Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter.
Summery: Harry/Draco Post OotP Harry Potter might be the savior of the Wizarding world and the only person able to end the war, but could Draco Malfoy changing sides swing the balance enough to change the outcome? Powerful!Harry Nice!Draco
The sun shown down on grounds of Hogwarts, bathing it in a warmth that didn't seem to reach it's occupants. The war was raging on with no end in sight. There didn't seem to be much reason for good cheer which left sixteen year old Harry Potter sitting alone by the lake, pondering his life and what was expected of him in the coming months.
It was only a week into his sixth year at Hogwarts and already Harry felt as if it was dragging. Hermione and Ron were still treating him like he was about to break, and while he was still obviously upset about Sirius' death, as far as he was concerned it was his fault that he had lost his Godfather, he desperately needed them and they just didn't seem to understand. More troubling was the fact that Ginny seemed to dance between treating him like a good friend one moment and then trying desperately to convince him to give their relationship a go. As far as Harry was concerned, however, there never had been any relationship between them, everything was in the girl's overly active imagination.
Sighing, Harry laid back to drink in the sun. Closing his eyes in an attempt to let the pain, anger, and stress burn away from the heat of the sun's rays. As he lay there, he concentrated on heightening his other senses. Since the battle at the ministry, Harry had come to the realization that he could no longer wait around to be saved. He spent the summer training himself in any way he could that didn't involve magic. It was because of this that he noticed the soft steps that signaled someone else's approach.
Draco Malfoy was stunned when Harry moved from his relaxed state, jumping up with his wand drawn and sliding easily into a battle stance, eyeing him warily. It seemed that he realized whom he was holding is wand to and faltered for a moment before thinking better of it and regaining his composure. Draco was sure that he had been quite, but the boy still seemed to have heard him. Because of whom his father was, Draco knew all about what had happened to Harry and his friends at the end of the last school year and he was sure that he was staring the consequences right in the face. Harry looked more than prepared to fight than ever and Draco was not about to test him.
"What do you want Malfoy?" Harry spoke through gritted teeth and Draco had to admit that he was actually rather afraid of the young man who stood before him.
"To apologize." It was clear on Draco's face that having to admit this brought him great pain, most likely to his ego, but he seemed determined. Harry wasn't sure if it was the show of self deprecation, or the hint of maturity in the Slytherin's eyes, that made him lower his wand, but he did. His stance became more relaxed though his guard was still up and sat back down in the grass again. Draco eyed him wirily, waiting for him so say something. When Harry motioned for him to sit as well, he took it as a good sign and took a seat. Harry waited until he was comfortable until speaking again.
"What for?" Harry finally asked when he heard more than saw the boy take his seat. His eyes were closed again and he was doing his best to stay calm. He had done a lot of thinking about many things over the summer, including his place in the war and in the Order. If Draco had something important to say to him, enough so that he should feel the need to seek him out and apologize, it would be wise to hear him out first. Information was exactly what he needed, losing his cool could wait until later.
"What not for?" The question left Draco's mouth before he even realized that he'd meant it. Harry let it hang between them until the tension nearly became palpable. When it was painfully obvious that Draco was not going to elaborate, Harry opened his eyes and turned to face the boy.
"Why now?" Harry watched him for a moment. "And if you say why not now I will not hesitate to leave you here." Draco surveyed him as if to see if he was being serious, it seemed that he had decided he was because his next answer was more forthcoming.
"I've been given to the Dark Lord by my horrible Father in an attempt to rectify whatever wrong doings he seems to think my family has committed. I can't complete the task awarded me." Here Draco paused, and Harry knew it was not because of his admission, but rather because he was stealing himself for whatever else he was about to say. "I can't keep living the way I am. I know that I must make an official stand on which side I align myself with in this war. I know the difference between right and wrong. I know that the way I have acted these past five years have been inexcusable." It was then that Draco looked up from his perfectly polished shoes to stare directly into Harry's eyes, "But I'm afraid. I need to make things right before it's too late. I know to start making things right I'd have to tell you that I am so sorry for being a complete prat."
Harry looked into the eyes of someone he had seen only as an enemy for so long, searching for any ill intent. When he saw none he let out the breath that he'd been holding. Warily nodding more to himself than to Draco, Harry seemed to come to some sort of conclusion before speaking.
"I suppose you will be looking for protection for you mother and father and the clearing of their names?" Harry seemed to sneer with his words, but held the look off his face, instead holding him in a passive gaze that was even more terrifying then the sneer could have been.
"Not for my Father, I wish I could protect my Mother, but I know her well enough to know that she will stand by his side for fear of her own life and I suppose mine, but if I publicly align myself as I plan to then I don't think Father will be the worst of my problems."
"You know by publicly aligning yourself with me, with the light, it will affect everything right down to your school life." Harry stated rather than questioned knowing the answer. If Draco had given enough thought to ask for his forgiveness then he had thought of all other possibilities and difficulties that he could possibly face. He chose to leave the issue of his family alone for the time being. It was none of his business what went on between the young heir and his family, though it was comforting to hear the distain in his voice at the mention of his father.
"Of course." Draco answered knowing that it hadn't been a question, but feeling the need to make Harry know that he had considered this. He had considered it all. He was quite surprised at how calmly Harry seemed to be acting, noticing the flecks of magic come and go in his bright green eyes. It all seemed much too easy.
"What were you tasked to do?" Harry asked suddenly, pulling Draco from his thoughts back into the present.
