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All Night Long

By Jeconais

Harry raised his hand slowly and blew on the hot stew in the spoon. With an almost visible hesitation, he took a bite and looked mildly surprised. He hadn’t expected much from the self-proclaimed "Hot and Hearty Irish Stew," but it was surprisingly tasty.

It wasn’t as good as some of the stews he had eaten in Ireland, but for an American pub, it was pretty authentic.

And they did serve Guinness. This was a definite plus for him, as most of the beer in America seemed to have been filtered through a dead weasel and then had the taste removed through a complicated process involving multiple other forms of rodent.

A small charm around him meant that the music being played by the traditional band, Double Down, was at a comfortable level, and he could people watch.

He was in Washington DC, on a "business holiday" — in that he was there to sightsee and have a good time, and had promised Kingsley Shacklebolt that he’d meet up with the American Ministry to press the flesh, and generally be an unofficial representative for England.

After the war, there had been a lot of vacancies for promotion. Kingsley had ended up as the Head of the Auror division, and had instantly tried to recruit Harry. Harry’d turned him down immediately; he’d had enough of killing and war, and he decided that he’d like to see the world for a bit.

So he’d left the country, accompanied as always by Ron and Hermione. Hermione had even agreed to put off her studying at university so that they could have some fun for a year, and they had.

At least they had until they had arrived in Egypt and Hermione and Bill had been left alone one night. Well, that was all that it had taken and then there were two exploring the world.

He and Ron had continued on their track around the world, Ron surprisingly cheerful that his brother was dating his ex-girlfriend.

"Better him than anyone else in the world," he’d shrugged. "It didn’t work for me, but Bill will be good for her."

Harry had shrugged and agreed. The only thing that mattered was that Hermione was happy, and all it had taken was a quick official visit from the press-proclaimed Hero of Hampshire to ensure that the local university was bending over backwards to help.

Then they had reached Japan, and Ron had fallen deeply in love. First it was with Sushi and then with the daughter of one of the senior Ministry politicians.  

There had been a few grumblings from the traditionalists about a 'Gaijin’ being involved with such a prominent young witch, but after Ron had defeated the first challenger in a duel, some of the local young men had figured it would be a good idea to attack both Harry and Ron to persuade them to leave the country post haste.

It hadn’t been a good day for the pride of Japan. Ron and Harry had automatically fallen into some of the routines they had trained so hard for. And while they didn’t actually kill anyone, they did come close a time or two.

In the end, after Harry had lost his temper and started breaking some of the more important bones of his opponents, the Japanese Aurors had turned up to stop the fight, apologising profusely.

In a bad mood, Harry had stormed through the Ministry; his t-shirt liberally coated in the blood of some of the attackers, and had interrupted a council meeting.

His passionate words and slightly profane speech had impressed upon everyone there the seriousness of their inattention, and he left a very unsubtle hint that if anyone else expressed displeasure at Ron and Sumi’s relationship, he would be very, very, unhappy.

The magical glow surrounding him at the time added some perhaps unnecessary emphasis to his threat.

The fact that he delivered it in flawless Japanese, thanks to a useful spell Hermione had taught him, had been the final nail in the coffin of their displeasure.

And so two became one. Ron found a job acting as an ambassador between England and Japan, and Sumi had graduated from University and now worked with him.

Harry’d returned to England briefly, and after accepting a role as a roaming ambassador, he’d continued on his journey, not really sure what he was searching for, or even if he was searching for something. He just knew that after everything he had been through, he wasn’t ready to stop.

He returned occasionally, back for weddings, funerals, and christenings. The last being the death of Albus Dumbledore. He had said a few words at the funeral, overcoming his normal reticence. In death, he had given Dumbledore the one thing he had never given him in life: forgiveness. His speech touched upon the actions Albus had taken, but he left the crowd in no doubt that Dumbledore was a hero, deserving of respect.

There had been a couple of candidates for Headmaster, including Professor Snape. Snape had been the forerunner — his fame as Dumbledore’s spy was taken as a personal recommendation by the now deceased Supreme Mugwump.

It had come down to a meeting between Snape, McGonagall, and the Board of Governors to announce the new headmaster.

Harry had walked through the Ministry and gate-crashed the meeting. The Aurors on guard, who had been at the final battle, were mysteriously overcome with temporary blindness and deafness.

It hadn’t taken many words for the pendulum to swing away from Snape, and when Harry had told the Governors that if they picked Snape, he would publicly denounce them, they had been persuaded to cast their vote for McGonagall.

Snape had been livid, and had accosted Harry outside the room, accusing him of destroying his dream.

Harry had easily removed Snape’s hand from his chest and pushed the older man against the wall, and stared into his eyes.

"You are a childish, evil little man, Snape," Harry had said in a low voice. "I will not let you have any more influence on the future generations than you already do. I’ve let you keep your job because Albus asked me to, but that’s as far as I am willing to let you go. You will teach potions for the rest of your life, Snape, because it’s all you have left."

Snape had tried to protest, but Harry had ignored him. "You’ve made your bed, have the grace to lie in it."

And so, Harry left the country again.  

The war had changed him, killing had changed him, in ways he had never expected, and he was still dealing with it.

Fourteen Death Eaters and Voldemort.  

He could still name them, every one. He could still recite how they had died and describe in absolute detail what their last expression had been. He saw them every night, as they haunted his dreams. While they were no longer sent by Voldemort, the nightmares still had the power to deny him sleep.


He blinked and looked up, jerked from his thoughts.

The first thing he saw was some beautiful black hair and as he moved his eyes down, he felt a little surprise. "Cho?"

"Fancy meeting you here," she smiled. "Do you mind if I sit down?"

"Please," Harry said, shifting back from the table. He took a sip of his Guinness. "Can I get you a drink?"

"The barman is bringing it over," Cho smiled. "So, how has the Hero of Hampshire been?"

Harry groaned. "I hate that nickname."

"Would you have preferred the Hero of Surrey?"

"Not really.  I would have preferred everyone to leave me alone, and not create some ridiculous myth around me."

Cho smirked. "And you wouldn’t have used that myth to your own advantage a time or two?"

Harry smiled slightly. "Maybe, but if they hadn’t given it to me, I would have just done things the hard way."

"You never change, do you Harry?"

"I change," Harry smiled. "I’ve grown up."

"And lost that innocence?"


"No," Cho said thoughtfully. "It’s still there. It’s just a little buried."

"It is?"

