Title: Going Home, Part 1/3.
Summary: A desperate attack sends Draco to a place he could never imagine, and he embarks on a journey he never thought possible.
Disclaimer: All Harry Potter characters herein are the property of J.K. Rowling and Bloomsbury/Scholastic. No copyright infringement is intended.
Warnings: Violence, Frottage, Dirty Talk/Writing, Angst, Fluff, Post and During Hogwarts
Word Count: 30,000 +/-
Author's Notes: I am first going to day a big thanks to my betas, who beta'd this monster for me. Secondly I really really hope you like this. I started writing this monster and it sort of just spun out on it's own accord and became huge. I tried to make it angsty and fluffy, tried to keep Draco in character according to events, added some time travel and post-hogwarts, sort of. I really hope you enjoy this.
Draco could hear cheering in the distance and he turned, his eyes catching sight of the flashes of colours shooting over the sky, each of them an individual spell with a different target. He could see them easily against the darkening background, the tall spires of the trees around them blending into the background more and more as time passed.
He frowned, unable to tell which side was cheering, and his feet began to pace themselves one in front of the other, moving closer and closer to where he knew the open field lay.
He remembered the field as it had been when he had gone to scope it out for a potential battle site. The grass had been vibrant and dotted with a myriad of flowers that shone with each colour of the rainbow; around the edges stood the dark oppressive trees of the end of the Forbidden Forest and the beginning of the Forest of Mysts. It had been the perfect place, away from large crowds, and Muggles. Now, he could easily imagine blood staining the ground and grass red and bodies piling up, blocking the trees from the sight of the dying and injured.
He could imagine the faerie circle, that perfect ring of mushrooms, off to one side of the field. No longer a place of healing and intrigue, now a place of oppressive magic and a wish for something more, a wish to not have seen what the faeries saw that day.
He took another step forward, but stopped. He had promised, he had promised that he would remain here, away from battle, a scout of sorts so that his love could fight without worry. He had hated it of course, hated seeing his bonded go off to battle while they forced him to remain here, away from anything that could hurt him. He wanted to fight; he wanted to help, if only to stand at a distance and throw spells to protect those who were his friends and family.
The war had started when he was seventeen and now he was thirty, and it was hopefully the last battle between his own side and the other side. He turned, a hand coming up to run through his hair, pushing the silky locks off his face and wishing it was his lover's hand combing through his hair. He looked towards the trees, to where he knew the field lay, his silver eyes filled with worry as his hands twisted around each other, needing some sort of reassurance, but none forthcoming.
He heard a yell and he turned, his wand held tightly in one hand, another holding a gun by his side, finger pressed against the safety button. He could see a figure coming closer and he tensed, prepared to strike if necessary. He shifted, his feet separating, every muscle in his body screaming for him to attack, that they were the enemy, but he held off, knowing that he could duck and defend with the space between them if necessary. He saw the person come closer. He felt his heart move up to his throat, forming an impenetrable lump, making it harder and harder for him to breathe, to swallow and he did not know what he was going to do. He needed to know who was coming, whether it was friend or foe, whether or not they had lost the battle.
The unknown person took one more step, coming into the fading light and he felt like sobbing with relief as he took in the messy black hair of his lover. He put the gun back into its holster and slid the wand into his pocket before stepping forward and then suddenly stopping. His legs were unable to move. All he could do was watch as his lover came closer, his vibrant green eyes and tanned skin becoming visible, along with cuts and bruises that decorated his face and neck.
“Harry,” he breathed his lover's name from between his lips. He felt a sob threaten to overwhelm him and he raised a hand, covering his mouth, stopping it from expelling into the air as his lover stopped two steps away from him and he was able to take in his appearance. His Auror robes were torn and muddy. He could see gashes covering his lover’s skin through the robes, and he swallowed, guilt forming like a bludger to the stomach, making him feel hollow with the knowledge that he could have prevented them if he had been there to help. However, he forced that lump down with the memory that it was not his choice.
He trailed his gaze up until he met the joyous, vibrant green eyes of his lover and he cleared his throat. “Did you do it?” he asked fearfully, his voice husky with worry.
The words hung between them, breaking the silence. He felt fear creep into his belly and settle there, like a demon in disguise, as no words were forthcoming and the silence began to press against him. He could see this lover worrying his bottom lip and he swallowed, eyes wide, not sure if he could take the oppressive silence any longer. It had been too long to wait any longer; he needed to know if the war was finished, or if it was going to continue.
Suddenly, he could see a small smile begin to spread across those ruby red lips and he felt some weight leave his shoulders, but he remained hunched. Then slowly, the world seemed to become bright as his lover nodded and he was stunned into silence for a moment before a grin broke out onto his own features. His arm reached forward and grabbed his lover around the shoulders bringing the worn man against his body and kissing him, pouring his lovejoylovelovejoy into the man’s mouth. He felt hands tangle in his hair and tug and for once, he did not yell, he accepted it, too filled with joy and appreciation to do anything but pull his dark haired lover closer against him, tilting his head to the side, their mouths fitting together like a puzzle piece. Lust curled deep within his stomach, chasing away the demon and he felt laughter bubbling up inside of him.
He tore his mouth away as laughter erupted from his throat. He wrapped his arms around his stockier lover and picked him up, somehow twirling the both of them around and around. The hands in his hair moved and wrapped around his neck, holding on tight as the musical laughter of the man in his arms joined his and filled the air around them, chasing away all the pain and sadness they had dealt with for the past thirteen years.
He set the other man down but held tight onto him, unable to let go. He let out a loud sound of excitement as laughter continued to bubble up, making him slightly hysterical. He could feel tears beginning to form in his eyes and he hiccupped, burying his face in his lover’s neck. Arms came up to wrap around his shoulders, holding him tightly as tears and attempts to hold the sobs in replaced the laughter.
“It’s over, it’s over,” he whispered repeatedly, his words muffled in the lover's neck.
The arms around his shoulders tightened around his back. “I know, Alex, I know.”
He smiled at the mention of his nickname and took a deep shuddering breath. He turned his head to the side, pressing his lips against the scar that wound its way around his husband’s neck, the remains of an old assassination attempt. “We can live, Robin. We can sleep and eat and not have to worry.”
