Dedication: to my readers, reviewers and followers.
A/N: 1. Not beta-read, sorry, proceed at your own risk as I'm not a native speaker. If someone is so kind to help me with this problem – please PM me!
2. I am totally out of the fandom, and probably never coming back. This is my farewell to Harry and Draco. Consider it also my therapy against the severe mental injury the book's epilogue made me suffer. I decided against writing an EWE-ending, instead I wrote an Epilogue to my Epilogue, because nothing in Harry's life is easy!
EPILOGUE VER. 2.0
"You are not surprised to see me, Malfoy."
The blond kept same indifferent gaze with which he regarded the other at the platform a month ago.
"I'm just thinking if there is any punishment for an Auror for trespassing on private property. What if you would have scared my wife?"
"I'm here unofficial. I know that your wife is in France, as are your parents," Harry made a step from the window, at which he'd just Apparated, towards the desk where Malfoy was sitting.
"All the more. I remember telling you once I do not wish to see you. In private least of all," the man tried to stare the intruder down.
"You might have mentioned. But look," Harry showed an untidily overwritten peace of parchment. "Here is the letter from my son in Hogwarts."
"Albus Severus," Draco drawled, not even looking at the parchment. "But I sincerely try to and still cannot see any reason for intrusion."
"Here," repeated Harry. "16 inches. And ten of them - Scorpius here, Scorpius there!"
"I found it ironic that the son of Harry Potter the Gryffindor was sorted into Slytherin."
"I would have been sorted into Slytherin as well, but I asked the Sorting Hat not to."
Draco raised an eyebrow to that, but Harry didn't explain further and continued instead, "My son hated the very idea of being in Slytherin till he met your son on the train and decided he wanted to be in the same House with him!"
"Potter, if you think that I somehow influenced Scorpius…"
"No, that wouldn't come to my mind, I rather worry that you would forbid -,"
"What?" Malfoy even barked a laugh. "I'm not my father, Potter. My son is free to decide whom to stick with. In fact, despite him being really shy, I want him to have friends. True friends," added he somewhat bitter. "Though I was rather taken aback at this as well," he put out from the desk's drawer scroll, "Twenty inches, Albus Severus here , Albus Severus there... and at the end – can we spend our holidays together, Father, please?" Draco tried to mimic a child's voice.
"Same here," Harry waved the parchment once again. "And both James and Rose write, the two of them are always together!" And he asked blankly, "What do we do?"
"Leave them - and mainly me - alone?" suggested Malfoy.
"That's not the problem! I'm worried if they learn…"
"How will they, no one knows what was... "
"No, I mean if they learn that we are on such terms now!"
"On which terms exactly?" Draco again raised an eyebrow.
Harry stared at him. Malfoy shrugged, "I don't know what you mean. If we have to meet in front of our children, we will pretend we are on civil terms. The usual. I wouldn't mind your son visiting us on holiday. I do love my son and want him to be happy. Even if it takes one little Potter to make him smile. Now will you please leave?"
For a moment, Harry sat silent.
"Maybe now you can understand me," he sighed.
"Children. Normal family. That was what I'd always wanted and couldn't have... with you."
Draco gave him a derisive glance, "Potter, after what you've been through, you should know that nothing in your life can be normal!"
"I gave it a try. It almost worked." Harry tried a smile, but failed. "My children are my life, but there is nothing more in it. My wife… we are good friends, but nothing more. I wouldn't be surprised if she'd got someone else… aside"
Malfoy snorted, but restrained himself from a snide remark.
Harry looked hurt at the lack of reaction. So he blurted, "You've forgotten everything?"
"You are hard to forget," stated Malfoy calmly. Harry flinched and looked up. "And do not mistake it for a compliment or a confession, it's just one cannot make a step in the Wizarding society without hearing a word about you. So please stop haunting me Potter, and get out of here already!"
Harry smiled feebly, "I already started to believe you really didn't care."
"Care? You've come to check whether I still care?" Malfoy got angry. "You know what it feels like when you stop being yourself and start living a pretended life, life that is only in some parts your own?"
"Been doing exactly this for the past 18 years."
"Potter, I might remind you yet again that it was your decision back then," the icy tone chilled to the bone.
"Yes, and it was the wrong one," admitted Harry calmly. "I understood it even more distinctly when I saw you after all those years... But you looked like you didn't care… And then I got the letter, and here I am and we are talking, and it seems the longest talk between us ever."
