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Happy H/D Holidays florahart - Part 1/2

Author: shadowclub
Recipient: florahart
Title:Opaque - Part 1/2
Pairing(s): Harry/Draco, implied Ginny/Dean, Remus/Tonks
Summary: Harry is sent to Azkaban and his cell mate is Draco Malfoy.
Rating: R (barely).
Disclaimer: All Harry Potter characters herein are the property of J.K. Rowling and Bloomsbury/Scholastic. No copyright infringement is
intended.
Warning(s): some non-con
Word Count: 12k+
Author's Notes: Thank you to M who truly made this a better story.



Revenge is sweet!-From the Diary of Dolores Umbridge

The back doors flew open to reveal Harry Potter. There was a collective gasp in the courtroom. The chains binding his hands and feet clanked against the stone floor as two Aurors dragged him toward the hard wooden chair in front of the Wizengamot.

"Mr. Potter, we have decided that the safest route, for both you and the good of the Wizarding World, is for you to go to a holding facility until we have more information on your unique condition," Umbridge said smirking.

"What condition? He needs medical attention for his migraine attacks and a few other minor injuries. I hardly call that a dangerous condition that he must essentially be quarantined for!" Hermione's voice rang throughout the chamber.

"Ms. Granger! Mr. Potter's mental instability and refusal to testify on his own behalf leave us no choice. I have personally read the medical reports and these so called "attacks" are not as severe as you are making them seem. Let us not forget the charge of first-degree murder, shall we? Tom Riddle was murdered in cold-blood! I think we are being quite generous in our offer." Umbridge smiled as Harry shifted uncomfortably in his bonds.

"The accusations against my client are unjustified and ludicrous. He cannot testify due to the damage to his throat from the last spell he used...the one that killed Voldemort and saved the Wizarding World from sure destruction while you did nothing!" Hermione said indignantly.

"And what spell was that?" asked Umbridge. Hermione floundered a bit. No one knew the exact spell Harry had used. It was devised for their own protection. Various people (like Hermione) had helped him develop parts of the spell, but no one except Harry knew its incantations, rituals and effect.

"Harry Potter will remain in Azkaban until further notice!" Umbridge's voice squeaked as she struggled to be heard over the objections muttering in the court room.

Harry said nothing as the guards slipped anti-magic cuffs around his wrists and led him away.

*

"What a wonderful life I've had! I only wish I'd realized it sooner." -Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette

Draco sat in Umbridge's office unsure of what to think. Either he was going to receive good news or bad news...

"I have some bad news, Mr. Malfoy. Your father died this morning. A most unfortunate circumstance," she said, fiddling with a pastel pink tea cozy on her desk. Draco sat still processing the information.

"I see," he finally said.

"As his sole heir," she paused to give a little cough. "Or rather only known heir, you are entitled to receive his belongings upon his death." She pushed a small box toward him. Draco picked it up; it was surprisingly light considering Lucius' affinity for heavy silver pieces and velvet robes. He opened it and pulled out a letter.

His father's last request. Draco swallowed and shut his eyes. He would not cry in front of Umbridge.

He slit the letter open and read. Shockingly, it only contained two lines.

Freedom is the only thing worth fighting for. Semper Familia.

"You bastard!" Draco shouted, shocking Umbridge enough to cause her to fall off her chair. He ripped the letter into what felt like a thousand pieces and let them fell to the floor.

"I'll be going now," Draco said, picking up the box. How dare his father request this of him after what happened his sixth year.

*

"We'll get through this, mate," Ron said, patting Harry on the back.

Harry offered a weak smile in return. He had spent the first ten years of his life in a cupboard, what difference would a few months in a prison cell make on his psyche? He stooped down to hug Hermione, her tears soaking his shirt, creating an uncomfortable wet spot.

"I'm sorry, Harry…it shouldn't have been like this. I'm sorry," she muttered into his shoulder, squishing the air out of his lungs. A cold hand landed on his shoulder, slowly pulling him away from the warmth of her body.

"That stupid lady!" Hermione sniffled. "I'll, I mean, Ron and I will fix this, even if it means blackmailing her. That stupid old hag can't admit she is wrong." Harry smiled, imagining Hermione holding one of Umbridge's prized tea cozies over a fire as Umbridge screamed in the background.

I hate this. Harry thought as he was led away to Azkaban.

*

"Hello Mr. Potter. I'm Jude Neil, Warden of New Azkaban. You may call me Jude. I am going to be giving you a tour of our humble prison. We are most honored by your presence."