He felt, rather than saw, the smile that slid over his lover’s lips and he smiled as well, the tears still leaking out of his eyes. He was unsure of how to feel; happiness was bubbling though his veins, and tears of relief were soothing the wounds caused by a war that had lasted too long.
He swallowed as another lump began to rise in his throat. A sudden thought penetrated his happy thoughts and a dark glow began to come over him. “Who … die-didn’t make it?” he asked slowly.
He felt the slight flinch of the man in his arm. “I don’t know. All I know is that I had to get back to you as soon as possible. As soon as Tom was dead, I ran here.”
“We should get back. You said I can’t help with the battle, but I’ll be damned if I don’t help with the clean up, alright?” he asked.
Harry nodded and smiled at him. “Come on, then, they’re probably thinking I’m dead or something.”
Draco pulled up short, looking at his partner. “You didn’t tell them you were coming to get me?”
“No, I just sort of left. I had this irrational fear that you had been injured,” Harry replied.
“Do you still have that feeling?” Draco asked.
Harry looked thoughtful for a moment before nodding his head. “Slightly yeah, but it might just be left over nerves or something.”
Draco smiled and nodded. “Of course it is. Who would be stupid enough to attack me?”
Harry grinned and rolled his eyes at him and he smiled back, trying to push down the feeling of unease that settled in his stomach. Harry had always seemed to have a gut feeling when something was going to go wrong, and usually he was right. He surreptitiously tightened his hand on his wand and swallowed.
Harry leaned up to kiss him out of the blue and he stopped, kissing Harry back, reveling in the side of lips, glad he once more had the chance to do this. Breaking the kiss, Draco indulged in a rare moment of sentimentality and kissed Harry’s nose, grinning when Harry scrunched up his nose. “You’re cute, you know that?” he murmured.
Harry pouted. “I am a thirty-year-old war hero, I am not cute. I am handsome, devilish and rugged.”
“You’re adorable,” Draco reiterated.
Harry rolled his eyes. “So are you,” he countered.
Draco just smiled. “I know.”
He pulled back with a quick kiss to Harry’s lips and they began to walk away, moving quickly. They could hear the sounds of the end of the battle coming closer, the cries of the sick and dying, and the loud hungry cries of the vultures that soared overhead. He could smell the coppery tang of blood that had been the day drying in the warm August sun. It filled his nose and lingered there, never leaving even as it mixed with the smell of singed hair and burning skin. He swallowed down the bile at his first sight of the bodies on the ground, waiting to be taken to the morgue and identified.
He turned and looked the other way and immediately wished he hadn’t when he caught sight of Dean Thomas’s mutilated body. Half of his face was missing, blasted away, the brains leaking out onto the red grass. His stomach and bowels had been slashed open, leaving his internal organs to cook in the sun with a heavy smell of defecation. He gagged and closed his eyes, placing his hand over his mouth, breathing through the sleeve, unable to take much. It was amazing how he could handle all of this in battle, the sight of blood and internal organs and brain matter not bothering him in the least, and then once it was over, it was like a switch had been flipped and he could no longer handle it.
He felt the hand in his tighten and he turned to look at Harry who was watching him worriedly. He shook his head and took another deep breath, steeling himself for whatever else was to come. He was going to help with the clean up, one way or another. Removing his hand, he managed a weak smile at Harry. “I’m fine, just the smell,” he whispered, unable to speak loudly for fear of waking the dead.
Harry nodded and didn’t say anymore.
He stepped closer, aligning his side with Harry’s. He knew it was hard to walk like this but he wanted the extra comfort that came with it. They came closer to the middle of the field, closer to where an ominous cloud of smoke was rising, the exact colour of the killing curse and Harry’s eyes. It was here he saw more destruction, more people he knew, laying there, their dead eyes open and pleading with him for some release, some dignity for their bodies that were swelling and burning in the dying sunlight and summer heat.
He turned his head away at the sight of his father laying there, the skin along his arms blistered and burst, pus running down his arms, his spine visible through a cut in his neck, his blood around him, staining his hair red, the colour of blood traitors.
“Are you alright?” he heard Harry ask again and he turned and smiled, reassuring his partner.
Harry looked at him for a while longer, the two of them standing in the dusk and staring, ignoring the cries of pain and pleas for help around them. Draco broke the staring contest first, turning away and beginning to walk, dragging Harry with him. They walked in silence for a little while, eventually coming to the middle of the field. He stopped for a moment, staring at the back of his Aunt's body, one arm reaching out in post mortem stiffness towards her lord. He swallowed and looked away, not feeling anything except a sense of accomplishment that the one who had killed his mother was dead. It was here Voldemort lay, his corpse emitting the bright green smoke, his robes ripped and torn, showing the serpentine body. He stepped closer, a hand rising as if to touch, but the mark on his arm burned slightly and he pulled it back.
He could feel his heartbeat begin to speed up, his pulse throbbing in his ear as he swallowed down whatever was rising in this throat. Bile, a cry of elation, he wasn’t sure. He didn’t know what to feel. He was numb, numb from everything except shock and disbelief. It had seemed so easy when he was younger. Follow his father and rule the world, but that had died and here he was, thirteen years later, a hardened warrior and lover, for over nine years, to the savior of the world. He felt dizzy and he turned, his arms wrapping around Harry’s neck, his legs finally giving out. He felt the strong arms wrap around his neck and hold him up as he let out a strangled cry of relief, echoing into Harry’s neck and around them.
He didn’t know how long he stood there, holding Harry, crying in relief. He stood back eventually, wiping his eyes, noticing that the darkness had finally fallen and hundreds of globes lit the air around them, sending the already grotesque figures into darkness, hiding their suffering from view, and lighting up their features, making it look as if they were sleeping in a field under the stars.
“You ok?” Harry asked again.
Draco nodded. “Fine. I feel fine.”
And it was true, he felt fine, better than he had. He glanced around, seeing that their friends and family had ringed them subtly, hiding his breakdown from the view of others. He felt grateful and he smiled softly, letting them know he was ok and then they dared to approach. He felt a hand press down on his shoulder and he turned to look into the heavily scarred visage of Ron, courtesy of his first true heroic deed, running into the Burrow while it was under fire and saving his older brother who had passed out from the fumes. His entire right side was covered in white scars and his face was a myriad of white, clear skin and freckles. He was grotesque looking to people who didn’t know him, but to those he did, he looked as if he was no different from Draco or Harry.
“How are you hanging?” Ron asked.
