A HariPo oneshot
Note: The Harry Potter characters belong to J.K. Rowling, not me. This pairing was discovered by me, so please gimme a little mention if you write them! Thanks! It is one of many of Mew and Mor's Weird Pairings, most of which you may find in the M&MWP forum. Check out and join the forum FUN! Read, review, and enjoy! Note: This is set in the same universe as "Tomorrow Still Comes, "Naughty, Definitely Naughty," and "Justifiably Spotlit," though perhaps only reading "Tomorrow Still Comes" would really aid reading this in any way.
A year. A whole year. It had been over a year that Draco Malfoy had known Louis Weasley. And it was now about a year since they had begun their romantic relationship.
And finally, the Chudley Cannons were one game away from winning their season.
Louis laughed as he and Draco ate lunch at a restaurant in Muggle Brighton. "I'm still giddy," the younger blonde exclaimed before taking another bite of his sandwich.
"I couldn't tell," Draco remarked with a subtle roll of his eyes as he cut into his fish filet. He ate the bite and thought it was okay; though he had to be honest—his meals tasted better when he was in Louis' company.
Louis smirked at his elder lover. The next thing Draco knew, Louis was reaching across the small table and brushing his thumb over the corner of Draco's mouth. The action made Draco turn beet red, and it didn't help that Louis licked the pad of his thumb when he retracted his limb. "You had a fish flake there," Louis fibbed.
That earned him an annoyed and embarrassed glare. That git! But Draco pushed his annoyance down as he switched subjects. "So what happens when you win?"
Louis had the decency to pink at Draco's belief that his Quidditch team would indeed win. He stared at his meal while he thought about it. "Well, I dunno, really… This will be my first major win, if we can win at the next game. All the other times, we've come close. And we're close again…" His words trailed and he gazed at his plate. "I have this bad feeling about the end-season match…"
Not that anyone could blame him. They were playing the Tutshill Tornados, who had beaten them last season and, as Louis had informed Draco, the season before. And Draco hadn't said it to Louis, but he also was feeling unsure—but it wasn't about the last game. He didn't think the feeling was anything too bad, but he somehow just knew that the Cannons would win in two weeks' time. "Well, why don't you think about something else instead, Louis?"
The Weasley rolled his eyes. "Like what? I still can't get over this past Christmas."
"Oh, you damned… It was your fault that Mother caught us!"
"The simple answer is to get your mother to move out, then. I mean, that was a pretty hot make-out session, Draco…"
The Malfoy hanged his head. "Louis, when I asked for a new topic, I didn't mean this…"
Louis smiled brightly, and his wiliness disguised as innocence was hard for Draco not to focus on… "I agree. It's only noon and it is a rather rousing topic, isn't it?"
Draco wanted to bang his head on the table.
It was funny that that instant had come up, though. Not long after Narcissa…"meeting" Louis (if it could be called that when Louis had had his mouth damn near attached to Draco's neck), she'd wanted a word with her son.
"He seems nice," she'd said. But she'd looked ready to burst out laughing as they both recalled the compromising scenario.
Draco had sighed. "Oh, get it out, Mother."
So after she'd released a tiny chuckle, she had turned somewhat stern. "But Draco… He is…" She'd bitten her lip as Draco had drawn his gray eyes to her face.
"A Weasley, a wizard, a part-Veela, an insufferable prat, and a rising Quidditch star." Draco had had to sit down as he ran through that list again and again mentally. "Trust me, I already know all the problems that are likely to occur."
Narcissa had frowned. "He's young, Draco." And her sentence, so short and simple, had summed up yet another issue. She'd sat beside Draco and gotten him to look at her while she spoke. "Draco, you're old enough to have found—possibly—what works for you. You have the experience and the knowledge to know what can happen in the messy game of hearts. But he… He's young," she repeated.
"You think this may not last."
Draco understood his mother's concern, even now after months had passed, but he was glad he'd stood up for him and Louis. "I think we show promise considering I've known him for over a year," he'd said.
"But there's a difference between knowing someone and being romantically involved with them," she'd retorted. And she knew a thing or two, considering that she and Lucius still had not reconciled following the war. Lucius had departed with Daphne Greengrass, the only Greengrass who could still stand a Malfoy, considering that Draco and Astoria had never worked. The last Draco knew, his father and Daphne were happy…and Narcissa sought refuge in the company of her closest friends, the mothers of Pansy and of Blaise.
"I think I really lo—" Draco had tried telling his mother.
But she'd patted his knee to interrupt him. "Tell me that after it's really been a year, luv. And do it over a nice dinner—the three of us." Narcissa had a playful glint in her eye, but it was in no regard malicious. If there was one thing Narcissa loved more than anything in the world, it was her son, and seeing him happy and healthy meant more to her than anything ever could.
So why, with the Cannons' last match of the season now a week away, did Draco lie awake in bed in the middle of the night while Louis slept so soundly beside him? And why was he letting what he'd thought was a little iffy-ness grow into a sincere dread? He tried to shut the feeling out of his mind as he turned towards his lover and rested his head on the same pillow. Hopefully this nagging feeling would go away soon.
