Hello people! Yet another story! I wanted it to be a Oneshot at first, but I think I'll make it a two or three-chapters-long story instead. Tell me what you thought about it.
Title: Shadow Child
Author: Tango Dancer
Summary: AU. Post-war, Voldemort rules the Wizarding World. On a visit at Hogwarts, he notices Draco Malfoy acting strange. Then, he and several teachers get the evidence that a student is being abused. Who is it, and who is Draco's mysterious 'Slythindor'? HP/TR
#AU: No BWL, Lily and James Potter are alive. Dumbledore is dead.
#Potter parents bashing.
#Mentions of rape, abuse, violence, etc.
#Slash, Boy Love, Male/Male relations, nothing graphic, though, and the story isn't centered on the pairing.
#OOC-ness. The Dark might have won, but they're not evil bastards, and do not support Muggle-born and Muggle-genocide.
I think I said it all... If you have any questions, ask away and I'll try my best to answer. No flames please. Ah, I'm French, not an English-speaker, so tell me about any spelling or grammar mistakes, thank you!
Please review! It only takes two seconds, makes the author happy and inspired, and keeps the plot-bunnies healthy and running around!
Lord Voldemort let his gaze wash over the Great Hall, and inwardly smiled in satisfaction. Everything was going fine. The students were animated but calm, the Headmaster, Severus Snape, was eating his meal while conversing with Lucius Malfoy, Dark Arts Professor. The staff had been altered when he had come to power, and several courses had been added to the syllabus, but other than that, not much had changed since the days Dumbledore was Headmaster, and the wizarding community had come to accept that. Not that they had a chance anyway.
Looking to his right, he saw that Rodolphus Lestrange was watching the Slytherin table with a frown, and followed his gaze, curious to see what upset the man so, only to find that it seemed to be Lucius' son, Draco. The boy was the epitome of a Pure-Blood, with his thin blonde hair, silver eyes, aristocratic features and manners, elegant demeanor and top grades. He would make a fine politician, and a wonderful Lord after his father's passing. Then why would Rodolphus Lestrange look so... perplexed?
The Dark Lord looked more closely, and saw that the boy seemed to be discreetly staring at the Gryffindor table, never really looking away, even if only someone very observant would be able to tell. All his attention was focused on the 'Light' table, something which left him perplexed, especially considering the fact that he didn't seem hostile or scornful, rather... was that concern?
Now Lord Voldemort was definitely interested. Who was it that had managed to get a positive reaction out of the Ice Prince of Slytherin, the mighty Malfoy heir, he could only wonder, and immediately tried to follow the boy's gaze, only to find that he was rising and making his way out of the hall.
He turned to Lucius.
"Your son seems to have an interest in a Gryffindor, but I know not who. Would you happen to know anything about this?"
The blonde looked surprised.
"A Gryffindor? I have trouble picturing Draco harboring anything other than sexual interest in one of them, and even so, I thought he had already... got each and every one of them in his bed. The ones he deemed worthy enough, that is."
The Dark Lord rose an eyebrow.
"So you do not know either? How interesting..."
"My Lord?" The aristocrat said.
"There was no lust or scorn in your son's eyes, amazingly enough. I would say... concern." Blonde eyebrows shot up, and Voldemort almost laughed at the similar reactions from the rest of the staff. "I must say I find myself... curious."
"I was... unaware that Draco had any such interest." Lucius said slowly, before turning to his long-time friend. "Severus?"
The Potions Master shook his head.
"I am afraid my godson has shared nothing of the sort with me."
Voldemort hummed thoughtfully.
"Well," he concluded, "we can only wait and see. I am sure between all of us, we can catch the one who got his interest, and see what is so fascinating that they would attract a Malfoy's attention."
The others nodded, and a spark of excitement ran through the Head Table as an unspoken challenge passed around. Whoever found the object of Draco's concern would be considered the winner. And anyway, they were all curious now.
