All the Answers - Chapter 1
Disclaimer - It's not mine. Really. J.K. Rowling's the brilliant mind behind HP.
Notes - Post-HBP 7th year fic, not Deathly Hallows compliant at all. Eventually it will be Harry/Draco, thus the M rating. Beta'd by the wonderful Smutella and Nymph!
Summary - Finding himself saddled with Draco Malfoy is just about the last thing Harry expected to happen this year. Too bad ignoring the git is something he's never been able to do. Horcruxes, war, and teenage hormones – no one ever said this would be easy!
THIS IS A 7TH YEAR FIC AND IS NOT AT ALL COMPLIANT WITH DEATHLY HALLOWS AS IT WAS STARTED AGES BEFORE THAT BOOK CAME OUT. Everything through Chapter 16 was written before DH was published. It's my own telling of how things went, so enjoy!
He hadn't intended to dance with Ginny. He really hadn't.
She'd been trying to corner him for at least five songs now, though, and Harry figured it would probably be considered quite rude if he turned her down after she had finally managed to catch him. And he'd already danced with Hermione, hadn't he? Fleur as well, and her younger sister, Gabrielle. Even Mrs. Weasley had managed to drag him out of his seat and onto the floor for one of Celestina Warbeck's numbers.
So, because he didn't want to be perceived as ill-mannered, here he was, clumsily twirling Ginny around the dance floor and wishing he didn't miss the way her smaller body fit snuggly against his own when he pulled her back towards himself. It also would have been nice if her hair didn't smell so good that he was tempted to bury his nose in it when Ginny leaned her head against his shoulder like that. And really, did she have to look so damn gorgeous tonight? Harry was positive she was stealing the spotlight from Fleur, and it was Fleur's wedding, after all. Plus, she was giving some of those Delacour boys the wrong idea…
"–and then there was that time that those Death Eaters used giant pink elephants to stomp around outside of our house in hopes that the ensuing earthquake would wipe out everything for miles."
Harry blinked and looked down into Ginny's amused eyes. "Sorry," he said, grinning sheepishly. "Were you trying to talk to me?"
"Trying would definitely be the appropriate word there," Ginny replied with a roll of her eyes. "What were you thinking about?" She pressed herself flush against Harry as they spun a little too close to another couple, and Harry's breath hitched.
"Nothing in particular," he said, tightening his arms around her waist. Ginny looked up at him again, and suddenly her eyes were much too close.
"Harry…" she murmured, and Harry quickly squeezed his eyes shut and looked away.
"Ginny, don't–" he began to say, warningly.
"What?" Ginny snapped, familiar irritation creeping into her voice. "Ginny don't what?"
"Don't do this," Harry said tiredly.
"And what is this?"
"Don't start this again, I've already told you–"
"Oh, I know what you already told me," Ginny said irritably. She sighed, and then said in a gentler tone, "I just don't understand…"
"You said you did," Harry reminded her, starting to get a little annoyed himself. "You said you were alright with it."
"I did not! I never said I was alright with it. If I remember correctly, I pretty much remained silent while you ran away!"
"I didn't run away!" Harry exclaimed. "The conversation was over, so I…I left, yeah, but I didn't run away. It's not like you had much else to say."
"I was still letting it sink in," Ginny said angrily, her cheeks beginning to flush a light pink.
"You said you'd known it was coming!"
"Well…I mean, yes, but that didn't mean I wasn't going to fight you about it!"
With an agitated sigh, Harry took Ginny's hand and began leading her off the dance floor, away from the curious eyes that were now staring at them.
"Why can't we still be together?" Ginny asked once they were seated at a table tucked away in the corner. "Do you really think You-Know-Who's going to come after me? That's ridiculous, we'll be at Hogwarts and–"
"Yeah, a Hogwarts that no longer has Dumbledore there to protect it," Harry snapped. He glanced away for a second, fighting down the boiling hatred and remorse that seemed to erupt within him every time he accidentally thought of Dumbledore or, subsequently, Snape. "And anyway, that's not the point," he said after a moment. "I'm not going back to Hogwarts, I've already told you that."