A few days before the match, Louis had an intense practice at the Cannons' field. He and his mate, Curtis Jordan, spoke to one another as their coach barked orders and showed the team some diagrams.
Up in the stands, Draco waited with a book propped open in his lap. He was used to waiting for Louis, who had long ago insisted that Draco come and watch practice nearly every time. Every now and then, the sibling or significant other of another member would also show up, and Draco knew a few of them by now; for instance, Draco now knew Devon Conrads' (the team Captain and one of the Beaters) wife, Melinda, and Draco had even seen Curtis' sister, Lania, a few times, though he wasn't sure that Lania really knew who he was. And he wasn't sure if Louis' friends and teammates even really knew who he was to Louis…though he had the bothersome idea in mind that he probably looked like yet another one of those doting team wives…er, husbands?
Suddenly something caught his attention and, from the corner of his eye, he saw a young woman snapping photos. He hadn't seen her there before, so Draco stood and walked over to her. Hopefully the Cannons wouldn't be bothered by her…if Draco just reached her in time…
"Do you need help?" he found himself asking.
The woman stared at him, her camera lowered to her chest. "No," she finally answered.
"Do you know someone on the team?" Even as he asked it, Draco knew he'd get another negative answer. He had to wonder if perhaps the Prophet had sent a newbie out to cover the possible comeback of the team.
And his suspicions were confirmed when she showed him a press badge. "No, newspaper. Word around town is that the Cannons are actually looking good this season. Sure, they didn't qualify for the championship, but there's talk that they might head there next season."
Draco nodded. "Maybe so. But does the Captain know you're here?"
Though the woman's face clearly showed hesitation, she didn't reply, and she hurried off the field before Draco could say anything more. He raised his eyebrows and glanced across the way, and Louis was waving to him. They appeared to be done for the day.
"Hey, are you done?" the older man asked, forgetting the woman the instant he locked eyes with his love.
"Yeah. Captain wants us to rest the next couple of days right before the game, give our bodies a chance to recuperate." Louis shrugged out of his cloak and tugged on his shirt collar, a sheen of sweat lightly dusting his skin. "Though I can think of other sports I'd rather enjoy…" And as he said it, his light eyes darkened, his features looked sly, and his lips suddenly looked a whole lot fuller…and more enticing.
"You never do stop for a breath, do you?" Draco asked, and he was grateful that Louis at least waited until the others had cleared the field before engaging in some lovely heavy petting.
The morning of the game, Louis woke up great and Draco woke up sore. There was no getting used to…ahem…Louis'…girth, shall we say.
The two wizards dressed, and Louis left early, before Draco could and before Narcissa was even awake in her wing of the manor. So Draco ate breakfast alone. After downing two cups of coffee and three of tea, he decided he was done, and he left a note for Narcissa simply to inform her of his lack of set-in-stone plans for the day (i.e., she didn't have to worry about him joining her for any meals).
At the pitch, the stands were already immensely full. Draco was stunned by the turn-out, for he had been attending the Cannons' games for a little while before he'd even known it was Louis Weasley who was Seeker. And there had never been so many people who'd come to watch the team before.
Then again, Draco had another thought as he saw a sea of sky blue covering likely more than half of the stands. All right, so the Tornados had brought their groupies with them. Draco went and sat in the heart of orange-decorated seats.
It began like any other match, with a mad dash for the Quaffle to signal the start of the game. The Cannons made an impressive first score, to which the boos out-matched the cheers. However, the Tornados came back with a snag, and so the teams were tied.
And somehow, that set the precedent for the match.
No matter what the Cannons did, Tutshill did the same. At first, fans of Chudley had ramped up their cheering, but even they began to feel bewildered at the odd to-and-fro. Points, fouls, penalty shots—and especially moves—were all mimicked.
Draco frowned. This was too odd to be a coincidence. In his thinking, he glanced at Louis, who appeared slightly panicky. And Draco couldn't blame him; the other Cannons' body language did not register positively towards their Seeker.
As the game carried on and Tutshill followed Chudley in the awkward tango, the Cannons appeared more and more annoyed with Louis. No one had seen the Snitch—not the audience, the emcee, or Tutshill's Seeker—but that meant that Louis had to find it, and soon. If he didn't find it, then this game could go on for days…or worse, the Tornados' distractions would allow for their own Seeker to snatch a teasing victory right from under Chudley's nose, especially cruel considering there had grown renewed hope for the team.
Draco sought out Louis, hovering high above the others. If he squinted, it seemed as though Louis had his eyes closed. That didn't make any sense—what was he trying to do, sense the bloody Snitch? Draco bit his lip, whispering under his breath, "C'mon, Louis…"
As if he'd heard Draco, Louis locked eyes with him, and Draco sent him a reassuring smile. Louis then returned his attention to the game, and Draco hoped maybe that would be enough of a push to help Louis along—well, in the right sense. Draco still tried to forget that first game after which he and Louis had really spoken, when Louis had won the game for the team after Draco had rather…pointed out the Snitch…yeah.
