(A/N: Rated M for mature language and content.
Thank you for the reviews, favorites and follows! I have a feeling some won't be happy with some events... Uhm. Sorry?
Warnings: MalexMale slash. Language. Lil' bit o' smut.
Draco went to the window, biting back the urge to curse... Mostly Weasley's arse into the Thames.
The owls wouldn't leave until they'd delivered what they held and it was obvious Harry's wards weren't helping keep all of the unwanted mail out. He wasn't sure whether to be relieved or enraged as he caught several owls' progress halted by the wards, any envelopes containing harmful hexes or curses disintegrating as they passed the wards and making the unlucky owls fly off with loud, indignant hoots.
Well, at least he was a little more secure in the knowledge none of the envelopes coming towards the house were hexed. Little a comfort as it might be...
As soon as he opened the window, envelopes practically poured in, pooling at his feet. He was stunned to see most of the Howlers being delivered to Harry, the wizard flinching as each one landed, smoking ominously, in front of him.
It was probably a ridiculous move he learned from Harry, but he was standing in front of the wizard as soon as the first red envelope rose, hovered, and went about screaming. He knew a Howler wouldn't harm Harry, but it wasn't like he could just stand there and not do something. He poked the charmed missive with the tip of his wand, sending it another few feet away. When that thing went off at the end of its rant, he didn't want it anywhere near them.
Ron watched as each Howler went off on Harry, his eyes widening with each threat to the Savior. While he hadn't believed in the whole Malfoy-is-a-Veela thing, apparently quite a few people in the wizarding world did. Enough to threaten Harry and chastise him if he even thought of not accepting Malfoy's attentions.
Apparently, now that the prat had been outed as a Veela, people thought he should be treated with the respect and admiration as any other Veela (regardless of how diluted the blood) would be. It all felt surreal, quite honestly, to realize the same people that would've sneered at Malfoy for being a former Death Eater were now defending him and sending angry letters to Harry The-Bloody-Boy-Who-Lived-Twice Potter.
"Being a Veela's mate is an honor, Mister Potter!" the Howler screeched, bobbing up and down in the air in apparent righteous indignation. Malfoy had been witness to a fair number of people drafting a Howler and he was quite sure this particular author had been pacing as they dictated. "No one would refuse! One simply can't! It's unheard of! You'd be responsible for the death of a truly magnificent being!"
Ron continued staring, the words magnificent being echoing in his head, as the Howler continued in that manner for another few moments before destroying itself and disintegrating into a pile of ash with a flash and an angry hiss.
He slowly turned to Harry to gauge his reaction and his mouth dropped open a little as he looked at his friend. Harry was looking amused and oddly content because Malfoy had backed him up a few feet and had, at some point, changed their positions so he was holding Harry against his chest with an arm around his midsection. Malfoy's other arm was against Harry's side, his wand was held loosely in his hand. A lazy flick of his wrist and the pile of ash Vanished.
Ron didn't know what to make of the fact both Malfoy and Harry were almost smiling as they decided which Howler to listen to next. Were they... enjoying this?
"Not what I expected," Draco admitted, his chin propped on Harry's shoulder as he looked at the growling pile of mail. The red envelopes were down to two and both were, apparently, for him. He could only imagine what their contents would be... Probably some rubbish about defiling the Boy Who Lived or something.
Granted, he intended to; but that wasn't anyone else's concern.
"No," Harry agreed. "But it seems like everyone is convinced you are a Veela," he murmured, worrying his bottom lip for a moment. "It's going to be a tad difficult to deny it, now."
Draco scoffed softly and rolled his eyes a little, patting a hand reassuringly on Harry's chest. He kept it there and just barely withheld the urge to give Weasley a smug look when Harry leaned into him, shifting his shoulders a little to make himself comfortable. "No, it really won't be. This just proves how gullible people are," he added, nodding towards the mail pile.
"But—" Harry huffed and turned around, narrowing his eyes at Draco, "You are a Veela, so, denying it will..." he trailed off, unsure how to say 'be dishonest' and not sound like a judgmental prat. It wasn't like Draco was obligated to confirm or deny a sodding thing, but a denial would probably wind up biting him in the arse later. "Just ignore it. They'll find something else to gossip about soon enough."
Draco scoffed again. "You really think so?" He raised an eyebrow, daring Harry to say otherwise. He didn't want to imagine the kind of scandal that could upstage this sort of news. Voldemort's reanimated corpse in a tutu might do it...
