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version 3.0 ~ Punishment? - TrippinUpStairs

-Punishment?-

  • Chapter One

    “Potter! What do you think you’re doing?” Snape’s menacing voice echoed around the dungeons.

    “Making a Shrinking Potion, Sir.”

    “Is that so? Well perhaps you should not let your attention stray so easily. You should be watching your cauldron instead of chattering to those two... things sitting next to you.”

    Harry fumed. Snape and his sodding Slytherins. Things. Things! How dare he refer to Ron and Hermione like that. Harry glared at Snape. He still had not yet come to terms with the fact that he was on their side. How could someone so nasty and devious be on the “good” side? It was hard to imagine he was fighting for the same cause as Harry. Even after the rather unexpected way in which it finally dawned upon him that this was in fact the case, it was still hard for him to comprehend. It was in his fourth year, after the Triwizard Tournament, when he was back in the hospital wing after visiting the graveyard. In the process of trying to convince Fudge that Lord Voldemort had, indeed returned Snape had marched up to him to bare his left forearm to the Minister. It was quite a shocking experience, for all present.

    Harry's eyes floated over Snape's desk noticing his cauldron bubbling heatedly, threatening to boil over. Harry opened his mouth, not even attempting to bite back his remark.

    “Well perhaps,” Harry said in an oily voice, resembling quite shockingly one greasy-haired Potions Master. “You should be keeping you’re attention on you’re cauldron instead of on me.” Snape’s eyes snapped to the large, black cauldron sitting on his desk. He shot to his feet, wand at the ready. He muttered what must have been a cooling spell and returned his gaze to Harry, eyes glinting maliciously.

    “Potter, you’re insufferable ego will not be tolerated in this class.” He paused, allowing a chance for the Slytherins to snigger loudly. “Get up the front, now!”

    Harry’s cheeks flushed red with anger. Although he knew his best option would have been to remain silent, he could not help himself. He could not resist such a tempting situation to witness the Potions Master flustered. Even if it were for just a few brief seconds. He shifted his gaze from Snape’s jaunt face to the desks at the front of the room. His heart sank. There was one spare space and it was next to the one and only….

    “Malfoy, I’m sure would be able to teach you a thing or two in the art of potion-making.” Snape sneered, indicating to the blonde sitting in the front row.

    Emerald eyes locked with grey. Harry began packing his books into his bag, all the while watching those grey eyes taunting him, a triumphant smirk etched upon his pale face, as he slowly tapped the desk beside him.

    Harry slumped into his new seat, avoiding Malfoy’s piercing stare. After re-lighting the fire for his cauldron he resumed cutting ingredients for his potion. His eyes were fixed on his hands completing their task, but his mind couldn’t have been further away. He was still seething with fury, the injustice of it all made his stomach knot. He was utterly sick of being bullied in this class. Of being humiliated in front of the Slytherins. He knew it would never end, not until he left Hogwarts. Snape simply enjoyed seeing the anger rise in his face, seeing his eyes flare. His hands trembled with anger, making it near impossible to cut his lacewing flies.

    “So, Potter. How’s you’re scar going?” Malfoy asked, his typical drawl wafting into Harry’s ears. He focused all of his attention on ignoring Malfoy, not wanting to endure a detention with Snape, who had obviously placed him in this seat in the hope of doing just that. Harry’s hands continued to make his potion with him being totally unaware of what they were actually doing.

    “No twinges lately?” Malfoy seemed to be still harping on about the articles written in the Daily Prophet more than a year ago. “Because you know, I really would like to be the first to know when it hurts. I’d like to be the first one there when the Dark Lord decides to kill some mudbloods.” Malfoy kept his voice low, leaning in close to speak into Harry’s ear. Harry kept his eyes on the desk.

    “I thought the Mark on you’re arm would be the first thing to let you know when Voldemort decides to commit murder.” Malfoy recoiled at the sound of the Dark Lord’s name. He quickly regained his composure, his sneer instantly returning to his face.

    “You know very well I haven’t got any mark on my arm.” He spat his words at Harry, his voice low and deadly. Harry smirked. He certainly did know. He had gone to the prefects bathroom the previous night. Harry had convienently persuaded Ron to tell him the password without Hermione knowing. Ron didn't need much persuading. In fact the conversation as he recalled was somewhat like this.

    “Ron, whats the password to the prefects bathroom?”

    “Why?”

    “Because I want a shower.”

    “Oh, alright then. It's Apple Shampoo.”

    Actually, there was no persuading involved. But when he had arrived it was to find a half-naked Malfoy who was in the process of dressing after his shower. Harry had noted his totally Mark free forearm, among many other things mind you. He had made a comment about how good his arm looked without a horrid skull burnt there before he turned abruptly to leave before Malfoy had a chance to reply.

    “Five minutes.” Snape’s voice forced Harry out of his thoughts. His eyes shot to his cauldron. He was certain he hadn’t made his potion correctly. He hadn’t paid any attention to what he had been doing. He stood up, pretending to peer into his cauldron, but stood up on tipi-toes to get a look at what Malfoy’s potion was like. Green, thick liquid was slowly bubbling in his cauldron. He looked back at his own potion. Well, his kind of, maybe, just a little bit looked like that. It was definitely green and definitely thick. But his was bubbling quite a bit more rapidly than Malfoy’s. Harry cursed, while noticing that his was also a different shade of green. It was barely noticeable but after looking from one potion to the other for some time he was able to distinguish a distinct difference.

    “Silence.” A hush fell over the class with the sound of Snape’s voice. “Now the difference between this Shrinking Potion and the Shrinking Potions you have studied in previous years is that this one is, in fact, designed for human consumption. You will put a ladle of you’re potion into your beakers.”

    The class set to work once more. Harry ladled his potion into his beaker, his hands shaking slightly at the thought of how the potion would affect him when forced to drink it.

    Harry noticed Malfoy’s beaker sitting beside his cauldron, containing the correct potion. His eyes moved to Malfoy who had his back to Harry, hastily trying to help Crabbe correct his potion. After a few seconds of running the consequences of what he was about to do through his mind, he came to the conclusion that whatever they were he was prepared to risk it. So seizing this delightful opportunity he, very slyly, swapped his beaker with Malfoy’s then leant back in his seat and waited, a smirk etched across his face.

    “If you have indeed completed this Potion correctly, which I am sure very few of you have,” Snape shot Harry a deadly look. “You should shrink to about the size of you’re quills.” A wave of whispers broke out over the class. “I have the antidote to restore you to full size.” His eyes moved menacingly over the room, stopping briefly on Neville, then Harry.

    “Perhaps today we will have someone demonstrate how this Potion is supposed to function, instead of rushing people off to the Hospital Wing immediately.” Snape stepped down from his desk, a vile of blood red liquid in his hand. “Malfoy, would you be so kind.”

    Malfoy shot Harry a smirk, picked up his beaker (or should I say Harry’s beaker) and downed the whole thing in one gulp.

    Harry was simply bursting. He couldn’t believe his luck. Snape had chosen Malfoy to go first. Usually by the time it got around to the Slytherin’s turns to take their potions the whole class was already preoccupied with the different side effects they were suffering. But now, the whole class was focused on Malfoy.

    A rippling sound passed over the room, like the sound of wind dancing through the air. Malfoy stood up, clutching his stomach. His chair fell to the ground with a clatter. There was a loud popping sound and the space where Malfoy had been standing was now empty.

    Harry’s eyes shot to the floor and his heart nearly stopped at what they saw. Malfoy had indeed shrunk. Harry was looking down into a pair of stormy grey eyes, tears welling up at the sides. He was staring down at what appeared to be the figure of a 5 year old Malfoy....

  • Chapter Two

  • Harry’s mouth fell open as he took in the scene. Malfoy was crouched on the floor, his extremely large clothes hanging off him. His hair was slicked back and he was staring intently up at Harry, fear evident in his young eyes.

    The class was deathly silent. Harry couldn’t drag his eyes away from Malfoy. His heart gave a jerk as guilt swept over him. Before there was a chance to feel the full extent of his guilt Snape's voice pierced the air.

    “WHAT HAS HAPPENED HERE?” Snape bellowed, obviously as shocked as the rest of the class to find his favourite student sitting on the floor, some 11 years younger than when he had arrived.

    “WHAT DID YOU DO POTTER?” Snape said leering at him. How predictable, Snape was going to blame him. Even though it was his fault, but Snape didn’t know that.

    “Nothing.” Harry said defiantly. Snape eyed him suspiciously.

    “Draco,” He said in a softer voice. The little blonde boy looked up at Snape, tears streaming down his cheeks. Harry felt a twinge of sympathy for him. Being thrust into a Potions class with Snape at the age of 5 would be a terrifying experience for anyone.

    “I think you should come outside with me, OK?” Malfoy nodded and tried to stand up. He was stumbling and tripping on his over-sized clothing. Without thinking Harry put out his hand and caught the back of Malfoy’s robes to steady the young boy.

    “Potter, your presence will be required.” Snape’s eyes moved over the class. “Any silliness in here while I’m gone and I will make sure you regret it.” He gave them all an icy stare before directing the small child from the room.

    Harry looked around at his classmates who had remained silent the entire time. He started to make his way to the door. His mind was frozen.

    “Don’t worry mate.” He heard Ron say as he passed his desk. “That slimy git can’t pin this on you.” Harry gave him a weak smile. He wasn’t so sure.

    Harry stepped out into the Hall to be faced with a murderous looking Snape.

    “I know you had something to do with this Potter.” Snape was positively fuming. Harry guessed his best bet was to keep his mouth shut. “I don’t care about the evidence I lack, I know this is your fault and you will be punished.” Harry, forgetting his earlier conviction of silence, opened his mouth to protest. Snape continued before he had a chance, which was rather lucky for Harry.

    “You do realise that Malfoy will be stuck like this for 2 weeks before I can acquire the appropriate antidote. There is a chance he will change back naturally before then, but I doubt that very much.” Snape turned and began marching down the hall, beckoning Harry and Malfoy to follow.

    Malfoy was finding it very difficult to follow quickly as his robe was tripping him up with every step he took. The child had remained silent, which Harry thought was rather odd. Harry, feeling sorry for the young Malfoy, stopped in his tracks.

    “Wait Sir.” Harry called to Snape, bending down to remove Malfoy’s robe. He then rolled the bottoms of his pants up and Malfoy grinned up at him.

    “Thanks.” He said brightly. Harry's eyes grew wide in surprise. Malfoy just thanked him. Even though it was the five year old Malfoy, it was still a shocking occurrence.

    “Anytime.” He finally managed to say before they both turned to see Snape glaring at them, an element of shock evident on his pale face. He began striding down the hall again.

    “What’s your name?” Malfoy asked, almost running to keep up with him.

    “Harry.”

    “I’m Draco.”

    “Nice to meet you Draco.” Harry wasn’t quite sure how to behave. He felt extremely uncomfortable being re-introduced to his arch-nemesis, and actually saying his name for the first time felt strange. But he couldn’t bring himself to be rude to a 5-year-old, no matter who it was.

    “Where are we?”

    “Hogwarts.”

    “What?” Malfoy almost yelled. “I’m not suppose to be here until I’m 11. What’s going on?”

    “I’m not exactly sure.” Harry said unsure of what he should tell him. He thought it would be best if he changed the subject at any rate. “How old are you?”

    Malfoy turned to him, a smile spreading across his lips. He held up his hand in front of his face, counting the fingers.

    “Five.” He said proudly, his chest swelling as he turned to look back down the hall. Harry had to stifle a laugh. He was so little and cute. Harry couldn’t believe Malfoy had been such an adorable child. It seemed he had stumbled upon the Malfoy before he had been tainted by his Father's ideals and the lure of Dark Arts.

    “How old are you?”

    “Sixteen.”

    “Whoa! I wonder what I’ll be like when I’m that old.” He said enthusiastically. “I wonder if I’ll be as big as you.” He said gazing admirably up at Harry.

    “I think you will be just as big as me, if not bigger.”

    “Really?” Malfoy was looking extremely pleased with himself.

    “Really.” Harry confirmed.

    They continued down the Hall in relevant silence. They rounded a corner to find Snape mounting a staircase. Harry followed Snape’s lead and began walking quickly up the stairs. He turned when he heard the soft pitter-patter of bare feet on stone. His eyes fell upon Malfoy, struggling up the stairs. His jumper was almost tripping him over and his sleeves, which he had to repeatedly push up his arm, were causing him a lot of trouble. Harry descended a couple of stairs and waited for Malfoy to catch up. When they met on the same step Malfoy reached out for Harry’s hand. Harry stiffened at his touch. But as soon as he looked down into those innocent eyes he smiled warmly before continuing slowly up the stairs. This certainly would have made an amusing picture. Draco Malfoy, grasping at Harry Potter's hand for help. Harry was sure if the 16 year old Malfoy were watching he would be violently ill.

    “I think I have the perfect punishment for you Potter.” Snape's voice rang through the empty hall. His eyes narrowed when they fell upon Malfoy’s hand in Harry’s. “And I think Dumbledore will find it very appropriate.”

    This rather abrupt statement from Snape sent Harry’s mind racing. What kind of punishment, which Snape thought was perfect would Dumbledore possibly agree to?

    “Punishment?” Malfoy said looking worried. “What did you do?” He whispered.

    “It’s a long story.” Harry said weakly.

    The rather unusual trio halted at a stone gargoyle.

    “Cockroach Cluster.” Snape said resentfully, obviously annoyed with Dumbledore’s choice of password. The gargoyle leaped out of the way and the wall parted in two, revealing a staircase. Harry led Malfoy onto the revolving staircase and up to Dumbledore's office.

    They were greeted by the sound of snoring. Malfoy gazed around the circular room. Harry led him further inside. They stopped just short of Dumbledore’s desk and Harry focused his attention on the old man sitting behind it, peering at them over his half-moon spectacles. Harry felt a sense of reassurance at the sight of his Headmaster. He was positive Dumbledore would never agree to anything too horrible as a punishment.

    Dumbledore’s eyes floated over Harry, then to the small child whose hand was still in Harry’s. He paused, smiling, taking in the sight before him. His now amused eyes then moved to a positively irate Snape.

    “Mr. Potter, Mr. Malfoy, Severus…how may I help you?”

    “There was…. an occurrence in Potions today. However I do not believe it to be an accident.” Snape had moved forward and was now standing beside Dumbledore’s desk. “Potter, here, has caused Malfoy to….” But he was interrupted.

    “Yes, yes, I can see that Severus. The question is, what are we to do about it?”

    “An antidote cannot be made for two weeks. There is a slight chance he will change back before then but I doubt it considering the amount of Shrinking Potion Potter shoved down his throat.”

    “I didn’t shove anything down his throat.” Harry cut in, his eyes alight with anger once more. Snape chose to ignore him.

    “Perhaps, if you two,” Dumbledore said smiling at Malfoy and Harry. “Would like to wait outside while I discuss a few things with Professor Snape.” Harry nodded and led Malfoy back out of the office.

    Harry was itching to know what punishment they had in store for him. But what was bothering him more was what was going to happen with Malfoy. Harry slumped against the door, leaning his head back against the hard wood, shutting his eyes tightly and letting a long sigh escape his mouth. A second later Harry heard another sigh. He opened his eyes slowly and looked down at his side to find Malfoy in exactly the same stance as him. A grin erupted over his face. Malfoy was copying him, he, Harry Potter. It was enough to lighten anyone’s day.

    Harry soon heard his name being called from inside the room. He opened the door and moved to stand in front of Dumbledore’s desk once more.

    “Lemon drop?” Dumbledore asked as they entered the room.

    “Yes please.” Malfoy said looking very pleased.

    “Ahhh Draco, I knew someone had to share my liking for these eventually. By the way, I’m Albus, I don’t believe we’ve met.” Dumbledore held out his hand for Malfoy to shake. Malfoy took it, eyeing the packet of lemon drops in Dumbledore’s other hand.

    “I’m Draco Malfoy. Pleased to meet you.”

    “The pleasures all mine.” Dumbledore said brightly holding the packet for Malfoy to take one. Just as Malfoy had his hand inside the packet Fawkes gave a dignified hoot from his perch behind Dumbledore’s desk. Malfoy’s eyes shot up to the source of the sound. His eyes grew large.

    “Wow!” He said sounding taken aback. “It’s a phoenix!”

    “Yes it is.” Dumbledore indicated for Malfoy to join him on the other side of the desk.

    “Draco, this is Fawkes.”

    “Wow.” Draco said again, reaching out to pat it.

