The Pensieve of Alternative Destiny
Warnings - None really, minor character death but no major triggers.
Disclaimer – I own nothing that you can recognise as anyone else's.
Just a small note of thank you to my amazing beta MyTerribleName who doesn't have an account here but is still amazing. All mistakes that are left are all my own fault.
Harry wakes to Ron on his left as always. It was good to be back at Hogwarts, sure the Ministry had offered him a position in the Auror without needing any of his NEWTS but he hadn't been able to take it. He had spent most of his life not wanting to be hounded by the press, he shivers involuntarily at the memory of fifth year. He for one was truly glad that Rita Skeeter had been fired from the Prophet after writing a completely false article about Kingsley's personal life. Anyway he couldn't bear to be 'friends' with them now that the tide had turned
He gets up and surveys the room, all the eight years had been put into one tower. The number of people per room had been decreased too, and they had more freedom because they were adults now. Harry smirks, recalling Seamus's back to Hogwarts party, being adults didn't necessarily mean they were any more mature. He figures he'll grab a shower before he tried to wake Ron up, he supposes that having lived with the twins had made him deaf. Having all the eighth years in one tower was a good idea but the atmosphere was different to the Gryffindor common room. It was quieter for one with the addition of the five Ravenclaw students who returned to finish their education. The biggest change was the Slytherins who were no longer complete gits. The war had changed them all in different ways or maybe it was just the perception of them that had changed and Harry remembers back to the first morning of sharing a tower.
Harry walked down the stairs in a bit of a rush as always and saw Malfoy waiting at the bottom of the stairs for someone, Harry assumed it was Blaise. He shook his head Malfoy got all the luck getting his own room because Blaise and Theo had to share. Malfoy looked up and saw him, "Morning Potter." He said.
Harry looked back at him surprised; he really was after all that had happened expecting an insult. "Uh, morning Malfoy." He said slightly hesitantly before slipping past him and out of the common room. It was not a huge event no but in years past they would have gone out of their way to antagonise each other rather than just being civil. The war was behind them though so at least they could give civil a chance.
By the time Harry had got ready and got Ron up they were late. This was a normal occurrence so when they sat down on the eighth year table after everyone else no-one bats an eyelid. McGonagall had set the eighth year table running horizontally across the back of the hall. It was something to do with old prejudices not having an effect on the younger years or something. Harry is sure Hermione understood what she meant. Harry looks up as Ron pokes him with a fork.
"Oi, what was that for?"
"You were off in daydream land mate, do you know what we've got first?" Ron in all his glory is again talking with his mouth full.
"Not a clue," Harry turns to Hermione who is immersed in a book about goblin wars that is propped up on the juice jug. "Hermione any idea what we've got now?"
"That conflict resolutions class, Potter." Malfoy drawls without stopping smothering his toast in jam on the other side of the table. Hermione just nods and went back to her book.
"Right, thanks Malfoy." Harry glances back to Ron who shrugs at him before turning to engage Neville in a conversation about the latest quidditch gossip. To be honest Harry didn't think Neville seemed to be doing much more than nodding.
They manage to get to conflict resolutions on time without much help from Hermione. Harry still didn't see the point in this class. It was compulsory for all third years and above and optional for the lower years. Sure they'd fought in a war but it was over now they didn't need a class to tell them that they should all be friends. The trio sit at the back of the room, Ron talking to Hermione. They'd been an official couple since the end of last year and Harry had been trying to give them a bit more alone time. He snaps out of his thoughts as Professor Trent walks into the room.
"Morning everyone, today we are going to be doing a realisation exercise." He says looking at them all from where he was standing at the front of the class. "Now before anyone gets too excited about that I'd better explain." Harry has never liked the class but at least he finds the sarcastic Professor funny.
He lifts the disillusionment charm from the object on his desk. It seems to look like a pensieve but at the same time it doesn't. Harry hears Hermione gasp next to him. "Can anyone tell me what this is?"
Hermione raises her hand slowly, she no longer jumps out of her chair to answer the questions. "Yes Miss Granger?"
"It's a Pensieve of Alternative Destines; it shows you what could have happened if you made a very important decision differently."
"Completely correct as always, 15 points to Gryffindor. Today everyone will be taking a trip in here to view what their life would be like if things had happened differently. What you will see will focus on an important event in your life so everyone's will be different. We will be going in alphabetical order so first Miss Abbott."
Hannah steps forward and placed her head into the pensieve and her entire body follows. Professor Trent continues to explain. "Miss Abbott will likely be gone for about 5 minutes to us but to her she will watch her life from that decision to now so that could be from 1 minute if the decision had just happened or 10 years. While you are waiting for your turn I would like you to open your books to page 42 and begin reading the page and answering the question. When you return I would like you to write a 2,000 word essay on why what you have seen and how it has affected you. Both the questions and the essay are homework so everybody has the same amount of class time to complete them. Off you go."
Harry starts to read the book and answer the questions but he honestly couldn't concentrate there were so many important decisions in his life he tries not to wonder which the pensieve would focus on. He waits nervously for his name to be called, Hannah had come back in tears and had to be sent to the hospital wing for a calming drought but Hermione had come back smiling her head off but had refused to tell them what she'd seen.
"Mr Potter, if you please." Harry steps forwards nervously looking at the pensieve for a moment before thinking here goes nothing and placing his head into the silvery liquid.
Harry lands on his feet wobbling unsteadily, he is standing outside the great hall. He gazes around, everyone looks so small. He was back to his first year just before he was sorted. Harry looks on puzzled he didn't remember making any huge choices at this point in time. Sure later in the year with going down to try to protect the philosopher's stone from 'Snape' but now… Maybe it was a better idea to just watch how things play out.
"You'll soon find out that some wizarding families are better than others, Potter. You don't want to go making friends with the wrong sort. I can help you there." Malfoy says holding out his hand.
Harry hesitantly takes his hand, "Thanks for the advice, I'll keep that in mind." He ignores the startled look on Ron's face until they were heading towards the hall following Professor McGonagall.
"I'm sorry, I didn't really believe that some wizarding families are better than others but I just didn't want to burn bridges before I got to know people." At this Ron starts to look slightly less grumpy.
"Yeah, well when you get to know people get back to me on what a git Malfoy is." Harry nods as they waited patiently for McGonagall to call their names. Malfoy had just got sorted into Slytherin.
"Told yah, there wasn't a wizard or witch who went bad who wasn't in Slytherin." Ron scoffs looking at the blonde boy with distaste as he was sorted so quickly the hat didn't even need to touch his head.
"Potter, Harry." Harry walks cautiously up to the stool and sat down.
"Hmm… difficult, very difficult. Plenty of courage I see but not a bad mind either. There's a talent here and a thirst to prove yourself. But where to put you?" Harry remains silent; he figures it was a rhetorical question.
"Well… better be SLYTHERIN!" The hat shouts into the hall. The entire Slytherin table stands and claps. Harry glances over at the Gryffindor table where Hermione is looking at him mouth hanging open, Ron's face still waiting in line looks the same. He shrugs and makes his way over to sit next to Draco Malfoy.
Harry just opens his mouth to speak when Dumbledore stands, "Now that's out of the way let the feast begin!"
"You see Potter some wizards are better than others the ones who only have wizarding blood are better than those who say half blood." They are sitting in the Slytherin common room surrounded by books about potions trying to get their homework done. Malfoy is talking to him like he's a complete idiot.
"Yes I get you believe that Malfoy but you still cannot explain to me why someone with pure blood is better. Look at Granger she is beaten you on all the tests as she's muggle born."
"Don't talk to me about that mudblood!" He spits vehemently. "The more magic blood someone has the more magically powerful they are." His stared at Potter as if he'd started speaking a foreign language.
"Right… So what did you get for question 5 anyway?" He asks trying to divert the conversation from its original trajectory. There was no point arguing with someone who dismissed obvious facts that disproved their argument; that was bordering on fanatical.
"Oh, it's 3 counter turns to every 5 clockwise turn."
The conversation was a small one and neither boy thought much of it again after they'd finished their homework and started playing wizard chess but it was enough to plant seeds of doubt into the young Malfoy's mind about whether what he'd been told all his life was right.
Harry stands with a school broom in his hands. Malfoy is standing next to him holding his own broom that his father had bought him. Snape still hadn't got around to confiscating it. Harry looks over the empty Quidditch pitch as Malfoy kicks off into the air and is soon hovering above him.
"Scared, Potter?" He smirks down at Harry from on high though his tone wasn't malicious.
Harry looks up with a smile and snaps out of his thoughts. "You wish Malfoy." His soon too flying next to Draco and is looking at the small ball in the other boy's palm.
"Seekers game?" His tone doesn't suggest that it's a question more an order but the raised eyebrow told different.
"Sure what do I get if I win?" Harry asks looking at him with his head cocked to one side. "What about if I win you'll have to do my potions homework for a week?"
Malfoy looks at him funny before agreeing. "Certainly, but only if I win you have to do my history of magic notes for a week." Harry doesn't say anything just nods once and Malfoy lets the snitch go.
"Game on Potter."
They play for hours, neither wanting to stop while the other had the upper hand. To be fair to them both boys were almost evenly matched. Harry was overall a better Quidditch player but Draco's broom was much better so it balanced. When the land both boys are sweating and beaming like idiots. Not that either would ever admit to that of course.
"So you want to play again some other time Draco? Maybe after you've finished doing all my potions homework for a week."
"Definitely Harry, there is no way I will let you win."
Draco is standing in the middle of the common room dispensing invitations to his family's upcoming Christmas ball. He's in his element talking and laughing with everyone from first year to seventh as everyone wants to go. Harry sits in the corner reading calmly waiting for him to finish and come over. He watches Draco navigate the room with a smile, as he smiles with Pansy and makes small talk with the prefects. They all think he likes them. It takes him over an hour to get around everyone before he makes his way over to where Harry is sitting. They are much more relaxed around each other now.
"Fun mingling?" Harry asks not looking up.
"Fun," Draco scoffs at him. "You have no idea what this party is like. I have to spend hours sitting at a horrid dinner party surrounded by people who want to stab me in the back. I'd like to see you enjoy it."
Harry tilts his head. "Why don't you just invite one person who you know is on your side then?"
Draco looks at him, trying to work out what he means. "There are rules in the Pureblood world one of the more important ones is that you don't fraternize with people who are not pure. My parents are a stickler for the old rules."
"Right," Harry gets up and leaves him to his own table even though he waited for him for over an hour. "Have a fun Christmas Malfoy."
