WHY HELLO THERE. CAN YOU HEAR ME? IS THIS- IS THIS THING ON?
W-Why... ahem. Hello there.
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Still is. :heart:
Dedicated to Skylar. I think you wanted something like this for your birthday.. well here ya' go!
Summary: When Harry runs across a very ill Scorpius Malfoy and his rather exhausted, rather attractive father, neither knew it would lead to pushing back a looming death date or involve a lot of life, love, a unicorn and plenty of apples.
Pairing: Harry/Draco. And Scorpius' obsession with all things apple-related and Perry the Unicorn. (Is that even legal?)
Harry didn't have breaks often, didn't like to take them. Most liked to say that he enjoyed his job a little too much, but that wasn't a very big concern for the man. He'd learned years ago not to heed the words of others. They were often biased, entirely incorrect, or just skewed enough to cause confusion. Yes, he enjoyed his job. Was it too much? That was a matter of opinion, which was as unreliable as Rita Skeeter's Quick-Quotes Quill had been when he'd been a confused, angry boy in a tournament.
He glanced towards the park he passed on his way to and from the coffee shop he liked to frequent and paused a moment to watch the children play. There were peals of laughter, short shrieks of delight. Harry felt a smile tugging at the corner of his lips, so let it spread until he was grinning. Okay, so maybe breaks from work weren't such a bad thing if they gave him time to watch a bunch of kids and just smile... Even if he looked a little creepy standing a distance from a park with his hands in the pockets of his robes.
But then his gaze was caught by a beautiful little blonde boy. He seemed incredibly small, even from his distance, and a bright blue scarf was wrapped around his neck even though it was the middle of August and almost unbearably hot. As Harry watched him glide back and forth on a swing set he began to take in the boy's surroundings and started to walk forward, a frown replacing the smile. He could see it in his mind's eye and wanted to be there in time to stop- damn.
The two that had been sneaking up behind him made their attack, jumping at him with terrifying grunts. The little child tumbled from the swing in his haste to try and get away, crying out as he landed. The two children ran off, but the frail looking blonde didn't seem to be moving. Harry focused on him, taking the last few yards and sitting beside him. "Hey," he said quietly, gently lifting the boy into his lap. He weighed almost nothing and Harry felt a pang of sympathy, another one stabbing at him when he saw that the fall had left his nose bleeding. "Hey, there," Harry whispered. "You're alright. Here we are." He lifted his wand and the boy gazed at him with wide, silver eyes that were eerily familiar. "Episkey," he cast and the boy winced as his nose was fixed.
Draco gave a small sigh, running a hand over his face that was sallow with exhaustion. The blonde allowed his gaze to flicker around the park with a small pang of something keen to longing deep in his chest. Draco Malfoy, once an esteemed (and slightly feared) name, he continued to tell himself as he uncrossed his arms from around his chest - now a single father to an adorable, rambunctious little five year old. The blonde wouldn't have it any other way.
He sat up, his gazing searching around for a shock of blonde hair, dread quickly filling like liquid lead in his stomach when his eyes couldn't seem to pick out the blonde hair from the swarms of children playing around. His mind instantly began running rampant, thoughts filling his head - almost consuming him as he stood to walk around the parameter of the park, a small messenger bag being slung over his shoulder in the process.
Walking past the slides, teeter-totter, and even the sand pit (his little five year old hated the damn thing), Draco still had not found his own little shock of blonde hair. His heart was quickly exploding in his chest, his grip tightening against the weathered brown strap of his messenger bag. A bright flash of blonde had Draco jerking his head around, a small hiss escaping his lips at the flash of pain.
"Loser!" he heard the call from across the park, two bulky boys no more than the age of seven approached the swings with their fists clenched. Draco couldn't tell what was going to happen, but as he saw a small glimpse of platinum blonde hair from between the two, he knew it couldn't be good. He rushed forward just as his little baby boy was pushed to the ground. "Scorpius!" he gasped.
Harry looked up as footsteps neared and felt something in his world shift. Draco bloody Malfoy. He looked down at the boy still in his lap and the frown tugged at his lips. He should've realized... It was almost like looking at a clone. A rather small, too-light one, but a clone nonetheless. Godric, was Draco even feeding the boy?
He stood, cradling the child in his arms as Draco drew nearer. "Malfoy?"
Draco froze, slate grey eyes wide as his mouth seem to run dry. Out of all the people that could of picked his child up, it had to be saint Potter, of course. They hadn't seen each other in years, what was the brunette doing here? "P-Potter?" He stood up taller, a glare coming to his face before it fell, almost immediately, to a look of worry when his eyes locked on to his son cradled in the brunette's arms. He rushed forward. "Scorpius!" He gasped in relief, arms coming out to tug the boy against his chest, his fingers stroking through soft blonde locks as the little boy glanced up at him, wiping the little dribble of blood from his nose with the back of his sleeves.
