A/N: It feels good to update and receive reviews once again.
Was strange not updating on a regular basis. Thank you to all that reviewed the last chapter it is very much appreciated, and good to know you're still with me.
Some reviewers were asking about Draco and Harry exposing their relationship by kissing in public, and if the press still stalked Harry. Yes to an extent the press still hound Harry, but as they were in a very small wizarding community in Devon, near the Weasleys home there were no press around. Yes a member of the public could have spotted them, and they may blab to the press, but for now they haven't unintentionally exposed their relationship to the wizarding world.
Enjoy the chapter.
Draco's first day at the apothecary went well, he only worked for a few hours on the Saturday. However in those few hours he managed to re-arrange the shop display, and storage room. The new display was a success, many customers commenting on the design stating they just had to come in and have a look. The storeroom was now better organised and the owner could easily see when stock was running low, and when to order new ingredients. Draco offered to take home the accounts and try and make sense of them.
Mr Arrington simply replied, "Don't know, I guess I'm doing alright I'm still here aren't I." When Draco asked if the business was making a profit or loss.
Harry cooked them dinner and was content watching Draco immerse himself in the books, trying to balance them and make sense of how the business was doing.
"I'm surprised Mr Arrington hasn't gone under, his bookkeeping is atrocious." Draco groaned, as he scribbled away. A few hours later and Draco was done.
He found Harry reading a book in the living room. Harry looked up when he entered, "All done?" He asked.
"Yes, for now. I will be having a few stern words with Mr Arrington on Monday. I can cut his outgoings by a huge margin just by switching suppliers and delivery service he uses."
Harry smiled, "He won't know what's hit him. You'll hopefully be able to help him increase his profits, he'd be able to retire with some money and not a shop that's making a loss." Harry was proud of Draco.
Draco curled up on the sofa next to Harry, "You know Mr and Mrs Weasley are back tomorrow." He commented, not quite sounding casual.
"Hmm yes. Have you missed them?" Harry wondered.
Draco shifted to lean against Harry's side and rest his head on his chest, as Harry lifted his arm in invitation.
"Yes. They're family to me now. But that wasn't why I mentioned it." He replied carefully.
Harry smiled, "Oh?"
"I...well it means this is our last night alone together." Draco raised his head to look Harry in the eyes.
"So it is. What do you propose we do to make the most of our last night alone?" Harry asked in a low seductive voice. He was hoping he wasn't overstepping his place with Draco, as Draco was the one to bring it up in the first place.
Draco moved away from Harry's side so he could sit up and face him. Harry thought he looked in two minds, like he wanted to do something, but was holding back as he was nervous.
"I think I'm ready to try and um what's the muggle saying...'move bases' is it?" He frowned slightly, cheeks flushing pink.
Harry grinned, "I think only muggle teenage boys refer their make out sessions to bases. I think we've managed second base before." Harry observed.
Draco shrugged, "It's a good grading system - a handy analogy. So what I am trying to say is, well I'm not ready for the final base or whatever, but maybe some third base action." He admitted.
Harry chuckled, "Third base action – sweet!"
Draco punched him in the side, "Don't take the piss, or you won't even get any first base action."
Harry stopped smiling, "Sorry. Okay well shall we move to your bedroom, wouldn't want to defile Mr and Mrs Weasleys sofa."
Draco stood, and took Harry's hand, leading them upstairs to his room. His heart thumping fast and hard in his chest. He really wanted to explore Harry's body, he wanted to move on in their relationship, but it didn't stop him being nervous and a little frightened.
Harry could sense Draco was nervous, he pulled him close and just simply held him. He may have slipped in a sneaky pinch of Draco's bum, but he was only human.
Draco laughed, he may be damaged from the attack but he was still a horny man who very much enjoyed a sexually active life previously. He was attracted to Harry and he turned him on, he couldn't help smiling when Harry tried an innocent grope.
"Like what you feel?" He asked amused.
Harry answered between kisses to Draco's neck, "Mm yes very nice. Peachy."
Draco frowned, and shoved him in the chest lightly, "Peachy? What the hell is that supposed to mean?"
Harry pulled back to look at him, "It's a compliment trust me."
Draco took Harry's word for it and moved in for a kiss, running his hands under Harry's jumper as he moved closer. Using his body to gently guide Harry backwards, his legs hitting the edge of the bed and bending to sit down. Draco climbed into Harry's lap in one fluid motion, never breaking the passionate kiss in the process.
