Title: Potions of Different Intents
Disclaimer: I do not own these characters and I am making no money from this work.
A/N: Written for a fest on LiveJournal at harrydracompreg. Title adapted from a quote by Peter Mere Latham. "Poisons and medicine are oftentimes the same substance given with different intents."
Warnings: None, really, other than that it is obviously mpreg! Also obviously not Epilogue-compliant.
Summary: Draco Malfoy is a potions genius! But he's not prepared for the utter chaos that ensues when his father decides to meddle, causing one of his creations to have a very unexpected result for his lover, one Harry Potter.
Lucius Malfoy was a very ordered man. He liked his breakfast promptly at eight o'clock, the current copy of the Daily Prophet placed just so next to his plate. Appointments throughout his day were kept with absolute precision, both on his part and the part of other party. If not, well, it would be next to impossible for the offender to receive a second meeting with Lord Malfoy.
He was fond of everything being in its proper place, and events happening in their proper time. That being said, Lucius was growing extremely irritated with his only child. Draco was much closer to thirty than to twenty, and remained unmarried. By the time Lucius was thirty, Draco was only a few years away from attending Hogwarts!
He could admit to himself that he and Narcissa had been somewhat indulgent with Draco when he was a child. Still, he didn't think that he had been any more indulgent than his own father had been, and Lucius had been a proper son and gotten married, as well as providing an heir for the Malfoy line by the time he was twenty-six.
Draco had been 'dating' Pansy Parkinson off and on for more than a decade. It was becoming very tiresome to have to remind his son of his duty, especially since everything Lucius said seemed to be completely disregarded. He supposed he should be thankful that Miss Parkinson hadn't grown just as weary of Draco's lax attitude and shown him the door. After all, she wasn't getting any younger either.
This morning, as Lucius passed his son's laboratory – and how Draco had managed to talk him into allowing a potions lab in the Manor, Lucius was still a bit befuddled about – and paused. Casting a quick spell, he saw that Draco was indeed inside. He could have awakened early, and gotten a quick start on his brewing…or he could have been in there all night, and was about to finish up and go to bed.
With a sigh, Lucius continued down to the parlor where he habitually met his wife for breakfast. She was already sitting at the small table by the window, and Lucius took a moment to admire the beauty in the way the morning sunlight shone over her pale hair. Narcissa looked up and saw him, gracing him with a smile.
"Good morning, darling," she said, and tilted her cheek up for a kiss as he joined her.
He sat down across from her, reaching for the cup of tea that appeared in front of him, prepared exactly the way he preferred it, of course.
"Plans for the day, dearest?" Lucius asked, as he cut into his perfectly cooked eggs.
Narcissa preferred a lighter breakfast and usually just made do with toast and tea. She gently dabbed the corner of her mouth with her napkin before she replied.
"Andromeda and I have planned a shopping excursion to Paris. Don't expect me home before nightfall, darling," she said with a smile.
"I see. Do try to leave a little in my Gringott's account, won't you?" Lucius said teasingly.
"I'll make certain to leave you a galleon or two," she said.
"Mother, Father! Glorious morning to the both of you!"
Lucius barely suppressed a groan as he took in the sight of his son. Draco had obviously been working all night in his lab, as his hair was mussed, his clothes were rumpled, and there were actual stains of something – Lucius didn't dare speculate as to what – on his fingertips. Draco didn't seem to notice as he sat down and gleefully filled his plate with a pile of eggs and bacon.
Lucius struggled for patience. "Draco. Son. Don't you think bathing might have been a good idea before gracing us with your presence this morning?" There was definitely the aroma of potions fumes floating from the general vicinity of Draco's person. Not at all conducive to digesting one's breakfast, in Lucius' opinion.
"What? Oh, I s'pose I am a little messy, aren't I?"
"You s'pose?" Lucius asked, fearing that all the lessons on etiquette and breeding they'd strived to instill in their offspring had gone completely to waste.
"It's just that I'm so excited, you see. Been working on this potion for St. Mungo's that's been an absolute bear! Nearly tore my hair out a few times over it."
"I see that it has also caused you to forget how to speak properly."
"Lucius! Do try to have some compassion. Draco is obviously overtired. I, for one, am very proud of your potions genius, Dragon," Narcissa said, with an indulgent smile in her son's direction.
"I have compassion! Unfortunately, I have a nose as well, and it is certainly being overtaxed this morning."
"Lucius! Apparently Draco isn't the one who's forgotten his manners," Narcissa scolded. She scowled at him fiercely for a moment before turning her attention back to Draco, as her expression melted back into a mother's pride.
"What potion have you been working on, Dragon?"
"A fertility draught that's going to change the fortunes of witches who've been unable to conceive. Not to mention adding galleons to my personal fortune. Had a huge breakthrough last night and I think, no I know, I've finally got it!" Draco said, his tone exultant.
"That is hardly proper talk for the breakfast table!" Lucius protested.
"You don't seem to mind it when I use my galleons to help pay your war retributions, Father. My potions is where that money comes from."
Lucius hated being reminded of his poor life choices, but he hated even more that Draco was right. Without the additional funds from the potions he sold to St. Mungo's and others, they might have lost Malfoy Manor. Lucius was grudgingly grateful, although he was proud of his son's brilliance. He just didn't care for the idea that he had been unable to dig the family out of the mess he'd gotten them into on his own.
"It seems to me that having firmly established your potions business," and, oh, it was very hard to say that word without sneering, but Lucius managed, "it's past time for you to settle down with Miss Parkinson and get on with continuing the Malfoy name."
"Not this again," Draco groaned and rolled his eyes. "Father, you're so provincial! These are different times. Since Potter won the war, my generation has realized we can make our own rules. What's the big deal about heirs and continuing the family line? Boring! We have much better things to do with our lives!"
Lucius could do naught but splutter in disbelief at Draco's denouncing of such time-honored pureblood values. He knew that his son had been resistant to the idea of settling down, but he'd never been quite so scathingly disparaging before.
"I cannot believe this cavalier attitude! You have certain responsibilities to this family, and I will not condone such disrespect."
"And on that note, I must be going. Things to do today, Father, but I'll keep your enchanting threats in mind, of course," Draco said airily, before throwing his napkin onto the table and striding out of the room as though he didn't have a care in the world.
"This is intolerable, absolutely intolerable! Surely you agree, Narcissa?"
"I do, darling, and if you want it to continue being intolerable, keep pushing your son until you push him right out of our lives."
"What?" Lucius asked.
"As much as I wish for a grandchild, and I do, darling, don't mistake that, constantly nagging him is only going to make him dig his heels in deeper and continue to live his life in the way he wants."
"But if we don't push, he's never going to fall into line! And I wouldn't call it nagging."
"Lucius, you're far worse than your own mother ever was. Do you know she had an assortment of baby rattles waiting in our rooms when we returned from our honeymoon?"
"I don't see anything wrong with that."
Narcissa closed her eyes for a moment and Lucius swore it looked like she was counting to ten. When she opened them again, she gave her husband an intense glare.
"I am simply saying that the Malfoys are very fortunate to have survived the war. We all three are healthy, we still have our home, and our child is engaged in a profession that he not only loves, but one in which he is supremely successful. Be grateful for what we have and stop pushing him for more than he's willing to give right now. He may yet change his mind, but it won't happen with your nagging."
Lucius refused to grace that ridiculous assertion with a reply and harrumphed in disgust as he pointedly turned his attention back to his breakfast. Out of the corner of his eye, he could see his wife roll her eyes, not too unlike the way her son had earlier, and proceed to sip her tea as if she hadn't just abandoned her husband.
It was now painfully obvious that Lucius was going to have to deal with this matter himself. There had to be some way to make Draco realize that he had to live up to his responsibility without antagonizing either his son or his wife. Of course, they would have no reason to be upset with Lucius if they never found out.
He grimaced to himself as he caught the odor of potions still lingering in the air. It really did quite put him off his food. His frown deepened as Draco's careless words still rang in his ears. Really, such a topic while they were dining! Completely inappropriate!
The idea, when it struck him, was so perfect in its simplicity, that Lucius had to restrain himself from laughing aloud.
So, his son was working on fertility potions, was he?
Draco breezed into Pansy's townhouse, bussing her cheek with a kiss as he continued into her sitting room. He and Pansy had always been close back at Hogwarts, and had become even more so since the end of the war. Both of her parents had been killed, and the Malfoys had taken her under their wing, especially given her and Draco's special relationship.
"You're quite cheerful this morning. What's the occasion?" Pansy asked, as they settled into her very comfortable sofa.
"Marvelous breakthrough with the potion last night. It finally hit me that if I replaced-"
"Darling, you know I love you, but I will certainly not listen to you wax poetic on your little concoctions."
"Concoctions! I'll have you know I am brilliant! Absolutely brilliant, my dear Pans."
"Yes, yes, fine," Pansy said, waving a hand at his ebullience. "Don't take this the wrong way, but I hope you weren't planning on a long visit this morning. I have an appointment for brunch at eleven."
