“This is taking too bloody long. We’ve been in here for hours.” Draco grumbled under his breath. Harry sighed, wishing he’d stop saying that every five minutes. They sat together in a small room, furnished with two chairs and a wizards chess board resting on a small table. They had, in fact, been there for several hours, long enough to have all three meals sent to them as they waited.
“Just make your move, coward.” Harry replied.
“I’ve won every game, Harry, why would I be afraid to move?” Draco asked, cocking an eyebrow.
“Because I’m about to..” Pain flickered over Harry’s scar, making him wince. It had been happening all afternoon, causing a great deal of discomfort to him. It grew stronger each time it struck, and he wasn’t sure how much longer he could hold in his cries.
Draco reached out, patting his shoulder sympathetically. “I wish I knew how to make it stop.”
The pain increased rapidly, so strong Harry couldn’t remain sitting any longer. He stood up quickly, sending the chessboard scattering to the floor, chess pieces screaming out as they tumbled into the corners of the room. “Hurts.. “ he managed to spit out, backing up against the wall to support himself.
Draco kicked the upturned table from his path as he ran over to his friend. “Gods.” he said, seeing the blood flow trickle through Harry’s fingers as he clutched his forehead.
Harry hissed under his breath as the pain increased further, feeling his knees buckle beneath him. “I’m dying.. oh god, I can‘t...” Blood flowed rapidly down his cheek as he braced himself on the floor.
Draco panicked, running to the magically sealed door, pounding on it with his fists. “Someone please help!” he shouted. “Someone open this fucking door!”
Harry raised to his knees, fumbling blindly for the wand in his pocket. He held it straight up over his head, arching his back and began screaming chants in parseltongue. His eyes looked dead, flickering crimson and glazed over, unseeing.
Draco ran back to the boy, hands over his ears, trying not to stare into his cold eyes. As soon as he reached him, Harry collapsed to the floor beneath him. Too weak to stand on his own, he laid flat on his back as the other boy wiped the blood from his face with his shirt.
The door opened then, and Voldemort walked inside, looking down at them. “You did good.” he said. Not understanding exactly what he meant, Draco nodded slightly and quickly returned his attention to Harry. “Let’s get him to bed, he needs to rest.” said Tom, lifting the boy in his arms as the blond quickly followed behind.
Tom paced his study, hands clasped behind his back, deep in thought. Sirius and Lucius sat quietly, awaiting their instructions for the events that would occur on the following day. “I cannot stress how important it is that there is no interference during their arrest, no matter how violent it may become.” he said, stopping for a moment, before the pacing resumed.
“I’m counting on the event to be upsetting for him. Each test proves that when the boy is at ease, the magic is weaker. The more stressful the situation, the stronger it flows. Once he’s inside, I can work through him with the right pushes. We simply take the outer wards down ourselves, and through Harry I will remove the inner security. Snape will provide him with his wand. I switched it yesterday. You will give this,“ he paused, handing Sirius the holly and phoenix feather wand, “to Severus at The Hog’s Head tomorrow. When I get word that Harry‘s wand is in his possession again, we will begin.”
Lucius sat uneasy, rubbing his forehead to slow the throbbing headache he felt increase since the meeting began. He’d have to watch his only child arrested and do nothing. Looking over at Black, he nearly choked. His face was contorted in worry, nearly mimicking his own. What in the hell did he have to be worried about? His godson was The Bloody Golden Boy. The whole wizarding world would grovel at his feet if he allowed it.
His own son, to them, was a leper. A diseased abomination of evil who they will assume kept their savior away from them for his own wicked needs. Voldemort holds all the cards, so he says. Nothing will come from this except victory. Sending a son off to Merlin knows what, without telling him, without him having a single clue as to his fate certainly didn‘t have a feel of victory behind it.
Tom loomed over the two men as they brooded over their sons. “I suggest you get plenty of rest tonight, gentlemen. We have a big day tomorrow. Good afternoon.” he said, leaving them deep in thought.
Narcissa bobbed around the closets, tossing clothes to the floor in every direction in the spacious sleeping quarters. Petunia sat between the two boys on the oversized four poster bed, watching the beautiful blond do her work.
“I think we should find something to wear with what I’ve chosen.” said Narcissa, walking out from the closet, staring down at the enormous mountain she created. “Now, boys, strip down to your knickers so we can begin.”
Draco sighed, shaking his head sadly as he stood up. He really hated dressing day. ‘A Malfoy never goes out in pubic looking less than perfect.’ she would tell him until his ears would bleed.
Harry was elated with the idea of getting dressed up. He had never worn anything nicer than dress robes at the Yule Ball, two years back. Even in Riddle Mansion, he only wore jeans and tee shirts that felt comfortable to him. ‘Whatever you like.’ Tom had said.
Petunia sat on her heels, rummaging through the articles of luscious velvets and silks, handing a few things to Draco, while setting aside others for Harry. “This matches your hair so perfectly, dear. I simply must see you try it on.”