"Yes. So, what are you doing in an Irish pub in this wonderful Capital city?"

"Having a meal and a pint," Harry said, indicating the finished bowl in front of him.

"I meant more in general."

"Oh, I’m just having a chat with the American Ministry and doing some sightseeing."

"Seen anything interesting?"

"Had a look around the White House. They gave me a security pass and a personal guide, so I got to see some of the places that most people don’t."

"Did you meet the President?"

"Nah, he was at his ranch.  I was offered an audience though."

"You were?" Cho looked surprised.

"Yeah, but I begged off. Rumour has it that one of his daughters was the one doing the inviting."

Cho frowned in thought and then started to laugh. "You don’t fancy a political match?"

"I’ll leave that sort of thing to Ron," Harry said dryly. "It’s strange that some Muggles know about us, but after the Twin Towers, it makes sense to use magical as well as normal bodyguards."

"And one of his daughters found all about the handsome hero who defeated the Dark Lord, and that he’s English to boot, and decided she’d like a bit of that?"

"So I heard," Harry shuddered. "So what are you doing over here?"

Cho smiled, "I’m doing some business myself. We’re trying to import something. It’s all very boring, but it makes money."

"So you’re a success?"

Cho smiled, "You don’t keep up with what happens back home, do you?"

"Nope," Harry said. "Kingsley would tell me if there is anything important I need to know. With Hermione in Egypt and Ron in Japan, there aren’t many reasons for me to go home."

"What about Ginny Weasley?"

"What about her?" Harry asked, surprised.

"Didn’t you date her?"

Harry laughed and shook his head. "No. That was another one of the Prophet’s exclusives. It never really came up between us; we were friends at school, and we still talk occasionally, but she wanted to be an Auror. The last I heard she was doing well for herself."

"I missed so much after I left school," Cho said. "And you know what I missed the most?"

Harry shook his head.

"The chance to say sorry," she said softly. "Marietta was a bitch, and I should have slapped her to the curb a long time ago. I shouldn’t have forced things with you."

Harry shrugged and looked down. "You were still mourning Cedric."

"Do you know the phrase 'You don’t know what you’ve lost, till it’s gone?’"

Harry nodded.

"I felt that way my last year of school. I was dating Michael to make you jealous, and you didn’t even seem to notice. I wish I had swallowed my pride and approached you again."

He looked up and smiled slightly. "That would have been nice. I was angry with you for a while, but then I came to kinda admire your dedication to your friend. Even if she was a bitch."

Cho laughed softly. "Do you mind if I try something?" she asked.


Cho leaned forward and gently kissed him.

"What was that for?" Harry asked, surprised.

Cho looked at him from under her eyelashes. "I wanted to see what it would be like."


"Not quite," Cho explained. "Kissing without the tears."

Harry laughed. "It was better."

"It was," Cho agreed. "Rumour has it that you’ve left a trail of broken hearts along your trip around the world."

"I wouldn’t say that," Harry protested. "I’ve always been honest about it."

"I was joking," she said with a smile. "None of them have done a kiss and tell about you. But I’m guessing that you don’t know that 'Harry Spotting’ is a favourite game back home?"

Harry groaned.

"The Prophet pays a hundred Galleons for information about where you are. There’s been a load of candid shots of you in all sorts of locations. It’s harmless, although you do have a few awards to pick up."

"Like what?"

"Most Eligible Wizard, three years running."

"There’s a reason why people don’t tell me this sort of thing," Harry sighed.

"I’m not people, Harry," Cho whispered.  

"True," Harry nodded. "So, is there anyone special in the life of an ex-Head Girl of Hogwarts?"

Cho shook her head, "I’m footloose, fancy free and going home tomorrow. But tonight, I want to dance."

"Dance?" Harry said doubtfully.

"Don’t give me that, Potter," Cho smiled. "Everyone saw you and Hermione twirling around at the Christening of Charlie and Fleur’s daughter. And what is it about those Weasleys? They seem to exchange girlfriends like most families exchange gifts."

"No idea," Harry shrugged. "I just stay out of it. They seem to know what they’re doing."

"So, are you going to dance with me?"

Harry drained the rest of his beer, "I guess."

"Wow, so enthusiastic," Cho teased.  

Later that night, two slightly drunk adults stumbled back to the Grand Hyatt Hotel.  

"You want to come in for a nightcap?" Cho asked.

"Just a nightcap?" Harry grinned, looking down at her. He’d removed his jacket and was holding it over his shoulder, leaving him in a white dress shirt and smart black trousers. The shirt had the top few buttons open, revealing a pendent necklace. His tie was dangling around his neck.

"Maybe," she said, looking back up at him and opening the door behind her.

The room was almost as nice as his. "Take a seat," Cho said, indicating the bed, as she walked into the bathroom.

Harry smiled and relaxed down on the bed. He pulled out his wand and cast a contraceptive charm on himself, just in case. The signals he’d been getting from Cho had been pretty strong, and it had been several months since he’d last been in this sort of position.

She was still as beautiful as she had been at school, only now it was tempered with some experience — and the lack of tears helped as well. He’d had fun with her earlier.   She could dance as well as he could, and they’d drunk a few more pints as the night had headed toward morning.

The lights in the room dimmed slowly, and Harry looked at the doorway. Framed by the light behind her, Cho slinked into view, and he felt his chest tighten.

She was wearing what looked like a white teddy, the material off-setting her oriental skin colour almost to perfection.

"Wow," he said simply.

"Why, thank you," Cho said seriously. She walked in front of the bed and slowly crawled up it, keeping her eyes on him all the time. "So," she breathed.   "Are the rumours true?"

"What rumours?" Harry asked, feeling her breath brush against his lips.

"That your wand isn’t the only thing longer than average."

Harry laughed softly and rolled her onto her back quickly, reversing their positions. "You’ll have to find out for yourself," he smirked and kissed her slowly.

"I will," Cho promised, as he broke the kiss. She moved suddenly, rolling him back over, and straddling his waist.  

Harry was about to protest, when she started to remove his shirt, kissing the flesh as it was revealed. A minute later, any form of protest was gone from his mind as Cho reached his trousers.

Harry woke up and stretched, only to find that he was alone.

"Cho?" he asked, looking around.

"Harry," Cho said from a seat at the window.

"What’s the matter?" Harry asked.

Cho sighed softly, "I’m sorry, Harry," she said.

"For what?" Harry asked, sitting up and reaching for his glasses.

"I wasn’t totally truthful last night."

