This is my first Harry Potter fanfic, so please don't be too strict, okay?
I hope you enjoy the story! ^-^
Damn, his head hurt like hell. Not that his stomach was doing any better. He wouldn't be surprised if he were to throw up any moment now.
Gulping the lump that had risen to his throat with much more effort than he'd like, he made a mental note never to Apparate again unless absolutely necessary. But that could wait for later. He had other, more important matters to attend to at the moment.
Such as, a barely conscious Headmaster.
The moment they landed on the Astronomy Tower, Dumbledore had literally collapsed in Harry's arms. The boy was beginning to panic by now. The professor looked deathly pale; his skin had taken a sickly white color that matched the whiteness of a corpse, not to mention his obvious difficulty to breathe.
"Sir, I'm going to bring madam Pomfrey, I'm sure she'll know what to do." He certainly didn't want to leave the man on his own at the moment, but he knew for certain that the Headmaster was in need of some immediate medical treatment.
But Harry could only blink when Dumbledore gave him a weak shake of the head. He mumbled something, something incoherent that made Harry frown and lean closer, straining to hear.
He clenched his teeth. From all the people in the castle, Dumbledore had to ask for the one person he hated the most.
"Sir, I believe that madam Pomfrey is more suited for a situation like this. I don't doubt that professor Snape is an expert at potions, but not on healing spells."
Yet again, the only thing Dumbledore did was to shake his head. Harry glanced at the man's face, biting his lip at how powerless he was. Here his Headmaster was, barely able stand on his own, let alone speak, and he couldn't do a single thing to help him.
Eyes glowing with resolve, Harry squeezed Dumbledore's arm, making those hazy eyes land on his face if only for a moment. "I understand, sir."
Briefly, he thought he saw a small, grateful smile tugging at the man's lips but he had no time to ponder over it. Carefully and gently, he helped the elderly wizard into a sitting position on the floor.
"I'll be right back." he said softly, rising to his feet.
He never made it far, though.
At the sound of footsteps on the staircase, Harry backed up, pulling out his wand and positioned himself in front of Dumbledore. A rustling sound behind him caught his attention, causing him to glance over his shoulder.
Eyes widening ever so slightly, Harry whirled around sharply, taking hold of Dumbledore's arm to steady him once he had stood up. "Sir, you shouldn't strain yourself."
No doubt noting the worry in his voice, the man let out a soft chuckle, "Thank you for your concern, my boy. I'm afraid though that I'm going to have to ask you to hide yourself."
Harry just stared at him, seriously considering the idea of a concussion. Honestly, even in his current state the Headmaster was still worried about the teen's welfare rather than his own. No matter how touched he was, there was absolutely no way he was going to leave, especially not now.
Probably foreseeing the answer the boy was going to give him, Dumbledore placed his hand on Harry's shoulder, the latter mildly noticing that it wasn't shaking as much as a short while ago. "Remember what you promised?"
A small smile graced Harry's features. He knew that Dumbledore was going to use that against him. "Of course, sir. Unfortunately, that promise was null and void the moment we returned to Hogwarts."
Dumbledore's expression was positively crestfallen, brow smoothing out in a resigned sort of way, but whatever reply he intended to give was cut short by the arrival of another person on the Tower.
Harry could feel his eyes narrow of their own accord at the sight of the other boy, alternating his glare between him and the wand he held threateningly.
"Lost, Malfoy?" he drawled, not even bothering to hide the sarcasm in his voice. He knew very well that his fellow classmate wasn't here by accident. "The last time I checked, Slytherin was located in the dungeons."
The heir to the Malfoy bloodline smirked, but Harry wasn't fooled. It was quite obvious how shaken up the other was, despite how hard he tried to hide it.
Harry's lips curled into a smirk of his own, his wand not once leaving its target. "Something the matter? If I didn't know you any better, I'd say you look pretty nervous."
To his satisfaction, he watched as Malfoy's wand quivered even more, a frown settling on its owner face.
"Good evening, Draco." Dumbledore said amiably, speaking up for the first time ever since Malfoy came and actually sounding normal much to Harry's surprise. "I have to admit, you do look a little worked up, my boy."
A low chuckle escaped from Malfoy's lips, but it sounded too bitter and forced to be real. "Have you taken a look at yourself lately? You wouldn't be able to stand on your own if Potter wasn't there to support you!"
A low, venomous growl passed through Harry's lips, "Watch your tongue, Malfoy."
The platinum haired teen made a sound deep in his throat that was akin to a snort. "Offended, Potter? Because I insulted your favorite? You really are pathetic, you know that?"
"How can you call anyone other than yourself pathetic?"
Malfoy's features contorted with fury and Harry was already prepared for what he knew was coming next. The moment the word Stupefy left Malfoy's lips, a familiar blue glow had already surrounded both Harry and Dumbledore, Malfoy's spell deflecting on the shield and rebounding to the point that he had to duck in order to avoid being struck by his own spell.
"Harry." Said person didn't risk taking his eyes away from Malfoy, but he still made a 'hmm' sound in his throat to signal he was listening. "There's no need for that." Dumbledore went on calmly, yet Harry refused to lower his wand.
