He had to love his wife, didn’t he? He’d certainly loved her when they got back together again, after he defeated Voldemort. He could remember the joy when she agreed to marry him, the feeling that his life was finally his own and moving in a direction he could understand. And when she told him about James, Harry had wept, overwhelmed with wonder and happiness. Albus and Lily hadn’t quite produced the same reaction, but he’d been sated, happier than he thought possible.
But for some reason, he couldn’t quite fit memories of Ginny, herself, in there. Yes, he loved his kids. Loved them more than he’d ever realised he could love another person. Each of them unique, each of them pulling a different type of love from his heart.
He blinked, realising he’d been staring, unseeing, at Malfoy as he thought. “Erm, I’m not sure.”
Malfoy nodded. “Well, that will certainly help as you go through all this.”
“But the kids —”
“Want you to be happy.” Malfoy gave a twisted smile. “You seem to bring that out in people, Potter.”
Harry blinked again, suddenly realising how strange this whole situation was.
Malfoy sighed. “Why don’t you and the kids join us for dinner tonight? We have reservations at one of the finest wizarding restaurants here, and I know Scorpius would love Albus’s company. And it would probably help keep their mind off things.”
“Erm, okay.” Harry turned to look at the boys again, and he and Malfoy sat in silence for a bit, until Lily came and plopped herself on Harry’s lap. “Daddy, I think I can do it now,” she said. “Can we try again in the real snow?”
“Sure.” He got up, wondering when he’d feel like a real person again, when it wouldn’t seem like he was pushing his way through a thick fog.
“Meet us here at seven,” Malfoy said. “Dress nicely.”
“Right.” Harry was halfway out the door before he remembered and called over his shoulder, “Thanks, Malfoy.”
Malfoy was right about one thing – or perhaps many things. Albus was delighted to spend the evening with Scorpius. The restaurant was very cool, filled with ice sculptures which moved and a section which appeared to be in the middle of a ski slope, with the waiters coming by on skis to serve the meals. And yet, there was no lack of warmth. James sat close to Harry, the least happy of the three. While Lily kept Malfoy entertained with her tales of how well she did during the afternoon skiing session, Albus and Scorpius talked about all things Slytherin.
And James confronted Harry about Ginny. “Is it true?” he asked quietly, pushing his food around his plate with his fork.
“Is what true?” Harry tuned his voice to James’ level, sensing that he needed some privacy.
“Did Mum cheat on you? And with that Quidditch player, Wood?”
Harry swallowed. “I don’t actually know if it’s true, Jamie,” he replied.
James shoved his plate away, his mouth tensed in anger. “Why would she do that? Doesn’t she love us?”
“There’s a lovely walk down that aisle,” Malfoy said suddenly, his expression sympathetic. He pointed over Harry’s shoulder. “The restaurant has been charmed to show different aspects of the mountains at night, and I believe you can walk quite a way to a frozen waterfall.”
Without a word, James stood and pushed his chair from the table. Harry nodded at Malfoy and followed, hearing Malfoy seamlessly engage Lily in more stories as they walked away. Soon, the other diners faded into the distance, and to all intents and purposes, it felt as if Harry and James were walking through a dark forest, alone with the stars.
“Jamie,” Harry said, trying to organise his thoughts. “I don’t know what’s going on with your mum. Perhaps that’s the problem. I haven’t talked to her about anything serious for a long time. I just – I guess as long as I knew you kids were okay, as long as we were talking, I didn’t think about what she needed. I wasn’t —”
“You never cheated on her,” James said. “I know you didn’t.”
“No, I didn’t.” Harry didn’t know what to say next. “I’m not sure I know how to cheat on someone, Jamie, though I’m not always the best person in other ways.”
To Harry’s horror, he realised James was crying. At almost thirteen, James hadn’t cried in years. “Perhaps you can ask your mum about it later,” he said gently, putting his arm around James’ shoulders.
“Dad, how could she do this? Our family is fine, isn’t it? I don’t want to be like Scorpius or Shema.”
“Zabini. Her parents are divorced too, and all I hear is how Shema has to split all her time between them, and sometimes even her younger sister has to go to one while she goes to the other – god, I hate Mum! How could she do this to us?”
Harry stopped James, turning him and putting both his hands on his shoulders. “Jamie. She didn’t do this to you. I imagine it just happened. She might not even be with Oliver any more —”
James looked at Harry, his cheeks wet and his brown eyes huge in his face. “You’d take her back?”
“Erm.” Harry blinked. Would he? No. He wasn’t interested in living a false life. Now that he realised what was going on, now that he’d seen into his own heart for a brief moment, he knew that he wasn’t in love with Ginny. Probably he hadn’t been for years. “I don’t know, Jamie.” Harry didn’t want to slam the door on the idea, not until he knew for sure what was going on. “But I doubt it.”
James nodded. “Good. You shouldn’t. Not after she did this to you.”
“Oh.” Well, that was confusing. Harry tried to remember back to his pre-teen years, but he’d been so different from James. At almost thirteen, Harry had been finishing up his second year, hoping only to save Ginny from Tom Riddle’s horcrux. God, had he ever been a kid?