    Harry stood in front of the desk, waiting as patiently as he could while Dumbledore was telling Malfoy about Fawkes, offering him a whole assortment of sweets while doing so. Dumbledore soon returned his attention to Harry after being certain that Malfoy was well and truly occupied.

    “Sit Harry.” Dumbledore indicated to a chair. Harry obliged. “Professor Snape seems to think you had something to do with this mishap.” He paused, to let Harry explain. Harry said nothing. He couldn’t bring himself to lie to Dumbledore. But somehow Harry knew that his silence, his lack of defending himself in the face of punishment, was all Dumbledore needed to guess that perhaps Harry did have something to do with it. He continued,

    “He therefore believes and appropriate punishment is in order. It seems that young Draco will be like this for some time but we still think he should remain at the school. Being as young as he is, he will need someone to take care of him. Entertain him. He seems to have taken quite a liking to you already Harry and although I don’t really see how this as punishment, but we, that is Professor Snape and I, think you should be the one to take care of him.” Harry’s jaw fell open. Two weeks of constant Malfoy. Harry had never had to take care of anyone, especially someone so young. What was he supposed to do? What about his friends, they might not like Malfoy hanging around with them all the time. What about classes, and the fact that the Gryffindors would have a fit if they had a Slytherin hanging in their midst.

    “Wh-what about school?”

    “Well your exempt from classes for the next two days, so you can get to know each other again. Then you will be required to attend classes after that as normal. Draco of course will join you. I think we can trust him not to make too much of a disruption, so long as he’s occupied.” Dumbledore turned to look at Draco who was still ogling Fawkes, his mouth full of sweets.

    “I will of course have to discuss it with the rest of my staff, but I’m sure it will be fine. We have a room where you two can stay. It’s in the dungeons, near Professor Snape’s rooms. All your meals will be brought to you there for the next two days. I think it’s best if Draco stays out of the sight of the other students for a couple of days. It might be best to allow the gossip to spread naturally through the school, as I’m sure it will. But after that you can bring him to the Great Hall for all meals.” Dumbledore’s eyes twinkled at Harry. He was obviously enjoying this ‘punishment’. “Now if you don’t mind, I want a word with Draco.”

    Harry and Snape were ushered out of the office. Harry stood in the Hall glaring at Professor Snape who looked extremely smug. Harry was still undecided about just how much of a punishment this was going to be. Malfoy, as a 5-year-old, was very likeable. And Harry had always liked the idea of having a younger brother. He figured he might as well make the most of this situation. He would not let Snape have the satisfaction of believing he was imposing some horrible punishment on him. No, he would make certain he made Snape aware that he was actually going to have fun. That he was going to get along with Malfoy and treat him like it were his little brother.

    His thoughts were interrupted when he saw Malfoy appear from the staircase.

    “What happened to you’re clothes?” Harry asked, noticing they now fit him perfectly.

    “Albus fixed them for me.” Harry smiled at Malfoy addressing Dumbledore by his first name. “He’s nice isn’t he? He’s got great sweets.” From Malfoy’s bulging pockets, it seemed Dumbledore had made sure he was well stocked up before he left.

    “He says you’re going to be my friend for a while.” Malfoy looked down at his feet.

    “But I told him I wanted you to be my friend forever.” He looked up hopefully into Harry’s eyes. Harry swallowed hard. He glanced at Snape who looked as if he was enjoying himself.

    “Of course you can.” Harry said weakly. He looked into Malfoy’s innocent grey eyes. He cleared his throat. “We can be friends for as long as you like.” He finished, sounding more sure of himself.

    “Great!” Malfoy beamed up at him.

    “As entertaining as this is,” Snape’s oily voice slid through the air around them. “I do have a class to get back to. Follow me.”

    The room in which Harry and Malfoy were staying was as large as Harry’s dorm he shared with his Gryffindor friends. There was an open fire with a black, leather three-seater couch in front of it. There were two four-poster beds, a wooden bedside dresser for each. There was a small wooden table accompanied by two wooden chairs. There were no windows. Harry really hadn’t expected any as they were deep within the Castle.

    As Harry moved further into the room he noticed his trunk and all his things were already at the foot of his bed. There was another trunk at the end of the other bed. Harry wasn’t sure why they had brought Malfoy’s trunk here. None of his clothes would fit him and he doubted that any of his other possessions would interest the young Malfoy.

    Harry flopped down on his bed.

    “So, Ma-Draco, what do you want to do?” Draco, who had followed Harry closely at his heels into the room, jumped on the bed beside Harry, watching him intently. Harry sat up, running a hand through his hair.

    “I dunno. What do you normally do?”

    “Well I’d normally be in class. But now I’m hanging out with you instead.” Harry turned to face him and smiled down at the small, blonde boy. Malfoy gasped and his eyes grew wide. He reached a hand up to Harry’s face and ran his small, pale fingers over the scar on his forehead. He looked totally awe-struck.

    “You’re, you’re Harry Potter aren’t you?” Harry nodded. There was no point trying to deny it, he had never denied who he truly was. But he wasn’t sure he liked this Malfoy knowing who he was.

    “I thought you were the same age as me. That’s what my Father told me.” Harry inhaled sharply. How was he supposed to explain this to him? Before he was given the agony of an explanation Malfoy continued.

    “But he also said you were a horrible boy who should be….” He stopped mid-sentence. “But he was wrong about that. So maybe he got you’re age wrong too.” He grinned up at Harry once more, kicking his legs over the side of the bed happily.

    “Do you like exploding snap?” Harry asked, getting up to rummage through his trunk.

    “Of course I do! I never get to play with anyone fun though.” Harry found the deck of cards in his trunk and moved across the room to sit between the couch and the fire on the floor. He had never thought that Malfoy would ever be lonely as a child. That he would have no one to play with. He looked so excited to be actually playing a game with someone. Harry shook his head, bringing himself out of his thoughts as he began to deal the cards.

    The rest of the day passed rather quickly. Harry had been nervous around the young boy at first. He had never had to look after a child. He never really had much contact with anyone that young so he was unsure of how to behave around him. He was slowly getting the hang of it though. But the fact that this young child was his sworn enemy was making it that bit more difficult. They had continued playing exploding snap, Malfoy nearly squealing with excitement when the cards were propelled into the air. His gleeful smile and carefree laugh, which Harry had never seen glimpse of before, were a nice change from his usual sneer. Harry conveniently let Malfoy win the majority of games, just to see his happy, triumphant smile. Only when their lunch arrived, which was brought by Dobby, did they cease playing. Malfoy had made quite a commotion about Dobby being at Hogwarts with him. Dobby, who had obviously been informed of the situation by Dumbledore, talked to the young boy before leaving the room, obviously familiar with the young child from when he served at the Malfoy Manor.

    The afternoon passed quicker than their morning together and it was quite late when Harry realised that Malfoy should be in bed, being as young as he was.

    “Come on, time for bed.” Harry said, watching Malfoy from across the Chessboard. Harry had been trying to teach him how to play, being the only other game he owned. They were currently sprawled out on the ground in front of the fire. Malfoy had enjoyed watching the pieces being obliterated by the other pieces in the game. In fact, he didn’t really understand what was going on in the game, he just wanted see pieces smashed apart.

    Harry pushed himself up of the ground and stood up. He looked down at Malfoy, who was lying on his stomach still watching the chessboard. He was apparently figuring out a way to see a piece be smashed, be it his piece or Harry’s.

    “Come on Draco. It’s 9:00. I doubt you’re Father would allow you up this late.” With the mention of his father, Malfoy looked up from the board.

    “He doesn’t let me do much.” He grumbled as he got to his feet. Then the pressing issue of pyjamas entered Harry’s mind. Malfoy only had what he was wearing. Opening the trunk at the end of Malfoy’s bed Harry found a pair of green pyjamas sitting on top. To his great surprise they were in Malfoy’s size. It appeared everything else in there was also in his size. Dumbledore, Harry thought as he laid out the pyjamas on the bed. He had obviously transfigured everything to fit the five-year-old.

    “Put these on then hop into bed.” Harry ordered. Malfoy trudged over to the bed and began unbuttoning his robes. He obviously was not happy with the prospect of bed but to Harry’s great relief he did not complain.

    When Malfoy was tucked in, Harry extinguished all the lamps except for one that was on the table. Deciding he might as well do the homework he had been neglecting, which had grown steadily into a gigantic pile over the past two weeks. The two days off with Malfoy would be helpful to get his work up to scratch.

    After churning through essay after essay without any interruptions it was now well past midnight. Harry stretched his arms high above his head, his chair creaking under him. He was about to write a conclusion for his Charms essay before he went to bed when he heard a slight whimper coming from Malfoy’s bed. Malfoy started to shift in his bed. His movements were becoming more violent by the second and soon he was thrashing around under his sheets, whimpering fearfully. Harry stood abruptly from the table and moved across the room to sit on the side of his bed.

    “Draco.” Harry whispered, gently shaking the small boy. “Draco, wake up. Wake up!”

    Malfoy’s eyes snapped open, tears streaming down his cheeks.

    “Draco are you alright?” Harry asked, his voice sounding extremely worried. Harry reached out a hand to smooth the blonde hair off the boy’s forehead. Malfoy turned sharply from Harry, averting his face to the darkness of the room. Harry was quite taken aback by this abrupt gesture. He wasn’t sure how to react.

    “Draco,” He said again, his voice hesitant. Malfoy hid his face in his hands, muttering something Harry could not understand. “Draco.” Harry said more firmly, reaching out to take Malfoy’s hand away from his face.

    “Don’t!” The boy sobbed. “I don’t want you to see me cry. Go away.”

    Harry looked down at the small form, huddled beneath the blankets. He felt rather perplexed by his outburst.

    “It’s ok Draco. Everyone cries. I don’t care if you do.”

    “It’s not ok. Father says it’s weak to let something stupid like a dream scare me. Fear is weakness.”

    Harry was thoroughly shocked. He was hearing these words from a 5-year-old boy. ‘Fear is weakness’ was obviously something he had heard his Father say more than once. Harry put a hand on Malfoy’s shoulder, turning him around to face him, gently prying his hands away from his face. Harry brushed the tears away from his cheeks, looking into those scared, young eyes.

    “Everyone has nightmares Draco. And when they seem real of course you will get frightened. Anyone would.” His sobbing was slowly subsiding. He blinked his eyes up at Harry.

    “Do you?” He said hoarsely.

    “Yes. All the time.” Harry admitted. He had never really told anyone about his frequent nightmares. “And I too wake up scared. It’s not just you Draco. Don’t be ashamed. Fear is not weakness.”

    Malfoy smiled up at Harry, his eyes drooping with tiredness.

    “Go back to sleep now, everything is ok.” Harry smiled warmly.

    “Will you stay with me?” Malfoy asked shyly. “Of course.” Harry pulled the blankets back up around Malfoy, who snuggled back down into his bed. He stretched out his hand and it came to rest on top of Harry’s. Harry tensed again, with the unfamiliar contact. He soon relaxed and took the small hand in his, offering Malfoy the comfort he needed to fall back to sleep.

  • Chapter Three

  • “Harry!” Harry felt a weight jump onto his mattress. He rolled over opening his sleep-filled eyes. He could just make out the blurry figure of a small child, with white blonde hair. He sat up, rubbing his eyes and reached for his glasses. As the room came into focus the memories of the previous day came flooding back.

    “Good morning Mal-Draco.” He still had not got used to using his enemy's given name. He figured it would take a while for it to become an automatic response.

    “Morning.” Malfoy beamed at him. “Dobby brought us breakfast.” Harry looked over at the table which was set for two and laden with food.

    Now both dressed and sitting at the table Harry began loading up his plate. He did the same for Malfoy's, taking the time to cut up his bacon and eggs into bite size pieces for the young child. While Malfoy started on his breakfast Harry pulled a piece of parchment from his pile of books and wrote a note to Ron and Hermione explaining his situation and that he would see them at breakfast tomorrow. He was grateful Hedwig had been brought down to their room because he knew it would be too risky to go and see them in person or going to the Owlery without people seeing Malfoy. Hedwig hooted and flew into the fireplace and up the chimney.

    Harry returned his attention to his plate as his stomach gave a grumble. Malfoy giggled with a mouth full of food. Harry looked up and found that he had obviouisly been devouring his meal with much enthusiam. There was food scattered around his plate on the table and his fork was poised in midair, a look of upmost concentration on the small child's face, balancing a piece of bacon on the way to his mouth. Harry grinned happily and started eating.

    After waiting until all Hogwarts students would be well and truly at their classes, Harry and Malfoy left their room to venture to the library. Harry had decided over breakfast that he better start finding things to entertain Malfoy during class. Malfoy was most excited to be leaving the room and wandering the halls of the Castle. It was with much persuasion on Harry's behalf to get Malfoy to walk quickly to the Library. He was content in stopping at almost every statue and door to give it a thorough look over. Harry had just grabbed the back of Malfoy's robes on many occasions when he would try to peer through a door to get a look at the students inside. He found the staircases rather exciting. Although the first moving one they came across gave him a scare resulting in him clinging to Harry's leg. But after the initial shock he was able to enjoy them.

    Finally arriving at their destination they were greeted with an empty Library. Madam Pince looked rather disgruntled to have students at this time of the day but when she saw it was Harry and Malfoy her mood softened. She helped them find numerous story books, Harry was quite surprised that the Library had these kind of books but there was a small section contaning children's books. Malfoy liked the pop-up books the best so after finding a stack of ones he liked they left the Library with armfulls of books.

    They set down the books on the table in their room after the long journey back. “So what else do you like doing? What do you do at home during the day?” Harry was still intent of finding more things for Malfoy to do.

    “Well, I have loads of toys that I play with at my house.” Harry sighed. He doubted whether Hogwarts would be able to provide the kind of toys Malfoy's father would have bought him. He racked his mind, casting it back to when he was 5. He didn't have toys, but how exactly did he amuse himself? A lot of time was spent trying to stay as far away from the Dursley's as nuch as possible.

    “What about drawing? Do you like drawing?” Malfoy nodded eagerly.

    “Yeah, but Father says I shouldn't waste time drawing.” He had a frown on his face, bitterly disappointed that he wasn't allowed to draw.

    “Well he won't know will he?” Harry said with a cheeky grin on his face. “Perhaps we could find some pencils and crayons somewhere.”

    Harry moved across the room and threw open Malfoy's trunk, maybe Dumbledore had put other things for the five-year-old Malfoy in there besides clothes. Harry threw aside most of the clothes and found a box at the bottom. He pulled it out and opened the lid. It was full of wooden blocks, they were all different colours and shapes. At a closer look Harry saw they were flashing different colours. They looked like stone, then bricks, then wood. It went on an on.

    “Have you ever played with these kind of building blocks Draco?” Harry asked holding up the box. Malfoy jumped down from the chair at the table.

    “Yes. Father just bought me some of them. I made a Castle out of them. Mother had to put a charm on them so they all stayed like the stone colour.”

    Harry found a box of little figurines, all about three inches high. There was all kinds of different creatures, Harry recognised the Hippogriff, the dragon and many others. There were figures of wizards with swords and wands poised in midair. Harry suspected that with the right charm these figurines would come alive. After reading the instructions his suspicions were confirmed. After finding these toys he was beginning to wish he had of grown up in a wizarding family. Their toys were so much better than the muggle ones Dudley was showered with.

    At the bottom of the trunk was a piece of parchment with a note on it.

    “Harry,

    If you require anything else please come and see me or send me an owl.

    Professor Dumbledore."

    Harry sent Dumbledore an owl requesting pencils, pastels and a stack of parchment. He and Malfoy then spent the rest of the day mucking around in their room and wandering the Castle while classes were on. Harry took Malfoy outside to show him the Quidditch Pitch and the Lake.

    By the time they trudged back to the Castle after playing hide and seek for nearly two hours and getting thoroughly muddy and wet, it was nearly dinner time. They snuck back to their rooms without being seen and arrived to find that their dinner was waiting for them on the table. Dobby was very prompt with their meals. Even though they had been eating at different times to the rest of the school, usually a lot earlier.

    There was also a note from Professor Dumbledore on the table.

    Harry,

    The pastels and crayons will arrive tomorrow morning. I also left something sweet for young Draco, and you of course.

    Professor Dumbledore

    The huge jar of sweets sitting on Harry's bedside table was obviously the “something sweet” Dumbledore left for them.

    “No, you have to have a bath Draco, you're filthy.”

    “But why?”

    “Because I said so. And I want a shower. Now come on.”

