"Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men."
Lord Acton, 1887
The Space Between
The story could hardly end here, even with the hero returned safe and sound. Sure, there had been a cease fire called years before. The good and the bad held off on their destruction, for the time being. The wizarding world was intact once more. Order had been restored and life began to flourish. Sounds wonderful…
Remus Lupin had indeed escaped and made his way back to the Ministry. He sported a vivid black eye and a harrowing tale to tell about the rescue of Harry Potter from the jaws of the greatest, most feared wizard their time had known. What he didn't know, however, was whether old Voldemort escaped through the portal behind him. The last thing he remembered was watching his own body being pushed backward by the Dark Lord himself, effectively saving his life.
Harry was admitted to St. Mungo's immediately upon reaching the Ministry building for healing and evaluation. He was released in a week. He was returned within another for a round of Shock Spells to help combat the insanity he had obviously incurred. This pattern would become quite familiar to him.
Six months passed without any incident of dark underlying or any proof that Voldemort ever escaped. Not a single sighting could be authenticated, and he was officially pronounced dead. And with that, Harry's life lost all meaning. Forced to live between Draco and his private wing in the hospital, the man who once radiated with life was reduced to a shell - filled with pent up anger.
Draco's intensions were good. He truly believed Harry was his to protect, and protect him he would. He adored, obsessed, and even worshipped him. It was difficult keeping Harry out of Azkaban. His reckless nature was untrained for peaceful times. He had lost all desire to conform and was constantly getting into fights and shouting matches with just about anyone who happened to look at him the wrong way.
Harry glanced at his watch. "We should go," He kicked Draco's leg under the table and pointed to his watch. "You see what time it is?" The popping flash bulbs and endless chatter throughout the amphitheatre irritated him to no end. For so long he had sat in serene quiet, only now to be barraged daily by reporters and fans wanting a story or an autograph.
"For the seventh time--Shut. The. Fuck. Up." Draco whispered. His lip curled in a sneer. "I can't leave in the middle of McLaggen's speech and not be plastered all over the media tomorrow. You promised me you'd sit here without whining. Don't make a scene."
Poor, poor Harry Potter… He should have died in the war. Everyone believed his sad, pathetic life was created for a specific reason: Destroy their time's dark wizard and die a martyr. These two things had never happened, so his torn soul hovered somewhere between hopeless drunk and trophy-wife, neither of which he cared to be.
Harry gulped down his drink and slammed his glass on the table. "Fucking stupid… I hate these things," he whispered and winced, feeling Draco's nails dig deeply into his arm.
"Did you take those pills I laid out for you? Course not, you little son-of-a-bitch. And don't give me that look… They're watching. You've got to try and act the part, remember what I said… smile and wave," Draco was very good at keeping appearances. No one could hear his and Harry's arguments, and a dazzling smile was always in place. "Oh, look- There's my mum. "Hullo, darling!"
Narcissa faked a smile as she passed their table and clutched Remus's arm tightly as he attempted to wave. "Not smiling. Going to go outside for a fag then," said Harry. He stood up and left as Draco waved a hand of indifference.
Standing on the balcony of the Ministry Amphitheatre, Harry took a long drag off of a cigarette and leaned over the railing to watch the fountain below. At first, he was alone, but that didn't last long. Several curious wizards and witches followed him out, all with the intent of either staring at his scar or irking him into a fight. It was something that had become commonplace for him and Draco since his return.
Everyone knew Harry Potter had been trapped with the Dark Lord for over two years, and most thought he'd gone mad. And now, as the Minister of Magic's little cherry-boy, he was always in the papers. His face made the front page at least once a week.
"Hey, are you really Harry Potter?"
Harry tossed his cigarette over the balcony and crossed his arms on the railing. Looking absolutely dazzling in his tuxedo, all of the witches standing around him swooned.
"So what's it like to get shagged in the arse by both the Dark Lord and the Minister?" The young man stood behind him now, poking his fingers at Harry's shoulder. "The Chosen Queer… I heard you can't have a wand, that true?"
Harry turned around and looked him up and down. "Who are you and why do you want me to bust out your front teeth?" he said calmly. "Nice teeth… such a shame." The boy couldn't have been more than seventeen years old. His friends pooled around him and egged him on. And Harry had grown so tired of this repetitive bullying that always came up every time Draco dragged him along to one of these things. Without thinking, he balled up his fist and popped the boy in the mouth.
He was arrested two minutes later.
A medi-witch bustled down the hall and slid into the waiting room, completely dishevelled and out of breath. "Minister Malfoy, there's been some problems. Dr. Richards would ask that you come back immediately."
