Draco kept a surreptitious eye on Potter, who was sitting at the table in the Ministry cafeteria for lunch. Except that Potter wasn't having lunch; he was too pale and looked too sick to actually eat anything. He groaned audibly and lowered his head in his hands.
Saint Potter had probably had too much to drink last night, Draco thought inwardly snickering. He had taken an interest in the Golden Boy after hearing some intriguing rumors about Potter's reckless behavior at night time. He had been following him to see if the rumors were true, and he found it hilarious that for once the rumors had been very true indeed. Potter had taken a habit to going to a gay club several times a week and getting wasted. Most nights he also picked a guy and left with him, probably ending up shagging him all night.
Draco had snickered about Potter's behavior with his friends but there was something he hadn't told anyone. One night when he had been leaving from his stakeout at the club, Potter had stumbled upon him outside the club. At first Draco had tried to push him away but Potter had clung to him in a drunken stupor. Seeing Potter alone and vulnerable had made Draco act against his better judgement and help Potter get back home. One thing had led to another and Draco had found himself in Potter's bed shagging him silly all the while Potter begging him to go harder.
That had happened three weeks ago and Potter never showed any sign that he remembered being in bed with Draco. Actually Potter hadn't acknowledged him in any sort of manner and that annoyed Draco to no end. How did Potter dare to imply that Draco was so insignificant in bed that he wasn't worth even remembering afterwards? Draco narrowed his eyes at his almost untouched lunch in front of him – he loathed everything the cafeteria was offering for food and yet he came here every day just to see what Potter was up to. Merlin, he had to stop stalking Potter; soon someone would notice and see how obsessed with him he actually was. Judging by the number of his fuck buddies, Potter wasn't worth his time anyway. He glanced at Potter just in time to see him push his plate away, stand up and after taking only one step forward, collapse on the floor.
Draco was the first one to reach him lying on the floor unconscious. He tried to shake him awake but to no avail, and when Potter didn't react to Enervate either, he began to worry. Without thinking he scooped Potter up in his arms and strode towards the Atrium where he could take a Floo to St Mungo's. Potter wasn't too heavy; Draco wondered how skinny the prat actually felt, but nevertheless he cast a lightening charm on him so he could carry him more comfortably. Something in Potter was definitely off. His pale face had turned grey and his scent was weird to say the least. Draco was particularly sensitive for scents and the one he had noticed on Potter the night they had spent together, was now totally different. It was somehow familiar but he didn't recognize it right away.
His musings were interrupted when they arrived at St Mungo's. As soon as the hospital faculty recognized Potter, they ushered them into an examination room and tore Potter from Draco’s arms. After a short interrogation about what had happened, the Healers kicked Draco out of the room and concentrated on the Savior. He couldn't make himself leave the hospital so he just settled in a small waiting room around the corner to wait and see if he'd find out what was wrong with Potter.
He had waited for about an hour without any information when he heard urgent footsteps hurrying towards the room where Potter had been taken. He peeked around the corner and saw Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley almost running to the room looking worried. He inched closer to the room but didn't hear more than murmuring. Until...
”You what??” Weasley's voice was shrill.
”Be quiet, Ron. Oh Harry, I warned you about what could happen if you continued your reckless behavior. I can't say I'm not surprised, even though it's quite rare for males, even these days. You know, we'll be here for you, whatever you'll decide.”
Potter's voice was too quiet for Draco to hear his response to Granger, but then Weasley raised his voice once again.
”But Harry, I can't believe you got yourself pregnant! Who's the father?”
”I am, Ron. I am the child's only father, as far as I'm concerned.” This time Potter's voice was firm and didn't allow Weasley to argue any further.
Potter was pregnant? Draco was stunned. Male pregnancies were still quite rare, but knowing Potter's bad luck and powerful magic, getting pregnant wasn't a surprise. Why didn't Potter want anyone to know who had knocked him up? Was he embarrassed of who it was or didn't he know who it was considering how many different blokes he'd shagged lately? Draco's interest was definitely piqued now. His interest was also personal; after all he had been one to shag Potter too, even if Potter didn't acknowledge him in any manner.
Then a thought occurred to Draco: Potter's scent. It had been different today than what it had been when they'd been in bed together. The scent today had felt familiar and now he realized why. Potter's scent was eerily similar to his own. Could it be? Was Potter pregnant with Draco's child? If that was the case, Potter wasn't going to get away with hiding it from Draco. He was determined to find out the truth.
Hearing Granger and Weasley walking out of Potter's room had Draco hurrying back to the waiting room without them noticing him. He waited for a while after their footsteps had disappeared before he dared to breathe normally again. What would he do next? The curiosity was incessantly pulling him towards Potter's room. He peeked cautiously into the room and saw Potter laying in the bed with his eyes closed. His skin looked more normal now although he was still pale. He was breathing slowly as if he was asleep, so Draco took hesitant steps inside the room and closer to Potter. He wanted to get a better scent of Potter now that he knew what he was looking for.
He stopped next to the bed and lowered his head to get a better sniff of Potter. He inhaled deeply, and yes, there it was again. A deliciously mixed scent of Potter and himself. Draco was absolutely sure now that the child was his.
”Malfoy, what the hell are you doing?”
Draco was startled to hear Potter's voice and see his eyes opened and suspicious. Draco just stared at him, unable to make a coherent response. He was too stunned about what he had found out. Instead, he blurted out, ”Is it mine?”
”Is the child mine?”
”What child?” Potter tried to look innocent.
”I heard you're pregnant. I need to know if it's my child.”
”Are you bloody insane? There's no way it'd be your child! If it were, I'd get rid of it as soon as possible. Now get the hell out of here.”
Potter's growl was hostile and threatening, and Draco thought it better to leave, for now.
Draco spent a sleepless night thinking about the situation. He was absolutely sure that he was the father of Potter's child but he couldn't do much of anything before Potter admitted it. Draco had no intention on leaving the issue in Potter's own hands; for Salazar's sake, Potter had already threatened to get rid of the kid if it turned out to be Draco's. That was something Draco wasn't going to allow at any rate.
The next morning Draco dragged himself to work. He didn't see Potter all day; probably because he was still at St Mungo's. Maybe that was for the best, he hadn't looked too good the previous day. In the afternoon Draco noticed Granger arriving into the office where they both worked as barristers. They usually didn't talk to each other much, other than necessary work issues, but they were on polite and civilized terms with each other. Draco decided to try to talk to Granger about Potter. She was Potter's best friend after all and quite smart for a Muggle-born. Draco had come to the conclusion that Granger was the key to solving the problem.
”Granger,” he greeted cautiously.
”Malfoy? What is it?” Granger's reply was curt.
”Listen, I need to talk about Potter.”
Granger's eyes sparked with interest.
”You know, I was the one who took him to St Mungo's yesterday when he fainted.”
”Yes, I know. You didn't have to come to tell me that. What is it then?”
”Well, I happened to hear that he's pregnant.”
”That's none of your business, Malfoy. If that's all...”
”But it is, my business, I mean. I'm probably the father of the child.”
”What? You can't be, Harry would never...”
”But he did and now he doesn't want me anywhere near him. He even threatened to get rid of the baby when I asked if it's mine.”
”Malfoy, you better be serious about this. I want a full explanation, but not here, not now. Let's talk about this after work. You know the tea shop we sometimes go to have unofficial meetings with the clients? Meet me there at 5.30.”
Draco agreed to it in high hopes that he could convince Granger to help him with Potter. He'd have to be careful with Granger, though. One wrong word and she wouldn't listen to anything coming from him anymore.
Draco arrived to the tea shop early and was impatiently waiting at the table when Hermione arrived at 5.30. They placed their orders and after the waitress left their table, Hermione fixed her stern gaze at Draco.
