- Draco Malfoy/Harry Potter
- Draco Malfoy Harry Potter Lord Voldemort
- Drama Slash
- The Harry Potter at Hogwarts Years
- Philosopher's Stone Chamber of Secrets Prizoner of Azkaban Goblet of Fire Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Published: 03/26/2002Updated: 05/21/2002Words: 78,179Chapters: 15Hits: 111,741
The Marks We Bear
- Story Summary:
- Draco is changed by events occurring over the summer between his 4th and 5th years. When he gets back to school Harry finds him a very different kind of distraction than the old Draco Malfoy. Harry/Draco slash. My stories are available in their full and up to date form on archiveofourown.
- Chapter Summary:
- Draco is changed by events occurring over the summer between his 4th and 5th years. When he gets back to school Harry finds him a very different kind of distraction than the old Draco Malfoy. Harry/Draco slash.
Saturday 27th Sept cont
Harry met Hermione outside the door to the hospital wing where she was waiting for him.
"What did Malfoy want you for?" she asked.
"Same as he said to you. He wanted to apologise."
"You should have told him to get stuffed, Harry. I thought we were going to stay away from him."
"I know, but I thought I should hear him out. I mean what he did to Ron wasn't good, but he didn't mean it and Ron did start the fight."
"Harry! He could have killed him!"
"It was a mistake, if I stopped speaking to people every time they made a mistake I wouldn't have any friends left. Ginny nearly killed us all in second year and we forgave her."
"She was being controlled by You-Know-Who, Harry!"
"I know, look maybe that was a bad example. I just mean... everyone deserves a second chance, even Malfoy. He said he was sorry and that he wanted us to be friends and I believe him."
"Are you sure, Harry? I thought we *were* giving Malfoy a second chance and as far as I'm concerned he failed it."
"Well, maybe you could consider this a re-sit of his second chance?"
"I just don't understand why you're bothering?"
"Cause he asked me to. Cause he's been nothing but friendly to me all term and I'm not going to let a stupid fight that Ron started make up my mind for me."
"Well, it's up to you, Harry. I won't try and stop you but I don't particularly want to spend any more time around him and I very much doubt Ron's going to like it. Is Malfoy really worth losing one of your best friends over?"
"Ron'll come around, it'll just take a little time. That's all."
Hermione shook her head in concern. "Just don't say anything about Malfoy to him, please."
"Course not, I'm not stupid."
Hermione looked as if she thought otherwise.
Sunday 28th September
Draco woke early the next morning, having been asleep since not long after dinnertime. His leg ached, as did his head, and his throat and eyes were dry and scratchy. He hauled himself up amid the snoring of his roommates and limped into the bathroom to clean himself up.
By the time he got into the shower the dried blood holding his wound closed had cracked and blood was oozing down his thigh again. He cleaned it off in the scalding hot water and wondered what the hell he was going to do... normally he conjured dressings magically but without his wand he couldn't perform magic. He grabbed a wad of toilet paper and folded it up, pressing it hard to slow the blood, then shrugged on his bathrobe and went back to his bed. He couldn't go to Madame Pomfrey, even if she didn't ask awkward questions, and she would, she would heal it completely and that defeated part of the purpose. It had to heal normally, otherwise it wouldn't leave a scar.
As he contemplated what he could use as a makeshift bandage he studied his other scars. There were an assortment of fine traceries on his body, most were from shallower cuts and would eventually disappear, some would not. The one on his chest just above his heart would never leave him, which was good because it had a purpose. Like all his permanent scars it was a reminder. This one said, don't ever forget that Voldemort is evil. It was one of the few scars that was not self-inflicted.
The one still bleeding on his thigh said, don't forget that you are capable of evil too. It also said, don't forget that you did that to Harry. Don't forget that you don't deserve his friendship. Don't forget how betraying him made you feel. The cut was deep, almost the deepest he had ever made. There was only one deeper, a livid scar that still glowed red against the skin of his lower belly. When he'd made that one a part of him had wanted to sink the knife in further and rip out everything. Maybe he should have. It said.... a better person would have died first.
Finally he ripped up one of his shirts and used it to bandage his leg. It wasn't very impressive looking but it would have to do. Then he dressed and headed up for breakfast, the empty ache in his stomach was comforting but he knew he should eat something.
The Great Hall was virtually empty when he limped in, it was Sunday after all and he was up pretty early. But breakfast was served more casually on the weekends due to the lack of classes. He was slowly forcing his way through a few slices of toast and some tea when Harry arrived in the Hall. He was alone. Draco closed his eyes with dull acceptance, of course Harry would just happen to come early and alone to breakfast on the very day when Draco really couldn't deal with seeing him.
