"Well boy, what is your answer? Will you join me or not? I grow impatient!"
Rustling sounds, then a weary, slurred voice speaks from the floor. "I have told you three times already, Lord Voldemort. My answer remains the same - Never."
"Crucio." A muffled scream, then there is silence.
A gravelly baritone addresses the person on the floor. "Draco, you have displeased me." He commands a silent house elf "take him to the dungeons and secure him to the north wall."
"Yes Master." More rustling noises and a grunt of pain are barely audible as the person, Draco, is dragged across the floor and down a flight of stairs.
The unseen observer is forced to accompany the Death Eaters, Lord Voldemort and an unconscious Draco Malfoy to the Malfoy Manor dungeons. The observer is forced to watch, helpless, as the house elf chains Draco, crucifixion style, to the north dungeon wall. He silently screams in commiseration as the Death eaters use crucio after crucio on the helpless blond. The observer stands against a wall, tears streaming down his face, but unable to tear his gaze from the sight of his classmate writhing in agony. After almost ten minutes, Voldemort calls them to stop. The observer rushes over to Draco, heedless of the possible personal risk. He gently caresses the still form's face, eliciting a moan from the boy.
"Please.... help me...." Draco moans deliriously. The observer wishes he could. He can see himself, but it seems that no one else can see him. He cannot make a sound, either. Voldemort glides over Draco and inspects him, standing seemingly unknowingly right next to the observer. The observer is shell shocked. Usually, he is overcome with agony from being even in the same room as Voldemort, but this time he feels nothing.
"Hmmmm. We can't have you missing out on all the fun, can we? Enervate." Draco shoots to awareness with a heart rending scream. He arches his back, trying to escape from the manacles, knowing what is about to come.
"You bastard! Let me go! When I get out of here you will regret the day you were ever born, you MUD BLOOD!" Draco rages at Voldemort. "You think you are so special, but I know the truth! Your father was a MUGGLE! How dare you preach blood purity when you are not pure! You-"
His tirade is cut off mid syllable by a quietly furious "Silencio." Voldemort turns and addresses one of his Death Eaters. "Severus, I assume that you have prepared my requested potions?"
"Master, I have, but I have told you before. When the potions are taken together, the unicorn hair interferes with the"
"Yes, Yes! Just give him the potions!"
"Yes, My Lord." He approaches Draco's struggling form. "My Lord could someone stun him for me? He might knock the vials out of my hands."
Lucius Malfoy raises his wand "Stupefy!" he hissed, still seething over his son's betrayal and refusal of the Dark Mark.
Snape approaches Draco's now still form. A look of pain and anguish crosses his face so briefly that the observer wonders if he just imagined it. Snape quickly administers the two potions, and then backs away to the far side of the room. Draco slowly begins to stir as the effects of the Stupefy wear off.
"Lestrange, Nott! Have you prepared your tools or do you need more time?"
"No, My Lord, we are ready now."
The sounds of a heavy table being wheeled to Draco's semi conscious form forces the observer to whirl around from trying to comfort Draco as best he could. At the sight of a man and a woman - Sirius's murderer he realizes with a burst of fury followed by an abyss of grief- wheeling a cart laden with various strange, lethal looking instruments on it, he backs into the corner next to Draco. He can only watch, petrified, as Nott lovingly picks up a long metal stake from the table and expertly begins to heat it with several spells. Within moments, the tip glows a brilliant white, the next few inches are bright red, and in all over five inches of the stake shimmers with heat. Lestrange picks up a wicked hunting dagger and sharpens it against the whetstone attached to the side of the cart. She then arranges the rest of the table with businesslike precision.
"Enervate." Voldemort yet again brings Draco back to consciousness as Nott gently slides the white hot stake against Draco's left forearm. The reek of burning flesh permeates the air, and his shriek of pain echoes sharply off the dungeon walls.
"Instead of the Dark Mark, isn't this rather fitting, Draco? You have your own mark to remember" Draco's head lolls forward as he slips into unconsciousness. "No passing out again! Enervate! I want you to feel all of this!" Voldemort laughs, a bone chilling sound, and most of his Death Eaters cringe before working up enough courage to laugh with him.
