Title: Reap the Hurricane
Disclaimer: J. K. Rowling and associates own these characters; I am writing this story for fun and not profit.
Pairings: Harry/Draco, Ron/Hermione, other canon pairings
Warnings: Angst, violence, sex
Summary: After the war, a number of people who despair of fixing the wizarding world seek to emigrate to new, magical, but uninhabited worlds where they can live in peace. On the eve of his journey to a world called Hurricane, accompanied by his friends and godson, Harry discovers that Draco Malfoy's name is also on the list of immigrants.
Author's Notes: This is planned as a fairly short novel of 19 chapters, focusing on angst and drama. The title is, as is probably obvious, a variant of the saying, "Sow the wind, reap the whirlwind."
Reap the Hurricane
Chapter One—A World Broken, A Life Without
Harry sighed and put down the paper on the table, then went to wake Andromeda and Teddy. Andromeda would spend another hour or so dozing in bed, but still preferred to have Harry rather than a Tempus Charm wake her up. Teddy needed to be up so that Harry could corral him into the bath with the minimal amount of splashed water.
Teddy's eyes were already open and his head turned towards the door of the room when Harry knocked. Harry smiled and came in to pick him up and nuzzle his forehead against Teddy's. Teddy giggled and did it back to him.
"Ready to wake up and face the day?" Harry asked, switching Teddy to the side so he could carry him more easily on his hip.
"New day!" Teddy said, and waved his hands through the air, his hair changing to a mixture of lime-green and canary-yellow stripes. "No bath!"
Harry kept smiling, but turned the corner towards the bathroom quickly. Teddy began wailing, and tried to change his body into something softer and more slippery, something that could slide out of Harry's hold and hide itself quickly in a corner. Luckily, he wasn't very good at that yet.
"No bath!" Teddy shrieked in Harry's face as Harry plopped him straight into the middle of the bathtub and turned on the water.
"Soon enough, you'll get your wish," Harry muttered, and prevented a break for freedom up the sides of the tub. Soon Teddy's arms and hands and face were appreciably scrubbed, and Harry had just worked in a handful of shampoo when he heard the distinctive chime of the hearth that announced a Floo call.
"Aunt Hermione!" Teddy screeched, on the basis of no evidence, and tried to jump out of the tub and run towards the fireplace.
Harry wrestled him back into place, and ignored the chime as it sounded again. Anyone who had any business contacting him at this time of morning knew about his routine and would just wait until a more convenient hour. And as for people who had no business contacting him, Harry was tired of them. "Not right now," he said, and began to wash the shampoo from Teddy's hair. Teddy closed his eyes against the water and howled as pitifully as though he hadn't just spent yesterday afternoon jumping into puddles for fun.
"No bath," he whispered.
"No baths in Hurricane," Harry agreed, and gave a quick swipe to Teddy's legs with a washcloth, followed by Cleaning Charms, before he lifted him out. Frankly, he was less concerned about those bits of Teddy that other people wouldn't see.
Teddy's clean hair changed to purple with orange polka dots the moment he felt the water fall away. He hadn't inherited his father's lycanthropy, but he sure hated the water as much as any dog, Harry thought, sitting him on the toilet and starting to dry him. Teddy used the loo, a recent big-boy achievement he was very proud of, and then waited while Harry dried his hair and held out the toothbrush for him.
"No baths in Hurricane!" he said, laughing up at Harry, and then pointed accusingly when Harry cast a few Cleaning Charms on his own hair. "No bath for you."
"No," Harry agreed, and held out his hand. Teddy snatched his, and Harry led him into the kitchen, calling Andromeda as they passed the door of her bedroom. She muttered something and rolled over in her sleep. Harry thought he would have to take that for now. He picked Teddy up and set him in the specially adapted chair that kept him from falling down when he was at the table. "Older people don't always have to take baths."
