- Draco Malfoy/Harry Potter
- Draco Malfoy Harry Potter Original Female Witch
- Slash Drama
- Harry and Classmates Post-Hogwarts
- Philosopher's Stone Chamber of Secrets Prizoner of Azkaban Goblet of Fire Order of the Phoenix Quidditch Through the Ages
Published: 04/22/2005Updated: 07/30/2008Words: 247,857Chapters: 31Hits: 79,195
- Story Summary:
- It all started with a little bet. "I bet you can't do it." "Do what?" "Seduce him." Draco Malfoy's never been one to back down from a perfectly do-able bet. But when that bet involves Harry Potter? Draco's realising that this bet isn't as cut and dry as it seems, nor as easy... AU post-war, post-Hogwarts, Harry/Draco/OC
- Chapter Summary:
- Someone unexpected comes for a visit.
- Author's Note:
- Ah...well. Hm. This chapter and the next two are rather short, but I hope they'll tide you over until I can jump-start my muse again. In actuality, these chapters were hard to write -- not in the technical sense...I've got all the chapters planned out, so it isn't thinking up things that's so much the problem, it's that almost everything sounds just...like crap to me. Or that it doesn't flow right. It's sorta hard to explain, I guess. I think a lot of it has to do with me not being as excited about these last few chapters as other things coming up in the story, so I don't want to spend as much time on it, so I don't, then I think it's crap, and then... Well. You get the picture. But, from what I've heard so far, no one can tell the difference! lol
Chapter XXVI - Remus Visits
Hearing a knock on the door, Neville went to answer it, still a little sleep-mussed and waiting for the girls to come over and fix breakfast - he mused that he had probably become too dependant on them for food. The least he could do was make himself some bloody toast.
Opening the door, he blinked at the bright early-winter morning, squinting until he could see the silhouetted figure in front of him.
"Good morning, Neville."
Recognising the man, he smiled. "Wow, I wasn't expecting you! I'll go get Harry!" Letting the man in, Neville dashed upstairs, knocking once before striding into Harry's room.
"Harry, Harry! Wake up!"
"What is it, Neville?" Harry asked sleepily, rubbing his eyes.
"Mr. Lupin is here!"
A smile instantly lit up Harry's face. "Remus?" At Neville's nod, Harry threw back the covers and slipped on his glasses, running past the other man before dashing down the stairs. Upon seeing Remus, still a little shabby around the edges, Harry cried out, "Remus!" and launched himself at the older man.
"Whoa! Harry, it's good to see you. But we're both a little older, and you're not as small as you once were."
"Sorry," said Harry sheepishly, stepping back from the embrace that nearly knocked Remus over. "What brings you here?"
"Your Quidditch game, remember? I told you I'd come for the next home game. It is November 15th, isn't it?"
"Oh! Oh, yes. Well, er...I'm not playing."
"Er, no. Draco is."
Harry nodded. "Yes. Mikhail - my boyfriend - put him in the line-up this game."
Remus raised an eyebrow. "Well then. I'll just have to watch him instead."
Harry smiled. "Do you want to go out for breakfast? Have you eaten already?"
"Just some tea. But yes, I'd like to."
"Great! There's this nice place in the village. Let me go get dressed, and I'll meet you down here in a few minutes."
"Take your time, Harry. I'm in no rush."
Harry dashed back up the stairs, taking two at a time. He threw on the first jumper he could find (a Weasley one a few years old) and a pair of jeans, shoving on socks and shoes and dashing back down the stairs, grabbing his heavy cloak on the way.
Remus looked up from his conversation with Neville, and said, "That was quick."
"I'm anxious for food and conversation with an old friend," was Harry's reply.
"Well, we best get going then. Good day, Neville. I'm sure I'll see you before I leave this evening."
"Well, you will be staying for dinner, won't you?" Harry asked.
"If I'm welcome, of course."
"You're always welcome, Remus."
Smiling, the two men bid Neville a farewell, and started walking towards the village. "So, Harry, how've you been?"
