I watched Harry’s eyes flutter open in the morning sunlight. He blinked a few times, and I handed him his glasses. He smiled appreciatively and mumbled a sleepy thank you. He pulled me into a hug, kissing my forehead. I smiled and snuggled deeper into his chest.
“Feeling any better?” he asked. I shrugged.
“I suppose,” I replied. “I don’t think I’ll be crying anymore. There’s just nothing left.” Harry sighed, hugging me closer. We sat in silence for a few moments before I got up the courage to ask the question playing on my mind. “Is Ron upset?” I suspected I already knew the answer.
“Yeah, he was a little pissed, but he’ll get over it.”
“I shouldn’t have made you stay.”
“Oh, Draco. Listen to me. Ron’s a git when he doesn’t get his way. He’s always upset about something, so don’t start feeling guilty.” He sighed, kissing my hair. “You were there when I need you to be,” he whispered. “What kind of boyfriend would I be if I abandoned the man I love when he needed me most?”
I smiled. “I love you, too.” I looked up at him, letting myself drown in his eyes for a few moments before pressing my lips against his. The door opened a moment later, and we listened to the footsteps moving towards us.
“Draco,” a voice called. “It’s Blaise, mate. Are you up?”
“Yeah,” I replied. “We’re up.” The curtains slid open on one side of the bed, and Blaise smiled awkwardly at us.
“This came for you,” he said, holding out a folded bit of parchment with my name across it. I sat up, taking it from him and staring down at the neat handwriting.
“It’s from Dumbledore,” Harry announced. “I’d recognize that handwriting anywhere.”
“Dumbledore?” I repeated, amazed. What would Dumbledore what with me? I could only imagine it had something to do with Mum.
“Go on and open it, mate,” Blaise urged, sitting down on the edge of his bed. I broke the seal and unfolded the parchment. The words blurred as my eyes filled with tears again. Thinking of Mum had brought the reality of the situation rushing back.
“Harry,” my voice cracked. “I can’t…” Harry wrapped an arm around me, his hand rubbing the small of my back as he nodded and took the parchment from me.
“Dear Mr. Malfoy,” Harry began. “Please accept my condolences on the loss of your mother. I think that we should talk. Please come to my office at one pm. Till then, Dumbledore.”
The room was quiet, yet the silence seemed to echo around us. I wiped my eyes, sitting up a little bit to look at Harry and Blaise.
“I suppose I’ll be going to see Dumbledore, then,” I said. “What do you think he wants to talk to me about?”
“Probably wants to make sure you’re doing okay,” Blaise answered.
“He’ll ask if there’s anything he can do,” Harry added. “If I know Dumbledore, he’ll want to do all he can to help. At least…that’s how he was when Sir—my godfather died.”
I nodded. “I don’t want to go alone.”
Harry smiled. “I’ll walk you there,” he promised. I smiled, hugging him.
“I’ll, um…leave you two alone,” Blaise said awkwardly. “Oh, Drake—” I looked to him. “You should really come out and see Pansy before you go. She’s been worried sick.”
“I’ll do that,” I replied. “Thanks, Blaise—for everything.” He nodded and left the room.
One o’clock found Harry and I standing at the entrance to Dumbledore’s office. For the first time I could remember, I was actually afraid to go before the headmaster. Exactly why this was, I couldn’t tell. Dumbledore had never given me reason to fear him before, so why was I suddenly terrified?
Harry took my hand, threading his fingers through mine, giving it a squeeze. It helped, having him there with me. His presence gave me strength and courage when I felt as though I had neither.
“I can’t go up with you,” he said quietly. My heart sank. I had hoped he would go with me. I felt as though I need him there or I might break down. He must have been able to feel my disappointment, because he squeezed my hand tighter, looking around to make sure there was no one else in the corridor before pulling me into one of the more shadowed alcoves where we wouldn’t be seen.
Harry wrapped his arms around me, holding me tight against him as he kissed my temple, my cheek, just below my ear. “I love you,” he whispered. “And I’m sorry this happened. It’s not fair. Merlin knows I don’t want to thin of you being alone right now.”
“I love you, too,” I replied, hugging him close. “Thank you for everything you’ve done for me. I wouldn’t’ be able to get through this without you.”
He smiled. “What are boyfriends for?” I laughed and kissed him. “Meet me after dinner,” he said, stepping back out into the hall. “I want to know how it goes.” I nodded and looked around before kissing him again. “Good luck, Draco,” he whispered as I stepped onto the staircase heading up to Dumbledore’s office.
I paused just outside the door, leaning against the cold stone of the wall as I took a deep breath, preparing myself for whatever waited in the next room. I was just raising my hand to knock, when the door swung open. Dumbledore stood smiling before me, his blue eyes shining like they always did.
