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Maxine ([personal profile] maxine_chan) wrote2006-07-01 01:17 am
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FIC: All the Answers - Chapter 13

Daaamn, look how fast I got this out! Hehe. Anyhoo, don’t have much to say. Enjoy!


Title: All the Answers
Fandom: Harry Potter
Rating: NC-17
Pairing: Harry/Draco
Word Count: 6200
Disclaimer: It's not mine. Really. J.K. Rowling's the brilliant mind behind HP.
Notes: Post-HBP, so yes, SPOILERS! Many, many thanks to my lovely betas, [livejournal.com profile] smutella and [livejournal.com profile] impish_nymph! Ladies, you're both fantastic!
Summary: Since when has conquering evil ever been easy?


--> All chapters can be found here. <--



previous chapter


~~Chapter 13~~


“Occlumency really isn’t all that different from other types of magic. It requires a certain amount of power and training, yes, but when it all comes down to it, you just really have to want to do it.”

“That might possibly be a problem, then…”

Draco sighed. It was the following morning, and he and Harry were sitting cross-legged in front of each other beside their tent. They’d decided to forgo searching for the Horcrux that day in favor of getting a start on the Occlumency training.

“It was sort of a problem for me, too,” Draco admitted. “I wasn’t exactly willing last summer when my – when – when Bellatrix was trying to teach me. But there are ways around that.” Harry arched an eyebrow, but Draco ignored it. “Anyway, as I was saying… It’s sort of like an Unforgivable Curse, really.”

Harry’s brow furrowed. “Exactly how is it like an Unforgivable?”

“Well…” Draco paused, considering. “Okay, for example, I gathered from something Bellatrix said, and then again during your conversation with Snape, that you tried to cast the Cruciatus curse and it didn’t work, right?”

“…”

Draco rolled his eyes. “It’s no big deal, Potter. And I’ll take that as a yes.”

“Bellatrix said it was because I didn’t actually mean it. I didn’t honestly want to cause pain.”

“Exactly! You didn’t want to do it.”

Harry sighed. “Well, after being subjected to it myself…” He trailed off, rubbing his neck and staring at nothing in particular, before he directed his gaze back to Draco. “Have you ever been under it?”

Draco stared at him for a long moment, hands clasped under his chin, before his eyes shifted to the side. “I’d rather not talk about that,” he said briskly.

“…Alright,” Harry said after a moment.

“In any case,” Draco continued loudly, “you have to mean it when you attempt Occlumency. Honestly, Potter, I wouldn’t think you’d have such a hard time with it. You managed to do the Patronus charm in third year; you threw off the Imperius curse in fourth…” He cocked his head to the side. “Snape must have really gone about it the wrong way.”

For some reason completely unbeknownst to Harry, he felt his cheeks warm. It was kind of a roundabout compliment, but praise from Draco Malfoy was something Harry had really never expected to get. It made his stomach tighten in a weird way.

“Did you ever manage to Occlude successfully with Snape?” Draco asked.

“Occasionally,” Harry replied, thinking back to fifth year.

“Okay, that’s a start, at least. I’m curious, what sort of memories did he see that made you want him out of your head?”

Harry blinked. “Well… I mean, I’m not sure I remember. He pulled up a lot of stuff from my childhood that I’d thought I’d forgotten.”

“Did that bother you?”

Harry shrugged. “I suppose.”

“Potter…” Draco pinched the bridge of his nose in exasperation. “Come on, you have to give me something to work with here! At least be a little willing!”

“I’m sorry!” Harry exclaimed. “I told you I wasn’t exactly keen on learning this.”

Draco closed his eyes, took a deep breath, and slowly let it out again. “Just try to remember,” he said testily.

Harry huffed, looking away. “Look, you have to understand that half the time I was with Snape, I was trying to get him to bring up certain memories. There was this dream I’d been having and… Well, anyway…”

“Dream?” Draco repeated, arching an eyebrow.

“It’s nothing,” Harry said. “It’s not important anymore. It was never important.”

Potter,” Draco groaned.