“Look how beautiful they are..” whispered Narcissa in Petunia’s ear. “It brings tears to my eyes when I look at them. We must have their portrait painted together soon.”
“Yes, that would be lovely.” said Petunia. They were visions of angelic beauty, like their mothers, like their fathers.
Narcissa gasped audibly as the boys finished dressing one another in the clothes they had chosen. They looked exquisite. Both wore dark wool trousers, but Draco opted for a silk shirt, while Harry wore a roll neck jumper, finished perfectly by their cloaks.
“Well? Will this pass for Malfoy perfection?” Draco asked, feeling comfortable without looking too fancy.
Narcissa smiled. “Yes, darling. Now please take those off before you get them filthy. I’ll have to fix Harry’s awful hair in the morning before you depart, as well.”
Tom watched them as he leaned against the doorframe, very glad no one tried to dress him. Not that his taste wasn’t sheer perfection over his wondrous frame. He did like what he saw, thought. They both looked like perfect little gentlemen. Lovely little Death Eaters in training, and they were all his. As the boys finished dressing, he cleared his throat for their attention.
“Harry, are you quite ready? We have things to do before bed. Don’t keep me waiting all evening.” he asked in arrogance. The women had had him long enough, it was his turn now.
Harry nodded, waving at the three as he ran to Tom’s side. “Yes, I was just saying good night, Tom.”
Harry laid back against his master’s chest as they relaxed in the hot bath together. Tom soaked the thick sea sponge under the water, wringing it out over the boy‘s raven hair. “Are you excited about tomorrow?”
“Yes, I can’t wait.” he replied, running his fingers over Tom’s thighs, making shapes in the damp hair coating them. “Will I be allowed to go back sometime to visit?”
Tom poured the vanilla scented shampoo into Harry’s scalp, massaging it in with firm strokes of his fingers. “Kitten, if all goes well, you’ll be able to go wherever you want to, very soon.”
“I’d like to go shopping. I missed Hermione’s birthday, and Ron’s birthday is tomorrow. I thought maybe someday soon I could send them a gift.” he said bashfully. “They probably think I’m dead.”
“I’m sure that can be arranged, Harry. Lean back now.” Soaking the sponge, he wrung it out over the boy’s hair, rinsing the suds out. “What would you buy them, love?”
Harry closed his eyes, relaxing fully into Tom’s embrace as his master ran the sponge over his chest. “I’d buy Hermione something pretty. She always get books and potion ingredients and such. I’ve never seen her get anything else. I think she’d like something different for once.”
Tom lifted Harry’s arm, rubbing the sponge in tiny circles slowly, watching the pale skin blush pink as he lightly scrubbed over it. “Pretty as in what? Pretty clothing?”
Harry let his arm go limp as Tom checked each of his fingernails for dirt. “I was thinking hair pins maybe. Something magical. Her hair is quite bushy, she can never find the time to fix it.”
Tom lifted the other arm, repeating the massage over it. “Ah, I see. What about the other? What would you buy him?”
Harry smiled brightly. “I’d buy him the nicest broom there was. Better than mine, so he’d be the envy of the school. He deserves something of his own that’s better than anyone else's.”
Observing Harry’s body, he felt satisfied with his work. “I think it’s time we got out.” Tom said, lifting himself from the bath. He threw a towel to the boy as he pulled one down for himself. “I’ll take you soon, so you can buy those things for your friends.”
Harry ran the soft, fluffy towel over his legs, as he smiled over to his master. “That would mean so much to me.”
“Hurry and get dressed, we’re dining with your godfather and his werewolf this evening.” he said, pulling his bathrobe over his shoulders. “Don’t want to keep them waiting. Besides, the faster we finish, the faster we can retreat back up here.”
Harry blushed, tipping his head forward a bit as he covered his mouth to hide his smile. Tom walked over to him, wrapping his arms around his shoulders from behind him.
“Would you like it later if I did that new thing?” Tom asked, steering Harry’s towards the bedroom.
“Yes, please. I like that one the best now.” he replied, tilting his head up to watch the man as he spoke.
Tom smiled, feeling an odd swelling in his heart. It felt ‘good’.. or something, to see his beautiful angel look up at him in awe and wonder, grasping the hands that held him without digging his nails into him to break free. Harry was holding Tom’s hands there, keeping them in place around his body.
“I’m not really that hungry, are you?”
“Would you like me to do that thing now, then?”
Sirius went over all the items in his pockets one last time, making certain he hadn‘t forgotten anything. Draco and Harry arrived then, following Lucius into the gardens of Riddle Mansion. Raising his wand to the boys, he cast the complex diversion spell over the boys, insuring no one would look at them as they walked through the small village.
“All that time mum spent picking out our clothes and no one will even see us.” said Draco, giggling with excitement.
