Harry couldn't believe that git Malfoy! One day left in classes before the end of their fifth year. The attack at the ministry was not so long ago. Lucius Malfoy was rotting in Azkaban. Good place for him. And there was Draco strutting around the place like nothing had happened. Like he bloody owned the place!
They were on their way to potions exams. Harry glared hard at Draco's back. If only looks could kill. Harry cursed Dumbledore's belief that the student shouldn't be held responsible for the parent's actions. Lucius Malfoy was nothing but scum, and his son wasn't much better.
Feeling slightly better, he then proceeded to curse Snape for being the only professor that found it necessary to have his own exam. Like the OWLs weren't enough? And wouldn't it be enough for any professor after the year they had all had? Umbridge wrecking havoc. Fight against Voldemort at the Ministry. Losing Sirius. Just how much was one person supposed to do?
Harry grabbed a desk at the back of the room. Looked like they were supposed to be just one to a desk today. Must be independent potions. Snape swept into the room.
"Everyone will come to the front of the class and take a slip from the pile. You will gather the necessary ingredients, return to your desk and make the potion indicated. No talking." He set a pile of papers on the desk and stepped back. Harry looked at him with confusion. This was the most fair that Snape had ever been. Usually he assigned potions. Making sure Harry got the most complex and impossible to finish in the time given, and Draco always seemed to get the ones that involved all of three ingredients and two stirs. He wondered what Snape was playing at.
Slowly he approached the desk. Hermione grabbed a slip and peeked at the potion. She seemed pleased with what she got, based on the big smile on her face. Harry grabbed the next paper ignoring the mutterings of the other students and peeked at it. Great, an absorption potion. These he actually had the hang of. This one was a particularly tricky one, but one that he thought he could do. Slowly, going over the ingredients in his head he gathered the items he needed and headed back to the desk. No time to think about Sirius or that slimy git Malfoy. Finish the test. Go back to the tower, just be alone. He didn't want to bother Hermione or Ron. He just wanted to be alone.
The time passed quickly. Harry was almost finished with his potion when he felt something hit him in the back of the head. He turned his head around, and spotted Malfoy smirking at him.
"Potter!" snapped Snape. "I suggest that you keep your eyes on your own potion." Harry turned back around.
"Worse than an orphan now eh Scar-head? Now you don't even have your convict god-father to hide behind," at that Harry whipped around so quickly his potion went flying right into Malfoy spilling its contents on both of them. He launched himself across the tables, knocking everything over, including Malfoy's potion. He could hear Snape yelling, but didn't care. His wand drawn, he noticed Malfoys was as well.
"Imper.." started Malfoy, as Harry shouted "Impedi.." both curses were broken off by Snape's own "Expeliramus" Their wands went flying through the air.
Harry didn't pause. His eyes locked with Malfoy's he drew back his fist. Something flickered behind Malfoy's eyes staying Harry's hand for a split-second.
His scar hurt! Blinding pain. He screamed, noticed that it wasn't just his scar. His whole body was in pain. Agony, tearing through his body. Writhing on the floor his head was clenched in his hands. Vaguely he heard noises outside his head. Screams, popping noises but he couldn't have identified any of the sounds. The pain seemed to grow, intensifying, expanding. It was worse than the Cruciatus, even that cast by Voldemort himself. Finally, he couldn't take any more and everything went black.
Slowly Harry regained consciousness. He refused to move, to open his eyes. Fear of the intense pain held him motionless. He heard voices in the hallway.
"I have no idea what happened Headmaster." Snape's voice was curt. "Potter was working on an Absorption potion, Malfoy was working on a Transformation potion. Neither one of the potions could have caused the symptoms these boys showed. Malfoy's potion wasn't even completed. He hadn't added the piece of the target."
"Not polyjuice obviously" stated Dumbledore.
"Of course not. That takes far too long, and is much too complex for fifth year. Just a simple appearance altering. Hair color, straightening, that sort of thing. He was supposed to make one that would change the hair color." Snape sounded affronted that Dumbledore would believe the polyjuice would be made in his classroom.
"Obviously, I have had to do without the final exam. With the explosion of magic from those two, I will be lucky to have the classroom back in shape before the start of next school year." Harry puzzled over that. He thought about the popping noises and screams. What two? Malfoy? Somehow he couldn't picture him losing control of his magic the way Harry always seemed to.
"It is okay Severus" said Dumbledore. He sounded distracted. "I just wish we could figure out what caused both boys to react like that. I could hear the screams in the Great Hall. Very disturbing. If it was just Harry, I would believe that Voldemort was up to something big. As it is..." his voice trailed off.
Dumbledore sighed. "We are just lucky none of the other students were injured. Some impressive shielding work I must say Severus. Are you sure you don't want Madam Pomfrey to look at those wounds?"
Wounds? Harry was confused. Had he injured Snape? His mind was whirling. He tried to understand what had happened. Apparently Malfoy had had the same problem as he had. They somehow caused a magical explosion before finally passing out. But what was it about? Harry remembered his scar exploding in pain. But that wasn't right either. It wasn't just his scar. He was just used to that.
