Disclaimer: All recognizable characters and settings belong to J.K. Rowling.
"Come on Dobby, we just want to walk around for a bit," Harry had been arguing with the elf for ten minutes about walking outside unsupervised. He hadn't minded Dobby following him around in the castle but he needed a break from having a bodyguard. And he really wanted to spend some time alone with Luna.
"Dobby is to watch out for Harry Potter Sir," Dobby said stubbornly.
"I know, but I want to walk around with Luna for a little bit. Like just a half hour," Harry said. It was a nice evening, though the air was starting to get a bit of chill. It was hard to be alone with Luna in the castle and he thought a walk around the grounds would be nice.
"Is Miss Luna Harry Potter's sweetheart?" Dobby asked with a toothy grin.
Harry felt himself blush. "Yes." He saw Luna grin as he tried to convince the elf. "Please Dobby, we both have our wands. And I have my invisibility cloak with me. We'll be fine."
Dobby hesitated. "For just a half hour. And you's will call Dobby at any sign of danger."
Harry nodded, feeling relieved that the elf agreed. "We will. Thanks Dobby." He took Luna's hand as they walked down the path from the castle.
"It's a nice night," Luna commented.
"You're not cold?" Harry asked.
"No, I always put a warming charm on my scarf," Luna said. "Did I tell you I offered to do the Quidditch commentary again?"
"You did?" Harry grinned. "You asked Professor McGonagall?"
"Yes. The nargles must have been bothering her because she just stared at me for a moment and then one of her eyes began to twitch. Then she just walked away."
Harry hid a laugh. "Yeah, definitely nargles." He stopped walking when they turned the corner, pulling Luna to a sudden stop.
"Look," Harry whispered, pointing to where Malfoy, Crabbe, and Goyle stood, not too far from Hagrid's hut. Wondering what the little ferret was up to, he and Luna stood still, listening.
"I am going to impress the dark lord," Malfoy boasted.
"How? By killing Potter?" Crabbe asked.
"No. The dark lord wants to do that himself." Draco said. "I did have another idea, to kill Dumbledore. But I can't get close to him and I don't know the password to his office. Plus the portraits would probably rat me out. So I had to think of something else."
"Killing Potter?" Goyle asked dumbly.
"No! Merlin, do you two practice being stupid? I told you the dark lord wants to do that," Draco snapped. "I have a different idea. See, I tried to get Greyback to help me kill Dumbledore but he wasn't interested. But now I know what will make him come and wreak havoc on Hogwarts. Lupin."
"The Professor?" Crabbe asked, scratching his cheek.
"Yes. Greyback turned Lupin when he was a child. Something about hating Lupin's father. So I wrote to Greyback and demanded he meet me in the forest. See, I think I found a spell in my father's books to get him past the castle wards. I'm going to offer Greyback the chance to get Lupin and let him attack and kill as many Gryffindors as he wants." Draco finished gleefully. "This will impress the dark lord, rid of us some annoying Gryffindors and maybe I will be rewarded by becoming a death eater this year. Even my father will be impressed with me."
"Why would Greyback want to kill Lupin?"
"Besides being a werewolf and enjoying killing? Lupin turned his back on Greyback's pack. So he'll either want to kill Lupin or force him into his pack. Who cares? It's the chaos and terror that he will cause that will get the dark lord's attention. Plus, if Lupin is killed it will hurt Potter and that is always a plus."
Harry gritted his teeth, starting to move forward but being held back by Luna. "Wait," Luna whispered. "We need to know if Greyback is actually in the forest."
Harry nodded and focused back on Malfoy.
"So Greyback will be in the castle?" Goyle asked uneasily.
"Yes, but don't worry. I'm going to tell him to only focus on the Gryffindors. If you aren't wearing red and gold, you'll be fine," Draco rolled his eyes.
"Uh," Crabbe glanced at Goyle. "Maybe we'll just wait in our common room." They both began hurrying away.
"Cowards," Draco muttered as he headed to the forest.
Harry pulled out his cloak and covered himself and Luna with it. "Come on," he whispered.
Draco went deep into eh forest and then appeared to be waiting impatiently. Finally, there was the sound of something moving behind the trees and Greyback appeared.
Luna gasped and Harry held her closer as they watched.
"What did I tell you about contacting me?" Greyback asked with clear irritation.
"I have a deal I want to make with you," Draco said with a confident voice. "One I think you will like. I can get you past the castle wards."
"So?" Greyback asked in a bored voice.
"So Remus Lupin is in the castle," Draco said eagerly. "You can kill him or take him. All I ask is you attack any Gryffindors you see. Except Potter, he's for the dark lord. Deal?"
