Chapter 16: The Only Way

"Okay - so the plan is - I'm going to get caught," he says to his two best friends, trying not to sound as apprehensive as he feels.

"Um - what? How will that help?" Ron asks.

"I'm probably going to be taken to whoever is in charge, and you two will keep a track on me, but you're priority is to find Malfoy."

Ron doesn't seem impressed with Harry's 'plan'. "Why can't we just look together?"

"Because the cloak isn't big enough for the three of us, and anyways, I'll just be clumsy in it."

"We have no idea what we're getting into," Hermione whispers. "What if they … kill you on the spot?"

"They won't. They'll have too many questions."

"You can't guarantee that."

"Okay, without sounding too much like Lockhart, that won't happen because I'm Harry Potter. Every witch and wizard knows my face, especially the Death Eaters."

"He's right," Ron smirks to Hermione. "We always take it for granted that the rest of the world wants to meet him."

Hermione seems to concede with a sigh, "I sometimes take for granted you're part-Slytherin."

Draco's chest constricts uncomfortably as he takes in a tight breath. What the living hell is he doing here?

"Draco?" Potter asks from within the cell, standing right up to the bars.

Draco takes a sweeping glance over him and notices the way he's favouring one side and how he's trying to hold in a grimace. It's evident he's in pain. He turns to glare back at Rook, who he should have guessed would have no qualms about beating up a blind man. Draco's expression only hardens into outward passivity when he catches amusement in his eyes.

His fingers close around his wand but he's too late. "Expelliarmus," Rook says lazily. Draco's wand slips out of his fingers and he internally curses himself. How the hell is he going to get the stupid git out now? He coldly raises an eyebrow at Rook, one of his many tricks to mask his fear. "Don't be rude, Draco." Rook offers, "say hello."

Draco merely shrugs. "Why did you take me here, Rook?" Although he sounds convincingly apathetic he knows Harry should catch the name and realize his capturer is the one who blinded him. "What's this got to do with me?"

Rook gives him a knowing smile before shaking his head with a chuckle. "You're pretty convincing. I could see how you fooled the Dark Lord."

"What are you talking about?" Draco asks while carefully taking a step closer to Harry.

"The Dark Lord never showed mercy to traitors. If he has seen through your act of fearful loyalty, he would have known how you felt about it all - that you don't give a shit about the cause or about blood - that you were merely pretending. Then he would have killed you for it. It's the only reason you're alive today, right? You're a superb liar, so good it's become second nature."

"Why are you so convinced I was playing a part?"

"Then or now?" Rook asks. At Draco's vague stare he continues, "I've watched you for a long time and I know when you're lying and when you're afraid -" Rook smiles at him, "like right now."

Draco casually looks to the side to hide the fact that it's true: his heart skips and his thoughts race and he can't think of a plan! He's afraid for Harry and needs to get him out. Pretending to not care is pointless, because as deranged as Rook is he's right about Draco. Draco scowls as he wonders in frustration how the fuck he let it show.

Rook smiles broadly and jerks his head to Potter. "You slipped up." Draco allows himself to look at Harry, who's looking confused and alert all at once, both the victim and hero, and Draco's stomach flutters even now. Harry looks exactly as he last remembers: his awful clothes, his ruffled hair, his stubborn eyes - But there's something he almost missed that's different, tucked in his shirt. "He's wearing your Mother's pendant. You gave it to him before you left." Rook can barely contain his smug smirk because this is what gives Draco away, more than anything.

Draco purposely looks between Rook and Harry as he quickly reassess the situation. He knows that pretending to not care about Potter won't work. Rook knows too much and he won't be fooled. So, he'll just have to use one of Rook's weaknesses against him… which he has an inkling of what that is. Hoping he isn't making a mistake, Draco walks up to Harry and asks in a low, desperate voice, "Why the hell are you here?"

Harry, who had been keenly listening, jumps slightly to be addressed so unexpectedly, not to mention unceremoniously. Draco notices him visibly swallowing and he can only pray that Potter doesn't say or do anything stupid. "I heard about your Mother - I er... I came to help."

