Author's Name: Amaltheanie
Title: Nothing happens unless first a dream
Pairing(s): Draco/Harry, Ron/Lavender, Theodore/Hermione, Blaise/Pansy, Remus/ Tonks, Lucius/Narcissa, brief mention of past Harry/Ginny
Summary: They say that love will find a way, but what do you do when the road ahead is dark and winding… Use all of your Slytherin cunning and borrow some Gryffindor courage and stubbornness.
Disclaimer: All Harry Potter characters herein are the property of J.K. Rowling and Bloomsbury/Scholastic. No copyright infringement is intended.
Warning(s): angst, psychological illness , hurt/comfort, bashing
Epilogue compliant: Epilogue, what epilogue?
Nothing happens unless first a dream
The light shining through the windows of the conservatory reflected merrily from the silverware that was established on the tea table. Draco Malfoy stood with his back to the inhabitants of the room, leaning against the windowpane and sipping his Château Lafitte Rotschild. His gaze wandered over the grounds of his family's manor in the Médoc. It was beautiful, sure, but he couldn't help but miss England. There was something there that touched his core and made him the person he was today. Maybe if his friends could have been here with him, things might have been easier. But both Pansy and Blaise were hiding, brought to secure places by the Order of the Phoenix.
5 years. It had been half a decade since he had last set foot in his homeland. He and both of his parents had snuck out of England on a rainy night, courtesy of Harry James Potter. Draco sighed and let his head rest against the cool glass when suddenly a hard pop made him whirl around, wand drawn and aimed at… Severus? Not relinquishing his own drawn wand, Lucius slowly approached the looming form of the Potions Master.
" Severus" He nodded to his old time friend. " Please forgive me for this… What did you want to be when you were a kid?"
Severus blushed and mumbled a quick "Vampire" before all the wands were dropped and a round of greetings was given. Lucius clapped his friend on the back, Narcissa kissed him on the cheek and hugged him and Draco, even though he was 21 now, threw his arms around his godfather's waist and hugged him tight. It had been too long since he had last seen the dour man. Severus allowed the movement for a short time and then gently pushed the blonde off him. Reclining in a comfortable chair, he accepted the tea that Narcissa handed him and let himself relax in the soft cushions.
He took a deep breath and exhaled it in a single, soft sigh.
" The war is over."
Looking at his friends, he could see the bewilderment on their faces. They had been out of England for so long, cut off from any news of the land overseas. The first 2 years, they still received an owl with the Prophet, but Voldemort had managed to overtake the Ministry and sever all communication with the other magical communities. The Malfoys had known nothing after that; who lived, who died, what was being planned and how their friends and family were faring.
Draco set down his crystal goblet before the pressure of his hand shattered it. " Over? Is… did we … How's Harry?" he stumbled, forgetting the rules of etiquette in favour of gaining information.
Severus pinched his nose and held his teacup to the right of his chair. A small house- elf appeared with a pop and took the China cup from him, to replace it with a tumbler full of brandy. Taking a swig, he locked eyes with his godson.
" Yes, our side won. Surprisingly, there were only severely injured, but no casualties. The Death- Eaters were clearly playing with their prey before they could deliver the final blow. I don't know how Potter did it, nobody does, but we found him in a clearing near the Forbidden Forest. He was unconscious and soaked with blood, but it was not his own and judging from the crystallised state of the Dark Lord's body, it couldn't have been from him too. It's a mystery that no one will ever know the answer too."
He sighed, swirling the amber liquid in his glass and avoiding eye- contact. He dreaded having to tell these people what had happened to Potter, how he was now. But he knew he couldn't escape his responsibility, he was in the company of some fine Slytherins and surely one of them would make the gears start in their head and come with an adequate conclusion.
'Ah yes there it is.' Severus smirked, when he saw Lucius frown, stroke the head of his cane and trace the carved fangs before piercing Severus with his ice- cold eyes.
" If everybody's so keen on knowing the bloody, gruesome details of the Final Battle, why don't they ask Potter himself about it?" He questioned with a sneer marring his fine-looking face, stroking his thumb over Narcissa's clenched fist.
Everybody else would think that Lucius was mocking the Hero, but Severus knew his friend well enough to decipher the thinly veiled concern in his voice, the anxiety of Narcissa's clenched fist and the tenseness of Draco's shoulders and the gnawing on his bottom lip. These people were worried about the boy.
Draco had gone to the green- eyed Gryffindor in the middle of 6th year and pledged his allegiance. Together, the boys had developed a way to prevent the Death- Eaters from entering the school grounds.
But it wasn't to be. Severus Snape had taken the Unbreakable Vow and was compelled to help Draco in the task given to him by their Master. He had begged Narcissa to nullify it after she and Lucius had had a heart to heart with their son. Seeing their son choosing his own path, they had done a quick re- evaluating of their beliefs and secretly joined the Light Side.
No faith but in one's own, they would not make the same mistake twice.
Unfortunately, the terms of a Vow cannot be changed afterwards. Severus had to help the Death Eaters into Hogwarts. But by quickly including the Auror Corps, there had been a nasty surprise waiting for the masked wizards.
Dumbledore though, could not be saved.
