I pushed Draco's hair off his forehead, pressing a kiss to the searing skin.
The blonde had been out for weeks, waking up at random for about thirty seconds to a minute each time. In the three weeks he had been out, he had only woken up four times, including the first night.
Madame Pomfrey assured me that he would be fine.
"His life force is still fusing with his body. From the research Ms. Granger has done, it's a long and painful process."
Draco sometimes would begin to shake and sweat, would go into seizures, would cry out in pain, but when he awoke, he seemed confused as to why we were concerned. He said he felt fine. Then he was right back out.
He had just suffered another seizure – a particularly bad one – and I watched as Madame Pomfrey examined him closely. Snape stood to the side, the only sign of emotion on his face the crinkling of his brow. Everyone knew how this was effecting him, but he wouldn't show it outright. He hadn't been here for any of the times Draco had woken up. No one had but me.
I grabbed the cool, damp wash cloth Hermione offered me and gently placed it on his forehead, hoping that it would bring his fever down.
Everyone straightened, moving closer to Draco's bed.
"'S really cold." His teeth began to chatter.
"I have to put it there, Dray. You've got a fever. You're burning up."
His silver eyes barely opened. They were glassy, unfocused. Sweat was forming on his upper lip and on his neck.
"Where're my blankets?" His voice was quiet, hoarse.
"Severus." Madame Pomfrey said quietly, doing the same spell she had done a million times to check his vitals. "Grab a spell to bring his temperature down. Maybe we can keep him awake this time."
"Harry?" His voice was tearing at my heart. "Please grab me some blankets. I'm so cold."
"Baby, you're sick. If I give you any cover, you're just going to get hotter."
"Please." He whimpered, wrapping his alarmingly pale arms around himself.
He hadn't done this before. It was scaring me. Usually he was fine. Usually he was completely coherent.
Snape rushed back over and handed Madame Pomfrey the potions.
I, once again, held Draco's head back as they administered the potions, but this time he fought against me, choking on the liquid.
Finally, when they were all down, I pulled him close, smoothing his sweat soaked hair back. He was pouring sweat, the cool cloth long gone after our struggle.
"I think his fever's breaking."
"'M tired." He mumbled into the crook of my neck. "Really tired. Really hot."
I pressed a kiss to his forehead. "Get your sleep, Dray. I'll be here when you wake up."
I felt him shake his head. "Don't wanna sleep. Wanna stretch my legs. Wanna get up."
"I don't know if that's a good idea."
"Don't want to go back to sleep. What if I don't wake back up?" He was getting more coherent.
"You'll wake back up. I promise."
He nuzzled his face in my neck. I heard as he let out a yawn before pushing himself up into a sitting position. He was shaking from the strain of it. I quickly put my hands on his waist to steady him.
Ron, Draco's second day in here, had run up to the Gryffindor dormitory and dug through rubble until he found a trunk – Neville's. He had grabbed a couple t-shirt and pajama bottoms and brought them back for Draco. The clothes swallowed him whole, especially now that he was nothing but bones, and the shirt was bunched up around my hands, reminding me just how skinny he was.
His stomach let out a little rumble and he looked up, still shaking slightly, a small blush appearing on his cheeks.
"Are you hungry?"
He nodded. "But… I don't really feel like I can eat. I feel sick. And, Merlin, I'm so hot."
Hermione handed me another cold washcloth and I pressed it to his forehead. "You'll feel better in a little while, baby. Your fever's breaking." I ran the cloth across his forehead, across his cheeks. "Why don't we get you some food? Maybe you'll feel better after you get something in your stomach."
He nodded weakly. "Okay. Okay, but if I throw up, I'm throwing up on you."
I had to laugh and pressed a gentle kiss to his head.
As Rom and Hermione jumped up to try to find some food in the kitchens, I looked to Snape. "Do you think it would be better to get him out of here? I have somewhere to go, somewhere safe. I could take him there. You could come with us, make sure he has the potions he needs. I was going to ask the Weasley's if they wanted to stay there until everything was officially over, maybe even just hand it over to them. I don't want to live there, but it would definitely be safe for the time being."
"You're taking about Grimmauld Place." It wasn't a question. He thought for a moment, watching Draco as he leaned back against me. "Yes. I think that would be a much better environment for him to be in. For all of us."
"So you'll go to?"
"For Draco's sake."
