Well, it's been a year since this story ended, but it was bothering me that technically there was one line unused in the song. It was easy to over look, as it at the end of the song during the mostly instrumental part. Anyway, this is an extremely long chapter that covers a couple of months, so I thank you for bearing with me.
This chapter is set about four and a half years from when Harry lost his memory. Teddy is getting ready to go off to Hogwarts.
Day 1651, Saturday
"So, Teddy, would you like a toad, an owl or a cat?" Harry asked his young son as the two of them, along with Draco, walked through Diagon Alley.
"What did you have?" the eleven year old asked.
"I had an owl," Harry replied enthusiastically. He caught the look Draco gave him. "But you should pick what you want, not what I had."
"You don't have to decide right now," Draco suggested. "Actually, you don't have to bring a pet at all if you don't want to. Not everyone does."
"Why don't we get all of your books first, then we can go to the menagerie," Harry said.
"Okay," Teddy answered. But Harry could see that Teddy's mind was busy preoccupied, most likely with thoughts of a brand new pet.
The trio stopped at Flourish and Blotts to purchase the required books for Teddy's first year at Hogwarts.
Draco picked up the new Potions book and leafed through it.
"They've added some new potions since we first started. And this one, we did second year," he pointed out.
Harry nodded. "It looks a little more advanced. I wouldn't have done very well if we'd had this book our first year."
"I bet Draco would," Teddy grinned. "I bet you could teach Potions at Hogwarts."
Standing a bit straighter, Draco replied, "Thank you, Teddy bear. I believe I could. But I like owning my own shop. As a professor, I wouldn't have as much time to make and improve my potions."
A look of uncertainty crossed Teddy's face.
"What if the Potions professor is mean?"
"I'm sure the new professor if perfectly nice," Draco assured him.
"New?" Harry questioned.
"Well, new is a relative term. Professor Whittle has been there a year now," Draco said. "She's also the Head of Slytherin. So if you get sorted there, you'll have an advantage."
"How's that?" Teddy cocked his head.
"You've already practiced several potions and you're getting quite good at identifying ingredients."
"He may be sorted into Gryffindor, you know," Harry said, not quite pleased with the thought of Teddy in Slytherin. "He has quite a few Gryffindor qualities.
"Perhaps so," Draco smirked. "But you have to admit, with all the pranks he likes to play, he'd be better suited to Slytherin."
"I disagree, have you forgotten all the pranks Fred and George played?"
"Yes, yes," Draco waved his hand dismissively. "But as Weasleys, where else were they going to be sorted? The entire clan was in Gryffindor."
Teddy watched Harry and Draco argue back and forth the merits of their own Houses. Each was obviously hoping their son would follow in his footsteps. Harry finally noticed that the boy was frowning.
"What's wrong Teddy bear?"
He shrugged. "Nothing."
"None of that now," Draco said. "We can see that you're upset."
"What if I don't know which House I want to be in?"
"Don't worry, the Hat will put you where you belong," Draco told him.
"Harry said that the Hat let him choose."
Rolling his eyes, Draco replied, "Of course it did. He's Harry Potter. The rest of us mere mortals didn't get to choose."
"Well, that wasn't my fault," Harry protested. "I'm sure I wasn't the only one who didn't want to be in Slytherin."
Draco harrumphed. "Who wouldn't want to be in Slytherin? It's a great House."
"Isn't that Vol- you know who's House?" Teddy asked.
"Yes, but not everyone who came from Slytherin was bad," Draco pointed out. "Professor Snape was a hero who protected me from you know who. And Harry too. He was the Head of Slytherin for years." He continued. "And just because someone is in Gryffindor, doesn't mean he or she a good person. Or a good wizard. Remember Finnegan?" He directed the question at Harry.
"I never said everyone in Gryffindor was good." Harry paused. "Perhaps we ought to leave it that either House would be fine. I'm sure you'll come to love whichever House you end up in."
"Harry's right," Draco agreed. "Things are different now. There's no war any more."
"Just friendly rivalry," Harry added. "Why don't we finish getting the things on your list. Shall we go to the menagerie or get the robes out of the way?"
"I think I'd like to get an owl. Is that okay?" Teddy looked to Draco.
Draco smiled. "We already told you, you don't have to pick the same things we did. If you'd like an owl, we'll go to Eeylops."
Teddy and his fathers strolled through the busy alley on their way to the owl emporium. Thankfully, they had gotten to the point in which no one gawked at them any longer. No one sneered at Draco, no one asked Harry for his autograph, and no one felt it was their place to tell the pair they shouldn't be raising a child together. The only attention they garnered was for the bright purple hair Teddy was sporting. It may have taken ten years, but Harry and Draco had finally become just a normal part of the every day wizarding world.
While Teddy perused the cages, Harry gave treats to a snowy owl that reminded him of Hedwig.
Draco walked up behind him and rested his chin on Harry's shoulder.
"You had an owl like this one, didn't you?"
Harry nodded. After all the time that had passed, he still lamented her death.
"She died saving my life."
"I'm sorry. I didn't know. You never really talked about her."
"I always felt so guilty. I only ever thought it was my own life I was risking to fight Voldemort. But so many others paid that price instead."
Wrapping his arms around Harry's waist, Draco whispered, "Don't go there. You know it wasn't your fault."
"I know but . . ." Harry closed his eyes. "Teddy should be with Tonks and Remus."
"You can't change the past. And we have Teddy. We've given him a good home. Even my mother dotes on him."
Harry gave him a sad smile and a kiss on the cheek. "I do love that boy."
"Harry, Draco, how about this owl?" Teddy called from the other side of the shop.
The pair walked over to the cage Teddy stood near, beaming.
"Bloody hell, that things looks like it ate an owl. Are you sure it's not an Occamy?" Draco cried. It appeared to be the biggest owl in the shop, with brown speckled wings and a creamy white belly.
"Aw, she's harmless. Look, she even takes treats from my fingers without biting. Please?" Teddy whined.
"Are you sure you wouldn't rather have a kneazle?" Draco asked sarcastically.
"Oh, come on Draco. The bird isn't that big." Harry put his finger up to the cage, and the owl took a nip. "Ouch, you little-"
"You were saying?" Draco quirked one eyebrow.
"You just frightened her," Teddy explained. "And you didn't have a treat. Owls expect treats. Please?" Teddy begged again.
"Well, it will spend more time at Hogwarts than with us," Harry stroked his chin. "What do you think? Should we?"
In an effort to persuade Draco, Teddy changed his hair to a pale blond and his eyes light grey.
"We'll give it a trial run. But not because you're trying to suck up to me." Draco sighed. "You'd better start training it before you get to Hogwarts. You won't have much time once you get there."
"She's a girl," Teddy said.
"Oh." Draco frowned. "What are you going to call her?"
"Not sure." Teddy cocked his head and looked at the bird. "I'll have to see what sort of personality she has first."
Removing the cage from the stand, Harry suggested they quickly purchase the owl before any of them changed their minds.
After that, they made the obligatory stop at Madame Malkin's for Teddy's robes, which Draco insisted on being the highest quality. It was the one area in which neither Harry nor Teddy were particularly interested. They indulged him, knowing there would probably be other battles worth fighting, as evidenced by the large owl cage Draco got stuck carting around.
"One more place," Harry said excitedly. "Ollivander's. Of course, his apprentice runs the shop now. I suppose he's no longer an apprentice."
There were several other families in the shop waiting for a wand match. Even though Ollivander himself didn't personally match the wands, it was still the place to go for a wand.
"Mr. Potter. Mr. Malfoy." A tall, lanky man extended his hand. "Welcome to Ollivander's. What brings you here?"
"Our son, Teddy is here for his first wand. He's off to Hogwarts next week," Harry replied.
"Ah. Congratulations boy." The man held out his hand to Teddy. "Mr. Xavion has a couple of other customers at the moment. But if you don't mind waiting a bit, he'd be happy to help you."
"Of course," Harry smiled. "We'll just have a look around then."
Teddy made a face. "Look around at what? There are only boxes everywhere."
"In each one is a wand."
"Oh." Teddy reached up to a small rectangular box on a shelf.
"No, no, you don't help yourself. It isn't like shopping for robes or an owl. Here, the wand maker matches you with a wand personally. It may take several tries before one chooses you."
"Chooses me? What if I don't like it?" Teddy asked.
"Of course you'll like it," Draco chimed in. "You know how it feels when you pick up mine or Harry's wand?"
Teddy shrugged. "I don't know. It doesn't feel like anything."
