Because in a way we are all cupcakes. And because it wouldn't leave my mind. But most importantly because we all have some wishes. But wishes are for dreamers and I am not one. So, I settled for writing my wishes down in a Harry Potter story. Some old concepts, with twists, put together into this short story (well maybe not too short anymore). It started as a parody/comedy of one simple moment and evolved into this. Took me more almost two weeks to write it all down. And, of course as always, I made complete mess out of timeline. It's a skill. It's a Horcruxes' hunt and Battle of Hogwarts, quite similar to Rowling's version, but with some rather crazy twists. (Some parts, sentences are directly from the movie, I tried to point them out, but I don't know if I managed to capture all of them. It was one, crazy string of words.) For once, there is no Ron or Hermione. But mostly it revolves around what happened afterwards, and that part is a complete AU, partly with Epilogue? What Epilogue? It's a kind of my gift for Christmas for you all. Maybe a little 'polish', but I cannot change it. Enjoy. Or not.
PS. Lucius is the same age as Severus, Lily and others in this story.
PS2. As for dates, in 1998 Christmas Eve was on Thursday, Christmas Day on Friday, Boxing Day on Saturday. I placed Ministry Christmas Ball on Saturday, 19th, weekend before Christmas.
In 1997 Christmas Eve was on Wednesday, 24th of December, although it's not really relevant, because the war is going on back then, so nobody's working or partying anyway. I mean, Lucius and Harry are in a way, but let's leave it for now.
If anyone wants, I have created two "Christmas '98 schedules" for Lucius and Harry (I know it's a mess), containing all events described or mentioned, as well as a timeline (on paper). I can send the schedules to you, should you want or need that. Timeline is useless due to my terrible handwriting. But should you really want and have birthday on 25th, Dec, and because of that you never get enough presents, I may be convinced to put it into some program and send it to you too.
PS3. Life Dictionary and Teoria przypadku will be updated soon.
not an English native speaker, some sex, some mpreg, some swearing, some deaths and murders, I don't know what else, ah, yes, OOC Sirius (I think) and Lucius (for sure, but that's explained), but definitely not Hermione, and Ron and Ginny (well at least that's my view on them), have I mentioned mass murder (it's only mentioned in the story, not described, don't worry)?
Not making profit out of it, not owning it, beside my dear, messed up plot, everything else belongs to JKR. I am just a poor university student who plays with characters, torturing them terribly.
Almost Perfect Christmas
Christmas Eve, around 2pm, The Burrow, Scotland
The Burrow was full of people. All of the surviving Weasleys, Hermione, Sirius, Remus, professor McGonagall. Even Snape showed up. Molly Weasley had even put the photos of all people who weren't lucky enough to survive the Battle of Hogwarts. They all were there, on the living room's wall. Hermione stepped closer to the wall. Arthur, Percy and Bill Weasley, Mad-Eye Moody, Tonks, Cho Chang, Patil twins, Hagrid, Augusta Longbottom, Sybill Trelawney, Pomona Sprout... They were just few of those who weren't with them anymore.
These were the very first Christmas after the war. And although everybody seemed to be happy, there was a touch of sadness in the air. Hermione could see it in people's eyes, their gestures, expressions. The masks slipped from time to time and one could see a single tear here, pain on the face there. But everyone tried so very hard not to show it. Remembering was not... desired. It would destroy the mood, so carefully crafted by the host. Molly wanted everybody to forget just for a couple of hours and just be happy. Not that they could.
The Order meeting on Christmas Eve was Molly's idea. Everybody felt that it would be nice to meet together, and since Christmas Day was to be spend with families, Christmas Eve was chosen. And Molly invited all those, who didn't have anyone to spend Christmas Day with, to stay at The Burrow. She was truly inviting and welcoming. Hermione suspected that she was just trying to fill out the space after her sons and husband. She didn't blame her.
She turned around to see Sirius Black, standing behind her with a glass of whisky and a grin on the face. But even his smile didn't reach the eyes.
'Hi, Sirius How are you?'
She hasn't seen him much since the last funeral. Only during balls. Quickly afterwards, she passed her NEWTS and started to study Potions and Transfiguration at the Magical University of London, which was reopened after yearly break because of war. That didn't leave much time to socialize. The only people she still kept contact with were Harry and Neville. She and Harry had breakfast every day. At least three times a week Neville would join them. Mostly, it was possible, because in spite of everything and everybody, Harry decided not to become an auror, but go to university and study healing. He had huge row about that with Sirius and Ron. Hermione knew that he and Sirius didn't talk since then. Ron apologized to Harry soon after, but their friendship ended. Well, Hermione suspected that it wasn't the only reason. After the battle Ron looked at Harry with disgust. Her friend saw it and knew that young Weasley blamed him for Arthur's, Percy's and Bill's deaths.
Hermione was one of the few who understood Harry perfectly. He was fighting in the war since he was little kid. He lost almost everything along the way. If she was at his place, she would never become an auror after that. She supported his choice entirely. Sirius obviously didn't understand that. He himself started to work in the Magical Law Enforcement Department in order to introduce new laws and catch remaining Death Eaters. He firmly believed that he was creating new order in Wizarding Great Britain. Or that was at least what he claimed to do.
The 'new order' was too close to old one for Hermione's own liking. The Slytherins were now the main target, instead of Muggle-borns. Not that the old families changed their ways, but they lay low for the time being. Hermione hoped that soon the state of war would be abolished and new laws declared. He heard that Kingsley was trying to put up a coalition to create and introduce some proposals.
'Where's Harry?' asked Sirius. 'He should be here by now.'
Of course, after four months of not speaking to each other without arguing Sirius would want to talk to Harry. And Hermione knew the subject of this conversation: when Harry would stop being a child and helped in restoring the Wizarding World in auror division. But her friend had now a new life and some great marks after first semester of healing.
'He said he won't be coming' muttered Hermione quietly.
'What do you mean he's not coming?!' Sirius shouted and, of course, gained the attention of everybody in the room.
'Sirius?' Remus asked quietly. 'What's the matter?'
'Hermione's saying that Harry's not coming!'
Remus' glanced at Hermione, who nodded.
'Oh' was everything he said.
Remus was one of the few, who didn't judge Harry after his decision. At least he understood that the young man had done more than anyone in this war and should have the choice to do with his life whatever he wanted. He also understood why Harry might not want to come to Christmas to the Burrow.
'Oh?! That's all you have to say!' Sirius obviously wasn't going to let the matter go.
'Well, Sirius, it is his choice, you know. He is a responsible adult' muttered Remus quietly.
'Responsible?! Did he join the aurors? Does he help to restore the Wizarding World? No! He went to study! STUDY!' shouted Sirius. 'And what does he study? Healing! He should help to put the rest of the Death Eaters in Azkaban! Instead he doesn't do anything useful with himself!'
'Sirius' Minerva interrupted. 'Harry needs time! And healing is not useless. He will help people. Not everybody has to be an auror and fight all the time. He did enough. Let him be whoever he wants.'
The discussion was almost always the same. Harry should do this. Harry should do that. It was a blessing that Harry was of age and Sirius couldn't order him anything. Hermione still remembered Sirius' idea that Harry should marry Ginny Weasley and sire a few kids. The sooner, the better. Many people thought the same. The Daily Prophet speculated for months about future Mrs. Potter. She had doubts that Harry would settle with anyone in the near future. He was hurt after the war, after losing so many.
'Sirius. It's Christmas. Let's not argue about that' she said. 'You can argue some other day. That's probably why Harry didn't want to come here. He loves you, so he doesn't want to argue with you. Especially on Christmas. Have you forgotten that Harry never had good memories about holidays, when he was a kid? That Dursley have never given him a real Christmas gift? And now, because of you thickness he didn't want to come and celebrate Christmas with us. It's not like he has a lot of people to celebrate with.'
Not that she had either. Not anymore. But she didn't want to think about it.
Sirius was looking at her with his eyes wide opened. Of course, he had forgotten about that. She wasn't surprised. Sirius wanted the perfect godson. The image of his friend. But Harry was nothing like that, as it had turned out. So Black Lord tried to force him to act like James Potter. Not that he was doing a good job in this. The only thing he had achieved so far was pushing Harry away from him.
And now Harry wasn't coming for Christmas. Hermione understood that, especially after the disaster that the Ministry Christmas Ball was.
Few days before Christmas, around 10pm, Hall of Fame, Ministry of Magic, London
Harry and Hermione arrived to the Christmas Ball quite early, mostly because they have attended the University Christmas Gathering just hours before the ministry event. Harry was immediately surrounded by women who wanted to dance with him. He mostly agreed and soon was all over the floor. Hermione was surprised to see that he danced quite well. He didn't expect that he learnt after the Triwizarding Tournament Ball. She limped to the bar and ordered some whisky.
'Ah, Ms. Granger, it's a pleasure" he heard Lucius Malfoy's smug voice behind her.
'Lord Malfoy. I would say that it's such a surprise to see you here, but I don't like lying' he said, turning around.
Malfoy chuckled. He wasn't actually that bad these days. Bearable, Hermione would say, and that was only because of the memory of what he did, not how he turned out to be.
'Always straight to the point' Lucius said with a smirk. 'I must say I find it very refreshing.'
'No doubt, Lord Malfoy. After a life full of lies, everybody would.'
The man eyed her carefully and ordered some whisky. As it turned out the year before, Lord Malfoy indeed was under Imperius. Or rather a variation of the spell. And not only during the first war, but through most of his adult life. Firstly, controlled by his father and then by his wife. His wife, who was thankfully dead, killed in the Battle of Hogwarts by Moody.
'How are you these days, Ms. Granger? I have heard about your studies and you falling out with young Mr. Weasley. I am sorry for the second and congratulation on the first. Not many first years are given such a huge grant for research.'
It was true. She received three thousand galleons for research thanks to winning the contest. It was huge, especially since she only just started her studies.
'You don't have to be, Lord Malfoy. It was bound to happen. And thank you. I am truly happy about that.'
'As you should, Ms. Granger. It is incredible distinction for a person as young as you. You have the right to be proud.'
'Would you like to dance, Ms. Granger?'
Hermione eyed him suspiciously.
'I am afraid that I am not a good partner for dancing right now' she tried to refuse.
'I am perfectly sure that we will be fine' Lucius answered and hold out his hand.
'You are not trying to find yourself a new wife, Lord Malfoy, are you?'
She smirked when he blinked a few times.
'No, Ms. Granger. There will be no more wives for me. I had enough of them for the eternity' he answered finally. 'I am just trying to be nice, but if you want to find some flaw in me or my intentions you may convince yourself that I am networking.'
'Networking? Me, Lord Malfoy? I am just a poor, average muggle-born.'
'Now, it will sound suspiciously, but believe me, you may be called many things, but average is definitely not among them, Ms. Granger. And I assure you, that I am not looking for a wife.'
Hermione smiled slightly.
'Fine, then. It will be pleasure to dance with you, Lord Malfoy.'
He helped her up and, as a real gentleman, led her to the dance floor. They started dancing, Lucius supporting her, so that she didn't limp too much.
'So, Lord Malfoy, what are you doing these days? You know a lot of about me, but the newspapers were rather vague about your last dealings.'
Malfoy smirked slightly.
'In fact I was asked to prepare some new acts that would help to reform the Wizarding World. And I volunteer in Law Enforcement Department.'
'Yes. Minister Shacklebolt offered it and I've accepted. This task takes most of my time.'
'Lord Malfoy reforming the Wizarding World. That will be definitely interesting to see.'
'I did study laws for a long time, Ms. Granger. And I do know the faults and flaws of current ones. Probably better than anyone else. After all, even under the influence of the spell, I have used them for my own advantage. Obviously, not extremely ethically, but I have.'
'Obviously' replied Hermione dryly.
The Order of Merlin second class and Harry Potter's friendship protected Lucius rather well from old associations. Especially after his life story was published in the Daily Prophet. Nowadays, he was one of the most eligible bachelors of the Wizarding World. In his prime, stunningly handsome and with a life story of the victim that turned out a hero. It fueled the imagination of many mothers. However, the man did not seem to look for another wife. He worked a lot to rebuild Hogwarts as soon as possible. He stayed long hours with aurors to determine the whereabouts of his former associates. From what she had heard, the man hardly left his stand. He was even given an office in the ministry. And all that for free. Obviously, he didn't need to work for money. His business boomed after the Battle of Hogwarts and Voldemort's death.
'So, when can we expect new order to emerge?'
'I am afraid that you will have to wait a little bit longer, Ms. Granger. The state of war was not unannounced yet and with so many ex-Death Eaters on the loose, it may take some time. But assuring you once more, we are doing everything in our power to keep everybody safe. However, if you would like to review some of the laws that I have planned after New Year, I would be grateful. Of course, I understand, that you may lack the time with all your work.'
'So I have heard. And I will gladly review your ideas. We wouldn't want to fail in the reforms, would we?'
The song ended and Lucius lead them back to the bar.
They sat down and ordered another round of drinks, when Harry approached them.
'Hi, Lucius' he said cheerfully and sat down next to the man.
'Harry' Lord Malfoy nodded.
'I positively hate those events' he stated. 'I have already danced with seven women, two of them wanted me to meet their daughters and the rest almost proposed. And one of the daughters is ten!'
Hermione chuckled and Lucius smirked.
'Thank Merlin for so much work at the uni. At least I can find an excuse for some other events' he muttered and started to formulate another question, but he was interrupted.
'Harry!' Sirius Black stood feet away from their table. He didn't seem to acknowledge the presence of Hermione and Lucius.
'Sirius...' it didn't take a genius to figure out that Harry was not happy to see his godfather.
'I wanted to catch you here, since you were so occupied with your work at the university lately, that you didn't have time to meet with your old godfather' there was obvious emphasis on the word university.
'Oh, yes, I apologize for that, but you know, the exams in healing are very difficult' explained Harry. 'I had to study a lot, but I passed all and with second best marks in my year.'
Harry's obvious plea in the words went unnoticed by Sirius. He didn't even see that Harry's eyes brightened in pride.
'Oh, yes, that's exactly what I wanted to talk to you about. Don't you think that it's time that you stopped with this foolish healing thing and joined the auror division or Law Enforcement Department? We could use a capable pair of hands. A lot of good employees died in the war. I understand that you needed time after the battle, but it's high time you started to assume your responsibilities to the Wizarding World.'
Harry tensed. Hermione could feel the coming storm. His magic, up to this moment almost unnoticeable and calming, suddenly became so thick around them that one could almost taste it.
'I am rather happy with my life right now' Harry stated simply.
'Harry, you know very well that that's not what you're good at. You are very important for the Wizarding World. You should become an auror and help us. And you definitely should marry the Weasley girl. She's just as kind and beautiful as your mum. You will have wonderful children. Your father would be proud of you. Healing is not serious. It's just a phase. I am absolutely sure that you won't like doing it your entire life. Your dad was exceptional auror. He would want you to follow his footsteps, I am sure about that.'
Sirius didn't notice that during his speech the glasses and tables started to shake.
'Listen, Sirius!' growled Harry. By that time the entire situation caught the attention of everyone in the hall. 'I don't care what you think I should do! I don't want to be an auror! I had enough fighting in my life! I don't want to kill people anymore! I've never wanted in the first place! I will not join the auror division. And I will not quit my studies. I am happy there. I have great marks and finally I learn something that one day can help me save others. Not kill others! And you have no idea what my father would want me to do, because he's been dead for over seventeen years! And it is war and fighting that killed him!' The glass in Harry's hand broke, spilling the whisky all over him and Lucius. 'And I will never marry Ginny! Especially not because she looks like my mother! That's fucking idiotic! And if you and your image of the Wizarding World or the Wizarding World itself cannot accept that I don't want to fight my entire life, after the war destroyed my childhood and teenage years, you all don't have to speak to me anymore! I don't care!' Hermione noticed the blood flowing down from Harry's clenched fist in which he once held the glass. He stood up during his speech and now his entire sleeve was reddened. 'I think I will go now' he muttered looking at his arm.
'Harry! Harry! Don't you dare...'
But the young man didn't listen. He stormed out of the hall.
Hermione glanced at Lord Malfoy. His face was unreadable. He stood up, took off his wet jacket.
'I think I need to change my clothes' he muttered. 'If you excuse me, Ms. Granger, I hope we can arrange that review at the later date' he said loudly and kissed her hand.
'Yes, of course, Lord Malfoy.'
Lucius left gracefully, completely ignoring Sirius.
The day before Christmas, around 12pm, Diagon Alley, London
Lucius Malfoy spent entire morning shopping for one gift and he still didn't manage to find something that would be absolutely perfect. He was tired and frustrated.
He looked around. Everything was more colorful that year. The decorations were terrible ostentatious, as if the shops' owners compete who would have more decorations. People were chatting cheerfully. Kids were running around and throwing snow at each other. Parents were buying warm candies and hot chocolate. Everybody seemed to be ecstatic.
He was happy too, but it had been years since he put thoughts and efforts into someone's gift. Well, he did put effort into Severus' gifts, but it was easy. His friend always wanted some expensive potions book or ingredients for his research. It was predictable.
He signed and went into his favorite cafe.
'Afternoon, Lord Malfoy!' of course, the girl would also be cheerful. 'Same as always?'
He nodded and waited as she poured his coffee.
'Last minute shopping, isn't it?'
'Yes' he muttered.
'For a special someone I bet' she grinned.
'Something like that.'
After all he was one of the most eligible bachelors. It was easy to assume that he would marry again, because the Malfoy line demanded new heir. And as much as Lucius was against killing muggle-borns or half-bloods or anybody in fact, he still was a lord of an old family and a traditionalist. Well, not a traditionalist anymore, but he did want to have a child or more. Not necessarily soon, but he was still young by wizarding standards. They had time. He wanted a child with a person he loved. A child he would raise, teach him or her how not only to maintain tradition, but how to be a good man. Not a child who wasn't even really his and tried to murder him in the end for betraying the Dark Lord. Or rather freeing himself from his wife's control. He felt rather like a Gryffindorish, sappy fool when he thought that.
He reached out to grab his coffee, but the girl didn't give it to him.
'If you're looking for something special, I would go to Baster's. They are a small place, but they have fantastic stuff' she said.
'Baster's?' he raised his eyebrows and took the coffee.
'Small place. You don't even notice it sometimes. Just a few buildings before the Gringotts.'
She had a nerve to grin at him.
'Thank you' he muttered nonetheless.
When he went out and took a direction to Gringotts, he thought that his tip was way too high.
When he finally went out of Baster's, he thought that should have given the girl more.
The day before Christmas, 8:43am, Muggle Cemetery, London
Hermione looked at her watch. It was early, but she had so many things to do before she could finally have holidays. She came to visit her parents. Her dead parents.
She went quickly, limping heavily. Her leg hurt more, as it got colder. And it wasn't as cold as the year before, but the weather didn't give them huge break. She approached the grave and one single tear went down her cheek.
'Hi, mom, hi, dad' she said, putting down few white flowers and a light. 'I am sorry that I haven't visited you very often for the last few weeks, but I was kind of busy with my work. Do you remember the contest that I told you about? The potions one with the big money prize for research for the winner. I actually won. I am very happy about it. It's my chance to prove myself and to stop living on Harry's money. I mean, he doesn't care. He says he has more than enough for himself and he offered to pay for my tuition and everything, but I still want to be on my own. And this grant comes at the best time. I have already a subject that I would like to research. It's a little bit to do with healing, so I borrowed some of Harry's books. I needed to start off with a hypothesis for the contest, but everything will start in January. One of my profs will help me with it. He sponsored my entry. I hope you are proud.'
She sat down on the grave. Her leg hurt.
She remembered the night of The Battle of Hogwarts. She was so scared back then. She didn't think that she would survive. After all, Harry Potter was her best friend. And she probably wouldn't, if it wasn't for Lucius Malfoy and Severus Snape. And Harry, of course. None of them would have survived if Harry didn't hunt down all the Horcruxes and killed Voldemort by himself. Well, he did have Malfoy's help. At least in hunting part.
'I feel better, you know' she said, talking again to her parents. 'My leg doesn't hurt so much anymore.' It was a white lie. And they couldn't really hear her. 'And the healers are hopeful. I may never run again, but it should get better.'
The spell that Bellatrix Lestrange threw at her was an obscure, dark, violent magic. Not meant to be cured. And nobody has found the cure. Dark Magic always left traces. Both in victims and in users. But tortures with dark spells were terrible. The wounds would never stop hurting, if you knew right ones.
'And everybody else is also quite good. Harry's happy at the uni. We have breakfast together every morning. He is the best friend I could have had. I broke up with Ron. He turned out to be a jerk. He wanted me to sit at home, while he would work, just as women should, he claimed. I told him, that he should find himself another woman that would do that for him, because I want to study and achieve something. Harry said it served him right. They also had an argument. I told you about that. He was trying to convince Harry to join the aurors. But Harry had enough of killing and war. He's happier than I have ever seen him now. Even if Sirius and Ron are bastards. There was this Christmas Ball at the Ministry and Sirius started talking about Harry quitting the uni and Harry shouted at him in front of everybody. And, of course, the next morning it was in The Daily Prophet. It surprised me, because they took his side. They said that he had done a lot and contributing to the Wizarding World by healing people is one of the most honorable and important work!'
She looked back at her watch. 9:07 am. She was there too long.
'I have to go. I am sorry. I would stay longer, but because of the contest, I had so little time and Christmas is... tomorrow' she sobbed a little. 'I miss you, mom, dad. I would like you to be here..'
Day before Ministry Christmas Ball, around 7am, Starbucks, Muggle London
'I just don't get it' muttered Harry. 'Why can't he leave me in peace, if he doesn't agree with my choices?'
Lucius squeezed his hand reassuringly. Black has sent his lover a letter a couple days ago with an invitation for Christmas at the Weasleys. Lucius didn't know what else was in that letter. But he knew that after Harry read it and burnt it, he had to replace all of the windows and glasses in their apartment. And, of course nobody could manage to finish it before Christmas, so some of their windows were temporally covered by magic.
'Black was always an idiot.'
Harry rolled his eyes.
'Just what you would say' he sipped his coffee. 'I hate balls. Who the hell thought that I would like to go on one?'
'You don't have to like balls. But being who you are, you have to attend.'
'Thank you for reminding me, that I belong to entire Wizarding World.'
'You absolutely don't belong to entire Wizarding World' Lucius frowned. 'The only person you belong to is me. And the Wizarding World can go fuck itself if it doesn't like it.'
Harry smiled at him brightly and kissed him on the cheek. Most of the time, he loved Lucius' jealousy. It protected him a lot. And give him reassurance that there is at least one person who will accept him no matter what. Not that they hadn't had massive amounts of arguments. They did, almost every day. Most of them small and influenced by their very different upbringing, but at the end of the day, Lucius would kiss him, say that they would come back to it some other time, when the emotions weren't so high, and they would have makeup sex, which was probably the best thing that Harry have ever tried.
'You always know what to say to make things better.'
'I just know you very well. Let's not talk about the Ball. How does your day look like?'
'Mostly terrible. I have my work up till noon, my last test in anatomy and finally dinner with Hermione. I still need some gifts. And before you ask, no, not your gift. I already have this one' he added after seeing the look on Lucius' face.
Lucius rolled his eyes. Of course, Harry would work just before Christmas. Lucius was not exactly a fan of Harry's volunteer work, but he was much wiser than Black ever was. If Harry wanted to volunteer in the orphanage, he didn't have any right or means to stop him. And he wasn't going to push his lover away. It was Harry's life.
They did have that discussion. Just once. And Lucius swore that he would never try again. Well, it was the first time that all windows needed replacing in their London flat. It was almost as irritating as oblivating muggle neighbors. Why the hell did he agree to live in muggle area? On the other hand, he would probably have to oblivate wizards as well. It wouldn't be good for Harry if the Wizarding World knew how often he lost control over his magic.
However, after that he appreciated Harry's decision to become a healer (not that before he thought it was a wrong one). But that enormous power, that sometimes, when young man was pissed off, went crazy, was a terrifyingly bad idea in the field. He, being Harry's lover, was perfectly safe. Trust that Harry won't hurt him was something so instinctive for Lucius that he did not even think about it. He survived many of battles with Harry at his side and his magic has never even come close to touching him. Even that day, when he personally pissed Harry off, the man's magic wouldn't hurt him. But others... He shivered at the thought. If Harry didn't like someone in that blasted auror division, there was high chance that that person would be hurt by him unintentionally. And Harry would never forgive himself. Healers were safer. Especially, after they have found out about the problem with his magic and helped him in learning to control it. After they started the training, Lucius sent anonymous, very expensive gift to Harry's supervisor at the university, prof. Elizabeth Maxwell, and the Dean of the Department and became a sponsor of the Healing Department. Not that Harry knew about it. But Malfoys certainly knew how to express their gratitude.
'At least this year my Christmas gift won't be a Horcrux and this awful muggle food that we ate last year.'
'It was a pizza and as far as I remember you liked it' pointed out Harry.
He did like it and in a way he did like those last Christmas. Even though, they spent in the dirty, muggle hostel in Scotland, eating pizza and not performing any magic due to fear that they would be discovered.
'But that doesn't mean that I want it on Christmas. I, after all, am a traditionalist.'
'Believe me, I realize that. How's your day?'
'Meetings, meetings and meetings. First with Minister Shacklebolt, then with Minerva, lunch with Severus, and then some Law Enforcement Department meeting with Christmas dinner afterwards. I don't even know why I was invited! I don't work for them.'
This time it was Harry who chuckled.
'Because you are essential for their successes lately. If it wasn't for you, they wouldn't catch all those Death Eaters.'
He kissed his cheek again, drunk his coffee and said:
'I have to go, but I will be back after dinner.'
They kissed and Lucius muttered against his lips. 'Go, your orphanage kids are waiting.'
When he watched Harry leaving, he thought that sometimes his lover was too kind and forgiving and nice and whatever other words could describe his good character.
He drank his coffee.
But if it weren't for Harry's kindness and forgiveness, he wouldn't probably be there.
June a year earlier, 2am, forest, somewhere in Scotland
Harry was sleeping. He was all alone in the forest, hunting for a Horcrux. This was the only one that we actually knew where it was. Dumbledore told him his suspicions just before they died from the wound that he suffered in the Battle of Tower and Snape's betrayal. The headmaster said that he wanted to retrieve Horcruxes, but never managed to bring it so far to actually finding one. He gave him all he knew about Voldemort's soul parts. And then he died and everything has just fallen apart. The Death Eaters took over the ministry just weeks ago and Harry decided that he would not drag Hermione and Ron out of safe house in London. He would not bear, if they died because of him. Finally, he landed himself in the bloody forest at the end of the world in the tent searching for Gaunts' house.
Suddenly, his dream became more vivid.
'Ah, my dear Death Eaters. Today, we will judge a traitor' Voldemort was extremely pleased with himself. The masked men laughed.
Harry checked out his surroundings. He was in the huge room, made out of stone. There was somewhere high. The windows were covered with thick curtains, but he could see the ground in the horizon through some holes. The Death Eaters were as always standing in the circle. Suddenly, the door opened. Two men dragged another one. He was trying to break away from their hands, but they held him tight. They pushed him onto the floor in front of Harry-Voldemort.
When Harry saw the man, he gasped. It was Lucius Malfoy. He looked terrible, obviously having been beaten. His clothes were rags. The shirt, once probably made of white silk, now was torn in few place and stained in blood.
'My dear, slippery friend. I have heard from your son, that you stopped being my friend, or rather that you never have been one in the first place. Is that true, Lucius?'
Lucius Malfoy raised his head and looked at Voldemort.
'You see, Tom' he said ignoring the growl of rage coming from the Dark Lord 'my dearest father, thankfully dead, I hope he burns in hell, thought that I wasn't a suitable heir. Not wanting to marry a pureblood witch and carry on a tradition. Not wanting to bow to pathetic, little half-blooded shit like you, well, I am a traditionalist after all. Trash like you should be disposed of. Purebloods should never mix with the muggles. It is unbecoming. And since you are unfortunately a result of such an union, you should be drawn at your birthday. Sadly, it didn't happen. I hope someone will correct the mistake of your poor mother. I guess we must forgive her, since she was ill and dying.'