"Really? So anxious to get rid of me, then? Is it someone important?" Draco gasped and covered his mouth with one hand as his eyes widened. "Is it…a man? Should I be jealous?"
Pansy whacked him with her copy of the Prophet. "Stop being an ass."
Draco laughed as she smoothed her newspaper and laid it back down on the table in front of the sofa.
"If you must know, however, yes, it is a man."
Draco stopped laughing and looked at her more closely. Was she blushing? Merlin, she actually was!
"You're serious then? You've never brought a date into your home before."
"This one is special. We've sort of been seeing each other for about three months, but it's only in the last couple of weeks that things have, um, intensified."
"How intense are we talking, Pans?" He wasn't worried, really he wasn't, but this could make things rather…difficult for him. Not that he begrudged Pansy her happiness, but he did regret her timing. Draco was not quite to the point where he was ready to confess all to his father.
"It's serious. He's mentioned the 'M' word," she said, biting her lip as she watched Draco carefully.
"Fuck, Pansy! That's beyond serious!" Draco sighed and raked a hand through his hair, silently pondering options of what he could do to make this not quite so disastrous.
"He hasn't actually asked, you understand, but he's said a few things about the future and he's started mentioning his mum and dad's marriage in a very admiring tone. And well, he's the last of his siblings unmarried, so I think he's feeling the pressure from his mother."
"Wait, siblings? How many…oh, good Lord, Pansy, please tell me you're not seeing the Weasel!"
"I could say that, but then I would be lying," Pansy stated with a delicate sniff and a toss of her head.
"Why?" was all that Draco could manage at that point.
"Constant proximity, for one thing! Since our best friends are in love with one another, we got thrown together quite a bit. We started talking, one thing led to another, and…well, here we are."
Draco groaned and buried his face in his hands. He looked up at her as he felt her hand gently caress the back of his head.
"Darling, you know I adore being your beard, but I've told you before that it can only last so long. While I love you dearly, I'm not going to put aside my own happiness for you. Ron is very important to me, and what we've found is just as special as your own love affair."
"Merlin, Pans, I would never think of asking you to give up someone you love, even if it is Weasley, ouch!" He glared playfully as she smacked him again. "It's just that Father brought up the heir business again this morning. I really don't have a clue how to tell him that it's never going to happen because his only son is gay!"
"I think you just need to let him catch you and lover boy in flagrante delicto. That would cure him of lecturing you for a while."
"And probably give him a heart attack. I don't want to kill him, I just want him off my back about marrying and settling down."
"That's the solution then. You should just get married!" Pansy said excitedly.
"Have you not been listening? I am gay, remember?"
"Oh, darling, if anyone knows that, it's me! I was there when you figured it out, if you recall," she said, with a sardonic arch of her brow.
Draco flushed a little in remembered embarrassment. "You said you were going to stop mentioning that horrific incident," he muttered.
"And you believed me? Clearly you have been spending too much time around lover boy."
"He has a name, you know."
"Yes, I do know, but I keep trying to forget with whom it is exactly that you're dallying. But what I meant was, marry him. That would shut your father up, I'm sure."
"Yes, it would shut him up by sending him to an early grave from the aforementioned heart attack!"
"Oh, stop shouting. You're such a drama queen when it comes to this, Draco. Your parents love you. They are not going to disown you when they find out you're gay."
"You don't know that for sure. Besides, if the news of my sexual orientation doesn't do it, the identity of my lover most certainly will," Draco said, sitting back on the couch with a little huff of pique.
Pansy gave a long-suffering sigh and glanced up at the clock on her mantel. "Look, I know this isn't what you were expecting to hear this morning, and I promise you we'll sort it all out later, but right now, you've got to go. My guest will be here shortly and I don't fancy hearing the two of you snipe at each other as you do."
"Ew, must you remind me that you've stooped so low as to see a Weasley?" Draco sneered as he rose to his feet.
Pansy just snorted in derision. "Pot, kettle, my dearest friend," she said, gesturing impatiently towards her Floo.
Draco stepped over to her fireplace and took up a handful of Floo powder, called out his destination, and stepped into the flames. Turning as he disappeared, Draco made sure Pansy saw the rude gesture he made. He hoped whatever that was that she threw at him burned up in her fireplace.
He was still snickering as he stepped out into the quiet of a still living room. Draco took a deep breath, as he felt the care and worry of the morning fall away from him. Just being in this house, knowing that his lover was waiting for him, was enough to soothe Draco's heart. He knew it was soppy and unworthy of being a Slytherin, but he figured as long as nobody else but him knew, then it was all right.
The downstairs was plainly unoccupied, so Draco headed towards the stairs, certain that his lover would still be in bed on this weekend morning. He slipped into the bedroom and paused a moment as he took in the sight before him. All he could see was a mop of messy black hair, as Harry tended to worm his way down into the covers as though he was burrowing for warmth. He only did that when he was sleeping alone, though. Whenever Draco was lucky enough to spend an entire night here, Harry would end up draped all over him by the morning.
He slipped off his shoes and socks and crawled carefully onto the bed, lying down so that his mouth was right beside Harry's ear. Giving it a lick with his tongue, Draco was delighted at the slight shudder that went through the sleeping man's body.
"Harry…" he whispered into his lover's ear.
A muffled grunt was his only answer. Harry was notoriously difficult to wake sometimes. Out in the field as an Auror was a completely different story, or so Draco had heard from Weasley numerous times. Ron claimed that his partner could go from a sound sleep to instantly awake and alert in a blink. When he was safe and sound in his own bed, however, Harry clung to sleep like a whinging child to its mother's waist.
"Harryyyy…" Draco crooned again, a bit louder. This time, he got what sounded suspiciously like a growl. Draco grinned at the image that popped into his head, that of a wily snake provoking a sleeping lion.
"Come on, Harry, time to wake," Draco said, louder still. He was beginning to get impatient. They had so little time to be together as it was, Draco certainly didn't want to waste any of it sleeping! Not when they could be doing other, far more interesting, things.
Harry twisted away from him, squirming deeper into the covers as he muttered, "G'way, y'prat."
Well, now Draco was just irritated. Time to stop playing around. "Potter! Wake up, you've overslept and now you're late for work!"
Being late was Harry's current worry, as tardiness was one of Minister Shacklebolt's greatest pet peeves. Potter's was one of the names being tossed around – well, the only name, really – for the next Head Auror, and he was anxious to make a good impression on his superiors by showing them how responsible he was. It was all bollocks, in Draco's opinion. Harry didn't seem to realize he could show up to work starkers, and they'd still give him the position. That might even make it happen a little sooner, not that Draco was okay with anyone else ogling his boyfriend, not at all.
Harry's head finally popped out of the covers as he glared at Draco. He wiggled his upper body out of the covers and sat up.
"Honestly, that worked one time! I know when it's the weekend, y'know!"
"Good thing you do, and I can't believe you want to sleep when I could be already buried deep in your arse," Draco said as he leaned in close to Harry and gently rubbed his cheek against his lover's, flicking his tongue lightly to Harry's jaw.
When he pulled back to look at Harry, there was a definite flare of desire sparking in those green eyes, but Harry was nothing if he wasn't stubborn.
"Maybe I'm not in the mood for that this morning."
"Oh, well, I suppose I could go then-" Draco said and started to turn and roll off the bed. Harry caught his arm, stopping him from moving.
"Maybe you should try to convince me," he suggested with a smirk that he'd stolen straight from Draco.
"I can definitely do that," Draco whispered as he leaned back in to kiss Harry. He teased Harry's mouth with his lips and tongue, tasting delicately until Harry finally opened to let Draco in.
It was very convenient that Harry slept in only boxers, so Draco let one hand drift over his lover's chest, tweaking one nipple gently, then a bit harder as Harry moaned in appreciation. Harry's nipples were particularly sensitive and Draco adored playing with them and listening to Harry lose it.
Their kiss became more passionate and sloppy as Draco leaned forward, easing Harry back onto the pillows so that he could cover him with his body. Draco paused a moment to impatiently rip the covers completely away from them, then shifted until he was lying on top of Harry, their growing erections pressed against each other. He loved hearing Harry's sighs, gasps, and moans as their hips rocked together. Harry was the most vocal lover Draco had ever had, and he'd never before realized how much those sounds could turn him on.
Draco slid down a bit so he could lick and nip at Harry's nipples and really make him moan. Harry's hands flew up, pressing against the back of Draco's head, as his body arched up into Draco's mouth. After a few moments of torturing Harry this way, Draco raised back up to kiss his lips again.
"Do you know what I want now?" he asked.
Harry looked up at him in a daze, his eyes glazed with want. "What?"
"I want to be in your mouth," Draco whispered. "I want to feel your throat around my cock. Can I, Harry? Can I do that?"
"Yes, yes. I want that, too," Harry said breathlessly, and his hands starting pulling at Draco's arms, as if he could pull him to where he wanted him right then. Draco chuckled at Harry's eagerness as he lifted up, sitting on his knees over his lover. He made short work of pulling his shirt off, tossing it carelessly to the floor, and then yanked his flies open, shoving his trousers down just far enough so that his cock was free.
