- The Dark Arts
- Draco Malfoy/Harry Potter
- Draco Malfoy Harry Potter
- Drama Angst
- The Harry Potter at Hogwarts Years
- Philosopher's Stone Chamber of Secrets Prizoner of Azkaban Goblet of Fire Order of the Phoenix
Published: 01/16/2005Updated: 01/16/2005Words: 4,820Chapters: 1Hits: 1,546
A Second Chance
- Story Summary:
- Harry and Draco discover their connection goes well beyond their current life.
- Author's Note:
- This is a stand-alone, and with everything else I have planned to write before July 16th, don’t expect a sequel. I rather like what I’ve got here, and purposefully leave it open for the reader to assume what they will.
A Second Chance
By Elf Flame
It was bright. Should it be this bright with his eyes closed, he wondered? He took stock. He didn't seem to hurt. That was a good sign. And he was still here, wherever here was. Time to find out.
He opened his eyes, and the first thing he saw was a face as familiar to him as his own.
Wait. That was wrong, wasn't it? "Potter, what...where are we?"
"You were right the first time, Draco."
Now Draco was really puzzled. What on Earth did he mean? "What are you talking about, Potter?"
"Just think about it, Draco. It'll come to you."
Draco blinked up at him for a moment, wondering what he could mean, and then he realized that the part of himself that he had always thought of as 'Malfoy,' the one that told him off in his father's voice, and kept him from deviating from 'proper' Malfoy ways, was silent. At the very least, it should have been telling him to insult Harry and get away from him. But for some reason, it simply wasn't there any more.
"What..." he stopped, and corrected himself. "Where are we?" he asked again, confused. He looked around, but there was nothing. He couldn't even tell where the floor ended and the walls began. If they did at all. Everything was simply featureless and white. He looked back at Harry.
Harry smiled grimly. "I'm sure if you thought about it, you could figure that out, too, Draco."
"And what is that supposed to mean?" he sneered. Even without his Malfoy conscience to bother him, that still didn't mean he liked P...Har...Potter.
"Think about it, Draco. Where do you think you are? What's the last thing you recall before waking up here?"
Draco sifted through his memories. Hogwarts...NEWTS...The attack! And he'd known. Lucius had told him to stay out of it. That it would be over quickly, and that when Harry was dead, that the rest would be easily subdued. But Draco had wanted to see the final downfall for himself, so when Harry and his cohorts had snuck from the hall after they had all been told to stay there by the headmaster, Draco had followed.
He'd arrived in time to see Voldemort and the headmaster face off, but Voldemort was soon distracted by Harry, who had simply smiled grimly, and called him "Tom," and told him that it would end now. And it had. Harry had pointed his wand, and though Voldemort had laughed, the silent green light that had enveloped him had caused him to fall to the ground, dead. And the Death Eaters had surrounded their master's body and struck back, firing off spells seemingly randomly. The teachers, along with several people Draco recognized, including a few aurors, and their former Defense Against the Dark Arts Teacher, Remus Lupin, had fought them valiantly, and Draco had watched in horror as men he had known from birth had died around him.
He had seen his father, whose mask had disappeared sometime before, turn on one of his fellows, telling him to, "Do, something, damn it, Snape!"
Snape had stilled in that moment, and somehow Draco had known. He had thrown himself forward to try to stop it, but it was too late. He had watched as his favourite professor raised his wand, and killed his father with a simple blasting curse, which had hurtled Lucius several feet in the air, and left his body broken and motionless more than a yard away. Draco had turned on Snape, but before he could do anything, Potter was there.
And then there was just the two of them. Despite the fact there were curses blasting around them from all sides. He supposed it had been coming since the very first day they'd met. And they knew it would end today. Draco had used every spell he could think of. Blasting curses, slashing curses, even a lovely little spell he had discovered deep in the Malfoy library that turned a person's insides out. Gruesome, but effective. But Potter dodged each and every curse. So Draco upped the stakes. Crucio, Imperio, and even Avada Kedavra. And again, Potter avoided each, his spells much less harmful, obviously aimed to bind and capture him. But he was having none of it. And then they had both stopped, looked each other in the eyes, and their voices had blended as they'd each cast their chosen spell.
