The Elements

By: Loba


From The Daily Prophet May 15:


By: Crystal Kling

You all know his name, and what he is famous for. Harry Potter, The Boy Who Lived, and, more recently, Gryffindor Golden Boy. Mr. Potter is just finishing his fifth year at Hogwarts School Of Witchcraft and Wizardry, but it is now believed that the 15-year old has been missing for over a week.

Sources say that he disappeared the night after his finished taking his last Ordinary Wizarding Levels(O.W.Ls). Fellow Gryffindors claim he had come back to the dormitory and grabbed his Firebolt broomstick. Best friend and roommate, Ronald Weasley, said, "He just told me he was going out to the Quidditch pitch to fly around and relax and stuff. Relieve a little tension, you know?"

Apparently, when he still hadn't returned by curfew, Weasley and friend, Hermione Granger, snuck out to find him. When, after a few hours, Mr. Potter still had not turned up, they informed their head of house, Professor Minerva MacGonagall. By morning, a large search party of teachers, prefects, and ghosts still had not located the boy.

There was no sign of foul play or dark magic, and when Professor MacGonagall later checked his room, she discovered all of Mr. Potter's possesions to be missing. All she found was a note, which has been confirmed as the boy's own handwriting:

To no one in particular,

You all know who I am, but I don't know who I am. This complicates things more than you can possibly understand. I am as healthy as I can be without being sick, and I am as safe as I can be without being in danger. I am just not here, and I want to be.

I'll be back before next term, hopefully.

"Man is in love, and loves what vanishes."

-H. James Potter

It has been determined that the last line of the note is by Muggle writer/poet W.B. Yeats, but what it means remains to be seen.

If you have any information about Mr. Potter's disappearance, or if you have seen him anywhere, please contact the English Ministry of Magic.

Harry Potter's story began sixteen years ago in a small, Muggle town named Godric's Hollow, where young couple Lily Evans Potter and James Potter were residing. . .

Enfants Fidèles is French for "faithful children." The town's name is something of an in-joke, and most people from the town thought the name ironic. In the mid-1800s, the town was simply called Fleuve de Lune, which meant "Moon River." To the east of the town used to sit the Delacroix Farm, and to the west of the town used to sit the Jarre farm. For decades, the two families would feud over everything, whose crops were riper, whose daughter was more beautiful, whose pig was fatter. No one knew how the feud started, but it got so bad that the two farmers would become violent. The two Jarre boys snuck into the Delacroix henhouse, slaughtered all the chickens and smashed their eggs. The Delacroix boys retaliated by overwatering the crops, destroying them. Delacroix's daughter, well-known for her gorgeous yellow hair, mysterious lost all of her hair shortly after. The Delacroix children then snuck over to the Jarre farm, loosened the wheels on their wagon and put their horses horse shoes on backwards. Jarre then placed a dead weseal into the Delacroix's well, about the same time Delacroix put a diseased skunk in Jarre's well

The feud got to the point where the families had had enough, and both sent their oldest sons out to duel. Although it was unknown at the time, the two boys, Pierre and Frances, had formed a close but secretive friendship, and were widely suspected to be lovers. But they could not deny what their father's asked of them, and they could not deny their family, especially in those times. So, at three in the morning, the two sons dueled, and they ended up killing each other.

Shortly after, the families found the boys secret letters to each other, and they each regretted the feud and made up out of respect for their sons. The mother's of the two boys petitioned to have the name of the town changed in dedication to their sons, and it was unanimous. There are two statues of the boys in the center of the town, and the town's name was changed to Emfants Fideles.

Only the french and true romantics truly appreciate the irony of this tale.

Harry Potter loved the story. He thought it was like something out of a Shakespearean tragedy.

It was one of the reasons why he chose to stay there. He wasn't sure if he was going to reside in Enfants Fidèles, or just Fidèle as the locals call it. He wasn't that comfortable living in a town that had a majority of magical people in it. True, he hadn't been recognized, but he kept thinking, 'I haven't been recognized, yet.'

He sat in the back of The Lait, the main pub in the small town. He had chosen the table at the very back. His black clothing and trenchcoat blended into the shadows. He was working on his second Firewhiskey, and was contimplating his next move.

I shouldn't stay in another magical community, he thought as he gulped down the last drop. I can do fine living in a Muggle town, I've been doing it for ten years. I want a vacation from Harry Potter. I want a vacation from being the Boy-Who-Lived. No more capitals, no more hyphens. Just harry. Just the boy.

He recalled a movie his cousin Dudley had been watching when they were eight. His friends had come over for a nice, fun game of Pound Harry. Harry had quickly outrun them and hid behind the couch. The boys had gotten bored of trying to find Harry, and sat down to watch a movie, an American Western called The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly. Ten minutes into it, the boys got bored, again, and left to go to the park, but they had left the television on, leaving Harry alone. He had sat down on the couch, jumpy and nervous, waiting for his aunt or uncle to come barging in, but he managed to watch the whole thing uninterrupted. He hadn't seen the movie since, but he remembered every detail. The Good was played by an actor named Clint Eastwood, but in the movie, he had no name. He was referred to as Blondie or as The Man With No Name.

I like that. The Man With No Name. Capitals again, but its much better than The Boy Who Lived. At least this time I'd be referred to as a "man," he snorted, tracing the wet circles of condensation on the table with his ring finger. And I like the desert. I don't think it would be a good idea to travel all the way to America before September. Maybe Spain? He had put a Translation Charm on himself before he left school, so the Ministry couldn't detect him. He had done no magic since he left, but he always kept his wand with him.

He sighed and got up slowly. The men in the bar followed his movements to the bar with their eyes. They knew his was a wizard, yes, but the didn't trust a wizard dressed in Muggle clothing. It looked like he was trying to hide something, like he had a secret.

"One Firewhiskey, please," said Harry in perfect French.

He looked down at his hands, staring at the tiny scars that etched his pale skin. Scars told a story, all right. He let his right hand hover slightly over the counter. He raised his pointer finger. Then lowered it so it touched the table. Then placed it back with the others. The he did the same with his middle finger, but faster. Up, down, center. The same with his ring finger. Up, down, center. He went back to the pointer finger, and so on, and so on, until his fingers where moving in fast and jerking motions, no longer in any kind of order. The tendons on the back of his hand danced. He smiled.

An old, frail wizard to his right saw, out of the corner of his eye, the strange English boy wiggling his fingers slowly and smiling. By the time they were moving so fast it was hard to see, the old wizard was downright staring. He cleared his throat cautiously. The boy's head shot to the side, staring at him, his smile wavering but his fingers never stopping.

"You'll never cast any spells like that, son. You need a wand to make magic."

The boy's Firewhiskey arrived, and his fingers stopped. He grabbed the glass with his right hand, raised it to his lips, and winked at the old man.

"We make our own magic," he said, and drank. He left four francs on the counter, turned on his heel and returned to his table in the dark, leaving the old man dumbfounded.

I've seen some strange things in my time, thought the old man, but that boy with the glasses is, by far, one of the strangest.

Crystal Kling burst into The Lait with an irritated scowl on her face.

Dammit! she thought as she looked at her surroundings. That is the last time I trust a portkey given to me by that bitch of a secretary Flescher. It was a well-known fact around the office that Stefanie Flescher was after her job. It was also a well-known that Flescher was jealous of Kling's relationship with their boss, Mike Robinson.

It's not my fault she was too slow with him, or too shy, she thought with malice. I should have been suspicious when she first gave me the portkey. And I believed it was from Mr. Robinson. Like he would trust that whore.

Kling was on her way to the AMRC, the Annual Magical Reporter Convention, in Paris, and she was still recovering from last night's previous "celebrations." She was being rewarded at the AMRC for her piece on the unwanted exposure of Unicorn matings in numerous areas in Germany. She didn't want to apparate with a hangover, she had heard one too many horrorstories on the effects.

All the signs in French led her to believe she was in the right country, she didn't even want to consider she could be in Haiti or Africa or somewhere else, but she didn't know exactly where she was in France. She pulled out her wand, after seeing the people in the bar were wearing robes and drinking Firewhiskeys, and did a quick Translation Charm. The bar made her nervous and uncomfortable, it being full of strange, seedy men, but it was raining hard outside and she didn't want to get more wet than she had to.

She walked over to the bar and signalled the bartender.

"Excuse me, could you tell me where I am?"

The bartender scowled slightly. "You are in Enfants Fidèles, madam."

That meant nothing to Kling. "And how far away are we from Paris?"

"About three miles north, madam. Can I get you a drink?"

She ignored his question, she was too busy looking around the bar. She spotted a fireplace with a warm, welcoming fire in the back of the bar. She pointed to it. "Is that hooked up to the Floo network?"

The bartender frowned. He hated to be ignored, especially by the English. He hated the English, especially proper, obnoxious, snooty English women who acted like there was a large lump of cold shoved up her arse and only interest in France was going to Paris, buying furs and having affairs. "No," he said coldly, but Kling didn't notice it. "The closest Floo fireplace is in the post office about a block away." He hoped the annoying woman would go away now.

She sighed and pushed her brassy blonde hair out of her face, the normally corkscrew curls straightened out from the rain. She was going to wait her until the storm stopped. No way was she going back out there. "Alright. Can I have a butterbeer?"

The bartender bit back the "What? No Please?" and got her her drink. She reached into her purse and found three francs under her shrunken suitcases and a tape recorder. She was a half-blood and preferred this muggle method instead of some complicated spell to record something. Pushing a simple button worked fine for her.

To the bartender's disappointment, Kling sat down at the bar and looked around once more. The bar was full of strange wizards, all wearing dark robes and keeping to themselves. Some were having heated arguements, while others were just drinking silently. There were a few tables in the back, hidden by the shadows. They all seemed empty, except one. The only way Kling new it wasn't empty was the smoke billowing out of the corner. Someone going to get lung cancer! she thought in an sing-song voice.

Suddenly, a bright bolt of lightening struck outside the window, lighting up the bar in a pale, unearthly glow. Kling, who was still staring at whoever it was in the back of the bar, caught a quick glimpse of who it was, but the glimpse was all it took to make her gasp in shock. Thick black hair, bright green eyes hidden behind black glasses, a scar barely visible behind that unruly head of hair. . .

Thunder boomed outside, causing her to jump, her Butterbeer spilling onto her hand. She slammed it onto the table, spilling more. She didn't hear the growl of the bartender behind her. He heart was pounding heavily.

Oh, God. Oh, Merlin. I can't belive it. Of all the places, of all the bloody places! Oh, thank you Stefanie! Thank you!

She stood up and walked over to the back of the bar. Her hands were shaking in excitement. As she grew closer, her vision of the boy increased, and now she could definately tell it was him. Harry Potter. Harry fucking Potter. She could have squealed.

Her chin held high, she plopped down in the seat opposite of him. She could see Potter clearly now. His eyes were a bit glazed over. He was nursing what looked like his third Firewhiskey, and the ashtray was full of cigarettes. He was dressed in black, but not robes. He was wearing a Muggle trenchcoat. He was looking at her curiously and suspiciously.

"Hello," she started, glad her voice wasn't shaking. "My name is Crystal Kling. I--"

He cut her off. "Sure, okay. We can't really go back to my place or we'll get wet. But I suppose Fredderick will let us use the back room. I know you french whores are into some really strange shit, but nothing kinky, alright? I'm not in the mood."

Kling blinked. Then she realized she was still talking in French. "No!" she said in English, causing Potter to jump. She held out her hand. "I'm a reporter for the Daily Prophet, and let me say, Mr. Potter, that--"

He grabbed her wrist and slammed it down onto the table. Kling cried out in surprise, but immediately shut up when she felt a small heat on her arm. She looked down and saw Potter was holding the cigarette he was smoking dangerously close to her skin with his other hand. She tried to pull away, but his grip was firm.

"There is no one here by that name, Miss Kling," he said coldly. "I think you should go away from here, people from these parts don't take to kindly to nosey English reporters." He released her. She drew her hand back quickly and started massaging her wrist with the other hand. Potter began smoking his cigarette again and looked at her pointedly. "Go."

Kling scowled. She wasn't going to give up that easily. "Come on, now, Potter. You can't fool me. Everyone in England is looking for you, and I am not going to go away without getting a detailed interview with you! So," she said, pulling out her taperecorder and setting it on the table. She pushed RECORD. "Now, tell me, what was it like staring face-to-face with You-Know-Who, knowing any minute you could be dead, with your classmate's lifeless body lying nex--" She cut off when a pale fist slammed down on the recorder hard, smashing the thing to bits. She shrieked. Potter withdrew his hand but didn't bother to heal his bloody wounds or pull out the bits of plastic that were sticking out of his hand. Everyone in the bar turned to see what was going on, the pounding of the stranger's hand and the shrieking of the annoying woman catching their attention.

"No," said Potter simply, and took a sip of his Firewhiskey.

Kling, who had been staring at her beloved recorder in shock, whipped her back to stare at Potter. "No?" she hissed.

"No. I'm not going to tell you anything."

"But don't you want people to know the truth? Don't you want people to see things clearly?"

"Jump off a cliff. Things will seem plenty clear then."

Kling recoiled. Never in her entire life had anyone refused to give her an interview. Most found her charming. Her brown eyes were blazing. "Don't you have anything you'd like to say to the public?" she asked desperately.

Harry Potter stared at her.

"'When I finally asked if he had anything to say to the public,'" read Hermione Granger outloud as she sat in Dumbledore's library, "he just simply said, "There are two kinds of people in this world, Miss Kling. Those who do good things and those who only see the bad."'" She lowered the paper with a huff.

"Well," said Draco Malfoy from his armchair across from her, "Who knew Potter could be so insightful?"

Ron Weasley glared at him. "Shut up, Malfoy, let her continue." He urged her on.

"'At that point, Mr. Potter abruptly got up and left. It was at that time when I finally acknoledged the empty glasses of whiskey on the table and the numerous cigarette butts in the ashtray. We all know that Mr. Potter is much to young to be either drinking or smoking. I wonder what kind of example he thinks he is setting for all those young wizards and witches who look up to the Gryffindor Golden Boy." Hermione spat the last part out.

"Is she kidding?" said Draco. "I respect him more now."

"Be quiet, Malfoy!' said Ron.

