Author's Notes: This is my current baby, and I have plans for it to be my first epic. I've never been much of an epic writer, but I think I can handle it. I have at LEAST seven chapters planned out, with more plot after that, so I'm thinking this may end up somewhere around 10-12 chapters. Pairings are mentioned, but will not necessarily come into play until later in the story. In certain cases, MUCH later. The main pairing focus at the moment is Draco/Harry.
Disclaimer: I don’t own Harry Potter or any related characters. If you’re reading this, hopefully you know who does so I won’t have to list them.
Chapter Three: Reunion
-Ministry of Magic-
What a foul night.
~James, I’m sorry.~
Sirius felt guilty. Guilt was a sensation he hadn’t really begun to feel until Harry came along. Sirius felt that he had failed James and Lily by letting Harry down, by not being there for him as his parents had wanted him to be, and...
Harry was gone.
Not one person in the Ministry had a thought as to how to get Harry back. They didn’t know which Death Eaters were involved in the attack, and they had no idea where to start looking. It seemed hopeless, and Sirius was definitely feeling helpless.
Sirius leaned back in the chair, closing the book he had been holding for the past two hours. He wasn’t reading... just thinking.
Harry wasn’t just a final connection to James and Lily. Harry was like a son to him, and Sirius was his legal guardian. Sirius had let him down.
~I wasn’t there for him. I was always asking him if he was okay, if he was staying out of danger, if he knew how to stay out of danger,~ Sirius thought to himself. ~I never asked him if he was happy at Hogwarts, or if he was interested in someone...~
Sirius paused, another thought suddenly dawning on him. Harry HAD been acting peculiar lately...
Do you like Malfoy?
“What’s this about a Malfoy?” Sirius whispered, his own words coming back to him. Malfoy... there was a Malfoy in Harry’s grade. Lucius’ son... Draco.
It was possible that Ron had just been teasing Harry, but... Sirius didn’t want Harry mixed up with that family. Lucius had always been bad news. Sirius had stayed away from him when they were in school since Lucius was several years older than him... ~Not to mention he was one of the only people who scared the shit out of me,~ Sirius thought absently. There was no reason to believe that his son would be any different.
Sirius stood, setting the book on the table next to him. He left the room and spotted Hermione walking down the hall. “Hermione!”
The girl turned, looking slightly bewildered. “Yes, sir?”
“Call me Sirius. Do you know where Ron is?”
Hermione nodded. “I was just going to go check on him now. He’s been sleeping for far too long.”
“I’ll go with you. I need to ask him a few questions.”
The two walked side by side down the hall in silence for a few moments before Sirius spoke up. “Hermione, did you notice anything strange about Harry’s behavior lately?”
Hermione’s face had fallen at the mention of Harry, but a thoughtful look overcame her expression. “He seems happier lately... it started at the beginning of this school year. He also seemed to be keeping something from Ron and I.” She looked up, her eyes narrowing in thought. “But then Ron started acting weird, too, after a while. I think they were keeping a secret from me, but I didn’t want to pry.”
“Any reason why you’re asking?”
“I’m about to ask Ron.”
They turned into the room where Ron was sleeping. The redhead was actually awake, staring out the window in thought. He hadn’t noticed their entrance.
“You’re awake!” Hermione exclaimed in disbelief. “I thought you would sleep forever.”
Ron turned his head. “What’s up?” he asked half-heartedly.
Sirius took a seat next to Ron’s bed. “Ron, I’m going to ask you something, and I want you to tell me very honestly.”
Ron raised an eyebrow, sitting up a little more. “Okay.”
“Was Harry... involved with anyone?”
Ron narrowed his eyes. “Don’t talk about him like he’s already dead.”
“Answer my question.”
The youngest Weasley boy turned his head back towards the window. “That’s not my business to tell.”
“And you just told me that he was. Who is it?”
“I can’t tell you that. I’m sorry.”
“Harry’s not here to tell me, and it might be important.”
Ron visibly froze, stopping his breathing. “Sirius, I don’t know if I should tell you.”
Hermione was looking back and forth between Ron and Sirius, taking a seat herself. “Harry had a girlfriend? Why didn’t he tell us?” She turned back to Ron. “Did he tell you?”
Ron closed his eyes, biting his lower lip.
Sirius was silent for a moment. “If I guess right, you are going to tell me. I don’t care if Harry swore you to secrecy. This is important. Harry is my godson.”
Ron sighed. “Fine.”
“It wasn’t a girl.”
