It was over.
He felt his mother weeping beside him as the Wizongment placed the papers down, verdict reached.
Ten years for his mother. His father got life. And the dementors kiss.
Draco was free to go.
"Thank god...thank god." She whispered, tears streaking her face.
His mother was a proud woman, full of strength and elegance, steel and cunning. He had never seen her cry before in his life.
He turned as much as the chains binding him to the chair allowed, to look at his father.
Lucious looked like a great weight had been lifted from his shoulders, even though his fate was sealed.
Draco turned frantically back to the Wizongment, voices rising in the crowd at the sentence, "No, wait, please! He was only doing it for me! The Dark Lord threatened to kill me-"
"SILENCE!" The judge boomed. He looked down his nose at him, spectacles clouding his eyes. "You would do well to appreciate what you've been given. God knows you deserve far worse."
He'd spent six months in Azkaban awaiting his trial. Six months in a cold dark cell, being drained and emptied by dementors. Six months half alive.
"Please-" Draco screamed, beginning to pull at his chains, which only tightened as he struggles.
"Draco, don't make them change their minds." His father snapped, voice tight. He sounded like he hadn't slept in days. "You're free. That's the best we could have done."
"NO!" He felt angry tears prickling at his eyes. A year of fucking torture, his father being walked all over, living in fear as that monster lived in thier fucking house-
"The only reason I'm not giving you life for collusion in the death of Albus Dumbledore is because Harry Potter vouched for you." The judge said. If looks could kill. "Our savior has some sway in the court, but not when it comes to them."
He squeezes his eyes shut, tries to keep the tears from spilling. His father is going to die there. His soul was going to be ripped from his body.
"This mudblood declares it so." The judge growled, and slammed his gavel down.
He never wanted to die before.
It was always the fear of death, the terrifying prospect of nothingness, that had kept him alive. Fear that the Dark Lord was going to kill him. Fear that Aunt Bella was going to slit his throat in his sleep. Fear that his parents were going to die if he didn't do what they told him to, and now he's here.
Just released from Azkaban, with nowhere to go. All his friends are dead. His family is as good as.
Now he wants to die.
Harry told him that healing takes time. You can't get over death, it follows you every where you go. You have to learn to live, find light even in the darkest of places. That's easy for him to say. He's the hero, the savior of the wizarding world on the right side of the war. His friends didn't burn in a fire. His skin isn't marred with the mark of death.
Draco knows it's not true. Harry lost everything. His parents, his Godfather, Tonks and Lupin and Dumbledore. And Draco's people were the one's that killed them.
Harry isn't mad at him for it.
"You were a child. You didn't know." There's kindness in his eyes, the kind born from pain. He's got scars on his face and hands, light white ones, dark red ones, scars that may fade but god knows if they'll heal. His hands are gentle when they rest on top of his. "We were raised in dark times. That doesn't mean we have to be dark people."
The ocean is roaring below him. His aunt Andromeda, the filthy fucking blood traitor, had offered to take him in now that everyone was gone. She and her husband were still grieving over Nymphadora. He had no idea why they'd bother with him, when he clearly brought about ptsd every time he wore short sleeves. Not that he did that very often. His mark still moved, red and raw at the scratching he'd inflicted on his flesh in Azkaban. It did nothing but mutilate him, blood copper tinted, ink binded to his flesh with magic. He'd hear Potter downstairs almost every day, coming to visit Teddy, asking when Draco would unlock himself from his room and come downstairs.
"Give him some time." She'd say. "You don't always come back from these things."
He can't come back. His father was kissed this morning.
If he could do it over again, if he just had once more chance...
He closes his eyes.
But this is reality. Look what you get when you play with magic. Look what magic has done.
He stands at the edge of the cliff and leaps.
He opens his eyes to screaming.
Great. Hell exists. Why couldn't existence give him a fucking break already.
But there was no fire, no mottled flesh or corpses strung up. In fact, he was back at Hogwarts. In the Great Hall. He looked down at his desk to see several papers strawn across it, with the same three letters printed neatly at the top.
Of god, he was in hell.
He finally looked over to identify who wouldn't stop screaming.
