Harry stood on the sidewalk looking up at the Manor. He'd only seen it in person one other time but he shook that memory from his head, wanting to go into this with no prejudices. In all the months he's been a Healer Harry had never had to do anything this hard. When the case was offered to him he knew instinctively that he shouldn't take it, but then his curiosity took over like always and here he was. Taking a deep breath he walked up to the door, surprised that the gate was no longer up. He knocked on the door and waited, shifting his bag to is other hand to ease some of his awkwardness. He heard sounds on the other side and looked up quickly just as the door swung open. Draco's face twisted with rage as he looked at Harry. "What the hell are you doing here?" he said through gritted teeth.
"I'm the Healer St. Mungo's sent." Harry explained calmly. He'd prepared himself for anger. "I asked them to send someone else but they wouldn't."
"Leave. Right now…tell them to send someone else; I'll pay more if I have too."
Harry sighed, trying to control his temper. "There is no one else. It's not a matter of money; there is simply no one else to send. I can help your mom." Harry's voice was low and calm. Draco's jaw tensed as he stared at Harry. Harry only stared back and waited, knowing what his reaction would be if the roles were switched. Without saying a word Draco stepped to the side and surprised, Harry walked into the house. It looked different than the last time he saw it, but then again he didn't remember much of the house from that day. "Where is she?" Again Draco didn't answer but he shoved passed Harry, walking down the hall. Harry rolled his eyes and followed him.
They stopped in front of a closed door at the end of the hall. "I swear if you do anything to her I'll kill you myself." Draco said and walked away before Harry could respond. When Draco disappeared Harry opened the door slowly and walked in. Narcissa was sitting in a chair staring out of the window.
"Narcissa? My name is Harry, I'm here-" As soon as Harry said his name her head whipped around, her eyes wide as she stared at him. "Uh, I'm here to help you feel better." He finished and walked closer, opening his bag. Suddenly she stood up and threw the chair at Harry. Harry swerved out of the way and pulled out his wand. "Please Narcissa, I don't want to stun you. Calm down."
"You did this! You're the cause of our suffering!" she yelled, moving into the corner of the room.
"Please calm down." Harry said again but she rushed forward, screaming. Harry fired a spell and she passed out; he caught her before she fell and laid her down on the bed. He pulled out the heart-monitor sensors and stuck one on her chest and another on her wrist. He waved his wand over her and let the spell travel over her body. Harry owed his life to Hermione for inventing this spell, which when cast over patients, told the healer exactly what potion needed to be brewed, taking the guesswork out of their job. When the spell finished a small slip of paper appeared from the end of Harry's wand and he sighed as he read it. He packed up his bag but left the heart monitors on; quietly exiting the room. He turned and was surprised to see Draco leaning against the wall.
"I heard screaming."
"She's sleeping now." Harry said.
"What did you do to her?" Draco demanded, standing away from the wall.
"She's sleeping." Harry said again. "There is a potion I need to brew for her, to help her mind heal, but it takes two weeks to brew. I have to start today, its final hours must be in the full moon. Before I can give it to her though she has to get her strength up. I take it she hasn't been eating or sleeping very well."
"Don't you have this shit ready to give at the hospital?"
"It has to be brewed with a hair of the patient." Harry explained. "I'm going to need your help getting her strength up, if she takes the potion and she's this weak…." Harry trailed off and met Draco's eyes.
"You sucked in Potions, how do I know you won't kill her?" Draco asked. Harry sighed and pursed his lips. "Whatever."
"I'm going to go back to the hospital-"
"No," Draco said cutting Harry off. "You saw how she reacted before, I'm sure you have something that can calm her down. You're going to stay here." Harry's eyes widened at what he was hearing. "Don't look so stupid. I'll get the room ready and you will stay here. You can leave when she's better."
"Um…ok." Harry said. "I'm going to start the potion…is there somewhere outside I can do it on?"
"There's a table behind the house." Draco said and walked away. Harry turned back down the hall, going out of the front door and walking around the house. There was a picnic table in the middle of the yard, the flowers around the edges dying or already dead. As he set his supplies up he noticed Narcissa watching him, her window facing into the yard. He ignored her and lit his fire, setting a small cauldron on top of it. Opening his bag he pulled out his ingredients and got to work. By the time the potion was done it was almost nightfall. He went back around the house and pushed on the door but it wouldn't open. Harry sighed and knocked on the door.
"Oh yeah…." Draco said as he opened it. "I forgot you were here."
"Right. Where can I put my stuff?" Harry asked.
"Upstairs, second door on the left." Draco said. "Dinner will be done in ten minutes."
"What do you do for your mom?"
"The house elf will take care of it." Draco said.
"Don't you think it'd be better if you did it? Seeing you there with her might make her more inclined to eat."
"Don't come in here and tell me how to be a good son, you got it? You're only here to make her better and that's all." Draco snapped. They stared at each other for a moment and then Draco walked away, leaving Harry at the bottom of the stairs. Shaking his head he climbed up, opening the door Draco told him. The room was simple, obviously a guest room that wasn't used often. Harry set his bag down on the bed and walked back down stairs, finding his own way to the dining room. Draco was already eating and Harry took the seat across from him, not realizing how hungry he was until just that moment. As soon as he started eating an elf came into the room holding a plate full of food.
"Mr. Malfoy, she will not eat."
"Fine. Take it away."
"No, leave it." Harry said. He stood and picked up both the full plate and his own. "Your mother can't leave her room, she's probably lonely."
"Last time you went in there she flipped out."
