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10 July 2011 @ 07:02 pm
Fathers, part 3eii  

There is an unusually loud Apparition crack announcing Draco’s arrival at the trees that line the rear of the Potter garden – this is what comes of rushing. Harry is seated at the outdoor table close to the back door. Draco is surprised that Harry doesn’t look up, but then he sees the quill in his hand and the piles of paper around him, and realises he must be catching up on his reports.

Draco pauses for a minute, watching as Harry writes fluently, then stops and checks something on another sheet, before returning to his task. It’s so mundane – not at all the man of action Harry purports to be, and yet, this is what it will be like most of the time. Years and years of mostly normal. And they might even grow used to each other, one day. Though if past history is anything to go by, there will probably be explosions enough to prevent that.

All he needs to do is step forward out of the shadows and start that life.

Yet another moment in his life when everything is about to change thanks to Harry Potter.

At least, Draco decides, the changes have definitely improved over the years.

He has just lifted his foot to move when Harry speaks, voice carrying across the lawn: “I can see you there.”

Draco puts his foot back down. “I didn’t want to disturb you. I was waiting until you paused in your diligent efforts.”

Harry puts his pen down meaningly, but does not stand up. “How are you?” he asks.

“Well. I’ve been flying, Apparating, it’s all fine.”

“That’s good.”

Draco takes a step. “I received your note.”

“I was expecting to hear back from you,” Harry says.

Draco takes another step. “I’m here instead. Besides, it took you a week to write to me.”

“Thr–” Harry pauses and counts on his fingers. “Four days!”

“You lied,” says Draco, lightly, with another step.


“You said that nothing would change.”

There is a pause, where Draco thinks that last step may have been a wrong one, and then a smile flicks across Harry’s face. “Nothing will change. Once I’ve finished having a good sulk about things.”

And it really is all right then, so Draco grins. “So you’re resigned to it all?”

Harry shrugs. “You said yourself this was a bad time.”

This step is slightly longer. “No, I used a similar phrase as the start of a longer sentence.”

“And then you stopped talking.”

“Because I was unconscious.”

Harry hears what is not yet being said, and he starts to grin, too. “You raise a convincing point,” he concedes.

“So you decide to put the worst-possible light on things,” Draco goes on – he is halfway across the garden now.

“I didn’t think you were very keen on the idea.”

“I had my tongue in your mouth a short time before.”

“That was a near-death situation, we have a history of losing our heads.”

And then Draco has to stop walking, because he is laughing far too much to coordinate movement at the same time. After a minute, he shakes his head. “Hermione was right, we are dim.”

“Hermione said that?” Harry asks, without surprise.

“She did. She meant it as encouragement, I’ve been sulking, too, you know.”

“That’s the best news I’ve had all week,” Harry says.

And he smiles so brightly that Draco realises that no matter what happens, even if he ends up living in Ron’s barn, it will be worth it, because that smile will be turned on him, and for him … and he has walked all the way across the garden now and tossed the papers onto the table, where they lie unregarded.

Harry stands up.

“Thoroughly dim,” Draco repeats. And before Harry can respond, or move, or do anything, because Draco is determined that this action will be his, he reaches forward and tilts Harry’s jaw ever so slightly and kisses him deeply.

He takes a half-step back.

Harry blinks at him. “Are we near death?” he asks, still smiling.

“It is quite possible that Ron will kill me if I don’t put you out of your misery, so I am going to say yes.”

“Ron will …?”

“It’s a long story.”

“I’d be quite interested in hearing–”

“Shut up, Harry,” Draco says, and kisses him again.

And three fingers on a slightly stubbled jaw are nowhere near enough, so he pulls him close. Harry’s hip fits neatly into his hand, which is a marvel in itself, and then Harry’s hands are on his back and Draco’s own smile threatens to make kissing a technical challenge, at which point Harry shifts his weight and since there is nothing behind Draco the two of them go tumbling onto warm thick grass and Draco finds himself with a face-full of black hair.

He reaches up to unhook Harry’s glasses from the one ear they have remained attached to. “You are a complete lunatic,” he says.