Harry chuckled. "I've been alright. Things have been...up and down, as usual, I suppose."
Remus nodded. "But it's not the usual, I suspect."
Harry glanced over at the old werewolf. His hair was now mostly grey, and there were laugh lines and transformation scars on his skin, but his eyes crinkled with a vitality that Harry wished he could have kept himself. After everything, the tired look on Remus' face was waning, almost gone, and he obviously felt freer than he had in a long time.
Finally, Harry shrugged. "No, I suppose it's not. It's one complication or another."
"Yes, life is like that."
They were companionably silent the rest of the way to Celestine's, entering the quiet café and seating themselves at a cosy booth next to the fireplace. Celestine, bright-eyed as always, came over and took their coffee orders while they figured out what they wanted for breakfast. When Celestine came back with a tray laden with coffee, cream and sugar, they ordered their food, and waited until he walked away to continue their conversation.
"So, Harry, would you like to talk about these 'complications'?" Remus asked gently.
Harry bit his lip. "I...I don't know, Remus."
"It's okay. You don't have to. You just seem like you might need someone from the outside to talk to."
"Oh, I probably do," Harry said, sitting back. "I just don't know where to start, I guess."
"You could start from the beginning. I don't know much outside what the papers say, and I know half of all that is rubbish."
"For the most part, it is, yes." Harry took a sip of his coffee, and added more cream. "Well, I suppose it started with Draco."
"I had heard along the grapevine that you two had become friends."
Harry nodded. "Yes. It was a little strange at first, but we actually confided in each other quite quickly. It was easy, once I realised that he's a pompous ass and always will be," he said, smirking. "He's actually quite funny - when he's not insulting you."
"So you're friends with him now," Remus asked politely, as Celestine came by with their breakfast plates.
Harry nodded in thanks and continued. "Sort of. I mean, we were, and then, well... Mikhail kissed me."
"Mikhail - your boyfriend, right?"
"Yes. Well, he wasn't at the time, and I was just starting to think of guys..." Harry blushed. "This is so weird."
"It's okay. You don't have to talk about it."
"No, I want to, but I just don't know how to describe what happened." Harry took a deep breath. "I started liking Draco's girlfriend, Raven, but then I started to like Draco too, and that was really confusing, and then Mikhail kissed me. I didn't even know he was gay. Then I told Draco about it because I didn't know what to do, and next thing I know, I'm making out with Draco, and staying over in his room, and then I'm waking up to him telling me that it's not going to work, and that I should date someone else. Mikhail, in actual fact."
"So you're not friends anymore?"
"No - we are, I guess. It's just odd. He hurt me so badly, Remus," Harry said, poking at his focaccia. He realised that it was the same type of focaccia from when he and Draco had first eaten there, and wrinkled his nose. Looking up into Remus' serious face he said, "He hurt me a lot."
"I don't doubt that, Harry."
"I was so mad, at first, and then I saw Raven, and she told me that I should date Mikhail, like Draco said."
"Raven wasn't mad at you for sleeping with her boyfriend?" Remus asked, obviously puzzled.
Harry blanched. "We didn't sleep together. I mean, not really. And no...Raven and Draco sort of have this weird open relationship thing that I'm still a little unsure about. They both want to be with me, but... But they've got a weird way of showing me - they're still together, but they don't want me to be left out..." Harry shook his head, as if tossing the thoughts away. "So I asked Mikhail out two days later, because I wanted to..."
"Get back at Draco," Remus supplied.
"Yes," Harry admitted guiltily. "I wanted to make him jealous - to hurt him like he hurt me. But I actually sort of like Mikhail, and I never really wanted to hurt him, but I still like Draco, and things aren't going so well with Mikhail..."
Remus sensed Harry's hesitation, and asked, "Why do you think that is, Harry? Does he know about you and Draco?"
