- Draco Malfoy Harry Potter
- Romance Slash
- 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: 06/17/2003Updated: 07/25/2005Words: 99,146Chapters: 29Hits: 317,001
- Story Summary:
- For the first time in over a decade, Harry Potter crosses paths with Draco Malfoy. Both have changed a great deal, but what do those changes mean to them - and to each other? **slash**
- Chapter Summary:
- For the first time in over a decade, Harry Potter crosses paths with Draco Malfoy. Both have changed a great deal, but what do those changes mean to them - and to each other? **slash**
"Seems I spend all my time tracking you down," Harry commented as he moved to sit beside Adrian. After over an hour of searching, he had found the boy sitting at Damien's desk in the Charms classroom.
"You shouldn't have bothered," Adrian replied. His eyes were dry now, but a bleak hopelessness had settled on him that Harry found much more worrisome than healthy tears.
Harry carefully settled his arm around the boy's thin shoulders. "I wanted to make certain that you were all right."
"Damien's the one you should be worried about," Adrian countered.
"I am worried about your brother, but there isn't anything I can do to help him." He didn't say that he hoped he could help Adrian, but he knew the child understood his meaning.
"I didn't mean for him to get hurt," Adrian whispered, tears filling his bright eyes once again.
"I know," Harry murmured, drawing Adrian closer. "It isn't your fault, Adrian."
"It is!" Adrian snapped, pulling away. "It is my fault!" He dashed away tears with the back of his hand.
"Adrian, listen to me," Harry said in a calming voice. He took Adrian's face in his hands, forcing the boy to meet his gaze. "It isn't your fault. You didn't make him go with you. You didn't force him to try to ride that thestral..."
"So now it's Damien's fault?" Adrian shouted, jerking his chin out of Harry's hands.
"No!" Harry answered firmly. "It isn't anyone's fault, Adrian. It was an accident."
"We weren't supposed to be there," Adrian whimpered.
"No, you weren't. The rules are meant to keep you safe. You've both been dealt a hard lesson in minding those rules."
"I won't ever misbehave again," Adrian swore.
Harry smiled softly and hugged the boy tightly to his side. "I know you'll do your best," he said softly. Fishing in his pocket, Harry managed to procure a handkerchief. He gently wiped away Adrian's tears. "Why don't we go find your dad and check in on Damien?" he suggested.
Adrian's brow furrowed slightly. "Is Grandfather still with them?" he asked.
"No, I don't think so. As far as I know, he's gone home." Harry tilted Adrian's head up to catch his eye again. "Adrian, what your grandfather said...he was wrong. He was wrong to even think such things, much less say them to you."
The child shrugged, trying his best not to meet Harry's gaze. "I'm used to it," he replied.
Harry clenched his jaw, fighting to keep from telling Adrian exactly what he thought of the boy's grandfather. The implication that Lucius Malfoy was in the habit of subjecting the child to such abusive treatment made his blood boil with rage. Seething, Harry led Adrian back to the infirmary.
Draco sat in the chair beside Damien's bed, watching his son sleep. At the sound of footsteps, he turned to look up at Harry and Adrian. He spared one brief wary glance at Harry before opening his arms wide in welcome for his son.
Adrian flung himself into his father's arms, grateful that the man still loved him. He buried his face in Draco's robes, trying to hide in the darkness and familiarity there. Draco gently stroked his son's tangled hair.
"Has there been any change?" Harry asked quietly.
"Madame Pomfrey says he'll be fine in a few days," Draco replied in a hushed tone, relief evident in his voice.
Adrian hugged his father all the harder.
"Good," was all Harry could think to say.
"Snape and Professor Sprout are in with McGonagall, now, deciding what to do about the boys," Draco said.
Adrian looked up. "What do you mean?" he whispered fearfully.
"They're deciding whether to allow you to stay at Hogwarts. Going into the forest and messing about with dangerous magical creatures...those are serious infractions."
Manfully fighting back another wave of tears, Adrian moved back to stand straight and tall before his father. "You have to tell them it wasn't Damien's fault," he said. "I...I teased him, Father. I...I told him he was too scared to ride one. I called him a baby," he added, looking Draco straight in the eye. "It's not his fault. He shouldn't be expelled."
Draco nodded, carefully hiding his true thoughts. "Yes," he replied at length, "I believe I should go and fill them in on the details. You stay here and watch over Damien for me."
As Draco stood and moved toward the door, Adrian took his father's seat in the chair, turning his attention to his brother. Draco paused, looking back, and smiled sadly at the little tableau. After a moment, he turned to go, gesturing for Harry to follow.