"Make me, Weasley." Ron turned to glare at him, but before he could, Draco stuck him tongue out at him childishly. Ron rolled his eyes and bade Hermione to continue.

"'I immediately followed him outside, but it seems he had disappeared. At that point, I went directly to the the nearest fire place hooked up to the Floo system to contact the Ministry of Magic.' Oh, honestly! Does no one wonder why she didn't do that before?"exclaimed Hermione. "'By morning, however, not a trace of him could be found. The locals to the area wouldn't say anything.

"'Bartender of The Lait, Fredderick LaFayer, said, "That boy, whoever he is, is the most decent English man I have ever met. He always overpayed, and included a generous tip, and he never left a mess. I am glad he managed to get away from you lot. Now, get out of my bar.

"'None of the locals to Enfants Fidèles knew they were in the presence of Harry Potter, who, they claim, had only been there for a week. None of them knew where he had been staying, and if they did, they wouldn't talk.

"'If you have seen or are aware of Mr. Potter location, please contact the English Ministry of Magic.'"

Hermione threw the paper on the ground and scowled at nothing. Ron got up and sat on her armrest and placed his arms around her shoulders. Draco bent down to pick up the newspaper and read the article for himself.

"That stupid woman!" yelled Hermione after a moment, making the two boys jump. "There are so many better ways that Kling woman could have handled that situation, and she completely ruined it! I hate reporters, I hate them!" Ron, remembering Rita Skeeter, and what Hermione did to her, was inclined to agree.

"Wait," said Draco. "There is a related article on the next page." He turned the page and began to read the article outloud.

Potter Spotted In Paris

Harry Potter, who has been missing since the middle of this month, was reported to have been seen in a small French town north of Paris a few days ago by Prophet reported Crystal Kling. He has, more recently, also been seen in Ruelle Magique, the magical community in the suburbs of Paris. He was said to have entered a healer's shop that specified in birth defects. Later, when the owner of the shop was being interviewed, she said a young man of Mr. Potter's description, had been in the store, but he claimed his name was James Black. James, as may or may not know, was the forename of his father and also young Potter's middle name, and Black is the surname of his still-missing convicted Godfather Sirius Black. The owner of the store said "James Black" had come in for a potion to fix his eyesight. She claimed he left his pair of glasses in the store, and have been now discovered to belong to Mr. Potter. The wizard who called the Ministry, who wished to remain anonymous, said he saw the boy enter the store, and come out about a half hour later. He almost missed him without his glasses. When the wizard tried to follow him, it seems the boy vanished completely. Later, the Ministry's best Aurors searched the area, and he, again, has slipped out of our grasp.

Any information on Mr. Potter's whereabouts, please inform the Ministry of Magic.

Draco growled and threw the newspaper back on the floor.

"They keep saying to contact the Ministry," said Ron angrily. "That is probably the worst thing they could do. Harry hates the Ministry, he'd never go with them, not if he doesn't want to go."

Draco looked thoughtful. "It's about time he got rid of those awful glasses. I bet he looks much better without them now."

Ron made a face. "I am aware that you're, you know, gay and everything, but I really don't care to hear about it."

"You know you want me," said Draco with a smirk.

Hermione snorted as Ron's face turned red. His grasped his girlfriend's hand and said, "Please, Malfoy. If I was gay, I wouldn't go for one as flamboyant as you are. And I certainly wouldn't want to date a death eater, either."

Draco glared at him. "You know I'm not a death eater!"

"And you know I like to make fun of you. So here we are."

Draco was about to retort when Albus Dumbledore, Remus Lupin, and Severus Snape entered the library. Hermione, Ron, and Draco jumped up to greet them.

"Good morning, professors." Hermione Granger said. She still called Lupin this, even though he hadn't teached for three years. "Have you any word?"

"Yes," said Snape tiredly. "Moody and Arthur managed to coax the address out of that bartender, but when they got there, they couldn't find a trace of him. Not even a hair."

The three students slumped back into their seats, dejected. Then, Hermione remembered what she wanted to ask the three men, and shot straight up again.

Draco looked at her wearily. He had come to stay with the Order of the Phoenix after fifth year. It had taken alot of influencing and promises on Snape's part, but they finally believed him when he said he wasn't evil. Draco thought they had been stupid to think he would try to spy by asking to join the Order. Come on, didn't they think Voldemort could be a bit more subtle than that?

He had become actually quite good friends with Hermione. Surprisingly, they had alot in common. He loved reading almost as much as she did. Ron, well, they were neutral towards each other. It was, at least, alot more peaceful than it was when Draco first arrived at the Order's headquarters.

"Sirs? Have you thought about a tracking owl of some sort?" asked Hermione quietly. Draco was glad she brought it up. They had both thought of the idea together, found it in one of Dumbledore's old books he let them read, but if Draco had brought it up, they might have been suspicious. Not that there is anything suspicious about a Tracking Owl, but they thought everything he does or says was worth questioning.

Snape and Lupin looked confused, but Dumbledore sighed. "It takes a very intelligent owl to be a Tracker, and the potion you feed it is very difficult."

"What does the potion entail?" asked Snape curiously.

"The potion specifically uses rare plants that grow only in certain areas at certain times of the year. It also needs the DNA of the person you are trying to track, which we don't even have."

Snape's eyes were shining. "Why didn't you tell me of this before?"

"Well, I didn't see the poi--"

"I have conncections, Albus! Give me a list, and I could find about every one of those ingredients in about two weeks."

"And the DNA?"

Now Snape looked uncomfortable. "Well, you see, Potter came to me a few days before he disappeared, right after the incident at the Department of Mysteries. He said he couldn't sleep because he was plagued with nightmares, and he just about begged me to make him the strongest dreamless sleep potion I know. He said he hadn't slept in four days."

They all felt uncomfortable learning this fact, except Draco. They all felt guilty about this too. Except Draco. He just felt angry that none of them saw it.

"The strongest one I could make involves taking some of his DNA. I could have taken his hair or a fingernail clipping, but I made the mistake of telling him it works stronger with the person's blood. He insisted I give him some of his blood to make the potion. Before I could stop him, he grabbed a knife and cut along his palm and let it flow into a jar." Snape sighed. "I managed to stop it before he gave to much, and he made me heal it but made sure I left a scar. He is a very strange boy." Ron and Hermione scowled, but Draco gave a small smile. "I told him it would take about a week, and he said it was fine. Before I could finish it, he was gone." He paused. "The blood is the last thing added, so I still have it." There was a long silence.

"You could use my owl," said Draco suddenly, causing them all to jump. "Aside from Hedwig, who he'd notice, Aliéné is the smartes owl we have."

Lupin looked at Dumbledore expectantly. "How long does that potion take to make?"

Dumbledore sighed. "Well, it may take a while to get the ingredients. I'd say it will be done by the first of July."

Ron sighed. "A month."

It was a small town just east of Madrid. It was the type of town that looked like it belonged in an old western film. There were two roads, the "business district," consisting of two clothing store, a drug store, a school, a furniture shop, a barber shop, a shoe store, a blacksmith, a few restaurants, and a bar. Perpendicular to this road is a road filled with small houses and a boarding house. Everything was made of stone.

Just on the outskirts of the town was a river. It was called Corriente Amarilla, meaning "yellow stream." It was called this because the sand one the bottom was a goldish color, and when the sun hit it every afternoon at 3:42 p.m. it would shine yellow. Right next to it was the town church.

The town was called Cordón, which was spanish for "shoelace," a name which never failed to amuse Harry.

He had arrived in the town about a week ago. He had purchased a horse on the border of Spain, and had planned to just travel trough Spain and into Portugal until he reached the Atlantic Ocean, and then head back again. He realized that school would have started by then, but at the time he didn't really care. He had heard tales of theives and murderers hiding in the deserts, and he bought guns and ammunition, teaching himself to shoot. He would only use magic as a last resort.

But the moment he arrived in Cordón, he didn't want to leave. It was a small, beautiful in its simplicity.

He had rented a room in a boarding house along the road perpendicular to Main Street. They didn't ask his name, and he didn't give it. He was aware the people in the town feared him: the white man with the loaded guns in a strictly pasifist town. They feared his scars, he could see it in their eyes.

The moment he arrived in the town, and saw the river, and saw the bar, Del Sol Las Subidas También, he knew he had to stay. He didn't know what it was, but something inside him told him the town was right. He immediately sold his horse. He didn't need it. When he left, if he did, he wouldn't be going on horseback.

At the moment, he was sitting at his usual table in the saloon, drinking a whiskey and rolling a cigarette, another skill he had learned in one of the towns he had stopped in. He was making excellent time, having only left France three weeks before. It was mid-June, and it was boiling hot inside Del Sol Las Subidas También, or just Del Sol, as it was called by the locals. He had picked up an old issue of the Daily Prophet in some nameless Magical town in France, reporting his experience with Miss Kling, and how he was spotted in Paris. He was glad the only saw him entering the Healer's store to get his eyes fixed, although it would be strange if they saw him enter the Muggle tattoo parlor. He had gotten three tattoos, one on his right hipbone, one on the underside of his left arm, and one between his shoulder blades.

He leaned back and traced the Snitch etched into his hip, covering the V-shaped scar. It was the only scar he had ever hidden. All the others he wore with pride, or maybe it was to keep himself in check, as his Uncle would say. He reached into his pocket and pulled out a match. He had forced himself to learn to light it using only his fingernail during his trip. It was something they always did in those 1930's noir films his Aunt watched, and had he not enjoyed the taste anyway, he would have started smoking just so he could light the matches.

The people in the town payed him no attention as he shook the flame out and tossed it on the floor. They were use to his behavoir after being here a week. The man didn't work, but he had money. And he had guns, guns that he carried with him always. They didn't know his name, but they didn't want to know his name. They all knew his story anyway, without him having to tell them. They could see it in his bright green eyes. He was being haunted by something, or maybe hunted by something. Whenever they spoke of him, they called him El Hombre Sin Nombre, meaning "The Man With No Name" which was Harry's favorite name. The other one, one that made Harry quite uncomfortable but somewhat pleased, was El Charmer De La Serpiente, meaning "The Snake Charmer." The name made Harry awkward yet proud because of the reason why he got this name. It was his fourth day here. He was in Del Sol, and even though it was around two'o'clock, he was quite drunk...

/./flashback, yo/./

Cordón was a small town, but it was frequently subjected to criminals passing through the area, or looking for a place to hide. The criminals, murderers, theives, robbers, et cetra, were often very rude to the people in the town, and sometimes someone ended up dead or wounded, but more often people just ended up robbed, hurt, and annoyed.

There was a bandit very infamous in the east by the name of The Rattlesnake, or Rattlesnake Jake. It was rumoured that he had tamed a wild rattlesnake, and wore it constantly around his neck. His calling card was leaving someone at the scene of one of his many crimes with a snake bite, dead or dying. Any kind of crime, you name it, Jake did it. Murder, rape, theft. Some even suspect him of counterfiting and public indecency, but no one can be sure. He was working his way across Spain, and his next big stop was Madrid, but he had to stop in order to get more supplies and ammunition.

Can you imagine his disappointment, when he stopped in Cordón only to discover that no one had guns, therefore there was little ammunition. He decided, as payback for not being suitable to his needs, to rob Del Sol Las Subidas También.

"Everyone, freeze! This is a robbery. Put your hands on the table where I can see them. I know none of you fuckers have any guns, but you little shits may be carrying knives or something, and no one wants to get stabbed unless they want to be shot, got it? Good. Camarero, fill the bag with as much money as you got, and we'll be on our way."

It was at that time when one of The Rattlesnake's croonies noticed the dark-haired man in the corner, one hand on his lap, one holding the cigarette he was smoking, bullets crossing over his chest and around his waist on a strap. Rattlesnake's croonie pointed him out to Jake. The man was smirking at Jake, a strange glint in his eye. Rattlesnake Jake hated strange glints, almost as much as he hated smirks. He stalked over to the man, gun aimed at his head.

"Something funny, chico? What's this? An Englishboy! Look at him, gents! The gringo trying to stand up to a couple of boys like us!" He paused while his friends chuckled angrily while keeping their faces neutral and mean, a difficult task but they managed it well, having had lots of practice. "Come on then, gringo. Cough up the ammunition and I won't have to introduce you to my friend here." He gestured to the snake wrapped around his neck.

The man smiled and stood up, staring at the gun pointed at him with an amused expression on his face. He wobbled a bit on his feet. "Now," he said, a bit slurred. "Why would I need you to introduce us? I am quite capable of doing it myself." He looked down at the snake, who, to Jake's surprise, was staring at the man with the scar on his forehead. The man started hissing at the snake. Jake's eyes got wide. Then the snake started hissing back. Jake's eyes got wide, but then realized that he had already done that and got confused. He looked around and saw everyone staring at the man in shock.

I am aware that none of you can speak the language of the snakes, so here is the conversation between the rattlesnake of Rattlesnake Jake and The Man With No Name:

"Hello, there. My name is Harry. What's yours?"

"I do not have a name. He never gave me one."

"Do you like this man that wears you around the neck like some sort of clothing?"

"He is alright, I suppose. I miss the wild, though. And its very lonely here, with no other snakes to talk too."

"Well, why don't you leave? You could bite him so he won't shoot at you or anything."

"I was hurt when he caught me. I am in his debt now, he helped me."

"I didn't know things worked like that for snakes."

"Which snakes do you talk to?"

Harry thought of the only three snakes he had talked to, one bred in captivity, one made out of thin air, and one a giant basilisk.

"Not many. Not any wild ones anyway."

"Maybe you should more often."

"If you will help me out, I could set you free."

"What do you have in mind?"

By this time Jake had backed up into the middle of the room, but he couldn't stop the conversation. The man kept hissing, and he faintly saw the snake nod it's head. The Rattlesnake lifted his gun, his hand shaking slightly, and fired at the scarred man. He wasn't even close. "What did you just do?!" he cried, afraid. While everyone else in the room was just as scared, the locals still relished in the fact that this so-called toughest bandit in the east was afraid.

"Nothing," said the man innocently, but his eyes still held the glint. '"I just had a nice, friendly chat with it. You really should name it, you know. It's a very lonely snake."

Rattlesnake Jake laughed hysterically. "Is it now?"

"Oh, yes. In fact, it said that if it had anyone to talk to, it'd do anything. So I spoke to it, and it said it would do me a favor."

