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hp_drizzle ([personal profile] hp_drizzle) wrote in [community profile] hpdrizzle2016-09-21 02:01 pm

FIC: Blue Skies Fade to Grey [Harry, Draco, Teddy, Narcissa]

Title: Blue Skies Fade to Grey
Author: [livejournal.com profile] persephoneapple
Prompt: #114 by [livejournal.com profile] sassy_cissa
Pairing(s)/Character(s): Draco, Harry, Teddy, Narcissa
Word Count: 4k
Rating: G
Warning(s): None
Disclaimer: Harry Potter characters are the property of J.K. Rowling and Bloomsbury/Scholastic. No profit is being made, and no copyright infringement is intended.
Notes: This was a great prompt, even if it turned out way different than what I had in mind. Thanks to my beta for looking this over and any mistakes are mine, not hers. Yeah, the title is from that Daniel Powter song that was all over the radio a decade ago.
Summary: Draco thinks nothing could possibly make the bad day he is having any worse. Until Potter shows up at Grimmauld Place to convince Draco to return to Hogwarts so that he wouldn't be sent to Azkaban. To his surprise, Potter turns out to be quite decent.

Draco stood outside in the rain for a few minutes. The drizzle from last night had turned into a proper storm. Rain was falling down from heavy, dark clouds, drenching his robes and plastering his hair to his face within seconds of stepping outside. He had not cast an Impervius because he felt rather pathetic at the moment and wanted an excuse to sulk as he walked to his Aunt Andromeda's home.

He really did not want to be here. After being fired from his job today for arguing with a customer, he had had enough. All Draco wanted to do was to hide in a dark corner of a pub with his last bit of money and drink his sorrows away, but he had promised his mother that he would come over to Aunt Andromeda's for dinner.

A loud roll of thunder followed quickly by a flash of lightning forced Draco to run the rest of the way. He crossed the street and went up the steps, holding on tightly to his traveling cloak to keep it from blowing away. He knocked sharply on the door, choosing to ignore the silver serpent that served as the door knocker.

In less than a minute, the door opened. Narcissa Malfoy slowly peered out, smiling when she saw that it was Draco. She let him enter and closed the door, using her wand to lock it in place.

"Draco, darling, what are you doing here so early? You're drenched and you have owl feathers in your hair. Come inside. You should have taken the Floo here."

"Mother, I quit my job," Draco lied. He wanted to spare her the details and figured she would read all about the incident at Eeylops tomorrow in the Daily Prophet.

Narcissa went still for a moment, flustered, her grip on his arm slacking. Draco immediately regretted his words when her smile disappeared.

"Oh, Draco," she said simply and then hugged him. He stood completely still, not sure if he should hug her back. They had never displayed much affection towards each other before the war. She smelled like comfort, like home, of jasmine and vanilla. She reminded Draco of his childhood where everything was safe.

"So I think that I should go home," he said when she finally stepped back.

"Nonsense," she said, taking off his cloak and plucking two feathers out while brushing back his hair. She took out her wand and cast a Drying Charm. "You'll stay here— Andromeda insists since it's rather lonely with just Teddy and her here right now."

Draco couldn't think of a good enough reason to refuse the request. After the war when his father had been sent to Azkaban, he had made a promise to himself that his mother was his first priority and to accommodate her whenever possible. And to be honest, he didn't really want to return to the tiny, unheated flat that he shared with his mother.

"But the Wizengamot—," he began, but his mother hushed him.

"Let's talk more about it tomorrow, Draco. You'll find out that things are not as awful as it seems."

Draco hoped she was right. He needed something to believe in after this bad day.

He took a look around as he followed his mother and found so much had changed even though he had just been here a few weeks ago. The dilapidated house with its crumbling woodwork, chipped paint, and myriad of other problems had shocked him the first time he had visited with his mother after the war. His Aunt Andromeda had once told him of her plans to renovate and they seemed to be close to completion. The walls of the hallway they walked down were painted a calm blue and instead of his ancestors' portraits on the wall, there were photos of his cousin Teddy, Aunt Andromeda, and, more recently, of his mother and Draco when they were younger.

There were also some empty frames that Draco assumed his Aunt had not had time to fill with photos. Draco checked to see if they were still empty and wasn't paying attention when he bumped into his mother who had stopped in front of the living room. She gave him a curious glance, but he shook his head to fend off her question.