"No," Harry admitted, sighing with annoyance and defeat. He finally remembered Ron was still in the kitchen and he gave his friend his attention. "Is this what you had in mind?" he asked as he cocked his head towards the mail. He scowled, more irritated than upset now.
Ron shuffled in place. "Not exactly," he said, rubbing a hand through his hair. "I'm sorry, mate."
"Harry," Draco said through clenched teeth. His arms tightened around Harry and he forced himself to loosen his hold when Harry made a soft oomph sound. He waited for Harry to bristle at his possessive tone and hold, but so far, Harry just seemed content to keep glaring at Weasley from his comfortable spot in Draco's embrace.
He glared at Weasley over Harry's shoulder, not even bothering to suppress the flair of magic working through him and giving Weasley a small peek of his Veela. He felt he'd admirably restrained himself from ripping Weasley's throat out for daring to use the word 'mate' for his mate. Luckily, he was rational enough to know it wasn't intended as anything than a slip of the tongue. Even if he did know Weasley had no interests in Harry past friendship, he wanted to make sure the wizard knew the appropriate ways to address his mate in the future.
"Yeah, right. I'm sorry, Harry," Ron quickly corrected himself. He blinked when he realized what he'd done. Alright, that was a little awkward... He had no intention of doing anything Malfoy demanded but it was kind of hard to ignore the riled state the git was in. Malfoy was actually a little scary with that feral look.
And he could almost swear he saw feathers for a moment...
It was possible he'd been to hasty with his denial of the whole Veela thing. Ron found himself wishing Hermione was here; he was used to admitting being wrong to her. And she rarely hexed him once he said he was sorry, not when he was sincere and fully prepared to do whatever was required for forgiveness. Malfoy looked ready to stick his wand somewhere that would be extremely painful and he didn't know what to do; he wasn't so sure Harry would be that eager to keep Malfoy from doing something unpleasant.
"But it is true," Ron said, shuffling towards a chair and slowly sitting. Malfoy didn't look as tense as he had moments ago but his gaze was still intense and a little off-putting. "All of it?"
Harry rolled his eyes and patted the hands Draco had clasped in front of his middle until he let go. "Yeah, but you already knew that. Even if you didn't believe me," he said stiffly, glaring at his friend. "Why would you think I'd lie about something like that?"
"I didn't think you were lying," Ron pointed out, lowering his gaze a little. He thought he'd learned his lesson about not taking Harry at his word when it came to something important. "I mean, I figured Malfoy was pulling somethin'." He winced at the identical glares he received. "Yeah. Right. I'm sorta seeing it now, though."
Draco made a soft sound of annoyance and gently pushed Harry towards a seat. The Howlers had finally exhausted themselves and they'd get to the other letters once he'd checked them for any sort of spell, hex or jinx. Even with the obviously dangerous ones already dealt with, he didn't want to take any chances. With a flick of his wand, the letters were neatly stacked and pushed aside with the tip of his wand.
"I'm really not interested in your opinion," he said as he sat down as well. "Up until this this point, I would have said I was willing to have any sort of cordial relationship with you for Harry's sake. I will not make him choose between us."
"I see," Ron said softly. The 'it won't be me losing' was left unsaid but clear, nonetheless. He found himself wondering if that offer was still an option. Harry and Hermione had managed to be in the same room as the prat without bloodshed, he could probably manage to. Eventually. When Malfoy wasn't glaring death at him and Harry didn't look like he wanted to bash him one.
He was curious if Malfoy (or Harry) realized how close they were sitting... It looked like a habitual thing, so probably not. His eyes flicked down to where Malfoy's hand disappeared under the table and he really didn't want to know where it was. Or what it was doing. The very idea that Malfoy would indulge Harry in hand holding was... weird. And made it hard to think of him as a sleazy git out to use his friend.
Draco raised his chin and leveled Weasley with a hard look. He really hoped the wizard did see because he was losing his patience. He had hoped Harry would be a bit more... vicious in their talk, really lay into Weasley and maybe even get a little physical. But he reluctantly understood why his mate seemed so willing to move on now that the consequences appeared to be so mild. Memories of Harry speaking about a lonely childhood and 'first friends' didn't quite sooth his ruffled feathers, since he felt Weasley was abusing that knowledge, but it explained Harry's willingness to let the situation settle.
That didn't mean he had to be a push-over, though.
"However," Draco added, eyeing Weasley. "If you continue in your endeavors to separate us, or cause Harry more stress, I will be forced to react."
"I see," Ron repeated, running a hand through his hair nervously.
