AN: This is the last chapter. Oh my days. I cannot form coherent sentences. I will miss this story and I will miss all of you. Thank you so much to everyone who has read and put up with my shoddy time keeping. Extra thanks to anyone who has ever taken the time to review - you guys and your enthusiasm are truly what keeps fandom going.
Chapter About Bloody Time.
Harry had never before appreciated just how wonderful and amazing his sofa was. Honestly, he was never, ever going to take it for granted again. He'd come close to fully appreciating it the night before, when he and Draco had had sex on said sofa, but even that paled in comparison to how ridiculously relieved and lucky he felt to be currently sitting on the worn fabric of its cushions.
Al was sitting on his knee, leaning sideways against him with his head on Harry's chest. He had calmed down remarkably quickly since the incident in the Leaky Cauldron and was now quiet, holding onto Harry's shirt with one hand and gently stroking the material with his other. Draco was at his side, leaning back against Harry with one of Harry's arms wrapped around his shoulders. James and Scorpius were both sitting together and leaning back against Draco, James with his back against Draco's hip and Scorpius leaning against his chest. They were all close enough to reach out and touch if Harry wanted, and he couldn't get over the overpowering sense of relief that filled him from head to toe.
It was over.
He had his family close, they were all in one piece, and Draco's boss had been arrested, which meant that it was over. Definitely, actually, unarguably over.
He didn't even feel his usual urge to get up and go and help sort things out; he just wanted to sit exactly where he was and not move for quite some time. He knew that at some point there would be questions, and he would undoubtedly owe a fair few people explanations, but that could wait for at least a few hours. The children were calm and safe, and Draco remembered him and was holding onto Harry's hand like he never wanted to let go, and that was enough.
Breathing out deeply, Harry tipped his head back against the sofa cushions, enjoying the feel of the warm sunlight on his face. He wondered if Ellis had managed to get any answers out of Draco's boss yet; he was very aware that there was still the question of why they'd come after Draco yet again. Harry didn't blame Draco for what had happened today, not at all, but he did need to know why they'd come back for him, and in such a risky way. Even though they were safe, in his eyes it would be properly over when they had that last piece to the puzzle.
"I'm sorry for calling you the C word."
Harry laughed weakly at Draco's soft murmur, squeezing his fingers. "I'm going to consider it a term of endearment from now on," he replied. "I knew it had to be you, if you were throwing that around."
Draco squeezed his fingers in reply, and Harry glanced at him to see that he was watching James and Scorpius, his free hand brushing over Scorpius's head. "Thank you," he said suddenly, looking beautifully awkward in a way he hadn't since he'd been obliviated. "For…well, not giving – not sending me away when I didn't remember. Yeah."
It sounded like it hurt him to say it out loud, and Harry had never been so pleased to hear him struggle. "You're welcome," he replied softly. He wanted to open his mouth and tell Draco that he would never ever give up on him, would never feel right without him by his side, but he didn't. Those words could wait until later, when the shock of the day had passed and Draco was calm and open enough to accept them. It might take weeks for them to get there, but Harry didn't mind.
"Is Ellis really going to arrest me?" Draco asked a moment later, and as he asked Scorpius twisted around to look at him, looking worried.
"No," Harry said. "I won't let him."
Draco snorted tiredly. "Still playing the hero, I see."
Harry couldn't do anything but smile, shaking his head slightly. He was too happy to have Draco sounding like his normal self to call him on the attitude, and besides, he probably had a point. He could probably summon up quite a bit of heroic resilience if it meant keeping Draco out of trouble and by his side.
"Do you have to go anywhere?" Scorpius asked, his voice small. He reached up to touch Draco's cheek and Harry watched as Draco's eyes suddenly welled up, bright and overwhelmed.
"No," he whispered, turning his head to kiss Scorpius's fingers. "No, I'm staying here."
Scorpius just looked worried. "But what if that man comes back?"
Draco shook his head, and Harry saw the way his chin trembled ever so slightly, the way he had to swallow back a rush of emotion. "He won't," he whispered to Scorpius, voice breaking on the sounds. "Not this time."
"Hey," Harry interrupted gently, putting his hand on Draco's shoulder, fingers gently pressing into his neck. "Draco, look at me-"
"No, he's right to ask," Draco interjected, voice several octaves higher than it should be and eyes still shining bright with tears. "Why should he trust me this time? And this is so stupid because it's all my fault and if I had actually gone to get help somewhere instead of working for that cretin, because that cretin then decides to try and attack my fucking kids-"
"Draco!" Harry interjected, sounding alarmed, taking Draco's chin between his fingers and turning his face towards him. "Look at me. Calm down."
Miraculously, Draco did as he was told. He took a deep breath in and let it out between his teeth, steadying himself. Harry raised an eyebrow and Draco nodded in return, taking another deep calming breath. The boys were all watching Draco, looking concerned and worried.
Still holding onto him with a gentle grip, Harry kept his eyes on Draco's as he waited to see if Draco could stay calm. Draco just looked right back, taking steadying breaths and eventually nodding. After it became apparent that Draco could manage himself without having a nervous breakdown, Harry realised what Draco had just said and felt his lips twitch. "Kids?" he said. "Plural?"
Draco glared at him. "Shut up."
"All three of us," Al chipped in unexpectedly, and Draco just looked helplessly at Harry.
Harry fought to keep a straight face. "You heard him," he said simply. "All three of them."
James and Scorpius simultaneously looked up towards Draco, and Draco could only laugh shortly. "I suppose," he said, and James hid his grin in Draco's hip, twisting round and leaning on him. Harry felt no jealousy like he had done when his kids had bonded with Neville; he just felt relieved and thankful and like he could curl up and join them and sleep for a week. He couldn't keep his own smile hidden any longer; this was exactly what he'd always wanted, and maybe now everything would be simple enough for him just to be able to enjoy-
A sudden burst of noise behind him made him jump, his organs all clenching painfully in shock. He nearly dislodged Al from his lap with how quickly he moved, shoving his hand into his pocket and grabbing his wand, raising it in defence as he realised that the sound was the floo activating. He was ready to curse whoever came through, the word 'stupefy' on the tip of his tongue-
- and then Ron fell out of the fireplace, looking frantic.