"Just wait here, Draco," she told him. "Andromeda was cleaning out the family library earlier and I'm going to go see if she needs help. She also mentioned that Kreacher was almost finished preparing dinner."

"Fine," he said as he entered the room, wanting nothing more than to sit down and close his eyes. No matter what his mother said, he needed to think over everything that had happened today. As he walked over to sit in front of the fireplace to keep warm, he saw his Cousin Teddy sleeping in a small baby cot that rested on the floor.

Draco stopped in his tracks and then looked over his shoulder. "Mother, I don't think I should be alone with Teddy. I'm not good with children." Well, with anyone, really, he thought.

"He's sleeping, so he's no trouble," his mother replied. "He's also been fed and had his nappy changed."

"What if he wakes up? I wouldn't know what to do."

When Draco saw his mother striding towards him, he was sure she would stay until she said, "He sleeps so soundly, I don't think he'll wake up that easily. Here, sit down and I'll place in him in your arms."

"What?" he said, startled. It was on the tip of his tongue to refuse the request and tell her to leave Teddy in the baby cot, but one look on her face as she lifted Teddy out of his cot stopped him. It was of peace, one that he was slowly starting to see return after seeing nothing but distress and terror from the war. Meanwhile, he had a look of concern on his face.

"Honestly, Draco, he can't be much worse than when you were a child," Narcissa said as she placed Teddy in his arms. The baby's weight felt odd to Draco, and his mother moved Teddy until his head and neck were supported in the crook of Draco's right arm while his other arm supported the tiny body.

She would say that, Draco thought as he gazed down at Teddy, seeing as a slew of house-elves had helped raise him and she had only seen him when he was perfectly calm. That didn't mean he wasn't a terror in secret as some house-elves refused to be left alone in the same room as him even when he was older.

"See, nothing to worry about. If you absolutely need anything, then just bring Teddy to Andromeda. Otherwise, just rock him gently back to sleep," she said, stepping out of the room again.

While Teddy slept, Draco took a look around the room. 12 Grimmauld Place was a collection of Aunt Andromeda's oddly arranged furniture, some Muggle technology spelled to work with Wizarding devices, and family antiques in every room. The charmed windows showed not the storm outside, but bright sunlight filtered through the glass and added the illusion of warmth to the room. It was a stark contrast to the dungeons and darkness of the Manor and certain rooms he refused to enter.

Draco settled back slowly into his sofa, wincing as a loose spring dug into his back. Even if this place lacked the grandeur of Malfoy Manor, Draco couldn't help but think that it felt more like home here than at the place where he spent his childhood. Perhaps it was because this place wasn't tainted by Voldemort's presence

Teddy stirred, letting out a soft sigh, and for a moment, Draco froze. He waited a full minute before he decided to check to see if Teddy was still asleep. Gently, he pulled back the blue baby blanket with yellow ducks and wondered how Teddy could stand the heat from both the blanket and the fire.

For a baby, Teddy Lupin was nothing special, and Draco didn't mean it in a bad way, because to him, all babies looked the same. However, Aunt Andromeda had told Draco that Teddy looked more like his father, from his mousy brown hair, to the long face, albeit full baby cheeks, and thin lips.

If Teddy looked like his mother, or had any of her features, Draco wouldn't know, seeing as he had never actually met her. Draco had also been told that Teddy had inherited had inherited his mother's ability as a Metamorphmagus, but the only hint he had seen was a strange turquoise tint to the baby's brown hair that could always be explained as a wild burst of magic.

Without warning, Draco sneezed several times, turning his head to the side just in time to avoid Teddy's face. He must be getting sick from walking around in the pouring rain. Before he could begin to look for something to wipe his nose, Teddy stirred. In sleep, Teddy looked calm, quite angelic, but now Draco begged to differ. Teddy's nose was scrunched up and his forehead had a tiny crease, more and more forming as he emerged from sleep. Teddy's mouth opened and as Draco heard the small whimpers start, fear settled down at the bottom of his stomach.

