Word Count: 4,995
Disclaimer: The characters depicted herein belong JK Rowling and associated publishers. I make no profit from this endeavour.
Author's Notes (A/N): Written for hp_didi_fest. Thanks to singlemomsummer for the beta.
Summary: Harry's in a magical coma and Draco's magic is the only thing that can save him.
"What do you mean, there's no one else?" Draco tried not to sound too impatient with Granger, who was grey with fatigue and clearly only making this approach to Draco as a last resort. "There has to be."
"There's no time – there is no one we can call upon, Malfoy; your magic is the only known match to Harry's. He won't even be conscious! Please-" A lone tear appeared and rolled solemnly down her pale cheek. "Consider this your life debt to Harry repaid?"
Well, when she put it like that, Draco could hardly refuse now, could he? Although he wasn't sure Potter would see it the same way. Of course, he knew that really, refusal had never been an option, but he needed be sure that there was no other way before he agreed to do this. Harry bleeding Potter was the last person he wanted to help. Ever.
"Very well," he said, nodding his head. "I'll need half an hour to sort out a few things then I'll meet you at St Mungo's."
"Thank you! You have no idea what this means-"
Draco was pretty sure that he did. "Yes, yes – now if you wouldn't mind?" He gestured at the floo and Granger flushed at the dismissal, but acquiesced nonetheless. Draco waited for her to disappear into the flames before collapsing into the armchair by the fire and dropping his head into his hands. He hadn't even asked what had happened to Potter in his desperation to get rid of Granger. Fuck.
He had sworn that he would never come within a hundred feet of Harry Potter again; and now he was going to give the wanker a life-saving Magic transfusion?
Fate really had it in for him.
Draco bit back a gasp when he was led into Potter's hospital room. The knot that had been forming in his belly since Granger's visit twisted and expanded until it was a solid lump. Potter was paler than Draco had ever seen him, his usually red lips as washed out as the rest of him. He was hooked up to a large muggle heart monitor that had been magically adapted and Draco didn't have to be a healer to know that his heart-rate was dangerously low.
"What happened to him?" Draco asked Granger in a low voice, staring at Potter with a blank expression, determined not to let his shock show on his face. He was used to keeping his emotions to himself and this situation was no different.
"He was hit with a dark curse that knocked him unconscious and is slowly draining his magic out of him. Once all the magic is gone, the victim – Harry – will die." Granger leant over Potter and brushed a stray lock of hair off his face, bending forward to place a fond kiss on his temple. "The only known cure is to transfuse compatible magic back into him, enough so that he can regain consciousness and cast the counter curse himself; only the victim of the curse can do this do this, hence the urgency."
Potter was always getting himself into scrapes, his hero complex combined with his job as an Auror meant that he was constantly at risk. Only recently Potter had spent nearly a week in the hospital for some other magical mishap. Draco pushed that knowledge to one side and said, "What happens now?"
"I'll just fetch the Healer, and she can start the procedure." Draco sat in the wooden chair beside Potter's bed and nodded, watching her leave before glancing back at Potter's prone form and muttering, "Wanker."
Potter's eyelids flickered as if he had heard Draco's bitter insult. Maybe he had heard. Draco sat forward and said bitterly, "I hate you, you know that, Potter? I'm only doing this to pay off that bloody life debt so that I can finally be free of you."
More flickering. Draco licked his lips in satisfaction, the next insult formulating in his mind as the door opened again and Granger walked in, followed by Katie Bell who judging by her clothing, was the healer. Shit. One of the people he'd nearly killed in the name of being a good little death eater. He'd apologised, of course he had, but that didn't mean that he didn't still feel guilty, or that things between them weren't going to be awkward.
"Hello, Draco," she said pleasantly. "I can't thank you enough for agreeing to be Harry's donor. If this works then you'll be saving his life."
Draco went cold at Katie's words. "What do you mean, if this works? Could he still die?"
"We're confident that this will work; however, nothing is ever guaranteed where dark magic such as this is concerned."
"Let's get on with it then," he said, horribly aware that his voice had trembled. "Where do you want me?"
Draco must have fallen asleep in the chair because he woke up with a start and the room was in semi-darkness, the only light coming from the gaps around the door, the heart monitor and from the stream of magic that flowed from the centre of his chest to Potter's. He could feel the start of a headache coming on and rubbed his temple, blinking into the darkeness.
He'd been given a potion that would increase his own ability to regenerate his own magic, and Katie had transfigured the old wooden chair by the bed into a comfortable recliner and told Draco to make himself comfortable for the transfusion, telling him that he wouldn't be able to leave the chair for several hours. She'd cast the transfusion spells and had left, saying that she would return to check progress hourly. Which had left Draco with Granger, and after several minutes of uncomfortable silence, she had left with the excuse that she was expecting a fire-call from Weasley who was on an assignment in Edinburgh.
