Disclaimer: I do not own the characters contained herein. The plot, however, is all mine. No money is being made from the writing of this Fanfiction. I wrote purely for your, and my, entertainment.

Summary: After the final battle, Harry goes back to Hogwarts with an eye to having a bit of fun. A prank war ensues between Harry and Draco, but somewhere along the line, a prank goes wrong and Draco must face the consequences of his actions. Will be SLASH.

Warning: This story will eventually be SLASH, though not right away. This means it shall contain a homosexual relationship between two males. If you are a homophobe, I strongly suggest that you do not read this. This story also contains spoilers for Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. If you have not read it, then I once again suggest that you bypass this fic. Flames will be ignored.

Author's Note: I am attempting a comeback here, people. If anyone wants a reposting of any deleted stories, I shall consider it, but know this: Some of the stories have been deleted off of my computer and are irretrievable. However, if someone has a particular story saved on their computer that has not been finished, I shall consider finishing it. That is not to say that my muse will flare with inspiration on any unfinished fics. I feel I must thank all of my devoted fans who have stuck with me through trial and error as I've improved my writing for your reading enjoyment. Your encouragement and loyalty has made this fic possible. With that said, I hope you enjoy.

One final note: there is no beta-reader for this fic. If you have good grammar, a firm grasp of the English language and would like to beta read this fic, please send me an email at Menecarkawan aol .com. Your help will be highly appreciated.

Yours Sincerely,

Menecarkawan

I'd Have Never Believed

Chapter One

Let the Great Prank War Begin…

Harry Potter was on his knees, panting, holding a bruised and bloodied Severus Snape firmly in his grasp, terrified the man would die. Harry's eyes were glazed as he stared blankly at the carnage before him. He saw none of it as his mind mercifully shut down and delivered him to the peaceful darkness.

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The next thing to penetrate his consciousness was too much light, bright light. He squinted against it and turned his head away in an attempt at escape.

"I think he's waking," a familiar voice said nearby.

He felt a gentle hand on his shoulder and then another voice spoke. "Harry?" it asked. "Can you hear me?"

A pain like electric shock lanced through Harry's heart and a small sob escaped. He'd finally gone mad. After all he had been through, it took becoming a murderer to finally break him.

"Albus, something is wrong," the first voice declared. "This is foolishness. If you'd just let me-"

"It is too dangerous, even now," the dead man's voice cut in.

"Surely-"

"No, Severus."

Harry moaned in emotional pain, too frightened to open his eyes, but too curious to drift away again. He wasn't mad then. He had to be dead, for he knew both of these men were. He couldn't protect them. He opened his eyes.

"Harry, at last," Albus Dumbledore smiled down at him. "I was seriously considering calling for help."

Off to the side, partially hidden in the shadows, stood Professor Severus Snape, his arms crossed over his chest and the visible portion his face hidden behind a curtain of black hair.

"What is this place?" Harry asked, shifting his eyes back to Dumbledore.

"Trust this boy to not be surprised at seeing you alive, Albus," Snape sneered maliciously.

Harry's heart sank faster than a drowning child being pulled down by grindylows. He wasn't dead and nor was he mad. He'd been hoping to see Sirius and his parents.

"That is enough, Severus," Dumbledore snapped, sounding impatient. Snape wisely chose to sink deeper into the shadows without further comment.

"I'd thought I'd died," Harry remarked softly, unsure of why he'd made the admission, but needing to make it nonetheless.

"You are very much alive, my dear boy," Dumbledore said gently. "As am I." He chuckled lightly.

"How?" Harry asked.

Dumbledore waved his hand dismissively. "Let's not worry about all of that right now."

Harry shrugged indifferently. "What happened?" he asked.

"You won, child."

"No, I didn't."

"Voldemort is nothing more than a bad memory now. You did it."

"It wasn't enough," Harry murmured, turning away from those sad blue eyes. "So many killed. So many. It was never enough." With that sad statement, Harry slipped back into the darkness.