"Here we have the gourmet kitchen. Not that we serve bad food, of course." Jude pointed to a dingy room with an ancient stove and oven. Harry simply nodded and shivered; the man seemed to think that Harry was in primary school and needed everything explained to him. "…funding is a bit low at the moment, and there was a sale on okra! It was an excellent business opportunity. One ton for 25 galleons!"

Harry ignored him, taking in his surroundings. The walls, floor and guard uniform were all gray. It was like walking through a very heavy rain cloud.

"Prisoners are not required to work in the kitchen unless they want to. Don't worry though, everyone is highly supervised. There will be no mistakes under my rule," Jude said. Excellent, another man who thought he knew what was going on under his own nose. Harry knew that this man had little power and was really controlled by Umbridge.

"As you know, many of the people are here waiting for trial, and it's crowded. But don't worry! We've selected a model prisoner for your cellmate. He doesn't talk much, and he's harmless, really. Of course, theoretically all the prisoners are harmless. Magic is suppressed here."

The man fumbled with a set of keys as they approached the door housing the prisoners. Finally, after several failed attempts, he managed to insert the key in the hole. After unlocking the door, he pulled out his wand and waved it, shooting out several silent spells.

Harry stared at him.

"The first rule of a good prison is good security!" he said, clearly reciting from a handbook of some sort.

Jude led him down the dank hall. The smell of mildew and salt permeated the air. The walls were cracked and crumbling, but Harry could feel the wards pulsating through them. No one could get out here easily.

"And here we are," Jude said, throwing open the door at the far end of the hallway, revealing a small room with two beds, a sink and a toilet. Barely two feet separated the beds, and only a narrow window, set high up on the wall, provided light. On the left bed sat a lone figure.

Draco Malfoy.

Malfoy immediately recoiled, pushing his back into the wall after seeing Harry.

"We shall see you for dinner, Mr. Potter," Jude said, before closing the cell door and locking it.

Malfoy stared at him for a long moment before finally standing up.

"Shouldn't you be out there celebrating your victory over the forces of evil?" Draco said, sounding bitter.

Harry crossed his arms, the rage that had died with Voldemort, bubbling back up under his skin. His fingers curled, making a loose fist. He wanted to ask Malfoy how he could be so stupid as to believe in an idiot like Voldemort, or tell him to sod off. He wanted to say something, but when he opened his mouth, nothing came out.

"What'd you do, kill Weasley? Did his flaming head finally push you over the edge? Orange has been known to provoke violent emotions. I guess that's why you got into so much trouble at school. All that anger…"

Harry threw his pack of toiletries onto his bed and walked over to other side of the room.

"Nothing to say? No snide remark regarding my dishonored family?" taunted Malfoy before reaching between his mattress and bed to pull out a battered book. "What's the matter, Potter? Cat got your tongue?" Malfoy continued, apparently more relaxed now as he lay back on his bed and opened his book.

"Is this simply another one of your attention seeking ploys?" Draco said, glancing over at him. Harry ignored him and sat on the empty bed. It apparently only had springs on the top half of the bed. The bottom half was stuffed with rocks. Harry couldn't resist bouncing up and down a little to test the firmness.

"Potter…oi! Potter! Have you gone deaf as well?" Malfoy asked.

Harry refused to acknowledge him. He was tired. He hadn't slept through the night since his sixth year. The fact that he was unable to speak never seemed to occur to people. They tried to provoke him and pick at him until they were sure he had to say something, but the fact was he simply couldn't. He felt like one of those British guards that tourists always try to make smile.

They could Crucio him and no one would have the satisfaction of hearing him scream.

Or beg.

That had been the plan. If something did go wrong then at least Harry would have died with his pride, and no matter what they did to him, he couldn't give up the information he had. It would have bothered Voldemort greatly if he didn't know how Harry had suffered at the end…

In hindsight, there were simpler ways to kill Voldemort. Hell, after he finally defeated Voldemort a book was published called "100 Ways To Kill A Dark Lord Without A Mess!" None of those methods had come close to the spell he used. Then again, the book's publishers didn't have the courage to stand in front of the most powerful wizard next to Dumbledore and do any of the things they had written down in their book.

"…serviced the Dark Lord quite well from what I hear. Guess that Mudblood mouth was good for something."

Harry suddenly snapped out of his reverie. Before he knew what was happening, his arm had swung around and connected with Malfoy's nose. A small arc of blood appeared, caught in time, before finally landing on Malfoy's dirty grey robes.

The next thing he knew a pair of guards were pushing him into a tiny room called The Closet.

Three days later, they let him out. Solitary confinement, they called it. A punishment. Harry tried to tell them he was grateful for a Malfoy-free room, but they didn't try to understand.

