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To know the pain of too much tenderness

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“I’ll be moving out,” Draco said.

Harry put down his cup of tea. “Why?” he asked. 

“Well,” Draco said. “All right, if you must know. . .”

They’d been roommates for five years, of course Harry wanted to know. 

“Yeah.”

“All right,” Draco said again. “Just remember, this is quite embarrassing for me.”

“Okay.”

“Well,” Draco said, “I seemed to be pregnant.” 

Oh. “Oh,” Harry said. “I thought you were going to say you’re getting married or something.”

“Why would that be embarrassing?”

“Why would getting pregnant be embarrassing?”

“I honestly don’t know if you’re joking or not.” Draco didn’t look like he had any energy to figure that out. “Anyway. That’s why I’m moving out.”

Grimmauld Place shuddered in displeasure at Draco’s words.

“Okay,” Harry said carefully. He felt like he was walking on a tightrope. “And why is that?”

“I honestly do not know if you are joking or not.” Draco scowled. “Are you?”

“Not . . . to my knowledge,” Harry said, then he looked away. “Is it because of the other parent? You guys want to live together?” 

Draco picked up Harry’s half-drunk tea and left the kitchen. 

A half an hour later, Draco came back without Harry’s cup of tea, and Harry still hadn’t gotten up and made another one for himself. Draco said, “He doesn’t want it.”

“What?” Harry said with genuine confusion. 

“He’s not even British. He’s American,” Draco said. “He already went back.”

“He doesn’t want his baby,” Harry clarified. 

“I told him he wouldn’t need to support it. Financially, or be physically present all that much. Just . . . emotionally,” Draco was talking to the window behind Harry. “He said that’s the thing he doesn’t want, but he’ll give me money if I need it. He said, and I quote, ‘Is a hundred bucks okay? Since you guys have national health care.’”

“Oh my god,” Harry said.

“I know, funny, isn’t he?”

Harry didn’t think it was funny.

“Right, well,” Draco said. “That’s why I’ll be moving out.”

“Stop saying that.”

Draco looked irritated. “You can’t honestly expect me to expect you to live with a pregnant person.”

“You can’t have believed that I would just kick you out because you’re having a baby,” Harry said. Not like the other father, was left unsaid.

Draco shuffled by the door. He didn’t sit down, like he thought his status was reverted to houseguest the moment he got knocked up. “Are you saying you don’t mind that I keep living here? Because I know you have atrocious knowledge about the human body, but being pregnant means there will be a new tenant in nine months.”

“I know how babies work,” Harry said, annoyed. “I’m godfather to two children.”

“I am keeping this baby, Potter,” Draco said. He only called Harry that when he was unnerved. But it usually only happened when Draco saw Harry in his pants, and apparently, when he was defending his baby. “I won’t put them up for adoption or get an abortion.”

“I didn’t say you were.” Harry finally stood up and walked to the fridge. Took out a new stick of butter, unwrapped it, remembered there was already a half-used one and put it back. He was so upset.

“I just . . .” Draco trailed off.

“I’m not going to kick you out half-way through, Draco,” Harry said. “This is your house as much as it’s mine. Are we done here?”

“Yes, I—” Draco said, looking at him as Harry walked out of the kitchen. “Yeah.”

Harry went back to his room and thought about babies people didn’t want.






A knock came from Harry’s door a few hours later. “Harry?” 

“What are you doing here?” Harry asked.

“Draco asked me to check up on you,” Hermione said.

“Why didn’t he just do it himself?”

“He’s got a healer’s appointment,” Hermione said. “Plus, it’s Draco. He slithers out of uncomfortable situations.”

“He told you?”

“Yeah,  just now.” The door creaked as Hermione leaned on it. “Will you open the door?”

“Not now,” Harry said, laying back down. “Sorry, Hermione.”

“It’s all right, but I’ll be expecting you in a few days,” she said. “Don’t think about it too much, please.”

“Okay,” Harry lied. 

Despite the obvious dismissal, Hermione continued, “Are you going to be okay? With Draco having a baby while living with you? I can’t imagine what it feels like to hear he slept with someone.”