“Let’s go back,” James said then. “I’m okay now.”
Harry studied his son for a second, noting the drier eyes, the determined look to James' jaw. “You can always talk to me, you know.”
James gave a fleeting grin. “I know, Dad. Believe me, I know.”
The next day, Albus immediately went to find Scorpius, and before Harry realised what had happened, James had taken Lily off to a green run, leaving Harry with Malfoy. They stood in silence for a bit, then Malfoy put his goggles in place. “Shall we?” he asked, gesturing to the ski lift line with is pole.
“I’m not very good —”
“Bollocks,” Malfoy said. “You can fly, you can ski.”
Twenty minutes later, when Harry had yet to get down the blue run Malfoy selected, a laughing Malfoy recanted. “Well, I guess you truly aren’t very good. Perhaps you should have gone with Lily yesterday into the play room?”
“Shut it,” Harry said, but he couldn’t stop the smile forming on his face. And when he looked at Malfoy, his cheeks pink from the cold wind, his full lips smiling in return, the warmth returned to Harry’s stomach and spread to his chest. Harry stared, not sure what he was feeling or why.
“Something wrong?” Malfoy asked, the smile fading.
“No. Nothing.” Harry pushed himself up, his back protesting. “Maybe I’m too old for this.”
“You’re more than a month younger than I am,” Malfoy said. “You’re not too old. Let’s try a green for a bit.”
If someone had told Harry years before that he’d be here today, actually learning to ski with Draco Malfoy’s help, he’d have laughed his arse off. But here they were, and by the end of the afternoon, as the kids began to gather at the bottom of the main hill, and Harry had finally made it down the blue run with only one fall, he noticed a peace building within him.
“So, where shall we have dinner tonight?” Malfoy asked James.
Harry opened his mouth to protest, but James talked over him. “Score was saying there’s another wizarding restaurant at the other end of the valley. Maybe we could try that?”
“Yes, let’s,” Al put in, and like that, Harry found himself eating dinner with the Malfoys yet again.
After they finished what turned out to be a very pleasant meal, with all four kids laughing and sharing about their days – and Harry’s gaze meeting Malfoy’s with a funny tingle more often than Harry understood – James suggested Scorpius come to their suite to watch a DVD.
“Erm, I guess that’s fine, if it’s okay with Mr. Malfoy.”
“Draco,” Malfoy said, a faint grin on his face. “And it’s fine with me. I’ll just grab a nice bottle of wine, and we’ll be there soon.”
The kids lay on big, fluffy pillows Draco and Harry transfigured from the sofa, and Harry and Draco retired to the small dining area the next room over. Harry found a couple of wine glasses in a small cupboard near the tiny fridge and coffee maker. Draco levitated two chairs to the balcony, and with warming charms in place, the men settled down to watch the night sky, the sliding glass door open behind them so they could hear the kids, should they call.
“Why do you suppose I don’t even care that much that Ginny cheated?” Harry asked, breaking the comfortable silence. “I mean, what does that say about me?”
“I think it says that although your family is clearly your first priority, perhaps you haven’t considered her an important part of that family,” Draco said with his casual drawl.
“God, that sounds awful. I’m a horrible husband.”
Draco laughed. “I doubt that. It sounds more like she simply isn’t the right person for you.”
Harry turned to look at him, noticing how the light from the lamp a few feet behind them illuminated Draco’s silky hair – silky? Harry swallowed. What was wrong with him? He tried to focus. “But we have wonderful kids. They wouldn’t be who they are without her as their mum.”
Draco shrugged. “So she’s the right mum for your children. That doesn’t mean she has to be the right match for you. When’s the last time you had sex?”
Harry choked on his wine, spluttering. “What? You can’t ask that.”
“I can. I did.” He pinned Harry with his cool gaze. “So?”
Harry bit his lip, torn between embarrassment and a longing to be honest. He realised he hadn’t talked about this type of thing for years – not since Lily was born, in fact. Ron never asked, and Harry certainly never offered. And Hermione had enough going on with their kids and her work that they seldom had a chance to talk alone. “It’s been a while,” he finally said.
“More than a year? More than two?”
Harry’s face heated up. “Maybe…maybe longer.”
Draco turned to him, astonishment on his face. “And you didn’t look for someone else? How could you go that long?”
“What? When’s the last time you had sex?”
Draco waved his hand. “We’re not talking about me, but although I don’t have many opportunities, I have engaged in the occasional one-off.”
“Really?” Harry didn’t know why he was so surprised. He just had this picture of Draco as an intense, focused person – that’s certainly how he’d been in school. How did he put that aside and just use someone for sex?
Draco sighed. “I’m not proud of it, Harry, but yes, I have been known to visit a Muggle club or two and find someone who can get me off.”
“Oh.” Then, “Gay clubs?”
Draco raised his brows. “Seeing as how I am gay, yes.”
