Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter.
A special thanks to The Lonely God With a Box for beta'ing my story.
A/N: I do apologize for the lack of updates for this story. Writer's block is no joke. I was completely stumped as to where I would go with this story. I hope that you like this chapter.
Draco was sitting on the provided cot, his head bowed. He figured they would find out that Potter was missing, but he didn't think that it would be this fast that they found him. He thought he at least would have the entire summer with his godfather, not just two weeks.
Blasted Potter, Draco thought.
The door to the outer cells opened and Draco sat up. He hoped that his godfather would heed his plea of coming to see him.
Kingsley walked up to Draco's cell door, holding a metal collar in his hand.
Draco looked at the object with disgust. He knew what that was, and what it was for. His dad had told him about it many of times
"You have a visitor," Kingsley said, opening the door to Draco's cell.
"My godfather?" Draco asked, slight hope in his voice.
Kingsley didn't answer him.
"Stand up," the Auror ordered.
Draco stood up. Kingsley wasted no time putting the magical dampener collar on the boy. Gripping his forearm, Kingsley pulled Draco out of the cell.
The first tendrils of fear began to creep into the young Slytherin. He had no idea where he was led.
Soon they came up to a door. Kingsley opened it and gave Draco a slight push, deposited the teen inside the room, closing the door behind him.
After a few steps of stumbling, Draco straightened. He never got a chance to get a look at whatever place he was put into before a hand gripped his throat, and he was forcefully pushed into the door behind him.
"What did you do?"
Draco looked up into the livid eyes of his father.
"F-father," Draco gasped. His hands were gripping his father's wrists, trying to pull his father's hand away.
"One job," Lucius seethed. "All you had to do was one simple job."
"Please, father," Draco begged, still trying to pull his father's hand away. That, with the collar around his neck, was not helping his situation.
Draco's vision began to darken as he was not able to get oxygen to his brain.
Lucius looked at his son with disgust as he finally stepped back, removing his hand. Draco slumped unceremoniously on to the floor, gasping and coughing, trying to refill his lungs as well as cleared his head.
"Didn't I tell you that it was to be done this summer?" Lucius growled, sitting down in one of the chairs in the room.
Draco looked up at his father.
"I even gave you the opportunity by letting you stay with your godfather. Why is he still walking around?"
Taking deep breaths, Draco tried to compose himself. Still dizzy from the lack of oxygen he did not try to rise from the floor. He looked up at his father with frightened eyes. He never liked his father. When he was younger, he always wanted to get his father's approval, his love. But after so many times of never living up to the man, Draco no longer looked to this man to give him anything but disappointment and pain.
"And what is this I hear you did to Potter?" Lucius asked, bringing Draco out of his musing.
"Only what you taught me," Draco said, dejectedly. With everything that has happened and not once did his godfather show up after he called for him, Draco did not care what happened to him.
Let them do their worst, he thought. It couldn't be any worse than what this man that is supposed to be my father could do.
Draco leaned back against the door from the floor and looked up at his father, waiting for the next bout of hurt to come his way.
Poppy walked into the study and saw Severus was sitting behind his desk.
"How is he?" Severus asked not looking at the matron.
"Harry's asleep," Poppy said, sitting down across from the Potions Master. "Where's Albus?"
"Dragon needs a solicitor," Severus sighed.
"Are you going to him?"
"I don't know," Severus confessed. "I'm too close to both of them to be of any genuine help to either of them. Why Harry trusts me so much, I'll never understand."
"Why don't you talk to him?" Poppy said. "Ask him. He was very determined to stay."
Severus sighed, letting his head lean back against the back of his chair.
"Did you know that you have a calming presence?" Poppy asked, conversationally.
Severus lifted his head and looked bewildered at the matron sitting across from him. "I think it is why I was the way I was when you brought me back to Hogwarts. I felt safe around you."
"You never told me that," Severus said.
"Never wanted to talk about it. I never spoke about what happened to anyone. I mean you know, but you never asked. I appreciate that, by the way."
"I always figured that if you wanted to tell me what happened, you would."
"Yeah, not that I didn't learn what you did," Poppy smirked.
"You found him, my attacker, didn't you?"
Severus said nothing. He just looked at Poppy.
"You're my Dark Avenging Angel." Tears pooled her eyes.
"How did you know?" Severus asked.
"I've taken care of you since you were twelve years old. Why do you think Albus was so adamant that you are in the hospital wing to recuperate? Even the strongest person has bouts of weakness when they are at their lowest."
Severus lowered his head, no longer able to look at the woman sitting across from him.
"You are your most talkative when you under an extreme medication regimen."
Severus just looked at the matron.
