Disclaimer: All the characters in this story belong to JK Rowlings.
Summary: The summer after Harry's fourth year, Draco Malfoy saves his life and fakes his death. He hides in America and after two years he returns to England. Features magical Dudley and Draco the spy. Draco/Ginny, Ron/Hermione, Dudley/Lavendar
Chapter 1: The secret
Draco Malfoy walked into a dark room, and joined his father in the circle of Death Eaters. The Death Eaters formed Voldemort's inner circle, and Draco noticed that not all were present. Outwardly, he acted as if his only goal in life was to join Voldemort and his Death Eaters; inwardly he hated Voldemort. He hated the monster that corrupted his father. The monster he was forced to call master. Now the only thing that he wanted was to see that thing be defeated. When he found out about his Death Eater initiation, he immediately went to Dumbledore. If there was someone out there that was against Voldemort, it was the Headmaster. He told Dumbledore that he wanted to help him, so he became a spy for the man, a decision he didn't regret. All the same, it had been anything but easy. Turning to face the Dark Lord, Draco listened to the latest plan.
"By tomorrow everybody in the wizarding world will know that Harry Potter is dead," Voldemort said bluntly.
The gathered Death Eaters started to whisper amongst themselves, but Draco wanted to laugh. It was common knowledge that ever since Potter started attending Hogwarts, Voldemort had tried to kill him every year and failed.
Voldemort motioned for everyone to be quiet and instantly the room fell silent. Again he spoke.
"That fool Dumbledore thought that he could protect Potter. I have found a way to finally kill that meddlesome boy. Harry Potter will not see the light of day ever again. We will attack this evening." He paused. "Are there any questions?"
Someone in the circle walked towards Voldemort and bowed.
"Master, will the others join us?" the man asked.
"No, there is a traitor in their midst. I do not trust them. It will only be the people you see before you now. Is there anything else?"
No one came forward.
"Report to the Muggle household in an hour; kill everybody. We have to act quickly as Dumbledore probably sent someone to live close to the boy." At that, Voldemort told everybody to leave and prepare for the attack.
Lucius turned around and bowed before Voldemort.
"For your son," Voldemort said, handing him a small box. Lucius nodded and turned to Draco. He gave the box to him and Draco looked up at Voldemort. The thing gave him a small nod and walked away. Draco pocketed the box and Lucius put a hand on his shoulder.
"Here is the portkey to your room. When you arrive, you should rest for the attack," Lucius said softly.
"Yes sir." Draco took the portkey from his father. He instantly felt a pull and was transported to his room.
Glancing around, Draco considered his options. He only had fifty minutes to somehow save Potter.
Although Draco disliked Harry, he had to save him; Harry was the only hope the wizarding world had to defeat Voldemort. Locking the door, Draco grabbed a quill and some parchment and began writing a letter to Dumbledore, briefly explaining what had happened during the meeting. Finishing his letter, he tied it to the leg of his eagle owl, Emir, and unlocked the cage door. A gust of wind hit him as he opened the window; outside a thunderstorm was brewing and the wind whipped at his robes. Draco cursed his bad luck; his owl would never reach Dumbledore in time. After releasing Emir, he immediately went to search for two brooms and his father's invisibility cloak. Finding both, he took the box he received from Voldemort and opened it. For a moment, he stared at the glistening pendent of the Dark Mark. Making a final decision, he touched it, and found himself in front of the Dursley household. He frowned at this and hoped that no one had seen him, before focusing on the door before him. He knew Voldemort wanted to make a big show for the muggles. Thinking that he wasted time standing in the rain, he walked to the door and knocked.
For a change, Harry was actually enjoying his dinner with the Dursleys. After returning from Hogwarts, Harry was delighted to find that his cousin Dudley had changed drastically. From what Harry had been told, Dudley had had a new teacher, who happened to be a wizard.