“I’m fine with him sleeping with other people,” Harry lied again, because it was uncomfortable and even though he didn’t slither away like Draco, Harry tended to ignore painful feelings. He regretted telling Ron and Hermione about how he felt towards Draco now, since it meant they would shoot him worried looks whenever Draco had a date. Which wasn’t that often anyway. In this case, Draco having slept with someone was the least awful part. “I’ll talk to you later, Hermione.”

Draco came back late, but he knocked on Harry’s door nonetheless. 

“Do you want to see the sonogram?” he asked when Harry opened the door.

“A sonogram?” Harry said. “I thought you went to a healer.”

“I went to a doctor, too.” Draco was already holding it. He was trembling a little. “They’ve got them in St Mungo’s now.”

Harry took the sonogram from Draco and looked at the fetus. “I hope he looks like you.”

Draco raised an eyebrow. “He?” he said, then, “How the hell did you know where to look?”

“It feels like a he,” Harry said. “And I meant it when I say I have experience, you know. I took care of Hermione when she was pregnant. I’ve seen sonograms before.”

Draco took the sonogram back and stroked it with one finger. “I couldn’t see the baby at first,” he said, tracing the black lines, then promptly threw up on Harry’s carpet. 






“I don’t think I actually believed I was pregnant until this,” Draco said over the toilet. 

“The sonogram didn’t convince you, did it?”

“No,” Draco gasped. “God, my mouth tastes like acid.”

Harry crouched next to Draco and rubbed his back. 

“I don’t care that he doesn’t want this baby,” Draco said into the toilet.

“You don’t?” 

“Not really,” Draco said. “I didn’t like him that much to begin with; I just thought he was handsome. He didn’t want to be shackled by a baby, and I was glad I wouldn’t be shackled with him.”

“Would you have gone out with him again, if you hadn’t . . .” Harry gestured vaguely to Draco’s stomach.

“I told him about the pregnancy when we went out the second time,” Draco admitted. 

“Right,” Harry said. “What’s his name?”

“You are not looking him up.”

“I wasn’t going to!”

“I’m not telling you his name.”

“Fine.” Harry continued to rub Draco’s back.

Draco threw up again.






It was one mouth after Draco told Harry he was pregnant that Harry started freaking out.

“Grimmauld Place is no place for a baby!” Harry shrieked in a manner that was usually reserved for Draco. He never allowed Teddy or Rose over unless it was an emergency, and he always contained them in the kitchen. “We have to find a way to babyproof this place. We have to get rid of Walburga Black! The elf heads! Why haven’t we gotten rid of the heads?”

“Kreacher begged,” Draco said. He wasn’t showing yet, and he’d lost a lot of weight from the endless vomiting. His cheekbones now cast shadows. Harry often found himself hovering because he was worried Draco would break a bone from simply existing. “The soundproof cloth seemed to be working just fine.”

“The baby is going to crawl around and yank on things. It’s going to yank the cloth down.”

“Stop freaking out!” Draco poked Harry’s waist. Harry yelped and glared at Draco, who just rolled his eyes. “You do whatever you want, but I’m going to work.”

Harry was glad that he didn’t have a full-time job. He could skip a few shifts at the animal shelter to try and protect a baby from The Noble and Most Ancient House of Black. When Draco came home, Harry was locked in a screaming match with the portrait and elf heads were scattered around on the floor from Harry’s furiously hacking at the wall until they fell.

Draco hexed the portrait and spelled the cloth back on. “God,” he said, and sat down shakily, a hand over his mouth.






Draco didn’t want to eat anything, and he’d gotten in the habit at stifling nausea and urges to hurl after the day Harry made a pot of Italian Wedding Soup. It was their comfort food, and Harry had hoped it would help Draco gain his appetite back. But Draco felt sick as soon as he smelled it, and he didn’t say anything until one spoonful had Draco bolting for the bathroom. 

He kept apologizing to Harry, telling him that the soup tasted just fine and he didn’t mean to keep getting sick. Harry told him to stop being stupid and stayed with Draco until it was over. 

