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Tugging persistently on his mother’s sleeve, Draco whispered furiously as his eyes fell on the exit to Diagon Alley. “Are there really muggles right outside, Mother?”
“Darling, you are ruining the wrist on my dress with your pulling.” Narcissa whispered back. “Now, I promised I would show you but I will not sacrifice my clothing for it. Control yourself. I dare say you would not be so wild if your father were here.”
At mention of his father, Draco immediately straightened, releasing the arm he had grabbed in his excitement. “Of course, Mother. Are there really muggles, though?” He bit his lip, watching as his mother flinched; he had spoken too loud while out in public.
Now eight, he was responsible enough to accompany his mother on her outings into the wizarding world. Everyone knew that the perfect companion for a lady did not speak loudly or act in a rambunctious manner while out in public. Being childish was only for children, and children were not aloud to go on outings. This was the seventh time he had escorted his mother to the amazing and fascinating place that was Diagon Alley and, although he had learned to curb his excitement, today mother had promised to take him out into muggle London and he could hardly restrain the anxious butterflies alight in his stomach.
“Alright, Draco. First I am going to show you how to get into Diagon Alley when you arrive from floo, or if necessary, walking or coach. The only thing you need is a wand, and the proper knowledge of how to use it. Remember that, Draconis; all power is nothing without knowledge. A man could hold the most powerful object in his hands and be destroyed by it merely for being ignorant.”
Draco nodded obediently and watched as his mother used her wand to prod the bricks on the wall leading outside. The power of knowledge had been the first rule, and as he learned every new rule to living life as a powerful wizard, he was constantly stumbling across that rule again and again. Knowing was power, and knowing that one doesn’t have all the information was just as important in obtaining that information.
He did not know a lot about the muggle world. He had learned of its existence when he was five and had been fascinated ever since. But he had also been warned about muggles and their oddities as well. He would be feared, hunted down, used, tested on, killed, or worse if he were found out to be a wizard.
The bricks began to move and he stepped back involuntarily, eyes wide on the scene that was revealed before him. After all those warnings—and he had learned long ago that his parents did not warn without good reason—he was still jumping to see this strange and dangerous world that didn’t even know he existed.
“As you can see, muggles aren’t too keen on cleanliness. It’s not so much that they are slovenly, as is they do not have the magic or the means to keep things as clean as we can,” Narcissa told Draco softly, indicating the storefronts and buildings that were covered with different levels of grime and soot.
It didn’t seem so bad to Draco; when his parents weren’t looking he had spent plenty of hours chasing toads at the creek in his backyard, and knew from experience that dirt could be caked on a lot worse than this. He made a small tsking sound nevertheless, just because he knew his mother was expecting him to.
The street was, on the other hand, surprisingly mundane. He had spotted mostly wizarding establishments, and that wasn’t anything new, certainly nothing worth looking at. What he really wanted to see was a real live muggle, and since wizards and muggles walked side by side here, he couldn’t be fully certain if he was looking at true muggles or just his kind in disguise. “You said we could walk around, right Mother?” he urged, making sure to keep his voice at a respectable level.
Narcissa pursed her lips and gave a curt nod. “First, do you remember how you are to act when in the presence of muggles? Run through the list again.”
Draco did quickly, letting his mother double check his clothing to make sure he would fit in. He hadn’t worn a robe over his normal clothes; robes were not of a muggle nature, and would not only stand out, but also attract negative attention from people who would think he was dressed in the wrong gender style. His dragon hide boots he had gotten for his birthday had been replaced by trainers, and the long-sleeved shirt he had on was simple, not having any lace or frills like the majority of the ones he owned. It was a little much for the summer weather, but mother had assured him he wouldn’t look over dressed to the muggles, just of someone of high society.
Satisfied with both of their appearances, Narcissa placed her delicate arm in Draco’s and together they slowly made their way down the street. Up ahead, Draco could see groups of people, all dressed in shorts and t-shirts and a few in more formal business wear. Coaches—no automobiles—buzzed and puttered, coughing out smoke and moving at speeds that seemed hazardous when so many people were about. Draco felt his heart speed up with it, and it took everything in him to stay with his mother instead of skipping ahead like he really wanted to.
A clock, towering spire piercing the skyline, gave a low chime and Draco stared in wonder. “That’s um…tekology, right?”
“Technology, dear, and yes. But that’s an older form; they have far more advanced models now.” Clearing the street and walking into the hub, Narcissa held Draco’s arm a little tighter so the press of bodies didn’t separate them up ahead. “Let’s go through a couple of stores. If I see anything suitable, perhaps we can get you a gift.”
“Really?!” Momentarily dismissing all protocol, Draco turned and gave his mother a quick, one-armed embrace before letting go and beaming. Narcissa raised a brow at his antics but smiled in response, and moved them to the closest storefront filled with electrical devices.
Mother had been very determined not to get him anything electrical no matter how much he pleaded. Draco knew that it wouldn’t run properly in the magical realm but he didn’t really care. He figured if he worked on it long enough he’d eventually be able to fix it so that it could run on a different power source. Mother had scoffed at him and picked out a muggle toy that shot out foamy disks. He liked the toy so he kept his complaints to himself.
“Draco, dear, stay in sight.” Narcissa pulled out the small handbag she kept just for muggle money, and joined the line waiting to pay for purchases.
The store was ridiculously crowded. Perhaps she should have saved their outing for a weekday when muggles were less likely to be out of their offices and schools. But she had learned long ago that it was easier to be inconspicuous in a crowd of people than in a scattering.
Maybe she would get Draco a small electrical knickknack after all. He had been looking forward to this outing for ages, practically jumping around the house like a happy puppy ever since she had told him it would be today. Maybe one of those little video games… she was pretty sure Lucius knew a way to shield the technology from the affects of magic.
“Pardon me, Madame,” a young woman wearing far too much makeup and clad in lacy black from head to toe, addressed Narcissa. “I couldn’t help but notice your dress. Wherever did you get it? It’s so hard to find custom made dresses, and such a fine quality at that. You must tell me.”
“I’m afraid it was a gift from my cousin. I couldn’t tell you where she found it,” Narcissa replied politely, but her eyes made it clear that she had no intention of discussing it further. Wilting under her gaze, the girl turned back to her friend without another word.
Narcissa kept her eyes set forward from that point after, only glancing around to locate Draco’s white blond hair from time to time. Maybe the video game was a bad idea; they had been there twenty minutes and her son was still staring intently at the screen along with a large group of boys, watching as two battled each other. Perhaps one of those portable clocks—wristwatch, if she remembered correctly—would be a better idea. Most all of the muggles wore them, and they would be helpful in getting her son home on time when he insisted on playing out in the yard when he knew dinner would be served soon.
She stepped forward, a tall man taking the place behind her and blocking her view of the corner Draco was playing in. She placed the toy on the counter so it could be scanned and the price entered into the computer.
Draco was probably too young yet for a computer. They were too easy to use in communication with the world of muggles, and although she didn’t mind feeding her son’s curiosity, Lucius didn’t want their son too sympathetic towards muggles. Certainly, her husband had gotten more lax over the years since the disappearance of the Dark Lord, but she had a feeling some things would never truly change.
She wanted her son to be able to see all sides and let Draco choose for himself, but Lucius and his Malfoy pride were not so lenient. If the gods were good and Voldemort truly dead, Draco would never have a choice to make.
“You have to be kidding me, lady. Do I look like a bank?” Narcissa fixed her eyes on the store clerk and raised a brow at his scowl. Honestly, didn’t muggles practice customer service?
“I have nothing smaller, young man. You have more than enough to reimburse me.” She ignored the man’s glare and waited patiently for her change. It was only for Draco that she had graced this particular low-classed establishment. She was certain there were more suitable toy stores, but she hadn’t had the time to research. It had been a long time since she had journeyed outside of the magical community, and things changed in the muggle world as much as things stayed the same in hers.
Finally her change was handed back to her… but things weren’t quite correct. The man was glaring at her still, and Draco’s toy had yet to be packaged. “Must I ask for a bag, or is commonsense beyond you?”
“We’re out of bags.”
Narcissa could see at least ten bags in plain sight right behind the counter. “It seems you are blind, as well as rude.” She debated calling for the manager, but decided she really didn’t want to stay any longer in this store than she had to. With a discrete flick of her wand the shelf behind the clerk gave a lurch, its contents spilling to the floor with a loud crash. “Oh my, what a mess…”
While the frantic clerk tried to bring some order to the mess, she reached across the counter and grabbed a bag, carefully placing Draco’s new toy in it. A demure smile in place, she whirled and carefully picked her way around the crowd, moving over to the gaming stations where Draco was likely still glued. She spotted his shining locks in the crowd and reached out to touch his shoulder. “Time to go, Draco.”
“Huh? Watch it lady.” Surprised, Narcissa stared at the crude boy that was most certainly not her son. Shaking off her shock, she turned and scanned the mobs of people for Draco, her heart speeding up the longer it took to find him. Forcing herself not to panic, she began searching each row, even going so far as to check the men’s loo.
No, no… he was probably right outside. Draco disliked crowds; he probably stepped outside for some fresh air. The bag shaking in her grip, she strode quickly to the door, not caring that she had knocked into at least five people on her way. Bursting out of the store, she looked desperately for Draco’s telltale white-blond hair.
Draco was nowhere to be found.
Alright… maybe he had wandered into another store. Maybe he had gone back to look at the one with computers while he waited. She’d check them all if she had to. Gods, what were the words to that locator spell?! Her mind was drawing a blank, and she wondered if she’d even be able to cast a simple lumos right now. Oh dear… no, she wasn’t going to faint. She didn’t have time to faint. Narcissa took a shuddering breath and carefully made her way to the closest bench so she could sit for a moment, just in case, beyond all strength of will, she did pass out.
Draco would be fine. No one knew who he was here, or who his father was; they would have no reason to harm him. And Draco was a smart boy. He knew enough to stay away from strangers or anything that could harm him.
Oh why hadn’t she given him his wand today! He only knew a few little spells, but the Ministry would be able to track him the instant he used it. Oh gods, her poor baby was all alone with all these strange muggles, probably scared out of his mind with no means to defend himself…
Pushing herself off the bench, Narcissa made her way to the nearest store to search. A moment later her vision dimmed again and she fell to the ground.
Eyes wide for signs of his mother, Draco continued down the street he was certain led back to Diagon Alley. There he’d be able to floo call his father, or if need be, the Ministry—anyone with enough power to help him find his mother.
One minute she was there, standing in line, and a moment later she was gone… just gone! It wasn’t like her to leave without him, not when they were on an outing. All he could think was that maybe she had fallen ill; she had a delicate composition after all, and could have had to step out to rest.
The bench outside the store was filled to the brim with a muggle family, so he had taken off towards the one all the way on the corner, but that one had been empty. Not sure what to do—and standing around worrying seemed foolish if his mother was ill somewhere—he had retraced their steps back to more familiar ground.
Unfortunately, familiar ground wasn’t that familiar anymore. He had been certain that the right alley was up ahead, but once turning the corner he was faced with a dead end. Whirling, Draco looked for some sort of landmark that might let him know where he was but found none.
Oh no, oh no, oh no… he was lost—Wait! Eyes intent on the skyline, Draco picked out the tall spire of a clock tower. All right, he just needed to find the spot where he could see the face of it, and where the small landing jutted out at the side, partially covered by a tree, and he should end up on the street he had started out on.
Oh, but it seemed farther away than it should be… He must have been walking in the wrong direction since the very beginning. No matter, it was around lunchtime now, so it shouldn’t get dark for a while.
Feeling calmer now that he had a goal, Draco kept his eyes on the tower and began walking again.
“Quit it!” Harry jumped over his cousin’s fat foot, resisting the urge to stomp on it for good measure. Something pulled at the back of his collar, and before he knew it, he was tumbling backwards, knocking his thigh and shoulder painfully on rocks hidden in the grass. He blinked up blearily, just making out Dudley’s sneering round face.
“I told you to stay out of my way.” Harry ignored him, his bruised narrow fingers scrambling blindly for his glasses and praying to any god listening that they weren’t damaged. He found them by his head and slipped them on, happy to see that they hadn’t gained any new scratches. Then he rolled out of the way before Dudley decided to start kicking him, and sat up, holding the ground until he stopped feeling dizzy.
Why Dudley seemed to need the whole bloody park was beyond him. It was huge, with trees, and a playground, and plenty of kids for the overgrown boy to pick on and yet, once again, Harry was left dodging his cousin’s attacks. His Aunt and Uncle had dropped them and Dudley’s friends there for the day to be watched by Pier’s parents. Pier’s parents were currently talking to a small group of parents also in the park, and didn’t seem to notice, or care that Harry had already been punched, kicked, knocked down, and chased during the whole first hour there.
“Grrr, stop it, Dudley!” Harry grabbed the foot before he was kicked in the stomach, and pulled. Leverage, and Dudley’s extra weight, was the only reason the big boy went down. Harry didn’t stay around to see just how angry Dudley would be once he recovered. Scurrying to his feet, he took off towards the trees and the opposite direction Dudley’s friends were playing.
If he had to, he could always hide up in one of the tall trees. Harry didn’t mind, really. Climbing trees was fun, and no one ever found him because he was really good at staying still when he needed to. He liked listening to the birds and being surrounded by layers of foliage, watching the people pass by oblivious to his presence.
It was funny how no one ever looked for him unless they wanted to hurt him… Right, that wasn’t really funny at all.
Once Harry was a few yards into the forest he slowed his pace to a normal walk, moving deeper in before he started looking for a good hiding spot. It was quieter here; the trees blocked the sound from the roaming cars and the noises of the city that surrounded the park. The light was different here too, sparkling and brilliant among the trees, and warm and yellow. It felt safe and familiar compared to the stark reality that greeted him everyday outside his cupboard door.
Only his second visit to the park, Harry already knew he was home.
He knew the perfect tree too, having found it last month when he had been dragged along on the Dursleys' turn to bring the kids to the park. It was a tall tree, the lowest branch far out of reach for even Dudley, who was tall for his age. This deterred most climbers, but Harry had noticed the way a large rock had gotten tangled in the tree’s roots. If one had the courage, they could pull themselves up on that big rock and then, if they didn’t mind a few scrapes and bruises, they could wedge their feet against the tree trunk and jump, catching the low branch against their chest and using it to scramble up.