Lestrange moves forward and lightly presses the razor sharp knife edge against the exposed skin on Draco's arm. Again and again she slices his skin open, up one arm and down the other. She starts to play connect - the - gashes with the blade. After she finishes with an area, she holds a pair of surgical forceps, grabs the loose flap, and starts to fillet open his skin. When she encounters resistance, she uses the knife again to continue peeling his skin from his body. She tires of playing with his arms and neck and she slowly slices off the remainder of his torn and muddy robes. She begins again on his torso and upper thigh, creating small gashes and filleting the skin.
Nott continues playing with the hot metal stake, sometimes only bringing it close enough to create second degree burns. Lestrange finds the burns especially fun to play with, and enjoys peeling the skin off the already enflamed nerve endings.
"Do you like what you see?" the observer's horrified gaze snaps from Draco's tortured body to the man standing next to him. Voldemort's hungry, lust filled gaze leisurely travels up and down the observer's body before returning to Draco. "You can save him, Potter, and only you! I dare you to try!"
"HOLY SHIT!!!!" Harry bolted upright out of bed, hands clenched into his sides. He agitatedly ran his fingers through his hair, muttering to himself "It had to be a dream, only a dream." After repeating this mantra for almost ten minutes, he relaxed enough to lie back down and close his eyes. His last coherent thought as he drifted back to sleep puzzled him. "Wait a minute. Why did Malfoy refuse the Dark Mark?"
Just hang on, Draco. We are almost there. With any luck, Dumbledore and Madam Pomfrey will be there to help. How many of those potions have you drank already? Five? Have another. Harry carefully poured another healing potion down Draco's throat and prayed that they would arrive in one piece.
Draco drifted in and out of consciousness as Lestrange and Nott took turns torturing his already broken body. He could vaguely recall, in a few moments of lucidness, that there had been someone there who had tried to comfort him. As soon as he tried to remember more, however, waves of agony and nausea would slam into him and he would be fighting to stay conscious, all rational thought forgotten in his fight for survival. After four hours straight, and Lestrange and Nott had run out of good ideas, the Death Eaters and Voldemort gradually wandered out of the dungeon, leaving him alone with his father.
"Look at you." His father sneered at him, eye level with his position hanging on the wall. "You could have been great, greater than I. You could have ruled second to our Lord. Instead you chose to be weak. You are pathetic."
Draco just closed his bruised and bloody eyes in defeat. Even that simple act caused shooting pain to travel throughout his body. Draco heard his father's heavy tread on the dungeon stairs and then all was mercifully silent.
"Osiris?" A broken voice echoed hollowly off the dungeon walls ten minutes after Lucius Malfoy had left. "Osiris I cough need you. Please help me. Osiris?"
Draco tried not to cry from the effort of speaking, but soon tears cut a meandering path through the blood, bruises, and burns that riddled his face. The salt from his tears stung as it seeped into his many wounds.
Within minutes of his plea for help, a scraping, slithering sound reverberated through the walls.
"OSIRIS!!!" he screamed with all his strength, as agonized sobs wracked his body.
A large black snake slithered out of a drain pipe set in the corner of the stone room. It shot into the room and came to a stop in front of Draco. It curled up on the stone floor, then suddenly reared up and flared a hood from its neck.
"Osiris" he panted, addressing the fifteen foot king cobra. I need you to get someone for me - oh hell, I need to write a letter! Accio quill and parchment!" Miraculously they appeared, even though Draco had no wand. Draco looked over his supplies, noted the Quick Notes DictaQuill, and told it to write.
Dear Potter, no, scratch that, hey Potter- AARGH! Ok, whatever, here it goes:
Potter, Voldemort is an idiot. I am aware that you already knew this, but even still, I have come to that realization myself. I need your help - AAH! The agony! (Loud snapping noise) MY SHOULDER!!!!!! SHIT!!!!!!!!!!! Ok, Potter, you better get here soon. You are the only one that can face Voldemort and live, if all the rumors about you are true. It also doesn't hurt that you can talk to Osiris. Listen, I am in serious trouble and pain over here. Voldemort had me tortured, and I am hanging in my - what is that muggle word? Bottemment? Basebottem, Basement, whatever, it's the bottom of my manor. (Moaning noise) owww, you think I would be used to the pain by now but nooo. it still has to fucking hurt. Oh Gods, anything to take my mind off of the pain. Voldemort in a pink tutu, dancing Swan Lake. OWWWW. My asshole of a father joining him in a white tutu - hahaha- OWW! SHIT! Potter, Help!!!!! aw hell, I am a Malfoy. Malfoys do NOT beg. SHIT. Please Potter, I am beg. beg. beg. urrgh! Begging you. Get here soon!