Draco didn’t stop being stupid. He started to keep his nausea from Harry, and gotten so good at hiding it that Harry thought it had ceased until dinner one night, when Draco was three months pregnant. He abruptly stood up and ran to the kitchen sink, still filled with dirty plates, and emptied his stomach for so long and so violently that Harry was afraid to look for fear of seeing blood. He just kept vanishing the waste for Draco and rubbing his back, tense with worry and anger. He could count the knobs of Draco’s spine.

“I thought you were getting better.” Harry was looking at the wall. 

“Practice makes perfect,” was Draco’s reply. 

“Can’t St Mungo’s give you anything?” 

Draco moaned, shook his head, shivering. “I’m so hungry all the time,” Draco said. “And I can’t stomach anything.”

Harry went to the pharmacy and nervously asked the chemist what sort of supplement would be good for a pregnant person. He came home with some Prenatal Vitamins with extra vitamin D, plus a handful of pamphlets. Draco scrunched his nose up at the smell when he opened the bottle, and declared it useless when he didn’t feel any different after eating it.

“It’s not potions!” Harry shoved more vitamins into Draco’s hands. 

Draco swallowed the tablets. “I need food ,” he said miserably. 

So Harry started taking Draco out, hoping they would come across something that didn’t make Draco want to run for the bathroom. By this point Draco had started showing. The bump drew Harry’s eyes constantly. Londoners never paid close enough attention to other people to notice Draco’s stomach; mostly Harry thought it was because they could never look past his face. 

“What is that smell?” Draco said suddenly.

“What? Are you going to throw up?”

“This is the first time in my life I feel like not throwing up.” Harry rolled his eyes at him. Draco pointed at the gaudy yellow arch and asked, “What the hell is that Gryffindor abomination?”

“It’s McDonald’s,” Harry said. 

“Good heavens,” Draco said, heading directly to it.

Harry caught up. “You can’t go in! You’ll be standing still and you look like you’re pregnant and you look like a man!”

“Have you ever been punched by a hungry pregnant person before, Potter?”

The teenage cashier took one look at Draco’s cheekbones, his Adam’s apple, his round stomach, then simply shrugged and said, “The McFlurry is on sale now.”

“McFlurry?” Draco asked. Harry pointed at a picture for him. “I’ll have it then, please. One—Grand Big Mac Bacon— god, I hate Americans—one Filet-o-Fish.” Draco’s face grimaced, like these names were causing him pain.

When the teenager handed Draco his food, Draco looked as though he could cry, “Bless you, tiny muggle.”

Harry watched as Draco wolfed down everything in sight then demanded Harry get him more hamburgers while saying he couldn’t possibly eat any more. Harry’s Chicken Sandwich also met the fate of being Draco Malfoy’s baby nutrients. They left with Draco holding the largest cup of soda Harry had ever seen. 

They were silent for quite some time.

“McDonald’s?” Harry said. “Really?”

Draco slurped the soda with more zeal than ever, “Must be his genes.”

“Unfortunately,” Harry grumbled, but allowed Draco to pin the McDelivery menu to their fridge nonetheless. 






Draco started getting his weight back and more, so despite Harry’s reluctance in encouraging an unhealthy diet for a pregnant person and copious purchases of fresh fruits, they ate fast food almost five days out of the week. After each meal, Harry would urge Draco to eat vitamins (“Mutiny!” Draco would scream as Harry piled tablets into his hand and make sure he swallowed them all), hoping it would balance out the fast food. Harry also re-read all of Hermione’s pregnancy books and all the pamphlets he got. One day he came home with cereal, asparagus, lentils, and orange juice. “What are all these?” Draco watched Harry arranged the grocery on the counter along with the vitamins and fruits and a large carafe of water so they wouldn’t forget to eat them regularly. “More stuff I don’t eat?”

“Folic acid is good for pregnancy,” Harry said, then started on dinner.

 Draco’s face went from gaunt to his usual pointiness to chubby. His thighs and hips were thicker, and Harry caught Draco frowning at any reflective surface more times than Harry thought was necessary. As though Draco thought he stopped looking like the human embodiment of the word “loveliest” because of the new weight. Harry didn’t dare say anything after the first and only time, which resulted in Draco locking Harry in with Walburga without the soundproof cloth for three hours. Apparently Draco thought Harry was patronizing him because since when had Harry started thinking Draco was handsome? He must be making fun of him!  Harry didn’t dare snap back and accidentally reveal that he had always thought Draco handsome. 