"About what?" Harry asked, feeling confused about everything.

Cho pulled out her wand and touched the second finger on her left hand. A couple of diamond rings suddenly appeared.

"You’re married?" Harry demanded.

"Yes," Cho sighed.

"Then, why…?"

"You see, I love my husband with all my heart."

"And?" Harry asked, shifting nervously on the bed.

"Because he can’t give me what we need," she sighed. "I’m sorry." She stood suddenly, pointing her wand at him.   "Obliviate!"

A year later, Harry sat on the Sun Bay beach in Puerto Rico, drinking a rum and coke. He was drifting in and out of sleep, letting the hot sun work its magic on his body. Another year of travelling hadn’t really helped that much, and he was now giving some thought to stopping.

Money wasn’t an issue; it never would be, so all he had to decide was where and when. He wanted to be near both Ron and Hermione, but that was a little difficult with one in Egypt and the other in Japan.

He was tempted to pick somewhere in the middle, and just pay for his Floo to be hooked up to the international network, so that he could visit either place when he wanted to.

England wasn’t high on his list of places to stay — he was happy going back to see the Weasleys, but there wasn’t that much else for him there. And the idea of the huge following he still had there scared him a little.

He looked around the beach, and seeing no one nearby, he reached for his wand and cast a quick sun tan charm on his body. He hated sunburn, but liked to lie in the sun. As always, magic had an answer for everything.

He closed his eyes and drifted for a few minutes, before he realised someone was approaching him. He leaned up on one arm, picked his glasses up from a towel and absently adjusted his necklace.  

The figure walking toward him was gorgeous, even though he couldn’t see her face. Long legs made visible through the sarong by the bright sun behind her merged into shapely hips, and then into a slim waist, before back out again for beautifully proportional breasts, nestled in a white bikini-top.

"Harry?" The voice said.

He blinked. "Cho?"

"Fancy meeting you here," she smiled. "Do you mind if I sit down?"

"Please," Harry said, shifting over. "Drink?"

"Water would be nice," she replied.

He reached into a cooler and passed her a bottle, taking one for himself.

"It’s been what, five years since I last saw you?  How’ve you been?" Cho said.

"About that," Harry agreed. "And pretty good, thanks. How have you been?"

"Not bad," Cho said without hesitation. "Has the Hero of Hampshire got himself a wife yet?"

"If I did," Harry said dryly, "I have no doubt at all that it would be all over The Prophet before I got past the 'will’ of 'will you marry me?’"

Cho laughed softly and leaned back, her long black hair brushing the sand as she arched her back. Harry found his eyes locked on her chest, as the position emphasised it.

"What about you?" he asked. "Married with an adoring husband yet?"

Cho’s eyes flickered for a second. "Chance would be a nice thing," she sighed. "No, I’m footloose and fancy free."

"What are you doing here?" Harry asked.

"On holiday," Cho replied. "I thought I saw you last night — there aren’t that many people in the world who look like you, and a few questions quickly pointed me out here."

"I’m nothing if not predictable," he smiled. "I try and come here at least once a year to get away from it all."

"The Prophet has a reward for information on where you come for a holiday," Cho grinned. "I’m going to have to blackmail you to stop me from revealing it to them."

"Oh?" Harry asked warily.

"Yep, dinner and dancing."

He smiled suddenly. "Dancing? I don’t do much of that."

"I’m sure you’ll do fine," Cho said, reaching out and touching his arm gently.

Harry looked at his watch. "Why don’t we go back to my room, so I can put some clothes on? Then I’ll take you to Bili for a meal."

"I’ve heard of that," Cho said brightly. "You’re on."

Harry stood and offered her his hand and pulled her up. He quickly stored his stuff into a bag and looked at her. "Ready?"

She nodded. "Magical bag?"

"Yeah, bottomless. Makes things really easy when on a beach."

They walked together back to his hotel and took the lift up to his floor. He opened the door with a keycard and entered his suite of rooms.

"Nice," Cho whistled admiringly.

Harry smiled and went to walk to the bathroom, when he stopped and looked at her. "I might be being a little forward," he said, his voice suddenly husky.

"Oh?" Cho asked.

Harry walked up to her, guiding her against a wall. "I’d like to try something."

"What’s that?" she asked breathlessly.

He leant in and kissed her slowly. "Kissing you without tears," he whispered against her lips.

"And how was it?"


"Only nice?" she asked.

"It was only a short kiss," he explained.

"Then hadn’t you better do it again?"

Harry smiled and kissed her harder, his tongue lightly pressing against her lips, which soon opened for him.

"I’m not normally like this," Cho whispered as she broke the kiss. "But it’s you, you know? I always regretted not finishing what we started at school."

"Me too," Harry agreed. "And yeah, I’m not normally like this either." He paused for a second. "Shall we move this to the bed?"

"Depends," she grinned. "Will you still respect me in the morning?"

Harry smiled. "Always."

"Okay," Cho said simply.

Harry lightly took her hands, pulling her over towards the king-size bed. He fell backward, bringing her with him, kissing her as much as he could, letting his hands roam over her back.

Cho smiled and broke the kiss, before she started to kiss down his chest.

Harry reached down and easily pulled her up, turning her over so that he was on top. "Do you trust me?"

She smirked at him. "You think I end up in bed like this a lot?"


"Then yes, obviously, I trust you."

"Good," Harry smiled. "I’m going to blow your mind," he promised. He reached out, sliding one of her hands out to the head of the bed. He reached into his pocket, grabbed his wand, and cast a quick charm, locking her hand in place.

"Bondage, Harry? I always put you down as the vanilla sort."

"I grew up," Harry said dryly, as he locked her other hand in position. He looked around and then cast a silencing charm on the room.

"That confident you can make me scream?" Cho grinned.

Harry smiled and straddled her waist, absently locking her feet to the foot of the bed.

"Do you know what this necklace is?" he asked quietly.

Cho shrugged, at least as much as she could in her position.

"I found it in my Godfather’s vault," he explained. "One of the things it does is make the wearer immune to memory spells."

Cho’s eyes went wide, her desire fleeing to be replaced with a look of fear and anger. "You led me on, you bastard. Release me!"

Harry threw his head back and laughed, climbing off her. "I don’t think so," he said calmly. Inside he wanted to scream at her, but he wasn’t going to let her know that she had managed to annoy him that much.  

"After your little performance last year, I popped back to England for a few weeks, and spent some time with Kingsley doing some research."

Cho seemed to pale dramatically.