Draco really wanted this. He was extremely attracted to Harry and if he just let himself get lost in Harry, and the moment he would relax. He mustn't start thinking about the attack, his hands all over him, pinning him and forcing him. He desired this – Harry. It helped that Draco was the one sat in Harry's lap, the one controlling the kiss and the speed they were moving. Harry was following Draco's lead, never pushing him, or taking control. Draco knew he was lucky to have a boyfriend like Harry. Understanding and patient, but most of all thoughtful.
Draco felt ready, he felt comfortable and not to mention hard and desperate for a release. He tugged at Harry's jumper and Harry pulled it off, exposing his upper body in all it's glory. Draco removed his own top and leaned forwards so Harry fell backwards, sprawled on his back on the bed. Draco took a moment to admire the man between his thighs, before descending – lips kissing and tasting as much as he could reach.
Harry pushed Draco up, "Can I at least get on the bed fully? My legs have gone numb."
Draco climbed off Harry's lap and Harry scooted so he was led fully on the bed, back propped up against the pillows. Harry met Draco's eyes, "My lap is awfully cold, think I need you to come warm it up."
Draco rolled his eyes, "Lame Potter." But he didn't argue, resuming his previous position, straddling Harry's lap.
Both could sense that this time was different. The air was charged with sexual tension and anticipation. Harry waited for Draco to indicate when he was ready to speed things up, or take things further. Unlike before Draco would hold back, Harry could tell Draco was determined to get past his fear. This was proven to Harry when he felt Draco fiddling with the buttons on his muggle jeans. Once undone Harry wiggled out of them and watched Draco's face for any sign to show he wanted to stop. He saw none, he only saw eyes blown with lust and desire, flushed cheeks and a small smile on Draco's lips.
Harry pulled him down for a kiss, moaning into Draco's mouth as Draco began stroking him through his boxers. Harry was aching to touch Draco, to return the sensations he was currently feeling, but somehow he knew Draco wasn't ready for that. He was in control if he was the one pleasuring Harry. Draco would clam up and back out if Harry tried to touch him, so Harry just touched and kissed him, for once enjoying getting all the attention.
Draco surprised Harry by removing his own trousers and re-positioning himself between Harry's legs. Harry felt bad about just sitting back letting Draco do all the work, but Draco seemed more comfortable and relaxed, as he was in control. Draco curled his fingers around the waistband of Harry's underwear, looking up and pausing only for a moment. He kissed Harry's stomach, pulling them off. Harry felt exposed, the only one fully naked, but soon forgot his concerns when Draco started pressing kisses to his inner thigh.
Harry was forever learning new things about Draco since they re-connected, but tonight he learnt that Draco was a tease. Harry was on the brink of pure ecstasy but not close enough. Draco had spent a long time kissing, caressing and licking Harry's thighs, stomach and occasionally his erection. He would slowly blow warm breath over his ever hardening cock. Snaking his tongue out and licking his cock all the way to the tip. Swirling it around. Teasing the shaft with his hot, warm, moist mouth. Flicking his tongue at the base, then taking his balls in his mouth and sucking. Running his fingers up and down his throbbing shaft.
"Fuck Draco..." Harry moaned out, he can barely take any more.
Draco picked up on Harry's desperation and sucked him with faster, firmer movements. Touching, caressing and stroking his balls and shaft as he worked Harry's head. Harry at some point had lifted his legs, bent at the knees, and spread wide. His hands clutching at bedsheets and blond hair. Weeks, months of pent up sexual tension and desire to be intimate with Draco, all building and pouring out of him.
"Draco...almost..." Harry warned, wondering if Draco would want to avoid swallowing.
It was too intense for Harry – he could feel his erection pulsing hard, needing to come, but he wanted to savour it, wanted to hold it back a little. He had little choice however, the option to savour it taken away from him as Draco increased his efforts. Harry arched up and cried out as he came. His pleasure so intense and euphoric. Once Harry has ridden the pleasure he looked down and smiled at Draco.
He reached out and pulled Draco up towards him, feeling his soft skin sliding against his as they lay next to one another. Harry turned his head and captured Draco's lips, kissing him passionately, greedily, tongues exploring, lips sliding sensually together.
Harry slowly reached down between Draco's legs, gently caressing his neglected erection over his underwear. Draco startled and broke the kiss, Harry reached out and caressed the side of his face.
