Recovery of the Mind

Summary: Spending a summer with two Slytherins weren't so bad. But how will those two Slytherins react when their former master, before dying, leaves their anchor Harry Potter in a shape no one could imagine? And how will they heal him? Non-slash.

Pairing/s: None.

Warnings: Blood, violence, maybe some other things.

Disclaimers: I don't own Harry Potter.

Happens after Sirius dies.

-

Very sorry for the late wait.

Last chapter! Enjoy it fully!

-

Chapter Eight

Harry woke up in the room again.

"What happened?" he asked.

I'm not too sure myself. But Voldemort must have done something additional to half destroying your mind, as you aren't as fine as I hoped you would be.

"So… what are we going to do?"

We just have to wait. I can't do anything more.

Waiting. Harry hated that.

Do you want to play some chess?

"Well, I guess I don't have much else to do," the teen muttered.

-

Poppy gently checked Harry over, and said:

"I can't find anything wrong with him. He just won't wake up."

Draco looked at the sleeping teen and then at the healer.

"Nothing wrong? You sure?" he asked.

"Yeah, he clutched his head before he fell," Hermione said.

"Then I'll make a few more scans."

She waved her wand over his head, muttered a few words and tapped the tip of the wand against a parchment. Immediately writing appeared. She repeated this five times, each time different spells and finally looked at the parchment. She read it through and frowned.

"There is nothing," she finally said. "There is nothing wrong."

Hermione looked at her and then at Harry. She took his hand and said:

"Then why won't he wake up?"

"I don't know," Poppy said.

The doors opened and Severus and Albus entered.

"What happened?" the potions master asked the three teens.

"He was talking, and suddenly clutched his head before fainting," Hermione explained. "We took him here immediately since we couldn't wake him up."

"There's nothing wrong with him?" the man asked them.

"No, nothing," the healer said. "We can't do much other than wait."

-

"You really don't want to miss Christmas, right?" Draco asked the sleeping teen. "All that good food and presents, we can't really wait with Christmas for you, you have to wake up before that."

Harry continued sleeping. The blonde sat down on the bed and looked at the teen's face.

"A few days ago you were fine," Draco murmured and took Harry's hand in his own. "And now we're back at the beginning of this. Sev isn't talking much, Harry. He doesn't want us to see him sad. But I know he is."

No answer. Draco could not honestly say he expected one.

-

Severus tried to focus on grading but he was not doing so well. He was worried about Harry, and now began to worry about Draco. The teen went to classes, did his homework and sat with Harry. The only one he really spoke to was to an unconscious person. That could not really be okay, but Severus had tried to talk to the blonde teen; Draco barely answered. Harry had become so important to the Malfoy he seemed lifeless when Harry was in this condition.

The potions master dropped the quill and rubbed his eyes tiredly. Both of them were slipping away from him. If Harry faded away, so would Draco. They were as close as brothers, Draco seeing it as his duty to keep Harry safe.

And now, when he could not do anything, Draco instead followed Harry wherever he was going. Even if it was a slow walk to death.

-

Hermione took great care with washing Harry's hair, holding his head at the right angle so his neck would not be strained. Ron had gone to fetch some clothes for the raven-haired teen to wear, and Poppy had given in at that.

It had been two weeks and Harry's condition had not changed. He remained in this sleeping state, not moving on his own or giving them any sign that he was really there.

She pushed those thoughts away and dried his hair with a whispered spell. The girl removed the bowl containing the water and gently put Harry's head back onto the pillow.

"Hey."

She turned around to look at Ron who held a small bundle in his arms.

"Draco gave me the clothes."

They busied themselves with the task of redressing their friend, gentle movements so they would not hurt him accidently. Soon he was dressed in a soft, green jumper and a pair of black pants, his feet bare.

"It's scary," Hermione said. "That he doesn't do anything. That nothing we say seems to reach him."

