Title: Time out of place
Disclaimers: This story is based on characters and situations created and owned by J.K. Rowling, various publishers including but not limited to Bloomsbury Books, Scholastic Books and Raincoast Books, and Warner Bros., Inc. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended.
Rating: PG-13, for swearwords and some snogging
Pairings: HP/DM, HG/RW, SB/RL, others
Summary: Harry wakes up with a throbbing head, but he soon realizes that a headache is the last thing he has to worry about. And what part does Draco play in it all?
Chapter One: The headache is the least of my problems
Harry's head throbbed.
He tried stretching, and noticed that his muscles were aching. A small moan escaped from his lips, and suddenly he heard footsteps. Someone came closer to wherever he was lying – a bed? It seemed soft enough – and he heard someone say,
"He's waking up!"
It was no doubt Madame Pomfrey, the medi-witch in charge at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
He opened his eyes, fully expecting the familiar surroundings of the Hogwarts Infirmary, but was instead greeted with a small, beautifully decorated room. On the walls hung tapestries in dark red and gold, and furniture was scattered tastefully around the room. On the far side of the room was a large window stretching from the floor and almost up to the ceiling, through which he saw dark skies and rain falling heavily upon the glass.
Right next to the bed, on Harry's left side, stood Madame Pomfrey. She was casting a few healing spells on him, if Harry was right. Harry looked at her; there was something different about her. She was wearing the same uniform she always had on while at Hogwarts, but there was just something. Harry knew he wouldn't be able to tell what it was at the moment, so he just ignored it for now.
Harry tried sitting up, but a strong hand held him back.
"You should lie still for a while, Harry," said a voice Harry knew well.
Harry blinked. "Professor Dumbledore?" he squeaked.
Dumbledore smiled at him, his eyes twinkling. "Hello, Harry. Welcome back. I imagine you have something of a headache from the battle?"
Harry stared at him, not understanding anything. Battle? What battle?
"Now, I suppose I should let you rest a bit, before Poppy has my head. She didn't want either one of you two to have visitors, but I managed to convince her to let me see you."
Harry wondered if he meant Ron, or perhaps Hermione.
"But before I leave you, would you like something to drink?" he asked. "Some tea, or milk perhaps. I'm not giving you any of the stronger stuff, just yet."
Harry stared at him. What was the stronger stuff he was talking about?
"A glass of milk is fine," Harry replied, then did a double take.
That was definitely not his voice.
Luckily, both Madame Pomfrey and Dumbledore had left the room already, so they didn't see the look of bewilderment on Harry's face.
He scrambled quickly out of bed as soon as the door had shut behind the two. As he threw his covers off, he caught sight of his hands. Those were not his hands. They were bigger, and more masculine than his hands. Again, he wondered what in the wizarding world was going on.
He stumbled over to the mirror on the right side of the room. It was a beautiful mirror with a frame of gold, but Harry hardly noticed. He was staring too hard at the face that seemed to belong to him.
His face flew up to trace his changed features. It was still him, he thought, but he looked… older? Yeah, that was it. The childishness of his features had disappeared and been replaced with a harder-looking face. His nose, which had always been small and round, was still fairly small, but now straight and a bit more pointed. His cheekbones looked stronger, his jaw line more defined.
His eyes were still the same emerald green as they'd been his whole life, but they were now framed by a pair of dark, heavy eyebrows and long dark eyelashes.
His hair, while still ebony and completely unruly, was now shoulder length. He found he quite liked that particular change in his appearance. He quickly pulled it back into a small ponytail.
The thing that assured Harry that the person in the mirror still was him, was the scar on his forehead, a scar the shape of a lightning bolt.
But what in the world had happened?
Harry stared at his reflection, still amazed with the changes in his appearance. He was taller now, almost a foot taller than the sixteen-year-old body he was familiar with. His body was still lean and well muscled, but that was not much of a change from before – Harry had always been toned because of Quidditch.
There was one more difference on his body.
A rather large one, right on his chest.
It was a tattoo, and it gave Harry quite a shock, not just by being there, but also what it illustrated.
A few moments later, he heard Dumbledore return and he hurried back to bed. He threw on the covers and tried to look like he hadn't just received the shock of his life.
The Headmaster of Hogwarts entered the room carrying a glass of milk. He set it on the bedside table for Harry. Silence followed, before Harry had gathered enough courage to ask,
"Where is Draco?"