"Osiris, take this to Potter. Number 4 Privet Drive, Surrey. Please go as fast as you can.."
Crack! Crack! Bang! Crack!
Harry bolted out of bed for the second time. This time, something or someone was slamming into his bedroom window. He blearily looked around and grabbed his glasses from the battered nightstand. As his room jumped into focus, the first thing he saw was Hedwig cowering in her cage. The second thing he saw was a large, dark shape repeatedly hitting his window. Crack! Crack!
"Mmpgrhh?!?" came a bellow from his uncle's room. Great! Less than a week from leaving school and he's already getting into trouble!
He hurried to open the window and let out a squeak of fright as an incredibly large snake tumbled into his room.
"OHMYGOD! What the"
"Ssssssilence! You are Harry Potter, Number Four Privet Drive?" hissed the snake arrogantly.
"Yessssss I am, what do you want?" Harry hissed back in Parseltongue.
"I am Ossirisss, loyal sssservent and friend to Lord Draconisssss Malfoy. He requesssted I give thisss letter to you." Osiris wound his way around Harry's desk and presented a medium sized pouch on the side of his neck. "The letter issss in thisss pouch."
"Fine!" Harry hastily removed the pouch and opened it. "But keep it down! My uncle will kill me if"
A muffled bellow followed by a loud snore shook the walls of Harry's room. He instinctively ducked under his desk and crouched in the space below it. He waited there for what seemed to be an eternity, until Osiris slapped him with its tail.
"Enough, Human! Ssstop cowering! My massster needsssss your help!"
"What? OW!" In his shock, Harry slammed his head against the underside of his desk. "What do you mean Malfoy needsssss my help?" Harry hissed, rubbing his aching head.
"If you would read the letter, you would know."
Harry grudgingly removed the letter from the pouch, sat down at his desk, and started reading. He paused every other line to stare incredulously at the fifteen foot cobra making itself at home on his bed. "Ok, thisss issss weird. VOLDEMORT IN A TUTU???? Malfoy issss ssssstrange.. Sssssso, why sssshould I believe thisssss?"
"Masssster Malfoy told me to tell you what I sssssaw. I heard him calling for help ssssometime late lasssst night. I found him hanging from the dungeon wall, jussst about in piecsssssesssss. He had multiple broken bonesssss, a dissslocated sssshoulder, and cutsss all over hisssss body. He was alssssso burned very badly. He sssssomehow managed to get a quill and paper, even though he had no wand. He then dictated the note and had me deliver it to you."
Harry just stared at the snake while it explained itself and the letter. He could vaguely recall bits and pieces of a weird dream he had had last night, about...Malfoy being tortured?!?! The whole dream came to him in a flash, and he fell off his chair. The last part of his dream repeated itself over and over in his head. "You can save him, Potter, and only you! I dare you to try!" he mumbled to himself. "Wait. ssssso he really wasss tortured? That wasss not jusssst sssome ssstrange dream I had?" He looked directly at the snake, already half convinced to help Draco Malfoy. "Sssso, why ssshould I help him?"
The snake puffed up indignently. "If you do not, I will kill you.." It whipped over to Harry and struck. It stopped just inches from Harry's surprised face.
Harry just stared at the snake, then began to laugh . The snake backed away, confusion etched on its face. "Ssssso?" Harry asked quietly, still shaking with laughter. "Am I ssssuposssed to care if you do that?" Harry sat down on the edge of the bed and rested his head in his hands. After a few seconds, he reached over the snake to turn on his lamp. "Really, Osssirisss, go ahead. Bite away. You would only be doing me a favor." Harry rolled up the sleeves of the black, long sleeve shirt he was wearing. Jagged scars adorned the insides of his wrists and forearms. "Ssssee? I can't work up the courage to actually kill myself. If you kill me, then I don't have to deal with that assssshole Voldemort any more, and I get to be with my parentssss in the Afterlife. Even if there issss no afterlife and I don't get to sssssee them, I sssstill would no longer have to deal with Voldemort. My death is a plussss, in my eyessss."
