Hello! This is my very first story, ever. It's a work in progress, and I'm hoping that by publishing it I'll have more motivation to keep writing.
Disclaimer: Harry Potter and its characters do not belong to me!
Edit: Obviously, it's been a while since I updated, but I'm trying to get back into this story, and hopefully I'll have some more for you guys soon!
Much love! -Cat
It was late. The house on Privet Drive was silent, and the family inside had gone to bed hours ago. Except for Harry. Harry slept very little these days; he was kept awake by his dreams. Dreams of Cedric, begging Harry to take his body back, dreams of Sirius, falling gracefully through a veil, and dreams of Dumbledore, pleading with Snape before being thrown backwards off of the Astronomy Tower.
Harry hated this last one the most. Yes, Cedric's death had been cruel and unnecessary, Sirius' had been sudden and heartbreaking, but Dumbledore's was the worst. Dumbledore had been a constant throughout Harry's years at Hogwarts, and all of his time in the Wizarding World. He had been mysterious and wise, intelligent and cunning, which was why his death bothered Harry so much. The man had always had plans layered upon plans layered upon plans. So where was the plan in begging Snape for his life?
As Harry sat, mulling the events of that night over in his mind again, he noticed an owl flying towards his window. He pulled out his wand and let it in. Technically, Harry was still underage, his birthday wasn't for another month yet, but after Dumbledore's funeral Scrimgeour had given him permission to practice magic outside of the school. Harry figured that Scrimgeour had just wanted to be seen publicly in the presence of the "Chosen One," but he'd take what he could get.
The owl swooped into Harry's bedroom and perched lightly on his headboard, ignoring Hedwig completely. Harry checked the letter thoroughly for curses before taking it from the bird—he had been studying from his textbooks diligently since arriving at the Dursley's a few weeks previously, figuring he needed all the knowledge he could get.
Harry cracked the seal on the letter, and immediately noticed the beautiful penmanship. The letter read,
I realize that you have no reason to trust me, or to believe what I say is true, but I'm hoping that your Gryffindor curiosity will allow you to at least read this, and please believe me that in everything I write here, I am completely sincere.
I was forced into taking the Mark last summer against my will. He threatened my family. I know you, of all people will understand what a serious motivation a threat towards the people we love can be. I did what I did at school this year out of fear for my mother's life, and for my own. As you know, I failed in my task, and it was carried out by someone else. The Dark Lord considers this a failure on my part. I am sure he intended for me to either kill or be killed on the Tower that night. As punishment for my failure, He took out his displeasure on my mother.
With the threat of injury towards my family now removed, there is nothing else to keep me bound to his service. To put it plainly, I want out. I know that I, of all people, have no right to turn to you, but whom else could I go to? If you are willing to help me, I need a place to stay until I have found a safe place for me to disappear to. I fully expect you to refuse your assistance, and I understand this, but the effort had to be made.
Harry let the note fall from his fingertips as he considered Malfoy's plea. The Slytherin was right, he would have been one of the last people Harry would have offered his protection to, especially after his actions this spring. Despite this, Harry couldn't help but remember how Dumbledore had offered Malfoy protection, and how the blonde's wand tip had dropped. Offering Malfoy protection had been one of the last things Dumbledore had attempted. If Dumbledore would have freely offered it, how could Harry deny it when it was asked for? Harry came to a decision and pulled out a piece of parchment and his quill.
Draco paced his balcony anxiously. He knew it had been incredibly stupid to send Potter that note—what if it was intercepted? What if Phil didn't make it to him? What if Potter sent the letter on to someone else? Draco was working himself into a panic. It had almost been two hours since he had sent the owl. Hopefully he would receive a reply soon, or Phil would return without a note—which would be an answer in itself, one that Draco was half expecting.
As he turned to make another rotation of the balcony a spot moving in the distance caught his eye. It was Phil! He breathed a sigh of relief. Whatever the owl brought—if anything—would be better than this interminable waiting.
Draco's owl landed on his shoulder and stuck out a leg, asking to be relieved of its burden. He quickly removed the letter, and watched as Phil settled down on the edge of the balcony. Apparently the bird was expecting another trip. Surely that was a good sign?
Draco unrolled the parchment and took in Potter's sloppy handwriting, and stared in shock. Potter had not only invited Draco into his home, but he had exhibited some intelligence in writing the note. It read,
I don't have much to offer, but what's mine is yours. Come by at ten tomorrow?
Draco couldn't help but laugh. Obviously Potter had more sense in that head of his than Draco had credited him with over the years. Other than the absurdly messy handwriting, the note had been written to look as though it had come from Pansy. Of course, Pansy would probably murder him if she ever saw it, but regardless, it was clever. He flipped the parchment over and replied on the back.
I'll be there.
As he sent the reply, Draco couldn't help but wonder what he was getting himself into. All he could do now was hope Potter wouldn't immediately attack him when he arrived tomorrow.
In Little Whinging, Harry's thoughts were surprisingly similar.
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