Dumbledore, who'd been watching him with curious blue eyes, frowned slightly. "I was wondering when you were going to ask," he said.
Harry wondered, once again, what was going on. He was happy that he'd read the meaning of the tattoo right, but he still wondered what it really meant. Him and Malfoy? Why in the world would Harry associate with his archenemy like that? Something definitely wasn't right.
"He's in the room next to this one," Dumbledore told him. "He hasn't woken up yet."
Harry wondered what had happened to them, if it had rendered them both unconscious. An accident, or something worse? Battle, the Headmaster had said, but what sort of battle?
"How long was I out?" Harry asked. He figured it would be an all right question to ask, and not one to raise suspicion. He would have to be very careful, though.
"Five days," Dumbledore said. "I must say I was worried when you came back…"
So, not an accident then? It didn't sound like it.
"Can I see him?" Harry didn't know why he asked that. Why he suddenly wanted to see his enemy since six years back. The young Slytherin had stopped at nothing to make Harry's life hell, yet Harry suddenly felt the need to see him.
"Of course," the Headmaster said gently, and once again Harry didn't understand. Normally, Dumbledore would at least wonder why Harry would want to see the son of a Death Eater. He might not ask it out loud, but his eyes would ask for him. Now, Dumbledore had just smiled when Harry asked his question.
Harry swung his legs over the side of the bed. He walked, still a bit unsteadily, over to the door that Dumbledore held open for him. The older wizard then walked before Harry to the door to Malfoy's room. Without another word, he let Harry inside and closed the door behind him. Harry was left alone in the room with Malfoy.
Even though the blonde on the bed didn't look like the Malfoy Harry knew, he still looked more like himself than Harry did.
The Malfoy on the bed didn't look much taller than the one Harry knew, meaning the Slytherin would be several inches shorter than Harry if they stood next to each other. Malfoy's complexion was still as pale as it had always been.
His features had changed, however. The childish roundness around the cheeks was gone, replaced by a razor sharp cheekbones and jaw line. His nose was completely straight, splitting his face evenly. Two thin eyebrows in the same colour as his hair framed his closed eyes. His mouth was still small, his lips full and pale red –
Then Harry realized that he was checking out Malfoy's lips, of all people.
He shook his head to clear it.
He moved forward to stand next to the bed. The Slytherin, Harry noticed, was also sporting the long hair now, but unlike Harry's, Malfoy's hair was completely smooth and straight. It fell softly down just below his shoulders.
Now that Harry stood closer, he also noticed a bruise on Malfoy's left temple. The pale skin looked almost blue.
As if drawn there by an invisible force, Harry reached up and touched the darkened area with his fingertips. He had barely made contact when he felt a jolt of energy shoot through his body, into his hand and disappearing into Malfoy's skin. A bright light began shining right where Harry's fingertips touched Malfoy's temple. A moment later, the energy seemed to explode, for Harry was thrown away from Malfoy, landing several feet away.
Stunned, Harry shook his head.
Completely bewildered, he wondered what had just happened.
Just then, Malfoy gave a small, soft sigh. Harry picked himself up from the floor, and moved forward to the bed. Malfoy's eyelids fluttered, and a moment later, they opened.
Silver eyes met emerald.
"Who are you?" Malfoy spat, trying to sound angry, but his eyes betrayed him. He looked scared, his eyes flitting between Harry and his surroundings. "What do you want?"
Harry, who was still standing by the side of the bed, said, "Calm down, Malfoy. It's me, Harry."
He couldn't help the smile that spread over his lips. Malfoy was still the person Harry knew. If he hadn't been, then he would have recognized Harry – and probably have been a bit nicer (though Harry wasn't completely sure about that). In any case, fright would most likely not have been the most evident emotion on his face, as it was now. Harry couldn't remember the last time he'd seen Malfoy scared.
The blonde on the bed looked searchingly at Harry's face.
"Potter?" he asked finally, his voice filled with disbelief.
"But that's not… you're not…" Malfoy stammered.
Harry decided to help him out. "I don't look like me, no," he said. "But neither do you, so that's okay."
Malfoy's hands flew up to his face. "What?!" he cried. His fingers felt frantically at his changed features, and his mouth fell open as he felt the differences.
Harry looked around the room and saw a small, golden hand-mirror on a table in the corner.