Then, with effort, he uttered, "You could have come back then, just to tell me all this," it came out strangled.
"I couldn't," Harry looked pained. "I really couldn't. I made my decision, and if I'd come, I would have changed my mind the instant I saw you… And then... Then I would have doubted all my life if I had made the right choice…"
They needed time to think it over.
"You now, I never told anyone that I'd mastered the Patronus Charm," started Draco all of a sudden.
"Well, no surprise, considering its form," remembered Harry smiling.
"Exactly. I practiced, while in hiding, and it took a different form."
Harry was interested.
"Care to have a look?" Malfoy asked, stepping out from behind his desk.
"Yes," Harry nodded, eager to see what his trainee managed to achieve.
With a smooth swish of his wand and as much as no incantation, Draco produced a swarm of butterflies.
"But -," started Harry.
"Look!" the blond interrupted.
The silvery swarm of butterflies swayed and morphed into a rather distinct shape, one of a human figure. It took sharper features, and Harry could distinguish disheveled hair, a loose t-shirt and even glasses… round-shaped glasses. He saw himself, from 18 years ago. Patronus-Harry was holding a butterfly in his hand.
Real Harry gulped. And stared.
Patronus-Harry moved, and reached the butterfly towards Harry in an outstretched hand. Harry reached out, but it dissolved into the thin air. Tears came up, and he tried to wish them away.
Slowly, very slowly he drew out his wand.
With a smooth swish he produced his own Patronus. It was still a stag. But to his amazement, Draco saw a butterfly on its nose, slowly moving its wings.
"See?" asked Harry meekly. "But not half as cool as yours."
Once again they fell silent, just watching intently, trying desperately to read each other's mind, but in vain.
Malfoy gave up first.
"You know, it may sound sappy, but if you leave now, I will have to kill you," he was smiling through tears.
"Do I look like leaving?" wondered Harry.
"It was a kind reminder, just in case," said Malfoy, still not daring to come closer.
"You know, on the other hand, if I ever leave, please do it," Harry made a step towards the blond.
Malfoy smiled even broader. Then his smile faded, and he said very quietly, "I sometimes think that if I'd kissed you back then - remember? - when I was leaving your house, that maybe you would have come for me," it sounded so childish and naïve that Harry's heart hurt.
"I probably wouldn't have let you go in the first place."
"So it was all my fault?"
"No, it was definitely mine. And I would like to try to make up for it. It's just… I'm thinking what we are going to tell our children..."
"I'm pretty sure Scorpius and Albus won't mind."
"And to our wives?"
"We haven't been together since Scorpius was born."
"You better be! She is a good woman and deserves a hot man and not a piece of ice like I was to her…"
"I'm not sure about…," started Harry.
"Always the good Gryffindor! We will think about it tomorrow," interrupted Draco. Then he wavered yet again.
"Potter. One more thing. So there won't be any misunderstanding," he braced himself and proclaimed, "I want everything – or nothing," he paused and, looking Harry straight in the eye, continued, "I still can pretend that I've had a wonderful dream of Harry Potter stopping by…"
Harry smiled, understanding, and shut the blond up with a hand to his mouth. "Everything, Draco. Forever. And no regrets."
And the next second they were crushing each other into the tightest embrace and a mind-blowing kiss, mingling laughs and tears, trying to erase all those lonely years, the sorrows and pains, and finally feeling whole and alive.
"And, my dear Scorpius," the message from his father said at its end, "after receiving your letter me and Mr. Potter decided on spending some time together during the holidays. I invited Mr. Potter and Albus Severus to our place for Christmas holidays…"
The boy jumped up, yelling, "Al, Al, look at this!"
The black-haired boy skimmed through the lines and laughed, "It worked!"
"And very quick!" jubilated the blond.
"And you told me prying into parents' mind is bad!" reproached Albus.
"I would have never dared it!" Scorpius was indignant.
"Yeah, only spying on your father is all right with you!" mocked the other.
"If I hadn't seen his strange Patronus, I would have never believed what you told me!" justified himself Scorpius.
"And I told you already, I just wanted to know what bothered my father so much, and why he was like that when no one was looking. All I wanted was him to be always happy! And it worked!" explained once again young Potter.
"Now Mother will be able to move to France, like she's always wanted!" Scorpius cheered.
"And mine will be able to play Quidditch as much as she wants!" echoed Albus.
"And we'll be staying together all the time!" chanted they, holding hands and jumping on the bed.
Nothing was normal in Harry's life. But it was better than well.