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If We Were Together...We Could Do Anything

Chapter Text

Chapter one's photo: A whole bunch of presents of different shapes and sizes, wrapped up in colourful and shiny wrapping paper with bows

Harry watched as the postman walked away, leaving Vernon’s hands full of boxes for the third time that week.

“Well don’t just stand there boy, take these and put them with the others, make sure they are hidden.”

Harry moved forward to take a box as his uncle dropped them all into his tiny arms. He tottered but managed to not drop them and righted himself before setting off upstairs to the second bedroom. Dudley didn’t use it anymore, just throwing his toys into it once they were broken so he wouldn’t notice some extra boxes in there if he ever did go in.

Once he dropped the boxes he looked out of the window and watched the dark sky, then gasped as the first snowflake fell. It was coming up the Christmas! The lights would go on in the windows, conservatively of course, you had to keep up appearances on Privet Drive but Harry remembered last year when Vernon forgot to turn off the lights and he snuck out of his cupboard and watched them twinkle all different colours on the tree all night.

So, the boxes were presents, all for Dudley of course. Harry would be expected to watch the breakfast, using his little stool as he was too short to reach the cooker top, while the others in the household cooed over Dudley and his gifts. He wondered if now he was ten that Santa would remember that he lived there. Dudley told him that Santa brought presents only to good girls and boys, who slept in bedrooms and not under the stairs but Harry was hopeful that this year would maybe be different.

He rubbed his eyes, stopping the tears from falling from the huge emeralds and turned to walk back downstairs.

--

Draco was turning in circles in the large hall. The house elves had outdone themselves this year with the decorations. Tall ice sculptures stood at the bottom of the stairs and at the sides of the doors, while garlands twisted their way up the bannister and frosted leaves and vines hung from the doorways and ceiling. It was a sight to behold but they would expect nothing less from a Malfoy. He was to greet the guests as they arrived. Father had said he was ten now, he could act like a real man. Draco had been proud of that and tottered off to get ready. Now he was bored, waiting for the first of the guests to arrive to the boring party. He would sneak into the sun room once everyone was here, he liked it there as it was always warm and the huge glass windows and roof let him watch the snow fall down.

It was there, after the party had finished that his parents found him, still watching the big fat flakes, freezing a few of them in mid-air with his practice wand to see if he could see any similarities. Mother had told him that every snowflake was unique, no two were ever the same.

“Draco, you should have been abed hours ago.”

He turned to face his father and slid down from the warm window seat. “Apologies father, I was thinking.”

Lucius was about to say something stupid, he was sure of it but his mother crouched to his height with a soft smile, it was one she reserved just for him. “What about darling?”

“Harry,” he said softly, ignoring the snort from his father. He always thought about Harry Potter, he couldn’t wait to meet him. His mother’s smile didn’t falter.

“What about him?”

“I just wondered if he was doing things like this at Christmas too.”

She picked him up, levelling a look at Lucius to dare him to say something about it and turned to take him to bed. Draco had not wanted to be carried since he was six, it was rare he let her but he was too intent on his tale to care right then and she was going to take advantage of it.

“And if, we could invite him to the next party we have and he could come to the sun room and I could get him a present, because he can’t have my presents, those are for me. Right mother?”

She laughed, “Yes dragon, those are all for you. Sleep now, tomorrow is Christmas eve and there will be no presents if you are not good.”

Draco immediately shut his eyes as his mother laid him in bed. Dobby popped in and with a snap he was cleaned and in pyjamas. Narcissa stroked back a small lock of hair before going to the door, Lucius smiling at her like when they first met. “Come,” he whispered and the door closed softly.

--

Harry sighed, he had been locked in the cupboard since 7pm. Marge had come over and didn’t want to look at him after dinner. The feeling was definitely mutual.

At least he had managed to eat something, and he had taken a napkin and stolen away some nuts and some of the vegetables from dinner. It was a small affair as it was Christmas Eve, and the big dinner was tomorrow, after the presents which Harry had been told he had to watch, he would then be cooking stuffing and roast potatoes while Petunia did the turkey. It was too important for him to touch she had sniffed at him and he had just shrugged.

He threw himself back on his makeshift bed and sighed, he was tired from the mornings’ garden work, followed by laundry and then helping to make the dinner before Marge came with her horrific dog. Harry was glad he was locked away, but that meant there was no way he would be out again before morning. The bolt was across the door and he could wiggle it free but with Ripper about he daren’t make any noise that could attract attention.
He must have fallen asleep as he woke to pitch black…wait, it wasn’t pitch black was it, something was shining on the ceiling. He sat up, blinking and rubbing at his eyes but he knew it was night-time, the house was silent. He looked again for the light and realised it was coming from his feet. He pulled back the thin blanket and stared in mounting horror mixed with excitement as something appeared between his odd-socked feet.

The light around it faded and the cupboard was too dark to see anything now, green spots floating in front of his eyes he groped for his torch. Then the batteries that were under the mattress. It wouldn’t do to keep them together and let the Dursleys know he had any light in here that they didn’t allow.

He stilled after putting the batteries in, waiting for any noise from upstairs or from the kitchen where the dog might be sleeping. There was just his breathing, loud in the silence but he clicked on the torch and broke out in a huge grin.

There was a present, perfectly wrapped in silver wrapping paper that seemed to have been imprinted with little snakes and was tied with a green ribbon that curled perfectly at the ends.

Santa hadn’t forgotten him this year, he thought as he picked up the small box and brought it closer. He carefully opened it and revealed a small box which he took off the lid.

Inside was a small locket. The pendant about the size of an adult thumbnail but it was pure silver and shone in the light from the torch. This too was carved with tiny snakes that looked to protect the locket’s contents. Harry smiled at it, his first ever present. He hugged it to his chest, stifling a noise of glee and happy laughter from bubbling up from his chest and past his lips. He looked at it then, sitting in his little hand and thought he should open it.

He couldn’t do it, no matter which way he tried to pull, push or slide the front of it. It stayed put there on his palm.

He frowned and watched as the little snakes moved. He blinked, surely not, but they had, they now had their heads over the heart of the locket.

“Will you open?” he asked quietly, then add “Please?” because even if Dudley didn’t use the manners, they had both been taught them. The snakes seemed to regard him in shock for a moment then before they slithered to the back of the locked and the front slid aside.

Harry opened it and was face to face with a tiny picture of a boy his age, the picture grinned up at him and tipped a non-existent hat.

“Hi Harry, my name is Draco, and I shouldn’t have sent this really, father will no doubt be furious but I just wanted to meet you. I can talk to you from time to time, tell you things that have happened since the last picture. I’m sure you know that they can only keep memories from before they were painted. Anyway, its late so sleep well.”

Harry stared long after the boy in the locket closed his eyes, his short blonde hair ruffled by a breeze Harry couldn’t feel. What was this locket? Some kind of phone? Or electronic messenger that he hadn’t heard about before. he shook his head, the smile creeping back onto his face.

Draco eh, it was a funny name but there were some strange ones at school too, maybe he was foreign. He laid back down and was about to switch off the torch when the boy opened his eyes again. Harry looked into those grey stormy depths. “The locket will only open for you by the way, there was a rumour you were a Parselmouth so the real me took a chance on it.” The picture paused then. “You look like you’ve seen a ghost, trust me there are stranger things than this in our world.”

Harry realised he was staring again and forced himself to nod. The picture smiled up at him and it was a nice smile, soft round the edges.

“Goodnight then Harry, and Merry Christmas.”

Harry smiled then, “Merry Christmas,” he said softly before closing the locket and carefully hiding it under his pillow.

Chapter Text

Harry was thrown into his cupboard, the door slammed closed as he hit his head against the underside of a stair.

“No food, that’ll teach you to talk back!” Vernon screamed through the door. Harry didn’t say anything, his hand still clutching the tiny slither of toast he had managed to keep in his fist. He hadn’t eaten in days already and the locket Draco was getting worried.

“Harry,” it whispered from where he now kept it on a tiny shelf, hidden by his small pile of Dudley’s clothes. “Harry are you alright?”

Harry made a noise that was supposed to be words but his head was spinning still from being manhandled through the house. He forced himself up and steadied himself before pulling the locket towards him.

Draco had taught him a lot of things over the last seven months. He knew that there was a whole other world out there, he even knew that there were people who would come and save him if he had had any way to contact them. He had wanted to rage at his Aunt and Uncle when he learned the truth of his parents’ deaths, killed by a mad wizard of all things. Draco had seemed a little unsure of the mad part, apparently a lot of purebloods followed his ideals so he wasn’t sure if he was supposed to as well.

“I wish you were here,” Harry said to the little face staring up at him. Draco sighed but smiled even if it was tinged around the edges with sadness.

“He didn’t make me able to leave this frame Harry, otherwise I would have you out of here in a second, I swear it.”

That made Harry smile. “I know Draco, I know. At least you can see in my birthday with me.”

The tiny portrait gasped. “You are 11 today?”

“Tomorrow,” Harry corrected but nodded. The Dursleys wouldn’t remember, though if they were going out then he might have a chance to just sit and watch television for a little while.

The portrait was buzzing with excitement then. “The real me must not have known…or he got in trouble from father for the present at Christmas. Otherwise I am sure he would have sent you something. You remember what happens when you are elven?”

Harry blinked, he was tired but he knew he had to eat, so he stuffed the toast in his mouth and chewed before he lay down with Draco. “A letter you said.”

Draco huffed, “Not just any letter Harry! A Hogwarts Letter!”

“Shuush,” Harry put his hand over the locket as he heard footsteps outside of his cupboard. The next second it was dragged open and Petunia stood there. She had a sandwich on a plate and she pushed it towards him.

“Vernon is out for a few hours. Come out, eat that and shower. Come on now.”

Harry stared at her, not comprehending what was happening and why his aunt was giving him food. She huffed.

“I don’t have all day Harry, up and out.”

He gaped, she had called him Harry. He realised he still held Draco tight in his hand so he reached with the other one for the plate. “Thank you.”

She nodded and left him there to go back to the kitchen. He wolfed down the sandwich and ran upstairs, taking the locket with him. the bathroom door locked so he clicked the bolt across and placed Draco on the sink.

“Sorry,” he started but Draco shook his head.

“Go, you don’t have time, right? I don’t know what’s gotten into her but I’m not sparing her because of it.”

Harry shook his head. Draco had taken to threatening more and more horrible things when it came to his relatives. “I told you. No, just leave them alone okay?”

The blonde huffed and slumped against the side of the frame as Harry turned on the shower. He wanted to take his time but he knew that Vernon might be back sooner than his Aunt had said and he didn’t want to be caught.

He washed quickly, soaping up his hair and body. The water was nice and for a minute he did just stand there and let the water fall over him, blocking out the sounds from outside. He started when a car door banged. It was too far away to be his Uncle but it made him get a move on and he was hopping around the bathroom in a towel a few moments later.

He didn’t even try to tame his hair, much to Draco’s horror and amusement and threw his overlarge hoody and track pants back on before going back downstairs. Draco was quiet as he went into the kitchen.

Petunia was waiting for him, with a cup of tea and a pensive look on her face. “You need to be up first in the morning. You’ll get a letter from that awful school, just like she did. Vernon won’t let you have it, but you should. You should go there and learn that m-magic stuff.”

Harry almost smiled at his Aunt then. “Thank you. I will.”

She nodded, passed him a milky way that Dudley had left uneaten from his morning chocolate and shooed him out. “Back to the cupboard. Happy birthday,” she muttered and swept out. Harry did laugh then, more out of shock than amusement but he went back to the cupboard, shut the door and sat on his mattress.

“Chocolate, you and a Hogwarts letter. This is shaping up to be the best birthday ever.”

Portrait Draco sneered at him in the way Harry had come to think of as his “being reminded Harry was poor” face. He just stuck out his tongue and lay down. “I’m going to take a nap.”

He was asleep before Draco could say anything, but his face softened as he watched Harry sleep. He wished he could contact his real self. He knew that the boy whose portrait he was knew nothing of this. Thought Harry lived in gold-plated luxury much like himself. What a shock it would be if they ever met.