"…I didn't know you were being serious," Ginny said quietly, looking slightly surprised. "You've only talked to me about two times since you got here, I thought you just said that because…because of…you know, Dumbledore being gone… What do you mean you're not going back?" she suddenly exploded. "You can't just not go back to school! It's your last year, you have to take your N.E.W.T.s and–"
"Fred and George never took theirs," Harry pointed out. Ginny laughed harshly.
"Yes, well, Fred and George have never really put much stock in school, have they? You…you wanted to be an Auror, didn't you?"
Harry sighed deeply, looking away from Ginny. "This is just something I have to do. It's something Dumbledore wanted me to do…"
They were silent for a moment, before Ginny spoke again. "Well…did you have to break up with me, then? Couldn't we have had the summer together, at least?"
"There isn't a summer for us to have," Harry said as he rubbed his eyes beneath his glasses. "I'm going back to the Dursleys' tomorrow for the rest of the month, and as soon as I turn seventeen…I'm leaving. I'm…Ginny, I'm sorry. I told you it was like living in a dream, being with you. But…it's time to wake up."
Ginny looked miserable, which in turn made Harry feel miserable. He wished she'd never started this conversation; they were doing just fine with the dancing until she'd started talking. And now she looked like she was about to cry, which would just be horrible…
"Can you give me today, then?" Ginny said softly, looking pleadingly at Harry. "Just today. Or right now, at least. Can I have right now? Can I kiss you one last time? You didn't even let me do that at the funeral…"
Harry looked at her. His gaze traced over her features, darting from her eyes to her mouth and back again, and he swallowed somewhat nervously. "Yeah, alright," he found himself saying before the words had even registered in his mind. Ginny gave him a brief smile, and then she was in his lap and her mouth was on his and Merlin, did it feel good. God, he'd missed this, and it had only been a few weeks since he'd last kissed her. How could he possibly survive the rest of the year? Horcruxes weren't that important, surely. Harry could go back to school, no problem. Maybe the whole Voldemort issue would just resolve itself if left alone for awhile…
Someone cleared their throat from nearby, and Harry tore himself away from Ginny, wondering absently how his hands had ended up buried in her hair, and looked up at Hermione. With a rush of embarrassment, Harry realized that his friend had caught him snogging his ex-girlfriend in very a public place where, God forbid, even Ginny's mother could have seen them. He fervently hoped that wasn't the case.
"Er – Hermione – This…it's not–" He stopped himself before he could stutter anything else, because really, it wasn't like he had to explain himself to Hermione, of all people.
"I just thought you two would like to know that Fleur's about to toss the bouquet," Hermione said, grinning. "If you want a chance at catching it, Ginny, you'd better get over there."
Ginny returned Hermione's grin, and then, giving one last quick kiss to Harry, she stood and smoothed down her dress.
"You'll come back to me when this is all over, right, Harry?" she asked, looking imploringly at him.
"Yeah," Harry found himself saying breathlessly. "Of course." She gave him a brilliant smile before turning to leave. Harry watched her as she walked off, and then gave Hermione a dirty look when she laughed at him. "Shouldn't you be over there, as well?" he said, slightly annoyed.
"Right, right," Hermione replied, still smiling, before she turned to follow Ginny toward the growing crowd of girls.
Harry left the Burrow early the next morning. He'd discussed his plans with Ron and Hermione late the night before, and though they'd been against him going back to the Dursleys' alone, he insisted that they both spend the remainder of the month with their families. After a brief argument, they'd decided that they would meet up with Harry on the 29th so that at least he wouldn't be spending his birthday alone.
Now hours later, Harry gently let the front door shut behind him. He hadn't mentioned that he wanted to leave early, but it was easier this way. No one else in the house was awake yet, so he'd be able to go without anyone trying to stop him.
Or rather, he'd be able to go without Ginny trying to stop him.
And actually, if he was being completely honest with himself, it wasn't so much that she would be a problem, but that Harry didn't think he'd be able to walk away from her again. He already sorely regretting kissing her, because that brought back memories that he'd been trying too hard to move past. He'd only just recently managed to stop dreaming about her, for one thing, and the last thing he needed was for that to start up again.
