Shadow Child
By Tango Dancer

Hey everyone! OMG, can you believe it? I know I barely can, but... Here's chapter 3! I just finished writing it, after overcoming a monstrous writer's block the size of Mount Everest -at least!

I hope it's up to your expectations, I don't know if it's good or not^^!

And so, great news everyone, this will be, obviously, longer than 3 chapters, cheers!

Also, thanks to everyone who reviewed, it was great, and I felt so bad when I couldn't find a single line to write... Without all of you, I wouldn't have been so motivated to kick my writer's block in the arse and finish this chapter.

And here it is! Thank you, reviewers, it's thanks to you!

Anyway... Keep reviewing, lol!

Hope there aren't too many language mistakes, tell me if there are and I'll correct them, I was so happy I had wrapped the chapter up, that I rushed to post it, so...

On to the story!

Chapter 3:

They reappeared in a dark alley, away from the flood of people crowding Diagon Alley. Hadrian shoved himself away from Voldemort, almost tripping over his own feet in his desperate attempt to get away and to safety. He ended up flattened against the wall, struggling to stop his body's convulsive shaking, and get a grip on himself.

The Dark Lord didn't move, giving him time to gather his composure, knowing that trying to touch him would only further panic him. He could, however, try talking to him. And so he started whispering soothing words, words of comfort he had never ever thought he would utter one day, words nobody had ever said to him, words that this unusual child had brought forth from the very depths of his heart and up until they were spilling from his lips in an endless flow he couldn't -and wouldn't stop. He could hardly believe it. And somehow, he couldn't bring himself to care that he was being completely out of character.

He had finally found a kindred soul after over sixty years of solitude.

He wasn't about to let go.

It was only after a very long and very short time -they were both far too engrossed in their situation to keep track of time, that the trembling of the young man's body finally eased, and he straightened up from his position against the harsh stone wall, closing his eyes and inhaling deeply. Then, he took a hesitant step towards the older man, and bowed with as much grace as he could muster after his episode and with the stiffness of his recently healed wounds.

"Forgive me my Lord. It seems I- lost my composure." He said, his voice low, eyes guarded.

"It does not matter." Voldemort said, careful to keep his voice steady. "Are you feeling better now? We could come back another time and floo over rather than apparate."

Navy blue eyes briefly met his, but it was enough for him to see the determination there.

"No, my Lord. I'm sure you have better things to do than dealing with my- quirks."

Voldemort rose an eyebrow at the wording, but didn't comment and nodded instead.

"Very well then. Let us go."

And so they exited the shady alley and started walking down Diagon Alley. They kept close but not too much, and the Dark Lord's presence made it so that people wouldn't mob them or bump into them, giving them a wide berth instead, which was perfect for the agoraphobia his parents' treatment of him had started in Hadrian.

A goblin was standing in front of them as soon as they had come into the bank, and was quick to lead them to a more private room, where he introduced himself as Sharpclaw, Manager of the Black accounts, and pulled out the papers Hadrian needed to sign. Thirty minutes later, the Most Ancient and Noble House of Black had a new Lord, and Hadrian Potter had become Lord Hadrian Black, a soon-to-be seventeen, forcefully emancipated protégé of the Dark Lord's.

"Come, Lord Black," Voldemort said with a hint of satisfaction in his voice, "we need to have new robes made that become your status in society."

The young man nodded and followed him to Twilfit and Tatting's, where the Dark Lord had him fitted for several sets of dressrobes embroidered with the Blacks' crest. Once they were done, the young man was surprised to see the older wizard take him to a small restaurant at the edge of a cliff, overlooking the ocean, and had the most delicious meal in his life. A celebration, Voldemort said, for his new status and freedom. Throughout the meal, the man kept staring at him, his eyes so intense it took everything he had not to give in to the urge to fidget. It was like the Dark Lord's gaze was trying to see through him, into his very soul, to read his every feeling and thought. It was disturbing.

And at the same time, it was... almost flattering. To think that the Dark Lord, the ruler of the wizarding world, actually found you interesting enough to observe you in such a way... But Hadrian knew better than to expect the man to keep this up. He obviously wanted something, everybody did, and when he got it, he would up and leave, just like everybody always did.

But Draco, a small voice whispered in the back of his head.

