Revenge Is Not Enough
Chapter 1 – To Have Loved and Lost
Harry knew something wasn't right from the moment he woke up, but after several minutes laying in silent contemplation had no idea of what it could be. Something just felt wrong. His chest ached as if he was suffering heartburn and he idly wondered if he had eaten too much the night before at the Gryffindor party to celebrate winning the Quidditch Cup. Eventually he gave a frustrated sigh and shoved back the covers on his bed and got up.
'Alright there, Harry?' Ron asked cautiously, from the bed just across from his at the look on his face.
Harry just shrugged and with a soft grunt, grabbed a towel and headed into the bathroom.
Ever since the beginning of their seventh year there had been a truce of sorts but Harry still couldn't forgive him for what had happened at Christmas their sixth year. Harry had gone to face Voldemort once again and Ron and Hermione had promised to stay behind. Both had broken the promise however and Hermione had been killed by Bellatrix Lestrange.
Harry hadn't spoken to anyone for almost a month. Finally, after Ron pushed it too far, Harry accidentally legilimanced his friend's mind. He had seen that Hermione hadn't wanted to go at all but that Ron had all but goaded her into it. He snapped, screaming and hitting his friend until the redhead was unconscious and the other then sixth year Gryffindors had had to pull Harry off him and take Ron to Poppy Pomfrey.
The Weasley's had been very understanding, once Dumbledore had spoken to them. After they had seen what Harry had seen, they tried telling Harry that they held him no ill will for his attack on Ron.
Harry had just stared back at them, his green eyes dull and shadowed as if unable to comprehend what they were saying. After several minutes, during which any number of concerned glances were exchanged, Harry finally nodded.
'Thank you.' He muttered hoarsely before standing and moving as silently as a wraith from the headmaster's office before anyone could stop him.
He'd barely spoken for the rest of the year and the state he was in upon his return to the Durselys had even his Aunt Petunia concerned enough to write to Albus Dumbledore and ask what on earth had happened.
Harry's silence continued for the beginning of his seventh year. The staff watched him with concern, the students with curiosity and Dumbledore with a sorrow that he hadn't felt in many a year. Harry ignored everyone and everything, eating when he had no choice, answering only when asked a direct question and moving throughout the school with barely a sound.
As the year moved on Harry slowly began to return to normal. He talked more, rejoined the Quidditch team, and occasionally was even seen to smile. Dumbledore was so happy to see the young man so obviously on the road to recovery that he almost wept. The war was stepping up; Tom Riddle distinctly unhappy about his foe's escape the previous Christmas, and Dumbledore had been worried that Harry might shy away from what he knew was coming; but the Boy-Who-Lived seemed, if anything, even more determined to destroy the Dark Lord.
And then, two days before Christmas, Harry just up and left.
Nearly all of the students had gone home to spend the holiday with their families the day before, and only a handful plus the staff were there to witness Harry get up in the middle of lunch and walk swiftly from the hall. They all watched him go, casting no more than a cursory glance in his direction, after all, Harry often left partway through a meal, if he turned up at all. It was only as Dumbledore looked more closely at the place Harry had been sitting that he noticed a piece of parchment sitting in the middle of Harry's still empty plate. He rushed down from the head table and snatched the parchment off the plate, startling the staff and the few students that remained, and unrolling it almost violently.
I need some time. I will be back
Dumbledore read it several times in disbelief before pulling out his wand to set off the tracking charm he had on Harry's. It was only as he dropped the parchment to cast the incantation that he saw Harry's wand sitting on the seat in front of him.
The following two weeks had been two of the longest in Dumbledore's life. No one outside of Hogwarts had been alerted to the fact that not only was the Boy-Who-Lived missing, whereabouts unknown, but that he was also unarmed.
Nothing happened though, and when Harry walked into the great hall the morning the rest of the school was due to return, looking better than he had in over a year, Dumbledore hadn't the heart to scold him, instead wrapping him in a tight hug, heedless of who was watching.
Harry's demeanour grew brighter as each week passed and Dumbledore watched with growing pleasure as the Boy-Who-Lived grew stronger both magically and mentally. It was obvious to all that Harry was counting on another confrontation with the Dark Lord before the year was out and wanted to be ready.
Harry felt within himself that he was a ready as he was going to be and the endless waiting was driving him crazy. He wanted it just over and done with so that he could go on with his life; and he had so many plans.
That was what was so disturbing about the feeling he had woken up with that morning. He felt almost as if something was missing. As he stood in the shower, allowing the water to cascade down around him, he tested his occlumency shields to see if any of Riddle's emotions might be seeping through but there was nothing.
Harry sighed again as he eventually shut off the shower and dried himself off. At least breakfast would brighten his day. He loved breakfast; it allowed him to see the one person that meant more to him than any other. Not that anyone else knew that. No. They had hidden it from almost everyone.
It had been hard, very hard, and Harry couldn't wait until school was finished and they would be officially married. Then no one could say anything.
'Harry?' Neville looked up from tying his shoes when Harry walked back into the room.