“Mail,” Harry called when Draco got home from work. “Dinner’s ready too.”

‘Thanks.” Draco called from the door. Harry heard the rustling noise as Draco hung up his bag and cloak and started to flick through the mail they have the owls leave on the console table. Harry never bothered with them. Eventually Draco had taken up the mantle of sorting through the piles and throwing any junk mail (what Harry called the ones that begged him for interviews or invitations to charity balls) into the fire.

When their dinner was starting to get cold and Draco had yet to show up, Harry found him sitting on the sofa. In his hand he held a single page letter, the material looked thin and cheap—standard papers provided for Azkaban prisoners.

Harry sat down next to Draco and the man folded the letter up, twisting it in his lap.

“He wants to see the baby,” Draco said.

“Even if the other father is a half-blood?”

Draco stared at the letter. “I think he’s desperate.” He unfolded the paper and folded it again quickly. “I’d like to think he truly wants to see his grandchild. But I also think he wants me to use the baby as excuse to get him out.”

“They wouldn’t allow that kind of letter to be sent out.”

“He didn’t write anything like that. That’s just what I think he’s implying.” Draco looked to Harry. “I don’t know what to do.”

“Are you going to go see him?” Harry hoped not. The thought of Draco being there while pregnant, or god forbid, taking a newborn baby to Azkaban was enough to send Harry into a spiral of panic. 

Draco snorted flatly. “No,” Draco said. “There is no way he would ever see the baby as long as he’s still in there. That’s why I think he’s asking me to get him out.”

Again was unsaid. Harry remembered the period of letters and Azkaban visits that nearly drove both Draco and Narcissa demented. Lucius Malfoy’s daily pleading and anger, guilting Draco into thinking he was failing his family if he allowed his father to remain in prison. The period when Draco looked like he had tears perpetually stuck in the back of his eyes.

Harry was there when it started, and he was there when Draco lied to his mother about not receiving more letters. Harry was there when Draco convinced Narcissa to go to France for convalescence. Harry was with Draco on his last visit to his father, telling Lucius he wouldn’t be getting him out.

Harry had held Draco that day when they returned, as Draco cried himself into a mass of guilt and grief at the thought of leaving his father in hell. No amount of rationale for punishment and talks of expiating sins could take the pain away. 

“I don’t know what to do . . .” Draco looked at his father’s letter. He sighed. “Now I regret telling him.”

“You don’t have to decide now,” Harry told him. “Let’s just eat first.”

Draco gave him a smile. “When in doubt,” he said.

“Eat.” Harry grinned.

Draco got up from the sofa with a groan. “Weasley would be so proud.”






Draco sent his father a sonogram a few days later. “Let him figure out what he’s looking at,” Draco said. “That’ll keep him busy for a few years.” Harry choked on his tea laughing.






Draco was sitting on the sofa, reading some true crime novel that had him turn on every single light in the house when Harry got home. Harry sat down with his borrowed copy of Hermione’s birthing book and was just about to start reading when Draco let out a groan. He stood up and headed to the front door. 

“What are you doing?” Harry said, throwing his book away and also standing up.

“I’m going to get ice cream,” Draco said, shrugging on his cloak, since letting muggles see a man wearing a cloak was a lot less jarring than a man with a baby bump. “You smell like vanilla and now I want ice cream. That disgusting American one, with chocolate chunks and marshmallows.”

“I’ll go get it for you,” Harry said, and hurriedly tried to guide Draco back to the drawing room, but Draco didn’t budge one bit. Ever since he got pregnant, it soon became apparent that Harry was no longer the strongest man in the house. 

“I’m with child; I’ve not suddenly lost the ability to walk.” Draco made no move to remove his coat. “I can get my own fucking ice cream.”

“Maybe I want one too,” Harry said stubbornly. “And maybe I don’t know what flavor I want, so I’ll have to go look. Why don’t you just sit down?”

