Harry Potter is property of JK Rowling. I write this out of pure personal pleasure, and the desire to bring happiness to other fans. And my pockets don´t want anything in return. Thanks.
Warning: This story contains yaoi, it means love between men. As much as drama and suffering, supernatural creatures and sex related scenes.
Summary: When seven years after the war, Draco Malfoy escapes from his cell in Azkaban, the ministry has no choice but to send his best Auror, Harry Potter, to capture him again. Between the walls of the world's toughest prison, Harry will discover not only the origin of the most terrifying creatures, but a love against time.
Chapter 1 - Cold
Henry pulled his overcoat further around himself as he continued his nightly rounds:
"It´s cold." - It was always colder in this part of Azkaban, the highest security floor where the old servers of the dark lord were locked, the pavilion of the Death Eaters.
A shudder crept up his back, from the presence of a Dementor at the other end of the hall, but the dark thing went away just a moment latter. Surely it had just dined. Sometimes Henry almost felt sorry for the prisoners.
Like every night, the guard was going from cell to cell checking that no convict had escaped, though it seemed more than that, sometimes he thought that what he actually did was check if there had been any new deaths.
He looked inside the next cell...
Like all others, this was another area of stone walls without windows, just long enough for a man lying in the floor, and with the width of a closet. A pot in the corner spelled for the needs, and a blanket, were the only furnishings. Usually, it would have also a cot, but this inmate had not been granted one.
A groan caught the attention of Henry, who came to the bars. Inside the cell under a dirty faded blanket, somebody was shaking violently, huddled on the floor.
"Lumos" - The guard held the light so it fell inside the tinny space.
The young prisoner could not have been more than twenty-four and looked ill. His skin showed a grey pallor, the result of not having seen the sun in years. Extremely thin due to the minimal rations received, and covered in dirt. His hair had turned in to something like a tangle of straw; mate and crushed, which once had been as fair as white gold. However, all this could not entirely obscure the beauty of the man. The harmony of his noble features stood out even here. The patrician nose, high cheekbones, and lips...
"What a waste." - Muttered Henry. - "So young to end here. And everything for following a monster." – He sighed in disgust.
The young man shuddered, and just barely, opened his grey as mist eyes, fogged with fever, shining through the dirty blond locks of his hair.
Draco was shivering, no matter how hard he tried to warm up; it was so very cold here...The stone of Azkaban was always wet and freezing. The icy feeling seeping in his bones through the ground where he lay, despite the blanket in with he had wrapped himself.
It had been days since he started falling really sick, but even before then he hadn´t been healthy. So little food, sleep, and rest for that. And now his whole body ached, his lungs pressed painfully against his ribs every time he caught a breath of air, forcing him to inhale less and less oxygen every time.
But the most terrible part was the cold.
It stiffened his muscles, and froze his breath. Every time he moved it was like he was being stuck with needles all over his body.
Suddenly he heard footsteps nearby, and struggled painfully to open his eyes. The only thing he could see was a blur under the light of what he believed was a wand. A guard.
Henry moved a few steps nearer, almost to the bars, and looked more closely at the prisoner. What was his name?
Draco was dizzy, he thought he was being called but could not be sure.
"Hey, can you hear me?"
He could not get enough air, felt his consciousness slipping away. But… there was something important he had to say.
Malfoy seemed to be trying to say something, but from his went blue lips no more than disjointed mutterings, too weak to be interpreted, surged.
"I don´t understand what you are trying to say."
Draco couldn't breathe; the cold seemed to have crept into his lungs, freezing them. The darkness began to invade his vision, and soon, what he had to say didn´t matter anymore. As his eyelids closed again and his body started going limp, his last thought:
"It's so cold" -And then, darkness.
"Hey!" - But Malfoy had fallen asleep again. Henry sighed in exasperation and got up to continue the round. "Surely he will be dead by tomorrow." - And he could not help but feel sorry for the young mist eyed boy.
The sun of the first hour of the morning lit up the meadow and the forest, slowly washing the clearing from the nightly mist.
It was quiet and lazy in the place, except for a single creature, which was crossing the lawn in a race, running for the strange house that dominated the centre of the meadow. The old wooden structure, unpainted, growing on two floors and an attic, looked a bit misplaced. The weevil, black slate roof and the chimney, which puffed a nice white smoke, along with a small porch and tiny shed, completed the construction that looked extremely cluttered and homey.