--
It was much later when Harry awoke, the chimes on the clock in the dining room playing their music for a quarter hour. Harry looked straight to where he knew Draco was, on his bed. “What time is it?” he asked and Draco raised a singular eyebrow. They had been over this before, Draco didn’t have a watch, nor a clock in his picture, so he couldn’t tell the time for Harry. Harry laughed and felt around until he came up with an old watch of Dudley’s. It was plastic and purple but it worked so that was all Harry needed.

“Fifteen minutes,” he breathed and Draco moved forward in his frame then. “Do you think a letter will come at midnight? I imagine mother will have brought mine to me instead of an elf waking me up in the morning.”

Harry paused then. “You didn’t tell me it was your birthday.”
There was a small silence then as Draco looked away and Harry shook his head. “When you weren’t talking to me in June. That was your birthday?”

Draco blushed and it looked so cute on his pale skin. “Well how was I to know you live under a rock? Everyone knows my birthday,” he said before sticking his nose in the air. Harry giggled and hugged the locket.

“Happy belated birthday Draco. I hope it was everything you dreamed of.”

The portrait looked at him then and nodded. “It will have been. I’m spoiled Harry. The real me isn’t like this me. I’ve learnt a little by watching you, by being stuck in this cupboard…please don’t hate me when you meet me.”

Harry sighed, playing with the cord of his light that for some reason was still on even though everyone was abed. “I don’t know Draco. You’ve told me a lot about Purebloods and how rich everything is…maybe it won’t work out you know?”

“Harry, you’re my friend.”

He nodded. “Yes, I’m your friend but like you tell me, the real you, the human you, isn’t much like you now is he?”

“Yes but…I can learn can’t I?”

Harry watched the light cord swing as the clock started to chime. “Ten, eleven….twelve. happy birthday to me,” he said softly. Draco clapped and wished him a happy birthday before there was a clatter near the front door.

Harry stilled, then looked down at Draco. “Surely not?” he breathed and pushed open the door to his cupboard. There, on the matt he could make out a letter, it was thick and an off-white colour as if it wasn’t quite paper. The street lights outside cast a glow into the hall and Harry stood there for a moment, not quite sure whether to go toward the envelope on the floor or not.

“What are you waiting for?” Draco pushed him and he shrugged before he went and picked it up. The paper was something thicker, something nicer. “It’s parchment, remember?”

Harry nodded then and turned to take it back to the light of his cupboard, he sat cross legged and turned it over. There was a large wax seal, a circular stamp in the middle of it with a crest that matched the one in ink on the envelope above it. He carefully opened it and out fell a letter, what looked like a book list and some instructions. He held it carefully as he started to read.

“Hey, I want to read too.”

Harry hung the locked around his neck, open so Draco could see. He barely closed the locket anymore anyway but he would have to if he was going to leave the Dursleys for some school. He tuned his eyes back to the green writing on the parchment.

Dear Mr Potter,
We are pleased to inform you that you have been accepted at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Please find enclosed a list of all necessary books and equipment.
Term begins on 1 September. We await your owl by no later than 31 July.
Yours sincerely,

Minerva McGonagall
Deputy Headmistress

Harry picked up the locket to look at Draco with wide eyes. “It’s true,” he breathed and Draco looked affronted. “I believed you, but I…I really have somewhere else to go.”

Draco smiled at him before his face fell. “Harry, you don’t have an owl.”

Harry’s smile dropped, his face crumbling as tears threatened his eyes. “Wait, don’t cry!” Draco said. “You Aunt must know a way to reply, she told you to get the letter, right? We just have to wait and see. Read the rest of the letter.”

Harry wiped his eyes and read the rest of the letter, he smirked, trying to lighten the mood he asked “So, do you count as an owl, a cat…or a toad?”

Draco hissed at him, his hair fluffing around his head as it did when he got angry. Harry wanted to push it back down, or ruffle it under his fingers. Draco crossed his arms.

“We will see. I’ll make you pay for that one when I see you.”

Harry shook his head and then looked at the third piece of paper. Draco perked up. “There’s usually only two,” he said and Harry had to contain a shout as his eyes roved over the piece of paper that no one else’s letter had.

Harry, it started

I know you will not know me, but show this to your guardian as they will need to know. I will be there to collect you and take you to Diagon Alley, a wizarding shopping street, for your books and robes at 11 o clock sharp on Saturday the 28th of August.

You will then stay with one of the teachers at the school until term starts on the 1st September.

See you then
Minerva McGonagall.

“Draco, did you read it!?” he half whispered, half shouted. “Draco we are going to Hogwarts!”

Chapter Text

Harry couldn’t wait until Vernon and Dudley went out again, in fact he pretended he was sick and couldn’t move so Petunia let him stay at home while Dudley went to school.

Dudley whined about it but Petunia told him it was so he didn’t infect the other children, couldn’t have that could we?

The door swung open on his cupboard and he looked up. There was a hand waiting but no words so Harry placed the letter, and the Hogwarts letter into it. Petunia read for a moment before she nodded.

“Fine, but you don’t come back once she picks you up you hear? It says you can stay with a Professor so you do that.”

“Aunt Petunia….why are you doing this?”

She huffed. “Lilly was one of you too, always running around with the Snape boy and practising magic instead of studying and trying to get on in life. She had it easy and I hated her for it. Hated you for it too. Just make sure you do all your chores before then, otherwise you aren’t going. And don’t mention it again.”

Harry nodded and she handed him the letters back and went into the kitchen for a cup of tea. Harry opened the locket and looked at Draco. “We get to go, she’s going to let us go.”

Draco smiled, and then coughed. Harry stilled, he had never seen Draco cough before. “Draco? What is it? Did the magic run out? Are you broken?” he asked not keeping the fear out of his voice and he clutched at the tiny locket where Draco’s blonde hair was now all askew as he held his chest.

“Replacement,” he coughed out and then bent double in the frame. He looked up and forced a smile. “It’s been nice knowing you Harry.”

“Wait, what? Where are you going…please don’t leave!” he begged frantically. “Take my magic, whatever you want, just don’t die.”
The portrait started to glow then and the coughing subsided as a look of shock covered Draco’s face before it turned to awe.

“Upgrade,” he breathed before his features started to change, they were still young, still baby faced but slightly sharper and haughtier. The Draco in the frame started to laugh but Harry’s eyes were full of tears. When one dropped on Draco he stopped and looked up.

“It’s alright, he has figured out how to transfer memories, so I look more like him now, and boy is he stuffy. He should meet you soon otherwise he’s going to be a little copy of father, all cold and tall and aloof.”

Harry shook his head, not understanding. “You mean…you’re not dying?”

“No Harry, oh Harry I would never leave you. Draco likes the idea of you being his friend too much, the other Draco I mean. I will always be with you. The real me is smart, maybe one day you’ll have a picture of him in here that he can talk to you through. Or maybe he can create a locket I can travel into so we can talk that way, all three of us.”

Harry liked the sound of that but he didn’t want to lose his Draco, especially if the real one was some spoiled princelike brat. He hung the locket around his neck and got up. There was no point in pretending to be sick anymore anyway. At least until Dudley was home from school.

--

The month passed so slowly, his birthday had gone without a hitch after that, and without any presents either and normal life had resumed. He did his chores, went to school, and ran away from Dudley and his friends.

“Harry! Harry wake up!” the voice was muffled and Harry turned over, waking up enough to mutter something before settling back down. “Harry it’s time!”

Harry bolted upright then, grabbing his broken glasses and pushing them onto his face, hoping the Sellotape would hold. He grabbed the locket, hugging it tightly to his chest and then for some reason he gave it a quick kiss. He was up and out of the cupboard before Draco could say anything, but he blushed prettily until Harry ran back in and started to shove everything he owned into a plastic carrier bag. “We slept late, there’s no one here anymore.”

“So…you’re not going to need me anymore soon. That’s good. I was getting fed up of babysitting you.”

Harry stilled with a t-shirt three times the size of him in his hand and looked at Draco where he lay on the blanket.

“What do you mean?” he whispered. “I thought we were going to Hogwarts together?”
Draco laughed. “Ha, like I need you to go to Hogwarts, the real me will have everything all ready to go there, nothing last minute like this.”

“But…you want to stay here?” he asked and then bit his lip. “I’m staying too.”

He tipped out the bag and started to put things back where they belonged.

Draco watched him for a moment and then saddened. “Harry,” he started softly but Harry didn’t look at him, folding a pair of shorts slowly before putting them away. “Harry, stop it. Just stop!”

Harry stopped and picked up the locket, turning it to look at Draco’s face. “What?”

Draco sighed, “No…we go together Harry, I just…feelings aren’t something I’m good at. I didn’t want to be forgotten when you get real friends.”

Harry smiled, his eyes shining and shook his head. “Draco, even if I become friends with the real you, I will still always keep you with me.”

There was a rapping at the door then and Harry very quickly stuffed everything back into the plastic bag, looped the locket chain around his neck and ran to answer the door. The woman that stood on the other side looked nothing like Harry had imagined. She was tall, her greying hair caught up in a bun at the back of her head and wearing loud red tartan. He loved her immediately.

“Good Morning Mister Potter, are we ready to go?”

Harry nodded. “Hello Professor…uhm, my aunt didn’t leave me with any money, though she said I am alright to stay at the school until term begins.” He was very careful with his words, he had learnt a long time ago that he shouldn’t mention his situation, that the Dursleys would just brush off anyone who came asking questions.

The woman pulled herself up. “You have plenty, we will have to make a stop for it first,” she said and held out her hand. “Come now, we will apparate to the outskirts of London and walk. It’s a brisk morning and it will do you some good.”

“London?” he asked, he had only been there once before, when the Dursleys couldn’t leave him at home by himself and Mrs Figg had been too sick. He heard Draco snort and he was about to tell him to hush when fingers grabbed the locket.

The snakes reared back and went to attack the Professors fingers but she dropped the locket and huffed. “I do not know why, or how you have that but I think I will be asking young master Malfoy some questions at the start of the term.”

“Please don’t. He just wanted me to know things…he told me about my parents and magic. Can you believe I thought they died in a car crash? That’s what my Uncle told me, ever since I was old enough to ask. I didn’t even know I was a wizard until Draco sent me his picture.”
The woman stopped deathly still then, before realising she was looking at an eleven-year-old who was completely different to the child she had been expecting. Her stern features softened slightly as she muttered what sounded like “Worst kind of muggles” to herself before she extended her hand again and Harry took it.

He wanted to scream as they vanished, but there was no air in his lungs to do so. His body was squeezed into a tiny tube and shot through time and space until it was spat out, twisted and disorientated. It was all he could do to not be sick right on the Professors shoes.

“For the purpose of this outing you may call me Minerva. Professor will draw too much attention. Now, this way and do try to keep up.”

Harry nodded but as soon as they started walking he was staring in awe at everything. They walked over bridges and through streets until they were opposite Big Ben and Harry stopped to look at it. It was towering high into the sky, the clock showing 20 past the hour.

He was so busy gawping at it that he bumped into a man with a map. He was standing staring at a phone box. Draco giggled but Harry covered the locket with his hand. Even he knew that pictures shouldn’t talk. “Sorry,” he apologised to the man who nodded.

“Would you look at that?” he said, his accent from somewhere else, somewhere maybe not in England. He was staring into the phone box and Harry glanced at it, and then did a double take. Inside the post box was a perfectly formed snowman. Coal for eyes, and a carrot for a nose and even a scarf wrapped about its neck.

At the end of August, and it wasn’t even dripping. He moved closer, pressing his hands to the glass of the iconic red phone box and looked up at the snowman.

Which winked.

He fell back and turned to the man, but he didn’t seem to have noticed as he was playing with his camera to get the perfect shot. Minerva appeared behind him with a frown.

“I said keep up and, oh for heavens sakes.”

She walked up to the snowman just as the tourist took his photo. “What are you doing?” she asked it and it looked at her, smiling. Harry didn’t hear it say anything but the Professor sighed and nodded. “Very well, but then you move.”

She started walking again then, towards the bottom of Big Ben and Harry knew better than to make her wait. He ran to keep up but didn’t mind, he was used to running faster than this.

“Mr Potter, that was a shapeshifter. They are not very common, as they do ridiculous things like that stunt back there. But he agreed to move on once the crowds were gone and it was safe to do so. It’s better to leave them to it.”

