Title: Love hopes all things (the retrospective remix)
Fandom: Harry Potter
Warnings: One-sided Lily/Scorpius, Albus/Scorpius, slight Harry/Draco
Summary: Harry recklessly invites Scorpius Malfoy and his father for Christmas to cheer up his children and finds they’re not the only ones made happier.
Love hopes all things (the retrospective remix)
His children had been home for nearly a day now, and Harry was yet to hear more than a few words from the younger two. James, fourth year now, had cheerfully told his father all about the past few months, from social intrigues to pranks pulled, but Albus and Lily had mostly been quiet. Harry frowned at them, both absorbed in their dinner.
“So, Albus, how’s school been so far?”
Albus looked up briefly.
“Alright.” He went back to his dinner.
Silence. Harry tried his daughter.
“How about you, Lily? Are classes more fun than they were in first year?”
His daughter gave him a look.
“Fun?” Her scorn could have dissolved paint. “Dad, it’s school.”
Right, there went that avenue of conversation.
It hadn’t been like this before, Harry thought. Ginny had always known what to say to draw their children out…
He shunted away from that line of thought.
“Eh,” don’t mind them, Dad,” James said dismissively, “they’re just depressed Scorpius Malfoy’s leaving.”
Harry stared in some surprise. He didn’t know the boy very well, but he and Albus had been best friends since they were both Sorted into Slytherin in first year. He hadn’t realised that Lily was friends with him too, though.
“Scorpius is leaving?” he asked Albus. His son nodded moodily.
“Yeah. To France. His dad’s been offered a two-year position with the University de Magie teaching Advanced Potions. They’re going to move in with Scorp’s grandmother. It’s not fair.” He added darkly, half to himself.
“He’ll probably have forgotten us by the time he gets back.” Lily scowled at her vegetables and stabbed them viciously with her fork.
“They move at the end of the holidays,” Albus added. “He’s transferring to Beaubaton’s.”
Albus was glowering, while Lily had what Harry privately referred to as her Snapeish Look. He had a reckless idea.
“Well, what about inviting him over for Christmas?” Harry inquired. Albus promptly choked on a piece of steak. Lily gave him a cursory thump on the back, beaming.
“Y-yes!” Albus coughed as soon as he could, eyes shining, “that’d be awesome!”
James rolled his eyes at their joy.
“God, you’re saps. You realise this means you have to invite Mr Malfoy too, Dad.”
Harry’s face fell. Damn it, he hadn’t thought of that.
oo 0 oo
The days leading up to Christmas were filled with activity. Harry bemusedly found himself taking a backseat as Albus and Lily chattered about presents, decorations, meals and the like. He hadn’t seen them this animated since – well. One morning Harry came down to breakfast to find Rose watching Lily and Albus eat their cereal.
“Morning Uncle Harry,” she said cheerfully. “Me and Mum are taking Lily shopping.” Despite being physically unlike her parents, with her small build and thick strawberry-blonde hair, Rose was possessed of a curious melding of Hermione’s studious love of knowledge and Ron’s Quidditch-mad, more laid-back nature.
“Shopping?” Harry repeated.
“I need a new dress for Christmas,” Lily explained matter-of-factly.
“But…” You couldn’t care less about clothes, he wanted to say. You always wear whatever drab thing you can find in your room, and you’ve refused any footwear but galoshes since you stole Freddie’s when you were five. And now you’re going out to buy a new dress? Despite the fact that you’ve refused to shop for clothes since Ginny died, because it was always something the two of you did together?
“…no one told me,” Harry said lamely, because he couldn’t say the other things.
“I didn’t think you’d mind,” Lily protested.
“I don’t, but next time check with me first, okay?” He ruffled the thick red hair, earning a scowl. “Have fun looking for your dress.” He addressed his niece. “And what have you been up to, Rose?”
“Me and Hugo decorated our Christmas tree,” she said promptly. “Yours is really nice, the trees Dad gets always look like a giant’s sat on them.”
Harry’s children snickered.
“All sort of balding and depressed,” nodded Albus.