However, Louis still hovered there, almost as if little else had changed. And then he met Draco's eyes again. Draco really wished Louis were paying attention to the game and not to him…for once… Then Draco read a hilarious yet embarrassing thing in Louis' eyes. No wonder the poor lad was still hovering there; something between his legs had assuredly made flying a tad uncomfortable. The thought made even Draco's face flood with color.
Louis drifted towards the ground—but in the next second, his entire demeanor had shifted and he was speeding off to one side of the field. He kept gaining speed until he slowed with a raised fist.
The Cannons had won the match.
Draco was out of his seat, clapping and hollering, recalling the feeling from his school days when it had felt so good to see Slytherin take a win. But this felt so much better, so much cleaner—a just win.
The crowd was certainly impressed, and Louis was stuck in the middle of a gathering of his team, and camera flashes were going off everywhere one looked. Eventually, the people dispersed, and Louis spoke with Curtis again. Draco frowned a smidge, and it didn't help that Louis sent him a look that obviously said their own celebrations would be delayed, but Draco nodded. Louis needed some time with his teammates and mates.
The Malfoy son took his time leaving the pitch, and on his way out, he saw a woman scowling at the Cannons' field. Draco grinned at her, for she was wearing a sky blue jacket to represent her choice team…but then he recognized her face. On and off the field. She saw him and fled, and somehow that made Chudley's win even better, for she had not been a Prophet reporter or merely a Tutshill fan…she was one of the Tutshill Chasers, and apparently even cheating couldn't have helped them win against one of the formerly most awful Quidditch teams in the league.
It wasn't long before Louis arrived at Malfoy Manor, and Draco answered the door upon hearing Louis' polite knock. "I figured that look meant you'd be delayed."
"You have no idea," Louis said, pushing the door shut behind him and going right for Draco's mouth. He kissed Draco, soft and then hard, his arms wrapping around the older man. He eventually paused for breath.
Draco blinked and cleared his throat. "Ah, all right… Should I even ask?"
Louis grinned, and he seemed…reassured? by Draco's presence. "No, but I'll have you know that our 'extracurricular activities' really shouldn't happen the day before a game, luv. Actually, I should probably ban you from the pitch altogether…"
So Louis had been flying with an erection—cripes! Draco suppressed a laugh. "I thought you looked funny riding your broom."
"You have no idea."
A moment passed in silence and Draco held Louis to him. "…this means we're skipping supper, aren't we?" he asked, almost exasperated. Sure, celebrating this way was nice, but Draco would've loved to do something different…
Louis winked. "I still need help coming down from my…high, so yes, please."
And amidst the panting, sweating, touching, kissing, scorching, and loving, it didn't register with Draco that Louis was—for once and even by a fraction—tense. And even if he had noticed it, he wouldn't have known why.
As they lay in bed, the sheet covering Draco for Louis was not the most modest person around, the younger wizard sat up partially and leaned back on his elbows. "Draco…"
"Mm?" Draco had his eyes closed as he drew lazy, jagged-edged circles on Louis' forearm.
"My mates know."
Louis scoffed, not unlike the self he had first showed to the snake upon their first encounter. "Draco, my mates know about you."
Draco stopped drawing circles on Louis' arm.
"I knew you'd be upset—" Louis turned and hung over Draco, pinning the older man with his arms on either side of him so that he couldn't escape the conversation. "Draco, Curtis had been wondering for a while—and c'mon, it's ridiculous that no one else on the team has thought the same thing—but he and Troy and James were teasing me because Curtis brought up my end-game stiffy and then it snowballed from there and—" He bit his lower lip.
"And?" the gray-eyed male prompted. How could this get any worse?
"I was the one who blurted that I'm in love with you. But they were reaching that idea anyway, without my help!" he added hastily so as not to incur too much possible wrath.
Draco frowned and rolled on his side, suddenly feeling so vulnerable with Louis so close to him…it seemed a bit unfair. "Was it just them?" he managed, his irritation growing.
"Yeah…" Louis flopped down on his side so that they faced each other (okay, so maybe that made the talk a tad fairer). "I didn't really stay to see what their reaction would be, though I know they were flabbergasted.
"Oh, Merlin…" The Slytherin groaned. "The next thing I know, that big family of yours is going to flambé me—or worse, Potter will act as representative and deal with me personally, considering our history."
"Ah, I wouldn't let even Uncle Harry kill you."
Somehow, hearing the name "Uncle Harry" only added to Draco's negative emotions. He never would escape the Boy-Who-Lived, would he?
"Draco…please don't be mad."
