Title: Number Seven
Author: Sara Holmes
Summary: Harry already has small children, an ex-wife, annoying colleagues and an international crime ring to deal with. So when Draco Malfoy reappears after eight years AWOL in France, of course Harry is going to leave him well alone...Right?
Pairing: Harry/Draco, other side pairings.
Rating: M overall.
Disclaimer: All the recognisable people and content belong to JKRowling. I'm not making any profit and am doing this for amusement only.
Warnings: Swearing, fighting, a certain someone being previously employed as a rentboy (it doesn't happen in the timespan of the story and is only referred to as past activity), references to violence, injuries, drinking, sexual content, involvement with crime and one instance of attempted thievery. Oh, and small children. They deserve a warning.
Authors note: This has been a long time coming, and I'm so happy to finally get it posted. It will probably fall somewhere between Mental and Get Some in length, but I don't know until it's 100% finished and edited. Updates will be every Thursday unless anything goes seriously awry. I'm having great fun with this piece, I hope you all enjoy it too :) Additional disclaimer: I know very little French, hence a dictionary and google being my new best friends.
Thank you to multicolouredfloopowder for the ongoing feedback :)
"Harry! There you are! Can you do us a favour?"
Harry Potter groaned and slumped forwards against his office door which he had just been about to open and sneak through. His hand was still resting on the doorknob and his forehead pressed against the golden lettering on his window that read Harry Potter - Muggle Liaison Officer.
"Now?" he whined, turning his head to see Auror Roberts hurrying down the corridor towards him, scroll of parchment in hand and looking harassed. Well, more harassed than usual, which was saying something.
"Yes, now," Roberts said as he reached Harry, who still hadn't made any effort to stand up straight. "Need you to do a pick-up near the North Park – area twenty two."
"That's not my job, that's Ellis's job," Harry said, looking at Robert's with an innocent expression on his face. "I'm not meant to do pick-ups. I'm only issued clearance to deal with Muggles, and you know Kingsley doesn't like me doing other people's jobs or going out of my district-"
"Stop being an arse, Potter," Roberts snapped and Harry grinned, pushing himself back away from the door and facing him. "There's a Wizard causing a fuss outside a Muggle pub - blind drunk apparently - and we need to go pick him up before he completely trounces the Statute of Secrecy. He's already pushing it, but the blokes who spotted him aren't authorized to bring him in-"
"Neither am I." Harry grumbled. "Look, I'm meant to clock off at five, I've got one of the kids tonight-" Harry tried, his hand still resting hopefully on the doorknob. He'd only just got back from Obliviating a Muggle who had stumbled across two bickering wizards who had drawn wands and were threatening to curse each other. He loved his job; he really did, but he was bloody knackered and wanted to go home.
"I know," Roberts interrupted with badly hidden impatience, rubbing his beard as the scowl on his grizzled face deepened. "But the guys who found him are only misuse of artefacts guys, and we've had a break on the Hightops case and I'm taking Ellis with me incase anyone needs Obliviating or bringing in-"
"Can't I go on that?" Harry interrupted, instantly perking up. "Ellis can go get the piss-head-"
"Sod off, Potter," Roberts snapped. "That's way above your pay grade. Now take your Obliviator arse up to twenty-two and fetch whoever it is making a scene. They've put a Hunting Hex on him so all you need to do is-"
"Yes, yes, I know, I'll find him. Just a pick up, right?" Harry asked in resignation, casting one last look of longing at his office door before letting his hand slide off of the doorknob.
"Yes. Pick him up, bring him back, dump him in a cell, Obliviate anyone if he's said too much, or just tell them he's crazy," Roberts said, looking relieved, running a hand over his short grey hair and down over his lined face. "I owe you one, Potter."
"You owe me more than one," Harry grouched, walking beside Roberts as they made their way to the floo grates in the atrium.
"Pecking order," Roberts said, looking down at the parchment in his hand. "You've been here four years, I've been here twenty. Suck it up."
"Yes captain," Harry grinned. He liked Roberts, mainly because the man gave Harry no preferential treatment, none at all. He had been an Auror for twenty-one years, was old and grumpy and everyone knew it.
Harry snorted with laughter and leant over slightly, peering at the papers in Roberts's hands. He made a noise of protest as Roberts sharply jerked them to the side, moving them out Harry's line of vision.
