- Astronomy Tower
- Draco Malfoy Harry Potter
- Slash Action
- Multiple Eras
- Philosopher's Stone Chamber of Secrets Prizoner of Azkaban Goblet of Fire Order of the Phoenix Quidditch Through the Ages Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Published: 07/20/2003Updated: 10/22/2003Words: 69,942Chapters: 24Hits: 117,475
- Story Summary:
- Year Six at Hogwarts, and Draco finds a way to spy on Harry's deepest fears. But will he use this knowledge to gain power over Harry, or to change his own destiny? Featuring Harry/Draco in a big, fluffy, slashy way. Also a hint of Ron/Hermione, a chorus of Death Eaters and one illicit potion.
- Chapter Summary:
- Harry is devastated by the discovery of Draco's forgotten letter to Lucius. He decides the time has come to put an end to Draco's nocturnal visits.
- Author's Note:
- Big hug to Sean for the beta, and eternal gratitude to all who have reviewed.
The low hum of sleepy voices in the Great Hall was interrupted, as usual, by the flapping of hundreds of wings. The post was early- it had been a dry, calm night and the owls had had easy journeys. All around the Hall, parcels and letters dropped onto the tables as the birds swooped and flapped away. There was a moment's entertainment when a Hufflepuff fourth-year received a Howler for forgetting her grandfather's birthday, and then all was quiet once again.
Draco stared at the thick cream envelope that had landed in his lap. The address was written in elegant, confident handwriting which he would have recognised anywhere. If that hadn't been enough to identify the sender, the wax seal bearing the Malfoy crest would have settled the matter.
He'd been so preoccupied lately, battling with his new feelings for Harry Potter, that he had almost forgotten about the battle still to come; the inevitable conflict which would occur as soon as he announced his change of faith to his father.
Pansy leaned across the table and peered at the letter. "Is that from your father, Draco?" she asked, bright-eyed and blushing. "What does it say? Open it. Does he mention me?"
Draco scowled and turned away from her. There was something decidedly grotesque about his ex-girlfriend having a crush on his father. He broke the seal and tentatively pulled out the letter. Shaking it open, he began to read.
23rd October 1996
I hope you are well and that your studies are progressing satisfactorily. I understand from my acquaintance, Severus Snape, that your work in Potions continues to meet the high standards that are to be expected of a Malfoy. For this you are to be commended.
Unfortunately it has also reached my ears that once again you failed to conquer the Gryffindor team at Quidditch. I felt certain that the extra training you received over the summer would ensure a Slytherin victory. You must be very disappointed. (He means, "I am very disappointed," thought Draco bitterly.)
Your mother sends her love. She hopes, as I do, that you will reconsider your decision to remain at school for the Christmas holidays. We have arranged a number of functions at the Manor, and our guests would be disappointed to find you absent. (Draco wrinkled his nose. By "guests" his father meant "eligible rich pureblood virgins," there was no doubt about that.)
Do continue to invest every effort in your studies. Academic excellence may not be necessary to ensure your comfortable future, as it is for some. But it would not be acceptable to allow any half-blood or Muggle-born students to outperform you.
Look after your health and stay out of trouble,
Your affectionate father,
PS. Write to your mother soon. She misses you.
Draco continued to stare at the letter with a sinking feeling, long after he had finished reading. It was not the thinly-disguised command to return home for Christmas which disturbed him, it was the seemingly innocuous postscript. His father didn't agree with postscripts; he felt that they were a sign of a poorly organised mind.
He made his excuses and left the table, returning to his dorm to read the letter again. There was more to it than met the eye, he was sure of that.
Sinking onto his bed, he pulled his wand out from his robes and twirled it between his fingers, frowning. When he was fourteen his father had told him about a spell that his great-grandfather had invented. It was a revealing enchantment, and it had been kept in the family ever since, like a jealously guarded recipe for Christmas cake. The spell would reveal hidden messages, but only if they had been written by another Malfoy. Lucius had made him memorise the incantation, but he had never used it. He had a feeling that he was about to find out what it was for.