Harry pulled out a drink of water, and pulled a chair next to the bed. "Care to tell me why you are here? And what your husband thinks about it?"

"He doesn’t know," Cho said softly, avoiding his eyes.

"Uh huh," Harry grunted.

"So, why are you so eager to jump into bed with me again? And if you were so upset about it last time, why do it again?"

"Because it was good, okay? I couldn’t help myself."

"Liar," Harry said calmly. "You run fifteen companies, two of which are borderline legal, and make more money than your husband. In that time, you’ve never even hinted at cheating on him. Every report says that the two of you are deliriously happy, and are both quite vocal about it."

"It’s all talk," Cho said weakly.

"Liar," Harry said again. "Do you even remember how much I was trained? Do you think I defeated Riddle by luck? I have friends in places that you can’t dream of. It wasn’t hard for me to watch you two at home."

"What?" Cho said, her face losing even more colour.

Harry shrugged. "I was a waiter at one of your parties for a night. Judging by the noise you were making afterward, you were having a very good time."

A tear ran down the side of Cho’s face. "Please, Harry," she whispered. "Let me go. I’ll never bother you again."

"Not till I get some answers."

"Don’t you trust me?"

Harry laughed cynically. "Trust the wife of Draco Malfoy? Not bloody likely!"

Cho shook her head. "I didn’t mean to hurt you, honest."

Harry shrugged. "I’m a big boy, it happens. What I want is some answers, and if you don’t start giving them, I’ve got some Veritaserum from Kingsley I can use."

"You wouldn’t," Cho gasped.

"Yeah, I would," Harry corrected. "I was willing to chalk it up to an aberration on your part. A one time moment of weakness. That the drink we had and being alone abroad had caused. But then you came back, and I want to know why. None of your story so far has made any sense. Now, are you going to tell me the truth, or do I pull out the potion and find out all your secrets that way?"

"I’ll tell," Cho whispered brokenly.

Harry nodded and settled back into the chair.

"Draco’s sterile," she said simply.

Harry blinked. "And?"

Cho rolled her eyes. "I want a baby."

Harry looked blank for a second, before he felt a cold weight settle in his stomach. "You wanted to use me to give you a baby, and then never see me again?" he whispered.   "You wanted to steal a child from me."

Cho didn’t say anything.

"You bitch," he whispered. "You absolute bitch." He looked at her disgustedly and shook his head.  

"Harry…" Cho started.

"Don’t," he snarled. "Don’t say anything." He stood abruptly, grabbing his wand. He waved it at her, cancelling the spell that held her down. "Don’t try and leave the country," he said abruptly. "You won’t be able to use the Floo. I’ve not finished talking to you yet, but I need some time to cool off, before I do something I’ll regret."

"Harry…" Cho tried again.

"Don’t! Just get the hell out of my room. Go back to yours. I’ll talk to you later." He turned and stormed out the room, Apparating to the far side of the Island as soon as he could.

He walked out to a small rock outcropping and stood there, staring at the setting sun as he tried to calm down. The very idea that someone would deliberately try and have a child by him, and then wipe his memory of the conception was so horrid, he couldn’t even think of it without feeling sick.

Harry had no idea how long he stood there, and he was only vaguely aware that it had turned dark around him.

The sound of flapping wings brought him back to the world, and he turned around as a regal looking black owl hovered in front of him, its leg out imperiously.  

Harry looked at it and then slowly unrolled the parchment.

I know what my wife is doing, and why. And I know what your reaction has just been.
I promise to raise the child as a Gry Ravenclaw.  

Harry blinked in disbelief. With a growl, he crumpled the paper and threw it far into the ocean. He turned and Apparated away.

The international Floo network was a crowded place, and to avoid being seen, Harry normally arrived very early in the morning, often being the first person through — it was one of the few things he used his fame for.

This time, he didn’t care. He couldn’t wait, so he walked straight through the crowd, ignoring the calls for his attention. A quick chat — and a small monetary exchange — with the Ministry officials, and he was able to bypass the queue and he was shortly afterwards tumbling toward Britain.

He arrived in the Arrivals lounge of the Ministry building at Heathrow Airport. It had made sense for them to build it at an international airport, as some Wizards liked to take Muggle transport. He’d only taken a few steps when a voice called out his name.

"Kingsley?" he asked. "What are you doing here?"

Kingsley shrugged amiably, leading him into an office. "I heard that Harry Potter was on the war-path, and heading home. I figured I’d make sure that you don’t need any help, and find out if I’m going to have to cover-up after you."

Harry paused and pulled out his wand, casting a privacy spell around them.  

Kingsley looked at him curiously. "What’s the big secret?"

"Cho tried to seduce me again," he replied.

Kingsley winced. "Did you do what you said you would?"



"She wanted me to father a baby, which she would then raise with Malfoy, without me even knowing."

Kingsley shook his head in disbelief. "She did what?"

Harry looked at him, not bothering to repeat his statement. "Malfoy sent me a letter asking me to go through with it."

"You’re kidding?"

"Do I look even slightly amused by this?" Harry demanded.

"No," Kingsley grunted. "You have a look that makes me want to resign and live the rest of my life as a goat-herder somewhere — because at least that way I won’t have to face you."

Harry took a deep breath and closed his eyes. "I’m going to go and talk to Malfoy."

"Talk? Or beat the shit out of?"

"Talk," Harry repeated. "Till I find out what he has planned, but after that, I make no promises."

"Do me a favour," Kingsley sighed. "Don’t kill him, and let me know when you leave, so I can clean it up. We don’t want the press knowing."

Harry smiled slightly. "It might be an idea if they did — perhaps they’d stop voting for me in those stupid polls."

"I’m not going to let your reputation suffer for this, Harry," Kingsley said seriously. "If you do anything, I’ll let the press know why. I don’t know if what they have done is illegal, but it’s definitely immoral."

Harry shrugged. "I’ll let you know before I leave," he promised. He cancelled the spell and Apparated away, landing outside the imposing Malfoy Manor.

The gates were shut, but he didn’t let that stop him. Blasting them open with a burst of temper-fuelled magic, there was a distinct lack of response from anyone as he marched through the grounds and into the Manor.

There was a row of lights leading to one side, so he followed them, not really concerned about the possibility of a trap. The whole thing was pulling back memories of his training, and he felt his old reflexes start to twinge.

Harry walked into a library to see two chairs facing a fire. Draco was sat in one, staring at the fire.