There was a boy toppled over on the ground, having fallen out of his chair. He clutched at his forehead, frantic panting echoing along the halls as voices began to whisper.
Jet black hair. Glasses. Surprisingly short.
Terrified green eyes meeting his as he lifts his head.
"Harry?" He whispers, shocked. The words slip out of him unbidden. This couldn't be hell. There's no way the golden boy was going to hell.
Harry creased his eyebrows, confused. Still panting, but the screaming had finally stopped.
A professor had run over to him, began helping him back onto his feet, saying something about a hospital wing-
Draco's blood ran cold.
"I'm not going. . . . I don’t need the hospital wing. . . . I don’t want . . .”
Harry was gibbering, trying to pull away from the Professor, (was that Tofty!?) who was looking at him with much concern. Draco couldn't breath. This was a dream. It had to be, because he remembers this exact conversation happening during his exams five years ago...
“I’m — I’m fine, sir,” Harry stammered, wiping the sweat from his face. “Really . . . I just fell asleep. . . . Had a nightmare . . .”
“Pressure of examinations!” said the old wizard sympathetically, patting Harry shakily on the shoulder. “It happens, young man, it happens! Now, a cooling drink of water, and perhaps you will be ready to return to the Great Hall? The examination is nearly over, but you may be able to round off your last answer nicely?”
This isn't happening. This is a dream, his suicide attempt failed and now he's sitting in st. Mungos with a thermometer in his mouth-
He frantically pulls up his sleeve eyes scanning for marred flesh and a skull eating a snake.
White, smooth skin. No needles or scratches or burns.
No dark mark.
This time it's Draco screaming and falling to the floor.
"What is going on!?" Tofty throws his hands up in exasperation. "These tests get more stressful every year, students falling out of chairs from pressure to perform-"
"WHAT YEAR IS IT!?" Draco screams. He hears a few students snort from their chairs.
"My goodness, he's gone mad! Was it the final essay? I knew it would be too difficult for fifteen year olds-"
Every dream he's had for the past two and a half years, his mark has been in it.
Harry looks frantic, hand pressed hard to his forehead. He looks like he's just seen a ghost.
"Mate, you alright?" He hears from his side. Draco glances up, and starts hyperventilating. It's Crabbe, young and concerned and very much alive.
He really has seen a ghost.
"You're alive," He murmurs. Zambini snickers from his seat, eyes glancing up from his essay.
Tofty claps his hands. "That's it! To the hospital wing, both of you! Looks like you've finished about as much as you can, your health should come before these blasted O.W.L.'s!"
“Yes,” said Harry wildly. “I mean . . . no . . . I mean-"
"Thank you, professor!" Draco says. He stands up on shaky legs, locking eyes with Potter. "I’ve done — done as much as I can, I think. . . .”
Tofty raised an eyebrow at him. Harry was gaping.
Crap. He wasn't very polite in fifth year, was he?
There's no time. He can't ponder this, can't think too hard about it.
Tonight his father is arrested in the Department of Mysteries. He doesn't care if it's a dream.
All he can do is act.
He rushes forward, grabs Potter's arm, and runs.
It isn't until they're halfway up the second floor that Harry jerks out of his hold, panting. "What the hell, Malfoy!?"
"We don't have time, c'mon, we have to go-"
"I'm not going anywhere with you." He snaps, and sprints up the stairs.
"WAIT!" Draco yells after him, chasing him down the hall. He knows what's about to happen, has to stop it-
He can't let the D.A leave the school. He doesn't remember exactly how they left to begin with, but he's got to stop it. If they never leave, they never go to the Ministry, and his father and his friend's parents never get caught by the order-
"I don't have time for this!" Harry yells angrily. He looks panicked, hands shaking where they skim along the banister as he runs. Draco chases after him.
They run up the marble staircase and then more staircases toward the hospital wing, hurtling along the corridors so fast that the portraits they pass mutter reproaches, and burst through the double doors like a hurricane, causing Madam Pomfrey, who had been spooning some bright blue liquid into Montague’s open mouth, to shriek in alarm. Draco stumbles into him, no time to stop, and they both crash to the ground with a yelp.
