset that Harry wasn't awake yet.
He heard the faint sound of an alarm and scurrying feet from outside of his door. Wondering what was going on, he sat up and carefully slipped from his bed. His muscles were taking longer to recover than his stomach had; he was still very shaky on his feet. Holding onto the wall, he edged his way around the room to the door and opened it. He peeked around the edge, hoping to see someone he knew, but it was now quiet again. The windows were dark, so he assumed it was night time and everyone else was asleep. He heard the door next to him open and he pulled his head back in, looking through the slight space he had left open. Madame Pomfrey came out of Harry's room, smiling and wiping away tears. As she walked into her office, Draco opened the door and slowly crept over to Harry's room.
He opened the door and slipped inside of the room. He didn't know what to expect; Hermione and Ron had told him that Harry had been in worse shape than him, that only his magic had been keeping him and the baby alive. That had changed over the last two weeks; Madame Pomfrey had said that Harry had started to gain a little weight from all of the intravenous potions and liquids that she had given him. He looked at the man on the bed and almost fell to the floor. He was so frail looking, so thin, that if Draco hadn't seen his chest rising and falling with each breath he took, he would have thought that Harry was dead. He felt tears start to fall again and cursed himself for being so weak. He quietly summoned a chair over to sit by the edge of Harry's bed. He picked up the hand lying next to him and held it, occasionally pressing kisses to it as he spoke.
"I wish I hadn't lied to you Harry. I'm sorry that I caused all of this but I didn't know that you felt anything for me but hatred. I-I think I've been in love with you since you were following me around in sixth year. I knew it was you and I hoped you felt something for me too, but you never let on that you did. Ron and Hermione have been helping me get through all of this, letting me stay with them, trying to feed me, holding my hand when I cried because I couldn't find you. Madame Pomfrey said that she's been supporting you, but I can't imagine that it was as nice as it would have been if you'd had your friends with you. Why did you run away? You could have had Ron and Hermione with you this whole time." He drew a deep breath and continued to speak.
"I said what I did so that I wouldn't be hurt when you told me that it could never happen again, that you felt nothing for me. Like I told Ron, I figured it was either hurt or be hurt...so I chose to hurt you. If ever I made a wrong decision, that was it. I guess that I was channelling my father for that conversation, and I shouldn't have. He never did anything good for me and there I was, using his expressions, his tone of voice, to cut down the only person I'd ever really cared about. After I'd read your letter I think I went crazy for a little while. I don't remember much about the first month after you left. Hermione tells me that I used every option I could find, pulled every string I could, to see if anyone knew where you were. I was keeping track of time by calculating how far along the pregnancy was." Draco ran a gentle hand over Harry's swollen belly. "It was about the only accurate way I had of telling how much time had passed. When you were about five months pregnant, I gave up. I knew we were never going to find you and I really didn't deserve to find you, not after what I'd said. I went back to Malfoy Manor and closed myself off to everyone except Ron, Hermione and my house elves. Ron and Hermione would come by once a week to let me know if anything had been found; the elves tried to tempt me to eat, but I didn't want to eat anything, well nothing good for me, anyway. I'm still trying to figure out how I survived two months on nothing but coffee and crisps. When you hit the seven month mark, that's when Ron and Hermione brought me here. I didn't wake up for about a week; they told me I had almost succeeded in killing myself." Harry moved fitfully when Draco said this, so he knew that Harry heard him.
"Once I woke up, Madame Pomfrey began to feed me almost constantly. Every hour, on the hour, she would be in with some small snack, so my stomach could get used to real food again. A week ago they told me that you were here, too. Hermione's been in every day to talk to you...Ron comes often too, but this is the first time I've been out of my room. I don't think I'm supposed to be in here, but I couldn't stay away any longer. I've been thinking about the day I would see you again...I told myself that I would tell you everything." He looked down at Harry's hand in his. "I love you, Harry Potter."
Draco raised his head to look into the most beautiful green eyes he'd ever seen.
Harry heard Draco's voice as if from a distance. He had fallen asleep again after Poppy left and thought that his voice was part of a dream. He slowly began to realize that it wasn't a dream; Draco was sitting next to him, talking to him and holding his hand. His brain didn't make much sense of anything until one phrase caught his complete attention, 'they told me I had almost succeeded in killing myself'. Harry tried to reach for Draco but couldn't convince his limbs to move. He swam closer to consciousness when Draco started speaking again. He listened to what Draco told him about when he'd first woken up and knew it was time for him to wake up and see him. He heard the one phrase that he'd longed to hear, 'I love you, Harry Potter' and opened his eyes completely.
Draco's eyes widened as he realized that Harry was awake and looking at him. He smiled for the first time in months and pressed another kiss to Harry's hand. Harry gave him a slight smile and tried to talk, but couldn't get any words out. Draco looked around for a glass of water or something, so that Harry could ease the dryness in his throat. There was none, so he pushed the buzzer that he knew would alert Madame Pomfrey. She bustled in and gasped when she saw that Draco was sitting beside Harry's bed and Harry was awake.
"Can he have some water or something; he wants to say something but can't."
She nodded and pointed her wand out of the door. "Accio water and glass." A pitcher of water flew into the room, followed by a small cup. She poured some of the water into the cup and supported Harry's head so that he could drink it. Once he was finished, he collapsed back onto his pillows, what little strength he had almost gone.
He looked a Draco and smiled, already falling asleep again. Just before his eyes closed, he said what Draco had wanted to hear for almost two years..."I love you, too, Draco Malfoy."
It took quite some time for both men to recover from what they had done to themselves. They remained at Hogwarts for the six weeks following Harry's awakening. Three weeks after he woke up, the baby decided to demand entrance into the world; Draco was with him the entire time. Poppy had decided that a Caesarean Section would be the safest way to deliver the baby because of Harry's precarious health. There were no problems at all with the delivery and Harry was soon looking into the face of his and Draco's daughter. She had black hair that looked like it would be just as unruly as his and her eyes looked like they would end up being the colour of Draco's.
As Harry looked at his daughter, he realized that he had seen her before...in the dream he'd had just before he woke up. He ran a gentle finger down her cheek and let her tiny fist grab and capture it. "For a tiny thing she's got a good grip." He smiled at Draco who just stared at the baby in Harry's arms.
"She's perfect. How the hell did we produce something so perfect?" Draco kissed Harry gently. "What do we name her?"
"Does it mean anything?"
"It means beautiful in Irish Gaelic. Seamus was useful for something."
Draco chuckled. "Alainn...I like it." He looked down on the now sleeping baby. "Well, Alainn, welcome to Hogwarts. Your daddy and I went through a lot to get you here, I'm sure you'll be worth every moment."
Harry leaned in and pressed a kiss on Draco's lips. "She already is."