"You don't need to know, Potter."
"Oh, go on," Harry wheedled as Roberts nodded curtly at an Unspeakable passing in the other direction. "You owe me."
"Owing you constitutes of foisting your paperwork off onto one of my interns, or buying you a pint, not telling you all about the Hightops case," Roberts said, rolling up the papers and smacking Harry around the back of the head with them. "Stop being so nosey."
"It's the most interesting thing to happen in ages-" Harry said, rubbing the back of his head as they stepped into a lift, the golden grills clanking shut after them.
"Oh yes, seemingly untraceable organised crime involving millions of pounds worth of diamonds, missing wizards and several high profile Muggle murders – that's what you'd call interesting, is it now?" Roberts asked, his gruff voice full of sarcasm.
"Oh, yeah," Harry said, ducking another swat with the papers and hastily amending his answer. "Well, I suppose there are better words for it than interesting…"
"A fucking nightmare is what I'd call it," Roberts said grimly. "Look, boy, you were the one who quit Auror training and opted for being an Obliviator," he said, ignoring Harry's weary and worn-out correction of 'Muggle Liason Officer.' "If you'd not been such a pansy about everyone recognising you, you could have been an Auror, got in on the Hightops case and wouldn't be dealing with boring Muggles day in day out."
"Alright, point made," Harry said grumpily, stepping out of the lift into the bustling Atrium. "I just wanted to know, is all."
"So does everyone else," Roberts said, weaving his way through the crowd towards the fireplaces, Harry following just behind. "Can't tell you anymore than I'm allowed, Potter."
"You'll have to tell me off the record when you take me for this pint you owe me," Harry called as he stopped beside a grate, Roberts marching on towards the next one.
"Nice try, Golden Boy," Roberts shouted back, stepping into a grate without a backwards glance, disappearing in a whirl of flames.
Harry snorted with laughter, shaking his head before stepping into the grate, bracing himself. He'd just have to go and get this over and done with, and then he could – finally - go home.
Harry could hear the shouts of excitement and laughter before he even rounded the corner onto the square where the Hunting Hex had led him. He'd floo'd out to one of the many points around London - this one disguised as an out-of-order portable toilet - and had barely walked for thirty seconds before the sound of the disturbance reached his ears.
"Fucking Roberts," he muttered, pulling out his wand and casting the charm to turn his clothing into that reminiscent of a Muggle police offer. Navy blue uniform, of course; the luminous yellow option was not a look any of the team liked sporting. It was the easiest option when dealing with a hopefully small-ish group of Muggles - this way he could get them to piss off and deal with the wizard who was causing the problem. He knew well how to go about taking in Wizards who were causing a scene in Muggle areas; the whole team of Obliviators knew so they could collaborate with the guys who did the actual pick-ups. Or so they could get sent out on them when everyone else was busy doing fun stuff, apparently.
He rounded the corner and immediately saw a group of six or seven Muggles stood next to a open square fountain which stood in the centre of a cobbled square. They were all cheering and clapping, and as the sound as splashing reached his ears, he realised with a sinking feeling that the noise wasn't caused solely by the spray of water which served as a centrepiece for the fountain. No, what was causing the noise was his target, who was currently swimming around near the centre of said fountain. The inconsiderate, drunken, twat.
He was going to hex Roberts for this.
He pinched the bridge of his nose, and breathed out deeply. You can go home when this is over, he told himself. Twenty minutes max.
"Right then, mind moving on?" Harry called, clapping his hands as he walked over to the group, who all turned at the sound of his voice. Two of them immediately sloped off but the rest didn't move, looking eagerly between Harry and the drunk, obviously excited for a showdown.
"Got us a swimmer," one said with a cackle as Harry came to stand in front of them.
"I can see that, now go on back to what you were doing so I can get him out," Harry said firmly. The man grumbled but moved sideways slightly; just enough so that Harry had a clear view of the fountain.
His jaw dropped.
Flailing around in the middle of the fountain was Draco Malfoy. As Harry watched, flabbergasted, he span around unsteadily before tripping over his own feet, falling forwards with a splash. To the sounds of delighted shrieks and laughter from the crowd, he resurfaced, coughing, spluttering and pushing his hair off of his forehead.
