I will Obey my betters.
Harry had barely finished the first line when the scratches appeared, and he gasped. He turned his face up to the toad-like woman, her eyes cold and hard as she grinned at him. She smirked, "Problem, Mister Potter?"
He bit his lip and turned his gaze down to his hand and the paper. Harry ignored her, beginning the next line, the same scrawl appeared beside the first on the paper, and his hand ached in protest, the lines repeated what he wrote, the five words appeared bright red on his skin as the edges turned a raw pink and the rest of the skin seemed paler. He wrote again.
He could ignore them, the woman and the aches. He did ignore them. It was nothing. He wrote more furiously with every letter, Umbitch couldn't do worse than the Dursley's had done, this hardly even touched the loneliness of his childhood!
His breath took on a laboured tone as he scribbled unfailingly, the words dripped onto the parchment form the quill. There were now deep gouges in his hand, fascinatingly though; no matter how messy his scrawl had become, no matter how illegible the words were becoming as the letters invariably grew and deformed, the marks on his hand stayed as 'neat' as the first sentence he had written. Harry continued writing, the knock on the door went unnoticed by him as he glared, no longer 'angrily' but determinedly, at the parchment; now dotted with the blood that dripped from his scratched hand, the letters bled freely now, more 'ink' stained the page with every letter as too much seemed to be going into the quill.
Harry glanced sharply and flinched as Umbridge moved past him, but the quill didn't stop. The sentence, the lines that had begun so neat and straight (for him at least), had now become rather distorted and quite illegible. There wasn't a blank piece of parchment left to fit a single letter, tiny drops of 'ink' were spread the bright red from the first lines had faded to a rusted colour as it dried and the newest were as vibrant as anything. Some lines even went vertically, he had no desire to join the toad for another night, nor did he want her to 'win'; he was stronger than she was. He flipped the page over, noting idly that the bloody words had begun to seep through the parchment.
"Dinner has begun and Mister Malfoy has deemed it necessary to be here until Potter is released," a drawl came from the door and it broke the trance Harry had fallen under. He paused, looking at the already half covered page. It was quite hard to distinguish which words were from the front side or the back. He looked at his hand; the fingers were clenched and seemed to be in a kind of spasm, there seemed to be a bit of… white? There, under the mess of blood. He blinked slowly, he didn't feel that great, but he could ignore that. Why was his hand moving like that? He blinked, feeling the pain and aching more acutely as he stretched the abused hand and ignored the quick protests the movement gave. At least the, no never mind. He glared slightly, almost dazedly at his twitching fingers. He was pretty sure they didn't normally do that. "According to my Slytherin he has been here for a few hours already."
"Weh-well…" Harry blinked at the tone of her voice, the usual prim tone was sounding terrified, as if… she was afraid of Snape? He nodded slightly, it wound make sense. Snape was a big guy, tall and definitely prone to anger. Umbridge was this tiny little toad in pink. Yes, she should be afraid of him.
He tuned the conversation out. There was room at the edge, there at the bottom, to fit another line. He wouldn't return here tomorrow. Harry bit back a chuckle, he technically wouldn't have to return for classes either… they weren't learning anything, anyway! As the words in the background gave way to a higher pitched voice that he recognized but dismissed; Harry continued to think as he wrote. He went over other letters and words, the quill working feverishly; he blinked back a creeping feeling of despair, he couldn't drop the class, even if he didn't think they were learning anything. That would mean she would win, and he didn't want that. No he had to win, had to beat her at her won game. His writing hand was twitching now, he dismissed the thought and looked at the bloody smear on his other hand, his white hand with the specs of white under the red letters. It almost looked pretty. The bitch wanted him to tell Dumbledore, McGonagall, anyone. She wanted him to drop the course-
Warmth was suddenly dropped over his neck, hot warmth. He turned his head slightly and the bright emerald eyes locked with sterling silver and the words came crashing back into his head. Snape was hissing something at Umbridge while Draco was growing pale as he stared at him. The warmth originated from the hand resting on his neck.
Harry bit his lip, ignoring the way the room seemed to be spinning behind the blonde, "Hullo?"
The blonde's eyes narrowed and his lips became a tight line, Harry felt a queasy feeling emerge from his navel; until the hand tightened and the feeling was replaced by a calm sensation. Huh. That was pretty weird too, he flexed his hand again: this twitching was annoying. Harry looked down at the paper. His bloodied hand rested at the corner, holding the parchment in place and looking, if the blood and scrawled letters were ignored, normal if more than a tad pale, the bright red seemed to make it glow. Harry smiled slightly at it before he looked down at the parchment, it was filled with blots and splashes of 'ink'. The edges curled tighter as the liquid was soaked in, the words were still barely legible at the top where the front had been nicely written, where it hadn't been pressed down so hard. Oddly enough the ones he'd been working on looked rather nice, too; though in a far different set of 'nice-ness'. They were written in thick lines, the letters almost neat. Harry looked on at the parchment in awe, he hadn't thought he'd done… that. He looked back at Draco, surprised that Snape and he were talking in low tones, the hand on his neck still tight. When had Snape moved behind him?
