Drum roll please
Now I would like to proudly announce this to be the first ever introduction of a completely beta'd story! Thanks to my wonderful little Elly, this whole story is completely free of spelling mistakes, typos and other annoying little things that make reading this displeasing.
For all of you who have already read this, I apologise if this accidentally deletes all of your reviews. –Fingers crossed- I just hope that doesn't happen.
And for all of you who are new to this story- I hope you enjoy it!
Chapter 1 – Expelling the blood of your past
It wasn't even midnight yet, but already the streets were so bare they looked uninhabited, every house light turned off and its occupants safely tucked up in bed. Well, that was the case for most of the people in Surrey, but for one Harry Potter it wasn't the case at all. Harry sat silently on the park swing, staring at his shoes as he steadily pushed himself gently back and forth, and he reflected on his life with sadness in his emerald eyes.
The truth was that in barely 3 minutes it was to be Harry's 16th birthday, months since his godfather's death, 15 years since his parent's deaths and over a year from Cedric's. Not to mention the countless others he had seen slaughtered and tortured in his nightmares even more regularly in the past 6 months after he had pulled himself out of depression. And now he sat, cold and alone in an empty park, swinging back and forth, the only noises to be heard the creak of the swing and the rustle of leaves in the bitter night air.
His best friend Ron had abandoned their friendship after Sirius died; Harry's own grief and the jealousy that Ron still held for him had become too much for the red head. As a result, Hermione had been his only lifeline at school. Harry had grown much closer to Remus, but it still wasn't enough, and as he sat on that swing thinking, he realised that he was very alone.
He felt his skin tingle, which was strange as there had been no breeze, and pulled his jacket closer to himself, feeling a distinct moment of unease. He looked around himself nervously, but found nothing lurking in the shadows in the abandoned night. He shook his head to expel the thought, but the tingling was hard to ignore. He felt as though his skin was being brushed, and it was everywhere from the tips of his fingers to the soles of his feet.
Zero… "Happy birthday," he whispered into the darkness.
But his words finished in a gasp of pain and he fell off the swing backwards, curling up into a ball, his body feeling as though it was going to be ripped apart. He convulsed as his muscles knotted together and his joints felt as though they were being pulled out of their sockets. He wanted to cry out in pain, but he couldn't as his throat wasn't getting off lightly either, and he shook as the pain racked his body.
But as soon as it had come, it left, and Harry rolled onto his back panting hard as he stared wide eyed into the dark sky above. He looked around for a Death Eater, but for some reason he knew that it hadn't been the Cruciatus curse, it was something different, and he got a feeling that it wasn't necessarily a good thing. His skin was still tingling, but as he pushed himself up he felt that his whole body burned and ached, and he was finding it difficult to walk. Harry merely gritted his teeth and stumbled down the road, leaning against gates and trees as he went, soon feeling his eyes begin to prick with tears of pure pain and panic.
As Harry blinked he became even more scared to see his vision had gone red, and as he wiped his eyes and drew his hand back, he stumbled backwards and fell to the floor as he saw blood covering his fingers. He was crying blood, he felt as though a steamroller had hit him, and there was no explanation. Before he could heave himself up again he began to taste the distinctly metal tang in his mouth, and as he raised a finger to his lips, sure enough they were red with it.
He began to hyperventilate, and he had to keep wiping at his eyes to see properly as he pushed himself onward. The more he pushed himself, the more he could swear his bones were crunching together and his muscles were being burned, but he managed to force himself until he reached Private Drive. He barely made it to the Dursley's front garden before he blacked out from pain and exhaustion.
Harry stirred a little as he heard a high pitch scream ring in his ears and give him a headache. He could hear so many sounds, and everything was so damn loud! He tried to roll over, but he couldn't manage it, and he put his face back down to meet the cold feel of his own blood on the ground.
The screaming continued for a few more moments, and his head began to throb as he felt blood pumping to his ears and running down his neck. His entire body was tingling again, but he preferred it to the deep racking pain that engulfed him as he tried to move.
Unfortunately, nobody else seemed to know about that, and moments later he felt himself painfully rolled onto his back. He coughed a little and felt the bubbling of more blood in his throat, each time he opened his eyes the harsh colours that shone back at him were enough to make him close them again. He wanted to groan, but his throat hurt as much as the rest of him, and as he shut his eyes he felt two red tears trickle down his face.