The room was silent. The bartender, who had stopped shovelling pesos into the bag a long time ago, dropped the bag, coins scattering everywhere, but no one noticed. No one moved, that it, until they heard the man hiss something to the snake. That word was a simple: "Vaya!

The snake began to slid up from where it had been dangling down Jake's torso, and quickly wrapped it's body, and squeezed. The Rattlesnake let out a strangled, literally, cry and stumbled back, arms flailing. He reached up to tug at the snake, but it bared its venemous teeth threateningly, and quickly put them down, he spun to face the three men in his group who were looking at him in shock.

"Shoot it! Shoot it!" Jake choked out. They raised their guns.

"Shoot the snake, and you'd have a dead bandit on your hands a well," said the man quickly. "He may be tough, but I doubt he could survive a shot in the neck, especially at this range."

"Maybe he'll stop once you're dead!" snarled one of the men, a boy who could have been about Harry's age. They all turned their guns to point them at the man, but he was too quick for them. He pulled out gun from his holster and shot all three of their hands that were holding the guns. The guns flew and they all shrieked, and then, because Harry couldn't help but feel like Clint Eastwood whenever he was holding a gun, he shot off their hats. The three ran out the door, and horses could be heard whining in the distance a few seconds later. Harry turned on the man who was turning slightly purple. Jake's gun lay uselessly on the floor.

Harry nodded at the snake, who nodded back and slithered off of Jake's neck. He crawled over to arry and wrapped himself around Harry's leg. The Rattlesnake fell back and gasped, choking as he tried to regain his breath. He used a table to steady himself. Once he had gathered his breath, he looked at the man, frightened.

Harry raised his gun. "Go and catch up to your friends."

Rattlesnake Jake didn't need to be told twice. He ran faster "than a horse with a bee sting and a rusted horseshoe" as the locals who witnessed the event said.

The whole event took about five minutes.

Harry looked down at the snake, and watched as it slithered up his body and wrapped itself around his neck. He bent down and picked up the four guns. He put three at his table, then turned and walked to the counter. He laid the last gun on the top.

"Here," he said softly. "Take this. Just in case of an emergency."

The camarero shook his head. "No, señor. I couldn't. But you saved my life. The Rattlesnake always kills the owner of the bars he robs. I thank you." He reached behind his neck, and undid the clasp of the thin gold chain that hung around his neck. The cross dangling from it shined in the sunlight that was streaming through the windows.

"What! No, no. I couldn't possib--" The bartender stopped him.

"No. It is the only way I can repay you. A life, for eternal life," he reached out and grabbed Harry's hand. He opened it and placed the necklace into the center of his palm and closed Harry's fingers around it. "For we only have eternal life when we have God."

Harry stared at the man before nodding his head. "Thank you."

The snake around his neck hissed tiredly. It had had a long day. The bartender looked at it, frightened, but Harry shook his head. "Do not be afraid. Pet it if you'd like. Then you could tell everyone you pet a rattlesnake and lived!" The scarred man rubbed his finger on the top of his head, and the snake closed its eyes, a look of bliss on its flat face. The barkeep tentively put his finger out and Harry moved his out the way. The camarero's finger brushed against the top of the head. He jumped and pulled it back, but put it back when he realized nothing had happened. He stroked the head softly. He let out a breath he hadn't know he was holding.

Harry looked down at the snake. "You want to go into the wild, or do you want to stay with me?" he hissed.

The snake did something that sounded like a mix between a groan and a hiss. "No more humans!"

Harry laughed/hissed. "Okay, okay. Suit yourself. Come by and see me anytime you want to talk. I'm all ears."

The snake slid down his body and crawled towards the door. He turned around just before he reached it and looked at Harry. It then said something that the only friendly snake had ever said to him, and he shook with the amount of nostalgia the memory had.

"Thanksssss, amigo."

/./End flashback, yo/./

Harry looked up, only to notice that his cigarette had turned completely to ash and had fallen into his glass, which only had a drop of whiskey left. He signalled to the waitress for another.

While he waited, he absently fingered the gold cross that hung around his neck, and wondered what his friends were up to.

Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley were sitting in Dumbledore's kitchen, Molly Weasley serving them breakfast. Or trying to.

"Come on, mum!" whined Ron. "I'm starving."

"Oh, no you are not so quit your whining. Draco will be down any moment."

Molly had come to love Draco Malfoy like one of her own children. The night he had arrived with Snape, just after his Fifth year, and she had learned his story. He had been tired, cold, and hungry, and she grew to love the boy, who grew up with more of an owner than a father, and a mother who was emotionally unattached. Thankfully he had spent his whole life being raised but maids and butlers(the Malfoy's didn't trust House Elves to raise their son, out of fear that their common attitudes may rub off), and was, therefor, untouched by their "filthy evilness" as Mrs. Weasley called it.

"But I'm hungry!"

"Look, young man, I have had enough--"

"Hullo, all." Draco sauntered in. He was dressed in his standard black, and his hair was down, but smooth, never slicked back like his father use to make him. He said that with his hair back, people could see his face, and Malfoy's always need to use their looks to get what they want. Draco preferred his hair in his face.

Ron jumped up and grabbed Draco's shoulders. "Great! Welcome! Siddown!" He pushed Draco into a chair and spun around to face his mother. "Come on, then, mum. Where's the food?"

Hermione smirked at Draco's stunned, annoyed face. He growled at her and said, "What about Remus, and Sirius?"

"Oh, yes, Ronald!" exclaimed Mrs Weasley. "We must wait for them. And I believe Professor Snape will be joining us as well."

Ron turned around so his mother wouldn't see the face he made when Snape was mentioned, and sat down with a huff, ignoring the sneer on Draco's face. At that moment, Remus Lupin and Sirius Black walked into the kitchen.

Although it was covered by his black sweater, Sirius had a large scar where Bellatrix Lestrange's curse had hit him during the battle at the Department of Mysteries. Thankfully, it hadn't been the Killing Curse, and he had miss the veil by mere inches, but the curse was one that left him comatose for several weeks, and he had only woken up days after Harry had left. It killed Sirius, figuratively, of course, that his own Godson didn't even know he was alive and well, and, although he had heard everyone had tried to convince him otherwise, he was sure Harry probably blamed himself for what happened. Sirius wanted to do anything he could to find Harry.

They both sat down at the kitchen table, and Ron looked at his mum hopefully. She sighed.

"All right, Ron. You can eat. I'm sure Severus won't mind." Just as Ron was about to give his victory yell, an irritated voice behind him stopped him.

"No time for food, any of you. We have Order business to attend to, and it includes you three," said Severus Snape as he leaned against the misshapen doorframe.

The kitchen in Dumbledore's house was very strange. Nothing ever had a specific shape, the door, the table, the chairs, the cooler, the sink, everything changed each time you looked at it. The walls were charmed to always look like it was a beautiful summer day, which was sometimes confusing if you think it reflects the weather outside, like the ceiling at Hogwarts. The windows, however big or small or triangular or rectangular or trapazoidiar they may appear, always held a different setting in each, so never try to tell what kind of day it was inside of Dumbledore's kitchen.

Snape, himself, looked very tired and pale. It had taken quicker than he had expected to get the ingredients, but he had been working straight for two days, barely taking a break to eat. The potion was taking quicker than he had originally thought, and should be done any day now. Snape spent the entire time making the potion cursing Potter, as if he ran away deliberately to annoy Snape.

Ron's appetite was forgotten. "We have a mission? For Dumbledore?" he asked excitedly.

Snape sneered at him. "Yes," he said. "Apparently, there was more to the note Harry left the night he disappeared. Now," he added, looking at their faces, "don't get excited. It just said that he put all his school things and personal belonging at his home on Privet Drive, and we are to go collect them."

"Is Sirius going?" asked Hermione immediately.

Remus's forehead wrinkled. "Well, I don't think that would be such as good idea, you see, he's wanted by Muggles too--"

"Which is exactly why he should go," said Draco, understanding where Hermione was going, or at least he thought he knew where Hermione was going. He had only heard stories about Harry's relatives.

"Do you really think its going to be easy for a group of wizards, and one witch," she added proudly, "to barge into the house of the three most...Muggle people in existence, and ransack their house looking for Harry, a boy whom their hate with every fiber of their being, magic stuff?" She paused for effect. "No, it isn't. And they know Sirius is Harry's Godfather, and it may help things a bit."

Sirius thought about it. "She's right," he said. "Besides, I'd like to give that bloody git Dursley a piece of my mind."

"Language!" said Mrs. Weasley, and Snape snorted as Sirius blushed.

"Alright," said Snape. "You three, Lupin, Black, and myself will go."

"What about my mum?" asked Ron.

"No. I'm going to visit Ginny, Fred and George. No doubt clean up after them." Ginny was staying and helping out at her brother's joke shop during the summer, only after her mother insisted there was nothing she could do to help locate Harry.

Snape pulled a box out of his pocket. Hermione leaned over, and barely supressed a laugh when she saw it was a Muggle cassette tape, Queen's Greatest Hits. Snape put it on the table, and ate a few slices of toast ("My bloody toast," muttered Ron) as everyone else got their shoes on. Sirius thought it would be a good idea if the three teens brought their wands, just in case. As it was the middle of the summer, there was no nead for their cloaks, and Remus finally got Snape to put on some Muggle cloths.

When they were all ready, Snape sighed. "Here we go," he said, undramatically. All six touched the cassette at the same time, and all six simultaneously felt a tug behind their navel as they zoomed off into nothing.

They landed underneath a streetsign that read Privet Drive, Ron and Hermione a bit rockier than the others. Thankfully, it was still early morning, only ten to eight, and no one happened to be looking outside at the moment.

Remus coughed slightly. "Er," he said. "It's that way." He pointed down the road. They all set off, nervously.

Ron had a look of pure dread on his face. Draco noticed it and felt it was his duty to comment. "What's up with you, Weasley? You look like you've just found out you got Granger pregnant." Draco smirked at Hermione and Ron's reaction, even when Snape lightly slapped him on the head. He still wanted an answer, however.

Ron looked at him. "What do you know of Harry's home life?"

"Nothing, really. I'm sure it can't be all bad for Saint Potter."

Ron glared at him. "No, you're completely wrong. You've never been more wrong in your entire life."

Draco hated to be told he was wrong. Loathed it, in fact. His eyes narrowed as he said, "Well, then, Weasley, what is it like, if you are so bloody right."

Ron tried to sneer at him, but he was feeling too glum. He sighed and looked down. "Well, I've been here a few times, but the one time that makes my blood run cold was right before Second Year."

Only Hermione knew the story, and she sighed sadly. The others looked at him expectantly. They hadn't noticed that they stopped walking in front of number three.

"We, that is, my family, and Hermione, had heard little of Harry for the beginning of the summer. By little, I mean, vague letters, only saying how he missed us and missed school. Never mentioned his house, or the Dursleys. Then, one day, the letters just stopped. To be perfectly honest, it scared the shit out of me, sorry professor. They just stopped coming altogether. After about three weeks, I didn't know what to do, so I consulted my brothers, Fred and George." He paused to collect his thoughts. "They, being them, suggested I take my dad's Muggle car, which he had spelled to fly. They even offered to come along with me, which was good, since I couldn't even drive it. It took us a while to actually find his house, but we arrived just after midnight a few days before school started."

He sighed, and looked Draco in the eyes, although he knew everyone else was listening. "We hovered in front of Harry's window. You see, we knew it was Harry's window because it was the only one that had bars on his window, yes, bars! He was lying on his thin, dirty matress, asleep, and obviously having a nightmare. His face was scrunched up and he was muttering and moaning. He wasn't wearing a shirt, just pants. You could see his ribs, more so than usual. They had ben starving him, more or less. Feeding him cold soup twice a day, and he had to give half of it to his bird, Hedwig. They had put huge locks on his door, and he was trapped inside this small, dirty room. We pulled the bars off, and Fred and George went downstairs, because they had locked his magic stuff away from him, so he couldn't even do magic, even if it would get him expelled. We put everything in the car, and just as Harry was about to get in, his huge, ugly Uncle burst into the room, and grabbed hold of his ankles!" His voice was rising now, but he didn't notice. "His uncle was like, playing tug-of-war with him, and Harry was very weak, you could see it, and the man was obviously hurting him. We managed to pull Harry in, but Harry's Uncle fell out of the window, but luckily his fat gave him a soft landing," he added bitterly. "and then, after all that, Harry had the balls to lean out of the window, and shout after his aunt and uncle and cousin 'See you next year, Dursleys!'"

During Ron's story, Draco's eyes were wide with shock. But upon hearing the end, he snorted and shook his head. Ron turned on him, angry. "What? Don't believe me?!"

"No, that's not it," he reassured him. "It's just I could so picture Harry saying that last bit."

Ron relaxed. "Yeah, well," he paused to find his words. "Harry's like that. Strange."

They continued walking and stood in front of Number Four.

It was rather clean, with paint that never chipped, flowers that never wilted, grass that never turned brown. Yet, to a trained eye, of which there were many on Privet Drive, the house was lacking its usual appearance. The paint looked a little too faded, the flowers looked a little too thirsty, the grass looked a little too tall. The neighbors also noticed the absense of the strange delinquient boy that lived at the house and was often seen taking care of the house. However, none of the neighbors cared too much about it.

Sirius stalked to the door, preparing himself for how angry he was undoubtable about to be. The others followed him, cautiously. Sirius couldn't decide whether to ring the bell or hammer on the door or break it down. After standing there, considering all his options, Remus grew frustrated, pushed him aside and rang the doorbell. Heavy footsteps where heard pounding the floor a few moments later. It seems the person who owned those footsteps couldn't stop, and a second later there was a loud slamming sound against the other side of the door, making it rattle in his frame and causing all of them to jump. Remus, with his werewolf eyes, saw someone look through the peephole, and then after a minute, the door opened a crack and a fat, pink-headed boy's head stuck out.


Sirius cleared his throat. "Hello. Sirius Black. Convicted felon." He held his hand out for no reason, because he knew the boy wouldn't shake it.

"Severus Snape," said Snape. "Death Eater." He left out the Ex. It would ruin the effect, even though the boy didn't know what a death eater was.

"Remus Lupin. Werewolf"

"Draco Malfoy. Son of a Dark Lord's right-hand man."