Harry loved to run.
Like every morning, he was now out touring the countryside around his home. The powerful movement of the muscles when you force yourself to the fullest, the beating of your heart while the ground flies beneath your feet, the rhythm of the breath, the wind touching your face ... were feelings that he loved.
For Harry, there was no better way to start the day.
The last seven years had been good. The skinny boy had grown to six feet five, and the constant exercise had given him a strong and powerful body, which nevertheless retained the flexibility of a seeker. Unfortunately, much to the chagrin of the senior members of the ministry, who would love to exploit the fame of the Auror, Harry continued to prefer comfortable clothes, his glasses, and sneakers, more than the expensive suits he could afford if wanted.
Finally, the dark haired man slowed to a stop against the back door of the house. Wiped the sweat from his forehead and inhaled the scent that came through the open door: "Looks like Kreacher made pancakes." – The smell made his mouth water, just from remembering the delicious taste of good pancakes lavished in butter.
Hermione couldn´t stop pacing around the kitchen. - "Where was Harry?" -She had being waiting half an hour already…
At the sound of the door the said one came running, shirt and shorts glued to the body with sweat, and hair like a nest for birds, black and ruffling.
"Hello Hermione. I didn´t know you were coming." – Harry smiled at his friend, as he approached the table for the breakfast that Kreacher had left for him. The old elf always disappear whenever Hermione was at home, he couldn´t bear a "Mudblood" staining the house of his master and giving him talks about freedom. Um ... pancakes, his favourite.
"You can´t tell because you're never at home when we call! Kinghsley has send for us an hour ago!"
"Sorry, I was jogging; you know I always run before going to the ministry. Is it very urgent?" - Harry looked sadly to the pancakes; it seemed that he would not have time for breakfast.
Hermione became serious.
Her curly hair was tied in a ponytail at the nape of her neck to avoid being bothered by it at work, but some locks had escaped and framed her face, just like they had done when they were younger. Mione hadn´t grown much since then, and only the rounded curves of a woman's body betrayed her age at first sight. But her eyes were other matter entirely; they looked serious and so much older than they had when the three of them had been at school. Even if it wasn´t only her gaze the one so aged. She, Harry and Ron had seen too much during the war, things they could not tolerate, horrible things. The things that made them become Aurors, so they could prevent something like them from ever happening again to anyone. And the passion that drove the friends had made their team the best at their work.
Most of the time they could act as now, as if nothing had happened, but few could understand the pain they shared.
"Harry, I think it's serious." - The tone of her voice made Harry enter his duty mind set instantly.
"Wait a moment, I'll change." – The dark haired auror climbed the stairs two at a time, to his room. Quickly pulling off his dirty clothes, and throwing them in the corner where he knew Kreacher would pick them later, to put on the Auror uniform just after a hasty cleansing spell. Five minutes later he was back in the kitchen.
"What about Ron?" – Asked as he prepared to enter the chimney.
"He is already waiting at the office. To the ministry! – She screamed. And the two of them disappeared in a cloud of green smoke.
Finally the three arrived at Kinghsleys office .
Behind his solid black wooden desk, the minister of magic closed the report he had been reading.
"Take a seat." - Harry took the chair in the centre with Hermione and Ron on each side. Ron was still higher than Harry by about an inch, and undoubtedly heavier, but cute freckles and red hair made him look friendlier than his built suggested.
Kingsley gave the report to Hermione, the brains of the team, and she began to read it while Kinghsley started speaking:
"I have sent for you, because this case could be very complicate, and because you already know the subject. Three days ago, Draco Malfoy escaped from his cell in Azkaban."
"No way! Malfoy?!"
"Auror Wesley I assure you that if that wasn´t the case, you wouldn´t be here." - Kinghsley replied quite annoyed by the interruption.
Harry nudged his friend, and Hermione shot a look so chilled his way, that Ron fell silent at once.
"Please continue Kinghsley." - Harry hastened to add. Nevertheless Kingsley threw a stern look at them.