Yes, he found himself agreeing. But Draco. Draco was special. He had no idea what the blonde saw in him that had made him stick by him all those years, help him and support him when he so desperately needed it, but he guessed the Malfoy heir had enough of everything to afford this strange interest he had taken in a lonely Gryffindor. He was the only one to have noticed his existence in first year, the only who had noticed, beyond that, that something was wrong. The only one who had bothered to find out what it was, and then actually do something about it. He was the one person who had pushed and pushed until Hadrian finally gave in and let him in, let him see the utter disaster that was his life, the utter wreck he was under the mask of the aloof know-it-all pureblood child. Not that he was one to stick his hand up in the air and suck up to the teachers, no. Hadrian was discreet. He rarely if ever spoke up in public, and merely showed his academic proficiency in written exams, or when called upon -which never happened.

He had been almost immediately outcast at Hogwarts. His... guardians had made it clear from a very early age that he wasn't worth anything, a second of normal people's time, and that his very existence was an insult to their sight, that he shouldn't even be allowed to breathe the same air as them.

For years he had hold on thanks to the tiniest flicker of hope, the thought that once he got to Hogwarts, everything would be different. He would find friends, build up his own reputation, maybe have good grades which would make his parents see he wasn't as worthless as they said. And so he had thrown himself into his studies, reading late into the night and rising early while trying to befriend a few kids. Hermione Granger had seemed like him, someone who loved books and learning, and so he had tried to talk to her, but once she had seen him best her in academics, she had pushed him away, accusing him of cheating, while Weasley and the rest of the Gryffindor boys of his year shunned him because he refused to cause mayhem and generally preferred making sure he had top marks rather than postponing doing his homework in favor of talking about Quidditch and playing chess.

He had become the Gryffindor black sheep. They said he behaved like a stuck up pureblood. They said he wasn't like them. They said he didn't belong.

That he should have been a slimy Slytherin.

He thought they were right.

Why he had been sorted into Gryffindor, he had no idea, but it had happened, and suddenly, there was no hope for him anymore. So he had started fading into the background again, going as far as to cast notice-me-not spells on himself to further avoid notice, and given up on trying to befriend anyone. Despite his more than excellent grades, the teachers failed to notice him too, and he pretty much disappeared from the student body's consciousness.

And slowly, the loneliness had grown and grown and grown, until he couldn't stand the pressure anymore.

He had gone to the bathroom one night, intent on putting an end on all of this.

Draco had found him there, his wrists sliced open and his blood dripping down the milky white skin and onto the floor, tears silently running down his sunken cheeks as dull emerald eyes watched the crimson liquid with morbid fascination. He had healed him, not giving a thought to his weak protests, and stayed with him throughout the night when he passed out, holding him to his chest, sitting down in the dirty cubicle once he had vanished the blood.

They would have parted without a word in the morning if not for Draco's quiet inquiry.

"What's your name?"

Hadrian, who had been walking away already, had frozen. He had stood there for a long moment, and Draco had patiently waited for an answer which, when it had come, had left him thunderstruck.

"Harry Potter."

And then he had disappeared amongst the shadows of the darkened hallway.

Draco had looked after that. The notice-me-not charm had been broken when he had noticed the younger boy, and it hadn't taken long for him to see everything 'Harry' had wanted to hide. He had started talking to him in deserted hallways, at night, between classes, after break, whenever he could find him and talk to him without anyone noticing. If the Gryffindor wanted to keep going unnoticed, he would respect that. It didn't mean he had to go through whatever he was going through by himself, though. And Draco was more than able to help. To an extent, at least, and if things didn't degenerate too much.

It had taken two years for him to finally earn Harry's trust. Two long years of seeing things go worse and not being able to do anything except provide potions and balms before the dreaded question had come.

"Why are you doing this?" 'Harry' had asked one night.

They had been sitting in the Astronomy tower, enjoying the last remaining summer warmth before winter came and settled in.


Draco had chuckled, running an elegant hand through his blonde hair. The moonlight danced in the almost silver strands, giving them an ethereal glow, and Hadrian had felt his breath catch in his throat. The other boy was so beautiful... "I have no idea."

That hadn't been what he had expected to hear, but he had nodded anyway. He didn't have the slightest clue as to why he was trusting a boy who was the exact opposite of everything that made him the outcast he was.

But Draco wasn't finished.

"There's just something..." Silver-blue eyes had locked in his intently. "You're different. And the pain you're in... I couldn't live with myself if I just let it be. Such loneliness shouldn't exist."