“Were you this annoying when Granger was pregnant?” Draco said, but dutifully let Harry take off his coat and sat back down. “Get some anchovies too.”

As Harry browsed through hundreds of ice cream at Tesco, he couldn’t help the hot anger seeping in again. The other father should be the one that wanted to shop for ice cream and gross canned fish. He should want to wake up with Draco and rub his back. He should be the one that Draco called to feel the first bump when Draco started showing. Every step of this was extraordinary and stunning and Harry felt his heart growing larger and larger with the baby, and he really couldn’t understand how someone could walk away from their own baby like that. And Harry couldn’t even bear thinking about Draco. Draco deserved someone who wanted to take care of them both.

When Harry got home, he threw the shopping bags onto the kitchen counter and huffed all the while as he put things away and got Draco his ice cream. Draco wandered in and said, “If you’re going to be shirty, then why did you insist on it?”

Harry glared at the bowls. “I’m not angry about getting ice cream.”

“Fine.” Draco threw his arms up. “Then stop being a baby and come sit with me. This part of the book is freaking me out.”

Harry huffed and grumbled and prepared two giant bowls of ice cream. He sat on the sofa. Draco sat on the floor between Harry’s legs, and he kept reaching up and taking spoonfuls of Harry’s ice cream. In the end Harry just gave Draco his bowl and tapped on Draco’s shoulder whenever he wanted a bite. Draco, eyes never leaving the book, would bring his spoon—not even Harry’s spoon!—over his head so Harry could lean forward and take it into his mouth. 

Draco started to half-slither up onto the sofa when both bowls were emptied. He pushed up, head nudging Harry’s arm like a cat until Harry let Draco press against his chest. Draco’s eyes were wide and trained on the pages. Harry, having switched to hold his baby book one-handedly, wrapped his free arm around Draco’s shoulder and waited for his opportunity patiently. 

After ten minutes, when Draco was shrinking into himself as he reached the end of his book, Harry gently moved his fingers to Draco’s ear, and snapped it loudly. 

Draco screamed and hurled the book at the noise while Harry howled with laughter, arms coming around Draco involuntary and pulling them flat onto the sofa. Draco squirmed and punched Harry all over.

 “You fucking twat!” Draco slapped both hands onto Harry’s cheek, but Harry was still laughing. “You bastard! I cannot believe—” Then he gasped, kneeling forward with his hands on his stomach.

Instantly everything felt less amusing and Harry was staring at Draco, heart pounding in his throat, mind blank with fear. Just when Harry was about to grab Draco and Apparate them to St Mungo’s, Draco leaned back and started cackling.

“Ha ha!” Draco said the words mockingly, pointing a finger at Harry. “See if you—”

Harry felt faint. “That’s not funny,” he said in a voice he didn’t recognize before walking out on wobbly legs and locking himself in his room, ignoring Draco’s knocks and worried calls. He didn’t speak to Draco for two days. Draco had wanted to get his own ice cream; now he could do just that.

Draco tentatively knocked on the drawing room’s door on the third day, when Harry was looking for any corners that Draco could conceivably bump into and layering them with Cushioning Charm as well as foam edges. Harry turned to see Draco shuffling, hands tight together on his stomach, like he sought support from the baby.

“Are you still not talking to me?” Draco asked miserably. “I didn’t mean to . . . I shouldn’t have joked about it. I’m sorry.”

Harry lowered his wand. The anger had long died down. He gave Draco a trenchant look. “I care about the baby too.”

Draco’s eyes flitted to the baby books on the table that belonged mostly to Harry. “I know.” Draco looked back to the floor. “I’m sorry,” he said again. The tip of his nose turned pink. Draco rubbed it before walking away.

Harry stared at where Draco disappeared and jumped to his feet. He found Draco in the kitchen, crying into a cup of tea.

“I overreacted,” Harry said, hovering next to Draco, equally as miserable now. “I just—don’t cry, Draco—”

Draco cried.

Harry gave up and wrapped his arms around Draco. Draco melted into him. 

“I don’t want to lose you,” Draco said. “I didn’t mean to frighten you.”