“Alright, alright! Let me think…” Harry closed his eyes, thinking back, trying to remember some of what Snape had seen…

He was sitting under the Sorting Hat, and it was telling him he would do well in Slytherin… Hermione was lying in the hospital wing, her face covered with thick black hair… A hundred dementors were closing in on him beside the dark lake… Cho Chang was drawing nearer to him under the mistletoe…

“Oh!” Harry blinked, staring at Draco. “It was because of Cho. Snape was about to see – er…”

“Oh, do tell,” Draco said, looking amused. “So, it was because of a girl, then? Makes sense.”

“Does it?”

Draco dragged a hand through his hair, looking slightly disgruntled all of a sudden. “As my aunt was so kind to teach me, the more personal or embarrassing the memory, the less likely it is you’ll want someone to see it. And while all memories are personal on some level, there are some that are just – private.” He gave Harry a look, smirking a bit. “Experiences with various girlfriends, for one.”

Harry swallowed nervously, not liking the direction this was going. “But…that was only the one time. The other times…”

Cedric Diggory was lying on the ground with blank eyes staring at him…

A hundred dementors were swooping toward Harry across the lake in the grounds… He screwed up his face in concentration… They were coming closer…He could see the dark holes beneath their hoods…


Harry shuddered. “The other times I managed to get him out were because of…really bad memories.”

Draco nodded. “That works, too, but…” He shrugged. “Maybe we’ll try to avoid bad memories.”

Harry looked at him sharply. “Does that mean you won’t be avoiding the embarrassing memories?” he asked warily. His eyes widened when Draco gave him an absolutely feral looking grin.

“Of course not,” Draco said, raising his wand.

Harry jolted. “Wait – Malfoy – don’t–!”

Legilimens!

He was walking hurriedly down the hall towards Gryffindor… The portrait was swinging open, people were cheering… He was kissing Ginny and it was the best he’d felt all year… They were walking around the lake, sitting beneath one of the trees, holding hands… Ginny was smiling at him, leaning closer…

“NO!” Harry shouted falling forward onto his hands. He was panting heavily, and his forehead was sweaty.

“Ow,” Draco said plaintively, wincing as he pushed himself up from the forest floor.

Harry looked at him. “Are you alright?” he asked absently, before remembering exactly why Draco was on his back. His eyes narrowed. “You bastard!” he said angrily, hands closing into fists. Draco ignored him, rubbing his wrists with a concentrated expression on his face.

“So you can do it,” he murmured, giving Harry an appraising look.

“Malfoy!” Harry spat. “That’s not the point! You said you wouldn’t–”

“Au contraire, I said nothing of the sort, Potter! And if I did…well, then I lied.”

“That’s it.” Harry stood abruptly. “We’re not going to do this if that’s how it’s going to be.”

“Oh, sit down, Potter,” Draco said in a bored tone. “Don’t stomp away and have a hissy fit.”

“I’m not going to–”

Sit,” Draco repeated, wand now trained on Harry.

Harry just rolled his eyes. “Oh, sure. Threaten me now. That makes everything better. And you want me to trust you?” He laughed shortly, crossing his arms. “Besides, we’re not supposed to be doing magic out here so you can’t–”

“And what exactly do you think Occlumency is?” Draco interrupted.

Harry faltered. “That’s – that’s different.”

“Whatever. Sit down, Potter.”

Harry frowned, looking from Draco to their tent and back. Draco watched him steadily, and after a long moment, Harry huffed and slowly sat down again. “Look, Malfoy, I don’t want you looking at memories like that. They’re private.”

“If you don’t want me looking at them, just keep me out of your head,” Draco said smugly. Harry glowered at him. “You did it before! Obviously you can do it if you really put your mind to it.”

“Is Legilimency the same?”

“Pretty much. Like I said, it’s not exactly difficult to learn. The hard part is fine-tuning it.” Draco brought his hand up to his head, tapping his temple as he spoke. “You won’t get very far if people can feel you stomping around and picking things apart inside their head. You have to practice, and you have to practice a lot. I’m not that good at it yet, and you can tell because you saw everything that I saw. Real Legilimens can see all that without the other person knowing.”

Harry’s brow furrowed. “But when I was practicing with Snape, I saw everything he saw…” he said, confused.

