It seemed as if hours had passed for Draco as he stood staring into the eyes of the most beautiful boy he had even hoped to know. Sweltering hot tears of frustration trickled down his flushed cheeks, and his teeth ground down as he sheathed his anger. Closing his open mouth, swallowing his pain.
“Why can’t you remember me?” he choked, wanting to throw a childish tantrum suddenly. He clenched his fists, feeling a third wave of tears forming in the corners of his swollen eyes.
Harry leaned back into the hollowed out tunnel, cocking his head over to the boy that seemed so intent on gathering information from him.
His curious expression and relaxed manner during the situation was more than enough to indicate something had changed; someone had done something to him.
“I don’t know. Were we friends?” he asked casually.
“Enough talking; Pull yourself together, Draco.” said Tom, giving both their backs another shove, persuading them down the dirt-covered tunnel. “When you reach the edge, wait there for Sirius. He’ll be along shortly.”
Harry turned on his heel, facing his master. “You aren’t coming with us? I don’t want to stay here with him- without you!” he said in a panic.
Tom smiled down at his boy, raising a delicate, manicured hand to caress his pale cheek, “Everything will be quite alright, kitten. I have to go make a few people pay for their sins. You understand, don’t you?”
“No, I don’t understand.”
He paused, taking a few deep breaths. “Just promise me you’ll come back for me, Tom. I’m very worried about you.” cried Harry, falling limp into his arms, holding onto him with trembling hands.
Tom lifted the boy’s quivering chin from his chest, and lost himself in his hopeful gaze for a moment, before cupping Harry’s face with his hands. “Nothing will ever keep me from coming back for you.”
Draco felt his heart break as the two before him pressed into a kiss, igniting a passion he had never seen between them before. His young lover melted in the Dark Lord’s arms, and his knees buckled beneath him.
The boy’s arms reached out instinctively, wrapping themselves around Tom’s neck, pulling himself up in a desperate attempt to keep the connection between them. Harry began to whimper as their kiss deepened, tears formed over the edges of his eyes and ran softly into the raven hair lightly covering his temples.
Tom lifted him up, coaxing the boy to wrap his long legs around him, and held him into his chest as he leaned back into the tunnel wall for support. His large hands held his back and head in place as he took his time tasting the sweet warmth of his lover, kissing away the tears and sweat, grazing his lips over any part he needed to touch.
“I...” Harry tried to say, but Tom quieted him with his tongue, running it over his lips, teasing them with it’s silk. Harry’s eyes closed once more as he relented, welcoming the tongue into his mouth with a desperate moan. His soft mewing in his master’s mouth sent waves of electricity over the man, and he broke the kiss, panting for breath.
Harry’s eyes opened as the loss of warmth, and his despairing whimpers and tiny kisses on his cheeks nearly caused Tom to tear up himself.
“Do you believe me now, kitten? I will come back for you.” said Tom, locking his eyes with the boy’s.
Harry choked back a sob and nodded as his master set him back on his feet.
An ear piercing explosion emanated throughout the castle then, and Tom looked up with a large grin curling up his lips. “The wards just fell...” he thought aloud, and quickly shifted his gaze to Draco as the smile slowly disappeared. “Take Harry, wait for Sirius. Do as he says and you’ll both be back home in no time.”
He looked back to his boy then, and knelt down a bit to reach his eye level. “Draco is your friend. He’s one of my most trusted servants and you need to do everything he says. Do you understand that, love?” he asked in a calming voice, running his fingers over the boy’s cheek one last time.
“Yes.” he replied, as he closed his eyes and leaned into the soft touch. He felt Draco’s fingers lace around his wrist then, and silently screamed as he was pulled away from the only man he knew.
“I love you...” whispered Harry, his heart breaking from the anxiety and fear for his master.
The Dark Lord nodded, looking stone-faced, “You, my kitten, are the only thing I’ve ever let myself love. I would die before I gave you up.”
Tom coaxed them on with a firm gesture and turned his back to them, retreating back into the castle.