“Nah,” James disagreed, having mysteriously sensed food and entering the kitchen in search of it. “I reckon your trees always look drunk, you know, ill-looking and leaning sideways against the wall.”
“Well, you won’t be seeing it this year,” Rose remarked, “seeing how you’re having the Malfoys over instead.”
Albus and Lily brightened.
“It’ll be brilliant!” Lily said with uncharacteristic enthusiasm. Rose eyed her curiously.
“When did you become such a Malfoy fan, anyway?”
“Last year.” Lily pulled the locket around her neck into view. “It was a couple of months after Mum died, and a bunch of idiots decided to pinch my locket to tease me.” Harry’s eyes narrowed angrily and he listened closer. “Well, I was crying, because it was the one Mum gave me right before I started Hogwarts, when Scorpius came down the stairs and nearly fell over me. I was so upset I just bawled out the whole story and he patted my shoulder, told me not to worry, and walked off. Twenty minutes later he was back with my locket. He’d gone off and threatened them until they gave it to them.”
“Ohhh,” Rose made a sound of realisation, “that was what me and Albus helped you get revenge for.”
“Revenge?” Harry wondered if he wanted to know.
Lily smiled sweetly.
“Never mind, Dad.” To Rose: “So after that I got to know him a bit. Me and him and Albus hang around together sometimes.”
Harry was lost in thought as Rose and Lily chattered, Albus sometimes commenting.
Ginny’s death last year had been so unexpected, so abrupt. She’d mentioned one morning that she wanted to get some new Quidditch gloves before their next set of playoffs, as hers were getting worn. She and Harry had gone to Diagon Alley, Harry stopping by Flourish and Blott’s for a book he’d promised Lily while Ginny went on to Quality Quidditch Supplies.
It was the clamouring sounds of horror and panic and attempts to restore order that had drawn his attention, making him run out, book forgotten.
Harry was told later that it was an incompetent new assistant who had let the bludger loose. Another customer had wanted to have a look at it, and instead of only opening the case the fool had loosened the bindings as well, boasting about the ‘new extensive charms’ on this model. The bludger had promptly shot across the room, colliding at high speed with Ginny’s temple. She’d never had a chance.
Harry had gone mad. Glass shattered, brooms snapped, Quidditch gear tore itself to pieces as it rocketed around the room. It had been Hermione, red-eyed from crying, who had collected his children from Hogwarts. Harry had still been under sedation. When he woke up he just went and held their children, his and Ginny’s beautiful children, and together they cried.
He’d been so worried about them going back to school so soon, but they’d insisted, so he gave in. James and Albus, at least, had friends Harry knew would support them, but Lily had always been a secretive, introverted child who didn’t make many friends. Who could she turn to?
Well, Scorpius, he knew now, He’d have to try to get to know him better.
oo 0 oo
Come Christmas morning, presents of course were top priority.
James was pleased by the Quidditch gear and portable wizarding wireless (with recording and playback functions) that Harry gave him, and Albus was happy with his box of chocolate frogs and pair of communication journals. But it was Lily who was really ecstatic over her present.
“Oh, thank you!” She stared raptly at the black-and-white, silver-spangled Converse shoes before clutching them to her chest, “they’re wonderful, Dad!” But because she was Lily, she added shrewdly, “Teddy told you I like his, didn’t he?”
Harry rolled his eyes, but nodded. Lily smirked and unwrapped the other parcel. It proved to contain a gold bangle that resembled a snake eating its own tail. Lily examined it in interest.
“Jewellery, Dad?” She raised an eyebrow.
“Well, you’re growing up,” Harry shrugged, “when you started school last year you mother said it was about time you started getting jewellery for birthdays and Christmas.” He smiled wistfully. “Kept telling me that for your thirteenth birthday we should take you out and let you choose a piece of jewellery yourself to celebrate becoming a teenager.”
“That sounds… nice,” Lily said quietly. She leaned forward and gave him a hug. Harry held her close, eyes held tight against the tears prickling his eyes. “Thanks, Dad.”
Lily sat back, swiping at her eyes briefly before throwing presents at James’ and Albus’ heads. James caught his; Albus’ hit his ear.