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Harry's return to Hogwarts that September, with Dumbledore, Snape and Draco Malfoy in tow, caused a sensation. Madame Pomfrey actually passed out from the shock of it all and had to be revived with smelling salts. Malfoy looked unusually shy and nervous, Dumbledore was twinkling gaily, and Snape looked as impassive as ever, though he was being gaped at more than the rest. Harry took it all in his stride as he always had.

Harry was glad to be back; in spite of all, Hogwarts would always feel like home to him. How could he ever have considered not returning?

Hermione and Ron ran to him through the crowd of shocked onlookers, pulling him into a bone crushing three-way embrace that knocked the air from his lungs, but still made him smile. He turned his head, looking at the pale visage of Malfoy, standing there, looking so unsure of himself. Harry had only one thought before entering the Great Hall for the welcoming feast: Let the Great Prank War begin.

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Draco was infuriated. He stormed into the Slytherin common room, which fell silent as soon as he entered. "Oh, so you think Potter's funny, do you?" he snarled at them.

"Well, you have to admit," Pansy said delicately. "You'd be laughing if it was someone else he did that to."

"You are most unhelpful, Pansy, thank you," Draco snapped at the irritating blonde. Potter had gone too far this time, and Draco meant to pay him back. Looking at his pink hands, his anger flared anew. How dare he? That Gryffindor wretch would regret this!

"…and he was holding on for dear life because his broom was flying on its own, spelling out 'Dwaco woves Quidditch' in great big pink letters!" a first year was whispering to her friends. The small group burst into giggles.

"Arrrggghh!" Draco exclaimed angrily, throwing his hands in the air. The whole room burst into gales of laughter as Draco stormed into his dorm room. No respect! Oh, Potter was going to pay, and Draco knew just what to do. Potter would never live it down.

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"Harry, that was really dangerous," Hermione chided at breakfast the day after his amazing prank. It hadn't been, really. It was just supposed to seem that way, which it did, but now he had to explain as much to Hermione.

"He wouldn't have fallen off," he said patiently. "I made sure it was safe. Just because he didn't know it, doesn't mean it wasn't so. I'm not a…" but he stopped abruptly and walked away from them. He'd almost said 'I'm not a murderer', but that was a lie. He was a murderer and it pained him to think of it. They'd followed him, of course.

Now, however, Harry was thinking perhaps it had been dangerous after all. Not for Malfoy, but for Harry. It had been three weeks, and still Malfoy had not retaliated. Harry knew that whatever Malfoy was planning, it was going to be big. Very big. Huge. Enormous, even. He was starting to feel nervous about it, though he couldn't say that he regretted starting this war. He hadn't had so much fun in years.

Harry sat at the Gryffindor table for breakfast with a strong sense of foreboding. He noticed Malfoy's absence from the Slytherin table and knew the retaliatory prank would occur sometime today. He'd decide what to do about it after he finished his porridge with treacle. Hermione and Ron sat across from him with worried expressions just as Malfoy sauntered in looking very pleased with himself. Harry gulped.

Hermione followed his gaze and asked, "Do you think it will be today? He seems terribly smug all of a sudden."

"That's just what-" But he never finished because at that moment he was swallowed in a thick cloud of purple smoke. Across the room, Draco Malfoy smirked and pretended to be shocked right along with everyone else.

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Hermione didn't see the appearance of the purple smoke because she was still watching Malfoy when it happened, but she certainly heard the boom it made. She spun around quickly, crying, "Harry!" as she went. The cloud began to dissipate and where Harry's head had been, there was now nothing but air. Ron was sputtering and waving his hands in front of his face.

"Bloody hell!" he exclaimed.

Hermione stood up, thinking that Harry must have fallen on the floor, but she found something much more disturbing. A little boy with bright green eyes was watching her with the expression of someone expecting to wake up at any moment. "Harry?" she asked incredulously. Certainly this couldn't be Malfoy's prank? What would be the point?