“Fine, just the smell. Have you talked to Hermione?” he replied.
Ron nodded. “She’s fine, the kids are fine, all of them. They never got that far.”
Draco nodded, glad. The loss of Hogwarts early on in the war had been a dangerous thing, and it had been even more dangerous when they had gotten it back, the floor plan changed and no clue of where anything was, or what else had been added to the building. Who knew what pathways had been created in their seven-year absence? “How’s her leg?”
“It’s good. She still can’t walk fast and doesn't have much feeling, but it’s getting there. She says it feels like stepping through a hole in the ground with each step.”
Draco nodded again but jumped when a cry permeated the air. He spun instantly, looking for the source of whatever the noise was. He couldn’t see anything and his pulse began to race, adrenaline filling his body as he looked for the source of discomfort. He flinched when he felt a hand on his lower back and he turned, seeing Harry pointing to one of the vultures that had alighted on a pile of the dead. He relaxed, his muscles trembling with the aftershocks of the adrenaline. He smiled sheepishly at Harry who was frowning in consternation at him.
“Sorry, just a little jumpy right now,” he said. He didn’t mention the fact that it was Harry’s words of earlier discord that provoked his uneasiness.
“Malfoy, mate, you’re never jumpy. What’s wrong?” Ron asked with a frown, his hand moving to rest on his wand as his blue eyes darted around the battlefield.
“I don’t know,” he muttered, running a hand through his hair. He felt out of sorts, like something important was supposed to happen and it wasn’t, he felt-
--pain exploding over his chest and throughout his body, his nerves screaming as he watched a red light sink into his skin and begin to pour over the hands that had come up to clutch at his chest and stomach. He could hear yelling, and he could feel arms holding him up as his legs gave out. He could see the sky and the tree line recede as he felt himself lowered to the ground, a pair of hands moving to cover his own, holding everything inside of him, even as blood slipped through the gaps. He coughed something red and bright, spraying out in front of him, falling, drifting away. He was leaning against a body and he realised it was Harry’s, but then a voice yelled in his year and he flinched reflexively and pain shot through him again and he cried out, something dribbling down his chin.
He forced his eyes open, staring into the worried face of Ron who was talking fast. But he couldn’t hear anything, all he could do was allow himself to be immersed into the sense of calm that was overtaking him. He could see his name forming on Ron’s lips, right before a gust of air hit his face and he was moving, arms holding him around his back and under his legs. His head flopped back and, in an instant, sound rushed in around him and he could hear words yelled around him, a Healer needed, now and the sound of fear in the demand. His felt his head being moved and he could now see the underside of Harry’s chin and he raised a hand, wanting to run a hand over those lips, he loved, pressed against his body.
He heard a sound and he turned his head, trying to go towards that melodic voice he knew so well. His head flopped back and he coughed against, liquid – which he now knew was blood – dribbling down his chin. He strained, trying to hear whatever Harry was saying.
“Come back to me, please, come back to me.”
Over and over it was whispered in his ear and he frowned, his mind too muggy to do anything. He heard a voice to his right, he vainly tried to turn, and then he was falling, voices yelling around him, he could hear Harry under all of it, whispering to come back to him. He hit the ground, pain running through his body and then there was silence and darkness.
Draco’s eyes opened, squinting as the harsh light assaulted his eyes. He could hear people talking around him and he swallowed, attempting to sit up, but a hand on his shoulder pushed him back down.
“Stay down, Mr Malfoy,” a voice said. A voice that was too familiar and too long unheard for him to listen to the instructions.
He frowned, sitting up, eyes suddenly wide, ignoring the pulling feeling in his stomach and chest as he blinked and saw Poppy Pomfrey standing there, hands on hips and the familiar disapproving frown. Everything else in the room seemed to freeze and stop as he ignored the other people around him. His mouth dropped open slightly, shock entering his body, amazed at seeing the lady who had given her life force to save Harry once, standing there whole and alive. He was moving before he knew what was happening, wrapping her in his arms, holding her close. He had never known her, knowing that she had died before he was close with Harry; she had died before he had even switched sides. He had aged, knowing her stories and wishing he had been nicer to her when he was in the hospital. He felt her stiffen in his arms for a moment before he felt a comforting pat on his shoulder. He released her then, feeling slightly foolish, but glad that he had had the chance to thank her, in his own silent and confusing way.
“Although I am not sure of the reason for the hug, Mr Malfoy, thank you. However, I am going to have to ask you to sit down so that I can check you over once more,” the nurse said.
Draco nodded and climbed back up onto the bed, frowning as he looked down at his arms and saw pale unblemished skin. It was then what he had done, and what had happened, sunk in and his frown deepened as he lifted his arms, looking at them, wanting to know what had happened. He was missing the tattoos he had gotten when he was twenty-one, twenty-three and twenty-nine respectively, as well as the constant stain of the dark mark. He turned his hand over, looking at his palm, looking for the ‘T’ that had been burned into his skin when he had been found to be a traitor. He knew without looking that the mark on his shoulder blade, the one that told the world he was loyal to the Order, was gone as well.
“Am I dead?” he muttered to himself, unaware of the happenings around him.
“No, Mr Malfoy, you were simply unconscious when we found you outside. And for no apparent reason,” another voice said, this one warm and inviting and supposed to be dead as well. He looked up and saw Albus Dumbledore standing there, with Remus Lupin and Severus Snape behind him, all of them looking at him in confusion and, in Severus’s case, with mistrust.
“Are you sure?” he asked. He could remember pain and blood and screaming and then there was nothing. He could hear a voice telling him to come back and he was sure it was Harry’s.
“We are. You were found over a month ago, outside of the Forbidden Forest, near the Forest of Mysts by Hagrid. However, the troubling thing is that Severus saw Draco Malfoy only three days ago,” Albus continued.
Draco frowned. There was no way anything of this magnitude could’ve happened, unless they had… He shook his head, wanting to clear it; they wouldn’t have thrown him into the circle. It was too unstable; he could’ve ended up in the Stone Ages, or a thousand years into the future. But then, he remembered Harry, telling him to come back, come back to him and he swallowed. They had.
“Perhaps there is something you would like to tell us Mr Malfoy? If you are, indeed, him,” Albus said.
“What year is it?” he asked, although he had a good idea of what year it was.
“1997,” Albus said, confirming his suspicions.
