Hey everyone! Here's the next chapter! I hope you like it and understand Harry's actions/reactions. Thank for all the reviews; sorry if I haven't answered you yet but I'm really busy with work and the holiday. To all my American readers: Happy Thanksgiving!
******** ******** Chapter 17******** ********
A knock sounded at the door and Harry led the large group inside. "Ok, guys; we have a situation. First of all, Draco has forgiven Blaise. So he and Luna are now in our circle of friends. They'll need coins, Mione."
"I'll make them now." The bushy-haired girl nodded.
"Also, they've brought something horrible to my attention. Do any of you recall who Pansy Parkinson married?" Harry looked at his friends.
"I think it was McLaggen… I dated him that one time in sixth year." Hermione cringed. "He was all hands …and a beast to begin with."
"Why, Harry?" Ginny asked. "What does it matter who she married?"
"It's not that I care who she married, Ginny. I told you how she spoke to Draco that time and you all know that she wanted to hand me over to Voldemort at the final battle. I have no good feelings toward the girl at all, but she was a friend of Draco's for a long time before the war." Harry said sitting on Draco's chaise. "She's also a friend of Blaise and Luna's. Why don't you tell them what happened last evening, Blaise?"
The darker man stood with a grimace. "She came over to visit the apartment Luna and I live in and filled our heads with a horrible story of Harry forcing Draco to marry him and then raping him during the consummation." Blaise told them. "Draco had always been a good friend to me so I hated to imagine him in that type of situation and resolved to make up with him and get the truth as soon as possible."
"You got the true story, then?" Ron demanded. "We can all see how much Harry cares about Draco."
"Yes, Draco told me that the Boy-Wonder loves him…" Blaise smiled at Harry. "And considering the way Draco defended him – he Loves Harry just as much."
"Here's where the plot thickens: we believe McLaggen inflicted that on Pansy…" Harry informed his friends frowning in displeasure. "To make matters worse…she's just completed the law's requirement: she's pregnant…and although I may not like her – or her actions – nobody deserves that type of treatment. I even made a public statement to that effect – if anyone cares to recall."
"Yes, we've all heard your thoughts on the subject, Harry." Theo gave a grim nod.
"Good. Now – Draco and Luna went to the Headmistress' office to inform her of our suspicions regarding McLaggen and they should be able to…" He paused as his coin heated up in the palm of his hand.
Luna's Blue-Jay Patronus entered the apartment and spoke with her voice. "Hurry! Headmistress' corridor!"
Blaise and Harry looked at each other and ran out the door after drawing their wands and demanding that the pregnant people remain behind with at least one protector. So Hermione, Seamus and Lavender stayed in Harry and Draco's apartment with Neville and Ron while the rest followed on Blaise and Harry's heels.
When they arrived, the Headmistress was there with Draco, Pansy and Luna while an auror was glaring at a bound McLaggen.
Harry breathed a sigh of relief upon seeing that Draco and Luna were safe. He rushed over to his husband's side and the two embraced. Blaise and Luna could be seen in a similar position with Blaise's hand over Luna's stomach. When Theo, Ginny and Dean got there and saw that everyone was fine, they went back to Harry and Draco's apartment to wait.
"Harry!" Draco cried. "I'm so sorry!"
"Shhh... Calm down, love. Now, why are you apologizing?" Harry whispered. "What happened, Dragon?"
"We did what you told us to, Harry." Draco began. "Luna and I went to the Headmistress' office and reported a possible case of domestic abuse and I felt the coin heat in my pocket, but I couldn't look at it right away. When she called the Aurors, they asked her to summon the accused and his spouse. I asked to be excused so I could come and get you, but they said that I had to stay because McLaggen deserved to face his accusers."
"Did you tell the aurors that I was one of the accusers?" Harry asked, glancing at the nearby auror.
Draco grimaced. "I didn't think of that."
"It's ok, Draco, I didn't think of it either." Luna comforted him before continuing the story from there. "He and Pansy came into the room and sat down. They were informed of the charges and Cormack was given a chance to dispute them. Instead, he turned and slapped Pansy. He started yelling about how nothing was sacred and how dare she tell the world his secrets."
