Beren (beren_writes) wrote,
Beren
beren_writes

Defence, Pretence, Offence - Chapter 22 - To-Wards (Harry/Draco, NC17)

Title: Defence, Pretence, Offence - Chapter 22/70 - To-Wards
Author: Beren (aka Tasha)
Pairing: Harry/Draco
Rating: NC-17
Disclaimer: This story is based on characters and situations created and owned by JK Rowling, various publishers including but not limited to Bloomsbury Books, Scholastic Books and Raincoast Books, and Warner Bros., Inc. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended.
Warnings: This story is canon compliant until the end of Order of the Phoenix and then goes AU. None of the HBP or Deathly Hallows plot will be used, or the Horcruxes for that matter since this story was planned before we knew the details about those things, and hence has it's own fanon. This includes birthdays and other information that have since been revealed on Pottermore and in further productions.
Summary: The threat of open war in on the horizon. The Order and the Ministry are of one accord and both know that where Harry Potter is, Voldemort will eventually be. Preparations are being made and this time the side of the light will not be caught unawares.
Summer classes, sabotage, revelations about Draco's father, teaching and the final showdown with Voldemort all await Harry and Draco in this exciting sequel to Gold Tinted Spectacles (LJ | AO3 | Wattpad).
Author's Notes: This is the second story in the Hecatemae universe. It starts up just after the end of the first instalment and I advice reading that one first so you understand the premise. Thanks go to my sister Sophie for the beta reading.
It has taken me 12 years to finally get around to finishing this, I very much hope everyone enjoys it.
Link to other parts: LJ | DW | AO3 | Wattpad
New chapters will be posted every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

It had been just over a week since his birthday and Harry had completely set his mind to figuring out a solution to the Hogwarts problem. That is, the fact it was defenceless against his new means of travel. He liked to think of it as being focused, Draco called it obsessed. Not that Draco was much less focused than he was.

Their friends were incredibly curious as to why they kept disappearing to the library and what they were doing, but were so far accepting the 'sorry, can't tell you' line. Harry wasn't sure how much longer that was going to last, hence his sense of urgency.

They'd been on yet another fruitless search in the library until Madam Pince had kicked them out. When they'd returned to the tower, Harry had gone straight up to their room, but Draco had remained downstairs. Mostly to allay any worries their friends might have. They were both tired after a hard day of summer classes and then an evening of research, but Draco had insisted to keep Harry's fellow Gryffindors happy.

Harry was lying on the bed staring at the canopy and going over everything for the hundredth time in his head. He was kind of hoping for another revelation like the one that had got them into this trouble in the first place.

They had searched just about every obscure reference they could find to see if anyone in the Wizarding world had ever had the remotest notion of Harry's discovery. It didn't look as if there was anything at all, which meant no one had investigated magic that might affect it. The few words he had passed with Hermione before heading up to his room kept going around in his head.

"No luck?" she had asked.

"There's nothing," he had replied.

"Well you're unique, Harry. If it's to do with you, maybe only you can figure it out."

Unfortunately, that was what he was afraid of, only he wasn't a magical expert at anything. He was just bumbling his way through trying to survive in a world that was so much bigger now. Maybe Fitzsimons had been right to test him.

He couldn't help the irritation that ran through him when the Unspeakable popped into his head. Endangering other people had been unforgivable and he was glad the man was locked up. The whole thing had been completely underhand and the way the man had tried to blame it on Duggan was disgusting. The amulet that confused Harry's magical senses had been a stroke of genius on Fitzsimons' part, he hoped they wouldn't catch on.

Harry mentally scolded himself as he realised his thoughts were completely off track. He was supposed to be thinking about wards, not amulets. Magical things held much more fascination for him now than they had before he knew he was a Hecatemus. The amulet was very interesting magic, but that wasn't the point.

He stopped his musing as something sparked in his brain.

For a moment he wasn't sure what had occurred to him, but he chased it down.

"Oh," he said, sitting up, "oh ... yes ... maybe that's it."

[Harry, what is it?] came from Draco.

