Rating:
R
House:
Schnoogle
Characters:
Draco Malfoy Harry Potter
Genres:
Romance Slash
Era:
Multiple Eras
Spoilers:
Philosopher's Stone Chamber of Secrets Prizoner of Azkaban Goblet of Fire Order of the Phoenix Quidditch Through the Ages Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Stats:
Published: 06/17/2003
Updated: 07/25/2005
Words: 99,146
Chapters: 29
Hits: 317,001

Second Chances

kishijoten

Story Summary:
For the first time in over a decade, Harry Potter crosses paths with Draco Malfoy. Both have changed a great deal, but what do those changes mean to them - and to each other? **slash**

Chapter 06

Chapter Summary:
For the first time in over a decade, Harry Potter crosses paths with Draco Malfoy. Both have changed a great deal, but what do those changes mean to them - and to each other? **slash**
Posted:
08/12/2003
Hits:
11,498
Author's Note:
Thanks to all who have read and reviewed and much love to MissCora.

Later that evening, Draco walked Harry and Adrian back to Hogwarts. They said goodbye at the front entrance, and Draco asked Harry to stay behind for a moment.

He swallowed, trying to force moisture to his suddenly dry mouth. "If there are going to be rumours spread about us, we might as well give people something to talk about. I'd like to see you again. Without Adrian, I mean."

Harry's heart stopped beating for a moment, and then it was racing helter-skelter in his chest. "When? And where?" he asked stupidly.

Draco smirked, feeling a little more confident in the face of Harry's awkwardness.

"Friday, 8 p.m. The Three Broomsticks."

Harry nodded dumbly. "I'll see you then," he said.

Still smirking, Draco turned without another word and headed for home.

***

Friday evening found Harry sorting through his wardrobe, searching for something to wear to the Three Broomsticks. He had never much cared about clothing, so long as it fit fairly well rather than hanging on him the way Dudley's hand-me-downs had, but Ron's older brother Bill had once tried to teach him and Ron a little about style. Harry hadn't learned much, but he had come away from the experience with a great many clothes that he didn't really need.

Right now, he was very glad he had bought them.

At last, he decided on an outfit of Muggle clothing. Checking the time, he saw that he was running a bit behind schedule. He took the quickest shower imaginable, dried off with a charm, and tugged on the Muggle clothes. After a brief attempt to tame his wild hair, Harry threw his brush down, wrapped himself in his cloak, and headed for Hogsmeade.

A short time later, he stepped into the Three Broomsticks, blinking as his eyes adjusted to the change in lighting.

From his typical corner table, Draco Malfoy watched Harry walk into the pub. Harry's hair was windblown, his cheeks slightly pink from the chill evening wind. Wrapped up in his cloak as he was, Draco couldn't tell whether Potter had changed from his everyday teaching robes. He sipped his tea and waited for Harry to find him.

As his eyes adjusted to the dim lighting of the pub, which seemed quite bright compared to the darkness of the falling night, Harry looked around a bit. The Three Broomsticks was mostly deserted, and Harry was glad to see that Remus had not chosen this particular night to come and have a drink with Madame Rosmerta. He started moving in the direction of the corner table he and Malfoy had shared before, knowing without looking that Draco would be there.

Harry took off his cloak as he neared Draco's table and laid it aside before taking a seat across from the other man. Draco noted that Harry had indeed chosen to wear something other than his teaching robes, and he found himself both delighted that Harry had done so and disturbed by his own reaction to the vast difference decent clothing made in Harry's appearance.

Dressed in perfectly fitted black trousers of some soft fabric that moulded itself to his muscular thighs and a green silk shirt that brought out the colour of his eyes, Harry looked so sexy it made Draco feel a bit off his game. He would have to fight to keep his cool fa├žade in place this night.

<>

"Hello, Harry," Draco greeted warmly, causing Harry to startle slightly. Which was, of course, exactly what Draco had intended.

"Good evening, Draco," Harry replied, sounding much calmer than he looked.

Madame Rosmerta appeared out of nowhere, asking Draco if he would like his tea freshened. He accepted, and Harry ordered a butterbeer and a plate of chips.

"Sorry," Harry said in response to Draco's raised eyebrow. "I'm famished. Had a detention to supervise, and missed out on dinner," he explained. Of course, he hadn't supervised any detention that night, but it sounded better than 'I was too damned nervous to eat.'

"I just don't understand how you can eat the Three Broomsticks' horribly greasy excuse for chips," Draco said dismissively.