"Harry! Christ, someone just ran in and said there was an attack in the Leaky-"
Harry's muscles all simultaneously relaxed with a visible slumping of his body, and his heart seemed to stutter as it went from his throat back to his chest where it belonged. He lowered his wand, wincing as he did. "We're alright, Ron," he said, shifting Al so he could stand up with him, sitting Al on his hip and keeping him close. "Don't worry."
"Are you bloody kidding me?" Ron said, walking over and looking gobsmacked. "It's like Ginny cast a reducto in there – what happened? They're still cleaning up, I only got through the floo because Ellis was there-"
"Ron, seriously," Harry said, shifting Al up and attempting to brush away Ron's concerns with a vague wave of his hand. "We're okay. Bruised and shocked but we're okay."
Ron rubbed his chin, not looking convinced. "Ellis said they were after…" he trailed off, but Harry didn't miss the way his eyes flicked to Draco, the suggestion obvious without him even having to say his name.
"We don't know," Harry said, even though he blatantly knew full well that they had been after Draco. "We've just got to sit tight and wait. Ellis'll probably be back in a bit to fill us in."
Ron nodded, and then appeared to hesitate for a moment. "George has called Ginny," he said, and Harry swore.
"She needs to know, mate-"
"I know," Harry sighed, knowing Ron was right but still not liking it. "It honestly sounds worse than it is – she'll be doing her nut if she knows James and Al were with us. How the hell am I meant to explain this?"
"Try using words," Draco chipped in, sounding tired and prickly. Knowing him, he was pissed because Ron had turned up in the middle of what had turned out to be quite a serious and meaningful moment. "One at a time normally works best."
Harry turned to him, frowning. "You know full well what I mean," he said, and Draco had the good grace to look suitably abashed. "Is she on the way? Ron?"
Ron wasn't listening to a word Harry said. What he was doing instead was staring at Draco, looking unsure and a little confused. His mouth was slightly open and there was a deep crease across his forehead. Harry was about to poke him, but then he blinked and spoke.
Draco's head snapped up. "Fuck off, Weasleby."
"Papa!" Scorpius admonished, and Ron looked at Harry, more flabbergasted than ever.
"When did that happen?"
"I am here, you know," Draco snapped. "And yes, I remember everything. I remember the last year, and the last ten years, and I do remember you being a-"
"Whoa, whoa," Harry protested. "Can we please just celebrate not being in danger for ten minutes before we start arguing again?"
Ron still looked astounded. "When did that happen?" he repeated faintly, this time addressing Draco. "How did that happen? I thought you only remembered a few things-"
"Jack Daniels," Draco snorted, sitting up properly and wincing as Scorpius clambered onto him. "The smell is quite potent."
"Jack Daniels," Ron repeated. "That's a Muggle drink."
"Ten points to the Gryffindor," Draco said, trying to shift Scorpius around so he could see Ron. James slipped off the sofa and sidled up to Harry, leaning on his side. "A bottle of it smashed and went all over me. I remembered the smell and everything just came back."
"In one go?" Ron asked.
Draco nodded, and clicked his fingers. "Faster than a Lumos."
"Talk about timing," Ron said fervently, and Harry started to laugh, helplessly and unstoppably. The sound was infectious; Ron started to laugh as well and even Draco had to hide a grin in Scorpius's shoulder.
"Your life is ridiculous," Ron said matter-of-factly, leaning forwards and resting his hands on his knees, red in the face from laughing so hard. "No wonder Ginny has you by the balls most of the time, if this is the stuff you get up to on an average day."
"Excuse me," Draco snapped, standing up and swinging Scorpius up with him. "I think I'm the only one with any claim to Potter's balls, thank you."
Harry spluttered, feeling his face going red. "Can we refrain from having this discussion in front of the kids?" he said pointedly, but Ron was once again laughing too hard to listen.
"God, I never thought I'd miss you being you, Ferret."
"I said it once and I'll say it again, f-mmph-"
Harry started laughing again as he turned to see Scorpius had pressed his fingers to Draco's mouth. "No bad words," he said sternly, then squealed when Draco pretended to bite his fingers.
Ron sobered up, standing up straight and reaching out to put his hands on James's shoulders, pulling him close for an impromptu hug, holding James to his side. "Right. You're obviously okay here – what needs doing?"
Harry looked to Draco, who just shrugged marginally. "Don't know," he said. "Like I said, Ellis will be around at some point to talk to us. Other than that, there's nothing really to do."
Ron narrowed his eyes at Harry. "That doesn't sound like you."
Harry shrugged. "I'm needed here."
Ron looked suitably impressed. "Took you long enough to get those priorities sorted out."
Harry shot him a glare. "And you can p-"
A loud hammering noise cut him off; all three men simultaneously whipped around at the sound, Harry instinctively reaching out a hand towards Draco. Draco stepped towards him too, not even seeming to notice he'd done it.
"Front door," Harry said, body tense as he listened. Someone was banging on his front door, the sound impatient and angry.
"Don't go," Draco immediately said, his fingers curling around Harry's belt as if he could hold him in place. "Harry."
"I need to see who it is," Harry replied evenly, but Draco shook his head violently.
"No," he said, his expression panicked and quickly heading towards distraught. "Harry, please."
It was the desperate use of the word please rather than the distressed expression and the gripping fingers that caused Harry to pause. Draco was now staring at him with an expression that clearly said 'yes I know I never say please so take me seriously.' It was bizarre to see that expression back on Draco's face; he'd been oddly neutral without his memories, so to see him suddenly full of expression and life was a little disconcerting. Despite the obvious return to the worry, insecurity and awkwardness, Harry wasn't foolish enough to wish Draco's memories away again; he'd take this over an easy time any day.
