A/N 1: This chapter is dedicated to Ty and Mia. I know that things can seem awful and hopeless at times. Life throws something at you that you didn't perhaps expect, or somehow denied. And it can be dreary and awful as fuck. But even in times like these, as long as you have someone with you, it makes all the differences. Little things can cheer you up somehow. So, I hope this chapter does that. And if you ever need someone to talk to, you know how to get me. Thank you for being awesome. 3
Harry curled up next to me in our bed. He mumbled something incoherently, and I couldn't help but smile. At least he could fall asleep. In fact, everyone seemed to be asleep in the tent. The gentle glow of the fire from outside made it seem like the entire tent was lit aflame; it cast an orange shadow on us. I gently pried myself from Harry's grip. He nuzzled further into the pillow and wrapped his arms around air. I couldn't help but laugh quietly to myself, and pulled away.
Weasley was sitting outside, staring into the night. When I stepped on a branch, the crack resounding around us, he jumped, his wand pointing directly at me.
"Blimey, you scared me, Malfoy." I laughed, and sat next to him, leaning my head back against the tree trunk. "Wait, it's too early for you to take the next shift." I sighed.
"I just can't sleep. I thought I'd come out here. Harry's finally asleep. Doesn't seem like he's having nightmares either. For once." I glanced over at Weasley.
"It still seems weird trusting you," Weasley muttered. "You tried to hex me that one time at the Ministry! What were we seven or eight?" I laughed, recalling that.
"That was a spell I made up. I doubt it would have done any actual harm."
"Yes, really. I didn't even have a wand."
"Bloody hell, I always thought you were pure evil – out to get me or something." He shifted, and offered me some of his blanket. I accepted it. It was slightly chilly outside in the middle of the night, even for summer.
"Well, maybe a little bit. Things really can change, can't they?" I asked it more to myself, but he still answered.
"I mean, now you're dating Harry. Have been. It's been a while hasn't it?"
"Yes, Weasley, it's been a while." It had been over a year, in fact. I paused before adding, slightly cautiously, "I hope you've stopped thinking that I'm going to run away at a moment's notice."
"What?" I could tell he sounded slightly worried, and I knew I'd guessed right.
"At the beginning, you were worried that I was going to leave him, weren't you? You're easy to read, Weasley." A moment of silence. Then –
"Well, yes, but can you blame me? You're a Malfoy. I thought there had to be, I dunno, some ulterior motive for you. Even if I mostly trusted you, there were still some doubts. And with Dean constantly too –" He stopped in the middle of his sentence and winced. "– Zabini hurt him quite a number of times. And anyway, you went from first-class git to Harry's boyfriend. You have to admit it is a bit strange."
"Strange, yeah… But you don't know what you have until you almost lose it."
"Trying to be deep?"
"No, just honest, Weasley. Their relationship hit a bit too close to home at some points."
"How so?" It was strange that he was taking interest. But I guess there wasn't much else to talk about. If we were already discussing this, we might as well continue.
"It was like before Harry went into the coma."
"Yeah, what about it?"
"I didn't want to say that I loved him. I didn't want to get to close. It was more of an issue of weakness. I don't think you understand. We're brought up to think that feeling something more – Relationships are only supposed to be one thing: mutually beneficial." I closed my eyes and shuddered. Everything got turned upside-down within those days. Everything that had been even slightly out of order spiralled out of control.
But I was glad it had.
"What about Parkinson?" Weasley asked. Clearly his interest was piqued, or else he wouldn't keep on pressing it. I didn't particularly want to pursue it any more than we had, but I still answered.
"Pansy just wanted me so that we could show each other off. I'm wealthy and have social status. She does as well. We would be mutually beneficial, like I said."
"Does everyone marry off because of the money? Because of recognition?" He sounded disgusted. "What about your parents? Your mum always seemed prot –" He hit me verbally as if prodding at an open wound.
"My mum wanted nothing to do with my father," I snapped, my eyes tightening into slits. "If she had any choice in the matter, she would have run away with me long ago. I doubt your sister even remembers."
"That Ginny even remembers what?" Now he just sounded confused. I shuddered, and felt slightly calmer. It wasn't his fault that he was completely in the dark about this.
"I tried to befriend her a long time ago. Let's just say that it didn't bode well with my father. My mother probably didn't even mind. She tried to stand up for me, take the blow."
"Take the blow? As in he beat you?" Horrified now.
"Yes, Weasley. He beat me."
Silence fell over us. Weasley's facial expression conveyed only shock, and I laughed slightly to myself as he fell into deep thought. My eyes closed slightly, and I realised that I was indeed tired.