Draco tapped the parchment with his wand and whispered the secret spell. For a moment nothing happened, and he breathed a sigh of relief. Perhaps he'd been mistaken and his father had simply let his letter-writing standards slip.
He should have known better; after a few seconds the writing began to blur as if the letter had got wet. The ink swirled in little spirals and rippled across the parchment, then gradually coalesced to form new words.
With a sense of dread, Draco began to read.
If you are reading this, you have successfully recalled the instructions I gave you regarding the enhanced Appareres charm. Well done. I am sure I do not need to remind you to return this letter to its original state, or destroy it, once you have read what I have to say.
The time has come to introduce you to the service of the Dark Lord. Officially you will not be invited to join the distinguished ranks of his supporters until you are eighteen. However an exercise is due to take place shortly in the vicinity of Hogwarts School. As my son you are to receive the special privilege of being allowed to participate. I am sure you will prove to be a useful asset to the operation.
You will forgive me if I do not reveal information about the procedure beyond that which you need to know. For the plan to succeed it is essential that the details remain undisclosed, except to those directly involved.
As I understand it, there is to be a "Hogsmeade Weekend" on Saturday 28th October. I appreciate that for many sixth-year students the novelty of these excursions has, so to speak, "worn off." Therefore your part in the forthcoming operation is to do everything in your power to ensure that Harry Potter visits the Three Broomsticks in Hogsmeade on the aforementioned date. It is imperative that he is there at two o'clock.
I am aware that there is a degree of animosity between you and Mr. Potter, and that for this reason the task will not be easy. If you succeed, the rewards will be great.
Do your best, Son. Make me proud.
Draco's hand shook and he dropped the letter. He'd had no idea that he would be tested so soon. His head dropped into his hands and he struggled to take in what was being asked of him. Undoubtedly this was to be another attempt to deliver Harry to Voldemort. He was sure that the rumours about a previous attempt, during the third task of the Triwizard Tournament, were true. Why else would Harry have turned up exhausted and injured, clutching the dead body of Cedric Diggory and repeatedly saying, 'He's back'? This much he had seen for himself, from the front row of the stands. It made no difference that his father had chosen not to enlighten him.
Of course, there was no question of what he was going to do. He would do everything in his power to keep Harry away from Hogsmeade at all costs. The consequences would be severe, but he would just have to deal with his father sooner than he had expected.
He toyed with the idea of coming up with some excuse, some lie he could use after making sure Harry was safe, in order to cover his tracks. It wouldn't be too difficult to convince his father that he had tried his best, but that Potter had seen through him.
The idea revolted him. Whatever he may be he was not cowardly. He had never lied to his father before and he wouldn't start now. He had chosen his path and he would walk it, whatever it took.
Taking a deep but shaky breath, Draco got to his feet. The moment had come: The point of no return. He had made his decision to change sides weeks ago, but that decision was easy to make when he knew that he could change his mind at any time. If he acted on his new beliefs there would be no going back. He would have to confront his father and tell him exactly what he had done, and that he was now an enemy of the Dark Lord and his supporters.
There would be no deception, no duplicity, no snivelling excuses. He would do what Harry would do and, for once, not act like a Slytherin.
He picked up the letter and read it again. "Make me proud." He smiled nervously.
Oh, Father. If only you knew...
He pocketed the letter without re-encrypting it.
First things first; he would do what he should have done weeks ago; what he should have done the moment he realised that he wanted a different future from that which had been planned for him.
He would pay a visit to Professor Dumbledore.
Harry didn't go to breakfast. He hadn't slept well, and decided to have a lie-in. He wasn't hungry anyway. When the rest of the Gryffindor boys made their sleepy way down to the common room, he pretended to snore softly.
Lying awake and staring straight ahead, his mind went over and over the discovery he had made in the library the previous day. He was beginning to regret reading Draco's letter to his father. Although it's a good thing I did, or I'd never have found out the truth, he told himself firmly. Deep down, though, he couldn't help wishing he was still in the dark. At least when he was unsure about Draco's reasons for invading his dreams, there had been a chance that it was because he had feelings for him. Now there was no doubt that it had only ever been a plan to make him suffer.
