Disclaimer: I own nothing alright? Nothing!!!!! *sobs and hides in closet with chocolate and Drarry-fiction*
Chapter 6 : cuckoo-flower- mistake, "I misjudged you"
Turning on his heel, he slipped into another passageway then the one he was currently in. 'Glories Gems' would have to wait for another minute.
'Now, where should I go? I want to make a good impression and show them that the Harry Potter they see at Hogwarts isn't what's really there. They might trust me more once they realize that I had to wear my own mask all this time.'
Harry stood in one of the streets located at Moonlight Avenue that was specialised in all kinds of clothes. The shop window that he was currently eyeing sold leather. Muggle leather, Dragon hide, Thestral skin and, if Harry could believe his observations from 2nd year, a complete roll of Basilisk skin!
'Hmm, probably not the best idea to go prancing around in front of the Malfoys in leather trousers and fish-net T-shirts' Harry thought and a particularly impressive smirk made its way on his face.
'At least...not yet'
Turning away from the leather shop, he entered ' Fashion Frenzy', one of the better places for formal Wizarding wear as well as Muggle-inspired casual outfits. The bell above the door jingled in a soft melody. Harry stood in the front of the store, letting his eyes adjust to the soft lighting. When he could distinguish the different colours of clothing and the racks, he perused through the shop's contents. Blue, green, black, brown, mustard,...pink? Harry looked at the piece of clothing and then back and forth to see his surroundings. Disturbingly enough he was still in the men's section. Why was this disturbing, you might ask... Harry Potter, Boy-Who- Lived, stood in a clothing shop with in his hands a pink G-string, covered in lace...for men.
' Morgana and the Founders!' Harry thought. He quickly shoved the offending piece of clothing under a stack of fashion magazines and headed towards the changing rooms. He slid of his T-shirt, kicked of his trainers and loosened the belt that kept his pants on. The moment he did this, the baggy jeans fell from his narrow hips and he stood in his boxers only.
Looking in the mirror, Harry dropped his glamours and swallowed around the lump that had formed itself in his throat. For there, looking back at him with dull grey-green eyes instead of the vibrant emerald ones, stood a freak.
Harry' s body was pale and blemished. He was actually taller than he appeared, which wasn't positive for the required muscles and flesh that should accompany this body were lacking. His ribs and hipbones protruded and his cheeks were hollow. Underneath his eyes were dark circles, his lips were bloodless and chapped. But the worst were the scars. Everybody knew about the one on his fore-head, or the one on his left arm where Wormtail had sliced him. But all over Harry' s back, arms and torso were whip marks, burns and cuts. Courtesy of a life with his loving family.
Harry turned away from the reflection in the mirror, tears in his eyes. He used glamours to hide the evidence of his freakishness, to conceal his rapidly deteriorating health and physique.
If he would return to Private Drive he had to look the way his uncle wanted. He couldn't use magic outside of school or sustain them for an entire month so by the time he would arrive at King's Cross, he had to drop them. If his uncle saw him fed, healthy and clothed, he would be much harsher in his punishments. So it was best to indulge into his little kicks and keep him happy by resembling the image that his uncle send away in September.
What Harry' s friends didn't know was that he applied his glamours the moment he stepped foot in King's Cross, thus hiding the bruises, broken bones, cuts... To them, he was healthy, happy Harry. It was this that had led him to believe that his friends couldn't care less about him. Surely they saw how exhausted he looked when he would visit with the Weasleys? After all, he couldn't use his excess magic to apply the glamours until he was in the Burrow. Once there, the small amount of magic needed, wouldn't be noticed by the Ministry.
He reapplied the glamours and took the clothes that he wanted to buy. There were 3 weeks until the end of his 6th year. One week to study the last bit of his subjects, one week for finals and the third week was for relaxing, socializing and packing your belongings. Harry thought about the coming weeks. For the studying and relaxing ones, he would wear casual clothes but the exams required the proper uniform. Shifting through the pile he decided to buy himself 2 pair of slacks, one in a dark Prussian blue and the other seal brown in cotton, 4 T-shirts in midnight green, bistre, cerulean blue and seashell white and one button down in a royal purple called Persian indigo that was almost black. It should be enough to last in the coming weeks and after the 31st he would go and buy himself a full wardrobe.