Harry was laying against the headboard, looking up at the ceiling. He thought about what Madam Pomfrey told him. He thought about those terrible two and a half weeks he was in that room. He remembered everything that bastard did to him.
He felt tears burning his throat when he thought of what he made him do. Things that he didn't want to think about, but couldn't help it. In that instant, Harry wanted another bath. Not only did he see in his mind's eye what happened, but he could also feel phantom touches of a mouth and fingers all over his body.
Harry didn't realize that he was breathing heavily. He just knew that his chest started hurting and he couldn't catch his breath. Harry didn't hear someone knocking on the door or even when the door opened.
In the far distance of Harry's mind, he could hear a voice, but it sounded so far away that he could not discern who was talking.
The boy was brought back to awareness when he felt a damp flannel lay across his eyes. The sudden wetness on his skin made him gasp, causing him to take a deep breath, filling his lungs with much-needed air. The rush of blood in his ears seemed to diminish, sounding like cotton was removed from his ears and he could hear clearly.
Harry also noticed that he wasn't laying on the bed anymore. Slightly turning his head, feeling the strong embrace around him, he knew he was completely safe.
"You're not there anymore."
Harry could feel the last bit of tension leaving his body when he heard not the gravely voice of that bastard, but the soothing baritone voice of his professor.
Severus felt the tension leave the child as he seemed to mold against him. He had wanted to come and talk with the child. After what Poppy revealed to him, he wanted to hear for himself why Harry wished to stay here. When he got to the room, he could hear the child whimpering. He opened the door and saw that Harry was in the middle of a flashback. His first instinct was to go to Harry and try to coax him out of his memories, but not knowing what his magic would do to try and protect his body, Severus had to be careful of his attempts. Quickly summoning a damp flannel, he rushed to the side of the bed, sitting down next to Harry. Very carefully, Severus reached under the child's arms. He could feel Harry's magic responding. After the last few days of dealing with it, Severus subconsciously has grown accustomed to it. For a second he was shocked when he felt the boy's magic begin to flare up but instantly stopped. He would later think of what that was about, but right now he had to calm down the boy. He slid the boy's body onto his lap. With deliberate moves of his hands and arms, so to not bring Harry to panic further, Severus slowly wrapped one of his arms around Harry's waist, securing the tense child to him, while his other hand grabbed for the summoned damp flannel that was hovering in the air beside them.
When Severus placed the flannel over Harry's eyes, he felt the child take a deep breath before sagging against him.
Not knowing what else to say, Severus said the only thing that didn't sound like a placating comment. "You're okay." "It's alright." "It will get better." He just didn't think that they warranted saying. They didn't sound like it would be much help at this point, so he just said, "You're not there anymore."
Severus wasn't expecting a response. He wasn't even expecting Harry to acknowledge him, so when Harry opened his mouth, he was floored by what he heard.
"Madam Pomphrey was right," Harry said, his voice muffled by Severus' clothes when he turned his head in the Professor's shoulder.
"What do you mean?" Severus asked, quietly.
"You have a calmness about you," Harry said, sounding drowsy.
Severus expected that memory took a lot out of Harry.
"I feel safe with you," Harry murmured before completely melting into Severus' arms.
Severus knew that he fell asleep after saying that last thing. Severus couldn't help but feel troubled.
"Why do you trust me?" Severus asked looking down at the child in his arms.
Lucius stood up, fixing his pristine clothing, walking towards the door.
"I'm done here," Lucius commanded, knocking on the door with the snake head of his cane.
The door opened, and without a second glance from Lucius, he left the room leaving Draco laying on the floor, tears streaming down the Malfoy heir's face into his once natural hair. Slowly Draco got up from the floor fixing himself before he would be taken back to his cell. When Kingsley walked back into the room, Draco was standing by the table. His head lowered, waiting.
"Come, Draco," Kingsley said, softly.
The almost tenderness of those two words surprised Draco that his head shot up, looking at the Auror.
Draco stiffly walked over to the Auror and allowed himself led back to his cell. Draco said nothing the entire way. Kingsley regarded the boy as they walked the short distance.
This child is a far cry different than the one he picked up at Snape's house, he thought.
Opening the cell, Draco walked in slowly and went straight to the cot. As quickly as he could Draco lowered himself down and faced the wall, his back to Kingsley.
He watched the boy for a moment before turning away and leaving the detention cells.
Draco lay there trying to keep the tears at bay. There was no point of crying. There was no one on his side.
A deep sigh escaped Draco's lips as the first of many traitorous tears leaked from his eyes.
"I'm sorry, Uncle Sev," Draco whispered.
Wrapping his arms around his head, Draco sobbed.
A/N: Thank you to everyone that has stuck with me during the hiatus of this story. Please leave a review letting me know what you think about it.
Many hugs and kisses to you all.