Summary: When Draco goes missing, Harry goes to his aid.
Disclaimer: All Harry Potter characters herein are the property of J.K. Rowling and Bloomsbury/Scholastic. No copyright infringement is intended.
Epilogue compliant? No
Word Count: 2,404
Author's Notes: Happy Holidays Lokeloke! Thanks to my beta N.
Harry sighed as he finished the last of his paperwork. It was his least favorite part of being an Auror. Well, besides sometimes getting hit with hexes and curses, but at least that part was exciting. Sitting behind a desk was just plain boring. But now, he could go home. He sighed in contentment; soon he would be sitting in his favorite chair in front of a roaring fire. He would sip tea, spiked with a bit of Firewhiskey, and watch the snowfall. Ah, he couldn’t wait; it sounded divine.
That was when the door burst open.
“Harry?” Ron asked, shock on his face. Harry groaned gently. He just knew this was going to ruin his quiet night at home.
“What is it, Ron?” He sighed.
“Draco Malfoy’s gone missing! His mother just came in. And Harry, she specifically asked for you.” Ron’s face twisted as if he wasn’t at all sure what to think about that.
Harry didn’t know how to react. Shock filled him, with other emotions he couldn’t quite describe. He had long since stopped hating Malfoy after what had happened at the end of the war. And, in fact they had grown… quite close, in a way, by sending correspondence via owl every couple of weeks. In fact, though Harry had never admitted it, he had grown very fond of Draco. If they were still in school, he might have said that he had a crush on him.
He jumped out of his chair and rushed past Ron into the main area of the Auror office. Naricissa Malfoy was the only person in the room. It was late in the evening already, and most of the others had already gone home.
“What happened?” he asked her, and there was a small bit of frantic in his voice.
Narcissia Malfoy had obviously been weeping. Her pale skin was red and blotchy, there were tear streaks down her cheeks and her nose and eyes were puffy. She clutched a white embroidered handkerchief in her hand. “Potter!” she cried out and immediate fell into his arms. Harry caught her, of course, but he felt extremely awkward being so close to a woman he had so much history with.
“You have to help him! I went to see him at his flat and the door was ajar, so I went in and there were signs of a struggle! Tables and chairs turned over, and scorch marks on the walls from spells, and D-Draco was gone! I’m sure someone took him!” she sobbed.
Harry nodded and deposited the weeping woman in a nearby seat. “Don’t worry, Mrs. Malfoy, I’ll find him. Do you have any idea who might have done this?”
“I know there are still some old Death Eaters running around, but there’s only one that might target Draco. He’s been obsessed with Draco since he was as child.…” She paused and struggled as though the name was stuck in her throat. Harry was about to encourage her on when she choked it out. “Fenrir Greyback.”
Harry started. That was not on the list of names he had been expecting to hear. “I thought he was dead?” Harry demanded. Fear flooded through him.
All Narcissa could do was break down, shaking her head and weeping.
“Do you know where he is, Narcissa? Do you know where he would have taken Draco?”
She was shaking. “His home. He had an awful apartment in Knockturn Alley. I-I think it was at 2020 Knockturn Alley, the last apartment on the end, maybe? I only went there once, when the second war was just beginning. I don’t know if he still lives there. P-Please, Harry! Find him!”
Harry nodded and glanced up at one of the remaining Aurors in the office, who had ventured into the lobby as Narcissa had talked. “Keep an eye on her. Take her home.” The man, Thornturn, nodded and spoke quietly to Narcissa. Harry turned to Ron who had already grabbed both his and Harry’s cloaks and looked ready to go.
X X X X
They crossed the invisible boundary from Diagon Alley into Knockturn Alley, and walked cautiously down the cobblestone walkway, wands ready. It was eerily quiet on the street, there were no people around, but a strange wind blew through the old stone buildings. Harry was tentative entering the area, and pulled his hood closer to his face to keep it hidden. They walked past the shops, most with fronts like apothecaries, which actually sold Dark ingredients. A wizard bum in torn and rank-smelling robes lay in a gutter as they entered the small residential neighborhood at the very back of Knockturn Alley.
