In Eyes Of Innocence
Note: This is calileane's prompt, as given to me as follows;
Harry Potter/ Angel, Harry/Angel (slash), Harry is sentenced to go through the Veil of Death. He walks in from the side of the Wizarding World, and walks on the Other Side..... It happens just as Holtz run through a portal with baby Connor. When Holtz arrive where he wanted to be, baby Connor isn't in his arms anymore. When Harry senses the portal closing behind him, he has a baby in his arms and many people in front of him, one of which is Angel.
"What have you done to Astoria, Draco Malfoy?" Harry hissed the words, his wand tip at the pale throat of the man he'd called friend for five years this coming spring. Draco's wide blue eyes gleamed with fear (not of Harry or his wand, but for the woman he loved and Harry hadn't seen for six months) Draco stood his ground and did not reach for the wand at his side. There was trust between them now; it could not be undone so easily.
"Nothing, I swear to you, I've done nothing to harm her! Harry, please, you must help her. I beg you." Stormy pale eyes pleaded, and slender shoulders hunched inward, to protect against a hurt that Harry could guess the source of. He put his wand away, feeling the part of the betrayer was not in his nature. Draco let Harry inside easily, and Harry felt shamed that he had ever doubted Draco. The stairs creaked, and Harry looked up to see who he had been looking for; Astoria in a nightgown, her body pale and sickly, all skin and bones, but her belly grew with a healthy life within.
Harry hadn't known.
"Hello, Harry…I've been expecting you, though you came a little earlier then what I'd predicted…he's right, though, he's done nothing but get me pregnant. It's a boy, by the way – sorry to spoil the surprise – Harry…why have you come?" Astoria asked of him, soft voiced and calm, she'd taken a vacation, and in ten years of working with Harry, he'd never known her to do such a thing. Now he knew her to be with child, but his instincts screamed something was wrong, and his sight did not fool him now. He flushed, cheeks burning, and looked down with lowered eyes. He'd come here in angry suspicion, ready to kill his partners husband, now his was shamed, but no less wary.
"To help you…" Harry protested softly, a familiar plea in his voice. It was the very same Draco had just now begged him with.
"There is nothing you can do, it is my life - or the child's - and I have chosen." An heir would be everything to Astoria, whose sister was barren and whose husband had no siblings. So often this was now the fate of once proud pure bloods, do die together husband and wife and childless. Or one died in child bed while the other lived on half-dead without them. It was why Harry, engaged now for seven years, refused to marry – for to marry meant children and Harry wanted none if it meant Ginny would die.
"There must be something, is the child killing you?" Harry asked what Draco could not, and though he was pale and drawn, Draco could not have asked this question of his wife, Seer that she was she would answer with only truth.
"No, my blood is. I am part demon, Harry, but mostly not. It is the demon that is forcing me to chose, my child or I. The body rejects the blood, and the blood rejects the child. I will have my child." Steel eyes dared him to refuse her right, and Harry could not, for years had given him some wisdom.
"We…we must be able to do something." Draco argued, and Harry silently agreed, in this world of witches and wizards and magic, there was no reason that a child should be born while its mother suffered and died. Yet magic did not work that way, it could not fix what had been done over generations of wizards and witches breeding. Magic can not take away what gifts it gives.
"No, there is nothing." Astoria was at peace with that answer, though Harry had never seen her give up anything to anyone in the ten years he had lived and worked around her. She was just as stubborn and powerful as Harry, and when Ron and Hermione had paired off, his friends still – it had been Astoria who had befriended him, and Ginny had joked one night over tea that Astoria was the girl-version of Harry, and Astoria had taken it for compliment.
"There is something, your demon heritage – give it all to me, every trace. It won't hurt me, I can't have a child, and if it would save you and the baby, I would have it." Often over the years Harry had been forced to let the Phoenix tears in his blood heal what they could, and while few knew of the Basilisk venom that made him immune to what the tears could not heal, Astoria knew. Surely such things in him could nullify the demon blood, yet demons were primal creatures, as old as the Earth itself. It was a risk Harry would take for his partner, he did not want another given to him or trained up, for ten years they'd worked well together, and Harry would not let her simply die and give up like this. One living and one dying was not a fair trade. If he tried and his life was forfeit, at least Astoria and her son would survive.
"Blood receiving of heritage is labeled illegal without written permission from the Ministry of Magic, it's a Dark Ritual, and I do not have that sort of time to go through courts and legal loop holes." Astoria was scathing as she shot down the one chance he offered up to her, Draco drew in a breath as if to protest but wisely chose to remain silent as Harry spoke to poke and prod Astoria into seeing things his way - maybe. It could not hurt to try to convince her.