“Potter, what do you think you’re doing? Is that Mister Malfoy?”
“I need to see Professor McGonagall,” gasped Harry, the breath tearing his lungs. “Now . . . It’s urgent. . . .” He pats along the ground on his knees, squinting. His glasses had fallen off.
“She’s not here, Potter,” said Madam Pomfrey sadly.
"She was transferred to St. Mungo's this morning." Draco says, finding the spectacles a few feet away, he lunges for them, hurredly wiping them off on his robes before handing them back. Harry's looking at him strangely, snatching them in anger.
"What the hell are you talking about?"
Madam Pomfrey looks at Draco strangely. "...It's true. Four Stunning Spells straight to the chest at her age? It’s a wonder they didn’t kill her.”
"She's gone. She can't help us." Draco says.
"There is no us, go lie down before you give yourself dementia."
"I'm not sick."
"Then why were you screaming!?"
"Why were you screaming!?"
"None of you business!" He shouts, and sprints off again.
He sprinted back down two floors and was at the top of the marble staircase, Draco calling after him, when Harry bumped into the red head and the mudblood.
“Harry!” said Hermione at once, looking very frightened. “What happened? Are you all right? Are you ill?”
“Where have you been?” demanded Ron. "Why is he with you?"
"We don't have time for this!" Draco was pulling his hair out, panic rising in his chest. There was so little time left-
“Voldemort’s got Sirius.”
Draco flinches hard at the name, heart pounding. He feels a phantom pain on his arm.
"What!?" Draco shrieked.
“How d’you — ?”
“Saw it. Just now. When I fell asleep in the exam.”
“But — but where? How?” said Hermione, whose face was white.
"No they don't!" Draco said hurriedly.
"Why are you still here!?" Harry yelled at him, whipping around.
"What do you know about it!?" Ron said.
Draco opened his mouth to snap at them, but then he realized.
They wouldn't believe him. He didn't even believe him. He had to come up with something, and quick, because they didn't have time-
"My dad's a death eater." He says.
They stare at him.
"We know." Ron says.
"While we're standing around talking to Malfoy," Harry seethes, "Sirius is in the Department of Mysteries, with Voldemort-"
"Stop saying his name!" Draco snaps.
"He's not, it's a trick you idiots, he's still at Grimauld place!" Draco snaps.
Hermione gasps, bringing her hand up to her mouth. "How do you know about that?"
"There's no way, Dumbledore is the secret keeper-" Ron starts.
Harry's staring at him. He whips out his wand.
"Harry!" Hermione squeaks.
"Did Dumbledore tell you?" He asks quietly. The panic in his eyes is gone, replaced with a simmering fury.
Draco knows that look. It's not supposed to be in his eyes yet.
This isn't the Harry he knows. This isn't the soldier, hardened over years of death and grief, trying to put back the pieces of a broken world, raising a child that isn't his at barely 18 years of age. He holds kindness, bravery. A quiet disposition and a soft voice. He spoke at Draco's trial and pleaded for his life.
This isn't his Harry. But those are his eyes.
Draco leans in, grips Harry's wand right above where he's holding it. He gets right up to his nose. "How would I know unless he trusted me?"
It's an outright lie, and Draco's panicking. But he's a Slytherin, goddamn it, and there's nothing he's better at than getting himself out of sticky situations.
Harry squints at him. "You have five minutes, and then we're leaving."
That's all he needs.
"The Dark Lord is using Legimency to exploit the link you share." Draco says hurriedly. "You're terrible at Occlumencey, why do you think Snape's been trying to train you for the past year?" He sneers.
"How do you know about-" Ron starts.
"Shut up." Draco snaps at him.
"Go on." Harry nods. He still looks like he's about to kill something. He must really love this guy.
"It's a trap. He's trying to lure you into the Department of Mysteries because he wants your prophecy, and you're the only one who can get it because it's heavily charmed with protective spells-"
"What prophecy!?" Hermione says.
"He's tricking you. Aunt Bella and about twenty others are waiting to ambush you as soon as you get there."
"How do you know all this?"