Harry didn't waste a moment, surging up onto his elbows and immediately taking Draco into his mouth. Draco gasped and almost lost his balance as he fell forward, catching himself with both hands on the headboard before he choked Harry. The bastard just grinned, mouth still full of cock, as he could now lay back more comfortably on the pillows, and use his hands to tease Draco's balls and grab his arse. Harry's tongue was a wonder and Draco groaned as he let his head fall forward, his hips thrusting gently as he watched himself move back and forth into Harry's mouth.
Draco dropped one hand from the headboard and curved it around Harry's cheek, loving that he could feel his cock moving into Harry. The Auror's eyes fairly shone with pride and pleasure and then Harry began to hum around Draco's cock, taking him as deep as he could into his throat.
Draco moaned, throwing his head backwards as ecstasy shot deep into his groin. Every time he thought of being with Harry, every time he dreamed of the two of them together, Draco thought he remembered how amazing it was. And every time, the real thing caused those dreams and memories to pale into insignificance.
"Oh, fuck, Harry!" Draco gasped, then moaned again as he could feel Harry's humming happily increase. He knew Harry loved it when he managed to get Draco to lose a bit of control.
"Enough, enough," Draco said as he reluctantly pulled back, out of Harry's mouth. He ignored the whine of protest from Harry as he continued, "I need to be in you. Now!"
"Mmm, yeah, I want that, too. Get these off," Harry said, pushing at Draco's trousers.
Draco nearly hopped off the bed and quickly stripped off his trousers and pants. By the time he crawled back onto the bed, Harry had already discarded his boxers, and was watching him with a fevered gleam in his eyes as he slowly fisted his cock.
"Stop that, you know that's mine," Draco said, grinning as he pushed Harry's hand away and leaned down to twirl his tongue quickly around the head of Harry's cock. Harry groaned and tried to push further into Draco's mouth, but Draco lifted up and grabbed Harry by the hips, pulling him into the position he needed.
He quickly muttered the spells to prepare his lover, ignoring Harry's questioning look. It was unusual for him not to take the time to manually stretch and lube Harry as there was nothing Draco loved more than having his hands on and in his partner. It was also a bit unusual for Draco to be using wandless magic in their bedroom. Both he and Harry were capable of it to some degree, but they tended to leave it more for their careers than for their lovemaking.
Draco really couldn't explain his sudden sense of urgency, except that the conversation with Pansy was still in the back of his mind, and some tiny little part of him feared that losing her as a cover also meant the possibility of losing Harry. He was Harry Potter, after all, and he could have anyone he wanted. Surely the fallout once their relationship was found out – especially by Lucius – would be more than Harry wanted to deal with.
He growled in frustration, eager to be inside Harry, and pushed those dreary thoughts aside for the moment. Harry gasped and shivered as Draco slid into him, his head falling backwards, eyelids fluttering in his pleasurable state. Draco loved that moment, where he and Harry were first fully joined together, as close as two human beings could be. He leaned forward, kissing Harry's exposed throat, and then moving his mouth up to kiss Harry properly as his lover's head came back up towards him.
Harry grasped Draco's head with both hands, deepening the kiss. Draco's hips moved slowly and shallowly, their energy consumed with the meeting of their lips for the time being. They were both gasping for breath by the time they pulled apart. Draco rested his forehead against Harry's, and when he opened his eyes, he was a little surprised to see a look of concern on his lover's face.
"What is it?" Harry whispered.
How very like Harry to know instinctively that something was on Draco's mind. He smiled down at Harry, feeling as though his heart was literally swelling with love for this man. He knew then that he wanted nothing in the world – not his father, not their work, not even the Wizarding World itself – to ever come between the two of them.
"Nothing," he whispered back. Then he felt the need to clarify, as Harry was obviously not an idiot. "We can talk about it later. Right now, I just need to love you."
Harry grinned up at him and said, "Well, I certainly don't have a problem with you doing that."
Just to get that annoying smirk off his face, Draco drove his hips hard forward, and was pleased when Harry's eyes fell closed and he called out Draco's name in surprise. He thrust a couple of more times, before sitting up so that he could grab Harry's legs behind the knees and push them upwards. He loved fucking Harry that way because not only could he could go deeper, it also had the bonus of being able to see the lovely visual of his cock sinking as far into Harry as it could go.
Harry was screaming at him now, begging Draco for more, harder, deeper, faster. Draco was more than happy to oblige and did his damnedest to fuck Harry right through the mattress. It wasn't long before he felt his orgasm about to overtake him. Sometimes he and Harry would make love for hours before either of them reached climax, but other times, they couldn't seem to hold back and came quicker than two randy teenagers.
A quick glance down told him that Harry was on the verge as well, and Draco wrapped a hand around Harry's cock to help him along. He must not have needed much help, because it took only a couple of strokes and Harry's come was spurting through Draco's hand. Harry tightening around him in climax was just enough to send Draco over the edge, and he plunged forward one last time, as deep as he could.
"Fuck, Harry!" he cried out as his cock pulsed deep within his lover's body. The waves of pleasure were enough to make him dizzy for a moment, before he let Harry lower his legs and collapsed gently down on top of him.
They lay quietly for a moment, before Draco heard Harry chuckle.
"I think you took care of that quite nicely," he said.
Draco was confused as to what he meant, until he remembered his words as he'd reached his peak. He punched Harry weakly in the shoulder. "Shut up, you prat. I was clearly overcome with ecstasy."
"Clearly," Harry said, still laughing softly.
Draco sighed happily as they fell silent, enjoying the intimacy and physical closeness of their bodies as they basked in the afterglow. He should have known that Harry wouldn't let his earlier moodiness go.
"Ready to talk about what's bothering you now?"
With a groan, Draco rolled off Harry to lie on his back beside him. He muttered a quick 'thanks' as Harry murmured a cleaning spell for the both of them.
"Would you believe me if I said it was nothing?"
"No," Harry scoffed. "I've known you for nearly twenty years, rather intimately for the last two. I know when something's on your mind."
"Okay, I suppose you have a point there." He told Harry of his conversation with Pansy and his worries that this might cause trouble for the two of them.
"Pansy and Ron? Wow, I never would have seen that one coming."
"Harry, would you please focus! The issue here is now my father is going to know that Pansy and I weren't a real couple and he's going to want to know why I was lying to him, and inevitably, it's going to come out that I'm gay and I'm fucking Harry Potter!" Draco said, his voice rising to near panic by the end of his sentence.
"Hey!" Harry said as he turned to face Draco fully, cupping his hands around Draco's face. "The real issue here is that I love you. And nothing in this world is ever going to make me leave you. Ever. Do you understand that? You're stuck with me for eternity," he said, his words fierce and determined-sounding to Draco's ears.
"Do you promise?" Draco asked in a whisper. While part of him was appalled at the insecurity rampantly evident in his plea, a much larger part needed to hear Harry's answer.
Harry's smile was as beautiful as the man himself. "I promise. Forever, Draco."
Draco surged towards Harry, wrapping him in his arms and kissing him soundly for quite some time. Several minutes later, when they'd both nearly run out of air, they lay staring dreamily into each other's eyes. With anyone other than Harry, Draco would have scorned that notion as romantic balderdash, but Harry Potter seemed to bring out the sap in him.
"How did you know that's the part that was really worrying me?"
"What, the chance of me leaving you?"
Draco nodded, not wanting to admit that even just the words said aloud made a tingle of fear run through his belly. Harry smiled at him knowingly.
"Lucius Malfoy is never going to be my favorite person, just as I'm never going to be his. But I know that he loves his son. I saw that at the final battle, and I've seen it many times since. Deep down, you know he's not going to abandon you, so I knew the thing that was bothering you was that you thought I might."
Draco hugged Harry close to him again. "I'm not worried about it anymore, because you promised, and the entire Wizarding World knows that Harry Potter keeps his promises."
"Too right! And I'm going to need you more than ever now, because while your father might not ever hurt you, he's definitely going to try and kill me!"
"Bah, as if I'd let him," Draco said, snuggling ever closer to Harry.
"Exactly. I'll need you to protect me," Harry said, and Draco could almost feel his grin.
"I won't even need to do it myself," he said smugly.
"What do you mean?" Harry asked.
"I'll just set my mum on him. Really, don't you know she's the one who's actually in charge?"
Lucius knew that today was the perfect opportunity to get into the potions lab. Draco occasionally worked on a weekend, especially if he was deep into a particular project, but from the sounds of his boasting this morning, he had just finished this fertility potion. No, Lucius and Narcissa were well used to Draco habitually disappearing for the entire weekend, so he felt confident that he would be able to get into the lab without Draco being aware.
He was also fairly certain that Draco would be taking the finished fertility potion in to St. Mungo's first thing Monday morning if his son was satisfied that the potion was ready. Lucius knew he may not have another chance at this.
Of course, he also had to make sure that Narcissa was otherwise occupied, and once she left for her shopping excursion with her sister, Lucius wasted no time in heading straight for Draco's lab. His son had some impressive wards on the door, but Lucius was still Master of Malfoy Manor. There was no place in the house or on the grounds that could deny him entrance.