Something in the older man's heart twanged at the sound of his love's voice. He stared at Louis. It was funny how, in two years of knowing this young man and one year of loving him, so many little things had changed about him. That indignant vein in Louis' neck that had so often throbbed when he boasted no longer pulsed with haughtiness but only ever with exertion these days. Louis' mouth seemed fuller, softer, kinder; perhaps it had become accustomed to smiling instead of smirking. His eyes were warmer and darker, and they no longer pierced Draco uncomfortably. And his eyebrows hadn't drawn into a glare or risen in arrogance for a long time. How could he be mad at that?
Louis tucked his head into the crook of Draco's neck, and his breath tickled Draco's collarbone. "You're mad."
"If you're wondering, Curt and Troy don't really have anyone to tell. And James—well, he's been a bit of an outcast ever since he proclaimed his love for Justin."
"Yeah, that Finch-Fletchley bloke. He teaches Muggle Studies at Hogwarts. I never took his class—not interested in the subject. I much preferred Charms. No Potions for me, either. I blew up too many things—had to get my cousin, Hugo, to help me." Louis sighed. "What can I say? I'm a bit of a screw-up. Just as tonight proved."
Draco went back to drawing the circles again, though this time on Louis' shoulder. "No, Louis…you're human. And that's a good thing."
There was a pause before Louis chuckled. "Ehm, yeah, right…" He fell asleep, and Draco fell asleep watching him, only to have that iffy feeling he'd forgotten about return in the morning.
"I insist that we go somewhere nice," Draco said the next day as they sat around the manor. He wanted to have an honest celebration for Louis' accomplishment, but he also had to admit that sticking around the manor so much was driving him nuts. Louis always said that he didn't mind—"there's so much of your home to explore," he often marveled—but Louis had been adamant about taking a day off from excitement and drama. Which was so not Louis. If anything, that was Draco. And Draco wasn't supposed to be the most fun one around here.
"I don't feel like going anywhere," Louis said with a pout.
"I can't even take you out to a nice lunch or dinner?"
At the prod, Louis pursed his lips. "Dinner, you say?"
"Yes, a nice one. I mean, wouldn't it be nice to dress up, take our time eating, and close the place down?" He walked over to the chair in which Louis sat, and Louis reached up to hold his fingers.
"A formal dinner?"
"The kind where people normally mingle and whatnot?"
Draco thought it odd phraseology, but he said, "Yes."
The Weasley gazed up at him. "You miss that part of pureblood life."
It wasn't a question, but a statement. The straightforward delivery of it made Draco look away, and he hated that a tiny part of him was internally agreeing with what Louis had said. That kind of thing had once been a huge part of Draco's life, and he'd been without it for so long that he'd nearly forgotten its appeal. But Louis—Draco wanted to treat him to the more luxurious things in life. He wanted Louis to know that being a pureblood hadn't been such a bad thing. There had been perks. There had even been good times. And he wanted to have a good time (a different kind of good time) with the person he thought was probably the love of his life.
"Well…if I get to see you looking sharp and ravishing in your dress robes, then I guess I'll go out to a fancy dinner with you." Louis winked. "I'll pick you up at six, then."
Draco gave him a confused look. "Eh?" How had this gone from Draco asking him out to Louis asking Draco out? Though, if the end result was the same, Draco supposed the details didn't matter… "I guess that's fine."
"Perfect!" Louis hopped up then, finding energy he hadn't been displaying before. "Then I should get ready and check in—"
"Er," Louis coughed. "You know…check in with…with Mum and Dad, let them know I have meal plans. Remember, six o'clock, luv!"
He quite literally scampered off, and Draco was left standing in the middle of the living room, wondering what the hell had happened. He tried shrugging it off, though, as he went upstairs into his room.
It truly had been decades since Draco had last attended a formal dinner or any soirees. If Narcissa had known about this, she likely would've reprimanded Draco for letting his focus go. After all, "To mingle and make merry keeps a pureblood family in good standing"—though after the war, she'd dropped "pureblood" from her sentence.
Draco played out the remainder of the day easily, and it felt nice to prepare for an evening out. He selected his second-best set of dress robes—he didn't want Louis to feel too intimidated or ashamed to be with him—and he double- and triple-checked his appearance before Louis returned to the manor. When he heard the familiar light knock, Draco patted his breast pocket (a little physical present always helped to set the mood for an evening) and answered the door.
Louis looked stunning. Draco had never seen him so cleaned-up before. But there Louis stood in charcoal gray pants and a burnt, kind of copper vest, completed by navy robes. His fringe had been brushed back from his face, too, and he reminded Draco of himself when he'd been even younger than Louis, who was twenty. "So let's go!"
"What, I don't get the chance really to drink in this display?" Draco laughed. "I'm…stunned, Mr. Weasley."
"Well, I'd love to nibble on you right now, too, Mr. Malfoy. But I have something special planned—so come on."
"Where are we going?" the taller man asked Louis as they walked a little down the road of the manor.
"Um, it's a—a surprise." Even in the dark, Draco could recognize that characteristic Weasley flush. "And you have to Side-Along Apparate with me, so no peeking."
