The Courtesan

BY : Mansi Jain
Category: Harry Potter > Slash - Male/Male > Harry/Draco
Dragon prints: 3762
Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter, nor any of the characters from the books or movies. I do not make any money from the writing of this story. All the characters belong to JK Rowling and her associates


Harriet and the twins


Harriet looked up from her book when she heard her daughter's soft voice. Aster and Albus were sitting across from her. Albus's entire focus was on his pasta that lay untouched on his plate whereas Aster gazed at her with eyes that were hesitant yet had so much strength in them it baffled Harriet sometimes. Her hands were folded on the table. Although Albus was pretending to be lost in some world they couldn't enter while he still gazed quietly at his food, Harriet knew that her children had probably discussed in length about whatever Aster wanted to ask her.

Of course, she had known that Aster would ask questions on getting settled over here. Back in Surrey, they had kept to themselves. Aster and Albus were home-schooled and hadn't had many friends. However, with Weasleys and Longbottoms as their neighbors, Aster and Albus were making friends. It was a good thing, except that after all these years, women were still not allowed to live their lives according to their wishes. They still weren't allowed to study or enter a library. Only a male or a courtesan could enter it.

"Yes." Harriet answered with a smile.

"What will I become when I grow up?" Aster asked politely.

Her nine year daughter's question reminded Harriet of her own nine year self...

"What will become I when I grow up mother?" She asked her mother who was watering the plants.

"Why Harriet, a wife. You'll become someone's wife." Mother replied calmly and matter of factly.

"I want to become a writer mother, a writer and a singer and a Defense professor." She had said.

"Good girls don't feed such preposterous ideas to their minds. Books are not for us. Go inside and serve food to your brother." Mother had said firmly. Her green eyes had burned into Harriet's who had swallowed her ire and had complied with her wish.

"Mother." Aster repeated softly and Harriet blinked a couple of times to focus back at her daughter. This wasn't the time to dwell upon her own past. She had Aster's future to think about. Her eyes flickered towards her son who was still pretending that he wasn't paying any attention to them and her lips twitched in a gentle smile. It was so sweet that Albus trusted Aster to stand up for her beliefs and dreams. They would turn nine tomorrow. Harriet has planned a surprise party for them and canceled her appointment, much to the disappointment of Mr. Zabini although he was very pleased to receive the invitation of the said party. She has invited several other upper and middle class families of the city. However, there were some families she needed to visit personally to invite them.

"What do you wish to become?" Harriet asked curiously. The twins knew that their mother was a courtesan. She had always encouraged them to have their own hobbies and dreams

"I don't have any choice, do I?" Aster asked calmly although her fingers quivered with nervousness even when her face stayed expressionless- something she inherited from her father. Harriet decides not to dwell upon that too.

"Ah!" Harriet murmured and leaned back after picking up her juice, "Why do you say so?"

"I'll have to become a courtesan like you since I don't want to become a scullery maid." She replied blankly although the words she spoke were harsh and cutting and accusing.

Harriet smiled. That's something else she inherited from her father. Neither did it anger her. Nor did it make her sad. She had never let her choices overshadow either Aster's or Albus's life and it wouldn't happen in future.

"But that doesn't answer my question, sweetheart. What do you wish to become when you grow up?" She asked with a small smile.

Aster turned her face away. Shame shined in her eyes. 

"I wish to become a poetess, writer and a potions mistress." A soft and sorry voice whispered.

Harriet's smile widened, "All three?"

"Yes." The child replied, her eyes still lowered.

"So you shall become a poetess, a writer and a potions mistress when you grow up." Harriet replied gently.

She lifted her face very slowly and her eyes met Harriet's. The child was as astonished as she was relieved. She was also very sorry.

"And I shall become a professor." Albus butted in boisterously.

"Why is that?" Harriet asked, smiling.

Albus quietened at that and gazed at her with bright eyes. Where on one hand Aster was mostly like her father, Albus was like Harriet. He wore his heart on his sleeve and was very blunt but also very soft-hearted and thoughtful.

"I'll teach at Hogwarts and then I'll become the headmaster and encourage all the girls to come and study." He said, his small fists clenched. That he didn't want any other girl to suffer what Harriet did went unsaid.

"Then you shall become a professor and subsequently, the headmaster of Hogwarts." She said with a wide smile, "Now finish your food, Mr. future headmaster and Ms. future Potions mistress so that we can leave. Remember. Minister Malfoy has invited us today?"

"Sorry, mother." Said Aster a moment later, her fingers resting on the edge of her table.