“I was just scared,” Harry said. Draco was so heavy now. So there in his arms. “I don’t want to lose the baby. I thought I had made you lose the baby.”

“It was a callous joke,” Draco said. “Sometimes I . . .”

“It’s okay,” Harry said. “It’s okay now. We won’t do it again.”

Draco nodded, and pressed in more, flushed against Harry. Harry gulped. 

“Draco,” he said.

Draco sighed into Harry’s neck. Content to leave his lips there. He was rubbing against Harry.

“I’m sorry,” Draco said, and it wasn’t about the joke anymore. “It’s been happening—a lot—just randomly . . . whenever I feel safe and . . .”

“Draco,” Harry said, twisting his face away so Draco’s lips landed on his jaw. They were still wet from Draco’s tears. “I don’t think this is a good idea.”

Draco’s lips hovered over Harry’s jaw. His breath shuddering. Then Draco dropped his forehead to Harry’s shoulder for a few beats. 

“Right,” he said. And they went back to their own rooms.






Walburga was a lost cause, even asking Grimmauld Place for help didn’t work. She bragged that it was because the house still loved her, and it didn’t love Harry or Draco enough to disobey her. So Harry turned his attention to the nursery. They chose the room right next to Draco’s. Harry painted it a pale blue and made sure there were wards on the windows and Cushioning Spells everywhere. The window was large, but not large enough that a toddler could reach it. The room was filled with white cabinets and bookcases and a crib so it was bright and free for Draco or his baby to make any changes they wanted. The only second-hand item was the changing station, it was Rose’s old one, and it still had her doodles on it. Harry also added a door that connected the nursery to Draco’s room from the inside. In the corner of the room sat a gigantic toy chest, the kind that Harry had always wanted as a kid. It was empty for now. Harry wanted the baby to pick whatever toys they wanted and fill it up.

“This is so darling,” Draco said, touching the crib with aching reverence. He hadn’t mentioned what happened last week, and Harry wasn’t going to bring it up, even if it’d been getting harder and harder to look at Draco without wanting to give into it; it rested above Harry’s chest, like a tiny wound, that hurt whenever Harry’s heart beat. Especially after nights where Harry stayed awake thinking about turning into Draco’s kiss instead of away from it. But Draco looked at the nursery in wonder, and settled that gaze onto Harry. Harry smiled stupidly. It really didn’t matter what he wanted. 

They were still in that tender stage right after a reconciliation, where neither of them was quite back to easy laughs, and every word was given careful thought to bring the most amount of comfort. The sentiment “I’m sorry and I’m trying to make it up” was the foundation in their movements. One day, Harry came home to Draco cooking a pot of Italian Wedding Soup with a Bubble Head Charm wrapped around his face to keep the smell out, and he knew they were going to be okay.






“No book this time?”

Harry started at Draco’s words. He glanced up from the baby bump to see Draco’s concerned expression.

“Why are you making that face?” Harry asked.

“Because you’re making that face,” Draco said. He took Harry’s hand and placed it on his stomach. “No story today? The baby will be cranky.”

“By baby, do you mean you?” Harry replied lightly. Draco pinched the skin on top of Harry’s hand.

Harry laughed softly before falling quiet.

“Seriously, Potter, you’re freaking me out.”

“I do have a story,” Harry said. “Of a sort . . . you already know it.”

Harry curled his legs on the sofa and propped his chin on one hand; the other was kept firmly over Draco’s stomach. “Hey, baby, still remember me?”

A kick came from Draco’s stomach. Draco grunted. 

“You talk to them every day,” Draco said dryly. “Encouraging them to tapdance on my bladder.”

Harry smiled, watching his finger caressed over Draco’s sweater. “Today I want to tell you something about myself.”

A hand came to rest on Harry’s shoulder. Harry could feel Draco’s gaze on him. “I didn’t grow up with my mum and dad. I don’t know what it’s like. My aunt and uncle hate me. I didn’t have my godfather with me long enough to know him properly. I think in my lifetime, I was unwanted longer than I was wanted, and I just want to tell you, you don’t have to worry about that ever, yeah? Your father loves you, and I—I’ll be with you too. And your father’s friends and my friends. You’ll have a big brother and sister. You’ll never be unwanted.”