Once he gained entry into the lab, Lucius paused for a moment to admire his child's genius. Draco was truly a talented brewer, having gotten the basics from Severus Snape while at Hogwarts, before completing his Potions Mastery with some of the finest brewers in Europe. Lucius had learned to ignore the pang of sadness that he always felt when he thought of his old friend. Even though they'd been on opposite sides of the conflict, Lucius had always appreciated the way Severus had watched out for Draco, both at Hogwarts and during the height of the war.
Draco's lab was meticulously clean and organized, unlike Draco himself usually looked when he left the lab after having been brewing for hours. Lucius walked slowly around the room, inspecting the ingredient stores, the cauldrons, and the brewing area. He pondered where Draco might have stored the completed potion, and then he saw a case sitting on one of the back tables.
There were no markings on the case, so Lucius used his wand and opened it with a simple incantation. The lid opened easily, and Lucius despaired for a moment of his son's simple trust that the potions wouldn't be tampered with. Of course, Draco's lab was in his own home, and his son probably trusted that there was nowhere safer…
He crushed that thought immediately, which felt a little like guilt, and instead chose to believe that Draco should have listened a little more closely all those times he'd tried to instill in him the fact that you could truly trust no one.
The case contained two dozen vials of potion. Lucius plucked one out of its place, and held it up to the light, watching the pale blue liquid swirl around inside the glass. He uncorked it and inhaled the scent carefully.
"Ah, red clover and…oatstraw? Hmm, interesting combination," he said softly. Lucius was almost as well-versed in potions and ingredients as his son was, but he'd never had the passion for it that Draco or Severus did. Still, he knew enough to be able to fool those idiots at St. Mungo's. He pulled the empty vial he'd brought with him out of his pocket, and transferred the fertility potion into it. He filled Draco's vial with plain water, and used a spell to change it to the same color and consistency as the rest of his son's potions.
He had no desire to see Draco in trouble for anything untoward that may happen if he replaced the fertility potion with some other draught. Plain water would not make anyone pregnant, but it wouldn't harm anyone either. Lucius chuckled to himself as he pocketed the potion, his key to finally getting Draco to do what was necessary.
He carefully resealed the case and placed it back exactly as it was before he'd opened it. With one final look around to make sure he hadn't left any traces behind, Lucius slipped out the door, and put Draco's wards back as they were.
Now he just had to figure out the perfect time to implement his plan.
Harry walked into the Ministry on Monday morning, feeling on top of the world. Things were great at work, things were great with Ron and Hermione – although they two of them not ending up together still surprised and disappointed him, just a little – and things were really great with Draco.
He'd always known that Draco had held a little of himself back from their relationship. Not that they hadn't used the 'L' word, because they surely had, but it was wonderful to know that they would soon be able to go public. The two of them had spent most of Sunday lounging around in bed, discussing future plans, as well as engaging in a few more physical activities. His reassurances to Draco had finally seemed to hit home, even though Harry would have thought it obvious that nothing could ever make him leave. Still, Draco must have finally been able to let go of those last doubts, because they'd even talked about buying a home together, a topic they'd never quite dared broach before.
He had to try and keep a silly grin off his face during his morning meeting with Head Auror Robards and the Minister. Harry didn't think they'd noticed, although he had caught a couple of curious looks from Kingsley. By the time he finally finished with the meeting and paperwork that he was behind on, it was nearly lunchtime. He and Ron usually went down the street to a little sandwich shop to have lunch, and Harry was going to have to hurry if he didn't want to be late. He knew from experience that Ron wouldn't wait on him before he started eating.
Sure enough, Ron had just taken a huge bite of his sandwich as Harry slid into the seat across from him. The waitress, having served the two of them often enough to know exactly what he wanted, placed his own meal down in front of him about five seconds later. Harry grinned a thank you at her, and then set to satisfying his hunger.
After a few minutes, Harry couldn't resist any longer.
"So, you and Parkinson, eh?"
To his credit, Ron didn't choke on his food, which Harry had half expected, but merely blushed a fiery red. He did at least swallow before he answered, showing that he had learned a few table manners since Hogwarts.
"Well, mate, it's like this. I was spending so much time with her in covering for you and Malfoy, that we eventually had to start getting along. And then, it just sort of became something more," Ron said, as he shrugged his shoulders. "You're okay with it, right?"
"Of course I am! I admit I was surprised when you and Hermione didn't make it-"
"Ooh, mate, let's not go back there again, huh? Bad memories," Ron said with a shudder.
Now that he thought back on it, Ron and Hermione really weren't a very good fit as a romantic couple, and it was only with a lot of work and compromise that they'd managed to remain friends. Hermione really seemed much happier being one hundred per cent dedicated to her career in the Ministry, and Harry was happy for her if that what she wanted.
"So, you serious about Pansy, then?"
"Yeah, think I am," Ron said, a little smile curling the edges of his lips. "Once you get to know her, she's really kind of amazing. Smart, and fierce, and funny, and really snarky, but in a good way. What're you laughing at?" he asked, as Harry started chuckling.
"It's just, you do realize all that could describe Draco, too, which you completely did not understand when I first started seeing him."
Ron made a face at Harry's words, evidently not able to imagine Draco and Pansy being that much alike.
"Must be something about Slytherins, eh?" Harry said, with a wink.
Ron looked like he wanted to argue for a moment, before Harry figured he must have realized he really didn't have a leg to stand on, seeing as both of them had fallen for Slytherins.
"You and Malfoy really ready to take it to the masses, then?"
"Yeah, I think so," Harry said, and he could feel that silly smile coming on again. He ignored Ron's teasing grin. "Did Pansy tell you that he wants to do one last dinner with his parents and her, just to put Lucius off for a little bit longer?"
"Yeah," Ron grumbled. "I don't see what good that's gonna do, once the news comes out. Seems like he's just trying to stall, if you ask me."
"It's for both of us, really. His potions business has really boomed lately, and Draco is pretty sure that St. Mungo's is finally going to offer him the position of head of their research department. And, I'm supposed to hear one way or the other soon if I'm going to get the Head Auror gig. It would be easiest for all this to stay out of the papers until then, and if we can keep Lucius satisfied, then that is more likely to happen."
"Oh, honestly, Harry, who else are they going to pick for the job? Stevenson? Everyone knows he's a good Auror, the only one even close to you, but he's also a huge prick, and everyone hates his guts."
"Yeah, you all keep saying I've got it for sure, but we won't know until Kings and Robards make the call, will we?" He had been trying consciously not to get his hopes up too much.
"I think the fact the Minister of Magic doesn't mind when you call him 'Kings' is another clue."
"I don't want to use the fact that the Minister is my friend to get a position if I don't deserve it, Ron!"
"But, Harry, you do deserve it! More than anyone, and I don't know why you're the only one who can't see it."
"Argh! Can we just agree not to talk about this anymore. It's stressing me out way too much," Harry said irritably.
"Fine, fine, I'll drop it. Just let me know where you me to hold the congratulatory party when you do get it."
"Ron!" Harry said, with a glare for his best friend, who was really quite annoying sometimes.
Ron finally relented and the two of them spent the rest of their lunch discussing Quidditch, and a few of the more interesting cases they'd been assigned recently. As they were getting up to leave, Harry turned to leave a tip on the table, and paused as an odd feeling swept over him. It didn't feel like a warning exactly, but Harry knew to pay attention to these kinds of things when it came to his magic. It tended to do things that most wizards' magic couldn't.
It was a funny little tingling over his skin, so quickly gone that he almost thought he'd imagined it. However, Harry had learned over the years not to dismiss signs that his magic chose to give him. He didn't sense danger, exactly, it had been more of warning. Shrugging his shoulders, Harry turned to follow Ron. If he'd learned not to ignore signs, he'd also learned that no good came from obsessing over them either. Whatever was going to happen, was going to happen, and he'd deal with it when it came.
The atmosphere in the Malfoy dining room was tense, yet still not too uncomfortable. Lucius seemed to be in a very good mood, and even though he was still hinting broadly that Pansy and Draco should settle down, he wasn't pushing as hard as he normally would.
Draco pondered for a moment whether he should be worried about that fact, but then decided that he wasn't going to let his father get to him. He was determined to enjoy this dinner, which Pansy had been kind enough to agree to, and he was not going to play Lucius' game.
Meanwhile, Pansy was playing his father's game and doing it brilliantly. Every time Lucius attempted to mention marriage, she laughed gaily and diverted the topic to something else. Draco noticed that his mother was certainly aware of the undertones at the dinner table, and when she gave him a wink, he realized she'd decided to stay out of it. That actually was a point in Draco and Pansy's favor, as now Lucius was having to fight the battle alone.
"An autumn wedding, Lucius? Why, I could never! I've had my heart set on being a June bride since I was an attendant in my cousin Dahlia's wedding when I was only four," Pansy said with a bright smile.
"Aren't we lucky then that it's only April," Lucius said, his smile just as bright, but seeming a mite brittle around the edges.
