Disclaimer: I have no right to write about these folk, as I dont own them.
Summary: Well, this is the 9th and final part of this sordid, angsty little tale. At the end I will finally reveal what song I was working from. I hope youre all very much impressed. Thanks for bearing with me.
Notes: Thanks for all your comments. Im tempted to write an alternate ending, just because this was the one I had in mind the whole time. I just wasnt sure if it would make sense when push came to shove. I hope you enjoy it. Do let me know if you did/didnt. I love to read the comments, after all.
By Ivy Blossom
Harry Potter knew what to expect when he walked into Three Broomsticks. It was raining hard outside, thunder rumbling along the edges of the day. Almost three years ago, he had apparated just around the corner, on the way to the great Hogwarts celebratory feast. And celebratory it was; Voldemort had been effectively destroyed, trapped in a crystal and amethyst prison kept safe by Dumbledore. The remaining Death Eaters had been easily overcome by a handful of prepared wizards, and all were imprisoned, without the help of Dementors. Without Voldemort, the Death Eater actions were half-hearted and weak; they were still abroad, still making attempts to seize control and whip up a fury of fear, but the tide had changed.
Harry had no memory of the rest of that night. He had woken up some days later in the hospital wing at Hogwarts, under the careful eye of Madam Pomfrey, Dumbledore, and Professor McGonagall. They had spoken for long hours afterwards, discussing the events. Harry had not wanted to discuss Dracos betrayal, and Dumbledore respected that. Harry had admitted that Draco had tried to stop it in the end, though only after he had already done the required damage. Everyone knew that it had been Draco who held the charm that had imprisoned Voldemort; it had been found in his hand, as he lay face down in the grass. But there was no denying how complete his betrayal had been.
When he had readied himself to leave Hogwarts and go back to his London flat, Dumbledore had lead him to another area of the hospital wing. There, he showed him Draco. Harry was shocked. He was barely alive. He had seen hints of the damage done to him that night, but now he saw the extent of it. He was almost unrecognizable; that flawless skin that Ron had inspected was a mockery; Harry couldnt help wondering if it had hurt him, arrogant and vain as Draco was, to see himself perfected for only an evening, only to return to this broken body. Harry reached out and stroked his hair absently, surprised to see too much of it come off in his hand. His skin was practically transparent, with a greenish tinge, his lips were ragged , as though he had been biting on them for months. He mumbled a little at Harrys touch; his voice destroyed, even his mumbles sounded crackled and rough.
"You see," Dumbledore noted, "he also has been betrayed." He said no more on the subject.
Harry had gone back home to London, and had a long talk with Ron and Hermione. They took it all in quietly. It was so clear that Harry was tortured over this topic that Ron even avoiding saying I told you so.
"Honestly, Harry," Hermione sighed. "I had wondered about it, when he stopped calling me names. He had always looked at you differently than he looked at everyone else. And that Quidditch game at graduation, it was positively affectionate. It all makes so much sense now." She put an arm around him, and leaned her head against his shoulder, taking his hand in hers and giving it a squeeze. "Im so sorry Harry."
Ron had sat quietly. "You know," He started. Then lapsed into thought. "I saw him, when I went in to see you, while you were sleeping." Harry nodded stonily. "Did you talk to Dumbledore about "
"I " Harry sighed. "Im really angry about it, Ron. I know they did horrible things to him, and I dont know how to deal with that. Im so angry with him for what he did to me, but I also feel really guilty about what they did to him. I even think well, sometimes, I wonder if he meant even some of what he said to me "
Hermione gave him a squeeze. "No doubt he did, Harry. No doubt." Harry didnt believe it. He couldnt believe it.
