When Harry next woke he felt surprisingly better. He stretched on the sofa before melting back into the cushions, too relaxed to get up.
"I've ordered lunch, Harry," A woman's voice said, startling him.
"Stupefy!" Harry barked as he jumped up and whirled around, his wand already out and in his hand. Narcissa quickly erected a shield before her, absorbing the spell. Harry blinked sleepily at her.
"Mrs. Malfoy? I am so sorry! I-You startled me and I'm not always in the best mood when I first wake up! I didn't mean to try and curse you!" Harry instantly began to apologize.
"It's fine, dear. I knew you would be on edge after what happened. I was prepared, besides I successfully blocked the spell so no harm done," Narcissa placated him. Harry nodded as he collapsed back onto the sofa.
"Why are you still here? I thought after I cried all over you you would be eager to leave," Harry admitted. Narcissa sighed and shook her head.
"Of course not, you needed me. I shall stay to keep you company until Draco returns." Harry looked around at his mates name.
"Where is Draco? He doesn't usually leave without at least writing a note," Harry said worriedly. He prodded along their mental connection, sighing in relief when he felt a wave of affection flood him from the bond, soothing his nerves.
"I told him to spend some time with his friends today. He needs a bit of relaxation time. I figured you would not begrudge him a few hours away," Narcissa said, watching Harry closely. Harry glared at her.
"Of course not," he snapped, insulted. "I tell him all the time that he doesn't have to stay with me every second of the day. He's just a stubborn, overprotective git." Narcissa chuckled lightly.
"Yes, I believe he is," she agreed. Harry smiled slightly back at her.
"About what I said earlier," Harry began hesitantly.
"Yes, you mentioned quite a few interesting things. Tell me, Harry, is my son forcing you to be intimate with him?" Narcissa asked passively. Harry stood quickly, turning to glare down at Narcissa in disgust.
"No! Why would you even ask that? Of course he doesn't! Draco is a good dominant," Harry defended viciously.
"I meant no offense, Mr. Potter. I just wondered. You did imply that you were not completely with your current level of intamcy, what was I supposed to think?" She asked.
"Not that your own son would force someone to do…that! I'm the one who can't handle it. The only time I've been able to be that close to him is when I'm already emotionally out of it. I can't…I want to be…intimate with him," Harry admitted softly, blushing heavily, "but whenever I try I remember how much it hurt. I remember all the things my uncle used to make me do for him, or that he did to me. I can't help seeing myself on my knees in front of whatever business man my uncle is trying to bribe at the moment and I freeze."
"Perfectly understandable reaction, Harry. No one is expecting you to be okay with what happened to you so soon. It's alright that you feel so conflicted," Narcissa soothed. Harry laughed brokenly as he shook his head.
"You don't understand," he rasped.
"What don't I understand?"
"You're talking like this is a recent development, as if it only just started this summer. Mrs. Malfoy, that type of thing, what you saved me from, it's been happening my whole life. Not the…the r-rape, that started when I turned eleven, but the beatings and being starved? That's been going on for as long as I can remember," Harry sighed tiredly. Narcissa felt her heart breaking for him and couldn't resist standing up and wrapping him in her arms, holding hi protectively against her body.
"I am so sorry that this has happened to you, Harry and if they weren't already dead I would go and kill them now. All we can do is try to prove to you that they were wrong about you. You aren't a freak and you aren't dirty," she whispered. Harry slowly brought his arms up around her slim waist and when she didn't yell or push him away he tightened his hold, clinging to her desperately as tears slid down his face. When he had managed to finally get control of himself he pulled back, sniffling slightly.
"Sorry," he whispered, "That's the second time I cried on you today."
"I don't mind, dear," Narcissa assured him with a soft smile.
"C-Can I ask you something?" Harry asked hesitantly. Narcissa nodded as they sat back down on the sofa. Harry opened his mouth but shut it quickly when a house elf appeared with a platter of food. The elf bowed to them before popping away back to the kitchens. Narcissa fixed a plate, putting a bit of everything on it before handing it to Harry.
"Er, thanks, but I'm not really all that hungry," Harry muttered, placing the plate in his lap.
"Eat whatever you can stomach, dear. I know you didn't have breakfast this morning so you have to eat some of it," Narcissa scolded. Harry sighed an picked up a bread roll, nibbling on the edges as he watched Narcissa fix her own plate.
"Now, what did you want to ask me?" She turned to Harry, waiting patiently for him to speak.
"Er, well, I told you about the pensieve, right?" Narcissa nodded. "Okay, well, I haven't been putting my memories in it like I promised Draco I would. I've only don't two and they aren't that bad." Harry fidgeted with his plate, avoiding staring at Narcissa.
