A little story about the pink princess, written by alloveryou, coffeejunkii, and wildegirl_05!
Summary: Emma receives a new bike for her sixth birthday, and things get interesting.
Dedicated to Steph and Tara, for all the wonderful hours of play with the boys and Emma [and soon, with Bean, too!].
"Grandpa Padfoot and Moony are the bestest!" Emma exclaimed as she fingered the shiny pink tinsel hanging from the ends of each handle bar. It was her 6th birthday and she was busily admiring the craftsmanship of her brand new bike.
"Don't say things like that Princess, it isn't good to lie--oomph." Draco held his side and smirked in his husband's direction, but Harry just continued to glare. After turning away from Harry's disapproving stare, Draco looked down to his son James, who was watching his older sister with peaked interest.
"When will I get to visit to say thanks, Papa?" Her attention had only gone to him for a second before it was back to the bike, appreciating its pink and white colour theme.
"They are coming back tonight with the rest of the family, remember Sweet Pea? To have cake?" Harry managed to answer her question, but was distracted by his husband and son. Draco was crouched down to James' level and appeared to be listening intently to whatever their son's concerns were.
"Can you help me, Papa?" She had walked the stretch from her new bicycle to where he was standing in the grass a few feet from the pavement and was now grabbing at his trouser leg.
Harry smiled down at her and took her hand to walk back to the bike and watched her lift one leg over the side and put both feet on the small pedals. Sirius had convinced him that a trouper like Emma needed her first bike. He had agreed, and Draco only let the idea go through because he had insisted that the bike come with training wheels. Sirius scoffed but conceded. As soon as Draco had been out of sight, he had whispered in Harry's ear, "As soon as she becomes of age, I'm getting that girl a motorcycle." Harry had laughed then, but now as he watched his daughter push the pedals as fast as her little feet would allow - Harry wouldn't put it past her or his godfather.
"Be careful, Emmy." She was only a few yards ahead, but he still worried, if only slightly.
"You need to talk to your son, Potter, as he apparently doesn't believe anything I'm saying." Draco was now next to him, arms full of a sniffling three-year old, and an expression full of fret. Draco scowled at his husband’s questioning look and passed the young brunet off to his Papa.
"What's the matter, Bean?" Harry whispered in the small boy's ear, his fingers rifling through his son's fine dark hair.
"Emmy should share. I wanna ride." James mumbled through his sniffles and then hid in his father's chest, tucking his head under Harry's chin.
Harry had strained to hear him, but got the gist of his son's complaint. He looked to his husband, seeking advice wordlessly, but Draco only shrugged, "Exactly."
"Bean, it's your sister's bike. If you want to ride it, why don't you ask her first and see what she says? Look she's coming back up this way, why don't you catch her before she goes again?" Harry watched as James' watery eyes became big. He seemed to be considering his Papa's words for a moment before nodding and moving to be let down. Harry sighed and stood back to watch the interaction between his two small children.
Draco frowned and added, "This will be interesting. You know how Emma is with her new things. She shares most of the time, but this...Potter..."
"Yeah, I know. I just want to give them a chance with this, we'll see."
James stood by the edge of the pavement, watching his sister put her feet down to brake. He put his thumb in his mouth as she came to a stop right in front of him. Emma jumped back over the side and watched her brother out of the corner of her eye. She saw a look she knew well, one she used herself when their Papa and Daddy would take them into the toy shop for new things. It was a look of longing, but she decided to ignore it for the moment. Her new bike was way too exciting!
"That was so much fun, Daddy!" Her smile was huge and showed off the fact that her two front teeth were missing.
"Princess, your brother wants to ask you something, right, Jamesy?"
"Oh, um, what is it, Bean?" Her excitement drained out of her a little, but the flush of enthusiasm was still visible on her round cheeks.
"Emmy, can I ride?" He looked down at the pavement and hoped that he wouldn't have to repeat it.
"Huh? I didn't hear you."
