Draco discharged himself from the hospital. A far cry from his younger days when he would outstay his welcome so as to bask in attention and indulge in his injuries. Madame Pomphrey seemed far busier however, tending to those who had been fighting in the battle, not hiding in cupboards. Draco slunk way, feeling considerably lighter without the Time turner and memories around his neck. His stomach grumbled at him furiously and his head ached from dehydration. He also smelled very unattractive.
As he wandered down through Hogwart's grounds, it struck him that this might be the last time he saw his school - unless he returned to repeat his seventh year that is. Somehow, he couldn't see that happening. It was likely only Granger would, and she had the excuse that she'd been on a year long quest to bring Voldemort down, where as Draco had merely been hanging out with him.
He turned around to look at his Hogwarts, half his home. It was smoking, crumbled, destroyed, but Draco still felt a thousand memories of his own rush through him. Good and bad. It hadn't really ever gone to the dogs, he admitted o himself. He found he didn't regret rubbing Harry up the wrong way on their first and second meeting (and every other after that) ... he couldn't imagine seven years of being friends with Harry. As much as he harboured secret feelings for the git he was content with the long years of hell he had brought him.
A warm breeze fluttered through the grass, carrying familiar scents and bringing a welcome wave of nostalgia. Draco pandered in it for a moment before turning around and leaving through the school gates. As soon as he was on the open path to Hogsmede, he turned on his heel with firm thoughts of home.
Unsurprisingly, he found he was not alone. The breathtaking vales and hills that rolled around his manor were a welcome sight. The swarm of Ministry Officials, scouting through his garden and home were not.
"Get him!" a young official yelped, pointing at Draco in breathless excitement as he sauntered up the path. He gave him a challenging look, daring him to lay so much as a finger on him.
"No Stevens, he's been spoken to. I told you we're looking for bigger fish than that." his supervisor told him with a strained voice of patience. The junior nodded and continued to feel around in the Hedgerow. Apparently the 'bigger fish' were hiding in the Malfoy shrubbery.
Draco opened his front door with a tap of his wand on the heavy wood and crossed the threshold, sighing irritably when a dozen officials met him with their wands outstretched, muttering in disappointment when they saw who it was.
"You won't get anyone worth catching if you expect them to wander through the front door." Draco bit. He marched up the spiralling staircase, upwards and upwards towards his room where he shoved open the door and manhandled the wizard snooping through his drawers out of it.
"Master!" squeaked the House Elf, Grendle, who had been hopping up and down on the bed anxiously. He was ridiculously small but obeyed blindly, unlike their old house elf, Dobby.
"Please get me something to eat and drink." Draco sighed, rubbing his head. "I'm famished."
"Famished!" Grendle repeated and nodded obediently. Sometimes Draco wondered if his father had chosen the new house elf because of his considerable lack of intelligence.
Grendle vanished with a crack and Draco pushed open the door of his en suite, his skin crawling with the need to wash. He let the water run hot before he locked the door, in case someone thought he was hiding Death Eaters in his bathroom, and tried to get in. The water that ran off him was filthy and bloody, but Draco stopped looking at it after a while and let his eyes close. He thought back to the events he had witnessed, caused, participated in. Honestly, it was enough to send you to sleep on the spot. There was a crack as Grendle reappeared in the bedroom. "Is Master wanting Grendle to bring food into the washroom?" said a squeaky voice through the door.
"No Grendle." Draco replied tiredly.
Draco barely had the energy to eat and drink what was put before him but seen as he was half starved and only Grendle was there to see, he ate like a pig. No sooner had Grendle taken away the tray, ("Is Master wanting pajamas now?" "I'm already wearing them Grendle.") Draco let his head hit the pillow and he fell into an instant sleep.
For two weeks, Draco made rounds of his manor, helping Grendle clean ("Master must not wear down his beautiful hands!" "You really think their beautiful?") and disposing of all the twisted objects the Ministry had missed. They may run the Wizarding world, but Malfoys had been dealing in Dark Arts for a long time – they knew how to fool the prying. After his adventures, Draco saw no use for the jewel encrusted bangle that cut off your blood supply, the urn that let out wails of wizards and witches burnt at the stake or the sword that trembled in it's bracket when it felt the throbbing of a human pulse nearby. Grendle obediently followed his every instruction, dotingly bagging up dark objects in sacks and polishing his father's desk every day, even though he wasn't there to write at it.
