One shot written for prompts on LJ: Beat the heat and summer at the beach. Plus, I really miss writing next gen and this was a good excuse...
Harry smiled as he watched the waves swipe gently at the sandy shore. Rocky cliffs crowned the little beach alcove and left him with a feeling of peaceful seclusion. Granted it was a little lonely out here on his own, but Harry figured that this solo vacation thing was good for him. He had been feeling a little overwhelmed lately. His public persona hardly left any potential for privacy and there was little he could do to discourage the constant attention. It seemed that he was being accosted for interviews and autographs wherever he went.
So here he was hiding out in a little beach shack on an ocean shore, miles from home. But at least he could sit back with a good book. Relax. Beat the heat. Maybe eat a nice meal without worrying about sudden camera flashes going off in his face and…
His inner monologue came to an abrupt halt at a sudden scuffling under his table. Harry stiffened and put his book down, just in time to see a small hand emerge from…somewhere and bat around his table. He gaped as tiny fingers scrabbled about, making a frantic search of the immediate surroundings before finally planting themselves in his plate. There was a victorious gurgle from under his table and before Harry could even consider reacting, a tiny fist closed around an unsuspecting French fry and made off with it.
He was given no time to protest. The hand returned for an encore- far more certain of its target this time- and locked in on another chip. Harry watched in helpless fascination as it disappeared smoothly, yet again. Whatever it was, it was hungry.
He backed away and lifted the tablecloth slowly, immediately finding himself staring into huge, grey eyes. The little boy blinked back at him- long, blond lashes fluttering over aforementioned huge, grey eyes- somewhat surprised at being caught in the act. Shaggy blond hair fell over a wide forehead in a messy fringe, almost hiding the pale, blond brows from Harry's immediate view. Even as he stared, those brows furrowed in a defiant frown and a small mouth turned down in an unmistakable, accusing pout.
Harry grinned. Apparently, he was the one being rude here…
"Hello," he tried, attempting to make nice. "Are you the free toy that comes with my meal?"
There was a tinge of indignation in that tone- a slight inflection suggesting that Harry was an idiot for even considering such a thing. Such an affronted expression on such a small face…it was just too damn cute. Harry couldn't resist prolonging the conversation.
"Oh, I see," he replied sincerely. "My mistake. Are you enjoying that fry?"
"No." That being said, the tiny fist he had recently become acquainted with closed firmly around the fry in an obvious refusal to relinquish it.
"That's too bad," Harry said, trying not to look too amused. "Would you like another one?"
"No," the toddler replied firmly. Even so he extended his hand, regarding Harry expectantly. Harry couldn't help himself. He chuckled.
"I have a feeling that's the only word you know," he said, selecting a few chips and surrendering them to the small tyke. He couldn't be more than two years old…
This latest bout of negation was followed by a bit of urgent shuffling. Harry backed away obligingly and the toddler squirmed out from under the table and planted his tiny little hands on a chair, attempting to climb up on it. Harry watched the unsuccessful attempts with mild interest. Finally, his little guest huffed in frustration and glowered at him, prompting Harry to offer assistance.
"Need some help?"
As he had recently learnt, this meant yes so Harry wasted no time in lifting Blondie up and depositing him on to the chair.
"There we go. Better now?"
The no he had been expecting was abandoned in favour of a handful of fries. Harry grinned at the blatant thievery, rather enjoying his grouchy little guest's company. It struck him that he should probably be alerting someone to look for the child's parents, but it was so much more fun talking to him. He had such varying views on so many different subjects. Soon, he found himself involved in a very scintillating, if somewhat one-sided conversation.
"What are your views on broccoli?"
"My feelings exactly. How about…"
"Scorpius, there you are!"
Harry blinked as an anxious blur shot past him, crouching beside his lunch companion. He found himself looking down at a head of white blond hair- not unlike Blondie's at all. He couldn't quite see the man's face, considering that he was too busy with his son to spare a glance. But he could make an educated guess. In fact, Harry was very sure he knew just where his pint sized friend had acquired that combination of blond hair and attitude.
"…absolutely not okay to run off on your own like that!" Malfoy sounded so parental, it was almost funny. Harry grinned as he shook his head wearily and started off again. "Do you have any idea how worried Father was?"
Malfoy groaned. "Merlin help me, not this again…"
Harry couldn't resist breaking into the conversation. "Not very accommodating, is he? I wonder where he gets it from."