”Now, you better start from the beginning. What and when did it happen?”
”About three weeks ago. I was at the same club where Potter was partying and I left early. Outside the club Potter stumbled on me and he was so horribly drunk that I thought it better to help him to get home. After I got him home safely I tried to leave but Potter didn't let me go. Well, before I knew it we were in bed having sex.”
”I should have known that you'd take advantage of his drunken state,” Granger said dryly.
”No, I didn't, I swear! I tried to leave but he insisted and he can be very persuasive, as you should know already. If you don't believe me, I'm ready to show you the memory in the Pensieve.”
”Okay, maybe later. That doesn't mean I believe you but let's move on. Then what? You spent the night with him. It was a one night stand, I assume?”
”Yes. I left early in the morning while he was still asleep. Afterwards he didn't show any interest in me or the night spent together.”
”Then how do you know the child is yours? What makes you think that?”
”You probably don't know but I'm a part Veela. I have an accurate sense of smell and I could tell by his changed scent yesterday that the baby is mine.”
They paused their conversation when the waitress delivered their orders. After she was out of earshot, Hermione resumed her questioning.
”How was the scent changed?”
”You know, every person has their own unique scent and I learned Potter's scent when we spent the night together. Yesterday, though, his scent was different but somehow familiar. Later on, I realized it was my own scent mixed with his. He's carrying a child with my scent and that's enough proof for me.”
”Maybe it's enough for you but not for me or Harry. We need a proper paternity test. Don't get your hopes up just yet, you must know Harry's had several other guys in his bed lately. The baby could be anyone's.”
”I'll take my chances, Granger. If the paternity test proves me as the father of the child, I want to be there for the kid and take care of them both, the baby and Potter. Veelas protect their own.”
Granger sipped her tea and nipped her pastry while mulling over the information. Draco could hardly keep himself in check while waiting for her decision. Finally Granger seemed to come to a conclusion and Draco sighed in relief.
”Alright, Malfoy, first I need to talk to Harry and get him to accept the paternity test. Then, depending on the result of the test, we'll work something out. Meanwhile, don't talk to anyone about this, okay?”
”Agreed. Just please, Granger, don't let him get rid of the baby. He was quite serious about it yesterday.”
”Malfoy, if you knew Harry at all, you'd know he would never harm the child. I'll talk to him and let you know what happens next.”
Hermione finished her tea, nodded curtly at him and left without another word.
Two days passed without a word from Granger, and Draco began to worry. He didn't see her even from a distance at work and he started to have a very bad feeling about the situation with Potter.
On the third day Granger arrived at the office looking tired. Draco hurried to meet her before she even reached her desk.
”Well, what happened? Did you talk to Potter?” Draco anxiously shot the questions.
”Good morning to you too, Malfoy.” Granger sighed. ”Yes, I talked to him. Two days. He's stubborn.”
”What did he say? Will he take the test?”
”No, he refused it.”
”Why would he do that?”
”He doesn't want to know who's the other father. He didn't believe me when I told him that it could be you.”
Draco threw his hands up in frustration. ”What the hell's wrong with him?”
Hermione took him by his arm and led him to a small meeting room nearby. She shut the door so they'd wouldn’t be overheard.
”I don't know what's going on, but I think he doesn't quite remember what happened between you two. He doesn't want to talk about it or any other father candidates either. He refuses to explain why. I know him probably better than he does himself and I guess he's afraid to know the truth.”
”I can give him my memory of that night, maybe it would help him remember, or at least believe me? Could you persuade him to meet me?”
”I already tried, but he's adamant. He doesn't want to see you. He's quite stressed right now. The Healers released him from the hospital but they didn't let him come back to work yet.”
”You know, I could force him to take the test. If the baby has a drop of Veela blood in them, then the Veela laws apply to both the baby and Potter. I have rights as the father of the baby.”
”Malfoy, don't do that. If you force him, he might do something desperate. He's having a hard time as it is right now, he doesn't need any additional strain from you.”
Draco saw a worry in Granger's eyes and forced himself to calm down.
”How is he? Is everything fine with him and the baby?”
”Yes, as far as the healers can say. He's awfully tired and sore though, can't eat anything without throwing up. I'm worried.”
”You have a good reason to be worried. If the baby is even a minor part Veela, Potter will need some special potions to get through the pregnancy." Draco paused. "Fuck, I'm an idiot, why didn't I come to think of that earlier? Veela pregnancies are more difficult than normal ones, and a male pregnancy with a Veela baby is dangerous if not tended right. You have to get him to take the test, the baby's welfare depends on that. I'll find the special potions for him to help him get through this.”
Draco stormed out of the meeting room. He sent a note to his mother asking advice. She of all people would know what to do. While waiting for a reply Draco tried to get some work done but he couldn't concentrate. He saw Granger leaving the office a couple of hours later and hoped she'd go and knock some sense into Potter.
Draco was just about to leave when he finally received an owl from his mother. Narcissa Malfoy was apparently anticipating some happy news from her son and asked him to come and visit her as soon as possible so they could talk. She promised to help every way she could.
Draco took the Floo to the Manor where his mother was already waiting for him. Usually so calm and collected Lady Malfoy was visibly excited about Draco's message and wanted to hear all about the situation. Draco followed his mother to the drawing room where the tea was already served. Narcissa started her interrogation as soon as they were seated and Draco told her everything – except the name of the pregnant father. Draco evaded the pressing questions of the father's identity claiming that any paternal tests hadn't been done yet, but Narcissa assured him that if he recognized the scent, then he was most certainly the father of the child.
Narcissa was full of joy of her impending grandmotherhood and gave all the information and advice she could to Draco for helping with the pregnancy. She even managed to find the name and location of the Apothecary in France who specialized in Veela potions. She had successfully used them when she was pregnant with Draco and found them very helpful. Draco thanked her warmly but asked her to abstain from any baby shopping before it was official.
That same evening Draco Apparated to France to find the Apothecary his mother had recommended. The Apothecary's was already closing but Draco pleaded it was an emergency and the potions were needed urgently. When he also offered to pay double price for the potions he finally got what he needed. With the instructions for use and the precious potion vials safely tucked inside his robes Draco returned back to his flat. Immediately after his return Draco owled Granger to let her know about the potions and how to use them to help Potter.
Granger arrived early in the morning to collect the potions for Potter. She also had some good news, for a change.
”Harry finally agreed to get to the paternity test. The baby's welfare was the only thing that made him change his mind. We are going to St Mungo's today and if the baby appears to be yours, I'll make sure he'll take these potions.”
”Please, let me know the outcome of the test, Granger. I need to know,” Draco pleaded, and Granger nodded.
Draco spent the whole day on tenterhooks waiting for any information from Granger. He knew he was acting like a prat towards his colleagues and could barely keep himself in control with his imbecile case of a lost artefact from the Department of Mysteries; he was on edge and the information he craved from Granger was vital for him. He briefly sneered at the thought of Granger getting away with taking so much time off from work – being a war hero definitely had it’s advantages – but soon he came to think exactly why was Granger taking off this time and his scorn vanished. She was trying to help his baby and that thought was enough for Draco to forgive her any liberties she might take.
It wasn't until that evening when Granger sent an owl. She didn't explain anything about the test, just told him that Potter wanted to see him as soon as possible. Draco didn't linger; he put his robes on and Apparated straight to the front door of Potter's house. His hand was trembling when he knocked on the door but otherwise he was pleased to feel himself being cool and in control despite his eagerness to hear the news.
Granger opened the door. ”Hello Malfoy. Harry wants to talk with you, but please, don't aggravate him or try to force him to do anything. The situation is very delicate right now.”