    Harry decided that now was the time to give Malfoy a bath because everyone was at the Great Hall for dinner so they weren't likely to be seen.

    Deciding the Prefects bathroom was the best option they made their way to the fifth floor and found the fourth door on the left. Harry whispered “Apple Shampoo” to the statue of Boris the Bewildered and they entered the large room.

    Harry moved over the far corner of the room to the small bath, which definitely had not been there last time he had paid the bathroom a visit. Shrugging, he ran the water for Malfoy. It was not a good idea to let a five-year-old have free rein in the bath the size of a swimming pool. After choosing lots of bubbles, Malfoy obviously had a bath like this at his house, he shed his muddy robes and got in the bath.

    “Alright, now try and wash all the dirt off, I'll go have a shower. I'll be back in five minutes.” Malfoy hadn't been paying attention to anything Harry had said, he was already throwing the bubbles into the air and all over the room, giggling madly.

    Harry pulled on his boxers and trousers 5 minutes later and re-entered the room with his tshirt in one hand and rubbing his hair dry with his towel with the other.

    “Clean yet?” Harry asked, throwing his towel in a corner.

    “Nearly.” Harry moved over to the side of the bath. He lowered himself to his knees and leant his arms on the bath's edge. Malfoy looked up at him intently.

    “Did that hurt?” He asked innocently, pointing to Harry's scar. No one had asked him such a simple question about his scar.

    “I don't know. I don't remember getting it.” Malfoy furrowed his eyebrows, a small frown appearing on his face.

    “I used to want a scar like that. But I don't anymore.” Harry smiled down at the small child.

    “I wouldn't wish it upon anyone.”

    Harry's eyes flickered around the room and the image of his last visit came flooding back to him. He couldn't believe the last time he had been in this room was with the same person he was here with now. Last time he had walked in here he had been frozen to the spot by the sight he was greeted with. Malfoy had nearly caught him ogling his body. No! Harry mentally slapped himself. He was searching for a mark. Yes, searching for the Dark Mark. Harry shook his head, trying to rid his mind of such thoughts.

    “Have you washed you're hair?” Harry asked, trying to keep his mind away from certain topics.

    “I can't. The shampoo always goes in my eyes.” Malfoy was making patterns with the bubbles on the water's surface.

    “Oh.” As the meaning of these words hit home Harry froze. 'I've never had to wash anyone else's hair. What if I get the shampoo in his eyes?' Realising he had no choice in the matter he reached for the shampoo bottle. Malfoy dipped his head into the water before sitting up, watching Harry closely.

    Harry squirted some shampoo onto the white, blonde hair and began rubbing it around. After making sure it was thoroughly lathered on his hair Harry pulled his hands away, enjoying the sight of seeing Malofy with his hair stuck up in all directions.

    “Alright you'll have to lean back again.” Harry slipped his hand behind Malfoy's neck, supporting his head so he didn't get the shampoo in his eyes, and he washed the shampoo from his hair.

    “Are there many people in you're classes?”

    “Not too many. But there's more in the Great Hall where we will be eating. You don't mind coming to classes do you?”

    “No. That man with the black hair will be there won't he?”

    “Professor Snape? Yeah, he'll be in one of the classes.”

    “Were you in his class when I first saw you? When I was sitting on the ground?”

    “Yep. That was in Potions.” Malfoy averted his eyes to the roof, leaning further into Harry's hand behind his neck.

    “You're better at this than Dobby. His hands feel funny.” Malfoy grinned up at Harry. “And you're better than Mother at it. You do it softly.”

    “Well I wouldn't want to hurt you. Now come on, we have to get back to our room.”

    In the early hours of the morning, Harry felt a small weight climb into his bed and curl up beside him.

  • Chapter 4
  • (Wednesday)

    Harry awoke early the next morning. A dim light flickered around the room from the remnants of the fire and the lamp Harry had left lit. He looked down at the small form huddled against his body. He listened to his soft, rhythmic breathing. Watched the peaceful, serene look he had about him when he slept. Were his dreams plagued by nightmares every night? What had caused him to wake up terrified every night and seek comfort in someone he had known only two days? Although, he was the only one he could seek comfort in right now. Harry unconsciously tightened his hold on the child.

    Harry wondered if Malfoy would remember any of this when he was back to normal. Wondered if he would remember touching his scar. Remember creeping into his enemies bed to seek much needed comfort. Harry knew if Malfoy did remember he would be sickened to his very core.

    An hour later the two boys were standing at the entrance to the Great Hall. From the sound being omitted from the room, Harry assumed most of the school were already there.

    “You ready?” Harry looked down at Malfoy, who had been calm and talkative right up until he heard the voices coming from the other side of the doors they were now facing.

    He nodded, but moved closer to Harry, so close he was practically leaning against him.

    “Alright then.”

    Harry pushed the doors open and stepped inside. He counted 3 steps before a deathly silence swept over the room. ‘That’s got to be a record of some kind.’ He thought to himself.

    He suddenly felt two small hands clutching at his leg. He looked down to find that Malfoy had wrapped his robe around his body and had shifted so he was half obscured by Harry’s body. Harry bent down.

    “You ok?”

    “They’re all staring at me.” He said timidly. Harry glanced around the room. Yes, everyone was indeed looking at them.

    “It’s alright. They stare at me all the time. Don’t worry, they’ll get bored in a few minutes and find something new to look at. They’re just not used to seeing someone your age here that’s all.”

    Harry felt Malfoy press his body closer to his own. Harry sighed, knowing exactly how Malfoy felt to have so many eyes on him. Harry scooped the boy up in one arm. Gasps were heard all over the hall. Harry held the boy to him, his arm wrapped around his waist, Malfoy's legs dangled either side of Harry's body. Malfoy instantly wrapped his arms around Harry’s neck as they proceeded to the Gryffindor table.

    Harry found a seat opposite Ron and next to Hermione. It was evident that there was no possible way Malfoy was going to let go of him so Harry shifted his body around as he sat down, so Malfoy was sitting on his lap. However, when Malfoy realised he was now facing everyone in the Hall, he instantly turned side on and buried his face into Harry’s chest.

    “Good morning Hermione. Ron.” Harry looked from Hermione to Ron, unconsciously rubbing small circles over Malfoy’s back. Ron simply stared at him, clearly unable to persuade his vocal chords to work. Harry turned his gaze to Hermione, who was also staring at him. She soon came out of her stupor.

    “Good morning Harry. How have you been?”

    “Really good thanks. Draco,” Harry leant back so Malfoy’s face was no longer hidden in his chest. “These are my two friends I told you about.” Malfoy turned around to see whom he was talking about. “This is Ron.” Ron continued to stare, oblivious to the introduction. Harry gave him a swift kick under the table.

    “Malfoy.” Was all Ron managed to grunt.

    “Don’t worry about him he’s a bit slow in the morning. Actually, he’s a bit slow all the time.” Malfoy giggled, but Ron continued staring, not registering what Harry had said. “And this is Hermione.”

    “Hi Draco. It’s lovely to meet you.” Hermione held out her hand for Malfoy to shake. Harry grinned. He knew Hermione would understand. After all, he had explained everything to them in the letter he sent. He told them exactly what happened and exactly what he had to do and that they had to call Malfoy ‘Draco’ and pretend they had never met him before.

    Malfoy took Hermione’s hand in his. The whole hall had ceased the quite whispering that had erupted when Harry had sat down at Gryffindor table. Now, it seemed that everyone, even the teachers had stopped to watch Malfoy’s introduction to Hermione. Everyone knew how much he had hated muggle-borns.

    “Hello Hermione. It’s nice to meet you too.” He managed a small smile. There was a stunned silence before a wave of talking broke out over the Hall. Malfoy seemed to relax a little as the noise got louder, however most of the Gryffindor’s were still watching him.

    “I hope you’ve been looking after Harry for us. He wasn’t too much trouble was he?” Hermione smiled kindly at the young child. Malfoy turned to look at Harry, a huge grin on his face.

    “He wasn’t much trouble at all. We’ve had loads of fun, haven’t we Harry?”

    “We sure have.”

    “Have you played lots of games? Have you played hide and seek? Harry’s pretty good at that game. Actually, he’s good at hiding, but not very good at the seeking.” She smiled cheekily at Harry.

    “We played that yesterday out by the lake. It took him ages to find me.”

    “I bet it would have.”

    Hermione and Malfoy’s conversation continued and Harry turned his attention to the rest of the Hall. The Slytherins did not look happy at all. Harry didn’t really blame them. But he took an odd pleasure in the disgusted looks on their faces as the Prince of Slytherin sat on his knee at the Gryffindor table.

    “What do you want for breakfast?” Harry was asking Malfoy 10 minutes later, after persuading him to sit on the seat next to him. He seemed happy enough to be sitting between Hermione and Harry. Malfoy pointed to the tray of bacon and eggs. Harry dished some onto his plate then proceeded to cut it up for him. The hall was still not as loud as it usually was at meal times, so Harry could hear snippets of the conversations going on around him.

    “Harry would be a great Dad, don’t you think?” Lavender was saying to Parvati. “Look he’s cutting up his food for him. Awww how sweet. And did you see the way he carried him into the Hall?”

    Harry averted his ears from that conversation.

    “Why is he being so nice to the little git?” Seamus was asking Dean, loudly enough for Ron to hear who simply shrugged.

    Harry ignored them, focusing his attention on eating breakfast. He was almost finished when a packet of crayons and pencils, a pile of parchment and a colouring book appeared on the table beside his plate. Harry looked up to the teacher’s table to find Dumbledore watching him, his eyes twinkling at him, the same amused smile on his face when he had first laid eyes on the pair of them in his office two days ago. Harry nodded a thank-you, then put them in his bag with the rest of Malfoy’s toys and books, before heading off to their first class of the day, Transfiguration.

    Professor McGonagall didn't seem to mind Malfoy in her class, so long as he kept quiet, which he did surprisingly well. Dumbledore was right, if you kept him occupied he was no problem. However, Harry knew if it had of been almost any other 5-year-old child, except for himself of course, who was not permitted to make a sound, it would be very different. Malfoy obviously had lived by strict rules from a very young age and it was unlikely Lucius Malfoy would permit his son to be loud and hyperactive. He wouldn't stand for silliness and Malfoy was far from being silly. He was quite reserved for a five-year-old. After Harry told Malfoy at the start of the lesson that no one was allowed to speak while the Professor was talking he didn't say a word. He sat and drew and coloured in contently. Only when the theory was over and they were allowed to speak did Malfoy talk to Harry and Hermione (Ron was still in shock). He enjoyed watching the class as they attempted to transfigure mice into pocket watches.

    Lunch proved to be similar to breakfast. People were still staring at Malfoy, particularly the Slytherins who had had no contact with the boy since he had drank the botched potion. But people's curiousity had not yet overtaken them and no one had approached Harry or Malfoy about the strange situation.

    The last class of the day was Divination. Harry helped Malfoy up the ladder and into the stuffy room above. Malfoy clamped a hand over his nose as soon as he entered the room, obviously not liking the smells Professor Trelaway believed aided the 'inner eye'. He scrunched up his small face and followed Harry and Ron to a table at the back of the room. They sat down on the three poufes surrounding the small table and waited for Professor Trelaway to appear.

    She soon emerged from the shadows, as she liked to do in most lessons, and eyed the class as she sat down in her large chair. Malfoy looked quizzically at the Professor, a look of silent contemplation on his face.

    “Today we will be continuing our work on Palmistry. Continue from where you left off.”

    Harry was pleased she wasn't going to babble on about nothing today, so he opened his text and prepared himself to look like he was working. Malfoy was still watching the Professor as her eyes floated over the class.

    “You can draw, or help me do my work if you want.” Harry said flipping pages over.

    “Ooooo Professor. Remember at the beginning of the year when you said Harry would suffer a fate worse than death?” Harry shifted his attention to Parvati at the mention of his name. He was almost used to this kind of treatment in this class

    “Yes dear, I do remember that prediction.”

    “Well...” Parvati said, inclining her head in the direction of Malfoy who was shifting his gaze between Parvati and the Professor. Harry felt the anger stirring inside his stomach. How dare she imply such a thing.

    “Excuse me.” Harry said loudly, gaining the attention of the whole class. “This is not a fate worse than death. Who are you too judge such a thing?” Malfoy was watching Harry with wide eyes. “I enjoy spending time with Draco, which is more than I can say for you!” Parvati looked thoroughly scandalised, along with many of the other Gryffindors. Professor Trelaway cleared her throat.

    “Continue on with your work please.”

    Harry looked across the table at Ron who hadn't said a word since the lesson began. Harry shot him a questioning look but Ron simply shrugged and looked down at his text.

    “I dunno how to do this palmistry stuff either mate.” He was obviously ignoring the real question Harry had silently sent him. Harry turned his attention to Malfoy who was slouching in his seat, his eyelids heavy. Harry hadn't considered the fact that Malfoy would be exhausted by the end of the day, considering he had never been through a full school day before. He would probably need an afternoon nap.

    As if he had been following Harry's stream of thoughts Malfoy crawled onto Harry's lap, wrapping his arms around his middle and burying his face in his chest, falling almost immediately to sleep. There were a few “oooo's” and “ahhhh's” from the girls in the room, even Parvati seemed to have forgotten Harry's outburst as she watched the small child snuggle into the elder boy. Harry turned to face Ron who was looking rather shocked. Harry couldn't take much more the the 'shocked Ron' he had been hanging around with all day.

    “Ron.” Harry whispered across the table. “I know this is Malfoy, but I don't care. I've been told to look after him and that's what I'm doing. I don't care what he's done to us in the past this is a five year old child, how do you expect me to treat him? I couldn't mis-treat a child, no matter who it was. So I suggest you accept this because I want you to get along with him.” Ron looked reproachfully at Harry before nodding his head. “You can even just pretend it's someone else if that helps.” Harry said, offering his friend a smile.

    “Yeah alright. I spose he can't be that bad if your being so nice to him.”

    Harry was glad his best friend had come out of his stupor. He even helped Harry carry the sleeping Malfoy down the ladder from the Divination room and then walked Harry to the room he shared with Malfoy.

  • Chapter 5
  • (Thursday)

    “Come on Draco, we'll be late for class.”

    Draco had woken early this morning but strangely enough they were still running a little late for class. Harry was just thanking his lucky stars that it wasn't Potions. The two boys skidded to a halt outside the classroom and Harry pushed the door open. It looked as if everyone was just sitting down.

    “Ahh, Harry, just in the nick of time.” Lupin smiled at an out of breath Harry as he and Draco took their seats beside Hermione and Ron. Harry was pleased Lupin was back to teach Defense Against the Dark Arts. After Umbridge last year the Ministry finally realised that DADA was indeed important and that all students needed practical classes.

    Draco settled himself in his seat next to Harry and eyed Lupin with interest as he began to tell the class about detecting dark wizards who were in disguise, trying to conceal their identity. Even though it was unlikely that Draco knew what Lupin was talking about he was still watching him with rapt attention. After Lupin told the class to quickly read the chapter referring to the various charms in concealing one's identity before they started to learn the charms themselves, Draco turned to Harry and whispered quietly,

    “What's his name?”

    “Professor Lupin.” Draco looked at Lupin at the front of the class then back to Harry.

    “He has funny robes, but he looks nice.” Draco finally stated honestly.

    “I'm sure he'd be glad to hear that.” Harry said, grinning down at the small boy. Draco turned back to his desk, pulled out his parchment and pastels and started to draw a picture while the class read quietly.

    Harry looked up halfway through the chapter to check that Draco was alright but found that Hermione must have already finished her reading and was watching Draco with a great deal of interest. Harry shifted his gaze to Draco, who was sitting on his knees on his chair and leaning right over the table, hunched over his parchment, colouring in his drawing contentedly, his tongue sticking out the side of his mouth in concentration. Harry found that watching the small boy when he didn't know anyone was watching him was thoroughly enjoyable and always brought a smile to his face.

    Lunchtime soon came around and Harry was more than pleased as his stomach had been grumbling for the past hour. Harry and Draco entered the Great Hall hurriedly, almost being pushed along by the crowd. Draco's small hand was being held firmly by Harry who didn't want to loose Draco in the crowd. They sat down at the Gryffindor table still attracting many stares from around the Hall.

    Draco sat down next to Harry, putting his piece of parchment on the table and sat waiting expectantly for Harry to dish food onto his plate. It was strange how only after three days together they had already fallen into unspoken habits that they both automatically did without a second thought.

    Harry looked down at the parchment that Draco placed next to his plate.

