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07 June 2011 @ 11:00 pm
Fathers, Part 3D (One to go!)  
One of my RL friends recently friended me on this journal (Hey M!) To her, and other people who think of me as just a political and knitting junkie slightly obsessed with her hair and footwear, I say, move along! Nothing to see!

To those who are here for the fic, I say, nearly! So close! I was going to wait until I had actually finished the whole thing up before posting, but it is possible that leaf_light  would crawl through the computer and strangle me if I did that. So penultimate chapter it is! Which is handy, because I was looking for a way to celebrate the anniversary of suttonwriter 's  and complications_g 's births. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, you two!


Part one is here
And the AS/S prequel is here

Title Fathers, Who Could Do With a Spot of Sinning,
Part 3d of 3e (If we're being honest, we always knew that it would come to this.)
Author blamebrampton
Characters Harry/Draco (eventually), Ron, Hermione, Narcissa, the next-gen crew and sundries.
Rating PG
Words  9082 this part
Summary After their sons fall in large amounts of teenaged love at school, Draco Malfoy and Harry Potter decide it's finally time to talk like adults about their own ties to each other. If only they could. Meanwhile, events of national importance conspire to distract them.
Notes Absolutely nothing to do with Jo Rowling, Bloomsbury, Scholastic or any other media titans. But affectionately nicked from all of the above.
My undying gratitude to jadzialove  who manages to do a wonderful job of beta-ing while I do an appalling job of meeting any deadlines, and then go and introduce errors afterwards. All the ghastly things should be blamed on me entirely, as my mentis has not been compos for years.
Thanks to libby_drew  who kicked this all off, norton_gale , who is also responsible, and raitala  and everyone else who nagged cheerfully. Special thanks to treacle_tartlet  for additional beta-ing and general arse-booting. As always, all errors are mine and concrit and typo mentions are quite welcome.



Draco is more familiar than he would like to be with explosions. This does not feel like the worst he has experienced, though his ears and head are both ringing, and something has landed on the side of his head. He wipes the worst of the dust from his face on his robe’s shoulder before opening his eyes, then tosses a volume that proclaims itself to be the definitive guide to roses from where it has come to rest on his face. Harry is still ducked down against his chest, and covered in blood.

“Harry! Potter!” Draco tries not to jar him as he runs his hands gently across Harry’s head, looking for the source of the blood. He finds nothing, only more debris and sticky mess.

Harry looks up at him, and his eyes widen in alarm. Draco can see his mouth moving, but the words are a dull buzz as the explosion still echoes inside his head. Harry reaches up and wipes Draco’s forehead, then pulls his hand back, showing blood. Draco mimics the gesture. Harry looks confused for a moment, then sits up. He points at the body of Lemberg, now with partially missing head.

Draco feels certain that the expression on his own face mimics the distaste on Harry’s.

They help each other up, a little unsteadily. There is a fine mist of dust hanging in the air, swirled into eddies by the breeze blowing in through the new gap in the door. The gap has been created by a large chunk of wood, now buried in the wall behind where the top of Mr Lemberg’s head once sat.

Draco consoles himself with the knowledge the man had no further use for either door or head.

He pushes some of the books away from Lemberg’s lap. Harry frowns at him. “Need to stop the bomb, too much danger to people nearby,” says Draco.

He’s not sure if Harry hears him, his voice sounds muffled even in his own body, but Potter understands, and helps. When they uncover the device, the countdown shows that barely more than a minute has passed, which is ridiculous, as it feels as though it has been hours. A quick Time Stop Spell and the red numbers stop moving.

Draco laughs. Harry claps his shoulder and says something that ends with “door” and “out”. After a moment, Draco’s brain catches up with his ears and he turns around to find Harry has opened the door and is scanning the house for the culprit. The slump of his shoulders speaks to his failure before he turns around.

“Long gone. We should appalingstronry,” Harry says.

Draco shakes his head to clear his ears. It doesn’t work. There was a spell he learned from that mediwizard, if only he could recall it, it started with a B …

“Draco?” Harry is standing in front of him, looking concerned. Which is odd because he was over at the door a moment ago.

And now Harry is frowning at him and peering into his eyes. Draco starts to tell him that he is fine, but it doesn’t come out right. Harry frowns and says “Oh bloody hell, all right, hold on,” and the next thing Draco knows he is in the entrance hall of St Mungo’s, where the Welcome Witch is looking as though she is thoroughly tired of the sight of them and then he needs a little nap.


***************************


“There’s no need to give me that look, Mr Potter, I’ve done everything I can and Mr Malfoy will wake up in his own time.”

Draco has heard the voice before – it’s one of the mediwitches, though he cannot remember the woman’s name.

“But he will wake up?”

“He’s just unconscious. You brought him here quickly enough. There was a little swelling on his brain, but it was fixed before it had time to do any significant damage. We are robust creatures, Mr Potter, he will just need a little time to recover. We’ll probably send him home tomorrow.”

“Can I …”

“Stay with him? Of course. He should have people with him for the next day or two. Head injuries are a bit tricky and it never hurts to have someone sitting by to keep an eye on the patient.”

It takes Draco an effort – his brain appears to be making a bid for freedom through his sinus cavities – but he opens his eyes. Harry and the mediwitch – Appleton, that’s it – are chatting across his bed.

“I’m fine,” Draco says, but it comes out more as a croak.

Appleton pours a drink of water, and Harry helps him to sit up and drink it. “You look like crap for someone who’s fine,” Harry tells him.

Draco takes a long sip of water, which is truly splendid stuff. “You can’t talk, you’re still covered in Lemberg’s brains.”

“I was waiting to see you still had yours before I cleaned up.” Harry is smiling, but he has obviously been worried.

“I’ve both brains and sense of smell, you’re beginning to pong.”

Appleton doesn’t quite conceal her grin. She helps Harry ease Draco back down to the bed before reassuring him that what Mr Malfoy needs right now is rest, and so she will find someone to sit with him for half an hour if Harry would like to go away and clean and …

… Harry is there and his hair is damp and he is wearing fresh clothes.

“Did I fall asleep?” Draco asks.

“For about forty-five minutes,” Harry confirms. “I changed at the Ministry and made my report. Abbott’s coordinating the search for Byford, she sends her best. I was just waiting for you to wake up again before I sent word to the Manor.”

“Thanks. I think Helene will strangle me the next time she sees me unconscious. Even Scorpius is beginning to have serious doubts about letting me out of the house unsupervised.”

“Do you want me to send word that we’ve run away to the Tropics?”

“And there’s tomorrow’s Prophet headline. Do you even think to check who’s listening before you say these things?”

“Where would be the fun in that?”

“I’ve suspected all along it was intentional.”

Harry smiles. “How are you feeling?”

“As though I was clobbered by a horticultural treatise.”

The smile falls from Harry’s face. “There’s a reason for that.”

“Eh, I’ve had worse. How bad does it look?”

Harry peers at Draco’s head. “They’ve cleaned you up nicely, you can only just see the trace of a bruise. Should be fine.”