"No. I...well, I lied. I told him I hadn't been with any other guys. I know it was wrong, but I wasn't sure if he'd believe I wanted to date him, when I had just been with Draco. I mean...everything was so confusing, and I was mad, and hurt, and I thought maybe I could break up with him later, even though Ron and Hermione told me the whole idea wasn't going to work..." Harry sighed. "And I keep sort of...freezing up when I'm...you know, with Mikhail. Not to mention, Mikhail hates Draco, and Draco hates Mikhail. But Mikhail hates Draco because he thinks Draco might like me, because Draco can't keep his damn mouth shut, and he keeps taunting Mikhail about how he'll always be around and be friends with me, and Draco is jealous of Mikhail for the very reason I wanted him to be. And it's all just really stupid." Harry paused, then sighed. "I'm just not sure."
Remus looked at Harry, his eyes full of questions. "About what?"
"About anything!" he said jerkily, frustrated that he didn't quite know what he meant either. "I'm not sure what to do. Or what to think. Hell, I'm not even sure what to say."
"Eat your breakfast, Harry," Remus suggested gently. "It'll go cold."
Harry picked up his fork and knife and cut off a piece of the bread and toppings, putting it in his mouth and chewing mechanically. He waited for Remus to continue speaking, as he was probably going to do.
"Harry, I'll never lie to you, you know that. So, when I say that I understand how difficult this situation is, I'm not trying to be patronising. And, unfortunately, I can't tell you what to do, or even what the best solution would be. I can suggest possibilities, but I can't decide for you. That being said, this is, in my own old mind, what I think."
Harry swallowed some coffee to help the focaccia go down, looking up at Remus, waiting for him to continue. "You need to be honest. Not just with Mikhail, but with Draco and yourself. How do you honestly feel about Draco? How do you honestly feel about Mikhail? Because the longer you keep things from Mikhail, the more you really will hurt him, once he finds out. And, more than likely, he will find out, as things like this never stay a secret for long. Guilt might eat at you, and you'll tell him, or someone else will hear something, and next thing you know, it'll be all over the Daily Prophet. And Draco may give up, and you'll have lost him not only as a potential boyfriend, but, most likely as a friend. As for their feelings towards each other, that is their own, and there really isn't a whole lot you can do to change it. They'll probably always hate each other - just because they both care about you and feel that the other is a threat. That's just how it goes sometimes."
Harry sat still for a moment, thinking over this information. "And why do I need to be honest with myself?"
"Well, Harry, it's my guess that you're still not comfortable with your sexuality."
"My sexuality? What do you mean? That I'm forcing myself to like guys or something?"
"No, no, no. That's not what I meant. Harry, people don't just turn gay overnight. Not after twenty years of thinking they were straight. I know you didn't just adjust to that sort of thinking or those sorts of feelings as if you'd always felt that way. These things take time. It's okay to still be confused. If you're not ready for a serious relationship, that's perfectly fine. As I take it, you haven't really been involved with anybody, so don't feel, that just because you're older, that you have to do things or take things to a physical level that you're not ready for. That doesn't mean you have to be a complete prude, of course," Remus added lightly, giving the sullen-looking Harry a gentle smile.
Harry smirked, despite himself. "Well, I don't think I could deny myself anyhow," he said with a blush.
Remus laughed, then finished off his coffee and signalled Celestine for more. "You'll be fine, Harry. Just remember, you don't have to take all of my advice, or any of it, really. It's just an outside opinion of an old man who doesn't know all the facts."
Harry smiled. "You're not old, Remus."
"Tell that to my hair," he joked. "But seriously, Harry. Follow your heart. Don't make any rash decisions," he said pointedly, and Harry had the good grace to look sheepish, "and don't let others sway you one way or the other. The choices you make are your own."
Harry nodded. "I'm not going to do anything until I'm sure I can handle the consequences."
Remus nodded. "Alright then," he said with some finality to the conversation, before checking his pocket watch. "So when's this Quidditch game I came to see?"
The crowd gathered at the Siren's pitch was raucous and deafening, and Remus' sensitive ears couldn't handle much more of the noise. And the game hadn't even started yet.