Albus grinned at the discovery of a book of practical charms that would no doubt come in handy next time he planned revenge, while James unwrapped what proved to be a Skiving Snackbox.
“Thanks, sis,” he called over, tossing her a package of his own, “my current one is running out.”
“I don’t want to know,” Harry half-joked, waving his hands in protest, while James went,
“Hey Albie-poo, here’s yours.”
“Don’t call me that,” Albus grumbled, opening it. His eyes promptly bugged out. “Tickets to the Time Lords concert!” he shrieked, and tackled his brother. The two rolled around the floor in an affectionate wrestle.
“Thanks, James!” Lily exclaimed, holding her present of …vivid green galoshes. Harry glared at his elder son, who grinned unabashed.
“Get off,” Albus panted, pushing at James. James obliged, allowing Albus to hand out the presents from him: a Harpies t shirt for James, and a smart green jacket with ‘Lily” embroidered on it for his sister.
“Your turn now, Dad,” Lily declared. James dropped a large, square package in his lap. Harry tore off the wrapping paper to see a photograph of himself, Ginny and the children, taken on their last holiday. He flipped through the photo album, seeing photos of Ginny and his children, copies of his wedding photos, the kids birthday parties and more. Wordlessly he held out his arms. Three bodies piled into him.
I have such wonderful children, sometimes, he thought.
“Alright,” he said after a moment, “let’s clean this mess up, have a quick breakfast and get read for the Malfoys.”
A couple of hours later Harry was removing the roast from the oven when the Floo notification alarm went off. Harry hurried to the drawing room.
Two blonde-haired figures were waiting, one in blue silk, one in grey.
“Good afternoon,” Harry greeted them. He didn’t get a chance to say any more that that, however, as two figures burst through the door.
“Scorpius!” Albus squealed, throwing himself at the other boy.
Scorpius broke into a wide grin and tackled his friend as soon as he came within range, incidentally crumpling his own blue robes and Albus’ dark green ones. Draco gave a long-suffering sigh.
“Uh, welcome to our house,” Harry addressed him awkwardly, “and I’m sorry about their manners. Albus, stop strangling your friend, were you born in a zoo?”
The two boys broke apart, dishevelled but smiling. Lily took her chance to throw herself at Scorpius as Albus had done.
“Wow,” he said, looking stunned as he took in her appearance, “you look pretty.”
Lily was wearing a bright leaf-green dress with her snake bangle and her locket. Her hair had been pulled back into two plaits that wound around each other to form a knot at the back of her head. Harry had never once seen her dress up like this before. No wonder Scorpius looked stunned. The Converse high-tops didn’t really match the rest of her outfit, no, but they weren’t galoshes, at least…
“Sorry about that, I’ve done my best to turn them into civilised human beings, but I’m afraid they revert back to barbarians the moment I take my eyes off them.”
Draco gave Harry a small, stiff smile as behind Harry James entered and having heard Harry’s remark, helpfully gave a Tarzan-like yell in demonstration. Harry made a mental note to speak to his son later.
“A problem common to all parents, I think,” Draco said. For a moment he and Harry sized each other up. Draco wore pale grey silk that highlighted his platinum hair and milky skin. His hairline had receded a little, making his chin seem even pointier, but he was still a good-looking man. Harry, on the other hand, was wearing black silk that made his vibrant green eyes quite startling. His black hair was as messy as usual, and the deep tan he’d acquired playing Quidditch last year had nearly faded now, leaving his skin faintly touched by bronze.
“You’re not wearing glasses,” Draco observed.
“Er, no,” Harry agreed. “There’s a new treatment at St Mungo’s, well, not so new now, where they transfigure the shape of the eye. A bit nerve-wracking, but it worked well. I had it a couple of years ago. Er, do you and Scorpius want to come into the dining room and start lunch?”
Interested grey eyes were still studying Harry.
“That would be nice, yes. Scorpius?” He turned to his son. Harry turned as well, and stopped in shock.
Scorpius was talking to Lily, who was hanging on his every word, smiling and – wait, was that giggling? It was! Lily was giggling and flirting with Scorpius! Albus was an even bigger shock. Instead of waiting impatiently to regain his friend’s attention, he was seething with jealousy with every nice thing Scorpius said to Lily, standing possessively close.
