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He's Just A Child

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After meeting (soon-to-be-Professor) Slughorn, Dumbledore dropped Harry off at Grimmauld Place. The Order thought it safer there than at the Burrow, because of the fidelius charm. Harry was happy to see Hermione, Ron, Fred & George, and nearly all the Weasleys along with Remus and the Tonks family.

Harry spent the next few weeks happily with his friends, going out occasionally to Diagon Alley (under supervision of Order members of course). He was feeling very down about Sirius' death, and intense anger at Bellatrix, Voldemort and Lucius Malfoy (ok make that all the Malfoys). His friends knew this though, and they did the best they could to distract him and cheer him up.

So Harry wasn't thinking at his best those summer holidays, but that didn't mean he was blind. He noticed that the adults seemed to have something on their mind. There were a few secret meetings held in the kitchen that not even Fred & George's magical ears could penetrate. And they all seemed to occur whenever Snape swept in unexpectedly.

Harry was dying to know what was going on, as were his friends, but nothing he tried would get any of the adults to spill the beans. One time he noticed Molly leaving a meeting, ringing her hands and mumbling "that poor child", but Arthur quickly shushed her when he noticed Harry watching.

After much complaining that they were of age now, Fred & George were finally included in a meeting. But they came out with unusually serious expressions on their faces and refused to spill the beans to Harry and his friends. All they said was
"Sorry mate, but they-"
"-made too good an argument-"
"-for why you shouldnt know-"
"-yet. Who knew the grownups could-"
"-make sense sometimes."
They both gave regretful smiles and refused to say another word about it.

Then one night, it was Dumbledore's sudden arrival that prompted another secret meeting. And the adults were not in there long before Remus, Tonks, Arthur and Bill rushed out the front door together. Their faces were grim and they all held their wands in purposeful grips.

Harry watched them disappear into the night, then rushed into the kitchen. Dumbledore was speaking to MadEye Moody and Shacklebolt, while Molly bustled around finishing off dinner - though Harry noticed her hands were shaking and Kreacher, who usually helped with dinner, was nowhere to be seen.

"What's going on?!" Harry demanded.

Dumbledore turned around and sighed. His eyes were not sparkling like they usually were when talking to Harry, but were deep and sad instead. "My dear boy, I'm afraid I cannot share tonight's events with you just yet. But I expect in a few hours, all will be revealed."

Harry scowled. "I'm old enough to know now! I battled Voldemort!" Molly flinched and dropped a teacup, while Ron agreed with Harry loudly.

Dumbledore's eyes became serious. "Harry, you know why I can't share information with you too freely. The events in the ministry have proved that."

Harry clenched his hands into fists and wondered if there was actual steam coming out of his ears. "So you'll never trust me again? Is that it?"

"No Harry." Dumbledore said in a voice that was probably meant to be soothing. "We just need to get back onto occlumency with professor Snape."

Harry opened his mouth to yell back what he thought of Snape, but Dumbledore gave an uncharacteristic scowl. "You must listen to me on this Harry, more lives depend on you than just those of you and your friends."

Molly scoffed "Enough of that Albus! Don't fill the poor boy's head with pressure!" She pushed the three to sit down, and then served dinner.

After that the three friends wasted time playing exploding snap. Whenever Harry took a break to bother the twins again, all they'd say was "Just keep your mind open mate."

About an hour later, the front door slammed open again. Everyone rushed out into the hall, to find a dishevelled Tonks leading Remus and the two Weasleys through the door.

"Mum!" She cried. "He needs healing!"

As she ushered Remus through into the drawing room, Harry realised Remus was carrying someone. Someone thin and lanky, with white blonde hair. They hung limply in the werewolf's arms, blood smeared on their forehead and dripping from their dangling right hand. Behind them, Arthur was supporting Bill, who's face was covered in terrible scratches.

