At fifteen years old, Harry Potter had gone through many things. He had defeated the darkest wizard ever when he was just a year old, he had saved the Sorcerer's Stone in his first year of school at Hogwarts, he had watched Voldemort be reborn just last year, but he had never gone through anything so painful as what he was going through now. See, every year Harry was sent to the Dursleys, his only living family, and they were horrid to him. Ever since he could walk, he was forced to work around the house, cleaning and cooking for the lazy family. It had carried on as so for ten years, stopping when Harry got his letter from Hogwarts. But he had never experienced his aunt and uncle drunk first hand, until tonight. All he had done was reach across the table to clear his uncle's place. His hands were full, so when his aunt loudly demanded a refill, Harry could not do as requested instantly. Furious, Uncle cuffed him hard on the head, the force of the blow forcing Harry's unruly black hair to swing forward, just as Aunt sneezed. Uncle blamed Harry immediately and punched him, causing Harry to fall to the ground. Harry stared up at him in shock and fear. While Uncle was not afraid to cuff the boy, he had never punched him.
"Wh—" Harry was cut off by another smack. Aunt Petunia looked around fearfully, wondering if the freaks would come if they harmed the whelp. When no one came, she and Vernon shared a sick grin and advanced on the boy. She glared at the freak, hating his large innocent green eyes, his filthy black hair, and the whole idea that he was one of them, one of the freaks that had contaminated Lily. Such rage took over her, and she realized, she had to break him. She needed it more then her next breath. She knew the one way to destroy a freak, as she had over heard that awful neighbor boy telling Lily about it. She looked pointedly at Vernon, and then to the boy, and then to Vernon's fly. She watched her husband's eyes widen in surprise and sudden desire. It was no secret the boy was beautiful, and Vernon had admitted to Petunia their first date that he was bisexual. Harry watched his aunt and uncle converse silently, and wondered what they were saying. Then Uncle looked at him. It was a bad look, Harry could tell, and he had seen it once, at Hogwarts, when he had walked in on a couple of older students… experimenting. And now, more then ever, he realized he had to get out of there, before they killed him. But before he could move, Vernon and Petunia each grabbed an arm and hauled him up the stairs and to their bedroom. Harry shook with fear as they tossed him to the bed carelessly, his head slamming against the headboard. Petunia retreated to a corner of the room and watched eagerly as Vernon undid his pants, all the while staring at the innocence he would be stealing soon. He advanced on the boy and ripped his baggy pants and shirt off of him, and proceeded to lick and bit every inch of trembling flesh exposed. Harry was paralyzed with fear, silent tears coursing down his pale cheeks. Vernon eagerly lifted the boy's thin legs and shoved brutally into his nephew's behind. A scream of pain was wrenched from his lips and he passed out, never seeing a dark shape glide into the room and…dispose of his relatives.
Severus Snape, Potions Master at Hogwarts, was severely irritated. How dare that crazy old fool assume he had nothing better to do with his time then to go 'check in on' Potter. And to top it all off, his godson was staying for the summer and had to come with him. Between Draco's incessant whining, and Dumbledore's condescending tones, Severus was sure to implode.
"Why must we visit Potter's house? You know he's going to be annoying as always, probably lives in a huge mansion and has servants to cater his every whim." Draco grumbled, conveniently forgetting that he himself lived the exact same way he had described. Severus did not answer, but instead grabbed the blonde boy's arm and disappeared, reappearing in front of a shockingly average looking house. Barely enough room for a four-person family, the two-story house seemed far too small for the servants Draco had mentioned earlier. Severus and Draco shared an incredulous look, before walking up to the house. But before Severus' fist touched the door to knock, a high-pitched scream tore through the night. Draco slammed his hands over his ears, looking around for the banshee he assumed the scream had come from. Severus took one look at the small house and came to a conclusion. Leaving Draco with orders to stay put, Severus opened the unlocked door and ran up the steps to the second floor. There was only one light on, and Severus quickly went into the room. What he found made him sick. On the bed was Potter, underneath a huge man, who was continually pushing into the clearly unconscious boy; oblivious to the fact that someone was in the room. Severus' eyes caught movement, turned and saw a woman, and for a second he thought the woman was crying, and went to help her, but he realized she was smiling. Furious, he cursed them both with eternal unconsciousness, and rushed to the boy's side. Harry's face was a mess, covered in bruises and cuts, and further inspection showed that Harry's lip had been bit through. Severus' gaze went to the boy's arms, one of which was clearly broken. Then Harry screamed again, still unconscious. Fearing for the boy's life, he scooped him up, called Draco to him, and when he arrived, apparated them straight to the Infirmary at Hogwarts. Draco immediately let go, not wanting to touch Potter.