So started the surveillance of Draco Malfoy, Prince of Slytherin. The young man was brilliant in class, witty, sharp-tongued and proud, always quick to put the Gryffindors down a notch and rubbing their defeats -in the war and academic matters alike- in their faces. Exasperatingly enough, they never managed to catch the person whom he had been casting glances at on the first night, and had grown incredibly frustrated by the end of the first week of classes. And that's when, as they were ready to give up and just interrogate him so that he spill the beans, something happened.
They had been walking down the second floor corridor late one night after a staff meeting, when they smelt a strong odor.
"It smells like several potions in brewing..." Severus muttered.
Eyebrows shot up at that, and they looked at each other, before following the trail to a large set of double doors.
"That's the girls bathroom!" Lucius Malfoy exclaimed, shocked.
They entered, taking down several powerful notice-me-not charms and wards, only to find three cauldrons filled with potions in the making. The Headmaster stepped over to them to see what was in there.
"Blood-replenishing potion, Skele-grow, and Pain-numbing potion."
"This sounds like potions an abused child would brew." Rabastan Lestrange commented.
"Most likely a Slytherin, then." Theodore Nott Sr said. "But why not come to us? They know we would do something."
"And I haven't seen any sign pointing to abuse amongst my Slytherins this year." Lucius remarked, before looking around with a questioning look. "Anyone?"
They all thought for a moment, then shook their heads.
"And in the other houses?" Voldemort suggested.
Same answer. They all came up with a blank.
"Who, then? Those are all very advanced potions, and..."
"Someone is coming." Voldemort said, quickly mending the broken charms and wards on the door so that their intrusion wouldn't be detected.
They all disillusioned themselves and hid in a corner of the room, taking advantage of the shadows, ready to see who would be out of bed at that late hour, and make such potions while hiding their need of them right under the nose of a mostly Slytherin staff.
The door opened.
They held their breaths as a silhouette stepped in and closed the door, before barely holding back their gasps at seeing the familiar face of the Malfoy heir as he stepped closer to the cauldrons and checked on the potions, stirred the blood-replenishing potion, added an ingredient to the Skele-grow, and just nodded in approval at the Pain-numbing solution. He took off his cloak and glanced at his wristwatch, before pulling out a mirror, and whispering something they couldn't catch.
"They're good. I added the vipertooth fang to the Skele-grow, it should be ready in about two weeks. And I stirred the blood-replenishing potion. I'll bring you a vial later."
"Thanks." A soft voice answered from the mirror. "I'm sorry you had to go through all that trouble."
A sad smile graced the features of the younger Malfoy.
"Oh, come on, it's the least I can do. After everything you've done for me..."
"Are you sure you still don't want me to tell anyone?"
A sigh informed the hidden adults that this wasn't the first time they had this conversation.
"Please, Drake. It wouldn't do any good."
"I still don't understand why." The aristocrat said stubbornly. "My father would be furious if he knew. I bet he would even offer to take you in. Hell, even the Lord would go mad with rage!"
There was a soft, bitter chuckle.
"The Lord has far better things to do than care about someone as useless as I am. And as for your father, you know my opinion on that matter."
"No, listen to me, Drake."
"No, you listen! If this goes on any longer, you're going to get killed!"
A pause, then a murmur.
"Well then, I'm sure I'll be better off not having to live anymore."
"What?" Draco screech, standing up abruptly. "Now you listen to me, you stupid Slythindor! You're not going to die! And especially not at the hands of those... those things! I won't allow it! I forbid you from dying! Do you understand? You'd better understand! You are to live until you die of old age, but never like that! Am I clear?"
There was muffled laughter from the mirror.
"Crystal." The voice gently said. "Drake..."
"I -I think without you..."
The young man gave a smug smirk.
"I know, I'm awesome."
"Shut up, you!"
"Careful, Slythindor, one never knows what terrible means of vengeance I could come up with. I might let something slip to my father..."
The Slytherin instantly sobered up.
"Sorry. Just kidding."
"It wasn't funny."
Draco scowled and crossed his arms over his chest.