The snake hissed in exasperation. "Look, Harry Potter. My masssster doessss not want to die! Esssspecssssially at the hands of that inssssane bassstard, Voldemort. Would you pleassssse help him?! I don't care what you do afterwardsssss. Kill yoursssself, or I will kill you, or you decsssside to live. I do not care. JUSSSST HELP MY MASSSSSTER!"
"You know, I had already decsssided to help him. You didn't have to ssssshout. Hang on. Let me find my pantssss." Harry dug around his room until he found a pair of slightly baggy black jeans. He had somehow gotten then, probably from his aunt. He didn't have the slightest clue why she would buy him clothing. She never had before. All he knew is that they just appeared in his drawer the morning after he arrived from Hogwarts, along with several black shirts, and a nice pair of black boots. He vaguely remembered wishing he had better clothes after looking through Dudley's castoffs, and they were there the next morning. He didn't question a good thing.
Harry quickly dressed and decided that Dumbledore and Ron should know where he went, just in case something happened. He pulled out a pen and two sheets of paper from his desk and started to write.
Ron- I'm off to rescue Malfoy. To make a long story short, yes I have gone mental, otherwise why would I be doing this? I had a horrible nightmare, that Malfoy had refused the Mark and Voldemort was torturing him because of that. Anyway, Malfoy's pet cobra is in my room and I am talking to it. Seems that it was NOT a dream, and I have to go save his sorry ass. My trunk is still packed and under the stairs in the cupboard. If I do not write to you within twenty four hours, I am probably in trouble and need help. Could you come by and get my trunk before rescuing me and keep it with you? Thanks. Harry
Professor Dumbledore- I need your help. I had a really weird dream last night. I saw Draco Malfoy refuse the Dark Mark and was then tortured. He was in really bad shape. Then, his fifteen foot cobra came to my house. Osiris, the cobra, told me what condition Malfoy was in, as of when he left, and Draco Malfoy needs immediate medical attention. The thing is, I do not think Voldemort will let anyone else get Malfoy. He told me, in this dream, that I am the only one that can save him. Yes, I suspect a trap, in fact I am almost sure of it, but he is going to die. I do not know why I am doing this, but all I know is that he needs my help. Assuming that I am not captured and killed, please have the Floo Network connected to Number Four Privet. Could you please let Madam Pomfrey know that she is going to have, at the least, one patient? Thanks, Harry Potter
"My day just keeps getting better and better." Harry groused to himself quietly. "First that horrible dream, and now this... Ok, the lettersssss are written" he informed Osiris. "Let me get my invissssibility cloak, wand, and broom, and we will go." Harry lifted up the floorboards in the corner of his room and retrieved his cloak and broom, both of which he had shrunk before leaving Hogwarts. He quickly enlarged them and thought for a minute. He grabbed the letters and cautiously approached the still terrified owl.
"Hedwig." Harry eased the quivering bird out of the cage. "Osiris won't hurt you, love. I need you to take these letters to Ron and Professor Dumbledore as soon as possible. Go to Dumbledore first, then Ron. After you are done, come back here right away, all right? I will make sure the window is open for you."
After Hedwig had flown off, he picked up Osiris and wrapped him around his torso. He then wrapped the cloak around him, mounted his broom, and took off for Malfoy Manor.
A little over four hours later, a very sore Harry Potter arrived at what looked like the gates of a large castle. Only Osiris's insistent hissing in his ear kept him from gaping like a tourist. Under the cobra's directions, he guided his broom around to the back of the manor.
"There", hissed Osiris. "That back door. It iss never ussssed, and it issss fairly close to the dungeon accsssessssssss." Harry manuvered the broom and quickly landed.
"Hey, Osssirisss, I dont mean to be rude, but where the hell are the wardsssss around this placssse? I thought Malfoy Manor wasssss unplottable, and no one could get onto the property." Osiris thought for a minute, but didn't know what could have happened. Harry cautiously opened the door and shrank his broom. He put the now matchstick sized broom in his pocket and crept inside.
