Draco's Apothecary

BY : Apothic
Category: Harry Potter > Slash - Male/Male > Harry/Draco
Dragon prints: 8121
Disclaimer: I don't own characters or anything else from the Harry Potter fandom. I make no money from writing this fan fiction.

Draco's apothecary was quiet at this time of the morning. He liked the quiet.

He could retreat to his room in the back of the shop where a few dozen potions brewed. He'd stir a few of the cauldrons, sprinkle in some ingredients in the others. It was like tending a garden.

The bell above the entrance rang, and Draco returned back to his desk. He watched as an older woman browsed his collection of ointments. She selected a bottle of ointment that soothed arthritis. It was one of his best selling products. Draco had invented it himself.

The older woman didn't make eye contact with him as she brought up the bottle to purchase it. Her fingers trembled as she dug in her purse for coins. When she collected enough she left without saying a word or even waiting for her change.

Most of the people who came into his shop were barely civil, if not rude tohim. He didn't blame them. He understood that a year-long sentence at Azkaban wasn't enough to pay for what he had done. He didn't expect to be treated with acceptance or kindness. But it still hurt sometimes. That woman had been buying his potion every Monday for nearly two years, and he didn't even know her name.

At least she had the ointment. He liked to think of his ointments as an apology of sorts- his gift to the magical community. Hermione Granger told him that he could charge much more for this potions, but he only charged what he needed in order to get by. He slept in a cot next to the cauldrons in the back room, and ate simply. It was exactly the opposite of the life his father had wanted for him. But Draco didn't care what his father thought of him anymore. Being poor wasn't so bad. It was the loneliness that was nearly unbearable.

The bell rang again. When Draco looked up he saw Granger who was currently gesturing for someone to follow her in. Draco sighed with relief. Hermione was one of the few people who he could consider a friend these days. She started writing him while he was in Azkaban. She told him the formal public apology he gave during his trial touched her. He had created a potion just for her hair- one that was easy to apply and would give her glossy locks in minutes. She was the one who suggested that he open his own shop.

"Harry, stop being a dolt, and get in here," she said.

Draco froze. He hadn't seen Potter since his trial five years ago. The familiar shame rose up in Draco, and he looked down at his desk, unable to watch Potter enter his shop. It wasn't until the two of them were standing right in front of his desk that he looked up. He schooled his face to hide his shock.

Harry was as devilishly handsome as ever. He was still tall with wild dark hair and one green eye. But half of his face was almost black. His left eyelid was swollen shut and covered in a gray crust. He looked like the left half of his face was burned by frostbite.

Draco had read about the hex a dark wizard put on Harry's face. Being an auror was dangerous work. But Harry told the press that he didn't want any photos printed, and they had obeyed his wishes for once. Now Draco understood why.

"Good morning, Draco," Granger said.

"Good morning."

Potter was staring at the potion cabinet on the wall to his right. Draco knew he was just trying to avoid making eye contact with Draco because all of those potions were cures for balding. This interaction was so different than the fights they used to get in as teenagers.

It was so odd to have Potter in his shop. He followed Potter in the paper. Everybody did. But Draco had taken a particular interest in news about Potter when he came out as gay three years earlier. Potter had shocked the magical world, and paved the way for many other gay witches and wizards to come out as well. Of course, Draco hadn't told anyone he was gay. But that was because there was no one to tell. His parents had disappeared right after the war- begging him to come with them. But by that point he was done hiding. He decided to stay and do his time in Askaban instead.

Most of the people he associated with in his old life were gone or in Azkaban, and the rest of the magical community treated him like a pariah. The question of his sexuality was irrelevant. There wasn't any witch or wizard who wanted to date him anyway.

"We're here because Harry's tried everything else, and I wasn't sure where else to turn," Granger said.

Draco hesitated. "What exactly do you need?"

Granger glared at him. It was obvious what Harry needed a salve for. Draco shrank underneath her gaze.

"Hermione brought me here to purchase an ointment for my face," Harry said. "The doctors at St. Mungo's couldn't fix it, and I've been to several magical medical clinics abroad. No luck."

Of course, Potter would be polite. He even made eye contact while he talked to Draco. But Draco just stared at his desk again.

"I'm not sure… Do you you have the notes from St. Mungo's?"

"Oh, right. Yes. Right here," Granger said, handing him a scroll.

Draco scanned over the medical record. It was a long list of attempts. It made sense that they would leave no stone unturned for the boy who lived.

