AN: A big thank you toall of you who have nagged me to continue this story. Once or twice I thought about giving it up but thanks to your encouragements, it's back on track.
Would many one like to volunteer to beta for this story?
"Good afternoon, my prince, I am Draco Malfoy and this is my partner Hermione Granger,"
Perhaps in another time, another life he had known this man with bleached blonde hair and arrogant smile for Harry felt a sudden rush of emotions.
Bitterness, yes, hatred, yes…pity…yes.
He had hard cold eyes and angular features that spoke of cunning and intrigue not softness and love, but he was handsome in every conventional sense of the word. The robes he wore seemed to suit his demeanor well, regal and expensive the green material flowed around him with a fluidity that could only be achieved by the finest tailors.
"My Prince," a soft voice spoke out tentatively and Harry regained his senses.
"I am most please to meet you," he said stiffly as he offered his hand to be shaken by the gentleman. Malfoy took his hand and for a moment Harry almost thought he was going to squeeze it until the bones creaked but Malfoy merely shook it with calm politeness.
I must be going mad!, thought Harry as he withdrew his intact hand from the handshake, why would he want to crush my hand? He's not my enemy. Perhaps his illness was to blame for his wild and irrational thoughts as he had lost his memory, but he knew intuitively it was not so.
The lady who had spoken…Hermione Granger…was staring at him again and he felt distinctly uncomfortable for he did not know how to greet her. Shaking hands seem far too masculine a gesture and yet he could not bring himself to kiss her hand.
I don't like her like that…
Harry mentally jumped at the strange assertion running through his mind. I don't like her? I don't even know who she is!
Thankfully she must have sensed his dilemma for she curtsied gracefully and turned her gaze away to look at something behind him, it was his father.
"Good evening, Mr Malfoy and Miss Granger. It is good to see you both as vibrant as ever," commented the Dark Lord. "My son, Alexander, has recently recovered from a bout of illness, so he cannot do anything too strenuous just yet, but I assure you he is a great lover of quidditch."
I am? It felt right though, and Harry let the small revelation slide away.
"I will be looking forwards to matching you on the pitch, my prince," said Malfoy politely and for a second Harry almost thought he saw Hermione Granger smirk behind her laced white gloves but the moment passed and her face remained a sculpture of benign interest.
"And how is your father, Draco?" asked the Dark Lord as he paused to take some sweetmeats from the tray beside them.
"Father, is well, France does seem to agree with him, though he does often write to say how much he misses our traditional cuisine. Mother is well too, but she is a little more homesick as you can understand."
"You have managed your estates well, Draco and I expect your parents to be pleasantly surprised when they get back." Voldemort nodded towards Hermione Granger as he said this and she blushed a little.
"Oh yes, I suppose they shall be," replied Draco smoothly and a definite smirk passed over his face.
A strange sinking feeling made itself known in the pit of Harry's stomach and he almost felt depressed. Perhaps he simply did not like the idea of Malfoy deceiving his parents. After all if they did not approve, Hermione Granger would have to leave.
"Well, Draco, Miss Granger enjoy the ball." A large hand gripped his shoulder firmly and steered him away from the retreating couple. Harry could not help but feel a sense of relief for he did not like the uncontrolled thoughts raging through him head.
He was being led into an alcove far removed from the hum-drum of the party in full swing. The giggling ladies in their bright dresses and the uptight gentlemen in their polished suits did not appeal to him so allowed his father to guide him away.
The alcove was decorated with rich textured wallpaper and two tall pilasters stood on either side of the opening giving it a grand purposeful air. The window to his left looked out into the lush green grounds now bathed in the warm glow of dusk as the sun sank slowly below the horizon. Suddenly Harry felt for the first time since he had regained consciousness a still serene peace wash over him and he relaxed, glad in the knowledge that the sunset could not provoke his subconscious thoughts.
"My son, I think you have been stressed by this party," said his father looking down at him with concerned eyes.
"I'm fine," muttered Harry unwilling to appear weak. His first public appearance after the illness should be meant to assure his father's subjects of his improvement. It would not look good if he left early.
"Alex," Harry almost started at the name, "son, your health is my first concern, not my public image…"
Dear Lord, he can read minds! But that was totally absurd. Reading minds belonged in children's tales, aimed to scare the dishonesty from the mischievous.
"I know," conceded Harry looking up at his father, "I just want to stay on some more, I'm actually quite hungry."
The words brought a smile to his father's lips and an appropriate feeling of warmth curled around his heart.
"That can easily be remedied, but you must tell me if you feel tired or faint at anything, Alex, it would be devastating if you experienced a relapse."
The words shook him. Harry had not yet thought about how his previous life had affected his father for he had spent most of his waking hours trying desperately to suppress the strange his subconscious. Logically his action made no sense for his father wanted him to regain his memory, but a strong more primeval feeling had taken control and it did not tolerate his past life. It was almost as if a deep abyss was lying at the bottom of the mind, just waiting for him to fall into its gaping chasm and he had to keep himself away at all costs.
Father must have been so worried about me…I feel guilty but the illness was not my fault…why do I have all these raging emotions?
"Son?" the worried tone pulled Harry out of his waking trance and he stared hastily back at his father.
