Disclaimer: Harry Potter and all its characters and locations belong to Ms. JK Rowlings
A/N: No matter how much I say I'm sorry for the very long delay, nothing can be done. At least I have this chapter now, so enjoy.
Chapter 14: The Savior
"Draco Malfoy at your service," Draco said with a small nod at George.
"Merlin's toenail!" George literally jumped up when he finally recognized Draco. "How did you do that? I mean I've been staring at you for a day and couldn't recognize you. Then poff, you look like Mal-ferret."
Draco smiled. Nobody has teased him about being a ferret in years. He hated the nickname, but he missed it all the same. It reminded him of who he was; he was Draco Malfoy, archenemies of Harry Potter, though now that's not the case.
George continued to stare at him. He tried to move around to look at him at different angle, but being confined by the chains, he didn't get far. The boy looked almost exactly like Malfoy, but he lost some of his baby fat and grew an inch or two. He still had that pointed nose, blonde hair, and from where he was, George could see that Draco was still shorter than an average boy.
George Weasley was practically gawking at him. Draco was starting to get irked, but was pleased that George hasn't mentioned anything about Harry yet, which was the first reaction he got from said Weasley's sister. After a while of staring at each other, there was an awkward silence, and considering that both parties were from rival families, it was disturbing.
George took the initiative of breaking the ice. Draco, even though he would never admit it, was worried about impressing his girlfriend's brother. With six of them looking out for Ginny's virtues, he would need to all the help he could get to convince the Weasley patriarch that he really cares about Ginny.
"So, what has your ferrety digits been up to?"
Draco didn't know how to respond. His cover was blown, so what was the point of keeping his secrets? "I've been traveling," Draco decided to answer. It was partially true; although, he only went to one place in America.
Before Draco could add more to his response the door creaked open. His dark haired cousin peeked in and, seeing that he was awake, stepped inside.
"Good morning," She greeted the two.
Draco's eyes darkened and he snarled. "You! How could you do this to me?"
Juliet rubbed the temples of her head as if to get rid of a headache. She took a deep breath and answered, "You attacked me first. Your father and I didn't want you hurting yourself anymore than you are. It was either lock you up in the dungeons or send you back to France, and your father has missed you dearly."
Draco's eyebrows burrowed in confusion. "France?"
Juliet sighed showing traces of exhaustion, "Dr. Conner told us you might not even remember anything, or that you might not believe us. I don't know how much Weasley told you, but there are other people staying in the Manor for now. Weasley is a Gryffindor and your father thought you would be safe staying with him."
George didn't understand her logic, and not liking people who act as if he's not there he decided to speak out. "Weasley awake and listening."
Juliet looked at George for the first time, her green eyes boring through his. The moment Juliet and George made eye contact he tried to close his eyes; however, he felt as if he didn't have the strength. He couldn't even move his head. He felt a sudden shock in his head, but it quickly disappeared and he was suddenly getting drowsy.
Draco pulled on the chain. He knew he didn't have the strength to break the bonds, but he made as much noise as possible to try to distract his cousin. "Leave him alone! He has nothing to do with you or me!"
Juliet broke her control over George and turned to Draco. "Do you not remember anything?" She walked to him and cupped his cheek with her right hand. "It has been hard cousin. You have not been yourself for so long."
George shifted in discomfort. By listening to the conversation, he felt as if he was intruding on their privacy.
Juliet ran her thumb over his lips and saw that he clenched his jaw. "I don't know what you're going on about."
Juliet shook her head and lowered her hand. "Your father will see you. Do not say anything that will hurt his feelings," she warned.
Lucius Malfoy paced in front of the dungeon door which supposedly held his son as the Dark Lord said.
The guard on duty looked at him oddly. He had never seen the feared patriarch of the Malfoy family so flustered. The family was known for their void of emotions.
Lucius paused to look at the door. Never in his life had he been so shocked than the day that when he walked into his son's room to check on Lukas and Juliet, only to find that the boy was unconscious and bleeding, and his niece was sitting on the bed brushing her hair as if nothing happened. Already feeling close to the boy, Lucius felt anger rise in him, but he could hardly yell at one of his last living relatives.
The biggest shock was the Dark Lord arriving in the mansion in daylight and ordering him to put the boy in the dungeon. Afterwards, he sat in the library drinking tea with his master who then informed him that his son was alive. Voldemort told him Dumbledore hid Draco and brainwashed him to oppose their cause. To further the personal attack, Draco was given a new identity and sent to live with muggles who corrupted him. To get permission from his master to see his son, he had to agree to an order.
