Thanks for the reviews and support!
Disclaimer: I don't own the characters of Harry Potter that will be used, unfortunately.
Summary: Harry was captured by Death Eaters and taken to Voldemort. Can he defeat him and come out alive?
Title: The end…or the Beginning?
After his discussion with Severus and some thought on the matter Draco had sent a letter off to Dumbledore. Now, two days after that discussion with Severus, Draco was sitting in his room at St. Mungo's reading a very uninteresting book the Healers had provided for him when his room door opened. Looking up he saw that Albus Dumbledore was standing in the doorway with a small smile on his face.
"Professor," Draco said as the old man walked in and sat himself in a chair.
"I've told you to call me Albus, Draco. You're no longer a student of mine," Albus said with a small chuckle. "How are you feeling?"
"Still really sore but its getting better," Draco replied with a small shrug. He sat the book off to the side, glad to have something better to do.
"That's good to hear that you're getting better. I received your letter of course; you say you have come to a decision?" Albus asked.
"Yes, after talking with Severus about it I've decided to go through with the Veritaserum option but only if the questions are prearranged and passed through you," Draco answered.
"Wonderful, my boy, just wonderful," Albus said with a bright smile. "I wasn't so shocked when I read that you had asked for Severus' advice. He was a logical choice to go to for an opinion being a former Death Eater and spy himself. But I have a question for you," Albus said. "With your decision would you mind if I informed a few people of it?"
"Which people?" Draco asked although he had a few ideas.
"Oh Harry, Remus, the rest of the Order; just inform them of things before the proceeding," Albus replied. Draco sat and thought about it a bit but knew his answer. He was assured from Severus that both Harry and Remus would support him, and he believed that. But the others, the rest of the Order, he wasn't so sure about.
"I suppose," he said hesitantly after a moment of silence. "I mean everyone's going to find out anyway, whether before or after the trial." He was hoping he could get a few more supporters because he knew Fudge would be eager to condemn him and use any means necessary. He would for the sole reason to improve his reputation and to inform everyone that even people like the rich and famous Malfoy's couldn't get pass the law again. Not for the first time Draco damned his father.
"Good, good," Albus said nodding his head. "Ah, I almost forgot," Albus reached into his robes pocket and pulled out a small package. Using his wand to enlarge it he set the package in the blonde's lap. "I brought you some books you may find more interesting than the hospital one's."
Draco took the package with a smile and opened the bag. Inside were two books; one on potions and one on muggle quotes. Draco looked back up at the old man in front of him. "Thank you sir," Draco said.
"You're welcome Draco," Albus replied. The pair talked a bit after that before Albus left. Draco picked up the potions book, looked thoughtfully at the book of muggle quotes and picked that up instead. Setting the potions book aside he opened the book on muggle quotes, leant back against the pillows comfortably and began to read.
"I know their throwing me a party," Harry said flatly.
"Well Harry no one ever thought it would be a surprise and it's a joint party for Neville also," Remus said with a sigh giving the younger man a smile. They were standing in the entrance hall waiting on Severus. "It's your twentieth birthday Harry; of course they're going to throw you a party."
Harry grunted and ran a hand through his hair, the black locks brushing his shoulders in the back were pulled into a tail at the base of his neck and the fringe fell into his green eyes. There was a birthday party being thrown for him at Grimmauld Place today. It wasn't that he wasn't looking forward to it because he was, but he hadn't been to see Draco in two days and he felt a bit bad about it. Your quite pathetic Potter, he thought and sighed. "Where is Severus anyway?" he asked.
"Finishing up a potion he had been brewing," Remus replied with a shrug. Then he gave Harry a mischievous smile. "Having Draco withdraws?" he asked teasingly.
Harry glared at the werewolf who had the never to chuckle at him. He opened his mouth to retort –
"Of course he is," came the chuckle from behind them. "You're so whipped Potter!" Severus stated with a smirk.