And then Draco had woken here. No, that was not a good sign.
Potter looked at him for a moment. "Yeah."
Draco snorted. "Should have known I couldn't get rid of you, even in death, Potter."
"Damn it, Draco. Haven't you learned anything this time?"
Draco looked at him, bemused. "And what, Potter, is that supposed to mean?"
Harry sighed. "Before you woke up, I had a little visit from..." He frowned for a moment, obviously trying to find words for exactly what or who it was that had visited him. "I suppose you could call it a 'higher power.'"
"Good. Did you tell it there had been a mistake, and that we were never meant to be sent to the same place?"
The corners of his mouth quirked. "Something like that. I told them they'd obviously gotten something wrong, but they said that, no, that simply wasn't the case. And then they showed me why."
Draco snorted. "Oh, Potter? And why is that?"
Harry looked at him sadly. "Because, Draco. Our souls are connected. We're fated to destroy each other again and again until we finally learn."
Draco smirked. "Don't tell me you believe in that kind of crap, Potter. That's nothing more than fairytales invented to scare the Muggleborns. Every true wizard knows that."
"It's not. And it's our own fault."
"And why precisely is that, Potter?"
"Because in our first wizard lives, when we met each other, we competed for everything. Including the woman we wanted. And cursed each other for it. We ended up killing each other when each of us tried to stop the other from marrying her. And the higher power decided that the only way for us to learn was to link our souls until we realized the futility of hating each other."
Draco looked at him silently for a while. This couldn't be true. It was ludicrous. Potter was just trying to get to him. Maybe they weren't even dead. Maybe this was his way of proving Draco was a Death Eater. Well, he wouldn't be falling for it. "This is some kind of trick, isn't it? This is just a...a plot! You're trying to get me to confess what I know, so that you can send me to Azkaban. Well, it's not going to work, Potter," he hissed.
Harry looked at him pityingly. "Draco, if this was a trick, why would it be me you were here with? Why not Snape? Or Dumbledore, even?"
"I don't know," Draco growled, "but I won't tell you anything!" He thrust out his chin. "I can hold out for a long time, Potter."
Harry rolled his eyes. "I'd dare say you could, seeing as how you don't need to eat anymore."
Draco snarled at him. "So you're going to try to starve me? That won't work, either."
"Damn it, Draco! I can't starve you! You don't eat anymore! You're dead!"
Draco glowered at him, and Harry slid a hand down his face to try to calm himself. "Look, Draco. You don't have to believe anything. But we're here to make a choice." Draco's eyes narrowed at this, and Harry sped on, in hopes of heading off more accusations. "Each time, when we die, you and I come here, and each time, we are offered the choice. To finally make peace, or to go back again, and be enemies again." Draco shrugged. "So that's why we're here."
Harry looked at him for a moment, but when there was no further response from Draco, he tried again. "Wasn't there even once this time when you didn't want to be my enemy? When you thought perhaps we could be friends?"
The words rang something deep in Draco's memory, but the image that came to mind first was that of a scruffy eleven-year-old boy standing on a stool next to his, answering all questions in monosyllabic words. "The only time I tried to be your friend, Potter, it was you who snubbed me, not the other way around." He was annoyed at how much the two moments of their first meeting still distressed him. They shouldn't matter any more...should they?
"I guess we both had a bit more pride than most eleven-year-old boys could handle, didn't we?" Harry said sadly. "If it's worth anything, I'm sorry."
Draco raised his chin. "It's not, Potter."
Harry sighed again, and settled a few feet away from Draco, obviously trying not to press. "Is there any way to convince you that this is real, Draco?"
Draco narrowed his eyes. "Nothing you can say will convince me, Potter. I know what you're truly trying to do, and like I said, it won't work. Neither will heart-to-heart talks or fake apologies."