Lucius reached in his pocket and took out a necklace he found in the muggle's home the day he thought his son died. He rubbed the dragon pendant and hoped that Draco would forgive him for what he was about to do.
When Lucius Malfoy entered the dungeon, George yelled out.
"I've always known you were a filthy death eater!"
Lucius stared at him with his gray eyes. He didn't know that a Weasley was captured during the attack and brought to his house. Not wanting George to hear his conversation with the remaining members of his family, he quickly cast a sleeping spell on him.
He turned and looked at the boy next to Juliet. He was disappointed to see Lukas.
Draco took Lucius' reaction as disappointment at seeing him chained up as a spy or actually seeing him alive.
He sneered. "It's good to see you too father."
It was as if fog lifted, and Lucius staggered back as he finally recognized Draco. It must have been the spell Dumbledore cast to hide him. Lucius didn't know whether to hate or feel grateful of Dumbledore. On one side, if he didn't lose Draco he would have never realized exactly how much he cared and needed the boy. On the other hand, Dumbledore stole two years of time with his nephew, no, son.
Lucius silently took a breath. He would make it up to Draco, and be a father the second time around. Softly, he asked, "How have you been? I hope we didn't hurt you too much."
"No, I feel just fine. It's not as if I haven't been chained to the wall before," Draco mockingly responded. Under normal circumstances he never would have spoken to his father with such a bad tone, but he wanted him to know that they were fighting on different sides.
Lucius sighed and took out his wand. He pointed it towards Draco, and with a swish said a spell.
Draco's chains disappeared and he collapsed on the floor. He didn't realized how much they were supporting him against the wall.
Lucius and Juliet went to Draco and helped him to his feet.
"I'm sorry we had to resort to the dungeons," Lucius told Draco. "Dr. Connor told us that you were finally well to return home, but when you started hallucinating and attacked Juliet I didn't know what to do. I didn't want you to hurt yourself again."
Draco couldn't believe that his father said almost the exact thing Juliet told him minutes ago. His father's statement felt rehearsed, and he knew he was lying. He heard Juliet whisper a spell and a chair appeared in front of them. Juliet and Lucius guided Draco to the chair. When Draco sat down, his father kneeled to be at eye level with him. Lucius pushed the hair back away from Draco's face. He looked up at Juliet and asked her to get water and a wash towel. Juliet nodded silently and left the room.
Looking back at Draco, Lucius eyes softened. "She's finally gone. I've noticed that you've been tense around her every since you've returned. Though I don't understand why, from what I've gathered, you two spent a lot of time together in France."
Draco wondered why Lucius was kind towards him. He told the man that he was alive, he was Draco Malfoy. He betrayed him to Dumbledore. Well, he didn't tell him about Dumbledore personally, but it was obvious where that he was a traitor to Voldemort, or so he thought.
"I don't know what you're talking about," Draco replied when he couldn't think of anything else to say. France? He has never been to the country.
Lucius looked down so he wouldn't see his son. "You don't remember anything?" he asked softly.
Draco narrowed his eyes at his father's behavior. The last time he could remember his father openly showing concern for his welfare was before he attended Hogwarts.
"Don't look at me that way Draco," Lucius said when he finally looked up at him. "I hate seeing you like this. I was only concerned for your health."
"You hate seeing me so weak. I'm disgracing the Malfoy name," Draco shouted. "Say it! I know that's what you are thinking."
Draco was expecting his father to hit him for outburst, but it never came. When Lucius remained silent, Draco continued with his verbal onslaught. "You've always told me that muggles were filthy examples of human beings. Does it make you shudder to know that I lived among them? That I slept with one of them?"
Lucius shook his head and smiled. "You were always a dreamer Draco, people used to comment on your active imagination."
Draco saw that his father didn't believe a word he was saying, but before Draco could respond Juliet walked into the dungeon holding a small basin of water, and put it down next to Draco. Why did she always interrupt him?
Lucius was about to take the wash cloth from her, but she insisted that she would clean Draco. He shivered when he felt his cousin's fingers brush against his neck. He suddenly grabbed her hand and stood up to face her.
"What do you think you're doing?" Draco demanded.
Juliet's jaw clenched. "You're hurting me Draco," she told him calmly.