“Well, duh,” Draco said in a slightly exasperated tone. “How are you supposed to keep him out if you don’t even know he’s there? It’s a training mechanism. Trust me, Snape probably has his walls up every second of every day, and if he were really to try and invade your mind, you’d have no idea. I don’t know of anyone who’s managed to get inside Snape’s head.”

“I have,” Harry’s mouth said before his brain had registered the words. His eyes widened and he slapped a hand across his mouth before it could say anything else without his permission.

Draco blinked. “You…have? Really?”

Harry deliberated with himself briefly, and then nodded. “But don’t ask me what I saw,” he said quickly, moving his hand. “Because I promised I wouldn’t tell anyone.”

“But you did see something.” It wasn’t so much a question as it was a statement. Harry nodded again. “Bloody hell, Potter,” Draco said, giving Harry a perplexed look. “So what you really need help with, then, is the fine-tuning part. You can keep people out easily enough, as long as you’re consciously thinking about it.”

“I can?” Harry asked, bewildered.

“You just had me on my back not a minute ago,” Draco said, a bitter edge to his words, and then, as if realizing how that sounded, his cheeks went pink.

Harry blinked and felt his own cheeks go warm. For a brief but awkward moment – and Harry was positive it was awkward for both of them this time – they sat there staring at each other, before Draco cleared his throat and looked away.

“What I meant,” he said, a little bit softer, “was that you got me out fairly quickly, and fairly easily by the look of it.”

“I didn’t want you seeing…” Harry trailed off, making random gestures with his hands.

Draco smirked. “Yes, I know what you didn’t want me seeing,” he said. “And if that’s what it’s going to take for you to keep me out, then that’s what I’m going to keep looking for.” He grinned, and Harry, knowing what was coming, groaned and braced himself for the attack. “Legilimens!

Ginny was kissing him. They were out by the lake again, skipping class… Soft hands snuck under his shirt, running across his stomach and sides, trailing back and forth and back and forth… Ginny was kissing his jaw. Ginny was kissing his collar. Ginny was slowly taking off his shirt… Her mouth was moving down, down, down; they were beneath one of the trees, it was raining, nobody else was around… Ginny’s fingers traced along the top of his trousers–

Someone yelped and the images vanished. Harry gasped, finding himself bent over on his knees, face buried against fists that were clenching the grass below him like it was his only lifeline for survival. He took a moment to compose himself, and then, recognizing that the yelp he’d heard had come from Draco, slowly raised his eyes.

Draco was on his back again, but from the way his chest was hitching up and down with undisguised laughter, Harry guessed that he hadn’t done any lasting damage.

“Shut up,” Harry muttered when Draco pushed himself into a sitting position. Draco merely shrugged and grinned a little, looking a bit flushed. “It’s not funny!”

“Oh Merlin, yeah it is,” Draco said, laughing again.

“Damn it, Malfoy–”

“Again!” Draco said, and before Harry could straighten himself out, Draco had his wand raised. “Legilimens!

Ginny’s fingers dipped below the waistband of his jeans...

Shit shit shit.

She wrapped her hand around him slowly… Harry dug his hands into her hair, gasping against her mouth as she moved her hand…

No, don’t let him see, don’t let him see!

Harry was kissing her desperately… Ginny pulled back, grinned at him, and dropped to her knees…

Get out, get out, GET OUT.

“NO!” Harry yelled, thrusting his wand hand out blindly. Draco flew back again, landed with a loud thud and skidded a couple of feet across the grass. Harry blinked his eyes open, feeling bewildered that he wasn’t on his hands and knees again. “Er…” He winced as Draco sat up, grimacing, and tried to remind himself that he had absolutely nothing to feel guilty about. “Alright there?” he asked.

“Peachy keen,” Draco grunted, rolling his shoulders. He glanced at Harry out of the corner of his eye. “Potter, what you need to try to do is stop me before I ever even get into your head. Obviously as the memory gets more and more personal, the need to throw me out becomes greater and therefore Occluding becomes easier. But the whole point of Occlumency is to never let me in your head in the first place.”