He'd seen Fleur go all 'protective mate' enough times, over the silliest things at times, to recognize that glint in Malfoy's eyes. It was a safe bet that the subtle nostril flair was an involuntary reaction but it didn't make him any less uneasy. He didn't think Malfoy would be squeamish (or worry about getting blood on his fancy robes), if it meant defending Harry. He really didn't want to find out, first hand, how complete Malfoy's Veela transformation would be, either.
"Right," Ron agreed readily, nodding. Malfoy was still staring at him like he wanted to try a few Unforgivables... But Harry looked less angry. He rubbed at his forehead, realizing he'd have some major groveling to do. He looked between Harry and Malfoy for a moment. "So. It's serious, then?" He knew it was a dumb question but he wanted to hear it said.
Harry nodded, feeling the hand on his knee tighten a little. He knew he didn't have to prove anything, but it was hard to not talk to Ron. Up until a few weeks ago, he did it all the time. Though, they did tend to shy away from relationship talk and discussions on feelings and whatnot. Mostly because it was awkward since Ron and Hermione were his best friends and he really didn't want to get that involved in the... intimate side of their relationship.
Plus, Ron was looking less critical and more... curious. Like he was interested—like a supportive friend would be. Good news, that. Although a look at Draco made it clear he was the only one thinking along those lines.
"Yeah, it is," Harry said. The hand on his knee squeezed again, but in a pleasant way, before sliding upwards a bit. He gave Draco a side-eyed look, flashing a brief but warm smile at him before giving Ron his attention again.
He lifted his shirt sleeve and proudly displayed his Bonding cuff, smirking smugly when Ron's eyes widened and he whistled lowly as he leaned forward with interest. He knew Ron would recognize a Veela Bonding cuff. The apologetic look on his friend's face was enough to smooth most of the rough edges of his earlier agitation. Of course, he knew Draco would require more in reparations from Ron, but he was satisfied.
"And I've picked out one for Draco." He didn't mention that they coordinated beautifully; he wanted it to be a surprise for Draco.
Ron looked expectantly at Malfoy, silently asking to see his Bonding cuff. It wasn't so much for proof but out of simple curiosity. He wondered what sort of adornments and all that Harry had chosen for the blonde. "You got one, too?"
"I will, yes. Harry's only just commissioned it."
Ron snickered, unable to help himself. It was weird to be comforted by the git saying something poncy like that. "I just bet," he murmured. He sat back in his seat and rubbed his hands over his face. He dropped his hands into his lap and sighed, giving Harry a sincerely contrite expression. "I really am sorry, ma—Harry. I don't know what I was thinking with... all that," he waved a hand vaguely towards the pile of letters and the folded copy of The Daily Prophet.
"Reckon you weren't at all," Draco muttered. "Jealousy, perhaps?" he said louder, trying to keep himself from snarling or sneering. He got the impression he was supposed to be grateful for the apology and suddenly be alright with Weasley's actions. Not bloody likely... but it did help to know the bastard felt remorse. Even if it was only for his own sorry arse. He allowed himself the fantasy of imagining Hermione castrating her idiot husband (maybe with Muggle gardening implements) and he felt a bit better.
Ron shrugged awkwardly. "Maybe," he mumbled and drained his mug, even though his tea was cold. Hermione had said he had issues with that sort of thing, but he honestly thought he'd gotten over it. Out-grown it, as it were. He didn't think he envied Harry anything these days; he had a well-paying job, a beautiful wife and fatherhood to look forward to.
"Or I just didn't know another way to keep you from 'im," he said, looking at Malfoy. He raised his hands when he saw Malfoy stiffen and sit up taller. He wouldn't be surprised if Malfoy called him out to a duel at any moment... "I'm not sayin' it was the best thing to do, but I was worried, yeah?"
"Ron," Harry said and sighed, scrubbing a hand through his hair in agitation. "Honestly, you think I'd be that easily lead?" It still stung, no matter how many times he realized Ron thought him some incapable child.
"Not exactly," Ron said slowly. "Look, I know it's a moot point now..." he trailed off. Of course it wasn't like he hadn't noticed the way Harry stared at Malfoy that year. Or the awkward blush Harry would have whenever he saw the blonde at the later trials and whatnot. He had thought it had been anger or annoyance with Malfoy, but maybe it hadn't been. Either way, he wasn't comfortable with the idea Malfoy had finally noticed and the prat would use Harry's interest for his own self interests. "I just didn't want to see you taken advantage of. You didn't exactly hold a grudge after all was said and done."