Draco folded up his magazine and tossed it in the air. "What in the hell is going on here? Why can't you people control him?" he said, stomping back towards Harry's room with a look of disgust. "I am paying exorbitant amounts of money on these treatments and all I get back is more trouble."
"I'm sorry, sir," she whimpered.
Shoving the double doors open to Harry's wing, loud shouting and clinking metal pierced through Draco's ears. Dr. Richards, newly assigned to his friend's care, ran up and tapped a quill repeatedly over a release form he waved in Draco's face. "This man is completely mad! I cannot control his actions without your full consent. I've discussed this with his former caregiver and he's in total agreement!"
Harry couldn't keep a doctor for more than a week. All of them resigned their duties of him out of frustration and injuries.
Draco grabbed the quill and scratched his name over the thin line on the bottom of the page. "Fine, just make him better." He continued on until reaching the end of the hallway.
"Stop it!" he cried, stepping quickly into Harry's room and rushing over to aid the three orderlies wrestling the Boy-Who-Lived down over his bed. All four of them looked beaten up and frazzled. "Goddamn you, Harry! Stop fighting!" Each man grabbed a limb, hoisted him up onto the mattress, and shackled him down with leather restraints.
"He bwoke my nose," the smallest orderly cried, swiping the blood off of his top lip.
Harry cackled. Draco seethed and slapped him hard across the face. "GET OUT!" he ordered, and all three men hustled to the door.
He climbed on the bed and straddled over Harry, placing his hands on either side of his head to hold it straight. "You stupid twat, do you know what you've done to my career tonight?!"
"Get the fuck off me," hissed Harry. He twisted his wrists around in the cuffs with the desire to slap Draco back. "Malfoy, I want out of this place right now, and if you don't get me out I swear to Merlin I will never speak to you again…"
Draco paled. "Don't talk like that. You know I love you," He leaned in, grazing his lips over Harry's nose, placing a tiny kiss on the tip. Harry's angered expression softened somewhat. Draco's lit up playfully. He found himself rocking over his lap and pointing his wand at the door to lock it. "Come on, tell me you love me. Don't you miss this?"
Harry gritted his teeth and groaned in pain. "Stop, stop. It's not going to work. I've got punched in the stomach too many times tonight. Please, it hurts."
"You did?" Draco looked him over more carefully then, and he was, in fact, very bruised and swollen on just about every part of his body. "I'll send the doctor in, I've got to go though," He hopped off the bed and pulled a duvet up to his chest. "And, Harry… they wouldn't have to do that if you'd just cooperate."
"Right. They never start the fights. I'm always jumping on these blokes who outweigh me and carry weapons. I'm so mental like that…" He watched Draco back up towards the door and knew that the instant he left, those three orderlies would return to teach him another lesson. His features twisted into something more timid than angry. "Are you really leaving right now?"
"I have a press conference in an hour. I get the honour of explaining to everyone why you hit that boy," Draco smirked and unlocked the door. "I'll be back after work tomorrow. Try not to hurt anyone else while I'm gone."
Harry suppressed an unexpected urge to beg him to stay. "Right."
Draco paced back and forth in front of the door, arms crossed, livid look about him. Each time Harry attempted to stand, the Minister's arms would unfold and a wand would be pointed at his heart. "Sit down!" Each time Harry sat back into his chair the motions would repeat.
"It's probably not true anyway. Why can't I just see for myself?" It was like talking to a brick wall. Harry nibbled at the dry skin on his bottom lip, eager to check out a very solid tip the Ministry had been given about an apparent Voldemort sighting. "You'd think you'd want to know if it were true… You, being the leader and all, if you even care about anyone else but yourself… but you don't, so whatever. I'll just sit in misery while you guard the door, I guess…"
"Yeah, you will. And shut up while you're at it!" The urge to leap onto his chair and beat the ever-loving piss out of him had become harder to resist. Draco knew his mind had snapped at some point the night before, shortly after Harry's first attempt at leaving his home. The thought of him running back to Voldemort, if he was indeed alive, was literally tearing him apart.
Harry fished for a smile, hoping to lighten the mood a notch. Draco pointed his wand at him. The smiled faded quickly. "Can I at least see the memos about it?'
Draco gawked at him. "No!"
The indescribably inconsiderable lack of compassion over Draco's broken heart finally pushed him over the line. He charged in and kicked out, planting his foot between Harry's thighs and connecting with the seat of the chair, toppling it backwards. "BECAUSE I SAID SO!"
Harry plummeted to the ground. His head bounced off the brick hearth behind him. "You wouldn't be so fucking brave without that wand. Toss it away and let me smash your goddamn face in!" He fumbled around on the floor to stand despite the sudden fog hazing his vision. He rubbed the back of his aching head and looked at his hand. It was coated with fresh blood. "Lovely, thanks for that."
