*This is just a short story that's been rattling around in my head for a while. The chapters are shorter than my usual stories and this one will be less than 10 chapters, I think. Anyway, I hope you like it.
disclaimer: I don't own any of the characters in this story, unfortunately. They belong to Jo. Hopefully, she would approve of what I'm doing with them.
H P D M
Draco Malfoy and Harry Potter looked at each other nervously.
"You ready?" Malfoy asked.
Harry nodded. "As I'll ever be. Are you certain you can get me through the wards?"
"Let's find out," Draco smiled.
Pulling his invisibility cloak over himself in hopes of fooling the wards, Harry watched Malfoy as he raised his wand in one hand and held up the other. He whispered an incantation, closing his eyes. Through the cloak, Harry could just make out the subtle sparks of magic responding to Draco's voice.
Suddenly, Draco reached out to where he was still certain Harry was standing and disapparated them both.
They arrived within the grand hall of Malfoy Manor, looking much the same as it did when the Dark Lord had taken it over. It was dank and gloomy, and eerily silent. Harry removed the cloak, folded it and placed it on a chair by the staircase. He wanted to put it somewhere he'd be able to find it when they completed their mission. Well, his mission. Draco was there, primarily to redeem himself and to earn a position in the Ministry.
The mission for Auror Potter was to either capture or kill one Fenrir Greyback. It had been one of the missions of the Aurors since the war ended. Now, however, Greyback was suspected of hiding out in Malfoy Manor. It was a sort of safe house created by the wards of the Death Eaters after Lucius Malfoy was sent to Azkaban. Lucius refused to cooperate in breaking down the wards to his family home for fear the Ministry would take over and confiscate his possessions, most of them not only valuable, but powerful. Draco volunteered in his father's stead. He felt it was futile to fight the Ministry and he was able to use his cooperation as a bargaining chip. In exchange for getting Harry into the Manor and helping to capture Greyback, Draco would secure a place in the Auror training program. It was something he otherwise would not have been able to consider.
As a bonus, it would piss his father off royally. Even more so than moving out of the Manor had. Draco was wise enough to know not to tell his father that he became a snitch for the Ministry, however. There was no telling to what lengths Lucius would go to stop him. As it was, his father would most likely disown him once he learned of Draco's entrance to the Auror program. There would be no forgiveness if Lucius found out that as a direct result of Draco's information, seven dark wizards had been captured over the past several years. Four were in Azkaban, the other three were not taken alive. And now there would be one more casualty to add. Draco highly suspected Greyback would not be taken alive.
As a Death Eater and a Malfoy, Draco had access to the wards surrounding the Manor. The trick would be bringing Harry with him. He suspected his father had also created a "back door" ward, for himself, Narcissa and Draco only, in case things had gone terribly awry while the Dark Lord had taken over. However, Lucius never had the opportunity to use them to his advantage.
So Draco stood, a stranger in his own home, with the last person he thought would return to the mansion. Harry glanced around nervously.
"I forgot how huge this place is. How will we ever find him before he realizes we're here? If he even is here."
"He's here," Draco simply said. "The wards were disturbed. And I can feel my Mark calling to his."
With the Dark Lord gone, loyal Death Eaters stepped forward and linked together through their Dark Marks. Though Draco hadn't willingly joined their collective, his Mark was still drawn to the others. Another reason Draco wanted to become part of the Ministry was to have access to superior Healers, in the hope that one of them would be able to remove his Dark Mark.
"Can you tell where he is?" Harry's whisper brought Draco out of his reverie.
The former Death Eater shook his head. "Just that he's near." He looked up the staircase. "We may as well go up and look."
Harry followed. The pair tip-toed up the steps, keeping a watchful eye.
"Maybe we should split up," Harry suggested.
"You don't know your way around," Draco whispered back.
"But we'll be able to cover more ground," Harry said.
At once, Draco raised his wand and called out, "Stupify!" The blast went right next to Harry's head, sending him to the floor.
"What the Hell?"
Another blast, from behind Harry, sailed over his head. He looked for the source and saw the overly hairy form of Fenrir Greyback turning a corner.
"Shit!" Draco shouted in frustration. "I can't apparate. The charms are preventing it."
"Me neither," Harry confirmed. "At least we know where he is though."
Following the direction Fenrir had last been seen, Harry and Draco cautiously walked along the dreary hallway.
Harry saw the hex coming a split second too late and wasn't able to deflect it completely. He was thrown back against the wall and collapsed in a pile on the floor. As he struggled to get up, he witnessed Greyback and Malfoy cast curses and hexes at one another in rapid succession. Each was able to fend off the other's spells. However, the walls had been pummeled and were steadily crumbling. Harry had gotten in a few shots from his difficult angle. Most of them were deflected, but Greyback had been injured by falling debris.
Greyback was a man with his back against the wall, fighting for his very life. Harry would have preferred to take him alive, to stand trial. But he would kill him if he had to. Harry's own conscience and concern for Malfoy's safety were hindrances the werewolf didn't share. Greyback was out for blood from the start and it only incensed him more that Draco, a Death Eater himself, was cooperating with the Dark Lord's murderer.