"Hi, is it okay if I sit with you? Hall's pretty empty this time of the morning."
Draco opened his eyes and nodded. "Sure, why not," he answered hollowly.
Harry grabbed some toast and looked him over. "Are you okay? You look kinda... well you look terrible actually."
"Thanks. I really needed to hear that. I'm fine, I just didn't sleep very well. What are you doing up so early?"
"Dunno. I just woke up and didn't feel tired any more so I thought I'd come down for breakfast. Miss the rush." He laughed cheerily. There was never a rush on Sundays, in fact half the school skipped breakfast altogether on Sundays. "I saw Ron yesterday, he was awake. He's pretty mad at you but he's getting better faster than Madame Pomfrey expected. She said he'd probably be able to go to class by Tuesday or Wednesday."
"Yup." In the time it had taken Harry to tell him that much he had already eaten twice what Draco had in the last half hour. "I told Hermione that we talked and things are okay between us but she's still pretty mad at you too. I think she blames herself for Ron getting hurt, you know cause she fell out with him over talking to you."
Simply sitting next to Harry seemed to be draining the energy out of him. His thigh was really starting to ache again and his toast tasted like cardboard in his mouth. He desperately wanted to talk to Harry, about anything... about everything. But the Potion of Influence was undoubtedly still in effect, the initial 24 hours was not yet up, and how could he say anything to him when he knew that. On the other hand he could ask Harry to help him with his leg, if he told Harry it was an accident he would accept it as true. Then he could get it cleaned and bound properly and not need to worry about it getting infected or something. Not that it wouldn't serve him right if it did. But still...
"Potter, can I ask a favour?
"Sure, what is it?"
"I... hurt my leg this morning. It's nothing serious, it's just that without my wand I can't conjure any dressings."
"Why didn't you go to Madame Pomfrey?"
Draco thought quickly. "She's still mad at me about Weasley." A weak excuse but until the potion wore off around lunchtime Harry would believe anything he told him. "Would you take a look at it for me?"
"Of course. Here?"
"No, we should go somewhere private. Are you done eating?"
Harry looked down at his half eaten breakfast and shrugged, "Sure. Where do you want to go?"
"Follow me." Draco stood up without his usual grace and bit his lip hard as he stepped over the bench. Then, limping slightly, he led Harry down to the storage room he had made the potion in.
Sitting down an an old trunk he lifted up the hem of his robes to reveal the bloodstained strips of cloth covering his left thigh.
Harry gaped open mouthed as Draco folded back his robes to a positively scandalous height revealing long tanned legs marred only by the ragged attempt at a bandage.
Draco, mistaking Harry's expression, repeated, "The cut's not serious, it just bled a lot."
Harry tried to pull himself back together and knelt down to undo the makeshift bandage. When he got closer he realised that this wasn't the only blemish, close up he could see the pale traceries of several other scars along the other boy's thighs. He ran his fingers over them without thinking, unable to see the effect this caress had on Draco's expression. He removed the bandage and aiming his wand at the wound said, "Abluto Cruor." The blood vanished from the wound leaving it clean and visible. He studied it and the other scars nearby. //It's not serious,// he thought, despite the fact that it clearly was. //But how did he manage to cut himself there... and all these other scars... it's almost as if...// He looked up at Draco. "How long have you been doing this?" he asked.
"What?" Draco looked startled, as if he hadn't expected Harry to be able to put two and two together to make four.
"I'm not a complete idiot, Malfoy. How long have you been cutting yourself up and why the hell would you even start?"
Harry looked really upset. He had to tell him something, another lie. But he couldn't seem to make his mouth open to tell another lie that Harry would only believe because he had drugged him. He just stared into those green eyes in horror and they stared back at him with pity, and Harry's hands were still resting on his thighs, his thumbs unconsciously moving in a repetitive and soothing caress. There was a strange feeling in his chest and throat, an aching pain, and for a moment he thought he was having some sort of heart attack. Then a sob burst from his mouth and he felt the heat of tears on his cheeks. For a moment he felt as if he were just a spectator to his body's visceral reaction. //I'm crying,// he thought. //That can't be right, I don't cry.// But he was sliding off the trunk into a heap on the ground, his head falling down into Harry's lap as he curled around himself and he couldn't think anymore as he wept out everything that he had been unable to bleed out of his body.
Completely bewildered Harry did the only thing he could think to do and wrapped his arms around the crying boy, resting his head on Draco's back. He stroked his sides and gabbled whatever came into his head that he thought might help. "I'm sorry, it's okay, it doesn't matter, I'm sorry, I'm sorry..."