"We'll do it anyway, right now. You've made your choice, and I've made up my mind." Astoria lifted her eyes to the heavens, but did not speak. She is reminded that Harry could be as rash and stubborn as she is, not yet did she grasp the whole of what that meant.
"No, Harry, we are Auror and they will know its demon taint in your blood the moment they set their wands upon you." There is fear there, fear for him, even as she does not know what he will do, she knows what he intends - and perhaps that is enough of a warning for someone else. Not her. Harry looks away and she thinks he has given up, that he will go away and let her have her child.
She should have known better. It seems an accident how Harry turns away and then Draco, in a fury of old, whispers the slicing curse – his wand outstretched. Unthinking, for it is second nature, Astoria sends her magic to Harry to quicken the healing and when her magic touches him, his magic is waiting and wide open as no wizard or witch should ever be. Ten years is a long time to know him, but she can not leave him like that, exposed and vulnerable.
He takes the demon blood from her, greedy and painfully wide open so she feels nothing, and she can not stop him because if she tries she'll rip him to pieces with her magic, and he is blind and deaf and dumb to all but what he is doing. He is helpless – if she was to strike at him, to take back what she gives unthinking, he would die – his magic torn from him, and she cries out in rage and fear for him.
Harry echoes her scream, but in his is true pain. His magic is open and it runs up and down and out like the tide, in and out, he's trying to collect himself, to close up and barricade his magic within himself. It is too late, they know – they sense him, they must – he is too much, too powerful to ever ignore.
Harry is crumpled on the floor at the bottom of the staircase, a broken thing but his magic closed up. Astoria fears him to be dead.
Then it is too late, too soon, because soft pops and creaks in the flooring are surrounding them, and wizards in Ministry black with wand tips aglow are firing spells and asking questions later.
"No – you don't know what you're doing! Stop…!" She knows as Draco tries to block the way between them and the stairway to her - and she know what the likes of this will look like, but black mist sneaks into her vision. It isn't really there, but it sends her crashing to the floor like sleeping dust.
"What –wait, stop it…what are you doing?" She hears Draco holler, as everything goes dim and soft.
"Harry Potter will come with us. His actions dictate that he is a Dark Wizard, come quietly and you will be placed in a secure cell until your trial." It is the worst sort of thing she could have heard, and she clings to it and feels tears and hopes only that she'll wake up and it won't be too late to save Harry.
A hood was over his head, his hands were unbound, but his wand…his wand was broken, he had heard the snap of its wood and in that moment the bond between wizard and wand was gone. Harry breathed though his mouth, the sweaty and dark cloth clung to his moist tongue and lips. His face was folded tightly together, as if it must fit the hood rather then the hood be made to fit him.
He had gone with them without a fuss, guilt swimming in his gut. His trial, he was sure, would be hurried but fair with the media breathing down the ministry's neck, but surely – surely – he would be given the chance to speak? Harry closed his eyes and breathed, jostled and jolted down the carriage street, events and moments framed his damnation in his mind. It had seemed like such a little thing, so easy, and it saved two lives and only damned him in the end.
"Harry Potter, for the aiding of a known Dark Wizard bearing the Dark Mark of the former Dark Lord Voldemort, and working the Dark Arts upon a mother and her unborn child, you are hereby sentenced to walk into the Veil of Death." It's said in a hush as they hurry the rocking carriage down the streets. They walk him into a small booth, three crowded around to subdue him, a wand tip in his back. It's the only warning he gets, under the hood and with them he could be any low life, but as they sink into the ground, he knows he's doomed and damned himself in this one night.
Voldemort may not have any followers left among the Ministry, but there are those who hold a grudge against Harry, that their hopes did not see the light of law. They have him now where they want him, and the hood over his head is yanked back and Harry stumbled toward the only destination he was allowed. He straightened from the cowardly and undignified lapse, but the wand at his back warned him not to move abruptly, or turn his head to see his accusers. None the less, he had a good idea of who they were.
"What do you think they will do to you when they've found out what you've done?" Harry asked softly into the tomb like silence, only rasping and wheezing breathing could be heard. It was his only answer, and it was answer enough. Perhaps they find irony in this, the Veil of Death his godfather fell though will be now his own undoing.
He takes a step to the ultimate end, so no wizard or witch will bloody their wand or hand with his death. The veil whispers and an unfelt wind ripple the glossy cloth, like a lake stirring in a storm. Harry does not beg for another chance, does not look back, and when the second step puts him on even footing with the Veil of Death on its dais, he thinks only of his unbowed back.
Eager now, the Veil reaches for him, and when he breaths out – it swallows him up. There is nothing but glimmering whiteness, it blinds him and he thinks; is this is what it's like to die?
From the Veil of Death, there is no whispering answer.