There was more screaming and a lot of talking, and he recognised Dudley's startled slur as he coughed again and more blood fell from his lips. What seemed like seconds, but could have been hours passed, and he began to slip in and out of consciousness, managing to let out a cry of pain as he was lifted from the grass, more blood pouring down his chin.
He began convulsing again, and whoever was holding him up tensed as he shook uncontrollably and bled even more, the pain as bad as he had remembered it from the night before. There were more screams and cries and he felt more people surround him, could feel the magic when their memories were erased.
He had barely stopped when he felt the tug of the port key and threw up some more blood from his empty stomach as his head span from the journey that seemed to last much longer than it did.
Draco sat on the front steps of Hogwarts, looking out at the grounds, envious of its life. His father had been sentenced to Azkaban, his mother had fled to somewhere in France without him, and now he was stuck in school for the summer with five Hufflepuffs, three Ravenclaws and absolutely no other Slytherins. Not like he'd want them there any more though, they'd probably disown him now that his father was locked away.
He sighed as he watched some of the others swim in the lake, while some lounged on the grounds, and most of the Ravenclaws read books under the shade of the trees. He propped up his leg in what he knew was a seductive manor for anyone who would have noticed, and continued to stare into the shadows that the sunlight missed, just like him.
His line of vision fell onto the path coming from his left, near the carriages, and he watched with slight curiosity as another thestral came down and landed with a jolt. It continued on for a few further feet but the moment it stopped he saw a man jump out, red hair and bloodshot eyes, followed by Lupin with something in his arms- wait, someone.
He propped himself to focus his keen eyes on the scene before him, but he hadn't needed to as they began hurrying towards him. Whoever was in his arms seemed to be in a pretty bad state, Lupin was all bloody and the body looked pretty limp, but not stiff, which showed that it was at least still alive.
By now, of course, everyone else on the grounds had seen their professor hurrying down the path with a body in his arms, and all laughter had stopped as they watched. Whoever it was had wild dark hair and a slim frame, but it was very hard to put names to the looks. It was only when one Hufflepuff boy recognised whoever it was that they knew.
"Oh Merlin! That's Harry Potter!" he cried as he leapt to his feet and began hurrying across the grounds. And of course, the rest soon followed and Draco noticed Lupin clench his teeth as he tried to pick up his pace to reach the school before they were ambushed. Draco himself wasn't quite as surprised that Potter had managed to get himself into trouble again, but he couldn't help but feel a twang in his gut as he saw the blood dripping from his limp fingers.
And before he could ask himself what in the name of Merlin he was doing, he had gotten to his feet and pushed open the heavy oak doors, leaning against them to let them through. Lupin gave him a half startled glance before giving a small nod and running through, followed by the other man who stunk of alcohol.
"POPPY!" he heard the professor shout before he closed the doors and stood before them as the band of students halted before him.
What was he doing?
"Move Malfoy, let us through!" demanded the fifth year Hufflepuff angrily, wand clenched tightly. Draco raised an eyebrow and folded his arms, shifting his weight on his right foot and boring his eyes into the boy who recoiled a little.
"What if I don't want to?" he asked daringly, letting his lip curl at the edges as the Hufflepuff fumed, but kept quiet.
"Come on guys," he muttered angrily after losing the battle of wills, letting Draco smirk triumphantly as they turned to leave. But Draco's smirk faltered as he remembered what he had just done, and he sat back down with a look of mild shock on his fair features.
"Merlin, am I going soft?" he muttered, taking a fleeting glimpse at the blood on the steps, and he shook his head angrily.
Harry juggled in Moony's arms as he was moved through the halls of his school, only stopping when they reached the door to the Hospital Wing. He coughed again, and his lungs bubbled when he heard the hurried talking of the school nurse. He felt warm hands running along his suddenly very cold skin, before he was jostled again, and he felt the strange comfort of a bed beneath him, more blood falling down his cheeks as he tried to open his eyes.
What the hell was happening? He thought drowsily, before he lost himself to the sleep he had wanted for months.
"Would you please join me in my office, Draco?" asked Dumbledore, startling Draco from his thoughts as he looked up at the old man from his perch on the front steps. It had only been- what, half an hour since he had held open the doors, and already they were trying to council him about it. Merlin, he supposed he deserved it though; no Malfoy holds the door for a Potter, even a Malfoy that's been disowned to a Potter that's bloody.