Because five minutes ago, I tried to kill myself and somehow magically ended up traveling back in time to the day you fucks destroyed my life-
"My father's there. He's part of the ambush, I heard him talking about it myself." It's a lie. It's all a lie. Slytherin's are cunning and right now that means he has to lie.
"Why are you only now telling us?" Ron asked. "Why are you helping us?"
"Because I didn't think it was real until I saw Potter faint." He snaps. "And I'm not helping you, I'm trying to keep my father out of jail."
"We can't trust him, Harry." Ron says, moving to stand bodily between Harry and him. "Like he just said, his father's a death eater."
Harry shoves him out of the way, locking eyes with Draco. "Give me one reason to trust you."
Because you visited me in Azkaban. Because you spoke at my trial. Because you kept me out of jail, believed there was still something good in me, came to Andromeda's every day to try and get me to come out of my room, because you're kind and strong and the world is cruel and you saved my life in the fire-
"Because I love my father as much as you love your godfather." He says.
Hermione looks shaken. "I trust him."
Ron snaps his head around. "You what? He's Malfoy!"
"Exactly." She strides over and stands beside him, facing the boys. Draco's as surprised as Ron. "He's selfish. There's no reason he'd tell us unless he had something to gain from it, and keeping his dad out of jail seems to be a very good reason. Plus he looks like he's about to cry."
"Now that you mention it, I've never seen the prat look so panicked before-"
"Prove it." Harry says. "Show me that he's fine and I'll believe you."
"How the hell am I supposed to do that!?"
Harry scowls, turning to Ron. "C'mon, we don't have much time, we have to go-"
"Wait!" Draco says hurriedly. "Just...give me a minute, need to think of something-"
What happened the first time around!? He hardly even remembers, it was all a flurry of activity and panic-
The classroom door opened. The four of them whip around.
Ginny walks in, looking curious, followed by Luna, who as usual looks as though she had drifted in accidentally. Draco's shaken. The last time he saw Ginny Weasley, she'd had a prosthetic eye. Luna was bound to a wheelchair.
“Hi,” said Ginny uncertainly. “We recognized Harry’s voice — what are you yelling about?”
"What are you doing here, Draco?" Luna asked dreamily.
“Never you mind,” said Harry roughly.
Ginny raised her eyebrows. “There’s no need to take that tone with me,” she said coolly. “I was only wondering whether I could help.”
“Well, you can’t,” said Harry shortly.
“You’re being rather rude, you know,” said Luna serenely.
"Would you fuck off already?" Draco snapped.
"Hey!" Ginny and Ron said at the same time.
"Why don't you fuck off if you care so much?" Ginny snapped back.
Wait. That was it.
The events of this evening had been told and retold by the Death Eaters that lived at Malfoy Manor the past year. The Dark Lord's plan to lure Potter out of school. The vision of Sirius Black being tortured, the elf at Headquarters lying to Potter when he tried to check if Black was there.
And then, Draco remembered, Potter and Granger caught in Umbridge's office.
"The fireplace!" He exclaimed. He could've smacked himself, after all the trouble they gave him the first time around. "Umbridge's office is the only one at the school not being monitored!"
"Dumbledores office." Harry said cooly.
"Whatever. We can contact him using the floo network-"
"How the bleeding hell are we getting into her office?" Ron asked.
"-you can see him for yourself, get the proof you need." Draco was out of breath. Of course. Of course. It was perfect.
"What are you talking about? Why is Malfoy here?" Ginny looked worried.
Harry was nodding along with him. "We're going to have to create a distraction."
"Get Peeves." He turned to Ron. "I'll tell Umbridge he's smashing up the transfiguration room. It'll buy us more time."
"Why should I listen to you?"
"Harry saved your dads life last Christmas when he got bit by Nagini."
"How do you-you know what, I'm not even going to ask. Hermione?"
She nodded, looking sternly at Draco. "If this is a trick, I'm going to hex your insides out."
"Of course." He turned to Ginny and the Lovegood girl. "You two. Keep watch on either end of the corridor."
"How do we let you know if she's back?"
"I can shoot sparks out of my wand." Luna offered, smiling sleepily.