"My word, Lucius, surely you must know that it takes a year to plan a wedding, at the very least! Why, I would have to go to Paris and Milan just to start looking for the fabric for my wedding gown."
The conversation went on in this vein for the rest of the meal, and Draco was honestly surprised that Lucius wasn't completely losing his temper. Pansy was deflecting his every salvo and doing it with flair. If Draco wasn't positively gay, he might have kissed Pansy in celebration. He would certainly owe her after this meal. He mused to himself that perhaps he should offer to pay for her honeymoon with the Weasel.
No, that might be going too far where the Weasel was concerned. Still, he would make sure that he got Pansy a very nice gift of some sort, probably of the sparkly variety. He glanced covertly at the huge clock on the dining room wall. Only an hour or two more and he could be back with his Harry. Draco couldn't keep the delighted grin off his face.
Lucius was at once baffled and pleased with Draco's girlfriend, hopefully soon-to-be-fiancée. She was a lovely girl, came from a good family, intelligent and attractive, but damn, if she wasn't the most argumentative woman he'd ever dealt with! She was putting his own wife to shame this evening. He told himself that could only be a good thing, as she was sure to provide Draco with a challenge, and the boy could certainly use someone to get him to toe the line. Merlin knew, Lucius hadn't had much luck in that regard.
He had given explicit instructions to his house elf, Gertie, before everyone had arrived for dinner. Now, with a snap of his fingers, she popped into the room bearing a bottle of wine that Lucius had selected personally. He had carefully chosen a vintage that Draco had never tasted before, as he knew that his son's nose and palate were quite sharp from many long hours of brewing.
"I feel the need to celebrate this day with a glass of wine. This is a 1787 Chateau d'Yquem, which I acquired in London for the bargain price of 12,000 galleons."
"Really, darling, must you boast so?" Narcissa scolded gently, but Lucius noted that she still nodded to Gertie to indicate that she would imbibe.
"I agree, Father. Aren't there better things we could be doing with our money?" Draco said, with a gleam in his eye. It practically shouted 'Is this what you're spending my potions income on, you old man?' to Lucius.
"Ah, but dear wife and child, I neglected to mention that I've had this bottle for quite a few years, and I was merely saving it for a special occasion such as this. Our family, all four of us, together, healthy and happy."
Lucius could see Draco rolling his eyes from all the way across the table, but he didn't care. He had tried subtle with his son; subtle hadn't worked. So Lucius was going to hit Draco in the face with what he wanted, or rather, he would hit him a little lower than that. He gave Gertie a look, and was pleased when the house elf gave a tiny, nervous nod. Lucius had been unsure at first how to get the fertility potion in the wine, but then he'd had the brilliant idea to treat the glass that Draco was to drink from.
Once he learned that Pansy was to join them for dinner, Lucius had decided to dose her as well. This way, his plan was certain to succeed. Who knew, they might be pregnant by this evening! The glasses were marked with elf magic so that Gertie knew which ones to give to Draco and Pansy. The fertility potion was coated on the inside of the glass, and then charmed invisible. Once Gertie poured the wine, it would mix with the potion and neither Draco nor Pansy would be any the wiser.
Lucius had also taken the precaution of putting a mild compulsion charm to finish the entire contents on both the glasses. He was taking no chances this time. In fact, it took every ounce of his will not to rub his hands together and cackle maniacally with glee.
"I must say, you do know your wines, Father. This is exquisite," Draco said as he took another sip from his glass.
"Isn't it? Well worth every knut spent on it, I assure you," Lucius said happily. "Ah, you've finished yours already, Draco? Would you care for another glass?"
"Afraid I mustn't. If I get too tipsy, I won't be able to see Pansy home."
"Why send her home, son? It's not as though we don't have the room. Why, she could even stay with you!"
"Lucius! That is an outrageous idea," Narcissa scolded. "We may not hold the position in society that we once did, but we will certainly still follow its rules in our own house."
"You're absolutely right, of course, my dear. Perhaps the wine has already gone to my head," Lucius said, and attempted to tamp down his excitement. It wouldn't do to give the game away too soon. They had taken the potion, and while Lucius was sure it was going to work – his son had been the brewer after all – he wanted to make absolutely sure a child and heir came out of this.
It wasn't much longer and Draco was kissing his mother's cheek and shaking his father's hand as he and Pansy prepared to take their leave. Once they'd gone, Lucius was still feeling the glow of his plans coming together. He was far too excited to go to sleep right away. He looked at Narcissa and marveled once again at how beautiful she still was, even after all the years they'd been married.
She blushed like a schoolgirl when she noticed his regard, and Lucius raised an eyebrow in speculation. Perhaps there were other things they could do to keep them occupied this evening.
"Would you care to accompany me to our bedroom, my dear?" he asked, holding out a hand towards her in invitation.
"Certainly, beloved," she said, smiling as she placed her hand in his.
As they moved up the stairs, Lucius couldn't help but think that his day had gone fabulously well. Perhaps even now, Pansy and Draco were ensuring that the Malfoy line would continue.
Draco was nowhere near Pansy at the moment. He was on his knees behind a limp, exhausted Harry, who'd already come and was slumped bonelessly on his chest, a big smile on his face. Draco had a fierce grip on Harry's hips and was pounding into Harry's arse with increasing force as he grew closer to his climax.
"Fuck, Harry! Love you so much!" Draco gasped.
"Mmm, yeah, love you too, baby," Harry said drowsily. "You gonna come for me now?"
Draco let out a groan as he felt Harry intentionally squeezing around him, and it was just enough to give him that last push over the edge. His whole body shuddered as he pulsed deep inside Harry's body.
"Oh, yes, God, that's so fucking amazing!" Draco cried out as he came.
"Yeah," Harry agreed, obviously still a little dazed from his own powerful orgasm a few minutes earlier.
Draco took a deep breath, still feeling the tingling aftershocks of pleasure thrumming through his body. He was just about to lean forward to kiss the back of Harry's neck, when his lover suddenly stiffened and shot up to his hands and knees.
"Whoa! What the hell?" Harry shouted.
"What? What is it? Did I hurt you?" Draco asked. He eased out of Harry and let the other man turn around. He was worried by the shocked look on Harry's face. Harry's hands were rubbing his abdomen and they both looked at Harry's belly.
"Did I hurt you?" Draco asked again, a bit more intensely. Merlin knew, he and Harry did like to play a little rough now and then, but they always both agreed to it beforehand.
"No. At least, I don't think you did," Harry said. They both looked at each other at the same time, and Draco could see lingering worry in Harry's eyes, but it seemed to be fading.
"It's going away now, but when you came, I got this weird burning sensation in my gut. Not really painful, but I wasn't expecting it."
"That's never happened before?"
Harry gave him an exasperated glare. "No, that's never happened before, not any time I've ever had sex, so I'm pretty sure it's not normal."
Draco didn't like to think of the fact that Harry had had sex with other people besides him, so he charged on.
"Maybe you should stop by St. Mungo's in the morning."
"What? No, that's just silly. It was probably just that new lube we were using."
Draco knew that Harry hated going to the doctor at any time, even when he was really hurt, so he was prepared for Harry being stubborn when there was nothing obviously wrong. He grabbed the tube from the bedside table and looked over the words on it quickly.
"Nothing on here about any warming qualities. You need to go just let them check you over."
"Draco," Harry whined. "You know what a pain it is when I have to go in there. People won't leave me alone, and rumors will get started, and it'll just be a big pain in my arse."
"I'm the big pain in your arse, you git, and I don't want anything to change that, so for my sake, please promise me you'll do it?" He gave Harry the best pleading look he could, since Harry was especially vulnerable to a needy Draco. Naturally, Draco took shameless advantage of that fact.
"Oh, fine, I promise. But it won't be tomorrow, because Ron and I are on the verge of breaking the case we're working on right now, and we've already scheduled a ton of witness interviews."
"But you'll go after that," Draco said, making it an order and not a question.
"I said I would! Now come here, I need my post-sex cuddles," Harry teased, as he grabbed Draco by the arm and pulled him closer.
They snuggled down into Harry's bed, and Draco heard Harry sigh in contentment once he had them arranged just the way he liked. Draco was lying on his back, and Harry curled into his side, holding onto his lover like he was an oversized teddy bear.
"You are pathetic, you know that, don't you?" Draco whispered to the top of Harry's head.
"Shut up, you know you love it," Harry mumbled, and Draco could tell he was already half-asleep.
Draco lay awake for a little while longer, one hand carding absently through Harry's hair as the other slept. They were so close to having everything they wanted, and Draco's pessimistic nature couldn't help but start pondering all the things that could go wrong. If anything were to happen to Harry, Draco didn't know what he would do.
He resolved to make sure that Harry followed up on the visit to a healer, even if he had to nag like a harpy.
Four weeks later, Harry still hadn't found the time to see a healer. Or perhaps it was more accurate to say that he hadn't made the time. Harry truly hated having to go to St. Mungo's. He didn't even like to go there to deal with work issues when he was completely healthy. If he went to have tests run for some unknown condition, the headlines would probably be reading 'Boy Who Lived May Be Dying!' by the next morning.