"I still don't..."
"Please, Drake... Let's not... I'm tired, I don't have the strength to fight with you right now."
"I know. I'm sorry."
"It's okay. I know you wouldn't."
The aristocrat ran a hand through his hair, mussing it up, and there was a gentle laugh from the mirror.
"You should leave it like that all the time."
"I'm not having this discussion with you through a mirror of all things." Draco scowled. "Anyway, the blood-replenishing potion is ready. I'll slip it to you through the usual means. Do you need anything? Bandages?"
"No, it's okay. I mastered the spell yesterday."
"Yeah, finally. It's far better than having to steal it from the infirmary."
"You should go to bed, Slythindor, you look like shit." Draco said with a gentleness the Death Eaters and their Lords almost choked at. Never had they seen him with such a caring look.
They could almost see the other scowling as he answered.
"Well, not everyone can have your angelic face, Mr Pure-Blood!"
The blonde rolled his eyes but said nothing.
"Come on, get some rest. I'll put the potion in the usual spot before going back to the dorm."
"Good night, Slythindor."
"Sweet dreams, Drake."
He put the mirror back into his pocket and turned to the cauldrons. After filling an empty vial with blood-replenishing potion, he cast an unbreakable charm on it and left through the door, leaving a bunch of confused Dark Wizards with unanswered questions begging for solutions in their heads.
And so they resumed their intense but discreet watching of the Malfoy heir, so that they would find who was the abused child who had managed to get such affection from the usually cold young man, and had earned the peculiar title of 'Slythindor'.
Lucius, Severus and Voldemort stopped at Rodolphus comment, and followed his gaze. The man was pointing at a lithe body a few steps ahead of them, half-hidden in the shadows of an alcove, leaning against the wall as if it was the only thing keeping him up. The hallways were deserted at this hour, all the students being at Hogsmeade, and they were surprised to find that someone had chosen to stay at the castle instead of going and having fun at the village.
The boy was bent over, his fingers very white on the stone, and his whole frame tense as he coughed, his breathing reduced to a mere wheeze. It wasn't pretty to listen to, and Severus was about to step in and make sure he went to the infirmary when a sudden noise of running footsteps made him change his mind. Glancing at each other, they once again disillusioned themselves, and stepped forward quietly, making sure that they wouldn't be heard as they came closer to the obviously hurt boy.
The hurried footsteps were coming closer now, and they would see who it was any minute... The boy, who was still back to them, clasped a hand over his mouth to muffle his coughing and breathing, and flattened himself against the wall, trying to blend with the shadows.
Draco's blonde head came into sight right after he had said the name, and the boy slumped down the wall in relief as he let go of the breath he had been holding.
He skidded to a stop in front of the sitting boy and fell to his knees, cupping his face between his palms and raising it so that they would be eye to eye.
"Salazar, Slythindor, you're burning!"
"I'm okay...I'm okay... Drake." The voice was the same melodious tone they had heard through the mirror, though it was interrupted by coughing fits and raspier than it had been before.
"No, you're not okay!" He handed him a vial. "Here, take this. I made it myself. It'll at least give you some energy to hold on until the last potions are ready."
The boy rose a shaky hand to take it, but it slipped through his fingers, and would have crashed down on the stone floor had Draco not put his Seeker reflexes to good use and caught it right before it shattered. Slowly, he cradled the back of the other boy's head in his palm, and rose the glass vial to his lips.
"Here." He whispered gently. "Take it slow."
He fed Hadrian the potion, before setting the empty recipient down beside them.
"Better?" He asked after some time.
The dark-haired Gryffindor nodded.
"Good thing I decided to move up our meeting, isn't it?" The blonde teased.
They sat there for a while, neither saying anything, before Draco stood up resolutely.
"Hadrian, we can't let this go on." He rose a commanding hand to prevent the other from protesting, and he shut his mouth. "Look, I know what I said, and all that, but this has gone on for long enough. For Merlin's sake, Slythindor, you were on the verge of dying in the train! It has been getting worse and worse over the years, and I don't want to lose you! And the fact is that I'm pretty sure you won't make it through next summer if you're sent back there."