By the time Ron and Hermione were back, Draco seemed fully conscious if still a little tired. I helped him eat the small bit of food they had gathered, but he had only taken a few bites when he began to turn it down.
"No more." He whimpered, holding a hand to his stomach. I was shocked to see that, under the think gray t-shirt, his stomach was slightly swollen from the four bites he had taken. "Oh, I'm going to be sick."
I helped him lay back and gently rubbed a hand on his stomach under his shirt. It was definitely swollen, tight and taunt.
"The way he can barely hold anything isn't a good sign." Madame Pomfrey sighed. "It means he hasn't been eating properly for a long while before these last few weeks. But the fact that he's holding it down is almost a miracle."
As if on cue, Draco jerked, gagging slightly, before the tiny bit of food he had eaten came right back up, splattering against my shirt.
I expected Draco to apologize, to freak out, but he looked weak, then took in the mess, and laughed, the sound almost a wheeze. "I warned you."
I cleaned the mess off of me with a quick spell before looking at him, shaking my head. "Atleast you're back to your normal, demented sense of humor."
Draco smiled weakly. "You miss me?"
"Oh, Merlin, I have." I pressed a kiss to his lips, ignoring the taste of stomach acid. "I love you. And I'm never letting you out of my sight ever again."
"That almost sounds like a threat."
"It is. You're mine." I kissed him again. "No one else's. All mine."
"Mmm." He pressed his forehead against mine. "All yours."
"No one else's. Ever." I laid my hands on his waist, inwardly flinching as I felt his ribs pronounced under my hands. "All mine. Only mine."
"Forever and ever." He laughed. "Kiss me again."
Only a day later, they had moved me and Harry, along with the entire Weasley clan, Hermione, Luna, Sev, a few of Harry's Gryffindor friends with no where to go, and a couple other adults to Grimmauld Place. It was safer, they told me, than Hogwarts currently was. I could heal there.
Naturally, I agreed.
Immediately, I regretted it.
The place, floor, walls, decorations, everything, was covered in a layer of dust. There was mold in the corners, water stains on the ceilings. Oh, Merlin, it was gross. My inner neat-freak had a stroke and died.
And worst of all, I couldn't do anything about it. Why? I couldn't walk. I had tried a couple times before we left, but it was pointless. My legs were like rubber. I couldn't even take a single step. If I hadn't have had Harry's arm around my waist, I would've hit the floor. My arms were the same. I couldn't life any weight more than about five pounds.
So their solution? Confine me to a motherfucking Muggle wheelchair. A wheelchair. A wheelchair donated from the fucking muggle Minister when he was alerted that we were "in dire need of one."
Madame Pomfrey promised it wouldn't last, that I would be walking again in a few months, maybe a year.
Like that was some fucking comfort.
I sighed as Harry rolled me down the hall towards the kitchen. He was talking, telling me something about his godfather, my cousin, but I couldn't really listen to him. I was a little preoccupied with my hate for everyone in this god-forsaken hell hole. Everyone except for Luna. She was the only one that didn't look at me in pity. I hated that look. I'd rather everyone look at me in disgust.
"Dray? You okay?"
"I'm fine, Harry."
I could imagine the hurt flashing across his features. "I know you're upset with me-,"
"Yes, I am."
"So you'll admit it now."
"I've never hidden it. The only reason I'm being civil is because I need someone to push this fucking chair since my arms are too damn weak to do it."
He stopped and walked in front of me, kneeling down. "Why are you mad at me?"
"Merlin. Because all of this is just so fucking ironic! And I hate irony."
I noticed his lips twitch, trying to hold back a smile. "What's ironic?"
"The fact that when I'm actually seriously hurt and need help, no one cares. No one gives me the time of day. No one gives a fuck. But now that I'm fine, I'm okay, I've got people who love me, suddenly I'm the object of everyone's pity. Everyone's asking if I'm okay. I'm fine, damn it!"
Harry's lips twitched again.
"And you're laughing at me."
"I'm not laughing!"
"You just did!"
He leaned forward and kissed me. "I love you. You know that?"
I sighed, leaning back against the back of my chair. "You better love me."
He rubbed his nose against mine. "I do. Very, very much. I'm so happy every second I'm with you that you're alive. You're the most beautiful thing to ever walk the face of the Earth and I'm so happy you're mine. No one will ever hurt you. Ever again."
I felt the heat spread across my cheeks. "Now that's just not fair."