Harriet smiled and nodded, "It's okay. Finish your food."

The twins nodded and replied politely, "Yes, mother."

"I'll go and get ready and I'll ask Maria to get your clothes ready." She said and wiped her mouth before pulling her chair back.

It's been two days since she returned. Harriet found herself wondering if the minister had invited her parents and godmother too. She opened her wardrobe and chose an off-shoulder maroon gown with a sweep train.

"Perfect." Harriet smiled before opening another closet to choose the jewelery.

Thirty minutes later found her in her living room. She was waiting for her twins.

"Albus. Aster. We're getting late." She called with an exasperated sigh. When she heard footsteps approaching towards her, she turned around. Aster was dressed in a green floor length gown that complemented her eyes. Albus was dressed in a black suit with a white shirt and a black tie.

Harriet bent down and kissed their foreheads before smiling at them. Where on one Albus returned the smile, Aster didn't. Her eyes remained wide, shining and dry and intense with guilt and sadness. Harriet had to look away from her. She had to go through the evening somehow and she won't be able to if she let herself think too much about Aster's words.

Thinking. That's something she could never afford to do. She could only go by the flow so that atleast her children could achieve what she couldn't.

"Let's go." She said before holding their hands and then she apparated in front of the Malfoy Manor.

"Hello, cousin Draco." Draco forced a smile on his face when he saw Blaise walking towards him. Irrational envy burned inside him whenever he set his eyes on the man. Irrational because marrying Astoria and leading this loveless life was something he chose. He wasn't dragged into it. He had made a conscious choice. Albus Dumbledore had once said that one's choices define one. He would have to live with his choices which was easier said then done.

Blaise knew that he was envious of him and had been ever since he married Astoria and brought her home. Draco wondered why the other man enjoyed tormenting him so much. Once upon a time, they had been best friends. They were close enough that Draco had told him about the most dangerous secret he had. Draco didn't know what changed. He only knew that something did and Blaise just stopped being cordial with him.

Astoria stood silently beside him. Sometimes he wondered if the woman was dumb. Maybe she was. She rarely ever spoke anything. But then, even his mother didn't say more than two or maybe three sentences in front of Draco or father.

"Don't you have someone to talk to?" He asked, forcing himself to be polite. He was irritated and didn't want to be anywhere close to his wife of five years. It was rumored that Harriet was back in town and that too on request of his father who was one of those who had enabled her banishment nine years ago.

Apparently, it was cousin Blaise who received her on the international apparition port. Even his cousin knew about her arrival. Why didn't anyone tell Draco?

Meanwhile, Astoria turned her blank eyes towards Draco as if she was trying to understand his words.

"You want me to go? A good wife stays with her husband in these kind of events so that she's there when he needs her." She replied and Draco took a deep breath. Blaise was almost there and Draco didn't want to face his cousin's mocking eyes.

"Please go and check if mother needs something." He said. Astoria nodded and left obediently.

"Cousin Draco." Blaise smiled at him, "Did you know that uncle Lucius has invited Harriet Potter tonight."

Draco's back turned rigid at the statement. A moment later, he forced another smile on his face and started, "Of course,-" but was cut off very rudely by Blaise who smiled widely while looking at the entrance of the hall.

"Ah! There she is. I simply must greet her. I'll see you later, Draco." Blaise said, his entire attention on Harriet.

But then, that was understandable wasn't it. She was a courtesan and Blaise was one of her oldest clients. Draco wondered if the man was secretly in love with her. Maybe that was why he never married. Draco snorted. Blaise didn't know how to love. He was only ever interested in fulfilling his ambitions and earning money. Consorting with Harriet was probably just a way to torment Draco.

Draco gritted his teeth and turned around to look at the woman. She was looking absolutely stunning, so unlike the woman he had said good bye to nine years ago. Her charm and astonishing beauty took Draco's breath away and quickened his heart beats.

However, what was more astonishing was the presence of two kids who were standing on her either side and were looking as elegant as Harriet. Several people went forward to greet her. Blaise wasn't surprised at all and neither was Nott who left Daphne alone in the middle of the hall or Ronald, Bill and Percy Weasley who also left their wives to greet the woman. Cousin Lucien Lestrange also went forward to greet her while his wife Susan stared at his retreating back.

Draco kept waiting for Harriet to search for him in the crowd of admiring eyes but she didn't. She smiled and blushed and reveled in the attention she was getting from all the men and didn't think about him. He closed his eyes and waited for his rage to subside before heading to talk to father. It was no-one fault except his own.

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