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.”
- - -2.
The following morning, Draco was up early, making breakfast when someone knocked on his back door. He wiped off his hands and turned down the heat under the eggs before answering. The moisture dried in his mouth as he stared at the gorgeous man standing on his porch. He was slightly taller than Draco, with broad shoulders and sun-kissed skin. His hair hung near his neck and was slightly shaggy. And he had the same unusual shade of green eyes that he'd only seen on one other person. He wondered if this was Jamie's father.So. Not. Fair!
He groaned mentally. Why were all the gorgeous ones taken?
“I'm pleased to meet you. I'm your next-door neighbor, Harry Potter.”Ah. The elusive uncle.
“Pleased to meet you. Your nephew had a lot of nice things to say about you.”
“Eh. Pay him no mind. He's sucking up so he can be on the football team.” Harry laughed.
“Not playing favorites, eh?”
“Not when it comes to football. He has to try out like everyone else. Anyway, the reason I stopped over is because I wanted to get your permission to cut a limb from one of your apple trees.”
“Which one?” Draco asked, stepping outside. Harry pointed to one of the larger trees situated near the fence between their two properties.
“When the apples fall, they land in my begonia beds. I told the previous homeowners about it and got a face full of door for my troubles.”
“Well, we can't have dead begonias. Feel free to do what you need to.”
“Thank you!” Harry smiled brightly. Draco felt his heart skip a beat. “So, my nephew behaving himself all right?”
“He's been wonderful so far. He and Scorpius have hit it off so well. He's a great kid.”
“Yeah, he is. I'm definitely proud of him, that's for sure.” There was an awkward moment of silence. “Well, I'll let you get back to what you were doing. Welcome to the neighborhood.” Harry put his hand out and Draco took it. The minute their hands touched, a jolt of sensation flooded both of them and Harry quickly dropped his hand. “See you.” And he left as quickly as he arrived.
Draco looked at his hand, then at the retreating back of his next-door neighbor.
“I certainly hope so.” he mumbled to himself. He returned to making breakfast. He was just buttering some toast when someone knocked on the front door. He turned down the heat under the potatoes and wiped his hand again.
He could make out a dark head of hair through the misted window and wondered if Harry had forgotten to tell him something. He opened the door with a smile.
“Hello. I was wondering if my son was awake.” came the confusing request. Draco frowned.
"Um – I thought he was your nephew?"
"What? Oh! Hang on." Harry poked his head around the corner of the house and shouted something Draco couldn't hear. A moment later, Draco's eyes widened in shock when two identical Harrys appeared on his porch. Both of them laughed at his expression, and he found himself chuckling as well.
"Draco, this is my twin brother, James Harrison Potter the Second. Jamie, this is my new neighbor, Draco Malfoy." Harry introduced.
"Nice to meet you." Draco replied, shaking hands. Now that he met the two of them, he could see the differences between them. Harry's eyes resembled brightly colored emeralds where Jamie's was slightly darker in color, almost like a forest green. Jamie wasn't as broad as Harry but he was slightly taller, making him wonder if he was the older of the two. He assumed he must be if he was named after their father. His hair, while identical in color to Harry's and just as messy, had the smallest streaks of silver spaced throughout. And he noticed Harry had some type of scar over his right eyebrow.
Footsteps on the stairs alerted the three men that they would have company and a moment later, Jamie and Scorpius entered the hall.
"Morning, Dad." Scorpius greeted. "Hello, Mr Potter."
"Hey, Scorpius. Nice to see you again." James the elder replied. "You've met Jamie's uncle?"
"No. Hello to you as well, Mr Potter." Scorpius nodded.
"Eh, too confusing. Call me 'Coach'. It's easier." Harry laughed.
"Hey Dad! Uncle Harry!" Jamie greeted.
"Hey, kiddo. Behaving yourself?" Harry asked. Jamie nodded.
"Breakfast is almost ready." Draco told them.
"I'll finish up, Dad." Scorpius told him.
"Thank you." Draco nodded. The two boys headed back into the kitchen and Draco turned back to the two men on his porch. "You're welcome to join us if you'd like."
"No thank you. I'm actually headed off to work." James replied.
"It's Saturday." Harry reminded him.
"I know that. I'll be home in time."
"Mom will kill you if you miss it again."
"As she warned me when she called me this morning. She wanted me to remind you to bring a date."
"After the last one? No fecking way! I'm not subjecting another one to your wife's insults."
"You know Ginny doesn't mean the things she says!"
"Keep telling yourself that, James." Harry scowled. He turned on his heel and stalked back to his own house. Draco had the feeling he just witnessed a private conversation. It was confirmed when James looked at him, embarrassment written all over his face.
"You'll have to forgive Harry. My wife is a sore subject between us."
"If I'm not being too personal, why?"
"At a family reunion a few year back, Harry brought his boyfriend to meet the family. Ginny made some...not so nice comments about it."
"Ah." Draco nodded in understanding.
"Don't get me wrong, my family is pretty liberal about homosexuality and welcomed the guy with open arms. Blaise was a decent guy once you got to know him. But he couldn't tolerate Ginny's remarks as time wore on and he and Harry broke up about a year ago. Ginny is from a pretty old-fashion family, but sometimes she can be a bit...petty. Hell! Four of her own brothers are gay."
Draco could sympathize – his own parents were proof of 'old family'.
"Why do you stay with her then if she's causing so much strife in your family?"
"I've been in love with her since I was twelve years old." James sighed.
Draco patted his shoulder.
"I was married to someone who thinks as she does."
"Did you love her?" James asked.
"No. I only married her to please my parents. I wasn't true to myself and it hurt in the long-run. We got divorced and I got my son. That's all that matters to me."
"Sometimes we do things for the sake of others, even if it makes us miserable. But I'm a firm believer in Happily Ever After." James smiled. He leaned closer to Draco. "He's available...if you want to give it a shot."
And with a parting wink at a sputtering Draco, James left. Draco quickly looked next door to see harry working in his yard. He had taken his shirt off and Draco watched the ripple of muscles as he moved. He had to practically pry his tongue from the roof of his mouth. He went back inside, his heart hammering in his chest.
"Dad, you okay?" Scorpius asked, poking his head out of the kitchen.
"Your face is flushed."
"It's getting warm outside." he replied, stepping away from the door. Scorpius arched an eyebrow in disbelief. "And don't do that thing with the eyebrow! Reminds me of your grandfather too much to my liking."
Scorpius laughed as they moved back into the kitchen.