Title: Blood Red Sky
Warnings: Contains Mpreg
Disclaimer: The characters depicted herein belong JK Rowling and associated publishers. I make no profit from this endeavour.
Author's Notes: Written for glompfest 2011. Thanks to singlemomsummer for the beta.
Summary: When the latest bunch of bad guys seem to be targeting Draco Malfoy, it's Auror Harry Potter who gets sent to Malfoy Manor to investigate. Once there, old emotions are brought to the fore, and nothing is what it seems.
'A tall dark figure is on the loose,
With big sharp teeth to bite the truth,
I steal your honour and tell you lies,
leave you all alone in the blood red sky
I'll leave you all alone in the blood red sky'
Harry couldn't avoid Hermione when she was on a mission, especially not in his own home. There was little point in attempting to hide behind another party guest; but that didn't stop him from trying.
"Have you booked that appointment yet, Harry?" Hermione asked without preamble, spying Harry as he ducked behind Bill Weasley, handing him a glass of firewhisky with a wry smile, her brown eyes catching Harry's. Escape was futile.
What need did he have for a bloody dream therapist for Merlin's sake?
Harry sighed and shook his head, "No, Hermione, I don't think I want to dredge up the past. It's just a dream." He was starting to wish he'd never confided in Hermione about the dreams. She'd caught him unawares one day, when he'd had no real sleep for days, and he hadn't even had the wherewithal to lie and blame his sleepless nights on Teddy. Teddy had always slept through the night since he'd come into Harry's care at three months old, so that excuse wasn't one that might fall off his tongue.
"Harry! The same recurring dream? For five years?" Hermione's hands went to her hips and Harry knew then that he was in trouble.
He ran an unconscious hand through his ragged mop of dark hair, the one thing about himself that remained unchanged no matter how much time had passed and said, "It's not the same dream, Mione, not all the time." Just a million different variations thereof. He shifted uncomfortably. "Look, I appreciate that you care. I just – I need to do things in my own time, and I'm not ready to dig, not yet." He tipped his head back and emptied the contents of his glass down his throat.
Hermione's brown eyes shone with compassion, making Harry feel guilty for being annoyed with her. "All right, I'll let it drop for now," she conceded, leaning up to kiss Harry's cheek. "Now, tell me about this new boyfriend of yours -"
Harry forced a smile and settled back against the kitchen sink, glancing instinctively over to where the birthday boy, Teddy, was happily being fussed over by Luna, before dredging up Ty's face and saying, "He's blond, blue eyed, – what?"
Hermione rolled her eyes, laughing. "They're always blond, Harry…and none of them ever last longer than a few weeks. Maybe you should go for a brunet, or redhead – I hear Charlie's on the market again..?"
Harry didn't mention that he'd already been on the Charlie bus, and that had not lasted too long either. Luckily, the two of them had retained their friendship. Some things were not for public consumption. It was bad enough that the Daily Prophet lapped up his every move as it was. It was only a matter of time before they ran an article about Ty, speculating that he might be 'the one' for Harry. Harry had hoped he was. He had liked Ty a lot. He was all the things Hermione had said. He was also a great fuck. However, this last day or so, that old dissatisfied feeling was seeping through him again… As it had with every other man he had been involved with since the war.
"I like blonds," he defended with a waggle of his eyebrows, trying to lighten the mood.
"Talking of blonds," Theo came up behind Hermione and snaked an arm around her waist, pulling her back against his chest with a brief kiss on the top of her head. "Have you heard where Kingsley's sending Harry and me on Monday?"
Harry poured himself another firewhisky and prepared to knock it right back, all thoughts of mood improvement dying a death. He didn't want to have this conversation either.
"No, Harry hasn't mentioned anything," Hermione said pleasantly, relaxing into Theo's arms, a light blush crawling across her cheeks. Ordinarily Harry would have been amused by this display; both Hermione and Theo had been dancing around one another for months before finally getting together a couple of weeks ago, but Theo's appearance and the allusion to what they had to do on Monday had a knot appearing in his stomach and a vague sense of panic assailing him. "What's happening on Monday?"
"Draco Malfoy," Theo announced triumphantly. "Harry and I have to go to the Manor. Draco's-"
"Theo, we shouldn't discuss cases outside of the office," Harry warned with a nervous glance to check if anyone was listening. The party was in full swing, no one was taking any notice of the three of them hiding away in the corner of the kitchen.