    “It's Fawkes.” He said absently, still admiring the picture. It was very well drawn for a five-year-old to have done. And his memory for details was incredible at such an age. Harry couldn't remember being able to draw that well at 5, or at 10 for that matter.

    “Wow Draco, this is fantastic.”

    “You like it?” Draco said, a smile creeping onto his young features, happy that Harry was so pleased with his drawing.

    “Yeah. It's amazing, you've definitely got a special talent there. Is this what you were drawing in class?” Harry asked as the image of Draco hunched over his desk, concentration etched into his features appeared before him.

    “Yep.” Harry began to wonder why Lucius Malfoy didn't let Draco draw when he clearly had an exceptional talent in the field. He had never guessed Draco as an artist and began to wonder if Draco still liked to draw and just how good he was at it at the age of 16.

    After their last class, History of Magic, which had successfully put Draco to sleep in Harry's arms, Harry passed the sleeping child to Hermione who was looking after him while Harry and Ron had Quidditch practice. She carried the sleeping bundle down to the room in the dungeons, tucked Draco into his bed.

    Hermione was totally taken back by the look of innocence of Draco as he slept, his hands tucked under his chin, his chest moving rhythmically with his soft breaths. She wondered if she'd ever be able to go back to the hate/hate relationship they shared in the past. She knew she certainly could never look at Draco simply as the obnoxious 16 year old he had been just days earlier. He was more than just a two dimensional person now. He was real. It was disturbing that she had never thought about this before. She wondered how Harry's relationship would change when Draco was back to normal. Draco, as a five-year-old, absolutely adored Harry. It's strange how they could get along so well when their ideals and attitudes weren't standing in the way. Perhaps if Harry had taken Draco's hand in friendship all those years ago Draco wouldn't be the person he was today.

    Hermione's musings were cut short as Draco began to stir. He opened his sleep filled eyes and looked around the dimmed room.

    “Have a nice sleep?” Hermione asked kindly.

    “Yes. Where's Harry?” Hermione had a feeling that might be the first thing he asked.

    “He's got Quidditch practice. Remember you said I could look after you at lunch today?” Draco nodded as he climbed out of his bed.

    “What are you doing?” Draco asked, climbing onto a chair at the table, peering over the pile of books to the parchment in front of Hermione.

    “Just doing my homework. Did you draw this picture today?” She asked, picking up the picture of Fawkes.

    “Yes. Harry really likes it.” He said almost proudly. Hermione looked his drawing. It was quite captivating. The wings seemed to be spread as if it were about to take off into flight, whether Draco had meant the image to appear to be doing that she didn't know. He had also coloured the picture in the exact red and gold colours of Fawkes' plumage, the strokes of his pastel even creating the look of feathers. She was very impressed.

    “What are you going to do with it?” She asked curiously. Draco shrugged.

    “I dunno. I don't keep my pictures, if my Father knew I was drawing he would get angry.”

    “Would you like to give this one to Harry?” Draco visibly brightened at that idea and nodded fervently. “Perhaps it would be nice if you drew you and Harry in front of Fawkes. But only if you want to.” She added quickly.

    “Yeah I can do that.” He jumped of his seat to get his box of pastels from his bag then returned to the table and began adding in the additional figures. Hermione knew she should try and finish her homework but it was hard to drag her eyes away from Draco. Watching him draw was really entertaining for some odd reason.

    He soon finished and held it up proudly in front of Hermione's face.

    “Do you like it?”

    “Yes that looks fantastic. I think Harry will love it.” His smile increased. “Have you learnt to write yet?” She added as an after thought.

    “Not really. I can write my name.” Hermione nodded then pulled out a blank piece of parchment and wrote:

    'To Harry,
    From Draco.'

    She pushed the parchment across the table to Draco.

    “Do you think you could write that across the top of your picture? It says 'To Harry, From Draco.” Draco nodded and began writing straight away.

    Harry slumped into his room late that night looking thoroughly exhausted.

    “He wanted you to wake him when you got in but maybe it can just wait until morning.” Hermione said softly. He thanked her for looking after Draco for such a long time before she hurried off to bed. He dropped his broomstick at the end of his bed then went to check on Draco. He pulled the blankets up around him, tucking him in securely. Draco began to stir, his eyes slowly opening.

    “I've been waiting all night for you.” He said tiredly.

    “Sorry, practice went for longer than I expected.”

    “I've got something for you.” Draco turned around and reached under his pillow and pulled out a rolled up piece of parchment and handed it to Harry. Harry unrolled it, his eyes widening as the picture was revealed. His eyes fell on the writing at the top and he couldn't help the broad smile that erupted over his face.

    “Wow! It looks even better than before! Thank you so much Draco. Is that us?” Draco nodded.

    “Hermione helped me with the writing.”

    “I love it! Thank you.” Harry, subconsciously, pulled the child onto his lap and held him in a hug. Draco looked up at him, his gray eyes bright and happy. Harry smoothed his hair back from his face, then stooped his head to lay a soft kiss on the boy's forehead.

    “You better get back to sleep otherwise you'll be too tired for school tomorrow." Draco crawled off his lap and under the covers, his eyes shutting instantly, a smile still visible on his pale face.

  • Chapter 6

    (Friday)

    Harry, Ron, Hermione and Malfoy made their way down the winding hallways towards the dungeons. Divination hadn't been at all enjoyable. It shouldn't be allowed to be held in the morning as it nearly puts the class to sleep. Harry was surprised Malfoy hadn't fallen asleep in his seat.

    “Is there something wrong with that lady?” Malfoy asked curiously as the four of them were descending down a hall. Harry and Ron stifled their laughter.

    “Not really.” Harry said, “she's just a bit of a drama queen.”

    “She talks funny.” Malfoy said matter-of-factly. “'You will encounter a most terrifying ordeal.'” He said imitating Professor Trelaway's voice, only struggling ever so slightly over the larger words. “She sounds stupid.” He said conclusively. Harry and Ron could no longer hold in their laughter, Hermione who had never liked the Divination Professor didn't bother hiding the grin on her face.

    When Ron finally stopped laughing, he sent Harry and Malfoy a serious look. “Not quite as bad as this greasy haired git though is she? At least she's not a spiteful bully.” Harry sniggered, but the group fell silent as they rounded the corner and joined the line outside the Potions room.

    The Potion the class was concocting today was particularly difficult. Harry began cutting his ingredients which Malfoy was very interested in. He left his pastels and parchment untouched on the desk, opting instead, to watch Harry slice the necessary ingredients, asking questions every now and then about what exactly he was chopping up. Harry smiled to himself, it seemed that Malfoy wasn't just interested in Potions because Snape always favoured him, it was evident he was actually interested in the subject.

    However after Harry finished cutting the ingredients Malfoy returned to his drawing. Harry didn't blame him, it was hard enough for him to hold the attention span to finish a Potion, but for a 5 year old it must be more than boring. But Harry found, as usual in Potions, that his attention was straying. His eyes would shift from his Cauldron to the drawing Malfoy was currently involved with, totally consumed by the concentration and effort the small child put into his work. His mind then drifted back to this same room a few days ago where Harry had been thrown into this rather strange situation. It was a strange situation, but Harry was finding that he was enjoying it immensely. He liked having someone too look after and keep him company. It was a welcomed change from his normal lifestyle.

    His thoughts were interrupted when Malfoy tugged on his sleeve. “Harry. Harry, your cauldron's bubbling like crazy.” Harry jolted out of his reverie and instantly reduced the flame under his cauldron. He noticed that his potion was definitely looking wrong, nothing he found unusual, but it was definitely something to be worried about. Hermoine leant over whispering a list of ingredients to add and what to do to them but it was too late, Snape was on his way over to his desk looking typically smug.

    “Potter what have you done now?” Snape's oily voice slid across the air between them.

    “Nothing Sir, I'm just correcting it now.” Harry said hastily.

    “Miss Granger have you heard of cheating?” Hermione paled at Snape's words. “Because that is precisely what you were doing when trying to help Potter, and really it's not worth it, he's a lost cause when it comes to brewing potions.” Harry felt the anger rising inside him, but today he wasn't going to take the bait. Not today. He noticed Malfoy shifting in his seat beside him and saw out of the corner of his eye that Malfoy had fixed Snape with the usual piercing glare he kept for Harry.

    “10 points from Gryffindor for Miss Granger's inability to recognise when and where her help is needed. You will not flaunt your capability in this class.”

    “She was just trying to help.” Came a voice from beside Harry. All eyes moved to the small child, not even half his upper body visible from over the top of the desk. Snape's eyes swept over Malfoy, the strain of not chastening the 5 year old visible on his pale face. His eyes shifted back to Harry.

    “A further 20 points will be deducted for Mr. Potter's insufferable ego whereby he seems to think it pointless for him to pay attention in class. Your hero status alone will not get you a pass in this class Potter.”

    “It wasn't Harry's fault!” Came that same voice from beside Harry. This time Malfoy was kneeling up on his seat, a sneer fixed in place which looked intimidating even on a 5 year old. Harry reached and put a hand on Malfoy's arm.

    “Shooosh. Draco, it's ok.” Malfoy shrugged his hand off.

    “No its not! He's a bully. A greasy-haired, spiteful bully.” Malfoy had worked himself into such a state that his breathing had become laboured, his chest rising and falling heavily. The whole class stared at the child in relative shock. Harry watched as Malfoy eyed Snape with growing dislike. It seemed Snape was doing the same to Malfoy. Harry was at a loss of what to do. He had never seen the 5 year old Malfoy behave like this.

    Harry was about to say something, anything to break the silence, when Malfoy's eyes averted from Snape's face and swept over the rest of the class. He froze momentarily before hauling himself onto Harry's lap, wrapping his arms around his neck and burying his face in Harry's neck.

    Harry had learnt this week that Malfoy, as a 5 year old, hated people staring at him. Harry didn't blame him and he could now feel Malfoy's hot breath on his neck coming out in short, fast bursts. He subconsciously wrapped his arms around the child, rubbing small circles on his back in an effort to calm him down.

    Harry stared around at the class who eyes were still trained on the child now in his arms. He noted the only two that seemed to have pulled themselves out of shock were Hermione and Ron. Hermione was watching Malfoy with wide eyes, before she made eye contact with Harry and her face filled with worry and concern. Ron on the other hand was looking incredibly amused and it seemed he was having quite a hard time keeping himself from laughing out loud. He also had, what Harry recognised as, a smug smile pulling at the side of his lips. Harry thought this was probably because what had come out of Malfoy's mouth was what Ron had said before the class began. It was no doubt that Ron was feeling a lot warmer towards the child now.

    Snape cleared his throat and every pair of eyes shifted immediately to him. “You shall remove yourself and Mr. Malfoy from the room. Now.” Harry was rather grateful for this getaway, he didn't think he could handle everyone staring at him much longer, nor did he think Malfoy could handle it much longer either. He scooped his books and Malfoy's things into his bag, with Hermione's help, before carrying Malfoy out of the Potions class and down to their room.

    Harry threw his bag down on the table and slumped into one of the large black arm chairs, Malfoy settling into his lap once again. He seemed to have calmed down somewhat, although his body was still very tense. Teary, gray eyes looked up at Harry and he felt his heart jerk.

    “I'm sorry Harry, I didn't mean to get you in trouble, but he was being so na-” Harry pulled the child into a hug.

    “It's ok Draco,” Harry said interrupting him, “you didn't get me in trouble. In fact you stood up for me.” Harry loosened his grip to smile down at Malfoy's now tear-stained face. “It's just, you can't say those kinds of things to people, especially not Professors.”

    “Ron did.” Malfoy said simply. Harry sighed.

    “Yes, he did, and I'll talk to him later about it. But Ron didn't say those things * to* Professor Snape. And even though saying things like that *about* people, like Ron did, isn't very nice, but when you say them to their face it can be hurtful. I'm sure Professor Snape is not used to having his feelings hurt by students.” Harry felt like he was confusing himself. How do you tell a 5 year old that it was ok for Ron to say that Snape was a greasy haired git but not ok to actually tell Snape he was a greasy haired git?

    “He's angry with me isn't he?” Malfoy asked nervously, averting his eyes to Harry's collar which he was playing with.

    “Perhaps. I'd say he was more upset because what you said may have hurt his feelings.” Malfoy returned his gaze to Harry's face.

    “I didn't want to hurt anyone. But he was saying those things about you, doesn't he hurt your feelings?”

    “Well not really. He used to, but I've gotten used to it now. Besides, what he says most of the time isn't true, although it is hard to ignore most of the time.”

    “I don't want him to hate me. I don't like it when people are angry at me. Father gets angry all the time and I hate it, I don't want him to be angry with me.” Malfoy's eyes once again filled with tears and he flung himself forward into Harry's embrace. Harry ran his hands through Malfoy's white blonde hair, offering words of comfort.

    “I'm sure you can make it up to him.” Harry said once he had calmed the boy down. “You could draw him a picture. The picture you drew for me cheered me up, I'm sure he'd like it if you did drew one for him.” A small smile appeared on Malfoy's face. Harry was hoping Snape would be as impressed by Malfoy's drawing as he was. If Snape couldn't forgive a child as innocent and adorable as Draco Malfoy there was definitely something wrong with the man.

    “Do you really think he'd like one?”

    “Of course. How about next Potions class you draw a picture for him, then you can give it too him and apologise?” Malfoy nodded his approval. “Well we better get going, we've got to get to our next class.” Harry collected his bag off the table and walked, grasping a small hand in his, to Transfiguration.

    The rest of their classes passed by fairly uneventfully. Malfoy had cheered up considerably since Potions and Ron was being infinitely nicer to the young boy, who claimed he had a new found respect for the child. Harry laughed at Ron's antics while Hermione sent him stern looks of disapproval at encouraging such behaviour in the child, even if Malfoy was blissfully unaware of the encouragement.

    After trudging back up to the Castle from the Greenhouses Harry had just made it inside the Entrance Hall when he remembered he left his Herbology book back in Greenhouse Four. He left Malfoy in the care of Ron and Hermione while he ran back to fetch his things.

    He made his way back up to the Castle, hurrying down a hallway to the statue of 'Brutus the Brave' where he said he would meet Hermione, Ron and Malfoy. He rounded a corner and his eyes instantly fell upon three familiar figures in the crowded hallway. He instantly made a bee-line for them and soon noticed four other familiar figures nearing his friends. Crabbe, Goyle, Parkinson and Bulstrode, all of Slytherin, were looming closer and closer. What Harry saw next made his stomach churn with anger and loathing. He watched from afar as Bulstrode pulled her wand from her robes, swirling it in the air, unseen by most of the other students. A shot of white light came from the end of her wand, wrapped around Malfoy's ankles and disappeared instantly. The spell had the desired effect as Malfoy fell forward, his small body colliding with the stone floor.

    Harry took off at a run down the hallway, students leaping out of his way.

    “WHAT THE HELL DO YOU THINK YOU'RE DOING?” Harry yelled when he had reached the scene. From the confused looks on Ron and Hermione's faces they too had been oblivious to the reason why Malfoy fell. The four Slytherins on the other hand, shrank away from Harry. Harry turned his angry eyes to Malfoy who was still on the ground. He crouched down beside the child, his face instantly softening.

    “Draco, are you alright? Are you hurt?” Harry pulled the boy into a standing position. Malfoy's eyes were teary, but had yet to spill over onto his cheeks. He nodded timidly and began rubbing his elbow.

    “Are you sure, you fell pretty hard?” Malfoy swallowed hard and put on a brave smile.

    “Yeah, I'm ok, it didn't hurt that much.” Harry could tell he was trying to be brave in front of him, and probably everyone else. But Harry didn't care, he picked the child up in his arms, holding him closely. He turned his eyes back to the group of Slytherins who were watching the scene contemptuously. Harry rounded on them.

    “I don't know what the hell you are trying to do, but in case you haven't noticed he is a small child. Just a child, no matter what you seem to think is going on, none of this is his fault.” His voice was eerily calm, but the hard tone in his voice caused the group to shuffle away from him. “I truly hope he remembers this in a week and I hope he pays you back for what you've done.” With that said he stalked away, Malfoy in his arms, Ron and Hermione trailing behind still utterly confused about what had just happened.

  • Chapter 7

    (Saturday)

    Harry hated waking early on a Saturday, particularly when there wasn't any Quidditch because it was a rarity if he ever got back to sleep. But there he was, eyes fluttering open to stare at the barely visible ceiling. There were no windows in the room to let in natural light, but he guessed it must be close to 5:00. He refrained from letting out a frustrated groan when he realised there was a small lump huddled beside him, a small arm draped over his chest. He had grown accustomed to the feeling of waking to find Malfoy in his bed. The warm body against him was an instant relaxer. He sighed contentedly, putting his arm around the child and drifting back to sleep.