Harry sighed, rubbing his forehead. “I know, I know, it’s just – I’m not sure how…”

“How to do it?”

Harry nodded. “Aside from meaning it… Snape told me to clear my mind.”

“That’s one way to do it. People can’t read your thoughts if you’re not thinking anything at all. Though that can be a bit tedious.” Draco began twirling his wand absently as he spoke. “What I like to do is imagine a brick wall that nothing can get past. Like, it’s just blocking everything from entering my head.” He shrugged. “To each his own, I guess, but that’s something you definitely need to work on. The other thing you need to practice is keeping that wall in place at all times, so you’re ready for any surprise attacks. Because it’s not likely the Dark Lord’s going to send you an invitation with the time and place of when he’d like to plunder your brain. For instance.” Draco abruptly stopped twirling and pointed his wand at Harry. “Legilimens!

“Wait–!” Harry managed to get out, before once again memories were surging to the forefront of his mind.

It was nearing the end of the year, and he and Ginny were in the Room of Requirement… They were on the couch, Harry on top of her, her arms around his neck, drawing him down to meet her…

Bloody fucking hell. Not this one. Malfoy would not be seeing this.

She was wearing a skirt, so it was easy for him to sneak his hands beneath it… He slid down her body, marveling at her soft skin and curvy build, at the flowery scent that she always had on…

No way, Malfoy. Get the hell out of my head! OUT!

Ginny smiled up at him, eyes half closed and very satisfied looking… Her cheeks were flushed, she was breathing heavily… Her hand reached out to touch the naked skin of his chest…

NO! OUT! OUT! OUT!

The ground seemed to lurch beneath Harry, tipping him forward and onto his hands and knees once more. His head was pounding now; he could barely open his eyes. Groaning, he leaned forward, meaning to rest his head against the cool grass, but he found something else entirely.

Wearily, Harry opened his eyes. This sucked. Not only did he have a horrible headache now, he also had another little problem going on further south. Damn Draco for making him relive those times with Ginny…

Why was there a body beneath him? And why was it wearing Draco’s shirt?

“Yo, Potter,” Draco said, and Harry’s head snapped up to find Draco’s face not far from his own. He blinked, taking in their position and finding it very familiar. He’d just seen it in his mind, after all. Harry on all fours; Ginny beneath him, aglow with the aftereffects of teenage mischief, smiling and panting.

Harry liked that memory. It was one he had wanked to often. It was playing again in his mind right now, in fact.

But then something terrible happened.

Things shifted and blurred, and suddenly it wasn’t Ginny below him on the couch, but Draco like he was seeing him now. Forehead sweaty, face red with exertion, chest heaving for breath. It was Draco reaching out for him, Draco running a hand along his chest, trailing it further down. Further…down…

Harry’s little problem suddenly became a rather big problem.

“POTTER!”

“What?” Harry asked, snapping out of it. He blinked rapidly, startled to find Draco beneath him. With a loud gasp he threw himself backwards, eyes wide as he goggled at Draco. “What – what happened?”

“You pushed me out of your head and then fell on top of me,” Draco said, giving Harry an odd look. “What’s your problem?”

“Um.” Harry’s face was burning, he could practically feel the heat wafting off of him. “N-nothing. I just – that last memory…” He looked at Draco and saw the boy’s still-flushed face, and swallowed nervously. “Just – embarrassing,” Harry managed to say. “I’m – I’m gonna… Can we take a break? It’s about lunch time, isn’t it?”

“Yeah, I guess it is,” Draco replied, glancing up at the sun. If he noticed anything amiss about Harry’s behavior, he said nothing of it. “We can take a break, then. We’ll continue this later.”

“Actually, I think we should search more for the Horcrux this afternoon,” Harry said. “Just in case, you know? We – we shouldn’t put it off entirely.”

Draco frowned. “If you say so.”

“Good.” Harry nodded. “Good. Right, then. Um. I’m going to take a walk real quick. I’ll – uh – I’ll be right back.”

“Sure…” Draco said slowly. Harry thought maybe Draco had finally cottoned on to the fact that something was very, very wrong. He cursed under his breath.