"No, that'll look suspicious. Sing Weasley is Our King."
"Which version, ours or yours?"
"Whatever! Harry, do you have your invisibility cloak?"
"How do you know about that? And why are you calling me Harry?"
Shit. "Don't worry about it, we don't have time."
Hermione and Ron started down the corridor, her calling over her shoulder, "Tell Sirius about the Legimencey when you see him!" They turned the corner and where gone.
The clock was ticking.
Draco was in the lead, followed closely by Harry a hairs breathe behind him. Ginny and Luna were down the stairs to the left, clearing the crowd.
“You can’t come down here!” Ginny called. “No, sorry, you’re going to have to go round by the swiveling staircase, someone’s let off Garroting Gas just along here —”
He could hear people complaining; one surly voice said, “I can’t see no gas . . .”
“That’s because it’s colorless,” said Ginny in a convincingly exasperated voice, “but if you want to walk through it, carry on, then we’ll have your body as proof for the next idiot who didn’t believe us. . . .”
Draco stopped right outside her door, fingers crossed that Peeves was wrecking enough gleeful havoc on the Transfiguration room by now. He turned to see Harry pulling his cloak out of his bag.
"Don't say a word until I tell you." You muttered, and knocked on the door.
He heard some shuffling, and then a cheerful "Come in!" as the door opened, Umbridge waving her wand at her desk. "Why Draco, what a pleasant surprise!"
Draco stepped in, hovering in the doorway for long enough that Harry had time to slip inside before the door shut behind them. He couldn't see him, so he could only hope he'd gotten in in time.
"Professor-" He started.
"Why, Draco, you look as pale as death!" She exclaimed. God, he hated her. A sniveling halfblood sucking up to the higher classes in a desperate bid for power and control.
Draco shook his head, his pulse slowing. "Professor, Peeves is destroying the Transfiguration room!"
She scowled, standing from her chair in disgust. "Bloody ghost's. They should all be thrown from this school, no place for them here..."
Of course she believed him. Fifth year he'd been such a suck up, so excited about getting Potter and his friends in trouble that he'd traded his soul to the pink devil.
"I'll be right back, why don't you sit for a moment? You look dreadful." Draco tried to shrink into himself, make him look as pitiful as possible. The sweet kittens on the walls were looking more and more like evil little pixies.
"Thank you, Headmistress," Draco said sweetly, struggling to get back into pre-war mode. "My father speaks so highly of you, Madam Umbridge."
"Does he?" Umbridge looked pleasantly surprised. "Well, he has my praise as well." She scurried out with her wand in hand.
He waited a minute to make sure she was gone. "You can come out now."
Harry frantically threw off the cloak, startling him as he reappeared. He practically ran to the fireplace, “Number twelve, Grimmauld Place!” as he threw a handfull of floo powder into the ashes, watching s green flame erupted. Right when he was about to stick hi head in, Draco called out a frantic "WAIT!"
Kreacher. He forgot about Kreacher.
Harry looks like he's about to scream. "What."
"I think we should go."
He nods. "Quickly, we haven't got much time."
Harry doesn't waste anymore of it, just nodding and jumping through headfirst, Draco closely followed.
As soon as he gets his bearing's, he's running through the hallway and looking for the stairs.
"Master Malfoy-" Kreatcher stutters out, startled to see a Pureblood back in the house of Black.
"Fuck off." He says, still bounding up.
"Sirius!?" Harry calls "SIRIUS!"
"SIRIUS ARCTURUS BLACK!" Draco screams, following step after step. "TWAT! WANKER! WHERE THE BLOODY HELL ARE YOU?"
He rounds a corner, and is almost hit in the face with a frying pan.
"WHO THE HELL- Malfoy?" Sirius doesn't look like his pictures. He never met the man in real life, and the mangy half mad dog from the newspaper clippings doesn't come anywhere close to this man. "Harry! What are you-what is he-"
Harry tackles him full force, sending him sprawling onto the floor, arms wrapped tight in a hug.
"I thought-I saw you-" Harry's voice is muffled in Black's shirt, but he's trembling, clinging tight.