Draco nodded and let Granger lead him to the sitting room where Potter was lounging on the sofa.
”Good evening, Potter,” he greeted politely.
”Malfoy. Please take a seat.”
Draco sat down on the armchair across the sofa and let his eyes roam over Potter's body. He looked a little better now than the last time he'd seen him at St Mungo's. He had a little color on his cheeks and although he had dark circles under his eyes and looked tired, he looked just like he had seen him any other day at work.
”Malfoy, we need to talk. I still can't believe that I let you anywhere near my bed or my body but I had the paternity test today and it shows you're the father of my child.”
Draco opened his mouth to say something but Potter raised his hand commanding him to keep silent.
”No, let me finish. I accept that you are the other father of this child, but you don't get to make any demands for my child. This is my child and I'm responsible for it, not you. I can take care of my child alone, I don't need you for that. You being the other father of the baby will not be public information. Although, if you want, I'll allow you to be present in his or her life one way or the other, but you are in no position to make any demands or have any say how I'm raising my child. Understood?”
Draco was shocked. A hot anger was bubbling inside him. Potter was telling him that he was the father of his child but he didn't let him be a part of the family? That was not acceptable. He was the father and he was damn well going to be the father all the way through, no matter what Potter wanted. Draco was preparing for a fight but then he saw Granger stepping behind Potter and laying her hand soothingly on his shoulder. Potter's eyes were bright and defiant. He was not going to give up easily and Draco didn't want to make the situation any more difficult than it was already.
Remembering what Granger had told him, Draco forced himself back in control until he could calmly answer Potter. He needed to tread carefully now. First of all, he needed to keep Potter calm. He knew now that he was the father and after this first meeting he'd have time to plan his next move to secure his place in his child's life.
”I understand. However, I'd like to be a part of the child's life in any way you'll let me. I respect your wishes of not interfering with how you raise the child, but I want the baby to know that they have both parents present in their life.”
”Fine. We'll figure it out later how we'll make it work.”
”Did you try the potion I sent? Did it help?”
”Yes. Thank you for sending it. I took it right after I heard the test results and it took only a couple of hours to make me feel better. The healer said that I'll probably need it for the rest of the pregnancy. If you give me the directions where I can get more of it, I'll purchase it myself.”
”No, it's fine this way. It's from an Apothecary in France and I can get it more easily than you as I'm a Veela. I'll keep supplying it for you. I'll help any way I can.”
Potter nodded and Granger seemed to relax behind him.
”I think I'll go to put the kettle on. Would you like some tea, Malfoy?” Granger asked moving towards the door.
”No, thank you. I’d better go. I'd like to come and deliver the potion myself next time if that's alright with you, Potter?”
”Sure. When would that be?”
”The batch I gave Granger this morning will last about five days, so I'll be here on Monday after work.”
”Okay. See you then. And umm... thank you, Malfoy.”
Draco left the house with a small smile on his lips. He was going to be a father! Now he only needed to figure out how to keep himself in his child's life without Potter trying to get rid of him. Playing nice and supplying the potions was a good way to start, he decided.
They all fell into a routine after that. Draco made a trip to France once or twice every week and provided the potions to Potter. For the first couple of times when he visited Potter, Granger was there too, but when it came apparent that there would be no disturbance during Draco's visits, she obviously decided her presence wasn't needed.
Draco usually kept his visits quite brief. They didn't talk much, just the usual greetings and ”how are you's” and after Draco was convinced that Potter seemed to be doing well, he left. Potter returned back to work, although the Ministry didn't let him go back in the field anymore. The reason why Potter was ordered to the desk job was kept secret, but the rumors flew wild. Even Draco was accosted by his friends to find out what was going on with Potter. He didn't tell anyone anything, only tried to keep his smug smile at bay. He was becoming incredibly proud of his offspring-to-be-born and couldn't help but buy every now and then some little gifts for his child and Potter whenever he visited.
Slowly he began to spend more and more time with Potter during his visits. At first they both were wary and awkward. They started by talking, keeping the topics general and safe, like Quidditch, the Ministry, their jobs, and sometimes they even talked about kids, in general, of course. Draco learned a lot about Potter; his childhood hadn't been a good one and therefore he was being extremely protective towards his own child. Draco began to understand him and his choices better than ever.
They never talked about personal issues like what had made them end up in this current situation. One evening, though, about a month later when they were lounging in the sitting room, Potter made an unexpected move towards that route.
”Why did you do it?”
”Do what?” Draco didn't even look up from the book he was reading.
”You know, sleeping with me and then staying around even if you didn't know the baby was yours. And don't you dare to say it was just an honourable thing to do.”
Draco snorted. ”I dare say that none of your fans would see me shagging you as an honourable thing.”
Potter huffed and threw a pillow at him. ”You know damn well what I mean, prat.”
Draco put the book away, grinned and raised his hands in a mock surrender.
”Okay, okay, no need to get violent. When I heard you were pregnant I sort of knew right away that it was mine. I noticed that your scent had changed when I took you to St Mungo's. Your scent was yours and mine mixed together, and it wouldn't be possible if the baby were someone else's.”
”You recognized my scent back then already?”
”Yes, ever since we spent the night together. I would recognize it anywhere.”
”How come you didn't fight back harder even if you already knew the baby was yours? I know how ruthless you can be in the courtroom when you know you're right, and you have never shied away from a fight there. All this time I have been waiting for the other shoe to drop. Are you going to fight me at some point?”
”What good would it do if I made you hate me more? I think it's best for the baby if we could be on good terms with each other. The last thing the baby needs is to see their parents fighting.”
”Wow. I never thought I'd see this day, you acting like a grown up.” Potter grinned and Draco couldn't help but smile back. ”And for your information, I have never hated you, not really.”
”Not even at Hogwarts when I pulled some horrible pranks on you? Give me a break, Potter.”
”Well, maybe a little, back then, but not anymore. I also think that you should start calling me by my first name. After all, we're going to have a baby together.”
”It's a deal, but only if you'll use my first name too.”
”Okay, Draco, I think I can do that.” Harry grinned again and made to get up off the sofa. ”I'm going to put the kettle on. Want some tea?”
”Sure, but let me make the tea. You just sit there and enjoy.”
”You don't have to. I'm still capable of doing it myself,” Harry scoffed.
”Haven't you noticed yet? I'm a Veela and I want to take good care of what's mine,” Draco tried to say it lightly but the meaning behind the statement was serious.
Harry raised his eyebrows. ”I'm not yours.”
”Right now you are, Potter. You are carrying my child and in my book that makes you mine too.” Draco turned before Harry could see his soft smile and headed towards the kitchen. He heard a muttered ”Potter? What happened to using the first names?” behind him and his smile widened.
The next time Draco was visiting Harry with a new batch of potions, Harry seemed a little nervous. He obviously had something on his mind but refused to say anything. Draco had brought them dinner and they ate it in silence. It was a little bit awkward but Draco didn't press the issue. Harry would talk when the time was right.
The time seemed to be right when they were playing chess in the living room after dinner. Harry cleared his throat and sat back in his chair.
”Would you let me see it?”
Harry didn't answer right away so Draco looked up from the chess board. Harry was slightly blushing and averting his eyes.
”Your memories of the night we spent together.”
”Oh. Sure. Now?”
”If you don't mind. I have a Pensieve.”
Harry stood up to retrieve the Pensieve and placed it on the table. Draco used his wand to extract the memory Harry wanted to see and released it into the Pensieve. He watched it swirl into the mist inside the bowl when he felt a hand on his shoulder. He glanced up and saw Harry standing next to him.