"It wasn't fake." Harry looked at him, and Draco met his eyes, but both stayed silent. Finally Harry looked away, obviously lost in thought.
If Potter thought he would be able to convince Draco of this nonsense, he had another thing coming. Just as Draco was about to say this, though, Harry spoke again. "It's eerie, having these old memories. I can tell they're of us, but they don't quite look like us." He stopped, then smiled ruefully. "Well, aside from the fighting, anyway." He looked up at Draco, obviously debating with himself. "I know you don't believe this stuff, but..." he stopped, apparently not sure how to continue. "It looks like we take turns each life."
"Turns?" Draco scoffed.
"Being dark and light." Harry was silent for a moment, seeming to measure Draco with his eyes before continuing. "This time you were dark and I was light," Draco scowled at him, but he continued. "Last time, I was the dark one." Harry shuddered, and Draco narrowed his eyes.
When Harry didn't seem to be willing to continue his line of thought, Draco couldn't contain his curiosity any more. "What do you mean?"
Harry looked at him, surprised, almost as though he had forgotten he was there. "Oh. Just that...well, last time, you wanted to be my friend as well. And it was my fault last time that we didn't become friends." He looked at Draco for a moment, as though to measure his reaction before continuing.
Draco crossed his arms, unimpressed. "That hardly makes you 'dark,' Potter."
Harry closed his eyes. "It was the reason I refused your friendship that made me dark."
Draco sneered. "And what was that?"
Those green eyes caught his, and he couldn't look away. There was pain in them, a soul-deep pain. "I hated you. I hated you because you had everything I ever wanted. Including our father."
Draco tried to scoff, but Harry's words struck a memory deeply buried. Something that he hadn't thought of in years. Memory of a set of dreams he'd been having since childhood. Right up until night he'd stumbled out of bed and gone to Lucius, who had been sitting in his study. When he had told his father what the dreams were about, Lucius had made sure to wipe them from his conscious memory. But dreams could never truly be removed with an Obliviate spell. Not like conscious memory could. There was always an echo of the dream, just waiting to be remembered.
And now he did. He remembered two boys, about the age of eight. One tow-headed, and the other dark brunette. A middle-aged man standing at the side of the tow-headed boy, his pepper-grey hair resembling the brunette's far more than the blonde's, as the two boys cautiously shook hands.
"It's why you didn't want to shake my hand," Draco heard himself say.
The green eyes grew wide, then narrowed. "What do you mean, Draco?"
Draco swallowed, but it didn't seem to help the dryness in his mouth. "Because last time we shook, you lost."
"What are you talking about?" Harry asked now, as he leaned forward.
Draco shut his eyes. He couldn't look at him any more. "I..." He swallowed again. "I used to have these dreams. About two boys. Holden and Dylan." He opened his eyes, and looked up to see Harry staring at him, wide-eyed.
"You did?" he whispered.
Draco nodded. "Dylan was six months older. He was the son of the manor's lord. Holden was taller, even though he was younger." He stopped, and looked at Harry, a little wide-eyed himself now. "They looked...Well, they looked..."
"...Like us?" Harry prompted.
Draco nodded again. Now that he remembered, the details were so easy to access. Like they'd been waiting all along. "Father said that he wanted us to become friends. That having a playmate would be good for me. So he introduced us when I was eight. And..." Draco frowned for a moment. There had been something there, but the thought had slipped away.
But Harry picked up the story. "I hated you from that first moment. I knew who he was from the time I was small. He used to visit my mother. After he sent my father off on his boats. I don't know if he ever knew. But I did. And I wanted my rights. I had every right to be his heir. More than you." An angry scowl graced Harry's face. But it was like no expression Draco recalled seeing there before.
"Because he'd wronged you?"
Harry looked away, embarrassed.
Draco wanted to reach out to him. But he wasn't sure how that might be received, so he continued the story instead. "At first Holden was only allowed to be with me outside the manor. Riding horses, carrying our lunch, walking in the gardens..."