Draco saw his father observing them. Never harm a lady, no matter how much they deserve it. Why wasn't anyone punishing him? What happened to never being able to leave Voldemort without facing death? Juliet silently stared at Draco when he continued to grip her hand tightly.
"What do you want from me?" He yelled in frustration.
Draco froze when his father suddenly pulled him into a hug. A second later, Juliet joined the group.
"My son, everything is going to be okay. You're finally home," Lucius replied.
As Lucius led Draco out of the dungeon, Draco looked over his shoulder at George. He tried to focus on finding a way to get out of the manor and take Ginny's brother with him, but the way his family was acting around him was beginning to bother him. They have been nothing but kind to him ever since he woke up in the dungeons. The Malfoy family was never keen in public displays of affection, and here his father was hugging him. His cousin tended to his wounds, but Draco thought that since she was the one who threw him against the wall in the first place, he didn't have anything to be thankful for.
Lucius saw Draco look back at the Weasley boy. "He's safer in the dungeons. Few people know he is alive. There are many outside of that room who are eager to end his life." Lucius pushed Draco forward.
As the last remaining members of the Malfoy clan walked through the halls of the manor, Draco felt his father stealing glances at him every other minute. Juliet, on the other hand, was holding his hand saying sorry but he did deserve it for manhandling her.
When Draco saw that he was once again in front of his room, he hesitated to walk inside. He sucked in a breath as he walked inside. He walked to the table next to his bed and saw Hogwarts: A History opened face down.
Having rather a good memory, Draco could remember small details, especially in significant events. The day he saved Harry in Privet Drive was one of those days. On that particular evening, he was reading Hogwarts: A History, and he put it face down on the table on page 274. The same page he was currently looking at, two years after the day. It was impossible.
He looked around the room; it was as if he stepped back in time. His old Quidditch posters, exactly the way he put them up in the wall. The silk comforter was still ruffled on the bed. After all, it was the house elves job to clean up after him. His broom was up against the window. Even his owl, Emir, was in his cage by the right corner of the room.
Draco was startled when he felt a hand on his shoulder. "I left it as it was before you left. I know how much you hate me going through your room," Lucius told him.
Draco's head started spinning. This was not happening. How did they fix his room the way he left it, when the day before all his belongings were cleaned out?
Lucius took a quick glance at Juliet, who kept a blank face, when Draco was busy taking in the setup of the room. Giving Draco's shoulder a slight squeeze he said, "You should rest."
Draco didn't know what to say, he wanted to know what was happening. His father would hardly give him any factual information. All he ever got were lies. Lucius always told him that he loved him, but he would always lie.
After he didn't get a respond, Lucius said, "We'll leave you alone for a while."
Draco lay down on the bed. After a few minutes of staring at the ceiling, he was starting to get uncomfortable. He tried fluffing his pillow, but he felt something was under it and found a small book. After flipping through a few pages he realized it was a journal. Wondering why such a thing would be in his room, he read the first page. The first date was September 4, 1995.
How have you been? Me? Everything is different. Dr. Connor told me to keep a journal. He said that it will be easier for me to address this entry to you, besides, who else can understand this twisted little head of mine. I mean even I have trouble understand myself, and you always did have a way of making things less complicated for me. Although my problems then consisted of things such as running over my mums' rosebush, you helped me.
Before I forget, the reason I'm writing to you. I'm losing my mind.
Ron slowly woke up and his first thought was that Pansy Parkinson was a bitch. Yes, Parkinson, the pug faced Slytherin bitch. How could a girl like her be so popular? Maybe not so to the Gryffindor boys, or so Ron thought, but he always heard many of the 5th year and older male students of Hogwarts comment about her bed habits which was said to be "not so bad." Even then, just the thought of her doing such an act, especially her, was so appalling to him. She was so ugly.
With the last thought, he suddenly realized how much pain he was in and moaned. Madame Pomfrey magically appeared at his bedside and tended to him. Five minutes later some horrid tasting potion was forced down his throat. Another minute later Ron was drifting back to sleep. He made a mental note to erase spiders in his list of things to hate and write in Pansy Parkinson to rank number 1.
