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4. Not quite an Epilogue Draco Malfoy couldn't believe that his life would get any better. He was finally together with his Love; their relationship for was the most part secretive, but still the best thing that ever happened to either of them. Ron, with whom he was actually on first name basis now, had finally gotten together with Hermione after a long time and many ugly fights. Hermione still cried over the fact that she drove Harry into gayness, and she saw Ron only as a short time solution. The redhead, however, did know something the little know-it-all didn't: A relationship with a pureblood wizard or witch was something for life, and Ron didn't have any intentions to ever let her go again. Harry was oblivious to the fact as well, but seeing that the boy made love declarations on end and even spoke of the time after their 2nd anniversary, convinced Draco know that Harry would be his forever; even without their little bond. Recently, Draco was chopping daisy roots for his Shrinking Solution. He really couldn't believe life would get any better for him. He was soon to be proofed wrong. Pansy Parkinson, also known as Pushy Pugface, sat as always beside him in Potions and was nagging non-stop about how the new Wondrous Wart Wrecker (TM) wasn't worth its money, "-but after only ten minutes they just pop back and I-" Draco's eyes glazed over, trying to block out the cruel mental picture of where exactly those warts were located. Harry didn't have any warts – well, he didn't have any in the places Draco had seen so far. "-and I will make sure to sue them-" Pansy's voice droned on like an annoying insect that just begged to be squashed. What would Draco give for a bit more action? Harry was on the other side of the dungeons. Therefore, love letters were out of the question. But there had to be something- Something soft and jelly splashed onto his table, right beside his chopping board. Pansy didn't seem to notice due to her rant about her cosmetic problems. Draco's lips quirked as he recognised what exactly had been thrown his way, and realised who had thrown it. Ever since he and Harry had become a couple, they had their own little hobby to get each other deliberately into detentions together. That way they could spend more time together without raising suspicions. It had worked fine so far. "Professor, Potter cast an eye at me!" Draco exclaimed, grinning inwardly at the phrasing. The Slytherin side of the dungeons snickered openly, and Harry shot a practised death glare his way. "Ten points from Gryffindor," Snape said lazily, not looking up from his papers. Draco smirked (Pansy complained some more about her orange skin). "It was a very squishy eye, sir," the blond went on. Ten points off were not enough; he needed Harry to get into detention. Afterwards, he'd do something foolish and earn one for himself. His godfather might favour him, but more than a bit of chuckling and mocking, and you saw yourself in detention faster than you could say, "He started it!" "I think Potter hexed it to spy on me," Draco said mock-alarmed. "It has this strange look in the ... eye." "That's ridiculous, Malfoy!" yelled Harry across the room. "If I wanted to spy on you, I'd use a magical mirror!" Draco choked. "Well, Potter," the silky voice of the Potions master was heard. "If your purpose wasn't to merely annoy Mr. Malfoy, the only other reason springing to my mind is that you wanted to ruin his potion deliberately by throwing ingredients. Unfortunately for you, your aiming accuracy is not as sophisticated as your dreadful sense of eyewear fashion. Detention tonight at seven o'clock sharp." Draco sighed in compassion at Harry's exaggerated tortured groan. "Stupid Potter," Pansy sniffed. "Serves him right. He should know by now not to mess with us Slytherins." She tittered in her horrible voice, as if she'd made the best joke of her life. Draco gritted his teeth and counted till ten, both to repress his anger and to make sure to add the next ingredient at the exact time to their potion. The concoction simmered peacefully, emitting little puffs of smoke. Draco grabbed the eye, wincing inwardly at the disgusting feeling, and then he threw it back at Harry. "Hey, Potter!" he called, effectively drawing Snape's attention. "Catch!" "Accio," Snape uttered, pointing his wand at the eyeball before it could hit Harry. The organ changed directions and soared straight at the Potions master, who sent the eye then back into the storage room; no need to waste perfectly good potions ingredients. "Mr. Malfoy," he growled, sending Draco a stern glare. "As you seem so intent on joining Mr. Potter in his detention, I shall proof my gracious streak once again and grant your wish. Seven o'clock in front of my office." "Yes, sir." The blond tried to sound humble and apologetic, yet inside he felt like celebrating. He would spend the whole evening with Harry, and if he had any luck, his godfather would even have them do their work unsupervised. "Hmm," sniffed