“We should be helping, Ron! Please, put me down!” Hermione shouted, half-struggling with the boy physically, and struggling harder mentally with herself over the guilt she felt over allowing herself to be dragged from the castle.
Ron’s eyes stayed forward, as he walked briskly behind his older brothers to the back of the castle. His grip on his lover was strong enough to hold her, and she eventually went limp in his arms, allowing herself to cry on his shoulder.
Exiting the back of the castle, Bill caught a strange glimpse of what appeared to be a werewolf, running swiftly on all fours towards the depths of the darkness. The same direction they all needed to be.
He looked over to Charlie, who was eyeing the wolf as well, and smiled. “Come on,” he said, “That’s Lupin. We’re supposed to meet him at the Whomping Willow.”
Ron shifted Hermione’s weight in his arms and dashed off behind his brothers, running as fast as he could into the night, never stopping to look back.
Remus reached the tree first, and growled a tremendous ’thank you’ out to the large ginger cat that stood at the base of the willow. Crookshanks glanced up at him with amber eyes and prodded the knot with a precise paw at the base of the tree to paralyze it.
Charlie and Bill reached it soon after, and directed Ron and Hermione into the passage quickly, while they stood guard. They entered behind them as Hermione shouted out to the elder brothers, and Bill reached out, grabbing Crookshanks by the scruff of his neck. Taking him into his chest, he crouched down behind his brother, and disappeared from the grounds of Hogwarts.
Sirius watched as the fighting ensued, ducking in and out of dark corners, stunning witches and wizards who held their wands in his direction. He realized quickly that his animagus form might be better suited for the task and he swiftly changed, easily hiding himself in the shadows of the halls.
His goal was set; get to the statue of the Humpbacked Witch on the third floor, get the boys outside, take them to the Whomping Willow, apparate them to the boundary of Riddle House if any trouble heads their way. Remus was supposed to be there next to him, but he worried too much for his friend’s well-being. Even the Death Eaters were twitching in his presence. He couldn’t risk Remus being harmed, and prayed he’d be safe in the Shrieking Shack.
Another thought crossed his mind then, and a small pang of fear swept over his heart. The letter he had written to Charlie Weasley the day before, informing him where to hide, where to take the two students that Harry cared for the most, if trouble ever erupted. He trusted the Weasleys, and hoped beyond hope that they would stay silent about his confession and do as he had asked.
What harm could come from wanting to protect a few innocents during one of the most vicious battles promised to occur? Charlie was wise, he loved his family more than anything, and he would understand. The shack was impenetrable from the outside, and the only entrance to it was through the tree, as the shack itself was warded as heavily as the school itself.
Voldemort himself knew this, and felt it was the safest place to take the boys as the war began, to keep them away from it.
His large paws padded the stones as he ran as fast as he could. The third floor was expeditiously reached, and he changed back into his human form, pulling his wand as the statue moved aside and Lord Voldemort appeared from the darkness.
“Your timing is impeccable, Black. They’re waiting for you inside.” said his master, grinning viciously at the animagus, “I should warn you, The Great Dumbledore made a few changes to my boy, and he might not recognize you. Don’t take it personal.”
He patted the man’s shoulder and stepped aside, allowing Sirius to climb through and disappear into the tunnel.
“Think hard, damnit.” Draco grumbled, holding the boy steady in his arms, “Why would you just forget everything all of a sudden? We have so many secrets together! You don’t even love that man!”
Harry was becoming extremely agitated, and relentlessly tested the grip over him every few seconds, in hopes that the larger boy holding him back might relent.
“Tom said it didn‘t matter if I couldn’t remember anyone but him.- He may need my help, and who are you to stop me? Now, let go of my fucking arms!” he spat, jerking forward as hard as he could, to no avail.
“Shut up, someone’s coming...” hissed Draco, pulling the boy back into the shadows. Both being wandless and heightened with emotion, the footsteps resounding on the dirt floor pounded into their heads like explosions, causing them both to shiver with anticipation.
