The urgency in Ron’s voice barely penetrated the fog of Monday morning paperwork. Looking up he saw Ron standing in the doorway, breathing hard as if he’d run a race.
“I’m sorry… accident in Potions. Malfoy--”
Harry’s chair crashed to the ground. “What, what about him?”
“It’s bad… you should go.” Ron motioned down the corridor. “Hermione is holding the lift. We were on that floor for a meeting and heard the explosion.”
Whatever else Ron said was lost in the roar in Harry’s ears as he ran towards the lift. It couldn’t be Draco. He was fine. Harry had said good-bye to him just an hour ago. Harry dodged gap-jawed co-workers as he raced towards the lift where Hermione was holding the door open. He skidded to a stop in the lift. Ron just made it before the door closed as Harry frantically pressed the button for Potions.
The damn thing wasn’t moving fast enough, Harry cursed as it jerked and twisted towards the Potions floor. He jumped as a hand touched his shoulder and turned to see Ron and Hermione looking at him. He’d forgotten they were there. He’d forgotten that they weren’t supposed to know.
“Please, Harry, you’ve never been good at keeping secrets. We were just waiting for you to be ready to tell us about you and Draco,” Hermione said. Tears were in her eyes and Harry’s stomach plummeted.
“How bad is it?”
“They were working on him. As soon as we realized who it was we came to get you.” Ron coughed. “They might already have him at St. Mungo’s.”
The doors of the lift opened to chaos, groups of teal-robed potion employees were clutching each other as they watched the the medi-wizards kneeling over a figure on the ground, a growing crimson red stain on the floor. Shards of glass covered the floor, tables, chairs, Draco.
Harry pushed past hands that tried to hold him back and stumbled to the ground next to Draco’s head. Pieces of glass were protruding from Draco’s chest. His hand shook as he reached out to touch Draco’s cheek, it was icy cold instead of warm. Harry gave a choked cry and the young medi-witch closest to him grabbed his arm, her words just penetrating his panic. “He’s still alive, it’s a cooling charm, to slow down the blood loss…”
Harry gave a sob of relief and cradled Draco’s head gently, stroking his cheek, willing him to open his eyes. “Salazar, Draco, you didn’t have to do this just to get out of doing the dishes,” he whispered. “Don’t you dare leave me. Not before we’ve got this whole thing figured out…” he went on talking to Draco, kneeling in the broken glass until the medi-witch stopped him.
“We have to take him to St. Mungo’s now, we’ve done all we can here.”
Harry looked up to see that there were thirty or forty pairs of eyes staring at him, either in shock from the explosion or from the sight of the Deputy Head Auror draped over the body of the Potion Master. “Take me, too,” Harry said firmly.
The lead medi-witch started to object but the one who’d spoken to Harry stopped him. “He has partner privilege, sir, he can come with us.”
“You’re his partner?” The man looked at Harry in astonishment.
“I am.” Harry stood, saying the words for the first time. “I am Draco Malfoy’s partner and I’m going with him.”