He could hear Dumbledore and Snape's footsteps fading. He had somehow forgotten to keep listening. But apparently Snape wasn't in the mood to be healed.
"What the fuck did you do to me Potter?" snapped a voice from the other bed. Harry opened his eyes to see Malfoy lying cautiously on his side, facing Harry, glaring.
"What did I do to YOU? You started the whole damn thing! How dare you say that about Sirius!?" Harry felt outrage building in him. Suddenly his head started to hurt again. He looked at Malfoy and saw him also holding his head.
Bastard! Harry thought.
"Shut up Potter," muttered Malfoy and he rolled over. Harry also rolled over. Just then Madam Pomfrey entered the room.
"Good! Both of you are awake. Dumbledore will be pleased." She hurried to Harry's side and looked into his face. "You have a headache." She stated, and then repeated it with Malfoy.
'Points for the obvious' said Malfoy as she left the room. Harry ignored him. Madam Pomfrey returned to the room and forced a potion on each of them.
"Dumbledore will be here shortly. I expect he is going to want to find out what happened. Not that I wouldn't like to know as well. Hard to treat an illness when I don't know what it is. And the diagnostic spells aren't working. Darnedest thing." She bustled around the two, watching to make sure they both drank all of their potions.
Dumbledore entered just as Harry finished the last of the glass.
"Do either of you have any insight you can offer as to what happened today?" He asked them.
"Ask Potter" snarled Malfoy. Harry looked as Dumbledore and shrugged.
"I have no idea what happened Sir" he answered.
Dumbledore looked at Malfoy. "Mr Malfoy. You attempted to cast an Unforgivable. Be grateful that Professor Snape stopped you. Otherwise..." Dumbledore left the rest of the sentence unspoken as he turned back to Harry. "As for you Mr. Potter. You attacked another student disrupting an exam. If it weren't for the fact that you return home tomorrow, I would issue a months worth of detention to both of you. As it is, twenty-five points from each of you. When you return next year, one week of detention." With a very disappointed look Dumbledore shook his head and left the room.
Madam Pomfrey returned right after he left and checked both of them one more time. Harry refused to acknowledge Malfoy's presence and yielded to the sleep pulling at him.
Thanks to the potion, his sleep that night was deep and unbroken, though not dreamless. He had flashes of running across a field, towards a large house. A strap hitting his back, his legs, screams. Being locked in a room. Let out for dinner. Back into the room. A voice yelling "You will!"
When he woke, Harry was not able to recall exactly what he had been dreaming about. Just felt strange. Like memories that he should have but couldn't recall. Harry shrugged and headed to breakfast. He ignored the snide comments Malfoy made. Maybe because they just didn't seem as sharp as they usually were. Somehow Malfoy seemed to be losing his touch. Harry barely heard the comments.
The trip to Kings Crossing was a very silent train ride. Harry tried hard not to think about Sirius. Ron and Hermione didn't seem to know what to say to him.
They tried to ask what had happened in the Potions room. As Harry had no idea, he just shrugged. After that they were quiet. Part of him wished they would talk. About something. Anything. Except Sirius. Just pretend everything was normal. Something so he could pretend to himself that he didn't feel the despair. The desperation that had for even a moment made him want to beg Dumbledore to kill him just so he could join Sirius. Granted, he was possessed by Voldemort at the time, but the desperation was still there.
As the silent group left Hogwart's Express, they paused.
"Don't worry about the Dursley's Harry," said Ron. "Mum said that you can come and stay for the second half of the summer."
Harry forced a smile for Ron and nodded. "I just hope I can get that far without blowing someone up." Harry joked. He knew it was weak, but it seemed to be enough for Ron and Hermione. He saw Mrs. Weasley rushing towards them. She gathered Ron and Harry and Ginny into a large hug. Somehow finding room in her arms for all three of them.
Harry let himself be hugged for a few moments, enjoying the feel of a mothering touch before he pulled away. It wasn't his mother. His died. Because of him. He pushed the thought away and smiled up at Ron's mother.
"I guess, I'll see you later this summer?" he said to the small group.
"Harry," Molly started. She paused. Harry looked at her, avoiding contact with her eyes. He couldn't bear to see pity. She took his face in her hands and turned it up to meet her gaze. "Owl us if things get too much there. We can be there in no time."
Harry smiled his first true smile. He knew she meant it. "It'll be okay. Only for half a summer anyhow right?"
She let go of his chin and brushed the hair out of his face. "Yes. First of August and we will be there to get you." Quickly, as if afraid he would pull away; she pressed a kiss to the top of his head, and then turned to Ginny and Ron.
"Okay you two, let's get your stuff and head home. Your father will be waiting for us. He will be nervous if we are late." She left unspoken the reason for his concern. No one needed to actually hear it spoken. Harry turned to go and was hugged hard by Hermione. He felt the breath squeezed out of him for a brief moment. Enough to bring another smile to his face. Just as quickly she let him go, right as he was about to say something about needing oxygen.