In the coming weeks, The Daily Prophet was full of stories, full of pictures of Draco as he had looked in his school days. The images looked out at the readers angrily, and it surprised no one that he had betrayed the Ministry, Dumbledore, and Harry Potter. There was some argument about what should be done with him, the young traitor. No one seemed certain what did happen to him; one day, the papers just stopped mentioning it, as happier news became the rule of the day. Hermione clipped these articles out of the paper, kept them in a folder, and hid them from Harry. She knew it would be too painful for him to see these images now, those angry, defiant images of Draco. Harry kept his own records. He wrote many letters; Some of them very angry, accusatory, tear-stained. Some of them were affectionate, forgiving. Some of them were both. But he sent none of them. He kept them in a file in his desk, as a kind of reminder. Hedwig nipped at him gently, holding out her leg, but Harry held on to those letters, even long after he had ceased to write them.
That day, when the rain pounded down on Hogsmeade late in November, Harry had already familiarized himself with Dracos recent history. It had taken Draco a year and a half to recover, but recover he did. Dumbledore had kept him at Hogwarts for a while, and later he had come to work for the Ministry. He had uncovered seven groups of Death Eaters still meeting, all pushing rival wizards as the new Dark Lord. He had been captured twice, but had not capitulated. Dumbledore trusted him. And then, a couple of weeks ago, an unmarked envelope had turned up on Harrys desk. In it was a copy of Dracos statement on the whole affair, which had been classified, and Harry had never wanted to see it, even when given the chance. Now, with the benefit of some years distance, Harry took home the envelope home him, and read over and over. He wept. For so long he had wanted to see this as black vs. white, good vs. evil, fear vs. love, and he saw now that it was just not so simple. He felt horribly torn. He looked over all his letters, and realized that he had to confront this, he had to see him again. And here he found himself, scheduling a meeting with Draco in Hogemeade, knowing that he had arrived a few days early. He was walking into both his own nightmares, and his own fantasies.
He knew Draco was there when he walked in. He looked back to the dark corners, and saw that blonde head before he saw anything else. He smiled to himself, and admitted that he was nervous. He ordered a butterbeer and sat down at the table across from him. Draco was reading a book, Strangers in a Strange Land. A muggle book, of all things. Harry looked at him. If he were honest with himself, he would have to admit that he was staring.
Then Draco shivered. He had noticed Harrys eyes on him. He dropped the book, and their eyes met. Harry had no idea what he felt. Partly, he was thinking about the boy who huffily asked him not to make him get sensitive; partly he was thinking about how Voldemort had raped his memories, tempted him with Harry himself, drugged him and destroyed him. Party he thought about Draco, looking radiant, scoffing at Rons suspicion of him. Dracos eyes were filled with emotions; fear, shame, sadness, hope, and even, unless Harry was fooling himself, even affection. Draco rose, walked the short twelve feet between them, and sat down with him.
"Hello, Harry." He said, sounding forcibly cheerful. Harry felt that voice more than he heard it. He was transported for a moment, thinking about that crying blonde boy he had seen on a couch in an abandoned wing at Hogwarts. How many different faces he has, he thought. All of them true. Draco was looking at his hands. "Harry " he reached over and touched Harrys hand. He didnt move. He didnt want to move. That touch was still electric. He heard Draco sigh.
"Youve got me at a serious disadvantage here, Potter, you know that." Draco smiled grimly. "Ive been a complete arse, not to mention a ruddy fool, I betrayed you, and you have every right to hate me. In fact, I wouldnt even blame you if you pulled out your wand right now and killed me on the spot. I dont think anyone would." Draco was looking at his hands again. Harry smiled.
"Ive been writing you letters, reams of them, I have about fourteen feet of them, but I never send them. It seemed so selfish. I figured youd need to get on with your life, and well, I could hardly expect you to make me feel better, of all people. I couldnt ask you to forgive me. I dont expect that from you, Harry, its too much after what Ive done."
"Why did you tell me to run?" Harry asked quietly. It was an element of the story that he had spent years shying away from, because it was so complicated for him. Harry couldnt count how many times he had wished Draco had just been pure evil, and laughed and cheered when Voldemort had taken over his body.