Harry merely shrugged.

"You didn't have any of my children in detention, did you?" Draco asked. He sounded slightly concerned.

"No, of course not. I never have any real trouble out of them - though it's been a near thing with Damien on occasion. Unfortunately, that isn't the case with Eleanor Weasley. The girl is as much a troublemaker as her father."

"One of your sidekick's brats?" Draco asked, smirking.

Harry shook his head. "Fred's oldest."

"Good God," Draco exclaimed, sounding dismayed. "The Weasley twins procreated?"

"Only one of them," Harry said sadly. "George was killed in the early days of the war."

Draco winced. "I'm sorry. I didn't know," he said, ashamed of his solecism.

"It's all right," Harry said. He smiled wryly. "I think George would have reacted to the news the same way." In response to Draco's obvious discomfiture, Harry steered the conversation toward what he hoped would be safer ground. "Adrian told me you traveled a lot before settling in Hogsmeade. I've always thought it would be nice to go and see a bit of the world, but I've never really gotten around to it."

"You should. There is so much more than just England, Harry. There are places you couldn't even imagine."

"And you've seen them?" Harry asked.

"Oh, gods, yes. I've lived in places so beautiful it would take your breath away. We visited places where the sun never sets, places where the wind never stops blowing, places where it never rains and the ground is always bare and brown and hot."

Harry smiled at the faraway look in Draco's eyes. "Do you miss it?"

"Sometimes. What I miss most, really, is the way things were. The way the children and I were all that mattered. They're growing up so quickly," Draco said wistfully, staring down into his empty cup.

Madame Rosmerta returned with fresh tea and Harry's chips and butterbeer. Harry munched thoughtfully for a moment. "I envy you," he said at last, not quite daring to meet Draco's eyes. "Even when I was young, I always wanted a family - a real family. When I got older, and realised that I was gay, I had to accept the fact that my friends were the only family I would ever have."

"There's always adoption," Draco pointed out, sipping his tea.

Harry nodded and swallowed the bite he was chewing before responding. "Do you have any idea how difficult it is for a single parent to adopt? Especially one whose 'aberrant sexual behaviour' has been splashed all over the cover of The Daily Prophet," he said bitterly.

"I keep putting my foot in my mouth, don't I?" Draco asked rhetorically. He pilfered one of Harry's greasy potatoes and settled back in his chair, nibbling at it carefully.

"You seem to have a great talent for it," Harry replied with a little smile.

"Glad to know I'm good at something," Draco muttered, almost too quietly for Harry to hear.

"C'mon," Harry said, downing the last of his butterbeer and pushing back his chair. "I think we need a change of scenery."

Taking up his cloak, Harry went to the bar to pay Rosmerta.

"Don't do anything I wouldn't do," she said to him, making him blush.

He joined Draco at the door, and the two headed out into the cool night.

They meandered through the quiet streets, talking about how much Hogsmeade had changed since they were children and peering into windows of shops that had long since closed for the night. As they left the central part of the village and headed for the outskirts, the two men made not entirely comfortable small talk that lasted until Draco realised where Harry was leading him.

"We're going to Lupin's house?" Draco asked, confused.

"Not exactly. We're not going in," Harry replied enigmatically.

They skirted the house, and Draco followed Harry into the back garden. Even in the dark night, illuminated only by faint starlight, Harry found his way with ease. He paused at last, and took off his cloak, draping it over something that Draco could not quite make out.

Harry lay down atop his cloak, his body swaying slightly, and Draco realised that the unseen object must be a hammock.

"Don't just stand there," Harry said, amusement apparent in his voice. "Climb in. It's plenty big enough."

After a moment's hesitation, Draco removed his cloak and tried to climb into the hammock beside Harry. He nearly sent them both tumbling to the ground, but Harry's reflexes were even sharper than they had been during their school Quidditch days and he managed to right them both easily. They settled into the hammock, barely touching, with Draco's cloak as a blanket, looking up at the canopy of stars.

The silence hung heavily between them, awkward, but not quite as awkward as talking might have been. Draco felt hyperaware of Harry at his side: the way the man seemed to be trying to ignore him, the way Harry would occasionally bring their bodies into closer contact with his fidgeting. He began to wonder if all those little presses and brushes were actually accidental.

Nervous but determined, Draco shifted beside Harry, setting the hammock swinging. Harry would be glad he'd hurried things along or he'd make his discomfort known; either would be an improvement over not knowing what the other man wanted. "I think we'd be more comfortable if you moved just a little," he said

"Which direction?" Harry asked.

