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: 07/20/2003
Updated: 10/22/2003
Words: 69,942
Chapters: 24
Hits: 117,475

Somnio Salvus


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 14

Chapter Summary:
Draco finds it is within his power to save Harry's life, but that means declaring his change of faith much earlier than he expected. Not knowing where else to turn, he pays a visit to Professor Dumbledore.
Author's Note:
Ok, this is a very short chapter, and I apologise for Harry's absence from it altogether. But I think Draco deserves our undivided attention for his big announcement!

Draco had never been in Professor Dumbledore's office before. As he opened the door he gaped around him in fascination. Even growing up aware of magic and surrounded by instruments of sorcery couldn't prepare him for the assortment of peculiar gadgets in this room. He'd never seen a real, live phoenix before, either; just the stuffed one that his Uncle Judas kept in his study. He stared, mesmerised, as the swan-sized red and gold bird stretched out its wings and trilled a sweet, haunting song. The sound calmed him, and he found himself quite composed when a voice from the other side of the room greeted him.

'What can I do for you, Draco?'

He looked up in surprise. The Headmaster had never directly addressed him before, and he hadn't expected him to use his first name. Not that he minded, in fact he instantly felt even more relaxed. Deep down he'd always been a bit wary of Dumbledore, and he was pleasantly surprised to find him so approachable. The Professor sat behind his massive desk, eyes twinkling over those ridiculous half-moon spectacles, and gestured to Draco to take a seat.

Feeling as if he was about to jump off a tall building, where there may or may not be someone waiting at the bottom to catch him, Draco did so.

Dumbledore rested his elbows on the desk and placed the tips of his fingers lightly together. He smiled encouragingly but didn't speak. Draco realised that he was expected to say something. He opened his mouth but no sound came out. He cleared his throat and clenched his fists in his lap. Taking a deep breath he managed to stutter, 'I have...umm... I mean there's...'

'I often find,' interrupted Dumbledore, 'that when one is struggling to find the right words it helps to have a nice drink at hand. It occupies the mouth while the brain is otherwise engaged.'

With that he twirled his wand and transfigured a quill into a large mug of Butterbeer. Draco stared at it for a moment, unsure whether transfigured beverages were safe to drink.

'Go ahead, help yourself,' said Dumbledore. Seeing Draco's doubtful expression he added 'Oh, don't worry. I never liked that quill much. Left ink blots all over the place and leaked in the pocket of my favourite dressing gown.'

Draco picked up the mug and sipped tentatively. The warm, fragrant liquid slipped down his throat like nectar. His tongue seemed to untie and he sighed with relief.

Dumbledore smiled. 'Wonderful stuff, Butterbeer. Warms the heart and oils the cogs of the mind.'

'Aren't you having any, Professor?' asked Draco, between mouthfuls.

'Sadly no. I'm afraid it gives me terrible wind.'

Draco snorted, and choked slightly as a drop of Butterbeer went down the wrong way. He put down the mug and wiped his mouth, a new respect for Dumbledore beginning to blossom. It was amazing how quickly the Headmaster had managed to put him at ease. It wasn't hard to see why so many people were prepared to follow him without question.

Without realising that he was ready, Draco began to speak. 'Professor, there's a plot to attack Harry Potter. This Saturday, at the Three Broomsticks.' He extracted his Father's letter from his robes and turned it over and over in his hands as he talked. 'I don't know what the plan is exactly, but I think they're going to kidnap him.'

'They?' replied Dumbledore, expressionless.

'Dark Wizards...Voldemort's supporters.' Draco gulped. 'Death Eaters.'

'I see.' Dumbledore looked at him thoughtfully, but made no further comment. They sat in silence for a few moments before Draco got to his feet impatiently.

'Professor, did you hear me? Harry's in danger!' He thrust the letter in front of Dumbledore's nose. 'If you don't believe me here's proof. They're coming for him at two o'clock on Saturday!'

'I know, Draco.'

'We have to do something! You've got to protect him - he'll listen to y...what do you mean, you know?' Draco looked at him incredulously.

Dumbledore sighed and gave him an appraising look, as if he was trying to decide something. Eventually he made a 'sit down' gesture to Draco and frowned slightly before speaking.

'Draco, I'm sure it can come as no surprise to you that I have...assistance...in keeping abreast of Voldemort's movements. I receive reports of planned attempts on Harry's life almost every week. Some turn out to be true, others don't. But all are taken very seriously. I have already been informed of the plot to seize him at the Three Broomsticks, and precautions have been taken to ensure his safety.'

Draco sank back in his chair with relief.

'Are you going to tell Harry?' he asked.

Dumbledore paused. 'Before I answer that, Draco, would you permit me to ask you a question?'

'Of course,' he replied, surprised.

Dumbledore didn't beat around the bush. 'Why do you care what happens to Harry?' he asked, with a shrewd look.

Draco blanched. He can't know about the dreams, surely? 'W...what do you mean, Sir?' he stuttered.