"Sev, why are we he—" he stopped cold and realized what the lump of filthy cloths was. Or rather, who. He stared at the boy's face, almost unrecognizable under the bruising and blood. He swallowed convulsively as he gazed at the blood. So much blood, too much, it seemed, to have come from that tiny thing currently lying of a previously white bed. Even now the boy bled, turning the pristine sheets a deep, sinister red.
"P-Potter? Sev, what happened to him? Why is there so much blood? What's going on?" Draco knew he was hyperventilating, but he couldn't help it. It's not every day the kid you hate turns out to be the exact opposite of what you said. Well, not really hate, now, considering Draco had come into his Veela inheritance last year and had found out that Harry was his mate. At first he had been furious, but after awhile, he got used to the idea, and was starting to like the boy. It didn't hurt that Harry was the most beautiful student at Hogwarts, either. But what intrigued Draco the most was Harry's obvious innocence. The boy had never been on a date, had never even been interested in a girl in all his years at Hogwarts. And he was so small and delicate; Draco feared someone would try to hurt his mate. He had often heard some of the crueler Slytherins talking about how they'd like to take the green eyed, midnight haired beauty for themselves. Girls were jealous of Harry's full, kissable pink lips and thick, curly eyelashes, and often tried to duplicate the look for their own. Draco was worried, though. If Harry had been in trouble of being attacked before, there would be virtually no stopping whoever wanted him now. Such was the curse of the Veela, that once one found their mate, the mate was either made submissive, or if they already were, they would be like a small child, fearful of any one other then their mates until they were successfully bonded. But, not only was the mate forced to be submissive, they would emit an untraceable aura, that made people crave the submissive, and increase their desire to have him for their own. And the only way to stop them was to bond with the submissive, but Draco doubted Harry would agree. Draco realized he'd been zoned out, and looked up.
"He'll live. The damage done as result of the rape was luckily repairable, and will not hinder his every day activities." Pomfrey said. Draco sat on the nearest bed. Someone had raped his mate? Draco dropped his head. It was his fault, he knew. Had he not been Veela Harry wouldn't've been dragged into this whole mess. He stared at his beautiful mate sadly, wishing he'd open his bright, vibrant eyes. He stood once Severus and Pomfrey left the room and walked over to the boy's bed. Staring at his soft mouth, Draco gave in and gently pressed his lips to Harry's, careful not to wake him. But as soon as his lips touched Harry's, the raven-haired boy jerked back, stuttering and sobbing.
"Harry, Harry wake up, it's just a dream." Draco said, knowing his use of the boy's first name would shock him into silence. Harry rubbed at his eyes in a pitiful attempt to seem unaffected.
"Malfoy? Why are you here? What hap—" Harry stopped talking, when the full realization of what had been done to him hit him full force. Harry's eyes went wide and he paled drastically, until even Draco was darker then the boy.
"No!" came the shattered whisper. Concerned, Draco made to sit near the bed, but was shocked when Harry flinched and sent out a wave of accidental magic, effectively destroying any seat Draco might have found, including Harry's own bed. Unfortunately, that meant that Harry would crash onto the ground, and had Draco not caught him, he would have. As soon as his hands touched Harry, however, the slight boy began struggling, begging to be left alone. After a half hour straight of Harry fighting him off unsuccessfully, the small submissive stopped. Draco still held the boy; gently running his hands through the soft black locks, glad when Harry did not pull away. After a while Draco felt Harry trembling.
"What is it, Harry? Are you ok?" Draco asked, concerned. Harry looked up at him with tear filled eyes.
"Why? Why did he do that to me?" he whispered brokenly, allowing the tears to fall. "I never did anything to him! I just wanted them to like me…" the next thing he said, he said so softly it was hard to be sure he'd said anything. " It was my fault. If I'd just done what I was told… Too stupid to hold a plate and get Aunt her drink… Deserved it." Draco was furious. How dare the Muggle man make his mate think he was worthless? It was a few moments before Draco could properly reign in his fury, and when Harry looked up at him and saw the anger and hate there, he immediately assumed it was directed at him. Harry pulled away and burst into tears of fear, sadness, and pain.
"I-I'm s-sorry! I-I…" with that Harry collapsed on the ground, unconscious.
"Sev!!" Severus turned to see his godson racing down the halls, screaming his name.
"P-Potter… hurt—" Severus cut him off.
"What did Potter do, Draco? Did he hurt you?" Draco glared mutinously at Severus, and the older man remembered why the Potter brat was here in the first place. Oh. Draco grabbed Severus' arm and pulled him to the Infirmary. Severus was shocked when he saw the state of the room. He looked to Draco for an answer.