Guilt withstanding, Draco continued his threats. "That's the least of your worries. You make one move for the door---you won't walk for a month. Just try me," He wanted to be gentle, wishing he could hold Harry in his arms and kiss his wound better… but the ex-hero had turned on him weeks before. Instead, he let the aggravation simmer over Harry's obsession with finding Voldemort and the seriously small amount of sexual contact between them.
Harry walked over and wiped his hand off on Draco's sleeve. "That makes a mess, eh? Hope that shirt's not terribly expensive. Looks expensive. Hmm,"
He ignored the taunt. The amount of blood seeping down along Harry's neck drew his attention. Draco leaned around to take a closer look, cringing. "We should have that looked at, I guess."
"Fuck, Draco, I'm sorry," said Harry, covering his wound. The colour drained from his face. He couldn't bear the thought of going back to St. Mungo's again so soon. "It's a small cut. I'll just put some ice on it."
Draco shook his head. "No. It's deep, bleeding too much. Change your shirt."
Harry felt his hands begin to tremble. He slowly began to realise how deathly afraid he was becoming of the hospital… and of Draco. As he pulled his shirt over his head, he swallowed hard. "And we're just going to get this looked at… You're not still angry, are you?"
He was. He was so angry and hurt that no amount of pleading would change his mind. "I think you need some time alone for a while. Get your thoughts together about what's most important to you," he said blankly, staring off at the floor.
"Are you serious? Draco, don't send me back. Come on… I'm really sorry."
Draco took his arm and walked to the door. "I don't care if you're sorry," he said, holding his wand up the moment they crossed the wards. "Get this stupid idea out of your head. He's not coming back, or he would have by now. I'm the only one who's willing to take you in and I do my damndest to make you happy, but you don't care. So I don't care. Or do you care?"
Harry looked at the ground, unwilling to answer.
"Fine." he snapped. Gripping Harry's arm as hard as he could, he apparated them both to the boundaries of the hospital. Another round of Shock Spells would eventually quell this behaviour; the medi-wizards had assured him of that.
A new month brought two more arrests and another stay at the hospital. Draco added the numbers up in his head. Twelve stays at St. Mungo's, sixteen nights in Azkaban, and three court hearings. This did not bode well for his career.
He was watched constantly by all factions, any strings he attempted to pull for Harry were immediately published. His hands were tied. And for this reason alone, two of the three factions (The Order of the Phoenix and the Ministry) had taken advantage of this weakness and exploited him and Harry for all it was worth. Certain Harry was hiding critical information; they set out to retrieve it. A pity...
Sitting on a small chair, fidgeting with his tie, Harry felt like a complete fool. Forced to recount the past once more in front of the same two relentless judges on trumped up charges, he had come to the decision that living in this world without a purpose was definitely not for him.
Nudging him in the ribs, Draco jerked his head toward the courtroom. "They're calling you," he whispered.
Harry stood up and walked out into the open space, glaring at the Ministry personnel and ignoring the gossiping audience that had filled all of the seats. "Fuck the both of you. I haven't done anything wrong." he growled. Percy Weasley and Marietta Edgecombe were sitting behind the bench, swaying their heads in sadness.
"I'm aware that you believe that, Mr. Potter. There are some questions we'd like to ask you though," She shuffled through her paperwork for a moment until Percy handed her the list she'd been searching for. "Ah, yes, thanks. Anyway, a case had been filed by a man who claimed you unjustly hexed him just outside of the Holy Ground on December the eighth, at approximately seven in the morning. There is another here who asserts you terrorised his family on March the twelfth, late into the evening, with a broomstick and your wand.
"Mr. Potter, these are just two of many crimes you are being accused of. We're seriously considering reopening the war crimes file if you cannot control yourself. I know this seems pointless and unfounded to you, The Chosen One, but we need answers. Lord… You-Know-Who had many underground spies. Let's start with that. We need those names!"
Harry looked back in befuddlement at Draco, who cringed and shrugged at his friend in helplessness. "Some Minister of Magic you are," he grumbled. He looked back at the judges in anger. "I don't have the pleasure of owning a broomstick or a wand. You two have made sure of that. And I have no idea who his spies were. I've told you this before."
Percy stood from his seat and began to walk around the bench. In his hand was a small potion bottle. He twirled it between his finger and thumb as he and two very intimidating-looking Aurors encircled the Boy-Who-Lived. Harry looked at each one before returning his eyes to the familiar looking phial. "We are prepared to get this information out of you by any means necessary, Mr. Potter, and that includes Veritaserum," The men on each side of him grabbed one of Harry's arms. Percy pointed to the chair behind them, the arms covered in chains. "Put him in the chair."
