D2isclaimer: I do not own any of these characters. Only the general plot/setting is my own. All characters and other references to 'Harry Potter' are solely the property of J.K. Rowling.


The Boy Who Loved

By

Belle. A. Lestrange

Chapter Twenty-Eight:

A Long Night

Harry shivered as he sat on the hospital bed and had one of the nurses help him to get dressed into a pair of loose jeans, a baggy shirt and a thick, warm hoodie. It was awkward trying to wedge his feet into a pair of socks and then his trainers that squeaked on the linoleum floor when he stood up from the bed and waited for the nurse to draw the curtain back. Petunia smiled tightly up at him from the chair she was sitting in on the opposite side of the room behind the thin curtain. "Are you ready now, Harry?" she asked quietly, as she stood up and brushed his lank fringe out of his eyes. He gave a tight little nod before Petunia smiled and then steered him out of the room, thanking the nurse over her shoulder as they left.

As they strolled down the brightly lit corridors Harry looked up at his aunt, "Where are Severus and Draco?" he asked, his voice cracking as his muscles ached.

Petunia squeezed his shoulder as she marched alongside him, "They're getting the car around from the car park. I told them not to park there but the man is stubborn. It'll cost him a fortune." Harry gave a stiff nod of his head before pressing his lips together and ducking inside the lifts when the doors slid open before them. He felt his stomach drop as the lift dropped down through the shaft to the ground floor. The doors slid open and they walked out, the chill in the air wafting down the corridor from the reception area. Harry wrapped his arms around him as they reluctantly edged out into the cold. Clicking her tongue absently, Petunia looked from side to side trying to spy Severus. "They should be here, by now," she murmured to herself.

Harry could only nod his head absently, tightening his grip around his own torso. He shivered violently. He strained his ears to listen for an approaching car. Soon, the crunch of tires on gravel came to his ears. He turned his head as did Petunia, to see Severus and Draco's gaunt features peering out of the front windscreen of a gleaming black car. They pulled to a stop just outside the doors of the hospital. Without a word, Petunia went over and opened the back-door of the car.

She turned to look at Harry, "Come on, get in. You can rest some more in the back." Harry nodded his head and ducked into the back seat before listening to Petunia's small heels clicking around the back of the car. The back door opposite him opened and she climbed in, slammed the door shut, and buckled her belt.

Severus looked back over his shoulder, his dark eyes gleaming in the dark night. "Is everyone alright?" he asked, his voice quiet and concerned. A soft murmur came from each of them. Severus nodded his head, his eyes lingering on Harry for a moment longer than necessary, before he turned back to face the front, and pulled away from the hospital entrance.

The orange glow of the street-lamps flashed past them at an alarming speed. The orange stripes raced over Draco's face, his sour expression focused ahead. His knees were drawn up, his trainers on the edge of the seat despite Severus' cutting demands for him to put them down. Draco would merely turn his head and glare at his godfather before huffing and turning his head back to stare out the front.

Soon the smaller houses grew taller, and more tightly packed together until there were nothing but blocks of flats and tall, glowing shops packed along the pavements. The bright lights hurt Harry's eyes, so he pulled his hood up, turned his back to the window. Toeing off his trainers, he tucked his legs up to his chin, sighed and slouched lower in his seat.

A chill seeped into the car, forcing Severus to switch on the internal heating system.

Petunia had fallen asleep opposite Harry within half an hour in the car. Harry had reached over and tucked a small tartan blankets around her slim figure. He had then leaned back and sighed, his skin feeling cold and tight on his skeleton.

No one in the car spoke.

Severus was too busy driving, but even Draco seemed shaken by what had happened. He kept his eyes focused forward, fighting the itch to turn around and look at Harry. He wanted to -but he was scared. Scared that if he turned around now, then he would cave and everything would be forgiven and forgotten. Nothing else would matter. He couldn't let that happen. Nothing was okay. Nothing was normal. He curled his fingers into fists, and ground his teeth together. He wanted to hurt Vernon Dursley -even more if he could. The doctors had said it was lucky that Draco had been there, otherwise they wouldn't have been able to arrest the man.

He was a witness.

He didn't want to be, but he would gladly do whatever it took to put that vile man behind bars.