With an agitated sigh and a quick shake of his head to clear it, Harry deftly spun and with a crack disappeared from the Weasleys' lawn.
He reappeared outside the gates of Hogwarts, glad to find himself all in one piece. Obviously he still had a few weeks to go before he could try for his Apparating license, but he was confident enough with his abilities now that he wasn't worried about splinching himself.
Harry cast a quick look around before heading up the worn path to Hogwarts. Technically he wasn't supposed to be here; he'd told everyone he was going directly back to the Dursleys', and he while he was going to eventually, he had a quick stop to make first.
Dumbledore's tomb stood gleaming in the sun around the opposite side of the lake. Harry made his way towards it slowly, almost cautiously, as if he was afraid that some sort of alarm would go off once he got too close to it. But nothing of the kind happened, and soon he was standing beside it, trying awkwardly to form words, but unsure exactly of what he wanted to say.
"I wish you were still here, Professor," he murmured eventually, sliding down to sit in the grass at the foot of the grave. He leaned back against the cool marble and sighed deeply. "I don't know what I'm supposed to do – well, yes I do, but I've no idea where to start. And Ron and Hermione want to help, but I'm only going to put them in danger. They're stubborn, though. They'll come with me no matter how much I don't want them to."
A gentle breeze blew by, ruffling Harry's hair, and he closed his eyes and tilted his head back to enjoy it.
"I need help, Professor. But I don't know who to go to. You said I shouldn't tell anyone else, and I haven't – I won't – but it's so frustrating. Especially now, being stuck at Privet Drive and not being able to do anything. I've got a few books from Hermione, but I don't know what good I'll be able to do. Got a few weeks still till I'm seventeen, so no magic, anyway." He sighed again, banging his head back against the marble. "God, I wish you were still here. I wish you hadn't protected me up on the tower. I wish I could have…could have saved you…"
Harry had thought it was going to be hard coming back to visit Dumbledore's grave. He hadn't seen it since the day of the funeral, after all. It was surprisingly easy, though, to sit here and talk to him like he was suddenly going to pop up and provide an answer.
He stayed there for a little longer, just enjoying the summer warmth, but eventually he figured he needed to get back to the Dursleys', as unappealing as the thought was. Harry stood, brushing off his trousers absently, and turned back toward the path. He was halfway there when he decided that since he was here, he might as well go visit Hagrid (despite the fact that he'd just seen him the day before at Bill's wedding).
Hagrid's hut looked only marginally better than it had the night the Death Eaters had invaded Hogwarts. Most of the back half was still charred, and much of the roof hadn't been replaced yet. In its place was a sort of makeshift tarp that Harry assumed was mostly held up by magic. It almost hurt to look at, as it only brought around painful memories from that night.
Harry quickly jogged up to the front stoop, but when he knocked on the front door there was no answer. Harry couldn't even hear Fang's barking from inside.
Still, it would be rude to just leave now without even saying 'hello', so Harry sat down on the wooden steps leading up to the door to wait.
"I'm not stalling or anything," he mumbled to himself, lying down on his back and resting his feet on the floorboard so that his knees were propped up. "Just going to wait till Hagrid gets back, that's all." He scooped up a random rock from the dirt near him, and began tossing it up aimlessly, only to snatch it out of the air again once it fell halfway back down.
"Kind of like my dad with that snitch," he said aloud, snickering. Of course, thinking about that particular memory of his father only brought thoughts of Snape around. Harry frowned, catching the rock again and holding it in the air above him. "Bastard," he muttered, imagining that the rock was Snape's face and he was crushing him in his hand.
The sudden sounds of lumbering footsteps coming out of the forest had Harry sitting up abruptly and whipping around to face the newcomer. He couldn't stop the grin that split across his face.
"Hagrid!" he called, waving at his friend when he appeared at the forest's edge, dragging something behind him and Fang running around at his feet.
Hagrid paused. "Harry," he boomed. "What're yeh doin' here? I though' yeh were stayin' at the Weasleys'."
