A/N: I own none of this. I do not own Harry Potter or any rights to his image or personality. I do not own the moon or the stars. I do not own human genders, other than my own personal original factory equipment. Honest. Nope, not me. I most certainly do not own the rights to a billion dollar literary work. .. Damn it.
“Hello Sam, what can I do for you?”
Sam’s mouth went dry and he started doubting the purpose he had come for. “I was wondering if you had a few minutes, Sir? To talk?”
The older man’s eyes crinkled a bit as he smiled. “I’m going over some records from the last session of the Wizengamot, and I’ll likely lose my chain of thought if I stop now, but if you can wait a few minutes, I’ll be right with you.”
Sam nodded and entered the room hesitantly. Why had he ever thought that this would be a good idea? Why had he insisted that he do this?
“Take a seat, Sam,” the man behind the desk said. “I’ll be with you in a minute.”
Sam sat in the chair directly in front of the older man, and waited while his host finished reading through the sheaf of parchment in front of him. He found himself concentrating on remembering the lessons in decorum his mother and father had spent his childhood trying to teach him. Sit quietly, feet and knees together. Hands folded in his lap. Facing forward, not gawking around the room like some sort of yokel. Moreover, most importantly, he was trying to ignore the pounding of his heart as he looked around at the decorations on the wall.
In any other house this would be a library, but in this one the walls were covered with photographs of family and friends, both animated and mundane, and with souvenirs from the owner’s days on the professional Quidditch circuit, including an ancient Firebolt mounted on the wall directly behind its owner.
The silence in the room, only broken only by the sound of his elder’s quill scratching out notes on a clean sheet of parchment seemed to be pushing him down into the cushions of his chair. Why was he doing this? This was not just any man. This was Harry Potter. The slayer of Voldemort, the avenging Boy Who Lived, the Man Who Conquered. What had he been thinking? He was about to make this man very angry.
Bad things happened to people who made Harry Potter angry. Everyone knew that.
Sam, perhaps, most of all.
"Alright Sam," Potter said, startling the younger man, "What can I do for you?"
"Mr. Potter, sir," Sam hesitated, trying to remember the words he had practiced for so long prior to coming into this room. "Lily and I… We…" This was ridiculous, Sam fumed at himself. Man up. "I would like your permission to ask Lily to marry me."
Potter blinked. Then without saying a word, the Slayer of Voldemort pulled open one of the drawers of his desk and reached inside.
Sam sat wondering what was happening as he watched as Potter pulled out a wooden ball, about half the size of a bludger and flung it at the door to his study with all of his might. The ball hit the door with a thunderous crash, which seemed to cause a pair of female yelps from the far side. Almost too quickly for Sam to follow, Potter's wand was in his hand and a privacy charm was set into place in the study.
"Now that we aren't being spied upon…" the older man said.
"We've been… Lily and I have been together almost 10 years, and I… I'm established in my career at the firm, sir," Sam continued. "At my last evaluation, it was hinted that a partnership offer might be forthcoming."
"I don't care about your job Sam," Potter said quietly. "Do you love her?"
"Yes sir," Sam answered honestly.
"Would you die for her?"
"Sir?" Sam asked.
"It's a simple question Sam, one many of my generation had to answer," the older man said. "Would you willingly give up your life for my Lily?"
"I… I... I don't know," he responded. "I would like to think so, but I don't know."
"An honest answer, anyway," Potter mused. "With any luck, you'll never have to find out. This is one of those situations where not knowing is better than knowing. Still, you two have been dating since her 5th year. I hope you know what you're letting yourself in for."
"Lily warned me it wasn't easy being associated with the Potters when I asked her out the first time. James made that very clear more than once. With all respect sir, it isn't easy being a Malfoy either."
"No, I suppose it isn't," Potter admitted. "Have you told your father?"
"How did Draco react to the news?"
"Well," Sam said quietly, "his reaction was not what I expected. He chastised me about committing so soon, without having 'sown my wild oats', but at the same time, he seemed… I don't know, pleased."
"I bet he was. Did you remind him that he was younger than you are when he and your mother got married?"
Potter grinned. "We both were."
"I don't understand, I expected him to… I don't know," the young man ran his hand through his hair in confusion. "Argue against marrying Lily, but he seemed…"
"I understand Sam, I really do, but we old folks aren't quite as oblivious as you youngsters seem to believe. You have my permission Sam, not that you needed it," Potter grinned. "I think we both know that if I had said no, my loving daughter would have told me to go to hell."