"Give me your hand, Potter." Snape held his own out, his wand in the other. The hand tightened when Harry hesitated, lifting his mangled hand hurt more than letting it lie. Why hadn't he noticed that? Probably the twitching, it took up a lot of thought to ignore it. As soon as his hand touched the professor's a muttered spell caused bright white cloth to wrap it tightly; bound it. He hissed and felt the edges of the spinning behind Draco blur into a grey that he really didn't like.
Draco's hand led him to stand, and then quickly saved him from falling. Harry blinked away confusion as he was led past a rope-bound Umbridge and through the halls. They had just past a hall when the trio encountered McGonagall. She looked rather grave Harry noted, she merely nodded and went past them into the room with the cats. Harry giggled slightly, madly, and wondered if she liked kittens.
The three of them entered the Infirmary moments later and within five minutes Harry was on a bed, potioned and struggling past the fog of blood-loss, confusion, Dreamless-Sleep, and Anti-Shock potion. He was a little put out, he'd preferred the other vision to this one. This one made everything blurry and stretched the light into wide star patterns Draco sat beside him, angrily arguing with Snape and McGonagall (when had she arrived? He tried to ask Draco but whatever came out sounded funny, almost sibilant, not that it mattered since no one turned to look at him), against Pomfrey. The last thing he saw was a bright white and purple blur as Dumbledore entered, Neville and Hermione just behind him, he assumed, from the black and brown and red. They were soon followed by the tall blonde forms of Malfoy's parents, and a hard black shape jumping next to Draco while a pale Lupin shot into the room from Pomfrey's office. Harry waved slightly and grinned, a sigh to his left and then his hand was being held down as he slipped into the welcome abyss of sleep.
Harry woke to, well not pain exactly, but severe discomfort. His body was sore and his hand felt like it had been chewed on by Ripper, Aunt Marge's blasted little beast. He didn't want to open his eyes, and probably would've fallen back asleep if he hadn't had to go to the bathroom so badly.
At least the room was pleasantly dark, the soft candle light making the stark white walls appear grey and golden in shadow and in light. He felt a tendril of disgust lift from his stomach and shook it away; he didn't care right now why the walls bothered him. He cared where the bathroom was and finding it in the blurry mess of a room.
He managed to get into the bathroom and finish his business before he began to worry about what he brain had just processed. First, the infirmary was full; he had stumbled past at least six beds, all with a body in them. Did he miss some big accident? He shook his head and moved to wash his hands and face, not really feeling tired after that trek. He looked confusedly at his hand, the bright white bandages and the pale arm; at least it explained why it hurt. He wetted the towel and wiped his face off and shrugged; that would have to do. He exited the room and nearly turned 'round and went right back in.
When he had gotten up the room was dark and quiet. Now it was bright and everyone was staring at him, or seemed to be.
Harry stood there, awkwardly shuffling from foot-to-foot; he wasn't about to attempt to make back to where he'd slept with no glasses and witnesses. He needn't have worried, though, as the Healer was bustling toward him from one direction while a smaller black shape barreled toward him from the other.
He heard a "Padfoot get down!" just as he was greeted by two large paws on his chest. They were set lightly on him, considering how he was usually greeted.
He grinned and knelt down, rubbing both hands down the dog in greeting, he cleared his throat and laughed slightly when the dog rolled onto his back after licking his face, "I thought you weren't allowed at school, Paddy?"
He heard a muttered 'shouldn't be', but ignored it. He couldn't make out who was talking and so had no reason to care. He pointed to the direction of his bed and stood, "Lead on, I need my glasses."
"We can get them Mister Potter, I'll-"
He ignore the Healer and started walking, Sirius wouldn't let him walk into anyone. He'd proved this over the short summer they'd spent together when Fred or George had hidden his glasses to test a new candy they were trying to develop to enhance eyesight. Why they thought he would make a good test subject when he was practically blind he would never know. But, hey, if they succeeded and he had to eat one every twenty minutes to see normally and not need his glasses than he would be okay with that. Glasses were a right pain. He felt the dogs teeth sink into his shirt, not the one he'd put on that morning, and pull him away from what he assumed was a bed or something.
"Harry, he's really not trained for that," he heard Remus say, laughing softly as he did. Harry grinned and fought a yawn, feeling tired suddenly. He didn't like these yo-yo feelings, he'd prefer to stick with the 'wide-awake but sore' he'd felt in the loo. "When'd you teach him that, anyway?"
He reached his bed and felt the dog jump and sit on the bed, he hadn't been looking down or he'd have seen it too. He reached out and the nose nudged his hand into the thin frames. "Thanks Padfoot, and I didn't 'teach' him, I just tell him to do it."
He pulled the glasses on and, as the world shifted into focus, he looked around. Draco was on the bed closest to him, surprisingly, on the other side of the bed from where he stood. The one he stood next to was empty so he assumed Padfoot had claimed it. Hermione slept next to that one, and then there was Remus. On the other side of the room were the elder Malfoy's and Snape, all sitting regally on the beds looking like they'd been there the whole time and hadn't been asleep not ten minutes ago. He obviously looked more than a little confused as there were chuckles coming from Draco, his mother, Remus and Hermione. He scowled, "Why's everyone here?"