Draco said not a word as he and Harry made their way to the Headmistress' office. Harry, following his cue, kept his silence as well, speaking only to give McGonagall's password to the gargoyle guarding the entrance to the office.
Harry waited as Draco rapped on the door and they were granted admittance.
"Mister Malfoy," McGonagall greeted. "Harry."
"Headmistress, if I may," Draco began. "Professor Potter here just returned to the infirmary with Adrian, who had the most interesting story to tell me about what happened in the forest."
Minerva gestured to an empty chair near Professor Snape and Draco gracefully folded himself into it. Harry remained standing near the door, apart from the meeting.
"Adrian, upon hearing that his and Damien's fates were being decided, offered more information on their outing this afternoon. He told me that none of what happened was Damien's fault, and that he, Adrian, had goaded his brother into interacting with the thestrals. He said that he called Damien a baby and accused him of cowardice."
"I see," said the Headmistress, straightening her glasses.
"That doesn't sound at all like Adrian," Professor Sprout, Adrian's Head of House, commented.
Draco smiled wryly. "No, it doesn't. In fact, it sounds a good bit like Damien. You see, Damien has a horrid habit of challenging his brother in just those ways that Adrian mentioned."
"Adrian was trying to cover for Damien," Harry said from his spot by the door.
"Yes," Draco confirmed. "The boy really is a terrible liar, which I suppose I should be glad of."
"I don't see what difference any of this makes," Snape said.
"I don't expect it will make any difference in the outcome of this meeting," Draco said, giving Snape a look that said he very much expected it to make a difference.
Snape scowled, but said nothing.
"Adrian was willing not only to take all the blame for something where he and Damien were both at fault, but he was willing to risk the disapproval of his family and the staff here. I think that counts for something," Harry said quietly.
Professor Sprout beamed. "The Sorting Hat was right to place him in Hufflepuff. That kind of loyalty is certainly something to be proud of."
"As is his courage," Harry added, giving Draco a little smirk that, despite everything, the blond couldn't help answering with a smirk of his own.
"Mister Malfoy," McGonagall said, calling everyone's attention back to the matter at hand. "Before you arrived, we had already agreed that the boys would not be expelled. They have both suffered enough that I believe it will be some time before they try any more foolish stunts. They both will be receiving fair and fitting punishment."
Draco looked relieved.
"Essentially," Sprout added, "we'll be keeping the boys confined to the castle, except during Herbology and flying lessons. They'll also be serving quite a few detentions."
Draco nodded, and then stood to leave. "Thank you," he said, addressing Minerva. "If you'll excuse me, I'd like to see to my children."
"Certainly, Mister Malfoy," McGonagall replied.
Draco brushed by Harry on his way out the door, but said nothing more. Harry followed, uncertain whether Draco would allow his presence.
"Draco?" he called softly after the other man.
Draco stopped, but didn't turn around. He resumed walking once Harry had caught up to him. "I don't think I can bear to hear it tonight," he said quietly. Harry didn't have to ask what he was talking about.
"Tomorrow, then," Harry promised.
When they entered the infirmary, Harry was surprised to find Remus sitting in a chair he had pulled up alongside the one Adrian occupied.
"Remus?" Harry queried softly.
Lupin looked up and smiled. "I was worried when you didn't show up," he explained.
"I completely forgot," Harry remarked.
"My apologies," Draco added.
"It's quite all right. Poppy explained the situation," Remus replied with a smile. He rose from his chair and extended his hand to Draco in greeting. "It's good to see you again," he said.
"And you," Draco replied, shaking Remus' hand. "You're looking good...Er...well. You're looking well," he stammered, flushing slightly at his Freudian slip.
Harry covered a smile with his hand, and gave Remus a thumbs-up behind Draco's back. Remus tried unsuccessfully to smother a laugh.
"Harry, haven't you anything better to do?" Lupin asked.
"Of course not."
Draco squeezed his eyes shut and shook his head slightly. Leave it to Harry to act like a mischievous teenager, especially in such serious circumstances
Remus clapped Draco on the shoulder. "We'll leave you alone with your boys," he said gently.
"I wish you'd stay," Draco said, opening his eyes again. "We never did settle our dispute," he added.
Remus' eyes twinkled. "I imagined you'd forgotten all about that."
"Never," Draco replied with a smile.
"Very well, then," Remus replied, settling back into his chair. "I only hope your arguments are of a less...shall we say tangible nature?" he added, the laughter in his eyes contradicting his serious tone.