Craning to look again at his friend, Harry found both men he struggled with to be about as strong as any man could possibly be. He was easily shoved into the chair without any effort on their part. The now animated chains began to glow gold, winding around Harry's arms.
"I don't see why this is necessary!" shouted Draco. He clamoured over the rows of seats to reach them.
Percy snapped his fingers and Marietta scrambled over the papers in front of her again. She jumped up - holding one of them in her hand - and raced it over to the enlarging group. "Minister, this is your signature, is it not?"
"Oh, hell," he groaned, reading the parchment he'd signed back at the hospital over very carefully. He rested his hand on Harry's shoulder and cringed. "I'm so sorry. I haven't had any sleep and these things all start to look alike after a while…"
Harry gasped. "You signed my fucking rights away?!" One of the guards grabbed up a handful of jet-black hair. Harry's head was jerked back at an awkward angle, forcing him to watch the bottle being dangled over his face.
The whispering crowd's voices grew louder. No matter how nasty their government claimed him to be, no matter how many times he'd been arrested or locked up in St. Mungo's, he would always be a celebrity to them. A handful of hooded men and women sat quietly in the back of the room, unwilling to join in on the excitement of the spectacle they were witnessing.
Yanking at the magical chains holding him in the chair, Harry groaned as Percy pried his jaws apart. Marietta waved her wand to muffle the ears of the crowd, so that they were unable to hear anything else being said on the courtroom floor. The three men and two women in the back row got up from their seats and left as quietly as they'd come, without anyone noticing them at all.
Draco attempted to close the window the moment he saw the owls hovering around outside. "Too many owls to be good news… No, go away now, come back later!" he shouted, shooing the aggressive birds back. Within a minute or so, the owls began to fly off, giving the man a scant moment of peace.
"They're getting in through the kitchen," Draco snapped his attention over to Harry. It was the first time he'd heard him speak since the courtroom incident. He sat down on the edge of the bed. A cigarette dangled from his lips and a glass of rum balanced on his knee. His eyes were cast down over a piece of parchment he was reading.
Four owls managed to breach the small opening of the kitchen window and land on the perch in the nook. "I guess I'll see what the others say," murmured Draco.
"Don't bother," said Harry, looking up from the bed. His face held no emotion, but his words seemed pained. "I'm going to be arrested again today. The Order of the Phoenix has taken liberties of that loophole you burned me with."
Draco sighed. "I'm so sorry. What's it say?"
"Get me another, will you?" Harry jiggled his glass in Draco's direction, but continued to refuse him eye contact. He took it and headed to the kitchen. Three owls remained, and all held their messages out as Draco passed by. Casually, he relieved them of their deliveries and moved on to the cupboard.
Do not allow Harry Potter to leave your premises until further notice. His escort will arrive this afternoon at two. Thank you for your understanding and non-interference.
The Order of the Phoenix
He grabbed a bottle and refilled the glass as he read the second and third letter over. Both were similar to the first. Harry would be placed under the Imperious Curse and have his memories extracted. All of them. This procedure would continue until complete.
Looking at the clock, Draco began to worry. Harry's escort would be arriving shortly. As badly as he felt about putting him through another unpleasant experience, he felt worse over the love lost because of it. Whatever future he and Harry might have shared, he had single-handedly destroyed in less than seven months.
"Come on, Harry," he said, entering the bathroom. He pulled back the curtain slowly and cringed. Harry was on the floor hugging his knees into his chest, sitting under fat steams of ice-cold water. He shivered uncontrollably but refused to stand up, despite several prodding endeavours.
"I can try to fight off the curse… but even if I manage it, how long can I hold out? They'll know everything," Draco turned off the taps and draped a towel around his shoulders. Harry's head dropped over his knees.
Draco sat down next to him. "I know this is my fault. You don't deserve any of this. For what it's worth, I'm sorry."
Harry leaned on his shoulder and smiled. "I'm tough. It'll be all right," he said, not believing himself. He hadn't felt as weak as he did since he was a child. Draco wrapped an arm around his shoulders and Harry moulded into him. "And I'm sorry for being such a pain in the arse."
"Yeah, but you're a really gorgeous pain in the arse, so all is forgiven," He kissed the top of Harry's head and then helped him stand, hearing a persistent pounding coming from the front of the house. "I love you, Harry. I know you don't love me back. I'm okay with that now… I just wanted you to know."
He turned to leave, but Harry grabbed his arm. "Hey," he said, his voice hoarse and cracked, "Come on, you know I love you back."