"You’re very predictable, Potter," Malfoy sneered. "But did you have to destroy my gate?"

"Yes," Harry grunted.  

"Sit down, Potter," Draco sighed. "You may as well have a drink," he said, pointing to a couple of glasses next to him and a bottle of scotch.

Harry sat into the chair opposite him. "You won’t mind if I refuse your drink, will you?"

"It’s not poisoned," Malfoy said stiffly. "There are some things that aren’t done in one’s own house."

"In one’s?" Harry mocked. "Become a member of high society when I wasn’t looking?"

"I’ve always been a member, you peasant. I just circulate in higher circles these days."

Harry pulled out his wand and tapped the glasses and the drink. A few seconds later, he nodded and poured himself a drink. "You at least have some good taste in drinks," he muttered.

"Father did enjoy collecting," he shrugged. "Until you stopped that habit rather violently."

Harry raised an eyebrow at the tall thin blond.  

"Don’t get me wrong," Draco continued. "I don’t miss him at all, and I quite enjoy the fruits of his labour."

Harry shrugged. "If it helps, I didn’t enjoy killing him. If he’d stood down when I told him to, I wouldn’t have had to."

"I think," Draco mused. "That in the end, I was impressed with his loyalty to Voldemort. Despite everything, he stuck with him to the end. Stupid thing to do, of course.  I realised in our sixth year that you were going to win. You’re a damnable Gryffindor, and little things like the rules have never applied to you."

Harry smiled faintly. "Okay, enough small talk. What the hell is going on?"

Draco sighed and looked into the fire. "Do you pay any attention at all to what goes on in this country any more?"

"Very little," Harry shrugged. "Kingsley keeps me informed of anything I might need to know."

"The chief Auror," Draco muttered. "He’s disturbingly honest, too much so for my tastes."

"Probably why I like him," Harry countered.  

"Have you ever noticed that all the pure-blood families have children quite early in life?"

"Not really," Harry said. "But now that you mention it, it does seem to be a pattern."

Draco sighed. "I almost wish Granger was here."

"Granger?" Harry asked, his left eyebrow raised.

"Sticks and stones, Potter," Draco sneered. "It’s long past time to put away pointless name calling. She at least would be able to explain things in terms you would understand."

"Why don’t you try me?"

"Blood is very important to pure-blood families. But appearance is more important. It is traditional for someone in my position to produce an heir as quickly as possible.   It’s not been five years since we left school, and still no heir. People are starting to talk — quietly — behind my back. They are casting aspersions on my family name. Doors that were once opened to me are starting to close."


Draco rolled his eyes. "Let me put this in words that even a stupid Gryffindor could understand. If I don’t have an heir soon, I’ll lose a lot of the influence and power I have.

"And as Cho told you, I am sterile. It appears to be a gift from dear old Dad, who only had one child because of his own problems, and that took a lot of magic to help it along."

Harry looked disgusted. "So you concocted this scheme?"

"No," Draco stated. He looked Harry directly in the eyes. "I had no idea what Cho was doing last year. I wouldn’t have let her anywhere near you if I’d had the choice." He paused and shook his head. "My wife is nothing, if not intelligent."

"That’s one word for her," Harry spat.

Draco raised his hand. "Let me finish, please. She decided that as I can’t give us what we need, and want, she’d do something about it."

"So, why me?"

Draco opened his mouth and shut it again, before slumping back into the chair. "It couldn’t be anyone else," he said simply. "She explained everything to me a few months after your encounter."

"Go on."

"First, genetics. Her mother has green eyes, and she has black eyes. While I take after Father, Dad takes after his mother. So having a child with green eyes and black hair wouldn’t be an issue. It happens. And let’s face it; with our history of enmity, no one’s going to even think of anything else."

Harry snorted.

"Second, blood. You might not be a pure-blood, but you are very powerful, and any child of yours would probably be so as well. It would be disastrous if a child turned out to be a Squib.

"And finally, it would need to be someone who was never here to avoid any complications."

Draco’s face suddenly tightened, and in a choked voice, he continued, "And it had to be someone Cho could actually do it with."

"Why not just bloody adopt? There are enough orphans after the bloody war."

"Were you not listening, Potter," Draco snarled.  "I can’t just magic up a child, it has to be done the old fashioned way. This would have been so much easier if it had worked. She cast enough fertility spells on herself to pretty much guarantee pregnancy."

"She might be intelligent," Harry sighed. "But we both know that Hermione is a fucking genius. She taught Ron and me the most powerful contraceptive charms known to man. So, if you didn’t know about it the first time, why the hell did you go for it the second, and why with me, considering that you hate me about as much as I hate you?"

Draco stared into the fire. "Because it’s you. I couldn’t take the risk of it being someone else. Most wizards visit a doctor, and a standard charm will reveal a memory charm, and before you know it, it’s all over the press."

"As opposed to me who would totally destroy you?" Harry demanded.  

"Better to be destroyed privately than in public," Draco shrugged. "And you wouldn’t just destroy, you’d talk first. You’re a Gryffindor, Potter, and that wouldn’t change."

Harry shook his head. "At the moment, I’m trying very hard to think of a single reason why I shouldn’t just beat the shit out of you, and have Cho arrested. You said it yourself, I’m never in this country, so what do I care about my reputation here?"

Draco paled and shifted away from Harry. "Listen, Potter... Harry," he said. "I know what Cho did originally was wrong. Hell, what we tried again today was wrong, but it doesn’t change the fact that we need your help."

Harry actually laughed out loud. "Now you’re asking for help?" He stood.

"Wait, please. Hear me out."

"You have two minutes," Harry said coldly. "After that, I walk. Kingsley already knows about this; he’ll keep an eye on you two, and any child will be tested, and the real father found."

Draco sighed and seemed to slump further down in his chair. "Wonderful. Look, Potter. Have you ever wanted something so bad that you’re willing to turn to the one person you hate most in the world to get it?

"Have you ever needed something so much that you are prepared to share the one thing in your life that means more to you than anything else — Cho — to get it?

"I want a child, an heir, so badly that it keeps me awake at nights. And knowing I can never have one naturally is like a dagger stabbing me in the heart every second of the day.   I know that Cho feels the same way.

"I know what it is like to be raised by an asshole, and I won’t do that to my child. Cho never would; her parents actually care about her. I can be the father I always dreamed of having when I grew up. I want to prove to myself and everyone else that I can. I want the Malfoy name to go on forever.

"Have you ever been faced with a scenario so desperate that you can’t see a way out of it, so you do something because you think it’s the only thing?"