"I'll go," Ron said, possibly sensing the battle of wills that was going on and clapping Harry on the shoulder in reassurance. "Stay put."
Ron left the room, and Harry heard him shout impatiently down at whoever it was banging on the door. Feeling uneasy, he let go of Draco to fish his wand out of his pocket, refusing to take any chances. Listening intently, he distantly heard Ron calling through the door, and then the banging stopped.
"Ron?" Harry shouted experimentally, and Draco gave a short sharp pull on his belt, like a reprimand. Harry elbowed him in return and Draco kicked the side of his foot.
"Shut up," he hissed as Harry went to kick him back. "I'm listening."
"So am I-"
Harry was about to elbow Draco again, but Draco's ribs were saved from certain bruising by Ron's voice, calling up the stairs and sounding baffled.
"Harry! It's Adam Campbell."
Harry and Draco exchanged a mystified glance. "What is he doing here?" Harry asked, bewildered.
"Who even is he?" Draco countered, looking worried.
"He's from work," Harry said distractedly, swinging Al down to the floor. "Al, wait with Draco a moment-"
"No," Draco said automatically. "Harry, no."
Harry shook his head. "He's alright-"
"No," Draco said vehemently, and even despite the argument Harry couldn't fail to appreciate the wonderful stubbornness that made Draco so Draco. "What if he's the one…?"
"He's not an Auror," Harry reasoned. "He works with me." Draco didn't look convinced, but Harry couldn't blame him for the apprehension. "Look, I'll take his wand before I let him in, yeah?"
Draco stared at him for a moment and then jerked his head in reluctant acquiescence, turning away from Harry and tossing Scorpius onto the sofa with a squeal and in a tangle of limbs. Harry watched as Draco slumped down next to him, reaching for the television remote and refusing to look back at Harry.
Sighing, Harry smiled briefly at James and Al. "Back in a moment," he said. "Stay with Draco."
The boys obediently nodded. Al climbed up next to Scorpius and Draco and James climbed into the armchair that Draco used to prefer to sit in. Harry watched for a moment to check they were all okay, and when he was satisfied that they were, he turned and quickly went down the stairs to join Ron.
"Just hang on," Ron was saying through the letterbox, sounding exasperated. He was crouched by the door with his wand in hand, and Harry could see fingers sticking through the letterbox, presumably belonging to Adam.
"It's my job," Adam was saying, very close to begging. "Please, I need to come in and check he's alright because the alarm went off."
"I've told you he's okay," Ron replied loudly, noticing Harry walking down the stairs and rolling his eyes. He raised his hand and twirled his finger around his temple. "Complete quaffle-brain," he mouthed at Harry, and Harry bit back a grin.
"But it's my job," Adam repeated, and Harry heard another bang on the door. "Harry?! Harry, are you there? This man won't let me in and I need to check on you! HARRY? HARRY!"
"Jesus," Harry called as he reached Ron. "Adam, stop shouting. You'll scare the neighbours."
"Harry?!" Adam continued to shout, though his tone was now tempered with relief. "Oh, thank god, are you okay?"
"Step back a bit," Harry instructed, not answering Adam's question. "Why are you here?"
"I'm checking on you!" Adam shouted back.
"Why?" Harry called suspiciously.
"Let me in and I'll explain!"
Harry exchanged a glance with Ron, who shrugged, looking mystified. "I don't get why he's here," he admitted. "He's not an Auror, is he?"
Harry mulled it over for a moment. He could still see Adam's fingers poking through the letterbox, and wondered why he was so eager – almost desperate – to gain admittance to Harry's house. It could be something to be suspicious of…or it could be that Adam had indeed been sent to check on Harry after the debacle in the Leaky. The attitude could simply be put down to Adam being his usual sycophantic self.
"I'll open the door, and you chuck your wand in," Harry finally said.
"Yes, of course," Adam replied, sounding even more relieved. "Hang on –I'll post it to you. Wait a moment."
Harry vowed never to complain about Adam's desire to please him ever again. He watched as the fingers withdrew and almost immediately the letterbox clanked open and shut again, Adam's wand slipping through and landing on the doormat.
"Did you get it?" Adam's hopeful voice called through the letterbox "Harry?"
Ron rolled his eyes again and picked up the wand, tossing it to Harry who caught it in one hand. "Yep," Harry called back, turning the wand over in his hand. "Hang on."
"Okay, sure." Adam replied. Harry ignored him and instead tapped Adam's wand with his own, muttering Priori Incantatem under his breath. The spells that revealed themselves were innocuous to say the least; sorting and filing charms, an ink replenishing charm, a memo-folding charm, a summoning charm and one shoddily done shoelace tying charm. It was clear that this wand had done nothing but paperwork for most of the day, though Harry did note that it didn't seem to have done anything at all for a few hours.
Ron clambered to his feet, brushing his jeans down and frowning. "Anything suspicious?" he asked.
Shaking his head, Harry hesitated. "No," he said, voice low. "But I'm not taking any chances. Draco'll kill me if I let him in and he's had anything to do with this."
Ron bit his lip, looking unconvinced. Harry could tell that he didn't think Adam was dangerous, but he wasn't going to risk anything happening to Draco or the boys. It just wasn't worth it – nothing was worth the possibility of them being hurt or injured any more than they already had been-
"Do you want me to get some Veritaserum?" Adam called hopefully through the letterbox. "I will if you want me to."
Harry lowered his wand, feeling ridiculous all of a sudden. This was Adam bloody Campbell after all, and he had Ron right next to him as backup should anything go awry. "No, Adam," he said wearily. "I'll let you in, but you're not having your wand back."
"Thanks Harry! Oh thank you, that's great," Adam babbled, and Harry grimaced as he stepped forwards, pressing his palm to the door to unlock it. Adam tripped through the doorway the moment it was open enough for him to squeeze in, wide eyed and looking awed. Harry noticed that Ron stepped sideways so his body was blocking the stairs, and he silently thanked him for the support.