'Hey Neville.' Harry dropped his towel on his bed and pulled some fresh underwear and robes out of his trunk.
'Ron and the others already went down to breakfast but I thought you might like some company.' Neville offered as he tied his other shoe.
Harry tossed him a small smile. 'Thanks Nev, I appreciate it.' he said quietly, pulling on the clean clothes and running his hand through his hair as he muttered a drying charm.
'Don't mention it. Come on, we better get going or Ron will have eaten all the pancakes.' The smaller boy said, grasping Harry's elbow. Harry just managed to stuff his feet in to his school shoes before Neville dragged him from the room and down the steps.
Harry had been sitting beside Ron and Neville for several minutes, glancing surreptitiously around the hall. The one he loved wasn't there yet but they were often late for breakfast. Far too long in front of the mirror, Harry thought with grin.
Suddenly there was the ruffle of hundreds of wings as the morning post arrived. Harry didn't bother looking up from his pancakes as hundreds of students around him all opened their letters and parcels and the owls all flew back off to the owlrey. In fact, it was only the sound of a single pair of wings and the sudden deathly hush from the entire hall that caused him to look up.
His eyes widened at the sight of the black raven, a horribly familiar black envelope held tightly in it's beak. These birds were both familiar and unwanted. They came automatically from the Ministry at the death of a family member. They were sent to all other family members the moment a death was detected by the Department of Mysteries. How they were detected so quickly know one really ever knew, only that these ravens would be sighted flying from the Ministry within hours of a death.
Harry inwardly wondered at who the unlucky recipient would be this morning even as he felt both a small sadness and guilt at their loss. There had been many, many of these heart breaking deliveries over the last year in particular and each one made Harry's heart ache with the knowledge that he had failed to save yet another person.
His eyes, as did everyone elses, stayed on the raven as it soared over the tables. At first he thought it would land at the head table but it quickly banked once more and landed on the Gryffindor table.
Right in front of him.
'What?' Harry stammered. He had no parents, no next of kin. There must be some mistake. He could feel the eyes of the entire hall on him as he stood up and stumbled back away from the table in an effort to make the raven see sense. The bird hopped several inches forward as if to assure him that there was no mistake.
Suddenly the blood drained from his face as his eyes flew to a particular seat. It was still empty. 'No.' he breathed. 'No.'
The doors to the great hall flew open with a bang and the entire hall spun where they sat, stunned into speechlessness at the sight of a frighteningly emotionless Lucius Malfoy and his stricken wife Narcissa, framed within.
'Harry.' Narcissa Malfoy called out tremulously across the hall. The use of his first name stunning everyone even further. Harry backed up until he hit the wall behind him, shaking his head in denial, even as he eyes returned to the raven who was waiting patiently for him to open the envelope.
'No, it can't be right. No, No.' He said over and over.
Both the Malfoys and Dumbledore quickly headed across the hall towards him; Narcissa reaching him first. 'Harry.' She tried again.
Harry squeezed his eyes shut so that he couldn't see the despair, the anguish...or the truth, in hers. 'No, please tell me it's all a joke.' He pleaded. 'Tell m that he's in his bed in the dungeons, he's slept in. That he's still fixing his hair, packing his bag. Please tell me anything.' Harry opened his eyes again, his green eyes full of tears. 'But please, please don't tell me that.' Narcissa Malfoy glanced quickly at her husband, easily seeing through the mask he was wearing and as one they both reached out and clasped Harry's shoulder in silent support. They both knew just how much he had loved their son and how much Draco had loved him in return.
'No.' Harry whimpered as his legs crumpled beneath him. Lucius managed to get an arm around his waist before he could stumble and together the two Malfoys began gently guiding him from the hall where prying eyes couldn't see him and his grief.
'Excuse me.' Dumbledore's curious but hardened voice broke the silence. 'Do you mind explaining just what on earth is going on.' It was not a request and Narcissa glanced at Lucius, silently willing him to continue helping Harry from the room while she made their explanations.
She looked at Dumbledore and the staring Gryffindors before her gaze moved around the hall, taking in the expressions of confusion contained on the faces of many. Only the Slytherins seemed to have realised what had actually happened and she could see that they were all stunned beyond belief. Whether that stemmed from Draco's unheard of relationship with the Boy-Who-Lived or the fact that he hadn't returned from his jaunt to Hogsmeade in the middle of the night this time like he had every other time he had gone over the last few years she wasn't sure.
There was an impatient sniff from beside her and she turned her head, noting that the headmaster and now McGonagall were still waiting for her to explain. She didn't say anything, instead reaching out and taking the letter from the raven who was also still waiting and handing it to the elderly wizard in front of him.
Dumbledore's gaze was calculating but he finally looked down and opened the black missive and scanned it. 'Bonded?' He asked incredulously.
Narcissa gave him a short sharp nod in comfirmation. 'They were blood bonded. They were to be married the day after graduation. Harry was...Harry is, a Malfoy.' She corrected herself, inwardly wincing as her voice broke. 'And we will look after him as such.'
'I cannot allow this.' Dumbledore said gravely. 'I cannot allow Harry to leave the school grounds, most particularly not to Malfoy Manor.'