"I bloody fought Voldemort," Harry roared, as he turned to face Draco. "You think I don’t know about desperate scenarios? You think I don’t know about what it’s like to be so scared you can’t see straight, but know that you have to do something anyway? I was in a situation where all I wanted was for me and my friends to survive. But you know what I did? I didn’t try and trick it from someone; I bloody found my own way to do it."

Draco slowly got to his feet. "And we both know that I didn’t have to do anything like that — and if I had, I would have failed anyone. God how much I hated you, Mr Perfect. But that doesn’t matter now. None of it." He slumped down to his knees. "You are my last chance. So this is what you wanted, right? Draco Malfoy reduced to begging for help."

Harry looked at him, more than a little freaked out by the sight of Draco on his knees. He collapsed down into a chair. "Get up, Malfoy," he sighed. "I never wanted you on your knees.  I would have much rather you stood up to me so I could have knocked you down."

Draco laughed suddenly, returning to his chair.

"I don’t trust you, and I’m not sure I believe your story," Harry said.

"You can get hold of Veritaserum, right? Cho said in her owl that you had some."

"I was bluffing," Harry shrugged. "But yeah, I can get some."

"Go get it," Draco said. "You wouldn’t trust any from me. At least you’ll be able to get the answers you want."

Harry looked at him for a second and then stood abruptly. He walked out without a word, and as soon as he was outside the wards, he Apparated to Kingsley’s home.

"Harry?" Kingsley asked, as he walked out of his kitchen.

"I need some Veritaserum; Malfoy’s willing to take it so I can trust his answers."

Kingsley’s eyebrows shot up. "Do I want to know?"

"No," Harry sighed. "Not at the moment. And keep what I’m here for under your hat."

"I’m not wearing a hat."

"Muggle expression, it means keep it a secret."

"Oh, right. Anyway, give me a few minutes and I’ll get some for you. I know a chap who has a supply."

"Is there anything you can’t get hold of?" Harry asked, curiously.  

Kingsley’s teeth gleamed as he looked around. "What’s the point of being in power if you can’t get what you need?"

"I wouldn’t know," Harry replied.

"That’s right, you don’t. If you’d taken my offer you would."

"I prefer my life the way it is."

"The Malfoys notwithstanding.  I should have told you about their marriage — but I didn’t think you cared."

"I didn’t," Harry shrugged.  

"Wait here, I’ll be right back," Kingsley said, as he jumped into the Floo and said a name under his breath.

Harry paced the room while he was gone, not sure what he was feeling at the moment, or what he was going to do about it. Nothing had changed the simple fact that they had tried to steal a child from him. He wasn’t sure what questions he was going to ask, and he was having some trouble stopping himself from using this potion for some revenge.

"Here," Kingsley said, as he threw the potion at Harry.

Harry caught it automatically, and nodded his thanks. He Apparated back to Malfoy Manor quickly.

"It must be fun having friends in high places," Draco mocked. "Not everyone can get hold of Veritaserum in less than five minutes."

"Not everyone defeated an insane Dark Lord," Harry muttered. He poured some of the potion in Draco’s glass and topped it up with the whiskey.

"Bottoms up," Draco said with a smirk, drowning it in one.

"Why are you letting yourself be put under Veritaserum?" Harry asked as his first question.

"Because you’re a picture book Gryffindor," Draco said without hesitation. "You wouldn’t ask any other questions but the ones I want you to trust my answers to."

Harry sighed. "Did you know what Cho was going to do last year?"


"What did you do when you found out?"

Draco paused for a second, "I came close to throwing her out."

"Why didn’t you?"

"Because I love her."

Harry paused a second and then repeated his question. "What did you do when you found out?"

"We had a very long argument about it that lasted almost a week. She explained everything she had done and why, and slowly I became convinced that she was right. That this would work, and no one would know. She said that the memory charm had worked, and that you must have done a contraception spell, so she worked out a way around it."

"What do you think about me sleeping with your wife?"

Draco’s face went white, and he started to sweat — a sign he was trying to fight the potion. "I hate it," he blurted suddenly. "I hate it, and I hate you. The thought of you touching my beautiful Cho makes me ill." He paused and smirked. "But at least you were crap in bed."

Harry paused for a second and sighed. Judging by how many times Cho had vocally praised his ability, he suspected that there was some ego massaging involved in that belief, and he decided to leave it for now. He’d never sleep with someone’s wife normally, and he felt guilty that he had — even with Draco Malfoy’s wife, even though he hadn’t known she was married. This was a small way of assuaging that tiny guilt he felt.

"Are you making all this up as some sort of weird plot to get some revenge on me? I mean, who knows what you could do with it."

Draco rolled his eyes, "Paranoid, much? I stayed out of the Voldemort mess after our sixth year, and I am glad you got rid of my father — it made my life a lot easier, and meant I could marry Cho as I wanted to, and not bloody Parkinson, like he wanted me to. So no, I don’t have a huge grudge against you for killing him."

"If you hate me, and you do, then why me?"

"Because you’re the best. And if I can’t do it personally, I’d rather she has the best." Draco looked like he was going to be sick after that statement.

Harry collapsed onto chair and closed his eyes. "Is everything you’ve told me tonight true?"

"Yes," Draco said simply.  

"You’d raise the child as a Ravenclaw?"

"Yes," he said again. "I fell in love with a Ravenclaw, and they can be as sneaky as Slytherins, but without some of our more unattractive stupidity."

"What do you mean?"

There was another pause before Draco muttered, "Perhaps Muggles aren’t all bad. They can be useful. Same as mudbloods."

Harry went quiet. "No more questions."

There was a strange silence between them, as they waited for the potion to wear out. "I’m a muggle-lover," Draco said eventually. "I think it’s worn off."

Harry snorted softly. "Indeed. I doubt even Veritaserum can make you say that."

"So," Draco said, and then stopped.

"So," Harry sighed, as he stood up. "I know it’s a really obvious thing to say, but why the hell didn’t you just come and talk to me instead of going through this elaborate charade."

Draco stared back into the fireplace. "To be honest," he grunted. "I’ve not got a clue what Cho was thinking. Sometimes you do stupid things when you’re desperate."

"That almost sounded profound from you."

"We’ve been out of Hogwarts for a while now, Harry. I’m no longer the second biggest fish in a small pond. I’m now a big fish in an ocean, and there are a lot of sharks around. I’ve had to grow up or be eaten."