Lucius stood emotionless, swallowing the dread he felt rising in his throat. “We’re ready, Black. Activate the portkey.”
Ron and Hermione sat huddled together on the dirt floor of the Honeyduke’s tunnel, hidden safely under an invisibility cloak. They trembled with nervousness and cold, afraid to speak to one another.
Finally gathering the courage, the fiery haired boy wrapped a shaky arm around his true friend.
“Whatever happens, Mione, remember that I love you.”
Hermione sighed heavily as she leaned into the boy’s arms. “I love you too, Ron. We’re going to be okay, though. I know Harry, brainwashed or not, he’d never hurt you.”
Ron cringed. “I know. He’s not really who I’m worried about. Do you think it’s true? You know, about what Dumbledore told us, about Harry and Draco being lovers. I mean... Draco Malfoy. How could he even think about being with him?”
“I don’t know, Ron. We have no idea what happened with Harry, only rumors. We’ll find out later, during interrogation, I suppose. I don’t want to think about that now.” she replied, feeling rocks forming in her stomach.
Ron felt the slight jolt of electrical magic flicker in the air. “Did you feel that? Someone’s broken the ward over the trap door.”
Hermione nodded, letting Ron help her up from the floor. They both carefully covered themselves again with the cloak, wands in hand. “Now or never, Ron. Good luck.”
“Did you feel that?” Harry asked in a whisper.
Draco nodded. “What do you think it was? Some sort of alarm or something?”
Harry bit his bottom lip. He hesitated for a moment, pulling his wand from his pocket. “We can’t turn back yet. Tom would be so disappointed if we failed our first mission before it even started.”
Draco pulled his wand, nodding to his only friend. “Yes, I agree. Stay sharp, love. Good luck.” He leaned in, gracing Harry’s lips with a soft kiss, before jumping down into the passage.
Harry followed next to him closely, wanting to reach out and hold the boy’s hand, but thought against it.
Every minute or so, the nearly inaudible electric pop would pound into his ears as they moved in deeper, making his heart begin to pound in his chest with worry.
“Draco, I think there’s something wrong. I think we might be setting off alarms, like you said.” he whispered. Draco grabbed Harry’s arm, pulling him close against his side, as his own heart began to race.
“We should go back.” Draco murmured softly.
“I’m afraid we can’t allow that.” A male voice echoed around them, causing them both to jump with fright.
Both boys held their wand out, scanning the dark corridor for any signs of life. Their hands parted, as they both moved to each wall of the tunnel, trying to create two targets instead of one for whoever was speaking to them.
Backing up, they quickly ran into the barrier that erected itself as they broke the final ward, sealing them in. Harry froze in panic. Draco grasped his arm again, no longer caring how close they were.
“Show yourselves then, come on.” he shouted.
The invisibility cloak fell to the ground. Harry and Draco both let their mouths drop open as Ron and Hermione began walking towards them.
“Stop right there, don’t make me hex you both.” Rubbing his fingers over his wand, Draco slowly realized his magic wasn’t there. No warmth, no spark of energy, just a piece of dead wood in his palm. “Oh gods..”
Harry gasped as his mind registered who was standing in front of him. “Ron! Mione!” he shouted, tugging at the hand holding him so he could run to his friends.
Ron felt his heart sink seeing Harry so excited to see them, knowing what he had to do. “Harry, mate. We’ve missed you so much.” he began before the Slytherin broke in.
“Harry, what the fuck is this?” he said hoarsely under his breath. Turning his attention to the two other Gryffindors, he snarled. “What in the hell is going on here? Who ratted us out?”
Harry shook his head wildly. “No, Draco! This is a tunnel we use, they’re just.. just..” he looked back at his friends slowly, then reached behind him, feeling the solid barrier blocking them in. “You didn’t do this, did you, Ron?”
“Stay back, weasel. Whatever you and the mudblood are thinking, I‘m not going to make it easy.” Draco hissed out as Ron took another step closer.
“Enough! We don’t have time for this. Stupefy!” Hermione shouted, knocking Draco back into the barrier before he fell to the floor unconscious. Harry paled, his breath caught somewhere in his throat. Hermione quickly removed the wand from the Slytherin’s clenched hand, placing it in her robes. “Ron, get his wand.”
Ron reached out slowly, carefully placing his fingers over Harry’s wand as it twitched nervously under his grip. “Harry, it’s going to be alright. We’re going to take care of you now.”
Harry jerked back, but his wand was wrenched from his grasp. “What’s going on?” he asked, feeling very paranoid right about now. He knelt down quickly, shielding Draco as Hermione began conjuring ropes from her wand as she stood over him. “Don’t you touch him.” he growled.
Hermione gasped, looking down at her friend in shock as he bared his teeth at her. She glanced over to Ron who shared her gaping expression. “I’m very sorry.” she said quietly, pointing her wand at the former Gryffindor. “Stupefy.”