"Exactly," Draco said. "But when you have your own wand, it's like it comes alive in your hand, becomes part of you. Naturally, a decent wizard can use someone else's wand, but not the same way he can his own. Your wand will speak to you and you'll feel the power you have together."
Teddy's eyes were large. He'd always wondered what the big deal was. He hadn't really had much success trying to use Draco's or Harry's wands when he'd snuck them away.
"I've seen Harry use your wand before," Teddy said.
Draco smiled. "Yes, my wand does respond well to Harry's touch."
Harry turned away from the others, blushing and trying not to giggle at Draco's unintentional innuendo.
Realizing what he'd said, Draco kept his composure and continued. "But Harry's magic is very powerful and the wand remembers him. For a time, Harry had taken my wand from me and I had to use my mother's."
"He did? Why?"
"It was a dark time, and he needed to disarm me to save himself."
"From you?" A deep crease appeared on Teddy's forehead. "Why?"
Draco glanced at Harry. While they had tried to be honest with the boy about the war that took his parents' lives, they sometimes glossed over details that could be disturbing. Draco never tried to hide the fact that he had been a Death Eater on the wrong side, even if reluctantly. But he hadn't offered up much in the way of details.
"I think it's time Teddy learned the whole truth about my past."
Before Harry could respond, Mr. Xavion approached.
"Mr. Potter. Mr. Malfoy. Dayton tells me that your son is ready for his first wand today."
"Yes. This is Teddy," Harry said.
"Of course, young Mr. Lupin. Or is it Potter or Malfoy now?"
"No," Harry replied. "His name is still Lupin. He is well aware of his heritage."
Mr. Xavion smiled. "He is a lucky boy to have been taken in by the pair of you."
"He's a very special boy." Harry ruffled Teddy's still blond hair. He watched it as it darkened to match his own. "Draco and I are the lucky ones.
"Indeed," Mr. Xavion nodded. "A metamorphmagus, like his mother. Hm."
The wand maker regarded the boy, stroking his chin. He stared so long, Harry was beginning to regret coming to this wand maker. He was afraid he wasn't up to Ollivander's standards.
"I think I've got just the one," Xavion finally said.
The man walked to the far end of the shop and climbed the ladder. He plucked a dark brown box from its place. He started down the ladder, but paused and took another look at Teddy. After a moment, he climbed back up, replaced the box, and chose a different one.
"How does he know which wands are in which boxes? There seem to be thousands of them," Teddy whispered.
"I don't know. But Mr. Ollivander knew and remembered every wand he ever sold. It must be something special about wand makers," Harry surmised.
Xavion carefully opened the box, revealing a light brown gnarly looking wand. It had knots in the base and a rough texture resembling bark. And it was a full fourteen inches long.
Teddy's expression indicated that he was less than thrilled.
"Go ahead, pick it up," Xavion urged.
"It's so ugly." Teddy stuck out his tongue. "I like Draco's. It's very smooth and dark."
"You can't judge a wand by its appearance," Xavion warned.
Teddy sighed and moved to pick up the wand.
Xavion stopped him. "Are you left handed?"
"Then use your right."
Complying, Teddy picked up the wand and immediately felt a strong hum. He gasped.
"Try a spell. Try a spell," Xavion grinned excitedly.
"Um, I haven't learned anything," Teddy said, knowing that he wasn't supposed to be trying to practicing magic before going off to Hogwarts.
"Come now, you've never tried spells with your fathers' wands?"
Teddy blushed. "Um, well, I . . . maybe once or twice."
Glancing up sheepishly at Harry, then Draco, Teddy held up the wand and pointed it at the box.
They all gasped when the box quickly levitated.
"It worked!" Teddy shouted. "All I could ever do with your wands was slide something across the table."
"Hm, we'll have several things to talk about when we get home," Draco said.
"What's the core?" Harry asked.
Xavion put the lid on the box after Teddy placed the wand inside.
"It's dragon heartstring. The wood is spruce." Xavion handed Teddy the box. "Take good care of your wand young man. The two of you should enjoy a life long relationship."
"I will," Teddy promised.
As the three prepared to leave, Mr. Xavion stopped Harry.
"Mr. Potter, I'm curious about your wand."
"Sir?" Harry questioned.
"Typically, wands aren't repairable. I had heard tales that you repaired yours with the Elder Wand."
"Oh, yes, I did."
"Would you mind if I examined it?"
"No, of course not." Harry took his wand out of his pocket and handed it over.
"Remarkable," Xavion said pensively as he turned the wand over in his hands.
"I've attempted to repair wands myself, as had Mr. Ollivander. But alas, they usually didn't survive the first spell cast." Xavion handed the wand back.
Harry tucked it back in his pocket.
"Shame about the Elder Wand," the wand maker said offhandedly. But Harry read between the lines, and heard the disappointment in the man's voice.
"Yes," Harry agreed. "A shame that wizards couldn't be trusted with such a powerful and valuable resource."
"Absolute power corrupts absolutely," Xavion said. "A muggle saying, coined over a hundred years ago. But still true, for muggle and wizard alike. That you didn't keep the Elder Wand for yourself says a lot about your character, Mr. Potter."
"Thank you. But I only did what anyone would have done."
Draco snorted, garnering a glare from Harry.
The trio said their goodbyes and left the shop with Teddy's new purchase.
"What was that for?" Harry asked Draco when they got out into the Alley.
"You know what I'm talking about. You snorted. You snort when you think someone is lying."
"I didn't think you were lying."
"Well, it probably looked to Mr. Xavion that you thought I was being disingenuous."
"And now you can read minds?"
"Please don't fight," Teddy begged.
"We're not fighting," Harry told him. "We're having a discussion."
"We're arguing," Draco corrected him.
Teddy's posture slumped. "You've been arguing ever since I got my letter." His words shamed both Harry and Draco into silence. "I'm hungry."
The boy led them to the cafes for an early lunch. He didn't bother to look behind him to see if his fathers were following. He knew their overprotecting natures wouldn't let him out of their sight in the busy Alley. The pair followed Teddy and sat down at an outside table. The day was relatively warm, as it was the end of August.
A waitress came and took their orders, then left them in awkward silence.
"I wasn't snorting at you," Draco finally said quietly. "I was snorting because you suggested that anyone in your place would have destroyed the wand. But you and I know very well that people are not that noble. It was a commentary on the wizarding world as a whole, rather than you. I don't even know that I would have destroyed it." He paused. "Actually, I know for a fact that if I had known it was mine at the time, I would surely have abused the power."
"What?" Teddy's eyes widened. "The Elder Wand was yours? When?"
"So brief a time, I didn't even know it," Draco answered. "I never even held it in my hand. When Harry disarmed me at the Manor, the wand transferred its loyalty to him."
"How long did you have it, Harry?"
Harry laughed. "Not long at all. After I . . . after Voldemort died, I took the wand. I only used it to repair my original wand, then destroyed it. It was dangerous."
"How? You wouldn't do anything bad with it," Teddy said.
"No, not on purpose. But it was dangerous to own. And I have no doubt someone would have killed me to possess it themselves."
Teddy gave Draco a sideways glance. "What would you have done with it?"
"Teddy, that's an unfair question," Harry answered before Draco could.
"I disagree," Draco said.
"It's irrelevant. What matters is who you are now."
Draco put up a hand to silence Harry. "But he was asking about who I was then. And, actually, what I would have done with the wand is what ended up happening anyway. So, I guess it doesn't matter."
"Which was?" Teddy asked eagerly.
"I would have turned it over to the Dark Lord in order to keep my family safe. He would have had it one way or another."
"He wouldn't have simply let you turn it over, Draco. Surely you realize that," Harry said. "He would have killed you to truly possess it, the way he killed Snape, because he thought Snape was the true owner."
"Then I suppose I would have died," Draco said matter-of-factly.
"And I wouldn't have been able to defeat Voldemort," Harry added.
Draco paled a bit. "It's a good thing I didn't know, then."
Both Harry and Draco sat contemplating how one small change could have completely altered history. In the meantime, their food had arrived and Teddy dug into his Shepherd's pie. Harry's pork roast and Draco's lamb chops steamed in front of them as they glanced at one another. Harry discreetly took a hold of Draco's under the table. He smiled.
"I bet you wouldn't have," he said quietly.
"If you'd had the wand," Harry clarified. "I bet you wouldn't have given it over. I can't say for sure what you would have done, but if you couldn't hand me over to him, you couldn't have handed the most powerful wand in the world over to him."
Draco smiled weakly. "I think you give my teenage self much more credit than he deserves."
