Things seemed to go back to normal. Classes resumed. Remus took back his position of Defense Professor since the disappearance of Professor Snape. Harry was withdrawn. He just stayed on his bed in his dorm. He came out for classes but that was it. Hermione and Ron were worried about him. He didn't talk to them. He just stayed to himself. One morning, Ron came into their room and walked over to Harry's bed.

"What are you doing?" Harry asked when Ron opened his curtain. Ron didn't respond. He just grabbed Harry's arm and pulled him out of the bed.

"Where are you taking me?"

"You've been cooped up in here. We hardly see you anymore. You are coming down to dinner," Ron ordered, as he pulled Harry down the stairs. Harry sighed as he was manhandled down the stairs. Ron didn't let Harry go until they reached the Great Hall. When he was finally released, Harry was pushed onto the bench where Hermione began filling a plate and putting it in front of him. Harry looked down at the food in front of him. He really didn't feel like eating. He just wanted to go back to bed.

"You haven't eaten much since you came back," Hermione said. "You need to eat. Please Harry." Harry looked down at his food. He picked up his fork and began picking at it. Ron and Hermione watched Harry as he moved the food around on his plate. Ron was about to say something when a parchment popped in front of Harry. Before either one could say anything a new found energy came to Harry and he quickly got up and took the letter out of the Great Hall. Harry went to the first unused classroom and opened the letter.

Dear Alchemist,

How are things going at school? Are things well with you? Professor Snape and I are safe. We're well protected behind the wards and concealment charms that he's put up. There's been no threats from the Dark Lord or any Death Eaters. They probably have no idea where we are, which is why I can't mention anything like that to you. It's very beautiful here, though. We have a little cottage and it's quiet. Lots of nature around, and no people. Except for us of course. Professor Snape has been making me keep up with my lessons. So, no extended vacation for me. It could be way worse though, right? He'll probably make me study all summer too, just in time to start my 7th year materials.

Monster in the Dark

Suddenly feeling much happier than he had in a long time, Harry grabbed a spare quill and parchment lying in the room and began to write back to the "Monster in the Dark." He couldn't help the enormous sense of relief that Draco hadn't forgotten about him. Harry had practically written off as someone he would never hear from again. Harry was pleasantly surprised, and grateful he was wrong.

Dear Monster in the Dark, or better yet, Friend.

I'm so happy to hear from you. I thought I would never hear from you again. I'm glad that you are safe, though I wish I was with you. I wish I could see the beauty that you see. I don't want to be here. The Professor says that I'm safe, but I don't like it here anymore. I don't think I'm safe. I want to be with you. Haha, if someone had told me last year that we would be writing each other and that I would rather have your company that being here, I would have hexed them. But here we are.

Things are still going well. Defense classes have been canceled.

Please don't stop writing to me. It'll give me a reason to get up in the morning.


P.S. As you can see, I changed your name. You are no monster. You are my friend. You have seen a side of me that not even Hermione or Ron have seen. And, if you are determined to have me be called Alchemist, then I think it is only fair that your name have some positivity behind it.

Then Harry sent the letter. He watched the owl disappear from the tower, a feeling of longing settling in his heart. He wanted to follow the owl and stay with Snape and Draco.

Each morning, Harry leapt out of bed and checked the owlery for any sign of a letter from Draco, just in case it came during the night. He waited expectantly at every meal for a piece of parchment to fall by his plate.

And within the span of two days, one did.

Harry was at dinner when it came. It was a big envelope. He opened it and found a parchment and a second envelope inside. The envelope read, "Do not open until you read the letter." Setting the mysterious item aside, Harry opened the trifolded piece of parchment.

"From Malfoy?" Ron asked guardedly.

"Yeah," Harry said, smiling.

"He doing okay?" Hermione continued.

"Yeah, he's doing great," Harry replied. "Wherever he is, it's pretty there." Then he began to read.