"I know," Ron said. "But we're talking about Harry here. He will wake up." He placed his hand over hers and continued, "Come on, Harry doesn't even know when he's supposed to give in. He just continues."

"You're right."

-

Draco put Snuffles down on the bed, looking over at Harry. The pale sun was shining in his relaxed face, and the blonde said:

"It's nice weather today, you know, for being early December. You would love it. It hasn't begun to snow just yet, but Hermione says it probably won't be long. She and Ron are really lovely-dovey with each other, but still argue like before. They're peculiar your friends."

He sat down and reached for the teddy bear. He looked at it and said:

"Sev's still sad. He's worried over both of us. I guess he has a reason for it. I don't speak much with others anymore. It's like it's not worth it. People say it's stupid to speak to a comatose person but I still do. I am doing it right now, aren't I? Anyway… I heard it makes them wake up sometimes, when people speak to them."

He did not notice that Harry's eyes, underneath the eyelids, moved a bit.

-

"Do comatose people dream?" Harry asked aloud.

Why do you ask?

"I'm wondering if I'm dreaming."

Why?

"I keep hearing Draco's voice, he's telling me stuff that happens and all," the teen said and looked around the room.

It could be he's really speaking to you, other Harry said. You hear him clearly?

"Sometimes, sometimes not. Right now he's far away," Harry said and stretched. "Like he's talking to me from a distance."

Sometimes, it helps comatose people that others speak to them. He might be able to help your body wake up.

"So the only thing I need to do right now is waking up?"

Basically yes.

"How come I don't?"

That, my dear Harry, I'm still trying to figure it out.

-

Severus closed the door and looked at the pale teen lying on the bed. His eyes strayed over to the other one sitting by the bed, book open by the end of the bed and a quill between his teeth.

"Hello, Draco."

Draco looked up and took the quill from his mouth.

"Hi Sev."

"What are you doing?" the potions master said as he walked forward.

"Searching."

"Searching for what?"

"If comatose people dream."

"Why are you wondering?"

"Harry's eyes are moving."

Severus looked over at the sleeping teen. He saw them roll from side to side, like it did when Harry dreamt.

"Maybe they dream," he said. "It looks like he's doing it."

"If he does… I hope he has good dreams."

"I'm sure he has," Severus said. "Draco, please, come and eat dinner with me and sleep in your own bed."

"I want to stay," Draco said.

"I know but I want you to take care of yourself," the potions master said. He stroke Draco's hair gently and continued, "Don't scare me more than I already am."

Draco looked up at him and slowly closed the book.

"Are you scared he will be gone when you get back?" Severus asked quietly.

"… I'm scared that his body will still be here, but his soul won't."

The man hugged Draco lightly and said:

"Me too."

-

Severus gently rotated Harry's arm, softening the muscles and tendons along the way with a subtle trail of magic from the centre of his palm. Harry's body was stiff from sleeping so long, so the potions master had taken it on himself to help the body keep itself in good shape.

He had already taken the legs and torso, now finishing up with the arms and lastly the teen's neck. He closed the teen's hand into a fist, magic flowing into the fingers and lightly dragged both hands along the arm before moving over to begin with the other arm. Harry's soft breathing was like music in his ears, letting him know the raven-haired teen he held dear against all odds was still fighting to live.

-

Soft beating against his ear. Warmth radiating all around him. Was that an arm wrapped around his shoulders, a steady beating of a heart in his ear? A heart not his.

Harry was not sure if he was dreaming or not. He tried to move, but everything was heavy. Like he was snuggled up in a mountain of blankets and had no desire to get up. He had no real desire to get up. How he wished to remain in that darkness for… eternity? Until the world stopped turning, until nothingness was all that was left?

Steady beats brought him back. A voice perhaps, low and gentle, the touch of a hand running lightly through his hair.

It was nice.

Draco looked down at Harry's sleeping face and his breath hitched.

The raven-haired teen, propped up to rest with his head on the blonde's chest, was smiling.

-

You're waking up.