"I'm going inside." He nodded, and mumbled something. It was silly seeing him concentrate. "Oh, and Weasley –"
"Granger likes you too."
"I told you; you're easy to read."
I pulled myself inside and saw Harry drawing himself upright, smiling slightly at me. "When did you wake up?" I asked.
"Just a few seconds ago. I guess I tried to do something and realised you weren't there. It was enough to wake me up at least." He smiled and wrapped his arms around me as I settled into the bed again.
"Sorry, I couldn't fall asleep, so I thought I'd go talk to Weasley."
"I'm glad you're on better terms with him." He nuzzled against me, and his arms pulled me closer by my waist.
"Only slightly," I teased. As I chuckled, he leaned his head into the crook of my neck. "G'night."
"Love you," he mumbled, already falling back asleep. I smiled.
"Love you too."
Weasley stumbled over to Granger, smiling like an idiot. "'Mione, can we talk?" He awkwardly dug his foot into the ground, and his shoulders slumped forward. I guessed he was taking my advice. In an odd, semi-pathetic way, it was actually a bit cute.
"Sure." She looked at him expectantly, not moving.
"No, I mean, like, talk, like the two of us." She looked surprised. Not necessarily unhappy, but surprised.
"Yeah, I guess we can." They moved, walking further away, out of earshot. I grinned at Harry.
"He's taking my advice."
"What advice?" Harry honestly seemed confused.
"Don't tell me you can't tell. They clearly fancy each other. Granger's just too shy to say anything, and Weasley's too thick. I had to give them a shove in the right direction."
"I mean, I had an idea, but nothing major. I didn't think that… I mean, I wasn't sure, so I didn't want to say anything." He blushed, and looked at them, talking in the distance. Weasley was gesticulating wildly, and I laughed.
"They look silly."
"No, Draco, they look happy. I'm sure that if you're right –"
"I'm always right."
"If you're right, she'll be happy. If not, then you'd better apologise to Ron for getting his hopes up." I smiled, and leaned against him.
"I bet you they're going to kiss in a few seconds," I said.
"You bet what?"
"How about a night hand job? Tonight, in fact. Or is that too risqué for you?" He grinned evilly.
"Oh, you're on. That's barely a bet. I'd do that gladly."
"Even though we're sleeping in an open tent?" I smirked as he blushed.
"Well, I guess it'll be very late at night, then."
"Works for me."
"If you win, that is." He stuck his nose up, and we glanced over. It only took a few seconds for Granger to throw herself at Weasley, arms wrapping around him. I smirked, and her shrieks of joy reached up.
"I told you. I always win.
I used a greasy hand to shove my hair out of my eyes. My eyes could barely stay open. It had been too long since I had gotten a decent night's rest. We were always moving from place to place. We never stayed put, not even for a day. Harry and I didn't have any privacy to ourselves either, but neither did Blaise, Weasley, or Granger.
Poor Blaise. He helped, but every moment must have been a struggle with him. Harry and I slept together in a bunk, as had Weasley and Granger more recently. And Blaise slept alone. Not that there was any other way. It had been over two years since Dean had died, yet he couldn't let it go, not for a moment. Every second, when I would reach over to grab Harry's hand or Granger would lean her head on Weasley's shoulder must have reminded him of what he didn't have. So, when he snapped at us, we couldn't blame him. He gave up everything; his family had disowned him, and he remained alienated from everyone he had grown up with. Yet he stood steady, fighting constantly with us.
Every day there had been another fight, it seemed – a skirmish here or there. I didn't know how many people we had lost overall. It was difficult to keep track. I knew that Finnegan and Lee Jordan had died weeks ago. And just earlier today – I winced, and ran my fingers through my hair again.
"Shit." Harry's arm reached around my waist, and he sighed. "Not long now."
"I'm going to be by your side." His face buried in my neck, and his scruff scratched at my skin.
"Draco, it'll be enough when one of us dies. I don't want that one to be you." He sounded more exhausted than upset. I couldn't help but smile. He knew that it was a losing battle. I had been adamant about this since we had first had ran away from the Weasleys. When it was no longer a safe refuge…
"Do you think I've given up everything just to step back now?" His breath whispered in my ear, and I felt his soft lips press against my skin lightly. His tongue dashed out, and it attacked my neck, tasting, exploring. I shoved him back, and avoided looking at his eyes. "We can't. Anyone can find us."
"Fuck that. Do you think I'm going to die like – Nothing in a year. Absolutely nothing."
"There were always others."
"Exactly. But not now."