James now had her full attention, and this time he asked her a bit louder. "Can I ride, Emmy?" He pointed to the new bike for emphasis and started to move towards it when she stepped in front of the bike.
"But, but...it's my birthday and my bike. It's brand new, Bean, and…and you'll break it! Plus you're too little to ride a bike. This is a Big Girl bike!" She had started off shaky and nervous, looking to her fathers every so often, but after a bit she became louder as she came to the realisation that this was her bike that she got for her birthday, so why should she have to share?
James' eyes started to water again and then he gave her a mean glare that rivalled his sister's. To both his parents' surprise, he yelled right back. "Why are you so horrible, Emmy? I just want to ride the bike! Papa said to ask 'cos it's yours and you should share!"
"He's right, it's my bike, but I don't wanna shar-- Ow! Bean! Stop it - that hurts! Stop!" James had continued to glare until he grabbed one of her really long pigtails, and pulled -- hard. Emma had grabbed his wrist and made to let him go, but he had a strong grip. Harry and Draco were heading their way to put an end to the sibling rivalry, but they didn't get there in time before Emma shoved James hard enough to land on the pavement and scrape his elbow. Emma hadn't realised what happened until the surroundings were filled with her brother's wails.
"Emma Leigh Malfoy-Potter! Inside, now!" She winced as she heard her Papa's yell and watched as her Daddy scurried to her little brother's side.
"But, but…my bike!"
"Inside! Don't worry about your bike; I'll take care of it. It's not going anywhere, I promise." Harry's look had softened somewhat, but she could still see it laced with minor disappointment.
"We have to get your brother fixed up, then we'll have a talk, ok?" Harry bent down and kissed her on the forehead as she went past him. She looked to her brother again, quieter now and asked her Papa in a whisper, "Will he be okay? I didn't mean to, you know that, right?" She pleaded with him and he smiled at her honest worry.
"He'll be fine, but I suspect he'll want an apology later. Maybe a slice of your Big Girl cake and a game of Junior Snitch with him later?"
"Yes, all right. Definitely Junior Snitch, he'll forget all about this then. He loves that game!" She hugged him and ran into the house to find Wibble. There had to be a cake ready to be eaten in the kitchen by now. After all, this was her birthday.
After seeing Emma safely scurry inside the house, Harry turned back to survey the minor injury that James had and asked Draco, "Is he ok?"
"Yes, he's fine. I cleaned the gravel from the wound. It was a bit of a wide scrape. I would still rather put some healing salve on it though, and James said he wants a snitch bandage as well." Draco gave his son a reassuring smile and wiped the remaining tears from his face.
"That's fine, do you think Dobby could take care of that? I would like to speak to you about what just happened here." Harry looked to the grey eyes of his husband and then looked back down to James, making sure that he was speaking discreetly.
Draco looked a little sceptical at first but then brushed it off, attributing it to Harry's recently frayed nerves, and replied, "Yes, of course. Lead the way."
After handing James off to Dobby, they walked into the sun room.
"That didn't go so well out there," Harry began.
"Not really, no." With an impatient sigh, Draco continued, "Spit it out, Potter. There's cake waiting for us, after all."
"What did you say to James?"
Draco frowned. "I tried to explain to him that birthday girls don't have to share their presents if they don't want to. It's their special day, after all. I even tried to convince him that he wouldn't want to ride a pink bike, but he didn't want to hear any of it. Not that I blame him. It is a rather manly shade of pink, after all."
A faint smile hushed across Harry's face, but he sobered quickly. "Don't you think she should learn how to share?"
"I don't see why our love dumpling should have to share her brand-new bike when James has a perfectly fine tricycle to whiz around on. He wouldn't be able to reach the pedals anyway." Draco crossed his arms across his chest.
"It's the principle of the thing, Draco. And we could have helped him. Maybe if Emma had let him have one ride down the road, Bean wouldn't have a scraped elbow now."
"Well, maybe if your son hadn't pulled on our daughter's hair, she wouldn't have seen the need to defend herself."