Harry sighed. "I hate you both," he said with a pout. Both men laughed at him and he pouted more.
"Come on you two we're expected at Grimmauld in five minutes," Remus said once recovered, looking at his watch. With that the three went to the fireplace in the next room and one by one flooed to their destination. Harry was the last to floo through and landed much more gracefully then he used to.
"Happy Birthday Harry!" came the joyful cry, and Harry looked up to see the Weasley's, Hermione and her parents, some other of his Gryffindor friends, Albus and the Order. He gave them all a smile as everyone began to greet him. He had a moment to notice Severus sweep over to Albus and Remus walking towards Arthur Weasley before he was dragged into a hug by somebody. Harry greeted everyone though the greeting between him and Ron was a little stiff. They hadn't talked since the lunch date and were still at odds with each other. During the greetings Harry got the chance to look around the room. The furniture had been moved and tables set up around the perimeter were decorated with food. A banner hung on one wall that proclaimed 'Happy 20th Birthday Harry and Neville!' in red letters. There was a stereo set up in one corner and two tables of presents in another. The room actually looked wonderful compared with the fact that they had finally gotten the gloomy house to look pleasant. It wasn't so intimidating anymore and that had helped the atmosphere of the house greatly.
Harry walked up to Neville and pulled the other into a friendly hug. "Happy Birthday Nev," Harry said with a smile. Neville chuckled and returned the smile.
"My birthday was yesterday Harry but thanks anyway," Neville replied. "Same to you though. How does it feel to be twenty?"
"I'm just bloody happy that I'm alive to see it!" Harry exclaimed. "But it doesn't really feel all that different." Neville nodded then glance over Harry's shoulder.
"I'm going to go talk to the twins, I'll see you later Harry," Neville said and Harry nodded watching the other walk off.
There was so much activity going on and Harry felt his spirits lift a bit. It was good to be around friends even if Ron and he weren't on good terms at the moment. He mingled and talked a bit, working his way around the room to speak with everyone. When he came to Tonks he smiled and gave the now purple-haired witch a hug and a kiss on the cheek.
"Hey Tonks how are you?" he asked as he pulled back from the hug. She smiled widely at him.
"Everything's fine Harry been busy with interrogations and investigations of the captured Death Eaters for their trials," Tonks said. "Bit boring really and disturbing," she said with a small shudder.
"Well we're talking Death Eaters here, you know how their like. Anyway how's things with uh, Brent? You on or off again?"
Tonks gave a small scowl. "We broke up for good not long before you defeated that bastard. He was getting whiny on me and hinting at commitment. You know I'm not ready for that sort of thing so we stopped seeing each other." She said with a shrug. "What have you been up to with your sexy self?" she said and smirked at him. Harry rolled his eyes at her.
"I've been busy with some stuff; ideas for the club with Seamus and other stuff," he replied with a vague wave of his hand. Tonks had been the only other person who had known about the idea for the club. Just then the lights dimmed and a hush fell over the room. Harry looked around before being ushered through the crowd to the center of the room where he stood next to Neville who had also been shuffled there. He stood there looking a bit puzzled and he and Neville shared a smile. Then he saw it; from the direction of the kitchen came two large birthday cakes with candles glowing different colors on top of them. He realized Molly and Hermione were levitating them with their wands.
"Happy birthday to you! Happy birthday to you! Happy birthday dear Harry and Neville, happy birthday to you! HAPPY TWENTIETH BIRTHDAY HARRY AND NEVILLE!" Came the exuberant song and cheer from the room. The cakes were sat on a table and Harry finally got a good look at his cake. It was two layers with chocolate icing; on the sides were little candy snitches decorating the rim of each layer, and on the top were the same words as on the banner, minus Neville's name. Looking at Neville's cake he saw it looked the same only with candy roses decorating the rims instead of snitches. They were almost simple but still very beautiful, and Harry gasped as he looked them over.
