Disclaimer: These characters are not mine, they belong to J.K. Rowling and those she chooses to share them with. I’m just borrowing them for a short time.

Notes: Still in the flashback zone, but most of this fic is. I hope you enjoy….I have ever so much more to get through, I think, if I stick to the plan.


Part 3

By Ivy Blossom


"Harry!" Ron was astonished. "Did you see that?" Ron was gathering the contents of his bag from the floor of the hallway outside the potions dungeon. Draco had walked out of class, glanced at Harry, and walked around Ron’s papers and quills instead of walking on them, as he used to. "What’s got into him? Not a word out of him, not a one!"

"Oh, stifle it, Ron!" Hermione was disapproving. It had been all over the Daily Prophet for weeks. The Dark Mark had been seen in the sky again, blueish gray; a large number of Death Eaters had met again; three members of the ministry had been killed. There were a number of notable absences in and outside of the Ministry; some highly placed officials had disappeared, and there was a rumour that Lucius Malfoy had not been seen by anyone in some time. The doors of Azkaban were rattling again. Even then, weeks later, rumour and innuendo were thick. Where they had gone was unclear, though the Daily Prophet was full of possible sightings, unexplained murders, celestial prophesies. There was much whispering in the halls at Hogwarts, and meals had become much less cheery.

Hermione bent down, helping Ron gather his things. "I’m sure you’d feel a bit glum too if you dad had up and vanished." Hermione had been feeling much more like defending Draco since he had stopped referring to her as ‘the mudblood’. He had even become to be moderately polite to her.

"He hasn’t said a word about my folks in ages." Ron wasn’t about to be halted. "Harry? What do you make of it? His father gone, but he didn’t go with him?" He leaned toward his friends. "Do you think he could be a spy for…you know who?"

"I doubt it, Ron." Harry sighed.

"But you never know." Ron stuck to his story. Hermione sniffed. "Well, I’m off to class." Hermione turned on her heel and marched off, almost running right into Draco. "Oh! She said, startled. "Excuse me!"

Draco smiled thinly. "My apologies, Hermione." She smiled graciously at him. "I’ll see you in care of magical creatures, Draco." He nodded, and Hermione turned around and gave Ron a look. Ron scowled.

Draco raised an eyebrow at Ron, and turned to Harry. "A word, Potter?" Harry nodded. Ron’s jaw dropped, and then he sighed. This place has gone simply mad these days. Up is down, down is up, and Harry and Malfoy are chatting it up in the hall. "Don’t turn your back on him, Harry." Ron shot Draco a look as he started to rush after Hermione. Draco reached down and picked up a quill at his feet.

"Weasley. I believe this belongs to you?" Draco blinked calmly, handing the quill to Ron.

"Um, yes, thanks Malfoy." Ron grabbed it, shuffled it into his bag, and mumbled, "It’s probably hexed," toward Harry. Harry smiled, knowing full well Draco had heard.

"Of course it is Weasley," he drawled. "It will force you to write to your mother about all the stuff you and Granger get up to in the common room after hours." Draco was a picture of poise and decorum. Ron blushed crimson, and ran down the corridor.

Draco sighed, and looked at his feet, both perfectly healed, with two wide open eyes. "He started it." He grinned evilly. Harry laughed. "He did indeed."

They hadn’t spoken in weeks, not since Harry escorted Draco to the hospital wing. Neither of them was strictly avoiding the other, and they did make eye contact, smile sadly at each other, and go on making potions, playing Quiddich, eating dinner, continuing with their lives. Harry had been less antagonistic, and Draco had ceased his relentless teasing. In general, it was barely noted. The world was about to be pitched into another war; everyone felt it brewing. Nothing seemed the same anymore. If anything, observers, like Hermione, attributed the changed Draco to the supposed loss of his father, or the fact that he appeared to have been left behind. Everyone knew that Harry had a lot on his mind, Voldemort having fully returned.

Now, standing in the hallway with Harry, the great, vaulted ceiling above them, Draco paused. He said simply, "I hope you’re well, Harry."

