1Chapter Two: Harry
You manage to get him back to your common room, since it seems all the other Slytherins have fled into their rooms for fear of being discovered participating in Draco's torment. You're not glad at all; in fact, you'd like nothing better than to practice a few of the Unforgivables on them, even if they never touched him—how could they just stand by and laugh? They weren't human, they couldn't be! Didn't the sight of a naked, battered, crying boy elicit a basic human sympathy?
You try to ignore the way he can barely walk, but after he stumbles for the third time you can't pretend he's okay. You swing him up into your arms and carry him bridal-style while he buries his face in your throat. He's only wearing a pair of baggy jeans—you seem to have left his shirt and robes in the Slytherin hallway, and you can see every bite-mark, every abrasion, every scratch inflicted by Draco's own close-cut nails clearly against milk-white skin. His face is still bleeding and you're sure he's getting blood on your shirt, but you really couldn't care less at this point. All you want is to get him away, away from those animals he's been living with.
Ron's fallen asleep in an armchair, apparently waiting for you, since you told him you were going to return the bag Draco left in the Gryffindor common room. You deposit Draco in another chair where he curls up into a ball and whimpers, clutching onto your hand desperately, although he won't look you in the eye—he's scared, of course he's scared, after everything he's been through, the poor thing… "Ron. Hey, Ron. Wake up."
"Eh?" he asks sleepily. "You back already, Harry?"
"Yeah, can you get Hermione?"
"Why?" He sits up, rubbing his eyes. "What's the matter?" His eyes travel down your arm to the mangled, pale hand clenching your sleeve and the frightened blue eyes dart away from Ron as he tries to see Draco's face. "What happened to him?"
"I don't know," you say heavily, stroking Draco's hair and pulling back when he trembles. "I just went to return his bag…and I found him in the hallway like this with Goyle standing on his back." You settle for rubbing Draco's bare shoulder and he doesn't seem to mind that, since he doesn't pull away. The anger is burning again and you grit your teeth, thoroughly glad your arms had been too full of shivering Draco to allow you to curse the entire Slytherin House into oblivion. "They were laughing at him, Ron. He was naked and bleeding and crying in the middle of the hallway and they were laughing at him."
"I'll get Hermione—oh, damn, I can't." He turns worried chocolate eyes to yours. "We can't go in the girl's dorms, remember?" He glances around and catches sight of Crookshanks dozing on the floor in front of the fire like a large, ginger rugs and prods the cat with his toe. "Hey, up, you. Go get Hermione." The cat sniffs and trots proudly up the stairs, as if Ron has gravely offended it. A moment later a bleary-eyed Hermione is making her way down the stairs, yawning.
"What's wrong?" she asks. "Crookshanks was tugging on my hair and yowling, so I figured you sent him."
"Clever of you," Ron says dully. "Lookit this."
She does and gasps. "Oh…oh, Malfoy. What happened to you?" She reaches out for him and he cowers away, pale blue eyes huge in his bloody face. "Harry, what—?"
"Don't know," you say flatly. "I haven't been able to get anything out of him. He won't talk."
Draco whimpers and buries his face in the chair cushion. You're not entirely sure if he's just hiding or trying to smother himself, so you take him by the hand and gently pull him upright. "Don't," you whisper. "Just calm down. I won't hurt you." He won't look at you but he ducks his head a little further with a soft whine. You're so furious you can't help yourself, furious with his entire House, everyone who saw his suffering and didn't step in. You swing a wild punch at the back of the chair, accomplishing no more than sore knuckles and a terrified squeal from Draco. "Damn it!" you roar, not caring who you might wake, who might hear you, you want them dead, sprawled out and bleeding on the floor.
"Harry, stop it," Hermione snaps at you and you blink stupidly at her, cradling Draco against her chest as he whimpers and squirms in her grip, either trying to get away or trying to hide himself in her embrace. He's watching you with wide, frightened eyes and when you take a step towards him he begins to thrash anew, screaming incoherently. Ron helps Hermione pin him down and he suddenly goes quite still, frozen save for the panicked rise and fall of his thin chest. You reach out for him and he goes obediently limp, allowing you to run your fingers over the smooth curve of his cheek.
That makes you all the more furious; no one should respond to being touched like that, surrendering completely as if he really had no choice at all in what you plan to do with him. Those eyes are still watching you, bright with unshed tears and bestial terror and something clenches in your stomach. You tear your eyes away from him, feeling worse that you've ever felt in your life, because you were the cause of his panic, you.
"Harry..." Hermione breaks off whatever she's going to say and opts instead for petting Draco, running her fingers through his white-blonde hair while he tries his best not to tremble at the touch. He seems less afraid of her than you, and that hurts so badly...