Desperate to make a break for the front door, where the wards were most forgiving, Greyback blasted the wall near Harry, effectively shutting him off from himself and Malfoy. Draco took advantage of the distraction and came out of his place of relative safety to cast a disarming spell. He wasn't quick enough.
In a surprising move, the werewolf cast a trip jinx at Draco, who had been standing at the top of the stairs. Draco felt as if he were falling in slow motion, and powerless to do anything about it.
I can't believe I'm going to die by a fucking trip jinx, Draco thought bitterly. After everything I've been through. It's hardly fitting.
As Greyback bounded down the stairs, he blasted the wall a few times, as well as the stairs themselves. Large chunks of plaster and stone cascaded down on Draco hitting his right ankle, shattering it. Through all the noise, Harry still heard his cry of pain.
By then, Harry had broken through the barrier separating him from the other two and made somehow down the decimated staircase before it collapsed completely. He threw every curse he knew at Greyback. The Death Eater was exceptional at defending against Harry's hexes, but was unable to get in any shots of his own. The ceiling above them had become cracked and small pieces of plaster had started falling onto Fenrir. Dust got in his eye, temporarily blinding him.
Taking full advantage, Harry screamed, "Avada Kedavra!"
As Greyback fell to the floor, a large section of the ceiling finally gave way, burying him in several feet of debris and furniture from the room above. Harry stood watching as the last bits settled on the pile. Although he'd had permission to use deadly force, encouraged even, Harry felt empty. After so much death and destruction during the Battle of Hogwarts, any loss of life was regrettable.
Suddenly he remembered Draco. Whirling around, Harry found him at the bottom of what was left of the staircase, looking like a rag doll tossed aside by a child. His limbs were at odd angles and his head was turned away from Harry. There was blood on the floor, but not much, Harry thought thankfully.
Harry ran to Draco's side and dropped his wand, removing pieces of wall that had fallen on him.
Draco stirred and turned his head toward Harry. "Did you get him?" he croaked out.
"Yeah, he's dead under that pile blocking the front door," Harry told him. "How badly are you hurt?"
"My legs. I think they're both broken."
Harry tentatively lifted a trouser leg. The Slytherin's left leg was swollen and bruised. The other leg was worse. The ankle had ballooned up beneath his sock.
"I think you may be right," Harry said. "You won't be leaving here of your own volition."
"Neither one of us will be."
"What do you mean?"
"The wards changed. I had a suspicion some thing like that would happen. When the Dark Lord took over, I think my father set the wards to trap anyone inside should there be an attack. There's probably a 'back door' for only my family to escape. But I don't know the spell to activate it." His eyes wandered to the floor next to Harry. "Watch out!"
The floor beneath Harry had begun to give way. He had only a split second to back away and pull Malfoy with him a few feet away.
"My wand!" Harry cried as he watched it tumble into the cellar with the section of flooring. "Fuck! How am I going to get that?" He leaned over just a bit to look down into the dark cellar. "Accio wand," Harry tried. Nothing.
"It must be buried," Draco said.
"I'll get it later. First I have to get you someplace more safe." Harry looked around and decided the corner under the catwalk was safest. The catwalk structure appeared to be sound and would provide a little bit of shelter from any falling debris.
"You're going to have to drag me. I'm afraid I won't be much help," Draco told Harry. He clutched his stomach and groaned.
"You're hurt worse than I thought, aren't you? Do you think you have internal injuries?"
Draco nodded and squeezed his eyes shut against the pain. Gingerly, Harry reached out and felt Draco's head.
"I need to see if you have any wound on your head." He slowly ran his hands over the blond head feeling for cuts and bumps. He found a small superficial cut, but didn't deem it life threatening. As he continued to move his hands through Draco's hair, Harry was reminded of his Godson Teddy's hair when he was born. He'd never felt a baby's hair before that. And he'd certainly never felt an adult's hair as soft as Draco's. Not even a girl's hair. Harry shook the inappropriate thoughts out of his head and resumed his task.
"Only minor scrapes. Do you have a head ache?"
"No, I think my head is fine. But I feel nauseous and I have a sharp pain in my side."
"Let me see if I can do anything to help you until we get you to a proper Healer." Harry looked around for his wand, then remembered that it had fallen into the cellar. "Shit. I'm going to need your wand."
Draco sighed heavily and reached out for his wand, next to him. "It's damaged worse than Weasley's, I'm afraid," he joked. In his outstretched hand were the pieces of his wand.
"Shit!" Harry cursed again. "I'll have to start digging for Greyback's then."
Rolling up his sleeves, Harry prepared himself for the painstaking task of excavating the pile of rubble for Greyback's wand.
"That could take hours."
"All the more reason for me to begin right away. We need to get you to St. Mungo's as soon as possible."
Piece by piece, Harry spent the next two hours sifting through building material and broken furniture with no luck. He hadn't even reached the werewolf's body.
"Potter?" Draco called out weakly.
"Are you all right?"
"I'll find some water. Where's the kitchen?"
"Over that other pile of rubble and to the right. Can't miss it." Draco paused. "I'm cold, too."
Harry's heart sank. Through his Auror training, he knew that Draco was going into shock.
H P D M
* sorry for the cliffhanger-ish ending. Because the chapters are shorter, there will be a lot of that