The little boy looked even more astonished now, but he remained silent.

"Harry, say something," Hermione begged, everyone in the Hall waiting with baited breath.

"How do you know my name?" child Harry asked in his tiny child's voice.

Hermione was trying to figure out what to say when McGonagall swooped down like an overprotective mother eagle and demanded, "What is going on here?"

Hermione simply stared at her professor helplessly, unable to form any kind of response.

"Well?" the formidable professor asked, looking imperiously around at all of the shell-shocked students. Neville numbly pointed at Harry and McGonagall started in surprise when her eyes landed on the child.

"Mr. Potter?" she asked incredulously.

"Hey, you know my name too!" he said, sounding rather excited. Several people chuckled nervously and Harry seemed to become aware of all of the people looking at him, abruptly lowering his eyes to the floor.

McGonagall rounded on Hermione. "How did this happen?" she demanded, her lips pressed thinner than Hermione had ever seen them, nearly making McGonagall look as though she had no lips at all.

"I… I don't know, Professor," Hermione finally managed to stammer. "He was just eating his breakfast-"

McGonagall whirled toward the table, picking up Harry's bowl and goblet. "Mr. Weasley, go and find Professor Snape and bring him to Headmaster Dumbledore's office. Ms. Granger, take Harry's hand and follow me." She turned on her heal, bowl and goblet held out in front of her like dirty linens, and stalked out of the Hall, Hermione scrambling to get Harry and catch up.

"Am I dreaming?" Harry asked as she carried him behind McGonagall.

"No," she replied.

"Oh," Harry said. He was quiet after that, something Hermione was grateful for because following an angry Minerva McGonagall was not easy.

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Harry's young eyes were taking in everything they passed. He was worried that it might all disappear as quickly as it had arrived. He didn't ask any more questions because the girl with the bushy hair seemed angry with him. He didn't mean to ask if he was dreaming, it just popped out before he could stop it. He hadn't meant to make her mad.

The green lady was walking very fast so that the girl with the bushy hair nearly had to run to keep up. Harry was glad she was carrying him because they seemed to be going an awful long way.

He was afraid of this place disappearing because Auntie 'Tunia was going to be mad that he left without finishing his chores. He was sure to be sent to his cupboard without dinner, and he was ever so hungry. Maybe the girl with the bushy hair would give him something to eat if he was good and kept quiet.

They finally stopped, but Harry didn't know why. Maybe the grown ups were tired. He knew he'd be tired after going such a long way so fast. They were in a long corridor, by a statue of a very strange creature. It was a frightening sort of animal and Harry wished they'd move soon because he didn't like looking at it.

"Fizzing Wizbees," the green lady said.

Harry's eyes became very round when the statue came to life and moved to the side, revealing a big escapator made of rock. It was moving up and up in little circles, and the grown ups went up these stairs just as quickly as they'd gone up the corridor with the live statue. There was a wood door at the top with a metal lion head on it. The green lady knocked.

"Enter," said a man's voice on the other side.

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They went into the office when invited, finding Dumbledore sitting behind his desk.

"Funny, how much paperwork there is when you come back from the dead," he said mildly, making a few more jots with his quill before looking up. "Minerva! And Ms. Granger! What a lovely surprise! And who is this young man?"

The child in question swallowed before speaking. "Harry Potter, sir," he mumbled shyly.

Dumbledore's eyebrows went up and he looked to McGonagall. "Perhaps you should explain what happened," he said.

"He was eating breakfast," McGonagall said tartly. "There was a bang and a cloud of smoke and when it cleared, Harry was like this."

Dumbledore's eyes turned back to Hermione. "Do you know how this happened?"

Hermione shook her head, still more bewildered than she'd ever been in her life.

"Am I to assume that this is Mr. Potter's breakfast?" Dumbledore asked, gesturing to the bowl and goblet McGonagall had placed on his desk upon entering.