”Shall we?” Harry asked softly and nodded towards the Pensieve. Draco shook his head.
”I think it's easier for you to see it in private.” Besides Draco already knew what was in there; he had been playing the memory again and again in his head. Sometimes he had even watched the memory in a Pensieve – it was a memory he cherished. In some weird way their night together had been one of his dreams come true; to have Harry willingly and passionately bending under his will. It had been the most enjoyable night in his life thus far, even though Harry had been so drunk that he didn't remember any of it afterwards.
Harry nodded and lowered his face into the Pensieve. Draco knew what he'd see and every single moment of that memory played again in his mind.
Draco dragged Harry into his flat and dropped him onto the sofa in the living room. Harry mumbled something but Draco didn't quite catch what he had been trying to say. He checked Harry to see if he was alright and safe to leave on his own. When he turned to leave, Harry mumbled again, grabbed his hand and yanked him back, hard. Draco lost his balance and landed partly on Harry. Harry didn't waste any time and draped himself all around Draco trying to kiss him.
At first Draco tried to disentangle himself from his amorous companion, but hearing Harry's moaned ”Stay. I want you so much.” he stilled and after a brief moment of hesitation, began to respond to Harry's sloppy kisses. He shifted his weight off of Harry but that only made Harry climb on top of him and straddle his thighs. Harry took his head between his hands and kissed him with fervor. Soon Harry started to grind his crotch against Draco's erection and they both moaned in unison.
Harry let his hands slide down on Draco's shoulders and chest, his lips following and latching on his neck. Harry's fingers fumbled with the buttons of Draco's shirt and after managing to get some of them open, he slid his hands under the expensive fabric. He caressed Draco's soft skin and teased his rosy nipples into hard pebbles. Draco threw his head back with a deep moan exposing more of his neck and Harry didn't waste time devouring it with his mouth as much as possible.
Draco's hands slid up and down Harry's thighs before they settled on his hips. His grip was firm as he urged Harry's hips move even faster against himself. His own hips jerked against Harry's and the urgency radiating from him was almost desperate.
Harry stumbled on his feet and grabbing Draco's hand in his led him towards the other room across the hall. On their way they both managed to kick off their shoes and had a good start on undressing each other when they collapsed on the bed in a heap. Impatient hands tugged and tore the clothes off of the overheated bodies but once they both were naked, all impatience was gone. They let their eyes roam on each other almost reverently, touching and kissing softly the skin previously hidden under the clothes.
The moment of mutual admiration was abruptly broken when Draco's hand wandered down Harry's stomach and brushed his already leaking erection. Harry growled deep in his throat and attacked Draco grabbing both their erections in his hand and fisting them roughly. He kissed Draco greedily, delving his tongue deep into Draco's mouth. Draco turned them around so that Harry was under him and ground his hips down hard. Harry cried out and wrapped his legs around Draco's waist keeping him hostage between his thighs.
”Lube?” Draco managed to ask hoarsely, but Harry shook his head. He waved his hand casting a wandless lubricating spell. Draco slid his finger towards Harry's entrance, teasing the rim before pushing his finger inside. The next finger followed soon but then Harry's hand slapped Draco's arm sharply. ”Just go ahead already,” he grunted his mouth against Draco's skin. Draco positioned his throbbing cock at Harry's entrance and started to push slowly inside. Harry grunted and Draco had to check that he wasn't in too much pain but Harry's expression was closer to bliss than pain. When he was finally fully sheathed inside Harry he stilled for a moment to let Harry adjust but Harry wasn't having any of it. He gripped Draco tighter between his thighs and pushed roughly up forcing his cock deeper inside him.
”Move, Malfoy! I want it hard – think you can manage it?”
Draco scowled at him but obeyed. He thrust inside with a force that would have made someone else howl under the attack, but Harry just threw his head back and grunted ”Is that the best you can do?” At hearing that Draco doubled his efforts and was soon ramming into Harry with a vigor that made the bed slam against the wall and Harry mewl in rhythm with the thrusts. Before long Draco's vicious thrusts became erratic and his pace faltered. He was reaching his orgasm too soon but fortunately Harry also seemed to be close. Draco yanked Harry up to a sitting position and wrapped his arms tightly around the brunet. He latched his mouth onto Harry's neck and bit down hard, leaving undoubtedly clear bite marks behind. Harry came with a hoarse cry and hearing that also Draco let go spilling his seed deep inside Harry.
They stayed in that position a long moment panting and just relishing in the blissful feeling. Finally Draco lowered his lover back on the bed and slipped out of him.
”Mmmm... that was nice. I knew you'd be good in bed, Malfoy,” Harry murmured sleepily. He snuggled close to Draco, wrapping his arms and legs around Draco and nuzzling his neck. The moment felt so peaceful that Draco didn't dare to move in fear that Harry would wake up, realize with who he was in bed and push him away. Draco dozed off for a while too enjoying the closeness.
A couple of hours later Draco woke up with a start, peered around to take in his surroundings and recognized the man sleeping soundly in his arms. Draco carefully extricated himself from the tangle of limbs and let his eyes rest a while on the figure lying next to him. He smiled, softly kissed Harry's temple and got off the bed. He dressed quickly and with a last glance at his lover left the room.
Draco sat at the table staring straight ahead, dreading Harry's reaction when he returned back from the Pensieve. From the corner of his eye he saw Harry standing next to the table staring at the Pensieve in deep thought. He didn't move, just stood there his head bent.
”I'm so sorry, Draco,” he whispered.
”For what? You have nothing to be sorry about.”
”I'm sorry I didn't remember. That night was so good, so perfect. I should have remembered.”
A small sob escaped Harry's lips and his hands trembled. Draco stood up quickly and took him in his arms. Harry's sobbing increased and soon he was crying in full force wetting Draco's shirt in the process. Draco held him tightly making soothing sounds and rubbing his back with his hand. When Harry's sobs finally subsided, Draco took a step back to look Harry in the eye.
”What is it? Why are you crying? Was it so awful to see it yourself?”
”I... don't know why. I just felt so sad that I had forgotten something so good and I'm probably never going to have it again. And I know I'd hurt your feelings with not remembering it. I'm so sorry.”
”Don't worry about it, Harry. Everything is fine. It's probably the hormones making you cry so easily. I'm just waiting for the mood swings to really begin,” Draco said chuckling, trying to lighten the mood.
Harry tried to chuckle and buried his head back in Draco's chest.
”Just... could you hold me please.”
”Anytime, Harry.” Draco wrapped his arms around him again and held him close.
The next time Draco visited Harry, he noticed a slight change in Harry's behavior. He looked fine from the outside but he was drawn more close to Draco than ever before. He sat next to him on the sofa, touched him with light brushes almost all the time and smiled softly as if knowing something no one else did. Draco was a little confused but brushed it off being just one more symptom of the pregnancy.
That same evening Draco wanted to talk about an issue he thought was delicate for Harry. He had thought long and hard about how to bring up the subject without upsetting Harry as he knew how fiercely Harry was protecting his baby. As they lounged on the sofa, Harry resting his head on Draco's shoulder, he finally decided just to ask him.
”I know we agreed to keep quiet about your pregnancy and me being the other father from the public, and I don't intend to break the deal, but my mother... She knows there's going to be a grandchild to be born even if she doesn't know who the pregnant one is.”
Draco felt Harry stiffen against him and hurried to continue.
”She helped me a lot to get the potions for you and she wants to help in any way she can. We can trust her. It's just... she's so excited to finally have a grandchild and I'd like her to know. I know she doesn't tell anyone anything we don't approve. She knows how to deal with a Veela pregnancy and she could be a lot of help for us. She could use a little happiness in her life now that my father is still in Azkaban and I know if you'd let her be a part of the baby's life, even if in small portions, both she and the baby would be good for each other.”