"Am I?" Harry asked, looking up from his book.

Most likely. Can't you hear Draco?

"Sometimes," the teen said and closed the book. "Sometimes… I can feel him. You know, if he's brushing my hair, or just holding my hand."

That's good. Focus on it, try to make it more real.

"How come I suddenly begin to wake up?"

I'm not sure. I think it has to do with Draco and Severus. They helped your body, and now the mind is ready I guess. Follow the flow, and don't be scared.

-

It happened a few days later, the sign they all had hoped for.

Hermione saw it first, and her eyes widened. The book she had been reading fell to the floor.

"'Mione, what's wrong?" Ron asked. "'Mione?"

"Look…" she said, pointing. "Look, both of you!"

Ron and Draco did.

Harry's fingers were moving. Draco dropped everything he was holding, was by the bed within a few instants. Ron and Hermione were not far behind him.

"Harry?" the blonde teen asked.

Harry's head moved towards the voice, weakly and the eyes moved underneath the eyelids. Hermione took one of the hands, pressed it between hers and Ron's hands came and cupped hers. They could both feel the hand slowly move, wondering what had caught it. Harry's thin fingers curled loosely around one of Hermione's hands.

Draco took the other, the fingers wrapped themselves around one of Draco's fingers and the blonde teen smiled.

"Come on, Harry, wake up for us," Hermione said. "Just open your eyes a little bit."

The eyes moved again underneath the eyelids, and slowly they opened. Ron dimmed the lights, and for the first time in about two months Harry's eyes opened fully.

They waited, holding their breath. How would he be?

"Draco?" His voice sounded dry. He had not spoken for some time, but the name was said clearly.

"Harry."

Ron got a glass of water and the blonde helped Harry sit up while Hermione ran to get Poppy. The teen sipped a little of it, feeling the coolness go down his throat and his eyes closed. It felt good.

He felt good, despite his body was a bit stiff. And best thing was…

He remembered everything.

Once he had finished drinking, Poppy burst into the room with Hermione.

"Hi, Madam Pomfrey," he said.

He was back.

-

Severus came into the room, out of breath.

"Severus."

It was not Draco who said it. It was Harry. Merlin how much he had missed that voice.

"Harry."

It was just the three of them in the room, Severus, Draco and Harry. The raven-haired teen sat up in the bed, supported by pillows, and it was him. It was not the child from before, the child who had been taught everything again; it was the real Harry.

He was by the bed and hugged the teen before he realized he had even moved. Harry laughed a bit, his arms around Severus' torso and he said:

"Sorry I freaked you all out."

"The main thing is that you are awake now, and that you are here with us," Severus said. "But you better not do it again, because I don't know how much more my poor heart can take."

"I'll do my best," the teen said and was released.

"You remember everything? Even from the time your mind was not exactly intact?"

"I remember everything," Harry confirmed. "That must have been freaky, having to deal with me when I was like that."

"No, but it was hard," Draco informed. "Do you know just how much more stubborn you got during that time?"

"Not… really."

"Well, you were," the potions master said with a smile. "You were really good at making us go crazy."

"Um… I'm sorry?"

"Not to mention you made yourself look cute in front of Hermione and Ron," the blonde teen said with a grin.

"I did what?!"

-

Harry listened on as Madam Pomfrey shooed out the hordes of students who wanted to wish him a good recovery, feeling tired. He had been receiving visitors all day long and was actually rather happy it was over for now.

He looked outside the window and saw the snow falling. He had woken up just before the Christmas break. Draco had joked the teen had not wanted to miss out on any presents.

Harry knew it was Draco and Severus who had woken him up in the end. They had been with him; they had wished him to stay alive. Sure, a lot of people wanted him alive, but some wanted him alive because he was the Boy-Who-Lived, and the one who defeated Voldemort. Ron and Hermione wanted him alive as their best friend. The Weasleys as a sort of friend to the family.