Harry blew out a breath, tucking his wand back up his sleeve. That hadn't been the outcry of an abused or neglected child; he'd been legitimately happy to see his father. "A couple of boys pushed him. You saw it happen?"
Draco nodded, cuddling Scorpius to his chest for a few seconds before he kneeled down, setting the boy on his feet gently. Draco adjusted the little boys scarf and re-zipped his jacket before giving a quick peck to his forehead. 'Nothing happened, it was all okay,' Draco continually told himself as he gathered Scorpius back in to his arms, his heart giving a small lurch as the little boy's fingers curled against his simple, black long-sleeved shirt.
"Let's get you some food, okay, Scorp?"
"Okay, daddy!" Scorpius's grin was wide on his face, his pale complexion warm with a small flush of exertion. "Apples?" the little blonde smiled up at him as if the world didn't cast him away, as if he had no worries.
Draco gave a small chuckle. "Of course, Scorp. Apples." He stood up fully, intent on leaving the park and not looking back for fear of hexing the boys who pushed Scorpius down before he paused. Potter. Shite.
Said auror had watched the exchange with interest. He was clearly missing something here. A brow arching, he gave a meaningful look at Scorpius and back up to Draco, quietly asking just what was happening. He'd pegged the child at no more than four, yet he didn't seem quite that young when he spoke. So why was he so small?
"Well... ahem." Draco cleared his throat, his light blonde hair falling in to his eyes as he tried to readjust the bag gripping around his neck, and the little child fidgeting in his arms. He set Scorpius down, opting to take his hand instead. The little hand was littered in bright colored band-aids. "Thank you for helping Scorpius, but we really must be going." His voice was curt. Draco refused to admit to himself that Potter looked well... good. He had more important things to worry about then rekindling some sort of estranged friendship that never even existed.
Harry frowned, but there was more than one way to get the information he wanted. "There's a little cafe nearby that I was just on my way to." He turned a warm smile on the child. "If you'd like to join me for lunch," he offered.
Draco gave a small start at the offer, looking down at Scorpius who gazed back up at his father with wide, pleading eyes, his lower lip quivering. "Please daddy? The nice auro-ro-" Scorpius stuttered over the word, catching his tongue as he tried to pronounce it. "Wizard-man saved me!"
His father couldn't help but laugh at that, giving a quick nod of his head. "Okay, Potter. Since Scorpius agrees, why not?" What more dignity do I have to lose? "Lead the way." He hoped the cheers of happiness from Scorpius made this worth it. Why did Harry bloody Potter have to appear at the worst of times? Or... was it the best? He shook his head.
Harry nodded, gestured with one hand and wondered what he was doing. He bit back the sigh because, well, he did know what he was doing. He'd seen a too-small, too-fragile little boy that looked underfed and unloved and... What Ron labeled as his "saving people thing" had kicked in. And now it was just plain curiosity because he'd taken one look at his former rival and hadn't seen anything to rage against or suspect. He looked a little tired, really, and that alone would've knocked away any urge to fight. "Do you live around here?" he asked, tone casual.
Draco gave a small nod, picking Scorpius up and gently helping him climb over a log that rested against the curb of the sidewalk. The little boy gave a small smile and a 'thank you!' But, it came out more like 'fank yew!' as Scorpius was still missing one of his front teeth. The elder blonde smiled and pecked the boys rosy red nose before setting him on the ground. "Me and daddy live in a place wif Muggles!" Scorpius giggled, clapping his hands, his gaze bright and full of wonderment.
Harry looked down at the boy, unable to help the smile. "Do you really?"
Scorpius nodded enthusiastically. "Yep! We live wif lots of Muggles and witches and stuff! In a big building near the park!" His eyes lit up as he begin chatting about everything in his 'a-part-e-ment'. Everything from the red couch that he liked to jump on, to the cat named Severus (which Draco found Harry's reaction to humorous), and his snitch pajamas with his unicorn plush known as Perry. Draco cut him off there with a warm smile and a little tickle session. "Daaaaddy!" the little blonde cackled with delight.
There was nothing in this boy to suggest any sort of abuse, Harry decided. Absolutely nothing. He was happy, excitable, and clearly doted on. Harry's next smile was for Draco. "I never expected you to live in a mixed complex," he commented.
Malfoy snorted in amusement as he fixed the shoulder strap of his bag, rolling one sleeve up to reveal the smooth, silky pale skin of his right arm. He checked his watch. "It may as a shock to you, Potter. But yes, me and Scorpius do in-fact live in a part Wizarding part Muggle complex." He looked up from the small black device on his slim wrist when Scorpius gave a shriek of laughter and went to chase after a small horde of ducklings a few feet in front of them.
