Author's Notes: Note that * * * indicates a POV change. Remember, this is SLASH people! M/M, guy/guy action...(*grin*) so if you can't stand this, please kindly leave. Otherwise, ENJOY!
Song by Avril Lavinge, "Why" (Unreleased CD, "Sk8ter Girl")
Not All Sugar and Spice
Chapter Two: Not Supposed to Be
By Lilyria Ali
* * *
"Why do you always do this to me?
Why...couldn't you just see it through me?
How come you act like you just don't care at all?
Do you expect me to believe that I was the only one to fall?"
"You didn't!" was the first comment Harry received the next day when telling Ron and Hermione about the Mirror encounter after dinner the next day.
"No...I swear! It was awful...I mean..."
"Ron-there is a very plausible explanation for this..." interjected Hermione.
"You mean Dumbledore did something to it? If he had a grudge against Harry, he could use slightly less grotesque ways of trying to scare the living daylights out of Harry!"
"Ron!" Hermione snapped, "It's very explainable-the mirror was probably the wrong mirror. There are mirrors that show you who else is in the room besides yourself...Aurors use it, usually."
"You're saying we didn't look into the right mirror?" asked Harry, looking relieved. "But Malfoy said-"
"Now you're believing what Malfoy said!" exclaimed Ron, looking outraged. "What's next? Malfoy's misunderstood?" He paused thoughtfully in mid-rant. "So that wasn't the Mirror of Erised. What was is it then-the Mirror of seeing the Ugly Git Behind You?" At this, he shuddered dramatically.
"Watch who you're calling ugly," said a voice from the doorway. The trio turned around, mouths wide open.
"I didn't want to see your tonsils, Weasley," said Malfoy calmly, his gray eyes scanning the room carefully, taking in all the drapes, the fireplace, and the comfy sofas. "Much brighter than the Slytherin common room," he mused. "Everyone's so biased towards goody-goody Gryffindors aren't they?"
"What are you doing here?" stuttered Ron angrily. "Who told you the password? You-you put Imperius on someone to tell you! That's an Unforgivable curse! You'll-"
"No, I won't," said Malfoy. Harry couldn't help but wonder where his signature drawl was. "In fact, I don't even know the password. Dumbledore wants to talk to all of you," he jerked his head in the direction of the trio.
"About what?" asked Hermione suspiciously.
"I dunno," said Malfoy, frowning. "The old man wouldn't tell me until you arrived. Figures-Hero Potter and his little gang must be included in whatever this is."
"Don't-" started Harry tensely.
"Okay, okay!" snapped Malfoy, throwing his hands up into the air in annoyance. "Alright, I'll keep my mouth shut, just follow me up to the Headmaster's." he crossed his arms and glared at them all.
The three goggled at him.
"What?" he asked, now positively annoyed.
"You-" said Hermione breathlessly.
"Just said you'd shut up yourself, no insults or back-stabbing added," finished Ron, who looked like Voldemort had declared he had decided to go around eating cherry pies instead of torturing Muggles.
Malfoy grimaced. "I'm just trying to make everything go as fast as possible. Now will you come, Potter?"
Harry nodded uncertainly, but walked over to the portrait hole.
"We can't just go!" exclaimed Ron vehemently. "It's a trick-he's being nice so later he can just go and kill us all or something..."
"The Sneakoscope isn't going off," said Hermione thoughtfully, holding the little clear top in her hands (the Sneakoscope Sensational Model XI) which was balanced perfectly at its rounded tip, completely still.
"He could've disarmed it," suggested Ron, desperately.
"Yes," said Hermione sarcastically. "Malfoy has magically frozen time and disarmed the Sneakoscope before stopping the spell and telling us to follow him."
"It's alright, Ron," said Harry reassuringly, fingering his wand. "I've got my wand. Hear that Malfoy? C'mon."
Malfoy sighed. "Is it that hard to trust me?" he asked.