"Mate, we've got to get him to Madame Pomfrey." Ron's right, but that's hardly a surprise--he's usually right, it's just a question of whether you listen to him or not.
He's not trembling, he's flat-out shaking, and you think for a minute that he's having another panic attack, so you reach out to grab his wrists before he can sink his nails into his own skin. But his eyes are clear, he's watching you, and you see him shaking his head wildly back and forth, refusing to see Madame Pomfrey. No, he mouths desperately, I don't want to. No.
"You have to," You tell him and his face crumples. He's ashamed, you realize, ashamed of the cuts and bruises covering his slim body, ashamed of what he's let them do to him. Oh God, what now?
You turn away just so you don't have to look into those terrified eyes and clear your throat. "Get some clothes on him, Ron. We're going to the hospital wing."
He lunges forward, grabs your hand and you involuntarily jerk around. "Please," he whispers, and even his whisper is hushed, so you have to strain to hear it. "Please, no..."
"You're hurt," you hear your own voice saying, and you wonder if it's always that cold. "We're going now, you you're not arguing." He flinches and drops his hand and your stomach twists again, but coddling him won't help now--if you don't get him to a healer immediately, well...who knows what kind of injuries he's got under his clothes.
You're going to throw up.
You've never seen Madame Pomfrey look grimmer. Her face is drawn and solemn as she pulls the curtains around Draco's bed closed and you think you hear her heave a deep sigh as she turns to face you.
You're on your feet immediately. "Is he going to be okay?"
"His bruises are healed, yes."
"That wasn't what I asked." Your voice is cold and you know you're being disrespectful–something like anger glitters in her eyes for a brief moment and then she pauses, perhaps thinking about why you were the one to bring Draco to her and then her lips purse, sympathy relaxes the angry lines around her mouth and Hermione's hand tightens on your shoulder.
"Harry, I–" she shakes her head and your stomach rolls again, she's never called you by your first name before. "I'm sorry. I know you care for him, but...there's nothing I can do."
"What? What's wrong?"
"I don't know. But Harry...Harry, he doesn't know who he is."
Impossible. That's impossible, how can someone forget who they are? How could Draco forget? You stagger back a few steps, fighting the urge to curl up in a ball on the floor and sob, because really, that won't do any good at all. "How? How...did he tell you...?"
She nods once. "He asked if his name was Draco. He hasn't spoken a word since."
"Can I see him?"
"What?" Anything, you'll do anything for him.
"You get him to let me heal him."
"I thought you said you'd already done that."
"He refuses to let me take his clothes off, Harry. I can't heal him until I know what's wrong with him. I fixed what I could see."
You don't want to think about why he's afraid to be undressed right now, so your brain files that thought away for later analysis, when this nightmare is over and you have the capacity to think properly again. "So basically you've done fuck all except scare him even more, is that right?"
"Harry!" Hermione admonishes, but you're pushing past her, past the curtains hiding Draco and you stop.
He's curled up on his side, facing you and his eyes go wide when you pull the curtains shut behind you. "Hey," you say, hoping to God that your voice is steadier than it sounds to you, because he's already scared enough for the both of you. "How are you?"
He squeaks and buries his head in his pillow.
"It's okay, I won't hurt you."
One bright blue eye opens, watches you carefully, but he allows you to touch his hair and he doesn't even shake as you pet him "God, Draco, I'm sorry." Something horrible wells up in your stomach, something you've felt before but never had a name for, and now you realize it's guilt. You should have been there, you should have stopped it! All this shit about claiming to love him, and every night you sent him back to be beaten, raped, and God only knows what else.
And every night he went, with that same sad smile and whispered goodbye. What must that have been like for him, forcing himself to smile and pretend everything was okay, to listen to you when you complained about things that, in retrospect, seemed insignificant compared to this. You remember how he'd hold you and murmur comforting words while you sobbed into his chest, because it hurt so much that Sirius was gone.
He'd saved you, given you something to anchor to when you would have willingly taken that last, abysmally stupid step and ended everything. You would have sacrificed the world for your own pain, and you can't believe that he stuck with you, but he did and that's what matters.
So you're going to be here for him now. Memory or not, virgin or not, he's your to protect, yours to save. Your little broken angel. Your Draco.
"I'm here now," you say, running your fingers through his hair and he's still watching you with the heart-wrenching fear on his face, as if waiting for something to happen, something bad, and you realize that he's scared of you.
"Do you remember anything?"
He blinks slowly and shakes his head. Nothing.
"Not even me?"