From there it was easy to climb the rest of the way up, and Harry didn’t stop until he was half way up and resting where two thick, strong branches crossed to make the perfect seat. The bark was even a good type, not that rough, bumpy stuff, but the smooth kind that didn’t itch his back and shoulders when he leaned back and rested against the trunk. He was high enough that he could see the goings on in the small forest, but not too high that he’d be exposed and spotted from the park in the thin leaf coverage.
The summer air felt nice, a gentle breeze rocking the tree he was in. He felt himself drifting and didn’t really mind. Harry fell asleep a lot outside. Maybe it was all the light; he never had nightmares when he fell asleep in the light and not the the dusty cupboard under the stairs.
“Waaah—Ooof! Owwww, ow, ow, ow, owwy, ow…”
Harry started from his nap, grabbing frantically at the branch he had fallen asleep on before he could fall from his perch. Light headed and not quite awake, he blinked around for whatever it was that had woken him, his gaze eventually falling on the sniffling form on the ground below.
“Hey, are you okay?” Harry called down, leaning over to get a better look at the little blond. Bright, crystal clear gray eyes sparkling with tears met his, widening in surprise to see him there.
“Are you… are you an elf, or a tree spirit?” the boy whispered, his voice strained from crying.
Harry furrowed his brow, pushing up his glasses that gravity was trying to pull from him. Didn’t the kid know elves were make-believe? “What?”
“I’m sorry! I just wanted one little bitty branch to make a wand. That’s all, just a little branch. I’ll leave if you want. I’ll never touch a tree again, promise! Just—just don’t hurt me…”
Harry stared in disbelief, watching as the blond fidgeted, obviously ready to run if need be. “Why would I…? I’m just a kid, that’s all. I’m not some sort of elf spirit or what not.”
The boy didn’t seem relieved but winced and gingerly held his arm. Harry could just make out the red staining his shirt. “Hold on. I’m coming down, okay?” He grabbed hold of the branch he was resting on and pushed off, swinging down with his legs flailing a moment before his toes found footing on the branch below. Harry bent and used the tree trunk for support while he crouched and sat on the branch he had landed on, slowly making his way down to the ground.
Draco scrubbed his eyes with his sleeve, watching the strange boy maneuver down the tree. If it weren’t for the funny clothes, he’d think the boy was lying about being non-magical. He was very agile and small, just like the elves mother had told him about. The wild hair and glowing green eyes completed the image and Draco couldn’t help but stare as the boy leaped to the ground, landing as gracefully as a cat.
Stepping around the big rock, Harry walked up to the blond with a look of pure concern. “Is your arm okay? You’re bleeding.”
“No, I-I’m fine.” Draco shied away, feeling nervous around the wild looking boy. He was just too intense, energy crackling around waiting to spark like a broken toaster Draco had seen for the first time just that day.
Harry blinked, taking in the boy’s strange clothes and odd hair color. He lived with a family of blonds, but none of the Dursleys’ hair was quite as stunningly bright, almost white. And he had never met anyone with eyes like that, all silvery like. “Oh. Are you sure? That’s a lot of blood… And you ripped your shirt.”
Draco stared blankly down at his arm, seeing the large gash for the first time. It had hurt when he had fallen, but he was too busy crying about it to notice the blood.
“Err… you’re not going to faint, are you?” Harry put a steadying hand on the boy’s shoulder as all color drained from his already pale face. “Here, maybe you should sit down.” He carefully led him over to the big rock, helping him lean against it. “Listen, if you tell me what they look like, I can go get your parents for you.”
Draco shook his head dully, first studying the ground and then the narrow grimy hands that were carefully pulling his sleeve apart to reveal his wound. He had to get back. He had to find his mother. The clock tower never seemed to get any closer and he had been walking for a while now.
“It’s not too bad… just a nasty scratch I think.” Harry gently closed the fabric back up and pressed it firmly to Draco’s upper arm to slow the bleeding. “Here, just hold it like this and it’ll be better in no time.”
“I, uh… thank you.” Draco covered his hand over the one holding the makeshift bandage, the boy carefully pulling his away. He’d never had a real cut before. Mother would always charm it away the instant he started crying.
“How do you know how to… um…?” Draco trailed off, feeling too miserable to really talk aloud. He had just noticed all the cuts and bruises on the brunette. The boy probably had a lot of first hand experience at treating cuts, being wild and living in trees.
“Oh, that’s from my cousin Dudley,” Harry answered, noticing where Draco was looking. “He’s bigger than me, and his parents love him and really hate me, so they look the other way when he beats on me. I’m pretty fast though, so he doesn’t catch me a lot. That’s why I was up there.” He pointed to the treetop. “Dudley’s too fat to lift his own weight. He’s real lazy, just like a pig. Good thing for me pigs don’t fly.”
The joke worked and Harry cheered inside to see the blond crack a small smile. “Come on, I’ll take you to your parents.”
The boy was small, almost as small as Harry, and he seemed really delicate, like he’d be easy to break if Dudley got his fists on him. His hair was nearly as white as his clear skin, and with his large crystal eyes Harry thought the boy likely more a tree spirit than he would ever be. Almost otherworldly... and it made Harry feel special just to be near such a beautiful boy. He probably had really caring parents that made sure he never got hurt. His clothes looked fancy, like a rich kid’s, so that would make the kid’s parents extra fussy if something had happened to the pretty blond.
“Oh, my name’s Harry, by the way. Do you live around here or are you on a trip too?”
“Oh, ummm… a trip, I guess,” Draco said lamely, unable to meet the boy’s questioning gaze.
Surprised by the obvious lie, Harry took a step back and shoved his hands in his over-sized jean pockets.
He hated being lied to, but he supposed maybe the blond had a good reason. Harry had to lie to his schoolteachers when something strange would happen, because he knew they’d only punish him if he told the truth. Of course, they always thought he was lying when he told the truth, which was why he was punished. It was easier to tell them what they wanted to hear, that way his Aunt and Uncle usually weren’t called about it.
“So… what’s your name?” Harry pressed when the boy didn't supply it freely.
“Draco Malfoy, of the pureblood Malfoys,” Draco whispered, digging into the dirt with his shoe. “Um… you wouldn’t happen to know where here is, would you?”
“What… the park? Uh, I think there’s some sort of sign back that way.” Harry glanced towards where he had left his cousin and friends. Draco Malfoy… it was a strange sort of name. Kinda regal sounding, and maybe a little, well, special, like magical even.
The boy gave off that sort of air; he was too perfect to be real. He was really graceful, and with his eyes and hair he seemed almost not human. Maybe… maybe he wasn’t. What kinda person would see a kid in a tree and ask if he was an elf, all serious like?
Then again, he could just be crazy too… Shrugging, Harry turned back to Draco. “Why? Don’t you… err, don’t you know where you are?”
Draco shook his head, tears filling his eyes. “No… I-I can’t find my mum, and I d-don’t know where I am…” Saying it aloud was harder than he thought, and Draco began to cry, not from pain this time but from utter fear and hopelessness.
“H-Hey, it’s okay…” Not sure what to do, Harry placed a hesitant hand on Draco’s shaking shoulder. He had never known a boy to cry before in front of anyone else. Girls from school sometimes, but not boys. They would have been teased and beat up mercilessly. But Draco seemed less the type to care what others thought.. He was weird, just like Harry. “I’m sure if we find a policeman they’ll be able to find your mother and, uh, take you back home… Really…”
Harry couldn’t understand why the boy started crying more at his words. Harry sighed, not sure how to fix the boy, but very much feeling terrible that he was crying. He was pretty sure the police would be able to help… unless Draco really wasn’t from around here but some sort of elf or something… but that was just silly. “Listen, honest, all you have to do is tell a policeman your address and they’ll take you home in a jiff.”
“No! You don’t understand!” Draco wailed, sinking to the ground and burrowing his head in his arms. He shouldn’t have left the store. He should have waited there for his mother and… and if something h-horrible had happened to her no one would ever come for him no matter how long he waited! Mother and him had been the only ones from the wizarding world that knew they were there!
Draco began sobbing in earnest. He was never going to get home again. The muggle world was so big, and no one even knew he was there, and he had no magic to protect him, or gold, or anything!
Harry bit his lip and sat down beside Draco, letting the boy cry it out. Given that he probably had a good family and home life, he looked devastated to not be able to find his way back.
Harry would love to not have to go back with the Dursleys, but he didn’t have any other place that would take him in. That was really the thing, though. It didn’t matter where it was, he’d just be happy to have people that loved him. He would do anything for that… No wonder the boy was so sad.
“Draco?” Harry scooted over and carefully tugged at the blond’s arms until red-rimmed crystal eyes met his. “I’m going to help you, alright? We don’t have to go to the police if you don’t want. I’ll help you find your mum no matter what. I promise.”
Scrubbing his face free of tears, Draco gave a half laugh, half sob. “H-How old are you?”
“What? Er, eight… What’s that have to do with anything?” Harry scoffed. “I swear, I’m gonna help you.”
Harry looked so determined, Draco almost believed him. “Do you know the area well? I need to find a certain spot.” He sniffed and pointed to the clock tower that could be seen through the trees.
“Well… actually, I don’t.” Harry smiled sheepishly. “But, I am good at finding things. I have really amazing luck, and a good sense of direction. I know all about the rail system and how to get to Privet Drive from there—that’s where I live, at Privet Drive. Once I’m done helping you, I can just hop a train and go home.”
If Harry remembered right, elves were supposed to have pointy ears. Draco’s weren’t really round, but he wouldn’t call them pointy either… so he probably wasn’t an elf after all. His own ears weren’t that round either but he was pretty sure he wasn’t an elf. Aunt Petunia never would have taken him in if he were.
Draco bit his lip thoughtfully. He really didn’t want to be alone anymore in the huge muggle city. A companion meant twice as much help looking. But the boy was the same age as him, and it seemed wrong to let him get caught up in something like this. “What about your parents? They’ll be worried if you suddenly take off.”
“It’s kinda hard to worry when you’re dead,” Harry said blandly, shrugging his shoulders. “My Aunt and Uncle take care of me, but they won’t care. Honestly, I’m sure they’d be happy if I went off and never came back. They’d probably throw a party. I think Dudley would be the only one who would miss me, and that’s only because he’d have no one to blame when he breaks, or steals something from his parents.”
His own problems momentarily forgotten, Draco stared in disbelief. “You can’t mean that. Family is supposed to take care of each other… It’s—It’s like one of the rules!”
“I don’t know about that…” Harry scratched the tip of his nose, staring out into the woods. “I think my parents loved me… I’m pretty sure they did, but they died when I was just a little baby. Sometimes I think my Aunt wished I had died along with them. But I didn’t, did I?” He turned back, flashing a crooked grin. “One day I’m going to grow up and get away from all of them. I’ll fall in love, and have a family of my own, and I’ll make sure they’ll have as much love as I always wanted. That’s a ways off though…”
Harry blinked, sobering a bit. “Um, so did you want to get going now? Stuff like this, it’s best to figure it out the first day. After that I think things get more complicated, needing food and shelter, and all that.”
Draco stared silently at Harry, trying to figure out how someone so small had gone through so much, and could still smile so easily. They were the same age, and yet Harry seemed to know a lot more about some things that his parents had never covered. Life experience, he supposed. If anything, it made him a good person to be around in the muggle world, and… Suddenly Draco realized he didn’t want the boy to leave him.
“I just need to get a branch from that tree and then we can go, alright?” Draco reached a hand up, holding onto the rock to help stand. Startled, he gasped as Harry suddenly slid his arm under his armpits and lifted him up like it was nothing.
“I’ll get it,” Harry said, leaping up the side of the big rock before Draco could say otherwise. Draco watched as the boy jumped up to the low branch; was he really only some muggle human? Harry moved like a tree spirit or something.
Draco took the time to dust his pants off, willing the funny blush that had sprouted when Harry had suddenly grabbed him to go away.
“How’s this?” Harry called down, pointing to a fair sized branch longer than his arm.
“It doesn’t have to be so big.” Draco held his hands out to indicate the size, and Harry nodded, quickly snapping a piece and dropping it down to the waiting boy.
Draco caught it, surprised that it was exactly how he had wanted; thin, straight, and with no bumps or knots to mar it.
Before Harry could jump down, Draco whispered the words his father taught him to help find large concentrations of magic. Because Draco’s magic was weak from his inexperience, the locator would only be able to find really big magic, but that was okay because the only magic he was looking for came from the center of the wizarding world. If he went in that direction, he was bound to run across his own people.
“Hey, have you eaten lunch yet?” Harry jumped to the ground, cheeks red from the sudden activity. “I was just about to get mine before you showed up. I’ll get you something if you want… it might take a while until you get a real meal.”
Draco flushed, touching his stomach lightly. He’d had a late breakfast with mother before the trip into the muggle world, but with all the walking and worry, he was famished now. “I am a little hungry, I guess.”
Harry smirked. The boy was obviously starving. “I’ll go get us something to eat. Be right back.”
“Wait—” Draco grabbed onto Harry’s sleeve, eyes wide and desperate. “You’ll come back, right?” He didn’t know what he’d do if he was left alone again.
Harry turned, grabbing Draco’s hands and squeezing encouragingly. “I’m just going to get food to keep us going, and then we’re going to get you home. Your parents are probably really worried right now. If my parents were still alive… Well, people who care about each other should always be together, you know? It’s just how it should be.”
Beaming, Harry let go and skipped backwards. “Don’t go anywhere. I’ll be right back. Promise.” With that he ran off, back towards Pier’s parents and the bags of lunches waiting to be eaten.
Draco watched until the boy disappeared among the trees. Sighing, he sat back against the rock. The low throb in his arm kept him from relaxing, so he decided to see if it was all right. He couldn’t help but wonder what sort of food muggles ate. Probably stuff less dangerous than food from the magical world. It’s not like there were monsters to disguise themselves as food around here.
Carefully, Draco pulled the bloodied sleeve away from his skin and peered down through the slash in the material. Huh, the bleeding had stopped. Actually… Draco opened the fabric wider so the light could reach the wound. It looked, well, smaller. He could have sworn the cut had reached higher, all the way up to his shoulder, but now it was only a thin red line about three inches long on his upper arm.
…Maybe Harry really was magical.
Smiling to himself, Draco climbed up to the top of the big rock and sat, swinging his feet idly while he waited to catch sight of the wild boy.