"So you go in there! If she doesn't get her strength up-"
"Yeah, I heard you the first time!" Draco snapped. He stood up and snatched up his plate, roughly taking one from Harry. Harry waited a couple of minutes and then followed to see what was going on. He leaned close to the door and pressed his ear to it. "Mom? I thought I'd come eat dinner with you…it's important that you eat, you need your strength to get better." Draco said so quietly Harry couldn't believe it was him talking. Smiling to himself he left them alone, finishing his dinner alone. He was about to climb up the stairs when Draco came out of the room holding two empty plates.
"Well?" Harry said. Draco only shot him a dirty look but Harry smiled. "I definitely don't mind eating alone. Good night." He said and climbed up to his room. He sat down on the bed, finally taking in everything that was going on. If someone had told him a year ago that he'd be living at Malfoy's place he would have probably cursed them, and now here he was. He stripped down to his boxers and took of his glasses, laying down on the most comfortable bed he'd ever been in. He sighed and closed his eyes, sleep taking him before he could have another thought.
Harry woke up the next morning to someone screaming. He jumped out of bed and grabbed his bag, racing down the stairs. "It's about time! Help her!" Draco yelled as Harry approached the room. He walked in and saw Narcissa laying down, screaming and clutching the bed sheets.
"Is she sleeping?" Harry said and knelt down next to the bed. "How often does this happen?"
"Almost every night." Draco answered. Harry heard fear in Draco's voice and he almost looked over; he'd never heard Draco sound like that before. But he stayed focused on Narcissa, digging through his bag until he found a small bottle with a dark blue potion in it. He took the cap off and dripped a couple drops into her mouth. Instantly she stopped shouting, her body relaxing. "What did you give her?"
"It helps her sleep without dreaming…I can start giving her some every night before bed and I can leave a bottle here for later."
"How long will she have to take that?" Draco asked.
Harry shrugged. "She's seen a lot of terrible things…it's going to be hard to stop reliving them every night."
"Do I what?"
"Relive the terrible things." Draco leaned against the wall and stared at Harry.
Harry met his gaze and nodded. "Every day I think about it." Draco nodded, his eyes darting to Harry's body and back up. Harry suddenly remembered he was still in his boxers. "I'm going to go get dressed." Harry said and left the room. Harry thought of the look in Draco's eyes and got goose bumps. He was always cold and distant, but just now…his eyes were full of fear and uncertainty. It was awkward; Harry didn't know how to deal with this kind of Draco. When he was dressed he went back down stairs, looking into Narcissa's room real quick and then heading to the dining room. Again Draco was already eating when he walked in.
"How did you become a healer?" Draco asked suddenly. "I was sure by now you'd be head Auror, bring in people like me."
Harry looked up and shrugged. "I thought that's what I wanted to do…but I was tired of fighting. The first few months after the war…." Harry trailed off and shook his head. "I just couldn't do it anymore. I wanted to be a part of fixing things, be a part of the healing, hence becoming a healer." Draco just looked at him for a moment and then continued eating. Harry watched him for a moment and started his own breakfast. They didn't talk for the rest of the time but Harry's mind was spinning. "I'm going to give your mom another potion to stop her from having those violet attacks."
"Whatever." Draco shrugged. Harry walked to Narcissa's room and gently walked in. She was awake and when she looked over at Harry he expected her to start shouting again. Surprisingly she didn't.
"I'm going to give you a potion to take, and then I'll have Draco bring you some breakfast, ok?" Harry said slowly, reaching for a bottle from his bag. He looked away for one second and even that was too long. Out of the corner of his eye he saw movement and looked up just in time to see Narcissa rushing towards him. He bent out of the way and she spun with lightning speed to face him again.
"You killed him! You did this to us, ruined my family!" She yelled and rushed towards him again. Harry pulled out his wand but before he could fire she tackled him, his wand bouncing across the room. He grabbed her wrists as she tried to claw at him, trying to get her off without hurting her. Suddenly she stopped fighting, slumping over Harry. He peaked around her and saw Draco standing in the doorway.
"What happened?" He asked, lifting his mom off Harry and laying her in the bed. Harry sighed and stood up, picking up his wand and grabbing the potion he needed.
"She attacked me—I dropped my wand." Harry dripped a few drops into her mouth. "She shouldn't freak out like that anymore. Why is she so upset that Voldemort is dead?"
"She's not talking about Voldemort." Draco said. Harry heard the slightest hesitation when Draco said Voldemort's name. "She's talking about my father."
"What?" Harry asked looking up from his bag.
"Didn't you know? My father died four months ago."
"I thought he was in Azkaban." Harry said.
"Yeah, well...it's not exactly a picnic in there." Draco said.
"I didn't mean—I'm sorry." Harry said awkwardly. Draco met his gaze and held it, his silver eyes boring into Harry's. Harry didn't know what to do next and decided to just stand there and wait for Draco to do something.
"Whatever." Draco said and shrugged, turning and leaving the room. Harry let out a long breath he hadn't realized he was holding. Not knowing what else to do he walked out to the backyard to check his potion. The color was a deep red which meant it was right on track. He looked around the yard again at all the dying plants and then back at Narcissa's bedroom window. He pulled out his wand and moved around the yard, the flowers growing and blooming around him, all around the yard. When he was finished he looked back at everything, smiling at his work. He glanced at the window and saw the curtain falling shut as if someone had just been there watching.
Harry walked back into the house and up the stairs, wondering where the library was in this enormous house. He didn't want to start looking through rooms but he had no idea where Draco was to ask. He took a chance and opened the first door on his left but it was a bathroom, thankfully an empty one. He shut the door and opened the next one which was another bedroom. Whether it was Draco's or his parents' Harry couldn't tell, but he quickly shut the door so he wouldn't get caught in there. He was about to give up when he saw a room already open. He walked to it and stepped inside; this was definitely the library. But as he walked further into the room he froze; Draco was sitting in an armchair reading something. He tried to back out slowly but Draco heard him and looked up. "Sorry, I'll come back later."