"Accio hand-mirror," he said, pointing his wand at the item, and the mirror flew to his hand. He handed Malfoy the mirror silently.
Malfoy's face still held a look of disbelief as he watched himself in the mirror, but he seemed calmer now that he'd been reassured that he was still him, just a bit changed.
"What happened Potter?" he asked. "What did you do to me this time?"
"Me? I didn't do anything," Harry said, taken aback by the sudden outburst. "For all that I know, you might be behind this."
"Get real, Potter. Why would I do this to us?" Malfoy sneered.
"For the same reason I'd do I to you – none. I don't think it's our fault at all. All I know is that we're definitely not the same anymore."
Malfoy looked at him. Finally, he seemed to decide to put their differences away for the moment, just to be able to figure out where they were.
"What's the last thing you remember?" he asked Harry.
Harry's brow furrowed as he tried to recall something before the darkness he'd just woken up from. Grass? Grass moving towards him quickly…? Darkness, someone yelling… before that, air… Soaring high above the grounds of Hogwarts – Quidditch? Yes, that seemed about right. He'd just seen the Golden Snitch… Someone yelled, "Duck!" at him, but it was a moment too late. Both Bludgers hit him, and he lost control of his broom. He lost his grip on it, and suddenly he was falling… He tried grabbing something on the way down, but it fell with him and then there was the darkness…
"I remember Quidditch," Malfoy said. "Something happened… I saw you falling, and you fell on me. I couldn't hold you though, and I don't think you were really conscious. We fell."
Harry nodded. "I remember Quidditch as well. The Bludgers hit me, but then I don't recall anything at all. Well, there was screaming, but it was black…"
They both fell silent, lost in thought of the Quidditch game and their current situation.
"Where are we?"
It was Malfoy that broke the silence.
Harry shrugged. "I have absolutely no idea. But Dumbledore and Madame Pomfrey are here, and they don't think it's weird that we're different all of a sudden, so… I think it's just us. Something happened when we hit the ground at the pitch. Dumbledore said I'd been out for five days, so I guess the same goes for you."
"Why was I unconscious?"
"I don't know. Dumbledore said we 'came back' from something or somewhere, but he wasn't very specific."
"Since when is that muggle lover specific? He loves talking in riddles."
"Don't call Dumbledore muggle lover like it's something bad," Harry threatened him.
"Or what?" Malfoy spat. "Or else you're going to hex me?"
"Oh, I can think of plenty of horrible things that I could do to you that doesn't involve a wand, Malfoy."
Malfoy kept quiet. He too had obviously noticed the difference between their heights – getting into a fight with Harry could be fatal for the Slytherin. Not that Harry would ever kill him, yet he could inflict a whole lot of damage. Harry was bigger, taller and looked overall stronger than the sleek, petite Malfoy.
A knock on the door saved them from the oncoming fight.
"Come in," said Harry.
Dumbledore, followed by two other people that Harry didn't recognize, came into the room. Harry smiled at the two new people – a young man, and a pregnant young woman – in a greeting. Then he did a double take.
"'Mione? Ron?" he asked.
"Who else, Harry?" Ron asked and grinned at him in a very Ron-like way.
Hermione smiled at him. She looked beautiful, Harry thought. Her brown hair, still a bit bushy but now cut short in a cute 'do, framed a face that much resembled the sixteen-year-old Harry had known. There were changes, but they were subtle, and only made her look like the grown-up she undoubtedly was. Her pregnancy only added to her beauty.
Ron on the other hand had grown into a young man who shone with confidence and trust. There was still something playful about him, but it was less apparent now than it had been in his teens. He was tall – taller than Harry and he towered over the petite Hermione, but Harry still thought they fit exceptionally well together.
"Ah, Draco, I see you are awake. I hoped that Harry here could persuade you into waking up," Dumbledore said, walking over to the bed and turning the attention from Harry and his friends.
Malfoy's face made Harry want to laugh. He looked like a fish out of water with Dumbledore's concern for him showing. Harry would have fun with that later… much later.
"Madame Pomfrey will be by shortly to check up on you, but I believe that she won't find anything wrong with you after Harry healed you."
Malfoy stared at Harry, while Harry stared at Dumbledore. As they both got the impression that Harry had healed before, neither one said anything. This world was turning out to be odder than they first thought.