Harry huffed out a breath and glared at Ron. "I don't think there's anything wrong with that." He took a deep breath and closed his eyes for a second. "Whatever, though. It doesn't matter. Now you know better, so stop being an arse. I'm not sayin' you have to be best friends, but it would be nice if Hermione didn't have to feel caught between us," he said, waving a hand around between them all.
"Right. Yeah," Ron said, nodding. It wasn't as if Hermione visited Harry (and Malfoy) often when he was home, but he only just realized how she'd stopped talking about her visits a few weeks ago when he got himself worked up into a right lather and ranted for over an hour. And she'd usually just roll her eyes and leave the room when he got in a strop about Malfoy. "I'll work on that."
They all turned towards the opening kitchen door.
Teddy ran in, headed right for Ron since he was the first one he saw. "Uncle Ron!" he yelled, attaching himself to the red-head's waist. He bounced a little in place, his hair turning a matching bright red. "I had waffles!"
"Hey, Teddy," Ron said. He ignored the smear of syrup left on his clothes and gave Teddy's hair an affectionate ruffle. He felt like an even bigger arse when Teddy unlatched himself and climbed into Malfoy's lap, his hair going a pale blonde as he told Malfoy all about his waffles with blueberry syrup. Malfoy was actually smiling a little and nodding at all the right places while Teddy talked a mile a minute. OK, maybe he wasn't such an evil git if Teddy adored him and the blonde could look that excited hearing about Teddy dipping his bacon in the syrup.
Hermione was standing by the door, her arms crossed and her foot tapping a little as she glared at her husband. The kitchen was in one piece, so that had to be good news. As was the lack of bodily harm and/or blood.
Ron knew that look and he offered a sheepish smile. He cocked his head, silently asking her to come over. He didn't want to interrupt Teddy's explanation about the way Ginny made a smile face in whipped cream on his waffle. As soon as Hermione was close enough, he wrapped a hand around her waist and gave her hip a gentle squeeze. He felt kind of bad about it, but he was relieved Teddy had bounced away from him to gush about his waffles to Malfoy. It left him free to give his wife all of his attention and groveling energies.
He watched Teddy gesture wildly, his still-sticky hands waving about. He narrowed his eyes briefly when he noted that the blonde's hand was splayed out over Teddy's back, obviously used to how Teddy wiggled and ready to keep the little boy steady. He pulled Hermione closer, nuzzling her mid-section a little and sighing with relief when she didn't smack him away. She was stiff in his hold but at least she wasn't still across the room. He was sure he'd be spending some time on the couch and that was a best case scenario...
"'M sorry," Ron murmured, burying his face in Hermione's shirt.
"I know," Hermione said. She shifted closer when Ron's hand went to the small of her back, his fingers seeking out the now ever-present stiff muscles. She was not ready to be nice to her husband just yet, but she wasn't as angry since Harry looked alright. Draco was calm enough but she could see the tension in the Veela regardless of his smile for Teddy. His gaze darted to her, eyes narrowing slightly, and she immediately understood her husband had far to go to be in his good graces.
Good. Serves the git right for what he did. She felt better about that, curiously enough. It warmed something in her to see Harry looked after in such a way (even if he'd probably pout if she was dumb enough to say it aloud).
"How did it go?" Hermione asked, planting her feet when Ronald tried to pull her onto his lap. She aimed a glare down at her husband when he had the cheek to pout at her. She was still mad enough to refuse the urge to snuggle in. Thankfully, he stopped his efforts and wisely kept his hands to himself.
Ron shrugged a shoulder, "Fine, I guess."
Hermione hummed, accepting the answer, her eyes on Teddy as he described their breakfast to an attentively listening Harry and Draco. Once Teddy calmed down a little, she'd get the box of pastries she'd brought back with her. Of course, Ronald sniffed them out first and she pushed the box into the middle of the table. Even Draco helped himself, eyeing the simple glazed doughnut he took out of the box with equal parts wariness and curiosity.
Harry hastily swallowed his bite of jelly-filled doughnut when the kitchen door swung open again.
"Mother," Draco said, primly wiping his fingers off on a napkin as he stood. He grimaced a little when he was given a cool look. A slightly raised pale eyebrow might not look like much, but it spoke volumes when Narcissa Malfoy aimed it at you. He was quite sure he was being reprimanded (like a sodding first year) because no one had heard the floo and escorted her in. He did feel a slight chagrin to realize even he hadn't noticed the floo chime and offered her a suitably contrite expression.