"Hermione Granger. Top student at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry."

"Ron Weasley. Son of a Ministy of Magic employee and best friend of Harry Potter."

The boy had gone completely pale, and if his eyes opened any wider, they would have fallen out of their sockets. He wasn't, however, reacting the Ron's statement about Harry. He had stopped listening after Remus spoke.

"W-w-w-werewolf?" he whispered, shakily, because he was, in fact, shaking.

Remus turned his head around and looked at Sirius, who was grinning a knowing grin at him. Remus sighed and closed his eyes. After a moment, he opened them and turned around to face the boy. He bent lower so they were face to face, and so he was a mere inches away from Dudley.

"That's right, little boy," he growled, his eyes narrowing and a malicious grin spreading on his face. "Or should I say..." he trailed off, looking downward.

He met the boys eyes again. "Little pig?"

He stood up straight and started pounding his hands on the door, which was held in place by Dudley's death grip. "Little Pig! Little Pig! Can I come in?! I'll huff and I'll puff and I'LL BLOW YOUR HOUSE DOWN!!!" he howled. It was, however, nothing compared to Dudley's shriek of terror. The boy ran away so fast, a hummingbird would have missed it. The door was left opened.

Remus turned around to look at his company, a small, embarrassed smile on his face. Sirius couldn't help it anymore, he threw his head back and laughed. Snape shook his head, a smirk set on his face.

"Nicely done, Lupin. A bit barbaric, however..."

Remus, knowing no way to respond, simply coughed and looked at the three teens behind him who were looking back at him with shock and awe clear on their faces. "Have your wands out," he said. "Don't do any magic, just keep them out to scare them." He turned back around, pushed the door opened all the way, and walked briskly in. The rest followed.

Shrieking could be heard from inside a room to their left, so the went that way, Sirius in the lead.

On any other day, the room would have been called a kitchen. Today, it could be called a present storage room. Everywhere, presents could be seen and tripped over, wrapped nicely in beautiful wrapping paper and ribbons. They were everywhwere, covering the table, the chairs, the counters, the floor. In the corner the large boy, Dudley, was huddled closely with his mother, who Sirius presumed was Petunia. Standing in front of them, but not to close to Sirius, was a huge man with absolutely no neck and a red face.

The man opened his mouth. Then closed it again. Then opened it again. His lips formed a 'W', then a 'H', then a 'G', before he just shut his mouth again.

"Hello!" said Sirius amiably. "I don't believe we've met. I'm Si--"

"The boy isn't here!" Vernon had found his voice, it seems.

"Ah. Yes, we are aware of that. Bu--"

"We went to the train station, but he wasn't there! That bloody boy made us wait an hour, my son was starving! He never showed up! Don't come running to us if you let that damn boy slip out of your grasp! See, Petunia! I told you, even with his kind, that boy is no good. He's just NO GOOD!"

"Shut it!" said Sirius, irritated with the man's ramblings. "Harry has ran off, we know. But we do know that right after he ran off, he came back her to store his belongings. I--" His eyes narrowed as he was cut off again.

"He was here when we were sleeping!! Oh my God, Vernon, he could have done ANYTHING!!" said the thin woman hysterically, holding her son tightly.

"Will you stop bloody interrupting me!" boomed Sirius, thouroughly annoyed now.

"You got it all under control, I see," said Snape drily. Sirius turned and glared at him. Sirius turned back to the Muggle family.

"Listen to me, now, Dursley." Vernon stopped trying to comfort his wife and looked at Sirius fearfully. "We are just going to check his bedroom. Where is it?"

Vernon told him, and they started to move out when Sirius heard someone whisper, "The cupboard."

Sirius turned back around and advanced on Petunia. "What did you say?"

The woman blanched, but kept talking. "The cupboard under the stairs, where he use to sleep. We haven't been able to open it for weeks now."

It was Remus who spoke first. "Where he used to sleep?!" If looks could kill, all three Dursley's would be dead six times over. Petunia nodded.

Sirius turned around. "Snape. Would you check his room? Okay, and you three, " he turned to the teens. "You check the cupboard. Snape," he muttered under his breath. "Open the door for them." He looked at Remus and grinned evilly. He turned around again to face The Dursleys. "And I think me and my friend, Remus the Werewolf, will stay here and have a little chat, yes?"

Draco, Hermione, Ron, and Snape walked out of the kitchen, leaving Sirius and Remus to the frightened Muggles.

The three teenagers looked at the door to the cupboard door, unsettled. Snape glanced at, pulled out his wand, and said "Alohomora" before walking around to the beginning on the stairs.

"Be quick," he said. "I don't like it here." He ascended up the stairs, leaving them in the hallway.

Draco put his hand on the doorknob. He inhaled deeply, and pulled opened the door.

The room was about three feet long, five feet wide. It was about five feet in height, if that. It smelled like mold and old books. Inside it was Harry's school trunk, battered and as familiar as ever. It took up most of the space. Without saying anything, Draco put his hands on the trunk, and the others followed suit. Together they heaved it out. It was incredibly heavy, and Draco suspected there was more in there than his school supplies. They barely got it out of the doorway. They looked inside the cupboard nervously, as if they were afraid it would swallow them whole.

"God," said Draco finally. "It's so small. How long did he live in here?"

"Well, he was in the bedroom upstairs before Second year, so I guess 'til he was eleven," said Ron quietly.

"Oh, my. Eleven years. It's so dark. How could he stand it?" asked Hermione.

It was all he knew, thought Draco. What a treat it must have been, living in the large dormitory at Hogwarts. He surveyed the dusty floor with a grimace until he spotted something.

"Hey, that board it loose!"he said. He bent down and picked it up from where it had been resting, a bit higher than the other boards.

Underneath, a small, green blanket was sitting quietly. Draco picked it up, and rubbed the material against his pale hands. Stitched in the bottom were the initials 'HJP' He ran the pads of his thumbs against the letters, and then silently handed it to Ron. Draco was about to put the board back when Hermione stopped him.

"There is something carved on that!" she exclaimed, and grabbed it out of his hands, almost knocking Draco over. Draco would have given her a dirty look, but he was too curious. He stood up quickly, and loomed over her shoulder, aware that Ron was doing the same.

"He used his nails, I think," said Hermione softly.

Draco read what was written, and then read it again, and then again. He then once more. He slowly plucked it from Hermione's hand, and then took the blanket out of Ron's grip. He wrapped the blanket around the board, opened the trunk, and put it in without looking inside.

He turned around to face his newly found companions. He sighed. "Come on, leave it here for now. We can have someone else bring it up. Let's go find Snape."

Draco Malfoy turned around again and walked to the stairs, all the while repeating in his head what was carved on the board: Be thou faithful unto death and I will give thee a crown of life...

Severus Snape surveyed the tiny bedroom with a grimace. On the wall, next to the door, was a thin, stained mattress stripped of its sheet. In the corner of the bed, where the two walls met, a bundle of sheets sat, lifeless. Across from the bed was a window. On the outside of it, the remains of the bars were still there, just the ones on the ends. Two shelves were built going around the walls, starting right next to the window and ending just above where the bed started. On the wall connecting with the one with a window, was the closet. The ground was littered with toys, as were there shelves.

See? thought Snape. He's just as spoiled as you thought he was. Don't look at the relatives and the bed and the bars. Just look at those toys. All broken, too. The boy always was hopeless. You were always right about him, see? See?

But as Snape entered the room, he knew, no matter how hard he tried to reasssure himself, that he was wrong. All the toys were covered in small rectangular stickers. On one end was a happy yellow smiley face. Written on the stickers was:



I don't think that second exclamation point was really necessarry, thought Snape wearily. He stalked over to the closet, and was thankful that he was alone, because at that moment he tripped over a B.B. gun, bent at a very strange angle and covered in three "PROPERTY OF DUDLEY DURSLEY" stickers. He stumbled, in a very un-Slytherin like manner, and a very un-Snape like manner, and into the wall in front of him. He used to window sill to steady his balance. He looked down angrily and raised his foot to kick the toys in anger when he heard something below him drop.

He looked down. His right foot was still raised back, and nothing was below him. He lowered his foot, and the board raised at the other end of the one he stepped on. He picked his foot up again and the board made the same hollow sound it did before. Snape crouched down and picked up the plank and set it aside.

Inside, he saw a couple packets of Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Beans and Chocolate Frogs, a bundle of letters wrapped tightly with a frayed string, and about two dozen old notebooks. But Snape didn't see any of these things. He was too busy looking at something else. Looking, hell, he was entranced.

Sitting there, clear as day, in a swirling mass of thought, was a Pensieve. Harry's Pensieve.

Snape's mind seemed to be throbbing. With each beat of his heart, he heard: Revenge, revenge, revenge. He seemed to have ceased breathing, and he knew, deep down, that he ought to start doing that again before it got to late. Tentatively, he picked it up and slid the board back in place. He stood up, just staring at it. It felt like he had been standing there for ever, but he knew it had only been a few minutes. It finally struck him as odd, what would a boy like Harry Potter put in his Pensieve?

He decided that he wouldn't look at it here, there wasn't enough time, not with the footsteps pounding up the stairs. He quickly put in it his satchel, and closed it just as the door opened.

The three entered quietly, and looked around, ignoring Snape completely. This annoyed him greatly - he did not like to be ignored by his pupils, even when school was out.

"Well?" he asked. "Did you find anything?"

"Hmm?" said Draco, looking at him for the first time. He had been staring at Harry's mattress. "Oh, yes. We found his school trunk in the closet. It was too heavy to bring upstairs." Snape nodded.

Hermione looked at him curiously. "Did you find anything?"

Snape was caught offguard, though he wasn't sure why. "Er, yes. Some of his things were hidden underneath that board," he half-turned and pointed to it. "I was just looking for a bag to put it all in."

Ron walked cautiously to the closet and opened it. There was a wooden bar going across, but no hangers. All the clothes were in a pile on the floor. Ron bent down, and pulled out a red duffel bag with a broken strap. He stood and faced Snape.

"Here's a bag, and some of Harry's clothes. But the strap's broken, could you--?" But Snape had already pulled out his wand.


"Hold on a second!" exclaimed Hermione. She rushed over to the board Snape pointed to. She picked it up and turned it over.

"What are you doing?" asked Snape.

"Following a pattern." She flipped it over so everyone could read what was scratched into the wood.

"'The evil that men do lives after them, The good is oft interred with their bones,''" read Ron. "What does that mean?

"Its Shakespeare, I think," said Hermione.

"What did you mean, following a pattern?" asked Snape.

"We found another secret hideaway in the cupboard under the stairs with something Harry carved in."

"What did it say?"

"Be faithful unto death and I will give thee a crown of life," said Draco immediately. Snape looked at him curiously, and Draco looked away, abashed.

"Lets just get this done with and leave," said Snape. "I don't like this place at all."

Hermione placed the plank into the duffel bag, and Ron and Draco bent down and started putting Harry's things inside the bag.

"'Mione," said Ron. "Some of these letters are from us. And almost all of them are unopened." He looked very uneasy.

"Look, I found Harry's diary," said Draco amused. "Er, diaries."

"The boy sure does right a lot," said Snape.

Draoc nodded and went to open one of them when Hermione stopped him. "Don't you dare! That's private!" And indeed, about half of them had written on the cover in big bold letters: KEEP OUT! HANDS OFF! GO AWAY! DON'T YOU DARE THINK OF OPENING THIS UNLESS YOU WANT SOMETHING SHARP AND UNPLEASANT SHOVED UP YOUR ARSE.

"'Death shall slay the wings whoever disturbs the peace of the Pharoh,'" said Draco, reading the cover to one of the notebooks.

"That is what is written on King Tutankhamen's tomb," said Snape.

"Geez, Harry is such a nerd," said Draco increduously.

Only half of the notebooks had warnings on them. The others were covered in doodles and small drawings. Draco reasoned that this meant it was perfectly okay to read.

"I still think its wrong, but you aren't going to listen to me anyway," sniffed Hermione.

Draco opened the one, which looked to be one of the oldest.

"They're drawings!" he said, amazed. They all loomed over his shoulder, even Hermione. Each drawing had a caption, which was good, because the drawings were of people they had never seen before: children jumping rope(the caption reading: "Girls who ignore me."), old men playing chess in a park ("Tranquility."), an young woman with a ruler gesturing to a board behind her("Mrs. Ryal, my third year teacher, who hates me."), a butterfly hovering over a beautiful flower("Beauty.").As the books started to get more recent, the quality steadily increased. There were no pictures of Harry's relatives, except one. It was of his cousin Dudley. A large python was wrapped around him, and Dudley's face was fatter than ever. The snake looked very happy. It was winking. The caption read: "My cousin at his best." When Ron saw this drawing, he laughed

"He's told me about this. It actually happened. This is the first time he ever spoke to a snake. He said it didn't even seem weird that a large python winked at him."

Hermione looked thoughtful. "So, if this is when he was ten, then that should mean his next pictures should be..." She trailed off when Draco turned the page.

The next drawing was of Rubeus Hagrid. He was standing in a doorway, holding a cake that read, "Happy Birthday Harry!" The picture was very realistic and lifelike. Harry had managed to capture every detail perfectly, to the friendliness in Hagrid's eyes to the imperfections in Hagrid's cake to the knotted mass of Hagrid's hair. This time, the caption said: "Rubeus Hagrid and my first birthday cake."

From then on, the captions were no longer needed. It was amazing to see Harry's life change through his drawings. There was a graphic drawing of the Leaky Cauldron, and of the people he first met inside it. There was even a very good drawing of Proffessor Quirrel. The caption said: "Proffessor Quirrel, Defense Against The Dark Arts." Underneath it, however, Harry had added: "Filthy, fucking, traitorous bastard!"

There was even one of the first time he met Draco. He was standing on a platform, wearing robes that were way too large as a measuring tape was taking his measurements by itself. He had a haughty smile plastered on his face, and Harry had even drew the reflection that the Draco in the drawing was smiling at. It was absolutely perfect.

The caption read:"The first magical boy who spoke to me."

Later, he had added. "Draco Malfoy. The first, well, the first magical boy who hates me."

Draco scrunched his nose up with distaste. "Bah," he said. "You should have shaken my hand."