Harry nodded as they turned down another street. He was completely lost in a few turns but he followed the professor until they got to a quieter street and a pub. “Through this pub is the entrance to the Alley. Follow me, do not stop otherwise we will never leave.”

Harry gulped and Draco rolled his eyes, though of course no one could see. “It’s because you’re famous Harry, nothing bad will happen.”

Minerva coughed then. “My Apologies Potter, you will be fine yes but as Master Malfoy rightly suggests, you are famous in this world. I would like to get back to Hogwarts before dinner.” There was a smirk in her words then and he nodded and got ready to follow her.

They were lucky, the pub was mostly empty and they went out into the back yard with a short hello to the barkeeper. Minerva drew her wand out, tapped some normal looking bricks and revealed a doorway.

Minerva pushed Harry through and it was like a whirlwind blew inside his chest. Everything was bright, colourful. People walked everywhere with bright dresses “Robes Harry, we went over this” Draco’s voice appeared in his head and he laughed. He stepped out and realised no one carried bags with them but the thought was swept away as he saw all of the shops. They stretched as far as his eye could see, and then there was the huge golden building, Gringotts. He asked Minerva and she said “Our first stop.”

It was ridiculous, Harry thought but didn’t voice as he stepped into the Bank. Goblins were everywhere, writing in huge ledgers with little spectacles on their faces and feather pens. He walked up to one as Minerva went to a desk. “Hello, I’m Harry.”

The goblin sneered at him for a moment, then stood. “Griphook.”

“Nice to meet you,” he said with a wave and ran to where Minerva was chatting to a Goblin on a high desk. “This place is amazing,” he said, interrupting what was a tense conversation between the Goblin and the Professor. “Is this where they keep my money too?” he looked up at the Goblin. “Do you keep my money here?”

“Key,” the Goblin said and Harry frowned.

“I was never given a key, I’m sorry. My aunt and Uncle are not magic, they maybe didn’t know what it was and threw it away?” he looked to Minerva. “Could that have happened? Did I have my key?”

The goblin jumped down from the large desk and Harry was surprised to see they were nearly of a height. “Bow, from the waist,” Draco whispered to him so Harry did and the goblin stopped what he was going to say, and gave a grimace that Harry thought was supposed to be a smile.

“Mr Potter, Albus Dumbledore has your key, so you cannot access your vault without it.”

Harry frowned, and then bit his bottom lip. “But I don’t know who that is…how will I get my key? I really want to start Hogwarts and there’s a list of things I need to get like books and some funny things I don’t know why I would need but I can’t buy things without money can I?”

The goblin looked affronted then and clicked his fingers, other goblins arrived and they chatted in a language Harry didn’t understand but it didn’t sound good. One goblin broke off and vanished, he came back a few moments later with a small purse.

“This will let you buy school supplies and robes.”

Harry took it with thanks and Minerva bowed. “Thank you.”

“We will be having words with Dumbledore.”

Minerva nodded “See that you do,” she said before leading him out of the bank.

She led him along the alley then and Harry looked down at Draco. “Did I do something wrong?” he asked quietly. Draco shrugged in his frame.

“Minerva!” he yelled and Harry looked up guiltily. “Harry thinks he did something wrong.”

“Oh child, no of course not. Come on, we are going to get your school supplies, and then a wand.”

Harry gasped, Draco had a wand and had shown him all the things he could do with it, and it was just a practice wand. This one would be a real one.

The bookshop and stationery shops were full of piles of things and bustling with people but Harry enjoyed every moment as he purchased quills and inks and parchment as well as a few books not on the recommended reading that Draco told him to get. Madame Malkin was a sweet, if overbearing lady who measured him up for school robes and told him to come back in an hour. Minerva told her to send them to Hogwarts so they didn’t have to go back.

Then it was time for the wand. This shop was tiny, a small customer area that was completely empty and fronted by a low counter. Harry could see that behind the counter were boxes and boxes all neatly stacked on shelves. Minerva went over to the little man who was putting some of these away on a higher shelf.

“A wand Draco, this is amazing,” Harry said with a smile. Draco smirked.

“Well, what are you waiting for, hold out your hand and will for it to come to you. Your wand chooses its Wizard after all.”

Harry nodded and took a breath before slinging his hand forward and yelling “Wand!”

Minerva and the man jumped and she started to shake her head. “Harry it’s not done like-“

She stopped as a box was floating towards Harry’s outstretched hand. Draco stopped laughing too and Harry realised Draco had been joking. He snatched his hand back and the box dropped to the floor.

“Interesting, very interesting. You are destined for great things Mr Potter.” He picked up the box and turned it over, reading something on the underside. “Ahh Phoenix feather. Excellent choice.” He opened the box and offered it to Harry. “Give it a swish.”

Harry carefully took the wand and felt warmth fill him as he seemed to vanish from the shop for a moment, then he flicked his wrist and sparks shot from the end of the wand. The man nodded. “Excellent. You have your wand Mr Potter. Use it well.”

Minerva was shocked but she nodded and muttered a gruff thanks before leading him outside and around to what she called an apparition point.

“Wai-“ Harry started but before he could finish they were sent off again through the squashy tube and spat out at the other side.

In front of them was a huge castle, high turrets that he couldn’t help but want to climb, even if just to see the view. There were rolling lawns either side of the path from the open gates and greenhouses could be seen. “It’s breath-taking,” he said and Draco hummed in agreement. He was seeing this before his real self, he knew. He almost laughed but then Harry did it for him. A beautiful bubbling laughter that he found he wanted to hear more of.

Minerva had already set off up to the huge double doors and Harry, awed but knowing not to dawdle ran to catch her.

Chapter Text

The entrance hall was pitch black until Minerva clicked her fingers and torches jumped to life. “For tonight you will be staying with Professor Snape, I trust that will be adequate for you?”

Harry nodded as Draco whispered “He’s my godfather, it’ll be great.”

“Yes, thank you…for all of this.”

Minerva brushed the thanks aside and started to head down the steps into the Dungeons. She led the way along the corridors, where the fires seemed not to reach much further than the sconces and an eerie sort of glow emanated from the walls instead.

“Here,” she stopped and raised a hand to knock on the edge of a portrait. Harry stared as it started to move and then smiled at them.

“He’s in a bad mood Minnie,” the man in the portrait said with a smile. He was wearing obviously rich, expensive robes but he had a snake draped around his shoulders. “He doesn’t want visitors.”

“But we want to go in,” Draco said from around Harry’s neck. The portrait looked down at the boy with the scruffy black hair, and then to the tiny thing around his neck.

“Draco? What have you been up to?” it asked and then laughed. The snake hissed then ‘the little black haired one is in awe of us master’

“It’s because you can move like Draco…I thought it was just something that could be done in a little picture.”

There was a stunned silence then, three pairs of eyes staring at him and he looked down at the floor. “Sorry,” he muttered and bit his lip again. Before anyone could reply the portrait swung inwards and Harry stepped back despite himself as a man filled the portrait hole.

“Minerva, to what do I owe the displeasure?”

“Severus, this is Harry. He’s staying with you for the night.”

She turned and swept off again then, leaving Harry to look at this man. He was tall, lithe with dark eyes and darker hair. It shone a little in the torchlight and Harry thought it looked a bit greasy. He wasn’t going to say anything as Minerva vanished however so the portrait did.

“Your boy here is a parselmouth.”

Severus blinked, turning to the man in the portrait before looking back at Harry. There was a rainbow of emotions passing over the face in front of him before it settled on carefully blank. Harry knew that meant there was too much to think about. He had seen Draco do it before.

“Well, can you talk?”

Harry nodded. “Yes.”

Severus huffed. “Name, and why you’re here. Though you look the spitting image of your pompous father even if you do have her eyes.”

Harry felt the shock hit him like a brick. Instead of being angry at the insult he wanted to ask more about what this man knew.

“Hey! Uncle Sev, Harry isn’t anything like what you told me he would be. His stupid muggle relatives beat him worse than..I don’t know. Worse than some house elves.”

Severus blinked then and Harry shivered, realising how cold he was out here in the corridor. Severus noticed. “Come in, we need to go on a little trip to see my godson.”

Harry didn’t argue though he didn’t see how going indoors would make it easier to go out.

The man walked over to the fireplace, grabbed a pot off the top of it and threw something into the flames. “Malfoy Manor,” he said clearly and stepped forwards. Nothing happened and the man huffed.

Draco cocked his head in the frame. “Why is the floo closed?” he asked the room. Harry picked him up to look at him.

“Floo?”

“Magical fireplace travel. Like walking through a door but into a fire instead,” Draco explained and Harry could see Severus watching them.

“You know nothing about this world?”

Harry looked at him, letting Draco drop from his fingers, though it was the blonde who answered. “I told you, he grew up with horrific muggles. Father treats Dobby better than Harry’s guardians treat him.”

Something changed in the man then and he moved to the door. “Come, we shall have to apparate to get there.”

“Uh again?” Harry let himself complain just this once. He didn’t like being squeezed through a straw and spat back out of the other end. “I just did that.”

“With McGonagall,” Draco supplied his godfather.

“Very well. Yes Harry, we are apparating.”

They walked back out of the dungeons, and through the huge castle doors before going back towards the gates. The moment they got there Severus took his hand and they vanished.

The place they landed was covered in snow and Severus rolled his eyes. “Draco, what are you doing now?”

The portrait shrugged. “Don’t blame me, I have no idea what real me is doing.”

Harry looked up at the wall that attached to the huge gateposts. Everything had a covering of snow but he could see that something sat atop the posts to guard the gates. The huge gates curved upwards to meet in the middle and each gate had a huge Christmas wreath on it.

“It’s August, you father spoils you too much, brat,” Severus said but there seemed to be no insult in the words. Harry was starting to think that he would have trouble in this world. It had taken him a long while to be able to read Draco.

Severus held his hand up and the gates clanked once, before smoothly swinging open to reveal huge expanses of land. Harry immediately tried to compare it to Hogwarts’ lawns and realised he couldn’t tell which was bigger. As they walked down the path, the gates closed all by themselves.

“Where is this?” Harry whispered to Draco who was bouncing in his frame. Harry knew that the ‘real’ Draco wasn’t as expressive as this one. It was a talk they had had one night when Harry had woken from a nightmare and was scared. Draco had told him that at home he acted like a proper pureblood. Nothing sissy or overly emotional. Harry didn’t understand it then and he wouldn’t understand it now. if you wanted to hug someone just hug them.

“My house,” Draco said and there was pride in his voice as he tipped his head. Harry looked up at the huge manor house and stopped in the middle of the path. Severus was already at the door and raising his hand to knock.

The door was opened by a small, hardly dressed something and Harry asked Draco if it was a goblin. Draco laughed. “No, those are the elves, they keep things clean and cook and things like that.”

Harry nodded and ran up to Severus who was vanishing through the door. “Uncle Sev,” a laugh came from the top of the staircase and a boy who looked barely older than the one Harry wore around his neck ran half way down the stairs before pulling himself up short and lifting his head higher. He then walked down the rest of the stairs. “Severus, father is in his study and mother is in the sunroom.”

“Draco. It is actually you I was wishing to see, but we will go to the sunroom if you would accompany us.”

“Us?” Draco’s attitude dropped as he looked around Severus’ legs to see who was with him. “Harry,” he breathed and then he saw Harrys hand, clutched tightly around a very familiar locket. He moved over to him and stuck out his hand. “I’m Draco.”

Harry looked at him, and couldn’t stop his eyes flicking down to the locket in his hand. There was no doubt this was the real Draco. “Please let me keep him?” he said quietly.

Draco’s hand was still held out towards him and Severus coughed. “Shake,” he said and Harry looked at the hand before reaching out to hold it. Draco beamed at him and then turned and started to lead the way to the sunroom.

Harry felt like they had walked the length of several football pitches before Draco turned to a door and tapped quietly.

“Enter,” came a warm voice from inside. Draco opened the door.

“Mother, Uncle Sev came, and he brought Harry.”

Draco told his mother everything, everything he couldn’t say to his father, or would be seen as weak. Narcissa knew that her baby had a fascination with the boy who lived. Though to look at him now, he did not look like a child capable of what they claimed happened to The Dark Lord.

“Severus, how nice to see you. Would you like some tea?”

Severus inclined his head. “Thank you. Narcissa, this is Harry. Harry, this is Mrs Malfoy.”