"Let me take care of you – I promise I won't continue if you say stop at any time." Harry softly whispered.
Draco nodded and leaned in to resume their kissing, using the kiss as a distraction from what Harry is doing. Harry took his time, eventually he reached inside Draco's boxers and begins masturbating him. Again with slow, gentle and loving strokes. Draco had relaxed and was allowing Harry to continue. It didn't take long, Draco is soon coming into Harry's hand and burring his face against Harry's neck as he moans.
Harry is happy that Draco let him at least pleasure him, giving him a release. They have taken that step now, and hopefully with time Draco would be comfortable enough for Harry to return the favour and let Harry give him a blow job. They clean up and fall asleep spooning.
When they woke it was late morning and they can hear Mrs Weasley singing as she walked by Draco's door. She knocked but didn't enter.
"Draco we're back. I hope you've been okay. Just so you know it's almost 11am and others will arrive soon for Sunday dinner. See you soon okay love."
They listened as her singing starts up and fades as she walks away. Harry smiles against Draco's shoulder, "Morning. We slept in until 11am – what rebels."
Draco laughs, "Lazy more like it." He turns to face Harry, kissing him slowly and lovingly. "Lets get ready and go show our faces. I'm sure they have lots of photos of their holiday to show us, and I have news of my job." Draco sensibly declared.
Harry grunts, "No don't wanna."
"Fine I'll go down there and wait until George arrives. I'm sure he will delight in getting you out of bed. But if I were you I'd hurry up, you are completely naked. George may take photos and sell them." He seriously warned.
Harry huffed but sat up, Draco had a point. George would walk straight in and yank the covers off without even caring what Harry was or wasn't wearing in bed.
They both showered – separately and then joined the Weasleys in the kitchen. Mrs Weasley hugged them both, declaring that she missed her boys and was glad to be home. Arthur greeted them cheerfully and asked Draco if his shed was okay.
"Um yes." He answered, he hadn't even been near the shed all week.
Harry snorted, "I went in there the other day to make sure all your gadgets were all safe and sound. I even purchased a few bits and hid them in there to see if you can find them."
Arthur grinned, "Molly dear I am just popping to my shed, call me once dinner is ready." He kissed her on the cheek and hurried out the back door.
They helped Molly set the table, and Draco helped with the cooking, catching up all the while. "Oh yes I did notice the lovely tree and plaque. Lovely of Hermione, such a thoughtful girl." Molly observed after Harry mentioned Draco's memorial for his mother.
Soon others started to arrive and for the first time since Draco had been attending the Sunday dinners, Harry saw him join in with conversation. Not just with him or Hermione, but with the other Weasley children and even George. Who out of all of them was still holding back – excluding Ginny. She still hadn't been to a dinner since her and Ron refused all that time ago. Harry was disappointed with her behaviour, but he didn't seek her out to talk to her. That was what she wanted – attention. If the others and him ignored her behaviour, she would soon realise she wasn't getting any attention, feel like she was missing out on something and randomly show one dinner. Harry knew her well – too well.
Draco was enjoying his job so much that he asked Mr Arrington if he could become full time, Mr Arrington agreed. Saying Draco had done wonders for the shop and he would love to have him there on a full time basis. Draco had arranged to meet with a new supplier, who charged less than the current supplier and his stock was of better quality, even having rare ingredients available.
Mr Arrington couldn't manage before and really only sold potions ingredients, not having time to make up potions to sell. However one day Draco found him in a room that Draco wasn't even aware existed.
Draco handed him his tea, "What's this room meant to be?" He asked. It was full of boxes, an old till, broken shelving and display units. Not to mention a thick layer of dust.
"This my lad is my old brewing room – lab as it were. I thought seeing as you are a young whipper snapper you could probably put it to good use. Your NEWT potions was the highest grade possible, I have every faith that you can brew the basic potions. Hangover potions, love potions and the such. We can sale them ready made. There is a huge market for it, but I never had the time spare before." He cheerfully informed Draco, patting him on the shoulder.
Draco smiled, he would love to start brewing again. Even if it was just basic, easy potions to begin with. It would make the store more money and help break his day up. "Brilliant." He answered.
It took all morning to clear out the room. Clean the existing worktops, and caldron's. By late afternoon Draco had gathered some ingredients and was brewing the quick and easy potions, ready to put on sale the next day.