"Well. We know he has escaped from his cell, but we also know that he has not left the prison. The external alarms weren´t skipped, so he has to be somewhere inside. This in itself may not seem dangerous, but if he opens more cells it could lead to a riot or a mass breakout of prisoners. And if he has managed to open his own, nothing says he can´t open the rest. The guards have done everything possible to find him, so far without results. But since food has been disappearing from the kitchens, we know he has to be alive."
"But if he went to the kitchen for food, how come he hasn´t been caught?" - Harry was surprised. Malfoy escaping Azkaban? Still, he couldn´t believe coward could have emulated the feat of his godfather, Sirius Black, even if only in part.
"He's very slippery. We don´t know how he makes it. And if people knew there´s a possibility that murderers and criminals could escape from Azkaban again, panic would spread. We need you to find him as soon as possible. The guards have already been informed of your arrival."
"We will find him." - And the determination that hardened Harry's eyes was like the signal all they needed to get up and leave the office.
"May you have a lucky hunt." -Kinghsley wondered why he had the feeling that this mission was much more than it seemed.
Hermione was still engrossed in reading the report as they walked to the floo area, and Ron couldn´t seem to stop gesturing.
"I can´t believe the coxcomb has escaped! Elusive as the ferret he is."
"Calm down Ron. We're here for that, right? We take him, discover how he has made it so it doesn't happen again, and lock him back." - Harry tried to mute the iron feeling in Rons words.
"I don´t know if it will be so easy Harry." - Hermione stopped and looked up from the set of papers she held. – "He's been eluding trained guards for days, no one has seen him, no one has heard him. It´s like he doesn´t exist. Malfoy isn´t going to be easy to find." – Ron´s snort interrupted her:
"HA! As soon as I find him, he´s going to wish he had never left his cell."
"Ron Wesley! Our job is not to punish him, is to capture him. Leave your personal vendettas out of the case." - Hermione cut in.
These two were always the same.
Finally, they came to the chimney. The place was very busy at this hour of the morning; workers still arriving to the ministry or coming out of their jobs, people who came at trials, to collect documents etc. It took them a bit to find an open fireplace, especially when some passers-by recognized them, and tried to get close to greet the friends. Even after seven years, the heroes of the wizarding world still attracted attention. But finally, they managed to get into one, and be identified, before being accepted by the floo that lead to Azkaban.
Harry stumbled and nearly fell to the ground, but managed to keep the balance at the last moment, floo travel had never been easy for him.
After him came Ron and Hermione.
The room in which they appeared had stone walls, and no windows. The place was lit by several torches, but it was so cold…Harry furrowed further in his coat. It looked like they were inside the guards break room.
Easy to identify by the table and the chairs, and because near the door hung a prison guard uniform coat.
The door opened one second lather after the floo had gone off, giving way to Henry and another man in his forties that had to be his partner. The haughty eyes of the other man, overrun by greying brown hair, disturbed Harry at once. Even if the guard was not very big, with a similar eight to that of Harry and dressing immaculately, unlike Henry, who looked nice and friendly, underlined by a slight disorder of his clothes and dark brown hair, the auror detected something dangerous in him at once. And immediately wondered why a man like that, clearly not in a frame of mind good for living in such a place, was working in Azkaban.
In that moment Henry stepped forward to shake his hand:
"Welcome to Azkaban. I'm sorry it has to be in these circumstances, but we are delighted to have your help. My name is Henry Davidson and this is my friend and work partner Thomas Clearwater." -Harry was quick to shake hands.
"I'm auror Potter, they are auror Weasley and auror Granger, but you can call us by Harry, Ron and Hermione." - Henry smiled.
"So you're going to hunt Malfoy?"
"Excuse me." - Hermione intercepted- "Could you tell us what you know about Malfoy? Did something happen before his disappearance? No matter if it seems insignificant, no one know what can be a clue." – She took out a notebook, and her magical feather.
The guard inclined his head in thought for a second, and then seemed to remember something as his face took in a grimace of something very much like pain.
"Well, the day before his disappearance, I'd swear he was dying. Do you know? He looked very sick, could not stop shaking, and I think he tried to say something ... but fell asleep. I didn´t catch a thing, so I can´t tell what. But ... It´s very strange, because he out to be dead already." – Ron opened his mouth to reply something Harry knew wouldn´t be polite, and asked before his friend could say a word.