After a moment, Ron nodded. Hermione’s eyes widened.
“They weren’t in Gryffindor.”
“They were in Slytherin.”
One more nod made Hermione’s eyes get even bigger.
Hermione gasped, then watched Ron for his reply. Ron looked down, taking a few deep breaths before answering. “Yes.”
“WHAT?!” Hermione lurched to her feet. “How?! When?”
“I don’t know for how long, and I don’t know how it happened. I was taking a walk... to help me sleep one night, and I found them... together.”
Sirius scratched his chin in thought. “Does Harry know you know?”
“Yes. We had a long talk about it,” Ron said, rolling over under the covers and turning his back to Sirius and Hermione. “Harry loves Draco, and he has some false idea that bastard put in his head about how Draco cares about him, too.”
“Really?” Sirius asked, sitting back in his seat. “Harry is usually an excellent judge of character.”
“Yeah. I know.”
“Why didn’t he tell me?” Hermione said with a hurt tone.
Ron shrugged. “Probably the same reason he didn’t tell me. He was afraid we would be horrified by finding out he liked to have sex with a ferret.”
A genuinely confused looked came over Sirius’ face. “Ferret? What?”
“They had sex?” Hermione squeaked. “HARRY?”
Ron rolled his eyes. “It happens sometimes. Sorry to tell ya, Hermione. Harry’s no virgin.”
“Oh, my GOD.”
A laugh startled them both. They turned to look at Sirius, who was unsuccessfully stifling his laughter. “I’m not shocked that Harry likes boys - at least half of the student body ‘declared’ themselves bisexual when I was attending. I could tell you some stories...” Sirius suddenly looked lost in memory.
Hermione, not wanting to hear about Sirius’ sexual escapades, coughed.
Sirius grinned. “And I’m not shocked that Harry’s no longer a virgin. If that boy is anything like his father, which he is-“
“Sorry, sorry. I’m just worried that he got involved with someone from the Malfoy family. There’s never been a Malfoy who wasn’t heavily involved in the Dark Arts.”
“Malfoy said that all of his family had been in Slytherin, and he’s always been the worst of all of the Slytherins! They’re all prejudiced against wizards who aren’t purebloods and Muggle-borns, when there ARE Muggle-borns and such IN Slytherin!.” Hermione pouted, crossing her arms. She couldn’t believe that Harry would involved himself with someone who had called her a ‘Mudblood’ on a regular basis. Shouldn’t Harry have been more loyal to his friends?
Sirius raised an eyebrow. “Sounds like you’re a bit prejudiced against the Slytherins. They’re not all bad. They usually just fight back because everyone treats them badly.”
“But it’s Slytherin!! I don’t understand how Harry could fall for ANY of them, especially Malfoy!!”
“There’s something you kids will learn after you graduate from Hogwarts,” Sirius began, seemingly forgetting that Hogwarts was now effectively closed. “The House rivalry is usually just an excuse to give kids focus on work. If they beat the other houses, they get satisfaction at the same time as learning. Right after we graduated, we learned that not all Slytherins were destined for the Dark Arts.”
“But what about Draco’s father? And Crabbe’s? And Goyle’s?”
“I said not ALL. Some... maybe even most, but not all.” Sirius thoughtfully sat back in his chair. “And not all destined for the Dark Arts are in the Slytherin house.”
“What do you mean?”
“Draco’s mother was a Ravenclaw.”
“What?” Hermione said, her mouth dropping open a bit. “Isn’t that unusual? I thought all the Malfoys were in Slytherin.”
“Narcissa wasn’t always a Malfoy - her brother was in Hufflepuff, in fact. But the Malfoy kids are always boys, and they always make sure to marry a pureblood. The marriages used to be arranged, but the Ministry of Magic made laws against that about 200 years ago.”
“So what Malfoy was doing with Harry is unusual?”
“I suppose. I never really kept track of what any Malfoy was doing. Lucius scared the shit out of me.”
Hermione sat back in her chair with a thoughtful expression on her face. “So how did you discover them, Ron?”
Ron immediately started blushing. “Well... I walked in on them.”
-7 months earlier, Hogwarts-
This had gone too far, too long.
Ron could understand that Harry had to have time on his own so he could deal with everything. Everything that had happened in his entire life, basically... but that was no reason to be out after hours every night.
Harry either had a death wish, or he knew something that Ron didn’t. Harry was still the main target for He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, who was quickly gaining power in the wizarding world. Everyone knew he was back now, and the Ministry was struggling to keep control and prevent people from panicking.