Draco really didn't want Teddy to wake up because that would mean ear-splitting cries that he wouldn't know how to stop. He gently moved his arms in a rocking motion like he had seen Aunt Andromeda do, but that only seemed to agitate Teddy instead of calming him. Shifting Teddy in his arms, Draco tried to reach for his wand, but it clattered to the ground when he pulled it from his pocket.

He panicked and stood up, almost tripping over the baby cot. Teddy let out a shrill cry at the sudden movement. That was it, he thought, he was taking Teddy back to Aunt Andromeda.

He was just about to leave the room when he heard the sound of the Floo coming to life. Bright green flames flared up in a different, smaller fireplace in the corner of the room, and Harry Potter stumbled out before falling on the dark carpet.

"Andromeda, sorry I'm late, but George needed help—"

Draco watched Potter stand up and dust himself off before Potter's voice trailed off as he realized who he was talking to. Potter's head jerked back in shock and he stared at Draco with his mouth wide open. His green eyes were too large behind the ridiculous glasses he wore, but they moved quickly between Draco and Teddy's face as if he couldn't believe what he was seeing.

Meanwhile, Teddy had opened his mouth and finally let out a scream that was a long time coming, sounding as if he were being bloody tortured. He wasn't, but Draco couldn't decide what to do and he was getting anxious because Teddy's cries sounded desperate, reminding him too much of people being tortured at the Manor.

Both looked down at Teddy, who now had a few tears falling down his cheeks. Potter reached forward to take Teddy away, but Draco had been left in charge of Teddy and he wasn't giving that up without a fight.

"What do you think you're doing, Potter?" he said, taking a step back and crashing against the sofa arm. Before he could think, Potter grabbed him firmly around his waist and arms to steady him, preventing him from falling flat on his arse. Then Potter cast Silencio over Teddy, ceasing his cries so that Draco could think again.

"I don't like doing that to Teddy, so I'm going to cancel the charm as soon as you sit down. Then we'll figure out a way to make him stop crying, okay?" Potter said, stepping away from him.

When the silence in the room grew too much for Draco, he nodded and sat back down on the sofa. Potter sat down in the adjacent sofa, never taking his eyes off of Teddy, who was still screaming, his face red and tears now falling steadily. Draco felt his cheeks warm at the way he saw Potter looking at Teddy, like he was the most precious thing in the word. It made Draco feel very uncomfortable, because he was intruding on something private.

"Thanks," Draco said, the word sounding loud to him. He then bit the inside of his cheek, wishing he could take the word back. He had never thanked Potter properly, not even after he and his mother were spared a sentence in Azkaban, so to do it automatically felt very strange.

Potter nodded, but he didn't comment, except to say, "I'm going to cancel the spell now."

The minute Teddy's screams could be heard, Draco shut his eyes. He didn't know how Potter was going to soothe Teddy, but it had better be fast. Perhaps a calming potion with a bottle of milk would be best. He was about to make the suggestion when he heard Potter start singing.

Draco opened his eyes to see that Potter was indeed singing. Well, humming actually, but that didn't stop Draco from gaping at him. Sure, his voice was off-key and his voice was rough at first, as if he hadn't cleared his throat. Nevertheless, Potter was singing, even if Draco did not recognize the song or know if it was a lullaby.

And it seemed to be working, as more and more minutes passed, because Teddy was quieting down. The tears had stopped running down his face and his cries had turned into soft hiccups and sighs. He was quite calmer now, his face less red and his eyes were wide and focusing completely on Potter.

"How did you do that, Potter?" Draco asked. This time when Potter reached over to take Teddy, Draco let him. He'd rather not risk making Teddy upset again.

"Andromeda has taught me a few things, but I've learned that to calm him down, I either start singing or make faces at him until he laughs." Harry smiled sheepishly as he adjusted Teddy in his arms before smoothing down his hair. "I think he knows I'm horrible at it, so he makes fun of me. With him, you can never really tell, but it always seems to work. What are you doing here?"

Draco was taken aback by the question, but he should have expected it. This was the first time they've seen each other since the trials and it must be quite a sight to see a former Death Eater with a baby. The question is not difficult to answer, but Draco was not sure how much he wanted to divulge, so he evaded it by asking a question in return. "I could ask you the same because I've never seen you here before."

"I'm Teddy's godfather," Potter said, shrugging, "and I live here."

So many questions were going through Draco's head at the moment that he was not sure which one to ask. At last, he blurted out, "You live here?"