Draco scoffs, but not unkindly. "Should have known - you can't stand not being the hero." Harry shrugs with a rueful smile and Draco smiles back a little, just for him. "That came out more insulting than I intended." He makes sure to angle himself away from Rook, to only give Harry his attention.

"You always did equate heroism with stupidity," Harry says.

"Of course. But I guess when you find yourself in the position to be the Hero, it doesn't matter anymore." As he says this, Draco's unsure if he's talking about himself or Harry. Harry's face becomes clouded with bemusement before comprehension dawns on him and he tightly shakes his head as if to say, 'Don't do anything stupid, Draco.'

Rook takes an impatient step towards Draco, not liking the fact that he's being ignored, and Draco internally smirks. "Seeing the two of you again - it's quite touching. It almost makes me jealous." He smiles in a way that doesn't reach his eyes.

Draco has to hide his smirk because he knows one of Rook's weaknesses. He knows what Rook wants and he has to pretend to give it to him. He has to pretend he'll do anything to get Potter out. Instead of apathy, Draco has to wear the mask of quiet desperation. "What is it that you want?" he asks.

"You already know what."

Draco does know but he feigns ignorance as he warily searches Rook's wanting expression and suppresses a shudder. "You're fucking sick."

"Maybe - but I always get what I want." Rook takes a step towards Draco and Draco steps back, drawing him in. "Personally, I think it's a fair deal-"

"No - It's not happening," Draco snarls.

"What other choice do you have?" Rook's so close to Draco now that he can see the hunger in his eyes. "I'll let Potter go and no one will ever know he was here, in exchange for…" Rook tugs at Draco's shirt as the words trail into a whisper, "having you."

"I told you not to touch me," Draco says and he ignores the way Harry goes rigid beside him.

"Or else?" Rook asks him, just as he had done in the hallway earlier. He tilts his face close to Draco's, still faintly smirking as he places his hand on his shirt. "You need me to save him. If a certain someone finds out he's here, he'll be tortured and killed. You know that will happen. And I know you don't want that."

Draco swallows and makes sure Rook sees him glance at Harry. "Why didn't you tell him yet?" Rook has just admitted that he hasn't told his father anything and he doesn't understand why. He's confused why Rook would risk disobeying his father like this.

"It would have been impossible to get Potter out if he knew - he'd make sure to keep him here. But what he doesn't know won't hurt him… This way we both get what we want -" Rook begins to unbutton Draco's shirt, drawing closer to him, and Draco shrugs him off violently.

"Stop it. We didn't make a deal-" he hisses. Is Rook sick enough to want that here, in front of Potter?

Rook sighs in exasperation, "Alright - if I tell you what I know about your Mother will you consider the deal?"

"What do you mean, 'what you know'?" Draco asks hurriedly, "You know where my mother is?"

"I'll tell you if you agree-"

Draco takes a threatening step towards Rook, to which he raises his wand in defence. "Where is she? Tell me!"

"After you agree to the terms, Draco," Rook says patiently.

Draco grimaces. "What would I have to do, exactly?"

"Anything I wanted," Rook says.

"Don't!" Harry shakes the bars, his knuckles becoming ghost-white from how tightly he's holding onto them. "Don't you fucking dare, Draco!"

Draco chooses to ignore Harry, which he notices pleases Rook. "You have to let him go first."

"No -" both Rook and Harry say.

"Then no deal," he hisses.

Rook gives him an inquisitive look and closes the gap between them with one step. He runs his fingers through Draco's hair and pulls back his head as he points his wand at Draco's throat. "I have a feeling you're bluffing," he says in a low voice. He presses his wand into his neck before it travels down over his shirt, magically opening each button. Draco pushes him away in revulsion, wincing when Rook pulls his hair. "Stop it." Rook says close to his face, leaning his lips down onto Draco's.

"Don't touch him."

Both Rook and Draco turn their heads to look at Harry and Draco's shocked to see that face again, the same one he saw at the last battle. For the first time in a long while, Draco remembers how intimidating Potter can be: his every muscle ready, his green eyes ablaze and an invisible aura radiating from him. Draco catches a look of surprise on Rook's face, but he shakes his head and chuckles. "Try to stop me, Chosen One. Silenco."