Narcissa gave both the headmaster and the elderly witch by his side a tight, pained smile that looked more like a grimace. 'I'm afraid you have no choice in the matter, Headmaster. Besides, I don't know why you're so concerned. He spent two weeks with us over Christmas.' She added lightly, turning on her heel and sweeping regally from the hall before Dumbledore could say another word.
Not that he needed to. 'Just what in the bloody hell is going on?' Ron Weasley burst out with the question everyone seemed to want answered.
Narcissa allowed Severus Snape to take her arm as the doors to the hall closed behind her and as one they moved outside the school and down the steps. She could see Lucius waiting by the gates, Harry held tightly in his arms. She could also tell that her husband had stunned the young man, either that or the man stalking swiftly beside her had provided one of his potent sleeping draughts. She glanced at him and Snape nodded in response to the unasked question.
'We thought it might be a bit easier on him. Just until we get him settled.'
Narcissa smiled at the usually belligerent man's concern and thought about just how much change the Boy-Who-Lived had brought to their family since his arrival two weeks before the end of last summer. She well remembered the day Draco brought him home like a lost stray puppy. She had been wondering what had drawn her usually lazy son up and through the floo every morning before breakfast and didn't return him to the manor until evening for almost the last month, and had just been on the verge of asking when he had turned up with none other than Harry Potter.
Apparently the Boy-Who-Lived had been living in the Three Broomsticks for most of the summer after finding himself unable to endure his nosy aunt and violent uncle any longer. Draco had spent every day for three and a half weeks at Diagon Alley with Harry, who under Polyjuice supplied by Draco, finally learnt what it was to be ignored.
And he loved it.
It hadn't really taken all that long for Harry to warm to Draco, a rather remarkable feat considering their previous relationship. Draco, when he wanted to be, and usually only when alone, was an enchanting young man and it was obvious from the beginning that he felt very strongly about Harry Potter.
Draco never told her what it was he had done to earn the Boy-Who-Lived's trust and Harry had been tight lipped about it as well. But by the time he had returned to school both had realised that what they had was something more then special.
Snape's soft murmured broke her train of thought and she shook her head to block out the memories. She had a newly bound wizard who had just lost his partner to look after, it wouldn't do to dwell on memories. Lucius gave her an enquiring look but Narcissa just shook her head.
'Let's go home.' she whispered, gently pushing back the hair on Harry's forehead even as they apparated away with a crack.
Narcissa remembered just how tired and nervous and scared Harry had been that first night in spite of all they did to try and make him at ease. The sight of him the next morning at breakfast had clenched at Narcissa's heart. It was very obvious that he hadn't even closed his eyes, and in fact probably spent the night pacing in the room they had given him so that he wouldn't sleep.
It took almost the full two weeks before Harry came to the realisation that family was more important than even Tom Riddle to them and that his growing bond with Draco meant that they had no intention of handing him over to the Dark Lord, just as Draco had promised him.
A few nights before they returned to Hogwarts, Lucius had said something to him that had stayed with him for some time. 'Nothing in the world is absolute, Harry. Many variables play many different parts. Sometimes it is easier and safer just to go with it and there are other times you have to stand up for what you believe is right and good.'
Harry had just stared at him unblinking for several minutes until the blond aristocrat had reached out and placed a hand on his shoulder.
'You, Harry, are right and good. And I will stand up for you, to anyone.' He added firmly.
Harry had finally allowed a true smile to grace his lips. 'Thank you.' he murmured sincerely even as Draco had come up behind him and wrapped his arms around Harry's waist.
'See, I told you.' He drawled. Narcissa had watched as Harry had seemed to sink into the warmth her son's arms provided.
'Yes, you did.' he whispered, closing his eyes as Draco gently kissed his neck.
The sleeping figure in the bed in front of her let out a cry, throwing Narcissa from her thoughts once more. Harry began tossing heavily, his scar blistering even as his jaw clenched shut. It was obvious the potion had worn off and that Tom Riddle had access to Harry's mind once more.
The witch reached out towards him only to find herself shocked by some sort of ward. 'Harry, wake up.' she called loudly but Harry was too far into the vision to hear her. 'Merlin, Harry, just hold on.' she breathed as trickle of blood seeped from his scar.
'Thank you for coming with us, Severus.' Lucius Malfoy sighed as he sat down in front of the fireplace, accepting the glass of scotch his friend gave him in spite of the hour.
'There was never any doubt, Lucius. Draco was my godson. This is where I belong.' Snape said quietly as he too sat down.
Lucius stared into the glass in contemplation for several moments. 'Why, Severus? Why would Draco have done that?' he asked shaking his head in disbelief. 'He saw what happened at Christmas. He had Harry to be concerned about. Why would he risk his life in such a way?'
'I don't know.' Snape responded. 'I'd heard that he'd snuck into Hogsmeade back in January and I dragged him over the coals about it. He swore to me that he'd never do it again.'
Lucius looked up then, his gray eyes bright with something Snape couldn't quite discern. 'Do you think He will return my son's body to me?' He asked softly.
