Part One


Please come to my office after you are finished with your dinner.

Prof. Dumbledore’

Harry read the note twice, then frowned, wondering what was going on. Had he done something wrong? For once, he couldn’t remember breaking the rules – at least not enough to require a visit to the Headmaster, at least.

He was a bit nervous as he made his way to Dumbledore’s office a little less than twenty minutes later. Hermione and Ron walked up the stairs towards the Gryffindor common room, Hermione engrossed in a book and Ron pretending not to be excited about being alone with her for a while.

As soon as Harry stopped outside the statue hiding the Headmaster’s office, it started spinning and Harry jumped onto the stairs, assuming that Dumbledore somehow knew he was there.

“Professor Dumbledore?” The office looked as it always did; the portraits looked curiously at him and Fawkes sat on his perch, looking contemplatively at Harry.

“Ah, Harry, there you are.” Albus Dumbledore came walking down the stairs, long robes swishing behind him. “How are you tonight?”

“I’m good, sir,” Harry said. “Was there— um, was there something you wanted?”

“So direct, always so direct,” Professor Dumbledore said, his eyes twinkling at Harry.

Dumbledore sat down at his desk and motioned for Harry to make himself comfortable in one of the chairs.

“I have a task for you,” Dumbledore said.

“A task?” Harry repeated dumbly. “What task?”

Dumbledore smiled. “An Order task, Harry. I would have asked someone else to do this, but Professor Snape can’t leave the castle since Voldemort found out about him, and Minerva— well, she doesn’t like going out at night these days.”

“What is it you want me to do, sir?” Harry asked. Whatever it was, it sounded dangerous. The brave Gryffindor in Harry immediately awoke.

“Our spy is coming tonight, Harry,” Dumbledore said and suddenly he wasn’t smiling anymore. “He has information that is vital for us. I need you to go collect him, to make sure that he gets to the castle safely.”

Harry stared at Dumbledore. “I don’t even know who the spy is. How am I supposed to collect him? What if it’s not safe? What if someone is following him?”

“There is a spell on him to tell him if he’s being tracked,” Dumbledore said. “Trust me, all you have to worry about is whether he’s hurt or not – if he is, you have to get him to the Infirmary. Can you do this for me, Harry?”

Harry sat quietly for several long moments. It was a big task – the spy was the only one the Order had these days, since Professor Snape had been caught and exposed by Voldemort. He wouldn’t have survived that encounter if not for Harry’s visions of Voldemort and Remus Lupin’s brave rescue. Snape kept growling about how stupid it had been of ‘the werewolf’ to rescue him. Harry almost smiled at the memory, before remembering the seriousness of the situation. The spy. Bring him to the castle safely.

“I can do it,” Harry said, nodding. “When is he going to arrive?”

“In about twenty-five minutes,” Professor Dumbledore said. “I’ve taken the liberty of having Dobby fetch your Invisibility Cloak from your room – I want you to wear it when you go.”

Harry wondered why he had to wear the Invisibility Cloak when the Headmaster had assured him that there would be no danger, but he didn’t ask about it. Instead he said, “Where will he be?”

“Right outside the gates,” Dumbledore said. “It’s as far as he can Apparate – then the wards take over.”

“Yes, I know – the anti-Apparition wards,” Harry said, nodding. Hermione had told him and Ron about the wards often enough.

A few minutes later, after another set of instructions for Harry, he set off down the deserted hallways towards the main entrance. He was still wondering why he had been chosen for this assignment – he wasn’t the only seventh year in the Order now; Ron and Hermione had been initiated as well and Harry wondered why they couldn’t come with him.

He realised as he pulled open the doors and headed out into the dark evening that he still didn’t know the identity of the spy.

Harry walked lightly down the path that led from the castle to the gates. The night was silent but though the Forbidden Forrest loomed on both sides of him, it didn’t feel threatening. The sky was clear and the moon was out; a half moon.

Harry’s thoughts were mainly on the spy, wondering who he was. He didn’t even know if it was a student or a professor, though it seemed more likely for it to be the former, considering he himself was only a student. Besides, who other than Snape could possibly become a plausible Death Eater of those on the staff? Harry held back a chuckle as he pictured tiny Professor Flitwick as a servant of Voldemort’s.