“Was that what you were planning to tell me in the hospital?” Harry asks, rolling to one side and with that smile again.

“Yes,” Draco lies. “No. I had an entire speech planned. It was moving and very eloquent.”

“I’m sure it was a work of genius,” Harry says, brushing Draco’s hair back from his face and squinting at him.

Draco shakes his head and holds out the pair of glasses. Harry slips them back into place.

“That’s better,” he says. “I can see you.” He traces the line of Draco’s nose, then leans in and kisses the place where jaw meets neck.

Draco’s head thuds ever-so-slightly back against the ground.

“How did the speech end?” Harry whispers.

“Yes,” Draco replies. “Of course it ended with ‘Yes’.” And to prove his words, he leans to his left and kisses Harry again.

Time passes. Draco has no idea how much, but his skin is warming under the sun and Harry’s touch.

Harry breaks their kissing slowly and leans back. He shakes his head, with a rueful smile. “You could have said that weeks ago, you know. Months or years, even. Think what we could have done.”

Draco knows that’s a lie, but he doesn’t stop smiling. “We’d have killed each other. Now. Now is the right moment. Possibly a few days ago if you’d been less hasty.” He sits up on one elbow and looks down at Harry. “You’re not going to leave your glasses on all the time, are you?”

“Only till I have you memorised.”

And he is teasing, but Draco realises that Harry will see every part of him, learn every pore, and that Harry’s body is likewise something he has permission to trace until he knows its lines by heart. Albus was right, this will require research – hands-on seems best.

Draco starts his study with the hip his hand hasn’t left. Harry’s shirt is happily not tucked in, and there is skin just a short movement away. Draco traces the line of the bone with his fingertips, and even in the mid-afternoon of a summer’s day, Harry shivers. Encouraged, Draco shifts his hand further inside Harry’s shirt, making a bid for ribs this time.

Suddenly he is being tipped backwards, and then Harry is on top of him, one thigh pushed between his and with hands that move quickly from Draco’s shoulders to sink into his hair – all of which registers only hazily, because he is being kissed so fiercely that he has to remember to breathe. And then he becomes acutely aware of where Harry’s leg is, and where his hips are, and that the rhythmic upward yearn of his own hips is being answered in kind. And …

“Stop,” he manages to gasp.

Harry leans back quickly, looking uncertain.

Draco arches up and quickly kisses Harry’s jaw to reassure him. He is startled at the quickness of his own breaths. “Seriously,” he says. “We need to stop for a bit. I came in my trousers for you once before, I want something more dignified this time.”

And Harry laughs. Throws his head back, rolls over to his back and laughs. After a second, Draco joins him. They end up with their heads together and arms wrapped about each other, still grinning.

“That was a lifetime ago,” says Harry.

“I remember it perfectly, too,” Draco tells him. “I’ve always remembered it, even when I thought you didn’t care in the slightest, I held onto it. And when things were bad, it made them better.”

Harry isn’t grinning anymore. Draco worries that he has said too much, but Harry reaches up to brush the hair back from Draco’s face.

“I always cared,” Harry says simply.

“Well I know that now. At the time it was more near death, followed by first serious sexual experience, followed by abandonment.”

“I did not abandon you. You waltzed off with your family. Completely different.”

Draco sits up. “That is not what happened.”

He is careful to keep his legs where they are pleasantly entangled, but needs to be out of kissing range for a moment. “You told me to wait in the castle and the next thing I knew, you were off cavorting with Death Eaters, before disappearing, defeating the bad guy, and then disappearing again. I spent several hours in mortal fear for your life, during which time I perfectly accept that you had other priorities. But afterwards you didn’t even look at me. The only reason I ended up with the details of where you’d been is because my parents found me and told me …”

Harry interrupts. “I was looking for you. And you were with them. You didn't even turn around. You weren't even watching to see whether he killed me.” There is just the slightest edge of petulance in his voice, though Harry looks embarrassed by it.