He had left it at that. And the issue had never come up again. But from then on, Hadrian had been more open with him. He had gone as far as to rely on Draco to brew or look after his potions when himself couldn't or felt too bad to do it. He had eventually told him the truth about his parentage, and his home life, not that the young Malfoy hadn't guessed that part already.

Each and every year, the blonde went and found him in the train, potions in his pockets to tend to his summer injuries and allow him to pull his charade off at the start of term feast. Each and every year, he would help him, hold him, wordlessly comfort him -Hadrian wasn't a man of many words. It had been pounded into his skull from an early age that he should endure in silence, and never complain to anyone. That he was a freak, a burden, an abomination of nature. A mistake. Draco worked on that. He tried to prove to him how wonderful he truly was.

He was the only reason Hadrian was still alive.

"-drian? Hadrian?"

The young man blinked, only to find concern-filled crimson eyes locked on his face.

"My Lord?"

"You spaced out."

He bowed his head in apology.

"Forgive me, my Lord."

The man waved it off.

"Nonsense, no need to apologize. What's on your mind?"

Hadrian looked away. Voldemort let it go, pointed at his plate.

"Do you want something else?"

"Thank you, I have had enough."

"Let us go, then. Do you have an owl? A pet of some kind?"

The new Lord Black shook his head.

"Well then, we should find one. After all, as Lord Black, you will have business to do, letters to send, people to write. Therefore, you should have an owl worthy of your rank. And a familiar is always good for protection... and loneliness."

The way he said that last word spoke of experience, and dark blue eyes darted up at his face as Hadrian wondered about the man's past and what had happened to him that he would unknowingly put such emotion in a single word. He quickly looked back down, though, not wanting to be caught. The man was the ruler of the wizarding world. Someone like him would never get to know anything about him, especially not something as personal as his childhood.

They headed to Eeylops Owl Emporium in almost companionable silence. The clerk bowed hurriedly and far too deeply for it to be since when he saw who had come into his shop.

"We are only looking." He said with a dismissing wave of his hand.

The short man understood and was quick to go back and stand behind his counter, though he kept staring avidly, following each and every one of their moves with burning curiosity. Hadrian fought the urge to cast a notice-me-not charm on himself, unused as he was to be gawked at. He regretted his anonymity. In the end, he settled for a dark silver falcon with black spots on his feathers. The bird looked feral with its harsh yellow eyes, and returned his gaze steadily. He liked its defiance and obvious stubbornness. He looked like a fighter, and saw he christened it Ares. They left with a cage and treats, then headed to the Magical Menagerie.

Apparently, the Dark Lord had decided that he should have a familiar, both for protection and company. He didn't protest. Having a familiar, someone who would genuinely like him for him sounded nice, and he liked the idea of having a non-human companion. Ignoring the shopkeeper's hurried greetings once again, they slowly made their way around the shop, looking at the animals, before stopping in front of a cage. Inside was a small panther cub. It was black as the darkest night with blue eyes, and Hadrian couldn't help but be reminded of himself as he watched how the other cubs cast it out. The small beast was currently looking at them with something akin to hope in its blue eyes, and he felt a deep longing swell in his heart as he looked at it.

Gently, he slid off the lid of the container and allowed it to sniff his hand before lifting it up and gathering it in his arms, against his chest. He let his hand run over the soft fur lightly, scratching it gently behind the ears, and couldn't help the small smile from lighting his face at the resulting purr. Close to him, Voldemort watched on, amazed at the way the simple smile had changed his features, casting a new light of soft gentleness and pure goodness over his face. This was too good to be true, he couldn't believe he was standing by such a gorgeous creature.

And yet, he mused as he watched the panther cub and the wizard bond, here he was, standing in the Magical Menagerie of Diagon Alley with a seventeen-year-old man -for he could not be called a child after what he had been put through, helping him chose a familiar, and settle his affairs. This was unusual, and he would usually not have bothered. Yet, just as Draco Malfoy had, he found himself, against all odds, enjoying this. He wanted to know Hadrian Black better. He wanted to bask in the pure warmth and light the young man exuded, the simple kindness that was him.

And so he smiled when said young man announced he had made his choice, and headed to the counter, waving off his protests that he could pay. A few minutes later, they were out on the Alley.

"What will you name it?"

"Him, it's a male." Hadrian corrected gently. "I don't know yet." He looked down at the panther cub in his arms. "His eyes are like a fresh spring. Maybe I will call him Alu."

'Alu.' 'Water' in elven. Voldemort inclined his head.

"Soft and flowing, like he is. It is a good name."