“How did you know that, by the way?” Harry asked, carefully keeping his gaze on the stars this time.
He could still hear the amusement in Draco’s voice, even without looking. “You never wondered about your sexuality, Harry? I suppose you were a little busy in school, what with the Big Evil Dark Lord, and all, but after that? Did it never occur to you that girls weren’t your thing?”
“Wait, are you saying you think I’m gay?” Harry turned so fast that his chair screeched on the floor, and Draco winced.
“I’m saying that most people at least question it a little bit.”
“They do?” He wondered if Ron had done that, or Hermione. Hm, he could see Hermione thinking about it, but Ron? No way. “Well, I didn’t. I like women just fine.”
“But have you ever thought about men like that, just to see?”
Harry bit his lip, studying his hands. Sure, he’d noticed blokes now and then. Probably everyone did, though. After all, when their robes fit just so, and their arses were tight and round – Harry gulped. Perhaps that was taking it a little too far.
“I don’t know,” he said, still looking at his lap.
“Harry,” Draco whispered. And then he was taking Harry’s glass from his hand and pulling Harry to his feet. “Look at me.”
Harry did, his heart thumping so hard in his chest he was certain Draco could hear it. Why was he so nervous? Draco’s silver gaze met his, and he slowly leaned closer. “Relax,” he murmured, his breath ghosting over Harry’s lips. Harry’s pants seemed tight, all of a sudden, and the warmth in his stomach turned to a burning heat.
Then silky lips slid over his, and Harry gasped. Draco’s tongue swiped over his teeth, twining with Harry’s tongue – and then Harry stopped thinking and pulled Draco closer, wrapping his arms around him and touching everything he could reach.
A wonderful hardness brushed against Harry’s crotch, and his breath caught when Draco adjusted so Harry’s own length brushed against it. “Oh, god,” he panted into Draco’s mouth. Then they were moving against each other, pushing and grinding, and Harry had never felt anything quite like this before.
When he came, he moaned, twining one hand into that beautiful hair, the other grasping Draco’s firm arse hard enough to leave bruises. Draco didn’t let go, even after his own gasping moan, and they kissed and stroked and touched until the stickiness against Harry’s hip began to be uncomfortable. Reluctantly, he pulled back. “What was that?” he asked, after wandlessly cleaning the two of them. “I mean, why?”
Draco smiled, his slender fingers stroking Harry’s cheek. “Truthfully, I’ve wanted to do that with you for a long time now.”
“You have?” Harry studied the not-so-pointy face. “How long?”
A light pink flushed Draco’s cheeks. “I don’t think I’ll admit to that yet,” he murmured. “But enough about me. What do you think about your sexuality now?”
Harry blinked. “I guess I’m gay. Or maybe bi.” He thought some more, picturing Ginny when they used to make love. Nothing. He shook his head. “Gay. Definitely gay.” Even the night they’d conceived James had been nothing like this – and he hadn’t even had actual sex with Draco yet. Harry paused. Yet? His breath caught. “Now that you’ve, erm, had me, are you done with me?”
Draco’s fingers stilled, though he didn’t pull his hand away completely. “Wanting to play the field a bit?” he asked, his voice neutral.
Harry swallowed. “Not really.” God, no, he thought. He couldn’t imagine doing this with anyone but Draco.
“Do you want to do this again? With me?”
Harry nodded. “Yes. To the second part,” he added, knowing his face was on fire.
Draco’s smile had to be the most beautiful thing Harry had ever seen. “Well, then. I guess that’s settled.” And he leaned forward and kissed Harry again, and Harry discovered that kissing Draco was his new happy place.
** One year later
“It looks exactly the same,” James said, yanking on Al’s arm to pull him forward.
“Ow.” Al yanked back before throwing his arm over Scorpius’s shoulders. “I like this new tradition.”
The boys stood at the balcony, looking over Whistler ski area. This year, they had arrived on a sunny morning, deep blue skies the perfect backdrop to the sparkling snow. “I bet I’ll be skiing blues this year,” Lily put in. “Don’t you think, Draco?”
Draco came up behind her, putting his hands on her shoulders. “I’m sure, Lilykins.” He smiled at Harry, standing beside him. Harry leaned over and kissed him.
It had been a tough year, but the kids had handled everything marvellously. Ginny had reconsidered after their time apart, telling Harry she was willing to try again, though not admitting her adultery. But Harry, now aware not only of his sexuality but also of what it really felt like to be in love, insisted on a divorce. The Weasleys hadn’t been happy, though Ron and Hermione had never wavered in their support of Harry.
Harry petitioned for and got full custody of the kids, though he promised Gin she could see them regularly. She was their mum, after all. But he wanted them with him – with him and Draco, that was. The two had surprised many, and The Prophet was not kind (big surprise), but the joy Harry felt every day he woke with Draco by his side sustained him.
He kissed Draco again, until James turned and noticed. “Ew, Dad! Must you?”
Al cuffed James' head, though Harry noticed he didn’t look too closely. Draco smiled against Harry’s mouth before pulling back enough to say, “Happy?”