“Right. See you.” And then without waiting for a reply, Harry took off. He walked rapidly through the forest for a good ten minutes, until he felt he was far enough away from – from everything. From Draco, from Occlumency, from Horcruxes, from all of that. He just needed to calm down. His brain had overloaded a bit, that’s all.

“Okay,” he breathed, leaning back against one of trees when he came to a stop. “It’s alright. It’s because you were forced to think about Ginny all morning, that’s why.” He shifted, groaning at the too-tight confines of his trousers, and didn’t put up much of a fight with himself before he unbuckled the clasp and slowly lowered the zipper. “It’s because of Ginny,” he reminded himself, curling his fingers around the velvety soft skin of his cock. “That’s all. Ginny.” He brought up the memory of when they’d been in the Room of Requirement again, and when he came it was to the image of her smiling up at him.

At least, he thought it was Ginny. He was pretty positive.

Maybe.

* * *

“Have a good wank, Potter?”

So startling and horrifying was this simple comment when he returned to the camp that Harry actually stumbled and tripped over his own feet, falling sideways against a random tree while he stared at Draco in shock.

What?” he croaked, completely wide-eyed.

Draco snorted. “What, you think I don’t know why you just ran off? I’ve only been torturing you with memories of your girlfriend all morning, so I’m not surprised.”

Harry pursed his lips and willed his face to stop blushing. “Ex-girlfriend,” he corrected. “And shut up about it already.”

“If you insist.”

“I do.”

“I must say, though, that I’m rather impressed with how far you got in such a short period of time–”

“Malfoy!”

Draco chuckled. “Sorry, sorry. Well, not really, but you know.”

Harry sighed, pushing a hand through his hair. “This is so embarrassing,” he muttered.

“I’m having fun,” Draco said cheerfully.

“Damn it, Malfoy!”

* * *

It took forever for Harry to fall asleep that night. It had gotten significantly colder than the previous nights, though that wasn’t really what was keeping him up. He was getting more than enough extra body heat from Draco, and that was really part of the problem – the actual problem being a repeat of what had happened that afternoon. Harry had thought he’d done away with it, but of course the stupid thing had instead followed him to bed.

It wasn’t like Harry was an innocent in matters like these. He’d lived in a dorm for six years, after all. He’d just never had such a hard time of it around Draco of all people. It was rather weird.

Of course, he placed the blame entirely on Draco and his methods of teaching Occlumency. They were going to practice again in the morning, and Harry definitely wasn’t looking forward to it. He almost wished they were going Horcrux hunting instead, even though they hadn’t had any luck that afternoon. Hermione had sent a message via her otter Patronus, and apparently she and Ron kept turning up empty-handed, as well.

This whole trip was turning out to be a complete bust.

Draco murmured something in his sleep and rolled over so that now Harry wasn’t staring at the back of his head, but rather at the surprisingly peaceful look on his face. Harry had seen Draco asleep before, and he never failed to be amazed at just how different the boy seemed from when he was awake. He almost looked innocent, which was a word that Harry most certainly never associated with Draco

“Annoying prat,” he mumbled, and then promptly turned his back on him and hoped that watching the wall instead would eventually put him to sleep.

* * *

Legilimens!

“Again, Potter!”

“You’ve got to get me out faster than that!”

Legilimens!

“Again!”

Legilimens!

“Good, good, now try not letting me in at all.”

“Again!”

Legilimens!

“Keep the wall up, Potter!”

“AGAIN!”

Harry groaned, falling backwards onto the grass and rubbing small circles on his temple with the pads of his fingers. “Come on, Malfoy, give me a break! My head is killing me!”

“Oh, suck it up, Potter!” Draco said, sitting down beside him. “We’re going to get this Occlumency thing down pat before we leave this place.”

“When can I learn Legilimency?”

Draco laughed shortly. “I’m not teaching you that,” he said. “You think I want you rooting through all my personal memories? Definitely not.”

“You’ve seen all of mine,” Harry muttered. He was pretty certain his face was permanently red by now. Half the time Draco wasn’t even seeing stuff with Ginny anymore. Often it was just Harry by himself, in bed, late at night when nobody else was awake. Knowing that Draco had seen those memories was almost worse than knowing he’d seen Ginny half-naked.