"Oh wow, this is great," Adam said, eyes scanning the photographs on the wall as Harry locked the door behind him. "Your house is brilliant. Are these your friends? Wow, look how young you look in-"
"Adam, why are you here?" Harry asked flatly, and Adam stopped babbling and blushed.
"Well, I suppose I can tell you now," he said, and Harry's suspicion immediately went up another notch. "I got promoted," Adam said excitedly. "Just after you got suspended."
Harry stared at him. "That doesn't explain why you're at my door."
Adam nodded like Harry had just explained the meaning of life to him. "Well, you got suspended because you were involved with Draco Malfoy, who was involved with Hightops, but you know that," he said in a rush. "And Roberts and the Aurors thought that the best way to get a break on Hightops was to keep an eye on Draco Malfoy, because they knew one of the members was interested in him for some reason. But they didn't want anyone to get hurt, so they asked me to keep an eye on you. I was happy to do it."
Harry's mouth fell open, shock and indignation wrestling for supremacy. He turned to look at Ron, who was also looking mildly outraged on Harry's behalf. He was about to say something bitter and sarcastic to Ron when a worrying thought occurred to him, keeping his focus on Adam for a moment longer. "Have you been following me?"
Adam shook his head, looking at Harry earnestly. "No, I just keep an eye on your house. I've been living in your garden for ages. I only go back to the office to file a report every day, or when something else needs doing. You thought I was still obliviating, didn't you?"
The words slowly penetrated Harry's consciousness. "You've been living in my garden?"
"Yes," Adam said brightly. "I'm an Animagus," he told Harry proudly. "I can turn into a frog."
Harry had to sit down. Ron hastily moved out of the way as he stepped backwards and sank down onto the bottom step of the stairs, and then he started to laugh. He laughed so hard that his sides started to hurt and Adam started to look worried. "They sent you to live in my fucking garden," he choked, barely able to breathe. "Oh my god, we nearly squashed you."
"I didn't mind," Adam said quickly.
"You're a frog?" Ron asked, looking more bewildered than ever.
"Fuckers," Harry managed to say, still laughing. "You fucking knew they'd come after him. You bloody knew, you used him as bait anyway. I am going to kill Ellis."
"Jesus," Ron exclaimed, rubbing his forehead. "All this shit for a break on that bloody crime ring? Christ, this is people's lives being arsed about with, you know."
Adam bit his lip, still looking at Harry. "Ellis didn't like it," he said, and it looked like he was very reluctant to say anything positive about Ellis. "Roberts and Kingsley threatened to sack him if he didn't lie to you. He's technically suspended as well at the moment."
The last of Harry's laughter faded, and he pushed his glasses up to wipe his eyes, frowning up at Adam. "Why?"
"I'm not sure," Adam admitted. "He did something he shouldn't have done, though."
"Why does that not surprise me," Harry muttered, rubbing his face and wincing as he caught a newly blossoming bruise on his cheek. "Well-"
He was about to ask Adam if he minded going and tracking down Ellis and Roberts for him, but noise from upstairs distracted him. He heard grown up-voices and the dashing of feet across the floor above his head, and as the voices continued to talk he realised that George must have reappeared with Ginny in tow. He couldn't hear what she was saying, but he could easily tell that she was angry, even as far away as she was.
"Well, it's been nice knowing you," Ron said gravely, and Harry shot him a dirty look.
"Stay here," he said. "I'll go and talk to her."
"Not a chance," Ron said with a snort. "You need all the backup you can get."
"I can't leave either," Adam added hurriedly. "Roberts says that if the alarm ever goes off I have to wait with you and stop you leaving until he gets here."
Harry stood up, suddenly feeling too knackered to argue the point. "Whatever," he said. "I'm going to go sort this out."
Using the bannister to help haul his aching body back up the stairs, Harry slowly made his way towards the voices which were steadily growing louder and more agitated. He could hear Ginny snapping at someone, James's urgent voice, George's impatient tone, Al's high-pitched whine and also Draco sounding loud and belligerent. None of them were tones of voice that he was particularly fond of, and a combination of them was unwelcome and possibly downright dangerous.
His ears caught the word 'fuck' come from someone and he hastened to get back up to the lounge to try and diffuse the situation. Knowing him he'd make it worse, but hell, he could only try. Footsteps behind him told him that Ron and Adam were both following him, and he spared a small piece of exasperated energy to wish that Adam would fuck off and get out of his house.
Things had definitely escalated in the thirty seconds it took him to reach the lounge. Ginny was holding Al and James to her, looking somewhere between furious and panicked. It was mostly furious, although Harry knew that anger was her go-to emotion when she was feeling shaken.
"-can't believe they would do this to you," she was saying angrily, her eyes on Draco. Harry was about to leap to Draco's defence but then he clocked that Ginny wasn't actually shouting at Draco, but was actually ranting about what the attackers had done. "And with the kids there as well, what were you thinking?!"
Harry jumped a mile as her voice cracked like a whip, this time directed at him. "Me?" he asked, feeling slightly wrong-footed. "I didn't do anything-"
"Mum, please," James said, pulling on her jumper.
"You were meant to be looking after them!" Ginny yelled. George was trying to get her to calm down, and even Ron was weighing in with an objection, but all it served to do was raise the volume and make everyone that bit more riled.
"You leave him alone," Draco snapped at Ginny, and Ginny raised her eyebrows in disbelief.
"I'm saying he should be looking after you!"
Draco bristled. "I don't need looking after!"
Ron snorted at that and unfortunately, Draco heard him. "And what's that supposed to mean?"
"If everyone could calm down-"
It was Adam's voice that rose bravely above the tumult, but he shrank back immediately as everyone rounded on him.
"Who are you?" George asked brusquely.
"I work with Harry," Adam said, looking warily from Ginny to George.