Draco dropped his head on Harry's shoulder and they embraced, standing silent in the middle of the bathroom as three Aurors broke down their front door.
Draco eased into the small room, closing the door behind him as quietly as he could. He hadn't been allowed to visit until today, and was only given a short amount of time after threatening to start another war. "Hey, how are you?" Harry's vacant expression hadn't changed since he'd entered. His ashen skin was littered with deep bruises and scrapes. His cheeks were hollow. It was troubling to witness. "What the fuck did they do to you? Who did this?"
Draco fretted, looking at the cutting leather straps that kept the young man's arms and legs stretched taut to each corner of the hospital bed. He had been in that position for nearly a week for assaulting an official from the Order of the Phoenix. Spitting on Severus Snape while he was attempted to extract memories from him was a definite no-no it seemed. Retained by the Order's Aurors once more, he was shipped back to St. Mungo's so soften him up.
"Look, I've only got a few minutes before they try throwing me out. I had that contract burned this morning. As soon as I can get you out of here I'm going to take you to Ronald Weasley's home for a seriously long vacation."
Harry felt the very last of his substance crumble. Losing all self control after such a long battle, he began to cry. "Why are they doing this to me, Draco?"
"I don't know…" Draco climbed on the bed and curled into him. His heart had split in two. He had never seen Harry cry before. He had cursed the young man with the Cruciatus Curse three times in a row once. It hadn't come close to ripping the emotion from him then, as being in the hospital was now.
A rough-looking medi-witch entered the room. Ignoring the man on top of her patient, she set about her business of lining up all of the instruments needed for Harry's treatment. She held up a long wire and taped it to his temple. She repeated the action on the other temple, and then lodged a thick, rubber bit between his teeth. She jerked his head to the side, knotting its cords snugly at the nape of his neck to keep it in place.
Draco looked up at her in disgust. "Have you no decency, woman? Can't you see that he's upset?"
"Minister, these orders must be followed," she drawled, reading over the clipboard lying next to the bed. "Shock Spells every day for one solid month. He's not making this easy on himself. If he'd just listen to the orders, the treatments would be cut in half…"
Draco blinked several times, feeling dizzy. He dropped off the bed to jab his finger in her chest. "In no fucking way is he getting Shock Spells for a month! Get his doctor in here right now!" Harry began weeping openly; silent wails of guttural agony overcame his shredded dignity.
"The doctor will be in shortly. Good day, Minister." The medi-witch said, and left the room. Draco adjusted Harry's flimsy hospital gown over his torso, smoothing out the wrinkles. There was a rap at the door, and it opened again. An elderly, robust-looking man with frizzy, white hair and thick spectacles entered the room carrying a chart under his podgy arm. Two orderlies entered behind him.
"Good afternoon, Mr. Potter. I don't believe we've met," He bowed lightly to Draco before turning his eyes on the man strapped to the bed. "Famous, famous you are. You're such a celebrity. I'm so elated to finally meet you. I'm Dr. Tromldove. I've been assigned with this grim task - although I must say seeing your name on the chart made me a little overwhelmed – As it is, I'll be performing your Shock Spells today."
Harry moved his eyes away from him, back to Draco, hoping he'd have this stopped. Draco hadn't noticed; his own were scanning over the two men standing by the door. There was something off. Perhaps they were disguised, but he couldn't be sure as his attention was skewed by the violent struggle his friend was suddenly putting up beside him.
The doctor was retying the cords of the bit, forcing the rubber restraint to sink brutally into the corners of Harry's mouth. "Hey-- Not so rough!" cried Draco. "I can't allow this to happen. He's far too emotional right now. Take that goddamn thing out of his mouth."
"We don't want him to bite his tongue off, do we?" Satisfied with the perfect silence, the doctor observed Harry's hysterical fit, jotting notes on the clipboard. He cupped his chin, twisting the boy's head from side to side, smirking at the lack of retaliation. "Yes, so close to being broken. I'd venture to guess one or two more sessions will give the Order their desired results."
Draco stood frozen in awe. "I gave you an order, sir. Are you deaf?"
The fat man scoffed. "Currently, no. And I'm not about to have my eardrums burst when he starts screaming after the first shock hits him either. Awful thing to hear--really unpleasant. But I'm afraid the treatment will go forth unless you can provide a written document from the Order saying differently. You can do that, no?"
Draco slumped. His mouth opened and closed as the words escaped him. Harry was certainly not ready for-----An almost undetectable rustling scratched the floor beside the Minister. He turned to look at nothing but empty space. This was really getting to him. Harry was spacey and breathless as the doctor taped numerous electrodes to his body. Draco fumbled for words, merely whimpering as Harry looked up to him one last time with sorrow filled eyes.