“Come on,” Draco said, hopping to his feet. “Let’s do it again.”

Harry rolled his eyes and made a great show of standing up as if he were in pain. He braced himself.

Legilimens!

Harry was in bed at the Burrow, knees bent and feet planted firmly on the mattress…

Wait… The Burrow…the twins’ room. This had to be a recent memory.

His hand was moving quickly, up down up down, images were flashing through his mind… Mostly of Ginny. Ginny laughing, Ginny smiling, Ginny winking at him, Ginny kissing him…

Oh, shit.

But then something else snuck in. Something that he was unprepared for, to say the least… He was thinking of when they’d visited Gryffindor, and when Ginny had flung herself at him… Ginny was joking around with Seamus… Seamus was kissing Justin…

“NO! GET OUT, GET OUT, GET OUT!” Harry yelled, unaware he was doing so. He pushed, shoved with all his might, and suddenly new images were flashing before his mind’s eye. But they weren’t of him; they weren’t even of people he knew. They kept spinning by, and every so often he’d catch a glimpse of something familiar. Then, all at once, images of people he recognized tumbled out before him.

Pansy was walking toward him, her gown an absolute monstrosity, but she obviously loved it and was smiling and happy and therefore he smiled and was happy… Blaise was smirking at him, making a snide comment about the Quidditch team… Crabbe and Goyle grimaced as they drank a sludgy, muddy looking potion… Pansy was slamming him into a wall, she was kissing him, she was wrapping her arms around his neck and holding on tight…

Okay…okay, he really didn’t want to be seeing this.

He was tossing her onto his bed, it was the middle of the day so there was no one else around, everyone else was in class… Their clothes came off piece by piece and soon they were writhing on the bed together…

Um, Malfoy? Occlumency? Anytime now.

It was incredible, the most amazing thing he’d ever experienced. She was wet and warm and tight and he kept moving in and out, thrusting deeper and deeper…

The exit! WHERE IS THE EXIT?

It was like being trapped in quicksand. The more he tried to back away, the more he saw. The more he tried to escape, to get out of Draco’s head, the deeper he fell. He felt lost, like he’d never find his way out again, and he was really about to start panicking when finally, finally, there was a loud cry and Harry found himself flying backwards and landing with a jarring thud on his back.

“What the hell, Potter?!” Draco was saying furiously, the heel of his hand pressed against his temple. “What the bloody fuck was that? Had a good time, did you? Learn anything useful?!”

“Only that sex is apparently the greatest thing in the world,” Harry muttered, pushing himself into a cross-legged position. “Ouch,” he said absently, reaching behind him to rub his back.

“You weren’t supposed to see that!” Draco growled. His face was flushed pink, the color reaching all the way across his cheeks and spreading into his ears as well. He was panting heavily, his eyes were wide, and he couldn’t have looked more embarrassed if he tried.

Harry gave him an incredulous look. “Well, now you know how I feel, don’t you?”

“That’s – that’s not the point!”

“Oh, get over it, Malfoy, it’s not that big a deal.”

“YES, IT IS.”

Harry rolled his eyes. “So I saw you having sex,” he said, and at once the memory surfaced again and he felt his own cheeks go hot. Okay, so maybe it was a little bit much…

“Stop thinking about it!” Draco cried, ripping up a tuft of grass and throwing it at Harry.

“I’m not!” Harry exclaimed, except he was and Draco knew it and Merlin on a fucking broomstick, he had never wanted to know what Draco Malfoy looked like when he was in the midst of an orgasm.

Oh, wonderful, super, now he couldn’t get the image out of his head. Fuck. Bloody hell. Bloody fucking hell!

His problem was back again. Harry frowned in the direction of his crotch, wondering just what the hell was going on with his body lately, and Draco threw another clump of grass at him.

“STOP IT!”

“Merlin, shut up, Malfoy!” Harry rubbed the back of his neck awkwardly. “Why didn’t you Occlude sooner?” he asked. “I got lost in there, I couldn’t find my way out. It’s not like I wanted to see all that.”

“I tried,” Draco said, glowering at Harry. “You’re better at this stuff than you know.”

