NEWLY EDITED

Summary: Harry was on his way to the Gryffindor Common Room when he heard a bloodcurdling scream emit from an unused classroom on the 3rd floor .

Non-con. Abusive relationship. Rated M (T at the moment). 7th year. HP/DM.

Full summary:

There's something wrong with Malfoy this year. He's withdrawn and subdued, going out of his way to avoid talking to people. Plus there's the fact he seems to be always seems to be clinging to Zabini like his life depended on it. Harry's intrigued and wonder's why his long-term enemy has suddenly changed. He's not sure why he cares, but he does and is determined to get to the bottom of this. When he finds out, Harry wished he hadn't found out.

Author's Note:

Hello readers :) I'd just like to clarify that this fic is primarily about an abusive relationship/domestic abuse (whatever it's called) which would have been nearly impossible to spot based on this first chapter. Bear with me. It's going to be a long fic so I'd like to take my time in showing the development of it okay?

Background information:

7th year, AU, Dumbldore's dead (in this story he died during Harry's 6th year as they searched for the horcrux), only one horcrux remains to find, Snape is headmaster, Sirius is alive, Voldemort is still alive, Draco is not a death eater.

Chapter 1 - Back to Normality.

After being subjected to a dull summer, Harry was glad to be returning to Hogwarts for his final year.

Here he was, in his Uncle Vernon's tacky Volkswagen, waiting patiently while Vernon grudgingly drove him to King's Cross Station. Thankfully, they weren't too far away but the way the horrendous London traffic was moving, it might take longer than it should. He couldn't believe he'd never be stepping foot into the dreaded No. 4 Privet again. Although he hadn't had the best of childhoods there by a long shot, it still held a small bit of sentimental value to Harry and returning there every summer would always remind Harry of his parents and the sacrifice they had made to keep him alive. He was too young to remember them so it was hard to miss what he'd never had but they'd always be in heart and Harry would feel forever indebted to his deceased parents for letting him live, even if it was a questionably happy life.

In the back of his mind, he could hear his Aunt Petunia and Uncle Vernon arguing about something that was surely very petty and Harry rolled his eyes at the typical behaviour. The last argument that would ever grace his ears, what a liberating thought!

As cold as it may sound, he wasn't going to miss the Dursley's, in fact, he'd be happy never to see any of their faces again. None of them had ever been particularly nice to him; he'd never even so much as received a small birthday gift or even new clothes, always settling for Dudley's hand-me-down's that used to drown his considerably smaller body. Never once did he complain about the unfairness though, sure he had envied his over-weight cousin at times, but he never went as far as to vocalize his opinion, he wouldn't dare. He just took it in his stride and would pray for the days when he'd never see them again. Today was that Day.

As Vernon turned into St. Pancras, his thoughts came to a halt momentarily. The station was just as busy as it always been this time of the year. Many different types of people were scurrying in and out of the station ranging from important looking businessmen to wailing kids clutching to their mothers' hand. He could also see a few recognizable faces such as Justin Finch-Fletchy and a familiar girl from 4th year, who Harry did not know the name of, making their way in.

Harry stepped out of the moderately priced, yet ugly looking car and watched as Uncle Vernon hefted his school trunk from the boot of the car breathlessly while Aunt Petunia roughly passed him Hedwig's cage. They seemed as eager to get rid of him, as Harry was to go.

"There we are then, guess we won't be seeing you again anytime in the near future." Petunia said bluntly to him, her horsey face wrinkling slightly as she talked.

The situation was awkward to say the least, what could he possibly have to say to these people?

"So it seems." Harry replied tonelessly his gaze drifting to his shoes trying to quench the awkwardness that was growing between the three of them.

"Well? Don't we get a thanks, boy?" Vernon muttered bitterly.

"Thanks." Harry repeated in a voice that didn't even hint gratitude. He lifted his head and looked straight into Vernon's beady eyes defiantley, challenging him to say anything else.

Vernon said nothing, obviously wanting to leave as soon as possible. His expression was sour as he lugged his hefty body to the driver's seat of the car before turning one last time towards Harry. Vernon then mumbled incoherently under his breath before opening the car door and seating himself heavily into the car whilst the vehicle lurched under his lumbering weight.

Harry watched as the car drove away and out of his life, his Aunts bug-like eyes not leaving him till they had rounded a corner and Harry had held her gaze strongly.

Checking his watch, his heart fluttered in alarm as he realized it was 10:50am.

"Crap." Harry blurted out instinctivley before bounding into the station, trunk and cage awkwardly being shifted along, not stopping until he was in front of the stone wall that lead to Platform 9 3/4.