Snape weighed the options before nodding. 'Yes, I do believe He will.' He said honestly. 'If only so that you can see what He did to him, what you have lost.'
Malfoy's eyes burned angrily. 'I know exactly what I have lost, Severus. Something I can never replace. Thank Merlin we still have Harry. I will not let that monster take him from us.'
Snape's eyes narrowed. 'You do realise that he is the root of all of this, don't you.'
'I do beg your pardon?' Lucius whispered coldly.
'If Draco hadn't fallen for Potter, then you would not have turned from the Dark Lord and he would not have killed your son.'
Malfoy's eyes became practically glacial. 'Don't you dare blame Harry for what has happened. I turned from that half blood hypocrite long before Draco and Harry bonded.' If the man's eyes were cold, his voice could have snap frozen boiling water. 'This is in no way Harry's fault and I will not let you blame him.'
Snape had the grace to look sheepish, well as sheepish as he can anyway, and glanced back at Lucius. 'Sorry. I still find it hard to believe.'
Malfoy sighed and ran an uncharacteristic hand through his usually immaculate hair. 'Opposites attract, Severus. And those two were polar opposites.'
'That's what made it so weird.'
'That's what made it so special.' Lucius corrected his friend, a fond look on his face that Snape knew wasn't directed at him.
Snape downed that last of his drink before speaking. 'He won't want it. Or rather he won't think he deserves it.' The potions master said obliquely.
Malfoy shook his head. 'No he won't.' he agreed. 'But he will receive it and all that comes with it anyway. It's what Draco would have wanted. And in time he will see that.'
Snape nodded and both men sat in silence for several minutes. 'It's not fair, is it.'
Lucius looked up when he heard a cry from upstairs. 'No, it isn't.'
'Albus, what on earth is going on?' Minerva asked impatiently.
The other two heads of house and most of the staff having retired to his office the minute the meal had finished. Classes had been canceled for the day and student and teacher alike wanted an explanation. Unfortunately Dumbledore didn't have any. He'd never felt so utterly flumoxed in his life.
He'd had no idea, not even an inkling that Harry had known the Malfoys other than by sight, or that he and Draco Malfoy had anything more than just a passing hatred, albeit a a fairly strong one, of each other. To have been so completely fooled by two children directly under his nose, even with his network of portrait spies throughout the school, was incomprehensible.
And to find out that Harry had not only spent those two weeks at Malfoy Manor over Christmas but that he'd had no wand whilst there was inconceivable.
All in all, he was flummoxed. 'I need to talk to, Severus.' He said at last.
' 'e left wif Narcissa Malfoy, 'e did.' Hagrid called out from the back of the room.
Dumbledore felt like smacking himself in the head. 'Of course, Draco is his godson.' he muttered standing up and holding up his hands for silence. 'I ask that you all be patient until I can get to the bottom of this mess.'
'But how could Harry Potter have bonded to Draco Malfoy. They hated each other.' Minerva said incredulously. 'Everyone knew it.'
Dumbledore sighed. 'And therein probably lies the secret to this whole thing.'
'What are you talking about?' Filius Flitwick squeaked.
'When one is certain of something, one doesn't look closely at it any longer.' Dumbledore said obtusely.
'English please, Albus.' Minerva ground out. She was not in the mood for his oblique references and verbal dancing. Two of the darkest witches and wizards alive today had just taken one of her prize Gryffindors from the school and she wanted answers.
'We were all so sure that Mr Potter and Mr Malfoy hated each other. They they were both nicely fitting into the boxes we had put them in that we stopped looking that closely at them anymore.'
'We shouldn't have needed to look so closely, Albus. Harry is a Gryffindor. Draco Malfoy is a Slytherin.' Minerva snapped.
'Was a Slytherin, Minevra. Draco Malfoy was a Slytherin.' Dumbledore said softly, his words instantly halting the thoughts of others. They had all forgotten that, in amongst all of the questions and concern for Harry, one of their students had died that day. One young person would never again grace the halls of Hogwarts. One bright mind had been snuffed out far too early.
Dumbledore waited a few moments to see if any would break the silence but none did. 'I have people that I must speak to. I will alert you all when I know more. Thank you.' The tone was clearly a dismissal and everyone grudgingly left the room as Albus pulled out some parchment and a quill, knowing that the Malfoy's would have closed their house to all but owls as per the traditions of a pureblood family.
The area around Harry was dark, all he could see was the gleeful look on Tom Riddle's snake like face and the mangled body of the one he loved. 'You see, Harry. You cannot protect anyone. I will take them all from you. Beginning with the one you loved most.' Riddle hissed.
'Bastard.' Harry cried, trying to wipe the blood from Draco's pale face but, as in all his visions, his hands just went straight through. 'God, Dray, I'm sorry. I'm so sorry.'
'You should be, Harry. If you hadn't caused my strongest allies to doubt themselves your lover would still be alive. In other words.' Riddle said lightly, inspecting his razor sharp fingernails idly. 'It's all your fault.'
Harry saw red. 'It is not. Don't you dare blame this on me. Draco loved me. I know he did. He would never think this was my fault.'
