Love Thy NeighborAuthor:
Draco/OFC, Harry/Draco, Ginny/OMC, Bill/Fleur, Ron/Hermione, James/LilyGenre:
Non-Magic AUChallenge: 50harlequins
IJ community table; prompt #17: teacher and single parent
Draco Malfoy spent the first twenty-odd years of his life denying his sexuality and trying to please his parents. All he got out of the deal was a bitter ex-wife and a wonderful son. After moving away from California to New York, he has two goals in mind – the raising of his son, and living his life in perfect solitude. The only complication to his plan? His new next-door neighbor and the man's entire family.Disclaimer:
This story is based on characters and situations created and owned by JK Rowling, various publishers including but not limited to Bloomsbury Books, Scholastic Books and Raincoast Books, and Warner Bros., Inc. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended.Author's Note:
I never planned on writing a story loosely based on the Epilogue of Deathly Hallows. But the minute I saw that prompt, the muses struck me hard.
- - -“Love thy neighbor--and if he happens to be tall, debonair and devastating, it will be that much easier.”
- - -1.
Draco sat the last box down with a huge sigh of relief. All that remained to do was unpack, but he was confident that would be taken care of quickly with his son's help.
A small smile appeared on his face as he thought of Scorpius. His only son, the product of a failed marriage. Marjorie had been very adamant about having one child as she didn't want to jeopardize her acting career. And even then, it had been a chore to get her pregnant. She complained the entire time.
The minute Scorpius was born, she had shoved him off on a revolving door of nannies. Draco put a stop to that as soon as it started and took care of his son on his own. He understood well what it was like to be shoved off on someone else by their parents and vowed that no child of his would grow up like he did.
His thoughts turned to his parents. He loved them as best he could, but even that was difficult at times. Lucius – a successful lawyer with a private law firm in Washington DC. His wife, Narcissa – a perfect blend of aristocracy and grace – the perfect wife for someone with plans to become President one day. Nothing they said or did could be wrong. They had the perfect life – or so they claim. They rarely speak of their one and only son. For Draco was an abomination, a blemish if you will, on their erstwhile perfect life. The reason?
Draco was a self-admitted homosexual, having come out to his parents the year before he graduated from college. Lucius claimed he was simply 'going through a phase' and demanded he get over it quick. It was at one his mother's dinner parties that he was introduced to the up and coming actress, Marjorie St Regis. And Lucius saw the perfect opportunity for Draco to 'no longer have an affinity for the male of the species', practically forcing Draco to spend time with the chit every moment of every day. The wedding the following year was only a formality; he remembered the look on his father's face when he had asked if arranged marriages were even still legal. Lucius had ripped him to shreds with words, insinuating that he would rather be buried with all his money than leave his legacy to a 'filthy queer'. Draco knew that it really meant play nice and I won't write you out of my will
Of course, he also brought up the issue of an heir to carry on the Malfoy name. That made Draco cringe. There was no way in hell he would have sex with a woman!
But Lucius, once again, got his way. As he'd been doing all his life. Draco hated him.
So he'd gotten married. And it was one of the many regrets in his life.. Marjorie had known Draco's sexual orientation thanks to Lucius and she'd been convinced Draco was sleeping with other men behind her back. Fact of the matter was, it was her who was doing the cheating – about an hour after Draco had put the $30,000 Tiffany ring on her finger – with the clergyman who had married them.
Draco was granted full custody of Scorpius, waving all spousal support. He wanted to forget Marjorie ever existed.
Lucius, as predicted, was furious – and refused to speak to Draco from that moment on.
Draco couldn't have cared any less.
He sold their home in Beverly Hills and moved him and Scorpius to a small town in Upstate New York, confident he could make a life with the two of them. He bought a house and managed to get a job in one of the local accounting firms. And for once in his life, he was happy.
- - -
He came out of his memories upon hearing the front door slam. He looked up as Scorpius came into the room, followed by a young man who looked to be about his son's age. He had black hair that looked as if it hadn't seen a brush in ages and bright green eyes that looked so unnatural, he wondered if they were contact lenses.
“Hi Dad.” Scorpius greeted.
“Where've you been? We have things to unpack.” Draco chided gently.
