When I first came across Draco lying there I have to admit that my first reaction was to keep walking and just leave him there. But something made me stop, I can't tell you what that something was, for I certainly didn't feel as though I were stopping of my own free will. Nonetheless, I did stop. The first thing I noticed was that Draco's whole body was
twitching convulsively. At first I thought he was shivering from the cold, but the shudders racking through his body were too sporadic and random.
"Are you all right?" I whispered softly as I knelt down next to him. There was no response so I tentativly reached out and touched his shoulder. "Draco?"
Besides the twitching he did not move at all. I gently turned him so that he was facing me. Oh God He was completely unconscious. In the dark I could barely see his face, but when I lay my hand on his cheek I could feel that there were dried tears running down it. Then I noticed his eye. It was bruised and swollen shut. It looked as though he'd gotten Into a fight with a bully, but I knew there was no student at Hogwarts who could reduce Draco Malfoy to tears and leave him unconscious.
How in Merlin's name did you end up like this, Draco?
A loud part of my brain told me to just leave him alone, but I honestly couldn't. Even though I knew Draco wouldn't want to know I'd seen him like this, I had to help him. I pulled my wand out of my sleeve and pointed it at Draco.
"Ennervate," I whispered.
Slowly Draco's eyes fluttered open, but judging by the unfocused look in them he could not see me in the darkness.
"Draco, I need to take you to the hospital wing, can you stand up?"
"What?" Draco at first looked disoriented, but then a sharpness came to his eyes. The look didn't so much convey that he knew where he was, it simply added to the intensity of his next statement.
"No, please no. I don't want them to know. Please…" Draco began to fight despretly against me as though afraid I might do him harm.
"Stop Draco! All right, I wont take you to the hospital wing, but I can't just leave you here, can you please stand up?"
At my insistance Draco finally calmed down. I got to my feet and grabbed hold of Draco's wrists to try and help him to his feet. Eventually I got him in an upright position and I began to pull him up. Finally he was in a standing position and I let go of his wrists.
"Okay then, let's get you…" But before I could finish my sentence Draco passed out again and fell against my chest.
"Damn you, Draco," I muttered as I managed to get a firm hold of him and lift him off his feet. I stood there in the corridor for a moment, my arms full of one unconscious, but surprisingly light Draco Malfoy, and wondered what to do. I knew that for some reason he really didn't want to go to the Hospital wing, though God knows I really wanted to take him there. I couldn't take him to the Slytherin dormitories, I wouldn't be able to get in and I couldn't leave him laying outside the portrait hole. There was only one thing left to do, I would have to take him to the Griffendor tower.
Fortunatly is was very late and all of my house mates had gone to their rooms already, so no one noticed as I carried Draco to my prefects bedroom. Thank God prefects don't have to share a bedroom I thought as I lay Draco across my bed. I noticed that he was still twitching every once in a while. I observed that the skin around his eye had been broken and he was bleeding, so I conjured a damp cloth and began to clean the wound, as well as wipe the dried tears off of his face. Suddenly it occurred to me.
Oh, God, what if that's not all?
Hessitantly I reached out to the collar of his robes, terrified of what I might see, but needing to know. As his robes fell away from his chest I gasped in horror. His entire body was covered not only in bruises and welts, but in dozens of not so shallow cuts. Perhaps the most horrifying, though, was the presence of dozens and dozens of old scars, all inexpertly healed. Proof that whatever had recently happened to Draco was not a singular event.
I moved the damp cloth gently over across his open wounds, trying to wipe away the blood which had dried in little rivers across his flesh. I'd like to say that I tended numbly to his wounds as if I were indifferent towards either my actions or of the boy lying across my bed, but this was not so. In truth I wept.
No one deserved this, this was inhuman. These were all deliberatly inflicted scars which would probably never go away. Somewhere in my mind the thought occurred to me that if it weren't for the scars, his body would have been almost inhumanly beautiful. But as it was, he was disfigured for life. And so I wept.
Using my slight aquaintence with magical healing, I closed his open wounds. At least those would not scar. Though at the time I could not think what to do about the bruises. Eventually his convulsive shuddering stopped, for which I was very glad. Not knowing what had caused them made it very disconcerting. Now Draco just lay there, still and peaceful. The only movement from him was the gentle rise and fall of his chest.
His robes, I realized were soaked in his blood. Though it did not show up against the black, they were still slightly sticky and smelled strongly of blood. I threw them down on the ground to tend to later. I carefully pulled my blanket over Draco's naked body, hoping he wouldn't be too upset when he woke to find I'd taken his clothes.
"What kind of shit have you gotten yourself into, Draco?" I wondered aloud.
I glanced over at the clock and saw that it was twelve O'clock. Twelve O'clock at night and a bruised, beaten Draco was passed out in my bed. Great
As he was sleeping soundly I decided it would be all right to leave him alone for a while. So I left for the prefects bathroom to take a quick shower.
When I returned I tried to be quiet, but as I closed the door, I saw Draco's eyes flutter open. For some time Draco just silently stared at the ceiling. Then I saw him attempt to sit up, reaching his hand out and glancing around as though he were looking for something.
"What so you need, Draco?"
"Water." The word came out of Draco's mouth in a broken barely whisper.
I went over to my dresser where there was a pitcher of water and poured him a glass. I knelt on the bed next to him, placing my hand behind his neck, encouraging him to sit up a little. Then I placed the glass at his lips and allowed him to drink. At first he choked on the water, but soon he managed to drain the glass.
"Better now Draco?" I asked as I let his head fall back down on my pillow.