Then, something else caught their attention, something that made Harry's frame grow rigid.
Obviously, Dumbledore jumped to the same conclusion since he voiced the very question that had been plaguing Harry himself. "How did you bring them inside the castle, Draco?"
It was with a start that Harry realized what the Headmaster meant by 'them'. It couldn't be…
No, that was impossible, surely.
Another thought crossed his mind, causing his eyes to widen with dread.
He had told the remaining members of Dumbledore's Army to supervise the castle's corridors while he was away. Did that mean they had come across them? With the Death Eaters?
He was so caught up in his thoughts, that only vaguely he took notice of the conversation that was taking place. And suddenly, they came.
When the all too familiar figure stepped forward, Harry had to bite the inside of his cheek to prevent himself from Cursing her where she stood.
It was hard, so very hard to resist the tempting pull of the hatred that welled up within him, so much like last year, when she had just deprived him of his only remaining family.
As much as he tried, he couldn't stifle the withering look he sent her way.
And Bellatrix noticed.
Probably exactly why that playful smirk simply refused to leave her face. Even when she walked over to her nephew and placed an approving kiss on his cheek, her eyes were glued to Harry's face all the time.
For a single moment, Harry's eyes flickered over to the other three black clad forms that trailed behind Bellatrix.
He knew he should have felt nervous about facing four Death Eaters on his own, considering Dumbledore's inability to assist him at the moment, but the mere presence of his godfather's murderer was more than capable of sucking out all the blood in his veins and replacing it with liquid cold, untamed fury.
"Don't do anything rush, Harry." Dumbledore muttered quietly, yet again successfully achieving to see right through him.
Willing himself to listen to the elder man, Harry did his best to focus solemnly on taking deep breaths.
In and out. In and out until he was calmer.
At least as calm as one could be with a bunch of Death Eaters aiming their wands at him.
"Bellatrix." Dumbledore greeted politely, "And I see you've got company. Don't you think that introductions are in order?"
That seemed to catch the woman's attention, her pitch black eyes shifting from Harry for the first time and focusing on Dumbledore instead. "Introductions?" she said bewildered, the corners of her lips lifting into a sinister smirk. "I don't see why you'll need those in your little trip."
Harry's fingers clutched his wand firmer, preparing to bring up another shield if necessary.
Dumbledore on the other hand, merely nodded his head in acknowledgment. "It was rude of me to forget the arrangements you so kindly made. Forgive me."
It was dangerous to provoke Bellatrix Lestrange by mocking her, hell it was suicidal. And Harry knew that all too well. No one dared to so much as mess with her, but that knowledge did little to prevent him from openly smirking.
His admiration for the Headmaster grew even more.
Oh yes, he knew they were risking too much, but Merlin, the look on her face was absolutely priceless. Soon though, it morphed into a sneer.
When Bellatrix raised her wand torturously slow, Harry braced himself from the green light that would follow after those two words that had taken everything away from him, the two words that had destroyed his life ever since he was only one year old.
The witch didn't move for quite a while, onyx eyes narrowed in a way that promised a very painful death.
And then, wand still raised but surprisingly still unused, her lips parted. "Trust me Dumbledore, you're incredibly fortunate that we've got strict orders not to harm you… for now."
Harry blinked, vaguely feeling the Headmaster tense at her words.
Whatever that was supposed to mean, the teen didn't like it one bit.
The jolt of pain hit him so suddenly, so unexpectedly, and so blindingly hard, that the startled cry that was ripped from his throat was involuntary.
Without meaning to, his holly wand wavered, nearly slipping entirely from his hand before he regained enough control over his body to grip it before it fell.
But his mind was elsewhere.
He didn't notice the surprised look in Dumbledore's blue eyes, nor the momentary frown that graced Malfoy's features, not even the gleeful giggles from Bellatrix.
No, he could only focus on one thing; two if you counted the waves of pain that stubbornly refused to lessen.
The happiness was overwhelming.
So overwhelming and so contagious that before he realized what he was doing, his lips had parted and he was giggling along with Bellatrix until finally, that wicked glee seemed to subside ever so slightly, only to instantly be replaced by an insanely searing pain.
Before he knew it, the roles had reversed.
Now, he was the one leaning against Dumbledore, the hand with his wand in it clutching the side of his head from sheer fear it'd split apart, and the other grasping the Headmaster's arm as if his entire life depended on it.
Dumbledore wrapped one arm around Harry's shoulders, his ever serene expression giving way for one of painstakingly clear concern.
"Harry?" he said after a moment, his question being followed by a squeeze of his hand.
The teen didn't respond, and Dumbledore could tell by his expression that the boy was focused on dealing with the pain. And then, Harry's eyelids fluttered, the boy obviously putting too much effort into an action as simple as opening them.
Hazy emerald orbs glanced around at their surroundings before they finally landed on the Headmaster's worry streaked face, and to his further dismay, Dumbledore noticed the display of horror in them.
END OF CHAPTER ONE
Okay, as you probably noticed the plot is slightly different. Basically, Draco was ordered to simply stall them both until Voldemort arrived.
But now that he has, what's gonna happen? Chaos of course!