The gates stood open when he reached them, yet Harry got the feeling that they weren’t as inviting as they seemed. As he passed them, standing just outside, he felt the strong magic of the many wards surrounding Hogwarts and realised that the spells were far more effective in keeping people who shouldn’t be there out than real, solid gates would ever be.

Wrapping his cloak tightly around him, Harry sat down on the ground. It was still five minutes left until the spy was supposed to arrive, according to Dumbledore’s time plan.

Five minutes passed.

Then ten minutes.

When fifteen minutes had passed without anything happening, Harry started getting worried. He stood up and looked around, his wand ready in his hand. Something was not right.

Then he was promptly thrown to the ground as something heavy landed on him. Or, rather, someone.


Harry stared up at his long time enemy, realising with horror that Malfoy had several bruises on his face and blood coming from his nose.

Draco Malfoy looked down at him, but since Harry was covered in his Invisibility Cloak, Malfoy could of course not see him. Malfoy felt around with his hand, frowning.

“So that’s how you did it in the third year, Potter,” Malfoy mumbled and then collapsed on top of Harry, unconscious.

Some grunting later, Harry came free of Malfoy’s long limbs. He checked that no one else was in the area and then pulled Malfoy through the gates to the safe side. Only then did he allow the true shock of finding out who the spy was to come out.

It suddenly made much more sense that Dumbledore hadn’t wanted Ron to tag along on this little adventure.

Malfoy stirred and looked around. Harry decided to take pity on him and took off his cloak.

“Potter,” Malfoy mumbled. “Why on Earth did they send you to get me? Where is Severus? Oh, no, right, he’s not allowed to come out. But wasn’t there anyone else?”

He looked at Harry, confused. Harry shook his head, wondering who this was and what he’d done to the real, nasty Malfoy he had to deal with in school. “You probably hit your head when you Apparated.”

Malfoy shook his head. “No, it’s just the after effects of some of the Lord of Nothing’s spells. Trust me,” he continued as he attempted to get up, “I’ll be back to my old, horrible self in no time.”

“Oh, joy,” Harry said, rolling his eyes. He held out a hand to Malfoy, but the other boy ignored it.

Malfoy stood shakily, one hand feeling his face. “They did a right job this time, didn’t they?” Malfoy mumbled and grimaced as his fingers came in contact with a particularly nasty bruise just above his left eye.

“Yes, you’re looking very pretty and multi-coloured, Malfoy,” Harry said. Pulling Malfoy along, he said, “Come on, let’s get you back to the castle. Dumbledore said I should take you to the Infirmary if you were hurt.”

“You think I’m pretty?” Malfoy looked at him, smirking.

“What?” Harry stopped. Then he understood that Malfoy was referring to his earlier words. “No, Malfoy, I was being sarcastic. One would think you’d know all about the fine art of sarcasm.”

“Oh. Yes. Right.” Then he chuckled slightly. “Dumbledore said to take me to the Infirmary if I was hurt?”

Harry nodded. “Yes. What’s funny about that?”

“Just that there hasn’t been one Death Eater meeting that I’ve come back from when I haven’t been hurt, so the ‘if’ is kind of unnecessary.” Malfoy shrugged.

Harry didn’t quite know what to say to that, so he just mumbled, “Well, off to the Infirmary then.”

Malfoy walked quietly next to Harry, stumbling slightly every now and then. Harry worried that Malfoy wouldn’t make it all the way to the castle; the bruises on his face looked serious and the way he was behaving – it felt surreal. Everything about the night felt off, strange. The night was so quiet, so calm. Draco Malfoy was walking next to him as though they hadn’t fought for the last six and a half years; they walked almost comfortably, as though they were friends.

“Why do you spy?”

Harry wasn’t sure where the question had come from, but he looked expectantly at Malfoy.

Malfoy in turn looked back and shrugged. When he spoke, his voice sounded more normal than before; less drunk and more serious. “Somewhere along the line I realised that it was wrong, what my father and the Dark Lo— Voldemort was doing.”

“Just like that? You just realised it was wrong?” Harry asked.

Malfoy glanced at Harry. “Severus had been trying to win me over for quite some time. When I finally witnessed my father torturing a Mudbl— a Muggleborn, I understood that that wasn’t for me. Of course, it was already too late to pull out and since they were closing in on Severus, Dumbledore needed a new spy.”