"Thank you, my Lord."

He wished the young man would drop the formalities. But it was too early, he knew. And so he let it go.


He watched through the window of his room as the Dark Lord walked up the path to the house, Hadrian by his side. From what his father had told him, they had gone to settle the matter of his inheritance, and sigh the last papers for his emancipation, so that he would be able to take on the mantle of Head of the Most Ancient and Noble House of Black. They had been gone for most of the day, though, and he doubted they had only done that. The Dark Lord, he had noticed, seemed extremely interested in his brother in all but blood, though he had no idea what for. He feared that it was only a passing interest, though, and that the man would break Hadrian's heart a little more. It had taken him two years of continuous effort to earn his young cousin's trust and help him. He wasn't about to let anyone crush seven years of hard work, Dark Lord or not.

Draco was about to turn away from the window to go and greet his brother when something unusual caught his attention. Something was huddled in Hadrian's arms, something black and moving... and there was an unknown falcon flying towards them. He frowned. The Dark Lord had actually taken the time to take his brother to the Magical Menagerie of all places? What was his goal?

Shaking his head, he knew he wouldn't get any answers by just standing there, and so he exited his room, carefully shutting the door behind him, pleased to feel the wards springing up to life as soon as his hand had left the door handle. Turning, he made his way down the stairs.


"Oh my God, he's so cute!"

Hadrian watched with carefully hidden amusement as Draco winced at Pansy's shrill tone, and Alu stared at her with big blue eyes, visibly torn between fear and overwhelming curiosity. Curiosity won over fear, though, as he wriggled his way out of his young companion's arms and awkwardly walked over to the Slytherin girl, who crouched and held out her hand for him to sniff, stars literally shining in her eyes as she watched him with ill-concealed adoration. She cooed when the panther cub let her caress his sleek fur, ignoring her classmates' eye-rolling.

They were enjoying a fun-filled evening in the drawing room, the adults, seated by the fire, watching them. Hadrian, though he hadn't said much, still had an amused glint in his eyes which filled Draco, his parents and the Dark Lord with warmth. The young man had been thoroughly embarrassed when they had all congratulated him for becoming Lord Black, and then had a toast, wishing him a good life, success and happiness in both business and love, the slightest tinge of pink gently gracing his pale cheeks. It had not escaped the Dark Lord's notice how the females in the room had all silently melted at that, while the males smiled protectively.

The young man, he thought, was on his way to recovery. And that, for some reason he couldn't fathom, was enough to send warmth bubbling through his chest and a small smile on his lips, while his gaze, he was sure, must hold a sappy softness he would have never thought he was capable of.

Then again, he would never have thought that someone, a Gryffindor, could have caught and held the attention of so many Slytherins at once without even trying. It was strange, it was overwhelming.

And at the same time, it was somehow right.

And Voldemort, for the first time in his life, felt that he would give everything to protect someone other than himself.


Malfoy Manor, December 25, 05:00 A.M.

"Hey, wake up! I want to open my presents already!"

Hadrian woke with a start, and glanced outside the window. It was still dark outside, and he couldn't help the dread suddenly filling his stomach. He hadn't-

A quick Tempus crushed his illusions like a bug under a heavy boot.

It was 5 in the morning.

Draco had dared.

"Draco..." He started, his voice low and menacing, and suddenly, all of the blonde's enthusiasm seemed to vanish like a puff of smoke. He gulped.

"Y-yes, Slythindor?"

"Don't you 'yes Slythindor' me. Did you even look at the time before you came here and woke me up?"

Draco started backing away, his hands raised in front of him in an appeasing gesture.

"Hum- well- the thing is, I might- hum- have gotten carried away, and- hum- you see-" He gulped again as Hadrian's eyes turned almost black and Alu started growling at him as he stirred on the bed.

"I think I'll go now."

And with that, he ran away.

"Shut the damn door!" Hadrian screamed in a very out-of-character way.

Draco's blonde head popped back in for a second, and he swallowed and gave a smile which looked more like a grimace than anything as he saw two pairs of blue eyes glistening eerily in the dark, glaring at him.

"Sorry! Sleep well!"

The door shut, and Hadrian let himself fall back down onto the bed. Throwing an arm over his eyes, he couldn't help the smile which slowly stretched his lips. Draco was the best thing he had in his life, and he thanked whatever deities willing to listen for putting him on his path everyday. His kindness, his naive maturity, his childishness and- everything in him reminded the Gryffindor that not everybody in the world was like his former guardians, and that some people were actually worth living for. He was like the very embodiment of everything that was good on this Earth.