Harry looked off to the side. "Don't you mean your daughter's hair?" He asked quietly.
"Oh no, Potter, we're not having that particular argument again. Don’t you even start."
"I just think that…" Harry paused, uncertain whether or not he should continue. He didn't want to have a fight with Draco on Emma's birthday, but when he'd seen James cry over not being allowed to ride the bike…
"I just think that sometimes, you…you don't really understand what it must be like for him. When Emma pushes him away like that."
"My daughter does no such thing!" Draco bristled.
Harry returned his gaze to Draco. "But she did, just now!"
"She was defending herself!"
"He's half her size! He hardly is a threat to her!"
For a moment, they simply stared at one another, Harry with his fists balled at his side and Draco with a few bright red spots on his pale cheeks.
Harry broke away first, slowly uncurling his hands until they hung limply at his sides. "Fine. Forget about it. Just…let's go eat cake or something."
He started walking towards the kitchen when fingers slipped around his wrist.
Harry tried to pull away from Draco. "There's nothing to talk about."
"That's where you would be wrong. You know they squabble over toys all the time. Obviously, you think there's something more going on here. Something's bothering you. I don't want you to mope around on Muffin's day, so talk."
Harry sighed. "I don't want James to…When he asked Emmy if he could try out the bike, and she…"
"I'm afraid you're not making a lot of sense here."
Harry's voice dropped to a whisper. "I just meant that I know what it's like to have shiny new toys paraded in front of you without ever being allowed to go near them."
"Oh." Realisation was clearly written on Draco's face. "You're talking about those ghastly Muggles who attempted to raise you, aren't you?"
Draco slipped his arms around Harry's waist and pulled him close. "Our family is never going to be like that, pet."
"Maybe we can convince your dogfather and his pet werewolf to bring something special for Bean tonight."
"That would be nice. I mean to floo them anyway, about dinner. Draco, I…" Harry drew a quick, sharp breath. "I'm sorry, I shouldn't havkjrkslejyff—"
"Shush. No apologies needed."
As so often, Harry felt incredibly grateful that he had Draco by his side. He closed his eyes and relaxed further into his husband's embrace. With two small children, they didn't often have the chance to steal a snuggle during the day and not fear immediate interruptions.
Much too soon, Draco pulled away. "The elves are probably close to a nervous breakdown right now trying to protect the impressive amount of baked goods in the kitchen from sneaky little hands. What do you say, Potter, ready to jump into your role as Birthday Cake Saviour?"
Harry smiled. "Most definitely."
He walked out of the room first, followed closely by Draco. They didn’t get very far before high-pitched giggles were heard from the adjoining room.
"Another Emmy, make another!" This was followed by a short silence and then a burst of laughter. Harry turned to look at Draco, who had a surprised look on his face. Shrugging his shoulders, Harry grasped his husband’s hand before making a detour into the living room.
The sight that met their eyes caused both of them to stop short. The living room was ablaze with colour as bubbles of various shapes and sizes floated all over the room. James sat in the middle of the sofa, laughing and clapping. The smile that lit up his face showed that the tears from earlier were clearly forgotten. Emma stood in front of him, head titled back, her blonde hair glinting in the sunlight that filled the room. She was waving her starter wand around, apparently producing bubbles on demand for James. The bubbles reflected the sunlight, making the entire scene appear rather surreal.
Draco recovered himself first and made to step into the room, but Harry stopped him. Breathing deeply, he gazed at the sight in front of him. Never in his life had he felt happier, the simple joy of all of them together in the room felt like a blessing. He slowly turned to Draco, his hands trailing over Draco’s cheek, before he leaned over and kissed him softly. The kiss deepened and Draco gasped.
"Potter, the children," he whispered against Harry’s mouth. They gazed at each other, and just as quickly Harry’s heart felt lighter. He grinned mischievously and said, "Yes, our children, Draco. Ours."