"I touched him." Severus' eyes widened.
"Where on Earth did you learn that it was ok to touch a rape victim so soon after the attack?!" Severus asked angrily. Draco looked involuntarily to his mate who was still dead asleep on the floor.
"All I did was kis-er, touch his hair." Draco prayed Severus had missed his slip of tongue. He didn't. Draco watched as Severus' normally pale face grew darker and darker in anger.
"You kissed him. A fifteen-year-old boy loses the single most important thing to a person, and you kiss him?! Do you not understand how WOUNDED THE BOY IS?! HE WAS JUST FREED FROM THAT HELL HOLE, DRACO! Wh—" Severus' rant was cut short by a small whimper. Harry was awake, it seemed, and was now staring at Severus in pure terror. Those soft lips were trembling and tears ran down pale cheeks. Severus and Draco both took steps toward him, but stopped when he started full on sobbing.
"Harry? It's ok, Harry. We won't hurt you." Severus said soothingly. Harry peered up at them through his dark lashes.
"Promise?" he said childishly. Severus and Draco nodded. Harry blinked and then nodded, before closing his eyes. At first they thought he was sleeping again, but barely suppressed whimpers broke through the silence. Severus sent Draco silently to get Pomfrey. Harry was rocking back and forth, fighting crying out with every breath. It was then that Severus noticed bruises that he had seen on Harry last year during Occlumency.
"Harry, I know you're in pain, but I need you to tell me, how long have you had those bruises?" Harry opened his eyes and frowned before holding up four shaky fingers.
" four days?" Harry shook his head. "Weeks?" Another shake. "Months?' a small nod. Severus blanched. Bruises never lasted more then a week, but Harry's had lasted four months.
"Where do you hurt?" Harry gestured to his left arm and his head. Just then Pomfrey rushed in. She stared at the pale, trembling child for a few minutes before closing her eyes.
"Severus, it's bad. If he's had those bruises for more then three weeks, there is a very good chance he has leukemia. I will runs tests, of course, but I'm almost positive he does." She said softly. Severus was shocked. Harry, the boy who glared death in the face, who, until recently, was the most strong-willed child in the school. But now…
" How bad is it if he's had them for four months?" he asked softly, staring at the pale, nervous boy.
" If he's had them that long, I'm afraid his life will only last one more year, less, most likely. Had we caught it even a day later, though, it would have been to late to start therapy and he would have been lost forever." She said with a tearful sigh. They both watched the frail boy before them sadly, knowing his short life would be over before he was seventeen. He would miss out on so much: using magic outside of school, Weasley and Granger's inevitable wedding, his own wedding, and, if he had the correct date, his mutt of a godfather's funeral. And he didn't even know. Draco slowly inched closer, having eavesdropped from the doorway. He was horrified. His mate was going to die in a year. Suddenly furious, he closed his eyes and tapped into his Veela powers, concentrating only on Harry, on fixing Harry, and, unknown to either boys, a soft yellow glow surrounded Harry, healing every hurt, curing every sickness. Then Harry stopped glowing and Draco opened his eyes.
"Is he okay? Did I make it worse?" he asked uncertainly, inching closer to the dark haired boy. Poppy waved her wand, but there were no signs Harry had ever been so much as slapped on the wrist. Shocked, she stared up at the tall blonde boy.
"There are no signs of leukemia or any of the bruises he acquired from his relatives." Draco sighed, relieved. Severus just stared at Harry in shock. The frail boy opened his large eyes and stared at the three other people fearfully.
"Harry?" Draco asked cautiously. Harry turned to face him and frowned slightly. "How do you feel?" Harry thought for a moment before replying.
"Fine. You saved me, didn't you? But, you hate me!" he said sadly. "But that's okay. Everyone should hate me. I don't deserve kindness. I kill people. I hurt them, I'm no—" Draco stopped Harry's self-hate filled rant with a fierce glare. Harry's mouth closed and he watched Draco carefully, as if expecting to be attacked. While he was distracted, Poppy tried to run more tests, but stopped cold when Harry jerked as far away from her unwelcome hands, unconsciously huddling into Draco's side.
"Please, don't let her touch me! She'll hurt me." He whispered, turning his head from the woman in question. Draco didn't object. Instead he stood slowly, lifting Harry with him. Harry stiffened slightly, but relaxed when Draco kept holding him. When they stood, it was like looking at two total opposites. Harry was small, dark haired, and oozed low self-esteem, while Draco was tall, fair haired, and pride for himself gushed from every pore. It was hard to believe they were mates.