Molly cried "my boy!" and waved them both into the drawing room too. Fred & George squeezed in, followed by Andromeda and her husband Teddy and Dumbledore. Harry then found the door shut in his face.

"Come away, boy." Moody grunted, and pushed Harry back into the kitchen. Shacklebolt made all the students sit down. Most of them were speechless - Harry wasn't the only one who'd recognised whom Remus carried. Ron seemed to be reacting the worst - his face was red with indignation.

"What the bloody hell is Malfoy doing here?!"

Hermione gasped. "Ron, I know I can't have been the only one who noticed Malfoy's unconscious and bleeding!"

"SO?"

"So they've obviously rescued him from something!"

"No way, Malfoy doesn't need rescuing - he's a bloody death eater!"

Hermione gasped again, but before she could speak, Moody roared "Shut up little Weasel!" And Ron's jaw snapped closed.

"Now all of you children listen carefully! There's a very good reason for why we haven't been letting all of you in on the action, and that is that you're children! You're supposed to be protected, looked after! Not hearing traumatising secrets or fighting death eaters."

Moody gave Harry such a look with his magical eye when he tried to protest that, that Harry just closed his mouth again.

"That boy across the hall is a child too! He may be the son of Death Eaters, but he had no choice when it came to walking the dark path. Parents like his don't take no for an answer!"

Moody made sure to pierce all 3 of them with his glare this time.

"Now, we should have done something about children like him years ago, but I'm ashamed to say we stood around arguing about it instead. It's taken the events of the last month to make us get off our asses and take action." He pointed his wand at the door to the drawing room.

"That boy has spent the last month in his own manor's dungeons, with his mother, as punishment for his father's failure at the ministry. It was not until tonight that we could get to him, for those dungeons are nigh on impregnable. Fortunately, or unfortunately as may be the case, Voldemort was not content to let them rot in the dark. We had word they were bringing them both upstairs tonight to make an example of them before all the death eaters... I imagine, since we only saw the boy be carried in, that his mother could not be saved. Think on that, before you decide to treat him with your usual contempt."

Ron scowled and opened his mouth again but Moody was quicker. "I don't want to hear a word about any trouble that Malfoy boy has caused you in the past! From what I hear it wasn't exactly one sided! And you will consider the fact that being raised in that kind of household doesn't leave one with many choices for personality!"

Harry sat stunned and feeling quite guilty, while Hermione had tears in her eyes. Ron, however, seemed to have no fear.

"No way!" He cried, "That bloody git's been enjoying all the bullying he does at Hogwarts! Why did my brother have to get injured rescuing that twi-"

Suddenly an agonised scream ripped through the house. As one, they all turned to stare horrified at the door to the drawing room.

"That's Malfoy!" Hermione cried.

Moody stomped out of the kitchen, and pushed in the door to the drawing room. For a second the screaming was even louder, and Harry could glimpse the adults moving in panicked motions inside, but then the door was shut again and Shacklebolt was closing the kitchen door too. His dark complexion was perhaps a shade lighter than usual but he stood with his usual quiet confidence.

A sudden crack heralded the arrival of grimy Kreacher, who darted around the room with never before seen vigour, throwing the contents of draws and cupboards all over the place. He was mumbling, and Harry could make out "poor master Draco" and "where is it? where is it?!" Then Kreacher gave a screech of anger and apparated away again.

For what seemed like ages after that, Harry, Hermione and Ron could get nothing more out of Shacklebolt - he seemed to favour the silent tactic. Finally a tired Mr Weasley emerged from the drawing room and sent the 3 of them to bed. They all grumbled but had no choice but to do as asked. Just before Mr Weasley closed the door on the room Harry shared with Ron, he heard Shacklebolt start to question him. "What happen-" And then the door was shut. That house may be old and moldy but it was very good at sound proofing. Harry struggled to fall asleep while listening to Ron grumble about how much of a git Malfoy was. Finally, he succeeded.