Not feeling guilty at all, Harry grabbed both of Dudley’s lunches, plus his own much smaller one. He figured Draco needed it a lot more, and Dudley could do to lose some weight anyways. The older boys were busy picking on some children that were playing on a swing set while their parents looked on apathetically. Stuffing everything under the shirt Harry had inherited from his cousin that could have fit two of him at once, he slipped towards the closest stand of trees, following them round about to finally get back to Draco.
He was glad to see the boy had stopped crying and looked happier than when he had started out. Now free from prying eyes, Harry pulled the bags from under his shirt and placed them up next to Draco on the rock. “Do you mind eating and walking at the same time? I took my cousin’s lunch, and he’ll be looking for me once he figures it out.”
Draco couldn’t help but snicker at the thought Harry took his mean cousin’s lunch. “I bet he’ll be real mad, huh? Brilliant.” He scooted to the edge of his perch and stared warily down at the ground where Harry was.
“Oh, yeah, it’s funny as long as he doesn’t catch us.” Harry sent a nervous glance over his shoulder. He could definitely handle Dudley, but Harry did not want to think what his cousin might do to someone so soft like Draco. “You coming?”
Draco nodded but didn’t move, eyes still fixated on the ground. “Um… it didn’t seem so high when I got up here.”
“Oh, well… here.” Harry held his arms out. “Jump, and I’ll catch you.”
Surprised, Draco took a good look at Harry’s arms. They were really thin beneath those billowy sleeves, and even though he could see that there were the beginning signs of toned muscle, he really didn’t think they could hold much. “I really don’t think so.”
Laughing at Draco’s expression, Harry gave a little hop. “Come on, I’m stronger than I look. Or are you going to sit on that rock all day?”
“Ummm…” Draco wasn’t really convinced, but he didn’t want to stay on the rock all day either. He wanted to find his mother and go home. “Okay… Try not to drop me though.” Slipping his sneakers down the side of the rock face and lowering himself as far as he could without falling, he was still over the other boy’s head. There was no way he was doing this.
“Come on, don’t chicken out now,” Harry urged when he saw Draco trying to push himself back up to where he had started.
“I’m not chicken—I’m smart!” Draco yelped, his outburst causing him to lose his footing and fall forward. He was certain he had just killed himself, but surprisingly strong arms wrapped around his chest and his feet hit the ground with only a little thump.
“Told ya,” Harry teased, helping Draco catch his bearings and straighten out. “Besides, you’re almost as light as I am, so it wasn’t that hard.”
Draco nodded dully, his side aching a bit from where he had been caught. “I don’t feel so good…”
Harry immediately stepped back and put a firm hand on Draco’s arm, covering where his wound was. “Did it start bleeding again? I’m sorry, I didn’t mean—”
Draco cut him off with a shake of his head. “No, my tummy hurts… I’m all queasy from falling.”
“Oh, alright. Here, just sit for a bit.” Harry glanced back towards the way he had come, anxious to get going. They were supposed to have lunch at two, and it was around one forty-five now. Dudley would be bugging the adults to eat, and it would only take one look to notice that the lunches were missing.
“It’s okay,” Draco whispered, noticing how anxious the other boy was. He didn’t want to get Harry into any trouble. He certainly didn’t want him to get beat up by his cousin because then he wouldn’t help him find his mother. “I’ll feel better after a little walking, I think.”
Harry nodded, not really believing him but knowing they had to get moving. “We’ll go slow until you feel better. Which way?”
“Um, hold on a sec.” Draco pulled the stick Harry had gotten him from his back pocket and cupped it close to his stomach, turning his back so he wasn't seen. The stick pointed to the left but Draco had been moving more to the right the whole time before. Conflicted, he decided to continue towards the clock tower. It wasn’t a real wand, and he didn’t know a lot of magic yet, so he was probably messing up the spell somehow. He tucked the stick back in his pocket anyways, liking the imaginary security it gave him.
“This way, towards that clock tower.”
Harry nodded in reply. He was curious about what Draco had been doing but he didn’t want to be nosy. Reaching up, he grabbed the bags of food and together they set off towards the right, the woods around them growing thicker and thicker for the first ten minutes before finally breaking away into the streets of a wealthy neighborhood.
“You really seem to love her. Is she pretty? I think my mum was pretty, but I don’t really remember.”
“She’s really pretty, probably the prettiest mom in the whole world. She’s really nice too. She reads to me, and sings, and at least twice a month we both go out on an outing.”
“Outing?” The only outings Harry had been on were the few to the park, and once in a while he’d go somewhere with the Dursleys when his Aunt couldn’t find a babysitter.
“Yeah, we’d go for tea a lot, and sometimes clothes shopping… We always looked at the store windows even when mum said she didn’t want to buy anything. I was her protector. She didn’t like to go out alone because she has weak blood, and passes out a lot…” Draco trailed off, clenching his fists at his sides.
“She’s okay, Draco.” Harry placed a comforting hand on the boy’s shoulder. “The way you talked about her, your mum must be smart enough to take care of herself.”
“But she doesn’t know anyone here. How do I know some mean muggle isn’t going to attack her without me there to help! She could be passed out in the middle of a street or—”
“Stop it, Draco, she’s fine.”
“No, she’s not. She’s sick, and worried about me, and she could even be lost too!” Draco sniffed, his eyes going wild behind the new tears threatening to spill.
Harry sighed, placing the bags on the low wall they were passing so he could grab onto the boy's narrow shoulders.
“Hey, it’s going to be all right. If something happened to her, they’ll take her to the nearest hospital and they’ll make sure she’s okay. And, if you’re just worrying for nothing and she’s fine, then she’s probably talking with the police right now to help find you.”
Harry carefully wiped the boy’s tears away. “Either way, you’re both going to be all right, and see each other again real soon. I wouldn’t have come along if I didn’t think it was possible. I would have pointed you to the police instead, and went back to sleeping in the tree.”
Something in his little speech must have been funny because Draco’s eyes widened in surprise and he giggled tearfully. “What? What did I say?”
“No… it was a really nice thing to say, really,” Draco managed past his giggles. “I do believe you. My mum is probably fine and I’m just worried.”
Harry looked unconvinced, mostly because the weird blond had yet to stop laughing.
As if reading his mind, Draco continued. “You—You sleep in a tree!” He laughed aloud, throwing his hands up as if the humor was obvious. “I thought you were an elf because I saw you in a tree, but you’re just a muggle, and yet you sleep in a tree! It’s funny.” Beaming, Draco pulled on Harry’s arm, only giving the boy a moment to grab the lunches before skipping down the street.
“I’m a what? A muggle?”
“Yup.” Draco answered distractedly and pointed to a skyscraper in the distance. “What is that? It looks like some weird, shiny mountain but my mum said that people work in it, and it lights up at night.”
“You’re not from around here, are you?” Harry commented thoughtfully, as Draco once again asked another strange question. PB&J equaled peanut butter and jelly; what kid didn’t know that? And come on, asking what a mailbox was for, or bicycles, or asking, god help him, why didn’t Harry just lose his glasses and see better? Draco was not normal, and Harry found it absolutely fascinating.
“I told you, I’m on an outing with my mum,” Draco said matter-of-factly.
Harry just rolled his eyes. “You’re a horrible liar, just so you know.” He said it lightly, not wanting to hurt the boy’s feelings. Sometimes you had to hide things, and Draco had no reason to trust him with the truth. He wasn’t about to let the boy think he bought his act, though.
“What? I was on an outing!”Draco insisted, his cheeks turning pink.
“Right, right, but where are you from? You won’t tell me that, will ya?” Harry smiled and pulled a juice box from one of the bags, handing it to Draco.
Together they had eaten their way through one of Dudley’s lunches. That left them with another big one and Harry’s own pitiful bag. He figured it would be enough for dinner, although he hoped it wouldn’t take that long. The more time he spent with Draco, the more he got the feeling that they may be looking for a long time—like a really long time.
After letting Harry fix the straw for him, Draco sipped on the drink, using it as an excuse not to answer. The first rule with dealing with muggles was secrecy. And he knew it wasn’t just for his own safety, but for Harry’s as well.
Right now Harry still had deniability. Wizards didn’t like muggles knowing about them. A lot of Draco's people looked down on muggles, like they weren’t good enough to talk with or even touch… as if they were diseased. It had only taken a few minutes with Harry to see how wrong that opinion was.
“Want some?” Draco handed the juice to the brunette, making sure Harry saw him not wipe the straw off when he got it back and took another sip. He didn’t think Harry had any diseases, and he didn’t think he was stupid or inferior. Actually, the boy was really smart… He’d probably know how to keep a secret, too.
“I don’t usually sleep in a tree, you know. I live in a house with my Aunt and her family,” Harry mumbled, feeling it was important Draco know he at least had a home and wasn't as poor as his clothes made him look.
Draco nodded. “You were hiding from your cousin, right?”
“Yeah.” Harry glanced over at him. “Do you have any brothers or sisters?”
“No, I’m the first heir in my line. Father wants mother to have another child, just in case, but she’s really delicate. It makes me glad I was born a boy, because my mum would have to keep having children until she bears a male heir.” Draco was oblivious to the confusion on his new friend’s face.
“Oh… well, if your mother wasn’t delicate? Would you want to have a brother or sister? I always wanted one—a real one, not like Dudley or the berks he hangs out with. I think I’d feel less alone, having someone around who understands me.”
“I don’t know. My parents, they really understand me.” Grabbing onto Harry’s hand, Draco gave it a small squeeze and smiled. “What’s to understand about you?”
The question surprised Harry, or maybe it was the simple kind gesture he wasn’t used to having directed at him. “What?”
“You know, what makes you you? Why do you feel so different from the rest of the people around you?” From what Draco had observed, Harry was a totally different species from all the muggles he had seen that day. He wanted to know why.
“Oh, umm… well, let me think.” It was a strange thing to figure out. Harry knew, there was no question there, but he wasn’t quite sure why, or what he knew.
“They’re hiding something from me, my Aunt and Uncle,” Harry blurted suddenly. “About my parents and about me. They know who I am and they hate me for it.” He turned gleaming eyes to the blond. “It’s hard to explain…”
Draco frowned, holding Harry’s hand tighter. “I don’t think anyone can really explain hate. Why do you think they feel that way about you?”
Harry shrugged, looking down at his shoes. “Weird things happen to me. It really freaks my Uncle out. He yells and knocks me around like it’s my fault. My Aunt will start shrieking, her lips and knuckles going all white like a ghost is about to jump her.”
Harry met the worried gaze hesitantly. He was afraid to lose his new friend so soon. Eventually something weird would happen and Draco would freak out and never want to talk to him again. It always happened. Draco was pretty cool, but Harry was sure he’d still think he was weird or worse, lying about the stuff that happens to him.
“Weird things happen to me sometimes,” Draco offered quietly, hoping to stop the boy from chewing on his lip in anxiety.
Harry glanced glowing green eyes his way, hope sparking. “…Really?”
“Sure.” Draco flashed a small smile. “Like for starters…” Draco held up their clasped hands. “I can feel stuff, umm energy… a special type of energy. I can feel it in you.”
“Yeah?” Surprised, Harry reached up so he held Draco’s hand in both of his, crushing their lunches in the process. “What’s it feel like?”
“Uh, well l-like magic, of course,” Draco stuttered, the wild tingle coming from Harry's hands going all the way down to his toes.
Harry watched the boy blush, his mind whirling. Draco had said the M-word, and he had said it like it was the most obvious thing in the world.
Uncle Vernon had told him time and again, until he was purple in the face, that magic didn’t exist and anyone who said otherwise was a filthy waste of life. He had said it so many times, and always so angrily, that it had made Harry sure that he was lying about it. It made him wonder if magic was actually real.
“What… what does magic feel like?”
Draco shook his head dumbly, clasping his other hand over the two holding his. “It feels like you.”
Mother had told Draco about the rare muggles that grew up to have powers like his own kind. Eventually they would be accepted into Hogwarts, a school whose founders were indiscriminate with who was allowed to attend. They would become a part of the wizarding society… Harry would become part—
“You’re a wizard!” Draco cheered, lunging at the brunette and tackling him into a bear hug.
“W-what?! Ooof—watch it…!” Knocked over, his elbow stung from where it had hit the ground, Draco’s weight pinning him down. Rearranging his glasses, Harry gave the beaming blond an annoyed glare. “Are you off your rocker?”
Draco laughed, too happy with the prospect of Harry living in his world to notice his discomfort. “You know what a secret is, right?”
Harry rolled his eyes at the question. “Yeeeah. Why? Is that why you can’t tell me where you’re from?” He blinked innocent eyes at the blond.
“Well yeah, it’s a big secret, you see… But, if you can promise not to tell anyone, a real promise, a blood oath, then I could tell you. You’re going to find out when you’re older anyways. If you know, it will make it easier for you to help me find my home so, umm… yeah. What do you say?”
Harry wriggled distractedly; Draco’s weight was sending tendrils of warmth through him and he wondered if that was what magic felt like. Harry wanted to know the secret, there was no question about that. For some reason, he wanted to know everything about Draco, more so than he could remember ever wanting to know anything. “What’s a blood oath?”
“We both cut ourselves and mix the blood together while saying ‘I swear on my life I’ll never tell.’ It doesn’t have to be a lot of blood…”
Actually, since Harry was a muggleborn the oath might not even count. It wasn’t real magic, but things concerning blood alone could be more powerful than some spells. “We’ll have to find something sharp. That is, if you want to?” Draco tilted his head questioningly, smiling bemusedly as he caught the soft calming scent the boy gave off.
“Did you just sniff my hair?” Harry asked, a giggle bubbling in the pit of his stomach.
Draco blushed, realizing that was exactly what he had just done. “No! I j-just… oh, stop laughing!” He sat up, sitting on Harry’s legs so the laughing boy wouldn’t jiggle him.
“This is going to be so brilliant, Harry. When we find my mom she’ll be so happy to meet you. She might even charm up her famous fairy-honey squares just for you.”
“Yeah, yeah, they’re really good! Even better than that candy bar we had. Come on.” Draco got up and grabbed Harry’s hands, pulling him to his feet. “We need to find something sharp.”
It had only taken a minute for Harry to find an open kitchen window and ‘borrow’ a slender, but sharp knife. If he remembered later, he’d certainly return it, but for now he felt he should hold on to it for the remainder of their search for Draco’s mother and home. They were, after all, two kids in a very big and potentially dangerous city.