Ron glared at him, but when Draco ignored him, he just let it go. Draco kept turning the pages. There was ones of Hedwig, of Ollivander, of Mrs Weasley and Ginny, of the twins. Finally, there was one of Ron.

It was just as good as the others. Harry had even draw the freckles. In Ron's hand was a sleeping Scabbers, and Ron was quite surprised he hadn't X'd it out or added anything nasty about the rat. It was just sleeping. There was a big, goofy grin on the drawing of Ron's face.

"Look, he even got the brown smudge on your nose," said Hermione humorously.

Underneath the drawing, it said: "Ronald Weasley, my first friend."

"It doesn't say magical," said Draco quietly.


"It doesn't say magical. Like, for my drawing, it said the first magical boy who hated me. Yours doesn't say the first magical friend. You're just his first friend."

There was a long pause in which Draco turned the page again. The next drawing was a very worried Neville, poking his head through the door. Draco snorted when he read the caption: "Neville Longbottom and the search for the lost toad."

"And the next one--?" said Hermione nervously.

There she was, Hermione. Standing in the doorway to their compartment on the train. She was already in her robes, and had her wand in hand. She looked very nervous, and very proud to be in those robes with that wand, and had a questioning look on her face. Even in the drawing, you could see her eyes glittering.

The caption said: "Hermione Granger." He had added later: "Second best friend."

"How does he do it?" asked Ron. "I mean, its not like he's there with a pencil and paper during all these events."

"He must have a photographic memory or something. That's the only way to explain it," said Hermione.

"Come on, now," said Snape, shoving the rest of the things in the duffel bag. "We can look at these things later. Let's just grab his clothes and go. Draco?" he asked. "Go get the mutts to bring up the trunk, and call me if they've harmed those Muggles." He paused then added. "Harmed them, physically."

Draco smirked, and left the room. He walked down the stairs gracefully.He could already hear the yelling of the wizards from outside the room.

"You think you're so clever and classless and free," Sirius was saying, or snarling.

Remus scoffed. "They're still fucking peasants as far as I can see."

Draco was shocked to hear such language coming from Remus, who had always seemed so congenial. He entered the kitchen hesitantly. The Dursley's were backed into a corner, shaking like prey caught in a trap. The large man, Harry's uncle, was bright red with anger, but apparently not angry enough to do something about the covicted criminal and werewolf standing in his kitchen. Sirius and Remus were brandishing the wands like swords, but Draco knew they'd never actually hurt the Muggles. He leaned against the wall, and pulled out his wand. He toyed with it gently and listened to Sirius ripping Harry's uncle a new arsehole.

"You liked it, don't you? You got your little kicks torturing a poor, harmless boy. You knew he had no body but you, and you let him know it in any way you thought possible!"

"Petunia." Ah, thought Draco. Remus going for the guilt. "I know you and your sister didn't get along, but she loved you just the same, I know it, for Lily loved everyone. How could you do this to her one and only son? If it had been the other way 'round, and you and Vernon here had gotten killed, and Lily was taking care of your son here, would you like him kept in a tiny cupboard for a decade? Would you like him starved and abused?"

Petunia didn't answer, only quivered in fear. Draco felt enough was enough, and coughed slightly. The two wizards jumped and looked at him, surprised.

"Come now," said Draco coldly. "We're done."

They nodded and turned back to the Dursley's. "Okay, then," said Sirius. "But I'll leave you with this thought. If I found out you hurt Harry, physically hurt him, then I will come back here, and I will kill you. If I find out you laid one of your fat Muggle fingers on my God son, you will be staring down the wrong end of a wand, with a very very dangerous and angry wizard on the right end, got it?"

Surprisingly, and quite unsettling to Draco, Vernon turned from completely red to completely white, and Draco thought that someone who has that little blood in his face would surely pass out. Also as unsettling, Dudley and Petunia heads snapped to the side to look at the man, a new fear dawning on their faces. Fear, and on Petunia's anyway, a trace of guilt.

Remus and Sirius must have noticed it, too, because Sirius's eyes narrowed and his face turned red. "WHAT DID YOU DO?!" he bellowed, and started to make for Vernon, had Remus not held him back.

"Come on, now, Sirius! We'll deal with them later!" He glared at the Dursley's, just the two boys now, as Petunia had just passed out from Sirius screaming.

Remus and Draco managed to push Sirius into the hallway, and calmed him down long enough for them to grab hold of the trunk and bring it upstairs.

The dragged it inside Harry's room and set it down with a thud. Remus and Sirius looked around the room. Their eyes narrowed at the same time, which would have been comical, if it were a different situation.

"We'll leave from up here," said Snape, cutting through everyone's thoughts. "Give them something to worry about."

"I doubt they'll be sleeping up here tonight," said Draco, smiling.

"Hell," said Ron. "They'll probably go to a hotel or something."

"Are you all ready?" asked Remus. "Do you have everything?" Everyone nodded, except Hermione. She was staring at Harry's bed intently, a thoughtful look on her face. Remus looked at her. "Hermione?"

She started, and turned towards them, uneasiness clear on her face. "That sheet," she said, pointing to the one screwed up in the corner of the bed. "It doesn't look right."

"What is it?" asked Sirius.

"I dunno, it just looks too...neat to be that random. It looks almost...folded over, as if," she paused, "as if it's covering something." The others turned to look at the ball of blanket. Hesitantly, Hermione walked over, leaned over the bed, grabbed the sheet, and lifted it up, and spread it over the bed.

Several things happened at once.

Hermione let go of the sheet instantly and jumped back, her hand over her mouth. Draco gasped in disbelief. Ron let out a small yelp and took a step back. Remus and Snape's eyes bulged and their jaws dropped. Sirius started to shake with anger, his face turning white. He let out a yell, startling everyone. He made for the door, but Remus grabbed his sleeve as hard as he could, not allowing Sirius to move. They all stared at the blanket.

The sheet could have been called white at one point, but now it was an ugly cream color, as if it had never been washed. Covering the sheet were stains, old stains that looked like a reddish brown, like--

"Dried blood," said Draco, his voice sounding loud and unlike his own in the silence.

There were smears of the blood in going in every direction, unintentional, imperfect. There were two handprints, one was small, with long, thin fingers that they all recognized to be Harry's; the other was larger, much larger, with stubby fat fingers. Harry's uncle.

What was most disturbing was what someone, Harry, has written on the sheet, in the blood. It looked like Harry had dipped his finger in some of his own blood, and written, as if fingerpainting: I heard a voice cry in the deep. Come join me, baby, in my endless sleep.

"What did they do?" Remus whispered to know one. "Oh, Merlin, what did they do to you?"

"I'm going to kill him," said Sirius quietly. "I'm going to KILL HIM!!!" He ran to the door and threw it opened before Remus could stop him. "Do you hear me, Dursley!?!?" he shrieked. "I'm going to KILL YOU!!!" Remus through his arms around his neck and dragged him back into the room before Sirius could take off. He kicked and screamed, but Remus managed to grab hold of his hand and the trunk. Snape pulled out the portkey, and everyone(Remus made Sirius touch it himself) touched it before disappearing from Harry's only room.

They arrived back in Dumbledore's library. Dumbledore was sitting in an armchair, waiting for them. He quietly marked his place in the book he was reading, and stood up, not saying anything.

Sirius was on the floor, and Remus was behind him, his arms around his, Sirius's, neck. Sirius was still kicking and growling and muttering threats to Remus. Snape had a dazed expression on his face, as if he was trying to figure something out. Draco and Ron were looking at Hermione angrily, who was holding a sheet in her hands, it held out in front of her nervously.

"Why the hell did you bring that?!" hissed Draco.

Hermione stuck out her chin. "When Harry gets back, I'm going to have him burn it."

Sirius coughed from his place on the ground. Remus got up and let him fall back. He stayed on the ground, lying on his back and staring at nothing. His eyes were red and he looked like he was about to cry.

"Har-" he croaked. He coughed and tried again. "Harry. Oh, Merlin, Harry, why didn't you tell me? Why?"

Dumbledore just looked on, having been not noticed yet. Finally, Snape looked at him, his face to shocked, eyes glazed over.

"Are you alright?" Dumbledore asked quietly.

Snape blinked. "Do you know what it's like, to have a certain view on something, and you are so incredibley sure you were right about it, and that nothing could change your mind. And then, in an instant, you discover you were completely wrong in the worst possible way?" He sighed, and let the duffel bag slide off his shoulder onto the floor. He looked at his three pupils; he couldn't bare to look at Sirius at the moment.

"You three. Go wash up and have breakfast." They nodded silently at him, still a bit shocked by what Snape had just said to their Headmaster.

Snape turned around and started walking. He stopped when he reached the doorway, and put his hand on the frame, as if to steady himself. He said, without turning around, "We'll find him, you know."

Snape then left, moving as fast as his feet could carry him, until he reached his room/lab in Dumbledore's dungeon.

The atmosphere and temperature were good for the potions he made, Snape reasoned, but he knew he really asked to stay down here because this is where he was most comfortable, away from sunlight and humidity. Draco was the same way; his room was just down the hall.

Snape took off his bag and set it on his worktable. He slowly pulled out the Pensieve and set it down. He stared at it, wondering what he should do with it, and wondering why he didn't tell anyone about it. He continued to look at it until a buzzing started going off in his ear.

He jumped, completely forgetting he had set a timer for the Tracking potion. He pulled out his wand and tapped his ear twice. The buzzing stopped. He made his way over to the end of the long table, where a potion was simmering quietly. It was a clear blue, and, if Snape didn't know any better, looked quite refreshing. He went over to his filing cabinet, and pulled out a vial, containing a dark red liquid.

This is what's on that sheet. This here...Snape thought, and shivered.

He added the blood into the potion, stirring counterclockwise as he did. When the bottle was empty, he continued stirring counterclockwise three times, then clockwise four times, then diagonal, and then up and down, until the potion was an inky purple color. The smoke wafting from it was red.

He grabbed a ladle and a fresh vial, and poured some of the potion in. A week early, he thought. They were making excellent time. He knew this was the first time he ever made this potion, but he was one of the best Potionsmakers in the wizarding world, and he had faith in himself. Who else would he put faith into?

He put a cork in the vial, and then he could no longer contain his excitement. He grinned, for the first time in a long time. He grinned for having accomplished a new, difficult potion to perfection. He grinned because he was finished early and didn't have to slave over it anymore. But mainly, and most unsettlingly for him, he grinned in anticipation, to see if the potion worked and did what it was suppose to do and found who it was suppose to find.

He left his room quickly, potion gripped tightly in his fist. He broke into a very un-Snape like run, breathing harder and concentrating on where he was running; his eyes kept averting to the potion in his hand, and he didn't want to crash into a wall anytime soon.

He burst into the kitchen, startling everyone and interrupting Remus as he was telling Dumbledore what happened on Privet Drive. Sirius spilled the large glass of whiskey in his hand, and glared at Snape, annoyed.

Snape knew he had a stupid, rare grin on his face. He knew his hair, usually straight and perfect, was flying everywhere and in his face. He knew his clothes were wrinkled and disheveled. He knew, and didn't care at the moment.

He was panting, trying to regain his breath and tell them. But he kept gasping, which started to really annoy Sirius.

"Out with it! Come on, we don't got all day, Snivellus."

Snape glared at him, but instead of saying anything, he held up the little vial with satisfaction, which everyone stared at in shock. No one moved.

"Draco," Snape said, finally. "That bird of yours ready?"

It had been a week since the Order let go Draco's owl, Aliéné, with the Tracking potion working its way through her veins. The bird was getting closer and closer, and yet, Harry Potter remained oblivious.

He sat in Del Sol, cooling off from the heavy heat of July with a tall glass of whiskey. Actually, it was his second tall glass of whiskey, and although he was no Professor Trelawney, he could see another tall glass of whiskey in his future. He had purchased a pad and charcoal pencils from the drug store, and was doing a sketch of the bartender. It was coming out pretty good, actually. Usually, he didn't need his subjects to be sitting in front of him(or, as it were, over by the bar working, completely unaware of what Harry was doing), but usually he wasn't this tipsy. Since he ran off, he had been drinking alot more that he was suppose to, but he didn't mind much. Drinking was good; he was able to hold his liquor well. It just calmed him down, was all. He was singing under his breath in as he drew, the others in the bar staring at him out of the corner of their eyes. El Hombre Sin Nombre was singing in english.

"The celebrated Mr.K performs his feat on Saturday at Bishop's Gate," he sang softly, not even really aware he was singing. "The Henderson's will dance and sing as Mr.Kite flies through the ring, don't be late! Mr.K and H assure the public their production will be second to none. And, of course, Henry the Horse dances the waltz!"

He barely glanced up when the town priest, Father Paco Hernandez, burst in, breathing heavily, fear clear in his eyes.

He barely glanced up when everyone else jumped up in shock of the priest's arrival. Just the look in the man's eyes was enough to make the others afraid.

He barely glanced up when the camarero, José, said with a start, "Father! What happened? Are you okay?"

He did, however, glance up when the priest yelled out, "Pájaro del diablo! Pájaro del diablo!"

Harry sat up straight and looked at the man. Pájaro del diablo. Devil bird. Oh, shite, he groaned. Why do I have the feeling this is going to involve me somehow?

Two men got up and grabbed a chair and ushered the priest in. A waitress got him a glass of water. He gulped it down quickly, and he looked like he was going to be sick. José hopped over the counter and came to the man's side. He gripped Father Hernandez's shoulders firmly.

"Calm down, now, Father, and explain what you saw." Harry had to admit, the bartender's voice was very steady, especially when the nervousness was apparent on his face.

The priest nodded. "I was walking down the road towards the church," he said. "I was just looking up at the sky, and taking in what a beautiful summer day it was, and to thank God for giving us such a clear, blue sky." He paused to collect his thoughts. Harry was listening closely, although he hadn't moved from his table. "And that's when I saw it. Sitting on the roof of the barber shop right across the street. It was an owl!"

A few of the people laughed, a look of relief on their faces. Harry froze. Dammit, he thought. Why couldn't I have been wrong?

The priest looked angry. "No! Do not laugh! This is not a joke! An owl, sitting outside, in the daytime! And he didn't look like any ordinary owl, neither! His eyes, they weren't yellow or orange like a normal owl. Oh, no! They were green! A bright, hideous, foul green!!"