Ron walked over to Harry and squeezed his shoulder. "Knew you'd make it. Didn't think a small thing like a few Death Eaters would get you. Not after having faced what you've faced – still I must say, we were worried for a while there."
"What – what happened?" Malfoy asked. Harry shot him a look, but Malfoy still looked at the others expectantly. "I don't remember much," the blonde on the bed continued.
"We don't really know," Ron said. "Sirius said everything was going according to plan until more Death Eaters Apparated to the site. Suddenly you had a bunch of muggles in the middle of a wizarding war – that's never a good combination. A whole lot of them got hurt, and you two healed them while Sirius, Rem and the others fought. They couldn't protect you, so one of the Death Eaters got the Cruciatus curse in on you -" he pointed at Malfoy –"And then they got a few curses in on you too, Harry. You'd lost so much energy while you were healing that you were both unconscious. Then the back-up finally came, and Sirius and Rem could take you home."
"You've been unconscious since then," Hermione said, opening her mouth for the first time since she came into the room.
Harry was both shocked and not at how friendly Hermione and Ron were to Malfoy. At home, they would never have been smiling at him, especially Ron. However, since everything else in this world was weird and different, it wasn't that much of a shock.
Madame Pomfrey entered the room. Silence fell over the room as she performed a few check-up spells, and a last healing spell. Finally, she announced, "You're as good as new."
Dumbledore smiled. "Good. Then we should be going back to the school," he said to Madame Pomfrey. "I'm sure Mr and Mrs Weasley here will take good care of these two."
Harry's eyes widened slightly. Ron and Hermione were married? Well, okay, she was expecting, but still… They were married.
Madame Pomfrey nodded, and they said their good byes. A few minutes later, they had Apparated, and Harry and Malfoy were left with Hermione and Ron – or Mr and Mrs Weasley. Harry couldn't get that through his head.
"Well, now that you're up and about again, we can move you back to your normal rooms," Ron said. "No use in separating you anyway."
Harry and Malfoy exchanged looks. What did Ron mean this time? Wisely, they chose to keep quiet. They followed Hermione out of the room in silence. Ron walked behind them.
Hermione led them through the hallway to what looked like the entrance hall, and up the wide stairs. When they reached the top of the stairs, there was an opening so that you could see down into the living room. There were hallways going off in both directions from where they stood, and Hermione led them down the left one. They passed two doors on each side of the hallway and stopped right at the end. Hermione opened the door to reveal another beautifully decorated room. The walls were painted in a light blue, and the curtains were white, moving slightly with the wind coming in from the open window. The floor was covered in a thick, royal blue mat, and in the middle of the room was a large bed.
Harry and Malfoy looked at each other, then at the bed, then back at each other.
"Now, we'll leave you two alone," Hermione said, before adding slyly. "I think you have some catching up to do."
"We'll call when dinner's served," Ron said, then closed the door behind him and his wife.
"They're married?" Malfoy asked incredulously.
"Seems like it," Harry replied, before turning back to the bed.
"I am not sleeping with you," Malfoy said, following Harry's eyes.
"Actually, it seems like you might be," Harry teased. "Seems we're together in this little reality."
Malfoy blushed and growled at him, "I would never be together with you, Potter."
"Am I not your type?" Harry said.
"My type?" Malfoy asked. "Let's just say you're a little too … masculine… for my taste," he spat.
"Oh really? I thought I heard some rumours about you. In those, you didn't seem to mind the masculinity thing."
Malfoy blushed deep red. "I am not – I have not…"
"Oh calm down, you big ninny. I won't tell anyone you're gay. Who would I tell? 'Mione and Ron seems to know pretty well already, don't you think?"
"Well, they seem to think that you're gay as well. Now tell me, why is that?" Malfoy said.
Harry shrugged. "We're in an alternate reality. Who knows? Everything seems to be different here."
Malfoy sat quiet for a few minutes. "What if we're not?"
Harry, who'd lain down on the bed, frowned. "What if we're not what?"
"In an alternate reality?"
"What else would this be?" Harry asked.
"You don't believe what you're saying, you git. Would the two of us be together in the future? With you fighting for the good side? You, the son of Voldemort's right hand man? I really don't think this is the future."
Malfoy sat down and looked at his hands. "I've been on the side of good since the end of last summer, Potter," he said, so quietly Harry barely heard.
"You heard me. No need to say it twice."