I carefully watched his eyes, for a long time they had been out of focus. But now I could see clarity and dawning revelations come into his eyes.
"Where am I?" Only slight panic filtered through his voice.
"Draco, it's all right, you're here in my room, Harry's room:
He now looked over at me as if realizing for the first time that there was someone else in the room with him.
"Harry's room?" He asked as if he couldn't quite figure out that I was Harry.
"Yes, don't worry. You'll be all right. I healed your cuts for you."
It took a few moments for this statement to fully set in, as if he couldn't remember why he needed healing. But when it hit, it hit hard. His eyes became wide and his face was painted in panic. He reached out and grabbed my robes.
""Don't! You can't tell! No! He'll kill me! Please! I…you can't let them know! God, no!" Draco's words all came out in an unstable jumble. One could easily mistake him for a madman. I couldn't blame him, though. Whatever he had been through must have been pretty horrendous.
"Shh, I haven't told anyone, calm down, please." I placed my hand on his chest, pushing him back down . I was surprised by how warm he now was. Earlier he was frigid.
Draco finally calmed down and lay there just staring at me.
"Are you going to be all right, Draco?"
"I ought to be. But he was really mad this time." Draco was no longer looking at me.
"Who, Draco? Who did this to you?"
"Dad," he whispered so low I barely caught it.
Oh God. And I thought my home life was fucked up
"I'm sorry." The words felt inadequate, as they left my mouth, but I really was sorry. Not just sorry for what his Dad had been doing to him, but sorry for thinking he was an arrogant prick all these years.
"Not your fault."
"No, but I wish I'd been nicer all these years. Who need's enemies when your family's so fucked up?"
Draco laughed at this. Not a happy laugh, rather a morbid laugh, but a laugh nonetheless.
"I like how you put that, " he finally looked back up at me and smiled.
Considering all that I had seen and learned of Draco that night, I'm not sure why this should have struck me so much. but I occurred to me that I had never seen Draco smile without malice before. He was truly gorgeous when he smiled.
He should smile more often
"What's wrong? Why are you looking at me like that?" The smile vanished.
I felt a blush creep across my face at the thought of what I'd been thinking just then.
"Nothing" I said as I looked away.
"What do you mean nothing. Look Harry, normally I couldn't give a shit what you're thinking about. But currently I feel more than a little exposed and either you can talk to me or you can give me back my God-dammed robes." Draco's malicious grin was back.
This was the Draco I recognized, though now I wasn't sure it he were serious or not. It's true it was an awkward situation. So he did notice that he wasn't wearing anything, damn. My thoughts went to his ruined robes laying on the ground. I hoped he wouldn't be to upset about it all. Well it wouldn't hurt to just be honest, it was the least I could do considering that he truly was exposed. This was indeed the side of Draco that no one was allowed to see, least of all me. Dammit
With my face surely redder than ever I decided to go ahead and tell him.
"I was just thinking that…well…I thought you had …I mean to say that…dammit, you looked really beautiful when you smiled and I was thinking that you should smile more often."
"Oh!" Draco said, sounding truly shocked. But then the shock turned into laughter. "I'm sorry, I really didn't expect that. You had a really odd look on your face and I just assumed that you were thinking something mean about me."
"That's all right."
"No it's not, It was ungrateful. I mean, there's no reason for you to have helped me and there's no reason for me to believe you would think ill of me, though surely I deserve it. I shouldn't have gotten angry, I think I just don't know any other form of social interaction. Forgive me?"
"All right, if it'll make you feel any better, I forgive you."
For a while neither of us said anything and we just sat listening to the silence. Or at least that was what I was doing. Finally, though, Draco interrupted the silence.
"Why did you help me? I doubt even my own housemates would have, and I've been awful to you for years."
Why did I help him?
"I'm not entirely sure. You just looked so pitiful, lying there unconscious on the floor, tear stains on your face and you were shaking all over. I couldn't just leave you there, so I carried you back here. I wasn't actually until then that I realized just how severely you were beat up."
"You carried me?" Draco's eyes widened in shock.
"How the hell else did you imagine I got you here?"
"I don't know, dragged me, or used magic at least."
"Oh, I guess that would have made sense. Somehow it never occurred to me. I'm sorry if the thought of being carried upset you, I didn't mean to demean you or anything."
"No, I'm not upset, just…impressed. I mean, I don't think I'm that light."
"It was probably adrenaline. You nearly frightened me to death, you know. You should have seen yourself, shaking convulsively like that, it was horrible, I didn't know what was wrong with you!"
What Draco said next shocked and angered me more than anything else that evening.
"After effects of the cruciatus, it's normal." Draco lowered his eyes and turned his head away from me.
"Oh God." For a while that's all I could think to say, but finally I worked up my courage to say more.
"Your father used the cruciatus on you? That's illegal, I mean obviously there's nothing legal about beating your own son, but the cruciatus is really illegal. Why don't you report him?"
"I can't, don't you see? Father would kill me. I know a lot of kids say that, but I really mean it. Father would literally find me and kill me, or at least make one of his men kill me."
Draco turned his face back towards me, there were silent tears running down his face. I occurred to me then, that he had probably never told anyone about this. I alone knew Draco's secret. How many times had he probably been aching to confide in someone, but been too terrified to. The very thought brought a tear to my own eye.
"I'm so sorry," I whispered as I reached a hand out to Draco's face, hoping to dry away his tears. It did no good, though, his tears would not stop flowing down his cheeks. So I did the only other thing I could think of. I bent down and held Draco in my arms and allowed him a good cry.
Draco held onto me with a death grip and buried his face in my robes. We stayed like that until he finally stopped crying and we both fell asleep.