Malfoy didn't say anything as they pushed him back into his cell.

When Harry had imagined the future, lying in some godforsaken forest with only Ron and Hermione for company, it had all been so vivid. There would be a parade -- he imagined it to be just like a picture he'd seen in primary school of a French soldier and his girlfriend -- and he would walk up to Ginny, dip her to press a kiss onto those pink cupid lips and propose to her on the spot.

He imagined a lot of things during the war…pain, death, love. Mostly pain, though. And when he dreamt, it was in color. Bright splashes of blood like red paint lathered onto corpses.

Of course, he liked it better when he didn't dream at all.

Now at night, he dreamt in black and white. Harry wondered if it was side effect of the spell or simply a result of stress.

Was it worse to dream badly or to not dream at all?

One, two, three pigeons on a wall…one fell off and the others were tall? It felt as though his sanity was leaving him. Harry had the sudden mental image of a tiny imp, wearing a shirt reading "Sanity," packing his bags and muttering about the crappy working conditions and lack of job security, and Harry laughed at the thought.

Malfoy suddenly sat up, breathing as though he had just battled a Hippogriff. He looked around wildly for a moment before seeing Harry.

"What time is it?"

"No idea," Harry mouthed.

Malfoy looked at him strangely and lay back down.

"Onomatopoeia?" Draco asked.

Harry shook his head.

"Ten birds on a wall, I take out my wand and Avada one. How many are left?" Malfoy asked a minute later. Malfoy was obviously losing what little grasp of reality he had once held. Might as well humor him, thought Harry, and he held up nine fingers.

"WRONG!" Malfoy sounded like fire alarm. "You're so stupid, Potter, any six-year-old would know that!" Harry sat up wondering what Malfoy was on. Drugs? Potions? Stupidity?

"The answer is none! They would have all flown away! Only an idiot Potter bird would stay!" Malfoy abruptly stopped laughing when the pillow Harry threw at his face scored a direct hit.

"…this is getting old, Potter. Say something." His voice cracked. Harry turned over and closed his eyes, hoping that this time sleep would come.

*

"...To make a pledge of any kind is to declare war against nature; for a pledge is a chain that is always clanking and reminding the wearer of it that he is not a free man."- Samuel Clemens

"Snape!" Draco said, a smile breaking out on his face. Not the usual reaction people had to Snape, but Draco knew that Snape liked him…deep down.

"How is your health?" Snape asked, drumming his fingertips on the table.

"Dismal! I think I may have contracted dragon pox from Yaxley and my nail beds look atrocious!" Draco said, smiling wanly. Snape stifled a smile. He was the only one Draco could joke with.

"Dragon pox?" Snape asked, raising an eyebrow.

"Yes, look!" Draco said, indicating to an angry red spot on his forehead.

"That's a spot, you nincompoop!"

"Nonsense, Malfoy's don't get spots," Draco said.

"Stop. I would like to get out of here before nightfall," Snape said wearily.

Draco waited for him to speak.

"Did you do what I said?" Snape asked.

"I don't understand why I have to room with Potter. I want to, you know, not be driven insane," Draco said stopping at Snape's severe look.

"Did you get the potion that I left there?" Snape asked in a whisper, looking around for any eavesdroppers.

"I need tools. Do you expect me to pry apart the concrete with my bare hands?" Draco said out of the corner of him mouth.

"I'll get some. Just keep Potter away from Yaxley and Rodolphus, we need him alive."

"I don't understand—," Draco began.

"Of course not! Do you think I'm stupid enough to tell you what is going to happen when you can't even shield your mind anymore? Imagine what would happen if one of the guards were to catch whiff of the plan! Now, do you want to complete you father's last wish or not?" Snape angrily whispered through clenched teeth.

"I am the last Malfoy! I will do what it takes to continue the line," Draco said.

Snape rolled his eyes.

"I hate you," Draco finished.

"I assure you, the feeling is mutual," Snape said calmly examining his yellowed fingernails.

*

"Bath day!" the guard called out the next morning. Harry had not slept the night before. He bent over to pick up his fallen blanket and straightened up only to find Malfoy staring back at him.

"Why are you staring?" Harry mouthed.

"Look, Potter, be careful," Malfoy said before gathering a pile of his dirty rags. They walked down the hall into the showering area. It was rather small with too many bodies for the number of stalls available. The guards waited outside.

Something was wrong…

"Watch it!" Someone bumped into him.

"Oi! Rodolphus, we gots ourselves a new one!"

Harry turned around, dropping his towel in preparation to defend himself.

