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It was still dark out.

Harry liked the sky best just before sunrise and sunset when it turned
a purple-blue-grey. The birds were only just waking up and the street smelled of wet earth—it
had rained the night before. He walked along the pavement toward the new storefront next to his
café. The letters bearing its name were finally affixed above the window: Floresco. They had
been loading in all sorts of plants for ages already, and Harry hoped he could make it to the
opening of the store. A tall man with long white-blond hair stood in front, looking up. That must
be the owner. He looked vaguely familiar, but Harry couldn’t place him. He supposed he ought
to make a good first impression and hurried inside his shop to prepare a peace offering in the
form of coffee. Who doesn’t love coffee?

As he made the café au lait he had decided to give, he mused about the last owner. Julia
had been wonderful. She ran a clothing store with her wife, Carrie, and her dog, Biscuit. She had
helped Harry immensely in the early years of his store. He had only owned it for six or seven
years, but it was hard in the beginning.

That was right after he had quit his job as an auror. He had only joined because he
thought he should—after all, that was the natural path for him, wasn’t it? Saviour of the
wizarding world, continuing his life of heroism and fighting Dark magic, he thought bitterly.
After the war he was ruined. The pressure was so immense that some days he called off work
because he couldn’t force himself out of bed. Grimmauld Place had been dark and decrepit,
which certainly wasn’t doing him any favors. Hermione had finally forced him to see a Mind
Healer, at least for a while. With her help he had decided to leave the Ministry and open a
muggle café.

It made him happier than he had been in a long, long time. He loved to see people come
in day after day and enjoyed making something they would enjoy. He also, of course, loved
coffee. And Julia had been kind enough to take him under her wing and guide him through
owning a business, something which he couldn’t thank her for enough. Her store had a boom in
business last year, so she decided to move to a more populated area of London. He missed her, of
course, but he was curious to see the new store.

He walked out of the café, coffee in hand, and stopped dead. Of course the new owner
looked familiar, he thought. Despite it being someone he hadn’t seen in nine or ten years, he had
spent nearly every day for six years prior being antagonized by him. He looked almost the same,
albeit less pointy. He had filled out some, at least from what Harry could see from behind, but
that was to be expected. After all, they had both grown up. The real shock was his muggle
clothes. He blended in well enough, Harry supposed, but he still wore clothes with a grace Harry
seemed incapable to possess. He looked like he should be somewhere else, somewhere nicer, not
in a side street of muggle London.

“Draco Malfoy?”

*
“Draco Malfoy?”

Draco turned at the voice behind him to look into bright green eyes he hadn’t seen in a
long, long time. It was Harry Potter. Inwardly, Draco cursed. Of course it was.

He looked as good as ever. His dark liquid hair was as unruly as ever and his eyes flashed
just as they had in their schoolboy days. He had filled out some, and, though Draco hated to
admit it, he looked fit. Potter wore jeans (despite years of living with muggles, Draco still
despised jeans) and a button-down that looked irritatingly good on him.

“Harry Potter?” Draco drawled, trying to cast an image of nonchalance. It appeared to be


working.

“Er, Malfoy, I own the café next door. Are you the owner of Floresco?” He was as
unbearably awkward as ever, Draco decided. Some things never change.

“I am.” Best to answer with as little words as possible, Draco reasoned. After all, the
Saviour’s little minions were the reason he was here.

“It’s just surprising, I guess. I didn’t think you would own a,” he leaned in, “muggle
store.”

Draco blanched. “And why wouldn’t I own a muggle store?”

“Well, I just thought, with your history, you know, it’s unlikely.” He flushed at that and
Draco felt a flare of anger. With his “history?” If Potter wanted to talk about his Death-Eater
past, he should just say it. There’s no use in beating around the bush.

It had been nearly ten years since his trial. He still felt guilty about it, especially when
someone would wander into his store to tell him how he was death eater scum. He would never
admit it, of course, but he still felt it. How could he not? He let death eaters into Hogwarts. He
obeyed the Dark Lord. He took the Dark Mark, a daily reminder of the mistakes of his youth.

“My history? What could you possibly mean?” He asked sarcastically. He was sick of
this already. “I’ve done my time, Potter. There’s no need to bring it up. And it’s not like I was
the one to slice people up on the bathroom floor.”

Potter narrowed his eyes. “Look, Malfoy. I’m truly sorry about that. But you have no
right to bring that up. I was a child and I didn’t know what I was doing.”

Draco could hear himself raising him voice. “Oh, I have no right to bring that up. Excuse
me, Mr. Saviour. I’m sorry I’m not bowing at your feet like everyone else.”

Potter’s jaw flexed. “Take your fucking coffee. I’m sorry I tried to be nice.” Draco
grabbed it from his hand and he turned on his heel and stalked back into his shop.
Draco grit his teeth and spoke to the air where Potter stood. “Thanks. Now if you’ll
excuse me, I have work to do.” Well. That went fantastic, didn’t it? He scowled and turned back
around. He couldn’t afford to make stupid mistakes like that. He couldn’t let his feelings get the
best of him.

As he carried pots inside, he thought about the letters. They first started arriving in the
post right after he first opened the shop. Mostly it was by owl, but some were even sent through
the muggle mailing system. Most of the time there were Howlers which he promptly Incendioed,
but there was the odd cursed parcel. He picked up diagnostic charms quickly after the first one
gave him a stinging hex, but they got more and more dangerous. After he was sent a flower pot
charmed to explode into fragments of ceramic aimed toward his skin in his regular deliveries, he
realized it was time to move. He moved to the place he had last. He stayed there for two or three
years before receiving a letter cursed to rip his skin into strips and decided it was time to leave.

He thought about calling the aurors but never did. He didn’t see the need at first, and
once the curses were more serious, he realized the aurors wouldn’t take him seriously. After all,
why was an (ex) Death Eater complaining? As far as they were concerned, he was simply getting
what he deserved.

He set down the pot he was carrying and wiped his forehead. He ought to owl Neville to
tell him the shop was set to open. Draco was sure he would be excited to come, even if he mostly
sold muggle plants. Of course, there was the back room, but those were for his potions hobby
anyway, so they didn’t really count.

Hopefully his conversation with Potter didn’t set the precedent for their next interactions.
Draco wished he could take back what he said. Whatever may come, Draco hoped he was ready.