Hello! After three years here is an update! I'm on Tumblr at Shards-of-Divinity where I'll post about new chapters and you can ask me questions there and here as well!
I own nothing of the Harry Potter series. I am borrowing the characters for my story which I hope you'll enjoy. Madison Ackhardt, her family, Harry's teachers such as Mrs. Hendrixson and others are of my own creation. The music Harry, Draco, and Madison play is not mine either. I'm usually vague with what they play but I might write something cool out for Harry to play later on .
Harry escaped from the hell his relatives created with the magic of music. After being discovered by a young Draco Malfoy who plays violin he begins to learn about a whole different world he's a part of.
NOTE: I decided to skip the amount of time between the performance for the scholarship winners and just went to the night of the performance. Nothing was really important enough and writing a chapter of just practicing for M/H would have been awkward. ENJOY
Music Sets Me Free
Harry rushed away as fast as he could from the Dursleys' car and ignored his uncle calling out after him. After the entire car ride of his cousin poking him and complaining about having to go to the concert and his uncle still talking about the money from the scholarship, Harry's head was about to explode. He clutched his music bag close to him as he made his way into the building. An usher smiled down at him and pointed towards the check in table and Harry made his way to it while looking for Madison or Draco.
He turned and saw Mrs. Hendrixson standing near the check in table with her husband standing at her side. Harry smiled brightly and walked towards them. He was immediately enveloped in a hug and that helped calm his nerves.
"I have four other students playing here tonight and I'm glad to see that you could make it! I saw Madison a bit ago with her parents. I think they went to the warm up rooms down that hallway."
"Alright, I'll see you later!" Harry called as he walked towards the direction his teacher had mentioned.
Harry's smile brightened as he found Draco in the crowd. Two other children stood by him and the three of them were laughing and talking excitedly. He noticed there also wore strange robes as well and it dawned on him they might be magical as well.
Draco glanced his way briefly, his eyes lighting up and he made a move to step away from his friends. The girl in the fuchsia robes grabbed his sleeve with a petulant look on her face. Draco huffed in annoyance, and Harry found himself being annoyed by the pug faced girl as well.
The blond's other friend followed Draco's gaze and looked at Harry before gesturing towards him with a questioning look. Draco managed a raised hand in greeting and Harry smiled in return.
The stuck up girl gave Harry a look of disapproval and nudged him in the side. "Drakey, you actually speak to Muggles here?"
Harry watched as an annoyed flush spread across Draco's face. The dark haired boy giggled to himself as he heard the ridiculous nickname the girl had given to the blonde. 'Drakey'?
Draco knew Harry had heard that as he sent a glare the boy's way.
"I insist you stop using that horrible nickname, Pansy. And you know this competition caters to the magical and non-magical alike. Of course, I don't know why…"
"Still," Pansy sniffed, "why bother talking to any of them at all?"
Blaise rolled his eyes but still watched Harry as he stole glances at Draco. There was something familiar about those vivid green eyes.
"He keeps watching you, Draco, and even looks like he's familiar with you. At least he doesn't appear to be as poorly dressed as some Muggles here."
Draco watched as Madison walked over to Harry and spoke briefly to him. The two friends laughed and Harry nodded towards Draco. Madison looked at him in surprise before making a face towards the blonde. Draco sneered in return and Harry rolled his eyes before Madison linked her arm through his and the two walked away.
Madison and Harry made their way to a practice room and she said, "Seems like Draco's friends don't have much better a disposition than he does."
Harry ignored her comment and sighed. He hadn't told his friend that he and Draco had been sending letters back and forth for the past few weeks. Despite his reluctance to break away from his friends, Harry had seen the way the other boy's eyes had lit up when he saw him.
"Let's worry about that later on—after we've warmed up and find an empty practice room."
Draco managed to get some warm up time in and slip away from his friends long enough to try and find Harry. He glanced into each room's small window until he saw Harry sitting at an upright piano. His friend was nowhere in sight, he noticed with a smirk.
Harry was turned a page when Draco stepped into the room. The movement made the other wizard jump, knocking the music off the stand in surprise. It landed on the keyboard with a horrible 'pang!'
The blond couldn't help but laugh at Harry's wince and red face. Then Harry's expression melted into a smile and he jumped off the piano bench, running towards Draco. Before he knew it, Harry had thrown his arms around him in a hug.
"It's good to see you!" Harry said, noticing that the other boy had gone stiff. He went stiff as well and berated himself for just randomly hugging Draco that way. The two had struck up a friendship of sorts but weren't that close. It was bad habit he'd picked up from Madison's own spontaneous hugs she would give him.