"Can you show us the cell in with was incarcerated Malfoy?"- Ron was a good auror, but his strength was in the chasing, not the speaking to the witnesses part.
"Of course, come this way." - Hermione wrote it all down.
Henry walked to the door, but Thomas remained behind.
"Are you coming?"- The first guard asked.
"No, I have yet to make my rounds." –Thomas answered coolly, before taking the other way of the corridor without even saying goodbye.
"Okay, be careful." - But Thomas had already twisted the corner without taking another glance their way.
"He´s always like that?" - Asked Ron. Henry started walking followed by them.
"Well, he has reasons to be, Death Eaters killed his entire family."- Silence followed the words, shutting all conversation until the group finally arrived at a tiny cell, with only a pot and a torn and dirty blanket inside.
"This is the cell." -Henry took out a key from his pocket and opened the iron rusty gate, so they could all look inside.
Harry gazed into the small room, more like a closet, in which Malfoy had live for the last seven years, with a growing sense of disgust. Hermione seemed to be experiencing a similar reaction, although Ron only had a small smile on his face. The only woman pulled out her wand with practiced ease and magically started scanning the place.
"This will take a while; maybe you two could start investigating the surroundings as I work." – Immediately Henry came to her side like a protective dog.
"Don´t worry, I'll guard her."- Hermione rolled her eyes, men, why everyone thought she needed protection?
"Hermione, Is that okay?" - Asked Ron, eager to get out and start looking for the elusive ferret, but not so much as to leave his friend alone.
"Yeah, yeah. We will manage." - She knew that Harry and Ron worked better if there was no third party interfering, and that was for Henry. Sure he knew the place well, but he would be a nuisance if not needed. So she resigned herself to the role of woman in need of protection. Such idiots, she though fondly.
Harry and Ron began to advance down the corridor until they reached an intersection.
"We will cover more ground if we split." - Said Harry.
"Sounds good, I'll go over there." - Ron turned to the left. - "If you see him, give me a sign. I don´t want to miss his face when we catch the ferret." - Harry nodded.
"I don´t think we will catch him in the first round. We don´t even know how he got out of the cell." - Ron snorted dismissing the pessimistic words.
"We will see. Good hunting mate." - And walked down the corridor right on the gloom. Harry turned to the right and looked behind him one final time, Ron had disappeared from view.
"Good hunting." - He murmured in reply, and stepped into the shadows of his own hall.
Harry changed his stance to that of a stalker the instant he started searching. His steps so silent not even the dust rose from the ground, moving from shadow to shadow maximizing the cover he took from the darkness in the corridor, like an enormous cat.
All his senses alert to every sound, movement and smell of the environment. Bit by bit the corridor started becoming dimmer; he noticed the torches were off, and that the prisoners of this section seemed all asleep, or too scared to get out from under their blankets.
He began to move more carefully. Could Malfoy have caused this? A little ahead the hallway twisted into a corner. Harry raised his head and looked toward the wall that hided at the end of the gloomy hallway. He could smell salty sea freeze, and here the atmosphere seemed less tainted.
"Lumos." - His wand lit the wall very dimly like a little spark, so he was the only one to see it, and who ever could be there didn´t take notice. There was a door. He walked over and grabbed the doorknob feather light.
"Nox."- A whispered word, slowly turning the handle. The door was open.
A gust of wind brushed the hair from his face, and the evening light blinded him for a moment. It seemed he had found an old exit, the door opened onto a small terrace of stone from which descended a staircase, but this had fallen off at some point in the history of the building, and now instead of giving to the floor below, as it should, the broken steps were hanging over an abyss that ended in the jagged rocks of the seashore. From here he could see the open sea illuminated by the red light of the dying sun.
Harry felt a chill creeping across his back:
"So cold." – Pressed the wand to his coat for a heat spell, when suddenly, his eyes caught a movement at the corner of his gaze. To his right he could see part of the roof of the prison flushed with light, and there, on the slope that it formed, a group of dementors.
His figures were dark, dressed in threadbare clothes washed by the sea wind, whispering, with a chilling sound that made him shudder. They seemed to be gathered around something. He walked to the railing to see better, yes, he saw what was in the middle.
Clothes, worn and torn by the wind, snow-white robes, a Dementor. A white Dementor.
It will continue.