Hey everyone, I'm so sorry this is a week late and it isn't as long as it usually is. My grandparents have been here so I spent time with them before they left this morning. Where should I go from here? I'm becoming less interested in this story and need more ideas. Disclaimer: not mine. Enjoy!
The following four days went by quickly. Harry found he liked spending nights at Malfoy Manor much more than his own house. After breakfast the first day, Harry and Draco found themselves in the pool for the better part of five hours. The only thing that stopped them was when a house elf showed up and announced lunch would be at 12:30, at which point the boys, much like the first time they used the pool, travelled back to their rooms in a giggling mess.
During lunch Severus (who was still being called "Mr. Snape" by Harry, even though both Severus and Draco told him it wasn't necessary) talked with them and subtly tried to find out more of Harry's home life. He was appalled when the young boy accidentally let it slip that one of the beatings he'd received was deserved because he "was a freak".
Severus was angry on behalf of this poor boy who believed that he deserved what he got. When questioned, Harry said that he knew it wasn't normal to be treated as filth. To Severus, the thought that this young six-year-old boy thought that he was the exception was awful.
The following days were spent with Harry carefully concealing his flinches as Draco dragged him around. Harry was given the official tour of the whole mansion, including the secret rooms that Draco sometimes ran off to. Harry still offered to help with cooking and cleaning up after meals but Severus never let him do much work.
Severus tried to ignore Harry's messy hair and glasses (which he was told didn't work until Lucius tuned them to Harry's eyesight) and not relate him to James Potter. They acted completely different, this he realized quickly, but sometimes he would see Harry and despise him. Just for a second, he would loath his existence because his looks brought up the memories he wanted to forget.
Finally, after four days the two weeks were complete and Narcissa and Lucius would be arriving at lunch time. Great.
Severus definitely was looking forward to his quiet home absent of pounding feet and laughing children. However, he would miss the large supply of ingredients he had access to while he was here. He would also (kind of) miss his godson.
He was not, however, looking forward to their return because once Narcissa found out that Severus forbade Draco from having contact with Harry, there would be hell to pay.
"Harry, c'mon, c'mon, come on!"
"Draco! Slow down a little, I'm coming!"
"But they're gonna be here soon and you need to hurry!"
Harry laughed as he was pulled through the hallways.
"We wouldn't need ta' hurry if we came down here ten minutes ago like we were supposed to!" Draco dismissed the words with a swish of his hand.
"Details, details" he muttered and Harry grinned. They eventually made it into the main room where Lucius and Narcissa would be arriving and both boys sat on the couch. Severus had positioned himself into the corner and Harry couldn't help but wonder what made him do that.
A few minutes later (at noon exactly, what was up with purebloods and their punctuality?) the two elder Malfoys came through the floo with a trunk each. Draco grinned and stood and Harry copied him.
"Mother, father, I trust your trip went well?" Narcissa smiled at the sight of her son and opened her arms to welcome him. Draco walked into them and they shared a hug. She was going to answer when Severus interrupted them.
"Since you have returned to take care of the brat, I will be taking my leave." He said calmly and strode towards the fireplace. Narcissa attempted to stop him and get him to stay for lunch but Severus would not hear it.
After he was gone Narcissa turned back to her son and his friend. She smiled warmly at Harry and asked him how the past two weeks had been for him. Harry looked nervously at Draco and glanced at the fire that had changed back from green to orange and gulped. Should he tell the truth? Should he lie? He already attempted to lie enough towards Mrs. Malfoy and had yet to get away with it. But Mr. Snape got him away from the Dursleys and he didn't want to get him in trouble.
Harry threw an anxious glance at Draco who shrugged at his silent question. Unfortunately (or fortunately) Narcissa Malfoy missed nothing and quickly caught on that something happened while they were gone.
"What happened?" She asked her son's friend and gave her best 'don't lie to me' look. Harry looked down at his feet and mumbled quietly.
"My cousin pushed me down the stairs." He said. There, that was the truth. Sure, it was only part of the truth but hopefully Mrs. Malfoy would accept it.
However, Lady Luck didn't seem to be on his side and Narcissa narrowed her eyes. She turned sharply towards Draco.
"Draco," she began, "if your Uncle Severus did something wrong, you would tell me, right?" Draco shrunk back nervously, not expecting to be part of this conversation.
"Pardon?" He asked, trying to stall to figure out an appropriate answer.
"I will repeat myself only once: if something were to happen under Severus's care, you would report it to me, especially if it is particularly important?" Draco nodded the affirmative and Narcissa sat and stared at him, waiting.
After only about thirty seconds of this, Draco broke under the pressure. "Uncle Severus told me I couldn't visit Harry so I didn't see any of my friends until eight or nine days in-"
"Ten," Harry interrupted softly and Draco turned to him.
"Sorry, ten." He agreed, his voice somewhat calmer since it seemed as though his friend wasn't mad at him. "Ten days in, Uncle Severus and I had to go to a muggle store and Harry was there and in really bad shape." Narcissa had to breathe in deeply to still her anger.
"Dragon, didn't I tell you to step on his toes if he was being bad?" She asked and the young blond boy looked away with flushed cheeks.
"I didn't know if I was actually supposed to. Besides, he would probably string me and use my limbs as potion ingredients." Draco nodded as if finalizing his statement and waited for his mother's reaction. Meanwhile, Lucius returned from putting the trunks in their bedroom (when did he leave?) and called quietly for a house elf to bring them tea.
"Okay, okay, you're right. What happened after you saw Harry?"
"Well, I called over Uncle Severus and he apparated us back here to the manor, where he healed most of what he could. Harry was really upset and told us he had to get back to his home but Uncle Sev followed him and saw Harry's uncle get mad at him. So he brought him back. Harry hasn't left since." Narcissa nodded, somewhat calmed. At least Severus did the right thing in the end. But it didn't make up for the fact that he was foolishly resentful of a child due to outward appearances.