He shivered and rubbed at his arms. The city of London loomed and swelled around them, swallowing them up, making them all anonymous. He looked over at Harry who was slumped low in his seat. He felt his heart twist in his chest as the bright lights illuminated Harry's bruised skin. He swallowed thickly. He watched as Harry peered up from beneath his hood, the movement making Draco start slightly in his seat. He was about to turn away, but instead he softened his features and gave a small, timid smile.

A knot disappeared in his chest and he felt calm ebb into his aching muscles.

Severus glanced in his review mirror and then sideways at Draco. "How are you boys doing?" he asked softly, the lights glaring in his eyes as he put the car into drive after a red light.

"I'm alright," Draco murmured, folding his arms tighter around her. Harry hummed in response from the back seat.

Severus nodded his head, "Well I've sent word ahead so once we get there and you've rested a little bit, there will be food for you."

Harry frowned at this. He leaned forward in the leather seat, his interest piqued, "Excuse me, Mister Snape, but where exactly are you taking us?"

Severus glanced back in the rear-view mirror, "Just a house, Harry. There are people there who can help us and more specifically, you."

Harry frowned even deeper, "Why me?" he asked softly, his voice cracking slightly.

"Just ... It'll be fine," he strained as he focused on the road ahead of him.

Harry could only slump back in the backseat as the car swerved beneath him and they crawled around the edge of a small grassy area surrounded by tall gleaming black gates. Harry yawned and stretched awkwardly, the lack of leg room making his knees creak and groan for the freedom to stretch out. His neck felt stiff. "Where are we?" he asked through another yawn as Severus pulled up to the curb and put the car into 'PARK'.

Severus looked from Draco's frown to Harry's slightly panicking look before drawing in a deep breath. "We're at a house that's used by ... an organisation."

"What's it called?"

Severus cast a look over the road at the bleak looking house that concealed the entrance to where they wanted to go. "Grimmauld place," he responded bleakly.

Silence befell them as they unfastened their belts, shook Petunia awake and stepped out onto the gritty, pavement in front of the gleaming black iron fence. Petunia rubbed at her eyes, muttering about how she shouldn't have fallen asleep so easily. She wrapped an arm around Harry's shoulders and hugged him close. Over his mass of hair, Severus gave Petunia a short nod. She steered Harry over towards the railings of the grassy area and leaned on him a little more. Severus turned to the house and murmured the writing that was on the piece of parchment he held in his hands.

Draco flinched at the dry rumbling as number twelve emerged from between the muggle houses lined up on either side. He glanced back at Harry and his aunt but they didn't seem to notice the pavement quaking underfoot.

When Harry turned back around, he thought that the houses were slightly like before, but he merely blinked owlishly a few times, wincing at how sore his eyeballs felt, before bending to help unload the suitcases and trunk from the boot of Severus' car. Severus locked his car and as Petunia ushered both young men across the road, and whilst their backs were turned he murmured an untraceable charm over the car so that none of their magic could be found on it.

The door of number twelve had glossy black paint, much like the rest in the long line of houses, the large snake knocker gleaming dully in the moonlight.

Severus reached up and knocked three times.

~0~

A chain drew back and then the door swung open after several moments of tense silence. A pasty faced man with mousy brown hair flopping down limply over his face, a drab grey cardigan hanging limply off his shoulders. He looked so tired, as though he hadn't slept in weeks. The only unnerving thing about him that perturbed Harry, was the grim pale welts that stretched over his face as though a rabid dog had attacked him. "Good evening Severus," he gave a tired smile as he looked over at the rest of them, "Hello Draco, Petunia," he paused and his amber eyes fixed on Harry. He shifted under the mans gaze. "And this must be Harry." It wasn't a question. It seemed this man already knew who he was. The thought made him feel itchy.

Severus inclined his head, "Lupin," he responded coolly, his dark eyes glinting, "Is everyone in bed or are we to be disturbed by annoying brats all night?"

Remus' expression barely changed, "They're in bed. It's only Sirius and I in the kitchen. We were waiting up for you to come. We thought it best to just ... help get it settled beforehand."

Severus nodded and Remus stepped back, opening the door wider. One-by-one they ambled through the front door, dragging their bags and suitcases behind them. They followed the amber-eyed man down the narrow hallway and into a high-walled kitchen room, with dark walls, and oaken furniture with a fireplace behind the head of the table, and the lamps attached to the walls.