"Older people," Teddy mimicked, in a deep analysis of the unfairness of the universe, and then saw the small cubes of cheese Harry was setting out and forgot about all the unfairness but that of not having the food immediately inside him. "Cheese, cheese, cheese," he said. "I want cheese." He bounced up and down in his chair, and this time his hair turned a slightly nauseating mixture of orange and yellow.
"Yes, yes, coming," Harry muttered, and dumped them in a bowl along with some of the corn that Teddy hadn't eaten last night.
"I want cheese now."
"Use the right word," Harry told him, and waited until Teddy had muttered an ungracious "Please" before he handed over the impromptu breakfast and reached for the cup of tea he had abandoned on the table when the owl came in with the Daily Prophet.
The Prophet was still lying over on the other side of the room. Harry gave it an absent scowl. The lead story was one that he didn't want Teddy catching a glimpse of, because he would know some of the people in those pictures and the situation was more complicated than Harry wanted to explain to a two-year-old.
Although I doubt even the Ministry could explain why Bill was arrested just for walking down the wrong street at the wrong time.
It ran deeper than that, of course. There were so many things that someone like Bill could be arrested for, these days. For being a blood traitor's son, for example. Or for having a Veela wife. Or for bearing the werewolf scars on his face that could "frighten someone," the justification for the last time he was arrested.
Harry scowled. Bill was near losing his job as a Curse-Breaker at Gringotts. This last arrest might be the push that would make the goblins sack him. Harry hoped that he quit first, that he told them he was going to Hurricane in a few days and wouldn't need the scraps of work they were offering him anyway.
The Floo chimed again. Harry turned towards it and waved his wand to open it, making sure that he kept his body between the hearth and Teddy. An attack from that direction had only happened once, but it wasn't the kind of thing you forgot.
Hermione's face appeared, so anxious that Harry felt his gut twist. He ignored the guilt for dismissing the call earlier, though. He had been busy with Teddy, and he couldn't have known that this would turn out to be an unusual morning.
"If this is about Bill, I already know," he said gently. "The Prophet really doesn't leave you in much doubt."
"Not that," Hermione said. "I was looking at the list of people who are going to Hurricane."
Harry paid attention at that. Such lists were supposedly kept secret, so that no one could follow an old enemy to a new world and continue the grudge there. But it was open knowledge that they were traded back and forth in the Ministry and that people were placed on more desirable ones according to the bribes they could afford, so Hermione had made sure that she had access to their list, if only to protect all of them.
"Did they drop off Victoire again?" he asked, feeling his stomach twist. "Or Angelina? I know that George said she ought to be safe after the last bribe that he paid to the Wizengamot, but—"
Hermione shook her head. "It's a name that's been added." She took a deep breath of the kind that she used when she thought Harry was going to explode into a lightning-hurling fit. "Harry, it's Draco Malfoy."
Harry stared at her for so long that he thought he could feel the tea chilling in his hand, and Teddy demanded grapes. Harry got up to get them, but shook his head as he did so.
Malfoy's father was in prison and his mother had fled England when it became clear that the Wizengamot probably wouldn't excuse her, or any of the adult Death Eaters, unless they could come up with money that they didn't have. He had every reason to want to stay here. For the most part, it was people who could gather up their whole families who were going to emigrate.
"You're sure that it's not a guess?" Harry asked when he came back to the fireplace and could give Hermione his full attention. "Or a random misprint?" Some of the Ministry officials would write down names that someone had simply told them, and were prone to guessing on unfamiliar accents or words gasped down a speaking tube or through a dirty hearth.
Hermione shook her head. "I asked a few people who knew, and they confirmed it's definitely him. I think he's given up on his parents."
Harry shut his eyes. They were going to Hurricane to leave old grudges behind, to ensure that Teddy and Victoire had the chance to grow up in a world that wouldn't eat them alive for their associations with the Weasleys and Harry Potter, but that wouldn't work if one of the old grudges came with them.
"I'm going to go talk to him," he said abruptly, standing up. "But I'll stop by Gringotts first."