Riddle shrugged, a rather pedestrian sort of action that stunned Harry. 'Whatever you think, Harry. I know everyone else will blame you.'
Harry's dream self clenched his fists tightly. 'I want him back.'
Riddle gave him a charming smile. 'Oh you will get him back, Harry. I've got the Portkey all ready. I want you to know everything I did to him. Did you know he died screaming for you?' Harry flinched. 'Screaming for you to come and save him as his blood pooled all over the floor. But you failed him didn't you, Harry? Just as you will fail them all.'
'I'M GOING TO KILL YOU.' Harry screamed, tearing himself away from the vision and back to the bed in Malfoy Manor where he lay.
'Harry?' Narcissa asked as Harry sat bolt upright, his breathing ragged and tears streaming from his eyes. 'Dray.' Harry gasped, shoving the blanket off him and leaping from the bed. 'Harry, stop!' Narcissa cried out as he sprinted past her and out the door.
Lucius and Snape heard her call and rushed out of the study in time to see Harry leap off the sixth step and sprint across the foyer before wrenching the door open and disappearing outside. Harry didn't hear anything. All he wanted was Draco. He knew Riddle would keep his promise. He always did; whether good or bad. He all but flew down the front steps and along the drive to the gates which opened automatically for him.
'GIVE HIM BACK.' Harry screamed, startling a nearby flock of birds that took to the sky squawking in discontent. 'GIVE HIM BACK, YOU BASTARD.'
'Harry.' Lucius had caught up to him and placed a hand on his shoulder but Harry shook him off just as a soft pop sounded from nearby and Harry spun around. Sure enough, Draco's blood covered body had arrived by Portkey, just as Riddle had promised.
'Dray!' Harry cried, throwing himself the half dozen feet towards his lover. 'Dray, I'm sorry.' He was now able to brush the blood soaked hair back of Draco's face and place a gentle kiss on the cold lips.
Narcissa and Lucius looked in horror at the damage that had been done to their only son as Harry wrapped his arms around Draco's lifeless body and pulled him close, whispering softly in Draco's unhearing ears.
'Luc, it's not safe out here.' Snape murmured, glancing around in concern. Lucius seemed to realise that his friend was right and moved quickly to Harry's side.
'Harry, give me Draco, we have to get inside the wards.' He said reaching to take his son from the distraught young man.
'DON'T TOUCH HIM.' Harry screamed, startling Lucius. 'Please, don't touch him.' Harry added in shame at the look on the elder Malfoy's face.
'We have to get him inside where he will be safe.' Lucius said quietly knowing those words would have the right effect. Harry nodded, lifting the smaller boy in his arms and holding him tightly as he stood. Lucius kept his arm around Harry as Snape escorted a still horrified Narcissa back up the drive and into the house. At the bottom of the stairs Harry hesitated.
'I'll help you, Harry.' Narcissa offered.
Harry shook his head, squeezing his eyes tightly shut for several moments. 'No, thank you. I'll do it.' He said softly before continuing up the stairs to what had been his and Draco's rooms.
Narcissa moved to follow him but Lucius placed a hand on her arm. 'It is his right, Cissa. Let him do it unless he asks for your help.'
Narcissa nodded. 'I will. I just want to be nearby in case.' Lucius nodded and let her go just as Snape walked over to the window to let the owl in that had been tapping on the glass for the last few minutes.
Harry lay Draco down on their bed and gently stroked his cheek. 'I'm sorry I wasn't there when you needed me, Dray.' He whispered, ignoring the house elf who popped in to place some water and clean towels on the table nearby.
Summoning every bit of will power he had he raised his hand and banished Draco's clothing to a pile in the corner for the house elves even knowing what would find.
'Oh god.' he breathed, tears falling unheeded from his eyes. There was not a patch of skin that wasn't bruised, cut or burnt. Nearly every bone had been broken and some protruded out of the skin in a grotesque manner.
He heard a strangled cry from the doorway and looked up to see Narcissa wide eyed, her hands in her mouth to stop herself from screaming. Harry dropped his head and closed his eyes, breathing slowly in and out in an effort to control his anger and pain. Finally he opened his eyes once again and began.
First he healed the bones and then the cuts and burns. There was really nothing he could do for the bruising. That required a salve and only worked on someone whose blood was still pumping through their body.
'This wasn't how I thought I would use all the healing spells I learnt.' he murmured softly as he continued talking to Draco. Then he moved to the table to pick up a clean towel and dip it into the water.
He stopped and frowned.
The water was cold.
Draco hated cold water.
It was that thought that made him feel as if he'd been punched in the stomach, and he sucked in a heavy breath as he fell to his knees.
'Draco.' He whispered shaking his head as his breath seemed to leave him. Narcissa watched in anguish from the doorway, unable to step over the threshold and help with out breaking the rules of pureblood burial rites. And she knew Harry wouldn't thank her for it either.
Eventually Harry got control of himself again and staggered to his feet, warming the water with a wave of his hand before dipping the towel in once more. Narcissa watched as he methodically cleaned away the blood and dirt and tears from her son, mindless of the ones that continued to stream down his own cheeks.