[Fitzsimons amulet,] Harry replied, becoming more excited by the second, [it confused my sense of magic and emotion and energy, I couldn't get a read on him.]

[And?]

[What if that's it? What if that's the solution?]

Draco was silent for a moment.

[Oh,] Draco said as if having his own revelation, [you mean a ward that doesn't block Apparation, but that confuses the connections so that the magic can't figure out where to go.]

[Yes.]

[My god, we've been chasing the wrong quaffle,] was Draco's conclusion. [Tomorrow we start looking up how in Merlin's name that amulet works.]

[We should ask Albus too, maybe he already knows.]

[Good idea.]

Now all Harry had to worry about was the fact the amulet had belonged to an Unspeakable. He really hoped it wasn't some secret research project, because that would make their task almost impossible.

* * *

As it turned out Dumbledore did know something about the device Fitzsimons had used to confuse Harry's magical senses. He also thought that the line of enquiry was a very good idea and was able to give them several starting points for researching it.

Honestly, Draco could barely believe that it only took them two days to come up with something. They spent every waking moment when they weren't in classes or eating to work on it, but Draco was still amazed by their progress. He began to pity anyone who thought they could go up against them when they were working in complete tandem.

With Harry's unique outlook on the world and Draco's fundamental knowledge, they had a working plan only two evenings after they had started. They had locked themselves in the Room of Requirement to test out their theories, since it was the most secure place within Hogwarts.

One of the things they had been researching over the past weeks was ward theory. Neither of them were experts, but they had the basics down. The difference between a shield and a ward was that a shield was active, it required a wizard with a wand to create it and keep it in place. A ward was passive, being tied to a place and taking its power from its surroundings only when necessary.

That was one of the reasons a shield was so much stronger and obvious.

"Okay," Draco said, once he was sure the Room of Requirement was secure, "let's make sure we have everything set up."

Using his connection to Harry, he felt out the connections between the energy in the room. Holding his wand, he concentrated and disappeared from his spot beside Harry. For a fraction of a second he felt like he was sliding down a water pipe, rushing with the flow and he could almost see the colours of the universe flash by. Then he reappeared in the section of the room they had marked off.

Nodding at his soulmate, he repeated the process to return to where he had been.

"Are you ready?" he asked.

"As I'll ever be," Harry replied and Draco could feel the nervous excitement in his soulmate.

Putting theory into practice was completely different from just reading about it.

"Then let's try it," Draco said and placed his hand gently against Harry's back.

They needed Harry's powers for this, so it was Draco's job to support Harry as he worked. He quieted his mind and slipped into rapport with his soulmate so he could see exactly what Harry was doing.

The section they had marked off was at one end of the room and they were about half way down. At the moment the Room of Requirement was about the size of a normal classroom, so they could see what they were aiming at clearly. Draco sensed the increase in pressure on Harry when he lowered his barriers.

The first part of casting a ward was to cast a shield. The rush of magic through Harry made Draco shiver as his soulmate created a standard magical barrier. To Harry's vision it sparkled and Draco was reminded once again, how beautiful the world was through Harry's eyes. It was even more breathtaking when Harry began to change the magic.

A normal wards expert could weave the magic for a ward using their wand and some very complicated charms. Harry was doing it with his mind.

The first thing Harry did was wind the edges of the shield into the magic of the floor, anchoring it in place. It undulated in his grasp, moving to its own rhythms, as Harry coaxed it into place. There was no brute force involved and it made Draco's nerves tingle as if fingers were stroking his skin. If it hadn't been for Harry's deep concentration, it might have been relaxing.

Harry severed the connection between his own magic and the shield by lowering his wand. It faded somewhat, thinning into metallic strands, like a spider's web, but remained in place, feeding off the magic in its surrounding.

"Probably wouldn't stop a well aimed jinx," Harry commented.

"It's not supposed to," Draco said.

The next part was the really complicated bit.

[Take a deep breath,] Draco said.

Harry did, squaring his shoulders.

Draco closed his eyes and waited. He knew instantly when Harry changed his perception yet again and he gritted his teeth, lending his strength and presence. All the information about all the connections in the whole universe tried to push into Harry's brain at the same time, but he held, pushing back.