"You can put me down now" Osiris hissed. Harry hastily unwound the giant serpent from his body, and Osiris slid to the ground noiselessly. "Follow me closssssely" Osiris instructed. Osiris paused, trying to decide the easiest path to take, with the smallest chance of being caught. He led Harry up a winding staircase to the main floor of the manor. They passed several house elves dusting the many suits of armor and cleaning the paintings. They squealed in terror of the enormous snake and rapidly disappeared. Harry and Osiris crept through several hallways, avoiding at all costs anyone who might be walking around. About ten minutes into the trek, they heard raised voices in one of the rooms ahead of them. Harry, upon hearing the conversation, flattened himself against a wall in between two suits of armor and listened in.
"Hey, that kid is late! Shouldn't he be here by now?" complained a low, gravelly voice. Harry wondered What kid? as he crept closer to the open door. A second voice, which sounded suspiciously like Professor Snape's replied "Potter was given that dream over fifteen hours ago. Wait a minute! Potter doesn't even know where Malfoy Manor is! How could he get here?" The first voice replied, sounding slightly frantic "Who do we tell about this? LUCIUS! WE HAVE A PROBLEM!" he yelled. Two cloaked and masked figures ran out of the room. The taller of the two stopped running and walked slowly back to the room. He looked suspiciously at the space of wall where Harry was currently standing, then at Osiris. He seemed to come to terms with whatever personal war he had within himself and removed the mask. Harry nearly cried out in relief. It was Professor Snape. Harry lowered the hood only enough to show his eyes, and then put the hood quickly back into place. Professor Snape glared for a minute, and then gave a small grin.
"So, when is the cavalry coming? Oh, wait, that would be unlike Potter. He always rushes ahead and does the foolish thing like rescue people. Gods know that young Master Malfoy needs a rescue. Well, My Lord's plan is going well. Too bad he knocked out the wards of Malfoy Manor, and no other wards will be knocked out. I tried to tell him that the unicorn hair reacts badly with the powdered gryphon's hook. The location potion completely negates the Destructio potion. That is really too bad. Oh well, I might as well go down into the dungeons. Draco will need a blood restoring potion if Potter doesn't get here soon." With that, Snape turned and walked down the hallway. Harry hurried to follow, walking as silently as possible. Snape hissed quietly "I hope Potter isn't too quiet, lest we should miss his footsteps!" Harry quietly hissed the enlargement spell and mounted his broom. He silently glided behind the Potions Master down into the dungeons.
Snape swept into the main dungeon, and turned to his left. He quietly announced "When I go to treat Draco, I follow the hallway to the furthest door on the right, but through this door I keep all of my healing potions and potions supplies." Then he walked into the potions room and closed the door. Harry followed the hallway. It seemed to go on forever. There were many rooms branching off from the main path. Harry didn't even want to know the kinds of instruments they kept down there. As Harry approached the last door on the right, he was able to hear faint moans coming from the room. He broke into a run and skidded to a halt inside the dungeon. Draco hung limply from manacles clamped around his wrists. Burns covered his body, and it looked as if the skin on his left thigh and right shoulder had been completely peeled off. His lower right leg had been crushed at some point, and his ribs had been pulverized. Both shoulders had been dislocated, and all the fingers of his right hand had been broken. Harry moved forward and drew his wand to remove the chains.
"Aloha - OWW!" An electrical bolt originating from the manacles slammed Harry into the wall.
"Who's there?" croaked Draco. "Potter, is that you?" He opened his eyes slowly and hope filled his mangled features as he desperately looked around for whatever had made that noise. Disappointment flooded his face when he didn't see anyone there. "Oh hell, I'm hallucinating again."
"Malfoy, will you shut up?" hissed Harry, looking around to make sure no one was within hearing distance. "No, you aren't hallucinating. I'm trying to get you out of here as fast as I can."
Relief once again etched itself on Draco's face. "Careful, the locks are warded against magic."
"You could have told me before I tried to use magic to undo them."
"Sorry" Draco muttered." I didn't know you were here. In fact, I didn't think you would even come for me."
"Osiris was rather persuasive. Besides, I had nothing better to do with myself. Summer was getting boring." Harry laughed quietly. Harry turned and muttered a spell at a stick of gum he had in his pocket. It transfigured into a small, pliable piece of metal. Within seconds, Harry had picked the locks and had Draco wrapped in his invisibility cloak.
