Author's Note: All characters are OOC in order for this to work like I want it to. If this bothers you, feel free to click on someone else's stories. And if anyone knows how to put off-site links into the story itself, please let me know.
Disclaimer: I am not the fabulous JK Rowling, nor do I wish to be (ok maybe a little). Harry Potter belongs to her and her alone. I am not making any money from this story nor do I intend to. I'm just playing within the world she has so wonderfully created. The following story is a figment of my own imagination and I fully intend to put Harry and his friends back, unharmed and alive, when I'm done. Thank you.
Part 1: Chance or Fate?
10 years can change a person. Not on the outside, but inside, deep within ones soul where no one can touch. Only those close to a person could understand what that meant. To Harry, it meant an constant ache to his psyche.
He'd only been back to Hogwarts once, just after graduation for the final decisive battle with Voldemort. He had seen The Dark Lord take aim at his longtime friend, Ron, to deliver The Killing Curse and Hermione had jumped in the way to save him. At the last second, Harry put up a Bound-Back Shield (he was proud of coming up with the spell for that all on his own and felt confident enough to teach it to the DA class) around his friends and the Curse bounced back to it's source, killing Voldemort instantly. After Voldemort's ashes had scattered in the winds, Harry had let his guard down for a moment and that was when he'd been hit from behind by The Cruciatus. He fell to the ground in pain, so tired from fighting he couldn't even throw off the curse. He managed to look up into the insane-filled eyes of Lucius Malfoy, his wife Narcissa standing behind him smiling wickedly.
"Father, stop." came a soft voice. The pain stopped and every part of his body throbbed. Draco came into his line of sight, wand drawn. He looked down at Harry, his face a blank mask. Harry thought for sure that he was fated to die by Draco's hand that night.
"Do you wish to kill him yourself then?" Lucius asked his only son. Draco gave Harry another look and Harry saw something in his eyes but he was in too much pain to read more into it. Draco looked at his father and mother.
"You always did say killing is what a Malfoy does best, Father."
"Then make me proud." Lucius grinned, taking his wife's hand. Draco turned back to Harry, who felt resigned to his Fate. Everything moved in slow motion for Harry. He saw Draco raise his wand arm toward him and he began to speak the words that would end his life.
"Avada - " Harry closed his eyes. "Kedavra!" But no pain came. Harry opened his eyes. Lucius and Narcissa were laying at Draco's feet, most definitely dead. Draco looked at Harry, tears in his eyes.
"Why Malfoy?" he asked, needing to know.
"I did it for you, Harry. It was always for you." Draco whispered, sounding pained. And then he was gone, Apparating before his eyes with a loud crack.
That was the last time Harry ever saw Draco again.
"It was always for you."
This thought had followed Harry around for the next 10 years of his life. Through the wedding of Ron and Hermione, to the birth of their first 3 children, all girls, triplets if you can believe that, to Mrs. Weasley's delight and Fred & George's glee. And of course, they named Harry as their godfather, a job he took very seriously. What surprised him most, was what had happened to his Aunt Petunia, Uncle Vernon & Cousin Dudley after the war ended. Petunia had finally had enough of Vernon & Dudley's constant bullying of her only other blood relative (namely Harry) and left them both, telling Vernon that her lawyer would be sending him divorce papers. She moved out and got a small flat in Surrey and invited Harry to live with her if he liked. She had admitted to him that she'd been jealous of the things her sister could do and kept her grief hidden when Lily had died. She loved Harry deep within her heart and kept that part hidden from Vernon and Dudley both. Harry was floored. He agreed to live with her, and it was a step in the right direction in sealing the breach between their family. He and his aunt talked alot after that and he told her he was gay. She didn't seem surprised by this news.
And so, life moved on for Harry and his friends. Harry and Hermione, joined by their love for fantasy, decided to open a book store in the wizarding part of Surrey. His Aunt helped out as well, finally understanding what Harry's life had been like all these years and wanted to be a part of everything he did.
Harry entered his flat and dropped his keys on the table in the hall.
"Harry is that you?" called his aunt. She'd been home sick with the flu the last few days. As much as she loved Harry and understood his ways, she was rather stubborn about letting magic cure her illness.
"Yes, Aunt Petunia. I got that tea you asked for." he replied.
"Oh good." she sighed, coughing immediately after. He hated seeing anyone sick, especially his aunt. "By the way, you've got a post. It's on the kitchen table."