"Yes sir," he muttered, keeping his strange thoughts to himself, as he stood gracefully and began following the headmaster through the corridors. His face was his usual emotionless mask of mystery and charm as he stared straight ahead, lost in himself for the thoughts of what he was going to be talked with about.
Probably to do with his family, he thought half heartedly, although deep down he knew that this wasn't the time to be talking about that, especially when the golden-boy came into the picture. He inwardly rolled his eyes; yes, he was surprised not to see Dumbledore crying at his side yet. He scolded himself and his mask creased into a mild scowl briefly, no, he couldn't go thinking like that, not now that this was the only place he could stay. Besides, if the headmaster can take in the son of a Death Eater when the rest of his family has deserted him, it usually makes that one son in question in that one headmasters debt.
Damn wizard debts, he thought bitterly, but his mask barely even faltered.
"Marzipan mice," he heard, snapping himself out of his trance to see the gargoyle hop aside as the staircase came into view. Even if he was in his debt it didn't mean he couldn't call him a batty old codger now, did it? He mused, a small smile bracing his fair face as he walked gracefully up the stairs after Dumbledore.
"Do take a seat, my boy," Dumbledore said kindly, although Draco could tell that his voice was strained. Looking down, he spotted a tiny dot of blood on his robes and knew that he'd already been to see Ha- Potter. Merlin, he really was going soft. He nodded curtly and sunk into the comfortable chair, thankful for the excuse to draw his mind from his own rather miserable predicament.
"Lemon drop?" he asked half-heartedly, holding out the bowl. Draco was about to decline, but due to the missing sparkle in the old man's eye, he almost felt obliged to take one, and he nodded more softly this time and slid one in his mouth.
"As I'm sure you are already aware, Harry was brought to the castle earlier today with some- injury," the headmaster began, and Draco nodded thoughtfully as he silently moved the sweet around his mouth.
"Do you have any idea what has happened to him?" he followed, and Draco had a hard time disguising his curiosity. Why would he know what had happened to Potter, they seriously didn't think he did anything to him, did they?
"No idea, sir," Draco replied, eyeing up the other man suspiciously with his intelligent and harsh grey eyes as he rolled the sweet in his tongue without so much as a twitch from his jaw. The headmaster nodded solemnly before putting his hands together and leaning back in his chair, looking at Draco thoughtfully as he sucked on his own sweet.
"I'm afraid it's a rather strange turn of events," the headmaster mused seemingly to himself, although he still didn't let his eyes leave his student's as he studied him. Draco didn't even flinch, although he was inwardly squirming, being reminded of all of the times his father had looked him up and down only to find something wrong. The headmaster sighed again and looked out of the window as though deep in thought, and Draco began to get agitated, as the other man hadn't explained himself yet. He was just about to ask, when the headmaster quickly turned back to fix his gaze again, and he knew that he was going to explain.
"Harry is presently going through a change that has skipped two generations of his family. Because of his mother's muggle-born blood I was almost certain that it would skip him too, but it seems that Harry still has a few tricks up his sleeves," the headmaster began, and with the last sentence his eyes twinkled a little before they dulled again.
"Draco, Harry is not a normal wizard," Draco held back his disdainful snort, but the headmaster still saw the slight change on his features, although he said nothing about it. "His great-great grandfather was a shadow Veela,"
Draco began to choke on his lemon drop, and bent over in his chair as he coughed, but still barely registered it over the shock. The headmaster frowned before making his way around the desk and knocking his student over the back, by which the lemon drop dislodged and fell to the floor.
Draco sat breathing heavily for a further few moments as the headmaster conjured a glass of water that Draco drank without really knowing what he was doing. His brilliant eyes were widened and no amount of self-control could revive his mask over the look of pure astonishment on his face.
"Wh-" he breathed, but he was in no condition to form a sentence. "You-" he said, staring wide eyed at the headmaster in disbelief. "Wh-" he began again and the headmaster's eyes twinkled a little in amusement as he leant back into his chair again, propping his chin on his knuckles as he watched the younger man. Draco cleared his throat and went about staring at a trinket on the desk between them as he contained himself, and after a few minutes his face was a little better controlled, but still not completely.