Sirius appeared then, holding his illuminated wand up in front of his face, sighing heavily as his eyes locked onto the boys. “Follow me.” he said, beckoning them towards himself.
Harry shook his head and snarled as Draco shoved him forward. “What’s going on? I don’t like this. Maybe I should go and find Tom, he said-”
“He said to do what I say, and to follow Sirius. Now, do what I say, goddamnit, and keep your mouth shut!” Draco interrupted loudly, swallowing his cries.
Sirius cocked his head as the two boys hesitated in front of him. “Move it! We could be discovered at any moment. What’s the matter?”
Harry jerked from the boy’s grasp finally and walked up to Sirius, sizing him up with narrowed eyes. “Who are you?” he asked politely enough, but his expression spoke volumes about his apprehension towards his godfather.
“I’m... Harry, it’s me, Sirius. Now I know Lord Voldemort said something-” he began, but Harry startled him by grabbing his wand from his hand then.
“Give me that!” he said defiantly, garnering a look of shock from the two. “Lead on, then.” He pointed the wand aggressively at the man, prodding him in the ribs.
Sirius shot Draco a look of clear exasperation, and turned quickly to lead the boys out. Draco walked behind them, seething openly at the beautiful boy in front of him.
“I know what Tom said, but I’m afraid I can’t go with either of you; he’s distressed, I can feel it.” said Harry, as they reached the statue.
Sirius and Draco’s jaw’s dropped as the demeanor of the normally passive, innocent boy took a dangerous turn, and he smirked at both of them as he backed off into the corridor.
“Oh no you don’t, Harry!” Draco shouted, leaping forward to tackle his lover. Harry opened his mouth, but no spell came to mind. In fact, he could only remember a single spell, Wingardium Leviosa, a spell Tom showed him once, not too long ago.
The force of the boy plowing into him knocked the wand from his hand before he could react, and he hissed out in anger as the older man advanced, spitting out in parseltongue for him to stay away.
Lucius was having a grand time. His wand was ablaze with fury, and three of his adversaries had fallen to their knees from it, as he drove through the line of fire. He listened carefully to the shrill voice calling out for assistance to the Ministry from a nearby fireplace, and laughed hardily.
The Ministry was theirs. Even the aurors were made to stay away.
He pointed his wand in Minerva McGonagall’s direction and stunned her quickly into unconsciousness. She fell to the floor in a heap, as tears ran off her flushed cheeks. Her hands balled were into fists, clutching her wand.
“I wasn’t aware we were taking prisoners...” Snape commented, staring down at the woman.
“I’m not killing old McGonagall!” said Lucius. “I had a crush on her in third- It’s none of your business, Snape, get away from her!” He quickly shielded her with his body and shooed the slimy potions master away with a glare that would intimidate the Dark Lord himself.
Lord Voldemort walked quickly. No one paid him any attention, and he centered himself on the magic looming closer to him. Albus Dumbledore was near, and focusing himself on the Dark Lord’s own magic as a guide, as well.
Voldemort threw off his cloak and held his wand up to his face as the old Headmaster appeared before him, standing alone and looking more frail than he could ever remember.
“Tom Riddle, I implore you to stop the attack on my school. You cannot possibly wish to harm hundreds of innocent students who reside in a school that trained you as a wizard. Please, think of their lives.” said Albus, holding his wand up over his own face, prepared for battle.
Voldemort sneered. His jaw clenched as the storm of ferocity overcame his senses. “I am not Riddle. I am Lord Voldemort.- And I have no intentions on killing little children, Albus... Just you.” he replied. “When you lay dead at my feet, Britain will be mine.”
“I may have failed Harry, but I won’t leave this world in your hands without a fight!” shouted Albus, as he jerked his wand forward then, pointing it directly at Voldemort.
Tom mimicked his move and concentrated directly on his boy, pulling needed power from him. He sidestepped the deadly Avada Kedavra curse thrown his way, and fell to the floor, keeping his wand out in front of him.