Harry released Draco's hand and began to eat before his meal cooled too much. He sported a smirk that told Draco he still thought he was right.
As Draco cut into his lamb, Teddy casually asked, "Why were you bad?"
"Teddy-" Harry was cut off.
"It's very complicated," Draco told the boy. "Why don't we enjoy our meals and you can ask me anything you want to know when we get home. Okay?"
Nodding, Teddy replied, "Okay."
Upon finishing their lunch, Harry, Draco and Teddy then headed back to Grimauld Place. Teddy put his new things in his room while his fathers relaxed in the sitting room.
"What are you going to tell him?" Harry questioned.
"But, I mean, how much?"
"As much as he wants to know. I'm not afraid of my past anymore," Draco said.
"He is only eleven. I think you still need to censor yourself a bit. Don't you think?"
Teddy appeared in the doorway.
"I guess we'll find out," Draco said. "Come here Teddy bear." He held out his arms and gestured for the boy to sit next to him.
Teddy did as asked and the three sat quietly for a moment. Finally, Teddy blurted out, "Did you kill anyone?"
"No. Not that I'm aware of," Draco answered honestly. "I did hurt people. I defended myself when necessary and occasionally I hexed people." He glanced at Harry apologetically.
Harry resisted the urge to interrupt, telling Teddy that it wasn't Draco's fault he was on the wrong side. But he bit his lip and sat in silence.
"However, I did do many things I'm not proud of. Some of them were simply cruel, like things I said to other students. Others were dangerous and could have resulted in injury . . . or death."
Teddy sat wide-eyed and hanging on Draco's words.
"You know I was a Death Eater. And Death Eaters rarely did good things. But I only did it to try and help my parents."
"I know," Teddy nodded. "What sorts of things did you do, specifically?"
"I poisoned a bottle of mead meant for . . . someone important. And a necklace. Unfortunately, the wrong person touched it and she ended up in hospital. And . . . Sixth year I-"
"Draco," Harry interrupted. "I don't know if Teddy needs to hear all the details. After all, you aren't the only one who did bad things." Harry was hoping that Draco would get his meaning. As honest as they wanted to be with the boy, he didn't need to know about the Sectumsempra incident. Only a handful of people knew about it, so it was doubtful Teddy would hear of it from another source.
Draco nodded. "Suffice it to say, I did too many things I am not proud of to name."
"Are you sorry?" Teddy asked.
He turned to the boy and placed his hands on the small shoulders for emphasis. "More sorry than I can ever say, or make up for. Most of the time, I regretted what I was doing, as I was doing it. But I was too weak and frightened to rebel. Voldemort was going to kill me, and maybe my parents, if I didn't do what he told me. I wasn't like Harry. I wasn't brave. I wasn't going to sacrifice my life the way Harry did."
After a moment, Teddy simply said, "Okay."
Draco frowned. "Is that all?"
Teddy shrugged. "I think I can understand. I would be scared if someone said they were going to kill me, or you. I would do whatever they wanted."
Pulling Teddy into a hug, Draco sighed in relief. He looked up to see Harry smiling. It had taken a while for Teddy and Draco to build up a rapport when Draco first moved into Grimmauld Place. But now, they truly were like father and son, as if they always had been. A question from Teddy brought him out of his reverie.
"Did you do anything bad Harry?"
Harry laughed. "Of course I did. I was a kid too, once upon a time. And you know perfectly well kids do things they shouldn't once in a while."
Harry's expression turned a bit more serious. "I broke an awful lot of rules at Hogwarts. But I did it for the greater good. Not just for kicks." He tried to convey to Teddy that he did not expect his son to be breaking Hogwarts rules without spelling it outright. "And sometimes I got in a lot of trouble for it."
Draco rolled his eyes.
"What?" Harry questioned.
"I'd hardly say you got in a lot of trouble. If anything, Dumbledore rewarded you every time you broke the rules."
"He did not." Harry paused. "Okay, sometimes. But it was only because I did it for the good of the school, or the whole wizarding world."
Draco snorted. And this time Harry knew it was directed at him. "Yeah. When I tried to do the right thing, it always came back to bite me in the arse. Like the time I reported you, Weasley and Granger for being at Hagrid's after lights out."
"But you were out of bed too."
"All right, so maybe that wasn't the best example. But everyone hated those of us that joined the Inquisitorial Squad for Umbridge."
"She was pure evil. She wore a bloody horcrux around her neck," Harry snickered.
Pouting, Draco crossed his arms over his chest. "I was a kid, doing what my Headmaster told me to do. I was following the rules. And you're still making fun of me for it."
"Oh, Draco, I'm just kidding."
Draco stood. "I'm going to make tea. You can continue to regale Teddy with your acts of heroism and getting away with murder."
He walked out in a bit of a huff. Harry and Teddy tried desperately not to laugh until Draco was out of the room.
"I guess I shouldn't have teased," Harry said. "It really wasn't an easy time for him. But I thought he was over it, because he's such a different person now. I'll have to apologize later."
"It sounds like you and Draco didn't get along very well in school," commented Teddy.
"No, we didn't. At all. You've heard some of the stories."
"Yeah. But you usually laugh about them. Draco actually seemed angry."
Harry's brow furrowed. "I think you going off to Hogwarts has brought up all of the old rivalries."
"Oh, sorry," Teddy frowned.
"I didn't mean that it's your fault," Harry assured him. "I just meant that I thought we had gotten past all that. I hadn't thought about my Hogwarts days in a while."
"You didn't like Hogwarts?"
Harry laughed. "No, just the opposite. It was home. Much more so than the house I grew up in. But it was also stressful. Our Houses were fierce rivals. I don't think it's like that anymore. You can be friends with kids from other Houses, too."
Harry looked at the clock on the mantle.
"I'd better get ready for work."
"I wish you didn't have to work so much."
"Me too, Teddy bear." He ruffled the boy's purple hair and got up to leave. Draco passed him with a tray of tea and chocolate biscuits on his way into the sitting room.
"You're not having tea?"
"Sorry, no. I have to get ready for work," Harry replied.
"I didn't think you were going in tonight. We only have a few more days with Teddy before he's off to school." Draco glanced at the boy. "Teddy, would you please fetch the milk?"
Once he was out of the room, they continued their conversation.
"I know," Harry said. "But if I want that Head Auror position, I'll have to put in extra time."
Draco's jaw tightened.
"It'll be good for us in the long run." Harry placed his hand on Draco's arm. "How about if I take Monday off, so we can have two full days with him before we take him to the station on Tuesday?"
"I can't leave the shop short staffed on Monday. That's when St. Mungo's picks up their potions for the week. I thought we were going to have the whole weekend."
Sighing and running a hand through his already tousled hair, Harry suggested, "Maybe it would be good for you and Teddy to have one on one time tonight, then I can spend the day alone with him on Monday. That way we can each really focus on our time with him."
"All right," Draco relented. "Although it seems as though Teddy and I are on our own quite often lately."
Harry kissed Draco's cheek. "I know. I'm sorry love. It will all be worth it though."
"Of course," Harry replied, smiling. "As Head Auror, I'll be making almost thirty percent more money. If we invest properly, Teddy will be set for life."
"Meaning what? He won't have to work when he's older?"
"Well, it means he won't have to worry about money," Harry clarified. "He can do what he wants. Maybe open up a business for himself. Or buy a big house."
"The Dragon's Lair will be left to him," Draco said.
"But what if he doesn't want to make potions for a living? He could have any career he chooses without worrying about how much he'll earn. He could be a . . . I don't know, a librarian if he wants." Harry tried to think of a low paying, yet noble profession.
Draco frowned. "So you're encouraging him to aspire to mediocrity?"
"No, that's not what I'm saying. Don't twist my words."
"Harry," Draco sighed. "If we make it too easy for him, he'll become complacent. He won't challenge himself and reach his full potential. Why do you think I haven't claimed my inheritance all this time?"
"To stick it to your father."
Draco laughed. "All right, that's partly why. It does piss him off to see me living in what he considers to be a hovel. But more importantly, I wanted a life of my own making. Do you think I would have worked so hard if I knew I could just dip into a family fortune whenever things got difficult? And I notice that you're not trying to live off the gold in your vault either."
"There's hardly enough there to live a lifetime," Harry said. "You know that. It's for emergencies, and hard times, should they ever arise."
"Still, we've dipped in so rarely. And we don't need to, because we're successful, because we work hard."
"I know," Harry was starting to sound annoyed. "We're doing it to give Teddy a good life though, aren't we?" He steered the point back to his original gist.
"I just think he'd rather have you around more, than have money. I know I would," Draco said gently.