"Christ," Harry managed to breathe out, his expression horrified. He was going to kill Roberts. There was no mistaking him: that pointed chin, the pale complexion, that hair…fucking Malfoy.
"Alright, boss?" The man asked curiously, and with the force of a bludger Harry remembered exactly where he was and what he was meant to be doing.
"Shit," he muttered under his breath, and then pushed past the man and approached the edge of the fountain. Malfoy was now floating on his back, drifting slowly, and from what Harry could hear, bloody humming to himself.
Where the fuck was this in his Muggle Liaison handbook?
He'd not seen Malfoy in, what, eight years? And now the tosser had turned up in a fountain in the middle of Muggle London, pissed out of his face. Now he was closer, Harry could see subtle differences in how Malfoy looked eight years on; for a start he could see he was a lot taller, even though he'd only seen him stood upright for a brief moment. His hair was shorter – as short as Harry's and sticking up every which way because of the water - and he was as scrawny as ever. His thin frame looked positively breakable clad in sopping wet tight black jeans - jeans! A Malfoy in denim - and a fitted plain black T-shirt.
Frankly, he looked a state.
Harry's mind quickly assessed the situation and came up with only one conclusion: his only option was to get Malfoy out of the fountain as quickly as possible, take him back to the Ministry and then work out what the bloody buggering fuck was going on.
"Malfoy," he called, his voice low. Malfoy immediately jerked around and sat up, water dripping off of him as he looked at Harry.
"Hello there, sir!" he called, sounding delighted. "Come and join me, the water's lovely. The Muggles won't swim, scared of getting wet. No nifty drying charms to sort them out, the idiots."
He flung himself backwards with a splash again and Harry cursed under his breath as the crowd behind him started laughing again.
"Get out of there, or I'm going to drag you out," he called. Malfoy rolled over lazily in the water so he was floating on his front, stretching his neck so his face was out of the water, just lapping his chin.
"Go on then," he drawled. "Levitate me out, I dare you. Don't stun me though, I might drown."
Harry growled as Malfoy lowered his face so his mouth was under the water, happily blowing bubbles with his mouth. If Malfoy didn't shut his trap about Muggles and levitating, Harry was going to physically knock him out, risk of drowning be damned. He was not in the mood for systematically Obliviating seven Muggles just because Malfoy couldn't shut the fuck up.
"Malfoy-" Harry snapped. The bubbles stopped and he saw the tell-tale smirk curve Malfoy's lips, indicating that he had no intention of co-operating.
"Oh, fuck you," Harry muttered, losing his patience. He shook his wand down out of his sleeve so the tip was just visible, and waved it over the Muggles under the guise of scratching his head, muttering under his breath.
"Weren't we off for a drink?" one of the Muggles suddenly asked his friend, sounding confused.
"Yeah…" another replied, sounding equally vague. "Yeah, let's go back to the Bell."
To Harry's relief, the crowd all slowly drifted away to a respectable distance, leaving him alone with Malfoy. Alone with Malfoy was not a situation he wanted to be in really, but he'd rather not have an audience for what he was about to do. He supposed it was a small blessing that Malfoy was three sheets to the wind and didn't even seem to recognise him, or remember to get his wand out.
He glanced over his shoulder and saw the Muggles still visible on the other side of the square. Shit. He didn't dare casting any charms with how close they were, which left only one option.
"I hate you," Harry snapped, eyes fixed on the blond as he slung one leg over the stone wall of the fountain and stepped into the water. He gritted his teeth; the water was fucking cold despite the mild June weather and the feeling of water flooding his shoes and drenching his socks was not pleasant. Malfoy didn't even look his way as Harry climbed all the way in, pushed away from the wall and waded over to him through the knee deep water, cursing violently.
"Malfoy, come on!" Harry reached over and grabbed Malfoy under his arms, yanking him up. Draco flailed for a moment and then grabbed Harry's wrists, struggling up onto his knees and then squinting up at Harry's face.
"Hello," he slurred, one eye open.
Harry gaped. "Christ, you're hammered."
Malfoy nodded. "Completely car-parked," he sighed. He swayed slightly, his body bowing and Harry had to move his feet to stop them both from falling. Malfoy looked down at the water and then up at Harry again, both his eyes now open. "Hello," he repeated. "I'm Jack."
Harry stared down at him. "No you're not, you idiot."