Suddenly, he was pushed straight into a wall. The shower knob dug painfully into his back. Harry kicked back, hoping to hit the other man in the kneecap, but missed. Instead he was knocked off balance and fell to the floor.

"Aww, look here! It's the Boy Who Couldn't Die!" the man said, straddling him and holding and pressing Harry's face into the floor.

"What the fuck is he doing here?" Harry could feel the man's stiff cock press into his back. Rodolphus? The name sounded familiar…Rodolphus Lestrange!

"What? No words of comfort for me and my poor dead wife?" said Lestrange as Harry attempted to wriggle our from under him.

"Mudbloods. No manners."

You're a fucking bastard and your wife deserved to die the way she did…in a pool of blood as she miscarried Voldemort's baby.

Lestrange banged Harry's head into the floor a few more times before shifting his weight down.

Wait. Were they letting him go?

Oh, god… he was going to… Scream.

It hurt. Lestrange's touch made his skin tingle as though termites were crawling through his veins. He face was pressed into the filthy tile floor as Rodolphus bore into him. Harry raised his arm trying to bang something, to make some noise, anything to bring the guards in the bathroom and stop the pain.

"Well, Potter? Are you going to scream yet?" Lestrange muttered with a laugh, his jagged fingernails dug into the skin on Harry's back. Harry wanted to tell him he was screaming already. Lestrange moved his hips back preparing to ram into Harry again, and Harry took the momentary release to try and wiggle out from under him. Lestrange laughed at his efforts.

"Aww… is ickle Potter scared? Are you going to cry for you mummy! My wife-y told me all about you and your mummy issues." The men around them laughed nervously. Harry wanted to kill them; they were worse than Death Eaters.

Suddenly, Lestrange fell sideways, almost sliding out of Harry completely. There was another heavy thudding sound as flesh hit flesh before Harry was unceremoniously pulled up by his armpits.

"Potter! Stand!" Malfoy's voice filtered through the strange haze of adrenaline and pain. It felt as though his muscles had turned to water; he couldn't even support himself. He opened and closed his mouth like a fish gasping for air. Malfoy, using a surprising amount of strength for someone so thin, dragged him into the changing room. Harry clumsily fumbled trying to find an area of dry tile, but his legs couldn't seem to support his weight.

"It would have been opportune time for you to yell. I deduce that you are not in fact silent in protest or for attention," Malfoy said conversationally, shoving Harry his scratchy prison robes. Malfoy sat down on the bench across from him and wrapped his bruised knuckles in a strip of towel.

Harry opened his mouth to ask why Malfoy hadn't yelled for the guards, but abruptly shut it instead. He was going to have to get rid of this habit of opening his mouth and not saying anything. It made him look like a fish most of the time.

Harry quickly wiped himself off still feeling dirty, and shoved on the clean robe. His body was still smarting from the fall in the shower and the subsequent events… Harry wanted nothing more that to go into his cell and curl up in his bed.

"Potter, say something. You owe me for this. You have no idea what I've risked."

Even Voldemort couldn't have planned a better torture than this.

"Welcome to hell…I hope you enjoy your stay here. The only way out is death or a court order and quite honestly, you're more likely to die," Draco muttered under his breath.

Harry walked back to the cell. He could feel the guards staring at him as he walked past. Let them look, that was about as close they would every get.

*
If I thought surrendering was the answer, I would have died a long time ago," Harry said to Ron after negotiating the release of Dean Thomas from the Death Eaters.

"Free time!" called The Guard Formerly Known As "Frank". Harry didn't even bother to sit up, choosing to pull the ragged covers over his head instead. He and Malfoy hadn't talked since the showers the three days ago.

"Potter, if you don't give some sign of life, I'll be forced to tell the guards that you're ill. Trust me, Potter; you don't want to be ill here. Umbridge checks you…personally." Malfoy wrinkled his nose.

Harry only glared at Malfoy and stood up, wincing as pain lanced through his unused muscles.

"Not to be rude, but you look as though you were eaten by a giant and spit out." For some reason Malfoy looked exceptionally happy at this. Harry pushed passed him and went out the cell.

"Potter! Eh! Potter! You are going the wrong way." Stupid Malfoy…this was somehow his fault. If Malfoy hadn't let the Death Eaters into Hogwarts, if Dumbledore hadn't died…

They would not have won the war.

Dumbledore's death activated ancient wards that ensured Hogwarts was never seen by Voldemort again and was used as a stronghold for the Order.