"Well blow out your candles guys and make a wish!" Hermione exclaimed from beside Harry as he stared at the cake. He started at her words and looked at her before looking around. His eyes landed on Remus and Severus who stood across from him. Remus smiled gently and Severus gave him a smirk. On his other side Neville was looking happy and excited himself and Harry couldn't help but be filled with happiness also. Looking back at the cake he thought for a moment before closing his eyes and leaning close.
Please let things go a little better for me now that Voldemort is dead, Harry thought before blowing out the candles. Beside him he heard Neville blowing out his candles too.
"Now let's cut the cakes!" Ron exclaimed from beside Hermione. There was a round of agreement and Molly went about cutting the cakes for everyone, giving Harry and Neville their pieces first. The music was turned up and playing as background noise as everyone either sat around to eat their cake or walked with it. Harry sat down at a table and bit into the moist and delicious cake. Neville and Seamus sat across from him with Hermione and Ron to one side, respectively and Dean and Ginny to the other.
"Hmmm," Harry hummed as he forked a bit of cake into his mouth. "This is delicious as always Molly," Harry said smiling charmingly at the woman who was still dishing out cake to all the guests.
"He's right Molly, you did a great job on the cakes," Neville said giving the woman a smile also. A murmur of agreement went around at this and Molly smiled back, a faint red tinting her cheeks.
"It's not everyday you turn twenty, dears, I just did my best for you is all," she said looking dually pleased and embarrassed. She went back to serving the rest of the cake.
"So Ginny, Neville, you two find who the Healers you're working under are yet?" Harry asked looking to each of the named people.
"Oh! I'm working under Joanne Sullivan. She's a Healer in Spell Damage, you know, on the fourth floor? Well I'm to work under her and then once I've received my Healer's license I can work my way up," Ginny said with a smile, after swallowing her cake.
"I'm working under a Stephan Driscoll," Neville said. "But I'm working in the children's ward. Mostly for children who come in sick, but also a bit for children who suffer injuries from spells and such,"
"So what have you been up to in the two days since we last saw you Harry?" Dean asked.
"Getting things together with Seamus for the club," Harry replied. "We're basically working on the small stuff at the moment; color scheme, appearance for the inside and outside-"
"A name," Seamus butted in with a pointed look at Harry.
"Yes, and a name," Harry nodded.
"You haven't thought of a name yet?" Hermione asked incredulously. She looked from Harry to Seamus with arched brows.
"Well no," Seamus replied with a shrug. "It's still up for debate, but we do have a few ideas. We'll let you all know when we're sure on a name." The others nodded as they sat there.
"Harry, Neville, if you're done your cake why don't we get to your presents?" Arthur said as he walked over to their table. Both men nodded as they set their empty plates down and stood up. Their friends stood also and made their way towards the tables that held the presents of both. Everyone was gathering around the tables also now and looking eagerly and expectantly at both men.
"Why don't we exchanges our gifts for each other first?" Neville asked and Harry nodded his acceptance. He pulled something out of his pocket and enlarged it. It was wrapped in blue paper with a silver ribbon. While Harry was doing that Neville had gotten up to retrieve his gift for Harry. Harry's gift was wrapped in green paper with a gold ribbon. Opening his gift Harry found a soft leather bound book encased within.
"It's for basically whatever you want to use it for. I remember how you use to write when things got too heavy for you," Neville said with a shrug. Harry gave the other man a smile as he ran his fingers over it. The front of the book was engraved with the letters H.J.P in silver.
"Thanks Nev, it's really great." Harry replied simply. Neville nodded and went to open his gift. He gasped when he saw what it was and looked at Harry with wide eyes. "Saw it the other day and remembered what you said about wanting to go into child healing," he nodded his head towards the book and then shrugged.