Chapter Text

When they entered the drawing room, Tonks helped Remus lay Draco out on a long sofa. Meanwhile Molly took Bill over to a far corner and began fussing over his ruined face.

Everyone else let Andromeda be at the front of the crowd around the sofa. She took out her wand and did a number of diagnostic spells over her young nephew. When she was done, she sighed with relief.

"Apart from malnutrition, some sensitivity to his eyes no doubt from being in the dark for so long, and the head wound, his recent injuries are minimal. And he seems to only have a mild concussion"

The tension in the room eased.

Then Fred said "Recent injuries?"

"I'll have to do more in depth test spells later, but I can tell this is by far not his first major injury." Andromeda shared a glance with Ted and they both frowned. "I'll just tend to his head, then I can look at Bill."

She did some more spells over Draco and the twins watched with fascination as the small gash on Draco's forehead healed over and turned into a pink raised scar. Andromeda then stood up to go to Bill and Molly.

As she walked away, George and Fred continued to regard Draco, while the others turned towards Bill. That is why they were the first to notice Draco's left forearm. The dark mark stood out obscenely on Draco's skin, and had a raised, bubbly look to it, as if the brand had only just been applied. Both boys grimaced. Then, as they watched, the mark became darker, starting at the skull and bleeding into the curled snake. Draco twitched. Then the mark began to turn red, a livid red that seemed to move as if on fire. Draco's eyes opened and he began to let out a curdling scream.

Everyone in the room turned towards the sofa in horror. Draco grabbed his left arm with his right hand and began to scratch at it, while his whole body writhed in agony on the sofa. He continued screaming, only pausing to gasp in air.

Fred saw blood appearing where Draco scratched and he grabbed for Draco's right arm, trying to stop him from hurting himself further. George quickly joined in but they struggled against Draco's desperation-fuelled strength.

Andromeda dashed over and squeezed around the twins to point her wand at Draco over the arm of the sofa. As she began to mutter spells, Moody barged in the door and joined the spectators. Dumbledore quickly closed it again.

Remus had joined the twins to hold down Draco's legs and stop him from falling off the sofa. "What's going on?" Someone cried.

"Voldemort is calling him." Dumbledore said calmly, as he found space at the foot of the sofa to begin some spells that sparkled and hissed as they left his wand.

Draco was still screaming and writhing and Andromeda's face was starting to show panic.

"Nothing's working!" She looked up hopefully at Dumbledore, but he was beginning to frown.

"No one's ever been able to remove the dark mark before." Molly murmured, her attention amazingly on Draco now rather than her injured son.

Suddenly Kreacher popped into the room, on the windowsill over looking the sofa.
"What is all this racket??!" He growled.

Then he looked down and shrieked. "Master Draco!"

He jumped down onto Draco's stomach, who didn't seem to notice, and grabbed the afflicted forearm. He scowled at the mark and opened his mouth to show his sharp pointy teeth. Fred was sure Kreacher was going to try to bite the mark off, but then the little elf closed his mouth with a snap and apparated away.

Andromeda had by now given up on spells, and was trying to pull her hair out instead. Dumbledore was waving his wand more slowly now, his face creased with concentration. Everyone else just stood there, wracking their brains for what to do but coming up empty.

A few moments passed before there was another loud crack of apparition and Kreacher reappeared. This time he was behind the crowd, near the door, and was holding the twisted ear of one Mundungous Fletcher in his tiny hand. Nearly everyone turned around to stare at them both in shock, who was whining and begging Kreacher to let him go. In Kreacher's other hand, he held a small plain-looking dagger.

Kreacher let go of Mundungous' ear and shoved him to the floor, He then scurried between everyone's legs and jumped up onto the sofa again. He grabbed Draco's left wrist in his knobbly left hand and raised the dagger in the other. Nearly everyone immediately cried out and Fred let go of Draco to try to wrestle the dagger off Kreacher.