The Sirens were playing the Manticores, a team from Moscow, swathed in dark reds and oranges. Both sides had huge support crowding the stands and the grass surrounding the pitch. Harry felt like he didn't recognise a single person he saw, until a pretty face popped up next to him.
"I had to fight through crazed fans to get over to you, Harry," Raven said, smiling coyly.
Harry gave her a one-armed hug. "I'm sorry. Were you brutal to the ones that wouldn't let you past, at least?"
She smirked. "I was brutal to everyone."
"Are we talking about senseless violence over here?" Harry heard Remus say from his left, and turned to introduce him to Raven.
"Remus, this is Raven Harrell. Raven, this is Remus Lupin, an old family friend."
"How do you do, Miss Harrell."
"Oh, please call me Raven. Calling me 'Miss' makes me think you're one of my professors," she said with a wrinkle in her nose.
Harry laughed, and Remus chuckled along with him. "Actually, he did teach."
"Oooh, that could be why then."
"Yes. I had a brief stint as Defence Against the Dark Arts professor at Hogwarts one year."
"Really?" Raven asked. "Wait a minute... I remember you! You were there my first year! Why was it you left again...? I really liked you."
Remus looked to the ground for a second, and Harry darted his eyes around, making sure no one would hear him through all the noise. "Remus is a werewolf, Raven."
Raven's eyebrows rose, but she nodded seriously. "Okay. Don't worry. I won't squeal."
Remus shrugged. "Don't worry about it. I mean, the less people that know, the better, but quite a few already do. I've come to live with the reactions." He cocked his head at her. "I hear you're dating Draco Malfoy, the Seeker for the game?"
Raven blushed prettily. "Yes, I suppose you could say that."
"Is he any good?" Remus asked.
"Very," Harry said immediately.
"As good as you?"
Harry raised an eyebrow at the question. "Almost."
They couldn't talk anymore as Quidditch players from both teams burst out onto the pitch, sending the crowd into more raucous and deafening screams. The colours of their robes complemented the scenery around them - red and orange and black - and Harry spotted Draco's bright blond head immediately, pointing him out to both Remus and Raven.
Raven clapped her hands in excitement, smiling wide as she watched Draco fly around the pitch to his position above all the players; waiting for the match to start. The crowd went nearly silent for just a moment, and then the Quaffle was in the air, and the quiet exploded in sound; noise-makers, screaming, chanting, and horns all filling up every nook and cranny, spreading out and around, so you could hear it for miles.
Harry's eyes followed Draco intently, only looking away for brief moments when either team scored a goal or to check on Ron or Mikhail. They were both doing well, considering the sting the Manticores were trying to put on them that day. And Draco was also holding his own. While not the best team in the Uni-League, the Manticores played a little dirty - reminding Harry somewhat of the Slytherins. Grinning to himself, Harry said to Remus and Raven, "I bet Draco's having a lot of fun out there."
"How can you tell?" Raven asked.
"The Manticores aren't the best team, but they are the toughest - meaning that they play a little dirty." Harry turned to Raven and winked. "In other words, they're a bit like the Slytherins were when we were in school. Draco would like that."
Raven smiled. "Yes, I think he would."
After a few more moments, the Snitch was spotted, just as one of the Siren Chasers was hit with a Bludger. Stuart fell to the ground, and medi-witches were on him immediately. The crowd booed and their attention was divided by the chase of the Snitch, and the injured player on the ground. Thankfully, the crowd of medi-witches parted, and Stuart took off into the air again, the Siren crowd cheering in his wake. Harry was impressed; most players couldn't get back up after being hit with a Bludger.
Suddenly, Draco and the other Seeker were flying right towards them, and then Draco was shoved hard, stopping with a sharp turn right in front of them and yelling some obscenity at the Manticore Seeker. Harry and Raven laughed, and for a split second, Harry saw Draco glance back at them, smiling, before taking off again, going back to serve the other Seeker with something just as dirty.
The match was fairly well played - while one team was brutal, the other was focused. There were more than a few free shots taken for fouls, putting the Sirens in the lead, and after that, it was all the Sirens could do to stay there and not find themselves completely wiped off the field by the Manticores.
