The wake up call didn't bother me as much as what it represented. I jumped up almost instantly and stumbled because my foot was asleep. Sirius caught me and wrapped my sweatshirt around my shoulders.

"You've only been asleep for 2 hours." He said. I nodded and went out to the car with him. I became self conscious on the way there. Did I look like a wreck? Did my breath smell?

"Harry, calm down."

I looked up at Sirius and saw him looking entirely relaxed. Was that good? Could Draco hear? I felt my heart speed up as we pulled into the parking lot. Sirius parked and brought me into the hospital. When I saw Lucius I ran over to him and he hugged me. He looked worried. I felt my heart plummet.

"We haven't checked his hearing yet. We've been waiting for you." Lucius said. I bit my lip and nodded. He kept and arm around my shoulder, unintentionally putting pressure on my sore upper arms, and before we walked in he looked at me. "One at a time. Ok? Just say what you can, see if he can hear you."

I nodded and walked into the room alone. I still felt like I was half asleep as I walked over to the bed. He looked up at me, waiting. I opened and closed my mouth a few times, practicing silently as I was terrified of my voice at the moment. I looked up at him and he looked panic stricken. I bit my lip and moved closer.

"Draco..can you hear me?" I asked. His mouth dropped open.

"Yeah. Yeah, I can." Draco said grinning. I smiled widely and my heart pounded in my chest. "Come here. Please."

I moved over to him slowly and sat on the edge of his bed. He pulled me into a hug and I squeaked, half from the pain, half from surprise. He let me go, but kept his hands on my upper arms, squeezing excitedly. I'd seen other people do this, when they really wanted to get a look at someone. It wasn't an uncommon gesture, but I'm quite sure it wasn't supposed to hurt this bad. He must have realized, because he let go quickly and asked what was wrong. I was afraid to shrug, or use sign, because my arms had been abused enough for one day, but my mouth didn't fit the words as they once had, so many years ago. He watched me with concern in his eyes and I found myself wondering why.

I was falling back into my shell, the one I had let fall only for him. What was wrong with me? I contemplated this for a few moments before realization dawned. Something that sickened me almost instantly. I must have known subconsciously what it would mean if his hearing was fixed. Exactly what I'd known all along. My biggest fear, though I wasn't sure how I'd let it get so far in that it had become a fear at all. Draco was normal now. No more handicapped wing at Hogwarts. No more leverage to keep him from bullying people. Nothing he had in common with me anymore. My voice would mean nothing to him now. And thus I would mean nothing. I was defective, and he was perfect, the way it was meant to be. We would break up now. Even if he didn't see it just yet.

"Harry, don't do this." He whispered suddenly. I looked at him. "What's gotten into you? Why don't you want to talk to me?"

I stared at him silently, my face blank and probably a bit cold now as well. He looked scared, but that was the last thing I wanted him to be. I knew he was in too far already, but I decided to let him stay in where he was, just a little longer until he could realize what he wanted wasn't really me at all, so I kissed him gently on the cheek and left. Sirius was gentle when I came out and tears were starting to form in my eyes. Narcissa saw this and drew a sharp breath.

"Did it work? Can he hear?" Sirius asked.

I nodded before burying myself into him, reminding myself that he was a good person. Not like the others. All my old self-inflicted limitations were creeping back into play, and I had to fight everything in me just to manage this simple anxiety-inducing touch, but this was still better than my emotionless form of 5 months before.

"Is he alright?" Lucius asked. I went to nod, but stopped short at Sirius' answer.

"He was sleeping before we came here. And he got a lot of shots today, so his arms are probably pretty sore." Sirius said. "He should be fine tomorrow."

"You should probably get him home." I heard Lucius say. I felt Sirius' arms twine around me.

"Will do," He said.

He led me out to the car and I climbed in silently. Why were they worried about me? I couldn't wrap my head around it. I stared out the window the whole ride home, not realizing until too late that we were no where near the Malfoy Manner. I caught Sirius peeking from the corner of his eye as he parked the car in front of what looked to be a 2 story condo, maybe waiting for my reaction. I offered none.

"Ok, now I know something's wrong." He finally said. "You don't even care that you don't know where you are?"

I shook my head, tears finally, finally, sliding down my cheeks. Sirius got out of the car and came around to my side. He opened the door and crouched down in front of me, wiping at my tears almost as quickly as they fell. He was silent as he unbuckled me and gathered me into his arms. He was warm and soft, which was much more comforting than it ever could have been to hug someone I was actually related to. Well, other than my parents.

Suddenly I realized we weren't outside anymore. He had carried me into the house that must be his, and was currently sitting beside me on the couch where he had placed me. I curled against his side, my legs tucked up and my arms tight around my torso.

The thing that surprised me most, after I'd finally fallen into a half-asleep haze, was that he never once tried to make me tell him what was wrong. And it surprised me even more that I was grateful. He turned on the TV at some point, and some show about singing was on. Some girl was butchering one of my favorite Paramore songs, and I hummed it softly, the right way, under my breath. Sirius looked down at me.

"Harry," he said. I waited for the questions I knew he wanted to ask, but he surprised me again. "Do you know how to sing?"


A/N: OFFICIALLY my first beta'd chapter EVER :D Thank you Lilith G. Astroll!