Alu came to lay by his side, and he ran a hand through the thick black fur gently, earning a rumbling purr from the half-asleep panther cub. Smiling to himself, he rolled on his side and fell back asleep, knowing that it was only a matter of hours before Draco came back. This would be his first Christmas out of Hogwarts or his guardians' house, and he felt anticipation throbbing in his gut at the perspective. How would it be? Who would be there? Would it be restricted to the Malfoys, or would others be present, like the Dark Lord and Snape? Would he get presents?

Of course not. Freaks like you are only good enough to give, not receive. A nasty little voice which sounded horribly like his 'father' quipped in his head. Why would anyone bother?

The smile slid off his face, and he fought against the tears, but the stinging in his eyes soon became too much to bear, and he buried his face in his pillow to muffle the sounds of his crying as the fabric absorbed the tears and got wet. Alu nuzzled his neck gently, obviously alarmed by the distress of his bonded, and Hadrian turned over on his back and took him in his arms, holding him tightly against his chest and kissing the top of his head gently, a shaky chuckle making its way through the tears as the feline licked his chin soothingly.

"Thanks, Alu. I guess you're the only one who'll never judge me for what I am."

The purr got louder and the panther cub nuzzled him again before getting comfortable, and that's how they fell asleep.


At nine in the morning, the Dark Lord flooed in, soon followed by Snape, and found the Malfoys eating breakfast. The blondes were quick to invite them to join in, and it wasn't long before the Potions Master noticed his godson's mussed up look.

"Well, Draco, what happened to you?"

The boy looked down at his breakfast, and poked at his eggs with his fork, while mumbling something under his breath.

"Excuse me?" Severus said, amused. "I'm afraid I didn't catch that."

"I said: I might have gotten a little too enthusiastic and woken someone up a little early."

"Would that someone happen to be Hadrian?" Voldemort asked.

Draco's cheeks turned red. Lucius and Narcissa looked on, apparently feeling the whole situation was awfully funny, if the Malfoy Lord's twitching lips and his wife's twinkling eyes was anything to go by.

"Yes, my Lord. He was- displeased."

"I can imagine that." The man smiled. "Shall I go and wake him up, then? I am sure he will not attack me if I do."

This gained some startled looks from the three males, while Narcissa's eyes took on a knowing glint, and she nodded.

"Please proceed, my Lord. His room is the third on the left on the first floor."

"Thank you."

Rising from his chair, he made his way up to the room, knocked briefly and then stepped in quietly, shutting the door behind himself as he looked around. Everything was perfectly clean and ordered, the boy was very organized, but it was a little disturbing to think that he was only sixteen, and this neatness was most likely something which had been pounded into him from an early age with fists and other heavy objects.

Shaking his head, the Dark Lord made his way over to the bed, and smiled at the peaceful image the boy and his panther cub made as they slept on, blissfully unaware of the intruder towering over them. Voldemort let his eyes sweep over the silky black hair, pale skin, defined features and slender fingers, and felt his smile fade into a frown as he noticed how thin the boy still was, and the tear tracks on his cheeks. It looked like he had cried at some point during the night, and he gripped at his chest as his heart clenched for the small Lord Black's misery.


When he woke up again, it was to the feeling of a hand carding through his hair gently, as if he were precious, breakable, a fragile piece of intricate glass. As if the person doing this wanted nothing more than to love him, hold him and protect him, as if someone actually cared enough about him to want to comfort him. And this feeling was so alien, so strange, so opposed to everything his guardians had ever taught him, that it could only ever be a dream, and the mere thought that this wasn't real was enough to make tears slide through his close eyelids and roll down his cheeks once again.

The hand paused at that, and then, suddenly, strong arms wrapped around him comfortingly, held him to a toned chest and allowed him to hide his face in the folds of their clothes as he cried, his tears soaking the expensive robes the man was wearing as he whispered comforting words, sweet nothings in his ear, rubbing his back and rocking back and forth to soothe him.

I'll sing it one last time for you
Then we really have to go
You've been the only thing that's right
In all I've done

He barely heard the first lyrics through his sobs. Somehow, the soothing words had turned into a low melody, and he could only listen.

And I can barely look at you
But every single time I do
I know we'll make it anywhere
Away from here

The voice was low, and he could feel the sounds echo in the chest he was resting against. Tears still run down his face, and he tightened his grip on the robes.