Like the Killing Curse, thought Harry numbly as he leaned a bit closer to the conversation.

"And," continued the priest, "and, the markings weren't like that of a normal owl. It was completely black, except for a mark on it's chest, in the shape of an D! D! D for Diablo! D for Diablo!" He was shrieking now, no matter how hard José was trying to calm him. "And, on top of everything else, there was a paper, a paper, attached to it's leg! How many owls do you see carrying letters?!"

Harry closed his eyes. Goddamn, motherfucking, SHIT. He was caught.


No he wasn't.

Not yet, anyway.

He wasn't going down without a fight.

Harry stood up. Immediately, he had the attention of everyone in the room. He looked the priest in the eyes.

"That bird," he said, his voice loud and strong, "is it still across the street?"

The priest nodded. "W-what are you going to do, señor?"

He rested his hands on his guns. "I'm going to get rid of it for you all. No demon bird is harming this town, comprenda?"

Draco Malfoy, Ginny Weasley, Hermione Granger, and Ronald Weasley sat huddled around a large map of the world in Dumbledore's library. They sat around, waiting for something, anything to happen. The others, Albus Dumbledore, Remus Lupin, Sirius Black, and Severus Snape, being adults, saw no use in sitting around, hoping, so they sat in the library; Dumbledore was reading a book, Remus and Snape were playing chess, and Sirius was pacing. The four teenagers sat in silence, staring at the map, and wondering. Ginny, who had insisted on staying with the Order after she they sent Draco's bird out. She had been filled in about what happened at Privet Drive, and what they found. Now, she was, more than ever, determined to help find Harry, and "kill him with my bare hands for not saying anything sooner."

Draco sighed and leaned down to pick up one of Harry's sketchbooks. Hermione still wouldn't allow them to look at the journals, but she was just as engrossed as the others by the drawings. Even Snape admitted to be fascinated by them, and amazed by how good they were. The book Draco was holding was from their second year. He had stared for hours at one drawing. It was a drawing of him during his first game as Slytherin Seeker. Harry had managed to capture all of Draco's skill, grace, and determination in one moment, and had managed to draw it all down. The picture surprised him, because it wasn't mean, or covered in little X's or say anything rude, like you woudl expect when an enemy draws a picture of you. It just was. The caption said: Slytherin's new Seeker.

He ran his fingers over the drawing's face, over the words "Nimbus 2001," over his outstretched arm and curled fingers. Harry had gotten his posture down perfectly, and Draco had noticed that this page had been creased and dirtier than the others, as if Harry had stared at if for a long time, trying to learn Draco's technique. This thought made Draco feel very nervous and proud for some reason.

Suddenly, the room was filled with a loud, obnoxious blaring. Ron, who had been dozing in his seat, jerked upright, and began looking around. Hermione, who had been staring off into space, jumped and gasped before she could stop herself. Ginny, who was aslo looking at a book, looked up calmly, as if she knew it had been coming. Sirius let out a yell and ran towards the map, stopping only when he crashed into the back of Ron's chair, causing him to tumble forward. Ron didn't even have the heart to glare at him.

All seven gathered around the table, expectantly. Then, the alarm stopped, and a beam of light shot out of the middle of the map. It widened quickly, and engulfed all of them. Draco felt a dull pull on the top of his head, and suddenly he felt his feet leave the ground.

He crashed onto the floor. His eyes were still closed, and he hadn't even been aware he closed them. He felt the ground, expecting to feel the thick Indian rug underneath his fingers, and his eyes snapped open when he realized he was sitting on a dirt road.

The dirt was actually sand. He stood up quickly, and looked around. He felt like he was standing in the middle of a Western film. The buildings were made out of stone, he saw, and everything looked old. There were no clouds in the sky, and even though he could see the sun beating down, he felt no heat. He looked down to brush dust off his clothes, and gasped when he saw he was translucent.

He turned around, and was thankful to see the rest of his, well, he wasn't too sure what they were, but they were there. They were aslo examining their surroundings and their bodies in shock. Apparently, they didn't know about this part of the spell.

"Can," he started. "Can you see and hear me?" They all looked at him and nodded, and Draco was incredibley grateful.

"Malfoy!" said Ginny suddenly. "Look! There is your owl!" She pointed behind him. He spun around and saw his bird perched on top of a building. The sign read Pelo Hermoso.

"That's spanish," said Snape curiously. "We must be in Spain, Potter couldn't have gotten any farther than that. Not without magic."

Just then, a door across the street could be heard slamming open. They all turned their heads at the same time to see a man walking out of a place called Del Sol Las Subidas También. He wasn't very tall, about an inch or so taller than Draco. He was wearing a brown wool Fedora, tilted down so that they couldn't see his face.

The man looked up to stare at Draco's owl.

"Holy shit!' exclaimed Ron. "That's Harry! That's fucking Harry!!"

And it was true. Walking out of the building was a boy they all knew since he was eleven. Even with the hat on, they could all see his scar. His eyes looked even brighter, now that he didn't wear glasses and had developed a dark tan. He had a five o'clock shadow, and his hair was longer and messier than normal. He was wearing a long-sleeved light blue button down shirt, opened at the neck and the sleeves rolled up to the elbow. He wore a gold chain around his neck, and Draco could see the end of what looked like a scar peaking out from under his shirt. Around his wrists he wore brown leather bands. He wore black raylon garbardine pants, and heavy black boots. Around his waist was a gun holster, and two revolvers were being held in place on both sides of his hips. He was also wearing a bullet belt around his waist and two crossing over his chest.

"Oh, my," said Dumbledore.

"Wow," said Ginny.

"Wow," said Hermione.

'Wow," said Draco.

"He looks so--" said Ron.

"Strange?" said Remus.

"Stupid?" said Snape.

"Cool!" said Sirius.

"Different," finished Ron.

Harry, of course, heard none of this, because they weren't really there. He only focused on the owl. Draco could see fear in his eyes, and a tinge of amusement, but mainly he saw anger. In the building Harry just came out of, Draco could see faces pressed against the glass. They were watching Harry with fear and adoration. Like Harry was putting on a show.

Harry stood in the middle of the road, only a few feet from where they stood. Draco wanted to get closer, but was afraid to. Harry held out his arm, and Draco's owl flew onto his outstreched arm. Draco could see the note he attached fluttering. He swallowed nervously; none of the others knew about that letter.

"Snape?" asked Remus. "What's that attached to it's leg?"

Snape's brow furrowed. "I don't know. I didn't send the bird off, Dra--" he stopped and glared at Draco. "What is it?" he seethed.

Draco smiled meekly. "Just a note."

Harry was untying the note now. Aliéné chewed on Harry's hair playfully. Harry ignored her. He unfolded the note and read it.

"What does it say, Draco?" said Sirius through clenched teeth.

"Er, hello."


"I swear. It just says 'Hello, Harry.'"

Harry was staring at the note angrily. He looked at the sky for a few seconds before calmly folding the note and putting it in his pocket.

"That better be all it said, Malfoy," warned Ron.

Harry looked at the owl, annoyed. He shook it off fiercely, and the owl cried out. Draco opened his mouth and took a step forward before he realized he couldn't be seen. The bird stared at Harry, irritated, before turning around and flying off. Harry started to go but then turned around and looked back up at the bird. Quickly, so fast Draco almost missed it, Harry pulled out one of his guns and tilted it upwards. He held it low in front of him, and kept a finger on the trigger as he used his other hand to pull the hammer back twice. Two bullets fired from the gun, and both hit squarely in Aliéné's chest. The owl squawked and fell, about 25 feet, to the ground with a hollow thump.

Draco cried out and covered his mouth with his hands. For one horrifying second, Harry looked over to where they were standing. They all stood perfectly still, not making any sound. Draco saw something flicker in Harry's eyes.

All of a sudden, Draco felt the same tugging on the top of his head. He felt his feet lift the ground again. The last thing he saw before he was thrown back into reality was the strangest smile on Harry's face.

They all landed on the ground, even Dumbledore, around the table. The beam of light was still coming from the middle of the map. In the center, they all could read:


They all stared at the words as they slowly started to fade, until they were gone completely, leaving only the map. The stood up slowly, and began to brush dust off their clothes. Only Draco remained on the floor, looking on with disbelief.

"Draco?" asked Remus gently. "Draco?"

"He. He," said Draco, his voice barely higher than a whisper. "He. . .the FUCK!"

"Mr. Malfoy!" said Dumbledore, but Draco ignored him.

"That fucker! That fucking fucking fucker!" He voice was getting higher.

Snape coughed. "Er, Draco? Calm down n--"

"No!" yelled Draco. "He killed my bird!! Do you hear me?! HE KILLED MY PET!! HE SHOT AND KILLED MY OWL FOR NO FUCKING REASON!! WHAT THE FUCK?! HE SHOT MY OWL! HE HAS GUNS ON HIM AND HE SHOT MY OWL!!" He got up abruptly, and faced Dumbledore. "I," he said, and stopped, not knowing what to say. "I expect a new fucking bird!" He turned and sat down in a chair with a huff.

"My, my," said Ron with a smirk. "Aren't you quite the vulgarian."

"You're the vulgarian, you fuck!" Draco rested his elbow on the arm of the chair, and began massaging his eyes with his thumb and forefinger.

There was a long silence. Dumbledore coughed slightly, hoping for Draco's attention, but he didn't move.

"Draco?" he said softly. Draco didn't move. "Draco?" he said again, louder.

"Hello? Yes?"

Dumbledore sat down in the armchair across from him. What he was about to ask of Draco was something they all, including Harry's friends, had agreed on, albeit reluctantly.

"I need to ask of you a favor. That is, the Order needs to ask of you a favor."

Now Draco looked at him. Everyone had crowded around Dumbledore's chair, looking at Draco expectantly. "What is it? The last favor I did for you got me a dead bloody bird."

Dumbledore chuckled. His eyes were twinkling.

Fuck, thought Draco.

Draco Malfoy sat in Del Sol Las Subidas También, wondering how he got himself into these messes.

He decided that it all started when he approached Dumbledore about a week before Harry ran off.

/./flashback, yo/./

He was fidgeting in the armchair. That's how Dumbledore really knew Draco was telling the truth. Not his story, not the look in his eyes, not his facial expression. Malfoy's don't fidget.

"What am I going to do?" Draco leaned forward in his seat..

Dumbledore leaned back in his chair and stared up at the portraits that surrounded his office. They were all sleeping, or so they pretended; Draco had insisted on meeting at night, when everyone was in bed.

"Well," he said finally. "You are aware of the seriousness of this situation is?"

Draco scowled. This is what he had been waiting for? "Obviously. Or else I wouldn't have come to you,"

Dumbledore smiled gravely. "You have, as I see it, three options. The first one, and I don't even want you to consider, is to flat out refuse to take the Dark Mark. I don't, however, think Lucius would except this too well, so don't even think of it."

Then why did you mention it? thought Draco angrily.

"The second option, is for you to go into hiding. Now, I don't want you to think of this as a cowards way ou--"

"I won't hide." There was no way Draco would hide away. He'd go insane the first week. He never could handle isolation well.

"Yes, I thought you'd say that," Dumbledore sighed. "The last option is for you to be spy."

"A spy?" Draco echoed.

"It will be very very dangerous. You'd have to do things you won't want to do and see things you don't want to see."

These are my options, thouguh Draco as he looked down at his feet. Die, hide, or spy. Or join him.

"Bugger," muttered Draco. He lifted his head and stared Dumbledore in the eyes. "I'll spy."

"You know th--"

"I know the risks, I know the danger, I know everything there is to know. I'll spy," he said fiercely.

Dumbledore nodded solemnly. "Very well, then."

/./'nother flashback, yo/./

Draco lay on the cold dungeon floor. It was the first week of summer, but you couldn't feel the heat this far underground. The only heat he could feel was on his arm.

He was in the most pain he had ever experienced. His legs were pulled up to his stomach, his naked form shivering. His left arm was outstretched above his head. His skin was a bright red, redder in comparison to his normal pale skin. The skull and snake on the underside was glowing a sickly green, throbbing in rhythm to the chanting of the Death Eaters surrounding him. Even with the masks on, Draco could pick out his father. His throat was sore and burning from the screams. At first, his screams were words, Don't!, Stop it!, Please!, No more!, but now they were just inarticulate cries. His blonde hair was plastered to his face, wet with cold sweat. His eyes were closed, and his faced was scrunched up, and he hardly resembled the beautiful boy he normally was.

And then, it stopped. The apruptness at which the pain faded made Draco cry out in surprise, but it was mingled in with his other cries. His eyes snapped open. He looked at his arm. It was still red, but the Mark had now taken on its black, burnt look. Draco could see his arm was shaking badly. The Death Eaters were still chanting.

Suddenly, the circle was broken and a woman was thrown next to him. Draco, whose vision was blurred from the pain, couldn't tell who it was, but he could see long blonde hair, and he felt his stomach drop. The chanting stopped. Hovering about the woman was a large man in a Death Eater mask, looking down at the woman. Outside the circle, on his chair that was on a raised platform, Voldemort spoke.

"You've done well, my boy," he hissed. "Men older and wiser than you have tried to claw their eyes out or tried to strike out at someone. You took all the pain into you. Congradulations, my boy."

Draco really wished he wouldn't called him that.

"However," Voldemort went on, "you still have not proved yourself to me as of yet. It is common during this ritual for a sacrifice to be made. Now that you have joined us, your love and your loyalty is to be towards me and no one else. Therefore, the sacrifice is usually a loved one. I don't know if you noticed your mother lying next to you. Say hello, my boy. Don't be rude."

Draco closed his eyes. He couldn't look at her. This was too much, he couldn't do it.

"Don't worry, my boy, you are to weak to kill her," he said, echoing Draco's thoughts. "But you are going to sit tight and watch her die."

Draco head snapped to the side to look at his mother. She wasn't looking at him. She didn't know he a spy. She thought he wanted to join Voldemort. She thought she was going to die because of Draco.

He opened him mouth to say something, what, he wasn't sure, but his throat was too sore for it to work. It didn't matter, for the Death Eater, whom Draco recognized as Macnair, was already raising his wand. Draco looked at his father desperately. He was watching on calmly.

Avada Kedavra!"