“Oh,” he murmured as his brain began to work, thinking of what to do, to explain.
“Well?” the ever-impatient Snape asked.
“I am Draco Malfoy, just not the one … you know,” he said, haltingly, trying to process his words before he spoke, not wanting to slip up. The lecture he had got from Moody on the dangers of time travel were at the forefront of his mind. “I’m thirty. The year is supposed to be 2010, the war had just finished, and I was helping with the clean-up. One of the other side’s fighters wasn’t dead and got me with a curse and there was a Faerie ring and they threw me into it.”
The room was silent after that and he sat a little straighter, feeling a little better, a little more like himself. He was a Malfoy, he could, and he would, handle this. He ran a hand through his hair, a little confused when his hand came to the end of his hair a lot quicker than it should’ve. Then he remembered he had kept his hair short during this time and had only grown it out in a need to prove he was like his father, and could be trusted by the dark lord.
“Well, Mr Malfoy, that is certainly a good story, but how can we trust you? You must understand that I am in a bind here. We are at war, and there is no way to tell if you are telling me the truth,” Albus said.
Draco frowned. “Well, I would suggest Veritaserum, but you can lie on that, so I have no clue how to get you to trust me.”
“You can’t lie when you are doused,” Remus said.
“Yes, you can. The potion forces the person to tell the truth, however, it cannot take into account what would happen if the person thought what they were saying was, in fact, the truth,” Draco replied absently as an idea came into his mind.
“What’s the date today?” he asked.
“August 2nd,” Albus replied.
“The World Cup was today and the Harpies won against Ireland, 360 to 10, but then, yesterday, it was found out that the game was fixed. A rematch is being held today between England and Bulgaria, this time with added protections to ensure that it doesn’t happen again. Krum will catch the snitch in the first minute,” Draco replied, remembering the game with ease as it had been his father who had helped fix the match.
“What does this prove?” Severus asked.
“I’ve been asleep, how would I know that otherwise? And how would I know that Krum is going to catch the Snitch so quickly?” Draco asked back.
He could see Albus looking at him with a thoughtful look before finally the old man nodded. “It is not the greatest of proof, but it shall be enough. Now, what to do with you?”
“Can I get a time turner?” he asked, a shred of hope entering into his heart.
Albus shook his head, killing the hope. “No, they were destroyed during the Ministry fiasco two years ago. The planetary alignment that creates that sand will not occur for another ten years.”
Draco collapsed back onto the pillows, faced with the prospect of living without Harry. “What can I do?”
“I do not know. There is no way to time travel except by those turners. The only thing I can think of is to live and hopefully regain your life back.”
Draco snorted. “Yeah, right. I’ll be 43 and everyone else will be thirty, which will be brilliant.”
“Mr Malfoy, I am not sure if you have noticed, or have forgotten, but you are the exact same age as you are supposed to be. You look seventeen,” Remus said.
Draco blinked. He had forgotten in the light of things. He bit his bottom lip, wondering if it was worth it, going through thirteen years of watching Harry from a distance as his younger self fell in love. He could take his younger self places when he disappeared, but he would've changed so much by then, he was sure it was going to be pointless. “What am I going to do until then?” he asked more to himself.
“I do not know. We cannot allow you to continue to stay as you are, a disguise is necessary. And I take it from the way you don’t seem to want to hurt any of us, you are in fact, a member of the Order, correct?”
Draco nodded. “Yes,” he said, pausing for a moment as a thought came into his mind. “Is Professor D’Arcangelo here?”
“Who?” Albus asked.
“Alejandro Santiago D’Arcangelo, the Professor in charge of the Muggle Defense class,” Draco said slowly.
Albus frowned. “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
Draco frowned and looked at Severus, and then Remus, looking for some kind of recognition. “He’s a tall Hispanic-looking man, English, intelligent and an arsehole?”
“I am sorry to say, Mr Malfoy that we do not know of anyone like that. Why do you ask?” Albus asked.
“I was going to suggest that I could help him. That class was helpful for me, got me ready for the war in some aspects, and he’s from the future, so he might know something to help me,” Draco murmured.
The room was silent for a moment and he looked up to see Severus frowning in thought, Remus looking at him oddly, and Albus looking at him, his blue eyes twinkling with a mischievousness Draco missed, and at the same time wished he would never see again.
“Perhaps my boy, you were meant to be this D’Arcangelo fellow. Fate has an interesting way of ensuring the world's survival,” Albus said, his voice a little overjoyed.
Draco’s face smoothed over, as blank as a mannequin, as he stared impassively at the Headmaster. Some part of him knew this could possibly be true, but the other part of him didn’t want to believe it. Professor D’Arcangelo had been good, but he had been mean, ruthless and wasn’t beyond working them to the bone. It was also highly rumored he was dead; he had disappeared one day and hadn’t been seen, or heard from, since.
“Mr Malfoy?” Albus asked, voice seemingly hesitant.
Draco snapped out of his stupor and looked up at the Headmaster. “I can do it,” he replied. He figured there was nothing to lose. He moved to stand up, grimacing at how weak his body felt. He had never been bulky, like Harry or Ron, but he had been in shape and from the looks of it, he had a lot to do before the classes started.
“Brilliant, I am going to take it you shall be going by Alejandro Santiago D’Arcangelo?” Albus said, blue eyes twinkling madly in his glee.
Draco nodded, still deep in thought, attempting to remember what the man had looked like. He had been tall, a few inches taller than he was, but he was sure he could get a growth potion from Snape. His skin had been a lot darker, as had his hair and eyes; some dye, contacts and a fake tan would help with that. If he could remember correctly, the Professor's face actually looked like his father's. He remembered their first class and realised he had many things to do.
“What do you need Mr Mal-D’Arcangelo?” Albus said, seemingly catching himself.
Draco chewed his bottom lip. “A large classroom, the rest I can conjure. Was my wand with me?” he asked in a vain hope.
Albus nodded. “Yes, as well as those strange clothes you were wearing.”
Draco perked up; if his uniform had survived then this was a good thing. It meant he wouldn’t have to try to explain to the kids, he would be able to do it fine. He looked up into the eyes of the three Professors and managed a slightly scared smile. “Just those, and please, call me Alejandro from now on, so I can get used to it.”