"Very well," she relented, "I will speak to him later. Harry, dear, now that your relatives know that someone magical is looking out after you, your life should be a little easier. I'm somewhat pleased that they don't yet know that we Malfoys are magic simply because we can use it to our advantage later. I'm sure if it's ever needed, Severus would be happy to convince them that you're a wonderful child."
Harry was pleasantly surprised that Mrs. Malfoy was so supportive of him and beamed at her. "Thank you Mrs. M- Narcissa." He still had trouble with calling his betters by their first names. "If you'd like to spend time with Draco, I could go back today."
Narcissa shook her head. "That won't be necessary, you can head back tomorrow after lunch." Harry smiled again and gratefully took a cup of tea from Lucius. The two elder Malfoys spent the next three hours talking about their trip and answering Draco's questions – stopping only to eat lunch at twelve-thirty. Time went by quickly and the next day Harry found himself thanking the family for their hospitality.
"I'll come over tomorrow," Draco promised and Harry smiled at him.
"I'll see you then." He said and left quickly for his house. Narcissa and Lucius watched from further away and looked at each other.
"At least he's a little more open with his feelings." Lucius told his wife and she accepted the words.
"Yes, I suppose, but with Severus keeping Draco away, I feel like we took two steps backwards." Her eyes narrowed. "Speaking of that bat, I need to have a word with him." She stomped over to the nearest floo and called over Severus Snape.
As soon as he stepped through, Narcissa had her hand up and was delivering a solid slap in his face. Severus looked surprised for only a moment before returning to his expressionless façade.
"I suppose I deserved that."
Narcissa hissed. "Damn right you did. What were you thinking?! I told you specifically to not judge him and to give the poor boy a chance but you refused to even meet him! Damn it Snape, you should have at least noticed some of the signs."
Severus hung his head in acceptance. "You are right, and I am sorry."
Narcissa stuck her nose up. "You better be. He is but a child, Severus; even the worst of children should not be left to be beaten." Severus knew that everything she was saying was true.
"I apologize again-"
"Have you apologized to Harry?" He stilled.
"No," he answered shortly.
"I didn't think you did. Will you apologize to Harry?"
Severus sniffed. "If I must," he conceded.
"You must." The female informed and Snape dreaded the next time he was see the boy who looked so much like his enemy. "Considering that's out of the way, tell me what condition Harry was in." Severus faltered.
"Cissa… Narcissa it was awful. He was obviously sick and his arm was out of its socket and his ankle was broken. But it was bad because the Dursleys were going to the hospital anyways! Had Harry's ankle not been healed and had he be forced to walk on it often I seriously doubt it would ever be completely healed, even by magic."
Narcissa breathed deeply before straightening her back and setting her chin into a look of defiance.
"We have to do something. Severus, is there any way for you to find out id Dumbledore knows of Harry's current home life? Because I have a strong feeling that he does and I don't like it one bit. And Lucius, could you check the ministry for options on taking Harry in? I doubt the public would let us adopt him, seeing as how he's their hero and the imperious claim might stand in our way."
Both men nodded their agreement and Narcissa breathed a little easier.
Harry walked slowly towards the house of his relatives. He was trying to put off the confrontation for as long as possible. The good thing was that he had high hopes that they would leave him alone, but he also feared that it would not work. But perhaps what he feared most was that it would work; which if that was the case then what would he do?
Harry had always wanted a family. That much he knew for sure. And with meeting Draco Malfoy, Harry felt as if he had finally gained one. For Narcissa was so kind, so welcoming, and Lucius was always there for when one needed him, and Draco was simply a friend, something Harry had never had before. And they were really the ideal family.
But was Harry not worthy of their time? Harry dismissed that immediately – not because he thought it untrue, but because it hurt too much to ponder. Harry knew he was nowhere near the level the Malfoys were on. Harry just, simply put, was not good enough. But he was sad and so filled with longing that until Draco and his family realized that Harry wasn't good enough he was going to spend as much time with them as possible.
But he didn't want to lose them at all, so perhaps he had to become someone they would want.
Harry sighed as he finally reached his uncle's house. He raised his hand and knocked only loud enough to hear. He wasn't scared per se, but he definitely didn't want to be in the company of his relatives.
Vernon Dursley opened the door and Harry stared into his eyes, unblinking. Vernon turned red at the sight of his wife's worthless nephew, but when he refused to do so much as flinch, Vernon shifted uncomfortably. As Harry just held his gaze for a few seconds longer, the large man finally receded and opened the door for Harry to come in, grumbling quietly about "worthless wretches".
Harry was calm but internally began to panic. He entirely didn't want to be here and he wondered if Aunt Petunia or Dudley was informed of Mr. Snape's speech. He walked quietly past the living room where Aunt Petunia stiffened but didn't say anything and ventured onward to his cupboard.
However, before he reached there, Petunia spoke up.
"You aren't sleeping there anymore, boy." Harry looked up in surprise: were they really going to kick him out or make him sleep on a couch? But the woman continued speaking and Harry was stunned. "There's not enough space for you and the supplies so you're moving-" she paused here before resuming. It seemed as though it physically pained her to say this. "You're moving to Dudder's second bedroom."
Harry let a wide smile grace his face. His own room! "Thank you Aunt Petunia." He thanked graciously and reveled in the slightly nauseous look on her face at giving him anything.
It was just like her to blame the move on him by saying that there wasn't enough space. Harry, though, knew it instead had to do with Mr. Snape and his threat towards Uncle Vernon.
Harry wasn't sure what the next day would bring, but as long as there were "freaks" by his side he suspected it would be better than before.