"But Harry," Neville said, eyes back on the book. The cover read The Art of Child Healing by Corbin Ellison and had a picture of a man with dark brown hair waving his wand over a child who looked about seven. "This is one of the most famous children's Healers in history, and it's a first edition!"
"Third best in his field," Harry said nodding his head with an amused smile on his lips. "I want you to do good Nev, Merlin knows you may be taking care of these two's kids in the future." He threw another amused look at Hermione and Ron who flushed pink.
"Thanks Harry, really," Neville said gratefully still looking a bit star-struck with the book. Setting those gifts aside they turned back to their pile of gifts on the tables. Harry dug into his presents and began opening them as did Neville. Opening the gifts of his fellow Gryffindor friends first he found that Hermione had bought him two books on business and finance and how to manage a business. ("I'm just helping to make sure your dream succeeds") Ron had gotten him black dragon hide Quidditch gloves and a broom servicing kit. ("You've got tons of time now for flying and you haven't done so in awhile.") Seamus had gotten him an ankle length, black leather duster with green leather trim on the cuffs and the edge by his ankles. ("Too go with those sexy leather pants you've got, mate!" he had said with a wink.) Ginny got him a few boxes of his favorite chocolates from Honeydukes too which he had hugged her enthusiastically. From Dean he had gotten a gift certificate to Borders Book. ("So you can catch up on all that reading you kept saying you wanted to.")
Fred and George's joint gift – wrapped in blue paper with a red bow – came next and Harry was wary to actually open it. Neville had received dark brown leather pants and a mesh short sleeve shirt from them as "something to wear to Harry and Seamus' club." Harry looked at his gift before giving a pointed look to the twins.
"This isn't anything that's going to eat me, turn me into something or make me nauseous is it?" he asked still glancing warily at the box shaped gift. It was quite big really, and that freaked Harry out even more.
"Of course not Harry, we -" Fred – who thankfully wore a different colored shirt from his twin – said.
"Would never give you –"George continued
"Anything that would harm you –"
"In any way!" they concluded with what was supposed to be innocent smiles. Harry still looked wary but set about open the gift anyway. After getting the paper off he came to a plain white box. Giving one last look to the twins he lifted the lid only to immediately slam it back down, his cheeks flushing pink.
"Fred! George!" he exclaimed, holding the lid down as if that would make the gift disappear. It didn't.
"What's the matter, Harry? What did they get you?" Hermione asked, her confusion shown on many faces. Harry fidgeted and avoided anybodies eyes.
"Nothing 'Mione!" he said and shrunk the box putting it in his pocket.
"Ah Harry," the twins whined in unison.
"Didn't you like –" George began.
"The present we got you?" Fred finished. They smirked at him and he glared back. "It is something that I think –"
"You would find pleasure in –"
"Or with!" They both said still looking like devious little children who had done something naughty and were happy about it.
"I hate you both," Harry said flatly. The flush was slowly receding form his face now even though everyone else still looked confused. "Let's move on shall we?" he asked politely, avoiding the twin's mischievous smiles. After that he went about opening the rest of his presents and thanking those they came from. When there were no more present Harry looked up when the clearing of a throat was heard. Severus and Remus who had been standing across from him were now looking at him.
"Our gift," Remus said, indicating himself and Severus. "Is something that took us a few days to finalize, but its finally done." With that Remus handed him a set of papers, and with a quizzical look Harry unrolled the parchment and glanced over it. His eyes widened and he had to look at it again more closely. He looked back up to his surrogate godfather and his lover, the man who was like a third godfather to him. Remus was smiling softly at him and Severus' lips were quirked slightly, his eyes softer than usual.
"You had said that you wanted to have not only a place in the muggle world, which we know your working on but someplace in the wizarding world also. The house is empty and ready to be decorated to your wishes and furnished," Severus picked up, nodding towards the parchment in Harry's hands. "Since you like the area around the manor so much it's only about fifty miles from there. All you have to do is decorate the place and then when it's ready you can move it." Harry looked from one man to the other feeling slightly overwhelmed at the gift. He looked at Severus whose lips quirked upward in a more noticeable smile, and saw the man nodded slightly. He dashed around the table and threw his arms around both men in a hug, pulling them close.