As he passed through the entrance, Harry's senses were immediately bombarded. Parents bidding farewell to their kids, the glorious ruby red train that never ceased to loose its lustrous glow and the all too familiar scent of burning fuels. He'd miss this.

"Harry!"

His head whirled to the feminine voice calling his name. It was Ginny, dressed in a basic denim skirt, black boots and a plum jumper all of which flattered her flowing fiery red hair that framed her freckled face caressingly. Harry couldn't help but admit how pretty she looked to himself. She weaved her way through the vast crowd of parents and students, making her way towards Harry before throwing her arms around his neck. He loosely coiled his arms around her slim body in a returning gesture.

"Where have you been? We thought you'd miss the train!" She asked with a hint of distress lacing her voice, her brown eyes wide with worry and curiosity.

"Got caught in traffic and then had an awkward farewell with the Dursley's. I'm sorry to make you worry, Gin." He offered her an apologetic smile as they untangled themselves from the embrace.

"We were all worried! Hermione's probably still ranting while Ron's worried it's a repeat of your second year!" She said firmly, although her eyes and expression betrayed her in forgiveness.

"Speaking of Ron and 'Mione, where are the love birds?" Harry said, eager to be reunited with his friends. He always missed them greatly in the summer holidays, having no other company except for Hedwig. And by company he meant decent company not that of two over-weight beach whales and an emaciated twig.

Hermione and Ron were now a couple now since the end of 6th year, about time too, and although it would seem Harry would be made a third wheel, they assured him that that wouldn't be the case. Harry however couldn't be happier with their new founded relationship. The both of them had been harbouring feelings for one another for a long time, always complaining to Harry about how 'Know-it-all' or 'Uncouth' the other was but Harry would always smile knowingly and shake his head when this would happen.

"They're in a compartment. Come on before we miss the train and are stranded here." Ginny said with concealed amusement. She took Hedwig's cage from Harry's trolley, in which Harry was grateful for, and they both swiftly made their way towards the back of the train where the compartment must be.

Harry followed Ginny into one of the last compartments of the train and noticed through the window of the door that Hermione was gazing worriedly into her lap while Ron was clutching her hand whispering something inaudible to her.

As they opened the squeaky compartment door, Hermione's eyes had darted to where Harry stood and he knew he would be lectured, even Ron scooted away slightly.

"Harry! Where have you been? We've been so worried!" She chastised in a way that reminded Harry strongly of Mrs. Weasley and Harry felt slightly guilty at worrying his friends but in his defence it had been The Dursley's who drove him here so it wasn't entirely Harry's fault.

Harry opened his mouth to retort in defence but Hermione cut across him like most times when she was annoyed or frustrated with him or Ron.

"Never mind! Your here now and that's all that matters." He could understand why they were worried for him. After the hectic events of last year with finding the horcruxes and Voldemort's attacks being high.

She unattached herself from Ron, stood up, and leaned over to hug her best friend tightly.

"Sorry Herm." He said genuinely, knowing it would soften his motherly friend.

"What have I told you about calling me Herm, Harry James Potter?" She said amused while rolling her eyes, a small smirk forming on her naturally pretty face. Ron then touched her hand gently and pulled her down next to him again, wrapping a posessive arm around her slender frame.

"Oh sorry, how stupid of me to forget, you've reserved that nickname for Ron haven't you?" Harry raised a suggestive eyebrow at them and heard Ginny laugh at his antics.

"No!" Ron and Hermione exclaimed simultaneously, both donning identical blush. Ron had also rather quickly dropped the arm that had been around Hermione in his obvious state of embarrassment.

It was amusing to watch both of them get flustered at the mention of they're newly found relationship as if they were inexperienced 13-year-olds about to receive their first kiss. Harry would never get bored of teasing them mercilessly about it as their behaviour encouraged it.

"Now, now Harry you know how embarrassed the two get!" Ginny mocked and the two of them sniggered at the other two occupants of the compartment.

"What about you two? You were all over each other last term!" Ron brazenly yelled, pointing a finger at them both.