'Crucio!' Lucius screamed. 'You think you are funny, Malfoy!' Voldemort caught Lucius' shirt and lifted him. 'You are pathetic! Your own father thought that you're a disgrace! Kept you under spell for years. Took your own wife and sire a child that should be yours! And then passed on the spell to your wife. What does that make of you?'
'A victim?' proposed Lucius. 'And I've never been into women, really.'
Voldemort enraged, threw him against the wall.
'Lucius Malfoy admitted to treason. He will be executed soon. Of course, I will let you play with him a little' Voldemort smiled creepily. 'His place in my ranks, we give to Draco, who found out his father breaking the spell and treason. Or should I say brother?'
'None of those, my lord' one of Death Eaters who brought Lucius removed his mask and bowed deeply. It was Draco. 'He does not deserve to be called a Malfoy.'
'Thankfully, I am still a Malfoy Lord. And I remove you, my dear brother, from the family. You and your spawns shall never use the Malfoy name! You are not a Malfoy anymore! So I swear!'
'NO!' Draco screamed and watched as Lord Malfoy stood up, hit one of huge windows with a fist, breaking it and jumped off.
Death Eaters run to the window, but they were too late. Lucius Malfoy's body was lying on the ground, a few floors below.
'NO!' screamed Voldemort.
Harry woke up, blinking a few times. He was shocked. He didn't liked Malfoy. But finding out like this, that the man was truly forced to serve Voldemort and committed a suicide to avoid the torture was disturbing. He breathed deeply. Well, if he survived, he would have to tell this story. It was the only right thing to do now.
He casted tempus and found out that it was only 5am. Sometimes he wondered how the hell did Death Eaters manage to get up in the morning to go to work after these bloody meetings. And most of them worked now in the ministry. He guessed, that nobody would say anything if a Death Eater would be late in fear for their revenge.
He got up and started preparing a breakfast muggle way. The more magic he used, the easier it would make for Voldemort to hunt him down. He ate slowly. Soon he would have to try and reach the Horcrux hidden in Little Hangleton. He had already spent way too much time checking the place. If he didn't get it soon and move, he was risking getting caught.
Finally, he got up and cleared up the place. With a backpack, he started walking towards Little Hangleton. It was still very early, when he got there. He went into the petrol station and bought some coke.
'Hey, do you know maybe, where I can find the old Gaunts' grounds?' he asked the salesman.
'Gaunts? You mean this crazy family that I heard stories about?'
'Yeah, I guess.'
'You're not a descendant or anything?' the man eyed him carefully.
'No' Harry laughed trying to seem bright'I am a treasure hunter. They owned something extremely valuable and I am trying to find it.'
'Did they? I always thought they were poor.'
'By the time they died out, they were. But their family was an old, noble one. I am searching for one of the heirlooms, that disappeared at the same time and I have reasons to believe that it may be here. Well, the heirloom is not valuable in terms of money, wouldn't be worth more than a couple hundreds' he said noticing the look on man's face. 'But I am a collector. I like old things.' The man immediately lost his interest.
'They lived on the other side of the village. Two, three miles west from here. Not exactly within the country, you will need to go along the road and turn left when you see an old house on the right' he explained.
'Thanks a lot for help' Harry grinned and paid for his coke.
He found the place without a problem. It was on a small hill, just as he saw in Dumbledore's memory. He slowly approached the place, but when he found no sign of Death Eaters, he pushed the wooden doors and went inside.
The house was full of magic. It was pushing him out, making him wanting to run and never come back. He managed to stop the nausea and took one step. Suddenly, his head was full of his worst memories. He caught his head with his hands and lived again through Triwizarding Tournament and Cedric's death.
'No!' he screamed. 'Get out of my head.'
'My, my, my. Who do we have here?!' he heard the voice behind him and turned around with his wand out. It was spoken by a Death Eater. There were three young men behind him, aiming their wands at him. 'Mister Potter. I don't believe we have met. It's a pleasure.'
'Expelliarmus!' Harry shouted without warning and one of the wands flew to him. But the other two Death Eaters were on him the second after. 'Protego! Stupify!' he jumped behind an old armchair to avoid the spells. His head was still full of images from the past.
'Incendio' the armchair bursted into flames. He rolled around to get away, but the Death Eater had already aimed his wand at him. Harry raised his wand to cast a shield spell, but before he had a chance he heard someone else.
'Stupify!' the voice spoke calmly and the Death Eater's body fall on the floor.
Harry blacked out.
When he woke up, he was back in the tent, covered with a blanket. He sat up. He was alone and thirsty. He went out of the tent.
Somebody helped him and moved him someplace else. Harry was absolutely sure that he wasn't close to the Little Hangleton anymore. The tent stood on the beach right by the small river. It was surrounded by hills and there was not even one tree. On the clog was sitting Lucius Malfoy, dressed only in boxers, covered in bruises and small wounds. He was obviously trying to repair his shirt and trousers. And failing miserably.
'You're dead!' Harry choked.
Lucius stopped trying to fix his clothes and raised his eyes.
'Lord Potter. You woke up.' Even being almost naked and dirty didn't deprive Lucius of his grace and composure.
'Well, I don't know how you know this...' he started, but Harry interrupted him.
'I saw you jumping off the fucking window.'
Lucius stared at him with a careful expression on his face.
'You did. I wasn't aware that the Dark Lord invited you for Death Eater meetings.'
'I am a Malfoy, Lord Potter. We do not commit suicides. And I always have a backup plan' he stated. 'Well, not always, obviously, since my dearest father and ex-wife managed to control me for such a long time and then my bastard son of bitch of a brother almost managed to ensure my death, but I have learnt from my mistakes. And I faked my own death.'
'You heard me. I faked my own death. There is only one way to stop being Death Eater. It's death. And I ensured the Dark Lord that I am indeed dead.'
'Why would I believe you? How do I know it wasn't staged?'
'You can't' Lucius admitted. 'But I did save your life yesterday.'
Harry stared at Malfoy. That was true. If it wasn't for the man, he would probably be in Voldemort's dungeons or worse right now. He sat on the stone and run his hand along his cheek.
'Why did you?' he asked.
'Purely by accident, I assure you. I was trying to retrieve this' he took out a ring from the bag, that was lying next to him. 'I suspect that you were doing the same thing there.'
'Slytherin's ring!' Harry shouted.
'Yes, it is. After you blacked out I managed to get it' Lucius stated calmly.
'Why would you do that?'
'I'm a dead man, Lord Potter. Literally. If the Dark Lord won't be killed, he will finally find out, that I faked my own death and will hunt me down. The only way for me to survive is to kill him. And if the Horcruxes are not destroyed, that won't be a case. And I have something that will help us do it.' He took out a short sword. 'This is a cutlass. It belonged to Malfoy family since fifteenth century, when one of my descendants ran away from assassins in France and served the king of England as a captain of his fleet. He received this as a gift for his loyalty and... efficiency. Its goblins' work and therefore able to destroy a Horcrux. It was passed on in my family from father to son. Well, my father didn't want to give me this, but Draconis was too young at the time when he died, so he had no choice. It's called Rodent and don't laugh. Cepheus Malfoy was a little mad.'
Harry stared at the man some more. He looked even worse than in his memory. Unnaturally pale. He had no unbruised place on his skin. Harry signed. Malfoy proved that he wanted to destroy Voldemort. At least for the time being. He had saved his life after all. And retrieved Horcrux. That meant that at least for now, he was a Voldemort's enemy. And didn't people say: enemy of your enemy is your friend? Or something like that. He didn't trust Malfoy. Not in the latest. And he probably wouldn't. At least for some time. But he could use man's help. Malfoy wasn't Ron or Hermione. Of course, he would feel guilty if the man was killed because of him, but Malfoy was right. He had no choice. Just as Harry. It was kill Voldemort or be killed by Voldemort. Harry signed again, watching Malfoy as he failed again in the task of repairing his shirt and swore.
He stood up and got some of his clothes, bandages, potions and healing herbs from the backpack and offered it to Malfoy.
Lucius raised his head.
'And why would you give them to me?' he asked.
'Well, you did save my life. And you do have no choice, but to try to kill Voldemort. And I guess, enemy of your enemy is your friend, isn't it?' he repeated his earlier thoughts.
Lucius stared at him for a few seconds and nodded.
'I guess that's what they say.'
'And I would use some help from a desperado. It would make two of us.'
'I don't like you calling me a desperado, Lord Potter.'
'I guess you'll survive. And why the hell do you call me Lord Potter?'
'Because you are one, obviously. You are over seventeen and that makes you Lord Potter.'
Harry stared at the man disbelievingly. They were in the middle of nowhere, living in the fucking tent with a prize over their heads and the man still called him Lord Potter as if they were in a ballroom or a Wizengamot meeting.
'What?' asked Lucius.
'We are not Lords, Malfoy. Not anymore. And nobody cares here, so just call me Harry or Potter or even boy, but for fuck's sake don't call me lord.'
It was Lucius time to stare disbelievingly. Finally, he just shrugged and took the clothes.
'They will be too small for me.'
'No, they won't' muttered Harry and watched a frown appearing of Malfoy's face, when he saw the clothes.
'Seriously, you don't expect me to...'
'Lord Malfoy, I'm afraid that I have not taken my tailor with me for this journey. Dead men don't get to pick.'
He was surprised when Malfoy chuckled.
'Fair enough' he said. 'And they are still better than this' he waved his hand in direction of his clothes. 'Will you help me with those?' he pointed at potions, herbs and bandages.
'I guess I will have to' Harry sighed and got to work.
Day before Ministry Christmas Ball, around 3:40pm, Magical University of London
'Hi, Hermione! Are you finished?' Harry went into the preparation room to see his friend dressing.
'Yes' Hermione smiled at him, fastening buttons of her shirt. The room was there to change into laboratory clothes and back. 'Where are we going?'
'I have a reservation in a restaurant close to the Gringotts; on the Merlin Street.'
'Merlin Street? Hermione glanced at him astonished.
'Yeah, why?' Harry asked. The restaurant had great food at least according to Lucius and was targeted for meetings with friends and acquaintances. Not for business or lovers, just a place for lunch or dinner during the busy day to catch up with friends.
'It's the most expensive place in the wizarding London. I mean the street' she explained.
Of course, trust Lucius to be bloody snob and recommend probably one of the most expensive restaurants in Great Britain. He still couldn't come over the fact that the man had guts to kidnap him just after his birthday party and take to bloody New York! Not that they couldn't afford it, but still it was kind of irresponsible. He loved every second of it.
'I didn't know' he shrugged. 'Someone recommended it to me once.'
They apparated to the Diagon Alley and walked down to the Merlin Street. The restaurant was called Villa de Lumine. They went in.
'Oh, Lord Potter. It's an honor to have you here. We were of course informed' a dignified man in his mid-fifties approached them. 'We have prepared the private room for you and Ms. Granger, of course' he spoke with a strange accent.
Private room. Of course. Harry would never let Lucius handle his reservations again.
'Thank you, Sir. I appreciate that' he said simply. Being around Malfoy Lord for such a long time was definitely influencing his manners a lot.
'Oh, you don't need to call me 'sir', Lord Potter. I am Antoine Chevalier and it will be an honor for me, if you would call me Antoine.' That at least explained man's accent. The "lessons" that Lucius was enforcing in a way on Harry, prevented from returning the honor. After a person hears all the time about names' importance and how one shouldn't give the privilege to anyone, especially from the lower class, because it's ill-mannered, it's no wonder that one picks it up. He has definitely been spending too much time with Lucius.
'Thank you, Antoine' the man beamed with pleasure and led them to the room. It was already prepared for them. The cutlery looked expensive. They sat down and another person entered.
'This is Jean-Baptiste. He will be your waiter for today. Don't hesitate to ask him anything.'
'Thank you' Harry nodded to the man and took the menu from Jean-Baptiste. Both man disappeared quietly.
'Wow. Harry, I didn't know that you knew anything about proper manners' Hermione teased him. 'I tried to teach them to you for years. And now, only a couple months after the war, you act properly!'
Harry considered telling her that Lucius had far wider arsenal when it came down to convincing him than she did, but decided against it. Hermione was a muggle-born and had never liked Malfoy Lord. She would be definitely the first person to learn about the relationship, but today he just wanted to tell her that he was gay. At least if it caused the scene, nobody would see it.
'You know... All those balls. Necessity had always more luck in teaching me than any person' he smiled at her.
'You're definitely right.'
'So, do you prefer meat or fish for today?'
'I was thinking about fish.'
'So, I guess, we will start with cheese for aperitif, don't you think? And obviously white or pink, dry wine. Which one do you prefer?'
Hermione looked shocked.
'Ok. Who are you and what have you done with my best friend?' she asked.
'Mione, I am not that bad at this.'
'Yes, usually you are' she disagreed.
'I had some important dinners with people at the ministry and stuff, Mione. I had to learn. Even if I didn't want to' he shrugged. And, of course, Lucius insisted. And with the frequency of their dinners in France or in muggle London, learning was inevitable.
'Well, I guess' Hermione admitted.
'Don't worry. It is just for today, because I wanted to talk to you about some serious stuff and thought that it would be appropriate.'
'I'm just surprised. That's all. But don't get it wrong. It's a positive surprise. Sirius is so wrong about you not assuming your responsibilities. You are. You are learning how to be a man, and not a child. I hope that when Wizengamot will be reinstated, you will assume your position as the Lord of House of Potter.'
Again Harry wanted to say that his lover would probably kill him in his sleep if he didn't backup his new ideas for the Wizarding World, but he refrained and said simply:
'Yes, of course, I will. Our laws need changes desperately.'
Hermione smiled at him.
'Yes, they do. Although I don't think that anyone is ready to push it from aristocracy to democracy, but I think Lord Malfoy's reforms will bring at least some balance.'
'Yes. Lucius Malfoy was asked by Kingsley to prepare some new acts and he asked me to review them for him' Harry raised an eyebrow. 'Don't look at me like that. I agreed obviously. The man is the best person to do that. He knows everything about laws in the magical UK.'
'I guess, he does. But I still am surprised that you agreed.'
'Don't come all Harry Potter on me! The man has changed and you should know it best. He helped you hunt down the Horcruxes, for Merlin's sake! And he did save my life and killed Bellatrix in the battle. So, don't tell that I shouldn't. And you are friends with him yourself!'
'I wasn't going to. I am actually glad, just surprised' he stated firmly.
Just as he said that Jean-Baptiste returned and took their order. When he left again they started talking about the latest events in their lives, simply chatting. The food came and they started eating
Finally, the question that Harry really didn't want to answer came.
'So, are you ready for the Christmas at Weasley's?'
Harry put down his fork, drank some wine and stared at the table for a few seconds.
'I won't go' he said finally.
'I am not going to Weasley's this year. I don't want to, Mione. It just... I thought about it. And I didn't want to go in the first place. I mean I was going to be there on Christmas Eve, but not on Christmas Day and Boxing Day. I wanted to meet with the Order, but... later... It's a day for family and I don't think that Weasleys are mine. I mean, I was their youngest son's best friend. But I am not that anymore. And I am sure that Mrs. Weasley would want me to talk to Ginny, but that one thing I would gladly skip during my Christmas. I have never had Christmas with Weasleys. I mean, beside that one time in fifth year, but I went to Grimmauld Place, because of Sirius.'
'I always knew you didn't like Ginny this way.'
'No, I didn't. You're right. As always. Ginny is not even one of my friends. I mean we were going out together for what? Two months? And the farthest we went was kissing. No, I don't like Ginny this way. These days I don't like her at all. She judges me, as harshly as Sirius, and has even less right to do that.'
'Yes, she does. But what are you going to do on Christmas? Do you want me to come by instead of the Burrow?'
'No, Hermione. I know you wanted to go and I am not gonna be the reason for your change of plans. I have some on my own.'
The look in Hermione's eyes told him that she doubted that, but would let it go.
'After the fucking ministry ball I don't want to Sirius for at least a month and afterwards I want him to apologize or he cannot speak to me again. I don't care.'
Hermione nodded sympathetically.
'And there is this other thing that I wanted to talk to you about and you are first person that want to tell that. It's a little bit connected with Ginny situation.' Hermione nodded. 'I will never marry her. You guessed that. Not only, because she would try to control me and we don't have anything in common, but also because I am not attracted to her. And to any other women on this planet, I'm afraid.'
'Are you telling me...'
'That I'm gay?' finished Harry. 'I guess I am.'
'Oh, Harry!' she screamed, limped over to him and hugged him.
'You don't mind?' he asked astonished.
'Of course, I don't! I was worried that you wanted to tell me that you're in love with me or something!'
'Well, you don't usually invite me for a very expensive dinner in a restaurant' she chuckled. 'Although, that definitely explains your new attire.'
No, it didn't. It was Lucius' doing. The man was obsessed with clothes. Particularly, after he had to wear Harry's old clothes for nearly a year. Well, Dudley's old clothes. However, Snape's expression when he saw his friend during the Battle of Hogwarts was rather comical. And even Lucius admitted that it was worth it.
'I have money, I am alive and I don't live with Dursleys anymore. Of course, I have bought myself new clothes.'
'I'm glad. You look much better now' she kissed his cheek and sat back down.
The rest of the evening they spend talking about everything and nothing.
Just as they were living and Harry wanted to pay, Jean-Baptiste stopped him.
'The room belongs to Lord Malfoy and every bill goes directly to his account, Lord Potter. The matter is always handled like that' he explained.
Harry sighed. Thankfully, Hermione just went to the restroom, but he was irritated. Lucius insisted on paying for him almost every time. And Harry didn't need that. He inherited fortune on his own. But talking to Lucius was sometimes like talking to the wall. He listened and then did exactly opposite. It was a wonder that he agreed on not paying Harry's university tuition. Although, they did have a huge fight about that.
Harry sighed again and nodded. He would talk to Lucius later.
The day before Christmas, around 8:00am, Grimmauld Place #12
Sirius Black had just got up from bed and was reading the newspaper. After the bloody ball, the Daily Prophet took Harry's side and started writing about healing and how necessary it was for the society. They also found out somehow that Harry was volunteering in the magical orphanage that was established just after the Battle of Hogwarts.
And the newspaper had a field day. They had written pages about how great Harry was. To look out for future generations. But Sirius wasn't satisfied. It wasn't what a real man should be doing. Real man should buy himself a motorbike, party hard, find a girlfriend that would be faithful and nice and waiting for him at home, cooking dinner and taking care of children. He should have real job, like aurors or politics, not studying to become a healer. And definitely not helping out in an orphanage! That was women's job!
That was what James did. Well, they didn't party as much when the war started, but they had other responsibilities. Like fighting. And that's what Harry should do. But after the Battle of Hogwarts Harry was a constant disappointment for him. He didn't do anything that was expected of him. And he had a nerve to demand his "freedom"! He was free for fuck's sake! Nobody locked him down or anything! But that didn't mean that he could ignore his responsibilities!
Some small part of Sirius' mind supplied that Harry was still a kid and he didn't know what was right. Sirius still thought that Harry would understand what he should do. He sighed and put the paper down.
But he would finally meet Harry the next day at the Burrow and maybe he would manage to explain it to him. Harry was reasonable. He could convince him if he had enough time. He just needed the right arguments and Harry would have change his ways. Join the auror division. Marry Ginny or some other girls that he knew from Hogwarts. Sirius wasn't picky. He just hoped he wouldn't marry Hermione. She was far too independent for his taste. Studying and stuff. She wouldn't have time for the kids. And men obviously didn't bring up kids. Sirius couldn't understand why Harry would volunteer in the orphanage. It was fine to spend some time with man's children or friend's children, like he did with Harry or Remus' kid - Theodore. But with some strangers?!
He sipped his coffee. Yes, he would explain everything to Harry the next day. He was sure that his godson would understand. After all, he was James' child, and his friend always knew what was expected from him.
That reminded him that he should find a wife of his own. He wasn't exactly happy about that. But he wanted to have a child to carry his name. Even if Blacks represented everything he hated, he changed it. He was a war hero! And one of the most eligible bachelors along with Harry and that bastard Malfoy. He wouldn't have a problem with finding a right spouse.
Maybe they could even look together.
The day before Christmas Ball, 12:29pm, Lucius Malfoy's office, Ministry of Magic
There was a slight knock on the door.
'Come in' Lucius said calmly.
The door opened and Severus Snape entered. The grand traitor, proven by Albus Dumbledore's memories and Harry's statement to work for the light side all time. And of course honored with the Order of Merlin, second class, just as Lucius himself. Although, he was surprised when it came to the light that Lucius helped to destroy Voldemort. On the other hand, that might have been caused by Harry's old rags that he was wearing (Lucius refused to call them clothes, even in his head) at that time and the fact that he had seen him committing a suicide. Lucius preferred his illusions and never asked Severus about that.
'Lucius. What a shock! You are actually here' Snape sneered.
Lucius glanced at him, clearly not understanding what the man was talking about.
'Well, we did set up a meeting, didn't we? Where else would I be?'
'That's the question I have been asking myself for weeks. Where you are? I mean you do not work on Saturdays and Sundays, at least Sundays for sure. And yet, you are never home. The last few times I came by, the elves told me that you're out. Do you even live in your Malfoy's holiday Manor these days?'
'I will explain, but first let's go.'
'Where are we going?' asked Snape.
'Just a little place I know. You'll like it.'
'A place you know, that requires suits, not robes' Severus said doubtfully.
'Well, it's in the muggle world, obviously. Lately, I find it very irritating to go to the wizarding restaurants. I've already been proposed to seventeen times! Seventeen!'
That was true. The longer he was recognized as the hero, the more he thought it was just not worth it. As a public enemy, nobody would have the guts to approach him and propose to him. He reduced a few girls to tears, but it didn't help at all. They still wanted to talk to him and marry him. They even didn't tell him their names. Usually, they just blurted out the marriage proposals.
'And be happy I just didn't order pepperoni' he added.
Severus stared at his friend.
'What? I am absolutely sure I don't have anything on my face, so why are you staring?'
'I have just found that I have missed this version of you since your father messed up your brain' explained Snape. 'Although, I admit it is quite startling after all this time.'
Lucius shrugged and apparated them.
They were eating lunch in a Four Seasons in London, talking about the bills that Lucius was going to propose when Severus finally approached the subject that puzzled him the most.
'So, where do you live if not in your holiday's house? I would never think that you would leave anywhere but on Malfoy's property.'
'A lot of bad memories are there, Sev. And...'
'I would argue about you calling me 'Sev', but you are blushing. Like really blushing. Your cheeks are pink' Snape couldn't believe what he was seeing. 'I have not seen you flushed since you were fourteen and got a detention from Minerva for kissing that Ravenclaw in the corridor.'
'Oh, dear Slytherin. You have someone. Male someone!' Severus almost shouted and Lucius thanked himself mentally for putting up a privacy spell. 'And now, you are blushing even more' Severus teased him.
'Shut up, brother.'
'So, you are living together. Big step after your wife' he teased some more.
Lucius was considering hexing his friend, but oblivating entire restaurant would be a pain in the ass.
'Are you going to tell me who he is or introduce me?'
'Yes' Lucius nodded. 'But not yet. I am... I mean... It's...'
'In a way. But more...' Lucius couldn't find the right word.
'Yes. And I don't want to ruin things, just because somebody won't approve. And people most certainly won't. I don't even know if you will.'
'Lucius. You are happy and that is more than I have seen you be since you were seventeen. Your father messed up your head completely and I was really worried about you, especially after first year of being yourself again you spent hunting Horcruxes with Potter and being constantly under death sentence. But this guy, whoever he is obviously makes you happy, so I am going to accept that and accept it whenever you are ready to tell me. You spent eighteen years with a voice ordering you around in your head. You can be in love like a teenager, because mentally you have never moved past seventeen years.'
'Oh, thank you so much, Sev. You just told me that I behave like a seventeen years old horny kid. That's so reassuring' he said sarcastically.
'I am not saying that. Well, I am in a way. However, I believe that the Fate should give you back what it has taken away. And I hope your guy is that gift. But, because you are my brother, and I loved you even when you were acting like a bloody bastard, if he will hurt you, I will get his name out of you with Veritaserum, if I have to. Then I will hunt him down, cut off his balls with a dull knife and make him eat them. Afterwards, I will torture him a little more and think of some creative way to make his death as painful and long as possible.'
Lucius frowned and crossed his legs at the image.
'I will definitely pass it onto him.'
'Do that. So where do you live and what will you tell me about him?'
'We live in London. Most of the time. Sometimes we use other Malfoy's properties around the world to travel. But usually not the holiday Manor. And since I am just starting to rebuild Malfoy Manor after the fire, we can't live there either. And I would not like being there right now. Call me a fool, but... And I had taken him to New York in August. And we visit France, when we both have free weekends.'
'Well, I said that it is big step, but you have to be serious about the guy' this time Severus was serious.
'I am' he admitted reluctantly.
'I can't pretend to like it. You have been only a year and a half yourself. And most of it spent on hunt for Horcruxes and fighting. Are you absolutely sure that relationship thing is a good idea?'
'I am. Absolutely sure, Sev.'
'Ok. It will have to suffice for now. But don't expect me to change my mind any time soon. If the guy is using you, because of your past…And there is something else that you are not telling me.'
Lucius groaned. Of course, Severus would figure it all out. Sometimes he hated the man. He was definitely too intelligent and bright for his own good. Nothing would hide from his extraordinary observation skill. And he wasn't ready to tell him the identity of his lover. Although, he assumed that he would have to do that soon enough. Severus' mind was already set on task of finding out the identity of his mysterious lover. And he would do that quickly. Even if Lucius asked him, Severus' curiosity was too big to be able to leave that matter alone. That would only defer the inevitable.
'Yes, there is a little more to that. And you will be the first person to know, but right now don't pry, please. And keep your blasted mind occupied. I will definitely tell you soon, because now you won't let it go, but try to restrain yourself a little. Patience is good for you.'
'I will try, but you know how I am.'
'Yeah, I do. Like a hungry dog that just smelled the meat' Lucius muttered sourly. 'I don't even know why I am still friends with you. You are terrible.'
This made Snape laugh.
'You still are friends with me, because you profit from this relationship. You have someone who understands your poor, confused mind.'
And finally they both laughed.
The day of Ministry Christmas Ball, around 10am, Harry's Flat, Muggle London
Harry woke up entwined with Lucius. It was the way they had been sleeping together for more than a year. Harry's legs between Lucius' and blonde's arms around his waist. His arms were nearly always on Lucius muscled chest and his head just under man's chin. They had huge row the day before. Harry thought that they must be the only couple in the world that wasn't arguing about spending too much money, but in fact about who was going to pay.
After two hours of arguing, Lucius finally understood that he couldn't pay for Harry every time, especially when they weren't going out together. It took some real arguments and shouting. And of course, they were so horny by the end of the row, that the sex was absolutely fantastic.
Harry smiled. They were so different and he was so worried after the Battle of Hogwarts, that they wouldn't be able to make it work in normal circumstances. But they mostly did. And it was huge. Especially, since it was just six months that they were out of war.
But they put a lot of effort into every day. A lot of effort to talk about stuff that they did not agreed upon. And to find compromises. He touched Lucius' cheek lightly.
'M not getting up' mumbled the man and hugged him tighter.
'Not asking you too. It's Saturday. You don't have to. I will make breakfast, hm?'
'In bed?' asked Lucius, still not opening his eyes.
'Why not?' Harry chuckled and kissed blonde gently. 'But you have to let me go to do it.'
A scowl showed up on Lucius' face, but he did released Harry. The moment Harry got out of the bed, he entwined himself with the blankets. Harry smiled. They both hated to sleep alone after Horcrux' hunt. Long before they were lovers, they would sleep like that. Just to assure each other, that they were still alive. It just happened one cold night in their tiny tent and stayed that way. At first they were too embarrassed to talk about it and even more embarrassed that they needed that.
In the after match, when they both were in the Saint Mungo, Harry couldn't sleep without other body next to him. And once they got out, Lucius admitted that too after they left together the Victory Ball that was held the day Harry left the hospital.
Harry put on boxers, went to the kitchen and started preparing breakfast. Usually the house elves handled the meals, but at least once a week, on weekends, Harry would cook something. Unless he had exams. When he did, Lucius would turn sweet. Not that Harry would ever say that to the man's face. But it was the truth. Lucius would order his favorite food from restaurants or pizzerias and bring it for him. Not that Malfoy Lord was not fond of good pepperoni himself.
