-1Hide With You
Summary: Draco had greatly upset his master, leaving him severely beaten and alone. Badly wounded, he used his remaining energy to disapparate. He had no way of knowing that he'd end up reappearing on the floor of his sworn enemy's bedroom. Post HBP (but there are no Horcruxes in this fanfiction).
Draco Malfoy swayed on his feet, clutching his wand tightly in his hand and fighting to stay standing. His silver hair fell limply around his terrified face, which was drenched with sweat, as he prepared himself for another attack. His hands were shaking, and every counter-curse he uttered either ended up being easily broken or failed to work properly.
"Crucio!" Lord Voldemort shouted again, and Draco felt once more the sensation that his body was on fire, starting on the inside. His school robes -- which he was still wearing -- were torn and stained with blood as his knees scraped against this cold stone floor and he fell to his hands, his wand flying from him and landing some feet away. He reached for his wand as the curse shot through him, but his body was trembling so much from the repeated use of the Cruciatus Curse that he was unable to grasp it, even when he fought its power enough to see past the blinding pain.
He gasped as the spell was lifted, drawing in large, shaking breaths, the clear air burning his lungs. He knew he had failed his master, Lord Voldemort, the moment he had realized that he couldn't complete the mission assigned to him. He hadn't expected a more lenient punishment, but he still had a strong desire to live, and he knew from the way his whole body was aching that he probably would not.
"Sectumsempra!" Voldemort's harsh voice rung out, using a spell -- probably told to him by his newly reinstated Death Eater, Severus Snape -- on Draco, causing what felt like an invisible sword to strike across him. He let out a cry of pain as blood seeped from beneath his slashed robes, creating a puddle around his legs and staining his pale skin a deep burgundy.
"Please… I tried… I did the best I --" Draco began, his voice shaky and unusually high-pitched, until Voldemort cut him off.
"Liar! You didn't do nearly the best that you could have; your cowardice showed through and you were very much tempted to join sides with Dumbledore. You must have known you'd have to be punished for failing your master," Voldemort said, his chillingly sharp voice echoing against the torch-lit rock walls. Seeing the horrified look cross Draco's face, he added, "No, I won't kill you. You may still prove as some use to me."
Draco's heart leapt; he wasn't going to have to die after all. But as a cough erupted from his throat, producing a considerable amount of blood, he thought that certainly he wouldn't live much longer like this anyway. Not that he was afraid of dying, but whenever he had pictured it in his mind, he had imagined a much more noble death, not one featuring him bleeding to death on the ground, alone and defenseless.
Voldemort laughed shrilly as the boy attempted to stand, only to be brought back roughly to the ground, but he lowered his wand all the same. He wasn't sure if Draco would live or not, but he wasn't about to help him. He deserved what he got, and this would serve as his repentance for his weakness.
The Dark Lord's slitted red eyes glared once more bloody boy before, in the swish of a cloak and steadily fading footsteps, Lord Voldemort walked a few paces and apparated on the spot. Draco watched him go, a sinking feeling washing over him as he realized how powerless and alone he was.
He leaned over painfully and grabbed his wand, which was just outside of the stream of blood, and buried it within his bloodstained robes as he staggered to his knees and leaned against the wall behind him to steady himself. He struggled, pushing his back on the sharp stone, to his feet, his legs shaking and his eyes closed tightly. He cringed as he felt the uneven surface of the wall break through the skin on his back and, stopping every few seconds -- though it felt more like hours to him -- to catch his breath, he managed to stand up straight, his legs quivering under his weight. Tears welled up silently in his eyes as he pushed himself away from the wall completely.
Please, take me anywhere, he thought, not even caring about where he would end up, as long as it's far away from here. And with that he spun around, almost falling, and with a loud crack, he apparated.
Harry Potter twirled his wand absentmindedly in his fingers, sitting with his back pressed against the backboard of his bed at Number 4 Privet Drive and staring at the plain white ceiling with a bored expression etched on his face. One of Dumbledore's last wishes of him were that he returned to his home in Little Winging once more before he turned seventeen, which he would in another month, and so he had been confined to his bedroom for all forty-eight hours since his return back to his 'home'. He would have left mere hours -- minutes, even -- after arriving if it wasn't for the simple fact that he had nowhere to go except for the Burrow, to which he hadn't been yet invited, though he was hoping to be soon.
Harry hadn't heard from any of his friends yet, and though he hadn't expected to so soon after leaving Hogwarts, he still wished that at least one of them would give him some sort of sign that he wasn't forgotten. He felt very much like he had three years ago, when he'd been kept in the dark by the entire wizarding world for most of the summer. Even Dumbledore -- his throat constricted slightly at the thought of the man who had treated him so much like a son, and who had been murdered only one year previous -- hadn't told him anything about the Order until he was back at school again.