Silence. The four adults would have loved to see the other's face, but it was concealed in the shadows, and the only thing they now knew about him was that he was a Gryffindor named Hadrian. Pretty vague, though there must not be lots of boys with that name in the Red and Gold House.
"It's only for one more year, Drake. Two months. Two little months, and I'll be free."
Silver eyes flashed angrily.
"But look at yourself!" He exclaimed with a wild gesture. "You're barely clinging to life, and that's thanks to all those potions! How long did it take them to do that to you? Three weeks? Please, Hadrian! Let me do something about it! Please! Every year since I met you I've seen you come back worse off, but this time... you wouldn't have made it, Slythindor. You wouldn't. Had I not found you... had I not had the right potions... Please, Hadrian... don't make me betray my word."
There were tears on his face by the end of his tirade, and they noticed that while his first outburst had obviously frightened the Gryffindor, who had shrunk back to the wall, the rest, said in a much softer voice, had apparently drawn him out of his terror.
Slowly and painstakingly, he rose and stepped forward, stumbling with each hesitant step he took, and steadying himself with the cold stone of the wall. Each step he took made him edge closer to the light, and to the instant they would be able to see who he was. He stepped into the light, first the tip of his shoes, then the bottom of his pants, his legs, his torso, his neck, and finally the upper part of his body.
And for the first time they saw his face.
They couldn't hold back the gasp, and could only thank Salazar they had been smart enough to foresee such a case and put a silencing charm on themselves. Because the boy was the most beautiful creature they had ever seen.
Wavy black hair fell down to his chin in soft curls, framing a soft-featured face with eyes the characteristic shade of dark blue all Blacks possessed. High cheekbones, a lithe body, he was perfect, and he seemed to ooze light and purity. He would have been perfect, had it not been for the obvious shimmer of a powerful glamor spell surrounding his small frame. How none of them had ever noticed him before, they would never understand.
He stumbled as he came closer to the Malfoy heir, and caught himself on the blonde's shoulders, his breathing erratic and shallow, too quick to be healthy, and they immediately noticed that he was pale as death. Obviously, he was in a lot of pain. But he ignored it, in favor of just sliding his arms around the taller male's shoulders and embracing him gently.
"Don't worry so much about me, Drake. I am so very grateful to you for everything you've done for me. I'm tougher than that, you know... I won't fall so easily."
Draco hugged him back tightly, but stepped back when the boy hissed in pain.
"No you're not. They made sure you wouldn't be strong enough to endure this and survive. You're half-dead as we speak." His hands on Hadrian's shoulders, he looked the boy in the eye, seriously. "I can't let you do this to yourself anymore, Hadrian. We're going to the Headmaster."
He started to turn around, the other's petite hand firmly clasped in his, not seeing how the blood had drained from the Gryffindor's face at that, and he was biting his lip not to yell in pain.
"No... No, Draco, please. Please, please, Draco, I'll do anything! Just don't! Don't say anything!"
The Slytherin Prince turned around, his features cold, ready to take him to the Headmaster's office forcefully if need be, but his expression changed immediately when he noticed the agony his friend was too slow to conceal, and he let go of his hand as if he had just been burnt.
"You must be kidding me... Your hand too?"
The boy stepped back, shaking his head with a terrified look on his features, eyes full with pain and his hand cradled to his chest.
Hadrian looked like he had just been slapped in the face, but finally extended his hand and closed his eyes briefly. The glamor spell fell away, revealing his hand in its true state. The watching adults gagged. The fingers were bent at odd angles, bones sometimes sticking through the skin, bruises everywhere, and the wrist was thrice the size it should be, especially considering the general build of the youth.
Draco turned green.
Voldemort had had enough. He walked over to the corner of the corridor, canceled any spells he had on him to hide his presence, followed by the others, and just made his way down the hallway, right in the two boys' direction.
