Disclaimer: Characters are not mine (but I do play with them)
Remus Lupin POV:
It was a mistake. A horrible mistake. I should have known something like this would happen, statistics say it is inevitable in this large of a group. But who would have expected THIS? I should have thought more before baring the children's greatest fears to the world… I just wanted to teach them to deal with boggarts. Fool.
"Gather around class! Today we start on how to defeat boggarts."
The students looked around at each other awkwardly, anxious laughter and jangled nerves filled the room. Those from magical families had dealt with them before, or at least seen them dealt with.
Harry Potter was not one of these, his muscled body was taught as a piano string about to be hit with a mallet. His hero mask firmly in place he smiled with his friends as his movements became more sharp and disjointed.
When Nevil made Snape appear dressed in his grandmother's clothes the entire class laughed at the sight, the smile did not meet the eyes of one Gryffindor. Even when Ron's giant spider fell in its roller skates, the flashing grin did no reach emerald eyes. His friends did not notice, only one pair of eyes narrowed watching the strange behavior. With a predator's senses Malfoy saw. He saw The Golden Boy's act, saw the cracks begin to form. The blond was a shark who smelled blood in the water. But he stayed and patiently watched, waiting to see what would happen. Waited for the cracks to shatter in the Noble Idiot.
Feeling someone's eyes on him Harry scanned the crowd and he dug fingernails into his palms. He met sharp as steel eyes, and glared back, or tired to, there wasn't much force behind it. Malfoy cocked an eyebrow. About to flip him off, Harry's head swiveled around to his name being called.
"Go ahead Harry "
The clown from a moment ago quivered. The class quieted expectantly to see at last what the notorious Voldemort actually looked like. They turned questioning to each other when the boggart shifted into a fat man, with a prupleing face and a laughable mustache. Surely this, simply CANT be Voldemort. They turned questioning eyes from each other to their Savior. Who had turned white.
Vivid emerald eyes widened, fear boiling in them. He clenched his jaw looking for a way out. Everything else faded in his mind, no castle, magic doesn't exist, no one would save you. Nothing could save you. He was 7 years old again. The walrus man set eyes on him. His hands shook, smeared with blood from where his nails bit into his palms.
"Uncle." He whispered in horror, the word cracking
Now the class was really confused. It wasn't the Dark Lord that Potter feared. Why would he be afraid of this tubby man, how can he be worse than He-who-must-not-be-named?
"You worthless little orphan!" The man roared advancing on the 13 year old who stumbled back into a desk. "Don't you run away from me you fucking faggot! You tried to rat me out to Petunia today didn't you!" Boggart-Vernon yelled just like he had that day years ago. The memory was vivid to Harry again, the wounds fresh.
"Im sorry uncle." Harry cried out desperately
"Don't you dare, you don' even know what sorry means yet! Good thing She knows how to behave, she knew you deserved it, made me do it. You need to be fixed, your unnaturalness is doing this to me!" Boggart-vernon continued stepping closer
"Shut up you little whore! Get into your cupboard."
"Please!" Harry pleaded tears escaping his eyes
Boggart-Vernon swung a meaty fist around hard enough to drive the boy to the ground.
The resounding sound of flesh seemed to shake the class from their shocked horror. Lupin dead white stepped forward giving the boggart a different target as he should have at the start of that disgusting display. Ron and Hermionie locked wide eyes on Harry 's frozen-stone face.
"Oh Harry." Granger whispered in pity crouching next to him as Ron put a hand on his shoulder.
Jerking away from the touch he looked at the two with a stranger's eyes, wild-shy, fierce, haunted, an ancient child's. They saw the shift, the removal of the mask and too a step back without realizing it. He could not stand the pity, couldn't stand being around them. He looked at them with frozen fire and shoved to his feet. Looking at no one else he walked out of the classroom.
The silence broke, and a chaos of speculation reigned.
Ron held a weeping Hermionie "Its not your fault."
"Do you think?"
"Please children calm down the class is over!"
"The boy who lived was –"
"Well this is just perfect isn't it Malfoy?" Blaize Zabaini crowd happily to the silent blonde "Precious Potter has a past! Weak enough to get dominated by a muggle, How brilliant!"
"Shut up Zabini." He commanded coldly, steel eyes distant.
Rising from his seat gracefully, Malfoy turned back "I have some business to attend to." He stalked off, his mind arguing with where his body was taking him. As he walked past Granger and Weasley were still huddled on the ground a hand shot out to grab his pant leg, he looked down at the mudblood returning her furious glare.