"Why are you here?" Draco demanded, one hand on Scorpius's shoulder and holding him close. Scorpius was leaning against Draco's hip, his fingers wedged in his mouth and his eyes wide.
"He's been living in the garden," Harry said, and everyone suddenly stopped shouting, looking at Harry with confused expressions.
"He's been where?"
"I-" Adam began, and looked beseechingly at Harry.
Harry was about to defend Adam's presence, he really honestly was, but before he could there was the noise of the fire bursting into flames in the grate again. Harry and Draco both simultaneously swore, and Ron, Ginny and George all drew their wands, pointing them straight at the grate. Adam flapped about for his, but then remembered that Harry had it so simply stood there awkwardly, twisting his fingers together.
"Lock it," Draco said urgently.
"Can't," Harry replied. "Not whilst it's lit."
The room collectively held its breath as the green flames crackled, then surged, and then with a twist Ellis appeared, clambering out of the grate and swearing mutinously. Out of the corner of his eye Harry saw Draco clamp his hands over Scorpius's ears; an occasional slip up was excusable but the filth that was currently coming out of Ellis's mouth was enough to make anyone wince.
"-you complete fucks left and left me in a world of shit with Roberts and Shaw, what part of under arrest do you cunts not fucking-"
Ellis straightened up and abruptly stopped ranting as he saw that the room was full of people, and most of those people were pointing wands at him. He had a sheaf of notes clutched in one hand and in his wand in the other, and was the very picture of an over-worked Auror trying to get to the bottom of a catastrophic mess. Harry found he didn't really care how much paperwork there was to sort out; his part in this whole affair was over, and that was that.
Ellis shot Harry an exasperated look and then held his hands up. "What is this? Too late for vigilante justice, we caught the guy, remember?"
"Why are you here?" Ginny asked tightly. "This is for family, not for you."
"Actually, these guys are part of a criminal investigation," Ellis retorted. "So family needs to back off and let us sort this out."
Ginny bristled, suddenly reminding Harry forcibly of Molly Weasley. "We're not going anywhere," she said heatedly.
"Ginny, take everyone downstairs," Harry said, his voice clear and firm. He knew why she wanted to stay and he honestly felt the same way, but it was also important that he and Draco speak to Ellis and get the last few problems sorted. He was also itching to give Ellis a good shaking and didn't want to lose his cool in front of the boys. "Draco, you stay here. The sooner we get this sorted, the sooner we can work out who we should be yelling at."
"Come on," George said, putting a hand on Ginny's shoulder and steering her from the room. "You heard the Chosen One – let's go. Ron, get smaller blond one."
"I want to stay with Papa," Scorpius said, sounding uncertain and looking up at Draco with wide, vulnerable eyes.
"Come on," Ron said easily, holding his hand out, and then dropping his voice to a mock whisper. "He looks like he needs tea. Shall we go make him some?"
Scorpius smiled at that and nodded. Draco let go of his shoulders and allowed Ron to take Scorpius's hand, following Ginny, George and the boys out of the room. Draco watched him go, looking very much like he wanted to run across the room and snatch him back. To his credit he didn't; he simply clenched his jaw, folded his arms tightly across his chest and turned to Harry and Ellis. Adam was still there but Harry didn't have it in him to insist that he leave; knowing Adam he'd leave the room and then spend the next twenty minutes nosing around Harry's house instead of returning to the Ministry.
"Christ," Ellis muttered. "Are they always like that?"
"Ellis," Harry snapped, losing his patience very quickly, his voice rising in volume. "Cut the crap and tell me what's going on. Tell me why you've been lying to me for the past god-knows how long, tell me how long you've been in Roberts's pocket for, and tell me why this wanker has been living in my bloody garden!"
"I have not been lying to you!" Ellis shouted back, and then paused. "Not intentionally anyway – Roberts and Kingsley were lying to me, and by the time I found out about all that bullshit they threatened to sack me!"
"So what?" Harry bellowed back, suddenly so angry that he would happily tear Ellis limb from limb for what they'd been through. Somewhere in the back of his mind he dimly registered that he should probably stop shouting, considering the kids were still in the house. "This is my life you've been pissing around with, playing us like damned chess pieces!"
Ellis huffed out a breath. "You need to trust me," he said.
Harry snorted. "Why should I?"
Ellis winced at that and then nodded. "Fine," he said, sounding somewhere between resigned and put-out. "We'll do it your way."
He shoved his wand in his trouser pocket and then slipped his fingers into the breast pocket of his jacket, pulling out a vial with a cork seal in the top. Harry recognised it instantly, having been made to drink one himself not all that long ago.
"What?" Draco asked warily. "What is it?"
"Veritaserum," Harry said, and nodded his head at Ellis in agreement. Ellis pulled the seal out with his teeth, spat it out and then necked the potion in one.
"What happened the night we went out for my birthday last year?" Harry instantly asked. Ellis's mouth fell open and he looked from Harry to Adam, colour rising in his cheeks.
"I kissed Valerie," he admitted, sounding like it was causing him pain to say it. "Repeatedly. And then promised her that I would take her to dinner when I had time if she kept her fat mouth shut. Potter, you're an arse."
Adam looked astounded. "You kissed Valerie?"
"Shut up before I punch you in the mouth," Ellis snapped at him. "None of your god-damn business. Right, Potter, you've proven your point. Can we get down to it?"
"Why did you lie to me?" Harry asked immediately.
Ellis made an impatient noise in the back of his throat. "Because I thought it was the truth. Yes, I lied, but I didn't know I was lying," he said. "I was working my bloody arse off to try and crack this case, only to find out that I'm actually on team 'feed bullshit to Potter and hope he doesn't notice.' The only way they could think to get at anyone was to use Malfoy as bait, and the only way they could use him as bait was if you felt he was safe enough to go outside. I honestly thought from what you'd told me he'd be safe, because they weren't giving me all the information!"