“Good afternoon, Mr. Malfoy,” he said. “Please, come in.” I stepped into the room, and heard the door close behind me. Dumbledore moved back to his desk, sitting down behind it. He motioned to one of the chairs before it. “Please have a seat.” I nodded and sat down, feeling extremely out of place. “I’m very sorry to hear about your mother. She was a bright young woman, and a very talented witch.”
I was silent. What was I supposed to say, after all? Dumbledore was quiet for a few moments, looking sadly at me. He cleared his throat, folded his hands on top of the desk. “I’m sure you’re wondering why I’ve asked you here. As you probably know, there’s to be a funeral service for Narcissa on Tuesday. I’ve made arrangements for you to attend, should you wish to do so.”
I looked up at him, hope filling me. I’d been afraid that I wasn’t going to get to go to the funeral, and so would miss out on my chance to say goodbye. “Thank you, sir,” I said quietly. He smiled and nodded.
“Of course, there are certain concerns,” he continued. “It is suspected that your mother’s death was one of foul play.” I nodded. It was widely known that my father was a Death Eater, and I knew I wasn’t the only one who thought him capable of murder. “It is for this reason that I cannot allow you to go alone. I will send you, therefore, under the care of your godfather.”
“Godfather?” I repeated, confused. I had a godfather? “But, sir, I—” The door opened behind me, and I turned to see who entered.
“Sorry I’m late, Albus,” Professor Snape said as he entered the room, closing the door behind him.
“Not at all, Severus,” Dumbledore replied. “We’ve just come to you in our conversation.” He motioned to the empty chair beside me. Professor Snape took it, sitting stiffly as he turned to look at me.
“Have you?” he asked, looking me over. My eyes dropped to the floor, uncomfortable under his gaze.
“Mr. Malfoy, may I introduce your godfather.”
“But, sir, that’s impossible. I…I don’t have a godfather,” I replied, avoiding Professor Snape’s gaze. “Surely mother would have told me—”
“Narcissa did not tell you because Lucius forbid her to,” Professor Snape cut in. “That, and she hoped I wouldn’t’ be needed.”
“As did we all, I’m sure,” Dumbledore added. “I will allow you to attend the funeral, but only under Professor Snape’s care.”
“Yes, sir,” I replied.
“Very well. You may go, unless there is anything else you would like to ask?”
“No, sir. Thank you.” I stood to leave. A hand on my shoulder stopped me.
“Come down to my office, Draco,” Snape said, standing as well. “I have a few things I want to discuss with you.” I nodded and followed him down to the dungeons.
“Take a seat,” he said, motioning to the chair before his desk. I obeyed, simply because I knew there would be no way to escape before he’d said what he wanted to say. “Your mother and I were close friends, in our years at school and afterwards. I was honored when she chose me as your godfather. Little did I know I’d actually be needed.” He sat down, leaning back in his chair as he looked me over for the second time that afternoon. “You’re a lot like her, you know.” I looked up at him for a moment, still not saying a word. He shook his head.
“Anyway,” he continued. “We’ll have to take a fair bit of precautions on this trip. Lucius will be there, that much we know for certain. And who knows how many death eaters he’ll have at his side. I wouldn’t be surprised if he makes another attempt to get you to take the mark.”
I looked up at him, startled. “Yes, yes, I know about it. Narcissa and I had several discussions on the matter.”
“Excuse me, professor, but…just how much do you know?” I asked tentatively.
“Near everything, I suppose. Aside from this.” He leaned across the desk. “How long have you been seeing Potter?” I looked up at him, eyes wide, and practically felt the color drain from my face. Had he used Legilimency on me without me noticing? “Relax. You would know if I had invaded your mind. I saw you giving Potter a thoroughly non-vocal farewell in the hall this afternoon.” I blushed deeply, looking at the floor. “We leave at midnight tomorrow, and we will return at the same time on Thursday. Be packed and in the entrance hall by eleven forty-five. You can you go.”
I stood and headed to the door, pausing just inside it. “Thank you, sir,” I called. “For everything.” He nodded and waved me off. I wandered back towards the common room in search of something to occupy me until dinner.
Yeah, a rather shoddy chapter, I know. The next one probably will be as well, just warning you. :) I promise I'll work hard on the next few, though, okay? Alright, now I've got a few things I thought you might all like to know. I re-wrote chapter 17 for ToS reasons, remember? Well, I know there are quite a few of you who might be curious as to what the original was like, so if you want to read it you can find a second posting of 'Deluded Fairy Tale' at FanFiction.net. You'll find the original chapter there, and there may be a few differences in later chapters, depending on how I'm feeling when I write them, lol. Along with 'Deluded Fairy Tale', you'll also find my new Drarry 'A Lot to Explain' that couldn't be posted on HPFF because of the ToS. Look it up if you're interested. Alright, I'll end this little paragraph of ramblings. Chapter 22 up as soon as I can, I promise!
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