"Yes, now they're out fighting a war. That's something you should join them in, right?" He pushed me back against the wall, but his lips didn't linger too long. The vanilla had long been replaced with something muskier, and I bit down on his lip.
"I should, shouldn't I?" he muttered quietly, ignoring what he was really saying. I sighed into his lips before pushing him back again.
"You can't do this, Harry. We're going to face Vo –" The words stuck in my throat, and I swallowed. "We can't mess around today." For a moment Harry's eyes glanced away from me. When he looked up, they were wet.
"I don't want to die." Suddenly everything he must have been bottling up burst forth. I felt a twinge in my chest, and my arms wrapped around him. I suddenly couldn't breathe or say anything. "Does it hurt to die, do you think?"
"I – I don't – But you won't," I muttered. "I'll stop him from doing anything."
"But you won't be able to." He shook his head sadly, and his hands trailed down to my waist. "I can't give up this last chance, can I? It's now or never." His lips slowly caressed my neck, and I relaxed against the wall again. I could feel heat from him radiating off into me, and I snuggled in closer.
His fingers made quick worth with our zippers, and soon our pants and zippers lay pooled around our ankles. His hand brushed against my thigh, and I let the wall support me. Yet his tongue continued to lap at my tongue as if it were milk with honey. His hand drew up, and his fingers tip-toed down my stomach. I groaned, and clawed at the wall. He seemed to be touching everywhere except where he knew I wanted him to.
"Fuck, Harry…" He let out a muffled moan into my neck, and then pulled back. His hand slightly brushed up against my cock, and I gasped, my head pulling forward, and slamming against the wall with a loud thump. My fingers moved down to unbutton his shirt, and I fiddled with the button, losing concentration as his thumb played over the tip. His tie seemed to slip out of my hand, and as it hit the floor, he pressed another quick kiss to my neck.
His hand moved up to push my jacket to the ground as well, and I moved my own hand down to stroke myself, yet he batted me away. His fingers seemed to work at the buttons agonizingly slowly and I whimpered underneath his touch. When my tie soundlessly slid to the ground, he finally tip-toed his hand downward. Instead of lightly touching me, as I expected, his hand roughly grabbed us both, pulling upwards in a harsh, jerking motion. I groaned, as did he, and felt my legs go weak as the wall became my support.
His hands pulled with jerking movements, and his lips continued to press butterfly kisses down across my chest. His tongue circled my nipple, and I arched my back, crying out. Yet, he simply bit down, an evil smirk playing across his face. Again, his tongue moved upward, and he alternated between kisses and light bites across my neck. I groaned again, and thrust forward as he cupped me.
His hands moved frantically, up and down, and he cupped me again, gently playing with me and chuckling as I moaned. It was incredible. "So close…" My stomach began to clench, and my entire stomach pulsated in anticipation. It had been so long. A hand moved up, and I clenched around his hair, as a crescendo of ecstasy built, louder and louder, and I came in spurts on my chest. His hand let go over me, and he continued working at himself, the sounds of his gasps echoing around. His breath tickled my skin, and I relaxed as my own pants subsided.
It took only a few more strokes for him to come as well, and he coated my chest, chanting my name. His breaths subsided until they were normal as well, and his eyes opened to look at me. I shivered, and leaned forward as we pressed together. I could feel the warmth and stickiness between the two of us, and his tongue slid against my lips. I captured it, roughly fighting with my own as he pushed me up completely against the wall. The sweet taste of vanilla lingered behind the musty taste of dirt. His face was smeared with the dirt as well, and with my thumb, I gently wiped it off.
He pressed further into my lips, and my breath stuck in my throat. The colours in the room spiked and swirled like an Expressionist painting. They dripped and fell together as the world melted away. The tastes overwhelmed me as well, a sudden mix of the finest plates and the rarest spices.
I clutched onto his hair, moaning, feeling, crying. Don't let me go, Harry. Please don't. The world's ending, and not with a bang, but a whimper. If you're not in it… I pressed back, throwing myself off of the wall, barely keeping balance as his hands wrapped around my back and he arched up against me.
Desperate, our hands reached up and down, not aiming for anything, but just trying to hold on, somehow prolong the time. Our hands were agitated, and Harry's nails clawed into my back, drawing blood for sure. Still, we continued, our lips swollen, and our lungs bursting for breath. Bust just one more second – it had to be worth it. My hands reached back to his hair, and I yanked, opening his mouth. The taste of salty tears permeated, dominating over anything else, and I pulled back, wiping my eyes hastily on my arm. Yet, when I looked back, Harry was still crying.