“But I knew he couldn't kill you,” Draco says in slow wonder. “After seventeen years of trying, why would he suddenly work it out at that exact moment? I thought you were going to kill him and I didn't want to watch that, because … because I didn't want to see you become a killer. That's not you. If I had known you had a cunning plan …”

“He'd already mostly killed me once that evening, you know,” Harry reminds him, levering himself up onto his elbows.

Draco waves the idea away. “I assumed it was a wily ruse. That you were using some of those famed Potter skills to hold your breath for ten minutes. Never once thought you were actually dead.”

Harry is genuinely startled. “Wily ruse? When did I have wily ruses? Those were your stock in trade.”

“Oh please,” Draco snorts. “Invisibility cloak, gillyweed gills, secret passages abungo – you were the wily wizard.”

Harry looks at him, for a long moment, then bursts out laughing again.

Draco tries to resist, because this should be a serious moment. This is sorting out 25-and-a-bit years of misunderstandings and they should definitely begin this relationship on clear ground. But it’s hopeless. He’s already laughing. Harry reaches up to him and drags their foreheads together, then slips and they both end up back on the ground.

“We are so much dimmer than Hermione credits,” Harry says between laughs.

“Best not tell her. She’d be a bit insufferable about it.”

“But with love.”

“Oh, absolutely.”

Harry pushes Draco’s hair back again, Draco is starting to quite enjoy it when he does that, it sometimes leads to snogging. But this time, Harry speaks instead, his voice tinged with astonishment.

“All that and you came back. You thought I’d just walked away, but you still let me become your friend …”

Draco pokes him in the arm. “Of course I did. You never tried to fix me. You just took me as I was, even when I was an idiot. In my whole life, you’ve always been the only person who always saw me exactly as I was.”

“I thought you were fascinating.”

“You thought I was a spoiled rotter.”

“But a fascinating one.”

“You gave me space to fix myself, and you noticed when I did. You trusted me to do the right thing. You were the first person who ever did.”

And for a moment they are back in a war-ravaged castle, with the bitter dust of ash lining their throats and the sudden realisation that they are both alive thanks to each other.

Harry’s hand sinks further into Draco’s hair. “Even when you hated me,” he says, “you hated me. Not some construct with the same name as me. Even when I hated you, I thought you were brilliant for that.”

And Draco finds it ridiculous that not long ago he was predicting a future full of mundane moments for them. There will never be anything not remarkable about this.

He smiles at Harry, and there must be something about smiles today, because Harry pulls him back to the ground and holds him tightly for a moment. And then Harry relaxes his grip and moves back a little to just look at Draco.

Draco looks back. There is a bloom of colour along Harry’s cheeks and lips that has nothing to do with the sun, and the brightness of his eyes is not a trick of his glasses. Draco can see the smattering of silver hairs in among the black, and is relieved that the sun will be hiding the similar ones on his own head. He can smell the warm grass they have somewhat crushed, and the rich sweet fragrance of heliotrope in sunlight. Closer, he can smell Harry’s soap, and a touch of tea, and a sort of healthy vigour that doesn’t have a name and would be absurd to call Potteryness. In the distance he can hear the river, and birds, and life outside this small space, but he bets none of that is quite as pleased as he is to be wherever and whatever it is as he is right at this moment.

Harry kisses his cheekbone fleetingly. “Do you want to try for something more dignified?” he asks. “Or do you want to stay out here for a bit? It’s warm today, and beautiful.”

“Both,” says Draco.


“Where you’re concerned? Always.”

“Excellent news.”

And the corners of Harry’s eyes crinkle up with his smile, which Draco finds utterly charming, and he doesn’t begrudge him the very slight relief he hears in his voice, because he strongly suspects they will both have no idea what they are doing for some aspects of what’s to come, and Merlin help him, he may well end up doing actual research, but thankfully there are books for that sort of thing. Right now, there is a perfect summer’s afternoon and no one has tried to blow them up for days and neither Lester nor Fotherington knows they are here, so there will be no interruptions with moments of national crisis.

“Do I have you all afternoon?” Harry asks, then adds more hesitantly but hopefully, “All night? When do you have to go home?”

