Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter... Duh... I'm borrowing him from Draco...
NOTE: I'm finally writing chapter 2! I hope you like it, but it may not be as long as the first one... I'll apologize now...
The last thing Harry managed to see was a shadow approaching him from seemingly nowhere.
And then the world went black again...
"Good morning, Harry, my boy!" a strangely cheerful voice called as Harry finally began to wake up. His head was pounding but his body wasn't in as much pain. The only part of him that really hurt was his back, but the pain was far less than it had been. He could handle it. He looked around to see the source of the voice, but without his glasses, he was blind. "Are you looking for these?" the voice asked. Then Harry's glasses were placed on his face. He came face to face with an older man with twinkling blue eyes hidden behind half-moon spectacles. He wore strange purple robes and had a really long white beard dangling from his wrinkled chin. His smile appeared to be warm and welcoming, but Harry, who had lived with hatred all his life, could see something darker in the blue depths of his twinkling eyes.
"Who are you? And where am I?" Harry asked as he sat up straighter, gritting his teeth when pain shot down his spine as he did so. He made sure not to take his eyes off of the old stranger.
"Such excellent questions, my boy," the man chuckled. Harry was beginning to get annoyed by his cheerful voice; it was too cheerful and sounded fake. "I admire that quality about you. You're just like your parents."
A red flag popped up in Harry's mind and he was immediately on alert. "You knew my parents? What else do you know about me?" he asked desperately wanting an answer. Was this old man a friend of his parents? What else did the man know?
"All in good time," the old man smiled. Then he sat down on the edge of the bed Harry was lying on; it wasn't his bed at Privet Drive. "For now I shall answer your first questions. My name is Albus Dumbledore, but you may call me Dumbledore or Professor. Whichever you would prefer. You are currently lying in a bed at the Infirmary of my school."
"A school?" Harry questioned. "How did I get here?" He looked around the room and noticed that he was surrounded by a thick white curtain, much like his high school's infirmary. Dumbledore just smiled watching him.
"You certainly are full of many questions," Dumbledore said as he patted Harry's leg. "I have already found the perfect family for you to stay with until the new term starts in two days time," he said. "I'm sure you will feel quite at home." The tone of his voice told Harry that the old man was keeping something from him. More questions began to form in Harry's mind.
"I'm not going back to the Dursley's?" Harry asked hopefully despite his mind telling him not to trust the old man before him.
Dumbledore smiled. "No, dear child... Unless, you wish to return to them?"
"Absolutely not," Harry said immediately.
"I thought not," the old man laughed. "You were in pretty bad shape when I picked you up from your aunt and uncle's."
"I don't consider them as part of my family, sir, so you don't have to either," Harry said as he looked down at his hands so Dumbledore wouldn't see the hurt in his eyes. He hated to show weakness.
"They raised you," Dumbledore pointed out.
Harry laughed bitterly, "The didn't raise me. I raised myself... They trained me."
"I don't understand," the old man replied. Harry felt a tug at his heart that said the man was lying.
"They trained me to fear them, and to do whatever they ordered no matter what," he elaborated anyway. A thought struck him. "Why did you take me away? How did you find me?"
"All in good time," Dumbledore said again. Then he stood. "Some of your clothes are waiting in the trunk at the foot of your bed. Once you build up the strength, get dressed and I will be back shortly. Then I will take you to a more comfortable place to stay." He smiled one more time and left before Harry could say anything.
Harry stared at the swaying part of the curtain Dumbledore had just left from. He was so confused, but grateful nonetheless to be away from the Dursley's. There were so many questions running through his tired mind. He cautiously stood, not entirely sure if his legs would be able to support him, and walked over to the end of the bed. There was a huge brown trunk sitting there. As he bent to open the trunk another painful jolt went down his spine. He stopped and gritted his teeth again. With a shaking hand he reached beneath the cotton shirt he had been clothed in and felt his back. He grimaced at the feel of all of the angry welts and scars. His uncle had done a real number on him this time. He could tell that these new marks would not be going anywhere...
Once he finally bit through the pain and opened the trunk he found all of his clothes from home inside. He got dressed in silence and sat back to try and think about what had happened.
He was worried that this was all just a weird dream, and that when he woke he would still be lying on the floor in a broken mess with no one there to help him or care that he was hurt...
And just as the old man had said he would, he returned about an hour after he had left. Harry had been dreadfully bored and thus found himself pacing the small infirmary lot he had been kept in. He had felt too weak to walk too far away so had kept his wandering inside of his own curtain. What if there were other patients? He certainly didn't want to bother them. He jumped slightly as Dumbledore walked in.
