Chapter Eleven
He Who Angers You
Conquers You

Pearle had woken them up two hours later, screaming her lungs out and thus demanding that they hand her over to her mother. Harry and Draco had gone looking for Penelope, and found her a few minutes later. The baby quieted almost immediately. From the short conversation with the redheaded mother, Harry understood that it wasn’t the first time Draco had taken care of her and Percy’s daughter. He also found out that Percy and Penelope had another child, a two-and-a-half-year-old boy, Peter.

Harry and Draco had bid Hermione and Ron, as well as a few others, goodbye before stepping into the fire to go home. It was about eleven at night by the time they crawled into bed.

The following days passed peacefully, like the calm before the storm. Even the weather seemed to agree with them; it continued to grow worse, but the full-out storm was yet to come. It was raining constantly, and the wind had increased to the point where it took the owls twice as long to deliver a letter.

Harry walked down to Mr Hanawalt’s shop – which had been mostly restored after the kidnapping – and signed himself and Draco up for one of the beginner’s classes. Carl had been delighted, and asked him if he still wanted the gun he’d asked for before the kidnapping. Harry said yes, and Carl promised that he would get the papers in order once again. Harry also asked how the children were doing and if they would like to come over some time.

“Sure,” laughed Mr Hanawalt. “You just go ahead and take them whenever you want to!”

Draco was on edge, Harry soon noticed. He snapped at the Boy Who Lived even more than usual; then sent him a look of excuse before going into the bedroom and closing the door. They didn’t talk much and even the researching of a way to get home, for Healers and of Heart Binds, was set aside for now. Draco paced restlessly through the apartment as Harry tried to find a way for him to help the blonde once the vision hit. He couldn’t find anything. He wondered what would happen if they shared a telepathy-connection during the vision. Could he share the pain with Draco in that case? Would he be able to soothe him?

Harry wasn’t very surprised by his eagerness to protect Draco. In the past month, they had grown together, albeit unconsciously. Despite the fact that Draco was snapping at him every thirty seconds right now, Harry knew that it wasn’t real. It was just the blonde’s nervousness needing an outlet. He would say things, tell Harry to shut up, and just flat out ignore him, but when the Harry pointed this out, the blonde gave him a look that said ‘sorry’.

Two months ago, Harry would probably have labelled this development as impossible. Of course, two months ago, none of this had happened.

It was strange – and a bit incredible – what a new world, future, whatever, could do.

He stood by the window next to the fireplace in the living room with a cup of tea in his hands. The rain was smattering against the window, grey clouds filling the sky. On the street below, Muggles were hurrying by, all soaking wet. Pity they didn’t know any water-resistant spells.

“What are you thinking about?” a voice behind him asked.

“Everything,” Harry replied.

“That’s a lot to think about,” Draco said with a smile and a nod.

Harry shot him a look. “As if you’d know.”

“I think you just insulted my ability to think, Mr Potter,” Draco said, eyebrow raised and arms crossed over his chest.

“I think you’re right.”

Draco pouted at him and walked over to the couch. He flicked his wand at the fireplace. “Incendio,” he muttered and a fire started. Harry turned from the window to the blonde.

“You okay?” he asked.

“Yeah,” the Slytherin answered with a small nod. “So far, so good, you know.”

“You’re nervous.”

“No use trying to hide it from you, is there?” Draco asked, studying his fingers.

“We may not have been the ones who cast the Heart Bind spell to begin with, but I can definitely feel what you so openly broadcast,” Harry said softly.

“I do not broadcast my feelings,” Draco said indignantly.

Harry looked out the window and said calmly, “To me you do.”

“It’s just… I keep walking around, knowing that it could basically hit at any time, and that’s annoying. A little part of me actually wants it to come. Just to have it over with. Except it won’t be over with. It will happen again and again…” Draco looked sadly at his hands. “I don’t get it – why do I get these visions? I thought that was your area, not mine.”

Harry suddenly realized that he hadn’t told the blonde what he’d found out from the Headmaster.