“All right, then. Should probably let the family know before they miss me and send out search peacocks.”

Harry starts. “Do they really …?”

Draco starts to roll his eyes and stops when it hurts. “I am sure they could and would if they thought the effort would result in enough pain for me. As it is, they restrict themselves to squawking through the night and attempting to commit suicide by annoyance.”

“I should go and get your family.” Harry glances at the clock on the wall and shakes his head. “It’s not even remotely bedtime. We’d only just have finished dinner if we’d stayed at the Manor.”

“Fabulous, now I’m hungry.”

“Are you really all right?” Harry is peering at him through his glasses in the way that emphasises their role as a focussing device.

“Sore, tired, a bit battered. Normal day out with Aurors,” Draco says with an exaggeratedly feeble grin.

“This is the second time you’ve been blown up in my company.”

“Don’t think I didn’t notice. On the other hand, the lengths you’ll go to to put the two of us into a life-threatening situation are actually quite flattering …”

Harry nearly smiles.

Draco holds out his hand, and Harry takes it. “You stay,” Draco says. “Send someone else for the others. You’ve got plenty of Aurors.”

And then he just closes his eyes for a second, except he is really terribly tired, and when he wakes up Appleton is there again and she is holding onto Harry’s arm and saying for what must be the second or third time to judge by the tone of her voice: “I know it’s unnerving, but it is perfectly normal. He’s very fatigued and his brain will just let him sleep for brief periods for the next few hours until his body is tired enough to sleep properly through the night. Rest is the best thing for him. We are monitoring him, you’re here to alert us to anything unusual, he’s doing very well.”

“So it’s all right for him to just drop off like that?” asks Harry.

“I do it in budget meetings all the time,” Draco mutters. “You never panic then.”

Harry turns, and his face is pinched.

“Probably because you’re doing the same thing,” Draco adds in a bid to raise a smile.

“It’s really all right,” Appleton assures them both. “Any change, Mr Malfoy?”

“A bit hungry, but I don’t think I could focus enough to eat.”

“I’ll have someone bring in some broth or a milk drink, take the edge off without you needing to navigate cutlery. That’s excellent. An appetite is just what we want.” She bustles from the room with reassuring smiles at them both.

Draco is just about to hold his hand out to Harry again when Hannah Abbott appears at the door.

“Malfoy!” she declares. “I can’t believe you’ve managed to end up in hospital again. And I hear that you’ve invented something that is guaranteed to make my life hellish. Typical. I was going to bring you grapes, but decided you were too annoying.”

“Hello, Hannah, I’m fine,” Draco says.

“Excellent,” says Hannah, swinging herself up onto the side of his bed. “I’ve grown accustomed to your pointy face haunting the corridors, and Potter’s more fun when you’re about.”

Draco grins at Harry, who is looking anything but fun at the moment.

“Stop it,” Draco says. “I know that face, that’s your weight of the universe is bearing down upon me and it’s all my fault face, I’ve seen it before. I’m too tired to repeat all the wholly rational and extremely persuasive arguments I’ve used against it in the past. You’ll have to cast your mind back.”

Draco adds a smile that even Hannah’s expression suggests is charming, but Harry shakes his head.

“I will never get used to seeing people I care about hurt,” he says.

“Nor should you,” says Hannah, before Draco has a chance. “But it’s a bit of a stretch to assume that you have any control over the matter. We’re all living real lives in a dangerous world, Harry. You’ve spent the last thirty years trying to encourage those around you to develop the skills we need to survive. And you’ll notice that most of us have stayed alive, if occasionally dented.”

She turns to Draco and winks. “Personally I use my scars to pick up – and no, I’m not going to tell you who or where – but since you’re seemingly saddled with this muppet, I suggest you just use those big bruised eyes of yours to demand he makes you tea.”

Draco laughs, even Harry looks as though he might smile.

“We have a strictly near-death situation thing,” Draco tells her in confidence.

“Explains a lot. Potter, I need you to sign this.” She thrusts a piece of paper under Harry’s nose. “Overtime authorisation. I’m keeping it all low-key until tomorrow, just the core set who were still around when your report came in.”

Harry signs and hands the paper back. “You’ve only asked for enough to cover the weekend.”

“I expect the job to be done by then – I’ve left some very good people on it while I’m here. Talking about here, where are the Malfoy masses?” She looks at Draco’s guilty expression. “Ah. Well, since I didn’t bring you any grapes, why don’t I go and let your son and mother know where you are?”

“That would be lovely. And you’d better include my ex-wife or she’ll thump me.”

Hannah pats his arm gently. “After which I’ll go and make sure I find Byford before Savage and Williamson do, for similar reasons.”

Harry frowns at that. “They do remember they’re no longer Aurors, don’t they?”

“They allege they’re consulting. To be fair, they have stayed in the Ministry going through leads rather than haring off out into the field and doing something appalling.”

“What were they doing in the office this late on a Friday, anyway?”

Hannah looks as though she is going to resist answering for a moment, but then confesses: “Interdepartmental Exploding Snap game. It’s been going for about six months. You might need to increase Amundsen’s pay, Draco, I think they’ve taken him for a few hundred Galleons so far.”

“I should be surprised,” Draco muses, “and yet, I find it wholly plausible.”

“Nothing surprises me with those two,” Harry mutters. “I just hope they never make friends with Fortherington.”

“Oh Merlin …” Draco breathes in horror at the idea.

Hannah looks at both of them. “That’s your tech boy, isn’t it? Good lad, that one. Apparently I owe him a serious beverage for accidentally keeping the two of you alive. Work would be tedious without you.”

“Flatterer,” says Draco. “Go and break the very slightly less than ideal news to the set at the Manor, would you? I seem to be more awake now, that will reassure them.”

Hannah drops a brief and unexpected kiss on Draco’s cheek, and is gone before he can say anything about it.

“She’s really very nice …” Draco sighs in her wake.

“Hannah? Nice?” Harry blinks. “Well, I suppose … once you get past the scary and terrifying bits.”

“They’re my favourite Hannah bits.” At the expression on Harry’s face, Draco replays that sentence in his head. “That came out wronger than I meant it to. I think I might still be a bit groggy.”

Harry takes his hand and squeezes it. “Groggy or far more damaged than we’d thought. No, keep your eyes open. Don’t go back to sleep, we need to talk before the others get here.”

“I thought we’d established that if we survived it would go back to being a terrible idea,” Draco says tiredly, but he grins, so Harry will know he is not as serious as he should be.

“You kissed me,” Harry reminds him.

“With tongue,” Draco adds, a little giddily.

“I noticed. Oh for Merlin’s sake, Draco, keep your eyes open. We need to talk … at least, I need to …”

Harry’s voice is uncharacteristically serious, and Draco forces himself to open his eyes properly. Harry is frowning at him, but it’s not the sort of frown he used to have. It’s the nice frown, the frown from the last few years, the one that makes him look all soft and caring, which is funny, because Harry isn’t soft, and Draco has completely lost track of what Harry is wittering on about.