"Are you ready, my boy?" the old man asked. He smiled down at Harry, who was unnerved by the falsity of the action. How could anyone act so falsely while believing that no one saw through the facade? Harry saw through the act with more accuracy than his uncle's fist.
"Ready for what, Professor?" Harry asked.
"Why, to leave of course!" Dumbledore chuckled, and Harry was sick at the thought of how much more appealing Dudley's laugh was compared to the old man's before him.
"And where are you taking me?" Harry asked.
"I am taking you to the home of one of the noblest families in our world," Dumbledore said in reply. Harry was beginning to tire of the vague answers and lack of details.
"What world is that?"
"The world of magic." Dumbledore smiled and then pulled a polished, wooden stick from his odd purple robes. He pointed the stick at the trunk holding Harry's clothes and whispered a word Harry had never heard before. Then before his very eyes, Harry watched the trunk shrink until it could easily fit into the palm of his hand. "Grab your trunk, my boy, and we shall be on our way," Dumbledore ordered. The twinkle in his eyes was even more pronounced now.
It took Harry a few moments before he finally bent to grab his trunk. "How did you do that?" he asked.
Dumbledore chuckled once and ignored the question. He simply turned briskly and led Harry from the Infirmary. Harry noticed that he had in fact been the only patient. He marveled at the rest of the Infirmary. There were at least thirty more beds and a small office off at the rear of the room. A gold plaque on the door read: Madam Pompfrey. He assumed that she was the nurse in charge. Why hadn't he seen her? The only person he remembered was Dumbledore...
"This way," Dumbledore smiled as the pair left the Infirmary through two large oak doors. Harry followed obediently and excitedly took in his surroundings. There were hundreds of pictures, all of which waved at Harry as if they were real people! He waved back enthusiastically.
Then suddenly Harry felt a rush of ice go through him. He stopped dead in his tracks and gasped as the ice was suddenly gone. "Oh, pardon me, lad," someone said apologetically. Harry turned to address the person only to find that he saw only hallway behind him. "Up here," the voice said with a chuckle. Harry lifted his head and gaped. There was a ghost! A ghost floating right above his head!
"H-hello!" Harry said quickly. He was at a loss of words. What exactly did one say to a ghost? Weren't they supposed to be evil?
"I am dreadfully sorry if I frightened you," the ghost said with a bow. "I am Nearly Headless Nick."
"Harry," Harry told him. "Nearly Headless?" he questioned.
Nick laughed and reached up to grab his hair, but Dumbledore interrupted. "We must be leaving, Nick," he said as he gently grabbed Harry's arm. Harry flinched slightly at the touch.
Nick saw and frowned slightly. "Whatever you say, Headmaster," he said bowing again. "I shall show you later," he directed at Harry. Then he floated off down the hallway.
"We must be off," Dumbledore said as he pulled Harry along the corridor. "If we don't make it to the Gates in time our portkey will not work."
"Portkey?" Harry asked as he tried to pull his arm from the old man's grasp.
"It's a magical device used to travel... Today we will be using an old bowler hat," Dumbledore answered.
The rest of the walk passed in silence and Harry was grateful. He enjoyed taking in the sights of the castle they were in. A real castle! Harry saw something he had never seen before at every turn as they walked. But Dumbledore kept giving him sideways glances that he kept trying to ignore. The old man was beginning to get under his skin. Something about him was not right... Harry had never felt this uneasy before. Not even with his "family". With them, at least, he knew what to expect, but with man before him... He had no idea what the old man was capable of...
"Just through these doors," Dumbledore said as he pointed his finger at a pair of large, massive wooden doors. To Harry's surprise, the doors opened without the slightest touch from the Headmaster.
"Wow," Harry breathed under his breath as he and Dumbledore passed through the doors. They closed behind the pair on their own. Just outside the door there was a long gravel path leading down to a large, iron gate. Dumbledore led the way down the path. Harry took his time walking so he could take in the beautiful view of what castle grounds he could see. Only one-hundred yards to the castle's right was a shimmering lake. The sunlight shone brightly on the still water, creating hundreds of jewels that danced on the surface. Then suddenly a giant creature jumped from the water's depths and quickly disappeared beneath the water once again. Harry could have sworn it was a giant squid...
To the castle's left, leading all the way to the gate and disappearing behind the castle was a dark forrest. The trees were grown closely together and were of a gray tint. They were all of various sizes and had knarled branches and trunks. The creepy forrest looked dangerous... As he and Dumbledore approached the gate, he heard a heavy rustling come from the ominous trees. He picked up his pace to walk closer to the old man's side. Harry did not want to meet whatever monstrous creatures that lived in the dark forrest...