His voice was growing steadily louder and more frustrated, and Harry couldn't blame him. All of his anger at Ellis was vanishing with the knowledge that Ellis had also been taken for a ride, supposedly for the greater good. More and more things were making sense with every word out of Ellis's mouth, and Harry was desperate to hear the rest of it.
"And I only found out about this silly twat being paid to watch your house a few days ago, and then I threatened to tell you so they suspended me!"
They both ignored Adam's hurt interjection.
"But why were they after me?" Draco jumped in before Ellis could start ranting again. "I don't give a shit about all this useless information about you - why they were after me?!"
"I was getting to you! You, you silly twat," Ellis stormed, marching over to Draco and hitting him with his rolled up sheaf of notes. He shoved the notes under his arm and before Harry or Draco could protest he grabbed him in a headlock, pointing his wand at his face. Harry leapt to his feet, ready to intervene, but the struggle was a short one; Draco shoved Ellis away with a curse, straightening up and glaring back at him.
"You fucking maniac-"
"Have been walking around with half a million galleons worth of diamonds in your ears!" Ellis shouted over him, brandishing his sheaf of notes again.
Draco's mouth fell open and he clapped his hands to his ears in shock. Harry gaped at Ellis, who held his other hand up with Draco's earrings held in his fingers.
"Half a million galleons?" Harry said weakly.
"In my ears? The whole time?" Draco asked, looking just as flabbergasted as Harry felt.
"Hiding them in plain sight," Ellis said, looking at the gems with satisfaction. "Seemed your boss wanted a cut of the profits, and the easiest way to do that was claim the gems never got stolen, and then hide them with you. He blamed it on the wandwork guys who actually did the heist, saying he never received any gems. And he never told anyone what he'd done. The rest of the ring thought he just wanted Malfoy for…well, actually, I don't know. But they didn't know it was something that important. He wasn't banking on Potter jumping in to rescue you, and obviously got a tad desperate when he realised his favourite rentboy had jumped ship into the pocket of the fucking Chosen One. That bit I did get right – you're only alive because they didn't dare snatch you back from under Potter's nose."
"Half a million galleons," Harry said again, rubbing his brow. Christ, he needed a drink.
"Yes, for the pair," Ellis said impatiently. "Two of the centrepiece diamonds from the Lady Morgana tiara that went walkabouts. We recovered the cursed ruby from the piece, thank fuck, but these had eluded us."
Draco slowly lowered his hands, looking horrified. "That's how they were following me! When they grabbed me-"
"No, actually," Ellis said brightly. "You couldn't put a tracking charm on these, they're too imbibed with magic, it wouldn't work properly."
"Then how the fuck did they find me?" Draco asked, agitated. He raised a hand to his ear again, pulling distractedly at the lobe.
"I have my suspicions," Ellis said, looking about as if he'd lost something. "Where's the littler blond one gone?"
"Scorpius?" Draco said blankly, and then comprehension dawned on his face. He went pale and took a step backwards, gaping uselessly at Ellis. "Scorpius," he repeated faintly. "Oh my fuck."
Harry's brain caught up a moment later and he felt his jaw fall open. "They were tracking Scorpius?"
"I think," Ellis said, raising his wand again. "Where is he?"
"Don't you dare," Draco said, hand automatically going for his wand before he remembered he didn't have it. He swore and then marched over to Ellis, making a grab for his wand.
"Oi! Get off!" Ellis insisted, holding his wand above his head and out of Draco's reach. "I'm only going to check-"
"You point a wand anywhere near my son and I'm going to knee you in the balls," Draco snarled, still trying to snatch Ellis's wand.
"I won't hurt him!"
"You can get fucked-"
"Alright, alright," Harry interrupted, stepping forwards and inserting himself between the pair, one hand on Draco's chest to keep him back. He was glaring at Ellis and Harry felt a fierce rush of love for him, again feeling incredibly glad that Draco was back to his old self.
"How about I check?" he reasoned. "Or you have my wand and check?"
"He's not allowed a wand yet," Ellis chipped in.
"Shut up," Harry said, exasperated. "I-"
They were interrupted by the sound of voices on the stairs. They all looked around just in time to see Ron and Scorpius walk back into the room. Scorpius was talking to Ron, voice calm and earnest, and Ron had a mug of tea – presumably that Scorpius had made for Draco – in his hand.
"Are you lot still yelling at each other?" Ron asked, looking put-out. "Come on, I thought we were meant to be relieved that this is all over?
Draco chose his moment to dive under Harry's outstretched arm, running around the sofa and snatching Scorpius up, holding him protectively.
"Ouch," Scorpius protested, trying to wriggle free. "Papa, put me down-"
"Oh for fucks sake, calm down," Ellis said, throwing his hands up in the air. "I need to check! It's my job!"
"Don't you dare," Draco said fiercely, turning his back to Ellis and putting himself between Scorpius and the wand. "You don't need to-"
"Draco," Harry said, his voice calm. "You know he's right. We need to check."
Draco bit his lip, looking between Harry and Ellis and frowning. "Fine," he bit out. "Harry, you do it."
Harry nodded at Ellis, relieved. Ellis merely rolled his eyes and crossed his arms across his chest. "Trust you to pick such a bloody drama queen," he muttered. Draco shot him a dirty look but thankfully remained quiet. Behind him, Ron stifled a laugh into his palm, and Harry shot him a warning look; now was not the time to be winding Draco up.
"I could do it," Adam offered from just behind Ron, but quickly shut his mouth with the vitriolic look that Draco sent his way.
"Alright," Harry said, drawing his own wand. "One, two, three-"
He barely heard Draco's protest that he wait. A soft green light shot form his wand and enveloped Scorpius, dissipating almost instantly. Scorpius cried out and tried to bat the light away and then stopped, looking baffled.
"Papa! I am green!"
Draco slumped down onto the sofa, taking hold of Scorpius's hand and examining his fingers. "Oh my god," he managed to say. "Oh my god."
"It wouldn't have hurt him," Elllis said unexpectedly. "Not a tracking charm like that."