"Be careful!" Harry called automatically, glancing at Malfoy as they'd spoken simultaneously. The brunette shrugged at the questioning look he received in return. "I spend a lot of time with my godson, Teddy. He's always running after something."
Draco nodded, giving a small chuckle as Scorpius reached down as if to grab the duck before blinking down at his hand, revealing that he did not in fact catch the bright yellow animal. "Come on, Scorp!" He called, a soft smile pulling at his lips as Scorpius ran up and hugged his leg, causing his dad to pause in his walking to pick him up. He heard the rumble of his little stomach before giving a cute laugh, Scorpius blinking up at his father. "Apple time! Apple time!" He chanted happily.
"You know I get the distinct impression that Scorpius is a rather big fan of apples." Harry smiled at the boy, reaching over to ruffle his hair.
The little boy giggled, clapping his hands and nodding before resting his head against his dad's shoulder. "Yeah..." Draco mumbled, carting his fingers through his son's hair softly.
Harry watched carefully. Draco suddenly looked... sad and that didn't quite fit. Then it dawned on him and his gaze sharpened. The boy was sick, but... With what?
Draco's gaze most likely confirmed Harry's thoughts as his eyes locked with those of shocking emerald green. He glanced back down at Scorpius as they arrived at the small little Muggle cafe, Draco setting Scorpius on the ground.
"What is it?" Harry asked quietly. "What does he have?"
Draco got Scorpius settled with a small glass of apple juice at a little table in the corner of the bustling cafe before he glanced up at Harry from under the fringe of his bangs, setting his messenger bag down beside him. "We... we don't know."
"How do you not know?"
Draco rubbed at the back of his neck, making sure Scorpius was absorbed in his surroundings before allowing his expression to drop slightly. Weariness, exhaustion, an aching sadness - they were all reflected in swimming pools of silver. "We've been to every Healer that will take us, I've read countless books, visited libraries all across the world. There is absolutely nothing."
Considering which side of the war the Malfoy family had been on, Harry rather doubted that they'd been to too many healers. "If they don't know what it is, do they at least know a little of what's going on? He's... He looks way too small."
Draco swallowed almost audibly, his eyes falling shut. "No..." he ran a hand through his hair, his locks becoming disheveled, falling in to his eyes. "They just know that his magic... his magic is not taking to him." He waved a hand as if the motion would suddenly explain everything to the brunette across the table. A sigh fell from his lips as his hand fell to the table. "They think he might be a squib. A squib with some magic that is refusing to take." Malfoy's gaze told the brunette that he refused to believe that.
"He can't be a squib and have magic," Harry muttered, in agreement with Malfoy. That was a lazy answer. He looked at the child, pictured Teddy at his age and it just didn't take. Harry simply couldn't get over how small he was, how thin. "It's killing him, isn't it?"
Draco's eyes clenched shut, a swell of emotion twisting in his chest. "Y-Yes..." His fists clenched together, pressing against his legs. "My son is dying, and there is nothing I can do," he muttered as a small plate of apple slices was placed in front of the little blonde boy by a charming waitress. Draco gave a curt smile, the lines of his mouth strained. "Eat slowly, Scorpius. We don't need you upsetting your stomach."
"I know, 'addy!" The little boy giggled, small fingers already reaching for an apple slice, taking it and biting in to it with an excited crunch.
Harry watched Scorpius for a moment, slowly turned his gaze back to Draco. In a moment, the years vanished. This wasn't a former rival; this was a father with a very sick little boy. "Hermione will look at him."
The elder Malfoy's gaze flickered up to lock with emerald green eyes, hidden behind a pair of wire-framed glasses. "W-What? What could Hermione-"
"Daddy! Juice please!" Scorpius smiled, holding out the cup.
Draco smiled sadly, shaking his head. "Sorry little man, no more. You can't handle the sugar."
Scorpius pouted, nodding his head. "Okay..."
"But," Draco smiled softly, poking Scorpius' nose. "You can have one more apple." He felt his heart warm as his son's eyes lit up, a bright, wide smile, looking like it would hurt lit up his face.
Harry smiled. "How about later tonight? We'll come to you."
Draco thought it over for a moment before nodding his head, sipping at the water the waitress brought and continuing to gaze at his son fondly. "Sounds good, Potter. I'll leave my floo open." He snatched an apple slice off Scorpius' plate and took a bite, laughing warmly and reaching over to tickle his son as Scorpius shrieked with laughter. "D-D-Dadddy!"
Review? Thank youuu! Apple for you! And you! And.. maybe you.
-BecomingObsessed and StarShineDC.