He laughed at the story his cousin told him. He could just imagine Dudley running down the halls screaming and holding onto his butt for dear life after seeing the teacher perform magic one time during detention. Dudley's face was as red as a tomato as Harry fell off his bed, clutching his stomach failing miserably to suppress his laughter.
Glaring at Harry, Dudley continued with his story. His parents had gone to the school board and tried to get rid of the teacher. Unfortunately for them, the man came from a family who was one of the first alumni of Smeltings and therefore was highly respected. When they failed to get rid of the teacher, they took Dudley out of school. True to his character, he had thrown a big fit at the sudden withdrawal. His parents, feeling defeated, put him back to school, warning him to stay away from the man. This turned out to be quite impossible- Dudley, who took immense pleasure in constant bullying, was in detention often…and his wizard teacher happened to be in charge of that very thing.
Over time, Dudley became fond of this teacher, who had a spectacular influence over him (probably because of the sweets that he offered,) and he was now very much interested in the wizarding world. Earlier in the summer –and to Harry's utter surprise- Dudley had asked for forgiveness from Harry for the way he had treated him during the past years. Initially, Harry had thought that it was a trick, but eventually overcame his suspicions; it appeared that Dudley was being sincere for once. This resulted in a friendship that was fast developing.
However, Vernon and Petunia Dursley still had a great fear of magic. When they found out about their son's new-found liking for 'Harry's lot,' they were shocked, and rather horrified, but were unable to do anything. The most important thing for the couple was to make their Dudders happy, and if magic was the thing that their son wanted then there was nothing they would do about it. Their son's friendship did not change anything about the way they treated their nephew, but they refrained from harassing Harry in front of Dudley.
Harry and Dudley were currently discussing Quidditch.
"Isn't it a dangerous sport? Didn't you say people could be killed?" Dudley asked, frowning.
"Well, it is a bit dangerous but it's fun. I don't think many people have been killed playing Quidditch. I mean, we could use magic to mend bones and thing," Harry answered with a dismissive wave of his hand. He was feeling tremendously happy that he finally had someone to talk to during the summer.
A loud knock at the front door made them all jump.
"Harry could you get the door?" Vernon asked of Harry, trying to control his anger. The freak was corrupting his son with magic.
Harry was greatly enjoying watching his aunt and uncle trying to be kind to him, as if that could ever happen; being friends with Dudley had its advantages. Walking slowly to the door, Harry opened it, but when he saw who was standing there on the doorstep, he nearly shut it again.
"Harry, please I need to talk to you," Draco asked. Saying Harry instead of Potter irked him, but he needed the Gryffindor's attention.
It also seemed to bother Harry. This was the first time since he had known Malfoy that he called him by his first name. He frowned at the pointy-faced boy.
"Please, Harry. Just hear me out."
Regretting what he was about to do, Harry opened the door and let Draco Malfoy into the house he had grown up in. He took a moment to study Draco. Soaked from head to toe and carrying two brooms and an invisibility cloak, Draco was steadily dripping water onto the Dursley's peach-coloured carpet. Just then, the Dursley family walked into view- Petunia wrinkling her nose in disgust at the dripping boy. Draco looked at them with surprise. Of all the things to forget, he had forgotten about Potter's family.
"What do you think you're doing, boy? Who is that you're letting into my house?" Vernon yelled at Harry.
Draco frowned, trying to figure out the man's name. Remembering, he said, "Mr. Dursley, please. You have to listen to me. Your entire family is in danger.
It was Harry's turn to look surprised.
Vernon opened his mouth to say something, but Dudley stopped him.
Turning to Harry, Draco continued, "Harry, Voldemort is coming here, and I don't think he wants to have a friendly chat with you."
Harry stared in surprise. Malfoy had actually said Voldemort's name. Then his eyes narrowed in suspicion. "Why should I listen to you Malfoy? For all I know, you could be here on Voldemort's orders."