Looking away, Harry couldn't really find argument with Draco's statement.
"I want to give him everything I didn't have when I was young."
Draco smiled. "You have. You're a good father."
"I think maybe you're a better one." Harry hugged Draco tightly then released him. "I've really got to get ready. I have to leave in a few minutes or I'll be late."
"All right. Teddy and I will fend for ourselves tonight," Draco replied, sounding a bit dejected still.
Teddy came back into the room with a carafe of milk and two pieces of pie Kreacher had made the day before. Harry kissed his forehead before walking up the stairs to change into robes.
Draco plopped himself onto the couch with a sigh.
"So, what do you want to do tonight? Play a game? Watch a movie?"
Teddy pursed his lips and furrowed his brow. "Hmm." then he grinned.
"Oh, this can't be good," Draco smirked.
Sitting up straight, Teddy answered, "I want to go bowling, tenpin."
"Tenpin." Teddy picked up a biscuit. "You know, it's a muggle game where you throw a ball at pins-"
"I know what it is," Draco protested. "But you do that with Harry. Why don't you wait and go with him on Monday?"
"Because I want to go with you."
"Why?" Draco couldn't help wrinkling up his nose.
"It's fun," Teddy replied, taking a sip of his tea. "And they do glow bowling on Saturday nights."
"I'm afraid to ask."
"It's when they turn the regular lights off and use black lights so everything glows. And they play loud music." Teddy grinned.
"Sounds brilliant," Draco deadpanned.
"So can we go?" Teddy gave his best hopeful expression and changed his hair to pale blond.
Draco grumbled, but then thought about how much he would miss the boy once he left for school. He wanted their last few days together to be filled with happy memories.
Teddy's mouth dropped open. "Really?"
"Really." Draco laughed at the boy's expression. "We can even get pizza for supper while we're there."
Jumping up quickly, as if Draco would change his mind if he didn't move fast enough, Teddy exclaimed, "I'm going to change into trackies." He stopped and turned. "You're going to change, too, right?"
Draco looked down at his outfit, dress trousers with a shirt and tie.
"I won't wear trackies, but I'll change into something more casual."
Harry, dressed in his Auror robes, stood in the doorway, blocking Teddy's way.
"Harry, Draco's taking me tenpin bowling!"
"He is?" Harry's eyebrows raised.
"He is," Draco confirmed. "But I'm going to spell the shoes clean before I put my feet in them."
"I wish you were coming too, Harry," Teddy said, jutting out his lip just a bit.
"Me too." He moved out of the way to let the boy pass. He could hear Teddy humming happily on his way upstairs.
"I tried to talk him into waiting until Monday to go with you," Draco shrugged, his tone apologetic.
"No, I think it's good that you're branching out with him. Maybe he'll want to make potions with me," Harry laughed.
They both laughed. While Harry was quite competent at potion making, he was certainly no master. Even Teddy understood some of the theory behind it better than him.
"And then you can have a catch with him," snickered Harry.
Still smiling, Draco said, "I suppose we've each been influencing him a bit with our own interests. Do you think he actually likes the activities we choose, or is he simply going along with it in order to spend time with us?"
"I'd like to think it's a bit of both," Harry said. "Perhaps he's trying to turn the tables on you by taking you bowling."
"I wonder what he has in store for you then."
Harry picked up a handful of floo powder, ready to throw it into the fireplace. He regarded Draco solemnly. "I'm sorry for teasing you earlier. And I'm sorry you feel like you're on your own a lot."
Draco wanted to say it was all right, but it wasn't. Not really. He simply gave a small smile. "Should I wait up?"
"Probably not. We're staking out a suspect tonight. I have no idea when I'll be home."
He tossed the floo powder, stated his destination, and was gone in a glow of green.
"Bloody hell," Draco grumbled as he watched the black ball roll into the gutter for the fourth time in a row. He plopped himself down on plastic molded chair with an avocado green cushion. "Can't I just watch you bowl? I'm pants at this."
Teddy laughed,opening his mouth wide enough to reveal his half chewed pizza. He swallowed when Draco grimaced.
"If you'd let me show you how to do it, you might not be so bad."
"I know what to do," Draco said indignantly. "You put your fingers in the holes and roll the ball at the white things."
"They're called pins," Teddy laughed again. "But there's more to it than that. You have to aim and hold the ball properly. It's kind of like swishing a wand." He gasped and looked around. "Oops. I guess I shouldn't say that here."
"It's so bloody loud, I don't think anyone could possibly hear you."
Teddy slid off his chair and went to the ball return to retrieve his ball. It was bright red with orange and yellow flames encircling it. He picked it up and stood on the dots marking his particular mark. He paused, then took five steps, swinging his arm back. By the time he brought his arm forward to release the ball, his left leg was slid right up to the foul line and his right was tucked gracefully behind him.
Standing motionless, he watched as all the pins fell down.
"Strike!" Teddy shouted and did a little leap in the air. "Did you see that, Dad?"
Despite Draco's annoyance at his own performance, he grinned at Teddy's success. Perhaps more so that Teddy called him Dad. Not that Teddy never called him that. He would refer to both Harry and Draco as Dad. However, they all found it less confusing if he called them by their names at home. Shouting for Dad always got him two responses.
"That's brilliant Teddy bear!"
The boy blushed and glanced over at the girl in the next lane over. She giggled behind her hand.
"Can you not call me that when we're out?" Teddy slumped into his chair and tore off a piece of his pizza.
Draco frowned. "I suppose you're getting a bit old for it, huh?"
Teddy nodded. "A bit." His eyes scanned the girl again.
Leaning in, Draco said, "Girls like teddy bears, you know."
The boy blushed again.
"But you're right. Is Teddy still okay? Or should we start calling you Ted? Or Edward?"
Teddy wrinkled his nose. "No. Teddy is still fine. It's your turn again."
Draco groaned and got up to retrieve his ball from the machine. He stood at the end of the lane. "I can't believe I let him talk me into this," he muttered to himself.
"Make sure you slide on your left foot this time," Teddy called out.
Taking a deep breath and hoping he wouldn't make a complete arse of himself, Draco started down the lane and tried his best to imitate those around him. Fortunately, the ball didn't go into the gutter. Unfortunately, only three pins went down.
"That's okay. You get a second try," Teddy encouraged. But to Draco it simply felt patronizing.
Three more pins went down the second time. Draco sat back down next to his son.
"At least I have a score now," he joked.
"You'll get better," Teddy smiled.
He was wrong.
By the end of the game, Teddy's score was a respectable one hundred-three. Draco managed to squeak out a miserable fifty-two.
"This is utterly humiliating. Are you ready to go yet?" Draco asked, only half serious.
"We paid for two games each."
"I know. Would you like another drink?"
"Okay. Can I have a hot dog too?" asked Teddy.
"You're still hungry after that pizza?"
The boy nodded.
Pulling some muggle money out of his pocket, Draco handed it to Teddy.
"Could you bring me a Coke while you're at it?"
"Sure. By the way, you're up first this game. Take your turn and I'll be right back." Teddy practically skipped off to the snack bar. As Draco watched, he figured it was worth his humiliation.
Reluctantly, Draco got up to take his turn.
"You're bringing your arm back a little too far," a voice said from behind.
Draco stopped and turned around. A man sitting in the next lane smiled kindly.
"Sorry?" Draco practically had to shout.
"I could give you a couple of pointers if you'd like," the man shouted back.
"Um . . ."
The man stood. "It's okay, I'm an instructor here. Is this your first time bowling?"
"That obvious, is it?" Draco asked sheepishly.
The man retrieved Draco's ball from the return before he could.
"Well, here's half you problem. This ball is much too light for you. It's a child's ball." He leaned in a little closer in order not to have to shout.
"Oh. I didn't know there were different kinds. I just took the first one I saw."
"I'm Travis by the way." He held out his hand.
Draco tentatively shook it. "Draco."
Travis' eyebrows raised in question.
"It's a nickname," Draco added quickly.
"Nice to meet you Draco. First thing you need is a new ball." Travis pursed his lips. "Your fingers are so slender, though, I don't think the adult house balls will be a good fit. Here, try mine."
Travis got his own ball and handed it to Draco.
"Bloody hell that's heavy," Draco said, surprised.
"It may a little heavy for you, but you won't have to toss it so hard, like that other ball. Come on, try it."
Draco rolled the ball down the lane, with not much more success.
"I think it's bloody useless."
"No, that wasn't bad. You just need a few adjustments," Travis told him.