Through his tears he heard Draco gasp, "Don't say that, don't apologise to me. Please don't apologise to me."
"Then tell me," he answered. "Tell me what's wrong."
"I can't," Draco whispered. "I can't, I can't, I can't, I can't..."
So Harry simply rocked him until the tears finally slowed. They seemed to leave him empty inside and he slumped against Harry like a puppet with its strings cut as Harry propped him against the trunk, retrieved his wand and magically sealed and bound the cut on Draco's leg. Then he sat up and studied Draco's pale face, wondering what he should do now.
Unexpectedly Draco spoke, though his eyes stayed downcast. "I didn't think you would realise," he said hoarsely. "No-one else ever realised, or if they did they never said. Maybe they just didn't care..." He didn't seem to be talking to Harry, more to himself.
"Why?" asked Harry again.
Draco looked at him now. "You wouldn't understand."
"You're right, I probably wouldn't," Harry answered automatically.
Horror and self-loathing again crossed Draco's features and he pulled himself away from Harry. "I have to go, you have to go."
"I suppose I do," agreed Harry. "Maybe you should go lie down for a bit or something. I feel like I need a bit of a rest myself."
Draco turned to leave.
"But if you want to talk, about anything... just let me know."
Draco disappeared out the door, leaving Harry sitting on the stone floor.
Monday 29th Sept
Monday dawned on a very confused Harry Potter. He had expected this year to be difficult but it was turning out to be for completely different reasons from those he had prepared himself for. He had expected to be constantly aware of the absense of Cedric Diggory, not the presence of Draco Malfoy. He had expected constant worry about Voldemort and what awful events would overtake him next in the fight against him. Instead all had been quiet on that front and his fights all seemed to be emotional, battling his own feelings and desires. It were as if the changes in Malfoy had infected Harry and his group of friends and he felt to blame for that. It was his perverse interest in Malfoy that had drawn the Slytherin into their lives. His desire to reach out to him that had inspired Hermione to do the same. Mind you he wasn't taking the fall for what had happened to Ron, Hermione could blame herself if she wanted to but as far as Harry was concerned it was Ron's own damn fault he'd got hexed. All the Weasley's were hot tempered but Draco hadn't done a thing to provoke him this term.
Which led him back to wondering what the hell was going on with Draco. The change in personality, the scars, the crying... Harry felt seriously out of his depth. Draco obviously needed help with something but he had no idea how to help him. He couldn't even sort out his own problems, couldn't even comfort a crying friend without getting turned on by the physical contact. How fucked up was that.
Draco had slept dreamlessly again for the second night in a row but did not feel the better for it. He woke up early, again, feeling hollow and dehydrated. He was still tired but he knew it was just because he'd overslept. He'd in fact slept just about twenty four hours around the clock having gone back to bed as soon as he'd left Harry yesterday morning. Every time he'd woken he'd decided he simply couldn't face anyone, he had absolutely no desire to be anywhere but hidden in his bed. The psychology books he'd read had said crying was good, that it was cathartic. He'd assumed that if he could do it he would feel better but instead he felt completely destroyed. It was as if something were broken inside of him. Maybe something had left him as he'd wept, something that had been sustaining him, making him able to function. And now it was gone and he didn't think he could survive without it.
Now he understood why his father had said it was a sign of weakness. It made you weak, it left you defenceless. His father had been right. What else had his father been right about?
Draco grasped for something to rebuild himself around. He looked down at himself, remembering more of his fathers advice. Give the appearance of strength and you will have strength.
He hauled himself out of bed, shivering with more than the cold, and proceeded to rebuild his defenses. Starting with his appearance. An hour later he stood in front of the mirror in one of his most expensive sets of plain robes, wearing his finest boots and with his hair styled immaculately. He drew himself up and forced an expression of cold confidence onto his face and then let the reflection in the mirror persuade him that was really how he felt. He was Draco Malfoy, all of this emotional teenage crap was beneath him. He was Draco Malfoy.
With that he swept out of the dormitory and headed for the Great Hall where he intended to eat a great deal of much needed food and get the hell on with his life. Deep inside him the broken part of him watched the stranger up above it and wondered how long this facade would stand before it cracked again.