“And I’ve just been pushing you and not listening to what you were saying,” Harry says. “So it’s all right if you want to pretend that none of that happened. You’re probably right about this being a bad time, with the boys, and everything …”

Draco’s eyelids are so heavy, but he struggles to keep them open. “It is a bad time,” he says, and he means to go on to say that it will probably always be a bad time, because it will be years before either of them has a chance to sit back and think their way through anything before they actually do it, but that just doing things has served them pretty well so far, at least, that is to say, it’s served Harry well, and Draco thinks it seems to be working for him, too, of late – certainly more than it did when he was young – and bugger it, let’s just throw caution to the wind, because no one is getting any younger in this room.

But he slips out of consciousness after five words and when he wakes up a short time later, Harry’s hand has been replaced by Scorpius’s, and his mother is smoothing back his hair, and Draco can hear Hannah Abbott talking in the background.

“He’s actually fine,” she is saying. “That whole pale and interesting thing is an affectation so that any bruises will show up well. Really it’s just an overt play for sympathy. I was chatting with him before I came to get you lot and he was ever so bossy, demanding chocolates and very expensive tea. Oh, there he is, awake again.”

“And here you are, with no tea, I see,” Draco says, grateful that Hannah’s nonsense has relieved the tension in his son’s face. He smiles at her, and it hurts much less to smile now, thank Merlin for healing potions.

“I don’t do tea, Malfoy,” she replies with a headshake. “And I share my chocolate with no one. If you’d asked for Ogden’s, you might have had a chance.”

Narcissa snorts indelicately, and even Scorpius actually smiles at that. Draco makes a note to send Hannah a large amount of firewhisky. Or perhaps a smaller amount and someone appealing to drink it with.

“What have you done to yourself, Dad?” Scorpius asks, trying very hard to keep the smile on his face.

“I was accosted by a horticultural treatise,” Draco replies.

Scorpius’s smile slides a little. “That’s not as funny as you think it is.”

“It’s true! Ask Harry.”

Harry has moved to the far side of the room, with Albus beside him, and he nods when everyone turns to him. His voice sounds deliberately light when he speaks. “Clocked him on the side of the head. Our plan was genius, save that we underestimated the aerodynamic force of reference books.”

Scorpius sighs, and his voice is not quite joking when he says: “When will you two remember that Dad’s an Unspeakable? He’s meant to sit in a laboratory, tinkering. Not run around the place getting blown up. You need to stop getting him into trouble, Mr Potter.”

Draco is still looking at Harry, and sees him wince at this. “I know what I’m meant to be doing,” Draco says, patting his son’s hand. “And I had a realisation today.”

Scorpius puts up with having his hand patted. “What’s that?”

“That you’d be fine, no matter what happened.”

“I wouldn’t,” Scorpius says, his face and voice serious.

Draco smiles at him. “You would. Oh you’d be miserable, which is only right and proper, but you’re a wonderful young man who is capable of making his own way in the world. And you’re surrounded by people who love you. You don’t need me any more.”

“It’s not a question of need, Dad,” Scorpius says quietly. “And besides, you’re an idiot. I absolutely do need you. We all do. Me most of all. Tell him, Granny.”

Narcissa reaches across Draco to pat her grandson’s arm. “I know exactly what you mean, darling,” she says. “And I know exactly what he means. You’re both completely right.”

Scorpius begins to protest, but Narcissa speaks over him, addressing her son. “Hannah tells me that you did some terribly clever things, and that you’ve uncovered the man behind all this.”

“Who is it?” ask Albus and Scorpius together, other matters forgotten for the moment.

“We’ll talk about that later,” Harry and Draco reply in similar unison. Now is not the time for lengthy explanations, nor any further teenaged dramatics when the culprit’s name is revealed.

“I want it on record that I wasn’t that complimentary about you,” Hannah says. “I think I said you managed not to balls it up with minimal fuss. On that topic, I need to get back before Savage and Williamson do something appalling. Try not to get into any more trouble, any of you.” She glares at each of them, though her lips twitch when Narcissa winks back.

“Where’s Helene?” Draco asks, realising who is missing.

“Someone had to referee at your place,” Hannah says. “You’ve got half of Hogwarts there, and Lester from Legal is in no way up to managing them all.”

“What, you left everyone there?” He shakes his head at his son. “Think of the tapestries, think of your grandmother’s cake collection, think of the peacocks!”

Draco’s hyperbolic crescendo raises the smile he was hoping for on his son’s face.

“It will be fine. Mum’s there, so’s Lester, and he’s a good manager, really.” Scorpius frowns a little at Hannah, but his heart is not in it.

“He is,” Draco concedes, “but your schoolmates have a genius for mischief. And you’ve left Lily and James without Albus, which is a recipe for disaster. And someone has to reassure your mother that I am almost completely fine and there’s no need for her to brave St Mungo’s this time.”

Scorpius smiles at that. “Auror Abbott told her you would be perfectly fine, and that she would come back for her immediately if you started to do anything dramatically ill.”

Draco contemplates finding Hannah two nice young people to amuse herself with. “Well, Hannah knows best,” he says. “But I will be nodding back off to sleep in the not too distant future and I don’t want the lot of you spending the night in the hospital. None of us actually like it here, and they’re planning on sending me home in the morning. I only asked Hannah to bring you because you’d have made such a fuss if I’d kept it all quiet.”

“We’d have missed you at some point through the evening,” Narcissa assures him.

“I’m not leaving you alone,” Scorpius says.

“Harry’s already said he’ll stay,” Draco replies.

Scorpius turns for confirmation, and Harry nods readily enough, it’s just that there’s a level of politeness to the nod that strikes Draco as odd. One of the functional parts of his brain tells him that he should pay attention to this, but it is outvoted by the parts angling for another brief period of unconsciousness.

“Really, I’m just in need of a good sleep,” he says. “And I won’t get that if I’m worried about you sitting up all night. Albus, take him back home, would you? And my mother. And reassure them both if they get into a state. Hannah, tell them to go.”

Hannah harrumphs from the doorway. “Bring them here, Hannah, send them home, Hannah. I have work to do, you know. Right. Anyone not Head Auror, bugger off. Malfoy will be fine and if he sleeps well and eats his breakfast they’ll let him out by lunch.”

Scorpius looks as though he might try another round of protests, but Narcissa kisses Draco’s forehead and pats his hair into place. “Get some sleep. We’ll stop inconveniencing the lovely Auror Abbott.”

“You’re really fine?” Scorpius asks.

“Bugger of a headache and it’s a stretch to stay awake, but yes.”

“All right.” And after a moment’s hesitation he hugs Draco tightly. “Just don’t go anywhere. No gallivanting. Get some sleep and get better.”

“Get well, Mr Malfoy,” Albus says, frowning a little as he looks back at his own father. Draco thinks he should pay more attention to that, but the lure of the comfy pillow is too strong. He is asleep before they have all left the room.

When he wakes up, the hospital has that level of dimness that tells him it is seriously night now, and that even the staff are snatching some sleep where they can, secure in the knowledge that warning spells will wake them if anyone is taking a turn for the worse.