“Dumbledore told me that Lucius had a link just like yours to Voldemort and the Death Eaters,” he said to Draco. “When I… when he was killed, you sort of inherited the link. Don’t ask me where the link between your father and Voldemort came from to begin with, ‘cause I don’t know.”

“I – I got it from my father?” He looked at his hands with a grim smile. “That must be the first time I got something from him that actually lasted.”

“You didn’t have a very good relationship with your father, I gather, from what you’ve told me so far,” Harry said.

“No, I ‘didn’t have a very good relationship’ with him, as you so nicely put it,” Draco sneered. “I was happy if I saw him once a week, and at those times, I wasn’t allowed to speak or act without his permission. I am – was – whatever – his servant, never his son. I learnt to follow orders before I said my first words.”

“And you’re happy that I killed him,” Harry said slowly.

The blonde looked up and grey eyes met green. “No, Harry, I’m not happy. I could never be happy that my father is dead. He is still a part of me. What I can be is… indifferent. It seems like I’m happy in this future, so my father’s death wasn’t the death of me as well. But I could never be happy about it.”

Harry thought he understood what Draco was telling him. It made sense that the blonde wouldn’t actually be glad that his father was dead. Even thought the man had never truly acted like a father, Draco would miss his father figure and all that Lucius had stood for. And, like Draco had said, Lucius was still a part of him. Harry wondered where Draco’s mother was at the moment. He voiced his question to Draco, who looked down at his hand again.

“She’s in St. Mungo’s mental ward,” the Slytherin replied in an even voice. “I – I found a diary that the Draco of this time keeps, and he said in it that he visited mum at St. Mungo’s. I think she went crazy after father was killed.”

Harry’s ears picked up on two things – one was how Draco called Narcissa ‘mum’, while Lucius always was the much less affectionate ‘father’. The other thing his brain stopped at was the fact that Draco had found a diary – and not told him.

“Sorry to change the subject so abruptly, Draco, but just when did you find this diary? And how come you didn’t tell me about it?”

The blonde looked up at him defiantly. “It is my private diary, Potter,” he said. “My future self’s, but it’s still mine, and I’m not going to let you read it. There are very few interesting things in it anyway.”

“Very few interesting things?!” Harry exploded. “We don’t know a tenth of all the things we should know in this place, and your future self is keeping a diary – yet you don’t think there is anything interesting in it?”

Draco stood up, his eyes cold. “It is my private diary and I am not going to let you read it and I don’t care if you want to know things about this place. It’s mine and it’s very, very private.”

“You’ve said that about ten times now.” Harry glared back at Draco.

“Then can you please stop bothering me, or do you need me to spell it out letter by letter?” Draco spat. Then he turned on his heel and stormed out of the room, leaving a seething Harry behind.

He knew that just because the fates and Voldemort wanted to screw with his life in every way possible, Draco would have a vision within the next twenty-four hours while they were both still angry. He decided suddenly that he needed to get away from it all. Taking a pinch of Floo-powder, Harry threw it into the fire and said,

“The Three Broomsticks.”

He stepped into it and was gone, arriving a moment later at the Hogsmeade pub.

The pub was crowded. It was Saturday, and by the looks of it, it was a Hogsmeade weekend for the Hogwarts students. Kids of all ages – well, from eleven to eighteen, anyway – were milling about the Three Broomsticks, some sitting by the tables talking and drinking Butterbeer and others just walking around the place.

Harry found a seat in the bar and ordered a Butterbeer for himself. The waiter had it before him within a minute, and he began sipping the drink slowly. His mind was wandering off when he heard,

“’arry! It wasn’t yester’ay we saw yeh ‘ere!”

Harry turned around, a big smile on his lips. “Hagrid!”

The half-giant, and the first friend Harry had made in the Wizarding world, made his way through the crowd to sit next to him. Rubeus Hagrid quickly ordered a Butterbeer for himself before turning to Harry.

“How are yeh, ‘arry?” he asked.

“Good,” Harry replied automatically.

“Where’s yer other half?” Hagrid asked, looking around the pub for Draco.

“He’s at home,” Harry said shortly, wanting to talk about anything but the problems he’d left behind. Hagrid seemed to sense this, for he merely nodded and began to speak about other things.