"I was," Harry replied, hopping down the steps. "I'm supposed to be going back to the Dursleys' today, but I took a little detour – Hagrid." Harry stopped abruptly, having just noticed that whatever Hagrid had been pulling along behind him had gone suddenly still. "What's that?"
"What's what? Oh." And he turned, yanking one completely dirty and unkempt Draco Malfoy out into the open.
"Malfoy?" Harry cried, mouth gaping open, and was promptly greeted with a sneer.
"Found 'im in the forest," Hagrid said, his great first still wrapped around the entire length of Malfoy's arm. "He was wanderin' close to ol' Aragog's lair, an' like I told yeh, they don' take too kindly ter me anymore. He's lucky I happened to see 'im, ter be honest. Wouldn' tell me what 'e was doin' back there, though."
Harry stepped forward some more, his jaw snapping shut with an audible click and his mind whirling. "I thought you were with Snape," he said in a low voice, almost forgetting that Hagrid was even there and talking to Malfoy like they were alone. Malfoy actually laughed at him.
"Snape?" he repeated, his voice slightly hoarse, like he hadn't used it in some time. "Why the fuck would I be with him?"
"But – I thought – he told you to run. I thought that meant run somewhere where he was going to meet up with you."
"It probably did," Malfoy grunted, tugging at his arm in an effort to get it free. It was a useless battle, though, because Hagrid's grip only tightened. Malfoy winced. "But I'm not so stupid that I was actually going to go with him," he continued.
"Because – bloody hell, it's not really any of your business, is it, Potter? Ow, and for fuck's sake, would you let go of me, you great oaf?" Malfoy spat at Hagrid. "You're going to crush all the bones in my arm!"
"Wouldn't be anythin' less 'en yeh deserve," Hagrid muttered darkly.
"No, Hagrid, it's fine," Harry said, pulling out his wand.
"You're not of age yet, you can't use that," Malfoy sneered.
"I'm not going back to school anyway, they can expel me for all I care," Harry said flatly. "Hagrid, let him go."
Hagrid looked doubtful, but released him anyway. "No funny business outta yeh."
Malfoy yanked his arm to his chest, rubbing at it, and peered at Harry. "What do you mean you're not going back?" he asked sharply. "What, Dumbledore's dead, so suddenly it's all useless? Afraid you won't be teacher's pet anymore?"
"Shut up, Malfoy." Harry paused for a moment, finally taking in the boy's appearance. His clothes were torn and stained with mud. His hair was in total disarray, and he was even thinner than he'd been when Harry had last seen him. His skin still had that grayish tint to it.
He looked absolutely terrible.
"Have you been in the Forbidden Forest since you first ran off?" Harry asked, eyes going a little wide.
Malfoy looked as if he would have liked to retort, but Harry jabbed his wand at his chest and instead he huffed, shifting his gaze off to the side for a moment before replying with a sullen, "Yes. And it's not like it's been that long. Can't have been more than a month, at most."
"Well yeah, but still…" Harry gestured fruitlessly at Malfoy's appearance. "Have you even eaten anything since then?"
"Some," Malfoy said shortly. "What's it to you?"
Harry arched his eyebrows. "It's a bit pathetic, is all. I don't understand why you didn't go with Snape."
"Because I–" Malfoy cut himself off abruptly, jaw clenching as he glared at Harry. When the other boy showed no signs of letting this line of questioning drop, Malfoy muttered something under his breath and then finally said in a louder voice, "Because I failed, Potter, alright? I was given a task to… Well, it doesn't matter now. I wasn't able to do it, and you don't go back to the Dark Lord after failing him."
"A task to kill Dumbledore?"
Malfoy's eyes went wide, and what little color was left in his face faded. "Guess all your following me around last year paid off, then, didn't it?" he asked faintly, swallowing nervously. Harry shook his head.
"You asked why there were two broomsticks on the tower that night," he said slowly, and then shrugged, watching as Malfoy's eyes went even wider. "There's your answer."
There was silence for a moment as Malfoy's mouth opened and closed several times, as if he was searching for something to say. He only managed a choked-sounding, "But–" before Harry interrupted.