"Thank you," he whispered. "You didn't have to do something like this for me though."
"We wanted to Harry," Remus whispered hugging back.
"We know you're still not all on center even though He is gone. Take your time and get yourself together, we'll be here for you no matter what," Severus whispered hugging the younger man back also. He wasn't paying attention to those around him; he was only concerned with the young man who was hugging them tightly.
Harry pulled back, and looked slightly embarrassed at his actions. "Uh t-thanks," he said shakily
"Well I'm just trying to get you out of my house," Severus said with shrug. "You're like a houseguest who's overstayed their welcome."
"I think I'm more than a houseguest, don't you? I mean houseguest don't practically live with you," Harry replied lips twitching into a smile.
"You know Potter your like a cat you feed once and doesn't know how to leave afterwards," Severus retorted with a smirk.
"Ah Severus," Harry fairly whined. "Don't you love me anymore?"
Severus grunted but just continued to smirk. Harry sighed dramatically but smirked back. The silence was broken as people began to chuckle at the scene in front of him.
"Harry," Albus said from his spot in a comfy chair. Everyone turned to look at the old man who was smiling at Harry. "My gift will go wonderfully with Severus' and Remus'. I have a friend who is a brilliant magical contractor and I have asked him, and he has agreed that he will help with any work you need on your home,"
Harry looked at the man shocked, completely speechless. Finally finding his voice he said, "Thank you Albus, that's really great of you and tell your friend thank you also."
"You're welcome," the man said simply. The presents were shrunken for easy transport and gathered together by each man. The festivities had slowly wound down after the presents were distributed. It was reaching late into the night and the guests were about to leave. "If I can have your attention for one more thing before you all depart to your homes for the night?" Albus asked looking around the room. The occupants went silent and looked towards the old man they had looked to so many times before.
"What is it Albus?" Minerva asked curiously.
"I have an announcement to make and something to reveal to you all," Albus began. "If you will remember while the war was still raging we had still received information from the inside even though Severus had been found out. In the beginning I didn't know who the person was though I had my suspicions. But it wasn't until the last letter that was sent that my suspicions were confirmed. The unknown spy who went by Maverick was Draco Malfoy." There was silence at this announcement. Many looked shocked and disbelieving at this proclamation though Harry and Remus looked like some mystery they had pondered had been proven true. There was a smile blooming on Harry's face.
"When Draco sent his last letter I was saddened that a young man who had took such a hold of his life and had been able to turn it around was going to die so young, but a rescue mission would have been impossible. When it was discovered that he was barely alive in a room in Voldemort's dwelling I had hope he would be able to pull through and live. He has recently awoken, and as such I have offered him a chance to escape an unjust punishment and after some thought he has agreed to take the chance.
There will be a trial, and under Veritaserum Draco will make his testimony to the Ministry. His trial will be in about two weeks time," Albus finished. The room was silent a moment, and then all hell broke loose. People were competing to declare there disbelief of the situation.
"This has to be trick…"
"Malfoy's a born and bred Dark Wizard; of course he was a loyal Death Eater..."
"He's lying somehow..."
Harry listened as different phrases of condemnation and ridicule filtered in and out of his hearing. He listened as so many declared their doubt of Draco, and he had enough of it. Standing to his full height of 6'0, he crossed his arms over his chest and glared around the room.
"QUIET!" he shouted, his deep voice carrying over the noise and the room almost abruptly fell into silence. Harry bit back a sigh and decided to tell his little not-so-secret, secret to the others. "I have been visiting with Draco since before he woke up and then even when he did wake up. I believe in his innocence in this matter and I FULLY support him in the upcoming trial that will take place."