"Here we are," Dumbledore smiled as they reached the gate a minute later. The gate, like the doors, opened by itself. They crossed the threshold and Harry felt a slight tingle shoot through him as he did so. "You just felt the castle's wards fall off," the old man explained.
"Wards?" Harry questioned. "Magic?"
"Correct, my boy," Dumbledore clapped. He adjusted his glasses and then began searching the ground for something. "Help me find my hat, Harry."
Harry frowned but looked around for the hat anyway. "It's there," he said pointing to a bright green bowler hat that was only ten feet from the gate.
"Ah, good work... This way," Dumbledore said as he walked top the hat. Harry followed obediently and watched Dumbledore look at an oddly shaped watch on his fragile wrist. "In exactly six seconds grab the hat and do not let go for any reason. I will try to instruct you as best I can whilst in travel. Don't expect to land perfectly your first time," he added with his creepy chuckle. "Five... Four... Three... Two..." Harry reached for the hat. "One."
When Harry touched the hat he felt a rush of air, as if all gravity had the left the Earth. He closed his eyes tightly and with his free hand he held his glasses to his face because he could afford to lose the only pair he had...
Only three seconds after touching the hat the gravity returned and Harry unceremoniously dropped on his knees atop a really soft lawn. He straightened up and looked around in a daze. Dumbledore landed gently next to him. "Did you not hear my instructions?" he asked.
"No, I did not," Harry bit back as he stood without help and dusted himself off. As he straightened back up he finally saw the large manor in front of him. It was as big, if not bigger, than the castle they had just left! His awe was ruined, however, when a loud pop resonnated in the air and a small brown creature appeared right next to wear he stood. Harry jumped at the surprise appearance and looked at the small creature. It had large green eyes, like tennis balls, and a ratty shirt. The creature's ears were nearly bigger than its head.
""H-hello," the creature stuttered in a small voice. "I is Dobby the House-Elf. Welcome to my master's home. I is told to bring misters Dumbledore and companion to the master's study. Please take Dobby's hands, sirs."
Harry watched as Dumbledore reached forward and took Dobby's right hand. Dobby seemed harmless, and Harry already liked the mousy creature better than he liked Dumbledore. He smiled at the creature and took his left hand. Dobby looked down at the ground and before Harry knew what was happening, he felt a violent tug at his naval. The awkward feeling disappeared as quickly as it had come and Dobby released his hand. This new type of travel did not help suit Harry very well because as soon as Dobby released him he staggered backwards and fell onto his back. He bit his lip to keep from crying out as pain shot up his spine. He clenched his eyes shut and willed the pain to go away. Dobby rushed to help him stand.
"Are you alright?" a cool voice asked from behind Harry. He slowly turned and saw a very handsome man behind a large, black desk. His hair was white-blonde and tied into a low ponytail at the base of the man's neck. Swirling silver eyes looked back at Harry with concern.
"Yes, I'm alright," Harry smiled. "Why have I been brought here?"
The man behind the desk sent a cold glare to Dumbledore before he said, "It's just like you, Albus, to only tell half of the story." Then he looked at Harry kindly. "I am Lucius Malfoy, lord of this manor, your new home."
"I'm Harry Potter," Harry said as he stepped forward to sit in a black, leather chair placed in front of the desk.
"Hello, Harry," Lucius smiled. "It is a pleasure to meet you." Then he looked to Dumbledore again. "You may go, Albus. Dobby will Apparate you back out."
"Very well, Lucius," Dumbledore smiled. Harry felt uneasy again as he watched the man's eyes twinkle behind his half-moon spectacles. They continued to twinkle as Dobby grabbed his hand and with another loud pop, vanished.
"Now that the old fool is gone," Lucius said as he stood, "I will be happy to answer any questions you have."
"Why am I staying with you?" Harry asked.
Lucius walked around the desk and stopped next to Harry's chair. "You will be safe here. Not even Dumbledore can get past the wards to come inside. That is why Dobby had to bring you in and take him out. Once I allow you through the front door, the wards will recognize you as a friend, even if you are a foe."
"Dumbledore is your enemy?" Harry asked in confusion.
"Not exactly," Lucius chuckled. The sound was warm and welcoming, completely different than Dumbledore's. "It is hard for me to put my trust in a man like Dumbledore. He is too... flexible, for lack of a better word. One never know where his loyalties lie, with the good or with the bad? I think he has long outlived his sanity. He did, however, pick the perfect place for you to stay, though I fear there are more ulterior motives to whatever he's planning."
"I didn't like him much either," Harry smiled, glad he wasn't the only one to disapprove of the old man. "There's something about him that unsettles me."