He found he really liked Mr Arrington. He trusted Draco, and gave him free rein to do whatever he wanted. He could be found in his study at the back of the store if needed, or he would venture out to keep Draco company, or help when busy. But most of the time Draco ran the store by himself and he was loving every moment of it. He had learned a lot from Mr Arrington about old potions and brewing techniques. He also learnt more about Mr Arrington's personal life. He had one son and one daughter, both in their late thirties. Both moved away from the small town to the city. Neither were interested in taking over the store. Not only showing no interest in potions, but not wanting to be tied down to a small shop in the middle of nowhere.
Draco thought they were ridiculous, just because this store was in a small town doesn't mean it cannot be something. If they built up the reputation customers would come from all over just to shop there. Draco planned on making Mr Arrington's apothecary one of the best apothecaries out there.
Mr Arrington also liked Draco, and took him under his wing. Offering advice and increasing his responsibilities once he thought Draco could cope. Draco reminded him of himself in his younger days, and he was happy that his shop was being managed and run by a decent guy. Occasionally Harry would pop in, bringing lunch and coffee for all.
Today was one of those days. Mr Arrington was behind the counter, and Draco was in the lab finishing up a batch of potions. "He'll be out in a bit Harry lad."
Harry smiled and handed Mr Arrington his tea and soup. "You're a good boy." He thanked Harry.
Harry laughed, he wasn't really a boy any more, but he guessed Mr Arrington would think so. Harry had noticed that Mr Arrington looked pale and he had been coughing a lot. He didn't think it was his business to pry into his personal health, but he hoped he was okay.
"That Draco is sent from above. He has transformed my failing shop, to a busy shop to be proud of. It's not just about the increase in profits – although that's a bonus. Draco really loves this place, he will look after it." He declared sadly.
Harry frowned, 'Will look after it' not 'Is looking after it', "Why are you going somewhere? Retiring maybe?" Harry asked.
Mr Arrington looked up and smiled, "You could say that. Now I must be getting on to do some paperwork, I'll be in my office. If any customers come, just get Draco would you lad."
Harry watched him walk away, coughing as he went. That didn't bode well. Draco came out and stocked the shelves with the freshly made potions.
He turned spotting Harry, his face lit up, "Mmm is that soup?" He asked as he walked over, kissing Harry briefly on the cheek.
"What? Yes soup." Harry replied distracted, head full of Mr Arrington and his mysterious illness.
"You okay?" Draco could see Harry was deep in thought.
"Oh yes great. Just thinking about Mr Arrington. Have you noticed he is coughing a lot?" Harry honestly told Draco what he was thinking.
Draco thought for a moment, "I guess. But he's always coughing, I've just gotten used to it. Did he say he was ill?" concern in his voice.
"No. I'm just overreacting I'm sure. How has your day been so far?" Harry asked, he liked to listen to Draco talk about his day. It made him happy to see Draco was moving on, living his life and doing so well.
"Pansy stopped by, purchased some contraceptive potions. Informed me she would be away for a long vacation, and she wasn't planning on returning pregnant. Good to know right." He joked.
Harry laughed, since Pansy had helped him capture Draco's attacker, she had been visiting Draco regularly. On one occasion she pulled Harry aside, saying that Draco was better than she had seen in in years, even before the attack. She complimented Harry saying it was all due to him and actually hugged him. Then she declared she was going to go drown a bunny or something to counter the soppy display of emotions.
"I don't think Parkinson has a maternal bone in her body." Harry observed.
Pansy hated kids and hated the thought of 'getting fat' when pregnant, let alone the labour part. She had declared that until a potion or spell was invented to make men carry a baby, she wasn't interested in starting a family.
"Lucius stopped by the Auror department today. Said he had been burgled, that he suspected it was you and he wants you questioned. Of course it was me that stole your stuff but he can't prove it was either you or I, so it won't go anywhere. Just thought I'd give you the heads up." Harry hoped that the mention of his estranged father wouldn't ruin Draco's day.
Draco laughed, "He's only noticed now that my stuff is missing, shows how much he cared."
They talked some more, but then a group of customers came in and Harry said a quick goodbye, leaving Draco to deal with the sudden rush. Harry had meant to ask Draco if he wanted to come over his house tonight. Draco had never been to his, and they had been going out for months now. Been friends for much longer – in fact in a few months it would be a year since Draco's attack. At least at his house they had no one else around to interrupt them. He decided to meet Draco after work to invite him to his for dinner and a movie.
His plans to do that were waylaid by Ginny. She was waiting for him outside his office at the end of the day.
