Harry stood quietly on the corner of the street, his hands stuffed in the pockets of his coat. The collar was turned up against the wind and the rain, but it did very little to protect him from absolutely soaking through. He quietly wished he could use a barrier charm, but being in a muggle neighborhood meant that certain limitations were in effect - unfortunately for him, being a wizard meant he didn't own a bloody umbrella. He blinked the water out of his eyes and tried to ignore the droplets on his glasses as best he could
"How long were you waiting?" Harry barely noticed the other man stride up beside him and he inwardly swore - Malfoy. If there was one man who had learned to get around absolutely silently it was him, and he enjoyed sneaking up on Harry, he could've sworn it. Harry turned to face his partner, and his brow creased in annoyance when he saw Malfoy was completely dry - he had a black umbrella over his head
"Long enough," he answered shortly, running his fingers through his damp hair and moving it out of his eyes. "Why do you even own an umbrella?"
Malfoy smiled in a way that Harry was still getting used to and shrugged. "I'm always prepared."
"Of course," Harry grumbled. Though Harry had left Malfoy in the dust after the war, he'd run into him again when Malfoy's only son started school. It turned out the family life had been good for Malfoy; he seemed happier and was far more cordial than Harry had ever known him. Of course, they were also pushing forty-five, so that probably helped a lot. In fact, their sons had just graduated together. It offered a sort of amicability between the two. There were still times Malfoy pissed him off though, and he was sure he irritated the crap out of the other man on occasion
And now they were working together; had been for a few years. It started with one of Harry's cases leading him to a shop in Hogsmeade that turned out to be owned by Malfoy; he'd asked a few questions, they'd gone for drinks, and somehow Malfoy had decided to entertain himself by using his influence to become Harry's partner. Not in all things, obviously, since Malfoy wasn't a trained Auror, but he turned out to be pretty handy to have around. Harry would never say that aloud
"Any sign of them?" Malfoy asked and Harry simply shook his head. Droplets of rain splashed against his face. The other man shifted, looking bored. "So, we should talk about your son. He's a terrible influence on Scorpius."
Harry fought the urge to roll his eyes, settling for a quirk of his eyebrow. He wanted to jump to the defence of his kids - but Malfoy probably had a point. Scorpius was the reserved sort; Harry had only met him a few times but he tended to keep to himself. James and Albus on the other hand… He sighed. "We have this conversation at least once a week. He's twenty, Malfoy, let it go."
"Which is why it's worse than ever. They're twenty," Malfoy said, propping his umbrella against his shoulder. "All I'm saying is maybe we should encourage them to spend their time outside of night clubs."
"Oh, let them be kids," Harry snorted, "They're not going to -" he stopped short when a couple came around the corner at the other end of the street. Malfoy stiffened beside him and Harry folded his arms, slipping his fingers inside his sleeve and around the end of his wand
"You think -?" Malfoy whispered. Harry nodded. They didn't need to say anything else; so instead Harry began to walk towards the couple, as though he were merely on a late night stroll. He rolled his shoulder, beckoning Malfoy to join him. He would look like an idiot without an umbrella
"Anyway, I know the club they go to - it's run by a friend, and I trust them," Harry continued the conversation, though his attention was fixated on the man and woman - as inconspicuously as he could manage, though he rather doubted anyone could tell where he was looking, what with his glasses covered in water. It didn't help his vision, but he'd learned some tricks that helped get around pesky vision problems. Malfoy slipped closer and held the umbrella over the two of them. "And they all know the wife would have their hides if they got into any trouble."
"All I'm saying is the only reason my son goes is because yours do," answered Malfoy, running a hand over the pale stubble on his chin
It happened so quickly that Harry was sure he didn't blink; not once. He'd just begun to pull his wand from his sleeve when the man pulled something round from inside his pocket and lobbed it towards them. The wet squeal of tires on pavement was all Harry could hear before he realized they'd been ambushed. There were two black cars and between them, a television company van that two men were jumping out of. He wasn't sure how the perimeter sweep had missed them - or how they'd gotten past the barricades that should've prevented this from happening, and his mind was racing to think who, what, how. Malfoy cursed beside him and pulled his own wand from the end of the umbrella Rich bastard, Harry thought, but it was too late to react
A flashing orb rolled to a stop at their feet and made a strange whirring sound. Harry dropped his wand towards it but before he could speak, it exploded. A percussive force made both men stumble back a few steps, and Harry flicked his wand, not bothering with words. Nothing happened. The barrier spell he'd performed failed. He glanced at Malfoy, who had the same look on his face as Harry surely did. Confusion. Frustration. Fear.
At the same time Harry yelled out, "Confringo!", Malfoy was saying, "Glacius," like it was a curse word
Absolutely nothing happened. Harry turned to run but three men blocked their way. "Fuck."