Draco had never been so pleased to see the back of her, and had planned on throwing more insults at Potter to see if he could get a reaction out of him, because clearly that was the most fun he was going be having for a while, but even as he began plotting, a sudden wave of tiredness washed over him and he must have fallen asleep, because here he was again, startled awake, his mouth dry and his toes icy cold in his boots.
Potter was still unconscious; but the machine was beeping reassuringly with an increased heart rate and was the only noise in the quiet of the room. Draco leant forward and studied Potter's face in the half-light. "I hate you, you fucking prick," he said again. "I hate you, I hate you, I hate you, I hate you!"
"I know you do," came the unexpected reply in Potter's unmistakable voice, hoarse, raspy and sad, but still Potter. "I-"
Draco lurched backwards in shock, grabbing his wand and waving it quickly to alert Katie to Potter's being awake. "Don't speak," he said to Potter then, and as Potter attempted to sit upright he added, "And don't move!"
"It's worked," Katie said once Potter had uttered the counter curse and she'd performed a few diagnostic spells over his torso. "Your magic is fighting back – or rather, Draco's magic is fighting back and helping to rebuild your own."
"Oh, Harry that's fantastic!" Granger cried, having reappeared along with Katie when Draco had summoned her; Draco suspected she'd been waiting outside to avoid further awkward silences with him. Not that he cared. Potter was saved – for once Draco had saved the day, and wasn't that just perfect? Draco was now free to leave.
He stretched stiffly and made to stand. "Draco, where are you going?" Katie asked with a raised eyebrow. "You need to stay close to Harry for another few hours at least; his magic is strengthening but he still needs the transfusion."
Draco glanced over at Potter who was still pale, his eyes closed due to the effort it took him to keep them open. There was a splash of colour in his cheeks which surely meant he was on the mend and didn't need Draco? "But he's awake now," Draco said nastily. "This is completely different from spending time with him when he was in a coma! I never agreed to socialise with the git." Draco felt genuine panic – surely they couldn't really expect him to spend time in Potter's company? He'd likely end up hexing him and finishing him off himself!
"Malfoy-" Granger began, hands going to her hips, and Draco instantly knew he didn't have a leg to stand on.
"Fine," he huffed. "But I want a book to read or something; Potter's conversation hasn't improved since first year, and I don't want you or Weasley popping in every five minutes – you can visit when I've gone."
Granger's brown eyes flashed, as if calling him out on his words, but she nodded, "All I care about is that Harry gets better, and if it means avoiding you for a few hours then I think I'm the one getting the better deal here." She rounded the bed and kissed Harry's temple. "See you later, Harry, okay?"
"Thanks, Mione; say hi to Ron for me," Harry mumbled. Draco rolled his eyes; ever the fucking Gryffindor, always thinking of others. Such a shame he hadn't kept up the good work when it really mattered.
"Will do," she said, nodding briefly at Draco as she swept past and left the room leaving him alone with Potter and Katie Bell.
"Right then, Draco – I'll just get the transfusion re-established. You might want to take five minutes to freshen up while I just perform a few routine checks on Harry?" It was a clear hint to bugger off for a while, one which Draco had no problem heeding. He needed a breather if he was going to be forced to spend several more hours in the company of a conscious Potter.
He went to the bathroom and then outside for some fresh air. He could do this without breaking down. He could. It was only Potter. No one was asking him to spend time trapped in a room with the Dark Lord, or Greyback – it was only Potter.
So why did the prospect scare him half to death?
There was silence between them as Draco settled back into the chair and Katie cast the spell. Once she had gone, telling him this was the end of her shift and that another healer would check in later, Draco picked up one of the books that she had brought in for him, and read the back cover five times before realising he still didn't know what the book was about and accepting that perhaps reading was going to be kind of pointless in this situation. Potter was lying there with his eyes closed, but Draco knew he was still awake from the pattern of his breathing.
He studied his old nemesis for the fortieth time that day, letting his gaze travel over the length of his sheet covered torso, to his strong tanned neck, along his long arms, and his long fingers with the neatly trimmed nails, skirting over the tattoo that circled his left wrist and returning to study his face, and Draco could never get over that the scrawny young boy who had refused his hand all those years ago had grown up into this – dared Draco even think it? – this vision.
He sat back again and huffed, annoyed with himself. The last thing he needed was to be thinking about Potter's good looks.