“I can’t be that good if I couldn’t even get out again.”

“Yeah, well, still…”

There was a very heavy silence between them, then. Harry cast around for things to say, but could come up with nothing that didn’t sound completely obvious.

So instead he settled for: “So, you’ve had sex then?”

Draco’s eyes went wide and he did an odd combination of blanching and blushing. “Potter!

Harry shrugged sheepishly. “I just – I didn’t know. I guess I thought you hadn’t.”

Draco frowned. “No. No, I one-upped you in that department. I’ve only ever done it twice, but there you go.”

“Two more times than me,” Harry grumbled. “Probably a million times less than Ron.”

Potter,” Draco said, scrunching up his nose. “Yuck. I thought we were never going to mention that again.”

“Sorry.” Harry gave a sheepish grin and Draco rolled his eyes. The tension in the air gradually began to dissipate, and Harry felt his shoulders relax. “You want to give it another go?”

“Eh…” Draco looked nervous. “I don’t know, I think you’ve got a pretty good handle on it now.”

“Malfoy, come on,” Harry said. “Don’t let that scare you off.”

“I’m not scared,” Draco insisted. “Just – oh, fine. Ready? Legili–”

“Wait!” Harry interrupted. Draco arched his eyebrows at him, wand still held aloft. “Let’s forget the embarrassing stuff,” Harry said, not entirely willing to subject himself to that experience again. “I need to be able to keep people out no matter what they’re looking at. Start bringing up random things.”

Draco cocked his head to the side. “Yeah, I guess that makes sense,” he said. “Alright then. Legilimens!

He was five and he wanted to play football with the other kids, but Dudley kept kicking the ball at his head so instead he was forced to watch from the sidelines… He was seven and he’d fallen off the slide at the park. Aunt Petunia gave him a glance and sneered, sending him straight to the bathroom to clean his cuts… He was eleven and he had just found out he was a wizard, and there was an annoying little blond boy in the robe shop who reminded him of Dudley…

“Okay!” Harry said loudly, forcing Draco from his mind with much more ease than he’d been able to the day before. “Enough of that one.”

“I reminded you of Dudley?” Draco asked, lips curling. “That fat kid you were thinking about? Who the hell is he and how did I remind you of him?!”

Harry sighed. “My cousin. You've met him. Briefly,” he said. Extremely briefly; Dudley had done a fantastic job of avoiding them those few weeks over the summer. “And you were annoying and stuck up like he was. Is.”

Draco gasped. “I was not stuck up! I was trying to be friendly!”

“Whatever, Malfoy,” Harry said, rolling his eyes. “I’m not getting into this with you now. There’s no point.”

“There is too a point–”

“Malfoy!” Harry interrupted. “Just get on with it, will you?”

Draco huffed. “Fine, then,” he said. And then he…did nothing. He sat there, staring at Harry until Harry began to feel uncomfortable.

“…What?” he asked, squirming a bit. “Why are you–” But before he could finish the question, the memories rushed forth and Harry realized what had just happened. Draco had done the spell nonverbally, so that Harry would be unprepared.

Harry pushed him out almost immediately.

“Nice try,” he said, grinning. “I’m getting better at this.”

“Yeah, maybe. Or maybe I just need to brush up on my nonverbal skills.” Draco smirked and then did it again, and it felt significantly stronger this time.

There was a face on the back of Professor Quirrell’s head, staring at him, talking to him, asking for the Philosopher’s Stone… Professor Lupin was shifting, changing, stretching in his own skin until he had fangs and claws and beady yellow eyes… Sirius was laughing with him, telling him stories about his father… Sirius was fighting for him… Sirius was falling…

“NO!!” Harry pushed again, pushed Draco’s presence away desperately, and once again he found himself falling. He recognized the feel of Draco’s mind almost immediately, and before anything could happen he tried to back away, to pull out…

But he had unintentionally stirred up some of Draco’s memories, and it felt like he had taken a wrong step backwards, lost his balance, and slipped past some sort of barrier into the deep recesses of Draco’s mind.