"I can take it from here, Hagrid."
"Wha?" Hagrid blinked, clearly startled. "Take it from 'ere… But I was goin' ter take 'im up ter Professor McGonagall, an' see what she wanted ter do with 'im."
Harry looked at him sharply. "No, Hagrid, it's fine, really. Don't…don't tell her he was here. I can handle him."
"Handle – I'm not a piece of meat, Potter!" Malfoy spluttered angrily, but he was ignored.
"Harry, are yeh sure? He's up ter no good, I've known it ever since he tried ter get ol' Buckbeack done in–"
"Hagrid, really, it's fine," Harry said, slight irritation evident in his voice.
Hagrid frowned. "Alrigh' then," he murmured, stepping back. "Yeh'll be wantin' his wand, I s'ppose." He pulled it out of one his pockets and handed it over to Harry, Malfoy watching closely the entire time.
"You didn't break it, did you?" he said, sneering.
Harry examined the wand closely. "Looks fine to me." He tucked it away in his robes, and glanced back up at Hagrid.
"Yeh should get on yer way, Harry. People'll be wonderin' what happened to yeh."
"Right. Thanks, Hagrid. Don't tell anyone he was here."
Hagrid waved his hand absently. "Sure, sure. I'll be seein' yeh, then." He clomped up the stairs to his hut, Fang following. Harry waited until the door shut behind them, and then he turned back to Malfoy.
"What's the big idea, Potter?" Malfoy spat, eying Harry's wand somewhat warily. "Wanted to turn me in yourself?"
"I'm not turning you in," Harry replied, grabbing hold of Malfoy's cloak and yanking him along toward the gates. "I'm taking you back to…well, to where I'm staying at the moment."
"And who says I'm going with you?" Malfoy said angrily as he stumbled along behind Harry. He dug the heels of his feet into the ground, forcing Harry to stop, and glared at him when he turned around.
"I do," Harry said simply, hand tightening over Malfoy's shoulder. "Unless you don't want your wand back." They glared each other down for a few seconds, and then Harry sighed. "I still don't get why you didn't just go with Snape. Oh, wait – is this about you thinking he wanted all the glory or whatever for himself?"
There was a pause, before Malfoy said slowly, almost appraisingly, "You cottoned on to a lot more than I thought you had, Potter. I'd congratulate you, but frankly I don't think you need all that extra ego-boosting going to your head."
Harry rolled his eyes. "So that's it, then?"
"Yes," Malfoy replied, eyes narrowing a bit. "My aunt warned me about him. Said Snape would do his best to make it seem like he was on my side, and then turn on me in the end."
"Bellatrix?" Harry said sharply.
"Your Aunt Bellatrix, that aunt?"
"She's crazy, you know that, right?"
"Well, yes, obviously. She was locked up in Azkaban for fourteen years, you know. It happens."
"She deserved every second of time she spent there and more," Harry spat, releasing Malfoy's shoulder as his hands closed into fists in memory of old wounds that were, even more than a year later, still sore.
Malfoy peered at him, brow furrowed, and then continued, "Well, anyway, she told me not to trust him, and even though I didn't he still managed to fuck me over in the end."
"He killed Dumbledore for you."
"Exactly," Malfoy said in a low tone.
Harry arched an eyebrow. "One would think that's a good thing, seeing as how that was your mission, after all."
"But I didn't do it, that's the whole point. I failed."
Harry wasn't quite sure he understood the line of thought behind that, but then again, he wasn't trying too hard to understand the way Voldemort's mind worked.
"Whatever, Malfoy. Let's go." He turned to walk back towards the gates, but Malfoy's sharp laugh stopped him.
"I still don't know what makes you think I'm going with you," Malfoy said, crossing his arms across his chest. "Wand or no wand, I can manage well enough on my own." Harry eyed him thoughtfully. Frankly, he was surprised Malfoy managed to say alive this long by himself, and he doubted he'd be able to do it much longer, especially without his wand to help.
"Hagrid said he found you near Aragog's lair," he said. "Do you know what Aragog was?"