Potter chose that moment to open his eyes, turning his head slightly, with obvious effort, to meet Draco's glare. "Thank you for doing this," he said. "I know you h-don't want anything to do with me, but you didn't have to, and I'm grateful."
Draco didn't want anything to do with Potter – right.
The knot in Draco's belly seemed to double in size. He swallowed uncomfortably and looked down, the intensity of Potter's gaze clenching his heart. His lack of reply seemed to hang in the air, almost tangible for its absence.
"How's everything?" Potter asked, staring up at the ceiling. Draco looked up again, surprised that Potter would ask.
"Absolutely wonderful," Draco replied, hoping he sounded convincing. "We-Business is good and-" He trailed off, wishing he could lie to Potter but he the other man always had some kind of truth spell attached to his person, which meant that Draco inevitably blurted the truth, or at the very least, avoided lying.
Potter nodded stiffly and closed his eyes again. "I miss you," he said, and if Draco hadn't been watching him closely he might have missed the three words passing his lips. His heart in his throat, Draco leant forward to make sure he heard the next words, "How-"
The door flew open and a tall blond woman in healer's uniform bustled in, bringing with her an air of no nonsense. She marched over to the bed, muttered a spell to stop the transfusion and began running diagnostic spells over Harry's torso, "I'm pleased to tell you that you are almost back to full magical strength. I think you will be fine recovering the last of it on your own."
Draco scrambled out of the chair. "I can go?" he asked desperately, shooting a pleading look at the healer. Potter didn't want him around, so he didn't want to stay where he wasn't wanted. Harry Potter would never admit to needing anybody.
She offered him a regretful smile. "Soon; I need you to stay reclined in that seat for at least fifteen minutes, you've given away a lot of energy and you need the time for your magic to settle before I can allow you to leave." She walked back to the door. "I'll come back and check on you in a short while; until then, stay put."
Draco huffed and dropped back into the chair, folding his arms across his chest.
"Please, what, Potter?" Draco snapped. "What do you want me to say? Do you want me to say that this is fine? That seeing you again doesn't hurt?"
"I'm surprised you came here at all."
"Granger promised me this would pay my life debt; I don't want to owe you anything, Potter. I want this thing finished."
The glass vase sitting on the cabinet beside Potter's bed exploded sending glass flying in every direction. Instinctively Draco cast a shield charm over himself and Potter and the glass rebounded and fell to the floor.
The door flew open again, this time with more force and the healer appeared in the doorway. "What is going on in here? I have other patients who need their rest!" She waved her wand and the broken glass Vanished.
"Why don't you use a silencing spell like a normal person?" Draco accused, wishing her gone. "And if you'd read Potter's notes then you'd know-"
"Mr Malfoy-Potter – I will not tolerate being spoken to like this!" the woman bellowed and Draco was certain she was louder than the noise the vase had made. She turned on her heel and left the room again, leaving an awkward silence hanging in her wake. Draco glared at the closed door, and only belatedly caught up to what she had called him.
As if he needed reminding of that mistake.
He stood and ignoring the blood rushing to his head, he walked calmly to the door and as he was about to turn the handle he said, "I hate you."
Potter turned his head away, fixing his gaze on the plain white of the wall. "I wish I could say the same about you, Draco, it would be so much easier if I could." He laughed bitterly. "We just can't-" His voice dropped off and he covered his eyes with his hands.
Draco's hand froze on the door handle. "You don't hate me, but you don't want me anymore either - you don't want our baby." He didn't turn, closing his eyes and waiting for Potter's reply, "He needs you. We need you."
His reply was silence.
"Huh." Draco turned the handle and half opened the door. He couldn't cope with anymore of this.
Draco shut the door and turned around to lean back against it, raising his eyes to look at his soon to be ex-husband.
Harry's watery green eyes met Draco's. "I'm sorry."
Draco was furious. "Even now you can't even bring yourself to say his name, can you?"
"Leo. His name is Leo!"
Potter swallowed and looked away. "I know what his name is."
He looked so lost, so lonely, that for a moment Draco almost forgot himself and went to him. His instinct had always been to protect Harry, to brush the hair from his brow and kiss away his pain. Except now, Draco had a new priority, and that was his two month old son who was currently being cared for by his mother. Draco had already been away from him too long.
"I have to go." He was getting another migraine, which meant he would have to lie in the dark for hours when he got back anyway.
Potter nodded and looked at him again. "Look after him," he said. "Look after both of you."
Draco took one last look at his husband and left.
It was three weeks later when Granger fire-called and asked to come through. Draco was in his pyjamas, with Leo in his arms, his feed almost finished as the infant began to doze off. The baby was so obviously Harry's child – he'd been born with a wild mane of dark hair and since then it had taken hold. Draco had fancied that Leo's blue eyes were going to turn grey, but as more time passed he became more convinced that they were going to follow Harry and be bright green.