The day passed in a rush as Draco simply refused to acknowledge anything that threatened his carefully managed poise. He travelled through Hogwarts like a frozen bubble, hard and brittle and empty inside. He occasionally caught sight of Harry but made a point of acknowledging him and then rushing off as if he were extremely busy. Polite but distant. He had a feeling that if he could just get through today he might be able to get through the rest of his life, all it would take was a determination not to feel anything. Discipline. His father's watchword had always been discipline. Control. When he felt a moment of weakness he would repeat that to himself, //Discipline and control. Discipline and control. A Malfoy does not acknowledge weakness.//
Towards the end of his last class a student came by with a message for him. He was to go to Professor Dumbledore's office after dinner. A moment of shock and fear ran through him but he quashed it. Sheer paranoia, of course Dumbledore didn't know what had happened yesterday. This was most likely about his upcoming apology to Weasley and the month of detention he was yet to start.
As Harry had been about to leave Transfiguration that afternoon, Professor McGonagall had stopped him and informed him that Professor Dumbledore wished to speak to him during his free period before dinner.
So now he stood outside the Headmaster's office, waiting and wondering why he was there. He couldn't think of anything that he had done that might lead to him being called to see Dumbledore. He began to worry that perhaps something had happened to Sirius.
Finally the door opened and he was ushered in. He sat down and waited anxiously for Professor Dumbledore to explain what was going on.
"Ah, Harry. Would you like some tea?"
Harry shook his head nervously.
"Dear me, you look positively terrified. There's nothing to worry about," said Dumbledore gently. "I just thought we might have a little chat. See how everything's going."
Oh," said Harry, momentarily relieved and then slightly concerned. "You haven't been talking to Hermione have you?"
"Miss Granger? No, do you think I should?"
"No!" Harry lowered his panicked tone. "No, it's nothing. Forget I said that."
"Very well. You do seem rather worried about something, though. Anything I can help you with?"
"No, I'm fine, really."
"Not worried about Mr Weasley?"
"No, I saw him at lunchtime. He's looking a lot better. Madame Pomfrey says he might be back to classes tomorrow."
"Indeed, yes. Young Mr Weasley appears to have a strong constitution. Nasty Disanimation Curse like that can take weeks to get over."
"Disanimation Curse? That's what Malfoy used?"
"Indeed he did. Standard dark arts attack, often used when they don't have the energy for the killing curse. Less taxing."
"By they... you mean Death Eaters."
"Yes," Dumbledore looked grave. "Tell me, Harry. Why do you think Mr Malfoy has suddenly decided to befriend you?"
Harry frowned, thinking back over his conversations with Draco. "I don't know. He said... when I asked him why he was being nice he said something about having an eye-opening experience this summer. But I don't know what it was."
"And you're not concerned about his ... connections?"
"I know his father's a Death Eater but that doesn't make Malfoy one. Look at my relatives, they brought me up and I'm nothing like them. Malfoy's... changed." Harry thought about what had happened yesterday morning. "Actually, I am worried about him. But not because I think he's working for Voldemort."
"What are you worried about?"
"I...." Harry looked torn. "I'm not sure I can tell you, it would be... it's private. To Malfoy I mean, I know he wouldn't want me to go talking about it with anyone."
"Loyalty is an excellent trait, Harry. I hope it is not misplaced in this case. I also hope that if you do know anything which could be important, to the fight against Voldemort or to the safety of another student, you will not let loyalty stop you from informing me at once." Dumbledore sat back and sighed. "Goodness me, everything seems so fraught with tension these days. I think I shall have to take a nice long bubble bath tonight. I wonder where I put my rubber ducky."
Harry goggled at the thought of Dumbledore in a showercap, playing with a rubber ducky. "Can I go now?" he asked.
"Of course, Harry. If there's nothing else you want to talk about?"
Harry wasn't aware he had wanted to talk about anything at all so he shook his head.
"Very well, off you run. Give Mr Weasley my regards if you see him and tell him I shall be along to visit him tomorrow lunchtime."
"Okay. Bye then." Harry got up and left.
Draco entered the Headmaster's office with no visible qualms and settled himself in the available chair.
"Mr Malfoy, we meet again."
Draco met his gaze steadily but after a moment found he couldn't hold it and looked to the floor.
"You will start your detention this evening, two hours a day after dinner until the 29th of October. Your first detention and all following Monday evening detentions will be here with me. Professor McGonagall will arrange for the rest of them and let you know where to be."
"So, whatever are we going to talk about for the next two hours, Mr Malfoy?"
Draco looked up, startled, "What? I thought... don't you have some job for me to do?"
"I thought we might just have a little chat instead, I do hate to work on a full stomach. Gives me terrible wind, don't you find?"
Draco just stared at him.
"Why don't you tell me where you learned that curse you used on Mr Weasley, it certainly isn't taught here."
