Masks and Mist
I own nothing...The characters belong to J.K. Rowling...This fic was written in response to Tsurai No Shi's challenge...
T (just to be safe) for themes/content
Turning to An Old Friend
Screaming. Draco Malfoy could hear the inhuman cries of agony. It tore at the very fiber of his being to know that he was, in part, responsible for what was happening to the man he once knew as his potions master, but now saw as more than just his "greasy old git" potions professor. He had almost come to view him as a friend. Voldemort had come to learn of the circumstances surrounding the death of Albus Dumbledore. Infuriated, he took his wrath out on not only Draco but Severus Snape as well. Draco had attempted to save himself by pinning all blame on Severus' "incompetence". Though, all that accomplished was to earn Draco a somewhat more laxed sentence. Suddenly, all was still. Draco realized the agonizing cries of anguish had stopped. Checking that the coast was clear, Draco quickly apparated to where he had heard Severus being tortured. What he saw upon his arrival chilled him to the bone. It had been enough to curl even his greasy hair. Dear Merlin...What the bloody hell have I done!...Draco thought to himself as he quickly set to checking that the older wizard was even still alive.
He jumped slightly when he heard a soft groan. "Draco..." The word was hoarse and scarcely even a whisper. Startled, he replied "Don't try to talk...I'm going to get you out of here..." Weakly, Severus replied "Take me somewhere safe...Take me to...Harry..." Clueless as to why Severus would ask to be taken to Harry Potter, Draco decided now was not the best time to question it. Rather, he just carefully helped Severus to stand as he slipped one arm around the older man's waist to keep him steady as he apparated the both of them out of there and to the safety of Harry Potter's residence.
Meanwhile, at number four Privet Drive, Harry had been enjoying a rare treat. A night home alone. The Dursleys had left on a family vacation and wouldn't be returning until after Harry had left for his last term at Hogwarts. Suddenly, he heard a knock at the door. Wonder who that could be...Harry thought to himself as he stood to answer the door. Opening the front door, he revealed Severus leaning heavily against Draco who was struggling to support the weight. Shocked, Harry quickly move to relieve Draco as he asked "Merlin, what the bloody hell happened?"
Weakly, Severus tried to open his eyes as he rasped out "Harry..." Which was all he could manage before losing all consciousness and collapsing into the younger man's arms. With Draco's help, Harry managed to get Severus to the living room where they laid him out on the couch. Once they'd tended to both men's injuries. Harry asked Draco, once they themselves had settled back down in the living room, "Draco...What exactly happened to you two tonight?...I mean, by the looks of things, I'd say you two are lucky to be alive..." Sighing, Draco responded "I know Snape is..." When it seemed Harry wasn't satisfied with that answer, Draco simply added "Look, Harry...It wouldn't be wise to disclose the evening's events to you...As it is, you're probably already in a fair bit of danger..." Sighing, Draco added "Listen, Harry...He's already probably looking for us...It wouldn't be wise for Snape and I to stay together...I should go...He'll be safe here with you, I know he will...I figure that's probably why he asked me to bring him here..." Before Harry could argue or even get any more details from him, Draco was already up and out the door.
Once Draco had left, Harry dimmed the lights with a wave of his hand and lit candles which surrounded the entire perimeter of the room. Once he had set everything up, Harry began to recite a chant which sounded nothing like any spell he'd learned at school, as he knelt beside Severus as he formed figure over where Severus' head lay which-if one watched closely enough-appeared to resemble a circle with a five-pointed star in the center. With that, Severus' entire body became haloed in a golden light for a moment before the light disappeared.
As soon as all was said and done, Harry returned to his prior seat next to Severus as he thought to himself Gods...What the bloody hell could have done that to him!...Well...At least he had the sense to have Draco to bring him here...Anywhere else and it would have been a disaster...Harry thought to himself. As he watched over Severus, Harry felt his chest tighten inexplicably as Harry felt a flood of worry rush over him. It took a moment for Harry to process these emotions. Though, he soon brushed them aside as just being concern for a close friend. Then, Harry was snapped out of his thought process as he heard Severus speaking softly. Thanks to his curious nature, Harry leaned in over Severus to hear what Severus was saying. However, when he heard his own name, Harry felt as though some invisible force had knocked the wind out of him. "No...No, please...Please just leave him out of this...Leave Harry out of this..." Harry staggered backwards a couple of steps, thinking to himself Why on Earth would Severus be dreaming of me?..., at the weak sound of Severus begging unseen person to leave him out of some unknown situation.
It was in that moment that Harry finally understood his feelings toward the older wizard. It was in that moment that he realized that he loved him. Suddenly, Severus' eyes snapped open as struggled to sit up-and succeeded, with a little help from Harry. After he'd stabilized Severus' balance, Harry asked "You okay?..." Nodding weakly, Severus replied "Yes, I'm fine...Thank you..."
Unsure if it would be a safe question, Harry asked "Severus...What exactly happened to you tonight?..." Severus simply remained silent for several moments. Do I really risk telling him?...Can I risk putting him in that kind of danger?...Then again, my sheer presence here puts him in danger...But, what if I push him away?...Severus continued on with this train of thought until he heard "Severus?...What's wrong?..." Sighing, Severus began the story of the events which had transpired over the course of the evening. "...So, Draco made an attempt to save himself...And in so doing, he got rather lucky and received the lesser sentence..." For a moment, Harry just sat there, shocked at what he'd just heard. How could Draco do something like that?...Harry thought to himself, infuriated at the thought of someone selling out like that just to save their own skin. Concerned about the meaning of Harry's silence, Severus asked "Harry?...Harry, what's wrong?..." Great...Now he won't want anything more to do with me, I expect... Severus thought to himself as he awaited Harry's response. Severus' question seemed to have snapped Harry out of his trance. "Oh...Sorry...It's nothing...I just can't believe Draco would so something like that..." Half-smiling, Severus simply replied "Well, honestly, I can't say I would have done things any differently had I been put in his position..." Nodding slightly, Harry conceded "True...But, the important thing now is keeping you safe..." Severus simply nodded in silent agreement.