Harry followed Malfoy into the "playroom" and settled on the ragged couch that was so overused he actually sunk to the bottom. Malfoy headed to the ancient piano that sat in a corner. It looked about a hundred years old and was covered in dust; apparently prisoners did not have an appreciation for music.

Harry watched as Malfoy pulled out a disfigured fork from inside his robes before propping open the inside cover and leaning over, using the fork to pry something open.

Malfoy apparently had a penchant for fixing things. He watched as Malfoy pulled out a variety of deformed eating utensils and worked. Occasionally, a string would echo hollowly in the piano. It was almost hypnotizing; the way his forearms flexed, creating a hollow curve…Harry's eyes began to droop. Three nights of little sleep infused with strange half recollections of pain had not served him well.

More prisoners walked in and out, some daring to walk in front of him, others choosing to linger in the dark corners and whisper. No one sat next to him.

"I hear he did a double Avada Kedavra! Went straight through Alice's body and into Johnson's!"

"Psh…."

"Joan saw it with her own eyes!"

"My point exactly!"

Unable to sleep with the unsubtle whispering around him, Harry turned around and held up three fingers. The man, who looked somewhere between Moody and Snape, gasped.

"Three? I thought a double was impossible!" the pair continued to gossip.

Meanwhile, Malfoy had stopped with his tinkering and sat down on the wobbly piano bench and hit one of the keys. A dull twang resonated through the room.

"Bloody hell, Malfoy! Stop that racket!" Yaxley yelled from across the room. Harry turned and watched in fascination. Yaxley's temper hadn't improved since last time Harry saw him…watching Voldemort die.

Slowly and deliberately Malfoy pushed another key. The high note screeched as Malfoy held the pedal down.

"Stop! Or I'll—." Yaxley stepped forward.

"Yes, yes. You'll beat me to death. Pluck out my fingernails and feed my bullocks to the vultures. Anything new to add?" Malfoy said, examining his fingernails.

"Insolence is not becoming of a young man. Your uncle will hear of this."

"Stupidity is not becoming of old men either, and do tell my dead uncle I say hi. I'm the last Malfoy left in case you had forgotten," Malfoy said, smiling dangerously. There was something terribly off about it. Malfoy turned around once again and began to tinker with the piano strings.

Lestrange stepped out from the corner and held up his hand. Yaxley fell silent. Harry recoiled and then forced himself to relax. He didn't want Lestrange to know how much the incident had affected him.

Lestrange didn't say anything, and everyone else went back to their business, convinced that nothing interesting was going to happen.

Harry watched closely as Yaxley slunk away like chastised toddler and Lestrange stepped forward. Lestrange looked angry, but he was still talking to Malfoy. From his vantage spot, Harry could only hear bits and pieces of their conversation.

"—I don't suppose you have any brilliant plans," Draco said, not lifting his eyes up from the piano.

"—stupid! You could have been heard," Lestrange growled.

"—I told you not to touch, Potter! We can't afford to—."

"Harry! Long time no see!" a familiar voice said. Harry jumped and turned to see a young man covered in spots.

"Stan Shunpike!" Harry tried to say.

"Don't you remember me?" he asked.

Harry nodded his head vigorously and smiled.

"Blimey! Harry Potter! I can't believe it! I told Chuck that it couldn't be you! But here you are with the scar and everything! Real tragic what happened to you. I mean, I met her and thought she was a nice girl, I didn't know she was playing you with that other Weasel boy. Eh, now they're both dead, huh? Guess they got what they had coming."

Harry was confused. The only person Harry was guilty of killing was Voldemort and yet he felt no remorse for it. The confusion must have showed in his face because Stan stopped his conversation.

"…er. You didn't kill your best mates because they were having an affair, did you?"

Harry shook his head.

"Lambert! You owe me thirty Galleons!" Stan yelled putting his arm around Harry's shoulder.

"Let me tell you about this place…" Harry let Stan lead him away from Malfoy and Lestrange's whisperings. Harry glanced over at the two. The war was over; he didn't have an obligation to protect the Wizarding World. What had it done for him? He was rotting in Azkaban. Ungrateful sods, Harry thought bitterly. He was through with them.

*

The past was good, the present is dreadful, and the future is uncertain. - Moody to Harry during training.

Harry soon learned that prison was much like primary school. As long as you kept your head down and didn't tattletale, all would be fine...

Unless you're the Boy-Who-Lived. In that case, you were screwed no matter what you did. He was tripped, his food stolen, and once he was even shoved out of the toilet while relieving himself.

So when Harry woke up one morning with a splitting headache reaching out for his migraine potion only to grasp empty air, he knew no one would help him. Water Harry thought as he blindly felt for the walls and stumbled out of his cell toward the loo.