His father was scolding him for not being the top in his class, for losing to a Muggle of all horrid things… His father was telling him to stop talking about Harry Potter all the time… His father was telling him he couldn’t have a broom… His father was proud of him for making the Quidditch team…

Oh, fuck. Malfoy was going to be pissed at him again for seeing stuff like this.

His father was in Azkaban. Azkaban. Azkaban! HOW HAD THIS HAPPENED? It was all Potter’s fault, it was because of him… The Dark Lord was entering the room, it was the first time he had ever seen him face-to-face… He was going to be given the Dark Mark, it was finally time to prove himself, he would do it for the sake of his family, his father was going to be proud of him… This was an amazing opportunity, oh how he was going to prove his worth, no one else in his year had the Dark Mark, what would Pansy say? Everyone would be jealous of him…

Harry could feel Malfoy pulling away now. The thoughts became muddled, as if there really was a wall being put in place. But this was different. This was interesting. He wanted to see this. So he fought back, pushing the wall out of the way and bringing the memories forward.

The Dark Lord was threatening his family… He had to do it, he had to kill him. He’d almost killed two other people now, but it didn’t matter because they were fine. What mattered was that his parents would be murdered if he couldn’t accomplish this one simple task… It was impossible. He wouldn’t be able to do it. His parents were going to die. He needed to get help but he had no one to go to… Aunt Bellatrix said not to trust Professor Snape… Potter was behind him. He was staring at him in the mirror. He’d seen him crying… There was so much blood around him, why was there so much blood, what was happening?… He couldn’t do it, he couldn’t kill him, he didn’t want to kill him, why should he have to do this? This wasn’t fair…

Malfoy was fighting harder now, there was almost a desperate feel to it, but he hung on anyway. He had to see this.

Dumbledore was offering him protection. Was it really possible? Could he really be saved, could he really get his mother out of harm’s way? Should he accept it? Should he take it? Yes, do it, DO IT… Dumbledore was dead. Dumbledore was dead and it was ALL HIS FAULT… The Dark Lord was angry with him, why was he angry with him, hadn’t the task been accomplished? Dumbledore was out of the way, the Dark Lord should be happy, why was he still threatening to kill his parents?… He was in a jail cell, his clothes were torn, everything hurt and his side was bleeding, what was going to happen to him, was his mother still alive?… The Dark Lord was giving him a task. He pulled out his wand, he was pointing it at him, his lips were moving, saying a single word…

The memory sort of splintered there, like it was a glass plane that had just been hit with a rock. It fell apart and suddenly, even though it was just a memory and he hadn’t been able to feel anything in any of the other memories, he was in pain. It was excruciating and he recognized it immediately. Hundreds of sharp knives were digging into every inch of his skin, he’d just been pushed into a pit of nails and he was being rolled around, there was electricity running through his body and he just wanted it to stop, already, STOP.

And then Draco screamed, and everything went black.

* * *

Harry jolted awake. He was lying flat on his back staring at the afternoon sky. And it was definitely the afternoon. When had that happened? Hadn’t it just been around noon? Weren’t they just about to break for lunch?

They…

Oh, shit.

Harry forced himself to his knees, ignoring the throbbing, pounding ache in his head – hell, all throughout his body. Something was wrong, he shouldn’t feel like this, it wasn’t like he’d actually been under the Cruciatus curse just now, it had just been a memory and not even his own…

Draco was lying just a few feet away, still out cold. They both must have passed out, then. If that was indeed what had happened. What had happened? Harry was so confused.

Harry frowned, slowly crawling over towards the other boy. He rested a hand on Draco’s shoulder, shaking him very lightly, and was inexplicably relieved when he saw that Draco was still breathing. That was good, at least.

Harry turned away and sat heavily on the ground beside Draco. He let out a breath and pulled his knees up to his chest, resting his chin on them. His brow furrowed.

What the hell had that been about?



*whistles innocently*

Well, I’ll be back in a week. I’m off to Florida for a vacation, so I won’t be around to answer any questions about the chapter. If you have them. Because I know Nymphy did, and I didn’t answer a single one of hers cuz I’m MEAN. HAHAHA! >D

~Maxine


next chapter





You can also read it at my website, or at Skyehawke.

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