Draco flushed again, and turned his gaze on his youngest son. Adrian was rubbing at his eyes tiredly. He leaned his dirty cheek on one hand, but his elbow promptly slipped off the arm of the chair, jolting him awake again.
Draco stroked the boy's matted hair. "I should get him cleaned up and into bed," he noted.
"Cleaning charms will get the worst of it," Remus said. "I'd leave the rest till morning."
Nodding, Draco pulled out his wand and set to work tidying up his dozing child. After some minutes of work, he sighed and put the wand away. "Best I can do," he said, as he crouched down beside Adrian's chair. "Adrian, love, you need to wake up," he said, gently touching his son's face.
Harry laid a hand on Draco's shoulder. "Let him sleep," he said. "Poppy won't mind if we tuck him into one of the other beds."
Draco nodded, even as he moved to gather Adrian in his arms. The boy fidgeted a little, but never woke as his father carried him to the nearest bed. Harry turned back the covers, and then tucked them around the sleeping boy.
Remus watched the scene with a knowing smile. He had a feeling Harry had found the family he had always wanted.
Muttering something about having essays to grade, Harry bid Remus and Draco goodnight, leaving the two men to become reacquainted. He could hear them talking quietly as he slipped out of the infirmary.
The next morning, Harry found Remus and Draco just as he left them: still in the infirmary, still engaged in conversation, chatting like old friends over their morning coffee and tea.
"That doesn't make any sense," Draco was saying, his brows furrowing together. "You're just trying to confuse me into agreeing with you."
Remus laughed quietly. "I'm doing no such thing. My arguments make perfect sense, Draco, only you're too exhausted to keep up."
Smiling, Draco sipped his coffee. "Perhaps you're right," he conceded. "But my feelings on the subject haven't changed any in the last twenty years, Remus."
"Not at all?" Remus replied, his bemused grin growing wider as Draco tried to hide his suddenly flushed face behind his hair. Perhaps it wasn't nice to make him blush so in front of Harry, especially when the blond wasn't aware the other man was watching him. "Good morning, Harry," he called, drawing Draco's attention to the young professor's presence.
"Good morning," Harry returned, wondering what exactly the two had been talking about that had caused Draco to turn such a peculiar shade of red. "How's Damien?"
"Much improved," Draco replied, trying to regain his composure. "He woke for a bit, but Madame Pomfrey insisted that he sleep."
"I'm glad he's doing better," Harry said. "Where's Adrian?"
"Serving detention with Hagrid," Remus answered. "Professor Sprout thought it would do him good to learn a bit more about the thestrals, and about the dangers of the forest."
"As if Hagrid has any idea of what constitutes 'dangerous'," Draco grumbled.
"Almost anything can be dangerous in the wrong hands, Draco," Remus said. "A hippogriff, for example."
Draco had the good grace to look rather shame-faced. He had spent quite some time the previous night debating with Remus about the advisability of having dangerous creatures at Hogwarts, whether in a classroom setting on in off-limit areas of the school. Draco, lobbying against having such beasts at Hogwarts, had used the example of his own run-in with a hippogriff some twenty years before. Remus' answering argument had pointed out that if Draco had been paying attention and following directions, the creature would never have been any danger to him.
Harry couldn't help grinning. He hated to break up what was clearly a pleasant reunion between the two men, but he knew he had to talk to Draco before his courage failed him. With nervous tremors in his stomach, he reached out to rest a hand on Draco's shoulder.
"Have you slept at all?" he asked, looking for an excuse to delay the inevitable.
"No, not really," Draco confessed. Seeing the anxious look in Harry's eyes, he sighed. "It doesn't matter if I haven't slept. Let's get this over with," he said.
As the two stepped out in the corridor to talk, Remus watched them go, puzzled. Judging by the tense expressions on both of the younger men's faces, he had a feeling that whatever they were about wasn't good.
Out in the hallway, Harry pressed one hand to his stomach, trying to calm the frenzied butterflies that had taken up residence there. "If it's all right, I'd like to talk somewhere a little more private," he said.
"Of course," Draco replied.
Harry led Draco down the busy hallway and around to an empty classroom, shutting and locking the door behind them. He cast a few spells to dissuade any would-be eavesdroppers before making his way to the front of the classroom. Gesturing for Draco to take a seat, Harry hopped up to sit on the teacher's desk at the front of the classroom. Draco slid smoothly into one of the student desks and looked up at Harry expectantly.