    “No classes on a Saturday?”

    “No classes on a Saturday,” Harry confirmed as the two strolled through the hallways to their room after breakfast.

    “What do we do then?” Malfoy asked as they slumped onto the couch.

    “Good question. What do you want to do?”

    Malfoy shrugged.

    “How about we play some of those games in your trunk?” Harry suggested, moving toward Malfoy's bed.

    Fifteen minutes later they were lying on their stomachs, sprawled out on the floor facing each other, about a metre between them with a long line of tiny figurines that had come to life indulging in what appeared to be a game of leap frog. Harry was highly amused by this strange scene and was laughing hysterically as he watched a Kappa try to leap over a Dragon, successfully getting stuck in a flurry of the Dragon's wings and being hurled almost into the flames of the fire. Malfoy watched on, laughing, simply because Harry was laughing so much.

    Harry soon whispered another incantation and the figurines formed two armies, advancing on each other, the space between Harry and Malfoy transformed into a miniature battlefield. Little jets of white light were flying every which way as tiny wooden Wizards cast fake spells on each other while Hippogriffs and Dragons flew over their heads. One pair of Wizards seemed to be having what appeared to be an intense duel which definitely caught the attention of both the boys.

    “Draco, do you want to have a pretend duel?” Malfoy's eyes grew wide.

    “Yeah!” He said eagerly, jumping to his feet, the moving figurines suddenly forgotten.

    “Do you know any spells?” Malfoy shook his head.

    “Not many, only the ones I've heard Mother and Father use.”

    “Alright, you can just make them up and tell me what they do.” The two were now facing each other. “Ok. Now bow, then walk back over near your bed.” They bowed then retreated to opposite sides of the room.

    “On the count of three you can cast a spell. Draw your wand.” The two boys held their invisible wands in mid air, poised for attack. “One. Two. Three.”

    Harry waited for Malfoy to cast the first spell. The small child took a step forward, before yelling “JUMPENDIUM!” Harry watched the child straighten up, looking positively thrilled to be playing this game with Harry then adding in a quieter tone, “That's a jumping curse, you have to jump.” Harry caught on straight away and began leaping around the room to the sound of Malfoy's joyous giggles.

    “ENGORGIO!” Harry finally yelled, pointing his invisible wand at Malfoy's stomach. “That means your stomach will grow.” Malfoy began to stumble about the room, pretending his stomach was about the size of a large beach ball.

    “CRUCIO!” Malfoy bellowed. Harry stopped all movement and stared wide-eyed at the child who was grinning gleefully at him. “That means your feet won't be able to move.” Harry stopped momentarily, looking intently at the child standing before him who had no idea what kind of a spell he had just vocalized. He had obviously heard it somewhere before but had no idea what it would result in.

    Harry soon removed himself from his thoughts and began flailing his arms around wildly, his feet glued to the ground.

    “TARANTALLEGRA!” Harry said when he decided he had been stationary for long enough. “That's a dancing spell.” With that said, Malfoy began waltzing clumsily around the room, his arms held out as if he were really dancing with someone. Harry soon forgot what had came out of the boys mouth only moments earlier.

    Malfoy executed a perfect twirl to face Harry, his wand arm thrust forward. “LOOSIO BALANCIUM! That means you lose your balance.” Harry began stumbling around the room theatrically, tripping over the furniture before he tumbled over the back of the couch, rolling off the cushions and onto the floor with a thud. By this stage Malfoy was laughing like mad and ran across the room to hurl himself at Harry, who was lying on his back in front of the couch.

    “That was the best game I've ever played.” Malfoy declared once he caught his breath from all his laughing.

    “I've always wanted to have a duel with you.” Harry stated truthfully, his statement referring more to the 16-year-old Malfoy. “I've always thought you'd be a challenging opponent. I think you won that one easily.”

    Lunch was a drawn out affair as it was a Saturday. Harry was trying to delay the inevitable because Hermione was insistent that he come to the Common Room to do homework. It was a good idea because Hermione would be there to help him and he hadn't had her help all week, poor Ron had been stuck with her studious ways with little to no excuses to get out of work.

    “Draco will be fine Harry.” Hermione was saying as they were finally standing to leave. “There'll be heaps of people to watch him.” Harry nodded then went down to his room to get his books and Malfoy's drawing things.

    “That's probably why your potion didn't work.” Hermione said, pointing to the fourth instruction. “You wrote to stir 15 times clockwise instead of anti-clockwise.” The two of them had spread their books over one of the tables and had begun their work while Ron, lapping up the opportunity to get out of work, was finding someone to play a game of Chess. Malfoy had been accosted by a group of thirds years who, since the beginning of the year, had become Harry's most avid fans, or “crazed stalkers” as Ron affectionately called them.

    Harry watched the girls talking to Malfoy with a protective glint in his eyes, making sure he was ok, before he began correcting his Potions instructions.

    “Is Harry nice to you?” One of the girls asked, who had short brown hair. Malfoy nodded, feeling rather shy around so many people.

    “Have you seen him naked?” Another girl asked, a mischievous grin on her face.

    “Yes.” Malfoy answered honestly, remembering the sight of Harry's firm chest, his slightly tanned skin. The girls squealed with laughter.

    “Does he give you hugs?” Malfoy nodded again, the girls getting more enthusiastic by the second.

    “Is he good at giving hugs?” The same girl asked. The child nodded again, a small smile creeping onto his lips as he remembered how safe he always felt wrapped up in Harry's arms.

    “Have you ever touched his scar?” A girl who hadn't yet said anything asked, her eyes wide with curiosity.

    “A few times.” Malfoy said, gazing around the room, his eyes falling on Harry, his nerves instantly settled.

    “Have you really?” One of them asked disbelieving. Malfoy didn't answer, just stared around at the group of girls surrounding him, eyeing them with apprehension.

    “Will you go touch his scar now?”

    “What for?”

    “Because we want you too-”

    “Kiss his scar.” Another added hastily.

    Malfoy furrowed his eyebrows in confusion, not quite sure why they wanted him to kiss Harry's scar. He shrugged, anything to get away from them.

    “Harry.” Malfoy called happily as he approached the table. Harry looked up smiling, glad of the disruption.

    “Yes Draco?” Harry said, pushing his chair back from the table, turning in his seat to face the child. Malfoy climbed up onto his lap, side profiles of the two now visible to most of the Common Room.

    “Those girls are loud.” He said simply, his small hands clutching at Harry's shoulders. “And they laugh lots, even more than you were today.” Harry chuckled softly.

    “They are a bit too much too handle aren't they?” Malfoy nodded and reached up a hand to brush Harry's hair away from his forehead. There was a collective gasp from somewhere across the room, casing the room to fall rather quiet, a majority of people now watching the two boys.

    Harry didn't notice the change in volume; he was transfixed by the look on Malfoy's face. He was watching Harry with something he never thought he'd ever see reflected in Malfoy's eyes. It was something close to love, adoration perhaps.

    Malfoy leant forward and pressed his lips to Harry's jagged scar. Wet lips only a fleeting sensation on Harry's skin before Malfoy withdrew and wrapped his arms around Harry's neck, nuzzling his face into the crook.

    The girls in the corner had broken out into fits of “ooooo's” and “ahhhh's”. The rest of the Common Room were still quiet obviously a little stunned by Malfoy's blatant show of affection.

    Ten minutes later the Common Room was back to normal, Harry sitting at the table once more, continuing his homework with Malfoy who seemed reluctant to leave him, sitting snugly on his lap.

    “You must be bored by now?” Harry asked for the fourth time.

    “I am a bit now.” Malfoy admitted, leaning back into Harry's chest.

    “Ron doesn't seem to be doing anything, you could ask him for a game of exploding snap.” Malfoy nodded before leaping off Harry's lap onto the ground.

    “Ron,” Malfoy's excited voice rang throughout the room. Ron's head snapped up from the fire he had been staring into. “Will you play exploding snap with me?” Malfoy asked after running to Ron's side. “Please.” He added at the end, smiling innocently up at Ron.

    “Sure,” Ron said distractedly, a little taken back by Malfoy's eagerness to play with him, a Weasley. It was sometimes hard to forget that this was a nice, small Malfoy who didn't care who you were or what your last name was.

    “He's becoming quite attached to you.” Hermione said, watching the game unfold, Ron grinning and Malfoy giggling amoungst a flurry of cards. They had gathered a bit of an audience. Harry looked back at her quizzically, forcing her to elaborate. “Well, I noticed he won't hold anyone else's hand except yours. He doesn't sit on anyone else's lap except yours. He moved away from me the other night when I tried to lift him into bed. There's nothing wrong with it though,” She added thoughtfully. “I just noticed that's all. It's actually quite cute. Do you think he'll remember any of this?”

    “I dunno. I've been thinking about that a lot. Just when he does certain things that I know the older Draco would hate and I wonder if he will have any memories of it at all.”

    “It would definitely be interesting if he does. How do you think he'll react?”

    “No idea, this is Draco we're talking about, he could do anything.”

    “It's going to be strange for you too when he returns to normal, loosing the constant company you've had, and by the looks of things enjoyed.” Harry smiled sadly at the bitter realisation.

    “I know. I'm not looking forward to it, especially if he doesn't remember anything. Although, it could be worse if he does.”

    Harry and Hermione were interrupted by the pleading voice of Malfoy.

    “Come on Ron. Pleeeeeeeease. Just one game of hide and seek.”

    Harry and Hermione both burst into laughter as they watched their best friend try, to no avail, and refuse that adorable face and those innocent eyes.

    “I'll hide first. You count to 20.” Malfoy said, lifting Ron's hands up over his eyes.

    “One. Two. Three. Four. Five. Six...” Malfoy moved silently across the room and crawled behind a large chair in a far corner. “...Eighteen. Nineteen. Twenty. Ready or not, here I come.” Ron said in a singsong voice, it was evident he was an experienced hide and seek player. Harry guessed he would have had a lot more chances to play when he was younger than he did.

    Groups of people all around the room had halted mid-conversation to watch the game unfold. Even Hermione had stopped writing to watch Ron as he looked under tables, behind curtains and in the stairwell.

    “I think you’re too good at this game Draco.” Ron said, a grin spreading over his lips as he noticed Malfoy's foot sticking out from behind a chair. He continued looking, drawing out the game, which Harry thought was very kind of him. Ron glanced over at Harry, his smile broadening.

    “Of course!” He said in fake triumph, walking briskly over to Harry and looking behind his chair. There was a high-pitched giggle from across the room that sounded like it had been half muffled by a hand. Ron spun around, eyes trained on Malfoy's hiding spot. He moved stealthily across the room, kneeling down beside the chair and poked his head around the back of it. He must have said something because the next thing heard was Malfoy giggling madly while crawling out from behind the chair.

    “It's your turn to hide Ron. I'll count.” Malfoy walked over to stand beside the fireplace, his hands clamped firmly over his eyes. “One. Two. Three. Four....”

    “I don't think that anyone in here will want Draco to leave, he's the only entertainment we've had since Fred and George were here.” Hermione said, her quill discarded beside her parchment, her eyes following Ron as he slipped behind the long red curtains that fell all the way to the floor. Harry grinned as the thought of what the 16-year-old Malfoy would do if he knew how much fun he had had in the Gryffindor Common Room.

    “Ready or not, here I come.” Malfoy pulled his hands away from his face, his bright grey eyes instantly scanning the room. He was obviously looking for a mop of red hair because his eyes faltered briefly when they landed on Ginny before he stepped forward and began checking behind furniture.

    When all possible nooks and crannies had been checked, he began crawling across the floor on his stomach, making sure Ron wasn't hiding at ground level. Once he had crawled under every table, stopping under Harry's and Hermione's to give Harry's leg a little squeeze, as if letting him know he was there, he stood up in the middle of the Common Room, his hands on his hips, moving in a small circle on the spot, his eyes raking over the room. He halted when he was facing the long red curtains, pausing for a brief moment before dashing towards them and pulling them back from the window to reveal Ron grinning happily at finally being found.

    *

    “Can we go to the Common Room another time?” Draco asked tiredly as Harry was tucking him into his bed.

    “Sure, I think everyone enjoyed having you there.” Harry said, brushing Malfoy's hair away from his forehead.

    “Really? I had fun with Ron, he's funny isn't he?” Harry smiled down at the young child.

    “He sure is. But you better get to sleep, you've had a big day.” Malfoy nodded, his eyelids slowly dropping closed.

    (Sunday)

    Harry awoke the next morning to the door to their room creaking open. Harry shifted slightly in his bed, not wanting to wake the sleeping child next too him. He had grown to so use to the boy sleeping with him that he no longer woke up when he crawled into bed with him in the early hours of the morning.

    A figure appeared in the doorway and shuffled over to the side of his bed. Finally coming to his senses, his sleepiness seeping away from him he sat up slightly, leaning back on his elbows.

    “Sorry Harry, I didn't mean to wake you.” A voice whispered that unmistakably belonged to Hermione. “I thought you'd already be awake. You accidentally took one of my books with you last night.”

    “What time is it?” Harry asked, his voice hoarse from sleep.

    “It's 9:30.”

    “Oh,” Harry said thoughtfully, “Draco must have been tired, he usually wakes a lot earlier.” He looked down at the still sleeping form beside him.

    “I didn't know he slept with you.” Hermione said distractedly, her eyes falling on the sleeping child. “He's adorable isn't he? Does he sleep with you every night?” Harry nodded.

    “He goes to sleep in his bed but always comes over here in the night. He says that if he's near me he doesn't get nightmares.” Harry was trying to keep his voice low, not wanting to wake Malfoy. Hermione made a cooing sound in her throat and Malfoy moved closer to Harry, tightening his hold on the older boy, his eyes opening.

    “Hermione?” He asked sleepily.

    “Yeah, it's me Draco. Sorry to wake you up.” Draco cuddled closer to Harry again, forcing Harry to lie back down. Hermione chuckled softly.

    “What are you doing today?” Hermione asked, pointing her wand at the lamp on the table which instantly sprang to life.

    “I wanted to speak to Dumbledore, you know, about the stuff we talked about last night.”

    “That's a good idea Harry, and perhaps you could ask Professor Snape as well, he's the expert with Potions.” Harry nodded reluctantly, thinking back to his last Potions class...

    “I was wondering if you would watch Draco while I go see him. You could just take him to the Common Room again.”

    “Of course. And Ron doesn't mind looking after him with me, he wouldn't shut up about last night.” She grinned at Harry who instantly adopted the same cheeky grin.

    *

    Harry stood in front of a stone gargoyle, casting his mind back to the password Snape used almost a week ago.

    “Cockroach Cluster.” He said finally and the gargoyle instantly jumped to the side to allow Harry to step onto the revolving staircase and was delivered to the large wooden door at the entrance of Dumbledore's office. He knocked softly on the door, a voice instantly filling his ears.

    “Come in Harry.” Harry was always surprised by Dumbledore's seeming ability to know most things that happened in the Castle. It was quite extraordinary.

    Harry sat down in a chair facing Dumbledore's desk. “Sorry to disturb you Sir.”

    “Quite alright Harry, quite alright.” Dumbledore said, waving his wand in the air, a tray of tea and biscuits appearing on his desk. “Tea?”

    “Yes, thank you.” A cup and saucer was levitated into Harry's hands.

    “What is it I can help you with?” Dumbledore asked kindly, leaning back in his chair.

    “I've just been thinking about Draco and the...situation he's in and I was wondering if there is a chance he'll remember the time he spent as a 5 year old?” Harry took a sip of his tea, discovering it was earl grey, his favourite. Dumbledore watched him pensively for a moment before setting his cup and saucer down on the desktop.

    “I would think it very likely he will be able to remember his experiences. Although, I cannot be certain of this. Nor can I be certain of the way in which he will remember them.”

    “What do you mean?” Harry asked curiously.

    “Well, whether he will remember if from first person, actually remember being in the body of the five year old, remember his thoughts and feelings or whether he will remember these things as if he was watching from above, a kind of detached third person view of everything he did.” Harry nodded in understanding.

    “But you can't be sure if he will remember at all?”

    “No I cannot, each case, I'd think, would be different for every individual and I can definitely say that in my time as Headmaster of this school I've never encountered such a situation. It will be interesting when he changes back to see if he remembers and how he reacts if he does. I think it shall be very interesting indeed.” Dumbledore eyed Harry over his half moon spectacles, his wise eyes twinkling in the light, a knowing smile spreading over his lips.