“Voldemort. Call him Voldemort. It doesn’t give him more power if we use his real name. It just lessens your fear of him, and thus lessens his power over all of us.”
Dumbledore’s words from the usual beginning-of-the-year-speech came back to Ron. Students were finally beginning to use the real name, but only in hushed whispers, and they would always look around right after it came from their lips. They acted as if the Dark Lord himself were standing behind them constantly.
Paranoia. Anxiety. Panic attacks. Nearly half the student body had been the hospital wing since the beginning of the year simply from the fear of what was to come.
Harry, on the other hand...
Ron sat up, throwing his legs over the side of his bed. For once, Ron was going to be the fretful overprotective friend. If something happened to Harry while he was wandering the halls at night, Ron would never forgive himself. He hadn’t told Hermione of Harry’s nighttime walks, and he had only questioned Harry once concerning the matter. He had gotten back a quick response of “I need time, Ron. Don’t worry about it.”
The subject was dropped, and wasn’t brought up again.
Ron quietly snuck out of the boys dormitory and into the Gryffindor common room. He stepped out of the portrait hole, and immediately found himself wishing that he had checked to see if Harry had brought his invisibility cloak with him. Ron shrugged, deciding it was too late to go back and see.
Ron set off, walking in a manner where he made absolutely no sound - a little trick he had picked up from his trickster brothers. However, he had no idea where Harry would be. This little search was turning into quite a flop.
Ron paused for a moment, trying to think of where Harry could be. He did like to go up to Astronomy Tower on occasion, as he had told Ron once during their sixth year. ~Why not?~ Ron thought, starting off again in the opposite direction. ~It can’t hurt to look.~
When Ron walked into the tower, he heard two whispering voices, but he couldn’t identify either of them. Astronomy Tower was notorious for the “romantic” setting, so Ron decided to just sneak over and see who it was. It was unlikely that either of them was Harry, since Harry would have told him if he found a girl. However, it still could be Harry, talking to another nightly wandering student, and if it wasn’t, Ron might have a nice piece of blackmail on someone.
Ron peered around the corner and into the darkness. He could see two people entangled in an obviously intimate position, and they were definitely both male figures. ~Ooh. Even more to blackmail with,~ Ron thought, leaning forward to try and catch a glimpse of who they were.
“Oh, gods...” one of the two boys moaned. Ron froze, immediately recognizing that voice although it was dripping with lust. Malfoy.
A grinned formed itself across Ron’s face. Blackmail against MALFOY, of all people. This was a sweet, sweet night.
The grin on Ron’s face immediately dissipated into shock. Oh, GODS, indeed. A flash, and Ron could see both boys quite clearly. Malfoy. And Harry. Oh, no.
He couldn’t move. He sat in his darkened corner, watching the two boys who were formerly enemies shower each other with passion. He wanted to close his eyes as Harry reached up and pulled Malfoy down into a kiss. But Ron simply watched, unable to move, unable to speak, unable to do anything more than just WATCH.
How could Harry do this? He was a traitor - a traitor, a fool... or maybe Malfoy was tricking him somehow. A spell, a potion... this COULDN’T be why Harry was sneaking out every night.
The two lovers stopped moving, apparently having reached their “desire.” Bile rose in Ron’s throat. Harry with MALFOY. It didn’t make any sense.
“Is this why you’ve been gone every night, Harry?” Ron whispered. The two boys turned and looked straight at Ron. Harry’s eyes were wide and wild with guilt.
”No. Don’t say anything. You fucking traitor.” Ron turned around and began sprinting away.
No matter what explanation Harry had, it wouldn’t be enough. Harry could resist the Imperius curse, so he could definitely throw off what spell Malfoy had attempted to cast on him.
Ron could not forgive his best friend. He would not.
-Present Time, Malfoy Manor-
My light, my love...
Too much. This was too much to deal with. Voldemort had revealed too much to Harry. Perhaps he could have dealt with the information in small doses... however, it wasn’t given to him in small doses. It was dumped on him all at once.
Harry was starting to feel again. There were arms around him, shushing him, comforting him. Draco.
A warmth ran through Harry. They’d given him his dragon. Perhaps they weren’t all entirely heartless.
Maybe Voldemort cared for him, in some way...
Harry furiously told his brain to shut up. Yes, Voldemort was his grandfather. His only living relative.
It meant nothing. Not now, at least. Harry would process it later.