Often, they would also go to restaurants. Mostly in France or Muggle ones. It wasn't because they were ashamed. Harry wanted to tell everyone about them. But he knew people would react badly and their relationship was too fragile to risk that. However, he took first steps to tell Hermione and she was the first one on his list.
Harry took the prepared breakfast and got back to the bedroom. Lucius was still sleeping. He put down the small tray and sat down next to the man. He slipped his hand into Lucius' hair and started kissing him. It was the easiest way to wake him up. Suddenly, strong arms grabbed him and he found himself under Lucius being snogged thoroughly.
'Morning, my little lion' he said when they finally stopped battling with tongues.
'Morning, Lou. Slept well?'
'With you, always' Lucius kissed him again.
'I am afraid that our breakfast will cold...'
'Then we can heat it up with a spell' whispered Lucius next to his ear and bit it.
Harry moaned, when Lucius' lips found the perfect spot on his neck and sucked.
'Yessss. Please... Lou!'
Blonde's hands found his boxers and pushed them down, stroking Harry's tight gently.
'Please, Lou! Touch me!' Harry groaned again.
'Patience is a virtue' he whispered, moving on from Harry's neck to his nipples. The younger man tried to rub against his lover, but the hands held him firmly on the bed. 'Slowly, my dear lion.'
'You bastard!' Lucius sucked Harry's nipples some more. Harry tried to stroke Lucius, so the man would take him quicker, but blonde caught his hands and held them above their heads. In the meantime he came back to Harry's lips and kissed him deeply, forcing him into submission. 'Please!' Harry moaned against Lucius' lips. 'I will do anything.'
Lucius chuckled darkly. 'You already do, little lion.' He proceeded to give him light kisses all over his chest.
Harry finally heard the drawer next to bed being opened and he felt Lucius' fingers at his entrance. The man pushed two fingers into him and Harry moaned when he started stretching him.
'Yes! Fuck, yeah!' he screamed.
Lucius quickly added the third finger and kissed Harry demandingly. The younger male responded enthusiastically.
'So hard just for me' muttered Lucius. 'So beautiful and needy.' Lucius withdraw his fingers and positioned himself. One quick thrust and Harry screamed in pleasure, when man's cock hit his prostate. 'So mine...' whispered blonde man.
'Yes! Yes. Fuck me, Lou! I'm yours! Only yours!'
Hard, powerful thrusts brought them both quickly to the edge. Lucius kissing and stimulating his lover with his hand.
'Come for me, little lion.' whispered Lucius against his ear and Harry came violently all over his hand. Two more hard thrusts and Lucius was coming himself, shooting his semen into Harry.
They stayed still for a few moments, calming their hearts and breaths down. Finally, Lucius slid out from his lover and rolled to his side, his arms around Harry's waist.
'I love you' he said so quietly that Harry almost missed it. They both rarely said that and not since the Battle of Hogwarts.
'I love you too' Harry muttered to his ear. They lay together for a long while, just simply hugging and sharing a few kisses. Up till the moment that Harry's stomach rumbled.
Lucius chuckled at the sound.
'I guess we should better start with this breakfast of yours' he said and cast cleaning charms on them both.
Harry sat up and heated their breakfast with a spell.
'So, how was your talk with Ms. Granger yesterday?' asked Lucius and sipped his morning coffee.
Harry grinned. Of course, they didn't talk about that after they started fighting.
'It was great actually. She was great. She accepted me being gay without any problem. Hugged me even and said that she was worried if I wanted to profess my undying love for her or something ridiculous like that. I mean I do love her as my sister and the very thought of us having sex is repulsing.'
'So I hope. The only person you're allowed to have sex with is me.'
Harry rolled his eyes at Lucius' possessiveness.
'Well, so far you're the only one I have ever had sex with. What if someone else would be better in bed?' he teased.
Lucius growled and Harry laughed. He kissed man's nose.
'I'm messing around with you. There is no one else that I would want to have sex with.' He grabbed fork and ate some eggs. 'How's your meeting with Snape?'
'Irritating. I don't know why I'm still friends with this bastard.'
'He was teasing you, wasn't he?
Lucius nodded with a sour expression on his face.
'Hermione does that too. Not yesterday, obviously, because she knew that it was hard for me and stuff. But usually she does. And I can imagine only when she finds out about us, and accepts it, I won't have a single day of break.'
'I definitely share your poor choice in friends' muttered Lucius.
'But she told me that you asked her to review your bill projects, right?'
Harry grinned and kissed his lover hardly.
'Thank you for that. It means a lot.'
'Why do you think I did it for you? Her support as our local genius will be worth even more than yours, my dear, little lion.'
Harry smiled. Lucius could deny all he wanted. Harry knew the truth anyways.
November a year earlier, around 6am, forest, 30 miles from the cave with Horcrux
Harry wasn't cold. It was the first time since ages. He was actually comfortable and warm. For a second he thought he was dreaming. And he definitely didn't want to let the dream end, so he kept his eyes closed. There was a particular scent surrounding him. He smelled forest and clean, fresh air like just after the storm. He muttered quietly pleased. He was slowly coming back to the land of living.
He opened his eyes and shouted the quickly. He was sleeping entwined in Lucius fucking Malfoy. That wasn't a dream. It was a nightmare.
'Fuck!' he swore.
On the other hand, he hadn't felt that warm since he left Hogwarts. Blasted dementors caused the temperature to go down significantly. He opened his eyes again and saw a pair of grey, stormy ones. His cheeks burned. They rolled from each other and jumped to their feet. Harry knew very well that he was blushing in embarrassment. He couldn't bring himself to look at Malfoy.
Lucius cleared his throat loudly.
Harry raised his eyes. The Malfoy Lord was blushing too. His cheeks were incredibly red. Harry would have laughed if he wasn't so embarrassed himself.
Lucius took out Harry's watch that he stole shamelessly the second day.
'Well, I guess we should get up and get ready. If we want to reach the cave today.'
Malfoy wasn't used to going anywhere on his feet. It took them ages to get so far. Harry wasn't about to try apparition. It was too easy to track down. At the beginning it had been hell. Lucius had grumbled every ten minutes and stopped only after Harry called him a drama queen. They had hexed each other after that. This had been extremely stupid, because it had caught the attention of Dark Marauders, Voldemort's troops or Snatcher's, loosely connected Bounty Hunters. They had almost died that day, running away. It had also been the last time day fought with magic. Afterwards they had only exchanged insults.
It had also been the day that Harry had killed for the first time in his life. And he had done that to save Malfoy. Lucius had been strangely quiet, when they had finally stopped to heal themselves and get some sleep.
'I guess we should' said Harry finally.
They packed up quickly. It was another thing that Lucius hated. He understood that they couldn't use magic, but at first it had infuriated him to no end. After the meeting with the troops he had stopped grumbling about that as well.
They took off in cave's direction. It was the second Horcrux that they would find. The first one they managed to destroy with a sword that Lucius brought with himself.
When they finally reached the sea, the sun was high on the sky.
'Can you swim?' asked Harry.
'We are going to swim' Lucius said sourly. 'In the North Sea in November. Great. Have anyone told Voldemort what a bastard he is?'
'As far as I remember you did' reminded him Harry.
'Ah, yes. One of my fondest memories. Thanks Slytherin that the sea is calm today or we would crash into these bloody rocks.' He took of the shoes and socks. Harry did the same. 'Are we jumping?'
'Great, Potter. Seriously. Do you know anything about this place? Or are we going to die accidentally because of your improvisation?'
Harry glanced at him angrily and did the only thing that came to his mind. He jumped off the cliff. He fall down quickly and hit the surface of the sea. The water was extremely cold. It covered him for a few seconds, before he managed to swim out and catch a breath. He looked up to see Lucius jumping off the cliff. Seconds later the man was floating next to him.
'I swear, Potter, should you kill us before we get Voldemort, I will resurrect you and murder you myself. Slowly and painfully.'
Harry rolled his eyes and started swimming.
They managed to get to the cave and crawled out of cold water. They stood in the small cave, surrounded by stone, strangely regular walls.
Lucius dried them with a spell.
At Harry's questioning look, he just asked:
'Don't you feel it?'
'That something is in the air? Smelling like blood and sweat and being thick enough so you could almost taste it? And that the air shines strangely?'
Lucius stared at Harry with his eyes wide.
'What?' younger man asked.
'It's magic' Lucius got back to his usual self. 'That spell is too weak to break through that.'
'Do you feel it like me?' Harry asked.
'The magic?' when the young man nodded, he added: 'No, Lord Potter, I don't believe that there are many people that can spot the magic.'
'It was always like that' he said. 'Hogwarts shines a lot. I always thought that it is supposed to look like that.'
Lucius shot him a look.
'Of course, only you would think that extremely rare magical gift is 'normal', but anyway, tell me, where it shines the most.'
'I have lots of strange magical gifts' growled Harry. 'Most of them are rare. And most of them I didn't wanted.'
'Just tell me, Potter. I do not want to argue about that right now. Even if I think it's a waste.'
Harry pointed his finger at the wall.
'There. And the wall is reddish.'
'Reddish, you say?' Harry nodded. 'Well, it's rather unimaginative. But nobody ever accused the bastard of being creative. Even his tortures rely on crucio all the time. I wonder why Death Eaters aren't bored with him yet.' He took out his knife and sliced his hand.
Harry gasped, but Lucius ignored him. He put his hand on the wall. The stone flickered and disappeared.
'And here we go' muttered Lucius to himself.
They entered the room. It was large with an underground lake. It shined even more than the one before. Lucius pointed at the small island in the middle.
'Such a cliché.'
'Do you have to evaluate Dark Lord's imagination every time?'
'Yes. Because it royally sucks.'
'What? You didn't think I know such words, did you? Well, I do. And I can even put them in right context. Shining, Lord Potter. Where does it shine the most?'
'Can you just call me Harry?' he asked rhetorically. 'And it shines here.' He waved at the water just next to the waterside.
Lucius kneeled next to him and started muttering something.
Suddenly, a boat sprung out of water.
'How do you know all that? The blood and this?' Harry asked glancing at Lucius and boat back and forth.
'My father started teaching me about Dark Magic when I turned three, Lord Potter. I had a lot of time to learn as you say "all that"'
'Oh, indeed. I have a feeling that my magic next to yours will be nothing, so we can both go to the island.'
'Yes, Potter' Lucius rolled his eyes in irritation. 'The boat is probably limited to carry only one "magic" in a way. One magical signature. But I think that it doesn't matter. I am powerful, but I certainly cannot see the magic, as you do. Your magic will probably dim mine. So, we should both be able to go over to the island' he explained.
They boarded the boat together. As soon as they were inside it started moving smoothly in island's direction. Harry looked down and screamed silently.
'What is it?' Lucius asked immediately.
Harry just pointed at the water.
'Inferi' Lucius said when he saw bodies floating under the water.
'Dead bodies animated by the Dark Lord, I guess. They will tear you apart if you let them come close enough. They have no minds on their own. Usually, they have only one task. Kill. The protection against them is fire.'
'Fire' Harry repeated.
'Yes. But not Incendio. It would be too weak. There are two spells. Firestorm, the incantation is Tempête de feu. But don't use it, unless it will be necessary. The other is Voco ignis. It should be enough. If it won't be, I will cast Firestorm. Just don't do it yourself. The spell is difficult to control. Almost as bad as Fiendfyre.'
'Dark Magic. We are definitely not using this one. I don't want to burn here. Firestorm is French and the other is Latin.'
'Why are you telling me this?'
'Since you have to beat the Dark Lord, I think it's time for you to learn something about magic. I won't leave my life in the hands of the fool, no matter how powerful you are' said Lucius and stepped out of the boat.
Harry wanted to get angry, but the man was right. He was a fool. He would never figure out the wall and the boat.
In the meantime Lucius was carefully examining the pedestal and large bowl that was placed on it.
'I have no idea what's that' he said. 'I am not as good in Potions as Severus. But I have no doubt that this is deadly. And it has to be drunk to get whatever it's in it.'
Harry stepped closer to the man and looked down.
'Which one of us is drinking?'
Lucius looked at him as if he was crazy.
'Drinking? Are you mad?'
'Well, do you have another idea how to get it?'
Lucius stared at the bowl for a while, but it was Harry who got an idea.
'What about house elf?'
'What?' Lucius glanced at him again.
'Well, we can't drink it, but maybe a house elf would, so we don't die. And potion may affect them differently!' he said enthusiastically.
It was true. The Dark Lord always underestimated house elves. So, he probably didn't make wards against them. But it was doubtful, that the potion would affect them differently. The house elf would probably die. But better house elf than them. Lucius could have just not informed Harry about his doubts.
'This is the idea' he said. 'Bimmy!' he said.
'Master called Bimmy' the house elf appeared with a loud pop.
'Yes, Bimmy. You will drink something. Lord Potter here will pour it to your mouth. You must not resist, do you understand?'
'Yes, Master Malfoy, Sir.'
Lucius was standing with his wand out and Harry started pouring the liquid into elf's mouths. After the first few gulps, the small, ugly face winced in pain.
'Don't stop, Potter. It has to be done' Lucius said.
Harry scowled, but listened anyway. He poured one glass after another to the elf's mouths, hating himself for that. Finally, there was no more liquid in the bowl. The elf passed out and Harry jumped to the bowl. At the bottom there was a locket. Harry grabbed it and it started. The Inferi came out of water.
Lucius cast Tempête de feu, but it the army of Inferi was still coming. Harry tried to help him by casting Voco ignis, but it still wasn't enough.
'Fuck!' the blonde man screamed. 'There is too many of them!'
Harry cast Voco ignis time and time again, but the Inferi were still coming. He didn't know what to do. Suddenly, he realised that something in the room changed.
'Lucius! It's not so shiny anymore!' he shouted, for the first time using the man's given name.
The Malfoy Lord glanced at him in shock quickly, then jumped, caught the younger man and apparated them.
It was probably Harry's worst apparition ever. He was squeezed, felt terrible hot and then cold. His stomach revolted. They fall down onto the ground and rolled a couple meters in the wet brushwood of the forest.
Harry rose to his knees and vomited. But Lucius didn't give him any more time. He grabbed his arm and raised him to his feet.
'We have to go' he said. 'It probably alarmed every wizard in the area.'
So they went.
The day after Christmas Ball, around 11am, The Burrow
Ron Weasley was eating breakfast and thinking. He was a witness to Sirius' discussion with Harry the day before. He couldn't understand why the idiot was resisting Lord Black. Sirius was right. Harry dated Ginny and they looked happy. His sister would be ideal for the Boy Who Lived. Faithful and she would give him children and take care of them. It was all that a man should want from life. But Harry didn't understand anything. He didn't want to marry Ginny. He was going out with Hermione and studying. Well, of course they wouldn't say that they were dating, but Ron wasn't stupid. They met almost daily. Why would they if they weren't dating?
He growled. Once, he loved Hermione and even proposed to her. And she had the guts to refuse and say that she wasn't ready for marriage! That she wanted to study! Study! Women don't study! They take care of the house. It's man responsibility to provide for the family.
When he told her that, Hermione said that she wouldn't be like that and if he didn't like it, they should break up with each other. Of course, Ron didn't like it! How could he?
Ron didn't understand his friends lately at all. Well, his ex-friends anyway. It all started just after the Victory Ball and passing the NEWTS. Harry disappeared for a week after that, and when he got back he informed everyone that he got into Magical University of London, that was reopened after the one year break. All professors that ran away the moment Voldemort took over, came back and reinstated the university. McGonagall said that they have run away because they were frightened that Voldemort would try and use their knowledge and their resources.
And it would be fine if Harry had chosen politics or laws, after all he was a Potter Lord and probably Black Lord in future. But no! He has chosen bloody healing! What man chooses to be a healer?!
And that still wasn't all. Harry also started to dress himself up! He was wearing robes almost all the time. And they weren't regular ones! No. They were all fancy and expensive! As if he was some kind of a ponce like Malfoy! Ron wasn't jealous. He would never dress like that. Merlin's beard, Harry had a bloody pink shirt on him the day before. Pink! His mum said that Harry looked very handsome in his robes, but why the hell was he wearing pink shirt?!
His mother entered the kitchen.
'Morning Ron, going to your classes?'
'Yes, mum. I have a couple of things to learn still before Christmas' he said.
'Just watch yourself up there' he said that every morning.
'Of course, mum.'
Just after NEWTS Ron entered auror training. He lacked one mark in potions, having only A instead of P, but being a war hero, it was overlooked. He wasn't the best in his group, but still wasn't the last. Year of resistance against Voldemort made him quite strong and he learnt a lot. Well, not as much as Harry, who in the Battle of Hogwarts fought like a demon or devil or something. However, Harry was running and fighting almost daily during his Horcrux hunt and had Malfoy with him. Ron, on the other hand, had a warm bed in the safe house and mostly was doing some house chores, because he wasn't any good with research like Hermione, who helped others. He thought it was unjust. Hermione was good with books, but he also could have more responsibility. After the war he was the only one out of them, who was responsible and acted properly. Now, everybody finally saw that he was as valuable as Harry and Hermione.
'Harry looked very handsome yesterday' said suddenly Molly. 'It's such a shame that he acts so immature. I hope he will grow up and finally proposed to our little Ginny. After all, that's his responsibility to the Wizarding World. He should have kids.'
Ron sighed. The only problem was explaining that to Harry. Lately, nobody had been making any progress in getting that through his thick skull.
Ron drank the rest of his coffee. He had bigger issues to deal with than Harry's idiocy. Auror training wasn't easy and Ron didn't want to be kicked out. He would let Sirius deal with it. After all, Harry wouldn't throw away Black Lordship and their money, or would he?
Two days before Christmas, early morning, Magical University of London
Harry came by to the uni to check his anatomy exam's results. He got 92 out of 100 and thought about celebrating with Hermione or Neville who went on to study Herbology or some of his friends from the Healing Department. He sat down in university restaurant and ate his breakfast that he didn't manage to grab before leaving home, because Lucius was especially sweet that morning.
It puzzled him a lot. Lucius hated getting up in the morning and usually didn't eat breakfast himself. But sometimes, he would wake up early for the quick session of lovemaking.
Harry finished his breakfast and suddenly felt his stomach revolting. He tried to calm it down, but it didn't work out. He ran to the bathroom and threw up.
'Are you ok, mate?' one of his acquaintances from healing department, Jeremy, came along.
'Yeah, it's just nausea and revolting stomach. Third day in a row.'
Jeremy was a muggle-borns, year older than Harry, who couldn't start his studies because of the war. For a year he was hiding in the muggle world, in order to survive. Harry didn't blame him for that. Not everybody could or even should fight, as Sirius and others claimed.
'Third day in a row?' Jeremy frowned as he helped Harry to his feet. 'Not that I am paranoid after studying healing for one term, but mate, are you sure it's just nausea and not something more serious?'
Harry shook his head.
'I am not.'
'So why don't you go to a healer? Prof. Maxwell is still here, you know?'
Professor Maxwell was the healer that found out about Harry's wild magic and was helping him to tame it. She was small woman, approaching her thirty birthdays, and had two adorable boys, Aiden and Graham, that Harry has met a few times. Her wife was an auror and died in the war. She took Harry under her wings. Harry was surprised at that. He thought that she would blame him like Ron, but she most certainly didn't. She was his advisor and supervisor, as every healing student had one. He hadn't have classes with her yet, but they met every other week to discuss his progress. Usually, it was over lunch or dinner. And sometimes she would even invite him to her house.
'I don't want to.'
Jeremy looked at him as if he was crazy.
'Look, I just survived the war' groaned Harry. 'I don't want to find out that I have some strange, exotic, terminal illness, that nobody ever found cure for' Harry washed himself.
Jeremy grabbed his arm as soon as he finished and said:
'Ok. You're an idiot, so I will get you to prof. Maxwell, so that you won't kill yourself if it's not a terminal disease, but could be if you leave it be and not get cured.'
Harry couldn't help when he was dragged to the woman's office. At least she was a woman. He wasn't comfortable going to male healer.
Jeremy knocked and they were allowed to come in.
'Oh, Harry and Mr. Sherret! What are you still doing here? I thought you would be out celebrating your anatomy results' she welcomed them.
'Well, you see, Harry's ill' said Jeremy. 'He's been vomiting a lot lately and he didn't want to see a healer, so I brought him here myself.'
'Oh, of course. Let's go here and I will do some testing' she smiled gently at Harry. 'Jeremy, will you wait?'
'Yeah, sure' the man nodded.
Harry followed his professor into another room, prepared for examination of patients.
'Sit down, Harry, take off your shirt and I will run a few check-up spells on you' she took out her wand. Evidently, the results weren't something she would expect, because she frowned slightly and looked up at Harry.
'I need to run some additional check-ups. If you could lay down, here, ok?' she pointed at examining bed.
Harry did as she asked.
'Is everything alright?'
'I think so, but... I just need to check something up' she said.
Professor Maxwell ran her wand above his stomach a couple of times.
'Ok, Harry. I need to ask you a few questions, and before that I want to assure you that as your healer right now, I am under very strict laws and spells about patient-healer confidentiality. So, nothing that is said here, will be told to anyone, ok?'
'Yeah, sure, we've been learning about that.'
The woman nodded.
'Great. So, are you currently in a homosexual relationship with anyone?'
Harry's eyes widened and he blushed.
Professor chuckled. 'I will take that as a yes. And I guess that you weren't trying to get pregnant?'
'WHAT?!' Harry shouted and sat up.
'Ok, no need to shout' she said calming him. 'It's ok.'
'Am I pregnant? But I thought it required taking potions for some times or getting through some rituals?!'
'Yes, usually, it does. But sometimes, when two wizards are very powerful, and knowing you we can assume that you are, especially with your magic going wild, it can happened naturally. It's not unheard of, just rare. Mostly, you won't learn about that, unless you choose to specialize in pregnancies.'
'Oh, shit' Harry groaned, totally shocked. 'Fuck. What am I going to do?'
'Well, I guess, you will have to talk to the father' she touched his arm reassuringly. 'It's fine, Harry. It's a great gift.'
Harry ran his hand through his hair.
'Fuck' he groaned again. Pregnant. He definitely didn't see that one coming. What would Lucius say?
'Don't swear, young man. It's a baby. Your baby. And since you confirmed basically, that you are in a relationship, the father will look at that this way. Especially, if he was brought up in the wizarding world. Muggle-borns have sometimes some problems with accepting that, but half-bloods and especially purebloods think of such incidents as about a wonder.'
Of course, but Harry didn't know if Lucius was ready for that. Not after his son-half-brother tried to kill him. Well, Draco wasn't really Lucius' child, but it was hard on him anyway. He was his family. And nobody even knew about their relationship! And he was sure, that Sirius would try to kill Lucius or worse and make the baby an orphan.
And, to add to that, he wasn't sure, if he was ready for such a step. They were together for a year, half of it during a war! And now they would have a baby together. Granted, he didn't want to leave Lucius ever and it was better than one night stand or something that resulted in the pregnancy, but still...
He sighed. At least he loved children. That was part of the reason why he volunteered in the orphanage. He couldn't bear a thought that any child would be brought up as he was, unwanted, unloved and uncared for. After he screamed that at Lucius, his lover never again approached the subject of Harry's volunteer work. They did talk a little about Harry's childhood and Lucius took him to his counsellor that he was going to after the war to deal with being a prisoner in his own mind for almost twenty years. Their relationship was quite strong these days, but they both were still fragile. They still woke up screaming. They were both seeing a bloody shrink. Well, not a full shrink, but it didn't change anything.
Harry sighed. He would never even think about abortion. Killing an unborn baby, especially his baby was unthinkable for him. He would have to deal with it. Hopefully, together with Lucius, he did love the man, but if not, he would raise the baby himself. Other be damned.
He put his hand on his stomach. His baby. And Lucius'. His little one was there. It was the first time that he was glad that he was so powerful. He smiled gently coming to a decision.
'Ok. So what do I do now?' he asked his prof.
'Besides talking to your partner?' the woman smiled at him cheerfully and winked. She was like that all the time and Harry liked her a lot. No judging, unless you were failing your studies because of laziness. 'Well, I am not an expert in pregnancies, but we have one, here, at the uni. You will have classes with her in your third year. Her name is professor Ann Longbottom. She is an aunt of your friend I believe. Neville, right?' Harry nodded. 'I will call her now, so she can explain tall about male pregnancy to you, ok? She will be bound as well by patient-healer confidentiality. Is it fine with you?' she asked, knowing that Harry probably wouldn't like it if the press found out about his pregnancy. After all he must have put a lot of effort to hide his relationship. After he started attending MUL, the reporters were everywhere, annoying professors, student and other stuff to the point that the Dean banned them from campus.
Harry nodded. If Neville's aunt were anything like his friend.
A few moments later, petite, smiling woman in her mid-forties almost jumped into the room.
'Mr. Potter, it's such a pleasure to meet you! Neville was always talking about you! I knew, of course, that you started studying in our department! And I can't believe what Lizzie told me! It's a wonder!' she smiled cheerfully at him. 'I haven't had a case of male pregnancy in two years, not to mention natural!' Her energy was a little bit scaring. 'But don't worry, Mr. Potter. I assure you that everything will be absolutely fine and of course absolutely confidential, especially considering your status as a war hero. Neville's always been telling us how you hate the press attention, so don't worry. Nothing will go behind these walls!'
'Ann is the best in her field' said professor Maxwell. 'I leave you in the best hands that I could possibly find.'
Prof. Longbottom blushed a little.
'Thank you, Lizzie, for that vote of confidence' she said. 'I will be honoured to be your healer, Mr. Potter. I will ensure that everything will be absolutely fine with you and the baby. There are no reasons to worry. But you will have to follow some strict guidelines, ok?'
Harry just nodded. He barely could keep up with woman's speech. In the meantime professor Maxwell was observing Harry slowly. From the moment she met the boy, she wanted to mother him. It was quite irrational, since he was only about ten years younger than her. They were assigned randomly to each other like every other year. Lizzie wasn't expecting to get Harry Potter and she wasn't truly sure about it at first. But when they met for the first time, she saw timid, shy young man, who muttered something about helping and not killing people, when she asked him why he wanted to become healer.
Later, she found out about his wild magic, when Sirius Black came over to the uni and had a very public row with Harry that was described in the Daily Prophet the next day. All windows in the hallway where they were arguing were destroyed by the fit of boy's magic. She consulted the Dean and they made a thorough plan for Harry to master his feelings and magic. The boy paid for the shattered windows, in spite of Dean's protests and accepted their help with great relief. Afterwards, both she and the Dean received anonymous, very expensive gifts (she loved her new white gold necklace a lot) and also an anonymous sponsor started donating the university. At first, they thought it was Harry, who didn't want to be accused of paying for his grades (not that he needed to, he was second in his year and working very hard), but later they rejected this option. For some time, Lizzie thought that it might be Black, who felt ashamed of his behaviour, but another public row happened and she was forced to reject that option as well. But Harry's pregnancy gave her another idea. Was it mysterious lover, who thanked them for helping the boy?
It wasn't that she wasn't curious. She was. Extremely. But she noticed that Harry didn't respond well to prying as well as trying to control him. And she wasn't going to throw away the trust that she had earned these past months. Not over something as childish as curiosity. At least she knew that Harry would love his child. He loved every child. Even her boys, who now always asked when he would come over and play with them.
She would help Harry. She had a feeling in her guts that Sirius Black not only didn't know about his godson's preferences, but also would not be very acceptable about them. No matter, how the Wizarding World viewed homosexual relationship.
'I will leave you for now, then, and tell Jeremy that he can go, shall I?' she smiled at the boy, when he nodded. 'And Harry, don't forget about our meeting tomorrow. I know that you'll probably have a lot going on your mind, so come over for a dinner at my house. Is five ok with you?'
When Harry nodded again, she backed to her office.
Christmas Eve, year earlier, around 11am, Muggle Hostel, Glasgow
'Are you serious about staying here?' scowled Lucius.
'Do you prefer sleeping in snow? Because I most certainly like it here better.'
'There is only one bed with lots of fleas!' scowled Lucius again.
They were in the worst possible, muggle hostel in Glasgow. The room was dark with only one window. The carpet looked worn out and dirty, the curtains on the window were dusty and on the double bed were indeed fleas. But they were running from Death Eaters, Dark Marauders and Snatchers for the past month, sleeping on the ground and Harry had enough. He needed bathroom, if only for one night. And he was so cold. He felt like he had never been warm in his life.