  • Chapter 8

    (Monday)

    “Harry. Harry.” Draco shook Harry slightly, the blankets falling around the waists of the two boys. Harry's eyes flickered open. “Harry, I think we have to get up for school.” Harry looked up into the face leaning over him and couldn't help smiling.

    “Well at least someone's responsible enough to get up at the right time.” Harry said, pushing himself up on his elbows.

    The Great Hall rang with the usual conversation of a morning as Harry and Draco walked through the doors, with many people greeting them as they approached the Gryffindor table

    “Good morning Harry. Morning Draco.” Seamus called to them as they passed, the constant image of Draco at Harry's side now a familiar sight for the Gryffindors.

    Harry lifted the small child up and placed him on the bench beside Ron.

    “Good Morning Ron.” Draco said brightly, wriggling closer to the red-head to make room for Harry.

    “Morning Draco, did you have a good sleep?” Draco nodded, watching his plate as Harry dished up his breakfast. Hermione smiled across the table at the three boys, enjoying the sight of them all getting along like it was something they had done all their lives.

    Potions was the first class of the morning and Harry and Draco approached with caution. They took their seats silently at the back of the class, Draco looking timid as he hauled his drawing things out of his bag.

    “Today you will be concentrating on the theory of this rather difficult Potion.” Snape said, gesturing to the blackboard with his wand where an in depth description of the Potion they were brewing appeared. Harry stared at the notes, wondering just how difficult this potion was going to be. If Snape said it was difficult it probably meant it was near impossible to brew. He groaned softly which caused Draco to turn and offer him a big smile, before he took out his parchment and began copying down the rather extensive notes from the board.

    Draco instantly began drawing, sitting up on his knees to gain a better view of his picture, his upper body stooped over his desk, soft blonde locks falling down over his milk-white skin.

    About halfway through the lesson, which had consisted of copying down notes, there wasn't a sound made except for the scratching of quill on parchment, Harry felt a slight tug on his sleeve. He turned to see a happy yet shy looking Draco. The child leant over Harry to whisper in his ear.

    “I did Professor Snape's drawing. Should I give it too him now?” Harry turned to look to the front of the room and watched Snape who was sitting at his desk correcting what appeared to be essay's but still looked infinitely bored.

    “I don't think he'd mind if you did. Can I have a look at your drawing?” Draco nodded, reaching for his parchment.

    Harry stared down at the drawing, marveling at the child's talent. There was a big black cauldron in the centre of the paper, red and orange flames licking at the sides and a green vapor emanating from the top, with a jaunt face staring over the rim of the cauldron with long black hair. Harry was stunned at the similarity of the picture to Professor Snape and the relevance to him as well. He doubted that if any other 5-year-old child was asked to draw a picture for a Potions Master that they would have actually thought of drawing the cauldron and probably just settled for a house on a hill, lovely flowers in the garden and smoke wafting out of the chimney. The thought Draco must have put into the picture was amazing and Harry wanted to hug the child tightly for how adorable he was, but settled for handing the parchment back to him and helping him down off the stool.

    Draco walked silently to the front of the room, Harry watching the top of his head, the only part of him visible, as he made his way through the desks. No one noticed him, not even Snape, until he was standing up on the small platform at the front of the room which Snape's desk was placed on.

    “Excuse me Professor Snape.” Draco's whisper echoed around the room and the whole class moved their eyes from their parchment to the small child standing to the side of Snape's desk. Snape turned in his chair, his black eyes resting on the small figure standing before him. He looked expectantly at the child. “I'm sorry I yelled at you the other day. I didn't mean to and I didn't want to make you angry and I'm sorry if I hurt your feelings.” His voice was soft, but he spoke quickly, shifting slightly on the spot, but his eyes never left Snape's.

    Snape eyed the child, a shocked expression on his face that Draco had actually apologized. Draco held out the parchment towards Snape. “I drew you a picture.” Harry leant forward in his seat, hoping that Snape would be as impressed with the drawing as he had been, he didn't want Draco's feelings to be hurt by the Potions Professor. Snape took the parchment from that small hand, holding it out in front of him, his eyes raking over the picture. Draco looked hopefully up at Snape, his wide, innocent eyes watching Snape's reaction closely. “It's you.” Draco added after Snape had remained silent, his eyes never leaving the drawing. “I hope you're not angry anymore.”

    Snape's eyes moved from the parchment to watch the child, a neutral expression on his face. “I'm not angry anymore.” Snape's voice, which Harry had never heard before, didn't have it's usual menacing tone, the class looked on a little awe-struck. “I really like your picture. It even looks like me, when did you draw it?” Draco's face instantly came alight with a big grin.

    “I drew it just then, while everyone was working.” Snape seemed to be thoroughly caught up in the smile Draco was giving him, like he had forgotten they were in front of a whole class.

    “It's brilliant, I always knew you would have an exceptional talent in the arts. Thank you for drawing it for me. I'll put it up on my wall.” A hint of a smile creased the sides of Snape's mouth and Harry thought he heard a gasp from somewhere across the room.

    Draco made his way back to his seat looking extremely happy with himself, Harry didn't blame him, making Snape crack a smile was no easy feat. The rest of the class passed rather quickly and when everyone was packing up their books Snape stood up, moving to the front of his desk.

    “Could you stay after class Potter? I want a word.” From the formality in Snape's voice Harry guessed he wanted the word alone, so he let Hermione and Ron guide Draco out of the room at the end of the lesson.

    “I'm assuming it was you who told Draco to draw that picture?” Snape asked once everyone had left the room. He hadn't moved from his place in front of his desk, and Harry had made no attempt to move any closer to the Professor.

    “Yes, Sir. I suggested it too him. But I didn't tell him what to draw though, he thought of that by himself.” Snape nodded, his eyes flicking to the parchment he still held in his hands.

    “Something that isn't well-known, and I'd prefer it too stay that way,” His cold, menacing eyes pierced through Harry, instantly telling Harry that the information he was about to give him was to stay in this room. “Is that Draco is my Godson.” Harry's eyes widened as suddenly all the favouritism suddenly made a lot of sense to him. “I was made his God Father a few months after he was born, but after the unexpected events that followed the year of his birth,” Harry knew he was referring to his defeat of Voldemort, “I never got to see him until he came to Hogwarts.” Snape trailed off, a fleeting expression of... sadness or perhaps regret, played in his eyes before they reached Harry once more. “Therefore, his drawing means a lot more to me than one would assume.”

    Harry nodded in understanding, not knowing what to say after Snape had revealed such a personal part of his life to him. He was a bit stunned at the new information he had just received.

    Harry decided, after leaving the room to find Ron, Hermione and Draco, that Snape's speech must have been his own twisted way of thanking Harry for suggesting Draco draw him a picture, and perhaps, he thought as he spotted the strange trio making their way across the grounds of Hogwarts, for the way he had looked after Draco this past week.

    Harry caught up to his friend's as they ambled to their Care of Magical Creatures class.

    “Alrigh', today we'll be study'in Billywig's. They're na'ive ter Australia but I've go' me hand's on a few.” Hagrid beamed at the class, his large hands clasped around a huge wooden box that was rattling and shaking in his grasp. The class looked apprehensive. “Can anyone tell me wha' happens if yer stung by one o' these creatures?” Hermione's hand shot into the air, “Yes, Hermione?”

    “The Billywig is extremely hard to catch. It's wings are attached to the top of it's head and they spin extremely fast. Because of it's speed Muggles rarely notice them, nor most of the time do Wizards until they are stung, which will result in a giddy feeling followed by levitation. Too many stings may cause the victim to hover uncontrollably for days on end and if there is severe allergic reaction, permanent floating may ensue.” Draco tugged on Harry's sleeve, pulling him down to his height.

    “She's smart isn't she?” Draco said, his eyes wide, a hint of admiration in his voice.

    “Extremely.” Harry said, grinning at the child.

    “Very good Hermione, 10 points ter Gryffindor.” Hagrid went on explaining about Billywig's while the rest of the class stood waiting for a glimpse of these strange creatures. It was a pleasant class, without the 16-year-old Draco to make rude comments about Hagrid, the little Draco's eyes were riveted on Hagrid, his neck straining upwards as he took in his shaggy appearance.

    The class split up into three's and the creatures were finally let out of the wooden box and instantly began spinning madly, whirring around the groups at an incredible pace. The creatures were about half an inch long and a striking sapphire colour which definitely made it easier to keep an eye on them. The class' aim was to work together as a group to catch a Billywig without being stung. A few people were inevitably stung, poor Neville being one of them who threw up from the giddiness as his body floated above the ground.

    Harry's seeker reflexes meant their group caught the Billywig much before any others and Hermione was most excited about this and was studying the creature very thoroughly.

    “Really Harry, that was fantastic. These creatures are rarely caught, this is an excellent chance to study them.” She was saying enthusiastically, holding the creature around the top, avoiding the sting at all costs.

    Nearing the end of the class, the groups who had caught a Billywig were now standing around talking and the groups who hadn't yet caught one had given up. Harry, Ron, Hermione and Draco were standing at the front of the class with Hagrid, who was beaming around at the class, telling them all what a wonderful job they had done.

    Draco was still gazing up at Hagrid and was talking wistfully to Harry and Ron, while Hermione discussed the Billywig with Hagrid.

    “He's huge, isn't he?” Draco said, his eyes still trained on Hagrid. “Do you think it's hotter up there than it is down here?” Harry and Ron looked down at the child, smiling at the rapt look on his face. “I used to climb this big willow tree that's outside our Manor because I like it up in the sky. But one day Father caught me and he got angry and I'm not allowed to climb trees anymore but I never really found out if it was hotter up there.” Harry, who was used to Draco's bouts of talkativeness was only half listening to the child, nodding occasionally. “Do you think I could ask him, Harry?” Hearing his name Harry glanced down at the child, not really sure of what he'd asked.

    “Of course.” He said and Draco had side-stepped him and was tapping Hagrid on the leg. Hagrid looked down at the small child, who barely came up to his knees. Draco waved his hand in the air, indicating that he wanted Hagrid to lean down so he could talk to him. Hagrid looked a little startled, he was obviously not used to little children, nor was he used to a little child who had been rude to him ever since he'd started at Hogwarts, but he leant down nonetheless.

    “Could you please lift me up?” Draco asked, lifting his arms up in the air. Hagrid glanced around at Harry, Ron and Hermione, his eyes wide with shock. Harry nodded reassuringly at him and Hagrid placed his large hands under the boys arms, his hands easily coming around his small body to touch each other on either side of the child. Draco was lifted slowly into the air by Hagrid, who, once he was standing at full height again, put an arm around the child's back and held him closely to his body as if he was almost afraid he might drop him.

    Draco looked like Christmas had come early, a huge grin plastered over his face, his little arms clinging to Hagrid's large biceps.

    He looked even tinier in Hagrid's arms, his blonde hair standing out against Hagrid's dark clothes. Draco moved his hands around above his head for a moment, and looked around, taking in the view of the grounds from such a great height. Harry couldn't hear Draco's soft voice as he spoke to Hagrid but Hagrid nodded in response and lifted his free hand up to Draco, who also lifted his hand and placed it against Hagrid's so they were palm to palm, as if Draco had wanted to measure the difference.

    The Slytherin's looked murderous as they watched Draco in Hagrid's arms. Pansy looked as though she was going to be sick. Draco seemed to be oblivious, as usual, to all of this as he was set gently back on the ground by Hagrid, before dashing to Harry's side and looking up at him with one of the biggest smiles Harry had ever seen grace the lips of the five year old.

    “It's the same!” Draco declared happily.

    “What's the same?” Harry and Hermione asked at the same time.

    “The air. It's not hotter up there.” He said conclusively, as if he had just found the answer to gaining World Peace. Harry, Ron and Hermione burst into fits of laughter. Harry crouched down beside the child, gathering him in an affectionate hug, the Slytherin's still staring daggers at their Prince, before they all made their way back to the Castle, Hermione declaring on the way back. “Draco, you are the most adorable child I've ever had the pleasure to meet.”

    The rest of the day passed smoothly, Harry deliberately keeping Draco as close to his side as possible, knowing the Slytherin's were still seething about they're Care of Magical Creatures class.

    “Harry, the Slytherin's don't like me do they?” Draco asked softly as Harry was tucking him into bed. Harry looked down thoughtfully at the child.

    “It's not that they don't like you, they're just misinformed. I'm sure if they had spent as much time with you as I have they would absolutely love you.” Draco smiled up at Harry.

    “I'm supposed to be in Slytherin.”

    “I know. And you will be.”

    “I don't want to be nasty like them.” He said almost fearfully. Harry ran his hand over the child's hair until it came to rest on his cheek, where be began moving the pad of his thumb in small circles over the soft skin.

    “I'm sure you won't be.” Harry said, his insides clenching as he said it. He didn't like lying to Draco. “I doubt you could ever be that nasty. But you really should go to sleep, it's getting late.” Draco nodded and Harry made a move to stand up but a small hand instantly covered the hand that was still resting on his cheek.

    “Please stay, just until I go to sleep.” Draco looked up at him, his eyes full of warmth, his whole demeanor screaming innocence and Harry nodded settling back down on the bed knowing he could never refuse that look.

    A/N: The 'Billywig' and the information I used about it came from Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them.

  • Chapter 9

    (Tuesday)

    Defense Against the Dark Arts was Harry's first class on a Tuesday and Draco was looking forward to it because for some odd reason he liked watching Professor Lupin. His eyes were currently glued to the Professor as he paced at the front of the class, springing questions on random students about the strange creature in the tank on his desk.

    “Draco, do you think you could describe it's skin for me?” Professor Lupin had stopped pacing and was standing in the middle of the room, watching the small child with a warm smile on his face. Draco shifted in his seat, he hadn't been called upon in any other classes and he seemed apprehensive. He shot a quick glance at Harry, who nodded encouragingly, then turned to look at the creature in the tank.

    “It's a murky green colour... and it's got loads of scales and looks like it's been living in the mud for ages.” Draco turned to look shyly at Professor Lupin.

    “Fantastic Draco! A very apt description, and you're right, it has been living in the mud...” Professor Lupin's voice trailed on and Draco turned to Harry, a big grin on his face, before he pulled out a piece of parchment and his pastels and began drawing, leaving Harry to turn his attention back to the Professor.

    Draco seemed to get along with most of the Professor's, except for Professor Trelaway, who only succeeded in sending him to sleep. He particularly enjoyed Potions, now that he knew Snape was no longer angry with him.

    “What's that?” He asked, watching Harry organising his ingredients.

    “That's hair of Demiguise.” Draco nodded, before turning to the front to watch Snape.

    “You can go talk to him if you like.” Harry said, noticing Draco's attention was drawn to the Potions Master. “I'm sure he'd like it if you did.” Draco turned to Harry, looking reluctant to leave his side. “He could tell you a lot more about Potions than I can. Or you could just sit at his desk and draw. I bet you'd be the only student to ever sit up at his desk.” Harry smiled cheekily at Draco, who seemed to be a lot more enthused about the idea.

    “Alright, just for a little while though.” Harry smiled, helping Draco pack up his pastels and parchment to take up the front. Harry couldn't help but feel a little bit sorry for Snape. He had rarely seen his Grandson until he was 11 and it wasn't like he had been locked up in Azkaban of anything, it was probably just because of Lucius Malfoy.

    “Is it alright if I sit up here with you?” Draco asked brightly when he appeared the front of the classroom. Snape looked slightly startled but only for a brief moment then a small smile pulled at the sides of his lips.

    “Of course.” He said and with a wave of his wand a stool appeared behind his desk. Draco crawled up to sit on the stool, propping himself up and spreading out his things over the desk.

    “Harry said you could tell me about the Potion they're making.” Snape moved his gaze to Harry, who dipped his head and pretended he was concentrating on the Salamander tails he was supposed to be slicing. Harry chanced a glance at Snape and was surprised to find it was one of the warmest looks he had ever received from the Professor.

    “He did, did he? Well then, what would you like to know?”

    Draco sat at Snape's desk for the entire class, talking animatedly to his Godfather and sometimes turning to continue with his drawings to let Snape continue teaching the class. Snape even pulled down jars and large books to show Draco who looked positively rapt in everything he was shown, Snape looked to be enjoying himself immensely having someone finally interested in Potions.

    Harry wondered if the 16-year-old Draco showed this much interest in the subject and whether he had the kinds of discussions he was having now with his Godfather. Harry didn't know why, but he was now feeling quite happy that Draco had someone like Snape in his life, someone who so obviously cared for him.