“Yeh never come to visit anymore,” he said.

Harry gave him a sheepish grin. “Sorry,” he said, “I’ve had too much to do this past month.”

“I ‘eard. Had me worried there, you did, when yeh got yerself kidnapped an’ all,” Hagrid said and took a gulp of his drink.

“Again with the sorry,” the raven-haired boy said with a half-smile. “I didn’t mean to get kidnapped – it just sort of … happened.”

“I hear You-Know-Who is gettin’ into guns now?”

Harry nodded. “We’re trying to figure out what he wants with them. The team Dumbledore set on it has made progress, but not enough progress. So now I’m going to start taking classes in shooting, as well.”

“Yeh gonna learn ‘ow to shoot people?” Hagrid asked, surprised.

“Dumbledore thought it would be a good idea if both Draco and I could handle them, so yeah. We’re starting on Tuesday.”

“I don’t need guns,” Hagrid said. “Guns are no good.”

Harry couldn’t agree more. Ever since Draco’s first vision, all he’d heard and experienced about guns had been exceptionally bad. He’d been kidnapped because of them, he’d been shot with one, Draco had had his vision about them, and Voldemort would be gaining power because of them.

“So how have you been?” Harry asked Hagrid, wanting to change the subject.

“Good, good,” the half-giant replied. “Been having me’ classes, and then Dumbledore sent ‘e to France.”


“Dinn’t I tell yeh?” Harry shook his head. It was possible that Hagrid had told the Harry of this time, but Hagrid didn’t need to know that. So the Boy Who Lived just played dumb. “Well, yeh know I’m keepin’ the giants together, for the ‘eadmaster?” Harry nodded, although he didn’t know. “They ‘ad a meeting a few days ago, together with me’ self and some of Dumbledore’s spies. Were informed of the gun problem, they were. Not very ‘appy ‘bout it.”

“Who is?” Harry muttered.

“Still, they’re ‘appier than the Wizarding population – bullets don’t hurt giants as much as yeh humans. The bullets are too small.”

“True,” the raven-haired boy replied thoughtfully. Too bad he wasn’t a giant; then he wouldn’t have to worry as much. As it was, the gun problem seemed to take up most of his thinking time now, right along with thoughts of Draco.

No, he thought, I’m not thinking about Draco right now.

Hagrid and Harry continued to talk about everything, and before long the whole afternoon had passed. Hagrid was returning to Hogwarts with the students, and with a promise of more frequent visits, Harry said good-bye to the half-giant.

He stayed at the bar after the students had left, gingerly sipping his third Butterbeer.

“Shouldn’t you be home snogging your boyfriend?”

“No, Sev’, I shouldn’t,” Harry said, a bit amazed by how easily Snape’s nickname slid off his lips. He turned around to look at his former Professor.

Snape glared at him. “I’ve told you not to call me that.” He sat down next to Harry. “You are not fighting again, are you?”

Harry stared at his glass. “As a matter of fact, we are, not that it’s any of your business.”

“None of your life is ever any of my business, nor is it any of my concern, Mr Potter – I was just trying to make conversation.”

“You need practice,” Harry said.

Severus chuckled, surprising Harry. “Yes, I believe I do. Conversation is, after all, not my strong side when it doesn’t involve lying and deceiving – weren’t those your exact words?”

“I don’t remember,” Harry muttered honestly into his glass.

The two sat in silence at the bar. Severus didn’t order anything; he just sat there.

“What did you fight about?” he asked finally, making another attempt at conversing with the Boy Who Lived.

Harry shrugged. “Something stupid.”

“It always is.”

Harry gave him a small smile. “I guess so.”

“Now, why don’t you go home to that boyfriend of yours and make amends with him, for I am certain that he’s sitting at home, sulking just like you are.”

“I am not sulking,” Harry said indignantly.

“You’re making a rather good impression of it,” Severus said, amusement clearly written in his voice.

“Please go away?”

“Only if you do, Harry.”

The raven-haired boy stood up. “I’m going,” he muttered.

And then he promptly doubled over as waves of pain and agony assaulted his senses.