"I was your glorified slave," Harry growled.
Draco shot him a hurt look. "I never thought about it. It was the way things had always been for me. It never occurred to me to offer to help."
Harry shrugged. "It wouldn't have made a difference, Draco. I...Holden was too set on the path he chose by the time you met anyway. He would have hated you no matter what you'd done. He was consumed by anger."
Draco swallowed. "I did try. I was the one who insisted you be allowed lessons with me. In the house. I had several screaming matches with father before he finally gave in."
Harry sighed. "Like I said, Draco, nothing would have changed what happened. I'm surprised you tried as hard as you did."
Draco smiled ruefully. "You may have hated me then, but you were my first real friend. My only real friend, I thought. We did have some good times together. Before..." Draco stopped abruptly, eyes widening.
"Before you found out, you mean?"
Draco nodded. "I'd forgotten."
"Changed everything, didn't it?" Harry asked bitterly.
But Draco shook his head. "Not really. Some things started to make a lot more sense to me after that. Plus, you had me more on your side than ever before. I was furious with father. For what he'd done. For not telling me who you were. But I was thrilled to find out. Because now I didn't only have a friend, I had a brother." Draco smiled in memory. "I'd always wanted a sibling," he said quietly. "Even as Draco Malfoy."
Harry scowled as he looked down at his hands. "I didn't." He looked up slowly, and Draco could see his shame. "I wanted to be rid of you. I was so sure..." He looked away again, unable to meet Draco's eyes. "I was positive if you hadn't existed, that I would have everything you had."
Draco found himself leaning forward. "I would have given it to you. I would have given you anything." He smiled ruefully. "Do you think that's why..." but his throat closed before he was able to finish, and Harry finished for him instead.
"Why you hated me so much this time? Probably." His mouth twisted into a grimace. "I guess I deserved everything you did to me this time around."
This time Draco did reach out, and took Harry's hand. At the touch of skin, Harry, started, and looked up to meet Draco's eyes. "No. You didn't. I've been so bitter this time. So consumed with the idea that you thought you were better than everyone..." He laughed bitterly. "But it wasn't true, Harry. Even I knew that. And that just made it that much harder to bear. Because you hated me so much. Every time you looked at me, I could see it. I...I never understood it. Not really, anyway. Sure, I taunted you a lot, but even that very first meeting, you'd hated me."
Harry looked ashamed. "I thought you reminded me of my cousin, but now..." He met Draco's eyes. "I'm sorry. I wish I'd given you more of a chance."
Draco smiled sadly. "You had your reasons. I just wish I could have understood then. Instead of now, when it's too late."
Harry pulled himself towards Draco. "It's not too late, you know. Last time, it was my fault. But this time...You can change this, Draco. Do you remember what you said to me last time? How you didn't..."
"How I couldn't live another life like this. That we weren't meant to be enemies. How alike we were. How we should be friends?"
Harry nodded. "Yeah. Something like that." He was silent for several minutes. "I keep seeing the last moment of that lifetime. I'm horrified I could ever have done anything like that. And if I hadn't, neither of us would have died. You were only trying to save yourself."
Draco could remember. How Dylan and Holden had ridden out to a favorite spot of theirs--a cliff overlooking the Channel. How they had talked, then argued, and then Holden had pushed Dylan, and Dylan, trying to keep from falling, had grabbed at his brother. It had been a long fall. Even now he could remember the water rushing up to meet him, and feel the impact as he hit the water. He shuddered.
"I haven't been so much better this time around, Harry. It's hard to escape from a role you've been given. I think we both know that now." His eyes met Harry's. Harry nodded, and Draco was unable to stop himself from wiping away the tear that was slowly crawling down Harry's face. "Don't. It's over." Then heard what he was saying. "It is over, isn't it?"
Harry smiled. "If you want it to be, yes."
Draco looked away from him. Was he ready never to see Harry again? Harry had been his only true constant in this life, and in many lives before. How could he simply give that up. He took a deep breath. "What if I don't want it to be?"
