Warning! This story does contain slash. If you are unaware of what slash is or if it's just not something you have a care for, you probably clicked on the wrong link. Sorry. Life sucks, get a helmet. Anyway! Feedback and reviews are always appreciated and flames are mocked and the source of my endless amusement. All standard disclaimers apply. (What's mine is mine and what isn't, well, isn't.) This story contains spoilers for all four books. You have been warned.
The Losing Side
A Harry Potter Fan Fiction
Chapter Four - Reasons and Doubts
"You've picked the losing side, Potter! I warned you! I told you you ought to choose your company more carefully, remember? When we met on the train, first day of Hogwarts? I told you not to hang around with riffraff like this." He jerked his head at Ron and Hermione. "Too late now, Potter! They'll be the first to go, now the Dark Lord's back! Mudbloods and Muggle-lovers first! Well- second- Diggory was the f--" Draco Malfoy (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
"Why the hell did I do that?!" Draco screamed, slamming his fist hard into the stone wall and immediately regretting it as pain shot through his injured arm. "Fuck!" He spat, clutching the wounded appendage and crouching low to the ground. "Stupid, stupid, stupid." He muttered irritably, angry with himself for far too many things to count just now.
He'd saved Harry Potter. He'd injured himself saving Harry fucking Potter. It was stupid, it was utterly ridiculous. He HATED Harry Potter. He'd been so angry after his little confrontation with Potter in the train compartment that he'd told Crabbe and Goyle to sod off and gone back to the last car for some privacy.
The last car of the train was always empty and today had been no exception. He'd needed to be alone after that strange conversation. It was unsettling. Potter had been... had been trying to be... nice to him. He'd even told the Weasel to shut up. What had that been about? Damn him. What was Potter thinking of? Acting as if they were... what? Old friends? What? What the fuck was that?
He doesn't know why I do the things I do? As if he doesn't know I despise him. I'll kill him. I'll kill him with my own hands. I'll... why was he looking at me like that? Why was he...? Why? Draco wrapped his arms tightly around his shaking body. He didn't understand any of this. He'd gone in there spoiling for a fight and he'd gotten one, but why...? Why was he suddenly sorry he'd gone looking for Harry Potter at all? Damn you, Harry Potter.
And then the train skidded to a halt and everything went dark. There were screams from somewhere and they brought Draco to his feet immediately. He glanced towards the window and saw the dark figures outlined against a familiar green haze. "It's starting already?" He breathed softly, unable to tear his gaze from the hooded figures outside. Had they found him yet? Did he care?
Moments later the door slammed open, nearly braining him and he caught only a blur of dark hair and jeans as Harry Potter rushed into the carriage, his gaze searching about frantically before he came to a stop in the middle of the aisle. He watched in dumbfounded horror as Potter turned slowly to face the window, to face the single dark-robed figure that still stood behind the pane.
"Not like this..."
Draco was moving before he realized what he was doing, running towards Harry Potter at full speed. He could see the red light blazing beyond the window. "Get down, you idiot!" He screamed, launching himself full force against Harry as glass shattered around them and white-hot pain scorched across his arm and back.
He must have passed out for the next thing he remembered was being awakened by a rough voice speaking to him. "Hey... um... are you all right up there?"
"No, I'm not all right, stupid." Draco grumbled against Harry's robes, pain flavoring his words. Then it hit him. He'd just saved Harry Potter. His arm and his back were burning with pain because he'd put himself in the line of fire. For Harry Potter of all people. Was stupidity truly contagious? Perhaps, because he suddenly felt just a stupid as he accused Potter of being.
"What hurts? Can you get off me so I can check you out?"
Always the fucking Boy Scout, Draco thought irritably, snatching at Harry's injured arm with his good hand and pulling it tight behind his back until the other boy let out a cry of pain as Draco pushed himself to his feet. Hurts, does it? I hope so, Draco thought feverishly. He considered stomping on Harry's injured arm for good measure, but he simply didn't have the energy.
"Worry about yourself!" Draco hissed finally, tightening his hold on Harry's arm. "I promise you I won't save you again, Potter. Next time I'll let them burn you down. Next time, you'll be known forever as the boy who screamed."
"Malfoy?" Harry asked softly and Draco flinched. He'd said too much. He had to get out of here now, before Harry's suspicions were confirmed. Unsure whether he was angry more with himself or Harry, he released his hold on Harry's arm and pushed himself slowly to his feet. His head spun as he stood, but he forced himself to turn and stumble out of the carriage. He only remembered making it as far as the carriage's entranceway before he'd blacked out.