Draco registers the use of his last name but sits there too shocked to work out what to say as he watches his only real friend walk away from him because his parents are bigots. He sits there with no idea how to change Harry's view.
He sits on his bed in the Slytherin dorms. It is only him and a fifth year girl who are staying for the Christmas holidays. He stares at a package sitting on the edge of his bed. It's a small box covered in green paper and tied with a silver ribbon. He has never had a present before, a real one that is. He picks up the box and inspects it closely. A small tag is attached to the top it reads, 'To Harry Potter From Draco Malfoy.'. He opens it slowly, being very careful with the paper. Inside was a small mirror, Harry picks it up and looks at it curiously. As he does this he notices a piece of paper underneath. He picks it up and reads it;
This is a two way mirror. It means that when I'm stuck at one of these boring dinner parties which my parents ban you from attending I can still reach you. I am sorry they behave this way, if I had my way you'd be sitting next to me rather than bloody Pansy. Anyway, I hope this communicates my deep felt apologies about before.
Harry gasps this is too much he thinks. Harry feels bad that all he managed to send Draco was a hand written book of useful potion recipes. It had taken him weeks to sort it out as he'd had to borrow the higher year's potion books off them. He'd thought it was worth it though but now it was obvious he had been out classed.
He sits on his bed in his Manor in Wiltshire. All the guests had left from the night before. He stares at the box on the end of his bed. It was small compared to all the other gifts that littered the floor of his bedroom. Truly there were piles. The one thing that set this apart from the rest was a small not attached to the front. It read, 'All is forgiven, what you parents believe is not the same as what you do. Harry.' He picks it up and opens it slowly. A book falls out into his hands. It is bound by string sown through the edges of the pages. It is obviously hand made.
He opens it and reads avidly all the potions that Harry thought he would enjoy brewing. He smirks there is everything from giggling solution to a hangover potion to the polyjuice potion. How he'd got his hands on that he did not know. Draco Malfoy sits on his bed all day; he does not open any of his other presents as they are not important. He reads the book from cover to cover realising just how long this would have taken to create. He has never been more grateful for a present in his life.
"You could have told me what you were doing you know!" Draco shouts, looking at the boy wrapped in bandages. "I could have helped you!" His voice goes quieter. "Obviously I'm just not good enough for you St. Potter. Hangs out with a Weasel and a Mudblood, I thought you knew better!"
"Draco, I…" Harry realises he has gone back to what he has been taught he always does when he's upset or angry. He hadn't thought that Draco would have wanted to come with him; he'd thought that he would think it was too dangerous, too Gryffindor.
"Oh, shut it Potter. You obviously don't care what I think anyway. Don't care if I was worried about you. Obviously they are more important to you." Draco storms out of the hospital wing letting the door slam behind him.
Harry lies there, he knows that he has to apologize but he has no idea how.
They are at breakfast the next morning; Draco is still refusing to speak to him. Harry looks at the jam sitting in front of him. It is the jam Draco uses every morning, usually Draco asks him for it. He pulls out his wand and levitates the jam to where Draco is sitting up the table next to Pansy. He looks up as it lands next to his plate. He meets Harry's eyes and nod. Harry knows he is not forgiven but it is a start.
They are sitting on the train back to London, Harry, Draco, Blaise, Pansy and Theo all sharing a compartment. They are all talking about their plans for the summer.
"Hey Harry are you up for coming to a sleepover during the holidays, you know make a weekend of it?" Harry had stayed uncharacteristically silent throughout the journey.
"I would Blaise but unfortunately I can't."
"Oh, well ok then." They all go back to talking among themselves except for Draco who is looking at Harry with worry.
As they leave the train Draco watches as Harry walks off towards those horrid relatives of his. "One moment, sir, if you would." He says to his father before heading after Harry.
"Harry," he calls after Harry and he stops and turns. "Remember the mirror, ok. Don't forget us, you are not alone!" He hugs him quickly before heading back to his parents.
"Heir of Slytherin…" The whispers follow Harry everywhere as he makes his way down to his dorm room. He sees Draco sitting on his bed waiting for him.
Draco breaks the silence, "You could have told me you know, that you were a parslemouth. I wouldn't have cared." He continues on.
Harry looks at him, "I didn't know," he says quietly.
Draco continues not having heard him, "I'm in Slytherin for goodness sake it is the symbol of our house, for goodness sake!"
"I didn't know!" Harry says louder.
"What do you mean?"
"I had no idea I could talk to snakes," he runs his hands through his hair. "Well I set a snake on my cousin once but I didn't know about magic at the time and thought I was going mad."
Draco gets off his bed and walks over to him and places his hands on his shoulders. "Remember what I said at the end of last year, you are not alone in this. So, what are we going to do to combat the fact that everyone thinks you're out to kill them?"
They start to plan and in the end come up with a scheme that would rival anything the Weasley twins would come up with.
They sit at breakfast the next morning and explain what they were thinking to the rest of the house, Harry working with the younger years and older half-bloods, gaining respect through magical power and Draco tackling the older years and hard line pure bloods. They explain that the best way to stop people hexing Slytherins were the heirs of Slytherin or supporters of dark magic they should befriend them. That way if they ever need anything from the other houses they are more likely to get it. Also if we ever need to attack in retaliation again they are not going to expect it (this line was only given to the most hard line purebloods.)
Draco sits down on the edge of his bed and winces. He grimaces to himself; at least he was back in Hogwarts now. Harry walks in and sees him there all alone.
"Oh hey, Draco I didn't know that train had got back yet." He says conversationally and throws himself down on his bed with more energy than necessary. He places two hands behind his head and turns to look at Draco. "Good Christmas?"
Draco looks over at him from where he is perched, his grey eyes shining. "Fine Scarhead, thanks." His eyes drop back to the floor.
Harry barks a laugh, "Thanks for the clothes, the Dursleys," He spat the name; "Are going to freak when they see. Other than making me look great that's the best bit."
Draco stays looking at the floor, "I'm sorry I didn't get to see your present." He says quietly.
Harry moves his arms from behind his heads and peers over the edge of his bed looking at Draco, straining to hear. "What?"
Draco takes in a deep breath, "I didn't get your present, my father burnt it. I only got last years because the Dobby, a house elf hid it for me."
Harry gets up now and walks over to him. He sits next to him and goes to lay a hand on his shoulder. Draco flinches away instinctively before frowning when he realised what he'd done. "Harry I'm sor-"
Harry cuts him off, "It's fine Draco." His voice sounds sad. He scoots away from him and sits against the foot board. He breathes in loudly, "Do you want to talk about it?"
Draco looks at him and shakes his head slowly. He doesn't even realise he's crying. Harry motions Draco forward so his legs are no longer hanging over the edge of the bed and closes the curtain around them. They talk all night and long into the morning when they finally get up for breakfast they are both very tired but are feeling slightly better.
"I'm coming with you," He states looking at Harry. Daring him to argue he takes a step forward so Draco is firmly in his personal space.
Ron is standing next to Harry with his mouth wide open staring at Draco with clear astonishment. "But, Dr-Malfoy you're a Slytherin, they-"
Draco snaps his glare from Harry to Ron, "Not all Slytherins are cowards." Harry looks between them and nods.
He clasps his hand onto Draco's shoulder, he doesn't flinch away. "Thank you, it's nice to know that I am not alone."
Draco smiles back at him. "No Harry, you are not alone. Now," He looks back to Ron. "Wasn't Professor Lockhart saying he knows exactly where the Chamber of Secrets is?"
Harry nods, "Right," Draco says. "Let's go find him then," He smirks at Ron. "We've got someone's sister to save."
Harry and Draco go tearing off to find Lockheart and leave Ron hesitating for only a second. "Thanks Draco." He won't say it to Draco's face yet, nor openly acknowledge the Slytherin as a nice person but he was getting there slowly.
Harry passes the jam over to Draco wordlessly; doing the action every morning for 3 years sort of ingrains it in you.
"Thanks," Draco says without looking at Harry. Harry turns to him toast sticking out of his mouth and his hair is all over the place. Draco's hair is immaculate, all gelled back and perfect. He is sitting with his back dead straight looking over at the Ravenclaw table.
Harry elbows him, "What you staring at?"
Draco looks at him and blushes, "Nothing." He says defensively and focuses his eyes firmly on his plate.
Harry looks to where Draco was looking, a pretty black haired Ravenclaw girl was laughing and talking to the boy next to her. "Yeah right, that looks like quite a lot of nothing over there."
Harry cocks his head to one side in thought, "Not bad looking, you could do worse than her." Draco looks at him startled. "Whose that guy next to her anyway, he's not a Ravenclaw is he?"
"No, Cedric Diggory, he's in Hufflepuff. They're dating." Draco says quietly. Harry looks at him funny.
"Uh, right." They both leave it at that, Harry though does spend the rest of breakfast looking quizzical but his face clears by first lesson in understanding.
"What positions are you trying out for?" Marcus Flint asks angrily as if actually being Quidditch Captain was such a bore.
"Seeker," Harry says with a smile standing next to Draco. He is looking forward to the competition, he usually beats Draco when they play Seeker games but it can still be really close.
"And you Malfoy?" Flint is still tapping his pen on the top if his clipboard.
"Chaser," Draco says and Harry looks over at him in surprise. "What the hell?" He exclaims in surprise.
Harry looks at Flint in surprise. "Uhh… Can we have a minute?" He gestures between himself and Malfoy. Flint looks at him as if he's going insane.
"Sure…" He says as he watches Harry grab Draco by the top of his arm and drag him out of earshot. Draco shakes him off and soon they are arguing.
"What do you think you're doing?" Harry starts looking him straight in the eye. "You're a brilliant Seeker why the hell are you trying out for Chaser?"
Draco stares right back and steps forward angrily. "Brilliant Seeker I may be, but against you I'd just be reserve, at least if I go for Chaser I have a chance of getting on the team. What do you think; I just couldn't be bothered to try out against you? That I was scared of Potter?"
Harry steps backwards in shock, "I don't know what I thought, it was just a shock. You could have told me you know, I would've listened." He deflates slightly all anger leaving him.
Draco is still glaring at him though, "I don't need to tell you everything I think Harry. You're not my keeper."
Harry opens his mouth to retort but that is when Flint decides to shout, "Malfoy, get your arse over here Chasers are up!"
Harry watched him storm off towards Flint and sighs, "Good luck Draco," he says to himself.