"Malfoy?" Hermione's voice rose an octave and her eyebrows shot into her hairline. "I've heard nothing of him since the end of the war. What's he doing these days?" Even Theo, who had shared a dorm with Draco Malfoy, had had no idea what had become of the young heir since the post-war trials and Harry's testimony until they located and raided the HQ of the Alliance for Magical Justice and found a whole wall pasted in information about Draco Malfoy's movements over recent months. Unfortunately, the Alliance members were like ghosts and had already escaped before the Aurors got there so Harry's team had no idea why they were so interested in Malfoy.
"Well," Theo lowered his voice for dramatic effect. "He -"
"Theo," Harry warned. "I know it's only Hermione but -"
"Relax, I'm not talking about the case, just Draco," Theo told him. Harry sighed and downed his firewhisky in a single gulp, letting the warm glow permeate through him, alleviating the panicked feeling. "According to the file, Draco was married duringthe war and he has a daughter. I don't know what happened to his wife, but he's single now, living at Malfoy Manor with his daughter and a couple of elves – Narcissa died quite suddenly last year. He's a Potioneer; and quite a good one too – he makes a decent living from it."
A wave of unwelcome panic assailed Harry again, he had been avoiding reading the research file compiled by the Auror research team until he absolutely had to; it had sat in the in-tray taunting him and he didn't know why he felt so afraid of it – it was only Malfoy. So, Draco Malfoy had married and was a father? Not that different to himself really. Okay, so he hadn't been married, but he was a father in every sense of the word other than the biological one. Teddy was his son, he was Teddy's father. That child meant everything to him.
Malfoy - and his daughter – were Teddy's only living blood relatives. He hadn't given it any thought before today, but maybe he owed it to Teddy to do something about that? Malfoy's daughter would be around Teddy's age; Teddy would love a little cousin to play with. Teddy deserved a family. He certainly wasn't going to get any siblings from Harry unless men started having babies. They might be wizards, but even magic couldn't change biology.
"I'm looking forward to seeing him," Theo was saying now. "We weren't that great friends at school, but we got on well enough. It was difficult, my parents – well, the less said the better – I never wanted that lunatic in charge, but I had to play a part. I just never knew Draco was doing the same…"
Harry hung his head. Nobody had known. He himself had been guilty of assuming the worst of Malfoy, of believing that what you saw was what was real. It really had seemed that black and white.
"Daddy!" Harry was rocked on his feet as Teddy bowled into him. "Daddy – look what Aunty Luna got me!" The little boy held up what Harry could only describe as a glob of goo. Trust Luna and her tastes for the bizarre. He rolled his eyes.
"That's…interesting, Teddy. What is it?" Harry ruffled his son's hair affectionately - currently Luna-blonde - only half listening as the little boy explained the purpose of the goo, his mind drifting to another blond altogether. One who had been the subject of his monumental and exceedingly ill-advised, crush since fourth year at Hogwarts. One who he would see for the first time on Monday since they'd been in that courtroom together nearly four years earlier. Not that Harry still held a candle for Draco Malfoy, of course he didn't, but that didn't stop this feeling of dread at the thought of seeing that face again, the one that had haunted his dreams every night since Dumbledore's death. No, he was over that stupid crush, had been for years.
So why was his heart pounding deafeningly in his chest? Why was the thought of looking into those pale grey eyes again bringing him out in a cold sweat? He wished the party was over, that everyone would go home and he could lie down, try some of those meditation techniques Luna had taught him for moments like this.
This was Teddy's party though, four years old today. His Teddy; his precious baby son. He reached down and grasped Teddy's smaller hand and gave it a gentle tug, "We'd better go and thank Aunty Luna then, hadn't we?" Harry looked at Hermione and Theo and mustered a smile. "No more talk of Malfoy until Monday, yeah?"
Theo looked like he wanted to argue, but Harry didn't give him the chance, letting Teddy lead him over to the end of the large kitchen table where Luna sat with her husband of three months, Harry's other best friend, Ron Weasley. Hopefully, half-an-hour in Ron's company would be more than enough to cheer him up and send all thoughts of Draco-blinking-Malfoy out into the ether where they belonged.
That night the dream plagued him with a vengeance.
He was running towards a blood red sky, his chest hurting from the lack of oxygen as he sprinted, desperately trying to catch up, to stop his quarry to – what? Sometimes in the dream he caught hold of Snape, tried to face him down for what he had done to Dumbledore, and Snape would sneer, and point his wand to Harry's forehead. Most times, Harry was just running, running, running. He knew it was Malfoy he was running after, never really Snape, running, running, running, always just that little bit too slow to ever catch up. In the dream, Malfoy was Draco, and Harry wanted to catch up to him so desperately that his waking self struggled to comprehend the reasons why. His waking self buried the question.