Harry nodded “Nice to meet you Mrs Malfoy.” Draco had taught him that much, never refer to a person with their first name unless you were given permission.

“Please, call me Narcissa. Draco has told me a lot about you over the last year.”

Harry’s hand wrapped around the locket again but he nodded. “Thank you, you can call me Harry.” He looked around. “Your home is very nice.”

Narcissa smiled. “Thank you for the compliment,” she replied and clicked her fingers and tea and biscuits appeared on a small table that was surrounded by comfortable chairs. “Shall we sit?”

Locket Draco groaned at him and he looked down while everyone else went to take a seat. “You are an imbecile sometimes, you don’t compliment something if you don’t want something in return. Mother will think you are after something now. Go sit down.”

Harry frowned but he went over and took a seat next to Draco who poured him some tea and held up the milk to ask if he wanted it. He nodded but he had never had tea before. He stayed away from hot drinks since he spilled one when he was younger. Vernon had punished him with a belt for that one.

Tea continued for a few moments in silence, Harry just held his cup and let it warm his hands.

“So Draco, as I said I came to see you. But first Cissy. Why on earth is the place covered like Christmas.”

She sighed. “It has been so for a week now. Draco insisted and well…” she gave a little shrug.

“I always get what I want,” Draco said haughtily. Harry watched him straighten. “Mother let me have some snow so that I could sledge around.”

Harry nodded. “I have never done that.”

Draco looked at him, his face completely closed off but Harry could tell he had a glint in his eye that meant a prank was coming. “Oh no, I have had enough of your pranks. If we are going sledding then we go together.”

“Harry dear, whatever do you mean?” Narcissa asked.

“Draco has his prank sparkle. I don’t want to be the one who gets pranked this time.”

Severus was sitting back and watching the exchange in interest. This Harry Potter was nothing like he expected. He had been ready for a spoiled, arrogant brat, just like his father had been. But this Harry was soft, compassionate, and funny.

Narcissa raised a delicate eyebrow at Draco and he shook his head. “Sorry.”

Harry laughed. “You didn’t do anything yet. Do you want to go sledding?”

Draco stood up and led him from the room. “You were right you know. Real you isn’t like portrait you.”

Draco stopped then. “You actually kept it?”

“Of course I did. You are my first friend…well, this Draco is.” He looked down on the locket who smiled back. “I need a name for you otherwise this is going to be confusing.”

Real Draco thought for a moment. “Well…you can have the privilege of calling me a nickname. For now in the house anyway.”

Harry nodded. “Dray? Or..Dragon?”

Both Dracos gasped at that, and Harry knew it was the name only Draco’s mother got to call him. there was a look shared between the two stormy eyed boys then and a nod.

“Very well.”

Harry couldn’t contain his laugher then, and jumped for Draco as he opened the door. They tumbled, unhurt into the snow and rolled around a little bit before they stopped. “I’m so happy to finally meet you, and even if you aren’t like Draco, I can teach you to have some fun too.”

--

Narcissa and Severus watched the two boys run through the snowy garden.

“Why did you really come here?”

Severus sipped his tea. “Draco made a locket, with a portrait of himself, and somehow sent it to Harry.”

Narcissa stopped her tea half way back to the saucer. It was only for a second but Severus caught it. So she hadn’t know.

“Interesting, my son is more resourceful than I thought.”

Severus chuckled and it was a deep, rich but darker sound. “Your son is getting beaten by a tiny wisp of a thing.” He sighed then. “I think he is being mistreated there Cissy. I am to have him for the next three days before term starts, but I was thinking he could come on the train with Draco? I have train duty this year, so I can meet them on the platform. But then he could stay here in a few days?”

Narcissa watched them for a moment longer before she nodded.

“Bring him back on the 31st and we will make sure he makes it to Hogwarts.”

“Very well. How are the other things…Lucius?”

Narcissa shook her head as a snowball hit the window next to her. To her credit she didn’t flinch but she shot Draco a look and he pulled Harry further into the gardens. She turned to Severus, and decided to let him know a few things.

--

“Harry, we are leaving now.”

Harry looked up from where he was crouched behind a small shrub. A snowball flew towards him and he almost absently waved it away. Draco came running over, red faced from the game and the cold.

“Are you going?”

“Yes, but Harry will be back on the 31st to go to school with you.”

“Wicked,” Draco said and held his hand out to Harry, who took it but pulled the blonde into a hug.

“Get rid of the snow yeah, let the land have its seasons.”

Draco nodded and they parted ways, Draco inside the huge manor, and Harry back to Hogwarts with Snape.

Chapter Text

Harry and Severus had some to a silent understanding when they got back to Hogwarts that night. Harry would continue to learn about the wizarding world, asking Severus anything he wanted, and around anyone else he would act like they had never met each other.

Harry came out of the guest room that Hogwarts had made for him when he had ‘moved in’ to Severus’ quarters and looked to the table where Severus usually sat.

“Sev? If I don’t like it in the dorms…can I come back and stay here?”

Severus looked up over the paper. “Good Morning Harry,” he said pointedly and Harry sighed. Severus was such a stickler for rules.

“Good Morning, did you sleep well?” he asked instead and Severus nodded.

“Yes, thank you, you are going to the Malfoy’s at 6pm after dinner, so that you don’t have to sit through more than one meal of Lucius possibly staring at you all through it. And yes, I will not change the password on you.”

Harry smiled and pulled the cup of orange juice towards him. He liked how much Severus treated him like an adult, but still provided for him. it was like how Dudley was treated by his aunt and uncle.

“Severus, I have to call you Professor when I start school right?”

Severus just looked at him so he carried on. “And…you’ll still look after me? Would you…would you keep me in the summer?”

Severus opened his mouth to answer but Harry rushed on, twisting his fingers around the sleeve of his pyjama top and pulling it as he couldn’t bite his lip. “Only, Aunt Petunia said if she let me go, I had to not come back…so I’ll be out on the street if I get sent back there. And no one will pick me up from the train station so I’ll be stuck in London. And I know now that the owl will find me, but I wouldn’t have any food or money or-“

“Harry stop!” Severus raised his voice and Harry realised it was about the third time the man had said his name. “Come here,” he said softly and Harry slipped out of the chair and around the table. Severus carefully untangled his fingers from his sleeves and held his hands gently. “If you wish to spend the summer at my house you are welcome. But do not tell anyone about it alright. No one.”

Harry nodded but looked guilty. Severus frowned for a moment, he already knew Harry didn’t like to tell lies but he was thinking of one then, and then Severus understood. “You are allowed to tell Locket Draco.”

Harry smiled and bounced on his toes. “Good. He’s been my friend for a while now. I wouldn’t want to keep a secret from him.”

Severus nodded. “Alright. After breakfast we can brew something. But only if you eat everything.”

Harry frowned, he had overeaten before and hadn’t liked the feeling, but he was interested in Potions and apparently Severus was the best. Draco had told him that he should get some lessons. Severus had set him up on a little table with a potions kit that was for children. It made brightly coloured but harmless things and he had been playing with it since yesterday. So he was excited to see if he would be able to brew something real.

He looked to his left as a house elf appeared. “Oh sorry,” he muttered and went back to his chair. “Please just toast?”

The elf looked across to Severus, who after a moment nodded and Harry relaxed. He could eat two pieces of toast. He put the locket on the table and opened it. Draco yawned and turned to look at him, his hair all mussed from sleep.

“Morning Draco,” Harry said softly and Draco smiled at him before vanishing from the side of the frame. “Severus? Where does Draco go when he’s not in the picture? He said that he wasn’t made to be allowed to travel between portraits like the ones here. Are there bigger rooms in the locket?”

Severus shook his head. “There is a little wizard space on the edges of the frames, it is what is used to connect portraits to each other, and how they can move between them at large distances. I am surprised that Draco managed to create the locket in the first place, nevermind give it wizard space. Dobby!”

An elf appeared that Harry recognized from the Manor. “Dobby, how did Draco make the locket for Harry?” Severus asked and Dobby’s eyes widened. He ran to the wall and started to bang his head on it, hard.

Harry jumped up with a shout and pulled him back. “Stop!” he yelled and the elf looked at him with tears in his eyes. “Please sit down, are you hurt?”

Severus snorted but Dobby burst into loud tears. “I heard stories of Harry Potter’s greatness but never of his kindness!” the elf wailed. “Sit down? Dobby has never been asked to sit down.”

“It’s ok, hush it’s ok. Severus was just curious on the locket because Draco is a child like me. He shouldn’t have been able to make it and he didn’t want him to be hurt.”

Dobby looked to Severus and then back to Harry. “It’s safe, Harry Potter sir. Dobby got the necklace made by goblins sir. Master Malfoy be enchanting a picture with a spell he got from Diagon Alley bookshop.”

Severus stood up. “Alright Dobby, please tell Narcissa to expect us at 6. Harry finish your toast.”

Harry went back to the table and shoved a crust in his mouth before smiling. Severus shook his head, turning away but Harry saw the slight upturn of his mouth.

The rest of the day passed peaceably in the lab. Draco helped Harry with his potions set until Severus thought he would be able to try something a bit more advanced and had him sit on a large stool while he stood next to him at the high table and dictated instructions.

What came out was a passable healing potion, which Harry called Dobby back for and gave to him with much wailing and bowing. Harry was uncomfortable with the way the little elf did that and Severus could sense it so sent him on his way.

He looked outside and found that the sun was gone though the light was still bright. “I’m not hungry,” Harry said and Severus nodded and vanished into his kitchen. A moment later he came back out with a wrapped sandwich.

“For later when you are. Have you got your robes and pyjamas? And your school bag?”

Harry went into his room and picked up the school bag, it only had his overnight things and robes for tomorrow. Severus had said he may as well leave his trunk and everything else there and he would see that it got moved into whatever dorm he was sorted into.

He took a deep breath. “Are we apparating again?” he asked slowly and Severus smirked.

“This time we use the floo. It should be open for us. Now there are two options…you go by yourself, or you be carried.”

Harry looked at Severus and knew that he didn’t want to carry an eleven-year-old through the fireplace so he squared his shoulders. “Ok, what do I do?”

“Take some floo powder, and very clearly say Malfoy Drawing Room,” he said and took down the pot that made the flames that sickly green.

“Will it be like being squeezed through a tube again?”

“It is more like spinning really fast. Keep your elbows and legs as close together as you can okay?”

Harry nodded and threw the powder into the flames, waiting for them to change colour before he stepped in. “Malfoy Drawing Room!” he yelled and was whisked away. Severus was right, he was spinning like a spinning top, he could see flashes of colour as he sped by what he assumed were other fireplaces. Then he emerged and fell flat on his face on a very nice rug. A moment later Severus stepped out of the floo, gracefully and without even a wobble. He smirked again and offered a hand to Harry who didn’t take it.

He got up and started to brush down his robes and straighten his bag. There was a snap of fingers and he was clean. Harry looked at him.

“So what, I just snap my fingers and I can clean your robes?” he asked and looked at the small specs of dust that clung to Severus, barely visible in his black robes. He shrugged and clicked his fingers at the dust and it vanished. “Wow,” he breathed and Severus blinked in shock.

“Raw magic?” he asked no one in particular and then knelt to Harry as the door opened. “Keep it secret.”

He made a show of brushing off Harry’s shoulder and then stood to see Lucius in the doorway. He had longer hair than Draco but it was the same almost white blonde, and he wore deep purple robes that were almost black, with a suit underneath.

“Severus, how nice to see you and…Mr Potter. A pleasure.”

“Indeed,” Severus said. “I do hope you are well Lucius. Narcissa invited us for the evening, to let the boys get ready for Hogwarts.”

“I did,” Narcissa’s voice floated in from behind Lucius and Harry wondered at the look that went between them. “Harry dear, Draco is in the sun room. Do you remember the way?”

Harry thought for a moment and then hung his head. “Only from the entrance hall Mrs Malfoy, I’m sorry.”

“I am surprised that you remember that much. We have had grown men get lost here in our home. If you would follow Ninny, she will take you.”

An elf appeared and held out a hand that Harry took without hesitation though he saw Severus move to stop him. He made a note to ask about it later as the elf led him out of the room.

“Snapey worried that Ninny would take you somewhere. Too trusting for this house.”