Harry pressed his cheek to Draco’s stomach, not knowing if the tightness in his chest was love or sadness, but felt drained nonetheless. Draco’s fingers gently brushed against Harry’s curls, before combing into them. His other hand came to rest on top of his tummy, tangling with Harry’s.

“What a load of sappy crap,” Draco said. His voice was wet.






Harry came out of his bedroom late one night, tired and sore from looking at animal adoption paperwork all day. He was looking for Draco to ask if he wanted a cup of tea and some late night dessert when he heard talking coming from the drawing room. One of them was Draco’s; the other was someone Harry never heard before. Male. American.

Harry cast a Notice-Me-Not and peeked into the room, looking right at Draco’s nervous face. So nervous he didn’t spot the charm he would normally see through in a heartbeat. The other man was sitting with his back to Harry. It looked impersonal, like a business meeting.

“Ah, three days?” Draco was saying. “Short trip.”

“Had some clients that needed some help,” the man said. 

“Right,” Draco said. He was twisting something in his hands. He was very visibly pregnant. “I thought you might want to see the sonogram.”

Draco held the battered piece of paper out. It wasn’t the one he carried with him all the time, the first one. It was the latest one, where you could see the baby clearly. 

The man didn’t move. From the curve of his spine, Harry could tell he wasn’t impressed. “I thought you asked me over for something else.”

Draco retracted his hand. 

“You want money?” the guy asked. “Is that it?” 

Harry stood, frozen. 

“No?” the man said, and stood. “I think I should go.”

“It’s a boy,” Draco blurted out, in a desperate tone, as if that would change anything. Harry didn’t know it was a boy. Draco hadn’t told him he had found out.

The man turned away.

Harry stepped into the room. “Not staying for tea?” he asked, before punching the man right on the nose.

Draco didn’t look up from his folded hands, where he was gripping the sonogram. 

Later, after Grimmauld Place tossed the man out via defenestration, Harry kneeled on the floor, gripping Draco’s hands.

“I don’t understand,” Harry said. He was a little scared, a little heartsick, wondering if this meant Draco had lied about disliking the man. “You said you couldn’t care less that he—”

The look Draco gave Harry quelled any words Harry had, quickly feeling very stupid at taking Draco’s claim as it was. Harry should have known, better than anyone, that Draco put on a detached face when he felt unwanted. Draco looked like he wanted to cry.

“So stupid,” Draco said. “I wanted him to know it was a boy before anyone else, just because he’s the—It’s not like I wanted a relationship with him—I don’t even like him! I just wanted to be able to say stuff like ‘Oh, Scorpius got it from his other dad,’ you know?”

“I’m sorry,” Harry said.

“I don’t love him,” Draco said hotly. “Merlin knows I only ever loved—but—I thought—family—” Draco’s mouth twisted like he didn’t know how to make sense.

“I just,” Draco’s word came out squashed together. He swallowed a few times, but his voice was still raw when he spoke. “Just—why doesn’t he want us?” Draco said to his stomach.

“I’m sorry,” Harry said again.

“What are you sorry for?” Draco glared at him with wet eyes. “You wouldn’t have done it. You would have probably married me.”

“Yeah,” Harry said in a daze.  

“What the fuck, Potter!” Draco shot up and away from Harry so quickly. “You rejected me, and now you said you would marry me!”

“I rejected you because you were upset and scared about being alone,” Harry said. His chest still hurt when he thought about it. “You don’t have to make yourself sleep with me to get me to stay.”

“That was never it,” Draco gritted out. “Being pregnant didn’t mess with my brain.”

“I didn’t say it was the pregnancy. I am saying it’s him turning his back on you two.”

“I asked him over because I hoped Scorpius could know both his parents. And I was stupid enough to believe the father should know it’s a boy before anyone else.” Draco turned away as his face scrunched up. “I tried to kiss you because I wanted you. Because I thought after all these years, I finally got a chance.”

Harry swallowed thickly. His heart swelled as he finally registered the name. “Scorpius?”