'The animosity between you and Harry over the last five years is almost legendary. Also, there is the matter of your parentage - the allegiances of your family are not exactly in Harry's favour. I am simply curious as to your motivation for coming to me today.'

Draco still wasn't sure that Dumbledore wasn't asking him to reveal his feelings for Harry. He tried to buy some more time to collect his thoughts: 'I'm not sure I understand, Professor,' he said weakly.

Dumbledore sighed. 'I am not completely out of touch with my students, Draco. I have noticed that you have not been yourself lately and it has concerned me. You are not happy. Something has happened to make you decidedly unhappy. You don't have to tell me, of course. But you must understand in these troubled times it is difficult to know whom to trust. If you can be honest with me now, it will be easier for both of us if we are to work together to save Harry. So, if you feel you can tell me, I would very much like to know why you are here. What is it that you want?'

Draco felt a great surge of relief even as his heart began to race in anticipation of what he was about to do. He didn't have to reveal his feelings for Harry at all. However, it was time to declare his decision to change sides.

He had already taken the first step by bringing the letter to Dumbledore. If his father found out about that he'd be disowned anyway - he had nothing to lose. In for a Knut, in for a Galleon, he thought to himself.

He looked at his own feet and inhaled deeply, ready to say the words that he had gone over in his head but never spoken except in a dream; the words that would suddenly make it real.

'I'm not sure what I want, but I know what I don't want. I don't want the future that has been planned for me. I don't want to be a Death Eater, and I don't want to turn into my father.'

It was like letting go of a breath he had been holding for a very, very long time. Now that he'd started, it all flooded out.

'My father lied to me. All the horror stories that he said weren't true...they were true. Not only that, but he was involved. He...did things in Voldemort's name...he even killed for him. And now he's involved in this scheme to get Harry. I know we've not been the best of friends but...' (Dumbledore's eyebrows shot up at the understatement) '...I don't want anything to happen to him. I certainly won't be the one to turn him over to...to them.' He spat the last word as though it left a nasty taste.

His voice dropped to little more than a whisper.

'Father doesn't know it yet but I'm never going to take up dark magic. It'll mean giving up my birthright, and possibly never seeing my family again. But I just don't think I can do...what I'd be expected to do if...' he tailed off, breathless. He thought he must have forgotten to breathe between sentences because he felt as though he'd just played a week-long Quidditch match.

He looked up apprehensively. He hadn't thought out what he would say, he'd just said it. Now he wasn't entirely sure exactly what he had said, or whether it was what Dumbledore wanted to hear.

Once again his gaze was met by twinkling blue eyes. He had the impression that those eyes saw a lot more that most. He also suddenly knew, without knowing how he knew, that his Headmaster believed him.

'I am aware of how difficult it must have been for you to make this decision, and to come to me with your father's letter,' said Dumbledore kindly. 'You may rest assured that in return for your courage and honesty, provision will be made for you. The castle is your home for as long as you have need of it.'

Draco's eyes began to prickle. He wasn't sure he could remember the last time someone had treated him kindly when they weren't being paid for it or bullied into it. Tears threatened to overflow, and he looked away with a murmured 'Thank you, Professor.'

Dumbledore tactfully stood and ambled casually over to a window. He looked out at the cloudy sky and said, 'You asked me if I will tell Harry about the abduction plan. The answer is no.'

Draco wiped his face and started to protest but Dumbedore held up a hand and continued.

'I have already arranged to station a large number of experienced Aurors in Hogsmeade on Saturday. If a Dark Wizard so much as sneezes in Harry's direction he'll be in Azkaban before he can say "Apparate!" As it happens, I have observed that Harry rarely bothers to visit Hogsmeade this year in any case. I believe he prefers to spend his Saturdays practising Quidditch. When he does go, he is always back before lunch in order to allow Mr Weasley some...ahem...quality time with Miss Granger.'

Draco smiled inwardly. There obviously wasn't much that escaped Dumbledore's notice. The Headmaster continued.

'So you see, in this case it really doesn't matter if Harry doesn't know about the plan. However he will know...' Dumbledore turned away from the window to bestow another twinkling gaze upon Draco, '...because you are going to tell him.'

Draco's eyes opened wide in panic. 'No! Not me, I can't. How can I...He wouldn't believe me anyway!' he wailed.

Dumbledore shrugged. 'Perhaps not. It wouldn't matter if he didn't, at least not at this stage. However it is important for him to know that you are on his side, otherwise he may be reluctant to accept your help when it does matter. When others may be unable to assist him.'

Draco couldn't think of an answer to that. He couldn't imagine any situation where he would be able to help Harry if nobody else could, but he couldn't bring himself to repay Dumbledore's kindness by arguing with him.

He nodded, slowly and silently. 'Alright. I'll try,' he replied.

Dumbledore smiled and turned to look out of the window again. He glanced down over the grounds with a contented expression. 'Good. Now I believe you have a Herbology lesson to attend. I should hurry if I were you. Professor Sprout seems to be having trouble with the Venomous Tentacula again; it appears to be garrotting your friend Mr Crabbe.'