It was afterwards, when the Dark Lord and his minions had fled the premises, that the Malfoys had gone with the Potter boy to live at 12 Grimmauld Place.
There, Lucius had taught Harry about the Dark Arts with the help of Severus, working together with Remus to teach Defence Against the Dark Arts. It had not been an easy course of action, as the elder blonde and the young raven held a distinctive amount of distrust against each other, but at the end of the day a sense of respect had grown between the two and they could now bicker good-naturedly for hours. Narcissa helped Harry commit healing spells to memory, laughing with him and just letting him be a boy. She sang for him, played the piano that they had found in a drawing room, tried to order clothes by Owl for him and was by all means ' Molly Weasley'- ing him.
Draco himself focused on developing a better understanding with his Gryffindor antithesis, telling him more about the Wizarding World and Harry in turn made Draco see the wonders of the Muggle one, how they had developed a world without magic but were by no means beneath magical folks.
And then, 3 months after the death of Dumbledore, the Malfoys had fled the country. They were not out of harm's way from either side in this war. The Dark knew they were betrayers, the Light didn't trust them completely.
Harry had begged them to keep themselves safe, to return when it was all over. Narcissa had hugged the boy that she had come to see as a son, Lucius grasped his shoulder and gave it a brief squeeze, almost smiling at him. Draco had given his friend a hand and almost squeaked when Harry had pulled him closer and hugged the life out of him, burying his head in Draco's chest.
" Stay safe" had been the last sentence before they had separated and the Portkey whisked the blondes away. But which one of the two had said it ?
Severus sighed again, letting his elbows rest on his knees and rolling the glass between his long, spidery fingers. He had to tell them, he needed them for this.
" Potter… Harry… is not capable of telling us about that night. He hasn't said a word since he has regained consciousness. It's almost as if he's asleep but for the fact that his eyes are open almost all the time. He responds to nothing and no one." Narcissa gasped and put a delicate hand to her amaranth pink lips, tears sparkling in the powder blue depths of her eyes.
" The poor boy. What do the Healers say? Can't they give him potions or search for hexes, a curse?" She asked, clasping the fingers of Lucius' hand.
" No, the Healers have done everything in their power to help him. The only thing they're capable of is to keep him from dying." He looked up at his female friend, letting her see the hopelessness that shown in his own black eyes. " But they can't make him want to live."
Draco flung himself from the chair he had vacated before, pacing the length of the cherry wood floor. He needed to be there! Maybe he could help, with his training and determination he could surely help his friend, bring him back to him.
" Why tell us this Severus? It's not as if his friends and family will let us help him. According to them, we are nothing of Potter's. We are not family, nor did they ever consider us friends. I know I could help. I trained hard these past years and have my Healer's diploma but it but it's not as if they'd let me lay a hand on their Hero if all other Healers failed already!" Draco ranted.
" But you are a natural Occlumens and Legilimens Draco! You have specialised in the art of mind- diving, discerning all the signs and symbol in a person's mind and being able to separate your own psyche from theirs and stay sane. I tried, Merlin knows I did, but the stubborn Gryffindor won't let me inside his head!"
Here he flung his glass into the stones of the fireside. He watched the droplets of the alcoholic beverage drip down the bricks before it was cleaned away with the glass. Raking his hands through the greasy strands of his coal- black hair, he let out a frustrated growl.
" Something inside there doesn't trust me. He lost all trust in anybody who's ever held information from him or who manipulated him to fulfil his 'destiny'. We locked him away, coddled him when we should've seen him for the treasure he is; we putted him on a pedestal, Merlin knows the masses still do, when our concern should've been to keep him safe and train him; we expect too much and too little from him. Even now, when he's fulfilled the prophecy. We close our eyes and play pretend. And all the while everybody ignores the blatant truth: he's only in Gryffindor because he's a Slytherin with no sense of self-preservation."
"I see things in there, feel emotions. I, too, played a part in this puppet play… I cannot reach his core. Only a select few would ever be able to do that and that's not even the point here. What I need from you is to touch his heart! We can cure physical diseases with medicine, but the only cure for loneliness, despair, and hopelessness is love. "
He blushed slightly when delivering that last line, thinking it beyond sappy but it was the truth. Draco was a natural and had developed the methods on its own while being in exile. Severus was at a loss here. He was extremely skilled in protecting his own mind from intruders but had never quite learned to subtly penetrate another's defences. He tore through, ripping the fortifications of the mind to shreds and taking what he wanted to see. Potter had taken the brunt of his incapability during their Occlumency lessons, but Severus hadn't wanted to come clean to his absence of refinement.
" No matter what the Weasleys may think, or all the other parts of Potter's insane fan club, you are almost family to him. You never expected anything of him, other than to be who he was. You didn't adore him, or hero- worship. Draco sure made it hard on the boy, but he also challenged him and made him use his every wit to stand up against a true Slytherin's mind… He needs you, all of you, to be there and bring him back."
It was silent in the large room. The light that not even an hour before had merrily danced around the room, now seemed artificial and cold. The birds sung a mocking tune, and it was perhaps a bit darker than before. Lucius stood, shook out his outer robes and looked at his family.
" When do we leave?"