"I am, Draco. You?" Harry spoke softly.

Draco smiled. "I’m alright."

Harry nodded. "You’ll be safe, then?"

"Well." He set his mouth in a tough line. "Safe? Probably not. I don’t think you want to hear about it."

"I thought...I thought you decided against all that..that…." Harry looked confused.


"Harry…I am what I am. You are what you are. I…I can’t pretend I’m anything else. I’m going to finish the year, and what happens after that, I don’t know. I can’t make any promises."


Draco sighed. "I know. If I weren’t a Malfoy, if I didn’t grow up the way I did, if I didn’t know what I know…who knows, Harry, who knows." He smiled grimly. "I know that’s disappointing, believe me."

Harry stood there stunned. "I had thought…since you didn’t get the Mark…"

"I can’t make any promises, Harry."

As Draco watched him, startled, he saw Harry get angry. More angry than Draco had ever seen him. His eyes sparkled and his fingers curled around his palms. "You want to go kiss the hem of some self-styled Lord of Evil? Is that what you want? Is that what all that ambition gets you? Fine. Fine, Draco, go ahead." Draco paled, horrified, shamed, and angry all at once. Harry’s face grew more and more red and his voice, while quiet, vibrated with emotion. "Enjoy yourself. And when you get bored of scrapping your knees on the floor behind some half-dead, cursed old man with a penchant for murder and mayhem in the hopes that he might pat you on the head and give you the honour of wiping his ass for him, you know where to find me. I’ll be waiting for you. Because I know you’re smarter than that. And I’ll never stop waiting for you, because you’re better than that. And if I’m the only know who knows it, than so be it." Harry gave Draco a hard, pained look, and walked off to class.


The feast after their graduation had been sumptuous. Hogwarts meals were always feasts, as if every day were a celebration of a kind. But graduation had been a very special event; there was something especially magical in the air that night, as if Dumbledore had enchanted the hall so that the primary emotion of all the students would be joy. Draco had never felt better. His grades had been stellar, Slytherin had tied Gryffindor for the house cup, and for once, his father, who, contrary to popular belief, was not missing, had nothing to scold him about. Mcgonagall had even sent an owl his parents, noting Draco’s marked improvement in transfiguration that year.

After the feast, while everyone milled around chatting pleasantly and the house elves passed around glasses of a now alcoholic punch and pumpkin juice, Draco had had a little fun. What was well-known among the Slytherins, but little known outside their common room, was that Draco was a comedian. With a small crowd of Slytherins watching him, he began by imitating Snape, complete with a head of transfigured dirty-looking black hair, a levitating impression of a mournful Professor Trelawney, and then proceeded into a perfect-pitch ‘Mr. Malfoy, will you PLEASE turn Mr. Goyle back into a raccoon?’ MacGonagall impression. He had his audience nearly in tears. But what really attracted the attention of the room, especially the Gryffindors, came next. He staged a mock Quidditch game over the upturned faces of the students. With Seamus and Dean catching on and quickly taking up control of the opposing team, the shortbread players marked with purple or yellow icing flew on licorice sticks, zipping among the students and around the pillars in the great room. Seamus added snap and pop sound effects when the little men smacked chocolate bludgers, which went skidding into the growing crowd. When Draco noted that he had Harry’s attention, he even added a small, lightning-shaped scar to his seeker, and sent him whizzing dashingly around Harry’s head. The Gryffindors cheered appreciatively. Harry laughed.

"But Malfoy," he shouted. "He flies more like you than he does like me!"

"Ah, does he now?" Draco said. "Hmm….well. How about this?"

As the crowd roared, the little shortbread Harry, after a shockingly graceful, triple-roll, upside down, gymnastic dive around the hall, flipped himself over, flew his licorice broom with the top of his head, punched both bludgers off at once, and at the same time caught the peppermint snitch—between his little shortbread knees. All four houses howled with laughter and cheered madly.

Draco smiled and shook his head. He turned, and saw Harry was grinning at him. Draco looked at him, and closed his eyes, hoping to fix that image there.

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