Draco bunts his forehead against Harry’s. “Thicky,” he says, fondly. “I am home. I’m with you.”

And the smile Harry turns on him in reply convinces Draco that he has underestimated just how worth it everything will be. He twines his fingers into the mess of Harry’s hair and rubs noses before adding a languid kiss. And while part of his body suggests that he could, with advantage, impart a sense of urgency to the proceedings now, the rest of him is content to take its time. He doesn’t need the Room of Futures to predict there will be many years for them, and that they can spare the first few hours.
leaf_lightleaf_light on July 10th, 2011 09:44 am (UTC)
I'm late, the door is being knocked, but wonderful words. wonderful end
blamebramptonblamebrampton on July 10th, 2011 04:20 pm (UTC)
Yay! I hope that you had a wonderful day, sorry for delaying you!
sorrel_forbessorrel_forbes on July 10th, 2011 10:00 am (UTC)
wheee! Finished! I'm disinclined to quibble with your priorities, though: here we are, after all, AND you have a new fab hairstyle and a ukelele to boot...

Lovely as always (including the oddly charming mental picture of H/D-handpuppet-glasses-kissing)

*happy sigh*
blamebramptonblamebrampton on July 10th, 2011 04:19 pm (UTC)
HURRAH! And the hair has changed again -- I tried some extensions in black and red, which were fun, but too annoying! Back to just normal red stripes, which are easier to manage!

Very pleased that you enjoyed it!
Loyaulte Me Lieshocolate on July 10th, 2011 10:41 am (UTC)
They finally got there! Well, there are gonna be more converations like that, but... very lovely end!
blamebramptonblamebrampton on July 10th, 2011 10:53 am (UTC)
I sincerely hope that there is something in the Malfoy library, because otherwise there will be awkward questions at a bookshop ...

Thank you!
Meredyth: SavingDracomeredyth_13 on July 10th, 2011 12:17 pm (UTC)
I'm sure I will have more words for you at some point, but right now I'm just bemoaning my inability to simply draw a huge, satisfied, happy smile in this comment box, so you know how I feel.

Thank you.

<3 you

blamebramptonblamebrampton on July 10th, 2011 04:21 pm (UTC)
You're very welcome, darling :-) And the <3 is mutual!
Kareinakareina on July 10th, 2011 12:26 pm (UTC)
Thank you for finishing it, AND on a day when I have time to read, too (since tourist days are also good reading days!)
blamebramptonblamebrampton on July 10th, 2011 04:22 pm (UTC)
HURRAH! Sorry it's so cold in Tassie, I will try to knit you up some handwarmers! (Was about to respond to your post when I realised it was ukulele practise time ...)
(no subject) - kareina on July 10th, 2011 09:16 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - blamebrampton on July 11th, 2011 12:09 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - kareina on July 12th, 2011 03:23 am (UTC) (Expand)
lrndnglrndng on July 10th, 2011 02:21 pm (UTC)
blamebramptonblamebrampton on July 10th, 2011 04:22 pm (UTC)
pioniepionie on July 10th, 2011 06:04 pm (UTC)
Ah, such happy sighs over in this corner. It was a beautiful ending for a wonderful story. Thank you for bunking off all the things you should have been doing, to finish this :) I've said on previous installments how much I particularly like your original characters in this, particularly Fotherington and Helene, but it bears repeating. I love the Draco POV. His brain makes little sense, probably not even to him, but he got there in the end :-D
blamebramptonblamebrampton on July 11th, 2011 09:45 am (UTC)
His line of thinking is perfectly logical to him, but he is more than happy to admit that it is also a bit selfish and silly and Could Do Better. Luckily, he has good friends and staff to kick him in the bum, with love.

And thank you for hanging around until the end!
turnonmyheels on July 10th, 2011 09:29 pm (UTC)
::deep contented sigh::
blamebramptonblamebrampton on July 11th, 2011 09:47 am (UTC)
HURRAH! Mission accomplished!
This Girlthisgirl_is on July 10th, 2011 09:43 pm (UTC)
*great big happy sigh*

And now to muddle out some sort of press release. Yay?
blamebramptonblamebrampton on July 11th, 2011 09:49 am (UTC)
My work here is done.