"With witnesses, it was easier to admit what was really happening." Pansy broke in with a guilty tone in her voice. "I'm sorry I lied to you, Blaise. I wanted to be able to give Cormac a clean memory if he asked whether I'd told anyone. If I didn't… he'd have hurt me far worse than what he'd already done."
To his credit, the other man stayed silent as he nodded to acknowledge her apology.
"The Headmistress ordered him to stop but instead he cast Petrificus Totalis on her and the aurors. Then he came after me, since I was closest to them." Luna went on. "Pansy blocked his view of me and Draco cast a shield charm over both of us as we ran into the corridor. That's when I sent my Patronus."
"And I used the coin just before he turned on me…" Draco said quietly. "When he went running after them, he started going on about how Hermione never put out and how you unfairly kicked him off the Gryffindor Quidditch team in your sixth year. He called you meddlesome, Harry, and me an ass."
Harry smirked and tried to lighten the tension. "He was wrong, there, my love; you used to be an ass…but no longer."
Draco shook his head. "Thanks, Harry. That's so very helpful."
Blaise had a smirk as well and Luna was giggling, but Pansy's sad but soft smile was what made him relax in Harry's arms.
"So, I pointed my wand at him and told him to lower his. He said no and started to duel with me. I got him with a few minor jinxes but he couldn't seem to get me in his sights." Draco told them.
"Potter's luck must be rubbing off on you, Draco." Blaise chuckled.
The blond snorted. "Finally, I got him with a Stupefy and once he was down, I used Petrificus. Then I got Luna to help free the aurors and the Headmistress."
"The aurors bound him with an Incarcerous just before you showed up with Blaise." Pansy finished for them.
Harry nodded slowly and held his husband close, relieved that he was safe.
"I find myself feeling quite fatigued. Can someone see me home please?" Pansy asked quietly.
"Mrs. McLaggen, you will be awarded a swift divorce and full custody of your son. Is there somewhere you wish to stay other than your marriage apartment?" Headmistress McGonagall asked gently.
"I wish there were someplace else I could go, Headmistress. My mother passed at the start of the war and my father...well, we all know where he is." The sad young woman seemed resigned to a lonely life. "As long as I'm still in school, I have a place to sleep. That's something, I guess. I'll just have to try and make it on my own."
"Wait!" Harry heard Draco say.
"What is it Mr. Malfoy-Potter?" The Headmistress asked, turning toward him.
Draco glanced at Harry's face and then back at Pansy's. "What if there was someplace for you to go?"
"I guess that depends on where and with whom that someplace was...but I'd love to get away from the memories of his abuse." She sighed and turned to speak with the aurors as the beginnings of a bruise blossomed on her left cheek.
Harry could see the wheels turning in the blond's head even as they remained in close contact.
Draco whispered to his husband. "Harry... if I asked you for a huge favor would you say yes?"
Pansy glanced at him in confusion.
Harry frowned down at him. "Maybe...and maybe not...what kind of favor?"
"Harry, can't she stay with us?" Draco asked holding one hand out to Pansy. She clung to it, eyes wide.
"Aww, Dray..." Harry shook his head wanting to say no. "I don't know…After the way she wanted to turn me over to Voldemort last year and how she spoke to you when we announced our marriage agreement, do you really want her in our guest room?"
"You said yourself she was only trying to protect herself. Come on, Harry; she's getting divorced and she's pregnant…Please?" Draco pleaded. "She's spoken to me much worse than what you heard that time."
Harry ran his fingers through his hair and felt an incredible compulsion to refuse this request. He looked at Blaise who shrugged.
"She could maybe stay with us…but I don't know if I can handle two pregnant women at once." He looked almost afraid.
"Please, Harry? With her dad in Azkaban, she's got nowhere else to go…she'd be all alone in the dorms with no friends…What if she has complications?" Draco's lower lip began to tremble and Harry knew he was lost.
He looked down into Draco's silver pools and sighed. "Alright, Dray; I guess she can stay."
"Oh, Harry! Thank you! Thank you so much!" Draco beamed at him. "She'll be no trouble at all! I promise!"
"What am I; a stray puppy, Draco?" Pansy's eyebrow rose at the blond's comment but she only shook her head and turned to stare at Harry. "Really? That's it? All he has to do is pout a little and you say yes? What kind of Dominant are you?"
"Pansy, are you going to look a gift-horse in the mouth or just move into our guest room?" Harry asked her while rolling his eyes.