Without looking up from his patient, the doctor clucked his tongue at the dithering man on the other side of the bed. "Perhaps this is too emotional for you, Minister. I'll have to ask you to leave."
"No, I'm not leaving," he said weakly.
"I insist." he replied through a sneer. He gripped Harry's chin again and wrenched his head back. The orderly next to him fired up his wand, sending threatening sparks flickering out into the room. "And I have authority here over the government. I cannot have you disrupting this session. Minister, will you kindly step outside, please? It will only take a few minutes."
Draco ran his fingers over Harry's temples, wiping the tear streaks away. "I'll be right back, love. I promise this will be the very last time. I'll have everyone's heads for this." He glared at the doctor as he backed away. The other orderly held the door for him as he walked out, leaving Harry to deal with his torture alone.
The moment the door closed, everyone dropped what they were doing and laughed in unison. Harry felt the mood of the room twist into a mysterious air. He looked up at the doctor, who loomed over him, ripping the electrical wires away. He trembled involuntarily. Something was different. These three men were not going about the normal procedure of Shock Spells… that was for damn sure.
Sausage-link fingers carded through his hair, plucking out several strands. He tensed up fully, balling his hands into fists. "Here you go, dear." The doctor held out the hair towards a vacant part of the room. Suddenly, a very feminine hand appeared over top of him out of thin air and grasped them. Harry flinched.
"Now, now, we haven't forgotten about you" A wand tip was jabbed into Harry's neck as both of the orderlies moved to the head and foot of the bed, untying the straps restraining him. The doctor traced his finger lightly over the gagging bit, mesmerized at how effectively it silenced the boy. "Magic is such a magnificent thing, isn't it, Harry? It can give - and take away so easily. I don't know how badly they've harmed you yet, but you look like a fucking corpse. Get him out of those things quickly, we're leaving."
An invisibility cloak pooled on the floor around Narcissa's feet. She grinned at the confused young man while sprinkling his hairs over a glass of Polyjuice Potion.
Harry's limbs were released and rebound with conjured rope. He looked on helplessly as the doctor nodded to the men, and then lifted him up into his arms. "Stay completely still, baby. Don't make me have to stun you, because that would simply break my heart…" The words swept across his cheek. As the two large men draped the invisibility cloak over them, it hit him hard, sending a more powerful jolt of electrical energy through his body than any Shock Spell could have.
The fat, old man cradling him in his embrace was Lord Voldemort.
The door opened slowly. Draco stood up from his waiting chair and watched the two orderlies exit. "I'm afraid the doctor had to leave on an emergency, but the session was completed. You may go in now."
"How…" He remembered then that medi-wizards were the only ones able to apparate and disapparate within the boundaries of St. Mungo's. Eagerly, he walked inside of the room.
"I hope it wasn't too awful. I'm so sorry, Harry."
"You should be, you sodding prick," he replied, turning his head to the side to avoid Draco's gaze. "Go away. I don't want you here."
"Gods, don't talk like that!" he cried. Again, he threw his weight over the young man, cuddling him, caressing his face. "I just love you so much… I… maybe I thought I could break these feelings you have… I just want you to love me the way you loved him."
"GET OFF!" he shrieked. "You stole Remus, and don't deny it, you little bastard! You took him from me and threw him away when you're little trophy was returned to you. He was mine! Oh god…. You are too much like your father…"
"Oh fuck… No, no, no---I don't believe it!" Draco backed away slowly. Harry flung the leather straps off and sat up, pointing a wand at the man. "Mum, don't start up with me again. Where is Harry!? I have to get him back!"
"You're not going anywhere! He's gone, Draco," she said. "My master lives once more and has taken back what was rightfully his."
The door behind them burst open. The scraggly medi-witch returned and snapped it shut behind her. Her body was changing before their eyes. The nurses uniform sagged down off of her shoulder, her black hair grew out in long, ratty strands. "I made it just in time! Oh, Draco, it's been too long," she said in a scratchy titter, sauntering up to his side. "Come give your auntie a big kiss."
"You, too?" He threw his arms up in defeat. "You both knew Voldemort was alive this whole time?"
"Come on, Minister… don't you miss it, even a little bit?" Bellatrix Lestrange cackled maniacally at her little nephew as she stroked his hair. "The power you had. You've lost that with the position you're in now. They're always watching you…"
Narcissa, still looking very much like Harry, changed out of her gown. "He's a louse. We should wipe his memory and make him move back in with Pansy."
Draco felt the space between close in on him. His mother and aunt backed him into a wall. Both of them brandished wands and wicked grins.