Harry looked at the elf, and then at their joined hands. “Am I?”

The elf regarded him for a moment, and he realised that she wore a small flowered dress instead of the aprons the other elves he had seen wore. “Yes, for these wizards. But you bes yourselfs Harry Potter sir.”

The door to the sun room opened then and Draco came wandering out looking bored. He cheered at the sight of Harry. “Harry! It seems like ages since I last saw you.”

Harry nodded, the days had been a little slow but Severus had taught him so much that he hadn’t really missed Draco, especially with his little locket.

“Hi me, looking sharp today,” the voice came as if summoned from his chest.

“Harry, you shouldn’t leave that open all of the time.”

Harry looked down on locket Draco. “I like to let him see. He closes on a night-time, don’t you?” he asked and Draco nodded up at him, before sticking his tongue out at the other Draco.

Real Draco looked affronted. “I can unmake you, you know,” he threatened and Harry immediately took a step back and closed his hand protectively around the locket. “I wouldn’t Harry, I just can.”

“Do you want to give me a tour?” Harry asked instead. He didn’t want to believe that Draco would unmake his first real friend. But it was more apparent that this Draco was just as spoiled as the portrait had said, and maybe a little bit more.

Draco took him out onto the patio and sat on a cushioned, and sheltered bit of wall. He swung his legs back and forth as Harry sat next to him.

“That Draco in there, he means more to you than I do doesn’t he?” he asked and Harry looked down.

“He was my first friend…you too, since you sent him to me.”

Draco laughed but there was no humour in it. “You can keep him Harry, but when we get to Hogwarts you need to keep him hidden.”

“But..”

“He’s right Harry, also, call me something else now, it’s too hard with both of us here and you can’t call us Dragon in front of mother and father. They would have a fit.”

Harry looked to the real Draco, “Call him Luc, my middle name is father’s. It’s not too disrespectful.”

Harry nodded. ‘Luc,” he whispered looking down at the portrait. Draco frowned but Luc smiled and clapped.

“It will be time for bed soon. I asked mother if you could stay in my room. My bed is big enough that we can share.”

Harry nodded. “Thank you, Draco. You’ll sit with me tomorrow on the train won’t you?”

Draco puffed up a little. “Of course, I will. You need to know who the right sort are, you don’t want to be making friends with a Weasley or something.”

Harry nodded though he had no idea what a Weasley was and the rest of the evening passed peacefully.

The following morning was just as peaceful, there was a quiet breakfast with just Draco and his Mother. Lucius was still sleeping and had to go to the Ministry before he would meet them on the Platform. Draco looked a little disappointed but nodded.

“Is your dad ok?” Harry asked and Narcissa coughed lightly.

“Yes, he’s fine Harry. Thank you for asking. Don’t worry.”

Narcissa took them to London, and then into the station which was full of people running, walking and generally milling around. Harry as usual was looking at everything before Draco grabbed his hand to make him focus on the trolley he was pushing. It held his trunk and a few other bits and Narcissa had said every first year pushed their own things.

They walked up to a huge brick pillar on platform 9 and Draco kept walking. “Dray…what are you doing. Hey let……..go.” he finished as they walked right through the wall and out onto a smaller station where a gleaming red steam train sat waiting for them.

Narcissa smiled as she seemed to glide through the wall after them. “Ah look, there is your father.”

Draco dropped Harry’s hand and went over to his father just as Harry was distracted by laughter. A family of red heads were milling around, a small girl with her mother and a young boy Harry’s age. There were three older boys and the pair of twins were being scolded by what looked like the eldest while the mother dealt with the younger two. Harry listened as he walked towards them, curious.

The others split away leaving just the twins standing near the train. “Hi,” Harry said quietly and they turned to look at him with big smiles.

“What have we here Gred?” one of them asked as the other bent over to look at Harry.

“Not sure Forge, a little firstie?”

Harry cocked his head. “Firstie?”

The boys laughed. “We’re Fred and George. Well, I’m Fred and he’s George. Nice to meet cha.”

Harry nodded. “You too. Maybe I will see you at Hogwarts?”

Fred ruffled his hair. “Maybe you will.”

They wandered off then, heads together and casting the odd glance back at him, he turned to look for Draco but he wasn’t hard to spot. A circle of empty space surrounded where he stood with his father.

He just got to them when the red heads wandered past. “Oh look, it’s the Weasels.”

The eldest boy looked at them. “Shut your mouth Malfoy. Not even on the train yet and causing problems.”

Lucius stepped forward. “Molly, glad to see another of your brood going to Hogwarts. Gryffindor gains another half-wit.”

Harry looked to Draco but he was watching his father. Narcissa was beside them but quiet. Then Harry spotted Severus just stepping off the train further down, rounding up would be students. He ran to him and grabbed his robes before pointing to the clash of red and blonde hair. Severus cursed but he didn’t run. He walked over.

“Train Weasley, now before I take you into negative figures for the start of the year.”

Molly puffed up to say something but Severus shook his head at her and she frowned but started moving her children to the train. “Draco, Blaise is in a carriage that way. I suggest you join him. Narcissa, Lucius,” he nodded to them both before sweeping away.

“Come dear, let’s get you on the train.”

Draco moved off and it seemed the argument was over, but Harry caught the eyes of the twins as they boarded and mouthed a sorry at them. Raised eyebrows was all he got in answer but he didn’t have time to do anything else.

The train was warm, and each carriage held four rooms on the station side with a small corridor on the other side for people to walk past. Draco hugged his mother, gave a nod to his father and promised to write. Then he dragged Harry off to find Blaise.

Blaise was a quiet boy, with a quick wit and he was soon making Harry laugh along with Draco. Severus checked on them once before they were told to put their robes on. Harry didn’t have to change as he had worn the robes this morning.

The platform at Hogwarts end was if possible busier than it had been in London. Someone was shouting for first years so they followed the noise until Harry saw what must have been Hagrid. Both Luc and Severus had told him about Hagrid, Luc only having negative things to say but Severus telling him that the groundskeeper was a good man, if a bit hard to talk to.

“Hi Hagrid,” he said as he walked up to the man pointing first years down some slippery looking stairs. The half giant looked at him then and squinted.

“Do ah know ya?” he asked as Draco sniffed and went down the stairs with Blaise.

“Always has to stop and say hello,” Harry heard him complain to Blaise who just nodded and followed on. Harry shook his head.

“No, but Sever- Professor Snape told me about you.”

Hagrid laughed a great booming laugh then and clapped Harry on the shoulder, nearly bringing him to his knees.

“Ahh good ol Professor Snape. D’nt believe everythin you ‘ear about tha‘ un.”

He looked around and gestured Harry down the stairs. “On with ya now. You’re the last one.”

Harry went down the stairs and back over to Draco, who rolled his eyes but fondly and Harry smiled. Blaise narrowed his eyes. “Too much emotion to be in our house Drake.”

“Drake, I like Drake,” Harry said softly but Draco sighed.

“I’ll teach him,” was all he said and Blaise nodded.

Hagrid was getting people into boats. There were only two left when he came across the three students remaining. Draco was making a face at them but Luc had been talking him into it. Blaise was already heading for a boat so Harry followed him. Hagrid got into the next one and they set off.

“What makes them move?” Harry asked the other two boys in his boat.

“Magic of course.”

Draco elbowed Blaise for his tone, but didn’t correct him so Harry nodded and turned to watch as Hogwarts came into view across the black lake. Severus had told him it was worth watching for.

Harry heard the gasps of the other students before he saw it for himself. Hogwarts was all lit up, every window glowing a warm orange in the darkness surrounding it. The turrets were lit up by the moon as it came out from behind a cloud and the whole scene was breath taking. Harrys eyes mapped the towers and walkways, knowing some of them already from the inside. He knew they would end up in the sheltered harbour and have to walk up some big stairs to get to the entrance hall.

The youngest red head tried to start a fight with Draco, but Harry pulled him away on the pretence of looking at something on the doors, just as they opened and Minerva stepped in. she shot him a smile which he returned and then spoke to them about everything they needed to know. The great hall was magical, there was no other word and the only reason he didn’t fall on his face was Draco holding onto his arm while he looked at the enchanted ceiling, the floating candles and everything else that Wizards took for granted and he thought was out of this world.

Harry was excited for the sorting, but as it wore on it got a bit boring. Then they got to M and the hat barely touched Draco’s head before it yelled out his house and he went over to the table with a wink at Harry.

When his name was called out the entire hall went silent, and everyone craned around to look at the boy who was famous. The boy who lived when someone else died. Minerva’s eyes found him.

“Harry Potter,” she repeated in her Scottish accent, the hint of amusement showing through. He hurried up to the stool and the hat was placed on his head. It slipped over his eyes as he was so small and he started when it spoke to him.

“Harry Potter, you would do great in any house here. You are compassionate beyond measure, have courage and bravery, are cunning and wise. You will do great things here young Wizard.”

‘can I go with Draco?’ he thought to it and the hat smiled, and then started to laugh, not just in his head, but in the hall. Minerva stepped forward when the hat stopped moving and the whole hall waited for the next word.

The hat took a breath, giggling a little to Harry who smiled as he felt it make a choice.

‘good luck little Potter’ it whispered before shouting

Slytherin!

Chapter Text

Those first three months passed in a blur of classes, homework and student hang outs. There were some people who didn’t like that Harry had sorted Snake. Ron, the youngest of the red heads he had seen on the station sent jinxes at him whenever he thought he could get away with it. So far nothing huge, tripping jinxes and the like. Harry mostly ignored him but he did get on really well with the twins. They liked that he would sneak out of the dorms and come with them on a night time. Draco didn’t like it but Luc thought it was interesting and neither of them stopped him so he kept doing it.

He got on well with most of his classmates, and after something Draco said to the whole of Slytherin common room while he held his hands, and a muffling charm over Harry’s ears he wasn’t bothered there either. He learnt to get to know that Slytherins, mostly because they were purebloods, didn’t show their emotions like he did. And if they did it was only in small groups where they knew they were completely safe.

It would be the winter holidays soon and lots of the students were going home for Christmas. Harry had already asked Severus if he could stay and he said it should be fine, lots of students stayed at the Christmas holiday if their parents were away. Draco was going home to the Manor but he had made Harry promise to visit with Sev at some point.

They were walking along outside, by the lake to watch the giant squid. “I think it might be asleep,” Luc said from his place around Harry’s neck. He was open, as he always was when Harry was alone with Draco. In class he had to close the locket but Luc said he didn’t mind. It let him have some extra rest. Harry hadn’t been convinced but Draco had shown him how the portraits around the school slept a lot to keep their magic levels high enough to talk so he didn’t mind so much now. even if they were just saying it to make him feel better.

“Dray…for Christmas do you have a huge dinner and lots of presents and people coming over?”

Draco stopped, kicking at stones on the tiny strip of beach. “Mother and Father have a huge party on Christmas eve, but Christmas day is usually just us and uncle Sev.” He picked up a rock and threw it into the lake. “You’ll be there this time, right?”

“Yep. Severus said we would go. I’m just glad I don’t have to go back to the Dursley’s.”

Draco looked at him but didn’t comment as they moved to sit on the grass as the squid waved its tentacles around. Draco lay back while Harry waved at it.

He pondered telling Draco that he could do magic without his wand but he remembered his promise to Severus and bit his lip. They were quiet for a while, Draco cast a warming charm to keep them from freezing before he closed his eyes. Harry looked up when he heard laughter and saw Ron and a few of the other Gryffindor boys. He shifted a little hoping they wouldn’t notice him.

He had no such luck and Ron spotted him and came over. “Alright traitor?” Ron said. He always called Harry that. He tried to not show how much it hurt so didn’t answer and just kept watching the lake.

The spell caught him off-guard and he hit the ground hard, jarring his head as he spun sideways. There was a loud crack and he screamed. Luc was screaming for Draco who already had his wand out and the three boys wrapped in ropes. He ran to Harry with a face as white as a sheet before kneeling.

Harry looked at him through tear filled eyes, his glasses splattered with tears and tiny spots of blood from where it was running down his head. He cradled his arm in his other hand.

“It’s alright, come on. We can get you to the infirmary.”

Harry shook his head. He didn’t want to go there. The others said that Madame Pomfrey fed you disgusting potions and kept you there overnight. He kept shaking his head as Draco helped him to his feet.