Pansy disdainfully and shot Draco what she surely believed a compassionate glance. "After Voldie's timely demise, Professor Snape isn't quite the same anymore, is he? Back then, he would have ignored your little prank – which was only payback, anyway – but now ... I am so sorry that you have to endure Potter now for a whole evening." Draco bit his tongue to keep himself from saying that he was also sorry he had to endure her for longer than he cared to know. "I appreciate your concern," he only said, and he even meant it. Pansy might be a dull bint most of the time, and she might curse Harry at every opportunity, but when it had really mattered, she had had enough confidence in him to trust him with her life – and she lived. The rest of the lesson was pretty uneventful. Draco's potion was flawless as always; no surprise there, considering the fact that the blond got private tutoring from his godfather during the summer breaks. Neville's cauldron had acquired a few dents as his potion miraculously shot nut-sized sparks in various directions. Snape had taken a total of seventy points off Gryffindor (sixty of poor Longbottom), but had refrained from giving any more detentions. Surely, he had drawn the connection that if he put Longbottom in detention with him, he'd have to suffer from his presence even more than he was already forced to. "What to wear? What to wear!" the vain, distressed Slytherin murmured, pulling his hair in an attempt to bring his raging mind back into order. "Silver is too clichéd, green looks better on Harry, blue is so not my colour ..." The discarded robes lay in a heap on the tiles, as Draco stood in his underwear in the chilly bathroom, wringing his hands in despair. Dressing for the day was difficult enough, but for these still too rare occasions when he met (almost) alone with his boyfriend, Draco was as vain as one could get. He wanted to look his best for Harry, even if that meant to provoke the scorn of all the Slytherin boys, who were currently waiting outside of the bathroom. Thanks to the Silencing Charm the blond had cast earlier, he didn't have to endure all those threats and curses anymore. After Voldemort's and his followers' downfall, which had landed Lucius Malfoy Kissed in Azkaban, the remaining Slytherins weren't impressed any longer when the famous words fell from Draco's mouth; "Wait till my father hears of this!" He should be grateful he knew, but he couldn't help dreading the end of term, when he would be heading home for school break. Draco shuddered at the thought of his mother and what she might say or do when she got wind of the fact that her son was gay and in a relationship with the boy who had ruined her and Lucius' life. Disinheriting would be his luckiest fate. Draco sighed. One problem after the other. No need to rack his pretty brains. He was way too young for his first worry-wrinkles. After much ado, the Slytherin decided that school robes would have to do. He didn't want to get his godfather suspicious, after all, but now the blond saw himself confronted with the next problem: Which school robe? A spectator might say that the robes were identical, but to Draco's schooled eyes, they were not. One was dark black, hugging his smooth body and pooling softly around his ankles. The other robe was deep black, embracing him and pooling gently around his ankles. These facts made all the difference, as Draco held out a robe in front of him, critically studying his reflection. "Hot date?" a familiar husky voice drawled, making Draco groan inwardly. Why, oh why was it so difficult to get some peace? He only had forty more minutes to decide what to wear and he hadn't even started looking for shoes and matching socks, for Merlin's sake! "Hot detention, more like," Draco growled to the (gold and silver framed) mirror. "Now, if you'd be able to kindly-" "Why don't you wear the black robe with the silver stitching?" "-continue pestering me?" Draco let out an exasperated sigh. "Show yourself already. It's kind of eerie to have a conversation with my own reflection." The mirror's surface swirled again, facial features beginning to protrude, as the mirror took its third dimension. "Now, dear boy," she said softly, ignoring Draco's life threats at the name, "I wasn't 'pestering' you, as you put it so unlovely. I am well aware when I'm not wanted, rest assured." "Not that again," Draco groaned wearily. "All your talk about leaving, never to return is all nothing but empty rubbish. Admit it, you enjoy being the sneaky mirror and taking forbidden glances, don't you?" "Humph," was the vacuous response. "You will know what I was worth when I'm not here anymore, dear boy." "Yes, as I will miss you calling me that," Draco growled. "My new Mistress-" "You actually mean it this time?" The boy sounded hopeful. "-is by far sneakier than you," the mirror went on mercilessly. "You've lost your touch, did you know, dear? You've gone soft, but Christine ... Oh, she is a true Slytherin ..." her voice trailed off dreamily. "I'm as true a