Harry nearly stared at Malfoy, wondering again who this was and where the real Malfoy was. “And you just volunteered?”

Malfoy chuckled darkly. “Not quite so easily. But you know Dumbledore – he can twist words and make you do things and still have you believe that you came up with the idea. Sometimes I don’t know who’s worse – Voldemort or Dumbledore – but of course, Dumbledore doesn’t make me torture Muggleborns, and he doesn’t torture me either, so the choice is easy.”

Harry was truly baffled by this turn of events and for nearly a minute, he didn’t say anything. They still had a good ten minutes before they would reach the castle. Malfoy stumbled slightly and Harry held out a hand to steady him. Malfoy glanced at him, but didn’t say a word.

“How long have you spied?” Harry asked finally.

“What is this, the Spanish Inquisition?” Malfoy asked, sounding suddenly annoyed.

“No, sorry,” Harry said quickly, feeling stupid. This was Malfoy after all, no matter how much it didn’t sound like it. Besides, what was Harry doing, apologizing to him?

To his surprise, Malfoy mumbled, “It’s okay. I just— I’m tired and my head is killing me.”

“Will you be all right walking to the castle?”

Malfoy nodded, “I’ll be fine.”

When Harry glanced to the side, however, he thought Malfoy looked shaky and unwell. He didn’t say anything; he’d probably get his head bitten off if he did.

“What do you do at the meetings?” Harry asked quietly, fully expecting Malfoy to sneer at him that it was none of his business.

Instead, Malfoy said, “We report to Voldemort. We do our fair share of grovelling at his feet. If he’s not happy with what we have to say, or how we perform, he punishes us.” Harry looked over at Malfoy again, at the other boy’s face. Malfoy’s gaze landed on Harry and he said softly, “He wasn’t too happy with my reports tonight. He thinks you’re too hard to kill.”

“He punished you like that because of me?” Harry suddenly felt guilty, though he knew he didn’t have anything to be guilty about. Voldemort was insane; Harry wasn’t responsible for that.

Malfoy didn’t reply. He raised a hand to his head and pressed at his temple. His pace slowed to a stop and Harry stepped closer to him.

“Malfoy? Are you all right?”

Malfoy grimaced. “I’m just— He cast Cruciatus and I landed hard on the ground— I may have a concussion.”

Harry ran a hand through his hair. “You shouldn’t be walking if you have a concussion.”

“I’ll be fine. Let’s just go, okay?” Malfoy asked. But as he took a step forward, his knees buckled and he fell onto Harry.

Had Harry not been so stressed, he would have rolled his eyes. As it was, he just mumbled, “Yeah, fine, right,” and lowered Malfoy to the ground. There, he cast a weightless spell on Malfoy before lifting him up in his arms and starting on the remaining walk back to the castle. Malfoy wasn’t quite unconscious; he seemed to wake up every now and then, because he would mumble, “Put me— down, I’m not a— damsel in distress, Potter,” every few minutes. Harry, of course, ignored him and continued walking.

They reached Hogwarts and Harry carried him up the many flights of stairs to the Infirmary, where Madame Pomfrey, Headmaster Dumbledore, and a worried Professor Snape - and wasn’t that an unusual sight - were waiting. As soon as Harry had placed Malfoy on one of the beds, he was ushered out of the room.

Dumbledore told him by the door, “I’d appreciate it if you kept all of this to yourself, Mr. Potter. Mr. Malfoy will be fine, I assure you.”

Then the door closed and Harry was left wondering if the night’s adventure had only been a dream.

The next morning, Harry was eating breakfast when a school owl came swooping down and dropped a letter in front of him. Harry picked up the letter and opened it. He smiled slightly as he saw the content.

“Who’s that from?” Hermione asked, reading the note over his shoulder.

“Someone,” Harry said, smiling.

Hermione rolled her eyes, returning to her book. Harry looked up and saw Malfoy sitting at the Slytherin table, his face healed and his superior smirk back in place, all traces of the night’s activities gone. Yet as Harry looked at him, Malfoy glanced his way and Harry felt the world stop for a moment. Malfoy’s lips formed a smile for a moment and then it was gone as Malfoy looked away.

Harry’s smile broadened and he returned to his cereal. In front of him lay the small card Malfoy had sent him.


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