As Granger stepped through, Draco eyed her suspiciously. "What do you want?"
"You have to come and talk to Harry, Draco. He's gone crazy!"
"What's that got to do with me?" Draco lifted Leo onto his shoulder and rubbed his back to burp him. "The divorce will be final in less than a month. He's not my problem anymore."
"You don't mean that," she said softly. "I know you, Draco. This is just a front so that you don't show any weakness."
So what if it was? Hiding behind a façade was one of his strengths! Granger didn't have to know how fast his heart was beating to hear that there was something wrong with Harry again, or how sick her words made him feel. Harry was nothing to do with him anymore; his leaving had made sure of it. He'd left Draco to give birth to their son on his own and Draco didn't even know why.
Harry hadn't even met his son. The same man, who had almost given up everything to save the world, wasn't interested in his own child! In their child. Draco understood that the pregnancy had come as a shock to him – it had to both of them – once in every hundred or so years – blah blah blah – neither of them had anticipated it or expected it, but it had happened, and Harry had seemed so happy that he was going to be a father.
Until his behaviour started to change; he'd become withdrawn, had stopped talking about the baby and the future and stopped making love to Draco. Draco had started to feel like a fat freak – an almost seven months pregnant man couldn't be all that attractive to a man like Harry – and he'd refused to talk to Draco about what was wrong and taken to sleeping in the spare room.
Finally, a few weeks before the baby was due, Draco had come home from a weekend with his mother to find that Harry had packed up his things and moved out of their flat. All Draco had of him was a note, 'I'm sorry."
Draco's world had collapsed around him that day, and the only thing that had kept him going – that same thing that kept him going now – was the baby that was growing inside him, the baby he now held in his arms. He didn't know what he had done wrong or why Harry returned his owls unread, refused to talk to him and had set divorce proceedings in place.
"On the contrary, Granger, I mean every word."
Granger sighed. "He's going to America, he's found a healer there who has discovered a way to remove someone's magic, cleanse it, and replace only with his original code."
Draco stared at Granger in confusion.
When he didn't speak she continued, "It's a risky procedure, Draco. If it goes wrong, he could die."
"Why does he need to cleanse his magic?"
"The poison curse of course!" Her expression was one of fear and she shuddered. "I promised him that I'd keep on working to find a counter curse. Heck, half of the Ministry has been working on it since we found out about it. But now that Harry's found this healer, he's insisting on going to her instead of trusting that there will be another way. You know how stubborn he is- Draco?"
Draco knew he must have gone paler than usual. He physically felt the blood drain from his face. He carefully got to his feet and laid Leo in his basket and called for Lissy to come and take him to his room for his nap. Once that was done, he fixed Granger with his best glare.
"What do you mean, 'the poison curse'?"
Granger's jaw dropped and a slow flush crept up her neck to her cheeks. Finally she said, "He didn't tell you did he?"
"Oh, Harry," she sighed and rubbed her eyes. "You idiot."
So it unravelled. Harry's sudden reluctance to be around Draco coincided with his stay in hospital after an incident at work – which turned out to be the poison curse.
Slowly, Harry's magic would poison those around him; which meant that anyone who spent a lot of time with Harry would become extremely unwell and die.
Draco remembered after Harry's stay in hospital he had suffered a few unprecedented migraines and bouts of sickness, and it had been shortly after that when Harry had changed and a few days later he had left.
"Why didn't he tell me?"
"I don't know – I thought you knew – that's why I've been…"
"I thought you had abandoned Harry! I mean – I can understand that you would need to be apart and that it wouldn't be safe for him to be around the baby at all – but I thought it was a temporary thing until we found a counter curse! You were treating him with such hatred-" She fixed Draco with an apologetic stare. "I'm sorry – I made assumptions based on what he'd said to us. I can't believe he didn't tell you."
"So – this treatment in America – if he cleanses his magic it will take the curse with it?"
"Yes. The healer has had some success with other wizards who have been cursed with variety of curses, however, it's risky – in order to remove the magic completely the wizard or witch has to be put into stasis whilst the procedure is carried out. Not all of them have survived." She touched Draco's forearm. "After seeing you the other day - he said it was worth the risk, that life without you and Leo was just going through the motions; if he couldn't be with you then he might as well be dead."
"Oh Merlin." Draco went cold. Everything made sense again – Harry had been protecting him and Leo by staying out of their lives and acting so indifferently towards them. So very Harry and so very foolish. "How close are you to finding the counter curse?"