Good Lord, Harry thought, mouth agape, since when did my children become Malfoy groupies?
“We’re going into lunch now,” Draco told his son, “you can finish your conversation with Miss Potter once we’re all settled. Potter?” He directed his glance at Harry.
Harry shut his mouth and led them all into the dining room, doing his best to keep his astonishment to himself.
oo 0 oo
Despite the recent shocks and the awkwardness in talking to his former nemesis, Harry nonetheless found lunch to be a surprisingly-enjoyable affair.
“I was rather surprised when your younger son’s name was advertised in the birth notices, you know,” Draco commented. “Albus Severus?” He raised his eyebrows.
“My family owes a lot to him,” he said simply. “He did a lot in the war, you know.”
“He did,” Draco agreed. “Were you aware he was my godfather?”
Harry nodded. Albus had told hi mat some point.
“Well, he was never an affectionate man, obviously – ” Harry snickered “ – but I was quite attached to him all the same. I wanted to name Scorpius after him, you know, my ex-wife was against it. I find it ironic that of all people, a Potter was named after him.” A half-smile. “But then Albus is a Slytherin, so perhaps that helps.”
Harry smiled a little himself.
“Poor Albus was so worried about going into Slytherin. In the end I finally had to tell him I nearly got into Slytherin myself.”
The pale brows rose in interest.
“Did you really? What stopped you?”
“Er –” Harry flailed wildly for an explanation but blurted out the truth “ – I didn’t like you very much, actually.”
Draco’s mouth twisted into a wry smirk.
“And I was enough to put you off an entire house? I’m flattered, Potter.”
“Call me Harry,” Harry said firmly, “our boys are best friends and I’m sure we’ll be seeing more of each other, anyway that was years ago. I’m sure that both of us have improved since then.”
“You certainly have,” Draco smirked, “you used to have the manners and dress of a house-elf. Very well, you may call me Draco.”
Harry glared at him.
“I take it back, you’re still insufferable. I did not have the manners of a house-elf.”
“No,” Draco said solemnly, “you were too angry to be a house-elf. Or was that Weasley? The poor man always seemed in danger of an imminent explosion. A red-haired boy perpetually red with anger is an interesting sight.”
Harry couldn’t help it, his lips twitched. Draco smiled delightedly at him. It was as though sunlight had fallen across his face.
“See, I knew my scathing wit could amuse you,” he pointed out happily. “Tell me what you think of this new idiot candidate for Minister.”
And lunch passed pleasantly.
oo 0 oo
“My present first!” Albus announced, making Lily scowl.
Scorpius took the green-wrapped box eagerly. He gasped.
“That’s a …” he decided normal volume was insufficient for an announcement like this one and shouted at the top of his lungs, “THAT’S A PENSIEVE VIEWER OF EVERY IMPRESSIVE MOV EAT A WORLD QUIDDITCH MATCH FOR THE LAST TEN YEARS! They’re so hard to get! How in Merlin’s name did you get one?” He launched himself at his friend rapturously.
Albus emerged from the hug with a silly grin on his face.
“Dad helped a little,” he explained, “because he contributed some of the memories you know, so I went in and said, ‘please, it’s for my best friend and my Dad helped you with the memories, please can I have one’ and they let me! All they want are memories of James’ Quidditch matches and for me to do an interview with him and Dad and give them the memories, it’s for their ‘upcoming Quidditch stars’ set.”
“You didn’t ask me,” James said, mildly indignant, but pleased with the idea of appearing in commercial pensieve memories.
“That’s because you’d be happy to be stark naked if it had you in it,” Harry said dryly.
James gave him a cheeky grin.
“Well, it’s how to get the girls, Dad.”
Lily rolled her eyes at her brother.
“Your father was more inclined towards classier publicity,” Draco observed. “Defeating Dark Lords, exposing shocking secrets for the greater good, being kidnapped by egomaniacs with good teeth, that sort of thing.”
Harry gave a shout of laughter at that.