"Well, what do we have here? Consorting with Gryffindors, young Malfoy?"
The blonde held his gaze for a few seconds, just so as to show that he wasn't afraid, then bowed respectfully, mimicked in that by the other boy, who stuck to the shadows behind him, and had slammed the glamors back up at the first signs of interruption.
"My Lord. Not really. We were just talking about the Charms assignment." He looked at the three other adults. "Lord Lestrange, Headmaster, Father."
The Dark Lord rose an eyebrow.
"Really? Well, it seems to me that you do good to ask your little friend over here, he seems to have mastered that part of the syllabus."
The boy blanched, but said nothing.
"Take off the glamors, boy."
The Gryffindor looked up.
"Pardon me, My Lord, but I'd rather not. I'm ugly, you see, and I wouldn't want you to be offended by the sight of me in my true form."
Lucius couldn't help it, he snorted, and so did Rodolphus and Severus. This was the poorest excuse ever, and yet, he said it with so much conviction that it was hard to doubt him. Lord Voldemort, however, wasn't fazed in the least bit, and only rose a questioning eyebrow.
"Oh, really? But I still gave you an order, boy, and you will obey me. Unless you want me to do it myself, that is."
Navy blue eyes darkened, and the boy stubbornly rose his chin despite the obvious pain that caused him, as he did his best to stand without help.
"With all due respect, My Lord, I'd rather they stay where they are."
The ruler of the Wizarding World smirked in appreciation of the sheer willpower the Gryffindor was displaying, and nonchalantly pointed his wand at him, only to have his spells blocked. Draco paled as he noticed how far his friend was going, but he didn't have the time to say anything as his father had already dragged him out of the way of the two duelers. Neither spoke a word, but their spells were all perfectly executed, and had it not been for the youth's wounds, it would maybe have lasted far longer. However, as it was, Hadrian was in the middle of a complicated wand movement when suddenly, he stiffened, his wand fell from limp fingers and clattered on the floor, before his eyes rolled back in his skull and he collapsed.
The Dark Lord was quick to react, though, and caught him before he could hurt himself anymore by hitting the cold stone. Laying him down on the hallway floor, he waved his wand in an intricate pattern, canceling any and all glamors on the boy.
A unanimous, horrified exclamation.
The boy was actually far too thin to fill already small sized clothes, and was pretty much floating in them. He was covered in bruises, cuts, wounds and welts. His uniform was soaked in blood, and his limbs were all broken at least once, joints swollen and arms bent at an odd angle. How he had managed to drag himself to classes like this for the first two weeks of school they didn't know, but...
Draco had the answers.
"Who is he?"
The boy looked at the Dark Lord, then at the unconscious body of his friend, and closed his eyes briefly, before looking up determinedly.
That caused a row of raised eyebrows.
"Potter? Surely, you can't mean Lily and James Potter's son! He looks nothing like them!"
The blonde looked conflicted, obviously wondering whether he could reveal what he knew or not. Rodolphus was quick to solve the matter, though, and just cast a spell on the boy.
A parchment appeared, and they glanced at it, only to gasp as they took in the family tree drawn on it. It read:
Hadrian Azrael Black
aka 'Harry James Potter'
31 July 1980
Lily Potter née Evans
Regulus Arcturus Black
"Well, he does have the family looks." Lucius said.
"But why didn't he ever come to us?" Rodolphus wondered.
"Most importantly, where do those wounds come from?" Severus said.
The young man turned to his father as they walked, the Dark Lord carefully levitating his friend's body behind them.
"He was... a mistake." He swallowed. How could such a beautiful youth be a mistake? "Potter hates him because he could never have a child with his wife, and therefore has to keep him if he doesn't want the Potter name to die out. And his mother hates him too, because her husband scorns her because of what she did, and his presence is a constant reminder of that. He looks too much like Regulus, like a Black. A dark Family."
"Why did he never tell anyone?"
The blonde lowered his head.