"Leave him alone Malfoy, kick him while he's down and I will use an Cruico your ass."
"Yeah me too." Added Ron unhelpfully catching on too late.
Malfoy locked eyes with Hermionie "Remove your hand from my clothing."
She didn't budge. A tiny bit of respect a whole lot of annoyance filtered into his face, before it shifted one last time. Soft, lost. She looked into a stranger's eyes, wild-shy, fierce, haunted, an ancient child's. "I won't hurt him." He whispered softy, just loud enough for her to hear. She nodded and let go
"But Hermionie!" Ron protested as Malfoy walked away.
She just shook her head her eyes contemplative "He won't hurt him today, he's the only one who Harry will listen to."
Hermionie just gave him a stern look and Ron figured this was a 'She-knows-what-she's-doing-so-just-shut-up' moment.
They closed their eyes tiredly and prayed for the best as poor Remus still tried valiantly to quiet the classroom.
Footsteps over stone
"Potter!" called a winded voice. Harry pivoted to see a disheveled Malfoy panting at the top of the Astronomy Tower stairs.
Surprise shook his resolve, curiosity has to be satisfied "What are you doing here Malfoy?"
"What?" mind spinning in confusion
"Thanking you." He stated calmly as if this were a normal situation "I figured you'd be here, so I came to thank you before you made your choice."
"Thank me for what? What choice?"
"Your choice of what to do with your body and your life, whether to jump or live. It is your choice, your body, your life. Each option has its power." Draco paused before continuing
"Now as to the thanks… thank you for letting the class see your boggart, it stopped them from seeing mine as well today."
"Your boggart?" Harry parroted meeting those grey eyes, that had turned into what he saw in the mirror every day.
Malfoy's blond head tilted in agreement "My boggart. If you decide not to end life as a pancake, I might just tell you about it some day." He said shrugging turning to walk away.
He paused at the door and seemed to debate with himself.
He turned, grey to green the haunted eyes met.
"While it is your choice, you should know that I had to get past Hermionie to find you. She threatened to 'Crucio my ass'" he quoted with wry amusement "if I hurt you. They may not understand, but your two Gryffindor groupies care. They would in-fact be pissed I am going to leave you up here, but it is your life, your decision, I will not force you to live. I will however be down in the kitchens drinking until I can't see straight… It is my personal hope that you'll join me rather than the cobblestones."
Sincerity rang in Draco's voice and Harry became even more conflicted. Malfoy nodded "Potter." And began the long walk down the tower.
Harry stood on the edge weight swaying forward and back, making his stomach give the sickening drop of adreneline.
The memories curled around in his head, snapping and snarling like a vicious reptile. Words assaulted his mind loud angry 'little whore' 'fucking fag' 'you deserve it' then another voice soft a little lost 'your choice' 'they care' 'my boggart' 'hope you'll join me' 'your body' the voice shifted to the fury ridden one 'your body is mine' 'little whore' and around again. The voices pulled at him, forward and back. 'your choice, your body, your life' 'may not understand, but your two Gryffindor groupies care' 'hope you'll join me' 'your choice'.
Draco Malfoy anxiously prowled the kitchens making the house elves nervous. They had given him his firewhisky but he could not stop pacing and muttering.
"Come on you bloody Gryffindor, where's that prized courage?"
He may not be the Golden Boy's biggest fan, but he was a disgustingly decent guy. It was distressingly difficult to walk off that roof, it wasn't like he cared. No, it was because… um…. Because he is the best chance against Voldemort. Yes. That's it.
…..Of course if that was true he would have forced Ha-Potter to live whether he liked it or not. No it wasn't about the Boy Who Lived. He just wanted Harry to survive, body mind and soul. So he needed that choice, needed the freedom to dictate his own life. It was the right thing to leave, Draco knew well.
He took another burning swig of whisky and stared into the fire.
"Take my hand this time Potter, don't jump." He whispered voice clotted with emotion.
"I won't if you hand me the bottle."
Swiveling around Draco set his eyes on a battle worn Harry Potter. Relief washed through him as he handed the bottle over.
"Glad you showed up."
Harry tilted his head "Me too." He said in a curious voice, almost intrigued by the sentiment.
A pregnant silence descended on the room disturbed only by the snap of the fire.
"…Did she really say 'crucio your ass'?" Harry asked suddenly
Malfoy's eyes sparkled as he grinned wickedly "Didn't know she had it in her. I wasn't sure if I was more shocked by the threat, or by the fact she actually said 'ass'."