Harry was silent for several minutes, and when he finally spoke, Draco could hear the pain in his voice. "You still want to be my enemy?" Then his voice grew bitter. "Or is it just that you want to be the one in the right again, so that you have the moral high ground?"
He turned to look at Harry, whose face was clouded with fury. "No, I...I didn't mean..." he looked away, unable to meet Harry's eyes. "I just don't know how I could live if you weren't there." There he'd said it. Now Harry could laugh at him if he wanted.
"Draco? What are you saying?" Harry didn't sound amused. Draco turned to look at him. The anger that had been there only moments before was gone.
"If what you are saying is right, then you have been a part of me for..." he swallowed, "a very long time. How am I supposed to live a life without you in it?"
Harry looked surprised. "I suppose that's true. I didn't really stop to think about it. But I don't want to be your enemy any more, Draco. Haven't we done that enough?"
Draco swallowed again and pulled closer. Closer than he'd ever allowed himself to get. Even in their fights, he'd managed to keep a foot or more between them. But now... "Harry, did it ever occur to you to wonder why we hated each other so passionately?"
Harry snorted. "Because you were the son of a Death Eater, and I refused your friendship?"
"Those were reasons. But it always seemed so...personal. I know I always wanted to get under your skin..."
Harry's laugh seemed a bit forced this time. "What are you saying, Draco? That we were attracted to one another?" When Draco didn't respond at all, Harry's eyes grew wide. "That's crazy! We're both boys!"
Draco laughed. "Are you saying you've never heard of people being attracted to someone of the same sex, Potter?"
Harry flushed, and Draco wanted so desperately to feel the heat flooding the other boy's face, but he held back. If Harry didn't want this...
"Well, yeah, but..." He glanced at Draco for several minutes. "I hadn't heard of stuff like that in the Wizarding World."
"Aren't you the one who thinks Muggles and Wizards are the same?"
"I never thought about it, okay?" Harry jumped up, and moved away from him, and Draco felt his heart sink.
"Harry, I'm sorry. I just..." he stopped himself. He'd screwed it up. But at least he could give Harry peace. "Never mind. I understand. I just thought...I'll do whatever you want. I don't want you to hate me any more. Even if it means I'd never see you again." He felt his heart contract at the words, but if it gave Harry peace...
Harry was looking at him now, from several feet away. He recognized that look. It was one he'd seen many times before, when confronting Harry. Though it was usually accompanied with a scowl. Harry was examining his face. As though he were trying to memorize what he looked like. Or like he was trying to remember something. "Are you..." he finally managed to say, after several more minutes, "...are you really...attracted to me?"
Draco laughed bitterly. "Yes. I used to have dreams. Not erotic ones," he smiled. "Though I did have a couple of those..." Harry's eyes grew wide. "I used to have dreams when I was a boy, that you would meet me, and we would be instantaneous best friends. I knew you were younger than me, so I always imagined that I would show you everything as you learned about the wizarding world. That I would be the one you would come to with your questions, and that eventually, we would be...everything to each other. But even in my dreams, you were...something unobtainable.
"And after I met you, I had dreams that you would come to the Slytherin dungeons and tell me that it had all been a mistake, that you had been sorted into Slytherin after all, and would I help you ease the transition." He sighed. "I wanted to be anything you would let me be, Harry. But you didn't want anything. Not from me." He turned away, and fought the tears that threatened to fall. He hated being this emotional, but how could he prevent the emotions that surfaced with memories he'd been hiding even from himself?
And then there was a hand on his shoulder. He looked up to see Harry's eyes were bright with withheld tears as well. "Draco...I can't say it ever occurred to me..." he licked his lips, and Draco watched the tip of his pink tongue as it disappeared once more between Harry's lips. "I...don't know that I'm ready to lose this, either. I...I might be willing to try..."