Harry was aware they had disapparated soon after sneaking out of the hospital ward. Other than that, he had no idea what was going on. He dug his nails into the starched lab coat covering Voldemort's shoulder and buried his face in his chest. The dreadful thought of being tortured again turned his stomach. Not one word had been uttered since their escape. For all he knew, he was falling out of the frying pan – into the fire.
Voldemort had not attempted to remove the restraints or console him. He moved stiffly through the unyielding area they had appeared. Tree branches and overgrown thatch sliced into Harry's bare limbs as the Dark Lord pressed on through the heavy forest.
After what seemed like forever, a light began to surface through the darkness. "There it is," he murmured, stopping to catch his breath. "We're home, Harry." Reenergised, he hauled the young man upward into a tight embrace and pushed forward.
As they reached the door, he shoved it open with his shoulder and crossed the threshold. Magical light shimmered around the frame. It washed over Harry, clinging to his skin. The power was undeniably intense, uplifting his dreary sense of hopelessness as he glanced around. They were in the sitting room he'd become so familiar with.
He was carried into the bedroom and laid out on the bed. His bedroom… This was his. Lord Voldemort sat beside him, sweeping his hair from his face as Harry dared to look up at him. Uncertainty clouded his eyes, but a reassuring smile grew on the handsome man's lips, soothing any thoughts of being punished any longer.
"You're not going to give me a problem, are you?" His Polyjuice'd form had long since reverted, and Harry awed at how youthful he appeared. As if time turned, bringing them back here to their world the very first day they had fallen. He shook his head quickly. "I didn't think so." Lord Voldemort pulled his wand out and waved it over the boy, dissipating his bonds. Harry took a deep, much-needed breath.
Trepidation kept him docile. He thought he could trust him, but he thought he could trust Draco too. "Would you like to sleep? I could run a warm healing-bath and clear up these cuts and bruises," His words lessened Harry's cold comfort wariness. He shrugged, unsure of what he really wanted.
He was so confused. This couldn't be the same house. The odd magical essence it held over them was missing, and the air was very crisp. Lord Voldemort was freely using magic. This wasn't really his room, but he didn't care.
Massaging his own sore muscles, Voldemort chuckled. "I think the bath. You're not as light as I remembered." Harry gave him a weak laugh as Voldemort helped him stand.
The life, the home, the perfection of magic had raised his hopes. Harry Potter was free from torment. Back in the arms of the long, lost dead, and away from the beasts who only meant for the best. His guise was solid, no guilt was felt. It was effortless to love the man, truly effortless now.
A shrill scream filled the room. Lord Voldemort sat up quickly, his wand clutched in his hand. Next to him, Harry covered his face with his pillow and rolled against his lover's side. "I'm sorry," he said in a hoarse drawl, "that won't happen again." He pressed his hand against Voldemort's chest and eased him back into bed.
"I should have left him in there," Voldemort murmured. He wrapped his arm around Harry. "He broke you."
"I'm fine. Just a nightmare,"
"I can take them away… make you forget what happened," It really wasn't a question of whether Harry wanted the memories to remain or not. Voldemort had contemplated this for a while, only stopping short of casting the memory-altering charm. A full week of relaxation had accomplished nothing. Harry was once a powerful killer of evil, now he was a twitchy ball of nerves who couldn't keep his nightmares at bay.
"Go back to sleep."
Business needed attending to. As much as he hated it, Voldemort had to leave again.
"Harry, I've got to go out for a while. I might not be back tonight," Lord Voldemort stepped into the hall from the bathroom, wrapping a towel around his hips. Harry poked his head out from the den and sighed. As much as he adored being back in the house, he hated when he was left alone. It was unplottable and tightly secured, but that wouldn't stop the impending anxiety of someone finding him.
"Do you know for certain you won't?" Voldemort walked into his bedroom to dress. "Tom, why won't you be back tonight?"
"Did you call me Tom?"
Harry grinned as he leaned against the frame of his bedroom door. "Maybe,"
"Such a common name," Voldemort adjusted the cuffs of his sleeves and straightened his tie out before peeling his gaze from the mirror over to his lover. "But, I digress. I'll really try and be back. You're perfectly safe here, you know that."
"I could go with you…" he suggested, knowing that request would be immediately denied.
"Thought I'd try…"
Voldemort stepped in front of him and clasped his hands on his shoulders. "If you're missing St. Mungo's that much, I'll tie you to the bed myself and shock you…"
Harry's eyes narrowed. "So I'm a prisoner, is that it? I suppose you'll be thinking of a way to take my magic next." He backed up a few paces, out of the room, and returned to the den for another drink.
"I wouldn't say the thought hadn't crossed my mind," Voldemort mused, looking away.