Harry was silent for a long while and Draco began to feel uncertain. He just hoped Harry wouldn't kick him out of his life just because he'd dared to suggest such a thing as a grandmother for their baby. Harry shifted and moved away from Draco to be able to look into Draco's eyes.
”Are you sure we can trust her not to tell anyone?”
”I'm absolutely sure of it. If keeping the secret is the only way she can get to know her grandchild, she'd do anything to keep it that way. She's a Veela as well and Veela children are truly doted on among our race. She'd do anything for the baby and would protect the baby with her life if needed.”
”Fine. You can tell her, but if she so much as whispers a word about it to anyone, I'll make sure she'll never see the baby.”
”Thank you, Harry.” Draco sighed in relief and without thinking kissed Harry on top of his head. Realizing what he'd done he froze, but Harry just snuggled closer to him and sighed contentedly. Draco relaxed and enjoyed the moment wondering briefly when Harry had started to feel so at ease with him.
Draco prepared to visit Harry the next week with the news of how his mother had taken the information of having a grandchild. She had been overjoyed and instantly started making plans for a nursery at the Manor and shopping for all the wonderful baby clothes and accessories. Then she got a serious expression when Draco had told her who the baby's other father was and all the needed secrecy regarding Harry and the baby. She was worried how Draco would be treated in his own child's life and Draco assured her that everything would turn out just fine if they followed Harry's wishes. He assured that Harry wasn't purposefully nasty, he was just cautious as he didn't know if he could trust the Malfoys yet. That's why they needed to do everything his way for now.
Narcissa was more than ready to agree to all the conditions if she just was allowed to dote on the little one. She desperately wanted to go shopping for the baby but she promised not to do it in Britain. Actually she had seen some lovely shops for babies in France and she planned to make a trip there soon. Draco was happy to see his mother filled with joy and excitement after a long period of stress and sorrow, and for once he could leave his mother and the Manor with a smile on his lips.
When he met Harry later that day he asked if Harry would like to go out with him for a change. He felt like celebrating, he was feeling so good and happier than he had in a long time. Harry just smiled at his suggestion and shook his head slightly.
”I appreciate it, Draco, but I haven't been out much lately. I don't need it anymore. I have everything I need right here.”
”How's that? You seemed to enjoy all the clubbing so much earlier.”
”It's not that I particularly enjoyed it. It was just a way to try to fill the emptiness inside me after the war. Not that it was doing any good but I had no idea what else to do. Now I think I have something, well, more like someone to live for and I'm happy just being at home.”
”I could take us for dinner somewhere where no one knows you or even cares about who we are. I'd like to go to dinner with you tonight. Please?” Draco tried his best puppy dog eyes at Harry and he laughed.
”Okay, fine. If you really know a place where we will not be disturbed, then okay, let's go.”
Draco Apparated them to a small town in southern France and led the way to a charming restaurant by the sea he seemed to know well. He spoke in fluent French with the personnel of the restaurant and they were led to a secluded table by the window on the second floor. The view was breathtaking: the sun was setting and it made the sea sparkle with various shades of gold and red.
Draco made to order some wine but as seeing Harry decline any alcohol, he ordered only mineral water for both of them.
”You don't have to do that, Draco. I don't want to drink anything that might harm the baby, but you can have your wine, I don't mind.”
”No, I'm fine with mineral water too, don't worry about it.”
They studied the menus and soon Harry gave up because he didn't understand a word of French. Draco glanced up from his menu and smiled.
”Do you want me to order for us both?” At Harry’s nod he continued, ”Fish or steak?”
”Well, seeing where we are, I'd like to try some local fresh fish. I don't usually eat fish much but we're not in Britain now, so yeah, I'll take fish.”
Draco ordered them both and soon they had steamy plates full of some white large fish and vegetables in front of them. Harry carefully tasted the food at first but soon he was eating his fish with a healthy appetite.
”Good, hmm?” Draco asked with amused voice.
”You could say that. Very good.” Harry admitted. ”I've never been in France before. I can't speak French and I never really thought much about travelling. This is nice though, being away from prying eyes for once.”
”We can come here again if you want. There are also other nice places I'd love to take you, if you'd like. At least as long as you are allowed to Apparate because of the pregnancy.”
”Yes, I'd like that.” Harry smiled a bit shyly at Draco who felt a warm feeling spreading in his chest at that smile.
”Dessert? Their Crème Brûlée is divine, you should try that.”
Harry had to agree with Draco when he finished not only his own dessert but ate half of Draco's too, a little ashamed of his greediness. Draco just brushed it off chuckling and paid the bill. Before Apparating back home they had a long walk on the promenade enjoying the night and the soft breeze coming from the sea.
Draco took Harry home before midnight and when they stood at Harry's front door, Harry leaned in and softly brushed his lips on Draco's.
”Thank you for taking me to dinner. It was lovely.”
”It really was. I'd love to take you to dinner again soon.”
”I'd like that, very much.”
They smiled at each other standing at the door, neither of them moving, and finally Draco had to usher Harry inside from the chill.
Two days later Draco received an urgent message from Granger. His blood froze at hearing her Patronus telling him that Harry was not well and had been taken to St Mungo's. Draco had been about to go to meet his mother but after Granger's message he Floo-called his mother and explained the situation. Then he rushed to St Mungo's.
He met Granger and Weasley sitting in a waiting room waiting anxiously for news from the Healers. Weasley scowled at him but Granger stood up and approached Draco with worried eyes.
”Granger, what the hell happened?”
”I stopped by to check on Harry yesterday and he wasn't feeling very well then but he refused to go to see the Healer. He promised to send me a Patronus if it turned worse but he never did. Then today after work we went to see him and he was barely conscious. He was in pain and feeling sick and completely drained. We brought him here immediately and now we're waiting for any information from the Healers.”
”Thank you. How long have you been here?”
”About an hour. They took him to the examination room and no one has exited the room since.”
”For Merlin's sake, isn't there anyone who could tell us at least something?” Draco was impatient and frustrated at not knowing what was happening to Harry and the baby. He paced back and forth in the confines of the small waiting room until Weasley finally had enough.
”Bloody hell, Malfoy, stop it! You're not helping with that pacing, only irritating us all!”
”I don't see you helping any better by just sitting there as if there's nothing wrong with Harry. Forgive me for being worried about him,” Draco sneered.
”Guys, just stop it, both of you! There's nothing we can do until someone comes out of that room and tells us what's going on with Harry,” Granger stepped between Draco and Weasley who were scowling at each other. Draco retreated to the opposite side of the room and tried to stay calm, even if part of him just wanted desperately to storm into the room they were keeping Harry in and see for himself how Harry was doing.
Two hours later a tired looking Healer emerged out of the examination room and approached them.
”Miss Granger, Mr Weasley, and...?” He looked uncertainly at Draco.
”He's the father of the baby. Please, go on,” Granger urged the Healer.
”Well, yes, Mr Potter's condition is very serious. For some reason his body is rejecting the fetus and right now it seems impossible to let the pregnancy continue. In the worst case we'll lose both the father and the baby.”
”Can you say what exactly is it that's rejecting the baby? Is it a physical or a magical reason?” Draco asked.
”It seems physical. Now that he's reached the second trimester of the pregnancy, the fetus needs a lot more energy than Mr Potter's body is able to provide. Their systems are unbalanced and nothing we have tried seems to stabilize it. If the situation doesn't improve soon, we will need to make decisions about continuing the pregnancy.”
”Can I see him?” Draco asked his voice trembling slightly.