Draco reached up to his neck and took off the necklace he was wearing. Putting it on the floor, he took out his wand and pointed it at the necklace. Draco muttered a spell, and the necklace transfigured into a Pensieve. Harry was about to comment on doing magic during the summer holidays, but Malfoy interrupted.
"You know what this is, don't you Harry?" Draco asked him.
Harry nodded, and Draco put the tip of his wand to his head and pulled. A silver strand hung from the tip, and he placed the strand in the Pensieve, before stirring the contents with his wand.
"Touch it Harry and see."
Harry didn't know what had come over him as he reached out to touch the liquid inside the Pensieve.
After about ten minutes, Draco pulled a shaken Harry out. He had seen the meeting that Draco had gone to earlier that day.
"How do I know that it's not some elaborate plot you made up with Voldemort?" Harry asked, refusing to take Draco's word.
"You still don't believe me?" Draco asked. How could Potter be so thick, he asked himself.
There was a sharp tapping at the window, and Draco's owl materialised. He was about to make his way to it before Harry opened the window and let the bird inside himself.
Untying the package on the owl's leg, Harry opened it. Draco didn't move to stop him, knowing the package came from Dumbledore.
After Harry had read the letter, he turned to Draco. "You were telling the truth," he said simply, Draco rolled his eyes.
"Finally!" Draco said sarcastically. "We have to hurry – we've wasted enough time." He paused. "What does the letter say?"
"We have to fly to Hogwarts – is that why you brought the brooms?" asked Harry.
"There's also a potion here, but I don't know what it's for," Harry said.
Draco took the package from Harry and examined the potion, before quickly skimming over the letter.
"Harry, we don't have enough time to pack. You have enough time to 'get one thing of importance to you'," said Draco (quoting the letter), and then he turned to the Dursleys. "You guys have to do the same thing."
"I'm not going anywhere and neither is my family," Vernon said, puffing out his chest importantly.
"Do you want to die? Because if you do, then stay here and do nothing!" Draco yelled at Vernon. Stupid git.
"Dad, we have to do what he says," Dudley told his father.
"We are wasting time," Draco said again, looking pointedly at the door.
Dudley looked at his father, pleading with him, but his father didn't do anything.
"Go Harry, get the one thing, anything," Dudley said, and Harry ran to his room.
He opened the door and immediately went to Hedwig's cage, pulling her unceremoniously out.
"Go to Ron," He told the ruffled owl, opening the window and releasing her into the rain. Harry ran to the trunk at the foot of his bed and opened it. He took out his Firebolt and set it next to him. He had to dig to the bottom of the trunk to get his invisibility cloak. He was not going to leave the only thing his father left him, he thought, pulling out the Marauder's map. He was about to close his trunk, but he saw the photo album of his parents. Harry knew at that moment that he wanted to take everything that was in the trunk- everything he owned was in it. He could hear yelling downstairs, so he grabbed the photo album and shut the trunk. He took the invisibility cloak, his broom and the Marauder's map and ran to the door. Looking back at his room, he remembered the four summers he had spent there, before turning and speeding back to the living room.
Draco turned to Dudley.
"So, are you coming with us?" Draco asked.
"Yes," Dudley answered, but Vernon and Petunia began to protest.
"Dudley if you leave us…we… we will disown you," Petunia threatened uncertainly.
Dudley looked at his parents sadly and stepped towards Draco, and Petunia gasped. He took off his watch.
"This is something of importance to me," Dudley said, giving it to Draco.
"Okay, I also need a strand of hair- just pull one strand," Draco told Dudley. Dudley complied, giving a little 'ouch!' as he pulled it out, and gave Draco the strand. Draco took it and put it on the watch. Then he poured some of the potion on it. The watch started changing shape, and Draco muttered a spell, drawing further grumbling from Mr. Dursley. The watch turned into a copy of Dudley, who stood, blinking at the blond boy. When Harry came back, Draco could see that he was holding more than one thing, and was eyeing the two Dudleys in surprise.
