Disclaimer: See Chapter 1.

A/N: Thanks to everyone who's been reviewing. I hope you all enjoy this chapter as much as you've enjoyed past ones. This one is a bit long, but I think you won't mind. Also, I'm having internet troubles with my homepage, something being wrong with the Java settings or something and the computer won't use Geocities Pagebuilder. Any help would be appreciated, since I haven't been able to update the site in a while.

A week later, Draco woke in his dorm room to hands on his chest. He was a bit confused at first, and thought it might be a dream of Harry, but he soon woke enough to realize that Harry would never wear the feminine, rosy scent that was assaulting his nasal passages. His eyes snapped open and he first shoved the person off himself and then flung himself off the side of his bed which wasn't blocked by a female body, snagging his wand off the dresser as he rolled. He stood in nothing but his boxers, but his wand was at the ready and he was prepared to deal with whatever he found.

What he found was Pansy Parkinson sprawled in the floor where he'd dumped her. "What the bloody hell do you think you're doing, Parkinson!?"

Looking very disgruntled, she pouted, "Well I was trying to be nice about it. I didn't realize you were so hair triggered."

Draco snorted. "Obviously not hair triggered enough if you managed to get that close to me. How did you get past my wards and nice about what?" Although he could take a guess, he wanted her to say it.

"This is what I want, Draco. This is the price of my silence. I want you to be with me and I want you to marry me. And how I got past your wards is my business."

Draco shook his head. "You know, I'd have thought you could be a little more imaginative than this. Pretend for a moment that I could actually be intimidated by your threats. You'd waste a perfectly good blackmail scheme on sex?"

"Oh, Draco, give me a little more credit than that. I want the sex, yes. You're hot and I doubt you'll deny it. But I want you to marry me, Draco. I want the Malfoy name and the Malfoy vaults. I want the prestige of having netted the most eligible bachelor in Slytherin. And I want to know what the hell happened to Potter, information that you seem to be the only person, outside his little circle of sycophants, in possession of."

"Oh, poor little Pansy can't figure out the mystery on her own? Well too bloody bad for you. Get out of my room, Parkinson. And if you ever lay a hand on me again, be prepared to part with it."

"I'll tell her. I'll tell your mother that you're screwing Potter."

Draco had to stifle his automatic response. I wish. "Go ahead. You think she'll believe you with a tale like that, go right ahead. I can hear her laughing right now."

Pansy got up off the floor and walked out of the room in a huff. Draco shook his head and lowered his wand. How had that creature gotten past the wards on his bed? He put his wand up again and shouted "Revellio!" The wards should have shown a brilliant aquamarine shot through with a golden grid structure. Instead the shield spell lay in a quivering ball in the corner between the bed and the wall, a sickly yellow green mass of gelatin. Shaking his head, he said, "Finite Incantatum." The destroyed shield wards melted into the floor and dissipated. Draco got the uncomfortable feeling of having just put down a mortally wounded animal.

Harry was livid when Draco told him about Parkinson's attempted assault, and he was afraid of how easily she had gotten that close to him. Draco was becoming a target, and, it would seem, an accessible one. Draco calmed him down, but only by reminding him that they had contingency plans already in place. They went to Dumbledore immediately and by the next day Draco was ensconced in his new room outside the Slytherin dungeons. Harry helped him move in, taking the time to teach him some of the stronger warding spells he knew. He couldn't do them himself because of the baby, but Draco picked them up easily and cast them around the room.

Snape made certain to escort Draco when he removed his belongings out of the sixth year Slytherin dorms, preventing any "accidents" from befalling the blonde Slytherin. No one said a word to him, knowing that Snape wouldn't take it kindly, but the atmosphere in the common room had dropped to below zero. Pansy had made certain that everyone knew that Draco was betraying his house. Before he left the room for the last time, he turned around and addressed his housemates. "I know that you believe I betray Slytherin. If it were true, you would be within your rights to shun me like this. I am still proud to be a member of this house, and I am appalled that none of you took it upon yourselves to discover the truth. You just believe anything a shrew tells you. Salazar would be disappointed. His house is meant to hold the cunning, not the follower. They go to Hufflepuff. I truly hope you all grow a spine in my absence." With that, he turned and left.

There was a tense atmosphere in the following week, as Harry and Draco waited for the other shoe to drop. In the meanwhile, Harry showed Draco what he had learned of spell weaving. Draco practiced and discovered that he could do spells at full wand strength using the same technique. He had discovered the key to wandless magic, something that many wizards had to train for years to achieve. Most didn't even bother. It was easier to use the wand to focus your energy than to learn to do it yourself. But in a battle situation, and they knew that was what they were facing, a wand could be lost or destroyed. Wandless magic would be an invaluable tool in the coming fight.