“Alright, alright. We can go to one of the professors ok. Come on.”

He started leading him back up the grass towards the school when they saw Neville and Luna. Harry nodded and Draco yelled.

“Longbottom! Ron and his mates attacked Harry while we were watching the lake. Can you get a professor and go get them? I tied them up.”

Neville looked at Harry, crying and obviously in pain and then to Draco before Luna nudged him and he nodded. “Count on me Harry,” he said and ran off inside. Draco sighed but hushed Harry before he could ask anything about it.

“I’ll be glad when they are all gone tomorrow.”

“Where are we going?”

“Snape, he should have office hours about now, but he will throw out whoever is in there.”

Harry nodded and let Draco lead him down the stairs. “It’s ok Luc. I promise. Severus will fix it.”

Draco looked down at his locket self and saw how pale and trembling the portrait was. He felt much the same but at least he could get out to help. He vowed to figure out how to make a space that Luc could travel to. Two if he could. Snape and himself could have one each then. Then Harry would be safe.

He left Harry carefully so he could run ahead to knock on the door. He didn’t wait and pushed it open.

“I am with- Draco? What’s happened?” he held up a hand to stop his answer and turned to the Slytherin 7th year. “I apologise Miss Durum. I will owl you tomorrow and we can continue this discussion. It seems the first years need some help.”

The young woman to her credit gathered her parchments and left with a nod.

Draco took a breath. Ron cursed Harry, he’s bleeding and I think has a broken arm and he wouldn’t go to the hospital wing. Please will you help him?”

Severus had been up and around his desk the moment Draco had said Ron’s name but Harry just made it thought the door as they got there. His face was ashen and he was holding his other arm tightly and biting his lip, but he didn’t make a sound.

Severus looked at him and then picked him up gently as Draco closed the door. Severus sat him on his desk and held out a hand. Two potions came zooming out of the lab. “Drink these.”

Harry nodded and carefully took his hand away from his other arm before shakily drinking the potions. He sighed as some of the pain abated and Severus took his arm in his hands. “It’s broken, did you hear what he cast?”

Harry shook his head sadly but Severus smiled at him. “It’s alright. I will find out. Draco did you tell a Professor?”

Draco explained what happened while Severus spread a paste on Harry’s arm and then wrapped it up. He nodded. “That will heal by morning but be careful with it in the halls and during dinner. It might hurt if you knock into it.” He handed a pain potion to Draco. “You know what to do with this?”

Draco nodded and Severus lifted Harry down just as the door burst open and Minerva strode in. Ron and his friends were behind her. “Ah there you are.”

Harry flinched and Severus shot a killing glare at the three that burst into his office. “To what do we owe the pleasure?” he said cooly. Minerva stopped for a moment. She had rarely seen Severus take to a student as he had taken to Harry, and she knew that at the moment Severus was incredibly annoyed on Harry’s behalf.

“Mr Longbottom and Miss Lovegood came to me with a tale of blood and broken bones and-“ she stopped as Severus whipped back around.

“Blood?” he queried the two boys standing near his desk. Draco gingerly reached out and touched the side of Harry’s head. The boy hissed and flinched away from him. Severus summoned another paste and put it carefully onto the cut. It healed immediately and then he turned back to Minerva. “There better be a punishment for unprovoked attacks.”

Minerva frowned. “Mr Weasley and his friends tell me that Mr Malfoy and Mr Potter were calling them names, and threw the first curse.”

“Then why would I leave them there tied up without a scratch!” Draco shouted out, losing his cool for a moment. His father would be ashamed but he didn’t care right then. Harry took his hand to keep him still.

“I think we need to extract the memories of these boys and find out what happened.”

“You will not need to do that Severus.” The voice came from the doorway and Dumbledore entered the room. Everybody stilled.

“And why is that Headmaster?”

Dumbledore blinked, and then smiled slowly. “Because I had an account of the whole thing from the mermen at the lake. Ronald, I am disappointed in you for your actions. You will serve detention for a week, with Argus.”

He turned to the room then, as if to say that was dealt with. “Severus, a moment?’

Draco was seething. A week’s detention was nothing for what they did to Harry. Severus however held a hand behind his back and told him to wait.

“I am sorry Headmaster, but I have things I need to be doing. If it is quick?”

Minerva was frowning but she led the other boys out of the room. They were smirking at each other and she knew there would be more trouble. Usually she could wholeheartedly defend her lions, but this time she had known they were in the wrong. Harry was not a boy who would attack anyone, let alone unprovoked. And there wasn’t a scratch on them where Harry was obviously very hurt.

“You will have letters sent home about this as well,” Harry heard her say as the door closed. Dumbledore pointedly coughed but Draco just led Harry over to the desk and helped him sit down in the chair before checking his wound and his temperature. He clicked his fingers and asked a house elf for some lithe snacks and a drink.

Severus smirked. “As you can see, I have students awaiting my attention.”

Dumbledore shook his head. “I do not know what you think you will accomplish by this Severus. It is as I have said it will be. Do not get attached,” he said and then swept out. Harry was worried by the look in Severus’ eyes when he turned back but it was gone in an instant.

“After you eat be gone Draco. You are leaving in the morning and have yet to pack. Harry will stay here and see you at dinner.”

Draco nodded as he shoved a pumpkin pasty in his mouth. He knew that he would be seeing Harry again soon. Mother was looking forward to them meeting again, and Severus being there too. He left after making sure Harry was ok. Harry walked him to the door.

“Thank you…for getting me safe.”

Draco smiled. “That’s what friends are for isn’t it?”

Harry beamed at him before launching himself forward for a hug. He was pulled up short by Severus grabbing and lifting the back of his robes and for one moment Draco wanted to curse his godfather. “Your arm is not healed Harry,” he admonished gently and then gave Draco a look to say he should have known better. Draco nodded and left.

“Sorry sir,” Harry said. Then he frowned. “Will it be ok that you fixed me, Ron will know that you know me now…it’s not a secret anymore.”

“All will be well Harry, a lot of my snakes come to me for minor healing potions or salves. They don’t trust Madame Pomfrey, and while I do not mind that you came here because in this instance I could help. I will tell you that of every professor here, the ones I consider my friends are Minerva and Poppy.”

“So it’s ok to go there? She won’t make me drink awful potions?”

Severus laughed as he led Harry through to his rooms, leaving a monitoring charm on his office in case he got more visitors. “She might, but it will be for your own good. She is very strict.”

Harry nodded and sank into a chair, careful of his arm. “Can I sleep until dinnertime? I want to see Draco before he goes tomorrow.”

Severus took down a book and started to read to him, a few moments later he was asleep.

He woke in the morning in his bed in Slytherin dorms. He took a few moments to orient himself. He was the only one staying in Slytherin over Christmas so the only one not running around packing what they needed to take home. He giggled as Blaise threw a book at Theo.

“Oh you’re awake, his holiness has already gone to breakfast. How is your arm?”

Harry stretched it out, waved it and then touched his head. “Seems good,” he replied with a smile and then jumped out of bed to get a wash and head to breakfast. Theo and Blaise stepped in beside him as he left the common room and he didn’t think anything of it until he turned the top of the stairs and saw Ron waiting for him. He faltered slightly in his steps but didn’t stop and when Ron saw the other Slytherin’s he muttered something and then vanished. Harry looked to the other two, slightly taller boys. “Thanks,” he said quietly as they entered the Great Hall and went for breakfast.

--

Saying goodbye to Draco was more upsetting than it should have been but the blonde just smirked at him. “It’s only a week Harry. Then you’ll be at the Manor for Christmas. Unless you convince Sev to come earlier.”

Harry nodded and Draco left with his friends and he went back to the common room. It was deadly silent, and seemed colder than usual so after an hour he went to Severus’ rooms. The door still opened for him and he sighed when he stepped into the warmth.

“I wondered if I would see you.”

Severus was on a stool, trying to reach something on a shelf.

“Why don’t you accio it?”

Severus turned on the stool to look at him. “Because it is dangerous to have this object flying across rooms. Even the Wingardium spell would be risky.”

Harry nodded and looked at the glass bulb like object that Severus fingers were millimetres away from. He blinked and the object floated down to the table. “I’m sorry!” he started immediately and covered his head. Hands uncovered his head for him, and checked the movement in his arm. “It is of no matter. There is no damage done. But we will have to teach you some control.”

Harry nodded and then looked at the bulb. It looked to be a gas, floating around in there, changing colours every so often. “What is it?”

“Nothing you ever want to be around. It is a gas that, when inhaled, will put something like imperious on the person. It is indiscriminate and will only respond to the one who created it. Harry glared at him.

“Why do you have it?”

Severus tensed up a little. He knew Harry was powerful but by the slight resonance all of his potion vials were making right then, one he knew Harry wouldn’t be paying attention to, he knew this boy was more than he seemed.

“Calm Harry. I am getting rid of it today. This potion will negate its effects and turn it into harmless air.”

The bottles stopped singing and Harry nodded as Severus uncorked the bottle and poured the vial into it. The cloud seemed to evaporate and Harry smiled.

“Can we go to Draco’s mum’s party?”

Severus looked up at the change in subject. He was speechless for a moment before he shook his head. “No, there are too many people there that would take the chance to get rid of the boy who lived.”

Harry frowned. Severus had tried on more than one occasion to explain Pureblood ideology to him, as well as what happened during the rise of the Dark Lord that he had banished when he was a child but Harry still didn’t see why some people hated him for it. Anymore than he liked or understood the hero worship.

Severus sighed and sat down, ready to explain all over again.

--

The week before he was able to go to Draco’s passed with him and Luc scouring the castle. They found hidden doors, rooms full of knickknacks and crazy objects, played tag with the ghosts and roped any other student they could find into games of tag or hide and seek.

“Shush,” he whispered to Luc who was giggling while he crept up on Professor Flitwick but that had done it. He was dangling in the air. He started to laugh and the professor joined in after a moment.

“Alright, you are going with Professor Snape today are you not?”

Harry cocked his head, which looked even more comical upside down. “Today? What’s today?”

Flitwick put him down. “Christmas Harry. Didn’t you have presents this morning on your bed?”

Harry frowned. Then shook his head. “No, but Draco might just be waiting until he sees me later.”

Flitwick looked confused for a moment, and then sad at the fact that Harry had no presents. He twirled his wand and out of a speck of dust he produced a green feather quill the colour of his eyes. “Merry Christmas,” he said and Harry hugged him.

“Thank you, I have to show Sev!” he said, knowing that Flitwick wouldn’t mind, nor would he gossip about it. He ran off until he got to the dungeons and their rooms. He had been staying with Severus as the dorms were too empty. He didn’t like the feeling.

“Severus look what Flitwick gave me for Christmas!”

Severus looked up at Harry, happily waving a green quill and quickly and carefully cast a silent and wandless checking charm to make sure there were no spells upon it. There was nothing but the trace of Professor Flitwick’s magic. Harry frowned. “What did you do to it?”

“Firstly, it is professor Flitwick, and secondly if you can feel magic as well as use it the way you do, we definitely need to start your training. Twice a week, here with me.”

Harry nodded but stared at him. He sighed. “I was merely checking it for anything harmful.”

Harry nodded. “Ok, are we going now? Do I need to get Draco a present?”

Severus stilled. He knew his godson was spoiled, knew he had had tantrums before about presents but completely forgot that Harry wouldn’t be able to obtain something for Draco. Thankfully they had been practising potions in the lab, and one of them was a harmless potion that created a feeling of happiness for the user. Nothing so much as to cure depression or induce a euphoric state as some potions did, but just a pick me up. It was a bright sunny yellow and Harry had rather excelled at that potion. It was more potent than Severus himself could create.

“Why do you not gift him the Happiness potion? I think he would like something that you took the time to make.”

Severus knew that would be true of something from Harry, because he was an earnest person. Anyone else and Draco wouldn’t touch it.

“Great idea!” he said and ran off to Severus’ private lab. He came back with two vials, one of them Severus had never seen before but he recognised the potion immediately and stood.

“Harry, where did you get that, it is very dangerous to-“

“I made it…with the twins.”

