A/N- Hellooo, I know it's been a while...all I can do is apologise, I started university and I guess I got completely carried away by everything there! But I'm back! I'm back and I feel a whole new lease of life for this story! I'm sorry if this chapter isn't as good as it possibly could be, to me it feels rushed, and to be honest it is rushed, I wanted to get a chapter out before I lost the will to do it. Though now I've finished it I can't imagine losing it again! But as much as I don't want to give you a chapter that I can't fully put myself behind it, I really want to get back to it again and I realise to do that it's not going to be perfect straight away.
So thank you to all of you who have stuck with this story and any feedback you can give will be greatly appreciated
Hope you enjoy the chapter...happy reading!!!
'Do you want to explain why you just hit my son?'
Narcissa Malfoy looked quite calm, she was standing at the doorway, arms folded, having just ushered her son out of the room with the house elf. But Harry didn't like the calm, he wanted her to shout, to scream at him, to grab him by the hair and shove him in a cupboard...that he could deal with, but this calm disappointment, this was something else entirely.
Head down he mumbled an answer.
'I...I...I don't know...just did I guess...'
'And you are of the opinion that, that is a good enough excuse?' Mrs Malfoy made her way over to where he was perched on the end of the bed, standing directly in front of him. Harry didn't know where to look, or what to say, this wasn't a situation he was familiar with.
'I don't think that...I just...I know I shouldn't have done it...'
'Yet you still haven't told me why you did...I understand Draco can be a handful yet nothing gives you the right to punch anyone.' She lifted his head up, forcing his terrified green orbs to look at her, this needed to be dealt with. Narcissa Malfoy had a lot of patience, she could wait as long as he needed for the answer, but she would get it, Harry Potter would open up to her. She was determined.
'He just...he just annoyed me...I can't explain it, I mean we were having a half decent conversation and then I guess we just went back to how we usually are, I know it was wrong and I'm sorry.' Harry tried to lower his head, to escape the piercing eyes of Mrs Malfoy. But it didn't work, her grip was firm and Harry was feeling all the more uncomfortable.
'It is not me you need to be apologising to, Draco deserves an apology from you and I think we need to talk to your guardians about these anger issues you seem to have.'
Harry ripped his face away at that and jumped up from the bed, Narcissa simply took his vacated seat and watched him calmly.
'I don't have anger issues! I punched Draco and yeah I know that was wrong! But that's what we do...me and him...we argue and we fight and that's just the way it is. It doesn't mean I have anger issues!' Harry ranted, pacing the length of the bed, he was attempting to calm himself down, but he knew it was no use, he was annoyed! Everything was going so horribly wrong! Yeah so he shouldn't have hit Draco but it was so hard to get over the fact that they were enemies.
'Mr Potter you are just proving my point! Now you can either sit down and talk to me rationally and in a respectful tone or you can spend some time in the corner contemplating these anger issues you so vehemently deny.'
That stopped Harry in his tracks, slowly he turned to face her, a look of disbelief and slight fear on his face.
'The...the what? I can spend some time where? In the corner? You aren't in charge of me and I'm not five years old.'
'No Mr Potter you're not five years old, but throwing a tantrum that causes you to hit my son and then refusing to talk about it rationally...I do believe that is not how a thirteen year old boy should be acting. As for me not being in charge of you, well I do believe you are a guest in this house, not only that but you chose to sneak in here without informing anyone of your whereabouts, I think you have proved that you have certainly not reached an age where you can make rational and informed decisions. So for now Mr Potter, until you are returned to your guardians I am in charge and you would do well to sit down, calm down and talk to me calmly.'
'Sorry.' It was said at a whisper, there was something about Narcissa that made him want to please her, he hated her being angry at him, he wanted her to like him. Keeping his head down he shuffled back over to the bed and took a seat next to her, his gaze firmly fixed on his knees.
'Apology accepted, now I would very much like to talk to you about your anger. It's nothing to be ashamed of, but it is something that needs to be managed. You can't spend the rest of your life punching everyone that you deem slightly annoying. ' Lifting his chin once again Narcissa gave him an encouraging smile, willing him to talk, to open up to her, she could help this lost little boy, she knew she could. She just wished he'd let her.
'I know that...and I don't, I never usually do stuff like that...it's just I get so wound up and it was so personal and he was making a mockery of it...he forced me to tell him and then treated it like a joke!'