'I am cold and dirty. I need bathroom and a shower, and a bed I can sleep in, Malfoy. I am tired. It's the first day that we managed to lose those blasted Snatcher or Marauders or whomever had been chasing us. I am not going back to the fucking forest because you can't deal with a few fleas. It's fucking Christmas. I was sleeping in the bloody cupboard under the stairs for ten years, with nothing but spiders as my companions. And you have survived forest ground, you can deal with fucking fleas or not. I am staying. At least it's warm here' said Harry irritated.
Lucius' eyes widened at the mention of cupboard.
'You slept in a cupboard' he repeated.
'Yes, I did. And believe me, this room is far better. And it's not like we're not used to sleeping together, so don't whine about one bed. You will survive that too.'
'Why were you sleeping in a cupboard?'
'Because my relatives didn't like magic. They are kind of like a milder version of your half-brother, just the other way around' Harry sighed.
Lucius eyed him carefully and sat down on the bed.
'I guess dead men don't protest' he laid down. 'And at least I can get warm shower too.'
Harry nodded. He expected more fighting about that.
'You can go first. I will go and grab some pizza and coke.'
'Food. Not bad. Just muggle.'
Lucius looked like he was about to protest, but finally nodded.
'Get some whisky.'
'Even Death Eaters celebrate Christmas. Or rather Yule. But anyway. They won't be tracking us today too eagerly.'
'Do you always celebrate Yule with whisky?'
'No. But this year is especially terrible.'
'I wasn't talking about you, Potter. You turned out to be surprisingly good company. Well, at least you would turn out, if you weren't coming up with those bloody jokes "How to kill the Dark Lord in the most ridiculous, stupidest way that the Boy Who Lived can think of".'
'Yeah, I know. If it means anything you aren't so bad yourself.'
'Oh, thank you, Lord Potter, I shall cherish this moment forever. The Great Hero of The Wizarding World likes me.'
'I didn't say I like you. You're still a spoiled arshole' Harry said with a smile.
To his horror, Lucius returned the smile. To save at least some face, he backed to the bathroom to take a shower. He so hated Christmas. It made him say thing he didn't want to.
Harry got back quickly with some boxes, some strange cups and bottles of whisky and some muggle drink. He showered and they sat down next to each other on the bed.
He opened one of the boxes, revealing what he called pepperoni.
'What about cutlery?' asked Lucius.
'You don't use cutlery with pizza. You just take a slice in your hands, put some sauce on it and eat it' Harry demonstrated the process.
'I have a feeling that I will need lots of whisky by the end of the night' muttered Lucius and did the same thing.
"Pizza" was surprisingly tasty. And full of fat. If it wasn't muggle, Lucius would probably admit that it was the best food he had ever eaten. He hadn't had anything warm in his mouth for ages. He lost at least 20 pounds and was as skinny as when he was fifteen.
'See, told you it's not that bad' Harry managed to say between the bites.
'No, it's not' admitted sourly Lucius.
They finished the box rather quickly and Lucius felt better than in the last few months. Harry took out the whisky and two cups.
'So, how are you supposed to drink it? The guy sold me some ice cubes too.' He opened some pouch.
'Haven't you ever had whisky?' asked astonished Lucius.
Lucius raised an eyebrow, but didn't say anything.
'Usually, I use little, frozen, granite cubes instead of ice, because they don't mix up with whisky and spoil it, but I guess it's not twenty years old one either. Just pour it and add two cubes.'
Harry did as he was told, ignoring Lucius muttering about twenty years old whisky, and gave one plastic cup to Lucius.
'To surviving?' he asked.
'No' Lucius shook his head. 'To the death of the Dark Lord. Drink slowly, it's not a shot.'
Harry took a sip. The liquid burned his throat. He swallowed and coughed. His cheeks burning, he put the cup away, grabbed the bottle of coke, poured and swallowed everything.
Lucius laughed, observing him.
'Very funny' muttered Harry, blushing.
'Yes, it is' teased Lucius. 'But I think we should think about the bloody locket.'
They had only time to discover that the locked was a fake. But Death Eaters' chase made it impossible to think about it more than a few minutes. Harry took out the note.
To the Dark Lord,
I know I will be dead long before you read this but I want you to know that it was I who discovered your secret. I have stolen the real Horcrux and intend to destroy it as soon as I can. I face death in the hope that when you meet your match you will be mortal once more.
'Ok, so he called the Dark Lord, the Dark Lord' Harry sipped some whisky. 'That's not usual for people, who are not supporters. So, I guess he must have been pureblood and a supporter, or even a Death Eater.'
'Pureblood?' Lucius scowled. 'Do you know how many families are considered pureblood in wizarding Britain? And a Death Eater? Only the Dark Lord knows every single one. I knew maybe fifty and it's only because they were my acquaintances beforehand.'
'So how many families are there?'
'Around 2000. And more than half are supporters of the Dark Lord.'
'So many? I thought that there weren't so many purebloods anymore.'
'Well, it depends.'
'On whom you consider to be pureblood.'
'I don't follow' admitted Harry.
'I guess since I have already started teaching you about Theory of Magic, I may as well teach you about politics and wizarding traditions' he rubbed his temple. 'There are five main categories of people. The purists, like my wife and my son, believe that to be called a pure-blooded wizard, you must have at least 10 direct generations of wizarding ancestors on both sides of your parents. Which narrows the "pureblood" population down to about two hundred fifty families. However, most of the wizards would say that pureblood is someone whose grandparents were wizards, or at least great grandparents. Then, there is half-blood. And this name is only for people who have one wizarding parent, how have at least great grandparents or grandparents who were wizards on one side and a muggle parent on the other side. Next are muggle-borns, who are born from muggle parents. Finally, there are squibs and muggles, but that's not important for now.'
'Where's the rest? I mean, my mother was muggle-born, but I guess my father was a pureblood. So, what I am?'
'The theory is somewhat lacking' Lucius shrugged. 'You are between categories I guess. And your father was a pureblood. Before you came, Potters would be included in the pure families with much more than 10 generation of purebloods. Of course, your grandmother was a Black, Dorea, and they are crazy enough to marry their cousins to maintain the purity of the line. Or at least were, since they almost died out.'
'I am a Black?' asked Harry shocked.
'Well, obviously. Most of the wizarding families are connected, especially those with Lordships. It shows. You are just as crazy as Walburga or Phineas Nigellus, well not in the same way, but nonetheless...'
Harry took a pillow and slammed Lucius with it.
'Have you just hit me with a pillow?' Lucius looked rather ridiculous. 'It's rather unbecoming form a Lord Potter.'
'Are you going to get your revenge now? Or can we get back to the locket?'
Lucius looked at him for a few seconds.
'I will get my revenge later. I am not as immature as you, Lord Potter. Coming back to the message, I know at least ten families with a last name starting with a B. Boot, for once, but they've never been on Dark Lords side, if your interpretation of usage of the title is correct. Bones, still not a Dark Family. Bagshot, neutral, but they are breeding quicker the Weasleys, so that could be some black sheep or whatever. Burbage. They have clear dark inclinations. But I don't know if any of them got close enough.'
'Burbage? Isn't that the Muggle Studies professor at Hogwarts?'
'Charity? Yes, she was. At least to the point that she was murdered by the Dark Lord, in early June, before I was discovered a traitor. She was a white sheep of her family, just like your stupid godfather.'
'Anyway. Branstone. They are generally half-bloods, but neutral. And the Dark Lords is known to take some half-bloods to his rank.'
'Probably, because he's a bloody half-blood himself' muttered Harry. Lucius just rolled his eyes.
'If you'll keep interrupting me we will never get anywhere.'
Harry, having already drunk four cups of whisky, just smiled cheerfully.
'Moving on. Bell. They are clearly light. Pure-blooded and half-blooded, most of the time. Depends on the branch of the tree. I don't think there would be someone who went over to Voldemort, but they wouldn't volunteer with the information, would they? Brown. They are pure-blooded and neutral, mostly. I know that one in Hogwarts is in Gryffindor, but their inclinations lay a little more to the dark. Bagman. They got on my nerves all the time. Especially, that idiot, Ludovic. He's the greatest example that inbreeding has an impact on children's intelligence.'
'Do you mean Ludo Bagman? I can understand that perfectly. Lockhart and he are in one league.'
'Undoubtedly. But he did have contact with Death Eaters. And, he was almost convicted for that. But he does not have brain capabilities to get that Horcrux. Next, Brocklehurst. Half-bloods these days, but evidently the Horcrux might have been retrieved in the seventies or even earlier, because the person was sure that he would die. So, the Dark Lord probably still lived. Bulstrode. Purebloods, Slytherins, Death Eaters. But, they don't have the guts for treason. And they are purists. Anyone else, ah, yes, Binns, but they almost died out. And they always were... a little too much in history to pay attention to current events.'
'So, who could get the Horcrux out of the cave, and where should we look for it now?'
'I don't know' muttered Lucius.
'Shit' Harry leaned over blonde man to get more whisky from the shelf next to the bed.
'Don't you think you had enough of that, Lord Potter?' asked Lucius.
Harry poured himself another glass and eyed the man angrily.
'Why can't you stop calling me Lord Potter? One would think that we were way beyond fucking titles.'
Lucius looked carefully at the man laying just inches next to him. He was wearing just a T-shirt and boxers. Yes, one could think that they were way over titles. The man ran his hand through his hair. He was flushed from all the whisky they had drunk. Lucius wasn't unaffected himself. But titles were safe for him. They meant that the person was not an acquaintance or a friend. And Lucius was afraid. Shitlessly scared that someone would lock him again in his own mind and use him like he was used for years and years by his supposedly family.
But, Potter was always so honest with him. Never expecting anything, never judging, never saying anything about his nightmares. And they were always sleeping entwined in each other, so he couldn't not hear his screams or mutters.
Lucius put down his glass. He was dead anyway and, after all, he could always blame it all on alcohol. Especially, if Potter... Harry slapped him.
He leaned down to the boy and kissed him. Harry was so surprised that he slipped his tongue inside the man's mouth without a problem. He ran over his teeth and bit his lip slightly. He couldn't say that he wasn't surprised himself, when Harry's right arm landed in his hair and left one around his waist, pulling him close. Their tongues fought for domination, a battle that Lucius as more experienced easily won. His hand wandered to stroke the man's thigh, the other sliding under the shirt to tease hard mussels on Harry's stomach.
Harry definitely moaned at that.
He broke the kiss.
'Yes, definitely beyond the titles, Harry' he whispered to man's ear.
He felt his prize for that when body underneath him shivered.
'You like that, don't you?' he chuckled slightly.
'Yeees!' Harry moaned again when Lucius' hand moved up on his leg. He searched blonde's mouths and pulled him into another kiss.
Lucius impatiently pushed Harry's boxers down.
'Wait. I've never...'
Blonde raised his eyes and met Harry's.
'You've never had sex?' His hand was back to stroke man's thigh. 'Merlin, what the hell were you doing in Hogwarts? It's a bloody boarding school.'
Harry blushed even harder than before.
'Trying to survive Dark Lord's schemes?'
'Touché. I can stop if...'
'No' groaned Harry and pulled him into another kiss.
'It will hurt a little' Lucius muttered against his lips. 'Are you even gay?'
'Don't care. And yes.'
'Fine, then, Harry' Lucius took off both their boxers completely, and Harry pushed his hips violently up. 'Easy, little lion. You'll get what you want, but slowly' he whispered again to man's ear and stroked his cock a few times.
His efforts were rewarded with shouted: Yes, please! That didn't help him at all. He hadn't had sex since his father messed up his brain, which was roughly eighteen years ago. Harry's begging worn down all patience that he had. He muttered lubrication spell wandlessly. Probably nobody would notice it on Christmas Eve in a city with several dozen thousands of wizards.
Finally, he pushed a finger into Harry's entrance. The man shivered awkwardly, so he searched his prostate and stabbed it. That brought totally new sounds out of Harry. The man moaned and begged in high voice.
'You definitely are gay, Lord Potter' Lucius teased him, biting and licking his neck.
He pushed second finger into him. Harry screamed in pleasure and Lucius prayed for thick walls. He pressed his mouth against Potter's and used his tongue and teeth to tease him as much as he could to take his mind off third finger pressing against his opening. The second hand absently caressed man's cock.
'Beautiful. Hard. I am going to take you, little lion, and we will both enjoy it' he pushed third finger into Harry and the man shuddered in discomfort. 'Easy.' Lucius found his nipple and teased it, in the meantime stretching him.
Finally, he couldn't be patient any longer. When Harry started begging again, he withdrew his fingers, ignoring a moan from the man at the loss. He forced Harry's legs to entwine around him and positioned himself. He pushed slowly into the body beneath him. Harry's hand tightened on his back, his nails leaving marks without any doubt.
'Easy. It will get better' he kissed the younger man again. He settled down in Harry and waited for him to relax and adjust.
'Hurts' muttered Harry, when they stopped kissing.
'I know, just relax' Lucius' hand stroked Harry's cock, forcing the man to relax. Only after the man was reduced to begging and whimpering again he started thrusting into him.
'Yes' he heard beneath him. 'Fuck, Lucius!'
He sped up and it stroked Harry's cock harder.
'You're so fucking thigh! So hot!'
It didn't take much to push the boy over the edge. He came all over them and tightened impossibly around Lucius' cock. And it was all it took for Lucius to come also. He shot his seed into Harry.
He fell on the smaller body and panted. Harry surprised him again when he caught his lips in one more, hard kiss.
Lucius slid out of the warmness, and turning around, he pulled Harry with him.
'Good?' he asked sleepily.
It was the last thing he heard before drifting into sleep.
A few hours later Harry was dreaming, his mind wandering through his memories. Somehow, his brain was telling him that there was something that he should have remembered. And that it was important.
The realization stroke him and he sat up, widely awoken. His movement woke up Lucius.
'You know, I am trying to sleep here' he said irritated.
'I know whom you missed!'
'What? I didn't miss anything.'
'With the families' names. You never said Black.'
This woke Lucius up completely.
'And wasn't Sirius' brother a Death Eater? What was his name? Reginald? Romulus?'
'Regulus' Lucius corrected. 'Regulus Arcturus Black. R.A.B. And he died in 1979, supposedly because he betrayed the Dark Lord.'
Harry looked at him with his eyes wide opened.
'Grimmauld Place 12. Black's house. There was a lot of stuff there, when we were cleaning up. Most of it, we put into the attic. But the house was abandoned when Snape betrayed the Order and the Fidelius was broken. The Black wards are still there, but Bellatrix...'
'And Narcissa and Draco can get in' finished Lucius. He lay down and looked thoughtfully at the ceiling. 'But they don't know that. The fake Horcrux was in the cave all this time.'
'So?' Harry looked at him
'So, it means that the Dark Lord don't check if his Horcruxes are still where they should be. And since I wiped out the memory of Death Eaters that were at the Gaunt's, he has no reason to believe that anyone has found out about them. And that is valuable information for us.'
'But Grimmauld Place was a known Order's location.'
'That's why we will have to be extremely careful, when we will go there. Even if the Dark Lord will probably think that nobody would come back there, he will put up guards, just in case. I am afraid, that we should go tomorrow. It will be the best time for us, because the Death Eaters will be attending the Ball.'
'The Ball?' Harry lay down next to him.
'Yes, every year, the one member of Dark Lord's inner circle, organizes Christmas Ball. Obviously, entire inner circle is there, as well as the middle circle. Only the lowest ranked Death Eaters will be on the positions or stand-by and probably some Marauders.'
'So, I guess, we need tickets for a train.'
'Are you crazy? We can't go to London by train. Somebody will recognize us.'
'Muggle train, Lucius. Nobody will spot us there. And there are too many trains for Death Eaters to cover.'
'I guess, we don't have much choice, little lion, do we?'
Two days before Christmas, noon, Magical University of London
Harry was in shock. He was sitting in front of MUL, completely astonished. Mrs. Longbottom told him everything he needed to know. And then, some more, since he was a healing student. It was slowly sinking in.
He was pregnant. There was no doubt. Three weeks pregnant with Lucius' child. When he thought about all the times that they had unprotected sex during the war, he almost flipped. If he had gotten pregnant back then... Harry really didn't want to think about it.
Now, they would have to move from Muggle area. They couldn't stay there through the pregnancy. And he wouldn't be able to hide their relationship for much longer. We had taken some steps towards telling Hermione, but those were rather early stages. And the Wizarding World would have a lot of blasted opinions about them. The Daily Prophet would have a field day. And all this, if Lucius would be fine with having a child.
He hid his face in his hands.
'What a mess' he muttered.
'Harry?' he heard the voice above him. 'What are you doing here mate?'
It was Neville. One of the people who usually didn't judge him.
Harry looked up.
'You look terrible, mate. What's up? Have you failed your anatomy test?'
Harry laughed disbelievingly. He had completely forgotten about anatomy test.
'No, I got 92 out of 100, so I didn't.'
'So, what's the problem, mate?' Neville sat down next to him. 'You look pretty strange. Partly, as if Voldemort was coming back and partly as if it was your birthday.'
'Neville, I'm gay' Harry blurted out.
'And have you just come to that conclusion?'
'No. I knew since I was fifteen.'
'Oh' Neville repeated. 'And you never thought about telling us?'
'I did. But I figured out that since I am going to die, it didn't matter.'
Neville didn't say anything.
'And now, that I am still alive, I guess it's time to tell you lot. I haven't talk to many people yet. Just Hermione. But that's a start, isn't it?'
Neville eyed him.
'I was going to ask you to go for a pizza with me today and tell you, but since you were here... I don't know. We still can go for a pizza' Harry finished miserably.
'Actually, I am quite hungry, mate. And it will be lunch time, by the time we get to some pizzeria' proposed Neville. 'Have you talked to Sirius about being gay?'
Harry shook his head.
'I haven't and I know he won't be fine with it. He keeps pushing me to get married with a nice girl and settle down. I don't even know how to start this.'
'Oh, mate, I seriously don't envy you. But if you wanted some support for that talk, you can always say. Maybe, he won't kill you in front of a witness.'
Harry chuckled nervously.
'So, what about that pizza?' Neville asked. 'We can talk and eat at the same time, can't we?'
Neville smiled. Harry was a very good friend. He never judged him and Neville always returned the favour. They were friends before he knew, before Harry knew. And that wouldn't change over something as irrelevant as Harry's sexual orientation. He squeezed Harry's hand.
'Yeah, great idea. But I must ask you one question. If you knew at fifteen that you were gay, why the hell dating Ginny?'
'Everybody was expecting us to get together! So I did. I haven't had sex with if that's what you asking. I just thought...'
'That you would die anyway, so you could make everybody happy at least for some time, didn't you?'
'Yeah. Something like that.'
Harry was so messed up sometimes. Neville knew why. It was his entire blasted family fault. His friend didn't think they would accept him the way he was, so he tried to be what everybody expected him to be. Dying would be an easy way out. But he didn't die and he couldn't keep up making everybody happy by lying about himself. Neville seriously considered for a second killing his friend's relatives. It wouldn't be that difficult, some poisonous plant, that didn't leave traces. They caused this by telling him all the time he was not good enough. The problem was that people could start thinking that if Harry came out. Well, purebloods would be accepting, for sure. Half-bloods probably too, but muggle-borns... They would flip, definitely. He thought about damage control. Maybe, if he could convince Harry to come forward and talk about it with the press... It would be beneficial for him, if done right.
'You know what, mate, you should stop trying to make everybody happy and started trying to find happiness yourself.'
'I have started' muttered Harry.
'So there is someone, isn't there?' Neville smiled.
Harry looked at him.
'Kind of. It's not... I will tell you some other time, ok?'
'Sure, mate, take all the time you need' Neville patted him on his shoulder.
'Thanks, it means a lot.'
'No problem, you're my friend. So, how about we take off to get our pizza?'
The day after Christmas Ball, around 9am, Hogwarts, Scotland
Severus was sitting in the Great Hall. The last breakfast before all students would go home for Christmas. Well, not all, since many had no home to go to anymore. His Slytherins weren't all that bad. Pureblood families usually had many branches and those who were highly engaged in Dark Arts and life servitude to the Dark Lord were currently in the Azkaban. He mourned every single one of them. They were the examples of his mistakes and faults. Those who didn't have anyone to go to, like Goyle's younger sister, were going to stay at Hogwarts. But in other houses the situation was even more severe. The muggle-borns' families were often wiped out when they were hiding with the Order or left the country during the war. Thankfully, at least some of them were welcomed by the Weasleys, like Colin and Dennis Creevey. It seemed that redheads were good for something.
Next to him, Minerva scowled, looking at the morning paper.
'What's going on?' Severus asked.
'It's young Mr. Potter again. They described the argument he had yesterday with Black.'
That was unexpected. Minerva never called Black by his last name. Usually, she referred to him by his first name.
'At least the article supports young Harry's right to choose his career path. I guess at least some people have a brain.'
'Unlike Black' added Severus. 'I always said that the man is an idiot.'
Minerva scowled again.
'I, for once, cherish Potter's choice. With his amount of magic, he could easily take over after Dark Lord.'
'Severus!' Minerva was outraged. 'Harry would never...'
'I realize that, Minerva. But some people may not and healing is one profession that will convince them that he does have a saving people thing and does not think about taking over the world' Severus quickly interrupted her. 'Even if I would never in my life go to Potter as a healer, especially when I was dying.'
'Will you ever accept the fact that Harry is an intelligent young man?'
'No, Minnie, I won't.'
'You just won't admit it, Sev.'
It was Severus' turn to scowl.
'He did find the Horcruxes and sacrifice his life to save us' reminded them Flitwick. 'A fact that Lord Black keeps forgetting nowadays.'
'I am pretty sure that it was Lucius' work' muttered Severus. 'And Black just wants to see Potter turning into his father. And if that would be the case, then I would pray to Merlin to save us all.'
'Harry's not James. Definitely. You know that perfectly well by now, Severus. And it's difficult to blame Sirius. He was taken out of his life the day after James died, put into Azkaban for twelve years and then thrown in the middle of war. He never really had time to grow up and deal with his friend's death. I think that he tries to make Harry into James in order not to have to deal with it himself' Minerva said mournfully. 'Unfortunately, he is bound to fail. Harry proved that he doesn't like to be controlled when he ran away to hunt down the Horcruxes, not even taking his friends with him.'
'Yes, he did' Flitwick smiled wistfully. 'But he did quite a good job. And don't scowl, Severus, your friend, Lucius did a good job too. Although, I would have never expected them to work together so efficiently. Or work together at all for that matter. Well, I guess Lucius was under the spell for years, but still, he was an epitome of Slytherin when he was here at Hogwarts.'
'Believe me, I was shocked too' admitted Severus. 'Well, more by the clothes that Lucius was wearing at that time and the fact that he was dirty, something that does not happen, but anyway. Not to mention the Gryffindor sword on his shoulder...'
'Yes, he did look quite... exceptionally?' Minerva chuckled. 'It's a shame that nobody took a picture. It would be extraordinary blackmail material.'
'Don't worry, Minnie. I will never let him forget that' Severus smirked.
'I mourn his choice to be your friend, Sev.'
'After all, you do know everything about that, don't you?' Severus waited until Minerva started to drink his tea to share this comment and the old many choked.
'Obviously' she said wiping his mouth clean with a napkin. 'I just hope that Sirius will come to his senses before Harry will remove him from his life. It would be devastating for him.'
Filius nodded simply.
Christmas Day, a year earlier, around 7pm, London
They were in the bus, going to Grimmauld Place 12. The train from Glasgow arrived in London at 6:32pm and Harry and Lucius took off immediately to Black's old house. They wanted to leave the capital city of Britain as soon as possible.
'When we get there, we need to go to the attic and find the Horcrux as quickly as we can' said Lucius. 'And leave, before any higher Death Eater will be alarmed about our presence.'
They stepped out of the bus a few blocks away from Grimmauld Place.
'They won't be inside, probably, but if Bella, Narcissa or Draco finds out, we will have serious problems. Anyway, the wards won't let anyone not being a Black to get in the house. Thanks gods and Merlin for your grandmother.'
It was already dark and the small square in front of house was almost empty. Almost, because on one of the benches two men were sitting.
'No way' muttered Lucius.
'Two is definitely not enough' he looked around. 'Even with Christmas and all that I expected at least four of them here.'
'What do you want to do?'
'I don't know. I don't think we should get in from the front. There should be a backyard and another, muggle house's backyard should be connected with it.'
Harry looked at the square thoughtfully.
'I am pretty sure that there is. We were never allowed to go there, but I did once.'
'I never thought that I would be grateful for your disregard of the rules. So, how can we get invited into the other house?'
'We don't have to' muttered Harry. 'We have Invisibility Cloak, don't we?'
'And how do you want to open the door without using spells and alarming those two?' Lucius waved in a very general direction of two wizards.
'We don't have to. When my relatives locked me up after second year, the Weasley twin broke me up, using lock picks. I asked them to show me how to do that. And they did. All these homes are pretty old and the doors will be easy to open.'
'You have lock picks on you' stated Lucius.
'Yeah' Harry shrugged. 'I do. Why?'
'Nothing. I am just surprised how many strange abilities one can gain when dealing with family and demented Dark Lords.'
'Fine, let's go.'
They covered themselves with the Cloak and approached silently the door next to Grimmauld Place. Harry took out the lock picks, that Twins have given him and after a few moments the door clicked opened.
They went into the house. The family was gathered at the table, singing some carols and laughing. They went past them and opened quietly the backdoors. A few moments later they were inside Grimmauld Place 12.
'Great, now to the attic' muttered Lucius. They went quickly up the stairs.
'Here' Harry opened the door. The room, they had entered was dirty and dusty. On the floor were many plastic bags. 'We will never find it' he groaned.
'Wrong' disagreed Lucius. 'Tell me, where the magic feels the most like in the cave?'
Harry looked around.
'There' he pointed one of the bags.
'Watch out what the assholes are doing down there and I will find it.'
Lucius took the bag and spilled its content on the floor. There were some old clothes, silver cutlery and lots of dark artifacts. He kicked the clothes away, got down to his knees and started searching through the stuff quickly.
'I've found it' he said after a while, holding the locket triumphantly.
'Great' he heard the answer. 'Because if we don't disappear quickly, we will be dead.'
Lucius jumped to his feet and went straight to the small window, where Harry was standing. At the square stood five figures now. Two were the men from before, but the other three Lucius recognized quite easily. His ex-wife, ex-sister-in-law and half-brother had arrived.
'Fuck. They must have been alarmed by the door opening.'
They ran down the stairs. It was dark. They almost made it to the backyard, when the front door opened. Lucius jumped behind the wall, but Harry wasn't quick enough.
'My, my, my. Little Potter is here' it was Bellatrix voice.
'Hi, Bella, came to die?' Harry mocked her and screamed 'Expelliarmus'
He missed. The spell hit Draco. His wand flew to Harry's hand. He caught it and jumped into the kitchen. By that time, Lucius had already blasted out the window in the room. They crawled out of the house.
'Caught him!' they heard Narcissa's voice behind them. Lucius grabbed his hood and quickly covered his face.
'Stupefy! Avada Kedavra!' He was aiming at his half-brother and of course, the fucking brat managed to get away from the spell. Unfortunately, the troops were coming from behind. Harry grabbed Lucius' arm and apparated.
The feeling was terrible. Even worse, because of the temperature. The Death Eaters were following them. Harry could hear their screams. He felt Lucius turning slightly and casting a spell. The apparition was broken. Tunnel collapsed and they were thrown out on the snow. Harry flew a few meters and landed in the snowdrift.
'Shit' he heard Lucius. 'Never again.'
'What was that?' Harry asked, getting up and struggling to catch his breath.
'Dark spell. Extremely dangerous. It can kill you if you're not careful. Splinch you into thousand cells. Supposedly painful as hell and obviously impossible to revert.'
'Yes. Oh. But it stopped them from following us. And I sincerely hope that their landing was a hard as ours or worse. And, mind you I'm not looking forward to doing it again.'
Harry nodded and looked around.
'Where are we?' he asked. He didn't recognize any of his surroundings.
Lucius looked around.
'Godric's Hollow. Don't tell me that you apparated without knowing the target, please.'
'Fine, I won't.'