Then Harry took another step forward, and their lips met, and Draco knew that this was what he had been waiting for his entire life. He wrapped his arms around Harry's neck, and twined his fingers in the midnight mass of hair at the nape of his neck. Their lips slid against one another's, and he felt Harry's arms carefully encircle his waist.
When they pulled apart, Harry's face was full of wonder. "Why didn't we do that ages ago?" he asked in a breathless voice.
Draco smiled. "I think we were both a bit too stubborn to."
They smiled at each other for several minutes before remembering where they were. They were both sobered at the though. "Too bad we had to figure it out now," Harry said. He pulled away and looked up at the blank whiteness above them. "We're done now! You can stop playing with us!"
"No, I'm fed up with this! I haven't suffered enough? I have do deal with losing you too?"
"Harry!" he grabbed Harry's arm. "We're here now. Let's just make the most of the time we have left, okay?"
Harry's arms wrapped around him at that, and soon Harry's head was buried in his shoulder. "Why can't I just have some peace?" he moaned into Draco's shoulder.
Draco ran his hand down Harry's back, shushing him. They sank back down to a sitting position, Harry draped against Draco. Draco could feel himself growing drowsier. If this was the last moment he would ever spend with Harry, he was going to do everything he could to imprint it on his soul. "I love you, Harry," he whispered into the raven locks, before falling into a doze.
Draco woke to pain. Was this being reborn? If so, then why did he remember everything? And why did it hurt so much? He opened his eyes and groaned.
"Draco?" The voice was tantalizingly familiar, but it took the sight of a large, hooked nose, black eyes, and stringy black hair for Draco to place it.
"P...Professor?" He hadn't died. It must have all been just another dream. "What happened?"
Snape had a sour look upon his face, obviously reverting to his usual sneer now that he knew Draco would survive. "You and Potter fought, then someone snuck up behind Potter, and you hit them with a blasting curse, shattering your wand and knocking yourself and Potter out."
He'd saved Harry's life? He didn't recall that. "I...I don't remember. The last thing I recall was fighting with H...him." He tripped over Harry's name, realizing that it would be folly to say it around Snape, let alone to him. After all, he hated the boy. But Draco couldn't help wishing...
He heard voices across the ward. Now he realized just where he was. He'd been brought up to the hospital wing. He wondered how many others were here. "So, now that I'm awake, am I to be charged?"
"I convinced the headmaster that you were overwrought with grief over losing your father, and that you had no idea what you were doing, but that as you had saved Potter's life," he sneered, "that you hardly deserved to be punished for it. And as you have no mark, he has agreed to let you remain free, under my care for the time being."
Draco nodded abstractedly. "Thank you, sir."
What he really wanted to know was how Harry was doing, but that wasn't exactly a question he could ask his Head of House. And then several voices were moving closer. Familiar voices. Granger and Weasley, and... "Potter," Snape sneered. "What are you doing out of bed? You will damage yourself further."
But Harry was ignoring Snape just as he was ignoring his friends. "Draco?" Draco's heart leapt. Perhaps it hadn't been a dream after all?
"If you do not return to your own bed and desist in annoying Mister Malfoy, Potter, I will retrieve Madam Pomfrey and make sure she doses you with the strongest sleeping draught she has," Snape growled at him.
"No, Professor, it's all right," Draco said. Snape, Weasley and Granger all stared at him for a moment, as though he had grown a second head.
Harry moved to the side of Draco's bed as Draco sat up. "It was real, wasn't it?" he asked, and Draco felt his lips spread into a grin.
"Yes, it was," he replied. Harry's answering smile lightened his heart. He could face anything. Especially now that he no longer had to be Harry's enemy. He would be anything Harry wanted. He only had to ask. His hand reached out from the bedclothes, and he caught Harry's hand in his own, their fingers twining together. He heard Weasley's shocked gasp, and Granger's admonishing, "Ron," but ignored them both.
"Are you all right, Mister Malfoy?" Snape finally asked in a choked voice.
Draco's gaze never wavered from Harry's. "Never better, sir."