"Potter, what's all that?" Draco asked.
Harry wasn't surprised to hear Malfoy switch back to calling him by his last name. "These are the only things I have of my parents," he answered.
Draco was about to comment about extra luggage but decided against it. "I just need a strand of your hair and the one thing."
Harry immediately handed over his Firebolt, which surprised Draco. He had never actually held one, but he resisted the urge to examine it. Harry was sure that Sirius would understand why he gave up the first Christmas present that he had given him. Sirius probably wouldn't care as long as Harry was alive.
Draco did the same thing for Harry's broom that he had for Dudley's watch. When the Harry double was standing in the living room, Draco transfigured the Pensieve back into his necklace and used the it to make his own double.
"There," Draco said, turning to Vernon and Petunia who stood in the living room, their faces fluctuating between anger and shock. "I'm giving you another chance to change your minds."
"I'm not coming with you… you freak!" Vernon yelled, his face even redder than usual.
"If that is your decision," Draco said, and turned to the other two boys. "We have to go Potter, they're coming."
"Do you want to share a broom with your cousin?" Draco asked, forcing the image of the chubby boy and the skinny wizard out of his head.
Harry nodded; he did not trust Draco with Dudley. Images of Malfoy dropping Dudley floated to his mind. He told Dudley they had to go.
Dudley turned to his parents. "Mum, Dad, please come with us," Dudley pleaded urgently.
"How could you choose them over us Dudley?" Petunia asked, tears dripping down her face. Her perfect little boy was leaving them.
"As of now, you are no longer our son," Petunia wept, thinking that it would make Dudley reconsider.
Dudley was actually shocked that his parents would act so coldly towards him, but he remained by Harry's side, who turned and directed Draco out the back door. With a flick of his wand, Draco charmed Harry's glasses to allow him to see him through the invisibility cloak- he didn't miss the odd look Harry was giving him. Harry wondered where Malfoy learned all this magic- death eaters perhaps. Draco mounted his broom and covered himself with the invisibility cloak, while Harry and Dudley shared a broom. When the three boys were up in the air, they saw the Death Eaters appear in front of the house.
"I'm sorry Dudley," Harry told the boy, who was gripping Harry's waist painfully. "I didn't mean to bring you into this mess."
"It's okay Harry, I don't blame you. It is Voldemort's fault," Dudley said firmly.
They saw a green flash, light up the house and Harry knew it was the killing curse. Sadly, he followed Draco. He always wanted to get away from the Dursleys, but not this way- no one deserved to die like that.
Harry usually enjoyed flying, but today he was miserable. Two people had died because of him. He could still see the house he grew up in, flames licking up the sides. It was the sort of thing he expected to find only in history books, portraying Voldemort's first war. It was terrifying.
After what seemed like hours to Harry, he began to wonder if Malfoy knew where he was going. Everything had happened so quickly, he hadn't really thought ahead. Harry looked down and could see nothing because it was raining so hard. He knew that the only way to get to Hogwarts was by the Hogwarts Express.
"Malfoy! How much longer?" Harry yelled. When Malfoy didn't answer, Harry guessed that he didn't hear him, either that or he has no idea where he's going, he thought tiredly, too exhausted to complain. Harry could feel Dudley shivering behind him. Even under the cloak, they were still getting wet.
Suddenly the castle slid into view and Harry couldn't help but think it looked a bit creepy. The usual lights that lit up the castle in the dark were not there. Hogwarts always seemed majestic and now it looked haunted; even Hagrid's hut was dark. Seeing that Malfoy was about to land, Harry followed his example, drawing a faint 'OOF!' from Dudley. Their legs gave way to their weight because of the time they were in the air, and Harry helped Dudley up. Draco was already hurrying towards the door.
Draco knocked, and it opened. Dumbledore greeted them, holding a lantern and letting them inside. He looked sadly at the boys, who didn't know that this was the beginning of a sad and painful journey.