He smiled and pecked my lips. "Come on. Let's go try to eat. If you start to feel bad, just tell me and we can go back up to our room and get some sleep."
I nodded. "Okay. Oh, and Harry?"
He had moved back around me and was pushing my chair once again. "Yeah, angel?"
"Do me a favor?"
"The second someone asks if I'm okay, knock their teeth down their throat."
He laughed, turning the chair towards the hallway leading to the kitchen. "Will do."
"I'm holding you to that. If you don't do it, you don't love me."
"Oh, now that's just not fair."
We entered the kitchen and immediately, Ron's eyes landed on me. "Hey, guys. How you feelin', Draco? You doin' okay?"
I turned and looked at Harry.
"I'm not really going to."
I crossed my arms, surprised how even that tiny movement put strain on them. "Fine. You don't love me."
"Dray, that's not fair."
I turned my nose up, not looking at him.
Harry sighed, but then I heard the loud thump as Harry punched Ron in the chest.
"Ow! Harry, what the fuck?!"
"Sorry, mate. I promised him. Spread the worse around. If anyone asks if Draco's okay, I have to punch them."
"A warning would've been nice." The redhead muttered, rubbing his chest.
Harry moved my seat over to the table, taking the chair next to me.
"Now do you doubt that I love you?"
I shook my head. "I know that you love me. If you didn't, you never would've stayed by my side through everything." I felt that same heavy sadness in my heart. "But, if you want, I'm not going to be mad if you want to back out now."
"What?!" Harry asked, looking genuinely confused. "Baby, we've been through the worst of it. Why would I-,"
"I can't walk. I'm going to have to learn to walk again. I puke when I eat. I have terrible nightmares and wake up screaming and crying. I've got a horrible attitude and can't keep it in check. I don't know if I'm going to stop getting sick and having seizures. I have awful baggage that's never going to go away. I don't know if I'm capable of being intimate. Oh, and just the cherry on top, I turn into a hairy, awful beast once a month. I know. I'm just a catch."
Harry sighed, taking my face in his hands. "Yes, you will have to learn to walk again. And I want to help you. I want to see that smile when you take that first step.
"I don't care if you throw up. You can throw up all over me. I don't care. I just want you to get better.
"I want to be there to comfort you when you wake up from an awful dream. I want to protect you from something ever happening again to give you those nightmares.
"I know you have a horrible attitude. Why do you think I love you so much?
"You will stop, eventually. And I want to help you get better.
"Believe it or not, we both have some pretty awful baggage. We can heal each other.
"I don't care if we ever have sex. That's not what I want you for, Draco. I love you, not your body. Well, I do love your body, but you get what I mean. And I won't push for anything until you're completely, 100% ready and comfortable. And if you never are, I don't care.
"And you're not really a 'hairy, awful beast' per say. You're more of a beautiful, fluffy dog with sad eyes."
Harry chuckled. "Draco, I love you. Through thick and thin. For better or worse. For richer or poor. Whatever other cliché you can think of, that's how I love you. I'm not going anywhere."
I smiled, my fears momentarily forgotten. "I love you, too."
"I know you do, baby."
"Dinner!" I heard Mrs. Wealsey's familiar voice ring out. Laying down a huge turkey in the middle of the table, she looked over at me. "How are you feeling, Draco dear? Are you okay?"
I looked at Harry.
I raised an eyebrow.
"I'm starting to doubt your love again. I mean-,"
Harry pressed his lips to mine to shut me up.
I'm not even ashamed to admit that it worked.
Alright. I lied. Last chapter. Hahaha.
This one's even sadder than my other one because this is the first one I ever started.
I would go through and give my usual little spiel, but Jesus Christ, I'm tired. Haha! And I'm going on a 6 mile hike in the morning.
This was a really bad idea.
Oh, well. Too late now:) haha!
This one IS GOING TO HAVE A SEQUEL. It's currently unnamed, but I'll mention that it's the sequel in the summary and I'll probably put up another chapter on this one to tell everyone. I'm not completely sure when the sequel is going to come out. I may start on my other story, For Forever and a Day, the sequel to Through Their Eyes and To Have and To Hold before I start it. Not sure. Depends on my mood I guess:)
Anyways, thanks for all your support through all this! You really don't know how much it touches me.
I hope you enjoyed the update, and I'll see you at the sequel!
Reviews are Love!