"I don't want to keep you with me all the time because I know you want to meet some people your own age and you will be bored by my conversations, so I want you to promise me that if you are separated from me that you tell the nearest person when you feel unwell."
"I will, father, don't worry," assured Harry putting on a brave smile.
To his surprise his father reached over and patted his head affectionately.
"My wonderful boy, how I have missed you."
What did he mean by that?
The ball was in full swing as Harry made his way towards the table of refreshments at the far end of the ball room. The swirling couples looked like bright and colourful tropical birds as they swept across the dance floor. He could not see Mulciber in the fray of colour but then again a man of his bulk probably avoided such delicate activities. However Draco Malfoy was dancing…but not with Hermione. A shorter, stockier lady in pale pink robes had replaced her but by the look on Malfoy's face as he stepped past in an odd version of the tango, he was none too thrilled.
A strange giggle erupted from Harry's mouth and he almost spilt his drink in shock. It wasn't that funny!
A circle of oysters nestled on a bed of queer vegetables caught his eye. He knew that he had a taste for oysters, in fact his senses were telling him he loved oysters. The soft pearly flesh almost made his mouth water and he took one, hoping not to seem too greedy. However the five partnerless ladies who had also gathered around his table where far more interested in gossiping behind their canary yellow fans.
He slurped happily away at the gorgeous food, until the tray was empty and he felt a tinge of embarrassment, followed predictably by a heaving stomach.
Now I know why gluttony is a sin.
His stomach grumbled and churned as though he was aboard a tossing ship. Taking several deep breaths he steadied himself using the table. Suddenly the air turned stuffy and hot and the pleasant music turned to a horrible roar of noise.
"But you must tell me if you feel tired or faint at anything, Alex, it would be devastating if you experienced a relapse."
Should he tell someone, perhaps the sickness will pass but a fresh surge of nausea pushed all the optimistic thoughts from his head. He need to tell someone.
"Ah, Ladies, will please tell my father I feel unwell," he called to the small cluster of chattering women. Suddenly a small hush fell over the group as five pairs of eyes turned to look at him. However he felt too ill to be embarrassed. "Please,"
"Of course, my prince, Lady Bones, help the prince up to his quarters,"
Surprisingly caring arms led him away from the heat and noise. The large doors were insight and Harry staggered towards them with Lady Bone's arm around his shoulders.
As the cool clean air of the outside corridor hit his face Harry instantly felt the nausea subside. Perhaps he had just been making a big fuss over nothing.
I will definitely not be eating anymore oysters like that again.
"Are you alright, my prince?" The young lady beside him, eased him into a chair by the wall. Harry's head was becoming much clearer and he felt the embarrassment setting in.
Oh my, I've really done it this time. Perhaps father will shut me up in my room for another week.
"I feel much better now thank you," said Harry politely, "you can go back to the party,"
"Oh no, I don't think -,"
Perhaps it was rude to interrupt such kind hearted words but Harry really did not want to dragged this scenario out any longer.
"Really, Lady Bones, I do insist. I just needed some fresh air that was all. It can get terribly muggy in there,"
"You really can't take any chances with your health, my prince," insisted Lady Bones.
"Please, my lady, I feel just fine now, besides my father will here in a minute and he'll take me to my room," said Harry.
The desire to get back to the party was too strong and Lady Bone acquiesced to his request.
"Alright, but you promise that you're alright,"
"I'm fine, my lady,"
She felt, looking back every few steps with concern.
The hallway was quiet and peaceful compared with the noise music of the ballroom. He had never thought that a room that high could feel claustrophobic. However he had recovered now but the consequences of his gluttons would be far reaching.
As he leaned back and resigned himself to his fate he heard the pattered of footsteps running along the hall.
Oh here comes father, I wonder how I'm going to explain this.
However as the footsteps drew nearer Harry knew that they were female, light, soft and hurried. From a side corridor a hassled Hermione Granger appeared, with her petticoats lifted above her ankles.
"Harry!" she cried also with relief,
A jolt of surprise struck him like lightening.
Harry! Harry isn't my name! What is going wrong with me. My name is ALEX! It's always been Alex! How…
"Harry, you must listen carefully," insisted Hermione as she closed in on him.
"I'm sorry, my lady but I'm not-,"
"You are, you've simply forgotten!" hissed Hermione urgently as her voice dropped to a whisper.
"No, I'm –,"
"Harry you have got to believe me, you memory was wiped!"
The horrible revelation hit him like a stone and black spots appeared before his eyes. His lungs were constricting for an unknown reason and he gasped for breath.
"No, you lie!"
"Harry, please listen, your life is on the line, Voldemort wiped-,"
"Don't you dare, my father loves me!" cried Harry angrily. No one insulted his father.
"No Harry he's not your father! He's being lying to you,"
"Harry, please you are The Boy Who Lived, The Boy Who Lived to defeat Voldemort!"
"Do you have…the scar?"
"You're Harry Potter, I've read all about you"
"Look it's him…next to the tall boy with red hair"
"NO NO NO!"
His denial echoed through the corridor but even as it rang in his ears he knew it was futile.
AN: Please review sorry about the cliffhanger but it was necessary. I really want to rewrite the whole story but I'd like to think the next chapter will be up next month.