"Yeah. Sirius left me this house and I've been living here with Teddy and Andromeda," Potter said. "Andromeda mentioned that she had been inviting your mother over to reconnect, and that you would come along sometimes. Though you, so far, have only come for Sunday dinners," Potter said as he pulled out a practice Snitch from his pocket and spelled it to fly just above his head. Teddy didn't take his eyes off the Snitch, his earlier outburst forgotten. "Which is rather unfortunate because I'm at the Weasleys' home all day Sunday and I've been meaning to talk to you."

"What? Why?" Draco asked, confused. What did Potter want to say to him? His mother had visited Grimmauld Place many times without him so she must have run into Potter at least once. But she had never said a word to Draco about Potter wanting to speak to him and he wondered why that was.

"I've talked to your mother a few times, but she hasn't really said much. She's worried about you and she says that you don't really talk to her. She thinks it because she's your mother and that you might want to speak with someone your own age. So I just wanted to ask, well, how are you?" Potter said and Draco stared at him. What kind of question was that? Potter must have realized what he said, because he quickly followed it up with, "I mean, what have you been doing since your trial?"

Potter, for the most part, really did look like he was interested in Draco's response. His glasses had fallen down his nose and his green eyes looked so unguarded as he watched Draco. He physically didn't look any different, but given what Potter had gone through during the war and the aftermath, as well as his testimony at Draco's trial, Draco could no longer consider them enemies. Struck with that realization and because Draco needed to get it off of his chest and not burden his mother with his problems, but he actually told Potter the truth.

"I got fired today for something that wasn't my fault. I'm pretty much homeless, and I don't know how much money we have left. I have no idea what I'm going to do, but I need to figure it out quick if I want to survive much longer. I don't want to go to Azkaban," Draco admitted. Merlin, it did feel good to say it all out loud.

To give Potter credit, at least he didn't say anything harsh or offer his apologies at Draco's misfortune. He just sat on the sofa holding Teddy with a thoughtful look on his face.

Draco watched the flames flicker for a while and when he couldn't stand the silence anymore, he got up to go ask if dinner was ready. He was almost out of the room when he heard Potter call out his name.

"Malfoy, you won't go to Azkaban," Potter said suddenly. "The Wizengamot gave you two choices, right?"

"What?" Draco asked, looking over his shoulder. Potter sat in the sofa with his back straight, his glasses now perched properly on his nose. He looked like he had thought of a good idea. Which was a dangerous thing, Draco thought, as he felt his hopes rise with each step he took to sit back down and listen to what Potter had to say.

"At your trial. The Wizengamot didn't sentence you to serve time in Azkaban if you could get a job or finish your education, right? And if you didn't fulfill those terms, you would be sent back immediately."

Draco nodded. The job at Eeylops had come as a result from a favour to his mother. He didn't know where he could find another job at such short notice, so unless Potter was suggesting—

"Come back to Hogwarts," Potter said, his eyes brightening at the suggestion.

Draco's first reaction was to say no. He had thought of it at first, but then decided against it. Hogwarts was still in ruins and he could not see what he would be able to contribute to its rebuilding with limited use of his wand. And even if they wouldn't let him rebuild, he wasn't sure how much practical use he would get out of a Ministry issued wand. The Wizengamot wouldn't give him back his original wand until the end of his probation. "I don't think that's a good idea."

"Why not?" Potter asked. "You have nothing else to do, right?"

Of course not, Draco thought, not bothering to respond.

"Hogwarts is my home," Potter continued. "I want to return to it to have a sense of normalcy and it would be best if I had my friends there. I couldn't imagine doing anything else for at least for a year since every time I step outside, it's absolute madness. I think it's the same for you, if not worse."

Draco couldn't find a thing to say to that. He always had to disguise himself when he left his flat and at Eeylops, he worked at night to take care of the owls. His interaction with the customer this morning proved that people still didn't trust him and probably wouldn't for a long time, if ever.

"Why do you want me to return?" Draco asked.

"This is not about what I want," Potter said, shaking his head. "If you wanted to return to sit your N.E.W.T.s, McGonagall would let you. Dumbledore said that help would be given at Hogwarts to anyone who asked for it and Professor McGonagall would respect his wishes," Potter said. "Besides, at the very least, I think Snape would want you to finish your education."