That had instantly made both Harry and Ginny's laughing abruptly stop. Harry felt his face heat up at the mention of it and could see a red flush creep it's way up Ginny's face as he looked over. He wasn't ashamed of it, but he couldn't believe what had happened between them. During the last month of school Ginny had broken up with Dean Thomas for the 3rd time that year and her confidence had been severely knocked when she had walked into the Gryffindor Common Room and was greeted to the sight of Dean passionately kissing another boy. And not just any boy, but his classmate and not to mention roommate Seamus Finnegan. Ginny had been distraught at the betrayal and Harry had been there to comfort her through the difficult time. She had intimately opened up to him about her feelings and the hurt she was going through and he had listened to every word she said and advised her that she should move on. However, what was once a nice friendly and comforting relationship changed as Ginny kissed Harry while they were sitting near the lake 2 weeks before end of school. Harry had returned the kiss uncertain at first but reciprocating the passion that Ginny displayed nonetheless. They spent most of the remaining 2 weeks with each other and Harry was glad to see Ginny smile again, but he himself was confused on his own feelings. He kept them to himself as not to hurt Ginny's fragile state of mind.

"That's what I thought." Ron said victoriously as he put a tentative arm back around Hermione's shoulders. She leant into him, a smile creeping on her face and the two shared a shy yet loving gaze.

Harry shook his head, smile planted on his face before turning to look outside the window, momentarily becoming mesmerised by the rapid movement of the scenery passing by. He could see through the reflection of the window that Ginny was watching him through the corner of her eye. He felt bad because he knows he was sort-of leading her on. She had been sending him owls all summer saying she couldn't wait till she could see him again at Hogwarts and how much she had missed his company. He could kick himself for being so selfish because he knew he didn't like Ginny half as much as she like him, heck he didn't even know if he even liked her like that a first. She was probably going to get hurt again but Harry cling to the idea that maybe his feelings would grow as time passed went on. He was attracted to her, don't get him wrong, but he doubted that was enough.

"So How was your summer Harry?" Ginny asked with hesitance in her voice that made Harry believe that this conversation would lead to elsewhere.

"Boring, yours?" He replied detached, not taking his eyes off the scenery. He should have faced her, as it probably came across as a bit rude but he didn't want to give her an oppertunity for deep conversation. Ah, sometimes he could be loathsome.

"Boring as well, I'm so glad I'm all back at Hogwarts." Harry knew that 'with you' was on the tip of her tongue but she obviously had more tact than he thought. Either that or she'd be worried about Harry's reaction by sensing his thoughts somehow.

"I hope that while you both had a 'boring' summer that you took the time to do school work?" Hermione chipped in causing Harry to shift his gaze finally. Ron guffawed at this but his laughing ceased as Hermione glared at him, "That includes you too, Ronald." She added darkly.

"Err-" Came Harry and Ginny's simultaenous response.

"Who in their right mind would do any work in the summer holidays? They aren't called holidays for nothing! How sad do you think we are?" Ron expressed vehemently, snickering slightly. The boy had no tact at all, even Harry knew not to say such a thing to Hermione!

Harry chanced a glance at Hermione, who looked offended and mildly hurt at her boyfriend's outburst.

"Well I for one take my studies seriously and studied during the holidays! You think I'm sad do you?" Hermione said dangerously calm through gritted teeth.

"No! I didn't-" Ron jumped in realising his mistake too late. It was at times like this that Harry sympathized with his red-headed friend...

"Yes, you did." She said tonelessly in a voice that he knew concealed hurt. She got up without glancing at Ron before looking down at Harry and Ginny from their seated positions next to eachother. "I'm just going for a walk if you need me."

Her exit left silence in her wake with Ginny and Harry looking at each other. Ron had a deep frown engraved on his heavily freckled face, blue eyes squinting slightly in frustration as he looked down to his lap. He really hadn't been thinking and certainly didn't want to hurt Hermione's feelings.

"Way to go Ron..." Ginny said in an unsurprised, monotonous voice, as if she had been waiting for her brother to say the wrong thing to her sensitive, bushy haired friend.

"Shove off, Gin." He said dejectedly, gaze not leaving his lap. Harry could tell that Ron was frustrated because his mouth tended to run off before his brain had a chance to think about what he was about to say, he felt sorry for his red-headed friend but he really did need to learn to think before he said something. Ron genuinely doesn't mean half the untactful things he says to Hermione or to anyone for that matter. Harry ahd come to learn that he was rather impulsive by nature.

"Don't worry, Ron. She'll come around." Harry comforted placing a firm hand on his lanky friend's shoulder. He knew that what he was saying was true as Hermione was one of the most forgiving people he knew and he admired her for that trait. Hopefully no one will walk all over her for it.

Ron nodded before looking at Harry. "Yeah... Fancy a game of Exploding snap?"

Harry laughed at Ron's volatile mood changes before he and Ginny moved closer to play the card game that they had all grown to love over the years.

"SNAP!"

And the pile of cards exploded once more... Ron had won a total of 7 games, Harry 2 and Ginny none. Harry lost interest after the 4th game but Ron was obviously still enjoying his many victories.