(Aside from all the other stories that require finishing/writing and ukulele updates and political ranting ...)

I recommend making sure that your press release starts with the most important points in 16pt bold and ends with a list of phone numbers, web addresses and URLs that are pertinent to the release in the footer ON EVERY PAGE. I speak as someone who has read through 600 words of 10pt to find out what the hell something is about and then discovered that the contact details were on the second page, which did not print, and I have deleted the email ...

Edited because I have aphasia!

Edited at 2011-07-11 09:50 am (UTC)
(no subject) - thisgirl_is on July 11th, 2011 12:52 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Jocelyn Lavingroolover on July 11th, 2011 12:30 am (UTC)
I love this story SO VERY MUCH. And the ending was PERFECT. I re-read it all in June when you posted part 3d, so it was still quite fresh in my memory when I read 3e, but it'll certainly be one I'll read again many times in the future.

I still have happy tears in my eyes and a huge soppy grin on my face from that last section :-)
blamebramptonblamebrampton on July 11th, 2011 09:52 am (UTC)
Thank you so much! My brain has been in a state of great slowness, and your kindness helps to reassure it!

I have been delaying so many things in order to finish this, so now might be a good time to say YAY for the new place starting to be fab!
(no subject) - groolover on July 13th, 2011 09:58 am (UTC) (Expand)
Sorrel, the artist formerly known as goddessleilasorrelchestnut on July 11th, 2011 02:35 am (UTC)
“Even when you hated me,” he says, “you hated me. Not some construct with the same name as me. Even when I hated you, I thought you were brilliant for that.”

This line in particular manages to get at all the things I love about the way you write these two. This was a really fantastic finish, and totally worth the wait!
blamebramptonblamebrampton on July 11th, 2011 09:43 am (UTC)
Thank you! I have been eating what is left of my nails nervously, you've saved enough to be able to undo necklace clasps!
Kareinakareina on July 11th, 2011 12:04 pm (UTC)
You may have already seen this particular xkcd comic, but I thought of you, and your very well written fan fic when I read it, so I thought at the bottom of one of your stories would be a good place to point to it and ask if you had seen it yet...
blamebramptonblamebrampton on July 11th, 2011 12:08 pm (UTC)
I laughed so loudly when I read it that I scared one of the cats!
anna_wing on July 11th, 2011 12:23 pm (UTC)
Finally! Thank you very much, that was excellent. You write happy fiction so well, if you ever decide to publish anything I would be very pleased. I particularly like having Ron as the vehicle of common sense.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on July 11th, 2011 04:22 pm (UTC)
Ron is eminently sensible! And thank you, I'm pleased you enjoyed it, sorry it took so long!

Alas, my published stuff is mostly non-fiction. I will get my act together more, non-fiction just pays so well by comparison!
kazeyukiryusamakazeyukiryusama on July 11th, 2011 12:42 pm (UTC)
lovely ending
Aah, the ending is very lovely and full of peace. They both really deserved to find each other. This ending really puts me at rest.

And for you, blamebrampton, I'm in awe of this fic. It's very funny, and full of witty dialogue, you make me laugh even when I don't intend to do so. You're good with the plot, but when it comes to dialogue and relationship between the characters, you're simply in your elements. It's so natural..

Here, it's my biggest smile as a congratulations for your great job!!

\(´▽`)/ \(´▽`)/ \(´▽`)/ \(´▽`)/

Keep up your great work. I'll definitely read your new fics!!

best regards,

blamebramptonblamebrampton on July 11th, 2011 04:19 pm (UTC)
Re: lovely ending
You mean explosions aren't my strongest suit? Outrageous! ;-)

Thank you, you've made me smile very broadly!
Azure Jane Lunaticazurelunatic on July 11th, 2011 12:55 pm (UTC)
Eee yay!!!!
blamebramptonblamebrampton on July 12th, 2011 02:59 pm (UTC)
Thank you!