"Hi Gin." He greeted, trying his best to keep his tone light. He still hadn't cleared the air with her, and Harry knew she wasn't pleased with his choice in boyfriend.
"Harry," She coldly returned. "I haven't seen you in ages. Can we please go to dinner?" She asked a little more kindly.
Harry did miss her, and maybe he could convince her to give Draco a chance. "Sure. Let me go home and change out of my uniform. Come to mine about 7pm ish." He instructed.
They walked to the floo together, he watched her leave. Then he walked to the nearest apparation point and went to Draco's work. Draco was cashing up and preparing the shop to close.
Draco looked pleased to see him, "Harry, I was wondering..."
"Before you finish that sentence I came here to tell you I'm going to dinner tonight with Ginny so I can't make any plans with you. Sorry, I would much rather be with you." He explained.
Draco looked surprised but soon masked it, "No problem. I was only going to say I was staying late to take inventory and wondered if you wanted to grab a takeaway and join me. Have a good night." He answered.
Harry looped his arms around his waist and looked into his eyes, "Jealous?"
"Most certainly not. Why would I be jealous of her?" He said with disdain.
Harry laughed, "Draco you have nothing to worry about. I am 100% gay, and currently have a wonderful boyfriend. Ginny has nothing that could tempt me away from my peachy bottomed man." He squeezed Draco's bottom playfully.
Draco smiled, he couldn't help it, Harry was such a goof-ball. "Glad to hear. Now do I have to worry about this boyfriend of yours?" he retorted.
Harry shook his head, "Very funny. I better get home to shower and change. I'll see you tomorrow, I have a half day. I'll stop by to help...um well I can't brew or anything. I'll make tea and offer an endless supply of kisses."
Draco nodded, they spent a moment kissing and then Draco shooed him out. Dinner with Ginny was painful. She had always been a stubborn person – runs in the family. But she wouldn't let Harry get a word in. Keeping up a constant stream of Draco insults and negative comments. Harry ended up snapping and told her if she couldn't say anything nice about his boyfriend then she should shut her mouth, and leave them be. She was stunned for a moment, then spent the rest of the evening trying to make Harry feel guilty for snapping. Putting on a wounded expression, it didn't work.
"Ginny. Draco is here to stay. Your family have accepted him. I have accepted him, I'm even falling for him. He has changed and is an amazing person, if you cannot even give him one chance then that is your loss. I will not however tolerate you running him down. Refrain from doing this in the future, otherwise you may find yourself short of a friend." He paid the bill and walked out leaving her gobsmacked and alone at their table.
Harry went to a nearby restaurant that was one of his favourites, ordered a selection of desserts and some wine to takeaway. Then he apparated to Draco's work. He knocked at the shop door, and Draco shortly answered.
"I bought dessert and alcohol. Can I join you?" Harry ventured to ask.
Draco looked stoney faced, "What kind of dessert?"
"All sorts. Cheesecake, Chocolate Fudge Cake, Sticky Toffee Pudding..." He started to list.
"Chocolate Fudge Cake?" Draco asked showing interest.
"Yes. A huge slice." He pointed out hoping this would be enough to gain entrance.
"Okay come in." Draco opened the door, let Harry in and then locked it.
He led him to the back stockroom. Harry transfigured a sheet of parchment into a blanket, conjured a ball of light and set about unloading the desserts, cutlery and drinks. Draco smiled, he was very happy to see Harry. The fact he had come with chocolate cake was just an added bonus.
"Did you not eat dessert with W-Ginny?" Draco asked curious. He sat down and pulled the chocolate cake towards him.
"No. I'm surprised I made it through the main course. She is...well not very pleasant at the moment. I told her to stay away from me unless she can change her attitude." He confessed, as he poured them a large glass of wine.
Draco wanted to gloat but was sure Harry wouldn't find that attractive. He had left her to be with Draco, he had argued with her and sought Draco's company to sooth him.
"I missed you too," Draco said quietly.
Harry heard and grinned, "You're only being nice so you can have my slice of chocolate cake." He playfully replied.
"Maybe. Maybe not."
They ate in silence, Harry thinking over what he said to Ginny. He really was falling for Draco. They drank the wine and Harry held the chocolate cake as hostage until Draco managed to win it from him, by doing extremely naughty things to him. They hadn't had sex yet, but Harry could see that Draco was dealing with the intimate side of the relationship better, and it wouldn't surprise him if Draco declared he was ready soon.