"Here's your drink, Draco," Teddy appeared with a puzzled look on his face, eyeing up the new man.
"Thanks Teddy. This is Travis. He's a bowling instructor who has decided to take pity on me and help me out."
"Hi," the boy said warily. "Um, Paulie is here tonight. Can I go to the arcade with him?"
"He's a boy that Harry and I met a few times here before. So can I?"
"What about our game?" Draco questioned.
Teddy bit his lip. "Well, you can get a lesson while I play video games, then we can bowl together again. Please?"
Draco looked around and saw a red haired boy waiting by the door of the arcade area. On further inspection, Draco could see that the girl from earlier was inside.
"Hmm. All right. For a little while. Do you still have money?" He ruffled Teddy's hair.
"Draco," Teddy said through gritted teeth. "You're messing up my hair."
"Sorry Teddy be—oops. I forgot."
Teddy took his hot dog and change, and met up with his ginger muggle friend.
"Looks like you're all mine now," Travis said to Draco.
Draco swallowed and blushed.
"For your lesson, I mean," Travis clarified.
"What about your group of friends?"
"Oh, we were finished anyway."
Looking over at the other man and two women sitting at the table, Draco hesitated.
"Come on, give it another try." Travis handed the ball over.
Self-consciously, Draco took it and stood at the end of the lane.
"I've noticed that your ball hooks just a bit to the left. Take a small step to your right," instructed Travis, who suddenly seemed all business, putting Draco more at ease. "And why don't you try a four step approach?"
Draco frowned. "Sorry?"
"Your legs are quite long. You don't need five steps on the approach. Start on your right foot and end on your left. Slide it a little more at the end, but don't go over the foul line. And aim for that third arrow from the right, not the pins."
Nodding, Draco tried to concentrate on his footing, along with holding and throwing the ball. He was realizing that there was a lot to keep track of.
He watched the ball roll down the lane, closer to the middle than all of his previous throws. He turned excitedly when nine pins went down with a loud crash, a wide smile on his face.
"You should smile more often," Travis told him, causing the smile to falter.
"The most I knocked down during the whole first game was five."
"You've almost got it." Travis moved closer. "Move over one more board.
Draco looked down at the floor and saw that it was indeed measured by boards.
"You're still bringing your arm too far back. Just bring it this far."
Travis stood behind him and gently pulled his arm back. The close proximity made Draco uncomfortable, yet, he enjoyed the attention. The ball came back up through the ball return with a bang, breaking the tension between the men.
Travis cleared his throat. "Go ahead. Give it another go."
"But there's only one left. How am I supposed to hit just one?" Draco asked nervously, as Travis was still standing within a few inches of him.
"You might not," Travis chuckled. "But you won't know if you don't try." He backed up a few steps.
Draco picked up the ball and slid his fingers inside. But once again, Travis' hands were touching him.
"Turn your wrist slightly," he said as he demonstrated. "There. See how that works. And don't forget, aim for the same spot."
Distracted by the handsome stranger, Draco stood still, allowing the man to keep his hands on him a little longer than what might be considered socially acceptable.
"All right," Draco finally said.
Travis stepped back and let Draco take his turn. The ball rolled down the lane, but hooked a second or two early, missing the last pin standing.
"It was a good try," Travis said cheerfully.
"Well, at least I don't think I'll embarrass Teddy now. Thank you for your help," Draco said, intending for that to be the end of their interaction.
"You're very welcome," Travis gave a warm smile. "I don't recall seeing you in here before."
"Oh, well, I haven't been. But my son has come here with my husband," Draco replied, knowing that Travis didn't recognize Teddy because he wore his hair dark when he was with Harry.
"Your husband? Well, that's a disappointment. And that boy is your son?"
As flattering as the comment was, Draco felt terribly guilty for allowing Travis to think that perhaps he had a chance with Draco. He didn't mean to lead him on in any way. But with Harry so often preoccupied with work, Draco sometimes felt neglected. He knew that was no excuse.
"I'm sorry," Travis chuckled when Draco didn't respond. "I tend to be a little forward. It's hard to meet nice men." His brow furrowed. "You seem too young to have a son his age, if you don't mind me saying."
"We adopted him when he was eight," Draco told him. "Technically, he's my second cousin, though."
"Oh, I guess that's why he looks like you."
"We're off, Travis," a woman called out. She winked at him as she waved.
He waved back and rolled his eyes. "Bye Lizzy."
The other woman and man with her also waved, and the three of them left.
"My sister," Travis said. "She's always trying to set me up, so she's probably got the wrong idea here."
"I had a friend like that. She wouldn't stop pestering me for dates with nearly every gay man she met," Draco laughed, recalling Pansy's efforts when they were younger.
"I think I need a beer. Would you like one?" Travis asked.
"Um . . ." Draco wouldn't have minded one, but he was reluctant to send out any more wrong signals.
"No strings, I promise," Travis smiled. "I'm not in the habit of trying to break up families."
"All right," replied Draco, pulling some more muggle money out of his pocket.
"I've got it," Travis said.
"No, I insist," Draco countered. "I need to repay you for your help. I'm quite certain a private lesson is worth much more than a beer, though."
"I'll be right back." Draco left to go to the small bar area. As he walked, he silently berated himself.
What the fuck are you doing? he asked himself, feeling a bit like he was buying another man a drink. In fact, he was, but he'd already justified it. And Travis got the message.
Then why do I feel like such a tosser right now?
He ordered a couple of beers, not pints— he didn't want to get a buzz— and walked them back to the lane. Travis had put away his ball and changed his bowling shoes, thus removing the social buffer between them.
"Thanks," Travis smiled brightly as Draco placed the drink down in front of him. The man appeared far too relaxed and confident for Draco's taste. He was probably used to getting what he wanted, Draco figured. His hair was a thick, wavy chestnut mane, and his eyes were a crystal blue. Handsome, by anyone's standards, for certain.
Draco remained standing. "Look, Travis, I'm sorry if I gave you the wrong impression earlier. I'm very happily married, and Teddy is the joy of my life. I don't go out much on my own and I'm afraid I took advantage of your kindness."
"Not at all," Travis waved a hand. "Please, sit. Your boy is still having fun in the arcade anyway."
Peering into the game room, Draco could see Teddy laughing with the ginger haired boy as they played a rather aggressive game of air hockey. The girl from earlier was nowhere in sight.
Draco sat across from Travis so he could see Teddy.
"So, what do you do?" Travis asked, then took a swig of beer.
"I, um, own a curiosity shop of sorts," Draco replied. It was his standard answer to muggles.
"Really? What sorts of things do you sell?"
"Magic tricks and novelty items, among other things," Draco tried not to laugh.
"I sell insurance," Travis told him, sounding almost embarrassed.
"Oh, I thought you said you were a bowling instructor."
"I am. But it's only part time. Even if it were full time, it wouldn't pay enough. I do it because I like people, and I happen to be very good at bowling." He shrugged.
Draco was reminded of his talk with Harry. A part of him thought perhaps Harry was right. If Travis didn't need to worry about money, he could have been an instructor full time.
Maybe he and Harry should try to set Teddy up after all.
The men shared some light, polite conversation until Teddy returned from the arcade. He had run out of money, but walked away with prizes that he had gotten when he traded in his tickets.
"Hey, Dad, look at this!" Teddy exclaimed, showing Draco a rubber bouncy ball that lit up in different colors.
"Well, that's fairly obnoxious," Draco laughed.
"And I got a yoyo and a bunch of sweets too," the boy smiled, then stuck out his blue tongue.
"Teddy, what are you doing?" Draco asked in a bit of a panic, thinking Teddy forgot himself and was using his metamorphmagus talents.
"Sorry. I wasn't sticking my tongue out at you. The lolly turned it blue. I was just showing you."
"Oh, okay. Are you ready to bowl your last game?"
Teddy's shoulders slumped slightly. "Would you be mad if I didn't? I'm kinda tired and I want to go home."
"No. That's fine," Draco smiled. Frankly, he was relieved. The cacophony inside the bowling alley was beginning to give him a headache.
He stood and gave a nod to Travis. "Thank you again. It was nice to meet you."
"Same." Travis held up his cup in cheers.
As Teddy and Draco walked out of the establishment, Teddy asked, "So now that you know how, will you come bowling with me and Harry?"
"I would rather face a Norwegian Ridgeback without my wand."
"Come on, it wasn't that bad. You even made a friend."
"I'd hardly call him a friend," Draco was quick to say. "It takes a lot more than a cursory meeting to become friends. I highly doubt we'll ever meet again. However, by some miracle, he was able to teach me how to bowl. Sort of." Draco laughed. "I would love to see my father's face if I told him that."