After what felt like several agonizing hours he fell through the door. Harry lay on the cool tile floor for a minute before pulling himself up and turning the sink on.

He dunked his head in the ice cold water of the sink and felt slightly better. The tingling sensation in his head was still there though as well as the throbbing pain.

Was that a moan?

What was going on? Harry opened his eyes a little, allowing them to adjust to the light. Malfoy lay facing him on the bathroom floor. Harry squinted trying to focus and saw a small pool of blood peeking out from underneath Malfoy's shoulder.

Harry dropped onto his knees to get a closer look. A knife was sticking out of Malfoy's back. It didn't take a genius to know that Malfoy was injured. He poked Malfoy in the side, and Malfoy gave a feeble sort of twitch and moaned a little more. Trust Malfoy to be dramatic, his shoulder was injured but not his legs. Harry could get up to the hospital wing by himself.

Shooting pain again prickled behind Harry's eyes. Perhaps he should just leave Malfoy here and go get some help, he was in no state to carry Malfoy anywhere. Just then, Malfoy turned his head to reveal a nasty looking bruise.

Lovely, it was more than likely Malfoy had knocked his head when he had fallen and now had a concussion. Harry ignored the own pain in his head and attempted to put Malfoy on his shoulders.

Harry walked down the hall before he was assaulted with another round of shooting pain. He fell against the wall, waiting for it to pass, slamming Malfoy's already bruised head into the wall.

He let Malfoy slide off his shoulder onto the floor. He looked up and saw the sign on the door reading "JUDE NEIL."

Help!

Another explosion of white light erupted behind his eyes

And then all went black.

*

"Mr. Potter? Are you quite all right? You appear to be bleeding from your forehead!" a voice came. It wasn't everyday that people bled for no apparent reason; of course he wasn't all right, Harry thought wryly.

"Healer Espinosa, what seems to be the problem?"

"How am I to know? You won't let me examine him."

"Ahh…right."

Harry felt the familiar tingle of diagnostic spells wash over him, and he opened his eyes.

"Awake, are we? You've had quite a lot of injuries recently. I would like to say that this episode was caused by that, but it appears to have an outside trigger." The Healer paused.

"On the other hand, your vocal cords are healing nicely, and you should be getting your voice back within the next two months." Harry felt his stomach soar. His voice was coming back! That meant he could request an appeal and get out of here. Just two more months…

*

There were many things Draco missed about being free such as toilet paper and unlimited access to a hairbrush. On the other hand, there were certain aspects to prison life he enjoyed...

Okay, perhaps that was a lie. Prison sucked much more than being force-fed Wolfsbane. Yes, that was good. He'd have to remember it when he was writing his memoirs. In fact, everything had been going perfectly fine until Snape and his father came around.

"Draco…I need you. You are the sole heir to the Malfoy fortune. You can't rot in prison," Lucius said, sounding uncharacteristically blunt. Snape had a serious expression on his face. Then again, Snape always had a serious expression on his face. That man could talk about the merits of llamas and still act serious.

"I don't understand…I mean, I do, but…"

"Your mother is dead," Snape said. Lucius blinked rapidly, showing a rare hint of emotion.

"Draco…I'm too old for this. I can't do it again," Lucius said.

"You can't just give up!"

"Listen to your father, Draco. For once in your life, listen!" Snape yelled.

"Draco, listen to me, dying is not cowardly and death is not heroic. I'm old—," Lucius began.

"Shut up! You're barely fifty! Stop this stupid nonsense about death."

"Draco…"


The next day his father was dead, suicide they said, and Snape was acquitted of all charges.

Draco slowly turned his head to the side. He was now in a pristine white room with bars on the window. He attempted to lift his hand only to find it cuffed to the bed.

"…wah happenin'?" he asked, his voice cracking.

"Oh, excellent! I was worried that I had added too much taproot in the blood-replenishing potion and caused you to be comatose. I was going to get my supervisor! I swear!" the young man said, seeing Draco's incredulous look.

What was this? Draco suddenly noticed that the boy looked like he was younger than he, and he tried to sit up again.

"Um…don't move your right arm too much!"

" Why?" Draco narrowed his eyes.

"Erm…the muscles in your forearm were severed and are currently healing."

Well, that would explain the shooting pain, but Draco distinctly recalled being injured on his left shoulder. "I thought it was my left shoulder that was injured."

"It was…"

"What do you mean 'was?' What have you done?" Draco forced himself to be calm. Perhaps they accidentally dropped him on the way here. Wouldn't be the first time a prisoner was injured by manhandling.

