Author's Notes: My take on Harry/Draco post Deathly Hallows. Everyone's done it, I don't really care, here's mine. This fic is in progress and will be a long one.
Pairings: Harry/Draco. Mention of Hermione/Ron.
The Second Chance Year
The first week was a flurry of high strung emotions, funerals and arrangements, rows, and news paper interviews that by the end of it Harry was fairly sure he had permanent black circles under his eyes from exhaustion. He had admittedly forgotten about the Malfoys completely during that time. The day after Voldemort had been killed Kingsley had told him that all surviving Death Eaters and suspected Death Eaters were being held in Azkaban for questioning and eventual sentencing, and had made a passing remark that the Malfoys had been taken in as well. Harry had felt guilty for a second, knowing what Narcissa Malfoy had done to save his life, but Kingsley had shook his head, saying that they'd talk later. Then another wave of reporters swamped him and he quickly found had other things to think about.
Frankly, he never wanted to think about the Malfoys again, to be honest, no matter how helpful they had been. He was having a hard enough time dealing with all the attention to think about anything else, really, including the fact that he was now a "father" to a child he had yet to meet.
It was only when the owl came for him that he realized that due process included courts and all such things, and, according to the letter at least, the Malfoys were awaiting trial. The letter then asked if he would come to the Ministry the next day and be a witness.
"Oh. Right," Harry muttered, half to himself, as he finished read the summoning. Ron had glanced over his shoulder to see what Harry was reading, and then stepped around to look at him.
"Witness?" he questioned incredulously. "For the Malfoys? You can't seriously…"
Harry gave him a look, stilling his rant before it could really get going. "I told you already Ron," he replied. "If it hadn't been for Malfoy's mother I wouldn't be standing here right now," he felt like he was a record on repeat, he had told Ron that already, he was sure of it.
Ron sat back with a pout and a glare, arms folded across his chest, hatred glittering in his eyes for the multiple offenses that Draco had wrought, past, recently, and possibly future. He was still bitter about having to save Draco's life. Twice. He had mentioned it a couple times since the battle, mostly when he had spent too much time thinking about Fred and how bloody unfair everything was. Harry really didn't want to get into this again, especially since he had spent a great deal of the last week swaying between numb acceptance and anger himself whenever he thought about everyone he had lost.
"They don't deserve it," Ron pointed out, thankfully keeping it simple and to the point.
"Yeah, well," Harry replied wearily as he folded up the letter. "That's not up to you, Ron," at the same time a thought ran through his head, one that he didn't like too much. If all of Malfoy's were in Azkaban, Draco had just spent the entire week in a cold, damp cell. He glowered and stuffed the letter in his pocket. Draco hadn't identified him back during the Easter break… he didn't deserve to be in there any more than his mother, who hadn't given him away to Voldemort.
Granted, if someone had told him four months before that he'd owe his life and outcome of the war to the Malfoys he would have laughed in their face.
To be fair, if someone told him he'd be a teenage father four months ago he would have laughed in their faces about that too, based completely on the fact that he had yet to experience anything that would lead to such things.
The world worked in mysterious, somewhat frightening, and often annoying ways.
The trial went better than Harry anticipated. He felt a somewhat expected sensation of rage when he first caught a glimpse of Lucius, standing next to his wife in the center of the court. The rage melted into something close to pity when he saw how tired they both looked. It had been a long week for them, he was sure. Not as long as his own, mind you, but long enough. Both held their heads high, of course they did, but Harry could see through it and he was sure others could too.
When he didn't see was Draco and he scanned the room for him. He was a bit surprised when he spotted him. He was not where he'd expect those being tried to be seated, but rather in the stands. His face was white, and he looked like he was straining not to show any emotion. He also looked like he was about to faint. Harry wondered why Draco wasn't on trial as well, the letter had said…
"Released already," a member of the Ministry Harry didn't know said as he walked by, catching where Harry was looking. The same man handed Harry a scroll. "They decided to let 'em go because of his age. 'Unlawful coercion of an underage wizard'," he snorted at that. "Ridiculous, if you ask me, the kid is just as guilty as the parents."
No one had asked him and Harry rewarded him with a tired glare. Apparently this man had missed a notice somewhere. Goodness knows he had had to explain every detail of his escape from the Dark Lord often enough in the last week. "Thank you," he said instead, politely, as he took the scroll from the man.
Draco wouldn't look at him as he took to the stand to give his testimony. The only time he did look at Harry was when he told the entire court of what his mother had done to save his life and the reason why she had done it. Harry caught his startled gaze and held it for a moment. Had his mother not told him? Maybe not… or maybe she did and Draco didn't expect Harry to defend his mother.