"They've already tried quite a few salves and ointments," Draco said. He noticed that some of the ointments had come from his shop. St. Mungo's bought from him in bulk.

Harry pressed his lips together in frustration, and turned to leave.

"I… could try something. But it's dangerous. We'd have to get the ministry's permission to purchase the supplies, and Potter would have to come in every day for observation," Draco said.

Harry turned. The guarded hope in his eyes was heartbreaking.

"The possible side effects are… concerning. If something goes wrong you could end up very sick."

"What do you mean by sick?" Granger asked.

But Harry interrupted her. "I'll do it. That is, if you're willing, Malfoy."

"But Harry-"

"I can't continue to live like this, Hermione. I don't care what it costs or what the risks are. I can't go out in public. I'm stuck in my house all day by myself. I'm going mad."

Granger reached out to give Harry a side hug, but he brushed her off, looking sheepish.

"Sorry, Malfoy. I'm not myself these days. I would appreciate your help. I'll pay whatever it costs."

He thought about what his father would say if he knew Draco was working for Harry Potter. It almost made him smile. But of course, he couldn't allow Potter to pay him.

"I wouldn't charge you," Draco insisted.

"I have plenty of money-"

"Please. I don't want to be paid. I… owe you so much already."

This was apparently the wrong thing to say because both Granger and Harry looked offended.

"I'm sorry. Whatever form of payment you wish to give me will be fine. Of course, no ointment could ever make up for what I've done. Please give me a few minutes to write up a list of ingredients. I'm sure Hermione could get them approved by the ministry much sooner than I could. As soon as I have permission to buy those ingredients I can get started."

He didn't look up to see their reactions. He just got out parchment and a quill. There were only four forbidden items he'd like to add to his experimental ointment. If he sent the request to the ministry it would be ignored for months. That's why Draco stuck to potions that could be brewed exclusively by uncontrolled ingredients unless a client asked for something custom. It those cases, he always asked his customer to get permission from the ministry. Requests that were made by wizards and witches on the right side of the war were processed in days.

"Thank you, Malfoy."

Draco just shook his head. "Don't thank me yet. I don't know if it's going to work."

"I still think we should talk about the risks," Granger said.

Harry sighed. "I know you do. But it isn't your face. You're the one who wanted to come here. What did you think would happen? Don't you think that if there was an easy way to fix my face, St. Mungo's would have tried it already?"

Hermione just took his elbow. "Let's go."

Neither of them said goodbye on their way out.

Draco may have just burned one of the last few friendships he had.

He went back to his garden of cauldrons. Potions could be tricky, but they were easier to deal with than people.

As he stirred and tended his potions, he tried not to think of the parallels Potter's life had with his own now that Potter's face was so damaged. The person who saved the world from Voldemort didn't deserve to live the way Draco did.

He also couldn't help but think about what it was going to be like seeing Potter every day for weeks. He was ashamed to admit that he found the idea of rubbing salve on Potter's skin thrilling. Even back when they were mortal enemies Draco had always found Potter attractive. Perhaps that was why he hated him so much. Potter reminded him of how gay he was. Back then he had beat off to the idea of kissing Potter more times than he could count.

Draco didn't allow himself those kind of fantasies anymore. When the need to touch someone grew too overwhelming, he simply drank a dose of libido spissamentum. He walked over to the cabinet of finished potions in the back room and took a bottle from the top shelf. He popped the cork and threw his head back, drinking it down in one gulp. It was nasty stuff, but it did the trick.

He had started drinking libido spissamentum after his father found the gay porn mag in his room his fifth year. His father sent a dose to him via owl every morning at breakfast so he wouldn't shame the family name with his "disgusting impulses."

It was the one thing Draco agreed with his father on. Some impulses had to be controlled. While he didn't think there was anything wrong with being gay, he couldn't carry on the way he did right after he got out of Azkaban. Back then, he had lived in the muggle world for a while- getting drunk every night in muggle bars, and fucking anyone who was willing. He desperately needed to be touched after a year in the cold with the dementors. If it hadn't been for Hermione, he probably would have died from alcohol poisoning years ago.

No, Draco needed to keep himself under control. He had made some horrible mistakes, and as a result, he didn't get to have human contact. That was something he needed to accept, no matter how vast and empty his loneliness felt.

The libido spissamentum settled in his stomach, and sadness engulfed him. It was a side effect of the potion. Magic was never free. If you wanted to get rid of your sex drive, you had to pay a price. He took a deep breath and closed his eyes.

The bell rang, and Malfoy walked slowly back to his desk.

He could get through another day of this. He always did.

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