Slytherin as anyone else in this house!" snarled the blond, affronted. "I was sly enough to get what I wanted in just one week!" "Yes," the mirror smirked. "After you had the confirmation that your sappy feelings were requited." "Oh, that's enough! Go on and leave me! See if I care!" "I take my leave gladly, my dear." "Sod off already," Draco grumbled. Everyone was leaving him! Was it something he'd said or done? Oh well. Let them all abandon him, as long as Harry was with him, the world was all right. "Live well," the mirror sighed dramatically. "And if you ever happen to need something again; I'm with Christine, the prettiest witch- well, there's still her stepdaughter, who's living with- but that's a whole new story." The thin lips curved into a tight smile. And then, with a splash, she was gone, leaving Draco to his still unsolved dilemma. "Maybe I'm going to take the black robes with the silver stitching," he mused aloud. Draco arrived at Snape's office to a surprising sight: Harry was already there. The Slytherin smiled and mouthed the obligatory "I love you," before standing beside his boyfriend, shoulders barely touching. Harry nudged him and mouthed the words "Love you more" back, making Draco's insides squirm with joy and warmth. Before the Slytherin had the chance to mutter "I love you even more," however, the door to Snape's office swung open and a quite ruffled DADA professor stumbled out. "Well, see you later, Sev," Lupin said softly, the smile obvious in his voice, even though the werewolf's back was to them. "Love you." "Yes, yes, I know," Snape said hastily, shooing Lupin out. "I don't want-" His grin froze as he caught sight of Draco and Harry standing silently in the hallway, for once perfectly on time. "-us to catch you?" Draco drawled with an angelic smile. "Too late." Harry had to bite the inside of his mouth to keep from smiling. "Seven o'clock sharp. We are on time," he said innocently, though Draco knew he wasn't that innocent. Draco snickered at the embarrassed look of Lupin, while the professor blushed to the roots of his dishevelled hair, trying to smooth out his robes. "Twenty points from whichever house this tid-bit of information leaks out," Snape said coolly, turning around with a flourish and stalking stiffly back inside his office. Lupin gave Harry a nervous smile and then practically fled like he wanted to do the moment he realised they weren't alone anymore. "Snape and Remus?" whispered Harry more shocked than surprised. "Severus and Lupin?" exclaimed Draco equally soft, but more shocked about the fact that the two had been so careless. "What does he see in him?" "Who?" "Well?" they heard Snape's impatient voice snap. "What are you waiting for? An engraved invitation? Do come in already and for Merlin's sake, close the door!" Not wanting to get on his godfather's bad side (he was one of the very few who could actually differentiate between the good and the bad side), Draco quickly marched into the office. The room was warmer than most of the dungeons. From the doorway leading to the classroom, Draco could see faint flickering, indicating that there was at least one fire burning. Not that the Potions master would start a fire in the hearth for the students, he took the word 'detention' quite to its limit. When Draco caught sight of the Potions master, however, his resolve to be good went up in smoke. Snape's collar was pulled up so high, it seemed unnatural, or ... as if he had something to conceal. Pity that his godfather was so awful at Glamour Charms. "Do you have a cold, Professor?" the blond asked, snickering quietly, one brow raised suggestively. Harry tried unsuccessfully to mask his laughter with a cough, while Snape's eyes narrowed even more. "I am perfectly healthy," the Potions master growled lowly, fighting (and losing quickly) not to flush in an ugly brick colour. "So, no, I'm not going to die on you during detention!" His eyes shot daggers at his daring godson, who was clearly unaffected, because he recognised the glares and words for what they were: Empty threats from a wolf, no, a dog that barked but did not bite. "Don't get too cocky with me, Mr. Malfoy. Even I have my limits." Dark eyes penetrated his grey ones, but where other students like Neville Longbottom might have quivered and wet their pants, Draco merely sighed in fake surrender. "On with the fun part, then?" the blond asked, putting his bag aside. "What do you want us to do, sir?" Harry wanted to know more meekly, trying not to turn too green at the thought of his last detention with Snape where they had to gut hundreds of toads. It had taken the Gryffindor (who, unlike Draco, had not thought of putting on impenetrable gloves) days to get rid of the colouring and the stench from the toad intestines, and even now the boy wisely refrained from licking his fingers after meals. "Before Mr. Potter here has the chance to contaminate my office floor, I will save you from the agony of the unbeknownst. Due to the unlucky fact that my storage room is fully stocked," (Draco