" You would think, being a Halfblood like me and growing up in a Muggle orphanage and all, MoldyWart would know that lock picking works better than spells in most cases" Harry said lightly. Draco barely nodded in agreement. His wounds, which had gone numb for a while, suddenly flared into agony again as Harry tried to move him away from the wall and over to the Firebolt in the corner.
"Sorry Draco, but I think this will be easier for both of us if I petrify you and steer you around. You won't move as much and your wounds won't break open. Is that ok?" Harry asked, genuinely concerned. He set Draco on the ground next to the Firebolt and picked up his wand.
"Petr- Huh?" A loud tread could be heard running down the hallway. Harry ducked behind Draco in the cloak and hoped that it was Snape coming through the doorway.
"Draco! I - What the FUCK?!?!?" Lucius Malfoy decided to make his grand presence known as he ran into the dungeon room.
"PETRIFICUS TOTALIS!" Harry yelled at Lucius, hitting him square in the back. He fell forward and slammed his face into the stone floor, breaking his nose and several teeth in the process. Harry ran forward, picked up Lucius's wand, and dragged Lucius to the wall. He propped the older man up and locked Lucius's wrists into the manacles previously occupied by Draco.
"Hello Mr. Malfoy, nice to see you again. I've got to go now. Don't worry, I will make sure Draco receives the best healthcare to undo the sick shit you assholes did to him. Really, loser, you tortured your own son. I may not have a father, so I wouldn't know if that is normal or not, but it seems to be a really bad thing to do to someone you supposedly should love and all. Anyway, I have to go, Bye Bye!" Harry chirped, with an evil grin on his face. He had to seriously restrain himself from pounding the crap out of that asshole. I can't believe he would do something like that to his own flesh and blood. He thought angrily. The Dursleys may hate me, and Vernon hits me, and I know they don't feed me, but none of them have ever tried to kill me. It isn't right.
"Why Potter, I didn't know you cared." Draco had roused himself out of the pain induced stupor, apparently. "Hey, can I see that asshole's wand?" He asked with a semi grin. Harry handed him the wand. Draco muttered a curse, and Harry raised his eyebrows as a scarlet beam shot out of the wand. That wasn't a curse you learned at Hogwarts, he thought to himself. What would Draco want in return for him to teach me some of that really cool stuff?
Draco grinned evilly. "We could work out a payment plan" he smirked. Harry was really confused because he knew that he hadn't said the last part out loud. Is Draco reading my thoughts? Draco looked surprised for a minute, and then looked to be deep in concentration. After a minute, he looked expectantly at Harry.
"Did you get that?" Draco asked.
"What?" Harry was very confused.
"I tried to send you a thought. Maybe it goes both ways." Draco looked disappointed for a minute. "It would have been really cool."
"How is having your archrival in your head cool?" Harry demanded. It didn't sound like a good idea to him.
"Oh well," Draco said. "I'd like to see my asshole father get out of those locks now, he said with a genuine smile.
Harry stopped to think for a minute. "Hey Dr-Malfoy. Melt down the locks so they can't pick them like I did."
"Oh please, Potter, like any of them would be smart enough to pick locks." Draco muttered another spell and the locks turned molten for a second. Lucius screamed as the boiling metal touched his bare skin. "Hey, could you petrify me now, it really hurts to move, and using a wand is damn near impossible with this broken hand." Harry hurried over and quickly petrified Draco. He then put him on the broom and covered them both with the invisibility cloak. Harry pointed his wand at the main floor of the house as an idea struck him.
"Hey Malfoy, you haven't unpacked your trunk yet, have you?" Harry got the distinct feeling that Draco was trying to reply no. "Accio Draco's wand, trunk, and cloak!" Draco's wand, trunk, and a black cloak with silver fastenings flew down the stairs. Harry removed the invisibility cloak from Draco and wrapped him first in the soft black fabric. He then shrunk the trunk, and put Draco's wand in his pocket. He rewrapped the invisibility cloak around both of them and took off down the hall on his broom. He stopped outside the potions room and gently opened the door. He saw Snape, engrossed in a potion, and snuck inside. He found a shell labeled "Healing Potions" and grabbed four. Snape looked up and saw the potions disappearing. He grinned to himself and softly spoke.
"Take more than that. He needs as many as he can get."
Three more disappeared. "Thanks" he heard a quiet voice say, close to his ear.