Draco sits in the chair next to Harry's bed with his head in his hands. Hermione and Ron are sat opposite him both looking at Harry worriedly. They are in the hospital wing, after that disaster of a Quidditch match. Draco shudders involuntarily at the memory of Harry just falling, and all he could do was fly as fast as he could towards him.
"Dementors, on the quidditch pitch it's ridiculous!" Hermione is raving. "The probability of Sirius Black somehow sitting in the stands casually watching the game without anyone noticing is minute."
Draco sighs as he watches her continue, "And there should be more spells to stop the players being injured. If Draco hadn't as acted as quickly as he did then…"
Ron cuts across her, "Let's not think about that, alright." She looks at him shocked but nods. "Right."
They all stare at the bed as Harry starts to stir. He opens his eyes slowly and looks around at them. "What happened? Did we win?" The last question is directed only at Draco.
Draco snorts, "Trust you, take a tumble so bad it would put a professional quidditch player in bed for a month and all you care about is whether or not we won." He shakes his head. "Yes Harry we did win, you caught the snitch before the dementors decided the quidditch pitch looked fun to invade."
Harry smiles and manages to say "That's good." Before Hermione launches herself at him and hugs him tight. "Oh, Harry." She gushes. "I'm so glad you're alright. We've been worried sick about you, we didn't know when you'd wake up."
Harry looks at her in surprise, "How long was I out?" Hermione backs off and sits down slowly as Ron answers the question. "About a week, give or take."
Harry stares at them and for first time takes in what they look like. Hermione's hair is everywhere and as bushy as ever but clearly not washed in the last few days, Ron has huge bags under his eyes and looks as if he's going to fall asleep in his chair. Draco looks the in a way the best and in a way the worst, he looks the least tired of them all but his clothes are all dishevelled and it's his hair that tells Harry just how much he has worried over the past week. It is not gelled back at all with strands hanging over his face and his clothes were all creased. It was almost as if he'd been sleeping in the chair, he had but no-one was going to tell Harry that.
"You guys should go shower, get something to eat, anything." Harry waves his arm at them. "Look I'm awake now and very healthy indeed." Hermione smiles at him a little though her eyes are still shining with unshed tears. "Seriously guys, I'll be fine."
Ron looks at him questioningly but then nods and taps Hermione on the shoulder, "Come on, the guy wants us to go and stop looking hobos and then we can come back and visit again tomorrow, right Harry?" Harry is grinning like a mad-man, oh doesn't Ron just have a way with words. "Definitely."
Hermione laughs again, sounding a little stronger now and gets to her feet before nodding to them, "Bye Harry, bye Draco." Ron gets up also and they walk out of the hospital wing Ron only turning back once to seem to check if Harry was actually alright.
Harry now turns his attention to Draco who is still sitting next to him not looking like he wants to move in the slightest. "Go on," he says poking him in the arm. "I'll be perfectly fine again soon and you'll be back to insulting me again before you know it."
Draco barks a laugh at that and looks at him resignedly, "I wouldn't count on it Scarhead," he says as he gets up out. "I'll see you later then," he says.
"Yup," Harry replies and watches him walk out of the hospital wing. "Draco," he calls to his retreating back. Draco pivots on his left foot slowly, "Yes?"
"No problem, just don't go and get yourself killed anytime soon alright?"
"I'll try," and with that Draco smiled and turned to walk out of the hospital wing. His friend was fine now.
"Harry, I'm sure you're tired of hearing this but you just like your father, except your eyes-"
"I have my mother's eyes." Harry finishes looking his godfather in the eye. "Are you sure I can't go with you?"
Sirius looks up at from where he is crouched in front of Harry, he shakes his head. "My life will be too unstable for a while and you need to be here, even if you are a Slytherin." He smirks at Harry and Harry relaxes even after the words about his house. "But once I have a house, if you ever get bored of your aunt and uncle's you'll always be welcome."
"Thanks Sirius," Harry smiles and stands and goes over to here Draco and Hermione are waiting tactfully out of ear shot. He stands next to them and looks at Sirius sadly, "Well you better be going."
Sirius nods and says, "I will always be grateful for this, Harry you will always be welcome home, Hermione, you really are the brightest which of your age," He pauses and looks a Draco. "Malfoy, you… you are not like your family. I'm sorry about what I said before, I wasn't thinking."
Draco looks at Sirius and smiles "Don't worry about it, if it helps from what I've heard about the Blacks you're not like your family either."
Sirius laughs a good sound one that hadn't happened in far too long "From one blood traitor to another then, goodbye." He walks towards Buckbeak before turning and waving to them one last time. "Goodbye, Harry, Hermione, Draco and good luck." And with that he leaves.
"Look Pansy for goodness sake for the last time I'm not interested!" Draco barks at her. Pansy looks at him hurt. "You could have just said," she mutters quietly before sulking off across the common room. Draco feeling all gazes of the room on him gets up and walks up stairs to his dormitory. He slams the door behind him as he enters and sees Harry sitting on his bed reading his potions book.
"You alright?" Harry asks as Draco stomps over to his bed. His tone nonchalant but he is looking up over his book and ready to move to Draco's side if need be.
"Yeah," Draco says sitting on his bed. "Pansy's just annoying be again, can't a girl take a hint?!"
Harry shuts his book and looks at him, "You could do worse than Pansy you know, you've been friends for a long time so you can at least trust her. Or are you still mooning or Cho Chang, though that was a long time ago now?"
Draco looks at him curiously, "Cho Chang? I've never liked Cho Chang…"
"You kept staring at her last year, I would swear you spent most mornings you could have bore a hole in her with your gaze." Harry says looking at his surprised. "Or was that nothing?"
Draco laughs at him, he'd thought for an entire year that his best friend had worked it out but no Harry had just assumed the completely wrong thing. "No that was definitely nothing, how about you then oh master of love advice who are you interested in?" He bounds over to his bed plonks himself down and promptly takes his book hostage.
"Oi!" Harry protests weakly and makes a mock grab for his which is dangling off the opposite end of the bed to him. "Give that back, git."
"Nope, no way Scarhead. Not until you tell me whose caught the famous Harry Potter's eye!"
"No-one, for god's sake, you're such a gossip for information."
"That wasn't an answer."
"Oh for fuck sake," Harry darts forwards in another vain attempt to get his book back. He sits back down with a thump though a bit closer to Draco than before. "I'll cut you a deal, you can have 3 questions that I have to answer honestly with either yes or no and I will have 3 you have to answer equally truthfully, deal?"
Draco leans back considering the proposition thoroughly and nods, "Fine but I get to go first."
Draco rubs a hand over his forward. "Is there someone you like at the moment?"
"Yes." Draco glares at him but refrains from just asking 'Who'. "I hate you, you know." He spits out still glaring.
Harry leans forward, "Yes I know, 2 questions left genius."
"Are they in our year?" Draco looks at Harry curiously. Harry nods his assent slowly starting to look slightly scared, "I'm glad I only gave you 3 questions," he mutters.
Draco completely ignores him in preference to thinking aloud. "In our year, that's not many hmmm… Are they in Slytherin?" Draco asks deciding to see if was staying in house.
Harry looks him straight in the eye, "Yes," he says clearly.
"So Astoria or Pansy, please tell me it's not Pansy?" Draco says pleadingly as Harry smirks at him.
"Nope you've had your 3 questions, my turn now." He says laughing and pokes Draco with haHa
is foot as he scoots backwards towards the headboard. "Ok, were you ever staring at Cho?"
Draco looks up startled this wasn't the way he'd expected things were supposed to go. He was supposed to be asked a question about who he likes now but a deal is a deal so he takes in a deep breath and says, "No."
"No?" Harry says surprised before looking up at Draco suspiciously. "You better be telling the truth you were staring that way all last year."
Draco holds his hands up in mock surrender, "Scout's honour."
"How the hell do you know about Scout's honour?"
"Hermione," Is Draco's only answer. "Come on Potter lets have those other two questions."
"Right so if you weren't staring at Cho you must have been staring at someone else in Ravenclaw, damn I should have been more observant. I was too fixed on one idea." He waggled his finger in Malfoy's direction. "You are lucky this time Mr. Malfoy but DI Potter will soon be on the case." Draco slaps Harry's hand out of the air with the hand that isn't holding his book.
"Fine fine," Harry says. "The 2nd question is…" He does a mock drum roll on the side of his bed. "Was the person you were staring at in Ravenclaw?"
Draco takes in a deep breath and waits for the indivertible repercussions his answer will cause. "One track mind, you've got Harry," he says trying to make a joke about it. "No."
"No? But there was only one person who wasn't in Ravenclaw who always sat at the Ravenclaw table was Cedric," He stops himself short of the full conclusion and looks up at Draco eyes wide in shock but Draco is already gone with the door swinging after him. "Fuck," Harry mutters and pelts after Draco diving through the door not stopping to put his book back on the bed from where it had fallen.
"Draco?" He calls as he walks into the dormitory warily. Harrys sighs, he's looked everywhere for Draco, the quidditch pitch, the library, he'd even been up to the Gryffindor common room to see if Ron and Hermione had seen him. "Are you in here?" He looks around and notices that the curtains to Draco's bed are closed. He steps towards them hesitantly. He holds his hands out in front of him as he reaches out to pull them apart. He slips inside wordlessly and shuts them again behind him.
Draco is sitting right at the top of the head board with his head on his knees. All Harry can see of his face is the top of his forehead, but he can hear his breathing coming out raggedly almost if he was hyperventilating. "Draco," Harry says quietly before advancing up the bed towards him. He pulls his wand out of his trousers and casts a quick silencing charm before continuing on. "Are you ok?" Harry sighs he can almost hear Draco's sarcastic comment bite back at him but it never comes.
"Well no of course you're not alright," He moves so he is sitting directly in front of Draco now. He gestures with his arm. "You wouldn't be hiding up here if you were." 'Not hiding,' His mind supplies even though Draco has yet to make a sound. "No alright not hiding either. Let's say making a strategic retreat." He tries to keep his tone jovial but is failing dramatically.
"Look Draco, should have started with this probably, I don't care if you're gay. Dear lord," He puts a hand on Draco's knee, the part of it that is not covered by his head that is. "We fought a basilisk together how on earth could I just go to hating you because you happened to like guys. How damn shallow would that be?!"