"Are you ashamed of it?" Harry asked, sitting up next to the blonde.
Malfoy looked up at him. "Ashamed? No, I'm not ashamed."
"Then why don't you want to say it?" Harry asked.
"So that you can rub it in my face and tell me you were right the whole time? No thanks, Potter, I can manage without that." His voice was cold as ice.
"What – what made you change?" Harry asked.
Malfoy looked at him, then looked away. "That's something I might tell you later, but definitely not now."
Harry wondered why Malfoy was acting so… so out of character. This quiet-talking, almost shy young man was not the Malfoy Harry knew. However, Harry found that he quite liked this version of the Slytherin.
"But… Your father?" Harry said, remembering the older Malfoy.
Malfoy turned and looked at Harry. His expression was unreadable, though Harry thought he could detect sadness and pain in the blonde's eyes.
"Sorry, not my territory," Harry began, but Malfoy cut him off.
"No, Potter, you want to know. Dumbledore will probably tell you sooner or later anyway." He paused, and seemed to ask himself whether this was a good idea or not, for he shrugged to himself before he said, "My father still believes I'm going to be a Death Eater as soon as I've graduated. He has no clue that I've switched sides, and I hope he never will get one, for if he does, he will kill me."
"But he's your father!" Harry exclaimed.
Malfoy eyed him. "You really are naïve, Potter. Do you really think that flesh and blood matters when Voldemort orders him to murder me? I think not. And if Voldemort orders my father to torture me, he will do that as well. And you know what? I don't even think it matters if Voldemort orders him or not. He will kill me just because he's disappointed in me."
He spoke as though he knew from experience, and Harry knew in that moment that the young Malfoy had not had the wonderful, perfect childhood everyone believed he'd had. Harry didn't doubt Lucius' ability to punish his son for one second, and he knew that the methods used would have been cruel to say the least.
"But I doubt that the Boy Who Lived knows anything about such a thing as a father who's disappointed," Malfoy said. "Your relatives probably did everything for you and roll out the red carpet wherever you went."
Harry stared at him. The Dursleys? Roll out the mat for him? Do everything for him? Hah. The day that happened was the day that Dudley's size really was because of big bones.
"The Dursleys would never do that," Harry said. "Roll out the red carpet? They were more likely to roll out the old, grey carpet with holes in it for me to use as a bed, but they would never do anything for me."
Harry had no idea why he was telling Draco Malfoy of all people about how the Dursleys treated him, but it seemed all right for now. After all, Malfoy had shared his bit of information about how it was to live in the Malfoy Manor.
Now Malfoy was the one staring at Harry.
"But – everyone says your relatives treat you like a royalty at home," Malfoy said, a frown on his face.
"In that case, 'everyone' needs to check their sources," Harry said, a sting of bitterness in his voice. "The Dursleys never did anything for me. I was always the one to do their chores – I cleaned their house, mowed their lawn, cooked their food…"
"Could have poisoned them," Malfoy said with a sadistic grin.
"Now why am I not surprised to hear that coming from you?" Harry asked, but there was no malice in his voice. He found himself almost enjoying Malfoy's company; it was rather nice to have him there. In a new world of madness, it was nice to have at least one person to talk to, even if that person happened to be his worst enemy.
"Malfoy?" Harry said, now that silence had fallen upon the room.
"Yes Potter?" the blonde replied.
"Can we be friends, just for now? Just while we're in this crazy place?"
Malfoy, who'd been looking out the window, turned to Harry and the hand Harry had stretched out. "You offering me friendship, Potter?" he asked. "I remember a time when I wasn't good enough for you."
Malfoy's eyes had hardened. Harry looked at him, in the silver eyes that now showed hurt pride, and he suddenly realized that part of why Malfoy hated him so much was probably just that. Harry had denied Malfoy friendship on the first day of school, and Malfoy's pride had been hurt.
"I can't turn back time, Malfoy, but we could try to make it better," Harry said. "We have to pretend to be lovers here – we should probably try to act civil to each other."
Malfoy looked at Harry, and for a long minute, he didn't say anything. Then he finally accepted the outstretched hand.
"All right, Potter, but just while we're here," he said.
Suddenly came a cry from downstairs. "Dinner!" Hermione yelled and Harry walked to the door. He stopped, with his hand on the handle, and said.
"Do remember to call me Harry while we're with other people."
To be continued