Draco sat at the head table, his eyes sweeping over the groups of students pouring into the Great Hall. So many of the faces he knew, so many of them he had seen destroyed and damaged beyond repair. They looked so young, so carefree, so innocent, it was hard to believe that these people, in a few short years, were going to become hardened killers and the line between light and dark would blur into a gray haze. He looked over at the Gryffindor table seeing Harry, Hermione and Ron sitting there, laughing at something and looking so carefree. There were no burn marks on Ron’s face, no scar around Harry’s neck and down across his eye, no claw marks marring Hermione’s plain, but at the same time beautiful, face.
He turned his head away, the pain a little too much to bear and slid his gaze down, towards where Neville, Seamus and Dean sat, all dead, all Heroes who would never know the chance to love each other fully. He remembered the shock that ensued when they found out the three of them had been sleeping together for almost two years. He moved his eyes away from the Gryffindor table, sliding down towards the Slytherin table where he sat. He frowned at himself, feeling a little odd. He looked calm and collected, but he knew he wasn’t feeling like that. He was twisting his hands into his robes, a sure sign he was nervous and he smiled a little in amusement at himself. He remembered what today was. It was supposed to be the day he declared his intention to join the light side, only he'd chickened out and forgot about it.
He could hear Albus speaking and he tuned it out, closing his eyes in meditation as he waited for the first-years to get sorted. He didn’t want to see their faces, knowing what would happen to them in a few short weeks. He couldn’t bear it. He could hear the clapping of the students as names were called, followed by their house. Eventually, they came to the end of the scroll and Draco retuned back in, opening his eyes and looking blandly around at the students. He saw a few people looking at him and he turned his head, looking at Albus before he could make eye contact with anyone.
“Welcome students to another year at Hogwarts. As you know, the war has started and as such there will be a few precautions put into place. Students shall not be allowed to go to Hogsmeade at all this year. I know, I am sorry,” Albus began as people groaned. “Secondly, the Forbidden Forest is named such, and if any teachers find you there, or anywhere in the vicinity, you shall be spending the rest of the year in detention with Professor Snape or Mr Filch. Thirdly, no one, I repeat, no one, is allowed outside after curfew, nor are they allowed to wander the corridors.”
Albus continued, outlining things they were not allowed to do, and Draco could remember with ease the annoyance he had felt when his ability to wander grew shorter. He tuned back into Albus as he realised the man was getting ready for his speech.
“This year, we are graced with a miracle. We have a visitor from the future, the year 2010 to be exact. He shall be one of your new teachers. The class is Muggle Defense, and I welcome your new Professor, Alejandro Santiago D’Arcangelo. Please welcome him as he explains the class schedule.”
Albus conceded the floor to Draco amidst polite clapping as he stood. He took a deep breath as all eyes swung towards him and looked at him intently. He stood there for a moment, staring impassively around at every one, daring them to say something.
“I am Professor D’Arcangelo, and from hence on, that is what you are going to call me. This class is required for all Seventh Years, and those sixth years who wish to participate. Those sixth years will be required to attend class if they sign up. It is not a pick and choose basis,” he began slowly. “The class will meet nine times a week, and all classes are mandatory. Seven of the classes will be held from five to six thirty in the morning, in which you shall meet me at the Quidditch pitch, dressed to exercise, no questions asked. The other three will be Monday, Wednesday and Friday from one thirty to three thirty.” He paused, allowing the gasps of annoyance and outrage to settle before continuing. “If you do not show to any of the classes, you will be spending the following month helping Hagrid clean out the waste the Threstals leave in the stables. I expect everyone to be there, on time, no questions or excuses.”
He sat down and ignored the looks the other teachers gave him as well as the gazes of the students filled with hate and anger at having to get up so early. He wanted to relent in the face of such innocence, but he knew he had to stay strong. It was the only way to do this.
Draco rolled over with a groan, his arm shooting out to hit the button, turning off the alarm. He stared at the merrily bleeping four thirty on the clock and sighed. He should be used to early mornings by now. He had been waking up at five for the past thirteen years, and it never seemed to be easy. Even on the days he had had off, he could sleep no later than seven in the morning and it would usually make him feel groggy and tired for the rest of the day. It was a lose-lose situation.
He rolled over, feet moving to the carpeted floor. He sat there for a moment wrapped in the blankets and staring blearily at the wall before yawning, his arms moving out of their warm cocoon and stretching up overhead, his back groaning with the movements for a moment before he heard the satisfying crack. He dropped his arms back down and allowed himself a moment of memories, remembering when Harry would wake up a few moments after him and sit up, legs on either side of Draco’s body and kisses would be placed on his neck. They would remain like that for a few moments talking about inane stuff before they would kiss and be on their way.
They had always talked about what they would do when the war was over. They weren’t going to travel like they had wanted to when they were younger. Both of them just wanted to settle down in a house and live lazily for the rest of their lives. They were going to live in a large house with five rooms and five bathrooms and a huge backyard. In Italy or Spain or somewhere where no one had ever heard of them. They were going to spend five years eating, settling in, calming down and having as much sex as they could.
After those first few years, they were going to adopt some of the war orphans, making sure to give them the upbringing they never had, with love and laughter and candy. They were going to grow old, see grandchildren and great-grandchildren and sit on the porch reminiscing about the ‘old days’ and die the same night wrapped in each other arms.
A pang shot through his heart as he realised exactly how close the two of them had been to that dream. He closed his eyes as he fought back the tears that threatened to overflow.
It took a moment before he calmed himself down and keeping his eyes closed, he pictured Harry’s strong face in his mind, breaking into a smile when a piece of good news would come their way. With that picture firmly in mind, he stood up, the blankets dropping back down to the bed and he began to get ready for the day.
Draco stood, hands on his hips as he looked out over the students who were stumbling down from the castle to stand on the pitch, eyes half closed and yawns crossing their faces. He could see people staring at him with undisguised hatred and he knew what was going to happen. Professor D’Arcangelo had been hated more than Severus had been. It was his job to train these versions of the people he knew, enough so they could survive as long as they could.
He waited until it seemed most everyone was here before moving his hips, hands in front of him as he held out the clipboard. His eyes roved over everyone, taking in what they had worn. He sighed when he noticed that all of the Slytherin’s and some of the Ravenclaw’s had chosen to come out in their robes.