Draco hesitantly hugged Harry back. His friends – other than Pansy, at least—weren't usually the hugging sort. His father certainly didn't hug him but his mother would when the moment came along. When she was proud of him or when he was upset enough and needed someone to talk to.
'Being hugged by Harry wasn't bad,' he thought as he gazed over the shorter boy's shoulder. It wasn't awkward. It actually was nice…
They pulled away, Harry with a sheepish smile on his face.
"Haha, sorry. I think that's a habit I've picked up from Madison."
Draco raised an eyebrow. "Your Muggle friend, the violin player?"
Harry gave Draco a look. "When you say it like that, it sounds like an insult coming from you. I'm still not sure if I believe you about magic and the other things you mentioned."
The blond turned from Harry briefly to shut the practice room door. At the other's questioning look, he said, "We don't want to be heard by non-magical people. Our world is hidden from theirs for a reason."
"Why would it be hidden? I'm sure people could benefit from whatever it is magic can do!" Harry exclaimed. He thought of all the times he wished that somehow he had a nice bed to stay in or that his chores would just do themselves. If everyone had magic things would be so much easier!
Draco rolled his eyes. "There are rules in place and they protect us from being hurt and Muggles, too. They would get jealous of our abilities and try to wipe us out. Don't you learn anything in these Muggle schools of yours?
"Our worlds have to stay separate. The only exceptions are families who have someone magical in them—"
Harry latched onto that quickly.
"If I'm really a w-wizard," he stumbled over the word, "then my parents were magical right? Then, my aunt and uncle have to know about it too!"
Draco watched Harry steadily as it began to dawn on him. "If Aunt Petunia was my mum's sister then she must know about magic! Uncle Vernon and she always say magic doesn't exist…"
"Exactly," Draco said and moved a little closer to Harry. "You make it sound like they said that excessively to make it not true—"
"They hid it from me!" Harry said in a rush, shaking in anger and excitement. "They knew the entire time and they kept it from me. That explains so many things like me ending up on the roof and my hair growing back in one night after Aunt Petunia cut it all off."
Draco huffed a laugh. "She cut all of your hair? Why would she do that?"
Harry ran his fingers through his hair shyly. "She was sick of how unruly it is." Draco laughed and murmured, "Well, from what I know your dad's hair was the same."
Slowly Harry looked up at the other boy his eyes wide and beginning to shine.
"Y-you've heard about my dad?" He reached out abruptly and squeezed Draco's arm. He yelped in surprise before Harry began to babble.
"What do you know about him? Do you know things about both of my parents? Why do you know so much about me!? What did my mum look like?"
Draco held up his free hand in front of his face at the other boy's questions. "First, like I told you once before, you're famous and in some circles infamous. There isn't one witch or wizard who doesn't know about you and what you did. So, by that, everyone knows your parents. They were well known on their own before you were born."
"But," he rushed to finish before Harry absorbed that tidbit of information, "Second and more importantly, you don't even know what you parents look like? How is that even possible? Your aunt is your mum's sister! Surely they have pictures around the house of them or even talk about them."
A dark look passed over Harry face and he looked away. "There are no pictures of my parents and the only things I've ever heard about my parents was that my father was a drunkard and he got mum pregnant and she had to marry him. He was no good and then both of them died in a car crash when I was one." Harry turned tearful green eyes back to Draco and asked in a broken voice, "That's not true is it?"
Draco rested his hand on Harry's hand that was gripping his sleeve. "That's the biggest load of tripe I've ever heard. That's not true Harry, not at all. They died to save you…"
Harry snapped his head back to Draco in shock and disbelief. He had somehow always known that the Dursleys were lying to him but to hear someone actually say that what his relatives told was a lie felt so wonderful.
The two boys stood there quietly for a moment deep in thought. Harry's mind was working so fast trying to ask more questions, especially with Draco mentioning the reason he was famous was because of something he'd done. Before Harry could ask more questions the door to the practice room opened and Madison walked in with a confused look on her face.
The two wizards stepped away from each other and Harry blushed as his friend looked between them. She turned her gaze onto Draco.
"I hope you weren't bothering Harry," the brunette groused as she looked over Draco's strange attire. "Looks like you forgot how to dress normally again."
Draco raised his head in a haughty gesture. "As if you would know anything about what's proper formal attire." He looked at her perfectly respectable lavender cardigan over a cream dress with roses patterned on it and shining patent leather shoes with distain. He knew the clothes, for a Muggle, were of nice quality but his robes were silk.
The two of them glared at each other before Harry brushed by knocking them apart. "Hey you two, let's go backstage and figure out what we're supposed to be doing, yeah?"