'Are you referring to Draco?'
'I'm assuming you told Draco something personal and you assumed that through his comments to me that he was making fun of you?'
'Did it ever occur to you that maybe he was trying to cover up for you? Lying is something I do not condone in my son or anyone for that matter. But I know my boy and if you trusted him with something personal he would never tell. He does however have a problem with dealing with other people's emotions...he is an only child Harry...and like you sometimes can lack tact and sensitivity.'
'Well...no...I didn't really think that. He's Malfoy...he makes fun of me and my friends that's just what he does.'
'And do you and your friends retaliate? I'm sure there have been some instances in which you have been the instigator? You've never sought him out for a fight? Been feeling angry or frustrated and saw your so called enemy as an easy target?'
'No...' Harry trailed off, so she had a point, she had quite a few points actually, but he didn't want to admit it, he wasn't quite ready to change his opinion on Draco just yet. Doing that would mean facing that he'd punched someone for no good reason. Harry did not need something else to add to his long list of flaws.
'Well I believe you have, just as I believe Draco has also been the instigator. You are children, children who are easily influenced and easily wound up. Whichever house you are in is just an excuse to fight...and it needs to stop.' Her eyes were set as she said this, firm in her resolve; Harry noticed that this was obviously something she was passionate about. It surprised him, he'd always believed that Malfoy got his ideas from his family...but he certainly didn't get them from his mother.
'I didn't punch him because of what house he's in...I told you why I did that.'
'Yes and I understand that but if it was say...Mr Weasley who had made those comments to you would you have reacted in the same way?'
Harry could feel himself becoming angry again at the mention of Ron, nobody talked about his best mate! Ron hadn't done anything!
'Ron would never say anything like that.'
'But if he had?'
'But he wouldn't! So it would never be an issue!' Slamming his hand down on the bed Harry realised that once again he was losing control, but he didn't seem to care anymore. He wanted to lost control a little bit. He was pushing; he knew it and Mrs Malfoy seemed to know it to.
'I do not want to have to ask you to calm down again Mr Potter, do I make myself clear? I am not raising my voice to you; I would appreciate it if you did not raise yours.'
She had this way of making him feel ashamed yet comforted at the same time, it's like you knew she wasn't going to scream in your face or say something hurtful, but her tone of voice could cut you like a knife. He didn't know what he made of it, but he didn't envy Draco the feeling of guilt he must get anytime he did anything wrong.
'I'm sorry...again...I don't mean to, it's just Ron's my friend and I don't like it when people talk about him like that, I mean that's why me and Draco became enemies in the first place.'
'I was not disrespecting Mr Weasley, I was merely suggesting a hypothetical situation. If Mr Weasley had made those comments to you...I said if...would you have reacted in the same way?'
'No...' He was reluctant to say it, the word coming out at almost a whisper, he could see where she was going with this, and he wasn't sure he was entirely happy about what the conclusion was going to be.
'And why not?'
'Because I know Ron and he wouldn't have been trying to make fun of me...he would have been scared or freaked out or trying to keep it a secret. But Ron would never do that...'
'And why is it that you automatically assumed that Draco meant it as mockery and not one of those many reasons you just stated?'
'I dunno...I just did I guess.'
'Is it because Draco is a slytherin?'
'I guess so..but not just because of that...he's proved what he's like so many times, he's just proved that Slytherins' are conniving, sly and selfish.' As Harry heard the words coming out of his mouth, he knew he didn't fully believe them, he was supposed to be a Slytherin yet he condemned Draco and the Malfoys' automatically.
'This is my point, whether or not your reason for punching Draco was completely based on his house in school, it was part of it, you felt an anger towards him that you wouldn't necessarily feel towards a member of your own house. You were unwilling to see Draco in any other way than what you believe all Slytherins are.'
'But he does the same! He's always insulting us because we're Gryffindors!'
'Yes he does, and I am not condoning that, believe it or not Draco is punished for how he behaves at school. But what both of you need to realise is that the house you are placed in does not define who you are or who you are meant to be. You decide that, you decide how you act and who you are friends with, nobody else...you.'
'It's not as easy as that though...'
'No it's not easy to change centuries of prejudice...but it is easy to let your own opinion change...it's easy to try and forget your own prejudices and control your own behaviour. Most people are able to put it aside long enough to not hit someone...'