Apparently he was forgiven because she accepted the kiss he placed on her cheek. He smiled when Harry plucked Teddy off a chair, plopping him in his own lap, and he offered the now vacated seat to his mother.
Narcissa sat, aiming a smile at Harry and Teddy and inclining her head to everyone else. "Draco." She smoothed her robes over her lap, and her expression softened as she looked at Harry and Teddy again. "Harry. Teddy," she greeted. Her smiled widened for a moment when Teddy beamed and twiddled his sticky fingers at her. "Hermione. Mister Weasley."
She watched as Harry shifted Teddy into Draco's lap, her son taking the child with a small smile, and he stood to get more tea. Teddy's hair was pale blond and she melted a little inside.
Ron shifted awkwardly. It felt weird to be the only one addressed so formally. "Er... Ron, if you please, Missus Malfoy."
"Narcissa," she offered in return, inclining her head.
Harry set down two mugs for Hermione and Narcissa and refilled everyone else's with fresh tea. He set a plastic cup of milk down for Teddy, nodding when the little boy mumbled a 'thank you' around a large mouthful of doughnut.
Draco watched his mother carefully take a sugared doughnut from the pink bakery box and he slid a plate over. "I'm sorry I didn't contact you sooner."
"Understandable," Narcissa politely dismissed, breaking off a small piece of fried dough and examining it closely. She glanced at Harry and patted his hand gently, offering her comfort. "I'm quite proud you came here first, darling," she said looking back towards her son. Even if she wished she hadn't had to read the front page of The Daily Prophet for herself, by herself, she was pleased Draco had immediately gone to Harry's side. "I'm sure you've already taken the appropriate actions?"
Draco nodded once. "I have, mother." His mother nodded her understanding and went back to her doughnut. He couldn't help watching, waiting for her reaction. He was pretty sure his mother knew she was eating a Muggle pastry and he was curious to see how she'd like it. Not that she'd do anything crass like spit it out, but he hoped she'd enjoy it as much as he had.
Waffles weren't so great but doughnuts were fantastic.
"D'you like it, grandmum?" Teddy asked, leaning towards Narcissa curiously. He could tell she hadn't had a doughnut before because she was looking at it funny and eating it all careful like, like he did with vegetables or weird things Harry-daddy tried making for the first time. He saw a small smile on his grandmum's face and he grinned widely at her, stuffing the rest of his doughnut in his mouth and chewing happily.
Narcissa sipped her tea and dabbed at her mouth. "I did have another reason for my visit." She realized she had her son's attention and she smiled warmly at him. "I need to borrow your Harry for a few hours."
"Why?" Ron asked, looking between Harry and Draco's mum.
Draco nearly narrowed his eyes at his own mother. He was quite sure the 'your Harry' was used deliberately. And while it did affect him in many positive ways, he was a little suspicious nonetheless. Instead of asking for more details, he merely inclined his head in acknowledgment.
Narcissa slowly turned her head to coolly regard Ronald Weasley, the only one that seemed inclined to question her. She considered whether or not to answer him for a moment. "I've been contacted by the Goblins."
"Already?" Harry breathed, his heart-rate suddenly spiking up with anticipation and excitement. He hastily wiped his hands down his pants, aware they were suddenly damp.
Narcissa shook her head slightly, offering an apologetic smile. "I'm afraid it's not ready yet. They contacted me with the intent to go over some of the smaller details." And if she managed to sneak in a few shops that specialized in traditional robes, all the better.
Harry nodded, half-relieved and half-disappointed. He wasn't quite up to going anywhere and he certainly wouldn't want to show up to pick up his Bonding cuff in ratty jeans and a jumper. He tried not to fidget in his seat but he must have failed because he was aware of being the center of attention.
Everyone but Ron watched Harry with a look of affectionate amusement. He knew he was missing something. "Goblins?" he asked slowly.
"Goblins," Narcissa confirmed, daintily sipping at her tea.
Teddy looked around, confused. "Goblins?" he asked as well.
"Yes, darling," Narcissa agreed, smiling softly. "The Goblins that made the jewelry your Harry-daddy is going to give Draco." The little boy's forehead wrinkled in confusion. She knew Teddy wouldn't be upset about Draco and Harry Bonding, but she didn't know how to explain life-mates or Bonding to a child. Harry and Draco both looked at a loss, as well, sharing a look as if daring the other to be the one to explain it all. "So they can be Bonded. Married," she added.
Teddy was still a little confused and he turned to look questioningly at Mr. Draco. "Married?" he asked. He started to get excited; had an idea what married meant... Uncle Ron and Aunt Hermione were married!