Severus grabbed him by his collar as he fell forward and held him upright. Harry kept his eyes tightly shut, trying to block the pain and nausea out of his brain. He knew it was just an illusion – it was Draco’s pain, not his. He should be able to keep it out.

“What were you thinking, you silly boy, leaving Draco with a vision impending?” the Potions Master hissed in his ear.

“Just – get – me – to – him,” Harry hissed, cradling his head in his hands. There were white flashes before his eyes, and he knew that he would start having the vision with Draco before long. The pain seared through his body, making his insides feel like they were on fire. He stumbled as Severus led him towards the fireplace and if it hadn’t been for the Potions Master, he wouldn’t have made it all the way there.


A person stood before him, his surroundings having changed completely. Harry knew he was inside of Draco’s vision.

He tried to look around, feeling sick as the vision blurred and mixed with the surroundings of the Three Broomsticks. They were out in the open… Grass? The sky was dark, filled with clouds.

There were flashes of something red around him, droplets of liquid splashing onto the ground.

There was someone before him.

“Potter!” Severus’ voice sounded far away. Harry shook his head, trying his best to clear it. The Potions Master’s face hovered above him, charcoal eyes forcing him to keep eye contact. “Stay with me, boy,” Severus continued.

Harry tried to force the vision out of his mind. There was something about it that was dangerous… He couldn’t get pulled into it as well; then he couldn’t help Draco.

“I don’t care! I don’t care about him,” he screamed, trying to get free from Severus’ grip. He was weak from the burning pain inside of him though and didn’t manage.

“Harry, be still!” the Potions Professor said to him. Harry heard him mutter ‘the Nest’ to the fire, and felt Severus almost drag him into the flames. The bar blurred out of his vision, and the sketchy outlines of other rooms, together with the vision that tried to fight its way back into Harry’s mind and the pain of it all, made him want to throw up.

Another searing jolt passed through him, and Harry fell to his knees just as Severus pulled them both out into the apartment’s living room. Harry was on the floor, unable to get up. He was close to Draco, and the pain intensified tenfold.

Blood, everywhere.

The person before him looked lifeless; dark blonde hair hanging down the front made Harry unable to see his face. Ropes around his wrists bound him to a wooden pole. His naked body was punctured with holes; bullet holes, no doubt. Around him, several others were bound, just the same way as the man before Harry. They were all lifeless… And around them, dark shadows moved…

He screamed.

A matching cry came from the bedroom, and Severus quickly picked Harry up in his arms. Harry was barely aware of what was happening, but he heard the Potions Master open the doors to the bedroom with a quick spell.

Draco was lying on the bed, writhing back and forth, curled up like a ball. His cheeks were wet with tears, his face scrunched up in obvious pain.

“No, no, no, don’t… Please stop it…” he cried helplessly.

Harry fought Severus, and he finally set him down on the floor. He stumbled blindly towards the blonde on the bed. His legs went out beneath him as he reached the bed, and he fell on top of it, next to his Heart Mate. He crawled up next to Draco and closed his arms tightly around him.

A bolt of lightning shot from Draco to Harry, pulling them closer towards each other. Draco’s smaller body moulded perfectly into Harry’s, and they both let out gasps of pain as they shared the last of the vision before falling into blissful unconsciousness.

When Harry awoke, he was completely confused as to where he was. He tried to move, but pain became evident, and he decided to stay still. He wondered briefly if he always had to wake up in pain. His head ached horribly, making him nauseous, and he dreaded opening his eyes.

There was something warm against his body. He had his arms wrapped around something – no, someone… Suddenly, he remembered the events that had rendered him unconscious. Draco’s fear… Their talk, that had become an argument, which had become a fight. He had left for Hogsmeade and spent the afternoon with Hagrid at the Three Broomsticks.

And he remembered the pain.

Severus had taken him home to Draco. The blonde had been on the bed, looking pale and sickly, crying in fear and agony. Harry had found his way onto the bed, pulled to the Slytherin like opposite magnets. Then there was more pain, a flash of lightning and then he couldn’t remember anything but the last few minutes of awareness.