The rest of the proceedings went smoothly enough, especially when both of the elder Malfoys confessed under a truth serum that they felt no allegiance to the Dark Lord during the last year and would have escaped if they had a way to do so without risking their own lives and the life of their son. Harry was a bit surprised at that, he was sure Lucius had been hundred percent loyal to the Dark Lord right until the end.
He also wondered why he was even there in the first place if they were going to use potions to get answers out of them. Then he remembered hearing or reading somewhere that there were counter spells and especially powerful wizards may be able to fight the effects of the potion. Hermione would know, he decided. He also decided he didn't care enough to ask her. He would have liked very much to go home and sleep, since it had been over a week… well actually if he thought about it, it was closer to a year since he got a good night of that.
When questioning was done the wizards and witches overseeing the trial went on for a bit about what could be forgivable and whether breaking their alliance with the Dark Lord at the last minute really could make up for the rest of their transgressions. Then, after Harry had grown bored of listening he went back to studying Draco, who was very obviously avoiding looking at him at all costs, they turned to ask for his opinion.
Suddenly he had fifty plus pairs of eyes staring at him. Harry blinked at that. Oh. So that was why he was here.
He shuffled about uncomfortably, unsure of what to say and a bit angry he was even being placed in this situation in the first place. He hadn't been asked to be at any other trial. Why just this one? He finally cleared his throat and came out with a very decisive "I don't know."
Well, that got Draco to glare at him. "I don't think they can do any harm," he amended quickly. It was true. "I don't think they attacked anyone last week. They were looking for Malfoy. Draco." He corrected. He shook his head quickly. "Ask… well anyone who was there. Anyone else. I was a bit busy," he tried not to sound too irritated and felt he had failed somewhat. He also chose kept his mouth shut about how Lucius was so eager to turn him in to the Dark Lord only months before that, when he had been captured by Greyback. He wasn't sure why he did, beyond the fact that he knew he was right about them not doing much harm at this point. If either of them started waving around dark magic at this point they'd pretty much be guaranteeing themselves a one way ticket back to Azkaban.
Now Draco was studying him intently as the rest of the ministers went back to debating. Harry looked back at him and held his gaze, and it was Draco who looked away first.
By the end of it all Harry was fighting off sleep, and Kingsley stood to declare that the Malfoy's were free to go under certain conditions, which included checking back with the ministry at regular intervals and so on and so forth, Harry didn't really pay all that much attention to the rest.
The Malfoys turn to leave, barely showing emotion beyond tight smiles of relief. Harry watched them go. He hadn't been much for detail, that was always Hermione's job, but the last year had helped that along. There was no embracing to be had as they approached Draco… his father nodded at him once and Draco nodded back in acknowledgement. He felt another annoying flash of pity and a bit of irritation that they couldn't at least look a little bit happy to see each other. It was only when Narcissa held out her arm and placed it around her son's shoulders that Harry let out a breath that he hadn't been aware he was holding.
It was good to have friends, outstanding actually, but by the end of the second week Harry was desperately in need of alone time. Or alone time with Ginny, but for some reason whenever he tried to spend more than a couple minutes with her she'd suddenly have something she really needed to go do, or someone would come and interrupt them. Usually the first one and Harry had no idea why. So he found himself tired, frustrated, and was starting to get snappish at anyone who came near him who wasn't Ginny… who wasn't coming near him at all.
It was about then that he remembered that he owned a house. The next day he packed his trunk, wished the Weasleys a fond farewell, and left for the Black Manor.
He had only been there less than a day later when an owl tapped on the glass of the library window. Harry glared at it briefly as he had been taking a well deserved nap in an oversized chair before it appeared. When the owl didn't go away, which he didn't really expect it to, he sighed and got up to go let it in.
It was, unexpectedly, from Hogwarts. From McGonagall. Harry groaned as he read it. The letter was warm and inviting, apologizing for the fact that the school was closed for the summer, leaving the students without a chance to finish their studies. The letter continued to ask if he wouldn't like to return to school in the fall to finish summer term? In fact, it said, having some of the old students there again would help the new first years feel comfortable and accepted. Harry read until the end, then tossed the letter aside with a sigh. Didn't saving the entire wizarding world from dark evil grant him a "get out of school free" card? Kind of like a congratulations, you're an adult now that you've saved the world? Not to mention the fact that this'd be his eighth year of school?
No, of course not. He made a face.