Draco looked up at him, confused. "Why? Well, Harry, come on, I knew what was going to happen next. I knew it wasnt going to be a string quartet and a three course meal flying out of my chest."
Harry laughed. He was surprised that he could laugh about it, but he found it surprisingly easy to do. It had been a long time, hadnt it? Draco smiled sadly. Harry shook his head. "But wasnt that you know, the point?"
Draco sighed. He knew this conversation was going to be difficult, and he had rehearsed it a million times. "The point. The point I " Draco steeled himself. I owe him this much, at least. I owe him a lot more, but theres only so far I can go. "Harry, I just didnt really think that far ahead. I knew there was something, but Voldemort," Draco shuddered, but Harry did not, "made it sound as if well, as if we were going to offer you something, I thought I really thought well, when it comes right down to it, I didnt think." Draco was staring intently at the palm of his hand.
"Did you mean those things you said to me, or were they part of the not thinking?"
Draco looked up at him. "You mean, before " he bit his lip. "Yes, Harry. I did. I need another drink. Something harder. Excuse me." Draco got up and went to the bar, looking shaken. After a few moments he returned with glass of thick honey mead.
"Alright, so look. I know I was a right prick, and I cant make it any better. I wish I could, I wish I could take it back. So I just want you to know that Im sorry about it, I am truly, deeply sorry." He looked up into his face. "Youll never know how sorry, because Im simply not capable of communicating that." He turned and drank deeply from his mug. "There was a point where they had to chose; I could be gorgeous, or a good communicator. I cant complain."
Harry laughed, feeling weightless. This was impossible. How could he still feel such tenderness toward someone who had betrayed him so utterly? Was it simply coming to understand that he had been vulnerable, he had been used, he had been useful to the enemy because he had loved Harry, and was afraid?
Draco continued, unable to bear the weight of any silence. "You should also know well, this is Dumbledore talk now. You believed me when no one else did, and I let you down. And Ill never forgive myself for that. But it was because of you that I " he stumbled. It was too much. He reached for his honey mead again, and took an extra long drink.
Harry reached over and pushed Dracos robes off his arm. Draco flinched, and looked up in surprise. He felt like Ron, examining Dracos arms again for the marks of his crimes. He slid his chair closer to him, and Draco proffered his arm. Looking at him curiously. He saw the Mark, a bit faded now. He also saw scars, well-healed and almost disappeared, light pink bumps and cuts, from that torturous year. These arms would never be flawless again. Harrys heart broke. He leaned forward and kissed the tender skin of his inner elbow. Draco tensed, his eyes shut tight, breathing rapidly. Harry wrapped his arms around him, running his fingers through those fine, blond hairs at the back of his neck, and kissed him gently and simply. Draco wrapped his arms around Harry, and he trembled a little. Damn, Draco thought. Hes so good, even to me.
* * *
Haven`t seen you in quite a while
I was down the hold, just passing time
Last time we met it was a low-lit room
We were as close together as bride and groom
We ate the food, we drank the wine
Everybody having a good time
You were talking about the end of the world
I took the money, I spiked your drink
You miss too much these days if you stop to think
You led me on with those innocent eyes
You know I love the element of surprise
In the garden I was playing the tart
I kissed your lips and broke your heart
You were acting like it was the end of the world
In my dream I was drowning my sorrows
But my sorrows they learned to swim
Surrounding me, going down on me
Spilling over the brim
In waves of regret, waves of joy
I reached out for the one I tried to destroy
You said youd wait until the end of the world
U2, Until the End of the World
A/N: I had to wait until now to point out what this story is called Haven. Its because the lyrics were at the top of my word file, so when I saved it the first time, it snagged the first word it saw (Haven, i.e. Havent) and gave that as the title of the doc. But it makes some kind of sense, if you think about it. I was too charmed by the coincidence to change it. OH, and I realize that this song is actually about Jesus about Judas. Heck, people already write about Harry Potter as a Christ figure, why shouldnt I run with it, eh? Thanks for reading!
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