Ginny walked silently to Dumbledore's office with Harry, Hermione, and Dudley by her side. An order meeting has been called, and once again they were given less than ten minutes to prepare. She was still in her pajamas, which were actually Draco's clothes. She didn't think that he'd mind her taking them from his closet, besides it's not like she hasn't worn his clothes before. With Draco on her mind, she sighed. He hasn't written in almost a week, and she wondered what was happening to him. Was he smitten with the girl Voldemort picked for him? Or did he rethink their relationship and decide that they should break it? Or was he in danger and can't risk sending an owl? So many questions plagued her mind and she had no way to get answers. She wanted to scream.
Harry broke Ginny's train of thought when he whispered to password to the Headmaster's office. They walked up the stairs and when they entered the room, they were pulled into a hug by Bill.
With a kiss on the forehead, Bill asked, "How's my Gin-bug?"
Ginny returned the kiss on his cheek and answered, "I miss my boyfriend."
Bill gave her a small smile. "Don't we all miss that little bugger," he responded. He shook Harry's hand and also gave Hermione a kiss. When they took their seat, it was about five minutes before everybody could be assembled.
Dumbledore started the meeting. "Harry Potter is alive."
With four words, more than two dozen people were shocked and unable to move. Sirius Black burst into tears. Tears of Joy was what Harry associated his actions with. Harry didn't think that the headmaster would reveal the truth so soon. Why didn't they wait for Draco? Are they going to tell the entire school?
Arthur Weasley was the first to speak up. "H-how did that happen?"
Everybody was lulled into silence to hear the answer. Harry looked at Dumbledore, what did the man have in mind?
I hid him was his answer. Simple as that and nobody knew what to say.
"What? You hid him?" Sirius yelled. He was furious. "You hid him and didn't tell us! Why? You could have saved us the grief!"
"You mean saved you the grief," Severus Snape interjected. "Merlin knows the school was better off without that meddlesome boy." He smirked at Harry, who glared back.
Snape was fell back with an expected hit from Sirius. Sirius was going to jump across the table and attack Snape but Harry got in the way.
Sirius shoved him to the floor next to the Potion's professor. "That's where you and your death-eater brother belong boy, next to that scum on the dirt," he hissed.
"Sirius, that is enough!" Dumbledore ordered.
Snape got to his feet, and to Harry's surprise held a hand to him and pulled him up. Snape then proceeded to wipe the dirt off his shoulders with a flick of his wrist, and Harry thanked him.
"Does this give you an idea of what your godfather is really like?" Snape asked Harry loud enough for everyone to hear.
"What did you say Snape?" Sirius demanded.
Snape ignored him and turned to Dumbledore to say, "You should continue with your story Albus."
Dumbledore sighed; the two would never cease to fight. He motioned for everyone to go back to their seats, and only when they obeyed did he continue. "Two years ago, one of my sources, a spy, informed me of an attack on Harry. It was brought to my attention that I could not protect him any longer. Voldemort found of ways to break the spells I cast on Harry. With the short time I was given, I did the best thing at the time. The spy helped me plant a decoy in the muggle house in which Harry was living. Harry was already on his way to Hogwarts when Voldemort arrived to the house. It surprised me to see that Voldemort did not think about the ease it took to dispatch the decoy, but the plan worked none the less. Harry is alive and well."
Dumbledore sat down on his seat and waited for the people to react. "I did not tell anybody about Harry. With the troubled times it was better for less people to know. There were less chances of the information leaking, and jeopardizing Harry's life. I hope you understand my decisions."
Several people nodded. They all knew that Dumbledore only did what he thought was best for all, even though they may disagree with him.
"What gives you the right to make these decisions? What right did you have of hiding Harry from us? You couldn't even protect him in that muggle house? What difference did it make to hide him?" Sirius demanded.
Harry was getting a headache. As much as he loved his godfather, he could stand his yelling. "You want to know what the difference is?" Harry countered.
Sirius turned to him. "Sit down and be quiet! I'm not asking you."
Harry's voice rose. "Harry Potter is alive and you're looking at him."
Sirius along with everybody else in the room gasped.
"No, this is not happening," Draco continued to flip to the pages of the journal. All the entries were addressed to Emily, depicting a life in France he couldn't remember. With Draco's loose hold on the journal, a picture fell out. In it Draco and Juliet were in swim wear playing in a lake. Since when did he ever get along with her? According to the journal he lived with her for two years.
With a knock on the door, the cousin in question walked in holding a tray of food.
"Do I have to be on guard for an attack, or are you in your right mind?" Juliet asked.
"And that would be?"
Juliet set the tray on the bed. "Have you separated reality from fantasy?"