He'd awoken hours later in the infirmary in a bed near Harry Potter. Things just kept getting worse.
"You're awake. Good." Madam Pomfrey commented, glancing up from where she was tending to Potter's wounded arm. "How's that arm feel?"
Draco frowned, flexing his wrist and wincing as pain shot up his arm. "How the hell do you think it feels?" He grumbled irritably, glaring at the old witch who seemed to be smiling at him. She'd obviously known. Evil hag.
"I thought as much. You might not want to get up from that bed just yet. Those burns were fairly nasty. That spell could very well have killed if it had hit either of you full on." Madam Pomfrey nodded to herself, finishing her work on Harry's arm and resting it gently at his side.
"I don't know what you're talking about." Draco responded, rather cross that the old hag had guessed correctly.
"Oh, don't worry, Mr. Malfoy. I won't be spreading rumors about your strange impulse to save Harry Potter's life. The only people aware of what happened in that carriage are me, Dumbledore, you and Harry. We're a tight-lipped bunch so your reputation should survive this little incident unscathed." She cast an almost motherly glance down at Harry, smoothing his tousled hair with one wrinkled hand. "He was asking about you earlier. Wouldn't even let me tend him till I'd tended you. Poor dear. Can't quite deal with anyone getting hurt because of him. Ever since poor Cedric."
"Why are you telling me this?" Draco demanded, his voice cold.
"Hm? Oh, no reason." The witch replied, a small smile still dancing on her lips as she turned and left the room. The door shut behind her with a quiet snap, but apparently that was enough to disturb Harry's slumber. The dark-haired boy turned his head towards Draco, opening weary green eyes to squint in Draco's direction. "Malfoy?"
"Yeah." Draco replied cautiously, regarding Harry suspiciously.
"Are you all right?"
"Good." Harry commented, his eyes falling closed once more.
Draco almost laughed at the absurdity of it. As if Harry Potter had just woken up to check on him. Ridiculous. And the things the old hag had said. Potter had refused to be treated until he was? How stupid. He glanced towards Harry was more, giving him an assessing look. He didn't look like a great wizard lying there like that. Just a boy. Just an ordinary boy when his eyes were closed and you couldn't see the terrible things he'd been through reflected in those emerald orbs. When he slept his black hair which seemed to have grown longer and more unruly over the summer obscured the lighting bolt scar on his forehead and made him look terribly young. But if you looked closely enough you could see the lines of worry which marred the smooth skin. It was a strange picture, one which Draco didn't think would leave him for a long time. It was almost funny to think that there were droves of dark wizards tripping over themselves to try and kill such a harmless thing.
Shaking himself, Draco averted his eyes quickly. What was he thinking? Was he actually feeling a bit sorry for Harry Potter? Ridiculous. He hated Potter. Hated everything that he was and everything that he stood for. Frowning, Draco rubbed the scar that marred his cheek with the back of his hand. It was due to Harry Potter that he had this scar, not to mention the others that were not quite so obvious. The scars that played havoc with his mind in the dark hours of the night and the scars which covered his back. They were all due in part to the marvelous Harry Potter. Draco glared at the wall beside his hospital bed, accusing it with his eyes of being the cause of all his problems and thought about punching it again. But his aching wrist was enough to restrain him and so he turned his attention towards Potter instead.
"I don't know what I was thinking." Draco hissed, glaring at sleeping boy as he sat back down on his bed. "I should have let them take you then."
"Take me?" Harry asked sleepily, cracking an eye in Draco's direction. "What are you talking about?"
"Nothing. Shut up and go back to sleep." Draco grumbled, flushing darkly at his own carelessness.
Far be it for the great Harry Potter to be anything but be contrary. The dark-haired boy reached out his good hand and seized his glasses from the nightstand, slipping them on his face and sitting up to peer at Draco through the darkened room. "What did you mean by that, Draco?"
"Nothing. Just be grateful your skin is still attached."
"Did you know...?" Harry's gaze narrowed remarkably, his eyes taking on a dangerous glint. "Did you know the train was going to be attacked?"
Draco snorted irritably, "Of course I didn't know."
"But you knew that spell wasn't intended to kill me."
"It was obvious enough. If the Dark Lord wanted to kill you I'm sure he would have had someone do the deed last year." Draco mumbled, silently praying Harry would buy the lie. Not that it was really that far of a stretch.
"I guess so." Harry replied softly, turning his gaze to where his hands were folded against the blankets. "Thank you for what you did back there."