Draco raises his head slowly, his eyes are rimmed bright red from the tears he has shed. "But my father says muggles…"
Harry lets out a humourless laugh, "Since when did you take any notice of what your father says about muggles?" He takes in the look on Draco's face and rephrases. "Sorry, yeah some muggles think that being gay condemns you to an afterlife of hell and torment." He looks at Draco's face again. "Shit, not helping am I? Put it this way, I'm not one of them and never will be." He cocks his head to one side and smiles slightly. "So Cedric huh? You could do worse…"
At this Draco laughs a laugh that borders on hysterical but a laugh none the less. "It's nice to know some things never change."
"I'm in huge emotional turmoil over here and all you come with about the fact is that 'I could do worse', and anyway he has a girlfriend." He finishes grumpily.
Harry removes his hand from Draco knee, and leans back grinning at him. "But you're a Malfoy, you can have anybody you want!"
Draco laughs again sounding better this time and hits him lightly on the shoulder. "Oh yeah coming from you Mr Saviour of the Bloody Wizarding World!"
"But I'm 'Just Harry'!"
They continue in this vein for a while before drifting off into a content sleep ready to face the Monday morning that awaits them, well as ready as someone can be for a Monday morning anyway.
"Draco I need your help!" Harry yells running into the room they share. Draco slowly looks up from his transfiguration homework he's doing on his bed. "Yes…?"
Harry bounds over to him. "I need to find out how to breathe underwater."
Draco slowly puts his transfiguration homework next to him and looks straight at Harry, "This hasn't got anything to do with the 2nd task tomorrow does it?" He asks with a raised eyebrow.
"No…" Harry runs a hand through his hair unconsciously.
Draco gets up slowly with a sigh, "Merlin Harry, I suppose you've already alerted Hermione that we are need of her amazing research skills?"
"Right let's go meet her in the library then."
Neither of them noticed that he used the 1st person plural rather than the 1st person singular but right at that moment, to them it wasn't important.
"Back?" Draco looks at Harry who is covered in dirt and blood from the third task. "Fuck, no wonder you look so terrible!" They are in a deserted corridor Harry looks close to breaking if Draco is honest. Draco glanced around this wasn't the kind of conversation you have anywhere public.
"Shit," He says and quickly drags Harry into an unused classroom, locks the door and casts a silencing charm. "Sit you've got to sit. God knows you're probably in shock." Harry sinks slowly into one of the chairs and Draco sits on the table next to him.
"Cedric?" Draco asks quietly.
"Voldermort's fault well Wormtail's actually but-"Harry stops mind sentence not entirely sure how to finish it. He shakes his head. "They all came back, as soon as he called. Crabbe, Goyle, Nott," He gestures to Draco. "Your Father."
"Yes my Father." Draco looks down at the floor. "But that is not the point at the moment. You saw the Dark Lord return Harry," Draco reaches out to touch his shoulder. "You shouldn't have to deal with this now; you should just be able to be a teenager worrying about getting a girlfriend."
Harry laughs at him, "Me? Worry about getting a girlfriend with my celebratory status I have no worries." Draco laughs with him until he realises that he's not stopping. His laughter soon turns hysterical. "Me a girlfriend when Lord of all Evil is still on the lose? Normal life? No nightmares? Not having to worry about some maniac trying to kill me?" He looks at Draco despairingly and asks, "What am I going to do?"
"We're going to fight. We're going to kick that snake faced maniac's butt and when it is all over we are going to have one hell of a party. You're going to do some interviews with the lovely press them shun them forever. We'll find someone, you'll have someone you can rely on and you'll get married and have 2.5 kids and live in the countryside somewhere. We're going to fight them and we're going to win!"
Even Harry couldn't fail to notice the use of the first person plural this time around and in truth it made him feel much better.
"So, good summer?" Draco asks leaning against the back of his and Harry's compartment on the train. They were waiting for the rest of their friends to find them.
"Pretty good," Draco narrows his eyes at him.
"You're grinning there is no way it was just pretty good." Draco states daring him to correct him. Harry makes no reply, "Well…" Draco prompts.
Harry mumbles something unintelligible. "Sorry what was that?" Draco asks.
"Met a girl over the summer." The triumphant grin that is spread over Draco's face because he knew Harry was hiding something slowly fades.
"Ah, that would explain it," He leans back and sits on the bench horizontally facing the door. He lazily casts a silencing charm on it. He turns his head towards Harry. "Well then, details come on, muggle girl I'm assuming?"
"Yeah, it was nice for a while you know just to be around someone who treats me like a normal person like you and the guys do. None of the 'Oh my God it's Harry Potter!' malarkey."
"So instead of using your fame to get a girl you go out with one where it will be no use at all, merlin you should have ended up in Gryffindor." Draco points at him accusingly.
"But then you wouldn't get the pleasure of company. Anyway her name was Dana, blonde, about this high," Harry gestures with hand to indicate the height he means. "Nice girl."
"So how was it?" Draco is staring determinedly at his shoes.
Draco blushes, "Well, uhmmm…"
The look of realisation passes across Harry's face and he laughs quietly, "We didn't do much, but it was a bit wet."
"Wet?!" Draco is looking at him with surprise.
"Well, not wet, alright." Harry starts backtracking.
Draco waves a finger at him, "So tell me, why were you grinning like an idiot earlier if it was 'alright'?"
This causes Harry to laugh again, "I was smiling earlier because I had or did something before you did for once."
Draco looks at him with an expression of upmost distaste, "Oh you are incorrigible."
"We want to join," Draco says gesturing to the people gathered on either side of him, Blaise, Theo, Pansy and Astoria. "The group you're running we want to join."
Harry looks up from the book he's reading with surprise, "But, your parents! It will be dangerous for all of you."
"We will be in as much danger of being expelled as you will." Astoria states, her black hair neatly pulled up in a loose pony tail.
"But Lord Snake Face," Harry hadn't called Voldermort anything sensible for a long time, not after Draco had called him a 'snake faced maniac'. "The damage he could do to your families."
"What families?" Draco says. "Yeah I'm sure my mother loves me in her own way and I'd never do anything to intentionally harm her but my father," he shudders and then looks pointedly at Harry. "Well you know. Anyway we are Slytherins we fight for the side that is mostly likely to win so that our position at the end of the war is better or so every other house says." He gestures around him again. "We all know you're going to kill Lord Flight of Death, so…"
Harry puts the book down slowly and gets up so they are looking each other in the eye, "In the end it is your decision and your decision alone," He surveys them all. "But if that's what you want, to oppose Mr Purebloods Are Gods," he shrugs, "The DA will welcome you. You'll need to sign your name on the members list but that is hanging where we practise. Until then I'll need some sort of assurance that you won't tell anybody about what we are doing." He looks at the expectantly.
To everyone's surprise Pansy steps forward first, the one they all dismiss as being stupid, giggly and immature. She holds out her wand, Harry has to concentrate to not step backwards in shock. "I Pansy Parkinson here by swear on my magic that I will give no soul information on the DA that they do not already know."
They all look at her shocked and she just laughs at them and flutters her eyelids, "Draco darling, will you go out with me even though you've said no 20 times before and I've known you were gay since second year," she shrugs as they continue to stare. "My parents needed to see some kind of effort on my part to find a suitable husband," she lays a hand on Draco arm. "I'm sorry you were the only boy who I was certain wasn't going to take me up on my 'offer'." She mock glares at Blaise who raises his hands in surrender.
She laughs again and walks over to stand by Harry, she looks at them expectantly.
Theo steps forwards next and raises his wand, "I Theo Nott here by swear on my magic that I will tell no soul anything about the DA who does not already know of its exsistence." He crosses also to stand by Harry and watches the other swear.
"As I Astoria Greengrass swear on my magic and to Merlin."
"As I Blaise Zabiani swear on my magic and my gold," he smirks as he crosses to stand by Pansy and gets a small slap on the arm for his humour.
Draco goes last and looks Harry directly in the eye as he raises his wand and says, "I Draco Lucius Malfoy here by swear on my magic and my honour that I will not brake the trust of one Harry James Potter, in this matter or any from now until this vow is removed." He tucks his wand back in his robes and steps over to Harry with an air of finality. He smirks at Harry, "Happy now git?" He says with absolutely no malice in his voice.
Harry looks around his friends and smiles, "Rather happy, yes."
"Draco?" Harry looks over to where Draco is sitting. They are in their shared bedroom in Grimmauld Place, Draco is staying there for Christmas due to the fact that returning to Malfoy Manor would more likely than not result in his untimely demise. Having an active death eater as a father and being an active member of the school resistance movement didn't make for nice Christmas dinners. Mr Malfoy doesn't know where Draco is thank god or they would probably have to face a full scale assault on the building. Harry chuckles quietly thinking that at least would give Sirius something to do.
Draco looks up, "Yes?"
Harry takes in a deep breath, "How did you know you were gay?"
Draco looks at him sharply for a minute but then his gaze relaxes, "Well, it was something that had been in the back of my mind for a while. Though mainly it was because I couldn't bear the thought of being anywhere near a girl in that way. At first I thought it was because I didn't that particular girl but then later I noticed that whenever I saw a couple together I would always look at the guy first." He grins at Harry. "The point of no return however was when all my dirty fantasies were of blokes, every single one of them, kind of gives it away really."
Harry grins back at him until Draco says, "Why?"
Draco looks over at him for a long moment before saying, "Right, anyway want to go and annoy Hermione, think I can get her to gone about house elf rights for half an hour again?"
Harry looks at him funny but gets up to follow him out of the door. "You and your arguments."
Draco looks at him with a smile, "Arguments are the key to a healthy relationship."
"Yeah right," Harry says as they turn out the door and head down the stairs.
"No honestly who wants to be married to, yes Draco, no Draco, anything you want Draco, not one original thought in their head."
Harry cocks his head to one side as they continue to descend the stairs, "I don't know, Blaise?"
Draco laughs loudly as they enter the living room, "True," he says. "Very true but not many other people and certainly not me."
"But he's the only family I have left," Harry says looking at them despairingly. Hermione, Ron and Draco look at each other, "True, but still Harry we should check before we go," Hermione says with the other 2 nodding in agreement.
"Fine, we can use the fireplaces to call Grimmauld Place and see if he's there."
"But Harry, I thought Umbridge sealed off all the fireplaces?"
"Not all of them," Harry turns and runs up the stairs towards Umbidge's office but pulls up short when they encounter Ginny, Neville and Luna standing on the stairs Harry.
Ginny turns to look at Harry with a dazzling smile, "It sounded like you need some help Harry."
He looks at them as if they are stupid, "Thanks guys but not really…" Nobody hears him as Hermione, Draco and Ron have already walked past him and are talking to Ginny, Neville and Luna about a plan. Everyone ignores Harry for two minutes and as they turn around all he does is raise his eyebrows.