Narcissa looked as his cheeks began to turn a bright shade of pink; he understood what she was saying alright. She wasn't happy at his embarrassment but this was something that needed to be learnt at a young age, violence was never the answer, violence and prejudice were a hateful dangerous mix. Their generation had learnt the hard way and it was important for the younger generation...the boy who lived especially to learn this quickly.
'I guess...I knew I shouldn't have hit him, even before I did it I knew it was wrong...But I just got so wound up that I felt like I needed to...but you're right I did do it because of his house and if it was Ron I wouldn't have hit him.'
She smiled at him warmly, and reached out to hold his hand. Immediately noticing how he tensed at the affection, before relaxing slightly at her encouraging smile.
'It's very brave of you to admit that, now I feel you should apologise to Draco before we eat and take you back home. I think we have many things to discuss with your guardians, don't you?'
'No please! Please don't talk to them! I can sort out the anger thing...like you said I just need to control it and I can do that! And I already told you they won't be worried about me, they knew I was staying out. It's silly to worry them for nothing.' Harry could feel himself begin to panic, it was all going so well, he'd apologised and she'd seemed to have forgiven him, she'd even held his hand, something which he had found weird but comforting at the same time. Only now he felt trapped and panicked.
They couldn't find out about his relatives! They just couldn't! He was so ashamed...they'd drop him home and they'd see how much his family didn't care about him, they'd see their disregard and the fact they hadn't even picked him up and Harry couldn't stand it. He couldn't stand that this family...this loving family would see that he had nothing...that he was nothing.
He attempted to wrench his hand from Mrs Malfoy only to have her hold firm, pulling him slightly closer to her so she could look into his eyes.
'I am not doing this to spite you Mr Potter; your guardians need to be made aware of where you have been and what has transpired in the last 24 hours. And yes...I do believe that you can control your anger, but I also believe you are a young boy and you made need a little help in doing so.'
'Please...just don't...' He felt his eyes brim with tears, he couldn't explain to her why he didn't want them to go...he just couldn't.
'If you are worried about getting in trouble I'm sure your guardians will be fair, Draco is receiving his punishment at the moment but he will feel all the better for it afterwards and everything will be forgiven. He knows he is loved...as will you, it is silly to put it off any longer than is necessary, you'll only make it worse.'
'Draco's being punished? Right now?' His sense of panic over his relatives quickly receded and was instead replaced with a new feeling...guilt...
'Mr Potter it may surprise you but we are not completely unfair, Draco is receiving his punishment for his share of the mischief in the last 24 hours. As I'm sure your guardians will feel it right that you are disciplined accordingly as well.'
Jumping up from the bed Harry startled her so much that he was able to wrench his hand free, this could not be happening! There was no way he had gotten Draco in so much trouble! It wasn't fair.
'But it's not his fault! Not really! I hit him! I hit him and asked him to keep a secret and now he's being punished for it, he can't its not fair...it's just not! I have to help him!'
Wrenching the door open Harry barely took any notice of Mrs Malfoys' startled voice...
'Mr Potter where on earth...Mr Potter come back_'
But Harry had already raced out the room, he couldn't explain why he felt such an intense desire to help Draco but he did. It was his fault...the whole thing was his fault, he'd hit Draco for basically trying to help him! He was trying to keep his secret and he'd been punched in the face for it!
Turning a corner at top speed Harry skidded slightly in his socked feet, having only just realised that he didn't actually know where he was going. Stopping against a wall for a second, Harry contemplated turning back and just asking Mrs Malfoy, she would understand.
Just as he was about to turn round he heard the unmistakable sound of smacks, followed by an accompanying cry. Oh Merlin...it had already started! Following the sound he ran down the corridor as fast as he could, pausing only slightly at the door to what he assumed was the study.
But he didn't have time to rethink his plan, he'd barely even made a plan, he just had to help Malfoy. So without a second thought, he burst into the room, a sweaty out of breath mess, absolutely intent upon saving his worst enemy.
'No! No don't! You can't punish him because of me! He wanted to tell you, he kept asking me too, but I said no! But please...you just can't...not because of me...'
Oh Merlin this was awkward! Harry attempted to avert his eyes, as he directed his frantic speech towards the floor, however he couldn't help glancing up only to see the cold, stern eyes of Lucius Malfoy boring into him, holding what looked like an enormous ruler!