Draco isn't surprised when Harry dodges the spell effortlessly. He's seen first-hand how sharp his reflexes are, especially when he's like this. Rook casts another but Potter sidesteps it easily. In his distraction, Rook turns away from Draco and lets go of him to begin forming another curse for Harry. Draco takes this opportunity to kick his wand out of his hand and elbow Rook in the face. The satisfying sound of a wand clattering to the ground is followed by the crack of his nose breaking.

"Umph!" Rook clutches his nose, cursing as blood gushes over his face and hands, but that doesn't stop him from stepping on Draco's fingers as they curl around his wand. Draco yells out as Rook's whole weight crushes his hand. "You're making a mistake! How will he get out without me?" he yells over him.

Draco swings his right fist into Rook's crotch and smirks when he stumbled back with an impaled gasp against the cell bars. "You underestimated how much I want you dead."

Harry takes this chance to blindly reach out to grab Rook's arms and pull them behind him, through the bars. Rook squirms and kicks but Draco easily avoids his feet as he steps towards. Rook eases his struggling and laughs sourly at Draco. "You couldn't live with yourself if you tried."

Draco swings his fist at his knowing, cruel face and he doesn't even feel the ache in his hand. "You're wrong." He remember Blaise, one of his first friends, and takes another swing, "I couldn't live with myself if I let you live." He hits him again and again, each impact a painful reminder of how angry and helpless he feels in this house and how he can't do anything but pretend. With another punch, he remembers every lingering touch and greedy look, he remembers every threat and jeer and how he hurt Harry and laughed.

Then as if from a distance he can vaguely hear someone shouting. "Stop it! Draco!"

Draco snatches his bloodies hands off of Rook, who's laughing and sliding down against the cell bars. Potters loosens his hold of him and gives Draco an imperative look.

Rook's face is a mess, covered in bruises and swollen in odd places. His nose is bloody and one of his eyes is closed shut, but still he manages to smirk. "Feeling guilty?"

Draco points his wand at him and frantically hisses, "Imperio!" He swallows heavily as he tries to wipe the blood off his hands. "Don't move, Rook," he instructs.

"What are you doing?" Harry asks loudly. "You don't have to-"

"It's the only way, Harry," Draco says tightly.

"It's not-" Harry begins.

"We don't have time to do it your way! Now shut up, I need to focus-" he says this in a rush - panic creeping into his voice. Being connected to someone under the Imperius Curse is like having a foggy window into their mind. Frankly, Rook's mind makes him feel a little nauseous: he never knew the extent to Rook's madness and cruelty. But he's also stronger than Draco gave him credit for. He's fighting Draco off with an unhinged will, so much that Draco's control over him his nearly slipping away.

Draco locks eyes with Rook's expressionless ones, and says in a careful, soothing tone, "I want you to listen to me carefully. You will stay still. You won't do anything I don't ask. I'm going to hand a wand to you, and I want you to only cast the spells that I tell you. Do you understand?"


"Draco -" Harry says warily, "this isn't right."

But Draco ignores him. "Are you going to follow my orders?" Draco asks Rook.

"Y- Yes."

"You don't have to fight me, I'm not going to hurt you, not as long as you're useful to me." He sees Potter frown but he could care less. The idiot got them into this mess… but Draco reminds himself that's not quite true. Draco was the one to come here in the first place, with no plan better than dying. And Draco was the one who left Potter clues, hoping he'd follow.

"Take this wand and unlock the cell," Draco instructs. Rook performs the correct spell and the cell door unlocks with a click. He's pleased to see Harry move to it with relief, stepping out of the cell a little ungracefully. "Now tell me where my mother is."

"I don't know."

"Tell me, did you lie to me earlier when you said you had information?"


"So tell me what you know!" he snaps.

"All I know is that she's hidden with family." Draco frowns, because he can't guess where that is, but it's definitely a good clue. He's sure he'll be able to find her now, as soon as he gets out of here alive. "Okay, now reverse the effects of the Blinding Curse you put on Harry."

Harry's mouth goes dry and he stands still, afraid to hope that it'll be this easy. He's half expecting Rook to fight off Draco's control and curse them both, but Draco really has a handle on this - more than Harry's comfortable admitting right now.