"Why would I want to do any of that?"
Draco faltered a bit. "You turned Lupin, right? And he didn't join your pack plus I heard you did it to hurt his father. You can finish your revenge now, I'll help you. And I'll impress the dark lord, it's a win for both of us."
"You know nothing, boy," Greyback snarled. "I gave Remus a gift and if he chooses to not embrace his werewolf side, then that is his problem."
"But – but you can kill him," Draco said a whining voice. "And attack students. It's what your kind does!"
"Yes, you murdering beasts! I'm giving you a chance to kill and even turn students if you want! Now do it!"
Greyback's face darkened. "You presume to tell me what to do?"
"Yes! I'm your better, now do it!" Draco yelled, his face flushed with anger.
"Luna, take the cloak and go get help," Harry said quietly as he watched Greyback's eyes narrow on the blonde.
"No, not without you," Luna argued.
"Luna, please," Harry uncovered himself and gently pushed Luna towards the entrance of the forest. "Please Luna. Get help." He waited and though he couldn't see her, he could hear her footsteps hurrying away.
"I gave you an order!" Draco yelled at the werewolf, who was just staring at him.
Harry brandished his wand and quickly stepped up next to Draco. "Shut up, Malfoy!" he snapped. He looked at Greyback and pointed his wand at him. "Please leave," he said in low voice.
Greyback snorted. "Look at this, a half-blood more polite than a pure-blood."
"Potter's pathetic, he likes strange beasts," Draco spat. He was furious that his plan was not unfolding the way he hoped. And what was Potter doing here? He would ruin everything! This was Draco's chance to impress the dark lord and his father. He'd finally prove himself.
"Malfoy, shut it!" Harry hissed, but it was too late. Greyback moved so fast, one second he was in front of them and the next, he was attacking Draco while still in his human form.
"Ahh!" Draco shrieked as Greyback bit his shoulder and clawed his face. "Stop!"
"Stupefy!" Harry shouted but his spell missed as once again Greyback moved fast, now standing several feet away. His mouth was covered with Malfoy's blood.
Greyback licked his lips.
"I'm a werewolf!" Draco panicked as he fell to the ground, groaning.
"No, I would not give you such a gift. You will never turn." Greyback said with a mean grin. "The scars will never heal, however. You will never belong anywhere. Not with werewolves and not with wizards." And then he was gone, disappearing further into the forest.
"Malfoy," Harry knelt next to his nemesis. The blonde was bleeding a lot.
"Get away from me!" Draco screamed. "This is your fault!"
Before Harry could decide whether to try and help him or punch him, Severus, his mum, Dumbledore and Remus came running.
"Harry!" Lily hurried to her son.
"I'm fine," Harry said, watching as Dumbledore and Remus bent down to check on Draco.
"I'm a werewolf," Draco sobbed.
"Greyback was in his human form when he attacked him," Harry said as Lily continued checking him over and Severus ran a diagnostic.
"Harry's fine," Severus glared at him. "What in Merlin's name made you think coming out here was a good idea?"
"I wanted to know if Greyback was here and he was," Harry said. As the adults looked around uneasily, he added, "He left. He didn't want any part of Malfoy's plan."
"What was his plan?" Dumbledore asked as Remus conjured bandages and began wrapping up Draco's shoulder.
"He said he could get Greyback past the castle wards and that he could kill Remus as long as he attacked as many Gryffindors as possible. Except me, of course. Only the dark lord is allowed to kill me." Harry said sarcastically.
Lily's eyes widened in horror and Severus stiffened.
"Is that so?" Dumbledore stared at the crying blonde.
If Draco heard them, he didn't give any indication. "I don't want to be a werewolf," he said pitifully.
"You won't be," Remus said curtly. "Greyback wasn't in his wolf form, so you haven't been turned. You'll find you have some werewolf tendencies, however. Like a craving for very rare steak."
"Mr. Malfoy needs to be taken to the infirmary," Dumbledore said as he conjured a stretcher and levitated Malfoy onto it.
"You have a lot of explaining to do," Severus said to Harry as they followed Dumbledore out of the forest.
"I know," Harry said. "Wait, where's Luna?"
"Safe inside the castle," Lily said pointedly.
"Could Malfoy had gotten Greyback past the castle wards?" Harry asked as they entered the infirmary. "He said he found a spell in his father's books that would do it."
"The wards on the castle have been re-enforced, I highly doubt that he would have been powerful enough to get through them," Dumbledore said bluntly as Poppy hovered over Draco.