Draco rubbed his stomach. “His name,” he said with false lightness. “I picked it out when I was a child.”

Harry bit back a laugh. “It’s nice.”

“You think it’s stupid.”

“I think it’s ridiculous, not stupid,” Harry said. “I think you’re often ridiculous, but I . . . still . . .”

Draco’s whole face was red. His mouth looked as though it didn’t know whether it wanted to turn up or down. It settled on something soft as he looked at Harry. 

Then his eyes caught the crumbled sonogram in his hands. The corners of Draco’s mouth trembled violently as he fought to keep it still. 

“I would do anything for you,” Harry said fiercely. Everything was at the same time awful and wonderful. All he wanted—god. God! All he wanted was for Draco to be happy. “I would do anything for Scorpius. I would give up everything if you needed me to. Talk to you whenever you want, whenever you need. Watch Scorpius for you if you were sleepy. I would have tucked you in and rocked Scorpius to sleep right by the bed, because I know you will still want him near. I could think up a million things—all of which I would do for you—" Harry stood up and kissed Draco’s cheeks, his shoulder, his chest, his arms, his knuckles, his fingertips. He knelt again and kissed Draco’s stomach, three times and left his lips there. “I want you,” Harry said. “I want the both of you.”

“You’re saying an awful lot of things except the one,” Draco said, shaking. His hands found its way to Harry’s hair.

“I want you to believe me.” Harry squeezed his eyes shut and pressed his forehead to Draco’s stomach, silently seeking support from Scorpius. “I want to show you that I do.” His lips tingled, desperately wanting to kiss Draco somewhere. “You know I love you. You know that.” Harry placed his hands on each side of Draco’s stomach, giving in and kissing the curve once more, right on the topmost part. Scorpius kicked. 

“I didn’t,” Draco said wetly. “Before—I thought one night was all I could have.”

“This is the only time I’m going to say you are stupid,” Harry said. “Just a bit.”

Draco dropped his head, looking at Harry through wet eyelashes in such a way that everything terrible and sad inside Harry vanished. As Draco struggled to tug Harry up, reaching over his stomach to kiss Harry, kissed him so intensely that Harry could still feel himself kissing back even after they’d pulled apart. Draco was tired and a little sore from being unwanted to wanted completely, and Harry led him to bed. He tucked Draco in and kissed his eyelids shut when Draco kept blinking himself awake to look at Harry. Harry didn’t say, shhh, go to sleep, when Draco mumbled for him to stay. Harry only gripped Draco’s hot, damp hands in his and kissed him goodnight.

 

 


 

 

It was early morning when they came home with Scorpius. Harry was holding bags and balloons and gifts and had no hands to open the door. Draco was holding Scorpius and also, had no hands to open the door.

Grimmauld Place opened the door for them. As soon as they stepped into the house, Walburga took one look at Scorpius and shrieked, “Abomination! A half-breed born from the descendant of the House of Black! I never—”

Grimmauld Place shuddered and gurgled oddly. Walburga’s mouth gaped in horror as they watched the wall behind the painting open up and swallow her whole; nasty attitude and all.

“Walburga no more!” Draco said, laughing. Harry was still looking at the spot in shock. 

Grimmauld Place let out a gagging noise, like it had eaten something foul. Draco leaned against the wall, angling Scorpius towards it. Scorpius reached out a chubby hand and patted the house.

Harry joined them because he was having a hard time looking away from Scorpius for more than a few seconds. Scorpius’ little hand left the wall and reached for Harry. He grabbed Harry’s thumb. 

Draco leaned in and kissed Harry’s tears away because he was holding their baby and had no hands to wipe away Harry’s tears. Harry turned his head and caught Draco’s lips. He didn’t mind kisses that were wet with tears this time.

If the two of them had any attention to spare, they would have seen the Black Family Tapestry changing. Grimmauld Place decided not to bring it to their attention; let them have this moment; let them see later, how golden lines sprung forth on the tapestry two new names. Scorpius Malfoy appeared, wispy and pale for now. The second name, bloomed next to Draco Malfoy, showing Scorpius’ parents sheltering him from above—the golden lines connecting Draco and Scorpius to one Harry Potter.



end