There were several reasons he would never allow Harry to leave in his condition. For one, Draco, having returned as his second in command, was still completely obsessed with finding him. It wasn't a matter of protecting Harry - it was also jealousy - pure, raw, devouring jealousy of the younger blond. He would never allow Harry and Draco to be alone together again. That was a near fatal mistake on his part the first time.
And, the fact that the war had resumed might just upset the former Auror a little too much. Lord Voldemort had taken Draco's position, given freely to him, as Minister of Magic. He hadn't wanted it, but the waves it stirred when it was first suggested… well, he couldn't pass that up.
His army was larger than ever. This new form of power he'd gained, this gift learned from the one man he held prisoner had worked like no other threat or spell; the power of love. He could rule the world manipulating this precious gift. Wizards and witches switched sides day by day faster than he could count. This great wizard was now truly a great wizard.
He returned that evening, although it was very late into the night. Voldemort entered his home and knew immediately something was very wrong. Desperate cries rang out, calling his name. His heart began to pound as he rushed through the house and dove onto the bed.
Grabbing the hysterical young man up into his lap, he shook him awake and crushed him into his embrace. "I'm so glad you're home, Tom," Harry dug his nails into his shoulders, holding on for dear life. "I had this dream you'd gotten upset and sent me to the hospital."
The common name sounded so lovely spoken from his lover's lips. "It's my fault. I should have come back for you immediately when we left the portal. I thought you'd be all right while I healed up and gathered my forces," Voldemort stroked his hair as he coughed and hiccupped against his shoulder. "Let me fix you, baby."
"No, I'm fine," Harry said between his uncontrollable sobbing. "It was just a nightmare."
"I'll kill him. He isn't worth keeping on any longer."
Harry was pathetic, useless… a waste of such precious life, turned to nothingness in the wrong hands. And yet, he loved him now more than ever. He would not ask him again.
"No. It's not his fault. I should've played along, done what they asked of me. I was so bloody stubborn."
Voldemort ran his fingers over the wand lying next to him. "And you still are," He adjusted himself on the bed, giving Harry a gentle nudge back against the mattress. He ran his thumb over the boy's lips, silencing his questioning look. He lifted his chin and kissed him chastely as he straddled his hips and pinned his hands under his knees. "I love you." he whispered, lifting his wand and pointing it down with a shaky hand.
The soft, pinkish glow buzzes above him. The gentle caress of a lover's hand brushes over his skin. He curls his fingers around it, bringing it to his lips. "Mmm… How long have I been asleep?"
Thick, black eyelashes flutter open. Dazzling green eyes adjust to the light. Harry kisses the hand and sits up in bed. Innocently, he stretches his arms in a yawn. "I feel so refreshed, like I've slept for ages." The dark prince is born, so beautiful and graceful in his soft movements.
Lord Voldemort drums his fingers on the mattress. "I think it's time you got up then. You wouldn't believe how much I've missed you," He pulls the boy into his lap and wraps his arms around him, no longer able to contain his want to spoil him. "I've got a surprise for you in the kitchen. Guess who's learned to cook?"
Harry's eyes light up so playfully. "You're joking! You promised me you'd never, ever try that again!" He wiggles around in his lap, meticulously taunting the man's long neglected cock into blissful torment. His head tips back, his cherry-stained tongue rests prettily against his teeth. "You're going to get a spanking if there's too much of a mess to clean up."
"Forget the kitchen…" Voldemort snarls like a beast and throws the boy on the bed. Kneeling over him, he rips open his shirt as Harry tugs down his trousers.
"Oh my, Minister Voldemort, I am impressed," remarks Harry, freeing his gorgeous erection. Eagerly, he pulls his lover to him and wraps his long legs around his hips, trapping the delicious phallus in the crook of his thigh. He grinds into it, his eyes narrowed, his breath urgent.
"I fired my second in command last night," Lord Voldemort's husky voice slowly whispers against his lips. The room dims black as night. The heat between them smoulders and ignites. "Unfortunately, I hadn't gotten around to taking his life before he slipped past security."
Languid fingers slide down along the Dark Lord's firm torso. "Don't worry, you'll get him," A sharp intake of breath slips past Harry's throat as Lord Voldemort forcefully claims him.
His voice now deadly low, he stops all movement on his will and takes the boy's face in his hands. "Are you ready to return to our world and take your place at my side?'
"Oh… my god…" Rushed cries, glistening flesh, a shiver of panic soars. Harry writhes, trembling beneath his lord. Clawing at his back, throwing his head against the mattress in primal splendour, he arches up on his elbows as his swollen lips part. "I thought you'd never ask."