The next day Harry and Draco's relationship was front page news on every newspaper and magazine. It appeared that Ginny didn't take too kindly to the way Harry shouted at her and left her, humiliating her in a public place. Apparently a reporter from the Daily Prophet was dinning in the same restaurant with his wife, when he witnessed their frosty dinner and argument. He approached Ginny, and from what Harry could tell she laid it on thick, pleased that someone was buying her 'poor innocent me' act.
She said that she still loved him, that he broke her heart when he came out. That he had told her he was choosing Draco Malfoy over years of friendship with her. Ginny must have mentioned where Draco was working, that Harry had probably gone there as Harry had mentioned to her that Draco was working late. The reporter managed to get a few photos through the glass fronted shop, of Harry and Draco kissing goodnight.
Harry didn't care that the papers knew, or that the wizarding world knew. He cared that Ginny would sell him out like that – but that was something he'd have to take up with her. She would have the wrath of her family to deal with too, so he knew she wouldn't get away with it. But the cat was out of the bag now. Ginny had told them all that she knew. That Draco had been staying with her parents for almost a year, that he had been attacked and disowned by his family. That she believed Draco was using her family and Harry to get people on his side again.
Draco was most upset about Ginny announcing he was no longer accepted by his father and that he had been attacked. He said he was happy to tell the world that he lived with the Weasleys and that they were his family now. That he loved them very much and would be forever grateful for all they had done. He wasn't ashamed of being gay, or the fact he was with Harry. But he knew that now the press knew, they would be hounded and he and Harry would have to be very careful, otherwise everything would be published.
Mrs Weasley sent Ginny a howler, one that Harry was witness for when she made it. He did not envy Ginny when she received it – although she deserved it. The press began camping in the town, outside Draco's work and near The Burrow. Hoping to catch a glimpse of Harry and Draco together. However Draco and Harry were safe at The Burrow, and even Harry's. Draco had spent a few nights there now, and was comfortable in Harry's house. It helped that the press had no idea where Harry lived.
He couldn't avoid them at work, and the press would come in pretending to be customers and then bombard Draco with questions. Mr Arrington would shoo them out and cuss them. Making sure that Draco had relative peace, even if they stayed camped outside the shop.
Harry grew tired of the staking and made a public announcement. Confirming he and Draco were and item, how long they'd been an item and that he would appreciate some respect and privacy. A few backed down, but the hardcore reporters remained.
A reporter checked The Ministry records, as under the freedom of information act the public could access certain documents. They released an article saying no attack on Draco Malfoy had been logged with The Ministry, and that she personally feels that Draco and Lucius had staged the whole thing, knowing Harry would take pity on Draco and take him in. She declared it was part of a devious plan on the Malfoys part and that Harry would regret ever forgiving Draco. Draco did his best to ignore the negative press, but it was difficult. How could they say that he would lie about being attacked. Logically he knew that it looked suspicious but he hated that people would read the lies and believe them, that the majority thought Harry was too good for him.
Eventually he decided he was thankful that he never reported the attack to The Ministry, or went to St Mungos, as he knew only too well for the right sum of money the information would have slipped into the presses hands. He'd rather they speculated about the attack then know that he was raped.
Harry suggested going out on dates and just letting the press take photos. Because hiding away didn't help, the press wanted pictures and proof. Once they got that they would soon get bored and leave them be. But by hiding, they were a mystery couple and added to the allure. Also Harry thought it would do Draco some good to get out and be a part of society again, not just work and home. So they frequently ate out in restaurants. They went to Molly's book release in Diagon Alley and were often photographed holding hands and kissing. But once the public had seen one picture of them eating a romantic meal, holding hands and kissing they'd seen them all. Their relationship although still shocking, and highly talked about – was getting boring to the readers. They wanted drama, and all they could see was a couple that were very happy together, and soon they backed off.
By this point Draco had been with The Weasleys for over a year and hadn't had a panic attack or flashbacks regarding the attack in weeks. He found being out in public with Harry stressful, but that was just from the attention they received. However he loved that Harry was so open, and didn't want to hide Draco away like some dirty secret.
Draco had been with Harry just over nine months and knew he loved him – he was more than a boyfriend, he was his rock, his soul mate and his reason for carrying on.