Draco was hit pretty badly at one point by Orlov, the Manticore Seeker, and immediately hit back, a fight erupting in mid-air, causing the crowd to go into frenzy. The referee whistled to pause the game, flying over to stop the fight.
Over her Sonorus charm, the crowd listened in, hearing, "Mr. Malfoy! Mr. Orlov! Stop that at once!"
"Did you see vat he did to me?!" Orlov shouted, pointing at Draco.
"Oh, like you didn't take a shot at me first!" Draco shot back.
"Mr. Malfoy, stop!" Draco glared at the woman with insolence. "Now, if I see you fighting one more time, it's the box for you!"
"No - Mr. Malfoy, if I hear one more word out of you, you're out. Now back with the game, and keep it clean." She blew her whistle, and Draco and Orlov flew off, both with scowls on their faces, the game resuming.
The Manticores were up by ten when the Snitch was spotted for fifth time that game. Draco was on it, his corn silk hair blinding Harry as he zoomed by. He had the Snitch in his hand within twenty seconds, the roar of the spectators both simultaneously bright and gloomy. Draco did a lap around the pitch, holding up the gleaming Snitch in his hand.
"You haven't moved your eyes off him the whole game," Remus murmured in his ear.
Harry blinked, and turned to look at his old friend. "I..."
"That was brilliant!" Raven squealed, jumping up and down and clapping. "You go Draco! You show them who plays dirtier!" she yelled out into the pitch.
Harry chuckled, and watched as the rest of the Sirens crowded around Draco, before swooping down to the pitch. That signalled the spectators, and they all started to move out of the stands en mass. After a long, long queue, they were finally on the ground, and waiting for the players to exit the locker rooms. Hermione and the rest of the gang found them, all talking excitedly about the game. Soon after, the teams filtered out, people patting Stuart on the back at his quick recovery. He brushed it off as nothing, but Harry could see that he was favouring one shoulder a little.
Ron came out, and Hermione squealed, launching herself into his arms and kissing him, which resulted in a lot of blushing and catcalling. Draco came out next, and Raven's reaction resulted in much of the same, though Draco was much better at fighting off the embarrassment than Ron. Harry walked right up to him and gave him a pat on the arm, which Draco brushed off in lieu of giving him a full hug.
"That was brilliant, Draco," Harry said putting his arms around Draco too.
"I have you training me to thank for that, Harry."
Harry pulled back, feeling a little something in his chest. "Draco, I never taught you how to play dirty. That was all you."
Draco leaned forward. "Not to sound forward, Harry, but you're plenty dirty on your own."
Harry blushed; realising Draco's hands were still on his hips. "Um. Oh! Draco, do you remember Remus Lupin?" he said, stepping back and gesturing to the man behind him. Remus stepped forward, holding out at hand.
"It's a pleasure to see you again, Draco."
Draco's brow wrinkled for a moment before his eyes brightened. "Mr. Lupin. Yes, I remember you," he said, holding out his hand to shake.
"That was quite a game, Mr. Malfoy," Remus said, smiling. "The first game I've seen in a while and it was quite enjoyable to watch."
"Well, I'm glad you liked it," said Draco, before a loud shout and another body blocked Remus from his view.
"Harry!" Mikhail exclaimed, picking up the smaller man and twirling him around, giving him a big kiss. "Did you see that? Wasn't that brutal?"
Harry, still trying to recover from a very public kiss, just nodded. "Yeah," he breathed, coughing a bit and smiling. "It was really awesome, Mikhail." Mikhail hugged him again, kissing him on the cheek.
"I was thinking we could celebrate," Mikhail whispered in his ear, causing Harry to blush again.
"Er, Mikhail, I'd like you to meet someone."
Mikhail stood up straight, looking over to where Harry's body was turning.
"Mikhail, this is an old family friend, Remus Lupin."