"Umm…I just, would you mind…Er, will you stay with me? While I put them in? I just…I don't want to do it alone. I can't," Harry said softly.
"Of course I will, Harry. Whatever you need I will do my best to provide for you," Narcissa promised.
"Thanks. I'll…I'll just got get the, uh…yeah," Harry stammered. He set his plate on the floor and walked to the bedroom, grabbing the pensieve off of the dresser and walking back to the common room.
Harry set it down gently on the small coffee table and sat down beside Narcissa. He pulled his and out of his pocket, twirling it around his fingers nervously as he stared at the silver item.
"Take your time. We have all afternoon. You do as much as you can for today," Narcissa encouraged. Harry nodded, flashing her an uncertain smile before he lifted his wand to his temple and closed his eyes.
Draco was outside with his friends, lounging underneath a tree, school books scattered and forgotten around them.
"How is that adorable mate of yours doing, Draco?" Pansy asked from Draco's left. Draco sighed and ran a hand through his hair.
"I don't know. One second he'll be fine and then something will happen and it will set him back and he gets timid and submissive. He'll try to please me in any way he can."
"He's your submissive mate, Draco. Being submissive is in his nature. They instinctively want to please their dominant," Blaise pointed out.
"Not to the point of offering to suck them off because he accidently spilled ink on the table and was afraid I was going to beat him senseless," Draco snapped, pushing himself up into a sitting position. Blaise and Pansy slowly sat up with him, exchanging worried glances.
"Draco? How are things going, really?" Blaise asked softly. Draco shook his head as he buried his face in his hands.
"It's so bloody hard. I'm trying to help him the best I can but I don't know what to do, Blaise. I don't what to say or how to help him when he wakes up having a panic attack. I don't know how to take care of him when he goes into a flashback and it hurts! I have to fight against my instincts because half of me wants to take him and ravish that delectable body whenever he smiles at me and the other half knows that he isn't anywhere near ready for that kind of intimacy," Draco ranted.
"Maybe you should owl order some books on the subject. Read up on the topic so you have at least a basic understanding of what he's going through," Pansy suggested. Draco blinked at her and snorted.
"Obviously. I can't believe I didn't think of that myself," Draco grumbled as he lay back down. Pansy chuckled and Blaise smirked at him.
"Admit it, Draco. You'd be lost without us," Blaise teased.
"Oh, shove off," Draco said, pushing Blaise over with a grin.
Since it was Saturday Severus decided that now was as good a time as any to make an impromptu visit to Grimmuald Place. He floo'd over, knowing that Lupin would be there. He hadn't been sent on a mission for a few weeks now so he had decided to clean up house. Severus stepped out of the fireplace and glanced around, sneer firmly in place. He hated this house and the feel of dark magic resonating within it. He pulled out his wand, laying it flat on his open palm.
"Point me, Remus Lupin," he intoned. His wand began to spin quickly before stopping. Severus placed his wand back in his wrist holster and began to climb the stairs to the library. Of course the wolf would be there. It was his favorite room in the house. Severus strode through the doors, immediately locating Lupin sitting in a chair by the window.
"Lupin, we need to talk," Severus stated, stopping in front of the wolf with his arms crossed before his chest.
"Hello, Severus. How are you doing today?" Remus asked politely.
"Cease with the pleasantries, wolf. I did not come here to inquire about your health. Has Potter been writing you letters?" Severus asked coolly. Remus blinked in surprise at the unexpected question.
"Why do you want to know?" Remus asked as he set his book aside. Severus just stared at him until Remus sighed.
"Yes, he has been. Why? Did something happen?" Remus asked.
"Have you read the letters?" Severus ignored Lupin's question.
"Not exactly," Remus sighed.
"You have not exactly been reading Potter's letters to you. So you do not exactly know what has happened to him? I am going to assume that you have also not exactly written him a letter in return?" Severus sneered.
"Why are you here, Severus? I thought you hated Harry," Lupin scowled, shifting uncomfortably in his seat.
"And I was under the mistaken impression that you cared for him," Severus shot back.
"I do care for Harry! Of course I do! He's the son of one of my best friends," Remus snapped.
"He is also the reason why you're only remaining best friend is dead," Severus said smoothly. Remus paled and stared at Severus.
"Why are you here?" Remus whispered.
"Do you hate him now, Lupin? Do you find that you can't stand the sight of him, knowing that he's the reason Black is dead? Do you wish that Potter had died instead so that you would not have to be alone?" Severus asked silkily. Remus shook his head.
"No! I don't hate him, I could never hate Harry. He's my pack, my pup. I wouldn't do anything that could hurt him," Remus denied.
"I wonder what your definition of hurt is, wolf, seeing as ou already have," Severus replied.
"What do you mean? What's happened to Harry?"