'Sometimes I don't believe your sheer, dumb luck' Lucius groaned. 'We need to go, before they find us again.'
'Wait' Harry stopped him. 'I have never seen...'
The blonde man looked at him disbelievingly.
'You've never seen your parents' graves' he finished. He was silent for a few seconds. Nobody would probably look for them here. At least for some time. Nobody would even think that Harry would apparate them into such an obvious place. 'Fine. Just a few minutes.'
He caught Harry's hand and pulled him in the direction of the cemetery.
The graves were covered in snow. Lucius quickly cleaned the Potter's monument for Harry and stepped back and sat down on another grave.
Harry stood in front of his parents' grave. He felt tears in his eyes.
'Hi, mum and dad. I... I am sorry that I have never come before, but nobody would take me here.' He touched the grave. 'I just... I wanted to say that I love you and miss you very much every day. I hope that you are proud of me, despite everything what happened and despite Lucius and stuff. I want you to be proud of me. But I can't change who I am. I am sorry that you died because of me. I hope you wouldn't. I love you very much.'
By the time he finished, the tears were running freely on his cheeks. He turned around and went back to Lucius. The man stood up. He was absolutely silent when Harry approached him. When the man stood in front of him, he pulled him into a hug. Harry embraced him, putting his arms around his waist.
They stood in silence for a while, Harry wetting Lucius' coat with his tears.
'I assure you that they are proud of you. Any parent would be proud to have such a kind, forgiving and brave son' Lucius said finally and stroked younger man's hair.
Harry kissed his cheek and moved aside.
Lucius only nodded. Harry looked down to the grave that the man was previously sitting on.
'I just... I always dreamed about meeting them. I...'
'I know, Harry' Lucius took Harry's hand into his. 'Everything's gonna be fine. And they are always looking at you. I know that. And you should also always remember that.'
Harry wiped his tears with a sleeve.
They turned around to leave, when something caught Harry's attention.
'Wait a second. This symbol' he pointed at the grave. 'It's the same as on the book Dumbledore gave me.'
'Wait. What book Dumbledore gave you?'
'Well. After the ambush at Hogwarts at the end of last year Dumbledore gave me this book with fairy tales. And there is the same symbol drew inside it on the first page and on the page with this other story.'
'Do you know what the symbol is it?'
'No. I don't. I have never seen it before.'
'It's a symbol of Deathly Hallows. There was a wand, a stone and a cloak' started explaining Lucius. 'The three brothers have met Death, I don't remember how exactly, but it has given them those items. The master of the wand could never be beaten in a fight, the stone could bring back people from the dead and the cloak could protect one from dying. I always thought it was just a legend' he added thoughtfully. 'But if it's true...'
'So, the stone can bring people from the dead?' asked Harry hopefully.
Lucius looked at him.
'Not like resurrect them. Just their images, ghost, if you prefer. It can bring people back to live. And the second brother, who asked for it, went mad and hung himself, because of that.'
Harry's face felt.
'So, it's just like the Mirror of Erised.'
'When have you encountered that thing?'
'My first year at Hogwarts. It's a long story, but I saw my parents, standing next to me.'
Lucius nodded and turned thoughtful again.
'If the Deathly Hallows are real, then we may stand a chance against the Dark Lord. And Dumbledore must have known about that, if he gave you the book. There were rumors that Grindelwald possessed the wand. But I always thought that they were just that - rumors.'
'Wait. So, if we get the Wand, we can beat the Dark Lord, right?'
'I guess. But if Grindelwald had the Elder Wand, than Dumbledore must have won it from him. And he had it until the battle last year.'
'He was buried with it' muttered Harry. 'I bet the Dark Lord has it already.'
Suddenly, the realization struck Lucius.
'Wait, if we find the stone, can we use it to summon my father and mock him about me freeing myself, betraying the Dark Lord and helping you to defeat him?'
Harry looked at Lucius disbelievingly. Only he would think of using the stone in that way.
Two days before Christmas, around noon, Hogwarts, Scotland
Severus' mind was occupied with Lucius' mysterious lover. He could not take his mind off the case. He tried everything, but he just couldn't. Nothing worked. Developing potions lead to blowing up three perfectly faultless and innocent cauldrons. Reading books to throwing them away after couple of pages. Severus just couldn't help himself. He didn't want to think about it. He didn't want to pry into his friend's life. Especially now, when Lucius was so vulnerable after years and years of abuse and control. But his mind never left any mystery around him. It has already crossed some possibilities out, narrowing the list to about fifty people, who wouldn't mind Lucius' past.
If it wasn't his best, poor friend that was concerned. And if he wasn't used for years by his own family, maybe then Severus would have easier time in getting it off his mind. However, that was exactly the case. And Severus, although he would never admit that out loud, was scared that someone would use Lucius again. And the man might not have survived another thing like that.
No matter how happy Lucius was, Severus knew that he was also frightened. He didn't want him to suffer. And he definitely didn't want to lose Lucius again, just after he got him back. He did think about him like about a brother and loved him the same way.
If the mysterious lover hurt him, Severus would find out his name, than hunt him down, torture and kill him in the most painful way he could think of. And after being a Death Eater for years, he had more than a few ideas.
It wasn't that Lucius couldn't usually take care of himself. He most certainly did. His faked suicide and helped Potter to reveal them all from the Dark Lord's presence were exemplary proofs.
But Lucius was also filthy rich and without an heir. Emotionally, he was also at the level of a teenager. Eighteen years of life imprisoned didn't advance him at all. Worse, they actually destroyed him quite thoroughly. Enough for him to consult a bloody counselor Something that he would never think of before. Even with his abusive father-dictator and weak mother, who loved him, but couldn't protect from Abraxas.
All that made him a target of every gold digger under the sun. He needed heir. Moreover, Lucius actually wanted one. He wanted a child for years and years, even after his father and his wife had an affair and sired Draco, that small bastard. Not that Lucius would ever sleep with Narcissa. Even the spell couldn't make him do it.
Lucius had a talent for landing himself in a mess. He had also many Slytherin ways to get himself out of it, but could he do that after all that happened to him?
Severus sighed and poured himself some whiskey It was probably much too early to start drinking. And he had to meet Lucius for a dinner. Maybe, it would throw some light on that case. He had a way of getting information out of Lucius. He perfected it for years. His friend hated him for that sometimes, but this time he would understand that it was all because of Severus' caring about him.
He crossed another name in his mind.
It must have been a person that Lucius knew before. He wouldn't jump into the bed with stranger. Or rather he would, being emotionally teenager, but he definitely wouldn't form a relationship so quickly. So maybe it was one of his lovers from the past. Some of them managed to escape Abraxas' fury. But which one of them? And those who survived didn't stay waiting for Lucius. Most of them had families right now or were in Azkaban for being Death Eaters. Of course, there were some that weren't pure-blood or Slytherin, but they didn't wait for Lucius either. His friend wasn't exactly a dog in his youth and he didn't have any serious relationship, knowing that his father would probably kill poor soul. He messed around a little, but not that much, so the list wasn't really that long.
Obviously, it might have been someone from his years as Abraxas' or Narcissa's hand puppet, the spell never controlling him entirely. However, most of the people that Lucius dealt with then were Lords or high ministry official, either much older than him, not homosexuals or married. Or all three.
Severus sipped a little of his whiskey.
Finally, there was the Order of Phoenix. Lucius had some contact with them after the war. Remus Lupin was an option. He knew for a fact that the man was bisexual and his wife was dead by the time he and Lucius may have time to hook up. He scowled at his choice of words. On the other hand, Lupin was mourning back then, still was actually, and had a few months old kid. He couldn't decide if it was speaking for or against the werewolf. He crossed Black just at the beginning. Lucius would rather kill the man than have sex with him. Dedalus Diggle was straight. Elphias Doge also, not to mention too old. And he wouldn't even consider Fletcher. His friend had definitely better taste in men. Kingsley Shacklebolt was an option. Severus always suspected he wasn't entirely straight. He also wasn't married and he was meeting with Lucius quite a lot as he was a Minister and Lucius was one of the best people in laws and politics, despite everything.
They were also some people in the Law Enforcement Department, some aurors that were list-worthy. Dawlish for once, but his loyalty to Fudge was speaking against him. And finally, some of the younger ones. Like Flint, who came back to fight against his father, when he found out about the Battle of Hogwarts with his dear sister inside the castle. Oliver Wood and Viktor Krum were crossed out, because he didn't think that Lucius was much into Quidditch players. Too dumb for him and too focused on balls and getting beaten by the Bludgers. He crossed out the Weasley family. Lucius still disliked them.
There was also a possibility that it was someone Severus didn't know. Or only heard of. But it was suspicious that Lucius didn't tell about the guy or his name, when he figured it out himself. Usually, even after the war his friend would tell him almost everything. And now, he hid a relationship from him. That was weird. Maybe it was someone whom Severus hated. But that would be too many people to include in categories. All the aurors for start.
He sighed again. He would get out the bloody information from Lucius.
The day after Christmas Ball, around 7am, Harry's and Lucius' Flat, Muggle London
Harry woke up at the ring of the alarm clock. He tried to prevent it from waking Lucius up, but failed. The man's arms tightened around him and he heard a scowl.
Harry silenced the clock with a sigh.
'Sorry' he said and kissed Lucius lightly.
'Don't go' muttered the man.
'I have to. I promised kids in the orphanage that I would come and help with the decorations. You know how they are. And we had that discussion once. I am not going to disappoint them.'
'Can I still not like it?'
'Yes, you can' Harry kissed Lucius again and climbed out of their bed. He dressed in comfortable clothes. He ate a sandwich quickly and drunk his morning coffee. When he got up from the table, he felt nausea. His stomach revolted and Harry ran to the bathroom and vomited his entire breakfast. He was washing himself, when he heard Lucius getting up.
'Are you alright?' the man entered the bathroom.
'Yeah. I am fine.' He definitely didn't want Lucius to worry. He probably just ate too quickly. Or the row from the night before and hours of screaming in frustration and then crying in Lucius' arms were getting to him. Blonde put his arms around his waist.
'You don't look very well. You're pale.'
'I am fine, Lou. It's just not enough rest after that bloody row with Sirius.'
Lucius scowled. He had his own opinion about Black, but Harry didn't need another row about his godfather with him.
'If you say so...'
'Who's studying to be a healer here?' Harry chuckled.
Lucius still didn't look convinced, but let the issue go.
Harry kissed him.
'I will be back around noon.'
'I know. Don't worry about me, I can occupy myself without you.'
Harry smiled and left their apartment. They lived not far away from the orphanage, so he decided to walk to calm his revolting stomach. The day was quite beautiful, snow was lying around and the sun was shining brightly, warming up early risers a little.
He arrived at the orphanage just in time for their breakfast.
'Hi, guys!' he said entering the dining room.
'Harry!' the kids screamed and jumped to greet him. He stroked a few heads, before Ms. Retler asked children to finish their breakfast, before starting the decorations. Harry himself sponsored the orphanage with Christmas trees and some decoration. The Ministry seemed to have forgotten about the orphanage after founding and Harry was seriously thinking about starting a foundation. At least that was what Hermione was thinking they should do. The children were so happy when Harry came along, but that wouldn't pay them for Hogwarts.
When the breakfast was finished, the kids and staff and two volunteers, Harry and a teenage girl, Amy, gathered in the playroom. The tree was already there, waiting for someone to decorate them.
They opened the boxes with decorations.
'I want to put the star on!' screamed Taurus Avery, the youngest kid that was allowed to join them, barely three years old. 'Uncle Harry, please, can I put the star on?'
'How about that, guys? Taurus is the youngest of us. Will we allow him to put on the star?'
'Please' Taurus begged.
'Fine, you can put the star on, but it is the last that should be put. So now, everybody takes one decoration and puts it on the tree, wherever you want to, alright?'
Harry took a cute little angel and hanged it high on the tree.
'Everybody done? So now, let's put another one.'
The kids were screaming and laughing. Harry was laughing with them, lifting boys and girls, so they could hang the decorations higher. He had almost as good time as decorating tree with Lucius. Although much less naughty. The smiles on kids' faces were reward enough for his time. Every time he was with them he would forget about Sirius and their rows. That wouldn't even cross his mind.
Finally, the tree was almost ready. The only thing it lacked was the star.
'Taurus, are you going to put on star?' Harry asked.
'Yes!' he ran towards Harry, keeping the star in small fist. Harry caught him and lifted. Seconds later the star stood proudly at the top of the tree. The kids clapped their small hands.
'Isn't it beautiful?' asked one of the girls.
'Yes, it is. We did a great job, didn't we? So, what are we going to do now?'
'Story! Tell a story, Uncle Harry' shouted six years old Dominique Yaxley.
'A story?' Harry sat down on the couch and took Taurus onto his laps. 'I don't know any stories.'
'Everybody knows stories' protested Emily Patil, she and her one year old brother were the only survivors from the entire family. The Dark Lord wiped them all out, along with two Harry's year mates.
Harry slowly looked around. Avery, Yaxley, Patil, Chang, McLaggen, Warrington. Half of them were Death Eaters' children. The other half Death Eaters' victims' children. They would quickly grow up enough to understand that.
'I know two stories. The first one is about a boy named Tom, and the second about boy named Harry.'
'Harry! Like you, Uncle Harry!' Miguel Warrington smiled cheerfully.
'Yes, just like me you see both boys' parents have died when they were very young and they were both lonely and had no friends...'
The tale about him and the Dark Lord in a much softened version with a happy ending about Harry sharing his toys with Tom absorbed them completely. Through entire story Harry saw a thoughtful look on the face of the oldest boy, Dominican Zabini.
When Harry was dressing in the corridor, preparing to leave, he came after him.
'It was a real story, wasn't it? About you and the Dark Lord.'
Harry sat down on the chair and stared intensely at the boy.
'As much as I made it real. The true story wasn't about toys and friends and it didn't have a happy ending' he said finally.
'My brother was a Death Eater, wasn't he? Nobody wants to tell me this, but I know that. I can read. He was a Slytherin. And he's name is not mentioned anywhere. He must have been a Death Eater.'
'Does it matter? You know Lord Lucius Malfoy and professor Severus Snape, don't you?'
'Of course, they are heroes.'
'Both were Death Eaters. Both made some mistakes in their lives and both redeemed themselves and became heroes. It doesn't matter who your brother were. Some people will remember, but you are your own person. You don't have to follow your brother's path or anyone else's. You have to decide for yourself. And whatever you decide, you have to live with it.'
Dominican gazed at him.
'Would you want that?'
'What would I want?'
'Saving the Dark Lord. And my brother.'
'I would' he answered sincerely. 'I would, but in the end it didn't matter anymore. We all were too much into winning, nobody would want to settle it down peacefully. And I am not talking about Voldemort, no. I am talking about what happened afterwards.'
'The Massacre of Hogwarts' muttered boy quietly.
'Where have you heard that?' Harry paled.
'Adults were talking, thinking that I didn't hear them. Were you there?'
'At the massacre?' the boy nodded. 'No. I wasn't. By the time it started, I was already unconscious in the hospital, Lord Malfoy took me and couple of others. Now, I think it would be better, if they both stayed at Hogwarts. Maybe they would be able to prevent that. I don't know.'
The massacre was something that he felt disgusted with. Maybe that was the reason he couldn't agree with Sirius and Ron on anything lately. They took part in the bloody murder. Something that Harry couldn't forgive. And the general public have cheerfully forgotten this little nuance.
'Dominican. I know it's not much, but I am sorry for what happened after Voldemort died.'
The boy looked at him sadly.
'That's not your fault. You couldn't do anything being unconscious in the hospital. But thank you for telling me.'
Harry nodded and watched the boy leave him quietly.
'But I still feel guilty about it' he muttered to himself.
February, the same year, around 10am, forest, Wales
They were lying back in the tent, covered in sweat, catching their breaths after sex.
'We have found two Horcruxes. One I have destroyed. We lack three more.'
Lucius wanted to tease Harry about subjects one should mention after fucking like rabbits for three hours, but something else caught his attention.
'You have destroyed another Horcrux. When?'
'Second year. Don't you remember? That blasted diary in my second year?'
'I always thought that Dumbledore...'
'Nah. It was me. In the Chamber of Secrets. Long story short, I killed the basilisk with a Gryffindor sword and stabbed the diary with the fang from my wound. Then I thought I would die, but Fawkes saved my. He is Dumbledore's phoenix. He cried and healed my arm.'
'I am sorry. It was my fault. I wanted to destroy it myself, but wasn't strong enough to go against the spell. I thought that somebody would notice the dark magic object in Hogwarts much quicker and destroy it'
'It's fine' muttered Harry and kissed his lips lightly. 'You couldn't predict the mess it would cause and you just wanted to free yourself.'
'Still. I should've found another way. The spell didn't control me that much anymore. My father died a couple years back, but I still couldn't break the spell completely.'
'Don't worry about it. It's in the past.'
'Yeah, I know' Lucius' expression turned thoughtful. 'I think I know what we should do next. I was thinking about it lately and it seems like the only possibility. We don't know where other Horcruxes are and I have this idea about Deathly Hallows.'
'Are you sure you don't just want to become Master of Death?'
'I already am one. I jumped off the window in the bloody tower and survived if you don't remember.'
'One day you will have to tell me how you did that.'
'Maybe' Lucius smirked. 'Anyway, I think we need to get into Malfoy Manor.'
'What?! Are you starkers?'
'I am definitely naked, but I am not mad, if that's what you're asking for.'
'You said, that the Dark Lord had abducted Mr. Ollivander to find out about some wand, didn't you? I think he wanted to know about Elder Wand. And Mr. Ollivander is in Malfoy Manor dungeons since early June. He will know what to do and we will be able to access one of the Malfoy other properties through my study. And don't worry. Nor Draco, neither Narcissa can access them or even enter my study. I ensured that before I committed a suicide. I will change our appearance with transfiguration. Temporarily only. Maybe for three or four days.'
Harry sighed. They could be killed. They could be delivered to the Dark Lord. There were so many things that could go wrong with this. He didn't start to count them. But they didn't have much choice. They didn't know anything. The leads were exhausted.
'I guess we don't have much choice, do we?'
They got caught rather quickly, Harry with blonde, long hair and blue eyes, Lucius with brown hair and almost brown, almost black eyes. The Marauders took them to Malfoy Manor instantly and showed off to the dungeons.
'Harry!' somebody crashed to him and hugged him. Blonde hair covered his vision.
'Luna, are you ok?'
'I am fine. I am so happy to see you. They were rumors that you were dead, but I have never believed that.'
'I am not planning on dying, don't worry.' Harry smiled at his friend.
'My, my, my. Harry Potter and Lucius Malfoy, prisoners in Malfoy Manor. I thought that you were dead, Lord Malfoy' it was Ollivander. Next to him stood a goblin that Harry knew well, Griphook.
'How did you...'
'Wands tell me many things, Lord Potter. And I thought you committed a suicide, Lord Malfoy.'
'Ah. Yes. I am afraid that didn't work quite well enough, Mr. Ollivander. And don't worry. The house of Malfoys will not hold a prisoner its master. Besides, Malfoys don't commit suicides'
And as if to convince them, at that moment the doors of their prison opened.
'Let's go' muttered Harry. Lucius went first, Ollivander and Griphook just behind him. Harry and Luna followed. For a second Harry thought that the Manor didn't look like what he would have imagined. The walls were naked and there was no furniture. He didn't have time to think about that, because suddenly, they heard voices.
'They both seem familiar. I don't know why' it was Draco.
'Do you think that they are some of mudbloods from Hogwarts?' Harry heard Narcissa.
'Let's just kill them. The Dark Lord won't mind' Bellatrix laughed madly.
'Come on' muttered Lucius. 'We need to get to my study.'
They took off, but once they were close there was a loud sound.
Harry knew that things went much too smoothly. Lucius opened the door to his study rapidly.
He jumped inside and opened the drawer in his desk.
'Here' he threw Harry a wand.
'Avada Kedavra!' Harry shouted, aiming in the corridor.
'Hold them for some time!' he heard Lucius' scream.
'Sectusempra! Confringo! Hurry up for fuck's sakes!'
He heard an apparition's crack behind him. He turned around with a spell on his mouth, when he saw Dobby.
'Harry Potter, Sir. Dobby has come to help you.' The elf snapped his fingers and Harry heard loud sound of the body falling down. 'Sectusempra!' he shouted again.
'Few more minutes!' Lucius screamed from inside of the room.
'Fuck' Harry swore.
'Avada Kedavra!' he saw the spell running exactly into him. Everything slowed down. He heard people shouting spells as if they were behind some kind of a soundproof wall. He knew he wouldn't be fast enough. Suddenly, he saw Dobby jumping between him and the green beam.
'Dobby, no!' The spell hit the tiny body and the elf's lifeless body fall on the floor. Harry threw himself and caught it. 'Avada Kedavra! Avada Kedavra!' He shouted and backed behind the wall.
'Just do it! I never liked it anyway! It's insured for more than you can imagine! And I removed anything of value from here. I will rebuild it if we come out alive from this!'
'Fiendfyre!' Harry shouted. The fire sprung from the wand, consuming everything on his way.
'Come on!' he felt Lucius grabbing him and was thrown into a mirror. The tile undulated and he fall down on the other side. Dobby's body rolled on the ground and stilled.
He looked around. He was sitting on the floor in some cozy room in front of exactly the same mirror that he just fell out of. Around him Ollivander, Luna and Griphook were standing. Second later Lucius stepped out of it, turned around and with a flick of another wand shattered the glass into pieces.
'Fuck, are you ok?' he asked, helping him up.
'Yeah, but Dobby...' Harry knelt next to the elf's body and tears ran down his face. 'He saved my life. I want to bury him.'
Lucius just nodded. Luna knelt next to Harry.
'There is a hill, just at the seaside. He would face the sea' said quietly Lucius.
'Thank you' Harry smiled by tears. 'He would like that.'
'I will find us something to eat.'
Few hours later they were all sitting by the table.
'Griphook. I have heard that the sword of Gryffindor was moved from Hogwarts to Bellatrix Lestrange's private vault. Is that true?'
The goblin looked at Lord Malfoy.
'There are many things hidden inside the vaults of Gringotts.'
'Is the sword one of them?'
'Why do you ask, Lord Malfoy?'
'My ex-sister-in-law seemed to think so. I find it hard to believe, knowing how the sword works, Griphook. And I know that the goblin race is not happy about the Dark Lord's restrictions input on your banking and your lives.'
Griphook assessed the Malfoy Lord with his eyes.
'You are right, Lord Malfoy. As always, I guess. And the sword in the Bellatrix Lestrange's vault is indeed a fake. Very convincing one. Only a goblin would realize the difference.'
'Is there anything else of note in that vault?'
'I know what you're looking for, Lord Malfoy. And you may find it there' the goblin confirmed. 'We are indeed not happy about the Dark Lord's regime. The wizards shall not interfere with goblins' business. That's what we fought for centuries. And it will be what we will fight for, soon enough.'
'We need to get to that vault.'
'You know it's impossible, Lord Malfoy. The spells on Gringotts' Bank are ancient and powerful. You can't just break them.'
'Even with your help?'
'Even with my help. Even with Kubetg Darkraider's help.'
'Who's Kubetg Darkraider?' asked Harry.
'The Head of Gringotts in Great Britain' explained Lucius. 'Who would be able to access the vault apart from the obvious?'
'The obvious is only Bellatrix Lestrange. The vault is still held in her maiden name.'
'Wait, maiden name? Bellatrix Black?'
'It was a part of her dowry and it was never signed to her husband.'
'If it is a Black vault, an Heir or a Lord of Black family would be allowed to enter, wouldn't he?'
Griphook looked interested.
'Yes, he would. He would need a family lord's or heir's ring though.'
'Shit, we need Black' scowled Lucius. 'Heaven knows if he even has this bloody ring.'
'No, we don't' interrupted Harry. 'Sirius made me an heir of Black Family after he almost died in my fifth year. I have the ring of the heir.'
'When were you going to tell me that?' Lucius groaned.
'I forgot' Harry shrugged. 'It wasn't like it was the most important information at that time.'
Lucius looked at him angrily and glanced back at Griphook.
'Will it be sufficient?'
'Yes. It will take time to organize, but we will be able to enter the vault.'
'Thanks Slytherin for small mercies. I have another thing to ask. Mr. Ollivander, what do you know about the Elder Wand?'
The old man paled.
'So, you do know something.'
'He tortured me' whispered the man.
Lucius caressed his cheek absently.
'You told him' he stated.
'Yes' the man turned to Harry. 'I am afraid that the Dark Lord is out to kill you, Lord Potter. And with the Elder Wand... I fear that you have no chance.'
'So, I will just have to kill him before he has a chance to take it out' Harry said vengefully.
'Great, since we have established that, I guess we have break in and rebellion to prepare' Lucius was absolutely still. 'And we still have one more issue to solve. Death Eaters took away the sword. I have no idea how we will destroy the rest of the Horcruxes.'
'I will contact Kubetg Darkraider' Griphook stood up. 'The wizards have always underestimated goblins' magic.'
Two days before Christmas, around 2:30pm, Godric's Hollow, Graveyard
Harry walked quickly. He ate the lunch with Neville. And afterwards he needed someone to talk to about his pregnancy. He figured that his parents, even if they couldn't answer would be the best.
He entered the cemetery and found the monument. He cast privacy spell on himself.
'Hi mom, hi dad. You probably know why I came here. I am pregnant with Lucius' child. I mean, I know what you think about that, but I feel so lost. We didn't even have time to tell anyone about us. And Sirius will try and kill Lucius if I tell him. He's already not happy about what I am doing with my life. I hope you are. I am happy and you told me to do whatever makes me happy. I like healing and helping in the orphanage. It does help me also. I feel useful. I hate hurting people. And I would have to do that if I became an auror. I don't even want to become that. My magic is like crazy after the war. It's just too much of it. My Dean says that's because I absorbed some of Tom's magic and even before I was powerful. What if I hurt someone in the auror division? I could never forgive myself.'
He caressed his stomach absently.
'I have to tell Lucius about the baby. I am scared. I don't want him to leave me. But I could never kill my little one. I mean Lou loves me, but what if he's not ready for such a step. I am not ready. I am so frightened about it. I am just eighteen and my childhood was... somewhat lacking. What if I can't raise a baby? What if I damage it or something? And Lucius' childhood was even worse than mine.'
He sat silently for a few minutes.
'I hope dad that you don't mind that I am the one carrying the child. I don't. It's so amazing in a way. I can create and carry a baby. My own baby. When I discovered that I was gay, I was so scared that I would have never had a family. But now, I will. It's so… unexpected. So crazy.'
'I remember when we fought together against the Dark Lord. We just lived. Every moment could have been our last one. Every time together could have gotten us killed. But we survived and now, we are still together. I can't imagine not being able to, sleep with him and wake up next to him. It would drive me mad.'
'I don't know what to do about Sirius. I mean… He is my godfather and I do love him, but I can't not be myself. Not when I managed to survive.'
He sat at the grave for a long time, not knowing what to say or what to do. Finally, he stood up and went back home, still not making any decision.
Two days before Christmas, around 2:30pm, Longbottom Manor
Neville Longbottom was a pure-blooded wizard. Since his childhood he was brought up by strong, strict woman, who ensured that he would maintain the wizarding traditions and views for life. Augusta Longbottom rarely showed him her feelings. She usually wore emotionless expression, never letting him know her thoughts. When Neville was growing up, he couldn't understand that. When he got older, he came to the conclusion that his parent's insanity, caused by Bellatrix Lestrange affected his grandmother greatly.
In the Battle of Hogwarts, when he stood firmly to protect his friends, his loved ones, his beliefs, was the second time, he saw pride on her face. The second after the Battle of Department of Mysteries and the last. She was killed, minutes later, by an anonymous trooper. That devastated him. But even after that, even with everything that happened to him that year, Carrow's practising Cruciatus on him, losing his friends, he tried to prevent the Massacre of Hogwarts. Not because he thought that they didn't deserve it. He tried to prevent it, because he never wanted to hurt anyone, not to mention kill anyone. He was forced to, but the Massacre was not a fight. It was a murder.
When he told Harry about the Massacre, in the middle of the Victory Ball, the ball that he did not want to attend, he saw all his happiness draining. However, he felt that he had to. Harry, above all others, had the right to know what happened after he defeated Voldemort.