"There's another chair." Draco said. Harry looked over at it and now felt obliged to sit. He walked over and sank down into the chair. "Are you here to watch me read, Potter?"
Harry felt his face flush and he stood up, scanning the shelves closest to him. There were definitely some interesting books here—interesting and dark. He picked up a random one and sat back down, opening to the first page. His eyes widened at the graphic pictures depicting spells he could never have imagined. He turned the pages slowly, his mind focused on these terrible spells.
"Why did you come in here?" Draco asked not looking up from his book.
"There's nothing to do…I just wanted to pass some time." Harry said also not looking up.
"Why didn't you fight harder?" Draco asked and this made Harry look up, his brow furrowed in confusion. "For this job, I mean. You said there was no one else, but I can only assume if you didn't take it there would have been someone to come instead."
Harry met Draco's eyes and considered lying, but then decided against it. "Honestly, I was curious."
"To see how your nemesis had fallen after the war?"
"I…you weren't supposed to be fallen…you were supposed to be angry and arrogant and mean. But you've changed…for some reason I feel sad for you. You seem lonely-"
"You are here to help my mother and that's all you're going to do. Don't try and make me open up about the war, don't try to be my friend all of a sudden, and don't try to help me." Draco was standing now, his voice low and forcefully controlled.
"This is typical Harry Potter, trying to be the hero for people who don't even want it. Why didn't you leave me in that room?"
Harry's brow creased for a moment before he realized what Draco was talking about. "You mean when the Room of Requirement was on fire?"
"You know as well as anybody I should have died in there…but you had to come back, didn't you? Who asked you to do that?" Draco shouted.
"Your mother lied to Voldemort about my death so she could stop the fighting, so she could get you out of there. If anything, getting you out of there was my payback to her. And what about when your aunt had us locked in that damn dungeon and you didn't tell her you recognized us? And don't try to deny it because I know you knew who I was. Call it pay back for that, I don't really care what you excuse it with!"
Draco opened his mouth as if he wanted to answer back, but then he changed his mind and he pursed his lips, his fists clenched tight. Harry met his gaze and silently willed him to go on, but instead Draco turned and left the room, the front door slamming a few moments later.
"Harry, everything we went through was not easy, it's not surprising that Malfoy has changed because of it." Hermione said. The next few days after their fight were quiet and awkward. Draco has started eating his meals in his mother's room, which would have bothered Harry if it hadn't been doing wonders for Narcissa. He was now at St. Mungo's, visiting Hermione. Ron was also there, having come down from the Ministry to have lunch with her.
"Hermione, he's not just changed…he told me I should have left him to die. You don't find that weird?"
"Finally Malfoy and I agree on something." Ron mumbled. "I can't believe you're trying to help him and his mom."
"It's my job Ron. Besides, I'm trying to put everything behind me. I just don't like that he thinks like that still…you don't think he'd try and hurt himself do you? I wonder where his friends are…."
"He doesn't talk to anyone anymore." Hermione said. Harry blinked at her and waited for more. "Oh, well, there's a healer I work with that used to be in his circle of friends. Every one apparently started drifting away when they found out he didn't rat us out to Bellatrix. No matter what he's done to us in the past, I think deep down Malfoy is a good persosn, he was just raised in the wrong circumstances."
"That was the second time he'd done something good…." Harry said, remembering when he couldn't kill Dumbledore.
"I think that being around those kinds of people made him act that way, so he wouldn't be ridiculed for being 'good'. But now that he's free from them…well, he did a lot of things and it's only normal to feel guilty. Maybe it's good that you're staying there." They all fell silent, Harry's mind playing back Hermione's words and realizing she was probably right. Suddenly, what was obviously a Patronous soared into the room and landed in the middle of them. It was a lion and it turned until it found Harry. Then Draco's voice came out of it.
"Something happened. You have to come back." He sounded panicked and everyone stood up, the Patronous fading away.
"I'll see you guys later." Harry said, turning on the spot. He appeared in front of the house and was jogging up to the door when he heard his name called and stopped.
"She's back here!" Draco shouted and ran around the house. Harry followed him and skidded to a stop when he laid eyes on the yard. All the flowers were ripped out of the dirt, thrown across the entire yard. "She was crying, saying over and over that 'they were his flowers' and that 'they should have died with him'." Harry looked back at Narcissa and she was laying down in the grass, ripping fistfuls of it out of the ground as she cried and mumbled to herself.
"What is wrong with her?"
"The potion I gave her was to stop her angry outbursts, so she's moving on to the next emotion. Her mind is weak and she can probably only handle one at a time. I can brew a potion to stop her from being sad, but when I give her the final one to heal her mind she'll have to deal with all of these feelings. The good news is that she'll be strong again and the potion will be helping her so she'll be able to without having another break down."
"And what would she move onto after she can't be sad anymore? We can't keep drugging her until she's numb, just the shell of a person!"
"I know it's hard but-" Harry suddenly really looked around the yard. "Where's the potion?" Harry's eyes were frozen on the flipped over picnic table.
"Malfoy, where is the potion? The table is flipped and I don't see the cauldron!" Harry said and started walking around the yard. Draco followed, also looking around for it.
"Uh…Potter?" Harry heard and looked up. Instantly he knew something was wrong. "I think she drank it." Harry ran over and saw the cauldron close to Narcissa, empty and tipped to the side. "Is this bad? Is she going to be ok?"