Draco was at work one day when he realised Mr Arrington had been quiet all morning. He wondered if he had gone out, but he hadn't seen him come down. He lived in the flat above the shop. Draco shut the shop for a moment and knocked on the flat door. No answer. He knocked again, still no answer. He cast a spell and it said that one other person was on that level. So Mr Arrington was home. Draco began to worry, he didn't want to barge in, but it was unusual. Mr Arrington was a man of routine, he would always come down to greet Draco in the mornings, read the paper and drink tea with him. It was now almost noon and he had yet to come down.
Draco tried the door, and was surprised to note it was unlocked. He found Mr Arrington on the kitchen floor in a heap, barely breathing. He didn't hesitate, picked him up and apparated to St Mungos. Mr Arrington died within the hour. The healers said he had muggle cancer – lung cancer and that it was far too advanced, that there was nothing they or the muggle doctors could have done.
Draco quickly sat down, stunned. Mr Arrington was like an uncle or something to him. He should have demanded he got his cough checked out – he felt so guilty. The healer must have been worried about how Draco was taking it, as Harry showed up. Saying she had called him to say that Mr Arrington had passed away and that Draco was taking it badly.
Harry found Draco frozen in his seat staring blankly ahead in shock, face stricken and full of grief. Tears rolling down his face, he didn't make a sound. Harry pulled him into a hug, not caring that people were staring. Harry led Draco to the floo network and took him to his house. He sat him on the sofa, fetched some tissues, a hot drink and waited.
Draco confessed that he felt partially responsible, that he should have demanded Mr Arrington got his cough checked out. Should have gone upstairs to check on him sooner.
Harry pulled him into a hug, "Draco, he had lung cancer – severe cancer. Even if you went upstairs earlier it wouldn't have changed the prognosis. Lung cancer is awful, and if left undetected and untreated can spread and once in the later stages there is nothing anyone can do. I know it is hard to hear, but I think Mr Arrington knew. He would often say weird things, that when questioned would explain them away. But I think he knew he was dying and didn't want to worry you."
Draco stayed hugging Harry for a long time, but eventually he got up and headed back to a the shop. Keeping it closed, with a sign saying due to the recent death of the owner the shop would be closed for the foreseeable future. Mr Arrington's children arrived the next day, demanded to see Draco. Draco let them into the shop and they started searching his office and flat. Draco thought they didn't seem too upset about their fathers death, they were too busy looking for his will and the deeds to the shop so they could sell it. Thinking about the money side of it already.
Draco asked about the funeral, and they said he could arrange it if he wanted. Draco thought that was insensitive, couldn't even be bothered to arrange their own fathers funeral. However he was honoured to be doing it himself, and set about giving Mr Arrington a decent send off.
The Arrington family solicitor contacted Draco a few days later and he was summoned to his office. Upon arrival he spotted the two Arrington siblings, he greeted them but they barley acknowledged his presence. They were all shocked, but Draco probably the most when the solicitor read out Mr Arrington's will. Draco had been left the apothecary, living quarters included. Any profit made from the business in the business bank account was Draco's for the business only.
He had written Draco a personal letter, telling him he knew if his children were left it they would sell it, whereas Draco loved that shop, and would make sure it stayed open. Draco was speechless, the Arrington children were furious demanded the will was checked for authenticity. Claiming they read all about Draco Malfoy and his devious ways. They accused Draco of forcing their father to write the letter and change his will so he benefited from his death.
Draco said he had no idea that Mr Arrington had left him the business and that he would be happy to take veritaserum. The solicitor said he personally spoke to Mr Arrington before he died, and he was checked for any foul play as was protocol, and he had personally told the solicitor that Draco Malfoy would inherit everything. It didn't stop the Arrington children from going to the press with their story. However the solicitor also gave an interview and Draco was interviewed by The Ministry under veritaserum and it was published that he was innocent and Mr Arrington simply left his apothecary to Draco, it was his dying wish.
Draco had ensured that Mr Arrington had an elegant and beautiful ceremony and burial. His children attended but ignored Draco the whole time. Draco was okay, he had Harry as his support – his rock. At the wake many of Mr Arrington's neighbours and friends told Draco that Mr Arrington always spoke kindly of him. That he knew he was dying before Draco took the job, that was why he hired someone to help. He told his friends that Draco made him proud, that he knew his shop was in good hands. Draco vowed to keep that shop going for as long as he could, honouring Mr Arrington and making him proud.