"I didn't do anything. I don't want to – I'm not ready." He was vulnerable, his face revealing every emotion as a child's would. He seemed to retreat within himself, and when I wrapped my arms around him again, he proceeded to nuzzle his head against my chest. After a few minutes of silence, I finally spoke up.
"Harry, I think we should go. We have to fight. We can't leave everyone out there on their own. Voldemort's given us three hours to turn ourselves in. We can't have much longer left." He looked up and nodded, and I quickly pulled out my wand. "Scorgify." I used the spell to clean myself, and then pulled up my clothes from the floor. We had just slipped into our boxers when there was a knock.
"Are you in there?" Granger's voice rang through.
"Yeah." I unlocked the door, and Weasley and Granger walked in.
"You might want to – oh…" Weasley scanned us up and down, blushing. I noticed his eyes were red from crying. Not that I blamed him. After what had happened… "You were – well, glad you had fun." He attempted to recover. "I just wanted to say that you might want to consider hurrying it up because we need you. But I guess I can see that you've done that."
"You need me?" Harry asked. "Did something else happen?"
"No, but the time's almost up." He looked away, blushing more than before. "'Mione, maybe we should go." She threw a glance at us.
"You know we believe in you, Harry, right?" she asked. Her chocolate eyes held nothing but concern. "You're going to be fine. Voldemort –" her voice quivered at his name "– if anyone can stop him, it's you. It has to be you." Harry nodded, not glancing up at her as she and Weasley slid out of the room.
Harry's fingers trembled as he reached the last button, and he was incapable of doing anything. His eyes burned, and he looked at me for help. I reached over to quickly button up the last one. His head rested on my shoulder.
"I mean, I knew it was going to happen at some point. I just didn't want it to happen so soon. I didn't think that…" He pulled up again. "I'm really losing it…"
"Well," I began uncertainly – I mean, how was I supposed to comfort him; what if he did… - "you've made it this far, and with someone as stunning as me by your side, how could you fail?" I sounded much more confident than I felt, and a little chuckle actually left his lips.
"That's true. You are gorgeous."
"That too." He shivered a little, and I reached down for my leather jacket. It was almost as brown as it was black at this point; it was so muddy. We had gotten it when we had stopped at one of the Muggle towns. We didn't have many clothes, let alone time or places to wash them.
"I'm fine," he mumbled, and I slung the jacket over my own shoulders.
"Suit yourself." He smiled and grabbed my hand. "C'mon. We have a Dark Lord to defeat." I laughed.
"Yeah, no biggie. Just a Dark Lord."
We strode out and were met almost immediately by pairs of expecting eyes. Weasley and Granger instantaneously latched onto our sides again once we had left the room.
"Where is Blaise?" I asked, glancing around.
"He left to go to the Gryffindor dormitories," Granger said, looking upset. "He was crying. He tried to hide it, but I'm pretty sure he was."
"Should I just leave him?" I asked. Harry shrugged his shoulders. "He hasn't had time alone since we've started travelling. Let him have a while. You probably didn't want everyone interrupting your moments when I was out."
"Or when you first came back," I muttered, shivering as I recalled. He wrapped an arm around my waist and scrunched up his nose.
"You wouldn't have had time to interrupt even if you had wanted to." Blaise popped up from behind, his eyes red.
"Blaise, look, I'm really so –"
"Shut it, Draco. There's a war going on from what I've been told." He shakily laughed, and glided on smoothly to the next subject. I felt awkward dragging it out, and knew the feeling. He didn't want to discuss it with anyone. Now wasn't the time to. Blaise wasn't one to open up usually, in any case. I nodded, and turned away.
"Voldemort is going to be here soon," Harry said.
"Those who aren't of age shouldn't be here," McGonagall finally spoke. She had tears in her eyes. We had no time to mourn the dead. We fought with heavy hearts and a desperate hope to improve the future. For love as well. Harry's fingers played lightly against mine.
"But that's not fair!" A few of the first years ran forward, angrily shoving to be at the front. They looked up at us as if expecting us to reply, supporting them. I didn't know how to break it that I didn't want them anywhere near this. Silence hung over us for a moment.
"No, she's right," Harry said. "None of you are going to die. I don't even want Neville or –" He looked around at all the willing eyes, everyone ready to sacrifice themselves in this war. He sighed. "None of you should have to do this. And I know I'm not one to say this. I'm not really a leader or anything. I'm trying to fight it just like you. But for some reason everyone keeps on looking at me like I'm supposed to make a difference. So, if you really want to hear what I have to say, there it is." He ended kind of lamely, and he hid his head in my neck, peaking out childishly as everyone stared.