"So...wait, you can forgive what happened last year?" She questioned in disbelief.
Draco stood back from his husband and let Harry handle this.
"Listen Pansy," Harry faced her. "You said what you did at the final battle because you thought it would save your life…right?"
She nodded slowly as he took her hands.
"I don't blame you for wanting to live and trying your best to make that happen." He told her. "You were a close friend of Draco's – and if he can forgive you for what you said back in September – then so can I. This is a confusing and overwhelming time: You're newly married, pregnant and getting divorced, all in a one month span. I can understand that you wouldn't want to be alone right now and – just fair warning: this won't be forever, Pansy, just while we're at Hogwarts. You'll have your own room and privacy as well as my personal protection for the remainder of the year."
She frowned at Harry and turned to Draco. "I don't understand…"
"Pansy…" Harry said, drawing her attention. "I'm not doing it for you… I'm doing it because I love Draco and Draco will be distressed if you're alone."
She seemed to understand the concept but not the reasoning behind it.
"Consider it a favor." Harry smirked. "I'm doing this as a favor to him and he'll have to do a favor for me in the future."
She nodded. Favors were something she could comprehend. Slytherins exchanged favors all the time.
"There's one more thing to discuss before we're all agreed, here." Harry's voice turned firm as his eyes turned stony. "You lied to Blaise about Draco's and my relationship. You've apologized to him, but not to us, and you could've done irreparable damage to both our reputations and our relationship."
The girl seemed to be taken aback. "I guess I hadn't really thought about it that way. If Blaise didn't react the way he did and try to get the truth from Draco…If he just went to the headmistress…"
"We would've been separated." Draco whispered finally realizing the danger he'd been put in by his so-called 'friend'. He clutched Harry's hand in one of his and placed the other on his belly. "And they would've put us through investigations and examinations! Our children could've been endangered by all the stress."
"You see why I doubt her friendship, Draco?" Harry nodded while Pansy stared at the two men. "Now, as long as you promise not to interfere further in our marriage, you're welcome in our home."
She nodded, thoroughly chastised. "I'm so very sorry, Draco…Potter…I promise not to do anything harmful to you or your relationship or your children! You have my Wizard's Oath."
Draco's eyes shimmered with unshed tears.
Harry sighed. It was the best he could get if he couldn't keep her away. "Alright, Pansy – you can stay with us...and by the way, that's Malfoy-Potter. Now you..." The brunette turned to glare playfully at his husband. "You'd better not neglect me just because you've got some of your friends back, Dragon..."
The blond smirked and leaned in close to whisper. "Never..."
Pansy stared as Harry captured Draco in his arms and kissed him soundly.
"That's going to take some getting used to…" Blaise sighed and then cleared his throat. "Harry, you've still got a group of people in your suite. Perhaps we should go join them...?"
"That's why the coin heated earlier? You called our whole circle of friends?" Draco seemed shocked.
Harry raised an eyebrow. "If I didn't, you would have, love. You did use your coin."
Draco just shrugged, not letting go of Harry.
"Coin?" Pansy asked Blaise in a whisper.
Blaise simply laid a finger on his lips and mouthed the word 'later'.
"Blaise is right; we should go back and explain all this." Harry told his husband quietly also not wanting to let go.
The blond sighed and leaned further into Harry's embrace. "Alright...the sooner we get this over with, the sooner I can get you alone..."
Harry kissed him again, not caring if they had witnesses. "With Pansy sharing our apartment, we'll have to use locking and silencing charms on our bedroom door, you know." He made a trail of kisses along Draco's jaw before going on. "I think you should be in charge of putting those up every night, since it was your idea to have a guest."
Draco shivered in pleasure. "I think I can handle that, love."
"I'll have to find a way to punish you if you can't..." Harry whispered with a twinkle in his eye.
"Ok, that's enough." Blaise interrupted. "I can't see any more of this! Let's get back to the others."
Reluctantly, the two men pulled away from each other and the five of them walked to Harry and Draco's apartment.
Was that enough drama for you? If not... Harry still has to tell his very protective friends about his decision to allow Pansy to live with them for the rest of the year...
But that's next time on As the Cauldron Bubbles...
*Clears throat* Sorry... I was being just a little silly there. See you on Sunday!