A week in to his 'recovery' so to speak, he finally raised the courage to pick up a Daily Prophet and read through a long list of the dead, arrested, awaiting trial and even withstood a short interview from Harry who, by the looks of it, had had his words twisted excruciatingly. "I'm just so super happy this has come to an end!" They had quoted him."I'm glad I could have been your hero, and I never ever doubted the Ministry! Not once!"
Draco had instructed Grendle to polish the bust of his Great Uncle before tucking the paper under his arm and walking calmly up the stairs to his room. Once there, he had sat on his bed and wept over the Prophet, blotting its inky pages as he ran his fingers down the list of departed. He hovered over the names he knew and before long, he could take it no more and he threw the paper across the room.
On the thirteenth day, he was saved from madness. He had been dusting the bookshelves in the drawing room at the time, trying to persuade himself that he was still quite sane and coping extremely well thank you very much.
"Grendle, do we have any alcohol in the pantry?" Draco had inquired after wiping nonexistent dust from the cover of his mother's favourite book. Grendle was about to reply when a bell tolled and Draco's stomach dropped. It was the sound of someone at the gates and a sound he associated with visiting Death Eaters and Catchers and Potter's with swollen faces. Peering out of the window anxiously, Draco caught Grendle by the back of his pillowcase as he bounded towards the front door. "Wait." he hissed.
"But Master it is an owl for you!"
Draco squinted and saw that a figure was not standing at the gates, but a greyish, official-looking owl with a stern expression. It was carrying an envelope.
"Grendle get it quickly!"
Watching Grendle trip down the path, Draco wrung his hands anxiously. Only owls from Official companies were taught to knock at the gates of manors. Informal owls usually tapped at the window of the room the recipient was occupying. Grendle skipped up the path again with the letter in his hand and Draco ran to the front door and snatched it from him.
His name was typed on the front in unfamiliar print, but when he tore open the envelope and pulled out the grey parchment, he saw the long-familiar, looping handwriting of his mother's. His breath caught in his throat.
I must first apologize for stunning you, but that was an incredibly foolish stunt you pulled and you almost had yourself killed. Most importantly however, they bring me news that you are well and not under arrest. Your father and I have been spoken to – rather severely if I might add – but we are soon to be released.
I have also heard news that Potter will speak for you in your trial and I was informed only today that he will speak for me in mine. The same cannot be said for your father but that does not come as a surprise. Fortunately, your father and I will be home within a week and we expect the Manor spotless and prepared. Azkaban is not what it was, but it does not make a welcoming abode for a Malfoy.
Your father wishes you well and wants you to expect considerably less for a few Christmases and Birthdays as we will be fined 'something rotten' for our actions. Don't concern yourself with this darling – we'll manage – we always have. Allow yourself some time to recuperate and set a good example to the outside world. Let them think you are humble and remorseful.
All my love,
P.s- Your father would like to express his regret at giving you the Time turner. The Aurors spoke to him about it and he may face considerably more consequences because of this. I am delighted you didn't need to use it however and there's no harm done.
No harm done, Draco thought, staring at the three words. If only you knew. He chose not to dwell on it and ordered Grendle to keep his parent's room especially immaculate for his their return. He would burn their favourite candles in there and organize a banquet with his father's favourite wine and his mother's favourite cakes. Spirits considerably higher, Draco held the letter tightly for a moment before stowing it in his pocket.
It was two weeks after his return home that he awoke wrapped in some sort of home-made chrysalis. Grendle had apparently rolled him the duvet around him like pastry in the night, something he had taken to doing when he thought Draco was feeling dispirited. At least his heart was in the right place, Draco thought as he looked at the sky outside his window pane. He had awoken at dawn for some reason, and the sky outside his window was a shade of Forget-Me-Not blue.
A moment later, he registered the shape at his window and it became clear why he had awoken. There was a tap-tap at his window as a tiny, brown owl peered in at him with the most doleful eyes Draco had ever seen. An informal owl. He disentangled himself from the rolls of blankets and went to the window, opening it carefully to let the little owl hop inside with an envelope in its beak. Draco took the letter and stared at the owl for a while, who looked up at him with its lamenting eyes.
"You're bloody gorgeous." Draco whispered against his own constraint. If it weren't for the rest of his dignity, he'd have picked up the owl and squashed it against his chest like a little girl with a puppy. He looked down at the envelope.
'Draco' it read on the front in a eerily familiar scrawl.
He opened it carefully, taking out the scrap of parchment within.