"Revertetur conspectu," Rook begins, and Harry opens his eyes wide because he recognizes the counter spell. He stills in anticipation, not quite believing this is happening. Then he feels something press into his eyes and he gasps, because what started as a stinging sensation has escalated to a burning one. Harry has to press his palms over his eyes to not cry out, to rub the pain away, but it's only seeping further into his head. He vaguely hears Draco stun Rook, who falls to the floor with a thud, but Harry could care less because his eyeballs must be on fire. He feels Draco approach him quickly and Harry rasps, "Something's wrong!" He tries to open his eyes but all he sees is white and the pain in his retinas intensify. "It's too bright-" He hears Draco dull the lights in the room, but Harry's eyes are shut tight now, tears welling behind closed eyelids.

He jolts when he feels Draco take his face into his hands and peer carefully into his eyes. "This is normal - I think - actually I don't remember it hurting this much - or at all. Shit! I don't know!" Draco rambles.

"Draco!" Harry protests weakly, "that isn't helping!" In truth, Draco's horrible attempt to reassure him is helping, or maybe it's due to the fact of being this close to him again, but the pain is beginning to recede. He blinks a few times and is shocked to see the brightness of vision beginning to make sense.

"Anything yet?" Draco asks.

Harry forces himself to keep his eyes open for longer than a moment and although there's pain, he can make out the hazy shape of Draco. "Yeah…" he says in awe. He blinks some more to adjust to his new found vision and the pieces start to fall in place: platinum hair that catches the light, furrowed eyebrows fixed in concern, silver eyes specked with amber, watching and staring at Harry. Harry catches a flicker of a hopeful smile and a slow grin begins to spread over Harry's face. He shamelessly stares as he memorizes all the details and idiosyncrasies that make up Draco Malfoy. "I can see you."

Harry's rewarded with the sight of Draco laughing, and not the lopsided, sarcastic one he's used to, but one that lights up his whole face and makes his eyes kind. "The-boy-who-could-see," he teases, even as he searches Harry's eyes for any sign of distress. "How's your vision?"

"Blurry-" he says absently. He's distracted by how awfully close Draco is to him right now. When he was blind, he always spoke to Draco this close, merely feet away. All his senses except for his vision got used to this change, but now Harry can see just how much their relationship has changed. This proximity would have been uncomfortable once, if not downright threatening. Now he has no desire to step away. No - maybe moving in a little closer would be just right.

Harry can make out the dip of Draco's adam's apple as he nervously swallows and let's go of Harry's face rather quickly. He breaks eye contact and looks away embarrassed. "You need glasses," he says as he searches his pockets distractedly. Draco finds a quill and an eyebrow quirks in contemplation. "It'll have to do" he mutters, before flicking his wand in a quick and graceful motion to transform it to a pair of lenses. "It's bizarre that I got so used to you without them," Draco whispers before placing the frame carefully onto Harry's face. The small gesture makes Harry go pink with warmth. He blinks a few times to adjust his vision and continues to stare at Draco, taking in the same fascinating details. Draco ducks his face almost sheepishly. "How's that?"

"Perfect," Harry says. He notices that Draco's shirt is unbuttoned and ruffled and it makes him hot with anger. Rook must have - He shakes his head and reaches out to button up Draco's shirt with a frown. He realizes how odd this gesture is, but it wasn't something he could do before so he doesn't care. "Draco, were you really going to let him -?"

"No! I just had to distract him. I couldn't see any other way to get his guard down-" Draco stops talking when Harry steps close to him and pulls him into a tight hug. Out of sheer habit, Draco initially stills but then he melts into Harry's arms with a chuckle. He hugs him back, his arms around his shoulders and neck. "You sodding Gryffindor. Why did you come for me? You have no idea-"

"I came because you needed me." Harry says in an urgent whisper. "I found the note, Draco - it sounded like…" he pulls back to give Draco a searching look, "like you were going to do something stupid! And you knew it too, that's why you wanted me to find you."

Draco shakes his head. "I didn't think you were crazy enough to listen!" Harry's response dies on the tip of his tongue when he notices a figure in the hallway staring at them, just outside the door. He freezes in shock when he sees who it is, but… it's not possible.