Severus sighed but carefully took the vial from Harry. It was, if the colour was anything to go by, a very rare and expensive potion containing Phoenix tears and a drop of blood. Albus had never been able to get Fawkes to give him any, and yet it seemed Harry and the Weasley twins had managed. The potion shone a pearlescent pink and would cure all but the most deadly of ailments. Rumour had it that it would even stop Basilisk poison.

“Are you angry?” he asked quietly while Severus uncorked it and sniffed, it was perfect, exactly as he remembered from the one time he had seen some at a potion convention. He cut himself and put the tiniest drop from the vial onto it. The cut healed and even the skin around the cut looked newer. He put the stopper back in and looked to Harry. He was looking down at the ground and worrying his sleeve again.

“Harry, how did you do this?” he breathed.

“Uhm, I borrowed your book, the big black one with the green symbols on it. Fred said he couldn’t read it, so I had to tell him the ingredients and him and George got all of them except for the Phoenix ones, so I wished really hard and Fawkes came to the common room. I showed him the book and he trilled at me and gave me a drop of blood and some tears so I could make it for you. He likes you, and doesn’t want you hurt either. I don’t know why you would be hurt but he said so.”

Severus gaped like a fish. He knew he was doing it but he couldn’t stop himself. This child, this malnourished, short, scruffy haired boy not only could perform feats of magic with raw magic itself, but he was able to win over Fawkes. He shook himself and carefully cast an unbreakable charm on the glass of the vial before putting it inside his robes.

“Come then, into the fire.” Harry made a face.

“Will Draco be there at the other side?”

Severus frowned but he went to the flames and firecalled the Manor. There was some shouting before an Elf answered it, and fetched Draco. Harry went through the floo first and when he stepped out he saw Draco righting Harry back to his feet and understood he had wanted someone to catch him. Before he could say a word Harry held out his gift. “Happy Christmas!”

Draco looked stunned for a moment before he took the vial. “Happiness potion? But this is for-“ he stopped as he caught his godfather’s eye. “You made it for me?” he asked as his mother walked in. Harry nodded and Draco bowed to him. “I graciously accept this gift.”

Narcissa looked over at the vial. “That looks a good strong potion. Well done Harry,” she said and he smiled so largely his dimples had dimples. Draco took his hand.

“Come on, I want to show you what father got for the party. Before they have to leave.”

“Only one Draco, they are resting.”

He nodded and pulled Harry outside. He knew Severus and his mother were watching and following at a slower pace.

Harry pulled him up short when he rounded a corner of the gardens and there were animals grazing the snowy grass. He had only ever seen pictures when Dudley had been watching cartoons at Christmas. He giggled and excitedly shook Luc who laughed too but held onto the frame.

“Yes Harry, this year it looks like father went all out.”

Draco looked down at him. “Of course.”

“Are they really…Reindeer?” he asked and then whooped and ran towards the nearest one. It looked up and then went back to eating, used to excitable children. Harry stroked its soft fir as Narcissa waved a wand and there was a sleigh there. It was traditional wood, lined with soft firs and Draco jumped in right away. Harry stayed by the reindeer he was petting as Severus was coaxed into the sleigh by Narcissa and a few of the reindeer sauntered over to be attached to the sleigh by the elves. Harrys reindeer made a funny sound before scooping Harry up over its head and letting him slide onto his back to walk beside the sleigh.

They looped around the Manor gardens, the reindeer Harry rode keeping up with the sled. There were little lights on it, and a few tinkly tuneful bells. Harry was cold outside but he didn’t care.

“This is the best Christmas ever!”

Draco laughed. “You haven’t even seen dinner yet,” he shot back.

Chapter Text

After the sleigh ride, Narcissa took Severus inside for drinks and Draco took Harry up to his room. It was huge, decked out in greens and silvers and decorated with fairy lights and garlands for Christmas.

“I’ll be right back,” he said and vanished so Harry settled on the fluffy rug Draco had in front of his huge bed. He smiled down at Luc.

“Are you alright? Christmas is fun sometimes huh?”

Luc looked up at him with sad eyes. “I think Draco is going to replace me soon Harry. It’s a good thing, honestly. I don’t want you to be sad. You should be with real people more.”

Harry was shaking his head violently. “No, no, no, no, no, no. I won’t let him. The only way I’m ever letting him take you is if you want to leave. Or if you want to live with the portraits at Hogwarts or something…..do you want that?”

Luc snorted. He was so unlike Draco now. He had read, and overheard a certain bossy but smart student talking to one portrait about how they can learn and become more like a new person than their real selves if their real selves still lived. He believed that was what was happening to Luc. He didn’t mind it. It was like having two real friends.

“Of course not. But I know myself, and even if I have changed, he hasn’t. Draco will want to keep your attention, and I distract you.”

Harry frowned. “You were my first friend.”

“Always will be,” he winked and Harry laughed.

“You’ve been around the twins too much.”

He giggled then as Draco came back in with a vial and something else in his hands. Harry held Luc close.

“Can I borrow Luc for a minute Harry?” Draco asked and he didn’t seem any different. Then he noticed how Harry was holding the locket. He frowned. “I won’t hurt him.”

Harry was reluctant. He didn’t move but he watched Draco’s face change to one tinged with sadness and he didn’t like it. “I promise. Do you trust me?”

Harry saddened at that and nodded. He looped the chain over his neck. “Bye Luc. I’m sorry.”

“Bye Harry, it’s been fun. I don’t blame you.”

“I’m not going to hurt you. Merlin,” Draco huffed before he laid out a small compact mirror and another locket on the floor. The locket was plain silver with a clasp on the side and the mirror was shining new and patterned with the Malfoy crest. Draco put Luc on the floor in the middle of the two and poured the vial’s contents over them. There was a flash and then nothing.

Harry crawled forward and looked. Luc was still there in the locket. “Try and move then,” Draco said slightly impatiently. He was angry, Harry knew. Luc stared in shock for a moment. Then he vanished off the side of the locket and ended up in the top of the mirror compact. He stared at Draco.

“Thank you. For keeping him safer. For letting me help.”

Harry looked at Draco. “I only made you a potion and you gave Luc two more places he could live. You’re amazing Draco.”

Draco looked at Harry but those emerald eyes were looking at the items on the floor. He sighed and knuckled Harry’s soft fluffy hair. “It was a brilliant gift Harry. We can always use happiness. Especially around here sometimes.”

“Is everything okay Dray? Sometimes…is it your father?”

Draco was quiet for a moment, and Harry knew he wasn’t going to tell him. “You trust me?” he whispered and Draco started and then nodded.

“Yes, its father. He is brilliant, his mind is sharp when he’s at work, when he’s focussed on the politics of the wizarding world. But at home…it’s like he’s checked out, or focussed solely on something else.”

“I’m sorry. If there is anything I can do, just tell me.”

Draco nodded as a house elf popped in. “Dinner will be served in ten minutes.”

Draco nodded and got up. He went to the wardrobe and pulled out two sets of robes. One was black with emerald green accents and he passed this to Harry. “Dress up.”

Harry nodded and put on the robes as Draco changed into dark silver ones. He smiled then. “Dinner is amazing. The decorations and the food. It’s like a Hogwarts feast.”

Harry bounced on the balls of his feet. “I can’t wait.”

--

When Draco pushed open one half of the huge dining room doors he intentionally blocked Harry’s view until the scruffy haired boy would have the best view. He threw the door the rest of the way and turned to watch Harry’s face. He wasn’t disappointed.

Harry’s eyes lit up as they took in the huge tree, the baubles the size of his head and the beautiful leaves and feathers that threaded through it. His eyes moved to the lights, the garlands that decorated the eaves near the ceiling. His eyes travelled down the walls, taking in the sprigs of holly and mistletoe until he found the table. Mother had gone all out once she knew that they would have guests. Severus hadn’t attended for the last few years so the table had been much smaller but this time it was the full twelve seats. There were bigger tables but with only the five of them it would have been gaudy.

Food covered every surface apart from where the plates, cutlery and glasses were. Harrys eyes widened even more as he took in the turkey, the pies, the huge tureens of vegetables. Then he saw Severus, already sitting down and hurried over to him.

“Large isn’t it?” he asked and Harry nodded enthusiastically. This was even better than the Dursleys’, this was like a magical kingdom where everything could happen. He still wasn’t used to the wizarding world and its ways, but he knew this.

Magic was amazing and he never wanted to give it up.

Draco took his seat at the other side of the table, his mother was a few seats up, next to the table head where his father would sit. He smiled genuinely at his mother as he gestured with his eyes and she looked to Harry who was animatedly describing everything to a rather amused looking Severus. Of course, Severus could see all of these things with his own eyes but it was nice to see Harry so excited.

Then the door opened again and Lucius walked in. Everything silenced and Narcissa stood up. “Dear, we were waiting. Please take the head of the table.”

Lucius sneered but did as he had been asked. Harry shivered as he went past and moved to whisper something to Severus that made his face darken. Once Lucius was seated he nodded to him. “I would see you after this my friend.”

Lucius watched him for a moment, his eyes flicking over to Harry and then back before he inclined his head.

The meal started then and everyone dug in. Harry tried small bits of everything, Severus helping him to reach things and still smiling amusedly. To anyone who didn’t know him he would look annoyed but Draco knew better and so did the elder Malfoys.

Harry had just taken a bite of green beans when all of the platters vanished. He swallowed and looked to Draco who just hushed him before the table was filled with desserts. He couldn’t hold in a laugh at Harry’s face and Lucius snapped.

“Draco, if you cannot behave properly in company then you will leave the table.”

Draco pushed back his chair and bowed his head. “My apologies father.”

He pushed the chair back in, knowing his mother was giving Lucius an admonishing look but as he nearly reached the door he heard another chair scrape on the floor and footsteps follow him. As he got to the door and pulled it open a small hand slid into his and squeezed.

For some reason that action filled Draco with warmth and light. It could only be Harry, but he checked anyway. Harry was looking at him worriedly and he pulled the door closed and moved towards the main corridor. “I have something I wanted to give you actually.”

Harry looked adorably confused.

“But you already got me a present,” he started, gesturing to Luc. “Oh, I forgot to give Sev the locket.”

Draco rolled his eyes, Harry’s attention span sometimes was worse than a Pygmy Puff.

He held out a small wrapped gift, about the width of his palm.

“No, I got me, my godfather and Luc a present, this one is for you.”

Harry took it reverently and slowly peeled back the silver, shiny paper. There on his hand sat a crystal Dragon. It was a long lizard, not like the fat dragons you saw in cartoons, but more like the Chinese dragons he had seen on tv. Each little pointed scale along its back shone, and in places it was burnished as if to add shadow and texture. Harry smiled at it, in awe of the colours catching in the crystal,

“Hello,” he whispered and ran a finger down its back. There was a glitter of light, then it slithered up his arm just as Severus came out to get him.

Severus waited, staying back so Draco wouldn’t notice him, even if Harry had.

“I…I didn’t make it do that. Harry did you...?”

There was a cough and they both looked at Luc, safe around Harry’s neck. “Merry Christmas,” he said and Severus smirked. He was covering without lying. Harry was rubbing off on the little locket Slytherin.

Harry caught on and beamed at Draco before hugging him. He lifted the hand holding the locket to his face and gave it a quick kiss in thanks. Then he met eyes with his saviour.

“Severus, look at this!” he squealed and showed off the little moving Dragon. He knew that Harry knew he had enchanted it, but just as assuredly hadn’t meant to do so. He blinked as a plain locket was shoved in his face. “And this. It’s for you. Luc can come into it from mine so if I get in trouble he can get you for help, and uh…if he’s bored with me he can come and talk to you and things.”

Severus looked to Draco and an entire conversation passed in seconds. A slight incline of the head ‘Thank you Draco.’

One back “ you’re welcome” a frown “look after him”

Severus blinked and refrained from rolling his eyes ‘what do you think I am trying to do?”

Draco huffed then and came to walk over to them. “Behave yourself. Not everyone has a moving crystal Dragon. Show some of that cunning I know you have,” he teased Harry and at least the boy knew well enough to blush.

Severus frowned. He would have to watch Harry. The child was far too emotional for such a cold house as Slytherin. Even if Zabini and Nott were going to keep an eye on him as favours to Draco.

Chapter Text

They say time flies when you’re having fun, and the next few years were filled with adventure and fun, as well as some not so fun bits.