Draco and Severus wanted him back to be a part of their small, odd family. Harry fingered on the jumper he was wearing; it was one of Draco's and a bit too large for himself but he liked it either way.

He heard Poppy and Severus talk quietly to each other, probably when to move him back to the potions master's quarters. He was looking forward to leave the Infirmary; he had spent way too much time there for the rest of his lifetime.

-

Christmas morning

Severus woke up and opened his eyes slowly. Adjusting to the dim light of the room, his eyes checked it of pure habit before rising up. As he heard talking in the living-room he could not help but smile. He wrapped the robe tightly around himself and walked out.

Harry was seated on the rug in front of the hearth, wrapped in blankets and his hair tousled as usual, looking a bit tired but happy. Draco was sitting next to him, both of them holding cups of chocolate and had scones on a tray.

"Getting started without me?" Severus asked.

"Nope, we just got here!" Draco replied. "Here, coffee!"

He held out a cup and the potions master lowered himself to the floor next to them both before accepting it gratefully. Harry yawned before taking a sip. Severus could not help but notice how pale the teen had become, and so thin.

But he looked happy. That was the main point. Getting muscles and some colour, he had time for that. As long as he was happy Severus was satisfied.

"You haven't opened any gifts yet?" the man asked.

"No, we thought we would wait on you," Harry said.

"Truth is, I didn't get him up until now," the blonde admitted.

"Draco!"

"What? It's true!"

"Well, I woke up hugging you. You are the one who didn't move!"

"Shut up!"

Severus smiled as he watched the two argue like children and finally Harry huffed.

"Anyway," he said, "we haven't opened any."

"Well, start with it then," Severus said. "You don't have to open them all now, but a few."

Draco took the few closest to him from underneath the tree (yes, the two boys had managed to convince the bat of the dungeons there should be a Christmas tree in their living-room) and put them down in front of him, setting aside his cup. Harry bit into a warm scone and peered up at Draco.

"First one here is to Severus from… Albus."

"Oh no, what horror is it this year?" Severus moaned as he took the package.

"A set of robes with colours perhaps?" Harry said innocently.

"I do have robes with colours!"

"Yes," the blonde drawled out, "one so dark green it looks black, one so dark blue it looks black and one with a small line of green lining. Yes, you have robes with colours."

"I'm warning you, young man," Severus said and shook his finger at the teen. Draco stuck his tongue out.

It turned out to be two books about potions, Severus very relieved it was normal gifts for a change and then watched Draco unpack a new dress robe from his mother, Harry hesitantly opening his own. His dress robe was emerald and Draco grinned.

"Either she thought of your eyes or wanted to tell you how much of a Slytherin you are."

"I think the latter," Harry said. "It has silver lining as well. Ron will freak if I have it on… can I have it today?"

Both Slytherins laughed and Harry grinned.

-

Ron did freak and Hermione laughed heartily at her boyfriend. Fred and George swung their arms around the teen, as they had come to Hogwarts for Christmas with one or two surprises (which made Harry talk to Dobby and promise him to never put anything strange in Harry's food) and said:

"Nice robes, our partner-in-crime, very nice indeed! Especially as it made Ronnie freak out!"

"Partner-in-crime?" Severus asked and raised an eyebrow at Harry.

"Well…" the teen began. "I… I helped them get started with their shop."

"And many thanks for that still, my good man!" Fred said. "Now, now, you look a bit under the weather, let's go and get something to eat!"

They were at the Burrow, the two Slytherins and Harry staying the night before retuning to Hogwarts along with Ron and Hermione. The whole Weasley family was there along with many of the Order members which made the dining-room chaotic.

"Wotcher!" Tonks said and high-fived with Harry, her hair bright pink. Remus hugged the teen tightly, kissing the top of his head affectionately before letting everyone else say hello to him. Tonks kissed the werewolf's cheek before dragging him to their spots, Severus raising an eyebrow.

"Didn't you know they got together a week ago or so?" Draco asked.

"No, I didn't."

"Well, now you know I guess."