“Have you ever done this before?” Harry asked, barely flinching as he drew the knife across his palm and blood began to seep from the cut. He frowned when he caught the pasty look on Draco’s face. Something told him this was going to be a little more difficult than Draco had made it out to be.
“Once…well, I kinda saw someone do it.” Draco took the knife with a shaking hand, fear making his skin prickle and his grip waver. He stared at the blade, unable to press it to his flesh. “I… umm…”
“Do you want me to do it for you?”
Draco laughed tersely. “Yes, but it doesn’t work that way.” He took an unsteady breath and closed his eyes. “I can do this,” he whispered, and before he lost his nerve, Draco cut, trembling the whole time. “Quick, give me your hand.”
Harry did, lining their cuts up together like Draco had showed him. “I swear on my life I’ll never tell.” His eyebrows shot up as a distinct pulse of heat ran up his arm before slowly fading away. “Did you—?”
“Yeah.” Draco’s eyes were just as wide in surprise. “I… I guess it worked.”
“Guess so…” Blinking away his confusion, Harry tightened his grip to get Draco’s attention. “Well? What am I not telling?”
“Oh, yeah.” Draco was still staring at their joined hands with a look of confusion. “It doesn’t hurt anymore.”
“Err… no, it doesn’t actually.” Harry carefully pulled his hand away so they could stare at their palms. There was a smear of blood that had collected and mingled, but the cuts they had just made were barely a white line on each of their hands. “Wow… wow, that’s real. Draco, that’s real magic!” Harry said excitedly, his green eyes bright in exhilaration and awe.
“Well yeah, of course it is.” Draco huffed, but he was just as surprised as Harry. He examined his hand carefully, flexing his fingers. “That’s pretty neat, actually.”
“It’s brilliant,” Harry confirmed, lapping the scarlet puddle from him palm before wiping his cleaned hand dry on his jeans. Watching him, Draco hesitantly followed suit and flickered a pink tongue over his own palm.
Waiting for the blond to finish, Harry carefully pocketed their new knife in his jeans, his over-sized shirt easily covering the handle from view.
“How can you…?” Draco scrunched his nose at the odd tang of blood. It wasn’t completely unpleasant, but he certainly wouldn’t make a habit of it. “It tastes weird.”
“Yeah, but you don’t want to get it all over your clothes and everything. People will think you murdered someone.” Draco took another curious lick and then began looking around for someplace to wipe the rest of it off on.
Harry rolled his eyes and grabbed the boy’s hand. “Here, I’ll do it. Half of it’s mine anyways.” Grinning mischievously, Harry ran his tongue over the blonde’s palm, giggling when Draco yelped in surprise.
“H-Hey, quit that!” Draco tried to pull his hand away but Harry followed, using his other hand to hold the boy’s arm still. “Argh, that’s icky! Harry!” Draco whined, squirming in the firm grip as the spaces between his fingers were thoroughly cleaned.
“It’s only blood, Draco.” He found the boy’s squirming funny, and teasingly bit at his hand, rewarded with more giggling jumps.
“Harry— I’m s-s-serious here! Quit—ha, ha, haa! ” Getting a little fed up—he hated when he couldn’t stop laughing—Draco grabbed blindly at the boy’s messy locks, accidentally knocking Harry’s glasses off in the process.
“Sorry… just let go already.” Draco met the unfocused green eyes, amazed by the vibrant green color blinking at him. “You’re uh… you’re really weird, ya know that?” he said decidedly, combing Harry’s wild tangle of hair. “Like a puppy or something.”
“Puppy?” Harry cocked his head to the side, licking his lips in thought. “You know, I always wanted a puppy. A nice one; my Aunt Marge has this really vicious dog that hates me.”
“Oh, well if you were really a puppy, I imagine you’d be a really nice one,” Draco whispered, pulling his hand away, which was now squeaky clean and distinctly moist, and shoving it in his pocket before Harry did something else weird. Blushing, he helped Harry find his glasses in the grass.
“So, tell me already,” Harry persisted, pushing his glasses up his nose and scrambling to his feet. “Where do you live, and stuff?” He pulled Draco up, and grabbing their lunch bags, set off towards the clock tower again. He didn’t want to stay around the area, afraid that somehow they would get caught for taking the kitchen knife.
“My house is called Malfoy Manor and it’s, well it’s hard to say where it is exactly,” Draco tried to explain. “It’s unplottable—that means that it can’t be found by magical means. Only those who know beforehand can find and enter my house. That’s why it won’t help to ask the muggle police for help, because they could never find it.”
“So, only you and your family can find it? But, if you don’t know where it is, and you can’t find your mum…” Harry trailed off uncomfortably.
“Well, um, if I can get back into the wizarding world, I’ll be able to find it right off. You see, we have this floo system network thingy that lets us go wherever we say.”
Harry shook his head in confusion. “Maybe you should explain what you mean by wizarding world first. It sounds like you’re from another planet or something.”
“Uh, it’s the same planet, just… how do I explain this…? You know how you muggles have different countries, right? Well, think of the wizarding world as another country, just that only the people from that country and some bigwigs in your government know about.
“There are small groups of us everywhere, really, but London holds one of the larger populations of our kind. And I mean our, Harry. The only real difference between muggles and us is our ability to use magic, really.” Draco smiled excitedly. “Not everyone sees it that way, but my mom has been teaching me, and that’s what I figured out. Muggles are non-magical people, and that’s that. It doesn’t mean they’re meaner, or less smart, or anything else.”
“Um, okay.” Draco was looking at him expectantly, so Harry hesitantly nodded his head. He still wasn’t quite sure about all of it yet, but it sounded really interesting anyways. “You said that my government would know about your world. What if you went to them? Maybe they could help you get home.”
Draco bit his lip and shook his head. “I don’t think… Um, my father kind of has a history around here. They might…” He looked away, tousling his white-blond locks.
“We have money, you know? So people that want that money might decide that they could hurt me, or mother to get it. My father isn’t well liked in the muggle world, so they might think it would be okay to do something like that if they knew who I am… He’s an important man, my father.” Draco looked ahead blankly. “But I think there must be a reason so many people are afraid of him.”
Harry stared at the boy. Afraid didn’t really seem to fit the description. The way he had sounded, Harry would think people would be angry or jealous of Draco’s father, not frightened. He let it slip though, because Draco seemed agitated about the subject.
“Have you ever been kidnapped before, or am I your first?”
Gray eyes regarded him in surprise, taking in Harry’s teasing smile and laughing eyes. “You think you could kidnap me? I bet you’ve never even held a wand before!”
“I don’t think I have…” Harry mussed, not quite knowing what Draco meant by a wand. “But I’ve most certainly got you, don’t I?”
Draco shook his head in amusement. “If anyone is going to be considered a kidnapper, it’s me. For all anyone knows, I’m luring you to your doom.” He accented the last three words with wiggling fingers that he used to attack Harry’s stomach.
Sniggering, Harry wiggled away. “I don’t think it’s kidnapping if no one’s ever going to look for me. Ha, or if I actually want to go with you, too.”
“Do you want to go with me?” Draco asked suddenly, eyes wide and innocent and making Harry lose a step. Harry very much wanted to go everywhere with Draco.
“Uh… well, I don’t suppose that really matters,” Harry said awkwardly, his mood immediately falling. “I mean, the Dursleys are horrible, but I suppose I could be in a worse situation.”
“Still,” Draco persisted, “do you?”
Harry glanced at the boy, going quiet.
It wasn’t something he wanted to talk about, mostly because there was no point getting caught up in dreams like that. Since the first time he could remember, he had been waiting for someone; his parents, a relative, a friend of his family, anyone to come take him away from the Dursleys and give him a proper home. He had hid that little dream in a small part of his heart, knowing that it would never come true, but unable to fully let it go. At this point it just hurt to think about it.
Concerned by his new friend’s brooding, Draco gently bumped Harry’s shoulder with his. “You’re a wizard, you know. You don’t have to go back to them anymore. You should live with your own kind.”
Sighing, Harry shook his head, but gave the boy a smile for his efforts. “Do you think it’s that simple?”
Draco shrugged. “It is for my father. He can do anything... Come on, I think I see something familiar.” Draco hurriedly dragged Harry towards the back of the line of houses, pointing out a tall, wired fence. “This was on one side of the alley we came in from so… that would mean the alley is right on the other side!”
“Um, I don’t think it works quite like that,” Harry said hesitantly, noticing the very normal field the fence was surrounding. “There’s more than one fence like this.”
“What…but…” Draco stopped and scrunched his nose, eying the quite obvious field that could be seen on the other side. Not completely convinced, he grabbed onto the fence and climbed halfway up so he could poke his head over the side. Like Harry had said, it was just a field. “Darn… I thought it was a magical illusion.”
“Sorry, things are kinda simple around here.” Harry waited for the blond to jump down, trying to hide his smile.
Imagine magic that could make you think you were looking at something, when another thing was really there! “What other things can magic do? Can it stop a war? Or make the snow fall in the middle of summer? I want to know everything.”
“Sure, um, let me just check something first.” Draco searched the skyline for the clock tower landmark. It still seemed rather far away and he couldn’t figure out why. If it was anywhere but the muggle world, he could blame it on magic. The residential neighborhood they were in was also confusing him. It seemed odd to have houses within a city, well, houses with large yards. But that could be a muggle thing too. Torn, he decided to try his locator again.
“Hey, Harry. Do you want to see some magic?” Draco asked while pulling the stick from his pocket. He held his hands palm up, the branch of magic free to sway as the green-eyed boy leaned close with an expression of rapt concentration. Sure enough, the stick stopped its spinning, only to point in the opposite direction they had been heading. Sighing in frustration, Draco plopped to the ground.
“What's wrong?” Harry asked, sitting next to him after a moment.
Draco made a moan of displeasure, pointing to the clock tower. “So, that's the tower I saw when I was with my Mom, and I figured getting to the right side would be where I could find my world. But it hasn't been working—I keep walking and walking and it just doesn't get closer.”
“...Could it be magic?” Harry asked quietly, looking a little disbelieving at the thought.
“I don't know...” Hand straying to where Harry's was resting beside him in the grass, Draco fiddled with the boy's fingers thoughtlessly. Harry frowned to himself, not sure why Draco kept touching him all the time. It didn't hurt—it wasn't like Dudley, always trying to hurt him. Harry wasn't even sure if it was a normal thing, because he had never really had a friend before, and he didn't know what friends did normally.
It made Harry look at Draco a lot, and notice how he looked, with his wide eyes and flush mouth against his pale skin. And Harry supposed that reminded him just how weird he was, because even if Draco liked to touch him, he probably wasn't thinking the same weird thoughts Harry thought when the boy did it. Draco might have been pretty enough to be a girl, but he definitely wasn't one, and Harry didn't mind at all. Uncle Vernon would have called him a freak for it... definitely...
“Maybe it is magic...” Draco mused, eyes straying to Harry's. “Diagon Alley is hidden by spells so you can't see it. Maybe I'm looking for a clock tower that was hidden in the alley, and not in the city. That could explain why it's taking so long to find the place—I could have been walking away the whole time!”
Harry was not sure if that was how magic worked, having only just learned about it, but he imagined Draco would know more about it then him. “So... should we go the other way?” Harry asked, watching as Draco's white eyelashes blinked slowly.
Draco nodded, but made no move to get up. “I'm tired... really tired. I don't think I've ever walked so far in my entire life.”
Harry nodded to himself, looking at their surroundings. They were at the edge of the field, in a suburban neighborhood. There were no houses close to them, and no other people wandering. “If you want to close your eyes for a bit, we can get going after you rest.” Draco was a delicate sort, and Harry didn't want the boy hurting himself.
Draco fell back into the long green grass, eyes slipping up over the bright blue sky and the fluffy white clouds slowly blowing by. The grass tickled at his skin, and he squirmed, letting the smell of green and dirt fill his senses. He reached for Harry's hand again, brushing fingers across and liking how Harry's energy sparked at him in response. He had never felt magic quite like Harry's, so raw and wild, like stumbling across a dangerous wild animal in the woods and bringing it home for a pet.
Draco glanced over, thinking that was probably not a nice, proper way to consider someone. But he couldn't help himself, feeling like Harry was some wild, magical creature—very special, and very much just for Draco to play with and take home.
“Hey, Harry?” Draco asked, watching intently as the boy turned his way, a small frown on his tanned and dirt streaked face. “Can I see your glasses?”
Biting his lip, Harry pulled the taped frames from his face and handed them over to Draco by the narrow ear piece. Draco held them gingerly, bringing them closer and closer to his eyes until he was peering through at a blurry, almost watery world.
“Is this how you see things all the time? Fuzzy?”
Harry bent closer, flattening out on his stomach and scrunching his nose as grass tickled his chin and throat. “Without them, yeah. The glasses make things sharp for me. I can see up close okay without them.”
Draco pushed Harry's glasses up to his forehead, the world tilting and coming back into focus. He turned his head, hand coming up to touch Harry's fluffy hair. “You're very different from the people I know. My mother would throw a fit if my hair was so messy... or if I came home covered in dirt... or wore clothes that didn't fit right.”
Harry shrugged, eyes half closing as Draco insisted on combing fingers through his hair as if he were a dog. “That's because your mom loves you... Although, even if I did have a loving mom, I don't think my hair would ever be neat.”
“No...you're too wild for that.” Draco agreed, looking very serious. “Harry, you should come live with me.”
Breath catching, Harry turned his head up to see if Draco was joking. He was very close, his bright skin smelling like soap and boy, only looking a little blurry as Harry blinked at him. “Draco, I don't think your parents would ever agree to something like that... Adults don't just take kids in...”
“So? I bet if I ask really nice, my mom would agree. All she'd have to do is meet you—I'm sure she'd like you as much as I do.” Draco said optimistically, very much used to getting his way.
Harry shook his head, very much liking the way Draco smelled. “I'm not normal... Your parents wouldn't like me, Draco...”
“Harry, I keep telling you, normal isn't good for a wizard. You don't want to be normal,” Draco insisted, pulling a little too hard on Harry's hair, his fingers getting stuck. He carefully worked at the small knot, smoothing the strands up into a point once done.
“I'm not a good person,” Harry whispered, looking away and burying his head into his folded arms. “I'm very much a bad person. People get hurt around me... and I don't feel bad about it... I think sometimes that I'm glad they get hurt. Especially when they're trying to hurt me first.”
Draco sighed, his eyes closing against the warm sun and soothing breeze. “That's like my father. He's good at hurting people... and mom loves him. I love him... He protects us. As long as you don't hurt us, I'll love you.”