"Yes, Potter. Right. Remus, you lead the kids away. We need to get organised. He'll be here soon." Lupin ran over, attempting to usher them away. A few of the kids fought back, trying to stubbornly stay here and fight. But the younger ones especially were easy to spot out.
"C'mon, let's go." Harry nudged me away from the crowd, and we went into the Great Hall. It was strange seeing it empty. Well, nearly empty. A handful of bodies littered the ground. I recognised MacNair's amongst others'.
I cringed. And then I knew he had seen it again too. Harry's body tensed against mine.
"Ginny." He ran over to her body, and kneeled down. It was strange seeing her like this. When Bellatrix's curse had hit her, we had no time to sit and watch. But now she lay, staring sightlessly at the enchanted ceiling above her. Harry's eyes welled up, and his fingers dug into my leg. I stood hovering above him.
I had actually come to like her recently. After she had gotten over the idea of her and Harry ever happening, she was kind to me, accepting, as if I actually had been one of her friends. And here she lay. Two words and there she was. It took nothing. Of course, mere metres away, Bellatrix' body lay. She had been hit by multiple curses from all of the Weasleys and several others. I cringed, and looked away. This was only the first round. What happened when they came flooding back? Would we even be close to strong enough to defeat them?
"I can't believe she's actually…" He sniffled, and stood up again, wiping his nose on his sleeve. I batted his hand down as I lay a kiss on it.
"I know. We need to kill him. The Dark Lord has done enough." He winced.
"Why do you still call him that?" I stumbled over my next few words and finally sighed.
Suddenly, Harry dropped down to the ground. He stretched himself out on the floor, and smiled upwards at me. "Do you think they'd notice if I just lay here? If I just stayed here while everyone fought, pretended to be dead… Would they even know the difference?"
"The Dark Lo – He would. He's been chasing after you for how long?" Harry shook his head.
"You're right. I need to face him." Slowly, he pulled himself up.
And out of nowhere it came.
"You've been given your time. Remember, lives lost are on your own head. You did not submit Harry Potter. You will pay." His voice was emotionless and cold. I shivered, as Harry froze beside me. I could imagine him, his red eyes glowing. I turned to see more people file in, and they looked at us with pure terror. Even the adults, they showed no less fear. Their step held a slight tremor, and their eyes were wide like animals'.
Yet there was silence. No one spoke to each other. Everyone held their breath. A distant footstep. A tremor in the castle. And an explosion.
The hole blasted in the walls, as people masked in black cloaks swept in. They howled as spells flew. Jets of light blinded everyone in the halls, colours danced across the room. And noise exploded into a deafening crescendo. Screams, shouts, cries – everything blurred together into the frantic sound of life. And it stilled and froze as he approached us.
His red eyes glowed dangerously, and he placed one foot steadily in front of the next. Despite the greens and reds that illuminated his skin, he seemed incredibly pale. His fingers flexed slightly around his wand, and his mouth pulled upwards into a slight smirk. Unlike everyone else, he held no fear. His back was held upright, and he faced us with an arrogant air, like he knew he was going to win.
I stumbled backward, and my fingers tightened around Harry's.
Spells died into murmurs and everyone's eyes faced us. It was amazing how quickly a fight could come to a standstill in the Dark Lord's presence. I felt a slight power as Harry's hand squeezed back. We had each other, something he couldn't even dream about.
"Afraid to face me yourself, Harry?" the cold voice rang out again, and the hall quieted. A Death Eater stepped forth, and there was a loud bang and he sent him flying backwards. "I do not need help. None of you are to help me." His eyes narrowed as he glared at us. "Is that understood?"
No one dared to reply.
"I'm not afraid. I'd rather Draco stood on the sides, but he refuses to leave." He answered so honestly. It was something the Dark Lord wouldn't understand, I knew. What would it mean to him if I refused to leave? He would only view it as a sign of weakness. Sure enough –
"Weak," he sneered. "But no matter." Before we could react, his fingers twitched upwards, and a jet of light hit me square in the chest. "Crucio."
The spell my father had cast on me paled in comparison. The floor swallowed me as I forgot how to stand. Every nerve turned to glass and shattered. My stomach tied into a knot, and shards of metal tried to force their way from under my skin. Breathe – I couldn't remember how to breathe. It took strength even staying conscious. My skin felt as if it was being torn off, unbearable pain all over.
I distantly heard muffled screams that I recognised to be my own, and I felt something warm underneath my nails. The world spun as I forced my eyes open. I was clawing at the ground with enough forced that I ripped my nails, my blood oozing all over the tiles.