It was easy to find the apartment complex Narcissa had mentioned. It was nosier here; he could hear someone crying, a child screaming, and a voice yelling. Harry glanced at Ron and nodded. As they got closer, Harry started shaking – a tic he hadn’t experienced since his first year of being an Auror. Fenrir Greyback was a highly dangerous werewolf, and had been one of the worst Death Eaters. He hated to think what he was doing to Draco.
He moved forward and walked up the outside staircase to the second floor. 2020 D was directly in front of him, but he couldn’t hear anything within. Deciding to check on the other apartments as well, he turned left and passed C, B, then reached A at the end of the walkway, where Narcissa had said was most likely Fenrir’s apartment.
The crying Harry had heard from the street was coming from this room. It was so much louder now they were closer. Though the sound was wrenching, if it was Draco, it meant that he was alive, and something lifted inside Harry. They weren’t too late. Quickly, Harry checked that Ron was ready behind him, and very slowly, he turned the doorknob, wand pointed straight ahead.
Instantaneously, the smell of blood bombarded Harry’s nostrils. He nearly gagged. He pushed down the wave of nausea and was about to step in when he noticed a naked, blood-soaked Draco Malfoy sitting on the edge of the bed, crying. There was a wand in his hand, and a mangled and freshly murdered Fenrir Greyback at his feet.
“Draco?” Harry whispered in astonishment. Draco’s head snapped up at the sound and he brought the wand up, pointing it at the two of them in the doorway. “Draco, it’s me. Harry Potter. Your mother sent me to help you, though it looks to me like you managed without me.” He was trying to make a half-hearted joke out of it, to relax Draco.
“H-Harry?” Draco whispered, half sobbed, lowering the wand quickly. “I-I didn’t mean to. I swear it was self-defense!” he cried, obviously afraid Harry would arrest him. Harry shook his head gently, and moved into the room, being careful where he stepped. He swung off his cloak and motioned for Draco to stand and come to him.
The other man was shaky on his feet as he stood up, but managed. Stepping over the body, he walked toward Harry, who tried to be as discreet as possible, offering Draco his cloak. Draco’s cries had quieted, though tears were still streaming down his cheeks as Harry brought his arm around him. Ron had moved out of the way, eyeing Fenrir’s body as he called the Ministry to bring in the investigators.
“I’m going to take Draco back to my place. I’ll get his statement there,” he whispered to Ron who nodded and watched as the others Apparated out on the landing.
X X X X
Harry lived in a cozy home just outside London. Once inside, Harry led Draco up the stairs to the main bathroom and turned on the water for Draco to take a shower. “When you come back down, Draco, we’ll have a hot, strong cup of tea, and you can tell me what happened, all right?” he asked gently.
Draco nodded weakly, and Harry left the bathroom. In his room, he pulled out some clothes to leave out for him. They wouldn’t fit Draco properly, but Harry figured Draco could Transfigure them before heading downstairs.
The bottom of the landing bisected the entrance hallway, leading to the front door, and to his right were the dining room and the kitchen. To his left was the living room, where two matching armchairs and a couch sat in front of an ornate fireplace. There was a TV off in one corner, which he hardly used, but kept around for when the mood suited. He lit the fireplace knowing it would help Draco when he calmed and came downstairs.
He started about making tea, and thought about the upcoming conversation he was going to have to have with the other man. Usually taking statements wasn’t difficult for him, but Harry knew this one was going to be different and much more demanding on him. He was emotionally involved this time. Emotionally involved in Draco. And he wasn’t sure how he was going to take hearing about what Fenrir had done with him. He was glad the monster was actually dead this time, because after hearing Draco’s confession, he was sure he would have hunted the werewolf down himself.