"I am," Malfoy replied, eyes wide and full to the brim of drunk sincerity. "Jack. Jack Daniels. Pleased to meet you."
Harry resisted the urge to throttle him, despite the want that was steadily growing and making his fingers itch. "Your name is not Jack Daniels," he ground out through gritted teeth.
"It is." Malfoy nodded eagerly. "Someone had put my name on my bottle for me-"
Harry cried out in frustration. "Your name is not Jack Daniels, you've been drinking Jack Daniels!"
Malfoy's eager expression gave way to one of genuine perplexity. "Really?"
"For fuck's sake," Harry snapped. "Come on. You're causing a scene in a Muggle area and I've been told to take you to the Ministry. Section four, code fifty-two before you try and sue me or anything."
Draco made a noise of protest as Harry seized him under the arms once more and stepped backwards, dragging Draco with him through the water. Harry didn't stop; he just wanted this sod out of the fountain and back to the Ministry as quickly as possible.
"Who am I then, if I'm not Jack Daniels?" Malfoy asked, his tone conversational as Harry continued to drag him bodily across the fountain to the edge.
"Draco Malfoy. Get out," Harry said tersely, dropping him and kicking him in the thigh to make him get out of the fountain.
"That's a strange name. You're very bossy," Draco frowned, reaching for the edge of the fountain and hauling himself out, his T-shirt riding up and revealing the pale expanse of his back in the process. He managed to climb over the wall, but was less successful at standing up on the other side: he lurched forwards when he tried to take a step and fell onto his hands and knees on the cobbles.
"How drunk are you?" Harry asked, amazement over-riding his anger now they were both out of the water.
Draco shifted over so he was sat on his arse and held out his hands in an indication for Harry to pull him up. They were covered in bits of leaf and dirt, and he flexed his fingers expectantly, hiccupping as Harry stared down at him. "Very."
Glancing around the square, Harry sighed as he saw two more people stood on the other side, leaning against the wall of the pub with cigarettes in hand, watching them with interest. Their new little audience were too far away to cast a Confundus over like he'd done with the last lot, so that meant no charms to dry either of them off, and no instant Apparation out of this fiasco. Frowning, Harry's gaze flicked back to Malfoy and he did a double take.
Malfoy had had his ears pierced.
A small, glittering stud in each earlobe, small enough to be missed unless you looked twice. Harry couldn't believe it: Draco Malfoy, pure-blood elitist, perfect, pristine Draco Malfoy had been AWOL for eightyears and then turned up…with his ears pierced.
"Come on," Malfoy said impatiently, waving his hands about and startling Harry out of his reverie. "Help."
Harry mentally shook himself and managed to remember what he was supposed to be doing. He knelt down beside Malfoy and ran his hands quickly over his chest and then his hips, looking for the telltale bump of a concealed wand.
"Hey, what the hell?" Malfoy asked with alcoholised dignity, batting Harry's hands away with no small amount of effeminate flailing. "Stop groping me-"
"Wand," Harry managed to bite out. "Now."
"Oh!" Draco fell back and struggled for a moment, lifting his left leg in the air and reaching ineffectually for his ankle. He scowled at his feet and then fell sideways, curling up in the foetal position and reaching for the hem of his trouser leg. He pulled it up with difficulty and Harry immediately saw his wand strapped to his lower leg. Wanting it in his possession and hidden as quickly as possible, Harry attempted to knock Malfoy's fumbling fingers out of the way, but Malfoy glared at him and jerked his leg away.
Harry immediately drew his hands away, feeling alarmed and at once anticipating Draco trying to hex him once his wand was free. However, before he could even get his own wand out of his sleeve and process the words stupefy, Malfoy got his free and held the familiar length of Hawthorn out for Harry to take.
"There you are, officer," he drawled, looking up at Harry through one eye again.
Harry took the wand with more than a little surprise, quickly followed by suspicion. Normally, any encounter in which a witch or wizard was requested to surrender their want didn't go as smoothly; there was often tantrums, threats, refusals and at the very least whining and pleading. He couldn't blame them really; on the few occasions he had lost his wand it had felt like losing a limb, and left him feeling horrifically vulnerable. But here was Malfoy, handing his over like it was something he did every day.
And considering how long Harry had kept his wand the last time he'd taken it…Harry wouldn't blame Malfoy if he'd decided to make Harry promise he'd actually give it back.