"We need to get her inside." Harry said and with Draco's help they pulled her up, slowly taking her back into the house and into her bedroom. "Can you clean her up? I need to call someone to check her out." Leaving the room Harry sent his Patronous to Hermione, then waited by the front door. As soon as she popped up he pulled the door open and let her in. "She drank the Wits Tonic and it's still a week to the full moon." Hermione's eyes widened as they walked down the hall. "Don't look at me like that, please tell me there is something you can do."
"I'm going to try." She said and they walked into the room.
"What is she doing here?" Draco asked standing up.
"Hermione specializes in potion making and their effects, she's going to know better than I will if your mom is in danger." Harry explained. Hermione was already kneeling beside the bed, her spell working over Narcissa's body. Meanwhile she had started a small fire and put a cauldron over it, pulling out small bottles from her bag.
"Ok…when the Wits Tonic is not complete, each stage is a different kind of poison. The potion is only helpful when it's been brewed fully and properly. I can brew up an antidote for her and as long as she takes it immediately she should be fine. You'll have to make another potion, unfortunately waiting until the next full moon but she will be ok to wait until then." Hermione said, her hands working quickly over the cauldron. "Luckily this finished quickly and should be ready within the hour. I'd like to stay in here and watch her until she takes it, if that's ok." She said looking at Draco.
"Whatever." He said and left the room. Hermione glanced at Harry and then continued working on her ingredients. A few minutes later Harry looked up and saw Draco cleaning the yard. Making sure Hermione was going to be fine, Harry left the room as well, heading out to the backyard.
"Want some help?" He asked.
"Well, it's my fault for making them grow, the least I can do is help clean up the mess it caused." Harry said and he started picking up the flowers.
"You're not going to use magic?" Draco called across the yard. Harry almost detected a sneering tone and the corner of his mouth twitched.
"Why aren't you?" he countered and Draco just looked away and continued picking up flowers. They worked in silence for a while, their piles getting heavier and heavier in their arms. Harry was just starting to curse how big the yard is when he picked up a couple and realized he was done. He looked up and saw Draco dumping them in a large trashcan. Harry walked over and tossed his in as well. "I didn't mean to cause this…I didn't know what seeing the flowers would do to her."
Draco looked at Harry for a long time and Harry thought that a few times he was going to say something but he never did. Then they heard a knock on the window and he turned to see Hermione waving them back in. Harry started first and Draco followed him in. "The antidote is ready." She said as they walked in. Hermione gently shook Narcissa awake. "This is going to help you feel better." Hermione said.
"No." Narcissa said simply.
"Mother, you drank poison. This is going to help you." Draco said.
"I don't want it." She said again.
"Well, you have to-" Draco started but froze when Narcissa swung out, hitting Hermione and knocking the potion out of her hand. "What the hell is wrong with you?" he shouted and he moved forward, helping Hermione up.
"Look at you! Touching Mudbloods! It's a good thing your father is dead so he doesn't have to see this! And now I'll join him! We will be together again!" she said harshly, shouting the last part with her head thrown back. "Now get out! GET OUT!" she yelled. Hermione grabbed her things and walked out of the room, the boys following behind her. Draco shut the door hard and stood there squeezing the handle.
"Um…if we can subdue her I can brew another potion and make her better. That's the poison talking, and her mind was already damaged so it's coming out even worse. We can-"
"No." Draco said quietly. Hermione stopped talking and her and Harry were watching him closely. "I appreciate what you're done but you can go now."
"But…it won't hurt her; if we don't get the antidote in her she'll-"
"I know what will happen." Draco said and Harry glanced at Hermione. "She doesn't want to be helped."
"What the hell is wrong with you?" Harry said suddenly angry. Draco turned and faced him. "Your mother is about to die and you're going to let her because she doesn't want your help? You may be ready to throw away your own life but don't you dare make that decision for other people!"
"Stop trying to be a hero all the time! She doesn't want your help! I didn't want your help! I don't want to live with these memories, to live with the things I did! I should have died! She wants to die for the same reason! Just let us finally have peace!"
Harry couldn't hold back anymore. His hand swung out and he slapped Draco in the face. "You do not die because it is easier. You're damn right it's hard living with the things you did, but you are LIVING, and every day you are moving past them. Dying is not a punishment that will ease your guilt…if you want to be punished then live. Live and think about the things you did and make them better."
Draco stared at Harry, his grey eyes full of shock at Harry's outburst. Slowly he stepped to the side, no longer blocking the door. Harry pushed forward and opened the door, immediately stunning Narcissa. "I'll start the potion again." Hermione said. Harry glanced back up at the door but Draco was gone. "That was intense." Harry looked at her but didn't say anything. He wondered where Draco had gone and considered going to find him, but then thought it might be good to give him some time alone. If things were awkward before they would definitely be weird now; Harry didn't even know if Draco would allow him to stay here anymore. He could of course care for Narcissa by making daily visits but he didn't want to leave just yet. "I think you should go find him."
"I think he wants to be alone." Harry said.
"No, Harry. I don't think he does…I will take care of this. You go." He was unconvinced but he did as she said. He'd learned a long time ago not to doubt Hermione about these things. He left the room and headed upstairs, thinking he would try the library first, but he didn't even have to go that far. Draco was sitting in the bedroom Harry had discovered before, laying back and staring at the ceiling. Harry noticed that one of the flowers from outside was sitting in the bedside table.
Harry went to call him Malfoy, but suddenly that seemed cold and harsh, so he tried for Draco but that wouldn't even come out. "I'm sorry I hit you." Harry said. For a second he didn't think Draco heard him, but then Draco slowly sat up. "I'm sorry about what I said, too." Draco only stared back. He knew he couldn't go back down stairs without Hermione yelling at him but he couldn't stay—
"I needed it." Draco said suddenly, bringing Harry out of his own thoughts. Harry walked into the room and sat down next to Draco.
