The next couple of days Harry woke up feeling numb. His body, his emotions, everything was just numb. He wasn’t sure what to do next or how to fix things. Wasn’t even sure if he wanted to even try to fix anything, he was just so tired of being the one to reach out and forgive all the time. He remembered last year, Ron and Hermione both didn’t believe him about his not entering the triwizard tournament; they both turned their back on him calling him a traitor and a liar. Then there was second year when they both feared him when they found out about his being able to speak parseltongue. Every time he seemed to need them most they would turn on him and he was so very tired of it, but he always made up with them when they came back because they were his first and only friends; he didn’t know how to make new ones. He remembered how he forgave them last year:
* Harry had just defeated the dragon and was waiting his turn to be healed by Madame Pomfrey when all of a sudden he was engulfed by a hug full of brown bushy hair.
“Oh Harry I was so worried! I thought for sure the dragon was going to get you.”
He could hear Hermione say in his ear as he was trying not to suffocate from her hair. He finally managed to push her off and gave her a confused look.
“Blimey Harry, you flew like a pro! I bet Krum was seething when he saw you, probably wished he thought of out flying a dragon! I mean, mate, really, you better fly like that next year when we have quidditch again!”
Harry was very confused. Both Ron and Hermione stopped speaking to him when his name was called, saying he was a cheat and a traitor and that he should have told them how he did it, even when he told them he never put his name in. None of this made sense to him, how could they just pretend they never betrayed him.
“Why are you guys here? I thought I was a ‘no good liar who couldn’t tell the truth even if it saved my best friend’s life’ oh wait, then you said I had no friends and it’s no wonder I didn’t bother with the truth…”
He still couldn’t believe that after 3 years of friendship they would say something like that to him.
“Oh, Harry, we didn’t mean it! We were just confused because everyone thought you put your name in the goblet and even the professors seemed so sure about it and you know how I get about rules, I thought you were just looking to break more of them after everything Sirius said your dad was like…”
Harry glared at her.
“C’mon mate, you know we didn’t mean any of that. Besides, you need us to help you figure out who put your name in because I recon they want to do you in!”
Harry was tired of fighting and even if their apologies were crap he missed having people in his corner, so he just shrugged and let it go.*
This time though, this time he would give them one chance when he spoke to them and if they couldn’t accept that he had no control over what happened then that was it, he was done with them. Hopefully they have calmed down enough to speak to him soon; he needed company other than Malfoy, as that has been pure torture so far.
“Oi, Scarface! Since I’m stuck here with you and I’ve done all my homework I need you to entertain me. Do something.”
Malfoy hasn’t stopped pestering him since he found out he couldn’t leave Harry alone in the infirmary, at first it wasn’t so bad as they both used the time to catch up on homework but the longer Harry was stuck in bed, the worse Malfoy was getting.
“Sorry Malfoy, what do you want me to do?”
Harry has just been going along with whatever Malfoy asked of him, it was less painful – considering the stinging hexes Malfoy would send – than ignoring him.
“Tell me all about your adventures, I’ve heard too many rumors for them not to have some truth and I’d like to know the actual facts about what you golden trio have been up to these last years.”
And so Harry entertained Malfoy by telling him about his so called school adventures. He started with first year, and when he explained about Quirrell dying Draco was so shocked he spit out some water he was drinking.
“You killed the Dark Lord’s host by touching his face?! You murdered someone at the age of 11? No wonder you were so messed up after that…”
Harry could just nod and agree, it was the truth after all, he may not have meant to kill anyone but in the end that is what happened.
Second year was harder for both of them, for Harry to talk about and for Malfoy to believe.
“What do you mean you snuck into our common room using polyjuice? How big was this so called basilisk? You, a twelve year old boy, killed it with a sword, never having used a sword before in his life? Are you sure you weren’t just drugged to believe all this happened?”
Harry had to promise to show him the chamber of secrets just to get him to accept that this was all the truth. Malfoy just stated he wouldn’t believe it until he saw the chamber and they left it at that.
When it came to his third year, a confusing time of time travel and godfathers and werewolves, Harry tried to keep his story as accurate as possible. Luckily, Malfoy knew most of this thanks to Snape and didn’t require Harry to confirm any of it.
Fourth year was another easy one, Harry explained what happened during the tournament parts the spectators couldn’t see and then explained about how the Dark Lord came back and his torture and Cedric’s death… It was easy in the way that it was quick to tell, but Harry still choked up a bit when he got to Cedric’s fate and the pain he felt due to Voldemort’s torture.
“You were able to fight off the Dark Lord’s imperius curse? How many times did he crucio you? How are you still alive Potter?”