Harry sighed in relief as Madison and Draco followed behind him but still bickered over his shoulder.
After all of the student performers found their way backstage Joseph Brocklehurst and Cecilia Doubleday welcomed them all and Brocklehurst smiled and clapped his hands together to get their attention.
"You all received a scholarship from our musical society and as a result, you are performing here tonight. You've done very well and congrats again! By being here, this opens doors to you to further your musical studies if you choose to do so. I know that there are four students who are attending one of our schools in the fall."
Madison bounced on her heels a bit and Harry smiled at her. He knew his friend was very excited to start at her new school.
"After the performance there will be a reception and you and your families are welcome to stay and enjoy it. In a few moments the first performer will be heading on stage. Good luck to you all!"
The students clapped and then dispersed. The first performer, a tall boy who was a vocalist smiled and made his way onto the stage to start the recital.
Harry was pacing nervously backstage and Draco rolled his eyes and tugged on the other boy's sleeve to try to stop him. Harry nearly fell over in surprise, making the blond laugh before Madison shoved him as she made her way to her friend's side.
"Stop pestering Harry. He's nervous!" the brunette huffed and Draco rose a slender eyebrow as if to say, 'Did YOU really just do that to ME!?'
"Pacing is an annoying habit and I'm sick of seeing you pass by, Potter," Draco said ignoring Madison as she checked her strings one last time. She was on deck to play next and she was practically bouncing on her heels in excitement. Harry stuck out his tongue at Draco before running a hand through his hair, mussing the slicked back strands. "You two will do fine and you'll do great on your solo."
"Am I invisible now?" the girl mused as she reached out with one arm to give Harry a squeeze. "Yeah, Harry we will be great! We've practiced for weeks and everything! They're going to love it!"
Harry shrugged and gave a weak smile. "I know we practiced Maddy, but there are so many people out there! This isn't like the auditions where maybe a handful of people were sitting in the seats, watching us…"
"You'll get used to it, trust me," Draco piped in. "You plan on continuing to study piano, right?"
A dark look passed over Harry's face as he thought of his relatives and how hard they had fought to keep him from coming here in the first place, and how mad his uncle was about the scholarship money being kept tucked away. He loved piano and even though it made him nervous, performing was great.
Harry met Draco's intense stare and he knew that he had taken too long to answer.
"Of course I do," Harry murmured softly. "I love playing piano…"
Madison laughed softly to break the tension; she had seen Harry's hesitation and knew what it had been about. "When you play more often, you'll ignore the people in the audience and focus on the music. There were a lot of people at our spring recital at school, you know."
Harry glanced away. "Those were just students, teachers, and parents. There are professional musicians and critics out there so it's completely different."
Loud clapping cut off Madison's reply and she smiled brightly at Harry before reaching out to hug him again. "Well, it's nearly time for us to go on! We will be amazing so quit worrying!"
The previous performer came in, beaming at the two of them before wishing them luck.
Madison stepped out onto the stage first and bowed at the light applause. She glanced back as she heard Harry pull the piano bench back and settle onto it after adjusting the height. He opened the music to the correct page and smiled softly. She nodded and turned back to the audience as she introduced herself and gave the title of the piece and the composer.
Harry began the upbeat melody of the folk song Madison had chosen. After four bars she came in and he relaxed as they fell into the familiar song. He was paying too much attention to Madison to worry about the audience.
Finally, Madison played the end of the piece and Harry his last four bars. He finished with a flourish and smiled as the audience began to clap in earnest. Madison took in all of the praise before turning towards him and extending her hand in recognition. Harry stood as well and bowed. The applause grew even louder. He glanced around the crowd for familiar faces and saw the Dursleys clapping along as well. His uncle was that horrible red color he tended to turn when he was angry but his aunt actually looked pleased as she clapped. She nudged Dudley who clapped as well.
Harry looked around at the familiar faces of Mrs. Hendrixson and then Madison's family. He smiled brightly as they kept clapping as well. Madison took his hand and the two children bowed together before exiting the stage together. Draco smiled at Harry and nodded to Madison before offering congratulations.
"See, told you there was nothing to worry about. You did great Harry." He paused. "You too, Madison."
Madison was too excited from how well her performance was to pay too much attention to the blond. She squeezed Harry tight and the two of them hopped around laughing and full of happiness. Someone hissed at them to keep it down and leave the backstage area. Harry rolled his eyes and hissed at Draco, "You could just be nice and say, 'Great job'."
Draco smirked in return, "I already paid a compliment, be happy." He glanced to the edge of the curtains and held up his violin and music. "I'm on deck. Then you're playing, aren't you?"