"Harry, you can't," Hermione said, and her eyes flickered with the vivid fear that had become a part of all their lives since the war, as the Ministry fell in on itself with corruption and public fears encouraged arrests of them one day and ridiculous valorization the next. "We'll need the money for the crossing at the border—"
"I have a plan for that," Harry said, and smiled, not pleasantly. As he had thought would happen, that shut Hermione up. She was well-aware of the way that Harry had held himself back the last few years, because there was Teddy, and he could protect his friends better by speaking softly and carrying a lot of Galleons than throwing around his reputation, which would only work once.
Hermione thought he would intimidate the guards on the portal to Hurricane. Harry had something different in mind. After all, they were leaving forever.
But for now, he had another task in mind. He called to Andromeda, told her in the tense voice she wouldn't ignore that he had something to do and she would have to get up and take care of Teddy for the moment, and then stepped out of the house. He had to walk several dozen steps before the anti-Apparition wards ceased and he stood in the middle of what looked like a normal street in Hogsmeade.
If the fates are kind, there won't be any need for those wards in Hurricane.
But for now, it was time to go and make sure that they wouldn't need them. Harry Apparated, calculations as to the amount of money left in his bank vault running through his head. Bring too little and Malfoy wouldn't back off; bring too much, and he might think he could get greedy.
Harry would have to handle this just right. Yes, he could always do to Malfoy what he planned to do to the border guards, but that would cause an unfortunate amount of confusion and noise just before they were due to leave Earth, and the emigration had already been delayed several times.
Wheezy's soft voice made Draco look up from the Prophet and his idle scanning of its many justifications for Bill Weasley's arrest. Wheezy was the only house-elf left to him now, and she bowed with a creaking dignity that made Draco feel a little better. He sat up and attempted to nod back with the same dignity.
"What is it, Wheezy?"
"Harry Potter is at the gates, to be seeing Master Draco," Wheezy said, and then went still and looked at him with liquid dark eyes.
Draco blinked. He reckoned he should have expected this, but he hadn't. He sat still for a moment, hands strumming the paper, and then nodded and stood up.
"Show him to the White Drawing Room, please, Wheezy," he said, and stepped out of the dining room to take the long way there. As he walked, he cast Cleaning Charms and Refreshing Charms, smoothing down his hair and picking food out of his teeth. He wanted to look his best when he met Potter, not for any specific reason but because he thought that was the best way to do it.
He stepped into the White Drawing Room two minutes later and found that Wheezy had lit a fire, which cast a soft yellow glow on the pale walls and whiter furniture. Draco took a seat on the most comfortable couch and waited, wondering how Potter would open the conversation. He could think of at least three ways, but didn't know which one was most likely. He had lost that instinctive sense of being able to predict Potter's movements once they left Hogwarts.
If you ever had it.
Draco smiled slightly and leaned back against the couch. He could evaluate his own actions as a child more easily now, but the random clots of colored emotions that drifted across his mental vision when it came to Potter were hard to see through, still.
Potter stepped in, a taller and more slender figure than Draco had expected. Then again, public photographs of Potter had been rare since he quit Auror training to take care of his godson. He stood where he was, one hand clenched low at his side. Draco sat up and regarded him with silent attention.
"How much?" Potter asked at last, and that was none of the three ways Draco had thought this would go. He blinked and cleared his throat.
"How much what?" he asked. "I don't know what you've come about."
"How many Galleons to transfer your name to some other list, some other world, for emigration?" Potter asked, in a voice that growled, and took a single step closer. "Because you're not coming to Hurricane."
Draco smiled slowly, and didn't rise to the challenge in any way. "I don't see why not," he said. "My aunt and my cousin are going there. They're the only members of my family I have left, now. I'd like to connect with them, and that seems easier to do in a new world than in this one."
"You still won't come in contact with Teddy," Potter said, and coiled like a snake. "I'll make sure of that."
"I was under the impression that my Aunt Andromeda was equally his guardian," Draco said, and stretched his eyes wide. "Has that changed? Has she signed custody entirely over to you now?"