Finally he placed the blood covered towels back on the table and placed a sheet with the Malfoy crest over all but Draco's face. Tears came to her own eyes as Harry knelt beside the bed and cupped Draco's cheek.
'I love you, Dray. I'll always love you.' He whispered leaning forward and placing a gentle kiss on Draco's pale lips and resting his head on the now clean chest as of trying to hear the non existent heartbeat.
Narcissa waited for Harry to pull away but realised he planned on remaining that way for some time and quietly crept from the doorway and back down the stairs.
'Thank you for letting me come, Lucius. I am sorry for your loss.' Dumbledore said politely as he stepped through the door into the study after having apparated nearby and walked up to the front door.
'You owled with a reasonable request, Dumbledore and it was answered. Nothing more, nothing less, but I do thank you for your condolences.' Malfoy said distantly. His mind was on Harry and Draco. It had been more than six hours since Harry had carried the body of his son upstairs and he hadn't heard anything from Narcissa at all, he just hoped everything was alright.
As if to answer his question there was a polite knock on the door before his wife joined them. Lucius raised an eyebrow at her and she nodded gently in response. Lucius breathed a soft sigh of relief and turned back to the waiting Headmaster. 'What is it you wish to know?' He asked bluntly.
Dumbledore, startled at the bluntness decided to respond in kind. 'I wish to know what your intentions are towards, Mr Potter?'
Snape growled softly. 'Albus, they've just lost their son, can this not wait?'
Dumbledore's gaze fell on him and Snape knew he would have some serious explaining to do later. 'No, I do not believe it can, Severus. Although perhaps, if you had been honest with me at the beginning, this would not be necessary.'
'What was between Harry and my son was none of your business.' Lucius cut in icily. 'Know only that Harry has stayed here before without issue and he will have no issue this time either.'
'You are not his guardians. You cannot keep him against their will.' Dumbledore retorted.
Narcissa let out a bark of laughter that was as brittle as centuries old parchment. 'Against their will? Those useless Muggles? Albus please, you and I both know that Harry became emancipated the moment he and Draco were bonded. Do not insult our intelligence by bring those appalling excuses for humans into the argument.'
'He cannot stay here.' Dumbledore repeated.
'Why not?' Lucius raised an eyebrow in question.
'Because he's not safe.' The headmaster snapped.
'We've been over this. We will not hand Harry over to the Dark Lord any more now than we would have last summer.'
'Last summer?' Dumbeldore's iron grip on his control was slipping.
Narcissa eyed him coldly. 'Yes, last summer. Harry stayed for two weeks then, as well as over Christmas. He also spent a total of...?' she trailed off and turned to Lucius.
'Seven or eight.' Lucius supplied helpfully.
'Thank you. Seven or eight separate weekends here. So you can see his is in little danger.'
Dumbldore was speechless and turned to Snape. 'You were aware of this?' He asked finally.
Snape nodded curtly. 'Yes, I was aware. I didn't like it, but I was aware.' 'If you didn't like it then why didn't you say anything?' Dumbledore burst out.
Snape folded his arms over his chest and his black eyes narrowed. 'Because my reasons were personal. I had no qualms as to Potter's safety here. My only concern was my godson's appalling taste in bondmates.'
'Thank you ever so much, Professor.' Harry cut in tiredly from the doorway where he had stood unnoticed by all but Lucius for several minutes.
'Mr Potter.' Dumbledore and Snape spoke at once.
'Malfoy.' Harry corrected him as he walked over and accepted the hug Narcissa offered even as Lucius felt a ghost of a smile pass over his face.
'Harry?' Dumbledore questioned.
Harry waited until Narcissa released him and turned to the headmaster. 'Everyone knows now.' he shrugged. 'I was always going to change it. I hate being Harry Potter.'
'But Harry, what of your father?' Dumbledore breathed.
'What of it? He's dead, and quite frankly I don't think he'd care all that much as long as I was happy.'
'And are you happy, Harry?' Dumbledore asked cruelly.
Narcissa looked ready to slap him, Lucius wanted to cast the killing curse on the spot, and even Snape thought it an incredibly low blow.
'I was.' Harry said in a broken whisper, moving out of Narcissa's arms and crossing to stand by the window looking out of the grounds where he and Draco had shared so much. 'I will never expect you to understand what Draco and I had, Headmaster.' he said softly. 'No one can understand what we had, but I will tell you this. If you ever dishonour his memory in such a fashion again, you won't have a moment to even contemplate what you have done before I strike you down. Do you understand?' He asked coldly without even turning from the window.
Dumbledore was stunned into speechlessness once again. Finally after opening and closing his mouth several times he spoke. 'I see that associating with Dark Wizards is having an effect on you Harry.'
This time Harry did turn and his eyes positively glowed in anger. 'How dare you! Lucius and Narcissa are my family. They turned from Tom Riddle two years ago, even before Draco and I were bonded. The only effect they have had on me is to welcome me with open arms, give their blessing to Draco and my union and protect me from Voldemort. Something you have failed at several times if I remember correctly.' Harry responded harshly.