"Stop mimicking my facial expressions, it doesn't suit you," Draco says as he walks past Harry. Harry jumps in shock in the direction he is going.
"Where are you going?"
"To find Pansy, Blaise and Theo. We need to make sure that we are 'caught' by the right people." Draco says and runs past him down the stairs in such a haste Harry has to look twice. Pansy, Blaise and Theo had all joined the 'Inquisitorial Squad' as open rebellion wasn't going to work for them, Astoria's family was staying neutral so she didn't have to be so obviously anti-Gryffindor.
Harry looks up the stairs to see his friends grinning down at him and he knows that he's lost this battle. "So, that help?" He looks at Ginny expectantly.
She smirks, looking a bit like Draco as she does Harry notes. "The thing is growing up with Fred and George you think is anything is possible if you want it enough." She holds out her hand and Harry takes and lets himself be pulled up the stairs. It is time to save Sirius.
"No, no definitely not!"
They all stare at him, Hermione, Ron, Neville, Luna, Ginny and Draco. Pansy, Blaise and Theo couldn't come as it would, completely blow there cover and someone had to remain behind and obliviate the rest of the Inqusatorial Squad. They couldn't have them wake up and remember how their colleagues had turned on them as soon as Umbridge was out of the room.
"When are you going to realise you don't have to do this on your own?" Hermione asks looking at him concerned.
"It'll be dangerous I don't want you to get hurt."
Draco steps forward, "More or less dangerous than going down into a mysterious chamber to fight a basilisk, more or less dangerous than going under a trap door guarded by a three headed dog, more or less dangerous than chasing after a madman that you thought had killed your parents, more or less dangerous?"
Harry just gazes at him in wonder, "What?" Draco asks.
"No buts we're coming with you, Harry. Have you learned nothing of the stubbornness of Malfoy's?" Draco asks. They all take a step forward and Harry realises that there is no way he is winning this one. "You are not alone."
Draco sits down heavily on his bed, "They've done it," he says slowly as if he doesn't quite believe his own words. Harry looks at him shocked and sits down next to him and begins to read the letter over his shoulder but before he is finished Draco drops the letter to the floor his hands are shacking so much.
"Draco what's happened?" Harry asks concerned.
"It's official," He turns to look Harry, "I've been disowned. I am no longer part of the Malfoy family. I no longer have any family." He laughs. "I suppose turning up at the Ministry by your side and fighting with the order would have done the trick. I should have been expecting this."
Harry shakes his shoulders, "No that's not true, remember what you said to me just a week or so ago. We are your family now, your friends the people you chose to surround yourself with, me, Hermione, Ron, Astoria, Pansy, Blaise. We're all here for you, now and through it all, we are you true family."
Draco blinks once and then nods. He folds the letter up and places it under his bed. "It will probably be in the Prophet tomorrow but no-one needs to see the actual documentation." He sighs. "Not that I really wanted to live in the manor and serve that evil bastard but it seems just an easy end to such a huge part of my life."
Harry nods, "I sympathise I really do but it is hard for me to understand as I never really knew my parents."
Draco looks back at him, "Oh, Harry I'm sorry that was really untactful of me. I should have thought but put it this way at least you know your parents loved you more than their own twisted ideology."
"You're right, but look on the bright side, now we can be orphans together!"
Draco laughs, "Brilliant more time I get to spend with The-Boy-Who-Wouldn't-Fucking-Die."
Harry laughs right along back; the insults are just Draco's way. "But you love me."
What he doesn't hear is Draco's reply as he has already moved of his bed and gone back to his own, "He picks his time to notice."
"Harry, wake up!" Hermione shouts bursting into the room Draco and Harry are sharing at the Burrow.
"Wh, what's going on?" Harry says drowsily rubbing his eyes and looks over to Draco in confusion. Draco doesn't seem to know more than he does.
"The results, our results are due today. Dumbledore mentioned it at the Order meeting last night and Arthur only just mentioned it." Hermione is speaking very quickly and is not looking entirely herself.
Harry looks at her concerned, "You alright?"
Draco smirks at her, "Don't tell me, you of all people are worried about your grades?"
Hermione shoots him a scathing look before heading back towards the door, "Just come downstairs as soon you are ready."
Harry and Draco laugh at her retreating back and slowly get up. "That wasn't very nice."
"Yes, because Slytherin house is known for its kindness, loyalty and love for cute fluffy bunnies." Harry throws a pillow at him. Draco ducks.
"I'm sure Astoria would argue many Slytherins have a liking for cute fluffy bunnies."
Draco pulls a face, "And so do all teenage girls, doesn't mean I have to like it or them."
"Yes, yes I think we may have been through this before." Harry says as he continues to get dressed and soon they are making their way downstairs.
When Draco had first arrived at the Burrow he had been greeted warmly but in a slightly wary way by the older Weasleys especially, Bill who come to visit one evening was very shocked to see Malfoy at the table. Not that he had been rude just he didn't know Draco personally so hadn't already overridden the 'All Malfoys are evil gits' rule he had been told since birth. He was there mainly due to his recent disowning he was officially a ward of the school until he was 17. Dumbledore had requested he stayed at the Burrow so he could be with Harry and the rest of his non-Slytherin friends. The Weasleys had graciously accepted and now Draco was staying with them and everything was fine. Fred and George sometimes teased him being a ferret amongst the weasels but Draco just laughs it off and replies with some witty retort of his own.
"They're here, the owl is here!" Hermione yells as the boys reach the bottom of the stairs. They glance at each other and run down the last couple of steps and pelt towards the kitchen. They enter to see Hermione sitting at the table her hand clenched around her cup and Ron stuffing bacon not seeming to care the results were coming.
"Not going to change the results now am I?" He asks with his mouth full. Harry nods as he and Draco sit down. Molly is in the kitchen cooking what smells to be more lovely bacon, the twins are still in bed more like than not and Arthur is nowhere to be seen so most likely in his shed. The owl flies and Hermione is already up and grabbing the letters off its leg. Draco raises an eyebrow but Harry just smiles, it is just Hermione being Hermione. She hands them out quickly before turning her back to all of them.
Harry opens his slowly worried now it was here, his eyes scan the grades and he smiles, not too bad not too bad. An outstanding in Defence and he's passed everything else bar Divination and History of Magic but that made since as he passed out halfway through the exam. The only problem was his potions mark Snape had said that only people who scored an Outstanding at OWL level could do NEWTs. Harry sighs, maybe just kicking evil snake faces's butt will get him a place in the Auror academy.
He looks over Draco and just holds out his parchment wordlessly and Draco copies him. They swap results and he glances down the list, Outstanding in potions well that was almost a given and in History of Magic. "History of Magic?!" Harry asks surprised. "How the hell did you get an Outstanding in that?"
Draco shot him a withering look, "It was all facts all you had to do was actually revise." Harry stuck his tongue out at him before turning to look at the other two. "So how did you do?"
Hermione answers with a small smile, "Outstandings in everything but Defence."
"Well of course yah bloody did," Ron says which causes Hermione to blush. "I passed everything bar Divination but that is not really surprise."
Molly then bustles in with more breakfast and the talk centres on results for the rest of breakfast and it is not until that night when they are upstairs Draco really has a chance to talk to Harry about his results.
"What are you going to do?"
Harry looks up, confused, "Do about what?"
"Your results, the fact you can't do NEWT potions with the results you got?"
Harry sighs, "Knew you'd pick up on that, nobody else did but you would. I'm not sure really, maybe go into defence teaching instead after the war is over. I'm kind of just living up until that point at the moment."
"Yeah, I know the feeling. You'd make a bomb in private defence classes you know, 'Killer of Dark Lord wants to teach you how to be a badass.' I can see the advert now."
Harry throws a pillow at him. "Ouch, really twice in one day you need anger management classes Scarhead." Harry smirks at the complaint.
"No I was thinking more at Hogwarts maybe or in another one of the Wizarding schools in Europe. I know you could teach potions and I'll teach Defence and then we'll be together forever."
Malfoy scoffs at him, "You wish." And turns his back on Harry.
He doesn't hear Harry's sentence due to this, "Yup, I wish."
Nobody speaks for the next five minutes and Draco thinks Harry has gone to sleep until he hears, "Draco, could I possibly have my pillow back?"
Professor Snape walks down the Slytherin table handing out timetables, Harry is sitting next to Draco as always and is happily munching on toast. As he gets his timetable though he frowns at it confusion and pokes Draco next to him.
"Look I've got potions timetabled in but I didn't get the grade professor Snape said I had to have."
Draco just smiles at him, "Remember, who is teaching potions this year?"
Realisation downs on Harry and he starts to smile as well. "Slughorn, maybe he didn't need an Outstanding, brilliant!" Harry says jubilantly.
"Maybe thinks will work out ok for you after all, but then for you things always do." Harry punches him lightly on the arm and soon they are both heading off to potions. It wasn't that Harry didn't like potions before, he had always loved the logic in it but under Snape's tutelage it wasn't something he loved but Draco, he was a natural seemed to understand everything. It was rather annoying actually.
They push open the door to the potions classroom and as Draco goes to sit down Harry goes to have a quick word with Slughorn. "Professor I am very sorry but I don't have any books for this lesson, I didn't know I'd be taking it see as I thought I needed an Outstanding."
"Well right you are my dear boy, just go and get one from the cupboard." Harry nods his thanks and goes to get the books he needs. He shakes his head in distaste as the only on in the cupboard was a rather worn copy that had once belonged to 'The Half-blood Prince'. Cool name Harry thinks to himself before he sits back down next to Draco.
"Shitty looking copy," Draco comments.
"You can say that again."
"Shitty looking copy."
Harry frowns at him good naturally and says "Just because you can doesn't mean you should." Harry tunes out as the lesson starts he knows he shouldn't but he does anyway.
"The person who brews the best Draught of the Living dead will win themselves this," Slughorn raises the bottle of Felix Felices. Harry raises his head this sounded important. "There is enough in here for six hours of luck. Good luck everybody and off you go."
Harry opens the book and sighs due to the amount of scribbling that's in it. This is going to be absolutely awful to read he thinks to himself. The class starts and they are all soon trying in vain to cut the ingredient in front of them. Harry reads the instruction again and next to cut it there is a scribbled instruction of crush it. Harry does just that and the pus comes leaking out of the ingredient just as it is supposed to. He adds it to his cauldron with a smirk. Next to him Draco at looks at him confused, he had just done exactly the same thing.