Draco looked up sharply, his gaze narrowing. "As if you had anything to do with it. I still hate you, you know."
"There are worse things." Harry murmured, a strange smile curving his lips. "You'll be in trouble if anyone finds out about this."
Draco shifted uncomfortably, disturbed as much by Harry's words as by that strange little smile. That was not a look he'd come to associate with Harry Potter, but his words had been right on the money. There would be a dreadful punishment if Lucius were to discover this little deviation from the plan. Memories of his own screams echoed in his mind as he starred at the strange expression on Harry Potter's face. "Stop smiling like that. It's giving me the creeps." Draco snapped, curling his arms around his chest and grimacing at the pain that small movement caused.
"Oh?" Harry smiled widened for a moment before disappearing completely. It was like watching a light coming to life within a darkened room. There had been something dark and terrible in the dark-haired boy's gaze for a moment, then it was gone leaving only the normal gaze of a frightened sixteen year old boy in it's place. "Sorry."
"What's wrong with you?" Draco asked, rubbing his injured arm gingerly. Not that he cared, of course.
"I..." Harry faltered and then shrugged his shoulders helplessly. "It's nothing."
"Hmph. Fine. I don't care anyway." Draco grumbled, turning his gaze away from Harry's before the dark-haired boy could do something else to unsettle him. "You're not going to tell anyone about this, are you?"
"No." Harry replied simply. "I won't tell anyone."
"Except the Mudblood and the Weasel, right?"
"Don't call them that." Harry snapped, causing Draco to glance up at him sharply. "I'm not going to tell them. They're my best friends, but there are some things they don't need to know. This is one of them."
"Like what happened at the end of fourth year, right? I heard they don't even know what happened." Draco commented nastily. This was better. He knew how to deal with an angry Harry Potter. An angry Harry Potter was so much easier to hate.
"No, I didn't tell them. But," Harry scooted off his bed and padded across to stand next to Draco's bed, glaring down at him. "Since you felt the need to spread your little theories about it all over school last year, I would be more than happy to enlighten you on the subject."
"Oh, yeah?" Draco replied, gray eyes meeting green without flinching. "Why don't you then?"
"Do you understand what the Cruciatus curse is? I'm sure you do since your father no doubt has schooled you in it's uses and effects. After all, he was there. Your father and so many others, I don't even remember. It hurts, Malfoy. You have no idea how much it hurts." Harry spat viciously, leaning against the bed with his good arm so that he and Draco were practically nose to nose. "But there are worse things. Worse things then the Cruciatus curse. Cedric and I managed to get through the third task together and when we got to the cup, the portkey, we both touched it at the same time. We were both transported to that filthy, god-forsaken graveyard by the portkey. Kill the spare. That's what Voldemort said when he saw he'd caught two people in his little trap instead of one. Kill the spare and then moments later Cedric Diggory was dead." Harry laughed roughly, seemingly unaware of the tears coursing down his cheeks.
"So, no, Malfoy. I didn't sell Cedric to save myself. I would have gladly died in his place, you nasty little sod. And no, I didn't kill him with my own hands though it feels sometimes that I might as well have. And the real Harry Potter is not dead. He is very much alive and he hates you. I hate you." Harry hissed, shaking with the strength of the emotions he'd kept locked inside for so long. "And I'm tired of it. I'm tired of you. I don't know why you saved me on the train, but it hasn't changed anything between us, has it?"
"No." Draco answered softly, silently regretting that Potter's words were true. It didn't change anything. Not for either of them. "Midnight, one week from today. We should have both healed by then."
Harry drew away from the bed of his rival slowly, still trembling. He turned slowly and retreated to his bed. Draco watched him go in silence. Once Harry was safely in his bed once more, Draco slipped beneath the covers of his own bed, shivering slightly. It would all be over soon. One way or another.
"Mind if I ask you one last question, Malfoy?"
"Why is it that you hate me so much?"
"It all leads back to you. Everything terrible in my life. It's all leads back to you."
"That's my answer too."
~to be continued~
Wahoo! Another chapter done. I am a writing machine! That's three in two days. Oh, but that was a very dark, dark sort of chapter. Dark and kind of freaky. This story gets more twisted each and every time I look at it, I don't know what happens.
EVIL SD SEYMOUR GUADO: It's all my doing. Heeheehee...
I wouldn't be surprised. Ever since he came to live on my computer I've been writing nothing but darkness. Freaky. Anyway, another chapter done and all is well. Feedback makes me happy, so please review. Love it, hate it, I don't care. ^_^
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