"What are you even doing here?" Harry finally asked, standing up and slipping Malfoy's wand up his sleeve alongside his own. Draco sat back up and held his hands out once more, that expectant look back on his pointed face. Sighing, Harry took hold of Malfoy's bony hands and pulled him to his feet. Draco was as unsteady on his feet as before and fell into Harry's chest with an ooft. As he attempted to straighten up, swaying dangerously, Harry's eyes were drawn to one of the small studs set in Draco's earlobe. They didn't look bad, he supposed. They just looked…different. Unexpected.
Draco beamed at him, slinging an arm around Harry's neck and making him stumble, finally breaking his gaze. "Swimming."
"Swimming. You were-" Harry tried and gave up, shaking his head and wondering whether to laugh or cry. "Come on, this way."
Malfoy didn't question where 'this way' was, but allowed Harry to lead him away from the fountain, slowly dripping water all over both the cobbles and Harry. Harry took hold of Malfoy's wrist to pull his arm more securely over his shoulders, and as he did he caught sight of the faded Dark Mark on Draco's forearm. So, they hadn't disappeared the moment Voldemort had died, as some publications had suggested. It was a dull burnt brown, considerably faded but still noticeable against Draco's pale skin. Harry shivered and turned his eyes away.
"Do I know you?" Malfoy asked, leaning sideways to observe Harry with narrowed eyes and making him stagger again.
"Yes, you do. We've known each other for about sixteen years. You hate me. Keep walking," Harry said, pulling Draco's arm more securely over his shoulders, and then against his better judgement, slipped one around his waist to keep him upright. At that precise moment in time, he really didn't know which was winning; his curiosity about where the hell Malfoy had been and why he was such a state, or his desire to go home.
"I do not hate you," Draco argued indignantly, waving his free hand to emphasise his point. "You were merely a pain. A great, big, stupid, Gryffindor idiot."
"So you do know who I am?" Harry asked, his back and shoulders already aching. He looked around desperately and his eyes found a small narrow alley between a pub and the end of a run-down terrace.
"Potter," Malfoy replied, not missing a beat. He hiccoughed and stumbled on his next step, jarring Harry's neck.
"I don't believe this," Harry muttered, hauling Draco down across the road and down the alley between the buildings, hoping no-one had seen.
"T- taking me down an alley, eh - hic - Potter?"
"Oh shut up," Harry snapped, glancing at Malfoy and huffing as his eyes met an amused smirk. He kept walking, roughly pulling Malfoy's arm a little more over his shoulder and making the git stumble.
Home, he suddenly decided. Bugger finding out about Malfoy right now, he wanted to go home. He'd ask around the Ministry and raid some files tomorrow. He probably wouldn't get any answers from Malfoy with him being in this state anyway.
Harry let go of him and attempted to prop him up against the wall. The stone was cold despite the warm weather, and the ground below was worn; dry, bare soil beneath their feet. Harry cringed and tried not to think about what an alley of this sort would usually be used for.
"Think people have shagged down here?" Malfoy slurred, looking left and right, somehow mirroring Harry's thoughts. He started to slide sideways down the stone wall and Harry grabbed him by his shoulders, exasperated and alarmed.
"Shut up," he repeated. "Do you feel up to Apparating?"
"Yes," Malfoy said, his head lolling on his shoulders and his eyes falling shut. "No. Hang on, what?"
"Oh, fuck you. Hold onto my arms," Harry said, still pinning Malfoy to the wall with his hands on his shoulders.
Malfoy raised his hands obediently and grabbed hold of Harry's forearms, just beneath his elbows. His head rocked forwards between their arms, bobbing slightly. His breathing was heavy and Harry felt a brief flash of acknowledgement at how Malfoy must be feeling at that moment: drunk, dizzy and disorientated. Hell, Harry could admit that he had been in the same position more than once; blind drunk with Ron propping him up against various walls, shooing away nosey passers by who wanted a glance of the Chosen One absolutely smashed.
Mentally shaking himself, Harry forced his mind back to the task in hand. That had been over four years ago, he told himself firmly, and only because of circumstance. He was over it now, no doubts. He had kids to support, a job to do, friends to spend quality time with, and an ex-wife to not wind up too much. Didn't leave much time for drinking binges.