Then, the inevitable happened. Pansy cornered Draco in a hallway on his way to classes one day. "Last chance, Malfoy."

He growled at her. "Go to Hell, Parkinson!" Then he pushed past her and went on his way.

Two days later, Draco received an owl from his mother.


Miss Parkinson has once again warned me that you are becoming far to close to the Potter boy. She states that not only are you being friendly with him, but that it might be even more that mere friendship. I sincerely hope that you have an explanation for this, Draco. If this is merely for pleasure, then please find it somewhere else. I do not care that he is male; there are ways to get around that problem and still produce an heir. But he is our enemy, and your consorting with him will be seen as a betrayal. And if it is more, I warn you that I will not be lenient. If you choose to betray our Friend, then you will have the same fate as the boy. I cannot and will not protect you from it. I love you, son, but there are some things I will not countenance.

Please tell me what is going on.

Narcissa Malfoy

Before even telling Harry, Draco knew that he needed to respond to this and quickly. He grabbed a sheet of parchment and his quill and ink out of his book bag and quickly set down a response.


I am appalled. I am absolutely horrified that you would believe that conniving wench! She assaulted me in my bed chambers, Mother, tried to blackmail me into marrying her and giving her the key to our vaults by tattling to you about this fictional farce of a relationship that she's invented in her mind. I assure you that I am not in any kind of relationship with Harry Potter. The wench has turned half of Slytherin against me with her sordid rumor mongering, and she hasn't even told them this particular incarnation of her insanity. She will ruin every plan I ever had for this house, just because I refuse to sleep with her.

I have to figure this out. I've already given the entire house a dressing down for believing what she tells them without proof. I just don't know if enough of them are smart enough to see what she's doing. Honestly, so many of them are only good as wand fodder. But if I convince the more intelligent ones, then the thugs will follow. It's going to take some doing, especially as some of them shoot first and ask questions later, but I'll figure something out.

Please don't listen to Parkinson, Mother. And if you even suggest I marry her just to shut her up, I'll strangle the both of you!

Draco Malfoy

Draco quickly rolled the letter and sealed it, then ran flat out for the owlery. He went to the biggest owl there, a marvelous eagle owl, and tied the letter to it's leg. "Take this to Narcissa Malfoy at Malfoy Manor as fast as your wings can carry you. This is life or death!" The bird nodded, then leapt off his perch and winged his way out of the owlery.

"I'm worried. She's my mother, and she knows me pretty well. I'm afraid she'll see right through that letter. And we still don't know how Parkinson breached my wards. Those wards used the same spells as the Primaries on Hogwarts. If a sixth year could breach them..."

"No sixth year could breach the Primaries. I've seen them. Of all the students at Hogwarts, you and I are the only ones with sufficient strength to even go near them. Parkinson wouldn't stand a chance."

"Maybe not. But where do you think she got the breaching spells in the first place? Her parents are both Death Eaters, and that tells me that they have the spells to breach the wards. The danger is closer than anyone else realizes."

Harry sighed. "You're right. How closely have you been paying attention in Defense? I'm sure you could put up stronger personal shields than the Primary. It's not really meant for such a small target as a person."

Draco shook his head. "I don't know. How can you make any shield stronger without draining yourself to do it?"

"Layer them. Several weaker shields put together will make a stronger overall protection than a single shield with every ounce of your power thrown into it. They'll brace and support each other. And angle them away from you rather than letting them take the brunt of the assault head on. Have you ever skipped stones across a pond? Instead of sinking in, the force is deflected away."

Draco gaped at the other teen. That could work! "Where do you come up with this stuff?"

Harry chuckled. "You aren't going to believe me." Draco just looked at him. "All right. There's a show I'd watch at the Dursleys when I could get a gander at the tele. It's an American show called 'Star Trek: The Next Generation'. The space ships on the show have energy shields to protect against energy weapons. Same basic concept as wards and curses, but they're pure energy. One of the shields is the deflector shield, and it deflects the energy away from the ship rather than trying to absorb it. It's not magic, and neither can Muggles actually do any of it yet, but the concept's sound."

Draco shook his head. "It's amazing just how many Muggle concepts are starting to feature in our defenses."

"Just because they can't use and don't understand magic doesn't mean they don't think about things, and it doesn't make them inferior. They can do a lot more than we can in some cases. You really ought to take Muggle Studies next year. I think it'd be a real eye opener for you."

"I might just do that."

Narcissa Malfoy boldly walked the corridors of Hogwarts, not even attempting to hide her presence. She moved quickly, knowing that she might not have much time. She had grown up with Lucius Malfoy, and Draco was still very much like his father, especially when he was lying to her. And she had seen right through his lies.