Potter watched him. Then he said, "I have no intention of letting someone who despised Teddy's dad and Teddy's mum near him. You may be his cousin. That doesn't mean much when you hate his parents, you hate his grandparents, and you hate his guardian. He doesn't need more changes in his life right now."
"Which, of course, is why you're emigrating to a new world that won't have most of the comforts of home," Draco sighed, and laughed silently when Potter glared at him. "In truth, Potter, I don't despise my aunt or Teddy. I was uncomfortable with his father, yes, but he proved himself more than just a werewolf. I think I can keep that out of my conversations with Teddy. And I never had the chance to know my cousin Nymphadora. As for more general blood prejudice, I'm content to leave that to rot in my father's cell with him. It won't do me much good in Hurricane."
"Why are you leaving your parents?" Potter asked. He was still poised, but perhaps he had accepted that Draco wouldn't attack immediately. He shifted to place something on the floor behind him, and Draco heard the clink of coins.
"I don't see why I should have to answer that," Draco said. "Unless you want to answer why the Great Harry Potter is reduced to giving bribes."
Potter showed his teeth. He still hadn't sat down. Draco gestured at the nearest chair, behind him, but Potter didn't appear to notice the gesture, or let it into his consciousness if he did. "It's the only way to get anything done in the wizarding world these days," he said. "Although it seems it won't work with you." He tilted his head in silent question.
"The Wizengamot isn't going to free my father this side of doomsday," Draco answered. "I thought at first they would, when I saw how many of the pure-bloods in the Ministry managed to achieve power and turn against your lot, but that's not the way it works. They're preying on the weak, not people who were on one side of the war or another, and if you don't have enough money, you don't play."
Potter nodded. "And your mother?"
Draco shook his head. He still had trouble thinking about the last letter his mother had sent him, full of excuses and pleadings and demands for money. Those were the hardest to ignore, but Draco would leave her his Gringotts account when he exited England, and that would have to do. What would he do with gold in his new world? "Does not matter."
Potter spent some more time regarding him. Then he sighed and nodded. "Even if you hate me, you might do Teddy good, as long as you don't hate any of his blood family," he muttered. "Fine. Come along. But if I hear you say one word to him that sounds like you're criticizing his parents…"
"You won't," Draco said. What good would those words do me? "And you don't mind if I hate you?"
Potter snorted. "Too many people in the world whose hatred could affect me more." He picked up the bag of Galleons, thought about it for a moment, and then added, "In both worlds." He turned away.
Draco sat up and fired back in spite of himself, because he had spent too many years at the very bottom of Potter's list of dangers. "And you think you can judge, just from this, that I won't be any trouble? The Great Harry Potter, reading the hearts and minds of men?" It was one specific line the Daily Prophet liked to trot out, on those days when they were on Potter's side.
Potter paused and tilted a small smile back at him. "I'm relying on my judgment, yes," he said. "I came here to bribe you, but obviously that judgment wasn't correct. I still think that you could cause trouble with the Weasleys or someone else whom you hate because you can't let the past go. But if it's only with me, I'll control myself."
"And if it's not?" Draco asked. It was true that he wanted to go to Hurricane because of Teddy and Andromeda, but he didn't like the thought of living in close proximity with Weasleys.
Potter's small smile grew, although Draco could only witness half of it because Potter was standing in profile to him. "Then you should think about how far Hurricane is from the Ministry, and the way that so many of the people there will like me," he said gently. "Just think about it, that's all." He turned away.
Draco stared at his back. Then he said, "You wouldn't dare—you wouldn't dare kill someone you'll need to help you resist the winds. A full-grown wizard who's capable of powerful magic will be more valuable than any aggravation I cause."
"Not if that aggravation breaks up work lines and makes people distrust each other," Potter said, without turning back around. "As for the labor that killing you might cost us…" He spread his fingers and blew between them.