thought that must have something to do with the fact that there were indeed that many detentions, ensuring that the prepared potions ingredients were never lacking,) "you will both get away easily this time. You will put the vials with ready potions into alphabetic order, but don't think you could get off so easily ever again. I'm expecting a new deliverance of horned slugs for next Tuesday." He shot a knowing glance at the newly greening Gryffindor. "Well? Why are you still standing? Get to work already! And don't 'conveniently' forget one shelf!" He waved them away and then turned back to the door leading to the potions classroom. Draco could see two cauldrons on the teacher's desk, various scrolls of parchment lying scattered around. The blond couldn't help admiring his godfather's skills and grace for a few moments; the cauldron was as much Severus' element as the broom was Harry's. "Draco?" "Hmm?" The Slytherin turned around to Harry, grinning at how the dark-haired boy seemed as if he couldn't cope, holding three vials, sporting a puzzled look. Then, Draco groaned, as he saw how tiny and illegible Snape's claw was. Even as a pseudo-family member, Draco hadn't quite figured out the art of Snape's writing. They would need some kind of reading spell to even understand what the labels said. Taking into account the fairly stretched shelves with dozens and dozens of potion vials, tonight's detention would probably take even longer than their gutting session. Oh joy. "I hope you are not considering using any kind of magic with your task," the silky voice of the Potions professor could be heard. "For every Hieroglyph Spell the wards register, the caster costs his House ten points. Now, you may continue with your 'fun'." "Sadistic bastard," Harry grumbled, and Draco couldn't help but agree, family ties aside. What kind of godfather would pull the wool over his own godson's eyes? Their work was strenuous and took loads of time, but neither dared anything but a few touches and whispered words. They were too aware of the burning glares Snape was sending their way through the doorway, as if the professor was afraid they would either start a fight at any second, or try to steal some of his potions for whatever dark purposes he suspected they could have. Harry was still easily intimidated by Snape's mere presence, and Draco caught his boyfriend repeatedly with trembling fingers. "Harry," the blond whispered to the boy who used his spectacles like a magnifying glass to decipher the scrawling on one vial, absentmindedly murmuring to himself. "Please, be careful with the vials and try to just ignore Se- Snape. He's in the other room and can't do anything." Draco grabbed a vial himself and studied it closely in front of his eyes. He hoped Harry hadn't heard his little slip; he hadn't told his boyfriend yet that the most feared Potions master was indeed his godfather. Somehow, he dreaded this little confession more than the revelation his spying activity. What would Harry say? Severus Snape was, after all, not one of Harry's favourite persons, but Draco was quite fond of him. They'd have to work it out. "I'm totally relaxed," Harry mumbled not very convincingly, but cast a quick smile, nonetheless. He put the vial, which had turned out to be a Dreamless Sleep Draught, on the first shelf and then grabbed another one. The words in front looked like 'Urixzijlnm,' but as this was not a known potion to Draco, the Slytherin merely shrugged. He had his own riddle to solve. The glass jingled slightly as he put the not yet identified potion back on the desk. This would take ages, as the boy did not harbour any hopes that his godfather would let them go before they had finished. Draco pulled at his tie to loosen it a bit. The office was stuffy and hot, unbelievable for a dungeon room, for the heat of Snape's fire wafted through the door, making him sweat. "Hey," Draco whispered lowly, as to not alert the Potions master. "Next time you want a detention, don't start anything in potions class again. The gutting was bad enough, even cleaning the trophy room with Filch sounds like fun compared to this." "What?" Harry asked startled and turned abruptly around to his boyfriend. "Damn!" The curse followed a clinging sound. Draco lifted a bemused brow, regarding his not so graceful Gryffindor. He should have known that something like that would happen sooner or later; at least Harry hadn't broken the vial. Draco chuckled at Harry's horrified expression. The stopper had fallen to the floor, when the dark-haired boy had banged his hand against a shelf. Little puffs of smoke soared up, as it was so warm in the room. Harry's eyes glazed over, the Urixzijlnm Potion (or whatever else it was) loosely in his hand. "Harry?" Draco asked, waving his hand in front of the other's face. However, said Harry didn't react, he just continued to look vaguely dazed. Draco wondered what that potion was and ripped Harry's hand away from under his nose. "Are you okay?" "Yes," Harry responded lazily, a far-away look