Harry helped Draco clear the office and flat of Mr Arrington belongings, all business related items were of course kept. The rest was given to friends and family members, such as photo albums and trinkets. Mr Arrington wasn't a rich man all he had was the apothecary and flat above, his quarters were basic and full of simple cheap furniture. Most of his savings were poured into his business, and Draco hoped he wouldn't let Mr Arrington down.
Harry and Draco redecorated the flat and re-furnished it. Draco said he couldn't bare living there knowing it was Mr Arrington place. The shop he felt part of, like he earned it but the flat, it didn't feel right. Draco hired an assistant to help in the shop, as the apothecary was doing very well. He let the flat to them as part of the employment contact.
Draco was basically living with Harry, yet they hadn't made it official. One evening Harry came home to find Draco already lounged out on the sofa, doing the books for the month.
Harry lent over and kissed the top of his head. "Move in with me." He blurted.
Draco turned to look at him, to gage how serious Harry was being. "What?"
"I said move in with me. You practically live here anyway. It's not too soon, next week is our one year anniversary. At least consider it Draco." He paused then blurted, "Fuck it...I'm just going to say it. I love you Draco and I love coming home and seeing you. I would love to have that everyday. My life has changed for the better since you re-entered it." Harry confessed, looking a bit embarrassed.
Draco stood and slowly approached Harry, "You love me?"
"Yes I love you, you great big idiot." He confirmed louder.
Draco's whole face lit up, and he smiled, "I love you too, you prat."
Harry returned his grin, and pulled Draco in for a kiss and a hug. "So is that a yes?" Harry ventured after a long steamy kiss.
"Yes. Fuck yes...I'll move in. I'll be a domestic god and I'll make you fall even further in love with me." He happily called out.
Harry laughed. The next day Draco had boxed up his few belongings and moved into Harry's. Mrs Weasley handed them a present and wiped her eyes, muttering, "Oh to be young and to be in love."
Later Draco opened the present and was surprised to find an old edition of Mrs Weasleys book. As they has since re-launched it with a new cover. Opening the book he smiled, it was the very first book printed. The first edition. A letter fell out and Draco noted it was addressed to him and Harry. He called Harry and they sat down, heads bowed together to read it.
I knew you would make it. I had a feeling about the two of you from the moment you two met again.
Every household needs a decent cookbook, heaven knows Harry needs one. Draco please make sure you cook him decent homemade food, I worry about that boy – always busy never eats properly.
Anyway you had faith in me, gave me confidence to publish this book Draco, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart. It is my turn now to say I had faith in you too.
Faith that you were strong and that you could heal and become a better man. Harry helped with your recovery and without him I doubt you would have done so well.
I wish you all the luck and happiness, but of course you do not need it. You were meant to be from the very beginning. (See enclosed photo.)
You two are soul mates, and I can see how much you care for and love one another already. This love and understanding will only grow, you will be happy for many, many years to come.
I love you boys. Behave and eat well.
Love from Molly X xX
Harry smiled, what a lovely thing to do. Give them the book and keep it back until they were at the stage in their relationship to move in and require a cookbook. To pen a heartfelt and honest letter.
"Photo?" Draco questioned out loud.
Harry picked up the discarded book and flicked through the pages. A photo fell out from the middle, he picked it up and smiled handing it to Draco.
He remembered that day well. It was after Draco's panic attack after he saw a car similar to his attackers. Harry had comforted him and they had fallen asleep snuggled together. He wasn't aware that Mrs Weasley had taken the photo, but he could see from their embrace and their expression they were very comfortable together and both very relaxed and happy. It oozed off the photo, radiating warmth and love.
Draco smiled and kissed Harry. "I think a part of me loved you back then, but I didn't recognise the feeling. I think I have always liked you, but never knew how to deal with it, even at school." Draco admitted shyly.
That night they made love for the first time. It was sensual, wonderful and perfect. Well to them it was, although it didn't last long. Draco didn't clam up once, he was completely and utterly relaxed and he trusted and loved Harry. He knew they were cementing their love and creating a stronger bond.
One year ago that day Draco was homeless, parentless, had no money, no wand and had been raped, attacked and left for dead. Today he had a whole new family in the Weasleys, especially Mr and Mrs Weasley, who they visited often. He had a home with Harry. He had a loving, supportive and amazing boyfriend. He had his own successful business, which made him money and he was over his attack. He had healed and moved on, surrounding himself with new friends, family and Harry – of course Harry.
He was the happiest he had ever been.
- The End -