Light up, light up
As if you have a choice
Even if you cannot hear my voice
I'll be right beside you dear

It was like a promise. A promise far too good for someone like him. It couldn't be true. And yet...

Louder louder
And we'll run for our lives
I can hardly speak I understand
Why you can't raise your voice to say

Was this all really a dream? He didn't want it to be. He needed this person so desperately, because somewhere deep inside, he knew he understood at least a part of what he'd been through.

To think I might not see those eyes
Makes it so hard not to cry
And as we say our long goodbyes
I nearly do

Could someone really get attached to him like this? Wish he'd be there when he wasn't? Was it possible?

Light up, light up
As if you have a choice
Even if you cannot hear my voice
I'll be right beside you dear

The promise again. Could it be real? Did he really, as Draco had always said, deserve love and affection like all normal human beings?

Louder louder
And we'll run for our lives
I can hardly speak I understand
Why you can't raise your voice to say

This was nice. He liked it, knew he shouldn't. And somehow, he found himself starting to believe...

Light up, light up
As if you have a choice
Even if you cannot hear my voice
I'll be right beside you dear

The melody faded into a soft humming, and he realized with shock that his tears had all but faded away, and he was just there, curled in someone's lap, their expensive clothes ruined by his little breakdown, and his fists clenching them so tightly that it was a miracle the fabric hadn't been ripped already. Horrified as he realized that it wasn't a dream and this was really happening, he tried to string away, only to be held down by an iron grip as the soothing words started again and a gentle hand rubbed his back.

"It's okay. It will get better, you'll see. It will all get better. It did for me. It will for you as well, I promise."

The voice -he knew it, just couldn't seem to place it, rambled on quietly, and he found himself relaxing despite everything, while his eyelids dropped. Draco's early awakening, his own emotional outbursts and the man's -he still didn't know who it was, though he suspected he should- kindness were finally taking their toll on him. So he just lay there contentedly, deciding that if he were to be punished later, then he would take it, and there was hardly anything he could to prevent it now anyway. So he would just enjoy this until it turned unpleasant.

After a while, the person pulled away and Hadrian tensed, keeping his head down as he waited for his punishment. But it didn't come.

"Look at me."

He licked his lips nervously, but didn't move. There was a sigh, and then, long fingers wrapped around his chin and lifted his head until his eyes met a crimson gaze. He felt his eyes widen in horror as the fact that he had just cuddled up to the Dark Lord sank in. The man must have seen his fright, though, for he rose his hand deliberately slowly. Hadrian closed his eyes, waiting for the pain.

They snapped open when he only felt a gently caress on his cheek.

"You're so beautiful, child..."

He tensed again. This sentence, he knew, was the kind which announced the other abuse. The things he didn't even want to think about, because it hurt too much, and he was far too ashamed to accept that something so degrading, so dirty, had been done to him by his own mother, his guardians, the people supposed to take care of him and threaten his boyfriends when he introduced them.

This didn't escape Voldemort's notice, though, as he cupped his face gently and forced him to meet his gaze.

"Listen to me attentively, Hadrian. I will never, ever, force you to do anything you don't want to do. Yes, you are beautiful, the most beautiful creature I have ever laid eyes on, in fact, but it does not mean I will rape you."

Hadrian flinched at that.

"I swore to protect you, Hadrian." Voldemort continued in a softer voice. "And I will. Can you believe me?"

He looked into those mesmerizing crimson eyes, and couldn't look away. Those orbs held so much sincerity, so much conviction, that he could feel his own dull eyes water again as he nodded his head slowly. Relief flooded the Dark Lord's handsome features, and he let go of his chin to wrap his arms around the slender boy's frame again, and hold him to his chest as he dry-sobbed in a mixture of pain, relief, gratitude and despair, clutching at his clothes again. Though it looked like they were back to square one, Voldemort knew better.

The young man had given him his trust, and that in itself was a giant step forward. The fact that he let him touch him like he was was an eye-opening proof of the progress they had made. And he could only stroke his hair and whisper, again, sweet nothings in his ear as Hadrian purged all the emotions he had bottled up inside for so long, hiding them even from Draco.

Because Draco, in spite of all of his good intentions, couldn't understand, not really. And because Voldemort could.

Because they were strikingly alike.

So, what did you think? Reviews feed the plot-bunnies, as demonstrated by this chapter!


By the way, the song is Run by Leona Lewis.