“I'm sorry. I was having trouble getting the bench into the garage and he was kind enough to come help.” Scorpius pointed to the young man beside him. Draco looked at the dark-haired teen with interest.
“And who might you be then?” Draco wondered.
“Jamie Potter. I live across the street.” the young man replied, holding out his hand. Draco shook it, smiling.
“Draco Malfoy. Pleased to meet you, Mr Potter.”
“God! That reminds me of my dad! Please call me Jamie.” the youth laughed. He looked around at the boxes littering the floor. “Just moving in?”
“Yes.” Draco nodded.
“So you'll be joining me in school when it starts next week. Junior, right?” Jamie asked Scorpius.
“Sure am.” he nodded.
“Cool! I'll have to introduce you to my uncle. He's the history teacher-slash-sports coach.” Jamie grinned. “You'll probably see him a lot. He's your next-door neighbor.”
“He sounds fascinating. Is he home?” Draco wondered.
“He's probably at school getting things ready. He'll be home later.” Jamie shrugged.
“Well, if you'd like to stay for dinner, I was going to order a pizza – if I can find the phone.” Draco looked around at all the boxes yet to be unpacked. Jamie pulled out a cell phone.
“It's okay, Mr Malfoy. I have the pizza place on speed dial. Any preferences?”
“Whatever you can fit on it.” Scorpius grinned. Jamie gave him a 'thumbs up' gesture and placed their order. Draco smiled at the both of them, hardly daring to believe that his son may have made his very first friend.
As it were, Jamie stayed a bit longer then necessary to help get the living area and kitchen in some semblance of order. Draco lost his helpers when Scorpius finally uncovered his state-of-the-art Alienware computer system and both boys were soon lost in the archives of online gaming.
- - -
It was as the sun was settling when Draco received his second visitor. He found a young woman standing on his doorstep. Her bright red hair looked like burnt amber in the waning sunlight and her blue eyes held nothing but curiosity in them.
“Hello. I'm Ginny Potter from across the street.” she greeted.
“Draco Malfoy.” he replied, shaking her hand.
“I hate to be a bother on your first day in, I know you're still unpacking and things.”
“No trouble at all. You sound like you're worried about something.”
“I don't mean to be a pain! I was simply wondering if you've seen a dark haired boy with bright green eyes anywhere today. He's about seventeen, answers to the name Jamie.”
“He's your son?”
“He's here, Mrs Potter, playing a computer game with my son.”
“Oh thank goodness! I was so worried.” she breathed a huge sigh of relief. He stepped aside.
“Please, come in.”
“Thank you.” she smiled. He took her into the living room where two young men were huddled around a computer screen. Ginny drew herself up to her full height and erected a scowl that even Draco was jealous of.
“James Harrison Potter the Third!” she shouted. Jamie tensed immediately and looked over his shoulder at his mother.
“Don't 'hi, mom' me, young man! You were supposed to be home for dinner two hours ago! Where've you been all day?”
“That would be my fault, Mrs Potter. Your son was a big help to me and my own today and I invited him to stay for dinner.” Draco quickly explained, not wishing to see the young man in trouble. Ginny visibly relaxed.
“Oh. That's different then. Did you thank Mr Malfoy for letting you stay?”
“Good boy.” she smiled. She looked at Draco. “If he gets to be a pain, you send him home anytime.”
“He's been wonderful so far. I dare say the two of them have become friends.”
“Oh, that's wonderful! It may not look it, but Jamie is unusually shy when it comes to meeting new people. I think he gets it from his uncle.”
“Scorpius is the same. I think they'll be good for each other.”
“Dad?” Scorpius piped in a moment later.
“If it's all right with you and Mrs Potter, can Jamie stay over?”
“It's okay with me if it's okay with his mom.” Draco replied, looking at Ginny. Jamie gave his mother such a pathetic look, she didn't have the heart to say no.
“I'm fine with it.” Ginny nodded. Both boys whooped with joy and ran off to get some things from Jamie's house. Ginny looked at Draco.
“Two teenage boys...I hope you know what you're in for.” she chuckled.
“I think I can handle it.”
“Hm...you haven't met the rest of the Potter clan then...or my own family.” she chuckled. “But for what it's worth, welcome to the neighborhood.”
“Thank you.” Draco smiled, already getting the feeling that he had definitely made the right decision in moving here.