"She didn't want me to ask you," Sam admitted. "It was only after I insisted that she started telling me how much you'd like it."
"That girl…" Harry said with a shake of his head. "Well, she's your problem now." Again, the older man flicked his wand at the door. "Are you going to tell Lily and her mother, or do you want me to?"
"Six hundred fifty," Draco intoned, "six hundred sixty,"
"You're counting it," Harry noted for the sixth time.
Draco looked up from the stacks of coins he was arranging on the table between them. "Of course I'm counting it, what do you take me for? Now stop trying to distract me. Six hundred seventy…"
"Do you honestly think Harry would cheat you?" Ron asked, his arms crossed over his chest. "Not everyone is a lying snake you know."
"Shut it Weasley. Six hundred eighty, don't be ridiculous, I trust Potter with my son, of course I don't think he would cheat me," the blond said reaching into the money bag for another ten galleons. "Six hundred ninety, I think that watching me count it out is killing him, and I think that you're amazed anyone can count over ten without taking their boots off. Those two thoughts are making me so very happy. Seven Hundred."
"I was counting on your son to not rush into marriage until he made partner, which happens next month by the way." Harry complained as he watched the stacks of coins on the tabletop multiply.
"Seven hundred twenty, and I was counting on your daughter to have Scorpius wrapped around her little finger. Seven hundred thirty." Malfoy grinned. "Quite obviously, she does. I win."
"I cannot believe you two," Hermione huffed. "Betting on your children."
"Seven hundred fifty. That is betting and winning, Granger. Get your terms right. Seven hundred sixty."
"You two know that this wedding is going to ruin your little scam don't you?" She laughed.
"What are you on about Hermione?" Harry asked. "Everyone knows that in-laws don't get along."
"Seven hundred eighty, he's right Granger, if anything our feud will reach even greater heights as I am forced to deal with the shame of our association. Seven hundred ninety."
"Oh, by the way Draco, your robes are going to change to Gryffindor colors when you dance with Lily," Harry winked.
"At least," Draco sighed, "you're leaving my hair alone. Eight hundred twenty."
"That's because he didn't listen to me," Ron pointed out.
"Look at them," Hermione said watching the bride and groom turning on the dance floor.
"Beautiful," Draco noted as he lost count.
"Yeah," Harry agreed.
"What?" Ron asked, clearly confused.
"Did you have to pick on Mr. Malfoy?" Lily Potter asked as she shared a dance with her father.
"Have to? No. Want to? Yes. Did I enjoy it? You bet. Did you have to call him 'dad' in front of me?" Harry responded while awash in the memories of his little girl 'dancing' with him by standing on his feet as he moved her around her bedroom to music from the wireless. That could not really have been twenty years ago, could it? Surely, it was just yesterday.
"You changed his robes to Gryffindor colors Daddy, and that was just mean. Everyone knows how much his time in Slytherin house meant to him. It was odd though, for all of his shouting about it, he didn't really seem to be surprised."
"That's Malfoy for you," Harry laughed. "Inscrutable to the end."
"Mum is going to kill you for causing a scene, and Mother Malfoy will be dealing with Dad."
Harry winced at 'Dad', but asked 'Mother Malfoy'?"
Lily was not fooled for a moment. "That's what she wants me to call her. I may call Sam's father 'Dad', but only you will be my Daddy."
"Does that mean you'll be forgiving your brothers?"
"Fat chance," Lily pronounced with a shake of her head, "after what those two fatheads tried to do to Sam at his bachelor party? They're lucky I left their bits attached."
Harry shook his head, Lily had always had a vicious streak toward her brothers, not that they didn't usually deserve what they got. "Well, watching them try to dance is amusing unto itself," he said nodding toward Lily's two older brothers and their partners.
"So," Lily said after she glided through a spin, "What was your bet Mr. Malfoy about?"
"I've got no idea what you mean," Harry lied.
"Daddy, please," she said. "I've seen enough of the money bags from your accounts to recognize one. Sam's dad gave me two thousand galleons bags, one with your account manager's mark on it. The only way he could have gotten a bag with the Potter account manager's mark is for you to have given it to him. He doesn't have anything you'd want to buy from him, so the only way you would be paying him is if you lost a bet."
"You," Harry sighed, "have far too much of your Auntie Hermione in you."
"Don't try to distract me with compliments," she said. "Did you bet him that Sam wouldn't show up?"