The energy surged through his veins as the boy’s magic hit him, and he gritted his teeth as he accepted it into him. His eyes flashed deadly crimson and he screamed the curse at the old man with every figment of his being.
A blinding flash of green light erupted from his wand, knocking him back against the stone bricks as it filled the room. His ruby eyes regained focus and he looked into the corridor with an evil smile.
It was done.
“It’s happening again...” said Draco, looking extremely worried as the boy in Sirius’ arms gasped for breath in-between screams. His scar had burst open with a splatter of blood moments before, and his back was arched to the breaking point.
“This is killing him... We have to get him away from here, far away.” replied Sirius, as they closed in on the Whomping Willow.
Charlie spotted their forms approaching quickly and reached out with his hand, punching the knot at the base of the tree.
They ran as quickly as they could to the Shrieking Shack, and collapsed from exhaustion the moment they saw the four familiar faces greeting them excitedly.
Hermione instantly ran to Harry’s side, cleaning his face and smoothing his hair back. Ron sat wearily by as Draco and Sirius spouted off about the lack of remembrance from the boy, and confessed.
“He used a memory charm.” he said reluctantly. “Dumbledore did. When Harry was speaking in parseltongue, and he couldn’t make him stop. He thought it would help, because the disapparation wards fell inside the school.”
“He remembers Voldemort! How is that?” Draco asked in anger.
“He remembers his master because that’s how your Lord thought it should be.” said a deep, icy voice, coming from the door behind them all.
Severus Snape appeared from the shadows then, grinning evilly over the small crowd. “Sirius... how displeased our Lord will be when he finds out you’ve harbored members of the Order from him.” he said, scanning over the three Weasley boys, stopping at Hermione.
Sirius and Remus glared back at the slimy Death Eater. “Voldemort has no need for these people. There’s nothing wrong with them using the protection of this building.”
“Give me the boy. Voldemort has asked that I return him to the manor personally, and that you and the werewolf return to the castle to tie up the last of the loose ends.” said Snape, walking towards Harry. “The battle is over, Dumbledore is dead.”
The loud, shrieking gasps that filled the room were music to the potions master’s ears, and he smiled brightly as he lifted Harry into his arms. “Bring these four up to the castle. They are to be arrested on Voldemort’s direct orders.” he said, cocking his head towards the four Orders.
Sirius shook his head in disbelief. “No.” he managed, feeling his heart rate increase dramatically under his robe. “I won’t.”
Remus paced himself, dropping down on all fours. Snape’s back was to him now, and all he could think of doing was attacking the man full force and ripping the jugular from his throat.
Draco stood next to Sirius then, and shook his head slightly. “I was there, Snape. Voldemort said they could leave, they were safe if they didn’t involve themselves in the battle. What are you playing at, exactly?” he said watching through narrowed eyes, staring at the lifeless boy in his arms.
“Voldemort said I could have them. The two younger ones, at least. They are mine now; to do with as I please, so long as I don‘t kill them. I have no idea what he’ll do to the other two. There was no deal for their lives...” boasted Snape with an evil smirk.
Draco turned his eyes to Hermione then, who was crouching to the side of the Death Eater. He cocked a half-grin and arched an eyebrow at her. “Remember what I told you earlier?” he asked, and she nodded, pulling her wand free from the folds of her uniform.
Snape whirled around with wide eyes, but it was too late. Hermione stood up quickly and held out the beautiful piece of wood in front of her. “Stupefy!” she shouted, and Snape fell back instantly with Harry landing over his chest.
“This brings back old memories...” Ron commented, helping Draco peel the stunned teacher’s claws from their friend. “What are we going to do now? You three are going to get into a lot of trouble.”
Harry stirred, and tried to dislodge himself from the hands holding him. Draco let out a slight whimper as the boy’s dead eyes looked back at him.
“Let go of me.” he said sharply, digging his nails into the blonde’s hands.
Sirius’ breathing was ragged as he felt the mark on his left arm pulsate with pain.