The Healer glanced at Granger and Weasley first and Draco felt a little bit offended at the Healer needing a confirmation from them before giving his permission for Draco to see the father of his baby.
”Only one visitor at a time, and don't upset him in any way,” the Healer warned before Draco darted into Harry's room.
Harry looked as if he was barely alive, he looked pale, his skin almost transparent and sweaty. His eyes were closed but they seemed sunken deep with dark circles under them. His breathing was shallow and his heartbeat monitored in a magical control device was erratic. Draco carefully moved beside the bed and took Harry's hand gently in his own.
Harry's eyelids trembled but nothing else happened.
”Harry, please. Give me a sign if you can hear me. Please, Harry.”
Draco felt a weak squeeze in his hand and then Harry's eyes opened slowly.
”Draco? Oh Draco, I'm so happy to see you here.”
”How are you feeling?”
”I'm not important. Please do everything you can to save the baby. Don't let them take the baby away,” a soft sob escaped Harry and a tear rolled down the side of his face.
”I'll try, but if they can't save the baby, I’ll need you to stay with me. We can always have another baby but I don't want to lose you, Harry. Promise me.”
Harry didn't answer, only shook his head in denial. Draco caressed his cheek with his other hand and leaned in to kiss his forehead.
”Please, Harry, promise me. I'm going to go and find help but before I go, please promise me. I can't leave if you don't.”
Harry let out another sob but nodded slightly and Draco softly kissed his lips.
”Granger and Weasley are here. They will stay with you while I'm getting help for us. There must be Veela healers or someone who can help us, help the baby. I'll be back as soon as I can.”
He kissed Harry again before hurrying out of the room. He met Granger and Weasley in the waiting room and asked them to stay with Harry and not let anything happen to him or the baby while he was gone. To Draco's surprise they didn't ask any questions, just quickly agreed and then Draco was on his way.
First he Apparated to the Manor in search of his mother. They both immediately threw themselves into looking for any information on Veela healers or situations like this. Soon Draco couldn't take it anymore, he had to go and physically start searching for help. Narcissa continued to keep looking for any information she could find. Draco Apparated to the Apothecary's in France, hoping he could help him find a Veela Healer or someone who could help them. The Apothecary Thibault himself wasn't available – he was attending some meeting with Potions Masters in Italy and after a long persuasive conversation Draco finally got the location of the meeting from the shop assistant.
Draco Apparated next to Venice where the meeting was being held. First he checked the hotel where the participants of the meeting were accommodated but Thibault wasn't there. Then Draco tried the conference hall where the meeting had been that day, but the participants had already left. Draco was getting frantic and desperate. The Apothecary was his only hope; the man was old and experienced, he surely had the right connections and knew people who could help Harry. Now he only had to find him and persuade him to help them. But where was he? This was the first time since his childhood that Draco felt the urge to crawl to a corner and cry – he felt so helpless and didn't know what to do. Fortunately just then a young witch walked out of the meeting room with a stack of parchments in her arms. Draco rushed to her.
”Miss? Do you know where I could find one of the participants of the Potions Masters meeting? I need to find him, it's urgent.”
The witch glanced at him uncertainly and hesitated. She obviously didn't speak English. Draco quickly explained the situation in Italian and after finding a mutual language the witch was very helpful. She told him the participants had gathered for a late dinner and she gave directions where to find them. Draco thanked her profusely and hurried on his way.
The restaurant was located in a beautiful medieval palace and in normal circumstances Draco would have admired the architecture and restoration with pleasure but now he didn't have time or thought for anything else but finding the Apothecary Thibault. The majordomo of the restaurant led him to a cabinet in the back of the restaurant where the Potions Masters were having dinner. Draco spotted Thibault immediately and the Apothecary didn't waste any time when he saw Draco's desperation.
”What is it, my boy?” Thibault asked once he had led Draco out of the room.
Draco explained the situation as thoroughly as he could and answered the questions the old Apothecary asked him. Seeing his deep frown Draco felt as if an icy hand was squeezing his heart and his desperation deepened. Then Thibault took him by the arm and beckoned towards the door.
”I think I know someone who might be able to help you. Come with me.”
Draco followed Thibault out of the restaurant, through several alleys crisscrossing the old town and listened to him telling about an old Veela Healer who lived as a recluse in a small island outside Venice. He told him they couldn't Apparate to the island because it was heavily warded but they could take a boat there. He told Draco that the old Healer – her name was Signora De Luca – rarely left her sanctuary anymore and accepted only her closest friends to visit her. Fortunately Thibault was counted as her old friend so she'd undoubtedly be willing to meet them.
The boat trip was short, and when Draco followed Thibault up the path from the dock to the small cottage, he curiously looked around. The cottage was surrounded by gardens full of different plants from herbs to large trees. Many of the plants Draco wouldn't recognize even if he'd seen them in full daylight, not to mention seeing them in almost full darkness as it was.
When they reached the cottage and Thibault knocked on the door, Draco sent a silent prayer to all the deities he knew that they'd find help from this Healer. When the door finally opened, Draco could only blink in confusion at the creature standing in front of them. She was a small, fragile looking woman with a long wavy blonde hair and her skin was smooth like silk. Only her bright blue eyes seemed to reveal her old age; they were wise and sharp, surrounded by tiny wrinkles that could be seen only from close proximity. When she greeted Thibault her laugh tingled with joy. Thibault introduced Draco to her and she scrutinized him cautiously before extending her hand as a greeting.
Thibault explained to her why they were seeking her help and the old witch asked a lot of questions from Draco. After having all the information she could get from them, she was silent for a while seeming deep in thought.
”I have treated a patient similar to this only once, about 50 years ago. In that case the pregnant father's own magic was so strong that it refused to adjust to the child's own magic, inherited from the other father who was Veela. Does the other father have a strong magic of his own?”
”Yes, indeed, he's a very powerful wizard but he's not a Veela. I am, only partly though,” Draco explained.
”The child inside him is growing and needs more energy and magic – and also a different type of energy and magic – than the pregnant father can give. Now it's time for you, as the other father of the child, to step in. The child needs your energy and magic now.”
”I'll do anything for them. What can I do to help?”
”You need the serum based on your blood. I'm sure Thibault can make the serum for you if he follows my instructions.”
”Could you please come and see him yourself? We desperately need your help. The Healers in St Mungo's have no idea what to do. Harry and the baby are in danger and there's no time to waste. Please, Signora, come and help us!”
”I'm sure Thibault has explained to you that I don't treat patients anymore. I rarely take any special cases and even then I only guide the local Healers from here. I value my privacy very much and because of my old age I don't travel around anymore, ever. I'm sorry but this is the best help I can offer to you.”
Draco groaned anxiously. ”Signora, please, I'll pay you anything. I'll even beg you and Malfoy's never beg for anything. This time, though, I'm ready to do anything for you to come and help Harry. He can't hold up much longer, he was too weak and in too much pain already when I left. You have to help him!”
Draco slid to his knees in front of the Healer and took her hand in his.
”Signor Malfoy, I don't need money and...”
The Healer's words were cut off when an otter Patronus arrived into the cottage and started to speak in Granger's voice.
”Malfoy, the situation is critical now. Harry's condition is worsened and his magic has gone wild. The Healers don’t want to wait any longer and they will terminate the pregnancy as soon as possible. Please, hurry up!”
Hearing the message something in Draco snapped.
”Oh hell, fuck you all! You all let Harry fight for the whole wizarding world alone against that bastard Voldemort and he saved all of your stupid arses. Now that he needs help, there's no one willing to help even if his life depends on it. If that's how you appreciate what he did for all of you, I don't understand why he bothered to do it in the first place!”