"Lupin... Yes, I remember hearing about you from some of my younger friends at Hogwarts after I graduated." He reached forward and shook Remus' hand. "I didn't realise you were old friends with Harry."
"He was best friends with my father," Harry put in, hoping Mikhail would catch the significance.
"It's a pleasure to meet you, Mikhail. I read about you and your father in the Daily Prophet. Mikhail Chaikovsky, is it?"
Harry looked at Mikhail, and noticed his changed behaviour. Was it because he felt like he was meeting Harry's guardian or something?
"Remus is just in town for today. He came to watch the game. I had forgotten to tell him that Draco was playing," Harry said, looking at the blond standing tight lipped behind Mikhail.
Mikhail turned. "You did well, Draco. I didn't know you could play like that."
Draco smirked, but it wasn't necessarily pleasant. "I was a Slytherin, remember, Chaikovsky? The only thing we know is how to play dirty." He smiled at Lupin and shook his hand again. "It was good to see you, Mr. Lupin. Please, don't stay away too long. We must catch up some time."
"I would like that, Draco."
"Goodbye, Harry. Weasley, Granger. The Gryffindor Troupe." He nodded at everyone in turn. "Chaikovsky."
Draco waved one last time, as did Raven, before they walked away towards the campus. Mikhail turned back to Harry and Remus. "So what are you doing for dinner, Mr. Lupin?"
"I hadn't had anything planned, but I suppose it's up to Harry."
Harry looked startled for a moment. "Um, well, I was just thinking you could stay over at our place for dinner," he said to Remus. "The girls always make something good, especially after a match."
"That sounds lovely, Harry. I'd love to stay."
"You could come too, Mikhail, if you wanted," Harry offered.
Mikhail glanced around, obviously feeling a little out of place. "Oh, I think it'll be too crowded. Don't worry about me. I just wanted to get to know Mr. Lupin here a bit better." He nodded at Remus, who smiled back.
"There is room, Mikhail," Hermione said.
Mikhail held up a hand. "No, no. I'll be fine, truly. I don't want to interrupt a family affair."
"But it's not-" Harry started.
Mikhail kissed him on the forehead. "Really, Harry. I'll just have to catch up with you all the next time Mr. Lupin's in town."
"You can call him 'Remus', you know."
"Formalities insist that I shall be proper in addressing him, until he tells me otherwise."
"Either or is fine, Mikhail."
"Than I shall call you 'Mr. Lupin', until I feel it's appropriate to be more informal."
Harry felt like he was missing something, looking at Hermione for a clue. She also looked a bit puzzled, but signalled that she'd talk to him later.
"Alright then," said Remus, shaking Mikhail's hand. "I'll see you at another time."
"Yes. I'd like that. Goodnight everyone." He turned to Harry. "I'll see you later, okay?"
Harry smiled shyly. "Okay."
"Goodnight," Mikhail murmured, with another hug and kiss on the cheek.
Harry watched as Mikhail left, turning once to wave goodbye to everyone, before disappearing into the forest.
Harry looked around to see that most of the spectators had left, so he felt confident in saying a bit loudly, "What the hell just happened?"
Remus chuckled, pulling Harry over with an arm around his shoulders as they all started walking back to the dorms. "I think, Harry, that Mikhail is regarding me as your legal guardian, and therefore, feels that he must be formal in addressing me...as if he were courting for your hand. It's something that was lost in the Muggle World as customary over fifty years ago."
"But you're not, and he's not..."
"It makes sense, Harry," Hermione put in. "Mikhail is your boyfriend, and a pureblood wizard. There's no reason why, if he did want to seek approval from your 'family', that he wouldn't go through the motions, even if the result couldn't be marriage. He's just trying to do the proper thing, from his point of view, and seeing as he's the older, not to mention more experienced, I think that's why it didn't seem odd that you didn't act the same way around his father, when you met him. And I think that he did well, considering he wasn't expecting Remus' arrival."
Remus nodded. "You are correct, Hermione, as usual. Still the brightest in the class, I take it?"
Hermione blushed. "Well...I am graduating a whole term early."