Teddy laughed as well. Though Draco and his father's relationship was still somewhat strained, Lucius was a decent grandfather to Teddy. mainly at Narcissa's insistence. The boy joined in the laughter, knowing what sort of pureblood snob Lucius was. He would never be caught playing a muggle game.
When they arrived home, Teddy put on the telly and snuggled up with Draco on the sofa. Soon, he fell asleep, and Draco carried him up to his bedroom to tuck him in. After that, Draco went back downstairs to wait up for Harry.
"Draco," Harry whispered as he gently tapped Draco's shoulder. "Draco."
Yawning, Draco slowly opened his eyes and smiled. "Harry. What time is it?"
"Half-one. I told you not to wait up for me."
"I wanted to. I needed to tell you something." Draco sat up, trying to rouse himself.
"What is it? Can't it wait?" Harry asked.
"No. I was thinking about our conversation this afternoon. I think you're right about giving Teddy a head start."
Harry sat down next to him. "So, what prompted this?"
"I was having a beer with someone I met at the bowling alley. And he said—"
"He? You had drinks with another man?"
"What? No. It was just one beer."
"What's the difference?" Harry asked.
"Drinks implies a date of some sort," Draco explained. He was beginning to regret initiating this conversation before fully waking. "I only bought him a beer to make up for giving me a bowling lesson."
"You got a bowling lesson?"
Draco sighed. He wanted to get to his point, not talk about Travis.
"It's really nothing. I was even worse at tenpin than I thought I'd be. An instructor took pity on me and helped me out while Teddy went to the arcade with a friend."
Harry did not look happy.
"Anyway," Draco continued. "Travis was telling me about his job and . . . what's wrong now?"
"What did this Travis look like?"
Shrugging, Draco answered, "I don't know."
"Well, what color was his hair? His eyes? How tall was he?" Harry badgered.
"Why?" Draco questioned. Harry just stared, waiting for an answer.
Draco sighed again. "He had brown wavy hair and blue eyes. I guess he was about an inch or two taller than me." He decided not to mention that his hands were large but still slender, like his own.
"Hm. I wish my witnesses were able to give such detailed descriptions. You must have spent a good amount of time with him."
Trying his best to keep from sighing again or rolling his eyes, Draco offered, "Well, I don't think Teddy was gone for more than forty-five minutes or so."
He could see Harry's jaw tense. "The two of you sitting and having a beer together. People must have gotten the wrong idea."
"Only his sister, apparently." Draco winced at Harry's reaction to that.
"You mean he was gay? Oh my god, he hit on you, didn't he? And you had a fucking drink with him? Were you flirting with him in front of Teddy?"
"No, Harry. No. I wasn't flirting with him at all. I swear."
"But he was flirting with you?"
Silence. Draco didn't want to lie. It would only make things worse.
Harry stood, angry. "I can't fucking believe you. I was out all night working hard, for us. And you were out making eyes at another man. In front of our son!"
"No, that's not how it was. He offered me a bowling lesson. That's all. He was just a nice bloke. I didn't even know he was gay until he said he was disappointed that I have a husband."
Harry snorted, a habit he had picked up from Draco himself.
"And did you at least leave then?"
"No," Draco answered shamefully. "Teddy was still playing video games. But I told him, Travis, that I was happily married."
"What?" Draco cried. "What do you mean by that?"
"Is this the first time you've done something like this, or do you pick up a man every time you take Teddy out by yourself?"
Feeling his anger rising, and now fully alert, Draco was trying desperately see Harry's side of it. But now Harry was just being unreasonable.
"If I didn't have to spend so much time on my own, I wouldn't have to."
"Was that a yes?" Harry's mouth dropped open. He went from looking furious to like his best friend died in an instant. Draco remained stubbornly silent as they stared at one another.
"I'm fucking exhausted," Harry finally said, all of his energy gone. "I can't do this right now. You can just stay out here tonight."
Harry turned and went upstairs to their room alone, leaving Draco shellshocked.
How could he have let Harry believe that he was cheating on him? It was about the worst thing Draco could have done. He got that empty feeling inside. The one he got when he would pick fights in school. He was good at being cruel, and his words cut deeply. But cutting someone else down never made Draco feel better about himself. In fact, it made him feel worse.
Tears fell as he lay his head down on the cushion. He could only imagine how Harry was feeling at that moment.
Draco groaned as he opened his eyes. His body ached from sleeping on the sofa in an odd position. Not to mention, he was a bit too long for it.
The smell of something delicious wafted from the kitchen and he could hear the clanking of dishes. His curiosity piqued, Draco made his way down to the kitchen to find Teddy at the stove, Kreacher by his side.
"Master is making a big mess for Kreacher to clean," the house elf said.
"I'll clean it up," Teddy offered.
The elf wrung his hands, as though the mess was causing him physical pain.
"Oh, good morning," Teddy said cheerfully when he noticed Draco. "Kreacher let me make pancakes the muggle way this morning."
Draco raised his eyebrows in surprise.
"Master Teddy tricked Kreacher."
Teddy laughed at the elf's statement. "I didn't trick you. Cooking is like potion making. Just different ingredients and way to cook it."
"Clever," Draco smiled. "It smells wonderful."
"Is everything okay?" Teddy asked, flipping a pancake
"I saw you sleeping on the couch. Did you and Harry have another fight?"
"I was an arse."
"What did you do?" Teddy asked, carrying two pancakes on a spatula over to a plate on the table. He dropped them down, then slid the plate in front of Draco.
"I didn't tell him something I should have," Draco replied. He inhaled the scent of the flapjacks.
"You lied to him?" Teddy's eyes widened. He had never known Draco to lie. In fact, he was often brutally honest with people. Though, he did know how to stretch the truth with his clients. But Teddy had often heard Harry chiding Draco for being too truthful with the boy.
"No, I didn't exactly lie. I let Harry believe something that wasn't true and it really hurt him." Draco dropped his head down on the table. He felt a warm hand on his shoulder and looked up, hopefully. Teddy, not Harry, was standing next to him.
"What was it?"
Draco thought a moment. He certainly didn't want to drag Teddy into his and Harry's arguments. Neither did he want to brush the boy off. He didn't know what Teddy thought of his time with Travis, and he needed another perspective.
"Harry didn't like that I had a beer with that bowling instructor."
"He . . . thought it sounded too much like a date," Draco told him.
"That's silly," Teddy laughed. "You can't go out on a date if you're married."
"Quite right," nodded Draco. "But I didn't tell Travis I was married right away. And I think he misunderstood."
Teddy walked back to the stove to pour some batter into the pan. He stood with his back to Draco, quietly waiting for the pancakes to cook. When he turned back around to plate them, Draco could see the worry on his face.
"What's wrong, Teddy bear?"
Teddy sat. "Are . . . are you and Harry going to break up?"
Reaching quickly across the table to take Teddy's hand, Draco assured him, "No. Absolutely not. We just had a misunderstanding."
"You've been having a lot of those lately."
"I know. The last thing I want to do is fight with Harry. We don't get enough time together as it is. When Harry lost his memory and I took him in, we spent all day, every day, together. I miss that. But I know he's working hard to become Head Auror. It's important to him."
Draco stood. He hadn't touched the breakfast Teddy made for him, and the boy frowned.
"What are you doing? You didn't even eat."
"I need to fix things with Harry. Right now. I'll eat later, I promise."
He bounded up the short stairs and rounded the corner, nearly bumping into Harry.
"Oh, you're up. I was on my way to see you."
They stood facing each other in silence. Suddenly, Draco wrapped his arms around Harry.
"I'm so sorry. I never should have even talked to Travis."
"Draco, you can talk to other people."
"I didn't mean what I said last night. I've never tried to pick anyone up, I swear. I never wanted to. I love you."
Harry pulled back to look at Draco. "I know. I didn't think you did."
"We were both angry. I knew you said that just to piss me off. And I let you think I believed it just to make you feel guilty."
"I didn't even get to the point I was trying to make last night," Draco said.
Harry smiled sadly. "Yeah, that's right. You said I was right about something."
"About Teddy. It is worth setting him up so he can have the life he wants." Draco hesitated bringing up Travis again, but he needed to make his point. "That man I— we met yesterday, the bowling instructor, was actually an insurance salesman. He would rather have been a bowling instructor full time, but it didn't pay enough. So, he needed another job." He paused, waiting to see Harry's reaction to the mention of Draco's drinking partner. When Harry seemed receptive, he continued.