"Yes," the three of the chorused automatically.
Was it just Harry's imagination...or did Malfoy's eyes just flicker with something like...sadness? But the flash was so quick it was hard to tell whether it had been truly there, or just a trick of the light, a burst of shadow bringing out the gray in his eyes. Besides, Malfoys didn't have feelings.
Surely you would know your enemy after six years...right?
* * *
"Malfoy?" Weasley asked incredulously. "But-he's *evil*! He's probably just a spy for the Dark Side!"
Dumbledore shook his head. "Some things have changed Mr. Weasley," he said, gently but still chidingly. Draco shivered.
//Some things...have changed. //
"Like what?" challenged Weasley. Draco saw Granger raise an eyebrow.
//Not very Gryffindor-ish to talk back to Dumbledore. He must really hate me. //
As much as Draco didn't want to admit it, somewhere deep in his soul, he wished to one day see those blue eyes look at him with something other than hate; and those green eyes...
Draco looked up and saw the everyone in the whole room staring silently at him. Potter was eyeing him with something not akin to scorn, but carrying a good dose of incredulity. Weasley looked as if he was going to explode. But what bothered him the most was the sympathetic look on Granger's face, a sad little frown on her lips.
"But-" started Weasley.
"Mr. Weasley," said Dumbledore, almost coldly. "May I remind you that this decision is for Harry to make."
At this, Weasley floundered and turned to Potter. Potter shifted nervously in his chair.
"Um..." muttered Potter distractedly.
Weasley was mouthing something that looked suspiciously like, "Told you Dumbledore has a grudge against you!"
"But what will happen?" Potter finally blurted out. "What do we," (he glanced at Draco edgily) "do there?"
"Why Delhi?" asked Weasley.
"It's where all magic's sources are held at," said Granger very proudly. Dumbledore nodded at her.
"Very good, Hermione, but there's slightly more to it than that."
Suddenly, Fawkes let out one quivering, melancholy note and flew to Dumbledore's shoulder. Dumbledore ignored him completely.
"That's where the Dark Magic is stored," said Potter slowly.
//He's suddenly had a drastic change in IQ, // thought Draco, sarcastically, but felt a little knot start twisting in his stomach.
Dumbledore nodded again. "The Foundations of the Wizarding World," he said. "Remember what I told you, Harry, in your second year?"
"Our choices determine who we are, or turn out to be," said Potter slowly.
//That's SHIT. //
Draco clutched at his armchair almost violently, his hands shaking. Everyone looked at him strangely, except for Dumbledore.
"Mr. Malfoy," said Dumbledore very quietly. "Please remain calm."
Draco nodded mutely, trying to shake the images from his head.
//ALL WRONG. //
"Softening, are you, Draco?"
"No-no! I just don't want to."
"What do you want then, dear boy?" The tone was quiet, but more threatening than Draco had ever heard.
"Hoping someone will love you?" It was so derisive.
"Get out. Now."
He closed his eyes, subconsciously sliding his usual indifferent mask on once more.
//That's what's expected of a Malfoy...//
But his thoughts were bitter, bruising.
It's not supposed to feel this way...
"It's not supposed to hurt this way...
Listen to what we're not saying...
Try to really look at me and see my heart."
Weasley was looking at him as if he'd suddenly sprouted fuchsia tentacles.
"But the whole school will notice," said Granger. "And what about Lucius Malfoy?"
"That's fine," said Draco, abruptly. "Lucius will not have a part in this."
Dumbledore brushed back one wispy strand of hair. "If Harry and Draco manage to," he paused, "bottle up all the Dark Magic there, the effect will be beyond anyone's belief or knowledge."
He let this sink in for a while.
"It will make a huge difference in the world, Harry," said Dumbledore, gently. Potter rubbed his eyes.
"I'll do it," said Potter, the determined look set in his eyes. It was the same look he had when he was looking for the snitch; his green eyes sparkled like crystals, except sharper, brighter, and, in a twisted way, more sinister.