"I don't believe this!" Draco exclaimed. "I don't know how you forged my handwriting, but this journal is fake!"
"Why don't you eat first, then we can talk."
Draco looked at the food wearily.
Juliet sighed and forced a bagel into his hand. "There is nothing wrong with the food. It's not poisoned if that is not what you are thinking." To try to curb his doubt, she took a bite from the bread he was holding.
Draco tried to insist that he wasn't hungry, but his stomach betrayed him when it made a noise. Juliet laughed and Draco felt a sense of De ja vu. Unaware, Draco smiled back at her. Together they ate the food which consisted of bread, butter, and sandwich meats.
"You are awfully silent," Juliet commented after she drank water.
"I don't understand what's happening."
"Do you want me to start from the beginning?"
"No, I want you to start in the part where you torture the bunnies," Draco said dryly.
Juliet's face scrunched up. "I cannot understand your humor."
"I don't like people playing games with me. What kind of twisted plan did you and my father come up with to fool with me? We were never nice to each other before, so why are you playing nurse?"
"You really cannot remember?"
Draco was starting to get frustrated. "What am I supposed to know?"
Juliet reached for the journal. "You have been sick." She paused and hugged the journal to her chest. "When we were in France you, your father brought you to a muggle institution to hide you from his enemies. You, I do not want you to take this badly, were similar to your mother."
Draco bit back the comments he had to her statement about his mother.
"You had," Juliet cleared her throat, "Have a mental illness. You think that Harry Potter is your brother or something of the same story."
Draco laughed. "So this is the big plan to convince me that I've been hallucinating the last few years? Okay keep going, what more do you have?"
Juliet clenched her jaw. "You mock me. Can you not see that I am serious?"
"I did say go on with your story. I'm listening," Draco urged her, over exaggerating interest by leaning forward.
Juliet stood up and sighed. "I know you do not believe anything I say. If you just read the journal you will remember. You should finish your food."
Draco didn't look at Juliet as she left the room. He took another bite off his bread and stared reluctantly at the journal. He wanted to dismiss it as another failing plan of the Dark Lord, but there was doubt on his mind. Ever since his father started using memory charms on him, he has had problems remembering certain events in his life. He still doesn't even have many real memories from ages four through seven. It wasn't until he started attending Hogwarts did he establish a past, something he was sure he could hold onto and was real.
He focused on the journal again, and reached out to hold it in his hands. There was no turning back if he reads it. If what his cousin was telling him was the truth, he lived in France, then all his memories of Ginny and her love would have just been a figment of his imagination. Did he really want to live a lie if it means that he could keep the one person he cared about, Ginny?
There was something about the journal that seemed familiar, and before Draco knew it, he opened to the entry he last left of and started reading.
Harry felt a hand on his shoulder and he knew Dumbledore was standing behind him.
"Thank you Harry for clarifying that you are well and healthy," Dumbledore continued speaking before anyone could comment, "As I've stated before, the reason I hid Harry was to protect him from Voldemort; however, I received a letter from one of my spies stating that the Dark Lord already knows about Harry's whereabouts. It is no longer necessary to hide Mr. Potter. Tomorrow I will inform the student body that Harry has returned to Hogwarts, and I am sure someone in this room will let the information leak in time for it to be on tomorrow's issue of the Daily Prophet."
"Why didn't you do this sooner Albus? The boy has been attending this school for nearly three months. All of us know the Dark Lord would never attack Hogwarts."
"This war has gone on for far too long, and will only end in a battle which all of you know will cost lives. I was hoping to surprise Voldemort by bringing Harry into the fight. He would have been unprepared for the confrontation," Dumbledore explained.
Dumbledore walked to the head of the table. "Are there any comments before I dismiss this meeting?"
Nobody else knew what to say. Mostly everybody was staring in awe at the boy who still lived. Countless amounts of people have died under the wand of the Dark Lord at their first meeting with him, and here was a teenage boy who survived everything Voldemort has thrown at him. Harry Potter, the boy who lived was also their last hope for the defeat of a man who was responsible for the near destruction of the wizarding world. Many people all over the country, including the ones in the room, believed he was the only person who could ultimately defeat the Dark Wizard. The moral of the order has dropped as the war dragged on, but they were sure once Harry Potter emerged as their savior, the light side would be able to become a great army and crush the forces of the Death Eaters.
A/N: Thanks to all the people who reviewed, you guys are the best.