    *

    “I've got to go to the Pitch for about an hour with Ron, you'll be ok with Hermione?” Harry was crouching down in front of the child, who nodded politely at him, before throwing himself into his arms, hugging him tightly. “I'll see you in the Great Hall for dinner. I promise I won't be gone as long as last time.”

    “What do you want to do now?” Hermione asked Draco as they both sat down on the large red couch in the Gryffindor Common Room, after having played Exploding Snap, Hide and Seek, and a strange game that Hermione had coerced a couple of first years to join in with called 'Duck, Duck, Goose'. Draco shrugged, looking around at the groups of students.

    “What's Harry doing at the Pitch?”

    “Probably just doing some flying and things with Ron.”

    “I want to see Harry fly.” Draco said, looking hopefully up at Hermione.

    “I dunno if that's such a good idea.” Draco's face fell immediately.

    “Pleeeeeeaaaasssseee.” He looked at her, his face instantly smoothing into a pout, his wide, innocent eyes staring straight at her. Hermione sighed heavily.

    “Alright, alright. Come on then.”

    Hermione was very careful that Draco kept close by her side as the halls were still full of students milling about before dinner.

    “Is Harry a good flier?” Draco asked, almost running to keep up with Hermione.

    “He's the best.” She said conclusively. Draco grinned, a look of pride on his face, an excited glint flitting through his eyes.

    “I knew he would be. He's my best friend.” Draco said, the sense of pride written on his face, coming out through his soft voice. The two continued down flights of stairs, making their way to the Entrance Hall, the number of students getting more and more as they got closer to the Great Hall.

    Draco instantly recognised that they were approaching the hall that lead to the Great Hall and darted off in his eagerness to see Harry.

    “Draco! Wait! Draco!” Hermione took off after him, pushing through the crowd.

    Draco rounded a corner, suddenly feeling lost amoungst the groups of students. He spun around, trying to find his bearings, and chose to take off down a hall to the left, thinking he would soon be in the Entrance Hall. However, he soon found himself running down a hall that seemed to be leading downwards, in the direction of his and Harry's room and he stopped abruptly, realising that there were no longer chattering students surrounding him. He turned on the spot, his heart picking up it's pace as he realised he didn't know where he was. He faced the way he had just come from and hesitantly began walking back down the dark hall.

    “Why if it isn't little Draco.” A sickly sweet voice came from behind him. He turned around sharply, his eyes widening as he recognised Pansy and her gang of Slytherins. “Where's Potter?” Draco swallowed hard.

    “He's at the Quidditch Pitch.” He said, fidgeting nervously with his robes.

    “So, he left you all alone in the Dungeons? How convenient.” Draco felt his heart thudding in his small chest, and backed away from the group, his eyes wide with fright.

    “So,” One of Pansy's friend's said looking around at her fellow Slytherin's, “What can we do to him to make him see that Potter really hates him?” Draco let out a small whimper as his back collided with a hard wall. The group all drew their wands and pointed them at the small child. Silent tears began streaming down Draco's flushed cheeks and he slid to the ground, huddled against the wall, shaking fearfully, his chest heaving with his laboured breathing.

    “Please.” His small, scared voice echoed around the hall. “Please. I just want to see Harry. Please.” He drew his knees up to his chest and buried his face in against his legs, wrapping his arms around himself. The group standing around him looked satisfied with his reaction and started to close in on him. Draco's small voice stopped their movements. “I just want Harry. I just want Harry. Please. Harry.” And then he disappeared with a small pop and the next thing he knew he was standing in front of Harry on the Gryffindor table in the Great Hall.

    “HARRY!” He gave a strangled sob then launched himself into Harry's arms, almost knocking Harry backwards, sobs wracking his small body.

    “Draco, what's wrong? What's happened? Where's Hermione?” Harry's voice was laced with fear and concern and he pulled the boy close to his body, stroking the child's hair. As if answering Harry's last question Hermione burst into the Hall looking positively distraught.

    “There he is!” Hermione sighed and practically ran across the Hall to the table. “We were going to see you fly and he got so excited he ran down the hall and got lost in the crowd. I was so worried Harry.” Only then, once she had taken a deep breath, did she realise that Draco was curled up in Harry's lap, his body still heaving and was very obviously near hysterical. “What's happened? Where did you find him?” Hermione was instantly moving to sit down beside Harry. Harry shrugged helplessly.

    “He just appeared on the table and threw himself at me. I dunno what happened.” Hermione looked fearfully at the young child in her best friend's arms.

    “I wonder where he went then. And how did he just appear?”

    “I used to do that a lot when I was little.” Harry said distractedly, as he was trying to coerce Draco to look up at him. Draco simply tightened his hold on the elder boy and pushed himself harder into Harry's body. “Draco. Draco. Shhh. Draco, you're ok now.” Harry's soft, concerned voice didn't seem to be having it's desired effect and the child continued to sob into his chest. He looked around helplessly at Ron and Hermione, who both looked stricken with worry.

    “I better take him back to our room.” Harry said and swung his legs over the bench and walked out of the Hall, gaining a lot of stares from all over the room.

    Harry sat down on the black couch once they arrived back at the room and settled back, shifting Draco in his lap so he was cradling him like a baby.

    “Do you want to tell me what happened?” Draco swallowed hard, his body still shaking with his sobs, and looked up at Harry, his eyes swollen and red, his cheeks tear-stained. Harry began gently brushing his tears away, stooping his head to place a soft kiss on the child's forehead.

    “I got lost.” He said hoarsely. “And they found me and they-they said y-you hate me.” A new wave of sobs and tears broke out and he buried his face in Harry's chest once more. Harry sighed heavily, picking up the bundle in his arms and carrying him to his bed, laying down next to the child who was still clinging to him.

    “Draco.” Harry smoothed his hair, trying to calm the child and placed another kiss on his forehead. “I don't hate you. I've never hated you.” Harry began to wonder who 'they' were and could only come up with one possibility... the Slytherin's. When Harry saw them next...

    After about 20 minutes of laying silently, Draco curled up almost on top of Harry, Draco's breathing finally started to slow and he looked up at the elder boy and moved his arms up to cradle Harry's face in his small hands.

    “I don't want you to ever leave me.” He looked Harry straight in the eyes and Harry didn't know a five-year-old could appear so serious

    “I won't ever leave you.” Harry said reassuringly. “As long as you want me around, I'm not going anywhere.” Draco smiled.

    “I'll always want you around.” Draco said firmly; moving to lay a kiss on Harry's scar.

    That night, both boys fell asleep; Draco wrapped safely in Harry's arms.

  • Chapter 10

    (Wednesday)

    Harry woke late the next morning, expecting to find a small body huddled beside him, or still clinging to him, but as he rubbed his sleep-filled eyes he realised there wasn't a warm body alongside him. He sat bolt-upright in his bed, reaching automatically for his glasses. He scanned the darkened room, eyes immediately searching Draco's bed, which was still made from the day before. He felt his heart leap into his mouth and he was out of bed and out the door without a second thought.

    His robes were creased from the nights sleep, his hair a similar sight and he was hoping, praying, that Draco had simply gone to breakfast without him, not wanting to wake him up. His nerves were shot and he couldn't stop himself as he started sprinting down the hall. He came flying around a corner and hurtling through the doors to the Great Hall, coming to a halt just inside the room, his eyes scanning the Gryffindor table to find many a morose looking student. He swallowed hard, eyes finding Ron and Hermione...and no Draco. It was only then that he realised most of the Gryffindor's eyes were trained on the Slytherin table. He turned abruptly to follow their line of sight and his eyes fell upon a very 16-year-old looking Draco Malfoy.

    Harry stared at the boy, his mouth agape. Draco didn't look up, his eyes stayed focused on his plate as he sat amidst his fellow Slytherin's. A bitter realisation swept over Harry as he realised his time with Draco was over. He no longer had a constant companion, someone who looked up to him and wanted to be with him every second of the day. He would no longer have him crawling into his bed at night.

    Harry's heart sank right to his feet and he tore his eyes away from Draco, his feet automatically carrying him to his table. He knew this time had to come, he just didn't know it would be this hard. He slumped into his seat between Ron and Hermione.

    “He just came in like that.” Hermione said at once. “He just sat down like everything was normal. Although he hasn't said a word to anyone.” Harry's eyes were drawn to the blonde Slytherin who sat with an unreadable look on his face, his shoulders squared, his eyes never leaving that of his table and it was almost as if he was oblivious to everything going on around him.

    Did he remember any of it? Harry was almost bursting to know. After loosing the five-year-old Harry was wishing he would remember so it wouldn't be just him with such great memories. Draco's transformation seemed to have left a void deep inside him and Harry needed it too be filled.

    The day continued as normal and Harry felt he spent most of the time watching Draco. Looking for clues, anything, to indicate he could remember. But he hardly ever spoke to anyone, he didn't even seem friendly with Snape in Potions. Everything seemed to revert back to how it was a week ago, except Draco was almost silent.

    Harry wished he knew what was going through his head, he was very tempted to go up and ask him after three days of constantly watching him and still there was not so much of a hint that he remembered anything. He wondered if he couldn't remember, what it felt like to return to a world you had been gone from for a week. Either way, whether he did remember or not, it must be hard for him, but he never once showed it and Harry knew that only Draco could have pulled that off.

    After the third day of observing Harry was asked to Dumbledore's office. He went with a flicker of hope in the pit of his stomach, a hope of information, no matter how little, he just wanted to know something.

    “Sit down Harry.” Dumbledore said, indicating to a large red chair. Just as Harry sat down Snape strode into the office looking agitated, almost anxious.

    “We were wondering Harry, if you have any information about Mr. Malfoy's recollections about the time he spent with you?” Harry shook his head slowly.

    “Nothing.” He said almost helplessly. “I've been watching him, trying to figure out if he remembers but I haven't had any indication that he does.” Snape's face fell as soon as Harry finished speaking, but he soon composed himself, his cold demeanor slipping back into place. “Do you know anything?” Harry asked hopefully.

    “No, we don't. Professor Snape has approached him but he closed up instantly. He hasn't spoken to anyone about it so it's impossible to know if he remembers. But we're not just wanting to know out of curiousity, this was a rare occurrence and it would be fantastic opportunity to look at the results of his transformation.” Harry nodded, he didn't care about the results of some pointless research, he just wanted to know what was going through Draco's head, whether he remembered reaching out to Harry for comfort and affection. Whether he remembered all the fun games they played and all the great times they had. Whether he remembered brushing his lips over his scar. He left the office with less hope than he had had since Wednesday morning.

    He went back to the Common Room feeling as though a blanket of mist had been pulled down around him, as if he was totally cut off from everything he had enjoyed in the past week. Ron and Hermione watched him slouch through the Common Room, knowing immediately his meeting with Dumbledore had shed no light on Draco's situation. They didn't ask questions and let him go straight to his dorm.

    He fell back heavily on his bed, heaving a frustrated sigh. Why did Draco have to make it so difficult? If he could just say something, anything, that would let Harry know what he remembered, if he remembered. Not knowing anything was driving Harry to distraction.

    He shook his head and squeezed his eyes shut, he could get past this, he had to. He gave another sigh, more of relief this time as he remembered that tomorrow was Saturday. He could have some time to rid himself of the memories of the past few days.

    After realising that brooding on it all night, for the third consecutive night, was pointless and probably more than he could take he decided he would spend some time with Ron and Hermione. He swung his legs over his bed, took a deep, steadying breath... and there was a tap at his window.

    His eyes flickered to the window where a black owl was hovering. He unlocked the catch and the owl swooped inside, landing gracefully his bed. He eyed the bird with curiousity from the window, wondering who was sending him letters at this time of night. The bird hooted indignantly and Harry moved across to his bed, reaching out to stroke the beautiful plumage. He untied the huge piece of rolled parchment from it's leg and the owl nipped him affectionately on the finger before stretching out it's gorgeous wings and launching itself into the air and out the window.

    Harry unraveled the large piece of parchment and his mouth fell open as it's contents was revealed.

    It was a familiar drawing, and yet this version was one of the most beautiful things Harry had ever seen.

    The Phoenix had it's wings spread wide as if about to take off into flight, the likeness to the actual bird was incredible, the colours so vivid it was almost breath-taking. Flames were licking at the sides of the bird, looking as if they were actually moving up the drawing, making the picture come alive. Two shadowed figures stood in front of the Phoenix, looking extremely foreboding with their wands drawn at an unseen threat, robes billowing about their legs. They looked the perfect pair, one with mussy black hair and striking green eyes, the other with piercing grey eyes and perfect white hair, glistening in the firelight....

  • Chapter 11

    Harry didn't know what to do, or what to say. He sat staring down at the pastel drawing for most of the night wondering what on earth he was going to do. The implications of the drawing were almost beyond him. Did Draco send him the drawing to simply make him aware that he remembers, to put his mind at ease? Or did he want something more? Did he need to talk about it? Ask him questions? But if he did, why didn't he approach him in person? Although, Harry had no objections to the drawing, it was absolutely stunning and one of the many questions that had arose in Harry's mind over the past week had been answered; Draco, as a 16-year-old, was an extremely talented artist and by the looks of things he had continued with his drawing and painting.

    His silent question answered Harry felt somewhat humbled by Draco's drawing. He was pleased the boy had continued on with his passion, despite what his Father had enforced upon him but Harry also felt honoured that he knew such a thing about Draco as it was quite obvious there were few that knew such things about the introverted Slytherin.

    Come morning, Harry had decided that he didn't care what the drawing had meant, he was going to approach Draco the first chance he got, otherwise he might just go insane from his over-active mind.

    “You're looking happier this morning.” Hermoine said, smiling warmly across the breakfast table. Harry smiled back for the first time since Tuesday.

    “Draco sent me something last night.” Harry said quietly, not knowing if the whole of Gryffindor should be aware of this fact yet. Ron and Hermione both leant in close, eyes wide with curiousity. Harry pulled out the drawing from his robe pocket. “This came just before I went to bed.” He unraveled the parchment for his two best friends to see.

    “Oh Harry!” Hermione gasped. “It's the same drawing he gave you!” Harry nodded.

    “Wow! He can still draw.” Ron said, his eyes never leaving the parchment.

    “Did he send anything else with it? A letter?” Hermione looked hopeful.

    “Just the picture.”

    “But it means he remembers, do you think that's good?” Hermione took a swig of pumpkin juice before shooting a glance to the Slytherin table.

    “I hope so. I've been wishing that he would remember. Even if he still hates us, just so I'm not the only one with the memories.” Harry smiled feebly. “I'm going to try and talk to him.”

    “Do you think that's such a good idea?” Hermione asked, sending a worried look towards Slytherin.

    “Of course I do. He made contact with me first so why shouldn't I?” Hermione's eyebrows furrowed, she looked as if she wanted to press the matter further but she said nothing, turning back to her food.

    Harry waited all day for a chance to catch the Slytherin on his own. On several occasions Harry saw groups of Slytherin's, Crabbe and Goyle included but Draco was no where to be seen. After scouting a few of the halls down near the Dungeons in the late afternoon Harry finally gave up and went to join Ron and Hermione in the Library.

    “Any luck?” Ron asked, sounding almost hopeful. Harry shook his head and sat down angrily. It was like Draco had taken an invisibility potion, making it impossible for him to find.

    As if on cue, Harry's walking contradiction sidled into the Library. Harry froze, his eyes unable to leave that of the blonde Slytherin he had been taking care of for the past week. Draco didn't so much as glance in Harry's direction as he browsed the shelves, even though it was painfully obvious that he aware of Harry's presence. He didn't check out any books and then left as abruptly as he had came.

    Harry felt a swift elbow in his side as he watched the blonde retreat.

    “Go Harry. Nows your chance!” Ron almost pushed him out of his seat. Harry jumped to his feet and was out the door eyes searching for a shock of blonde hair. Draco, unfortunately, must have suspected Harry to be right on his trail and was no where to be seen.

    Harry cursed silently and took off in the direction of the Dungeons at a run. He received many curious stares as he jogged through the Castle and nearly ran down a couple of First Years.

    Harry came to an abrupt halt when he entered the hall that he knew led to the Slytherin Common Room and his heart nearly jumped into his mouth when he saw a blonde head just a few metres in front of him. Harry instantly started moving again, silently approaching the Slytherin until he was just a few feet behind him.

    “You remember.” He said quietly and Draco spun around, grabbing Harry by the shirtfront and forcing him into a wall.