"Malfoy," he said, his voice clear. Malfoy's head snapped up instantly, thudding against the stone wall behind him. He didn't seem to notice and Harry chose to ignore it.
"Yeah?" Malfoy asked, swallowing thickly, his hazy eyes on Harry's, and looking rather worse for wear.
"Take a deep breath in when I count to two, okay?" Harry said and Malfoy nodded slowly.
"One," Harry said, and Malfoy hiccupped. "Two-" Malfoy took a sharp deep breath in and thankfully held it- "Three."
Harry stepped back, Malfoy lurching with him as they vanished from the alley with a sharp crack.
Harry should have known what would happen if he Apparated with a plastered Malfoy in tow, but his desire to get the prat back and passed onto someone else had overridden his common sense.
Which was why the floor of the Muggle Relations Department apparition chamber and Harry's shoes were now both covered in sour smelling sick. Malfoy was slumped on the floor against Harry's legs, whimpering, swaying and his face a nasty shade of green.
Harry stared down at his feet for a few seconds and decided to forego a verbal outburst. Instead, he bent over and grabbed Malfoy by his collar, hauling him to his feet.
"Get off," Malfoy said weakly, wiping his mouth with the back of his hand. "Are you s-stupid, apparating after drinking?"
Harry ignored him and pressed his hand to the door which unlocked with a thunk at his touch, a cool female voice announcing yet again that he was in the 'Muggle Relations Department. Non-malicious incidents with Muggles, minor breaches of statute of secrecy and Wizard collections from Muggle areas and related incidents. Crimes against Muggles must be taken to the Auror department, apparition chamber seven. Please prepare your subject for processing and have their wand ready for hand over.'
At first Harry had been impressed when shown these handy apparition chambers that were connected to each department, but in retrospect he should have realised that Ministry employees weren't expected to drag suspects and criminals through the front foyer. The Ministry was a political showground up front, a nest of paperwork and bureaucracy in the middle, and a prison in the back.
"Your own fault for being that trollied," Harry, turning his attention back to Malfoy. "Come on. You're going in a cell until you dry out."
Malfoy sighed, and once again Harry was taken aback; rather than seeming put-out or annoyed, the sigh was clearly laced with a tone of not this again. It was the same as when Malfoy had handed over his wand, and the desire to know what had happened to Malfoy quickly flared up again. All the signs pointed to Malfoy having been arrested before, but then surely Harry would have heard about it?
"Merlin, Harry, I thought you'd gone home!"
A loud and exasperated voice crashed Harry's thought train and he winced, just as Draco frowned at the middle-aged witch who had spoken and opened his damned trap again.
"I'm Draco," he said slowly, as if talking to a deaf person. "Dra-co. Not Harry. Jesus."
Still sitting behind her desk with her hands on her book, the witch looked up at Harry, looking far from amused.
"Sorry, Marge." Harry sighed to her, simultaneously grabbing Draco's collar to hold him upright.
"I'm not processing him-" Marge said promptly, lifting her book back up and pushing her glasses up her nose. "He stinks."
"That's because he's drunk," Harry said. "Not my idea. Roberts said I had to fetch him. Just a simple pick up, that's it, I swear."
Marge's eyes flicked back up to Harry's face but her book didn't lower. "Hmm."
"Please," Harry pleaded. "I want to go home - I've got Al tonight and he'll pitch a fit if I'm not there before he goes to bed."
"Hmmm," Marge said again, but she put her book down and reached for her quill.
"Thank you," Harry said fervently, then lurched as Malfoy's legs gave out and he slithered down Harry's side to slump on the floor. He looked down at his feet in surprise and then smiled up at Harry, leaning his head against Harry's thigh and snaking his arms around Harry's legs, hugging them tightly and making balancing difficult.
"Hello," he said, blinking up at Harry and looking perfectly innocent and nothing like the bastard he was.
"Well he seems quite taken with you," Marge said with a raised eyebrow, pulling out a green sheet of parchment, then pausing. "Did you have to Obliviate anyone?"
"Nope," Harry said. "And he's not taken with me, I know him from school. He's a prat."
"I know you know him from school," Marge said, sounding bored and tapping the green sheet of parchment with her wand. "And I also know you didn't get on. Which doesn't explain why he's now hugging your thighs like they're the last pair he'll ever see."
