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Title: The Arrangement (23 of 25)
Author: [livejournal.com profile] fantasyfiend09
Word Count: 559
Rating: NC-17 overall
Prompt: Nutcracker
Warning: 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.
Author's Notes: Unbetaed.


“Two cats?” Harry was rather bemused.

Draco's cheeks were pink and he seemed rather intent on his glass of beer. “I've always wanted cats.” His voice was soft and low. “As a boy, I imagined having a kitten to sleep on my pillow at night, but my parents both feared for the furniture.” He scowled. “Never mind that there are charms for that. I couldn't even have an outside cat lest it upset my father's precious peacocks.” He sighed and took a sip of beer.

Harry rested his hand on Draco's free hand. “And now?”

Draco shrugged. “I still live at the Manor, and my parents still care more about furniture than pets. I thought about getting my own place when I first started working with Bill, but then I was travelling so much it didn't make sense. I certainly wasn't around enough to have cats.”

Harry smiled. “So I should get cats?” Draco shrugged, but his smile was hopeful. Harry tried to pretend he was immune to that look. “Cats are a lot of work.” He spoke slowly as he played with the thought and with Draco.

“I can help!” Draco's eyes were wide and glimmering with hope. “I mean, when I'm over. And Nilly will handle the litter and the feeding.” So all the work.

“What's left for you to help with? Petting?”

Draco sat up straight with a huff. “Yes! Headrubs. Backrubs. Playing with string. It's important work. Cats need a lot of attention, you know.” In his haughty state, Draco strongly resembled the very animal he longed for.

“Oh, I know about things needing attention,” Harry murmured. Draco bumped his shoulder into Harry's.

“Cats are worth it.”

Harry kissed the top of Draco's head as he nuzzled closer. “They definitely are.”

*

If Draco had been nervous to go to the Burrow, it was nothing compared to how he was before leaving for King's Cross station. He was a very pale shade of green, and he could not stop fidgeting with the nutcracker he had bought for Teddy. More than once, Harry caught him eyeing the Floo as if plotting his escape.

Harry should have seen it coming. While Draco had developed a close relationship with Bill and knew that would carry weight with most of the Weasleys, he clearly felt he had no ally with Andromeda or Teddy other than Harry himself.

Harry had told Draco that he had spoken to Andromeda only three days ago and that she had said Draco was welcome. Andromeda may be estranged from her sister, but she would be the last person to judge a wizard by his parents. Harry had told Draco that Mrs Weasley and Andromeda were very close and that Draco's good behaviour at the Burrow had been reported. Andromeda clearly felt that anyone Mrs Weasley approved was appropriate company. Harry had told Draco that Teddy already knew who he was from stories Harry and Bill had told over the years and was eager to finally meet him. But no matter what Harry said, it was clear Draco wouldn't believe he was welcome until he saw Andromeda and Teddy.

Rather than waste any more words, Harry took Draco's hand and gave it a reassuring squeeze. Then they Apparated to London.


Part 24
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