Harry smiled slightly.

"And you," Draco continued. "Are the biggest fish in the ocean, and you don’t even care."

"And I never will," Harry finished. He stood, and walked to the door.

"Harry," Draco said, his voice cracking and sounding tortured. "Please. Cho’s still waiting."

"I need to think," Harry said, pausing at the door. "You know how I grew up; it’s common knowledge now, thanks to the damn Prophet. How do you think it feels to know that I might have a child that I would never be able to see, never be able to touch, never be able to love? How do you think it would feel to have that child out there, and know that a memory charm stole it from me?"

There was silence from behind him. He turned to see Draco staring at him.

"I’m sorry," Draco said, and Harry turned and walked out.  

He never thought that Draco would say sorry. But then, he never thought that he’d ever see Cho again, never mind have her attempt something so hurtful.

He Apparated to Hogwarts and walked out into the night. A quick charm opened the broom shed, and a few seconds later, he was flying around.

The urge to go and see his friends was huge. To hear the familiar advice: Hermione looking at it practically, and Ron saying no on general principle. It would be almost like old times, and he would have the comfort of knowing that whatever he did decide, they would stand by him.

The problem was that getting the two of them together, alone, was almost prohibitively difficult these days, especially on such short notice, and he was loath to do so for something so relatively unimportant.

If it was something like Voldemort returning, he would have them together within half an hour, but the plea of a desperate couple was nowhere near important enough.

And with him being alone for a few years now, he was a lot more self-reliant than he had been in the past, so this was something he was going to have to deal with himself.

He sighed and levelled the broom. He swung his feet up and shifted down, so that he was laying flat on his back, staring at the stars.

It was times like this that he actually wished he had a partner, a love of his own. Hearing that even Draco Malfoy had someone who meant more to him then he did himself was a bit of a surprise. And with both his friends having partners, his loneliness seemed a little more profound than it had been before.  

Sure, he’d had a lot of fun in the past, but one night stands didn’t really fill the void. He’d never really learnt to let anyone close other than Ron and Hermione; even the Weasleys, who he would definitely call friends, weren’t allowed to see him as he truly was. He always felt like he was on display when with other wizards, and it made it hard to relax.

The problem he had was that he had never really met anyone he’d like to spend the rest of his life with. He’d never had time for girls while at school, and after the battle in Hampshire, he’d found his fame both a blessing and a curse. It made girls very easy to talk into bed, but it also meant that they were sleeping with Harry Potter, and not him.

He was quite prepared to admit that it was down to his own doing, but it was very rare that he regretted it like he was at the moment.

A cloud blocked out the bright moon, and for a second he remembered Remus, and how he had died in the final battle. How seeing Remus’ eyes so dull and lifeless had given him the final push he needed to face Voldemort and end it.  

Even after the years, the only way he could interpret the infamous prophecy of Trelawney’s was that determination was the power the Dark Lord knew not. Because that had been the only thing that had kept him going when it had become obvious that Voldemort was more powerful than him. The training from his seventh year which had allowed him, Ron, and Hermione to carve their way through the Death Eaters was futile against a being only a whisker short of achieving immortality. And if Voldemort hadn’t lost his nerve, he would have won.  

Voldemort had ordered Lucius Malfoy to stop him, and Malfoy had tried. The older man had lost a lot of his influence when Draco had refused to join the Dark Lord, publicly telling his father where he could stick his proposal.  

Lucius had seen stopping Harry as his way of regaining his lost position as Voldemort’s Right Hand man.

Harry had asked him to step down — told him what was going to happen if he didn’t.  Lucius laughed at him, and he died with the laughter still on his face. Harry had reacted to the curse the senior Malfoy had sent at him, letting it drift by him, and had attacked, hard, focused, just as he had been trained.

Across the space between them, Harry looked directly into the red eyes of Voldemort and sworn to himself that Voldemort was going down, regardless of little things like laws, magic, or anything else that might try to stop him from achieving his goal.

Voldemort had looked away, and he had known. Voldemort had known. And it had become self-fulfilling. They had exchanged spells, Harry having to dodge most of them because Voldemort’s were so much more powerful, but even when they did hit, he didn’t stop. He’d never stop. And Voldemort knew it.

And the more Voldemort knew it, the wilder his curses had become, until Harry had spotted a hole in Voldemort’s defence, and had gone for it with a ruthlessness that still surprised him.

Voldemort had fallen, and as he had, the Death Eater’s masks had broken in two, revealing them to the world. They had converged on Harry, determined to avenge their master before they were taken into custody. And he had fought them all. Voldemort’s death had moved him into a new place mentally, and he acted on instinct alone — all the training he had received coalescing into a single sequence of moves that had decimated the demoralised Death Eaters.

He shuddered, trying to get the deaths out of his mind. Trying to get the faces of the Death Eaters away from him and trying to lose that dreadful coldness that enveloped his body whenever he thought about the past.  

Tears streamed down his face as he looked up at the moon and tried to forget once more, forget what he had become and how he had changed.  

It didn’t work. The shadows threatened to engulf him, to pull him down with them once more.

So for the first time, he accepted it. Accepted the coldness as part of who and what he was now. He let the tears flow and gave into the pain that had been biting on the edge of his consciousness for so many years.

He cried for what he had done, for the people that he had killed, for the people he had intimidated and used to get what he wanted. And in the end, he cried for himself.

He slowly sat up, feeling a little empty, but also feeling a little relieved. He started to wonder that instead of being restless and travelling around the world, he had been running.   Running from himself and from his fears; running from what he had done. He wondered if he had pushed everyone away when he had won — apart from Ron and Hermione — and had missed out because of it.

Almost without thinking about it, he flew to the edge of Hogwarts and Apparated away from on top of the broom, and landed in garden of the Burrow. He walked up to the door and knocked on it.  

"Harry?" Molly Weasley asked, looking at him with a shocked expression on her face. "I didn’t know you were in the country."

"Hi," Harry said, suddenly wishing he’d taken the time to clean himself up.

"Come in out of the cold," Molly said instantly. "Arthur’s at the Ministry tonight."

Harry followed her into the familiar kitchen and sat down as prompted.  

"When’s the last time you ate?"

Harry blinked and thought for a second. With the time differences, it was probably around breakfast that morning. "Breakfast," he said sheepishly.

Molly shook her head and turned on the grill. "So, what brings you here?"

"I needed to talk," he said softly, staring at the clock face that showed the state of all the Weasley children.  They were all safe. "And apologise."