"Why are you telling me this?" he asked slowly and cautiously, not eyeing up the other man without bothering to hide his sudden mistrust. The headmaster frowned again and peered at Draco over his half moon spectacles for a moment before speaking.
"Because, my dear boy, you probably know more about Veela than anyone else in this school," he said calmly, studying his student's expressions.
"So?" he retorted, "Just because I read a few books doesn't mean I'm suddenly qualified to hold his dirty secrets!" But the nagging feeling that his arguments weren't going to work made his sentence trail off weakly, and he fixed a glare at the headmaster instead.
"Draco, it is common knowledge that the Malfoy family have been mixing with Veela for centuries, if anything your family are more Veela than anyone else in the country, not to mention that your grandmother herself is one." The headmaster began, and Draco got the sinking feeling that he wasn't just going to be holding secrets.
"So?" he muttered again, looking down as he sunk further into his chair, already dreading the words that were to follow his question. Had he have looked he would have seen the other mans eyes sparkling with hidden mirth, but thankfully didn't see the small smile grace the old man's face before he continued.
"As you already know, Veela are very alluring creatures," he began, and smiled again as Draco winced, "And there is little doubt in my mind that you will be the only student in this school immune to him in the coming years," he finished. Yes, being over a quarter Veela was suddenly showing its bad points, as Veela are the only creatures immune to their own kind. In that moment he would have considered losing the popularity and the looks all for the opportunity to run screaming from the room and the old coot that was going to force Potter on him against his will.
"So?" he muttered again, scowling at his perfect fingers as he wrung them together nervously, hating them for the first time in his life.
"Veela are very social creatures, and I know that you are aware of it already. Harry won't be able to stay in the same quarters as any of the other students, but if he is alone his longing to be with others will do nothing to his mental stability." The headmaster stated.
"You aren't seriously suggesting that I share a dormitory with Potter!" Draco sneered, although his disbelief and shock showed through the bitterness in his voice.
"Indefinitely," the headmaster said, nodding his head. Draco groaned unlike he had ever before, and he put his head in his hands and rubbed his forehead, no longer caring if he messed his perfect hair. This was definitely going to be a disaster.
"But for the mean time Mr Potter will be in the hospital wing, because currently he is going through one of the most painful experiences many people are ever likely to experience", Dumbledore said, but Draco could tell that he believed that Harry would probably go through worse as his blue eyes darkened a shade.
"I believe it lasts for a month with the shadows, is that correct?" he asked, regaining his mirth again. Draco nodded into his hands, and the headmaster smiled again and Fawkes let out a small trill that had very little effect on Draco's sudden bad mood.
"On the 31st of August, Harry's change will be complete, and in my estimate of three days later he will be able to attend lessons and move into your shared dormitory. At the moment he is merely expelling his human blood to be replaced, but soon he will go into a peaceful yet painful state of very little consciousness until he wakes again."
"In that time his body will change blah de blah blah, yeah I get it," Draco mumbled, and the headmaster smiled again as Draco finally lifted his head from his hands, his fringe ruffled and eyes suddenly tired.
"But-" Draco continued, remembering something as he gave the headmaster a curious look, "I thought with the shadows the metamorphous was only supposed to occur when the subject reaches the age of 17," he stated, his perfect eyebrows now knitted in a thoughtful frown. Dumbledore nodded, a proud flash darted past his eyes at his student's extensive knowledge.
"Yes, my boy. The only explanation I can think of is that young Harry's was forced early because his life was dependant on the change." He said, suddenly sober from the mirth he had just shown. Draco's eyebrows knitted further in thought before he seemed to accept it and nodded his understanding.
"If that's all professor?" he asked curtly, needing to be alone to shout, or better yet break something, his Veela temper threatening to show itself.
"Yes, that's all for now thank you Draco," the headmaster replied as Draco lifted himself graciously from his chair and made for the door. But he stopped as his hand reached the handle when the headmaster's voice stopped him.
"You shall be informed of your new sleeping arrangements within the month," Draco grimaced with the words, "And I hope that you will take it upon yourself to help Harry come to terms with his new self, I'm sure your own knowledge on the subject will be of help," he added cheerfully, and Draco shut the door behind him, mumbling words along the lines of 'barmy coot'.
Dumbledore smiled but the twinkle left his eye as he remembered the state that his student was currently in. He waited until he was sure that Draco was gone before sweeping from his office to go and check on Harry, his heart aching every step of the way.