The dinner was wonderful as usual with Molly's cooking, and the table nearly broke under all the food. She insisted on Harry eating more than he could handle and he felt like resorting to his old behaviour and simply turn his head to Draco's shoulder to show he had had enough but he did not. Instead he took little nibbles and listened to the others talking. They talked more easily now, having no Voldemort to worry about. Harry tuned them out and disappeared into his own world.

He replayed the scene with Voldemort again. He tried to remember exactly what he had done to Voldemort to manage to kill him.

Don't try it. You won't figure it out.

'Why not?'

Because you don't know. I don't know. No one knows. But you did it. I guess that's all that matters. They're looking worried. Return to your world. I'll be here if you need anything.

Harry looked up and saw Hermione, Ron and the two Slytherins watching him a bit. He bumped into Draco's side and said:

"Any more biscuits left?"

-

"Are you sure?" Molly asked. "I mean, Fred and George are used to share a bed so that won't be many problems but you two…"

"We are used to it too," Draco said with a charming smile. "Don't worry about Harry falling down, ma'am, it's him who kicks me down."

"I don't do that!" Harry protested as he looked away from the game of Wizard's Chess he was playing with Ron.

"Don't lie to me!" Draco said. "I know better, because it's me who ends up on the floor!"

Harry stuck his tongue out and returned to the game.

-

Molly looked on oddly as Severus prepared two cups of chocolate and a cup of tea before putting it on a tray. Arthur watched the man as well.

"Severus?" Molly finally asked. "You've had a long day, right? Shouldn't you be asleep?"

"Well, it's become somewhat a tradition," Severus said as he picked up the tray, "for me, Draco and Harry talk a bit with each other before we go to bed. They always demand chocolate and I like to have a cup of tea before going to sleep. Have a good night."

He walked out from the kitchen and the two heard him walk up the stairs.

"He has really changed," Molly murmured.

"Well, that's not such a bad thing is it now?" Arthur asked with a slight smile.

-

Harry lay awake even as Draco's breath had deepened, their backs to each other. The teen looked around the room; they were sleeping in Fred's old bed, Fred sleeping with George in the other bed. Both of them were asleep, already tangled in the sheets and still twisting around. Harry smiled a bit at that.

He fingered on the sheets and closed his eyes. This year had been freaked out. All that had happened had probably changed him.

He did not want to go back to school. He did not want to sit in the Great Hall, and trying to act carefree because he was not. He had not been it for a long time outside the comfort of his few close friends. He dreaded the day he had to go back to school and face the world.

He turned around and buried his face into Draco's shoulder, drawing comfort from the blonde's warmth.

"Harry?"

Draco turned around sleepily and looked at the raven-haired teen. An arm around him, and he was tugged closer to Draco.

"What is it?" the blonde teen asked.

"I don't want to go back to be the Harry Potter again," Harry said. "I can't do it."

Draco was quiet for a long time and Harry closed his eyes in defeat.

"We'll take it as it comes," the blonde said and hugged the slightly smaller teen tighter. "You always got me and Sev to fall back to. You're not alone anymore."

Harry bit his lip and nodded.

"Go to sleep. You need it."

"I haven't done anything else for months," Harry said.

"Yeah, and? You're almost sleep-talking to me."

Harry blinked and found his eyelids to be very heavy. Draco smiled at that and said:

"Go to sleep. Whatever troubles you have, I'll listen to them all tomorrow and we'll take it from there."

Harry smiled and nodded again. Would Draco and himself have been this close if Voldemort had not tried to kill him and caused him that injury? He no longer cared if that would have been the case, because all this had already happened and they now had a future to think about.

Recovery had been done. Planning their newfound freedom from the dark was the next step.

End


So… yet another strange and open ending from me. And it took a hell of a long time to get this out.

Well, now it's out. And now this story is closed. I hope you all enjoyed reading it as I enjoyed writing it (although I was slow).

Until another time,

Ja,

Tiro