in his eyes, making Draco question himself what exactly those potions Snape stored included. "You're such a dumb brain, Harry!" Draco cursed, shaking his head. "After Voldemort's death, you are your own biggest enemy." "I'm not dumb, I'm only a bit clumsy today. You did surprise me. I thought you didn't want to meet me anymore ..." his voice trailed off, and he blinked his eyes slowly. Draco couldn't believe his ears. Why would Harry say, let alone think such a thing? He wanted to grab his boyfriend and shake some sense back into him, but the open vial left him a bit wary. The stopper must have rolled somewhere, because the Slytherin couldn't spot it anywhere. Magic was out of the question, and he would have to be more foolish than a Gryffindor to attempt stopping the fumes from escaping with his hands. Harry was the brave one of the two; he would have to hold the vial, as it was his fault that it was open, anyways. "Where's the stopper?" "It fell down," Harry said, but made no attempt to search for it. "Argh!" Draco gritted his teeth. "Why don't you look for it then?" "Because I'm standing here and doing nothing." Harry's voice was monotonous and slow, which was the only thing which kept Draco from pouncing his boyfriend to attempt and cause serious damage. 'It's not his fault he's scared out of his mind by Severus,' Draco repeated in his head. 'Everyone could have knocked the vial open and inhaled the fumes of unknown origin ... Don't forget, he's your boyfriend. You can't throttle him and blame it on temporary madness!' "Prat," Draco only said. "Love you, too," Harry murmured. "I said you were a git! You're unbelievable! Only you could ... I won't even get into that!" "There is actually a reason why this is called a detention," the silky voice of the Potions master growled from far too near to be comforting. "And it should not include that much chattering." Draco gasped softly, hoping his godfather hadn't heard Harry's words of affection. Otherwise, there would be hell to pay. "You both are to do your work and hopefully – though, I seriously doubt it – learn your lesson. This is neither the time nor the place for your petty fights. I would have expected better of you, Mr. Malfoy." Draco cringed at the disapproving glare. "Not that I'm surprised with you, Potter." Harry didn't even blink, causing Snape to frown and Draco to grin. "Why, pray tell, do you think ..." his voice petered out as his frown mutated into a vicious snarl upon seeing the open bottle in Harry's hand. "I think, because my brain cells enable me to do so," was the Boy-Who-Lived's soft reply. "Most of the time, at any rate." Snape's eyes snapped to Harry's face, then flickered shortly to the vial's labelling, before he grinned evilly. No surprise that Snape was actually able to read his own scrawling, but what was in the vial? "How ironic that you should unstopper the Veritaserum, isn't it, Potter?" Snape whispered in glee. Draco succeeded in stifling his gasp. He didn't know what surprised him more; that Snape could write 'Veritaserum' in a way that it looked like 'Urixzijlnm,' or that Harry really had the misfortune to just come across the truth serum. It should at least proof interesting, in a twisted, Slytherin kind of way. Draco was torn between wanting to protect Harry's dignity and asking his boyfriend a few questions himself. Opportunities existed to be explored, after all, and who was he to defy that law? "Is inhaling Veritaserum as effective as swallowing the three drops, Professor?" Draco asked, amusement in his voice. Snape sneered. "Why don't we ask Potter here?" "Because I cannot answer the question." Draco snorted. When could he ever answer one of the Potions master's questions? "I should have guessed," Snape mused. "What would Potter know, anyways?" "I know many things," Harry said softly and blinked. "Such as?" Snape prompted doubtfully. "Hundred-one ways of how to disrupt classes in order to annoy your professors?" "Hundred-thirty-two ways," Harry corrected calmly. "And not all are to annoy. Most of them are to get into detention." Draco gasped, balling his hands into fists; he couldn't really stuff Harry's mouth now, could he? Snape would ask too many questions; he had asked too many questions already. What started as some harmless fun, degenerated too fast into something out of control. "How long does it work?" the blond asked hurriedly, trying to give Harry time to come to again, but Snape wasn't really listening. He had a calculating, slightly puzzled look on his face, as if he didn't grasp what had just been said. "You get yourself deliberately in detention?" the Slytherin Head of House asked incredulously. "Do I even want to know why?" "We should really continue with our task," Draco interjected hurriedly. "Otherwise, we won't finish at all!" "Yes, deliberately," Harry said, answering Snape's first question. "And no, I don't think you'd like to ... know." The boy blinked again a few times, a bit of the usual sparkle back in his eyes. "Why?" "Because you don't like me-" "Can