Harry is sprawled in a chair beside the bed, with another chair drawn up for his feet. He has taken his glasses off to sleep, and Draco is surprised at how young he looks without the familiar lenses. In the half-light, all the fine lines that Draco knows are there seem smoothed away, and Harry looks young again.

Except that … when they were young, neither of them looked like that. They looked thin and desperate, angry and haunted.

Now, Harry looks peaceful and content. Draco watches him for a while in the half-light. He considers waking him up, explaining what he was going to say earlier, but there is a figure at the door.

“Are you awake?” Healer Appleton whispers.

“Yes,” Draco replies just as quietly.

“I’m about to finish my shift. Wanted to check on you before I left. They tell me you had hordes in to visit you earlier.”

“Just my mother and son. And Albus Potter. And an Auror, but she mostly stood in the doorway and glared.”

Appleton chuckles. “I had the kitchen make you some broth, but you were asleep by the time I came back, so I let Mr Potter have it. Would you like anything now?”

“No, I’m not particularly hungry.”

“How is your head feeling?”

“Better. Less poundy, and certainly clearer.”

“Excellent.” She comes closer and holds her hand up against the light coming in from the doorway. “Can you see that?”

“Yes.”

“How many fingers?”

“Five. Now three, now one rather rude one.”

“Now?”

“Deformed rabbit.”

“It’s a classic. Good. You’ll be happy to know that according to the monitoring spells, you’re doing very well indeed. You’ll be able to go home in the morning. Just try to get some more sleep between now and then. And try not to get blown up again. Twice is more than enough.”

Draco promises that he will be more careful in future, and thanks her. Once her footsteps have faded, he turns again to Harry.

It would be easy to wake him now. Easy to clear everything up. A few more words would do the trick.

And as Draco deliberately closes his eyes, he cannot decide if he is motivated by selflessness or quite astonishing cowardice. But at least he is honest enough not to pretend he is merely tired this time.


***************************


Healer McLeary is on duty when Draco wakes up in the early morning. She checks his eyes and responses quietly, while Harry continues to sleep.

“Can I go home?” Draco asks.

“You can. You’re doing beautifully. Would you like to escape before breakfast? It’s allegedly porridge, but it’s grey.”

“Thanks, Maggie. I think there will be something better at home.”

“I’d be surprised if there wasn’t. Say hello to Narcissa for me, tell her I’m looking forward to the committee next week.”

“I will. Try to keep her out of trouble, would you?”

McLeary snorts. “She’s not the one who keeps ending up in here.”

Twice. The other times were all visits.”

“Many people of my acquaintance make it through life without being blown up once. Anyway, here’s Tariq with your clothes. Hop into them and you can head off. Thanks, Tariq. Can you go and check on the Bubotuber allergy in room 17? She scratched her dressings off earlier. I’ll be along shortly.”

She helps Draco from his bed and out of his hospital pyjamas. “Young Potter will do his back a permanent damage if his friends don’t start a concerted effort to look after themselves. Too many nights in chairs, that one.”

Draco pulls on his trousers rather than look at Harry. “He’s very committed to his work, takes our safety very seriously.”

“True,” says Healer McLeary. “Though, between you and Mr Weasley, I am surprised he has time for work between hospital visits.”

“Oh, honestly. Twice! In twenty years. And I know for a fact Ron has only been here once in the last three. It’s not as though I make a habit of this sort of thing.”

“See that you don’t,” McLeary tells him, grinning at his annoyance. “Here, we had some trouble with this shirt, I think they might have taken a bit of the colour out along with the blood. But it’s nice and clean. Ah, good morning, Harry. Sorry to have woken you.”

Draco turns around before he can stop himself. Harry is fumbling his glasses into place and starts to smile at him, then falters mid-smile, and drags his eyes over to Healer McLeary instead.

“Hard to sleep for too long in these chairs, but I was too lazy to transfigure a bed. How are you, Maggie?”

“Well, thanks. You?”

“Tired, but fine. How’s the patient?”

“He’s done very well. We’re sending him home. I understand you’ve been staying with the Malfoys, can I leave you to supervise him for the next 24 hours or so? He should be fine, just keep an eye out for anything strange.”

Draco speaks quickly, so there will be no opportunity for any uncomfortable silences. “Oh Maggie, how could anyone tell if I were acting strange? And besides, I have mother, Scorpius, probably Helene and definitely an army of house-elves if not rampaging masses of school children at the house. Harry has work to do, we cracked the case last night.”

Harry is frowning a little now. “Yes. Yes we did. Hannah Abbott is in charge while I’m away, and I’ll never hear the end of things if she has it all sorted by the time I get back.”

“You see?” says Draco, buttoning his shirt. “No need to inconvenience the Head Auror.”

“No,” Harry echoes with a small smile. “No need.”

Healer McLeary looks at each of them. “But you’ll be able to take Draco home, yes? He’s not to Apparate for himself for at least three days.”

“Of course,” says Harry. “I have to pick up the children, anyway. And I need to collect my things.”

Draco doesn’t say a word. He is getting quite good at this cowardice thing. All that early practice …

“Thank you, Harry. I’ve written out his care instructions, just make sure Narcissa gets them and tell her that I am serious about the no alcohol. But he’s allowed to take exercise if he feels up to it, just no high flying for a few days, and someone should keep an eye on him today, even in the shower or bath.”

“Steady on,” says Draco.

“Hot water can cause giddiness, and you’re in no state to take another tumble,” McLeary says.

“I’ll instruct the house-elves,” Harry promises.

And he doesn’t even grin.

Draco feels a flash of irrational annoyance. Absolutely irrational, because this is exactly the outcome he was angling for last night. But, honestly, when has Harry ever given up on anything this easily? And one would think that he would hesitate before letting the man with the head injury dictate the terms of their relationship.

“Do you want to put your boots on?” McLeary asks.

“What? Oh, yes. Thank you.” He takes the proffered footwear and bends down to put them on, which is a terrible move because the world is suddenly shifting and he pitches forward sharply into McLeary’s arms.

Happily, she is there to catch him. “Easy does it,” she says, steadying him.

Harry is suddenly there beside him, lifting him back onto the bed and taking the boots. “Is he all right?”

“I’m fine, just dizzy.”

“No sudden movements, sit down rather than bend over, no getting up quickly,” McLeary instructs.

“Give me your feet,” says Harry, who proceeds to reunite Draco’s feet with socks and boots in businesslike fashion. “There. You’re sorted.” He turns to McLeary. “Is there anything else? Paperwork he needs to sign? Medication?”

“No, just take this scroll, it outlines everything, including symptoms to look out for. If he starts exhibiting any of those, you’re to come straight back for mild ones or summon one of us immediately if it is more serious.”

“Thank you. Are you all right to leave, Draco?”

Draco nods, not trusting himself to say anything at this precise moment.

“Do you mind if we Apparate from here rather than the foyer? The Prophet probably has someone down there by now.”

“Not at all,” says McLeary. “You take care of yourself, Draco. I only want to see you on social occasions.”

“Thanks, Maggie. Give my best to Henry and the children.”