"You wanted to know what's going on between myself and Lucius," Harry said.
"Let me ask you this: have you never wondered how it is that your father has managed to evade both the Ministry and the Order for all these years?"
Draco frowned. "No, not really. The Fidelius Charm...part of my marriage contract...that is, part of the agreement between Father and Frank Parkinson, was that Frank would act as Father's Secret-Keeper."
"Draco," Harry replied gently, "you know as well as I that Frank Parkinson has been dead for a number of years now."
The blond looked away, down at the desk. He began tracing the wood-grain with his fingertips. "So he found someone else," he said casually. "One of his other friends..."
"All of Lucius' friends are dead or in prison."
"I thought for a time that he had perhaps tricked someone into it, but I know that isn't the case," Draco said, still concentrating on the patterns on the desktop. "Still, I know that it's the Fidelius Charm keeping him safe. Imagine having to be told the location of the house you grew up in."
"No, he didn't trick anyone into it," Harry affirmed. He paused a moment, trying to find the right words. There were no right words, but he forged ahead, regardless. "You're right about the Fidelius Charm, Draco. As long as Lucius is at the Manor, he's perfectly safe. I was quite surprised to see him with you here at Hogwarts. I suppose he thought he'd be safe enough, as long as I was around to protect him."
"Why would you protect him? You hate him."
Harry took a deep breath before answering. "Because I said I would ensure his safety. I'm your father's Secret-Keeper, Draco," he said quietly.
"What?" Draco cried, jerking his head up to look at Harry. The grave expression in Harry's eyes assured Draco that the other man was deadly serious. "Why?" he asked more calmly, despite the feeling of dread welling up in his chest.
"The Order, and the Ministry, wanted your father, dead or alive. Everyone kept an eye out for him. Everyone wanted to be the one to bring him in. I was the one who found him.
"We had suspected that Parkinson was Lucius' Secret-Keeper, so when he died, I went looking for Lucius. I found him at Malfoy Manor. He didn't even know Parkinson was dead." Harry slid off the desk and began to pace, Draco following his every move with his eyes.
"I could have killed him. I could have turned him over to the Aurors. But I didn't. Lucius had information I wanted, so I made a deal with him. In exchange for the information I needed, I would act as his Secret-Keeper, protecting him from my own allies. He would be more or less confined to Malfoy Manor, and he would not take any part in the war; those were the terms he agreed to. Occasionally, he feels the need to test the boundaries of our agreement, and I have to remind him that I hold his fate, his very life, in my hands."
"Extortion," Draco said, sounding stunned.
"More or less," Harry agreed. "Only I try not to abuse the power I have over him. I let him live in peace, unless he disturbs mine. I know it doesn't make it right...."
Draco let out a strangled, mirthless laugh. He leaned forward to rest his head in his hands, his hair falling in a sheet to hide his face.
"Draco," Harry said softly, moving to crouch beside the other man. "I never meant to hurt you. I intended to tell you about this, but I didn't know how. I'm so very sorry," he trailed off into a hoarse whisper, his voice tight with anguish.
He had been worrying about retaining the good favour of a man who was blackmailing his father. Draco felt like a fool. But he also felt he could understand Harry's motivation. He couldn't honestly blame Harry for using any means at his disposal to triumph over Lord Voldemort, and despite the reasons for Harry's actions, they had kept Lucius alive and well.
"I...I think I need time to think about this," Draco said after a moment.
Draco heard Harry's footsteps as the other man walked away. Glancing up, he saw Harry staring out the window at the grey day beyond.
"You haven't heard the worst of it," Harry said quietly.
"I don't think I want to know," Draco replied. And he didn't. Not really. He liked Harry, enjoyed his company. If extortion had been the big issue, he could have gotten past that. He could even forgive Harry for not being forthcoming with that information; after all, it wasn't as if admitting something of that nature was the easiest thing for a man to do. But if there was something worse....
"What I'm about to tell you, no one knows, other than me. Your father likely suspects, but I've told no one - until now." Harry turned, leaning against the window ledge, and stared, unseeing, at the far wall of the room. "The information that Lucius gave me had nothing to do with defeating Voldemort," he admitted.
Draco flinched, even now, at hearing the Dark Lord's name. Even his father had avoiding using it.
"Lucius supplied me with the whereabouts of Peter Pettigrew and Bellatrix Lestrange," Harry continued. "Pettigrew, as I'm sure you know, was the one who betrayed my parents to Voldemort. In doing so, he also landed my godfather in Azkaban. Lestrange killed Sirius. I watched him die."