"Aunt Petunia, you didn't go outside did you?" Harry asked, going into the kitchen to make his aunt's tea.
"No. That one came by owl." Harry stopped in the process of putting on the tea kettle and looked at the table. The handwriting was unfamiliar but it was addressed to him.
Aunt Petunia's Flat
He finished putting the kettle on the oven and then sat down, picking up the letter as if it were poisonous. War had taught him caution and he still used it to this day. Drawing his wand, he employed a few curse-breaking techniques Ron's brother, Bill had taught him he checked to make sure it was safe to open. There was only a small sheet of paper in it.
Dahlia Club 8:00
"I think you should go." his aunt said from behind him. Startled, he nearly fell off his chair.
"Aunt Petunia, you nearly gave me a heart attack!" he cried, placing a hand over his rapidly beating heart.
"Sorry." she grinned.
"Why are you out of bed anyway?"
"Needed to use the loo. So are you going to go?" She pointed to the note in his hand. He looked at it.
"I don't right know if I should or not."
"Oh come now, Harry. The world is a different place now. Surely you're not still worried."
"Just because he's gone doesn't mean someone else couldn't have taken over."
"True. But what did you always tell me? It's not a trap unless you spring it. I think you should go, love." She went to the stove to make her tea and then went back to her room.
He stared at the note in his hand for a few more minutes, then went to the fireplace. He tossed in some Floo powder and put in a call to Ron & Hermione.
"Harry, mate!" Ron greeted, amid the noise in the background.
"What is going on over there?"
"Hermione's trying to give the girls their bath."
"And I could use your help, Ronald!" Hermione exclaimed as she chased a naked and wet Phoebe through the kitchen.
"Need some help?" Harry laughed.
"If you can spare the time." Ron sighed, groaning when Delila pounced on his back. Telling his aunt he was going to the Weasley's for a bit, he Apparated. Right into chaos. Hermione was chasing Phoebe, Ron was chasing Delila and Harry caught Caroline as she was rounding the corner. He scooped her up in his arms, towel and all. The 6 year old girl grinned at him.
"Caroline, you've lost a tooth." he smiled, walking her back to the bathroom.
"Uh-huh! And the Tooth Fairy left me a whole Galleon!"
"That's wonderful, sweetie." he smiled, placing her gently in the tub. Hermione and Ron had finally rounded up the other 2 and placed them in the tub with their sister. "You guys go relax, I'll handle the Terrible Trio." Hermione looked grateful and dragged her husband from the room. Harry kept them amused with stories of their mom and dad from school and he tucked them in for bed. Soon they were fast asleep.
He found the tired parents in the kitchen.
"Harry you are so good with them. What is your secret?" Hermione asked.
"I think about Sirius. I know he'd want me to something good with my life." was all he said.
"You still miss him, after all this time?" Ron asked.
"I do, Ron. It's hard to mourn for someone when you don't know if he's dead or not. If there was a body to bury, I'd have some closure."
"We understand, Harry. Honestly we do." Hermione said, taking his hand. He squeezed it, gratefully. "But that's not what you want to talk about is it?" In reply, he dropped the note on the table. Both Ron and Hermione looked at it.
"You should go." Ron stated. Harry was shocked.
"My aunt said the same thing."
"Smart woman, your aunt."
"What do you think I should do, 'Mione?" asked Harry. Hermione thought about it for a moment.
"You should go. See who it is at least. If you don't go, you're going to wonder about it for the rest of your life."
And so, after making sure his aunt was settled in, he changed into his best suit and took a cab to the club. The large bouncer guy standing in front of the doors didn't look like someone to be messed with.
"Name." the guy demanded.
"Harry Potter." he answered immediately. The guy checked for his name on the clipboard he was holding.
"You can go in." He stepped aside and Harry went in.
He didn't know what to expect having never been here before. But it looked to be a great place to hang out. The music was pulsing and everybody looked to be having a wonderful time. It didn't faze him the least to see men dancing with other men. He went up to the bar.
"What can I get you?" the bartender asked.
"Beer will be fine thanks." Harry replied. The bartender nodded and placed a frosty glass in front of him. "How much?" Before the bartender could reply, a voice from Harry's past spoke up behind him.
"It's on the house, Doug." That voice still held a note of satin to it and Harry forced himself to breathe slow and deep. Then he turned in his seat and found himself staring into a pair of cool gray eyes. His heart nearly jumped into his throat.
"Malfoy." Harry whispered.