Happy New Year
Draco returned from Number Twelve Grimmauld Place to the smell of garlic and a familiar tune. Hermione had graciously offered to watch both Karina and Altair for New Year's Eve, thinking the normally occupied parents could do with a night off.
Of course, taking the two anywhere was never a simple task. Draco must have had seven cups of tea, ruined totally and completely by excessive amounts of sugar, with his daughter and her adoring fan, Rosie. Altair fussed at Harry's absence, always in search of that raven hair, and actually examining the hair owned by the arms coddling him. His nose would scrunch in distaste immediately before turning his face away and wailing for his favorite father.
Harry won't convince me otherwise.
It had taken Draco four hours to pacify his son and sufficiently wear out Karina. Another hour of Quidditch talk with Ron, and an hour of interrogation with Hermione.
"You're not getting cold feet, are you?" she'd asked, and patted her rapidly expanding stomach.
Draco settled Altair into the cradle Hermione would soon place her own son and quirked an uncertain eyebrow. "Why would you ask that? Has Harry said something? He's not-."
"Shh," she cooed gently, pulling Draco from his son and into the hallway, closing the door behind them. "He says you're a bit nervous lately. Jumpy. Keeping to yourself."
The blond sighed and took solace in the sturdy wall behind him. "Karina's started calling him 'Daddy' and Altair loves him so much. Everyone loves him. He's perfect, and I suppose I'm worried the prat deserves better than me."
"That's silly," Hermione assured and resumed the attention to her stomach. "He loves you more than anything."
"I know that. I just, well, you know, surely you can understand. If you thought Ron was better off with someone else, wouldn't you consider the possibility? If he could be better, happier?"
The witch smiled sadly and shook her head. "I wouldn't give him up for anyone else. We're not perfect, Draco. We make mistakes constantly. But, we need each other. We need the little things that not only make our love, but challenge it. And staying together proves just how important we are, just how much we've grown to rely on each other."
"How do you know it'll always be this way?" Draco asked quietly, terrified his thoughts had wandered this far. "How do you know it'll always be enough?"
Hermione's smile changed, then. It was so certain and pure from doubt. "Trust, Draco."
Of course he trusted Harry. He didn't, however, trust himself. Didn't trust his bravery. Wouldn't trust his ability to accept Harry's love over and over again. Draco loved the man with everything he had, but he'd never allow himself to suffer the shock and mind numbing damage brought on by the disappearance of Harry's love and support.
He couldn't imagine, now, a life without Harry. And that was such a dangerous, vulnerable state to exist in. People were such fickle creatures. Constantly changing and evolving. Needing more or needing less. Needing something else entirely.
Though, needing more than Harry seemed impossible. He'd always been the exception.
Shaking his head of the traitorous thoughts, Draco examined the mess made in his kitchen and rolled his eyes at Harry's knowledge of his late return. Late enough to almost have dinner prepared and table set. The wizard must have had a sense for these things.
Music still traveled through from the floor above him and he wondered when Harry found the time to put together the record machine he'd been teasing the blond about since Christmas. The Muggle contraption was terribly difficult to find, but Draco persevered and located the exact player Harry remembered a cousin owning when he was a child.
The sound is incredible, Draco. And not all Muggle music is terrible. I'll prove it.
And if this particular sound was coming from said machine, then Draco would have to agree. The sound was wonderful, almost a live performance.
Auld Lang Syne… That's it!
Draco smiled smugly to himself and took the stairs two at a time, hoping to surprise Harry before he realized his company. He peered stealthily into their bedroom in vain as his fiancé was nowhere to be found and the player in pieces scattered across the floor.
The song still played, though. And the sound seemed to be coming from the study where Karina's piano should have been sitting idly as its pianist was currently entertaining a three-year-old with hair as bright as her father's.
He carefully inched his way towards the study and pressed his ear to the door. Suddenly, singing accompanied the piano and Draco could feel the edges of his mouth turn upwards in recognition of Harry's voice.
The Chosen One didn't sing regularly, nor did he play piano as far as Draco's knowledge traveled. The piano had been bought at Karina's request, and the witch developed her talent quickly and passionately. She really was a remarkable child.
Draco thanked his Auror training for a quiet entry and paced on the tips of his toes towards the left of Harry and taking a seat atop the piano's bench. A startled yelp and sharp note had Draco chuckling deeply and latching onto his fiancé's opposite hip to catch his probable fall.
"Draco!" Harry breathed in a rush, and leaned into his oppressor for comfort. "I made dinner."
"When did you learn to play?" the blond asked and plucked a few keys remembered from his own, nearly forgotten, lessons. "Seems I've lost it."
"Karina's been teaching me on her breaks. I'm not exactly Mozart yet."
Draco nudged him playfully and pressed a kiss to his cheek. "Nonsense. Don't let me interrupt, though."
Harry flushed scarlet and shook his head. "No need to suffer on my account."
