Author's Notes: This is my current baby, and I have plans for it to be my first epic. I've never been much of an epic writer, but I think I can handle it. I have at LEAST seven chapters planned out, with more plot after that, so I'm thinking this may end up somewhere around 10-12 chapters. Pairings are mentioned, but will not necessarily come into play until later in the story. In certain cases, MUCH later. The main pairing focus at the moment is Draco/Harry.
Disclaimer: I don’t own Harry Potter or any related characters. If you’re reading this, hopefully you know who does so I won’t have to list them.
Chapter One: Regret
He had sat in the same corner of the room for hours, waiting for the Death Eaters to return. They had left to do what he told them to do, but he didn’t want them to do it.
They were bringing Harry back here. They were attempting to convince Harry to join them. There was no chance. Draco had faith in Harry. Harry was strong, and would never give in to the Death Eaters. Harry would never stand by Voldemort’s side. Harry and Draco were destined to be on opposite sides, and that was the way it was meant to be.
~Are you sure that’s what you want?~
Draco closed his eyes. It wasn’t the first time the thought had crossed his mind. If Harry joined Voldemort, then he would be on the same side of the war as Draco...
Harry didn’t belong in the dark.
Draco didn’t belong in the light.
As much as Draco didn’t want the Death Eaters to lay a finger on Harry, he was glad to have the chance to see him.
~Perhaps they’ll fail, anyway. They usually do,~ Draco thought, attempting to gather his thoughts. ~I don’t want Potter on our side, anyway. He wouldn’t fit.~ He stood, preparing himself to be seen.
Draco felt like he was constantly playing a role. Before Har... Hogwarts, he hardly had to act at all. Everything came naturally to him.
It was different now. Harry changed him.
He turned his head to see his father standing in the doorway. “Yes, Father?”
“We have succeeded. We have brought Harry Potter here.” He paused, tilting his head back, which caused his face to be shadowed. Draco couldn’t read the emotion on his father’s face. “The Dark Lord has ordered that you are to be questioned. We need ways of torturing him. Mere physical torture would not be enough. Am I correct, Draco?”
Draco drew in a sharp breath, and he knew his father heard.
“I know about your relationship with Harry Potter.”
Draco froze. ~How did he find out? How did he know?~ he thought furiously. Draco continued looking straight at his father, struggling to not show emotion.
“Do not lie to me. That would not please me or the Dark Lord.”
“You told... ?”
“Yes. I told Lord Voldemort. I thought that information would be useful.”
“And you are not angry?”
“Angry?” Lucius began to laugh. “Draco, you are a Malfoy. I knew you would be spending much of your free time doing things ‘unacceptable.’ I did the same things when I was at Hogwarts.”
Draco could not believe his ears.”What are you saying?”
“Having a physical relationship with someone is a fine way to toy with their mind. I expected you to do so. However, you managed to capture Harry Potter in that web, and you did not tell me. Why?”
Draco was confused. “I don’t understand. I thought you would never accept something like that.”
“Something like what?”
“A relationship with another boy, much less Harry Potter.”
Lucius began laughing again. “You think I do not know you, Draco? I have known you since the moment you were born. You are a Malfoy. You are a wizard. A relationship with ‘another boy’ isn’t uncommon. And as for it being Harry Potter, it is merely a convenience.”
Draco now began to grow suspicious. Although HE wasn’t going to be punished for his relationship with Harry, Harry would be. “How do you plan to use that?”
“Potter, if anything like his parents, is more than likely attached to you. Therefore, by Lord Voldermort’s orders, it is YOUR duty to bring him to our side.”
-Ministry of Magic-
“They came here for Harry. No one but Harry. They didn’t even kill anyone.” Ron kept repeating it to Hermione as she cleaned his face of his blood. “I don’t understand, Hermione. Why does You-Know-Who hate Harry so much?”
Hermione turned to look at Dumbledore, who was standing to the side of the room. His expression was pensive. “Professor?” Hermione asked.
“Do you know? Harry told us once that You-Know-Who killed his parents to get to him. Why did he want Harry dead if he was just a baby?”
Sirius closed his eyes. Harry had also mentioned that fact to him, apparently trying to see if Sirius knew why. Sirius did not, but he knew Dumbledore did.
“I do know, Hermione. Unfortunately, as I told Harry in his first year, I cannot tell you. I could not tell Harry at that time. When Harry returns to us, I will reveal it to him then. It will be his decision to tell you or not. However...” Dumbledore stopped talking, turning towards the window, losing himself in thought, something Hermione had never seen him do.
“Professor?” Sirius asked, taking a step towards him. “What is it?”