"Well," Madam Pomfrey tutted as she swept up to him and began casting diagnosing charms much to his displeasure. He hated when she didn't tell him what she was doing, regardless if he knew the drill by now. "Mister Malfoy is here because a Governor was required to fire that toad, don't look so shocked did you think anyone liked her? And his wife came with him, they're here because their son refused to leave, Remus is here as a de facto guardian for Miss Granger, who elected to take detention with Mister Malfoy rather than go to their dormitories. Remus and his dog are here for you, too. Professor Snape is simply stubborn."
"Uh-huh," Harry nodded. He patted Sirius' head and looked around, "So basically you couldn't kick them out, got it."
She rolled her eyes and pointed to the bed, "You should be asleep."
"She's right. You were deep into shock when we brought you in," Draco piped up and Harry frowned, shaking his head.
"What happened? I was writing lines last I remember."
The room was rather silent, so he looked to the Healer and when he saw her look away he glared half-heartedly and looked over to Draco as he climbed into the bed, shoving the dog over as he did so, "I know it was bad or none of you would be here, even after the stone and the tournament I woke up alone. No, Dumbledore was there," he huffed and glanced at Hermione as he spoke.
He opened his mouth to ask why she was crying when Draco started speaking, "She used an old device called a Blood Quill, it's used to sign really important documents, but she used it as a torture device. You carved that sentence down to your bone, you're lucky you were taken straight here or it would have scarred," Draco sighed, "You're not the first she's used it on, either. Not according to what McGonagall found out anyway. But you are the last."
He nodded, and laid down, "She's gone, then."
It wasn't a question, it was a statement. One that sounded more defeated than anything. Harry rolled onto his stomach, fully prepared to ignore the room. This semester had been to uppy-downy for his tastes, and that was saying something. Padfoot shined and nudged his arms as he threw them over his head. First, he accepts a Slytherin scarf and offends half the school, while at the same time apparently starting to date a snake without his knowledge. Then there were the fights with Ron and everyone. And lastly there was Draco, being nice and normal and not gittish at all. This was too much and he was going to go to sleep and forget this year. Maybe sleep right until exams, barely pass and start anew after another summer with the Dursleys. Sounds great.
He screwed his eyes shut when he felt a wide tongue lick his ear. Somehow he was reminded of another thing he'd have to deal with when Draco called his name: Draco had said they had things to discuss. Things. And Harry wasn't sure he even wanted to.
Scratch that. Harry wanted to, he wanted more of that comfort again, he wanted more of the stupid over protective stupidness and he hated that he wanted it. He had bigger things to worry about, but did they matter? No. His mind wanted to worry about the blonde boy who was trying to garner his attention. He didn't notice when a potion was spelled into him, he only noticed when the dog was being moved away and he protested weakly by tossing an arm over the beast.
He slipped back into sleep feeling petulant and sad.
Harry shifted from dead to the world to wide awake in a matter of breaths. He opened his eyes and the sight that met him was a group of adults talking some distance away and his hand being held.
He blinked owlishly and looked over at Draco, unsurprised to see it was him who was holding his hand.
"Mornin'," he whispered. He didn't want the attention of the whole room like he'd gained earlier that morning. He felt better, the last of the potions out of his system. Harry wondered if the bandage could be removed off his hand, he hoped it could.
"Hullo. Are you feeling better?"
"Yeah," Harry nodded and felt the hand tighten around his own.
"That's good," he leaned down and brushed his lips across Harry's, smiling down at him as Harry's face flushed, "You'll be out of here as soon as they notice you're awake."
"Mm, kay," Harry nodded and looked to the group. He felt stupid for not telling anyone and staying in that room hurting his hand. He felt even stupider for ignoring everyone last night and for giving in to his pity-party attitude.
"I suppose I should ask what you're doing this Saturday."
Harry looked back at him, confused and not really wanting him to elaborate as the volume grew from the adults, was that barking in there too?
"Well, you'll be with me at Hogsmead."
He looked at the smug look on Draco's face and laughed, the other occupants of the room going silent. He was reminded of McGonagall and her shocked expression when she had first seen the green and silver scarf around his neck. Draco looked as put out as she had, just as bewildered. "I suppose then I won't have to think about it, will I?"
Draco grinned, "Nope, it's all planned already. Greg want's to ask Herminny, too," he winked.
The adults bustled over and Harry felt, for what seemed like the first time, as he laughed along with Draco, that everything was going to be okay.
Well? How is it? I hope it was worth the wait. It's been a hectic time so I hope you'll all ignore the giant gap and just adore the tale. Again, I've no beat so any mistakes are my own and please, please point them out so I can fix them.
This is the final installment of Scarves, and it's been quite a time. I would like to thank everyone who stuck with the story and who reviewed.
I am marking this as 'complete', but may be adding an epilogue. I don't know if I should fix Ron and his terrible attitude. I love him some times, but he pisses me off a lot. Please leave any comments or queries in a review :)