"I will have you know, darling daughter," Harry said in an indignant tone. "I bet on Sam. I thought he would hold off on the marriage until after he made partner at his firm. Draco bet on you getting what you wanted with no concern about Sam's position."
"Oh," Lily said, biting back on her indignation. "Mr. Malfoy likes me?"
"Does he like you?" Harry laughed. "Love, he adores you… almost as much as he loves reminding me that you're a Malfoy now."
"What are you doing drinking that cheap swill?" Draco demanded of his son while removing the bottle of butterbeer from his son's hand and replacing it with a glass filled with an amber liquid. "All of this is on Potter's galleon, try this."
"Thank you, Father," Sam responded as he sipped the new beverage.
Draco savored the single malt for several seconds before examining the glass intensely. "Damn Potter and his Muggle drinks," he sighed, "and damn me for liking them so much."
"Father…" Sam began, searching for the words. "Why do you pretend to hate the Potters so much?"
"Pretend?" Draco sputtered.
"I'm not blind Father, I can see how you two are together, insulting each other, hexing each other, both of you trying very, very hard to not start laughing."
"Scorpius," Draco said, putting his left hand on his son's shoulder. "You and I are as unalike as any two men are ever likely to be while still being family. I never once during his life questioned my father, and you question me almost daily."
Sam was wondering what he could possibly say to that, when he felt one of his father's rune based privacy fields bloom around them.
"Scorpius, we need to talk," Draco said, turning to face the room while leaning against the bar, his drink in hand. "And since I've put it off as long as I have, now is as good a time as any."
"You and I have one very important thing in common my son, that being the fact that both of us married much better than our wives. Lily is a treasure; never do anything that could cause her to leave you. I made that mistake, a long time ago, but your mother forgave me. I doubt Harry Potter's daughter would be as magnanimous."
"Father?" Sam asked, appalled at the things he imagined that his father might have done.
"Oh, your mother made me pay, never doubt that," Draco said with a smile at the memory. "Oh, she made me pay."
"Father, I have no intention to…"
"No one ever does Scorpius, no one ever does. Just try to be a better husband than I was," Draco sipped his drink. "But you don't want to know about my failings, you want to know about my dealings with Scarhead. My relationship with Potter is… complicated."
Again, Sam had no idea what to say, so he waited.
"Potter and I met in Madam Malkin's a month before we started first year. Neither knew who the other was of course, but we both made an impression on each other. He appeared to me to be a lover of half breeds and Merlin knows what other inferiors, and I presented myself as an arrogant fool," The blond man smiled. "Looking back, it's amazing how accurate those first impressions were."
"He has never said a thing to me about…"
"No, he wouldn't have, not Potter." Again, his father smiled, as Sam tried to make sense of what he was being told. "That meeting set the tone for our relationship at Hogwarts. He was sorted into Gryffindor, I into Slytherin, of course. And we fought, Merlin, how we fought. Sixth year I surprised him on the train, broke his nose and left him in a body bind under his invisibility cloak, later that year, he almost killed me when he used a spell he didn't understand in a fight that I started."
"He didn't understand?" Sam asked. "How is it possible to cast a spell you don't understand?"
"You just have to have an insane level of power," Draco laughed. "Scarhead always had an amazing amount of magic at his disposal. That's one of the things that allowed him to survive the Dark Lord. After it was over, after the Dark Lord was finally dead and gone, we were both out of school and leading lives that didn't bring us together… and then you were born."
"Me?" Sam echoed, wondering what he could possibly have to do with this story.
"Yes, you," Draco laughed. "I held you that first day, and promised your mother that I would move heaven and earth to keep you safe. That was when I remembered hearing that Potter's second child was due to be born at any time, and I knew things had to change."
"Things had to change, I didn't want you fighting with Potter's children, I needed to change," Draco took another sip. "So I approached Potter. He didn't want to fight anymore either, so we agreed to have an agreement."
"You're cooperating!" Sam breathed. Suddenly it was all so clear, the comments his father had made about Harry Potter, the suggestions Harry had made about his father.
"We are," Draco said. "I oppose him, he opposes me, and we each energize the other's backers. And now, we are family, which will make opposing each other even easier."
"Merlin," Sam breathed. "That's the most Slytherin thing I've ever heard. I'm not surprised that you could have thought of it Father, but how did Mr. Potter ever get into Gryffindor?"
"A question I've asked myself more often than I care to admit," his father confided. "Scorpius, I more than approve of your marriage to Lily and I want you to know that I'm in no rush to be a grandfather, but please, do your father one favor, never call Potter 'Dad' in front of me… please."