"I'll stay with you and Harry-daddy. Always," Draco murmured, mostly for Teddy's hearing alone. He ducked quickly when Teddy flailed with excitement, fists pumping with a loud 'yay!' before little arms wrapped tightly around his neck. He smiled and hugged the little boy tightly, pleased to know Teddy was pleased. He was tempted to aim a smug look at Weasley, but he realized the red-headed pillock was busy dealing with Hermione at the moment.
Harry looked between his friends, his brow lowered with concern. The reason for their hushed whispers wasn't hard to sort out but Hermione sounded fit to hex Ron six ways from Sunday at the end there. Ron was ducking his head and Hermione's face was a little pink. "What's wrong, 'Mione?"
"Nothing, Harry," Hermione said, offering a strained smile. She yanked her husband up and pulled him from the kitchen by the front of his robes.
Teddy giggled, muffling the sound with his hand when everyone turned to look at him. "Uncle Ron is in big trouble," he whispered in a sing-song.
"Yes, he is," Draco murmured, unable to hide the undercurrent of glee in his tone. He shrugged unapologetically at Harry. As far as he was concerned, he hoped the witch gave him a proper dressing down and that's why she pulled him to a more private area. Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, they didn't go far enough and he could hear hissed whispers from the couple. He smothered a laugh, quite impressed with Hermione's vocabulary. It wasn't uncommon to hear words he had to look up, but he didn't often hear such profanity from the witch.
Harry leaned closer to Draco, eyes narrowed. "Can you hear them?" he asked, aware of the Veela's heightened senses. Draco nodded once and cocked his head, a finger over his lips. He was tempted to tell Draco to stop eavesdropping—but he was curious. He never had the greatest impulse control... He leaned closer, "What are they saying?" he whispered.
"Hermione is insisting the 'ill-gotten' Galleons be returned."
Harry smiled a little, pleased. He always could count on Hermione. Draco snorted and he raised his eyebrows inquiringly.
"Ron said he can't," Draco murmured. He looked at Harry and nodded once. It was virtually impossible to get Goblins to refund Galleons without there being a reason for it. They rarely made errors, it was one of the many things they prided themselves on. If the Prophet demanded the money back, they could—probably with interest for the error.
"He'd have to empty the vault himself and send it all back to the Prophet." He snickered softly into this fist when Weasley said the same thing to his irate wife. It was more of a whine, though. Weasley was no doubt horrified at the idea of trying to lug around that many Galleons. Featherlight charms only did so much. He heard Weasley continue, his tone pleading, shaky with ill-concealed apprehension (and a little fear). He winced and everyone heard the responding "So bloody what?! You'll do it, Ronald Weasley! Or else!" Hermione yelled at him.
Draco snickered again when he heard a murmured "Else what, 'Mione?" The resulting shriek of pain was rather enjoyable.
"Well, Harry, if you'll get dressed, we'll go as soon as you're ready," Narcissa said, wiping her hands on a napkin. As much as she enjoyed the mildly entertaining pair having it out in the other room, she was looking forward to spending a few hours with Harry. Harry nodded and stood, walking out of the room. She turned to Draco, smiling softly as she watched him entertain Teddy with some sort of counting game.
"Are you alright looking after Teddy?" she asked. She wouldn't have a problem changing her plans to include Teddy, but she knew Harry wanted to keep his design a surprise so she wouldn't ask her son along.
Draco looked up and fought the urge to roll his eyes at his mother. "Yes, mother. I've managed before. Just you and me for a bit, Teddy." He chuckled when Teddy whooped happily. "Shall we go to the park?"
Draco nodded and eased Teddy off his lap. "Right then. Change into play clothes and find your shoes." Teddy ran from the kitchen, his blond hair streaking orange. He turned his attention back to his mother and offered her a small, knowing smile. "Keep the shopping to a minimum, mother. Harry isn't fond of it."
"Thank you, darling, I'll keep that in mind," Narcissa said dryly. She was grateful for the warning but it was rather annoying her son saw through her so easily. "Even if we stop by a few Muggle shops?"
Draco pursed his lips as he considered. "That he'd probably handle easier." Harry came back in, cheeks pink and his hair sticking up from his rush to get dressed. He tsked softly with affectionate exasperation and smoothed the hair as best he could, kissing Harry's cheek. "Have fun."
"Yeah," Harry nodded absently, picking at the hem of his shirt. He wanted to ask if he looked presentable but neither Malfoy commented on his clothes, so he must do. He held his arm out for Narcissa, "Ready."