Harry ran his fingers through his messy, jet-black hair, contemplating the idea of doing some of his homework while he waited for someone to contact him. The Dursley's -- luckily enough -- were out shopping for a present for Dudley finishing another year of school (though Harry had no idea how), and wouldn't be back for at least another half-hour, so Harry was free to do his schoolwork out in the open for once.
His trunk lay open at the foot of his bed, his Muggle clothes removed from it and stored instead in the small oak dresser by the door to his room. A few spellbooks that he'd managed to look through were arranged sloppily on his desk, next to a few bottles of ink, a quill, and a long roll of only partially used parchment. His Firebolt, which he'd received nearly four years ago, was still untouched in his trunk, along with his school robes and some potions supplies from the year before. Hedwig's cage was empty; the owl herself had gone hunting that morning and still hadn't returned.
Harry stood from his bed and set his wand neatly in his trunk, having only taken it out in the first place on an impulse, still knowing that he wasn't allowed to do magic outside of school until he turned seventeen, and gathered up a few books, some rolled parchment, and his quill and ink, and set them all on the foot of his bed. He pulled his homework planner -- which he'd gotten from Hermione and had reluctantly been forced to use until he'd gotten into the habit of always writing in it -- and consulted with it to find that he still had Transfiguration and Charms essays to finish, as well as one from Divination that he hadn't even bothered starting. He was just about to turn the page of The Standard Book of Spells - Grade 6, however, when a loud cracking sound echoed through the room.
He spun around, eyes searching for the source of the noise. Harry knew that sound -- someone had just apparated. He'd heard it many times; five years ago a house-elf had apparated into his bedroom that very same way, and only three years afterward Mundungus Fletcher had done the same thing in the streets of Privet Drive.
Within seconds he found who had done it; a large bundle of robes lay beside his bed, ripped in several places and concealing most of what looked like a boy around his age. Blood spotted the boy's clothes, which Harry recognized as Hogwarts robes, and he would have thought him dead had it not been for the occasional groaning coming from him. Being extremely gentle, Harry rolled the boy over to get a better look at his face.
His eyes were closed and his eyebrows furrowed, his pale skin was streaked with blood, as was his equally pale white hair. There were several cuts on his face, and it was only safe to assume that his face wasn't the only part of him that was wounded. Harry was surprised that the boy was still alive, but that wasn't the only thing that shocked him.
"M-Malfoy?" he gasped, watching as the face of his long-time rival contorted in pain, but Draco didn't seem to hear him; he was breathing very heavily and many of his cuts were still bleeding. Without thinking, Harry carefully began removing Draco's damp, bloodstained robes to see what sort of wounds lay beneath.
Draco didn't seem to notice what was going on, he didn't even seem aware of where he was. With a jolt, Harry remembered what he had said just months before, "It won't work… and unless I do it soon… he says he'll kill me…." It had been by accident that he'd overheard this, but it had never really occurred to him that Voldemort would go so far as to actually try to kill Draco….
Harry stripped Draco down to his boxers -- which he never would have been able to do had Draco actually been conscious -- and, throwing aside the blood-soaked robes and gently lifting the boy onto his bed, let his eyes sweep over the suddenly fragile-looking body.
Dozens of fresh, deep slash marks coated his torso, a few of them trailing up to his face. Harry's heart sunk as he saw a number of diagonal cuts that had turned into scars, almost shining against the blood, which he remembered very clearly having cast the Sectumsempra spell that had caused them. And judging by how deep some of the other wounds were, Harry was almost positive that they were the remnants of the very same curse.
Harry pulled his eyes away from the horrible cuts long enough to think of what to do about them. He had his wand, he could always use that to heal some of the shallower ones, but he still wasn't old enough to do magic, and even if he knew a spell that could mend wounds -- which he hadn't yet learned -- he still doubted whether some of the deeper, more serious ones would be healed by a simple spell. His Aunt and Uncle might have had a first aid kit somewhere, but he knew that the only way to heal a magic cut was to use magic. He thought for a minute, and then it came to him.
"Dobby!" he called, hoping that he, wherever he was, would still answer to Harry's call. He didn't even think of Kreacher, who would probably not have been of much help anyway, though he'd never really had much of a soft spot for him anyway. He was about to call the name again, when another loud crack signaled the arrival of the house-elf.
Dobby bowed so low on seeing Harry again that his long, brown nose almost touched the floor, his large pile of hats tottering between his large ears. He was still wearing the mismatched socks and oversized maroon sweater that had been given to him by Ron, but he was also donning at least five new scarves and a small, red children's shoe on his right foot.
"What does Harry Potter require of Dobby, sir?" he squeaked, his eyes still fixed on the floor as he bowed. It really was amazing that all of his hats -- there had to be dozens of them -- stayed on, even as he leaned over.
"You can mend cuts and things like that with your magic, right?" Harry asked, and as Dobby nodded, he pointed silently to Draco's still form. He saw the elf's green eyes widen as he looked at his former master.