"Here, just..." Draco slipped his arm behind Harry's head, and Harry understood - or assumed he did. He moved up a little so that Draco's arm was around his shoulders and snuggled slightly into the other man's body heat.

"That's better," Draco sighed, relieved. He unconsciously nuzzled Harry's hair. It had been such a long time since he'd held anyone this way. Harry felt indescribably good pressed against his side. He closed his eyes and rested his cheek against the top of Harry's head, his heart pounding nervously in his chest.

Neither had any idea how much time passed before they were roused by the soft pitter-patter of raindrops falling onto their upturned faces. Draco shivered in the chill, damp air, and for a moment he considered simply pulling his cloak up over his and Harry's heads.

A moment later, the rain began in earnest. The two men stumbled unsteadily out of the hammock, and Harry led the way up to the back door of the house. As Harry reached for the doorknob, Draco stilled his hand.

"I should go," he said gently. The night had been strange, almost surreal, and while he was in no hurry for it to end, he needed time alone to think about what had - and hadn't - been said or done.

Harry nodded, disappointed but understanding.

"I'll see you on Monday," Harry reminded him.

Draco gave him a quick, genuine smile. He leaned forward on impulse to press a kiss to Harry's rain-wet temple, and then turned to leave, pulling his cloak tightly around him.

Harry watched as Draco stepped out from the little shelter provided by the eaves and trod slowly over the muddy ground. Only after the blond disappeared from sight did Harry finally remember to go in out of the rain.

******************

"You look like hell, Potter," Draco announced as he joined Harry and Adrian on Hogwarts' steps the following Monday.

"Hello to you...." Harry replied, breaking off to sneeze repeatedly into his handkerchief. "Too," he finished weakly.

Frowning slightly, Draco reached out and touched the back of one smooth, cool hand to Harry's forehead. "Have you been to see Madame Pomfrey?"

Harry shook his head weakly. "I'm heading to the infirmary now," he assured him.

"Good," Draco replied. He resisted the urge to caress Harry's cheek. Forcing his attention back to his son, Draco wrapped his arm around Adrian's shoulder and turned to leave.

"I'll see you next Monday," Harry said quietly.

Draco glanced back over his shoulder to smile a wicked little smile at Harry. "I was hoping for Saturday night, but you've gone and spoiled my plans by catching ill," he teased.

Harry grinned. "Yes, well, I suppose that's what I get for playing in the rain." He paused a moment. "I'll owl you after I've seen Poppy," he added at last.

"See that you do," Draco replied with a little smirk. He turned away from Harry once again, and he and Adrian started across the grounds towards Hogsmeade.

"What was that all about?" Adrian asked, his grin showing that he already knew the answer to his question.

"As if it were any of your business," Draco said, ruffling his son's hair mercilessly.

"Dad!" Adrian raked his fingers through his riotous blond curls, trying to tame them back into some semblance of order. "I thought you weren't seeing Professor Potter," he continued slyly.

Draco stopped and turned his son to face him.

"We aren't exactly seeing one another, Adrian. I'm not quite sure what we're doing, actually, but whatever is going on between Harry and myself is very private. I don't mean that you don't have a right to know, it's just that I want you to keep this to yourself. Your classmates don't need to know anything about this...whatever it is."

Adrian cocked his head to one side and studied the strange expression on his father's face. "I'm not going to say anything, Dad," he assured him. "What do you mean you aren't sure what you're doing?"

Draco sighed and resumed walking. "I enjoy Harry's company, and he seems to enjoy mine, but whether we'll ever take this beyond friendship remains to be seen. There are a great many factors to consider besides whether we fancy one another."

"Like what?"

"You children, for one. I know you get on well with Harry, but would you really want him around all the time when you weren't in school?" Before Adrian could work out whether he was supposed to answer that question, Draco continued. "Father would likely disown me. Society in general would disapprove. And right now, we're still getting to know one another. We might find we don't suit at all." He thought of the way Harry had felt pressed against him in the hammock and hoped fervently that they would suit.

Adrian took a few minutes to digest what his father was telling him, turning the whole idea around and around in his brain. Finally, he nodded.

"You know something, Dad? I think I'd like having Harry around all the time," he said at last.

Draco responded with a wide smile and pulled his son to his side. It was nice to know that at least one person didn't disapprove of his budding relationship with Harry Potter.