“I will. Best dash, before young Tariq lets that girl scratch her arms off.”

“Right,” says Harry, as Maggie leaves the room. “Let’s get you home and me out of your hair.”

Draco nods again.

Harry helps him to his feet and puts an arm lightly around his shoulders. “Are you ready?”

“Let’s go.”

And Harry tightens his grip for a moment, and Draco takes advantage of the fact that he is injured to rest his head on the leather shoulder of Harry’s Auror coat for possibly the last time and then the world spins more than he is used to and by the time he finds his equilibrium again he is in his own kitchen and Scorpius and Albus are helping him into a chair while Harry fetches a glass of water.

“You could have said that you were being let out and we could have sent a Knight Taxi,” Scorpius is scolding. “You’re not well enough to Apparate.”

“I didn’t, Harry did. I’m just dizzy, give me a minute and I’ll be fine.”

Harry pulls the scroll from his pocket. “This is for you and Narcissa,” he tells Scorpius. “Instructions for taking care of him. The Healers said he needs to be careful but he should be completely healed in a few days, a week at the outside.”

“Thank you,” says Scorpius politely. “We’ll manage him.”

“Right. Well, We’d best go and pack, Albus. Need to get you and the others to your mother’s.”

Albus looks at his father in confusion. “I thought Mum was still on North Rona. We had plans for spending the weekend here. We were going out with Lester.”

“Lester will understand. Ginny’s come back a bit early to see everyone,” Harry tells him. “Go and wake up your brother and sister.”

“Well, we can go and you can stay here,” Albus suggests. “Mr Malfoy needs people to take care of him, and there’s only Scorpius and Narcissa.”

“I’m fine,” Draco assures him.

“Helene will stay on, and there are plenty of house-elves,” Harry adds.

“I only need someone to keep an eye on me for a day or so, it’s nothing serious. Your father has work to do, and I’m just a distraction.”

And it’s possible that Albus hears the faint note of self-pity that Draco is unable to keep from his voice, because he stops arguing and just frowns at all of them.

“Do either of you need help packing?” asks Scorpius. “I can call house-elves.”

“I’ll be fine,” says Harry.

Albus just glares at the back of Scorpius’s head.

“In that case, I’ll order breakfast. You should eat before you leave. Dad, are you hungry, or do you just want to go to bed? I can have a tray sent up.”

The thought of having to sustain conversation through breakfast is too much for Draco, he opts for bed and a tray.

Scorpius diligently escorts him up to his room and sits him down in one of the comfy chairs. “Would you like pyjamas?”

“No, I’d like to stay out of bed for a bit. I might try reading, or listening to the wireless.”

“What would you like for breakfast?”

“Something light. Juice and toast will do. I think I’ll have a shower later, and yes, I’ll summon an elf to stand in the corner and make sure I stay upright.”

Scorpius shakes his head. “You fuss over me when I’m injured, I’m allowed to do the same for you.”

“I’m your father, it’s my job to fuss. Anyway, I’m not very injured and I’ll be fine shortly, so don’t make a big fuss, it doesn’t warrant one.”

They sit comfortably together for a few minutes. In the distance, Draco can hear voices signalling more people awake in the house.

“How many did we end up with last night?” he asks.

“About ten, and Lester. He insisted on staying when we went to the hospital because he said it wasn’t fair to leave Mum to handle everyone on her own.”

Draco nods. Then hesitates. “You don’t think …”

Scorpius laughs. “No! Mari would kill him, for a start. And if Mummy was going to turn to the younger generation, she’d start with someone a bit less young. She said that she was going to have some of your Unspeakables over in August, I suspect she has terrible plans.”

“She says these things to annoy me. None of them are rich or interesting enough for her.”

They both smile at the truth in that.

“Dad …”

“Yes?”

“Are you angry with Mr Potter?”

“Why do you ask?”

Scorpius shrugs. “You two seem different with each other.” Then he adds, “I am.”

“Why on earth?”

“Because he let you get hurt, again. He keeps forgetting that you’re not an Auror, that you’re not trained for dangerous situations. And you let him, it’s like a game to you two. But he should know better.”

Draco shakes his head. “That’s not what happened. Harry is very careful, it wasn’t his fault. It was mine, if anyone’s. I should have been far more circumspect and brought a much larger team along. I was distracted.”

“By what?”

“That doesn’t matter. The point is that it wasn’t Harry’s fault that we ended up trapped. As it turns out, all of the recent cases tie together and we were actually targets all the way along, we just didn’t know it.”

“You were a target? Why?”

And Draco realises that the papers will arrive shortly. “Go and get the Potters,” he says. “All of them. You should hear this from me and Harry, and we may as well tell you all together.”

“But …”

“Scorpius, just get them.”

A few minutes later, Lily staggers into Draco’s room, still wearing her pyjamas, followed by a slightly more awake James, and then Albus, who is alert and concerned.

“We should tell them about Byford,” Draco says, as Harry completes the set.

“Ah,” says Harry, nodding.

Albus frowns. “Byford? Terrance Byford?”

“That little weasel from school?” James asks.

“No,” says Harry. “His father, Martyn.”

Albus looks between the two adults. “Is he the one behind everything?”

“Yes,” says Draco. “Everything points to that. Hannah Abbott is working with a team to bring him in now. We didn’t want you lot to hear about it in the papers and leap to the wrong conclusions.”

“What, that it was some sort of revenge attack for Terrance being expelled?” Albus asks with disturbing accuracy. “Because it does seem that’s the only logical explanation for the two of you being targeted by him, unless there’s something more you haven’t told us.”

“No,” says Harry, “It’s not … well, yes, actually, that was his motive as far as we can tell. But we just wanted to reassure you children that it’s nothing to do with you.”

“Of course it isn’t,” says James. “Byford tried to kill me, and very nearly killed Scorp. We were victims in the whole thing. If his father thinks otherwise, he’s several dry toads short of a Potions cabinet.”

Draco blinks.

“There is something terribly wrong with that whole family,” Lily agrees, yawning. “Absolutely out of touch with reality.”

“He really tried to kill you two in revenge for his son being rapped over the knuckles?” Scorpius asks. “I’m a bit pissed off about that, actually. Fucking outraged, if we’re being honest.”

“Language,” Draco chides. “I’m going to have to ban you from talking to Hannah if you keep that up.”

Harry smiles. “I have to say that I’m pleased. We were a bit worried that you might take it personally.”

Albus smiles. “So you two have just been upset for us? There’s no need. I mean, it’s a shock, but it’s not our fault. We’re not responsible for someone else’s madness.”

“Exactly,” Draco agrees. “It’s good that you can see that so clearly.”

“It’s a relief,” Albus says. “The two of you were so weird last night and this morning that I thought you must have had a fight or something. But it was just stupid parent stuff. You forget, we’re all pretty grown up.”

“Yes,” says Draco. “We do forget that sometimes.”

“No fight,” Harry adds. “We’re on exactly the same terms as we were last week.”

“Exactly,” Draco agrees, carefully.