When the last echo of Draco's shouted words vanished, there was only a stunned silence in the cottage. Draco huffed and stomped towards the door for leaving when Signora reached for him.
”You said... It's Harry Potter who needs my help? Why didn't you say so?”
”He doesn't want any special treatment just because of his name but I think it's so unfair if he has to suffer alone after all he's done for all of us. Why, does it make a difference whether you help him or not?”
”Of course it'll make the difference. I appreciate very much all he's done and I can very easily be persuaded to take him as a very special patient. This is something I'd do for no one but him. I'll come with you and do everything I can to help. Thibault, I'll need you too. We might have an urgent need for a Potions Master. Please, inform your friends at the hospital that we're coming. The Healers might not like it very much if some other Healer is stepping into their territory.”
Draco nodded and sent his own Patronus for Granger ordering her to keep the Healers out of Harry's room, send Weasley to get the Veela representative from the Ministry to ensure the Veela Healer was allowed to work without interruptions and also inform the Minister of what was going to happen. He told her they were coming within an hour.
The Healer collected everything she might need and soon she was ready to leave. They took the boat back to the mainland and Apparated to Thibault's Apothecary shop to get him everything he needed in this mission. Then they made the last leg of their journey back to Britain and St Mungo's.
When they arrived at St Mungo's everything seemed normal at first. When they approached the ward where Harry was in, they saw it in chaos. There were several Healers banging the door of Harry's room and demanding to be let in. A deep rumbling sound could be heard coming from the room. Draco tried to get past the Healers but they didn't let him near the door. Draco bellowed in rage but nobody listened to him. He began to use physical force to get the Healers out of his way when a Sonorus was cast and the authoritative voice of the Minister for Magic called ”Quiet!”
All of the shouting and fighting ceased and the Minister stepped between the Healers and the door to Harry's room. Along with the Minister was the Veela representative and Weasley. Draco quickly introduced the Veela Healer and the Apothecary to the Minister and the representative, and he was allowed to enter the room with his companions. One glance at Harry told Draco that they had arrived at the last minute. The whirling magic running wild around the bed calmed as soon as Draco had stepped inside the room.
Granger hovered over Harry looking panicked but as soon as she saw them arriving, her expression turned to relief.
”I kept them out of this room as you requested. They didn't have a chance to do anything to Harry or the baby yet but Harry is really in bad condition.”
”You did great, thank you.”
Draco tried to smile but his eyes were full of worry at seeing Harry so weak and his face ashen. He hurried to him taking Harry's hand in his and brushed his pale lips with his own. Harry's skin was soaked in cold sweat and he couldn't even open his eyes when he croaked in a barely audible voice, ”Draco?”
”Yeah, it's me, Harry. I brought help for you. Everything will be alright.”
With that one word Draco felt his heart burst with affection and protectiveness towards Harry and their baby. He squeezed Harry's hand.
”I'm not going anywhere, I'll stay right here.”
The Veela Healer had already her wand ready and she was casting a diagnosing spell over Harry. She frowned and cast another spell.
”We need to act fast, the child is deteriorating rapidly. Thibault, I need you to begin the serum and draw some blood from Signor Malfoy.”
Draco opened his robes and rolled his sleeve up before the Apothecary even had to ask him. The Healer began to take Harry's hospital gown off and glanced over her shoulder at Draco.
”You can take all of your clothes off as well. I need you in skin to skin contact with him as soon as possible.”
After Thibault had drawn a fair amount of blood from him, Draco climbed in bed with Harry and took him in his arms. The Healer arranged them in a spooning position, Harry's back flush on Draco's chest and Draco's hands on Harry's slightly rounded stomach. She explained that the position allowed the baby as much contact as possible from both fathers and the baby could also hear both of their heartbeats. She cast a spell to connect both their bodies as one for the baby so that both of their energy and magic flowed as one. First aid, as she explained.
Then she instructed Thibault to make the serum that would help Harry's body to adapt better to the baby's needs. The serum took a couple of hours to brew and during that time the Healer kept a close eye on them. She cast the monitoring spell on them and for the first time she looked hopeful.
”The child is getting stronger, your combined energy and magic is helping. When we add the serum into the mix, everything should get back to normal again.”
Draco smiled at her and kissed Harry's neck.
”Did you hear that, Harry? Everything will be back to normal soon. You and the baby are safe.”
Harry stirred in his arms as if waking up from a deep slumber.
”Draco? What's all this? Who are these people? I don't understand a word you're saying. And why are you in bed with me?”
”Shhh, stay calm. They are here to help you and the baby. You remember the Apothecary who provided the potions for you? He's the one, Thibault. He helped me find a Veela Healer who knew what was wrong with you and the baby. She's the Healer, Signora De Luca. She's from Italy and that's why you don't understand us; we speak Italian. She told me that your magic doesn't quite match with the baby's magic and that's what caused the problems. She connected our bodies together so the baby could get our combined energy and magic to get better. The Apothecary is making a serum for you to let your body adapt better for the needs of the baby.”
”They tried to take the baby from me but I didn't let them. Then Hermione pushed them out of the room and warded it so they didn't get back inside. Then... I don't remember. Where is she?”
Draco looked around but didn't see Granger anywhere. He asked Thibault if he knew where she'd gone. The answer made him chuckle.
”What?” Harry asked.
”Thibault said that she bolted out of the room when we started to get naked.”
”Oh,” Harry said and then started to laugh quietly too. ”That must have been a sight.”
The Veela Healer approached the bed holding a vial in her hand. She offered it to Harry but he looked confused.
”Harry, that's the serum you need to take. It will help you and the baby to get along better,” Draco explained.
”What's in it? It looks like blood to me.”
”I think there's a chance that it is mainly blood, my blood.”
”Ugh, I feel like a vampire if I have to drink your blood.” Harry wrinkled his nose.
”Stop complaining and drink it, daddy, it's for your baby,” Draco murmured affectionately and nuzzled Harry's neck.
”It's for our baby, Draco,” Harry whispered back and emptied the vial in one go.
”You changed your mind then? You were so firm about the baby being only yours the last time we talked about it.”
”I think you've proved yourself. Any child would be proud to call you their father. You just saved the baby's life, and mine on the side as well.”
”You know, I just take care of what's mine.”
”I'm beginning to understand that.” Harry smiled at him over his shoulder. ”Now what, we just wait to see if the serum works?”
Realizing that his wand was on the other side of the room, Draco asked Thibault to cast an interpretation spell so Harry could understand what they were talking about.
”Signora, what happens next? How are we going to continue from here if the serum helps Harry and the baby?” Draco asked.
The Healer glanced at the monitoring spell and smiled.
”The serum is already helping. The child is getting stronger with a steady heartbeat and Signor Potter's system is connecting with the child's very well. Soon I can take off the connecting spell of you two but I'll advise you two to keep the skin to skin contact on a daily basis. Maybe doing it during the night is the most convenient time for you as you're both working during the day. I think three doses of the serum will keep the problems away, I believe Thibault can make them for you.”
Thibault nodded, ”I'll have them ready for you as soon as I'm back at my lab. For the rest of this pregnancy you'll probably still need the potions you started with as well and I can provide them to you as usual. The serum, on the other hand, is needed only once if I understood it right, Signora?”
”Yes, after these three doses of the serum, the rest of the pregnancy should go well, because the connection is already opened, and both your and the child's systems are now compatible. It should stay that way for the next pregnancies as well but if any problems like this ever occur again, just contact Thibault and he can make another serum for you.”
Draco noticed Harry blushing at the mention of the next pregnancy but he didn't say anything.
”So for the rest of this pregnancy Harry should keep taking the potion he's been taking from the beginning and otherwise he can keep on living just like any other pregnant wizard?” Draco wanted to recheck.