“Alright, I would like everyone in robes to stay on this side, and everyone else on this side,” he called out, voice dispassionate. He waited a moment for the command to sink in before there was a flurry of activity and a few moments later the two groups were separated. He turned to look at those who had dressed as he had, in sweatpants and shirts, some with shorts or sweaters. Good clothes to exercise in.
“Well done to those who did as I said. Ten points to Gryffindor and Hufflepuff and five points to Ravenclaw,” he said before turning to look at the other group. “As for you lot, I specifically stated to wear clothes in which you can exercise in. Robes were nowhere on that list. Ten points from Slytherin and five points from Ravenclaw.”
He ignored the cries of annoyance as he withdrew his wand and without so much as a by your leave transfigured their clothes into more workable items. He made to turn to the rest of the group, about to get them started on that mornings exercise.
“You can’t do that,” a shrill voice called out, a voice that even after so long without having heard it, sent shivers of annoyance down his spine.
He turned to look at Pansy Parkinson with the indifference on his face morphing into one of slight annoyance. “Ms Parkinson, you are under the belief that I actually care. Let me make something extremely clear to each and everyone of you. I am from the future. I know what is going to happen to each and every single one of you. I know what each and every single one of you are going to do. And trust me when I say some of you would be better off dead here and now. Frankly, as much as I like the way the world turned it out, it would be a better place if I simply killed you here and now. Do not give me that opportunity because I will take it.”
He could see a few defiant looks, and a few of fear and he stayed silent, waiting for his own voice to pipe up with the familiar few words.
“When my father hears about this,” the younger Draco began. “He’ll have you fired.”
“Mr Malfoy, you father does not scare me, nor does the threat of me getting fired do anything. I know your father. I know everything he has done, and with one sentence I could have him kissed by the end of the day and your entire monetary possessions taken away until you are poorer than a beggar.”
He heard a few snorts of laughter and he let them go, knowing it would serve to make him shut up. He had never handled humiliation well. He waited before the class had calmed down before beginning to speak again.
“My job is to prepare you to be able to defend yourself without the use of magic. Now, I know for a fact that some of you know wandless magic, and others scoff at the idea that Muggle methods could ever work. However, I pose these questions for you: what happens in a situation where you are wandless and there is a no-magic ward around you? What then? Muggles will join the war eventually, trust me on this, and they do not have magic. As such, they use other means of killing people. There is no ward to stop a speeding bullet, and if that bullet catches you in one of the major arteries, or in your head, you will die. Do not mistake Muggles for weak simply because they cannot use magic.” He stopped there, looking around at the students, seeing wide eyes and fear in each of their eyes, as well as a few with determination and others with disbelief.
“By the end of this year, each and everyone one of you will be able to run sixteen kilometres and do numerous push-ups, sit-ups and pull-ups. You will be flexible, trained in martial arts, know the human body and understand how to use, arm and disarm most guns and bombs. If you screw up in this course, you will kill someone, and then you will go to Azkaban, so it would be wise to listen. I will not, I repeat, will not, tolerate any disrespect in this class. I don’t care if you are a pureblood, half-blood, Muggleborn or a centaur. I frankly don’t give a flying fuck if the Dark Lord himself walks in here. You will treat him and everyone else with respect, or you will be expelled. Do you understand me?”
He looked over each of the students, seeing them nod their heads, eyes wide with fear and worry. He smiled tightly at them, making sure his eyes were still cold. “Now that we understand each other, we shall begin. I would like everyone to take two laps around the pitch, without stopping. If you stop, it will be doubled. You are going to run, and I promise that by the end of class this morning you will be in some sort of pain. Now go.”
He could see them look at him disbelievingly for a moment before they began to go, groups leaving in ones and twos, slowly until all the students were gone. He watched them, noting who was in front and who was in the back. Harry and Ron were leading with Hermione and Ginny a little way away. He knew those four had begun to train over the summer, knowing what Harry had to do. He could see his younger version and Blaise running a few steps behind, bent over and obviously still half asleep. Everyone else was in a large group, and then the slowest trickled behind them. Neville and Millicent were pulling up the rear huffing and puffing.
He turned his head to the front, knowing that his younger self was going to begin to taunt and he knew that this was going to be a long year.
Draco watched as the students gingerly sat in their desks, wincing as their muscles protested the movement. He smirked and stood up, waiting until everyone had sat down before launching into the first lesson.
“Welcome, class. As you might have guessed, this class is not going to tolerate any sort of disrespect or any insults. To attempt to breech this problem, I am going to give you a journal that is connected with another student, from a different house. The assignment is to get to know this person. The books are warded against certain words and phrases, making it impossible to reveal your real name, side in this war, or intentions. There is no way around this. All journals are connected to one of my own, so I will know exactly what you write. I am going to hand out the journals; they are identical and can only be read by your own eyes. You are going to choose an alias and begin to talk to your partner in this class. Do not attempt to figure it out by trying to be sneaky. The results will not be to your liking,” he began, moving to open a cupboard where a stack of journals sat.
“Any questions?” he asked, turning around to look at them. When none came, he nodded and turned back to the cupboard. “When I say your name, please come and get the book, and wait until I tell you to begin. You are going to write in this book, even if it is a simple hello, daily.”
He began to call out the names, handing out the books to the students. He waited until everyone had their book and were sitting down, looking at him expectantly, before he nodded. “Begin.”
Hi there, I guess you can say it’s nice meeting you, but I don’t know you, do I? You can call me … Alex, I guess. I always liked the name Alexander, it has a nice ring to it. Alexander rolls off the tongue quite nicely.
Hi Alexander, this is … ummm Robin?? Yeah, Robin. I’m going to go by Robin. Not because of the bird, but really this old … Hey! I can’t write what I wanted to say. I began and it shocked me. I guess it really is warded against saying anything like that.
Of course it is. That man is insane and I don’t care if he is reading this. He is insane and I am sore in places I didn’t even know existed. He is a … fuck. That hurt.
He doesn’t seem that bad. I’m a little sore, but nothing major. I’ve hurt worse.
You exercise to hurt this much? You are insane.
No, I’ve broken my arm before. And my leg and I think I’ve sprained my wrist.
I guess you could say that. It seems to find me more often than not.
That sucks. I’ve broken my wrist before; it hurts, just like you said.
Yeah. So umm ….
I’ll talk to you tomorrow I guess, since he let class out.