you tell me what's written on this, sir?" Draco said quickly, thrusting a random glass vial into Snape's face. The Potions master pushed his hand away and growled in warning. "-but you seem to like Draco," continued Harry as if he hadn't been interrupted at all. He staggered shortly, oblivious to what his words had just caused, and reached for his forehead. "Draco?" Snape asked in a dreadful whisper. "That's his name," Harry answered, and Draco breathed a sigh of relief. Nothing was revealed, he could still go on normally with his life. Snape's features settled back into his usual unpleasant expression. "Can we go back to work, then?" Draco inconspicuously kept a lookout for the stopper of the vial. Snape nodded shortly, looking vaguely disappointed and relieved at the same time, but then Harry opened his mouth, as if Draco had asked him the question. "Yes, Love." Both Draco and Snape froze for reasons of their own. Harry shook his head to clear it and rubbed his eyes. "L-" Snape nearly choked on the word, a myriad of thoughts battling in his mind. "Wha-?" he then brought his questions to the point. He was shell-shocked, mouth agape. Draco would have laughed, if he hadn't felt like banging his head against the next wall. Just a few hours ago, the Slytherin hadn't believed life could get any better; now he knew it could always get worse in a matter of seconds. Snape didn't appear capable of sight (Draco waved his hand frantically in front of his eyes) nor of hearing (he also shouted in his ears). The first word escaping the teacher's mouth after nearly five minutes was, "Why?" and then, "What did I do wrong?" "No," Draco groaned. "Please, say that it's not as I think it is," Snape begged, clearly itching to wring his hands in a nervous manner. "Anyone but Potter! Even Longbottom would have been better!" "Oh, thanks," Draco drawled, sarcasm flowing from every pore of his being. "Now I'm relieved that Nev and I got your consent." "You would have my consent within seconds! But ... Potter of all people?" "I'm still present, you know?" Harry said softly. The boy braced himself against an empty shelf. "Why would we need, let alone want, your consent anyway, Professor?" he asked, sounding weary. "After your twenty questions – thanks, by the way, for your help, Draco," (the blond grinned sheepishly, embarrassed,) "I don't think there's much 'respect' left for you, sir." "Harry ..." "Well, it's true! It's not his business with whom you're with, so he should keep his big nose out of it!" "Ten points from Gryffindor, Potter. Watch your choice of words." Snape didn't look like it really mattered whether or not Harry obeyed to that rule; the more points the Slytherin Head of House could deduct, the better. "What did Narcissa have to say about this, Draco? She must be even more elated than I am." "Mother doesn't know!" said Draco quickly. "And she mustn't find out either, Severus!" "What?" exclaimed Harry confused, but Draco didn't even seem to hear. "You can't tell her! She's going to kill me! And maybe even Harry; she's quite capable when determined." "I should think so," Snape said. "Narcissa can be fairly scary when she chooses so." "Scary?" Draco snorted. "She's downright evil. She'd skin me alive if she knew I'm with the boy who ruined her and father's life." Snape cringed. "You're with the boy ... That makes it so final, so ... irreversible ..." "It is," Draco smirked. "Isn't it, Harry?" "I'm not so sure anymore," Harry replied crossly. "Why are you calling Snape by his given name and why are you so familiar with him? It's creepy!" "He doesn't know?" Snape asked, happy not to be the only one having to cope with mind-numbing revelations that day. "Why haven't you told him yet ... Draco? Why, are you ashamed of me?" he whispered, making the blond frown and the dark-haired boy scowl. Merlin only knew what kind of connections Harry drew from that sentence. Snape really couldn't have put more innuendo in it. Harry was only the most powerful magical being on earth, after all, why not imply a past – or better yet, present – relationship with his boyfriend? Snape had to be suicidal; after Voldemort's decease his life lacked the thrill, obviously. "Oh, shut up, you," Draco said, throwing a glare in Snape's direction. "Draco ..." growled Harry. "Don't say ... the two of you? That's just gross!" "Come on!" the blond snapped, exasperated. "He's way too old for me; he could be my grandfather!" "Excuse me?" Snape bristled visibly. "My father?" Snape still glowered. "Okay," Draco conceded. "My older brother." He shot Harry a look and rolled his eyes, mouthing the words "Midlife Crisis," so Snape couldn't hear him. "So, now that that's settled," the Potions master said briskly. "Back to your detentions." "Nothing's settled! What's going on here?" demanded Harry. "If you aren't ... weren't," he shuddered at the mere thought, "then why ...?" "You've got to be strong now, Harry," said Draco in compassion, putting a hand on the other boy's shoulder. "You may have faced and even won against