Still, Harry had decided to go ahead and get it over with today, mostly because Draco had suddenly turned into a nagging harpy and wouldn't let it go. Even though Harry had told him it hadn't happened again in the numerous times they'd had sex since, Draco kept pointing out that it was Harry himself who'd said what happened wasn't normal. He pointed it out rather incessantly, actually, and Harry had realized his very sanity was at risk if he didn't get this done.
So now he was sitting on a table in a healer's office, wearing a skimpy hospital gown that didn't cover anything, and explaining a very embarrassing incident to a stranger. Well, not a complete stranger. Harry had met Healer Powell several times in his work as an Auror, but he'd never been naked in front of the man, that was certain.
Harry would never admit this aloud, but he had been getting somewhat nervous at the increasing intensity of Healer Powell's expression. He'd run several diagnostic tests with his wand, had taken blood, and had asked numerous invasive questions about Harry's symptoms over the last few weeks.
When Harry had admitted, very reluctantly, that he had felt more tired than usual lately, and yes, he had been occasionally feeling nauseous for no reason, and you know, he had been feeling some odd twinges in his belly, he'd been alarmed to see the Healer's face draw deeper into a frown.
Now he was peeking through the open door at his Healer standing in the hallway speaking with another Healer, arms gesturing and conversation growing more heated, and Harry was kind of starting to panic.
Finally, he couldn't take it any longer. He threw the door open and shouted, "Okay, tell me now! What the hell is wrong with me?"
The two Healers looked at him in surprise, and so did a few other people walking up and down the hallway. Harry blushed and pulled the edges of his gown a little closer together behind his back. He belatedly realized he'd just helped, rather dramatically, any rumors that were going to get started.
"Why don't we step back into your room, Mr. Potter," Healer Powell said, as he nodded a thanks to the other Healer. The unknown man walked away, but not before giving Harry a speculative look that only increased his anxiety.
"Er, yeah, that's a good idea," Harry said, and quickly ducked back into the room.
Once he was situated back on the exam table, Harry waited for Healer Powell to begin talking, trying to calm his racing heart with little success.
"Mr. Potter, based on what you've told me about your symptoms, and your relationship with Draco Malfoy-"
"I expect you to keep that in confidence!" Harry said loudly, his nerves getting the better of him.
Healer Powell nodded and said, "Of course, I will. I take my duties as a Healer very seriously, and patient confidentiality is part of that."
"Right. Sorry, didn't mean to, uh, offend you or anything. It's just, this is all getting very weird, and you're making me nervous."
"I completely understand, and frankly, this is making me a little nervous as well. You do have a condition that is unusual, and it's going to have some long-term repercussions."
Harry paled as he heard those words. "Am I dying?" he whispered.
"No, no, not at all! The exact opposite, in fact. I had to consult with my colleague because frankly, we haven't seen a case like yours in years. Most wizards don't really want to put themselves through it, after all."
Harry shook his head in confusion. "I'm sorry, you're not making any sense to me at all. So, I'm the opposite of dying. Which means I'm, um, living? What's the problem with me then?"
"There really is no easy way to say this except to just say it. Mr. Potter, you're pregnant."
Harry stared at Healer Powell, thinking he must have just misheard what the man had said. "I'm what?" was all he could manage to say.
"I'm guessing that this comes as a surprise to you, but I assure you that there is nothing to worry about. We can take good care of you here at St. Mungo's-"
But Harry didn't hear anything further, because he fell back onto the table in a dead faint.
Once Healer Powell managed to revive him, and assure him that yes, he really was going to have a child, Harry had gone into numb mode. He barely listened as Healer Powell set up appointments for prenatal visits, gave him brochures on what to expect from male pregnancy and birth, and wrote him a prescription for a nutrient potion that he was to take every day until the child was born.
He found himself somehow standing in front of St. Mungo's, looking down at the pile of information in his hands. It was sobering to note that the brochures were all at least twenty years old. Apparently, he was the first wizard in a quarter century to decide to procreate without a female!
As the haze finally began to lift from his brain, one thought became crystal clear.
Draco Malfoy had to die.
"You wanted to see me, Father?" Draco asked as he stepped into his parents' parlor.
He hoped that this wasn't going to be another lecture on marriage and heirs. Draco really wasn't in the mood for it today, as he was anxious to find out what the Healer had to say about Harry. It had taken nearly a full month for Draco to prod him into going to St. Mungo's. Clearly, Draco needed to take some lessons in nagging from his mother.
Then there was the fact that Prudence Littleton, prominent member of St. Mungo's Board of Trustees, had finally called him to set up a meeting for tomorrow. Draco had high hopes that the position he'd been angling for forever, was at last going to be his.
With his emotions already see-sawing between elation at the job prospect and worry over Harry, he really was not in the mood for more of his father's shite.
"Actually, I didn't call this family meeting. Your mother did," Lucius said as he picked up a cup of tea, and gestured for Draco to do the same.
"Is everything all right?" Draco asked as he sipped at his tea, hoping that he wasn't going to have to worry now about his mother as well. Usually, she was too concerned with her latest shopping trip to call family meetings.
"I'm afraid I don't know. She was acting rather mysterious this morning, but she wouldn't tell me anything. Said she wanted to wait until she could talk to both of us at once," Lucius said, with what looked like a careless shrug.
Draco could tell that his father was worried as well, though. Narcissa was the one who'd held the family together in those dark days right after the war was over. She'd shown an amazing strength that Draco had never known she had as the Malfoys had struggled through the Death Eater trials, Lucius' brief imprisonment, and the early scorn of the Wizarding World.
It was mostly due to her, making public appearances saying nice things about Potter and his friends, giving time and money generously to charities and those affected by the war, that they had managed to raise themselves almost back to where they were pre-Voldemort.
"Ah, darlings, you're both here!" Narcissa said, her tone delighted as she practically floated into the room. There was a glow about her that Draco had never seen before.
He glanced over at his father, and saw that Lucius had the same dumbfounded expression that he was probably wearing himself. Well, at least it looked like whatever his mother had to tell them was good news. That was one worry off his mind, although he had no idea what could possibly have her in such high spirits.
"I've brought you both here together so that we can share in the most marvelous news. The Malfoys have truly been blessed!" Narcissa said.
Before she could let them know what the blessing was, there was a loud disturbance at the door. Draco could hear Gertie's squeaky voice reprimanding someone.
"You is not to be going in there, Miss! The Malfoys is having a private meeting! You is not allowed!"
"Get out of my way, elf, or I will stomp you with my heels!"
"Pansy?" Draco said in surprise as his friend came crashing through the parlor doors. She looked absolutely enraged. Draco raised his brows in shock when she centered her glare on him and pointed at him with an accusing finger.
"You! You are the one responsible for this somehow! I know you are!"
"You seem a tad distraught, Pansy. Perhaps you could calm down and tell me what I'm supposed to have done?" Draco said.
"Distraught? I am way past distraught and straight on into infuriated! I'm pregnant, you idiot!"
There was utter silence for a moment, before Lucius beamed and said, "Delightful!"
"How is that my fault?" Draco asked in bewilderment.
"Draconis Abraxas Malfoy! You will certainly uphold the family's honor where Miss Parkinson is concerned. She and Narcissa can start planning the wedding immediately," Lucius said, his smile so wide it was threatening to split his face in half.
A tiny spark of suspicion began to niggle at Draco's brain. His father didn't only seem delighted at Pansy's news, which he naturally thought was Draco's doing, but he didn't seem at all surprised. Before he could ponder on that further, Pansy sank Lucius' dreams of a Malfoy heir quickly.
"It's not his, Lucius. Honestly, how can you not know by this point that your son is completely gay?"
"Pansy!" Draco shouted in outrage.
"He's what?" Lucius shouted in outrage at the same time.
"Please, Draco, we both know that he had to find out eventually. We just discussed this a few weeks ago, remember? Right now, you're in bigger trouble with me for this!" she said as she gestured to her stomach.
"How on earth is that my fault if I'm not the one sleeping with you?" Draco demanded.
"What do you mean, you're gay! You can't be gay, you're a Malfoy!" Lucius shouted.
Pansy snorted. "I'd say that makes it more likely," she said, and gave both father and son a knowing look.
Lucius drew himself up with all the Malfoy arrogance he possessed. "What exactly do you mean by that?" he asked in an icy tone.
Narcissa coughed gently. Lucius turned to look at her with a questioning glance. "Well, the Malfoy men do have a reputation for being, shall we say, very pretty?"
"Narcissa, are you siding with her?" Lucius said in disbelief.
"There are no sides here, darling, and while Pansy did steal my thunder somewhat, I was just about to tell you that I am with child, as well," she said, and her glowing smile returned.
"What?" This came from the other three all at once.
"How can that be, you're fif-" Lucius broke off as Narcissa turned a quick vicious glare on him. "You're, ah, more mature now. I thought those times were behind us," he continued more diplomatically.