"I could have done it in a better way." Harry said.
"I wouldn't have listened. No one's…no one has made me feel like that, ever."
"Like I deserve to live…like me being alive is causing something other than suffering." Draco said not looking at Harry. Harry's face flushed and his mouth was suddenly very dry.
"Did you bring the flower in to remember your father?" Harry asked, trying to break the tension. Then again maybe bringing up his dead father wasn't the best way to do it.
Draco actually laughed. "Hell no…I was glad he was in Azkaban…glad he was away from me. It sucks that his death did this to my mother but he deserved it." Harry didn't say anything, just looked at the floor. He secretly agreed but he didn't think saying that out loud was the best thing to do. "The flower reminds me of someone else."
"Your mom would like that." Harry said, glad the conversation was taking a better turn.
"It's not for my mom." Draco said. Harry met his gaze and a weird feeling was growing in his stomach. Harry had made the flowers grow, but surely that couldn't be what Draco meant.
Swallowing several times Harry finally voiced the question out loud. "Who is it for then?"
Draco's hand slowly moved over and gently fell on top of Harry's. "Harry…my patronous is a lion…who do you think it's for?" Harry's eyes went wide, frozen on the sliver eyes before him. His mind had shut off and he could hear his heart pounding loudly. He saw that Draco was about to say something and without really knowing what he was doing, Harry leaned forward and planted his lips on Draco's. This seemed to be what Draco was waiting for because he pushed into Harry, his hand coming up behind Harry's head. Together they both opened their mouth, their tongues sliding together effortlessly as if they'd done this a hundred times before.
"Harry?" Hermione called, making them both pull back away from each other. Both of them were breathing hard, Harry's heart pumping even fiercer. "Harry?"
"I'm coming." He called out, his voice shaking slightly. He got up from the bed but Draco didn't and Harry backed out of the room slowly. "I-" he started but nothing else came out; he awkwardly turned into the hallway and jogged down the stairs.
"Are you ok?" Hermione asked when she saw him.
"Wha—yeah, I'm fine. How did it go?"
"Fine, she's still sleeping but the potion I made should wipe out the poison. When you make your second potion put some kind of protection around it. I'm afraid she's going to try this again."
Harry nodded. "Yeah, I will. Thanks Hermione."
"Harry, are you sure you're ok?" Harry nodded again and she squinted her eyes at him, but she didn't say anything else about it. "Ok…well, I'm going to go. Let me know if you need anything else." Harry walked her to the door and she hugged him, stepping outside. "Oh, and don't leave him alone!" she whispered. Harry watched her walk a little bit away and then Disapperate, thinking to himself that that might be easier said than done.
The next morning Harry was lying in his bed, secretly afraid to get up. After Hermione left he'd gone up to his room, shutting the door and staying there for the rest of the day. He'd heard Draco walking by his room a couple times but Harry stayed put, not daring to face him after what had happened. His initial reaction was to blame Draco, telling himself he was somehow tricked, but then immediately after realized that was not true. He was the one that moved forward and he'd be lying if he said he didn't like it. And that was the thought that plagued him the rest of the day and even the whole night after. He liked kissing Draco. And by what he could tell Draco liked kissing him. Draco liked him. These sentences swam through
Harry's mind as if they were someone else's. He knew he couldn't hide forever and eventually he'd have to face Draco.
He sighed and sat up, slowly getting out of bed and getting dressed. Rain was coming down hard, the window of his room streaked with drops. He opened the door of his room slowly and peaked out into the hall. It was empty. He stepped out and took a deep breath, ready to go downstairs as if nothing out of the ordinary had happened. He turned towards the dining room and walked in but it was empty. He assumed Draco was eating with his mother like he had been and Harry sat at the table, digging into his breakfast. He had to go see Narcissa when he was done eating, but he took his time, hoping Draco would come out first and they wouldn't have to meet. He had no such luck however, and he finished his breakfast without a single sound from the hall. He walked to her room and knocked but there was no answer. He slowly pushed the door open and walked inside. Draco was not there. Narcissa turned her head slowly and looked at him.
"How are you feeling?" he asked.
"You should have let me die." She whispered.
"You don't mean that. I'm going to start a new medicine for you and you're going to be better before you know it." Harry said, waving his wand over her. She slowly turned her head away from him as the spell moved down her body. "Narcissa, you're still very weak, but otherwise you're doing ok. We have plenty of time to get your strength up before you have to take your potion." He said reading the results.
"You should have let me die." She said again, much quieter than before. Harry wanted to say something to her but he didn't know what…he couldn't slap her. He could only hope that she would hold on until he could finish the potion. He walked out of her room and shut the door, turning around to find himself face to face with Draco.
"She's been saying that since last night. She hasn't said anything else." Draco said, his eyes locked on Harry's. Harry, however, was looking anywhere but there.
"She's going to get better; she just needs to have the potion." Harry said. Draco just nodded and didn't say anything else. "I…I'm not going to let anything happen to her."
Draco's mouth twitched for a moment but it passed quickly. "I know you won't. You're a hero, remember?"
"I didn't mean-"
"It's just a joke, Potter." Draco said and walked around him, going into his mother's room and shutting the door behind him. Harry stared at the closed door, his mind spinning trying to process why the sound of his last name being used suddenly made him very upset. Was it possible Draco had forgotten about yesterday? But that didn't seem likely at all…even more likely was that he didn't care about yesterday. His mother had been poisoned and he was very stressed out…that could have been some weird stress relief and now that things were looking better it would be left in the past. This thought made Harry even more upset and he almost rushed into the bedroom demanding an explanation. But he stopped himself…he knew now was not a good time. This was a very sensitive subject and the best thing he could do was let it play out. He sighed and walked out of the front door, Disapperating at the end of the road.