It took a while for Draco to come down, but Harry didn’t blame him. He looked awkward in Harry’s clothes, though he had Transfigured them to fit better. He looked tired, but much better with all the blood washed off him. His eyes were downcast as he walked into the kitchen.
“Here,” Harry said, handing Draco a cup of tea. “Would you like some Firewhiskey in it? It might help.” Draco gave a tiny nod, and Harry poured a shot in both cups.
“Come on,” he said, and walked Draco back into the living room, before sitting down. Draco took the opposite seat, so they could still see each other, but both angled toward the fire.
“Thank you,” Draco said, before taking a sip of his tea.
“Of course, I’m sorry I didn’t get there sooner,” Harry said, his eyes growing dark with regret that he hadn’t been able to help Draco. “You were very brave to have fought back.”
Draco nodded into his tea.
“I’m sorry to ask you this, Draco, but I need to know what happened.”
Again, Draco nodded, before taking a sip of his tea.
“I was waiting for my mother to visit when the door burst open. It was Fenrir, and he looked… angry and ferocious. I’ve seen him that way before, but this time it was all directed at me. I had my wand in my hand so I started casting any spell I could think of at him, but he was prepared and had the element of surprise. Though I struggled as much as I could, he grabbed me and took me to that terrible apartment.
“When we got there he threw me on the bed and told me that it was my fault that the Dark Lord had failed, and that he knew of my owls with you. He told me he was going to punish me, would kill everyone I love, including you, before killing me. He told me he’d been in hiding for two years planning exactly how he was going to go about it and it was finally time for action.”
Small streaks of tears had begun to fall down his cheeks again. He took another drink, deeply this time, to steady himself.
“He bound me, and ripped off my clothes. I knew what he wanted. I’ve known since I was a child that Fenrir…” he paused to find the right word, “Hungered for me.” There was true disdain in his voice now, and Harry was overwhelmed with pity and grief for Draco.
“He beat me, hitting me again and again. I can’t believe how lucky I am he didn’t scratch or bite me. I know he probably would have later, to punish me more, I suppose. Eventually, I fell to the floor and he started kicking me, too.” Draco seemed in a faraway place, detached, as though he was telling the story of something that had happened to somebody else.
“While I was on the floor, I realized that my wand, which he had grabbed from me during the struggle, was lying a couple feet from me. Each kick brought me closer to it. He was so intent on beating me that I don’t think he even realized it had fallen out of his pocket.”
Draco sat there for several moments, not saying anything. He still hadn’t looked Harry in the eye, instead he was looking out the window, watching as the snow drifted and clung to the windowsill. Finally, he took a deep breath and finished his tea, and his story.
“I’ve never killed a man, Harry,” Draco said, looking at Harry steadily, though troubled. “Somehow I managed to escape the war without ever killing another person. But when I finally managed to get that wand in my hand, I thought of Sectumsempra, and I cast it over and over again. I didn’t mean to. I just couldn’t stop. I didn’t want him going after my mum… or you,” he finished.
They stared at each other for a long time. Neither of them moving, or speaking. Tears had formed in Harry’s own eyes. Slowly, he stood, and walked over to Draco. “You were right to do what you did, Draco. What you did was self-defense. And thank you,” he said.
Harry leaned over, placed his now cold tea on the table, and kissed Draco. He put everything he could into that kiss. His relief that Draco had survived, all his deep-kept feelings for him, and every ounce of comfort he could. He was near shocked when Draco kissed him back, dragging Harry into his lap by his shirt. Draco winced, his bruised body obviously not thrilled with the extra weight, and Harry made an attempt to stop, but Draco wouldn’t let up.
Harry tasted salty tears as they kissed, and put his hand in Draco’s wet hair to kiss him deeper. He never thought he’d get the chance to be with Draco like this, and while he was sad it had to start from something so traumatizing, Harry promised himself he was going to help Draco in whatever way he could.