Narcissa folded her arm through Harry's and apparated them away.
Wings surrounded Harry. He pressed closer to the warm, firm body in front of him as hands slid along his back and sides. Something soft, like feathers, ghosted across his arse and he arched closer to Draco, moaning softly. He was amazed that the sensation that he found comforting hours ago now turned him on, to the point of writhing around shamelessly and making all sorts of noises he never expected to come from him own mouth.
Draco didn't appear to be at all aware of his reaction at first, merely continued with his soothing touches as those wings did other things. Harry made another low sound as he felt the obvious evidence of the Veela's arousal, pleased to see the Veela wasn't nearly as unaffected as he tried to pretend to be.
"Draco," he murmured, unsure if he should be embarrassed about making such sounds but he wasn't quite able to manage it when Draco's mouth was on his neck. He leaned into the nipping kisses, gasping softly as strong, agile hands slipped under his night-shirt and started doing the most amazing things to the delicate skin over his ribs and his nipples.
Draco made a soft sound, half croon-half moan, and detached his lips from Harry's neck with an effort. He really needed to explore more of his willing mate's body and he couldn't do that unless he moved about. He pushed at Harry's shirt until the wizard lifted up enough for it to be pulled off over his head and tossed carelessly to the side. He gently stroked his fingertips along Harry's sides and ribs, enjoying the way Harry shifted around making breathless little sounds somewhere between a laugh and a moan.
The blonde made another sound, one of triumph and pleasant surprise, as he trailed kisses down Harry's chest and nosed at the dark trail of hair on his belly. Draco smiled against the warm skin when he felt Harry's breath hitch and his hips involuntarily shift upwards. He lowered the elastic of Harry's pyjama bottoms with a sweep of his thumbs and nipped at a hipbone. He chuckled lowly when he heard a whispered curse. He pulled that the lowered waist of Harry's pyjamas, looking up when Harry immediately lifted his hips, easing the way for the material to be removed and toss to the floor.
Draco shifted until he was able to situate himself between Harry's legs, groaning softly at how eagerly those legs spread to accommodate him.
Harry watched as Draco just looked at his cock for a moment, before lightly trailing his long fingers the length of him. Not holding, just touching. He held his breath as Draco finally closed his hand around him, holding steady as a wet heat glided across the flushed tip, lips pursing as he gently sucked at the moisture beading there. His hands flexed in Draco's pale hair, but he didn't pull.
He was pretty sure Draco wouldn't appreciate hair pulling... At least, not yet. He hoped it would be allowed once they lost their minds to heated passion because he knew he wouldn't be able to keep his fingers out of that pale softness for long. It felt amazing under his palms and gliding through his fingers.
Harry's fingers tightened slightly and his knees flopped towards the bed when Draco kissed along his length, nuzzling at the patch of dark curls at the base. He gasped out a moan when lip-covered teeth followed the same trail just before he was engulfed in that tight, wet, warmth. He probably hissed out a curse because he could feel Draco chuckling.
He groaned and raised his knees enough to give Draco more room. "Fuck," he groaned when the Veela took full advantage of the space.
Harry jerked awake with a gasp and a flail of arms. He blinked into the dark, momentarily disoriented by the heated flush of his body and the warm weight against his back. Oh. Right. He was sharing a bed with Draco again. He exhaled slowly and readjusted himself carefully, making sure he didn't wake Draco. Though, if his flailing (and Merlin alone knew what sounds he'd been making) hadn't roused the blonde, it was probably safe to assume he was deeply asleep.
He wriggled closer to Draco, working his way under the blonde's arm so he could resume his position on Draco's chest. He settled back down with a soft sigh when Draco's arm tightened around him and kept him close. He probably should be embarrassed the position brought his crotch directly against Draco's hip, but it wasn't like either of them weren't familiar with a hard-on.
It was a bit of shame their bed-sharing was still platonic but he did like being able to just lay and cuddle with the blonde, too. He discovered, with no real surprise, that the Veela was quite fond of snuggling. As well as being quite good at it. He pressed closer when Draco made a sleepy noise and the arm he'd wormed under tightened around him for a brief moment.
Harry relaxed and his fingers found the Bonding cuff, a habit he noticed he'd gotten into. He smiled and shivered pleasantly when he felt the tingle of Draco's magic through the skin-warmed metal.