Harry didn't say anything, staring at the long strands of grass brushing his face while Draco's breathing evened out into sleep. No one could ever love someone like Harry, and it was crazy to ever get his hopes up.
He pushed himself up on his arms, eyes roaming over Draco's sleeping face. A part of him very much wanted to never find Draco's parents. They didn't have to go to the Dursleys—they would only hurt someone like Draco. They would tease him for being the type of boy that was sweet and cried, and liked to touch other boys because he not so secretly liked them.
Harry was fairly certain Draco liked him the same way he liked Draco... And Harry did not want to let the boy go. But Harry had no place to live if not the Dursleys. Draco was very soft and sweet—he would not want to live in trees, or out in fields. So Harry would take Draco home, to the people that loved him, and then Harry would go back to the Dursleys and forget about things like magic and how easy it was to fall in love with someone like Draco.
Harry eventually had to wake Draco up, the afternoon light slanting the trees shadows long, and reminding him that it would be night soon. Draco was still tired, his eyes heavy and body wavering as Harry helped him to his feet. The boy was worn out, plain and simple, just too much having happened that day.
As much as Draco felt uneasy about back tracking after all the distance he had traveled, after explaining it more to Harry, they both agreed it was the best course of action. Better to go back to where Draco had started than hope he was headed in the right direction the whole time.
Twilight was starting to fall, and Draco was getting hungry again by the time the trees started to be surrounded by small fences on the sidewalk and city neon began flickering in shop windows.
“It all looks so different at night,” Draco mused, looking around and pressing closer into Harry's side. Harry had gotten used to how clingy Draco was by this point, and just raised his arm so the boy could wrap around it.
“Do you think you're close to where you last saw your mom?” Harry asked, looking around warily. Cars lines the street, more flowing back and forth, taillights turning everything red as traffic sat for the signal. There were a lot of people on the sidewalks, older people being loud and stumbling as they went in and out of bars and restaurants in groups.
“I don't know... I remember there being benches to sit on...” Draco trailed off, both Harry and him finding the nearest bench with their eyes, only to discover a homeless person camped out, a sign at his feet while he filled the bench with his dirty coat and black plastic bags filled with stuff.
Pursing his lips into a grim frown, Harry decided it was time for Draco to eat something, if only to distract the boy from his nearly panicked breathing. He pulled Draco to a bench not full of anyone and their stuff, and sat the boy down and handed him Dudley's other large lunch. Harry didn't eat, not feeling hungry at the moment, his stomach tight with anxiety as he watched every face that walked by and thought to look in Draco's direction.
Draco was too pretty, Harry was realizing. Not just too young, because Harry was young and people didn't pay him much heed. Draco was soft, and sweet, and everyone kept looking at him because of it as if they wanted to take him away... And some of the people, especially men, looked as if they wanted to hurt Draco, their eyes roaming over Harry's new friend as if he were a meal to be eaten.
Harry wasn't sure if he was glad Draco seemed oblivious, or frustrated. He did not want to panic the boy—it was too easy a task as it was—but Draco was just so carefree, swinging his feet and looking openly at these hungry looking people as if they weren't the predators Harry sensed them to be. To the point that some slowed down, one man, this sandy haired, soft smiling thing with hungry brown eyes, daring to stop and talk to them while Draco sipped on his juice box.
“You two look like you're out on a trip together,” the man said, crouching down so that he was eye level, as if not to frighten them. Harry glared, meeting the dark eyes and willing the man to go away. He did not, turning instead to Draco, his smile handsome and gentle even though his eyes were not.
Draco squirmed under the attention, glancing at Harry uncertainly. “We're uh, just out for a walk...”
“Go away,” Harry snapped, taking Draco's hand when the boy reached for him. The man seemed very interested in that, that Draco had reached out to Harry, and Harry found himself wanting to growl and push the man, but was afraid to frighten Draco who only looked confused and not scared yet.
“Well, I couldn't help but notice you were eating, and I thought maybe you would like something warm?” The man said calmly, head tilting in a way that made Draco relax. “It's getting cold out, and I don't know if you realize it, but it's very late.”
“It is?” Draco asked, eyes looking around the city that was now alight with colors and neon, the sun having disappeared hours ago.
“We don't want anything from you, so get lost,” Harry said sharply, getting up from the bench to glower down at the man. “My dad is right in there, and he's coming right back.”
The man held up his hands, smiling apologetically, and looking as if he didn't believe a word of what Harry had said. “I didn't mean to frighten you. I just thought you might be hungry.”
“Well, you were wrong.” The man was still blocking Draco's way, and Harry scowled, reaching for Draco's shoulders and pulling the surprised boy down the bench and off. Harry glanced at the last of their food, realizing it was better to leave the bag than reach across the man again. Holding Draco's arm firmly, Harry led the confused boy down the street, glancing back to make sure the man didn't follow.
He was watching them, the same fake smile and hungry eyes watching, and Harry shuddered inside. “Come on, Draco, that man is trouble.”
Draco bit his lip, glancing back as well, and giving a small smile in response to the beaming one the man sent him. “He seemed okay, Harry. He just wanted to give us some warm food. It is getting cold out.”
Harry shook his head, amazed at the boy's naiveness. “Draco, that was a bad man.”
“He was?” Draco furrowed his brows, glancing over his shoulder again, but the man had disappeared.
“Yes. He very much was. Didn't your parents ever teach you not to speak to strangers?” Harry asked, huffing when Draco just looked at him blankly.
“Harry... my parents are always with me—always. If there is someone to talk to, they already know them,” Draco said uncomfortably, not sure why Harry was angry at him.
Harry sighed, noticing Draco's expression and feeling guilty. “Just... just don't go thinking everyone is safe, okay? You said people didn't like your dad, remember? So you should be careful...”
Draco nodded slowly, staring at his shoes. He shivered, and Harry wrapped his arm around the boy, wishing there was a place they could go where they would be unnoticed. Kids weren't out this late at night, not in bars or restaurants. They were home in bed, safe under their parents' watchful eye. “How about you do the spell again? Figure out if we're still headed in the right direction.”
“Kay,” Draco whispered, pulling the stick from his back pocket. He huddled his body against the wall so no one could see what he was doing. Harry took the time to look around, feeling very exposed all of a sudden as if they were being watched.
“Hey... do you know that guy?” Harry asked under his breath once Draco was turning towards him.
Draco looked up, hands frozen as he held the stick. A man in a long leather coat and straggly red hair was staring at them from the corner of an apartment building. “I don’t think so.”
“He’s been watching you, and I’m pretty sure he was on that last street we just stepped off of.”
Draco took another look at the man’s coat. From this distance it was hard to be sure, but the cut and the detail on the coat was a lot like wizard’s wear. “Do you think he knows my parents?”
“Actually, I think he’s a creep.” Harry said bluntly, grabbing onto Draco’s arm when the man started moving towards them. “We should get out of here.”
“But I think he might be one of mine,” Draco persisted, standing his ground. The man’s boots were definitely dragon hide. He was a wizard, which meant he’d know how to bring him home. “Harry, I think he's a wizard.”
Harry shook his head in irritation, wishing again that Draco wasn't so bloody naïve. “Draco, wizard or not, he's damn creepy.”
Biting his lip, Draco watched the man approach, his straggly hair fitting well with his dirty face, scruffy beard, and worn clothes. If he was a wizard, he wasn't a rich one... which meant he wasn't a very good wizard, Draco imagined.
Harry tightened his grip on Draco's shoulder, trying to pull the boy away, but the man was towering over them now, smiling cruelly and revealing rotted, tobacco stained teeth. “Malfoy, your father has been looking everywhere for you.”
Having scrunched his nose at the man's unpleasant appearance, Draco suddenly beamed, relief clear in his eyes. “Oh, you do know my father! I was so afraid I'd never—Harry, did you hear him? He knows my father!”
Harry was less impressed, glaring at the man while Draco nearly pulled his arm off in his enthusiasm. The man glared back, beady black eyes fixing on him and then moving to Harry's forehead where his thick hair blocked the view of his scar.
“That wouldn't be Harry Potter, would it?” The man asked, something akin to greed crackling in his eyes and making Harry step back from the feel of it.
“Draco... let's just get out of here.” Harry muttered, pulling at the oblivious boy.
Draco pulled himself free from Harry's grasp, turning to stare at him disbelieving. “Harry... are you really? I mean—that's mad! Are you really Harry Potter?”
Harry shrugged, unable to meet the boy's blazing stare. “Uh, that is...”
When Harry wouldn't give a proper answer, Draco stepped closer, carefully pushing at Harry's fringe until he could see the lightning bolt scar. “Harry... that's amazing... You're amazing...” He breathed out, looking at Harry in such wonder Harry's breath caught in his throat.
Harry swallowed hard, shaking his head and stepping away. “I'm not, Draco... I'm a monster... They all told me. The Dursleys know what I did, and I'm a monster...” He took another step back, faltering as the sidewalk crumbled beneath his feet. He stumbled, eyes going wide as a large hand grabbed him by the back of his shirt collar and pulled him roughly upright.
It was the sandy haired man with the hungry eyes, his smile too wide and menacing. “It's okay, Potter. You get just as much money selling monsters as you do little boys.” Harry had only an instant for the implication to sink in, and then he was falling backwards, the man slamming him hard against the building wall where his head cracked against the brick.
“Shh, it's okay. Boys like you like this.”
“N-no. Don't touch me... ohh.”
“See, you like it. Fuck, look at you, fucking pureblood…”
Harry shifted, red flashing behind his eyes. His head felt cracked in half, pain flooding like a heavy weight of hot sand where his brain should be, gritty and overwhelming to the point he could barely think.
“Please, l-let go.”
“You don't mean that. Such a pretty thing like you.”
“Give me my clothes back... and stop. Stop doing that.”
“I will, I promise. First, first you're going to do something for me.”
Red flashed again, and Harry groaned. His stomach churned like he was going to vomit and he wondered if it was another concussion. Petunia always yelled when he hit his head on things.
“Come on, pretty baby. Let me put it in you.”
“No. That... that feels strange. Don't touch me!”
“You're gonna like it. Boys like you always like it. You're so soft... so fucking hot inside.”
The darkness was swirling, spinning, a whirlpool threatening to take him down and drown him. It felt so far away, every noise and gasp. Harry tried to grasp it but his limbs were too heavy to move.
“I'm gonna make your friend mine, your special friend. Is he a boy like you, baby?”
“Leave him alone.”
“I think he's a boy like you, baby. I think he wants to play with us.”
“No. Leave Harry alone!”
“Or what, baby? Did you want to play with me alone. Do you want to be my baby slut?”
“Just stay away from him.”
It felt like Dudley was sitting on him, stealing his air and crushing him to the floor. Harry’s nose wrinkled from the smells. Cheerios... and cat piss... and rot... and noises... sniffling...
“Open up, baby. Spread those legs wider. We both know how much you like it.”
“That's it. Fuck, that's it. Look how hard you are. You're going to come. I'm going to put it in you, and you're going to come.”
“Get off me.”
“Not until I...”
Eyes snapping open, Harry jerked up, the world jolting and stopping its maddening whirl. His stomach made a lurch, threatening to escape, but he ignored it, getting to his feet and swaying precariously. “Draco?” he rasped, searching the dark room cluttered with broken furniture, piles of old newspaper, shoe boxes, and clothing. Children's clothes were everywhere, strewn across the floor, on tables and the one worn couch he could see among the mess.
Harry whirled, turning behind him where there was just a crack of greenish yellow light coming from an ajar door. It was Draco and he was scared. Harry waded through clothing and paper, stepping over and nearly tripping on an old suitcase. He could hear the boy crying, sounding like he was in the midst of another panic attack. “Draco!”
Harry threw the door open, the wood resisting as it caught on clothes piled behind it. There were three large dirty mattresses on the floor, squished together, no sheets on any of them but more small soft clothing in bright colors covered the area. A television was on in the corner, the sound muted as a cartoon flashed on the screen. Along with the green tinted light it made everything look more ghastly and stark, especially the sandy haired man that had Draco in his lap, long fingers moving between his pale thighs.
Draco had such a tormented look on his sweet face, Harry wasn't sure if he wanted him to save him, or run away and be safe. “Harry, I thought he killed you!” Draco sobbed, struggling with the hands holding his thin torso and hips in place. “Let go!”
“It's okay, baby. He can watch if he wants,” the man murmured, kissing Draco's neck while wrenching the boy's hips still. “God, you can all have a turn before my friend comes back, I promise. Just give me a second to...”
Harry saw the man reach for his hardening dick and he stepped into the room. “Draco, it's okay. He's going to stop.”
“I am?” The man asked, smiling slowly as he took a look at Harry, eyes moving over him hungrily. “Did you want to go instead?”
Harry stared at him. He didn't feel angry anymore, just empty inside. There was this dark, heavy feeling inside Harry's chest that had replaced the rage he had felt the instant he had seen what the man was doing to Draco. The dark feeling knew what to do. It always did.
Harry took another step forward, staring the man down. “I'm going to kill you.”
The man laughed but Draco didn't, going very still while staring at Harry with a mix between dread and absolute, all consuming hope. “With what? Come over here and watch TV while I play with your friend, you pretty, green-eyed boy.”
Harry blinked, glancing from Draco and then back to the very stupid man that had yet to let the boy go. “I just wanted to let you know, that's all.” And then he let the darkness out, watching the man stiffen, his hungry eyes widening as his body began to twist on itself. Draco scrambled away the moment he could, whimpering as he rolled on the mattress, eyes fixed on the contorting man.
He barely screamed, the man's thick neck twisting just as quickly as his muscular limbs, small choked gurgles of breath breaking free as blood burbled from his mouth. Harry watched dispassionately, making sure the man kept twisting, kept turning in on himself until he was thin, wrapped and completely broken.
Once he was certain he would never untwist and hurt Draco again, Harry breathed deep, letting the feeling seep out of him, willing the darkness to stop for now. But he didn't let it completely go. He might still need it for the straggly haired man if he was there.
Draco was shaking, silent tears falling. Harry internally sighed, knowing he had very much lost his only friend. His head still hurt, more so now that Draco was safe and he could feel things again, and Harry touched the back of his skull gingerly while looking around the room. Blearily, he realized he had lost his glasses but it didn't seem to matter. Draco had been right—all Harry had to decide to do was see better and now he could.
