It had started out as an ordinary potions class. Professor Snape appeared to be in a particularly foul mood and had paired the Gryffindors and the Slytherins together. He had paired Neville Longbottom with Draco Malfoy, in what seemed to be a desperate attempt to prevent Neville from blowing up another cauldron.
Harry had been paired with Goyle, which was going fairly well. Mainly because Goyle wasn’t doing anything and Malfoy was too busy attempting to stop Neville from ruining their potion to throw things in Harry’s cauldron. Hermione appeared to have told Crabbe not to touch anything and was making their potion by herself. Ron and Pansy Parkinson were arguing loudly in the far corner.
As Harry added newt eyes to his cauldron, he glanced over at the next table. Malfoy’s back was turned as he sliced roots. Neville was adding frog legs to their cauldron. Frog legs? The mild sleeping draught they were making didn’t have frog legs in it!
“Nev-“ Harry started, but he was interrupted as Neville’s cauldron started to shake violently, giving off a thick, black smoke. Neville, having experienced many exploded cauldrons in his lifetime, dove for cover. The commotion caused Malfoy to turn around, just as the cauldron exploded, covering him in steaming orange slime. He screamed shortly before collapsing on the ground perfectly still.
“Longbottom!” Professor Snape bellowed, swooping down to where Malfoy lay. Malfoy stirred before shakily sitting up. Professor Snape helped the incredibly pale boy to his feet, catching him as his feet started to go out from under him.
“Potter!” the potions master snapped. “Take Mr. Malfoy to the hospital wing.” Malfoy winced at the sound, staring at professor Snape warily, as if he didn’t know who he was. Harry hastened to Malfoy’s side, carefully taking the boy’s arm. Surprisingly, the Slytherin not only let him, but leaned against Harry to keep his balance as he let go of his head of house.
As Harry carefully led Malfoy out of the classroom, he noted that he was watching him with that same wary look, as if he wasn’t quite sure who Harry was. As they started towards the Hospital Wing and out of the dungeons, it became very obvious that Malfoy had no idea where he was going and was completely relying on Harry to guide him.
As they came to a fork between to hallways, Harry gently pulled on Malfoy’s arm to get him to turn left. “This way Malfoy.”
Malfoy looked at him quizzically for a moment before suddenly stopping. “Malfoy. Is that me?”
Harry stopped, shocked. What? Malfoy didn’t know who he was? He’d lost his memory? Did he remember anything?
“Yes.” He answered slowly. “It’s your last name. Your name is Draco, Draco Malfoy.”
“Oh.” The blonde seemed to think that over. “Why don’t you call me Draco?”
Harry couldn’t think of what to say. Malfoy wanted him to call him Draco? “I-I can.” He hesitated. “If you want me to.” He watched Draco carefully for a reaction.
“I would like that.” Draco answered with a nod. They continued walking. “Who are you?” Draco asked after a moment.
“I’m Harry, Harry Potter.” Harry answered. He hesitated a moment before adding. “You can call me Harry if you like.”
That appeared to please Draco. He smiled and nodded. After a moment, he appeared troubled again. “Where are we going?”
“To the Hospital Wing. There was an accident in potions class and we need to get you looked at.”
“Oh.” Draco went silent. “Is that why I can’t remember anything? Like who I am?”
“Yes.” Answered harry. “Maybe Madame Pomfrey will be able to help.”
As they entered the infirmary, Madame Pomfrey hurried over to them. “Mr. Potter, what have you done to Mr. Malfoy now?”
Draco looked taken aback. “Harry didn’t do anything!” He burst out.
Madame Pomfrey stared at him in shock. Draco Malfoy, defending Harry Potter, and using his first name? What kind of parallel universe had she stepped into?
Harry cut in. “There was an accident in potions. Draco has lost his memory.”
“Alright.” Madame Pomfrey appeared to come back to herself again. “Let’s get you cleaned up Mr. Malfoy. This orange slime can’t be healthy.” She turned back to Harry. “You can leave now Mr. Potter.” Harry hesitated a moment, but turned to leave.
“Wait!” Draco grabbed Harry’s sleeve and turned to Madame Pomfrey. “Can Harry please stay?” Harry stared at him in surprise. Draco seemed very unwilling to give up the one person whose name he knew.
Madame Pomfrey hesitated, but felt sorry for Draco. He looked so lost, nothing like the arrogant boy she was used to. “Alright. Take off those filthy clothes and put these on.” She said, handing Draco a set of plain hospital pajamas. She gave Draco a damp cloth to wipe the slime off his skin.