A wind picked up, howling around the room, whipping the curtains back and forth and rattling the small ivory models of dragons on the mantelpiece. Draco shrank back into the couch despite himself, and then gasped as an invisible, giant hand covered his mouth and nose. His lungs shrieked for air, and his eyes watered as he tried not to expose the depth of his panic to Potter.
The hand vanished the moment before Draco would have given in and shouted for help. Potter lifted his shoulders in a shrug and turned to give him one more dose of that faint smile before he walked out of the Manor.
Draco breathed deeply, refusing to allow the quick breaths his body wanted, and listened until he heard the front door shut.
Then he stood up and went to write an owl to Gringotts. He needed money of his own, and even if he planned to leave the vast majority of it to his mother, this was a reasonable expense now. He wanted to know everything current about Harry Potter, all the gossip that circulated through the Ministry and the stories that were more substantiated than that, from the people who would still talk to him.
He had thought in terms of sharing a world with his aunt and cousin before. He wondered now whether having a whole one between him and Potter would be enough.
Bill came home late that evening, still shaken from the encounter, but free. Fleur was waiting for him, holding Victoire, and Harry was there with Teddy, and Ron and Hermione, and Percy, more anxious than any of them. He still clung to tattered vestiges of belief in the goodness of the Ministry, but complemented it now with silent claps of the back and handshakes every time one of his siblings came out unscathed from an encounter.
He pounded Bill's back now, second only after the embrace that Bill got from his wife and daughter, and then stepped back. Bill turned to Harry, his face pale and his scars shining.
"Everyone else is safe," Harry answered him. "Your mum and dad are still packing, George and Angelina are establishing those final wards on the joke shop, and Charlie's coming in from Romania tonight. And Ginny's securing all those high-altitude brooms for us from the Harpies," he added as an afterthought. Ginny had made some good money in the past few years as a Seeker, and she was returning it for the most part to the team who had given it to her, buying brooms and leather Quidditch gear and whatever else she thought might give them an extra chance on a high-wind planet like Hurricane.
Bill shut his eyes and nodded. "The day after tomorrow," he murmured. "That's going to make it all worthwhile."
Fleur closed her eyes and hugged him silently. Victoire danced around her parents, holding up her arms and whining gently, until Ron picked her up and held her. "I cannot believe eet," Fleur whispered. "The world…eet was supposed to be better after the war, yes?"
"It was," Harry answered. "But it isn't, and this is the way that we're dealing with it."
Fleur nodded, and then she and Bill turned away in a manner that signaled, to Harry at least, that they were done talking for the night. Harry raised his eyebrows at the others, and Ron bore Victoire off to put her to bed. Percy departed through the Floo after one more hug of everyone in sight. Only Hermione lingered, staring anxiously at Harry.
"Malfoy said that he wanted to emigrate to Hurricane to be near Teddy and Andromeda," Harry answered her. "Andromeda's a grown woman and can decide what she wants to do. And I don't mind him being near Teddy as long as he can control himself when he talks about Remus and Tonks."
"But you?" Hermione asked. "And what about Ron and the others, and how they're going to react to him?"
Harry thought of the scars on Bill's face, the way he was sure she was doing, but shrugged. "He won't take a bribe. We don't have the time to bribe other people to get his name taken off the list. I don't think I could threaten him into backing off." Hermione bit her lip, but nodded. Harry had developed into a good enough judge of character since the war that the others relied on him when deciding if there was someone they needed to bribe or talk to or confront, or someone they could trust. "I did warn him that Hurricane is a long way from anywhere he's loved or valued, and it's in his best interest to get along with the neighbors."
"Oh, Harry, you didn't," Hermione said, the way she always did whenever Harry showed off his wandless magic.
Harry simply shrugged, feeling the words bump along in his mind like stones. I'm going to protect Teddy and my friends no matter what happens. The world I saved immediately collapsed into feuding and fighting over the scraps from before the war. I don't have an obligation to it.
I'll guard you. No matter what happens.
No matter who I have to kill to do it.