Draco had a terrible sinking feeling inside. Two hours of enforced conversation with Professor Dumbledore was bound to lead to him saying something he regretted. Maybe he should just refuse to talk... but he found he didn't really want to sit there projecting a stony wall of silence. The room was warm and comfortable and he got so little chance to talk to anyone these days. The headmaster had understood about not telling his father, maybe he could trust him a little. It was worth a shot. "My father taught it to me."
"I thought as much. Does he teach you often?"
"He... this summer he felt that it was time I started to learn about... that sort of thing. Sometimes he teaches me, sometimes other people."
"But he still allowed you to return here, rather than send you to one of the more... Dark Arts friendly schools? Durmstrang for instance. I hear they have a new headmaster."
Draco stared out the window and said quietly, "You don't trust me do you, you think I'm here as a spy for my father."
"Are you?" Dumbledore asked in a incongruously friendly tone.
"I don't know," answered Draco after a long time. "If I said yes would you ask me to leave?"
"I am not going to ask you to leave here, Draco," Dumbledore said gently. "In fact I have come to the decision that leaving here would be extremely bad for you."
"Why's that?" Draco asked sharply.
Dumbledore smiled enigmatically. "I think you can answer that better than I can."
Draco frowned. "Are you always like that?"
"Never mind." Draco sighed. "I presume you expect me to give you information or something."
"I try to presume very little, but if you have information that may help me I would be most grateful to hear it."
Draco stared out the window again and scuffed his foot against the carpet. "I'll think about it, I probably don't know anything useful anyway."
"We know very little about the whereabouts and movements of Lord Voldemort since he returned at the end of last term. Nothing but rumours. Anything you could tell us would be helpful."
"I don't know where he is," said Draco truthfully. After all he didn't know where Voldemort was right now and he didn't care, he realised he was scratching at the scar on his chest and tucked his hands back into his lap. "When will I get my wand back?" he asked, changing the subject.
"When I feel you are ready, when I feel I can trust you to think before you use it."
"I can't do half my classes properly, my father will be angry if I fail my exams. He'll be angry if he even finds out you've confiscated my wand."
"That is a bridge you will have to cross, Mr Malfoy. It is not up for discussion."
"Well that's just fantastic," said Draco in annoyance. "So we only get to talk about what you want to talk about then? I think that makes this an interrogation not a chat!"
"I find you quite fascinating, Mr Malfoy. Do you know there is not a single other student I can think of who would speak to me in that tone."
Draco scowled at him sullenly.
"I also don't think you would have done so a year ago. If you won't tell me what has caused you to change, perhaps you might tell me how you have changed. I find it remarkably difficult to figure out what is going on inside your head and that bothers me."
"Well it doesn't bother me," snapped Draco. "It's my head and I don't need anyone else knowing what goes on inside it."
"What are you so angry about?"
"Nothing. I don't know." He picked something randomly, something that seemed safe. "Weasley."
"Ah, yes, Mr Weasley. That seems as good a place to start as any. Why are you angry at Mr Weasley?"
Draco jumped out of his chair and began to pace a bit. "It's just. What's the point in trying to change when no-one will let you? Everything would be so much easier if I was the same person I was last year, if I wanted the same things."
"And what things did you want last year?"
"To join..." Draco caught himself, "...stuff. Pass my exams, win the Quidditch Cup, make the Gryffindor's lives as miserable as possible."
Draco wandered over to the window and stared out into the growing twilight. "I don't know... to be able to start again? Not to be a Slytherin, not to be a Malfoy... not to be me."
"Who would you be?"
"I don't know. Me, but not me."
"Tell me how I can help you, Draco," Dumbledore asked softly.
"No-one can help me," he answered. Almost unaware he was talking to someone, least of all Dumbledore. "No-one can change any of this."
"How very pessimistic of you."
Draco spun around as if suddenly realising he had been talking too freely. "I mean... I don't need help. I'm fine."
Dumbledore smiled. "Tell me, Draco. When was the last time you asked for help when you needed it."
Draco thought about yesterday morning and for a moment he felt that ache in his chest again. He quickly pulled himself upright, settling his features back in that familiar and comforting expression of cold confidence.
Dumbledore studied him silently for a long time and then said, "I think that will do for today. You will meet me outside the hospital wing tomorrow after lunch to apologise to Mr Weasley, I believe you have a free period?" Draco nodded stiffly. "You may go now, Mr Malfoy."
Draco strode haughtily out of the office and continued outside to the lake where he sat for a long time looking out over the water and burying his feelings back inside himself. The cold seemed to help.