Draco spun around too late. He saw a flash of green light, and then his mother was lying motionless on the floor. She had a look on her face; Draco could only describe it as disappointment.

"Congradu--" started Voldemort, but was cut off but an angry shriek.

Draco had had enough, it seems. Although, he hadn't gone to far over the edge, since his mind kept yelling, "DON'T DO THIS! DON'T DO THIS! DON'T DO THIS!"

From his postion on the ground, Draco let out a yell, a battle cry, and swung his leg out. It connected with Macnair's kneecaps hard, pushing his legs back in a way they shouldn't go. Macnair shouted in pain and tumbled back. His wand flew up in the air, and Draco, with his Seeker insticts, reached out and caught it. Everyone, even Voldemort, was caught offguard to even move.

Draco pointed the wand at Macnair, and spoke before anyone even had their wands out.

/./End flashback, yo/./

Urgh, thought Draco as he downed a glass of whiskey.

The rest was all a blur to Draco. The hideous uproar after Macnair had collapsed dead. Dozens of wands being pointed at him. Voldemort shrieking, "Kill him!" Snape's voice, calm and familiar, saying loudly that according to the Malfoy Credence, it is up to the God Father to eliminate someone who is being sentenced to death. His father putting the Cruciatus curse on him several times, and angry and yet joyous look in his eyes, before leaving him alone with Snape. That is, after Snape had promised to make Draco suffer.

He remembered being in pain, and Snape walking over to him and, while stroking his back, plucked a strand of hair from his head. Draco had watched as Snape added it to a foul smelling potion. He had put the stopper in, and placed in his cloak pocket. He had then gathered Draco up in his arms, and apparated him to a warm, comfortable room which Draco later learned was Dumbledore's bedroom. Snape had wrote a note explaining what happened and apparated again, leaving Draco alone, who had passed out immediately.

Draco had also learned later than Snape had found someone, Draco didn't want to know who, and feed them the Polyjuice potion. He had killed him before the person had a chance to change back. It had taken alot for Snape to kill someone, and Draco forever appreciated him.

As far as he knew, only Snape and Dumbledore knew what had happened with Draco. The others were only told that something happened right after Draco had recieved the Dark Mark, and now they all think he's dead. It was better off this way.

So, he reasoned, I am sitting in some spanish bar waiting for one of the most powerful wizards this century, and who hates the living hell out of me, because I am in Dumbledore and Snape's debt. Wonderful.

And to top it all off, he felt ridiculous.

Since he very well couldn't arrive at the town in robes, nor fancy muggle clothes, it was up to Hermione, whose father was an constant watcher of American Westerns, to make sure Draco dressed properly. He was wearing khaki colored pants, raylon, like Harry's. He wore a white button down shirt rolled up to his elbows, and over it he wore an olvie green wool poncho that went up to the middle of this thigh. On the bottom were two cream-colored stripes. Hermione had wanted to charm his hair black, so he wouldn't look too english, but he was too stubborn, so she settled to charming his skin a dark tan. On his head he wore a black leather fedora, much to Hermione's displeasure("But in the movies, the good guys wear white hats and the bad guys wear black!" "Granger, just because I'm on the light side doesn't make me good."). He wore black boots that were extremely comfortable. Crossing over his shoulder and falling at his side was a brown satchel, which held his wand and two portkeys, an extra one, just in case. All in all, in the sweltering heat that was Spain, Draco was hot.

He had managed to slip into the bar unnoticed. Actually, that's a lie. Everyone noticed him, except the one person he didn't want to notice him, not yet anyway.

Harry was sitting in the back croner of the wall, away from all the lights. He knew it was Harry because there was nowhere else for Harry to be, and he noticed ow everyone made a point to ignore that corner, except the waitress. Draco could seesmoke billowing from the shadows, and Draco found himself wondering how long Harry had been smoking, or if he had just started when he ran away. Draco was sitting at the end of the bar which was placed in the center of the room. His back was towards Harry.

He downed the rest of his whiskey. He didn't particularly like whiskey, but he could see it was what everyone else was drinking, and Draco didn't want to call that much attention to himself. He sighed, he didn't want to get too drunk, but he was incredibley nervous. It wasn't as if he was afraid of Harry, he was just afraid he would fuck this up.

Too much goddamn responsibility, Draco thought as he signalled for the waitress. She didn't see him.

Draco tried to think of how to go about this. He absentmindedly felt the photographs in his pocket through the cloth. They were of Draco posing with the other members of the order. It had been Hermione's idea. Draco didn't tell her how easy it is in the Magical world to fake photographs like these, she seemed so set on the idea. Sometimes, that girl was too Muggle for her own good.

Finally the waitress saw that he was dry and came over to him.

"Can I get you anything else, señor?"

Draco, who had been deep in thought, jumped at the girl's voice. He looked up at her and smiled warily. "Yes. Another whiskey, por favor." She turned to go, but stopped when she felt the white man's hand on her wrist. She looked down at him nervously. "And can you do me a favor, señorita? Wait, what is your name?"

"M-mercedes, señor," she said, surprised.

He smiled. "Hello, Mercedes. I wonder if you could do me a favor. That table," he pointed to the table hidden in the shadows at the back. "Send the man at the table a drink, on me."

The Mercedes's eyes widened visibly. "Him? Why do you want to send him a drink? It will do no good, señor, that is El Hombre Sin Nombre! He's a dangerous man. He carries guns! Some say he has sold his soul to the devil!"

The man with the hair too white for his age blinked. "Why do they say that?"

The girl looked fearful. "He speaks the language of snakes, señor! A couple days ago, the priest saw an owl during the daytime, the daytime! Father Hernandez said it was a Devil bird! And El Hombre Sin Nombre went outside and the owl came right up to him and sat on his shoulder, and there was a note for him on the devil birds leg! And then the bird flew away and the man shot it! The old men from the barber shot say it was a messenger from the Devil coming to collect his soul, señor!"

The young man sat back and thought. The girl had time to reflect that he wasn't a man at all, just like the El Charmer De La Serpiente wasn't really a man. He was just a boy, they were both just boys, but Mercedes could see, in their eyes, there was alot of pain in their pasts, and that made them older than anyone is Cordón. Finally, the man spoke up.

"It doesn't matter, bring him another glass of what he's drinking."

"But he probably won't accept it!"

"Doesn't matter," he said again.

Mercedes sighed, and went behind the counter. She filled up two glasses of whiskey, and set one down in front of the white haired boy. She went out from behind the counter again, and didn't miss the boy gulping down the liquor in go.

She hesistantly walked over to the table where the scarred stranger sat. He had already had two drinks this afternoon, and was working on his third. He had a pad out in front of him and was drawing with a charcoal pencil. He hadn't noticed her yet, so she took the time to notice it was a drawing of the two men who worked at the drug store, who were currently playing poker with the owner of the shoe store at the other side of the bar. It was a very good drawing, and Mercedes stared at it in shock.

"Can I help you?"

She jumped, and then realized the man was staring at her. She blushed slightly, and said cautiously, "This was sent to you by a man at the bar, señor." She set it down on the table.

The man just stared at it. He looked back up at her, his face blank. "I don't want it."

"I told him you wouldn't want it, but he didn't care! I'm sor-"

"Send it back."

The girl sighed, glad for the permission to leave, when the glass was picked up by a tan, but flawless, hand. She looked in surprise to see the blonde haired man staring back at her, the glass raised to his lips.

"No matter," he said. "I just sent it over so there would be one waiting for me when I got here." He had yet to look at the man sitting across from him. "Here, dear. A tip for your efforts. Have a nice day, Mercedes." He waved her way, and she was glad to go.

Draco turned around to look at Harry, and found himself staring into the long, dark barrel of a revolver.

He rolled his eyes. "Hello to you, Potter." That's it, he thought. Act normal.

Harry's eyes were wide; he didn't even bother to hide the shock. "What are you doing here?"

"Coming to kidnap you. Clever, no?"

Harry continued to stare at him increduously. "What are you doing here?" he asked again.

"You know, an octave or two higher, and you would sound like Professor Flitwick."

Harry scowled, and lowered the gun slightly. "Malfoy, I'm drunk. You don't taunt a drunk who's pointing a gun to your head, especially when the drunk in question hates the living hell out of you."

"Well, you know me. I like to live dangerously. Mind lowering the gun, now, eh?"


"Oh, come off it, Potter. I--"

"You're not with Voldemort."

Draco blinked. "What?"

Now it was Harry who rolled his eyes. "Please, Malfoy, you don't spend your entire life being threatened by a crazed lunatic without learning something about them." He lit a cigarette. "If there is one thing I know about Voldemort is that the fucker's got style." He inhaled, and blew the smoke in Draco face. Draco hardly noticed. "He wouldn't something as...obvious as just sending one of his Death Eaters waltzing in to take me. Its never been a simple 'Avada Kedavra' with that one. Always plotting, always out for revenge. Nothings ever simple with him."

Draco slammed his fist into the wooden table. "Dammit, that's what I told everyone, but no, Weasley kept blathering on about how its exactly what they want them to think--"

"Weasley?" said Harry, sitting up straight. "You mean, Ron?"

"Is his last name Weasley?"


"That that's who I mean."

"So, you're working for the Order?"

"Yeah. Oh!" He reached in his pocket for the photographs.

At Draco's movement, Harry raised the gun higher and cocked it. Draco paused and looked at him, annoyed. Everyone in the bar were staring at the two boys who were suddenly speaking english nervously. The new, white-haired boy was getting El Hombre Sin Nombre angry. That couldn't be good.

"Come off it, scarhead." He pulled out the pictured and set them on the table. "It was Granger's idea," he said after a moment.

The pictures stared up at Harry happily. He put the gun down gently and looked at them. The one on top was of Draco smirking at Ron, who was red with anger, and Hermione sitting in the middle, giggling. Hermione was sitting in an armchair, and Draco was sitting on one of the arms, looking relaxed and cocky. Harry brushed it away softly to look at the others. The next one was of Hermione and Ginny squeezing Draco's cheeks and giggling. Draco was blishing furiously and looked like he wanted to be anywhere else. Mrs. Weasley was behind them, trying to brush the gel out of his hair. The next one was of Hedwig perched on Draco's arm. Draco looked calm and he had a smile on his face that Harry had never seen before. Another was of Draco standing in between Dumbledore and Snape; Dumbldore smiling amiably, Snape glowering, and Draco with an amused smirk. The next was of Fred and George standing on both sides of Draco. Draco was wearing a turtleneck, and the neck had, presumably by the twins, been pulled up above his face. Draco was tugging at it relentlessly, but, judging by the wand in Fred's hand, it was spelled to stay put. Ron and Ginny where in the back, laughing harder than the twins. The last one was of Remus and Sirius. Their arms were around each other's shoulders. Draco was standing in the middle, his arms folded, a small smile on his face. Harry stared at this picture the longest.

"Sirius," he muttered under his breath. "He's..He's..."

"Okay?"Draco finished. "Yeah, he woke up about a week or so after you..left. Hey, mind rolling me one of those?" He pointed to the cigarette.

"Hmm? Oh, er, yeah. Sure." He started to roll one and stopped. "These photos can be faked, you know."

Draco sighed. "That's what I told Granger. But she insisted. And she is quite scary when persistent."

Harry smiled slightly, unsure. "You got a wand on you?"

"Yeah. Dumbledore spelled it so the Ministry couldn't detect it."

"Give it to me."

Draco groaned. "But, they'll see!" He gestured to the people in the bar, who quickly went back to what they were doing.

"Doesn't matter. Give it to me."

Draco sighed. He pulled his wand out of the satchel and handed it across the table. Harry stuck the cigarette in his mouth and made for the wand when something else caught his eye. He reached out and grabbed Draco's arm tightly. He twisted it and stared at the Dark Mark that shone in the dim candlelight.

"You got the Dark Mark."

Draco winced. It wasn't like he had been trying to hide it, obviosuly, but he had just hoped, stupidfly, that Harry was too drunk to notice. "Look, Potter, I thought we'd been over this. If I were really trying to trick you, I would have been a bit more discreet--"

"Malfoy, being drunk doesn't make me stupid." He grabbed the wand and held in under the table. He looked around to make sure no one was looking, saw that everyone was, sighed, and said, "Accio ashtray."

The ashtray slid across the old wood and stopped in front of Harry. He placed the cigarette among the old butts and ashes with a satisfied look on his face.

Draco gulped. He had just done something very, very stupid. He had given his wand, his only means of protection, to someone who was quite visibly drunk or insane, possibly both.

He licked his lips nervously. "Potter, what exact--"

"Effor veritas!"

Draco felt his throat close up. He struggled for breathe and found he could only breath in short pants. He clawed at the table and shot Harry a pleading look. His eyes felt like they were about to explode.

"Don't fight it," he said. "It won't hurt as much."

"Wha--" he gasped. "What did you do to me?"

"It's a simple truth spell. Actually, its a rather difficult truth spell I invented. Quite handy when you don't have any Veritaserum around."

"W-w-why?" he panted.

Harry laughed. "You think I was going to believe what you say? Come on, Malfoy, who do you think I am? Oh, and don't bother making a scene and calling attention to yourself, because, you may not have noticed, but both of my hands are underneath the table, and I only need one to hold a wand.

Draco looked and indeed saw that the gun was missing from the table.

"Wizards think they are so powerful and better than Muggles, and that they can solve anything, but no matter how good you are with a wand, nothing beats a small bead of metal ramming into your balls at close range at one hundred and eighty miles per second, "Harry drawled. "Now, relax, and you will be able to speak and breathe...well, better than you are now."

Once Draco had relaxed(somewhat), Harry continued. "Ready to start? Don't care if you aren't, really. This spell works like Veritaserum, except that instead of being forced to tell the truth, you have a choice. But if you don't tell the truth...let's just say it'll hurt you more than it hurts me. So I will be able to know if you're lying if you try to claw your eyes out."

"You're insane," said Draco bitterly.

"Guess that's the truth. But let's begin. Who are you?"

Draco sighed. "Draco Pellus Lucius Malfoy."


"It's latin for pretty," said Draco before he could stop himself.

Hary snickered as blush spread across Draco's cheeks. "Okay. Who are you working for?"

"The Order of The Phoenix."

"And you are spying on Voldemort?"



"That's what I fucking said!" said Draco, upstarting. He knew where this was heading.