He told him about Sirius and Ron and Ginny, all joining the Massacre. Or even leading it. He told him about the jinx that was sent his way when he tried to stop that madness. He told him about professors Lupin and McGonagall, who tried to stop the masses and were completely ignored. What he would give for Dumbledore being there that very moment and not with Harry in the hospital. There were others that could get him there. But Dumbledore was dead and he couldn't do anything.
'Manky!' Longbottom Lord said quietly. The elf appeared in front of him with a pop. 'Get me some whisky, please.'
The elf returned moments later with a glass. Neville sipped the drink.
When Harry came out to him, as to the second person in the world, Neville felt pride, because of the trust of the wizard that he had. The trust that Black and Ron have never earned. Not that it was surprising after how they treated him when he had chosen to become a healer.
Personally, Neville thought it was the best choice for Harry. Nothing fitted better the kind, gentle wizard. Although, he did think a lot about how Harry managed to turn out that way after his terrible life.
Neville never judged his friend, as he never was judged in return. It was the most precious friendship for young Lord. They accepted each other's' faults and flaws. Something that Ronald never understood, always trying to change Harry and influence him to become the person he thought should be a hero of the Wizarding World. Neville hated that. He went on to study Herbology and, thankfully, his remaining family accepted that without a world. They were proud of him, because he had chosen to continue his education. And it was a difficult decision with all his new responsibilities as the Longbottom Lord.
His dear friend had his absolute backing. He would stand for Harry when the Wizarding World found out about his preferences. It was an honor for him.
He also had a feeling that it wouldn't be long until that happened. Harry pretended to be straight to everyone for years. If he started coming out to his friends, it meant that something had changed Neville have observed Harry for years. He was extremely private person, especially after the press had shown greater and greater interest in his life. He was scared that Rita or someone else would eavesdrop their conversations. If something serious hadn't happened, he would not inform anyone about his homosexuality.
Neville sighed. Harry almost admitted to finding someone. His "kind of" was enough to figure out that he was serious about a person. Neville didn't know if they were already in the relationship, but he suspected that. Telling him and Hermione probably meant that Harry wanted to prepare them for meeting said person. He hoped that it was someone, who didn't want to be with The Boy Who Lived or one of the richest and most famous wizards in Great Britain. Someone, who would love him for being just Harry. If not, he would hunt down the bastard and torture him to death for a very long time. After all, he did learn something from the Carrows.
There was still the case of that blasted Black. He wouldn't be accepting of Harry's preferences. That was sure. The idiot was always pushing Harry to do something he didn't want to.
'Join the auror division, help the wizarding world, marry young, faithful girl' he mocked Sirius' way of speaking. 'Become a man, just like your father. Your father would never let you study something as silly as healing! Bla… bla… bla.'
Sirius Black proved to be a real pain in the ass. Neville knew a lot about healing. Half of his aunts and uncles were healers. It was difficult, challenging and most importantly helpful. Harry had this bloody "saving people thing", as Hermione called it. Healing would channel it in the most valuable way. He was convinced that it would make Harry happy, just as volunteering in the orphanage did. Neville thought about it himself, but so far he couldn't bring himself to face children of people murdered in the Massacre. In his conscious part of mind he knew it wasn't his fault and that he could do nothing against the massive amount of people, among them aurors and war heroes. There were just too many of them. The furious, hurt crowd, who just lost their parents, children, brothers, sisters, spouses and friends. In a way he understood it. They wanted a revenge. Singly, they wouldn't dare, but the crowd had given them power and excuse. They wouldn't blame themselves for what happened. After all, it was justified by thousands. Public display of justice.
But they killed many who didn't really deserved that. Many who were just scared and couldn't bring themselves not to follow Voldemort. He still dreamed about Blaise Zabini's eyes, when the boy realized what was happening. He still heard the screams. Neville doubted that he was guilty of anything, but fear.
But the Massacre was not spoken of loudly. And if it was it was considered "a justified act of anger and grief". As the Muggles were saying "history is written by the victors". Neville just hoped that another Muggle saying would come true. After all, the history does repeat itself.
May, the same year, early afternoon, The Knockturn Alley, London
They were waiting for a signal with Griphook. Harry was leaning against the wall. Knockturn was never his favourite place.
'We're going' he heard Griphook's voice.
They put on the their hoods and went quickly.
'How's coming? Identify yourselves!' they were stopped by Marauders. Harry looked around desperately.
Everything that happened next took a few seconds. Lucius drove a knife straight into the heart of the closest Marauder and from nowhere appeared goblins in full armors holding axes. The troops didn't know what hit them. Seconds later, they were bodies all around. Harry felt like vomiting.
'Go! Quickly! Before the Dark Lord will find out about this' scowled one of the goblins.
They ran. Everywhere in Harry's span of sight were goblins, killing Dark Marauders and Snatchers.
'How the hell didn't the Dark Lord win years ago having you in his ranks? Your resources are impossible!' he screamed to Lucius, trying to calm his stomach.
'He never wanted anyone to help him with his plans!' shouted Lucius back.
They arrived at the Bank a few minutes later. Kubetg Darkraider was already waiting.
'Let's go, Lord Malfoy, Lord Potter. We need to hurry. Death Eaters will be here soon.'
They climbed in the cart and it were off with as enormous speed as always.
'I must say I was rather surprised to hear that you're alive, Lord Malfoy!' screamed Kubetg Darkraider through the noise of the cart.
'Everyone I meet says the same thing' shouted Lucius back. 'Malfoys don't commit suicides!'
They arrived at the vault, passing the dragon.
'Here. Put the ring to the door, Lord Potter.'
Harry took out the ring. It was made from platinum with an engraved crest of House of Black. Inside were words: toujours pur. Always pure. He put the ring to the door. They opened with a crack. They all entered.
'Do you feel anything?' asked Lucius.
'It's there' Harry pointed to the cup. Lucius reached for the cup and took it.
'Ok, we have it. Now, let's leave, before the Dark Lord will get here.'
'Too late' it was Griphook's voice. 'They are already here.'
They existed the vault and were ambushed with the deadly spells. They hid behind columns.
'Do you have any idea?' shouted Harry.
'I have! But it's crazy!'
'Better crazy than dead.'
He saw Lucius as he backed, ran and jumped onto the dragon's neck.
'What about you?' Harry asked the goblins.
'You are one, unusual wizard, Lord Potter. But you ain't worry about us. Our race is the one of warriors before the bankers. Our names will be remembered forever.'
With that reassurance Harry followed Lucius.
'Diffindo!' Lucius shouted and the dragon was free. He jumped at the possibility. He flew up, piercing through the ceiling. The spells reflected off of his skin. Harry closed his eyes, when the dragon destroyed the roof of the Bank and flew above London.
'Jump off!' screamed Lucius.
Harry opened his eyes. They were above a lake. He let go off the dragon.
The water covered him completely and he saw Voldemort. The Dark Lord was furious. He knew what they have done. He concentrated on man's thoughts and saw Hogwarts. He swam to the surface of the water and managed to crawled on the ground.
'Shit!' scowled Lucius. 'That's not a cliché anymore. That's pure madness.'
'We need to get to Hogwarts' Harry ignored the man's complaint.
Lucius looked at him. There was no trace of surprise. He sighed.
'Why? I mean it's crazier than deliberately getting caught to get to the Manor. But nothing surprises me anymore.'
'The Dark Lord knows what we are doing. He knows about the Horcrux. The next one is in Hogwarts. And it has something to do with Rowena Ravenclaw.'
Lucius sighed again.
'At least, if we are getting killed, we probably won't be alone.'
Two days after Christmas Ball, around 9:30am, Lucius&Harry's flat, Muggle London
From the moment that Harry left to help decorating the orphanage Lucius couldn't sleep. Finally, he gave up and turned on a TV. He would never admit to Harry that he thought that the thing was very clever.
He watched some educational program about muggle history. It was actually interesting. It fitted so good with wizarding one. But that day he couldn't focus. All he could think was Harry and their relationship. It was all Severus' fault. The meeting with him got Lucius thinking.
When it started, he had never expected to survive. He was pretty sure that he would be killed in the war. The only thing that made him going was the revenge. On his half-brother, on his wife, on his long-dead father and on the Dark Lord. The revenge for ruining his entire life.
He was only eighteen, when his father decided that he was not a worthy heir. He imprisoned and tortured him for days, before he finally managed to find a dark spell that would ensure Lucius' cooperation. Almost. There were still some things that the spell couldn't make him do. Like sleeping with his ex-wife or destroying his passion for learning. In his time he begged the Sorting Hat not to put him in Ravenclaw, so he would not be tortured or killed by his father.
The spell was really simple. It stripped Lucius' from the control he had over his body and words. He was thrown in the back of his mind to become a helpless observer of his crimes. Only sometimes, he managed to weaken the power that the curse had over him to oppose his father and later his wife. He watched himself bowing to a half-blooded fool, that called himself the Dark Lord. He saw his own murders and his tortures and could do nothing but stare. His body wasn't his own.
The first time he managed to regain some control was in year 1992. And it was Harry who helped him that day. He was carrying around the Riddle's diary for days, unable to do anything about it. It was back then that he felt the enormous amount of magic that Harry possessed. But it wasn't what made him believe in the boy. When he stared into the eyes of twelve-years-old child, he saw courage and determination. The first trait he always lacked. The second was killed in him by his father. But those eyes that very day gave him the strength to resist the curse for just a few moments and put the diary into the cauldron of youngest Weasley. When he was leaving the bookstore, he wished luck to Harry Potter. Somehow, he knew that the boy would be able to destroy Dark Lord's diary. He felt rather weak, knowing that a kid was stronger than him. He still remembered the words that Harry angrily hissed at him. I will be always there to save the day. That moment he saved Lucius. If it wasn't for this short encounter, he would never regained the determination to fight the spell.
Their second meeting was even better. For a year, he dreamed about the eyes that stared at him with so much hatred. Slowly, he started to gather his power, feeding of Harry's strength. And Harry, who had just killed the bloody basilisk, tricked him so easily and beautifully, ensuring the loyalty of Lucius' once servant. Those eyes again gave him burst of power to resist the spell. For the first time in years he felt something. A simple wind on his skin. It was a wonder for him. Thanks to this he managed to continue fighting for his freedom.
In a way Lucius loved Harry back then. Of course, he didn't want him in a sexual way. Back then, he didn't even have any sexual needs. His didn't feel his body. He was like a living inferi. But he carved another meeting with Harry Potter. He attended all of the matches played between Gryffindor and Slytherin. Not only could he see the reason for his fighting, but also Harry kicked his half-brother's arse every single time. It was refreshing to see a boy that practised dark curses on him with his mother's approval so pissed and defeated.
But he needed to wait entire year to meet Harry again face to face. Quidditch World Cup. He thanked Slytherin for helping Arthur Weasley in obtaining the tickets for luxury box. Harry was sitting just a few feet away from him. That was a burst he needed. Even with being forced to take part in torturing muggles afterwards he felt freer than in years. He was still playing his part perfectly, even if there were some cracks in the spell and his wife didn't notice anything. Day he felt nausea at his tortures for the first time in years.
The events in cemetery and the Dark Lord's return almost blew up his high hopes. When he saw Harry, bound on the ground, he thought that he would remain a prisoner to the end of his days. He knew that he didn't have much time. The moment that Draco would turn seventeen, he would be useless for them. His half-brother would be able to kill him and take control over the House of Malfoy, becoming its Lord. Lucius, at that time for over
The final blow to the spell was struck by Harry again. Lucius blessed the day of the battle in Department of Mysteries every day when he woke up. Their defeat removed him from the sphere of influence of his wife and the Dark Lord for months. Azkaban affected him, of course. Even as a prisoner in his mind he was forced to relive his worst memories. They weren't his crimes mostly. No. The dementors brought back his family and its tortures. It almost destroyed him, but also did the greatest thing for him. The memories created a hunger in him. He desired revenge. He wanted it so much that it damaged the curse greatly. After the Dark Lord got him out, it was only a matter of time, when he would completely be free.
He prepared for this. For years and years after he managed to get some control over his mind, he slowly removed anything of value from Malfoy Manor and placed it in the house that he had bought for himself just before his father imprisoned him. He also created a mirror that would be able to get him to the house, wherever necessary. It was one of his finest works. His master degree in Transfiguration and Charms, that his father allowed him to get, because they would bring recognition to the Malfoy name, came in handy. Finally, just before his half-brother seventeen birthday he cleared the Manor.
During that two weeks that he was preparing for an escaping and removing the last traces of his father's spell work, Narcissa and Draco were on holidays. At least that's what they claimed. Lucius was sure that they were plotting his murder.
Either Harry didn't notice it in his vision or he just didn't draw the right conclusion, but his family hadn't found out that he had broken the spell until the very last moment. When he told the Dark Lord to fuck off, the expressions on Draco's and Narcissa's faces were priceless. It was the exact moment when they realized what had happened. Obviously, they didn't think he had survived the jump, but Lucius prepared that too. Because of the spell, the Dark Mark had been disappearing from his arm. It wasn't he who was marked, so it couldn't stay on his arm. His speech, his final strike against the curse, made it vanish. The rest was childishly easy. Some transfiguration work and a portkey. And, of course, the acting part. If he wasn't so convincing in his suicide, they would check. But they didn't. And he was far away the seconds afterwards.
His little victory. From that moment he thought that all he had left in his life was a revenge.
Until he met Harry again the same day. That was the time when he was extremely vulnerable. The young man was right when he called him desperado. If it was anyone but Harry, the person who had given him strength and courage to fight, he would break. But when he looked once again into those green eyes and saw forgiveness, caring and sympathy… He hadn't understood it back then. He still didn't. but he was willing to overlook that and simply be happy and thankful to Fate for presenting him another chance.
It still shocked him. Their relationship. It surprised him every day. The comfort, the safety he felt when being around Harry. The acceptance that the young man was so ready to offer him.
Lucius was still quite ruthless, sometimes even cruel and brutal, willing and wanting to murder so easily to protect Harry and himself. He was still belligerent towards many. He still calculated what was worthy the reward. He was still prejudiced. He still acted all mighty and arrogant, mostly because of fear, but nonetheless.
But he was also a broken, frantic man. Abused, tortured, fragile. With such a long history of violence against him and by him. He wasn't proud anymore. He was ashamed of himself and his cowardice and weakness. Embarrassed about having a counsellor.
And they only thing that kept him together was Harry. He would be damned if he let him leave because of his folly. He was learning to compromise. Harry was too. Lucius hoped that they both could get there. Together. Because alone, Lucius would be shattered into pieces. He loved the young man so much.
The day before Christmas Ball, 8:30am, Ministry of Magic, London
'Good morning, Lord Malfoy, please come in.
'Good morning, Minister.'
'You are perfectly on time' Kingsley Shacklebolt smiled at Lucius. 'Sit down. Do you want a coffee or a tea?'
The blonde shook his head.
'Thank you. I have just finished my morning coffee a few minutes ago.'
'You are probably wondering about the reason why I asked you to come here.'
'I will be frank with you. We appreciate what you're doing greatly. Your input into catching the remaining Death Eaters is indispensable for us. And I know I have asked you to point out the weaknesses in our laws and prepare some reforms. I also realize that you are doing it all for free.'
Lucius nodded again. He didn't like where this was going. He felt that Shacklebolt was going to tell him that he couldn't work at the ministry anymore. And it was the second thing he didn't want the most after Harry leaving him. His lover was studying and spending a lot of his time at the university. If Lucius couldn't stay at the ministry, occupying himself, he would be all alone with his thoughts during the majority of his day. His counsellor definitely would say that it wasn't good for him.
'The story of your life is… Well, let's just say I feel a lot of sympathy towards you, no matter how hard you try to play an arrogant bastard most of the time.'
'You truly are sincere today, Minister.'
'I guess there is no point in trying to convince you to call me Kingsley.'
'You guessed correctly, Minister.'
'We fought together. I usually switch to names after that experience and you do call Harry by his name.'
'I and Harry have… gone together through much more than a simple battle, Minister. Names are powerful. A fact that most wizards seem to forget nowadays. However, I find it difficult to believe that you invited me here to talk about first names and Lord Potter.'
'You're right, of course. Your understanding of magic is very thorough. And, back to the subject. Your story, your heroism and your help in bringing Lord Voldemort down, as well as your actions afterwards, sponsoring Hogwarts' rebuilding, working tirelessly and for free at the ministry has put you at almost the same level as Harry. And we both know that Harry is not really a willing hero. Although, the press has a lot of good to say about his actions at the orphanage and at Hogwarts, Harry is not a politician. He doesn't want to be one and he doesn't want to understand the politics. I may not like it. In fact I don't. But I respect his wish, even if some don't.'
Lucius was even more confused about the subject of their meeting.
'You, Lord Malfoy, are very different. You know everything about politics. You didn't take part in the Massacre of Hogwarts. I don't know what you would do if you were there and I don't really care. Thankfully, that's not important.'
Lucius knew he wouldn't. Some of the people who were killed there were just like him. Sacred, not monsters, but he did cherish the fact that his ex-wife was killed there.
'For me vital is that you are a hero, widely regarded in the Wizarding World. I need someone like you. Someone who won't be a political idiot. Who will be capable of talking with all those Lords who storm my office and demand something almost every day, because I am not. I don't even understand their problems. But you, regardless of your history, are one of those Lords. You will be able to figure them out and keep them happy. I know that you already have a lot of work, with reforms and chasing of your ex-acquaintances. If you agreed you would of course be paid with all benefits of being in the minister's office.'
By that moment Lucius was gaping. He was worried that was inconvenient for the ministry and Shacklebolt actually offered him a job. After he freed himself he was surprised by Light Wizards many times and got used to it a little bit. But Kingsley managed to throw him completely off track.
'Minister, are you offering me a job?'
'Of course. I mean I need to offer you one before the Daily Prophet will publish some article about us using you and compare me to your ex-wife. But in reality, I have problems that I don't know how to deal with. Most of Lords on our side are seventeen years old and have no idea about dealing with bloody old, pure-blooded assholes. And I don't include you in that' Kingsley added when he saw Lucius' look. 'You are hardly old. Pure-blooded, yes, arsehole, most of the time. Somebody last week thought of a title for you. They have similar position in United States, Senior Adviser for the muggle ruler, whatever the name is. You would be called that, if you wanted to. And I know you know we are currently a little bit out of money because of the war, but we managed to came up with an amount that I hope will be satisfying.'
Shacklebolt tossed a folder in his way.
Lucius opened it. The money weren't what he made out of his businesses around the world, but he doubt anyone would pay any employee. And his businesses were perfectly fine without his aid. He had people who were keeping track of that for him. Speaking of which, he probably should have visited Malfoy Corp. Headquarters. He looked at the papers again. The position was still probably one of the most lucrative in the Wizarding World. And with the very unique position of power. Something that was his father target for years and he never managed to gain. Lucius was offered the position year and half after becoming his own man.
If he got an office, he would hang his father's portrait on the wall. And probably organized fucking Harry against the desk in front of the bastard. Probably, he was rather petty, but he couldn't help himself. He had become exact opposite of what Abraxas wanted him to be and gained everything his fucking father ever wanted and never got. Recognition, Order of Merlin, being called hero, having real power in the ministry and Wizengamot. Lucius got it all in a span of two years.
And he didn't even desired it. He was flattered by the proposition and would definitely accept it, but his desires were focused on Harry, being happy, getting better with help of his counselor, doing things that he was never able before, and of course learning. Harry had introduced him to a whole new world of subjects to observe and examine. However, Lucius didn't want to spend his days alone, watching TV series about wars and reading books. He needed something to do beside that.
The Fate must have wanted to compensate him his life a little, because these days Lucius got everything that he wanted and more.
'Of course, I accept your proposition, Minister. I will be honored to serve the society in such a way.'
'Bullshit, Lord Malfoy, but I am glad you accept. We have serious need for someone who is pure-blood and preferably traditionalist, as well as accepted by Light Wizards. My only other option would be Severus Snape and we both know that he would laugh at me.'
Lucius smirked. Laugh and hex, in fact.
'So, I would like you to start in January. I would get you here today, but Christmas are on two days and we need to prepare your office' Lucius' Lucius grinned widely. 'You are grinning, Lord Malfoy. It's creepy.'
'I was thinking about hanging my father's portrait on the wall of my office' Lucius explained calmly.
'I always knew you, Slytherins, have a vindictive streak' Kingsley grinned at him. 'One more thing, I am not going to change my decision over that but are you sleeping with any male who may potentially be considered an ex Voldemort's supporter?'
'Male? The Dark Lord's supporter?'
'I was two years after you in Hogwarts, Lord Malfoy, I remember your preferences. And I informers told me that you have a lover, but nobody was able to find out who. Don't worry, they are Unspeakables. I don't care about his name, but I would prefer to know if there is going to be a scandal, because you're sleeping with Rudolophus Lestrange or someone like that.' The disgust on Lucius' face must have been evident, because Kingsley quickly added: 'Although I don't suspect you to.'
'For your information, my lover is the opposite, and he didn't take part in the Massacre, if you need to know that too. Although, there might be some issues with his identity.'
At Kingsley's questioning look, he shook his head.
'Fine, then. I won't pry. It's your business, just tell me if we will need to do some damage control. I will help you. And thank you for accepting the position. I am glad that you did.'
'No problem, Minister. I am glad that you offered' Lucius stood up and directed to the exit.
'Lord Malfoy, what about those first names?'
'Ask me in a month, Minister.'
May, the same year, Hogsmeade, Scotland
Aberforth Dumbledore took them off the street, hiding before Death Eaters could get them. The man was giving surprised looks to Lucius. Lord Malfoy sighed.
'Yes, I'm dead. I know that.'
Harry snickered and Lucius sent him a painful look.
'It wasn't even funny the first time! How many times do I have to say that Malfoys don't commit suicides?' he groaned, but quickly collected himself. 'We need to get to Hogwarts' said to Aberforth.
'Yes, we know. We just jumped off the dragon. It's definitely in my definition of crazy, however I fear that none of us have any choice. You know, all this Slytherin stuff, kill or be killed. Which is a little bit problematic since I have already died once' Lucius stared at the ceiling.
'Never thought that you were one into suicide missions, Lord Malfoy.'
'I am not. But I do want my revenge.'
Dumbledore stroked his chin.
'One a Slytherin, always a Slytherin' Lucius looked at him questioningly. 'I was in Slytherin, Lord Malfoy. I know all about the Arts. Maybe we do stand a chance with you aboard. Everybody has already gathered. As soon as the news about goblins' rebellion spread.' He opened an empty portrait in the wall, uncovering a long tunnel. 'Here, this is the only way in and out of the castle. All the other tunnels were sealed before the beginning of the year. You will get out in a secret room. Somebody will be there for sure. Good luck.'
'I will get the fang of basilisk from the Chamber of Secrets' muttered Lucius. 'You organize the defense. They won't trust me easily, no matter what happened.'
Harry gave him an Invisibility Cloak and Lucius threw it over himself.
'Don't die' he said before disappearing.
'I wouldn't dare.'
They went quietly. The tunnel ended abruptly with a wall. Harry pushed it and it opened. The next moment he saw wands aimed at him. Not only students were there, but also the remaining members of the Order of Phoenix, Remus, Sirius, Tonks, the Weasleys.
'Come on, guy, you wouldn't want to maim me.' He jumped off the tunnel, Lucius right beside him.
'Harry!' it was Hermione. She hugged him closely.
'Hermione. I am so glad you're ok' he hugged her back. People clapped, but Harry quickly interrupted them. 'I need your help.'
'Anything, mate' said Seamus.
'We need to find something that is hidden at Hogwarts.'
'Where is it?' asked immediately Neville.
'We don't know. And before you ask we don't know what is it either.'
'How do you expect us to find it then?' Sirius joined in.
'It's small, easily concealed and has something to do with Rowena Ravenclaw' said Harry. 'Anyone any ideas?'
People looked around helplessly.
'There is a lost diadem of Ravenclaw' said Luna.
'But it was lost' said Cho.
'Just explain' Harry asked.
'It was lost after Rowena's death. Nobody had seen it in thousand years' supplied Hermione.
'Great! At least now we know what we are looking for.'
Suddenly, the voice spread around.
'All students are to attend the meeting in the Great Hall in thirty minutes. No exceptions allowed. Every student that fails to show up will be regarded as violator of the Hogwarts' Code.'
'Just go and bring the bloody fang with you. I will handle that' Lucius disappeared under the Cloak after nodding. 'Ok. Can anyone explain to me what the fuck is Hogwarts' Code?'
'It's a new set of rules introduced by Snape and Carrows.'
'Carrows are here? Fuck' Harry groaned. They had a run in with them in August. It wasn't pleasant, but what run in with Death Eaters was.
A day before Christmas, 4:58pm, professor Maxwell's house, Hogsmeade
Harry knocked at the door and they shut opened. Two boys threw themselves at him.
'Hi, Graham, Aiden!' Harry entered the house. 'I brought you some early Christmas gifts!' He took out two boxes, when the boys screamed "Yes!" loudly.
Professor Maxwell showed up.
'Hi, Harry. Come in. The dinner is almost ready' she looked at her sons that were unwrapping their presents. 'And you didn't have to.'
'I know. But I wanted to' answered Harry with a smile and took off his coat.
Graham hugged him, when he saw his new young Potion Master set.
'Thank you, Mr. Harry It's so awesome!'
Aiden who just opened his present was staring widely at his new Illustrated History of British Wizarding Wars.
'I always wanted that!' he said. 'Thank you, Mr. Harry.'
'I am glad you like it.'
They ate the dinner talking about Harry's university and the specialization that he wanted to choose, as well as boys' school. Finally, professor Maxwell sent the boy's to their room and glanced at Harry.
'Thank you for your gifts for boys. I appreciate it. And I hope that you didn't buy me anything.'
'I would' Harry said. 'But I was sure you would hex me and throw me away from house without dinner, and I don't have anything to it but the stuff for Christmas' he smiled at her.
The woman laughed, but got serious after a second.
'My boys love you. You are spoiling them too much.'
'I like to spoil kids. Children should be happy and spoiled. Not too much, of course, but a little' he smiled gently.
'Rather slowly, but I will get used to the thought. And I do want children. Always wanted a big family.'
Prof. Maxwell nodded.
'Have you talked to the father yet?'
Harry shook his head.
'You are in relationship with him, are you not? I can't picture you for being one off kind of guy.'
'Yeah. We live together.'
That was a shocker.
'You live together? How the hell did you manage to prevent the Prophet from finding out?'
'Muggle World. We live in muggle London. Not far from the uni. We have never even talked about it. It just sort of happened. At first I was coming over, but then the classes started and I hate Floo or apparition, so we started meeting in my flat. He needed his clothes in the morning to go to work, so… And it's easier in muggle area, because there is lesser chance that somebody will spot us and sell the story or, Merlin forbid, pictures to Prophet. And we just bought a little cottage together. In Scotland.'
'So, it is serious.'
'Well, I guess. We wouldn't be living together if it wasn't.'
'That's good' the woman smiled. 'But you should talk to him.'
'I will. It's just difficult. The war had just ended and all that. The Death Eaters are still on the loose. And we both are still scared. We also usually don't talk about our relationships. Neither of us had an easy life. I am worried how he will react. We argue a lot. About small stuff. We had very different upbringing. Unhappy, but unlike one another.'
'Everybody argues. I and Milly used to have a disagreement at least once a week. You know, she was muggle-born. And I was a half-blood, raised mostly in Wizarding World. It's different. Our cultures and views on life were very diverse, but it didn't change a thing. We were happy together, despite our differences' she turned thoughtful.
'I'm sorry' muttered Harry.
'You have nothing to be sorry about. It wasn't your fault. I knew that she was an auror, when I married her. And I knew that she could die any day on the job. It saddened me, but she was happy fighting. It was her life. I couldn't take it away from her. I despised it, but I would never order her to choose between me and her work. I don't want to be prying Harry, but is he good to you? After the war, I know, you had some issues…'
Harry told professor Maxwell about his counselor. She was great woman and always supporting him. He suspected that her support was more than the university expected her to give him, but he didn't mind. She was the one adult person besides Lucius, whom he never mind talking to. She was bright and away in time of the war, but she lost her spouse due to it. She understood him a lot, never judging. Even Remus was judging sometimes, mostly because of what they survived and they weren't that close to each other. Sure Harry liked him, but they never spent time together, occupied with war and Voldemort. The man also didn't want to take side in the row between him and Sirius. And Harry didn't blame him. He lost Tonks, had a son to raise alone and with him being werewolf. They met a few times and Harry loved Teddy, but it was still not it. And Remus knew his parents. Professor Maxwell was entirely separated from his life and that was the best about her.