Lucius looked at the boy with a mixture of emotions that Harry really couldn't decipher. However when those steel grey eyes met his Harry felt his stomach churn...bravery was one thing...but Lucius Malfoy was scary.
'Well Mr Potter it seems my son isn't the only one who has problems obeying orders...'
Harry felt his eyes flicker to Draco; draped over his father's lap he could see the tips of his ears flushing red. Out of respect he averted his eyes, but he could tell that Draco was paying full attention to what was going on around him.
'I just...I just think that Draco shouldn't be getting in trouble because of me...' He raised his head; ignoring the stammer in his voice...he was determined to be brave!
'I see, and you think Draco should be spared because everything that has happened is your fault?' Lucius raised his eyebrow, this was interesting, Harry Potter defending a Malfoy...this certainly did not happen ever y day.
'No...well not everything...I mean he wanted to throw around ice cream, and he came to my room and started that conversation and well_' Harry felt himself becoming flustered, he hadn't thought about what he would actually say to Draco's father. The idea of saving Draco had seemed a lot simpler than the actual execution of it.
'Oh thanks Potter...I thought you came here to help...bloody good job you're doing...ow' Draco immediately hung his head back down, having popped it up to hurl abuse at Potter. Listening to Harry talking to his father had kept him completely distracted from the fact that he was currently draped over his father's knee, as his worst enemy stood in the room. Something that he had been fully aware of when Potter had first barged in.
'Quiet Draco, you are in no position to be giving cheek and using bad language.'
Slowly Lucius guided Draco off his lap, a swish of his wand righting his pyjama bottoms.
'We are not finished here Draco, you know very well what is still to come, but I feel you and Mr Potter need to have a conversation. You have five minutes and then I shall be back. Oh and Mr Potter...'
Harry's head snapped up as Lucius directed his speech towards him.
'You lose that temper of yours one more time and you will find out that I am not above spanking a guest in my house...understand?'
Harry could only stare at him in complete disbelief...Lucius Malfoy was threatening to spank him?
'I said do you understand? When I ask a question I expect an answer.'
'Answer him stupid!'
Harry heard the frantic whispering from Draco and was immediately jolted out of his stupor.
'Yes, I understand...'
'Yes?' Lucius raised his eyebrow slowly.
'Yes Sir.' Harry corrected quickly.
'Very well, I shall leave you two alone for five minutes. But both of you heed my warnings, any mischief, naughtiness or arguing and you will be over my knee faster than you can count to ten.'
With that he left the room leaving Harry and Draco to stare awkwardly at the floor.
'So erm...you got spanked then?'
Harry could have kicked himself, of all the things he could have said and he chose to say that!
'Look, Potter, just because I was punished doesn't mean anything; I don't need you running in here like the typical Gryffindor...'
Harry felt himself bristle at that comment, his talk with Mrs Malfoy had had a big influence on his opinions and he didn't appreciate Draco being prejudice towards his house anymore!
'It has nothing to do with what house I'm in! Why do you always have to bring that up, I came in to help you! I mean...I...I...hit you and I guess I shouldn't have...'
'You guess you shouldn't have? Oh well what a brilliant apology that was...' Draco drawled, he was certainly not going to make this easy on Potter, he'd hit him and he could bloody well apologise properly!
'Well I'm sorry...I shouldn't have hit you!'
'No you shouldn't! I was trying to cover up for you! And I got punched in the face for my trouble!' Draco could hear himself shouting at Potter, yet he couldn't bring himself to stop. He wasn't going to deny that Harry hitting him for trying to help at hurt...he obviously wasn't going to say that out loud though!
'I know! I've said I'm sorry what else am I supposed to say! I came down here to try and stop you being punished because of me; I don't know what else you want me to do!' Harry cried, completely exasperated, he had said sorry already, he had no idea how else to make it right!
'Nothing, I don't want you to do anything, except for tell my mother and father what is going on with your relatives.'
'No.' Harry said shortly, Draco needed to drop that subject and fast...that was what had got him into this mess in the first place!
'Potter seriously, they are going to find out, their involved now, they are going to take you home and speak to them. And even if you run off they'll just inform Dumbledore and come check up on you anyway.'