Draco immediately senses someone's behind them and begins to spin around to face him, but Harry can already make out a red jet of light heading towards Draco's back, so he spins them both on the spot to shield Draco from the curse and it hits him instead. Instantly, he feels his nerves set on fire and his mind shrieks in pain. Reality slips away from him when curse doesn't stop when it normally would. It's only when Harry forgets his own name that the screams escape him. He can barely remember how to breathe, but protective hands remind him to be strong. The only thing keeping him grounded is someone holding him up, even as his body convulses and spasms beyond his control.

He chokes on his own breath when it stops and he nearly blacks out from relief. He slacks against Draco and fights to keep his eyes open. "I'll fucking kill you-" he hears Draco snarl at his father.

"Is that the attitude you wish you have? Well then -Cru-"

"No!" Draco shields Harry from his father and makes Harry stand up against the cell, even as Harry struggles to stay upright and his legs twitch. "Harry - come on." Harry nods weakly and he vaguely wonders how many minutes he must have endured, because it's never had such a lasting effect before.

He stiffens when he sees Lucius Malfoy walk into the room, his wand aimed on Draco. With a cruel smirk, he says "the knave and the hero, together at last."

When he regains consciousness, it's with a stifled groan. His entire body feels stiff with pain, and worse, he's tied up awkwardly to a chair. He tests the ropes but he can tell they're magically binding by the way they tighten when he squirms. Blinking slowly, Harry looks around the room, which looks to be a potion brewer. His insides twists to notice Lucius Malfoy sitting on an armchair with a drink in his hand, staring at Harry with a mixture of curiosity and annoyance. Lucius then glances at a boiling cauldron on the fire and wrinkles his nose at the acidic scent that's coming from it. "What is it with you and finding trouble?" he asks Harry without looking up.

Harry merely gives him a bored look, "What is it with you and being evil?"

"Evil? That's awfully naive of you."

"What would you call torturing your own son?"

"Classical conditioning - and in case you needed reminding, I tortured you, not Draco. It was rather impressive how long I had to wait to get a scream out of you." Harry doesn't say anything because he doesn't remember screaming.

He sharply turns his head when he hears the door open and Draco stiffly walks in with Rook in tow, his wand pointed at his back.

"Everything ready?" Lucius asks Rook, who nods solemnly. Rook turns to leave the room, but Lucius stops him. "No, stay - you'll be the only who knows." Rook nods graciously and forces Draco to stop closer to his father. But Draco isn't even looking at Lucius, he's looking at Harry with clear concern. Harry offers him a tight smile.

"Draco -" His father starts, getting his attention. "Soon you'll see what I have planned for you."

"I won't do what you ask!" Draco says.

"I don't need your consent - thankfully," his father replies coolly.

"So what, you're going to turn me into some slave? I didn't think you needed another."

"Don't be silly. You'll be something much greater. Come here-"

"Father -" Draco begins, "I'll do everything you ask if you let Potter go."

"You'll co-operate regardless."

"He has nothing to do with this-"

"He does now. You made that choice."

Draco looks anxiously around the room, as if searching for a solution. "Father, please-"

With a look of disgust he flicks his wand at Draco and hisses, "Imperio." Harry clenches his teeth in dread as a vacant expression fills Draco's eyes.

"Malfoys so not beg, Draco," he says with tired patience. He peers at the cauldron again and decides to stir twice, nodding in satisfaction. Without turning to look at him, he continues speaking while he carefully scoops up some of the dark concoction: "You disappoint me... but your behaviour does not shock me anymore. This is why we must do it this way." He gestures for Draco to come to him, which Draco does without argument. Rook stays close to Draco, keeping a careful eye on him. "Drink this, Draco." He gives Draco the flask, which he swallows in one gulp. "Here, sit with me while we wait."

Draco sits and stares emptily at his father. Seeing the two of them side by side is surreal to Harry. They look so alike except for the fact that Lucius is older and keeps the fashion of longer hair. But more than that, Harry's feelings towards the two of them couldn't be more opposite. "Draco, what's going on with you and Potter?" His father starts, making Harry shift uneasily.