He popped up in the employee entrance of St. Mungo's and hurried to Hermione's office.
"Harry, what are you doing here? Is everything ok?"
"Yeah, she's a lot calmer. The only thing she's said since last night is that we should have let her die. Draco is there now with her so hopefully she doesn't do anything stupid."
"Do you think she would?" She asked and Harry just shrugged. He had no idea what she was capable of. "I'm going to start working on a new version of Wits Tonic, something that can be made in bulk and then brewed with the hair in the full moon. It won't help you now but it'll help people in the future. I realized with this case that sometimes we can't wait two weeks to brew it."
"Hermione, that's a great idea. I wish it were ready now, with the full moon coming up so soon it would be perfect." Harry said. He had tried to sound confident when he was telling Draco it would be ok, but deep down inside he was not sure at all. The way Narcissa kept repeating herself like that still gave Harry the chills and he secretly wondered how long she would keep going. "The good news is that she doesn't have a wand, so that eliminates her greatest threat."
"She doesn't have a wand?" Harry asked surprised.
"Oh, Harry you've been here long enough to know this! As soon as a patient shows one sign of not being in their right mind their wand is taken away for everyone's safety. The fact that a healer was asked to go to his residence means that there's paperwork on her; the hospital was made aware of her condition."
"I don't remember them telling me that." Harry said. He was instantly relieved however. Without a wand, how much damage could she do to herself? Hermione just shot him one of her looks and it was such a familiar thing he grinned. For a second he considered telling her what had happened between Draco and himself but then in the same moment decided against it. He wasn't sure what was going to happen with that and he didn't want to open this kind of conversation for nothing. As they sat there in the quiet a long, high pitched noise filled the air. They had both heard this before and their faces turned grim as they both pulled out their wands. Harry's heart stopped as he realized his was blinking red. "Shit!" he said and Disapperated without saying a word to Hermione. He popped up in front of the house and he saw Draco standing outside. He started approaching him but then froze as his eyes took in the horror before him. Narcissa had twisted her bed sheets and hung herself out of a second story window. His mind stopped working, his legs turning to jelly. He would have fallen over if he hadn't seen Draco at that moment.
He composed himself as best he could and jogged over to him. Without even thinking about it he reached out, touching Draco's shoulder. He couldn't tell if Draco even registered the touch. "We should go inside." He said slowly. They were both soaked, rain streaking down their faces. Draco's eyes were fixed on his mother. "Draco." Harry said a little more forcefully than he meant. Draco turned his head towards Harry; as soon as their eyes locked Harry felt weakened with the sadness that filled his body. He pulled Draco into a hug and wrapped his arms around him tight as if hoping to squeeze the sadness out of him. Draco didn't respond in any way at first, but slowly he brought his hands up between them, resting them on Harry's chest and sobbing. "I'm sorry…I'm so sorry." Harry was whispering into Draco's ear. "Let's go inside." He felt Draco nod and Harry slowly eased away, holding onto his arm as he led him into the house. "I'm going to call the hospital, ok?"
Draco just looked away and climbed up the stairs. Sighing, Harry sent a Patronous message to St. Mungo's and then went back out in the rain. Waving his wand he untangled Narcissa and brought her down gently, carrying her into the house and laying her down on her bed. There was a small note by her bed and he picked it up. I'VE FINALLY JOINED YOUR FATHER. IT'S YOUR TURN NOW. Harry felt the anger rise up to his throat. He crumpled the note in his fist and decided that Draco didn't need to see that. There was a loud knock on the door and Harry went to open it. Two coroners were at the door. Harry pointed them to the bedroom but one lingered. "We need to speak to Mr. Malfoy; there's some paperwork he needs to fill out."
"That can wait until tomorrow." Harry said. The man went to protest and Harry cut him off. "He cannot do this now. The paperwork can wait." The man nodded and joined his colleague. A few minutes later they were walking out, Narcissa in a black body bag floating between them.
"We expect Mr. Malfoy tomorrow." Harry only nodded and shut the door behind him. He took a minute to compose himself, letting the shock of everything wash over him before he went upstairs. Taking a deep breath he started climbing, unsure of what he was going to find up there. He walked slowly and when he got to the bedroom he paused, peaking his head in. Draco was lying down, curled up and staring at the wall.
"Draco?" Harry asked and walked in. Draco's eyes snapped up to Harry. "I'm so sorry."
"Stop saying that. It's not your fault."
"I said I wouldn't let anything-"
"She was sick Harry. There was nothing you could do. For once in your life just let it go. This was not your fault and it was not up to you to prevent it. Not everything in your life is a hidden destiny." Draco said, his voice stronger than it had been when he first spoke.
Harry looked down and then back up at Draco. "There's paperwork to fill out but I told them you could do it tomorrow." Draco nodded and resumed looking at the wall. After an awkward minute of sitting in silence Harry got up but Draco grabbed his hand.
"Don't go." He said, his cheeks flushing slightly. Harry just stood there and didn't say anything. "Will you lay with me for a while?" Ignoring his racing heart Harry nodded and climbed back onto the bed, laying down next to Draco. Draco turned to face Harry and for a while they just stared at each other. Harry's mind was racing with what was happening, wondering if it was wrong to like this after everything that had just happened. Suddenly Draco moved closer, curling against Harry's body and pressing his head into Harry's chest. Harry tried to control his breathing; slowly he draped his arm over Draco's torso and he stayed like that, unmoving until Draco fell asleep.