"Oh, my God, you two still have sex! I think I'm going to vomit," Draco said, and put one hand over his mouth. He was sure he must be turning green.
"NO! You is not to be going in there!" Gertie's wail came from the hall again, and everyone turned to look at the doors as Harry Potter came storming into the room, Gertie clinging pitifully to his leg.
"Draco Malfoy, you are a dead man!"
"You is not to be threatening Master Draco!" Gertie cried.
Harry looked down at her in irritation, and then gave Draco an impatient stare.
"Gertie, I think you've done your duty admirably. We can handle it from here," Draco said.
The house elf reluctantly let go of Harry's leg and looked up at the Malfoys sadly. "Gertie will be having to iron her ears for days for this dismal failure."
"No, you're fine, Gertie. Do not iron your ears, but we do require a bit of privacy now, if you don't mind," Draco said, trying to be patient.
The house elf popped out of the room immediately, and for a moment there was an awkward silence in the room.
"So, Potter. You were saying that you'd like to kill me?" Draco asked, a fake smile plastered on his face.
"You did this to me. I don't know how you did it, but you are responsible, I know you are."
"Potter, do try to remember where you are, and perhaps you could tell me what the hell you're talking about?" Draco said, the fake smile becoming strained at the thought that he was not only outed to his parents, but that they were about to find out what Harry was to him. He so was not ready for this today.
"Language, darling," his mother reprimanded gently as she daintily plucked a cup of tea for herself from the table and then sat carefully on the sofa.
Draco ignored her as he waited for Harry to explain himself.
"I've just come from St. Mungo's."
Draco instantly forgot that he was supposed to be trying to hide his relationship with Harry from his family for a little longer, and rushed over to his lover to grab him by the shoulders and shake him gently.
"What did they find? Are you okay? What do you mean, I did this? Do you have some kind of sexually transmitted disease, because I swear I've been absolutely faithful!"
There was a funny strangling noise from behind him and Draco looked over to see his father twitching as though he were trying to stave off a conniption. Lucius plopped backwards onto the sofa beside his wife and goggled at his son.
"You…and…and…Harry Potter!" he gasped.
Draco gave up trying to fight it any longer. He let go of Harry and turned to face his father.
"Yes! I am gay, and I am in love with Harry Potter, and he loves me, and we've been seeing each other for quite some time. There's nothing you can do that will make me give him up, not even if you disinherit me!" Draco pronounced proudly.
"Oh, Merlin!" Lucius groaned, and dropped his face to his hands.
"Lovely speech, Draco. I do appreciate it, but it doesn't change the fact that I'm going to kill you."
Draco turned back to Harry, really worried now. The news from St. Mungo's had to have been terrible for Harry to be so angry.
"What is it? Tell me, please!" he asked.
"I'm pregnant, you berk!"
"WHAT?" The response came from everyone in the room, as they all stared in shock at the Boy Who Lived…apparently To Be A Mum.
"Yes, it was quite the stir at St. Mungo's. I'm the first pregnant wizard in twenty-five years, Draco! As if I didn't have enough to worry about already, you obviously have to have some sort of super-sperm!" Harry said. "And who knows what this news is going to do for my promotion! I want that Head Auror job, Draco. I've been saying it's not a big deal, but it's a big deal. It's a huge deal, Draco, and this is going to totally ruin everything, I just know it!"
Harry was so upset that he was waving his arms around wildly and his voice was getting louder and louder. Draco noted with concern that his face was getting rather red, as well. All this excitement couldn't possibly be good for the baby. Baby! Draco's mind was still boggling at the thought that he and Harry had made a child…together.
And suddenly, Draco wanted nothing more in the world than to have a baby with Harry Potter. He stepped forward and took Harry's face in his hands. That finally caused Harry to stop complaining and look at Draco in surprise. Surprise melted into shock when Draco leaned in and planted a fierce kiss on his mouth. When he pulled away, Harry looked downright gobsmacked, and all Draco could do was tell him what he was really thinking.
"I love you. So much more than I ever thought possible."
"So you want it, then?" Harry whispered, and now that he looked, Draco could see the fear and doubt in Harry's eyes.
"Nothing could make me leave you. You're stuck with me for eternity, I'm afraid," Draco said, with a smile. His thumbs caressed Harry's cheeks gently as he spoke.
Harry finally smiled back as he recognized his own words to Draco from a few weeks ago. "You promise?"
"I promise. Forever, Harry."
"As touching as this is, Draco, we still have to deal with your irresponsibility," Pansy said.
When Draco turned to look at her, he noticed that she did have an approving little gleam in her eye, but she was definitely still riled up. Frankly, Draco was still a bit confused.
"Look, I'll freely admit to taking responsibility for Harry's situation, and obviously my father and mother-" he broke off with a shudder as his mind went to places he didn't want it to go. "Well, he's responsible for her. But how am I to blame for your condition? Shouldn't you be talking to Weasley?"
"Ron and I were using precautions, Draco! There is no way I could have gotten pregnant without some outside interference and we both know what you were working on for the last few months. What I want to know is why you would do that? To your best friend?" Pansy asked, tears gathering in her eyes.
Draco stared at her in horror, his mouth dropping open. "Are you actually suggesting that I secretly dosed you with a potion? I would never! Not only would I not do that to my best friend, I would never endanger the integrity of my work!" he protested.
"Then how exactly did it come about that the three people closest to you have fallen pregnant? You can't believe it's a coincidence!" Pansy said.
"Of course it's not a coincidence, Pansy darling. Obviously, Draco's father appropriated some of his son's potion and secretly dosed us with it," Narcissa said calmly from her chair.
"What!" Lucius said as he sat straight up in his own chair. "I never!"
Draco had almost forgotten about Lucius, except that there'd been a constant stream of unhappy mutterings from his general direction for the last several minutes.
"You most certainly did. You're not nearly as subtle as you think you are, dear. It seemed to be all you could do to hold back the evil cackling and the hand rubbing at that dinner," Narcissa said, as she eyed her husband shrewdly. "Not that I am entirely displeased, you must understand. I have always wanted to give Draco a sibling, and now at last…I will be able to do so," she said with a fond smile directed towards her son.
"Father, is this true? You dosed Pansy and I, and Mum, with my own potion?" Draco asked in disbelief.
Lucius sighed, and returned Draco's glare with one of his own. "It was only supposed to be you and Pansy. I thought the two of you were…well, you know. Gertie must have completely misunderstood my instructions, and dosed everyone except for me," he said irritably.
"So, three completely different people were affected by this potion. A young woman, an, er, older woman, and a man. And yet, all three of them were successful in becoming pregnant," Draco mused to himself. He looked up to see everyone in the room looking at him curiously. "I…am…a genius! This potion is going to make me rich and famous!" he said gleefully.
"Don't break your arm patting yourself on the back. I'm still not too thrilled with this whole thing," Harry said grumpily.
"What, and you think I'm happy about it?" Pansy muttered.
"Mr. Potter, come over here and sit by me," Narcissa demanded before Draco could try to reassure his lover.
Harry must have been taken by surprise, because he obeyed and moved across the room to sit in a chair near Draco's mother. Then she gestured to Pansy.
"Now you come sit on my opposite side, Pansy. Move, Lucius."
It seemed to Draco as though his father had ceded complete control of the situation to his wife, because he got up and moved to a chair without a word of protest. Narcissa smiled gently at Pansy and patted her knee.
"What is really bothering you about this?" she asked softly.
Something about Narcissa's quiet demeanor was very comforting, even to Draco and he wasn't the one being questioned. So he wasn't surprised when Pansy answered, after a moment of uncomfortable squirming.
"What if Ron is not ready for children? What if he leaves me over this?" she asked in an agonized whisper.
Narcissa considered that for a second, and then said, "Mr. Weasley has always struck me as very much a family man. I have no doubt that he will be thrilled with your news. But even if he's not, never think that you're alone. You're practically a Malfoy already, even if you're never going to marry our son."
Pansy sniffled and gazed at her with wide eyes, before bursting into tears and throwing herself at Narcissa to give her a tight hug. She clung to Draco's mother and sobbed. Draco couldn't really tell if they were happy tears or sad tears, but his mother seemed to have the situation well in hand.
She stroked Pansy's hair and spoke to her soothingly. "There, there, darling. We'll get through this together. Why, it will be like a grand adventure!"
Harry snorted at that and crossed his arms, his face going into that stubborn expression that Draco knew so well. Narcissa turned her head to look at him. Harry blushed at her scrutiny but still kept his mulish pose.
Narcissa gently eased her way out of Pansy's embrace and came up with a clean handkerchief from somewhere for her. She smiled warmly at her would-be daughter-in-law, and Pansy tremulously returned it. That must have been some kind of female speak for 'everything's going to be all right now' because Narcissa then turned to Harry.
She patted his knee much in the same way she had Pansy's and said, "Now, Mr. Potter. Or may I call you Harry?"
"Harry's fine," he muttered.
He seemed determined to hold onto his resentment. Unfortunately for him, Harry didn't know Draco's mother very well. She smiled at him fondly before reaching out with one hand to caress his cheek. Harry sort of froze and cut his eyes over at her in surprise.
