10 months later

Tyler doesn't know his birthday, so Waters decides they're going to celebrate the day of his freedom instead.

Tyler has never had a birthday before. He's somewhere around thirteen years old, by their best guess, but even that isn't certain.

It's a small party - Waters, Tyler, Draco, Harry, Seamus, Dean, their adopted daughter Marie, and Elena, who is still living with them.

Marie, who is around six, doesn't know what a birthday is. When Waters thinks about this, the party promptly becomes a double birthday party for both kids.

When Harry and Draco arrive, Dean lets them in and they find Tyler staring sceptically at the balloons strewn across the room.

"But what's the point?" he asks Waters.

"Remember when we talked about how sometimes the point is just because people like them?"

Tyler nods.

"It's one of those things."

Tyler blinks. "Okay," he says eventually, shrugging. He turns away from Waters, who smiles at his back, and then looks up at them.

"Boys," he greets with a warm smile. "Still not dead, I see."

Harry and Draco each greet him with a handshake. "Still not dead," Harry says with a grin. "Where shall we put these?" he holds up the bag of presents.

"Go ahead and set them on the table there."

Tyler is watching the bag. "I still don't understand why we need a day for presents. You get me whatever I need."

"It's more about things you don't need," Dean says easily, coming into the room with Marie on his hip. Seamus and Elena are on his heels.

"And maybe it's just fun to give people presents," Seamus says.

Tyler looks at both of them, and says, "Well, I'm not going to complain." Waters chuckles. Draco sees the humor dancing in Tyler's eyes, and he's optimistic. The kid is quiet, and he's still got some seriously fucked up stuff going on in his head, but he's got a good sense of humor, if somewhat dark at times. Draco figures his mind is always going to be a bit different, because he grew up in a world where absolutely nothing was given without cost. But Waters is doing his best to teach Tyler that sometimes people just care about him without wanting things in return.

And Draco figures if the kid can overcome spending all of his formative years in slavery and come out managing to function even somewhat normally, he's doing pretty well for himself.

He looks around, taking in his mentor chopping vegetables at the counter. Tyler is seated on the counter next to him, watching the knife move but not moving away from it — another sign that he's improving. Seamus and Dean have sat down at the dining table, Marie on Seamus' lap. Elena has moved over to the sink and is washing the dishes that Waters has finished with.

Finally, Harry is leaning against the cupboards next to him, looking utterly relaxed, a small but blissful smile on his lips. He sees Draco looking, and he grins.

"Maybe it's its own kind of home," he says softly. Draco thinks about his mother. He thinks about Harry and the Weasleys. Maybe this isn't all of their family, but it's part of it.

Maybe it is its own kind of home.