"Yeah, I guess I'll just stay back here for now."
Harry turned back to Madison who watched the two of them with an interested look on her face. Harry knew she was wondering why the two of them were so talkative with each other. He'd tell her about the letters later on and the three of them listened to the next performance until it was over and Draco was next to go on.
"Don't mess up too badly," Madison called as Draco and his piano accompanist made to go on stage. Draco rolled his eyes and Harry giggled and waved as the two entered the stage.
Draco walked confidently on the stage, his robes flowing around him. He looked cool and calm and totally in his element. Harry looked on with a bit of jealousy as Draco settled his music down after sweeping down into a practiced bow to the audience. He had noticed how Draco carried himself and even his friends did the same thing. Harry just wanted that confidence for himself.
He watched as Draco held his bow and went into playing position. He took in a deep breath then let it out slowly before nodding. Three beats later he began to play, his piece slow and melodic. The piano came in measures later and Harry smiled as his friend played through his piece. It was slow and melancholy before switching to another short movement that was faster and more upbeat.
Draco's piece came to a close and he gave another bow before holding out a hand to his piano accompanist who stood as well and bowed. Draco let a hint of a smile through before turning away and walking to exit the stage.
He finally smiled at Harry and even at Madison, who gave a crooked smile in return. He nudged Harry's arm and whispered, "You'll do great, good luck," before standing by Madison to watch Harry.
Harry squared his shoulders. Now it was his turn to perform. He took in a large breath and let it out slowly. It helped to calm his nerves. He glanced back at his friends once more, before walking out to the stage.
As Harry moved to stand in the middle of the stage everything seemed more. The hall seemed larger—the amount of people more staggering and his nerves began to gnaw at the edge of his confidence. He looked out at the familiar faces that comforted him and they smiled. He glanced towards Draco's friends who were watching him critically. He noticed a blond couple with the same aristocratic features Draco had and a long haired man in black sitting near them who looked particularly intimidating.
Harry shook himself and stated his name and his piece he was going to play before moving quickly to the piano. He set his music on the stand, adjusted the seat and sat down. He opened the book, ran a hand along the worn and familiar page before closing his eyes. He knew this piece, barely needed the music and with that thought, settled his hands on the smooth piano keys and began to play.
The music filled the hall and everyone stared in rapture at the young wizard as his hands moved over the keys. Harry was completely focused on the piece he was playing and it was if everything else melted away. The excited murmurs and the looks of disbelief and awe, even the large hall which had at first made Harry nervous and self-conscious didn't even faze him anymore.
It was simple, he realized as he reached out to quickly turn a page. Madison and Draco had been right and he didn't know why he had been so afraid. Even the Dursleys didn't matter at the moment and the threat of them taking away his lessons.
Harry's piece came to an end and then the hall erupted with applause—even cheering. Harry looked up in shock before standing up from the piano and walking forward. A huge smile spread across his face as he bowed. He bowed again after the clapping continued on and glanced to his right. Madison and Draco were smiling at him from around the curtain and Harry laughed. He was so giddy from how well he'd played.
Finally, he moved to exit the stage, the loud clapping following him as he went. Madison hugged him and Draco patted his back as they moved to leave the stage. The three wanted to go to the seating area to watch the rest of the performances.
Severus slowly began to clap with the rest of the audience. He couldn't deny how surprised he was at Potter's talent for music. When the child had made his way to the piano—a shy look on his face as he sat down—Severus had settled back in his seat, arms folded waiting to be bored. Even for an honors recital the boy stood out—being a celebrity notwithstanding. The hall was full of thunderous applause and he could hear others around him commenting on the wizard. As Severus watched Potter move from the piano and bow with a wide smile across his face at the crowd, the man knew that as soon as the concert was over people would flock to the boy. They would fawn over him and make a fuss; as if he needed more attention than he had!
Dark eyes followed the child as he moved offstage and from his seat he could see a taller girl and Draco Malfoy smile at Harry. Then the three children were finally obscured by the heavy curtains. The clapping hadn't quieted yet and some people were even calling for an encore. Severus rolled his eyes at how rude the patrons were; three acts followed Potter's—he couldn't just dominate the show.
The Potions Master glanced down his row and could see the Malfoys clapping slowly. Lucius had an intense look on his face and Severus assumed that he had seen his son with the Potter boy just then. He knew the man wouldn't be happy about that. Severus was interested in how Lucius would react.