He had read and re-read the letter until he could recite it word for word in his head. He had done so for most of the night, until the words got muddled up and lost in his tired brain, and ceased to make any sense. Now there were only the most significant, most painful phrases left.
"I'll be able to discover secrets about him..."
"...really make his life hell..."
"Then he'll be sorry..."
Each time the words formed in his head, Harry felt as though he had swallowed a lump of granite. The dreams had seemed so real. He couldn't believe that the tender affection had all been a performance. Surely Draco wasn't that good an actor? And yet there was the proof, in black and white, written by Draco's own hand.
He tried to visualise what would happen if he were to confront Draco with the letter. He liked to think he would probably explode with rage and hex the Slytherin into the stratosphere. But just imagining the cold, steely eyes glaring at him in defiance filled him with dread. There was no way he would be able to hide his pain, when the memory of those same eyes gazing adoringly at him was still fresh in his mind.
He told himself over and over that it could be worse. After all Draco didn't know that he had read the letter. He didn't even know that Harry was aware of the Somnio Salvus potion. Unless Harry instigated it, there would be no need for a confrontation. But that thought didn't stop the hurting.
The fact was, nobody else knew what had been going on, which made it all the more difficult to deal with. He was just going to have to put on a brave face and pretend to be perfectly fine.
Harry sat up in bed and tried to muster the courage to face the day. As he reached for his glasses his hand touched the scrap of parchment on which he had written the incantation for the Psychic Shield.
With a sinking feeling he realised that the time had come to put the spell into action. He couldn't allow the dreams to continue, not knowing Draco's true motives, and the hopes he'd begun to entertain of events from his dreams coming true were dashed.
And to think...Only yesterday I came so close to hinting to him that that was what I wanted...
He flung himself back down on his pillows and made the most of the dorm being empty. Loud, gasping sobs escaped him as he allowed the tears to flow. There was nobody to see him; nobody to hear. Afterwards he could pretend it hadn't been real. Just like none of this had been real.
Draco hovered uncertainly in the corridor outside Professor Dumbledore's office. While prefects where allowed to know the location of the entrance, they were not privy to the password. So Draco paced back and forth in front of the gargoyle that guarded the secret staircase, in the hope that a teacher would pass who might let him in.
He was rewarded a moment later when the sound of voices drifted along the corridor from the direction of the staff room. Professor Sprout and Madam Hooch rounded the corner and headed towards a side-door to the grounds, chatting amiably about an extra-curricular course in broomstick design and construction. Draco coughed loudly to attract their attention. Professor Sprout stopped in her tracks and gave him a puzzled look.
'Shouldn't you be out at the Greenhouses, Mr Malfoy? I believe you are supposed to be in my first class of the day?'
'Yes, Professor. It's just that I have to see Professor Dumbledore urgently. Only I can't get in, and it's really important. I don't know the password.'
'Can't it wait until after class? We have rather a lot to cover today - the Pythus seeds can come out of the acid bath now and that only leaves a two hour window to get them into the ground, you know...'
'Yes, I know, Professor. But it really is important. In fact it's a...umm...a matter of life and death.' He stumbled over the phrase as he realised that it was, in all probability, true.
'I see. Very well, I will let you in. But come straight to Greenhouse Three afterwards. I don't want you missing information that might come up in your mock exam.' She winked as she spoke, but Draco was too distracted to take much notice of the hint.
Professor Sprout stepped up to the Gargoyle and said, 'Jelly Baby'. The entrance opened to reveal the moving staircase. Draco stepped on to it, thanking the Professor and trying to keep calm. He was about to directly disobey his father for the first time in his life, and the thought was making him a little queasy.
He was surprised he wasn't downright sick on the spot, as he reached the top of the stairs. He faced a heavy wooden door, behind which sat the wizard who stood for everything his family despised: The one man whom his father had worked tirelessly to depose.
Draco fought to control his trembling hand as he reached for the door handle. His mind whirled with thoughts of everything he was about to give up; his family, his home, his inheritance...probably even his name.
Even through all of this, he didn't falter. Harry's face hovered at the front of his mind, reminding him why he was doing this. Nothing could deter him.
Taking a deep breath, he turned the door handle and prepared to change his destiny.