One-by-one they sidled into the kitchen, propping their cases up along the small oak cabinet beside the door.

At the head of the table a man slouched over the table, his mass of dark curls curling around his cheeks and neck. His tailored coat made his posture look impeccable. His eyes slid open as they shuffled in, his ringed hand falling down onto the tabletop. His eyes shone as they ran over all of them, and then falling upon Harry. His Adams apple bobbed. Harry swallowed thickly as well, the grip in his pocket tightening. The man flicked his eyes between Harry, Severus and Lupin, before he swallowed again, and pushed himself away from the table, the chair scraping back on the flagstone floor.

He walked over to them all, the others shifting back slightly so that no one stood between him and Harry.

Harry wanted to run, or hide. Be anywhere but there. He didn't want to be so close to a stranger.

"Harry Potter," the man breathed, as though he couldn't believe the words falling out of his own mouth. He reached out and grasped Harry's tense shoulders, before tugging him against his firm chest, and trapping in the roughest embrace that Harry had ever felt. He almost shoved the taller man away, but the brush of soft dark hair, comforting yet firm muscles and the soft scent of a homely environment coaxed his own muscles to soften slightly. He felt a little hot and awkward as he wasn't let go. Instead, he listened as the man breathed in deeply before letting out a choked sob, "I'm so sorry," he rasped into Harry's ear. "I'm so, so sorry," he repeated, his sniffing sharp and harsh.

Harry cast a panicked look over at where his aunt, Draco and Severus stood over with Lupin by the kitchen counter.

Lupin walked over calmly, his amber eyes glowing like warm honey. He placed a firm hand on the mans shoulder and slowly, Harry was released from the embrace, his frown deepening as he looked up at them both. "Who -who are you?"

All eyes were on him now, waiting for his reaction to what was to come. He felt his own heart thudding in his chest as he watched Lupin draw in a breath and calm himself. "Harry ... We were friends with your parents and-"

"You knew my parents?" Harry's attention was piqued even more.

The curly haired man nodded, "Harry -I'm er I don't know if your aunt -"

Severus cut across them, "Black, stop rambling and let the boy sit down and eat something. I'm sure we could all do with some hot food. Lupin, do you have anything in the larder?"

The curly haired man -Black -scowled at Severus but said nothing else as he resumed his place at the head of the table whilst Lupin limped over to a small wooden door nestled into the far wall, leaning down to the larder. Draco and Petunia were invited to sit down which they did without saying anything, their faces all too tired for their mouths to open or to force smiles. Harry had so many questions to ask but Severus' tight-lipped expression silenced him until some food was placed on the table.

"There you go Harry," Lupin gave a tired but warm smile that made Harry relax a little as he started to eat the warm, thick soup and drink the tea.

They started to eat in silence until Harry could not take it anymore, "Um I'm sorry but who are you people?" he asked as he twirled his spoon between his thumb and forefinger. He was especially unnerved when Draco avoided his gaze.

The adults all shared a look. The curly haired man -Black -cleared his throat and steepled his fingers in front of him. "Well ... Harry, what do you know about your parents?"

Harry blinked before frowning, "That they were called James and Lily, and my dad drove into a tree killing my mother and giving me this scar," he touched his forehead.

The man sighed and rubbed at his forehead, "Nothing else?" Harry shook his head.

"Well then I think it's safe to say that you have been misinformed, Harry," Lupin stated calmly, his voice practical and somehow soothing. Harry frowned. "Your mother was murdered, Harry. By a madman. Somehow you managed to survive the attack, and destroyed the man. That scar," he pointed at Harry's head, "is a survival scar from the darkest man our world has ever known."

Harry swallowed thickly and placed his spoon down, his appetite disappearing. "Why did you say only my mother? Surely, my father was there with her?"

A scrutinizing look passed between the three grown men over Harry's head. Lupin cleared his throat, "Your father was ... somewhere else at the time. Not that there was much he could have done in the matter either."

Harry drew in quick breaths, "And what do you mean by our world?" he snapped roughly, his fingers curling into fists over and over in his lap.