To move from one place to another it was enough that Harry knew the connections were there, for this he needed to see them.

Taking a deep breath of his own, Draco held strong, placing his mental presence in the centre of Harry's so his soulmate could regain his equilibrium.

[Never let anyone tell you the universe it not infinite,] Harry said, inner voice almost shaking.

[Weave it, Love,] Draco said.

As if his words bolstered Harry's resolve, Harry went to work.

Watching through Harry's eyes, Draco saw the magic change. Each strand began to flow and change, spreading like molten metal. Draco had to remind himself to breathe as Harry played with power at such a fundamental level. His cells hummed with the resonance in his soulmate.

As the magic spread, so it became almost transparent, only a lightly shimmering glint to show the dome it was creating. It looked like the finest crystal.

The sight was captivating ... right up to the moment it shattered.

Draco couldn't help it, he ducked, even though there wasn't actually anything physical to be ducking from. The magic dissipated into the room harmlessly.

"Bugger," Harry said loudly.

"That's why we're practicing," Draco said, laughing, even as he stood back up to this full height.

They reached the same point three more times and lost it each one, until Harry finally got it right. It was the next step that caused the magic to fragment and it took a while before Harry figured out how to do it. A flat sheet of thin magic was not going to stop anything, so it required warping. However, one push the wrong way too hard and the whole thing disintegrated.

When Harry finally figured out how to push the magic just so, they both breathed a sigh of relief.

[That's it,] Draco said as the shield distended and changed.

As it twisted it began to shimmer, distorting the view through it. Draco was mesmerised as it almost seemed to change into something else under Harry's control. Then he felt it, almost like a click, but something deep inside him, not external at all. The patterns of energy inside the ward turned into a mass of colour, with no sense of order.

"It's done," Harry said, carefully rebuilding his mental barriers to their usual level.

Only when Harry finally relaxed did Draco remove his hand from his soulmate's back.

"Then it's down to me to test it," he said, blinking as his own vision reasserted itself and the room went back to all the ordinary colours.

"Guess so," Harry said, looking terribly unsure.

"It will work," Draco said, giving Harry an encouraging smile, "you'll see."

Pulling out his wand, he repeated his actions of before, finding his focus, concentrating and trying to travel. He felt the spell begin to work and the sliding sensation made his nerves hum, but then it felt like landing in treacle.

"Woah," he said as he found himself sliding down the outside of Harry's ward.

Unfortunately he had rematerialised at the top of it, and there were quite a few feet to the floor.

"Ow," he said as he landed in an undignified heap on the floor.

What was really strange though, was when he stopped moving. Because of the way he had fallen he was half leaning on the shield, but the moment he was still, it was as if nothing was there. Indignity of indignities, he ended up nearly flat on his face.

"That works," he said.

"Are you okay?" Harry asked, rushing over.

"I'm fine," he replied, pushing himself up and brushing off his trousers, "but my dignity may never recover."

Harry grinned at that, the worry dropping away.

"It worked though," Harry said, the delighted feeling permeating across their bond.

"Definitely," Draco agreed and eventually smiled back, because he had no wish to rain on Harry's parade. "Now from the inside."

Harry went back to worried again as Draco stepped into the marked off area.

"I don't feel anything," Draco said, "so, so far so good."

A ward that made itself known to everyone inside it was no good to anyone.

Holding his wand firmly, Draco concentrated again, this time tensed for any less than favourable effects. It was all very anticlimactic when nothing happened at all.

"I think we can safely say that works," Draco said after he tried a second time. Harry beamed at him. "Now we need to talk to Albus to find out how to do it on a bigger scale."

The feeling of anxiety once again flooded their link.


This entry was originally posted at http://beren-writes.dreamwidth.org/378250.html.
Tags: category: slash, ch_story: defence, fandom: harry potter, fictype: 30kwds up, fictype: chaptered, genre: fantasy, genre: romance, offence, pairing: hp - harry/draco, pretence, rating: r to nc17, type: fiction
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