Draco glared at the Headmaster as Poppy worked to close the bite on his shoulder. She used a mixture of powdered silver and dittany to seal the bite and stop it from bleeding. She then worked on the the slashes on Draco's left cheek from Greyback's nails. "They will not heal completely." She said after a moment.
"No, they are curse scars," Remus spoke up. "He will always have them."
"No," Draco paled. "No, get a real healer! A competent healer! Get me the best healer!"
"Mr. Malfoy, no healer will be able to fix this. You shouldn't have tried to lure Greyback here," Dumbledore said. "You are lucky he did not kill you."
"Shut up! Just wait until my father hears about this!" Draco yelled.
Poppy sighed and cast a sleeping spell on him, shaking her head. "I will contact his parents."
"Lucius will not be pleased," Severus said with a sigh.
An hour later, Harry was sitting in his mum's quarters, with Lily and Severus when Dumbledore flooed through.
"Good evening, Albus. Would you like some tea?" Lily asked as she carried a tea tray into the sitting room. "We were just about to have some."
"Yes, please. I could do with a spot of tea, thank you," Dumbledore said, taking a cup and adding several spoons of sugar to it.
Severus rolled his eyes. "Have some tea with your sugar, why don't you?"
"I like it sweet," Dumbledore chuckled before a more serious expression settled across his face. "Lucius sent back a letter, renouncing his son," Dumbledore told them quietly.
"He's really going to turn his back on his own son? Just because of some scars?" Harry asked incredulously.
"In Lucius's eyes, Draco's blood is now tainted," Severus said. "He will not be considered a pure-blood, not in Lucius's eyes. Or Voldemort's. Word will get out about what happened and Lucius will not want to associate himself with any embarrassment or scandal."
"What about Narcissa? Lily asked.
"I do not know," Dumbledore said. "The letter was just from Lucius. Either way, Draco can not stay at Hogwarts. Not after what he tried to do. He will also likely be ostracized in Slytherin so it would not be safe for him to stay, in any case."
Harry glanced over at the still sleeping blonde. "Couldn't happen to a nicer guy," he said sarcastically, hating that he felt sympathy for the Slytherin.
"He would have watched happily as Greyback slaughtered students. And Remus. He wanted the dark mark. He's -" Harry broke off, not understanding why he was so angry and confused.
"It's okay Harry. It's okay to feel bad for him, despite what he tried to do," Lily said softly.
Harry looked away. "I don't feel bad for the prat."
"You do," Severus spoke up. "And that is the difference between you and someone like Draco. Your compassion."
Lily put her arms around her son and he gratefully leaned into her embrace. "You're a good boy, Harry."
Harry gave her an exasperated look. "That makes me sound like I'm five." he huffed in amusement.
"Besides, I don't know if he's that good." Severus smirked. "He did get rid of Dobby and follow Draco into the forest."
"Ah, that's right," Lily said, raising an eyebrow. "I knew there was something we needed to talk about."
"Uh," Harry scratched his head. "Can't you just talk about how I'm a good boy?"
"No," Lily said in amusement.
Dumbledore gave a cough and rose to his feet, his eyes twinkling. "I believe I will take my leave now. Thank you for the tea."
"Don't you want more tea? How about some biscuits?" Harry asked hopefully, wanting to put off the lecture he knew was headed his way.
"No, he doesn't," Severus spoke up.
"Good luck, my boy," Dumbledore patted Harry on the shoulder and then flooed back to his office.
Harry sighed and turned to his mum and Severus, a glum expression on his face. He sat down, folded his hands on his lap and looked up at them. "Okay, I'm ready."
Lily bit her lip to keep from smiling, but it was difficult. Her son could certainly make her laugh and be quite endearing and although Severus had a stern expression on his face as he began to lecture, she knew he felt the same. She sat back and waited for her turn to scold her teenager.
Severus knocked once on the Headmaster's office door. It was the day after the Greyback incident and the news of what had happened to Draco, who was still in the infirmary, was starting to spread. He figured Albus had summoned him to discuss how to proceed.
"Come in, Severus."
Opening the door, Severus raised an eyebrow at a very distraught looking Narcissa Malfoy, who was seated in front of the Headmaster's desk. "Albus, you wished to see me?" He gave Narcissa a brief nod.
"Yes, Severus. Come in. Narcissa is here to discuss Draco." Dumbledore said, his normally twinkling eyes serious.
"Very well." Severus took a seat. "I assumed Draco would be expelled." He gave Dumbledore a challenging look. He couldn't imagine Albus letting what Draco had tried to do go, but this was the same man who merely gave Black a slap on the wrist for almost getting him killed while in school.