Dear Alchemist,

In the other envelope is a portkey. It will take you to where we are staying. Say your farewells to Weasley and Granger and whatever else you need to do. We will be expecting you the evening you get this.

AND FOR THE LOVE OF MERLIN, DON'T SCREW THIS UP. DON'T YOU DARE LOSE THAT PORTKEY. It's already infinitely risky sending you this at all. Let's just hope you get it and it doesn't fall into the hands of some Death Eater.


Your Friend

Harry looked up at his friends unable to contain himself.

"I've got to go," was all Harry said before getting up and dashing out of the Great Hall. Hermione and Ron looked at their friend as he ran out of the Hall. Ron had a knowing look on his face while Hermione was smiling.

Harry took the steps two at a time, heading towards the Gryffindor common room. Once he was there, he ran towards his dorm and began packing. Harry couldn't contain the tears that were in his eyes. They streamed down his cheek as he packed. He was leaving. He was going to be with Snape and Draco. Never did he think that would be something to get excited about, but he couldn't help laughing while he packed.

Once he gathered all his things, Harry opened the other envelope. Looking inside, there was a midnight black quill feather. Sitting on his trunk, Harry pulled the feather out of the envelope and felt the familiar feeling of being transported.

"Professor," Draco called out from his room, running in the study.

"Is there a reason that you are yelling?" Severus said, sitting behind his desk. Draco ran up to the desk and placed Harry's letter on it. Severus looked at the letter and then up at Draco, raising an eyebrow in questioning.

"Harry's miserable," Draco said. "He has to come."

"I thought we'd been through this," Severus sighed, sitting back in his chair.

"Please, Professor, we can't leave Harry there."

"And how do you expect we bring him?" Severus asked.

"We should have never left him," Draco admitted. "He's alone. And he doesn't want to be there."

"Harry doesn't have a target on his back; we do."

"No, Harry doesn't. He just has a scar on his forehead. You promised," Draco said. Severus sighed. He knew it was a risk trying to bring Harry. In the beginning, he didn't want Harry to come with them. Leaving Harry at the school was the right decision. Now, he wished he did bring him. He and Draco still suffered ill-effects from the short time that they had the collars on, so he knew that Harry was probably suffering more.

He admitted to Minerva his true feelings about Harry and that had been the major reason why he wanted to leave Harry at the school. The last thing he wanted was to have his feelings cloud his judgment. He knew he needed to be sharp and aware if he was going to keep himself and Draco alive.

Draco looked at his mentor and sighed, then turned and left Severus' study. Severus watched him leave.

Later that night, Severus wrote a missive and, using the same charm that Harry and Draco were using, he sent out his message.

Receiving a response and his requested item, Severus began.

Harry landed in a room. Never one to exit out of magical transport on his own two feet, landed on his bum.

"HEY!" Harry turned around and saw his new friend looking shocked, standing by the window.

"Hey, Draco," Harry said, getting up off the floor. Draco looked at Harry in disbelief, then rushed towards him and embraced him.

"I just sent the message. Did you even pack?" said a silky baritone voice from the doorway. Harry and Draco released each other and Harry turned towards the door, smiling. "I do believe I said this evening."

"You sent Harry a letter?" Draco asked.

Harry looked from Draco back to Snape. At first he thought that the letter was from Draco, but once he got to the end, he could tell that it wasn't. But still, it surprised him that Snape had written him.


The Lonely God With A Box - And so concludes a raucous adventure.

Mandancie - Yeah, through all the ups and downs and glares I've endured, we have come to an end.

The Lonely God With A Box - And just think…we won't have any more readers with heart contusions. That makes me sad.

Mandancie - Well we could always write another one together. Believe me, there will be plenty of time for our readers to get heart contusions again. (evil smirk)

The Lonely God With A Box - I will hold you to that. In the meantime, the readers are invited to read our other stories, and have lots of heart contusions from those.

Mandancie - Well, until then...