Harry turned around to give Draco a bit of privacy as he changed. He quickly changed, tapping Harry on the shoulder to let him know that he was done. Then Draco got all the rest of the slime off. Or he tried to.
“Here.” Harry took the cloth from Draco and got the slime that had landed in the boy’s hair. “There you go.” He said, handing back the cloth.
“Thanks.” Draco smiled. Harry tried to remember if he had ever seen Draco smile like that. A real genuine smile, not a smirk. He didn’t think he had.
Madame Pomfrey came back and ushered Draco to sit on one of the beds. When he moved over so that Harry could sit beside him, she didn’t say a word. She ran some diagnostic spells and gave Draco a nutrient potion.
“You appear to be fine except for the memory loss. I’m not quite sure how that happened. Professor Snape will have to examine the contents of the potion to try and find a way to counteract it. I don’t know how long it will take. You appear to remember how to do basic things, such as talk and dress yourself. You would probably find that you could cast spells if someone told you the incantation. It’s events that you don’t seem to remember. And people.” She added looking pointedly at Harry, who blushed slightly. It wasn’t like he was trying to take advantage of Draco’s memory loss, but how was he supposed to tell the very lost Slytherin that they hated each other?
Draco nodded, staring into his lap. Harry placed a hand on his knee in encouragement. Draco looked up at him. “Why don’t I let Harry fill you in, alright?” Madame Pomfrey said softly.
Both boys nodded. After she left, Draco turned to Harry. “Spells? I can do magic?”
Wow, thought Harry, he really doesn’t remember anything. “Yes Draco, you are a wizard.”
“Okay.” Draco said, nodding. He knew it had to be true. It felt right some how. It felt so strange, not being able to remember anything. But Harry seemed nice enough. Harry proceeded to give Draco a quick run down of Hogwarts. He explained the four houses and that they were in their fifth year. It took a while because Draco had so many questions. He told Draco about all of their classes. The subject that Draco seemed most interested in however, was Harry.
“What about us?” Draco asked. “Are we friends?”
Harry paused, wondering how to answer the Slytherin. “No, we don’t get along very well.”
“Oh.” Draco was staring at his lap again, looking as though he had lost his only friend in the world. In a way, Harry thought, he had. “We can be friends for now, if you’d like.” He said, hesitantly.
“Okay.” Draco lit up like a kid at Christmas.
At that moment, Professor Snape chose to enter the Hospital Wing.
“Potter. Why didn’t you return to class?” Draco cut in before Harry could answer. “Because I didn’t want him to. Who are you?” The potions master seemed understandably confused.
“Draco has lost his memory, Professor Snape.” Harry said, hoping to clarify a few things for the professor.
“I see.” Answered the potions master, nodding slowly as he assessed the situation.
“Draco, this is the potions professor, and your head of house, Professor Snape.”
“Hello sir.” Said Draco, looking at the older man with slight distrust.
“I am also your godfather Draco.” Harry was surprised by that bit of information. He hadn’t known that, but it explained a lot. It seemed to make Draco happy and put him at ease around the older Slytherin, which was a good thing.
Snape nodded. “Now, I’ve brought you a spare set of robes. Why don’t you go change in the bathroom and then you and Mr. Potter can head down to lunch?” Draco nodded enthusiastically and left.
The potions master waited until Draco was in the bathroom before turning to Harry. “I don’t know why Draco has chosen to latch on to you of all people, but if you do anything to hurt him…” He glared as he trailed off, letting Harry draw his own conclusions on the threat.
“Draco is very vulnerable right now. He doesn’t remember how he feels about you, or how he has been taught to act.” He paused, seeming to consider something for a moment. “He seems to trust you. Try to get him to go back to the Slytherins. It will make things easer for him once I have the antidote and he gets his memory back.” Harry nodded, he understood that.
The professor hesitated, “If he won’t, I expect you to look out for him. It’s tough in Slytherin, he doesn’t remember how to act around them. They’ll probably tear him apart.” He paused again, searching for what to say. “Your own house probably won’t want to let the opportunity to get back at a weakened Draco slip away either.”
Harry was shocked. This was the most open he had ever seen Professor Snape. The man really seemed to care about his godson. “He’s not the same Draco that you know.” The professor’s voice broke into Harry’s thoughts. “This is the real Draco. No masks, no shields. Don’t treat him the way that you would normally. He won’t understand. It’ll tear him apart.”
Harry nodded and the professor stared at him for a moment as if trying to decide whether to trust his godson’s well being with the golden boy of Gryffindor.
Draco re-entered, dressed in his Slytherin robes. He nodded to his godfather and then left the infirmary. Harry mimicked the gesture, before hurrying off after Draco, fully aware that the blonde had no idea where he was going.