'I bet my Firebolt that Malfoy and his friends would go into fits when they hear I need just this to pass the last of the school year. Malfoy alone wears at least 5 different outfits a week!'
After paying for his new clothes and deciding to wear one outfit instead of his old rags, Harry had still some time left to find the last elements that he would need for the surprise that he was planning. He left 'Fashion Frenzy' wearing his Prussian blue slacks with the sea-shell white T-shirt. Underneath he still wore his old trainers, being held together with yet another Reparo.
Harry sauntered through the narrow alleys. In stark contrast to the main road, these paths were shadowed, with tricky corners and alcoves. Still, the overall feeling wasn't one of darkness and horror but more of a safe sanctuary, a place where you could be yourself without having to hide behind the masks we force ourselves to wear in public.
On the main square there was a magnificent willow tree. Around it were patches with belladonna, fox' glove, ivy covering the streetlamps... It's branches hung low and several strings led from its trunk with fairy-lights hanging from it. When night time would stalk the village, they would light and the general darkness would hide itself in the corners. It was cosy and yet it was in those constructed shadowy corners that the questionable business affairs were held.
On the side were Harry emerged, were some shops. Right in front of him, on the opposite side of the square, was the road that led towards the main street of Hogsmeade. On the left was the local pub and on the right was an archway.
Harry shuddered every time he saw it. It was a plain, stone wall with the empty space right in the centre. The thing that made the hairs on his arms stand up, was that the opening was covered with a tattered veil. No matter the positive outcome, and the eventual rescue of his godfather, Harry couldn't look at it without feeling dread crawl over his skin. He could see the Veil in his mind's eye again. Sweeping in a wind that was non-existing, wrapping itself around Sirius' body with misty tendrils and obscuring the view of the azure-eyed Black. The cold creeping through his veins, strong arms that held him back like a restraint jacket, keeping him away from that which kept him going, kept him sane: the promise of a family, somebody who had been through hell and survived, clawing himself back to Harry, just Harry...
Draco fingered the expensive quill, twirling it between his long digits. His mind was wandering along the different paths, taking turns and more than once ending up with a dead end. The chattering from his fellow students around him was numbed, a light buzz in the background of his increasingly changing life. In about 1 hour, he would meet up with Po..Harry.
'That's going to need some getting used to.' Calling the Gryffindor Golden Boy by his given name and the Bumblebee's prodigy doing the same to him. A slight shiver ran over Draco's back, like a ghostly tongue dragging itself over his spine, or a butterfly fluttering over his skin.
Without warning, a body slammed in him from behind. With seeker-like reflexes, Draco spun around and trained his wand on the cowering form of...Blaise? The mocha male was sitting on the floor of Scrivenshaft's, grinning like a loon at being able to use his vampire stealth with success . With a glare, Draco pushed his wand back in the holster on his hip.
" Merlin Bini, stop sneaking up on me. What are you doing, sitting there like a commoner!"
Blaise looked up at his friend with a mock pout. The blonde knew how much he hated the nickname Bini, about just as much as he himself knew that Draco loathed Drakie-pooh. He held up a hand and with a sheepish grin wiggled all 5 digits in the general direction of the soon to be birthday boy
Draco rolled his eyes and turned around, looking for some new ink while trying to hide his amusement. Blaise could be a pain, but a pleasantly enjoyable one that is. He and Pansy were the foundations in his life. Family is important but friends are the family you choose for yourself. While he was thus occupied, Blaise swung his arm around the blonde and made him look into his eyes. Warm, molten caramel met dove-grey and he could see a nervousness and anxiety, that wasn't often displayed.
"What's bothering you Draco? I haven't been able to sneak up on you since I came into my inheritance...so what made you distracted enough so I could jump you?" Blaise asked while waggling his eyebrows to accompany the last part of his statement. Before them, Pansy came around the corner. Draco took one look at her and knew he or Blaise was in trouble: Pansy stood there glaring, fists on her hips and one stiletto-clad foot tapping an impatient beat.
" Blaise sweetie...", Draco released the breath he was holding, he was safe," what is this talk about jumping people hmm?"