"Please?" the Auror offered knowingly with a pout. The Savior wasn't weak by any stretch of the imagination, but for now, with Draco, he was easily manipulated.
The former Slytherin may not have been blessed with the ability to do wandless magic and alter his lover's mood without the slightest effort, but he was cunning- a right fit for his House. He'd memorized every reaction to his actions and used them accordingly.
"That's not fair," Harry whined and situated his hands above the keys. "You could get away with murder."
"How do you know I haven't?"
Instead of answering, Harry began to play again and eventually braved the lyrics as well. Draco sat in awe beside him, closing his eyes, and allowing himself to drown.
The former Gryffindor's voice was so warm and threatened to break the hearts of any fortunate enough to listen. He didn't demand attention or ask. Harry had, and would always have, a presence about him. A presence that couldn't be ignored by any fault of his own.
It was impossible not to love Harry.
"Was it that terrible?"
"Hm?" Draco mumbled unintelligibly.
"You're crying," he observed as a thumb went to brush away the dampness he only now decided existed against his cheek.
"I hadn't realized," Draco said softly, hoping to preserve this moment. "It was beautiful, Harry."
Bright, viridian eyes stared back at him in disbelief. This face, however morbid he thinks it sounds, comforts him. The terror in his eyes, the way his lip trembles, his furrowing eyebrows…
This uncertainty kept Draco from feeling so alone. Almost convinced him that feeling vulnerable wasn't shameful, and it wouldn't kill you if someone was around to pick up the pieces.
Harry sat in his favorite position, the corner of the loveseat with Draco's head nestled into his lap. A warm cup of tea cooled on the table beside him as his fiancé read aloud from this week's tabloids. Each year, the after Christmas scandals seemed to increase tenfold, and this year was no exception.
"I don't think Charlie has ever been in the news more. He hasn't honestly mated with one of those monsters, has he?"
The Chosen One snorted and raked his fingers through Draco's hair. "I don't believe so, no. Dragons aren't really his type."
"Huh," he hummed and began reading again- this time to himself only. "Do you like dragons?"
"Some of them."
Draco looked up with the makings of a snarl twitching the corner of his nose. "Some?"
"Just the one, really. A right twat, but he's got a lovely arse."
"Tread carefully, Boy Wonder. I refuse to let your flattery distract me from insult."
Harry chuckled. "Who says I was talking about you?"
The blond opened his mouth to speak, but seemed to choose otherwise with a nod and removed himself from Harry's lap. "I'll make tea."
"Draco, I already have a cup," Harry said uneasily as Draco refused to hear him and trudged towards the kitchen. The Chosen One sighed heavily in bewilderment.
What's wrong now?
He followed eventually, giving his fiancé space to recover. It hadn't been enough time, apparently, as Draco was found bracing himself against the countertop with white knuckles and a seriously deep line to his brow. No tea in sight.
Harry settled behind him, chest to back, hands over gripped fists, and kissed a bit of revealed skin at Draco's neck.
"Penny for your thoughts?"
Draco shrugged, but his grip did loosen. "I'm not thinking of anything." Harry wrapped both sets of arms around Draco's waist and the Auror leaned into the embrace. "I was just talking to Hermione today. She said you were worried about me. Thought I was having some doubts."
Harry stiffened and waited for the blow. "Are you?" he gulped.
"Not for the reasons you're worried about. I don't want you to make a mistake."
"Hey," Harry whispered and rotated the man in his arms to face him. Draco's eyes were cast away from his own, his jaw set in protest. "Look at me, yeah?"
Oh, he's shaking.
Finally, disturbed grey met concerned green and Harry held on tighter, pulled closer, and rested his forehead against the blond's.
"You're not a mistake, Draco. And if I ever made you feel like you weren't enough, I'm sorry. I love you. I won't stop loving you."
"How do you know that?"
This face, this broken, beaten expression flashing a moment before an unwelcomed, hardened mask. Couldn't he see? Didn't he know?
Harry hadn't a home before Draco. Things simply were and there wasn't hope and the whole matter was a depressing one, so he avoided the thought entirely if possible. Especially after considering he had no intentions on being without Draco.
It wasn't an option.
"Because I can't survive without you."
"Even if I'm a right twat?" Harry rolled his eyes and smiled softly before kissing the tip of Draco's nose.
"You're exactly what I need."
Fireworks sounded outside as the clock began to strike. In his distraction, Harry hardly noticed a pair of lips parting his own well into the New Year. He smiled into the kiss and cradled Draco's face to slow the pace and assure both he and his future spouse that they weren't going anywhere. Would never be going anywhere.
"You're not so bad yourself, Potter," Draco drawled playfully. "We'll be okay, won't we?"
Removing his hands and taking the blond's left hand in his, Harry kissed the ring that sealed their promise.
"We'll be perfect. Happy New Year, Draco."
Happy New Year's!
I love doubt followed by cute.
My next addition will probably be their wedding/wedding night. I'm thinking a spring wedding.
Thanks for reading.