"I'm sorry?" He asked confused, not sure what Harry meant, finding the jump from one topic to the next unsettling, especially with how calm the infamously shortly fused Gryffindor was being.
"What did Voldemort task you?" Harry turned in time to see Draco flinch. Rolling his eyes he added, "Fear of the name will only cause fear of the thing itself."
Pushing Harry's admonishing tone aside, he thought carefully about the question. If Potter was able to remain calm now, he was certain that his next bit of information would ruin what odd peace had befallen them.
"I was ordered to kill-" Pausing to regain his shaking voice, Draco was met with the very sharp gaze of his peer, urging him to finish his sentence. "I was ordered to kill Professor Dumbledore."
The silence between them so was near palpable this time that Draco was sure he would chock on it. By the time he realized that it was Harry's stray magic, electrifying the air due to his anger, Draco was sure that he would suffocate.
Harry's mind was whirling. He knew that Voldemort feared Dumbledore so it made sense that he would have wanted him dead, but why choose a boy when he himself had never been able to complete the task? Why send a child on such a dangerous task that they could not complete, only to have them return and receive a most harsh punishment. To teach him a lesson. Harry realized, shaking his head at Voldemort, disgusted at his latest crime against wizarding kind, specifically to children who should not be tortured for things that were never in their power. But what did Draco telling him mean? He was sure that Voldemort had a back up plan set up. He was sure that there was no way that anyone actually expected Draco to succeed so this didn't mean that Professor Dumbledore was in the clear, but what did this mean of Malfoy or his loyalties. Slowly coming to himself, Harry realized that his magic had been let lose, quickly retracting it in time to hear the sharp intake of breath on Malfoy's part.
"Oh, sorry." Harry said watching the boy carefully, still seeming to be thinking something over. His tone was passive, but there was a small line of concern wrinkling his brow.
"Was that all your magic?" Draco gasped again, glad that Potter had seemed to come back to his own head and was no longer silently killing him.
"No, just what's readily available to me." Harry answered passively, missing the shocked look on Draco's face. The blond watched the boy carefully, seeming to think over his next words with great caution before proceeding.
"Why have I never seen your magic so powerful before, not in any of our classes, not even in our fourth year when you were in the tournament-" Draco trailed of as if to say not even when you went into the Department of Mysteries and got your Godfather killed. But Harry knew that last bit was just in his mind, that Malfoy had no way of knowing what had happened, what he'd lost and his guilt over the matter. Pushing hurtful memories aside, he faced the question at hand for what is was.
"I guess my magic was sort of locked up. After the end of last year, I don't know, I think that my body just realized that I really needed this extra energy and magic that I was capable of and just opened up to let me access it. I haven't really had much chance to train or control it, so I'm sorry if I hurt you."
The words of kindness came as a shock to Draco and he looked at the boy again clearly amazed. He looked at him closely and realized that for the first time since they began to talk the fake calm was broken and Harry was actually giving him a small smile.
"Why are you being so kind to me?" The question fell from his lips before he could catch it, coloring his cheeks when he realized he had set it out loud.
"You're not used to forgiveness and kindness are you?" Even though it was posed as a question, Draco knew he meant it as a statement. "Well you might as well try and get used to it. I might be able to forgive you relatively easily, but the rest of the Order will question your every move until they truly let you in. Are you going to be able to forgive yourself in order for them to forgive you?"
It was a pregnant question and Draco realized that this boy whom he had been taught to despise all of their school lives seemed to know him better than he knew himself. Would he be able to forgive himself? Would he actually accept the forgiveness that he would have to earn from the Light? A silence fell between them again and this time Draco was left feeling completely lost. Harry Potter had just pulled the metaphorical rug out from underneath him and left him lying there without any way to stand again. Harry seemed to know that Draco was in a state of intense thought because he left him alone and took time to stare out at the lake and think about where he would have to go from there. He really did feel like it would be easy to forgive the boy, of anyone, he understood the most what it felt like to have to live up to your parents and their actions and needing to protect them and yourself while also following the path that society built for you. While they were from two completely different backgrounds, Harry felt a connection to the boy that he had never been able to feel with his friends and it was a welcome and unsettling feeling. Deciding that he had done enough deep thought for a lifetime, Harry suddenly stood, startling Draco from his own musings.
"We might as well go in and talk to Dumbledore about all of this." Harry extended his hand and when Draco took it, he pulled the boy up with ease as if he hardly weighed a thing. "Are you sure you want to publicly switch sides? Your life will never be the same."
"I'm sure." Draco nodded needing to prove that he was strong, that he could do this, even if he didn't feel that confidant.
"Good." Harry let go of the other boy's hand. Draco hadn't noticed that he had been holding it, but instantly missed the comfort it brought. There was some sort of calm power radiating off the other boy and while he hadn't noticed it until their hands touched, now he could not ignore it. The ominous power that had just minutes ago nearly suffocated him seemed to now envelope him in protection. "You can feel the magic now, can't you?" Harry laughed quietly, seeing the confused look on Draco's face. "Good, I want to test if I can control who notices it. We can kill two birds with one stone by visiting the Headmaster."
Ignoring the strange muggle phrase, Draco began to wonder why Harry would want to hide his new power, and especially why he would hide it from Dumbledore. Pushing his questions aside, he jogged to catch up with the boy, more than a little afraid with the commitment that he was making, but confident in the thought that he was at least making the right decision.
Author's note: Thank you for starting to read my story! If you could take a few minutes to leave a review and tell me what you think, I would really appreciate it! Until next time!