"It helps! It helps!" Kreacher cried and let go of Draco to punch Fred in the nose. Fred fell back, full of shock at how much that little fist hurt, but then Ted and Andromeda took his place and continued to restrain Kreacher.

"Wait!" Dumbledore cried, then said slowly and clearly:"Kreacher, we will let you go if you stop what you're doing and tell us how you think the dagger can help."

Kreacher turned to scowl darkly at Dumbledore but froze. Ted and Andromeda slowly let go of him, though Ted remained ready to grab him again if need be. Draco was still screaming, his voice starting to become hoarse, but the others somehow managed to ignore him for the moment.

"Dagger will cut out evil brand!" Kreacher said carefully to Dumbledore.

Andromeda also looked to Dumbledore hopefully. "Is that true?"

Dumbledore held out his hand and reluctantly Kreacher handed over the dagger. The elf muttered "Hurry!" under his breath, and turned back to stare at Draco, trying to sooth him by stroking his dirty hands over Draco's hair. Draco didn't appear to notice anything but the pain in his arm.

Dumbledore studied the dagger closely then looked up and nodded. "I think this could work."

Andromeda immediately stood up and held out her hand to Dumbledore. "Then I will be the one to do it, because I am the only trained healer in the room."

Dumbledore let her take the dagger, and she went back to the sofa. She shooed Kreacher away, though he refused to go any further than Draco's feet, and motioned for the twins to resume holding Draco's arm steady.

She began to lower the dagger when George cried, "What about pain relief spells?"

"No spells have worked so far George!" Molly reminded him.

"Do you have the stomach for this?" Andromeda asked the twins, the dagger poised at Draco's elbow.

The twins glanced at each other, gulped, and nodded.

The next few minutes saw half the room turn away and fight not to gag. Draco did not seem to notice any difference in pain level as Andromeda slowly and carefully cut at the skin of his forearm in a careful line around the dark mark. She then tucked the blade under the tip of the skull and began to slice the skin away. Blood poured, but not even Kreacher seemed bothered by the damage to the vintage sofa.

When Andromeda finally peeled away the dark mark, Dumbledore levitated it away. But Draco's condition was unchanged; though he had lost his voice midway through the procedure, his was still trying to scream and grab his left arm. Andromeda cleared away the blood with her wand and everyone leaned in to look at the wound. The red exposed flesh was black in the form of the skull and snake.

Kreacher growled and motioned to Andromeda. "Cut more! Cut more!"

"You won't have to take-"
"-his whole arm, will you?" The twins asked nervously.

Andromeda didn't answer, but steadied her hand and began again to cut into Draco's arm.

It took two more layers of flesh before all trace of the brand was removed. When Andromeda cut away the last bit, Draco shuddered and his eyes rolled up into his head. Suddenly he was still and everyone slowly came back to themselves as Andromeda stopped the blood from flowing.

She produced some kind of white foam from the end of her wand and laid it over the gaping hole in Draco's arm.

"He'll need a specialist if he's to regain the tendons, ligaments, muscles and skin to get any kind of use out of this arm." She explained, and began to wrap bandages tightly over the wound. She then crossed the arm over Draco's chest and used more bandages to bind it there.

When she was done, she stood up with a sigh and turned back towards Bill, who protested: "You must be exhausted!"

Andromeda only smiled tiredly. "I was trained at St Mungo's, I'm used to exhaustion."

As she began to see to Bill's face, Fred and George finally realised they could let go of Draco.

"We should get him situated in bed," Dumbledore instructed, "I was thinking, Regulus's room...?" He looked at Kreacher.

The elf nodded. "Proper slytherin room - Master Regulus would want it so."

The twins looked at each other and shrugged; they'd never heard of a Regulus.

Remus went to pick up Draco again. As they began to step out of the drawing room, they were relieved to see the kitchen door firmly closed.

Once Kreacher had aired the green and silver sheets on the King sized bed in the room only Andromeda had ever seen before, they settled Draco into it and turned to leave.