Harry woke up the next morning and it took him a moment to remember everything. He sat up suddenly and saw Draco laying next to him, sprawled out on his back and taking up most of the bed. He remembered thinking to himself that when Draco was really sleeping he would sneak back to his room but he must have fallen asleep as well. He looked over at Draco again who looked so peaceful sleeping. Harry was saddened to have to wake him, forcing him to deal with the horrors of his mother's death. He reached out and gently shook his shoulder. Draco only groaned and shifted around. "Draco!" Harry hissed and shook him a little harder. This time his eyes opened and he looked around, sitting up when he saw Harry.
"Did you sleep in here?"
"Wh—I was supposed to go to my room but I fell asleep before I could." Harry said. Draco nodded and Harry watched as everything that had happened came back to him, the color in his eyes fading as sadness took over his features. "Um…you have to go do the paperwork." Harry said awkwardly.
"Right." Draco said and got up, sifting through the clothes in his closet.
"I'll let you get ready." Harry said and got up as well, leaving Draco's room and going straight to his own. He shut the door and leaned against it taking a deep breath. Everything that had happened crashed into him and he sank to the floor as if his feelings were a physical weight. The shock and sorrow of Narcissa dying had been processing in his mind since it happened and he was slowly moving on from that. What plagued him now was Draco and everything happening between them. First there was the kiss and now there was spending the night in his bed. When Harry woke up this morning he was struck with the realization that he would be very happy waking up just like that every morning. And now he felt guilty because what he wanted most was to tell Draco this. But he couldn't share this now because his mother had just died and the last thing Draco would be thinking about is starting a relationship with Harry. And now that she had died there was no need for Harry to be there; he would have to leave this case and go back to the hospital for the next one. He couldn't face saying goodbye to Draco…he got up suddenly and started packing, hoping to get out of there before he came back.
As soon as that thought crossed his head he froze, realizing how terrible that would be for Draco, coming home to an empty house after what had happened. Harry sighed and stopped packing. No matter how uncomfortable it would be, he would have to stay and face it. He sank down on the bed and stared up at the ceiling, passing the time by thinking about how he would have told his friends about Draco. Then he realized that was making him more upset and he started thinking about what would be the best way to leave the Manor. That was also not helping. He decided suddenly that he would wing it through both of those scenarios and whatever happened, happened. He sat up suddenly as he heard a door slam, surprised that Draco was home so early. He opened the door to go downstairs but was met with Draco right there.
"FTR." Draco said and stared at Harry. He was very angry and those three letters told Harry exactly why.
"Oh, you don't remember what that is? Let me remind you: Final Thoughts Revival. That's when a healer retrieves the final thoughts of a loved one when they die with no one around." Draco said loudly.
"I know, I'm sorry I didn't tell you."
"She wrote me a note! There was a note and you took it? Why would you do that?" Draco was shouting now and Harry was backing away, back into the bedroom.
"You saw what it said! You already were thinking about death and I didn't want that to push you over the edge…you were starting to get better and-"
"Stop being a fucking hero!" Draco yelled, his fists clenched so tight his knuckles were white.
"I didn't do it for an 'I-have-to-save-everyone' reason! I did it for an 'I-love-you-and-don't-want-to-lose-you' reason." Harry said. He sucked in a breath as he finished that sentence and held it without even realizing it. Draco's fists loosened and he squinted at Harry.
"What did you say?"
"I know with everything that just happened this is the last thing you want to think about but that's why I did it." Harry said, forcing himself to hold Draco's eyes. Maybe winging it wasn't the best idea. Draco looked away and then back at Harry.
"Is that your bag? Were you packing?"
Harry looked back at his bag and wished he had hidden it. "I thought I'd have to leave now that…well, there's no reason for me to be here anymore." Harry said quietly, as if saying it softer would hurt less.
"Because your job as a healer is done, right? And there's nothing else that would keep you here?" Draco asked.
"I just told you that there is another reason, but I won't make you do this right now. I know this is a hard time for you-"
Draco moved forward suddenly and was standing so close to Harry their noses were just inches apart. "You need to stop thinking you know what's best for everyone." He said slowly and quietly. Harry could feel Draco's breath on his lips and it was giving him goose bumps. "I want to forget about this, even if it's just for a little bit." He said, his eyes dark and glued to Harry's. Harry's head was spinning, wondering if this was the right thing to do at a time like this. He felt Draco's breath on his lips again and decided in that moment not to care if it was right. He knew he wanted this and that was all he was going to think about. He closed the space between them and kissed Draco. Draco didn't miss a beat, pulling Harry closer and kissing him back hard. His hands slipped into Harry's shirt and moved up his back. Harry moaned and turned around, pushing Draco to the bed. Harry pulled away and Draco sat down on the bed.
Harry was breathing hard, staring down at Draco. Draco's eyes moved down Harry's body and back up to his eyes, his hands reaching out and grabbing Harry's hips. Harry moved forward and placed his knee next to Draco's leg, climbing up on the bed, pushing Draco down and straddling him. Harry's fingers quickly worked at the buttons on Draco's shirt, biting his lip as he reached the end. Harry slid the shirt off making sure his hands touched as much of Draco's chest as possible. Draco threw his head back and Harry leaned down, sucking and kissing the exposed skin. He continued down to Draco's chest, his hips pressing into Draco as he moved farther down. When he got to Draco's pants, Harry stopped for a moment, resting his head on Draco's stomach and trying to control his breathing.
"Harry?" Draco asked and squirmed as he propped himself on his elbows, looking down at Harry. Harry lifted his head and met Draco's gray eyes, darkened with passion and willing Harry to continue. Harry sat up again and unbuttoned Draco's pants and pulled down, Draco's hips rising up to make it easier. His hard cock popped out of the hem Harry wrapped his fingers around it, stroking up and down. "Shit!" Draco said and fell back. Harry leaned forward and licked the tip, making Draco hiss. With one fluid motion Harry took the cock into his mouth all the way down to the balls. He sucked hard as he slowly pulled his head back, swirling his tongue along the bottom as he moved down again. He slowly built up to a steady rhythm, his cheeks hollowing as he gripped Draco's hips which were thrusting with Harry's rhythm. "Harry, fuck! I'm going to come!" Draco groaned and Harry took one final pull before popping the cock out of his mouth.