Oh, Narcissa had no doubt that Parkinson was a vindictive wench and was very likely indeed to spread a story like that just out of spite, true or not. But Draco protested too vehemently, acting all hurt that she would even suggest such a thing. Had it truly been false, he would have laughed at her.

And the reason she had lied to him was, whether Pansy was aware of it or not, Draco actually was in a relationship with Potter, or else dearly wished it so. Potter had corrupted her son, and for that he would die. Then she would work on reclaiming her son.

Suddenly she was stopped in the hallway by that meddling old fool, Dumbledore. "Good evening, Narcissa. How are you?"

Keeping the sneer off her face and out of her voice, though it desperately wanted to come out and play, she said, "Oh, I'm quite well, thank you, Headmaster. I'm just on my way to see Draco. An important issue has come up and I needed to speak with him immediately."

"Now, Narcissa, surely a firecall would have sufficed? I'm afraid that it is still against the policies of this school to allow parents on the premises unless they hold some office and have official business here. The whole point of a boarding school is to give the children some freedom to explore themselves without their parents hovering out of a desire to keep them safe from the world. That can't happen if the parents were free to come through at any time."

Blast it! She had forgotten about that damned policy. Well, she had already planted the charm. She would simply have to owl Pansy and tell her to activate the thing once she had Voldemort's approval. "Very well, Headmaster, I'll leave, but I think I will be owling the Governors about getting that little nonsense changed." Then she turned and stalked away.

Two weeks passed before anything came of Narcissa's machinations, two weeks of the young men worrying about what she was going to do. Harry and Draco never went anywhere on their own, fearing what would happen. Harry sent the Clone everywhere but Defense class, even to the point of sending it along with his friends to Hogsmede on the weekends. They understood, and it allowed Harry to still have some fun. Harry's wand stayed with him outside of classes, some niggling worry not liking the thing to be out of his sight.

And that turned out to be a very good thing as things turned out.

Harry was laughing at some joke that Ron had made when all hell broke loose. One moment the street was bustling with teenagers, and the next it was alight with hexes and full of Death Eaters. The Dark Mark hung in the sky to strike fear into people's hearts and wizards and witches fell dead or injured by the wayside. Once Harry was spotted, he ran, getting his Cloned body as far away from Ron and Hermione as he could. He didn't get very far before the curse struck him from the back. And just because Harry's real body wasn't the one hit, it didn't mean that he wasn't affected by the curse. He blacked out.

When next he awoke, Harry realized he was back in the Gryffindor sixth-year dorms. He quickly reestablished his connection to the Clone, hoping that no one had yet realized that the thing was a fake. The Cloned body was in severe pain, but Harry gritted his teeth through it and opened his eyes, trying to see where he was.

And immediately wished that he hadn't. He recognized this place from his worst Voldemort-induced visions. It was the Riddle house, the large dining room that he held his most important meetings in. The building had, of course, been rendered Unplottable, but Draco had been there exactly once, and he had given the secret to Dumbledore already. Not that it would help now. There was no way that they would be able to get here in time.

Voldemort came into his view, kneeling down to look into his eyes. "Very good work, Mr. Potter. I've never seen a Clone pod this complete before." Harry glared at him, but said nothing. "I suppose you're safely ensconced in your dormitory at Hogwarts. But still, you might want to stick around for this." He stood and turned to the door of the dining room, which opened at his command. Several Death Eaters and Narcissa Malfoy walked into the room. They were all the same ones who had been at Hogsmede. "You all thought you'd take the initiative and bring me Harry Potter on a silver platter. But you didn't consult me. If you had been successful, then I would have been pleased and overlooked this as a bit of over zealousness, but none of you thought to make sure that you had the right person. Every single one of you made assumptions on what your eyes were telling you and didn't think to perform a simple Verification Charm." With a wave of Voldemort's wand, Harry's shirt was ripped from his body, revealing the green stem that was there in place of his navel. "A Clone. An excellent example of one, but it could easily have been revealed if even one of you had stopped to think!"

Voldemort paced in front of them. "Each of you failed me tonight." He rounded on Narcissa. "Crucio!" The curse ripped through Narcissa and through Harry's scar, causing three bodies to flail in pain. He went through each of the men cowering in the room, casting the Cruciatus a total of eight times, and each one struck not only its intended victim but Harry and the Clone as well. And Voldemort knew it, was using his punishment of his followers to torture Harry.

Then he turned to the Boy-Who-Lived. "And now to get rid of this loathsome thing. Avada--" Before he could finish the Killing Curse, Harry gathered his wits about him and pulled himself free of the Clone. He couldn't be there when the Clone was killed or he'd die right along with it. And he managed it. But that didn't keep it from hurting like hell and splitting his scar wide open. Thankfully, Harry passed out.

Well, there it is! Review, please!