The sheets that belonged on the bed were covering the only window, red spaceships floating on a blue background splitting the otherwise bare, dingy walls. There were too many child things in the room, toys and stuffed animals, younger things for younger kids, and it made Harry feel sick to think about it.
His eyes were drawn to the television and a strange stick sitting across the top that seemed to be resonating power. It felt as twisted as the man was. Harry picked it up, flinching from the feel of the foreign magic. Glaring, he placed it back down again, not sure if he wanted to keep something that made him feel so sick inside.
“Draco, do you know where your clothes are?” Harry asked, seeing that the boy had gotten himself in enough control to stop shaking quite so wildly. Draco nodded his head but made no sign that he was willing to move just yet.
“I know you're scared but we have to go, Draco... Even if you don't ever want to see me again, we have to get out of here.” Harry crouched before the too quiet boy who had his face buried in the mattress. “I'm sorry I scared you. I didn't want him to hurt you anymore.”
“Not scared,” Draco murmured, squirming against the bed and refusing to look at Harry still.
Not sure what to do—obviously the boy was terrified, and rightfully so—Harry reached out and touched Draco's shoulder. Draco stiffened from the touch, face peeking out to gasp for air, cheeks flushed and silver eyes hazy. “Draco we should... go...” The boy was looking at him so strangely, Harry had to swallow the lump that had risen in his throat.
“Harry, he did something to me,” Draco whispered, eyes downcast while he panted. “A spell... said to... oh, to make me like it... That boys like me liked it a lot...”
“Draco, he shouldn't have done that. Even if you're... you're that kind of boy...” Harry said softly, having guessed before being caught by the man that Draco liked boys. “You get to decide what you like, not creeps like him.”
Draco nodded, moving up the bed, eyes closing as his skin rubbed against the mattress. “You don't understand... god, it... it feels funny... feels good...”
Harry was at a loss, Draco climbing up him and holding onto his shoulders while pressing his face into his neck. The boy was pulling at Harry's shirt, trying to take it off, and that seemed like a very strange thing to want to do at any time, even if it was Dudley's hand-me-downs. Harry tried to catch Draco's hands but his head was spinning and the boy kept rubbing up against him, making it hard to concentrate.
“I like you, Harry... I like you a lot...” Draco whispered into his ear, wet lips touching his cheek. Draco's skin felt so very hot against Harry's, like the boy had a fever. Closing his eyes, Harry nodded, a part of him very relieved that Draco wasn't afraid of him for having just killed a man in front of him. If Draco could forgive that terribleness, Harry could forgive the strange things the beautiful boy was doing to him.
Draco finally managed to pull Harry's over-sized shirt off, mouth moving over his neck and chest while his hands pulled at Harry's back, rubbing and touching him with such intent that he had to wonder if Draco had done this before. Harry couldn't help but noticed that Draco was hard, the boy making soft noises into his skin every time he pushed his hips up against Harry's waist, grinding into him.
“Does it feel good?” Draco asked, pulling back to meet Harry's eyes, his pale hands straying down Harry's sides and making him shiver.
Harry shrugged, not quite sure how it felt, just that Draco seemed very engrossed in pressing his body against his and there was little Harry could do to stop it—at least without hurting the boy or his feelings. Looking concerned, Draco swayed closer, Harry nearly going cross-eyed with how close the boy was staring into his eyes. “I want you to like it, Harry. I want you to like me.”
Harry did like Draco, he just wasn't really sure he liked touching Draco in some fucked up room with a twisted up corpse sharing the bed with them. He was about to say something along those lines when Draco pressed his lips to Harry's, the boy's gray eyes still intent on his. Harry closed his, unable to handle Draco's closeness, another shiver shaking him. Draco was licking at his mouth and he wondered if the man had done that to him, and that's why he thought Harry would like it.
Harry pulled back to breathe, and Draco followed after him, tongue delving into his mouth, surprising Harry and rushing heat through him. “Draco...” Harry gasped, but the boy only did it again, rubbing his tongue against his. Harry's tongue felt slow, almost sore as he stretched it out, pressing back against Draco's hesitantly. Draco made another soft moaning noise, rocking against Harry while holding his shoulders hard.
“Draco... someone could come back any second...” Harry tried again, but Draco didn't seem to hear him, the boy having pulled away to lick at Harry's neck. It made Harry feel funny, his skin tight and hot, with the only relief to be Draco's wet tongue moving over him. Cheeks flushed, he didn't fight Draco when his hands were suddenly on Harry's jean waistband. “Oh hell—oh!” Harry gaped, eyes wide, Draco's mouth latched onto his nipple and licking.
Draco pulled back, smiling softly with his eyes still very hazy, his entire body swaying as if he could hear a song in the background. “Did you like that?” He asked breathlessly, leaning in to lick Harry's lips. Harry nodded silently, watching Draco's smile widen, his swollen lips extra red now. Draco was very pretty... probably the prettiest person Harry had ever seen, boy or girl.
Staring at his mouth the entire time, Draco asked Harry another question. “Did you... want to put it in me, Harry?” He licked Harry's mouth again, then breathed deep and sighed. “I think I'd like it if you did it.”
Harry shook his head, trying to gently push Draco away. “Draco... that's only for grown ups, okay? He shouldn't have made you think that... that you want that...”
Draco groaned, a soft whine echoing somewhere around Harry's shoulder as the boy clung tight and began to lick his skin again. “The feeling won't stop... he cursed me, and it won't stop...”
Harry really wished Draco would just stop, the boy's feverish flesh making him feel too hot and suffocating. He could feel the boy's small hands, pushing at his jeans, pulling persistently until Harry's pants and underwear were down his thighs. Then Draco was pulling away, pulling Harry's pants off the rest of the way, leaving him with nothing but shoes and sock on. “Draco, this isn't right.”
Draco nodded in agreement, then crawled back up Harry's stiff form, wrapping his arms around him and straddling his legs. “Just once.. just until the feeling stops... He said it would stop once he... oh god... once he put it in me enough times...”
Harry growled, holding Draco's shoulders in place and trying to get the dazed boy to meet his eyes. “He was lying, Draco! He just wanted you to do whatever he wanted—he wanted you like this. He wanted you to want this.”
“No, he couldn't make me...” Draco whispered, leaning against Harry's cheek. “I didn't want him... I fought him...” He ran his hands over Harry's back, slowly moving up and down and drawing little flames of fire over Harry's skin with each touch. “Even with the feeling... I didn't want him...”
“Draco...” Harry sighed warningly, his eyes closing on their own accord.
Draco just smiled, kissing Harry's cheek, hands slowly moving down his body. “But I want you, Harry... You're really nice... and strong... and brave...”
“I'm horrible, Draco. I'm a fucking monster and you shouldn't touch me.” He opened his eyes, watching Draco flinch when he swore.
“I like you,” Draco insisted, eyes wide and clear of any fear.
Harry sighed, not knowing what to say to make the boy see reason. Because Draco still didn't seem to care that the twisted bleeding corpse was only feet away, and that the creep's partner could come back at any moment and capture them all over again. Was that what some magic did? Could it mess up someone's mind so much they couldn't see reality anymore?
“Draco, I think the curse you're talking about is making you not see things properly... We really need to go, and... and, oh... Draco... you shouldn't do that...” Although the pale boy was blushing, he still kept moving his hand over Harry's hardening prick, trying to get it as hard as his was with slow tugs.
Draco pressed closer, rubbing up against Harry's stomach while pumping his length. “I like you... and you like me, Harry... I know you do, 'cus you saved me...”
“Damn it—that doesn't mean... god... Draco, just promise... you won't do this... with anyone else that saves you...” Harry managed to choke out, his hands flying to the boy's shoulders and holding himself up. For all Harry knew, Draco thought this was a proper thank you, the sweet boy very much weird at the moment.
“Okay...” Draco promised easily, eyelashes fluttering as he watched Harry's small length jump in his hand. Well, at least the boy wasn't crying anymore, Harry thought distractedly, pushing his hips forward into the touch, mouth gaping when Draco tightened his hand more. “Oh, you like that... I can tell...” Draco murmured, smiling dazzlingly until Harry just had to smile back.
“Now will you...?” Draco asked, again looking very hungry and dazed at Harry.
“Will I... what?” Harry panted, unable to really focus on much of anything except the feel of Draco's hand on his dick.
Blushing, Draco tilted his head and pressed his face against Harry's. “Put it in me.”
“Draco... that's really messed up...” Harry regretted it the moment he said it, Draco stiffening against him, his face hidden from view. “Crap, I mean... Draco!” Draco had not waited to hear exactly what Harry had meant, instead shimmying his thighs higher up Harry's waist, and pushing the boy back onto the mattress. Harry tried very hard not to think of the dead man that was starting to rot somewhere just behind him while Draco smiled shakily down at him from his perch.
“There is a dead guy—and this place smells gross—and you're still lost, and really bad people are looking to hurt you! Draco, wake up and stop being like this!” Harry tried again.
Draco just tilting his head, mouth open to pant softly. “He promised... it would stop... if he put it... in me... and I came...” Draco explained slowly, his hips rocking against Harry. “I didn't want... him to... But I do... want you to...”
The darkness was rising inside him again, and Harry was afraid this time. He didn't want to hurt the boy—he really liked Draco. Hell, he might have even wanted him like this some day. But this was really wrong, and Draco was not being himself. The sweet boy would not want this—he would never forgive Harry for this, because Harry sure as hell would never forgive himself. He didn't want to be like the twisted man he had killed.
“Draco, do you want the feeling to stop?” Harry asked quietly, the darkness settling over him, stealing his fire and stilling his fear. The darkness wouldn't hurt Draco, it protected him.
“Yes... god, Harry... I need it to stop...” Draco moaned, rocking against him again, and then leaning forward, rubbing down Harry's stomach and chest. “I need something... inside...”
“Okay.” Harry tugged gently at the boy's soft hair, pulling his face up. “I'm going to kiss you, and the feeling is going to go away.”
Crystal eyes regarding him curiously, Draco eventually nodded, leaning forward so Harry could kiss him. Lips brushed lips, a feeling of coolness passed from Harry to Draco in a long shiver. When Harry opened his eyes back up, Draco was asleep, slumped atop him awkwardly.
Harry took a moment to catch his breath, trying to comprehend what had just happened enough to know what to do next. The boy was messed up, some sort of spell making Draco really, well, messed up. If the darkness put him to sleep, maybe it couldn't cure it? Harry didn't know enough, but right now he figured he needed to get the boy out of the fucked up room where the sandy haired man raped children and sold them to other men to do the same.
Harry dressed quickly, trying not to think of all the clothing around him and if they had belonged to kids just like him or if they had been bought and thrown there for kids just like him. He found Draco's clothes balled together, shoes tossed against the wall. Some blood had gotten on them but Harry figured it was still better to wear your own clothes than someone else's—especially these weird, sad clothes. Harry carefully dressed the sleeping Draco, trying not to wake him up just in case the magic only worked when Draco was asleep, and he might wake up full of weird lust.
Getting Draco out the bedroom was easy enough, but the living room was difficult, the piles of newspapers harder to navigate around. Harry thought of turning the light on but was afraid someone from outside might see and know that they were escaping. He thought briefly of looking through the fridge, maybe finding any money stashed in the apartment so that they wouldn't be without resources. He wouldn't feel bad steeling from these terrible people. But he didn't want to linger any longer than they had to for fear of tempting fate.
Harry was carrying Draco to the outer door, arms under the fair boy's armpits as he dragged him, when the door swung wide open and jolting him still. It was the straggly red haired man, filling the door with his large form. He didn't say a word, face half in shadow while he just stood there. There was something off about the man and Harry glared, trying to figure out his options.
He tightened his arms around Draco, deciding he could give this man a chance seeing he hadn't seemed interested in hurting Draco the way the sandy haired man had. “If you walk away now, I won't kill you,” Harry said blandly, letting the darkness fill inside him.
The man didn't say anything and Harry noticed that he wasn't breathing properly and blood was dripping wet down the man's face and neck. Harry did not want to drop Draco but he had a feeling whatever was happening with the man was going to need two hands to deal with. Harry was just starting to lower Draco to the ground, eyes fixed on the doorway, when the large man lurched forward, walking in halting jerks into the room.
Quickly backing up, Harry froze again as he caught sight of another figure following the man in. Swallowing, Harry stood taller, pulling Draco closer to his chest. The stranger was dressed all in black, tall and fit, a cloak swirling around his shoulders—Completely unremarkable in many ways, except somehow these clothes were also extremely fine and wealthy, the lines perfect, his black boots glowing in the dim light. His face was aristocratic, blue eyes sharp, long blond hair the color of Draco's as was many more of his features, which was the only reason why Harry was not immediately killing the clearly dangerous wizard before him.
Draco's father was powerful and Harry felt it as near a threat as he had when seeing the not so powerful sandy haired man touching Draco. But that power was not being directed at Harry, instead on the puppet of a man the straggly haired man had become, body too tight, beady eyes vacant and blood gushing down his face. The blond man shut the door behind him, walking with cat like grace as he moved around his prey and caught sight of Harry and Draco.
Revealing no emotion except a twitch to his lips to have found his son passed out in the arms of another boy in an apartment full of piles and dirt, Lucius glanced to the door where artificial light was streaming out. He strode silently across the room, Harry's heart pounding once he realized that Draco's father would see what he had done.
Harry would never be allowed to see Draco again. Hell, he might go to jail. Unless he left now before anyone knew who he was. Yeah, Draco might know that he was Harry Potter, but maybe the boy wouldn't tell since he had save him and all. Hands shaking, Harry lowered Draco carefully to the floor.
“I gotta go, Draco. Your dad's going to take care of you now. I... I hope you feel better... It was really nice to meet you.” Catching a final look at Draco's peaceful, sleeping face, Harry stood and made his way to the door. He paused, staring at the straggly haired man blocking the way. He was breathing strangely, standing sideways as if he was going to fall over at any moment. Harry edged carefully around him, feet brushing against a pile of newspapers and accidentally knocking them over. Swearing quietly, he quickly reached for the door.
The door wouldn't open no matter how hard Harry pulled or fiddled with the lock. He whirled, Draco's father stepping out from the other room and fixing eyes on him. The blond was very much a predator but without the sick twistedness of the sandy haired man. Regarding him silently for a long moment, the blond man looked away, moving to Draco and crouching.
“What happened here?”