Face flaming red, Harry tried to shake Malfoy off of his legs, too embarrassed to register Marge's first batch of words. "Christ, Malfoy, get off!"
Marge snorted with laughter. "Wand."
Giving up on his dignity for the remainder of the encounter, Harry tried to step out of Malfoy's grip one last time but failed miserably. He gave up and instead extricated Malfoy's wand from his sleeve and tossed it over onto Marge's desk.
She stopped it rolling with a finger and then tapped it once with her own wand, barely looking at it. She jotted a note on the form and then leant back to slip it into one of the many lock-boxes that lined the walls behind the processing desk. Harry knew that the numbers on the boxes corresponded with the numbers of the cells that lined the adjacent corridor, and he noted that Malfoy would be dumped in cell number 4 when his paperwork was finished.
"So, name- Malfoy, Draco…" she muttered as she started to ink in the form, her quill snatching back and forth. "Where did you find him?"
"Twenty two, in the run down bit near the Park," Harry told her. "Seen by a group of seven Muggles, using Wizarding vocab, Muggles given a light Confundus and left the scene with no fuss."
"Did he have his wand out?" Marge asked, scribbling away on the form.
"Nope," Harry said. "He was swimming."
Marge paused, looking down at Malfoy. "Swimming?"
"In a fountain," Harry told her, waving a hand dismissively.
"Potter wouldn't swim with me," Malfoy chimed in, his voice slurring, his face buried in Harry's thigh. "Wouldn't get wet."
Marge raised her eyebrow again and Harry felt himself flush, pointing at her and trying to seem remotely assertive. "You - not a word."
"Wouldn't dream of it," she said airily, stamping Malfoy's form briskly and then tapping it again with her wand before slipping it into the towering filing cabinet beside her. "Cell four."
"Thank you," Harry said as she picked her book back up, giving him a nod in reply. "Now come on you git, stand up."
"He's a Ministry guest now, Potter," Marge said, her eyes not leaving her book. "You better be nice to him."
"Course," Harry muttered, bending over and grabbing Malfoy under his arms for what seemed like the twentieth time that evening, heaving him to his feet. "Come along, sir."
Malfoy seemed to be all out of witty retorts and drunken logic because he simply grunted, rested his head against Harry's shoulder and allowed himself to be manhandled out of the processing room and along the corridor to his cell.
"So, going to explain what events led to me finding you drunk and swimming around in a fountain?" Harry asked, taking advantage of Malfoy's temporary placidity to pry. He was careful to keep his tone conversational; it worked wonders for getting answers from both criminals and his children.
Malfoy started to laugh, staggering slightly as he was hauled bodily along the corridor. "No," he said, a small smile on his lips.
"No?" Harry asked neutrally, coming to a stop beside a large grey door which had MR4 – Muggle Relations Cell 4 - stencilled on in black ink.
Malfoy slipped and slumped against the wall, suddenly and inexplicably glaring at Harry. "No."
"Fair enough," Harry said with a shrug, pointing his wand at the door and opening it. "In you go."
Malfoy pulled a face at him but obediently pushed himself off the wall and staggered into the cell, making a beeline for the bench along the back. "Get me a blanket."
Harry shook his head and watched Malfoy roll somehow gracefully onto the bench, lying flat on his back with one skinny arm dangling off the side. "Potter," Malfoy slurred, eyes already shut. "Blanket."
Harry rolled his eyes and turned away. "Sleep. I'll be talking to you in the morning and I'd like coherent sentences."
Malfoy didn't bother to reply, so Harry shut the door and locked it, standing still in the corridor and trying to collect his thoughts for a moment.
Bloody Malfoy. All grown up and suddenly back in Harry's life. He wondered what-
Harry winced as he heard Marge's shriek echo down the corridor, presumably coming from the apparition chamber.
"YOU BETTER CLEAN THIS MESS UP IN THE NEXT THIRTY SECONDS OR I'LL BE HAVING WORDS WITH SHAW!"
Harry's shoulders slumped and he shuffled back along the corridor with a bad grace. All he had wanted to do was go home, he thought tiredly and somewhat petulantly. And now he had wet clothes, bruised shins, sore shoulders and had to spend the next ten minutes cleaning up Malfoy vomit from the chamber before Marge burst an artery and told on him to his boss.
Fucking Malfoy. Couldn't just bugger off out of Harry's life, now could he?