"Hah! I win again! Losers!" He bellowed and did an 'L' sign with his hand that made Harry and Ginny laugh at his childishness, Ron joined in with the laughing, leaning heavily back against his seat and holding his belly.

Suddenly, the compartment door was forced open by an aggressive hand. Harry turned his head along with Ron and Ginny to see who it was that had entered, half expecting it to be Hermione, but their mood began to dampen as they saw Blaise Zabini walk in and plonk down next to Harry along with Malfoy, Theodore Nott and Crabbe. Zabini and Nott had spent the most of their 6th year with Malfoy, Crabbe and Goyle, for reasons that Harry couldn't fathom. He had a hunch it might have something to do with Voldemort but he wasn't sure and gave the idea the benefit of the doubt. He also noticed how Zabini and Malfoy especially, never left each other's side and that were strange in itself. WHo would want to cling to Malfoy's side?

"Oh, wow! Exploding snap! My favourite game! My name's Ron Weasel and I like to play nerdy games like exploding snap and chess in my spare time because I'm so cool and everyone else are losers!" Blaise Zabini ridiculed spitefully in a high, squeaky voice before doing a mockingly loud hysterical laughter. The Slytherin boys, except for ice-has-nothing-against-me Malfoy, all burst out laughing as Ron's expression dropped in shame, feeling humiliated. Harry's blood boiled at this, who did Zabini think he was?

"Wow." Harry said tonelessly. "How long did it take you to think of that Zabini? The summer holidays?"

"You shut your mouth, Potter." Malfoy said with a surprising amount of vehemence considering the insult wasn't aimed at him. Harry raised an eyebrow at the sudden out-of-character behaviour.

"I don't believe I was talking to you Malfoy. Why don't you go crawl under a rock?"

"I bet even that'd be better than The Weasley hovel." He said looking down his nose at Ron and Ginny in disgust.

"You take that back-!" Ron said angrily, jolting out of his seat and shoved himself towards an alarmed looking Malfoy and raising his fist at him.

Harry saw Malfoy's eyes widen in fear as Ron was about to slam his fist into Malfoy's arrogant pointy face. However, Zabini caught his arm in what looked like a painfully tight grasp that was twisting Ron's arm. His expression was dark and he looked dangerous, Harry could have sworn he had even heard someone gulp.

"Don't you fucking think about it." Zabini muttered evenly in a silent rage that seemed to be growing with every breath he took.

Ron's face turned whiter than pale making his freckles stand out against his skin tone. His expression was turning more and more frightened with each second that Zabini glared daggers at him. "Get off!" He said feebly, trying to extract his arm from Zabini's grip but only causing twist Ron's arm further.

"Blaise. Get off him." Malfoy said evenly, seeming to have calmed down consideribly.

Zabini looked at Malfoy and scowled at him, releasing Ron's arm roughly nonetheless. While he did this, his dark eyes never left Malfoy's before turning away from the boy altogether.

While this was going on, Crabbe, who was sitting where Ron sat, had stole the latter's chocolate bar, which had remained unopened on the seat while they had been playing exploding snap. He opened the packet and took a massive bite out of it; Ron saw this and looked livid. Trust Ron.

"HEY! I paid for that you dick!" He yelled and kicked Crabbe's leg visciously.

Crabbe barely flinched, only laughing hideously and displaying a mouth full of chocolate. Theodore Nott besides him laughed maliciously before taking the chocolate bar off Crabbe and taking a bite himself and spitting it out on Ron's shoe.

"Oi!" Harry said, in disgusted shock. Rather pointless, he knew, but he knew Ron would explode like a volcano.

"EUGH! WHAT THE FUCK!" Ron bellowed, flailing his foot to get the chewed food off his shoe. He looked as if he was going to throw up and punch someone all at the same time.

While the Slytherins all ridiculed Ron's misfortune, Harry looked quickly over at Ginny to make sure she was okay, she looked unsure what to do and close to tears at the way they were treating her brother. Harry put a comforting hand on her wrist and squeezed it, the gesture didn't go amiss by Malfoy who seemed to have his eyes glued on Harry. Surprisingly, he said nothing.

"Guys! Weasley paid for that chocolate bar with his life savings... how could you do something so mean? I mean, stealing from the poor? That is LOW." Zabini said in a mock-serious voice, sarcasm laced in each word he said. The boy was sick, Harry concluded and he wanted nothing better than to bring serious pain to Zabini for it.

The Slytherins all unsurprisingly burst into fits of laughter. Save Malfoy, of course, who just stood there like a cucumber.