**********************

Draco received an owl from Harry midweek letting him know that Pomfrey had been successful in treating his cold and asking when and where Draco would like to meet him on Saturday. Unable to stop grinning and feeling a bit like a love-struck teenager, Draco hastily scribbled the reply he had been planning since the previous weekend.

Harry,

The Hog's Head. 8 p.m. Dress robes would be appropriate.

D.M.

******************

Harry grinned at the brevity of the letter. Laying it aside, he went to rummage through his wardrobe in search of dress robes and wonder what Draco had planned.

Saturday morning found Harry at Remus Lupin's house. He said hardly a word in greeting before dashing down the hall to 'his' room - the guest room he always stayed in during his not-uncommon extended visits. Many of his belongings were stored in the room, and he began digging frantically through them, searching for his dress robes.

"Everything all right, Harry?" Lupin asked from the doorway where he stood watching the goings on with a slight smile.

Harry turned, panic in his eyes. "I can't find my dress robes," he said, as if that were a perfectly reasonable explanation as to why he had torn his bedroom apart like a madman. "I need them. For tonight."

"Whatever for?"

"I'm...I'm going out," Harry answered vaguely.

Remus' smile widened. "I see," he said. "What time do you need to be...wherever it is that you're going?" He resisted the urge to ask more straightforward questions about Harry's outing. Harry, he knew, guarded the secrets of his love life zealously. Whatever his young friend wanted him to know, he would tell in his own time.

"I'm supposed to meet him at 8:00," Harry replied, as he surveyed the damage he had done to his room.

"I'd suggest a quick trip to Malkin's, then, and be done with it. You haven't a lot of time," Remus replied absently as he began to help Harry pick up the scattered clothing and put it away again.

"You know I'm hopeless with clothes," Harry lamented, frowning at the Weasley sweater he was folding. "You've got to help me."

"I don't think I'd be much help, Harry," Remus replied honestly. "I've never had the money or the desire to worry much about fashion."

"You can at least tell me if what I pick out makes me look like a complete idiot," Harry assured him.

"I'm certain that Madame Malkin wouldn't let you choose anything inappropriate," Remus replied, trying to find a way out of the impromptu shopping trip. He preferred the quiet solitude of home, and the bustle of Diagon Alley certainly held no appeal for him.

"Right," Harry responded a bit sourly, "because she isn't going to try to turn a larger profit by getting me to buy the most expensive and ostentatious robes imaginable."

Lupin laughed and admitted that Harry had a valid point. Feeling certain that his going along was more to buoy Harry's self-confidence than to provide any oh-so-valuable opinions on dress robes, Remus gave in at last and escorted Harry into Diagon Alley.

Some time later, Harry returned with much more than just a new set of dress robes. Remus, delighted by the knowledge that Harry had some sort of romantic rendezvous planned, had gotten rather excited about the shopping trip once they reached Diagon Alley. He had insisted that Harry buy new socks, new shoes, and silk boxer shorts. He had also bullied Harry into getting a haircut.

After a glance at the clock showed him that time was running short, Harry dashed off to shower and change into his new robes. He ran a brush through his hair, pleased to see the raven locks behaving for once, and smiled at his reflection. Not bad, he thought.

When he joined Remus in the sitting room a few minutes later, his friend smiled affectionately at him. "Whoever the bloke is, Harry, he's going to be falling at your feet," he teased, smoothing the younger man's robes in a fatherly gesture.

"Thanks, Remus," Harry said. On impulse, he hugged Lupin tightly - a rare but genuine display of affection for the man. Remus returned the embrace briefly before drawing away.

"You're going to get all mussed," he said, smoothing Harry's robes again.

"If I'm lucky," Harry replied cheekily.

Remus laughed. "Have a good night, Harry," he said earnestly.

"You know I'll tell you all about it when I get in tonight."

"As long as I don't have to hear about you having sex. As far as I'm concerned, you still aren't old enough to be doing that."

Harry laughed. "Then I guess I shouldn't tell you exactly how long I've been 'doing that'," he teased.

"Good God, no," Remus replied. "Let me keep my fantasy that you're still a good little boy."

"Don't know how anyone could think that after the Wood fiasco," Harry mumbled.

"That was just a kiss," Remus said dismissively.

"That's not exactly true," Harry added a bit mischievously.

"Harry, that is far more information than I ever needed," Remus replied. "Go on now, before I hear anything else I don't want to," he added playfully.

Still grinning, Harry stepped out into the cool night air.