'Yes, he is. He's gentle and kind. And I can't imagine being without him. He's always there for me and if he wasn't… I don't know if I could survive that. And he doesn't need my fame. He has that on his own in plenitude. Well, he is also smug bastard from time to time, thinks he knows everything best. But I know him well and he never is to me. Apart from money issue.'
'Money issue?' she asked worriedly.
'He insisted on paying for everything for me. It really pissed me off. I like him taking care of me. And he likes that too. But sometimes it's too much. It's not like I am poor or anything and I can handle my own expenses.'
'Oh' professor Maxwell said. Harry was very well off and with all money that people had sent him in gratitude for killing He Who Must Not Be Named, he was really rich. For a second she worried that the man only wanted Harry only for his money. 'At least he isn't a gold digger.'
'No, certainly not. He's richer than I am.'
That got Elisabeth thinking. Her mind wasn't taking mysteries kindly. And she couldn't deny that she was curious about the identity of Harry's lover. Money part convinced her that he was the one who had sent her the necklace. But there weren't many people who had more money than Harry in the Wizarding World. And she could cross out Black immediately. He was the boy's godfather and they had been fighting instantly since the Battle of Hogwarts. That left only a bunch of people. Unless, Harry's lover was a muggle. But she doubted that. A muggle would not be much affected by the war. Well, not as much as a wizard. The list formed in her head.
'That's good' she smiled at her student, still crossing out males in the back of her head. 'I think you're going to be a great father. All children love you.'
Harry turned thoughtful.
'Yeah, I guess.'
'What? Don't you think so?'
'I don't know. I have bad experiences from the time I was a child…' he muttered. 'And I am just eighteen years old. I mean… the father is older than me, but he never really had a child.'
That crossed out a few other males.
'I bet you will be fine. Look at Aiden and Graham. They're always asking about you and when you will come to play with them. Besides, it's a learning process. At first everybody is scared. But you learn quickly and I can't imagine you not loving your child. I am also pretty sure that whoever your lover is, if he likes to take care of you so much, he will also like taking care of your child.'
Harry smiled at her unsure He and Lucius were just like in the muggle song he heard. F.I.N.E. Fucked up. Insecure. Neurotic. Emotional. He hoped they could manage.
The day before Christmas Ball, around 2:30pm, Ministry of Magic, London
Lucius was royally bored. He have just greeted all of his coworkers in the Law Enforcement Department and was sitting and waiting for Madam Bones to open the meeting.
'Let's get started' she said finally. 'Thank you all for coming, I know Christmas are in three days and most of you are occupied by them. However, the sooner we can catch the remaining Death Eaters, the sooner our families and friends will be save. As I hope you all feel.'
A few people nodded and Dawlish muttered something to the women next to him.
'Minister Shacklebolt will be taking Lord Malfoy from us in January. Unfortunately, they need a politician in the Minister's office' at that Savage and Williamson smirked. Madam Bones shot them a death glare. 'Nevertheless, I hope that you will be helping us in your spare time, Lord Malfoy.'
'Of course' Lucius nodded.
'Our Hit Wizards Squad' she continued 'was seriously damaged in the last fight with the remains of the Dark Marauders and it will take at least a few week before they can operate again on the same level. As you know, Emrys McLaggen, our commander is forced to retire due to curse that hit him. Unfortunately, his second, Maximilian Bagshot, was killed during the same action to. We are without command in the Squad and this is a serious problem. I have sent you all the files with the names of the possible candidates for that position. It may require moving some senior aurors to the Squad. And yes, Williamson, you are one of the possibilities' she added seeing auror's look. 'The candidates will be reviewed and selected by me and a committee, the members of which remain not elected yet.'
'We need new program to train Hit Wizards and Aurors. We all knew about that after the war. Our forces were mostly unprepared for infiltration of the ministry and fights that followed. We managed to recruit some of the members of Dumbledore Army, among them Mr. Weasley, Mr. Finnegan, one of its leaders and rather talented pyrotechnic., Mr. Dean Thomas, Mr. Terry Boot and Mr. Michael Corner. They have all agreed to share their experiences from that time. Unfortunately, Lord Potter and Lord Longbottom decided to continue their studies. Although, we presume that they would be willing to share their stories as well. The program will be launched with these five and some others, starting in February. I would like to ask you, Lord Malfoy, to take the patronage over it inside the Minister Office. As an ex-Death Eater and an instrumental person in Voldemort's defeat, your experience would be vital to us' Lucius simply nodded. 'I am absolutely sure that Minister Shacklebolt will be agreeable to that. You will find the drafts of the program's main foundations in your files. I ask you to revise and review them. The main purpose is prevention and discovering Dark Wizards before they can actually rise in power and supporters. Something, that three kids beat us to do, which is a great embarrassment for an entire Ministry and to us as Aurors in particular.'
'Moreover, we want to train what we call Battle Healers. The last few events have proven that medics on the battle field are indispensable. We have already contacted the Saint Mungos directorship as well as MUL's Dean of Healing Department. The negotiation about our joint cooperation in this will take place in January.'
'Mr. Finnegan has also brought to my attention a lack of background check on ministry's employees. We only do a superficial verification on auror's candidates and that has proven to be absolutely insufficient. Because the war is currently still, we will use the time to run checks over every ministry employee, starting from the top, all way down to the cleaners. I don't want to hear any complaints. It's a direct order from the Minister himself. The Auror Office failed greatly during last war, leaving the victory in the hands of teachers and teenagers. Something like that must not happen again, and I think you all agree with that. So, Dawlish, stop scowling.'
'We were not prepared to react quickly and fight against organization so loosely connected as Death Eaters. Years of the peace after the First War made us lazy. That's something that we can't let repeat.'
'That's it for today. You are probably eager to relax a bit during our Christmas meeting which is in twenty minutes. Lord Malfoy, I would like to talk to you first, if I may.'
Madam Bones finished and got up.
Lucius followed the dignified woman to her office.
'I must say that I am not surprised to lose you, Lord Malfoy. Of course, I realize that we have never paid you a knut, but your work was important for us and you deserve all the credits you have received for it. I presume you are aware of that. Nonetheless, your place is higher than that and I congratulate you on your new position.'
'Thank you, Madam.'
'No need to thank me, you are the best and only person that can fill in for that position. At least the only that we can trust right now, Lord Malfoy. And I was not ecstatic about it, at any rate, as I am sure you understand. Your information about the Voldemort's Inner Circle and other Death Eaters was and still is essential for us. That creates an issue. Our records are… insufficient, lacking. That's why I wanted to ask you to review them. Understandable, you probably have a lot going on right now, but I want you to check them over. At least the most important ones, like Rudolphus and Rabastan Lestrange or Walden Macnair. I have already secured Headmaster Severus Snape help in this. He has a few moments to spare with the Christmas break at Hogwarts. The Law Enforcement Department will be grateful if you could do supply us with as many information as possible, since we won't be able to have you anymore full time. I hope you will agree to it.'
'I do, Madam. I have many unresolved issues with people you have mentioned. And helping to catch them will be rather satisfying revenge.'
Madam Bones laughed at vindictive expression at Lucius' face.
'I keep forgetting that you were a Slytherin, Lord Malfoy. You always seemed to be more Ravenclaw than anything. With your constant pursue of knowledge, the familiarity with our laws and two Master titles.'
'You are not the first one to say that, Madam. I certainly have some Ravenclaw's traits, however I will always enjoy a rightful revenge.'
'I do not know if I should be concerned about your words or not, Lord Malfoy. After consideration, our new mission statement is to prevent Dark Lords from emerging. Shall I be worried about you?' she teased him.
'I, Madam Bones, have just gotten almost all the power that I could. Senior Advisor of the Minister, Lord member of the Wizengamot and a Hero of the Wizarding World. Little could I not do or afford with all that. Becoming next Dark Lord could only spoil it. However, as you have noticed I do share a great deal of Ravenclaw's characteristics and to calm you, the direction of my ambition is one of them.'
Madam Bones laughed at this explanation.
'I suspect you are right. You do have almost all the power that you could get' at that statement Lucius realized that he really didn't want the power. He only wanted to show his father that he could do so much better than him. That bowing to the madman and killing human beings was the worst possible way to achieve that. But he genuinely wanted to reform the Wizarding World and be remembered as great, knowledgeable wizard. That was purely his ambition, it would probably never be satiated, but it was an ambition of a Ravenclaw, not a Slytherin. Sometimes Lucius wondered if he should let the Hat put him into that House. If his father disowned him earlier, maybe he could have avoided this fate. On the other hand, he would have never met Harry, his little lion, the brightest thing in his life. Not that, he would ever admit that out loud. The voice of Madam Bones brought him out of his reverie. 'I hope our partnership will be as effective when you will be Senior Adviser as it is now.'
'Certainly. I will be honored to continue to work with you, Madam Bones. To restore the faith of the Wizarding World in their Ministry' political talk, definitely he was one for propaganda.
Madam Boned smiled.
'You will fit into the position. Your silk tongue is something that most of our Heroes lack. Enjoy our Christmas meeting, Lord Malfoy.'
'I will' he stood up, kissed her hand and left.
May, the same year, around 9pm, Hogwarts, Great Hall
'It has come to our attention that Harry Potter has been spotted today in Hogsmeade' Severus Snape began his speech. 'Anyone who knows anything about Mr. Potter's whereabouts is to come forward. Should we discover that any of you helped him, the punishment to you and your family will be severe.'
He walked through the hallway.
'Anyone?' he turned around to face them.
Harry stepped out.
'Good evening, Headmaster.' The students gasped. Severus paled. 'I must say that your defences are somewhat lacking. It was a piece of cake to get here.' The members of the Order of Phoenix stepped out from the crowd of students too.
Snape draw out his wand, but so did Draco Malfoy.
'Potter! You're dead. Expel…'
Someone was quicker. A blue spell hit Malfoy, sending him to the floor. Everybody turned around. In the door stood Lucius Malfoy, his wand raised.
'You! You're dead!' howled Draco.
'Good evening, my dearest brother' sarcasm was almost dripping from Lucius' mouths. 'I would say that it's a pleasure to see you here, but that would be a fucking lie. And, for Slytherin's sake, you may be a bastard and a little shit, but you do have a Malfoy blood in you. You should know better than to think that any Malfoy would ever commit a bloody suicide!'
Lucius managed to shock everybody into silence. Headmaster Snape looked as if he had seen a ghost. Usually, dignified, perfectly dressed Malfoy Lord wore baggy, too big jeans, a T-shirt with an inscription that said: We are all cupcakes. His hair were cut short, because of the fleas that they caught along the way. His shoes looked like they were about to fall apart. Only his expression was somewhat normal. He held large, vindictive smirk.
'That happy to see me, brother. Because we have some unfinished business.' Red beam sprung out of his wand in Draco's direction. Younger Malfoy jumped off its way. 'Accio sword!' The Malfoy family cutlass flew from Draco's waist to Lucius' hand. By that time Harry had aimed his wand at Headmaster. 'Sectusempra!'
He missed. Snape jumped, caught Draco and apparated under the constant spell-fire from Harry and Lucius.
'Of course they got away' scowled Harry and noticed that the Order of Phoenix was eyeing Lucius warningly. 'And don't worry about Lucius. He's harmless. Unless you are Death Eater' he added after consideration. 'Or a Marauder. Or a Snatcher.'
'But Mr. Malfoy! You're dead!' screamed Hermione.
'I would ask you, Ms. Granger, to refrain from reminding me about my most unfortunate suicide. It'd be like the tenth time that I would have to remind everybody that Malfoys don't commit suicides' he looked rather irritated. 'And the proper title is Lord Malfoy. I may be dead, but I still require some respect. I mean I should require more or less respect, since I betrayed the Dark Lord and committed a suicide?'
Harry had a nerve to snicker.
'I apologize, Lord Malfoy. You look…' Hermione never knew when to keep her mouths shut.
'At your place, I would refrain from mentioning that too, Ms. Granger. The outrageous state of my clothes is to be entirely blamed on the Dark Lord. The man always had a bloody nerve.'
'Ok, guys, let's leave Lucius alone. His pride won't take much more suffering' Harry ignored the death glare from his lover. 'Have you found it?' he asked.
'Of course, I don't make mistakes nearly as often as my brother.'
Suddenly, the Voldemort's voice spoke inside their heads.
'You have defied my servant. And for that you shall be punished. Unless you give me Harry Potter and Lucius Malfoy, I shall destroy this place. Stone by stone, you will be defeated. You have one hour.'
'Congratulation. You were promoted' Harry sneered at Lucius.
'Cliché as always. Punish, kill, destroy. Are there any other words in his blasted dictionary?' Lucius was as usually staring at the ceiling.
'What are we waiting for?!' Pansy Parkinson screamed. 'We have to hand them over!'
'I think, Ms. Parkinson, that your and other Slytherins' presence won't be required any longer. Mr. Flitch, if you could take the House of Slytherin to the dungeons.'
The other three houses started cheering.
'Mr. Potter, I must ask you. What do you need?'
'Time, Professor. As much as you can get us.'
'Of course. Mr. Potter. Good luck.'
'Thank you, professor.'
'Have you figured anything out?' asked Lucius.
'Rowena's lost diadem' answered Harry simply.
'Not again. I hate fairy tales.'
'You know what is it.'
'Of course. It was lost just after her death. Nobody had seen it in centuries.'
'How the hell did you avoid being sent to Ravenclaw?'
'I will not share blackmail material with so many witness, little…' Lucius didn't finish Harry's nickname. Harry quickly took others minds of what the man was going to say.
'Good, that you admit that. We need to find it anyway.'
'Luna. What is it?'
'The diadem was not seen by anyone alive. You need to talk to someone who's dead.'
Lucius looked at the girl disbelievingly.
'That idea has it's merit' he approved. 'Here, take this' he showed the fang into Harry's hands.
Harry run. And Lucius turned around to the members of the Order of Phoenix.
'I think we have a battle to prepare for. Professor, we need to hold back the Dark Lord for as long as we can. I have a few ideas how to delay them. Just please, don't say I should be dead. Malfoys don't commit suicides.'
The day after Christmas Ball, around 2pm, Hyde Park, London
They were walking around together, like they used to every Sunday afternoon. They hold hands, which would be unthinkable for Lucius before. Harry was genuinely happy about his new job, that the blonde man announced to him earlier, but later he seemed thoughtful.
'What's on your mind, little lion?' Lucius asked finally.
'The kids in the orphanage asked me for a story. And I don't know any stories. Muggle or magical ones. Nobody never bothered to tell me on' he paused seeing Lucius' look. 'It's not about that, Lou' he peeked his lover's mouth. 'I got used to that part. I made up a story about two boys in the orphanage, Harry and Tom.'
'Harry and Tom? Something tells me that it wasn't really a made-up story.'
'No. I incorporated some facts from my life, and some from Tom's. Dominican Zabini approached me afterwards, when I was dressing and he asked me if that was a real story about me and the Dark Lord. At first I didn't know what to say, but seeing his face, I confirmed. And then, he asked me about the Massacre of Hogwarts.'
'Oh…' muttered Lucius.
'Yeah. He did.'
'Have you told him?'
'All, I knew. I figured that it was better if I told him the truth than if he was to eavesdrop something and tried to become the next Dark Lord. He is very intelligent and loved his brother very much. And it got me thinking.'
'You know I wasn't there.'
'I do. But would you? Would you kill all those people, most of whom were simply scared and bullied into being Death Eaters?'
Lucius sighed. He was trying to figure it out himself. He had no idea what he would do. A part of him wanted Death Eaters to pay for everything that happened. Another part was telling him that some of the murdered were just kids that had no choice, just like him.
'I don't know, Harry' he said out load. 'Part of me blames them all, as a collective. Part is against killing without the court decision. I have no idea what would I do if I were there' he admitted.
'I understand' he rubbed small circles on Lucius' hand with his thumb. 'It's difficult.'
'I wouldn't want Severus to die. But he was on our side all the time, so… But if he was there, he would be killed without a doubt. The crowds have no minds of their own. I can understand them though. They lost their families, friends. They were furious, scared, hurt. It happens. We don't want to think about it, but it does.'
Harry put his arm around Lucius' waist and cuddled against his warm body. The blonde man hugged him and kissed his head.
'For telling me. For being here with me. For everything really.'
'I wouldn't want to be anywhere else' he muttered.
'I don't like that the Massacre was all hushed up.' Harry scowled, when they started walking again. 'It shouldn't be like that. The kids, I am working with, are sons and daughters of the Death Eaters and Dark Marauders that died that day. I don't know what to say sometimes. They will grow up and find out about the Massacre. How will they take it? It's just another mistake that the Wizarding World has made. Some of them will want revenge. And they will have all their families' money at their disposal. Something that Tom didn't have. It's a fucking vicious circle.'
'It's kind of is' admitted Lucius. 'The Wizarding World left Tom in the orphanage to rot in there, so Tom wanted the revenge. And now, we leave another set of kids with something to want a revenge for. And it's much more justified.'
'I just hope that my work won't go to waste. I do try to show them that it wasn't like that and we are not all bad.'
'I guess. I might stop saying that I don't like your volunteer job if you want me to. I know you like it and that it is important to us.'
'Nah. It's fine, Lou. I get your point about you not liking it. I have a lot of work at the university plus this. And, I could be in danger there. They have something to desire revenge for. Well, most of them are too young to understand, but they will with time.'
Lucius nodded and tried to change the subject.
'Can you believe that it has been a year since we were hiding in that blasted muggle hostel?'
Harry shook his head.
'Frankly? No. Nothing seems real now. Almost everything is like a wonderful dream, that will end any minute and I will wake up all alone in the middle of nowhere.'
'Not all alone. I would be with you. Not much of a comfort, but still' Lucius chuckled and Harry throw some snow at him.
Lucius was the biggest comfort he had in his life. But the war was fresh in his mind. The fear still at the border of his unconscious part of the mind. The nightmares hunting him almost every night. And his biggest fear, Lucius dying, was always somewhere there. He had to talk to Lucius about that, but still didn't know how.
'You are the best comfort I could have asked for, idiot' he said.
'I can't believe that either. It's been so many years. And now, I am here. Free, in the muggle park, and with you. It's something I have never imagined. Even, when I have met you a few times still under the control of the spell. You were like a ghost who visited me and told me to fight. I never thought that you and I would actually fight together against the Dark Lord or have any sort of relationship beside hatred.'
'Yeah. Crazy world, isn't it?'
Lucius looked at his lover, flushed from the cold, with his entire figure smiling at him. He had some snow in his messy hair, that Lucius shook off gently. Harry looked utterly happy, even his eyes were smiling, although there was small hint of something else, something deeper that Lucius couldn't figure out.
'I love you, you know' Harry said suddenly.
'I love you too' he said carefully.
'And I would never want to be with anyone else. Only you make me feel safe' Harry continued.
'But?' Lucius' Slytherin ways, that were enforced in his head, kicked in.
'There is no buts. And there never will be any' answered Harry, taking away a small lock of blonde hair off Lucius' face. 'I just wanted to say it. So I did' he grinned again. 'We have survived a lot and I never told you that. If it weren't for you back then, I would never achieved all that. I just never want you to leave me. Never.'
Lucius looked at him surprised. They have said that they loved each other, but neither of them has ever said so much. And he wasn't the one for words. Too scared. Instead, he just kissed Harry. Desperately, hungrily, hopelessly. And it must have been an answer enough, because Harry kissed him back. With every feeling he had for Lucius.
They stood together in the park for a while. Simply enjoying each other presence.
May, the same year, time unknown, Forbidden Forest, Scotland
Harry knew he would die. He found out when he want to search Snape's office to find the Gryffindor sword. Just after he destroyed the Diadem, thinking that the sword might be better to kill Nagini. What he did found, were memories. Snape's memories of him being the Horcrux. He had already suspected that for some time. He didn't tell Lucius, who found him minutes later in the office.
He had thirty more minutes, before he would meet Voldemort and his death. He hissed at the Slytherin ring. About that he also didn't tell his lover. He had found the Resurrection Stone, just hours before the Gringotts' ambush and had completely forgotten about it up to this moment.
Harry turned the stone three times. The air around him sparkled.
'Harry, my son.' It was his mother's voice. The same he had dreamed about for years. The same he had heard when dementors were close.
'Mom' he raised his eyes to see a woman with his eyes and a man with his looks. 'Dad.'
'You have been so brave, sweetheart' Lily said.
'I am sorry. I have never wanted you to die for me.'
'It has never been your fault, Harry. We have chosen our death, so you could live' it was his father.
'Does it hurt? To die?'
James shook his head.
'You won't feel a thing.'
Harry let go one tear.
'Son, about this Lucius Malfoy thing… Don't worry about it. He protected you, kept you safe. If he makes you happy, you should never think that we wouldn't approve' Lily smiled gently at him.
'Will you stay with me?'
'We are always with you, son. Always. You should never forget that. And we are proud of you. So very proud' muttered James. 'Your mother convinced me that Lucius wasn't that bad. You should never feel guilty about loving someone, son. Never.'
Harry nodded through tears.
Seconds later, the figures were gone.
He stepped into a small glade. The Death Eaters were all there. Bellatrix, Snape, the Carrows, Lestrange brothers.
'So, you came. The Boy Who Lived' Voldemort said. 'You came to die.'
Harry closed his eyes.
The green light blinded him.
He woke up in a strange, bright place. It looked like Kings Cross station. He heard a whining from under a bench and kneeled. What he saw scared him. A small, bloodied figure, terribly ugly was laying there. He backed and heard a voice.
'So, you have found him.'
He stood up and saw Albus Dumbledore.
'Professor Dumbledore. Is this a Horcrux?'
'That Harry, is the question that nobody can answer.'
'But is it dead? The Horcrux within me?'
'Oh, yes, Harry. Tom destroyed it when he killed you.'
'So am I dead?'
'That depends on you, Harry.'
'What is this place? What do you mean? Don't I have to go back?'
'Don't you want to?'
'Lucius' Harry mentally slapped himself. He had to go back. He promised. 'Is he still there?'
'Yes. He is. Interesting choice, if I may say so, my dear boy.'
'It just happened' he muttered.
'I am not judging you. Young Lucius has been through lot. You have been too. You should never apologize for loving, no matter who you love.'
'Will I win?'
'I don't know, Harry. The future is unknown, even to the dead. But you are so brave, my boy.'
'Will Lucius and I…'
'I don't know that either. But you do seem to make quite a nice pair' Dumbledore smiled and everything disappeared.
Harry woke up again in the forest. He heard Bellatrix speaking.
'The boy. Is he dead?'
He felt somebody kneeling next to him and long, pale fingers landed on his neck.
'He's dead, my lord' it was Snape. Snape has just saved his life yet again.
Two days before Christmas, around 5pm, Hogwarts, Scotland
Lucius was anxious about going to Hogwarts. He really would prefer to stay away from the castle for the rest of his life. Neither he. Nor Harry had gone there since the battle. But Severus obviously ignored this and said that if Lucius wanted to meet he would have to come to Hogwarts. The great explanation was that he didn't want to be anywhere near Christmas-crazy people.
So, there he was. Standing in front of the gates, unsure to get inside.
'Will you stop hovering and get in?' he heard his best friend's voice.
'Yes, that's my name. Get in for fuck's sake, before we will both freeze' the man grabbed him and pulled towards the castle. Lucius stopped resisting. He wasn't Gryffindor and usually a coward, but he might as well face his fears.
Severus took him to the Headmaster's quarters and manhandled him to sitting in the chair. The house elves brought them their meal.
'What was so important that you couldn't wait two days to see me?'
'Two days?' Lucius frowned.
'Christmas Eve at the Weasley's? You were invited.'
'I declined' informed him Lucius. 'I have other plans.'
'Other plans? Meaning you will spend Christmas with your lover.'
It wasn't a question, but Lucius nodded anyway.
'I wouldn't feel welcomed at the Weasley's anyway. No matter how hard would they try. Although, I am pretty sure that some of them would not try at all. Besides, I prefer to spend my Christmas with a person I like, not with a bunch of people that hated me for years, although it wasn't my fault.'
'And you still don't like the Weasleys' another statement met with Lucius' nod. 'Are you sure that you want to spend your Christmas with this guy? I mean I can skip the Weasleys.'
'Aren't you just looking for an excuse?'
'I won't be there for long, brother. I have my own responsibilities, here at Hogwarts. So, why did you want to meet me?'
'It's about my lover' Lucius admitted.
'Gold digger he turned out to be?'
'No! Why must you always think the worst?'
'The worst would be if he turned out a Death Eater in disguise. I sincerely hope that's not the case.'
'No! He's definitely not a Death Eater or Dark Lord's supporter. He didn't turn out to be anything. He didn't do anything wrong. Well, besides arguing with me about who's going to pay for things, but we had hot, passionate make-up sex after that one.'
'I could have done without this knowledge.'
'You earned it.'
'Fine. So he's not poor, because if he's arguing about who will cover your expenses, than he must have money to afford your tastes. And they are not cheaply affordable, as we both know.'
'No. He is not' Lucius didn't offer any further explanation. But this short sentence allowed Severus to cross out lots of the names on his list of Lucius' possible partners. It made it way shorter than before and much more consistent with what he knew about his friend.
'So, what did he do so that you had to run to me for help to clear up all confusion. You have clearly not broken up, because you are planning on spending Christmas with him.'
'He told me he loved me' Lucius muttered.
At first Severus thought that his friend was joking. What was his problem then? But Lucius' expression was so strange, a mix of mild confusion, insecurity and some deeper feelings, obviously stating his caring for the man.
'Explain. Because you obviously care for the guy. Isn't that a good thing?'
'Yes. Yes, it is. But. We used to tell each other that during or after sex' Severus winced visibly. 'But it was, you know, in the park, we were walking and talking about war and Massacre of Hogwarts, and he just said that he's glad that I am with him and he couldn't imagine being anywhere else, called me an idiot for saying that being with me is not much of a comfort, I mean in case of safety, and that he wants me to never leave him' Lucius blurted out everything in a single breath.
Severus gaped and stared at his friend shocked in silence. The usually composed and arrogant, even after the war, Lord Malfoy looked like a lost child. He was a lot nicer to people he respected after what happened, but he still managed to get to cause girls that proposed to him to cry. He still managed to shut Sirius Black up with a few well-aimed remarks about dogs. Severus also knew for the fact that Lucius' was threatening the Daily Prophet's owners. And that was something, because in September he ripped to shreds one of other magical newspapers, when they doubted his conversion to the light side. And, in that moment the entire picture of Lord Malfoy was shuttered, because he saw Lucius as he was after freeing himself. Lost, confused and broken.
That moment he promised himself to find out the identity of Lucius' lover as soon as possible and threaten the man. Or torture a little. Just so he would understand the seriousness of his situation. Because if the blasted lover hurt Lucius, Severus would torture him for weeks or months. He knew a few slightly illegal potions that would keep the man alive for a very long and painful period of time.
'You don't feel the same way?' he asked carefully.
'I do' Lucius groaned. 'I do. He is kind, loving and forgiving and always there for me. And, shit, I would die if he left me' another week of torture was to be added. 'I don't want to be without him. I love him.'
'Merlin's bread! I don't understand you at all' that made Severus irritated. 'You love the guy. He loves you. Where the hell do you see a problem, Lucius? Because I see none. You're here, whining like a girl, because your lover told you he loved you. You should do the opposite. I see a few problems! I think he is using you, because of your past. You don't normally fall in bloody love with a guy in what? Six months? Five months? You were used for years, Lucius. This guy of yours sounds a little bit too perfect for my liking.'
Lucius looked up and stared at Severus.
'He's not perfect. He's just like me. Scared. We argue almost daily about some idiocies. He's bloody stubborn and there are things that I can't convince him at all and we keep fighting like hell about them. He's an impossible, oblivious idiot sometimes and cannot tell people off very well. And if he does, he's usually extremely pissed. Sometimes, I think he's trying to deafen me, when he's yelling. But at the end of the day, I can't sleep without him. Even if we fight and we do fight a lot, I would not be able to, if he wasn't there' Lucius looked miserably at Severus.