I looked at the memories without asking. Obviously. I have a habit of doing things like that. I managed to put two and two together and I suppose you went back and meddled in time with that messed up Time turner. Don't worry, I won't tell, but you need to take a time out from dark, magical objects. I've got your memories here if you want them back. Meet me at 12 Grimmald Place today, late afternoon.
That bastard! Perhaps Draco was busy today! First he thieved Draco's property and then he ordered Draco to collect it on his own terms! The owl jumped onto Draco's shoulder and settled itself there. Well it was more than welcome. Draco could take other people's property too. "I hope you like biscuits." Draco murmured to the owl.
It turned out the owl did like biscuits. Draco would have happily spent the day breaking them up and scattering them on the kitchen table top for the owl to hop towards them happily, filling its beak and making appreciative hooting noises. Unfortunately, breakfast and lunch and passed and Potter was waiting in '12 Grimmald place' with stolen property, and he had to go and get ready to meet the git. He would have much rather wittered the rest of his day away, hiding in the kitchen with an owl that wasn't his, but he knew that would be admitting defeat.
He brought Grendle and the owl up with him, asking them what they thought as he dressed. Anything was better than thinking of his parents in jail and the fallen in the war.
"Master looks very groomed!" Grendle cried. "He will win the heart of his date!"
"Grendle!" Draco cried scandalously. "I'm not going on a date!"
"Okay Master." Grendle replied absently, patting the tiny owl and swinging his legs on the bed. The owl hooted in a knowing way and Draco decided its guiltless eyes were deceiving.
"What makes you think it's a date?" Draco demanded.
Grendle blinked at him. "Master is changing from his loveliest robes into even lovelier ones!"
Now Draco was the one who looked stupid, and he was in a room with a mentally lacking House Elf and a stunted owl.
Draco stood in his fireplace with the owl on his shoulder and glowered at Grendle. He still wasn't happy with his offhand comments. Date indeed. Of course he had always held a torch for the four-eyed boy hero but it certainly wasn't Grendle's place to comment on such things.
"You can wash my pajamas again." Draco spat. "And clean out the Peacock shed."
Grendle's eyes shone happily. "Master is too kind!"
Of course a House Elf would think of manual labour as a gift. Leave him to it; Draco thought bitterly, maybe one of the Peacocks would peck him or something.
"12 Grimmald Place." Draco said.
Owls did not like travelling by Floo.
"Merlin's left buttock!" Draco spat, tripping into a room he wasn't even looking at as the owl hooted indignantly and flapped into the room, having just tussled with him in the spinning green flames and tried to tear out one of Draco's eyes.
"Eugh." Draco said, looking up to see a Potter-shaped silhouette in the doorway.
"There you are!" Harry said fondly in a low purr, and for a moment Draco thought he was talking to him. The sugary tones however, were reserved for his owl, which sat on his shoulder and nipped his ear affectionately. "What did Malfoy do to you?" Potter cooed. Draco flattened his hair furiously and scowled.
"You ought to control that bloody thing."
"His name is Toby." Harry retorted, watching Draco as he ran his fingers over the down on Toby's back. "You never had much luck with animals did you?"
"Toby?" Draco spat. "That's an atrocious name."
Harry laughed as Toby flapped out of the room, tiring of the complex emotions of his human companions. "What would you suggest Malfoy? A constellation?"
Draco ignored him and peered around the room. "I've seen this place."
"In the memories?"
A wave of humiliation suddenly crashed over him. Potter had seen everything he had seen in that Pensive. Everything. He marched up to Potter and slapped his face."You had no right looking at them."
"Enough with the bloody slapping!" Harry cried his hand to his face. "I couldn't help myself, okay?"
"No it is not okay!" Draco snapped. "You saw me naked you pervert!"
Harry grinned. "You saw me naked too. You saw a lot of things you shouldn't have. A lot of activities..." he paused for a moment. "Draco, your cheeks are very pink."
"Oh shut up!" Draco snapped. "And call me Malfoy!"
Harry raised his eyebrows. "Malfoy? Mr Malfoy? Or maybe Lord Malfoy the Second?"
Draco rubbed a hand over his face in exasperation before holding out his hand. "Give them back you interfering twat."
"No need for bad language Malfoy." Potter frowned. "They're in the kitchen."