"No, thank you," he responded as soon as he could tell the voice had left. His godson was now safe and would live away from that evil bastard's influence. "Thank you more than you can ever know." Snape turned and got back to work on his potion.
Back in the dungeon Harry and Draco had just escaped from, a figure removed an invisibility spell and stepped out of the shadows. Lord Voldemort glided over to a still petrified Lucius Malfoy.
"Really, Lucius, beaten by a boy. I think I'll just let you hang there for a while."
As he walked out of the dungeons, he turned to Lucius, still petrified on the wall. "Ready the locating device and rally my Death Eaters when you figure out how to remove yourself from this mess."
"This should be interesting." With an evil chuckle, Voldemort swept upstairs.
Harry and Draco flew silently throughout the rest of the afternoon and into evening. The first two and a half hours were smooth flying, but as the sun started to set, a storm quickly arose on the horizon. Lightening flashed and nearly caught them twice. Raindrops the size of grapes soaked them to the bone in no time at all. Just when things looked as if they could get no worse, the rain turned to hail. Hailstones the size of softballs pelted them. Bruised and battered from the storm, Harry desperately tried to steer the broom in the right direction and outrun the storm. The way it had suddenly sprung up around them made him think of magic. Can Voldemort control the weather, too?
Yes, that is what he was working on. Even Draco's mind sounded tired. Wait, Draco's mind! Harry heard him! Harry heard a quiet chuckle run across Draco's thoughts. I thought telepathy with your worst enemy was a bad idea, Draco teased. Harry bit back a retort, but Draco's mental laugh at the rather interesting images of his father sexually entertaining certain carnivorous plants convinced Harry that he had to work on shielding his thoughts. My father is certainly dumb enough to try, Draco sent in response. Can these hailstones get any bigger? That one almost broke your nose!
Wait, did I just call him Draco?
As Harry steered them through the storm, Draco chuckled softly to himself.
The sun had set well over an hour ago as Harry guided his broom back into his cramped bedroom. He laid the now completely unconscious Draco on his bed and covered him with a blanket. "This is much worse than I thought" he muttered to himself. "The healing potions have done next to nothing for him." He ran down the stairs to try to contact Dumbledore, and skidded to a stop in the dining room. Dumbledore, Aunt Petunia, and Molly Weaseley were sitting at the table, discussing how best to mount a rescue operation. They looked up in shock as he crash landed on the floor.
"Ummm." Harry was at a complete loss for words as he stared up at the flabbergasted adults. Dumbledore stared at him in astonishment, disappointment plainly written on his face. Aunt Petunia turned white and swayed dangerously in her seat and Molly Weaseley.
"Harry Potter!!!!! WHAT possessed you to do such a STUPID thing?? You could have been KILLED! I-"
"Mrs. Weaseley, Malfoy needs help now! I'm sorry for scaring you, but he is upstairs and he is going to DIE!" Harry turned to Dumbledore. "Is Madam Pomfrey able to come here? She needs to take a look at Dr-Malfoy." None of the adults commented on his near slip. Dumbledore hurried out of the kitchen to get Madam Pomfrey from Hogwarts. Harry thought desperately to himself, what the hell is happening to me? Why do I even care what happens to him? We hate each other! Suddenly, the events of the past day caught up to him. Harry turned an alarming shade of grey and the kitchen spun in crazy circles around him. He vaguely felt someone lift him and gently carry him to the living room sofa. He heard Madam Pomfrey rush out of the fireplace and run upstairs. Dumbledore and Aunt Petunia followed her. Petunia stated quietly that she was a Muggle nurse and wanted to help in any way possible.
Harry lay on the couch, drifting in and out of consciousness. He was soaked to the bone from the rainstorm, and he was soaking the couch from the water dripping off of him. He felt intensely drained, now that the focus driving him was gone. Malfoy was safe, and he was in Madam Pomfrey's care. The danger had passed, and he didn't need to keep going. Harry felt himself returning to the apathy that had ruled his life since Sirius had died. He turned his face into the couch pillows as waves of grief and despair washed over him. Time seemed to have no meaning as he shivered and burrowed further into the couch. As he was commenting to himself how frigging cold the house was, an ear shattering shriek ricocheted off the walls. A telepathic scream reverberated through his skull, sending waves of agony over him. Oh shit, he thought, DRACO!!!!! I'm COMING!!!!!