"I don't think that's exactly the point," Draco said, and his voice was getting steadily higher once again, a clear precursor to a full blown hissy fit. "Take it off. Take the charm off. Take it off right now."
"Okay, okay," Harry interjected hastily. "Calm down. Ellis, how do I take it off?"
Ellis pulled a face, obviously still put out by the fact Draco wouldn't let him do it. "Levo perseqo," he said. "Should do the trick."
"It won't hurt him, will it?" Draco asked worriedly, and Ellis stared at him.
"You know, you come across as a completely different person when you're taking about him," he said, and Draco just glared at him.
"No kid, no opinion," Draco said bluntly, and Ellis just rolled his eyes.
"It won't hurt him," he said, and Draco nodded, appearing appeased.
Harry stepped up to them, lifting his wand and quickly whispering 'Levo perseqo.' Scorpius started in surprise as the green tinge to his fingers went yellow, and then vanished completely.
"There," Ellis said. "No more stolen diamonds, no more tracking charms, no more criminals. It's over."
The words hung in the air, heavy yet strangely liberating. Harry and Draco looked at each other, hardly daring to believe that it was finally done.
"You're sure this time?" Draco asked, reaching up with one hand to pull at his bare earlobes again.
Ellis grinned. "If I'm not, you can sue me."
"If you're not, I'll kill you," Draco threatened, and Ellis laughed.
"Stay here until you get official confirmation from Kingsley," he advised him. "No going out, no nipping to the shop, nothing. Just until we get more names from your boss."
"You think you can?" Harry asked, and Ellis's face cracked into a wide grin.
"Oh most definitely," he said. "It's either we accidently let the Prophet know who he is and what he did with the diamonds, which anyone in particular could read, or he tells us what we want and we can protect him from the anyone in particular."
"Protect him?" Draco repeated, voice like ice.
"As far as he thinks," Ellis replied significantly, and Draco grinned back at him, expression more devious than Harry'd seen in a long time.
Harry laughed shortly. "I do hope you two never actually decide to become friends," he said matter-of-factly. "Now can you please clear off? I've got kids to console, an ex-wife to appease and-"
"a boyfriend to do unspeakable things to, I get the point," Ellis finished for him. Ron blanched, Adam looked vaguely wistful and Draco flushed a startling and obvious pink.
"Go away," Harry groaned, throwing Adam's wand over to Ellis to take. "Take Adam with you and tell Roberts if he puts anyone else in my garden I will let Teddy squash them."
"Duly noted," Ellis said, and marched over and grabbed Adam before he could say anything. "Come along old chap. Out."
He bundled Adam away before he could say another word, leaving the room and presumably heading for the front door. Harry could hear Adam trying to get a word in edgeways all the way down the stairs, with Ellis talking over him loudly and obnoxiously.
"My earrings," Draco said in disbelief as the noise faded, and Harry turned back to him. "Those bloody earrings."
"You look odd without them now," Ron commented, and then grinned at Harry. "You'll have to buy him some new ones."
"I'm crap at picking jewellery. Ginny'll testify to that," Harry sighed, reaching up to take his glasses off and rubbing at the corners of his eyes. "I'm not sure how much information I can take in one go."
Ron took pity on him. "I'll take Ginny and George out of the way," he offered. "Now she knows the kids are okay, she'll be fine. If I tell her…"
"I'll call her later," Harry finished with a small smile, putting his glasses back on. "Thanks, Ron."
"Not a problem," he replied, ruffling Scorpius's hair before departing the room, clattering down the stairs to find the others.
Breathing out, Harry looked at Draco, who was still pulling absently at his ears. Draco noticed him watching and his mouth flickered in a weak smile. "Go find Al," he murmured to Scorpius, setting him down on the floor and then turning to Harry as Scorpius sped off.
Harry didn't need to say anything. He just walked slowly over to Draco and slid his hands onto his waist, pressing his body flush against Draco's. He breathed out again as Draco slipped his arms around his neck, resting his cheek against Harry's.
"So," Draco said, and Harry laughed softly, running his hands up Draco's back to his shoulder blades. "This was a monumental fuck up of a day."
Harry hummed, a non-committal sound in the back of his throat. "Yeah. But violence and bloodshed aside…does it make me a horrible person for being glad that it happened because now you're back and it's all over?"
It was Draco's turn to hum. "Probably," he said. "But I don't care. I'm glad it's over, I was just so bloody-"
"I know," Harry said gently, and then swallowed. "I could kill him for what he did to you, you know."
Draco nuzzled at Harry's face, kissing him gently next to his ear. "You're too noble."
"Probably," Harry sighed. "Come on. Sofa."
"No," Draco whispered, his arms tightening around Harrys neck. "Not yet. Just stand there."
Harry obliged him, staying where he was and gently kissing the side of his face. It felt so good to have Draco here in his arms, back to his usual self and remembering everything and still wanting to be with Harry. He was warm and solid and real and Harry had never been so glad to have him close.
"I do love you," he suddenly murmured, and Draco's arms tightened around him in response.
"I figured," Draco replied. "You'd have to be a lunatic to put up with me if you didn't."
Harry laughed as Draco ducked his head, resting his forehead against Harry's shoulder.
"What I want to know is how you got away," Harry said thoughtfully, brushing his mouth over Draco's hair. "When they took you. Why did you only end up obliviated, if those gems were worth that much?"
"Because I legged it," Draco said simply. "One of them hit me, so I pretended he'd knocked me out. Then when they had turned away I legged it through the first door I could find."
"Simple, really," Harry said and Draco snorted.
"It helped that the guy they left to watch me whist they went to get the boss was next to useless anyway. I got the sense he really didn't want to be there. Lucky on my part really, because I definitely didn't want to be there."
Harry grinned. "And where did you want to be?"
He laughed as he felt Draco pinch him. "You know that, you insufferable arse," Draco replied. "I'm not feeding your ego."