Just then, someone opened the door again. This time it was Hermione. Her eyes were the epitome of anger as she looked at the Slytherins.

"Get out." She said in a low voice. "Now." She said looking pointedly at Zabini this time.

"Make me." He challenged, stretching his feet out across the bench for good measure.

"I'll tell Mcgonagall to take away your oh-so-precious 'privallages' that 'Mother dearest' fought for you to have. I'll tell her things Zabini. Things." Zabini's face dropped. Harry wanted to hug her!

The boy held her gaze for what felt like hours before getting up and leaving.

"Come one, boys." They all followed Zabini's example.

All except Malfoy who glared hateful eyes towards Hermione then at Harry before he too stalked out.

"Thanks, 'Mione." Harry said, glad that someone took control of the situation.

Hermione smiled at him. "Just don't get into anymore trouble with them. We'll be arriving the station in 30 mins, perhaps it'd be a good idea if you all changed into your school robes."

"Hermione, can I talk to you outside?" Ginny said abruptly, eyes glued to Hermione and therefore missing Harry's questioning gaze.

"Course you can, Gin. Come on." She held Ginny's hand and guided the other girl out the door. Harry hoped Ginny was all right, she had been silent through the exchange and that was slightly worrying as she had always been quite vocal. Had Ginny been her normal self, he was sure that she would have at least hexed a superb bat bogey hex at all of them.

Harry shrugged to himself before reaching for his school trunk and retrieving his school robes, Ron following his suit. Both boys dressed in silence.

"Do you all hear my? Under no circumstances is anyone to go anywhere near the forbidden forest unless they wish to have their lives perished." Harry could have sworn that Snape was looking pointedly at him. Git. He glared at the greasy-haired headmaster for good measures.

Harry was still baffled as to why it was Snape who got the position as headmaster. How did that happen? It's a joke, and a mockery against Dumbledore, who was one of the greatest Wizards Harry had ever met.

At least Snape wouldn't be teaching potions anymore, Harry thought optimistically. That was definitely a positive.

"If he's running this school, I might willingly have my life perished." Ron whispered aggressively into Harry's ear. Harry scowled and nodded in agreement.

"Let's hope Snape goes into the forest wandless first then." Harry replied louder.

"Harry!" Hermione scolded. "You can't say that about our Headmaster!" She said in a strongly disapproving tone. Harry was glad she was seated opposite him and therefore couldn't nudge a bony elbow into his ribcage.

"I'll never see Snape as Headmaster." Harry said icily, Ron nodding in agreement besides him.

Hermione shot an annoyed look at both of the boys before turning back to what the 'Headmaster' had to say.

Harry, however, wasn't interested.

His eyes began wandering the Gryffindor table until they fell subtly on Ginny beside him. Ginny's eyes seemed unmoving, as if she was looking out of the corner of her eye and surely enough, her gaze led to where Dean and Seamus were sitting closely side by side at bottom of the table. Harry, and ultimately Ginny, could tell that their hands were joined under the table. They were both shooting one another looks every now and then and Ginny was torturing herself by carrying on watching them. Harry's heart squeezed as he saw Ginny's eyes mist over and turn her eyes completely away from the couple as Dean gave Seamus subtle a peck on the cheek that was missed by.

"Gin." Harry whispered, grabbing her arm under the table, not having to stretch far as she was sitting beside him.

Her face tried to snap out of the stabbing hurt and rejection she was feeling but her eyes gave her away. She looked at Harry and gave him a forced smile that didn't reach her teary eyes.

"It's okay." He touched her hand soothingly and she sighed and moved closer, leaning slightly into him. A sudden fondness for the girl began to build in his chest at that moment and he relaxed against her.

As they settled, Harry's eyes once more scanned the great hall and he was surprised that he even noticed that Zabini and Malfoy were absent from the Slytherin table.

That was odd... he'd have thought they'd have been the first ones there to suck up to their beloved head-of-house-turned-headmaster. They'd all probably suck his dick given the chance as well. Harry hid a smile at the thought before images of Crabbe sucking off Snape came to his head and he banished it at once.

Turning back to front, his eyebrows furrowed in confusion before noticing that Snape had just announced dinner, thus the food began appearing on each of the tables.

Harry shrugged and began tucking in.

Hello :)

Um I'm a bit nervous about this fic to be honest

I'd like to here your opinion on this chapter and the summery? What do you think?

Thank you so much for your time :)

Ill get the next chapter up if people like it

Winona x

Ps I know it's confusing considering the chapter and the fic summary don't seem to match up, but this is a WIP and everything will tie together as the story goes on :]]