"Another one of that oaf's crazy and dangerous pets?" Malfoy guessed, arching an eyebrow.
Harry nodded. "Yes, actually. He was an acromantula."
Malfoy's eyes went wide. "An acromantula? What – but – Merlin, I told you he was insane!"
"Yeah, well, in any case, there's probably a hundred of them at least back in the forest," Harry said offhandedly. "If you really want to go back there…"
"No – um… Well, I wasn't actually planning on staying there too much longer. Just – I kind of got…lost?" He sounded almost uncertain about it.
"Lost?" Harry repeated. "You got lost for an entire month?"
"No! Not the entire month! Just the past couple of days," Malfoy said bitterly. "I was looking for this plant – was going to try and make a healing salve, and – well – anyway, I was going to leave. Eventually."
"You could have Apparated somewhere else, you know. Somewhere other than wherever Snape was going," Harry said, walking slowly backwards towards the gates. Malfoy followed absently, like he wasn't aware his feet were even moving. "I mean, I know you haven't got your license yet, but still."
"I'm…not very fond of Apparating," Malfoy muttered. "Wasn't really concentrating on it too hard during lessons and I'm not…terribly good at it…"
"Oh. Well, I am," Harry admitted. "Side-along, too. So I can Apparate us back to my place."
Malfoy glanced around, startled, as he clearly hadn't realized that they'd walked all the way beyond the wards while they were talking. Then Harry grabbed hold of him, his fingers wrapping around Malfoy's forearm, and Malfoy yelped loudly, yanking his arm back just as Harry's free hand flew up to his scar.
"Ow – shit!" Harry gasped, pressing the palm of his hand against his forehead, trying to quell the sudden burning. Malfoy looked at him, his face pale and panicked, hand still clutching his wrist to his chest.
"You feel it, too?" he grunted, face screwing up in pain. "This is bad – really bad."
"What – was that…?"
Malfoy grimaced, slowly lowering his arm. Harry could make out half of the Dark Mark scarring the boy's pale skin, the other half covered by the edge of his cloak, and he felt sick.
"You actually got it," he murmured, shocked even though he'd known all year long.
"Of course I did," Malfoy said between gritted teeth. "The Dark Lord wouldn't have entrusted me with that task had I not – fuck, Potter, we have to get out of here."
"Has it ever done that before?" Harry asked, rubbing viciously at his head as it throbbed again.
"No, never," Malfoy panted. "Not like this. It burns when he calls a meeting, but–" He gasped and Harry winced as a particularly painful stab of heat swept through him. "He'll think I called him," Malfoy continued frantically, his eyes wide. "He can find us through this. Potter, we have to leave. Now."
Harry nodded and didn't wait for further instructions. He reached for Malfoy's other arm, hooked his own around it, and concentrated on the Dursleys' house.
They appeared with a loud crack in the middle of Harry's room. Harry stumbled towards his bed while Malfoy fell to his knees. There was silence for a moment, save their panting breaths, before Harry finally managed to pull himself up and lean against one of the bedposts. He could feel the pain quickly fading from his scar, and a glance at Malfoy showed he was okay, too. He was sitting back on his heels on the floor, still holding his arm, and peering down at the Dark Mark. Harry thought he could see it moving on Malfoy's skin.
"Alright?" he asked tiredly. Malfoy looked up at him sharply, as if he'd forgotten Harry was there, and abruptly yanked the sleeve of his cloak back over his arm.
"Yeah," he muttered, dragging a hand through his hair and pushing himself to his feet with effort. He looked around the room and his lip curled in disgust. Harry knew why; the place was a mess, as it was wont to become when Harry was in one of his moods. Books were strewn about, his trunk looked liked it had exploded, several shirts and pairs of trousers littered the floor. Luckily Hedwig's cage was clean, since she'd been with him at The Burrow. "Where the hell are we?"
"Er… We're at my aunt and uncle's. This is my room. Um…sorry for the mess…" he murmured. Not that Malfoy was really worth apologizing to, but still, the room was…well, it was bad.