"How many letters has he sent you, Lupin? How many desperate pleas for help and love have you ignored so that you could selfishly wallow in your own grief? He has nightmares, you know," Severus spoke softly, watching as Remus grew paler with each word. "You and the mutt appear in them quite frequently. They must be awful with the way he wakes up crying. Obviously you don't care, though. After all, where were you when he needed rescuing? Where were you when he found his mate, or discovered his friend's betrayal?"
"Please. Please, tell me what happened. Take me to him," Lupin begged.
"I think not," Severus snarled. "Read the letters, Lupin. Maybe next time you will act like the adult everyone believes you to be and stop neglecting your pack mate."
Remus hurriedly snatched the letters off the table beside him and tore open the first one, eyes scanning the words quickly. Severus left Remus alone in the library, heading back to Hogwarts. He had done his part. Now it was up to Lupin to try to make amends.
Voldemort sat on his thrown hissing softly to Nagini. His plans were coming along quite nicely. Soon he would have the Potter boy on his side, the devastating blow of knowing that teir supposed 'savior' had switched sides would bring wizarding Britain to its knees. No one would even think about trying to oppose him then and the world would be his for the taking. Perhaps he could even train the Potter boy to be his heir. He was certainly very powerful for his age and the Dark Lord suspected he could be quite a formidable foe with the right tutelage and incentive. Only a few more months before the Malfoy boy would deliver Potter to him. A thrill of anticipation shot though him and he slowly stood from his throne.
"Come Nagini," he hissed. "It'ssss time to hunt our prey." Nagini coiled around his shoulders and torso and he apparated away to play a game of muggle hunting.
Dumbledore paced his office, mumbling under his breath as he formulated a plan. He needed to see how far he could push Harry and the Malfoy brat without either of them breaking. He sat at his desk and pulled a piece of parchment towards him. He dipped a quill in his ink pot and began to write.
I would be incredibly grateful if you and your mate would come to my office Sunday afternoon for tea and light discussion. I know you are skeptical of my plans and harbor some ill feeling regarding myself but I would like the chance to alleviate your fears. I do so love toffee, I'll make sure there is plenty for us to share.
Dumbledore sat back, waiting for the ink to dry before he folded the message and slid it into a small envelope. He called a school owl to him and tied the letter around its leg before sending it off. He grinned to himself as he popped a lemon drop into his mouth. Very soon he would have Harry back under his control and he could proceed with things as planned.
Hermione Granger was on a mission and its name was Get Back Her Best Friend, and to do that she would need help. Hermione knew that none of the slytherins would help her so she went to the one person she hoped would. She stepped into the green house and looked around, smiling when she spotted Neville kneeling on the ground a few feet away.
"Neville, I need to talk to you," She stated as she walked closer. Neville stiffened and slowly stood up, turning around to face her.
"Hermione," He greeted her.
"It's about Harry," she continued. Neville nodded.
"I figured it was. Look, Hermione. Whatever you have planned I suggest you let it go. Harry is as happy as he can be right now. I won't have you messing this up for him, not after all he's done for us," Neville said calmly, staring Hermione straight in the eye.
"I would expect nothing less from you, Neville. I don't want to hurt him. I realize now that I was misled by Dumbledore and I want to set things right. I want my best friend back," she insisted.
"It might be too late for that," Neville shrugged. "I'm not going to risk hurting him by helping you. You need to talk to him. Maybe he'll forgive you and maybe he won't." Hermione stared at Neville incredulously.
"You won't help me? That's why I came to talk to you! I wanted to ask you for advice," Hermione admitted. Neville smirked at her.
"What can I say? My sense of self-preservation has grown since I started hanging out with the slytherins. I won't do anything that can jeopardize my friendship with him, not for anyone or anything," Neville said firmly. Hermione nodded sadly.
"I understand. I'm glad he has you, Neville. He'll need people he can trust. Just remember, even if he doesn't forgive me O won't stop helping him any way I can," Hermione promised.
"I'll make sure he knows that," Neville said. Hermione nodded once and left. He had an apology to make after all.
Ginny sat in the library by herself, flipping through a potions book with cold determination. Just because Ron was stupid enough to get himself suspended didn't mean she wouldn't continue on with the plan. She just needed to find the right potion first. She flipped through a few more pages before she finally found what she was looking for. A smirk cured her lips as she ripped the page out and put the book back where she had gotten it from. She shoved the page into her cloak pocket as she strolled out of the library. The potion took two months two brew, two months and she'd have everything she ever wanted.
So, yeah. It's short but it's something. I feel like a lot of things happened on this chapter. I think the next chapter will be focused completely on Harry putting his memories in the pensieve. Review what you think! Thank you for reading, Lovelies.