“’inny?” Harry muttered, not quite finding his voice. He opened his eyes to a thankfully darkened room.

Ginny smiled at him. “You can just rest, Harry, I know how badly your head usually hurts,” she said softly, careful not to talk too loudly.

Harry tried to smile back, but it resulted in more of a grimace.

“We’ll leave now,” the young Weasley said, gesturing towards the corner, where a figure sat calmly – Snape?

“You stayed?” Harry croaked out.

“Of course, Potter,” Severus replied. “Had to see to it that you came through the vision all right. However, now that you are awake, and we’re all assured that your boyfriend will be fine as well, we can leave.”

“How long were we out?” Harry asked, his throat feeling dry as a desert.

“Four hours,” Severus replied. “Thought it’d take longer from the way you two were screaming. One could have thought you were both dying.”

“Be quiet, Severus, they don’t need to hear that,” Ginny said to him. She turned to Harry. “I’ll be back tomorrow, when he’s woken up,” she said, gesturing towards the blonde snuggled up next to Harry. “We need to know what the vision was about, so… I don’t know if Dumbledore will want me to bring anyone else, we’ll see. Now, do you need anything before we leave?”

Harry shook his head ‘no’. Ginny kissed his forehead. “Please don’t scare us like that again,” she said, and then she was out the door.

Severus nodded to him as he stood and left, and then Harry was alone with Draco.

The blonde was curled up tightly against Harry, much like after the last vision. He looked worse this time, though, Harry thought. There were dark shadows beneath his eyes, and the raven-haired boy could still see the traces of dried tears on Draco’s cheeks, which meant that it wasn’t long since he’d stopped crying. His hands held Harry’s robes tightly, his fists white from the effort.

Harry used the hand that wasn’t wrapped around the blonde to loosen Draco’s hold on his robes. The other boy whimpered unconsciously as Harry lifted his arm, and the Boy Who Lived remembered how much he’d wanted and needed Draco’s touch after being shot. He allowed the pale arm to slide around his waist, although this time, the blonde didn’t grab Harry’s robes so tightly. Instead he just laid still, his arm where Harry had placed it.

Harry wondered what the vision meant. There were no details in it that told him where it was – it looked like any field, anywhere. Grass, dark skies. People tied to poles by their wrists, bleeding from gunshot wounds.

Perhaps Draco had seen some of their faces – that would certainly help.

Would the blonde even talk to him, though? After yesterday’s failed discussion, fight, talk, whatever, Harry doubted it. What troubled Harry, however, was not yesterday’s fight, but the fact that they had now had two big fights like this one since coming here. It wouldn’t have bothered him at home – at home, the two always fought. Yet even that wasn’t the same. The fighting at home was a sort of competition, who could come up with the most insults. It was about who would walk away from the other with his friends cheering on him.

Still, since the start of fifth year, the fighting rate had definitely gone way down. If Harry hadn’t been so focused on getting through his O.W.L’s (the Ordinary Wizarding Levels) and the rest of his classes while at the same time trying to stay away from Voldemort and the Death Eaters’ rise in activity – then perhaps, he would have noticed. As it was, however, Harry had barely had time to sleep.

Draco had told him that he’d switched sides at the beginning of the fifth year. That explained the sudden decrease in fights between the two; Draco probably didn’t want to be called ‘Death Eater in training’ every day when he no longer was one. There were still the occasional spars, yet not nearly as many as before. He’d been doing his best to get along with “the good side”.

What had made the blonde Slytherin switch sides?

It didn’t sound like teenage rebellion against his parents – he seemed too set on doing it for it to be just some stage in his life. Becoming a spy for Albus Dumbledore was not something one did just like that, and the Headmaster wouldn’t have taken Draco in if he hadn’t believed in the boy fully. So what had changed?

He’d told Harry that the reason was ‘something I might tell you later, but definitely not now.’ Whatever that meant – Draco had accused Dumbledore of loving to talk in riddles, yet the blonde himself certainly didn’t make it any easier.

When Draco stirred a half hour later, Harry had come no closer to understanding him and the person he was. All he knew was that they needed to talk. They would have the talk that Harry had promised Draco at the hospital.