"Shouldn't we clean the blood off?" Fred asked.

"Kreacher will do it!" The elf was already hopping on to the bed, holding a bowl of water and a soft white towel.

As they left, Fred and George were slightly horrified at the sight of Kreacher lovingly wiping Draco's bloody forehead while murmuring reassurance in his gravely voice.

Chapter Text

Draco felt like his body was weighted down. But slowly, he began to awaken. He was laying on something soft. It reminded him of his own bed, but it smelt different. And between himself and the bed was rough fabric, but that didn't make sense to him - he always had the softest silk pajamas.

His throat was sore and he couldn't remember why. He swallowed painfully and used his tongue to moisten his mouth.

His forehead ached dully. He raised his hand, pushing the heavy comforter aside, and felt a raised line on his skin just below his hairline.

Slowly Draco opened his eyes. Above him was a silver canopy. To his left he saw an ornate bedside table. A bit old and out of fashion, he thought to himself. The only light came from a candle on said table. On the wall behind it was an old dusty slytherin banner.

He looked to his right and froze. There on the bed next to him, on the other pillow no less, was a house elf. It was very old, wearing a filthy rag over it's dirty skin. It was curled up fast asleep.

For a moment he relaxed, but then suddenly Draco realised how familiar that elf looked. Quickly he searched his memory. Ah yes, that's right, he'd seen this house elf once with Aunt Bellat-

Draco shrieked and tried to jump backwards, falling off the bed onto a dusty plush carpet. He laid there for a moment groaning, and coughing the dust from his mouth.

"Master Draco...?" He heard that awful elf calling to him in it's gravelly voice. Quickly, he rolled under the bed.

He heard a door creak, and peeked out for a moment. Coming in the door slowly was a witch with long black hair that looked just like....

Draco bit his tongue to keep from crying out. He crawled under the bed as far from his aunt as he could get, ignoring the cobwebs and curious spiders.

"Draco?" He heard his aunt call. Only her voice was different; softer, kinder even if one could tell that from a voice alone. He saw her slippered feet approach the bed - where were her normal pointed heels?

"What have you done with him?" He heard the house elf demand of his aunt.
Ignoring how wrong that seemed to him, Draco took the opportunity to leapt out from the other side of the bed and run out the door.

Without stopping to see what kind of building he was in, Draco dashed down the corridor. He ignored the cries behind him for him to stop. He also ignored his bad knee flaring with pain and his sore back - the time for worrying about such things ended on the train home from his fifth year at school. For a moment he wondered why he was left arm was tied to his chest, but soon forgot about it and concentrated so he didn't fall down the steep staircase. When he hit the bottom he dashed down another corridor, only distantly aware that doors were opening behind him.

Suddenly he ran into something. Actually someone, he realised as his head bounced off a broad chest. Two large hands grabbed his arms to keep him from falling backwards.

Draco stared upwards and saw a face with deep fresh scratch marks marring it. The eyes were green and there was red hair falling on either sides of the face. For a moment, Draco remembered.

***************

His arm was killing him but he daren't show it. His mother was being held back by Crabb Sr. and Goyle Sr. had his meaty hands firmly on Draco's shoulders, as the Dark Lord finished branding the dark mark into Draco's left forearm with his sickly looking wand.

Suddenly from the corner of his eye he saw his godfather in front of the parlour door fall to the ground as someone flung it open. Spells flew through the opening.

He heard Goyle grunt and fall behind him. Bellatrix was shooting counter spells from the Dark Lord's side, while the Dark Lord himself was standing still and merely watching with dark interest in his snake eyes.

Draco sat there stupidly before someone grabbed him by the back of his filthy robes and pulled him towards the door way. He saw the dirty broken nails on his shoulder and saw a flash of his mother's face as she pushed him in front of her.

Severus was up now, making a grab for them both as they passed him but somehow missing them.