"Well…erm. I might have attempted to regenerate your arm, but I used the wrong arm."

"So you're telling me that you severed the muscles in my good arm because you can't tell the difference between left and right?" Draco felt a bead of sweat break through his carefully constructed exterior of calm.

"No…I botched the spell and accidentally ended up severing the muscles."

Draco contemplated the preferred mode of death for the incompetent Hufflepuff before him.

He could hear voices outside the door.

"— Your vocal cords are healing nicely and you should be getting your voice back within the next two months." Interesting. Well, it appeared that Potter did in fact have a medical condition.

"What time is it?" Draco asked. The young man opened his mouth to answer, but was interrupted by a knock at the door.

The door swung open to reveal Jude and several of his associates.

"Mr. Malfoy, we have some questions," said the Warden, taking out his wand.

"I assume that I must answer them…or else?" Draco said, a knot of fear already forming in his stomach.

"It would help your case greatly if you cooperated. When I say greatly, I mean </i>greatly.</i>"

It would help the floor greatly if you lost some weight, Draco thought.

"I'll see if I may be of service," Draco said, sneering.

"Where is your mother?"

"Gone, lost, dead. Take your pick." It was as though they were trying to bring up painful topics.

"And your father?"

"Dead. Shouldn't you know this by now, considering he was in your delightful care when he passed?"

Jude shifted uncomfortably.

"You are either a brilliant actor, or you genuinely don't know," said Draco. "Any other questions?" Draco finally asked.

Jude smiled. "Just one, there are, erm… rumors we'll call them," Jude said making air quotations with his finger. Draco felt his stomach drop. "That some people are planning to escape," Jude finished.

"I haven't heard anything of that sort," Draco said quickly.

"Now Mr. Malfoy, may I ask who stabbed you?" Jude asked.

Draco paused.

"Harry Potter. Came out of nowhere with a knife and stabbed me. I demand he be removed from my cell," Draco said.

"Really?"

"Yes," Draco said without hesitation. Screw Snape's plan.

"We found Lestrange's fingerprints on the knife," Jude said.

"Why would you ask me a question if you already know the answer?" Draco asked.

"I suppose the better question is, why did Mr. Potter save you?"

Potter? Potter helped him? Draco lay back in bed.

"I'm tired. I'm sure we can have this discussion at a later time." Draco said closing his eyes for effect. Jude nodded. Rodolphus? The man had come up from behind so Draco had not been able to defend himself or see the attackers face. He knew that Rodolphus was angry at Snape for helping Draco and not him, but Rodolphus was family!

"This incident will be handled appropriately, don't worry about that," Jude said before shutting the door completely.

The young Healer walked back in.

"Unless you're going to give me a pain-killer potion, sod off."

The boy opened and closed his mouth before leaving again.

Sometimes life was so grand he could simply die. Saved by Potter of all people, the humiliation!

*

"I hear Malfoy tried to kill you," Stan said as he made his way across the room. Harry gave a vague nod. It was better that people thought him violent and unbalanced. It made people wary to pick fights with him.

Stan pulled out a small bottle from his shoe.

"Drink up," Harry nodded gratefully. He stuffed the small bottle into his right shoe. A loud outburst of laughter wafted through the door leading to the lounge area. Harry wandered over, wondering what the source of the noise was. There wasn't a lot to laugh about in this place, and he pushed his way past the crowd only to see Draco Malfoy, apparently faint, dropping on the ground with a thud.

God, Malfoy was one ill bastard. He just was released from the hospital wing along with Harry. Must be the inbreeding…that or the bleach he used to keep his hair its "natural" color was killing the delicate balance in Malfoy's brain.

"So there I was standing over the Boy-Who-Lived's inert body after he passed out. I felt bad for the Dementor, all he wanted was an autograph! Potter loved the attention so much he actually passed out. I was worried he would wet himself and it would run all over my new shoes!" Malfoy said from his position on the ground. "I mean can you imagine Potter with a girl?" This earned a few laughs.

Harry bristled. Malfoy hadn't exactly been in tip-top shape after the Dementors. Not to mention the fact they were thirteen when it happened! He could tell a few stories about Malfoy too…

Harry elbowed his way to the front of the crowd, and the laughter stopped. No, Malfoy was nothing more than a footnote in the history of his life; a petty schoolboy grudge that he was using to sustain himself in a world where he was on the losing side. Harry gave one last look before turning away.

Malfoy's voice floated past him.

"What, Potter? Too cowardly to even stand up for yourself? And they call you a hero," Draco jeered at him. Harry stopped. Suddenly Malfoy jumped on him, attempting to strangle him.