'I don't know, what you want from me, Lucius. Do you want me to tell you that's good or bad? I just want to kill the guy now. But if you won't stop irritating me, I will kill you instead. Circe, just marry the guy and give me a goddamned break!'
'Wait. Wait. Don't marry him!' groaned Severus. 'At least not yet, you idiot! Quit going to the bloody counsellor first. And maybe try dating someone else!' But his friend was a lost case. 'Lucius! Malfoy, you imbecile!'
'Don't you dare marrying the guy, before I talk to him or torture him a little.'
Lucius was horrified at the mere thought.
'You can't torture him!'
'I can't, because you won't tell me the name. But don't worry, I will find out myself' Severus' eyes darkened. 'Can't you date anyone else for a while? To check if he's good for you.'
'I have been dating before, Severus, as I am sure you remember. And I don't want to date anyone else. I want him. That's it.'
'You can't call those flings you had "relationships". You were too afraid that your father would kill them!'
'Yes, thank Merlin that my dearest father is already dead. Though I do have a plan on taking my… my lover against my desk in front of his portrait in my new office of Minister's Senior Advisor.'
Severus hit his forehead. At least that was more like Lucius he knew and less like a lovesick girl he was pretending to be for last half an hour. But he could really survive without the mental image Lucius had just created in his head.
'Fine' he groaned again. 'Do whatever you want. Just don't tell me again about your kinky plans. I don't have to hear that. Now, I won't be able to enter your bloody office without thinking about that ever again. But if he breaks your heart or hurts you, I will kill him. I still am not sure, if I shouldn't kill him now, but fuck it. You're an adult. I think, at least.'
'I think? I am new Senior Adviser in the Minister's Office. They wouldn't hire a teenager' Lucius said proudly.
'Seriously? As far as I remember there were teenagers they have hired to dispose of the Dark Lord, and Kingsley, our dear minister among them. And, before you ask, I will count you as a one of those teenagers. At any rate, up till you start acting like an adult you are supposed to be' Severus scowled.
'Come on, Sev. You gave me this wonderful idea, how to make my lover only mine forever' Lucius smirked at him. 'Don't scowl so much. It won't look good if it stays on your face during the wedding. Best men are not supposed to scowl.'
Severus just glared.
'Anyway, I will be going. I have some stuff to think through. Thanks for the dinner.'
When Lucius was leaving Hogwarts, he stopped. He stood exactly where he stood that day. It was dark already and it was snowing, but he knew the exact spot. The place where he heard Voldemort saying that his little lion was dead. At that moment he thought he would die himself. He never wanted to feel that again. That he was sure of. If that was any indication, he should marry Harry, despite Sev's ranting. He only needed to ask, and what day would be better than the Christmas Eve, a year after they started sleeping together. He could worry about stopping his friend from killing Harry later. He was pretty sure that Harry's identity would at least ensure Sev that he wasn't using him for money or fame.
May, the same year, around 3am, Hogwarts
That was it. Harry Potter was dead. The Dark Lord had announced that gaining a wave of mocking laughter from Death Eaters. His lithe body was laying on the ground, where Death Eaters had thrown it.
'But I feel forgiving today. Join me and you shall live.'
'Pathetic and pompous' muttered Lucius under his breath. His heart stopped the moment he saw Harry's body and refused to move. He saw red. All he wanted was to kill Voldemort.
'Ah, my dear traitor, Lucius. I have heard that you managed to fake your own suicide. Very clever, indeed. I will grant you the second chance, my slippery friend.'
'You know, what you fucking bastard?' Lucius started his speech. 'You are a bloody, pathetic, pitiful half-blood. Even your father didn't want to have anything to do with you. And I am a Malfoy Lord, so much better than you could ever become. I would never bow to you or kiss your filthy robe by my own choice. You are just a son of a bitch who fornicated with a muggle without marrying him. And I tricked you so easily. That was a piece of cake. What does it say about you?'
That was the moment when Severus Snape's heart stopped. What the hell was Lucius trying to achieve by pissing the Dark Lord off? But he couldn't do anything, because Longbottom stepped out.
'Lord Malfoy is right. People die every day. Family, friends. Yes, we have lost Harry today, but we still can fight against you, monster! You are nothing!' Suddenly, the Gryffindor sword appeared in the Sorting Hat that he was holding in one hand. That moment Potter chose to jump on his feet.
'Destruo!' he shouted aiming at Nagini.
'You!' Voldemort turned around, but Harry had been already running away. 'You betrayed me! Severus!'
'Avada Kedavra!' Lucius shouted the spell just in time to allow Severus to apparate.
'We need to kill the snake' he heard Harry's voice.
He concentrated on the fight.
Suddenly, it was Narcissa who stood in front of him, aiming his wand at his chest.
'My dear husband!'
He froze. He didn't feel ready to face the woman. Blue light was shot at him. He jumped from it.
'Running away, Luci. Just like a coward you are.' Another spell was defeated by his shield. But another one was just after it. He flew and fall on the floor. 'Ah, my dearest ex-husband. Time for you to die' she raised her wand.
He partly expected the spell to hit him, but the voice was different. He saw Narcissa's body fall down.
'I must say, Lucius, that you have managed to surprise even me.'
Severus stood next to him and helped him up.
'Where the hell have you found those rags?'
'It's a long story, brother' he hugged his friend to his great astonishment. 'I always knew you were on the light side.'
'Dementors are back!' they heard Dean Thomas.
'Expecto Patronum!' even Lucius was shocked at the form of his Patronus. The white mist formed a big, grown-up lion.
'A lion?!' screamed Severus. 'I bet it is a bloody long story, Lucius. Or a bloody epic!'
Lucius didn't have a chance to response. The dementors were being driven away by Patronuses. The spells were flying everywhere. Lots of them were green ones, hitting random people.
'The snake!' somebody screamed. 'It's here!'
Lucius took out the Rodent and turned around. Nagini was just a few meters from here. He jumped, trying to hit her, but the snake was faster. He had to shield himself, when she started attacking him. He backed a few steps and tripped over something. For seconds he thought that he was going to die again. He closed his eyes, waiting for the hit. It never came. He heard the a clash and saw Nagini's head rolled over on the floor. Above him stood Neville Longbottom.
'Fuck. Thanks' he said, accepting offered hand.
'No problem, Lord Malfoy.'
They heard the scream and ran through the door, in time to see Voldemort falling apart. Harry with two wands in his head. For what seemed like hours they watched Tom Marvolo Riddle disintegrating, until he disappeared completely.
Harry stood up from his knees, faltered and fall down. He felt others running beside him. They knelt around the body.
'His breathing' said Severus. 'We need to take him from here. To Saint Mungos.'
'Go. Take Hermione with you' said Neville. 'Her leg has been shuttered by Bellatrix.'
'I will take Granger, Lucius. You apparate.'
He didn't need to be told twice. He appeared in the hallway of Saint Mungos. People started screaming.
'Voldemort's dead' he shouted through the noise, keeping Harry's unconscious body on his arms. 'Harry Potter has beaten him. He needs help.'
He heard other people apparating. Someone took Harry away from him.
'What happened?' People started pulling him for his clothes. He felt dizzy. Everything went blank and Lord Malfoy lost his consciousness.
Christmas Eve, around 10am, Harry&Lucius' Cottage, Scotland
Harry walked around the kitchen, dressed only in his boxers. He turned around when Lucius walked into the room, with only a towel on his waist.
'I thought we were going to visit your parents' grave' he said.
'Yeah. Maybe later, I was there two days ago, so… we can go tomorrow really.'
'Something happened?' Lucius asked worried.
'No. I just told Nev that I was gay and kinda needed a moment off.'
Lucius put his arms around Harry's waist.
'It's fine, then. I mean the weather is terrible and we have everything we need here, don't we?' he whispered.
'Yes, we do. But if you don't stop that we're not going to have anything cooked in the next couple of hours for sure. And I am a little bit hungry after last night already.'
Lucius pouted and Harry peeked his cheek slightly.
'You could always help me and it would go much quicker' Harry smiled.
'Like menial tasks? Malfoys don't do menial tasks.'
'Well, then Malfoys have to wait till their lover finishes all of menial tasks for them, so that they can have sex.'
Lucius pouted again.
'Sometimes, you behave like a three year old whom somebody stole a toy.'
'I am not a three year old!'
'Now, you are acting exactly like that' Harry's eyes were dancing with amusement.
'Ok. Give me the bloody knife and show me what to do.'
Harry smiled and observed Lucius struggling with cutting the vegetables.
'Sometimes, I wonder how the hell have you passed potions' he took away the knife. 'Here. Do it like that' he cu the onions with skill of a chef.
'And I wonder how you manage to be so hopeless in potions. Where the hell have you learnt that?'
'Practise, I guess. I was cooking dinners since I was seven and breakfasts since I was five, so one have to learn to make it quickly and efficiently.'
Lucius caressed Harry's naked back.
'No bother. It's fine.'
'Are you sure you want to make Christmas dinner? I mean elves could handle that.'
'I am sure. You're the first person I actually want to cook for.'
'We will have great Christmas' he said and started chopping other veggies.
'I know' muttered Harry. 'I never had any luck with holidays, until last year' he admitted. He hoped that this year wouldn't be any different, especially since he had to tell Lucius about pregnancy. 'But I don't want to think about that today. I just want to be happy with you, not worried about my family or friends. I don't care about them today.'
'So, how's your dinner with Snape?'
'My dinner with Severus was enlightening. He thinks that you're using me. And that I should leave you, because you are messing with my mind like my father. He also accused you of being gold digger along the way. And all that because he thinks I think you're perfect. And he is convinced that I am an idiot, who allows you to take advantage of me.'
'It's more like you are taking advantage of me. You know how it looks like. An older man with an eighteen years old hero' he teased.
'Oh, I will take advantage of you, tonight. Don't worry, little lion. We will have all the time we need, since we have holidays till 2nd, January. I will be taking advantage of you a lot during the next few days.'
'I wouldn't have it any other way' Harry smiled.
'It's been a year' Lucius said suddenly.
'Yeah. It was. A full year.'
They both smiled at each other.
A few hours later, the turkey was in the oven (Harry refused to cook Christmas dinner magical way and was stubborn enough to push for Muggle oven) and Harry was sitting on Lucius' laps on the couch.
They did get dressed in the meantime, because they had to do some last minute shopping in Muggle store (although Lucius was grumbling all the way that they should use magical one, a few kisses from Harry and a promise of a great night rewarded the trip to him). Lucius was drinking red wine, that Harry refused, despite strange look on his lover face he was drinking Muggle coke. They were talking about Harry's studies and Lucius' reforms proposals.
'I will be right back' he muttered when he drunk all the coke.
It took him five minutes to gather all the courage he could find. Finally, he got back to their living room. Lucius was looking at him with an unreadable expression on his face. Harry stood two feet away from the couch and said:
'I need to tell you something.'
'I need to ask you something' said Lucius exactly at the same moment.
Harry briefly considered laughing, but his lover said:
Harry gaped and the entire speech that he prepared disappeared from his mind.
'I…' he blushed and breathed deeply. 'I was in the university two days ago checking the results and… the vomiting thing happened again. And...'
'Wait a second. Vomiting thing? Is everything alright?'
'Yeah, yeah' Harry said absent-mildly. 'I am fine. I just didn't feel very well the last few days and I vomited entire breakfast on that day…' Lucius was visibly concerned. 'But it's fine, really. Jeremy, a guy from my class, found me puking and he forced me to go to professor Maxwell. Well, I didn't want to, because I could find out that I am dying or something' Lucius tensed. 'I am not dying. I mean… I had no idea that this could happen and I'm studying healing. But professor said that it happens sometimes… without usual rituals or potions… if the wizards are powerful enough… and you know like my magic is getting crazy sometimes…'
By that time Lucius managed to process entire speech and his Ravenclaw's mind quickly put everything together. He dropped his glass with wine and the red liquid scattered onto his white, new shirt. He put almost empty glass on the table.
'Harry' he said calmly, ignoring the destroyed shirt. 'Are you trying to tell me that you are pregnant?'
Harry nodded miserably.
'I know about Draco… and all that stuff that happened. But Lou, it just happened. Neither of us could perceive this and I can't… well, you know… I understand if you…'
Lucius sighed and knelt down in front of Harry taking man's hand in his.
'Harry, shut up. Could you?'
The man stared at him.
'There is nothing in my life that I would want more than having children with you. It's a little early, but… it happened and we will deal with it together, little lion. Don't look so surprised, Harry. We have been together for a year. Half of it during the war, I know, but I don't want you to leave me, just as you don't want me to leave you' he considered something for a second. 'Actually, there is one thing that I want more than having children with you. It's being with you for eternity' he was starting to bubble like Harry earlier, so he just took out the ring that took him ages to find and buy the day before. It was made of platinum, very simple, only with inscription. It was just one world: always. 'Harry, the thing I wanted to ask you today, now I want to ask you even more… Will you marry me?'
Harry, for a few seconds, was left totally speechless. And then, a tear went down his cheek.
'Of course I will' he muttered. 'I will. I will' he repeated.
Lucius smiled, a true, genuine smile and put a ring on Harry's finger. He kissed his lover's hand and stood up, taking him into his arms. Harry just kissed him hard.
'Always and forever' muttered Lucius, lifting Harry. 'Mine' and they kissed again.
'Yours' Harry wrapped his legs around Lucius. 'Always.'
'Celebration in bed?' asked Lucius quietly.
'Yes' hissed Harry, already feeling his raising erection, and tried to unbutton Lucius' shirt. The blonde carried him to the hallway and pressed against the wall, kissing him hungrily. Harry gave up unbuttoning and simply tore the shirt apart, helping himself with magic, and threw it on the floor. 'Will we make it to bed?'
'You're pregnant' whispered Lucius. 'I won't take you against the wall now.'
Finally, he managed to grasp enough control to go up the stairs. He put Harry gently down and quickly removed his trousers.
Christmas Eve, around 3pm, The Burrow, Scotland
It took them an hour to convince Sirius that he should let it go, at least for Christmas. That he could resume his argument after New Year. Neville gave up after first thirty minutes and want on to talk to Twins. Hermione, Remus and Minerva were talking almost constantly about how Harry gave up a lot to save the Wizarding World and that he should stop his demands for some time and maybe Harry would listen to him afterwards. That was all that they manage. Finally, Sirius agreed that Christmas weren't the best time to argue with his godson. It delayed the dinner a lot. However, that caused something that they didn't anticipate.
'You're all right. I won't talk about that, but we should bring him here. He can't spend his Christmas alone, just because of trying to avoid our argument.'
Everybody cherished the idea and Hermione and Sirius went to Harry's apartment instantly to bring him to the celebration.
Few minutes later, they apparated back.
'He's not there!' he screamed. 'And his apartment looks like it was searched! It's one, big mess. And they window in the kitchen was shuttered. It is covered by magic! We didn't check all of them.'
Blood drained from everybody's face.
'Hermione had some coordinates from Harry, should he ever be unavailable.'
'We have to check' Dean Thomas screamed. 'What if something happened to him?'
'Ok' said Minerva 'Let's calm down. Sirius, Remus, Mr. Longbottom, Ms. Granger, Severus, and Mr. Weasley will go to that place that Harry told Hermione about.'
'We want to go too!' shouted Fred.
'Why do I have to go?' scowled Severus.
'Because, if it's Death Eaters' job, they may need you' answered Minerva.
They apparated in snow. A nice, little cottage was standing on the hill just by the ocean. It looked like one on post cards.
'There!' shouted Sirius and ran in house's direction.
'Oh, great, and I had for once hoped for Christmas without Harry Potter and his problems' groaned Severus, wading through snow behind everyone.
Neville was cursing himself in his mind. If Harry's lover, he was absolutely sure that there was one, turned out to be a Death Eater, he would never forgive himself for not prying into his friend's life. He should have asked about that, when there was still time. Harry wasn't usually messy. He wouldn't leave his apartment in the state that scared Hermione and Sirius. The only time that Harry wasn't cleaning his place was after the battle in the Department of Mysteries. Sirius was in really bad state back then and Harry was rather depressed. Otherwise, he had everything in order. He wouldn't leave his house for Christmas in mess. So, something must have happened.
If something happened to Harry, because Neville tried to be a good friend, he would kill everybody that hurt the green-eyed man. He would hunt them down, until there was no one left. He knew that something deeper was going on with his friend when they have met accidentally and Harry told him about his preferences. He could see his thoughtful expression throughout the entire lunch. Harry did have a tendency to space out, but that day it was much more often than usually.
Finally, they reached the door and Sirius opened them. They weren't locked and he didn't feel any wards. As soon as they entered the house, Neville heard Hermione gasped.
At the floor was laying a torn, bloodied shirt. They took out their wands.
'Upstairs' muttered Severus, after checking all the doors in the corridor.
They slowly went up, until they heard strangled cry. Sirius ran up to the door, Twins just behind him. And they stopped.
'Fuck' he heard a voice and Black shouted something unintelligible.
Neville and Severus managed to get just behind them. What they saw, was Lucius Malfoy, dressed only in undone trousers, and Harry Potter in boxers and half torn shirt jumping off the bed.
Neville's first coherent thought was that shouldn't surprise us after their hunt. Hermione was blushing vividly at the sight of Lucius having hard time buttoning his trousers.
'That's something I didn't want to see' groaned Severus.
His sentence woke up Black, who was staring at the scene utterly shocked. He jumped off, caught Lucius and slammed him against the wall. Neville's eyes widened. Was Black suicidal?
'You fucking son of a bitch!' he shouted and his fist hit Lucius. 'You bloody Death Eater. How dare you touch my godson, you scum?!'
'Sirius!' shouted Harry, but Black didn't listen. He managed to hit Lucius a few more times, before Harry's magic went wild. The things started moving and flying around. The Twins did the only thing that they knew would calm it. They dragged Sirius away from Lucius. It took Harry as much as one glance at his lover's bloodied face to grasp the control over his magic.
Black wanted to say something, but George put his hand on his mouth.
'Shut up, idiot, if you don't want to die.'
Harry ignored them completely, stepped next to Lucius and caught his hands.
'Don't touch' he muttered. 'I have wand and some potions downstairs.'
'Please, Potter, put some pants on first' groaned Severus. 'We will wait downstairs.'
They left. Harry put on his trousers and helped Lucius to dress in the shirt.
'Hurts' groaned Lucius.
'I will kill Sirius' muttered Harry, kissing Lucius' head. 'I will heal you in a second.'
Thankfully, they have already been thought about basic spells and Lucius' wounds weren't serious or complicated to heal. Harry did all that at his hours in Saint Mungos, that were required to pass the term.
They went into the kitchen, where everybody else was waiting and Harry quickly fixed Lucius' face.
'Don't move too much now' he muttered and turned back to face their rather unexpected guests. 'May I inquire what are you doing here?'
'What are we doing here?! What the fuck are you doing?! Fucking with that Death Eater scum!' shouted Sirius. 'Your father is rolling over in his grave! Your mother is probably crying herself out, because of a disgrace you are! I was calm when you started with this healing thing! I thought that you had to take some time off, before assuming your responsibility. But that! Letting yourself be fucked by that shit! Have you gone mad? Your parents would be disgusted with what you have become.'
The glasses shuttered, spraying to thousands of pieces. Neville covered his head, but none of small parts hit anyone.
'You! You are a fucking bastard!' Harry shouted. 'You have no bloody idea what I have been through! And my parents are dead! They were fucking murdered because of me! I have seen my friends dying because of stupid war that was caused by arseholes just like you. You are no fucking different than you entire family. Fucking Black! You are just like your mother, spilling prejudice and hatred in the world that had too much of it already. You don't want to allow me to be my own man! You only want me to be some fucking ideal that you thought up in your stupid head! And I don't want to be that. I am not my father! Nor will I ever be! I am not your best friend! I don't give a shit about what you're thinking, because you have never given any thoughts about me! You just want me to be Harry fucking Potter, just like everybody else. Perfect hero for the blasted wizarding world, that has nothing perfect about it!' Harry stopped to catch his breath. Glass doors from shelves and cabinets shattered.
'I am fucking happy for the first time in my life and you are doing everything to ruin it for me! I don't want to be an auror! I hate killing! I want to be a healer! Helping people, not tearing them apart! And I fucking want to be with Lucius! And I am of age! I can do whatever I want and you will never have anything to say about my life! You don't deserve that!'
'As for what my parents would or would not for me, you have no bloody idea. But I do! I talked to them! Thanks to Resurrection Stone! When I went to Forbidden Forest to die! Die for you and your fucking Wizarding World. And they told me that they are happy for me. And I should never be ashamed of loving anyone! My father told me that if Lucius makes me happy I should be with him! You know nothing about me and my life! And you won't make any decisions for me' his fist, full with magic, hit the table.
'Black, leave' scowled Lucius.
'You can't tell me to leave! This is Harry's…'
'It's not! It's mine and Lucius. And you are not welcomed here!' shouted Harry.
'Leave, before I will call the aurors and make them charge you with trespassing and attempted murder!' There was steel in Lucius' voice.
'I don't even know you anymore, Harry. But I will forgive you, when you come to your mind.'
'Fuck you, Black' Lucius cast a spell that threw Black into the mirror, hanging on the wall. 'I will send you a bill for my cabinets, you son of a bitch.'
'I will find out what you did to him, you scum!' he shouted at Lucius and apparated.
'Anyone else who has a fucking problem with me and my blasted life, can leave now or I will throw you out' scowled Harry.
At his words, Ron silently apparated. Harry looked around, but nobody moved.
Seconds later, the table that Harry hit earlier broke.
'I guess, Lord Malfoy that you should add table to the bill' muttered Hermione.
'Yeah, and glasses' added Severus. Lucius relaxed at that. He was worried what his friend would say about the relationship, but if he was teasing, then he must have been fine with it.
'Are you alright?' asked Lucius tentatively.
'Yeah, I expected it anyway' he muttered. 'Sometimes I think that it's a wonder I still have any friends. Fuck.'
'You bloody idiot. You will always have us' Hermione limped over to him and hugged him.
'Thanks, Mione. You're the best.'
The woman smiled.
'No. I believe that spot is reserved' she said cheekily.
The Twins snickered. Lucius groaned.
'Yeah. I finally understand what took you two so long when you were hunting Horcruxes' Severus' expression turned mockingly thoughtful. 'Actually, I am astonished that you managed to find any at all, considering your extracurricular activities.'
Harry's face matched twins' hairs for a few seconds.
'Severus. Stop. Teasing. You. Asshole' scowled Lucius, flicking his wand to clean up the mess. 'We did find all of them. Consider yourself lucky.'
'Do you have anything to eat?' asked Fred. '
'Sirius was ranting on and on…' continued George.
'About you and your choices…'
'Delaying the dinner to come here…'
'And we are not sure that…
'We will be welcomed at home right now…
'Mum's still fixed with you marrying Ginny and…
'We don't see that one coming' twins grinned widely at Harry.
'Yeah, we do have some turkey for tomorrow and we wouldn't be able to eat it all anyway. Unless, you want pepperoni.'
'No way. We are not eating pepperoni on Christmas again' pouted Lucius.
'I feel there is story there' Remus smiled.
'There is. You don't want to know' muttered Harry.
'Yeah. We definitely don't want to now' hurried Severus. 'I already know more about you and Lucius than I have ever wanted. I will never be the same again. Although, I must say that the memory will give me infinite material for blackmail and teasing.'
Harry turned red again and to Severus' delight, so did Lucius.
'How and why did you get here anyway?' asked finally Harry, taking out the turkey and cutting it.
'Well, mate, if you didn't want us to worry, you shouldn't have left a mess in your apartment in London, you know. It's not like you to have clothes thrown all around the place' answered Neville.
'And that bloodied shirt on the floor in the corridor haven't calmed us either.'
'It wasn't my fault' replied Harry. 'We were rather in hurry, if you know what I mean. As to shirt, Lucius spilled his wine on him and I found that it was useless on him anyway.'
It was Neville's and Hermione's time to blush. Twins just grinned again. Remus and Severus groaned.
'I will get Teddy, if that's fine with you' said Remus.
'Sure, Mister Lupin' Lucius nodded and took out some plates and plastic cups.
'It's Remus' and the werewolf apparated.
'Plastic cups, Lucius? Used to changing windows and glasses?' teased Severus again.
'Not as much as you would think, brother. But Black was always a bastard. And I admit that once it was my fault' he turned thoughtful. 'I should send Black the other bills probably.'
Remus appeared again, carrying his son, accompanied by Andromeda.
'Uncle 'Arry!' screamed little boy.
'Hi, little monster' Harry kissed boy's head and took him from Remus. 'I missed you.'
'Lucius, Harry' Andromeda greeted them.
'Andromeda' Lucius nodded and Harry kissed the witch's cheek.
'I hope you don't mind. Sirius was being an idiot.'
'No. We have a few other, unexpected guests anyways. Let's sit down in the living room, since we don't have a table anymore.'
'I heard. A few more idiotic rants and you will go bankrupt' she chuckled.
'I doubt that' Lucius' expression turned miserable, when they entered the room. 'Do you all have to tease me all the time?'
'Of course, Lord Malfoy. That's why we are here' smiled Neville, sitting down on the couch next to Remus, Andromeda and Neville. 'To tease you both endlessly. It's the main reason for us to stick around. And that reminds me… pray tell us, why there was not even a scratch on the mirror, that Sirius hit.'
'Yeah, we want to know too!' screamed twins, throwing themselves on one of the armchairs together.
'It's Lucius. You all can call me by my name, since we will probably be meeting each other often in the future. And the glass is three times as thick as normally and have charms over it, so I don't have to change it every time Black opens his mouth. Windows too.'
Severus looked tentatively at two free armchairs.
'What's your problem?' asked Lucius.
'I am thinking about what you do in those armchairs and considering bringing my own.'
The answer caused Harry to blush again. He was slowly coming to solution that he should just paint his face red.
'We haven't lived here yet, idiot. We have come here yesterday, and we slept in our bed. As to today, you walked in on us, uninvited yourself' Lucius scowled.
'Thanks for reminding me. I really didn't need that image in my head' he sat down.
Lucius followed him, pulling Harry and Teddy with himself, so the younger man was sitting on blonde's laps.
'What?! You have already seen much more than us sitting together.'
'Who are you?' asked Teddy.
'This is Lucius, my very good friend, Teddy' said Harry.
'Very good, indeed' smirked Severus.
Andromeda chuckled. She was the only one, who noticed the ring on Harry's finger. Well, times changed, so did people. And she was happy for Harry. He was always a very polite, shy young man, when he came over to visit Teddy. He definitely deserved some happiness. She heard Severus speaking again.
'At least now, I understand how the hell have you landed with lion Patronus. I have never thought that a Malfoy would have one like that' Lucius blushed and finally found the way to get back to Severus for his teasing.
'You know what, brother. If you don't stop teasing us all the time I will dress you up in a bloody crimson robe. I swear. What do you think, Harry?'
'Great idea, Lou. With a golden tie. It would be priceless and a fantastic revenge' Harry agreed, smiling.
'Why would I ever let you dress me? Not to mention in such ridiculous clothing.'
'Well, you won't leave me without a best man, brother, will you? That would be such a shame, should you refuse.'
A few pairs of eyes have widened, twins screamed 'We knew it!' and people started laughing.
'Are you really ok, little lion?' whispered Lucius when Hermione started congratulating them.
Harry looked around. There were still many people who accepted him, just as he was. And now, he had Lucius and their baby forever. He wouldn't be alone anymore. The teases and laughs made him forget Sirius. There were almost perfect Christmas. The best he had ever. With Lucius as his fiancé, pregnant with his child, and his friends.
'Never better' he whispered back.
Ok, guys, that's it. Almost 48000 words in two weeks. That's how I love to write. It's a little sweet for me, but I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year
PS. I forgot to mention, but reviews are good for future Christmas stories.
 star constellation near the north celestial pole
 Latin, Villa of Light (at least I hope it's that)
 Fren. Firestorm
 Lat. I call the fire
 Original, copied for HP&HBP
 Aerosmith song, released in 1989
 Straight from the movie
 Movie again
 That I think is from the movie too.