"As do Severus and I," Remus said firmly standing beside Harry, his lover beside him. The room was silent again at this and the occupants were looking at them like they may have been crazy.
"I'll support Malfoy on this one too, if Harry and Dumbledore say he's innocent," Seamus spoke up into the silence.
"Are you crazy!" Ron exploded from where he stood. "This has to some kind of trick! I mean during school Malfoy was like the perfect little Death Eater and everything,"
"Yeah, and what did I tell you before Ron?" Harry snapped glaring at the redhead. "People can change,"
"Yeah that's very obvious," Ron snapped back looking hurt and angry as he stared at Harry.
"I have to agree with Weasley on this one," Moody's gruff voice spoke up. "The lot of Malfoys' is nothing but Death Eaters and Dark Wizards. What makes Draco Malfoy any different from his father, huh?"
"What makes me any different from mine?" Harry asked looking around. "My father was a bully in school and picked on others for the sheer fact that he could. Do you see me behaving like that? The bottom line is that not everyone is like their father or their family. I'll support Draco whether any of you like or agree with," Harry's tone was cool and calm as he spoke, and he glared firmly around the room at the occupants.
"Well said Harry," Albus said taking control of the conversation. "We should not judge a person by their family nor should we simply let go of past transgressions made. We should look to what has changed and work with what is now instead of dwelling on past mistakes." He nodded towards Harry with a smile on his face. "Now let us disperse for the night and think on this new development." There was a bit of grumbling and disbelieving whispers but people slowly began to do as the old man had suggested.
Harry turned to Seamus and offered the Irishman a smile. "Thanks Seamus for supporting Draco in this, I really appreciate it." He said giving the other man a pat on the back.
"No problem Harry, no problem at all," Seamus replied amicably. "As long as I've known you, I mean really known you, I have come to discover that you throw yourself into things with a passion that I rarely see rivaled. And also you only get this passionate about things if you're completely sure of them, and Dumbledore wouldn't just help someone if he knew they were lying."
Harry nodded his head but still looked grateful. Behind him a voice cleared its throat and he looked over his shoulder to see Hermione, Ginny, Neville and Dean standing there looking awkward and a bit uncomfortable. Turning fully he gave them a curious look, but said nothing.
"It seems your theories from a few days ago have more merit that we gave you credit for," Hermione stated. "When you had brought it up I thought about it, but didn't give it to much credence; my mind was thinking of the old Malfoy from back in school times and wouldn't let me push past it. I'll try to support him in this if not for him than for you Harry because you seem obviously confident in his innocence." Hermione gave him small smile which Harry returned.
"Me too Harry," Ginny said. "If he IS innocent than he doesn't deserve to rot in Azkaban." Neville and Dean gave similar agreement on their support for the blonde.
"Thank you," Harry said giving them all a smile. "I know it's hard considering all he did in school to us but it really means something that you'll at least try." He looked at them closely, then. "Where's Ron?" he asked quietly.
"He left already," Hermione answered softly. "He was upset with everything that was going on and left, but give him time Harry," she pleaded. Harry just nodded his head. The rest of them took their leave and Harry, Severus and Remus took theirs heading back to Snape Manor. As soon as they were through the floo Severus turned and looked at Harry,
"What did the twins get you?" he asked with a smirk. Harry flushed pink before sighing. He dug into his pocket looking for the box among the other presents, and pulled it out. Enlarging it, he held it out towards Severus and Remus. The two men shared a look before Remus lifted the lid of the box. Severus looked at the contents in the box for a moment, as did Remus before both burst out laughing. Harry glared at them before pulling the box back and grabbing the lid.
"They bought you a collection of sex toys!" Remus blurted out between his chuckling, though his face was the tiniest bit pink. But indeed the twins did. The box was full of many types of sex toys; vibrators, dildos, cock ring and other such things. Harry glared all the harder before turning on his heel and leaving the room. I really hate the twins sometimes!