One long dismissed unrequited crush was no reason for the bleak empty feeling he always had when he woke, for the nothingness that could linger with him for days after a particularly vivid dream.
The reality had become entangled with his nightmares; Harry remembered giving chase and Snape flinging him to the ground and that he had been rendered immobile by some invisible force. Even knowing now that Snape had been on the right side all along, that killing Dumbledore had been his orders from the man himself, did not change the patterns of the dreams. He wanted them gone. Yet, if he addressed this, if he did as Hermione wanted and went to the therapist, if the dreams went away, then what would he have? What would they be replaced with? Maybe this dream was the lesser evil.
So, tonight, he was running past Snape, running towards Malfoy, his chest tight, his face wet with tears for Dumbledore, his heart pounding as he ran, and not just for his dead mentor, but for something else, something he couldn't quite reach…
Harry woke up drenched in sweat, his hair plastered to his forehead with the sheets twisted around his legs. Fuck. Once this Malfoy case was over, he was going to that bloody therapist. Enough was enough.
"So, Harry, when do I get to meet your son?" Ty asked carefully, obviously waiting for Harry's defences to be down before throwing out the question. When better a time than when they were both lying sated in bed together
Harry rolled off the older man, his heart instantly heavy, chasing away the post orgasmic shine. Settling down at the blond's side, Harry stared at the ceiling, his mind whirring. It always came down to this; if the relationship lasted longer than a few weeks they started wanting to meet Teddy. Not one single boyfriend, Charlie being the only exception because of his surname, had ever met Teddy. Harry wasn't even sure Ty was going to make the cut yet, in fact, if this hollow cold feeling that had been creeping around his heart since yesterday was anything to go by, then the answer to that would be a resounding 'never'.
Until a couple of days ago, Harry might have thought differently, but somethinghad changed. He didn't know what it was, but the shift had occurred and Harry couldn't get the old feeling back. He closed his eyes and sighed. "Not yet," he replied quietly. "It's still early days." Now he didn't think he ever would go past 'early days', not with Ty, but he wasn't such a bastard as he would say that to him now, not when they had just had sex. He'd give himself more time, wait for the Malfoy case to be out of the way and see how he felt then. Ty was a nice guy and he didn't deserve to be messed around, and at least whilst he was there the nightmare would most likely stay away; it tended to be more prevalent when he slept alone, which was most of the time.
Ty frowned at the answer but said, "Okay," he snuggled down, wrapping an arm around Harry's middle and resting his cheek against his chest. "You know, if this thing with us works out, I hope we can have more children together."
"Mmm," Harry managed, not really listening, as tried to drift off to sleep. He was still tired from the hours lying awake after his dream last night. He wished he hadn't said he'd stay at Ty's overnight, but Hermione had Teddy for the night and he was here now...
He let his mind wander, curiosity peaked over what he and Theo might find tomorrow when they met with Malfoy. Harry's dick stirred and he willed it away. How could that even be possible? With all the years that had passed and everything that had happened – his crush on Draco Malfoy still simmered beneath the surface. How many times had he wanked behind the privacy of his bed curtains back in Hogwarts thinking of the snarky Slytherin? How often had he thought about waving the white flag, trying to forge a friendship with him – before sixth year, before it all turned to shit? He'd always suspected the git was up to something, yet at the same time he'd wanted to kiss him senseless.
He wondered what that might have been like.
Of course, when Malfoy had left with Snape, Harry's priorities shifted and any feelings he'd had for him had been boxed up and shoved into a box in his head labelled 'do not enter'. Harry's priority had become Horcruxes and fighting, swiftly followed by making sure Teddy was cared for and loved in the wake of Andromeda's untimely death from a brain tumour.
What would Malfoy be like now, nearly four years on from the trials? Would he have changed since Harry had given evidence? Harry had wanted to say something to Malfoy after the trial, but his head was full of the dreams and he'd bottled it – what would he have said anyway?
Hell, Malfoy must already have been a father by then, and no one had known a thing about it at the time. Before the trial there had only been the Fiendfyre, and Malfoy denying Harry to his father at Malfoy Manor. It was nearer five years since he'd last spent any time studying his arch nemesis, and five years since he'd first had the dream that now seemed to have infiltrated his subconscious to the level that Harry sometimes didn't know what was real anymore.
Why was just the thought of seeing Malfoy again, after all these years, sending him into a panic?
Harry was not looking forward to tomorrow.
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