"You could have graduated nearly a year ago, Hermione, and you know it," Ron said.
"That's not true, Ronald. I still had more classes to finish."
"Yes," Ginny said, "But you already had the knowledge; you've just been going through the motions."
"You guys know just as much as me, and I've learned a lot of things!"
"Just take the bloody compliment, Hermione," said Harry, effectively ending the conversation.
While Hermione pouted, Ron consoled her, and the rest of the group laughed, they moved onto other topics of conversation, like what was going to be for dinner.
Luna suggested asking the forest faery hiding behind her ear, until realising that having leaf soup was not going to be very enjoyable.
Dinner had been an almost raucous affair, all the young adults regaling their years at Hogwarts, while sharing stories with Remus about his teaching experience, and what it had been like after he'd left.
"Oh, god, do you remember Umbridge?" Harry said, grimacing.
"That utter cow!" Ginny exclaimed. "I can't believe what she made you do to your hand!"
"What'd she do? I don't think I ever heard that story," Remus asked.
"She used this horrible quill that carved into the back of Harry's hand, whatever he was writing," Hermione said, getting splotchy cheeks with the memory of finding out just what Harry had been doing in his detentions with her.
"Excuse me?" Remus asked, his eyes going a little dark - a rich gold colour.
"I'm fine, Remus, really. There was just no authority to stop her. She practically had the whole school under her control. She was the one who got Dumbledore sacked for part of the year."
Remus nodded, relaxing, but the colour of his eyes not changing. "I remember."
"Anyhow, enough of that unpleasant bitch," Ron said, ignoring Hermione's quick glare. "What's for dessert?"
"I've missed you, Remus," Harry said, leaning against him on the couch.
"I've missed you too, Harry."
"You'll try to visit more often?"
"I'll try. Though it might do you to visit me every once and while, eh?" Remus suggested with a little nudge.
"I'm sorry. I should, you're right. Things have just been...complicated."
"I understand, Harry. I don't have to leave for a while, if you want to talk about it some more..."
"I...well, I dunno. Mikhail's behaviour around you really confused me today, and it seemed like Draco and Mikhail were almost trying to be more formal to you than the other. Does that mean Draco's trying to 'court' me too?"
"Not necessarily, Harry. I really think it's no more than surface formalities. Though, I wouldn't be surprised, if Mikhail and Draco might take it a bit more seriously." Harry sighed, and Remus continued with, "Unfortunately, there isn't much you can do about it, other than telling them that you're not to be courted, and that I'm not officially your family, so there are no formalities to be had."
"I know they won't listen to me, Remus. I just want them to ignore each other, because I know they won't stop hating each other."
"Have you told them that?"
"Yes. And they've agreed to be...polite."
"They seemed to be polite earlier today. Maybe a forced politeness, but they could have been at each other's throats."
Harry got a sudden vision of two werewolves going at it, trying to rip the other to shreds. He shivered. "I guess there's nothing I can do. I'll just have to take your advice, and think about what I really want. And...be honest with Mikhail. Eventually."
Remus smiled, running a hand through Harry's hair, as the younger man leaned more heavily into him. "That's all you can do, Harry. Do what you feel is right."
"Thank you, Remus."
"It's my pleasure to help you, Harry. We're family; whatever you need is my pleasure."
They sat like that for a long while, staring at the fire in the hearth, finding companionship in each other's quiet company.
A/N: Hi, it's me again. Well, I just wanted to say thank you SO MUCH for all the support over these last few years. Your kind words and prodding have kept me going...given me a purpose to keep writing. It means a lot to me that you guys care so much about these characters - as they are in this little 'verse - and that you continue to support me, even when i don't update for months. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. If this sounds a little like a farewell, then please don't think that, it is not I just feel very grateful to have you in my life, even if just for a moment or two after I post, and that I wish I could know all of you personally, and the ones that I do know, you've become very important to me, and I cherish your friendship. I hope you all enjoyed this chapter, and will enjoy the next two as well. - Aki