He dragged Draco into the room, pulling his wand out and causing a streak of stars to appear alongside the bubbles. Both Emma and James turned at the sound of the spell and screamed in laughter.
"Papa, show me how to do that! I want to make stars!"
"Daddy, Emmy made me bubbles. Look at all the bubbles, Daddy! Can you catch bubbles?"
Clearly, Emma and James had made up. Dobby quietly slipped away to return to the kitchen and the family was alone in the room together. Draco strode over to where James was and sat down on the sofa, before scooping up his baby and placing him on his lap.
"Jamesy, how are your hands? Do you want Daddy to kiss the boo-boo better?" Draco had taken James’ hands into his own and was fretting over them. James revelled in the attention his Daddy was paying him. He nodded and struck his hands close to Draco’s mouth. The snitch on his bandages glinted softly in the sunlight.
Harry meanwhile had kneeled down to help Emma practise her swish and flick, even as they tried to produce more stars and bubbles. Corey seemed to sense that the mood had lightened because he suddenly shot out from underneath Draco’s legs and started chasing the bubbles that still floated around the room.
"Potter! Control that mutt of yours. James and I nearly toppled over!"
Harry grinned at the complete lack of anger in Draco’s voice. "Topple over, did you? Maybe Daddy here needs to be held in place firmly so he doesn’t topple over so easily. What do you think Emmy, do you think you could handle it?"
While Harry was speaking, James scampered off Draco’s lap and made his way over to Emma and Harry. Harry stood up, pulling James onto his hip and let him hold the wand. Draco looked nervous at seeing two wands pointed straight at him but attempted bravado anyways.
"Take your best shot, Potter. I’m confident my Emmalina hereasfankgdh"
The rest of the sentence was drowned out as a large fluffy pillow came flying out and smacked him in the face. Draco gaped as silence suddenly filled the room. Harry looked very apprehensive, while Emma and James seemed too shocked to say anything.
Drawing a deep breath, Draco ground out, "It’s war, Potter! James, Emma who wants to help me fight Papa?"
With loud squeals, Emma and James ran towards their Papa even as Harry grinned and raced out of the room.
Later that afternoon, the family gathered back in the dining room to have the traditional birthday lunch. The house-elves had outdone themselves; the table was set with a large cheesecake, at least three different kids of cookies, salad, pasta, turkey roast and goblets of pumpkin juice. The table seemed to sag under the weight of the food.
"Now, isn’t this a feast meant for a princess. And prince. Come on Bean, Emma. Let’s have some lunch. I’m starving," said Harry as he ushered his family into the dining room. It was well past their usual lunch hour and they had all built up a healthy appetite.
"Of course you are, Harry. My mastery over you was quite firmly established today. Eat up so you have some strength left over for tonight."
Harry burst out laughing before he walked over and stood behind Draco. The children appeared to pay them no attention, as they eagerly tucked into the food that Dobby and Wibble served them.
"Your mastery over me, Draco? Is that what you were doing when you were squealing like a little girl when I pushed you onto the bed and tickled you?" Harry leaned forward to place his chin on Draco’s shoulder and encircled his arms around Draco’s waist. Even years after Bean was born, he couldn’t resist ghosting his hands gently over Draco’s stomach. He turned his face and nibbled lightly on Draco’s earlobe. Draco sighed and unconsciously leaned back against Harry while still watching his children like a hawk.
"They aren’t looking at us, Draco. They only have eyes for cake. They are your progeny after all! Now, about tonight? I have big plans. So be sure to rest up and get lots of your favourite foods. I don’t want to have to forsake any activities because you are too tired." The words were said in a low voice but there was no mistaking the intent behind them.
"I’ll show you tired, Potter."
Harry laughed and pulled out a chair for Draco to sit. He did have plans for Draco tonight, but first he wanted to enjoy lunch and then entice the kids to go to the park. Emmy and James could ride their bike and tricycle, and Corey could certainly use the exercise.
It was a beautiful day, after all.