Two red haired adults were dashing through the door to protect Draco and his mother. One he recognised from Diagon Alley when he was 12 years old though he'd forgotten the moron's name, and the other was younger, with red hair pulled back into a ponytail.

They all were somehow running out of the manor, death eaters racing after them. The sky was black and starless. Draco could hardly see the bright purple hair of the witch running in front of him. She had her left hand wrapped around his wrist pulling him forward while she shot spells over his head with her right.

All of a sudden he felt his mother's hand slip on his shoulder. He turned to help her but only managed to fall under her weight. He saw a green glow around his mother's silhouette before he hit the ground and the black claimed him.

**************

Looking up at this man's scarred face, Draco realised it was the younger redhead from the manor. This was one of his rescuers! Making a quick decision, Draco ducked around the man and hid behind him.

He gripped the back of the man's plaid pyjamas, too tired and afraid to worry about how weak and childlike he must look. He heard the running steps screech to a stop but didn't look.

"Bill! Don't let him go! He's just frightened, but if I can only explain that I'm not Bellatrix..." The witch's voice grated on his nerves.

He felt the redhead turn around to look at him. Rough hands tilted his head up.

"Draco, it's ok. You're safe." Serious green eyes held his gaze as those hands held his shoulders in a firm yet comforting grip.

"That's not Bellatrix-" The man began but Draco shuddered and tried to pull away.

"Draco, Draco relax! That's Andromeda, Bellatrix' sister!"

Draco shook his head at that, wondering if this man was as idiotic as the other redheaded rescuer.

"That's not my mother!" He croaked through his dry throat. Where was his mother?

"No, not Narcissa - Andromeda!" Draco started up at him stupidly. Were all blood traitors this confusing?

He heard the big man sigh, and his aunt spoke again from behind him.

"They musn't have told him about me. I was dead to them."

The redhead nodded, his eyes clearing. "Oh right! Draco, your mum had two sisters. Andromeda ran away from home to marry a muggleborn and her parents disowned her. Your mother probably never mentioned her to you."

Draco frowned, and peered around the man's frame to stare at his au- that witch.
Her face was like Bellatrix's, but it had wrinkles in different places, as if she had spent her life smiling instead of frowning. Her hair was neat, and longer than his aunt's. She was wearing a green dressing gown with fairies scampering about on it. His aunt would never be caught dead wearing that...

"A blood traitor for an aunt..." Draco murmured to himself.

He felt the redhead's hands stiffen on his shoulders. "You shouldn't call her tha-"

"It's ok, Bill." Andromeda assured, gently moving him aside. "We can't expect him to change life long habits straight away."

She smiled at him just like his mother did.

"Where is my mother?" Draco demanded, his voice becoming stronger.

Andromeda smiled again, but sadly this time, and Draco felt his heart fall to the pit of his stomach.

"Come back upstairs dear. I promise I'll explain everything once you're back in bed. You're still healing - you need to rest."

Draco didn't know what else to do but let her lead him back up the staircase. He still felt terror rolling under his skin but there was no way for him to escape now. He remembered his arm, and he touched the bandages with his right hand. He hissed at the sudden pain and Andromeda stopped them at the landing to cast a pain relieving spell. He sighed in relief and realised this new aunt must be a healer.

They walked back into the old slytherin bedroom and Draco was happy to find that that awful elf was nowhere in sight.

Draco got back into bed, sitting leaning against the sagging green cushions.

Andromeda sat on the bed and gazed at him seriously. He was still seeing flashes of Bellatrix in her face. He tried to swallow his fear.

"I'm your Aunt Andromeda and I promise you that I nor anyone in this building intend to hurt you."

Draco frowned at that but didn't say anything.

"Do you remember what happened the last time you were in Malfoy Manor?"

Draco nodded but didn't take his eyes off her face.

"We, and by us I mean the Order of the Phoenix," Draco face took on an ashen colour, "heard what happened to you and your mother, and we came to rescue you."

