Disclaimer: This story is based on characters and situations created and owned by JK Rowling, various publishers including but not limited to Bloomsbury Books, Scholastic Books and Raincoast Books, and Warner Bros., Inc. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark violation is intended.
Added note/disclaimer: I also use quotes from other places. If you find a quote that wasn't cited, please notify me. Especially in this story as it has lot of the quotes, I can't remember who said them or where I found them…
Additional Notes/ Warning Labels:
1. This was supposed to be an emotional/angst story. It didn't quite turn out that way, but I'm placing it under that category. On the other hand, it's a psychological story. You'll see what I mean.
2. This is what I'd call a semi-slash. There are slashy elements, but if it's a slash, you make up your mind. There is, however, nothing explicit, so if you've come for the "hot spots" you won't find them here. The pairing is past Harry/Ginny, obviously but as I said it is a semi-slash. See warning number seven.
3. I'm American, so excuse my mistakes. (As in screwing the whole scene up with American slang because I don't know any better…) Especially when dealing with the legal system. I'm no lawyer… I'm a medical student, not a law student!
4. There is self-harm in this story
5. Character Deaths, past tense.
6. Mystery of a sort, exists in this story… There are gaps in this story, deliberately placed there to make you fill them in yourself, and so my timing may be off on certain parts of the story, sorry about that. The only time I had to write this was in the middle of the night…
7. Unrequited love… HP/DM
8. The rating for this story is a low M due to an excessive usage certain swear words.
9. As Jeff Zinnert once said, "Love is something eternal; the aspect may change, but not the essence."
"The instruments of darkness tell us truths..."
Prologue – Truth or Lie–
It made the headlines on the paper – of every paper, actually, not just the Daily Prophet. The courtroom was filled to the brim. They were waiting for the trial of the last living free Death Eater, Lucius Malfoy.
It was funny, in a very sad way. Lucius Malfoy had escaped twice from the bowels of prison and punishment. Yet, this time… he was under trial and the evidence was damning. Lucius could not talk his way out of this. He could not bribe his way out it either. He was a condemned man, and many felt that the trial was really a mockery of the judicial system. There was no point in giving Lucius Malfoy the opportunity to even try to defending himself and everyone knew it. The evidence alone condemned him.
Those who did not know who had given Lucius Malfoy away were quickly informed by their friends and acquaintances.
For a moment the a hush befell the crowd as Hermione Granger, the new Minister of Magick, walked up to the front of the room. She was still the girl she had been – but she had grown, changed from the person she had been long ago. The war had changed her.
Everyone murmured for a bit, whispering that it was unfair for Hermione to be there. She was getting married to Auror Ron Weasley in less than two weeks – she should be celebrating, not leading the trial of the condemned Death Eater Lucius Malfoy.
"The Wizengammot is here to press charges and try Lucius Malfoy," said Hermione in a cool, clear voice that carried over the crowded courtroom. "The are charges are…" She calmly went on to list the charges. Lucius Malfoy was charged with the murders of Arabella Figg, Dudley Dursley, Ginny Weasley, Cho Chang, Lavender Brown, Hannah Abbot, Denis Creevey, Kevin Whitby, Stewart Ackerley, Rose Zeller, and Vernon Dursley. He was also charged with the attempted murders of Hermione Granger, Ron Weasley, Harry Potter, Neville Longbottom, Susan Bones, Colin Creevey, Minerva McGonagall, Fred Weasley, Katie Bell, George Weasley, Gabrielle Delacour, and Arthur Weasley.
She called forth the witnesses to his crimes, and provided the evidence.
This took some time, so it was nearing noon by the time conversation began once again.
Ron Weasley made his way down, looking exhausted as he sat down heavily in a chair next to Seamus Finnigan and Neville Longbottom.
"I don't know why she's bothering," Ron said, with a sigh, shaking his head. "I mean, it's obvious he's not going to find a way to free himself. We've already got too much of the evidence."
"Yeah," said Seamus. "It's a good thing that you've finally found that evidence – I mean, think about it. If you hadn't figured out where it was, then Lucius Malfoy might've been free to go through with the plans he was making. A new Dark Lord!"
They shuddered and were silent for a while.
"Say, Ron, how did you know where it was?" asked Neville. "I mean, I know you and Hermione bought Malfoy Manor after Lucius was arrested, but you've never been there before. I was there and Harry just walked into Lucius Malfoy's old study and Dean told me that it was heavily guarded with wards – he had to have known the passwords to get into the study, let alone into the Manor."
"Yeah, how did you manage that? From what I heard, the Ministry seized it against Hermione's will, but nobody could get onto the grounds as Lucius sealed the wards. According to the files, it should've been impossible, unless you knew how to bypass the charms."
"Malfoy," said Ron simply.
"What?" asked Seamus, incredulously. "Lucius Malfoy let you in?"
"No, Draco Malfoy," said Ron.
"But that's impossible," Neville said, staring at him. "Draco Malfoy's dead."
"No, he's not," said Ron. "Trust me on, this Neville. I thought he was dead too. Nearly gave me a heart attack when I walked into Harry's flat and saw him…." He shook his head, remembering it now.
"Are you sure he's alive," asked Neville.
"Well, what else could he be?"
"An Inferius," Neville whispered.
Ron laughed. "No, no – he's definitely not an Inferius. In fact, I wonder now if he's telling the truth when he tells Harry he's an angel."
"An angel? Malfoy?" Seamus snorted. "Not bloody likely."
"I know. But I wonder sometimes," said Ron, frowning. "There's just something about him these days that screams goodness and purity… which is impossible seeing as not only is he, well, Malfoy, but he's still his old self, mostly."