"How did you know how to do that Harry? It was something Snape showed me years ago when he came to the manor."
Harry points at the book, "Says to here."
"Does it say who it belonged to before? It is obviously second hand."
"Yeah 'The Half-blood Prince'."
Draco nods and turns to his potion with a smile on his face. "Wait," Harry asks. "Was Snape half-blood?"
Draco raises his eyebrows, "Wouldn't you like to know, now put that book where I can see it bet he's written some really interesting stuff in it."
Harry huffs quietly but puts the book between them because that it what friends do.
"And Miss Ganger, what do your parents do, in the muggle world?" Slughorn asks.
Hermione looks up and blushes, "They're dentists."
Slughorn looks confused and Draco and Harry look at her with pity to have to explain every time someone asked the question. "They fix people's teeth."
"And is this considered a dangerous job in the muggle world?" Slughorn asks trying to gauge how valued her parents were by the community.
"No not really, but one little boy did try to bite my dad once, he needed ten stiches." Hermione smirks as does Harry though ever one else still looks confused. Harry leans over and whispers to Hermione, "I don't think they know what stiches are."
She giggles and then everything is fine, she's a witch and her parents aren't and they will never understand her world fully and her world will never fully understand them but her friends will definitely try. "And Mr Malfoy how is you Father these days?"
Draco raises one perfectly groomed eyebrow, he is there he knows just because he is good at potions. "I wouldn't know Professor, I'm not officially his son anymore so I am no longer privy to his business."
Slughorn looks shocked, "Really, I didn't know…"
"It was in the Prophet a couple of weeks back, not front page but seemingly worthy of publishing none the less."
"Uhh… Right well that must have been hard on you?" It wasn't phrased as such but the tone indicated a question but before Draco could answer Ginny walks into the room blushing slightly.
"I'm sorry I'm late Professor I got held up." She smiles at Harry who doesn't notice until Hermione elbows him and he looks up and smiles.
"That's fine, sit down sit down." He indicates an empty chair to his right and she sits down quickly. He quickly changes the trajectory from its original course and turns to Blaise to ask him about his mother. Draco looks at Harry over the table and smirks. Harry grins back, Draco's fine, this is what he does best making friends or enemies over dinner.
Draco flops down next to Harry who is sitting on his bed and pulls the curtains around them before revealing the bottle of Firewhiskey he was given by the house elves. He casts a quick silencing spell before speaking. "I'm bored."
Harry raises and eyebrow at him and puts down the book he was reading, "Stop using my facial expression," Draco complains. "It's really disconcerting."
Harry grins his usual trade mark grin at him, "Better?"
"Much," Draco says and settles himself at the end of the bed with the bottle balancing on the side of his leg.
"So, you're bored."
"And what do you want me to do about that?" Harry asks with his mind running through numerous and sundry ways in which you could make Draco forget all about the fact he was bored. 'Best friend, best friend, best friend.' He chanted in his head. That didn't always work especially when they were sharing a room at the Weasleys, in such close quarters it was very easy to just glance at his 'best friend'.
"Play a game with me."
"Ok… What game? I'm assuming you have one in mind."
"A Malfoy always has a plan."
"Oh, is that a long with, Malfoys are always stubborn, Malfoys always pay their debts and all Malfoys like jam." Harry grinned at the last one. He'd been trying to get Draco to say something similar for years but hadn't managed it yet.
"Ha, ha," Draco says enunciating each letter so clearly it no longer sounds anything like a laugh at all. He takes his wand out of his robes and configures then two shot glasses. He hands one to Harry. "Anyway the game is, you have to tell me something about me. If you're right I'll have to take a shot but if you're wrong you'll have to, fair deal?"
"From you, never." He jokes before saying. "That sounds a bit boring though I could just be like, your name is Draco. Also what if I don't want to tell if you're right."
"You could but where is the fun in that, you have to be clever than that. Hmm… good question how about you have to tell me another piece of truth instead."
Harry cocks his head to one side before nodding, "Ok, but you go first."
"Fine," Draco takes a deep breath and sits up a little straighter thinking. "Ok, you always kick off from the floor using your left leg when you're flying even though you're right handed."
Harry nods, "Blimey you're observant when you want to be." He reaches out a hand for the bottle but Draco just pours the drink for him rather than handing it over. Harry drains the glass but then starts coughing violently. "Somebody can't take his whiskey." Draco teases.
Harry glares at him when the coughing subsides. "Git, ok a truth for you… you've never actually said the word Voldermort." Harry looks at him expectantly and slowly Draco nods.
"At the manor he was always the Dark Lord and I've only ever called him something stupid around you." Draco pours himself a liberal glass and downs it all in one go before looking at Harry smirking.
"Yeah yeah I hear you."
"Good," Draco says. "You never raise your hand in class not because you don't know the answer but because you want Hermione to answer because she enjoys it so much."
Harry nods and takes the bottle from Draco forcibly this time and pours himself a much smaller glass than before. He manages this one without coughing. "Your Father burnt you off the Malfoy tapestry which means more to you than the fact that he officially disowned you."
Draco blinks twice before saying, "How did you know that?"
"You were burnt from the Black tapestry and nobody in the order would have done that so it must be linked magically to the one in Malfoy Manor somehow and I know you Draco."
Draco nods and drinks, thinking for the first time he may have met his match at this game. "You like Ginny."
Harry shakes his head, "Drink."
"But I'm right!"
"No you're not, she's very happy with Dean." Draco pulls a face and takes another drink, grumbling about it all the while. "You better be telling the truth."
"Oh I am, you've got a thing for heroes."
"No I don't."
"You do, Cedric, I saw the way you looked at the Weasley twins when they let off all those fireworks last year, when Blaise got you out of detention last year you were so eager to show you gratitude." Harry laughs. "You so have a thing for heroes."
Draco frowns but doesn't contest the point and pours himself another drink. "It's almost like you're trying to get me drunk."
"Oh yay, a drunk Draco just what I need sarcastic and aggressive at the same time."
"Shut up, you have to save people it is a compulsion of yours."
Harry holds his cup out and trusts Draco to pour his drink for him. "I can't just watch them suffer."
"I know." Draco says quietly.
"You're scared of the dark."
"Nope, drink, I'm scared of what is in the dark there is quite a distinction." Harry frowns but drunk without complaint. This game continues for hours and soon the bottle is lying on floor next to the bed along with the cups but they are still playing just no-one is keeping score anymore.
"You're gay," Draco says making a guess. He thought Harry might be for a while but wasn't sure.
"Nope, wrong." Harry smiles happy to have kept something hidden from Draco not that it would remain hidden for long but that wasn't the point.
"But the signs…"
"I'm bi, at least I think I am."
"Think I am?" Draco looks confused.
"Well I've never actually kissed a guy and the only girl I kissed was Dana. The idea of being bi just fits me better than straight I think."
"You need to get out more, just go find a guy, that'll tell you if you're bi or not."
"Says you, you've never kissed anyone."
"There's someone I've liked for a while I just can't give up on the idea of them." Draco says slightly upset about it really.
Harry scoots forward and rests a hand on Draco's knee, "Anyone would be lucky to have you, you should just tell them how you feel and maybe they feel the same and if not you at least know where you stand."
Draco laughs tunelessly, "I think not, I'll leave the total bearing of my heart to Gryffindors and other brave people."
Harry looks at him and tries to access what he just said slowly. True he was brave and if he didn't act now he would be going against his down advice. He opens his mouth to speak but no sound came out but there was no way he was backing out now. Harry leans forward slowly giving Draco enough time to back away or at least push him away, Draco doesn't move at all his eyes just flutter shut. Harry continues to lean forward and soon there lips brush, Draco bites back a small moan and pushes closer to Harry. Harry responds in kind by pushing Draco forward and sitting in his lap with his arms snaking around his neck and into his hair. Draco slips his hands around Harry's waist and looks very sad indeed when Harry pulls away.
"So what do you think?"
"No thinking, we don't need to think just feel." With this said Draco pulls Harry back into a kiss that he isn't planning on breaking any time soon. He's waited years for this, he is going to enjoy every second of it.
"If there is going to be an attack it is going to be soon," Harry states before handing them what is left of the Felix Felices. Hermione doesn't like it but they all take it anyway, "I'm likely going be gone all night with Dumbledore so if there is an attack just remember these are Death Eaters you are fighting if they can kill you they will."
They all nod at him, Hermione, Ron, Ginny, Neville, Luna and Draco always Draco. He looks at them with such pride, these are his friends all ready to fight for what they believe is right. Not all of them are brave by nature but they all have courage of their convictions. He waves goodbye to them and starts to turn around but Draco grabs is arm and turns him around.
"Be careful, alright?" He says mindful of the all the people standing behind. Harry pulls Draco closer slipping his arms around his waist. They kiss softly, this is not heated like some of their previous kisses have been this kiss speaks of home and safety, of consistency and calm, of protection and love. They ignore the whistles of Ron behind them. Harry pulls back slowly and smiles, "I'll be careful if you will."
Draco smiles and holds out his hand and they shake on it. "Remember Potter a Malfoy-"
"Always pays his debts. I know." Harry kisses him on the lips once more quickly before turning to leave and Draco turns back to his friends. The last thing Harry hears Draco say that day he says as soon as he is facing their assembled group of friends again who are all looking at him with a raised eyebrow. "Don't look at me like that. I honestly don't know why I bother with you."
Harry hears the reply they all chorus together and swears they must have practised. "But you love us." Harry smiles and he knows they will be ok, in the end they will get through it together.
"This is it isn't Harry?" Hermione asks. They are all sitting in the hospital wing, in the next bed over Bill is lying there covered in bandages.
"How do you mean?"
She looks her face covered in dirt and small cuts all over, "This is where it starts, properly. The war is starting now, before we went to school and survived but were never openly attacked. This," She gestures around grimacing at the amount of wounded. "is war and we are all caught right in the centre of it."
The rest of them nod their assent, they all look as terrible as she does with cuts and bruises looking terribly tiered and dirty. Ginny has a cut on her cheek that is still bleeding that looks almost as if she is crying tears of blood. Harry shakes his head he looks the best out of them and that is just not right. "This is a war and has been for a while but now," he pauses trying to work out how best to phrase it. "It directly involves us now more than ever."
Fawkes is flying outside the window singing his lament to Dumbledore and they all listen to it utterly sad. Draco is the first to break the silence that had fallen, "We will get through this. It'll be hard but together we can survive we can win this war." Harry smiles and the rest of them nod.