As the clapping began to die down and the next performer made their way to the stage, Severus knew that Albus was sitting in the hall as well and had seen the boy's performance. Severus even had seen Petunia and her lump of a son and husband in attendance despite themselves. Things were being set in motion and he wondered how this would turn out. Especially with Potter potentially speaking with a wizard about magic. He'd been placed with Petunia who had always been jealous of her sister and hated magic. He could only imagine what the boy experienced in that home.
In either case, this was an interesting turn of events.
Harry let out an exasperated sigh as Draco grabbed him by his sleeve and dragged him away from another group of people who were congratulating him after the concert. It seemed that so many people kept trying to talk to him, and judging by how many of them had odd robes maybe he was famous.
"You know, there are other ways to get a person to talk to you than dragging them down a hallway, right?"
Harry stumbled as Draco gave him a rough tug and he nearly crashed into another boy.
"You. Did. AMAZING!"
The blond hugged Harry, making the other wizard stiffen in surprise before relaxing into the embrace and returning it. Draco pulled away, his face flushed with embarrassment at his actions. His parents would not approve of his actions most of the night around this boy.
"Thanks a lot," Harry said with a smile as he held onto his gig bag. "You sounded great, too."
His voice faded a bit before he continued with resolve. "Is there anything else you can tell me about magic—about my parents?"
Draco glanced over Harry's shoulder and saw Blaise standing there, arms folded across his chest with an eyebrow raised. He jerked his head to the side and Draco knew that as a signal his parents were looking for him. He shook his head and backed away a bit before moving around Harry quickly.
"My parents are looking for me and, er – well it's important." Draco felt foolish at the hurt on his friend's face and his very poor attempts to hide the fact that his parents seeing him with Harry Potter of all people would cause trouble for both of them.
"I'll write to you later when I get home or tomorrow, alright? I can't explain now but if I can I'll try to answer questions you'll have," the blond called out before rushing down the hallway, robes swishing about his feet. He reached his friend and nodded his thanks before disappearing around the corner. Blaise nodded to Harry who just watched in confusion as he rounded the corner as well.
Harry stood there, mind whirling with too many thoughts before he shook himself and left the corridor as well. He followed the crowd of people to the banquet hall where refreshments and people were, laughing and talking loudly. He found Madison and the two munched on cookies while watching the others around him.
He found Draco standing with two tall blonds in elegant robes. The woman rested her hand on Draco's shoulder and smiled at him. Harry realized that they must have been his parents. They looked cold and unapproachable despite the brief smile Draco's mother had given him, and his father looked especially intimidating. Cool grey eyes passed over him and Harry shivered.
Draco smiled slightly at Harry before being led away with his parents. Harry sighed and returned to looking around the room. He hoped that his friend would send a letter soon…
Harry saw a tall wizard with a long beard and an interesting indigo waistcoat standing with Brocklehurst and Doubleday, holding a glass of the punch instead of wine like the other adults were. He caught Harry's eye and raised his glass, a smile gracing his wizened features. Something about that clear blue gaze behind spectacles made Harry feel as if someone were gazing right through him.
Before he could analyze it further his aunt was grabbing his shoulder, her hand shaking slightly as she squeezed.
"Come on, boy, the concert's over and we have to get home." Unbeknownst to Harry she was looking fearfully towards the tall man whose gaze shifted from Harry to Petunia. He raised his eyebrow and regarded her silently before she nodded slightly, pulling Harry away.
Harry glanced back at the man once more before they all exited the building. It hadn't escaped his notice that his aunt had been acting oddly and the look the man had given her had been odd. He walked with his aunt to the car noticing that Dudley and his uncle were already inside with the vehicle running.
Footsteps sounded behind him and he saw Madison running towards him. "Harry, I was going to ask if you wanted to grab dinner with us after!"
He opened his mouth to form a reply but his aunt pushed him towards the car. "We're in a hurry dear," her voice sugary sweet. With that, both of them disappeared into the car and it pulled jerkily away before pulling quickly out of the parking lot and heading down the road. Madison sighed and turned away to walk back up the stairs to the music hall.
Harry sighed as the car pulled away but smiled softly. He tuned out his uncle and rested his head against the cool glass as the car rushed along the road. Harry, despite everything, was brimming with excitement. He had a new friend, learned so little but so much at the same time about his parents and had done wonderfully at the recital. He felt light, as if a weight had been lifted from his shoulders. For once, Harry felt like he had won something and that feeling was just amazing.
4,900 + words.
Thanks, please leave CONSTRUCTIVE criticism and reviews and any other comments you might have.
A huge thanks to my new beta: Sakamoto Itoe for helping me with an outline and going over my previous chapters to fix inconsistencies.
Don't forget to check me out on Tumblr. I've got a random mash of fandoms I'm into but I will answer questions about my story if anyone is interested.