If Hero Potter could ever look sinister, Draco reflected bitterly. Even when dealing with Draco, he didn't look *sinister*...he looked, as much as Draco hated to admit it, mainly just irked, sometimes reaching to the state of utter annoyance; it was like Draco wasn't even worth his hate.
But simply never sinister.
Weasley opened his mouth to protest again, but seeing Potter's determined look, flounded and didn't start.
//Harry bloody hero Potter. //
"How about you, Malfoy?" asked Potter directly.
//What do you think I'll do? Scamper?// Draco pulled himself up. "Right along," he said smoothly.
"So what exactly do we do?" asked Potter, turning to Dumbledore.
"Delhi is situated on a plain," said Dumbledore, "that feeds into the ocean. As much as the magic volume is there, the lands somehow keep its usual magical density very low, so it looks perfectly ordinary, no sparks or whatever." Here a slight, almost devilish, twinkle crept into his eyes.
//Dumbledore is NOT devilish,// repeated Draco to himself ten times, shuddering.
"There is a trail marked by one wizard that leads to the entire source of Dark Magic," continued Dumbledore. "It's labeled 'Paz', though it leads to anything but peace, as its namesake suggests."
"How come Voldemort hasn't gotten it yet?" asked Potter. Draco shivered again, and it wasn't from cold.
"Special...requirements must be fulfilled in the pair going there that none in the Dark Side have," replied Dumbledore, as if he knew the question had been coming. "I do believe both you and Draco will fill these requirements."
"What requirements?" asked Weasley. "Malfoy can't compare to four thousand and sixty-seven Harrys."
"And one Weasley can't compare to one million Malfoys," muttered Draco.
"That's enough, Mr. Weasley," said Dumbledore firmly. "I have the utmost faith in both of these students."
"How do we bottle the magic?" asked Draco. "Do we take bottles and hex them inside?"
"I cannot say," said Dumbledore. His eyes twinkled again, but merrier this time. "You will both know when the time comes."
Draco stared at Dumbledore in bewilderment.
//He's telling us to go somewhere and do something and we don't even know *how* to do it! That's bloody unreasonable! //
He turned to Granger. Surely *she* knew all the answers?
But this time, Granger was chewing her lip in concentration.
There was a moment's silence before Dumbledore clapped his hands together agreeably. "Ms. Granger and Mr. Weasley, you will have to invent something," he gestured roughly with his hands. "Nothing obnoxious, but something reasonable, to make up for Harry and Draco's absences. The staff already knows they will not be here for a while."
Granger set her lips into a line, not having thought of an answer yet. "Alright," she said, patting Potter slightly on his arm with her best 'sorry-but-it's-good-for-the-world' look on her face. Potter shrugged with a slight grimace.
"For the common good of everyone," muttered Draco again. "Just look at me, turning into Harry Potter II, or Draco Potter."
His comment was slightly too loud, as Potter heard and promptly retorted, "You'd as much as be Harry Potter II as me being Harry Malfoy."
"But, could you...elaborate?" continued Potter, gathering his attention again to focus on Dumbledore. "I mean, how do we get there? Where do we *sleep*? How long will it take? How can we bottle up the magic? We can't do something if we don't know how to do it!"
Dumbledore smiled. "Ms. Granger has had an effect on you over the years," he said. Draco wasn't sure if that was an insult or a compliment. "But I have a specialized Portkey for you, a continuously-filling bag for you two, and other necessary equipment in the bag," he paused. "This will take a while. The trail is long...and not exactly easy. But, nothing is easy."
For Draco, that sounded much too much like the Malfoy quote: Everything has a price, and nothing is easy.
Weasley was obviously still digesting the idea of Potter going on a *mission* with *Malfoy* of all people. Draco smirked.
"The result," whispered Dumbledore faintly, almost eerily, again, "will be more than anyone ever thought would come to pass."