“Except that I have a criminal to catch and you have a concussion to nurse. So we should get out of your hair. I’ve roused the leftovers from last night’s party and sent them down to start sorting breakfast, we should all be gone within the hour.”

Draco appreciates the effort that Harry has made to keep his tone normal. “Thanks. I think I’ll just sit here for a bit, eat something, and then sleep more later. Scorpius, go and eat breakfast with Albus, you won’t be seeing him for a few days. You can send up a house-elf with my breakfast and I will be happily supervised. I’m not up to chatting, really.”

“I …”

“You can come and sit with me after everyone goes.”

Albus takes Scorpius’s hand and leads him out. “Get well, Mr Malfoy!” he says over his shoulder.

“I will, just need to rest.”

James shakes Draco’s hand. “Thank you for keeping Dad safe. He hasn’t told us any details yet, but if there was a complicated trap, I’m guessing you sorted it.”

Draco can’t help laughing.

“Ingrate!” Harry says, but he is smiling. “Come on, you’re not half-packed.” He turns back to Draco for a moment. “I’ll send word when we catch Byford.”

“Thanks.”

Lily is still rubbing sleep from her eyes as her father and brother leave the room. She flings her arms around Draco’s neck and kisses his cheek gently. “I’m very pleased you weren’t badly hurt, Mr Malfoy. Get well soon and come and visit us. Though not at Mum’s, because that might not be a good idea.”

Draco pats her back, and promises that he will. She stumbles off, stifling a yawn, and he is left in blessed silence.

One of the new elves appears with his breakfast a few minutes later. Draco decides that he can manage butter and jam on his toast, and probably even half a cup of tea. The sound of his chewing and swallowing is improbably loud inside his head, but then, the painkilling potions are starting to wear off, and his headache is returning. He decides to have a quick shower and slip into bed for a while rather than take another potion.

“I’m sorry, I don’t know your name,” he tells the elf.

“Larky, master.”

“This is going to sound strange, but would you mind staying in the bathroom while I take a shower? I’m not tremendously steady on my feet at the moment.”

The elf blinks slowly. “Is the master making an improper suggestion? Because Larky doesn’t–”

“Merlin, no!” Draco interrupts. “I’m just not well, and apparently hot water can make me dizzy.”

“Larky could spell the shower walls and floor soft and then wait outside the door and rush in if he hears a thump,” the elf offers.

“Sounds like an excellent solution,” Draco accepts gratefully. “No need for public nudity, I say.”

“Larky agrees with master!”

Draco makes a mental note never, ever, to ask where this elf has come from.

The soft shower walls work a treat, he is able to lean back into their cushiony forms while the water runs over him. Feeling properly clean is a definite improvement, and his own pyjamas are several steps above the St Mungo’s version. He has just picked up a book and climbed under his sheets when Scorpius returns and sits down on the foot of the bed.

“Everyone is off, even Lester. He says he’ll come back this afternoon after you’ve had some rest. Mum’s up, but she sent me in to see if you were up for a visitor or if you wanted to sleep. Granny decided to sleep in but says she’s pleased you’re home and you must be doing well.”

Draco smiles. “And what about you? Did you sleep last night? You don’t look as though you did.”

“Not much,” Scorpius confesses.

“Then tell your mother to come and visit and you hop back to bed for a bit yourself.”

“All right.”

“And Scorpius?”

“Yes?”

“Don’t blame Harry. It wasn’t his fault.”

Scorpius gives him a short, fierce hug. “I know,” he says. “But I just want a Potter-free day or two. Just us. You scared me, Dad, and I didn’t like it.”

Draco sighs as his son walks quickly from the room, not looking back. When Helene was pregnant, he had promised himself that their child would never have cause to worry about him. But he had forgotten that Scorpius would grow up.

“Are you awake?”

Helene is leaning against the doorjamb in a fashion that years ago would have left Draco very much awake. Now it is more usually a precursor to her wanting to have a chat about their son, or about some cause that she has possibly committed him to supporting.

“I am,” Draco says, smiling. “Come in.”

“You look pale, and they did not finish healing that bruise.”

“I’m fine, just tired and a bit sore. They said it wasn’t serious.”

She climbs up onto the bed beside him. “It could have been. Hannah told us that you did something very clever to save you both last night.”

Draco rests his head on her shoulder. “I did. Had to, I invented something that nearly got us killed, and that would have been enormously embarrassing. Couldn’t leave you with an obituary that used the word ‘ironically’.”

“Silly man.” Helene kisses the top of his head. “Harry went home.”

“Yes, I know.”

“Have you done something stupid?”

“Probably.”

“Do you want to talk about it?”

“No.” Draco nestles against her. “Not yet. Maybe tomorrow.”

“Do you want to talk about anything else?”

“I’m tired.”

She picks up the book he has abandoned on the pillows. “Close your eyes. I will read to you and you can go to sleep. I’ll stay to make sure you are all right.”

Draco drifts off to the sound of his ex-wife’s voice, and her warmth.

It feels as though he has barely closed his eyes before he is jolted into wakefulness by a knock at his door.

“Shhh,” Helene hisses, but too late.

“Sorry.” It’s Scorpius. “I thought Dad would be up by now. Sebastien Fotherington is downstairs, he was hoping to have a word.”

He must have slept a bit, because he is feeling significantly better. “Tell him I’ll be ten to fifteen minutes,” Draco says.

“Are you sure?” Helene asks. She is still on the bed, and has apparently continued reading to herself as she is most of the way through his book.

Draco nods, and it barely hurts. “I just need to wash my face and get dressed.”

“I’ll grab some clothes for you. Scorpius, go and entertain Mr Fotherington, we won’t be long.”

Helene has chosen his shirt and trousers before Draco is even out of bed. “Do you need a hand?” she asks.

“Probably with my trousers and shoes, if you could. I’m sure I can manage a faceful of cold water and brushing my teeth, though.”

“Excellent. You can listen to me talk about my plans for next week, then. I was going to see an experimental concerto, today, but I decided I preferred you, mostly because it was likely to be dire and you are reliably amusing.”

“I’ve been asleep,” Draco reminds her.

“Yes, for hours, but you make that little snuffling noise. Anyway, someone else will have to be caring and thoughtful tomorrow, because I am going over to visit Hermione and Ron. She and I are going to talk about the nature of space and matter, while Ron does his therapy. On Monday, I was planning on bringing one of the St Mungo’s governors over so that we could talk about the fundraiser.”

“You’re going ahead with that?” Draco asks, his voice only slightly garbled by toothpaste.

“Yes, of course. It will annoy you, give Narcissa and me something to busy ourselves with over summer, and afford me the opportunity for much dancing with young men. It’s a brilliant plan, and I expect your full support. Are you done with that? Right, sit down and let’s get your trousers on.”

“How times have changed,” Draco sighs.

Helene grins up from below. “Be quiet, you terrible man, or I will put your shoes on the wrong feet. I know full well that you are not pining for me, and we are apparently not talking about your actual pining, so, put your foot in here. Right, and the other. Here you go, you can button and buckle from there.”

“Thank you.”