Draco followed Harry from the room in stony silence. He had seen this house. He had been here in another branch of time as an invisible presence. This place however, had a stamp of something distinctly Potter on it. Frames of friends and faces that Potter once knew had been mounted on the wall, frightfully colourful shanty rugs had been thrown on the floor, pot plants grew untamed in corners and when they got into the kitchen, a finger painting was spell-o-taped on the wall.
"Who did that?" Draco demanded, staring at the mess of colours splattered on the page.
"Teddy Lupin." Harry replied frostily, "A relation of yours I believe?"
Draco didn't want to talk about that at the moment. When he did, it certainly wouldn't be with Potter. He turned round to examine the rest of the room and saw a tea set lain out at the end of the long stretch of kitchen table. A white candle burned in the centre of the spread and a vase had been filled with a fat bunch of dandelions. Tea for two. It certainly looked very cozy.
"Made an effort have we?" Draco sneered, raising an eyebrow. Harry turned around and spluttered.
"Oh for - Kreacher!" He scrambled over to the end of the table and blew out the candle. "Kreacher's really excited-" Potter babbled, scooping up the dandelions and shook his head. "I told him you were coming and – Oh my God he's made biscuits."
Draco wandered over to the spread and looked at the biscuits iced with things such as Grand Malfoy and Beautiful Malfoy.
"I rather think I approve." Draco smirked. Harry snatched them away and put them on the worktop, fumbling with the crockery and slamming a teapot with a hideous knitted cozy on it onto the draining board, sloshing tea everywhere.
"What is that?" Draco snorted, picking at the dilapidated pile of yarn. "A Weasley creation no doubt. Has Mother Weasel grown tired of knitting for her many children and started making jumpers for crockery?"
"Choose your next words carefully Malfoy or you'll be going home with those memories up your arse."
"I hardly think that's appropriate Potter."
Harry blushed, his cheeks burning as scarlet as the woollen pattern woven on the cozy. Draco didn't even mind the stupid thing anyway. It was everything Potter. Draco noticed Harry still had the bunch of dandelions in his hand. "Are they for me?" he teased, thoroughly enjoying himself.
"Shut up." Harry muttered, throwing them in the sink and reaching into the pocket of his silly muggle jumper. He brought out the memories, swimming silver in the vial on its delicate chain. Draco took it from him and tucked it away in his own robes, wondering how seven years could fit into such a small space. "Thank you."
Harry looked at the floor, chewing on the inside of his cheek as he thought. Draco noticed he wasn't wearing shoes and brooms flew all over his socks. Honestly.
"You know," Harry began. "I had a nightmare once,"
"You had plenty from what I've seen."
Harry ignored him. "I dreamed that I should have been in Slytherin, that it was my destiny."
The light in the kitchen was warm and soft and Draco wondered how Harry had managed to make this Pureblood house so very homely. Potter was looking at the dandelions in the sink, his brow furrowed.
"I think we've established that you were never meant to be in Slytherin Potter." Draco said quietly.
Harry looked at him, his green eyes contemplative. It was different from this angle, Draco thought. With Potter's eyes looking directly into his. Harry laughed and Draco wasn't sure why, because all he could see was Harry. Nodding with a smile on his lips, as though he had reached some sort of humorous conclusion, Potter reached into the sink and took out a dandelion. He edged forward and put it in the buttonhole of Draco's shirt. "Dashing Malfoy." he murmured. "I think that was on one of the biscuits."
Draco wanted to laugh – he really did – but Harry's face was too close. Harry was looking into his eyes, searching for something. He was searching for the same thing Draco was and it took minutes of drowning in the green of Harry's eyes as Harry drowned in the grey of his before he realized he wouldn't find it. They didn't know each other; they had nothing to draw on. Memories had to be made.
With this in mind, Draco reached into the sink and pulled out another garishly yellow dandelion. He tucked it behind Harry's ear and leaned forward. He hovered for a moment in the electricity of the second, before he pressed his lips, very tenderly, against Harry's.
Harry could have hit him, but Draco didn't think he would. Instead, his hand came up, unsurprisingly, to the side of Draco's face and he moved his lips against Draco's so softly it was barely a kiss. The branches of the willow tree didn't whisper and he was old enough to know that it wasn't his happy ending.
But it was there, with a dandelion in his shirt as he kissed Potter with flying brooms on his socks, next to the Weasley tea cozy that was the most lovable eyesore he'd ever come across, that Draco began his true adventure.
Thank you for reading and please leave me a review letting me know what you thought and how you think I can improve :D
(and what possessed me to start with a time travel fic I'll never know)