"Master Malfoy?" he whispered, "But Harry Potter, sir, what happened?"
"There's no time for me to tell you that! Just, please, can you do something?" Harry asked, a slight note of panic in his voice, though he wasn't quite sure if he actually cared about Draco being hurt, or if it wouldn't have mattered who it was.
Dobby nodded again and, fixing his gaze on the cuts along Draco's arms first, he placed his hands a mere inch above the torn flesh, moving them over each cut. The wounds healed before their eyes, knitting together the skin as Harry had seen Snape do last time Draco had been hurt with the Sectumsempra spell.
Harry left the room and ran to the supply closet the floor below, searching its contents until he found a small first aid box. He knew it wouldn't help much, but at least the gauze would stop any of the deeper gashes from bleeding again if they reopened.
When he returned to the room he found Dobby standing by the bed, smiling slightly, but still looking ever troubled. Harry saw that Draco's wounds were all healed, though there were still places where it was visibly noticeable that there had been cuts. Most of the blood was gone, too, though there was still a fairly steady stream of it from a particularly nasty slash across his chest.
"Thanks Dobby, you did a great job," Harry said, and the elf's large ears seemed to perk up slightly at this.
"Thank you, Harry Potter, sir!" he said in his high-pitched voice, and with another crack, which filled the room with a light smoke, he was gone.
Harry had finished dressing Draco's wounds and was waiting for the boy to wake up -- which he was sure wasn't going to be any time soon -- when he heard a car pulling in the driveway. He started; he had completely forgotten that the Dursley's were supposed to be home soon. As quickly as he could, he ran across his room and slammed his door shut, covered Draco's body almost completely with a blanket -- though making sure that he could still breathe -- and listened hard for the sound of footsteps, which he heard within moments.
But the Dursley's never came up to his room, but went about their business as usual. He was thankful that they weren't paying much heed, but he couldn't help wishing that they had at least said something to him.
He turned his attention instead to the pale boy still sleeping in his bed. He hadn't really thought about it, but it was strange that Draco had ended up in his bedroom when he had apparated. He was sure that he hadn't chosen the place he would reappear at, but it was still peculiar that he had ended up in the same room as his sworn rival.
Harry also couldn't help but wondering why Voldemort hadn't killed him. He could have simply used the Avada Kadavra curse and been done with it, but he had chosen instead to torture Draco to death. Surely no one, not even someone this spiteful, deserved to be killed that way.
Had it not been for the steady rising and falling of his chest, Harry wouldn't have been quite sure whether Draco was alive or not. His hair was still stiff with dried blood, and there were silver scars painted across his slightly fretful face. A hand next to his face was clinging to the blanket draped over him, and his body was curled somewhat as he slept.
Harry smiled sadly, thinking back to when he'd seen Draco, crying in the bathroom the year before. Why hadn't he noticed then? He'd been too busy fighting the other boy's spells to really think about it then, but Draco seemed really fearful of something. Or someone, his mind persisted, It was Voldemort. Anyone would be afraid if he threatened them, even someone like Malfoy.
Draco wasn't as brave as everyone thought he was. He certainly tried to be, but his heart didn't seem to be in it. The only time he'd ever really tried to hurt someone had been in his sixth year, on Lord Voldemort's orders, and he'd backed down because of Dumbledore. He hadn't wanted to do it, he'd been forced to.
"What are you doing up there, boy?" the harsh voice of his uncle, Vernon Dursley, carried up to Harry's room from downstairs, interrupting his train of thought. He frantically looked from the door to Draco, who was still asleep, but look as though any noise would wake him up.
"Um… I-I'm reading… school books," Harry promptly made up, even though it wasn't technically a lie. He had been reading earlier. He heard Vernon's footsteps fading away, and let out a sigh of relief. How long could he keep this up, pretending that he was doing schoolwork and making sure no one found out about Draco? He would take care of the hurt boy no matter what. He only felt so protective of him because he was injured, not because of who he was. Harry had never felt anything for him at all, never. Had he?
He saw Draco's eyebrows knit together in pain and frustration, and he felt the sudden urge to hug the other boy, and to comfort him from whatever was giving him such nightmares. But he did nothing, simply stared sadly at Draco's scarred face, which suddenly looked much calmer.
Harry didn't know how he was going to protect Draco from Voldemort, who would most certainly be looking to kill him this time, but he knew that he would definitely try.
Author's notes: This first chapter didn't turn out as well as I pictured it, but I'm satisfied as to where the plot is going. There aren't going to be any Horcruxes in this fanfiction, because I didn't want to write my own version of the seventh book (which is coming out soon! I can't wait!), so this is only what happens during the summer between years six and seven. I plan on including some time at the Burrow, but I still need a few more ideas, so if you have any, let me know!