Draco leaned against the desk, watching as the class shuffled in for the first class lesson of the third week of school. They had added a lap this morning as well as another set of each of the other exercises and he knew it had shocked a lot of them that they were unable to handle any more. They had gotten used to it, comfortable with the idea that they only had to do a little less than a kilometre, and now he had turned it around and made them run 1.2 kilometres . He knew that extra lap had made a difference.
He waited until the last person had filtered into the class before pushing himself up off his desk and clasping his hands behind his back. “Good morning class, or good afternoon, as it were. I trust we are all in fine spirits today? Last class we talked about the skin and hair cells on the body. Now we’re going to start going inside: bones, organs, muscles, all that fun stuff. Today, we are going to be looking at the bones of the human body.”
He could see a few people look a little queasy and he grinned at them, knowing that the next class was going to be even worse, when they went into looking at live pictures of organs and muscles moving. He turned his head, looking over the class and waited a moment before speaking.
“Who knows how many bones are in the human body?” he asked, looking around, waiting for an answer. He was surprised when no one raised a hand and he sighed. “There are 206, give or take an extra rib or lumbar vertebrae." He pushed himself up off the desk and flicked his wand at the board, a picture of a human skeleton taking place.
“What is the smallest bone?” he continued on, wondering if anyone had read the book he had assigned them. He sighed when no one raised their hand. “The three smallest bones are in the ear: ossicles, the hammer,” he continued, flicking his wand at the picture and it rotated, moving to show the bones he had named, “the anvil and the stirrups. They are used to help transmit sounds from the outside into your cochlea. If these are broken, damaged or missing, then it will result in hearing loss to some degree."
He looked around, seeing a few people taking notes, and other people leaning back, looking at him bored and he sighed. “Pop quiz. Whoever gets this answer right doesn’t have to come in tomorrow morning.”
He saw everyone perk up at this and he continued. “Get out a quill and a piece of paper. If you read the assignment I gave you last night, then this will be an incredibly easy question.”
He waited until he had their full attention, everyone’s quill poised above the paper and looking at him expectantly. “What is the longest bone in the human body?”
He leaned back, watching as everyone bent down and scratched an answer to his questions before setting the quill down and looking up. “Quills down,” he said after a couple of minutes and flicked his wand, the papers soaring into his hands.
He sat on his desk, toes hitting the ground with ease as he flipped through them, setting them down in a pile. His annoyance became more and more pronounced as each consecutive answer was wrong. He sighed, setting down the next piece of paper and reading the next answer, a small amount of hope entering him when he saw the correct bone, and he raised an eyebrow at the name. Setting it down in a separate pile he continued through, finding only one other right answer.
Looking up at the class, he could see them shifting nervously. He lifted up the bigger pile and raised his up. “These were wrong,” he said without preamble. “Since 98% of the class got them wrong, I am reassigning the reading, as well as the two consecutive chapters, and on Wednesday we are going to have an exam on what you have read.”
He ignored the groans of annoyance and held up the two that were right. “These two students will be exempt from the test; instead, they shall have a quiz on the two extra chapters, on top of not having to show up to tomorrow’s morning class. However, I would highly recommend it.”
He fell silent. He knew everyone was waiting for the answer as to who had got it right and he fought back a smirk. “So, Neville Longbottom and Millicent Bulstrode shall have a free morning, if they so wish it. They got the correct answer, which was in fact the femur. For those who did not do the reading, it's the thigh bone. Any questions?”
He could see the smiles that Neville and Millicent were trying to hide and he felt proud of them for a moment before he noticed a hand in the air and he turned, looking at his younger self who had a sneer on his face. He raised an eyebrow. “Yes, Mr Malfoy?”
“I was just wondering, Professor, if we know you in the future?”
Draco could remember why he asked this question. He had wanted to see if the professor would let it slip which side he was on. When he had asked the question, he had felt sneaky and sly. By the end of class, like an idiot.
“I can say that all of you in this class know me. In fact, one of the students in this school is going to end up being my boyfriend in a few years. When I was sent back, my body de-aged to how old I was in this time and age, so don’t give me that disgusted look, Mr Weasley. This is now how I look, and my name is not my name. However, I am not going to divulge which side of the war I was on Mr Malfoy, and you cannot say that since I am teaching a Muggle defense class, I was on Dumbledore’s side. Both sides of the war used Muggle weapons, Mr Malfoy. Your father had a small gun himself, if I remember correctly. No one here is going to be able to get any more information from me, and before you ask, I did not leave Hogwarts at the end of my seventh year.”
It was technically a lie, but his father had pulled him out two days before.
“Now, turn to page 123 in the book and, since none of you know anything about human bones, we are going to go through what we did in class last Monday, in full detail.”
He is insane! I can’t believe he expected us to know that information.
He did assign it.
I know that Alex, but still. All of that on top of the other homework! It’s bloody unfair is what that is.
Get used to it. It’s probably going to get worse. God, I need a drink.
Me too. I want a firewhiskey. Firerum would be good right about now.
I’ve always been partial to firevodka. I’ve had a bad experience with firewhisky.
Let’s just say that drinking and brooms do not go well together. It was how I broke my arm.
Ouch, that doesn’t sound like a lot of fun.
It wasn’t, and it hurt like hell.
I know how that is. I broke mine … fuck! I hate this goddamn book!
It hurts, doesn’t it!
Yes! Goddamn fucking little shithead.
Temper this. Goodnight!
Stop acting like a bloody … fuck! Shitting little wanker! That hurt!
Draco watched as the last of the students filed out before he turned with a sigh, shuffling his papers. It was the week before Christmas and he was getting tired of living through all the attacks and the worry again. This was more than anyone should’ve ever been through. He knew what was going to happen, and there was nothing he could do about it. He wished he could just run and tell everyone what was going to happen, tell them to save the pain but he knew that a lot of these events, while sad now, were important in the future.
Especially for Harry. Harry had always been so innocent, trusting, with each consecutive death he became harder, colder, and more inclined to lash out at someone if they hurt another person. Although in this time he had hated the way Harry looked so innocent, so trusting at everyone, now he was relishing it, looking at the brunet every chance he could. Soaking in the innocence that would soon go away in the events that would begin next year.
He heard a knock on the door, breaking him from his thoughts as he turned around, eyes looking at his younger self who was standing there worried. He mentally did the calculations, and he remembered, right then, what this day had been. He had thought it had been later. He hadn’t looked through his memories to see what he had been told. He wanted to give this Draco the same advice that he had been given, but he could only remember a few key words and phrases.