Draco said nothing. He had unconsciously clutched the edges of the desk in his hands, as if holding on to it for support. Draco feared he knew where Harry's story might be leading.
A silent tear slipped down Harry's cheek. "I killed them," he admitted in a choked voice. "I hunted them down, and I killed them."
"Oh, God," Draco gasped, his fears confirmed. He had known others who had killed, his father among them, but he would never have expected it from Harry. He sat stunned, as Harry continued his story.
"I found Bellatrix first. Catching her alone proved to be rather tricky, but eventually the time came when I could face here without interference. We duelled; I won. I expected to feel triumphant, avenging Sirius, but I could barely muster grim satisfaction. That should have warned me that I was going about things the wrong way." Harry wrapped his arms around himself, shivering. His voice shook with anguish, but he seemed as oblivious to that as to the tears coursing down his face.
"Pettigrew...Pettigrew was different. He begged me to turn him over to the Aurors, but I wouldn't listen. I...I executed him. He was completely defenceless..." Harry's voice broke and he slid to the ground to sit with his knees drawn up.
Draco was torn between the desire to comfort Harry and the need to run. He sat for what felt like hours but was in reality perhaps only fifteen minutes, clutching the table and watching his would-be lover crying and shaking, as he turned the information over in his mind.
What would he, Draco, have done in Harry's place? What would he do now if someone as much as threatened his children? No, he didn't think he could blame Harry for the things he'd done. It had been a time of war, a time when even the most unthinkable of acts were condoned.
As Draco rose from the desk, he was still uncertain as to which direction his feet would carry him. He glanced at the door, and then back at Harry. Slowly, cautiously, he crossed the room to tower over the shaking man. He eased himself to the floor beside Harry and very carefully pulled the other man into his arms.
Harry looked up, shock evident on his face, as Draco embraced him. He jerked his glasses off and sent them skidding across the stone floor as he pressed his fever-hot face into the side of Draco's neck. He could scarcely believe that Draco hadn't walked away, but he took advantage of the comfort the blond offered him, clinging to him as he let himself think thoughts he'd kept tightly contained for several years.
Eventually, Harry calmed. He pulled just far enough out of Draco's embrace to wipe at his tears with the back of one hand. Draco awkwardly rummaged in one pocket and fished out his handkerchief, which he pressed into Harry's hand.
"Thanks," Harry mumbled as he wiped his face.
"You said you haven't told anyone," Draco said uncertainly.
Harry nodded, avoiding Draco's eyes.
"Maybe you should talk to Dr. Ponsford, Harry. This can't be good for you."
"I don't want to go to Azkaban," Harry whispered.
"You won't. No one would dare send Harry Potter to Azkaban...not for that."
"That would be even worse," Harry replied, looking up at Draco with a look of deep sadness. "I'm afraid...afraid everyone will act like I've done something heroic instead of something horrible, just because they've some idea that I'm the bloody messiah. I couldn't bear that. I'd rather Azkaban than that." Harry leaned forward and rested his head on Draco's shoulder, feeling like a lost little boy. "They want me to be so damned perfect," he whispered. "But I'm not."
"Of course you're not," Draco crooned as he stroked Harry's hair and rubbed comforting circles on his back. "I don't think I'd like you much if you were," he added, softly kissing Harry's temple.
"I've got to get back," Draco said after a while. "I want to be with Damien when he wakes."
Nodding, Harry leaned back, extricating himself from Draco's embrace. Draco clambered to his feet, rubbing at his backside, which had gone a bit numb from sitting so long on the hard floor. He picked up Harry's glasses before giving the other man a hand up.
"Thanks," Harry said, as he took his glasses and slipped them on. He still refused to meet Draco's gaze.
Draco gently cupped Harry's face in his hand, tilting it up so that Harry was forced to look him in the eye. He tried to think of something to say, but words failed him. Instead, he leaned down and kissed Harry very softly on the lips. Harry swallowed hard and clutched at Draco's arms, still stunned that the other man seemed so willing to forgive his trespasses. Draco dropped his hands from Harry's face to give Harry's hands a gentle squeeze before turning to go.
Harry slid into the desk Draco had occupied as the blond cancelled the spells Harry had cast on the door and slipped out into the hallway. His emotions were a tangled, confusing mixture of grief, guilt, and hope. Once again, he forced the memories of the atrocities he had committed out of his mind, fighting to regain his equanimity. He sat in the deserted classroom for a long time before he felt ready to face the outside world again.