"Shame," Harry said softly, and then pushed Draco up so he could look at him. "I'm glad you're back," he said sincerely, and Draco leant in to kiss him softly, before whispering against his lips.
Harry sat in the armchair in the lounge, body slumped down so low that his arse was nearly hanging off the edge of the cushions. He didn't want to move, and he didn't really want to talk, either. He just wanted to sit there and watch his family, the same as he had been doing for the past hour.
He smiled to himself, finally allowing the word family to settle into place in his mind. It was what he had always wanted, and now, he finally had it.
Granted, his seventeen year old self wouldn't have anticipated that he'd end up with a man, and most definitely not Draco Malfoy. The original edit had been Ginny, three kids, and the house in Godric's Hollow, but he couldn't deny that the rewrite was so much better.
Draco was lying out flat on his back on the sofa, head propped up on some cushions and face turned slightly towards the television. He had been watching it but Harry had watched his eyes drift slowly shut until pale eyelashes were resting against his skin, and his breathing had turned slow and even.
Scorpius was laid on Draco on his front, his head on Draco's chest and fast asleep. His mouth was slightly open, his face turned to the side, and Harry could see that he'd already dribbled on the front of Draco's shirt. His fingers were close to his face, almost touching his chin, and he looked so much like Draco that Harry still couldn't get over it. God, he hoped sincerely that Scorpius wouldn't end up in Slytherin when he started Hogwarts, just to avoid the comparisons being any stronger or more frequent than they already would be.
It wasn't just the picture that Draco and Scorpius that made him smile; it was the fact that Al was also there, fast asleep and comfortable. He was laid out on his back next to Draco, with Draco's arm slipped under his neck. His head was resting on Draco's shoulder and Draco's arm was bent at the elbow, his hand resting on Al's chest in a loose embrace.
He let them sleep, despite the fact it would mean they would probably refuse to go to bed at a normal hour. Today hadn't been a normal day by any standards, and he was honestly too tired himself to try and force any routine. He would just let them pass the day as they chose, and was already looking forwards to crawling into bed with Draco this evening. He couldn't wait. He'd pull Draco close and kiss him sleepily, and Draco would run his fingers across Harry's shoulders and through his hair and pull him close, slipping his knee between Harry's legs and pressing kisses to his shoulder…
Harry blinked himself out of his daydream and looked to James, who was quietly playing on the carpet with Al's lego. Harry wasn't even sure what he was building, but chose not to ask. It could have been a castle, though it could just as easily have been a Hippogriff.
"When are we going back to mums?"
Harry smiled. "When do you want to go back to Mums? Tomorrow? Day after?"
"Day after," James said, and Harry nodded.
James smiled at him and then carried on building. Harry watched him for a few moments longer, and then a noise across the room drew his attention. A soft tapping at the window heralded the arrival of an owl, sitting on the sill and waiting patiently to be let in.
Harry pushed himself up out of the chair and wandered over, opening the window carefully, just far enough so the owl could hop inside. It was a small creature with huge amber eyes, staring at Harry unblinkingly. It was carrying a long thin package with a note attached, and stood perfectly still as Harry untied the burden from its leg.
Package in hand, Harry gently stroked the bird atop it's head before turning away to unwrap the package. He carefully tore the paper off and felt a thrill run through him as a familiar length of hawthorn appeared underneath.
"Shit," he breathed, excitement and relief and god-knows what else coursing through him. He hurriedly unfolded the note, a grin spreading across his face as he heard the hurriedly scribbled words.
Malfoy's boss had this on him. Five minutes in and he squealed like a dying unicorn – Hightops is officially going down. Thank your boyfriend for me, we owe him one.
Harry laughed in wonder, triumph washing through him. Clutching Draco's wand in his hand, he shooed the owl away and closed the window, before dashing across the room to stand by the arm of the sofa. He leant forwards and pressed his mouth to Draco's forehead, itching to wake him up and show him what had just arrived.
Draco exhaled heavily, shifting lightly and then lifted his head to blink sleepily around the room. His eyes fixed on Harry's and his mouth curved in a small smile.
Harry nodded, and without another word simply held Draco's wand up. Draco's eyes went wide and his mouth fell open, and he lifted the arm that Al wasn't lying on to snatch the wand from Harry's fingers, clutching it tightly in his hand.
"Where did you get this?" he asked frantically.
"Ellis just sent it," Harry said, and held the note in front of Draco's face so he could read it. He watched Draco's eyes flick back and forth at speed as he read and re-read the message, looking thunderstruck.
"Christ," he finally managed. "what a day."
Harry laughed softly and leant down to kiss Draco again, pressing his mouth to his forehead. Draco smiled weakly and tilted his chin up again, clearly asking for another kiss. Harry obliged him, leaning further forwards so he could kiss Draco's mouth. Draco kissed him back, gently and slowly, his free hand reaching up to brush along the side of Harry's face. In that moment, Harry could have cried. Everything was as it should be, back in the right place with the danger passed and the future rising tentatively before them. He decided against it; Draco would never let him live it down if he started bawling over nothing.
"Get me a drink," Draco murmured, tipping his head so he could brush his nose against Harry's for a moment before Harry pulled back.
"Jack Daniels?" Harry asked seriously, and grinned when Draco cracked an eye open to glare at him.
"No," Draco said, emphasising his point by slapping Harry lightly on the cheek. "Tea, you moron."
Harry smiled and gently kissed him again. "Like I said, I'm so glad you're back to your normal self."
Draco smiled as well. "I'm actually starting to believe you," he said, and then pushed Harry away. "Hop to it, Potty. Tea, and I'll thank you later."
Harry nodded and headed to the door. When he was almost out of the room, he paused, leaning on the doorframe and looking back at Draco. Draco noticed the pause, and craned his neck up and around to look at Harry, the question on his face.
"You do know, don't you?" Harry asked nonchalantly. "That I think this was all worth it."
Draco eyed him for a moment, looked to Scorpius and Al, and then over at James, and then back to Harry. He smiled.