"Please," Narcissa whispered. She looked exhausted, paler than usual with dark circles under her eyes. "Please don't expel him. I don't know where to take him, where he will be safe. He can't return to the manor, Lucius will not allow it."
"The students here need to be kept safe from Draco," Severus snapped. "You are aware of what your son tried to do?"
"Yes, the Headmaster told me," Narcissa said. "I didn't know...Lucius has insisted he follow the ways of the dark lord so Draco thought what he was doing, he thought it was something he had to do. Something that he was supposed to do, to please Lucius and the dark lord."
"He would have helped Greyback murder students," Dumbledore said. "He insisted on Gryffindors being the target for the werewolf. He would have arranged a mass murder."
"I know that," Narcissa cried out. "He's been raised to believe that certain lives don't matter. He's been raised to be a death eater by Lucius. I didn't intervene before, first because I hoped the dark lord would never return and then when he did, I was afraid. I hoped Draco wouldn't follow so blindly. This is my failure."
"Your son knows right from wrong," Dumbledore said quietly.
"He does and he doesn't," Narcissa insisted. "Please, his entire life will change now. He will be rejected by those he considered friends. His own father has already rejected him. I just need time to find a way to protect Draco, I can't take him to the manor. I need time to find a safe place for him, I wouldn't put it past Lucius to kill him! He's so angry!"
"Does he know you are not renouncing Draco?" Dumbledore asked.
"No. I can't let him know until I can find us a safe place to live," Narcissa wiped the tears falling from her cheeks. "I love my son. He is now a target for Lucius and the other death eaters. They see him as a monster now. But I don't, he's my son." She said fiercely.
"I doubt Draco would be very comfortable in Slytherin," Dumbledore commented. "Most will turn on him or even want to hurt him now."
"I know that," Narcissa said quietly. "Perhaps he could have a small room of his own?"
"You want special quarters for him?" Severus asked incredulously.
"Not special, just somewhere he won't be the target of attack," Narcissa said. She looked at Severus. "You have made mistakes in your past too, you became a death eater just like I did. Just like Draco wanted to do. As awful as what has happened to my son is, it may be the thing that saves him from following the same dark path we did."
Dumbledore leaned back in his chair. "That is true." He said thoughtfully.
Severus pinched the bridge of his nose. "And if he attempts to do harm to the students?"
"I will talk to him, he will not," Narcissa said with determination.
"If I decide to let him stay," Dumbledore said calmly. "There would be conditions."
"Of course," Narcissa said, looking hopeful.
"He would only be allowed his wand for classes. And he would not be allowed outside, not for Quidditch not for anything. He will be restricted to the quarters I give him, which will only be a small, basic room. Basically the only places he would be allowed is his room, his classes and the library for studying. He may eat in the Great Hall if he wishes, I can put a small, plain table in for him to sit at, if he does not feel comfortable sitting with any of the Houses."
Narcissa took a deep breath and nodded. "I understand and agree."
"But will he?" Dumbledore asked gently.
"He will. I will make sure of it," Narcissa said with determination.
"He will be monitored closely and if he steps out of line, breaks any of these restrictions then he will be expelled immediately." Dumbledore said.
"I understand," Narcissa said softly. "I appreciate this, Headmaster. I love my son, but I do know that he in no way deserves this chance after what he did."
"Like you, I am hoping this will end up being a positive thing," Dumbledore admitted. "I do care for all of my students, and I do not want to see any of them go down a dark path. If Draco can see the error of his ways, if he can see that there is another way besides becoming a death eater...then maybe what happened to him will be worth it."
"Thank you," Narcissa said shakily. She stood up. "I will go explain everything to him now."
"If Lucius finds out that you are still in Draco's life," Severus began.
"He will kill me and Draco," Narcissa said, looking much older than she was. "Believe me, I know. I will find a new home and ward it against Lucius but it will take time. And Severus," she looked at the potions master. "I know you have no reason to believe me, but I am on the side of Potter. Openly, I haven't been able to show it but I hope he wins against the dark lord. If only to keep my Draco safe and out of that monster's clutches," She looked back at Dumbledore. "Again, thank you for his second chance."
After she left, Dumbledore looked at Severus. "I apologize if you are angry about this," he said quietly. "I had every intention of expelling Draco but if he can be saved, I thought it was worth it to try."
"As long as you keep your word that he is out of this castle if he steps out of line," Severus said. "I will be watching very closely."
TBC: I may post a one shot of Narcissa's talk with Draco and her attempt to make him see that he does not want a death eaters life. If I do, I'll post a note at the end of the next chapter. Hope you enjoyed!