Neville speaks the first he's said anything all the time they've been sitting there, he looks at Harry directly, "You're not coming back next year are you?" He says.
Harry opens his mouth to speak but Ron gets there first, "No we're not." Harry smiles slightly there is no point in arguing, he's learnt by now.
Neville looks at them, "Fine," He turns to Ginny and Luna. "Hogwarts won't be very nice next year."
"No," Ginny says. "But we'll manage." Luna nods in agreement, "We'll be fine Neville, just you see."
And with that show of utter optimism she manages to eclipse anything the rest of them would have said in support of Neville. She just leans a head on his shoulder and everything is on its way to being ok.
"Come on Harry, dance with me," Draco looks at him imploringly. They are at Bill and Fleur's wedding and everyone is dancing, Ron with Hermione, Molly and Arthur, Remus with Tonks and obviously Bill with Fleur.
"I can't dance you know."
"That doesn't matter," Draco says. Harry smiles and takes his hand and soon they are dancing just like the others are smiling and just enjoying the moment. The lights are glimmering all around them. They swap partners as the song changes and Harry is dancing with Hermione.
"This is nice isn't it?" She asks as they turn.
"Very," He looks up at the marque. "Molly and Arthur have done a very good job with it."
"It kind of restores my faith in humanity, even with all the death and destruction there is still love and hope."
"Yeah it does, doesn't it?"
Hermione smiles and they continue dancing. Hermione looks over Harry's shoulder to something behind. He turns around and stares at Kingsley's patronus. "The ministry has fallen," It says, the music has stopped and everyone is standing still listening. "They are coming."
Harry whirls on Hermione and grabs her by the arm. They run through the crowd trying to find Ron and Draco. Draco runs towards them and takes Harry's other hand. Hermione grabs Ron and they disaparate away. They land in London almost right in front of a bus, it is only Hermione's quick thinking that saves them.
Harry grimaces at Hermione, "Well that love and hope lasted a long time didn't it?"
She grimaces in reply and soon they are off.
"Do you recognise them?" Bellatrix demanded of Blaise. The quartet were standing in the entrance hall of Malfoy Manor having just been caught by the snatchers. Blaise looked shocked and unsure of what to do, he's working as a spy for the order. He couldn't fight the Dark Lord openly but he had wanted to do something none the less.
He looks at the four in front of him, true they look slightly like the people he knew from school but they were covered in dirt from head to foot. If one of them is supposed to be Draco he doesn't know which one because he couldn't see a head of blonde hair anywhere.
Blaise shakes his head, "No, I don't recognise them at all." Bellatrix advances on him wand pointed at him. "Are you sure?"
Blaise nods shaking slightly. You could say what you liked about Bellatrix but none could deny that she could be damn scary when she wanted to be. She turns back towards the quartet, "Well no matter," She looks at the snatchers. "These are our prisoners now."
"But, Lady Bella-"
"Our prisoners now! Blaise find something to appease these, darlings." Blaise nods and raises his wand advancing towards the snatchers.
"With me gentlemen, if you please." He didn't mention that if they didn't please they would most likely end up as the Dark Lord's play thing. He shivers that was not something you ever wanted to happen.
As Blaise returns to the room to see three of the prisoners clad in chains and Bellatrix holding the girl by her hair. "Take these boys down the dungeons." She gestures to them with her wand before holding it back on Hermione's neck. "I'm going to torture this one first." She gives him a feral grin before proceeding to drag her from the room.
"With me boys," He lets the slur fall off his tongue easily, he'd called Draco and Harry much worse. He smirks at Bellatrix's retreating back before leading them off to the dungeons by wand point. He steps close to Harry and presses his wand into his back feeling him flinch. He slips the spare key to the dungeons in his pocket and leans forward to whisper, "Destroy the door once you used it to make it look like you can do wandless magic or something." Harry nods and Blaise steps back to anyone else it would have looked as if he was just threating Harry.
He throws them in the cell and locks the door but pears through the hole in the top of the door, "This cell has the same wards as Hogwarts, so don't even think about trying to apparate out. You'll rot in here!" He laughs manically and slams the peep hole closed.
The three of them quickly shake off the ropes that bound them, Bellatrix hadn't taken a long time tying them up being a bit more preoccupied with Hermione. Ron is the first to speak, "I thought he was meant to be on our side."
"He is," Harry says pulling the key from his pocket and showing it to him. "I'd rather not use this if we can help it though it might completely blow his cover."
"Harry? Is that you?" A voice echoes down the cell. Luna steps forward into the light and they all stare at her.
"I thought you were meant to be at Hogwarts with Neville and Ginny?"
"I was but then they wanted something from dad and they moved me here," She looks around her. "I don't like it here it's not as pretty."
Harry laughs, marvelling at her bravery. He didn't realise she hadn't stopped speaking, "Your friend was nice to give us such useful information."
"Information?" Ron questions. "Sounded like a plain old Death Eater threat to me."
Draco laughs and Ron glares at him neither speak however. "Wards just like Hogwarts, humans cannot travel in and out but Nargels can they like floating around teenagers head. They all migrate to Hogwarts in the summer that's why everyone is so ditsy after exams the Nargels are confusing them."
Harry looks at her confused but then his face slowly clears, "It's not just Nargels that can get through the wards is it? House elves can as well can't they, that's how all the food gets into Hogwarts the elves get it and then apparate back into Hogwarts."
Luna nods, and Draco is smiling slightly but Ron is still frowning. "So all we need is a willing house elf to fight for us, brilliant. Just use the key Harry!" It is with that Hermione starts screaming.
Harry stares at the ceiling and reaches for the key that he'd put back in his pocket, screw Blaise's cover they had to save Hermione. They were halfway to the door when they heard the small pop that signalled apparition. They all turned on their heel to see Dobby the house elf standing in the middle of the cell.
"Dobby?" Harry asks. "What are you doing here?"
The elf gives him a cheeky grin and just replies, "Saving Mr. Harry Potter sir."
'Here lies Dobby
a free elf'
Harry looks at the portrait in front of him that leads to Hogwarts. He turns and sees Hermione, Ron and Draco standing behind him all facing forward looking ready for battle. "This is it isn't?" Harry asks.
Hermione nods, "This is it. The final act in this sorry saga. The Battle of Hogwarts." Harry turns back towards the tunnel and feels Draco's hand on his shoulder and that makes him feel better. He steps into the tunnel knowing full well that they will follow him like they always have, they will finish this together.
Harry steps out of the tunnel into the Room of Requirements where Luna is tending to a bleeding Neville and Ginny is bandaging up her own arm. "Harry!" Ginny shouts and launches herself at him. He hugs her for a second but then lets go with a smile.
"What are you doing here?" Neville asks slowly.
"One of Voldermort's last horouxes is hidden here we think," Hermione answers they have no qualms about saying Voldermort's name now.
"How many have you got left?"
"Three, this one, Nagini and one we don't know yet, probably something to do with Godric Gryffindor if it keeps following this pattern." Hermione answers again in her no nonsense tone she uses when she's talking about information.
Luna nods at them and asks the most direct question that Harry's ever heard from her, "What do you need from us?"
Draco looks at her sharply, "Where are the rest of the DA?" Now Harry looks it is weird for only three of them to be there if there is a meeting on.
Ginny smiles sadly, "We don't meet that often any more, we use the Room of Requirements mainly as a bit of respite for those who had detention with Carrows last night." The way she says detention doesn't make it sound like they were doing lines nor do the injuries they are currently dealing with.
Harry grimaces and nods, they've been fighting their own war while they'd been fighting theirs outside of Hogwarts. "Get one of the younger or injured," he looks at Neville but knows full well that he wasn't going to sit in the Room of Requirements when other was fighting. "DA member to stay in this room and brief the order members on the situation in Hogwarts." He stops and thinks for a second. "Maybe two would be better the amount of fighters that will be coming through here." He runs his hands through his hair. "There is going to be a battle, soon. Snake Face will hear I'm here and send his army after us. If you can have students loitering in strategic places around the school for when the fighting starts."
"Will do," Neville says standing up wincing as he does so but seeming fine otherwise. They all nod to Harry and leave the Room of Requirement and it is at this moment Ron realises his little sister isn't at all little anymore and is just as willing and able to fight as he is. He's never been more proud of her them when she leaves her safety room to rally the rest of the DA red hair pulled back in a ponytail that wasn't pretty but practical, ready to fight and willing to die.
"Expelliarmus!" Harry yells.
"Avada Kadavra!" Is yelled in response and the spells clash in the middle. Harry looks at it and pushes with all of his magical might. Using all the people who have died in this was to fuel his anger to push the spell onwards pushing closer and closer to Voldermort every second.
Then it is done and Voldermort's wand is flying out of his hand and Harry uses his Seeker skills to catch it. He levels them at Voldermort and he could not honestly tell you what he cast at that moment but it sails towards him at hits Voldermort directly in the chest.
And with that the Dark Lord falls down dead.
Harry stands there for a brief moment before muttering, "It's over now Tom." He snaps Tom's wand in two, drops it on the floor and the turns is back on the body and walks towards Hogwarts. He does not look back.
Harry walks through the entrance hall looking at all the people who had come to fight, he sees Neville sitting next to Luna neither speaking just feeling better for the company, Ginny who is sitting by her family her head on her mother's shoulder, Professor Slughorn who is telling students all about his clothes, Seamus and Dean who are sharing a joke with Aberforth. They are all coping with what has happened in their own way.
He looks up and sees Draco standing in the door way next to Ron and Hermione who are holding hands. Harry walks over to them and smiles slightly. They return the smile and the three of them meet him halfway and pull him into a loose hug though Ron and Hermione's hands do no break apart. He takes Draco's hand and they go and sit down on one of the benches lining the hall. No-one speaks, no-one needs to, they all understand how much they've been through, they are dealing with it just like Neville and Luna.
Harry wakes up to a warm body pressed against his back, he smiles and turns around to look his lovely boyfriend in the eye.
"Morning beautiful," He says warmly and kisses Draco before getting up. "Any idea what we have first today?"
Draco blinks at him sleepily, "That conflict resolution class."
Harry blinks and he's back in Professor Trent's class. He glances round the room and smiles at Draco out of habit, having seen himself do so every day for the last 7 years give or take. He receives a confused look that morphs into a small smile as he returns to his seat next to Ron.
"What did you see Harry?" Ron asks excited for his turn. Harry shakes his head and Ron for once shuts up and just watches his friend stare at the back of Malfoy's head. "Harry?" He asks again and Harry turns from staring at Malfoy to grin at Ron.