"He's my friend," Draco responds in a hollow voice.

Lucius tone remains cold and inquisitive. "Did you forget who he is? What he's done to our family?"


"So you knowingly betrayed us. I suppose family means little to you when you've made yourself a new friend." His voice drips dangerously, and Harry's heart skips uncomfortably. "Did you even flinch when I supposedly died?"


"Really? So then why aren't you relieved I'm alive?" his father asks him.

"Because you've lost your mind," Draco replies in his empty voice.

His father quirks an eyebrow, full of meaning. "No, Draco. For the first time in a very long time I can see clearly. We made so many mistakes, but we learn from our errors. We'll achieve so much more this time. You'll understand soon enough. First - take this knife." Harry can make out the long, ancient blade and his pulse quickens. "You must kill Harry Potter - Stop Draco." Harry can see that Draco is trembling in his efforts to regain control. "Stop resisting! The quicker you do it the less it'll hurt." Lucius looks to Harry and Harry's fear sharpens to notice the deranged glint in his eye.

Draco takes the handle of the knife and positions it correctly in his hand. He then vacantly looks at Harry. "Draco…" Harry says. He begins to walks slowly towards Harry, his eyes fixed on him, expressionless. "Draco!" Harry calls him out, squirming in the chair even as the ropes bind tighter. "Listen to me -" he says quickly. "You can fight him. You have a choice."

He's relieved to see him pause in his step and slowly blink twice but then the vacantness in his expression returns and he's closing in on Harry. "Draco," Harry pleads. "You don't want to hurt me. I know you don't-" Draco's kneels in front of him so that he's at Harry's eye level and Harry can see something like pain flickering in his eyes.

"Draco, remember how he snubbed at your offer of friendship?" Rook whispers close behind him. "Since then, your identity was marked as the antithesis of Harry Potter- afraid, weak and wrong." Draco raises his arm back behind him, the knife in his hand.

"No!" Harry says with force. "You're so much more than that. Do you know how much I regret not - not finding out sooner?"

"He regrets it so much that he waited until after the war was done to give you a chance- he couldn't risk it before." Rook whispers into Draco's ear. "You weren't worthy of it."

"That's not true!" Harry rushes to say, because Draco is moving the knife dangerously close to Harry's chest. "You and I were always at odds, yes! But we always sought each other out. You were always in my head. I wanted to know you, even if I didn't realize it at the time. And I think it's because I knew you were stuck in this life that wasn't your own. I knew then because I felt the same way!"

Lucius chuckles, "Then why did you try to kill him when you found him at his most vulnerable?" Harry grimaces to remember the curse that nearly killed Draco in sixth year.

Draco seems to remember too, because he flinches and presses the tip of the knife into Harry's chest with force, which makes Harry inhales sharply. He waits a moment for the pain to come, but with dizzying relief he realizes that something hard is shielding him from the point of the knife. "Her pendant," he breathes. "You left it for me. You must remember why?" Harry takes in the greyness in his eyes and wills the silver and sun back into them. "Do you remember that night?" He's mentioning that night for Draco's sake, but he can't stop the sensations his memories stir: the way Draco pressed his lips into his, eager and forceful, and how Harry's own clumsiness and uncertainty melted away with each touch. He remembers his warm skin and his hot breath and cold fingertips. Harry's eyes wander down to pink lips before he instinctively moves forward to meet them. It's crazy, to kiss him here, right now. It won't work, but it doesn't matter. He presses his mouth firmly into his, closing his eyes as he gives into the touch of soft lips. Harry forgets where he is or who is watching - he's just kissing Draco and he won't stop until it's done. He unconsciously sighs when Draco's lips begin to respond - but the kiss stops suddenly with a quick smirk from Draco's mouth before he turns away from Harry.

The next moment happens in a blur. Harry sees Draco grab Rook and press the blade threateningly against his neck while meeting his father's gaze. "Let Harry go-" he orders, "or I'll kill him, I swear!"

His father is clearly shocked that Draco resisted the Imperius Curse and he gives him an approving look. "Go ahead."