Everything within me broke into a thousand tiny pieces. My eyes flew shut again. My head. The pain shot up, squeezing my mind, closing in with an iron fist. There had to be needles thrusting in from every angle. It prickled and exploded. My throat felt raw as I screamed louder than ever.
I felt the blackness start to take control. I fought. For Harry. I had to stay awake. I tried to move, unsuccessfully. And everything shot through once more, like an ice cold dose. The pain raced through my body. One heartbeat.
And it stopped.
"You think a simple disarming spell will work on me?" Voldemort's voice rang out and I barely opened my eyes. Any light, even the dim one hurt my eyes, but I turned my head upwards and pulled myself up. My body automatically pulled into a ball, and I saw Voldemort sneering at Harry.
"It got your attention off of Draco at least." He looked at me in worry, yet only out of the corner of his eyes.
"It wasn't a fair fight. Two against one – I'd think you of all people would need to show off your silly heroics."
"Tom Riddle, as if you'd know all about heroics, hiding behind your Death Eaters." He hissed, and I kneeled over again, my chest swelling as my body refused to let me breathe.
"Then, it begins." His wand flashed out the same time as Harry's.
I could barely keep my eyes drawn to it. The colours clashed mid-air, and I could do nothing but watch. The pain slowly eased from my body, and as each of them furrowed their brow in concentration, their hands trembling; I began to tremble.
I couldn't live the rest of my life like Blaise, alone. This moment depended on whether Harry lived or died. I couldn't believe it. He could go through his life, simple as that, and a single moment, a split second decided his fate: would he die young or not?
There was a giant bang, and both of them were thrown backwards, lying still on the ground. I pulled myself up, stumbling towards Harry as fast as my leaden legs could carry me. Before I could reach him, he lifted his head and smiled at me. I pulled him up by the hand, and laughed in disbelief.
"Glad to see you were so confident."
I looked over to the other body. He was dead. The Dark Lord was finally seemed impossible to believe, and I half-expected the limp, white body on the ground to surge up and flash a malignant leer. It couldn't have been that simple. But the red eyes were vacant and the wand which had slain so many people lay a meter away from his still-outstretched hand. There was a crowd of people gathered around the area where the short battle had taken place. Yet no one spoke. There was an unnerving silence, and everyone stared at the scene with wide, shocked eyes. In the dim, dying lights of the day, the Dark Lord's body looked grey. And their eyes all seemed so bright in comparison. Vivid dots of green, blue, brown, and all shades between assaulted my eyes. Harry Potter had lived. We were all saved.
I looked to Harry again, expecting him to smile with me, or laugh. Yet Harry's face betrayed pain and fear, though. At first I thought it was maybe grief from all those people who had died. But as I stepped forward, there was something else. His wand dropped from his hand, and he trembled where he stood, tears welling up in his eyes.
Somehow I knew what was happening. It was extreme déjà vu. I turned around slowly, and gasped.
My father stood clearly amongst the crowd, his wand hand rising upwards. My hand dived into my robes and I pulled out my wand, aiming it straight at him. Muffled behind my thoughts, Harry's voice shouted out my name in warning or fear, but I ignored him. This was my battle. The Dark Lord may have been his, but it was now past him. Only by moments, yet still. I had no time to think before his words rushed out.
"Stupefy!" His green jet barely missed me, and I growled as Harry tried to draw his wand. "This is my fight, Harry."
He deflected the spell simply, and sent a jet of plum light at me. I knew what it was before it hit my chest, slicing my clothes open and cutting into my skin as easily as if it were butter. Something drove into me, and I fell to the ground, gasping in pain. Red flashed before my eyes, and I looked down to see blood oozing out of me.
I fought consciousness.
Another jet him in in the face, and I screamed out. It felt as if a jagged edge was being driven through my face. With a force of strength, I pulled my wand up, chains exploding from the tip. I barely had time to see them wrap around him, catching him off guard as he fell to the ground, unable to attack.
Footsteps came toward me, and Harry's frantic shouts echoed around me. He was calling my name. I wanted to say something back, yet when I opened my eyes, I sputtered out something. I reached up and touched it, looking at my fingers. They were soaked with red. I coughed again, as my eyes faded to an ashen black.
Something about St. Mungo's…
Sounds swelled slightly in my ears, and I strained to hear them. "Same thing as…"
They faded again.
There was a pain in my chest. It stabbed and ripped at me. I couldn't breathe. I forgot how to breathe. I wanted to move, clutch my chest, do something, yet I couldn't move. I couldn't fucking move!