"It got me thinking about what you said about Teddy. I want him to be able to choose a job he loves, and not have to worry about money so much. I'll try to be more supportive about you becoming Head Auror."
One corner of Harry's mouth raised.
"Does that smile mean you forgive me?" Draco asked.
"Draco, you haven't done anything that begs forgiveness." Harry pulled him into a hug.
They broke apart but remained close.
"I never will," Draco said.
"I know. I heard what you said to Teddy."
Draco pulled back. "Everything?"
"Yes. I didn't intend to. But he seemed to have a lot of questions and I didn't want to interrupt."
"You were being honest. It struck me that you felt you could be honest with him, and not with me."
Lowering his head, Draco apologized. Harry gently lifted his chin to look him in the eye.
"I want you to tell me how you feel, even if you think I won't like it. I've been so busy trying to work my way up through the Ministry, I didn't realize you felt left behind. Teddy, too, though I know he would never tell me that either. It's killing me to think that the two people I love most in the world are the ones getting the least of my attention."
"Harry, we know you're working hard for us." Draco fisted Harry's shirt. "We understand."
"Well, I don't," Harry said. "You were the one who was right. Teddy would rather have had my time than the extra money I've been earning. If I become Head Auror, I'll be spending even less time with the two of you. Now Teddy's off to school, and I feel like I've wasted so much time I could have had with him."
"He knows you love him."
"It's not enough to know. He has to feel it. You both do. When you mentioned to Teddy how we used to spend all of our time together, I remembered how it felt to fall in love with you. Everything was so simple."
Draco laughed and relaxed his hold on Harry. "Simple for you, perhaps. I was falling in love with a man who didn't remember that he hated me."
Harry chuckled. "If you had only known I was already half in love with you even before I lost my memory. I really have always put you through the wringer, haven't I?"
Sighing, Draco gazed at Harry. "You're worth it."
"But being Head Auror isn't. Not if it's going to cost me you and Teddy."
"What are you saying? You're not going to apply for the position any more? Harry, it's what you've been working for," protested Draco.
"What I've been working for is a better life for all of us. And now I know what that means."
Draco waited for Harry to continue. He was secretly pleased that Harry was willing to curb his ambitions, but also felt a little guilty, as his own business was flourishing. In fact, he had been mentoring the apprentice who replaced Mirabelle for three years and was ready to open a third branch of The Dragon's Lair in Germany, with him in charge. Draco hadn't been able to begin those plans, however, because he was often Teddy's primary caregiver and hadn't the time.
"The best time of my life was spent getting to know you in your little flat above the shop, and working with you side by side every day," Harry said, interrupting Draco's reverie. "Losing my memory was the best thing that ever happened to me. And, ironically, I seem to have forgotten that," Harry gave a little laugh. "I'm going to resign."
"What?" Draco blinked.
"I know you've had to put off opening the shop in Germany because of me. Crispin is more than ready to run it." Harry took Draco's hands in his own. "I know I'm no Mirabelle when it comes to potions, but I want to come back and work with you."
Draco stood dumbfounded. He was hoping, expecting even, for Harry to say he was giving up Head Auror, and maybe even cutting back his hours. He wasn't prepared for Harry to announce he was quitting altogether.
"You would do that for me?" he asked quietly.
In a quick move, Draco's lips were on Harry's. They kissed with a passion they hadn't felt in some time. Draco moaned into Harry's mouth as he pressed his body up against him.
Harry broke the kiss, but still remained close enough that their lips brushed lightly while he spoke.
"It feels like forever since we've done this," he whispered. "But Teddy's in the next room. We'll have to save it for later."
"I'll hold you to that," Draco breathed, before taking a step backward.
They managed to compose themselves before walking into the kitchen hand in hand. Teddy smiled broadly as he noticed. He was just about to place a plate of fresh flapjacks on the table.
"I made breakfast Harry," he said proudly.
"Brilliant. I'm starving," he returned. Harry sat down at the table, and Draco sat next to him, in front of his now cold pancakes.
"Don't east those," Teddy said. "Take some hot ones." Teddy couldn't hide his grin as he handed a new plate to his father. Draco caught his eye and the boy's smile widened. He gave a plate to Harry, who began piling on pancakes.
"What are you up to?" Draco asked.
"Nothing," Teddy shrugged. He pointedly looked over at Harry, then looked back at Draco.
"Were you eavesdropping?"
Teddy blushed. "I wasn't trying to."
"Then I guess the cat's out of the bag," Harry said. "How do you feel about it?"
"You working at the shop? It's great! I'm so glad you're not fighting anymore. And now I won't have to worry . . ." Teddy trailed off.
"Worry about what Teddy bear?" asked Harry.
Teddy frowned. "I know some people think our family is odd. But I like it. I was afraid that while I was at school, you'd fight even more and then . . . we wouldn't be a family anymore."
Both Harry and Draco rose quickly from their seats, stumbling over the chairs and one another to get to Teddy. Harry got to him first and pulled him into a hug, while Draco reached around from the other side, creating a Teddy sandwich.
"That will never happen," Harry said emphatically. "Even when we disagree and argue, Draco and I love each other. And no matter what, you will always be our son. We both love you more than anything. You don't ever have to worry about that."
"That's not all I was worried about," Teddy confessed.
"What else?" Harry questioned.
"Your job is dangerous. I heard you say one time that the man who's Head Auror now gets death threats sometimes."
"Hm. We have to work on that eavesdropping problem," Harry smirked.
"I was worried about that too, Teddy," Draco added.
"Well, neither of you have to worry about that anymore. You'll only have to worry about potions blowing up in my face," Harry joked.
"You're really going back to the shop?" Teddy asked excitedly.
"Yes. If Draco will have me."
"Crispin will be heading off to Germany eventually to open up the new branch. I'll need a new assistant . . ."
Butterflies fluttered in Draco's belly at the thought of working side by side with Harry again. Except this time, Harry wouldn't be glamoured and everyone would know he was working there.
"Assistant?" Harry raised his eyebrows.
"Everyone else had to apprentice for three years before they could move up. You don't want me to play favorites, do you?" Draco snickered.
Harry gave him a light kiss. "Actually, yes, I do."
"Yuck." Teddy stuck out his tongue, but he was still smiling. He was beyond relieved to see his fathers back to loving banter and displays of affection. He wasn't going to let on, though. "Get kissy-kissy when I'm gone. Right now we have to plan out our last day together."
The following days were bittersweet. Though Harry and Draco had resolved their conflicts, they were sad to be sending their son off to school. By Tuesday morning, the three of them had shared excitement and tears alike. And before they knew it, Harry and Draco were waving to Teddy through the window of the Hogwarts Express. In a couple of years Bill and Fleur would be joining them. And Ron and Hermione a few years after that.
"I can't believe he's off already," Draco sighed.
Grasping his hand to leave, Harry smiled. "Who'd have thought, when we moved in together, that you would miss Teddy as much as me."
Draco laughed. "There were times I could have turned him into a mouse and put him in a cage."
"I think he wanted to do worse to you," Harry joked.
"He did, if you recall," Draco said. "He ruined many a meal for me with his pranks."
The laughter died down as they stepped through the platform into the muggle train station.
"I'm really going to miss him," Draco said quietly.
"We got a letter from Teddy!" Harry exclaimed, walking to the back of the shop after turning the 'open' sign to 'closed'. In his hand he held a roll of parchment.
He sat down on a stool next to Draco in the back room where the blond was staring intently into a cauldron.
Without looking away, he asked Harry, " What does it say? I can't read it just now. I've got to put the valerian in right before boiling."
"Shall I read it to you?"
Harry cleared his throat and began to read.
"Dear Harry and Draco. I'm sorry I haven't written in a while, but I've been very busy."
Laughing, Draco commented, "He forgets that we were once First Years."
Harry continued. "The new Potions professor is great. I think she likes me because she lets me do some independent study after I'm finished making my potions. Another boy, called Craig, and I are allowed to make some potions that the rest of the class only read bout."
"There is a Halloween dance next weekend. I'm dressing as a wolf and Craig is dressing as a vampire. Another friend, a Slytherin muggle-born, is going as something called a Spice Girl."
"Hm, it sounds like he's got a little trio of friends like you did," noted Draco. "I wonder if this Slytherin girl is as bright as Hermione."
"Yes, I was thinking the same. Except for the Houses, of course. It's an unlikely mix— a Slytherin, a Gryffindor and a Hufflepuff."
Draco leaned closer to his cauldron. He released his handful of crushed valerian into the potion, causing it to bubble up suddenly. "There." He sat back on his stool and looked over at Harry for the first time.
