Author: Lora Kael

Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter or any of the characters associated with it. I just play around in the sandbox.

Notes: I just had this little scene in my head and decided to write it down. The story is set right after the final battle in DH.


"Malfoy!"

The Malfoys stopped walking and turned around looking apprehensive.

"What, Potter?" Draco said. His mother laid a protective hand on his shoulder. Draco waved it away.

"I wanted to ask you something before you left." Harry looked meaningfully at the main gates further down the path the Malfoys following his gaze.

"Yeah, well..." Draco shrugged. "We wanted to get home."

"What are you going to say about us?" Narcissa interrupted.

"The truth," Harry said lifting his hand closing it to a fist so the words on it stood out. "I've learned you shouldn't lie," he add with an ironic smile. Lucius looked pale, Narcissa nervous.

"And what might that be?" Lucius asked trying to keep an air of dignity.

"That you were followers of Voldemort." The Malfoys jumped at the mention of the name. Draco opened his mouth to say something, but Harry continued. "But it wasn't entirely voluntary, at least not all the time. I know Draco – " Harry nodded at him " – was given the task to kill Dumbledore and didn't attempt it wholehearted. I know he didn't want to carry out the order and that he didn't."

"How – " Draco began, but Harry cut him off.

"I also know that Narcissa lied to Voldemort about me being alive in the forest." The Malfoys stared at Harry all of them very pale. Harry looked at the last Malfoy. "I don't know much about you, Lucius, but I know neither of you fought in the final battle."

"Will we... will we go to Azkaban?" Narcissa asked quietly.

Harry shrugged. "I don't know. I'll tell what I know to the Wizengamot, and I suggest you do the same, " Harry added. "But I can't make the decision for them."

The Malfoys looked uncomfortable at the prospect of imprisonment.

"Look at it this way; at least there won't be any dementors and you might get short sentences or nothing at all."

"I don't suppose you will help us?" Narcissa said.

"I'll tell the truth," Harry answered. "I'm not taking sides in the upcoming trials."

"Oh, well... I guess that is something," Draco said unsure. The Malfoys looked as if they wanted to leave. Harry held up a hand to stop them.

"But I wanted to ask you something, Draco."

"What?"

"Do you still have the mark?"

If possible Lucius and Narcissa paled even more. Draco pulled his sleeve up and showed Harry his arm. "Nothing," he replied.

Harry went closer to inspect it and experimentally ran a finger over his underarm. Draco made himself keep still even as a shiver ran through him. Harry smiled and let his hand fall to his side. "Completely gone."

"Did you expect differently?" Draco asked.

"You never know," Harry said. "I've gotten used to many strange things happening."

"How did you do it?" Narcissa asked. "How did you survive in the forest?"

Harry looked thoughtfully at them. "When my mother died she created a shield around me against Voldemort. That made it impossible for him to kill me as a child and it also made it impossible for him this time, even though he tried to get around my protection when he returned." Harry took a deep breath. "He did kill something in the forest though; he killed the connection between us."

"The connection?"

Harry nodded. "How do you think I knew so many things about him and could tell when he was near or very angry or happy? Sometimes I saw what he saw." The Malfoys stared in open mouthed, terrified fascination.

"You saw what the dark lord saw?" Narcissa whispered.

"Sometimes," Harry said. "That is one of the reasons he feared me and started to try and block me out."

"Tried?" Lucius hazarded.

Harry smiled. "It didn't work. It wasn't pleasant, actually it was very painful, but I could go into his mind without him noticing me. Very useful."

"You went into the dark lord's mind?" Lucius stared at him as if he was unwilling to believe Harry had ever possessed that ability.

"I did. Helped me keep track of him." Harry could see the Malfoys were scared. He had just told them he had had access to the mind of the century's most feared wizard and it scared them to death.

"And you really could sense his presence?" Draco asked. "That wasn't just a rumor?"

"I could. Of course that is gone now."

Draco nodded slowly. "So you really were, is, as good a wizard as him?"

Harry shrugged. "I don't know, but I'm good at defending myself and fighting back."

"But you won over him! You defeated him an a duel!"

Harry nodded. "Yes. But he couldn't have won that fight."

"Why not?" Draco wanted to know.

"The wand wasn't loyal to him."

Draco blinked. "What?"

"The wand chooses the wizard, remember? He would have had better luck with his old wand. At any rate I wasn't fighting with my normal wand, but your old one."

Draco's eyes fixed upon the wand in Harry's belt. "Can I have it back?"

"I don't know if it would work as well for you anymore," Harry said pulling the wand up and inspecting it. "I did win its loyalty. But I don't really need another wand, so..." Harry handed the wand over and Draco took it. "Do you feel anything?"

Draco looked at the wand for a long moment. "No."

"Then you should get a new wand instead," Harry advised. "This won't really work for you anymore." Draco reluctantly handed it back.

"How come you know this much about wands?" Draco narrowed his eyes a little.

"It's one of the things I learned about while I was out there and working on Voldemort's downfall." The Malfoys almost didn't jump at the mention of the name anymore. "Wandlore can be quite useful." Harry stuck Draco's old wand back into its place behind his belt. He made sure they didn't see Voldemort's old wand, which he had stuck in his belt on the back. Harry suspected a lot of people wouldn't like seeing that wand, but he had decided to keep it. At least for now.

"So if you don't need it then what are you going to do with my wand?"

"Keep it in reserve, I guess. I haven't really thought too much about it yet."

There was a moment of silence as the Malfoys looked at Harry unsure of what to say.

"So... we can go now?" Draco asked.

"Sure. You don't need my permission to leave. I just wanted to know about the mark." Harry smiled slightly trying to set the Malfoys more at ease.

"Right. Okay... Bye then." Draco said, with Lucius nodding stiffly at him and Narcissa looking as if she wanted to say something.

"Thank you," she whispered. "For saving Draco." She then quickly turned around followed Lucius and Draco to the gates of Hogwarts.

"Right," Harry mumbled. "Bye." He looked after them for a moment before turning around and heading back to the castle.