“I fear that Voldemort will reveal it to him on his own.”
“Why would he do that?”
“This information will make Harry vulnerable. Voldemort could easily use it against him, and, in turn, use it against us.”
Dumbledore moved towards the doorway. “I have already said too much. It is Harry’s decision to tell you.” He left the room and walked down the hall of the Ministry.
He sighed once, and stopped, looking up at the ceiling. “I hope, Harry, that you will understand. For all of our sakes.”
Draco had finally turned off his emotions. He asked for details of what he was to do, and found that he would find out once the Dark Lord was finished with him. His father congratulated him, and then left.
Draco promptly emptied his stomach as soon as the door was shut. He heaved, but nothing more than water came up since he hadn’t had a bite to eat all day. He sank back to the floor, shivering.
“Harry,” he moaned. “I... can’t.”
Draco could never do such a thing. But how was he to get around it? Perhaps he and Harry could trick them, but that would be difficult. His father, not to mention Voldemort, would be watching his every move.
He had to try. Harry would not be broken easily, and it Draco found it hard to think of harming Harry at all, physically or mentally.
At that moment, Draco knew he could not keep up the charade any longer. He wasn’t Death Eater material, to say the least. He would be caught, he would be tortured, he would be used against Harry.
Draco sat up in firm reservation, his expression growing cold and hard.
“I’ll get both of us out of here, Harry.”
-Ministry of Magic-
Severus Snape was not particularly fond of Harry Potter, but he knew that Dumbledore was worried about his capture, and it wasn’t just for the boy’s safety. Dumbledore had some knowledge that led him to believe that Harry Potter could somehow be used against the wizarding world.
Potter. The very name made Severus cringe. He had hated James Potter with a passion all through his school days, and the feeling was more than mutual. Still, James had a spirit that could not be ignored and screamed to be admired, which Severus did, despite himself. Harry had the same spirit within, and it would be a shame to lose that spirit in such a way.
Okay, so maybe Severus Snape was fond of the boy. A little. Only a little.
Severus’ upper lip curled back. That voice was one he despised almost as much as James Potter. “Do you want something, Black?”
Sirius stepped out of the shadows and into the moonlight. His features were illuminated in the white light, making him appear pale and tired.
Of course, the tired part probably wasn’t a trick of the light.
“Are you plotting the next attack, Snape? Is that what you’re doing out here?”
“What are you going on about, Black?”
Sirius glowered, his expression dark. “You think you’ve fooled everyone? You’re wrong. I know you still work for him.”
“Work... for... who?”
“You... know... who.”
Of all the nerve... “You are in no place to make such accusations, Sirius Black.”
“You may have Dumbledore and the Hogwarts staff trick - hell, you’ve even got Remus believing you - but you will not fool me.” Sirius walked menacingly towards Severus. “You knew a little too much about that attack that just happened. You knew they were after Harry. I wonder how you knew that?” The last ‘question’ wasn’t really a question at all, but a statement.
“I no longer work with the Death Eaters. The only reason I stayed with them before was to gather information.”
“‘Gather information,’ my ass,” Sirius growled. “You’re just like the rest of them that made up excuses - Imperius, threats to their familes... and you just say you were a spy.”
“I’m not saying, I’m stating,” Severus said, not fully understanding why he was putting up with this. “Joining in the first place was a mistake, so I used my mistake to the Ministry’s advantage.”
“What information did you gather, then, Snape? What made you so damn important to our cause?”
Severus didn’t answer. He turned around and began walking away.
“Answer me, Snape!” Sirius shouted. “Or else you’re just telling me that you did nothing!”
“The information I gather,” Severus began, his back still facing Sirius, “Turned out to be useless. Because of you.”
Sirius froze in place. “Because of me? What in bloody hell did I do?”
“I knew the Dark Lord was planning to kill Harry. I warned the Potters, but you told.”
Sirius was so dumbstruck that he forgot to defend himself. “You... warned James and Lily?”
“So you dare you accuse me of working for You-Know-Who when it was you betrayed your friends!”
“I didn’t. Do you honestly believe that Dumbledore would let me be here if I did that?”
Severus turned around. “And that, Sirius, is what makes you a hypocrite.” His eyes narrowed. “Or a moron. I can’t quite tell which.”
Sirius looked Severus in the eyes with a searching expression. “You’re being honest with me.”
Sirius looked away from his old classmate. This man in front of him was one he had picked on for seven years. He had played consistent pranks and spread rumors about how he was a vampire... among other things...
~But Snape tired to save James and Lily. Goddamn Peter. If only they HAD kept me as a secret keeper...~ Sirius closed his eyes, feeling a deep sense of regret for more than one reason.