A second later he was engulfed in a huge hug. "We knew it was hard on you, Harry," Molly said softly. "And we knew you would come around eventually."

Harry snorted softly, "Eventually is right. I’ve always been stubborn."

"I’d’ve said determined," Molly said cheerfully, as she started to cook. "So, what brought all this on?"

Harry smiled slightly and started to explain. It took him a while, and a lot of food, before he managed to stop talking as he explained everything he had gone through so far that day.

"Oh Harry," Molly sighed softly and moved around the table to hug him again. "What are you going to do?"

"I don’t know," Harry sighed. "Part of me wants to hurt them, like they hurt me."


"A bigger part wants to help them in some way. You know, because, I think that it would be the right thing to do."

Molly smiled broadly. "Oh Harry, you really are back.   I can’t tell you how pleased I am about it. How are you going to help?"

"Well, sleeping with Cho is out," he shuddered. "If I’d known she was married, I’d’ve never done it in the first place."

"I know," Molly said. "Apple pie?"

"Please," Harry smiled. It was amazing how a bit of food and comfort helped get rid of the coldness. "And they can’t adopt, so I don’t see how…"

"See how?" Molly prompted, as she put a plate in front of him and sat back down again.  

"There’s this Muggle technology that can take my, erm…"

"Sperm?" Molly prompted and then laughed as he blushed. "I’m quite aware of how babies are made; I’ve had enough of them."

"Well, yeah," Harry said bashfully. "And basically attach it to one of the eggs, and then implant it into Cho."

"So, baby with no sex, interesting. Would that make a difference to you?"

Harry nodded slowly, "I think it would, you know? I’d be more a donor than an actual father. It would be down to them to sort the rest out."

"And do you trust them to raise a child?"

Harry smiled coldly, "I’ll be watching them closely. I might be coming back, but that part of me that defeated Voldemort will always be inside me, ready to come back if needed. And if they do anything but raise the child in warm, loving, environment, I will step in."

Molly shook her head slowly, "You can be a very intense young man, Harry. I think that a threat from you would ensure that they raised the child properly."

Harry changed his smile, removing the coldness, "It worked on the Japanese."

"And I should thank you for it," Molly said. "I’ve never seen Ron so happy, and Sumi is lovely. I think she’s going to get pregnant soon; she wants a baby."

"Cool," Harry said excitedly. "I need to go and see them. It’s been months."

"That’s how I always knew that you would come back eventually," Molly said with a little smile. "No matter what happened, you never lost contact with Ron and Hermione."

"And I never will," Harry promised.

Molly bustled around the kitchen, preparing two mugs of hot chocolate. "Now, come in to the living room and tell me all the stories for the past few years."

"Molly," Harry called. "Thanks."

"You’re very welcome Harry, you always are. Now, come and sit down. We’ll make up the spare bedroom later, and tomorrow we’ll get everyone to come home for a bit of a party."

"I think I’d like that," he said softly. "I really think I would."

Two weeks later, Harry Apparated back to Malfoy Manor and walked in again. A lot had changed in the two weeks. Not least the news that Ron and Hermione were both planning on moving back to England. They had been planning it for years; they had just been waiting for him to stop running, so that they could be together.  

Bill was happy to be back at home as well, and Sumi was excited. She loved the Weasleys as much as her own family, and with her father’s connections, they would only ever be a Floo journey away. He was really looking forward to getting to know both his friends’ partners.  

The press had been ecstatic to see him home for a few weeks, and it had been a surprise to realise that most people were willing to leave him alone. Sure, he couldn’t pay for drinks in the pubs anymore, and he had to get used to being stared at a lot more, but it wasn’t anywhere near as bad as he had feared.  

He had a lot more friends than he had realised, including some in the Ministry, who made sure that he wasn’t invited to political events that he didn’t want to go to, and that he was left pretty much alone.

"Potter?" Draco asked.

"I’m going to help you," Harry grunted, play acting a little.

Draco looked at Cho, and for the first time, Harry saw them together. It was almost a shock to see a human emotion on Draco’s face. It gave him the last thing he needed to know that he was doing the right thing. The right thing for him.

"I’ll go for a walk," Draco said stiffly, his entire body language screaming a curious mixture of despair and determination.

"Don’t bother," Harry smirked. "I’m not going to have sex with Cho."

"What?" The married couple demanded together.

"You two are idiots," Harry stated. "Pure-blood idiots who could have saved all of us a lot of problems with just a bit of research."

"I researched everything," Cho protested. "There is no way Draco can get me pregnant."

"Have you heard of In Vitro Fertilization?"

"What?" Draco asked, looking blank.

"It’s a Muggle thing," Harry explained. "They can take my sperm and one of Cho’s eggs, do some stuff, and implant it inside Cho. And like magic, one baby - no sex."

"Muggles can do that?" Draco blurted, his expression changing to one of hope that looked almost out of place.

"Yes. But there’s a price."

"I’ll pay it," Draco said instantly. "What ever it is."

"I thought agreeing for something before you heard the price was against your religion."

"Cut the jokes," Cho begged. "Please."

"Okay. It’s simple. Raise the child right, or I will release everything to the Prophet — but claim that Cho succeeded the second time. I will be believed, and then I will destroy you both. I will leave you in abject poverty, and I will look after the child personally," he said as coldly as possible. It was harder to achieve than before, but he wanted them to know how serious he was.

Draco and Cho didn’t even look at each other. "We will," they said in unison.

"Right," Harry sighed. "Come on then, we have an appointment with a doctor in the States."

"America?" Draco asked.

"Guaranteed anonymity," Harry shrugged and turned to walk out.

"Harry, wait," Draco called.

Harry paused.

Draco turned and looked at Cho.

Cho took a few steps forward. "I’m sorry," she said simply. "For everything."

 "I doubt we’ll ever be friends," Harry said gently. "But it doesn’t matter. I’m helping you as much for the person I want to be, as I am for person I was."

Cho took a step forward again and hugged him briefly. "Thank you," she whispered, tears running down her face. "I was so desperate to do what we wanted, what we needed, that I thought about everything but you."

Harry looked at her and sighed. "You’ll find that talking to people goes a lot further than stupid schemes." He turned again and walked out, pausing for a second. "Coming?"

Draco and Cho looked at each other, and a second later, ran to follow him.

Author Notes:

With thanks to Leslie, Cami, Susan, and Rachael.

Not the normal thing you expect for me, but I felt like writing something different for a change.