Draco disentangled himself from the arm of his friend. With the arrival of a PMS-ing Pansy and her wrath, it had tightened considerably and now Blaise was sending him looks that clearly stated 'Don't you dare leave me alone with her! Please!'. Draco smirked and pushed the dark teen towards his girlfriend.
Pansy glared at Blaise, clearly expecting an answer and now! The Italian peered at her from beneath his bangs, scuffed his toe, bit his bottom lip and then softly whispered " Love you?", while using his puppy-eyes of doom.
Pansy's eyes softened, her hands fell from her hips and took hold of the nervously flailing hands in front of her.
" Oh pumpkin, you always know what to say." She cooed and leaned in towards him with puckered lips.
The blonde sighed heavily and decided to leave the oncoming love-fest to search for his parents. Maybe he could bribe them into an early birthday present or remind them of the time. Merlin knew that he would need to bodily drag his godfather away from the potions-section and if he knew his mother and father, they would be placing orders for personalized quills, letters and the like. With a quick tempus, he saw that they had less than half an hour left to reach their destination and the waiting Gryffindor.
He looked over the banister, scanning the crowd beneath him. Severus was almost buried under a stack of potions books, while scribbling on a blank piece of parchment and muttering to himself. When he leaned over the wood, Draco could barely make out the hair of his father, standing at the counter and his mother behind... Draco did a double take. Had his mother just squeezed his dad's bum? Pushing his balled fists into his eyes he repeated his mantra, the one that he had adopted after walking in on Pansy and Blaise using his prefect-bathroom for a romantic get-away. ' I did not just see that, lalala, bunnies, unicorns, snakes, strangled Weasel, Granger with a failing grade...' It's what kept him out of another 5 years of therapy.
He descended the stairs, turned the corner and sidled up next to his father and mother. Their order was finished and they turned away from the hassled clerk man arm in arm to pay attention to their waiting son.
" We better start towards Moonlight Avenue father, we only have half an hour left and we have to extract my godfather from his perusal and find Theodore." Draco said while placing the quill he had been looking at on the counter, together with a new bottle of ink and some heavy weight parchment with a watermark of a snake in it.
" That's good for me Draco, now go and extract your godfather from that pile of books and gather your friends. Your mother and I will be on our way." Lucius took the linen satchel with the purchases, shrunk it and placed it in his cloak. While he and Narcissa glided out the door, Draco hurried to the wall of potions books and located the black-haired man behind it by following his hearing. It wasn't all too difficult to find the dour man, when you could hear all sorts of exclamations emit that sounded just like him. Ranging from 'Must be written by a Gryffindor' to ' no wonder Longbottom blows up so many cauldrons'...
Draco stood on his toes and grinned down at his scowling professor. " What's got your knickers in a twist uncle Sev? Could it be that no one has been in said knickers for a while?"
He quickly ducked when a hex flew his way and cautiously stuck his head around a wobbly pile of dusty tomes. "Sorry?", he tried to placate his uncle. The puppy-eyes did it. Draco inwardly smirked. That little trick could get him out of most trouble... the saps, be them secretly or openly, couldn't resist the puppy-eyes of doom. And unbeknown to many, Severus Snape was one of the biggest saps in the wizarding world.
" Brat" , Severus muttered while pointing his wand at the stacks of books, making them fly to their destined places. " You're lucky I did get someone in my knickers and am therefore in a good mood today" He smirked while watching his godson place his hands over his ears. He even thought he heard him mumble something along 'bunnies and Weasleys'.
" I did not need to hear that. Come on Sev. We have a lion waiting for us." Draco walked to the doorway while Pansy, Blaise and Theo materialised at his sides. He was strolling , he told himself. Certainly not skipping with anticipation. Malfoys did not skip, or feel nervous. Now that he thought of it, he was pretty sure his father told him not to socialize with Gryffindors either. And look at what they were all about to do! He did a little skip and quickly continued his haughty stroll when he saw his friends cocking their eyebrows at him.
" Indeed Draco. I can' t help but to speculate about the nature of this rendezvous. Let's hope it's not some half-assed attempt of Dumbledore to woo you to the Order's side" Severus sneered, trusting his godson to lead him on the street, as his hooked nose was buried in the scribbled notes he had taken in the bookshop.
Draco nodded his assessment. " We can only hope for the best...and plan for the worst"