"So does he love Harry?" asked Seamus, lightly. "I mean, he's living with him isn't he?"
"Yeah," said Ron with a half-laugh.
"Yes, but according to Draco, they're just friends," said Hermione, joining them. She looked exhausted.
"Neville thinks Draco's an Inferius," said Ron.
Hermione looked at Neville. "Why?"
"Because he's dead," said Neville softly. "I swear I saw him die. It wasn't my imagination. He died – his Dad – Lucius was trying to kill Harry and Harry had his back to him – he was fighting You-Know-Who and… Malfoy stepped in front of his father as he cast the curse… He had to have died. Lucius's wand was pointing right at him!"
"But he's not," said Hermione. "Draco's alive and he's supposed to be making sure Harry doesn't come by to watch the trial. I think Draco told him that he can't stand seeing Lucius get sentenced because, after everything, he is Draco's dad. Harry believed him."
"But I know Draco couldn't care less since he's the one who gave us all the evidence – or that is, he told us how to get to it, anyway," added Ron.
"So he lied to Harry?" guessed Neville.
"Yeah. I think he loves him," said Hermione sighing. "I don't know about him, really. I think Draco loves Harry, but not in the way I love Ron…"
"No," said Ron. "He loves him in a distanced sort of way. Like he knows that Harry could never love him back, but that's the sad part because Harry does love him. Draco just gently pushes him away. Harry told me that –"
Hermione glanced at her watching, saying, "I have to go back. The trial's starting up again. Come on, Ron."
Neville and Seamus watched them go.
Everyone knew that Draco Malfoy had given the Ministry of Magick the evidence. Yet, it was an unconfirmed rumor. Just as everyone knew that so and so got laid by so and so – these days, it was Oliver Wood and some of the more famous names of their day.
Yet when the whisper that Draco Malfoy had given the evidence to the Ministry came around, people paused to think.
Draco Malfoy had been declared dead at the end of the final battle, but no one had ever found his body. Yet, they had found his wand, broken on the grass near the site where Harry defeated Voldemort for the last and final time. It had made sense that he died because no wizard of any pureblood family would willingly snap their own wand and walk away from the Wizarding world.
The usual rumors ran for years – Draco Malfoy was in love with Ginny Weasley, and he'd died saving her. He'd died saving Harry; he'd died saving Ron or Hermione. Or the most believable – he died trying to stop Harry from killing his master.
Neville was the one who first said that Draco Malfoy had died trying to save Harry and the rumor grew from there. Now the whisper that Draco Malfoy had told the ministry the location of all the damning evidence against his father had stopped many witches and wizards in their tracks because if he had told the Ministry, then Draco Malfoy was alive and the Ministry had lied when they listed him among the dead. The rumor remained largely unconfirmed. However, the rumor mill twisted things around.
The newer rumors claimed that the Ministry made it up – that they'd gotten lucky, that they'd somehow blackmailed Lucius into damning himself. Or the more extreme ones where Harry had married Draco Malfoy, who'd turned himself into a girl at the end of the war.
Then there were the whispers of people who had seen Draco Malfoy walking down the street talking avidly with one of the Golden Trio. There was a fuzzy picture taken at a park where Draco Malfoy was sitting on a swing laughing as Harry gestured wildly, speaking. It had appeared on the Daily Prophet first and then gone on to many papers.
And the final one that Neville now saw. It was on a magazine, which screamed about Lucius Malfoy's trial. It had a picture of Draco Malfoy, looking straight at him. Neville recognized the background as Hermione's apartment and Harry was standing right behind Draco. The strange thing about the picture was that Harry was moving, but Draco was unmoving as though he were in a Muggle picture. No… Neville saw, Draco was moving, he blinked every so often, or as he did now, turned and walked out of the picture, and Harry followed him.
The words that the reporter wrote caught his eye.
The only answers we have gotten regarding the two boys was an off-handed remark made by one Fred Weasley, who said, "Draco Malfoy claims he's Harry's guardian angel." This remark is apparently an old joke between the former enemies...
Neville sighed, wondering if Draco Malfoy was alive and what he was doing? Harry had been hurt enough as it was.
"Hey, Neville, it's starting up again," said Seamus. "Coming?"
"Yeah, sure," he said, putting the paper down.
A few miles away, a blonde boy sat in the shade, contemplating the year. It was May now, and it would be eight… no, nine years since Voldemort's fall and a year since he'd come back to this world. He'd come back for a reason, of course, he knew that. Yet… there was no reason for him to stay.
There's Harry, he thought. He turned and found the object of his thoughts ordering a sundae and grinned as he watched Harry's eagerness. He'd been rather worried that Harry wouldn't be happy ever again…
His expression darkened slightly as he remembered how he'd found Harry…
He shook it off and wondered if Harry would be all right if he left after all this time.
Draco Malfoy sighed, leaning his head back, and closing his eyes, sinking into memories.
A/N: This is a story I wrote that I probably shouldn't have written. I don't like it because I feel like I make it all seem like a farce. It was meant to be another angst – a story to match the general setting as Imperfections of Perfection, but it turned out to be something a bit different. When I began it, I intended it to be a bit different…but not to the extent it is. I don't think this has the emotional feel I wanted, but it may be because it's in third person, rather than the first…but I gave it my best shot. I won't go back and change it – not really, except maybe to fix the grammar and other errors that I missed the first time around. So, I hope you enjoy this new story and drop me a line if you will.
1. Shakespeare! Ah, Macbeth! Sorry couldn't resist. The chapter's quote is from Macbeth. Act I, scene three, I believe. I can't remember off the top of my head.