Andromeda saw the colour of his face and put her hand on his comfortingly but he snatched it away.

"We rescued you and brought you here to our safe house. ...but I'm sorry, your mother was killed in the escape. We could only save you...."

The witch was still speaking but Draco wasn't listening any longer. He remembered that green flash behind his mother and realised what it must have been. He felt himself shaking and wrapped his right arm around his waist. His mind turned the last memory of his mother around and around, trying to make sense of it. He couldn't breathe! Black spots were appearing in his vision, blurring the view of his new aunt.
Suddenly air wooshed into his lungs and he looked up to see his new aunt pointing a wand at his chest. Again he froze, but the witch quickly put the wand away.

"It's ok, I was just using a spell to calm your panic attack."

Oh, panic attacks. He remembered his mother mentioning that in the dark of the dungeon when he couldn't seem to get air in his lungs.

A sudden pop heralded the arrival of that blasted elf. Draco leaned back away from the edge of the bed, feeling his breath quicken again. Andromeda took the tray the elf was holding, and told it it could leave. Instead the elf turned and opened a drawer on the old dresser against the wall. It pulled out a set of simple green pyjamas and held them out to Draco. Draco didn't move. The elf frowned but Andromeda took the clothes and motioned for it to leave again. Finally it popped away.

Andromeda put the tray on the bed and he saw there was a steaming bowl of soup and a glass of pumpkin juice on it. His stomach grumbled painfully.

Andromeda smiled at him again but he was too busy staring at the food to notice.

"I'm sure you must be hungry. I'll just stay for a little while and explain some things while you eat."

"NO!" Draco flinched and struggled to control his voice. "I mean, I-I want to be alone.... please."

He stared at her carefully but she only nodded and rose to leave the room. When she had closed the door, he grabbed the bowl and devoured the soup. Despite his speed he was careful not to waste a drop. It wasn't a soup that he recognised but that hardly mattered. Next he gulped down the orange juice. His stomach grumbled ungratefully and he frowned at it.
Then his mind reviewed what had just happened and he remembered his mother. How could he eat when he was never going to see her again?

Hot tears fell down his cheeks and he wiped one away so he could stare at it.

Father would-it no longer mattered what Father thought!

Frowning, he fingered the green pyjamas. It was a rougher fabric than he was used to but he could hardly complain. They could be poisoned by that filthy elf... He shrugged to himself and wriggled out of his tattered clothes. His outer robe caught on his bandaged arm. Slowly he unwrapped the bandages holding it to his chest. Thankful for the numbing spell, he gingerly felt the inner bandage. It seemed to be holding something squishy against his skin. Unwilling to find out more just yet, he quickly put on the new clothes and rewrapped his arm to his chest.

He went to throw the old garments onto the floor but stopped. Lifting his outer robe to his nose, he breathed in. It smelled of mother's perfume! Clutching the robe to his chest, he remembered snuggling up to his mother in the cold dungeons, while she sang softly to him like she used to when he was small.

After some time he awkwardly folded his old tattered clothes with his right hand, and looked around the room carefully. Standing up, he opened the bottom drawer of the dresser and pushed the clothes to the back behind the old musty clothes already in there.

Draco climbed back into bed and hurled the pillow that the elf had slept on onto the floor. Then he curled up and pulled the covers over his head.

He heard a pop and tried to sink down into the mattress, trembling. A few seconds passed, before another pop sounded. Draco waited for a few moments before carefully peeking out. There was no one in the room, but there on the edge of the mattress was a small dagger.

Draco stared at it for what felt like hours before slowly reaching for it with his right hand. He felt no pain upon touching it, so he grabbed it and pulled it under the covers. Upon examining it, he found the crest of the house of Black imprinted in the rough wooden handle. His mother's family... On the other side were carved the letters R.A.B.
Draco thought those initials sounded familiar but he couldn't place it. He curled up again with the dagger clutched in his hand. Finally he felt safe enough to sleep.