Draco informed him with an air of superiority, he knew his parents and he also knew Potter could not win this one. They'd find out themselves anyway, they'd both caused too much trouble in the last 24 hours for his parents not to make sure his guardians were aware. That fact alone made Draco feel less intimidated by this grave secret.
'There's nothing for them to find out, it's not like their gonna hit me across the face as soon as I get dropped home. It's not like that, I'm not abused. I don't want anyone feeling sorry for me thinking that because I'm just not.' Harry felt his voice break the tiniest bit, but he refused to acknowledge it, he was not about to cry, he just wasn't!
'Oh right sure, so when my parents drop you off your relatives are gonna give you a big hug and say how worried they were...'
'Well no but...some people just don't get alone with their parents, it doesn't make it weird, it doesn't mean their abused.'
Draco threw his hands in the air in exasperation and threw himself into his father's desk chair, the sudden pressure on his rear end making him hiss in pain.
'Merlin you're so impossible! I don't get you! My parents are going to ask me what secret I've been keeping from them and what am I going to say...Oh well sorry father but Potter is determined that, actually there is no secret and all this drama has been for nothing.' He drawled sarcastically.
'No...I don't...I don't know what you could say! They might not ask....' Harry trailed off uncertainly, they were going to ask, if he'd learnt anything in the last 24 hours it's that the Malfoy's were anything but forgetful.
'Oh yeah, of course their going to ask, when I was so bloody traumatised by it...' Draco mumbled the last bit to himself, not entirely realising he'd said it out loud.
'You were traumatised?'
'You just said you were...' Harry questioned.
'Well I lied.'
'I don't think you were lying, why would you be traumatised?' Harry moved closer to where Draco was sitting, suddenly feeling quite concerned about Malfoy. He didn't like to think that he'd upset somebody else with his issues with the Dursley's.
'I wasn't! For Merlin's sake Potter, will you just shut up about it!'
'Oh yeah like you shut up about my relatives before.' He retorted.
'I was trying to help you! But you're so ungrateful! I thought you might want to talk about it!' Draco stood back up at this point, arms folded he was ready to argue his case with Potter! That stupid, stupid boy was so ungrateful! He was trying to be a friend! But once again, his friendship wasn't good enough for Potter!
'Well I didn't want to talk about it!' Harry shouted thoroughly fed up with this conversation.
'Well that's not my problem!'
'You're impossible! I don't know why your mother ever thought it would be possible for us to get along!'
Draco felt his stomach clench at this point.
'You don't think it is?' He questioned carefully, trying to act like he didn't care what the answer was going to be.
'We could get along if we wanted to!' Draco insisted.
'Yes we could! You're just not trying!' Draco could feel himself panic, this was his only chance to get Potter to be his friend, he didn't even know why he was so desperate to win him over but he was. He'd rejected him once before and Draco had no plans for that to happen again!
'I came to say sorry!' Harry reiterated.
'Yeah, for punching me in the face! That definitely wasn't trying!' Why couldn't he just shut up! He wanted Potter as a friend, yet he kept bringing up something that Potter had already apologised for!
Before Harry had a chance to reply, they heard footsteps heading towards the study.
'Crap, Draco your dad's coming, pretend we're getting along!'
Draco had a look of panic on his face, his father's threats about them arguing repeating in his mind. Thinking on the spot and guessing from the sound of the footsteps (and years of practice being in the study) that his father was about a minute and a half away, he began talking in an unnaturally loud voice.
'Well, Harry...it was simply delightful of you to come and apologise to me...I most definitely accept it, even if apologies are not a skill you seem you possess...' Draco smiled serenely at him, his voice dripping with sarcasm...it just slipped out!
Harry meanwhile, was scowling at him as he followed his lead.
'Ohhh Draco that is no problem at all...I don't mind that you're so ungrateful that you continue to hold a grudge over something that was nothing more than a tap...'
Draco looked outraged!
'A tap! Are you joking Potter? I was bleeding!' He whispered furiously, forgetting for the moment the reason for their 'acting.'
'Draco for Merlin's sake will you shut_'
Harry was cut off abruptly as the study door opened and a familiar voice filled the room...
'Well, boys, it seems as if we have some unfinished business to deal with...'
A/N- Thought i'd give you a bit of a spoiler and a warning...it may get a little bit angsty in the next few chapters! Not intensely angst because i'm not into that, but a little bit xxx