Harry then wondered how the school was going to be reopened in the fall anyway, seeing as it had come close to burning to the ground completely only weeks before, and had lost Professors in battle. Snape was gone…
He surprised himself at the stab of pain that caused, then realized what he was feeling was guilt. He pushed that feeling away with irritation and got to his feet. A lot more people than Snape had died, he just felt guilty that he had hated Snape until after he died. Still hated him a bit, but that wasn't the point.
He began to pace, wondering what his friends were going to do. That answer was easy enough, Hermione would be all over a chance to go back and finish school and Ron was going to go wherever she went. Which meant Harry would have to go to. Harry made another face and clenched his wand…
That made another, completely unrelated issue come to mind. He had forgotten it during the last two weeks…
He left the library and made his way upstairs to Sirius'… or rather his room. He pulled out his trunk and rummaged through it until he found what he was looking for. He brought out a wad of cloth, and unwrapped to reveal two wands, the Elder wand and a hawthorn wand.
Well, he knew what to do with the Elder wand, he just hadn't had a chance to get around to hiding it yet. As for the other wand…
Harry signed turned it over in his hands a couple times. He was tempted to keep it, it had, after all, been the wand that had killed Voldemort. Sort of. Well, it helped rebound a curse. Either way, this wand knew him, and recognized him as its master.
But then, really, Harry thought, he didn't need another wand. His wand worked great now that he had been able to knit it back together with the Elder wand's power. He didn't need to keep something that he had taken by force from someone else - a someone who would probably want it back. Draco was an irritating prat, true, but even so he knew that if the other boy had taken his wand he would have liked it back.
He sighed and got to his feet, turning Malfoy's wand over in his hands a few more times before deciding.
He half expected that Malfoy wouldn't come. He wasn't sure he would have come either, even with the promise of getting his wand back. If he was Malfoy, he'd be spending this week, and the next and probably the next after that staying in with his parents now that his house was safe and…
Harry shuddered at that thought. No, not really safe. He remembered, though he really didn't want to, the abuse that Voldemort had put that family through in that house. An especially bad memory of the Dark Lord backing Draco into a corner until he cowered, shaking in fear for his life made his stomach turn. He doubted any of the Malfoys would feel safe in their house for a quite a while.
Either way, he supposed it wasn't that surprising when Malfoy did show.
The wards told Harry he was there the moment he apparated in front of the Black Manor, even though Harry had already been at the window, watching below. There was no mistaking the blond head as Draco squared his shoulders and eyed the house up and down before stepping towards it. When he reached the front door Harry realized he should be downstairs instead of upstairs and headed down to let him in.
When he opened the door all they did was stare at each other for a long moment. Then the corner of Malfoy's mouth curved up into what may have been a smirk but ended up just looking like a grimace. "Well, Potter?" he said. "Are you going to invite me in or just stand there like an idiot?"
Harry snapped shut a jaw he hadn't realized was open and stepped aside. "Come in," he said coolly.
Malfoy raised an eyebrow at him and walked into the house. Harry shut the door behind him.
Now he stood in the front hall, inspecting Malfoy as he looked around with what appeared to be mild distaste. When the blond haired boy turned back around to look at Harry, Harry suddenly remembered he should probably be acting like a host and not just standing around staring. "Um, this way," he said, half expecting Draco to not follow him as he led him to the drawing room. He did and once in the room Draco sat down on one of the ornate Victorian chairs. Now they had another staring moment, and Draco began to tap his fingers on the arm rest impatiently.
"Right," Harry said, clearing his throat. "Tea?" he offered.
Now Draco was giving him a look like he was mad. "I'd rather just have my wand, Potter," he replied. "If it's not TOO much trouble." The familiar drawling mocking tone in his voice was obvious and Harry's reaction was nearly instantaneous.
"Hey," he snapped, jabbing a finger in Draco's direction. He wondered why he had even bothered trying to be nice to Malfoy. Obviously it was a mistake, he hadn't changed one bit. "Listen," Harry bit out from between clenched teeth. "You *owe* me-"
Malfoy froze. Completely, shock crossing his face for a moment. His eyes narrowed into slits, inspecting Harry coldly. Harry felt his temper melt away as fast as it had come. Instead a low churning shame decided to replace it. He shouldn't have said that… the look on Malfoy's face said as much.
"And what would you have me do?" Malfoy asked, his voice low. Disgust warred with anger on his face, but not the type of anger he was used to, not from Malfoy at least. Harry could only stare as the other young man got to feet. "Grovel at your feet maybe? Sing you praises? Oh the great Harry Potter, thank you so much." Harry nearly took a step back almost despite himself in response to the absolute loathing on his face.