He remained calm though, raising an eyebrow impassibly at the younger man and gesturing him to enter into the room. “What can I do for you, Mr Malfoy?”
He leaned against the desk, arms crossed over his chest as he watched his younger self make his way to the front and stand, nervously, head down and pale hair obscuring his face. He watched himself bite his lip and gray eyes dart around. He remembered how nervous he had been, not wanting to ask the teacher this question, how he had just blurted it out in the most inelegant way ever.
“I was wondering if you knew which side I was going to be on,” the younger Draco said all of a sudden, his voice too loud and too squeaky in the stone chamber.
Draco remained silent, staring impassively at himself, while his mind desperately tried to remember what he had been told. “What makes you think I will tell you, Mr Malfoy?” It didn’t sound right, but it was a start.
“Because I don’t know. I don’t want to give up my father and my mother because I love them, but I don’t want to hurt anyone. I can’t even hurt a house elf, how am I supposed to hurt a bigger person?” the younger Draco cried out impassionedly, all his poise and elegance gone in a split second to be replaced by desperation.
“Mr Malfoy, I cannot tell you what to do, you must make the choice on your own,” he said, remembering having been told that when he was in the same situation.
Draco wished he could tell his younger self what to do, but he knew he couldn’t. He knew that the events that were shortly going to happen were going to shape how his future was made. He knew that the things he had seen had helped him grow up, made him into the man he was today. He knew that Draco needed to go through years of servitude under the dark lord to even begin to comprehend what the other side had to offer.
“I need to know,” the other version cried out, gray eyes wide and hands trembling.
“I cannot tell you that. But I can tell you that whatever you do, you need to do because it is what you want. Take away your father, your mother, your friends and everyone whose opinion matters to you, and then decide. Do not make the mistake of joining the dark lord to please your father if you do not want to, nor join the Order in a fit of teenage rebellion. The only thing I can tell you is to do what you want. Not what anyone else wants or asks of you.”
Draco’s impassionate speech came from his mind, each word flowing out of his mouth as a similar scene flashed before his eyes, the memories the same as this one, only with a different view. Looking up in disgust, awe, fear, trust, confusion and clarity at this golden teacher who was helping him, somehow.
“How is that supposed to help?”
Draco shrugged. “I don’t know. All I know is that your choices are yours and they will determine the person you will become.”
“What about you? What side were you on?”
Draco started. That was not a question he had asked the teacher. He had simply nodded and walked away, heartbroken and confused as to where his life would take him. He had always hated not knowing what was going to happen, not knowing that if turning the corner would give him a reward, or if it would kill him or injure him permanently.
“I,” he began, unsure of himself, “I played both sides of the war, Mr Malfoy. I was no more a Death Eater than I was an Order member, and yet both sides trusted me at different times.”
“Then how come you don’t have a mark?”
Draco blinked, unsure of how to explain that and figured the truth was something that could be handled. “When I was sent back, my body, reverted back to the age I was in this time. During this time, I was not marked, nor was I scarred. What you see is an unbreakable glamour.”
“Why not just Polyjuice?” the Draco asked, eyes slightly interested.
“My father used to tell me Polyjuice was for the common and the poor, and that subjecting yourself to pain to undergo a transformation to make you less perfect than we were was something my family never did. That and it tastes horrible and you have to drink it every hour. Even in my time, that has not changed,” Draco said with a shrug.
He watched the younger man, realising his mistake a little too late as the gray eyes of his younger self suddenly turned dark with shock, then realisation and then anger a split second before a wand was pointed in his face.
“You’re me. I mean, you are what I’m going to become!” the Draco cried out angrily, eyes flashing and thinking.
Draco stood up, his own eyes flashing. “Put the wand down,” he said through gritted teeth, knowing now why he did not remember this.
“No, not until you tell me what I need to voice,” voice tinged with anger and desperation.
Draco moved instantly, hand coming up to knock the wand out of his face, fingers wrapping around the thin wrist and the other around a slender neck, pressing his younger self down against the nearest table. He felt long fingers wrap around his hand around his younger self’s neck and he snarled.
“You do not know what you are asking. You don’t understand. I love my live and goddamn it, it is going to be the same when I get back one way or the other. You don’t know what I am capable of. I remember being you. I remember the distrust and the fear and loneliness and now none of that is something I am familiar with. I have people I trust, love, and love me back. I have friends whom I would die for and I am not ready to give that up,” he snarled, fingers tightening.
He could see his familiar gray eyes opening wide in fear and with another little squeeze he stepped back, brandishing his own wand and pointing it at the younger Malfoy who was holding his throat, eyes wide in fear, and the slightest bit of hope. Draco ignored that sliver of hope and forced himself to be strong, to do what was needed. He took a deep breath before waving his wand, muttering an Obliviate under his breath, watching as the gray eyes went glass for a moment and he took that moment to put his wand away, leaning against the table.
“Goodnight Mr. Malfoy,” he said forcing his voice to be calm.
His younger self looked confused for a moment before nodding; a soft goodbye uttered before he walked out, leaving Draco slumped against his desk. As soon as the door closed, he raised a trembling hand, pressing it against his eyes and sighing; shaking his head at himself, wishing Harry was here to be stronger. He heard a sound and he looked up, looking for the source and not seeing anything. Shaking his head at his paranoia, he turned around, taking the door to his private chambers and missing the wide eyes watching him, hidden in the darkness.
My head’s been hurting a lot lately. I think school is making me crazier and crazier.
You mean, you, Alex, are admitting you are insane?
Of course not. I’m just saying that my head hurts a little bit. All that reading for Professor Binn's class so you know what the hell he is actually talking about.
You actually read the book? The only person who I know does that is … ouch. It’s official. He’s a sadist.
Poor little Robin got hurt, did he?
Yes, goddamn it. It’s bleeding now. I hate blood.
Faint at the sight of it?
Obviously not, as I am still talking to you, you wanker.
Right. Did you get the answer for number 3 on the homework?
Yeah, wasn’t it an AK47?
I thought it was a Desert Eagle?
No, I’m sure it’s the AK47.
Desert Eagle. I’m sure of it.
Let's do our own and see who's right, alright? You’re going down, Alex.
After you, Robin.