Harry saw Draco blink, the grey eyes focusing on the world around him. He lifted his head off the raven-haired boy’s chest a few inches, only to fall softly back down again with a cry of pain. Harry felt it inside of him and without thinking, he offered the Healing Warmth to Draco. The blonde lay still, his breathing shuddering and heavy and took what Harry gave him without a word.

“Are we friends?”

Harry’s eyes opened to stare down at the form of Draco, lying completely still under Harry’s touch. Since the other boy had moved, Harry couldn’t see his face any longer.

“I don’t know,” the raven-haired boy sighed. “Sometimes it seems like we are, but then…”

“Then we fight,” Draco said softly, still turned away from Harry. He raised his head again, more carefully this time. He winced in pain as he moved, but didn’t stop until he was facing Harry. The Boy Who Lived kept his hands around Draco, knowing that the blonde needed the healing.

“We’ve been enemies for so long,” Harry said. “I don’t know if we can change that.”

“We can,” Draco said with force. “If we want to.”

“Draco, I know you’ve changed,” Harry said. “I just don’t know if I’ve changed with you.”

“That’s not it,” the blonde said, his eyes and voice suddenly going hard. “You don’t think I really have changed at all. You think that all of this, me joining the good side for the last one and a half years is just some crazy idea of mine before I become a full-fledged Death Eater… Isn’t that true?”

Harry shook his head. “No, that’s not what I think,” he said and sighed, “But you must admit – it’s hard to believe that you just suddenly completely changed your beliefs and became a spy for Dumbledore.”

“Dumbledore trusts me, Harry,” Draco said quietly to him, sitting up, away from Harry’s embrace. “Why can’t you?”

The Boy Who Lived winced at his tone of voice. “I want to, Draco. I just…”

“Just what?” Draco cut in. “Need a reason? Not everything needs a bloody reason!”

“Are you saying then that you just woke up one day and thought, ‘well, I think my father is wrong about becoming a slave for Voldemort, so I’ll just join the good side instead’? Understand me when I say that it sounds a bit… unconvincing.”

“I don’t care,” Draco said, turning away from Harry. He was sitting on the edge of the bed, his back towards the raven-haired boy. “It is all the explanation I have to offer.”

“I don’t think it is,” Harry said, raising his voice slightly. “You told me, ‘That’s something I might tell you later, but definitely not now’. What happened to that? Or were you just lying? Knowing you, you probably were, but still…”

Draco turned to face him slowly. “I haven’t lied to you once since we got here, Potter. So, all right, there is something more to my ‘change of heart’ than just waking up one morning and knowing it was wrong. But why can’t you just accept the fact that I have switched, without an explanation? Can’t you just trust me that much?”

“What is so horrible that you can’t tell me?” Harry asked, his tone going softer again.

“Trust me when I say you don’t want to know,” Draco said, standing up from the bed. He wobbled slightly, and Harry, still lying on the bed, reacted on instinct, sending the boy something… energy of some sort. The blonde straightened, wobbling gone, and looked at Harry. “What did you do?”

Harry looked nonplussed. “I don’t know.”

Draco kept his eyes on Harry for a moment longer before deciding that the raven-haired boy spoke the truth. He left the room.

Harry stood up from the bed as well, and followed Draco. They were far from done talking. He followed the sound of cups clinking together to the kitchen and found Draco taking out the necessities for making tea.

“You’re making tea at ten thirty at night?” Harry asked incredulously.

Draco just shrugged.

“Talk to me, Draco.”

The blonde turned to him. “I’ve heard this before,” he said icily. “Something like, ‘I know I’m your enemy but I’m all you have here, so spill your innermost secrets to me, please’.”

Harry didn’t reply; he only walked around the half island and leaned on the table behind which the high stools stood.

Draco continued to work with the tea, taking out two cups despite how he and Harry were not getting along. He also picked sugar and milk out from the fridge. Then he stood in silence behind the water on the stove.

“It – it all started two years ago,” Draco said softly. Harry looked up at him, but the blonde wouldn’t meet his eye. “With the Triwizard Tournament and you becoming one of the Champions. Merlin, how I hated you… You got all the attention; everyone was talking about you. I couldn’t escape it.”