"Not yet." Harry breathed and moved up Draco's body, planting his lips on Draco's, the kiss sloppy as he thrust his tongue into Draco's mouth. "God…I've wanted you for so long." Harry breathed against Draco's cheek. Draco nodded and sat up, pushing Harry up with him. Harry grabbed a fistful of Draco's hair, pushing his head forward and trying to get impossibly closer. When they parted Harry gasped throwing his head back. This time Draco started mauling Harry's neck, sucking the sensitive skin into his mouth and making Harry moan loudly.
"Stand up." Draco breathed and Harry did; Draco also got up and stepped out of his pants, kicking them to the side. He pulled Harry onto the bed, shaking his head when Harry went to lie down. Draco knelt on the ground in front of him and unbuttoned his pants, pulling them all the way off and spreading Harry's legs. Harry took a deep breath and gripped the bed sheet, watching as Draco slowly came towards his cock. Using just his index finger he lifted Harry's cock, placing his tongue at the base on the underside and slowly licking up to the tip.
"Oh, God…." Harry gasped and Draco spread his lips over the tip, slowly moving down the shaft. Harry's hand went to Draco's head, grabbing his hair in a fist as Draco moved. His tongue moved in circles along the bottom, his head bobbing up and down quickly. Draco looked up at Harry and met his gaze, holding it as he sucked Harry off. "Fuck…Draco!" he groaned, biting his lip as he forced himself to control his orgasm. "Get up!" Harry said through gritted teeth, pulling Draco's head back off of his cock. Precum leaked out of his swollen cock as he stood up, pulling Draco to his feet and kissing him hard. "I want to come inside you…." Harry breathed and pushed Draco onto the bed. He crawled on top of Draco and kissed him again, maneuvering his legs between Draco's.
Harry pulled away to grab his wand from the bedside table, muttering a spell under his breath. His fingers slick, he stuck his index finger into Draco's tight hole, moving it in and out and going back to kissing Draco. He added a second finger and spread them apart, stretching the hole and making Draco gasp. Harry smiled and added a third finger, capturing Draco's moan with another sloppy kiss. "Fuck me!" Draco groaned and thrust his hips upwards. Harry pulled his fingers out and positioned himself over Draco, placing the tip of his cock on the pulsing ring. Meeting Draco's eyes he pushed forward; Draco closed his eyes and let out a long moan, ending when Harry was all the way inside him. Harry waited a moment for Draco to get used to the feeling, who thrust his hips up to let Harry know it was ok to move.
Harry pulled out slowly to the tip and thrust back in, repeating this until he had a steady rhythm. It was a slow one, his hand going around Draco's back and lifting him up. Harry sped up his rhythm and Draco shouted out as Harry's cock hit his prostate. Draco's entrance hugged his cock as he moved faster. "You're so tight…fuck!" Harry gasped, kissing Draco hard. Draco threw his head back, grunting with every thrust as Harry kissed his neck, also grunting and cursing against Draco's neck. Harry put all his weight on his knees and really plunged into Draco, moving his free hand to Draco's cock and stroking it in time with his hips.
"Oh God, Harry…you—are—my—hero." Draco grunted, his body freezing suddenly and jerking as the orgasm rolled through him. Harry met his eyes as come shot out on onto his stomach and all this combined was enough to send Harry over the edge.
"God damn it, I love you, Draco Malfoy!" Harry dug his nails into Draco's back as he felt himself losing control; with a shout he thrust up one last time, come shooting out into Draco as Harry trembled over him. Waves of pleasure surged through leaving him completely spent. Draco laid back with a sigh and Harry fell over him, both of them sticky and breathing heavy. After a few minutes Harry slipped out of Draco and rolled over, lying down next to him. Draco turned on his side and faced Harry. For a while they just stared at each other, letting their breathing get back to normal.
"What was that you called me?" Harry asked with a crooked smile.
Draco's cheeks flushed. "Shut up…I got carried away in the moment."
Harry grinned and leaned in, kissing Draco softly. "I liked it."
"Of course you did." Draco said rolling his eyes. "I seriously think you have a complex or something." Harry just grinned wider and pulled Draco close. Draco laid his head on Harry's chest, throwing his arm over Harry's stomach. Harry started running his hand through Draco's hair as they fell into silence again. Harry still couldn't believe this had happened and as they lay there together he starting wondering what was going to happen next.
"Can I tell you something?" Harry asked. Draco sat u and propped himself on his elbow. "The other day when I woke up in your bed and you were sleeping next to me…I realized that I want to wake up like that every morning." Harry could feel the redness creeping into his cheeks as he spoke. "I know you have a lot on your mind right now so-" He was cut off by Draco kissing him.
"I want you to stay here with me." Draco said when he pulled away. "You brought me back to life, and I need you here to remind me why it's worth living. The fact that you can love me, that you can forgive the things I've done to you…I want to make you proud of me…I don't want you to regret saving me." Harry stared back at Draco with such intensity that the rest of the room disappeared around him. He grabbed Draco's face in his hands and kissed him hard. Then Harry lay back down and pulled Draco back onto his chest, resuming running his hand through his hair. Harry's eyes were starting to feel heavy and he closed them, waiting for sleep to take him.
"I love you too, Harry Potter." Harry heard this just as he was slipping out of consciousness and his lips twitched up into a smile before everything went dark.