She kisses his cheek. “Take better care of yourself. Off you go, I’m going to stay here for a bit and finish your book.”

Fotherington is finishing up a sandwich in the small study when Draco finds him. Scorpius is sitting with him, chatting politely about Muggle tech, but happily flees at the first available moment.

“Mr Malfoy,” says Fotherington. “I’m glad you’re all right.”

“Thanks largely to your explosives report, in fact,” Draco replies, patting the younger man’s shoulder.

“Really?” Fotherington brightens up. “I read Auror Abbott’s report and she mentioned something like that, but I thought she was just taking authorial liberties.”

“I couldn’t have done it without you. In fact, I’m considering increasing your pay, since you saved the heads of two Ministry departments.”

Fotherington smiles. Then frowns. “But sir, I don’t understand why you didn’t shatter the MPP.”

“It was reinforced, Fotherington. Like one of your boxes in the office.”

“Yes, sir, but even then.” He looks at Draco for any sign of understanding.

Draco has no idea what he is talking about.

“You did help invent MPP, sir,” Fotherington says, with barely concealed disappointment.

“Only the spells, Fotherington, and they held together brilliantly.”

“But the crystallinity of the polymer, Mr Malfoy, surely you took that into consideration?”

“I may have,” Draco says, “had I known what it was.”

Fotherington shakes his head. “Can I show you, sir?”

“You’ve brought along an experiment, haven’t you?”

Fotherington needs no words to convey the fact that, obviously he brought experimental evidence to prove his point.

“Please,” says Draco.

Fotherington takes a sheet of MPP from his satchel and puts it on the ground. He picks up a bust of Abraxas Malfoy from the desk. “May I?”

Draco has always hated that sculpture. “Go ahead.”

With a decisive gesture, Fotherington smacks the corner of the bust’s base down onto the polymer, shattering the MPP, but sadly leaving the bust intact.

He looks up at a shocked Draco. “Very strong, if you hit it with a broad surface, easily broken if you hit it with a point. Like safety glass,” he explains. “It was in my report, page one hundred and eighty-six.”

“Sebastien, in the history of the Ministry, has anyone but you ever read all of a report?”

“Lester may have. I think Mrs Granger-Weasley does.”

“I could have killed myself, and Harry.”

“But you didn’t, sir. You rose to the challenge!”

Draco takes a deep breath. “We have this thing, Sebastien, we call it a precis. It’s a little bit at the start of a report where you sum up all the very important information that is contained within the report. Now I can understand where we may not want the general public or indeed the rest of the Ministry to understand what it is that we do, but I think that within our own department, we might look at making the precis a part of our everyday processes.”

“Yes sir. Does that mean no pay rise, sir?”

Draco stifles a smile. “I think some extra Galleons may remain in order. Now, what are you actually here for? Was it just to point out that I am a duffer, or have you come for advice about Alice? That’s tonight, isn’t it?”

Fortherington’s eyes widen. “Merlin no! I mean, yes, it is tonight, but no thank you, I don’t need advice. I wanted to ask if you were all right with me coming into the office and helping Auror Abbott out tomorrow – she says she’ll have evidence for me to take a close look at.”

“What about Alice?”

Fotherington blushes. “I’ve told Auror Abbott I’m only available in the afternoon.”

“Good lad,” Draco smiles. “That’s fine, but make sure you take Monday off, you’ve worked too many hours lately, even your overtime isn’t covering it.”

“I like working, sir.”

“Yes, but you might like doing other things, as well.”

“I did start on a little side hobby this morning,” Fotherington confesses.

“Excellent!”

“It’s a solvent that can eat through MPP in case something like last night ever happens again.”

Draco pats Fotherington’s shoulder. “You’re an asset to the department, Sebastien.”

He goes to his desk and ferrets through one of the drawers before pulling out an envelope. “Here,” he says, tossing it to Fotherington. “I always keep some pounds about in case we need them. You treat Alice tonight, tell her it’s a bonus from your employer.”

“Isn’t it?” asks Fotherington, slightly confused.

“No, Sebastien, it’s a gift from a friend.”

“Oh. That’s nice of you, sir. Thank you.”

And Draco manages not to laugh as gratitude and terror fight for supremacy on Fotherington’s face. He takes pity. “It’s for not laughing about the fact I didn’t know MPP could be shattered, and a bribe to keep it secret.”

Fotherington relaxes. A bribe is much less stressful than an unsolicited gift. “I wouldn’t have laughed, sir, it could have been tragic.”

“Indeed. Now, go home, brush your hair, and remember that Alice probably does like you for your mind, so don’t be afraid to show you have one.”

They both stand, and for one horrifying moment, it looks as though Fotherington may be about to hug Draco, but he shakes his hand instead. “I really am glad you’re all right, sir. Please tell Mr Potter that I’m happy he’s fine, too.”

Draco promises that he will. He does not add that it might be faster if Fotherington tells Harry himself. He’s not sure he’s willing to face that possibility yet.


Part 3e
 
 
 
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blamebramptonblamebrampton on June 7th, 2011 01:23 pm (UTC)
Absolutely! Disconnected blather forms the major part of my postings, so being here for the fun is by far the best bet!

(Will get a shot of my current hair this week. It is a work of art, though I fear it will not last.)
sorry billy, happy pony is on.audient on June 7th, 2011 01:21 pm (UTC)
OH MY GODSKJDHkfjhslkgj

ok so I received the notification through my phone (i had you tracked because I'm a creeper like that) and i squealed like, so loud, my friends are giving me weird looks.

uh. dskjhlg i'll be back with a proper comment.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on June 7th, 2011 01:24 pm (UTC)
There were many things that would have been a better use of my time than writing this. You make me feel very happy I blew them off :-)
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(no subject) - audient on June 7th, 2011 02:14 pm (UTC) (Expand)
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suttonwritersuttonwriter on June 7th, 2011 02:00 pm (UTC)
I'm glad to see another part of this, especially on my birthday. Due to a dodgy internet connection, I don't want to do a full review now, but I'll try to get one up as soon as possible.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on June 7th, 2011 02:08 pm (UTC)
Good sir and friend, bugger reviews, get out there and have a great day! I hope that people shower you with the generosity you deserve!
Libbylibby_drew on June 7th, 2011 02:34 pm (UTC)
No FLIPPIN' way! I had a dream about this story last night. Damn it, I'm a prophet!

(There's money in that, right?)

It's like Christmas in June.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on June 7th, 2011 02:39 pm (UTC)
Notebook beside the bed! Record any numbers you dream of! They MUST work for one of us and I will happily split profits :-)

Should you take to prophethood, I would happily write your religious tracts, tomes and (most of all) pamphlets. We could make at least as much money as the Lottery would provide, and tax free!

(And looking back at previous issues, I realised that this story has had almost all of its updates in June or July, and was started in December, so given there does tend to be a Midwinter 'Christmas' down here, it's all taken on a very festive tone :-) (Let us not speak of the years attached to those dates ...))
(no subject) - libby_drew on June 7th, 2011 02:59 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - blamebrampton on June 7th, 2011 04:39 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - libby_drew on June 7th, 2011 04:54 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - blamebrampton on June 7th, 2011 05:02 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - rosathome on June 7th, 2011 08:32 pm (UTC) (Expand)
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blamebramptonblamebrampton on June 7th, 2011 05:12 pm (UTC)
Well, of course, it's mutual! See, I told you I was really writing actual sequential words for a change! For my next tricks I am going to finish this and clean the house, then sew something.