"We've found a variant of the spell that was used on Harry, and we tried that counter curse, but it didn't work. I think it's only a matter of time before we find the actual curse that was used."
"But it could be years?"
"Draco, it could be never."
Draco hesitated. He would rather live on this world knowing Harry was out there somewhere alive than rotting in a crypt somewhere. He had faith in Hermione – if anyone could find the counter curse then she could. "We have to stop him. Has he left yet?"
"He's got a port key at nine."
Draco cast a tempus. It was seven-thirty. "Come on," he said. "We haven't got long.
Draco was exhausted. He's been up most of the night before trying to settle Leo, and then Hermione had arrived and thrown his whole world into chaos. After going to International Departures and finding Harry had lied to Hermione and had already left, they had known they were too late.
Draco had owled his mother to take care of Leo, and Hermione had fire-called Ron to join them as they travelled half way across the world, the three of them scared of what news might await them on their arrival.
Healer Loxley's practice was on the 61st floor of the Chrysler Building in New York, a building that was Wizard owned and almost entirely Wizard occupied. "He must make a fortune," Draco commented dryly as they stepped into the reception area and took in the opulent surroundings, of a standard that would rival Malfoy Manor.
"Bloody hell," Ron muttered, gaping at the fish tank that made up most of the reception desk, full of exotic fish of all colours and shapes.
Hermione ignored the décor and made straight for the desk, Draco in step with her, feeling sick with nerves and fear. What if they were too late? What if Harry had died? He'd know though, wouldn't he? If Harry was dead – Draco would feel different.
Hermione was talking and Draco concentrated to catch up, cussing himself for getting lost in his own thoughts when he was so desperate to hear the facts.
The receptionist was speaking, "…can't tell you that I'm afraid. If we do have a Mr Malfoy-Potter here then he will have signed a confidentiality form allowing us only to speak to family and-"
"I'm his husband."
Curious blue eyes flicked to him then and Draco was instantly alarmed when they softened. "Oh Merlin, is he alright?" He gripped the wooden counter top as his head span.
The witch pointed her wand and Draco and muttered a spell. She nodded. "Mr Malfoy-Potter – please follow me." She glanced over to Hermione and Ron. "I'm afraid you'll have to wait here." She flicked her wand again and something shimmered in the air in front of Draco, some kind of wards dropping to allow him to pass – and once he was through she did the same again, trapping the Weasleys on the other side.
"I'll come straight out as soon as I know what's going on," Draco promised and hurried after the receptionist who led him down a short corridor and opened a door off to the left, indicating that he should enter. What if she was taking him to Harry's corpse? What if he never got to speak to Harry again? What if-
"Your husband is in there, Sir." She smiled. "He's had the procedure and is doing well; he'll be able to go leave tomorrow."
"Oh, thank Merlin," Draco sighed. He went to step inside before pausing. "Please – can you tell my friends that he's alive and will be fine?"
"I really shouldn't-"
"They've been like siblings to Harry since he was eleven," Draco said gently. "They should be treated as family."
"Very well, I'll tell them."
Draco nodded, desperate to get into the room and see Harry. "Thank you."
He stepped inside and closed the door, looking over to the bed in the centre where Harry lay sleeping. It was almost exactly like three weeks earlier when Draco had gone to St Mungo's for the infusion.
Slowly he approached the bed. Harry opened his eyes, as if sensing Draco's presence. He smiled, but his expression was guarded. "I knew Mione would tell you," he rasped. "I hoped you'd come."
Draco searched Harry's face and found hope. "You idiot. This could have killed you!"
"But it hasn't."
Draco had to swallow over the lump that appeared in his throat as he whispered, "I thought you didn't want us."
"I was already making you ill! And the baby – who knew what I was doing to him and he wasn't even born yet – and when he was, I couldn't risk seeing him – the effect on someone so small – I didn't know, I-" Harry's eyes filled with tears. "The curse has gone."
Draco couldn't hold back any longer. "Can you move over?" he asked, and Harry shuffled to his left. Draco climbed onto the bed and lying on his side, wrapped a protectively arm around Harry. He nuzzled his nose into Harry's neck and kissed the underside of his chin.
"I'm sorry," Harry said. "I knew if I told you about the curse then you would-"
"Stop talking," Draco said as a feeling of almost total contentedness washed over him – he was back in Harry's arms and that was all that really mattered. "Plenty of time for that later. You need to rest, because I won't have you looking all bleary eyed and hung-over the first time you meet your son."
"I've already missed so much."
"He's not yet three months old, Harry – there's plenty left to come."
Harry kissed Draco's cheek. "I love you."
"Love you too."
Comments are welcome :D