Draco nows Black died that night, along with his pureblood name.
"What's going on?" He gently strokes Harry's hair, looking up at Draco in suspicion. "What are you doing here."
Harry's shaking. He looks so young, muscle built over a year of living out of a tent on the run completely gone. "There are death eaters in the Department of Mysteries. The Dark Lord sent Harry a vision of you being tortured to try and lure him there to get the prophecy."
Sirius's face goes blank. His hand stops moving on Harry's head. "How do you know about the prophecy."
"DIDN'T YOU HEAR ME!?" He screams. "They're at the Ministry! Call the order before they realize Harry's not coming!"
"Master Malfoy-" Kreatcher starts, curling around the corner.
Draco rounds on him, furious. "AND YOU! HOW DARE YOU DISOBEY YOUR MASTER FOR THAT-THAT-THAT WITCH!"
Kreatcher shrinks back, bowing deep. "Kreatcher had to, Master Malfoy. Kreatcher only serves the house of Black-"
"Is he not a Black!?" He points furiously at Sirius, who's staring at him like he just grew another head. "Is he not the last of this pure bloodline? You bring shame to this house!"
"No, Kreatcher does not bring shame!" Kreatcher cries. "Kreatcher lives for the house of Black!"
"If you ever disobey him or me ever again, you'll-you'll get clothes!"
"NO, MASTER MALFOY, NO!" Kreatcher begins to cry. Draco honestly feels a little guilty, but then he remembers the locket.
"It's alright, stop that, you're forgiven!" He says frantically. Kreatcher sniffles. "Kreatcher, do you happen to have that locket? The one this bastard was going to throw away?"
The Horcruxes. Draco feels his soul leave his body. The Horcruxes.
"Could you please bring it to me?" Draco asks. "Quickly, we haven't got much time.
Kreatcher snaps his fingers, presumably to grab it from wherever he's hiding the ruddy thing.
Draco looks back at Harry and Sirius, who are starting at him.
"Well!? Is no one going to contact Dumbledore? There are death eaters in the fucking ministry!"
Sirius jumps to his feet. "Right. Explanations can wait. God, I can't wait to get out of this ruddy house-"
"Not you!" He snaps. "You have to stay."
"Like hell I do." Sirius starts taking a step forward.
"Petrificus totalus!" Draco whips his wand out, binding Sirius's arms to his body.
"WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING?" Harry yells, catching his Godfather as he begins to fall.
"If he goes, he dies. We have to get Dumbledore."
There's a crack, and Kreatcher is back with the locket. He holds it out to Malfoy reverently. "For you, Master Malfoy."
Draco takes it, shoving it into his pocket. "Thank you Kreatcher. Can you do one more thing for me?"
"I need you to bring Dumbledore here. Now."
He takes a step back, looking utterly appalled. "That nasty blood traitor-"
He grabs him by the shoulders. "Kreatcher, if we don't do this, the house of black dies, and so does Regulus's memory."
"Regulus? Sirius's death eater brother-"
"Master Regulus?" Kreatcher looks up with big eyes.
Draco nods. "Do it for Regulus, Kreatcher."
Kreatcher nods, and snaps his fingers.
"We have to hurry," he says and grabs Harry's arm, pulling him hard down the stairs, stumbling as they go.
"You just hexed my godfather!"
"I just saved his stupid life, now let's go-"
Before they make it to the kitchen, there's another crack, and Dumbledore is standing before them.
The man he was sent to kill. He's been dead for three years.
"Draco Malfoy?" He says, looking confused.
"Death Eater's in the Department of Mysteries." Harry says.
"We have to go." Draco starts heading towards the fire, green flames thankfully still burning.
"Tell you later. Don't let Sirius leave." Harry jumps in, flames shooting up and engulfing him, disappearing from view.
Draco turns to him before he jumps in as well.
"Let my father go." He says. "Please. Do what you need to, but let my father go."
Dumbledore opens his mouth. Closes it.
The man he was meant to kill. The only man Voldemort ever feared. He wasn't going to die this time.
His eyes are twinkling. He nods.
Draco turns, and jumps into the flames.