"Just say something damn it!" Malfoy yelled. What was Malfoy's problem?

I can't! I can't bloody speak! The anger Harry had contained since the last battle exploded, and Harry threw Malfoy off his back and onto the floor where he lay stunned at this turn of events.

Harry backed toward the door, wary of turning his back on Malfoy when someone leapt on him and started to punch him.

"You bastard! I know it was you! You made them send Rodolphus away!" Yaxley yelled. Harry wavered and then fell over pulling both of them onto the floor.

"I'll hold him down, Malfoy!" Yaxley grunted out as Harry punched him in the gut. Yaxley may have been a Wizard with great power once, but he never had to wrestle an obese cousin so he that wouldn't starve. Harry flipped them both over and pinned Yaxley down.

Malfoy stood, his eyes wide open, in the background not moving to aid either the former Death Eater or Harry. Yaxley apparently noticed this as well.

"You traitor, you stinkin' blood traitor!" Yaxley yelled as he shoved Harry off of him, picked up his knife and ran toward Malfoy.

Harry reacted without thinking, running forward and knocking both the knife and Yaxley onto the ground.

He held Yaxley in headlock until the guards finally arrived and took him away. The crowd surrounding them had mysteriously disappeared leaving Harry and Malfoy to deal with the guards.

Afterwards, Harry stared at Malfoy for a good five minutes until he got the message.

You owe me, Malfoy.

"Yeah, yeah. I know," Malfoy said.

Potter was obviously unbalanced and had sustained brain damage during the final battle. So naturally, Draco simply had to do impressions of Potter's Dementor Faint for everyone.

Tragically for him, Potter did not find them the least bit funny, and Yaxley…he had never trusted Yaxley anyway. Stupid Ministry, now that they had the place under extreme magical suppression he had to do this the Muggle way. Malfoy wiped the sweat off from his upper lip. How on earth Muggles survived like this, he couldn't fathom.

Draco grabbed the wrench out from under his mattress and used it to grind a chunk of concrete into dust. With any luck Potter would just think the place was simply getting dustier. Draco swung the wrench and knocked out another piece of concrete from behind the sink in the cell. It fell away revealing a glass bottle.

Draco stared in shock, he had done it! Before he could pull it out a voice floated down the hall into his cell.

And then silence.

Potter, shit. Potter was coming! Potter would see! Draco scrambled up trying to push all the chunks of concrete under his bed. He grunted as he shoved the sink in front of the gaping hole in the wall. He scrambled around picking up his tools. Why was Potter returning to the cell early today of all days?

The cell door swung open. Draco looked down and saw to his horror that he was still holding the wrench.

The wrench! The stupid Muggle wrench! He had all of one second before Potter saw. Panicking, Draco stuffed his hand, wrench and all, down his trousers. Potter was already standing in the doorway. Draco dropped down onto his bed and gave a little moan.

Potter looked at him in horror, his eyes large behind his frames. Draco internally smirked and congratulated himself on his quick thinking. He was a genius, really!

He shifted the wrench a little so it created a rather impressive looking tent in his robes.

Potter actually tripped over his own feet in an effort to move to the far end of the cell.

"What Potter? Never seen a man wank?" He asked nastily, knowing full well that Saint Potter had barely even kissed a girl. Hopefully Potter would be so embarrassed that he would leave.

Potter shook his head.

"Ahh…well that explains it. Wanking is to Azkaban as Quidditch is to Hogwarts. Ah, if there was a World Cup for wanking, I'm quite sure it would take place here." Potter's eyes bulged out of his head and he turned away from Draco and lay down on his bed. How could Potter ignore him? Draco thought. They were sworn enemies! It was practically manners to acknowledge his disdain.

Potter gave a snore entirely too nasally to be genuine. What? There was no way Potter had fallen asleep that fast.

"Oi! Harry!" Stan called from their door. Draco jumped up, forgetting why he was on the bed in the first place. The wrench fell onto the floor with a loud clank.

Draco forced a look of nonchalance on his face. Stan looked about for the source of the noise. It was a good thing that Stan had the IQ of mud or else it might have led to awkward questioning.

He turned only to see Potter staring at his feet wearing a determined look.

"Constipation?" Draco said lamely, and then berated himself for it. Constipation? What?

Potter looked at him questioningly. He could practically hear the question: "Why do you have a wrench?" Potter picked up the wrench and walked away from him.

Things were not going as planned.

*
Part 2.
Tags: [fic], [long/chaptered fic], rated: r, round: summer 2007
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