Draco sighed. "Fine. I know it's worth it with you." They stopped and Draco cupped Louis' cheek, stooping to kiss his temple before Louis held his arm out.
Louis cursed. "Dammit, Draco. Don't do that to me right before we're Apparating."
The Malfoy almost had time to laugh, but the wind left him as their bodies were condensed into that familiar time-space tube feeling. Their feet left the ground and they shot from Draco's neighborhood to a bustling city. Louis insisted on keeping Draco deaf and blind until they arrived, but Draco didn't feel as if they'd travelled very far before he heard sounds like those one would hear at a very busy eating establishment. "Are we there yet?"
"Um, almost. Stay right there a sec." Louis left him momentarily, and Draco shifted on his feet.
It wasn't as though he could really tune out things around him. There were a lot of people—and, really, a lot. Where the heck had they gone? As Draco strained his ears through the noise, he thought he heard a few too many footsteps for a restaurant where most people would be sitting. And was that— Oh, bloody hell. Had Draco heard a camera flash?
He opened his eyes just as Louis returned with that dumb-looking grin on his face. "Ah, Draco, they're announcing me last, so—"
"Louis, what's going on?" Draco could feel his chest tightening, and his palms felt cold and clammy. His eyes widened at what he saw and his mouth went dry. Everywhere he looked, there was Quidditch memorabilia and, more so, Chudley Cannons decorations. And, sure enough, there were camera flashes—and a lot of press people. Now he knew why he'd had that bad feeling all along.
Louis' face fell, and he hesitated to touch Draco. "Well, you said you wanted a formal evening with me. I thought this would be perfect. Sure, the Prophet's here now, but they'll be leaving soon enough. People just want to know about the change for the Cannons' future. And there's a formal dinner right after, so—"
"So what?" Draco hissed.
Louis' brow furrowed. "I thought this would be all right. Besides, you were talking about wanting to go out. We're out."
Draco was so upset, angry, scared, and furious that he couldn't see straight. Everywhere he looked was red right now—the hall in what he now recognized as part of the Magical Games and Sports level of the Ministry, the decorations, the people, Louis. "I wanted to be out with you, not your team. I wanted you to myself."
"And I want you to myself," Louis said, not understanding Draco's qualms at all. "But I'm gaining recognition. This would be inevitable if we stayed together, Draco."
"But I don't want to be on display!"
"I only want to display you as the one I love most!" Louis gasp-breathed. His eyes were watery in his own anger. "You're my encouragement and my inspiration—you're everything to me, Draco Malfoy."
Draco spluttered at it; this was certainly more embarrassing and heartfelt than Louis' confession that he'd fallen at first sight for Draco. "But I don't want to be on display!" was all Draco could say. And he retreated further into the hallway before anyone noticed him and he made the headlines.
As he left, he heard Curtis catch up to Louis. "Aren't you bringing Draco, mate?" he asked.
Draco didn't wait to hear Louis' excuse before he fled the building and ran home with his tail between his legs. Merlin, if there was one thing Draco did well, it was running away.
He wanted to retch, in all honesty.
Perhaps he had stuck his foot in his mouth when insisting on going to any kind of public place with Louis where Draco might be recognized. But they'd been out before and it hadn't been a problem…however, all of those times had not been on such a grand scale.
And Draco was terrified.
Before he'd joined the ranks of his father's compatriots, Draco had liked the spotlight. As the war had progressed, Draco had retracted more and more from it (and it made him darkly, hollowly chuckle as he thought he had left the spotlight for the darkness). And when the end of the war had forced the Malfoys back into the public eye as they paid for their crimes with testimonies and humiliation, Draco had learned to love a different kind of darkness, the one that was quiet and demanded nothing of him.
Perhaps being with Louis was too demanding. Louis was too demanding.
But Draco couldn't bear his old life, he realized that now. There was no dabbling in some of the former aspects that he had once enjoyed. He was either an entirely new wizard, or he would have to be only the person he'd been before. The latter was no option.
Yet while the fright of dredging up his old family vanity sickened him, the idea that Louis would ask him to go public with him also hurt. Hadn't Louis understood? Before, Louis had been able to read Draco like a book. So why hadn't he understood Draco well enough to know that Draco never would have wanted this? Sweet Salazar, frustration made tears burn the backs of his gray eyes.
It came as no surprise that Louis did not chase after him this time. Judging by his expression, he had honestly thought Draco would've been fine attending the ceremony with him. But a week passed. And then another, and yet another. Yet Draco couldn't be convinced that he himself had screwed their relationship up; it was not all on him—some of the blame fell on Louis this time.
"And maybe it's a sign," the Malfoy muttered under his breath as he borrowed books from Lucius' old study. Lucius had left many a thing there when he'd left to live with Daphne, and Draco found some solace in the few books his father possessed on Wizarding life outside of the United Kingdom.