Dark Lords and rescued helpless kittens from the fangs of evil, but this will put even you through the final test." "Spare him the details," Snape muttered. Harry flickered his gaze from one to the other and grimaced. "To use Professor Snape's words: Do I even want to know?" "No, but now it's too late, anyway." Harry closed his eyes and prepared himself for the inevitable. "He's my godfather." The sun hadn't crashed down and Ragnarök wasn't likely to strike any second. "That's it?" Harry frowned, glancing at Draco, then at Snape and back. "Your godfather? My godfather is an ex-convict of Azkaban, so what's the big deal with a Death Eater turned spy? Godfather," Harry snorted softly. "It's a bloody relief!" "Enough," said Snape with a hint of his usual strictness. "Now that everybody knows everything, you'll be able to get back to your work, won't you?" "Severus?" asked Draco hesitantly. "You won't tell anyone about, you know, us?" He moved his hand in Harry's general direction. Snape looked as if he would never even consider such a thing. "Nothing is farther from my mind, rest assured. I'm still in denial." Draco laughed softly. "You won't tell mother, will you?" he begged, rubbing his temples in distress. "I don't even know what I'm going to do about her. I mean, she's bound to find out sometime, though I hope it's rather later than sooner, but during school break ... I don't even want to think about that." "Hey," said Harry softly, gently taking Draco's hand in his own, making Snape flinch. "We'll work something out. I really wished I had captured Pettigrew ... Sirius would take us both in; he's got plenty of room." "I know," Draco responded. "And we need a legal guardian for at least three more years, too." He sighed, throwing a calculating glance at Snape, then sighed again for good measure. "You know, I'd take you in any second-" Snape began uneasily. "Thanks!" cried Draco, throwing himself at an embarrassed Potions master, while his boyfriend frowned in confusion and even a bit jealousy. "You're the best! I wouldn't know what to do if you weren’t willing to take me in! Mother won't be happy, but she's no match for you, is she?" Draco let finally go of the man, enabling him to breathe properly again. "And when you're already at it, you can also take in Harry, right? The Dursleys are a bunch of abusive jerks!" "I don't think that's-" Harry tried to interject awkwardly, but Draco simply pushed his hand with the open Veritaserum vial back under his nose. "Is it true, or not?" "It's true," said Harry softly. Draco nodded, took the vial and magically stoppered it. As he turned back to his godfather, the man's emotions barrelled for dominance on his face. "Harry's a poor little orphan," the blond tried to appeal to his compassion; a risky decision with someone like Snape. "You can't let him live with the mean Dursleys for three more years when you can do something about it!" Draco begged with big round eyes, clearly knowing what strings to pull to make Snape do his every bidding. "Very well," Snape sighed in surrender. "I'll look what I can do for the both of you. Taking custody of you, Draco, won't be much of a problem when Narcissa is finally convicted for her Death Eater crimes. Potter ... Harry, though ..." Snape sighed again, favouring the dazed Gryffindor with a look, "I'm not so sure." "Voldemort's dead," Draco exclaimed. "Harry doesn't need to stay with the Dursleys anymore because of the Blood Magic wards. He could live where he wants to. Hell, he killed the evil Dark Lord but still has to have someone look after him according to the Ministry. How warped is that?" "Very much so. What do you suppose I should do about it?" "I don't know. Take Harry and me in, become Minister of Magic and change the law ... Whatever happens first." Draco grinned. "You'll really take us in?" "I said I would do what I can, but yes, if it's possible, I'll take you both." Snape grimaced. "Then I won't even have my Potter-free holidays anymore. I'm doomed." "Yes, you are," said Draco lightly. "But thanks, anyway. I'm sure Harry will be delighted by the news. When he comes to again, that is." He shot a frowning glance at the Gryffindor. Things were back in order now. And they were even better than in the beginning Draco realised. He wouldn't have to see his mother anymore; unfortunately his inheritance neither. However, there were things of more worth than the Malfoy fortune. Harry, for example. His love and his sanity, as well. And not to forget, the Potter fortune. Draco thought he heard Snape mumble something about Remus not going to be so happy about the intrusion by the young couple. "But on the other hand," the Potions master mused, "who was going on about starting a family and babies all the time and had me brewing one MPreg Potion after the other?" He shot a glare through the doorway at the fuming cauldrons. "Well, that's over for now. I'm not going to survive more than two brats." A/N: 'Christine' from 'The 10th Kingdom'.

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