A voice probed my conscious. "He's not… Help!" Harry's voice. I wanted to call out, tell him that I would be alright if he would just grab my hand or something. But I couldn't. The voices were fading again. The pain was too. Everything slowly died out into nothingness.
I woke to see Harry hovering above me. He gasped as soon as my eyes opened and began to shake me.
"Who am I?" I blinked rapidly, the bright lights hurting my eyes.
"Who am I? Do you know who I am?" What kind of a question was that?
"Harry, is this a trick question?"
"Oh, good, you said Harry. Not Potter." What? That was an odd thing to say. Of all things…
"Why in the world would I call you Potter?"
"You were in a coma. Just like me. And I couldn't remember you, or well, as a friend after I had pulled out of mine, and I was just wondering what they hell I would do if I couldn't remember you after you pulled out – or, I mean, what I would do if you couldn't remember me. I just – But you're alright!" His words blurred together, and he ended the senseless speech with a giant hug. It would have been nice if a stabbing pain in my ribs didn't accompany it.
"Ow, Harry, get off of me." I hung an arm around him, and he pulled back, looking concerned.
"Is something wrong? What's wrong?"
"It hurts to –" I inhaled and I winced as another pain stabbed at my lungs.
"Oh, that. Yeah, they said that you might have trouble breathing for a while. It'll take a while to heal is all. But you're fine. That's what matters. You're not dead."
"I'd managed to figure that much out on my own, thanks," I muttered, my eyes screwed shut as the pain slowly ebbed away like a tide at the beach.
Harry slowly eased himself down beside me and beamed broadly at me. "We did it."
"We did what?"
"It. Everything. They said that we couldn't, but we did. I mean, I killed Voldemort. And your father – he received the Dementor's Kiss, Draco. He's never going to get you. This time for real. No one is going to break him free. All of the Death Eaters are getting sentences. The Ministry is trying to function…"
We were free? I didn't even understand. For months – hell, more than a year – we had been dreading this moment, wondering when it was going to happen. And now it was just over? Simple as that?
"Wait, how long have I been knocked out?" The question sudden occurred to me. Harry made it sound like I had been unconscious for a least a good while.
"You mean in a coma?" I nodded, and Harry looked down at his thumbs.
"C'mon, tell me." He sighed, and looked straight at me.
"You were in one longer than I was."
"Alright, but how long?"
"They really didn't think you were going to pull out of it." Why was he avoiding it? I couldn't have been in one for that long, could I have? Harry did seem slightly crazy, almost as if he had alienated himself from most of society for a while, but he was only enthusiastic about me waking up, right? It wasn't as if he had been waiting beside me for a month or anything.
"Almost four months." The words were barely whispered. I must have misheard. There was no way I could have been gone for that long. I remembered only blackness. If I had been out for that long, then it couldn't have been more than a few weeks. I would have felt something, wouldn't I? Anything…
"Four months!" I practically shouted it, and regretted it immediately. My hand flew to my chest, and I clutched it. Something felt as if it was trying to rip its way through and escape. Something writhed within me, and my heart felt compressed, squeezed within a fist. I tried to take another breath, but like earlier, amidst the blackness, I found myself gulping like a fish out of water.
I clutched Harry, and he started screaming for help. Yet before any could come, I was suddenly able to breathe in small gasps. Anything deeper hurt. But the shallow ones somehow managed to provide sufficient air. Still, I felt light-headed, and my eyes clamped shut.
"Your fathers' spells," Harry explained quickly, still sounded panicked. "They punctured your lungs. Again, we didn't know how to heal them, really. They heal on their own, but they take a long time. But I guess your lungs are – Oh, Gods, are you alright." He placed a kiss on my forehead, and jumped up as Zabini walked in, rubbing his eyes.
"Fucking 'ell, Potter, it's four in the morning. What are you scre –" Blaise's eyes caught mine, and he stopped in his tracks. He looked at me as if I was an impossibility. Frozen, wordless, he continued to look until I finally dared to break the silence.
"Hey, Blaise." It was something little, yet he jumped up as if I had startled him with a horrible, loud noise.
"So it would seem." I put my fingers to my wrist and pretended to check for a pulse. "Yup, it really seems so." Blaise barked incredulously, and a slight smile spread across his face.
"Fuck, Draco, I really didn't think you'd come around." He laughed, and fell back into the chair. "But why were you screaming like that, Potter? It sounded like something was wrong."
"He couldn't breathe. I told him he had been out for four months. I guess it surprised him," Harry mumbled.