Mainland Europe didn't seem to focus on Wizarding politics so much—it could be a nice place to visit, especially considering that there were numerous small Wizarding communities, like tucked-away hamlets and villages where one could lose himself. That idea was intriguing. Draco could leave Britain and find himself in—in—in a corner of Germany or maybe on the edge of France. Even Eastern Europe was more appealing at the moment; Louis and everyone else wouldn't think to look for him there.
Narcissa discovered him on the floor of his father's study, books open and surrounding him in a mashed semicircle. He was scribbling notes on settlements along the Rhine River when she coughed and tapped her finger against her folded arms.
He jolted and turned to see his mother. "Oh, Mother. Hullo."
She frowned at him. "What are you doing, darling?"
"A spot of research."
"Research? You?" Narcissa looked as though she had a migraine. "Draco, what are you really doing here, stretched out on the floor like that?"
"I'm learning about the world."
"All right…just Europe." He ducked his head as she entered the room and walked over to him. She knelt beside him and picked up one of his papers to read it. "What the—you aren't thinking of leaving me alone in this ginormous place, are you?"
He averted his eyes. "Well, not exactly…"
She narrowed her eyes at him. "I want the full story. Now."
"It's nothing," he answered with a sigh. But when she used that glare on him that had once scared the other Death Eaters in their home (she liked her China sets in one piece), he blurted, "It's just—Louis." And her face fell, full of sympathy, so much that he had to tell her everything.
Yet when he was done, Narcissa just seemed aggravated. "Oh, good Merlin, you two… And I thought he was the young one!"
Draco was taken aback. "Sorry?"
"Sometimes I wonder if I coddled you too much, Draco." The witch cupped her cheek in the palm of her hand and locked eyes with her son. "But really, you can be such a child sometimes."
He growled at the comment. "Thank you so much, Mother—"
"I wasn't done," she said in a stern voice, and he shut up. "But this isn't the first time I've seen you moping over him—even if I didn't know you two had been involved before." Obviously she was referencing the first time Louis had appeared at the manor as a "friend" to Draco and she had been on her way out the door. "Don't you get a little tired, darling, of having everything come to you, everyone come to you…everything falling neatly into your lap?"
His cheeks took on a healthy rose tint. "None of us need the spotlight cast on us anymore…"
Narcissa sighed. "Draco, if you haven't noticed, no one really cares about us Malfoys more than thirty years later." She dropped her eyes to the snake pin on her blouse's lapel and made an "eh" noise. "It's the truth. The Wizarding world has new celebrities and new social pariahs to watch. We've paid our dues, luv, and no one cares anymore that we tried to make things right. Even if your father was trying to save his skin while you and I were trying to do the right thing."
Draco considered his mother a wise person, so he couldn't find it in him to argue with her. Yet—"But…honestly, Mother, anyone takes notice of lovers…"
"That one's up to you," she replied as she stood and smoothed her skirt. "But don't be against going public because of the family or reputations or the like. Only go against it if you really don't love that kid." She stared at him a second longer before sighing. "You still have some growing up to do, my Draco…"
He fidgeted where he sat. "Then—instead of letting you fix things for me…could I ask for your help instead?"
Narcissa blinked…and then she slowly smiled. "There's my proactive boy."
"Hey, Louis, um…"
Curtis' introduction stank, but Draco was thankful for the opening, regardless. The Cannons were taking a break from practicing for the next season, and Louis—along with Conrads and one of their Chasers (and Draco quietly promised himself that he'd eventually learn the names of Louis' other coworkers)—was looking through some résumés for Conrads' replacement. Louis gave him an apathetic once-over and then turned to Curtis. "Curt, we can't waste any precious time finding a new Beater. The season after next is Conrads' last."
"I know, I know…," the tanned man said. "But he insisted on speaking with you…" Even though his tone was apologetic, his expression told Draco that Draco wasn't the only one who wanted them reconciled.
Louis sighed and rolled his shoulders. "Agh, fine… I'll be back in a bit, so no one discuss anything without me!" He led the way out of the office that was an offshoot of the locker-room, and the two blonde wizards went to sit in the stands. Louis side-glanced at Draco. "I see you still refuse to wear short sleeves, even when it's humid like this," he said, tugging on the collar of his t-shirt.
Draco shrugged. "You get used to it when you have an ugly scar to hide." At that, he thought a muscle twitched in his left forearm…but nothing pained him, so he ignored it. "How've you been?"
"That's a stupid lead-in, you git," the Weasley replied. Even Draco agreed with that sentiment. "And you should've—"
The Slytherin looked at him. "Should've what?"
Louis cursed in French. "You should've come sooner!" His blush proved his words and made Draco smile.
"I'm sorry for being an idiot."
"You should be."
Draco clasped his hands. "And you should be proud of your accomplishments—not only bringing the Cannons back, but even getting me to do the chasing." He chuckled softly, but Louis continued to glare at him. "I am sorry, Louis, for what I did." He paused. "I'm not scared of you or of this—"—to which he gestured between them—"—but I can't deny that anyone looking at me these days… I was like that as a kid. I'm not like that as a man, and I don't want to be that way. I'm not ready for that attention."