Harry’s first year finished with a bang, with him meeting Voldemort. Severus had been scared out of his wits, Draco and Luc had yelled at him over and over and didn’t talk to him for a few hours before pulling him into a super tight hug and telling him he was glad he was safe. Mrs Malfoy had even hugged him tightly even though she didn’t say anything. It was nice. Dumbledore had given him house points so they won the cup. That made the Slytherins happy, and the Gryffindors not so much. Fred and George wanted to naturally hear the whole story so he had sent it in an owl as they had been shooed away by Severus.

It was common knowledge in the school now, they couldn’t hide it after that. Harry and Snape got along, like any snake and their head of house should.

Severus had exerted his best evil eye on Albus and had Harry over the summer, so he got to read all of the books Severus kept at home that would never make it to Hogwarts, as well as being taught how to better control his magic without anyone being nosy enough to come and find him.

It was the summer now before Third year, and Severus had been unbearable about the Basilisk bite. “But I killed it,” Harry whined, “And Fawkes saved me so why does it matter?”

“Because you are twelve, because there shouldn’t be a ruddy huge snake in the castle in the first place and because it shouldn’t be you who had to vanquish it!”

Harry giggled, even when Severus was angry he used long words. Severus glared and Harry was hung from the ceiling. He sighed, it was the third time they had had this argument. He flexed out the magic and nullified Severus’ so he dropped to the floor.

“Sev…I’m sorry alright? It’s not like I planned to be able to talk to snakes, or for the whole school to find out. Or for Voldemort to materialize out of a stupid diary and possess Fred and George’s little sister. What was I supposed to do?”

“Find an adult!”

Harry eyed him then. “You know we tried to tell Minerva. She didn’t believe me because she’s afraid of me now.”

Severus pinched the brow of his nose and Harry went over to stand in front of him. Severus had barely told him anything about the last time Voldemort was around, but he knew Severus bore his mark. He was working on using his powers to nullify that little thing as soon as he could.

Before he could say anything, an owl fluttered in and landed on the table. Harry automatically went to get it, his magic fluttering around his fingertips. “It’s Draco’s handwriting but it’s for you.”

Severus opened the envelope and then stood up and apparated. Harry blinked for a second, thinking he had missed something as the letter fell to the floor.

‘It’s father, come quick’ was all it said.

Harry ran to the fireplace in the living room and climbed the chair to grab the pot of floo powder. He had been taking nutrient potions but Severus said they maybe wouldn’t be able to reverse the effects of the years of abuse before he came to the wizarding world.

He threw the powder into the flames and waited for them to turn green before he yelled Malfoy Manor and stepped in.

He should have remembered the name of the fireplace. He tumbled out into a dusty old room that looked like it hadn’t been used in years. He wiped his glasses of the fire soot before he looked around. There were portraits on the walls, and light came from something over in the corner but it wasn’t very bright. He moved to get up, and sneezed.

There was a commotion as he stepped back, all the portraits startling awake and talking at the same time until one of them yelled for silence.

“Who are you?” one of them asked and Harry shook his head.

“Where in the Manor am I?” he asked instead and the portraits looked at each other before one puffed up. He looked a lot like Draco’s father.

“Insolent brat, I will have you flogged before-“ he stopped as a snake uncurled from his shoulders. Harry smiled. He might get some answers there.

“What is going on?” the snake hissed as the portraits were silent. Harry cocked his head at that, there was no reason for them to be silent unless they understood.

“Lots of noise by the sounds of it,” another snake appeared from behind the head of a man with dark long hair to his shoulders. His hooked nose reminded Harry of Severus.

Harry giggled. “You have that right,” he said, not caring if it was in English or Parsel. But from the sounds of the gasps filling the room, he thought he knew.

“You’re a speaker?’
“A speaker in the noble house of Malfoy-“
“It’s been years!”

“Ok, look. I was trying to find Draco, and I came out of the wrong fireplace. Where is this?”

The portraits were all accompanied by snakes then. One of them moved to the front of the portrait and bowed its head. “We were sealed away by Septimus Malfoy when no speaker was born to him, or to his son.”

“Who was his son?”

“Abraxas, his son was Lucius.”

“Luc, these people are your, and Draco’s family?” he asked the little locket, who had been suspiciously silent.

Luc nodded and then spoke out. “Draco is Lucius’s son, and this is Harry, he is a speaker of the line of Slytherin. He and Draco are very good friends.”

The portraits all seemed pleased at this. Harry didn’t really know why. Unless it was just that they had someone to talk to now.

“Did you want to come out of here?” he asked, “I need to find Draco, he sent a message to my guardian that his father was in trouble.”

One of the snakes hissed something then, and it was too fast for Harry to follow but the portraits nodded and went quiet.

There was a hissing down at Harry’s feet then and a tiny little snake reared up. “Follow me, and yes, it would be nice for us to be taken out of this dusty storage.”

Harry waved his hand at them, wrapping a tiny tendril of his magic around each of the frames and bid them follow. So it was like this, a tiny snake leading Harry, who had twelve portraits bobbing along behind him, that Severus, Narcissa and Draco met him as he came out of one of the long corridors into an intersection.

“Harry?” Severus asked, though more was asked than his name. Harry smiled.

“I found these guys in a dusty old room when I tried to follow you. They wanted to come see,” he said as if it was the most normal thing. “They wanted to meet you Dray, they are your ancestors or something like…” he trailed off when he saw how pale Draco was and moved forward. “What happened?” he breathed.

“Nothing to concern yourself with Harry. You shouldn’t be here.”

He brushed past and vanished around a corner. Harry’s eyes followed him before he turned back to the adults. Narcissa looked cold.

“You are where you are not wanted young Potter. Go home.”

“Sev I-“ Severus didn’t even look at him. moving to follow the others. “You just left me!” he yelled. “You didn’t say don’t come, you just vanished!”

Hands wrapped him and pulled him into a strong chest. “Hush. Things are happening. We need to move quickly to save lives. I am sorry I left. But please go home. You know the way to the parlour floo. Use it.”

Harry slumped against the wall as he was left alone again. “Potter eh? Should have known.”

Harry looked up at the portrait, realising that this one was a woman. She smiled at him conspiratorially. “Well, you aren’t going to go home are you? Lucius is that way, I can feel him.”

Harry looked to the other portraits, the tiny snake and then pushed himself up. “Severus said I should leave.”

He resolutely started to walk down the corridor and into the large entrance hall. He stopped as soon as he entered. Wizards gathered in the centre of the hall, all wearing large black hooded robes with white face masks. He held up a hand to hush the portraits before they said anything.

“Death Eaters,” Luc breathed in horror. “Harry, run, please, please run.”

Harry nodded, even if he wanted to he couldn’t face off against ten grown wizards. He stepped back, the portraits moving with him, but luck was not on his side. One of the wizards turned, and upon seeing him shot a stunner before a word was spoken. Harry dodged, raising a shield and screaming at the top of his lungs in the hopes that Severus would hear him.

He used tricks, tripping jinxes, vines, and the odd Incarcerous to save himself. He knew the incantation for a stunner but he didn’t want to break anything in the house. He yelled an Expelliarmus as he hit the wall and to his surprise four of the wands clattered to his feet. He grabbed them and ran, the Death Eaters chasing after him.

He skid around the corner, the portraits yelling spells for him to try. “Cast Sonorous,” the woman yelled, “It makes your voice louder!”

“Sonorous,” Harry yelled and then he shouted “Help!” as loud as he could. It broke a vase as a stray curse came from behind.

Severus was around the corner in seconds, wand out with Narcissa right behind. She pushed Draco back but he surged forward again to grab Harry’s hand and pulled him, and the floating portraits out of the way.

“Dray…what did I do? Is your dad okay I-“

“Hush, I’m not angry at you. Well, I wasn’t. Why are you fighting Death Eaters!”

“I screamed when they saw me didn’t I? Then I shouted for help.” He pouted even though Severus and Narcissa were fighting.

Draco went to take a step in to help them but Harry grabbed his hand. “What’s that spell you did on the vase when it was falling?” he asked. Draco blinked for a minute and then nodded. He took out his wand.

“Immobulus,” he said and watched Harry mouth it. “On three?”

Harry nodded and Draco counted. “one, two…three. Immobulus!” he rounded the corner and they yelled in unison. The entire scene stilled, one Death Eater half way through a backward fall. Severus blinked and Harry waved his hand at him and Narcissa to take the spell of.

They made quick work of tying up and unmasking the death eaters. Draco had gasped but Harry didn’t know any of them.

Severus came over to him. “I thought I told you to go home?” he said quietly. Then threw up a silencing charm. “Harry?”

Tears came unbidden to his eyes. “I was! The portraits wanted to go see Lucius but I said no, you told me home. They were in the entrance hall and it’s the only way I know to get into the parlour.” He was frustrated but he wouldn’t let the tears fall. “What’s going on anyway?”

Severus sighed. “Lucius was being tortured…by the dark mark.”

Harry’s eyes widened and he grabbed Severus’ arm. “No,” he whispered and Severus stood again.

“I am fine. Lucius is less so. He is in a room, three doors down that corridor on the left. If you think you can do anything, now would be the time.”

Harry nodded, leaving the portraits leaning against the walls he ran off toward the room.

When he entered he had to stop, the entire room was filled with frost. It was as if he had stepped outside, snow crunched underfoot and hundreds of frosted branches holding tiny red berries hung from the ceiling like a blanket.

In a chair by the window sat Lucius Malfoy. He held one of the berry branches between his fingers as he chuckled. “So my fate is sealed and finished by Harry Potter is it?”

Harry walked forwards so he could see better. He gasped as he looked, lines like black veins covered Lucius bare arm, vanishing under his robes and reappearing on his neck and face.

“Voldemort did this?” he asked as Lucius flinched. He forgot that, Severus was good at controlling it but he told him the mark liked the name. He looked down at the mark, still black as ever it was and felt the need to touch it.

“Do not sully me with your filthy touch.”

Harry almost flinched back then but Luc spoke.

“Father, you must let Harry try this.”

Lucius blinked, actual shock registering on his face before his eyes met those emerald green orbs.

“I have had it since I was ten,” Harry answered the unvoiced question. “it just appeared one day. He was my first, and only friend back then.”

He took a breath. “I know you don’t like me Mr Malfoy, but I just fought ten Death Eaters who I am pretty sure where here for you. It doesn’t matter what happened before, whether you followed him or not. Draco needs his father. And my magic tells me I can help.”

He held out his hand, palm down. “It’s up to you if you want to take it.”

Lucius regarded the young boy in front of him, younger than his own son but more experienced already in battle than some fully grown death eaters. He had cursed himself for putting his family in danger, cursed his pride in private. He would not turn back on a decision but this time. “For my family,” he said and threw out his arm. Harry nodded, and clasped his hand around the mark.

It fought, the snake hissing and cursing but Harry concentrating too much to bother with its harsh words. The darkness in the mark was overwhelming, almost too much. It slithered and slunk around his magic, tainting its pure colour with black but he still fought. It was just a tattoo in the end.

Harry sucked in a breath and almost coughed. That was it. A muggle tattoo.

Moments later he realised that Lucius had been screaming, but now everything was silent. His hair, and all of Lucius form was dusted in snow. He let go of the arm in his hand and stepped back.

“You should live now,” he said before turning and going to the door. Draco opened it just as he was going to and was followed by the others.

“Aurors are picking up the intruders. You did well,” Severus said and knelt to Harry as he swayed. Lucius was looking at Narcissa and Draco as they spoke, telling him what happened. Harry barely listened.

“Good, everything is alright now. the pictures?”

“Will be put back on the walls in one of the corridors. I am sure.”

Harry nodded again as his eyes dropped closed. “Tired, sorry Sev’rus.’

And with that his body slumped to the ground. Severus caught him and lifted him up, noting how light he was still despite his attempts.

“I hope you are happy Lucius. Take your second chance and do something with it.”

He swept out then as Luc shot back “Make better choices!”

Severus looked down at him and frowned. “Are you alright?”

Luc smiled grimly. “Yes, but my magic is fading. Draco didn’t know better. I have no anchor, even though I now have three frames.”

Severus nodded. He had been afraid of that. “Don’t tell Harry.”

Luc nodded as he slipped from Harry’s chest to dangle there. “No..I won’t tell him.”