Harry jumped, not expecting the man to speak. He edged to the side so he could see them better. Together there was no question if the man was Draco's father. Harry did not answer right away, not certain how much he should reveal. He had killed someone. At the time it had seemed very much like the right thing to do, so much so that he had been considering killing the straggly haired man as well just to be safe. But he was not certain that this man here would understand that—He was not certain anyone should understand such messed up logic.
“One of these men hit me over the head and brought us here,” Harry said, carefully choosing his words. “I woke up and that one wasn't here anymore. And the other one was... in the room there... with Draco.” Maybe he would assume the man was already dead? No one would normally think a kid could kill a grown man.
Lucius looked up, eyes piercing into his. Harry had a feeling very little got past this man. “Why is my son asleep? He is not waking.”
Biting his lip, Harry shifted from one foot to the other. “You, um, you shouldn't wake him. The man did something to him, and... well... I couldn't fix it.”
Face set in a grim frown, Lucius stood, holding his hand out for Harry to come closer. Glancing up at the still unmoving straggly haired man, Harry walked around him, keeping a good five feet between himself and Draco's father.
“What's your name?” Draco's father asked, his voice a low purr as his eyes accessed him warily.
Harry considered lying but figured Draco would likely tell his father his first name at the least. “It's Harry.” He narrowed his eyes, watching as the man stilled and glanced to where his hair hid his scar. Apparently Harry was a very rare name among wizards if everyone immediately assumed he was Harry Potter.
“Harry, I need you to understand that I am not going to hurt you,” the man said evenly, his eyes never leaving his. “I am here for my son and have no interest in anything else. You are not in trouble. Nothing you say is going to get you in trouble. I do not care about how things happened but I do need to know what happened. I need to... I need to know how to help Draco. I can't do that if I don't know what happened here.”
Harry nodded slowly, understanding that as a father this man would want to help his son—Because even though he was a powerful man, he was still a good father. Harry was glad Draco had a good dad. “I don't know everything. The other one hit me off the back of the head and I was knocked out.”
“But then you woke up,” Lucius pressed, his voice soothing.
“Yes. I woke up. And Draco was... was calling for help.”
“Did you help him? Did you try to go get help?” Lucius asked when Harry trailed off.
Biting his lip, Harry nodded. “I... I killed the man hurting Draco.”
Something shifted in the man before him, something that set Harry on edge, drawing his eye to the regal face and watching carefully to see if the blond was going to attack. But then the man calmed, jaw loosening, and nodded at Harry to continue. “What happened after the man was dead?”
This was somehow more difficult to speak, Harry's hand tangling in his hair as he glanced down at Draco's sleeping face. “He was... He said the man cursed him. That it made him... like...”
“The man had touched my son?” Lucius interrupted, his face completely blank of emotion but Harry sensed the anger frothing beneath.
“Yes... I don't know how much. He had... taken Draco's clothes. When I came in he had been... his fingers had been... inside him...”
Lucius held his hand up, his eyes closing a moment. “This is when you killed him. How did you kill him, Harry?”
Harry shrugged, shoving his hands in his pockets. “I don't know... sometimes I want things... things bigger than I ever usually want... Then the darkness comes, and it... it gives me what I want.”
“Do you want things a lot?” Lucius asked, and Harry wondered if he wanted to know if he had killed a lot of people.
“This was the first time I, uh, wanted that,” Harry said after a moment. “There have been other things, much smaller things... but never that.”
Nodding in understanding, Lucius pinched the bridge of his nose, releasing a slow breath. “And what happened after the man was dead?”
Harry sighed, wishing it had not come back to this again. “Draco was very—Damn it. The man did something to him. It made Draco want to... to touch me. And... and be touched back...” Harry pulled at his hair again, not meeting the man's eye.
“Alright, but he is asleep now,” Lucius said after a moment, his voice strangely low.
Harry nodded quickly, glancing back at the man. “I didn't want him to be like that anymore. That's not how—Draco's not like that. He's a good kid, so I let the darkness come and fix it. It, um, it put him to sleep.”
Lucius took a step towards him and Harry instinctively stepped back. Staring at the flinching boy, Lucius instead held his hand out again. “Harry, I need you to wake him up. You are very powerful. I don't think you understand just how powerful. I cannot wake Draco up.”
Harry bit his lip again, glancing down at Draco. “But... but he'll be... He won't be himself,” he whispered anxiously. “I don't know how to fix him.”
“That's alright, Harry. I know how to break curses. It takes a more complicated kind of magic that you won't know how to do until you're older. If you wake Draco up, I'll be able to fix him eventually.”
Swallowing, Harry hesitantly nodded. Draco's father would know more about these things, certainly more than he did. He just didn't want Draco to be scared, and so... feeling so out of control like he had when Harry had put him to sleep.
Harry slowly walked up to where Draco was lying, edging around Lucius and another pile of newspapers. He crouched over Draco, gently touching the boy's silky hair. Staring down, he let the darkness fill him again, empty and heavy inside. “Draco, I'm going to wake you up now. Don't... Try not to be afraid.” Lashes lowering, he leaned in, listening to Draco breathe evenly. Carefully he brushed his lips to the boy's, pulling away when Draco's breath changed.
Gray eyes regarded him intently and Harry wondered for a moment if the boy was himself. But then Draco gave a soft gasp and then a moan, his face flushing quickly. Harry slipped back when the boy's hands reached for him, standing and looking at Draco's father helplessly. “He, uh, he can't help himself. Don't think poorly of him for...” Draco gave another needy moan and Harry looked away.
“I understand,” Lucius said tightly, his eyes glued on his gasping son. Draco heard him, eyes widening as he looked up to find his father there.
“Father... I got lost...”
“It's alright, Draco. Your mother is fine, and I've come to bring you home,” he said swiftly, kneeling down and gently pinning the hands that had inadvertently reached for him. “Draco, I'm going to help you sleep. Until the spell can be removed, I'm going to have you sleep.”
Draco nodded, body rocking on the floor. “Okay... oh, oh no...” He closed his eyes, caught hands tightening into fists. “Feel so hot...”
“Hush, it's time to sleep.” One handed, Lucius reached for his pocket while holding Draco still, using his wand to spell the boy to sleep. Draco gave a soft murmur and then relaxed, his body losing the heated tension of earlier.
Harry gave a quiet sigh of relief when Draco was asleep again. The boy seemed almost tormented, the terrible spell cast on him turning him into some sort of sex slave puppet. It wasn't right. Draco was too sweet and it wasn't right.
“Harry, would you mind sitting with Draco while I clean up?” Lucius asked, standing again. Harry did not want to stay, afraid that Draco's father was still going to bring him to the police. But the door was locked and he really didn't have much of a choice. Unless he was going to kill the man and that seemed to be very wrong since he was Draco's dad.
Harry sat, eyes fixed on Draco's sleeping face while Lucius left to disappear into the other room. It was a long time, Lucius returning only to have the red straggly haired man to jerk and spasm behind into the room with Draco's father again. The door was shut, and everything became very silent and still, all light now gone from the room except for the digital clock on the mantel.
Harry could feel the power in the other room. It was very much the darkness, bringing fire that burned so hot even bone could not survive. Harry reached towards it, feeling it against his awakening senses, trying to remember exactly how it felt in case he ever needed to dispose of a body in the future. The power died down and he relaxed again, staring at Draco in the dark while waiting for his father to finish.
Lucius slowly opened the door, stepped out into the room and shutting the door behind him. His wand glowing light, he made his way to where Harry sat and Draco slept.
“Your family must be missing you, Harry.”
Harry shrugged silently, fingers still combing Draco's hair.
“Do they live near by? Maybe by Diagon Alley?”
Harry shook his head, finally raising his eyes to the man. “You're not going to tell, right? That's why you...” He tilted his head towards the room Lucius had left.
“I'm not going to tell. Are you going to tell?” Lucius asked, already fairly certain of the answer.
“Hell, no. My Aunt and Uncle wouldn't ever let me in the door again. They can't stand that I'm strange.” He sighed, pushing himself up to his feet. “I should be going, Sir. I'm glad—I'm glad he has a good dad like you.”
Lucius watched him walk to the door, Harry's hand on the handle that refused still to open. “Could you just...?” He asked, huffing in annoyance.
“Harry, what is your last name?”
Rolling his eyes, Harry moved his hair so the man could see his forehead and let him leave already. But Lucius still did not open the door, instead walking forward and bending down so he could see his scar clearly.
“Your family, they don't practice magic, do they?” Lucius asked, touching Harry's scar carefully. “Do they know what you are?”
Harry didn't move, not used to being touched. He stared at the man that looked so much like Draco but very much not the same. He looked more like if Draco were to grow up into a dangerous beast instead of the sweet boy he was. But Lucius didn't hurt Harry the way Dudley did when he touched him or Vernon for that matter. No, Draco's father was almost acting like Harry was a skittish cat, gently trying to pet him calm. And for some reason it was working.
“Harry, someone as special as you needs to be around people that understand him. Otherwise you could want something that could hurt others. Not even on purpose like tonight. Because tonight was on purpose.”
“Yes,” Harry agreed quietly, eyes trapped in the icy blue gaze before him. “I wanted to save Draco. And... I wanted to kill that man.”
“I am very glad that you wanted that, Harry. Because I wanted that too, and I was not here to do it.” Lucius let his fingers curl through Harry's messy locks, head tilted appraisingly. “Can you see how useful that is? Having someone around that could protect Draco while I'm not home? Someone who would like to play with him. Keep him from being so lonely.”
Harry's eyelids drooped but there was no magic trying to control him. Lucius felt safe—Strong, and powerful, and safe, and it made him feel calm. This man was not afraid of him. He had seen Harry do something terrible, and he had then done something just as terrible. That was why Draco wasn't afraid of Harry either. Because he had a father just like him.
“I like Draco, a lot,” Harry admitted.
“I can tell. I can also tell that he likes you, too... Maybe even more...” Lucius mused, thumb moving over Harry's scar again. “And we like to give Draco the things he likes... Right?”
“Right,” Harry echoed with a small smile.
Narcissa was very dainty, sweet tempered and extremely relieved when Draco was brought home, held in Lucius's steady arms. Harry was asked to stay in their large parlor, a funny looking short creature with large eyes and long nose bringing him biscuits to eat and pointing him to a couch by the fireplace with a plush blanket to curl up in. Draco was taken away, still fast asleep while his parents went to discuss what had happened without Harry hearing.
Harry was tired but afraid to sleep. He dozed, head dipping repeatedly as he tried to not fall asleep and let his guard down. Even though Draco's father, Lucius, had invited him to stay and had promised Narcissa would be more than agreeable, Harry could not fully believe it. Surely someone—The Dursleys that hated him or the police or someone would interfere and make sure he could not be happy.
While Harry dozed he dreamed of the cupboard. Vernon waiting on the other side to unlock the door and let him out. Except he never did, just giggling a high pitched giggle that sounded too much like the sandy haired man.
He awoke with a cry, falling off the couch and tangling in the blanket. Voices he had not fully been aware of stopped and Harry looked up blearily to find Lucius and Narcissa staring down at him from across the room in a love seat.
“Are you okay, Harry?” Narcissa asked, the two of them getting up. Confused, Harry closed his eyes as Narcissa placed a soothing palm to his cheek. “Did you hit your head?”
Harry shook his head, blinking up at the pretty woman and then catching Lucius's ever searing gaze. “I have nightmares sometimes, that's all.”
“Oh, well, that's okay. We all have nightmares and then we wake up and everything is better.” Harry focused again on Narcissa, not used to anyone comforting him before. He tilted his head, not sure what he was supposed to say.
“It's okay, Mrs. Malfoy. I'm not afraid, not even when it hurts. You don't need to worry about me.” He pushed the blankets off and got up to his feet. “Were you able to fix Draco yet?”
Narcissa gave him a disquieted look. “Draco's condition is complicated, Harry. It might not be fixable.”
“That's—No. That's not right.” Harry whispered, freezing and swaying in place.
Lucius reached forward and held Harry steady by the shoulder. “We're going to do what we can. Most children caught by those two particular men don't live very long. My colleagues tell me the spell is permanent but, considering the situation, it has hardly been tested long term.”
“Harry, we are very grateful you brought Draco home alive,” Narcissa said earnestly, tears in her eyes. “No matter what happens, you saved him from a very terrible life. And we will never forget it.”
Harry nodded but he felt very empty inside. Draco might be messed up forever. What if the two men hadn't realized he was Harry Potter? Would they have left Draco alone? Would Draco have even been there if he hadn't met him in the park?
“I want you to live with us, Harry,” Narcissa continued, kneeling down to the boy's level. “We want to give you a home where you can grow your power safely. And so I can thank you every day for bringing Draco home. Would you like that?”
“I... uh... I would... I just...” Harry bowed his head, pulling at his hair anxiously. “I should have just brought him to the police. He was scared and said they might hurt him—But I should have. Now he's—he's messed up.” He tried to step back but Narcissa pulled him close, hugging him tight. Harry stiffened in the hold, waiting to be hurt, waiting to be yelled at, but it didn't come.
“Harry, you didn't do anything wrong, I promise. If you brought Draco to the police, a different type of bad man would have caught him instead. Powerful people have enemies and we are very powerful. We told Draco not to go to the police just because of that.”
Harry just nodded, swaying in the warm hold. Narcissa smelled like flowers, her hair tickling at his nose. He wondered if his mom would have smelled the same. Narcissa pulled back, smiling weakly and combing his hair with her fingers.
“Harry, we need the name of your relatives. Do you know your address? We want to explain to them that you are well and that we are going to be taking care of you. That way you can get all your favorite things from your house and visit whenever you'd like.”
Harry bit his lip, shrugging uncomfortably. “If you want... but I don't want to visit. And there isn't anything there that's mine...”
“Nonsense. I'm sure you'll want to take your toys, maybe some books to read. Your clothes. It's good to have familiar things with you.” Narcissa stood, holding her hand out to Harry, who took it hesitantly. “Let's start with your address.”
Harry studied the floor and then his shoe, a large hole revealing his dirty sock. “4 Privet Drive... in Little Whinging... Surrey...” He sighed, glancing up briefly. “Don't tell them that you're, uh, magical, okay? They don't like... well...” He trailed off.
Lucius shifted, drawing Harry's gaze, the man very much a panther full of power and danger. “There is nothing you want from the house? Nothing at all?”
Harry thought for a moment. “It's not mine, not really. But they have some pictures of my parents... and I would really like those.”