Louis pouted, but he had no further argument for that. "Would it be okay if someday I shared you?"
The Malfoy shrugged again, thinking about his mother's advice. "Maybe someday."
"Then I'll ask for that." Louis leaned lightly on his shoulder and exhaled. "I just—I meant what I said before, about some things being inevitable. Curt's sis, Lania, definitely thought there was something more between us. And Melinda Conrads thinks we're domestic partners, too."
Draco's cheeks warmed. "Yes, I suppose I can't avoid the all-knowing stare of a long-time wife…"
Louis kissed Draco's jawline and rested his head on Draco's shoulder. "So is that all that brings you out here to interrupt my work?"
The older man chuckled again. "No, it's not. I came to ask you to a formal dinner—but a private one, one with my mother. She'd like to meet you properly this time. To make up for that first time and, more importantly, for that Christmas surprise."
He appeared stunned. "Wow. I, uh, don't think I could turn that down…"
"Then it's a date." And with that, Draco tugged on Louis' arm and turned him so they were facing and so Draco could kiss him. It had been a long month of separation, after all.
"You're awfully fidgety," Louis observed three evenings later as he and Draco walked up to the door to Malfoy Manor.
"You can't blame me," Draco replied as he opened the door and led his love to the left wing. "It's been ages since we've done this sort of thing. Not to mention this is surely a first for my mother."
Louis laughed. "Ah, yes, Parkinson had claimed Zabini long before you could, hadn't she?"
"Shut it, prat. I was never interested in Blaise that way."
"Oh, Draco, there you are! I thought you weren't coming after twenty minutes," came Narcissa's chastising tone when they entered the dining room. She didn't look over-the-top, but she was done up nicely. Draco noticed she wasn't wearing her snake pin tonight—and he realized it was the first time he'd seen her without it. It made him smile to think that they could both start a new chapter in their lives.
Louis was ever a gentleman as he strode ahead of Draco to take Narcissa's hand and kiss it. "I'm Louis Weasley, ma'am, and I am sorely sorry that we have not had a proper introduction all those times before now." He grinned, and even she flushed a bit. At least she understood just a smidge how charming Louis was. "And I'm afraid it's my fault—my flat-mates were being quite rowdy, and thus I was delayed."
Narcissa smirked and quirked an eyebrow. "I know about the poise of the Delacours, Louis, but you can't hide that you're still Weasley," she remarked, and right on cue he turned Gryffindor maroon. She smiled gently then and led them to one end of the dining table. "You'll have to pardon the meal. I've been learning from a friend of mine as we haven't had a house-elf for ages. I hope everything's all right."
Draco thought the meal looked a bit too nice for his mother's talents (and wondered how quickly she'd helped Mrs. Parkinson whip this together on such short notice), but he said nothing, as it was finally good to enjoy quality time with his two favorite people.
The dinner passed a bit too quickly for Draco's interests, but it went easily. Narcissa actually appeared genuinely interested in what the Weasley-Potter clan was like these days, and she most certainly had taken a shine to Louis. When they'd all finished and Louis had stood to walk and stretch his legs, Narcissa touched Draco's arm and, with a smile, said, "You were right when you wanted to tell me that you loved him."
"I do love him," Draco said without a moment's hesitation.
Narcissa closed her eyes, looking ready to hum a happy tune. "See? Good things come to those who work for them, Draco."
Draco nodded and exited the room to go after Louis.
Louis was upstairs in the hallway outside Draco's bedroom. He was staring at the numerous portraits when Draco approached him. "Holy Helga, there really are a lot of Malfoys, aren't there? Almost as many as the Blacks."
The gray-eyed wizard looked at the images, too. "I'd never really thought about it. Though…I think I'd rather embrace the Black side of me, perhaps." He paused for thought. Funny how it had never occurred to him before to be more Black—sane Black—than Malfoy. Narcissa had returned to her own roots after the war, too, even repairing her relationship with her sister, Andromeda. And, actually, it made more sense to think of the old Draco as Draco Malfoy…and this one now as Draco Black…no, he couldn't find it in himself to think "Draco Black" sounded right at all.
"I think I won your mum over, by the way," the younger male said as he faced his lover.
"You do fit in well," Draco admitted as he stuck his hands in his pockets. He blinked when he realized something was in one of his pockets, and he drew the thick chain out.
"What's that?" Louis asked.
They both stared at it—a silver chain with a pendant in the shape of a peacock. The bird's tail was folded up and its neck was bent so that the overall shape resembled a lower-case "m." Draco looked at Louis. "I'd originally intended to give this to you on the night of the ceremony…"
The Seeker babbled, "But that's…"
"It's a Malfoy family heirloom, one of the few I still like," the older man stated. "It's a tad clunky, but still nice." His eyes asked Louis for permission, and Louis stood rigidly still as Draco slipped it over his head. The pendant hung over Louis' sternum, so it was the right length to hide behind Louis' Cannons uniform. "Looks nice," Draco said as his fingers lingered on it.