Without warning, rivulets of pearly, thick, silver tears rained from Fawkes' eyes, splashing heavily against Dumbledore's shoulder.
//Phoenixes only cry to heal someone,// thought Draco, puzzled. //So why now...?//
Dumbledore stroked the bird's back once, and Fawkes let out a trembling, heart-wrenching note that filled the air with a sudden cold, like the breezes of shadows. Draco tried his hardest to not to look violently sick.
Looking immensely grave (//If wrinkles were money, Dumbledore would be filthy rich by now,// thought Draco) Dumbledore took a glowing orb from his desk and turned to Draco. "Mr. Malfoy and Harry, please pack your necessary items and meet back in my office in half an hour."
Begrudgingly, Weasley and Granger pulled themselves up, whispering to Potter and watching Draco with distrust. Draco only sighed and trudged down to the Slytherin dorms.
* * *
"You understand this may change the wizarding world immensely," repeated Dumbledore, holding up a clear tube filled with Fawkes' tears. He placed this in Harry's sack and pulled the string vigorously.
"But," Harry began hesitantly, wishing Hermione and Ron were still here to back him up. "How do we bottle up the magic? Do we fill the requirements thoroughly...? Professor, I-"
"I know you want to stay out of the fight," said Dumbledore. "But, Harry, this is important. This could change the world."
Harry looked down. How could he be so selfish? The wizarding world looked up to him for support, but he only ran away, wanted to hide in an unknown corner forever, afraid to face the world, not wanting to face the world.
"Go and think about,
Whatever you need to think about,
Go and dream about,
Whatever you need to dream about,
And come back to me when you know just how you feel,
// I trust Dumbledore more than anyone in the world. //
He breathed in heavily.
"Trust me, Harry," said Dumbledore slowly. "Trust me."
Malfoy watched him with a keen eye, no smirk visible on his face. Harry wondered what was wrong with him. //Where's the Draco Malfoy we all know and love?// he thought dryly. //Cat got your tongue, Malfoy?//
Dumbledore held up the orb, which was glowing a faint green color, and tossed it on the floor into the middle of the room. The globe erupted into smoke, and a scarlet ring began appearing from the wooden floor, hissing as it grew clearer. Faint flecks of what appeared to be ash, or dust, filled its center. It looked celestial, enchantingly so; the light filtered through it in beautiful waves and ribbons, like a present from the Gods above.
"Step into the center," instructed Dumbledore, and Harry crossed into the scarlet ring, feeling a tingly sensation where the dust touched him. It felt feathery, light and sweet, like the gentle spring breeze coming to take his troubles. He could see that Malfoy had closed his eyes, a glimmer of a smile playing across his face.
"Go!" roared Dumbledore, and a rushing sound engulfed Harry's ears. The last thing he saw before a cloud of black covered his eyes was Fawkes, tears still flowing silently down his face.
*A/N: Please review!! *wails* only 2 reviews for Ch. 1 at ff.net!! I got like twenty at fictionalley! Please R&R! I don't want to stop w/ this fic...it's got my heart & soul ^.^
THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU V.V. (author of "Clear") for betaing this chapter! Mindy & Jayne, thank you also!!! Big schnoogle & cookies for you all!
I'm putting my BEST effort into this...you can drop me a line at glassy_depths @ hotmail.com if you have questions, comments, I'll answer and loff u forever, but all flames (and in this chapter anti-Avril attacks) will be dismissed most blatantly, thank you. :)
I know, not much of a plot yet...but I'm more into the emotions/life rather than big plotlines, though I *do* have some snatchets of what's to come!! This chapter wasn't the best written...but I mean, BACKGROUND INFO!!!!!! ^.^ So yeah...enjoy info as it lasts. Later you'll ask for it, and I won't give you any...hehe.
I know, it's *supposed* to be angsty, but the angst comes in huge bites, so um...yeah. And later too. Have fun with those big bad angst-patties when they come whizzing! ^.^
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