“You didn’t seem to want to escape it, what with the ‘Potter Stinks’ buttons. You were right there in the front of the Hate-Harry club,” Harry muttered.

Draco shrugged. “I had to do something. And people thought those buttons were funny.”

Harry glared at him, though kept silent.

“I remember the first task,” Draco continued. “I thought it was very entertaining to see you down there, trying to get past the dragon. I hoped it would get you. Thought it would serve you right…” He trailed off, lost in memory. Then he shook his head, returning to the present, and kept talking. “I saw how nervous you were about the second task. And some part of me… I began to worry. Just a little bit. Like some sort of nagging, in the back of my head. I couldn’t understand it at all, but there it was.”

“Didn’t stop you from selling me out to Rita Skeeter,” Harry said, with an eyebrow raised.

“Oh please,” Draco snorted. “Like that hurt you in any way. It was fun to see you squirm a little.”

“You’re really not gaining any points for me to trust you, you know,” Harry said with an eyebrow raised.

The blonde gave him a small smile. “The third task came,” he said, the smile disappearing. “And when you came out of it, you were a mere shell of your former self. Cedric was dead, Voldemort was back, and everything was hell.”

“You thought so too?” Harry asked, slightly surprised.

Draco ignored him and just kept on. “I hated seeing you like that. I wanted to talk to you, to tell you that I cared if just a little bit. Though the only thing I managed to say to you was what I did on the train home. Couldn’t very well have said anything even remotely friendly with Vincent and Gregory right behind me.

“That summer was pure hell at home. With Voldemort back, father became even more unbearable. I was – am – expected to follow in his footsteps, yet the more I saw of the way Voldemort treated his followers, the more repulsive became the idea for me to become one. My father… My father used the Cruciatus Curse several times that summer, when I didn’t do what he told me.” Draco shuddered at the memory. “It’s lucky we learnt how to fight off the Imperius Curse, ‘cause otherwise he would definitely have used that one.”

“Your own father?” Harry asked, horrified. He remembered that summer with the Dursleys – it had been close to unbearable after the Ton-tongue Toffee that the Weasley twins had tricked Dudley into eating. Harry had done everything – cleaned, washed, mowed, cooked… He was forever grateful that the Weasleys came to pick him up to spend the last two weeks at the Burrow. But at least the Dursleys hadn’t physically tortured him.

“When school started, I was convinced that I could never be a Death Eater. I had already seen too much. Father took me with him once and I was close to throwing up when I saw the pain and horror they created. I knew I couldn’t follow Voldemort.

“Still, there was no reason for me to join the good side. My plan was just to – hopefully – finish school, and then go into hiding somewhere abroad, where my father couldn’t find me.”

The tea water whistled, and Draco took it off the stove, but didn’t do anything further to pour the steaming liquid into the cups.

“Then you came to school. You’d grown taller over the summer, and I know that I felt really small in comparison. Suddenly, it wasn’t as much fun to tease you anymore. You had girls swooning all over you –” Harry blushed slightly at the memory “– and you were… happy. You liked being back at school, and you ignored me, for the most part.

“And I watched you… day in and day out, I watched you…” Draco’s voice trailed off, lost in memory once more. The grey eyes stared out the window, out into the darkness. “I found something there… watching you… I saw something in your eyes, and I wanted to be part of it. I saw faith. Faith in the human race, in the Wizarding community, and in the good side. Despite all you’ve been through, I can still see that in your eyes.

“I joined the good side, although I didn’t tell anyone but Dumbledore and Professor Snape. My father would kill me, as would the Slytherin house. I was quite content in playing my role, hating the Gryffindors because I was supposed to, because nothing was allowed to change in my appearance, and hating the Slytherins because they disgusted me. Professor Snape is my friend, ‘cause he knows exactly what it is I’m doing. He did the same thing.”

He sighed, and studied his hands.

“But then things had to get more complicated.”

“How?” Harry asked. “How could it get even worse?”

Draco let out a small, sad chuckle.

“I fell in love with you.”

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