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Power the Dark Lord Knows Not

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The Harry Potter everything is JK Rowling's. I own none of the characters and lay claim to none of the original story lines.

If pain were in colours, it would have been beyond any spectrum. It would have been white. He bent forward as far as his body would go, curving his spine with the strain. Unseen chains tightened his chest--an unexplained force that kept his breathing shallow. It felt as though something was taught around something that was not his lungs, something deeper. All the same, he struggled to breathe through the constriction. He thought he might combust—implode with the agony. His breathing was erratic, overwhelming; his chest seemed to compress abruptly. Something in his ribcage splintered under the tension.

There was a loud crack, and he was gone.

Draco Malfoy lounged lazily in an arm chair, leafing noncommittally through an antique book and grasping abstract concepts about ancient runes in countries he’d visited superficially when he was too young to appreciate their cultures. He was halfheartedly considering having a late lunch when a horrendous crash seemed to split his cavernous chamber.

Slamming the book shut, the blonde threw it aside and drew up his wand with firm bravado. Upon standing, he found the source of the interruption without further investigation.

There was a boy, perhaps just short of a man, curled defensively on his expensive imported tapestry. He was naked, his back presenting a perfect row of prominent vertebrae. Malfoy observed warily as the figure propped himself up, seeming to come to a sort of fogged consciousness. The boy looked around, taking in his surroundings without actually registering them. Realizing he was not alone, the figure stood as well, stumbling as he did so, lightheaded. He rose with a haunting tenseness, as though expecting pain--the way an animal might if it were wounded.

“Potter,” the blonde growled with disgust. He raised his wand to draw attention to it, but finding the other unarmed, felt less inclined to carry any real conviction. His opponent contorted his face in what at first Malfoy interpreted as a sneer. Harry closed his eyes, and swayed slightly.

“Malfoy,” he responded tiredly.

They both stood there for a moment, unmoving, until Harry swayed once more—violently. He seemed to catch himself in the air, righting himself and gaining some level of balance. Grey eyes studied the form more carefully, noting an interrupted expanse of cream, broken up by darker marks and bruises the colour of the boy’s lips, which were also split. Scars. Several were fresh and long, likely in need of medical assistance to heal fully. He held his left arm out at an awkward angle, like a broken sparrow. Something wasn’t quite right about how he breathed, shallow and pained. A single line of red flowed from his inner thigh to his ankle.

“The wards--You can’t bloody apparate in here, Potter!” the blonde spat with venom.

“So you don’t know.” Harry responded softly, closing his eyes again. The intruder’s face contorted into something like surprised relief and Draco lowered his wand, baffled by this reaction.

“The wards,” Harry continued, “are to keep people out, not to keep them from apparating within.” This statement seemed so obvious that it irritated Draco. What right had he to burst in and tell him about the purpose of wards, like a child? But his words explained nothing, could not explain where he had come from. A moment of silence passed once more between them as Draco’s mind processed what Harry was implying. Suddenly, the question was not where from, but why. Why, why he would be apparating from within the Malfoy Manor?

Abruptly, Harry clutched his left hand to his chest with the other, remarking more to himself than to Draco, “Splinched.” Indeed, upon closer inspection, Malfoy could see that two of his fingers were bent wrong—as though there were no knuckles to keep them in place. Bright green eyes flashed upwards, fixing themselves upon Draco who was still poised just a few feet away, watching awkwardly. It seemed as though he was only just realizing who the blonde was. “Listen,” Harry began slowly, and somewhat painfully, “I know I don’t have any right to ask, but I need to borrow something—” he motioned to his body, still bare and vulnerable, ”anything—and I swear I’ll leave.” He looked down once more at himself with this statement as though to emphasize his state of dress in case it had not been apparent.

Malfoy hesitated for a moment, grappling with hatred and pity. During the school year, he would have given his own hand-joints to see Harry humiliated like this in public—Golden Boy Struts His Golden Stuff. But not like this—bleeding on his rug, trembling from the cold, and barely able to stand. Warily and very clearly reluctantly, Draco strode a few steps to a walk in closet, emerging momentarily with a robe much finer than what Harry was used to. Malfoy still felt some contempt at this last detail, but abstained from showing it as he presented the boy with his hospitality.

“I’ll get it back to you with my owl.” Harry replied gratefully, pulling it on quickly. Noting the claret pool forming on the carpet, he added, “After I have it cleaned.” Draco snarled bitingly, “Keep it.” His nostrils flared to convey disgust at the thought of wearing it again.


Potter looked down at the tapestry once more, uncomfortably stepping aside. He glanced up once more at Draco, resigning himself to the debt he now owed the ferret. “Malfoy, thank—”

“—Now get the fuck out. Go bleed somewhere else.”

Harry, surprised by the blonde’s abrasiveness despite himself, nodded slightly. He was about to apparate when a very high pitch voice penetrated the door.

“Draco, dear?”

Malfoy sighed audibly, closing his eyes in frustration for only a moment before turning to respond equally clearly through the closed threshold, “Yes, Mum?”

“Dinner’s been set.“

Harry stood frozen, watching Draco closely. Throughout this whole interaction, it was the first time the brunette had expressed anything close to fear. Grey eyes placed their gaze briefly on the intruder before he responded, “No, mum, I think I might just read for a bit.” Turning to his visitor, Malfoy mouthed harshly, “Go. Now.” He pointed at the fireplace, where a pot of floo powder hung from the side of a mantlepiece. Potter needed no more encouragement, taking a fistful of floo. Before, going, however, he turned back to face his savior--a role neither of them was fully comfortable with.

“You’re less like your father than you think.”

With this, he flung the powder into the fire and whispered
“Leaky Cauldron, Diagon Alley, London.” He disappeared with a roar, leaving the Malfoy heir to consider this in the fine solitude of his damned household.