"I would worried if you weren't unsettled or wary. You've been taken away from home and brought into the house of complete strangers," Lucius said as he patted Harry's shoulder. "I would be cautios as well."
"Any place is better than home," Harry said as he stood. "I never want to go back..."
Lucius felt his heart ache for the teen before him. Dumbledore, the insane fool he was, had told Lucius nothing about Harry. He had simply informed Lucius that he would need to open his house to a new student. Lucius had agreed, knowing that Harry would need guidance, a way to keep from becoming one of Dumbledore's disposable pawns. "My house is open to you as long as you wish," he said as he walked to the open door of his study. "Please, follow me and I will show you to your room."
Draco Malfoy had been in the manor's library working on a Potions essay all morning. He actually had no idea why he even needed references from the library. Potions was second-nature to him. The potion he was writing on was easy enough for him to do in his sleep... Why his godfather felt the need to give him summer work like the rest of his class was beyond him. Every potion in the book Draco could brew perfectly. He needed no extra practice...
The Veela blood coursing through his blood permitted Draco to be naturally skilled at everything he did, like Potions, Charms, spells, curses, Quidditch... The list goes on and on. The only thing he was not permitted to do was to go out and find his mate. Every Veela (it makes no difference how much Veela blood you have, you are considered a Veela regardless) had a destined mate. Draco's mate had yet to be revealed to him. His father believed that his mate wasn't revealed yet because he was not "ready" to have a mate. Yes the hell he was. Draco had longed for his mate since his first year at Hogwart's. Though he acted cold and discriminating to the world, he felt hopelessly lost without his other half. Sometimes he cursed his mother and her family for passing the Veela heritage down to him. The inferior way he felt incomplete was torture. How was he to uphold the Malfoy image if he was hindered by feelings of heartache?
Veelas lived for their mates... Veelas died for their mates... Veelas loved their mates... And Draco wanted his mate. He wanted to be complete...
And at that precise moment, he felt it... His mate.
He closed his eyes and inhaled. Not only had his mate been revealed, but his mate was also in the manor. Draco felt his inner Veela take over. He opened his eyes and ran as quickly as he could from the library...
Harry really liked Lucius. The beautiful blonde man carried himself as if he owned the world. (And based on the size of the manor, it would not surprise Harry if he did...) Every move he made was elegant and demanding to be noticed. Harry, however, did not feel inferior. He supposed that Lucius knew the right ways to make guests feel at home, and as he explained where different rooms were on their walk, Harry felt as if he belonged there at the manor, like he had been living there all along.
"Have I talked too much?" Lucius laughed as they walked up another wide staircase.
"No, not at all," Harry replied honestly. In fact, he felt as if he could listen to Lucius talk all day. His voice was pleasant to hear, almost as if he were singing while he talked. "I've enjoyed sight-seeing. Your house is beautiful."
"Thank you," Lucius said proudly, "but I cannot take all of the credit. My wife took control of inside decorating and such. I did the outside, which I'm proud to say has the most beautiful gardens you will ever see."
"Where is your wife?' Harry asked as he and Lucius made it to the top of the stairs. He had seen no pictures or any other sign of Misses Malfoy.
"She passed away last year," Lucius answered.
"Oh, I'm sorry," Harry said embarrassed.
"Do not be," Lucius said with a dazzling smile. "There is still a part of her with me."
And at that precise moment, a tall blonde figure came into view from the end of the hallway. "Speak of the devil," Lucius laughed. Then his silver eyes darkened in conern when he noticed that his son's appearance was different than it had been this morning... "Draco, are you alright?" he asked as he took a step in front of Harry.
"Father," Draco said as he closed his eyes and inhaled again. Harry's head swan at the alluring voice. Then the blonde walked closer to Lucius and Harry.
Harry peered around Lucius's side and was shocked at how closely resembled the two blonde's were. Draco must not have taken after his mother at all... He was beautiful, and Harry felt the sudden urge to go to him, to touch that perfectly pale skin.
"Draco, what is it?" Lucius asked as Draco stopped in front of him. Surprisingly, Draco was at least four inches taller than his father. Harry felt so small in the demanding presence, and he was only an inch shorter than Lucius...
"Who is behind you?" Draco replied with a question of his own.
"Our new house guest," Lucius answered. "His name is Harry Potter."
"Harry," Draco whispered softly. Harry's heart skipped at the sound of his name on the taller teen's lips. "Harry?" he called.
Harry blinked as if in a daze and came out from behind Lucius's back. Draco smiled and gently scooted his father out of the way. He approached Harry and embraced him tightly. "Mate," he said as he breathed in the sweet scent of Harry.
Lucius finally understood Draco's behavior. His son had found his mate... And he would living with them.
Sorry for the wait! Please review!