"Why aren't you a spy?" Dammit.

"They think I'm dead."

"Who do?"

"The fucking Death Eaters! Merlin!"

"Why do they think you're dead?"

Draco pressed his lips together. Immediately, he felt his throat close up and a hard pressure around his brain.

"I forgot to mention, it also hurts if you refrain information."

"Pl-please don't make me a-a-answer that."

"Why not?"

"Because its too hard for me to say. I've never said it outloud. If you really need to know, Snape or Dumbledore will tell you. They are the only ones who know what happened."

Harry thought it over. "Fine, I will. So that means your job is to bring me back?"

"Yes," he said, once the pain had receeded.

"Why you?"

"I don't know, something about how me being the only one there who you don't like, you'd be compelled to believe me. Or you'd think your friends were lying to you in order to make you come back. Dumbledore said something about how you can always trust your enemies with the truth. Who needs enemies when you got this handy spell, fuck!"

Harry smirked. "It sounds like something Dumbledore would do. I'm sure his next option, if you were to have said no, would be Snape."

"Can you take this off me?!"

"No, I have a few more questions to ask you while we're here."

"Oh, bugger!"

"What do you think of my friends?"

"Granger's pretty cool, we have a lot in common, surprisingly. Those Weasley twins and the girl are fun to be with, everything's a joke with them, which is good if you are in need of a distraction. Weasley is still annoying, but we basically fight over petty things now and not the usual 'You're a death eater' 'You're poor' shit. I make fun of him for being stupid, hey, he must be stupid if I can't lie, and he mainly makes fun of the fact that I'm gay." He said it without taking a breath.

When it finally sunk in the last thing he said, he slammed his head on the table and began bashing it repeatedly. "Bugger! Bugger! Bugger!"

Harry laughed now. It was the first time Draco had heard him laugh, and it took him a moment to register what the sound was. He looked up to see him still giggling as he took another sip of his drink. Draco reached for his and noticed it was empty. He signalled to Mercedes for a few more.

When the waitress had gone, Harry looked at him with a strange glint in his eye.

"So, you're gay, eh?"

"Yeah," said Draco warily.

"What do you think of me?"

"What?" he said after a moment. He could feel his throat closing up already.

"This is the next question. What do you think of me? Like, my appearance, my personality, myself. Get it?"

"Yeah, yeah. I got it."

"What do you think of me?"

Draco closed his eyes, and spoke in a rush. "Er, lets see. I think you're mad, that is quite obvious. I think you're not as superficial and shallow as I thought you were, or as spoiled, but you seem to have some sensitivity. You have a dark, strange past that I don't even want to go into. I think you are smarter than you let on, and more aware of what's going on then you let people know about. I think you are a talented, secretive person. I also think its about time you got rid of those awful glasses. I think nature has been very kind to you, and those quiditch robes don't give you justice. I'm also loving the cowboy look a little too much to be considered healthy."

Harry started to laugh, but stopped when Draco kept talking. "I try so hard to hate you, but when I do, I end up loving you. But then I try so hard to love you, I just end up hating you. You really fuck with me, Potter. And its bad for my complexion."

They stared at each other for a long time, before Harry finally said, "Finite."

Draco took a deep, gasping breath, and pressed his face against the wood. He reached for his glass of whiskey, and drank it in one go. He then reached out and grabbed Harry's glass, and drank that, too. He started to cough and shook his head, as if to get rid of the taste.

"Whoa, slow down. Don't go so fast."

"No way, Potter. You're already ahead of me. Now, where's that cigarette?"

"Ah, shit," muttered Draco as he stumbled up the stairs towards Harry's room. "I told Dumbledore we'd be back tonight!"

"How are you planning on getting back?" asked Harry as he fumbled with the doorknob. He got it opened, and fell through the frame. He clinged to the knob, but it was useless. He fell crashing to the floor. He and Draco erupted in a fit of quiet, drunken giggles.

"We," Draco said when he finally caught his breath, "were going to go back by portkey, but that's really not a good thing to do while drunk, is it?"

After the truth spell, Draco had decided it would be a good idea to get to know one another. Except, Harry didn't really want to talk about himself, and Draco didn't really want to talk about himself, so the realized that the best possible solution would be to get spectacularly drunk and discuss the sex lives of everyone in the school. By the end of the night, they agreed that Professor Sprout and Neville Longbottom's lovechild would look something like a Pug dog.

"But you promised you wouldn't kidnap me!"he said, picking himself off the floor.

"I'm not kidnapping you. The plan was that I seduce you with my dashing goodlooks and you'd beg to come back with me." Draco reached the top stair, except he didn't know he reached the top stair, and fell flat on his face.

Harry giggled, grabbed Draco by the collar of his poncho and pulled him inside. He shut the door behind him, and locked it.

"Do you mind?" he asked, gesturing to the fireplace in the moonlight. "Its so much easier with a wand."

"Incedio," said Draco, proud that he managed to say it without ruining it with his drunkenness.

The room lit up and he surveyed the room, trying to take it all in, and doing so without difficulty. There was one window overlooking the street. Across from the window was a stone fireplace with soot covered logs. In the corner were two old matresses stacked on top of each other. Draco was, for a horrible second, reminded of Harry's room back on Provet Street, but this bed was covered with clean white cotton sheets. At the head of bed was a large pillow, and on the floor at the base of the bed was a colorful handwoven quilt. A small armoire was next to the window; the door was opened, and Draco could see a couple of shirts and pants folded on the bottom.

"So, this is your bachelor pad," he slurred, and turned to face Harry. Harry was resting against the window, a strange look in his eye.

"What?" asked Draco.

"Oh, nothing. Nothing." He took off his hat and threw it on the floor near the bed. Draco put his hat neatly on top of the armoire. They both took off their shoes and left them where they lay. "Just remembering what you said earlier."

"Oh?" murmured Draco.

"Yeah. About you loving the cowboy look a bit too much. 'To be considered healthy,' were your exact words, I believe."

"Oh, er. Well..."

"Who dressed you?"

"Hey, what?"

"Who dressed you?" he asked again, patient.

"Er, well, I dressed myself, but Granger picked out the clothes. I'm not much of a cowboy, you see."

"Really?" Harry pushed himself off the windowsill and walked up to Draco, stopping a few inches in front of him. Their clothes touched. Harry leaned forward, and whispered in Draco's ear, "Just what are you, exactly?"

Draco shivered, and licked his lips nervously. "I," he started, "think you better take those guns off."

Harry pulled back and looked Draco in the eyes. "And why should I do that?"

Draco took a deep breath and said, "Because you don't want to accidently shoot your toes off when I do this." He cupped Harry's rough face in his hands, pulled him close, and kissed him.

Chapped lips pressed against chapped lips hungrily, and Draco's heart jumped wildly. Through the material, he could feel Harry's doing the same. One of Harry's arms snaked around Draco's waist and pulled him closer, and their erections touched through the cloth. Draco gasped, and Harry took the insentive to slide his tongue into Draco's mouth. Harry ran his tongue over Draco's teeth and gums, and gently ran it over the roof of his mouth. He infuriatingly massaged Draco tongue slowly, and Draco moaned for more. His hands moved away from Harry's face and brought them down to Harry's hips. He pressed them against his own, and his heart skipped a beat when he heard the sexiest groan erupt from Harry's throat.

Finally, the pulled apart, gasping for air, their lips red and their hair sticking out wildly. Then Harry smiled. Draco noticed he had one of those contagious smiles, one that makes you want to smile back, even if you were feeling miserable.

"So," he said, "are my toes still in place?"

Draco looked down. "Well, yes. But why risk it?"

Harry, still smiling, nodded, and proceded to take of his holster and bullet belt, along with all his other clothes. Draco did the same. Their clothes littered the ground(the guns and bullets, however, delicately stored away from the fire) and the embraced each other again. Sweaty skin on sweaty skin. Bruised lips on bruised lips. Hands roaming every part of each other. They walked to the bed, never detaching themsleves from each other. They fell back onto the sheets in a drunken heap. Harry was on his back with Draco on top of him. Draco leaned back and sat upright. Harry stared at him with questioning eyes.

"What's wrong?" he asked.

"Is this...I mean, do you want...?"Draco was at a loss for words, a first.

Harry smiled again. He laced his fingers behind Draco's neck. "One man's sin is another man's romp." Before Draco could even begin to decipher these words, Harry pulled him down for another kiss. He rubbed their erections together furiously, and Draco let out a low moan. The broke apart again and Draco stared at the beautiful naked boy before him.

He ran his arms up his chest. Scars, some small and light, others large and dark, covered his chest, making Draco more aroused. He ran his fingers over the one he saw peeking through the shirt the day Harry had shot his bird. His other hand was tracing the snitch tattooed on the boy's hip. He looked at it, amused. It was a scarlet snitch with gold wings.

"Once a Gryffindor..." Draco grinned when he felt Harry buck his hips impatiently.

"Quick," he said, "before the fire goes out."

Draco's face fell. He looked at Harry nervously, but Harry only smiled, and pointed to the fireplace. Draco twisted around and saw that it was dying. He leaned his body over, but when he saw it was too far away, got up and layed across Harry. He was reaching for his bag on the floor, but it was just out of reach. He inched off the bed slightly, and lunged for the satchel, only to fall off the bed. Harry giggled, and Draco twisted his head and growled at Harry, before grabbing his wand and climbing back onto the bed. He straddled Harry's hips again, and turned his head around to look at the fire.

"Incendio." The logs burst into flames again, the reddish glow lighting up the pale walls, the heat warming Draco's body. He looked back down at Harry, who nodded, and firm grin plastered to his face.

Draco moved off of Harry's hips. Harry spread his legs and Draco situated himself in between. He pointed his wand at his hand. "Lubricus!" Suddenly his fingers were coated with shiny oil. He pressed one finger against Harry's opening, and then pushed it in. Harry gasped at the sensation, and Draco took the oppurtunity to devour his mouth once more. Draco pushed in a second finger, began scissoring his hole, stretching it. When the third fingered entered, Draco gave Harry a moment to get used to it, before pushing them in and out repeatedly. Harry's fingers curled around the bedsheets, and he moaned loudly. He ground his erection against Draco's, and when Draco pushed the soft muscle inside of Harry, he couldn't take it anymore.

"Now," he groaned into Draco's mouth. Draco sat up and rubbed the rest of the oil onto his hard member. Harry nearly came at the sight. Draco lifted Harry's legs up and put them on his shoulders so that they almost crossed behind his neck. Harry nodded at Draco desperately, and then Draco entered him slowly.

When he was fully sheathed, he waited until Harry had gotten used to it. After a moment, Harry bucked his hips again frantically, and Draco gave a low chuckle before pulling out again and pushing back in. He moved slowly at first, taking his time, but before long he was thrusting madly, positioned so that he repeatedly hit Harry's prostate. Harry growled at Draco's hand wrapped around his throbbing cock, and they came within seconds of each other, screaming each other's name.

Draco collapsed onto of Harry. They breathed in time with each other. Draco pulled out slowly, and layed next to him. They stared at the ceiling for a while, trying to get their breathing under control.

"What...what was that?" asked Harry nervously. He turned on his stomach to look at Harry.

"That, was a mind-blowingly good shag," said Draco. His arm was propping up his head up, and he looked beautiful to Harry in the glowing light.

"Okay...Why, then, was that a mind-blowingly good shag."

Draco sighed. "Well, you know what they say: Save a horse. Ride a cowboy."

Harry scowled, and ligthly punched him in the arm. Draco laughed, and Harry started laughing too.

Suddenly, Draco pushed Harry back onto his back. He got up and stradled his hips again. He leaned down and placed a chaste kiss on his lips. He then leaned over the side of the bed, picked up Harry's brown hat at placed it on his head, slanting it forward.

"What are you doing?" asked Harry.

"Well, you see, sir, I am on the Harry Potter Brain Demolition Crew," he said proudly. "We just blew his mind away, but there is still some of it left, you see. I wouldn't be very good at my job if I left any of it...un-blown."

Harry grinned, grabbed the blonde's hair, and pulled him down into a desperate kiss.

tbc of course!!

1. Man is in love, and loves what vanishes.- from the poem "Nineteen Hundred and Nineteen" by W.B. Yeats

2. There are two kinds of people in this world, Miss Kling. Those who do good things and those who only see the bad- kinda from The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly, it was sort of a leitmotif in the film with Blondie and Tuco. They would always say "There are two kinds of people in this world...." but I did my own version on it.

3. "Del Sol Las Subidas También" means "The Sun Also Rises" which is also the name of my favorite Ernest Hemingway book, which was also set in Spain. Its kind of an homage, I guess.

4. ...Muggle cassette tape, Queen's Greatest Hits...- haha i love Queen.

5. Be thou faithful unto death and I will give thee a crown of life -- from the Bible, Revelations 2:10. I work it into the story late, so this could be called a spoiler, but Aunt Petunia is going to be a religious nut.

6. The evil that men do lives after them, The good is oft interred with their bones. -- Hermione was right, its Shakespeare. It's from The Tragedy Of Julius Caesar, which is my favorite Shakespearean play.

7 You think you're so clever and classless and free./They're still fucking peasants as far as I can see.-- 'Working Class Hero" by John Lennon. Really good song, totally reminded me of the Dursleys.

8. I heard a voice crying fron deep. Come join me, baby, in my endless sleep. --from a Don Williams song called "Endless Sleep"

9. The celebrated Mr.K performs his feat on Saturday at Bishop's Gate/ The Henderson's will dance and sing as Mr.Kite flies through the ring, don't be late!/ Mr.K and H assure the public their production will be second to none. /And, of course, Henry the Horse dances the waltz! --"Being For The Benefit of Mr. Kite" by The Beatles

10. "Aren't you quite the vulgarian." "You're the vulgarian, you fuck!" --lol from A Fish Called Wanda. I love this movie, everyone should see it.

Er, I think that's all. If I missed something, comment and ask. Don't worry, I am going somewhere with this. I swear it has a plot. And don't flame me saying that they jumped into sex, they were drunk, and neither of them are virgins, which I'll mention later.


--er, review please.


--uh, i'll review too, please.


--um..death. no! no! I mean review!


--oh, i meant review.


--i'll review too, please.


--so my choice is OR DEATH?...ok, i'll have the chicken.