"I think... I think he loves her anyway. And he fears the two of them too." He paused, gazing absently at the floating body. "Hadrian is a very intelligent person. He knows what they are capable of, I think, and he fears that were he to seek refuge with someone, that person would be endangered because of him. The Potters don't want their shame exposed to the world. I think... I think they'd rather kill him than let anyone know. And so he protects others over himself."
"He's a Gryffindor." Severus muttered. "What did you expect?"
"I am still curious as to how he managed to go unnoticed for all those years, and walk around like that right under our noses. We should have known... and wouldn't his dorm-mates have noticed?" The Dark Lord glanced questioningly at the youngest Malfoy as he laid the beaten boy on an infirmary bed, calling the nurse at the same time. Draco shook his head sadly.
"Hadrian doesn't have any friends. For one, he's top in all classes, and they resent him for his intelligence. And second, he kept himself aloof so that nobody would notice anything and risk getting hurt, and they took that as him being arrogant. So they shunned him after only three weeks in first year, and forgot him after a month and a half. I'm not sure he didn't use a spell to make sure that nobody would ever see him."
"A notice-me-not..." Rodolphus said.
"He must have been extremely advanced... and talented."
The blonde nodded.
"Hadrian is smart. A genius, really. I reckon he understood very early that if he wanted to get away from his... guardians, he would have to make it so that he could be independent from them. And defend himself."
Madam Pomfrey, after recovering from the initial shock of seeing the boy's terrible appearance, was now bustling around, shooting spell after spell and pouring potion after potion down the young man's throat. It took her several hours to stabilize him, but when it was finally over, she collapsed in a chair and gratefully accepted the glass of water Rodolphus was handing her. Taking a long sip, she gulped it down all at once, then sighed.
"Never in my whole life have I ever seen something like that. That boy had almost every bone in his body broken or fractured, heavy blood loss, a heavy concussion, whip scars, welts, severe bruises, and has obviously been underfed for quite a long time."
"How long? Approximately?" The Dark Lord questioned.
She looked at him seriously.
"At least sixteen years."
They stared in shock, but realized with a sinking feeling that there was most likely more, as her eyes darkened.
"That's not all, though."
"You don't mean..."
"Yes. There's worse."
She paused to get herself a glass of Firewhiskey and knocked it back, before turning back to the matter at hand and speaking the facts.
"There are words carved in his flesh. Magically. Meaning that I won't be able to erase them. And also..." She trailed off once more, choking on the words, as if far too horrified to say them. It took her a moment to regain her composure and drop the bomb, "there was evidence of sexual abuse on him."
It was Draco, but nobody even thought of reproaching him his loss of composure.
"What do you mean, evidence of sexual abuse? Who dared?"
She shook her head sadly.
"Exactly what I said, Mr Malfoy. Mr Potter was raped. Multiple times, and sometimes with an object. I must say... the extent of the damage is terrifying." The last words were barely a murmur.
The Dark Lord stepped forward.
"I'd have to make further..."
"Who?" This time, the question had been asked icily.
"James Potter. Peter Pettigrew. If I were to guess, I'd even say Lily Potter was the one guilty for the penetration by object."
Everybody paled, and looked back at the unconscious boy lying on the immaculate bed, black hair contrasting sharply against the whiteness of the pillows and sheets, skin far too pale to be healthy, as it was almost transparent, and they could see most of the veins underneath.
"And he bore with it for all those years... and never said anything..."
Lord Voldemort, Dark Wizard extraordinaire, ruler of the Wizarding World and Immortal, was not someone easily impressed. And yet, he found himself strongly impressed by the young man's cunning, sheer willpower and talent. Achieving glamors powerful enough to hide such injuries from extremely powerful wizards -Dumbledore or himself, for example- in First year wasn't a feat anybody was capable of, and he felt curiosity arise. He wanted to know more about the child, and even more than that, he wanted to take down the monsters who had done that to him.
But first, he had to have a little talk with him.
So, what did you think about it?
Please review! Reviews feed the author and the plot-bunnies!