"You don't just break it like that to someone who has just pulled of a coma! He probably went into shock or something. You're lucky his reaction wasn't more severe. Seems like he can breathe properly now. We might need to check his pulse and a few other things. I should leave soon. I'll stay for a little, though."
"Wait, why would you have to leave? You're going to check my pulse?" I was confused.
"Zabini's a Healer," Harry said.
"Bravo, I can speak for myself, Potter. Yes, I'm a Healer." Somehow that shocked me. I couldn't imagine Blaise as a Healer. He smiled slightly at me, yet still, he was far too rough of a person. He never wanted to discuss personal problems. There was far too much Slytherin in him, wasn't there?
As if reading my mind, Blaise laughed and spoke again. "You don't believe me, do you? I promise I'm not lying."
"You're not really Healer material, are you? I mean, don't you have to be sympathetic or something?" It wasn't the best phrasing I could have chosen. Blaise winced.
"When you got hurt, Harry flipped out. He honestly acted as though the world was coming to an end. Everyone told him he was overreacting, but I knew how he felt. I understood that. When Dean died –" He paused. It was easy to tell that he'd never truly get over that. "– I wasn't really myself. I didn't understand how the rest of the world suddenly didn't just stop in its tracks alongside me. They just kept on going, and gave me sympathetic glances now and then. It was infuriating to say the least.
But I learned to pick myself up. I smiled around people and everyone thought that I was okay. Hogwarts forgot. You have no clue how many times I went over this in my mind. If only had I done this or that… I thought that it was all my fault. So, I thought I'd do something to stop that from happening to others. I don't know. I'm not going to work for the Ministry, and I don't fancy teaching either. I guess I could work for some kind of business, but I wanted to do something useful."
He shrugged his shoulders, as if blowing off all he had said as something casual, but all I could do was stare. That was probably the longest I had ever heard Blaise speak. He always was a man of few words, and mainly snappy ones at that. He never really seemed overly thoughtful of his actions.
"Are you sure I'm in the right place? Maybe this is limbo or something. Or maybe I'm just still in a coma."
"Draco, I promise, this is real." Harry's lips captured mine, and – damn the pain – I leaned forward, wrapping my arms around his back. Hell, there was pain as I expected, but I didn't care. I pressed forward until I couldn't move, and my tongue wrestled his lips apart. The taste of vanilla overwhelmed me and melted in my mouth like ice cream on a warm day, and I relaxed as Harry fought back, and I let him dominate me.
His grip on my hair was almost painful, but I didn't care. We let our teeth clash and ignored the blood. It had been too long. Even though I couldn't remember much of the last few months, it didn't mean that I hadn't had missed this. I groaned, and Harry's hand reached lower.
"No!" Blaise's voice surprised us, and we both jumped. We had forgotten he was in the room. "I know what you're up to Potter." He couldn't hide a smirk. "And it's not that I blame you, but he needs to rest. It's not safe yet. I promise I'd give you privacy if I'd think it was healthy, but Draco actually needs to stay calm for a while. And judging by the way you two were acting from that kiss, I think it'll be more of desperate fucking than anything else."
Harry's face turned scarlet, and Blaise's smirk became more defined. "I have to go attend to other patients. You two have fun. But not too much fun." He threw a wink at us and sauntered out of the room.
"This will take some getting used to."
"I know. It's still weird for me."
"And to think this all started because of a stupid game of truth or dare." I rolled my eyes.
"It did, didn't it?" He pulled something out from his pocket and kept it hidden from me. "Thanks for reminding me. Actually, Zabini let me borrow this. I thought it might be useful for when you wake up." He revealed a small tube of eye liner.
"Oh, Gods. That's the same one, isn't it?"
"Yup. I think I'm going to use it." I groaned. "Oh, come off it; you know you still love me."
"Of course. Just promise me something."
"Sure," Harry said, his fingers entwining with mine.
"Next time we play this game, we're getting back at Blaise."
"Cross my heart and hope to die. Well, kind of."
"You'd better not." He chuckled, and leaned forward, placing a light kiss on my lips.
A/N 2: Review? *puppypout*
Dear readers, I can't believe that I've actually finished this. Many of you requested an epilogue, and I was already leaning towards the idea. I hope it didn't spoil it for you. It's hard to find an ending that was perfect. So, feel free, if you don't like it, to pretend this chapter doesn't exist. I know a lot of you have been there for a while, following this. It's a bit crazy to me that something that I've written could have touched so many people. Every time I saw a little "[Review Alert]" e-mail, I wanted to hug my screen. And I did a couple of times. I've never managed to actually finish something I've started. It was your reminders and little reviews of awesome that kept me typing and working at it. Thank you. I love you all. 3