Malfoy glanced at him sharply. "Don't you live with Muggles?" he asked, and Harry didn't miss the dangerous edge to his voice. He slid to the ground instead of answering, and began gathering up his stray clothes.
"I do," he answered eventually.
Malfoy groaned. "You brought me here on purpose, didn't you? You're going to try and make me see how Muggles aren't all that bad."
Harry laughed shortly. "Oh yeah, right. Trust me, if I was going to try and turn you into a Muggle sympathizer, this is the absolute last place I'd bring you. No, I have to stay here until my birthday, and then we're leaving. Unfortunately, that's still two weeks away, though."
"The Dark Lord can't get to you here?"
"Nope. As long as I'm here, Voldemort can't touch me." Malfoy winced at the name, but Harry ignored him.
"You're sure?" Malfoy asked. Harry looked up at him, noticing that he was still fairly pale beneath all the dirt and grime.
"I'm sure," he said softly. "You're safe for now. That's as good a reason as any for you to stay here, isn't it?"
Malfoy shrugged, looking around the room in distaste again. "I suppose," he murmured, trailing his hand along Harry's dresser absently as he moved toward the window. His frown deepened as he looked outside.
"You want to take a shower or something?" Harry offered tentatively. "I can lend you a change of clothes."
"Like I really want to be running around in your raggedy, second-hand attire," Malfoy sneered. But then he grimaced, looking down at himself. "Although… I suppose a shower would be nice…"
Harry hid his smirk by turning back to his trunk and digging around for something suitable that Malfoy could wear. He turned back around just as Malfoy pushed his cloak off his shoulders. He still had the Hogwarts uniform on underneath it, and Harry's eyes narrowed and then abruptly widened when he saw that the long streak of what he had mistaken for mud on Malfoy's side was actually dried blood. And there was a lot of it.
"God, Malfoy, what the hell did you do?" Harry blurted, and he was at Malfoy's side in a second, the clothes he'd been holding now in a pile on the floor.
"Ow! Don't touch it, you idiot!" Malfoy yelped, smacking Harry's hand away. Harry ignored him.
"Let me look at it. Shit, it's probably all sorts of infected. When did it happen?"
"A couple of days ago." Malfoy winced as Harry gently pulled his shirt away from the wound. The material was kind of sticking to his skin.
"Sorry," Harry murmured. "Here, take this off. What'd you do? Is this why you were trying to make a healing salve?"
"…Slipped on some rocks," Malfoy muttered, nimbly undoing the buttons on his shirt and shaking it off. "And yes."
"These rocks had razor sharp edges, did they?" Harry asked, eyes narrowing as he got a look at Malfoy's side. He sucked in a breath, taking in the several long gashes and torn skin traveling from just above Malfoy's trousers almost up to his armpit. "Must have hurt." He trailed his fingers over it, not exactly touching, but close enough that Malfoy could feel it.
"You think?" Malfoy said, unable to stop his squirming. He looked down and promptly winced again as he caught sight of the damage, swaying a little. Harry almost reached out a hand to steady him, but then Malfoy shivered and Harry drew back instead.
"It doesn't look… Well. I can fix it up for you after you shower. I don't think it's infected, at least."
"Don't you know any healing spells?"
Harry's eyes narrowed at his tone. "Don't you?"
"It's not my area of expertise…"
"Oh, right, I forgot." Harry frowned. "It's not an Unforgivable, so of course you wouldn't be good at it."
"I'm good at plenty of spells other than Unforgivables, thanks very much," Malfoy spat.
"Other Dark Arts?" Harry shot at him. Then he sighed, shaking his head a bit. "Never mind. In any case, I can't do magic on my own yet, and no one knows you're here, and I don't want to get pinned for something you did."
"Thought you didn't care about getting expelled?"
"I don't. Not really. But I'd rather them not have an excuse to snap my wand in two or something."
"And yet you don't seem to mind Apparating all over the country."
They were silent for a moment as Harry continued looking at his wound, and then Malfoy shivered again.
"Oh, right." Harry turned back to the clothes he'd dropped and scooped them up. "Come on."