Merlin, he was so close to throwing himself on the blonde, now that he was warm and tucked against Draco's side, his fingers sliding over smooth, warm platinum. It was arousing, on so many levels. He shifted his hips a little, smothering a quiet moan against Draco's chest. He probably shouldn't be rutting against the sleeping Veela, but he couldn't seem to be able to help himself.
Harry stilled, heart thudding against his ribs and his eyes wide. "Draco," he whispered back.
"What're you doin'?"
Harry smiled a little, despite his warmed cheeks. Draco's voice was fuzzy and husky with sleep, but he could hear amusement and desire under the sleep-slurred words. "Nothin," he muttered, lowering his flushed face in case Draco could see it—it wouldn't surprise him if the Veela could see in the dark. He nuzzled against Draco's shoulder, his nose pressing lightly against the blonde's thin t-shirt.
"Nothin', eh?" Draco chuckled softly. He slid a hand down Harry's back until it rested on his arse. He grinned into the dark when he heard a soft gasp and Harry jumped at the touch. He was awake enough to notice Harry jerked towards his hand, as if he wanted firmer contact. He obliged, pressing in a little and flexing his fingers. Harry relaxed against him and he realized the wizard was wide awake. And not just from lingering arousal. His hand relaxed a little, gentling the contact.
"Yeah," Harry mumbled, adjusting himself against Draco's side. He wasn't exactly sleepy anymore but if Draco kept close he'd hopefully be able to doze a little. He had a feeling Teddy would be up earlier than usual in the morning.
Draco hummed, not quite believing Harry. He slid his hand up Harry's side to his shoulder and urged Harry closer, resting his chin on top of his head. He wasn't sure how to get Harry talking, or even what to say if he actually managed it, but he knew he had to at least try. "Anything on your mind?"
"Bonding cuff," Harry murmured, summing up everything that was swirling in his thoughts. The visit to the Goblins, with Narcissa, had been a surreal reminder that in less than a week, he'd have a Bonding cuff to present to Draco. He barely noticed the many shops he'd been to with Narcissa and he was pretty sure Narcissa had used his stunned state to her full advantage. He could feel Draco waiting for him to continue, but he didn't know what else to say about it. He was just preoccupied with everything that came with giving Draco the Bonding cuff. "I can't wait, actually."
He huffed out a surprised breath when he was suddenly squeezed against Draco's chest. He pulled back only enough to unsmoosh his nose from the Veela's chest. He could feel Draco's heart beating rapidly under his palm. Was that excitement? Fear? He worried his bottom lip and tried to sort out what to say.
"Sorry," Draco breathed, consciously making an effort to loosen his hold and let Harry breath. "I can't either," he said softly. He brushed his lips against Harry's temple, his eyes closing. He sunk into the comfortable silence for long moments, enjoying Harry's sleepy-warm scent and subtle aura of excited happiness. He sighed softly, "My mother will insist on a soirée."
"A soirée? Oh Merlin, liked a party?" Harry asked, his voice a little higher with a slightly panicked squeak. He squeezed his eyes shut, hoping that didn't mean there'd be an audience for when he gave Draco the Bonding cuff. He was fine with the small gathering that had been there when Draco gave him his, but anyone else...
Draco chuckled softly and rubbed a soothing hand along Harry's back. "She'll call it a social gathering, but it's going to be a party. After," he clarified. "She won't be able to help herself but I can make sure she'll keep the guest list small." He knew Harry would prefer a small, intimate gathering and he was sure his mother would be reasonable about keeping to Harry's wishes.
"Our presence won't be required for long," he added and smiled when he felt Harry relax. He was unsuccessful in keeping his thoughts from what would happen after he'd been given the cuff. He felt himself warm practically everywhere and cleared his throat. His voice still came out in a husked whisper, though. "It'll be for the best, since we'll be... preoccupied."
Harry leaned up a little, not at all missing the deeper tone. He figured after the cuff was given, there'd be some intense magical and emotional responses. At least, he assumed as much—there had been when he got his and he only imagine how strongly Draco would react. Doing anything but sequestering himself somewhere with his Veela seemed hard to imagine. "Preoccupied?"
"Yes. As I'm sure you've already guessed, having attention for anyone but each other will be difficult. Mother will know this but asking her to put off a celebration is unthinkable."
Harry huffed softly and flopped back onto Draco, closing his eyes. "Fine," he muttered. If Draco wasn't going to even attempt talking his mother out of the whole thing, he knew it was nigh impossible for anyone else to. He yawned and snuggled in comfortably. "Is an hour long enough?"
"Yes," Draco said through a chuckle. He heard Harry huff again but the wizard was back asleep before he could offer any further soothing words.