Lupin licked at his lips, "I know that this will be a bit of a shock for you, Harry, but ... you're not 'just Harry'. You were born of a very powerful witch and wizard. You lived in a small village called Godric's Hollow. The man who killed your mother ... was called Voldemort."

"That's a stupid name!" Harry seethed, his temper crackling inside his head.

The two men down his end of the table nodded their heads, "Indeed it is," Lupin continued, "His real name was Tom Riddle. He used a killing curse on your mother but when he tried to kill you, the curse rebounded and killed him instead."

"Why did it rebound?" Harry asked tightly.

"Your mother died whilst protecting you. Dark Magic cannot stand up against love -the oldest magic in the world -hence why it rebounded. You were protected by your mother's love. That's why you have that scar."

"So that means that -"

"You're a wizard, Harry," Lupin finished the sentence off for him.

Harry paused for a moment, thinking. His mother was a witch. His father was a wizard. His mother had died protecting him. She was the only reason he was alive at that moment. He felt his heart ache a little. At least she had loved him enough. That was the main thing. He took a few deep breaths before running a hand through his hair, "So why am I here? Who are you two?" he asked, his voice hitching slightly.

"We were friends of your parents, Harry," Lupin stated softly, a smile resting on his scarred lips. He raised a hand and placed it on Black's shoulder, "And Sirius here -well -he was appointed as your godfather."

Emerald green eyes brimmed with hot, angry tears as they snapped to look over at the sheepish looking man sitting at the head of the table, to his right. He felt his lips tremble as the information sank in. "Where were you?" he asked shakily, his fists shaking in his lap.

"Harry -" Sirius started, but was cut off as the young man stood up from the table.

"Sixteen years!" Harry shouted, making everyone in the room jump in their seats, "Sixteen years I've been suffering from that man! Sixteen years that could have been spared if you'd come and found me! But you didn't!" he cried out, his face red, his voice hoarse and his cheeks stained with tears. His shoulders trembled, "Sixteen years ..." he trailed off his voice barely a whisper as his muscles quaked. He cast his eyes over them. He was going to yell at his aunt too -surely she had known? -but could barely find the words. He turned, grabbed a bag and stormed off out of the kitchen, into the narrow hallway and up the tight staircase.

Down in the kitchen they all listened as a bunch of doorknobs were rattled before -finally -a door opened and slammed shut, making them all flinch. "I should go and see how he is," Petunia said shakily, as she stood from a chair.

Draco reached out and touched her forearm, "No. I'll go. He'll want to vent." With a grateful look from Petunia, Draco stood up, thanked Remus and Sirius for the food, bade goodnight to Severus and then hurried on after Harry.

It took a little while for him to find the room that Harry was in, but as it was the only one without any locking charms, there was no problem for him slipping into the door and closing it swiftly behind him. He turned to face the dark room. "Harry?" he asked softly, edging a little way into the room, a chill rippling through the air.

"Go away Draco!" Harry snapped, his voice muffled from where he was sobbing into a pillow on the large four-poster bed.

Draco toed his shoes off and walked over to the large bed. The mattress felt firm as he sat down on the edge and reached over to touch a hand to Harry's shoulders. Harry flinched but the second time Draco touched him, he didn't budge. After a while he turned to look up at Draco through the gloom and sniffed loudly. "Harry -"

"Are you one of them?" he asked tightly, his eyes gleaming through the darkness.

Draco pursed his lips before giving a solemn nod, "I was. My father took my magic from me. I'm now a muggle, like you."

"Muggle?"

"Oh um ... it's what we call non-magical people."

"But ... they just said I was a wizard!" Harry's raised voice made Draco flinch.

"I know ... I don't know why you can't do magic. It's something we need to look into."

"We?" Harry sneered.

"Yes, Severus is a Potions Master and an experience healer. That's how all your wounds healed so quickly."

Harry wanted to be angry at taking drugs that he had no clue about, but he knew he should be grateful to the tall, dark haired man for helping him heal a lot quicker, and a lot less painful. He let out a deep breath and his shoulders shook as Draco leaned over him a little and started rubbing at the knotted muscles. "I feel so lost," Harry sobbed, turning on his side and looking at Draco's figure, illuminated by the gloom.