“He’s coming,” whispered Harry, looking up at everyone with a wicked grin, “my master’s coming for me. He’ll make you let me go.”
Making a command decision then, Sirius knew what they had to do. He wouldn’t go back. He wouldn’t let Snape have Ron and Hermione. Charlie and Bill were not going to die. Remus and Draco would not get punished for helping innocent people... and Harry will never go back to the Dark Lord...
“Pull out your wands. All of you.” Sirius said then, walking over to Remus, entwining his arm with his own. “Charlie, please take Draco. Bill, you take Harry. Ron, take Hermione. Apparate to Diagon Alley. We’ll figure out what to do there.”
An unnatural explosion, and sounds of several people entering the passage resounded into the room then. Everyone jumped in fright, looking to each other with ghastly apprehension. Bill grabbed Harry around the waist and held up his wand. Draco ran over to Charlie’s side as fast as he could, clutching his hand. Ron gripped Hermione’s arm, as she clutched onto Crookshanks, and the ginger haired boy raised his wand up.
Harry screamed, feeling his Lord’s presence closing in on him. “No! He‘s coming for me! Please, let me go!” he shouted, struggling furiously in the grip holding him back from his love. “Tom! Help me!”
“Apparate now!” shouted Sirius, and the very second Lord Voldemort and his followers entered the room... they were gone.
The Dark Lord heaved in a furious breath. “NO!” he screamed into the thin air- as the only thing he ever loved disappeared before his eyes. He fell to his knees, and bowed his head.
I miss you more than you’ll ever know. It’s so strange... lives being shifted in so many directions over the views of others. I’m starting to feel a bit of relaxation now, but it’s always in the back of my head that we may meet our ends at any moment.
I hope father is well. I heard he’s the new Minister if Magic. Tell him I said ‘congratulations’. I miss him so much sometimes, I find myself crying when thoughts of him drift through my mind. Please remind him again that none of this is his fault. If I could change the past, I would be home with you both right now.
Harry is trying to adjust. He’s not exactly pleasant, but we‘re learning to live with him. The first few weeks were a nightmare, but I don‘t really want to go into that now. We’re teaching him about the past, though he’s still very reluctant to listen. Instead, he sits in the windows all afternoon, watching the clouds most of the time. He still doesn’t like me, but at least he hasn‘t tried to kill me in over a week. I love him so much, I’m willing to wait a lifetime for him to remember me. Yes, it’s worth it, mum.
I will write again once we’ve settled in. It’s so difficult to adjust with so many of us here. Our tempers get the better of us at times, especially between Ron and myself. Luckily, Remus and Sirius are wonderful diplomats, and can almost always handle any situation that erupts.
I hope we stay here. It’s very pleasant, and large enough for the eight of us. I wish I could tell you all about it, but of course, I can‘t. The air is clean, and the sky is blue over our heads, and that‘s good enough for me. It’s unplottable, so tell father not to waste his time, and to take good care of you while I’m gone. I know I’ll see you both again someday, so keep me in your hearts. I am doing that with both of you, it helps. Always remember that I love you both with all that I have.
Your son, Draco
Draco stood up from his desk and rolled the parchment up with his fingers. He glanced over to the boy sitting in the window one last time. A sad smile crossed his lips then, as he left the room to send his letter off.
Harry looked back as the door closed, and returning his gaze to the open air of the large bay window he sat at. He blushed, and smiled coyly to himself.
“Yes, I remember.” he whispered. He looked off over the landscape, noting details, colours.
“There’s a mountain off to the west. It’s covered in snow. I can hear a river flowing in the distance, but I’ve never seen it. The air is warm right now, but a cool breeze flows over our château every now and then.”
He nodded to himself then, and closed his eyes, letting the air brush the black strands of unruly hair off his forehead. His scar was pink, and he touched it, rubbing it with his fingers to stop the tickle it was causing.
“I know you will, and I‘ll be waiting,” he said, as he closed the window and climbed into his bed, to dream of his love.