The headmaster flinched.
'Now, please leave. We are in mourning and wish to be left alone.' Harry turned back to the window once again and folded his arms over his chest in what was a clear dismissal.
Dumbledore looked around the room at the expressions on the faces of those around him. 'When will you be returning to Hogwarts, Harry.' He asked finally.
Harry was silent for several moments. 'I don't know.' He whispered.
Dumbledore seemed to want to question him further but thought better of it. 'Severus?'
The potions master glanced at Harry. 'I will return this evening.' He said curtly. 'Once the arrangements have been finalised.'
Dumbledore nodded and allowed the house elf Lucius summoned to lead him towards the door. He stoped just before stepping through. 'I am sorry, Harry.' He said softly, not really expecting an answer.
He was not disappointed.
Lucius stared down at the still form of his son and sighed softly. He could barely remember the boy ever being so still even in sleep. His mind cast itself back to the end of last summer, when Harry had been with them almost the full two weeks.
Lucius had sat out on the terrace painting a landscape as very few people knew he was want to do. He could see and hear Harry and Draco nearby at the edge of the lake. Well he could hear Harry anyway. He was splashing about in the water as Draco lay, almost asleep on a blanket under the shade of an enormous oak tree.
He heard Harry call out to his son, wanting Draco to join him in the water. Draco, of course, just ignored him.
Lucius watched in awe, not that he would admit it to anyone, as Harry wandlessly levitated a large ball of water in front of him and clambered out of the lake until he was standing over the blond.
'Oh Draco.' he said cheekily. Draco had opened one eye and immediately copped a ball of water in the face. Harry had laughed loudly at the look of utter disgust on Draco's face as he tried to smooth down his now wet hair.
'Oh, you'll pay for that, Potter.' Draco smirked, his hand shooting out to grasp Harry's wrist and yanking down beside him on the blanket where he proceeded to tickle him mercilessly. Harry had let a shriek of laughter before crying uncle. Lucius watched as Draco stopped tickling him but didn't move from his position atop the Boy-Who-Lived.
Harry reached up and gently entwined his fingers in Draco's wet hair as Draco bent down to kiss him softly. Minutes later the kisses had become more passionate as Draco's mouth had moved to Harry's neck and chest and Lucius quickly realised that he really shouldn't be watching this.
He placed the brushes in the cleaning fluid and cast an obscuring charm from the terrace before disappearing back inside.
Yes, he thought sadly, Draco had never been that still. He bent down and gently ran his fingers over the closed eyes. Harry had done a very good job. Other than the bruising on Draco's temple his son almost looked as if he might have died in his sleep.
'I will keep him safe for you, my son.' He whispered. 'And he will join you one day. Wait for him, Draco. He is worth waiting for. Goodbye my child.' Lucius bent down further and placed a kiss on Draco's forehead before turning and leaving the room. He had arrangements to make.
Harry sat in the library, his eyes distant as he stared unfocused at the wall seat that had been the first place Draco had ever kissed him. He'd been at Malfoy Manor for almost a week and he'd noticed the questions Draco had begun asked had much more of a point to them. They all seemed to move towards getting Harry beside the other boy in any way shape or form.
'Hey Harry.' Draco called from across the room and Harry had looked up from the essay he was finishing on Goblin wars.
'What do you want to do when you leave school?'
Harry had been stumped. 'I..I'm not really sure.' He said honestly. 'Why? What are you going to do?'
Draco had shrugged and thrown himself onto the window seat with a dramatic sigh. 'I'm not sure either. I had thought of moving out and getting my own place, but I think I'd be very lonely.'
Harry snorted. 'I meant as a job, Dray.' he scolded.
Draco sniffed. 'I'm a Malfoy, Harry. We don't do menial work.'
Harry laughed outright. 'Dray, you don't do any work.' he corrected with a grin.
Draco gave him a wicked smirk. 'Bet you don't have the bollocks to come over here and say that.' He goaded.
Harry, as both a Gryffindor and one to never step away from a challenge, put down his quill and came around the desk, moving across the room to sit beside the lounging Slytherin. 'You don't do any work, Dray.' he repeated mischievously.
Draco raised an eyebrow. 'Oh, so they're bigger than I thought.' he said mildly, causing Harry a few moments confusion before a magnificent blush spread across his cheeks.
'Draco!' Harry whispered scandalously.
Draco smiled, a positively predatory smile, and sat up, reaching out to push the hair back off Harry's face. 'You are so beautiful when you blush, Harry.' He whispered as his fingers traced the blush down Harry's cheek to his neck.
Draco's soft hands were like ice on Harry's burning skin but Harry found himself frozen in place as Draco continued running his fingers over Harry's face. 'Harry look at me.' Draco murmured and to Harry's surprise he found that he had closed his eyes. He opened them and found himself instantly swallowed by bright mercury. Draco's hands went around his waist and pulled him closer even as his eyes remained locked on Harry's. He reached up again with one hand and cupped Harry's cheek. 'I've gone and done something terrible.' he whispered and Harry's eyes widened so far he thought they might fall out.