Draco nodded, "How do you think I felt being a muggle for the first time? No magic to keep me warm, nowhere to live, no food or water ... No friends."

Harry sniffed, "That must have been awful for you."

"You know it was," Draco reached down and brushed Harry's hair out of his eyes, "I'm so glad you came along to help me. I don't know what I would have done without you."

Harry gave a weak smile before sitting up and wiping at his eyes and taking a few deep breaths, "I should go down and apologize."

Draco shook his head, "It can wait until tomorrow. It's a lot of information to take in, you might as well sleep on it."

Harry sighed and nodded. He looked up at Draco and felt something tighten in his chest; the pale glow of Draco's hair looked like a halo around his face, as his silvery eyes sparkled with concern and understanding. Draco had turned his life upside down, but he was thankful for it. Otherwise Vernon wouldn't be on trial soon, the abuse would have continued, he wouldn't have met such wonderful people and his summer would have dragged on painfully.

Draco had changed all of that for him.

Harry's lips were against his before he could even understand what was going on. Draco blinked and was stunned, his heart in his throat as the dark-haired young man pressed their mouths together. His stomach knotted as Harry pulled away hesitantly and licked his lips, his expression open and afraid. Draco licked his own lips and drew in a deep breath, "Harry, you need to rest, okay? I'll see you in the morning."

Without waiting for a response he left the room.

Harry watched his bedroom door close and felt his heart drop down into his shoes and ache. Why had he kissed him? What the hell had that been about? Now he'd gone and scared his only friend off! He collapsed back on the pillows and let out a groan, tugging a blanket over his cool body, before yanking his glasses off and smashing them onto the bedside table. He glared out at the room from his pillow, feeling so stupid. Why had he done it? Now he had lost his friend.

Draco was his friend ... or was he more than that?

~0~

Up another floor, Draco lie awake in his bed, glaring up at the canopy, trying to sort out what had happened earlier.

Harry had kissed him. Willingly, kissed him. It had made his heart leap into his throat and excitement to stir in his belly, but he couldn't continue with anything It wouldn't have been right, taking advantage of Harry after such a shock. He hadn't meant to leave so quickly. His lips still tingled from the kiss. He wanted another one. Harry's lips were so soft and warm.

His body stirred until he had to force himself up and out of bed. He slouched over the edge of the bed, raking his fingers through his hair as he debated on what to do. His toes were cold. His shoulders ached. He wasn't comfortable. His eyes dropped onto Harry's hoodie that lie forgotten on the wooden floor. He bent to pick it up and inhaled the scent off the fabric before tugging it on the warmth washing over him and making him feel safe.

He shouldn't have left Harry. That was he worst part of why he felt so awful. He sighed and turned out of the room, and slowly tip-toed down the stairs, his weight making the floorboards creak weakly. He strained his ears to see if anyone would wake up as he wove his way down the stairs to the floor Harry was on. He could have just walked in, it could have been that simple. But he wanted Harry to WANT to let him in. He needed that validation. He breathed deeply as he stood, facing the door.

He reached up and lightly tapped at the door.

He waited patiently, knowing full well that Harry wouldn't be asleep. He was most likely doing what Draco had been doing; lying in bed and glaring at everything around him.

After about ten minutes of stony silence, he heard the feeble shuffling across the floorboards on the other side of the door. The cold doorknob turned and the door swung inwards to reveal a disheveled, and very tired, looking Harry. "What are you doing here?" Harry croaked.

Draco didn't need to answer. He literally just took a step forward, cupped Harry's cheeks and lowered his hot mouth over the cool smooth lips of the young dark haired mans. Harry froze in shock but after a few more moments, he slowly responded, his lips pressing up against Draco's. His hands ran up Draco's arms and locked around his neck. Draco advanced further into the room, taking Harry with him, kicking the door shut behind him. Harry pulled away with a gasp, "Draco ... I ..."

"Yes, Harry?" Draco asked, stealing another heated kiss, his heart drumming in his ears and his stomach flipping every time he touched Harry's skin.

"I like it when you say my name," he panted as Draco's burning mouth kissed down his jaw, and down his throat to the crook of his shoulder, before roaming back up to capture his mouth. Harry felt so excited by every kiss that he was sure he would melt at how hot they were. He ran his hands through Draco's hair and tugged him down into a deeper kiss, stepping backwards so that they fell backwards onto the bed, Draco lying on top of him, cool hands roaming over Harry's shirt.