"Yes," McGonagall replied crisply.

"And do we have any idea who might have done this?"

Hermione felt relieved to be asked a question she could answer at last. "I think it might have been Draco Malfoy, sir," she said.

"And what draws you to that conclusion, Ms. Granger?" Dumbledore asked pleasantly.

"Well, Harry and Malfoy have been pranking each other since the beginning of this year," Hermione said. "Harry's last prank was a bit…"

"'Over the top', I believe is the phrase you are searching for, Ms. Granger," Snape said, entering the office without knocking. His eyes landed on Harry, but he spoke to Dumbledore. "You summoned me, Headmaster?"

"Ah, Severus," Dumbledore said as though he'd been expecting Snape all the time. "Just the man."

Snape's expression darkened as he turned at last to look at Dumbledore.

"I believe you know our young Mr. Potter," Dumbledore said, gesturing to the little boy in Hermione's arms. He'd started to tremble slightly, but he didn't lower his eyes when Snape's snapped back in his direction.

"'Lo," Harry said quietly.

Snape's eyes narrowed before his hand came up and he pinched the bridge of his nose. "This is going to end with me losing my free time, I just know it," he muttered.

Hermione stared at him in disbelief unable to comprehend how that was the only thing he had to say. "Erm, sir?" she said hesitantly.

Snape lowered his hand before raising an eyebrow in question.

"I wondered if you know what potion did this," Hermione said, very proud of herself when her voice didn't waver.

"There are several potions that could have this effect," Snape replied, his voice thoughtful. " I would have to test the boy's blood to know which one was used."

Harry shrank back when Snape said 'the boy', but other than that, he was perfectly calm.

"Fortunately, that won't be necessary, as we have Harry's breakfast right here," Dumbledore said, his eyes twinkling madly. "I'd hoped you wouldn't mind having a look at it."

"As if I could say no," Snape muttered, mostly to himself. Louder, he said, "Of course, Headmaster. I shall try to have results by tomorrow if I can."

Dumbledore clapped his hands together happily. "Good, good! Now, what to do with Harry until then?"

"I'll watch him," Hermione offered, giving Harry a small reassuring smile.

"You have classes, Ms. Granger," McGonagall said.

"I'll give Harry something to draw on or something while I'm in class," Hermione said stubbornly.

"A very good idea!" Dumbledore agreed before McGonagall could say anything.

McGonagall, for her part, covered her surprise very well. After staring at Dumbledore for a moment in dumbfounded shock, she said, "As you wish, Albus."

"That's settled then!" Dumbledore exclaimed, twinkling at Harry for a moment. "We'll convene here after classes tomorrow to see what Severus finds out." Hermione knew a dismissal when she heard one, so she left the office with Harry still in her arms.

"Where we goin?" Harry asked after a moment.

"To class," Hermione replied gently.

"Is this a school?" Harry asked.

"It sure is," Hermione said.

"What's your name?"

"Hermione."

Harry scrunched up his face. "Her-my-knee?" he asked.

Hermione smiled. "Close enough."

Harry giggled. "I like you."

Hermione stopped walking so she could look at him. "I like you too, Harry." She started walking again, thinking Harry might nap during History of Magic.

"Her-my-knee?" Harry asked.

"Yes, Harry?" Hermione replied.

"How'd I get here?"

Hermione sighed. "I don't know, Harry," she said. "I think it was a potion."

"What's that?" Harry asked.

Hermione considered how best to answer that. "Well, it's a mixture of ingredients that cause a magical effect."

"Magic?"

"Hm-hmm."

"Uncle Vewnon says magic's not real."

"Well, he's wrong then, isn't he?"

"You learn magic here?"

"I sure do."

"Her-my-knee?"

"Yes, Harry?"

"What does 'ingwedent' mean?"

Hermione was starting to wonder just what she'd gotten herself into.