"That," he managed to get out when his mouth decided to start working again. "No!" he protested. "I don't want anything from you Malfoy," he regained his footing and glared back at him.
"But I owe you, remember?" Draco returned, his voice low and taunting.
"Forget it," Harry returned, wondering where, exactly, he had lost control of this conversation. He drew in a deep breath. This wasn't how it was supposed to happen. He had saved Malfoy's life and helped out his parents, so he supposed he expected some gratitude at least, not all out animosity.
"I suppose I should thank you for the scars as well, perhaps," Malfoy added, his voice very nearly conversational now.
Harry's jaw dropped again, growing pale as he realized what Malfoy was referring to. "I can't believe…" he sputtered.
"That's your problem isn't it, Potter?" Malfoy said, his eyes now almost appraising as he looked him up and down. "You were unbearable before, and I imagine you'll be even worse now, especially now that HE'S gone," his lip curled at that last bit. "Harry Potter, champion of the people. Savior of the world. Everyone's hero. THANK YOU, Potter. That's what you want isn't it? Praise and adoration! Fame and fortune! And what's even worse, you'll think you DESERVE it."
"Shut up!" Harry snapped, his face white.
Apparently he wasn't done yet. Malfoy's hands balled into fists. "How many people died?" he snarled. "How many people were you unable to save? How many people SUFFERED because of YOU?"
He hit him. He didn't mean to, he just wanted him to stop, but one moment Draco was yelling at him, and the next he was on the ground, eyes wide as he stared up and him, a hand to his face. Harry saw fear crawling in his eyes before he realized he had his wand pointed right at him.
Harry's chest heaved as he tried to get his breathing under control. Draco continued to stare at him long enough to realize Harry wasn't going to curse him and slowly rolled his head to the side.
"Did I hurt you, Potter?" he asked in a low taunting voice. The anger in his eyes was still there but now it was much more subdued. He shut his eyes then opened them again, inspecting him quietly and said no more.
Harry drew in another deep breath, then another, and shoved his wand back into his robes. He leaned over and thrust his hand out to help Draco up.
"Don't touch me," Draco said, looking irritated as he pushing his hand away. Harry shrugged and stepped back, watching as he helped himself to his feet. Draco staggered slightly then straightened as if to regain some of his pride, brushed himself off, and sat back down in the chair very deliberately.
For some reason the entire action hit Harry as funny. His snort of laughter surprised even himself.
Draco glared, then wiped his mouth on the back of his sleeve. "Glad you find attacking someone without a wand funny, Potter," he spat, inspecting his sleeve as if to check for blood. There wasn't any.
"You just…" Harry coughed. "Sorry," he added, covering his mouth. He cleared his throat when he thought he could contain himself. Draco eyed him.
"Do you feel better?" Harry asked.
Draco made a disgusted sound. "No, Potter, I'll feel better when I'm out of here and never have to see your disgusting face ever again," he replied.
"The feeling is mutual, Malfoy," Harry retorted. Draco snorted and looked away.
Now Harry didn't know what to say. He expected more argument. He stood there and just looked at him until Draco turned back him with a frown. "Well?" he said. "Weren't you going to get my wand?"
"…Right," Harry shook his head, contemplated saying something more, then turned abruptly and headed for the stairs. That could have gone better, he thought to himself as he climbed them. Then he considered. It could have gone worse, too.
Well, at least he hadn't killed him. That was good. Right?
Malfoy looked bored when Harry got back downstairs, holding the hawthorn wand tightly in his hand.
He gave Draco a warily look before holding it out to him. The other boy merely got to his feet, took the wand from his hand and proceeded to inspect it carefully. Harry rolled his eyes. "I didn't curse it," he said.
Malfoy sniffed, gave the wand a once more looking over then flicked it a couple times to make sparks fly out of the tip (Harry's hand went for his own wand as a precaution). However Malfoy did nothing more with it and slipped the wand into his robes. He turned and strode towards the door.
"Wait," Harry called out after him, almost despite himself.
Draco turned back, with his hand on the doorknob, his eyebrow raised and expression of distain back on his face. "What is it, Potter?"
Harry found himself caught. He really didn't know why he had called out actually… well beyond the fact that he expected a thank you at very least. "Are you going back to Hogwart's in the fall?" he asked finally feeling awkward.
Malfoy studied him. "Why do you care?" he asked suspiciously.
"I don't," Harry replied lamely. "Just asking. Are you?"
Draco merely looked him over once more, sneered at him, then turned and left, shutting the door firmly behind himself.
"Fine, don't answer," Harry muttered.
He spent the rest of the day in a foul mood, and it was all because of Malfoy.