Lucius nodded, padding out the door silently. Narcissa gripped Harry's hand tighter, smiling down at him. “Shall we go to bed, then? I can give you a set of Draco's pajamas for tonight and then we can get you your own clothes tomorrow.”
“Oh... you don't have to do that, Mrs. Malfoy.” Harry said quickly, blushing. “I'm sure my own clothes are fine, and I don't want to—”
“Harry, you are a very silly young man. It is hardly a bother to dress you. Look around you. Clothing you is not only easy to do, but will actually be fun. I can take you out and we can choose things you'll like.”
“Well... if you want,” Harry mumbled, meeting the woman's eye hesitantly. He did not want to wear out his welcome so shortly having gotten there.
“I do. Now come along and I'll show you the room we're going to fix up for you.” Harry let Narcissa lead him up the long flight of stairs that led to the bedrooms on the second floor. They stopped before the first door on the right, Narcissa holding her hand out. “This is mine and Lucius's set of rooms. If you ever need anything, just come by and knock. Don't be afraid to be loud—Draco comes by at night when he gets scared.”
“I, uh, really don't get scared,” Harry said quietly.
“Even if you're not scared,” Narcissa amended. “Even if you just want to talk.” She pulled him down the hall, stopping at the next door on the left. “This is were Draco sleeps and plays. Until we get your room ready, you can stay with him. But then,” and she tugged his hand gently, Harry following beside her. “You will sleep in here.”
They had stopped beside another door, the rooms behind completely unknown to Harry as had been the others they had stopped at. Harry looked up at Narcissa, curious. “Do I get a bed?”
“Naturally. Where would you sleep otherwise?”
Harry shrugged. “I sleep on the floor mostly. It's not too bad. I think a bed might be too soft... Would you mind if I sleep on the floor?”
Narcissa was kneeling again and Harry took a step back, not certain what he had said wrong. “You can sleep wherever you like. But you will certainly have a bed because you deserve a bed. Harry, does your family not have a lot of money?”
Harry blinked, shaking his head. “Uncle Vernon is always talking about his promotions. They're really proud that they have so much money.”
“But your clothes... Did you get these from the, uh, apartment where Lucius found you?” Narcissa asked carefully, pulling at Harry's torn sleeve.
Harry sighed. “They don't like me, that's all. I get to wear Dudley's hand-me-downs, and sometimes his old toys, but he usually breaks all of them. There's something wrong with me and they can sense it...” Harry pulled away, not wanting to make a big deal about it.
“There is nothing wrong with you, Harry. You are very special, just like the rest of us. You shouldn't feel bad about that. Your relatives are just ignorant, and that's not your fault.” Narcissa held both her hands out and Harry reluctantly stepped forward and let her hold his hands.
“You're not scared of me?” Harry asked, eyes downcast. “For what I did?”
“No. You did what you had to do—What a lot of people aren't even capable of. You are a very special, very lucky boy, and I am not afraid of you,” Narcissa said evenly.
Harry nodded slowly, a small smile starting to form. “Does that mean Draco's like me, then? Because he can do magic, too?”
Narcissa stilled, holding Harry's hands a little tighter. “Not exactly. You're very special, Harry. Draco has power, like most children his age. But he can't do what you do. That's why he couldn't defend himself.”
“Oh.” Harry looked away. “So I'm different from everyone.”
“Yes, but that's okay. You have a special power. Not even full grown wizards learn the power you have. What you have is something that comes naturally and it makes you important. You are a very special boy. And you should be treated like one.” Narcissa smiled broadly until Harry finally smiled back. “Come on, now. We'll get you in some pajamas and tuck you in with Draco for now... unless you'd rather sleep on the floor.”
Harry knew she was teasing, but he really might end up sleeping on the floor.
Draco's room was huge, maybe capable of fitting all of the Dursleys' house. He had a bathroom off the side and Harry slipped into the blue silk pajama bottoms and top that Narcissa had charmed larger to fit. She was sitting over Draco while he slept, brushing his hair from his forehead.
Harry stepped up beside her, resting his hands on the large bed. Narcissa sighed, turning to Harry and pulling the blankets down. She patted the space. “You must be tired. It's late and you've had a very difficult day.”
Harry crawled up the bed, slipping between the sheets. They smelled nice and felt cool and smooth against his skin. Narcissa remained, humming softly while continuing to comb Draco's hair. She looked a cross between content and anguished and Harry felt sad for her. Turning towards Draco's sleeping form, Harry let his eyes close, Narcissa's humming slowly sending him to sleep.
“A crawlspace? That's unimaginable.”
“I've dealt with it. Do not waste another thought concerning them.”
“Lucius, don't tell me... They're muggles. You know what will happen if it's discovered.”
“It will not be discovered. It's a wonder the boy hadn't destroyed them from such abuse and ended up in an institution. They knew too much. Did too much. It was unforgivable”
“You cannot use that boy as an excuse to—”
“I will not be questioned on this.”
“Lucius, please. He is dead. Don't make that sweet child his successor. He has a chance to be something more than just... just You-Know-Who's vanquisher. He is a good boy.”
Harry listened, peering out into the dark, the hallway light shining into Draco's room where their voices murmured through. Lucius had made as if to walk away only to turn, his form blocking the light from the room.
“Cissa, he is not dead. I didn't have the heart to tell you, but he lives, somewhere out there gaining power.”
Narcissa gasped, releasing a weak, wailing moan.
“The boy must be trained. He is powerful. Given the chance, he will be the most powerful. We will never fear the Dark Lord again once Harry grows strong enough.”
“I... I understand. I will do what I can.”
“Just care for him, Narcissa, as you have our son. Treat him no different. Those muggles nearly ruined him. We will not make that mistake.”
“No, we will not. Surely we can do better than a cupboard for the boy, at the very least.”
Their voices faded away, leaving Harry to peer at the crack of light. He didn't fall back asleep for a long time, the new smells of the room, the odd open feel and coolness all combining to leave him confused and alert.
Harry awoke to Draco kissing him, hot persistent presses of lips to lips until he could not hold onto sleep any longer.
In the daylight the room was bright, full of whites and soft blues, Draco's bedspread patterned in elegant blue tree branches. Harry blinked at the ceiling a few times until Draco blocked his view again, gray eyes intent as he bent down and licked Harry's cheek.
“Draco, you need to go back to sleep,” Harry whispered tiredly, wishing the boy was not so unlike himself.
Draco shook his head, small fingers curling on Harry's shoulders and the smooth pajamas he was wearing. “You taste good. I thought I would get breakfast but you taste much better.”
Watching the boy warily, Harry wasn't sure if Draco had just admitted to becoming a cannibal overnight. “You shouldn't eat people.”
Not even cracking a smile—which concerned Harry even more—Draco licked his cheek again, then down to Harry's throat, sucking small red marks into his flesh.
“Stop. You're not right, Draco,” Harry groaned, trying to ignore how hot he was feeling every time Draco pressed up against him. “You don't really want to do this.”
“Yeah, I do. I really like you, Harry,” Draco moved back up to Harry's face, kissing him and running his tongue over his lips. “I want you to like me too.”
Harry whimpered, Draco straddling his waist and rubbing against him persistently. “I do like you... but... but I don't want to be like that bad man.”
Draco pushed up the bottom of Harry's shirt, hands moving up his chest. “You're not. You saved me.”
“Yeah, but—but he made you like this to hurt you. I don't want to hurt you,” Harry tried to explain, gently reaching for Draco's questing hands.
“Silly, you're not going to hurt me.” Draco had such a genuine smile, Harry almost believed him.
“You're only saying that because of the spell—Oh!” Harry's eyes widened as one of Draco's hands got loose and found his nipple.
Draco sighed, bending closer so that he was nose to nose with Harry. “Maybe. Everything feels really hot, almost like I'm drowning... But not about you. I really like you.”
“I really like you, too,” Harry whispered, closing his eyes and biting his lip.
“Then help me feel better. Please.” Draco kissed Harry again, tongue pressing against his lips until he opened hesitantly. Draco lapped at his mouth, caressing his tongue and making Harry think of a cat. The boy kept pushing his hips against him, reminding him just how bad the spell was.
“Draco, do you want me to put you to sleep again?” Harry asked, cupping Draco's face and pulling it from his.
Draco's eyes traveled over his face, expression turning hurt. “Don't you like it at all? Am I doing it wrong?”
Harry winced, not really sure what to say to that. “How the hell would I know?”
“There's no dead guy now,” Draco continued. “And I'm home, safe, and you're here with me. Oh, and it feels good,” Draco added with a whisper, Harry looking down to find that Draco had taken his pants off before waking him.
“Draco, I think...”
“Doesn't it feel good?” Draco insisted, hands sliding down Harry's hips, a palm pressing against his rising bulge.
“Yes... it does... but that doesn't mean it's right,” Harry gasped out. “You'll be angry with me—You'll hate me. You're under a spell and I don't want to hurt you. Let me call one of your pets to put you to sleep.”
Draco growled, fingers slipping down the front of Harry's pants to wrap around his hard length. “Don't want to sleep anymore.”
Harry swallowed hard, grasping at Draco's arms. “S-stop.”
“Draco.” Harry jumped, head rising and eyes darting to the foot of the bed. It was Lucius, sitting there for god only knew how long, expression unreadable and blue eyes piercing.
Draco turned, not looking surprised to have his dad sitting there. Harry glanced between the two of them, realizing Lucius must have woken Draco up to begin with. “Yes, father?”
Lucius turned his gaze from Harry to his son. “You must respect when he asks to stop. You would wish the same for yourself.”
Draco frowned, turning back to Harry. “Sorry,” he mumbled, hands moving from Harry's pants to his waist. “I just... god... It's so hot...” he groaned, rocking against Harry again.
Harry didn't dare move, glancing from his friend to his watching father. Lucius was a dangerous man who loved his son very much. Harry did not know if he was in trouble but imagined he must be.
“Sir, would you put him back to sleep?” Harry asked after Draco gave a particularly throaty moan and began licking his neck again.
“I'm afraid that is not a reasonable solution,” Lucius said after a moment, the man's voice a low rumble in the room. “He would be asleep forever.”
Harry was not sure what to say. He did not want Draco to sleep forever but then, he also was not comfortable with the boy constantly humping him either.
“I was hoping you would help us, Harry. Draco suggested the curse might relieve itself if someone were to penetrate him.”
Harry did not understand how Lucius could say that with such a blank face, but he wished he had the ability himself.
“Harry, if you put it in... oh... it will feel better,” Draco murmured into his ear, licking his cheek right after.
“But... but he could have been lying,” Harry said to Lucius. “That's all the man wanted to do to Draco. He would have said anything to get Draco to agree.”
Lucius nodded. “That is a very wise observation. I have spoken with some individuals that have seen this spell firsthand. They insist that the feeling abates for hours after penetration occurs. It is not a permanent solution but it could give Draco a life until we figure something else out.”
“So it could help him? Maybe even... fix him?” Harry looked down at Draco, who was currently panting into his neck while pulling at his shirt. “But... the man had... had his fingers in him, and Draco wasn't fixed...”
“No, unfortunately the spell is very specific and the first occurrence set those perimeters,” Lucius said evenly.
Harry just stared, trying to decipher what the man was saying. “He... he already did that... to Draco? He... penetrated...?”
“I'm afraid so. Draco told me what happened, as best as he could.” Lucius let his eyes travel to his panting son, expression still blank. “He likes you. And I can tell you like him as well... I understand that this is not an easy thing to ask of you, but I am asking. I would do anything for my son. Even that, if it would help him. But if you are willing to offer the alternative, I feel it would be a better option.”
Draco had turned his head up, eyes again pinned on Harry, nearly unblinking. The boy's cheeks were flushed but he didn't seem embarrassed by any of it, just excited. “Please, Harry? It'll feel so good, I promise.”
The boy really was lovely, and Harry wanted him to be back to normal. He just didn't know if he could do what was needed. “I, uh, I don't really know how...”
“But you are willing to help?” Lucius asked, waiting for the boy to raise his gaze and nod. “Thank you, Harry. I would like to set up some ground rules. Some limitations while we're figuring this all out. The biggest one is that you do not engage in any sort of sexual activity outside of this room and never in front of Narcissa. She understands what is happening but she is having a lot of difficulty with it. Can you agree to that?”
Harry didn't have an issue with it, really not in a hurry to be engaging in anything like that anyways.
“The other rule is that I must be present. I do not wish either of you to be damaged by this activity. Draco cannot distinguish boundaries and you are... powerful. I have taken time off from work until we get an idea of his patterns. I will return home when needed. You will inform Narcissa if the timing changes and she will call me. Is this also acceptable?”
Harry shrugged, really not sure how he felt about Lucius watching while Draco pawed at him. The man seemed intent on it though, so he nodded. “That's fine, I guess... Was there anything else?”
Lucius smirked slightly, the first crack of his expression since Harry had woken up and found the man there. “One final thing. I ask that you don't engage sexually with anyone else during the time you agree to help Draco. I do not want to risk him catching something.”
Harry was not sure if the man was joking or not. “That won't be a problem, Sir.”
So this was an old fic I dragged up, and rereading it before posting, I wonder if I never continued it because it might actually be finished. This was written back before I plotted things out. It really feels like an intro, like a prequel to what life would be like if you had a corrupted Harry. It has all the makings of Lucius manipulating things his way so that Harry would be his tool to gain power against Voldemort, and Harry quite happy to play the part if only because of the life he gets to live. Narcissa the perfect doting mother who forgives all. Draco would almost be required to remain simple and childlike as they grew to be the counter, the reason Harry would grow in power to protect his new family. Since killing the Dursleys, Lucius would end up playing whatever role was needed to keep Harry in line from teacher of dark spells, father to live up to, and when Draco's innocence to Harry's dark deeds grows guilt in Harry, a substitute lover to find an equal. Harry would be a trophy for the Malfoys to show off to the wizarding world, and a symbol of power to either fear or attain in the eyes of remaining death eaters. If Draco did manage to live long years under the curse, his behavior would eventually change, possibly resentment, attention seeking, lashing out, bitterness with Harry forever forgiving, but at the same time exploiting an emotionally exhausting situation as he looks for ways to be free.
I feel as though I may have reached this point, seen that entire story unfold in my mind's eye, and thought yeah, I don't know if it needs to be written. I doesn't feel like an end, but at the same time, doesn't feel like it's not an end. I dunno. I guess we'll see if I feel like revisiting and adding later.