    “Of course I bloody remember.” He spat at him, his face so close Harry could feel his hot breath, feel his chest rising and falling heavily. Harry stared into his face, unaccustomed to being so close to *this* Draco. Suddenly, Draco's grip on Harry's shirt loosened and the blonde dropped his head, taking a step backward. “Why?” His soft voice reminded Harry too much of the five-year-old and he nearly pulled him in for a hug.

    “Why what?” Draco stared back up at Harry, an almost pained look etched into his hard features, his eyes glinting dangerously.

    “Why were you so nice? You didn't have to be, but you were. Why?”

    “Why not?” Harry said simply, not realising it would get Draco so riled up. The front of shirt was grasped firmly once more and he felt his back pushed harshly into the stone wall.

    “Don't make this any harder, just tell me.” Draco's voice was low and oddly calm. Harry looked him straight in the eye, feeling suddenly outraged by the position he was in.

    “What kind of a person would be horrible to a 5-year-old?” Harry's voice had a deadly undertone and he could almost see Draco flinch at his words. Harry knew very well who could be horrible to a 5-year-old; Draco's supposed friends and housemates. Not impressed with Draco's silence, Harry continued in his same deadly tone. “Why'd you send me that drawing then? Would you have just preferred it if I were horrible? Would you have preferred it if I treated you like shit? Because, Draco, if that's what you want then you are one twisted fuck.” Harry felt the hot twinge of anger coursing through him and he pushed Draco off him, needing to get as far away from the blonde as possible.

    A cool hand clasping around his wrist and tugging roughly stopped is abrupt getaway and he was spun around so he was pressed into a taut, firm chest.

    “You have no idea how much it has affected me, no bloody idea, so don't even begin with your pathetic preaching. I sent you that drawing because despite what I know I should be thinking and feeling I can't stop feeling somehow... attached to you or something just as pitiful. I haven't been able to sleep since I woke up as myself again. I haven't been able to think properly, my every thought has been consumed with memories of everything we did and what's even more frustrating is that no matter how much I try, how much I know I should hate it and you and everything, I can't make myself hate it... I can't, I just can't.” Draco took a steadying breath, looking utterly horrified with himself but he didn't let go of Harry's wrist, he just continued to look into endless depths of green.

    Harry reached his free arm up to brush loose strands of hair away from Draco's face, a gesture that now seemed so familiar, so comfortable. He smiled at the young man standing before him, his hand subconsciously stroking the soft skin of his cheek. What surprised Harry more than his rather bold action was that Draco instantly relaxed with his touch and almost contented look softening his face. Heavily lidded, stormy, grey eyes found Harry's which only caused his smile to increase.

    “The same innocent eyes.” He commented airily, his attention solely focused on the way his body was pressing so firmly against Draco. It seemed so right, such a familiar and welcomed touch that Harry felt an instant rush of cold when Draco pulled away from him. Harry sent him a questioning look and Draco's eyes widened as if only just realising what he had said, what he had done.

    “I've got too go.” He said hurriedly, letting Harry's wrist fall back to his side and taking a step away. Harry sent him a last soul-searching look before Draco was gone and he was left standing in the dungeons alone.

  • Chapter 12

    Harry knew, as soon as Draco had turned away from him that they had just entered into something which they could not back out on. Something had ignited between the two of them and whatever it was; Harry thought it to be undeniably good.

    He was consumed, as he had been for the past 3 nights, by one thing and one thing only; Draco Malfoy.

    Harry was definitely confused by everything that had happened to him in the past two weeks. It had definitely been an adventure worth experiencing and he wasn't sure if it was yet coming to a close. He certainly didn't want it to end. He wanted to be part of Draco's life, and not just as the heated rival he had been in the past. He had uncovered a side of Draco he had never even considered to be there. Draco was a real person, with real feelings and emotions, not just a two dimensional character put on this earth to spite him. It was comforting to know there was something more to him than the cold facade. The look on his face last night when Harry had stroked his cheek said it all, everything Harry had ever doubted about the Slytherin was washed away in that one look.

    And he now knew that Draco remembered everything and that it was affecting him greatly. Affecting him for better or worse he was definitely unclear about and he didn't know which would be better either. He was, however, confident that he would be finding out in the very near future.

    This being the exact reason he wasn't at all surprised to find Draco at the Entrance Hall the next morning, waiting expectantly for the very person who happened to amble into the Hall early that morning, green eyes tired from endless thoughts and musings preventing any sleep the previous night.

    “We need to talk.” Draco said hastily, casting his eyes around the deserted hall before inclining his head toward the great, wooden doors. Harry nodded and followed the blonde without a sound.

    The two stopped at the side of the Quidditch Pitch, the clouds swirling overhead, very much looking like threatening rain. Harry eyed Draco, taking in his 16-year-old features, watching on with concern when he noticed the dark circles around his eyes.

    “You haven't been sleeping.” He said, taking a step toward the other boy. Draco looked up with a look of mild shock on his face at having heard the concern lacing Harry's voice.

    “I haven't really slept since I changed back.” He said distractedly.

    “You didn't sleep well when you were 5 either. There was a solution to that though...” Harry trailed off, not sure how the reminder of their bed-sharing would affect Draco.

    “I know. Same nightmares. Look,” he continued hurriedly. “My Father has found out about the potion. He's coming here today, I’m pretty sure he'll want to talk to you, so we better make sure our stories are the same.”

    “Why wouldn't they be the same?”

    “You don't seriously think I'm going to tell him the truth do you?” Draco asked incredulously.

    “But he already knows what happened.” Harry said simply. Draco rolled his eyes, sighing heavily.

    “Typical Gryffindor,” he muttered under his breath. “No one knows what I remember, if I remember, except for you. It's just, I'm not sure yet what would be wiser to tell him; if I remember nothing or if I remember everything.” Draco stared off over the Pitch, Harry could sense his mind ticking over.

    “Or remember some parts.” Harry said slyly. Draco turned back to Harry, his eyebrows rising slightly. “You can pick and choose what you want to tell him and what you want to hide and if he asks me, I can just say that I have no idea what you would remember.” A small smirk crept onto Draco's features after Harry's rather unexpected pronouncements.

    “Not all Gryffindor I see.” He said coyly, sounding satisfied with this new piece of information about Harry.

    “The hat wanted me in Slytherin.”

    “Really?” Draco asked sounding very interested. “Why were you sorted into Gryffindor then?”

    “Because I asked it to.”

    “Isn't that cheating?” Harry shook his head.

    “A wise man once told me that 'It is our choices... that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.’" Draco looked pensive for a moment, probably considering how to dispute this statement, but after a brief silence he seemed to have come up short of an argument and chose instead to stare out over the Pitch again.

    After a considerable amount of time with nothing more than the wind swirling around the two boys, Harry grew tired of the silence and his mind flickered to a question he had been pondering since he had been led out to the Pitch.

    “How come your Father didn't find out sooner?” Draco's head snapped back to Harry's, looking almost startled to find him standing there, as if he had forgotten they had been talking to one and other only a few minutes earlier.

    “Snape had forbidden any of the Slytherins to write home about it. I suppose they stayed true to his word because of the great respect they have for him. But once I turned back, and shunned many of them for what they did to me they probably wrote home to spite me. I'm still the Prince of Slytherin.” He said smugly, that typical smirk playing at the corners of his lips. “I can strip them of every shred of dignity they have with just a few words.”

    “How delightful.” Harry said sarcastically, the sudden realisation hitting him that no matter what happened, the person standing before him was always going to be Draco Malfoy. The thing that shocked him more was that he didn't seem to care. “So you wouldn't have told your Father about any of it?” Harry asked curiously, having a sneaking suspicion he already knew the answer.

    “Are you kidding? He'd make such a big deal out of it.” Draco took on the tired, anxious look he had about him when Harry first found him this morning. “He can't know about some of the things that happened, some of the things I did.”

    Harry felt the anger flare up inside his stomach, rippling towards his heart. Draco was embarrassed. Embarrassed about everything he did.

    “You're ashamed.” Harry said spitefully.

    “Not so much ashamed,” He said evenly. “Embarrassed maybe, but only in front of my Father.” He paused. “I'd tell the world that I had clung to the Boy-Who-Lived for comfort if I had to, and I wouldn't hesitate either.” He suddenly looked very much like the shy, innocent child Harry had witnessed when he was first faced with the Great Hall full of people and Harry just caught himself before he felt that wanting, that need for Draco to wrap his arms around him like he had done that day.

    Draco shifted uncomfortably, and looked up at Harry through half-lidded eyes. “But there's something else.” Draco sounded apprehensive, and looked even more unsure. Harry stepped forwards, not bothering to quash the urge to touch him and he reached out, running his index finger over Draco's cheek, down his neck where his hand came to rest on his shoulder.

    “What is it?” He asked softly.

    “I don't want him to use...” He hesitated, lifting his eyes slowly to Harry's. He continued quickly, as if wanting to get what he needed to say out of the way. “I don't want him to use this,” He indicated to Harry's hand still resting on his shoulder, “To get to you. I don't want him to manipulate us.” He looked deep into Harry's eyes and Harry saw that simple truth; saw emotion so deep it nearly made him shudder.

    “Draco I -” He stopped short, shifting closer to the body before him, leaving only a scant inch between them. “Thank you.” His voice was barely a whisper, hot air pushing forward onto Draco's cheeks which were flushed pink from the cold morning air. “I didn't even think of anything like that.” He admitted honestly, and a small smile graced Draco's face.

    “That's why I'm the brains of this duo and you're the impulsive, 'act before I think' one.” Harry had been watching Draco's lips with every word he spoke, loving the cheeky grin that erupted over his face.

    “Sometimes it's better to be impulsive.” Harry stated softly, eyes never leaving those lips, then slowly leaning forward and ghosting his lips over Draco's, nearly melting with the simple touch.

    Then the sound of the broom shed door slamming resounded around the Quidditch Pitch and both boys withdrew quickly, ceasing all contact between one and other.

    *

    Lucius Malfoy was an arrogant man. A man who truly, supremely believed he was far better than most. He was a powerful man, and Harry knew all this, and yet, for some reason he wasn’t anxious, he didn’t feel threatened or intimidated about the meeting he was having with the man.

    Harry found that he didn’t care how the senior Malfoy reacted to him, or what he might do to him and that he was more concerned with what Draco was going to do and say and how he was going to handle the situation. In fact, all these worrisome thoughts left a heavy, dull weight in the pit of his stomach and put him off both breakfast and lunch.

    It was in Potions when both Harry and Draco were called upon by Dumbledore to go to his office. Draco had snuck a very meaningful side-long glance in Harry’s direction when the letter had arrived before both boys got up silently and walked unusually close through the halls, up the spiral staircase, and found themselves waiting to be beckoned inside the circular room.

    Harry and Draco sat side-by-side in chairs opposite Dumbledore’s desk. The Headmaster watched the pair over his half moon spectacles, a certain glint in his wise blue eyes that Harry thought shouldn’t have been present when a certain Death Eater was due to walk through the door at any moment.

    The one thing Harry was grateful for was the fact that he was in the meeting with Draco. He had assumed the two would be having separate meetings as he imagined Lucius Malfoy would want some privacy with his only son. It seemed that Dumbledore, as usual, had thought ahead and taken into account what the two boys needed. And that was indeed to be together at such a time. Harry tended to agree with Dumbledore that Draco would probably get through it a lot easier in Harry’s presence and vice-versa. Harry was extremely grateful for Dumbledore’s foresight.

    The door to Dumbledore’s office banged open, causing everyone to jump, except Dumbledore, who simply leaned further back in his chair and gazed thoughtfully at the tall, blonde man standing in his doorway.

    Lucius Malfoy’s arrogant persona emanated throughout the room and Harry knew instantly why Draco had strived so hard all his life to please the man, to live up to his unusually high expectations.

    The tall blonde faltered slightly, only very slightly, his eyes flickering briefly when they fell upon Harry, eyeing him with distaste and it was obvious, that he too, thought the meeting wouldn’t involve The-Boy-Who-Lived.

    “Dumbledore. Draco.” He stepped further into the room, sending a short glance in Draco’s direction before fixing his eyes on Dumbledore once more, not acknowledging Harry’s presence at all.

    “Father.” Draco gave a curt nod.

    “I would like to be informed as to why I wasn’t made aware of,” He looked at Draco, thrusting his hand in his direction. “This earlier. Is this how you run a school? Allow a student to consume a dangerous potion and then wait until a concerned student informs their parents? Most unprofessional!”

    “All of your concerns will be addressed, Mr. Malfoy.” Dumbledore said calmly. “Now please, won’t you sit down?” Dumbledore gave a wave of his wand and a chair was conjured beside Draco’s.

    “My superiors will be made aware of this blunder you’ve made.” Lucius said sitting down, placing his cane over his legs, never taking his eyes off the Headmaster.

    “I would have thought,” Dumbledore sat forward, tipping his head to peer over his glasses. “That your main concern would be for the health and well-being of your son.”

    Lucius Malfoy’s eyes narrowed, grey orbs piercing through the old man. Dumbledore didn’t seem to notice.

    “I can see he is in perfect health.” He replied tightly.

    "Yes, physically indeed he is." Dumbledore eyed the three occupants of the room, his wise, blue eyes scanning their faces. "But emotionally…" He trailed off, watching the elder Malfoy expectantly. Much to Dumbledore's credit, his rather subtle insinuations caused Lucius Malfoy to look at his son, eyeing him with what could have been concern, but Harry could see the angry fire flare up in his cold grey eyes.

    "Draco, how are you feeling?" There was no warmth evident in his voice. Just a cold, detached emotion derived from years of a practiced facade.

    "I'm fine Father." Draco said shortly, his eyes only making contact with his Father's for the briefest of moments.

    "Come Draco, I'm your Father; I can tell when something's bothering you." The fake sincerity in his voice made Harry's stomach churn. How someone couldn't display simple concern and love for such a person was beyond Harry. "If Potter has done something to you…" He bit back the end of his sentence but the accusation was more than obvious.

    "Mr. Malfoy," Dumbledore's perpetually calm voice cut through the silence as Harry sat and tried with all his will-power to not jump out of his seat and hurl himself at Lucius Malfoy.

    "If another student has hurt my son, Headmaster, I deserve to know." Harry couldn't handle being accused of such a thing, not when the truth was the exact opposite.

    "Hurt? What do you mean hurt? Why would I hurt your son?" Harry snapped, turning in his seat to settle his emerald eyes on his least favourite Malfoy.

    "Everyone is aware of your aggressive past Potter, and I know you'd do anything to get one up on my son." Harry threw himself out of his seat, his robes billowing around his legs as he turned his back on Dumbledore's desk.

    "Your son does have a name; do you always refer to him like he isn't in the room? I looked after YOUR SON for well over a week and in that time the only people who were horrible to him were his housemates. HIS OWN BLOODY HOUSEMATES!" Harry's chest was heaving, his eyes wild with anger, and he could feel his nails digging into his palms as he clenched and unclenched his fists.

    Lucius eyed Harry with growing dislike, his stare growing harder and harder, but Harry didn't back down, he stared straight back into those cold eyes.

    "Draco, is this true?" Grey eyes averted from green and fell upon another set of grey eyes, so similar and yet Harry knew they couldn't be more different.

    Draco's face hardened, his features set in a familiar look that Harry knew only too well, all his emotions locked so deep inside him so that even his Father could not recognise them.

    "Yes." He said simply. Without missing a beat, Lucius pounced onto his next question.

    "Well then, what else do you remember from this ordeal?" Draco didn't hesitate, nor bat an eyelid before answering, and Harry really had to commend him on how well he did it.

    "Not much really. I only seem to remember things from when I was scared or fearful. So the only thing I remember is being chased, cornered and threatened by my housemates." Harry could have leapt out of his seat and hugged Draco. Harry's suggestion of only revealing certain things about his memories was certainly put to good use; he had used it to get Harry out of trouble.

    The rest of the meeting was a bit of a blur for Harry. Lucius got riled up, Draco stayed surprisingly calm and stuck to his guns and Dumbledore sat back with that knowing twinkle in his eye. It was the aftermath of the meeting that concerned Harry the most; when he cornered Draco in the hall after he had bid his Father farewell.

    “Draco, wait!” No answer. Harry ran to catch up, putting a hand on the blonde’s shoulder and spinning him around. “I said stop.” He was met with cold eyes and a hard face. “I just wanted to say thank-you…for everything.”

    “I don’t want your gratitude Potter.” And then he was gone, and Harry was left alone in the hall once more with nothing but a heavy heart for company.

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