”Yes, that's right. He'll probably have all those normal symptoms such as cravings, mood swings, swollen ankles, tiredness just like any pregnant person but he should be able to live quite a normal life otherwise. And before you ask, sex is allowed if you are careful, not too rough.” The Healer grinned at seeing both fathers blushing furiously.
”Now, I think it's safe to release the spell but you should stay in your current position for a few more hours. The longer you keep the contact, the better the child will react to your connection.”
She cast the counterspell and Draco felt as if something had been removed from inside of him. He instinctively tightened his hold on Harry and as if feeling the same, Harry pressed even closer to him and wrapped his arms around Draco's on his stomach.
Signora De Luca and the Apothecary Thibault prepared to leave once they saw everything staying stable after the spell was released and the baby was doing fine. Draco thanked them for saving both Harry's and the baby's lives and helping them so much. His gratitude shone in his eyes with a fraction of shame and regret as he also apologized for his earlier outburst back in the Signora's cottage. Both Signora and the Apothecary assured him that they understood, the situation had been very stressful and frustrating for Draco and he had nothing to apologize for. Harry looked confused because he didn't know what had happened there but nevertheless he thanked them for all of their help from the bottom of his heart.
After Draco and Harry were left alone, they stayed as they were, wrapped in each other's arms, and as Harry wanted to know, Draco told him everything that had happened during his trip to France and Italy. Harry admitted that he was really touched at the efforts and determination that Draco had showed at trying to get help for them.
Draco kissed his shoulder. ”I just want to be here for you and the baby, Harry. I want to take care of you both and if you let me, be part of your little family.”
”I think you already are a part of our family, Draco. I'm sorry I treated you so harshly at the beginning. I was afraid that you'd mock me and try to get rid of the baby or take it away from me. I only wanted to protect the baby, not to push you away for good. The baby needs both parents in their life, maybe even a grandmother too.”
At hearing Harry mention a grandmother, Draco remembered Narcissa and that she was probably worried sick. When Granger and Weasley soon cautiously knocked on the door, Draco called them in. He asked Granger to send a message to his mother and tell her everything was fine.
”Your mother already knew about the baby?” Granger inquired.
”Yes, I had Harry's permission to tell her. She won’t spread the news, I can assure you.”
Granger snorted, ”It doesn't matter anymore. Everyone knows now.”
”What?” Draco and Harry shrieked in unison.
”Someone in the hospital – I don’t believe it was anyone on the hospital faculty - must have noticed when we brought you in and then all the chaos afterwards; it was inevitable for someone to put the pieces together and inform The Prophet. It was all over the front page today.”
”Even Draco's part of this, him being the father?” Harry asked.
Weasley nodded grimly, ”That too.”
Harry groaned but Draco couldn't help but be secretly pleased at the news. Now he didn't have to keep it a secret anymore and he could be proud of his family in public as much as he liked. Of course, he had a lot of explaining to do to his friends, maybe receive a couple of Stinging Hexes from Pansy for keeping it from her, but nothing could spoil his good mood now.
”What are you going to do?” Weasley asked gruffly.
”Well, we're going to get through this pregnancy. Draco probably needs to move in with me because of the instructions the Veela Healer gave us, and the rest of it we'll figure out as we go. Right Draco? You're moving in with me?” Harry sounded a little unsure at this point.
”If you really want it, I'll be happy to move in with you.” Draco felt an unadulterated joy fill his heart at knowing he was fully welcome to in his baby's life.
After Granger and Weasley – or Hermione and Ron, as Harry insisted he'd call them from now on – left, Harry turned his head and looked him in the eye with a serious expression on his face.
”You know, I really mean it. I want you to move in with me and the baby. We're a family now and I want you to stay with us. This time stay for good.”
Draco kissed him gently. ”I will.”
Six months later Harry was sitting in a rocking chair feeding the baby in the nursery. He couldn't help but wonder how fast the last months had gone by and even with the incredibly amount of ups and downs along the way, he wouldn't change a minute of it.
Draco had moved in with him and together they had renovated the house for their new family. The colour of the nursery had been decided once they had found out what gender the baby was going to be. Their own master bedroom had been refurnished to meet Draco's taste and now it was elegant but cozy with warm earthly colours and extremely comfortable bed and armchairs. Quite a lot of time had been spent in that bed after Draco had moved in, either just keeping the baby happy with skin to skin contact – which both Harry and Draco valued highly as well – or just cuddling or making slow tender love to each other.
Both Harry and the baby had been well for the whole pregnancy; the potion had helped to keep the physical symptoms mostly away. Harry had been embarrassed at having weird cravings and suffering for the swollen ankles that restricted his moving, but Draco had assured him that he was more than happy to fetch whatever Harry wanted for him and give him foot massages whenever he needed.
Draco had been a wonderful, understanding partner and now a great father to their baby. He had been ecstatic at seeing the first glimpse of the baby when they had met the Healer at St Mungo's to find out if the baby was a boy or a girl. During the labour Draco had been an anxious but supportive father-to-be, patiently bearing all of Harry's bitching and cursing throughout the painful childbirth. Finally having his offspring safely in his arms, Draco had beamed in pride and happiness and floated on cloud nine since then. Harry suspected that Draco's colleagues at work were already fed up with all of Draco's ramblings about their beautiful baby.
A good while before the baby was due, Harry had quit his job at MLE. He had always dreamed of being an Auror when he was at school, but now, after he had made his dream come true, he realized that it wasn't right for him. He still didn't know what he wanted to do in the future but staying home with the baby felt right for now.
Ron and Hermione visited them often and after Draco had accepted them for the baby's godparents, they had slowly started to get along better with him. The same situation applied for Harry too, because Draco also wanted two of his closest friends for the baby's godparents so Harry tried his best to get along with Pansy and Blaise as well.
Draco's mother tried relentlessly to spoil them all with her gifts and offers, and sometimes Harry was a little bit overwhelmed about it, especially if Narcissa allied with Molly Weasley, who also doted on them. These two were an exhausting force to reckon with when they were really putting their mind into it.
Harry heard a Floo chiming when someone arrived.
”Harry? Are you home?” Narcissa Malfoy's voice carried easily to the nursery.
”Yes, I'm in the nursery. Come in, Narcissa!”
Narcissa appeared at the door holding a big cake in her hands.
”The house-elves insisted on baking a cake for you in hopes you'd visit with the baby again soon,” she grinned.
”Argh, I'm getting fat with all this cake eating. You better make them stop baking so much or I'll not fit in my clothes soon. You know I can't resist the cakes!”
”Well, then you better promise them that you'll visit soon. Then there won't be more cakes, at least not so often.” Narcissa winked at him.
”I knew it! You are the force behind this conspiracy against us,” Harry huffed but smiled then. ”You want to take care of the burping?”
”I'd be happy to!” Narcissa put the cake on the table and reached out to take the fussing baby from Harry.
”Grandma's little princess! How are you today? Did you eat enough? Here, let me help you to get the little bubbles out of your belly. Here we go. Soon they don't bother you anymore.”
Narcissa cooed at the baby and rubbed her back gently. After the baby had burped, she held her against her chest and danced around the room. The baby stared up at her with her bright green eyes and Narcissa caressed her white blond hair.
”You are so beautiful, my little princess Lily. Such a sweet flower fairy you are, and believe me, your grandmother knows everything about the flower fairies...”
Even though Harry knew babies this age didn't know how to smile yet, he'd have sworn he saw Lily's lips twitch and the corners of her sweet rosy mouth curl up into a lovely smile.
Harry shook his head in amusement and left with the cake to give some privacy to his daughter and her grandmother to share their little secrets.