"Do you remember, back in the first year when Draco offered me his hand?" Harry asks not noticing that Hermione is looking at him funny for calling Malfoy Draco.
"Yeah," Ron says trying to work out where this is going. "And?"
"In the alternative world, I took it." Harry says watching another student put their head into the pensieve it would be Ron's turn next. "There is a reason they call these realisation exercises, it really makes you think what if."
Ron looks at him, "What so did you end up dead by the end of first year then?"
"No," Harry says looking at him slowly debating how much to tell him. He hadn't told them he was bi yet and to dump it on them in the middle of a class all, 'oh yeah I was just dating Draco Malfoy my life long enemy baring Voldermort' that wouldn't really be fair.
"We were friends," He settled with. "We all were, all the Slytherins joined the DA, Draco came with us on the horuxe hunt and Blaise was a spy for the Order." He smiles to himself at some of the happier memories. "It was different to here, there was less animosity between the houses but many of the same events stayed the same."
They nod, Hermione looking at him quizzically. Harry knew he would be in for a grilling as soon as Ron took his turn. "Weasley, Ron." Professor Trent calls and Harry watches with a smile as Ron steps forward and puts his head into the pensieve. Harry pauses for a moment to consider what he would see, maybe he wouldn't sit in Harry's compartment on the train or maybe even sooner he wouldn't choose to leave them on the horuxes hunt. He takes a deep breath and turns to Hermione with a raised eyebrow.
Harry sees her jaw drop and he looks at her confused. "What?"
"You must have really been around him a lot, you're copying his facial expressions it's really disconcerting." At this Harry has to laugh and it is Hermione's turn to question.
"Nothing important just, Draco always used to do the same thing. The DA took it upon themselves to learn how to raise their eyebrows and used to annoy him with it at every opportunity."
Hermione looks at him, "Anyway, I just thought I'd let you know that whatever you decide to do now after what you've seen I'll completely support you."
Harry just has to look her in amazement, "Sometimes you are far too clever for you own good."
Hermione smiles at him, "I've been your best friend for longer than I can remember, I know when you're lying. Ron does as well he just hasn't worked out what you're lying about yet, tell him before he does alright?"
Harry nods and she goes back to writing the essay they had to do. Harry sighs before going back to it himself.
Harry looks around the library, he has a load of homework to do. The NEWT defence class he is doing is going amazingly and he is really enjoying it. Learning defence for the sake of it he finds is much nicer than learning it because you've got a super crazy dark lord trying to kill you. No it's the potions he is really finding difficult, he'd spent a year not doing any of it and now trying to relearn it all is hard. He sees that Draco is sitting alone at a table at the back Harry smiles at makes his way over to him. It is either that or sitting with a gaggle of third year Ravenclaws who were already staring at him.
He approaches the table quietly trying not to disturb him. "Is this seat taken?" Harry asks gesturing to the seat opposite Draco.
Draco looks up at him, "No." he says as if Harry is an idiot. Though as Harry sits down he says, "Doesn't mean that I want you to sit there however."
Harry looks at him at and then back at the third year Ravenclaws, "But you wouldn't throw me to the mercy of those fangirls, will you?"
Draco smiles at him slightly, "Despite all the press say about Death Eaters we were not that evil."
Harry smirks and beings to take his books out of his bag to do his potions homework, "I don't know, maybe you just missed that memo. 'If you capture Harry Potter do not kill, maim, injure him or try to take him to the Dark Lord just hand him over to his fans.'" Draco snorts and Harry looks at the empty page in horror. He had to write 4 pages on whether armadillo bile was more useful than salamander bile in memory altering potions and why. He sighs and looks down at the page that is supposed to help him in the book but as he tries to read it he couldn't make any sense of it. He decides he has to do something so writes the title.
Draco looks at what he is writing and smiles, "Having fun there?"
Harry looks at him desperately, "Not at all. Do you think you could possibly have a glance at it for me? You've always been good at potions."
Draco sighs, "On one condition," He holds up his defence text book. "You give me a hand trying to understand this it might be written in Parsletounge for all I understand it."
Harry smirks at him, "Parsletoungue I can do." And they spend the next hour explaining how each subject to each other. When they finish Harry smiles he feels much better about his essay, Draco explains things really well. "Have you ever thought of being a teacher?" Harry asks. "You give very good explanations."
Draco raises an eyebrow at him, "And who would want to hire me? Death Eater extraordinaire!"
"The trail cleared you of all charges."
"Doesn't mean public perception has changed any."
Harry stares at him, "That's awful."
Draco looks at him curiously, "You think so?"
"Yeah, you should have the chance to show them you've changed. To me you're just Draco Malfoy, snarky git but definitely not evil." He glances at his watch, it's getting late. "Will you be here tomorrow?"
Draco nods and they say their goodbyes and Harry goes to sleep happy that night knowing that he has started on the road to making what he had seen in the pensieve more like reality.
Harry wakes up with Ron next to him. It was comforting to say the least and as he gets in the shower he can't help but think of Draco, he is different from in the other universe, harder not as trusting but still sarcy. He wakes Ron up with a quick aquamenti to the face which gets him spluttering but up. Harry bids him good morning and goes down stairs. He doesn't want to be late today. He had potions today and he had to concentrate, that would be the exam he found hardest in the summer so his notes had to be good.
He's there early; he's standing outside the door before even Hermione. He should have spent longer at breakfast but he wasn't that hungry. The lessons skip by in his mind and then eventually the day is over and he's back in the library waiting for Draco this time. He is halfway through his Transfiguration essay when Draco arrives.
Harry looks up, "Good day?"
"Passable, I suppose. You?"
"Same really, Charms was interesting. Colour changing charms on animals and humans, it is amazing how much of a resistance your skin puts up."
"Oh yes, damn the skin. The world would be a better place if we don't have skin." Harry sticks his tongue out at him.
"Oh shut up." Harry says. "I was only joking."
Draco rolls his eye at him and sits down. He takes his essay out for Professor Trent he pauses a moment later, "Can I ask?" He says hesitantly. "What did you see in the pensieve?"
Harry looks at him for a long minute before answering, "Do you remember, back in the first year when I refused your hand, the first time you spoke to me?"
Malfoy laughed humourlessly, "How can I forget? I hated you for the majority of the first two year due to that alone and then after that I hated myself for not seeing you were all like all the people I met before."
Harry looks a bit shocked at this but continues anyway, "In the alternate universe I took your hand. I ended up in Slytherin. It's not much of a change really the hat wanted to put me in Slytherin here but I told it not to."
"And what is exactly is wrong with Slytherin house?" Malfoy asks to cover up his shock.
Harry shakes his head, "Absolutely nothing but I was young and naive at the time and someone told me that all the wizards who went bad were from Slytherin, not true of course Peter Pettigrew he was most definitely a Gryffindor." He sighs. "I know better now, so if I can ask what happened in your alternate."
"I defected," Draco says shortly. "I told Lord No Nose to stuff it and joined the Order of the Phoenix. It was good, spent all my holidays at either Grimmauld Place or at the Burrow." He stops. "I'm sorry about your godfather by the way, I was so horrible about it in fifth year but in the alternate," he shivers. "Anyway, my mother died though which I could never have dealt with, I only think she lasted this time with my help."
Harry looks at him, "You saved my godfather with me in my alternate." He smiles remembering the memory. He doesn't mention that Malfoy's mother also died in his world. "I can see why they call it a realisation exercise though."
Malfoy nodded, "I saw that I had choices if I'd chosen to take them but it would have ended in my mother's death." He bows his head and Harry reaches out to take his hand instinctively.
"I saw that not all Slytherins are cowards. You all joined Dumbledore's Army when given the chance; we never even tried in this world. Being a Slytherin is partly about self-preservation and in this world we never showed you that you didn't have to be Death Eaters, we never tried."
Draco looks at him, "I'm not like him, Harry."
Harry nods knowing exactly that he means his braver other self, "No he left his mother at the hands of the Death Eaters without help, you never did that." He pauses. "And I'm not sure if that doesn't makes you braver."
Draco looks at him, and asks. "Were we friends in your alternate?"
Harry nods, debating how much to tell him, "Best friends in fact. Weren't often seen without one another." He pauses. "We dated for a bit actually."
"Ah…" Draco says and pulls his hand away from Harry's and leans back in his chair. "I told you I was gay then?"
"I kind of figured it out actually." Harrys says moving his hands closer to him they seem colder now Draco had moved his hands away.
"Oh for a bit? Did we break up? We didn't in my universe." Draco squints at him.
"We were together in you alternative too? No we didn't break up in mine I just didn't want to make you think that-"
"Me think what Harry!? That you cared about me at all in the alternate?"
"No I care I really do! I didn't want to scare you that's all just in case we weren't together in yours. It's not like we were best friends here. If I'd come out of the pensieve and just sat next you and stared acting like we'd been dating for years can you honestly tell me that wouldn't have freaked you a little bit?"
"I saw us together too!"
"But how was I supposed to know that?" Harry sighs. This isn't how this is supposed to go. "Look let's not argue," he holds his hand up as Draco opens his mouth to speak. "I know you think arguments are the key to healthy relationships but only debates, nothing like this." He holds out his hand. "Look let me take you out for dinner. This weekend we can go into London now if we want to. Let me take you out, we can go to dinner, go see a musical anything, just try."
Draco looks at him and then at his out stretched hand. "It would be a bit hypocritical of me not to take your hand as I've just gone on about how much I hated you for not taking mine." He takes his hand and shakes it, not what Harry intended but the message is clear. Draco will go. "Better be a nice restaurant," Draco teases and goes back to his homework.
No, they are not dating yet not by a long shot, not in this universe but it is a start. They don't trust each other yet not properly but anyone could see as Draco looks at Harry when he thinks that he is not looking that they will. They will go out and they will enjoy themselves and then their relationship will progress. In the end they may have 2.5 children and live in the country in a nice house but not now. They've had one hell of a party and now they are just living going on day by day, together and that is enough for both of them.
Authors Notes –
a) I know they don't learn the silencing charm to 6th year in canon land, but this wasn't really canon to begin with was it?
b) For those who don't know the 1st person singular is I and the 1st person plural is we. Hope that clears up any problems.
c) They don't find out about the DA in this universe, mainly because the Inquisitorial Squad isn't looking very hard and Marietta doesn't even attend the DA because Cho doesn't because Harry has shown no interest in her.
Anyway hope you enjoyed it, took most of my holiday to write. Happy belated to Easter to all those who celebrate it.