"My name is Harry Potter." You choke back tears and sit down on the edge of his bed, entwining your fingers with his and pressing a soft kiss to the back of his hand, the only reassurance you can offer a boy who's forgotten that you loved him. "We've been dating for over a year now." No flash of surprise, so he still remembers he's gay, that's good, right? There are some inherent truths he knows about himself, and that's a little comforting. Maybe.
"Yeah," you say, trying to keep the excitement from your voice. He wouldn't talk for Madame Pomfrey but he will for you, what's that mean? Does he remember, even a little bit? Did he ever trust you?
"Harry." Your face falls and you're sure you look horrified, because he's just given you a smile, a wide, innocent, guileless smile that the real Draco would never have been caught dead wearing. "Harry, Harry, Harry." He seems delighted with your name and you press your hand to your mouth, choking back a scream. He's gone. Snapped.
"Harry," he babbles on proudly as you gather him into your arms and bury your face in his hair. "Hairy, hairy Harry." He giggles. Oh God, oh God, oh God.
"Madame Pomfrey," you call, trying to keep the tremble out of your voice, trying to avoid his eyes because he's already touching the place where tears have marred your skin, face alight with wonder as he touches the tip of his tongue to his finger and tastes salt. He's like a child, a newborn still astonished with every small discovery and it tears at you to see him like this, innocent and so very, very lost. "Madame Pomfrey, please..."
She pulls the curtains back and it takes her a second to process what she's seeing. Draco Malfoy, sitting in yourlap, cheerfully licking up the tears streaming down your cheeks. And when you try to pull away, Draco wriggles, face clouding with infantile fury. "Harry," he growls when she attempts to pry him out of your lap. "Harry!"
And all of a sudden he's all teeth and snarls, thrashing wildly in Madame Pomfrey's grip. "Let go of me, bitch!" he roars, but she's a strong woman and Draco is so small, so delicate, he can't fight his way out of her grip. It's like a switch has been flipped somewhere in that fucked-up head of his, he's a different person now. He's swearing more creatively than you'd ever thought possible, screaming and struggling while he promises he's going to kill Madame Pomfrey, kill her and feed her to the giant squid because he wants Harry now dammit.
"Let him go," you hear your voice saying and she gives you a bewildered look, but complies. He's on you in a second, all traces of fury gone, hiding in your embrace like a little boy afraid of thunderstorms. Something has gone terribly wrong here, you know it has, but what can you do? He's not Draco anymore, he's something else, something primal. This can't be the same boy that debated philosophy with you, that snapped a scathingly witty remark when you'd do something stupid, that fought with you and fought for you and laughed with you and held you while you cried.
This isn't the boy you love.
"What do I do?" Draco's face is buried in the hollow of your throat and he's trembling again, latching onto you with a single-minded determination. You look up at Madame Pomfrey, at Hermione, whose face is streaked with tears, at Ron, who's looking green and a little horrified at seeing his mortal enemy reduced to this. "What the hell am I supposed to do now?"
"I don't know," she says, and those are the worst words you've ever heard in your life. She's always been able to fix everything, from broken arms to Hermione's feline-itis, and the admission that she's got no idea what to do scares the hell out of you. You manage to simplify this reaction to a nod, however, and you look down at the shivering boy clinging to you.
"I'll take care of him." The words are out of your mouth before you can think about them. "He's not going to St. Mungo's. I'll handle him."
"Harry..." Hermione couches down in front of the bed, resting a hand on your forearm. You don't look at her, opting instead to run the par of your thumb over his cheekbone and he looks up at you. "Harry, think about this...he needs help..."
"You've seen how St. Mungo's 'helps' the insane," you spit. And it's true, you remember that horrible ward that the Longbottoms lived in, with the soulless eyes of its patients and the muttering of the delusional, and it's obvious that the witches and wizards haven't got a clue how to fix people any more then muggles do, so they stick them somewhere that the rest of the world won't have to look at them. It makes you sick, imagining Draco there, scared and alone for the rest of his life, not understanding what he'd done wrong to be stuck in a place like that, not understanding why.
You don't want that for him.
"I'm taking him," you say firmly, meeting Hermione's eyes with your own. She stares you down and you know she thinks what you're doing is wrong, a mistake you're going to pay for later, but she knows how much Draco means to you and so she bites her tongue, nods and backs off.
Ron isn't nearly so perceptive, which isn't exactly surprising, because he's always been a bit dim. "You're going to what?" Incredulous chocolate eyes blink a few times, as if he's trying to process exactly what you've just said. He doesn't understand, and you don't think he ever will, because he's never been in love with someone who needed him.
"You're insane," he says finally.
And that says it all, really.
Yeah...so...this is an insanely short chapter, but I'm lazy and you're just going to have to deal with it. And to all the people out there who reviewed this and liked it...I worry about you. Really.