"HARRY!!!" yelled his aunt. "We need you up here!!!!!!!!!"
Harry raced up the stairs, all apathy and dizziness forgotten. He tore into his room, and then skidded to a halt. Draco was naked- and FLOATING???
Draco was completely surrounded by a light blue aura, and he was hovering almost a foot off of Harry's bed. Harry watched in amazement as a tendril of the pale glow wrapped itself around Madam Pomfrey's wand and pulled. The wand tore from her grasp and disappeared with a loud POP.
HELP ME HARRY!!!! THIS HURTS!!! Another scream tore through Harry's head leaving him reeling.
"Don't just stand there! DO SOMETHING!" His aunt cried. She was obviously terrified.
Do something?? Harry thought desperately. WHAT can I do?? I have no idea what's happening!
Harry. You can help me. Come here. I can't heal myself alone. I need my-
The voice flooding his mind seemed different somehow, colder, more distant. Who is this? Who is talking to me? Harry asked desperately. Where is Draco??? What have you done with him???
Harry it IS me, well, this is Draco's subconscious. Draco cannot handle the pain, so I have taken over for the time being. I know what I am doing and I know what you have to do. Please, trust me and walk over to the bed.
Harry watched fascinated as his feet moved without his control to bring him to the bedside. A pale tendril wrapped around his waist and he leaned forward to grasp Draco's arm. A dark green glow immediately flooded out of Harry's skin, bathing the room in a verdant glow. The two auras mixed and swirled together, then concentrated around Draco's still form. Madam Pomfrey stared in wonder and fear as Draco's numerous superficial cuts and burns scabbed over and then vanished. Harry, as if in a dream, took Draco's shattered hand in his own. Somehow, he could see the bones out of alignment, through the skin. He pushed with his aura, and the bones set, then healed. He heard Madam Pomfrey gasp, but ignored her and concentrated on Draco's other injuries. He ran his hands about a half an inch above Draco's body, concentrating as hard as he could. Every time that he sensed internal damage, he pushed with his aura and healed it. Madam Pomfrey and Petunia watched closely as Draco's broken limbs straightened then healed, his wounds and third degree burns scabbed over and vanished, and his bruises faded without a trace.
Harry left the areas where Draco's skin had been completely removed for last. Already he could feel his energy fading, and he was running on empty. He was starting to feel extremely dizzy, but something in him wouldn't let him quit. With every scrap of energy he could muster, he held one hand over Draco's thigh and the other over his shoulder. He pushed as hard as he could, and emerald beams of light shot out of his hand, along with what looked like bolts of lightening. Static electricity filled the room, and Harry's hair completely stood on end. As he lost consciousness, he could see perfect skin grow where before there had been only a bloody mess. He closed his eyes, exhausted, and gratefully let the darkness take him.
Madam Pomfrey and Professor Dumbledore caught Harry as he swayed and fell over. They laid him on the bed next to where Draco had gently descended. The dark green glow was almost nonexistent, showing just how much energy Harry had expended trying to heal Draco. The auras separated and finally were reabsorbed into Harry and Draco's skin.
"Um, what the hell just happened? Does anyone have any ideas? I have never seen anything like that." Petunia stared at her nephew, fear and awe almost visibly radiating from her body.
"I have no idea" Madam Pomfrey exclaimed, "but I am glad it worked!"
"Yes, but at what cost? I will have to research this." Dumbledore trailed off, musing on the implications of such a display of power. He didn't understand, but had a vague recollection of reading about something like this before. However, the book, he was certain, dealt with mythology and the powers of the Gods.... Madam Pomfrey broke him out of his musings.
"Albus, I want to take them to Hogwarts." Madam Pomfrey locked her troubled gaze into Dumbledore's. "We need to keep them under close observation. Neither of us understands what just happened, and two of our brightest students could be lost because of this! I am sure," flashing a quick glance at Petunia, who still stared wonderingly at her nephew "that the Dursleys would not appreciate us keeping vigil in their home. Also, if the boys do need additional healing, though I do not see how that is possible, Hogwarts' hospital wing is much safer than St. Mungo's."
"I agree, Poppy. It is not safe here."
Mrs. Weasley burst through the door, panting. "Death Eaters are here! They must have followed Harry and Draco!" She panted.