Their kisses slowed down past the hot frenzy, until they were enjoying sweet, sensual kisses. Draco's tongue ran over Harry's lips, seeking entrance. Harry gave it, and was surprised at just how passionate and arousing tonguing Draco was. He moaned softly into the kiss, Draco's hips pressing down to meet his own. "Mmm Harry," Draco moaned as he moved to press hot burning kisses against Harry's smooth, tan throat. Draco pressed his hips against Harry's, feeling satisfied that Harry's own erection rubbed against his own.

Harry groaned as they thrust against one another slowly, their hands roaming over one another's bodies. He felt his cheeks burn up as he felt their erections press up against one another. He wanted to turn his head away as he felt Draco slowly brush his lips over Harry's cheek. A shudder ran through his body as Draco's weight pressed down on top of him. "D-D-Draco?" he croaked, his voice breaking, his limbs turning rigid underneath Draco's touch.

Draco stopped and looked down at him, his heavy-lidded eyes glowing in the evening light. "Yes Harry?" he hummed low in his throat, sitting back on his haunches, the duvet rumpled beneath him, his mouth agape as he caught his breath.

Harry looked up at him. He didn't have the heart to tell Draco to leave him, or that he felt confused about what was happening. He felt as though his head was going to implode with everything that was going on.

He truly didn't have it in him to send the blonde away for the second time in one night.

Taking a few deep breaths, he drew back the blankets of his rather firm bed and gave Draco a sheepish look, "Can you come and lie next to me? I -I don't want to be alone tonight."

Draco visibly relaxed as he crawled over the bed and the lump that was Harry's legs, before collapsing down onto the cooler half of the mattress. He dropped down, his head on the pillow and gave a sideways glance at Harry. He wanted to cuddle a little closer, like they had done when they were at his aunt's house. He watched as the young brunette took his glasses off and put them to one side before wriggling down and tugging the duvet up to his chin. Draco followed suit.

They lie in the dark a while, listening to the other breathe softly, as well to the beating of their own hearts. Draco rested on his side, watching Harry's lashes flutter as he stared up at the canopy overhead. It was about another hour, when Harry still wasn't asleep, that Draco reached out and rested a hand over Harry's stomach, "What're you thinking about?" he breathed softly.

Harry hesitated before answering, "Just this whole evening," he admitted weakly, "And if ... If it'll disappear tomorrow. Like it's a dream."

Draco dared to inch closer, grateful when Harry wriggled over too, their warm arms and legs brushing against the other. "Do you want it to be a dream?" Draco asked.

Harry shrugged, "Can they make it happen like that?" he asked, his stomach flipping at the thought of what magic could possibly do. Was it all in his head? Was he going mad? Or could he really be a wizard?

Draco breathed a small chuckle, "Perhaps, but maybe don't think of a way to change it. Give them a chance. It may be a bit better than you're imagining." He hugged closer to Harry a little more, "Besides, I'll be there with you every step of the way. Every day when you can't be bothered with it, or want to call it quits, or want to run off and not come back, I'll be right there beside you, bags packed and ready."

Harry let out a soft chuckle as he turned to face the blonde nestled beside him, "Are you sure about that?"

"Of course," Draco stated, his face serious although mirth gleamed in his eyes, "You were there for me, and I didn't think it would happen, but now I am going to be there for you, okay?" Harry nodded, his hands searching through the sheets until it came into contact with Draco's own tapered fingers. He slid their fingers together and held on tight. Draco smiled and squeezed back before nudging Harry's side, "Turn over then, I don't plan on getting cold tonight."

Harry rolled his eyes but smiled as a weight lifted off of his chest and he turned in the soft cotton sheets onto his side. His breath hitched as he felt the warmth of Draco's body pressing up behind him, the long legs entwining with his own. He drew in a deep breath and listened as Draco's breathing evened out. He focused his blurred vision on the glowing streetlamps outside.

He bit down on his lower lip and burrowed back against Draco until the covers were completely over his head, shielding him from the world.


A/N: I thought here was the perfect moment for some re-bonding between our favourite couple :)