“Oh, some time I’ll have to tell you the truth about Lockhart,” he said, shaking his head.
Draco’s eyes took on a calculating gleam.
“I look forward to it.” He shook his own head sadly. “He’s still selling, you know, and he’s more grey and wrinkled than I am.”
“You’re not grey and wrinkled,” Harry said without thinking. “You’re quite handsome.”
Draco smiled delightfully at him.
“You think so, Harry?”
At the warmth in his eyes Harry hastily redirected his gaze towards Lily, who looked as though it would be hexes all round if she didn’t get to give Scorpius her present soon.
Harry was aware that the back of his neck was flushing.
“Scorpius,” Draco told his son tactfully, “perhaps you should open the young lady’s present now and rhapsodise over Albus’ present later.”
“Oh.” Scorpius looked in surprise at Lily. “You have a present for me, too?”
“Of course I do, you git,” she said indignantly. She shoved a package at him. “Here.”
Scorpius beamed to find a silver pocket watch engraved with two entwined snakes.
“Awesome,” he decided, and leaned over to kiss Lily’s forehead. Lily beamed back at him pinkly while Albus scowled. How on earth do the three of them get along together at school? Harry wondered.
“Erm,” he dug around at the base of the tree, “let me present the final gift from the Potters to the Malfoys.” He held it out to Draco, who took it in interest and some surprise.
He looked puzzled to find an old sixth-year potions textbook. Frowning, he flipped through it, and peered at some of the notes in the margins.
“It was Professor Snape’s,” Harry said nervously, “from when he was in school, he wrote heaps of notes in it, I’ve had it for years and I knew he was your godfather so I thought you might like it –”
“It’s brilliant!” Draco’s smile was blinding joy. “I have barely anything of his! And some of these notes, I’m sure I can improve some of my own potions work using these –”
He seized his son and gave him a crushing hug and dropped a kiss on his hair.
“Dad, why are you hugging me?” Scorpius complained, his masculinity insulted, “get off.”
“Because,” Draco was still grinning hugely, “Mr Potter has made me a very happy man.”
“Why don’t you hug my Dad then?” James called out.
Harry and Draco looked at each other. There was a silence.
“Oh, what the hell,” Harry stepped forward, opening his arms. Draco embraced him happily before stepping back.
“Thank you.” Draco’s smile was warm like sunshine.
Harry found himself smiling back.
oo 0 oo
Quite a while later, as Scorpius said his goodbyes, Harry spoke to Draco.
“So, I hear you’re moving to France,” he said.
“I’ve been made head of the Potions department at the University de Magie for the next two years. Quite a prestigious position, you know.” He was clearly proud at having attained it. “I thought about leaving Scorpius at Hogwarts, but Antoinette, his mother is French, you know, and she’s always complained that Scorpius goes to a ‘barbarous Anglais school.’” A small smile at the quote. “When she heard that I was actually moving to France, nothing would do but Scorpius transferring to Beaubatons, as well. Learning his French heritage, or some such thing.” He sighed. “And whether I like it or not, she is his mother. So for the next couple of years we’ll be living with my mother in Paris. She’s delighted by the idea, of course, and thinks that going to Beaubatons will teach Scorpius proper poise and etiquette. She’s been practically French herself since she moved there after the war. That’s how I met Antoinette in the first place.”
“Lily and Albus are devastated,” Harry said lightly, “but I’m sure they’ll be able to Floo over during the holidays, won’t they?”
“Of course,” Draco smiled. “My mother would love to have more children under her feet. It’s long been lamented that I only saw fit to give her one grandchild.” The grey eyes were warm, with a hint of a question in them. “And you’re welcome to visit with them, of course. I dare say I’ll need some English company now and then.”
Harry smiled back, his own eyes shining from the warmth in his chest.
“That sounds great.”
“Good,” Draco said. They smiled at each other.
“Come Scorpius, we’d best be leaving,” Draco called to his son then, and the three children parted reluctantly. A moment later both Draco and Scorpius were gone.
“I’m going to eat those chocolates Granny sent over,” James announced. “Who wants to help?”
Going along with the general stampede, Harry just smiled happily. It was a good Christmas.