“A lot of luck? I honestly couldn’t tell you. Every year there’s something and every year I come out worse for it but luckily enough I come out alive. This year I have Umbridge now this bond of ours to deal with… Who knows how I’ll be at the end of the year considering we’re only in October...”
It was the most feelings Harry had felt since the accident and he was somewhat glad for Draco and his distraction. But now that the story was over he started to feel numb some more. Draco on the other hand had a lot to think through, he never knew how much Harry was going through every year and he started to feel a little bad for how he treated him all these years. Draco just thought Harry had it easy and that everyone treated him like he was special and now he realized just how wrong he was. He had a lot of thinking to do.
Harry on the other hand decided he really needed to speak to Ron and Hermione and so wrote them a letter.
Dear Ron and Hermione,
I heard that the news of my new situation didn’t go well. I was hoping you would come talk to me while I’m still stuck in the infirmary. Especially since there is much I need to tell you about this bond I’m stuck in. At the moment I have to have Malfoy or Snape nearby or I get this extreme pain in my chest. We all hope that this is temporary and that the bond will settle enough for me to be on my own soon, but so far they have to stay within shouting distance.
I miss you both, please come see me.
He gave that to Madame Pomfrey to send and hoped for the best. Then he started thinking about his past and what he did tell Draco. He realized that during his recollection he did seem to notice the boys more than the girls. He wasn’t sure if it was just an age thing at first but the more he thought about it, the more he realized that it wasn’t Cho he was really looking at, but Cedric. And that this year, so far, he was noticing Seamus’ arse more than Lavender’s. So he thought it out.
‘I did notice that Malfoy has flawless skin and that the new scar just adds to his complexion instead of taking anything away. And I always thought that he was good looking, even when my hormones weren’t an issue… Oh Merlin. I really am gay and I might like Malfoy...’
And just as he realized that he felt his face heat up and knew he was beet red. Well this was new. At least part of his bond will now be easier to deal with if he really had feelings for Malfoy. He had to admit that he wasn’t being too much of a prat at this moment and he did seem nice when he spoke of his so-called adventures.
The doors opened and Ron and Hermione marched together to Harry’s bed.
“What do you want Potter? We have better things to do than to spend time with Slytherin’s new playmate.”
Ron already seemed ready for an argument and didn’t seem to want to listen. Hermione on the other hand took a step forward and gave Ron a look.
“Quiet Ron, we agreed to hear him out. Just because he’s stuck being Malfoy and Professor Snape’s sub doesn’t mean that he won’t fight it tooth and nail and figure out a way to maintain a real relationship with a girl.”
Harry was shocked. They really did have problems with something he had no control over, and Hermione seemed to be against the idea he might be gay. Unfortunately for her, he just came to the conclusion that he was gay and this bond wouldn’t have changed that.
“Seriously? Ron, this is your fault! You had to sabotage a volatile potion for revenge even though we told you it was a bad idea! And Hermione, even if I wasn’t in this bond I’d still be gay, I just realized it myself but it wouldn’t have changed that at all. And of course I wasn’t happy that I’m bonded with two people who hate me, but there is literally nothing I can do! Having them more than 2 kilometers away causes me intense pain, I have to be physically close to them, but that doesn’t mean emotionally I am attached, which just makes this bond even worse. I was counting you two to stick by me this time and actually be my friends!”
During his tirade Ron and Hermione both got redder and redder as if holding in their emotions, but they finally couldn’t any longer.
“Gay! You can’t be gay! You wanted to date Cho remember? And being Gay is an awful thing! I can’t believe you Harry! Don’t talk to me again until this so-called bond stops messing with your head.”
“My fault?! If you didn’t jump in front of Malfoy everything would be fine! You wouldn’t look like a freak and they wouldn’t be stuck with you as a bondmate. Just leave us alone Potter, we don’t want anything to do with Slytherin’s whore!”
And with that both of them left, stomping their way out of the infirmary and out of Harry’s life. He was officially done with them. He wasn’t going to forgive them, not this time. He gave them a chance and they ruined it. He was done.
Next to him Malfoy was staring with his mouth open.
“Potter, I told you on our first day, you don’t want to make friends with the wrong sort. Those two, they are definitely the wrong sort.”
Harry snorted and then just started laughing until he started crying again. When would his pain end? Hasn’t he suffered enough?
“Rest Potter, I’ll wake you when it’s time for your next treatment.”
Harry looked over at Malfoy and just gave him a small watery smile. Then he huddled in bed and fell asleep. ‘At least Malfoy is no longer being a berk… Maybe this bond does have a chance.’