"I can't believe it never occurred to either of us that Teddy would end up in Hufflepuff, like his mother," Draco shook his head with a smile.
"It's probably for the best. The poor boy was so worried about disappointing one of us," Harry said.
He continued to finish Teddy's letter. "I can't wait to come home for Christmas. But I'm having a great time here. And I love being in Hufflepuff. I miss you both. Love, Teddy bear."
They looked at one another, neither needing to voice how much they missed the boy.
Rubbing his hands on his trousers, Draco stood. "Well, this one's finished. It has to sit overnight before I can bottle it."
"Good. I'm hungry. Any word from Crispin?"
"He owled yesterday," Draco told him. "Other than finding the aconite in Germany inferior, things are going smoothly. I thought I'd take a quick trip there tomorrow and bring him some aconite from our distributor."
"Tomorrow?" Harry questioned. "Who's going to run the shop?"
Draco looked at Harry teasingly. "You of course."
"What if someone wants a special potion or . . . or dragon's blood or something?"
"Relax, Harry. I'll only be gone a little while. Even if I were here, special request potions are never delivered same day. And I suppose I ought to change the charms around the dragon's blood to include you. I have every confidence in your abilities to run the shop. And Anora will be here to help you."
"All right," Harry smiled. "Ready to go?"
"One minute. I want to show you something."
Draco motioned for Harry to follow him. He continued silently up the stairs to the flat that was once their home. When they reached the top, Harry questioned him.
"What are you doing? This is Crispin's place."
"Not anymore," Draco replied.
"Oh, right," Harry said. "But what are we doing up here?"
"I set it up the way I used to have it," Draco told him. "The way we used to have it, I mean."
Harry saw that it was. The chair Draco used to transfigure into his bed was there. The shelves with Draco's books were back, along with some of Harry's books. He smiled when he looked to the kitchen area, recalling their first kiss in front of the cabinets. Even the same duvet covered the bed shared during their courtship.
"Wow, this does bring back memories," Harry commented.
"Good ones," Draco said hopefully.
"The best," Harry answered, taking Draco's hand. "It was so simple then. Just you and me."
"And now it's back to just you and me. I thought maybe we could hide ourselves away in here sometimes, where Kreacher won't disturb us," Draco snickered.
Stepping up slightly on his toes, Harry pressed his lips lightly to Draco's. "I wonder if you've managed to put everything back in its place."
Smirking against Harry's mouth, Draco whispered, "Why don't you take a look in the top drawer."
Harry couldn't hide his grin as he opened the chest of drawers to find Draco's old Slytherin tie and a bag from Tickle Your Fancy. He picked inside.
"They're new," Draco told him. "And I didn't even wear a glamour when I went into the shop to buy them." He blushed.
Harry pulled out a set of fur lined hand cuffs.
Before he could protest, Draco said, "You don't have to wear them. You can put them on me."
"We'll just see where these take us first," Harry said, taking three more items out of the bag. "I think I know what I want to do with them."
He tossed the toys on the bed, along with the tie, and grabbed Draco by the waist, pulling him down on the bed. They kissed leisurely, working up a couple of hard ons.
"Draco," whispered Harry. "Make love to me."
Draco began to unbutton Harry's shirt, but then took out his wand and Vanished both of their clothes. He hovered over his lover, leaving soft kisses across his chest and collar bone, and up Harry's neck.
Spreading his legs wide, Harry pulled Draco's hips to his own.
"You're so impatient," said Draco. "I want to tie you to that vibrator first."
Carefully winding the silky tie around Harry's cock, Draco bound the dildo to him.
"It's not too tight?"
"No," Harry said, breathlessly. "It feels good. It's heavier than I thought it would be."
"Wait 'til I turn it on," grinned Draco.
"Not yet. I want to use that other thing on you. If it's for what I think it's for, it looks wicked."
Harry reversed their positions and picked up what looked like a string of fat beads. He grabbed the tube of lube and squeezed a bit out, coating the toy.
He quirked an eyebrow. "Cinnamon?" Harry laughed. "I'll never be able to eat Molly's cinnamon buns again without thinking of you lying here with this thing in your arse."
"There's one more thing there," Draco reminded him.
"Are you sure?"
"Do these open with a wandless Alohomora?" Harry asked as he picked up the hand cuffs.
"No. There's a key."
"They're not magical," Draco told him.
A giggle escaped Harry's mouth. "Oh, I think this is going to be pretty magical."
Draco lifted his arms above his head and waited for Harry to cuff him to the head board. Harry's hands trembled with anticipation, threading the chain through the wrought iron design. He clasped the first one closed over Draco's right hand.
"You're sure?" Harry asked one last time.
"I'm sure. I trust you one hundred percent."
Harry closed the other cuff with a click.
"Just don't lose the key," Draco joked. He looked Harry in the eye while he drew up his knees and spread them wide.
"Merlin, that's a sight," murmured Harry.
Slowly, he eased the anal beads into Draco's arse. When the first ball was fully enveloped, Harry paused.
"Is that all right?"
Draco nodded for him to continue.
Harry pushed the toy in until another ball was hidden inside. When Draco didn't protest, he carried on.
As the fourth ball disappeared from view, Draco grunted.
"Too much?" Harry asked, concerned.
"Just right," Draco replied. "It's . . . oh, it's in just the right place," he breathed. "Get on, now."
Eager to comply, Harry quickly spread some lube on Draco's cock and straddled him.
"Oh, I almost forgot," he muttered. He grabbed his wand and set the dildo to vibrate. An involuntary shudder went through him as it stimulated his cock.
He took a moment to revel in the feeling before settling down on Draco's erection.
"Fuck, that's good," Harry said. He sat still, letting the dildo do its magic. He closed his eyes.
When he opened them again, he saw that Draco had his own eyes closed, and his mouth wide, breathing heavily.
"And I thought you were a sight before," Harry grinned.
Opening his eyes, Draco responded, "I can feel the vibrations. Harry, you'd better start moving so we can get some fucking in before I burst."
Harry laughed softly and began to raise and lower himself on his lover.
"Oh, yeah," whispered Draco. "Have I told you how fucking brilliant you are?"
"I seem to recall you mentioning that before," Harry chuckled.
Sliding leisurely up and down Harry kept his eyes on Draco's, watching him come undone. The corner of his mouth lifted when he realized he hadn't been taking advantage of Draco's bound state. He picked up the abandoned wand and turned off the dildo.
"What are you doing?"
"I was getting too close. And I want to make this last," Harry replied.
He leaned forward and licked across one of Draco's nipples.
Draco's hands tugged helplessly at the cuffs. "Oh, you're evil."
"I've only just begun," Harry grinned, climbing off and scooting down Draco's legs. He gave the end of the anal beads a tug.
"Ah," Draco cried out.
Harry continued to pull until one of the beads popped out.
"Fuck. Keep going."
Shaking his head, Harry delighted in teasing his love. "In good time." Instead, he gently worked the toy around in a circle, eliciting another cry.
Draco fruitlessly tried to move his hands against the cuffs. "Harry, please."
Another bead was pulled out. "Is that better?"
"Fuck, Harry. You know what I want. Get back on."
"I just wanted to hear you beg," Harry grinned. He pushed the toy back in, making Draco cry out again. He straddled Draco once more and turned on the vibrator.
Draco pushed his hips up, the only control he really had over Harry. The weight of the bead string put pressure on Draco's insides with every thrust. Coupled with the friction on his cock, the movements quickly brought him to the edge.
"Damn. I wish this could last forever, but I'm going to cum."
"Me too." Harry began to bounce hard, up and down. "Yeah. Oh, Drake."
While he came, spilling out all over the tie and dildo, Draco came inside him, watching his lover's face. Harry leaned over to kiss him. He groped for his wand to turn off the vibrator. Sensing that Draco was feeling particularly vulnerable, Harry unlocked the cuffs and allowed him to remove the bead toy himself. After a clean up spell, they cuddled together under the covers.
"You called me Drake. You haven't done that in a while."
"Is that okay?"
Smiling, Draco replied, "It's perfect. I feel like we're finally back where we started."
"I promise I'll never take you for granted again."
"Don't make promises you can't keep," Draco said.
Harry smiled, recalling that Draco had given him that warning before. "Then, I promise I'll learn from my mistakes. How's that?"
"That's good," Draco softly laughed. "I will too. I want us always to be this happy."
"We will. I promise." When Draco opened his mouth to speak, Harry repeated, firmly, "I promise. I'm far too in love with you to ever let this go."
Yeah, I know. Super corny.