"What?" Rook yells. "Lucius, please!" He struggles against Draco's hold, but Lucius quickly casts a stunning hex on him. Rook falls to the floor and Draco takes a panicked step back, clutching at the knife with both hands now.

"I have no use for disobedience," Lucius says to Draco. "So it makes no difference to me who you chose to kill. Will it be dear Harry or Rook?"

Draco's hands tremble violently and he looks back at Harry in fear. Harry already knows he can't do it. It's not in him. His father seems to come to the same conclusion. With a sigh, he whispers, "Imperio," and Draco trembles to stay in control, but the emptiness returns to his eyes. "Draco, We don't have time. Make a decision, now."

"Draco, don't -" Harry pleads, knowing it's pointless as Draco kneels over Rook's still body. He violently winces as Draco plunges the knife into Rook's stomach in one quick motion. Draco lets go of the knife and Harry can make out the handle sticking out of a still torso. Harry feels nausea as he watches Draco stare at the pool of blood that is spreading onto the floor. Harry realizes with horror that he's making sure Rook is dead.

Harry continues looking on with detached horror. He sees Lucius beckon Draco over and Harry's insides twists unpleasantly. "Bring the knife." Harry swallows the sudden urge to be sick when Draco takes the knife out of Rook's still body. He walks over to his father with his expression devoid of all emotion.

"Stand still," Lucius instructs as he takes the bloodied knife from Draco's hands. "We're almost done, Draco," he says quietly, almost fearfully, and Harry's insides spasm. Lucius dips the bloodied knife into the cauldron and stirs. Then he glances at Harry and points his wand. "Accio pendant." The pendant flies off of his neck and into his free hand. He drops it into the cauldron before casting it out magically and putting it aside. Something like fear seems to settle onto Lucius' face as he turns the knife over in his hands. He then points it straight at his son and Harry shakes his head in denial.

"No!" Harry spasms against the ropes and the binds only tighten "Lucius! Stop!"

Lucius hesitates and Harry tries to reason with him. "He's your son, Lucius. Whatever you're doing - it won't work- it'll just hurt him. Don't!"

But Lucius is deaf to Harry's words. He stares at his son and says quietly, "Please remember I do this because I love you."

Harry violently shakes his head in panic now, knowing full well what happens next. "Lucius, listen to me! You don't have to-"

When he sees Lucius plunge the knife into Draco, the same spot where Rook was stabbed, Harry convulses as if the knife has cut through him instead. He then screams and violently shakes in his chair. Draco cries out and falls to his knees, but Lucius just holds him close, keeping the knife firmly in place. "It's okay. The worse is almost over," he says in a reassuring tone and Harry trembles in shock.

"How - How could you?" He fights harder to be set free, to help Draco, but the ropes only constrict further against his chest, making it difficult to breathe. Harry sees Draco grimace in pain and attempt to clutch at the wound, even as his eyes are devoid of real awareness. His father lays him on the floor carefully, watching the life drain out of him. "HELP HIM! He's your son!"

"Exactly!" Lucius snaps, grief tainting his features. "You would never understand."

"If you don't help him he's going to die!" When Lucius ignores him, Harry growls in a low voice, "I'll kill you. I'll fucking kill you!" He watches as Draco's blood begins to pool around him and his breath begins to shallow. "No, no. Draco!" He chokes on the name, his whole being shaking with shock and pain and his vision blurring with tears. In desperation, he turns his attention back to Lucius. "Please, help him!"

Lucius kneels down low and whispers an incantation. As if from far away, Harry sees a familiar light, shining brighter than anything he's ever seen, momentarily blinding him again. He has to shut his eyes and look away, but the next moment it's gone and when he opens his eyes, Lucius is gone too. Harry feels the ropes unwind against him and he falls to the floor, too weak to stand.

He crawls over to Draco, who's so still and so pale against the dark pool of blood that surrounds him. "Draco?" he calls him out weakly as he nears him. With trembling hands, Harry gentle shakes his shoulders. "Draco?"His eyes are closed. He's not responding. Harry shakes his head, sweeping his soft hair back as he leans over him. "Draco - please - wake up." Harry shakes him again, his voice breaking. "D-Draco."


A/N: Please review - means the world to me.

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