And as for the happy-making, you know that in my secret dark heart I would have had more fun with a runaway lorry laying waste to all at the first house party ;-)
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(no subject) - blamebrampton on June 7th, 2011 05:19 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Meredyth: SavingDracomeredyth_13 on June 7th, 2011 06:06 pm (UTC)
I note you haven't adopted my suggested revision to the title - Grandfathers ...

>.>

I am so excited I am commenting before I even read it - because I don't care WHAT you've written, just that you've written MORE!

Um ... hello there, Brammers! ♥

Ok, off to re-read at least the previous part so I remember where they were when we last visited our two ageing heroes.

*glompstacklesloves*
blamebramptonblamebrampton on June 7th, 2011 06:08 pm (UTC)
I have over ten years before we catch up to real time = story time!!!


XXX
Drooling Fan Girldroolfangrrl on June 7th, 2011 06:49 pm (UTC)
*snerk*

So this fic is sort of like a Zeno's paradox?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zeno%27s_paradoxes
blamebramptonblamebrampton on June 8th, 2011 02:15 am (UTC)
There may be some surface resemblance to the casual observer ;-)
(no subject) - droolfangrrl on June 8th, 2011 02:20 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - blamebrampton on June 8th, 2011 02:27 am (UTC) (Expand)
wemyss: hd kiss 1wemyss on June 7th, 2011 07:09 pm (UTC)
Oh, super. Brill. Superb. And, well...


... not before time.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on June 8th, 2011 02:27 am (UTC)
Re: Oh, super. Brill. Superb. And, well...
I would say an affectionate 'Tch!' were it not for the fact that:
* I rarely say tch;
* It has been 11 months since the last update – I could have sworn it was closer to five; and
* the divine Ms James makes any teasing about tardiness totally worth it!

XXX
Emmaemmacmf on June 7th, 2011 08:54 pm (UTC)
HURRAH!! I think I need to read this again from the start, because a: I need to remind myself what's going on and b: it's just that awesome.

I do so adore your Harry/Draco, and after reading Rivers of London/Moon over Soho, I'm rather desperate for them to meet Peter Grant, even though that would be difficult with all the Potter references in the book ...
blamebramptonblamebrampton on June 8th, 2011 02:29 am (UTC)
The actual real and true end is on its way, I promise!

And do you know, I thought the same thing. Have you read the synopsis for book three on Amazon? Genius! I am so excited!
Meredyth: Pyjamasmeredyth_13 on June 7th, 2011 09:02 pm (UTC)
DAMMIT BRAMMERS!

You broke them even worse! I know where you live (and where your cats hide your wool) - don't think I won't put this information to good use. >.>

You damaged poor Draco, and he's all pale and even more interesting, but now he's also hiding and being a doofus, and if he didn't have a head injury I'd slap him upside it SO HARD!

Not that Harry's any better - suddenly getting the guilts because he thinks he's finally pestered Draco into giving in under duress and now he's being all noble and ridiculous! I'll slap him upside the head as well!

You're so lucky I love you like a mad loving thing, and also that I'm damned grateful you managed to squeeze out another part before I'm an octogenarian, and it's awesome and wonderful and OMG you included a deformed rabbit quote (it's my favourite!) - because if I didn't love you like a mad loving thing I'd be rather miffed that you broke them after all this, with the knowledge that my first hip replacement will probably wear out around the time the next (possibly final - I take nothing for granted here) part comes out.

*huge grin*

blamebramptonblamebrampton on June 8th, 2011 02:36 am (UTC)
Where there is life there is hope, and you will note they are still both alive!

(The replacement wool arrived in the post yesterday, btw ;-))

I had been longing to suggest that Sir Terry had made some inroads into wizarding reading lists. And I AM working on the actual end, I am sure that it will fit into one part! (possibly two posts, but I hope not) Soon, my precious, soon!
(no subject) - meredyth_13 on June 8th, 2011 09:39 pm (UTC) (Expand)
pioniepionie on June 7th, 2011 09:17 pm (UTC)
Ah, how happy reading this has made me. Lovely to see Fotherington and Hannah again, and self-sabotaging Draco still shooting himself in the foot. He's very lucky he has the cute sleepy snuffle, and such a supportive and encouraging ex-wife :-D
blamebramptonblamebrampton on June 8th, 2011 03:15 am (UTC)
Helene deserves a medal, but I think she will continue to settle for regular boxes of macarons and the high amusement value of being a Malfoy connection ;-)

And YAY! Making you happy makes me happy!
leaf_lightleaf_light on June 7th, 2011 09:38 pm (UTC)
I now officially adore you even though I'm somewhat afraid that 3e won't be nearly as fast as I'd like. Groundless I'm sure *g*.

Absolutely loved the humour in this, loved all of it and if I wasn't so tired after a *very* long day's work I'd give a more coherent review. If it was the threat of my strangling you that got this posted I can only be flattered (and happy). My reach is obviously longer than I thought.

Now I shall sleep and hope that 3e is very near completion. Please don't even consider playing with Kindle and reading libraries of stuff until it's done or I shall be considering the physics of your suggested fate *g*.

Seriously though, thank you, I loved it.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on June 8th, 2011 03:15 am (UTC)
Am writing short replies to comments in a bid to crack on with 3e!

And thank you!
Jocelyn Lavingroolover on June 7th, 2011 10:33 pm (UTC)
Yay, this was fabulous. All of it. (Of course I had to read it from the start again, but that was NOT a burden!) Now I'm just praying you fix things soon... I may have sleepless nights worrying about them till you do. (Really! My mind's unhelpful like that!)
blamebramptonblamebrampton on June 8th, 2011 03:20 am (UTC)
Don't be sleepless, all will be well! (and hopefully soon, but given how my life tends to explode whenever I think that it is sorted, let us not count on that entirely ...)

And thank you!
embolinaozembolinaoz on June 7th, 2011 10:46 pm (UTC)
Doing a dance of excitement! Now that's done, settles down to read with pot of tea and biscuits in comfiest chair....



blamebramptonblamebrampton on June 8th, 2011 03:20 am (UTC)
HURRAH for the comfy chair!
inappropriately bibliophilicraucousraven on June 7th, 2011 11:55 pm (UTC)
Ooh, ooh! I had thought the whole thing would end with that explosion, and while that would have been satisfyingly dramatic, I think I much prefer the continuation. I do love how your characters act so satisfyingly grown up, even about such heady things as love and courage and recovery. I'll be looking forward to whatever you write next!
blamebramptonblamebrampton on June 8th, 2011 03:21 am (UTC)
I ALWAYS want to end with an explosion, but alas, my friends who know where I live believe that this is not appropriate and will hit me. And thank you!