"I must say thank you, Harry."
"For what?" Harry asked warily.
"You are obviously part of the reason that my son has been so happy these last couple of years. Thank you for making him so."
"Uh, you're welcome?"
Draco had to try and hide his grin, not that either of them were paying him any attention. Narcissa completely had the next Head Auror in the palm of her hand, and he didn't even realize it.
"And now the two of you have created new life together. I have already been blessed with Draco, so I know a little better than you and Pansy what a wondrous miracle a child is. You love my son, and you know that he loves you in return and wants this baby with you," Narcissa said, with a raised brow. Harry nodded in answer to her unspoken question.
"Won't you tell me, then, what's really worrying you?"
Harry bit his lip and ducked his head, a blush still staining his cheeks. "It's silly," he mumbled.
Narcissa wrapped one arm around his shoulders and squeezed. "Nothing is silly when it comes to having children. You can tell me."
"It's just, um, well," Harry stumbled over his words, and coughed nervously as he looked at Narcissa. "Where is it going to come out?" he asked quickly.
"I rather thought that might be your concern," Narcissa said. "You don't need to worry. Pregnant wizards deliver by cesarean section."
"That's not much better!" Harry said. "I don't want to be cut in half!"
The thought of that didn't really sit well with Draco either, and he went to Harry, dropping to his knees in front of his lover. He took Harry's hands in his and said, "I will be with you every step of the way."
"It's not quite that bad. And believe me when I say that once they place that baby in your arms, the pain and the struggle is all forgotten. I know that mine was," Narcissa said as she gazed lovingly at Draco.
Harry's brow creased as he appeared deep in thought. Draco was scared that he was going to say to hell with the whole idea, when Harry moved their hands so that they were touching his abdomen.
He looked up at Draco, and there was the beginning of wonder in his eyes. "There's really a baby in there," he said, and Draco thought that it might have just hit him in that moment that he was going to be a father.
"Yeah, there is," Draco agreed with a smile, and he wasn't about to cry, no he wasn't!
Lucius coughed from behind him and the group on the couch looked up.
"The Malfoys have truly been blessed," he said quietly. "I admit that I may have been too zealous in my goal of extending our family line," he said, then paused as the glowers directed his way increased. "I am truly lucky to have such a wonderful family, and I beg your forgiveness for my actions."
Draco, though still very angry with his father, was impressed at his humility. Lucius Malfoy didn't apologize to anyone. For him to have done so now, Draco hoped meant he understood that he had gone way too far. While he may be happy with the results, Draco was still quite upset that his father had used one of his own potions against him.
"Well, Lucius, I'm not sure that I should forgive you right away," Harry said, and Draco could see the vindictive gleam in his eyes. "It might take a little work on your part. I think I should move in here until the baby is born and have you take care of me and Narcissa at the same time."
Lucius blanched and Draco could only imagine how his father was inwardly rebelling at the idea of Harry Potter not only living in his home, but that he would be expected to wait on him hand and foot. Narcissa pointedly didn't say a word either for or against the idea, and just watched her husband, waiting with everyone else for his answer.
His jaw clenched, Lucius barely managed to not force the words out through gritted teeth. "It would be an honor to have you with us…Harry."
Draco sat back then and just enjoyed watching the commotion of his mother beginning to plan for the birth of a child and a grandchild at the same time. She also, amid Harry's weak protests, starting talking enthusiastically about engagement parties and wedding robes and baby showers.
As he grew visibly more horrified at Narcissa's grand plans, Harry's hand reached out to grab onto Draco's and squeezed it tight. Draco held on, thinking that there was no place in the world he'd rather be.
Sitting in a chair next to Harry's bed in St. Mungo's several months later, Draco remembered his naiveté with fondness. He had known, naturally, that they were not going to have an easy time of it, but even he had underestimated the outright fit the Wizarding World threw once it learned of the two of them.
There had been outrage, death threats, Howlers galore, and the press became an ever-constant presence. Once news of Harry's pregnancy had leaked, it had somehow become even more intense. It had helped that the Aurors office had closed ranks around them, as had Draco's new staff in the research department at St. Mungo's. Still, the pressure from the public had grown almost to a breaking point.
And then it did.
Reach Harry's breaking point, that is.
As he'd left the Ministry one evening, fighting his way through the crowd of reporters that always waited in the atrium, a photographer had made a disparaging remark about Draco's Death Eater days, brief as they had been.
Harry had stopped and people nearby reported hearing him mutter 'that's it then, this has to end' before he turned around and punched the man dead in the face. Everyone gathered had gasped, and the photographer had looked up at him in shock from his place on the floor. He couldn't hit Harry back, of course, because he was visibly pregnant by this time.
Harry had then blasted the ears of anyone nearby with several curse words and stated that he had saved their worthless hides and that they damn well owed him some happiness. Then he spent the next ten minutes singing Draco's praises, declaring that most of the Wizarding World wasn't fit to touch his robes. He ended by revealing how tenderly Draco had taken care of him since he'd become pregnant, including how he sat on the couch with Harry every night and rubbed his aching feet.
Draco was mortified.
The rest of the Wizarding World was enchanted, and almost overnight, they became everyone's darlings. There were still a few naysayers here and there, but for the most part, Draco could once again walk down Diagon Alley without someone spitting at him for defiling their Savior.
No, now he was more likely to be gushed over by some elderly witch who thought the two of them were 'so precious.' Frankly, Draco almost missed the Howlers.
"But I don't, not really. After all, we can't have you being frightened by any of that can we, Phoenix? That's your name, did you know? Phoenix James Malfoy-Potter," Draco said to the sleeping infant in his arms.
He and Harry had argued for months about what to name their son, once they'd found out it was a boy. Draco had insisted that the child had to have a constellation name, as that was a Black family tradition. Harry wasn't too fond of the idea, and insisted that his father's name had to be in there. When Draco had finally convinced Harry to actually read the list of constellation names, he was stunned to find Phoenix on it. The name held such special significance to Harry, and he and Draco were finally able to agree on something.
Harry was the last of the three affected by the pregnancy potion to deliver. Ron and Pansy had experienced quite a scare when she had gone into labor five weeks early. Her delivery had been difficult and fraught with danger for both her and their baby.
Thankfully, all had turned out well, and Ron had been so overwhelmed with emotion once they were holding their tiny son, he'd asked Pansy to marry him on the spot. Pansy had agreed, providing that Ron asked her again later in a much more traditional manner, which she noted had better include as big a ring as he could find.
Ron and Pansy weren't here because they'd left for their honeymoon only three days ago, toting little Sebastian Arthur Weasley along with them. Draco had thought them mad when they'd said they were taking the baby along on their honeymoon, but now that he was looking down on his own child, he completely understood.
Meanwhile, his parents weren't here either, as it was only one week since Narcissa had given birth to Draco's little sister. Lucius had popped in for a few minutes earlier, but had quickly returned to his wife's side. Draco wondered whether his father had been as besotted with him as an infant as he appeared to be with Carina Iolanthe Malfoy.
"Your aunt is going to have your grandfather wrapped around her little finger, just you wait and see," Draco said to Phoenix, who only responded with a little snore as he continued to sleep.
Draco glanced over at Harry, who was also still asleep after the surgery to deliver Phoenix. Healer Adams had said he should be waking up soon, and Draco was starting to get anxious, as Harry showed no signs of stirring.
Just as he was about to call for someone to check and make sure Harry was all right, he heard a slurred "Draco?" come from the bed.
"Harry! Awake at last, sleeping beauty?" Draco teased, a feeling of relief washing over him. He stood from the chair and activated the charm that slowly raised the head of Harry's bed. The nurses had advised slow and easy movements as Harry would be quite sore for a couple of days. As he moved, he disturbed Phoenix, who made a thin little cry.
Harry's ears perked up and his eyes immediately went to the bundle that Draco cradled in one arm. Draco sat on the edge of his bed and smiled at Harry's eagerness.
"Is that him?" Harry whispered.
"Course it is, silly. Think I'd be carrying around someone else's baby, do you?"
"Oh, shut up and give him to me," Harry demanded.
Draco carefully transferred Phoenix to Harry's arms, and then found himself watching Harry as he gazed at their newborn son.
"He's so beautiful," Harry said, still speaking in reverent whispers.
"He's handsome, I think you mean to say," Draco said.
"Hush, you. I mean it, he's the most beautiful thing I've ever seen." He reached up with his free hand to caress the little tufts of dark hair on Phoenix's head. "Heh, my hair. I hope he ends up with your eyes," he said as he looked back up at Draco.
"Even if he has your eyes as well as your hair, I certainly wouldn't mind looking at a miniature you for the next several years. I do love you quite a bit, you know."
Harry's smile was wide and brilliant. "Look at what we did, Draco. Isn't he amazing? And your mum was so right."
"He was worth every single minute of the pain," Harry sighed happily as his eyes fell to Phoenix once again.
Draco couldn't have agreed more. He lifted his legs onto the bed and settled in next to Harry, and together they watched their son sleep.