Louis held the pendant and looked at it; then he glanced up at Draco from beneath his eyelashes. "I guess I'm embracing my Malfoy side, eh?"
Draco couldn't laugh at that, so he kissed him instead.
Two months later…
A Prophet laid propped open on the dining table in Malfoy Manor, and Draco stared at the tiny column. "It really is tiny, isn't it?" he asked.
Narcissa nodded, but she was (in her own way) beaming. "I think it's quite nice. This will at least explain for everyone why you two might be seen in public together…"
"Yes, but we'll come under scrutiny if we so much as mingle breaths…"
"Then keep your blasted hormones in check, Draco."
"It's not me! Louis is the beast!"
"Never mind that. Come along, we shan't miss his opening-season game!" Narcissa left to grab her yellow topaz necklace before they left to watch the game. Though she had no Cannons things yet and was appalled to wear orange, she insisted on wearing that necklace since it almost looked like their favorite Quidditch team's color.
Meanwhile, Draco reread the tiny column once more:
BRAVE FUTURE FOR BOOMING CANNONS—LOUIS "FLEW-Y" WEASLEY IS BECOMING A LEGEND by [Well, who really cared about the byline?]
With fewer than five years under his belt of wearing those blaringly orange robes as Seeker, Louis Jordan Weasley—son of war heroes William Weasley and Fleur Delacour Weasley—is a big surprise in a small package. [Draco had to pause; that line made his sides ache with laughter every time.] With an uneven start and not the friendliest of reputations, some were unsure about Weasley as an addition to the team. "He was a rookie, all right," Devon Conrads (Captain and Beater for Chudley) says of his trainee. "But he was a right fit for the team."
Perhaps Weasley was right since Quidditch runs in his blood. One only has to look at his father and aunts and uncles to see that Louis could not have grown up without being introduced to the sport. Two of his aunts, Angelina Johnson Weasley and Ginevra Weasley Potter, are retired from the Ballycastle Bats and the Holyhead Harpies, respectively, though both are still retained for training from time-to-time. His uncle through marriage is none other than Oliver Wood, a reserve for Puddlemere United right out of school and Keeper for fifteen years who now also acts as part-time trainer for his home team. Even the great Harry Potter was a hall-of-fame Gryffindor at Hogwarts. Also sometimes seen on the Cannons practice field is unexpected acquaintance Draco Malfoy, who briefly played Seeker for Slytherin during his own school days. "Mr. Malfoy is an inspiration and a mentor," Weasley replied upon questioning. What a mentor! Hopefully he'll be watching with the rest of us as Chudley soars to claim the British League this season!
And if there are any doubts now, all nay-sayers take heed. "It was a fluke that we didn't take enough games to face Tutshill in a championship game instead of the end-season one," Weasley assures. "But if we meet again—it will only be to beat them as a stepping stone on the way for the league title." He says this as he and friend Curtis Jordan (Beater) heartily laugh as their prospects. Watch out, Tutshill—they don't even expect to see you make it to the finals!
Regardless of his family or his bravado, Louis "Flew-y" Weasley has most certainly earned his nickname with early wins, last-minute saves, and outstanding showmanship. Whether a fan or not, one thing's for sure: This season, all eyes are on "Flew-y" Weasley. And that may make this one the best season yet.
WELL! That was fun. I blame Lovisa (lowi) for talking so much about Louco with me one day recently, because then I couldn't stop doodling and drawing them…and I got 3 story ideas, including this one. Which is now just awesome. It is in the same universe as my other Loucos, though I will clarify a bit: 1st is "Tomorrow Still Comes," 2nd is "Naught, Definitely Naughty," and 3rd is "Bad Omens." "Justifiably Spotlit" is actually the Chudley–Tutshill match, but from Louis' POV, which DEFINITELY makes it worth the read, to see what happened from his side. XD But yeah. I digress. B]
Um, you may have noticed other M&MWPs—James S.P./Justin, Daphne/Lucius, and the alluded-to Oliver/Gabrielle. Funnily enough, another struck me as I wrote one of the final scenes, but it's not implied, so I'm thinking just about making a shorter fic to tie in with said scene… ;3 *mew iz plotting* But I'd appreciate a nod if you used any of them—or Louco, thanks. :}
And this fic is also the lead-in to an upcoming oneshot, "Some Die Young." Noooo, I will say that no one dies. But it will be awesome. Really. -w-
So my final word is about Draco. I do love developing him, and a maturing Draco works so well for cross-gen. That said, I often write a "more Greengrass than Malfoy" Scorpius…but only in writing this did it occur to me that a "more Black than Malfoy" Draco is a pleasant departure from the average. Though I insist that "Draco Black" does sound a tad strange. Yet I think Narcissa's influence on him is a good thing…I love parental!Narcissa/Draco, I do. :3 Because you can't deny she loves her son more than anything.
Thank you so very much for reading, and I would greatly appreciate a review! After all, you just read 30+ pages of fun! :D