A couple of things surprised Draco. He knew that Potter hated his godfather, so what was he doing using Snape to persuade Draco to return to Hogwarts? Not to mention the fact that Draco was seriously considering it. He didn't want to admit that this was probably the best solution to his problems at the moment.

"Teddy really likes you," Draco said instead, wanting a bit more time to think about it. Potter looked down at Teddy in his arms with a huge smile. "Not ten minutes in my arms and he starts crying, probably because he hates me, but with you, he hasn't whimpered once."

"He's just a baby, I don't think he knows how to hate. I certainly don't hate you," Potter said without choking on his words as Draco certainly would have done. "Malfoy, you're his family. If you continue to visit and be a part of his life, I think that when he's older, he'll love you no matter what."

Draco sat still. It was one thing to hear his mother say that, but to have Harry Potter say that with absolute certainty, Draco might actually start to believe it.

Teddy's hair turned blue and Draco stared at it in wonder. Potter chuckled and hoisted Teddy up so that he was upright, supported by Potter's hand and arms, and looking at the two of them. When his brown eyes recognized Draco, his lips started to tremble and Draco sighed.

"He still doesn't seem to like me," Draco said.

"Nah, he's like that with everyone. Well, except for Molly and Andromeda because he adores them. You just have to make silly faces and he's a happy baby. You'll see. Make a face, Malfoy," Potter said, sounding as if he was gone off his rocker.

With Potter, that was a possibility, Draco thought. He shook his head, but Potter wouldn't let him give up that easily. He came and sat next to Draco, elbowing his side as he made himself comfortable.

"Go ahead, Malfoy. Charm him."

Under Potter's watchful eyes, Draco looked down at Teddy, wondering what to do. In the end, Draco made a half-hearted attempt to widen his eyes and opened his mouth with his tongue poking out like he had once seen Crabbe and Goyle do when faced with an incredibly hard Potions question. All he got for his effort was a loud snort from Potter.

"No, like this." Potter hunched his shoulders, arched his eyebrows so that they were hidden under his fringe, and opened his mouth so wide that he could see all of his teeth. Draco didn't even bother to hide his laughter. After a moment, Teddy joined in with a high pitch squeal that had both of them laughing all over again.

"See, I knew it would work," Potter said, grinning. "Go on, give it another go."

"No," Draco said. "I won't be ridiculous and foolish like all Gryffindors are."

Potter chose to ignore his insult and continued to make faces as Draco watched. He had to admit, the sight did cheer him up a bit.

Teddy gurgled the entire time, his gummy grin made much less effective with the drool spilling out of his mouth. Draco wrinkled his nose in disgust while Potter merely reached down and used the edge of his sleeve to mop it up.

"So what do you say?" Potter said, starting to rock Teddy gently to sleep. "Will you come back to Hogwarts?"

"You are aware that nobody will want me there," Draco said. "I'd have no friends there and the other students won't be able to see past the Dark Mark on my arm."

"You've had a trial and were found innocent," Potter said. "Besides, I want you there. And if you really wanted, I could teach you some useful spells in case anyone gives you trouble."

"I see you'll never tire of being the savior," Draco said, but it had none of the animosity from his younger years.

Potter shrugged, not even denying that it was true. "I'll help anyone who asks for it. Or even if they don't," he added when Draco still didn't say anything.

It was very tempting to say yes, Draco thought, as he watched Potter place Teddy in his baby cot. He covered Teddy with the duck blanket, tucking the edges, before stroking his hair that had gone back to its normal mousy brown color.

When Potter sat back down on the edge of the sofa, he smiled at Draco, which quickly put him on edge. And for good reason, Draco thought, as he watch Potter hold out his hand.

"Nice to meet you. My name is Harry Potter."

Draco stared at him, thinking that this was more ridiculous than when Potter was making faces at a baby. However, Potter's hand did not waver, and the longer Draco stared at him, he could see that Potter really meant it. Besides, if Potter was offering friendship, it would be foolish on his part to deny it as Potter had so many years ago.

"Fine," Draco said, shaking Potter's hand at last. "I'll come back to Hogwarts if only to beat your arse at Quidditch."

Potter smiled and said, "You're on, Malfoy."

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