It wasn’t fair.
Life wasn’t fair.
And this was his life. Draco hated his life, and he couldn’t draw Harry into it. Harry didn’t belong in this life.
Draco was to meet with Harry for the first time tomorrow. It was the goal to have him ‘broken’ in one week’s time.
Draco wasn’t going to allow that.
Oh, but it had been so long since he had seen Harry...
-5 months earlier, Hogwarts-
He turned and saw nothing. “Harry, don’t do that. Let me see you.”
Harry’s face appeared first, and then the rest of his body as the Invisibility cloak fell at his feet. “I’m sorry.”
“That thing is quite the convenience, isn’t it?” Draco smirked as Harry walked towards him. Draco sat back on his bed, watching his lover through narrowed eyes.
Harry put his arms around Draco’s shoulder and the blond looked up at him as he wound his legs and arms around Harry’s body.
“Draco... I don’t want to leave. I don’t want this to be over.”
Hogwarts was closing. It had become the main target of the Death Eaters, and although the school had the best defense in the wizarding world, someone would slip through eventually. It was bound to happen. Many students had already left, mostly from the Slytherin house. Draco’s dorm was completely empty aside from himself, which was where they were meeting that night.
Their final night.
“Harry, I’ve been meaning to speak with you.” Draco let his eyes drop. “You do realize that I’m going to be part of the Death Eaters, right?”
Harry close his eyes. He knew Draco could never be on the Ministry’s side. He was a Malfoy, and there was no way to get around it. “I know.”
“I hope we never meet on the battlefield,” Draco said, burying his face in Harry’s chest. “I don’t think I could deal with that.”
“Draco...” Harry sat down next to the blond, and Draco wrapped his arms around him. “What do you want?”
“What do you mean?”
“Do you want to become a Death Eater?”
Draco looked away. “Harry, I don’t know.”
“How can you not know what you want?”
“I...” Draco paused, swallowing. “My father raised me to become a Death Eater. I’m destined to become one. I’ve never thought about any other future for myself, because I know it’s not possible.”
“You’re not answering my question.”
“I’ve never thought about it, Harry. I’ve never questioned my father concerning that, and I don’t plan to. I just accept it.”
“I don’t understand.”
“Neither do I.” Draco smirked at his lover, tracing Harry’s jaw line with a finger. “I don’t wish to think of these things now. I just want this night to last...”
I want this night to last forever.
-Malfoy Manor, Present Time-
The Boy Who Lived groaned, rolling over. What happened? Where was he?
“Our Lord wishes to speak with you.”
~No.~ Harry’s eyes widened and he sat up hurriedly. ~No, no, no!!~ The rush of his movements brought a wave of vertigo over him and he put his head in his hands.
“Do not worry. We have no intention of harming you today.”
Harry swallowed. He was frightened. The Boy Who Lived was human. He got scared every once in a while, and he allowed himself that sensation.
Hands were touching him, helping him to his feet. He couldn’t stand on his own - his legs were far too weak. He was being led down a hallway, but Harry lost track of which direction they had turned and how many turns they had taken.
Finally, the reached a room. The Death Eaters - they had to be Death Eaters, what else could they be? - sat him down in a chair which was actually quite comfortable. They left, shutting the door behind him.
He knew the voice, and he didn’t want to face the man to whom it belonged, but he knew he had to. He didn’t have the strength to run, to fight, and he had no idea where he was, anyway. “Voldemort.”
“You have caused much trouble, Harry. Do you know why?”
“Do you know who your parents were?”
Harry was now confused. “Yes... Lily and James Potter. You killed them,” he added, giving a needless reminder.
“And why did I kill them?”
“Because you’re evil!” Harry shouted, angered.
“‘Evil?’ There is no good and evil, Harry. Only power.”
There is no good and evil, there is only power, and those too weak to seek it...
“And power is the reason why your parents are dead. They died protecting you. Aren’t you wondering why?”
Harry stopped breathing all together. Dumbledore knew this secret. Harry knew his parents protected him with their life, but Voldemort had come for HARRY, not his parents. Harry never knew why, and now he was about to find out.
Alas, the first thing you ask me, I cannot tell you. Not today. You will know, one day... put it from your mind now, Harry. When you are older... I know you hate to hear this... what you are ready, you will know.
But did he want to find out from Voldemort? Curiosity was fighting with reason within Harry’s mind. Was he ready to know?
Harry looked up from the chair he was sitting. Voldemort had appeared in front of him, sitting in a chair identical to the one Harry was sitting upon. There was no look of superiority on his face, only... knowledge. Harry raised his chin in decision.
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