"Our fathers are so weird," Lily sighed as she laid her head on her new husband's shoulder.
"All fathers are weird," Gillian Goyle suggested. "You've met mine."
"Oh, please, Gillian," Hugo said. "Your dad is the most straight forward man I've ever met. He doesn't like the idea of me dating you because I'm not good enough for you. He thinks the fact that I agree with him is hilarious. That, and we all know he flexes his arms and cracks his knuckles better than anyone we know."
"You have no idea what he says about you when you're not around," Gillian sniffed. "Which, admittedly, isn't all that often."
"And you have no idea what my father says about you when you're not around," Hugo laughed. "Or how much my mother yells at him for what he said, and how she then takes me aside and asks if I'm sure about you after Dad goes to bed in a snit, or the noises they make while they make up by trying to make another Weasley."
His three friends all looked at him in horror. After a few moments Hugo noticed. "What? You know all those stories about the virility of Weasley men? They're all true… and Weasley women are thankful." He nudged his girlfriend of eleven years, "You're welcome."
Gillian blinked twice, and then demonstrated her heritage by hauling back and slugging Hugo in the arm.
"Oh, Merlin," Sam laughed. "Would you two just get a room?"
"Don't give them any ideas," Lily said. "They'll take our room."
"Now there's an idea…" Hugo said rubbing his arm. "We've never defiled a wedding suite."
"And we aren't going to tonight," Gillian pronounced. "You'll have to wait for ours."
"Ours?" Hugo choked.
"That shut him up," Lily laughed as she reached up to caress the back of her husband's neck. "Such a lovely day," she sighed.
"Nothing like our wedding, eh Sam?" Gillian giggled.
"Your wedding?" Lily asked.
"We were six," Sam said, glaring at his oldest friend. "Trouble there, she wanted to get married, and from what I heard, there would be cake, so I was all for it. No one said anything about kissing. Father and Uncle Greg laughed at me for hours."
"I know I would have joined them," Hugo snarked.
"I never did get that cake."
Lily reached out and captured Hugo's untouched slice of wedding cake and pushed it in front of her new husband. "Well then, you can have Hugo's. He'll have to wait for their wedding for that too."
Alone in the hall, the two rivals sat at a table across from each other, a bottle and a pair of glasses between them.
"Well," Draco said, pouring each of them a drink. "We've done it."
"The kids are happy, our reputations are secure, and our wives are out for our blood," Harry said raising his glass in a toast. "Fear our power."
"I've already received a dozen letters of consolation from my faction," Draco said with a grin. "The gist of them is 'Kids today, what are you going to do?' On the plus side, I've also gotten several interesting suggestions for moving Lily to 'the correct world view'."
Harry snorted, "Good luck with that. I've never managed to mold that girl's world view on any topic since she was four years old and she discovered she had opinions."
"I suspected as much," Draco smiled over his drink. "I have to hand it to you Potter, it was a beautiful wedding."
"Ah," Harry shrugged, "Nothing to do with me, really. I just followed the three commandments of the Father of the Bride."
"Three commandments?" Draco asked.
"Shut up, show up, and pay up," Harry explained. "Big of you to give your winnings to the kids."
"She told you?" Draco asked uncomfortably.
"You should have transferred your winnings to one of your money bags. Lily spotted my Account Manager's mark on one of the bags."
"Hmm," Draco murmured. "What did you tell her?"
"She brought up the subject by asking me what we were betting about."
"Ouch," Draco laughed. "What did you tell her?"
"The truth. The only thing that surprised her is that I bet on Scorpius."
"We'll probably hear about that as well," Draco noted as he stood from the table and extended his hand. "Well, I guess we're family now."
"He are," Harry agreed as he stood hand grasped the other's hand. "I wonder, if I had taken your hand back on the express that first time, would things have been any different?"
"Probably not," Draco shook his head. "We were both pathetically stupid back then."
"True enough. Holidays are coming up, should we plan on a family get together?"
Draco thought for a moment before nodding. "If for no other reason than to see your wife and mine in the same room, at the same time, why not? Good night Harry,"
Harry nodded and smiled at the thought of the possibilities of a Christmas with the Potter and Malfoy families in the same house. "Good night Draco."
A/N: And a second chapter… just a couple of ideas I've had bubbling on a back burner, brought to the fore by the Happy Pills I'm on while I was for surgery to repair a broken ankle… Hopefully it's not too stupid.
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