His mind raced. What had Draco done? Had he killed someone? Had he told Tom Riddle that Harry was at Malfoy Manor? What?' He was almost incapable of coherent thought but Draco seemed to be waiting for something so Harry used every ounce of will he had not to flinch away, instead asking in a very small voice.
'What have you done?' Draco smiled and lent closer. 'I've gone and fallen in love with you, Harry Potter.' He breathed before his lips descended on Harry's and the Boy-Who-Lived was lost.
That kiss had been so full of love, of hope, of promise, that it had brought tears to Harry's eyes. When Draco had finally pulled away he hadn't questioned Harry's reaction, simply, quietly, reaching up to wipe the two tears away before pulling Harry close and resting his head on Harry's shoulder.
Harry shook his head and stood up as the last of the memory left him. That had been the beginning of something extraordinary. Both of them knew it. Even Lucius and Narcissa knew it. Harry knew he would never find someone like Draco again and he wasn't sure he wanted to.
'Harry?' Lucius called from the doorway and Harry looked up. 'It's hard to be here, isn't it?' he asked at the look on Harry's face.
Harry glanced around him and shook his head. 'Yes. All of my good memories of Draco are entwined with the Manor but I can't think of anywhere I'd rather be right now.'
Lucius gave him a small smile. 'Come on, Narcissa has asked that you at least sit with us. You don't have to eat but we would appreciate the company.'
'Of course.' Harry said softly and followed the Malfoy patriarch downstairs and into the dining room. He stopped short in the doorway when he saw that four places had been set.
Narcissa looked up at him before realising what she had just automatically done. 'Oh dear.' she murmured, quickly raising her wand to banish the extra setting.
'No, wait.' Harry called out. 'Leave it. I think he'd like to sit with us one last time.' Lucius and Narcissa exchanged a concerned glance.
'Harry, I'm not sure that's such a good idea.' The witch said carefully.
Harry looked up, his green eyes pleading. 'Indulge me please.' he begged. 'I'm not crazy or anything. I just want this one last night with him.' Narcissa's eyes narrowed but she left the setting where it was for the moment.
'Harry, where do you plan on sleeping tonight?' she asked carefully.
Harry closed his eyes. 'With Draco.' He whispered. 'Harry.' Narcissa said again. 'Please Narcissa. I need this. I need to be near him just one more night. I just want to lay beside him. To know that he's there.'
'That's fine, Harry.' Lucius spoke before Narcissa could respond, giving Narcissa a glare to silence her. 'Let's just have some dinner.'
The meal was consumed mostly in silence but Harry did manage to eat something, a fact that kept Narcissa fairly quiet and as soon as Harry had finished he stood.
'Harry, you know where we are if you need us.' Lucius said firmly.
Harry gave them both a smile. 'Thank you.' he whispered before slipping silently from the room.
'Lucius, I really don't think this is a good idea.' Narcissa said when she heard the door close behind him.
'Cissa, you have to understand something about Harry.' Lucius murmured quietly, taking her hand and helping her up from the table. 'He's a heart. All over. His capacity for love is greater than anyone I've ever known and the majority of that love was focused on Draco.' He explained as he escorted her from the room and up the stairs. 'He's lost that focus now. He is lost. He needs to spend the time with Draco to heal. To re orient himself in a world where he has lost the one thing that meant more to him than any other.'
'He needs to believe that it is true.' Narcissa filled in as she understood what it was her husband was trying to say.
Lucius nodded sadly. 'Yes, he needs to know to the very core of his being that it is true.' he added softly as he closed the door to their bedroom behind them.
Harry lay on his side, head resting on one hand as he held Draco's cold hand in the other. He stared at the pale form, willing it to take a breath, yet knowing that it wouldn't. His eyes studied the beautiful pale face remembering when it had been flushed with arousal and thrown back in passion. Harry closed his eyes as he was thrown back to the night of their bonding.
'I love you, Harry.' Draco whispered as he unclasped the bonding robes at Harry's neck and dropped them to the floor leaving Harry in nothing but his pants. '
I love you too.' Harry whispered as his hands ghosted over Draco's shoulders making the other boy shudder.
Harry captured Draco's lips with his own and pushed the boy back onto the bed; allowing Draco to roll until he was on top and could stare down at Harry with lidded eyes.
'Do you trust me, Harry?' He breathed.
Harry nodded. 'More than anything.'
What followed that night had stunned Harry past the point of speechlessness. The feelings Draco was able to stir in him were beyond what he could ever have imagined. By morning he doubted he could ever be apart from the other wizard and he never wanted to.
But now he was. Draco was gone. He knew he was, in spite of how much his soul wished otherwise. And Harry would have to learn to live without those feelings again. Those incredible hands, beautiful eyes, soft lips and loving arms. Harry's eyes filled again and he let go of Draco's hand to run his fingers over porcelain cheeks.
'I don't think I can do this without you, Dray.' Harry sobbed brokenly as his head dropped down onto Draco's shoulder and he allowed the tears to flow freely for the last time.