Malfoy's head snapped towards him, grey eyes blinking in surprise. Almost immediately, his brows arched in a defensive glare. It was just so similar to Blondie's- Scorpius'- reaction to him that Harry couldn't help laughing. "Nice to see you too, Malfoy."
"What are you doing here, Potter?" Malfoy demanded warily. "And…how exactly did you acquire my son?"
"Actually, he acquired me. My fries, more specifically."
Malfoy blinked a few more times before turning back to his son. "Surely I've taught you better than to go around stealing greasy food from strangers."
"You just walked into that one," Harry chuckled.
Malfoy responded a half smile as he ran a hand through his hair. "Of all the words he could have picked up," he said, shaking his head. A slight breeze ruffled his hair and Harry took a moment to let his gaze travel down Malfoy's lean, tapered body. At the very least, Scorpius would grow up to be a very attractive young man…
"How exactly did you wind up making something so cute?" he found himself asking.
Malfoy arched a brow and smirked. "I hardly think that's appropriate conversation with a minor in the vicinity. And Merlin forbid he pick up words of that sort to repeat every ten minutes. His mother would kill me."
Harry nodded stiffly, wondering how he had missed the very obvious detail of Malfoy being married. Little blond boys don't just sprout out of the ground. "Where is your wife?" he asked, striving for a blank, neutral expression. Obviously he failed, because Malfoy's eyes glinted mischievously.
"My ex wife is off vacationing in Paris with her new husband," he stated with a smirk. "Astoria doesn't think much of the beach so it's just me and the french-fry thief here."
"Oh," Harry supplied. He probably could have come up with a better response in due time but the notion of a single and rather fit Malfoy was very distracting. And the fact that single and fit Malfoy seemed to be flirting with him certainly wasn't helping matters much…
"She's missing out," he replied. He hoped Malfoy understood he wasn't talking about the beach...
Apparently, he did. A slow, sultry grin pulled at his lips and Harry shivered as those grey eyes looked him over. "I'm glad you think so," he drawled.
Harry swallowed, and he was on the verge of asking Malfoy out when Scorpius decided to make his presence felt. A fork fell to the ground with a sharp clatter and Malfoy turned back to his son. "We'll just get out your way then, Potter," he said smoothly. "I apologize if Scorpius disturbed your quiet time."
"I didn't mind," Harry smiled. As a matter of fact, he would have been happy to spend more time with Malfoy Junior. Not to mention his gorgeous father…
"Time to go, Scorpius," Malfoy said, helping him off the chair. "Say goodbye to Potter."
Malfoy raised an eyebrow. "That's not very nice. You stole his lunch. The least you can do is say thank you."
"Oh for the love of…we have to go now, son."
He trailed off as Scorpius scurried over and attached himself firmly to Harry. His small body pressed firmly against Harry's leg, small arms just barely wrapping around his thigh. "No," he whined again, staring up at Harry with imploring, grey eyes. Harry crumbled like a house of cards. How could he deny the little angel anything when he looked like that? Those eyes were dangerous. Harry could only hope that Scorpius wouldn't want the moon or the Eiffel Tower anytime soon…
"I can tag along if he wants," he suggested haltingly. He raised hopeful eyes at Malfoy. "Maybe just a short walk on the beach?"
Malfoy grinned. "Ten minutes and you're wrapped around his finger. That's just impressive," he teased. "Very well, Potter. But you're carrying him. He obviously likes you."
"I can do that," Harry grinned. "I like him too. What do you say, Scorpius? Up for a little walk on the beach?"
"That's what I thought," Harry replied, lifting up the little blond. Small fingers curled into his shirt and bright eyes blinked at him. Harry thought he caught a small smile too, but Scorpius turned away- inexplicably shy all of a sudden- and buried his face in Harry's shoulder.
"Ready when you are Potter," Malfoy said, turning away and sauntering off. Harry raised an eyebrow as he admired the delicious curve of Malfoy's arse. With another grin, he followed the blond, taking care not to jostle the smaller blond in his arms.
Vaguely it struck him that he had come all this way to a beach in the middle of nowhere for some privacy, just to get accosted all over again. But- Harry realized as he walked down the beach with Draco by his side and Scorpius in his arms- it wasn't so bad.
No. Not so bad at all...