But how could a father kill his own daughter?
Harry shivered, and he felt the arms encircling him tighten. He wanted to respond to Draco and let him know how much he appreciated his presence, but he couldn’t move. He couldn’t speak.
~Would you be holding me if you knew what I was, Draco?~ Harry wondered.
He was the Heir of two houses, and those two houses were considered the most powerful. Godric Gryffindor and Salazar Slytherin. Two bloodlines that never should have mixed.
~I should never have existed.~
Harry’s shivering was now uncontrollable. Draco was holding him tighter.
“Harry, please calm down. Come back to me.”
Draco’s voice sounded small and far away. Harry heard, and desperately wanted to call out. He was surrounded by darkness, but he could feel Draco.
Draco... was holding him. Draco’s arms were around HIS body. Harry was finally beginning to piece together his senses. He could feel Draco holding him, which meant he could feel his body.
His voice wasn’t as far away now. Good, good. He was making progress. Avoid the subject matter. Concentrate on the feeling of his body, his existence, realize that he did exist. Don’t think about what Voldemort said.
Avoid the truth.
Harry opened his eyes.
“Harry? Are you all right, love?”
Green eyes blinked wearily, but focused on Draco. “I don’t think so.” He sat up, still leaning on the blond. “Where are we, Draco?”
Harry jerked his head up. “Voldemort is here? In your house?”
“No. The Death Eaters... they brought you to him, and then they brought you back here.”
“To me.” Draco flinched at that. “They brought you to me.”
Harry suddenly sprang at Draco, clasping his arms around his lover. “I don’t care why. And I know they know about us now - Voldemort told me.” Harry kissed the blond deeply, savoring the feeling and taste that he had missed for so long. “God, Draco... I haven’t seen you for almost two months.”
Draco closed his eyes and buried his head in Harry’s shoulder. “They want me to turn you,” he whispered in his lover’s ear.
“Turn me?” Harry whispered back, confused.
“They want me to turn you to our side,” Draco began, then shook his head. “Their side. I don’t know what side I’m on anymore. But Harry... you don’t belong in the dark.”
Harry frowned at his lover, then leaned forward and kissed the blond once more. “Neither do you, Draco,” he whispered.
Draco’s eyes opened wide. “This is what I was raised to be. It was meant to be, from the moment that I was born,” he stated with a trace of his characteristic arrogance, as if he had given that speech several times before.
“Draco, fate and destiny are a stupid thing to believe in. No one’s future in set in stone, especially not yours.”
“Not mine? What do you mean?”
Harry gave a simple smile. “There’s so many levels to you, Draco. You have so many possibilities in front of you. It’s up to you to make the choice.”
Draco studied Harry’s face for a few moments before bringing his hand up to his lover’s cheek. “I don’t have a choice.”
“There’s always a choice for everyone - even me, the god damn ‘Boy Who Lived.’ I can make choices of where my future is going, and so can you.”
Something in Harry’s tone of voice when he said his own nickname made Draco’s blood run cold. But he didn’t mention anything of it, and he smiled instead. “I’m going to get you out of here, Harry. You don’t belong on this side.”
Harry immediately responded. “Only if you come with me.”
Draco blinked. He should have expected that, but he hadn’t. “How... why would I do that?”
“So you won’t be in trouble. If you stay here, they’ll know you helped me get out. You need to come, too.”
“I think this is a time for a choice, then, Harry?” Draco said, the familiar smirk floating onto his face as he stood up. “Stay here and be tortured, killed, or come with you and... be with you.” He grinned, and then he crouched down next to Harry, a serious expression traced on his eyes. “I can make a portkey, but I can’t do it for a few days. Do you think you can hold out until then?”
Harry shivered internally, but didn’t show it to Draco. The thought of being here much longer, and the chance increasing that Voldemort might want to speak with him again...
~No. Don’t think about that,~ Harry thought furiously, all the while remaining calm on the outside, telling Draco, “No problem. As long as I’m with you.”
A brilliant smile made it’s way onto Draco’s face, an unusual thing to see, especially while he was in his own home. “And don’t worry, love...” He leaned forward, his smile turning into a smirk. “You aren’t going anywhere without me.”
I know I said there would be a lot more involved in this chapter, but I want to try and keep all of the chapters about the same length. I know I also said that there would be a different title, but I changed my mind. ^^
Also, I will be editing the first three parts before I post the next part. I seem to find a new typo or a new way of expressing what I want every time I read through.
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